Category Archives: Education

How I Prep Chicken & Grilled Veggies

I am a big-time food prepper.  In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle it has to be easy and for me that means keeping healthy food in the fridge ready to go.  It’s easy to grab some carbs to round out a meal, so having some protein and veggies ready is key.

For years now I have been prepping mass quantities of chicken breasts every few weeks.  I’d rather do a WHOLE BUNCH every once in a while than every few days.  BBQ in bulk I say.

This is the method that works for me and I thought it might be of interest to you.  My Greek marinade recipe is so simple and not a perfect science in that it is a little bit different every time…I don’t do any precise measurements when I make it.  Growing-up my parents made a Greek Lemon Oregano Chicken and that is what this is based on.

With regards to counting macros, I know some people would count the lemon and the olive oil, but I take a somewhat laid-back approach to that and don’t include that in my daily macros because let’s be honest, most of the olive oil cooks off on the BBQ and just makes it so it doesn’t stick to the grill.  Now, if my chicken had a sauce poured over it after it had been prepared and was served to me that way, I would most definitely count that in my daily macros.

For the “cup” measurements I just use those that are written on the side of my Vitamix.  Today I doubled the recipe since I was making 15 chicken breasts as well as 2 bunches of grilled asparagus.

Balanced Grettie Greek Lemon Oregano Marinade Collage

Greek Lemon Oregano Marinade

  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup organic olive oil (I buy mine at Costco)
  • 1 head of garlic, break apart the cloves and peel them
  • 1 Tbs kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs whole pepper corns
  • 1/4 cup dried oregano

Method

Place all ingredients EXCEPT for the dried oregano into the Vitamix and blend until smooth.  Add the dried oregano and blend briefly so you preserve the leaves and don’t pulverize them (just personal preference).

CHICKEN & VEGGIE PREP

When it comes to prepping the chicken, the best trick I have discovered is to pound it.  By pounding the chicken and making it all the same thickness, you end-up with evenly cooked chicken and chicken that BBQs a heck of a lot faster!  It is super moist vs. having uneven dry spots like so often happens with THICK chicken breasts  (as long as you don;t overcook it!).

I allow the chicken to marinade for 4-8 hours…with this amount of lemon overnight would be TOO much (learned that the hard way)!  Make sure you reserve some of the marinade for your veggies.  This works awesome with asparagus, zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, etc.

I like to place a flat black trash bag on my counter in order to avoid chicken juice flying everywhere (and it makes the clean-up a snap).  I also pound the chicken inside a produce bag from the grocery store for the same reason.  As for how the rest of the prep goes…I’ll tell it in pictures.

Balanced Grettie Chicken Prep pounded

Balanced Grettie Lemon oregano Greek Chicken prep pounding method Balanced Grettie Marinating Asparagus in a bag

Chicken Asparagus Prep 2

Once my chicken is BBQ’d and has cooled, I put about 4 breasts in the fridge and I vacuum pack bags of 4 and put them in the freezer.  When I am running out of prepped chicken in the fridge I pull out a bag from the freezer and defrost it in cold water (MUCH better result than defrosting in the microwave…I’m not a huge microwave fan).

Do any of you have food prep tricks you’d like to share?

 

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Filed under Gluten Free, IIFYM and Macros, Main Dish, Nutrition, Paleo, Quick, Quick Tips, Recipes, Sauce / Spread / Jam / Yogurt

MY NEXT WORKOUT PLAN – Jamie Eason’s From Flat to All That

Jamie Eason photo courtesy of BodyBuilding.com

I like to change my workouts up every 4-8 weeks and tomorrow is the beginning of a new workout for me.  I have spent several months focused mainly on my legs and building-up my glutes using techniques from Bret Contreras’s book, Strong Curves, which I used as a reference to create my own workouts and decided that this time I will try and (mostly) follow a plan from BodyBuilding.com vs. creating my own workouts.

