How Essential Oils Changed My Life

by Ruchika Behal

A couple of years ago, when I hadn’t  “officially” begun using essential oils-- I used to think essential oils were for eliminating odors or aroma therapy kind of things…just a replacement for air-fresheners,  candles, room sprays etc.

Now that I have been using a range of Essential oils regularly, I know different and truly value the power behind what I now call nature’s medicine.  The reason I say “officially”  because I got introduced and started using oils or rather one oil Minyak Kayu Putih- as panacea for just about everything over a decade ago when I lived in Indonesia. Minyak Kayu Putih resembles camphor oil and comes from Cajeput Tress. It is a variety of the Tea Tree (Melaleuca).

It is now hard for me to imagine, how did I function and raise my little humans with access to only one essential oil, because now I use them for everything  from, colds, sinus issues, stomach aches, anxiety, mood management, sleep/waking up issues, cleaning and disinfecting etc.

If you are wondering what are Essential Oils – they are really not oils (fatty acids) , they aromatic compounds found in plants (leaves, bark, flowers, seeds), they are the plants defense mechanism and  they protect the plant against disease, viruses, bacteria, fungi and predators. Essential Oils have the capacity to do the same for us. Historically, humans have used essential oils to get rid of viruses, fungi, and bacteria. They are very concentrated and it can take an entire plant (or more) to produce a single drop of oil.

The five uses for essential oils in my life apart from just for pleasant aroma:

1. Sleep- One of the best uses of essential oils is their ability to help me unwind at the end of a hard day. Cedar wood and Vetiver in a diffuser or on my pulse points are my favorite oils for calming before bedtime. I have found them to be very helpful in regulating sleep patterns when I have had to travel across time zones.

2. Mind and Memory- Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities – meaning that they are soothing when you’re stressed. I particularly like to use “ Balance” which is a blend of ”( blend of Spruce Needle/Leaf, Ho Wood, Frankincense Resin, Blue Tansy Flower, and Blue Chamomile Flower). It promotes feeling of tranquility; it is a great one to help me feel collected when the energies are all over. Essential oils also help with leveling out the mood; and really help with focus. I like to use Rosemary oil when I want to feel efficient and value productivity. Read this interesting study on Pub med to learn how oils affect cognition and mood in healthy adults. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12690999

3. Immunity- Quality essential oils which have a chemical footprint compatible with the human body have the unique ability to help the immune system bring itself into balance. Systematic application of essential oils can strengthen the immune system, eliminate pathogens, reduce stress and bring the body into homeostasis enabling the body to function more optimally.  Melaleuca, and Onguard ( which is a doTerra proprietary blend of Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Bark/Leaf, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Rosemary essential oils) has never let me down when it comes to stimulating the immune response and fight virus/bacteria.

4. Burns- I do like to believe I am not careless in the Kitchen, but still end up with oil splatters or a hot water burns. The burns not only hurt but can leave the skin scarred. Lavender oil is my go to; it almost instantly reduces pain and cools down the burning sensation. The floral calming aroma improves response to pain too!

5. Skin care- Essential oils are some of the most powerful known antioxidants and provide great anti-aging benefits. They are small enough to penetrate every tissue in the skin. Frankincense and Sandalwood are part of my night time skin care regimen. I also use Immortelle which is a blend of (Frankincense Resin, Hawaiian Sandalwood, Lavender Flower, Myrrh Resin, Helichrysum Flower, and Rose Flower essential oil). These oils restore and tone my skin.

What I love about Essential oils is that it has given me safe, effective, natural solutions for my family and my health. The most important thing to me is the versatility of the oils which makes them fairly inexpensive to use. One bottle or pure oil goes a long way and can be used for many different ailments. For example, lavender oil helps with relaxation, sleep, bug bites, eczema and burns. Want to learn more about and how to use them as a natural solution, schedule your Oil consult here, or if you are local to Houston join us for an in-person Essential Oil 101 Workshop!

Superfood of the Month: Spinach!

Food science studies continue to show that eating spinach helps improve health and reduce the risk of many health issues, from cancer to memory loss to strokes. Here’s just a short list of what makes Spinach a superfood!

• Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes
• Protects against cancer (inc. colon, lung, skin, oral, stomach, ovarian, prostate, and breast)
• Helps regulate blood pressure
• Builds muscle and strong bones
• Helps prevent memory loss and cognitive decline
• Protects against skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis
• Acts as a natural diuretic and laxative
• Performs as an anti-inflammatory
• Reduces migraines
• Prevents cataracts and macular degeneration

What’s in Spinach?

One of the more exciting recent discoveries about what’s in spinach is the presence of glycoglycerolipids. You may not have heard glycoglycerolipids before because people are just starting to talk about them. Glycoglycerolipids are the key players in plant photosynthesis, and new research shows that they can prevent inflammation and damage in the digestive tract. What else are you getting in a cup of spinach? Here’s how it stacks up by percentage of Daily Values:

Nutrient DRI/DV

  • Vitamin K 987.2%
  • Vitamin A 628.8%
  • Manganese 84%
  • Folate 65.7%
  • Magnesium 39.1%
  • Iron 35.7%
  • Copper 34.4%
  • Vitamin B 232.3%
  • Vitamin B 625.8%
  • Calcium 24.4%
  • Potassium 23.9%
  • Vitamin C 23.5%
  • Fiber 17.2%
  • Vitamin B 114.1%
  • Vitamin B 35.5%

Source: www.wholefoods.com  

2017 Green Smoothie Challenge is ON!

Back by popular demand, the 2017 Green Smoothie Challenge is ON starting next week on Thursday or Friday (exact date will be announced in a future email). Last year, whomever completed the challenge was entered into a contest to win a free Love Bites Dessert Kit. This year, we're going to make it a little more interesting.

2017 is all about taking risks and putting some skin in the game for me...so let's all do it! This year, I'm going to encourage everyone who participates in the Green Smoothie Challenge to donate $1 for every day you're able to participate in the Challenge. The goal is for us all to complete this 10-Day Challenge so we can collect the most amount of money possible on a GoFundMe page (or some similar service) and then donate to a charity that we collectively choose.

I'll be taking suggestions for charities, so be sure to tell us which organization you most want to help. I'd love to raise at least $1000, so please be sure to tell your friends about this (we'll need at least 100 people to participate!) - it's a chance to get healthy, help your friends and family get healthy, and help someone else in the process. There is absolutely no requirement to donate if you want to participate, but I just thought it would be a fun thing to do to help out others - plus, we all know that the more we give, the more we receive.

