Thank YOU! And 2017’s Best Of List.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thank you for being part of A Better Way Wellness. Thank you for helping me share real, truthful, and action-oriented health information. Thank you for making living a happier and healthier life a priority.

It’s been a year for the books and I wouldn’t be doing what I  am truly passionate about without you.

Thank you.jpg

So THANK YOU!

And as a small token of my appreciation, I am giving you a list of my most popular posts this last year.

It’s A Better Way Wellness’ Best Of 2017 List. It’s short, sweet, and full of health boosting tidbits. So have at it!

1. How to Use Supplements to Boost Happiness

If you want to be happier and want supplements to give you a boost, this is the post of you.

2. Healthy Happy Hour Part I and Healthy Happy Hour Part II

Do you love happy hour? And love feeling great? If so, click the links above to find out how.

3. How to Burn Fat in 15 Minutes

Who doesn’t want to burn fat fast? I know I do . . . if you do, too, check out this one.

4. How to be Happier at Work

Do you want to feel better and happier in the workplace? If this is you, I have actionable tips to help.

5. The Smoothie that Tastes Like Dessert, But Feels Like Medicine

Yes, please! Recipes that taste rich and luxe, but make you “feel like a million bucks” are my favorite. This one is easy-peasy. Give it a try!

6. My Fall Beverage Secret: The Sunshine Latte (Recipe Included)

I know it’s not technically fall anymore, but the Sunshine Latte will still please your mouth, mind, and body.

7. The Truth About Chocolate (& the Best Way to Eat It)

Chocolate lovers rejoice! Chocolate is GOOD for you and I show you the best ways to have it in this post.

8. 5 Products to Change Immediately to Decrease Exposure to Carcinogens and EDCs

Consider a New Year's resolution around this one. Swap out one (or all!) of these products to protect yourself from carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.

Are You Making THESE Smoothie Mistakes?

The Case for Smoothies

Are you looking for something that tastes delicious, is easy to digest, and packed full of nutrients? If so, smoothies may be just what you are looking for.

Last week we uncovered the truth about juice. Read more about it here.  

Smoothies are an excellent alternative to juice. This is because they have the pros of juice (easy to drink and digest) with few of the cons.

When you juice, you remove much of the fiber from the fruit and vegetable ingredients. Remember, fiber helps keep your digestive system moving and stabilizes blood sugar.

When you make a smoothie, you retain the beneficial fiber. You also keep your portions in check.

Smoothie .jpeg

Not All Smoothies are Created Equally

Smoothies, like most food, can vary dramatically based on how they are prepared.

I commonly work with people who think they are making wonderfully nutritious smoothies. But when we get down to the details, we discover their smoothies are full of sugar and keeping them from their health goals.

I don’t want this to happen to you! So I compiled the top 5 smoothie mistakes I see people making.

Keep reading to make sure you aren’t making one of these very common mistakes.

Smoothie Mistake #1: Using dodgy protein powders.

This is the MOST common smoothie mistake my client’s make.

Most protein powders do NOT do you any favors.

Basically, the vast majority of protein powders are over priced and ultimately underperform. They are filled with strange protein sources and even stranger additives. Plus, most taste gross. Or the gross taste is masked with tons of sugar or artificial sweeteners (both wellness sabotagers).

There are a few exceptions, but you have to really be purposeful in your purchase.

Still looking to add protein to your smoothies? No problem. Try these whole food protein options:

  • Hemp seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Nuts
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Silken tofu

Smoothie Mistake #2: Adding fruit juice instead of whole fruit.

It’s tempting to add sweet fruit juice to your smoothies. However, fruit juice adds a whole lot of sugar to your smoothies without the help of blood sugar stabilizing fiber.

Instead of adding fruit juice, add whole fruit! That way you get the great taste and the beneficial qualities of eating the whole food.

Smoothie Mistake #3: Forgetting the green vegetables.

Does the idea of adding spinach or kale to your smoothie gross you out?

It shouldn’t.

A handful or two of green leafy vegetables adds serious nutrition without taking away from the taste.

Does the idea of drinking a green colored smoothie make you cringe? If so, add some dark colored fruit (like blueberries) to mask the color. This is also a great trick for sneaking vegetables into children smoothies.

Smoothie Mistake #4: Using yogurt as the base.

