Celebrate World Health Day!

DSC_5821Celebrate World Health Day! Today is the day! Show your awareness for health and wellness. Today can be the new starting point for yourself as a personal goal. It can be the day you decide to stand up for anything you believe in, whether you want everyone in the world to be able to have clean drinking water, you’re thinking of becoming vegan, maybe you want to give back to your community and start a garden to help the hungry. Maybe you’ve decided it’s time to take back your health, so you’re starting a new exercise routine, you’re changing your eating habits, you’re going to start meditating, and you’ve decided 8 hours of sleep is what you need to look and feel your best.

Today is the day to take back your health and know that what you put in is what you get out. You can also make a difference in someone’s life just by being there for them, offering a hand or your resources when you can, anything to give back. Health and wellness is something we all need to implement and take back for ourselves, our families, and for the world.

This year’s World Health Day focuses on depression. Depression affects any age, gender, race, in any country, and all walks of life. It has become a serious epidemic in our society. Mental health has been over looked for years and if we don’t take a stand against it, it will consume our friends, families, our lives, and the world we live in.

We often forget that mental and emotional health are huge factors in our health and wellness. Often we tend to focus on what we’re eating, weight loss, and BMI. And we tend to forget to focus on personal time, healing, relaxation, reducing stress, enjoying the simple things, and getting rid of the toxic people and things in our lives that continue to make us unhappy and unhealthy.

Today is your starting point to make a difference in your life as well as someone else’s. Vow to eat one meal healthier, get outside for some movement and exercise, meditate even it’s only for 3 minutes, turn off the tv and go to bed earlier, journal or read that book you’ve been putting off. Find time to heal your soul, clear your mind, and better yourself as a whole, not just little pieces of you.

Food Revolution Day 2016

2016 fr dayIt’s that time again! Food Revolution Day!! The perfect time to teach your kids, your neighbors kids, classmates, friends, and family the value of being able to prepare, cook, and enjoy a healthy, nutritious meal. Like I’ve said before teaching your children or our next generation how to cook for themselves is an asset to their health, livelihood, and longevity. It’s a skill that they keep for their lifetime and it could possibly save their health and allow them to live a long life, free of disease and illness. Every child deserves to be healthy.

Every year Jamie Oliver challenges his Food Revolution Ambassadors to go out and make a difference in the lives of the people around them by teaching the skill of preparing a recipe. Usually the focus is on the younger ones, since they will be our advocates as we age as well as their own. This year’s challenge was making your own omelette. That’s something my kids and I do personally at least once a week. So instead since I have access to my little crew of gardeners through my Farm Foodie Fitness Edible School Garden, I decided to visit my first graders and we made healthy smoothies using local strawberries, peaches, and blueberries that my kids and I harvested and froze from last summer. So we spent 45 minutes talking about health and wellness and then made killer smoothies! They loved it!

So, I’m challenging you all out there to make a difference in someone’s health this weekend and spend sometime in the kitchen teaching, showing, and preparing a recipe. If you want to take the challenge of the omelette, their easy and fun for kids to help in the kitchen. If you’re up for something else go for it! Make sure to check back in and let us know what you made and how it went. In the mean time, check out my crew of Food Revolutioners and if you’re looking for help or need some ideas with kids gardening and cooking. Check out my Kid’s gardening and cook book! You can grab a copy from our website!!

Happy Food Revolution Day! Here’s to Jamie Oliver for making a difference in all of us and the world! #foodrevolution

 

 

Teaching Basics to Our Next Generation

mbs esg16There are two things you can teach your kids that they can take with them forever no matter where they go and you know they’ll be able to live a longer, healthier lives. And you can also look at it this way, one day we will be relying on them to help us with our health and wellness at some point as we age, don’t we want them to be able to give us the best opportunity to heal, grow, and live longer healthier lives as well???

I get so excited to do this every year just to see their little faces get so involved and light up when they know the answer or have something to share. Mind you my garden is way behind this year, between a 5 month old added to my mix, a busy studio, (which is a great problem to have) and the continual and constant rain we’re getting; I’ve not been able to tackle the school garden yet. So on our rainy day yesterday I headed to my edible school garden, but of course we were inside with the Pre-K4, Kindergarten, and First Graders teaching them two basic fundamentals of survival… learning how to grow their own food and how then how to prepare it once it’s grown and harvested.

