Friday, April 27, 2012

Improve your Digestion with Raw Food!

Hello nutrition-minded foodies and wellness lovers! 

Today I have invited raw foods enthusiast Daisy Hernandez from the Wellness {Pulse} to share her knowledge and expertise about the benefits of raw foods for digestion! She also has an excellent recipe for a zucchini dill spread, made entirely with ingredients that are beneficial for improving digestion! 

Almost everyone has heard of the raw foods diet by now, and I have a feeling that many of you have actually experimented with the living foods lifestyle in one way or another.

While it's highly debatable and individual as to what percentage of your diet needs to be raw to enjoy the many benefits of living foods, I am 99.9% sure that there isn't a single intelligent person who would disagree that adding more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds (provided you are not allergic), would have anything but a positive effect on your overall health and wellness!

"The Benefits of Raw Food for Digestion"
by Daisy Hernandez

"When I hear the word raw I immediately picture an image that hasn't been retouched or enhanced, it's in its purest form - just how you shot it. The same rings true to what we eat, the less 'enhancements' we do to our foods - the more natural goodness we’ll be putting into our body.

Eating raw foods is the most natural form of eating and how our ancestors back in their cavemen years used to eat. Back then, there weren't any stoves, microwaves or toaster ovens. It was all raw. It wasn’t until we began introducing unnatural foods into our lives that we started to come across epidemics such as diabetes, cancer and chronic digestive issues.

As of now, over 8% of the population in the United States is suffering from a digestive disorder and in Canada close to 20 million a year. Supplements and other products are shelved in grocery and health food store aisles carrying an extreme amount of sugar and other things I can’t even pronounce that can have our system working overtime and clogging things up anyway.

The problem with digestion is that when it's not running properly, not only do we begin to notice other issues such as constant headaches, acne, low energy, but we also feel uncomfortable. The food we've ingested from over 24 hours ago hasn't passed, our system is lagging. Just think of a rundown car struggling to start up, can you hear its drowning sound?

There are 3 types of enzymes that get our motor running in our overall digestion:

  • digestive enzymes
  • metabolic enzymes
  • food enzymes
By eating  more raw-inspired goodness, we begin to bring in more active enzymes into our bodies that help digest and absorb nutrients into our cells.  The food enzymes are the ones that start the food digestion and guess where they can be sourced? Raw fruits and vegetables!

By heating our food to over 110 degrees we begin to kill off these enzymes and the nourishment we are looking to bring into our body is much less.

All raw foods are rich in enzymes, however, sprouted seeds, grains and legumes have the powerful punch. Sprouting can be done by soaking these foods, once they being to sprout their enzyme content has increased substantially.

For our digestion, it’s important to figure out what the problem is. If it’s bloating, sprouting of black, kidney or garbanzo beans could make matters worse. Start small then increase to see how you feel. What's most important it's to listen to your body, it knows what it needs.

I love incorporating raw foods into my day-to-day but I don't go extreme, I like to cook with whole foods as a way to balance things out for myself. Remember, what works for one person may not work for another. This way of eating works for me!"

Recipe: Zucchini Dill Spread

2 cups zucchini, chopped
1/4 cup dill, chopped
1 garlic clove
2 tbs tahini
2 tbs lemon juice
sea salt, to taste

Place all ingredients into food processor and pulse until smooth.
Add sea salt to taste.
Serve as a dip or spread to make a wrap.

Daisy is a designer gone rogue who’s own designer lifestyle led her to find healthy alternatives to living lighter. Inspired by her findings, she has become an integrative wellness coach and raw foods chef working with ladies in creative professional roles who love their craft but are searching to find their unique wellness potential. 

Twitter: @DaisyHdez

Have an amazing day!

Friday, April 20, 2012

How to Create a Summer Salad Container Garden

Greetings wellness lovers!

Today I have invited guest blogger, Rachael of, to share with you how to create a summer salad container garden for fresh, local, and organic eating all summer long! And, right outside your kitchen!

How to Create a Summer Salad Container Garden
by Rachael of

"When I think of summer, I think of fresh produce and leisurely walks around my farmer's market. I love heading out to my local farmer's market to select the brightest salad greens and juiciest tomatoes for my summer salads. But what's better than going to the market to get some of the freshest ingredients? Going out my door to my patio to find just what I need! I recently planted my own container garden so that I have just a few less things to pick up at the market each week, and a little more to be excited about all summer long! You can grow a garden full of flowers that are pretty to look at, but even better, you can grow a garden full of fresh vegetables that you can eat! In even the smallest of spaces (I'm using two 12-inch diameter pots!), you can make a container garden grow. Here's a step-by-step guide on how you can set up your own summer salad container garden that's perfect for any small space:

1. Determine what and how much you'd like to grow.

Think up the ingredients you know you love to eat over and over. Choose from ingredients like these or brainstorm some others that you'd like to plant for your summer salad container garden:
  • Lettuces: various types, like romaine, butter crunch, green or red leaf
  • Tomatoes: various types, like Roma, cherry, or hot house
  • Bell peppers: various colors, each offering different nutrients
  • Jalapenos: for some heat!
  • Scallions (also called green onions)
  • Radishes
  • Carrots
  • Herbs: various types, like basil, thyme, mint, or parsley
You'll want to plant more of the ingredients that you know you'll be harvesting more often, so there is always time for them to re-grow. Decide how many and which ingredients you'd like to plant.

2. Strategize how much space you'll need and how the plants will be configured.

When you're working in a small space, planting strategically is important. You don't want to take up more room than you have to, and you want to be sure you're giving each vegetable enough room to grow and thrive in its container. A few ways to do this are:
  • Vary the height in the containers. When using a circular planter, plant those that will grow the tallest in the center and scale down in size from there. When planting in a box or rectangle planter, plant the tallest plants near the back of the container and scale down in plant size from back to front. This will create visual interest and ensure that the smaller plants still have a chance to get some sunlight.
  • Don't crowd too many plants in too tightly into a container. When you select your vegetable plants, the packaging will indicate how far apart they should be planted, so use that as a guide before getting into the dirt.
  • Plant according to sunlight requirements. If a few of your plants need sunlight for 6 hours a day, and others need less, plant according to how much sun they need, so none get over-sunned and none are under-sunned. You can keep one container in the sunnier spots and the other away or tucked under shade, if necessary.

3. Head out to the store to select your plants, containers, and soil.

I like to choose plants that have already been “started,” which means someone else has made sure the seeds aren't duds and that as long as I take care of them, they'll do pretty well. I like doing it this way, because I personally don't always have a green thumb for planting, but if you have ultimate confidence in your gardening - don't be afraid to start with seeds! When I do choose plant starters, I like to get organic ones that haven't been “helped along” with any chemicals. Be sure to check the plant before you purchase it, choose only plants that look fresh, have firm leaves, and don't look too wilted or damaged. You can nurse some plants back to health, but others may have been through a little too much to bring home. Use your best judgment. Choose containers that are large enough to hold all the plants you wish to grow and allow for adequate space between them. Remember to read the tags on the plants or seed packets to know how much space they need and what to expect in terms of height and spread. Also look for pots that will supply your vegetables with proper drainage. You can find planters with holes in the bottom or with a separate tray underneath to catch any extra water runoff. Select a soil that is organic, has no chemical additives, and will help your plants grow naturally! There are so many soils out there that will “guarantee” that your plants will grow to be big and huge, but you want them to grow naturally, not mammoth sized and flavorless! Remember whatever that plant is grown in will be part of what you put in your body.

4. Pot your plants, give them a good water, and nurture nurture nurture!

Once you have everything home - it's time to get your hands dirty! Fill about ⅔ of your pot with soil, then place your plants out where you plan to pot them. This will give you a nice visualization as to what it will look like once it's completed, and allow you to make any last minute changes, if necessary. Remove the plants from their containers, give the roots a bit of a massage, and place them in the soil. Surround the plants with more soil until the tops of the roots are covered completely. Water your completed summer salad container garden and remember to keep up the watering, as indicated on the tags that came with the plants! Putting together a summer salad container garden can be a simple weekend project that results in delicious and fresh salads almost every night of the week! What can be more fulfilling than growing and eating your own garden vegetables? Happy growing (and eating)!"

