I’m Ready to Upgrade My Health!

Ginger Lemongrass Tea – Hot or Cold!

Ginger Lemon Iced Tea
Whether it’s summertime or the middle of the winter, it’s extremely important to stay hydrated. I like to stay hydrated in a  number of ways, including drinking fresh, filtered water, infusing my water with high frequency hydrosols, like rose water as well as drinking fruit-infused water. I also like to maintain a very hydrating diet by eating mostly water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables.

Incorporating teas into your lifestyle, made with a wide range of herbs and spices, is a great way to stay hydrated as well benefit from the many different healing qualities that various plant medicines have to offer. There are so many healing plants that traditions all over the world have benefited from in the form of teas.

Ginger is one of the healing herbs I turn to quite often. Ginger is commonly used medicinally to help a wide range of symptoms. It’s used for nausea, a range of digestive issues like helping to relieve an upset stomach and morning sickness and can help soothe a sore throat. I find ginger to be quite comforting in times of sickness.

Making teas is easy. I start by simmering freshly cut ginger in a pot on the stove with filtered water. You can add any herbs you like. Today, I made a ginger, lemongrass tea. I personally like to simmer on low heat for a longer period of time, rather than bringing to boil. In the summer I also recommend making sun teas, where you place the herbs of choice in a jar and allow the energy and heat from the sun to do all the work, as the herbs slowly infuse the water.

I’ve also talked about the benefits of drinking lemon water first thing in the morning and love the way lemon and ginger taste together –truly a match made in heaven. After the lemongrass and ginger have simmered on the stove for about 30 minutes (sometimes it requires adding in more water) I personally love to add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice as well as a little bit of raw, local organic honey. It’s been hot here in Hawaii this winter, so I allowed it to cool on the stove for several hours and then added ice to make an iced-tea, but you can certainly enjoy this healing tea both hot or cold.

Enjoy!

Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii,

Laura Dawn

5 Fascinating Reasons Stress Causes Overeating

5 Fascinating Ways Stress Causes Overeating

When you are feeling stressed or anxious do you notice yourself trying to soothe or calm that uneasy feeling with food? Do you notice yourself automatically reaching to nervously snack on something to make yourself feel better? If so, you’re not alone.

If you’re one of the many millions of people who are “stress eaters” then this article will help shed some light onto the habitual behavior that keeps you reaching for food instead of reaching for a more effective stress management technique.

The interesting part about stress eating is that it never really helps. It may feel like a temporary relief from the real world, but eating when you’re stressed out is only more cause for concern. Now you have to worry about all those calories, the self-critical voice in your head and the uncomfortable feeling of eating when you weren’t really hungry.

Even though we may consciously know eating won’t help ease the stress—and we know that it really only makes things worse in the long run, we do it anyways. Human behavior is strange and ironic. We are driven to do something—to act out a behavior—despite the fact that very soon afterwards we won’t feel great about it. But instead of learning our lessons we go back time and time again to ineffective strategies. What’s really going on here? What are we really up against here?

Stress-Induced Eating is on the Rise

I’ve personally been a stress eater for most of my life and the more I studied this issue, the more I was amazed and came to understand that sometimes our habitual behaviors and what stands in between us and change are deeply rooted instinctual urges driving us to act in certain ways because of our make up as human beings.

Not surprisingly, research has consistently linked weight gain to stress. With stress on the rise in our culture and over two thirds of the population overweight or obese, it’s hard to deny that the consequences of chronic stress are a key contributing factor to America’s insatiable appetite and the obesity epidemic. [Read more…]

9 Tips to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

9 Tips to prevent holiday weight gain

Holiday season is officially upon us.  And for the average person, the holidays notoriously come hand in hand with an average of 1-5 pounds of weight gain. Sound familiar?

If you’re like most people, you work really hard and practically non-stop all year around. The holidays roll around and that sneaky little voice inside your head says “you deserve it — indulge!” Instant pleasure is always short lived and for many, there’s longer-term consequences that you’ll have to grapple and make amends with — whether it’s that nagging or guilty voice that lingers for a few hours or those extra pounds that linger for a few months.

