Soulmate Client Spotlight: Meghan's Journey to Finding Bliss!

Article written by my amazing client, Meghan Knowles!

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Change - it’s one, single word that’s had a world of meaning to me in the past year.

But let’s take it back 365 days…

About a year ago, I was getting ready to embark on the greatest change in my life - moving to LA for what I saw as a new beginning. For so long, I had wanted a new start by going into the group fitness and health/wellness space, which stemmed from my passion of wanting to help others better themselves, but was held back by the security of my full time career in public relations. Sure, it gave me a steady income, but it also gave me an overwhelming case of stress and anxiety from the demands of always having to be “on.” This didn’t leave much for work/life balance.

As much as I was excited to make it to LA in January for my “fresh start,” I was also scared to death. When I arrived I was unemployed, living in an area of the city that I did not feel a strong connection to and was unsure of how I would meet new people outside of the small group of friends I had here from college. To say I was scared out of my mind is an understatement. I had just left behind everything I knew in NY. My family, friends, my fitness community (shout out to my SurfYogaBeer family!) How was I going to find that in my new city? Let’s also throw in the fact I was about to turn 30…

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A few weeks after settling in LA, I landed a new job in PR. Was it what I was really hoping for? No, but it served as a landing place to help me get started here. One thing it helped me do was meet a great group of co-workers that were a creative, driven group of women that, for once, I felt connected to and supported by. At first it seemed completely different from my anxiety, stress-filled world of PR in NY, but then I noticed that I still wasn’t devoting enough time to myself out of the office or to researching how to break into the fitness and wellness world. Thankfully, that all changed when I attended an Almost 30 podcast panel that Jess spoke at. When she told her story of her career change, it was like she was in my own shoes and speaking directly to me! I knew I had to message her and set up a time to meet so that I get myself to a better place mentally and physically.

Fast forward a few months in working with Jess I began to see what felt like immediate changes - my acne-prone skin was clearing up (taking Hum Nutrition pre- and probiotics was working like a charm) and I was taking steps to prioritizing self care, like setting up little “day dates” and rituals for myself (for me, nothing beats a Sunday evening Survivor at SoulCycle with Dacoda, followed by a trip to Whole Foods). But even so, something was missing. It wasn’t until Jess and I worked through the fact that I was taking work home with me that I realized I was working an 8-5…and then some. I was slowly burning myself out and work was taking over my life.

I soon realized that my self-care had to be the #1 priority. I made sure to leave my work for the next day and take the rest of my evenings to myself. But at the same time, things at the office became increasingly demanding and overwhelming, which along with it, came the all-too-familiar stress and anxiety. As much as I had done to make positive changes for myself, I felt like I was being sucked back into the lifestyle that I so desperately wanted to leave behind. The one part of my day that I truly felt like I was using for me and as a release from it all was my workouts, whether it was a run or a favorite boutique fitness class. From this, it got me thinking again about how I could carry this small portion of my day into a job or career that I could love.

It wasn’t until recently, when my stress and anxiety levels felt like they were at an all-time high, that I finally understood what people meant when they said they had to physically drag themselves out of bed. I don’t think anyone really jumps up and is excited for work - we all want that extra 5 minutes - but this was so much more. The thought of going to the office, feeling drained and overwhelmed for 9+ hours a day, filled my body with anxiousness. Some mornings, I was paralyzed by the thought of getting out of my car and into the office. Feeling frustrated by a number of issues and emotionally & mentally depleted every week, I knew I couldn’t live like this anymore, not when I had worked so hard on my self-care and creating a better, more balanced lifestyle for myself.

After attending Jess and Rachel McClusky’s “Recharge to Balance & Bliss” retreat, which gave me the opportunity to spend a weekend in beautiful Lake Arrowhead with even more beautiful, supportive and inspiring women, I made the decision that it was time to take that leap of faith and make the change that I had been wanting for so long. I put in my two weeks with my company and felt a wave of relief come over me. To know that I was setting myself up to finally go down the path to pursue my passion for fitness felt so right.

Over the past month, I’ve started working at a couple of boutique fitness studios here in LA and where some people might see it as taking a step back (let’s face it, I left behind a SALARY), I know I’m propelling myself forward. I’m in environments where I’m observing multiple classes a day, seeing the work the instructors put in (even after we leave class) and everything that goes on behind-the-scenes. Plus, by being able to dictate my schedule, I have more time to dedicate to me, something I haven’t really had since jumping into the corporate world almost immediately after college. I have lunch meetings, get in a mid-afternoon workout, read, or simply catch up on my favorite trashy reality TV shows (more Housewives and Bachelors, no Kardashians). I’m able to dedicate more time to my Adidas Runners LA community and become a better leader for the group as a Crew Runner. Basically, for once, I’m doing things that serve me.

It’s crazy that the end of the year is almost here, but I’m SO excited for what 2019 has in store. I’ll be celebrating my 1-year LA anniversary 💃🏼, running my first LA Marathon (#5 overall!) and plan on taking a Pilates certification course…all within the first part of the year! To set these - and other - intentions in stone, I’m joining Jess’ 4 Weeks to Balance & Bliss: New Year, 2.0 YOU virtual group coaching course in January because I know I can thrive from the guidance of some of the best health & wellness experts in the biz and support of like-minded women.

I can’t say exactly what the next year will have in store for me, but what I do know is that the 2.0 version of me is out there and I can’t wait to meet her!

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#BRAINWEEK: HOW I CURED MY MIGRAINES WITHOUT MEDICATION!

As a collaborator for Dr. Bryant’s #BrainWeek, I thought I would finally share my experience with debilitating migraines and how I ended up curing them holistically...without prescription drugs and expensive treatments! 

I used to get bad headaches as a kid and experienced a few migraines in H.S. and college but the worst ones came about 3 years ago when I was working in a high-pressure job in social media management and marketing. I was glued to my computer screen for 8-12 hours a day and only took a break if it was to go fill up my coffee cup…little did I know that was doing more harm than good. I was always on edge and was scared that if I didn't do my job “perfectly” and bend over backwards for all my clients, I'd be let go. That meant I was usually the first to arrive to the office and one of the last ones to go home. I lived on Quest protein bars, tons of coffee, rice cakes & cream cheese and random packed lunches (always focusing on low-calorie, not nutrient-density). I remember that I was always complimented for being "so reliable" but now I realize it's because I didn't set boundaries...I responded to emails long after working hours and would wake up at 4am just to check my emails out of one eye and then go back to sleep until 7am. Needless to say, I developed migraines so debilitating I had to leave work immediately and could barely make it home before I'd be vomiting and laying in bed in the dark for days at a time. The tiniest bit of light or noise would hurt my eyes and send shooting pains through my skull... 

I craved immediate relief so I saw multiple doctors who suggested everything from Vicodin to heavy duty migraine prescriptions like Relpax and Imitrex but never suggested that there might be a root cause. I tried all of the meds because I needed to get back to work and didn't want to disappoint my team...even though they were so understanding and even gifted me a massage to help me slow down. All I wanted was to feel better but the medication wasn't working as more than a quick fix...in fact it was making everything worse....and there was one point I took up to 4 Vicodin in 1 day just to survive the holidays!  I quickly developed rebound migraine which is when the medicine wears off, and the withdrawal from the drug triggers another migraine...it became a vicious cycle and I finally decided I was DONE suffering! 

I did a TON of research on holistic migraine treatments and natural remedies and I came across the book Heal Your Headache., The 1,2,3 Program by David Buchholz, a neurologist who had cured thousands of patients of their migraines. I read every word and began his protocol for 4 months...it not only eliminated migraine specific trigger foods (due to specific chemical compounds) like avocado (that was the hardest), citrus, red wine, aged cheese and most alcohol, but I had to flush my meds down the toilet and get off coffee cold turkey…I used to drink 2-4 cups a day. I was sick of planning my life around my "headache days" because even when I didn’t have a migraine, I usually had a headache…so needless to say, I was willing to try anything... and can you believe it? This actually worked! It's been 2.5 years and I haven't had a debilitating migraine since (or frequent headaches) and when I've felt one coming on, I now have the tools I need to get over them MUCH faster than I used to!

HERE’S WHAT WORKED FOR ME:

Therapy (not diet): “Heal Your Headache, The 123 Step Program” eliminating possible trigger foods/drinks/meds for 4 months. In reading this book you’ll learn how the “migraine threshold” works and how a migraine cannot be pinpointed to just one or two triggers but a combination of different things (food, lifestyle, sleep etc). It’s also important to understand that our gut is our second brain (where 80% of our immune system lives) and that the immune system plays a role in the development of migraines, as does the vagus nerve, which connects the brain to the digestive tract. The immune system is involved in both migraine attacks and in intestinal disorders that are influenced by gut bacteria. Both migraines and disorders like celiac disease and IBS cause inflammation and kick-start the immune system so it’s imperative to focus on reducing inflammation which you’ll see below.

Got Off: All prescription drugs & caffeine (now I can have green tea). The caffeine in coffee can lead to blood sugar imbalances and create rebound migraine.

Reduced Stress: started getting regular massage and chiropractic adjustments, took breaks from my computer and actually took a lunch break…and eventually quit my job to become a health coach…another story for another day!

Focused On: Hydration (100 oz water daily) and sleep (7-8 hours without checking my phone) and balancing my blood sugar levels (and my hormones) which meant eating regular meals (I used to go way too long between meals). adding protein, fat and fiber to each one and getting off all processed sugar which is one of the main reasons I created my 20-day Sexy Sugar Cleanse!

