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Nutrition

Matcha for Weight Loss!

Matcha for Weight Loss!

Matcha is on the rise and if you haven't heard of it yet you best keep reading!  I am going to start simply by saying this...Matcha is magical. It is the powdered form of green tea, and if you don't know about the benefits of green tea you have come to the right place!

 

Benefits of Matcha Green Tea

  • Mood enhancement
  • Tons of antioxidants to help fight against diseases, oxidative stress, free radicals...you name it!
  • Natural weight loss aid
  • Detoxing agent for your entire body
  • Sugar-free
  • 30% metabolism boost
  • The PUREST form of energy without the jitters or crash!

 

Matcha for Weight Loss

Learning how to fuel your body is the first step toward long-lasting weight loss. Drinking water, avoiding sugar, and working up a sweat are all important pieces of health that I preach on a daily basis. BUT I have recently discovered a new addition to my health regime...Matcha green tea! Below I am going to list the easiest ways to incorporate Matcha into your daily routine!

  • Immediately after waking up, "Bulletproof Style" (organic grass-fed butter, coconut oil, almond milk, matcha, blended)
  • Drink 1 cup  of Matcha before every meal
  • Blended in a protein shake or smoothie
  • Mixing it into healthy Matcha treats

 

Why Does Matcha Help with Weight Loss?

Matcha is a pure and natural energy source, similar to caffeine. The simple benefits to incorporating caffeine into your diet are appetite suppression, increased resting metabolic rate, and calorie burning.

The concentration of EGCG—the superpotent nutrient found in green tea—may be as much as 137 times greater in powdered matcha tea. EGCG can simultaneously boost lipolysis (the breakdown of fat) and block adipogenesis (the formation of new fat cells). One study found that men who drank green tea containing 136 milligrams of EGCG—what you’d find in a single 4-gram serving of matcha—lost twice as much weight than a placebo group and four times as much belly fat over the course of three months.
— http://www.eatthis.com/ways-to-lose-weight-with-tea-kelly-choi

To put it more simply...drink your Matcha if you want to be extremely healthy, shed some extra pounds, and become superhuman! :)


*IMPORTANT* Anti-Aging Benefits

If you didn't already know, oxidation is NOT a good thing. Even though it sounds like Oxygen, this is not something to mess around with. Oxidation is a naturally occurring process that our body goes through as we age. 

Oxidation occurs when molecules within your body lose electrons to electrically-charged molecules of oxygen in your blood stream.
— http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/vitamins-minerals/how-do-antioxidants-benefit-me.html

How to Prevent Oxidation...

Eating a diet rich in antioxidants is very important for keeping the level of oxidative stress in your body low...which brings me to my next point! Matcha Green Tea is THE most powerful beverage on the planet. 

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it! The benefits to drinking Matcha are endless! Help spread the word about this healthy superfood by clicking the "share" button below! Also, be sure to act fast on changing your health by checking out the products below! :)

~Lauren

Coconut Almond Butter

Coconut Almond Butter

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Cups Raw Almonds
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 TBSP Real Maple Syrup (optional)
  • Pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt – love this sea salt from the Oregon Coast

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a sturdy food processor throw in your almonds, coconut flakes and sea salt.
  • Melt the maple syrup and coconut oil together in a microwave for about 30-40 seconds.
  • Turn on your food processor. As it’s going, add your melted coconut oil and maple syrup down the tube.
  • For 10 minutes or so let it do it’s thing, stopping every two minutes or so to scrape down the sides. If you don’t have a hefty food processor, people have said this part can take awhile. It usually takes about 10-14 minutes total.
  • When it’s all oozy and a bit melty, it’s done! Almonds + coconut flakes = match made in heaven.

