Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Revamp Your Kitchen and Shopping Habits

It's time to talk about your kitchen and shopping habits. This is going to be FUN!!

Do you think that your kitchen is stocked with the best foods for your body?
Do you feel that maybe you could use a little makeover and just start from scratch?

Well, don't feel alone...there are more people coming to me to have me revamp their kitchens and shopping habits then you would ever imagine.
With today's robust advertising efforts on many supermarket products it's so confusing to women and men on what they should be buying for their families.
It's all so confusing and especially if you want to transition to a more HOLISTIC lifestyle, the products you thought were healthy just simply won't do. Once you make the commitment to provide the best nutrients, including powerful enzymes for your body then shopping takes on a whole new meaning.

I love spending time with people ditching the old and bringing in the new.
Watch my video that shares my joy for COSTCO and truly helps show you how shopping at Costco along with a couple of whole food stores keeps me buying the best products for the best price.

Always keep in mind how healthy you want you and your family to be. Is it 100% or just 80%. Either way shopping the Costco Way and Whole Foods allows you to have a good variety of healthy options.



Contact me anytime to schedule a FREE Health Consultation!
Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Decadent Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Happy Spring! I am so joyful that the days will be warmer and the local farms will be dishing out fresh, juicy strawberries.

This last Saturday night we were prepping for a fun get together with some awesome friends and the biggest highlight of the prepping was dressing juicy strawberries with thick and rich melted Cacao Chocolate Chips.

Do you know what Cacao is?
Quit simply cacao is the original and real name of the well-known cocoa bean. Cacao (Theobroma Cacao) is from which cocoa solids and cocoa butter are extracted. The word “cocoa” is a derivative of “cacao”. Call it whatever you want. Just know that the purer the cacao product is the more health benefits it provides.

The bean of the cacao plant is the nutritional and flavorful source of all chocolate and cocoa products. Cacao contains a naturally rich supply of antioxidants and is a good source of dietary fiber. It is also known to be one of the highest dietary sources of magnesium, flavanols and polyphenols. Basically, it’s a SUPERFOOD!

Ever since people have been hearing that dark chocolate has major health benefits people have been giving themselves the excuse to consume dark chocolate. I would recommend you to try and make sure that it’s as raw as possible…which will ensure that you don’t consume false chocolate products with added sugars. I buy raw chocolate powder at Henrey’s whole foods supermarket and love to add it to my smoothies, beverages, sauces, spreads, desserts, and baking.

Let’s go back to my tasty strawberries…

So, instead of buying the traditional chocolate dipping products out there that actually have many additional ingredients that aren’t really good for you I decided to pick up this healthier option. These chocolate chips were easy to melt and the chocolate was rich and delicious.

I put the whole bag of chocolate chips in a stainless steal bowl, which sat in a pool of boiling water in a big saucepan. This melted the chocolate naturally, quickly, and safely leaving the chocolate smooth and ready for dipping.




This was our set up that easily allowed me and the kids to grab a clean strawberry, which I bought at Costco, dip it in chocolate and then place it on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper (for easy clean up later). Once the tray was full it was placed in our refrigerator for 2 hours to allow the chocolate to harden.



















VOILA, easy as 1, 2, 3.

We were able to dip 24 good size strawberries for the whole bag of chocolate chips. I will have to buy two bags next time…because the kids ate 20 strawberries way too quickly before the adults finished dinner. SNEAKY KIDS!

I hope this inspires you to take a little bit of time the night before your next get together to make something much healthier and delicious then a pre-made cake or pie.

Healthy cacao is a natural mode enhancer and will make people happy.

Bon Appetite!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Iva's Green Monster Smoothie

Let’s all give thanks to Saint Patrick, a patron saint of Ireland. It is because of him that we still now continue to celebrate this fun day of feasting. Originally, the color associated with Saint Patrick was blue, but over time the color switched to green.

It fascinates me to see so many recipes of green delights and how people all over the world can get creative with food.

With good timing I want to share a new smoothie recipe that is green and delicious.

