Mind over Matter

We hear it, see it on t-shirts; but what does mind over matter really mean? To me it means that if you put your mind to it you will accomplish it.

Having hopes and dreams are things that we want to actually happen. But what is stopping us from achieving those hopes and dreams? Our mind…it plays tricks on us each and everyday doubting what we think is possible. It is like having an angel sitting on one side of you and the devil on the other. One will be cheering you on as you accomplish your goals and the other will be telling all that is wrong.

The body achieves what the mind believes it can do; no matter who is sitting on your side. For me my mind over matter attitude will be tested tomorrow; I am running my first 5k race and hope to complete in less than 40 minutes. It may be a goal that is unreachable, but my mind is telling me to just push through and try your best.

  Make your body prove your mind RIGHT! Reach for your goals no matter how long it takes you to get there.

Cinco de Mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo!! I am not of Mexican heritage; but I do love tacos, guacamole, and fajitas!

Here are some healthy recipes to try tonight with your family.

26 Healthy Mexican Food Recipes for Cinco de Mayo

Gimme Some Oven

Dust off that blender and get ready to whip up those margaritas, because Cinco de Mayo is upon us. Take advantage of the holiday to throw a Mexican celebration of epic proportions.

Apps and Dips
1. Chunky Guacamole
Of course this has to be first on the list. There are endless guac possibilities (guacamole with fruit in itguacamole with cuminpoblano peppers!), but when in doubt, keep it simple. This classic and chunky recipe from chef Richard Sandoval uses minimal ingredients in the perfect amounts to let avocados star front and center.

2. Pico de Gallo
You could run to the store and pick up the pre-made kind…or you could quickly chop up tomatoes, onions, and cilantro and make your own. This recipe is super simple and positively sings with fresh flavor and heat. You won’t regret DIY-ing this one.

3. Guacamole Cups
They’re just as cute as they sound and couldn’t be easier. Simply throw together your favorite guac recipe and scoop into “cups” made from baked wonton wrappers for bite-sized guacamole and chips. Want to try your hand at a slightly more upscale version? Go with these veggie taco cups, which double as a healthy breakfast.

4. Fresh Herb and Tomato Salsa with Smoked Cheese
We know that Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday, but this chunky salsa recipe is so flavorful, we’re willing to break the rules and slip a little Italian-inspired dish into the mix. Serve the Caprese-salad-inspired mix on its own, or turn into a robust side or main dish by adding shredded chicken to it.

5. Ceviche
Combine fish (or shrimp) with lime juice and spicy chiles with this recipe from Rick Bayless and take your tastebuds on a refreshing trip south of the border. Bonus: It’s perfect for those experimenting with the paleo diet or who eat gluten-free. For an upscale splurge, try this lobster ceviche from “Lobster de Mayo” chef Howard Kalachnikoff.

6. Chicken Tortilla Soup
This recipe from the Pioneer Woman Cooks is a little labor-intensive, but the finished product is positively gorgeous and bursting with dimension and flavor thanks to cumin, chili powder, and garlic spicing up the chicken. Make extra for tomorrow’s lunch or another night, and experience even richer tastes when you dig into the leftovers.

 

Sides
7. Southwestern Black Bean Salad
This spicy, colorful salad makes the perfect warm-weather side dish. Loaded with black beans, corn, tomatoes, jalapeños, and avocados for a  mix of crunchy, soft, sweet, and heat, it’s rich in antioxidants, low in calories.

8. Chickpea, Avocado, and Feta Salad
When you’re hosting a get-together, you need to get food on the table fast. This recipe is just the thing. Serve up a heart-healthy, filling combination of nutty garbanzo beans, buttery avocado, zesty lime, and salty, tangy feta to get the party started.

9. Grilled Corn on the Cob with Pesto
Liven up corn on the cob by throwing it on the grill and slathering it with delicious Mexican pesto. Made with pumpkin seeds, robust cotija, and cilantro, the piquant sauce with a touch of spice makes a great topping for meat and fish too.

