8 Ways to Rock Your Immune System

March 21st, 2020 | no comments
8 Ways to Rock Your Immune System

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

 

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO TODAY’S POST!

Whew! What a time we are living in. And it’s during times like these when it’s more important than ever to NOT hit the panic button; to relax (I know, I know…easier said than done, right?!).

I’d like you to think about taking this opportunity to feel empowered, because you really DO have control over your lifestyle choices.

Here are eight ways to help you give back to that amazing vessel that unselfishly carries you through this world—protecting you while asking nothing in return. 

 

1— Hygienize🧼

Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds—especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing and/or using the phone. Yes, I know– this is such an obvious one! But guess what? I discovered that I fell short on the 20 second rule!  Lately, I’ve been using the following songs to get me through hand-washing:

  • Happy birthday to you (sing it two times to reach 20 seconds)
  • ABCDEFG…
  • Twinkle, twinkle little star…
  • And my personal favorite…High Hopes: Just what makes that little old ant, think he’ll move that rubber tree plant. Anyone knows an ant, can’t move a rubber tree plant. But he’s got high hopes, he’s got high hopes. He’s got high apple pie, in the sky hopes! 🐜 😀 

 

2— Move your body 🚲

Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Get outside in nature, it’ll do your mind and body more good than you realize. Watch the wildlife before you and ponder at the wonder of it all. Listen for the sweet whistle of the cardinal or the gentle coo of the mourning dove. Delight in those squirrely squirrels…who I am convinced were put on this earth to make us smile. Open your eyes…miracles are all around you.

 

3— Sleep, sleep, SLEEP 😴

Research shows that sleep keeps your immune system in tip-top shape, but if you are sleep-deprived (less than 7 hours of sleep per night), you’re more susceptible to viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections. It’s no joke. And NO excuse is good enough to skimp on it! 

 

4— Lemonize 🍋

Lemon is Mother Nature’s detoxifier. It supports the liver in pulling toxins out of the body and is especially powerful when taken first thing in the morning. So start your day with a glass of lemon water (1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice mixed in 16 ounces of water). I like to drink mine lukewarm.

 

5— Eat Earthfoods + other immune-friendly foods!🥦
  • Garlic: crush one or two garlic cloves, add vinegar, spices and olive oil for a flavorful and healthy salad dressing. Check out this Immune-Boosting Tonic using garlic, lemon, ginger, and raw honey.
  • Green leafy veggies: Arugula; cabbage; collard greens; dandelion greens; endive; escarole; kale; mesclun; mustard greens; radicchio; Romaine; spinach; Swiss chard; turnip greens; watercress
    • Toss a big handful of spinach or kale into your breakfast smoothie.
    • Eat a tossed arugula salad with your dinner.
    • Snack on dehydrated kale chips. I love THIS brand!
    • Add greens to soups, stews or sauces. Try my Nourishing White Bean Chard Soup!
    • Make healthy coleslaw out of shredded red and white cabbage and toss with apple cider vinegar.
    • Add a scoop of greens powder to your lunch smoothie.
    • Fold cooked spinach into your Sunday omelet.
    • Enjoy a big Romaine lettuce salad for lunch, sprinkled with pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, fresh blueberries, nutritional yeast, and broccoli sprouts. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and top with avocado slices.
  • Cruciferous veggies: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale
    • Add roasted broccoli to wild rice or quinoa dishes.
    • Steam and puree cauliflower and enjoy in place of mashed potatoes.
  • Berries (fresh or frozen): blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, goji berries
    • Add a handful of raspberries to cooked quinoa and eat for breakfast.
    • Toss a handful of fresh or frozen blueberries into your morning smoothie.
  • Functional foods:
    • Herbs and spices: ginger, oregano, turmeric (try my recipe for Golden Milk!)
    • Mushrooms/mushroom powders: try my Immune-Boosting Mushroom Soup!
    • Fermented foods: kefir, kimchi, tempeh, kombucha, raw sauerkraut, Bragg apple cider vinegar (dilute a tablespoon in 8 ounces of hot or cold water and drink it once a day!)

 

6— Supplement with these 5 immune-boosters* 💪
  • Fish Oil
  • Magnesium Glycinate
  • Probiotic: particularly those including the following strains: B. infantis, S. boulardii, L. casei, L. Salivarius 
  • Vitamin D3
  • Zinc

*As always, please be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking any supplement.

 

7— Chill out! 🧘‍♀️

Take 5-10 minutes each and every day to practice quiet meditation. If the word “meditation” doesn’t resonate with you, call it: breathing, contemplation, reflection, or prayer. Don’t get hung up on the title…they all point to the same end result. A regular meditation practice has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce stress, provide you with a calm and easy state of mind, and guess what else? Increase your immune function!