Supplements: Magnesium (a deficiency can contribute to migraines), Butterbur (supports healthy blood flow to the brain), Melatonin (can help reduce migraine frequency & duration), Vitamin D (boosts immune system) and COQ10.(reduces environmental damage to cells).

Herbs: Tons of ginger and turmeric as they are highly anti-inflammatory…the compound circumin in turmeric is touted as natures ibuprofen in thousands of studies!

Added back in: After 4 months, I was able to add back in almost all foods I eliminated but found out my major triggers were: red wine, champagne, coffee, sugar and stress! 

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WHAT I DO FOR MAINTENANCE:

  • Drink Four Sigmatic matcha instead of coffee…hence my obsession! You can use my code SHROOMBLISS for a discount. I love to mix 1.5 tsps with coconut milk, and stevia, blend and then heat on the stove for a frothy latte & top with cinnamon!

  • I only take 2 Aleve when I have a headache….if I really need it!

  • I take Magnesium citrate, HUM Vitamin D, HUM B-12 (use code 12350F for $10 off) and my favorite Hyperbiotics Probiotic every night before bed which is very important because migraines often stem from an imbalance of good to bad bacteria in the gut (made worse with prescription drugs, diet and stress) and a high-quality probiotic can re-populate the gut with the good guys! Use this link and code WELCOME10 for $10 off your first purchase of Hyperbiotics which I love because they are shelf-stable and formulated to withstand the journey through harsh stomach acid!

  • I use ginger and turmeric in everything I possible can… I even love to add fresh ginger to my matcha latte’s and turmeric into my chocolate protein shakes!

  • I eat lots of essential fatty acids which are vital for brain health i.e. wild-caught salmon, avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut, olives etc

  • I add a scoop of collagen protein to my morning smoothie or chai latte for hair, skin and nail health but also because it helps heal and seal the gut lining! My favorite is Further Food (use code BODYBLISSBYJESS for 10% off). I love to add their turmeric tonic to my chai latte’s and smoothies too.

  • I carry Saje Wellness peppermint halo on me ALWAYS and rub into my temples any time I feel tension coming on. and every night before bed!

  • I give myself breaks from screen time (I've taken about 3 breaks since starting this article)

  • I do yoga at home, deep breath and try to reduce stress when I feel it coming on. I take my favorite pilates Megaformer class at The Studio MDR 2-3 times a week…if you’re in LA, reach out to me to try a class as I’m lucky enough to be their new health coach!

  • I get one massage per month which I used to think was indulgent but now I understand is absolutely necessary! I love the Zeel app because massage therapists come to your home so you can skip the stress of traffic, choose your own relaxing music and find a therapist that you love who you can prioritize! They have Swedish, deep tissue, couples, prenatal and sports massage and the membership is so awesome because not only do you get a discount but after 3 months, you get a free massage table! If you’d like to try it, you can use my code 13gcc for $20 off your first massage! You’ll love it…

  • I ENJOY wine! For the last 2.5 years I stayed away from my favorite red wine and champagne during celebrations but I just discovered Dry Farm Wines which is the only health-focused, all natural wine club in the world! All of the wines are sugar- free, low-sulfites and lab tested for purity…. and not only do I not get a headache after I drink it, but I feel GOOD the next day! If you’re interested in joining the wine club, you can click THIS LINK to select get 6 bottles to be delivered every (or every other) month and you’ll even get an extra bottle for a penny! Just for the holidays, they’re also offering 3, 6, and 12 bottle gift options here which are amazing since most people love the gift of wine that doesn’t leave you with a pounding headache the next day and that tastes amazing too! My trick is that I take a bottle out to dinner with me and just pay the corkage fee at the restaurant ;)

 Me enjoying a glass of Champagne after 2.5 years (DRY Farm WINES)!

Me enjoying a glass of Champagne after 2.5 years (DRY Farm WINES)!

NOTE: I only ever recommend brands I trust and use myself on a regular-bases and have reached out to many of them to provide you with discount codes so you can try them too!

When I look back on my journey it is hard to believe that I went from having more headache days than non-headache days and that migraines were just a part of my month. I'm here to tell you that if you suffer from migraines or any other type of gut issue (remember migraines are often gut related), there is a way out the other side and while it will take a commitment to making changes and getting deep (journaling and keeping a food log helps a lot), it will result in a sense of freedom you never thought possible. There isn't a week that goes by that I don't think about how lucky I feel to be able to make plans with my friends or put events on my calendar without the fear that a headache might get in the way!

It was when I FINALLY cured my migraines holistically that my life changed and I realized the power of food as medicine and the gut as our second brain. I signed up for the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and took a leap of faith by quitting my job and embarking on a journey to help men and women find relief the way I did and start actually listening to their bodies! This was the best decision I ever made and while it was scary, it was liberating and magical and I’m forever grateful to have a platform to share my story and to hopefully help others find a way out of the cycle like me…

Please reach out if you have any questions or are interested in working together because having support and accountability along the way is everything! Are you ready to make a change?!

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THE PERFECT PUMPKIN PIE PUDDIN'

With Thanksgiving a week away, we can all agree that “nom nom” is on the brain…in other words, food, food and more food! Thanksgiving without decadent dishes, drinks and desserts would be like Christmas morning without presents or Hanukkah without a Menorah. I remember in my yo-yo diet days I would restrict my calories and workout like the energizer bunny just so that I could eat to my hearts content on Thanksgiving. I thought if I could just save up all the extra calories I wasn’t eating for the days leading up to the holiday, I wouldn’t have to worry about my jeans getting a little tighter just because I allowed myself a single “cheat day”…. a term I now refer to as a four letter word! But what I didn’t realize is that all of the starvation led me to feel HANGRY on Thanksgiving day and completely rid me of all self-control and to be honest, any desire to be in control. I wanted to relax and eat whatever I felt like but the reality was that, as I sat in my sweatpants with plates of empty food in front of me, I felt more guilty than ever before. And guess what happened the next day? Restriction and negative body talk, rinse and repeat until I got back on whatever fad diet I was doing at the time. Flash forward to Thanksgiving today and I have a much healthier relationship with food and my body and it’s one of the reasons I am so passionate about sharing this balanced and blissful place with the women I get to work with every day.

One of my most valuable tips for going into Thanksgiving with confidence is to find healthy swaps for the hearty dishes you crave and then save room for the dishes you feel the most emotionally drawn to…. Grandma’s famous sweet potato pie or your mom’s secret stuffing perhaps? Start your morning with a hearty breakfast filled with protein, fat & fiber so that you’re satisfied and not walking into your family get-together or Friendsgiving with “binge brain” ready to swipe up whatever snack you see first! Get in some form of movement whether it’s a 15 minute yoga flow on YouTube, a walk around the neighborhood or a pilates class like my favorite one at Studio MDR…bring a friend or family member for accountability too! Before you go into the day, set your intention and strive to find a place of balance where you treat (not cheat) yourself to the foods you love, contribute healthier alternatives, take breaks between bites to breathe and focus on being fully present!

Today I’m so excited to share with you my protein packed PUMPKIN PIE PUDDIN’! This would be the perfect way to start your morning because not only is it festive and delicious, but it’s filled with protein, fat and fiber to turn off hunger hormones, keep you focused on the present moment AND is wonderful as a pre or post workout meal or snack! If you plan on eating for breakfast, I recommend enjoying to yourself. If bringing as a delish dessert contribution, you could divide the recipe in half like you see in these photos to feed two people. Double, triple or quadruple the recipe depending on how many hungry and happy mouths you plan to treat!

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PUMPKIN PIE PUDDIN’ (Sexy Sugar Cleanse Phase 2 approved, serves 1-2)

Ingredients:

1/4 cup Organic Pumpkin Puree

Further Food Collagen Peptides (optional but suggested for protein & glowing skin!) Use my code BODYBLISSBYJESS for 10% off your order

1 cup MALK Unsweetened Cashew Milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)

1/4 cup Chia Seeds

10-15 drops organic Stevia or Monkfruit for zero sugar sweetness (adjust to taste)

1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

Toppings: pistachios & cacao nibs

Directions: Add all of the ingredients (except for toppings) to a glass jar with a lid. Stir until all ingredients are combined thoroughly. Pop in the fridge for 4-6 hours or overnight for best results. Once your pudding is thick and creamy, pour into container of choice (preferably something festive), add toppings of choice and viola!

Bonus: Enjoy each bite with gratitude, think about the flavors and what you enjoy about each one. Put your spoon down between bites and take time to fully enjoy and savor the experience. You’ll thank me later!

 ALL OF YOUR INGREDIENTS: Cashew milk, collagen protein, chia seeds, stevia, pumpkin pie spice and Toppings!

ALL OF YOUR INGREDIENTS: Cashew milk, collagen protein, chia seeds, stevia, pumpkin pie spice and Toppings!

 Adding your chia seeds to your MILK …. This whole recipe takes less then 5 mins to Prepare!

Adding your chia seeds to your MILK …. This whole recipe takes less then 5 mins to Prepare!

 The FINISHED PUMPKIN PUDDIN’S PERFECT FOR DESSERT FOR TWO!

The FINISHED PUMPKIN PUDDIN’S PERFECT FOR DESSERT FOR TWO!

Get After Your Greens Smoothie Bowl

My smoothie bowls are like dessert for breakfast except that they're hormone balancing, energy boosting and satiating for up to 5 hours! 💪

This morning I experimented with a new vegan vanilla protein powder by Smart Pressed Juice and was pleasantly surprised. 😍 A lot of protein powders out there are flavorless, chalky or just boooooring and loaded with whey, sugar and inflammatory fillers. This one includes simple organic ingredients like pea, cranberry and hemp protein, superfoods like chia and maca and my fav 0 glycemic sweetners, monkfruit and stevia! 🙌

There's 16 grams of protein and lots of fiber to turn off hunger hormones and keep you full without the crash...plus it tastes bomb! 💃💃 I mixed this with their organic pressed greens powder which is filled with farm fresh veggies, herbs and a cold-pressed green grass blend!

