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Monday, April 27, 2015

Chewy Cinnamon Paleo Brownies

Let me tell you a funny story about the delicious bite you see above.

I love dessert. I eat it every day. In fact, it is thanks to my sweet husband that I get to eat delicious, healthier treats every night. When I first met him, he had no idea how to cook, but he has made the effort to learn because that is the kind of stand-up guy he is.

So, one night he asked me what treat I would like him to make me the next day. I told him chocolate brownies, paleo and protein-boosted style, would be awesome.

The next morning I awoke to the most heavenly cinnamon-roll smell ever. This was very odd, since he does not know how to make paleo cinnamon rolls. After asking my hubby about it, he told me they were just regular old chocolate brownies, and he had no idea why I smelled cinnamon.

Later on that night, as I stuck a bite of the chewy brownies in my mouth, the taste of cinnamon exploded in my mouth in the most delicious way ever! Genius! My husband had made the mistake of replacing cocoa powder with Vietnamese Cinnamon. Who has ever heard of fudgy cinnamon brownies? Not me, but they are so delicious, I just had to share. Enjoy!!

Chewy Cinnamon (or Chocolate) Paleo Brownies
Mix together in large bowl:
  • 1 1/2 cup of sunflower seed butter or cashew butter or whatever butter you love
  • 1/2 banana, mashed 
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, I mean, cinnamon - although you can use cocoa powder on days you just need chocolate
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup or raw honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup protein powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • dash of sea salt
Grease a 9x13 pan with some coconut oil and bake in your oven at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Take them out and enjoy the amazing smell and taste of these healthy-er brownies!

Friday, April 24, 2015

2 Health Drinks You Need to Include In Your Day

I was provided product to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

While I do not like to drink my calories, I do like to get super healthy nutrients, probiotics, and enzymes in my drinks. Let me share with you two ways you can drink healthier without adding a bunch more calories to your day!

I have long been a fan of KeVita and am now excited that they have upped the delicious, cleansing and balancing goodness found in every bottle!

The Cleansing Probiotic Tonics, KeVita’s newest line, combines probiotics, 30g of apple cider vinegar and effective doses of specific ingredients – like Cinnamon or Tumeric – for a ‘one-two punch’ of healthy benefits. In addition, KeVita Cleansing Probiotic Tonics are currently available in Whole Foods locations and are low-calorie, dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, certified organic, Non-GMO Project verified, and Kosher.
KeVita Cleansing Probiotic Tonics are available in five palate-pleasing flavors:  Cinnamon, Kale Lemon, Tumeric Ginger, Red Beet, and Chili Ginger Lime.

My favorite is probably the Cinnamon or Turmeric Ginger. I love to drink my Turmeric Ginger with a healthy breakfast of scrambled eggs with turmeric, coconut oil, and black pepper. The combination of black pepper and healthy fat along with the turmeric helps it to be absorbed much better, and it really becomes an inflammation-fighting machine!

Who drinks apple cider vinegar in their water? I do!!! There are a ton of healthy benefits of ACV, including weight loss, better digestion, and killing off some types of bad bacteria. Now, there is an even healthier version of regular ACV! I am super excited to share Fire Cider with you. To the base of certified organic apple cider vinegar, they have added whole, raw, certified organic oranges, lemons, onions, ginger, horseradish, habanero pepper, garlic and turmeric. They let this mixture steep for 6 weeks at room temperature, to preserve the living vinegar culture and delicate flavors of the ingredients. Lastly, they blend a generous helping of raw wildflower honey into the mix. The result is potent but balanced, offering layers of sweet, tart and spice.

How does that sound? While it is fiery, it also has a hint of sweet. I add just a tablespoon or so to my glass of water, and it wakes me up and gives me energy to do everything I need to do in my day. My children even drink it in their water. It is the perfect tonic to drink if you feel a sore throat or runny nose coming on. Also, try adding it to a tablespoon of raw honey for another easy way to feel better fast. You can find Fire Cider on-line store or at over 500 locations nationwide.