Many smoothie recipes use yogurt as its base.

Why’s this a mistake? There’s so many reasons I could devote an entire post to answering this. Bottomline: most yogurts are full of sugar and odd preservatives that don’t do you any health favors.

If you crave a creamy smoothies, use alternatives to yogurt to get the consistency you desire. Nut milks (like almond or cashew), hemp milk, or flaxseed milk are all great options. Also adding a handful of nuts or a tablespoon of nut butter can up the creamy factor.

Smoothie Mistake #5: Buying expensive premade smoothies.

Store or restaurant smoothies, while tasty, can cost $7 or more per serving. If you’re drinking one day, that’s $49 a week or nearly $2500 a year.

You can easily make homemade and nutritious smoothies for a fraction of the price. And to save time, you can blend up a few at a time and drink them over the next few days.

Good for You Smoothie Recipes?

Looking for mistake-free smoothie recipes? Check out my smoothie recipes.

Glow Getter Smoothie

Skye’s Detox Smoothie

A Better Way Breakfast Smoothie (from The ABC’s of Wellness)

Sending you health, light, and love,

Skye

My Fall Beverage Secret: The Sunshine Latte (Recipe Included)

In my neck of the woods, fall is here! Frost in the mornings, sun in the afternoon, and the crunch of leaves beneath my feet.

This is the time of year I ache for something comforting to drink.

Something creamy and warming that leaves me feeling my best.

I know there are so many coffee lovers out there, but personally it leaves me feeling jittery and dehydrated (see more info on caffeine and the body here). Chai tea has the spice and flavor I desire, but I often find it too sugary. I adore matcha tea, but I’ve been looking for something new that feels more like fall to me.

Enter the Sunshine Latte. Named sunshine for its golden color and the warm feeling it leaves you with.  

The Sunshine Latte is my take on a turmeric tea latte. It is creamy, naturally sweetened, and full of warming spices. And has the health bonus of being beaucoup anti-inflammatory. A win-win-win in my book.

The best news? You probably have all the ingredients in your spice drawer and pantry.

If you are ready to try something new, healthy, delicious, simple, and homemade, give the Sunshine Latte a try. It won’t disappoint.



There you have it: my favorite fall beverage: The Sunshine Latte. Now that you’re in the know, share the recipe with your favorite person. Because we can all use a little more sunshine in our lives.

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xx,
Skye

 

Healthy Happy Hour - Part II

In case you missed it, last week focused on hosting At Home Happy Hour (including one of my absolute favorite recipes). And it sparked some great questions, especially about alcohol.

So Healthy Happy Hour Part II will be devoted to the controversial topic of alcohol. This is an area many writers shy from, but I feel it is important to share the facts so you can make the best and most educated decision possible.

I want to take a moment and acknowledge people’s comfort and relationship to alcohol vary greatly. We each have our reasons and that is perfectly fine.

My goal is not to change your mind or convince you to start/stop drinking. My goal is to present you with the current evidence and data surrounding alcohol use so you can decide for yourself. Because as I detail, there are two sides to every coin.

The Alcohol Paradox

I suspect you've been exposed to what I call the alcohol paradox. At times, you may read in the news alcohol has heart healthy benefits (hello, red wine). Other times, you may hear alcohol has deleterious effects. So which is true?

Both.

Let me explain.

Alcohol: Friend?

Several studies aimed to determine the health impact of alcohol on heart disease. The verdict is light to moderate alcohol consumption decreases the risk of heart disease by 40 to 70% (more on definitions of light to moderate below). A 40 to 70% decrease is certainly significant.

Alcohol: Foe?

Alcohol consumption, even moderate, is shown to increase the risk of certain cancers. The more one drinks, the higher the risk. Increased risk of colorectal, oral cavity, liver, and esophagus cancer is linked to alcohol consumption. In women, breast cancer risk increases, even with light alcohol consumption.

Other deleterious effects? Alcohol is associated with increased blood pressure, violence, and suicide rates.

Heavy Drinking and Binge Drinking

Heavy and binge drinking is associated with increased death. Enough said.

Which Type of Alcohol is Best?

There is no current definitive answer to which type of alcohol is best. With the current evidence, it appears wine is associated with the most beneficial effects. However, there is evidence to suggest beer is also beneficial.