These two basic skills could mean life or early death for our next generation. We’re so on the go and running around we never slow down long enough to enjoy the time we have with our families, let alone eat a meal sitting down together, and to even think of growing some of our own food and then coming in and preparing it and skipping that nasty drive through or running to the next restaurant chain. We owe it to the next generation for them and ourselves (they will be caring for our health at some point in our later years) to teach the simple tasks of growing a vegetable or fruit and learning to how to prepare and cook something wholesome, nutritious, and make it still taste good!

It’s May now is the perfect time to get kids out in the dirt and teaching them how things grow, where food comes from, how they can be apart of it, how they can change their health and be in control of it. A lot of them think the food just shows up at the grocery store or to the restaurant. (kind of like we all thought our parents pulled dollar bills from the trees- if only right??!!)

Sometimes it’s a little overwhelming. Start small and if you want a little more help. Grab my kids cooking and gardening book from my site for some healthy recipes and how to start your own little garden with your favorite little one! www.beachpilatesandwellness.com.

Here’s to healthy, happier, longer lives for our next generations!!

 

5 Reasons Everyone Should Try Pilates…

2014-09-16 05.53.30If you didn’t catch my original post to Mind Body Green you can check it out on their site. It’s gotten almost 13,000 likes! I was so excited to have this article accepted and to see if it travel around the world. I got lots of feedback and some great response so I thought I would share it will all of you guys! Here is the link if you want to also check out their great site of health and wellness! 

Have an injury? Does chronic pain or illness make it hard for you to exercise? Feel like you don’t have a lot of time with your busy schedule? Want to build core strength and long lean muscles? Ready to see your body transform right before your eyes? Pilates is your golden ticket!

Originally invented for men and athletes in the early 1920’s, people around the globe are experiencing the lifelong benefits of Joseph Pilates’ vision and how it can change your body and life forever. Here are five reasons you should try it, even if you’re not sure it’s for you.

1. Prevent injuries.

Injuries can leave us incapacitated for weeks, months … even years. But what if we could use exercise as a way to prevent injuries rather than cause them?

Pilates focuses on your core, strengthening your abdominals and back muscles. Take a second to think about how much you use your core every day without even realizing: to stand up, walk, bend over, even to sit in a chair. If you suffer from back pain, it’s probably because these muscles are weak. If you strengthen them, it’ll got a long way to alleviate current woes and help prevent future pain.

2. Build core strength and long, lean muscles.

For most of us, the core is the weakest part of our bodies, but it’s our center, where all our strength originates from. When it’s weak, the entire body is weak.

Pilates focuses on exercises that constantly engage the core, leading to flat abs and a strong back. Unlike weight lifting that can cause muscles to shorten and bulk, Pilates focuses on resistance and assistance training to work both sides of muscles simultaneously. This allows the muscles to elongate to get that long, lengthened, toned muscle.

3. Increase flexibility, coordination and balance.

Not surprisingly, your balance and coordination come from your core as well. When Pilates strengthens your core, those muscles that control balance and coordination are also strengthened, helping to prevent falls and injuries. Increased flexibility also allows muscles to lengthen and be more pliable so they can bend and stretch further to alleviate the possibility of injury.

4. Pilates is for everyone.

Women, men, children, the elderly, anyone with chronic illness and pain, athletes, dancers, and even pregnant mothers can benefit from Pilates. It builds a stronger core, betters balance, increases flexibility and promotes stability. Pilates improves posture, body awareness, builds optimal health and helps you to move more efficiently. It’s gentle while also challenging. It’s proven to aid with treating and managing pain because low-impact exercises take the stress off joints and bones. There are no excuses NOT to give it a try.

5. You can do it anywhere.

Pilates is so versatile that you can do it almost anywhere: at home, in the gym or studio, in a hotel room, even on the beach! Even if all you’ve got to spare are 15 minutes, you can reap the benefits just from doing warm up exercises. All you need is your own body weight to use as the resistance. Want to up your practice? Add balls, bands and other small equipment to increase the intensity and resistance.

Still wondering if Pilates is right for you? Joseph Pilates once said, in “10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see the difference, and in 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body.” Doesn’t that seem like something worthwhile?

Celebrate Food Revolution Day This Friday!

Jamie Oliphoto credit: www.gotchocolate.comver has been one of my biggest inspirations since he was the “Naked Chef” on the Food Network forever ago. Today he’s an educating and healthy awareness icon for teaching children and the public the truth about what our children are consuming in school. He’s taught us the truth about what’s really in our fast food that we continue to give kids, the milk they drink on a daily basis, and the fact that kids don’t even have an option to healthy in school everyday.

