Stay Cool and Hydrated with Coconut Water Fruit Popsicles

coconut-water-popsicleThe temperature has been very hot in Georgia. The temperatures have been in the 90’s and the 100 degree mark is coming; it’s only a matter of time.

A coconut water fruit Popsicle is a healthy treat and is a good way to stay cool and hydrated on those hot summer days.

My daughter enjoyed helping make these Popsicle. I had never done anything like this before, but she was a good helper.

One of the things I made sure to do was to use one of her favorite fruits (strawberries) and colorful Popsicle molds.

Why Coconut Water?

Coconut water:

  • is low in calories
  • is cholesterol free
  • is fat free (the brand I used)
  • has less sugar than most sports drinks, sodas and fruit juices
  • is high in potassium
  • is very hydrating
  • helps keep the body cool

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How To Make A Spicy Mango Salsa

mango-salsa

Spicy Mango Salsa

The mango is a juicy, delicious fruit that you can eat any way you like.  The mango is my favorite fruit and there is nothing better than a juicy mango on a hot summer day.

The mango has the flavors of orange, pineapple, coconut and a little hint of apple rolled into a beautiful fruit.  The mango is not only a tasty fruit, but it is also one of the healthiest fruits you can eat.

I was inspired by a fellow You Tuber, Lee Gaines to make a mango dish.  Check out Lee Gaines’s Quick Refreshing Raw Vegan Snack for the Summer.  He makes you laugh, but he also shares helpful information about the ingredients he uses in his recipe.

I came up with a delicious mango salsa and today I share it with you.  Below are the key ingredients and a few health benefits of the ingredients: Continue reading

The McDougall Diet Update – Week 3 (August 15-21)

fruit-smoothi-mustacheThis is my update for the McDougall Diet, week three.  If you want to learn more about the McDougall diet, click here.

I usually share with you what I had for each day, but I will not do that in this post.  These  are the foods I ate during week three of following the McDougall diet:

Grains
Oats
Barley
Pasta (Jerusalem Artichoke Flour)
100% Wheat Bread

Vegetables
Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes
Broccoli
Mustard Greens
Spinach
Romaine Lettuce
Tomatoes (technically a fruit)
Cucumber
Carrots
Red Onion
Mushrooms
Artichoke
Olives (technically a fruit)

Beans/Peas
Split Pea and Barley Soup (Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods)
Black Bean and Lime Soup (Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods)
Kidney Beans
Garbanzo Beans

Fruit
Bananas
Strawberries
Grapes
Nectarines
Apples
Lemons

Milk
Soy Milk

Seeds
Chia Seeds
Hemp Seeds

Other
Nutritional Yeast
100% Wheat Bread
Real Salt
Agave Nectar
Organic Kelp with Cayenne Seasonings
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Cumin
Chipotle Chile Pepper
Black Pepper
Pasta Sauce
Tamari (low sodium)

Snacks
Synder’s of Hanover Sourdough Nibblers/Snaps

Supplements
Vitamin B-12

My Fast Food Experience

I started the McDougall Diet on August 1, 2013 and since then I have not eaten out at any restaurants.  I cook my own food and enjoy it.

Dr. McDougall does not recommend eating out, especially while following the diet, but I ran errands one day and needed something to eat.  I stopped by a fast food joint, that I used to frequent.  I always order the veggie burrito.  The burrito has black beans, rice, corn, avocado, lettuce, and their secret sauce.

The first bite I took of the burrito tasted awful.  I could not believe that I used to eat this and think that it was the healthier choice on the menu.  There was a bad aftertaste that I had never noticed before, but I continued eating, because I was hungry.

I learned that after you give up fast food for a while and start eating whole foods that you prepare and cook yourself, that your taste buds change.  I do not have any desire to eat at that fast food joint any time soon.

fruit-smoothie-cinnamonBest Tasting Smoothie, Ever

I got tired of eating oatmeal and decided to make a breakfast smoothie. I made a smoothie that blew my taste buds away.  I had no idea the smoothie would be a success and I had to share it with you.  Below is the recipe for my quick breakfast smoothie:

Banana Strawberry Smoothie with an Oats and Cinnamon Twist

Makes one serving.

1 Frozen Banana
1/2 Cup Fresh Strawberries
1 Cup Organic Soy Milk (or any milk of your choice)
1/2 Cup Oats
1-3 Dashes of Ground Cinnamon (to taste)

Blend until creamy and enjoy.

*If you want to make more than one serving, double the recipe.

Final Words

Overall, I am still going strong following this diet.  I have started walking on my treadmill and doing a little strength training.

I really like the McDougall Diet, because it is not hard for me to follow.  It is very filling as well as economical.

Well, I guess that’s it.

Until next time…

6 Secrets to Beautiful Skin

number-6Beautiful skin is something that many people love and strive for, but for some getting the skin they desire is a hard goal to reach.

Some people naturally have beautiful skin; thanks to mom and dad.  Most people do not have it like that and as a result they are looking for the best next miracle product to give them perfect skin.