Like I said before, the 2017 Green Smoothie Challenge will start next week on Thursday or Friday (maybe even the following Monday if I need extra time from a logistics standpoint). But in the meantime, please go ahead and download this Green Smoothie Cheat Sheet so you can get the hang of making these smoothies and buy all your supplies by the time we're ready to rock and roll next week.

If you're in, comment "I'm in!" below and let us know which charitable organization is closest to your heart! Can't wait to #FeelGoodDoGood with y'all!

 

PS: If you'd like to help me with any of the logistics of collecting the funds, please let me know!

5 Foods to Eat for Glowing Skin

Weird fact about me. I probably only had like 2 or 3 pimples the entire time I was a teenager. Instead, the acne monster decided to attack in my adult years. It started in college where it wasn’t that bad. Then after I started working, my skin would go through clear cycles and not so clear cycles.

At one point, my skin was bad enough that I decided to see a dermatologist. She put me on antibiotics and topical medications and eventually I went on birth control to deal with my acne issues.

All these medications were ultimately terrible for my skin. Sure, they gave me some short term relief, but they didn’t solve the core issue. My acne eventually returned and I also experienced several side effects as a result of being on meds – everything from nausea to yeast infections to skin sensitivity to weight gain and more.

My skin was (and sometimes still does) breaking out for a reason, and I needed to get to the bottom of it. I don’t care what doctors say – acne is 100% related to diet, sleep, stress, and general health and happiness. At some point, I’ll go over the other factors, but today we’ll cover the five foods you can start eating today for clear, glowing skin!

Water: Okay, this is a tricky one because it’s not exactly a food. But water flushes junk out of your system. In the morning, be sure to enjoy some warm water with the juice of half a lemon and then a little later, chug down a big glass of water with about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (ACV). The lemon acts as a cleanser, alkalinizes your blood, and provides vitamin C which brightens the skin. The ACV is a natural probiotic which will promote healthy bacteria in your gut and aid in elimination – a critical element for great skin.

Leafy Greens: Dark leafy greens are great for the skin – they provide so many fantastic micronutrients and phytonutrients that are essential for healthy, glowing skin. Greens are high in vitamins A, E, C, folate, beta-carotene, chlorophyll, lutein and more. Basically, these powerful nutrients slow down sebum production, flush out toxins, protect cells from free radical damage, improve elasticity, help the body produce collagen and more. Personally, I’m a huge fan of getting my greens via a green smoothie, but of course, you can just eat them in salads or even lightly sauté them…ideally it would be some combination of all three ways!

Fruits: Fruits are also valuable powerhouses of micronutrients and phytonutrients. The more colorful the fruit, the more nutrient-dense it’s likely to be. You’ll want to aim to choose fruits that are in season and organic – that way, you’ll be getting fruits that aren’t doused in hormone-disrupting pesticides. I also get a bunch of fruits in my daily dose of green smoothie, but fruits are delicious, so I eat them as snacks as well when I want something light.

Avocado: Yes, avocado is a fruit, but it totally deserves its own category! Full of healthy fat, the avocado is definitely a beauty food. Avocados contain poly and monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, and biotin. These nutrients keep skin looking plump, hydrated, and vibrant. That’s right, enjoy that extra spoonful of guacamole, or throw a bit of avocado into your smoothie or on your salad. Or, if you’re like my Mom, you can just enjoy it mostly plain with a little salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

Coconut: You guys know I’m obsessed with all the amazing things coconut can do! Everything about a coconut is healthy – from its meat to its oil to its water. Coconut meat and coconut oil contain medium chain saturated fats which are great for maintaining plump, hydrated looking skin. Coconut also helps to alleviate inflammation in the body which can lead to glowing skin. Eat coconut in any way you want – I like coconut shreds more than the oil, but I do cook and bake with coconut oil when I can. You can add some coconut water to your green smoothies for some extra sweetness and electrolytes. Here, I’m talking about what coconut can do for you from the inside out, but it can also do a ton from the outside in.

While I still have acne-prone skin, now I’ve managed to limit the severity of my breakouts and the frequency of them as well. These days, I only have issues during specific times of my monthly cycle. Regardless of whether or not I have acne, my skin definitely has an awesome glowy quality to it now that it never used to when I didn’t eat as well. In fact, I would even venture to say that when my skin is clear, I look way better without any makeup than I do with!

3 Reasons to go Gluten-Free

If you haven’t already tried a gluten-free item or two, you might be living under a rock. Gluten-free is a buzzword that has been thrown around for the past few years and one that has even made its way into the political sphere. The truth is, for most of us, that’s all it is - a buzzword. What does the term gluten-free actually mean? What exactly is gluten? Do you need to be free of it?

By way of introduction, gluten is a mixture of two proteins and is a substance which is present in cereal grains, especially wheat, that is responsible for the elastic texture of dough. If you have an autoimmune disease, celiac disease, or have a gluten sensitivity, then you’ve probably already done your share of self-study and research on the topic and you know you wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole. But what if you’re like me? You don’t suffer from celiac disease, you don’t have autoimmune issues, you have no known gluten sensitivities, and you freaking love bread, tortillas and pasta. Then what? Should you worry about gluten in your diet?

Well, I did start worrying about gluten in my diet about six years ago and I embarked on an eye-opening experiment. I kept hearing the term gluten-free everywhere so I wanted to learn what that meant for me and my body. Seven years ago, I started experimenting with a healthier way of living. The truth is that I was sick and tired in general, and specifically, I was sick and tired of being overweight. I started by incorporating more whole foods into my diet and by the next year, I was trying out all kinds of elimination diets to clean up my lifestyle even more. That’s when I decided to go gluten free. Now, because I didn’t have any serious gluten issues, I knew that going gluten free would just be a temporary thing for me. But, after going through this experiment, I realized that I wanted to live gluten-free most of the time! Here are the top 3 reasons I was convinced to go (mostly) gluten-free for good.

Less Bloating

Even though I didn’t technically have an issue with gluten, I did notice that when I removed all gluten from my diet for two weeks straight, that virtually all my digestive issues disappeared! My belly would typically be so bloated after a meal that I looked pregnant and couldn’t see my feet. But now, I could look down and see my feet again! In addition to that, my *ahem* bathroom habits became more regular and productive. I think the best part was that I just didn’t feel so overly full all the time. I was still satisfied from a hunger perspective, but I didn’t feel that too full “food coma” feeling. Another best part - flatter belly at the end of the experiment. My jeans were no longer producing a “muffin-top” when I wore them. Wait, there’s one more best part - I experienced less laziness and lethargy. I think this can be attributed to the fact that a healthy gut plays a big role in how mentally and physically active we are (and vice versa).

