Healthy is the new Black

I can’t believe there was a Kickstarter campaign for “Anti-Thigh-Gap” jeans; all I can say is HALLELUJAH!!!
http://youtu.be/DoFrpZ4QXwo

This video gives me confidence that the lunatics who still push the very unhealthy Kate Moss definition of beauty are FINALLY fading into obscurity!!!

Don’t get me wrong, I fully appreciate people who have a naturally small frame like Kate Moss or Keira Knightly. With that said, I’m fed up with that cookie-cutter stereotype still existing. Mindy Kaling is a great example!

Look at these Elle covers:
image
Granted, this happened in March, but it shouldn’t be happening at all!

I’m so excited to help women be mad scientists; I’ll give them as many tools to help them be successful in their life-long experiments with food, exercise routines, menus (I’m officially banning the word diet because it says “die” for crying out loud!!! — menu is intended to reveal your “New Me!”), makeup and fashion that will solidify their Aphrodite Attitudes!

Much Love!

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Russell Simmons Eptiomizes Meditation’s Benefits

"Yoga has really helped me feel more comfortable with the idea of being present, the simpliest idea of spirituality, the power of now." -Russell Simmons

“Yoga has really helped me feel more comfortable with the idea of being present, the simplest idea of spirituality, the power of now.” -Russell Simmons

In my last post, I explained that hypnotherapy, is one form of meditation, and when practiced regularly, it will markedly improve the amount of success you achieve in your personal and professional lives; Russell Simmons epitomizes this concept. I believe it was last Tuesday when I saw Larry King interview Russell on his show Larry King Now.

Larry and Russell were discussing Russell’s new book, Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple, and Russell explained how his discovery of meditation (specifically yoga) changed his life. I’m sure you’ve heard of Russell’s prepaid debit card called the Rush card – ironically, that card bears part of his nickname before he discovered meditation, Uncle Rush! In this clip, Russell tells Larry the story of how exactly he became addicted to the powerful peace of mind meditation gives him and how it’s impacted his career (watch from the beginning until about 7m30s):

Russell Simmons on Yoga and Meditation

What struck me the most is Russell’s cogent explanation of meditation being a practice; it may take a few minutes for our impatient minds to calm down, but once they do, stressful problems are easily solved. We must remember two key points:

  1. The adage that “Rome was not built in a day,” and

  2. the fable of the tortoise and the hare

Faster results and instant gratification is not always best.

Russell Simmons reaped such astounding benefits from the simple practice of meditation, and you can too!!

Now that you know that simple changes in your lifestyle can make a huge difference, I want to share with you the many ways we can transform our own lives by “exploiting” the expectations society places on us. We all have to eat, so why not use the  foods we have (ideally, organic) to continue to build and reinforce our Aphrodite Attitudes? The same idea can be applied for makeup, skin care products and fashion.

The Natural Cure for Diabetes

Reversing Diabetes Naturally

Y’all know I love to give you the scoop on the incredible foods nature has to offer us, and I’ll continue to do so, but I think I’ll start finding other sources of evidence besides articles on the web.

Over the weekend, I went to a screening of a documentary called “Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days,” and to say was good is the understatement of the millennium! For the film, they found 5 subjects with Type 2 diabetes and 1 subject with Type 1.

All of the subjects met with a Dr. Cousens who introduced them to the raw food lifestyle and had them eat only raw for 30 days. As I’m sure you know, it wasn’t an easy thing to do because of all the sugar we Americans have in our diets: the average American consumes approximately 150 pounds of sugar per year!

One man’s story really made me want to break down in tears. Kirt was a 26-year-old African American man from Baltimore, Maryland. He shared a story about how one time he went to the emergency room and the doctors told him his blood sugar level was at 1200; the normal range for blood sugar is between 80-100!!

Kirt impressed me further when he adhered the most to the diet – he gave those 30 days 110% because he knew that that was what was required if he truly wanted to cure his diabetes.

On day one of the program, his blood sugar was about 346 and he was taking 4 to 6 insulin shots a day. By day 30, not only was he able to STOP his insulin, his blood sugar was down to 73! At the end of the movie, Kirt went to his doctor to get the results of some blood work and he was surprised to find that his doctor had reread his file and was going to rediagnose him as a type 1 diabetic and had plans to give him an insulin pump! I’m sure you all know that people with type 1 diabetes produce very little or no insulin – but after a strict 30-day diet of raw foods, his body was totally healed and started making its own insulin!

My moral of the story is, although many doctors mean well, they are definitely undereducated about the power of the food we have available to us. Granted, they take the Hippocratic Oath upon graduating from medical school, but the better musing from Hippocrates is “Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food.”

Cinnamon

cinnamon

Cinnamon is an incredible spice that not only brings zesty flavor to your favorite foods, it’s also believed to be a powerful antidote against multiple ailments, including arthritis, diabetes, headaches/migraines, and LDL (bad cholesterol).

Western medicine has yet to commission detailed studies on how this ancient Chinese herb can improve your health, but there are fabulous resources, such as GreenMedInfo, that focus on alternative medicinal therapies like spices and herbs. GreenMedInfo does a fantastic job of differentiating between the two main variants of cinnamon, Cassia and Ceylon.

