Calling in the One — Intimate Relationship Manifestation

A dear friend of mine shared this simple, yet powerful, exercise with me 2 years ago and it literally changed the entire trajectory of my life.

At the time I was a single mama, working like crazy, trying to keep afloat. I had a comfortable life- a cute little apartment, a great group of like-minded friends, and a budding art career, but my life was tough. I was doing everythingggggg and I was tired and lonely. Sometimes I would long for a romantic partner to share my life with, but I didn’t do well there too much because a part of me was resolved that it may not happen that way for me. I thought I was dealt a different set of cards.

It wasn’t until I had had a conversation with my friend that things changed for me. She started asking me questions- Why do you feel you don’t deserve the partner of your dreams? Why do you feel you have to settle for singledom if that’s not what you want to create?  She then made a very valid point that struck me right in the gut. She said: “So, you created your art career, based on nothing, other than the fact you believed in it, and you kept setting your intentions and your thoughts on the Universal belief that ‘anything is possible’ and you kept strong in that mindset no matter what others around you were saying, right? So if you could create something out of nothing with your art career, why do you believe it’s any different with attracting a partner?”

She was right. Why was I picking and choosing what I thought my manifesting powers had control over? And what did I really want? 

She told me to do 2 writing exercises to set my intentions for attracting a romantic partner, and I’ll share these below. I diligently did the exercises, and read them daily following my morning meditation and gratitude practice.

Fast forward roughly 8 months later and I received an email in my inbox stating I had “matched” with a guy on a small local dating platform I had signed up for 3 YEARS AGO! (And at this time I was not on any dating apps/sites/etc…) So get this- I hadn’t gotten one match or any communication from this service in those 3 years. Nada! I had completely forgotten about it, and when this email came in I thought it was spam and I actually deleted it first without opening it. My intuition kicked in quickly and called me back to find that email in my trash folder and open it. 

And the rest is history. My present day fiance is the handsome, loving, passionate, generous, and dedicated man who was in that email. When I read back over my manifestation writings that my friend had given to me I realize that EVERY quality I put in there is embodied in my fiance. He is THAT guy I wrote about and longed for. And the only thing that was holding me back from meeting him was MYSELF!

Steps to Call In the One

  1. MEDITATE:
    Sit in stillness for 5 to 10 minutes to ask the universe for guidance. Simply breathe deeply and say: “Where will you have me go? What will you have me do? What will you have me say? and to whom? I ask for guidance and am ready to receive.”
  2. JOURNAL:
    Next, get out a pen and paper and write down EVERY SIGNLE DETAIL of what your ideal partner looks like. And I just don’t mean the physical, but be sure to include that as well. How does this personal treat you? What actions do they take? What values do they have? How do they view the world? What are their interests? How do they touch you? What do you see in their eyes? and so on. Write down everything and you can always go back and add more if needed. The goal is to make it emotional moving. When you read this journal entry in the future you should feel emotions- butterflies in the tummy, excitement, joy…
  3. MEDITATE, READ IT DAILY, VISUALIZE:
    Now integrate this into your daily practice. Meditate and ask for guidance, then read you “The One” journal entry, then close your eyes and feel what this person feel like, what it feels like to be with them, and then call them in.

Importance of Creating a Sacred Space

Sacred Space

Feeling at peace, safe, and connected is one of the most important things in life, and we have full control over the ways we can support ourselves in reaching these emotional goals. One, often overlooked, but easy to do thing we can do is create a sacred space in our home.

My sacred space is in the garden, surrounded by lush bougenvilla, romantic cafe string lights, a buddha statue and a comfy swinging egg chair. When I visit and spend time here I notice my body shifts energy the moment I arrive. 

The beauty I created through my mindful decorating process resonated deep in my heart and soul. The things I placed carefully have special meaning and remind me of the things that matter most. 

The Buddah, for example, always reminds me “peace is found within,” and the flowers help me recall that connecting to nature and to oneself is the most important tool to tap into.

The cute and oh-so-comfy chair is soothing as it swings, and the motion calms my nerves, and brings up a child-like joy.

When I am having a challenging day simply visiting this place for a few moments and checking in with me in the present moment is sometimes all I need to turn things around, gain perspective, and boost my mood.

Sacred places actually are “charged” with good energy from the positive energy we’ve put into them through our own creation process. We infuse these spots with our positive vibes, and in return they refuel us when we are depleted. It’s a symbiotic relationship.

