Healthy Lifestyle

3 Life-Changing Tips on How-To Believe In Yourself (A How-To on Training Your Thoughts To Support Your Dreams)

Arguably, believing in yourself is the number one requirement to accomplishing anything in your life. If you never believe in yourself, you’ll never take action, and if you never take action, things stay the same, you stay the same.

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Believing in yourself means changing the broken record of sabotaging thoughts going through your mind. To change your thoughts you must first be aware of them and the effect they have on your reality.

The past year has brought tons of changes in my life. More importantly, I finally took action on things/dreams/goals I’ve had for years. How did I do it? I got sick and tired of waiting. I finally understood that no one and nothing will come into your life and just tell you, you’re good enough. And even if they do, if you don’t believe it for yourself, it’ll never stick. So, to do things in life, make changes, reach for dreams, you have to, must, first believe in yourself and believe you’re worthy.

I’ve included 3 life-changing tips on how to, finally, believe in yourself.

Rather than being your thoughts and emotions, be the awareness behind them.
— Eckhart Tolle

Tip Number 1: Practice Thought Awareness

Consciousness of your thoughts is huge. It is so big that this one tip could change everything in your life. Eckhart Tolle is an incredible resource to dig deep into thought awareness. He explains how to garner this awareness and listen to your thoughts. He has taught me to become the objective observer of my thoughts. Once you start to become aware of your thoughts, you can start to question them. Somewhere in your upbringing, history, or experiences, you may have been told things about yourself that stuck with you. Maybe you failed at something or were picked on for one particular thing as a child and it stuck with you. When you have to overcome fear and begin to believe yourself as worthy of a goal or a positive change in your life, you have to address these thought patterns that can most often prevent us from growing.

A great way to increase this awareness and work on this is this simple meditation/journaling exercise.

  1. Find a pen and paper and have them near you. Find a comfortable seat, and close your eyes.

  2. Begin to tune into your breath. Focus on the air moving in your nose and slowly releasing out your nose. Bring your focus to your belly as it rises and falls with each breath.

  3. Let your breathing maintain its natural rhythm as you begin to bring your awareness to your thoughts.

  4. Be patient with yourself and imagine yourself as an objective observer inside your head.

  5. As thoughts spring up into your awareness, acknowledge their presence, and detach or disengage from any involvement, judgment or reaction to them.

  6. Begin to turn inward and pose the question, “who am I?”

  7. Listen for the response. Bring your awareness to the back and forth within your mind. Maybe your thoughts are positive, confident, and empowering and then somewhere in your mind those empowering thoughts are shut down or rejected.

  8. Just listen. Follow up with questions such as “What am I good at?”, “How can I serve?”

  9. Again, listen to the back-and-forth.

  10. Open your eyes and write down what came up. All that came up even if it was conflicting or contradictory.

If you are feeling emotions that rise up unexpectedly or that you can’t seem to process, this is a great exercise to continue doing. Meditate on questions you need answered and get to the root of your emotions as if they’re simply symptoms to an underlying thought pattern or reaction to a current situation. This is how to learn from yourself.

Tip Number Two: Suspend Belief and Talk-Back

This tip can feel quite silly to begin with but this is a process not a quick fix. Once you are aware of the thought patterns in your mind you must then begin the work on addressing them. The first part is to suspend the belief of the thought. So many of us believe what our minds tell us. We forget we are not the thoughts but the observer of the thoughts and we believe. That belief carries us through life as probably one of the most significant influencers on our decisions. Our decisions make our reality. So, to begin, you must challenge the thoughts that don’t serve you. Why do I say “suspend belief”? Why can’t we just not believe them? Well, I personally have found it’s just not that easy. Sometimes these thought patterns have been ingrained in our thinking for decades. Our mind creates a cozy little home for thoughts that have been around for decades and it takes a bit more work and time to undo that.