6 Reasons You Aren't Losing Weight

6 Reasons You Aren't Losing Weight

Mistakes You Commit When Trying to Lose Weight

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You Have a “Cut-Off Time” for Eating 

Saying “I am going to stop eating at 8 p.m. is just setting yourself up to focus on that 8 p.m. time and NOT eating. My #1 rule is if you are hungry, you should eat. Do not deprive yourself and think that you are losing weight. The most inefficient way to burn fat is from calorie restriction. Do not just eat to fill yourself up with empty calories like popcorn or other snack foods. Eat for a purpose. Eat to build your muscles after exercise, eat to fuel your body for that exercise, eat because your body is depleted of nutrients and it’s time to feed your body what it needs.

You Aren’t Increasing Your Workout Load

This doesn’t mean you need to increase the minutes you are working out per week. This means you should focus on increasing the intensity and/or velocity of your exercise. Let's say you do 10 pushups in one workout, the next time you do pushups you should try to get 15 pushups. You can increase your load by increasing reps, amount of weight, level of resistance, or total sets. You are always in competition with yourself!

You are Following a Low-Fat Diet

Eating low-fat has got the be the BIGGEST mistake in health and nutrition industry. When the food companies take fat out of the food, they are taking away vital nutrients and natural flavors. When they take this fat out of the food they replace it with SUGAR! Sugar is the cause of diabetes, weight gain, blemished skin, energy loss, and a decline of your overall health! Fat is not the enemy, sugar is. Your body needs fat to survive, but it does not need sugar to survive.

You are Counting Calories

Don’t get me wrong, counting calories can be beneficial, but you have to use it as a tool and not an obsession. Saying, “I’ll eat this rice cake with no protein and no fat because it has less overall calories so I will be losing weight” is a terrible way of thinking. If you are counting calories in order to make sure that you are “burning more than you are taking in” then you will not efficiently lose weight. Instead, focus on the quality of the food you are putting into your body by avoiding food that comes prepackaged or the quick grab and go option. Eat real meals, not just snacks.

You are Only Focused on Exercising 

Scientifically speaking, working out burns calories, but you might actually be burning your muscle instead of your fat if you aren’t being smart with the food you eat. If you chase that floating cooking while running on the treadmill you are getting your exercise in, but you are LOSING if you eat the cookie! With that being said, check out the next tip on why you aren’t losing weight.

You Reward Yourself with Cheat Meals

Do NOT reward yourself with a “cheat day” or “cheat meal.” These are nice, but by labeling them as a cheat, you are putting yourself at risk of going overboard. Replace that cookie or pizza with a weekend trip or a new article of clothing to look forward to. This doesn’t mean you won’t ever eat sugar again- that is your choice. But if you are serious about losing weight, you will see faster and better weight loss results if you follow this tip.

What is Pink Salt?

What is Pink Salt?

Why Pink?

PS1

Pink salt, also known as Pink Himalayan Salt is one of the purest minerals you can put into your body. The many hues of pink, red, and white that you will find in a shaker of Pink Himalayan Salt are all an indication of this salt's rich variation of minerals and energy-filled iron content.

 

Stop Using Table Salt!

  • Commercial or refined salt is not only stripped of all it's minerals besides sodium and chloride, but it is also chemically cleaned, bleached, and heated at unnecessary and dangerously high temperatures!
  • Secondly, the iodine that is added to regular white salt is synthetic and very difficult for your body to process and break down, which can cause stomach pain and bloating.

Benefits of Pink Salt:

  • Creates an electrolyte balance in your body.
  • Increases overall hydration.
  • Dissolves and eliminates sediment to remove toxins, aiding in body fat loss.
  • Aids in proper metabolism functioning.
  • Prevents muscle cramping.

How Do I Use Pink Salt?

  • Every morning as a detox: I mix 1-2 teaspoons of ground up pink salt into an 8oz glass of water and chug it. Mixing pink salt with water and chugging it on an empty stomach not only energizes me, but it also promotes healthy weight-loss. You might want to be near a bathroom about 10 minutes after drinking this concoction.

  •  To salt my food: I use this salt on my eggs, mixed with olive oil to create an amazing salad dressing, on all of my vegetables, and I salt all of my raw meat or salmon with it before cooking.