Being a big proponent of the healing benefits of nature I always incorporate plants. If you don’t have a green thumb, one of my lush preserved moss art pieces can do the trick just the same! Greenery is calming and connective for all, because we all come from nature. (CHECK OUT MY MOSS ART HERE).

Other elements to include are any trinkets, or other memory-producing objects that open your heart and bring up good feelings. Make your space beautiful and unique. It should feel like your space, and it should feel like home.

Sacred Space:

  1. Pick a spot that can be yours, and you can be alone
  2. Make it beautiful with plants, moss art, objects with special meaning
  3. Make it comfortable- maybe a bright colorful cushion or chair
  4. Add pictures, or any other reminders of joyful memories.
  5. Visit it often to charge the space, and allow it to bring you peace and happiness

Peace-Producing Moss Art

My main 9-5 is running a moss art business.

“A what!?” you say…. Yes, I make framed works of art using preserved moss and other botanicals. I make art with nature!

I found my way into this career through my love of nature and my love of creating. I have had a long-time obsession with living walls. Have you ever heard of Patrick LeBlanc? You can check out some of his work here. Patrick is an amazing plant artist and he grows beautiful plant murals on the sides of buildings all over Europe. You may recognize some of his most iconic pieces like this one:

Patrick was a source of great inspiration for me. His nature art made me feel good inside. It gave me those warm tingly feelings. Nature is so beautiful and so healing, that wrapping our living spaces in its beauty made so much sense to me!

Since real living walls are cost prohibitive for many, and tricky to keep them alive, I decided to come up with my own solution that still has all the positive good-feeling tingly vibes, but with none of the head-ache inducting up keep.

My solution- real PRESERVED moss (which requires no care!).

Peace-Producing Moss Art

Here’s a little excerpt from my Face the Current article that explains the psychological benefit of plants:

“Living green walls also have psychological benefits. A study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology in 2015 suggests that interaction with indoor plants can reduce physiological and psychological stress. Plants have also been shown to increase feelings of wellness and fast-track recovery in hospital patients. A living wall adds contentment from nature which reminds us of the renewal of spring and the growth of summer –it’s this feeling of life that lifts the spirit.

While living green walls are undeniably beneficial, their installation and maintenance costs can be a deterrent. Since the plants are living, they require food, water, and regular pruning and replacement to remain viable; this can be costly both financially and in terms of time management. So how do we capture the health and wellness benefits of a living wall while eliminating its energy, water, and time consumption? Kelley Anderson has the answer.” “

-Face the Current 

So if you are looking for a little plant power for your space, and you want a worry free solution check out my moss art at ART BOTANICA MOSS. They also make a unique and wonderful gift! USE CODE MOSS10 for 10% your first order. Get your Peace-Producing Moss Art.

Creating a Work from Home Space: Zoom Room

Raise your hand if you have ZOOM-ed lately? Yes, me too, it for sure is one of the things that has seen tremendous growth during this COVID pandemic. And since we are all spending so much time on ZOOM these days- for work, for special personal events like birthdays and showers, and to visit with our family and friends, it makes sense to invest in our ZOOM Room! (Yes, that also includes your work from home space)

When we choose to invest our energy, time, and attention into something, we are breathing life into it, literally. Where your focus goes, the manifestations will follow. Although we make it very complex, at the core, it is really that simple.

Take a moment to think about all these ZOOM meetings and gatherings happening right now. Do you take them time to think about the deep connection we are desperately trying to create and keep going in our relationships during these very isolating times? The online meetings are literally our lifeline to others. Humans need connection to survive and thrive!

This brings me back to the ZOOM ROOM, and the importance of the space, and the intentions we set. We have the power to create deeper meaning and connection simply by creating and making the space!

Having an organized, beautiful, and comfortable space allows us to really drop in and connect to the others on the screen. We will slow down and take more time to be with them in these moments because creating the space is also setting the intention for connection!