Here’s how I know that eliminating the gluten produced all those benefits. The day after my little experiment was over, I was craving bread like crazy. So, I went out and got myself some good quality bread, baked fresh at Whole Foods. I ate a few bites and then felt like my craving was satisfied and I put it in a container thinking I would snack on it later. In less than an hour, I felt so bloated. I couldn’t see my feet again. I had gas and my stomach hurt. I threw the rest of the bread away. Now, I do still eat products that contain gluten about once a week or less on average when I go out to eat, but I don’t crave it the same way I used to. I know what to expect when I eat it and it’s much easier to get back on track when I do.

More Clarity

One of the most surprising benefits of going gluten-free was that I seemed to be experiencing a lot more clarity of thought. My brain didn’t seem tired and foggy all the time and was operating on (almost) all cylinders! I could make connections that previously didn’t make sense to me. I was able to complete tasks faster than before and my ability to focus drastically improved (I have ADHD, so that was a big deal for me). Again, I thought that this must be attributed to the fact that a healthy gut results in a healthy mind. Later, in reading through various articles and research, I came to find out that several disorders of the brain respond well to a gluten-free diet, including (but not limited to) autism, schizophrenia, and a rare form of epilepsy.

Figuring out that my newfound clarity was related to gluten was a little more difficult. When I added bread back into my diet after the elimination period, I still seemed to have the clarity that I had during the elimination phase. Then after a couple of weeks of regularly eating bread, pasta, and pizza (even though they were homemade and decently healthy), I realized that the cumulative effects were once again catching up with me. I wasn’t able to work as fast or with as much attention as I was during the elimination phase. Plus, I felt so lethargic physically - lethargy in one area of your life often spreads to others, so I didn’t doubt that this would affect my mental acuity as well. This is when I decided that I was still going to include bread in my diet (because I like it and life should be about things you like, too), but I was only going to include it sparingly. Now, I am gluten free at least 6 days a week. I feel better, but I also get to have the occasional “cheat” without suffering too much.

More Room for Veggies

With the elimination of all gluten in my diet, I had to get creative about keeping my hunger at bay. Rice and bread were always a big part of my meals, and even though rice is gluten-free, I had already eliminated that earlier in my wellness journey so I could drop some weight. So, now after eliminating bread, rice and eating less meat, what was I going to eat? The answer became clear pretty quickly because I was starving. I found some creative ways to add more veggies to my life! Bed of sautéed leafy greens, cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza crust, spiralized veggie noodles, suddenly there were so many options! Of course, most of the time I just doubled the amount of veggies in any dish I was making to make up for the lack of refined carbohydrates. I also started eating more fruits and nuts. My body started craving different things - not just breads and sugars.

The results were incredible! I felt satisfied of course, but I also started noticing that my eyes and skin were brighter and clearer. And my skin was also more supple! Fountain of youth, anyone?! Because of all the added nutrients, fiber and water from the veggies, my hair, skin, nails, eyes, and brain were all thanking me profusely! It was truly eye-opening to see how much I was missing out on from a vitamin perspective by filling my body with processed grains over nutrient-dense fruits and veggies.

Those 3 benefits and more convinced me to eat gluten-free at least 6 days a week (to learn more about how I eat gluten-free and still enjoy my favorite treats, click here). It is important to remember that each person is different though and not everyone needs to eliminate gluten. Try it out and see how it works for you. It’s also important to remember that just because something says “gluten-free” on the package, it doesn’t automatically mean it’s healthy. Lots of gluten-free items that you find on the shelves these days are laden with sugar, potato starch, corn products, artificial flavors, and GMOs. Take care to fill your diet with fresh organic fruits, veggies, plenty of water, lots of healthy fats, healthy starches (like sweet potatoes and carrots), leafy greens, and organic, pasture-raised meats. Trust me, your brain, your body, and your waistline will thank you!

What's Right for Your Type?

Probably one of the weirdest questions I ask my clients and prospective clients if I get the nudge to is, “do you know what your blood type is?”. Most people don’t know, but most of the time I can make an educated guess. Sometimes we find out their blood type and I’m right and sometimes we never find out. So, why do I ask this strange question? I mentioned last week in my post about the Blood Type Diet. While there isn’t much scientific evidence to support that specific foods can help or hurt people who have particular blood types, I do find that oftentimes, there is a correlation between the blood types of people and their cravings and/or ability to efficiently digest certain types of foods.

You might feel like this article will be useless to you unless you know your blood type. I beg to differ. Pay attention to the types of foods you crave and what foods make you feel sick or bloated or the foods you have no interest in consuming. That may give you some clues into what your blood type is.

I didn’t know what my blood type was for the longest time. I don’t ever remember being typed, but my parents have been and by the magic of Punnett Squares (high school Biology anyone?!), we figured out what we might be. I think later on, I found a document from when I donated blood that told me what type I am and I was right. Anyway, the point is, my whole life I have hated cheese and milk (other than ice cream). I wasn’t even keen on whipped cream. I feel like I’m the only weirdo who hates cheese. Later, when I found out I was O+, it made perfect sense. Type O people don’t do well with dairy. Somewhere deep inside me, biologically, my body knew that it didn’t tolerate dairy and therefore I had a natural distaste for it. Now, that said, Type O also doesn’t do well with grains, but I loved bread and rice. I just knew that it didn’t sit well with me. So it’s not always about the things you don’t like, it’s also about how you feel when you consume different foods.

Like I said before, there’s not enough scientific evidence to support the Blood Type Diet, and ultimately, I’m a huge believer in observing your body and then making determinations of what’s working and what isn’t. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to nutrients and food intake. Each individual is so unique. It’s really quite amazing considering there are over 7 billion people on this planet!

I also want to add that while this is called a “diet”, it’s not about weight loss. Well, at least I don’t think of it that way. I’m thinking of it in terms of inflammation. Is your body reacting in a negative way? If so, you might be creating unnecessary inflammation in your system. Inflammation can lead to weight gain of course, but it can also lead to things like hypertension, diabetes, gout, cancer, bloating, acne, brain disorders, and more. Fixing your weight problem is a start, but it’s not the end goal. The focus must always be on your health. Finding what is causing inflammation in your body versus just losing weight is the difference between sticking a band-aid on a bullet wound and actually extracting the bullet and stitching you up.

Here’s a quick rundown of the different blood types and what foods are supposed to inflame and agree with you.

