I Get By With A Little Help From My….

24 Aug Supplements

Supplements….

Supplements

I’ve never been much of a supplement girl.

I’ve tried, I really have.

This time around, however, I’m determined to make them stick.

A friend recently introduced me to Wildly Successful Health Coaches and although the course doesn’t start until January, I have been fully submersed in the multitude of Q&A’s and case studies available.

What’s great about this course is that it brings scientific proof into your practice through reading blood tests, understanding the human body (thank goodness for my history in anatomy and physiology courses), and through supplements.

I’ve been supportive of supplements as an addition to a varied, healthy diet. But I never realized how useful they can be in individual cases. You can literally pick out pick out what is bothering you (as simple as soreness and a bad mood) and create a natural medicine cabinet totally tailored to your specific needs. These aren’t things made in a lab either, supplements are all things that your body naturally makes or they come from things made by the earth, which is pretty cool stuff. They are there for you when your body needs an added boost.

The more I have been learning about supplements, the more I have been wanting to use them more frequently.

Creating a new routine can be difficult, but sometimes you just need a little accountability! So, here I am telling you all about it, so I stick to my word (seriously, ask me about them). It also helps to create a reminder somewhere that you’ll see it. Such as your GMail calendar or your phone.

Here are the supplements I’ve been incorporating into my daily routine:

  • Ashwaganda: This is a powerful herb that has been used for centuries by Ayurvedic practitioners. I’ve actually been using it quite frequently since I started my M-F desk job. It helps the body adapt to any psychological or physiological stress–giving you peace of mind and an attitude of “I can handle anything”. I take it when I’m feeling a bit run down by work or when I know I am going to have a chaotic day. This herb can also promote healthy cycles for women, and treats some PMS symptoms. But, please note, it is advised that it not be taken by pregnant women.
  • Magnesium: Did you know majority of us are deficient in Magnesium? Yup, we are. And who knew it was so important? It actually attributes to over 1000 functions in our bodies. It helps calcium go directly into our bones, promotes heart health, supports liver functioning and relaxes tense muscles. I’ve taken this when I’ve had a sore back and it works like a charm! If you have no problems moving your bowels get Magnesium Glycerite. If you’re feeling a little “backed up” go for Magnesium Citrate as it has some natural laxative properties.
  • D-Mannose: This supplement is actually very new to me. I discovered it while reading a Q&A regarding sponge kidney. It is used as a daily supplement to decrease the incidence of UTI’s. If you’ve had a severe UTI like me, you’ll know that your kidneys have never really been the same (sore back in the morning?). You may have also become more susceptible to them. I’m making it a goal to support my kidneys as much as I can so that they last me for the rest of my life. To promote kidney health this could be a vital supplement along with reducing sugar intake, increasing intake of citrate (such as lemon juice in water), and regularly flushing the kidneys with clean water.

I’ve also been considering adding a B-Complex (enhances mood), Vitamin D (great if you sit under fluorescent lights all day like this girl) and Chlorella (for when I need some added greens and detox in my life).

Do you take supplements? Have you had a positive experience with them? I would love to hear about it!

To Added Support,

The Wellness Maven

 

Warning: Amazing Cookies Ahead

3 Aug

Who knew a model could make a great cookie?

Well Karlie Kloss sure can.

I’ve been eating these as my afternoon snack (along w a green juice) for days. And they may be part of my Sunday prep routine from here on out.

I have a wicked sweet tooth, so when I find something deliciously healthy, I have to make it.

These were so easy to make and the ingredients are so simple. {And REAL} It was so refreshing to see.

You won’t even have to think twice about eating one

I actually had a little leftover dough while they were cooking in the oven and yup, I ate it. No shame. No guilt. And no raw egg to upset the tummy. 

I modified the recipe slightly to work with what I had in my kitchen. But, if you’re too lazy to make these bad boys, let it be known that you can also purchase them at Momofuku Milk Bar in NYC.

I don’t even have any pictures of these because I ate them so fast.

Ok. I’ll stop talking so you can make these already….

Gluten Free/Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup whole oats (gf or reg, totally up to you)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾  tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp tapioca starch
  • ¼ shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life brand)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup 100% pure maple syrup

The Deets:

1.Preheat your oven to 300 degrees and grease a cookie sheet w olive oil, coconut oil or vegan butter spread.

2. Put dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and combine well.

3. Add all the liquid ingredients and mix until combined well.

4. Scoop dough will a large tablespoon or ice cream scoop, place on cookie sheet then flatten with your palm (if too sticky just spritz your hand with some water)

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. You’ll want to eat these right away but please allow time for them to cool all the way through before you remove them from the tray.

