What a Health Coach Eats, Winter Edition

I often get asked what I eat in a day and the answer to that question is “it depends”. I eat differently in winter than in summer and regularly check with my alternative medicine practitioners to check for imbalances and nutrient deficiency.

Having said that, you can still follow some simple basic principles to help your body feel its best regardless of the time of the year.

Here’s what a health coach (moi) eats during winter!

Now, below the video, tell me: do you eat for the seasons? What are you eating these days and how does your body feel? Let me know in the comments below!

7 Tips To Avoid The Winter Blues

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real condition that affects millions in the Western World and can increase your feelings of stress, anxiety, loss of productivity, and other emotional/mental conditions. While SAD is often temporary and in most cases not dangerous, it is disruptive to your quality of life.

If you suffer from SAD or any other type of depression, please get help. There is no need for you (or anyone) to suffer alone. There are many way to help relief the symptoms of SAD.

On the other hand, if you feel a little “blue” around fall/winter, you may have a bad case of the “winter blues”. While SAD and winter blues are used inter-changeably, they are not the same. SAD is a type of clinical depression, often a life-long condition while the winter blues is often temporary and situational.

On today’s video, I’m offering some herbal remedies and holistic approaches to help relief the winter blues that may also help you manage the symptoms of SAD.

  1. Get out of the house – even if ti’s hard
  2. Take in the sun (or supplement with a Vitamin D supplement)
  3. St John’s Wort – known as Nature’s Prozac
  4. Avoid Getting Sick – Use adaptogenic herbs like Rhodiola or Panax Ginseng 
  5. Feed your “2nd brain” – your gut with probiotics and probiotics
  6. Don’t isolate yourself
  7. Laugh out Loud

Check the video for more details! xoxo

What’s The Daniel Diet

Have you heard of the Daniel Diet? It is based on the book of Daniel on the bible, which is often credited as the ancient foundation for a plant-based diet. On Chapter 10, the book describes the vegan fast the Prophet Daniel followed: “I ate no delicacies, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.”

In the book, after those 21 days, Daniel appeared healthier.

Check out the video to learn more!

So What Is The Daniel Diet?

The plan is a plant-based program inclusive of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils. No caffeine, alcohol, additives, or preservatives are allowed. Usually, participants partake in the plan for a period of 21 days, often as part of a religiously motivated fasting period.

In 2010 researchers at the Univ of Memphis studied the diet and found that:

  • Fights inflammation
  • High in antioxidants
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Protects against diabetes
  • Fights obesity

And even if you consume small amounts of dairy or flesh (perhaps as a condiment or in truly small amounts), they diet seems to provide the same benefits.

I love the idea of giving your body a respite from processed foods, chemicals and foods that produce an inflammatory response. And it’s a great reminder that a plant-based diet is not a fad diet, it’s been around since biblical times!

So get curious, add more plants to your plate and let me know how you feel! And let me know in the comments below!

Best Way To Flavor Water

So we need water to survive and we are also always told to have supplement this and drink herb that for better health. So I’ve found a really awesome way to combine the 2!

My herbal professor used to say never drink water alone, add herbs to get all the benefits and healing properties of the herbs. Perfect way to kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Here are the favorite things I add to my water every day.

 

Cinnamon

It’s warming to the body and delicious in flavor and also awesome for you too. It is loaded with minerals, including manganese and calcium, and contains essential oils with potent anti-inflammatory properties.

Apple cider vinegar

Great at regulating the body’s acidity (pH) levels, easing digestive discomfort, relieving heartburn, helping to prevent seasonal illness, and reducing inflammation.

Fennel

Fennel is sweet and aromatic and can help those who need to have something sweet or are used to sweet drinks with meals. Fennel is known to have antioxidant, digestive, carminative, and anti-flatulent properties. So great to take after a heavy meal and when you feel gassy.

Black Salt

Not the crappy table salt but a pinch of the unprocessed, amazing salt that have lots of trace minerals that a lot of us are deficient in.

Mint Leaves

Everybody loves mint. And we are perfectly familiar with it. But did you know that as a palate cleanser, mint can help you better digest your food? It also soothes stomachs and help reduce inflammation

Sage

This is really high in antioxidants so it can help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals, which often results in impaired immunity, and chronic disease. People in the Caribbean use it to shorten the length of a cold and heal laryngitis.

Tips to reduce sugar cravings Part 2

In the previous video we spoke about sugar addiction and how you can get rid of it. I wanted to create a second video to give you even more tips to finally get rid of sugar in your life!

If you missed that video, click here to access it!

Check the video and tips below!