Most cinnamon available in the United States is Cassia (milled mainly in China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea and Vietnam); this is the weaker of the two but is still an awesome source of manganese. Manganese helps to build healthy bones and increase your carbohydrate and fat metabolisms. Cassia cinnamon should be avoided if you are taking blood thinners like Coumadin because it contains higher traces of coumarin, a natural blood thinner.

Ceylon comes from India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Brazil and the Caribbean. This variant is considered the “true cinnamon” because it is sweeter, lighter and more refined than cassia.

Long story short, both kinds of cinnamon will adequately flavor the dishes you use it on, but it’s important to heed the warning about cassia consumption.

Scintillating Scallops

seared scallops

When I was a kid, my mother would make flounder and white rice for me. Unfortunately, I was an extremely picky eater back then and I’d refuse to try other kinds of seafood.

Now that I’m older, my desire to experiment has grown exponentially and I want to share with you one of my favorite recipes: Seared Scallops with Herb-Butter Sauce. I’ve tweaked the recipe slightly; you can find the original recipe here.

 For the scallops, you’ll need:

  • 1 lb of dry, large sea scallops

  • 1 Tbsp Smart Balance with Omega-3

  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or flaxseed oil

  • Fresh ground black pepper

For the sauce, you’ll need:

  • 3 Tbsps Smart Balance with Omega-3

  • 1 medium shallot, diced

  • ¼ cup of herbs (I like chives, rosemary and parsley)

  • ¼ cup of your favorite liqueur (I like Kahlúa)

  • ¼ cup lime zest

  • Fresh ground black pepper

Quick tip: Chop your herbs and the shallot for the sauce before you start cooking the scallops.

Cooking directions (scallops):

  1. Rinse scallops in cold water then pat dry with paper towels

  2. Warm a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes

  3. Add oil and Smart Balance to the pan → to test if the mixture is hot enough, run your fingers under some cold water then splash it into the oil and Smart Balance. When it’s hot enough, the cold water will instantly boil off

  4. Pat scallops dry once more before placing them in the pan (spread them around the pan for best cooking results)

  5. Season each scallop with your choice of spices and place in the pan to sear

  6. Let each scallop cook for 2 to 4 minutes until nicely browned (you’ll know it’s ready when it’s mostly firm to the touch)

  7. Flip with tongs and repeat searing on the other side

  8. Transfer the scallops to a warm plate (turn the burner down to medium and let the pan cool for about 45 seconds before starting the sauce

Cooking directions (herb-butter sauce):

  1. Melt 1 Tbsp of Smart Balance in the pan

  2. Add shallots to the pan and sautee for 1-2 minutes

  3. Pour Kahlúa and let it simmer for 1-2 minutes or until it reduces by ½

  4. Mix in herbs and lime zest and reduce heat to low

  5. Add the other 2 Tbsps of Smart Balance to mixture and whisk briskly until it melts completely

  6. Return scallops to the pan and roll them in sauce until warmed through

  7. Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

Sleep and Weight Loss

sleep and eating

We all know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep to let our bodies heal itself from the wear and tear from that day. What we eat impacts how well we sleep.

I’m sure there have been several studies on this, but I like to try things out for myself before I back anything… and those studies are TRUE!!

When I ate junk like soda, Kraft macaroni & cheese, hamburgers, hot dogs, candy, and the like regularly I always had problems falling asleep for more than an hour at a time. Now, that I use simple ingredients in my recipes, I sleep like a baby and I can count on falling asleep at a specific time every night!

I’ve done a little research and apparently all of the sugar and chemicals from the boxed crap we eat keeps us from falling into what science calls “Delta sleep.” WebMD defines “delta sleep” (link here) as a stage in the NREM (non-rapid eye movement) cycle where the body can repair/regenerate tissue, build bones/muscles and strengthen your immune system!

So the next time you feel a little sleepy, listen to your body and take a quick nap!

Want a Healthy and Robust Immune System? Eat Greek Yogurt!

healthy immune system

The past few weeks money has been a little tight and I’ve been eating crappy boxed and processed foods because that’s what I could afford. I will NEVER make that foolhardy choice again!

The first week I bought the boxed/processed foods, I was pretty dismissive because I had finally changed over to a lifestyle where I no longer WANTED to eat things like Kraft Macaroni & Cheese or Oscar Meyer bacon; I preferred Greek yogurt with berries and granola. Boy, did I ever get hit with a metaphorical 2×4!! As one week turned into two weeks and then one month, two months, I got a nice little reminder of why I banished those crappy “foods” from my kitchen. At the beginning of the month, maybe around the 5th or 6th, I started sniffling a little bit and before I knew what hit me, I had my first head cold in two YEARS!!!

Earlier this week, I was able to afford better food and I made sure to buy a huge tub of Greek yogurt because I while I was sick, I found an article that indicated approximately 70% of our immune system is in our digestive tract!

As the old saying goes, “the proof is in the pudding!” and the only word that can describe Greek yogurt is “miracle cure.” That may sound a bit melodramatic, but it’s a perfect fit nonetheless. When my cold was at its worst, I couldn’t keep my head clear for more than 2 or 3 hours (I think I went through two boxes of tissue in one day!). Sleeping was next to impossible – I was lucky to get three straight hours at any given time.

After I bought my tub of Greek yogurt, I splurged and ate about 1½ cups and it took about four hours for my body to start repairing itself. About four days later, it was as if I’d never been sick!