As part of his revolution, every year on May 16th he challenges not only Americans but the world that we need to take a stand for our health and what we choose to consume for ourselves and what we choose to feed our children. Love this challenge as a foodie and a farm dinner lover. And of course I don’t need an excuse to get in the kitchen and have friends come over and celebrate with me! I’m sure you won’t need an excuse either!

Check out Jamie’s website to see how you can get involved, go to a farm dinner, throw your own, or how to give back.

Jamie’s Message:

I believe that every child in America has the right to fresh, nutritious school meals, and that every family deserves real, honest, wholesome food. Too many people are being affected by what they eat. It’s time for a national revolution. America needs to stand up for better food!

You live in an amazing country full of inspirational people and you have the power to change things. With your help, we can get better food into homes, schools and communities all over America and give your kids a better future. Sign the petition to save America’s cooking skills and improve school food. It could be the most important thing you ever do for your family. America’s health needs you now!

I’ll be celebrating at the Mid-Atlantic Food and Wine Festival on Friday. Ironically I won 4 tickets to the big Winemakers Dinner at Oberod Estate. I’m so excited I can hardly wait. Stay tuned next week for a blog of all the yummy food and exciting people I get to share Revolution day with! Hope this post inspires you to get out there and celebrate Food Revolution Day. Take a stand for your health, your children, and bring awareness to the changes that need to start happening to make a difference in our wellness and livelihoods.

 

 

 

Forming Healthy Habits & Beating Unhealthy Food Cravings

DSC_6002This guest post was contributed by Jesse Andrews who is a fitness expert and who works for Seven Seas. Jesse loves eating healthily and feeling the benefits, but his diet is not always perfect! He tries…

As you hopefully are aware, being healthy (and slim) is a goal that is best reached by adopting a healthy lifestyle – rather than simply crash dieting, as is the term most used.

That’s all well and good, but as humans we aren’t always perfectly virtuous and there are times when temptation gets the better of us. Which is what makes following a long-term healthy lifestyle so difficult.

In this post I am going to tackle the topic of forming healthy habits and getting rid of those unhealthy ones – because mastering your eating habits is the only way that you will be able to consistently stick to your new diet.

Start With Breakfast

Breakfast is perhaps the most abused meal of the day because most people don’t give it much thought. Now personally I don’t subscribe to the belief that it is the most important meal of the day, so skipping it is fine if you want to.

But whatever your preference, form a healthy habit:

  • If skipping breakfast causes you to snack on crisps and chocolate up until lunch then you need to kick the habit or start eating a healthy breakfast.
  • Skipping breakfast is better than eating a rushed, unhealthy breakfast consisting mostly of sugar, so consider fasting to lunch if you can (it’s pretty easy once you make a habit).
  • If you do eat breakfast, make it a healthy one. You would probably be pretty shocked just how much sugar there is in most breakfast cereals and fruit juices.
  • Instead consider whole grain carbs or protein, and if you’re super busy in the mornings, try just having a protein shake,.

Satisfy Cravings

Satisfying cravings is tricky because you are certain to have them and you can’t live a lifetime without ever giving in to temptation. So what you need to do is get the hang of satisfying those cravings without “letting yourself go”.

Learn to know which sorts of situations lead to bingeing:

  • Cravings caused by boredom are more likely to lead to reckless abandon, so these are the types of cravings that you need to resist – don’t give in, go out and do something instead.
  • Cravings are more likely to be satisfied easily when you are in a good frame of mind and are feeling happy – which is all the more reason to be active and healthy.

Drink Plenty Of Water

When you get thirsty it is easy for your body to mistakenly think that you are hungry (especially if you are often dehydrated) – so you need to break this cycle!

From now on, whenever you feel hungry, tell yourself that you are allowed to eat, but first you must drink a large glass of water and then wait 5 minutes.

By doing this, you may find that you are not hungry after all, but even if you are the water will cause you to feel fuller sooner such that you naturally eat less.

Come Off The Sugar

You may not realize this, but sugar can be addictive. Not physically as such, but because your body (and your sense of taste) adapts. If you consume a lot of sugar, or sugary foods like:

  • Breakfast cereal
  • Crisps
  • Chocolates, candy, sweets
  • Pasta
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Fruits and fruit juices

… Your taste buds will decrease their sensitivity to those tastes and they will stop tasting as good. Which also means that non sugary food will start to taste bland! Forming the habit is the hardest part, but if you kick the sugar habit and eat nothing but whole foods for a month – you won’t believe how sweet a simple carrot can taste!

Go Without Occasionally

Intermittent fasting has become a bit of a fad, which isn’t necessarily a good thing, but it is based on good reasoning and even if you don’t want to following an IF diet you can still get a lot from going without food occasionally.

