Thursday, December 18, 2014

Last blog post of the year - lets wrap it up on a feel good note!

Wow it's holiday time and things are wrapping up for the year. Thanks to all my loyal followers who support my passion of inspiring others to live a beautiful life full of vibrant health and divine balance.

Know that your time to start fresh and follow your dreams is always NOW. You have the power each  moment to make a mindful choice that supports your wellbeing. Everything you eat, think and do creates your body and has an significant impact on your happiness. 

Treasure yourself first and foremost, then you can better give pure love and attention to others. Being healthy is not a destination to achieve in the future, it needs to be a lifestyle that you implement every single day of your existence.


You need to look at your schedule carefully and create each day so that it works for your personal needs and desires, for example: 

*Start the day early by rising with the sun 

*Nourish your body with a balanced breakfast and tall glass of lemon water (continue to hydrate through the day)

*Make time to move your body every day in some form or another, whether that's stretching, playing with the kids, gardening or walking the dog

*Practice mindfulness such as meditation, deep breathing or setting intentions for stress and emotional management

*Eat set meals like a glowing goddess:
- breakfast within an hour of waking (ensure there are healthy fats and clean protein in there)
- lunch in the middle of the day (make this your most substantial meal of the day instead of dinner) 
- an early evening dinner (keep it light: salad, soup, stir fry, clean protein and veggies etc.)
This helps to keep your metabolism revved, your mind sharp and focused, and your body feeling energized!


*Slow down, relax and take your time while eating, chewing your food thoroughly to assist digestion and nutrient absorption

*Add more of what you love into your daily ritual, for example, read a good book, catch up with supportive friends for a cup of tea, spend quality time with the family in the evening, go to an uplifting fitness class, treat yourself to a bunch of flowers to brighten up the home or take a soothing salt bath    

*Always be grateful for the blessings in your life, pay attention to the smallest details and enjoy the simple things (there is magic all around you, open your eyes and see it, even in dark times there is always light)  

*Delegate responsibilities when you feel overwhelmed, ask for help when you feel stuck, chunk big tasks into smaller tasks, remember to be kind on yourself and take things one step at a time

*Connect with nature in some way on a daily basis by sitting in the sun, gardening, walking in the park, putting your bare feet on the soft green grass or by visiting the local farmers market

*Switch off from technology during your early morning, night time + weekend rituals (creating professional and social boundaries to enjoy some relaxing quiet time for other important things is essential in this modern fast paced world)

*Keep life interesting, try something new, explore foreign lands, adopt a different hobby, get creative, live passionately, get excited and allow yourself to dream (better yet turn these dreams into a reality)!

*Make the most of what you have and attract what you don't (food for thought: think about this one)

*Just do the best you can!


Happy holidays and I wish you all a spectacular end to the year that opens all doors for a radiant new year, filled with wonderful opportunities to learn, grow and continue this special journey that is your life!

NOW is the time to join me for personalized health coaching sessions to create the feel good life you deserve to live. Email sarah@mybalanceandwellness.com for more information about how I can support you in achieving your nutrition and wellness goals. 

Sarah


Thursday, December 11, 2014

3 More Of My Super Health Enhancing December essentials

- All things green:
I ditched the cooling salads, smoothies and juices a month or so ago. WHY? I really believe in eating seasonally and therefore during the colder months I feel it is important to eat warming foods for the body instead. Here's how I still manage to get enough greens into my fall / winter diet: sauté spinach, collards, swiss chard and kale (any of your favorite dark leafy greens) and serve as a side dish to compliment any nutritious meal. Finely chop kale leaves and add them to soup such as vegetable minestrone or better yet make a super green veggie soup. A thanksgiving favorite for us this year was brussel sprouts with bacon. YUM! I love quickly steaming broccoli, adding a little ghee for a nice buttery flavor, seasoning with sea salt and garnishing with chopped almonds. EASY! Get creative and make your greens taste ridiculously delicious.