Get After Your Greens Smoothie Bowl

1.5 cups unsweetened coconut milk + 1/2 cup water .
1 cup mix of frozen spinach & cauliflower

3-4 frozen coconut chunks from TJ's 

Smart Pressed Juice vanilla vegan proteingreens mix 🌱🌿

Blend & top with whatever you like! I did pecan butter, frozen blueb's, chia seeds, cacao nibs & NUCO - Coconuts For Life grain-free cereal! 😋

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What Makes a Salad Sexy?

When Christina Heiser of A Sweat Life asked for my tips on building a healthy salad for her #NationalSaladMonth article, little did she know I could teach a whole course on this stuff! As I explained, I can’t tell you how many times I hear people say how unsatisfied they feel after their salads and how little they look forward to them. My honest response: then why are you still eating them? 😉

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If you’re gagging down your salad while dreaming of your cheat day, we need to switch things up! Let me tell you, we’ve all got 99 problems but a boring salad does NOT have to be one of them! 

Building a sexy salad is not so much about what you remove but really about the swaps you make and things you add on! 

Click HERE to read Christina's article HOW TO BUILD A BETTER SALAD FOR NATIONAL SALAD MONTH featuring myself and several other nutrition experts and our opinions on what it takes to get the most out of your greens!

Also, if you're curious to dive a little deeper, I wanted to share my full Q&A with Christina! Hopefully this will give you some helpful tips for the next time you make a salad -- remember it's all about swapping it like it's HOT! 

What's your favorite base for a salad and why do you like it?
My all time favorite salad base is organic mixed greens and romaine. I love this combination not only for its nutrient density (rich in vitamins and minerals) but because the flavor is more complex than just having one type of lettuce. I add romaine because I absolutely love the refreshing and crispy crunch! 

If someone's concerned about their salad truly being filling, what are some good toppings to consider? 
I can't tell you how many times I hear people saying how unsatisfied they feel after a salad and how little they look forward to it! 99% of the time this is because they aren't adding enough to it and/or including adequate amounts of protein, fat and fiber to turn off hunger hormones and keep blood sugar levels balanced! Some of my favorite toppings include proteins like canned wild salmon mixed with primal kitchen mayo and everything but the bagel seasoning and more simple options like hard boiled eggs. I always include 3-4 healthy fats like avocado, nuts and seeds, and kalamata olives. I make sure to have fiber in the form of non-starchy veggies like roasted brussels sprouts, asparagus, and artichoke hearts and sometimes sprinkle in hemp hearts which taste great on salads!

Store-bought dressings and ones at salad bars can be really creamy - for someone who wants to keep it a little lighter, what's an easy salad dressing option to have on hand?  Store bought salad dressings can turn a healthy salad into  an unhealthy one real quick. In addition to dairy, most of them are loaded with inflammatory oils like canola and safflower and lots of added sugar! I love to top my salads with an easy mix of extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast and salt and pepper. My favorite store-bought dressings are Primal Kitchen's ranch and caesar made with pasture raised eggs and all natural ingredients! I also just discovered Foods Alive super food dressings which are loaded with healthy fats and fiber and come in a variety of flavors! 

What are some of the toppings/dressings that you should try and avoid? 
My recommendation is to become a compassionate food detective and learn to read labels. If a salad dressing is loaded with added sugars, cheap oils or conventional dairy, chances are it doesn't belong in your bowl. When you start to read labels you'll realize there are very few healthy dressings on the shelves, even in health food stores which is why I like to have my 2-3 go-to brands that I love and then experiment  with my own dressings! Toppings wise, try to replace things like croutons with flax crackers, sugar coated nuts with alternatives like sunflower seeds and macadamia nuts and dried fruit with a small amount of fresh fruit like sliced apples or berries! If you want to add cheese to your salad, I would treat yourself to a high-quality organic variation or add some more healthy fats instead! It's not about taking away, it's about finding swap outs that satisfy you even more. With a healthy and hearty salad you should be feeling full, energized and super satisfied for at least 3-4 hours! 

Bowl So Hard Smoothie Bowl!

Disclaimer: these next few sentences prove why I'm now officially an Angeleno.  I woke up to weird dripping noises and tapping sounds on my roof. What the heck is that noise I thought?!  And then low and behold I looked outside and saw water drops falling from the sky. Official weather report: it's raining in LA..  you can all use your cute umbrellas and pull out your Patagonia jackets 😉

In all seriousness though, I'm headed out the door to catch my flight to SF but not before I get in a smoothie bowl and some journaling! I've been committed to leaving my phone in the bedroom for 20-30 mins each morning while I enjoy a mug of warm lemon water &  journal sesh which is basically just a brain dump that  always ends in gratitude. This morning ritual has been a game changer for me! I get the things off my chest that normally weigh on me in the day and remind myself of how much I have to be grateful for. Have anxiety?! Try this for the next 3 days and report back with any changes you notice. I have a feeling you're going to notice some positive shifts!

Ok so just in case you're wondering when I'm going to share the damn smoothie bowl recipe, here it is!

BOWL SO HARD SMOOTHIE BOWL: 

1-2 cups frozen spinach & frozen cauliflower mixed 

1 1/2 cups unsweetened Califia Farms coconut milk + 1/2 cup water 

1 scoop Plant Fusion vanilla chai protein powder (sugar-free and organic)

1 scoop Amazing Grass chocolate flavored superfood powder 

3-4 drops organic stevia 

Blend on high until smooth (if you want it creamier, add some more frozen cauliflower and if you want it less thick, add a little water) 

Pour into a bowl of choice and top with: 

1 tablespoon drizzled mixed nut butter (I love the one from Trader Joe's) 

1/4 cup frozen blueberries 

Lil' scoop cacao nibs 

Lil' scoop Dang's unsweetened coconut flakes 

Cinnamon 

Serve with a fancy spoon and ENJOY staying full, satisfied and happy for the next 4-6 hours! 

 

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The Probiotic Predicament + The Activo Solution!

If your gut feeling is that you should prooobabaly be taking probiotic, I’d listen up! 😉 Admittedly, the whole process of shopping for a probiotic can be so overwhelming you may just say screw it and move. I mean short of having a nutritionist shop with you or having hours to compare and contrast brands on google, the probiotics predicament is REAL. 


Ok, so listen up! Here’s the down and dirty on why your gut deserves these goods and how to pick a legit probiotic like Activo! I’m also going to touch on the benefits of throwing a bag of digestive enzymes in your purse (or pockets) when you’re out on the town enjoying a little more yang than yin if you know what I mean 🍷🍕😉

Read on to learn about the benefits of investing a little mula into your probiotic and what sets Activo apart from the hundreds of overwhelming brands on the shelves! Hint: It’s shelf stable (18 months guaranteed live bacteria) and can survive the journey through harsh stomach acid for 10-12 hours!

SO WHAT’S THE BIG FUSS? 

Probiotics are the bacteria that line your digestive tract and support your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection. Did you know there are 10 times more probiotics in your gut than cells in your body?! Dayum! And just to blow your mind even further, 80% of your immune system is located in your gut…so no wonder you’re much more susceptible to catching the flu after a weekend of late nights and champagne glass clinking! 

From the moment we’re put on the planet probiotics populate our system, but over time, and through certain diet & lifestyle factors, we tend to screw with the balance of good to bad bacteria creating a dysbiosis of the gut. Some of the most common contributors to this imbalance include:

  • Overconsumption of sugar (It’s in 80% of all food products in the store and the average American consumes about 150 lbs of it per year— see my Sexy Sugar Cleanse if you’re interested in giving your system a reboot!) 
  • Overuse of antibiotics both taken orally and injected into our foods (the reason it’s SO important to opt for hormone-free dairy and grass-fed beef etc.)
  • Emotional stress caused by breakups, job changes, and our faced-paced society!
  • Chemicals that sneak their way into our food, beauty products, household cleaners and the air we breath! 
  • GMO foods that have been genetically modified to increase yield and lower production costs!

Over time, this gut dysbiosis can lead to side effects like severe digestive disorders, candida, autoimmune disease, skin problems, and way more colds and flus than necessary. 

By adding a reliable probiotic into your daily routine, you can reap the benefits of: 

  • A stronger immune system which means fewer sick days!
  • Improved digestion so you stop feeling so bloated and actually absorb the nutrients from your food
  • Increased energy from vitamin B12 production— we can all use a little of that! 
  • Healthier, more glowing skin-- heck yes!
  • Healing of Leaky Gut and IBS so you can stop feeling so shitty...amma right?
  • Weight loss support by keeping things moving…if you know what I mean!

SO WHY DO I RECCOMEND ACTIVO? 

  • Patented BIO-Tract technology which enables each beadlet to be released slowly throughout your digestive tract, giving you 10-12 hours of good, live bacteria populating your large and small intestines and surpassing harsh stomach acid!
  • Shelf-stable which I LOVE! There’s a lot of press that says probiotics need to be refrigerated but what about the fact that you have no idea how long those probiotics have been left out in transport to Whole Foods or your Amazon delivery?! I always look for a shelf-stable probiotic meaning you can be sure that the beneficial organisms are alive when you take them (18 months guaranteed) and that they’ll survive the journey through your stomach - giving you the full benefits that  are the very reason you’re taking them to begin with!
  • More Probiotic Strains! A higher CFU count (i.e. 50 + billion) doesn’t always mean a better quality product. Activo’s Pure Life Sustained Release Probiotics contain 16 different  probiotic  strains (most don’t come close). Including multiple strains of bacteria gives you a larger spectrum of support for overall health which is pretty important wouldn’t cha say? 

