Supplements 101

So many of my clients and followers ask me about supplements; there are so many supplements out there to take; so how do you know which are right for you?

Supplements are a great tool for boosting your overall health since they are a quick and easy way to add essential vitamins and minerals to our diet…

Supplements are also great for coping with illness and speeding up recovery..

So what’s the catch?

Not all supplements are made the same way and not everyone needs supplements. I highly suggest talking with your doctor about what supplements are right for you, if any at all!

Most vitamins are manufactured in bulk and unfortunately contain additives and fillers. I recommend doing some research before buying vitamins and not being afraid to spend a little more money on something so important to your health.

Okay so how do you know if you need supplements?

If you eat a relatively healthy diet most of the time you are probably getting the essential vitamins and minerals – it can’t hurt to take a multivitamin but you might not need to. To determine what other supplements your body needs my first advice would be to start listening to it. Journal your emotional and physical feelings each day for a week or two; scribble down when you feel tired, weak, have a breakout, etc and then talk to your doctor to see if you are deficient of any key nutrients.

As a health coach, I personally take and recommend the following supplements for everyone daily:

Probiotic!!

  • Probiotics are SO important – these days a good amount of our food is processed or contains hidden additives and even if you eat really clean now, you probably grew up eating macaroni and cheese, pizza, pop tarts, etc. All of this takes a toll on your gut and you might not even realize it. Taking a probiotic truly cleans up your insides and regulates your body again. Trust me on this one – give it a week and you will notice a difference!

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My favorite = Garden of Life RAW Probiotic Line

Vitamin D (only in the winter months)

  • Sunshine truly makes you happy, am I right? Well in the late fall and winter months your body rarely sees the sun which is a huge source of vitamin D for your body. Taking a Vitamin D supplement in the winter is an easy fix to keep your body feeling great, positive, and you bet, happier. My favorite brand is Garden of Life  – they make both a pill and spray.

Vitamin C (during cold season and especially when you have a cold coming on)

  • This one is a no brainer! Vitamin C is the best choice when you are trying to avoid, prevent, or cope with a cold or illness. Eating foods rich in Vitamin C is always the first choice but adding in a Vitamin C supplement during the flu and cold season really gives your immune system a boost and decreases the likelihood of catching the next gross virus floating around town. My favorite brand is Garden of Life – they make both a pill and spray.

Protein & Collagen Peptides

  • Protein supplements are great if used on occasion and are all natural, no additive products. Protein drinks, smoothies, etc are amazing for post workout snacks and meals. When it comes to Protein I LOVE Garden of Life products, Naked products, and Vital Proteins.
  • Collagen Peptides – what are they? Collagen Peptides are short chain amino acids naturally derived from pasture-raised, grass-fed collagen protein. Collagen peptides contain the same amino acids as gelatin which are identical to the protein found in skin, nails, hair, bones, cartilage, and joints – meaning all of these areas of the body benefit wonderfully from adding these amino acids into your diet. Vital Proteins products are the best and have products that combine protein with the collagen peptides – making it a two in one practical product

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My Favorite = Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

Why Everyone Should Adapt a Meatless Monday

Have you adopted the Meatless Monday trend? This simple lifestyle change can have drastic improvements on your overall health. Plant proteins (yes, plants DO contain lots of protein) differ largely from animal proteins that we tend to over consume. Here is just a high level list of the amazing affects of swapping out some animal protein for plant sources:

1. Increases Life Expectancy
2. Reduces risk of heart disease and diabetes
3. Reduces risk of certain cancers
4. Prevents long term weight gain

What is the major reasoning for the first 4?
Plant Protein sources contain the same levels of protein as your animal sources do, but they contain significantly lower levels of fat and no cholesterol. Plant proteins also contain higher levels of vitamins and minerals you do not consume while eating animal proteins.

5. Better for the Environment
6. Easier on your wallet

Below is a great protein packed salad recipe to make for your family. It contains one of my new favorite products; Ancient Harvest Lentil & Quinoa Pasta. This pasta has two ingredients: Lentils & Quinoa…literally that is it. It is an amazing way to add protein into your diet AND get the great taste and sensation of eating a pasta dish without the gluten and carbohydrates from regular pasta. Just one serving of this pasta contains 14 grams of protein!!