  • As an exfoliant or salt bath: Mix this salt with coconut oil and rubbing it on your skin will leave your body feeling extremely soft and it will add a natural glow to your skin. Another cosmetic use of pink salt is to add it to your bath for a relaxing, naturally anti-microbial salt bath!


Where To Buy Pink Salt?

Surprisingly, I get my Pink Salt from TJMaxx. If you have a TJMaxx or a Marshall's near you, go into the back of the store near the one or two isles of candy/food items and near the spices, you should find the Pink Salt the cheapest here. If you do not have access to either of these stores, you can visit your nearest grocery store or purchase some online here. Don't wait any longer, start your journey to health now!

What are Supplements and Which Ones Should You Take?

What are Supplements and Which Ones Should You Take?

Supplementation can be an interesting word to those who do not fully understand its meaning. These are NOT steroids. They are essential to your body, like vitamins and minerals. Supplements to me are like nature's gift that help achieve physical health and a strong body. They are not just limited to the “athlete,” anyone can take them to improve their overall health! A lot of people have been asking me what supplements I take to keep my body healthy and in shape. So I am going to share these few supplements with you! 

My Top Supplements:

Dark Stripe Media

My Workout Supplements:

If you are interested in getting in shape and staying that way, below I am going to provide you with the supplements that I trust! Supplements are an important piece to nutrition and fitness if you are serious about making a change.

My Overall Health Supplements:

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Each morning I drink about an 8oz. glass of water and take these three nutritional supplements to start my day off with some essential vitamins, minerals, and omega-3's (the healthy fat!)

Taking the proper supplements at the right times can speed up the process of your fitness goal, whether that is to lose fat, gain muscle, or just improve your overall health!


The Reason I Take Natural Supplements:

  • RECOVERY! After working out or running, you develop small tears in your muscles that need to be repaired. Without proper supplementation, you could risk muscle degradation (muscle loss) and extended recovery periods.
  • Optimize natural body functions: Your thyroid  is crucial for fat loss. There is specific thyroid functioning supplements to help rev up your metabolism and keep you functioning properly.
  • Meal replacements! Do you ever find yourself not having enough time to eat during the day, but need a snack? Different supplement shakes can act as a meal replacement! I drink the best tasting meal replacement drink. You can check out all of the flavors!
  • Healthy and sustainable fat loss: These supplements safely enhance and support your metabolic function in order for you to accomplish any weight loss goals, no matter how big!

Reasons You Would Need to Take Supplements:

 

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5 Simple Breakfast Ideas

5 Simple Breakfast Ideas

For me, breakfast on the low-carb, high-fat diet can get monotonous. A lot of people have asked for examples of different foods I typically eat for breakfast, and what I do when I don't have a lot of time in the morning. When I know that I won't have very much time in the morning, I make these dishes at night and simply reheat them in the morning! So, here are five of my favorite breakfasts that I like to eat on the low carb, high fat diet!


5 Simple Breakfast Ideas

 

Baked Avocado Egg

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Need: 2 avocados, 4 fresh eggs, 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, optional add-in 1 tablespoon of chopped chives, bacon crumbled. Baking dishes for avocados to fit in.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 425, slice avocados in half, take out the pit, and scoop out about 2 tablespoons of avocado from the center to allow the egg to fit properly. Place the avocados in a small baking dish so they fit snug. Crack an egg into each avocado half. Place the avocado eggs into the oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove them from the oven and season them with salt, pepper, chives, or whatever you'd like.

 

Baked Ham Egg Cup

Need: Eggs, tam or turkey, optional add-ins bacon, peppers, cheese, onions. Muffin tray, coconut oil.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400, grease muffin tray with coconut oil by smearing it in each cup compartment, fit 1-2 slices of ham in each compartment, mix the ingredients together in a bowl, pour ingredients into each muffin compartment lined with ham. Bake for 15 minutes or until eggs are done.