 

O Blood Group:

·      Does well with intense exercise

·      Does not tolerate grains or dairy products

·      Efficiently digests meats and fats

·      Tends to gain weight with the consumption of gluten and/or whole wheat products

·      Tends to have low levels of thyroid hormone or unstable thyroid function

Find out what foods work best for O Types here.

 

A Blood Group:

·      Thrive on vegetarian diets

·      Are more prone to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer

·      Do well with beans, legumes, and tofu (organic only)

·      Don’t do well with most dairy products, but can tolerate some fermented or cultured dairy products

·      Need plenty of fresh, organic, and pure vegetables and fruits

·      Can typically tolerate most kinds of grains

Find out what foods work best for A Types here.

 

B Blood Group:

·      Don’t tolerate wheat, corn, buckwheat, lentils, peanuts, and sesame seeds well

·      Are more prone to immune system disorders such as MS, Lupus, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

·      Thrive on most deep-ocean fish

·      Is the only blood type that can enjoy a variety of dairy foods

·      Don’t tolerate most nuts and seeds well

·      Effectively digest most fruits and vegetables well and should eat them in abundance

Find out what foods work best for B Types here.

 

AB Blood Group:

·      Tend not to digest meat well and should control portion sizes of meat

·      They do well with more alkaline systems – so an emphasis on more vegetables and fruits is encouraged

·      Generally tolerate dairy foods, but if there is an excess of mucus production as a result of dairy consumption, it should be stopped

·      Tend to suffer from a weakened immune system so fruits and vegetables are very important for them

·      Can consume most non-gluten grains

Find out what foods work best for AB Types here.

 

To understand more about your blood type and the personality traits associated with it, click on the links below:

 

·       Blood Type A Profile

·       Blood Type B Profile

·       Blood Type O Profile

·       Blood Type AB Profile

 

Again, I just want to reiterate that this isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Each person is so different. While I can eat meat and fat all day (I don’t, but I could), my sister doesn’t crave meat at all and her stomach can’t handle too much fat. We’re both O Types. I have no problem with avocado and coconut even though the Blood Type Diet says O Types should avoid them. This is a good guide to get you started on the path to a healthier lifestyle and help you develop an awareness around what is inflammatory for you and what isn’t.

As always, if you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to reach out to me either by email at hello@lovebitesbytanuja.com or you can always set up a free Wellness Consultation with me by scheduling directly on my calendar.

Is a Plant-Based Diet Healthy for You? The Answer Might Surprise You.

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you may have noticed an abundance of pictures lately. Before, I wasn’t much of a picture-taker. Now, I take them constantly. I’m not trying to show off, but rather, show you what’s possible in terms of coming up with simple meal ideas.
 
Generally, I make it a point to add hashtags to all of my pictures to give you an idea of why they’re relevant to a healthy lifestyle. #Plantbased is one that I use as often as it is applicable. I also tend to recommend adding more plant-based meals to your lifestyle and following plant-based influencers and experts online. So, it might come as a surprise to you when I tell you that I eat meat. GASP! Yes, that’s right, I eat meat and eggs.
 
You might wonder, why does this chick who eats meat and eggs talk so much about a plant-based lifestyle? It’s simple, really. I just think people aren’t getting enough vegetables and fruits! And, don’t tell me if you’re vegan or vegetarian that this doesn’t apply to you. Of course, I don’t mean to generalize, but I do find that there are plenty of vegans and vegetarians out there who eat lots of packaged foods or foods containing large amounts of corn and soy. While some of these foods may be considered plant-based, they are not at all nutrient dense. I’m most concerned with you getting the most nutritious foods into your belly.
 
Fruits and vegetables generally digest easily and contain an abundance of micronutrients and phytonutrients. Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals that are required for your body to function properly. Phytonutrients are substances found in plants (Phyto is the Greek version of the word “plant”) that may result in disease prevention and improving health. In fact, plant foods contain over 25,000 phytonutrients! They can be found in raw plant foods of course, but sometimes they are even enhanced by cooking the plant foods.
 
Enough with the science lesson. Does this mean we should all switch to a plant-based diet? Eating all plants all the time? The answer is a big fat NO. And here’s why. Every. Body. Is. Different. There’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to eating habits.
 
I had a client tell me the other day that she had been transitioning to a more plant-based diet, still eating a bit of fish and eggs, but largely cutting out other animal products. And trust me, she was being totally healthy about it – we’re talking green smoothies, salads at lunch, and a healthy dinner. What was the result? She became iron deficient, exhausted, and had developed anxiety. It’s not normal to feel this way! So, after a lot of discussion and asking questions, basically, she told me she had always craved fats and it got me thinking, there’s typically only one blood type (according to The Blood Type Diet) that craves fats and that is the O blood type. We’ll get into the Blood Type Diet another day, but basically, an O blood type does best on fats and proteins because they have very efficient digestive systems. I asked my client if she was an O and she wasn’t sure, but based on what she was describing it made me feel like she probably is. And even if she isn’t, the dietary changes she was making in an effort to get healthier were actually working against her. So, after adding some animal protein (just meat, eggs, and meat – very little dairy in the form of some very high-end cheeses) back in, she started to feel significantly better. Her iron levels appear to be going up, her fatigue is going away, and she felt a lot calmer.
 
My personal experience with going vegan was very similar. I was vegetarian for about a year in my early 20s and then vegan for about 3 months in my late 20s. I do believe it can be a healthy lifestyle for some, but for me, it ended up causing some weight gain, fatigue, and low moods. As I started to accept that being entirely plant-based wasn’t a good idea for me at the time and I started adding in more meat, eggs, and yogurt, I did start to feel better. Now, I no longer consume dairy due to the inflammatory effect it has on my body and I feel even better! But hey, if all of a sudden, dairy starts to agree with me, then ghee (clarified butter) and yogurt are definitely back in!
 
With all that said, I still advocate for people to eat more plant-based meals with a side of animal protein if they need it. Remember, there’s never any need to completely cut out any food group unless it feels right to you. At the same time, most of us are under-consuming vegetables and fruits and we really need to try to get more.
 
Your body has an innate intelligence that knows everything you need to run efficiently and optimally. Sometimes, we just forget to listen to it…that’s where I can come in handy. Here are a few tips to raise your awareness of how you feel in your body when you eat certain foods.
 