If you feel like maintaining a healthy weight during the holidays is an uphill battle, it’s time to re-write that story line. Preventing holiday overindulgence requires is a solid plan to help keep your weight in check so you can feel your best and start the New Year off on the right foot.

Prevent Holiday Weight Gain Tip #1:

Make Time for You

It’s easy to get caught up in the tidal wave of social gatherings. But considering how hard you probably worked this year, remind yourself that you also need some down time. Make a conscious effort to take time for you this holiday season. Do nice, relaxing things for yourself to help you decompress from a busy year and help you rejuvenate for the year ahead. Sleep in extra late, take a nice relaxing bath, read a good book. Do things that bring pleasure into your life that don’t revolve around food.

Prevent Holiday Weight Gain Tip #2:

Keep Your Stress In Check

[Read more…]

10 Mindful Eating Tips to Help You Eat Less

10 Mindful Eating Tips to Help You Eat  Less

If you struggle with overeating, then you might be as surprised as some of my clients when I tell them it’s not really about the food.

What you eat, is only a small part of the overeating story. The other part that’s often overlooked – is how you eat, and how you eat is a major component of Mindful Eating. 

(In my book Unhooked: A Holistic Approach to Ending Your Struggle with Food, I explore why we overeat from 6 different perspectives, including: environmental, physiological, behavioral, emotional, mental and spiritual. Learn more about getting Unhooked here.)

Many of my clients have been able to curb overeating, reduce food cravings and work towards healing a disordered relationship with food through the simple, yet powerful practice of mindful eating.

Top 10 Mindful Eating Tips to Help You Eat Less

Here are ten quick and easy ways to incorporate mindful eating into your life to help prevent overeating.

1. When You Eat, Only Eat: Remove All Distractions

When it comes to mindful eating, this is one of the best first places to start. It’s hard to be mindful of what you’re eating when you’re distracted by the TV, are multitasking on the phone or while driving in your car – when you really should pay attention to where you’re going! [Read more…]

8 Ways to Make Regular Exercise a Daily Habit – and Stay Motivated to Move

8 Ways to Make Exercise a Regular Habit and Stay

Getting regular exercise on a daily basis can literally work wonders in your life.

Regular exercise can help you manage stress, boost energy levels and improve the quality of your sleep. Exercise can help manage weight levels and ward off disease. It can even help improve your mood and make you happier. Pretty incredible right?

We all know exercise is good for us, but it’s not always easy to make it apart of our daily routine. The key is to make regular activity a habit where you no longer have to think about doing it, you automatically just do it. Here’s 8 tips to help you make exercise an everyday part of your routine.

8 Ways to Make Regular Exercise a Daily Habit

1. Focus and Make Regular Exercise a Priority

It will be easier to adopt regular exercise as a new healthy habit if you make it a top priority in your life. If you try to change too many habits all at once, it will prove to be more challenging to make them all stick. Remember that small steps equal big results. [Read more…]

Top 5 Favorite All Natural Sleep Aids

 

Top 5 all natural sleep aids

When it comes to health in general and weight loss in particular, there’s a lot of attention placed on nutrition and exercise – and rightfully so. But there are other essential components to living a healthy life at your optimal weight – and one of the crucial components that is often overlooked is sleep.

I’ve already written about sleep deprivation linked to weight gain. Put simply: improving your sleep should be on your radar. Chronic lack of sleep can make you fat, unmotivated and your journey towards health and wellness a seriously uphill battle. And it may not be a coincidence that 2/3’s of the American population are either overweight or obese and it’s estimated that 70% of Americans are sleep deprived.

With the unprecedented rise of stress in our culture, it can be challenging to stop the thought train full of worries before going to bed. In addition to meditation and the other natural ways you can improve the quality of your sleep, which I highly recommend, here are a few of my favorite all natural sleep aids to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night.