 

Egg Muffins

Need: Eggs, optional add-ins: avocado, bacon, cheese, onion, green peppers, ground beef, turkey. Muffin tray, coconut oil.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400. Mix the ingredients you chose together in a bowl. Smear coconut oil in each muffin compartment. Pour the mixture into the muffin tray. Bake for 15 minutes or until the eggs are done.

Avocado Egg Salad

Need: 6 hard boiled eggs, 2 avocados peeled and pitted, 1 tablespoon yellow mustard, 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 3 tablespoons chopped pickles, salt and pepper. Mixing bowl, fork.

Instructions: Peel and slice up hard boiled eggs, mash eggs with a fork in a mixing bowl. Add the onion, avocado, pickle, mustard, and mayonnaise. After you mash enough to a good consistency, salt and pepper the dish for taste.

Bulletproof Coffee Protein Shake

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Need: 1 1/2 cup ice, 1 cup cold coffee, 1 scoop chocolate or vanilla protein powder, 1 tablespoon liquid coconut oil or MCT oil, 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (liquid), optional add-ins blueberries, strawberries, raspberries. Blender.

Instructions: In a blender, put together the ice, coffee, and liquid coconut oil (preferably MCT oil if you have it), and heavy whipping cream. Blend these ingredients first. This mixture should become completely puree, almost the consistency of a milkshake. Now, add the protein powder and your optional berries. Blend and serve!

 

These recipes do not have to be limited to only breakfast. They are great appetizers and can be made for any occasion!

Holiday Survival Guide

Holiday Survival Guide

I know that many people are not extremely concerned with how healthy they are eating or how many hours a week they are working out during the holidays, but I am here to convince you otherwise. Keep in mind, if you have health and fitness goals that you plan to start for New Years I have a piece of advice for you...DON'T WAIT! There is never a "perfect time" to start following a healthier diet or to start waking up in the morning to get a workout in. You might as well start introducing a few good habits before the new year, and set yourself up for future success!

Holiday Health Survival Guide

Don't Do That!

Don't be the typical person and come up with the excuse of "it's the holidays!" or "I'll start on New Years!" Start caring for your body and your future self right NOW! Spring break is right around the corner for most of us, so start setting those goals!

 

Get Fit with a Detox!

Get Fit with a Detox!

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Detoxes are a great way to lose weight and rid your body of toxins. The only issue with detoxes is that they can be extremely expensive and unreliable. I never want to spend a ton of money buying some crazy detox that might not work. In this post, I am going to list and explain a few different remedies that I use when I am feeling bloated, low energy, or just unhealthy overall. My only suggestion is that you do not try all of these remedies at once, you don’t want to overload your body with these powerful substances!  

Why Detox?

Toxins from low quality, processed food, and even pollution from your surroundings can cause serious problems with your health and your body composition goals. Detoxification helps to eliminate those toxins and can help generate a healthy digestive system!

Lemon Water

Benefits of drinking Lemon water:

  • Flushes out toxins
  • Known to slow down the time it takes a meal to leave your stomach – key to dropping unwanted weight
  • Aids in digestion
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Strengthens your immune system
lemons_InLine
lemons_InLine

Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother

Apple Cider Vinegar *with mother* was created by fermenting the sugars from apples to turn them into an acetic acid (which kills bacteria to prevent them from reaching harmful levels in our bodies!) You can either take a tbsp shot of it in the morning, mix it with olive oil as a salad dressing, or mix it with water.

Benefits:

  • Eliminate sugar cravings
  • Suppresses appetite to a healthy level
  • Detoxifies your liver (where all of the toxins are gathered to be filtered from eating unhealthy foods, drinking sugary or alcoholic drinks, etc.)
  • Aids in and improves digestion
  • May lower blood sugar levels (great for those with type 2 diabetes!)
Apple-Cider-Vinegar-Types
Apple-Cider-Vinegar-Types

Green Tea

Disclaimer!