Be mindful of mixers that can sabotage your health. Sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and other wellness sabotagers can be hiding in your drinks.

What Defines Light, Moderate, and Heavy Alcohol Intake?

Definitions of alcohol intake categories can vary. The following are general definitions.

And what defines a drink? In the United States, one drink is 14 to 15 g of alcohol. This translates to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80 proof liquor.

To Drink or Not to Drink

The decision to drink is entirely a personal one. You know your personal and family history the best. Combine that with the evidence I provided and you can make an educated decision on whether to drink or to abstain.

The Healthy Happy Hour Drink: With or Without Alcohol

To help you round out your At Home Happy Hour menu, I am providing you with a signature drink recipe. It nicely complements last week’s Perfect Guacamole and 3 Ingredient Tortilla Chips. This one can be made with alcohol or without, to your preference.

GRAPEFRUIT MARGARITA COCKTAIL OR MOCKTAIL (aka with or without alcohol)

Serves: 2

Ingredients

1 cup fresh grapefruit juice

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

2 Tbsp raw organic honey

1 cup ice cubes

EITHER: 1/3 cup tequila (please, please, please don’t skimp on quality) OR 1/2 cup sparkling water/club soda

Coconut or date sugar to rim the glasses

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and stir well.

  2. Sugar the rims of two glasses. Do this by putting a small amount of coconut or date sugar on a plate. Wet the rim of an empty glass by dipping in water. Then dip the rim into the plate with coconut or date sugar.

  3. Add half the ice to each glass. Pour liquid over the top and serve immediately.

Cheers (with your alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink) and enjoy the holiday weekend!

xx,

Skye

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My 33 Truths About Wellness (And a Special Receipe Treat with Truth #33)

August is a month of celebration in my family. In fact, in a three week span we have six birthdays (including mine). You know what that calls for? Celebration!

I’m a big fan of celebration. Many of us should celebrate more. The small wins, the big wins, and the wins in between.

As part of my celebration, I want to share two precious gifts with you.

The first is a collection of the 33 truths I’ve learned about wellness. Included are my key wellness practices and philosophies.

The second is a special celebration recipe (that is associated with truth #33). I’ll give you a hint . . . perfect and chocolate are both included.

So without further ado, I present:

My 33 Truths About Wellness (And a Special Recipe Treat with Truth #33)

Nourishment

  1. The “calories in/calories out” theory isn’t scientifically sound. This is a common misconception I myth bust with patients. In actuality, our body composition is a result of a much more complicated equilibrium. Our bodies have hormonal responses to what we eat and when we eat it. The facile adage calories in = calories out mindset is not accurate.
  2. There is no one eating slip up that is too bad to overcome. We all make subpar wellness choices at times. The good news is, you can overcome the slip. And you can get started at your very next meal.
  3. Food impacts mood. More and more research supports this truth. When you eat foods that are energizing and nurturing, you feel energized and nurtured. When you eat junk, you feel . . . like junk.
  4. Truly and wholly enjoy what you eat. Eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures, so don’t deny yourself.
  5. Food that supports your wellness can taste amazing. You may need to experiment and test some of your preconceived notions to find things you love. Especially if you are someone that thinks they don’t like vegetables (as an entire food group).
  6. Simple foods are often the best. While a fancy schmancy meal with lots of spices and ingredients can be a fun treat, foods that are easily digested often make you feel the best. When you start with excellent ingredients, you can keep the rest simple and it will still taste delicious.
  7. Cooking can be fun AND easy. And isn’t intimidating. You can be the master of your kitchen and create amazing cuisine. And it doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. Nor do you need lots of kitchen equipment. Just a few staples will do.
  8. If done correctly, your diet can provide that vast majority of nutrients your body needs. Vegetables and fruit, in particular, contain vast quantities of valuable nutrients. In many cases, expensive nutritional supplements are not necessary.
  9. Plants should make up the vast majority of your diet. The only two components of diet that consistently support wellness in clinical trials and studies are vegetables and fruit. Make vegetables and fruit the largest part of your diet.
  10. You are what you eat. And you are what you eat eats. The quality of the food you eat is paramount to your wellness. And if you include animal products in your diet, it is crucial to make sure what you are eating had a balanced diet.
  11. Water should be the first and last thing you drink each day. Hydration is important inside and out. Personally, I start and end each day with a big glass or water.
  12. Drink and enjoy tisanes. Tisane is a fancy word for a beverage infusion. While the English take pride in their teas, the French stake their claim on tisanes. One of my favorite tisanes is mint infused water. Water infused with fresh mint leaves does wonders — it’s refreshing and great for your complexion. I aim for 1 liter of mint water each day.
  13. Drink more water than anything else in a day. Even though I enjoy tisanes, tea, and the occasional matcha, I make sure water is my numero uno hydration staple.
  14. Move your body every single day, multiple times. Some days it means interval training or resistance training. Other days it means soccer, yoga, biking, skiing, and/or long walks.
  15. Resistance training is extremely important. Resistance training is an incredibly important foundation of any activity regimen. Especially for women, who need weight bearing activity to prevent osteoporosis.
  16. Resistance training will not make you bulk up. Unless you want it to. Then you can design programs that bulk you up. But if you shy from resistance training because you think it will make you bulky, fear not. You can train in a way that makes you long and lean.
  17. Flexibility is tres important. Yoga is an excellent way to get flexibility and resistance training.
  18. Nothing can negate the impact of sitting all day. You need to move your body throughout the day, everyday. Maybe this means walking to the store instead of driving. Or setting a timer at your desk to get up and move every 45 minutes. Find ways to infuse movement into your life. Ladies, do not let footwear be a barrier to this! There are many stylish shoe options that still allow you to walk and move. My warm weather favorites include: Josef Seibel flats and Joie, Matt Bernson, and Ugg sandals. Cold weather favorites include: Stuart Weitzman 5050 boots and Isabel Marant booties.
  19. Body composition is infinitely more important than weight. Your scale can only tell you so much. What your body is made of is more important than its mass.
  20. Stress = bad. Stress is the new smoking. Seriously, chronic stress can wreck havoc on your life, body, and appearance. And more likely than not, you are the only one that can control your exposure to sources of stress and/or your reaction to stress.
  21. Mindfulness matters. This often overlooked portion of wellness is HUGE. Your mind and body are intimately intertwined. One cannot be well when the other is ailing.
  22. Meditation is one of the best time investments you can make in your wellness. There is a plethora of scientific evidence to support the practice of meditation. Everything from improved sleep, lower blood pressure, to decreased pain. Just do it. If you need some instruction, check out my guide to meditation.
  23. There is always time to meditate. Studies show as little as 10 minutes a day can have huge beneficial positive effects. Again, just do it. My ebook, The ABCs of Wellness, includes a complimentary guided meditation,
  24. Your health is one of your greatest assets. Honor it, harness it, nurture it. You only have one body so respect and treat it well. With your actions, your thoughts, and your motivations. Everyday.
  25. Guilt is garbage. Unless you truly should feel guilty about something, get over it. If you should be guilty, do something about it. Guilt can be a destructive emotion that keeps you from realizing your full potential.
  26. Being kind is the answer 99% of the time. Kindness conquers a lot. It makes you, and those around you, feel better. It doesn’t cost you, so why not?
  27. Forgive. Forgive others. And yourself. Sounds simple, but this single paradigm shift can be a game changer. Don’t let unforgiveness be a block to living your happiest and healthiest life.
  28. Community is necessary. Your support system is beaucoup important to your overall health and happiness. Studies and personal experience attest to the value of community.
  29. Surround yourself with good people. Someone wise once said you are a reflection of your 5 closest friends. Make sure those people embody the qualities you want. For me? It’s high vibration, kind, compassionate, trustworthy, bright, and loving.
  30. Be the type of person you look in the mirror and like. Not physical appearance, silly! A wise friend gave me this advice during a particularly tumultuous personal time. Look into your eyes and make sure you are being the kind of person you like. And if not, make some changes immediately if not sooner.
  31. Love yourself. Not in a cheesy self-help way. In a real way. Speak to yourself the way you speak to someone you love, with kindness and compassion. Feed yourself the way you would feed someone you love, with nourishing and delicious food. Encourage yourself to be your best self, meet your goals, and take big leaps of faith.
  32. Love is infinite. The amount of love you can give is infinite. So love! Love your significant other, family, friends, co-workers, community, pets, acquaintances, strangers. Everything you give out will come back to you amplified.
  33. The pie is not finite. Another wise friend summed this up for me. The universe has more than enough for everyone to have what they need and more. There is enough for us all to succeed. And we should help and support others to reach their goals and achieve their dreams. A rising tide raises all boats.

In the spirit of Wellness Truth #33, I am delighted to share my what my husband calls Perfect Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie. Unfortunately, unlike Tip #33, this pie is finite.

Peanut butter + dark chocolate = deliciousness. Enough said!

This no-bake, sugar-free, gluten-free pie is a decadent dessert that will make your taste buds come alive while keeping your belly happy.

PERFECT PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE PIE (sf, gf, df, vegan)

INGREDIENTS

For the Crust
2/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats, gluten-free
2/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2/3 cup walnuts
4 dates, pitted

For the Filling
1 1/4 cups almond or hemp milk
4 Tbsp natural peanut butter
1 avocado, peeled and pitted
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 Tbsp cocoa powder (my favorites are this Fair Trade version and this raw version)
16 dates, pitted

INSTRUCTIONS

For the Crust

  1. Combine oats, coconut, and walnuts into a high powered blender or food processor. Blend or process until walnuts begin to release oil.

  2. Add dates and pulse until combined.

  3. Transfer contents into a pie dish. Use hands or parchment paper to press contents into a crust on the bottom of the dish.

In process -- the crust is made and the filing transferred.

In process -- the crust is made and the filing transferred.

For the Filling

  1. Combine all filling ingredients into a high powered blender. Blend until completely smooth. On my Vitamix, I run the ice cream preset and then the smoothie setting. If necessary, add more almond or hemp milk. The consistency should be like pudding.

  2. Transfer contents into pie dish with crust. Spread with a spatula until evenly distributed and smooth on the top.

  3. Cover and chill for an hour or two (if you can wait that long).

The final product -- Perfect Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

The final product -- Perfect Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Did I miss one of your top wellness truths? Share in the comments section below!

If you make Perfect Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie, take a picture and tag @a.betterway.wellness on Instagram. I'd love to see!

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The Breakfast Mistake Most People Make

The Myth

I’m writing this from Jackson Hole where I’ve spent an incredible few days with my husband. We’ve hiked, biked, and dined our way through the Grand Tetons. And yesterday while enjoying a lazy breakfast on the patio, sitting in the early morning sunshine and watching the horses on the property frolic, I realized something IMPORTANT I need to share with you.

It’s a mistake almost everyone I work with makes that sabotages best intentions to feel and look their best. And it has to do with breakfast.

Breakfast is a HUGE area of confusion.

Many times I’ll have someone proudly tell me they eat oatmeal for breakfast every morning. When I ask which kind, they almost always say, “The microwaveable kind in the packets.” This is often followed with descriptions of brown sugar and maple or cream-of-some kind of fruit. And an explanation that they need a fast breakfast option.

This hurts my heart because despite their best intentions, these folks are victims of mass marketing and food confusion. “Instant” or processed oats are the grain equivalent of white bread. Then add the artificial flavoring to make it brown sugar and maple and you are basically eating Wonder Bread with sugar, food coloring, and high fructose corn syrup.

Yuck.

If you enjoy oatmeal (and really enjoy it because I deeply believe we should actively enjoy what we eat), there is another way.

A better way, really. And it includes whole grain oats and real fruit and nuts. Don’t fret — this can be done quickly and efficiently and also tastes great. Much better than the microwaved oatmeal in packets.

The Solution

The better way is steel cut oats (sometimes called Scottish or Irish oats). Steel cut oats are unrefined and have not undergone steaming or rolling. They are literally oat groats cut into smaller pieces. A whole grain approach to oats.

Because they are not previously steamed or rolled, steel cut oats have a toothsome texture and naturally nutty flavor. They keep you fuller longer and have a glow glycemic index. Once cooked, they reheat nicely (unlike quick cook oats) and retain their shape and texture.

Some are scared off because steel cut oats take longer to cook than their quick cook and instant varieties. While it is true (steel cut oats take around 25 minutes to cook), I’m going to let you in on a secret.

You can whip up steel cut oats in a large batch and enjoy them all week.

That’s right. You can make a batch once or twice a week, portion into daily servings, add your toppings of choice, and quickly reheat once you are ready to enjoy them.

And I’m going to share my recipe for steel cut oats plus the toppings I am loving right now.

The Recipe

Morning Glory Steel Cut Oats

Serves 5

For the Steel Cut Oats

1 cup steel cut oats (my favorites are these from Bob’s Red Mill)

3 cups of water

1 cup of almond milk

1/4 tsp salt

Optional: 1 Tbsp coconut oil

For the Toppings

1 green apple, cored and cut into pieces

1/4 cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped

Almond milk to desired consistency

If you like sweeter breakfasts: A sprinkling of coconut sugar or pure Grade B maple syrup.

1. Combine milk and water in a pot and heat on medium to medium-high. Bring just to boil.
Optional step (but highly recommended to enhance flavor and texture): In the meantime, add 1 Tbsp coconut oil to a small pan on medium heat. Add steel cut oats and cook for 2 minutes, until fragrant.
2. Add oats to pot with milk and water and stir. Bring back to boil and reduce heat to low.
3. Cook, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.
4. Add salt and stir. Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
5. Divide and serve with toppings of your choice.

Consider yourself warned on the biggest breakfast myth and shown an easy way to cook up better oats.

If oats are your thing, I challenge you to make up a batch of your own steel cut oats this week. You’ll find they taste better and keep you full longer — you won’t ever go back to the instant variety! If you take the steel cut oatmeal challenge, take a photo and tag @a.better.way.wellness. I would love to see and hear all about it.

If oats aren’t for you, try my Glow Getter Smoothie.

Sending you light until next time.

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The 2 Minute Guilt-Free & No-Bake Dessert You’ll Want to Make All Summer

Let me tell you a secret.

I love dessert.

Not hurt your teeth sweet desserts that make you feel guilty and give you a sugar high (with the unavoidable crash later). The desserts I adore are naturally sweetened, taste amazing, and leave me feeling better than before. The food lover I am, I’ve spent years crafting and perfecting my own dessert recipes that meet these qualifications. I have a Skye-approved dessert file, actually.

Many of my favorite desserts involve the stove or oven. Except right now, my iPhone tells me it’s 100 degrees outside and tomorrow will top 102. So basically you couldn’t pay me enough to turn on my oven.

Real screen shot. Eek!

Real screen shot. Eek!

Enter my standby frozen dessert: chocolate cherry almond ice cream. Dark chocolate (hello antioxidants) mixed with frozen sweet cherries (ditto the antioxidants plus some great micronutrients) with a splash of almond. And naturally sweetened with dates.

The best part is it literally takes only two minutes to make. No stove, no oven, no mixing bowls, and minimal cleanup. Once you make it, you’ll be sold.

Without further ado, I’m sharing my no-guilt, bake-free, frozen treat of choice.

Chocolate Cherry Almond Ice Cream (v, gf, sf)

Serves 2

1 1/2 cups frozen sweet cherries
1/2 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp organic cocoa (my favorites are this raw option and this fair-trade baking option)
5 dates, pitted
1/4 tsp almond extract

Combine all ingredients in a high powered blender (no exceptions — you need high powered to really make this work). Blend until smooth. Feel welcome to add more ice or almond milk to reach desired consistency. Serve immediately. Feeling fancy? Garnish with fresh mint.

The final product, with some anniversary roses.

The final product, with some anniversary roses.

There you have it! A 2 minute, guilt-free, no-bake dessert that will leave you feeling nourished and satisfied.

What are your favorite summer desserts? I'd love to hear!

Sending you light until next time.

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A Better Way to a Healthy Glow from the Inside Out + Glow Getter Smoothie Recipe

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting my friend (who is a talented esthetician). Our conversations always veer toward wellness and she told me the question most of her clients ask is, “How do I get my skin to glow?”

I was amazed because many of my patients and friends ask me the SAME thing.

Even though her work focuses on esthetics and my work focuses on wellness, we both had the same answer. A healthy glow starts from the INSIDE.

The reality is glowing skin is a sign of wellness. Of good health. And to get it, you need to invest in your wellness and health.

So here are four tips to glow, from the inside to the outside. Be sure to check out Tip 4, which includes my Glow Getter smoothie recipe. And my bonus tip includes my favorite products to help you glow from the outside.

