Blog, Health & Wellness, Weight Loss, Women's Hormonal Health, Women's Hormonal Health

Why You Should Stop Calorie Counting Today

jennlawerence

Have you ever followed a calorie restricting diet? I know I have, and chances are you have been through the grueling experience as well.

And even though the pounds fell off quickly, think about what happened when you got off the diet – did the pounds stay off for long?

They didn’t, did they?

There’s nothing more frustrating than getting great results after depriving yourself of food, only to have all of your hard work destroyed as soon as you start increasing your calories again.  This is why calorie restricting diets are a waste of your precious time, darling. Eating like this will only cause your weight to fluctuate (that’s why they call it “yo-yo dietiting”) and the practice is detrimental to your hormones, which means your mental and physical health will suffer immensely.

Yo-yo dieting is not a sustainable practice, and does not promote a balanced life. It’s pretty stinking miserable and unnecessary.

What’s wrong with calorie counting:

The “eat less move more” movement doesn’t work. It’s complete crap. 💩 The idea behind this theory that has been peddled in schools and by doctors across the country is that consuming fewer calories than are used will lead to lasting weight loss.

There are sooooooo many things wrong with this!

1. Not all calories are created equally. Some foods induce high blood sugar levels, other promote balanced levels. Think about the difference between a can of coke and two cups of broccoli which have roughly the same amount of calories. Should those really be put in the same category?

2. Reducing calories will slow down your metabolism, so when you quit that diet you’re on you’re going to gain it all back, even if you are only increasing your caloric intake minimally. Think about it- your body is pretty clever. It will adapt to homeostasis. If you maintain a reduced calorie diet your metabolism will quickly adapt by slowing down to match the reduced intake. So when you get off the diet, even just a little- guess what will happen? Yup, you’ll gain it back.

TRUTH —-> HIGH INSULIN BLOCKS FAT BURNING.

What your body needs to burn fat are these two things:

1.You must burn through most of your stored glycogen.

2. Your insulin levels must drop low enough to release fat stores.

And this doesn’t happen through caloric reduction. This happens by eating real, whole foods that contain healthy fats, moderate protein, and low or no carbs (the amount for each person is determined by individual tolerance, blood sugar levels, hormone levels, and specific needs, women for example do better with some carbs in their diet).

So ditch the diets, ditch the calorie restriction, and focus on eating real, unprocessed foods. Don’t worry about calories! Focus on quality!

So what are two things you can start doing today?

1. Cut out the C.R.A.P. (carbonated beverages, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners and ingredients, and processed foods.

2. Focus on getting good quality healthy fats with each meal. Remember, cholesterol is responsible for producing all of your sex hormones, so without a diet rich in healthy fats, your hormones will suffer. You must nourish your hormones, because when you have balanced hormones your body will be able to maintain a healthy weight.

Once you implement a nutrient dense and plant based lifestyle of real, whole foods, then you will discover you maintain a steady and healthy weight without the need for guilt-inducing diets.

Remember, diet is a greek word that means “way of life”.

Proud to be diet-free,

Health Coach Jenna

Blog, Chocolate, Recipes, Smoothies, Uncategorized, Women's Hormonal Health

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie Bowl

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This chocolate cherry smoothie bowl makes for the perfect nourishing breakfast, as it’s full of antioxidants, healthy fats, and protein to fuel your brain and hormones throughout your day!

CHOCOLATE CHERRY SMOOTHIE BOWL 🍒🍒🍒

Ingredients:
•1 1/2 cup non dairy unsweetened milk ( please not soy!)
• 1/2 cup frozen cherries
•1/2 avocado
•1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use Vega Sport Vanilla)
•1 tbs raw cacao powder
• 1 tbs chia seeds or flax seeds
• pinch of sea salt
•pinch of cinnamon
•optional- 1 scoop Bulletproof collagen protein powder

Method:

Blend about 60 seconds and pour in bowl. Top with your favorite things. I topped mine with goji berries, Bob’s Redmill organic rolled oats, walnuts, and Lily’s sugar-free chocolate chips.