Here are some elements I feel are key to connected ZOOM room:

  1. Comfortable seating
  2. A desk that is organized and maybe a small light meant for online meetings
  3. Have some flowers or a plant (My MOSS ART is a great plant backdrop solution)
  4. Have a beautiful backdrop behind you that the person on the other side can enjoy- maybe a preserved moss art or a beautiful painting or picture. It should be something more abstract as to not distract from the conversation.
  5. A journal so you can write down your intentions and goals before the meeting/ get to together, and so you can write down how you feel after it concludes, and any action items you may need to follow up on.
WORK FROM HOME SPACE

If you are looking for a little plant power for your work from home ZOOM space, and you want a worry-free solution check out my moss art at ART BOTANICA MOSS. USE CODE MOSS10 for 10% of your first order.

Designing a Gratitude Practice for Inner Peace and Happiness

I just watched the new Disney Pixar film, Soul, and it brought up some important reminders about living life to the fullest that lately I have been overlooking. Sure 2020 has been a rough year for all of us, there is not denying that. There has been so much loss on all levels for so many people. I, fortunately, have fared the storm quite well, quarantining with my family, and no one I know personally has been stricken with serious illness. I have, however, found myself a bit blah in my day to day, missing my flowing inspirational energy and self-starter nature that came to me more naturally before. Even my creativity seems stunted lately. The days melt into each other and I miss having “things” to look forward to such as social events, trips, and creating installations for events. Something feels a bit off, and I am sure many of you can relate. It wasn’t until I watched Soul that I was reminded of what I get to do to take control of my experience.

Soul Movie

Not to give it away, but the messaging in Soul in suggesting we make a choice to truly LIVE in the moment. Each and every moment. Sure, we can have passionate hobbies, careers, and interests, and look forward to what excitement the future may have in store for us, BUT the key to happiness is finding it in the here and now. And sometimes that is easier said than done, am I right?

I can recall days not so long ago when the sunlight sparkling through a fluttering tree canopy of a giant oak made a tear roll down my cheek. I was struck by the beauty and the meaning behind it that is easier felt than explained in words. Joyous moments happened spontaneously and in rather mundane moments. Well, how the heck do I get back there!? I’d certainly like to FEEL that again.

Enter- Gratitude Practice. This is something I’d love to say I am committed to daily, but the truth is I pick it up and put it down throughout the year, along with my meditation, yoga, workouts, etc. Like most of us do- we have seasons and tides, and our commitments ebb and flow and start and stop. And that’s OK. We are human after all. The key is having the awareness of your experience and then taking action to pick the practice back up.

A gratitude practice is super simple, but highly effective. Basically it looks something like this, and feel free to add or change any part to make it your own.

1.THE DUMP:

Upon waking in the morning, and definitely before you open that iPhone, grab a pen and paper and free write 1+ page of everything that comes to mind- the good, the ugly, the illegible and the nonsensical. Write it all down until it’s empty. This clears the mind and opens it up, allowing more penetration of the heart.

2. THE LIST:

Next, write a list of 5 things you are thankful and grateful for. Big things and little things, anything.

Gratitude list

3. THE FEELS:

Now go back through the list one by one and close your eyes and tap into the feelings and sensations that arise in your body when you hold this thing you are grateful for in your heart. Let it marinate. Write the feelings and sensations that came up for you.

4. THE THANKS:

Give thanks to the Universe (or whomever you feel is the higher power) for this day, this moment, and this opportunity to experience Life.

Designing a Gratitude Practice for Inner Peace

6. THE LIVING:

Go about your day, but try to slow down and notice things a bit more. It may take a few days, but if you keep up this morning practice I promise you the joy of the present moment will fill you up more and more each day.

Make a commitment to yourself to try this for 10 days. I find it helpful to write in my planner, add it to my calendar and put a reminder in my phone.

I’d love to hear about your experiences with this practice, so let me know how it goes! 

Gratitude Practice

What’s in my coffee that may be the FOUNTAIN of YOUTH!

This coffee tastes just like regular joe, but it's hiding something very special. You can't see it, you can't taste it, and you can't smell it, but the special ingredient to THIS coffee helps reduce wrinkles, makes your hair shine, your nails grow strong and long, and also can help keep the weight off! Any guesses on what this magical addition is? Keep reading to find out!

This coffee tastes just like regular joe, but it’s hiding something very special. You can’t see it, you can’t taste it, and you can’t smell it, but the special ingredient to THIS coffee helps reduce wrinkles, makes your hair shine, your nails grow strong and long, and also can help keep the weight off! Any guesses on what this magical addition is?  Keep reading to find out!