Corn on the cob

10. Fiesta Lime Rice
Easy, easy, easy: Throw together leftover rice, canned black beans, tomatoes, scallions, and onions, and you have a fiesta-worthy side dish to balance out all the meat- and cheese-heavy dishes you’ll be serving for Cinco. It can also do double-duty in this stuffed peppers recipe.
11. Turkey Taquitos
Baked rather than fried, these light, flaky taquitos are super rica and insanely better than anything you’d find in the frozen foods aisle. They’re good with shredded chicken as well, and they’re husband- and kid-approved.

12. Fish Tacos with Creamy Lime Guacamole
Fish tacos tend to be fried, but this recipe calls for breaking out the grill, which will help you save some calories. Topped with lime-spiked slaw, tomato, and the creamiest guac ever, you’ll make these all summer long.

13. Chipotle Quinoa Sweet Potato Tacos with Roasted Cranberry Pomegranate Salsa
According to recent stats released by GrubHub, the most popular taco filling is chicken, but we’re confident that will change after you try these. It’s a mouthful to say, but trust us when we say the savory, spicy, slightly sweet flavor of the quinoa, sweet potatoes, and pomegranates will win you over in a heartbeat.

14. Chicken Tinga Tacos
Adobo chiles, fire-roasted tomatoes, sweet onions, and a little bit of garlic all work together in this recipe to give the chicken a robust, smoky note. Pile into a tortilla, top with cotija cheese, crema, and avocado, and you’ll have a restaurant-style meal in no time.

15. Chicken-and-Black-Bean Stuffed Burritos
Who doesn’t like burritos? While a typical burrito can set you back 1,200 calories (no joke!), these ones come in way under the wire at 354 calories per serving, yet they’re still loaded with all the good stuff: chicken, beans, salsa, and cheese.

16. 3-Cheese Mexican Frittata with Salsa Fresca
Cheese-lovers unite! This fritatta is so pretty to look at it, it almost hurts. Whether you’re having a boozy brunch or doing breakfast for dinner this Cinco de Mayo, you won’t be able to keep yourself from digging into this cheesy, gooey, savory recipe. It’s a bit indulgent, yes, but it’s a holiday.

17. Chile Colorado Con Carne
This recipe isn’t for the faint of heart! But if you can stomach lots of spicy chile, get ready to turn up the heat in the kitchen. This slow-simmered beef stew (a.k.a. guisada) is the epitome of Mexican soul food. You’ll want to dive into the bowl as it cooks thanks to the cumin, oregano, allspice, and cloves. Oh, and bacon and beer.

18. Vegan Mushroom, Kale, and Quinoa Enchiladas
Non-meat-eaters, rejoice! Give the Mexican staple a power food upgrade by skipping the meat and rice and using kale and mushrooms instead. Spoon out the slightly sweet, spicy red sauce included in the recipe for an extra layer of depth.

19. Chicken Enmoladas
It’s Mole Monday! If you can make enchiladas, you can make these babies. Drench them in a thick, velvety, and slightly chocolatey mole sauce that tastes as rich as it looks for a savory, chicken-filled dish that practically envelopes you in warmth and heat.

Drinks
20. Caliente Viejo
The Manhattan meets the margarita for a spicy, sophisticated drink that skimps on calories—not flavor (or booze!).

21. Horchata
Can’t leave los guaguas (babies) out of the action! This creamy horchata recipe tastes almost like a vanilla milkshake—with a dash of cinnamon and almond. Alcohol-free, kids of all ages will sip it up.

22. Skinny Sunrise Cocktail
As blogger Kristin Porter says, there’s no reason Cinco de Mayo can’t also be Shrinko de Mayo. Skip the heavy margaritas and beers for this vibrantly-colored drink instead. It will only set you back 145 calories, though it is a little high in sugar (most of it natural), so if you’re trying to be cognizant of your intake, remember to indulge in moderation.