I have been lifting predominantly low rep and heavy weight for months now, so this new plan by Jamie Eason called From Flat to All That will be a departure from my norm in that the workouts for the first two weeks have rep ranges of 15-20.  Jamie and her husband are going to be doing these workouts as well, so you may want to follow her in Instagram for motivation.

I am a creature of habit to an extent and like to record my workouts on paper (so un-technical I know).  I created a workout log just as I normally do and thought I’d share it with all of you in case you would like to do the workouts with me as well (see below for the link to the PDF).  I did make a few modifications to Jamie’s workout since I love glute bridges and wanted to make sure they remain a part of my program.  I also like to do HIIT and ab training 2-3 times a week, so I added that in.  She has her rest days as Wednesdays and Sundays (Saturday is an optional rest day as well), however I like to workout Monday through Saturday so I added in some more HIIT and ab work.

I’d love to have you do the workouts with me and follow along with me on my Instagram page as well.  Once we are done with the first two weeks of workouts Jamie is going to release the next phase and I will share my workout log for those with you as well.

If you are interested in having me help you out with a nutrition plan to accompany this workout plan, please check-out my FitQuest Nutrition Coaching Page for program information and rates.

To download the From Fit to All That Workout Log CLICK HERE.

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Filed under Education, Exercise, IIFYM and Macros, Weight Lifting

High Protein Taco Trick

High Protein Taco Trick

I thought I’d share a quick trick with you that will help you get more protein in your diet.

The one glaring consistency I see among my clients is that prior to working with me they drastically under-eat protein.  Most of my clients struggle at first to find ways to add protein to their diets and this is one solution I use frequently in my own meals.

Egg whites are an amazing source of protein and they make an appearance on my table daily in one form or another.

To make the high protein taco base, I spray some olive oil (a tiny bit) into a pan, add in my measured egg whites (I used 1/3c per taco today), season with salt, top with a corn tortilla (I like the Don Pancho corn tortillas…only 10g carbs per tortilla), top with a cover and cook until no longer liquid, then flip and cook for another 30 seconds or so.

I love this method because it keeps the egg and tortilla together vs. trying to add scrambled egg whites to a taco which just ends-up getting messy and falling apart.

Today I had three tacos for lunch.  The egg whites and corn tortilla usually form the base of my taco because it is filling and nutritious…the toppings change and vary between:

  • grilled chicken
  • pulled pork (my husband makes the most amazing pulled pork!)
  • shrimp*
  • white fish
  • salmon
  • steak

*I have been buying shrimp pre-cooked from Costco and pre-portioning it into 3oz. bags to keep in the freezer for quick meals

You can pretty much guarantee that I will usually add:

  • Good Foods guacamole (the singles from Costco are a favorite)
  • Tapatillo
  • shredded cabbage (for further bulk)

What are your favorite tricks for getting your daily protein in???

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Filed under Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Main Dish, Protein, Quick, Quick Tips, Recipes

What’s a Macro & What the Heck is IIFYM?


Quorn Vegan Burger Assembled 600

Ready for the quick and dirty lesson on macros and IIFYM?

Macro is short for macronutrient and macronutrient refers to the big three; carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.  Foods are generally categorized by the macronutrient they contain the most which is why rice is generally referred to as a carbohydrate even though it also contains protein and fat.

You may also have heard of micronutrients which are the vitamins and minerals that are essential to maintain health.  Our bodies require these to run at optimal levels.

IIFYM is an acronym for “If It Fits Your Macros.”  IIFYM is a lifestyle that has been embraced by many in the fitness industry…many of whom previously spent years restricting their diets (myself included) to foods they considered “clean” (whole foods aka “bro” foods such as sweet potato, tilapia, asparagus, etc.).  The IIFYM revolution has opened many of our eyes to the fact that as long as you eat your set macros for the day (specific grams of Carbs, Protein, and Fat tailored to your particular needs), you can eat those macros ANY WAY YOU CHOOSE.  For years it was widely believed that in order to get lean and obtain those elusive abs you needed to eat all whole foods and eliminate treats.