- Comforting soups and healing bone broth:
As mentioned above, you can cram your soups with lots of green power but really any veggies can be thrown in a soup to make a satisfying and nourishing meal. A good soup should be made with high quality broth. You can easily whip up your own homemade veggie broth, but I usually make my own healing bone broth instead. Simply save bones from "grass fed" dinner meat, store them in the freezer and when you have collected enough, throw them in a pot on the stove top, cover with filtered water, add a splash of apple cider vinegar, bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for at least 8 hours. Larger bones need more time to extract all the healing nutrients such as minerals, collagen and gelatin. Once done, strain the broth and discard the bones. Store in an airtight mason jar in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freeze for later use (be sure to leave enough room at the top of the jar for liquid expansion). I use bone broth to make soup, cook whole grains and legumes, or to drink like a warm cup of tea.  



- Dry body brushing, warm showers and jojoba oil massages:
Guys, I love my nutrition info but I equally love my self care regime. Not only does how you eat affect your appearance, but so does how you look after your body. These days we are extra prone to toxins from the environment, our food and water supply, as well as our beloved skin care products. The skin is a massive organ that lives and breathes in your surroundings - it soaks up anything you put on it like a sponge. It is important to look after it as best we can. A few ways I like to do this is by regularly dry body brushing. I start with my feet, brushing in circular upwards motions towards the heart. You can do your entire body (avoid the face) but go gentle on your chest as the skin is thiner and more delicate in this area. Focus on cellulite prone areas as this can reduce the appearance. It's a super way to detox your body and stimulate / flush the lymphatic system. It promotes skin cell rejuvenation and evens out skin tone.



After dry body brushing, jump in a warm shower to wash the stresses of the day away, clean the body and make you feel fresh! Try not to lather your body with commercial shower gel or soap, instead wash with water only or if you have to, use a little organic / natural shower product on your smelly parts such as underarms and feet. Just like we want to protect the good bacteria in our gut, we also want to protect the delicate bacterial, moisture and pH balance on our skin. Using less products in the shower also reduces your toxic load.

After your luxuriously warm shower, it's time for a self loving jojoba oil massage. Rub your entire body from the shoulders to the toes with a light lather of this wonderful oil. This relaxes your muscles, improves circulation and nourishes the skin without dumping a chemical shit storm all over your precious bod! As I have mentioned, your skin absorbs what you put on it so ensure that it is organic, clean, pure and natural. The reason I recommend jojoba oil is because I have been an acne sufferer all my life and this is one of the few oils that does not clog your pores. I don't put it on my face though (I use a special moisturizer for that), just on my body.

Your time to shine and get in shape for the new year (both mentally and physically) is NOW! Join me for a free phone call about your health and wellness desires. I will support you with my personalized coaching sessions to eat for your unique body type and live the life you have always dreamed of. Email me for more information! 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

My 3 Autumn Food Crushes For Vibrant Health (Part 1)

I love this time of year. Things are finishing up in time for the New Year, we have Christmas with loved ones to look forward to and we get to rug up as the weather continues to transition from fall to winter. In this blog post I want to share with you some of my FAVORITE December goodies that keep me feeling healthy, light and vibrant even on the greyest of days!


Masala chai tea with homemade nut milk

Masalad chai is traditionally made using black tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices and herbs such as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and black peppercorn.  Chai has been enjoyed for centuries in India to preserve health and increase peace of mind. It is known to improve digestion, enhance the immune system, fight inflammation and contains antioxidant properties for combatting excess free radicals in the body. I love to use Rishi Organic Loose Leaf Masala Chai Tea with 1/2 teaspoon of local raw honey and my very own signature homemade nut milk. YUM! Hot tip: drink or eat anything caffeinated before 12 noon to enable sound sleep at night.    




Loaded steel cut oats

Organic steel cut oats are my favorite fall / winter breakfast choice due to their comforting, warming goodness. You may think "BORING" but when you load your oatmeal like I do, you will change your mind. Try adding any combination of the following ingredients to super charge the nutrition in your morning oats: fresh berries, chopped apple, sliced banana, raw cacao nibs, raw nuts and seeds or their butters, goji berries, mulberries, coconut butter, coconut flakes, pomegranate, persimmon, pure vanilla extract and / or cinnamon. WOW! Hot tip: the longer you chew your oats the sweeter they become so no need to add extra natural sweeteners like honey. Another bonus tip: add enough protein and healthy fats such as nuts and seeds to your oatmeal to keep you satisfied longer and balance out your stress hormones. One last tip: adding pure vanilla extract and cinnamon reduces the need for added sugar and helps to stabilize your blood sugar levels. Once again, use my signature homemade nut milk on your steel cut oats.