 

8— Practice gratitude 🙏

According to Robert A. Emmons, professor of psychology at UC Davis, “Clinical trials indicate that the practice of gratitude can have dramatic and lasting effects in a person’s life. It can lower blood pressure, improve immune function and facilitate more efficient sleep. Studies further indicate that grateful, optimistic people actually have more disease-fighting cells in their bodies!”

So open up a fresh Word document or notebook, write today’s date, followed by three things you are grateful for. It helps to do this first thing in the morning. You can also start a gratitude journal on your smartphone using one of the many free apps out there. I like the “Gratitude Happiness Journal”. Give gratitude a go…it’s free, so you have nothing to lose and a stronger immune system (and so much more) to gain!

 

Well there you have it my friend! Eight opportunities to give your body some love. One thing I know for sure: take care of that beautiful body of yours, and it will indeed take care of YOU.

 

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Meals from Mel! “Hempmeal” Breakfast Cereal

February 26th, 2020 | no comments

 

Looking for a hot breakfast that’ll keep you satisfied and NOT raise your blood sugar? 

JUMP TO RECIPE

I really enjoy hot cereal on cold winter mornings, but whenever I eat oatmeal, I wind up hungry an hour later. Why? Because even though it’s a whole grain and better for you than a bowl of Frosted Flakes, it still raises blood sugar. And what goes up, must come down. The problem is, with the “down” comes a return of hunger and food cravings. 

The base of this recipe is hemp seed— a mildly-flavored source of plant-based protein that provides all nine essential amino acids (making it a complete protein). They’re also one of the best plant-based sources of essential anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids! Flax and chia are the others…and I managed to squeeze both into this recipe!

Hempmeal Breakfast Cereal can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for tomorrow’s breakfast. Just add a few tablespoons of unsweetened almond, cashew, or coconut milk, give it a good stir and pop in the microwave for 60-90 seconds. 

I don’t add sweetener to my Hempmeal Breakfast Cereal because the fruit, vanilla, and cinnamon make it sweet enough. If you prefer, add just a drizzle of raw honey or pure maple syrup. 

Print Recipe
"Hempmeal" Breakfast Cereal
The base of this filling recipe is hemp seed-- a mildly-flavored source of plant-based protein that provides all nine essential amino acids (making it a complete protein).
Prep Time 5 minutes or less
Cook Time 2 minutes
Servings
serving
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond, coconut or cashew milk
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds I like Navitas brand
  • 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. almond flour
Optional toppings
  • 1/2 small apple or pear, chopped with skin on you can also substitute fresh berries!
  • 1 tbsp. organic, unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp. cacao nibs
  • 1/8 cup nuts or seeds try almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, macadamia, or Brazil nuts. Sunflower or pumpkin seeds also work!
Prep Time 5 minutes or less
Cook Time 2 minutes
Servings
serving
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond, coconut or cashew milk
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds I like Navitas brand
  • 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. almond flour
Optional toppings
  • 1/2 small apple or pear, chopped with skin on you can also substitute fresh berries!
  • 1 tbsp. organic, unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp. cacao nibs
  • 1/8 cup nuts or seeds try almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, macadamia, or Brazil nuts. Sunflower or pumpkin seeds also work!
Instructions
  1. To a microwave-safe bowl or Mason jar, add almond milk through vanilla. Stir until combined and microwave for 1 minute. Stir and cook another 30 seconds. See Recipe Notes below for stovetop directions.
  2. Stir in almond flour and top with desired toppings. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

To prepare stovetop:

Add almond milk through vanilla to a small saucepan. Stir until combined and heat over medium heat until a light boil is reached. Stir and cook 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in almond flour. Top with optional toppings and enjoy!

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This Void Can Never Be Filled By Food

February 11th, 2020 | no comments

Photo by Ibrahim Rifath on Unsplash

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO TODAY’S POST!

 

Have you ever experienced a time when you ate, but knew deep down you weren’t hungry? I think we all have! 

 

Who gave that leftover pepperoni pizza a voice…and why does it keep calling your name? What exactly is this faint, subtle sensation in your gut that you’re misinterpreting as hunger? There’s definitely something there…but is that something hunger? 

Yes and no.

Yes- it’s hunger; but not physical hunger.

It’s an emptiness; a void seeking to be filled…but not with food. In fact, attempt to fill it with pizza or even carrot sticks, and you’ll notice the food goes right through you. Not physically, but just as if there’s a hole in the bottom of this imaginary empty container, it just leaks right out. The void is still present, and now you feel guilty for having eaten the damn pizza… and totally befuddled because you’re still “hungry” for something.