FYI: these cookies are best kept refrigerated.

Now go grab a glass of homemade Cashew Mylk and get to dunking! Yum.

Stay Chocolate Chip Cookie Fresh,

The Wellness Maven

Getting Healthy with Valentina Zelyaeva

27 Jul

I’ve always been curious about…well just about everything and everyone.

Some days I spend my time reading people’s Wikipedia pages. Whether it be a figure of the past or present. I find people, and what makes them who they are, fascinating. 

This desire to know about people, especially those I admire, has led to this revelation. To ask them.

My first interview is with someone I have followed on social media for quite a while. Not only is she gorgeous, but she is dedicated to leading a life of health and wellness in a fast paced world.

Valentina Zelyaeva is a successful print and runway model, as well as the face of Ralph Lauren When not on the job she’s sharing all she knows and continues to learn about health and wellness on her blog. (It’s amazing, check it out)

Originally from Russia, she currently lives in New York City. If you check out her Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you will see that she enjoys juices, smoothies and nature. But because she is a role model of mine, I wanted to know more.

Valentina was so kind to answer any questions I had and obviously I had to share them with all of you!

Valentina

Were you always so conscious of healthy and green living? If not, what were some influential factors?

Growing up in Russia Every summer my parents took  me and my sister to visit our grandparents who lived in a village in Siberia. everything was grown in their backyard. So i grew up with a strong connection to earth. at the beginning of my modeling years I lost this connection, but luckily I re-discovered my love for organic, mostly plant-based lifestyle. I live in New York where everything is available and accessible all year round. For me its all about a choice: i can choose to buy a skin care that is fancy and trendy or I choose an organic , eco-friendly, cruelty-free brand. Same goes with food, clothing, bedding, pet food etc. I think everyone should be educated, everyone deserves a right to know how your T-shirt is made, where your food comes from etc. I encourage people to be curious, get info and stay aware.

You’re a such a successful model, so your schedule must be crazy! What are some things that you do to keep yourself balanced, even when your schedule may not be?

I wake up early so I have my time in the morning to do some yoga stretch, meditation and prepare  a healthy breakfast. I may take snacks with me to work (dark chocolate, fresh fruits, tea yerba mate) so i have a healthy food to snack on. But nothing works better then 1h and half of a good yoga class after long day of shooting. 

On a day-to-day basis, what does your menu look like? (go-to meals? favorite snacks?)

Pre-breakfast: probiotics with full glass of water mixed with 1 Table Spoon spirulina.

Breakfast: 

a bowl of Purely Elizabeth oatmeal (made with quinoa, amaranth, flex seeds) made with almond milk, topped with Valentina Foodfresh berries and raw honey and a cup of matcha green tea or espresso;

or

nutritious smoothie (kale, cucumber, parsley, blueberries, flax seeds, goji berries, strawberries, hemp seeds)

Lunch: zaru-soba ( its a Japanese cold noodles made with buckwheat); 

or

 fish with steamed vegetables.

Snack: apricots, berries, figs (all those fruits in Summer)

Dinner: mixed veggie miso soup;

 or

 blended raw soup (cucumber, broccoli, kale, spinach, bell pepper, garlic, sea salt, olive oil.. combinations are endless)

Do you have any tips for our readers on how to stay healthy when traveling?

Eat whats fresh and local. I also don’t stress about food when I travel, because not everywhere you can order a kale salad with green juice. I drink lots of water, and take superfoods and healthy snacks with me (chlorella, walnuts, spirulina, chia seeds)

On your blog you’ve posted about natural beauty remedies, what is one that you absolutely could not live without?

Rose Water (Me too!) and Jojoba Oil

Valentina Pincha

Although your healthy lifestyle must keep you in top form, is there anything special you do to get ready for shoots and runway shows?

I do yoga and train with a personal trainer. Before a shoot I try to eat light and have an early dinner so I wake up rested and fresh. 

Speaking of runway shows, it’s probably a stressful (but fun!) time of year. How do you keep calm during all the chaos?

I just have fun with it! I connect with many people and I love this kind environment. Once the shows are over I book 1 week off just to relax, I book a massage, mani-pedi time, I sleep a lot and eat my favorite healthy foods. 

Last but not least, what’s something you can share with us that’s not wellness related? (Examples: favorite books, music, favorite indulgence, go-to outfit?)

Just finished reading Shantaram. Amazing book! very well written, engaging story and complex characters – love this kind of books. 

Favorite music is Deva Premal & Miten. I can listen to them all my life and never get tired. Their Music is made with love and radiates love.

Thank you Valentina for sharing this with us! Be sure to check out Valentina’s blog, Instagram and Facebook!