AND WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH DIGESTIVE ENZYMES? 

I’ll save the digestive enzyme chit-chat for another post but bottom line: you aren’t just what you eat, you are what you digest! 

Digestive enzymes are proteins we all produce that help our bodies chemically break down the food we eat into smaller, absorbable parts. But if we don’t have enough digestive enzymes (some of us have more than others), the harder our bodies have to work to break everything down— which can often mean bloating and stomach aches, eek! Certain foods like dairy and gluten are notoriously harder to break down so in situations when we know we may be popping a few extra bottles or enjoying a little more cheese on the charcuterie board than the average day, a good bottle of Digestive Enzymes can help support you and your ability to enjoy the party and hop back on track the following day or even better, before you go to sleep!

Disclaimer: This is not an excuse for an all out binge because trust me, you’ll still feel pretty icky (and not just physically), but it is a great tool to have in your toolkit because let’s be honest, life happens and so do decadent dinners!

Interested in trying Activo Probiotics and/or Digestive Enzymes? Simply pop on over to their website to purchase HERE. You can also enter their AMAZING giveaway which includes so many goodies you'll just have to see for yourself HERE. 

Hope you found this post helpful and would love for you to reach out to me with any questions, comments or just to say hi! Here's to a happy gut 

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Matcha- The Triple Threat!

So I’ve got to admit Matcha is “on trend” right now and with trends come a lot of variations on that trend. You can find Matcha latte’s in every other coffee shop in LA including Starbucks but let’s get something right, not all Matcha is created equal. Not even close!

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I originally found out about Matcha when I developed terrible migraines and realized one of my triggers had been the 2-3 giant cups of coffee I had been consuming every morning before work. As part of my therapy to getting well (this will be it’s own post), I decided to find an alternative to my morning love that would still give me a boost while satisfying that craving for something warm and sweet. 

I’ll be honest, my first “intro” was a taste of Starbucks green tea latte which tasted SO delicious but when I researched the ingredients, I found out it contained 32 grams of sugar in a grande (more than the amount recommended for a woman in an ENTIRE day)! Plus, their “Matcha blend” doesn’t even contain real matcha and the first ingredient is sugar…anything to make a buck right StarBUCKs… 😉

SO after google searching “Best Matcha in LA” more times than I like to admit, I stumbled upon this gem Matcha Bar on a date day with the hubs last year in Silver Lake and was hooked…they even have a Pumpkin Spice variation that they’re keeping on the menu because it’s so popular! 

Oh and btw, they use Ceremonial Grade ALL day-  This is the kind of Matcha  meant to be consumed in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony and contains all of the caffeine and L-theanine that makes it so powerful! 

Pro Tip: When you order a Matcha at a coffee shop, ask for it unsweetened as many places will add syrup or use a milk loaded with cane sugar! 

MATCHA- THE TRIPLE THREAT

Antioxidants to keep you twerking! Matcha is naturally one of the most concentrated sources of antioxidants on the planet! You want these “good guy” as your bodies line of defense against rapid aging, and inflammation as well as to help with blood sugar balance, cholesterol levels and even metabolism! 

L-theanine is such a boss babe! This amazing amino acid is celebrated for its super chill effects on the mind…seriously! Have you ever noticed how coffee can make you feel anxious? On the contrary, Matcha can ease the brain and make you feel less hectic which is pretty necessary in the age of always being on the go, never taking it slow.  Right?

Caffeine that won’t crack you out before you crash! The caffeine in Matcha bonds to larger plant molecules, bumping up the time it takes for the caffeine to break down in the bloodstream. So what does this mean? Prolonged, steady stream energy instead of the quick burst and crash that you get from coffee and energy drinks…thus the mile long line at Starbucks at 3pm! 

This is how the caffeine content stacks up against to other alternatives: 

MATCHA 80mg/ cup

GREEN TEA: 25-40mg/cup

ESPRESSO: 90-100mg/shot

RED BULL: 80mg per can

COFFEE: 120-150+/cup

Pretty impressive huh?!

So what am I trying to say? The Matcha Triple Threat (caffeine, antioxidants, and L-theanine) is what your bod needs for better, more badass energy! And, if you want to buy an amazing brand online to make your own lattes, my absolute fav is Matchaful which you can get for 15% with my code BodyBliss15.  Enjoy!

THANK YOU VERY MATCHA! 🍵

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How to Sexify Your Sugar Cleanse w/ Milk & Eggs!

As we roll out the red carpet for the new year many of us start thinking about how to shake things up so that we can feel stronger, healthier and all around more blissful!

It just so happens that my 20 day Sexy Sugar Cleanse may be  the jump start you’ve been looking for! Not only is it the perfect way to kick off the year but it’ll give you the system reboot your body craves after holidays that often come with an extra side of stress and sugar! Now don’t get me wrong, a little s & s has its place but when they add up over a short period of time (i.e. holiday travel, last-minute Christmas shopping, traffic, family dynamics, wine, alcohol, cheese trays, cookie platters) it can start to have a not-so-pretty affect on our bodies both mentally and physically!

So rather than sit in shame figuring out what quick fix diet you can go on to reverse all the effects of the holidays, embrace the chance to make a change and try to look back on all the fun you had without regrets! My goal is to give you the tools you need to feel energized, satisfied, sexified and most importantly free from restrictions, binges and guilt! 

If you want to read more about my cleanse you can check it out HERE or feel free to message me with questions! But in the meantime, I want to give you a little sneak peek into my Milk & Eggs delivery box so you can get an idea for the types of yummy meals you can enjoy while on the cleanse + some of the products I use on the daily that will actually make it feel easy and fun!  

If you’ve never heard of Milk & Eggs, it’s an LA/Orange County delivery service which brings local farm fresh produce, milk, eggs, meat, fish and even non-perishable goods like nuts, and crackers to your doorstep in as little as 24 hours at rates up to 50% their normal shelf price! So if you’re anything like me and want to earn back a some time in the day to put towards more important things like self-care, this service is the shi*t. AND if you don’t live in LA, do a little online search for similar services in your area!

Ok so here’s the DL on what’s in my most recent order and how I use each item in my kitchen either when on the cleanse or just leading my every day life!

Califia Farms Unsweetened Almond Milk— I LOVE this brand because not only is it California based but it’s made with non-gmo, simple and easy to understand ingredients. It’s also carageenan free which is SO important to me— carrageenan is a polysaccharide which is made from a red seaweed intended to emulsify foods to keep the consistency like protein shakes and cottage cheese. It’s a total filler and creates major gastric distress so I recommend staying clear as much as you can! Ideas for use during your cleanse/in life:  mixed into Matcha Latte’s, as the liquid base for a protein smoothie or for chia seed puddings! 

Parmela Creamery Vegan Cheese- This is the first time I’ve tried this non-GMO dairy-free cheese and it won’t be the last! Made with zero artificial ingredients, this cashew nut cheese is aged for 30 days and tastes almost like the real thing! Ideas for use during your cleanse/in life: Melted onto a lettuce wrapped burger, as a topping for portobello stuffed mushrooms, mixed into a breakfast scramble, or on top of flax crackers for a midday snack!

Kite Hill Chive “Cream Cheese”- If it’s cream cheese you crave, this is the one! I can’t believe how similar to the real stuff this tastes and it’s made with almonds and is totally dairy-free! Ideas for use during your cleanse/in life:  Mixed in with fried eggs, smoked salmon & everything but the bagel seasoning as your faux lox, smeared on top of celery sticks or a green apple for a snack, sautéed with cauliflower rice, mushrooms, nutritional yeast and a little nut milk to make fancy “risotto.” 

Forager Cashewgurt- I have a lot of clients ask me for yogurt alternatives without all of the additives, preservatives and sugar and guess what? It is not an easy task! But after months of searching this cashew yogurt has my official stamp of approval— not just for ingredients but for taste! Ideas for use during your cleanse/in life: As a breakfast parfait— layer into a mason jar with mixed berries and nuts or as a dessert mixed with organic monk fruit sweetener, cinnamon, cacao nibs, coconut flakes and nut butter. 

Curt’s Classic Flax Crackers-  A lot of store bought flax crackers have tons of random ingredients like wheat, flour, raisins and even sugar so when I came across this brand with only flax seeds, onions, Italian seasoning and salt I was sold! Ideas for use during your cleanse/in life: As a snack with nut butter and chia seeds,  smashed avocado and salt and pepper or crumbled on top of salads for a yummy and healthy crunch! 

Artisana Coconut Butter— Coconut butter is loaded with healthy saturated fats which can help you turn off hunger hormones, switch on fat burning and keep you feeling fuller and more satisfied for longer! Ideas for use during your cleanse/in life: As a dairy-free creamer in decaf coffee, Matcha or tea, melted on top of coconut wraps like THESE or drizzled on top of roasted veggies!

Vital Proteins Pasture-Raised Eggs— This is hands down my favorite brand of organic eggs. First off, the packaging is super cute but most importantly these are eggs made by hens who have grazed outside in the open pasture so they are happier, healthier and more nutritious! In fact, in comparison to a conventional egg, pasture-raised eggs contain 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids (anti-inflammatory), 3 times more Vitamin E and 4-6 times more Vitamin D! Ideas for use during your cleanse/in life: Whisked into a veggie omelet, hard boiled for a snack on-the-go, mixed into a veggie burger patty or as an egg pancake! 