Those of us in the IIFYM community are proving time and time again that you can achieve health with balance.  Confession time… For years I have eaten those clean foods and deprived myself of treats only to decide to allow myself a treat now and then and with that first bite I would CRACK and an all out treat fest would ensue.  Trust me, you would be shocked by the flood gates that would open.  It was as if I couldn’t stop myself.  After these treat fests my body would scream at me and to say I felt awful (both physically and mentally) would be an understatement.  These food fests as I call them would make me so disappointed in myself.

Then IIFYM came into my life.  Suddenly I was able to fit a treat in if I craved it and do so guilt-free.  The mental freedom that this brought me was nothing short of amazing.  Knowing that I could technically have a treat when I wanted one took away the “all or nothing” mentality that previously led to my food fests while following my restrictive lifestyle.

I stumbled upon this lifestyle by chance when looking something up on the web.  I honestly can’t even recall how it happened.  Somehow I was directed to Corina Nielsen’s blog, live fit, and THIS particular post which led me to Layne Norton‘s vlogs and countless hours of research.  The idea of finally achieving balance while simultaneously remaining fit was so appealing to me.  My IIFYM searches led me to multiple Instagram pages and I again stumbled upon a gem, Katie Ringley aka katiesfitscript.  I decided to hire Katie (yep Nutrition Coaches hire their own coaches too) to help me navigate this new world of Macros and IIFYM and I am so glad I did.  I started my own mostly fitness-based Instagram page (fitquestmom) and continue to gain inspiration from those I follow.  Trust me when I say that following people you respect and that inspire you helps keep that fire stoked within to hit those workouts hard!

fitquestmom Instagram Page

That being said, 90 percent of my food still would be considered bro foods because that is what I truly like to eat and what makes me feel the best (gotta get those micronutrients in).  I am now more fit than ever and the flexibility this lifestyle has afforded me is so freeing.

ISSA Cert_LogoI am such a believer that I went back to school and earned another nutrition certification so I can help others achieve the health and balance I have finally found.  I am now an ISSA Fitness Nutrition Specialist and have been helping clients learn this simple and maintainable lifestyle.

My client, Gracie, was able to achieve the results you see below in just 9 weeks and I have to tell you they were 10 weeks when she was traveling for work, working CRAZY hours, and experiencing a truckload of personal stress.

FitQuest Before and After IIFYM

In her own words:

“I have started another part of my path in life.  Instead of just trying to ‘lose weight’ my focus is on being the healthiest person I know my body wants to be.  I am working with such a great, positive, supportive, loving woman!  @fitquestmom has put me through a nutrition program.  I am coming up on 10 weeks now and this is my progress so far.  I am very thrilled by my results due to the fact that I am doing it healthy this time.  Counting macros is everything!  And patience is another.  You must have this…health is not a race but a lifestyle…Diet is almost what got me to this point…my workouts have now picked up again finally (due to an old injury acting up from time to time).  I am so happy that I have made it this far, but I know I still want to achieve excellence in myself.

Before I started the program I told Gretchen why I wanted to do this, ‘I want to wake-up every morning and look in the mirror and be happy in my own skin.’  I can finally say that is where I am right now and I am overjoyed!  I feel comfortable with myself again.  I can’t wait to see where the next 12 weeks takes me.  So thank you for standing strong beside me @fitquestmom, I really couldn;t have done it without you.  XO.”

I truly love helping people learn how to eat and how to create a lifestyle that is healthy and easy to maintain.  I want my clients to learn how to eat in a way where they can go out to eat, live their lives, and not be stuck with a Tupperware kind of life.  Through macro counting my clients are able to lean out while eating as many calories as possible.  The popular diets out there ruin our metabolisms through constant restriction, super low calories, and FEAR of carbs.  I love bringing people back into the world of eating carbs while simultaneously leaning out.