  • What do you crave most? Crunchy? Savory? Sweet? Spicy? And when do you crave these foods? Each craving is associated with specific feelings. If we can get to the bottom of these feelings, we might figure out what’s making it so hard to lose those last 10 pounds…or the first 10. Or why you’re feeling so exhausted all the time.
  • How do you feel after you eat foods that tend to be inflammatory? Observe how you feel (both physically and emotionally) after you eat wheat/gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine, and meat. Even if you feel some negative effects, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll need to give them up, but maybe there’s a more strategic way you can build them into your day so you don’t have to suffer with discomfort.
  • Are you currently experiencing any uncomfortable symptoms? Are you overweight or obese? Are you gaining weight or losing weight without explanation? Do you always feel bloated? Do you feel anxious? Are you depressed? Are you always tired?

 
Take the time to answer these questions and if you feel like something is wrong or you just want to chat about some of the answers that came up, or your just curious what your cravings mean, reach out to me (it’s free!)! Either set up a call with me using my calendar or email me at hello@lovebitesbytanuja.com.
 
I’m here to serve you and want to help you feel better in your body!

Ducks, spiders, turtles, and...dessert?

Almost every morning around 6:30, I go for a walk. My Mom always asks me if I went for a jog…I think it’s because I always come back really sweaty. It’s REALLY humid here right now, so even just a walk makes me sweat like crazy.
 
The truth is, my intention with the walk is not “exercise”. I do it as a form of meditation. It gives me a chance to connect with nature in the silent morning hours. I typically chant a mantra or recite an affirmation of some sort while walking to keep my mind focused. It’s a truly transformative experience (yes, every morning) and I can’t wait to get out of bed each morning to go. I see the same people time and time again. I can’t be sure, but I think I see the same animals time and time again too.
 
There are all kinds of things out there! Ducks, turtles, egrets, cranes, a variety of other birds, spiders, frogs, fish (though I don’t really see those), worms, crickets, grasshoppers, and lots of little insects. I think there also might be a gator or two in our neighborhood lake. I’ve even seen a couple of baby snakes. I don’t want to creep you out as I talk about some of these creepy crawlies because I am the girliest of girls when it comes to bugs and scary reptiles. But I’m amazed at how not-scared I am of them. All of a sudden, there’s a realization that I’m no longer in my house, I’m in theirs. Then of course, there are the trees, plants, water, dirt, and Sun.


Every morning, I am able to catch a glimpse of something more beautiful than the last. So far, I have never taken my phone with me, simply so I can preserve the peace and distraction-free environment for myself. But, I felt like I really wanted to share this with you. And honestly, a picture can’t capture the beauty I get to see every morning. Being in nature every morning helps me start my day grounded. I have an opportunity to quiet my mind, get some fresh air, envelope myself in the sounds and the sights, and as a result, I come back refreshed and ready to start my day.
 
Taking these walks also helps me play the role of silent observer. For those of you who know me, you know I love to talk, so this is a welcome break from my voice J. This observer role has made me realize that it’s VERY rare to see an overweight animal in the wild. The only time you really see overweight animals is when there’s human intervention (dogs/cats that eat too much, cows that are fed corn instead of grass, ducks force-fed until they develop fatty liver disease which then becomes foie gras, etc.).

You and I as humans, are only overweight because of us. We let our senses dictate everything. If your tongue likes the taste, you eat more. If your nose likes the smell, you get hungry. If the texture is nice, you want to enjoy it. Turns out that you and I aren’t exempt from the Universal order everything else follows (ie: the Sun rises and sets each day, the wind blows, the rain falls, animals only eat what they need, etc.). If you overeat, you become overweight. GASP! What a revelation.
 
Well, I’ve never believed in portion control and the truth is, you don’t have to worry about it either if you don’t want to. The only time you ever need to practice portion control is if you choose to eat nutrient-deficient foods. If you choose to eat whole, nutrient-dense foods most of the time, your body will naturally provide the portion control.
 
You see, as with the animals, when your body is getting all the nutrition it needs, there will be no desire to consume more than you need. This is better for your waistline, your moods, your organs, the environment, and really the world at large.
 
We all make it so complicated (me included) – you need to eat Paleo or Keto or Plant-based or Vegan. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter. I’d say, the simpler the ingredients, the better. For example if you eat a peach, it’s way better than eating peach flavored ice cream. Keep aiming for a simple list of ingredients in any packaged foods you buy and work on buying more produce and less packaged foods. If there are ingredients you can’t pronounce or easily identify, I’d avoid them.
 
This way, your body will feel satisfied and nourished and you won’t have the burden of how to lose weight. Your weight will naturally regulate itself to whatever is best for your particular body. There’s no perfect weight for every person, instead, trust your intuition. If you dig deep and feel overly heavy, then you are.
 
I totally understand you not wanting to give up the foods you love most. And honestly, I’ve never given up my favorite foods. I just consume them in moderation. For me, that means one day a week, I can have whatever I want. Six days a week, I need to eat the way my body wants me too – no dairy (although now I’ve cut that out completely), no grains, no gluten, no refined sugars, no soy, and as many organic items as possible.
 
Do I have weeks when I fall off? Yes, of course. I’m human. But overall, I try to maintain a healthy, clean diet 80-90%, and let myself cheat 10-20% of the time.
 
As you know by now, I cannot live without my sweets though! That’s why I created the Love Bites Dessert Kits. It’s a quick, easy, healthy way to enjoy cookies, brownies, muffins, and other sweets. All my dessert kits are grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, Paleo-friendly, soy-free, corn-free, non-GMO, and each one has a vegan option. I use high-quality ingredients like almond flour, organic coconut nectar, Himalayan pink salt, and organic coconut oil. Of course, you can enjoy one of my Kits, but I also want to share a super easy trick with you that I use most days of the week in the Summer.
 
The only reason I love Summer is because ice cream just tastes so damn good this time of year. Ever since I completely stopped eating dairy in January (for both ethical and dietary reasons), I’ve had to find other dairy-free ways to enjoy this treat! In the grocery store, you can find great options for dairy-free ice creams, but for me personally, they still contain some questionable ingredients. Well, I found an awesome alternative that’s also super easy…NICE CREAM! It’s ice cream that’s made out of frozen bananas! YUM!
 
Here’s an easy recipe you can try. I would also probably add some peanut butter or sunflower butter to this recipe to jazz it up a bit more!

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 bananas sliced into coins and frozen overnight
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon coconut nectar, honey, or maple syrup (you can add a little more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened hazelnut milk, unsweetened almond milk, or coconut milk
  • raw or roasted pecans to to add on top.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Leave the bananas out for a few minutes to soften slightly before blending. Put bananas, non-dairy milk, cocoa and sweetener into a blender.