Enjoy!

xxxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

 

 

Blog, Health & Wellness, Vegan and Vegetarian Health, Women's Hormonal Health

Dietary Supplements Pills Nutrient AdditivesEveryone has a different opinion about supplements. People tend to go one of two ways: conservative or liberal. Conservatives think that we can get all the nutrients we need from our diet, and liberals think that supplements can make up for a bad diet.

In regards to supplements, I encourage you to be a moderate.

While I’m a big advocate of getting nutrients from your food, sometimes it just isn’t possible due to two main factors.

1. Our soil has gone downhill

The quality of modern day soil has changed – it is now extremely depleted due to industrial farming. As a result, many of our fruits and vegetables are not as nutrient dense as they were when grandma and grandpa were eating them. This also means the animals you are eating are not as nutrient rich, as the grain or grass they are eating is also affected by industrial farming and depleted soils.

Statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and World Health Organization (WHO) have recorded a drop in nutrient density in our food supply within the last fifty years. This loss of nutrients is so great that in our modern world, it is imperative to supplement your diet to achieve optimum health.

2. It’s a busy world.

In our busy lives, can we really be 100% sure that we are eating all of our vitamins, minerals, and probiotics daily? I know I can’t.

Even with a perfect diet of real, whole foods, it is still almost impossible to get all the nutrients you need in today’s toxic and stress-filled world. For example, did you know if you weren’t raised eating grass-fed meat or raw milk that you are deficient in vitamin K2?

Yes, our ancestors were able to get all of their nutrients from their food, but they received far greater amounts of micro-nutrients in every mouthful of food they ate, than is found in the food we consume today.

I always try my best to get as many of the nutrients I need from my food, and I encourage you to do the same. But this is not always possible; that’s why I like to look at supplements as insurance that I am always covered.

With that said, here are the five crucial supplements and vitamins that I recommend everyone take daily:

1. Magnesium

Magnesium is a cofactor in over three hundred reactions in the body, and is necessary for temperature regulations, hormonal balance, detoxification in the liver, formation of bones and teeth, and transmission of nerve pulses. However, it’s estimated that around 80% of people are deficient in this crucial mineral! If you are deficient in magnesium, symptoms include anxiety, constipation, an inability to sleep, tension, muscle cramps, fatigue, and much more.

Better yet, did you know that magnesium is the best treatment for PMS?! In fact, it removes symptoms so dramatically that some scientists believe that magnesium deficiency is the cause of PMS. (1)

Magnesium boosts progesterone by improving the healthy of your corpus luteum. It also regulates cortisol and reduces inflammation.

For women (and men!) magnesium is crucial.

Dose- 400-600mg

Forms: Citrate, malate, glycinate, threonate, or orotate. Citrate works best for those prone to constipation.

Time Taken: Bedtime

Recommended brand:  Lifetime Extension or Solgar

2.Vitamin D + K2

About 80% of the population is deficient in Vitamin D, due to a shift from farming to office jobs, combined with a lack of sun in many places during the winter. Even if you live in a place with plenty of sunshine, you should be taking Vitamin D. Vitamin D is crucial for hormonal and metabolic function, and is something you don’t want to be deficient in.

When choosing your Vitamin D, make sure to buy D3. Most doctors prescribe D2 but it is not as effective. You want to take at least 5,000 IU – 10,000 IU a day (depending on how deficient you are) for 6 months. After this, you can lower your dose to 2,000 IU a day for monthly maintenance.

K2 is a  is a fat soluble vitamin involved in calcium metabolism.  Excess calcium is deposited in arteries, leading to calcification and decreased vascular function.  This is why vitamin K2 could play a role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Bonus is that K2 has been found to reduce bone loss.

Dose: D3 – 5,000-10,000 i.u’s daily

K2- 2,000 mcg daily

Forms: D3 combined with K2, or you can take D3 and K2 in separate pills

Time Taken: Morning. D3 and K2 should always be taken together.

Recommended brand:  Metagenics K2 with D3, or Metagenics D3 and LifeExtension K2

3. Methyl B12 and Methyl Folate

If you are a vegan or vegetarian I urge you to take vitamin B12 daily.  If you are an omnivore, I still recommend you take this, as most people are deficient in B12. B12 can protect against dementia, increase immune function, maintain nerves, and regenerate cells. It’s necessary for maintaining methylation reactions that repair DNA and prevent cancer.