One thing I stress is that if you are looking to lose 10 pounds in the next 2 weeks, my programs and approach to IIFYM is not for you.  As I mentioned before, I like my clients to achieve results while eating as many calories as possible, so it oftentimes can take a few weeks for us to find the sweet spot where my client is eating a satisfying amount while simultaneously leaning out.  My programs are not cookie cutter and are tailored to the individual.

Does IIFYM only work for those who are fitness minded?  No, of course not.  Achieving the lean and toned look is done most efficiently while following IIFYM along with lifting weights, but it doesn’t have the happen that way.  I calculate your macros based on your activity levels, how much you have been eating, and a multitude of other factors.  IIFYM is for anyone and everyone.

The IIFYM lifestyle does require you to track your food (I use MyFitnessPal) and if that doesn’t appeal to you, then IIFYM is not for you.  I also weigh my food when I am at home, but quite honestly once you have been doing that for a few months you get REALLY good at guesstimating the amount you are eating which makes it really easy for me to keep track of my food when eating out.  Once you get through that initial learning curve you are home free.

If any of you are interested in working with me, check out my FitQuest Nutrition Coaching page.

If you are interested in trying to calculate macros on your own, here is a general IIFYM calculator.  When you work with a coach, they take much more into account when planning your specific macros, but this is a good place to start.

In my next post I will go into detail with regards to how MyFitnessPal works and how you can use it to track your macros.

P.S. If you are interested in seeing what I eat on a daily basis, feel free to send me a “friend request” on MyFitnessPal.  My username is gretchentseng. 

 

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Filed under IIFYM and Macros, Nutrition

Hello Again…I Have Missed You!

Idaho Barn Watercolor

I can’t believe so much time has passed.  Have I really not posted since December 2013???  Wow.  Crazy.

Life has been good to me and my family.  In November of 2013 we closed on our house in Idaho and made the move from California to our new home.  We hosted Thanksgiving with our families from both sides in our new empty home and it was such a wonderful way to christen it.  The watercolor above is of one of my favorite farms in my neighborhood.

Since then we have been adjusting to life in our new state and I have to say it has been the best thing we have ever done as a family.  We have a much more active and outdoors kind of life now and I even have that big beautiful organic garden I have always dreamed of! My dad and I built the trellis below for my garden last summer.

Veggie Grettie Organic Garden

While I have remained physically active, in the past year I have also reignited my passion for lifting weights.  Through lifting weights I stumbled upon Corina Nielsen’s blog, and she opened my eyes to the world of IIFYM aka “if it fits your macros.”  I promise to blog about what exactly IIFYM is in a detailed post soon, but suffice it to say, it has been life changing for me.

I began working with a nutrition coach (who I will be sure to interview for you all soon) and the results blew me away.  By simply prescribing me a diet of macros (macro-nutrients; carbs, fats, proteins) in gram amounts specific to my needs, I was able to lean down considerably and increase my strength in the gym.  Perhaps the best thing about IIFYM is that it is up to you how you chose to eat those macro-nutrients.  i.e. would you rather eat a pop tart or a sweet potato for your carbs, tofu or chicken for your protein, avocado or butter for your fats…obviously the healthier foods you choose, the more micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants) your body will get.

Below is a before and after of the beginning of my IIFYM journey from mid October 2014 (LEFT) to 12 weeks later (RIGHT).  Apparently that is also the amount of time it takes to achieve an awesome pasty winter complexion!

Gretchen Tseng FitQuest Before After IIFYM

You all know how I am an absolute nutrition geek, so this new lifestyle led me down the path of studying for yet another nutrition certification.

I am now a certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition through the ISSA  (International Sports Sciences Association) and have been working with clients and loving it.  Not only am I able to work with clients in person, I can also work very successfully with clients online…in fact that is how I worked with my nutrition coach (and continue to do so).

For more information about my services click the FitQuest Nutrition Coaching tab above.  I would love to work with any and all MOTIVATED clients… As stated brilliantly by a coach I respect deeply, Sohee Walsh, “I am a coach, not a cheerleader” so please make sure you are truly motivated.

So what does all this mean for Veggie Grettie???  The blog will continue, but with a different spin.  There will be recipes (still gluten and dairy free…and yes…I do still eat meat…and no…there does not need to be any more discussion about that), there will be nutrition and fitness information, there will be reviews of products I LOVE, and as always my love of veggies lives on, though it is no longer the sole focus of this blog.  I am living a much more BALANCED life now and as thus, am transitioning to “Balanced Grettie.”

For those of you interested in following my day to day escapades, I am now on Instagram as fitquestmom.

I’m back.

Veggie Grettie China

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Filed under Education, Exercise, Nutrition

Listening To Your Body

Heart Shaped Vegetable Potato 014-1

For the past three years the thought of eating meat has repulsed me.  Prior to turning to a plant-based diet I was suffering from digestive issues which seemed to be worse when I would consume meat.  Following a dinner containing meat I would wake-up in the morning and feel as though it was still in my stomach completely undigested.

I learned long ago to truly listen to my body.  Three years ago my body was telling me to forgo meat and shortly after that to forgo gluten (which will always be absent from my diet).  I know that is what my body needed because it told me so.  So often people choose to ignore what there body is telling them…symptoms are there for a reason.

This summer my children and I went to visit my sister and her family near Tahoe and then my parents in Santa Cruz.  While in Santa Cruz we went on a berry picking trip about and hour away and ended-up at an old family favorite for lunch, Barbara’s Fish Trap.  When it came time to order I WANTED the clam chowder, so I had it and I enjoyed it.

I slowly began eating eggs more often than usual (I have always kept them in my diet) because I craved them.

Meat followed a few weeks later.  Yep.  Meat.

Please keep in mind that I am not talking about just any meat or eggs, I am consuming pastured meat and eggs.  Meat from animals raised as nature intended.  I do not think we are meant to eat meat from factory farmed animals because THEY are eating diets they are not meant to eat and by virtue of that WE are not able to process their meat well, nor are they as nutritious as they should be.

My foray into a plant-based lifestyle was made because my body requested it of me at the time.  Will I always eat meat from this point forward?  I am not sure.  For now it feels nourishing.  My body will tell me what it needs as I move forward and I will listen.

Is this admission going to upset some Veggie Grettie followers?  I am sure it will.

That being said, I am still Veggie Grettie.  Vegetables are still the absolute basis of ALL of my meals.  Am I eating a huge slab of steak at each meal?  NO, never in fact.  When I eat meat the portions are small and appropriate.

Do I love animals?  Yes and I always will.  I respect and thank the animals that have provided nourishment for my family.

Peace and health,

Gretchen

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Filed under Education

CALORIE RESTRICTION

I was recently alerted to the video, “Eat, Fast, & Live Longer” through a newsletter I receive from VegSource.  The concept of elongating lifespan through calorie restriction  or intermittent fasting is fascinating.

“The CRON-diet (Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition)[1] is a nutrient-rich, very low calorie diet[2] developed by Roy WalfordLisa Walford, and Brian M. Delaney.[3][4][5] The CRON-diet involves calorie restriction in the hope that the practice will improve health and retard aging, while still attempting to provide the recommended daily amounts of various nutrients. Other names include CR-dietLongevity diet, and Anti-Aging Plan. Several people, including the Walfords and Delaney, founded the CR Society International to promote the CRON-diet.

Intermittent fasting (IF) is a pattern of eating that alternates between periods of fasting (usually meaning consumption of water and sometimes low-calorie drinks such as black coffee) and non-fasting.