Desserts
23. Spiced Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Frosting
Who knew avocado was so versatile? Use guacamole’s star ingredient to make quite possibly the richest, moistest cupcakes ever. There’s even avocado in the super silky chocolate icing, but all you’ll taste is yum!

24. Peach-Mango Riesling Granites
Remember when you were a kid, and you used to get ices or slushies every time you went to the beach or an amusement park? Enter the grown-up version: Simply blend together your favorite sweet wine, juice, and ice in a blender or food processor for a party-ready cool and fizzy dessert.

25. Margarita Mousse Bars
Have you ever noticed that when you stick the word “margarita” in front of something, it instantly becomes a hundred times better? Case in point: These margarita mousse bars are soft and pillowy, tangy and sweet, just a little bit boozy, and are completely out of this world. You’re not going to get better than these for Cinco de Mayo!

26. Baked Churro Donut Holes
Sweet, fluffy, cinnamon-y, cake-like, and churro-ish all at the same time, these bite-sized donut holes are a healthier alternative to the traditional sugary Mexican churro. These treats are easy to pop and therefore easy to overdo, so remember: Moderation is the name of the game. (Though we predict they’ll be so popular that you won’t even have time to be tempted to overindulge!)

 

Healthy weight

Not stepping or even looking at the scale can be difficult for some people and easier for others. What does it matter what the scale says… go by these 4 ways to tell if you are at a healthy weight or not. Being healthy is more important than depriving yourself.

Waist circumference

If your belly is home to excess fat, you may be at greater risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Wrap a tape measure around your middle just above your hip bones, at about your belly button. A healthy measurement for women is less than 35 inches.

Resting heart rate

Put two fingers over your pulse—at the wrist or neck—and count the number of beats in one minute. Between 60 and 100 beats is normal. A lower resting heart rate generally implies better physical health; a less active lifestyle can lead to a higher rate because the heart has to work harder.

Body fat percentage

Unlike BMI, this number reveals the amount of excess fat, separate from muscle mass. A healthy range for women is 20 to 32 percent. Get a bioelectrical impedance analysis at your health club; a machine sends electricity through your body to calculate the amount of fat versus lean tissue.

 

Basal metabolic rate

BMR factors in your height, weight, gender, activity level and age to approximate the number of calories you burn while at rest; you can also use it to estimate how many calories to cut from your diet each day to achieve your weight-loss goal. Plug in your info at supertracker.usda.gov/bwp.

Sleep.. zzzz

Sleep it’s a wonderful thing. Gets us to wind down from the day and close our eyes and not think of the coulda,shoulda,woulda of the day. It helps us feel refresh the next morning and helps with recovery for our bodies. Yet, there are more individuals that struggle to get more than 5 hours of sleep a night.

Insomnia is the term  for not being able to sleep and it is a medical condition too. But how can you change your sleeping patterns to make sure you are RESTFUL and not RESTLESS at night? Here are few tips:

  1. Try and go to sleep and get up in the morning at the same time every day.
  2. Avoid sleeping in- even on the weekends or after having a fun night out.
  3. Create a bed-time routine (wash your face, going to the bathroom, brushing your teeth, etc.)
  4. If you nap- make sure it is only a cat nap of 15-20 minutes (anything over that makes your body believe it is time to sleep for longer).
  5. Avoid electronics for 20 minutes before going to sleep (Facebook can wait until the morning).
  6. Spend sometime outside during the day.
  7. Avoid eating too much sugar for dessert.
  8. Keep a notepad near your bed for if you wake up worrying about getting things done.

 

If these tips don’t work talk to your doctor on what the best way to get some sleep is.

This is for us ladies

Once a month we get our “friend”;which to be honest I am not sure why we call it that, it’s more of a enemy than friend in some cases. There are times that we thank god that we have our friend that month and there are times were we hate having it near. We crave certain foods during this time of the month-but the question what foods are making our periods worse?

