Posted in Uncategorized

Juicing Parsley for Flawless Skin

Raw Girl in a Toxic World

Perhaps parsley doesn’t get much attention because it is used frequently as a garnish. Despite the fact that a lot of people think if it as side fare, this power herb can do more wonders for improving your health and giving you a radiant glow than your main course. Parsley is rich in vitamin A which is a power beauty vitamin, and helps to clear blemishes and maintain an even skin tone while also cleansing the urinary tract, liver, and kidneys. It has a high vitamin C content which helps to stimulate the production of collagen and reduces fine lines, scars, blemishes, and pore size, all at a severely discounted price compared to Botox. Parsley also has high levels of vitamin K which can improve skin elasticity and speed up the wound healing process and is extremely chlorophyll-rich which increases blood flow and metabolizes oxygen in the body. Like many raw…

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Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday

Don’t Sacrifice Health For Convenience: Eating REAL Fast Food

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We have all done it.  Fast food restaurants make it so easy with their drive thrus and dollar menus.  I fell into that trap when my son was an infant.  As soon as I stopped breast-feeding I turned to fast food.  It was so easy.  While I was driving around running errands and my little one was sound asleep in the car seat, I would pull into the closest drive-in restaurant, park, place my order, and enjoy a huge burger, fries or tator tots, and huge fountain drink in some strange blue color.  This was what I found peaceful.  I didn’t have to get out of the car, my son could sleep, and I was getting pleasure from my meal.  The crazy thing was that I would find the time to make my son a healthy meal and my husband and I felt that we were treating ourselves with junk food.  Quicker than I thought possible the pounds were piling on.  I had won such praise for losing all of my baby weight plus 15 extra only to gain it all back.

When I began my new healthier lifestyle, I began observing other healthy people.  The one thing I noticed was that they always had food with them – a little bag of almonds, a small container of fruit, a granola bar, etc.  All the time I felt that I could not swap the convenience of a drive-in for real food, but actually what is more convenient than having your own  REAL fast food with you.  So I took the advice of a fitness trainer friend of mine who seemed to have a limitless supply of food on his person (actually he kept a cooler in his truck stocked with fruit, baked chicken, nuts, grapes, you name it).  He told me that I shouldn’t be caught without healthy snacks and that you should never resort to eating junk when you could just as easily go to a grocery store and grab a healthy snack.  Then he added, “Is it going to kill you to get out of your car and walk a few paces?”  That made me feel really lazy, but he was absolutely right.

So I purchased a cute little pink cooler of my own and I began carrying around my own “fast food”.   Whenever I want something to eat I  just reach in and grab something healthy.  I try to keep it with me most days, but when I am without it I no longer succumb to the drive thru.  I now will get out of my car and walk the few paces to a grocery store or farmers’ market and get something real.

I would like to challenge all of us to choose REAL fast food.  Keep some nuts in you purse or car to hold off that hunger until you can get your hands on something healthy.  If you want to make a stop at a grocery store make sure that if you are buying fruit and or vegetables to eat, keep some fruit and veggie wash with you.  You can also make your own.  I would suggest if you are always on the go to keep a cooler with your healthy favorites.  Be a REAL fast food junkie!!!

Posted in Munchie Monday

Make Your Own Breakfast Shake

It is said that the most important meal of the day is breakfast and for most of us the mornings are the busiest and most hectic part of the day.  We have to get ready get ourselves ready for the day and us parents also have to get our children ready too.  I also workout in the morning as well.  Those few hours before we actually walk out into the world are packed with tons of tasks that must be completed to ensure a great day, but we must make sure that our bodies are given the proper fuel to make it through.  My son and I don’t not enjoy eating food early in the morning so I have started making our own breakfast shakes that we can take with us and drink in the car on our way to start our days.  The breakfast shake I make has the same “base”, but I will sometimes toss in some “additions” depending on my mood.

If you would like to try it, this is what you’ll need:

*As with all my recipes, I rarely use measurements.  Mix according to your preferences

IBourgie’s Breakfast Shake

A blender (the single serve blenders work well and you can find them for around $20.  If you are making shakes for the whole family, us a larger one)

Almond Milk

A teaspoon of Coconut Oil

Cocoa powder (optional)

Ground flax seeds

Nut butter (almond, peanut, hazelnut, etc.)

