The Best Natural Ways To Get Electrolytes

Bottles

Did you know that electrolytes help your body conduct electricity? I’m not talking about zapping your hair into a frizzy nightmare like in the cartoons. Any time your muscles or nerves go to work, they need energy, which is where electrolytes come in. The more you sweat, the more of these essential vitamins and minerals you lose.

Woman Running on Beach

Electrolytes Are Pure Energy … Literally.

You should be getting potassium, magnesium, sodium and calcium every day anyway, but your muscles especially need them before, during and after physical or mental exertion. This is why being dehydrated makes you feel like your body is shutting down. And your brain isn’t exactly thrilled either; low electrolyte levels cause problems with concentration and mood.

Gatorade

Gatorade and Powerade and Vitamin Water, Oh My!

How do sports drinks stack up when it comes to giving your body the electrolytes it needs? They’re popular, that’s for sure. But there’s a bad reason for that: Most are filled with sugar.

In one popular brand, the ingredient list I saw read “water, crystalline fructose, cane sugar” and less than 0.5% of different vitamins. In other words, you’re basically getting water and two types of sugar.

Relying on these drinks for your daily fix of electrolytes is like hitting the snooze button on your alarm by taking a sledgehammer to it. Sure, they give you electrolytes, but they also give you a ton of fat-boosting carbs, which is what I’m trying to get rid of when I exercise!


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Coconut Water

The Best Options for Getting Electrolytes and Staying Hydrated.

Believe it or not, you can actually get a lot of electrolytes for free. My other favorite sources are 100% natural, as close to healthy as you can get. Here’s how to hydrate the right way:

  • Tap water: In may areas, tap water naturally has quite of bit of magnesium, sodium and calcium, meaning it compares to pretty much all of the sports drinks on the market. Of course, some people don’t love the taste.
  • Coconut water: This is nature’s answer to electrolyte water. Coconut water has absolutely everything you need for workouts: sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium. It has a pleasant, neutral taste and just 46 calories a cup. I guess getting lost on a desert island isn’t that bad after all!
  • Watermelon: This refreshing summertime fave is over 90% water, making it smart for pre- and post-workout hydration. Sometimes I eat a few slices and other times I drink homemade watermelon juice. Watermelon has a lot of potassium and magnesium.
  • Tart cherry juice: Unsweetened tart cherry juice is rich in electrolytes and vitamins. It has 14% of your daily potassium, 60% of the vitamin A and 40% of the vitamin C you need. Plus, several studies say this juice can increase muscle strength while reducing soreness and recovery time!
  • Milk: Calcium, potassium, protein … remind you of anything? That’s right, milk! Most people wouldn't think of a milk moustache for electrolytes, but this healthy drink is actually one of the most balanced (unless you’re lactose intolerant). Since milk is more filling than other options, however, I would recommend drinking it after workouts, not before.
Coconuts

If you really want to target the perfect electrolyte balance for your body, make a smoothie! A blend of watermelon, frozen mango (or another favorite fruit), milk, pumpkin seeds and coconut water hits the spot after exercising. Always add a sprinkle of sea salt (1/8 teaspoon for every 5 cups of your smoothie) since that’s the electrolyte you sweat the most.

5 Coffee-Enhancing Hacks To Elevate Your Brew For Optimal Health Perks

Coffee Cup

As you can imagine, I was overjoyed when scientists announced that not only is coffee not a bad thing, it’s actually really good. Did you know there are way to make this amazing drink EVEN BETTER? You have to check out these 5 incredible hacks for taking coffee to the next level:

Coffee Smoothie

1. Supercharge a Smoothie.

Coffee can increase your metabolism (helping you burn more fat than you normally would) and give you more energy. It’s awesome for prepping for workouts. Turn iced coffee into a cardio-boosting smoothie with this recipe:

  • 1/4 cup chilled brewed coffee
  • 3/4 cup almond milk or skim milk
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter (or another nut butter)
  • 1 tablespoon un-brewed ground coffee
  • Ice for thickness

Before you ask … yes, it’s safe to include ground, un-brewed coffee in your smoothie. It gives you extra caffeine and antioxidants.

Cinnamon Bark

2. Curl Up With Cinnamon.

Cinnamon isn’t just for spicing up (pardon the pun) your coffee’s flavor. This delicious ingredient also has lots of health benefits. It gives you major manganese and antioxidants, helping to protect your heart, lower inflammation and help with menstrual pain. Cinnamon can also lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar and strengthen the immune system. Yes, please!

The easiest way to get cinnamon in your coffee is to add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder to the grounds before brewing.

Almond Milk


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3. Ask for Almond Milk.

For me, creamy coffee is irresistible. In fact, I’m a “no sugar, 2 creamers, please” type of girl. The only problem with that is that milk and creamers add a lot of calories to each cup.

The solution? Choose almond milk instead of dairy. Almond milk still has that supersmooth, creamy texture I love, but roughly half the calories. At the same time, it gives you lots of vitamin D, vitamin E and calcium.

Cup of Coffee

4. Go Bulletproof With Butter & Coconut Oil

Homemade bulletproof coffee uses medium-chain triglycerides to kickstart fat burning. Unlike normal fats, MCTs tend to get turned into energy packets for fuel instead of stubborn belly fat. This helps you avoid the energy drain that sometimes happens with keto diets. At the same time, keto coffee helps fill you up so you don’t feel the temptation to cheat.
To make your own keto brew, here’s what to do:

  • Brew a cup of coffee. Your favorite beans are fine.
  • Pour the coffee into a glass blender jar.
  • Add 1–2 tablespoons of unsalted butter or ghee (clarified butter).
  • Add anywhere from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or MCT oil.
  • Blend until creamy.

That’s it! Enjoy the frothy, energy-enhancing drink on your way out the door or before working out.

Turmeric Latte

5. Try Turmeric Lattes.

One popular drink in India is called golden milk, a type of bright-yellow latte made with milk and spices. You can put your own twist on this energizing, depression-fighting beverage by adding some to your coffee. Here’s how:

  • Make a golden milk base with 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, sprinkle of black pepper and 1 tablespoon water.
  • Brew some coffee.
  • Combine 2 1/2 cups of coffee, 1 1/2 cups almond milk, 1/2 teaspoon honey and a few drops of vanilla extract.
  • Blend everything together until it’s smooth and enjoy!

Turmeric is an incredible spice. It has anti-inflammatory benefits, mood-boosting properties and powerful antioxidants for keeping your whole body healthy.

Do you have other health-boosting tips for my morning java? Please, I’m begging you. Share them with me!

These 5 Nuts Are What’s Missing in Your Diet

Heart shape made of pistachios

You could say that I go nuts over nuts. They’re everything I crave in a snack — crunchy, fast, healthy and tasty. Here are five of the healthiest nuts for your heart, mind and waistline:

Almonds

1. Almonds

We all knew that almonds would be at the top of the list. They’re simply phenomenal in every way — nature’s perfect health food. They have lots of fiber, protein, vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, antioxidants and healthy fat, all in a low-carb package.

Research shows that almonds help to balance your blood sugar, preventing type 2 diabetes and making it easier to lose weight. Whether you’re burning fat with a keto diet or just taking great care of your body, you can never go wrong with almonds.

Macadamia nuts

2. Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are packed with the same type of heart-healthy fat as olive oil and avocados. At the same time, they’re low in total carbs. For keto, macadamia nuts are one of the best ways to stay in ketosis.

Putting these mild, slightly sweet nuts in healthy cookie recipes is popular, and there are tons of other ways to use them. Make macadamia nuts the star of your favorite post-workout energy bites or use them crushed as a delicious coating for roasted chicken.

Peanuts


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3. Peanuts

Contrary to popular belief, peanuts can be very healthy (unless you have allergies). Dry-roasted peanuts are rich in protein, vitamin E, magnesium and B vitamins. Their protein content makes you feel full, getting rid of junk food cravings quickly. Peanuts also reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Of course, adding salt, sugar and chocolate gets rid of these health benefits. To keep peanuts healthy, choose unsweetened and no salt added peanut butter or ground peanut paste for recipes.

Pistachios

4. Pistachios

These green nuts are extremely low in calories, making them one of the best snack choices when focused on losing weight. One serving of pistachios gives you major potassium, antioxidants and plant nutrients. They’re good for your eyes, your heart and your waistline.

As a snack, pistachios help with mindful eating, because they force you to pause as you open the shells. Personally, I find this relaxing. The rhythmic motion of removing the nuts from the shells calms me down and I get a delicious treat for my efforts!

Walnuts

5. Walnuts

I’m going to be completely honest here — I don’t like the taste of walnuts. The thing is, they’re so healthy that I just have to include them in this list. Walnuts are a great source of healthy fats, and they’re the only nut that has omega-3 fatty acids. Getting lots of omega-3s takes care of your heart, reduces anxiety, moisturizes your skin, fights inflammation and gives your brain a huge boost.

If you’re like me and you despise the flavor of walnuts, do what you would when feeding your kids: hide them. Make raspberry pancakes with crushed walnuts or grind up some walnuts in a fruit smoothie.

Cooking with nuts

Add More Nuts to Your Cooking

You can add more protein and antioxidants to every meal by including nuts in your recipes. Give a fresh salad irresistible crunch by sprinkling pistachios on top. Take that Thai stir fry to the next level with a few spoons of peanut paste. Spice up pasta dishes with almond and basil pesto. Nuts are incredible, and they’re not just for snacking.

5 Tips on Eating Mindfully When Doing Everything from Home

Woman working from home

If you're like most people, you spend most of your time at home these days. While you surely don't miss your morning commute and cherish spending more time with your family, it's likely your diet has taken a turn for the worse.

Let's face it, it's tough to eat mindfully when you're constantly surrounded by snacks and goodies. It's also natural to turn to food for comfort when life gets stressful, which is a common experience for many. Fortunately, it is possible to eat mindfully these days, especially when you use the following tips.

Meal Plan

Make an Eating Plan Each Day

Meal plans eliminate the stress of deciding what to eat each day. When you have your food prepared and ready to go, you won't fall victim to ordering bad-for-you junk food just because it's quick and easy. When grocery shopping, consider your meals for the rest of the week. Prep your breakfast, lunch, and dinner the night before, so they're ready to go the next day. When meal time rolls around, just pop your prepped food out of the fridge and re-heat. It's as simple as that.

Salads

Know When You're Hungry

It's easy to mistake boredom for hunger, especially when you're working on a tedious task. Your chance of mindless snacking is highest during times of boredom, so pay attention to what your stomach is telling you. If you've recently eaten lunch or breakfast and aren't really feeling hunger pangs, look for another outlet that isn't food related. If you can, take a brief walk around the block. If you're stuck at home, take a ten-minute mediation break. You can also try moving to another task for a brief period to keep your mind engaged.


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Eat Smaller Portions

If the urge to snack is just too strong, consider reducing portion sizes. Try eating a light breakfast of yogurt and a slice of toast, followed up by a banana or other type of fruit. For lunch, have a lettuce wrap or healthy salad, followed up by a snack of kale chips or veggies with hummus. When you eat smaller meals consistently throughout the day, your metabolism will experience a much-needed boost. This helps you maintain a healthy weight, while also fighting back against any cravings you might experience.

Woman drinking water

Drink More Water and Other Fluids

Water is your best friend during a long and tedious day. It keeps you hydrated and refreshed, while also eliminating food cravings by creating a feeling of fullness. There are lots of other healthy beverages you can add into the mix for variety. Instead of coffee, try green tea. Green tea offers a boost thanks to caffeine and is also brimming with antioxidants. If you're trying to reduce your caffeine intake, try drinking a chamomile or ginger tea instead. You can also jazz up your water by adding a splash of lemon or picking up some flavored sparkling water.

Woman working at her desk

Don't Bring Food to Your Work Area

When there are delicious snacks right there on your desk, it's even harder to resist temptation. Consider your desk off limits for eating, even when it comes to healthy snacks. This will benefit you in a couple of ways. First, it will stop you from mindlessly snacking throughout the day. It will also help you achieve a good work/life balance. Taking time to enjoy meals is important for your health, both mentally and physically.

Try implementing the above tips during the day for a more enlightened attitude towards meals and snacking. It may be tough at first, especially if you're used to eating a lot during the day, but over time you'll feel better about yourself and your diet, which is much more gratifying.

5 Hacks To Get Rid of Belly Bloat Quickly

I HATE trying to slip on that amazing pair of jeans I bought for girls’ nights out (the ones that make my butt look AWESOME) and not be able to close the zipper because of bloat. I know those jeans fit, but my tummy won’t cooperate! Sound familiar? If so, try these 5 secrets to getting rid of a bloated belly quickly.

1. Shake Your Booty

I know that going for a jog doesn’t sound very appetizing when your stomach feels bloated, but physical activity is one of the best ways to help get things moving inside. Even light exercise is fine, such as talking a walk, stretching or dancing for 5–10 minutes.

2. Massage Your Tummy

A fun way to calm a bloated belly and encourage your bowels to do their thing is with a gentle abdominal massage. It’s really easy.

Start by placing one of your hands on the right side of your belly, near your hip bone. Slowly move upwards, rubbing softly using a circular motion. Once you reach the top of your tummy, follow this movement straight across to the other side. Then move your hand down the left side of your stomach.

In other words, you’re massaging your tummy in a square pattern while making little circles with your hands. Repeat this several times. You don’t need to press hard for it to work.


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3. Enjoy a Warm Bubble Bath

Believe it or not, bloating is often caused by stress. Anxiety can mess with your hormones and cause digestive problems that lead to a bloated tummy. My favorite solution? Pampering myself with a warm bath and some scented oils (or Epsom salt).

This is great for relieving bloating for several reasons. The warm water soothes sore muscles and helps with abdominal pain. It’s also incredibly relaxing, especially with aromatic oils or candles. If bloating is a regular occurrence, try to schedule some private bubble bath “you” time once a week.

4. Drink Some Tea

Several herbal teas are wonderful for alleviating gas, bloating and abdominal pain. Here are a few of my favorite teas for times when you have a bloating emergency:

  • Star anise

  • Peppermint

  • Ginger

  • Lemon balm

  • Chamomile

  • Fennel

Peppermint tea may even help people who have irritable bowel syndrome to feel better. Studies show that peppermint oil helps to relax the gut in IBS patients.

5. Get More Fiber

“Fiber?! But I’m too young!” you say. Actually, all of need to get plenty of fiber in our diets. Bloating can happen to 18-year-old women with perfect curves as well as working moms with two kids and … slightly less perfect curves.

Most people don’t need fiber capsules; you can get what you need from a healthy diet. Add these fiber superstars to your meals or enjoy them as healthy snacks:

  • Whole grains: Oatmeal, quinoa and popcorn

  • Fresh fruits: Pears, strawberries, apples, raspberries and bananas

  • Veggies: Carrots, spinach, beets, kale and artichokes

  • Legumes: Lentils, black beans, chickpeas and kidney beans

  • Nuts and seeds: Chia seeds, almonds

Your body depends on plant fiber to keep its digestive system working properly. Smooth, regular trips to the bathroom are one of the best ways to enjoy a flat tummy and prevent bloating. Great nutrition is, not surprisingly, the key to fitting into those jeans every time.

Eat on the Go a Lot? This Is Why You’re Gaining Weight

Take out

Does any of this sound like your daily routine?

  • Eating lunch at your desk
  • Grabbing a toaster pastry on your way out the door
  • Stopping at a drive-thru on the way to work
  • Skipping meals
  • Buying a muffin or donut while you fill your gas tank
  • Eating at weird times of day
  • Ordering fast food over your lunch break
  • Getting your “lunch” from a vending machine

If so, you’re probably noticing that it’s hard to reach that slim waistline you’ve been craving. Rushing through mealtimes makes it harder for your body to burn calories. It adds literal pounds to your waistline. Here’s why:

Pastries

1. You Eat Too Much

Eating quickly doesn’t give your body time to signal when you’re full. This makes it easy to overeat. Any extra calories go straight to your waistline.

Taking your time to savor your food lets you digest what you’re eating. This balances blood sugar levels and reduces the amount of sugar turned into fat. Plus, relaxed eating prevents that nasty afternoon energy crash that leaves you reaching for caffeine.

Vending Machine

2. You Stay Hungry

Have you ever grabbed a candy bar and looked down to see the empty wrapper in your hand, but you don’t remember eating the candy bar? That’s exactly what happens when you eat on the go. Scientists have discovered that it’s not just your stomach that tells you you’re full; your brain does, too.

When your brain is distracted with something else — walking or working — you won’t feel full even if you’ve eaten enough. You’re going to have major munchies, and what happens next probably won’t make you proud.

2 Minute Ritual

3. Your Body Misses Out on Fat-Burning Nutrients

People who eat on the run often choose foods that aren’t exactly healthy. It’s tempting to grab toaster pastries, donuts, muffins or burgers and call them a meal because they’re so convenient. But they’re also nothing but empty calories that make you gain weight.

On the other hand, fresh fruit fills you up and gives your body tons of energizing nutrients. Many of these antioxidant superstars supercharge your metabolism and help you burn fat.

Eating at work

4. The Portions Are Huge

If eating on the go means swinging through a drive-thru, you have to deal with the massive portions of most fast-food restaurants. DON’T SUPERSIZE IT! Even normal burgers and fries are enough to blow past your daily calorie limits. The gigantic portions of most places can quickly undo any exercise you’ve done all week long.

Apples

What Can You Do?

How can you avoid gaining weight if you have a busy schedule? First, understand that eating on the go is dangerous and taking your time is healthy. People who rush through meals are at a much greater risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

If a busy schedule is the problem, cook healthy foods the night before that don’t take long to serve in the morning, such as a fresh berry smoothie. Set aside a reasonable amount of time to enjoy eating, such as 15 minutes for breakfast, and 30-45 for lunch and supper. During this time, RELAX.

If you’re at work, find a nice outdoor spot where you can sit and eat a tasty sandwich or salad. Savor the flavors, talk with friends, or just enjoy the refreshing air. This can help you lose weight, and I guarantee you will feel more productive.

Does Skipping Meals Really Help You Lose Weight?

Empty Plate

Maintaining a healthy weight is about more than just your appearance. Being overweight or obese is associated with a wide range of health issues, including a higher risk of developing heart disease, certain types of cancers, type 2 diabetes, and osteoarthritis. In an attempt to control your weight, you may be enticed to skip meals to reduce your daily caloric intake. However, skipping meals might not be the best option when it comes to your weight loss journey.

Exhausted Woman

What Happens to Your Body When You Skip Meals

The idea is pretty simple; taking in fewer calories than you burn allows you to drop pounds. In this respect, skipping meals (which is sometimes referred to as intermittent fasting) just makes good sense. Eating less means fewer calories, which in turn means lower weight. Unfortunately, there are downsides to this practice, some of which can have a negative impact on your health:

  • Decreased Energy - When you go without food, you're likely to experience decreased energy, sluggishness, and fatigue. Healthy, wholesome foods (including lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) are the best sources of fuel since they're not associated with the crash and burn of eating sugar-packed goodies or consuming cup after cup of coffee.
  • Low Blood Sugar - Hypoglycemia (AKA low blood sugar) is often associated with diabetes. This condition can also occur when a person goes many hours without eating, which causes dizziness, headache, blurred vision, problems concentrating, and many other ill-effects. Low blood sugar can even affect your mood. That tell-tale feeling of anger and irritation that arises within a few hours of your last meal shows that your brain is being deprived of an essential source of sustenance (i.e. glucose).
  • A Greater Risk of Overeating - At some point, your body will be crying out for food after many hours of fasting. It's a lot harder to make smart food choices in this state, as intense cravings are likely to emerge. Often, these cravings involve the very worst foods available, such as those containing a lot of sugar and fat. If you have a hard time saying no to these foods under normal circumstances, imagine how hard it will be to abstain when you're racked with hunger pains.
2 Minute Ritual

