Healthy ChickLits, Coaching Programs & More

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Good morning lovelies! I wanted to let you in on a few new things going on over here at Healthy Chicks. Ever since I’ve met with the ever-so-fabulous Coach Jenn Lee last week, I’ve been busy making changes in the business realm of my life.

The great news? I’m going to be doing a LOT more over here on Healthy Chicks, as this is my baby and my #1 brand after all. Jenn helped me realize that, being a creative like I am, I was trying to do too many things at once in effect feeling overwhelmed and not getting clear, concise results.

Here are a few new features:

Healthy ChickLits: Every day, I post daily “Healthy ChickLits” on my Facebook and Twitter channels. These are little feel-good words of wisdom in a sentence or two to make you feel motivated and good inside! Today’s pick? A reminder for us all – Love yourself every day! Follow along on my social media channels to see more of this!

Health Coaching: Many of us may know that I am also a Certified Health Coach, but have been working mostly under my other business Zesty Living. I realized that Zesty Living, while I’m in love with the name and tagline, wasn’t really “me.” I didn’t live, breathe and feel it like I do Healthy Chicks. Being a bubbly, energetic, twenty-something I feel like Healthy Chicks simply suits me more as a business name. Hence, I am now going to be offering my health coaching services over here at Healthy Chicks! I’ve revamped my programs completely, in order to cater to the twenty-something woman struggling with dieting, career stress and making sense of this crazy, crazy world. Take a sneak peak at what I’m offering & let me know your feedback!

Media Page: If you haven’t checked out my Move100 interview and video, browsed through my recipe book or checked out other outlets my writing has been published in, you can do all of that over here on my Media Page.

YouTube Videos – COMING SOON: You’ve heard that right! While I can be a tad awkward on camera as seen above, I am going to be shooting weekly videos to keep things fun and interesting. We’ll be covering a variety of topics from New Year’s resolutions to Cooking Mishaps. Stay tuned for more info!…

Recap: Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s Live Conference in NYC

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This weekend, I was given the opportunity to cover the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s October Fall Conference: IIN Live. Since I would be tweeting and blogging via Live Stream, I was able to watch the entire event (Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) from the comfort of my own home.

Last year, I attended the event live in NYC, so a part of me wished I was there. But while my jealousy set in a few times (especially during the group massages at the end), I have to admit it was nice to be able to take a lunch break, get some tea and wear my sweats as I soaked up a multitude of new information.

For those of you who don’t know or are new to my blog, I graduated from IIN this past August as a Certified Holistic Health Coach. The school has been able to give me the chance to follow my dreams, start my own business, believe in myself, lose those last 10 pounds of baggage (plus some) and start an entirely new career path for myself.

Therefore, whenever I get the chance to hear from more speakers and listen to IIN founder, Joshua Rosenthal, I jump on it in a heart beat. One of the many things I adore about IIN is the school’s belief in bio-individuality, that is that we are all made differently and what works for one person (a strict vegan, plant-based diet) may not work for another (a grass-fed meat-eater). You can throw out everything anyone has every told you about the “right” way to diet, and just eat the way that works for your lifestyle, the way that makes you feel your ultimate best.

I was ecstatic to see the wide variety of speakers that IIN chose for the conference, only furthering my love for bio-individuality. The IIN Live speakers included: Joshua Rosenthal, Daphne Oz, Marion Nestle, Susan Blum, Neal Barnard, Alissa Vitti, Nina Planck, Terry Walters, Joy Bauer and a number of guest speakers and successful IIN graduates.

Here’s are some highlights from some of my favorite speakers of the conference:

Joshua Rosenthal, Founder and Director of IIN:

  • We explored the areas of primary food, that is relationship, exercise, career and spirituality. We always think of health as just food and weight, but it’s much more than that. When these other areas in our lives are not going well, this can throw everything off. Joshua had us dig deep and analyze these different areas in order to find clarity and balance. For me, I’d like to work on my spirituality by incorporating meditation and yoga into my daily routine in order to cleanse my mind, body and soul.
  • He reminded us the importance of SETTING YOUR INTENTION. What is your intention? Today? This week? This year?
  • Joshua said something that really stood out to me: “Always make sure you are coming from a place of honesty and integrity. When you work from your heart you can never go wrong.” How true is this?