Dose: 800 mcg Folate, and 500 mcg B12

Forms: Capsule or lozenge

Time taken: Daily with food

Brand: Metagenics Intrinsi B12/Folate

4. High Grade Probiotic

Your gut is responsible for much more than just digesting your lunch. Your gut, and the 100 trillion bacteria that call it home, are responsible for your overall mental and physical wellbeing. Hippocrates said 2,000 years ago that “all disease begins in the gut”, and modern scientists are just now realizing how true this statement is.

For optimum health you should maintain an 85-to-15 percent ratio of good bacteria to bad. Once the bad bacteria rises above 15 percent, the immune system begins to slow down and sets off a chain reaction that promotes disease, digestion problems, and interferes with nutrient absorption.

Eating processed foods, plus the overuse of antibiotics, are the two biggest culprits for the poor gut health that is sweeping developed nations today.

To keep your gut healthy and thriving with healthy bacteria, you should take a high-grade probiotic daily, with at least 25 billion living organisms. Opt for even higher if you can. When purchasing your probiotic remember they are not regulated by the FDA, so you must make sure to buy a brand that is trusted.

Dose: Minimum 25 billion organisms per serving.

Form: Capsule or powder

Time Taken: At least 30 minutes before or after a meal. Do not take within 30 minutes of a hot beverage as the heat will kill the organisms.

Recommended brand: Vibrant Health Green Vibrance, or Metagenics UltraFlora Spectrum

In addition to taking a daily probiotic, you should also aim to eat two to three servings of fermented foods a day.

Examples of fermented foods are:

  • Kimchi
  • Yogurt (unsweetened and organic)
  • Kombucha
  • Kefir – this is a drinkable like yogurt originating from Turkey. You can find it in most grocery stores these days, or you can make your own by ordering a kefir starter kit online. Kefir makes a perfect addition to smoothies.
  • Water kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Miso
  • Tempeh

Also, don’t forget your prebiotics. Prebiotic foods help feed your good bacteria. You should aim to eat as many prebiotic foods as you can.

Examples of prebiotic rich foods are :

  • Raw chicory root
  • Raw garlic
  • Under-ripe bananas
  • Raw dandelion greens
  • Raw and cooked onions
  • Raw Jerusalem artichokes
  • Raw leeks
  • Raw asparagus

5. Fish Oil (or Algal Oil for vegans)-

In order to keep your  omega 3 to omega 6 levels ideal (you want a 1:1 ratio) and to promote optimum cardiovascular health, hormonal health, and to prevent disease, as well as promote a healthy and happy mind, fish oil is crucial. It also lowers cholesterol, improves insulin sensitivity, and prevents blood clots. It’s natures best anti-inflammatory, and helps balance hormones.

You should take 1,000-2,000 mg. a day, and the EPA to DHA ratio should be 300/200mg.

Dose: 1,000-2,000 mg

Forms: Capsule or liquid

Time taken: daily with food

Recommended brand: OmegaGenics EPA-DHA

Bonus:

Multivitamin-

This is your ultimate insurance ticket. It is important you are getting a high quality one. I personally take Vibrant Health’s Green Vibrance, as it also includes 25 billion probiotics, meaning I don’t have to hassle with taking an additional probiotic. And please don’t assume that because you are taking a multivitamin you don’t have to take the other supplements I’ve listed above.  You see, multivitamins are great in that they provide an array of vitamins, but most of them do not have 100% of your daily requirement of D3, magnesium, and B12.

Dose: 1 tablet or 1 packet

Forms: Capsule or powder

Time taken: daily with food

Brand: Vibrant Health Green Vibrance or Metagenics Wellness Essentials

Think of these supplements as part of your diet, and buy the best quality ones you can. Remember, you get what you pay for; cheap supplements are usually poorly absorbed by the body, and the dosages are not always as high as they claim. They are also often filled with additives and coloring, and just result in expensive urine!

When buying your supplements, I encourage you to seek guidance from a health care practitioner to select the products that are right for you. While these are the general supplements I recommend everyone take, some people will need further supplementation.

With Gratitude,

Health Coach Jenna

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Sources:

  1. Period Repair Manual by Dr. Laura Briden

 

The 5 Supplements You Need to Be Taking Daily

Blog, chocolate, Chocolate, Recipes, Sweet Treats

The Fudgiest Grain-free Brownies

FullSizeRender (38)I’ve made many brownies in my life. I used to make them from the box growing up, but these days, I’m a bit more aware of what I eat. The frankeningredients in those Betty Crocker or Duncan brownies are pretty freaking scary.

My favorite type of brownie is one that is super fudgey.

You know what I’m talking about.

But over the past few years, I’ve experimented with different gluten-free recipes and haven’t quite found what I was searching for. Some were to dry, some too sweet, and others good but not the BEST. SO I’ve started adapting the recipes and experimenting with new ingredients.

Well, the work paid off (and in all honesty, taste testing wasn’t too bad of a job) as I’ve finally found it.

The fudgiest most decadent brownie yet.

Even better, it has absolutely no grains , so it is gluten-free. And it’s pretty low glycemic as far as brownies go. Plus, I use raw cacao, so it’s full of antioxidants and fiber.

And can you guess the secret ingredient? If you guessed buckwheat, then you are right!

FullSizeRender (34)

 

The Fudgiest Grain-free Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup  buckwheat flour
  • 3/4 cup cocao powder, sifted if lumpy
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons  unsalted butter (grass-fed please!)or coconut oil melted and cooled slightly (I’ve only made these with butter, but coconut oil would work for those who desire a dairy free recipe)
  • 1  cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (I use Lily’s Sugar Free because they’re amazing)  + an additional 1/4 cup to sprinkle on top

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line an 8″×8″ (20cmx20cm) pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.FullSizeRender (36)
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the melted butter or coconut oil, coconut sugar, and vanilla extract. Once combined, add the eggs one at a time, and stir just until combined.
  4. Add the dry mixture to the wet and stir just until no streaks of dry flour remain. Do not overmix.
  5. Fold in 3/4 cup chocolate chips.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips on top.FullSizeRender (35)
  7. Bake for 14-20 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center will come out wet. A toothpick inserted into the sides will come out with some moist crumbs on it, but not totally raw batter. The brownies will continue to bake as they sit in the pan. I’ve made these in an electric oven and a gas oven. I found the gas oven bakes them faster, so they only needed 14 minutes. In the electric they needed 17. My advice is to take out at minute 14 and test, and put them back in at 2 minute increments until ready.FullSizeRender (37)
  8. Let cool completely and then cover and store at room temperature for up to 4 days. If you refrigerate them they get a fudgier texture.
  9. Serve with coconut ice cream ( Nada Moo is pretty good!) if you wanna go all out 😉

Enjoy!

Health Coach Jenna

 

Blog, Health & Wellness, Women's Hormonal Health

How to Manage Hormonal Mood Shifts

sadHealthy hormones are crucial for a healthy, happy you. With hormones, there is no cutting corners, and there is no faking it. Your monthly period is your monthly report card that tells you how you’ve been doing with your diet and lifestyle.

Many times doctors will prescribe the birth control pill to mask a hormonal imbalance.

Scary fact: Did you know that a recent study found that  60% of women on the pill are taking it for hormonal symptoms, not because they are trying to avoid pregnancy? (1)

This is just lazy medical care, and it puts the patient at risk.

The birth control pill will only mask the symptoms of a hormonal imbalance. The key to freedom is finding the root cause of your hormonal imbalance, and empowering yourself with the lifestyle and dietary changes necessary to reach your optimum levels.

Another way to empower yourself is to be aware of the different phases of your period. Your hormones fluctuate (it’s more of a dance really) throughout your period. Every month you will go through the same ebbs and flows of high energy, low energy, introversion, and extroversion.

Your hormones keep every part of your body working properly. Estrogen and progesterone, the primary female hormones, are essential for reproduction, growth, metabolism, and immune function. However, their constant fluctuation may also wreak havoc on the way many women feel.

Women must manage the fluctuations of hormones and what they may do to growth, metabolism, reproduction, or even just feelings. And as women age and go through menopause, hormones take another swing.

The first step of managing your mood swings is to be aware of the stages of your cycle, and to plan your activities accordingly (when possible) . For example, if you are in your luteal phase, don’t feel like you have to go to that dinner party out of obligation even if you are feeling low on energy and a bit introverted. Instead, stay home and practice some self-care, like journaling, watching a movie, or taking a hot bath.  And don’t feel guilty about it!

