The Art of Making Tea-Beginner

16265627_1317595031654592_6083181443600359016_nI’ve always been a coffee lover but, I have to admit, the health and wellness benefits of tea are appealing. There is something sweet and romantic about tea that I find intriguing.  A couple of weeks ago I saw an ad that a local yoga studio was hosting a workshop on the ‘Art of Tea Making’ so I was excited to satisfy my curiosity.

Herbologist and Yoga Instructor, Brandy Manguno, led the half yoga and half tea making workshop.  It was magnificent!  I left feeling relaxed and empowered to begin my tea adventure!

Brandy began by sharing how Earth gives healing to us by way of her plantlife.  king-pigeonIt’s so easy to pop a pill for our ailments, but if you want to give your body a chance to receive God-given organic methods for healing, tea making is a way to do that.

Whatever your issue there seems to be a tea remedy, i.e. cold–lemon balm; depression— skullcap; insect repellant–lavender; PMS–chamomile.

Here are some of the basics I learned from Brandy’s, “Art Of Tea Making Tea-Beginner” workshop:

Tea Basics 101

What you need:

  1. Make sure your tea is fresh and organic.  Here are websites that provide quality herbs: http://www.wildweeds.com http://www.jeansgreens.com http://www.mountainroseherbs.com
  2. The scoop on prepackaged tea bags: The downside of tea bags is that the plants become more oxidized so they lose a large portion of their flavor and medicinal value.  The positive side is the convenience.  Selecting organic brands will ensure fewer chemicals and pesticides will make their way into your hot cup.
  3. Begin with 2- 3 ingredients.  A general guide is that your daytime base should include green tea and a nighttime base a chamomile.
  4. Brandy provided mesh tea balls for everyone.  I have found it easy to use for a newbie like me. Here is a link for a small mesh tea bag infuser: https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/catalog/teas/accessories#product-1698
  5. Tea should be stored in a sealed container as air tight as possible and in a cool, dark place.

How to steep your tea:

  1. Fill your mesh ball half to 3/4 full with herbs.  The herbs will expand in the water.
  2. Pour hot water, not boiling, over leaves, flowers and stems.  Pour boiling water over roots.
  3. Put a plate over your cup and let it steep for 8-10 minutes.
  4. Lick your plate! A lot of the nutrients are there;)
  5. Add honey, lemon, milk and enjoy!

Later on that week I shared with Brandy that I made tea from the herbs I mixed in class and it was nasty!😝  I gave it another shot and used less of my blend and it was much better.

Brandy said, give your tea a chance for your palatte to accept.  Treat tea making just like cooking.  You are learning to put a little more of this and a little less of that.

The Romantic Aspects of Tea:

The act of drinking tea can be a luxurious experience.  Savoring the smell and taking time to sip your tea is very soothing and relaxing. It’s a simple way for all of us busy folks to ground ourselves and have a bright spot in our day.

With Valentine’s Day almost here you might be wondering about a ‘modern day love potion.’

e70d0feb032d7941406e7510ac604c0aThere are many herbs that can boost libido for women and men.  A tea that Brandy mentioned for women is hops and for men, red clover, but there are many more!

When you live with many stresses in life it can take the passion out of your sails. Including tea time as a regular part of your day can recharge your batteries and provide a mental, physical and spiritual boost.  It’s a simple way to take control of your health.

If you would like more information on Brandy, her workshops, or a consultation her website is http://yoga-llc.com/about/

Her tea blends are sold at Cosmic Karma in Mandeville.

Tea making is more of an adventure that I ever realized!  I hope this inspires you to take a plunge into the world of tea.  Enjoy Your Tea Adventure!

 

 

Pumpkin Protein Muffins

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I love the Summer with the longer days of sunshine and beach trips so it’s hard for me to say goodbye. The one thing that helps to make it better is pumpkin.☺️

I especially love baking with this fruit, yes, pumpkin is technically a fruit, crazy huh?  These pumpkin protein muffins do not disappoint!  They are nutritionally packed with vitamin A, fiber, protein and natural sweetness!  What this means is that you stay fuller longer so you have the perfect healthy snack-:)  WIN!

I decided to top my muffins with a cream cheese protein icing. I’ve included that recipe for you too:)

Oh, by the way, you could totally use this same recipe to make pumpkin protein bread.

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Ingredients

1 1/4 cups oat flour (read below for making your own)

1/2 cup oats

2 scoops vanilla protein powder

1/4 cup Stevia or 30 drops of organic stevia

1 tsp cinnamon

2 medium ripe bananas

1 1/4 cup pumpkin (no sugar added)

1 whole egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mash up the bananas and mix with wet ingredients.
  3. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  4. Place batter in prepared muffin pan and bake for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through. If making banana bread bake for 20-25 min.

*Grind up oatmeal in a blender until it’s a fine consistency to make your own oat flour.

*I freeze these and keep some in the frig for a snack when I have craving for something sweet*

Cream cheese protein icing:

2 oz low fat cream cheese

1/2 cup of Greek yogurt

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

10 drops of stevia (1 Tbsp for powder stevia)

2 Tbsp almond milk (or whatever milk you have)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Quick and Easy Summer Lunch Recipes

Here are some healthy lunch and snack recipes that will make meal prep easy during the hot Summer months!

Spring Rolls

Think of it as a salad except that it’s easier to eat and more fun.-:)  You could add in some protein with shrimp, chicken or tofu to make it a more filling lunch.

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Ingredients:

rice paper–avocado–your favorite veggies

Directions:

  • Soak your rice paper in a large bowl of warm water for about 10 seconds (or follow directions on your package).
  • Lay it on a moist clean towel and layer on your veggies & if you want.  Sprinkle with rice vinegar or Asian dressing.
  • Roll it up burrito style by rolling forward once, tucking in the sides and continuing to roll forward.

*Optional step: sauté your veggies in 1/2 Tbsp of sesame oil, 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce and 2 garlic cloves.

Dipping Sauce

3 Tbsp soy sauce, 3 Tbsp nut butter, 2 tsp chopped garlic, 1/2 tsp sesame oil

Turkey and Veggie Roll Ups

Another easy grab and go snack or light lunch idea.  These are surprisingly tasty eats!

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Ingredients

organic deli meat

green beans & carrot slices

mustard

Roll up 1-2 steamed green beans, a carrot slice and a strip of mustard.

Chicken Salad Lettuce Wrap

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Ingredients

1½ pounds pre-cooked chicken (I use a store bought rotisserie & remove the skin)
½ cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
¼ cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup red seedless grapes, cut in half lengthwise (20 grapes)
½ cup coarsely chopped unsalted, raw walnuts or pecans
1 cup thinly sliced celery (about 3 stalks)

Combine yogurt, mayo, vinegar, honey, salt, and black pepper in a large mixing bowl.  Add chicken,  grapes, and celery and toss until everything is coated in the yogurt sauce. Give it a quick taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.  Chill before serving.

 

Need Help Losing Weight & Achieving Your Goals?

feet on a bathroom scale - isolated

Do you want to lose weight, but struggle with motivation?

Have you tried diets in the past and are afraid of failing again?

Have you promised yourself to hit the gym more &  not followed through?

Need extra support, motivation and to feel that someone is on your side?

Are you a busy professional and need help making your health a priority?

I can help!!

As a Health Coach, it’s my area of expertise to help you reach your weight loss and fitness goals and be your ultimate support system for making healthy lifestyle changes that stick!

What makes health coaching different from any other diet program?

  • I focus on your whole life, not just diet and nutrition.  I understand how the emotional, physical, behavioral, nutritional and lifestyle factors are all needed to enhance overall health and well-being. This is what sets me apart from a dietician or nutrionist.
  • I don’t just give you a plan and leave you to figure it out on your own.  I journey beside you, helping you work through challenges and making behavior changes that will result in sustainable weight loss.
  • Macronutrients, Paleo, Organic, it can all be confusing.  I help navigate you through the overwhelming information on nutrition, diets and fitness to determine what works for YOU.  
  • You might know what to do, but applying that knowledge is another story.  Health coaching provides accountability to keep you on track.  By setting small goals and taking a realistic approach, you will make progress.

How does health coaching work?

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Health coaching is convenient. I work with clients from all over consulting on the phone, text and through email.

1st coaching consult:   I want to hear about your goals, what you want to achieve and together we develop an action plan along with small steps you can begin practicing in your daily life.

Weekly sessions: I do a check in at the beginning of the week to explore challenges, provide suggestions to resolve them and goal set.

I provide weekly review on your meals, activity suggestions and challenges.

I guide you on meal prep, reading food labels, and I share healthy recipes.

What training have I received?

I am a certified Health Coach with the NDP (National Diabetes Prevention Program)

I am also a certified Personal Trainer and Lifestyle Fitness Coach with NESTA (National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association)

I have personally overcome my own battle with weight, body image and food.  Read my story here: https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2015/05/17/my-story-from-overcoming-anorexia-to-finding-purpose/

How much does it cost?

$99/ month for full coaching package.

$50 one time consult with 1 week of coaching.

*I accept PayPal

Health coaching is a preventive care that’s an investment in your quality of life.

Health coaching is all about YOU! It gives you the accountability, inspiration and guidance you need to achieve goals that you can’t reach on your own.

 

Hourglass Workout Plan: Get Beach and Bride Ready

monroeIf mother nature blessed you with a natural hourglass shape, lucky you!  I’ve been working to enhance my curves for years, and weight training has made a world of difference.  Even Marilyn lifted weights, along with diet, to keep her voluptuous body firm.

You can absolutely create the look of a shapely silhouette by building up your shoulders and back, tightening up the abs and sculpting the glutes.  The Hourglass Workout is a week’s worth of workouts that I’ve designed to create killer curves and burn off body fat.

  • There are 5 workouts with a rest day mid-week.
  • Complete each superset or tri-set then rest one minute before starting the next set.
  • beginners perform 1-2 sets/advanced perform the instructed amount.
  • Use the ab circuit twice a week on non-consecutive days.
  • Cardio should be done at least 3 days a week.  The bootcamp workout on Day 5 is considered a cardio day.

Follow this, along with nutrition tips I’ve provided in the links at the bottom page, to compliment your workouts.  If you would like to receive personalized fitness and nutrition programs, check out my about section and send me a message.

Day 1: Monday— Legs/Shoulders

Superset: 4 sets

Deep squats: 12 reps

Step jumps: 12  http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/box-jump-multiple-response

*modify using a smaller box

Trisets: 3 sets

Walking lunges: 24 total steps

Dumbbell sumo squat: 15

Lateral bound with dumbbells: 30 total http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/lateral-bound-

Trisets: 3 sets

Shoulder press: 15 reps

Lateral raise: 12 reps

rear delt fly machine: 15 reps

Day 2: Tuesday— Chest/Biceps

Giantset: 4 sets 

Dumbbell incline press: 15

Plyo push-ups: 12 http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/plyo-push-up

*modify on knees

Dumbbell fly: 15

Step ups: 24 total http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/step-up-with-knee-raise

Giantset: 3 sets

E-Z bar curl: 12 reps

Dumbbell incline curl: 12 reps

Hammer curl: 12 reps

Jacks: 30 seconds

Day 3:  Rest day  

Day 4: Thursday— Back/Triceps

Superset: 4 sets

Barbell deadlift: 12 reps http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/main/popup/name/barbell-deadlift

Machine row: 12 reps

Giant set: 3 sets

One arm row: 12 reps

Dumbbell pullover: 12 reps

Wide grip pulldown: 12 reps

Bench jumps:

Triset: 3 sets
Cable over head extension: 12 reps

reverse grip pull-down: 12 reps

bench dips: to failure

Step ups: 24 total

Day 5: Bootcamp

Perform 3 rounds for 1 minute for all exercises. Rest 1 minute & repeat.
  1. Weighted Burpees *perform this with dumbbells
  2. Curtsey lunges *holding dumbbells  http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/kettlebell-curtsy-lunge
  3. Slow floor sprints *a slow controlled version of a mountain climber.  When you bring your knee in toward the chest, don’t let your foot touch the ground.  Hold for a second, then switch.
  4. Axe chop with medicine ball *picture at bottom page
  5. Single leg deadlift *30 seconds on one leg and 30 on the other
  6. Low plank crossover *cross one leg over the other in plank position, almost touching floor, repeat on the other side.
Ab circuit: 3 rounds, rest 1 minute after each round.
  1. Decline crunch: 15 reps
  2. Stability ball pike press/or knee tuck: 10 reps https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/total-body-workout-you-can-do-at-home/
  3. Side plank hip drops: 10 each side, hold last rep up for 10 seconds http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/main/popup/name/side-bridge
  4. reverse crunch:  15 reps
  5. russian twist with medicine ball: 20 reps

Ax Chop with medicine ball

axe-chop-exercise

Nutrition and Lifestyle Blogs:

https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/get-healthy-for-the-summer/

https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2016/06/13/buff-bride-5-tips-to-lose-weight-stay-healthy-for-your-wedding-day/

Get Healthy For The Summer

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photo credit to Mystic Mermaid @ https://www.facebook.com/MysticMermaidCove/

The dark and dreary Winter months can cause many of us to lose some of our zest.  Summer’s approach has a way of reviving and warming us from the inside out. Instead of wanting to hibernate in a cozy blanket, we are looking for flip-flops & a reason to get outside!

These are tips that will get you in shape AND healthy from the inside out!  When you feel happy and confident it reflects to the outside world, and this is what can set you apart on the beach.😃

1st Tip

Start your day with JOY and a glass of water

You’ve gone the entire night without water so even if you don’t feel thirsty, you need to drink some water.

  • Drinking water as soon as you get up brings a healthy glow to the skin, and it’s a good way to purify your internal system.