  2. Purée, turning off the motor and stirring the mixture two or three times, until smooth and creamy.

  3. Put the ice cream in the freezer for a couple of hours.

  4. Pour into two bowls and serve with pecans. Optionally, you can also add in some organic peanut butter or sunflower butter.

New Month, New You

Welcome to June! I'm so excited a new month is finally here! May seemed really long to me and I don't know about you, but I'm all about new beginnings. On that note, you may or may not know by now, but May was my first month working in my business full-time! That's right, I said goodbye to my corporate gig at the end of April and I couldn't be more happy/scared/excited/grateful - you get it...lots of emotions going on here.

If you've ever worked for yourself, you know a change like this can have a profound effect on everything from your schedule to your moods. I had a few weeks where I was busy almost every single day - filling orders, coaching folks, creating posts for social media, reaching out to potential partners, working on new programs, attending events and networking socials, etc. And then I had one week where I felt completely burnt out. I felt down in the dumps. I felt like I had no idea what I was doing and why I was doing it. As you can imagine, this one week was particularly hard on a Type A personality like me. I'm so used to being busy all the time and being successful in everything I do. Well, having a business will teach you loads about failure and, quite frankly, sometimes it can just kick you in the balls (or in my case, the ovaries lol).

It's just like when you're trying to improve your health or lose weight. We go in all gung-ho - super enthused to start tracking everything and working out and then after a few weeks, if we don't see results, we tend to react with frustration, going back to old habits, or just giving up on the whole thing. Trust me, I've been there. If I'm being honest with you, I'm always going back there in one way or another.

Changes aren't easy - whether they're in your career, your personal life, your health, or any area of your life. I was telling my Mom about my frustrating week over the long weekend and she gifted me the following sage advice.

"No change is ever easy - even when it's good. See, getting married is something positive for a lot of people. But even something as happy a change as marriage comes with its difficulties. You have to learn to live with someone, compromise when issues come up, and deal with all their little habits. Having a baby is a happy event, but when the baby comes it needs constant care and the parents are completely exhausted and sleepless. Changing careers is great - especially when you're getting paid to do something you love and that is in service to others. But with that there are also challenges. You work longer hours and are encountering issues you've never had to deal with before. Any change has the potential to make you feel physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted."

Aren't Moms the best? It's the same when it comes to things like your health or weight loss. It's not easy to make these changes and you'll constantly encounter hurdles and challenges. But the goal is to understand that the result - good health - is worth all the struggle many times over. Just like getting married, having that baby, or changing careers. I'm sure many of you will agree that while these were all changes that came with their challenges, they were changes that were worthwhile.

My Mom's advice also helped me remember not to compare myself to others - not just in business, but in every area of my life. Everyone is on their own journey. Someone's life may look perfect to you, but you have no idea what they're going through on the inside. In the same way, others may look at you and wonder why it's taking you so long to lose those 20 pounds you gained over the holidays two years ago, but little do they know that you've struggled inside. You've struggled with insecurity about what others will think, about how none of your clothes fit the same anymore. But not just that, they don't know how hard you've been trying - that you've been exercising everyday, that you're trying your best to eat healthy, but sometimes those sugar cravings just get the best of you.

I'm here to tell you that I've been there. And I go back there - often - regardless of my outward appearance. It's okay. Just relax. Your health is totally important of course, but there's no need to struggle. There's no need to stress. The best thing you can do for yourself is to hook yourself up with some awesome support. Whenever I get off track, my internal compass guides me back. When I'm not being silent enough to actually listen to that internal compass, I've got a few good coaches and friends I can lean on - in business, in health, in love, in any area of my life that's presenting a challenge.

Who in your life can you lean on? Who can give you expert guidance?

During this first month in business for myself, I have been quietly developing some programs that might be the expert guidance you're looking for. I've been developing everything from personalized meal plans, to grocery store tours, to 1:1 coaching packages, to group coaching programs, to free talks/webinars.

I do all of this in service to you. We may be best friends. Or maybe we met once, or maybe you just saw a post of mine online. Or maybe you were referred to my site by a colleague. Any way you slice it, we connected for a reason. If you or someone you know wants to get back to a healthy state or lose weight or just get a total lifestyle overhaul, I'm here for you. I get the highs and the lows. I understand how badly you want to get into that bathing suit by your birthday, but how badly you also want that cupcake. Is it going to be easy? No. Not at all. Nothing worth having is easy. Marriage isn't easy. Having a  baby isn't easy. Changing careers isn't easy. Getting healthy isn't easy. But guess what. It doesn't have to be hard either. And in the end - it's totally worth it. 

If you're ready to talk about your challenges and goals, and you're ready to start making some real changes in your life, schedule a Free Wellness Consultation with me. We have a new session of the Love Bites Goaled Program starting on June 14 and I would love to help you figure out if it would be a good fit for you. i'm here to help and I can't wait to connect with you.

PS: As a thank you for your continued support, I'm offering 15% off on any Love Bites Dessert Kit. Enter the following code at checkout: GRATITUDE16

Dreamy Chocolate Smoothie

I often crave sweets after a meal, but I don't always have Love Bites desserts on hand (contrary to popular belief). On those days, I like to make myself a little "milkshake". It's so sweet, delicious and filling and totally hits the spot! Of course, I don't typically consume dairy, so this recipe is completely dairy free!

Blend the all the following ingredients together in a high-speed blender for 30-45 seconds:

  • 8 ounces unsweetened organic almond milk
  • ½ cup crushed ice
  • 1 ripe banana (if you don't like banana, you can replace it with a handful of frozen organic cherries)
  • 1½ tbsp organic coconut palm sugar, 3 dates, or 1 tbsp honey
  • ½ organic avocado or ¼ cup organic cashews (if you can't have avocado)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened organic cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp almond butter or peanut butter (depending on your taste)
  • optional: 1½ tsp organic chia seeds
  • optional: ½ cup organic spinach

Enjoy and let us know what you think!

Simple Roasted Cauliflower

I have a great, simple cauliflower recipe for you to try today. It's one of my personal favorites and it literally takes like 5 minutes to put together and then about an hour in the oven. I don't know about y'all, but I need some really quick, super tasty options to satisfy my hunger. I don't have a bunch of time to spend in the kitchen these days, so the more of these types of recipes I discover, the better!

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet organic frozen cauliflower, thawed
  • 1 tsp organic rosemary (fresh or dried)
  • 4 tbsp organic coconut oil, melted (I use expeller pressed refined coconut oil)
  • 4 organic cloves, roughly chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Himalayan pink salt, to taste

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F
  • Line baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper
  • Put all the ingredients together in a large bowl and mix to combine well
  • Next, spread out all the seasoned cauliflower in a single layer on the baking sheet
  • Put it in the oven for about 60 minutes, checking it frequently after the 45 minute mark
  • Enjoy!