Barely Bread— This bread would be best in moderation on Phase 2 or during the lifestyle transition but I like the fact that it only has 3 grams of net carbs, 1 gram of sugar and is gluten and preservative free. It’s also filled with ingredients we can actually pronounce like eggs, coconut flour, coconut oil, cinnamon and flax seeds! Ideas for use during your cleanse/in life: As a French toast soaked in eggs, stevia, cinnamon and nut milk, toasted and spread with nut or coconut butter or topped with Kite Hill’s original flavor cream cheese and a fried egg for protein!

Lastly, I picked up a few veggies like Brussels sprouts for crisping on the grill and serving with salmon, avocado for literally everyyyyything and watermelon radish to slice up on top of salads or avocado flax cracker “toast!” 

Bottom Line: Going on my Sexy Sugar Cleanse doesn’t have to bland, boring or restrictive and if you plan ahead, get creative in the kitchen and supplement with brands that have got your back like these, I have a feeling you’ll be absolutely LOVING it in no time!  

Feel free to use my promo code Jessica for $15 off your purchase of $35 or more on MilkandEggs.com

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Cashew Basil-- When I Dip you Dip I Dip ;)  Sexy Sugar Cleanse Approved, Vegan, Paleo

Want a tasty and super easy dip to contribute to your Christmas dinner or holiday party? I've got the goods!! And guess what? The ingredients are cheap, the prep is easy and the recipe is sugar-free, vegan, paleo and full of flavor. I've got to be honest... I'm getting kind of sick of going to parties where the veggie tray is the same old hard cauliflower, stale broccoli and celery with ranch or hummus. I'd rather eat at home! Part of the fun of a party is trying foods that you wouldn't normally make yourself and that feel like a break from the norm! I know I just posted a cashew queso dip but this one has a much different flavor and is great as a sauce on zoodles or drizzled over the top of roasted veggies or baked chicken or fish! If you're trying to reduce your dairy intake cashews are a great alternative because when soaked and turned into a dip or sauce they take on a cheesy flavor AND give you the added boost of healthy fats that keep you fuller and more satisfied for longer. Hope you enjoy! 

Cashew Basil-- When I Dip you Dip I Dip ;) 

1 cup cashews 

1 cup fresh basil 

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

1/2 lemon juiced

1/4 cup water 

Himalayan pink salt

Directions: Soak cashews in a bowl of water for at least 2-4 hours in the fridge. Once finished soaking, drain and add cashews, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, water and Himalayan salt to blender.  Blend on high until the consistency is smooth and creamy. I let it blend for a couple of minutes which is the perfect amount of time to slice all my veggies! I recommend choosing fresh and crunchy veggies in a rainbow of different colors so the dish pops and people are actually drawn to it. Some of my favs: cucumbers, mini bell peppers, watermelon radish, and carrots. 

I would love to know how you liked this dish so feel free to message me or tag me in your dip pics on Insta and/or Facebook. Happy Holidays!! 

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Kick-Ass Queso (Vegan, GF, Sexy Sugar Cleanse Approved)

Ti’s the season for holiday parties filled with trays of mystery cheese dips, bacon wrapped bread sticks (I don’t know where that came from!), cheesecake balls and endless finger foods. So how do you enjoy the party without feeling like you need to hibernate afterwards? My suggestion: set your day up with delicious satisfying meals so you don’t go into the party famished + bring your own healthy (and tasty) contribution that fools people into thinking they’re eating something just as decadent as all the other dishes! 🙌🏽

It’s also important that you ditch the restrictive self-talk which says things like “great, I can’t have any of the food here” and swap it out for abundance “I can enjoy as much of this as I want as long as I listen to my body.” If you go in thinking this is your “cheat day” you’ll want to binge on everything in site and start over tomorrow but if you feel satisfied from your previous meals with the mindset that you can enjoy anything you like, you'll realize that 2 pieces of pie won’t throw you off but two days of guilt and shame afterwards will. Life is all about enjoyment and figuring out how to create a yin and yang balance that works for you! I create balance in my life by finding swap outs that satisfy my cravings and then allow myself the real deal when I really want to-- I can eat this vegan queso all day but there's not really a substitute for a delicious glass of sauvignon blanc... so guess what? 🍷 I'll be drinking the real thing while dipping my carrots into my delish queso! 😋

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup soaked cashews 

1/2 cup mild or medium chunky salsa

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast 

1/2 small red bell pepper

Optional: 1 scoop @FurtherFood collagen peptides (I love to sneak collagen into foods because it keeps me fuller and aids in digestion-- plus it's great for hair, skin and nails too!)

Salt, pepper to taste + a pinch or two of turmeric for yellow color!

DIRECTIONS

Soak cashews for 4-6 hours in water to allow for easier blending and digestion. Drain cashews and add to high speed blender along with all other ingredients (salsa, nutritional yeast, red bell pepper, collagen, salt, pepper, and turmeric). Blend on high until the consistency is smooth and creamy— this might take a few minutes so get in some exercise while you wait! Do a little dance, challenge yourself to 100 jumping jacks or run in place! 

Once mixture is creamy, taste with a spoon and adjust to your liking by adding in a little bit more salt or even a little more nutritional yeast for extra cheesiness! If you like it spicy, throw in some cayenne or red chili flakes! Scoop mixture into a fun serving vessel and serve with crudite or my favorite Siete Foods nacho cheese tortilla chips which are grain & corn free AND so yummy!

Oh and did I mention, this recipe is Sexy Sugar Cleanse Friendly? Enjoy! 💕

 

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"I Can't Believe It's Sugar-Free" Chia Pudding- Two Ways! (GF, Dairy-free, Sexy Sugar Cleanse approved)

So the holidays are almost here and you're thinking to yourself "I want treats but I also want to rock my New Years dress!" Well guess what? You can have both! AND I almost guarantee that if you make my "Chocolate Chippendale" + "Pumpkin Pie Party" chia puddings at your next holiday get-together you'll be bombarded for the recipe for weeks afterwards! I just made one of each  for my husband and I last night during our Stranger Things binge watching sesh (so sad it's over!) and we devoured them in less than 5 minutes-- not the most mindful eating but they were that good! I think next time I'll slow down a bit so I can savor each spoonful ;) 

If you've been following me on social, you may have noticed that I launched my brand new Sexy Sugar Cleanse on the Almost 30 Podcast this week! It's a super doable and even FUN way to swap sugar out for delicious real food alternatives and to see noticeable results in less than a month (weight release, increased energy levels, reduced cravings, etc)! You may know that I come from a background of severe yo-yo dieting and restriction so I wanted to created a cleanse that would be the nutritional jumpstart without the hunger pains, guilt and dread that so often come from diets or quick-fixes! I am SO excited to be sharing it with the world and to be showing people that life free from sugar crashes can be so rewarding, tasty and blissful!

I hope you'll give these chia puddings a try because not only are they super easy and take less than 5 minutes to prep but there are so many variations you can make on them and they are a GREAT breakfast, snack or dessert option depending on how you top them! TIP: If you're making these for a meal, I suggest adding a tablespoon of nut butter on top and/or playing around by adding 1 scoop of your favorite sugar-fee protein powder! 

CHOCOLATE CHIPPENDALE Sexy Sugar Cleanse Approved (Phase 1, 2, 3) Serves 2

INGREDIENTS FOR PUDDING:

1  1/4 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used cashew milk)

1/4 cup chia seeds

3 tablespoons raw cacao powder 

Dash of pink Himalayan sea salt

10-15 drops of liquid organic stevia (you may want more depending on how sweet you want it)

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract 

Cacao nibs for topping


INGREDIENTS FOR COCONUT CREAM:

2-3 tablespoons organic heavy coconut cream

Optional: 1/2 teaspoon Organic Maca powder (for energy and stamina)

3-4 drops liquid organic stevia   (you may want more depending on how sweet you want it)

DIRECTIONS: Add all of the pudding ingredients (non-dairy milk, chia seeds, cacao powder, stevia, peppermint extract & salt) to a large glass jar with a lid, give it a quick stir, then put the lid on. “Shake it like a polaroid picture” to get it all mixed up and refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours or overnight. To make your whipped cream, open your can of coconut cream and scoop 2-3 tablespoons off the top and add to blender with 2-3 tablespoons of water, a few drops of stevia and optional Maca powder. Blend until as smooth as possible and refrigerate in a separate container until your pudding is ready. Once your pudding is thick and delicious, spoon a layer of your whipped coconut cream on top and finish with cacao nibs and a dash of optional sea salt. If you want to be super fancy add a couple of mint sprigs! 

PUMPKIN PIE PARTY Sexy Sugar Cleanse Approved (Phase 2, 3) Serves 2

INGREDIENTS FOR PUDDING:

1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used cashew milk)

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/4 cup organic pumpkin purée

10-15 drops of liquid organic stevia (you may want more depending on how sweet you want it) 

1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 tsp vanilla

Walnut pieces for topping

DIRECTIONS: Add all of the ingredients (non-dairy milk, chia seeds, pumpkin puree, stevia,  vanilla & spices) to a large glass jar with a lid, give it a quick stir, then put the lid on. “Shake it like a salt shaker” to get it all mixed up and refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours or overnight. Once your pudding is thick and creamy, add your topping and dive in! 

I would absolutely love to hear how you enjoyed these puddings and if you made any variations on them! Share your recipes by tagging me on Instagram @BodyBlissbyJess! 

