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3 Breathing Practices that Will Revolutionize Your Life

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The practice of yoga aims to harness prana, our essential life-force, through various techniques. Pranayama is one of these techniques, using breath to harness the power of prana. Pranayama has been used for thousands of years to energize, calm, and invigorate the body and mind, benefits you can tap into with some key techniques and regular practice. It can be difficult to master, but it’s accessible to everybody with a bit of dedication. And with physical well-being, mental clarity, stress relief, and weight loss among its many benefits, there are some powerful incentives to work at it!

Before trying out the 3 pranayama techniques listed below, go through this checklist of key things to keep in mind in your practice:

Healthy and Spring-y Green Bean Casserole

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I don’t know about you but I’m so ready for spring. This has been one long, cold winter! I know it’s still early in the season and a winter chill is still in the air, but some early spring produce has already arrived, and I’m taking full advantage!

Green beans are part of that early spring bounty, which makes March the perfect time for a good ol’ green bean casserole! Sure, it might remind you of Thanksgiving, but I think it’s also an excellent “halfway” recipe (that is, halfway between winter and spring). It’s warm and filling, yet features one of spring’s star vegetables!

The only catch? Most green bean casseroles are not in the least bit healthy. Especially if you’re going the classic cream of mushroom soup route…eek! Luckily, I’ve got you covered with a deliciously healthy version of this traditional dish. Give it a try, and I promise you’ll be cooking up green bean casserole from now ‘til November!

Healthy Spring Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients

5 Simple Juices and Smoothies to Help You Detox

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On a daily basis, your body is bombarded with huge amounts of toxins. From your beauty products, environmental toxins, processed foods, cigarette smoke, cleaning products, bus fumes, alcohol -- you get the point. The good news is you can reduce the toxic buildup in your body by simply detoxing a bit every day.

Your liver will detoxify what it can, and whatever it can't break down it'll store it there and in your tissues throughout your body. This creates the perfect environment for inflammation and illness in the body. These five simple juices and smoothies will provide your body with the vital nutrients and fiber needed to assist in the detoxification and elimination process.

Morning Energizer

Ingredients:

  • 8-ounce warm water
  • 1 tablespoon raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all ingredients in a bottle and drink up.

Apple Zinger

Ingredients:

  • 2 apples
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 beet, cut into cubes
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • 1 inch thumb ginger
  • 1 carrot

Juice all ingredients and enjoy.

Tangy Veggies

Ingredients:

2 Fabulous Recipes for Fresh Turmeric Root (Our New Fave Superfood)

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About a year ago, when I was shopping at my local health food store, I spotted fresh turmeric root. I was intrigued, and bought some, not quite knowing what to do with it. I had long been using powdered turmeric in recipes, but had never encountered the fresh turmeric rhizome before. I quickly called a friend, who happens to be a professional chef, and got some recipe ideas. I found that I greatly preferred the flavor of the fresh root to its dried counterpart—fresh turmeric still has the spice’s peppery flavor, but none of the bitterness.

If you’re new to turmeric, here’s the quick rundown: it’s a peppery, somewhat bitter spice, common in Indian curries, that imparts a beautiful yellow color to foods. It’s also known as a wonder spice all over the world because of its many health benefits, including the powerful antioxidant curcumin that fights cancer, wards off Alzheimer’s, and eases digestion.  

How Do I Use Fresh Turmeric?

Ask Health Coach Maria: Do I Have to Eat Healthy if I Exercise?

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Hi, I’m Maria Marlowe, a Certified Health Coach and author of Detox without the Deprivation. This is my weekly “Ask Health Coach Maria” series, in which I answer frequently asked questions that relate to health and wellness. Have a question? Ask me here. 

I’ll give you the bad news right up front: While working out does wonders for your body, it unfortunately does not give you a free pass at the buffet table. Bad eating habits will not only sabotage your overall health, they’ll sabotage your workout, too! 