Your morning often sets the tone for the rest of your day.  Creating habits that bring you joy is important.  This will look different for everyone.

  • If you are super rushed in the morning it might be moving mindfully through your routine instead of going through the motions.
  • sitting with a cup of coffee in silence
  • snuggling with the kiddos or hubby
  • reading a Bible scripture.

Starting your morning with joy helps you begin the day with love flowing from the inside out.

quote-keep-smiling-because-life-is-a-beautiful-thing-and-there-s-so-much-to-smile-about-marilyn-monroe-41-82-19

2nd Tip

Eat whole foods with plenty of vegetables

Eating whole and nutrient dense foods is going to nourish and energize your body.

  • When you are shopping stick to the perimeter of the grocery store.  This is where fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, and fish are usually located.  The center aisles is generally where junk foods lurk.
  • Eating vegetables helps the skin and body look and feel better.

IMG_2943 IMG_2944A typical breakfast for me is usually a veggie omelette.  If I get bored with this I change-up the vegetables and herbs I use.  Read this blog for tips on sneaking in vegetables: https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/5-ways-to-sneak-greens-into-your-meals/

3rd Tip

Get some fresh air

Winter season or not, we spend a lot of time indoors.  Getting out in nature improves our health and overall wellbeing.  Whenever I’m upset about something it always helps me feel better when I go to the lake or to a park.

  • If you live in an urban area, getting fresh air where there are lots of trees is especially beneficial.  Trees remove pollution from the air, making it healthier for us to take into our lungs.
  • It might sound strange, but I’ve personally found walking barefoot is healing.  It reminds me of my essence and connection to my Creator.

IMG_2941This is one of my favorite places to go for a trek close to home:)

4th Tip

Do physical activities that you enjoy

  • Do yourself a favor and DON’T commit to an exercise class or program if you know you won’t enjoy it.  This will save you from the frustration and tirade of negative self talk that will likely come when you stop.
  • Give yourself permission to experiment and find out what will be fun for you.

5th Tip

Get plenty of sleep

  • Sleep gives you a youthful and healthy glow. These days people boast about the lack of sleep, but this shows up on their faces with lackluster skin, dark circles and wrinkles just to name a few!  There really is something to the phrase ‘get your beauty sleep.’
  • Sleep will help you lose weight.  When you sleep your body regulates the hunger suppressing hormone leptin as well as cortisol levels which helps your metabolism.

6th Tip

Drink more water

75% chronically Americans dehydrated!  A guide is to drink half your body weight in ounces.  If you are active drink an ounce of water for each pound you weigh.

Here are some ideas to make water more fun:

  • juice some  lemons and put them in ice trays.  Take a few out and put them in your water after they have frozen.
  • infuse your water with fruit.  Try lemons with mint and blueberries or any fruits you have on hand will work.
  • I found this drink mix that I use occasionally that is sweetened with stevia and has no artificial ingredients.

lrg_true_lemon_fruit_orchard_summer_berry_medley

 

 

 

 

 

 

7th Tip

Love yourself

What I’m discovering is that there IS an invincible summer inside, and for me this comes from self love.

  • What helps me is to ask myself, ‘what do I want?’  This question has been helping me be more authentic and even assertive with my needs.
  • Take time to do things you enjoy and be your own best friend. i.e. taking a bath, going to a coffee shop and reading, taking yourself out for breakfast or just chilling at home.

Invincible Summer says that when people turn against you and don’t like you, you are still too powerful to be defeated or overcome by their hate.  Keep shining like the Summer sun!

☀️Healthy Justice

 

 

Homemade Chocolate Candy

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I’ve always been a person that needs a little something sweet after a meal and these homemade candies are perfect!  Actually they are great for whenever you feel a sugar craving coming on.  They satisfy your sweet tooth, are easy to make and good for you!

Here are the ingredients you will need:

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You have the option to use maple syrup, VitaFiber, or you could opt for a sugar free version by using liquid stevia.

Step one:  melt coconut oil in microwave

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Step two:  I used VitaFiber and heated it over medium to low heat until it began to bubble.  I poured it, along with the coconut oil, vanilla and 10-15 drops of liquid stevia, over the cocoa powder.

I use measuring cups to make it easier to pour into the ice cube tray.

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Step 3:  mix everything together until smooth

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Step 4:  pour 1/2 of the mix into ice cube tray, then sprinkle in your dried fruits and nuts

This would be super cute to find heart shape trays especially for Valentine’s Day.💞

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Step 5: cover the fruit and nut mix with the remaining chocolate mix and pop it in the freezer for a few hours.  Let them sit out for a few minutes and they pop out nicely when I take a butter knife to one edge.  Enjoy!

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