Archive for the ‘Nutrition Guidelines’ Category

Who Needs Flowers???

Our garden is rocking!!!  I chopped these up for dinner tonight & sauteed them with coconut oil, salt, pepper & a little coconut amino’s.  SOOOO fresh & awesome.  We paired the dish with baked Cod squeezed with fresh lemon & a half of a baked sweet potato.

What is growing in your garden???

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25 Powerful Reasons to Eat Bananas

You’ll never look at a banana the same way again after discovering the many health benefits and reasons to add them to your diet. Bananas combat depression, make you smarter, cure hangovers, relieve morning sickness, protect against kidney cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and blindness. They can cure the itch of a mosquito bite and put a great shine on your shoes.

If you think bananas are just for monkeys, think again.

1. Bananas help overcome depression due high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin — the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter

2. Eat two bananas before a strenuous workout to pack an energy punch and sustain your blood sugar

3. Protect against muscle cramps during workouts and night time leg cramps by eating a banana

4. Counteract calcium loss during urination and build strong bones by supplementing with a banana

5. Improve your mood and reduce PMS symptoms by eating a banana, which regulates blood sugar and produces stress-relieving relaxation

6. Bananas reduce swelling, protect against type II diabetes, aid weight loss, strengthen the nervous system, and help with the production of white blood cells, all due to high levels of vitamin B-6

7. Strengthen your blood and relieve anemia with the added iron from bananas

8. High in potassium and low in salt, bananas are officially recognized by the FDA as being able to lower blood pressure, and protect against heart attack and stroke

Eating bananas aids digestion

9. Rich in pectin, bananas aid digestion and gently chelate toxins and heavy metals from the body

10. Bananas act as a prebiotic, stimulating the growth of friendly bacteria in the bowel. They also produce digestive enzymes to assist in absorbing nutrients.

11. Constipated? High fiber in bananas can help normalize bowel motility.

12. Got the runs? Bananas are soothing to the digestive tract and help restore lost electrolytes after diarrhea.

13. Bananas are a natural antacid, providing relief from acid reflux, heartburn and GERD

14. Bananas are the only raw fruit that can be consumed without distress to relieve stomach ulcers by coating the lining of the stomach against corrosive acids

Natural cures from a simple banana

15. Eating bananas helps prevent kidney cancer, protects the eyes against macular degeneration and builds strong bones by increasing calcium absorption16. Bananas make you smarter and help with learning by making you more alert. Eat a banana before an exam to benefit from the high levels of potassium.17. Bananas are high in antioxidants, providing free radicals and protection from chronic disease18. Eating a banana between meals helps stabilize blood sugar and reduce nausea from morning sickness

19. Rub a bug bite or hives with the inside of the banana peel to relieve itching and irritation

20. Control blood sugar and avoid binging between meals by eating a banana

21. Eating a banana can lower the body temperature and cool you during a fever or on a hot day

22. The natural mood-enhancer tryptophan, helps to relieve Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

23. Quitting smoking? Bananas contain high levels of B-vitamins as well as potassium and magnesium speed recovery from the effects of withdrawal

24. Remove a wart by placing the inside of a piece of banana peel against the wart and taping it in place

25. Rub the inside of a banana peel on your leather shoes or handbag and polish with a dry cloth for a quick shine

Oh, and remember — bananas make great snacks and delicious smoothies.

Now you know why monkeys are so happy. Eat a banana!

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Sugar = Cancer??

The other night I was watching 60 Minutes & they were doing a special on how the intake of sugar CAUSES cancer!!!! SCARY! They went on to say that when you eat or drink sugar it immediately increases your insulin & feeds the tumor / cancer cells causing them to grow. It also talked about when a person eats / drinks sugar often it becomes as addictive as a cigarette causing your body to crave more & more which will in turn cause Type II Diabetes. The last thing they touched on was that sugar directly causes a rise in your LDL or “bad” cholesterol.

This is all very scary information & America is in trouble. Cut sugar out of your diet & eat the egg yolk to LOWER your cholesterol! To help your sweet cravings or night eating try the following:

*ACV in 8 oz water after your meals
*Brush & floss your teeth
*Take a walk
*Eat protein & healthy fat at each meal
*Go to bed early
*Allow yourself 1 date coconut roll per day
*Read a good book
*Close the kitchen after dinner

The first week is always the hardest. I CHALLENGE you to cut out all sugar & processed foods for 2 full weeks. It takes 30 days to make a habit so after your 2 weeks I challenge you to 2 more. You can do it and your body & health will thank you!!!


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Eat to Lean Down!