If you have never tried green tea before, I am warning you that it does not have much of a taste. Some people like the taste and others are so used to drinking sweetened tea’s that green tea is less favorable. Avoid the green tea you would find in a bottle at the store. The only one to trust is the “Just” Green Tea by Honest Tea. Always be sure to check the nutrition facts before choosing a tea that you are not personally brewing yourself. No sugar should be listed on the label!

Benefits of Green Tea:

  • Can improve brain function and make you smarter
  • Key ingredient is caffeine, an alternative to coffee
  • L-theanine has anti-anxiety effects on your brain and body
  • Increases fat burning
  • Powerful anti-oxidant

Here are some great options of different types of Green Tea to buy!

Hot tea with fresh leves and lemon on bamboo mat
Hot tea with fresh leves and lemon on bamboo mat

Activated Coconut Charcoal

Activated Coconut Charcoal is taken in capsule form. It is not something you derive from a coconut yourself, but a small, usually black colored pill. The charcoal is derived from coconut shells and does not include any other ingredient. This is more of a timing supplement. You will want to take this ingredient when you are being exposed to these processed toxins.

Reasons to take Activated Charcoal

  1. When eating low quality or processed foods
  2. When drinking alcohol
  3. When feeling moody or tired
  4. Helps with stained teeth
  5. After being on a plane, charcoal helps with jet lag
activated-charcoal-powder
activated-charcoal-powder

Pink Himalayan Salt-Water:

Pink Himalayan Salt is a naturally occurring salt that is filled with iron and iodine—both important elements for your health. In order to get the most out of a detox, follow these steps when you wake up:

  1. Wake up in the morning
  2. Fill a glass up with water
  3. Pour 2 tsp. of Pink Himalayan Salt into the water
  4. Mix with a spoon
  5. Drink!

I buy my Pink Himalayan Salt from Trader Joe's, but you can find it at almost any grocery store.

Like I mentioned before, don’t go crazy and try all of these remedies at once, they are meant to be tested and tried to see which one works best for your body. I have tried each of these remedies at different times and have had success with each one of them! I hope you enjoy the post and try out some of these detoxes!

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images-5

Top photo courtesy of KMM Photography

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Pumpkin Spice Bulletproof Coffee

Pumpkin Spice Bulletproof Coffee

Fall is my favorite time of the year, and I am not going to lie...I am a Pumpkin Spice Latte lover! I used to go to Starbucks this time of the year and indulge in a Pumpkin Spice Latte or two until I realized the contents of that drink! I looked up the nutritional information and found this:

Pumpkin Spice Latte Nutrition

FLAVOR (GRANDE 16 OZ.) CALORIES CARBS (G) SUGAR (G)
Pumpkin Spice Latte, Nonfat, No Whip 260 5 50
Pumpkin Spice Latte, Whole Milk Fat, With Whip 410 150 51
Caffe Latte, Nonfat, No Whip 130 0 19

If you need a better reference for how much sugar is in one of these beverages, just go back to my blog post about sugary drinks!

But...

Don't worry! I am here to offer a much better alternative to these sugar-filled, addictive drinks. Pumpkin Spice Bulletproof Coffee is my new go-to morning drink! The ingredients are very similar to the original Bulletproof Coffee recipe, but with a twist.

 



 

 

Benefits I have noticed after drinking a cup of fat-filled coffee:

  • Fat Loss Anyone? Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT), found in coconut oil, consumption has been shown to lead to greater losses of the adipose tissue (fat) in animals and humans.
  • It has ZERO SUGAR
  • No sugar crash after!
  • Provides more energy for a longer period of time due to mixing caffeine with the fat from butter and coconut oil.
  • Frees me from food cravings
  • Caffeine blocks inflammation in the brain according to Gregory Freund, MD, from the University of Illinois
  • Caffeine increases insulin sensitivity, which is important to sustained weight loss
  • Coffee, in general, has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Brain clarity! (and if you don't know what I mean by this, then you definitely have to give this coffee a try.)