 

What is this hunger?

So what exactly is this emptiness, marked by the erroneous sensation of physical hunger? 

It’s a longing.

A longing expressed by that deeper part of you that never ages. It was there before your birth and will continue on after your physical body fades away. I call it my higher self. Some call it soul; others call it the “silent witness”. You can call it Eleanor if you’d like…or nothing at all. The name is irrelevant. 

It helps to visualize this deeper part of you as a tiny flame that remains unswayed by even the most turbulent of storms. There it rests, without a flicker…no matter what.

 

What’s it longing for?

So what exactly is Eleanor 😀 longing for?

Recognition.

If you aren’t listening, you’ll miss the whisper:

  • Notice me! 
  • Use me!
  • Here I am…the source of all your strength. 

 

What causes the empty feeling in the first place?

The emptiness can be triggered by any event whereby you feel a loss of power:

  • an argument with your spouse or teenage daughter
  • serious illness of self or family
  • impossible boss, etc.

Just think of any occurrence in life where food is your fruitless antidote. Yep- that’s the one. Congratulations, you’ve unearthed one of your triggers.

That’s step number one.  

For me, this void, this “hunger”, appears when I am in my creative space and hit a stumbling block. As I search for the next word, the unsettling sensation begins to simmer. At the moment it reaches boiling, I’ve lost my chance…I always choose food. And of course, that food leaks right out…every single time. 

I promise, if you wait too long– and I’m talking seconds here– you too will miss it, and turn to the cookie(s). You may even try to convince yourself that this looming emptiness is physical hunger. 

It never is. 

 

How do you satisfy this hunger? 

So how do you plug the hole and fill the void? How do you make that emptiness disappear? By filling it with a moment of presence.

This is step two.

As I shared in THIS POST, you are not alone- you never were and never will be. Surrender to this knowing by closing your eyes (or not), and tapping into this always available, ever-flowing stream of strength. There are two ways to do this- pick the one that speaks to you:

  1. Breath
  2. Heart

When you take a conscious breath or place your hand on your thumping heart, it’s not really you who is doing the breathing and beating. Go ahead, I dare you to try beating your own heart. Better yet, tell it to stop beating. Command your lungs to stop filling with air.  

 

You’re not really in control

We think we’re in control, but we’re really not.

And as soon as you recognize this, the door to your strength will open to you. It’s like we spend our whole life trying to open this door by pushing on it, and after a while we give up because it makes no sense to push on a locked door. Yet when we take a moment to notice, we discover that the door was never locked…we’ve been pushing, when we should’ve been pulling. 

Pushing is seeking without for the answers (cookies, pizza, your mother). 

Pulling is going within.

 

Food is powerful. But…

Let me tell you something…

Food is extremely powerful…but only when you attempt to put on your big girl pants and face it alone. Again, the downward spiral can happen in a split second– empty feeling, fill it with a truffle. Why? Why not? It’s there (and tastes amazing). 

This can happen 46 times a day, but the moment you wake up, stop pushing and instead pull inward– take a conscious breath or place your hand on your heart to remember– you’ve stepped into your power. And it was there all along.

It’s all so simple. 

 

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Meals from Mel! Earthfood-Loaded Nachos + Better-4-You Rice Crispy Treats

February 5th, 2020 | no comments

 

This week’s Meals from Mel features: Earthfood-Loaded Nachos + Better-4-You Rice Crispy Treats

 

Nachos for dinner and rice crispy treats for dessert?! Hell yeah! Why not? Unlike those greasy nachos found at baseball concession stands across America, you can feel good (and a little naughty…not really) about treating yourself to these bad (not really) boys.

 

Although I’m not vegan, I made these nachos 100% plant-based because it was actually easier to do! Feel free to substitute ground turkey or grass-fed ground beef for the Walnut Taco Meat and Organic Valley sour cream for the coconut or cashew yogurt.

You may be tempted to use regular cheese, but I want to challenge your taste buds with the Sunflower “Cheese” Sauce recipe. Created by vegansandra.com, this simple and tasty dairy-free, plant-based “cheese” won’t make you feel bloated…and it’s full of real-food ingredients. 

You can enjoy these nachos alone, or, do what we did and pair it with a big old leafy green salad with chopped veggies.

 

Now let’s talk about those rice crispy treats. Listen- they aren’t a health food, they simply replace less-wholesome ingredients with better-for-you ones—like raw honey and cashew butter in place of marshmallows. 

 

Let yourself feel like a kid again!