Greek yogurt (vanilla or plain)

Blend all ingredients in your blender and enjoy!!  Vegans may substitute the yogurt for a soy yogurt, leave it out or add a banana to provide a thicker and creamier texture.  Also feel free to add a fruit of your choice.  This recipe is great as it is.  It is loaded with protein will keep you satisfied.

Posted in Soothing Sunday

Fasting

One thing that I have incorporated in my life and fitness journey is fasting.  At first I was very skeptical, but once I tried it, I was able to see its benefits.  I believe that just fasting one day a week is a great start.  I feel rejuvenated after fasting.  During my fasting period I was able to better handle my healthy lifestyle transition.  I became grateful for good, whole food.  After not eating anything a carrot stick looks mighty good.  Also processed or refined foods began to taste artificial.  Sugary foods began to taste too sweet and the aftertaste of sugar substitutes appeared even stronger.  It was as if my body was yearning for something real.

I believe fasting is a great way to make your body crave real food again.   I would like to suggest that we all  give it a try for at least a day.  During that time occupy yourself with visions of your body reprogramming itself to a better way of eating.  Look forward to the delicious tastes of good, clean food and how it is going to build a beautiful, healthy body.

“The philosophy of fasting calls upon us to know ourselves, to master ourselves, and to discipline ourselves the better to free ourselves. To fast is to identify our dependencies, and free ourselves from them”.

Tariq Ramadan

Posted in Selfish Saturday

Give Yourself a Break

There are so many things that we feel like we have to do.   We make commitments that we sometimes feel obligated to keep even when it is a strain on our personal time.  We feel pressure to do what is expected of us when in reality we are the only ones who is upset when we can’t hold up the burden of everyday life.  So today give yourself a break.  It is not going to make you a bad person.  It will give you the time to recharge.

For many years I wondered why I was the person everyone seemed to call when they needed something.  It was because I never turned them down.  I would put everything I needed to do on hold to do for everyone else.  I became resentful because I felt that everyone was taking advantage of me, but in reality, I was letting them.  Once I realized this, I began to politely declining or just saying no.  Saying no and declining countless hours of volunteering my time and energy in things that were taking away from my valuable personal time was very hard, but eventually I got used to it.  After a while everyone else did too.  Now I am able to pick and choose when and if I want to take time away from myself to do for others.

What I would like to challenge all of us to do is to teach those around you that your time is valuable and that it is your job to choose when you plan to share it.  Do not feel guilty for this.  You are a priority.  If you aren’t taken care of you can not be an asset to anyone else.

Posted in Introvert Lounge

Introvert Tips

As I have mentioned in a prior post, I am an introvert.  I have grown to love it, but many people still don’t understand it.  I still feel a little uncomfortable in certain situations, but I still need to cope.  I have found some very creative and effective ways of using my introversion as an advantage.  A common misconception about introverts is that they are socially inept.  Most of us enjoy people and socializing, but on our terms.  Yet there are some who are intent on labeling us weird, shy, and antisocial.  The following are a list of things I have done to make the most of my introversion:

  1. Offer to help.  This is my main use of my introversion at parties.  This gets me out of the crowd and is usually greatly appreciated by the host, but when I am at a family gathering I just duck off into a corner with a book.  They know me.
  2. Find the other introvert in the room.  We are not hard to spot.  I have noticed that we can easily be for a shy person.  Sometimes the person wants nothing to do with me, but if the person is truly an introvert we can have a little conversation away from everyone else and everyone else will leave us alone.  And also, most introverts are looking for an “out”.  You have now helped them and helped yourself.
  3. Relax.  You aren’t doing anything wrong by being yourself so sit back and do what we do best.  If you want to take a walk outside, do it.  Search the room for inspiration for your upcoming novel (most of us are writers).
  4. Don’t be so hard on yourself.  There is nothing wrong with you so don’t act like it.  We are masters of tuning things out.  Do whatever you must to enjoy yourself.

Not everyone is going to understand you, but that is not your problem.  Enjoy yourself, love yourself, be yourself!!

Posted in Fitness Friday

Your Fitness Evolution

Sometimes things that used to work just don’t work anymore.

I remember when I bought a designer skirt that was marked 70% off, but was two sizes too small, all I had to do is skip one cheeseburger and I was wearing that skirt by the end of the week.    Years later, it seemed that if I looked at a cheeseburger,  I could hear the seams of my jeans ripping.  Needless to say, I had to make some major adjustments.

