Royal Coco-cacao Smoothie Bowl

Did you know that purple is one of the colors of representing royalty? What better way to start your day than to treat yourself like the queen or king you are! This beautiful bowl, with toppings like coconut and cacao, will leave you feeling full and energized. Ready to eat? Here’s the recipe:

Prep time: 5 minutes

Servings: 1-2

Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links or discount codes, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may make a commission.

Ingredients

4 large strawberries

1/2 cup blueberries

1 cup non-dairy milk (we used hazelnut milk from Elmhurst)

2 tbsp hemp seeds

2 tbsp cacao nibs

2 tbsp shredded coconut

1/2 tbsp chia seeds

Instructions

Blend all ingredients, except shredded coconut and cacao nibs, until desired texture is achieved. Top with shredded coconut and cacao nibs or other favorites.

❄️ Are you Frozen too? ❄️

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One of the great joys of having young kids in the family is letting our own inner child come out to play. With the recent release of Frozen II in theaters, we thought this was the perfect time to relate this to being frozen in our own lives. Elsa the Snow Queen’s super-power is turning objects and people to ice. She can build icy bridges, stop an attack, and probably make ice cream whenever she wants (lucky). But her power has to be controlled. And while Elsa freezes things, we often freeze ourselves.

How we ‘Freeze’ ourselves

How do you relate with being frozen? In what area of life are you stuck? It could be around starting an exercise regimen, decluttering the basement or guest room, addressing the issues in your relationships, writing the book, updating the resume or asking for a raise. It could be in the area of health improvement, where we want to lose weight or become more plant-based, but we just can’t seem to begin or sustain our progress.

And because we are frozen, we just find ways to feel better about it. Sometimes we distract ourselves. Have you ever needed to study for a test and then looked at the messy state of your room and thought to yourself, “there’s no ways I can study in this environment”and then spent your study time detail-cleaning the room? We may distract ourselves with lounging in front of the TV, or spending hours on Facebook or Instagram. Numbing out with sugar, caffeine, smoking, or alcohol are also ways we try to make ourselves feel better about being frozen.

What makes this even worse is we put a layer of shame frosting on top. We start belittling ourselves and ‘wishing’ we were better. “Argh,” we think as we get up from the couch after 4 hours of watching Gypsy Sisters or Netflixing World War II documentaries, “I wish I had more motivation to have exercised today” or “I should have cleaned out the downstairs closet, it’s such a mess.”

Perhaps you can relate to unachieved goals, shame storms, and numbing out. Have you ever wondered what lies beneath?

What causes us to be Frozen

In a word: perfectionism. It sounds kind of beautiful, but it’s actually one of the worst words because of the meaning and effect it has in our lives.

It’s hard to say where our perfectionism comes from, but if you’ve ever grown up hearing someone say to you, “If you can’t do it right; don’t do it at all!,” that could be part of the origin. In essence, we are told that our actions, and even who we are, aren’t worthy unless perfect. What a toxic message to carry around with us in our lives.

Perfectionism tends to either paralyze us into inaction or cause us to go overboard and, consequently, burn out.

Why even start to clean the guest bedroom if we can’t do it ‘perfectly’ and we don’t have the five hours we believe it will take? Well, because you CAN make progress, even with 15 minutes of removing trash, clutter, and boxes. 

Perfectionism with our food usually looks like following a certain diet for a few days or weeks, then falling off the wagon and eating everything in sight. There’s an anti-dote to this that allows for sustainable weight loss; chat with us and find out more.

In short, perfectionism usually causes us to procrastinate, get overwhelmed, and shut-down or ‘freeze’.

What’s the cost of perfectionism? The cost is not getting things done at all, whereas we could have made progress. The cost is our inner peace; we don’t feel at peace when we feel stressed and frustrated by not having the time or ability to do something perfectly. Perfectionism can cost our relationships with other people. If you’ve ever yelled at a child or spouse because of a small mess or because they aren’t cleaning the ‘right’ way (your way) you can see the effect your perfectionism and words have on others. Also, and this is two-fold, if you value keeping your home environment museum-perfect over having your ‘messy’ grandchildren visit or if you feel like you can’t have visitors due to a messy, cluttered environment, your relationships with others will suffer.

Check yourself: next time you find yourself frustrated or overwhelmed by a challenge, look underneath that feeling to see if perfectionism is the undercurrent.