There is evidence suggesting that intermittent fasting may have beneficial effects on the health and longevity of animals—including humans—that are similar to the effects of caloric restriction (CR). There is currently no consensus as to the degree to which this is simply due to fasting or due to an (often) concomitant overall decrease in calories, but recent studies have shown support for the former.[1][2] Alternate-day calorie restriction may prolong life span.[3] Intermittent fasting and caloric restriction are forms of dietary restriction (DR), which is sometimes referred to as dietary energy restriction (DER).

Scientific study of intermittent fasting in rats (and anecdotally in humans) was carried out at least as early as 1943.[4]

A specific form of intermittent fasting is alternate day fasting (ADF), also referred to as every other day fasting (EOD), or every other day feeding (EODF), a 48-hour routine typically composed of a 24-hour fast followed by a 24-hour non-fasting period.” – Wikipedia

While this is not a short video (clocking-in at around 1 hour), it is a very intriguing watch.

Have any of you tried intermittent fasting?  Any fasting experience?

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Filed under Cancer, Cholesterol, Cleansing, Diabetes, Education, Fat, Immune System, Metabolic Syndrome, Weight Issues

PROBIOTICS

Renew Life Collage photo 1.

I am a big believer in the benefits of probiotics.  I take them on a daily basis as do my children. I find that many people are unaware of the fact that our gut is a large part of our immune system.  According to Brenda Watson, one of the founders of Renew Life

“[T]he gut is the root and core of our total general well being.  It’s the place where food is broken down into the building blocks of our cells.  It’s the first line of defense against invading pathogens and infectious diseases.” 

Our bodies are filled with bacteria…some good, some bad.  With probiotics we can tip the scales in our favor by introducing large amount of GOOD bacteria that will overrun the bad. There are many different ways to ingest probiotics.  In addition to taking a capsule every morning (a MUST for me), I try to eat fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi. I also treat myself to probiotic drinks every so often (my absolute favorite is KeVita…they sweeten their drinks with stevia…yay!).

I am excited to announce that I have become an ambassador for Renew Life’s Ultimate Flora products.  I am extremely picky about which supplements I take and I did my due diligence before signing on to this role.  I really want a product to be of superb quality if I am going to align myself with it and I want it to be a reasonable price, which these are (They start at around $20 per month).

To further illustrate how diligent I was prior to signing on, I went so far as to take the probiotics with me to my appointment with one of my personal physicians, Dr. Michael Galitzer, so he could test it against my body.  As soon as he saw Renew Life he mentioned that he knew them to be a good company and I am happy to report that the probiotic passed his test with flying colors.

I really like that the Ultimate Flora line has sooooo many different offerings for different conditions.  It is such a benefit to be able to pick the probiotic YOU specifically need vs. a one-size-fits-all approach. I have been taking the Ultimate Flora Women’s Care (25 Billion) which is specific to women since it:

  • Helps balance yeast‡
  • Promotes vaginal heath‡
  • Supports urinary tract‡
  • Helps replenish healthy vaginal flora levels‡
  • Delayed Release

The  other probiotic offerings in the line are:

  • Ultimate Flora Critical Care 50
  • Ultimate Flora Senior Formula 30 Billion
  • Ultimate Flora Adult Formula 15 Billion
  • Ultimate Flora Vaginal Formula 50 Billion
  • Ultimate Flora Critical Colon 80 Billion
  • Ultimate Flora Super Critical 200 Billion
  • Ultimate Flora Extra Care 30 Billion
  • Ultimate Flora RTS Daily 15 Billion
  • Ultimate Flora Daily Care 15 Billion
  • Ultimate Flora Ultra Potent 100 Billion
  • Ultimate Flora Advanced Immunity
  • Ultimate Flora Daily Probiotic Plus Fiber
  • Ultimate Flora Constipation Relief
  • Ultimate Flora Kid’s Probiotic
If you are new to probiotics, your body may go through an adjustment period which can range anywhere from a little gas to more frequent bowel movements.  If you have a lot of symptoms, scale back and take less until your body adjusts.  I recommend starting slowly and building-up from there.  For example, if a bottle states that the dose is 2 capsules, use 1 capsule for a few weeks and then add in the second capsule.
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For more information about Renew Life probiotics, or to order click HERE. .To learn more about Ultimate Flora by Renew Life, click HERE.
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Please note that as an affiliate I receive a small percentage of each Renew Life sale generated from this site…I believe in their products.

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Filed under Education, Gut Health, Immune System

NATURAL CLEANSING – Homemade Facial Cleanser & Scrub

Oil facial cleaner brown sugar scrub

Have any of you heard of the Oil Cleansing Method?  I was first introduced to it by one of my beauty contributors on Chic Vegan.  I thought about giving it a try at the time, but had a fair amount of the product I used remaining, so I filed the idea away to consider later.

I have been using Arcona products for 4-5 years now and have had really good results with them, but lately my skin (especially on my nose) seems to be dry and flaky, plus the products I use are a bit expensive and I am looking to cut costs.  I have been thinking about shaking-up my beauty routine lately and am always on a quest to use more “natural” beauty solutions.

Today as I woke-up I lay there looking through popular pins on Pinterest and saw a pin for making your own natural cleansing scrub.  I clicked on the link and saw that the post mentioned the Oil Cleansing Method.  

Inspired by THIS post by Krystle Owens I went to the store after church and picked-up some castor oil, sunflower oil, Vitamin E, and brown sugar.

I made a bottle of oil-based cleanser following the recipe in THIS post.  The recipe I used for the Natural Cleansing Scrub is VERY close to Krystle’s recipe with a few tweaks here and there….I  used Sunflower oil vs. Olive oil (as recommended by the Oil Cleansing Method website) and added Vitamin E to the recipe.

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OIL-BASED CLEANSER

Sunflower oil
Castor oil

Fill a glass bottle (oil is always best kept in glass since plastic can leech into oil) with 25% castor oil and 75% sunflower oil making sure to leave at least 1″ at the top of the bottle unfilled (this is so there is room for you to shake the oils together).

Follow the directions in THIS post with regards to how to cleanse.

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NATURAL CLEANSING SCRUB – Enough for about 7 daily uses.  Keeps well for up to 3 weeks.

1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs sunflower oil
2 tsp castor oil
1 tsp vitamin E 
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp witch hazel
1/2 Tbs honey
a few drops essential oils – if desired for fragrance
 
Directions: 
In a small glass container with a lid (I used ones from my “hoarding glass jars” cabinet), mix the brown sugar with each ingredient separate until blended well. The finished product will look sort of like a gooey or sticky applesauce.
 
With a damp face and fingertips, scoop out a bit, massage it in circular motions over your whole face and decolletage for about a minute. Leave it on for a couple more minutes if in the shower. If not, then you can wrap your face with a hot washcloth allowing the steam to open your pores.
 
After steaming a few minutes massage the scrub in again, rinse and pat dry.
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To learn about the benefits of each ingredient, head on over to Krystle’s blog HERE.

Have any of you ever tried the Oil Cleansing Method or made any of your own facial cleansers?  I’d love to hear about your experience.

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Filed under Cleansing, Education, Skincare

INSPIRING TEEN NUTRITARIAN

I subscribe to Dr. Fuhrman’s DiseaseProof newsletter and was impressed with one of their most recent posts.  It is so powerful to watch a teen take their health into their own hands…what an amazing guy!

Interview with a Teen Nutritarian: David

POSTED ON JANUARY 15, 2013 BY EMILY BOLLER

JUNE                               AUGUST                               DECEMBER

David is your typical, 14-year-old teenager that was severely addicted to the standard American diet. In fact, he was resistant to have anything to do with eating for health, even though his parents and siblings had embraced nutritarian eating and radically improved their health and quality of life because of it. However, on Father’s Day weekend this past summer David had a wake-up call; a frightening experience with dangerously high blood pressure and the telltale symptom of a TIA (transient ischemic attack); aka mini stroke. Today, six months later and 27 lbs lighter, he’s a changed person as a result of eating high-nutrient foods. Welcome to Disease Proof, David.