Rachael is the blogger behind and is the author of How to Cook For Yourself and Kick Start Your Kitchen. She writes about her passion for food, eating well while saving money, and inspires people to get familiar with their kitchens and cook for themselves.

On a side note...
Today is the last day to enroll at Integrative Nutrition* with a $500 pay-in-full scholarship + an iPad 3! If you are interested in this opportunity, or just want to learn more about what IIN offers, I am happy to share my experience and insight! My e-mail is (Rachael is a student at IIN as well!) 

If you are seriously considering starting a career in holistic health, and want to get a better idea as to what IIN is all about, you can get a complimentary version of Joshua Rosenthal's book "Integrative Nutrition: Feed Your Hunger for Health and Happiness" here!
It's rated 5/5 stars on Amazon!

Have a great day! And an excellent spring weekend!

*Integrative Nutrition® and Institute for Integrative Nutrition® are registered trademarks of Integrative Nutrition Inc.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Simple Honey-Coconut Glazed Carrots

Greetings wellness lovers!

I hope you had an excellent weekend!

Jon and I celebrated the Easter holiday by spending the day relaxing at home with family over, enjoying delicious spring-time cuisine, and enjoying the perfect weather!

Since I know most busy, health-minded individuals are always looking for easy ways to sneak more veggies into their diets without a lot of time + ingredients, I wanted to share an easy recipe with you from this past weekend!

Simple Honey-Coconut Glazed Carrots

Serves: about 4


  • 1 lb. organic, whole carrots
  • 2 tablespoons organic unrefined coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons local honey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme

Wash and peel carrots, and slice into pieces of similar sizes. Fill a large pot with water, and bring to a boil. Add carrots to pot, boil until slightly tender... usually about 13-15 minutes. Drain carrots in colander. Add coconut oil and honey to pot, then add carrots back in. Cook, stirring occasionally for several minutes, mainly to just coat all of the carrots evenly with the coconut oil and honey. Add thyme. Serve and enjoy immediately.

*Holistic health bonus point: As you likely already know... enjoying local honey can be useful in remedying seasonal allergies!

Have an excellent rest of the day!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Health Conscious Musical Fun with Rob Herring

Greetings wellness lovers!

Today I wanted to share with you another awareness-raising music video, created by a fellow IIN graduate, Rob Herring!

It's called...

(Leave Our Food) Alone

What I love about these songs is that they basically give you an overview of what's going on in the food/nutrition world, in a nutshell... with a dash of humor. ;)

If you enjoyed these videos... and want to stay updated with his latest, check out his Facebook page!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Integrative Nutrition's Spring Cleaning Guide!

Happy April wellness lovers!

I hope this spring has been treating you well so far! Have you made any health and or life/career goals for the season?

Today I wanted to share with you an excellent resource to complete a successful spring detox, since spring is the perfect time to lighten up your diet and improve your environment!

If you haven't seen this yet, I highly recommend downloading Integrative Nutrition's* Spring Cleanse Guide. It's an excellent and comprehensive guide packed with tools, resources, and refreshing recipes to cleanse your body, mind, and space!

Lighten up this season!
a sneak peak...

*note: when you download it, you will also likely start receiving additional nutrition, health, and wellness news + tips from the largest nutrition school in the world.


If you have been thinking about studying at IIN to take your passion of all things holistic health + wellness related to the next level, and maybe even start a new career, I highly recommend reading "Integrative Nutrition: Feed Your Hunger for Health and Happiness" by Integrative Nutrition's founder/director Joshua Rosenthal. 

It can be purchased on for about $25... and can also be downloaded (complimentary) via the image below.

5/5 stars on 
Integrative Nutrition is the world's largest nutrition school, and is the only school that teaches over 100 different dietary theories, food energetics, and the concept of 'bio-individuality,' which is that there is not one diet that works for everyone. And, they recently upgraded their learning platform to an iPad!

If you have any questions about the program or my experience as a student... I am always happy to share my insight! My e-mail is

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! And, I invite you to stay tuned... later this week I will be posting an excellent music video, created by a fellow IIN graduate!


*Integrative Nutrition® and Institute for Integrative Nutrition® are registered trademarks of Integrative Nutrition Inc.