How to get Un-frozen

The power of un-freezing ourselves comes from realizing that progress > perfection. Initially, your belief in that statement will recoil. How could progress be better than that which is perfect? Well, considering the high costs and knowing something will never, ever truly be perfect….progress starts looking really good, right? Excellence, according to dictionary definition is, “the quality of being outstanding or extremely good.” If excellence means that we can take action, feel good about ourselves, and not get stuck, why would anyone choose perfectionism instead? 

A small step, taken consistently and continuously reaching toward our goal is better than no action at all. Perhaps you remember My 30-minute Morning Routine about how many people create obstacles for themselves to workout when 6 minutes of strength-training in your own home can still help you feel better and see results. But if you don’t learn to change your way of thinking, perfectionism will keep you hog-tied and frozen.

In Frozen II, Elsa’s sister, Anna, seems to display and embody more of the element – fire – in this movie. Here’s where we have an answer to thawing ourselves out and taking action. Fire motivates, it stirs passion, and, if uncontrolled, it will burn everything in its path. So the key here is to find your motivation and use it as the fire to propel you towards your goals, but without going overboard and burning out.

Motivation isn’t usually enough though, so consider other ‘hacks’ such as scheduling your workout. The 4 Tips to Fit in Fitness blog is a great place to start. When it comes to decluttering, check out our experience with the Konmari Method for inspiration and ideas to make it easier.

Want to write a book? Just start writing, imperfectly. A typo is not the end of the world; besides, there are opportunities to review and make edits (or have others do it!). Allowing perfectionism to rule in this area of your life means your story is never shared, in-print or online.

What’s one area of your life where you’re willing to become ‘unfrozen’ and warm up your ‘fire’ to take action?

CNBC: Allergies & Gluten

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We recently had the pleasure of educating the public about the top food allergies as well as the difference between gluten intolerance or sensitivity and celiac disease in a segment this past weekend.

The segment aired on Saturday, October 26th on CNBC but you can watch them on the Advancements website and Vimeo. Learn more about this important topic with these additional questions and answers:

Q: How are food allergies and food sensitivities becoming a growing public health concern?

A: Food allergies and food sensitivities are becoming a growing public health concern because of how it affects us in healthcare expenditures, our communities, schools and even in our own homes if a family member or friend has food allergies and sensitivities.

Food allergies can cause anaphylactic shock and are a huge concern. The ‘big 8’ allergens in the U.S. are milk and eggs, fish and shellfish, tree nuts and peanuts, wheat and soy. In other countries, including the United Kingdom, they have even more common allergies including lupin, sulfites, and celery.

Q: How does gluten affect a person with celiac disease versus one with a sensitivity or intolerance to gluten?

A: In someone with celiac disease, eating gluten causes the body to attack and destroy the villi in the small intestine, causing nutrient deficiencies and gastrointestinal issues including diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, and weight loss. Even skin rashes, lactose intolerance, infertility and bone loss can be symptoms.

For a person with gluten sensitivity, the symptoms can be similar to the ones present with celiac disease minus the damage to the villi of the small intestine.

Q: What are the benefits of a gluten-free diet to those who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivities?

A: Following a lifelong gluten-free diet is imperative and the only treatment (thus far), for those with celiac disease. The good news is that the villi of the small intestine can heal and one can absorb more nutrients, have a decrease or elimination of symptoms, and have a reduced risk for colon cancer.

The benefit of a gluten-free diet to those with gluten sensitivity can be a lessening or even elimination of symptoms including skin rashes, headaches and migraines, bloating, stomach pains, and fatigue.

Q: Who else can benefit from following a gluten-free diet?

A: Some people with autism, eczema, multiple sclerosis, and chronic fatigue syndrome report feeling better when eliminating gluten from their diets. It is possible that they could have a gluten sensitivity and this may help explain why their symptoms improve on a gluten-free diet.

Also, some people have gone on a gluten-free diet as a means for weight loss, but it is not necessary nor recommended.

 

London Calling: Food & Fun

Last month we finally went on an intentional vacation to Amsterdam and London. We say ‘intentional’ because sometimes our vacation days in Columbus turn into work days (reading/writing about nutrition). We love what we do but, in order for the brain and body to fully recharge, sometimes you have to put the phone on ‘airplane mode’ and take a flight to explore another part of the world. Should you get the chance to travel to London, here are some must-eats and must-sees:

Restaurants

Zizzi

Address: 194 Earls Court Road, SW5 9QF

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The receptionist at our Kensington hotel suggested this place, and we were initially skeptical for two reasons: it was a chain and it was Italian food. It was hard to believe that we would find gluten-free options, but their online menu sold us. Vegan, non-dairy, and gluten-free options?! Amazing. They had delicious, thin-crust gluten-free pizzas that Italy itself would be proud of! With so many toppings and combinations offered, the thought crossed our minds to order two (one for breakfast). There was wine, the vegan ‘Zucca’ pizza, and, of course, three scoops of chocolate and salted caramel gelato!!