 



 

Now, go out and buy a festive mug for Fall and fuel your body with Pumpkin Spice Bulletproof Coffee!

Enjoy!

Bulletproof Coffee: The Most Common Mistakes

Bulletproof Coffee: The Most Common Mistakes

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If you are struggling to notice the health benefits of Bulletproof Coffee I have listed a few common mistakes. Bulletproof coffee is designed to give you clarity, help you burn fat, provide important vitamins, have anti-inflammatory effects, and so on! Review your coffee making process with these common mistakes I have provided below.

 

Using the Wrong Butter:

Grass-fed butter is recommended because it is an anti-inflammatory substance containing vitamins and it does not raise your cholesterol.

Three big issues with choosing butter are:

  1. If you use regular butter or “grain-fed” butter, this IS inflammatory
  2. If it is not labeled as Organic, there potentially have been hormones fed/injected into the animal, pesticides used throughout the process, and GMOs fed to those cows. Through consumption, these substances could end up in your body! (Something I learned in my Animal and Diary Science class today!)
  3. DO NOT use margarine. That is the opposite of butter, and it is full of FAKE saturated fat…the bad kind.

Be Wise with Oil:

You can use basic Coconut oil, but keep in mind you are missing a lot of the health benefits of medium chain triglyceride oil (MCT Oil) which is just a very concentrated version of coconut oil (and is tasteless in case you are not a fan of coconut taste.)

Benefits of MCT oil as opposed to Coconut oil:

  1. Greater fat-burning benefits
  2. More anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antiviral, and antimicrobial
  3. And it takes less MCT oil to get the benefits

DO NOT Use Milk in Bulletproof coffee:

Bulletproof is mainly comprised of fat. Just like my eating habits, the best way to see the results of a high fat diet is to be low carb. Milk has carbohydrates and sugars in it and adding sugar + fat is a recipe for weight gain. When you introduce carbohydrates into the mix of this high fat drink, you will burn the carbohydrates for energy and store the fat. My body MUST have the opportunity to get into fat burning mode by depleting my intake of carbohydrates.

Adding milk (any kind: coconut, almond, silk, etc. that contain sugar/carbs) will ruin the “fat-for-fuel” effect of this amazing coffee. Milk can be beneficial in the diet and is a good source of dairy if it is full fat, but it does not have a beneficial effect in this coffee.

Drinking it with a Meal:

I use this drink as a meal replacement every morning due to its high fat calorie content. I am extremely alert and energized after drinking a cup of this coffee and I do not feel the need to eat an entire meal with the consumption of this drink. Some people are combining this drink along with their breakfast, which typically contains some kind of carbohydrate (berries, oatmeal, etc. or whatever you consume for breakfast). Once again, consuming carbs while you consume bulletproof coffee defeats the purpose of the drink, to burn body fat. Unfortunately, you will gain weight if you eat carbohydrates while drinking the coffee unless that is your goal then go for it!

DO NOT Add Sugar:

As mentioned earlier with milk, sugar is a carbohydrate and adding it to your coffee ruins its purpose. Even a small amount of sugar will completely tarnish the fat burning effect that bulletproof coffee has to offer.

Many people are fooled by the name of certain sugars, or possibly by the labels.

  • Agave sugar is just as bad as the sugar you will find in a donut.
  • Organic does not mean the sugar is O.K. to put in your coffee

Some of the WORST things to add to your coffee are:

  1. Table sugar
  2. Sweeteners like Splenda
  3. Honey
  4. Agave
  5. Brown sugar
  6. Maple Sugar/Syrup

If you want your coffee to be sweetened, use all natural sweeteners like Stevia or Xylitol.

Safe Add-ins to Try!

Try some of these extra ingredients to change up the taste of your coffee:

  • Cinnamon (NOT cinnamon sugar)
  • Ground Vanilla Bean
  • Organic unsweetened Cacao
  • Unsweetened (zero carb) Whey Protein
  • Ground Nutmeg

Enjoy! :)