One of my idol’s, Dr Mark Hyman, was recently a guest on “Live with Kelly”.  He talked about which whole foods stabilize your blood sugar, keep your weight down and help to lean you down.  Here were the highlights:

  • Get rid of Metabolism blockers:
    • Don’t drink your calories (no juice, soda or alcohol)
    • UNJUNK your diet (no high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, colors and MSG)
    • Eliminate inflammatory foods (gluten and dairy) for 2-3 weeks and see how you feel.
  • Add Metabolism boosters
    • Eat real food(veggies, fruit, beans, nuts, seeds, lean animal protein, small amounts of gluten free grains – black rice, quinoa)
    • Bulk up on crunchy veggies(broccoli, asparagus, artichokes, green beans, leafy greens, etc.)
    • Power up with Protein:Eat protein with each meal (eggs, chicken, fish, nuts, seeds)
    • Get an oil change:Speed up your metabolism with good fat including olive oil, small wild fish like sardines and salmon, and extra virgin coconut oil — My favorite is Artisina.
    • Add Sugar buster fibers called PGX.  You can also get it from special noodles called Shirataki made from Konjac root.  PGX is a great source of Glucomannan. Take it 15 minutes before meals.  It slows absorption of sugar and fat and lowers insulin levels and helps lower blood sugar and cholesterol and cuts your cravings and appetite and helps with weight loss
    • Grease up the wheels of your metabolism with Supplements.  Take a good multivitamin, fish oil and vitamin D every day.
    • Shake the weight off – start the day with morning protein shake – see recipe below the video.

To your good health

Mark Hyman, MD

Watch his video HERE!

Whole Food Protein Shake Recipe
4 oz Frozen wild or organic blueberries
2-3 tbsp hemp seed
2 tbsp chia seed
4 walnuts
3 Brazil nuts
Small handful of pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp Extra virgin coconut oil
2 tbsp almond butter
4 oz Unsweetened almond milk or hemp milk
1/2 Banana

Be sure to add enough water so that the smoothie is not so thick that it is hard to drink usually need to fill the liquid about an inch or two above the contents.

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Pulp Crackers = YUM

If you follow my blog you know that I took a 30 day juice challenge (to juice 30-40 ounces per day for 30 days straight) back in February and haven’t looked back.  I felt such a difference in my energy, digestion & overall health I decided it is a lifestyle for me.  So as you can imagine I have a TON of pulp daily.  I decided to buy a dehydrator and make my own pulp crackers.  Now you know if you don’t eat any grains that eating a cracker that DOES NOT hurt your gut is amazing!  I take the pulp, add a few spices & some water, make into patties & dehydrate for 9 hours.  YUM YUM YUM!  I use them to dip in all three of my meals.  There is a ton of fiber and they are just crunchy, salty goodness!

Here is my new toy: Breville Juicer 800JEXL


Today I juiced: 1 head romaine lettuce, 8 carrots, 1 granny smith apple, 1/4 head green cabbage & 1 orange (orange for Ben!)


I store the juice in these mason jars in the fridge.  I drink one right away in the morning, one mid morning or post workout & one in the afternoon.




Add 1/2 cup water (or so), organic spices: garlic powder, onion powder, bragg’s flakes, parsley, salt & basil.  (you can add whatever you want)


Flatten into patties & dehydrate for 9 hours.


My Excalibur 5 tray dehydrator.  LOVE LOVE LOVE!


Amy’s Pulp Crackers!!!  I store them in a ziplock bag.


I also will throw onto my dehydrator a banana or two that are turning, a sliced apple, kiwi or whatever fruit I desire.  I usually add cinnamon to my fruit.  Sooo yummy & ZERO preservatives!

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Eat Clean, Train Hard, Be WELL = Amy Approved!

Eat Clean, Train Hard, Be WELL!!

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61 Easy Ways to Lose Weight

Written by: Chris Mohr

My point: Making small decisions each day can result in big-time fat loss.

Below are dozens of simple ways to lose weight. Start with one — today! — and watch the weight begin to melt away. Trust me, this is going to be easier than you think.

1. Have a clear goal. It should be one that anyone in the world can measure and understand.

2. Drink tea. Research suggests that those who drink tea — black, green, or white, as long as it’s from real tea versus herbal tea — have lower BMIs and less body fat than those who don’t consume tea.

3. Eat cayenne pepper. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that when compared to placebo, capsaicin — the active ingredient in cayenne — increased fat burning.

4. Decrease/eliminate processed carbs. They do nothing for you outside of creating a favorable environment for gaining fat.

5. Eat more veggies. They fill you up, without providing many calories. Just avoid the high-calorie dressings.

6. Eat more fruit. No one ever gained weight from eating more fruit. And that includes the so-called “high sugar” fruits like bananas and melons.