I’m not the kind of person who takes a lot of supplements. It’s not because I don’t want to, or that I don’t believe in the efficacy of certain supplements, but simply because I forget. I just can’t remember to take herbs, vitamins, powders, etc. I’m just not wired that way.  BUT there is one exception- COLLAGEN PEPTIDES. I add a scoop of this fine powder to my coffee every single morning. I remember to do so because I have seen the benefits first hand in my body and how I feel. Second, you can’t taste that it’s in there, not one bit. I PROMISE 😉

So what is the deal with collagen peptides, you ask? No worry, I am hear to give you the quick and dirty low down on why this stuff is so great. There are so many reasons you should add it to your morning coffee…. or tea, or shake…..

This coffee tastes just like regular joe, but it's hiding something very special. You can't see it, you can't taste it, and you can't smell it, but the special ingredient to THIS coffee helps reduce wrinkles, makes your hair shine, your nails grow strong and long, and also can help keep the weight off! Any guesses on what this magical addition is? Keep reading to find out!

Collagen is an vital building block for our bodies’ skin, hair, cartilage, bones, and joints. It is quickly becoming the star of the multi-million dollar anti-aging industry. Collagen is what makes our skin look full, plump, elastic, and wrinkle-free. If you are a believer that healthy and beauty starts with what you eat, then ingesting collagen would be a great foundation to your beauty regime.

The benefits aren’t just superficial. Collagen is also a super source of easily digestible protein. It’s high levels of the amino acids glycine, lysine, and proline generate cell growth, support cynical fluid, and connective tissue repair to keep our joints healthy and well lubricated.

Gelatin is basically the cooked form of collagen. You know the jelly stuff left in the bottom of the pan after you have cooked a while chicken or turkey? Well that’s it! Collagen Peptides (or collagen hydrolysate) has the same amino acids as gelatin, but it has been processed/ broken up into smaller segments that allow it to not form a gel and dissolve completely in cold or hot liquids. It’s also easier for our bodies to digest.

I do try to consume a decent amount of gelatin and collagen via bone broth in homemade soups and stews, and whole roasted chicken, but sometimes in my busy life I just can’t find the time to cook.

This coffee tastes just like regular joe, but it's hiding something very special. You can't see it, you can't taste it, and you can't smell it, but the special ingredient to THIS coffee helps reduce wrinkles, makes your hair shine, your nails grow strong and long, and also can help keep the weight off! Any guesses on what this magical addition is? Keep reading to find out!

Enter collagen peptides! To ensure my body is getting these essential amino acids to support my health I start every single day with a collagen coffee! I stir in a heaping scoop of these collagen peptides into my morning caffeine. One scoop provides with with 9 grams of protein which helps me feel satiated and provides me with energy for the day. It helps me control my hunger, and therefore helps to keep me at a healthy weight.

It also plays a big role in the health of our gut. I am sure you have heard the buzz about bone broth and all it’s benefits, right? This is why chicken soup is prescribed by moms everywhere when their loved ones come down with a nasty flu or cold. If the broth is made from bones (preferably from grass-fed animals), it will give our immune system a boost (immunity starts in the GI tract) and decreases inflammation. HERE is a medical journal abstract that studied chicken soup’s effect on inflammation.

Bone broth takes all day and then some to make in your slow cooker or on the stove top. If you have a pressure cooker, it’s under 2 hours, but still that’s a long time, right? So save yourself some time, and a mess that you;d have to clean up, and get yourself some Collagen Peptides. I recommend the brand Vital Proteins. They offer high quality collagen and gelatin from grass-fed animals. You can find Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides by clicking HERE to go to “MY PANTRY” page.

FOUNTAIN of YOUTH Coffee

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of organic coffee
  • 1 scoop of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
  • coffee creamer almond/coconut/dairy milk of choice

Instructions

  1. Simply stir the collagen peptides into your morning cup of coffee, stir, and enjoy! Add coffee creamer of choice if you'd like.

This coffee tastes just like regular joe, but it's hiding something very special. You can't see it, you can't taste it, and you can't smell it, but the special ingredient to THIS coffee helps reduce wrinkles, makes your hair shine, your nails grow strong and long, and also can help keep the weight off! Any guesses on what this magical addition is? Keep reading to find out!

I Think I’m PEGAN!? What Are You?