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Pumpkin Bliss Latte

So you're craving a Pumpkin Spice Latte but you don't want all of the sugar and crazy blood sugar crashes that come with it huh? I FEEL you which is why I just created this delish PSL alternative with only 2 grams of natural sugars compared to Starbucks which packs 26 grams in a tall. If you're on my Sexy Sugar Cleanse, you can enjoy it every day in Phase 2 and on! Plus, it uses Further Food collagen peptides which is my fav because it blends easily and keeps you fuller for longer, helps with gut issues AND if you use consistently, your hair, nails and skin will be looking fly too! 😍


PUMPKIN BLISS LATTE 
Ingredients: 

8oz coconut milk
1 tablespoon coconut cream
1 scoop Further Food collagen peptides
3 tablespoons organic canned pumpkin puree 🍊
1 packet Four Sigmatic cordyceps mushroom elixir (energy from mother earth!) 🍄
Pumpkin pie spice and organic stevia to taste
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon maple or vanilla extract

Directions: Add coconut milk, coconut cream, collagen, 🍄 elixir packet, and pumpkin puree to small pot on the stove. Heat on medium-low and whisk until warm. Stir in pumpkin pie spice to taste, 3-4 drops stevia for sweetness and optional vanilla or maple extract. Blend in a high-speed blender until frothy. Pour into mug of choice and enjoy! ☕

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How I Drank Margaritas & Ate Tacos in Mexico With No Regrets!

One of the messages I share with my clients is that life is meant to be lived all of the time, not just some of it! And with the heartbreaking tragedies of late, this reminder couldn’t be more timely. We’ve been given the amazing gift of life and with it, a responsibility to make it the best it can possibly be! But how can you achieve this if you feel like you’re constantly living in the highs and lows of a diet? 

I’m not saying that it’s impossible to feel great on a diet (I myself recommend occasional cleanses), but it often comes to a point where longterm restriction leads to resentment and resentment leads to rebellion… the kind that ends in a sea of chocolate wrappers and empty takeout boxes. And why is this? Because eating 1,200 calories a day for months on end, tracking every lick and bite of food in an app and being afraid to have even a taste of dessert is not sustainable…even for a monk! Have you ever noticed that when someone says you can’t do something, it makes you want to do it even more? The moment a food or drink becomes “bad,” the more you think about it and crave it. So what’s the solution? Finding a happy place where you can enjoy foods that nourish you from the inside out and that make you feel amazing without starvation, FOMO or the word “cheated.” Remember, food is not moral, it is simply a choice and you have the right to choose what will make you feel your best!

Yes, this may seem easier said than done and will take practice, patience and trial and error but it IS possible. For most of my teens and younger adult life I was an obsessive yo-yo dieter who severely restricted my calories and became obsessed with eating “perfectly” … until I would go on vacation and treat it like a free-for-all to eat and drink everything I had missed out on for months before. This mentality of strict dieting followed by binging is miserable because it not only sets you up for constant “cheat days” and the need to “start over” but it’s not a lifestyle that can be maintained. 

Just over a week ago I returned from an amazing family trip to Playa del Carmen with my husband, his parents and his 24-year old brother and I wanted to share how I drank margaritas and ate tacos without a single ounce of guilt, weight gain, regret or post vacation dieting!

 Our catamaran snorkel trip- 4 hours of sunbathing, snorkeling, dancing (that's the party skirt I was given by the captain lol), eating, drinking and enjoying the gift of LIFE :)

Our catamaran snorkel trip- 4 hours of sunbathing, snorkeling, dancing (that's the party skirt I was given by the captain lol), eating, drinking and enjoying the gift of LIFE :)

Pre-Trip Prep

Have you ever noticed that whenever you have long travel days with meals in airports and exposure to recycled air you get off the plane feeling super bloated, exhausted, and just kind of gross all around? I don’t know about you, but I’ve had one too many trips where I end up feeling like sh*t for the first couple days of the trip so I finally decided to do something about it! 

What did I pack in my "bag of tricks"?

Protein powder: I brought a few days worth of my fav Further Food collagen protein powder so that if I couldn’t find any healthy snacks at the airport, I could break out my matcha powder and order some almond milk to make a protein latte. Next time I travel I'm going to buy the Further Food new travel size packets! Collagen is amazing because it keeps you fuller for longer and helps aid in the digestive process which is so important when on-the-go and out of your normal routine. Also, feel free to use my discount code BODYBLISSBYJESS10 for 10% of your order. 

Matcha Powder: I packed a week’s worth of organic Matcha powder and bought some almond milk to keep in the hotel room so I could make my own latte’s in the morning and at the airport!

Amazing Grass Green Superfood & Pure Planet Spirulina: I bought individual packs of greens mix and a mini bottle of chocolate mint spirulina (sugar-free) and added it to water before and after each flight and before bed. The combo of supercharged ingredients helped keep my immune system strong and was pretty tasty too. 

Probiotics: I brought my new favorite brand, Hyperbioitics which I love because they are completely shelf-stable so you don’t have to worry about keeping refrigerated while you travel. I amped it up and took 3-4 each day to make sure I was breaking down and digesting all of the new foods I was eating and simultaneously keeping everything moving! ;)

Activated Charcoal: This is a natural treatment that traps toxins and chemicals in the body, allowing them to be flushed out so the body doesn’t reabsorb them! I bring the capsules with me and take 2 at night after enjoying alcoholic drinks in the day. It also helps with gas & bloating which are all-too-common when traveling! 

Stevia: I always pack my Trader Joe’s dropper bottle of 100% organic stevia! I use it to sweeten my Matcha latte’s and on this trip I knew I was going to add it to tequila and lime juice to make my own low-glycemic margaritas! 

Snacks: Not only does packing my own food save $$ but it helps me avoid feeling stuffed and bloated from the over-salted, sugary airport foods! Some of my go-to’s: mixed nuts, avocado with Jillz Crackers (I even bring my own Himalayan salt) and Primal Kitchen Collagen protein bars! I always try to pack snacks with protein + fat so I keep my blood sugar levels stable and stay fuller for longer. I also packed extra snacks in the hotel room just in case we went longer than 5-6 hours between meals or if I felt low on energy! 

 Fixings for the perfect bag of tricks! I fit all of the little bottles and ziplock bags into a makeup bag! Felt SO great to be prepared. 

Fixings for the perfect bag of tricks! I fit all of the little bottles and ziplock bags into a makeup bag! Felt SO great to be prepared. 

How did I practice balance in Mexico?

Breakfast: Luckily there was a Walmart close to our hotel, so we did a grocery run and I offered to make everyone a healthy breakfast each morning! I made a few different veggie scramble variations and even threw in some grilled cactus and chili lime seasoning for a little cultural flare (so good). We paired each breakfast with avocado for healthy fats and a little local fruit— mangos, dragonfruit, and kiwis! Starting each morning with a hearty and healthy breakfast kept us away from the myriad of breakfast buffets and gave us the energy we needed to seize the day!

 Breakfast scramble with cactus, red peppers, mushrooms, avocado, chili lime salt, Himalayan salt, topped with avocado and salsa and served with mango and dragonfruit! Not the best pic sorry!

Breakfast scramble with cactus, red peppers, mushrooms, avocado, chili lime salt, Himalayan salt, topped with avocado and salsa and served with mango and dragonfruit! Not the best pic sorry!

 Isn't this dragon fruit beautiful??! And there are NO artificial colors. 

Isn't this dragon fruit beautiful??! And there are NO artificial colors. 

Swimming: One of my rules during vacation is that I refuse to go to a gym with florescent lights so I always try to find an active alternative. As soon as I discovered that the infinity pool near our room was completely empty in the mornings, I made that my daily workout! I got up before everyone else was awake and snuck out of the room for a walk through the resort-surrounded jungle bustling with iguanas and colorful birds and butterflies. The walk was so peaceful and meditative and the swim was absolute perfection. Not only was I proud of myself for swimming laps for the first time since I was on my high school swim team but I reminded myself how much I loved it and have even kept it going since coming back to LA! 

Activities: Rather than spend hours hanging on the beach bar swings or at one of the several buffets, I laid out, played pool games, signed up for water aerobics classes with my mother-in-law, played Texas Holdem’ with the fam and went for walks around the grounds. We took a day trip to the Coba Mayan Ruins where we all climbed the 120 steps to the top of the tallest ruin and sweated out any tequila we planned on drinking later! We also went on a catamaran snorkel tour which came with an open bar balanced by a lobster and mixed greens lunch (and a few bites of macaroni salad)! When you immerse yourself in enjoying your surroundings and doing things that take your mind off obsessing about food, you notice how much more you enjoy your vacation!

 Coba Mayan Ruin- We ALL CLIMBED THE 120 STAIRS TO THE TOP AND THE VIEW WAS WORTH THE SWEAT! 

Coba Mayan Ruin- We ALL CLIMBED THE 120 STAIRS TO THE TOP AND THE VIEW WAS WORTH THE SWEAT! 