 

This week’s Meals from Mel:

  1. Main: Earthfood-Loaded Nachos 
    JUMP TO RECIPE
  2. Sweet: Better-4-You Rice Crispy Treats
    JUMP TO RECIPE

 

Print Recipe
Earthfood-Loaded Nachos
Nachos for dinner?! Why not? Unlike those greasy nachos found at baseball concession stands across America, you can feel good about treating yourself to these bad (not really) boys.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 3 big handfuls grain-free tortilla chips I like The Real Coconut brand of coconut flour chips or Siete brand cassava chips
  • 3/4-1 cup prepared Sunflower "Cheese" See 'Recipe Notes' below for the link to the recipe
  • 3/4 cup prepared Walnut Taco Meat See 'Recipe Notes' below for the link to the recipe
  • 1/2 large ripe avocado, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup canned black or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives, drained
  • salsa to taste
  • 1-2 dollops unsweetened coconut or cashew yogurt
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 3 big handfuls grain-free tortilla chips I like The Real Coconut brand of coconut flour chips or Siete brand cassava chips
  • 3/4-1 cup prepared Sunflower "Cheese" See 'Recipe Notes' below for the link to the recipe
  • 3/4 cup prepared Walnut Taco Meat See 'Recipe Notes' below for the link to the recipe
  • 1/2 large ripe avocado, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup canned black or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives, drained
  • salsa to taste
  • 1-2 dollops unsweetened coconut or cashew yogurt
Instructions
  1. On a platter or large plate, layer all ingredients in order listed above. Dig in!
Recipe Notes
  1. Click HERE  for coconut flour chips or  HERE  for cassava chips.
  2. Click  HERE for the Sunflower "Cheese" Sauce recipe! I used Bragg liquid aminos in place of soy sauce and avocado oil to saute the onions and garlic.
  3. Click HERE  for the "Walnut Taco Meat" recipe.
Share this Recipe

Print Recipe
Better-4-You Rice Crispy Treats
No marshmallows needed for this version, as the combination of cashew butter and raw honey makes for a beautiful substitute. These treats are sweet, chewy, and most importantly, lacking in the inflammatory vegetables oils, corn syrup, artificial flavors, preservatives, and monoglycerides (i.e. trans fats) found in the store-bought junk! 1 Earthfood per serving: ♥
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 2/3 cup raw cashew butter Add 2 cups raw cashews to your food processor and blend until it's the consistency of almond butter. Stop to scrap the sides a few times during processing. You will have a bit leftover, so store in a sealed container and use for shakes!
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. Sea salt
  • 4 cups puffed brown rice cereal I used Arrowhead Mills Puffed Rice Cereal (the only ingredient is puffed whole grain brown rice)
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 2/3 cup raw cashew butter Add 2 cups raw cashews to your food processor and blend until it's the consistency of almond butter. Stop to scrap the sides a few times during processing. You will have a bit leftover, so store in a sealed container and use for shakes!
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. Sea salt
  • 4 cups puffed brown rice cereal I used Arrowhead Mills Puffed Rice Cereal (the only ingredient is puffed whole grain brown rice)
Instructions
  1. Combine raw honey, prepared cashew butter, vanilla and salt in a large bowl. Stir well. Add the puffed rice and mix with a spatula until combined.
  2. Line a 9x9 baking dish with parchment paper and pour mixture into the dish. Press down with the spatula to smooth out and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Once the bars are hardened, cut into 16 squares and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts per serving (1 square)Calories: 110Total Fat: 5 g; Saturated Fat: 1 g; Sodium: 40 mg; Potassium: 73 mg; Total Carbohydrate: 15 g; Dietary fiber: 0 g; Net Carbohydrates: 15 grams; Sugar: 8 g (8 grams added sugar from honey); Protein: 2 g

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Earthfood-Loaded Nachos

Although I’m not vegan, I made these nachos 100% plant-based because it was actually easier to do! Feel free to substitute ground turkey or grass-fed ground beef for the Walnut Taco Meat and Organic Valley sour cream for the coconut or cashew yogurt.

You may be tempted to use regular cheese, but I want to challenge your taste buds with the Sunflower “Cheese” Sauce recipe. Created by vegansandra.com, this simple and tasty dairy-free, plant-based “cheese” won’t make you feel bloated…and it’s full of real-food ingredients. 