  • It frees you mentally from the constant “need” to eat and teaches you that you are not a slave to your appetite. Sure, being hungry isn’t fun, but it won’t kill you either!
  • It shows you that a single missed meal won’t send your metabolism plummeting. If you’re hungry but the only food options are unhealthy – it is always better to go without.
  • It resets your appetite and allows your stomach to shrink / recover from constant work. After a long fast I often find that I eat less for a few days but still feel full.

Living and staying healthy is a habit, and all of the tips above are with that in mind. A good diet is made up of hundreds of decisions every week and month, but by focusing on your long-term habits you will soon realize that your daily battles are that much easier to win!

Be an Olympian

Watching the Olympics these past couple weeks still leaves me in awe of all the athletes. Growing up as a year round athlete, I still remember quite well the two-a-day practices, long yard runs for field hockey in the August heatwaves, unlimited gut wrenching suicides for basketball, dry dusty fields, scabbed knees and hips from slide practice for softball, and freezing mornings in the pool for swim team. I can only imagine the training, exercise regimes, diet restrictions, time, mental preparation, and sacrifice the Olympians have to make to chase their dreams. Some sacrificing family, friends, and even children to accomplish everything they’ve set their hearts and minds too. We all can’t be Olympian bobsledders, figure skaters, down hill skiers, or Giant Slalom snowboarders. But we can live our lives like an Olympian! We finally need to start putting ourselves first, taking time for our specific needs, health, desires, and mental stability.

We need to start asking questions about what we’re consuming and where are food is coming from. Focus on our community, support each other, be our own advocate, give back, take time to relax and recharge. We’re letting our number one priority go first. Without your health you have nothing. You can’t take care of your spouse, children or other loved ones, if you’re not healthy enough to care for yourself.

For far too long we’ve let everything else control our lives and it has come back to haunt us, especially Americans. We’ve become lazy, sedentary, technology dependent, fast food junkies, schedule slaves, and insomniacs. Don’t you think it’s time we started to but our wellness, life’s ambitions, and health first before we can’t do anything about it anymore. The number one question I get all the time is “how do you have the energy?” All I can say is I live my life to the best of my ability. I decided to set goals for myself, follow my passions, chase my dreams (even when people thought I was crazy), surround my life with people who believed in me and truly cared about my happiness and wanted to see me succeed. For a long time I kept around the ones that held me back and it ruined myself esteem, my drive, and health. I decided one day enough was enough and looking back I wasted a lot of time that I can’t get back. So now I am motivated to catch up on lost time! 🙂

Also what I put in, is what I get out. I am an extreme believer in what you eat, getting exercise, drinking water, sleeping the required hours of sleep you personally need, keeping loved ones close, having faith, and giving back, make life go round so that’s what I strive to do everyday. We never know when our time is up, don’t you want to live for today and be the best you can be just in case tomorrow changes your life forever? No regrets! So finally live your life-like an Olympian! Go out and change your path, your diet, your health, your heart, your soul, learn to love a little more, use your time wisely, take time to put you first and find your happiness. Here’s to all the Olympians that put their blood, sweat, tears, and all their sacrifices into living the lives they always wanted and chased their dreams to the highest level!

Pomegranate Chocolate Smoothie

photo credit: www.en.wikipedia.comHappy New Year! Still looking to tame that chocolate fix? How about one that won’t leave you feeling guilty just in time for the New Year and all your resolutions. Add this to your menu for the year for guilt-free dessert and energy pick me up with a chocolate twist. Packed with fiber, protein, and antioxidants. This one is perfect for the whole family, just remember chocolate does have caffeine. I’ve learned the hard way at 10 pm making these and still being wide awake at 3 am because I’m wired. Happy New Year everyone! Here’s to a year of health, wellness, and happiness!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pomegranate seeds or 1 cup of juice
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1-1.5 bananas
  • 1 tbs cacao nibs

Add all ingredients to an immersion blender and blend well. Add a little ice to make it cold! Enjoy!

Essential Oils for Anxiety & Stress

Take a breath…Exhale…. Whewww! Summer has blown by this year! I don’t know about yours but mine has been jammed packed! These past few weeks I have been running like a crazy woman. Between Pilates,cooking demonstrations, book signings, clients, events, seminars, and fundraisers, I’ve been racing the clock to see if I can get it all done. And with a husband with a huge off shore fishing habit and two small children it’s no wonder I have been feeling so overwhelmed and slightly stressed 😉 With school starting and my “season” beginning to slow down I can see the light at the end of the tunnel finally!