7. Lift weights. Heavy weights. Build more muscle, burn more calories.

8. Cut down rest time between sets. This will keep your heart rate elevated causing an increase in calories burned. The good news: You can sky-rocket your heart rate and torch belly-fat fast.

9. Do intervals. Study after study after study continues to show intervals are more effective and time efficient than longer activity performed at a lower intensity.

10. Eat more protein. Replacing refined carbohydrates with lean protein will not only help satiate you, but will also increase your metabolism — through something called the thermic effect of food.

11. Eat protein more frequently. It’s important to also time your intake so you’re eating protein regularly throughout the day — not just in one lump sum, like most do at dinner. Every meal and snack should include some protein.

12. Supplement with fish oil. A study published in Lipids fed mice diets enhanced EPA and DHA — a.k.a. fish oil. The researchers learned that the mice fed diets higher in omega-3 fats had significantly less accumulation of body fat. Other studies have shown similar results.

13. Do full body exercises. Think: Squats, deadlifts, chin-ups, and push-ups. You’ll get more bang for your buck out of each workout.

14. Cycle your carb intake based on your activity level. Sure, carbs are important. But on the days you don’t work out, you simply don’t need as many compared to the days you exercise hard. Rule of thumb: The more active you are, the more carbs you can eat, and vice versa.

15. Start your meals with a salad. Salad will provide some bulk to help fill you up  —  so that you eat less calories overall.

16. Don’t forget the fiber. Think of fiber like a sponge; it absorbs water and makes you feel full.

17. Drink water. Professor Dr. Brenda Davy and her Team from Virginia Tech University found that giving people 2 cups of water before each meal resulted in greater weight loss after 12 weeks. The reason? It helps fill you up.

18. Add beans to your salads. It’s a nice way to add some additional fiber, protein and healthy carbs.

19. Replace one meal a day with a large salad and lean protein. This is a simple way to instantly improve your diet.

20. Keep a food journal. There’s no better way to track what you’re putting in your mouth.

21. Watch your portions. Avoid the buffet line and never supersize. Instead make sure you’re following what the nutrition label recommends for a serving.

22. Switch to calorie-free drinks. All calories count, whether they’re liquid or solid. So unless it’s low-fat milk, opt for tea or water. Or something I was introduced to in the Netherlands — large bunches of mint, lemon and hot water.

23. Weigh yourself. Studies show daily weigh-ins help enhance weight loss efforts. Don’t live and die by the number. And of course a scale doesn’t decipher between fat and lean body mass, but it can still be of benefit to keep things “in check.”

24. Eat whole eggs. Daily. A study published a couple years ago showed that those who ate whole eggs versus a bagel for breakfast ate less at the next meal. A similar study showed eating whole eggs increases HDL (good) cholesterol.

25. Eat breakfast. A review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that those who eat breakfast are more successful with long-term weight maintenance. Other research has shown the same for weight loss. Grab hardboiled eggs, scrambled eggs, Greek yogurt, a piece of fruit and handful of nuts, or make a smoothie. It doesn’t have to be fancy.

26. Eat the bulk of your meals in the A.M. Then eat progressively less throughout the day. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that eating most of your calories earlier in the day positively influences weight changes.

27. To burn more calories, stay upright. This means not sitting in front of a computer, TV, phone, etc., all day. Stand and you’ll burn more and be more productive. This could even save your life. Discover Why Your Office Chair is Killing You.

28. Use the stairs. That’s right: Skip the escalator and elevator. This won’t make or break success, but every little bit helps. So get in all the movement you can.

29. Eat low-energy, dense foods. These are foods that are high in water and lower in calories, such as fruit, veggies, soups, and salads. Studies at Penn State University have showed that the inclusion of these foods helps individuals eat less total calories overall.

30. Don’t grocery shop hungry. If you do, you’ll buy everything in the aisle — instead of sticking to your list. And most of the time, the foods you buy when hungry will be the kinds that sabotage your weight loss efforts.

31. Replace side dishes with steamed veggies. Restaurants will often allow you to substitute the fries or chips with steamed veggies. All you have to do is ask.

32. Bake, don’t fry.

33. Use the fat-burner in your backyard: Your grill. (And make sure you have a copy of Grill This, Not That! — the extraordinary guide to grilling that can help you lose 10, 20, 30 or more pounds.)

34. Order dressing on the side. But here’s the bigger secret: Dip your fork in dressing, and then in the salad. This saves a ton more dressing than if one was to order it on the side, and the pour the entire cup on the salad anyway. Fewer calories equal less weight.