Print Recipe
Earthfood-Loaded Nachos
Nachos for dinner?! Why not? Unlike those greasy nachos found at baseball concession stands across America, you can feel good about treating yourself to these bad (not really) boys.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 3 big handfuls grain-free tortilla chips I like The Real Coconut brand of coconut flour chips or Siete brand cassava chips
  • 3/4-1 cup prepared Sunflower "Cheese" See 'Recipe Notes' below for the link to the recipe
  • 3/4 cup prepared Walnut Taco Meat See 'Recipe Notes' below for the link to the recipe
  • 1/2 large ripe avocado, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup canned black or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives, drained
  • salsa to taste
  • 1-2 dollops unsweetened coconut or cashew yogurt
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 3 big handfuls grain-free tortilla chips I like The Real Coconut brand of coconut flour chips or Siete brand cassava chips
  • 3/4-1 cup prepared Sunflower "Cheese" See 'Recipe Notes' below for the link to the recipe
  • 3/4 cup prepared Walnut Taco Meat See 'Recipe Notes' below for the link to the recipe
  • 1/2 large ripe avocado, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup canned black or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives, drained
  • salsa to taste
  • 1-2 dollops unsweetened coconut or cashew yogurt
Instructions
  1. On a platter or large plate, layer all ingredients in order listed above. Dig in!
Recipe Notes
  1. Click HERE  for coconut flour chips or  HERE  for cassava chips.
  2. Click  HERE for the Sunflower "Cheese" Sauce recipe! I used Bragg liquid aminos in place of soy sauce and avocado oil to saute the onions and garlic.
  3. Click HERE  for the "Walnut Taco Meat" recipe.
Share this Recipe

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The Truth Is: You Can’t Do This Alone!

January 29th, 2020 | no comments
Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

 

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO TODAY’S POST!

 

Years ago, Oprah Winfrey interviewed a grieving mother whose adult son died after a long illness. She told the story of their final moments together, when she climbed into his bed as he took his last few breaths. Barely able to hear him, she placed her head on his chest as he said his last words:

 

“Oh Mom, it is all so simple. It’s so simple, Mom.” 

 

He then closed his eyes and died. 

 

What does it mean to live?

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what it means to live?  Think about it for a second. Of course it all depends on your vantage point and life circumstances, but do any of these resonate with you?

To live means to:

  • Have experiences
  • Learn and grow
  • Love
  • Make a difference
  • Give back
  • Be fully present in the moment
  • Enjoy life to the fullest
  • Share my life
  • Struggle
  • Enter into a daily tennis match with food
  • Obsess over my food choices 
  • Count calories (or carbs, sugar grams, etc.)
  • Suffer disappointment 
  • Anticipate constant disappointment or misfortune (i.e. “I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop” or “With my luck…”)
  • Go through the daily grind of life (which is often sarcastically referred to as “living the dream” or “time to make the donuts”)
  • Wander aimlessly until I die

You may resonate with a number of the above– there’s no right or wrong here– but if anything from struggle on down rang your little inner bell, I have this to say…

 

There has to be more to “living” than what we’ve been led to believe

I for one, refuse to believe we were put here to wander, struggle, suffer…and then die. There must be more. 

 

Even so, our struggles are quite real, aren’t they?

 

The truth is, you can change your reality in a red hot second simply by shifting the direction of your gaze. Instead of looking for the answers somewhere out there, turn inward and know that you are not alone- you never were and never will be. 

 

I’ve gotten to the point in my life where, when I find myself struggling in any area– be it my writing, health, or food (yes, I still struggle)– I take a breath to insert an intentional pause, and then I remind myself…

 

You are trying to do this alone Mel, that’s why you’re struggling!

 

And just as fresh life is breathed into my little lungs, a subtle sense of ease washes over me. And I am back to center. To wholeness. 

 

I can’t do this alone…and neither can you

Think about the last time you embarked on a path to healthier living. How long did it last? A week? Two weeks? A month? 

Then what happened? You fell off didn’t you? No…I’ll tell you exactly what happened:

You plugged along for a little while, using your human personality and imaginary human strength, then shit hit the fan and you found yourself elbow deep in the cookie jar after a stressful day at work. It was all downhill from there. Why? Because you tried to do it alone. 

Although this may be painful to hear, it can also be the most liberating thing you’ll ever hear. The truth is, I don’t care what diet you try or personal trainer/health coach you hire, they will all eventually fail you when you go at it alone. Sure you may never regain the weight, but you will most likely spend every remaining day of your life in a low-grade battle with food. That my friend is not living.  

 

Here’s where you may unsubscribe and decide I’m not for you (and that is totally OK)…

I’m done with treading lightly with my words, fearful I may offend someone. If you want me to be real-which, at this point in my life, I can be no other way–I must call out the invisible elephant of this dance called life. 

Why do we boogie through our days pretending that It doesn’t exist? I mean, we know It exists; we were born knowing…but then we forgot. Maybe we were supposed to forget. But it’s during the struggles of life when we are more willing than ever to turn towards It for strength. Sometimes we are forced. This is what happened to me after three long years of suffering with binge eating disorder.