So, once the thought that does not serve you comes into your awareness, tell yourself that just for this moment or this day you will not believe it. Say to yourself, “that’s not true” or “that’s not real” or “(insert thought) is not really me.”

Secondly, talk back to yourself. Develop a manifesting (present tense) mantra. Maybe if your sabotaging thought is “I can’t exercise” your manifesting mantra to talk back is “I am strong and healthy.”

Continue this process of suspending the belief of the thought that doesn’t serve you and countering it with the manifesting mantra.

Tip Number Three: Embrace Authenticity - Be Courageous Enough to Show Up As Yourself

Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.
— Brene Brown

The last tip is pretty tough. But that’s why the title says “life-changing”. To be authentic takes courage. I love this Brene Brown quote because she hits on a very important part of this. It’s a daily practice. It doesn’t just happen once and you never have to work at it again. Once you bring an awareness into your life about the stories in your head about who you are, you’ll get to know yourself better. You’ll also get to know the story you’ve told yourself. The most important part of this is simply understanding this one truth - you are not that story. So start living by that truth. You are not that story you’ve believed. Once you detach your identity from the “story” you’ve convinced yourself you were, begin to build your authentic self back piece by piece. It can be a bit unsettling to have to stop believing in an identity you’ve clung to for years. So be patient and know this is part of the process. As you grow into and find that authentic self, that place of true joy, know that it will cause you to feel expansive, excited and peaceful. You’ll find less resistance because it’s not someone else’s life you’re seeking to live, it’s your life that you’re born to live.

4 Classic Barre Moves To Tone Your Lower Body

Sometimes you don’t need to recreate the wheel. These 4 classics from Barre are regulars for a reason. They work to strengthen your thighs, glutes and calves and through a series of large range of motion movements progressing all the way to small pulses and isometric holds you will also generate heat in the body to turn this into a total-body exercise.

Calf Raises

This is a simple exercise to start firming up the quads and calves and warm up the body. For balance, you can use a barre if you have it, chair or sturdy countertop.

Begin just lifting your heels up, engaging your calves and then lowering the heels down again. Start with a tall, neutral spine and tune into your breath.

I’ve included a pilates ball high between the inner thighs for extra work, but it is not required. Feet can be placed together or hip-distance apart.

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Chair Pose

Begin chair pose by lifting your heels and lowering your seat down as if sitting in a chair. Try to maintain your posture by keeping a tall spine and open chest and shoulders. Move your seat back and try to track knees over ankles to protect the knees.

Begin with 10-20 reps lowering all the way down to where your legs are in a 90 degree angle and raise up to the calf raise we did earlier.

Next, lower down completely into chair and begin small pulses, still balancing on the balls of your feet. If you have any feet issues, it’s perfectly fine to begin with heels down. As you pulse, remember to breathe and maintain neutral posture. Shakes are good.

Lastly, finish with an isometric hold and see if you can challenge yourself by lowering your seat a bit more to fully engage your quads.

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Plie

I do these in every class I teach, even yoga. They’re incredible to stretch your inner thighs, open your hips and strengthen your lower body.

Begin with heels down and start lowering down and raising up to straight legs. As you lower down, try to reach the point where your thighs are parallel with the floor.

After your first set of large range of motion plies, option to raise your heels for more of a challenge, lower your seat and pulse. Keep your heels down if it feels better for your feet.

Lastly raise your hands off the barre or chair if you can balance safely and hold the pose briefly. Feel your entire body join in to balance you and strengthen you.

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Leg Lift

These were a gamechanger for my lower body. I was blessed with curvy, strong thighs, and these really helped me tone and tighten my lower body while keeping me strong and flexible.

Start with hips in line and lift your leg back squeezing your glutes. If you lower your chest forward, you’ll be able to provide space in your lower back to protect against any tension.

Lower your extended leg down to tap your toe on the floor and back up for 10-25 reps in a controlled, intentional way.

Keeping your leg long behind you, engage your glutes, and pulse.

Option to keep a slight micro-bend in the standing leg.