What are your favorite health drinks?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

7 Ways To Celebrate Earth Day Every Day!

I was provided with product to try out. I am an independent Shaklee distributor who loves their products and cannot help but recommend them to others. No other compensation was given. All opinions are 100% my own.

Earth Day is coming up on April 22nd, but I think we should all get started celebrating today and keep celebrating all year round! After all, keeping the Earth healthy and clean has to start with each of us making habits that preserve this great planet we live on!

Here are 7 very easy ways to do just that (and save yourself quite a bit of money):

1. Start replacing plastic with other things! Get a few cloth bags to use instead of wasting grocery bag after grocery bag. Use a BPA-free reusable water bottle instead of buying bottle after bottle of water. Money saved! Happy Earth!

2. Start using concentrated, naturally safe cleaning products in your home.
Did you know you are not supposed to throw conventional cleaning products away in your garbage? You need to find a TOXIC WASTE site! Why would you want to use something so dangerous in your home? About 7 years ago, we switched out all of our cleaning products for Shaklee's Get Clean products. These products are not only safe and natural, but they are going to save you tons of money!

For instance, Shaklee's Basic H2 organic super concentrated cleaner, which my family has been using for over 4 generations, will literally save your family THOUSANDS of dollars over traditional cleaners AND any other “Green” cleaners available. For instance, one bottle of Basic H2 equals the cleaning uses of 5,824 bottles of 26 oz. Windex, and its not as dangerous to your health as Windex is. It works as well and even better than the other cleaners on the market (traditional and “green”). And yes, there are clinical studies to prove this.
Here are a few of the ways you can use the Basic H2:
I use it to wash my fruits and vegetables (it is that safe) but I also use it to clean my hardwood floors,
clean my tile floors, clean my vinyl floors, use it on my garden as a safe alternative to pesticide, use it to run moles/voles out of my yard, my husband uses it to shave, clean my wood cabinets, dust all my furniture, clean my kitchen counters, remove spots from our carpet, clean my bathroom, use as a mosquito repellant, use it to soothe and treat burns and many other uses!

3. Think about where your fish comes from. I am a huge advocate for eating healthy fish, like Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchovies, even responsibly caught tuna. While a great source of lean protein, Omega 3 and other vitamins and minerals, some fish also have high mercury levels, and if eaten often enough can cause a mercury build up in the body leading to unwanted side effects. One type of fish with potentially high mercury levels that has been an American favorite for generations is canned tuna. We love tuna in our house, but have cut it out for so long, because I wanted to stay away from mercury, BPA laden cans, and did not approve of the fishing methods that are often used.

Now, for the first time, Safe Catch is a new company that is the only 100% mercury tested tuna on the market and it is also cooked using a unique method that seals in more Omega 3s than other brands. Their tuna is traceable from sea to table, and they buy from captains whose catch methods minimize environmental impact. They are very passionate about keeping oceans pure and protecting our Earth. You can pre-order your Safe Catch tuna today!
4. Reduce your disposable tableware use or replace it with sustainable products. Although I do not use disposable plates and cups often, I know there is a time and place when they save you a LOT of time and hassle. You will save a lot of waste if you only use them during those occasions. Plus, what if you could use guilt-free tableware made from plants? I love the whole Repurpose line of innovative, green, single-serve tableware made exclusively from plants.

Their cups, bowls, plates, forks, spoons and knives are made from corn, sugar and bamboo, all of which are annually-renewable resources. They are also BPA-free, chlorine-free, petroleum-free and use only soy-based inks. And unlike traditional plastic or even paper items, all Repurpose products are 100% compostable in an industrial composter. Yay! Plus, Repurpose products are not flimsy or easy breakable. They are high quality products that get the job done!

5. Lower your electricity bill. Turn down your heat in the winter just a few degrees and add a layer of clothing. No, you will not die a frozen Popsicle. In the summer, open the windows and try to save the air conditioning for when it is really, really hot. Turn off all lights in the rooms you are not using. These are all great habits to get started today!

6. Pick up trash that you see on neighborhood walks. Too gross for you? If you can pick up your pets poo, then you can pick up an empty bottle, can and other trash that is polluting our world and could be causing harm to the animals. It just takes a second, but has a great impact.