Baked sweet root vegetables

When my clients experience sugar cravings, this is one of my favorite suggestions to incorporate into their diet. When you bake sweet root vegetables in coconut oil (for extra sweetness) or ghee (for a buttery flavor), they make a great addition to any meal and will satisfy your sweet tooth, so there is no need for desert. Some of my seasonal favorites include turnips, carrots, yams, winter squash and sweet potato varieties. Chop them into little cubes / pieces, spread them evenly across a parchment paper lined baking tray, drizzle with oil / cooking fat of choice, salt and pepper to taste and bake for approx. 30 minutes / until soft on 400F (toss half way). When eaten during this busy time of year, sweet root vegetables are very grounding energetically, and can help us to remain centered and balanced mentally. When eaten fresh out the oven they have a lovely warming affect on the body.




Not sure what to get your loved ones for Christmas? Give them the gift of vibrant health by purchasing personalized nutrition and health coaching session with me! Email me for information or visit www.mybalanceandwellness.com for more about my customized services. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

5 Simple Ways To Enjoy A Healthier Thanksgiving

Hooray it’s holiday time and all the fun festivities are about to begin. This mean spending time with loved ones, eating our favorite comfort foods, enjoying the occasional celebratory drink and going to lots of end of year parties! For some people all this can be a little daunting… we all do our best to look after our health and eat right during the year, but then Thanksgiving, Christmas, work parties and New Years comes along all within a couple of months and our good habits seem to get kicked to the curb.  The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. We can enjoy all of these things and maintain optimum vitality with a few simple tips and tricks, here’s what you need to know:  

Tips for enjoying your favorite holiday treats without expanding your waistline or sabotaging your health…

*Be smart while enjoying a festive drink. November and December is a time of celebration as we get together with special friends and loving family for Thanksgiving and Christmas. There may even be a work party on your calendar too. As your personal Health Coach, I am all for you enjoying a few drinks here and there, but I also want you to be mindful of hydrating with lots of water and making sure you eat something protein rich, such as some turkey, beforehand to help stabilize your blood sugar levels from the alcohol / sugar intake. This is a super trick to prevent you from unconsciously overindulging on holiday foods!          

*Go in to mealtime with a game plan. Tell yourself before you sit down that you only need one plate of your favorite holiday foods and optionally a small piece of desert. If you eat your food slowly and mindfully, thoroughly chewing every bite, then you will feel more satisfied and be able to recognize when you are almost full. Stopping when you are around 2/3 full is a great guide for feeling comfortable and not expanding your waistline. HOT TIP: load up on nutrient dense veggies: pumpkin, sweet potato, brussel sprouts, kale, green beans, carrots, onion, garlic, cabbage and mushrooms! YUM.  

*Engage your senses. You will enjoy and get more satisfaction from your favorite festive foods if you take your time and engage your senses by smelling the food, looking at the beautiful colors on your plate and focus on the delicious flavors each bite brings to your taste buds. This is mindful eating and in practicing it you are less likely to stuff your face and battle the bulge. It also dramatically improves digestive function!

*Move your body. I'm not talking about "exercise"... The holidays are a great time to play games with the family especially if you have kids, nieces, nephews or grandkids. By doing physical activities that are fun such as kicking a ball around the backyard, playing twister, or dancing to your favorite holiday tunes... you will never know you are burning off your last meal!

*DON'T TAKE LIFE TOO SERIOUSLY. Life is about enjoying! You know intuitively what your body needs more than anyone else. Embrace the relaxed nature of the holidays and treat yourself a little to some of your festive food favorites. Listening to your body is key! It will tell you when you have had enough to eat if you use the tips I mention in this blog post. Slow down and savor every bite. Eating mindfully means there is no need to feel guilty or battle the bulge after the holidays are over. Decide what you want, own that choice and enjoy! My philosophy is everything in moderation.