Yahoo Health found 7 foods that make your period worse.. hopefully they aren’t our favorites (aka chocolate, peanut butter, chips)

By Dana Leigh Smith

Do your cramps make a root canal seem like NBD? Do you bloat more than a pufferfish that just guzzled a gallon of water? Do you mood swings make Mike Tyson seem chill? The foods you eat during your period may be to blame.

Being a woman is pretty darn great—just ask famous Saturday Night Live comedian Gilda Radner. “Women can cry, they can wear cute clothes, and they’re the first to be rescued off sinking ships,” she joked in one of her best-remembered monologs. Even so, you’d be hard pressed to find a woman who wouldn’t trade in all those awesome perks the day her period rolls around. And that’s because PMS side effects aren’t just pesky; for many, they’re downright debilitating—so much so that one British company recently announced their plans to create an official “period policy” where women staffers can take time off to nurse their cramps and relax without dipping into their sick or personal days. (PSA: If your cramps are crazy-extreme, though, you should consider speaking to your doctor. Excruciating cramps can be a sign of endometriosis.)

There is a silver lining, though. Experts have identified a number of things you should avoid because they can make symptoms like bloating and cramps worse. Aside from things like smoking and stress, consuming certain foods—many of which you likely crave during that time of the month—can make matters worse.

To help you better cope with the most painful and annoying aspect of your period, we checked in with the experts to find out which foods are most apt to leave women feeling miserable during Mother Nature’s monthly visit. Read on to find out what they said—and discover some tasty swaps to quell your cravings, too! And after you learn which foods to avoid, be sure to check out these 8 Foods That Ease PMS Symptoms!

DAIRY

“You may have heard that calcium helps with cramps, but that’s not the case when it comes from dairy,” warns registered dietitian Isabel Smith. “Dairy naturally contains arachidonic acids, that stimulate prostaglandins (hormone-like substances) that can intensify menstrual cramps.” So if Advil tends to be your BFF, ditch the yogurt and milk à la Khloe Kardashian and load up on other sources of the nutrient like edamame, greens, nuts, and chia seeds, suggests Smith.

Craving Crusher!

When you’re craving milk in your smoothie or cereal…

Eat This! One cup fortified soymilk
Calcium content: 30% daily value

Not That!
One cup cow’s milk
Calcium content: 30% daily value

And if your go-to PMS treat is something cold and sweet like ice cream.

“When women lose blood during their period, they’re also losing iron which is why many ladies are left feeling rundown and tired,” Smith tells us. But fight back the urge to size up to a venti to fight the fatigue. “Caffeine causes blood vessels to constrict, and that includes those that feed the uterus. When this happens, it can bring on more intense cramps,” Smith explains. Aside from steering clear of things like coffee, tea, and soda, be sure to avoid hidden sources of caffeine (like chocolate, coffee- and chocolate-flavored snacks, as well as certain nutrition bars, multivitamins, and vitamin-infused beverages)—especially if you’re period often leaves you doubled over in pain. If you can’t perk up without a dietary crutch, at least make the switch to half-caf or decaf beverages (both of which still contain a bit of caffeine), or try some of these 23 Best Foods for Energy!

Craving Crusher!

When you’re craving a coffee…

Drink This!
Starbucks tall decaf coffee
Caffeine content: 13-19 milligrams

Not That!
Starbucks tall regular coffee
Caffeine content: 260 milligrams

SALTY FOODS

Does your period leave you looking more bloated than a pufferfish that just guzzled a gallon of water? Your love for all things salty may be to blame. “In the days leading up to your period, your body begins storing sodium and fluids. And when you’re already bloated, eating high-salt food will only result in more water retention,” warns Smith. If you’re hankering for salty deliciousness if too hard to ignore, pair it with an extra cup of water (or better yet, some slimmingdetox water) and a second food that’s a natural diuretic (like asparagus, parsley, beets, lettuce, and ginger). Looking for low-sodium alternatives to some of your favorite treats can be another effective way to keep your stomach flat.