Squirrel

Address: 11 Harrington Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 3ES

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Vegan and gluten-free eaters of the world, rejoice!  Squirrel offers a treehouse-like interior and a variety of delicious plant-based options (menu here). You can order coffee, smoothies, juice, baked goods, and more. They are very careful about 14 different food allergies, including celery, mustard, lupin and sulfites.  This plant-forward establishment offers a diversity of meal options ranging from chilis and soups, salads, bowls, and fancy avocado toasts. We chose chili served on a sweet potato and chose a fresh juice called “Bushy Tailed.” The squirrel-forest motif carried through the whole restaurant, including the bathrooms, and added to the pure delight of the tasty meal.

In the name of research, we came back here for breakfast and were very pleasantly surprised to find gluten-free pancakes with nuts and other toppings as options. Grab a quick meal and fresh juice…and rejoice!

Note: Remember that ‘rocket’ is  arugula in British English.

Dishoom

Address: 4 Derry St, Kensington, London W8 5SE

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If you’ve perused our recipes tab and stumbled upon our Chickpea and Cashew Korma or Spicy Indian Dal, you may get the idea that we love Indian food…and that we do.

Because of the many positive reviews about this restaurant, we made a reservation before ever boarding the plane to Europe. Trust us, you’ll want to reserve a table and skip the line when it comes to this outstanding restaurant. In a beautifully decorated Art Deco-style restaurant, you will dine on the most delectable dishes. There are vegan and gluten-free options that don’t feel like an after-thought. The dishes are meant to be shared and everything works well together. We started with a Peacock Cider while others at the table enjoyed pale ale beer and tea. The appetizers and entrees rolled in soon after. Omnivores will love the Chicken Ruby or Tikka and everyone will likely enjoy the Fried Green Chillies and Bowl of Greens. We also ordered biryani and, surprisingly, jackfruit is an option! Of course, the gluten-tolerant may want to indulge in the garlicky, chewy naan. To finish the meal, we had a creme brulee rice pudding and a Chocolate Chai that made our eyes pop with the joy of surprise – it tasted like Christmas in a cup! Since then we’ve been aiming to re-create it almost every morning.

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Of course we had to try so many different entrees, drinks, and desserts in order to do our proper research for you, that we had picked up four extra pounds of ‘luggage’ around our abdomen. The sacrifices we make *sigh* :D.

See the Sights

Definitely check out Hyde Park, it’s London’s equivalent to New York’s Central Park and, inside, you’ll find Kensington Palace, the Sunken Garden, and the Serpentine, a memorial to Princess Diana. Also, there’s the Albert Memorial. A short walk can bring you to Buckingham Palace!

Big Ben was under construction at the time of our visit so we moved on to London Tower (London Bridge was not as exciting), after playing in the fountains with other kids.

Because Mr. Chef and I had so enjoyed watching the Mr. Selfridge series on Netflix, we had to go to the aforementioned department store once in London. There we found lots of designer clothing and items and another floor held a food court with an grocery area full of culinary delights – candies, jams, biscuits, teas, macarons- and another meal or so there. Bring your wallet, it’s not a discount store.

Of course, just walking and exploring is exciting – you’ll see the red London double-decker buses, the Shakespeare-related Globe Theater, the London Eye, cool small cars (two can fit in one parking spot!). To help off-set our eating, we walked 20 miles on the Sunday before our flight back to Amsterdam. Bring comfortable walking shoes and make sure to visit this charming city sometime soon.

In the Client Spotlight!