To learn more about the different stages of your cycle, and to empower yourself with the natural evolution of your hormones throughout your period and during menopause, check out this graphic made from Health Perch.

mood

Infographic from Health Perch

Sources:

1. Dr. Jolene Brighten in July 2017 interview with Dave Asprey.

Blog, Recipes, Sweet Treats

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies made with Chia Seed Jam

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Berry season is here! And it would be a shame to let all those pretty, organic berries go to waste. One of my all time favorite cookies is the raspberry almond thumbprint. Traditionally, they are made with a sugary raspberry jam, and lots of flour, butter and sugar.

But we aren’t traditional over here, are we?

That’s why I created this gluten-free, refined sugar free raspberry almond thumb print cookie made with chia seed jam.

If you haven’t made chia seed jam yet (seriously what have you been waiting for?!) then you must start now. It is so freaking delicious, and you can put it on juuuust about everything-oats, gluten-free toast, coconut yogurt.

Or just eat it on a spoon with peanut butter.

Don’t judge.

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Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies

Bake time– 10-12 minutes

Yield: 12 cookies

Ingredients:

Chia Seed Jam:

  • 1 cup washed organic raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup

Cookies:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose gluten free flour
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 egg (to make vegan replace with flax egg or chia seed egg. I have not personally tried this, but it should work!)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. To make chia seed jam, place all jam ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Place in glass or BPA-free plastic jar and put in fridge overnight or at least for 3 hours.
  3. For cookies, place oil, egg, coconut sugar, and vanilla in bowl and whisk together. In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt. Then slowly combine the wet and dry ingredients.
  4. Chill cookie dough in fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Make cookie dough into 1-inch balls and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Press your thumb into each cookie
  7. Fill your thumbprint with the raspberry chia seed jam.
  8. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes, or until slightly brown on edges.
  9. Let cool and enjoy!

xxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

 

Blog, Health & Wellness, Vegan and Vegetarian Health, Women's Hormonal Health

“What The Health” and What It Means for Your Hormones

whatthehealth

By now you might have already seen the new vegan documentary, “What the Health” that is causing so much controversy.

I am LOVING how this documentary has created a movement in people across the world to go vegan, vegetarian, or to cut down their animal consumption.

I do, however, have a few BIG issues with some of the claims the documentary makes.

“What the Health” shells out a lot of propaganda. I was shocked to see how many times throughout it, they claim sugar is not a cause of inflammation or diabetes- instead, they say fat is to blame. That’s pretty insane and just a downright pernicious message to be spreading.

Here’s why:

1. You need healthy fats for healthy hormones.
The documentary claims that animal fat leads to cancer. And yes, a diet of processed meat and unclean sources of animal protein, as well as unhealthy sources of plant based fat can lead to cancer.

But healthy fats will not.

Healthy fats will produce healthy hormones, and keep your healthy LDL cholesterol levels high- which you want!

And yes, that’s right, I said “healthy LDL”.

Unlike unicorns, there is such a thing! LDL gets a bad rap by being dumped in the “bad” category by the American Heart Association (seriously why haters gotta hate?!), but actually, the big fluffy particles of LDL are good for you! It’s the small, rugged particles that cause heart disease.

Because guess what? All of your sex hormones are made from cholesterol, so if you are eating a low-fat diet, your hormones will be in trouble.

And I’m not saying all fat is good. Only the healthy, unoxidized ones.

 

Good news is you can be vegan and STILL get your healthy fats.

You can also be vegetarian, or an omnivore. So whatever food plan you choose to fit your lifestyle and beliefs, just make sure you include healthy fats.

2. Sugar leads to inflammation and insulin resistance, which DIRECTLY affects your hormones.

Okay, these producers are smoking crack. The claim that all fats and meat leads to diabetes is 100% FALSE.

Processed meats will throw off your omega 6 to omega 3 balance in your body, which can increase your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression, Alzheimer’s, and rheumatoid arthritis.

But guess what? Eating lots of crappy vegetable oil (which is vegan!) and processed fake meats does the same thing!

You can’t just say ALL of something is bad, it’s not that easy.

I get it. They’re passionate. They are on a mission to get everyone to go vegan. And I respect their drive and mission. But to lie about sugar to persuade? That’s just playing dirty.

Let’s get the facts straight. When you eat sugar (and this includes any food with a high glucose level like honey, agave nectar, fruit, etc) your insulin levels will automatically rise. So if you are eating too much sugar, this will lead to higher blood glucose levels, which will eventually lead to diabetes.

If your blood sugar levels get too high, then your body will produce more of the hormone cortisol. And ladies, this is seriously bad news bears. When your body starts to make more cortisol, guess where it will get all the juice from to make that extra order?

It will steal from your other sex hormones like progesterone and estrogen. You see, cortisol will always take priority. It’s just the way our bodies are evolutionarily designed. Cortisol is designed to get us out of trouble when we are being chased by that saber tooth tiger. So your body will stop making progesterone and estrogen to make more cortisol.

And this is bad news if you are trying to conceive, wish to have healthy periods, combat PMS, keep your ideal weight, maintain high energy levels, etc.

So let’s get this clear. High quality fats do not affect your glucose levels in any way, shape or form. Sugar does.

So allow “What the Health” to motivate you! Just remember to include your healthy fats, and to keep your diet as low-glycemic as possible.

And if you are going vegan, please read my article about healthy and clean sources of plant-based protein.

xxxxx
Health Coach Jenna

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Blog, Chocolate, Recipes, Sweet Treats

Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake with a Peanut Buttery Crust

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Dreams do come true guys! I’m so stoked with the way this cheesecake turned out. You can make them in a round spring form pan and spread the crust out thinly giving it more of a dessert vibe, or you can put in a square 8×8 pan like the ones in the picture, making more of a snack bar creation. These are super rich and filling, and can go either way. Either a smaller portion for dessert if you use the round spring form pan, or a bit more chunky for a mid-afternoon power snack  or breakfast if you use the square pan. These guys are full of healthy fats and protein, so they will keep your brain and body fueled.

I bet the kids would love em’ for brekkie. It’s a great way to send em’ off to school with brain power.

Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake: 

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Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 2 cups gluten-free oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 cups pitted medjool dates
  • ½ cup peanut butter (or your nut butter of choice)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Filling:

  • 2 cups soaked cashews (about 4-5 hours in warm water)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup of melted dark chocolate chips (I used Lily’s sugar free)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao

Instructions:

1. Put all the crust ingredients in a food processor, and pulse together until it sticks together and has a dough like consistency.

2. Line an 8×8 baking pan with baking paper.

3. Pack the crust mixture into the pan TIGHTLY. If you don’t pack it tight enough the dough will not hold together entirely.

4. Clean out your food processor.

5. Put filling ingredients into the food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. If it is too chunky slowly pour in additional coconut milk until it has a creamy texture.

6. Pour the filling over the crust and spread evenly.

7. Place in freezer for a few hours to harden. It can then be stored in the freezer for up to 2 weeks, or in the fridge for 4-5 days.

Enjoy!

Health Coach Jenna

 

 

 

 

 

Blog, Travel & Health

5 Tips For Healthy Airport Travel

While traveling is fun, flying on an airplane for long hours takes a major toll on the body. I used to have issues with constipation, bloating and fatigue for days after a long flight. After years of trial and error, I have discovered some excellent ways to stay healthy while traveling.

1. Hydrate

It might seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people in general walk around dehydrated. Take into account the low humidity of the cabin air while traveling, and you are on the fast track to dehydration. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated, so it’s best to keep on drinking water throughout your journey.

I never rely on the puny little cups the stewards hand out. Instead, I bring a water bottle on the plane, and ask the steward to fill it up. Many airlines have a filtered water tap by the kitchen and will even let you fill it up yourself – much easier than having to bug the stewards every hour for a new cup of water.

Another way to avoid becoming dehydrated is by taking it easy on the caffeine and alcohol. I know many airlines offer free coffee, tea, and booze, but just because it is free, doesn’t mean it is good for you!

2. Bring Your Own Food

This one is so crucial. Airline food is loaded with sodium as it is an easy and cheap way to add flavor to otherwise bland mass-produced food. The recommended intake of sodium for the average human is 1500mg per day, and I’d bet that most airline meals exceed this amount. Excess salt can make you swell and bloat.