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 Lobster lunch on the catamaran! I had seconds because it was SO good and rewarding after tons of swimming and snorkeling :)

Lobster lunch on the catamaran! I had seconds because it was SO good and rewarding after tons of swimming and snorkeling :)

Tacos & Margaritas: So I’ll just say it… I absolutely love tequila and tacos. But do I have them all the time? No. Did I have them when I was in Mexico? Of course! Did I have them for every meal? Nope! Whenever we were at a restaurant I would look through the menu and if there was a taco plate that really stood out to me I would order it but if not I would get my favorite fresh fish ceviche, a seafood salad or the catch of the day with grilled veggies which was normally so good I craved it for days afterwards! There was a restaurant at our resort that served the most insane lobster tacos on soft purple corn tortillas and I chowed down on them at least three different meals along with guacamole and jicama slices! When it came to margaritas, I learned to order in terrible broken Spanish by saying “margarita con poco azúcar por favor” (a margarita with little sugar please--or at least that's what I thought I was saying) which actually seemed to do the trick quite nicely! I would usually order one of these per day and then stick to tequila sodas with fresh lime juice and a couple drops of stevia from the bottle I packed with me! The key to keeping my blood sugar levels from spiking all over the map was consuming most of my alcohol with a meal paired with a healthy protein and fat. And if that didn’t happen, I just made sure to drink tons of water in-between so I could keep my energy levels up and avoid getting dehydrated. To be honest, I didn’t really have a set of rules for when I would order drinks or when I would eat chips and salsa versus when I'd skip them, I just listened to my body and acted on thoughtful impulse. Because of this, I found that I was SO satisfied for the entire trip and didn’t feel like I either overdid it or missed out on the fun. No one was restricting my choices or placing certain foods into forbidden boxes, so I just ate the foods that I intuitively felt would be the most satisfying and supplemented with lots of healthy, fun activities and an appreciation for the much needed R&R! 

 The most amazing vegan tacos paired with Chaya juice which our server said is considered the Mayan "miracle plant" aND is known for drastically improving digestion! We got these on the side of the road at this beautifully colorful café on our way to Coba.

The most amazing vegan tacos paired with Chaya juice which our server said is considered the Mayan "miracle plant" aND is known for drastically improving digestion! We got these on the side of the road at this beautifully colorful café on our way to Coba.

 Cheers!! 

Cheers!! 

 Ceviche mixto-- I probably ordered this at 5 different restaurants because each one was presented so differently and had new flavor combinations, seafood mixes and seasonings!

Ceviche mixto-- I probably ordered this at 5 different restaurants because each one was presented so differently and had new flavor combinations, seafood mixes and seasonings!

At the end of the week, I left Mexico feeling rejuvenated, sun-kissed and calm. Josh and I even allowed ourselves a full day after we got home to just Netflix and Chill and only left the house once for a food run (which included vegan ice-cream)! Neither of us felt guilty for coming back and not working out or going immediately on a diet because we didn’t have a vacation hangover, in fact we felt better than we had in awhile! Goes to show what a little tune-out from social media, emails and a set routine can do for the soul :) I also believe that when you enjoy your meals from a place of happiness and bliss, you remove the stress that can so often cause you to hold on.  

So next time you go on vacation with the diet mentality, take a minute to think about how you can use the tools you already have inside of you to make a switch! Trust me, it feels SO much better! 

 Until next time Playa!

Until next time Playa!

Vegan Walnut Pesto

Have you ever noticed that when you eat the same foods over and over again your cravings intensify? I am a firm believer that you gotta switch things up in order to enjoy and actually look forward to your meals! One simple way to do this is by making homemade sauces or dips that can work with all different types of dishes. One of my favorites is pesto but it's almost impossible to find one that's dairy-free at the grocery store! So what's the alternative? Try this simple recipe that takes less than 5 minutes and will last you a week in the fridge. I've used it on zoodles (I'm addicted), roasted veggies, as a dip with carrots and spread into collard greens wraps. Give it a try and let me know what you think! 

Vegan Basil Walnut Pesto 

1 1/2 cups stemmed fresh basil
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1 or 2 gloves garlic (I buy pre-minced at TJ's)
1/4- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste 

Combine basil, walnuts and garlic in food processor and pulse until it turns into a meal consistency. Slowly drizzle olive oil and continue to pulse until you get to the consistency you like! Season with Himalayan salt to taste. ENJOY!

 

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Fancy Matcha Mocktail Recipe

This Matcha Mocktail was inspired by a magical anniversary weekend with the hubs, basking by the pool, wandering around beautiful hotel grounds, eating delicious fresh seafood, and cheersing to life with a few cocktails, a few glasses of vino and looots of spa water!  On our last morning in the desert we woke up early and made a delicious avocado toast brunch and Matcha mocktails...because when you pour Matcha into a martini glass it's no longer just a latte 😉

Matcha Mocktail Recipe:
1 tablespoon Matcha powder
1 1/2 cups Califia Farms toasted almond & coconut milk (depending on glass size)
1 scoop Further Food collagen peptides
3-4 drops 100% organic stevia
Blend on high until smooth
Pour into martini glasses and top with garnish of choice (we chose Rosemary sprigs)

Try these next time you've had a few too many the night before or just want a fancy drink that will give you the energy you crave without the crash! 

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8 Tips for How to Love Your Workout, Not Loath It!

Do you have a love/hate relationship with working out? Some mornings you wake up pumped to throw on gym clothes and HIIT your favorite circuit training sesh (pun totally intended) and others you just want to crawl back in bed and slap the snooze button for the 10th time.  If this sounds like you then maybe your feelings around exercise have less to do with your motivation levels and more to do with your approach! Let's be honest, you'll never be truly motivated to do something you don't enjoy so why not focus instead on the things you do? Here are my 8 tips for how to love your workout, not loath it! 

1. Stop Suffering Through Workouts You Dread! If you wake up with butterflies in your stomach just thinking about the bootcamp you signed yourself up for, chances are you're going to have a real tough time going back on a consistent basis. And when you're not consistent with a routine, neither are your results. Plus, when your workout stresses you out, your cortisol (stress hormone) levels shoot up making it much harder for your to burn fat and stay energized throughout the rest of your day. Catch 22? I'm afraid so!

2. Be a Trend-Setter Not a Follower! Just because Dr. Axe, celebrity nutritionists and your fit friends all tell you that burst training is the primo way to burn fat fast doesn't mean it's right for you. Yes, there are obvious benefits to high intensity interval training but if you find that you can't stand any of the workouts, you leave feeling defeated and you have knots in the pit of your stomach the day BEFORE the workout, you probably want to try something new. I will tell you that within 30 seconds of taking my first Barre class, it was SO not for me. I don't like holding poses for minutes that feel like hours, I'm not a big fan of grippy socks and I really have no desire to get back in touch with my elementary school ballet moves. But that is MY experience and should have no weight on your own. On the other hand, I absolutely LOVE workouts like Basecamp that combine strength training with short bursts of cardio and loud hip hop music. Not only is the workout short and sweet but the instructors are bubbling over with positive energy and the level at which you choose to push yourself is completely up to you! Bottom line: you and only you get to decide which workout is best for your body!

3. Shop Around! Apps like ClassPass.com make it easy and affordable to try out a whole variety of boutique gyms, classes and instructors to see which ones may be the right fit. Some studios offer an introductory rate for a month to get you in which is also a fab way to try out a certain style of exercise without making too big of a financial commitment. I've tried dozens of different classes which is the only way I've figured out my groove and been able to stick to a routine that I actually look forward to. Also, remember that it's not just the style of class (yoga, pilates, boxing etc) but it's all aspects that make you want to come back (the teacher, the music, the class size and the overall feel of the gym). I'll be honest, I've had instructors who are so intense and in your face that it makes me dread the workout but I've also had instructors that are so magnetic that I can't wait to see them every week. That being said, you may want to try a few different classes of the same style of workout before you decide if it's right for you.  I still have weeks where I feel unmotivated and lazy so when that happens I try to remind myself it's time to switch things up and try something that gets me excited again!

4. Listen to Your Body. Sometimes your hand keeps hitting the snooze button because you need extra zzz's more than you actually needs an exhausting workout. If you had a shitty night's sleep, a long week or just feel generally run down, LISTEN to your body. First of all, if you're struggling to keep your eyes open during your pilates class chances are you're not fully present which means you're not reaping the full benefits of the class. And, second, when you don't get a good night's sleep, your hunger hormones and blood sugar levels get thrown way out of whack making it near impossible to make it through the day without craving sugar and carbs and crashing midday! Remember, sleep is one of the most important forms of self-care. 

5. Switch up Your Workout Times. Have you ever said  "I'm not morning person" so you force yourself to workout at night even though you're starving and tired? My challenge to you is to try waking up one hour earlier than you normally do and get your exercise in then. Make sure to eat a hearty breakfast of protein, fat and fiber afterwards and see how you feel. Often times, I find that when people get used to waking up earlier, they thoroughly enjoy getting the workout in first thing and then having an extra hour or so at night to spend with family, the hubs/wifey or just relaxing. Plus, if you wake up earlier you'll probably be ready for bed earlier too which could in turn help you get in a better night's sleep! 

6. Get Accountable! Without accountability consistency can be pretty tough so I highly suggest seeking out a friend, a coach (like myself!) or an app like Class Pass to keep you committed! When you make a commitment to someone other than yourself (especially if they'll be checking in with you), you are WAY less likely to flake or cancel. And on top of it, working with someone else can make exercising a lot more fun! 

7. Be Creative. You workouts DO NOT need to be inside. If you can't stand the florescent lights of the gym or you don't always feel like being in a class setting, there are so many other ways to move your body and get it in (plus Vitamin D does the body good!). Here are a few suggestions: walks in nature, hikes with a rewarding view, bike rides, stair climbing somewhere outdoors, swimming, contact sports, surfing! Just the other day I was attempting to go to a new workout class I signed up for and couldn't find the building anywhere so I ended up missing it. Instead of getting in "a mood" I decided to drive down to the beach and go for a walk instead. I did a brisk walk for 30 minutes followed by 5 sets of 50 crunches and 50 jumping jacks facing the beautiful ocean views. Not only did it feel amazing to be breathing in the fresh air and listening to the sounds of the seagulls, but the quiet of the morning was so peaceful and meditative. I went into my day much more centered and even discovered a new routine to add into my exercise regime! 

