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


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:

Pasta (Jerusalem Artichoke Flour)
100% Wheat Bread

Sweet Potatoes
Mustard Greens
Romaine Lettuce
Tomatoes (technically a fruit)
Red Onion
Olives (technically a fruit)

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


Soy Milk

Chia Seeds
Hemp Seeds

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

Synder’s of Hanover Sourdough Nibblers/Snaps

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…

Stop PMS Symptoms with Simple Diet Changes

young-girl-eating-chocolateYou can tell when you have PMS (premenstrual syndrome) because you will go through hell and high water for some sweetness on your tongue.  You finally get your hands on a chocolate candy bar that you so desperately think you need and tear bite into it like a raving, mad woman.

You take your first bite and you are immediately soothed by the sweet, creamy, smoothness of the chocolate candy bar.  It is at this time when you are finally calm.

Does the above sound familiar?  Sure, it does.  If you are a woman, you have had the cravings for sweetness in your mouth and dared someone to stand in the way of you getting your sweet fix.

Did you know that you can stop the PMS cravings as well as other symptoms that effect you during that time of the month?  Yes, you can.  You can do it by making simple diet changes.

My Battle with PMS Symptoms

It all started in my teen years.  I would get sick, have major cramps (I popped Advil or Tylenol like a drug addict), vomit, have hot and cold sweats and a week or so before my dreaded visitor arrived, I had to have the sweets.

I thought PMS symptoms were normal and no one told me otherwise.  Let’s fast forward to my 20’s.  I still had the symptoms and dealt with it the best that I could.  It was not until I reached my early 30’s, when I discovered that I can stop PMS symptoms, by changing my diet.

Today, I do not have PMS symptoms.  I do not have cravings, cramping, bloating, irritability, moodiness, hot and cold sweats, or vomiting.  Most of the time my period sneaks up on me.  I no longer dread that time of the month, because it comes and goes without any problems.

The longer I eat a plant-based diet the less PMS symptoms I have.  My diet consists of fruits, vegetables, beans/legumes, grains and a small amount of seeds and nuts.  I eat a low-fat, vegan (plant-based) diet.  It is a very simple diet, but sometimes challenging.  When I am faced with challenges, I focus on the benefits and that is what keeps me going.

Estrogen Triggers Cravings

During the monthly cycle, estrogen levels rise because of the possibility of pregnancy, but when pregnancy does not occur, the estrogen levels decrease.  The drop in estrogen levels might cause you to feel bloated, moody and crave chocolate.

Food Helps Control Estrogen

You can control your estrogen levels with simple diet changes.  You read my experience and how things changed because of dietary changes that I made.  I had no idea that I was controlling my estrogen levels with food, but now I understand the science.

“If we keep fat intake low, estrogen stays at a more modest level throughout the month.  It won’t ever climb too high – and there will be no drop at the end of the month.  That helps tame PMS, cramps – and cravings.” Dr. Neal Barnard

woman-in-terrible-painFiber Helps Your Body’s Estrogen-Disposal System

Eating foods that are high in fiber helps absorb the waste estrogen.  Fiber acts like a sponge and carries the estrogen out of your body.

Animal foods are devoid of fiber and you get fiber from plants foods.  Eating a diet low in fiber slows the process of estrogen being carried out of the body.

The liver removes estrogen from your blood and sends it to the intestinal tract for disposal.

However, a diet that has low to no fiber does not help with the estrogen-disposal system.

The estrogen ends up circulating back into your bloodstream, resulting in a higher level of estrogen your body than needed.

You get fiber from eating plant foods.  The fiber helps move things out of your body.  Begin today increasing the amount of plant foods you eat.  Eat foods such as: vegetables, fruits, beans and grains.  The fiber in these foods help trap estrogen in the digestive tract and carry it out with the wastes.

Steps That Help Control Estrogen

You want to stop estrogen from rising too high early in the month so that it does not fall too much at the end of the month.

  • Start your diet change on the first day of your monthly cycle (the first day of your period) and follow the diet for the entire month.
  • Eliminate animal products and added vegetable oils.
  • Eat foods that are high in fiber (beans, vegetables, fruit and grains).
  • Pay attention during the last week of the month to your cravings, PMS symptoms, and cramps.  It is likely that you will notice the benefits of changing your diet in the very first month, and the effects become increasingly noticeable with each new cycle.

If you are interested in weight loss, you will probably notice that you lose weight as a result of your diet change.

Final Words

The changes that I made in my diet eliminated PMS symptoms.    I no longer have cramps, vomit, hot and cold sweats, mood swings and the cravings.  I am thankful that I do not have any PMS symptoms.  It is a miracle and you can have that miracle too.

Changing your diet is a simple answer to PMS, yet challenging, because you are used to eating what you eat.  If you have PMS symptoms and they are kicking your butt, make the commitment to eating more plant foods.  Better yet, eat a plant-based diet and reap the benefits of not having PMS symptoms.

Men, if you read this article and know a woman who has PMS, please share this article with her. You’ll be glad you did.

Once you go plants, it’s hard to go back!

Information source for this article obtained from Breaking the Food Seduction: The Hidden Reasons Behind Food Cravings—And 7 Steps to End Them Naturally written by Neal Barnard, MD.  I encourage you to read this book, especially if you crave sugar, cheese and meat.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles (1) and Marin (2) /


10 Tips to Help You Fight Sugar Cravings

sugar-lumpsThis article is written by Carolyn Akens.

Sugar is very addicting and when it grabs hold of you it is hard to let it go.  End your affair with sugar today by incorporating the tips below:

#1 – Avoid artificial sweeteners.

They are toxic; increase your appetite and your sugar cravings. Artificial sweeteners also inhibit fat metabolism.

#2 – Don’t buy junk food and keep it out of your home.

Having junk food in your home inspires late night binging.

#3 – Eat more fruit and sweet vegetables.

Eat these to quench your cravings…yams, carrots, parsnips, squashes, beets. Remember that fresh vegetables as well as fruits are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help to keep your body in balance and functioning at it’s peak.

#4 – Exercise.

Did you know that movement helps the body to metabolize glucose? Get moving!

#5 – Separate emotion from food.

Our culture is obsessed with sugar especially as a reward and during the holidays. Find better options.

#6 – Crowd Out.

Going cold turkey from all sweets may cause you to have feelings of failure and disappointment. Know your limits and use the suggestions in #3.

#7 – Read Labels.

Read the ingredients on every package you buy, instead of the sugar grams. You will notice where the sugar is sneaking in and start to find better options.

#8 – Not talking about calories.

When you’re kicking the sugar habit rely on healthy alternatives, not modified amounts of the same old stuff. The body quickly remembers old habits. Small amounts will trigger return cravings and bingings.

#9 – Eat good fats:

nuts and coconut oil. Good fats will help to modulate cravings and stabilize blood sugar.

#10 – Seek help and support.

You don’t have to do it alone. Sugar cravings can be conquered. Contact me today! Try the recipe below as a starting point.

Curry Cashews

• 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
• 2 teaspoons madras curry powder
• 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• 2 cups raw whole cashews
• 1 Tablespoon coconut palm sugar
• 1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink sea salt or to taste

1. Preheat oven to 300F. If coconut oil is solid, heat in small skillet until melted. Add the curry, paprika, cumin, coriander and stir until fragrant.

2. Place the nuts in a mixing bowl. Add the spiced oil, coconut palm sugar, and salt. Toss the ingredients until nuts are coated. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Shake the baking sheet occasionally until the nuts are fragrant and golden, about 20 minutes.

Until next time…Live & Thrive in Abundant Good Health!

Image courtesy of Suat Eman /