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! 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How To Make Your Vegetables Even Healthier!

Put them in a jar and don't let them breathe for a few days!...

....essentially, that is it!

Fermented Vegetables are capable of the following:

Heal & Build Immunity!

Balance Your Inner Ecosystem!

Enhance Digestion!

Nourish Your Body!

Experience AMAZING FLAVORS!!!!

The thing I love most about fermented food is the intense flavor!! They can be quite addicting, and the energy they give you is amazing! It's like taking a probiotic on steroids!

Basically, you need to have a good inner ecosystem to have good digestion, good digestion means good bowel movements,  & good bowel movements means happiness. Basically. (side note: i think i am going to call my "movement," the Bowel Revolution).

Probiotics are microorganisms that you can add to your gut bacteria. Typically, if you have a good, broad spectrum of gut bacteria, your digestion and immunity can function properly.

Scientists are finding more and more research supporting gut health being a direct relation to just about every disease you can think of. I never believed this, until I started doing my own research. Reading books, going to classes and continuing education seminars, and also experimenting with my own lifestyle and diet.

Basically, if we eat well, and nourish our insides, our bodies will be really good to us. Our energy can increase, our skin can look radiant, our hair can be ridiculously soft, our eyes so crystal clear. We can sleep better, lose weight, think clearly, and overall feel really, really good.

Fermented veggies basically go through a process of their good bacteria flourishing in an anaerobic environment, this process makes the good bacteria reproduce and convert sugars and starches into lactic acid. The lactic acid is very alkalizing and cleansing to your blood. 

Here's how you can ferment your own VEGGIES!!  (:

I gathered all of my vegetable and washed them well. 
After it was all said and done, I ended up using:

 1 garlic clove
1 sweet onion
2 heads of cabbage (1 red, 1 green)
2 beets
1 carrot
handful of leeks
1 granny smith apple
little bunch of baby kale
2 cups of PURE water
2 probiotic capsules

So here are my veggies!
(Before you cut everything up and throw it in the food processor, save about 4 leaves from each cabbage)

And here is the Kale and Leeks and Garlic that I threw into my glass bowl. I chopped these, but everything else, I used the food processor. (Texture is all personal preference)

NOTE: Glass bowl is very important. Some metals can compromise the integrity of your good bacteria, so for fermenting, use your glass bowl.

Then, I had a great time with the food processor!
All my veggies besides Kale, Leeks, and Garlic.

Then you get to mix it all together with your hands!

Then measure out about 2 cups of your torn up vegetables..

Then add 2 cups of PURE DISTILLED water and BLEND.

After you have a nice little mix of pureed "brine"
I added 2 probiotic capsules to give it an extra boost.
I also added a pinch of Pink Himalayan Sea Salt.

Note: Stir, DO NOT BLEND THE PROBIOTICS. they are alive! 
so they would appreciate that you don't hurt them.

Then I just mixed the brine in with the veggies and packed them tightly into jars with about 1"-2" of room at the top, where i packed the cabbage leaves in so that my vegetables would be submerged in the "brine."

Now the hard part..
             waiting for them to be done. 
Usually about 3-7 days is good. The longer you let them ferment, the more tangy they will get. So again, that is personal preference.

I don't ever follow recipes, with hopes that I will inspire other people that don't like to follow recipes to get in the kitchen and make some stuff!!  (:

To see my very mediocre and very short, under 40 seconds YouTube video of what a blast I had making this, click here!! 

Otherwise, Have a wonderful day and I hope to see some comments! 


Monday, November 3, 2014


Gather FOOD!

      red pepper

   coconut oil in your pan!

chopped onions in your pan!!

 then add the red pepper..


then add some zucchini...

then get distracted by the kitty cat..

add tomato..

break the eggs in..

stir the eggs in..

add special spices and seasonings or whatever you want..

add some arugula....

stir in that arugula...

it's all getting nice and cooked. (:


it is literally that easy. 
add whatever you want. 
tomatoes cook quickly and so do leafy greens.
the onion, pepper, and zucchini take the longest to cook.
that's why they jump in the pan first.
you don't have to be a gourmet chef, just experiment.
i do NOT follow recipes, 
i just throw stuff in.
...i also took all of these pictures.
i am pretty proud of how pretty they look! (: