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Detox Your Life: Healthy Honey Swap!

healthy honey swap

 

You might be wondering- what the heck is the difference?

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Is raw honey more nutritious than processed or filtered honey? While there is no official U.S. federal definition of “raw” honey, it generally means honey that has not been heated or filtered. According to the FDA, “nutritious” can be used in reference to the diet as a whole, not an individual food. Nevertheless, we often see or hear claims that raw honey is “more nutritious” or “better for you,” primarily because raw honey may contain small amounts of pollen grains that are often removed during processing or filtering.

Why is most honey filtered? According to USDA Grading Standards for extracted honey, filtered honey is honey that has been filtered to the extent that all or most of the fine particles, pollen grains, air bubbles, or other materials normally found in suspension, have been removed.

Honey that is filtered by packers is filtered for various reasons:

Many consumers prefer honey that is liquid and stays liquid for a long time.
All honey crystallizes eventually. Suspended particles and fine air bubbles in honey contribute to faster crystallization. Filtering helps delay crystallization, helping the honey to remain liquid for a much longer period than unfiltered honey. Many consumers prefer honey to be clear and brilliantly transparent.
The presence of fine, suspended material (pollen grains, wax, etc.) and air bubbles results in a cloudy appearance that can detract from the appearance. Filtering is done to give a clear brilliant product desired by consumers. For the filtered style of honey, USDA Grading Standards for Extracted Honey give higher grades for honey that has good clarity. <—- so basically they care more about how food looks instead of the nutrient value- ugh.

How do I substitute raw honey for sugar in recipes? When substituting honey for granulated sugar in recipes, begin by substituting honey for up to half of the sugar called for in the recipe. For baked goods, make sure to reduce the oven temperature by 25°F to prevent over-browning; reduce any liquid called for by 1/4 cup for each cup of honey used and add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for each cup of honey used. Because of its high fructose content, honey has higher sweetening power than sugar. This means you can use less honey than sugar to achieve the desired sweetness.

Why can’t I feed honey to my baby less than one year of age?
Honey may contain Clostridium botulinum spores that can cause infant botulism – a rare but serious disease that affects the nervous system of young babies (under one year of age). C. botulinum spores are present throughout the environment and may be found in dust, soil and improperly canned foods. Adults and children over one year of age are routinely exposed to, but not normally affected by, C. botulinum spores. Honey is safe to consume during pregnancy and lactation. While infants are susceptible to the infant botulism, adults, including pregnant females, are not. The concern for babies stems from the fact that infants lack the fully developed gastrointestinal tract of older humans. Since the mother is not in danger of developing this condition, the unborn baby is protected.

Does honey have an expiration date?
Honey stored in sealed containers can remain stable for decades and even centuries! However, honey is susceptible to physical and chemical changes during storage; it tends to darken and lose its aroma and flavor or crystallize. These are temperature-dependent processes, making the shelf life of honey difficult to define. For practical purposes, a shelf life of two years is often stated. Properly processed, packaged and stored honey retains its quality for a long time. If in doubt, throw it out, and purchase a new jar of honey!

GET LOCAL HONEY! Raw honey is great, but local raw honey is even better! Local raw honey contains pollen that is specific to your area and therefore can really help those local seasonal allergies. Taking a spoonful of raw honey once or twice a day is a great help. It is also advised to begin taking local honey a few months prior to the allergy season; this gets the pollen introduced into the body and gradually builds up the body”s tolerance to seasonal allergies. Visit your local farmer’s market for local honey & pollen.

DID YOU KNOW?

Studies have determined that children who get a dose of raw honey cough less and sleep better than those who get cough and cold medicines? Plus there are no side effects!

Raw Honey also boosts the immune system and helps the body fight the cold faster!

Cough and cold medicines are NOT recommended for children under 6 years old. They are not effective and side effects can be very dangerous. *Just remember that cough and cold medicines won’t cure your child’s cold or make it go away any sooner. And of course don’t give honey to children under 1.

Keep it real,

Branda

*Source for some of the info above: honey.com

Confused about food? Start here.

Most people hear about a particular way of eating such as vegan, paleo, vegetarian or low carb/high protein etc & just jump in with trying to eat by the ‘rules’ of one of these diets. After awhile they meet or hear of someone having success with a different way of eating & might decide to adopt that one instead. If they are not following a specific diet then they are on the ‘free for all’ plan – which puts them on the fast track to weight gain & health problems. And so the cycle continues. Do you ever stop to question the food you are eating? Or do you just choose whatever fits into the ‘rules’ you are currently following? Sure those shakes & bars or lack of carbs etc might help you lose weight initially, but you must ask yourself- what the heck am I actually eating? Is my diet well balanced? What nutrients am I lacking? When you start diving into what is really inside the food you eat – this is when the real journey begins. After you learn more about food, you will start to develop your own standards & way of eating that feels right for your body.