Daphne Oz, Author & Co-Host of The Chew (Oh, also daughter of the famous Dr. Oz):

  • She reinforced the importance of preventative care, stating that there’s lots of preventative methods you can do before you end up on the operating table!
  • Fun Fact: Daphne struggled with weight growing up even though she came from a family of medical professionals. She also wrote the book “The Dorm Room Diet”
  • Favorite Daphne Quote: “You will never be lonely if you know how to cook. You will always eat well if you know how to make a few healthy, simple recipes.”
  • She reminded us that cooking should be fun, and that it’s totally OK to make mistakes and make a mess. That’s the whole point!

Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University:

  • During the 1980s, there was a huge shift in the food industry, when people started to eat more and move less. Marion blames this on deregulation. Two major reasons are 1.) Farmers were told that subsidies would depend on the amount of food grown which led to mountains of soybeans and corn crops 2.) Wall Street put pressure on corporations to increase returns on investors immediately, rather than the old thinking that valued long-term returns on investment.
  • She touched upon the shockingly scary truth that we live in an environment that encourages people to eat more than we need. Why is it that places like Staples and Bed, Bath & Beyond are selling junk food snacks?
  • Low prices encourage people to buy unhealthy food on a budget (i.e. McDonald’s)
  • $267 million is spend on Coca Cola advertisements alone. Yikes!
  • Be wary of “health food claims” like “organic Gummy Bears,” “Reduced Fat Peanut Butter,” and “Vitamin D Enhanced Fruity Pebbles”

Dr. Susan Blum, MD, MPH, Assistant Clinical Professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and pioneer in functional medicine:

  • She is a firm believer that “Food is information” and that all calories are NOT created equally. For example, when you eat an apple our cells work properly, but processed pretzels can lead to poor cellular function which in turn makes us sick.
  • Phytonutrients found in plants can change the expression of our genes, which is a very powerful thing indeed!
  • Our intestinal lining works like “skin on the inside” is is the most important barrier for preventing food sensitivities. One cause of leaky gut is bacteria buildup on the lining.
  • SUGAR creates INFLAMMATION!!!!
  • Test yourself for food sensitivities by cutting out common allergens like soy, dairy and wheat, and then slowly adding them back in one at a time. Schedule an initial health consultation if you’re looking to explore your food sensitivities and get to the root of the problem.

Terry Walters, bestselling author and advocate for eating clean and living well:

  • Clean food comes in a rainbow of colors. There is no right way to eat clean. Do the best you can, and what works for you!
  • Mix in Kombu (a sea vegetable) while cooking grains for incredible health benefits!
  • Miso is wonderful to promote healthy intestinal flora
  • 24 hours is all it takes to sprout your quinoa to consume it raw. Who knew?
  • And now, a delicious clean salad courtesy of Terry: Kale + Lemon & Lime Juice + Sunflower Seeds + Red Onion + Ginger + Olive Oil + Sea Salt + Avocado

Nina Planck, author, local foodist, and advocate for traditional foods:

  • 3/4 of French  men say they enjoy their food. Sadly, it’s less than half of that in the U.S. We are all so diet obsessed that we don’t even take the time to enjoy our meals!
  • Fat is necessary for digestion, yet so many people are afraid of it. Natural saturated fat does NOT cause heart disease. Rather heart disease is from a deficiency in omega 3s/folic acid/antioxidants, sugar, trans fat, and INFLAMMATION.
  • Coconut is a super powerful antiviral. YAY for healthy fats!
  • “Grassfed farming is efficient & smart.”