But why do we have to wait for our life to be in the toilet in order to make this shift? 

We don’t!

 

So what exactly is It?

You already know the answer don’t you? 

The truth is, you hold within you, the seed of Life, of ultimate power and strength. Do you believe it? Or do you spend your days stuck in your ego-self, lamenting all of the things that went wrong yesterday? 

The simple truth is this: the degree to which you experience this Life and behold Its power, depends upon your belief not only in It, but that It is in you

 

Test it out for yourself

I promise you will have the opportunity to test this out today, probably within the next 15 minutes. So when you are faced with one of life’s little “roadblocks”… 

Stop…

Take a breath and turn inward…

Feel the power…

And know you are not alone. You never have been… and you never will be.

 

The truth is, it really is all so simple.

 

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Do You Expect Good Health?

December 15th, 2019 | no comments

Photo by Sasikan Ulevik on Unsplash

 

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO TODAY’S POST!

 

If you want to accomplish something, you must first expect it of yourself.

– Wayne Dyer

 

A few days ago we experienced a water main break on our street, and to repair it meant we would be without water for a few hours. No biggie…until you want to wash your hands. 

 

As each hour passed, my aggravation began to build. I took a breath, and in my usual contemplative fashion, proceeded to peel back the layers. What I discovered was that it boiled down to feelings of expectation. I expected water dammit, and the fact that I didn’t have it threw me into a frenzy. 

 

You know, it’s so easy for us to expect simple things like running water and electricity, yet when it vanishes we are taken aback and (some of us) immediately report our displeasure on social media with angry emojis. How dare a water main break, didn’t the water gods know I was just about to get dinner started? 

 

It’s silly when you think about it, but there’s a lesson built into this modern day, first-world problem. Let’s examine the idea of expectations, more specifically, the expectations you have for the health of your body.

 

Do you expect good health?

Do you believe good health is possible for you? Do you expect it? If not, perhaps that’s the reason you aren’t experiencing it.

 

Stay with me here because this isn’t just some feel-good mumbo jumbo. There’s some real science to back up the power of your mind to influence your health. It’s called epigenetics, or the study of external and environmental factors that turn your genes on and off, ultimately defining how your cells read those genes. 

 

This should fill you with hope and excitement, because perhaps for the first time in your life, you are being introduced to the very real idea that you are not a victim of your genetics.

 

And furthermore, just because everyone in the office has a nasty cold, doesn’t mean you have to catch it too. 

 

Mind over body

According to Dr. Bruce Lipton, cell biologist and author of The Biology of Belief:

Instead of the widely held, largely deterministic belief among biologists about genetics, namely that our genes “control” or “determine” us, it is rather the case that our genes respond to cues in their environment, such as one’s experience and perception of, or beliefs regarding your own life.

 

He goes on to say:

 

Your thoughts adjust the brain’s control of the blood, which in turn controls the fate of the cells … mind over body!

 

Do you realize what this means? If you aren’t experiencing the health that you deserve, you must change your mind and expect it!

So how does this translate into better health? A simple flip in perception will bring about subtle changes in how you live your life. 

 

For example, expecting a clean bill of health at your annual checkup will prompt you to make small, yet powerful choices in alignment with good health, such as taking a daily walk, drinking more water, and eating vegetables.

On the other hand, if you already have it in the cards that your blood pressure is going to be high, then why would you do anything to prevent it?

 

You won’t! 

 

Become a witness to your thoughts and beliefs

All I’m asking you to do is become a witness to your thoughts and see what you discover. Do you constantly expect the worst? Do you expect to get diabetes because your mother has it and, after all, it’s “in the genes”? 

 

Listen to the words you speak.

 

Do you bitch about every ache, pain, and sniffle to anyone who will listen? Or maybe you don’t even have a sniffle, but you totally expect it because Sally in the next cubicle is hacking up her left lung and you just know you’re going to catch whatever she’s got. 

By the way, please don’t be surprised when you catch Sally’s cold…after all, you were expecting it! 

 

This holiday season…give yourself the gift of positive expectations

It’s time to shake things up my love! How about rather than going down that same old tired rabbit hole of doom and gloom (which NEVER feels good), you begin expecting good things for your health (which ALWAYS feels good)?

 

How about practicing positive expectations so frequently that it becomes as natural as expecting water to trickle out of your faucet when you turn the handle? It’s not entitlement; it’s your birthright. 

 

Good health is a gift…

but to enjoy good health…

you must expect good health.

 

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Meals from Mel! Pan Seared Salmon + Everything Bagel Sweet Potatoes

December 6th, 2019 | no comments

 

This week’s Meals from Mel includes three of my favorite recipes: Pan Seared Salmon, Everything Bagel Sweet Potato Rounds, and Salted Buckeye Balls!