Healthy Alternatives to Meal Skipping

The ultimate goal of any lifestyle changes you make should be to improve your health and well-being. Instead of meal skipping in an effort to lose weight, focus on eating wholesome meals three or more times a day in reasonable portions. When it comes to snacking, look for items low in calories but high in nutritional content. For example, nuts contain healthy fats as well as a good portion of protein. Even better, nuts contain a lot of fiber, which ensures you feel full after snacking.
Greek yogurt is another great selection for healthy snacking. Like nuts, Greek yogurt contains plenty of protein. It's also a great source of calcium, which is essential for healthy bones and teeth. For even greater benefits, add berries or other fruit to your Greek yogurt.
If you're a fan of salty snacks like potato chips, consider incorporating kale chips into your diet routine. Kale is a popular superfood brimming with antioxidants, which prevent damage on a cellular level. Kale is also a great source of fiber, as well as being rich in vitamin C.

Almonds in Bowl

I Tried Keto for 30 Days and Discovered This Amazing Secret!

Keto Bowls

To me, there’s nothing better than discovering natural health secrets that can make us working moms feel amazing. So, I decided to try the keto diet for 30 days. Does it really work? Here’s what happened to me.

How Much Weight Did I Lose?

I know this is what you’re dying to know, so let’s get this question out of the way first. Is keto as thrilling for weight loss as they say? I have to admit I was a little skeptical of the “lose 10 pounds in a week” claims. But, that’s exactly what happened to me!
Well, not exactly 10 pounds. I lost 8 pounds in my first week on keto. Over the next three weeks, my waistline kept dropping more and more. By the end of the month I had burned a stunning 15 pounds!
You’re looking at the happy owner of a size 12 dress size. I’m so proud! My goal is to hit a size 10 in another month or so. I have this sexy size-10 red dress that I’ve been saving in the back of my closet (and have since moved to the front of the closet to stay motivated) that I’m dying to slip into for ladies’ night.

What Are My New Favorite Keto Recipes?

Bacon

How did I manage to slash carbs, balance my protein intake and keep up with my calories? A LOT of bacon. Now, let me confess that I really had NO problem getting into that. Don’t tell anyone, but I love bacon, cheese and avocados, so that part was pretty easy!

Here are a few of my new favorite recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner:

  • Breakfast: I have two breakfast favorites. One is keto granola with sesame seeds, coconut oil and flakes, chia seeds, almonds and cinnamon. It’s just toasty and yummy to the extreme. I also have a soft spot for bacon and egg cups with jalapeno slices, cheddar cheese, avocado and sour cream.

  • Lunch: My favorite option for a tasty lunch are spicy shrimp lettuce wraps (I eat a LOT of lettuce wraps for lunch). They have tasty shrimp with chipotle flakes, hot sauce, celery, blue cheese and romaine lettuce.

  • Dinner: For dinner, I try to plan meals that are easy to adapt to my kids. For example, keto mac’ and cheese basically replaces the macaroni with cauliflower and adds bacon on top. So, I make half a dish with the pasta noodles for them, and the other half with cauliflower for me.

If I need a shot of energy when I’m working, smoothies are awesome. My fave is a coconut milk smoothie with mint leaves and blackberries.

2 Minute Ritual

What About the Keto Flu?

I had heard a lot about the dreaded “keto flu” that makes you feel lethargic, tired and irritable. But I also found some tips from other keto warrior women like me. They recommended drinking lots of water and adding extra sodium and potassium (electrolytes) to my diet. I did that and didn’t notice any big energy or mood problems at all.

Keto Breakfast

What Are My Biggest Takeaways and Recommendations?

I think the biggest thing that has helped me to get so many benefits from keto is that I did my research before starting. I learned about the biggest obstacles, made my grocery list, planned my meals and went to town. That’s what I would recommend for everyone interested in keto.