8. Focus on What Your Body Can Do Not How Many Calories You'll Burn! When you go to the gym or take a workout class with the intention of punishing yourself for all the wine you drank over the weekend or the 4th meal that went down afterwards, you take away any form of enjoyment and replace it with guilt and shame. I hate to say it but one or two workouts after a crazy weekend will not make a huge difference but consistent workouts and nourishing foods will! If you can train your brain to focus on what your body can do physically instead of how many calories you'll burn, you will find that you have a much more positive goal and outlook than the latter. Experiment by going into your workout with goals like increasing the weight on your dumbbell curls every month, running a couple miles faster in your circuit class, touching your toes in yoga and learning how to do a pull-up without assistance! Like John Mayer once said, "you're body is a wonderland!" 

Did you find these tips helpful? Visit me on Instagram and share some of your favorite ways to workout and the tips and tricks you find helpful for "getting it in!" Happy Fitness Friday everyone!

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Milkshake Memories Collagen Protein Shake!

Remember when you were a kid and your milkshake came with a tin on the side with a little extra in it? My mom used to take my sis and I to a little 50's soda bar on our Friday treat day just knowing the best part was the side car we'd get with a long spoon! 🍧🥄 Today I'm recreating that childhood memory with a liiiiitle twist! 💕

Milkshake Memories: 
1 giant ice cube of full fat coconut milk
1 1/2 cups regular coconut milk
2 scoops Further Food collagen peptides (skin, anti-aging, gut health) 
1/2 cup frozen spinach
1 tablespoon cashew butter
1 tablespoon cacao powder
Few drops organic stevia
Blend and top with cacao nibs and coconut flakes! **You can adjust consistency by adding more liquid and/or icecubes. 

Also, use my code BODYBLISSBYJESS10 for 10% off Further Foods Collagen protein powder! I love that it's just one ingredient and flavorless so it mixes with everything. I'll put up another post soon on the benefits of collagen because there are SO many 😊

 

Anti-Inflammatory Cod Tacos!

I have waited patiently until #🌮Tuesday to throw it back to my anti-inflammatory cod taco recipe! 🐟 Did you know that inflammation is often at the root of digestive issues, weight gain, acne, joint pain and most disease?

Popular foods like corn and soybean oil, dairy, gluten, sugar, conventional meat and refined carbs are some of the major culprits behind inflammation but can luckily be replaced with lots of delicious options! 😊 Try out these cod tacos for a huge boost of omega 3 fats and powerful anti-inflammatory herbs and seasonings! With meals like this you'll be feeling lighter, more energized and less inflamed before you know it! 👏👏 

💗 Season 3-4 oz wild caught cod with 1/4 teaspoon each of turmeric powder, ginger powder, garlic and a couple squeezes lemon juice. Pan sautè in coconut oil on medium heat for 3-5 mins per side. 
💗 Toss organic mixed cabbage strips in Primal Kitchen's chipotle lime mayo with a few squeezes lime juice
💗 Smash 1/2 🥑 with lime juice and Himalayan salt
💗 Prep two medium sized cabbage shells by spreading smashed 🥑 on the bottom and layering with one piece of cooked cod, cabbage slaw and thin slices of 🍉 radish. Sprinkle chia seeds on top and finish with cilantro and salsa or hot sauce of choice! 

ENJOY!

Read This Before You Toss Your Coconut Oil...

Think about it: the American Heart Association demonizes coconut oil but endorses Subway !? (Seems like an oxymoron doesn’t it…).

For those of you who saw the article spreading around Facebook saying coconut oil is bad for you, PLEASE take a moment to read this before you throw out all your coconut products, start sautéing your veggies in water and hold up protest signs in the baking aisle at Whole Foods! Ok, so that last one may be a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point... 

So, what’s the big deal? The American Heart Association released a report warning against the use of coconut oil. The lead author of the study says he has no idea why people ever thought it was healthy, especially since “it’s almost 100% fat."

When we read articles like this, it's easy to get sidetracked into believing that saturated fat causes heart disease. And it’s not our fault! The American Heart Association does a great job making us believe that they have our best intentions at heart. But sadly, when you dig a little deeper, the opposite appears to be true:

"The AHA is a non-profit with a mission to “build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke” yet in it’s 2011-2012 financial statement, received $521 million in donations from non-government and non-membership sources and many well-known large drug companies, including those who make and market statins, contribute amounts in the $1 million range.” (source)

Basically, The AHA is in bed with Big Pharma and consistently backs food products like Boar’s Head "All Natural” Ham, Bruce’s Yams Candied Sweet Potatoes and Healthy Choice Salisbury Steak, highly-processed, sugar laden foods injected with sodium to maintain flavor. Why does this matter? Well for one, "a review of almost 1,600 studies involving one million people in ten countries showed that a 1.8-ounce daily serving of processed meat raised the risk of diabetes by 19 percent and of heart disease by 42 percent.” (source) But yet the AHA has a "talk to the hand" reaction to these stats and is instead far more concerned with REAL foods like coconut oil. 

 Boar's Head AHA stamp of approval! 480mg of sodium in their "lower sodium" deli ham (and 2 grams of sugar) per 2 oz serving. And the AHA is worried about coconut oil...

Boar's Head AHA stamp of approval! 480mg of sodium in their "lower sodium" deli ham (and 2 grams of sugar) per 2 oz serving. And the AHA is worried about coconut oil...

As Dr. Robin Berzin, CEO and founder of Parsley Health, explains "High saturated-fat consumption in a diet that is otherwise void of adequate fiber and leafy greens, and too high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, increases small, dense LDL [bad cholesterol]. High fat consumption from clean sources such as monounsaturated fats (olive oil) and even saturated fat (organic coconut oil) in a diet mainly free from sugar and flours and high in vegetables and fibers can actually improve cholesterol composition."

So while we're on the topic of defending coconut oil, let’s discuss a few reasons it deserves to stay on your shelves and within your morning smoothies

1. Contains medium-chain triglycerides that are proven to speed metabolism and assist in fat loss. Remember, good fats are fat burners!

2. Contains high levels of lauric acid, which is a powerful virus and bad bacteria destroyer! 

3. Won’t create a spike in your insulin levels and instead sends medium chain fatty acids to your liver where they're used as energy, NOT stored as fat. When coconut oil is added to the diets of diabetics and pre-diabetics, it's actually been shown to help stabilize weight gain!

4. Helps improve the appearance of skin with its anti-aging benefits. I’ve personally noticed a huge difference in my eczema when I rub it into my skin regularly. It’s also a perfect substitute for highly toxic makeup removers and skin lotions! 

5. Multiple studies on Pacific Island populations (who get 30-60% of their total caloric intact from fully saturated coconut oil) have shown nearly non-existent rates of cardiovascular disease. (source)

For the last 60 years, the health care industry, the AHA and especially the media have been pushing low-fat diets and screaming in our ears that saturated fats are the catalyst in elevated cholesterol, obesity, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. Yet, interestingly enough, in those same 60 years, our levels of heart disease, obesity, and Alzheimer's have skyrocketed especially in comparison to our ancestors who used saturated fat as a staple in their diets. The major difference?? The food industries demonization of fat and addition of processed sugars to successfully produce low-fat packaged foods that would soon become the new diet craze. In order to make these previously higher fat foods still taste good  (i.e. low fat salad dressings, pasta sauces, etc), the fat was replaced with added sugars and boom, we all became addicted! I’d say, that's food for serious thought AND a sweet topic for another blog post...

So how do we know what to eat if we’re constantly given contradicting health advice?

In my opinion, we need to learn to be our own food advocates—not to believe the first thing we read or jump onto the newest fad diet just because a celebrity says it's "everything." Each one of us reacts differently to the foods we eat so we must be mindful of our choices and take note of how they affect our energy levels, digestion, satiety and overall mood. If you hate the taste of coconut oil, and the fact that it contains saturated fat, then you have every right not to eat it! But if you find that it makes you happy, fills you with fat busting nutrients and tastes amazing (like I do), then add it to your salad dressings, use it as a high-heat oil for cooking meats and fish, and rub it into your skin before bed for the perfect night-time moisturizer!

At the end of the day, I'm just a passionate health coach who couldn't sit back and watch one of my favorite superfoods demonized when I know how beneficial it's been in my own life and that of my clients. I challenge you to continue the conversation by sharing this article with friends and family and anyone else that could use a fresh perspective! 

 The official American Heart Association "Heart Check" certification listed on Subway's website. Do these ingredients looks healthy to you?   9-GRAIN WHEAT  Whole wheat flour, enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yeast, sugar, wheat gluten, contains 2% or less of: calcium carbonate, soybean oil, salt, wheat, rye, yellow corn, oats, triticale, brown rice, barley, flax seed, millet, sorghum, refinery syrup, vitamin D2, sunflower lecithin, natural flavor, honey, ascorbic acid, yeast extract, enzymes.  Contains wheat.

The official American Heart Association "Heart Check" certification listed on Subway's website. Do these ingredients looks healthy to you?

9-GRAIN WHEAT Whole wheat flour, enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yeast, sugar, wheat gluten, contains 2% or less of: calcium carbonate, soybean oil, salt, wheat, rye, yellow corn, oats, triticale, brown rice, barley, flax seed, millet, sorghum, refinery syrup, vitamin D2, sunflower lecithin, natural flavor, honey, ascorbic acid, yeast extract, enzymes. Contains wheat.