 

Don’t like salmon? You MUST try it seared…you may change that lovely mind of yours. It’s super easy to prepare, taking only 10 minutes to cook! 

 

The sweet potatoes are sprinkled with “everything bagel” seasoning, which gives them a savory flavor (reminiscent of a toasted “everything” bagel) along with a hint of sweet. 

 

Finally, the no-bake buckeye balls are an upgrade from your traditional recipe, which uses shortening, powdered sugar, and cheap peanut butter “spread” (ahem… Jif). They are plenty sweet and filled with better-for-you ingredients!

What are you waiting for? Dig in!

 

This week’s Meals from Mel:

  1. Main: Pan Seared Salmon 
    JUMP TO RECIPE
  2. Side: Everything Bagel Sweet Potato Rounds
    JUMP TO RECIPE
  3. Sweet: Salted Buckeye Balls
    JUMP TO RECIPE
Print Recipe
Pan Seared Salmon
Seared salmon creates a crispy bottom layer, sort of like a cross between a potato chip, bacon, and crispy fried chicken. Yeah...it's that good! And the best part: the skin is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for brain and heart health.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings
6-ounce servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. avocado oil
  • 2 6-ounce salmon fillets wild or sustainable farm-raised, such as Verlasso salmon
  • 1 tbsp. Kerrygold butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. dried minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. sesame seeds
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings
6-ounce servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. avocado oil
  • 2 6-ounce salmon fillets wild or sustainable farm-raised, such as Verlasso salmon
  • 1 tbsp. Kerrygold butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. dried minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. sesame seeds
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Pat both sides of salmon with paper towel and set aside. Add avocado oil to a large skillet and preheat for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Combine garlic through sea salt and pepper in a small bowl then transfer to a plate.
  2. Brush both sides of salmon with melted butter and press each side into the spice mix.
  3. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook skin side up for 3-4 minutes. Carefully flip over and cook for an additional 4 minutes. See RECIPE NOTE below for information on how to tell if your salmon is done.
Recipe Notes

I recommend cooking your salmon to medium-- anything more will make it too firm and dry. The easiest way to tell if it's done cooking is to gently press down on the top of the fillet with a fork or your finger. If the flesh of the salmon flakes easily, remove it from the heat...it's done!

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Everything Bagel Sweet Potato Rounds
These sweet potatoes aren't your ordinary, run-of-the mill sweet potatoes. Sprinkled with "everything bagel" seasoning, they take on a savory flavor reminiscent of a toasted "everything" bagel, along with a hint of sweet. 
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • avocado oil cooking spray
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp. avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp. everything bagel seasoning
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • avocado oil cooking spray
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp. avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp. everything bagel seasoning
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with avocado oil cooking spray. Leaving skin on the sweet potatoes, slice each into 1/2" rounds.
  2. Combine sweet potatoes and avocado oil in a large bowl and toss to coat. Arrange rounds in a single layer on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and carefully flip each one over, then sprinkle with seasoning to taste. Bake for 10 more minutes and enjoy!
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Print Recipe
Salted Buckeye Balls
These no-bake buckeye balls are an upgrade from your traditional recipe. They are plenty sweet and filled with better-for-you ingredients.
Prep Time 1 hour
Servings
Buckeye Balls
Ingredients
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (oily kind works best) the only ingredient should be peanuts (salt is OK too)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or Kerrygold butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats, pulsed in food processor or blender until fine
  • 2 pinches Sea salt
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips Equal Exchange Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (70% cacao)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil or Kerrygold butter
  • Maldon sea salt flakes
Prep Time 1 hour
Servings
Buckeye Balls
Ingredients
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (oily kind works best) the only ingredient should be peanuts (salt is OK too)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or Kerrygold butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats, pulsed in food processor or blender until fine
  • 2 pinches Sea salt
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips Equal Exchange Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (70% cacao)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil or Kerrygold butter
  • Maldon sea salt flakes
Instructions
  1. Give peanut butter a good stir to incorporate oil evenly throughout. In a mixing bowl, stir together peanut butter and softened coconut oil or butter. Add maple syrup and vanilla, stir to combine. Next mix in oat "flour" and and salt and stir again until combined. Place bowl in freezer for 15 minutes to firm up mixture, which will make it easier to roll into balls.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll dough into small balls (about 25ish). Then place baking sheet in freezer for 30 minutes.
  3. While dough is freezing, fill a small saucepan halfway with water and set it to medium-low heat. Place a large ceramic or metal bowl on top and pour in the chocolate chips and coconut oil or butter. Stir occasionally until completely melted.
  4. Remove peanut butter balls from freezer and dip one at a time in the dark chocolate mixture. Roll around to make sure covered, leaving a little open space at the top so it resembles a buckeye. Using two spoons, remove them from the chocolate and place on the parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with flaked salt before chocolate dries.
  5. Place tray back in freezer for 10 minutes to firm up, then store in an airtight container or freezer bag in either the freezer or fridge.
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Salted Buckeye Balls