Pegan 2 Collage

Today I wanted to share with you a little insight into what I eat, in case you were wondering, and to answer some questions about all the “it” diets out there today. Do you adhere to a particular diet? Are you paleo? Grain-free? Gluten-free? Conventional? Clean? Pegan???? The nutritional landscape is daunting and confusing to us all. There is so much information, some of it is conflicting, it’s always changing, and you really could have a full time job reading up on all this stuff! But who has time for that? I hope to clear up some of the confusion today and most of all help you narrow down the right diet for YOU! At the end of the day you just need to be in tune with your body and eat what foods make you feel the best.  No I don’t mean what makes you feel good as it’s going down (pizza anyone?), I’m talking about energy and how you feel in your body. Not everyone is going to have the same body type, so focus more on how you FEEL. From there you can love yourself, your individual body, and live life to the fullest!

Over the past few years I’ve read up on many of the latest and greatest diets: gluten-free, vegan, paleo, to name a few, but there was never a diet I found that truly mirrored the way I eat (usually- I’m not perfect ;)) which is a diet based on veggies and fruits, healthy fats, and lean meats and eggs.

Here is what I focus on eating in order of priority (think a reverse pyramid):

1. Fresh veggies, especially dark green leafy ones like kale, spinach and arugula.

2. Meat such as grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chicken and eggs, and wild salmon.

3. Healthy fats like virgin cold-pressed coconut oil, avocados, and nuts like cashews and almonds. You can read about the wondrous benefits of coconut oil HERE.

4. Fruits, preferably ones lower in sugar and high in antioxidants like blueberries and blackberries. See the Benefits of Blues HERE.

5. Healthy carbs such as sweet potatoes and yuca (see my Ultimate Nachos for a great yuca recipe).

6. I do love sweets, as you can tell my my DESSERT section of my blog (It’s my largest section by far!), so I do eat healthier sweets that are lower in sugar and grain-free such as my Peanut Butter Cup Brownies (I make them with almond butter) or Chocolate Chip Cookies. I also do eat some legumes (black beans and lentils) and grass-fed dairy like Kerrygold butter and goat and farmers cheese. Occasionally I even eat some grains…. Gasp!! Yes, I eat some rice (I opt for white read why HERE) as I love my sushi! I also consume some quinoa without issue, but not on a daily basis.

This is how our society currently thinks of healthy eating: fruits and veggies, whole grains including whole wheat, lean meat and low-fat dairy. It’s great that the focus is on lots of fresh produce, but for me wheat is a no-go and I will share with you why later. Lean meat is fine, but just any conventional meat will do? I disagree there. And conventional low-fat dairy is not great for the same reasons as conventional beef. The nutritional makeup of the animal’s meat and milk is different because they have been fed grain, not pasture grass (which is what they are suppose to eat), and they are given antibiotics and hormones to increase production. You can read about the benefits of grass-fed dairy HERE. Conventional healthy eating also still clings tightly to low-fat methodology, but I am here to say (healthy)fats in your diet will not make you fat! Do not shy away from healthy fats, increase them in your diet. This included extra virgin olive oil, virgin cold pressed coconut oil, avocado, nuts, seeds. Since I have increased these fats in my diet I have seen an increase in energy and a DECREASE in body fat.

Gluten-free is a great start, as it eliminates wheat and other gluten. I personally feel better when I stay away from gluten. I had struggled with distention in my tummy for years and I no longer suffer that uncomfortable ailment with the elimination of gluten. I do “cheat” once in a while say if I am at someone’s home for dinner, or on a very special occasion, because I don’t have a particular sensitivity, but 99% of the time I don’t consume it. The downside to gluten-free is that you can still consume large amounts of corn, soy, and processed “gluten-free” foods that aren’t necessarily any better for you.

Paleo is another lifestyle diet that is not only gluten-free, but also takes the limitations further to include no dairy, no legumes, and very limited sugars. Overall it’s a very heathy diet that works well for me. The majority of my recipes are paleo, or contain a paleo option in the recipe. The downside to paleo is that it can be heavy on the meats,  and often it doesn’t particularly stress the importance of GRASS-FED meat, eggs, and bone broth. You can read more about why grass-fed meats are better for you HERE. I personally do include a few things in my diet that are not considered paleo like occasional beans, rice and quinoa.