NUMBER 1 – EAT CARBOHYDRATES (UNLIMITED)
Yes, that’s right. Carbohydrates in droves. Did you know that vegetables are carbohydrates? From them you can eat all you want. Unlimited refills! I refer specifically to non-starchy vegetables, such as greens, the broccoli family (cauliflower, kale, collards, etc.), asparagus, green beans, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, tomato, fennel, aubergines, artichokes, peppers , etc.
Also eat fruit in small portions, once a day for about 14 days. Avoid potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash and beets – only for 14 days.

NUMBER 2 PLAN YOUR RECIPES
It is easier to follow a program when you have a list of ingredients and recipes that you can work from. In my sugar detox program I personally check all the ingredients and recipes to make sure they were all low in sugar. Choose a day in the week to plan your recipes so you know what ingredients to use and avoid thinking about other full of sugar. Also keep a contingency plan food around special events such as birthday parties and social events.

NUMBER 3 – ELIMINATES THE RISKS BY FINDING SUPPORTERS
When I decided to change my lifestyle and try detoxification, I told all my friends and colleagues who supported me very much and inspired many to take some of the advice I explained. This kind of support helped both me and them and became an indispensable weapon for success.

NUMBER 4 HELP YOURSELF BY HELPING OTHERS
If you observe or participated in any recovery program, the last step is to help others and teach them through your experiences. We always hope that by sharing our experiences, they inspire others, which is a powerful positive feedback loop which naturally will keep you satisfied, without sugar!

NUMBER 5 – REDUCE STRESS
If you have stress, your hormones go crazy. When cortisol (the stress hormone) rises gives you more hungry, it promotes the storage of fat in the stomach and can lead to type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions. Try doing deep conscious breathing exercises. This is something you can do anywhere, anytime.

NUMBER 6 – SLEEP MORE
Less sleep affects your appetite and makes hormones that you crave more sugar and carbohydrates. You need more energy if you do not sleep, so you head rapidly absorbed sugars. Sleep is the best way to fight the urge to overeat and manage stress.

 

This is dubbed the SWEET POISON

Sugar addiction: Is it Real?
Here’s a surprising fact: Sugar is eight times as addictive as cocaine.

Being addicted to sugar is a biological disorder, driven by hormones and neurotransmitters that take you to need more and more sugar and take you to eat in excess uncontrollably. This is the reason why almost 70% of Americans and 40 percent of children are overweight.

I have lots of tips to help us get rid of sugar addiction. Too many in fact, that I’m dividing them into 2 videos. Here are the first 6!

NUMBER 1 – KEEP TRACK OF YOUR SUGAR INTAKE
About 26% of sugars added to our diet comes from prepared foods, such as ketchup, pasta, salad dressing and canned fruits. Keep a journal with all the foods you consume in a day to keep track of your sugar intake.

NUMBER 2 – WHAT YOU LEARN AND WHAT YOU CAN NOT EAT
It’s super important to have an idea of ​​what foods you can eat to replace those you leave behind. Make a list of the foods you need to avoid and one of the food by which you are replacing.

NUMBER 3 – DO NOT DRINK THE CALORIES
More than 40% of all sugar comes from sweetened drinks and sodas. These liquid calories are worse than the solid food with sugar or flour.

NUMBER 4 CLEAN YOUR KITCHEN
Some of us find it easier to avoid cravings than others. If you have sensitivity or are weak-willed, clean your kitchen and remove anything that might serve as a weakness. Eliminate as much temptation as possible.

NUMBER 5 PREPARE FOR EMERGENCIES
You never want to be in a food emergency when blood sugar is falling and you are in a “food desert” as an airport, office or fast food restaurants. In your travels or when you do errands, always carries a small bag with almond butter and apple slices or celery. You can also take walnuts, pumpkin seeds or sunflower.

NUMBER 6 – PREPARE SNACKS BEFOREHAND
Nobody has time to prepare snacks whenever we’re running around. Rather than stress yourself every time you go out, take an hour once a week to prepare bags of healthy snacks and keep them in the cupboard and fridge. When you’re ready to go, just put a bag in your bag and go.

How Constellation Therapy Can Affect Your Weight, Health And Happiness

There’s a unique type of detox (or cleanse) work that is more energetic and has to do with family dynamics.

Your relationship with your family can affect your weight, health and happiness. I’ve interviewed here a Family Constellation facilitator and therapist Natalie Berthold to learn a bit more about this powerful type of work.

Check out this amazing video and learn how constellation therapies can affect your health and happiness.

Interested in learning more about Natalie’s course? Click Here For Details!

Click Here For The Discount!

 

The Power Of Words

Do you words have power? Is there some truth to the claim some people make about the power of words? Most people have strong opinions about this and I was one of them.