7. Make a difference with your purchases. When you are shopping at the store, the choices you make and how you spend your money makes a difference! The more healthy, sustainable food and products you buy, the more will be made. We can transform what companies make by what we buy! One company that walks a green walk is Annie’s. In fact, they have purchased 42 Million pounds of organic ingredients, have reforested 296 Acres of degraded land with NativeEnergy via the Oka Trees of Hope Project. Plus, more than 90% of Annie’s packaging (by weight) is recyclable and $459K will be donated this year to organizations supporting a sustainable food system. My favorite organic product is their Annie’s Organic Grass Fed Mac & Cheese - which is made with 100% real cheese from grass fed cows. Awesome!

Enjoy your Earth day, making small changes that will have a BIG impact on our planet!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Only Juice I Recommend

I was given products to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are 100% my own.

I do not drink juice. It is extra calories that I do not need, and water suits me just fine. When I want some fruit juice, I eat fruit. Then, I can get more of the nutritional power that fruit packs. 


There is one exception...

Tart Cherry Juice. Have you heard of it? If you have not tried it yet, get yourself to the store and get some! 
Cherries are one of the most beneficial of the “Super Fruits.” Cherries, particularly tart cherries, aside from being packed with antioxidants, are a proven sleep aid (they contain melatonin) and anti-inflammatory for athletes (weekend warriors or competitive). They also helps with weight loss, healthy heart, slows aging of skin, prevents gout, fights cancer, diabetes, alzheimers, and even improves memory.

Cheribundi is my favorite brand, because they really are the cherry people. They have several third-party, published studies that show that athletes who drink their products recover faster, have less inflammation and muscle damage, plus more antioxidants. I need that!

Their tart cherry juice is packed with the juice of 50 tart cherries!! As you can probably guess, these juices are delicious! They are just tart enough not to be too sweet. I have had wonderful experiences using these Cheribundi. Since I am a hard-core fitness lover and personal trainer, my body takes quite the beating, and I am often sore and feeling the effects of my workouts in my muscles and joints. When I drink Cheribundi and get enough protein after a workout, I notice a huge difference in how I feel - less soreness, (or none at all) less joint pain, and more energy for the next workout.

You can see why I think tart cherry juice is a big deal. Want to try it for yourself? Join the Cheribundi 7 Day Challenge and feel the full benefits of what tart cherry juice can do for your health!

We are giving away a Cheribundi 7-day Challenge package to (3) separate winners! How awesome is that? Enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 17, 2015

10 Concepts For Success That Fit People Live By

I was provided this book to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

I love a great self-help book. I think I may be a little addicted to them, in fact (part of my perfectionist habits). The latest one I am reading is from Dr. Oz’s personal trainer, Joel Harper.  His new book, MIND YOUR BODY: 4 Weeks to a Leaner, Healthier Life is absolutely fantastic! As I have been reading it, I have been able to learn a lot about myself, and I keep thinking of all my personal training clients who I want to share it with. 

The best part about the book is how personal it is. You work through the book and learn about yourself first.  Then, you can apply his great tips for connecting your meals, moves, and mindset. Meals to keep nourished, moves that can be done in the comfort of home, and the mindset to keep motivated, inspired and thriving. And in the process, he provides a three-step weight loss program that claims to help quadruple weight loss, maximize workouts by 85 percent, and boost happiness and energy levels by more than 40 percent—in just fifteen minutes a day. You will also love the easy, great tasting recipes and a complete healthy meal plan as part of the program.

The book also lays out the 10 core concepts of optimal success that fit people live by:
1. Shut out of the noise – filter your thoughts to discern and disable disruptive mental static.

2. Maximize inner motivation – determining your personal and emotion-driven reasons for wanting to change is what will sustain your motivation long term.

3. Cultivate grit – honing a sense of “try and try again” perseverance can up your success rate by more than 30%, according to University of Pennsylvania researchers.

4. Set specific intentions – clearly knowing what path you are on helps eliminate distractions and self-defeating habits from your life. Establishing extremely detailed daily goals and a plan of action that resonates with the unique vision you have for yourself can result in twice as much weight loss, according to researchers from the University of Sussex and Warsaw University.