Vegan is just too challenging (for me) to get enough protein, as it eliminates all animal meats, eggs and dairy products. It feels too limiting to eat vegan entirely, but I do eat many things considered vegan and many of my recipes fall into the vegan category- I have a section on my recipes page devoted to Vegan Recipes. A vegan diet also includes all grains- wheat included.

And what the heck is PEGAN?  Pegan is essentially part vegan (high on the veggies) and part paleo (healthy meat, no grain). Dr. Mark Hyman, a NY Times bestselling author of many top health and wellness books, defined the “new” Pegan diet as follows:

“1. Focus on the glycemic load of your diet. This can be done on a vegan or paleo diet, but harder on a vegan diet. Focus on more protein and fats. Nuts (not peanuts), seeds (flax, chia, hemp, sesame, pumpkin), coconut, avocados, sardines, olive oil.
2. Eat the right fats. Stay away from most vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower, corn, and especially soybean oil which now comprises about 10 percent of our calories. Focus instead on omega 3 fats, nuts, coconut, avocados and yes, even saturated fat from grass fed or sustainably raised animals.
3. Eat mostly plants – lots of low glycemic vegetables and fruits. This should be 75 percent of your diet and your plate. I usually make 2 to 3 vegetable dishes per meal.
4. Focus on nuts and seeds. They are full of protein, minerals, and good fats and they lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Avoid dairy – it is for growing calves into cows, not for humans. Try goat or sheep products and only as a treat. And always organic.
5. Avoid gluten – Most is from Franken Wheat – so look for heirloom wheat (Einkorn); if you are not gluten sensitive, then consider it an occasional treat.
6. Eat gluten-free whole grains sparingly– they still raise blood sugar and can trigger autoimmunity.
7. Eat beans sparingly – lentils are best. Stay away from big starchy beans.
8. Eat meat or animal products as a condiment, not a main course. Read The Third Plate by Dan Barber to understand how shifts in our eating habits could save the environment and ourselves. Vegetables should take center stage and meat should be a side dish.
9. Think of sugar as an occasional treat – in all its various forms (i.e., use occasionally and sparingly).”

So for me I guess I’m closest to a PEE-GAN. (Not PA-GAN as far as pronunciation goes…;)) It works best for me and my body. I try to eat this way MOST of the time. I must admit I do not follow these guidelines 100% of the time. I aim to, but currently I do eat some things on the no-no list occasionally. That’s ok for me because I just get back on the pegan train, and I know if I’m eating this way most of the time I’m doing good things for my mind and body. This may be a great take home message for some of you out there that eat a conventional diet, and haven’t tried paleo, grain-free or pegan because it seems so difficult to follow… such a strict regime. If you aren’t suffering from any particular illnesses or food sensitivity, just try to incorporate as many of these guidelines as you can, and aim to increase them over time. Some are better than none, and this open and flexible outlook will set you up for success as opposed to the all or nothing approach!

If you are ready to commit to better health through nutrition the best advise I can give you is start simple- lots of fresh veggies, lower sugar fruits like berries, nuts, pasture-raised meats and eggs. Organic is best because it is not exposed to chemical pesticides. Give it 30 days and see how you feel. I guarantee you will feel better! From there you can add in some simple healthy desserts, grass-fed dairy, or even maybe some beans or rice if you wish. Add them one at a time to see how you do on them. Listen to your body and make adjustments as you go to perfect your personal version for optimal health!

I also recommend a healthy homemade grain-free diet for dogs as well. They do have higher protein requirements than we do so they require more meat, but they do thrive on foods made from meat and veggies, sans wheat and other grains. My dog Cricket had a terrible injury as a puppy and she has struggled with pain and arthritis in her injured leg. She feels and looks her best (I can tell because she’s always getting into mischief when she’s feeling good) when she is eating a homemade grain-free diet. Another reason I cook for Cricket is because the dog food industry is not heavily regulated and the resulting dog food often contains things we wouldn’t want our furry loved one eating. You can see my dog food and treat recipes HERE.

Any questions? Comments? I’d love to hear from you!

Best,

Kelley and Cricket

heartwithpaw

Crazy for Coconut!

coconut

 

I am CRAZY for Coconut! Are you? Coconut products are now mainstream- I see them at Walmart, Target, my local grocery, and Trader Joe’s. If you visit my site often you may see these ingredients in most of my recipes. I tend to use coconut oil to replace vegetable oil and coconut sugar to replace brown or white sugar.  I wanted to share with you all WHY I choose to use these, and WHY you should too!