For more of a challenge, release your hands from the barre or chair and use your entire body to balance you.

Let Go of the Ways You Thought Life Would Unfold

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Let go of the ways you thought life would unfold;

the holding of plans or dreams or expectations- Let it all go. Save your strength to swim with the tide. The choice to fight what is here before you now will only result in struggle, fear and desperate attempts to flee from the very energy you long for.

Let go.

Let it all go and flow with the grace that washes through your days whether you receive it gently or with all your quills raised to defend against invaders. Take this on faith: the mind may never find the explanations that it seeks,

but you will move forward nonetheless.

Let go, and the wave’s crest will carry you to unknown shores, beyond your wildest dreams or destinations. Let it all go and find the place of rest and peace, and certain transformation.

-Source Unknown


Someone I loved needed to hear the sentiment in this poem this week. It was perfect for them as they felt frustrated by a lack of certainty, of knowing what step to take, or how it’ll all turn out. I struggle with this a lot too. I’ve decided the only certainty I’ve learned is that there is no change or transformation without pain, struggle and then ultimately surrender. It’s quite possible that no door opens until you allow another to close completely and lock without possessing the key. So, what do you do? You let go and have faith. You don’t become worthless and useless while you let go….you lean in every day into a more authentic version of yourself but you simply stay open and release the need to know why. It’s hard as shit believe me. But the good stuff always seems to come when you surrender to faith.

In health,

Erica

6 Week Series- Yoga + Meditation | Learn How to Develop a Daily Practice for Stress Relief

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Science has now proven the incredible effects of yoga and meditation on the brain and body. However, how do you begin incorporating it into your life on a consistent basis? This series will show you how. This series is for anyone seeking to find more peace, contentment, or stillness in their life. Yoga and Meditation are tools you can use for a lifetime to counteract the body’s stress response and manage anxiety or even the general busy-ness of life.

The series begins on June 26th and will continue for 6 weeks every Wednesday from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. For non-members the series s $125.00 and for members the series is $95.00.

Sign up online. Message us on social media or email erica@flowspacefitness.com for more questions.

4 Simple Ways to Be Healthier When You Don't Know Where to Start

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“Just start” can sometimes be discouraging or confusing advice. Often you may feel like screaming, but HOW? Do I cut carbs? Do I just exercise? Where do I begin? Yes, we know getting healthier and making changes to our daily routine is often very hard, especially for people who have been doing things the same way for decades. It’s not easy. It has a lot to do with the difficulty of habit change but also the overwhelming amount of information we are exposed to. This post is about simplifying and starting with the basics to start, just to start.

Let’s begin with nutrition. There are countless contradictions from incredibly informed and educated health professionals about what “diet” is the best one. Do I avoid carbs? Do I avoid sugars, even fruit? Do I eat meat? Do I count calories or points?

Then how should I move? There are just as many conflicting “how-to’s” on how to move for prevention of disease, weight loss or to support your health as you age.

However, there is a place that most, if not all health professionals, should agree. There’s a consensus on what causes disease, and that is inflammation. Inflammation “is a natural response of the body to protect itself from potentially destructive agents such as infection.” Chronic inflammation causes damaged cells which is directly linked to chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

What some people do not realize is that inflammation is also linked to weight gain. A lot of the struggle with batting obesity is linked to the body’s inflammatory response and being “stuck” in it.

So a good place to begin if you feel sick, depressed, or overweight is to tune in…..“listen to your body.” What symptoms are your body or mind exhibiting? Irritability can be a symptom. Joint pain or fatigue or maybe poor digestion.

As you may guess, there is no black/white answer immediately to this question. Oftentimes, it takes a period of trial and error with different types of foods, supplements and movements to determine when symptoms of inflammation are reduced.

Inflammation can also be increased by stress. Beginning a strict, rigorous and hard core diet that depletes your body of what it needs is not going to reduce inflammation. Releasing judgment of yourself, taking yourself off the strict diet, and getting real and honest about how you feel is often a million times more effective.