Until next time…

The Wellness Maven

Add More Movement To Your Day, In an Unexpected Way

20 Jul

Happy Sunday!

You may be wondering where I have been. The truth is I launched myself into a place I never envisioned myself being. The finance industry.

I entered the world that most of you live in everyday. Sitting at a desk from 8-5, two computer screens blaring in my face.

Needless to say, adjusting and incorporating healthy living is a little different on this clock. However, slowly but surely I am finding my way.

Which brings about my Wellness Maven Revival…HALLELUJAH

I used to give advice to people in this position, I made it sound so much easier than knowing exactly what it was like to be in that position.

Well, now I am. As I keep learning I will continue to share whatever knowledge I can about how to live in the modern day 8-5, 8-7, 9-9 world that we live in.

First topic up for discussion?

Stretch Breaks!

How many of you, like me, are pretty much shackled to your desk for majority of the day?

Mhmm. Yeah. Drives me freaking mental.

Not only is this trend in the corporate world unhealthy, it also causes us to gain weight, is terrible for our circulation, causes obesity, weight gain around the midsection, and is straight up unnatural.

After a full day of desk sitting I feel like I am about to crawl out of my own skin.

So, whenever I head to the bathroom I be sure to give myself a little stretch break.

~I reach my arms up over my head and bend over to either side, lengthening out through my side ribs.

~I bend down and touch my toes to get the circulation moving in the other direction.

~I do some standing spinal twists to get some movement along my spine.

~I may even do 15-20 squats.

All while being in the bathroom stall.

Odd, I know. But anything to get some blood pumping!

If you’re an avid water drinker (mucho importante as well), you should be making plenty of trips to the restroom, which adds up to quite a bit of stretching and up to 100 squats during the day!

It can also makes a plain, old bathroom break seem more exciting and you will probably return to your desk with an added boost of energy.

Give it a try and let me know how you feel in the comments below.

Have questions? Ask me below or shoot me a message.

Stay Loose,

The Wellness Maven

The Most Epic Chia Pudding Ever

13 Jul

The title is not a lie. This is the most epic chia pudding ever. So long are the days of watery, slip off your spoon puddings. This pudding can hold its own.

Now I must warn you, there is a little bit of dairy in this recipe. I’ve been having a pretty scandalous love affair with Siggi’s yogurt lately. I can’t help it. It’s so sinfully creamy and delicious. I found myself eating one daily, sometimes twice! I’m not ready to give it up. It’s not bothering my stomach, it’s made with natural ingredients, and it has plenty of probiotics! Until I learn how to make this on my own (And hopefully with coconut milk) it’s going to have to do.

But please do not turn away just yet, you can easily make this with a non-dairy alternative. And I have also heard that Chia Pudding made with Canned Coconut Milk is pretty delish.

Epic Chia PuddingChia Epic

Serves 1

  • 1 cup almond/cashew/coconut/hemp milk
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp yogurt (organic greek, sheeps, goat, coconut)
  • 1 tbsp 100% maple syrup (or stevia, coconut sugar)
  • Optional: 1 probiotic supplement powder

 

Place all contents in a bowl or mason jar and whisk, either using a whisk or fork. Whisk until all is combined. Now leave it alone for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, whisk or stir again. Leave it alone for another 5. After the next 5, whisk or stir again. Continue this process until you get the desired consistency. To make this process easier I place all the ingredients in a mason jar, close the lid and shake it every 5-10 minutes. Works like a charm.

I recommend making this at night, stirring/shaking it every five minutes. Then just let it sit and absorb overnight. In the morning you will have deliciously thick chia pudding.

This chia pudding is glorious on it’s own, but please by all means feel free to add toppings.

My favorites are berries, walnuts and cinnamon. Maybe even an extra little drizzle of pure maple syrup.

Maven Morning Drinks: Part 1

10 Feb

A few weeks ago I made a series of epically amazing morning drinks to start off my day.

Each one seemed to be better than the last.

Since I don’t drink coffee, I sometimes have a feeling of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) when walking past the Starbucks in Grand Central.

But not with these bad boys.

I thought I would share these delightful recipes as a 3 part series called Maven Morning Drinks.

Beginning with Part 1, I thought I would share something so healing and so delicious you’ll be shocked to find out what the main ingredient is.