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“Fall 2018: While eating my second to last of an entire package of cookies (chocolate macadamia nut I believe they were) and calling it lunch, the thought that I love sugar a little too much once again crossed my mind. Those tasty treats also reminded me of my life-long turbulent love affair with sugar… remember when my dear love sugar gave me diabetes for an anniversary present about 10 years ago! While eating that last cookie, I pulled up an article that listed the characteristics of a sugar addict and I think I nailed 5 out of 6! Maybe… maybe now is the time I can do something to gain control over what looks more and more like a real addiction. Oh yeah, also around this time seemingly in the midst of a complicated (aren’t they all) personal low period, just to bring more fun to the party…

Research led me to One Bite Wellness and Adrienne. Conversed with her about the hypnotic hold cookies (my drug of choice!) have had upon me since birth! Bragged that I am a certified master cookie enthusiast, and that with a small taste I can tell where the ingredients of a finely-baked cookie were grown. I learned from Adrienne how to collect data (this appealed to my scientific mindset) to help more clearly identify patterns, issues and barriers. She helped me see in a deep and meaningful way… It’s ALL about the connections and it goes waaaay beyond food! As part of my work with Adrienne, I now see my life as many pieces of a puzzle (about 10,000 I’m thinking), with the Diet/Nutrition puzzle piece being far larger, more central and more complex than I’d ever imagined, and… it connects with damn near ALL the other puzzle pieces!

Spring 2019: So there I was… standing on a digital scale in my closet looking down at a weight I haven’t seen since the 10th grade (that’s 37 years ago if you’re curious)! A fun moment for sure, made all the sweeter by feeling that this has been accomplished in-part through knowledge based healthier eating and not a short-term diet. Working with Adrienne, I had the benefit of not having to go it alone while working through this difficult process. Adrienne is a trusted resource on call… a provider of both intellectual and emotional support.

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Had to get photographic evidence of that moment in case no one believed me!”

– Steven H., Columbus, OH


Note: Steven has gone on to lose an extra 4 pounds, as of our last meeting…but weight isn’t the whole story! He’s feeling better in many areas of his life that nutrition alone couldn’t touch.

As we’ve said before, it is a great honor to guide our clients from a place where they feel stuck, addicted, and in pain, or feeling like something is ‘off’ to where they feel light, whole, confident, and vibrant! Our long-standing mission in life is to help others heal and reach their potential. Thank you, Steven, for trusting us to guide you on this path of total transformation.

Spring Mediterranean Salad

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The Mediterranean Diet features beneficial fats, fiber, protein and a variety of vitamins and minerals which help keep us healthy. Many studies suggest that the Mediterranean way of eating can improve heart health. Plus it’s easy to follow at any meal – breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Salads deserve a special celebration this month because they are an excellent vehicle for getting in our greens, veggies, healthy fats and protein sources. They don’t have to be boring either! To help create variety, consider choosing a different protein to add in for your salads (i.e. chickpeas, salmon, hardboiled eggs, steak strips, nuts & seeds). Another idea is to choose a cuisine to inspire you. If you like Greek food, make a Greek salad; or try a Mexican, Italian, or French one.

By getting in a salad on a regular basis, you will be getting more nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants which help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, improve digestion, help with weight maintenance, and boost immunity! Here’s an template for a Mediterranean Salad; feel free to add items to make it your own!

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Serves 1-2 people
Prep time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients

Salad
2-4 cups of salad greens
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 sliced cucumber
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup olives
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 avocado, sliced or 1/4 cup hummus

Dressing
2 tbsp olive oil
2tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Rinse salad mix and place in medium-sized bowl; add other salad ingredients. To make the dressing, add ingredients into a bottle and shake well before pouring over the salad. Store in the fridge to keep fresh. Enjoy the fresh, juiciness of this salad!

Recipe: Avocado Egg Salad

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We’re celebrating National Egg Salad Week by sharing two delicious recipes – Avocado Egg Salad (made without mayonnaise!) AND an egg-less, vegan version with chickpeas. Pull those leftover, hard-boiled eggs from the fridge and let’s get started!

Avocado Egg Salad (vegan optional)
Serves 2-3
Prep time: 8 minutes

4 organic large eggs (substitute a 15oz can of drained chickpeas for eggs to make vegan)
1/2 avocado, pitted and chopped
1 tsp mustard
1/8 cup green onions, chopped
1/8 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar or lime juice (helps prevent browning of avocado)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dill weed
Pinch of paprika
Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

Mash avocado in a medium bowl then repeat mashing when you add the hard-boiled eggs (or chickpeas) to the bowl. Mix all other ingredients into the bowl, except paprika.

Egg salad is best served chilled. Stick mixture in the fridge for at least 1/2 hr before garnishing with paprika and enjoying on your favorite bread, on top of a bed of greens, or in a wrap.