Ok, then where do we start?

Take Inventory. Before you begin making any changes, take inventory and write it down. Take note of your body- any pain, tension or injuries. How is your digestion? How is your skin? Are you fatigued, anxious or have brain fog? It is very helpful to write down how you feel after you eat a certain meal. Try new things, don’t put yourself on a strict diet, but try one meal eating mostly greens. Take note of how you feel compared to when you eat processed food. As you start to make small incremental changes, take inventory again. At the very minimum check in once a week and write it down.

Start moving. Any type of movement will work. I mean that. Don’t worry about people that say you have to have a certain amount of a certain type of exercise. Just move. If you’re drawn to or curious about yoga, go to yoga or roll out your mat at home. Just try to move every day or every other day. If you want to dance, youtube “dance cardio” and get moving. If you feel good after weight-lifting, go for that. Start somewhere and don’t worry about it being perfect or complete. 10 minutes every other day is a start.

Add in Greens. Once a day, eat a salad before your meal, or add the spinach to your omelette or smoothie. Add greens into one meal once a day. It can start with one cup of spinach once a day. Notice I didn’t say “take away.” We are just adding in something nutritious, detoxing and fibrous to get our system some energy.

Drink 16 oz. more of water. Stop and be sure you’re drinking two large glasses more of water than you usually do. Many of the symptoms you may feel that lead you to fatigue or exhaustion or brain fog could be due to dehydration. Give your body a chance to be replenished and it will reward you with energy to move, eat better and feel more optimistic about change.

This type of process is truly the key to habit change that works and becomes a lifestyle change.

Small changes over time with an intention to feel better.

It also respects that each person’s body may need something a little different. Working on simple changes, and raising awareness in your body of how it makes you feel will lead you down a path of health inevitably because most people, if not all, want to feel better.

Resources:

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/transcripts/8976_fighting-inflammation-with-food-how-to-follow-an-anti-inflammatory-diet

https://drhyman.com/blog/2012/01/27/inflammation-how-to-cool-the-fire-inside-you-thats-making-you-fat-and-diseased/

5 Reasons to Cross-Train for the Best Results

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We are all guilty of finding a type of exercise we love and sticking with it day in and day out. There’s nothing wrong with practicing yoga every day, or running every day or strength training everyday. However, if you want to optimize your health or performance, prevent injuries, stay motivated and meet new goals, we suggest trying something different every now and then.

Cross-training simply means supplementing your normal routine with a variety of exercises that focus on flexibility, endurance, and/or strength training to balance out the effect of your workouts on your body.

Here are 5 reasons why you should cross-train:

  1. Recovery or Rehabilitation. If you’ve developed lower back pain, or tight hip flexors, or pain in your shoulders, or whatever it may be, it’s likely you need to slow down, and allow those areas recovery and healing. However, when you experience an injury, it’s well-known you never want to stop moving. Supplementing your strength-training program with lower impact programs can keep you moving, allow you to modify to protect and heal the injury and get you back on your favorite program sooner.

  2. Bust Through a Plateau. Your body adjusts to something you do repetitiously. When I hit a plateau in my health or weight loss goals, changing it up always works. When I do change it up, I feel soreness in areas of my body I don’t normally feel sore. This means those other areas of your body need work and could benefit from a balance of different types of exercise. I do this often as a yoga and barre teacher by adding high-intensity interval training, running, or kettlebell exercises.

  3. Injury Prevention. When you do the same exercises over and over again, it’s possible to have a muscular imbalance which could lead to injury. It’s important to think about the extensive amount of small and large muscles and connective tissue in the body and how we can utilize different areas of the body to build strength and stabilize our joints. Also, giving your body a break from repetitive movements that may be overused in your exercise of choice can allow necessary recovery for greater injury prevention.