Alissa Vitti, HHC, AADP, Health Coach specializing in reproductive and hormonal health:

  • 1 in 8 couples are infertile in the U.S.
  • Cinnamon, Avocado, Buckwheat, Turmeric, and SLOWING DOWN all enhance fertility
  • Estrogen dominance can lead to migraines and weight gain. A delicious cleansing juice for balancing women = beet, cilantro, apple celery, lemon and ginger
  • Conditions like PCOS can be cured naturally through NUTRITION!
  • Menstrual issues can lead to inflammatory disease, and if you already have issues in your 20s you are setting yourself up for major issues in your 80s. YOU CAN PREVENT THIS.

Joy Bauer, MS, RD, CDN, nutrition and health expert for The TODAY Show:

  • Changing someone else’s lifestyle IS difficult
  • The best thing you can do for your health right away is cut out fried foods, nix sugary beverages, and incorporate produce at every signle meal.
  • If you cut out one 20 oz. soda a day (17 tsp. of straight sugar) for an entire year, this will save you 91,00 calories, stop you from gaining a potential 26 lbs, and prevent you from consuming 108 cups of STRAIGHT SUGAR.
  • Ginger and chamomile tea are natural muscle relaxers, and work wonders for PMS cramps
  • If you struggle with eating well on the weekends, structure your weekend schedule, exercise and plan for a splurge!
  • Under the radar health foods to look out for: Quinoa (loaded with magnesium and has much more fiber and protein than even rice), Chia Seeds (Plant based Omega 3s to suppress inflammation & boost mood, plus more fiber and calcium than flax), Roasted Edamame (Twice as much protein and fiber & fewer calories compared to nuts), Pumpkin (loaded with potassium and beta carotene), Steel Cut Oats (lower Glycemic index than traditional oats), Kefir, Chard & Kale

Closing Thoughts & Comments:

  • You should totally check out Sarina Jain’s Masala Bhangra for an amazing, Indian-inspired dance workout. Seriously, this girl knows how to work it!
  • If you are weary of natural health remedies, do some research. Has healthy food and a balanced lifestyle ever killed anyone? Some of the success stories are incredible, including my own aunt who helped heal her cancer through detoxing, raw foods and healthy living.
  • In the words of Joshua Rosenthal himself, “If you spend your day doing something you can’t stand, all the broccoli in the world isn’t going to make you feel well.”

What did you take away from these highlights? What do you agree or disagree with? What are your thoughts on natural healing through good food & a healthy lifestyle?

Workout Woes: 3 Feel Good Moves When You Just Aren’t Feeling It

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We all know exercise is beneficial not only for our body (who doesn’t love a little extra glute-toning), but for our mental health as well. Many women track hours at the gym, have a strict running routine, or even take several group fitness classes (such as core fusion) in one day. But what’s a girl to do when she’s simply not feeling it? Do we really need to be so strict on ourselves?

Let’s face it, we are only human. While many of us strive to be superwoman at times, even the fitness fanatics among us have their “off” days. And guess what? That’s totally OK and get this…normal.

I know what it’s like to feel guilt for skipping a workout. Heck, I even skipped my 6:15 a.m. Core Fusion Cardio class this morning because the gloomy weather was a huge turnoff, and well, my need for a good night’s sleep was much more important to me. I had a busy week, I was tired and I needed some good old-fashioned beauty rest. Old me would have beat myself up over this for days, but new me simply let’s it go. Now I don’t skip my workouts every day, but when I’m not feeling it I don’t force myself to go.

Anyway, I’ve got some good news for all of you guilt-prone ladies out there. There are little moves you can do that’ll help you to be a little less hard on yourself, while not feeling like a bump on a log.

1. Make it a Clean Day: Just because you’re skipping the gym doesn’t make you “fat” or “unhealthy” at all. If you’re letting this guilt get to you, why not make it a clean day in the kitchen? Eat a hearty breakfast filled with whole grains and protein, like rolled oats with flax seed, almond butter and sliced banana or peaches, or maybe a cage-free egg white omelet  like this Vegetarian Farmer’s Omelet filled with sauteed veggies and a slice of Ezekiel bread.

Then drink lots of water throughout the day to flush your system of toxins, and get rid of any extra belly bloat. For the rest of the day, fill yourself up with lots of green leafy vegetables (think kale, spinach, or collard greens), healthy fats like olive oil or coconut oil for cooking,fresh fruit,  and lean proteins like antibiotic-free natural chicken or fish. As I always say, the more real and simple the food is, the better so try to avoid anything that comes from a package especially items that have dozens of ingredients.