But after watching a documentary about water, where a scientist (dr. Masaru Emoto) that explains how your words and even your thoughts (positive or negative) can affect molecules of water. I was curious, even fascinated. Then, a few months ago, I saw a Facebook post from Danielle Laporte about an experiment she did with her son. So I set out to recreate the exact same experiment on video and see for myself.

Here’s what my experiment looked like: I cut out 1 apple in half, sealed each half in an identical Mason jar and stored them in the exact window sill for approx. 21 days.

Every day for a month I said negative and demeaning words to what I called the “bad apple”. Things like “you’re nasty, fat and ugly. You’re stupid and incapable. You can’t do anything right. Why do you even try! You suck and I hate you”.

The other half, the “good apple” heard beautiful words of encouragement. I told her things like: “you are so smart, amazing, sweet and gentle. You are amazing and I am in awe of you, you are the best, I love you”.

The first 7-10 days not much was happening… but then things started to change.

Check out the video above to learn the results.

Food Allergy Elimination Diet

Ever wonder how to do a food allergy elimination diet? IF you are having food allergies or intolerances, you might want to eliminate certain foods from your diet for a few weeks, allow your body to heal and then slowly re-introduce foods to help you learn what helps and what doesn’t.

And on the comments below the video, tell me: Have you tried something similar before? If so, what was your experience? Let me know in the comments below the video!

And feel free to share my new fun Infographic below!

Share / Comment / Enjoy!

detox foods, jovanka, jovanka ciares

Natural Products Expo 2015 Highlights

Last weekend I traveled to the Anaheim convention center to check out one of the largest natural foods expos in the word, Natural Products Expo West (sometimes referred to simply as expo west).

I wanted to check out the new trends in healthy options, plant-based foods, supplements and clean, conscious living. There were tens of thousands of products featured there so creating a highlight video of my experience was a bit of a challenge. So I tried to feature here the brands I loved the most based on their vision, mission and commitment to a healthier world.

Check out the video below!

Which brand or product are you most curious about? Is there any one in particular you’d like me to do a review on? What about a giveaway? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

Natural Insomnia Remedies

You can’t sleep and this is awful! Lack of sleep can be disrupting at best and deadly at it’s worst. All creatures on earth sleep, if you don’t sleep, you can get very ill. You gain weight, you get wrinkly, you suffer from anxiety… you know it, because you suffer from it every damn day!

Apart from the average things you already know: establishing consistent bedtime routine, eating a clean diet, avoid caffeine and large meals at night, there are a  couple of supplements and this one awesome herbal remedy that you can use to help you get a good night sleep! Check out the video below.

Do you have any other tips that help you fall and stay asleep? Have you tried these remedies? Which one has helped? Leave a comment below and let’s start a conversation.

Quinoa’s Dirty Little Secret

The price of quinoa has tripled since 2006, making it almost impossible for the people of the Andes, the original consumers of quinoa, to afford it any more!

If you’re a vegan or vegetarian or someone who is just trying to eat a little more consciously, you probably consume quinoa fairly often. You probably consider things like sustainability, water and energy footprint and in general are aware of the effect your choices make on the lives of thousands around the world.

If appeals to you, this is one video you don’t wanna miss!

Did you know that you quinoa obsession affects the health and land in two of South America’s poorest nations?

Share your questions and comments in the comments section below the video!

 

Why I’m Switching To A Bamboo Toothbrush (And Get A Chance To Win One)

Throughout the years, as I continue learning about how to be respectful and honor myself and my home (planet earth), I’ve made major changes that I believe are better for my body and for the environment.

So with my latest switch, I wanted to tell you a bit about my experience in hopes that it can help you make a conscious decision. And here it is: A Bamboo Brush!

Check out the video below more and find out how you can get a chance TO WIN some toothbrushes!

Have you tried bamboo brushes? What has been your experience with it. Would you be willing to try it?! Leave a comment below and let’s start a conversation.

Why I Only Use Products That Do Not Test On Animals

Did you know that 15 Billion animals are burned, tortured and operated on (with NO anesthesia) every year to test your cosmetics, cleaners and  perfumes.

15 BILLION!

Why do they have to suffer for us to have ONE more bottle of perfume, ONE more lipsticks! Check out today’s video to learn more!

This is a controversial, uncomfortable and important conversation that we must start having today. Change happens from a place of discomfort. Let’s get really uncomfortable about the abuses that these creatures suffer and make a significant difference with our wallets.

That’s the only language companies understand and they will have to listen!

What’s your take on this issue? Would you consider buying products that specifically say they don’t test on animals? Let me know in the comments below!

About Jovanka

Jovanka Ciares is a former entertainment executive turned Wellness expert, detox specialist, nutrition educator and author. She is the creator of the Wellness Smackdown™, a proprietary detox and weight loss program for natural weight loss which was featured on the first season of ABC’s “My Diet Is Better Than Yours”...

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