Join me for a free 30 phone call to discuss your health, nutrition and wellness goals for 2015! I can guide and support you one step at a time to achieving your wildest dreams! 
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Daily Wellness Essentials That Have More Of An Impact Than Drinking Green Juice

- Move your body in different ways: yoga, pilates, soul cycle, walking, swimming, dancing, surfing, gardening, playing with the kids etc. You don't have to get stuck at the gym or feel like exercise is a chore... get creative and take the stairs, get a fit bit and track your daily steps, get a jump rope and and hit it first thing in the morning before work or take it on business trips with you! There really are NO excuses for being a lazy couch potato or glued to your desk.

- Drink lots of water - eat broth based soups, make vegetables juice, infuse water with lemon, mint or cucumber for flavor and added nutrition, sip on therapeutic herbal teas, take a drink bottle with you every where you go and sip consistently through the day. Water doesn't have to be boring! Jazz it up a little and make it interesting. My cocktail of the day is sparkling mineral water with fresh citrus! YUM

- Eat an abundance of different seasonal vegetables! Organic is super important for your health and the environment. You cant go wrong with loading up with veggies on your plate. They are kind of the waistline, super satisfying and when your body gets all the nutrients it needs... it no longer craves the junky stuff. You will feel so good after eating all these veggies that you couldn't possibly return to your old ways.

- Prioritize sleep and rest - you deserve it! Switch off after work and spend quality time with loved ones or get some zen on your own. I love my wind down ritual which includes lighting candles and relaxing on the couch with my husband listening to chill music. This makes me super relaxed and ready for a good nights sleep. You may like to try taking a hot bath, massaging your body with soothing oil, reading a good book, stretching your limbs or meditating! Different things for work for different people.

- Carve out time for yourself each day and commit to it like an important business meeting. When you are connected to yourself the universe magically aligns, other people pick up on that special energy and things are more likely to go your way. When you are in touch with yourself, you have more love and kindness to give to others. You are more attractive because you have a certain glow that exudes peace of mind and wellbeing.



 
- Take in the little details of life. Things or other people can't be your only source of happiness. Happiness must primarily come from within and you have a choice every moment of the day to tap into that! I believe simplicity is the key to enjoying life. Be grateful for where you are at in your life's journey and try to be fully present. Your senses should be so heightened that you are aware of everything inside of yourself and around you. When was the last time you listened to the birds in the morning, looked at the colors of the trees on your walk or sat to watch the sunset at the end of the day? These are the little details of life I am talking about that make it so special.

- Do more of what you love! Catch up with friends and explore different spiritual and creative outlets. Life is too short to get stuck in the daily grind of work, commitments or a mundane routine. Mix it up and keep your life interesting, exciting and filled with passion. When you create this energy within, the world seems that much brighter, people that much nicer and the day that much easier. Stop resisting change or struggling in life. Everything is a opportunity to grow, learn and make the most of.

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I truly believe feeling well is a mindset that we can all adopt if we choose to and know we deserve it. Everything else compliments this, from our daily nutrition and fitness. Sometimes we get so focussed on healthy trends such as juicing, smoothies and super foods that we forget the importance of balancing our mind. Stress management is essential in this stimulated world and we can do that through practicing mindfulness, meditation, yoga and other spiritually uplifting activities. Fuel you life with nutritionally dense food the way nature intended AND equally importantly though nourishing your mind and spirit! Contact me for a FREE 30 minute phone call for personalized guidance and support with transforming your unique nutrition & wellness.
 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Successful Meal Planning Tips & Tricks

In order to enjoy a feel good healthy work week we need to prioritize some time on the weekend to prep nutrient dense food that will nourish our bodies. I like to do this on a Sunday afternoon because lets be honest...after a big week the LAST thing we want to do on a Saturday is tasks! In this weeks blog post you will discover successful meal planning tips & tricks that will save you precious time, prevent you from getting stuck in a food rut, and make life that much easier.