  4. Motivation. Practicing one type of exercise every day or 5 days a week will inevitably cause boredom. That doesn’t mean you’re cheating on your favorite instructor or gym, it just means your body and mind may appreciate it more with a little curiosity and change occasionally. It’s a way to stay committed to your goals while also continuing to move.

  5. Mind-Body Connection. Trying new movements with intention and focus teaches your body to work in a different way. This inevitably changes the way your mind and body are connecting and strengthens that connection. Routine is great and is a foundation for true health, but variety is the way to optimize your able body and mind to come even more into your body and grow.

Flow Space will be opening soon offering a variety of group fitness classes from yoga to barre, and bootcamp to kettlebell.

Eat the Ice Cream...Just Not Everyday

“Most people have no idea how good their body is

designed to feel.”

-Kevin Trudeau

Let’s talk about moderation. It has taken me a long time to get here, but I’m at a place now where I have no guilt over the occasional indulgence. Why? Because the majority of the time I’m eating plant-based, clean, whole foods. For me, it’s not a diet, its a lifestyle. This is how my nutrition looks on a normal day or week:

Breakfast: I always start my day with coffee. That is a pleasure I allow myself unless I’m pregnant. I add in a delicious Almond Milk creamer and raw honey. Then I typically have some version of a green smoothie, which is in an earlier post, or I will scramble two organic eggs with 1/2 an avocado.

Snacks: Banana or some type of fruit or Larabar (fav is Cashew Cookie) or other Gluten-free bar

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Lunch: Always go for the Salad. I almost always pick up a to-go salad from Publix or Whole Foods. If it’s not perfect, it’s ok. I choose the ones with nuts, fruit, maybe even some cheese and just don’t eat all the cheese and I rarely use all of the dressing. My favorite days are when I can fill up on the salad bar at Whole Foods. My choices are tons of veggies, seeds, beans or legumes(chickpeas are my favorite) and vinegar based dressing. Here’s the thing about eating mostly greens for lunch: You can stabilize your blood sugar to avoid that afternoon slump and get the most out of your day!

Dinner: Before dinner, Zach and I usually snack on gluten-free crackers and hummus or chips and guacamole. Our go-to dinners are a “Buddha Bowl”(will blog about this later but choose a base of greens or quinoa and pile on raw and cooked veggies, organic tofu or chicken, etc) or Baked Fish(wild-caught) and Veggies.

Before Bed: Tea- currently loving Chamomile with Lavender.

The truth about us though is about one night every two weeks, and honestly sometimes once a week, we will absolutely, without any guilt, go to town on a huge tub of Haagen Daz Coffee Ice Cream. We will occasionally finish off the mac and cheese we cooked for the kids. And some days my only snacks consist of goldfish or graham crackers because I’m ravenous and that’s all I have on hand from being a mommy.

I’m here to tell you, you can meet your weight loss goals, feel great in your body and give in occasionally. The trick, from my experience, is to let go of the guilt and move on to the next healthy meal.

With that being said, the days I feel the best, I eat like I’ve laid out above and I drink lots of water.

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The old me would freak if I ate 5 goldfish or indulged in ice cream the night before and punish myself the next day by replaying in my head over and over how disappointed I am in myself. This results in bad decisions from the guilt and negativity. The new me knows I’m human and I’m doing my best. I really focus on easy concepts such whole foods, tons of veggies, and the majority of my food is organic, and eaten for fuel and nourishment. Disclaimer: I don’t feel great eating meat, so the majority of the time I’m eating plant-based, but if you need/love/have-to-have meat, just choose grass-fed and organic the majority of the time. Maybe try some meals with and some meals without and take note of how you feel. Food can be confusing. We get it, and that’s why our “rules” aren’t really rules. They’re guidelines. There’s so much to talk about with food but in the interest of time, here are a few guidelines I keep for myself when making the decision of what to eat:

  1. 80/20 Rule. Make it a goal that 80% of the time you’re eating clean, unprocessed, well-balanced whole foods. Allow yourself an indulgence, the occasional pasta dish or the coffee ice cream. This goes far in ensuring a healthy relationship with food. You’re human, its really ok.