1. Sweat. Every day.

A major component to glowing skin is circulation. Increasing blood flow nourishes skin cells and carries away waste products. It’s like cleaning your skin from the inside out.

The best way to increase your circulation is to sweat. Move your body. Run, walk, bike, hike. You can go to a class or do yoga. Do whatever it is you enjoy that makes you break a sweat.

Another great way to amp up your circulation is by using a sauna. Dry, wet, hot, or infrared. Any will do for this purpose. Plus saunas decrease stress (see Tip 3).

2. Sleep well.

You may be thinking, “Duh. Tell me something I don’t know.”

Except take a moment to evaluate your sleep. How much are you sleeping? What is the quality of your sleep? How do you feel when you wake up in the morning?

If you answered not enough, poor, or tired, you are not sleeping well.

Why does sleep matter? Collagen and hyaluronic acid are two natural skin glowing compounds in your body. Too little quality sleep leads to inflammation, which diminishes your natural collagen and hyaluronic acid.

If you are not sleeping well, try to get better sleep starting tonight. This could be as simple as forgoing your evening Netflix and going to bed an hour earlier. Or doing a bedtime meditation to help you better ease into restful sleep.

3. Stress less.

NEWS FLASH: How you feel inside impacts how you look outside.

In fact, there is an emerging field called psychodermatology that addresses the impact of emotions (including stress) as it relates to the skin.

When you experience stress, your body responds by releasing stress hormones (like cortisol). Cortisol negatively impacts circulation to the skin. And remember from Tip 1, we need circulation to nourish our skin cells and remove waste products.

How do you decrease stress? You either minimize the source of your stress or you minimize your RESPONSE to the stress.

Start with minimizing the source of your stress. Once you’ve minimized the source (or realized you cannot), try to improve your response to stress.

Scientifically proved methods to decrease your stress response include:

  • Exercise (are you seeing a theme here?)
  • Meditation
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Laughing


4. Support your body with nourishing and glow enhancing foods.

What you nourish your body with plays a crucial role in glowing from the inside out. Foods that make you retain fluid make you dull inside and out (think overly salted and processed foods). Foods full of natural color and nutrients will make you glow (think fruit, vegetables, nuts, and legumes).

Top glow enhancing foods include:

  • Berries (lots of antioxidants and nutrients)
  • Dark, leafy, greens (antioxidants, vitamin K, and iron)
  • Carrots (vitamins A and C)
  • Walnuts (vitamin B)
  • Pomegranates (antioxidants)

Because I want you to glow from the inside out, I am sharing my Glow Getter Smoothie recipe. It includes ALL of the top glow enhancing foods and is perfect for breakfast or a snack. Plus, it’s super easy to make.

Glow Getter Smoothie (gf, sf, vegan)

Serves 2
2 cups fresh spinach
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
2 Golden Delicious apples, cored and sliced
1 banana
1/2 cup carrot juice
1/2 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup raw walnuts, shelled
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1 cup ice

Combine all ingredients in a high powered blender. Blend for at least 60 seconds, perhaps longer depending on your blender. Add water if needed to reach desired consistency.

 

BONUS TIP: Self care to enhance your natural glow.

Once you get your glow from the inside (sweat, sleep, stress less, and supportive foods), you can enhance your glow with some tricks from the outside.

My favorite product for skin hydration is squalane oil (derived from olives). It is natural, simple, inexpensive, and feels heavenly on your skin. A true hydrator that leaves your skin immediately glowing (and not in a gross way). My favorite is from Indie Lee and I use it every day. I was first introduced to this gem from the lovely gals at Credo in San Francisco. 

A little strategically applied highlighter can also help enhance your glow. Be sure to use a natural highlighter that will support your health. So many highlighters being sold are full of harmful ingredients that can leave your skin congested and inflamed.

My absolute favorite highlighter is from Danish makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis. Her highlighter (aptly named Radiance) is made from natural and skin soothing ingredients. A little popped on your cheek and brow bones leaves you with the perfect glow. I always stock up on Kjaer Weis from Citrine Natural Beauty Bar.

So there you have it. A better way to glow from the inside and out.

What are your tips to glowing from the inside out? Feel welcome to share in the comments section.

Sending you light until next time.

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