I usually eat that one entire packet of cauliflower in one sitting, so for me it is a single serving. Remember that cauliflower will decrease in size as you roast it because the water is being dehydrated out of it. Take that into consideration when deciding how much to make for a meal. 

That's it! Try making it and let me know what you think!

5 Reasons to Dump the Dairy

Why do we drink things like milk and eat things like yogurt and cheese and cottage cheese? Calcium? Protein? Maintaining a healthy weight? If you think dairy is giving you all this stuff and more…yeah, I think you need to think again. 

Read More

Your Body is Your Temple. Keep it in Good Shape.

The body is just matter. It’s just a physical entity. What gives our body life is our Soul or Spirit. Without our Spirit, our body is just a bunch of organs and skin and hair. BORING. But, I believe that we have been given our bodies for a reason. For better or for worse, it is our vehicle to do our work in this life – to fulfill our purpose. If we don’t take care of it, then we will NOT be able to do the most possible good we can.

Read More

Tesla is Trying to be My Car.

Legit. I have seen a Tesla almost everyday for the last month. Yesterday, I saw 3 in one day, so that made up for the few days that I didn’t see them.

In most ways, I’m so girly, but show me a Maserati or a Tesla and I get just as giddy as when I see a cute baby.

Read More

Self love, reaching for your dreams, cookies and brownies...

Have you ever started a diet and then within about two hours you feel like eating everything in sight? Everything you "can't have"? Yeah, me too, welcome to the club. This is exactly the reason that diets are a complete waste of time and will actually set you back in accomplishing your weight-loss goals. So now, you might ask, well, if I don't control my eating and I hate exercise, how do I lose weight? The answer is deep, so brace yourself. 

Well, do you love yourself?

This is a tough question for a lot of people to truly answer. I used to say I loved myself all the time. In fact, I have never had serious problems with my self esteem and the like. But, there I was - just 24 years old, overweight, fairly unhappy and tired. And every Friday night, I would polish off an entire medium pizza, 20 oz of coke and at least an entire pint of ice cream as some sort of twisted reward for a tough week. What kind of person "rewards" themselves with poison? Yeah, I know this now, but at the time, I had no clue that all the stuff I was eating wasn't actually food.

For me, and most people I know who have been successful with weight loss, it starts with a decision. Making a decision to love yourself and treat yourself like you love you. Simple example. If you're a Mom and your child has just started eating solid food, you don't give them donuts and cookies do you? No. Most parents I know are very cautious about what they feed their kids - often giving them only organic varieties of food and giving them only fruits and vegetables to start. They don't do this because they are punishing their kids. The exact opposite is true - they love them so much that they want to feed them the best that money can buy.

We need to work on doing the same for ourselves! Our bodies are our vehicles in this life, our babies. If we don't love and nurture them, we won't be able to accomplish the goals we are meant to. It's our responsibility to take care of ourselves so that we may serve others and society in a productive way.

After reading all that, you may think, "Tanuja, that's all well and good, but you're basically telling me to eat healthy, right?" Yes and no. Yes, you should eat healthy, but really it comes naturally as a product of loving yourself.  And this is where a health coach can come in really handy! She can help you dig deep and get to the root of why you're not treating yourself well. Health coaches can also guide you to healthy, tasty options so you can start incorporating those foods into your life as you begin loving yourself more and more.

Does loving yourself mean you have to give up fried chicken, ice cream and brownies? Um. NO. This is definitely where the NO part comes in! See, it's all about your attitude. If you're stuffing your face with pizza, fried chicken and ice cream because you're sad and you hate your job and your friends are creating drama in your life, that's totally not okay. You're trying to drown your feelings in food instead of addressing the core issues. It's just like putting a bandage on a cut without finding out how deep the cut is and trying to stop the bleeding first. It's like taking Tylenol for a headache without realizing that the reason you probably have a headache is because you're dehydrated. You should really be drinking water. But you've just decided to take the "easy" way out. Over time, you'll discover that the seemingly "easy" way out is actually a very difficult maze to nowhere and will actually lead to more obstacles like overweight, obesity, diabetes, fatty liver disease, and a lot of other unpleasant things.

When you love yourself, you'll naturally want to fill yourself with nourishing foods - with the best that money can buy. Before, when I used to drive by Taco Bell and see pizza on the counter or ice cream in the freezer, I simply felt like I couldn't stop myself. I had so much emptiness inside that I would start eating and wouldn't know how to stop. Of course, some of it is also biological - our bodies are hard-wired to gravitate towards certain foods and stock up on calories so we don't starve. But as I've grown to love and respect myself, I've learned techniques to combat these cravings and I just don't crave those foods the same way I used to. 

www.divyapande.com | © divya pande 2014

www.divyapande.com | © divya pande 2014

I do still eat pizza and Taco Bell and ice cream and fried chicken. Yes, you read that right. Because, you know what? Life is not about being perfect all the time. That's just exhausting. Take it from me - a self-proclaimed, in-recovery perfectionist. You can go to birthday parties and bridal showers and just out to eat on a Tuesday, but you've got to approach it in the right way. Now, after working on loving myself, I don't feel like I'm in an downward emotional spiral so my impetus for eating these foods is different. I don't eat because I'm sad or "rewarding" myself. I indulge in certain foods when I'm having fun socializing and the rest of the time, I'm totally happy cooking and eating nourishing foods at home. Yes! Finally, I can have my cake and eat it too! But what about when you want a brownie when you're at home and trying to have a healthy meal? This is another area where you can have your cake and eat it too (keep reading)! I spent many years in various degrees of sugar comas because I am in love with sweets. Brownies, cookies, muffins, cakes, ice cream - I pretty much love it all! While I was on my journey to health and wellness, I discovered that I was a pretty good cook...and I was an even better baker! I spent years studying different ingredients and their effects on the body (ie: the combination of almonds and coconut nectar actually helps to promote stability in blood sugar levels), tinkering with recipes and really just experimenting on my own body and I found what I consider to be kind of a miracle. I learned how to make brownies, cookies, ice cream, cupcakes, muffins and many other things HEALTHY. Yes, the ingredients I use are actively good for you! 