Craving Crusher!

When you’re craving fries…

Eat This! McDonald’s Medium World Famous Fries
Salt content: 190 milligrams

Not That!
Arby’s Medium Curly Fries
Salt content: 1,250 milligrams

Eat This! Tip

Since fries can be laden with carbs (another nutrient that can make your period more hellish) consider sizing down to a small or kid’s size order.

CARB LADEN DISHES

“A week or two before your period, hormone levels change. Estrogen levels increase and progesterone levels decrease. These changing hormone levels can cause your body to retain more water than normal, explains Alissa Rumsey, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “And like excess salt, consuming too many carbs can make the bloating worse.”

Craving Crusher!

When you’re craving a big bowl of pasta…

Eat This!
One cup of zucchini noodles
Carb content: 4 grams

Not That!
One cup conventional pasta
Carb content: 29 – 46 grams

RED MEAT

If your period often leaves your energy zapped, you may have heard that upping your iron intake can help. But before you load up on red meat (one of the most potent sources of the stuff), consider this: Like dairy, burgers, meatballs, and taco meat all contains arachidonic acids. That means you may be boosting your energy while simultaneously worsening your cramps. Ouch! “Something like a chickpea burger or a fresh wild salmon filet will provide some iron along with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, too, making it a smart swap,” Smith tells us. Pair either option with some green leafy vegetables for an additional dose of energy-boosting iron.

Craving Crusher!

When you’re craving a burger…

Eat This! Chickpea burger (made with ¼ cup chickpeas) on a whole grain Sandwich Thin and ½ cup broccoli
Iron content: 22%

Not That!
Beef burger on a conventional bun with a side salad
Iron content: 20%

BOOZE

“Large amounts of alcohol can slow stomach emptying, which can contribute to feeling heavy and bloated you may already experience during your period,” warns Rumsey. “Plus, alcohol also can cause you to retain water, so you can feel more puffy and bloated. This is exacerbated by alcohol’s diuretic effect, as a dehydrated body will retain more water than a hydrated one. Counteract this by keeping your alcohol intake to a moderate amount of one or two drinks per night, and alternating each boozy drink with a glass of water,” she adds.

Craving Crusher!

When you’re craving an indulgent drink…

Drink This!
One of these hydrating, healthy weight loss smoothies

Not That!
Shots, beer, wine, bubbly, mixed drinks, etc.

HIGH SUGAR FOODS

Processed, sugary foods like cake, cookies, candy bars, and soda (and even hidden sugar bombs like flavored yogurts and BBQ sauce) can shift levels of estrogen and testosterone, decreasing serotonin levels, explains Smith. “Pair that with the fact that sugar causes blood sugar levels to rise and drop, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for some crazy mood swings. Plus, too much sugar also makes you feel extra run-down and tired.”

Craving Crusher!

When you’re craving a sweet chocolaty treat…

Eat This! 12 pieces (40 grams) of Green&Black’s 85% Cacao Bar
Sugar content: 8 grams

Not That!
Dove Dark Chocolate bar (40.8 grams)
Sugar content: 19 grams

Love

We all know what it takes to find love and continue to be in love with someone. But what about loving ourselves. There are so many different poems, quotes, and advice out there to find that right person for you. Yet, how do we know we love ourselves. Many think that in order to find love they need to be with someone to show them that…. what if you loved yourself before you found love and it lasted longer?

The poem of Love Rules is seen everywhere (including my office), but what if we have a Body Rules? There are tips and tricks on how to really understand and get to know your body-but we may not take all those into consideration.