- Make meal planning fun! On a Sunday afternoon (or whenever suits you), play some of your favorite music, make a cup of tea, flip through your favorite cookbooks and fill out your weekly meal plan (click here for BONUS template). Start by filling your template in with the meals you already know how to make... and then get extra inspiration from other recipes to fill in the blank boxes. HOT TIP: Remember you can use the same meal multiple times by cooking in bulk and saving leftovers for later.

- Now that you have done the first step, it's time to write a shopping list. Do this in walking order of your supermarket layout! For example, create titles such as "Produce" which you hit first when you enter the store, "Condiments", "Dried Goods", and lastly the "Butcher" which you pass last on your way to the checkout etc. This will save you from running back and forth all over the supermarket. List all the ingredients you will need to make each meal during the week. HOT TIP: try to choose recipes that use similar ingredients or make savvy substitutes where possible to save you from buying a thousand different things.




- When you get your food home, store it in an organized manner for easy access during the busy work week. For example, label dried goods in the pantry in mason jars with the name of the food and the date of purchase. HOT TIP: Put fresh berries in a glass container lined with paper towel in the fridge (don't wash until you are going to eat them). Always store fruits and vegetables separately.

*You can wash, dry and chop vegetables like dark leafy greens (I do this with my dino kale), carrots and celery etc. (store these in glass containers in the fridge also). Optionally you can pre-chop stir fry veggies (mushrooms, asparagus, carrot and bell pepper etc.) or sweet root veggies (sweet potato, yam, tunic, carrot, parsnip, winter squash and beets etc. for roasting) to store in portion sized containers so that they are ready to go when you need them.  

*Pre-marinate meat and store in a glass container in the fridge or freeze in a zip lock bag for later use.

*Soak a batch of whole grains (optionally gluten free) and legumes (beans, peas or lentils) overnight / min. 8 hours in warm water with a splash of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.

- Make food in bulk on Sunday so you can throw together quick and easy meals during the busy week! Examples include: bake a batch of granola, make little jars of chia pudding for breakfast on the go, chop veggies for juices, make nut milk, roast a batch of veggies to throw in salads, cook a batch of quinoa to use as a side dish, make a salad dressing, throw together a trail mix snack jar, make a veggie frittata, roast a chicken and / or make a big hearty soup etc.




If you want to learn more about easy ways to live and eat healthy, contact me for a free 30 minute phone call to discuss your wellness goals and how I can support you in achieving them!  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Healthy Travel Tips - Essential For Anyone Going Anywhere!!!

This week I am off to Vietnam which inspired me to share with you my top travel tips for keeping on track with your balance and wellness while away. This post will be particularly helpful for you as we enter a very festive time of year with the Christmas holiday soon upon us. Please note there will be no blog post next week as I am taking a healthy "tech free" break with my husband. Traveling in my opinion is an ESSENTIAL part of life. It opens your eyes to other ways of living, teaches you new things, provides you with unique experiences and gives you a fresh perspective on the world.

TOP TIPS TO STAY HEALTHY WHILE AWAY:

- Pack your supplements
A good broad spectrum probiotic (non-refridgerated) can help to keep your immune system calm while traveling to foreign countries. It can be a good idea to keep a consistent flow of beneficial bacteria coming into your precious gastrointestinal tract to minimize the opportunity for "bad" microbes to thrive. Zinc, vitamin D and vitamin A also support a strong immune system. A high quality multi-vitamin / multi-mineral combo can help to fill nutritional gaps in your daily diet while you are away.

- Pack your own toiletries
I never use other peoples cleansers, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash or moisturizer as they are usually full of toxic ingredients. Having acne prone skin, I need to be super careful about maintaining my skin regime using "non-clogging" / acne safe products that won't trigger a flare up. Pack "travel sized" bottles filled up with your toiletry essentials.

- Pack earplugs, an eye mask and organic hand sanitizer
When you are on a flight or trying to sleep in your accommodation there can be all sorts of noises that can prevent you from enjoying sound restorative sleep. The ear plugs come in super handy for this and I wear an eye mask to shut out excess light (especially if I need to get some sleep during the day time). Hand wash at airports, on the plane and in hotels is usually full of harsh chemicals that strip your hands of moisture and all living bacteria. Instead I suggest packing a small bottle of organic hand sanitizer (Whole Foods sells them) that is more gentle on your skin.