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The other ingredients in the salad can easily be swapped for other vegetables; especially as the seasons change to make a great meal all year round:

Summer Arugula Pasta Salad Recipe

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Ingredients:
– Arugula (1-2 bags)
– Cherry Tomatoes (2 cups, sliced in half)
– 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes
– Ancient Harvest Lentil & Quinoa Pasta
– Onion (1/2, sliced)
– 2 tbs olive oil (plus more for dressing)
– 2 tbs minced garlic
– Parmesan Cheese
optional : 1/2 – full avocado diced in cubes

Directions:
1. Cook the Ancient Harvest Pasta as directed on the box. Once finished and drained, rinse with cold water and let cool on the counter.
2. While the pasta is cooling, turn a skillet to medium heat and add two tbs of olive oil, two tbs of minced garlic, and the sliced onion. Heat for 10-15 minutes or until the onions are cooked and caramelized.
3. Place your arugula, sliced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, onions, pasta, and Parmesan cheese in a large salad bowl and toss. Drizzle olive oil and white vinegar and toss again. Optional: top with diced avocado.

Enjoy 🙂

Easy & Healthy Snack Recipe

Snacks are always one of the biggest struggles for people who try to eat healthy and/or are looking to lose weight. Here is an easy and very satisfying snack that can also be used as an appetizer with friends & family. This recipe contains two of my favorite foods that have amazing nutritional value; beets & sweet potatoes.

Health Benefits of Beets:

1. FULL of vitamins & minerals: high in vitamin C, fiber, and potassium just to name a few.

2. Detoxifying: contain betalin pigments which break down toxins in your blood and liver.

3. Anti-Inflammatory: contain a nutrient called betaine which helps protects cells from environmental stress, help fight inflammation, and protect internal organs.

4. Lower your blood pressure (literally, instantly): the occurring nitrates in beets are converted into nitric oxide when digested which helps to relax and dilate your blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.

Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes:

1. Fat free, low sodium and much lower in calories than a white potato

2. Great source of fiber and work well to aid in digestion problems.

3. Packed with vitamins & minerals: Large source of potassium, magnesium, iron, vitmains A, B6 and C just to name a few.

4. Great source of beta beta carotene and other carotenoids. These help strengthen eyesight and boost our immunity to disease. They are also known to help fight off cancer as well as protect us from the effects of aging.

5. Great source of natural sugars. These sugars are released slowly into the body during digestion which allows the body to have a great balanced energy and work to regulate blood sugar levels.

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Beet & Sweet Potato Chips

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Peel your beets and sweet potatoes to remove skin if you wish
  • Using a mandolin or a sharp knife cut the beets and sweet potatoes into small slices
    • Sometimes it is easier to boil your beets/sweet potatoes for a few minutes to soften them before cutting if you do not have good utensils
  • Spray a lined baking sheet with coconut or olive oil and place each slice down with as little overlapping as possible
  • Re-spray the tops of the vegetables with coconut or olive oil and sprinkle garlic powder, rosemary, and a little sea salt over the slices
  • Roast in the oven for about 20-30 minutes or until crispy. You may want to switch to broil for the last few minutes to get them extra crunchy.

You can eat these chips by themselves, use them to make nachos, or add a side dip of mashed avocado or guacamole to enjoy them with 🙂

The Best Supplement: Vitamin L


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Ever heard of Vitamin L? Probably not, but you should be getting a daily dose of it.

Vitamin L stands for Vitamin “Love.” Sound corny? It really isn’t. Love doesn’t refer just to relationships with your significant others and spouses it represents so much more than that. There are lots of types of love and ways to feel love. Serious health studies show that a lack in Vitamin L leads to deficiencies in your overall health and well-being. A lack of love is what can and most of the time lead you to make those unhealthy choices.

Here are a few ways to get your daily does of vitamin L:

  • Self-love (Most Important) = loving yourself unconditionally! Rid yourself from any negative comments about your physical or emotional state. Embrace the positives and focus your energy around the good in your life.
  • Love for Family & Friends = reach out to your family and friends and let them know how much you mean to them…more often! Set up some quality time with a family or friend you haven’t seen in a while.
  • Love in a Relationship = slow down and spend a night with your significant other that has no distractions. Go out to eat without your cell phones or stay in and turn of the TV. Plan a date that is fun for both of you and allows you to unwind from your stressful week.
  • Feeling of Love = you get a feeling of love when you do things you love. Make your favorite food, go take your favorite yoga class to unwind, take a long walk in the sunshine, or simply take a nap. All these things tie back to self-love and self-care which make you feel more energized and happy.

Vitamin L is the easiest (and cheapest) supplement you can take each day. Make a point to do something you love every day; maybe even write it down or take a picture. Sometimes you are so busy you really forget to do something so little but SO valuable.

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