This smoothie started off as a recipe given to me by the Vitamix demo guy at Costco…but quickly my kids and I made it our own. Once getting a hold of any recipe I like to manipulate it to make it healthier. We came up with a winner that I’ve shared with just a select few and it’s a hit. Now it’s your turn to make this GREEN MONSTER.

Ingredients:

½ Orange (try to keep most of the white part)
½ Banana
½ cup Pineapple cubes
½ Pear
1 ½ cups Spinach
1 ½ cups ICE

Combine all ingredients into a blender.

It’s fun to see it go from all that produce to this green liquid.

Get your kids involved when you make smoothies…it’s safe and they will more willingly want to try tasting it if they got to share in the process of preparing it.

Brooke couldn’t wait to wake up in the morning to have one of these.

Drink that Spinach baby!!


When I make this for myself I like to throw in a tablespoon of Chia Seeds to add a healthy Fat Exchange… you can’t beat the energy and Omega 3’s in Chia Seeds. My daughter also likes Chia Seeds, but my son is not convinced that he should be partaking in this delight. He will come around…he is the picky one in the family and with consistence he always seems to come to enjoying the healthy choices we all are choosing.

Have a wonderful day celebrating St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow and don’t forget to wear green…or you just might get pinched!

Bon Appetite!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"Working Together" is Important

Have you ever thought of the concept of SYNERGY?

Do you understand what it means?

Don’t worry, not too many people do and most don’t even really think about it.

I obviously thought it was important to address, because understanding what synergy means and how it relates to food is an important piece to this whole WELLNESS puzzle we are trying to complete.

Synergy quit simply is the idea of “working together”.

I recently learned of a study in Liverpool that focused on the synergy of different ingredient combination's. The findings of the study were interesting because it showed that certain negative additives in junk foods (ie: aspartame, MSG, common artificial food colorings, etc.) when combined together caused major neurological negative effects compared to when consumed alone. A lot of studies were done in prisons and in schools that showed higher levels of behavioral problems.

Similarly, studies also showed the synergistic positive effects of several vitamins consumed together versus alone. A couple of the well known ones were Vitamin A + D or Vitamins E, D, and Selenium. These nutrients complimented one another in powerful ways that weren’t attainable alone.

The most striking finding to me was from The American Institute for Cancer Research that stated, “certain combinations of nutrients in certain veggies and fruits can induce powerful healing synergies in the human body.

The most striking combinations were:

1) Broccoli + Brussels Sprouts

2) Yellow Onion + Turmeric

3) Orange + Apple + Grapes + Blueberries

In all three of these combinations it is clear that all the ingredients contain antioxidants, but please take away that when the combinations are eaten together you create effects much more powerful in eliminating free radical damage in the body then any one alone.

I immediately thought of my sautéed vegetables dish that I love to prepare at least three times a week. It’s a quick sauté of fresh minced garlic, onion, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. It is so simple guys. Just sprinkle a tablespoon of E.V.O.O (extra virgin olive oil), Sea Salt, and Ground Pepper into a large frying pan. Add your veggies and stir constantly for about 5 minutes. I made some today for my girlfriends and they were surprised at how much they loved it. Eating Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts is easier and tastier then most people think, give it a try tonight.

Try combining great foods together to bath in the benefits of synergy in food.

Cornell University Professor of Bio-chemistry Colin Campbell, best known for writing the book The China Study had this to say about synergy;

"Nutrition represents the combined activities of countless food substances.
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The chemicals we get from the foods we eat are engaged in a series of reactions that work in concert to produce good health.
Everything works together to create health or disease".

A bowl of synergy can change your life!!
Bon Appetite!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Iva's Signature Superfood Smoothie

Many of us struggle with the thought of what we should be consuming daily to really trigger positive health effects in our body. One of my favorite things to say is,

“It’s not important what you eat on any single day, but what you eat over days and weeks which determines if you are nourishing your body”.

Whenever I say this to my clients or friends I see that a very enlightened look shows up on their face. It’s a very important way to think about the effect many meals have…not just one. So, with that said this should make you feel better that eating that decadent dessert smothered with rich chocolate isn’t going to make or break your health. Go ahead indulge...but don’t do it too often. Be honest with yourself and keep it to every once in a while…not nightly.