What was your life like before Father’s Day weekend?

My parents and siblings were nutritarians so there was always plenty of healthy food to eat, but I refused to eat it. At every chance I could get away from home I ate whatever junk food I could find, and without my mom knowing it I bought donuts, candy, and other stuff.  Because I wouldn’t eat “Fuhrman food’ as I called it, my mom didn’t force me to eat it because my dad didn’t think she should; after all, I wasn’t a little kid anymore. My mom wouldn’t prepare junk food so I learned to cook my own meals. I ate frozen pizzas and lasagna, macaroni and cheese, pot pies, and all kids of frozen processed meals. Even with that, there were many foods that she wouldn’t buy for me like processed cereals, milk, cheese, and butter.

How did you feel?

I didn’t feel well most of the time. It was hard for me to move around because I was tired and would get out of breath easily, so I didn’t exercise. I was always thirsty, and I couldn’t breathe through my nose; it was always stuffy.  Plus, because I was tired a lot I just slept whenever I could.

What was your wake-up call?

During a family crisis my mom requested no junk food be brought to our house. However, some thought nutritarian eating was extreme and felt sorry for me so they asked me for a list of my favorite foods anyway.  It was great!  I loved it because I could eat anything I wanted.  A week later, in the middle of the night, the entire right side of my body, including my leg, arm, and jaw was numb and tingly, and I was very scared. I woke my parents up, and my mom took my blood pressure and it was 158 / 108. The next day she contacted Dr. Fuhrman, and according to my symptoms he said that I had experienced a TIA (transient ischemic attack) or mini stroke that happens before a major stroke*. Immediately, on Father’s Day, I became a nutritarian. Within a week my blood pressure came down to a healthy range, but for several weeks I was scared to fall asleep at night, because I was afraid of having a stroke during the night.

How do you feel now?

I have a lot more energy. I’ve lost 27 lbs so far and my blood pressures are consistently around 113 / 72. I no longer have numbness or tingly feelings, and the best thing is I’m not afraid of falling asleep and having a stroke in the middle of the night.  I’m no longer thirsty all the time, tired, or have shortness of breath, and because of that I like to run, workout at the Y, and lift weights. Plus, I can now breathe through my nose for the first time that I can ever remember; I always had a stuffy nose. According to a blood test in June I was pre-diabetic, and now with nutritarian eating I won’t have to worry about getting diabetes. I just feel better all over, and my mom says that I’m happier and not grumpy anymore.

What would you tell kids who love junk food and hate even the thought of eating healthy?

Try nutritarian eating all the way for just one week. Do it cold turkey, 100%; no cheating. After that week is over then re-assess your opinion and see if it changes. I gutted it out mentally for one week, and it was hard, but I knew it would be worth it to feel better and be healthier. Now I’m glad I did.

I still sometimes like eating junk food when I’m away from home, but I know nutritarian eating is healthier for me, and I always feel better when I stick to it.

What are your favorite foods now?

My favorite foods are tomatoes, cucumbers, Honey Crisp apples, green peppers, snap peas, sautéed onions, hummus, and my mom’s Oatmeal/Almond Bars.

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Easy Oatmeal/Almond Bars

5-6 ripe bananas
4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups raisins
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
2 cups unsalted sunflower seeds
2 cups chopped raw almonds
1 T. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl mash the bananas and then stir in remaining ingredients. Press mixture into the baking pan and bake for 40 min. Let cool. Cut into bars.

Congratulations David and keep up the great job!

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Filed under Children, Education, Interview, Metabolic Syndrome, Vegan, Vegetarian, Weight Issues