I highly encourage you to watch this TED talk!

It’s one mother’s journey to understand what’s in our food & a great sneak peek into why we should be more concerned with what’s IN our food rather than what ‘diet’ we should follow.

Keep it Real,
BRANDA

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Someone has been sipping on my Kombucha…

Attention Everyone: My husband has decided to eat healthy.
Apparently after 10 years of me warning him that bad food & bad habits will catch up to him; they finally did. I know I should be happy for him, but I’m a bit annoyed. WHY?

Well #1 I’m fighting the urge to scream “I told You SO!!!!”- yes I know this is not helpful so I didn’t actually do it- I just screamed it inside my head.

#2 he’s been a bit of an ASKhole (someone who asks for health advice but NEVER actually uses it).

#3 He will steal all my healthy food now. My healthy food has been seriously safe for the last 10 years – right next to his junk. Now I come home to empty hummus containers and I think someone has been sipping my kombucha….

#4 He needs recognition after every bite. Just like most men I know, my husband has to be recognized for every healthy piece of food that enters his mouth. So our dinners go something like this –> HIM: “did you see all that squash I just ate?” ME: “yes” HIM: “check it out- all my greens are gone” ME: “yeah mine are too and so are Jude’s and he’s four years old”. HIM: “Guess what? I ate a salad for lunch!!” ME: “Jude please join me in a slow clap for your father because he had such an incredibly healthy day!!!!”

I know I know I should be happy for him and I will be. Right after I find a really good hiding place for all my kale.

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Detox Your Life: Healthy Chocolate Swap


This is the time of year that we NEED to talk about chocolate! First, take a deep breathe. I would never tell you to stop eating chocolate because let’s be honest- it’s amazing BUT I do want you to chose a cleaner healthier version.

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Rule #1– NO milk chocolate period. Why? It lacks any type of nutrients and is so processed that you are basically just eating sugar & fat. AND it has weird ingredients in the label. For example what in the world is PGPR???? Remember: if we don’t recognize the ingredients then our body won’t either.

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I had to do a little research to find out what exactly PGPR was & here is what I found:

PGPR can be used to replace the traditional but more expensive cocoa butter as an ingredient in chocolate. Palsgaard’s website asserts, “Cocoa butter is an expensive raw material for chocolate manufacturers. By using PALSGAARD 4150 the chocolate recipe has lower costs in terms of less cocoa butter but also gives the benefit of having less fat.”

So it is basically some man made chemical that will probably be linked to cancer someday. All in the name of reducing costs right? Ditch the milk chocolate people!

Rule #2– Dark chocolate rules! Why? Because it is less processed and contains good stuff that is actually GOOD FOR YOU. Like what? I’m so glad you asked!

-Quality dark chocolate is rich in Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese and a few other minerals.

-Quality dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants. Have you ever heard of a measure called ORAC? ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. It is a measure of the antioxidant activity of foods. Basically, researchers pit a bunch of free radicals (bad) against a sample of food and see how well the antioxidants in the food can “disarm” them.

IN A NUTSHELL: There is considerable evidence that chocolate can provide powerful health benefits, being especially protective against cardiovascular disease. But of course, this doesn’t mean people should go all out and consume lots of chocolate every day. It is still loaded with calories and easy to overeat on. Maybe have a square or two after dinner and try to really savor them. Be aware that a lot of the chocolate on the market is filled with crap. You need to choose quality stuff… organic, dark chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content. Dark chocolates often contain some sugar, but the amounts are usually small and the darker the chocolate, the less sugar it will contain.

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The Uncluttered Christmas

We live in an RV aka tiny house. This means we have to be REALLY picky about what comes into our very small space. So as much as we TRULY appreciate family members that want to buy a gift for Jude or or our family; we would like to ensure that this year’s gifts will be very useable! Instead of toys we are going to ask for things like swimming lessons, martial arts, movie tickets or even better –> maybe a visit from the person giving the gift! I am loving some of the ideas from the links below and I will also be using these ideas to purchase gifts for others.

http://www.raisingmemories.com/2013/12/ultimate-list-100-non-toy-gift-ideas.html

http://kaylaaimee.com/25-non-toy-christmas-gifts/

Want a clutter free Christmas? Check out the lists above + talk to the people you are buying a gift for. Ask: could we plan a family trip together instead? Maybe get a membership (to the zoo etc) that can be enjoyed together year round? 

Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the pressure & stress of gift giving, instead create a thoughtful + meaningful memory filled with love. xo

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Detox Your Life: Healthy Oil Swap

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Do you cook with vegetable/canola oils? It’s time to make the healthy swap to coconut oil.

Many people think that cooking oils like corn, soy, safflower, sunflower and canola are good for their health just because they’re made from vegetables or plants. But nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, these oils are probably the worst oils you can use for cooking. One reason is that they are loaded with omega-6 fats or polyunsaturated fats. What’s more, when these oils are heated, their antioxidants become damaged and oxidized, adding more toxic burden to your body.Instead of these unhealthy cooking oils, opt for a wiser and safer choice like virgin coconut oil. Virgin Coconut Oil Offers Better Benefits Than Other Cooking Oils Virgin coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts. For many years, it was vilified and accused of causing heart disease and other health problems. But now, many health experts are recommending this oil, claiming it to be one of the most healthful found on Earth.

healthy oil swap

 

Virgin coconut oil is highly recommended for cooking because it is stable enough to resist heat-induced damage. It is even better than extra-virgin olive oil, which is great when used as a salad dressing or mixed in cold dips but can be a problem when heated. This is because olive oil’s chemical structure also makes it susceptible to oxidative damage.

Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) or medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are smaller and more easily digested by your body, so they do not get stored as fat. Meanwhile, vegetable cooking oils contain long-chain fatty acids or long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). LCTs are larger and are difficult to break down, adding to your body’s toxic burden.

So, the next time you’re planning to use vegetable oil for your meals, reach for virgin coconut oil instead. Not only is it better, nutritionally-speaking, but it also boasts a richer, sweeter flavor that will certainly complement any dish.

Coconut oil is so versatile and good for you. It’s great for the kitchen and has many personal healthcare uses, such as moisturizing dry, winter skin. It’s the go to oil our home!

*Some info above provided by Green Living

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Detox Your Life: Coffee Creamer Swap!

Your body is SO smart & knows exactly how to heal you. IF you stop pumping it full of pills & toxic foods & let it do it’s job.

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If you want to clean up your diet start with your drinks. Water is your friend & most other drinks are not. I know you might NEED your coffee, but please figure out a way to sweeten & add cream to it without chemicals. When I drink coffee I use unsweetened almond milk and coconut oil to flavor it, but when I first made the transition away from creamer, I also used a little bit of pure maple syrup. The maple syrup helps to get the sweet taste without all the chemicals. Be sure you are using a PURE  natural maple syrup- NOT the sugar filled artificial syrup like Log Cabin or Aunt Jemima. Why? Because here is what is in the fake sugar filled syrups –>  INGREDIENTS: CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WATER, CELLULOSE GUM, CARAMEL COLOR, SALT, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SODIUM BENZOATE AND SORBIC ACID (PRESERVATIVES), SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE.

What is in pure maple syrup? INGREDIENTS: MAPLE SYRUP

Get the point? I thought so.

My #1 rule to eat by? LESS IS MORE. Real food rocks.

Take a look at the back of your creamer bottle- how many of those ingredients do you recognize? That’s what I thought. Make the switch today.

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Holiday Hottie {Online} Challenge

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Do you want a rockin’ holiday bod? Need some help avoiding weight gain during the holidays?

This Challenge has 3 parts –> all designed to help you eat healthy, stay on track & be accountable during the holidays. We communicate in an online Facebook forum + you will be able to download all of the materials there too- making this challenge completely virtual! The Healthy Holiday Hottie Challenge will help you cleanse your body, stress less & eat clean during the toughest months of the year.

starts Nov. 14th (& ends dec.20th)

PART 1: A 12-Day Cleanse- this is a MUST HAVE program to help you change your taste buds and overcome cravings BEFORE the holidays. {Plus a great tool to have on hand for after the holidays too ;)}

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No fad diets, no pills, no meal substitute protein shakes or powders, can do what the 12-day Detox can do for you, naturally! I would like to invite you to experience the best your body can be!

In the next 12 days you can dissolve your sugar cravings and forget about carbs! Experience what it is feels like to completely purify your body and cleanse your entire system of stored up toxins that have been weighing you down for years.

Drop up to 5 pounds and fall in love with your radiant skin and new sense of vitality!

What You Get:

Exclusive access to the 12-day Detox support community {a private Facebook forum} where you can access a wealth of information and encouragement!
Eloquent, complete day-by-day approach that will keep you on track, through the excitement and challenges of your daily program.
Lifetime access to your program so you can repeat as often as you like
Daily meal plans with nutritious, wholefood options
12-day supported detox schedule
Goal setting activities
Self-care tips and tools
Free bonus-gifts
You won’t find this kind of support anywhere else!

Throughout the 12-days you will learn how to reduce painful inflammation, integrate exercise and vital movement into your daily life, and transform your body into its best state of being!

You’ll also learn:

Effective ways to release toxins
How to shop healthy & confidently
Incorporating Superfoods
How primary foods affect your health
Travel tips during your cleanse
Motivational techniques & visualizations
Everything you consume during your 12-day Detox, is designed to give your body the best, most compact sources of nutrition. If you’re trying to lose weight, this is the perfect kick-off!

You’ll recognize the real benefit to this system is cleansing and detoxing with good nutritious whole foods. ..not chemicals or processed foods…just good clean food.

Most importantly, afterwards you will enjoy the emphasis placed on teaching you the no-fail secrets to maintaining your healthy lifestyle indefinitely!

PART 2: In addition to the cleansing recipes, you will receive my ‘Easy & Clean’ meal plan which contains easy to make clean eating meals + some bonus holiday-inspired recipes. Hosting a holiday meal or event? Attending a holiday party or potluck? You need some tasty holiday dishes that won’t leave you feeling guilty & bloated!

PART 3: The last past of the challenge will be focused on reducing stress. So starting on December 6th, the 15-day #stressfreeme challenge will start. You will be challenged to do something small each day- all designed to help you stay stress free during the holidays!

RECAP: an all-inclusive 12-day cleanse, clean eating holiday recipes & less stress = a Rockin Holiday Bod.

Get on the road to feeling good + looking good! GO HERE to register —>

http://bodybybranda.com/healthy-holiday-hottie-online-challenge/

 

 

The Chaturanga Explained

Confession: I almost quit yoga due to wrist pain a few years back. I could NOT complete an entire yoga practice without incredible pain in my wrists. At first I made excuses, because I had broken my left wrist 3x and my left elbow 2x in the past- I was convinced that yoga & me would just never be.

BUT, I was not ready to accept that fate when I entered into a Yoga Teacher Training last year. I am SO glad I didn’t give up because while in training I learned SO much! Most importantly, I learned the PROPER FORM for all the inversions and I spent A LOT of time on chaturanga. I was determined to master it so I stayed after each training and practiced with the instructors. By the end of the training I was able to assist & instruct the other teacher trainees into proper form as well as do it myself. It just clicked, felt right & guess what? NO PAIN!!!! {Happy Dance happens here}.

So, even if you don’t currently experience pain; you should check out this video! You might have one of the ‘bad chaturanga habits’ I talk about and can pick up on some new tips to try. In this video I explain proper form & alignment + explain how to modify the chaturanga (aka chaturanga dandasana or high to low push up) while you build up your strength. HAPPY SWEATING!

Namaste~


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Cardio got you down? Just HIIT it!

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Cardio ranks right up there with a trip to the gynecologist or a visit from your in- laws. I’m sure there’s a million other ways you’d rather spend your time! But you want to be fit and you want to be lean, so you do it. Right? I have to admit, I can’t stand spending a long amount of time on the treadmill- yawn! Good news is there is a much better way.

A FUN form of cardio that delivers twice the bang for its buck! I’m referring to high-intensity interval training (also known as HIIT). It will get you leaner and fitter faster without having to spend more time in the gym (not to mention its WAY more fun than hours on treadmill)!

HIIT is all about how you do your cardio. Rather than choosing an aerobic activity that you maintain at a steady pace for the duration of your workout—say 30 minutes on the elliptical—you alternate fast periods in which you work all-out with slower recovery intervals. In addition, you will work in and out of both aerobic & anaerobic which will help you increase your strength, muscle & endurance.

So that’s great, but HOW do I get started?
 
First of all, you will want to start slow. Choose a few of your favorite exercises let’s say you love squats, burpees & pushups (I know these happen to be YOUR personal favorites- right?). You would choose a number of rounds to complete so as a beginner I would recommend just 4 rounds of 30 seconds each exercise to start, but as you gain strength you can build up to more rounds at 1 minute each exercise. It would look like this (keep in mind this is very basic):
 
Beginner –> Do  30 sec pushups, 30 sec burpees, 30 sec pushups as fast as you can!!! Take 10-20 sec rest  & then repeat that same thing again (including the rest) for a total of 4 rounds.
 
As you get stronger you will want to increase the time you complete each exercise to 45 sec or 1 minute etc and also increase the number of rounds. You will of course be choosing all different kinds of exercises too. Some cardio, some strength, and some core. You can create different HIIT workouts too – try all lower body moves or just upper body etc.
 
Here are some HIIT workouts to get you started! 
HIITtobeFit
 
HIITBody2
 
We are always HIITing it over in my Busy Babes Online Boot Camp- give this Core workout a try!

Want access to more videos like these? Come sweat with us online! For just $20/mo I plan an entire month’s worth of HIIT workouts for you + give you access to all the online workout videos, weekly motivation & virtual coaching. The best part is: ALL of the workouts are less than 20 minutes long! HIIT rocks because it allows you to get awesome results with shorter sweat sessions- SO perfect for Busy Babes! Read more about how you can get fit online on your own time here.

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*Some of the awesome HIIT facts above provided by Shannon Clark on bodybuilding.com