Morning Golden Mylk

Golden Mylk

I know, drinking something bright yellow doesn’t scream scrumdiddlyumtious. But trust me, this thing is good. The main ingredient in this morning cup of deliciousness is Turmeric, the magical healing herb of southeast India. Turmeric is incredibly anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial. Because of this it has been used medicinally for centuries. It has been known to be used as a remedy for fevers, can delay liver damage, slows the spreading and growth of certain cancers, relieves arthritis (an inflammatory disease), and has even been linked to preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

Because of all these benefits this drink will set you off on the right foot, continuing to help you remove toxins from your body and make you feel radiant from the inside out (I mean it is golden).

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups non-dairy milk
  • 2 Tbsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 SweetLeaf stevia packet
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil *unrefined and organic

What to do:

Place all ingredients in a sauce pan over low-medium heat. With a whisk, stir the ingredients together until well combined while heating. Whisk vigorously to make it super fluffy. Once warmed, pour into a mug or mason jar, sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon and enjoy!

*Caution: I must note that turmeric, while it is delicious and great to cook with, tends to stain (but not forever). So be careful with your clothing and be sure to wipe it up immediately if it happens to spill on countertops. 

Let me see your Golden Mylk on Instagram! Post it with the hashtag #MavenMorningDrinks

With Golden Love,

Your Maven

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Sugar Free Baby

3 Feb

Sugar-Free-Sucker

When I tell people that I’ve gone “sugar free” I usually get the same reaction.

“How?”
“Wow, good for you”
“I could never”

Sugar is something that we all struggle with. Whether its processed or in its natural form, we all can’t help but have a little love affair with it.

Whether we’re aware of it or not.

Saying no to sugar can be a little scary. Almost like when you’re giving up meat or gluten for the first time. Panic strikes and your mind starts running through a list of foods you can’t have.

To make a change in your diet stick for the long term you have to be exited about it.

I was excited to see what a sugar free diet would do for my body, mind and spirit.

Sugar is no friend to the human body.

It causes inflammation, rots our teeth, has been linked to just about every form of cancer, can cause diabetes, UTI’s and candida overgrowth. According to research, 1/3 of us have candida overgrowth which cause a myriad of symptoms. A couple of years ago a colonic (TMI moment?) told me that I had a candida overgrowth. When I googled the symptoms it became even clearer that it was true. Yet the idea of giving up sugar scared me so I never did anything about it until now.

Being sugar free can also help naturally balance your blood sugar back to its natural state. Since my early 20’s I have struggled with imbalanced blood sugar. I’m what experts would say is “hypoglycemic” meaning that when I eat sugar, my body eats it up (quickly), has a rocking party (sugar high), then quickly crashes. That’s when my blood sugar plummets and I begin to experience symptoms such as sweating, blurry eyesight, lethargy and weakness. For a while, I thought this was just how I was. I got low blood sugar, no big deal. I would carry snacks on me to be sure that anytime I was feeling a bit weak I had something handy to nibble on.

Since becoming sugar free at least 90% of the time, I have found a better way, which is involves no blood sugar drops at all. When you give up sugar your body learns how to regulate it on its own without any stimulus from outside sources.

Looks like my body is smarter than me after all…

A sugar free life is far from boring. In fact, creating sugar free foods and snacks has been so much fun!

I wanted to share them with you.

*Don’t be scared of the fat. You’ll notice that these recipes tend to carry a lot of fat–the good kind–since being sugar freeI have been compensating with more healthy fats and proteins in my diet.

Apple Pie in a Bowl

1 Organic Golden Delicious Apple
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp Oats
1 packet Sweet Leaf Stevia
1 tsp raw almond butter (ingredients should only be almonds)

Place all ingredients except the almond butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Stir the ingredients while you cook them to disperse the seasonings. Cook until the apples become tender.

Serve in a bowl and top with a teaspoon of raw almond butter.

Glowing Green Sugar Free Smoothie

1/2 Avocado
1 cup Almond Milk
1 packet stevia
1 tsp Maca powder

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. If your avocado and almond milk aren’t stored in the fridge you may want to add some ice so that it is cold and refreshing. Bulk this up by adding gluten free oats and frozen spinach.

Dairy Free + Sugar Free Chocolate Ice Cream

1 can full-fat unsweetened coconut milk
1-2 packets of sweet leaf stevia
1 tablespoon of cacao powder (or more if you like rich chocolate)

Let coconut milk sit in the fridge overnight. The next day, open the can (DO NOT SHAKE) and scoop out only the fluffy white part from the can. It should be pretty thick. Place in a bowl and combine with other ingredients. Whisk until they are well combined. Place the mixture in the freezer and at 15 min intervals go back and whisk the mixture again. Keep repeating this step until you get to your desired consistency. I stopped at soft serve :-) .

Try out the recipes and show them to me on Instagram. Use the hashtag #SugarFreeMaven.

With Much Sugar Free Love,

Your Maven

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