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The 7-day Breakfast Experiment

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At the Body Mindfulness presentation we gave at VegFest this past weekend, we spoke about how to bring awareness to both our lifestyle choices and to our plates. By listening to the messages the body is sending us, we can identify issues (and solutions!) related to digestive, blood sugar, and stress woes. Are you answering the calls your body makes?

Because what we eat first thing in the morning can impact our energy levels, sugar cravings, digestion, and more, we suggest you try a fun Breakfast Experiment. Consider keeping record in a notepad, calendar, or on your computer. This exercise is a powerful tool to bring awareness to your eating patterns. Here’s an example:

Day 1: scrambled eggs
Day 2: fruit smoothie
Day 3: oatmeal
Day 4: boxed breakfast cereal
Day 5: coffee and bagel
Day 6: whole wheat pancakes
Day 7: avocado toast (toast with mashed avocado on top)

Feel free to change this experiment to fit your diet with vegan, gluten-free, or other appropriate options. If you’re diabetic or worried about becoming so, consider checking your blood sugar after each of these meals and noticing any differences in daily measurement.

On each day, you’ll want to record the food you ate, how you felt (physically or emotionally, i.e. “felt energized!” or “started getting heartburn”) a few minutes after eating and then again 2-3 hours later (i.e. “had tons of energy and was productive but then dropped, craving coffee” or “felt really full, almost forgot to eat lunch!”)

Your job, as a breakfast experiment scientist, is not to negatively judge yourself or your food choices. Objectively recording the information can assist you in making connections between what you’ve eaten and how you feel – both physically and emotionally.

This exercise may reveal digestive upset or an intolerance to certain foods. A food sensitivity or allergy may impact your level of inflammation and symptoms. Contact your integrative nutritionist to discuss what you discover and to get the support you need to experience a higher level of vitality and wellness!

Bad to the Bone- 6 Tips to Prevent Osteoporosis.

photo source & permission from:  American Recall Center

photo source & permission from: American Recall Center

Osteoporosis is a ‘silent’ disease in which the bones become weak and brittle; unfortunately, it usually only becomes evident when one fractures a bone. One reason why it is paramount to avoid such fractures is because it can involve surgical replacements that can be defective and cause needless pain. It’s better to protect yourself by learning about risk factors and making diet and lifestyle changes.

The disease has quite a few risk factors:

  • being female
  • age, older age increases risk of osteoporosis
  • family history of osteoporosis and/or fractures
  • having a small, thin body frame
  • being caucasian or asian puts one at higher risk
  • low estrogen for women, low testosterone for men
  • having an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa
  • poor diet & lifestyle habits
  • certain medications can increase risk of osteoporosis
  • lack of exercise

Here are 6 tips you can follow to help protect yourself against the disease and healthily age:

1. Eat your greens! Leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and swisschard are packed with bone-building calcium and vitamin K. Try some spinach in your morning smoothie or mustard greens chopped up in your favorite chili.

2. Avoid smoking & drinking alcohol – both are detrimental to general health and to your bones.

3. Get your vitamin D. This nutrient helps calcium’s absorption in the body, preventing your bones from being fragile or misshapen (think rickets). Even a small amount of sun exposure a few times a week can help your body produce vitamin D, according to the National Institutes of Health. During the winter months, consider a high-quality vitamin D supplement.

4. Kick soda to the (trash) can! You know that cola is detrimental to your teeth, but it can also harm your bones. Studies have suggested a link between soda and lower bone density. Some experts accuse the phosphoric acid in cola being responsible for leaching calcium from bones. Others say caffeine can lower the absorptive capacity of calcium. In any case, it’s best to focus on hydrating yourself with water.

5. Eat more nuts! Not only do nuts contain healthy fat, they also contain the calcium and protein essential for strong bones. Protein deficiency, particularly in older adults, can also cause a loss of bone mass. Consider adding in almonds, walnuts, pistachios and some Brazil nuts.

6. Body movement builds bones! Strength-training can assist you in building muscle, losing weight, and creating stronger bones. A gym membership isn’t required for walking, jogging, push-ups, squats, or climbing stairs – so feel free to incorporate this into your daily life and in your home. With these weight-bearing exercises you can strengthen your bone tissue and maintain bone density. Additionally, exercising can help with balance and coordination both of which can prevent falls and fractures.

Remember, we start losing bone mass in our early 30s so do your best to create a strong, osteoporosis-free future!