Honestly, the number one thing that has gotten me through this whirlwind of a summer has been my essential oils. I honestly can’t remember a day that has gone by that I haven’t used at least one since I started using them months ago. We all know anxiety and stress can wreak havoc on our immune system, bodies, skin, and overall health. So how can we help ourselves keep the stress at bay and keep the anxiety levels in check when we’re all so busy?

Here are a few of my favorites to help with those crazy days that you want to wish away or when the kids have you so frazzled you can barely think straight to put on your own shoes. These oils are from do Terra and can be purchased right from my website. If you’re interested in trying or ordering some-message me and I can walk you through the process or you can also order retail.

Wild Orange- If you need a mood booster! This is the one! Diffuse it into the air, add it to your water, rub it on your temples. If you’re cranky, irritated, miserable, tired, overwhelmed, exhausted, this oil will put you in the best mood in a matter of seconds!!

Focus Blend- This blend helps support a healthy thought process, enhances focus, helps you stay on task, helps you pay attention, and helps with controlling behavior. This is great for anyone with ADHD as well! Breathe it in, diffuse into the air, or apply topically.

Grounding Blend- Perfect for grounding. It also give you a sense of well-being and calmness. Promotes tranquility, a sense of balance and connect. Apply it to the feet, back of the neck or chest. It can also be diffused into the air.

Calming Blend- This one is guaranteed to calm you down! It gives you a sense of well-being and relaxation. This is great for those days you really have the blues and just can’t get that spring into your step. Use this oil blend with anxiety, when you’re feeling overwhelmed, lost, and even when you just can’t get your mind to settle long enough to focus on one task. Diffuse into the air or apply to chest, feet, and body.

Here’s to a calmer mind, relaxed muscles, and shorter to do list!!!

***Remember to always seek medical help if you have signs of depression and thoughts of suicide. Oils should not replace medication or anything that has been prescribed by a doctor.***

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Perception: Conflict or Challenge?

Everyone will deal with conflict at some point in life. Despite the best intentions, someone always tends to disagree and conflict ensues. How one chooses to deal when faced with conflict can have lasting health implications and can strain important relationships, both personal and professional. Learn to cope with conflict effectively and minimize the effects on your health.

Psychoneuroimmunology studies the links between stress, behavior, disease, and the immune system or more simply how your attitudes and behaviors affect your health. Stress is widely accepted as having negative effects on health and researchers have found that unpredictable stressors intensify the negative effects, people tend to feel more stressed in situations where they have little or no control. How one learns to appraise the situation explains the wide variety of reactions people experience when faced with similar events. One person may become extremely stressed while another may view the situation as a challenge or thrill, perception is key.  Perceived lack of control is just as threatening as actual lack of control.

Conflicts, disagreements, and certain stressful situations may lead to feeling threatened, so how can one successfully cope with a threat? In research published in The American Psychologist, Richard Lazarus found two important steps in managing a threat. The first step, primary appraisal, is when one must decide whether a situation is relevant or irrelevant, essentially this step will answer, “Am I okay or am I in trouble?”  In the second step, or the secondary appraisal, assess resources and choose how to meet the threat or challenge, this step answers, “What can I do about the situation?” The way you decide to analyze the situation will greatly influence the overall impact it has.

Once a situation has been assessed as a threat, people tend to cope by, emotionally-focused efforts and/or problem-focused ones. Emotionally focused ways of coping include listening to music, taking a walk, meditating, eliciting emotional support from others, or other ways that aim at controlling the emotional reaction to the situation, these efforts are most effective in dealing with situations you cannot control.  Managing or correcting the situation itself by making a plan of action or focusing on the next step is problem-focused coping and is most effective when facing a situation one can actually do something about.

When dealing with dissenting opinion, a professional conflict, or a personal disagreement, it is important to consider whether to press on or quit and try a new approach. Does it feel like a personal attack or constructive criticism?  Does the effort needed to change the situation really worth the benefits? Try to approach conflicts using reason rather than emotion, be thoughtful, not reactionary. Compromise! Decide what is more important, the need to be right or the choice to be happy, often the solution doesn’t include both. Be willing to change as new information becomes available, seek out alternatives.

Ultimately, the only thing a person controls is themselves, so make a decision and stay the course. If decisions are made from a place of true intentions without the undue influence of others expectations, the occasional dissenting opinion will not derail ones pursuit of happiness. Find the personal power each individual possesses, the power that is unfearful of challenge, respects the opinions of others, and has unwavering self-confidence.