I used to be extremely active.  I hardly drove and I lived in an area where I could walk anywhere I needed to go.  I ate whatever I wanted and I ate a lot.  People couldn’t understand how I stayed so slim.  Not only was I slim, I was very toned.  I looked like I spent most of my time in the gym.  I didn’t.  The only extra exercise I remember doing was sit-ups before bedtime.  I went to the gym sporadically, usually just to hang out with my friends.  The one exercise that I was consistent with was walking.  I was also always on the go.   I always had something to do and somewhere to go.  If I didn’t, I found something.  I was single with no children so I could come and go as I pleased and I took advantage of that.

One day I was approached by someone who was training for a Miss Fitness competition.  She told me that if I started lifting weights I would do well at a competition.  So I started lifting weights.  I never competed, but I picked up some extra muscle.  I later stopped lifting weights because I could not see myself doing that everyday.  I was completely satisfied with my toned walker body.  The bulkiness of the muscle was soon gone and I eased back into my pre-weightlifting body.

Years later, I became a wife and a mother, I didn’t remain as active.  I drove everywhere I need to go.  I was no longer in search of things to do.   My day was pretty much planned out for me.  Most of the errand running,  trips to work (at a desk), and taking my son to and from school involved sitting.  I spent the majority of my day sitting down.  The pounds began to accumulate and it was very hard to get rid of them.  My fitness routine had to evolve with my lifestyle.

I began practicing yoga many years ago in my twenties to relieve my back pain.  I never thought of it as exercise, but as a sort of conditioning.  Personally, I have not seen any reduction in weight because of my yoga practice, but yoga has conditioned my body to withstand the hours of sitting at a computer, or in a car etc.  I wanted to find something that I could incorporate into my life that would get me back into that effortlessly toned look I used to have. So I started walking again.  I got up early every morning and walked six miles everyday before work.  It worked immediately.  Soon I was very close to pre-real-life body.  That lasted until I had my son, quit my job, and became a stay-at-home mom.  While my son was very young, I continued to walk while pushing him in a stroller.  As he got older and started going to school I gained additional obligations.  My fitness was no longer a priority.  Later I realized that I needed to make some adjustments.  I needed to be healthy and active for my family.  I began walking again, but I was no longer seeing the rapid results I had seen in the past.  Then I began to change my diet.

Controlling my diet has become the key for me to stay in the type of shape I want to be in.  Controlling your diet is the key component for everyone because life will always throw you a curve ball.  There have been several life instances that have derailed my exercise routine (pregnancy, car accidents, etc.).  These things usually give no reason to alter your diet if you are eating healthy foods that are good for you.  That is why it is so important to build a good foundation to support you when you are unable to exercise.  In addition to eating clean, I have found an exercise plan that suits my lifestyle.

I would like to challenge all of us to find a plan that fits you.  In order to do this, you must ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Will I do this?  Your fitness plan should be challenging, but it should not be something that you hate.  (If you hate dancing, don’t take a Zumba class)
  2. Am I able to do this?  Don’t do something that your body can’t handle because of an injury or medical condition.
  3. Is this something I can keep up?  You should be able to follow your plan consistently.  Make it a priority in your life.
  4. If this doesn’t work, am I committed to find something that does? Don’t get discouraged.  What works for someone else, may not work for you, but something will.  Find it!!
  5. Am I willing to eat only food that is helpful to my body and committed to giving up on the things that aren’t?  Your diet is the most important part.  If you are able to master this part the rest will be much easier.
Posted in Think About it Thursday

Do You Have a Theme Song?

Sometimes you need a little pick me up when you are feeling low. Sometimes you want to something that will get you out of your funk. Instead of reaching for a bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, find a theme song. It should be upbeat but it should also have lyrics that match the feeling you are trying to evoke. Not only should the music be upbeat and cheerful, you should be able to sing along to it and say to yourself “That’s me” or “That’s what I feel”.

You can use your theme song to get you through a challenging workout, hype you up before a big test, or for any situation where your confidence is a little shaken. You can play it whenever you want or need to listen to it or belt it out in you car on the way to a job interview. You can have more than one to suit any situation.

This one is one of mine. I used it a lot when I started my fitness journey.

If you have a theme song please share in the comments.