These no-bake buckeye balls are an upgrade from your traditional recipe, which typically uses shortening, powdered sugar, and cheap peanut butter “spread” (ahem… Jif). They are plenty sweet and filled with better-for-you ingredients:

  • Natural peanut butter with only one ingredient…peanuts (vs. Jif or other junky peanut butter loaded with sugar and other ingredients that don’t belong in peanut butter)
  • Coconut oil or Kerrygold grass-fed butter (vs. shortening)
  • Gluten free oats and pure maple syrup (vs. powdered sugar)
  • Organic dark chocolate chips (vs. GMO-filled traditional chocolate chips)

Store these bad boys in the freezer and pop one out for a decadent upgraded treat at the end of your meal (to reduce effect on blood sugar). 

Print Recipe
Salted Buckeye Balls
These no-bake buckeye balls are an upgrade from your traditional recipe. They are plenty sweet and filled with better-for-you ingredients.
Prep Time 1 hour
Servings
Buckeye Balls
Ingredients
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (oily kind works best) the only ingredient should be peanuts (salt is OK too)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or Kerrygold butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats, pulsed in food processor or blender until fine
  • 2 pinches Sea salt
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips Equal Exchange Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (70% cacao)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil or Kerrygold butter
  • Maldon sea salt flakes
Prep Time 1 hour
Servings
Buckeye Balls
Ingredients
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (oily kind works best) the only ingredient should be peanuts (salt is OK too)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or Kerrygold butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats, pulsed in food processor or blender until fine
  • 2 pinches Sea salt
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips Equal Exchange Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (70% cacao)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil or Kerrygold butter
  • Maldon sea salt flakes
Instructions
  1. Give peanut butter a good stir to incorporate oil evenly throughout. In a mixing bowl, stir together peanut butter and softened coconut oil or butter. Add maple syrup and vanilla, stir to combine. Next mix in oat "flour" and and salt and stir again until combined. Place bowl in freezer for 15 minutes to firm up mixture, which will make it easier to roll into balls.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll dough into small balls (about 25ish). Then place baking sheet in freezer for 30 minutes.
  3. While dough is freezing, fill a small saucepan halfway with water and set it to medium-low heat. Place a large ceramic or metal bowl on top and pour in the chocolate chips and coconut oil or butter. Stir occasionally until completely melted.
  4. Remove peanut butter balls from freezer and dip one at a time in the dark chocolate mixture. Roll around to make sure covered, leaving a little open space at the top so it resembles a buckeye. Using two spoons, remove them from the chocolate and place on the parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with flaked salt before chocolate dries.
  5. Place tray back in freezer for 10 minutes to firm up, then store in an airtight container or freezer bag in either the freezer or fridge.
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Everything Bagel Sweet Potato Rounds

 

These sweet potatoes aren’t your ordinary, run-of-the mill sweet potatoes. Sprinkled with “everything bagel” seasoning, they take on a savory flavor reminiscent of a toasted “everything” bagel, along with a hint of sweet. 

If you can’t find everything bagel seasoning, you can make your own by combining the following:

  • Poppy seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Black sesame seeds
  • Minced dried garlic
  • Minced dried onion
  • Maldon sea salt flakes or coarse sea salt

 

I think you’re really going to like this recipe my friend! 🤤🍠

Print Recipe
Everything Bagel Sweet Potato Rounds
These sweet potatoes aren't your ordinary, run-of-the mill sweet potatoes. Sprinkled with "everything bagel" seasoning, they take on a savory flavor reminiscent of a toasted "everything" bagel, along with a hint of sweet. 
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • avocado oil cooking spray
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp. avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp. everything bagel seasoning
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • avocado oil cooking spray
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp. avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp. everything bagel seasoning
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with avocado oil cooking spray. Leaving skin on the sweet potatoes, slice each into 1/2" rounds.
  2. Combine sweet potatoes and avocado oil in a large bowl and toss to coat. Arrange rounds in a single layer on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and carefully flip each one over, then sprinkle with seasoning to taste. Bake for 10 more minutes and enjoy!
Share this Recipe

Get FREE tips and tiny slices of motivation to help you live a healthier life...without giving up chocolate!