Let’s face it, there is really no miracle product that will give you perfect skin.  Taking care of your skin is the first step in having beautiful skin, but the most important thing that you can do for your skin is to feed it from the inside out.

 1.  Drink more water.

You must drink more water and stay hydrated.  The less water you drink the easier it is for you to get dehydrated.

If you get dehydrated, then your skin will look and feel dry.  Water is important, especially since the body is mostly water (70%).

Water also gives your skin the moisture that it needs, which results in soft, supple and glowing skin.

Folks do not skimp on the water.  Drink up!

2.  Load up on fruits and vegetables.

You are probably tired of people telling you to eat more fruits and vegetables, because you know this already.

When I eat mostly raw foods (plant-based) along with steamed vegetables, my skin is almost flawless.  However, when I eat junk foods it shows up on my skin.  You are what you eat.

You do not have to eat raw foods for beautiful skin, but eating more fresh fruits and vegetables will help your skin.  Try eating more fruits and vegetables for a week or two and you will see a change in your skin.

Eat your way to beautiful skin.

 3.  Lay off the junk food.

Junk food has its place, but you should not consume more junk food than you do healthy foods.

Consuming nothing but junk results in you looking like junk.  If you want beautiful skin, you must pass on the junk food.  Passing on the junk food is not easy, but you can do it.

Challenge yourself not to eat any junk food for a certain amount of time.  Pay attention to the look and feel of your skin.  Your skin should look better, if you do not cheat on your challenge.

Give up the junk and watch what happens.

4.  Consume healthy fats.

Most people enjoy fried foods, especially us southerners.  However, try decreasing the amount fried foods and other unhealthy fatty foods that you consume.  That fat will find a way to come out and it usually comes out in the form of a pimple.

Instead of consuming unhealthy fatty foods, try eating healthy fats like avocados, seeds and nuts. Do not over eat healthy fats, especially if you are trying to lose weight.  Fat is fat and if  you eat too much it can slow down your weight loss progress.

Coconut oil makes an excellent skin moisturizer, provided that you do not have oily skin and allergies.

5.  Use the appropriate skin care products.

Select products based on your skin type (normal, dry, combination, oily).  If you are acne prone, you do not want to use products that put more oil on your skin, because it can lead to more breakouts.

Check out 10 Ways I Keep My Skin Healthy.  Currently I use different products, but no matter what I always use Witch Hazel for toning.  I do not use coconut oil on my face, because it is too heavy and it tends to clog my pores.  I use a moisturizer after cleansing only if my skin feels dry.

Give your skin what it needs when it needs it.

6.  Keep your hands off your face.

Stop touching and picking with your skin (face).  Nails are dirty and sometimes cause skin breakouts and rashes.  If you must touch your face, be gentle and mindful of how your touch your skin.

Do not pick with black or white heads.  Picking results in scars and dark marks and take time to remove.  Instead, use a product that helps treat the skin issue that you have.

Take good care of your skin and it will take care of you.

 

Discussion:  What are your secrets to beautiful skin?  Do share.

 

Image courtesy of Satit Srihin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Deconstructing Cravings

eating-donutToday our guest blogger is Carolyn Akens.

The body is an amazing source of intelligence. It is always there for you, pumping blood, never skipping a heartbeat, digesting whatever food you put in it and maintaining homeostasis. Is this reliable, intelligent bio-computer making a mistake by craving ice cream or a hamburger or chocolate? Are cravings due to lack of will-power or discipline? I’d like to suggest that cravings are not a problem. They are critical pieces of information that tell you what your body needs.

The important thing is to understand why you crave what you crave. Perhaps your diet is too restrictive or devoid of essential nutrients. Perhaps you are living a lifestyle that is too boring or stressful. Your body tries to correct the imbalance by sending you a message: a craving. A craving for something sweet could mean you need more protein, more exercise, more water or more love in your life. The key to stopping the sugar craving is to understand and deliver what your body really needs.

No book or theory can tell you what to eat. Only awareness of your body and its needs can tell you. Of all the relationships in our lives, the one with our body is the most essential. It takes communication, love and time to cultivate a relationship with your body. As you learn to decipher and respond to your body’s cravings, you will create a deep and lasting level of health and balance.

The next time you have a craving, treat it as a loving message from your body instead of a weakness. Try these tips to respond to your body:

  • Have a glass of water and wait 10 minutes.
  • Eat a healthier version of what you crave. For example, if you crave sweets, try eating more fruit and sweet or root vegetables.
  • What is out of balance in your life? Is there something you need to express, or is something being repressed? What happened in your life just before you had this craving?
  • When you eat the food you are craving, enjoy it, taste it, savor it; notice its effect. Then you will become more aware and free to decide if you really want it next time.

About the Author:  Carolyn Akens, Board Certified Holistic Health Coach, Chef, and Raw Food Educator, helps women and families who are struggling with overweight and obesity to eat whole foods to transform their life so that they will live long and have good health!

As a world-renowned raw food educator, Carolyn has trained and coached raw food chefs, raw food instructors and raw pastry chefs locally, nationally, and internationally.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net