Coconut Sugar:

In general, we should reduce the amount of sugar in our diets. The best source of sugar comes in its natural form- fruits for example, but we can’t always bake and cook with fruit! Your average white sugar (and brown sugar, ect) is heavily processed and stripped down from its original source (the sugarcane plant). So any vitamins and minerals that were present in the plant  are also stripped out, leaving you with  just simple carbs/calories.  Processed sugars also have the highest impact on your blood glucose level because they are converted into energy extremely quickly by our bodies.

Enter – coconut sugar! Although coconut sugar, is well, sugar, it has some positive attributes, since it is less processed, that makes it a better choice! It contains minerals that table sugar lacks including iron, zinc, and potassium. It also contains some short chain fatty acids, polyphenols and antioxidants- which are nowhere to be found in white sugar! In addition, coconut sugar contains a substance called inulin, which has been shown to slow glucose absorption, making it have a lesser impact on your blood sugar level as compared to table sugar. (GI (glycemic index) of coconut sugar is 35 as compared to 60 for table sugar- lower the better!)

In addition to coconut sugar, some better choice for sweeteners include maple syrup and honey (the darker the better–less processed!)

Click HERE to see the brand of coconut sugar I use in my recipes, and you can purchase if you’d like! I only use brands with the highest quality standards, and the best prices too!
(Sources: http://authoritynutrition.com/coconut-sugar/, http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA401323/Is-Coconut-Sugar-a-Healthier-Sweetener.html)

Coconut Sugar Collage

Click HERE for my post on the benefits of COCONUT OIL!

Click HERE to see the brand of coconut oil I prefer, and option to purchase if you’d like!

 

 

Praise the Pineapple!

pineapple

 

Pineapple Collage

 

Pineapple is so very sweet and juicy it may be hard to think of it as a super nutritious food, but in fact it’s packed with many good-for-you nutrients! Pineapple weighs in with over 100% of your DRI (daily recommended intake) for vitamin C, a key antioxidant for immune support. It also has a healthy dose of vitamins B-1 and B-6, both which play an important role in helping the body produce/convert energy.

Pineapple is a particularly good source of manganese, a trace mineral we do not hear much about very often! Our bodies do not need very much, but it is extremely important to support bone production, collagen formation, as well as blood sugar control. Copper is another mineral that pineapple supplies, which is important for bone and tissue integrity (supports collagen production as well) and is a component in the enzyme antioxidant SOD (Lou Gehrig’s disease is thought to be due to underfunctioning SOD).

So whip up some pina coladas on me (heavy on the pineapple and light on the booze)! (You ALL know by now I love coconut as well :))

You can read a great article on pineapple by HealthAmbition.com HERE.

(Sources: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=34, http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=77,http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-vitamins-b1-b6-b12-7897.html)

Kale VS Spinach: The Super Greens Duke it OUT!

Spinach-and-Kale-leafy-veg

 

 

Kale has been celebrated as the ultimate green in recent years. This is the  go-to green superfood that EVERYONE should be eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and in your shakes, green juice, and on and on!) It deserves the spotlight for its nutrients for sure, but what happened to the OTHER green? You know, the one that was swallowed by the can-full by Popeye (the cartoon…anyone?)? YES SPINACH! Old fashioned spinach is a super green too! I think it’s best to incorporate both kale and spinach in your diet. A wide variety of different whole foods will yield  the best array of  vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients for the healthiest and best balanced diet!

Here is how kale and spinach measure up to one another:

Calcium       14%         10% (promotes bone health)

Iron                9%         15% (more energy via oxygenating the blood)

Magnesium  11%         25% (metabolism, aids in muscle relaxation and neuromuscular transmission)

Potassium    10%         12% (builds muscle, synthesizes proteins, ensures healthy cell function)

Vitamin C     160%       37% (immune support

Vitamin A      659%     401% (bone growth, supports healthy vision and immune system)

Vitamin K      907%     537% (regulates blood clotting, assists in transporting calcium)

 

(Source: http://www.prevention.com/content/whats-healthier-kale-or-spinach, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/286839.php,http://www.webmd.com/diet/the-benefits-of-vitamin-c?ecd=, http://www.drweil.com)

Spinach vs kale Collage