Seeing as I prefer not to arrive at my destination looking and feeling like a Goodwill blimp, I always bring my own meals. This week I will be flying to France, and I have 19 hours of travel ahead of me, so I am packing my dinner and breakfast. For snacks, I always bring raw almonds and walnuts to munch on, or RX Bars, as they keep my blood sugar stable throughout the journey. And for my sweet tooth, a few squares of organic dark chocolate.

If packing your food is out of the question, I read that some airlines offer low- sodium meals as a special meal option: United, Delta, Lufthansa, Emirates, Thai, Japan, Alitalia, Turkish, Swiss, and Iberia all have histories of providing low-sodium meals, but be sure to check with the airline directly. And as always, try your best to find the healthiest options during layovers, as your body will be able to defend itself from the jetlag better with good fuel instead of junk food.

3. Bring Your Airplane combo pack.

Stick to your sleep cycle and try to get some shuteye. One of the best ways to combat jetlag is to get rest on the plane. I know this isn’t always easy, but I have found that bringing a neck pillow, eye mask, and lavender oil helps me get more ZZZ’s. The eye mask blocks out the light from my neighbor’s movie screen, the pillow adds more comfort, and the lavender oil helps with relaxation.Another aid is to bring a bag of chamomile tea on the plane to drink before attempting to snooze.

4. Avoid Germs

In addition to dehydration, low humidity also increases the risk of catching a cold. When the air is too dry, the mucous in your airway can’t do its job, and bacteria and viruses can enter easily.

To best protect myself I always bring my own blanket (I bring a light weight sarong) and pillow on the plane, as the ones the airlines use are not washed with every use (gross!). I also wipe down my tray with anti-bacterial wipes (who knows the last time it was wiped down?) because I’ve seen babies get their diapers changed on them many times.

One last thing I do to protect myself from getting sick is to bring a bottle of orange oil to breathe in occasionally during the flight, as it is anti-viral. Doterra also makes an antiviral, antibacterial, anti-infectious blend called OnGuard, which is a blend of clove, cinnamon, wild orange, rosemary and eucalyptus essential oils.

 

5. Stretch

Keeping circulation going on a flight is crucial, so when you are not sleeping try to get up at least every hour to stretch. This will get your blood circulating and prevent cramps and blood clots. I’m a fan of walking to the back bathroom with lots of space, and I feel no shame for doing a few toe touches or side stretches. Here is a list of good yoga stretches you can do in your seat. 

As a final tip, if you tend to get constipated when flying I recommend taking magnesium citrate before you go to sleep. Without a proper movement your body will not be able to flush out all the toxins accumulated from your long flight, so it’s crucial. I always bring my Magnesium Citrate with me while traveling and it has been a life saver.

What are your favorite ways to keep healthy during travel? I would love to hear about them in the comments section below!

Happy Travels!

Health Coach Jenna

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Blog, chocolate, Chocolate, Recipes, Sweet Treats

Grain-Free Chocolate-Chip Cookie Cake

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Who doesn’t like a cookie cake? Growing up, my favorite birthday cake was the cookie cake. Nowadays, I’m not a big fan of all the refined sugar and gluten that goes in them. But that doesn’t mean the party stops here. Hell no!

Today, I make my own party. With this grain free chocolate chip cookie cake.

Ingredients:

Wet ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup creamy nut butter

Dry ingredients:

  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Add in’s:

  • ½ cup chocolate chunks or chips (I use Lily’s Sugar free)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Grease a round 9 inch round baking dish well
  3. Mix together wet ingredients
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well
  5. Fold in chocolate chunks
  6. Pour into baking dish and bake for 18-20 minutes
  7. Will stay good for 5 days or longer in fridge and freezer

*Note– If you would like to make a larger cookie cake, double this recipe and put in a larger pan. I haven’t personally tried doubling it, so I don’t know the exact baking time it would require. I’d put it in for 20-25 and then keep an eye on it every 5 minutes after that. And remember, this cake will still continue to bake after it’s removed from the oven, so under-baking is always the best and safest method.

Enjoy!

Health Coach Jenna

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