5. Visualize success
– mentally seeing your future develops a visual layout in your brain, which works like a road map showing you how to get where you want to go. Repetitive practice of visualization lays down actual physical frameworks via neural connections in your brain, which engages your muscles even when you are sitting still, and increases muscle mass. The more specific your mental image, the more specific your results will be.

6. Eliminate excessive choices – variety may be the spice of life, but making many decisions can be overwhelming, which depletes willpower. Having at least one planned meal per day can help make healthy eating automatic; too many choices will more likely lead to a less healthy snap decision.

7. Extinguish escape routes – anything that delays your goal or lowers your standards can take you so far off course, you’ll never get back on track. Don’t keep enablers like “fat jeans” in your closet that make it all too easy to get comfortable with anything less than the goal you’ve been working toward.

8. Yield to traffic – have grace under pressure, go with the flow and make on-the-spot adjustments as needed by accepting that there are times in life when things won’t work out exactly as planned. For example, if your husband surprises you by taking you out to dinner, embrace it and order something healthy off the menu, rather than freak out that you’re going off plan a special treat.

9. Believe it & become it – you can set yourself up with a belief system that produces dramatic differences in your health. An Israeli study published in 2007 shows that confidence in your ability to succeed at weight loss can triple the amount you’ll lose compared to those who doubt themselves.

10. Jump for joy – celebrating your success boosts your motivation. University of Connecticut researchers put women on a 12-week diet and offered half of them a weekly chance to receive small rewards if they lost a pound. Those who received rewards lost twice as much weight.

What do you think? What would you add to the list?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spice Up Your Breakfast!

I was provided product to try out. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Are you getting sick of the same old breakfast, day after day after day? Sometimes all it takes is the addition of a little something new into your old favorites to spice breakfast up and make it fabulous all over again! I personally love to add in different spices to my morning eggs to always make them delicious and super healthy. Check out my top four spices you must try today!

Maybe you are sick of your morning bagel, cereal or toast. It is definitely time for you to try Morning Rounds.
These delicious fruit and grain buns are delicious served with eggs of any variety, with some sautéed spinach, fresh salsa and jalapeños for a flavorful meal that will keep you full for longer! Ozery Morning Rounds will make you want to ditch those unhealthy doughnuts, muffins and pastries and add spice to your daily breakfast routine.
My husband thinks these are just delicious! He loves a good bread product in the morning, and these are, by far, his most requested one. I love them because they are free of artificial preservatives and GMOs and contain lots of beneficial fiber, iron, calcium, Vitamin B, antioxidants, and folic acid.

They are available in Muesli, Apple Cinnamon, Cranberry Orange, and Date & Chia varieties. Each one is more tasty than the next. My husband also loves to throw a few in his lunches and even snack on them on the go.

Don’t settle for a boring breakfast full of empty carbohydrates or artificial ingredients. Go for wholesome foods that fill you up and give you the energy you need for an active and healthy day!

Monday, April 13, 2015

One Very Easy Way to Make Your Child’s Day Special

With four children, it can sometimes be a challenge to make sure all my kids feel special each and every day. Just recently, I started using something super easy to make sure my first grade son feels special each day!

I started using Lunchbox Buddies!!
 three cards
Created by professional designer and father of three, Jim Adorney, Lunchbox Buddies provides a quick and easy way to make healthy lunches more fun. With creative collections ranging from superheroes to space creatures, each packet of Lunchbox Buddies contains a month’s worth of silly characters and messages to add excitement to what kids may consider to be a ‘boring’ healthy lunch.
My son just loves these ultra silly characters! He gets so excited when he sees me try to sneak them into his lunch every morning. I always like to add a little message of love on the back just to make sure he knows I am thinking about him.
The extra fun thing about these Lunchbox Buddies is that he can collect all of them, color their pictures and have a fun little deck of crazy creatures to play with.

With this super easy little gift every day, my child feels an extra dose of love and special. What mom doesnt love that?

What do you do to make each of your children feel special each day?