I have had many clients come to me who spend hours at the gym each week, frustrated that they’re not as firm, fit, or toned as they’d like to be. When I ask what they’re eating, their responses are usually preceded by, “Oh, but l work it off at the gym.” 

3 Tips to Erase Dark Under Eye Circles

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It’s tough to feel ready to take on the day when you have a duo of dark circles that prevent you from looking bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. And it’s beyond distressing when your under-eye region remains raccoon-ish even after getting a full night’s rest. Luckily, there are plenty of natural ways to banish puffiness and discoloration problems under your precious peepers.

Dark and puffy under eye circles may be caused by everything from allergies to a good tearjerker movie to a pesky cold, a sleepless night, or even a hormonal imbalance or nutritional deficiency. For some of us, our gene pool is to blame for these unsightly shadows and bags. Whatever the cause, if you’ve been a slave to your concealer stick, try out these easy, all-natural quick fixes to brighten your eyes and get back your glow!

Natural Oils: Send under-eye bags packing by placing a few drops of coconut or almond oil on them. Massage it gently into your skin and sweep upwards with your fingertips until it’s completely absorbed. This will boost blood circulation to the area and may work to lighten dark circles as well as soothe, illuminate, and moisturize this thin and sensitive layer of skin.

8 Mindful Eating Musts for Physical and Emotional Health

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How is your relationship with food? No matter the answer, you’re going to spend a substantial portion of your life preparing, eating, and thinking about your meals, so it’s in your best interest to devote time to maintaining and improving this relationship.

We all know the expression “you are what you eat,” but it’s becoming increasingly clear that you are also the way that you feel about what you eat. If you’re not happy with something in your life, be it your physical health, mental clarity, or body image, you may be surprised to learn that both Western medical science and world spiritual leaders agree on one counterintuitive point: the solution could lie less in what you are eating than in how you are eating it. No matter the nutritional content of a meal, one that is fully experienced in a spirit of joy and gratitude will provide better nourishment than a meal forced or consumed absent-mindedly. After all, the human body is an amazing piece of engineering, able to convert food into energy, vitality, and strength, and it does this best when your mind and body are working together.

Cinnamon Glazed Walnuts

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Mmmm….I love nuts.  What’s not to love, really?  Delicious, portable, lots of variety…And of course, walnuts have nutritional benefits, with some ALA, which is a kind of omega 3 fatty acid.

And I’ve always been a fool for nuts with cinnamon and sugar.  So I’ve played around with a few variations, and really adore these gluten-and sugar-free vegan beauties, because I wanted to make them using coconut palm. I just adore the flavor! And, of course, part of the fun is getting the piece that’s got the caramelized sugar clump–I’m sure you understand.  The only hard part is not eating too many…

I’ve made a small batch because it’s key to have a skillet that conducts heat well, and my All-Clad is pretty small.  So funny how I revere certain pieces of kitchenware–ya know, the Vitamix, my All Clad skillet, a lot of my mini-bake pans…the older I get, the more expensive my toys, it seems!  But I digress.

Healthy Indulgence: Sweet Potato Fries

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I don’t even know where to begin with my love for sweet potatoes, but it’s become clear that I have a serious obsession. I eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and always seem to find new ways to prepare them. Whether it’s atop a delicious salad like this one or baked as a side for my main course, there’s always room for this root veggie on my plate.

Not only are sweet potatoes delicious, but they’re loaded with nutrients that keep your body fueled and nourished all day long. For example, sweet potatoes have 7 grams of fiber. This is nearly twice the amount found in a regular potato. In addition to fiber, they’re packed with antioxidants in the form of vitamin A or beta-carotene. This vitamin is useful in cancer prevention and protects your skin from sun damage.

Another reason I love sweet potatoes is they curb my cravings for sweets that have high sugar content and processed sugar. Other naturally sweet vegetables that have the same effect include corn, carrots, and beets. By adding these types of vegetables into my diet I’ve noticed a significant decline in my “need” for a daily dessert.

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