2. Move It Along: Just because you’ve made the decision to take a break from that whole working out thing  doesn’t mean you have to sit around and eat pizza on the couch all afternoon, although we all have those kinds of days too and that’s completely OK.

If you’re feeling up for it, why not go for a walk with a friend around town? As you chat away, you won’t even realize you’ve walked nearly 3 miles around the city! If you’ve been running like a maniac lately and have really been feeling it in your knees, a local yoga class may be a good alternative for you. Maybe it’s just the weather is what’s keeping you from going to your favorite class. Whenever this happens, I chose to do an at-home workout DVD or On Demand exercise instead so I can still start the day on the right food, and get a mini sweat session in.

3. Relax Alright, so you took a day (or even a week) off from running and you’re feeling a little blue. Did you ever think that maybe, just maybe your body needs that break? Have you been to hard on yourself lately? Did you find yourself in a workout rut where you become angry instead of excited to take a class? These are all signs that maybe your body is craving a mini vacation from strenuous exercise.

When you find yourself feeling this way, it’s best to just take some time for yourself. Cuddle up after work with some peppermint herbal tea and a good book. Close your eyes for ten, even five minutes and just breathe. Meditate. Take a long bath or shower with some aromatherapy oils. Taking care of our mental self is just as important as taking care of our physical body, so try to give yourself a little leeway.

If you’re prone to guilt when you skip a workout, find it hard to relax and be at peace with yourself, or are looking for a way to revamp your diet without going on a diet, I may be able to help you. As a health coach, I work with women who are looking to get that “zest” back into their lives & escape a lifestyle of yo-yo dieting. To learn more you can visit my website here or schedule a FREE initial health consultation with me today.

Have a wonderful day,

My Super-sized Vision Board: Relationship, Career, Personal & Financial Success

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Remember when I told you guys I made a vision board with The Boy last month? Well, I decided to revamp it completely! You see, my first vision board was on a scrap piece of white-lined paper and it didn’t give me enough room to really express every little thing I want in life. Plus, with all the focus lately on my new health counseling business Zesty Living, I’ve been thinking a lot about goals and what I want for myself.

That’s when the vision board construction went down. For the past few days, I’ve been tearing witty words, motivating pictures, and inspirational phrases out of magazines, as well as surfing the web for ideas.

Voilà! This is the result:

I decided to break it down into sections: career, relationship, and personal well-being.

Career/Financial:

  • Create and sell some sort of wellness product, be it inspirational greeting cards, all-natural body scrubs or innovative spice blends!
  • Be financially stable, with a comfortable salary that I can support myself with & not have to cringe every time I “treat” myself to something nice
  • Have a successful, positive, buzzing health counseling business a la Zesty Living with 1-on-1 coaching, group workshops, and (HOPERFULLY) some corporate wellness mixed in
  • Be published in a women’s health magazine featuring an article on holistic health & wellness…a dream come true to have my own byline!
  • Speak in front of a group of people regarding health, happiness and finding balance

Relationship

  • Move in with The Boy in an adorable little Boston area apartment where we’ll wake up together each morning, sip coffee, make tasty dinners, and stay up drinking wine and laughing our faces off!
  • Be a “power couple” both reaping the benefits of being successful entrepreneurs, making our own schedules and ultimately working for ourselves
  • Happy & in love

Personal

  • Feel more calm & at peace with myself
  • Do more yoga – practice regularly!
  • Have enough money to be able to treat myself to monthly massages, gym memberships, yoga retreats and other wellness activities
  • Travel more! (Oh, and be able to afford it and not feel bad about it!)
  • Trouble-free, energized, motivated go-getter
  • Super healthy, happy, fit & feeling my best self
  • Have a plethora of delicious, wholesome, all natural food to cook with each and every day

Have you ever made a vision board? What do you want for yourself this year? What positive steps are you taking to get there?

 
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