35. In the airport: Carry your luggage, don’t roll it. Again, not a deal breaker in terms of success — just another way to increase energy expenditure.

36. Skip the “Venti lattes” and opt for plain coffee. (Or better yet, tea.) Those extra large “designer” coffees can pack a belly-inflating 500 or more calories per serving!

37. Embrace oats. Plain rolled oats will help fill you up more than the high sugar breakfast counterparts. Moreover, one serving provides a lot less calories than the sugar coated alternatives.

38. Fidget. A study published in the journal Science showed that those who fidgeted more often — for example, changed their posture frequently — weighed less than those who didn’t. This extra movement was termed NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis).

39. Laugh often. A study presented at the European Congress on Obesity found those who laughed hard for approximately 10 to 15 minutes each day burned an additional 10 to 40 calories/day. Multiply that by 365 and those calories can add up!

40. Leave something on your plate at the end of the meal. Every little bit counts.

41. When out to eat, split a meal. The portions are usually big enough to feed a family.

42. Skip dessert.

43. Don’t socialize around the food tables at parties. You’re more likely to munch mindlessly, even though you may not be hungry.

44. Don’t eat your kid’s leftovers. Every little bit of food adds up, including what we call “BLTs” (bites, licks and tastes).

45. Keep chips, dips, and other high fat junk foods out of the house. It’s not about willpower; it’s about being realistic.

46. If you have a dog, take him for a walk. It’s better for both him and you than just letting him out the back. (Bonus: He’ll love you even more!)

47. If you don’t have a pet, offer to walk a neighbor’s dog. Make friends; lose weight.

48. Use smaller plates and bowls. There will be less room for you to fill up and it makes less food seems like more.

49. Skip buffets. It’s a foregone conclusion: If you don’t, you’ll feel like you have to get your money’s worth and overeat.

50. Slow down. It takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes for your stomach to sense it’s full. If you wolf down your food like a starving dog, you’ll likely out-eat your hunger.

51. Decrease your food intake by 100 calories per day. Theoretically this translates to losing nearly one pound per month (1 lb = 3,500 calories) — with hardly any effort.

52. Buy a pedometer and accumulate at least 10,000 steps each day.

53. When possible, walk or bike to do your errands.

54. Don’t buy in bulk. The more that is there, the more that you’ll eat.

55. Plan ahead. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

56. Keep some healthy snacks — like nuts — in your glove compartment so you’re prepared at all times.

57. Take before pictures.

58. Get new friends. If your friends prefer pizza, wings, nachos and beer on a regular basis, find one’s who are like-minded and want to be healthy. Research has suggested that friends enhance (or can hurt) success.

59. Put yourself first. Many people (women in particular) put everyone else ahead of themselves and let their health fall by the side.

60. Remember: It’s not all or nothing. If you fall off the bandwagon, jump right back on. Don’t let yourself continue to fall until all progress has been lost.

61. Wake up early to exercise. You’re more likely to get it done if you don’t wait until after work.

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Sleep is Key to Weight Loss & Maintenance

Getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night does more than you know for your body in terms of weight loss & weight maintenance.  Did you know… “Night owls consume an average of 248 calories MORE per day than those who go to bed early.”  Most of those excess calories rack up at after 8 p.m. according to a 2011 study published in the journal Obesity.  That is 1,736 EXTRA calories per week or ABOUT a weight gain of 2+ pounds per month.  That adds up FAST!

Going to bed early at the same time each evening will save your waistline, help you to: lose weight, recover from your workouts much faster, look & feel younger, have tons of energy, brain power & the ability to handle your crazy days!

So stick to a bedtime that is realistic (8:30 – 10pm), yet not too late.  Try to TURN OFF the kitchen once you have finished dinner as your body does not need anymore calories.   It is best to give your body a 12 hour “fast”.

*Brush & floss your teeth
*Drink 2-3 capfuls of ACV in warm water – this will stabilize your blood sugar
*Read a book
*Take a hot epsom salt bath
*Take a walk
*Drink herbal tea

Get your Z’s & your weight, youth & body will thank you!

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Summer BBQ

Grilled Salmon, Asaparagus & Broccoli


My Favorite Salsa

1 cucumber
1 bunch cilantro
1 avocado
1 green onion
1/2 head cabbage
Juice of 1 lemon
4 capfuls ACV (apple cider vinegar)
Dash of balsamic vinegar

Grilled Salmon
Salt / Pepper & fresh lemon
Cook each side for about 5 minutes

Grilled Broccoli & Asparagus
Grapeseed Oil

Mix all together, put on grill until tender & enjoy!

Eat Clean, Train Hard, Be Well

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Pick of the Day


What are you growing in your garden???  Update me!

Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods

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