  2. Focus on “Adding in” Greens/Fruits/Whole Foods rather than “Taking Away” the unhealthier foods. I read a study recently that concluded that people who added in greens daily still felt/saw the benefits even though they ate other foods that were processed and unhealthy during the same time. It’s best to eat clean the majority of the time, but even if you don’t, your body will benefit from giving it all the nutrients, minerals, clean protein and fiber from greens, veggies, fruits and organic whole foods when you can. Also, when your cells are given the nutrients they need and your blood sugar is regulated from the steady supply of healthy, low glycemic food, you probably won’t even crave or want the other stuff as much.

  3. Ask Yourself How You Want to Feel. Most people look at food through the lens of “is this in my diet plan?” or “will I gain weight by eating this?” That will only get you so far. Your body will tell you what it needs if you listen. It will ache and feel bloated and fatigued with foods that cause inflammation and it will feel light and energetic with foods that are healing, detoxifying and clean. There’s also a direct effect on your mood that you will see crystal clear if you start journaling or just taking notice of how you feel when you eat certain foods.

I truly believe that most of our struggles with food is a matter of changing our mindset. We have so many resources these days. Food can be incredibly healing if you let it, and it also can be one of the greatest pleasures in life. Keep an open mind. Let yourself be human. Give your body what it needs to thrive so you can too.

In health,

Erica

Your Tuesday Wake-Up Call

“I hope there are days when you fall in love with being alive.”

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The last couple months I’ve learned a lot about people’s personal struggles with health. As I’ve shared tidbits of my story on this blog, taught barre classes, and shared how I try to live to be healthier, stronger, and feel better on a daily basis, people have also shared with me their challenges. I’ve heard a pattern of explaining why they aren’t actually making the changes. And truthfully, I’ve come up against a wall. What I have found is that most people simply don’t want to hear it. People don’t want to hear that fast food will kill them or that exercising is a non-negotiable or that anxiety and stress can be healed holistically. People don’t want to hear that lifestyle changes are the number one thing you can do to prevent disease. People don’t want to hear it because it’s hard and it takes work. I completely understand and relate to that perspective because I had it myself and I pushed aside day after day what I needed to do to end my own struggles.

I didn’t want to hear it either. Then I had no choice.

You see, health issues happened to other people, not to me.

Then on April 28, 2015 I got a call that my sweet father and one of my best friends was found unconscious. It was in the middle of a workday, on an ordinary Tuesday. I entered the hospital, after the longest drive of my life where I pled with God that I would walk in and talk with my Daddy again, and discovered that it was over. There was no recovery or rehabilitation, no second chance. It was just over. The doctor said they could “find no electrical activity.” I asked “people can come back from that right?” She said “they can sometimes.” She could tell I wasn’t processing it. I couldn’t process it. Then it was just people shaking their heads and asking if we would like to see him.

He was a 58 year old former collegiate and professional athlete. He had just left the gym. He always cooked homemade meals. He chased after his grandkids and rarely if ever sat down at work. He wasn’t supposed to die at 58. He wasn’t perfect by any means, but he also didn’t look the part of a man who was going to die of his first heart attack.

This changed me. How could it not? I felt it would be in vain or lost on me if I didn’t allow it to wake me up and change me to my core. It sparked in me a fire and a passion to learn from it and change my life accordingly.