Now, sticking with this same concept one can see how eating something that is really good for us daily is going to be much more beneficial and nourishing if it’s consumed daily and not every once in a while.
So, I’ve been experimenting with my super powerful Vitamix blender and have been combining a variety of items, specifically foods that are super dense in nutrients and antioxidants. Some of my compilations were so horrible that I wouldn’t even feed it to a dog, but there were many that were amazing.

Out of all the winners I fell in love with this magical SuperFood Smoothie I’m sharing with you. This smoothie has all the elements of sweet, sour, and smooth. It makes me feel good mentally to know that the items in it are super charged with high levels of Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Fiber, Antioxidants, many Vitamins and Minerals, powerful plant Protein, and an array of other health benefits.

While creating it I really was searching for a combination of something that I can get used to drinking daily. I saw with myself and with my clients and friends that we were in need of a quick drink that is pure and powerful. Well, this is it.
This drink really gives you sustainable energy that also satisfies many cravings keeping you free of wanting anything else. I usually drink a 16 oz serving every morning unless I decide to have my English Muffin Explosion (I’ll post about that later) or Healthy Pancakes or other options from my book. If I don’t have it for breakfast I prepare it for a snack or even lunch. Don’t under estimate the power of PLANT PROTEIN!

So, without further wait…here it is;

The Mother of All Smoothies…. $1.47 for a 16 oz serving.






Ingredients:
½ cup Cold Water
1 long Carrot
½ Orange (try to keep most of the white part)
1 Kiwi (with skin)
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
2 Big Kale Leaves
10 Frozen Blackberries
4 Large, Frozen Strawberries

Instructions:
1)
Place all ingredients into a blender.
2) Blend for 1-2 minutes on max. if you have a powerful blender like my Vitamix that I got at Costco. If you have a less powerful blender blend the first four ingredients first, add the next two until smooth, and finally add the frozen berries until completely smooth.
3) ENJOY!!

Makes ~ 1, 16 oz serving
Exchange Per Serving:

2 Vegetable
2 ½ Fruit
1 Fat

All ingredients chosen were picked specifically for what they offered nutritionally and taste wise. I urge you to take time to learn more about all the Superfoods available to us and come up with your own Superfood Smoothie recipe that you can share with others.

Consuming healthy smoothies like this is so much easier on your digestive system and it makes it much more luckily that you’ll eat all that good food. Keep in mind that using a straw to ingest this goodness allows for the important enzymes at the back of your tongue to mix with the nutrients and really allow your body to maximize it’s efforts.

I hope this smoothie helps you get your day started right and even get your body into the habit of craving the goodness of Kale and Chia Seeds…it will happen!
Bon Appetite!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I'm Back.....Let's Revamp our Lives!

Hi,

I put together a video to let you know that I revamped my website. This new platform will allow for easier access to the resources I provide. Lots of cool things are in the works in the future so bookmark my page and keep coming back.
I also wanted to let you know my direction and goals so that you can gain the most out of your visits.

The coolest thing I wanted to share was that I started attending an amazing school called Institute For Integrative Nutrition and it is intense like medical school. I know many doctor’s who attend this one year program just so they can become well versed on the whole dynamics of true nutrition. Dr. Oz even sent his kids there. I love this school.
A lot of what I will be learning will be shared with you in some way.

I plan on posting a Vlog once a week to teach you something new or motivate you to do something new. I will also take time to blog periodic bits of information that helps me stay healthy.

STAY TUNED
And
STAY HEALTHY

If you haven’t done so already become a fan of my Facebook fan page and post your thoughts. Don’t just be a lookie-loo…because something you might say can positively change another person’s life. We all have something healthy to share and I need your help to build this sharing community. I can’t do this myself…I NEED YOU!

If your not a Facebook user then follow me on Twitter. If you haven't done so already go over to the left and become a fan of this BLOG....I appreciate it.

I would love to say more, but I have to go…I need to go revamp someone’s life!


 

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