Love Rules poem says:
Never take each other for granted. Remember to still go on dates. Try something new together. Say “I Love You”. Remember why you feel in love. Respect each other. Be spontaneous. Celebrate the special days. End an argument as soon as possible. Be willing to compromise. Grow old together. 

 

My personal Body Rules would say: 
Never give up. Remember where you started. Try to live life. Look at yourself and see all that you have accomplished. Remember why you started getting healthy. Respect what my body is telling you. Be strong. Celebrate the milestones. End negative body image. Be willing to see results. Become who you want to be. 

 

What would your Body Rules say? 

Healthy Kids

This week April 25-April 30th marks the Healthy Kids Week in America. I have said it before many times that kids that are growing up now have many struggles to overcome in terms of obesity and self- esteem.

How can we help them build a loving relationship with themselves and understand that being active and eating healthy will allow them to live longer?

  1. Show love and affection to your child. All our dealings with our children, starting from infancy, should be done with a lot of affection and love. A baby who was dealt with love and affection will get a subconscious feeling that s/he is worthy and important enough to be loved.
  2. Compliment your child. Give your child compliments as often as possible, whenever they do something right. Say, “I am very proud of you. You are very special. I like the way you have done it.”
  3. Make your compliments credible. It is important, however, that the compliments be credible. Exaggerated compliments like, “You are the best in the world. You are the nicest person that ever lived” can actually be counter-productive. The child will develop an inflated ego, and that can affect his relationship with friends, which in the long run will have a negative effect on his or her self-esteem.
  4. Set goals for your child. The goal should be something attainable–to get dressed by herself, to get a certain mark on his next test. Set goals that are suited for the child’s age and capabilities (setting a goal which is unattainable will have a negative effect). As the child works toward the goal, coach her along and compliment her success each step along the way. Once the child reaches the goal, compliment her achievement and reinforce her self-image as an achiever.
  5. Criticize the action, not the person. When the child does something negative, say to the child, “You are such a good and special child, you should not be engaging in such an activity,” instead of saying, “you are a bad child.”
  6. Validate your child’s feelings. When your child suffers a blow to his self-esteem, it’s important to validate his feelings. For example, if the child gets offended by a hurtful comment made by a friend or a teacher, say to the child, “Yes, you were offended by what that person said” or “you were offended by the fact that the other person doesn’t like you.” Only after the child feels that his feelings have been validated will he be open to you bolstering his self-esteem by pointing out the people who do like him, and the positive things that others have said about him.
  7. Be proud of your child. On a regular basis, we must remember to tell the child how fortunate and how proud we are to be her parents.
  8. Talk positively about your child in the presence of important people in his life, such as grandparents, teachers, friends etc.
  9. Never to compare your child to others, saying, “why aren’t you like Johnny?” When such comparisons are made by others, reassure your child that she is special and unique in her own way.”
  10. Make sure that others dealing with your child know your child’s strengths. At the beginning of the school year, speak with your child’s teachers and tell them what your child’s special strengths are and about the areas in which he or she excels, so that the teacher will have a positive outlook towards them and will continue to build on those strengths.
  11. Tell the child on a regular basis that you will love them unconditionally. When they fail, or do the wrong thing, remember to say to them, “You are special to me, I will always love you, no matter what!”
  12. Tend to your own self-esteem. You need to see yourself in a positive light. Parents who lack self-esteem will have difficulties bringing up a child with a high self-esteem. A good positive parent is a parent who knows that he or she is not perfect but values him or herself, while always trying to grow and improve.
  13. Get moving together! Go on a walk around the block, go for a bike ride, play basketball.
  14. Make dinner together. Find a recipe that the whole family will enjoy and make it together.
  15. Be there for them. Growing up isn’t easy. There is more bullying inside and outside of school. Make sure you are there for them to lend an ear (but don’t try to pry the information from them; they will come to you when they need your help.

This tips are not just for parents- the whole family should be doing these 15 steps to encourage self-esteem and healthy living.