So, over time, I’ve found a way, a way that came about after much trial and error, hardship, tears, frustration and victim mentality. I finally found the way after I was brutally honest with myself and said that this was on me. It is on me, 100%. This was no one else’s problem or future or life but my own. So, I found a way that I come back to again and again after I lose track or fail. Because failing is inevitable. No one is perfect, it’s just a matter of knowing how to start again. I found a way that has empowered me about my health. A way that I’m sharing with anyone that cares to hear it. I strongly believe that most of the time it doesn’t have to be pills and doctors. I believe that our bodies are freaking miracles from God that can do amazing things. I believe that each decision in our teens, 20’s, 30’s and up will decide what kind of life we will live as we age. I believe it is a gift and a privilege to get the opportunity to help our complex and magnificent bodies heal and grow and get stronger by giving it yoga and functional exercise and living, green foods. We get this one life. We get this one body. Don’t wait until you get that perspective from loss or reality that stops you in your tracks. Live healthy now, be present now.

I’ve shared below three people that inspire me. These people and their stories have helped me tremendously in the past few years find an intention that has catapulted me into caring about true health. They also helped me feel empowered about my health.

  • The first is Kris Carr. She is a cancer survivor and self-taught wellness advocate. She is living, breathing proof of what nutrition can do for you.

https://kriscarr.com/meet-kris/

  • Dr. Joel Kahn gives you real life advice, having treated thousands of heart attacks, his answer is that nutrition can heal the body.

https://drjoelkahn.com/about-us/

  • Rich Roll, is an ultra-athlete and plant-based nutrition guru, who has overcome a lot to find a whole new life in wellness. His podcast is one of my favs and gives me tons of resources.

http://www.richroll.com/bio/

Lastly, please know I’m always here, for anyone who needs a little help. You can work with me or Zach in our group fitness classes, personal training or through skype workouts where we do the same thing as in class, just over skype. If you are interested, contact us through our website or email me at Erica@flowspacefitness.com for more details. We are about to launch a way for Flow Space to aide you in your healthy journey so we can work with you wherever you are, so stay tuned for exciting details coming up in the next month!

In health,

Erica

One Addition To Your Daily Routine To Feel Instant Results

Do you want clearer skin? Less bloating? A flatter stomach? More energy? Less cravings? To bust through a weight loss plateau? Or jumpstart weight loss? Or better yet, prevent cancer and disease? Then I assure you, if you add this one thing to your daily routine consistently, you will see and feel all of those results. For years I couldn’t imagine drinking my greens, but now I do it on an almost daily basis and it has changed my life.

Here’s Today’s Recipe:

Organic Spinach about 2 cups

Organic Romaine Lettuce about 1 cup

Organic Kale about 1 1/2 cups

2 stalks of Celery

1 Organic Apple

2 Tablespoons Milled Flaxseeds

1 Tablespoon Chia Seed

2 teaspoons of Coconut Yogurt

1 cup Almond Milk

1 Scoop Vega (Optional)

Most mornings I blend without any Vega or yogurt, but this morning I had no bananas, so I needed the flavor. Bananas are the key to countering the sometimes bitter taste of the greens, so be sure to add one in.

This morning I started with this spread…

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I blended my greens, celery and almond milk first…

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Then I added in my apple, seeds, yogurt, and Vega…

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Voila!

When people say Food is Medicine, this is what they’re talking about. It is rare, as a working mommy, that I can down this many greens. So this smoothie is crucial for me to maintain a baseline of energy. It is also very high in tons of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. If you’re interested in why I chose these ingredients, let’s take a closer look:

Spinach- proven to reduce inflammation, high in antioxidants that protect against disease, and amps up the immune system by delivering tons of Vitamin C, A, Manganese, Zinc and Selenium.

Kale- Cancer Fighting Powerhouse; Natural detoxifier.

Celery- Tons of water for hydration, Good source of dietary fiber, Helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Flaxseeds- Plant-based source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids; Improves skin, hair and nails.

Chia Seeds-Protein, Antioxidants, Vitamin E, Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Balances blood sugar.

All of these foods give you a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that protect your body and fight disease at the cellular level. When you do this, when you give your cells what they need and help your body detox the toxins and excess that it doesn’t need, you will naturally lose weight and feel better.

I guarantee you will FEEL the difference, give it a try and feel free to shoot me a message for any recipe variations you find that you love! Cheers!

In health,

Erica