My Top 5 Favorite All Natural Sleep Aids

1. Valerian

Valerian is an herb commonly used for sleep disorders and is usually made from the root of the plant. It’s a mild sedative as well as pain reliever and is also used for stress, anxiety, headaches as well as menstrual cramps. The effectiveness of this all natural sleep aid makes it a great alternative to pharmaceutical options. It’s known to help you fall asleep faster (which can be hard to do when incessant thinking takes over) and improve the quality of sleep. [Read more…]

Raw Butternut Squash Soup

Raw Butternut Squash Soup

 

Looking for some fun new raw food recipes for the fall? I love using local, organic, whole-food ingredients that are in season. The farmers markets are overflowing with all sorts of pumpkins and squashes right now. Next time you’re at your local farmers market, pick up a butternut squash and try out this raw butternut squash soup recipe – it’s delicious!

I know there’s some controversy about whether you should eat squash raw or cooked. Some say that it’s too hard to digest raw squash, and others disagree. I personally don’t find this to be true at all, especially when blended in a raw soup.  I find raw squash to be sweet, tasty and very easy to digest. Like with all foods, you need to discover what’s true for you. I know that since I transitioned to a raw food diet many years ago, my digestion has immensely improved. I rarely, if ever, get gas or bloating from eating these “hardier” raw foods.

Raw butternut squash is not only super tasty, but it’s super nutritious too. Butternut squash is a great source of vitamin A, (100 grams contains a whopping 10,630 IU Vitamin A! That’s over 350% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA). It’s also high in fibre, vitamin C, and also a great source of vitamin E, B1, and B6. 

Butternut squash is one particular food that I like to eat both raw and cooked. On occasion I like to bake a whole squash in the oven, especially when I’m feeling colder and would like some warming up. But this raw butternut squash soup also does the trick. You can even warm it on low eat for a few minutes to (slightly) warm it up if you like.

Essential Kitchen Equipment

For this raw butternut squash soup recipe, all you will need is a a high powered blender. Vitamix Blender.

I personally use and recommend the Vitamix Blender. If you’re looking to buy a new blender, check out the review I wrote comparing the Vitamix with the Blendtec. A high-powered blender is one of the top 4 raw food kitchen tools I recommend stocking your kitchen with.

Ingredients for Raw Butternut Squash Soup

Add the following ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth:

  • 1 pound of squash cut up into smaller cubes
  • 2 inch of turmeric
  • 1.5 cups coconut water (or coconut milk for extra creaminess)
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper
  • 2 dates
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Juice from 1 medium lemon

Want to know why I don’t add salt to my recipes? I had no idea that eat salt was actually sabotaging my weight loss efforts. Want to know more? Get your free download on Salt here.

Sun-dried Tomato Garnish

Blend in a high-powered blender:

  • ½ cup sun-dried tomato soaked in 1 cup of water
  • Add to blender the juice from 1 lemon

Kaffir Lime LeafPutting it All Together

Place butternut squash soup in a bowl and add a dollop of tomato blend.

Slice kefir lime leaves as thinly as possible and add that as your last garnish on top of the sun-dried tomato.

Kaffir lime leaves come from a kaffir lime tree and are regularly used in traditional Asian cuisine. You can check your local Asian markets for kaffir lime leaves.

Hope you enjoy this raw butternut squash soup during these beautiful fall months.

Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii,

Laura Dawn

Five Ways to Get Through Tough Times

5-ways-to-get-through-tough-times

Everyone on the planet has one thing in common – we all have tough days. You know those days, right? When you just don’t feel that you have what it takes to keep going, to summon up the strength to face what needs to be faced. You can help yourself get over the hurdle by trying some, or all, of these suggestions.

1. Focus On What Is Working

[Read more…]

Disclaimer: Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits of any foods or supplements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. This also applies to recommended lifestyle changes, mentioned with the intention to help you achieve better health. This site is for informational and educational purposes only, readers are advised to take full responsibility for their actions and consult with a health care practitioner before making changes to diet or lifestyle.
Google Author