- Eat before you fly and pack healthy snacks / food choices for the plane
I always have a nourishing meal before I leave the house to get on a plane. Try to pack a green juice if you can to get a liquid multi-vitamin / multi-mineral that alkalizes your body, purifies the blood and boosts the immune system before you set off. My fav snacks for the plane include raw organic trail mix, a boiled egg (pasture raised), a BPA free can of wild skinless + boneless salmon, carrots with hummus, fresh fruit such as an apple, and raw superfood bars (high in protein and healthy fats, as low as possible in natural sweeteners).

- Select a "healthier" airplane meal option if possible and say "NO THANKS" to free nibbles and drinks on the flight
I always select the "gluten free" option which usually contains some sort of meat, rice and vegetables with a simple side salad. I pack my own spring water (purchase after you go through security or pack an empty glass drink bottle to fill up at the water fountain). Drinking rancid coffee, poor quality alcohol, sugar laden fruit juice, soda and airplane snacks / deserts can really throw your delicate system off. Keep your body as pure as possible during your journey.

- Pack chill out music, an inspirational book and a note pad with a pen
Traveling can get hectic so it is important to be able to cultivate some zen anywhere you go. If you can mediate go for it. I simply play some relaxing chill music on my iPod or read an inspirational book. A note pad is a great way to jot down and observe any thoughts, feelings or emotions you may be experiencing. It can also be used as a travel diary or food journal.

- HYDRATE, stretch and sleep where possible
I drink lots of water on the plane to stay regular, flush out toxins and hydrate the body. Stretching is essential to keep the blood flowing to all areas of your body and to aid the flushing of the lymphatics system (immune system). Ideally we want to remain flexible and keep our muscles as loose as possible to avoid getting stiff, cramping or swelling up, and get rid of any tension in the body. Instead of watching movie after movie on your flight, stick to watching just one or read for a little while and then prioritize some shut eye. Try to keep your body in some kind of routine so you don't feel "out of whack" when you arrive at your destination. Hot tip: pack chia seeds and add a tbsp. to your large bottle of water for a nutritional boost, a natural source of energy and to help keep you regular. 

- Take your swimsuit and walking shoes
Being on holiday usually means taking a break from fitness classes, gym sessions and workout routines but it doesn't mean we have to get lazy and do nothing physical with our bodies. Pack a swim suit and walking shoes so you can get active in a fun way while enjoying your time away. Explore your new environment by foot, rent a bike or swim in the ocean. You won't even realize you are exercising!



- Print out a note in the language of the country you are visiting stating any food sensitivities you may have so that you can hand it to the chef when eating out at restaurants 
It is important not to alarm your immune system and throw off your digestion by eating foods you are sensitive to while away. I make sure I have a clear note saying that I have an "allergic reaction" to eggs, gluten (wheat, barley and rye) and dairy. That way I can maintain my health and avoid damaging my delicate gastrointestinal tract.

- Observe how other cultures live traditionally, simply and in harmony with nature (you can learn so much from the locals and bring little health pearls back home with you)
Many different cultures to ours live very simply amongst nature with their families. They tend to the land, grow their own food, look after each other, live in sync with the cycle of the sun and change with the seasons. They build their homes out of local and natural materials, they do not live fast passed technology driven lives, they don't shop at big department stores, they don't eat conventional and processed foods, and they are not stressed out with endless health problems that are treated with pill after pill. I really think we need to return to nature as much as possible in order to survive on this Earth for generations to come. What we are doing now just isn't sustainable.

THE MOST IMPORTANT TRAVEL TIP IS TO ENJOY EVERY PRECIOUS MOMENT!

Guys, I just want to say a BIG thank you to all of my loyal followers who support me in what I do and value the information I have to share. Continue to prioritize YOU and live your best life. Much love, Sarah

As always I invite you to join me for a free health consultation where we can take action on achieving your own unique wellness goals. Feel amazing, glow and soak up all life has to offer.