www.divyapande.com | © divya pande 2014

www.divyapande.com | © divya pande 2014

Last July, my good friend and energy healer encouraged me to make the decision to start my own business. I made that decision and that's how Love Bites by Tanuja was born. All of my baked goods are crafted with nutrient dense ingredients like almond flour, organic coconut nectar and Himalayan pink salt. I refuse to compromise on quality and I refuse to compromise on taste. Everything I make is gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, free of all white processed sugars, non-GMO and paleo-friendly (ie: high-protein, low-carb). It's so exciting to me that I can eat a healthy salad and maybe some quinoa with veggies and then have a couple of  cookies for dessert and I won't be ruining my day of healthy! I don't believe in counting calories, so rather than focusing on numbers, I focus on using good, quality ingredients that are derived from whole foods. More than anything, I'm super excited to share this with all of you! I have met people time and time again who don't even care about eating healthy and then they try my desserts and they're like, "No way that's healthy! It tastes really good!" It's the most gratifying thing in the world to hear that. And to show people that healthy can taste good! The best thing ever is to see kids when they eat my goodies. Two-year old kids will ask for a sample and their parents (after they see my sign saying that it's healthy and all the stuff it's free of) will almost always tell their kids, oh you won't like that. Well, the parents definitely get a slap in the face when the kids beg them to buy a box for them - I've seen pulling, begging, crying, whining - all so they can have a box to themselves. That is so absolutely the best feeling in the world! My cousins - elementary age and middle-school age fight over the treats when I ship them to California. Best. Feeling. Ever.

www.divyapande.com | © divya pande 2014

www.divyapande.com | © divya pande 2014

See, when you love yourself, amazing things happen. You can have your cake and eat it too. Literally. I have worked hard to love myself over the years - and it's actually not as hard as you think once you get to the root of the issues. 

I made a decision a while ago that mediocrity was not an option for me. I have always known that I am destined for great things (as we all are). Yet, I found myself in a job I hated and in relationships that didn't serve me (both friends and romantic). I made the decision to change all that. I refused to go through life like a hamster on a wheel. I decided that I wanted to break the mold. Just making that decision led me to all kinds of beneficial things! From that one decision, I began my journey to weight loss and wellness, I started several businesses, I began and ended a very life-changing romantic relationship, and I met friendscoaches, and healers who supported me. From that one decision, my life changed completely.

Once you make a decision that is for your highest good, the Universe will have no choice but to support you. Trust in that. I did, and it has brought me nothing but love, joy and opportunities for growth.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, Friends!

I know we're almost into double digits during this first month of 2015, but I wanted to take a moment and wish you a happy new year and say thank you for visiting our site! 

I want to help you get 2015 started off right, so I've asked my friend and coach Nichole Kellerman Wurth to share her best practices for getting away from the body-shaming this year and into a place of self-love. Nichole is also graciously extending an invitation to join in her FREE 21-Day Get-Moving Challenge, so take advantage!

Let's hear from Nichole in her own words...
     

__________________________________________________

Love yourself: Ways to practice self-love and get moving in 2015
 
By: Nichole Kellerman Wurth
 

Chances are, if you’re here checking out Love Bites by Tanuja, you already understand the importance of treating your body with love by filling it with healthy foods.  You are worth it -- so congratulations on knowing the importance of making your body a priority!  Self-love is a journey, and you’re taking steps along that path -- good for you!

In my career as a weight loss coach, I talk with clients day in and day out who struggle with loving their bodies.  They’ve gained weight, or they’re just unhappy with the place their body is in.  They’re hard on themselves.  Yet, in spite of these observations on my part, many of these ladies try to convince themselves (and me!) that they really do love themselves somewhere deep down inside.

If you’re new to the self-love journey, the only way to reap the benefits of falling in love with yourself is to admit that you struggle with loving yourself! 

The definition of self-love that I give my Wildly Alive Weight Loss clients is -- knowing confidently that you would love yourself without money, materials, make-up, a higher education or a list of achievements.  Are you there?

Here are a few simple steps to shift your focus and learn to love your body, flaws and all.

Function over form.  Focus on the function of your body over it’s appearance.  You may feel like your thighs are too wide, but think about how your legs carry you and allow you to move through your day.  You may dislike your stomach, but if you’re a mom -- think about how that area created the little people running around your house.  The body is amazing -- focus on what your body does for you instead of what your body doesn’t look like and you’ll feel a change in your thoughts!

Shift your perspective.  Your body is constantly giving to you.  Your body is giving to you right now -- pumping blood, allowing you to breathe.  Even on days when you poke and prod your body in front of the mirror, hating the flaws you see, your body still gives to you.  When you consider the living, functioning body you’ve been blessed with -- the body that takes in oxygen and eliminates toxins and performs without you having to tell it to -- it’s hard not to be grateful.

Gift your body with movement.  Fall in love with yourself by gifting your body with exercise.  Seeing what you’re capable of, listening to your body, feeling a surge of post-workout energy --these are all ways to feel how amazing your body is and truly learn to love how powerful it is.

Tune into the wisdom of your body.  Your body has its own intelligence -- just think about when you get a cut -- you don’t have to tell your body to heal it!  When you’re hurt, your body repairs itself on its own, like a finely tuned machine!  Your body is constantly talking to you -- you just need to tune the noise out.  Are your thoughts bringing you down?  Are you playing on Facebook when you should be listening to your body?  When you silence yourself, you’ll hear the subtle signs your body is sending you.  Tuning into my body has given me the ability to find the right partner, have my dream job and thrive with energy because I pick foods that work best with my body and move in the ways she wants to!

If you’d like to learn more about self-love, and intuitive movement -- I’m gearing up to lead a FREE challenge over at Wildly Alive Weight Loss.  I’d love to have you join me in this 21-Day Get Moving Challenge.  Each day of the challenge, you will have a simple movement challenge, paired with a Wildly Alive challenge that will work to change your mindset, teach you to love your body, and set you up for a healthy 2015!

For more information, and to sign up for the challenge, click HERE!

Here’s wishing you a Wildly Alive new year!

 
Nichole Kellerman Wurth wants to live in a world where women actually enjoy the process of losing weight and connecting with their bodies.

When she’s not fearlessly (but lovingly) pushing her clients into the lifestyle they dream of, you’ll find her laughing with friends, connecting with nature and loving up on her husband and two dogs.

Her business, Wildly Alive Weight Loss, is for women who want to stop dieting and re-frame their minds so they can reshape their bodies. Her teachings are like nothing you’ve ever heard.

Discover how you can lose weight by feeling #WildlyAlive at WildlyAliveWeightLoss.com.


*if you have special orders from your doctor, please check with them first before ordering our sweets.