Try This 3-Step Mental Hack to Help Your Body Heal

This simple hack in 3 parts can help you reduce symptoms and help your body restore balance.

First things first, you must listen to your own body!!! Your body is constantly talking to you. We hear all the time that we must learn to listen and that idea can be applied to your body as well.

So let’s find a way to learn to listen to the internal conversation happening within you..

Try This 3-Step process:

1) For a single day, write what goes on in your body: look at your eyes, tongue, fingers… Are you gassy, constipated, achy. Is your ‘gut feeling’ out of control ? What else is your body tell you?

2) At the end of the day review in detail your notes.

3) Tomorrow, check to see if your body repeats the ‘talk’ Act based on that convo, using your intuition to lead the way. 🙂

Seek medical help as needed. Enjoy!

Heart Health Month 3-Part Series

Hello friend! February is the love month, that one month where we pay attention to our hearts and the love we have to give (and receive). It is also the perfect month to learn about the amazing machine your heart is and more importantly, teaching you how to protect, balance and support your heart so it can return the favor for many years to come.

So, on this 3-part series celebrating the heart, we will chat about diet, science, data and yes, the amazing botanicals that have traditionally been used to support, balance and keep your ticket ticking in love for years to come.

Check out video no 1 here where I give you a basic overview of the diet that has been used and known as a heart protective diet since the 1960’s. Enjoy!

On this Part 2 video I will showcase 2 of the most recent studies showing how a fully plant-based (vegan) diet is potentially the best one to help protect, prevent and in some cases reverse heart conditions. I will also share some resources for you to do your own research and share with your friends, loved ones and doctors.

On this Part 3 video I will showcase 5 of the herbs and botanicals that have traditionally been used to balance, protect and tone the cardiovascular system. I’m sure you know a few of them, a couple may be knew to you!

Healing Toxic Self Shame

Do you feel like the feelings of self-shame have gone from frequent to overwhelming? Do you exhibit signs of toxic self-shame?

Firstly, let’s talk about what I mean by toxic self-shame…. (scroll down for the video)!

In my experience, toxic self shame is behavior that manifest in various ways, including:

  • Frequently reliving traumatic memories that caused embarrassment
  • Feeling jaded and distrustful of other people, even when they exhibit kindness
  • Self-loathing and low self-esteem
  • Feelings of unworthiness
  • Dysfunctional relationships
  • Self-sabotage
  • Feelings of being a “fraud” (also known as imposter syndrome)
  • Self-victimization
  • Perfectionism
  • Defensiveness
  • Irrational guilt

Some of the common internal chatter for people that feel this way include:

  • I am not worthy of love
  • I’m stupid
  • I am stupid
  • I am a failure
  • No one cares

So how to we get rid of this chatter and slowly move towards a state of healing?

I like using a 4-step process that I’m outlining here (and you can see described in the video in more detail). Details below the video!

1. The ‘Look in the Mirror’ exercise

Look into your eyes and think of something genuinely loving, like “I love you,” “I accept you,” “You are worthy,” “You are beautiful.” You can spend three to ten minutes doing this.

2. Become Aware of your Self-Destructive Thoughts

3. Practice Self-Compassion

Self-compassion is something that should be practiced every day. Without exceptions.

4. Heal your Inner Child

Some of the best ways to connect with your inner child include:

  • Creative writing
  • Meditation with images from when you were a child.
  • Visualizations of your childhood.

Vegan Quinoa Tots Recipe – Easy Vegan Cookbook

Today’s vegan recipe is an awesome plant-based, healthier version of the popular Tater Tots, featured in “The Friendly Vegan Cookbook” by authors Toni Okamoto and Michelle Cehn.

Part of the reason I love this book so much is because it includes some of the most popular foods in American cuisine and truly made them healthier, and ‘veganize’ them, while keeping them satisfying and yummy.

From “tuna” salad and “mac ‘n cheese” to tacos, pasta and desserts galore, you will find one of your favorite meals in this book for sure! Today I’m making quinoa tots (a version of potato tater tots).

I picked this recipe because I often hear from folks telling me that quinoa can be a little boring so I wanted to show you how versatile it can be. Hope you enjoy it (recipe listed below)!

Get the book here

YIELD: 16-18 quinoa tots

Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook time: 10 mins | Total time: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled

½ cup finely diced yellow onion

¼ cup finely chopped chives

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp red chili pepper flakes

3 Tbsps. plant plant-based milk

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Canola Oil for panfrying

INSTRUCTIONS

1. in large bowl, thoroughly combine the quinoa, onion, chives, red chili pepper. Mix in the plant-based milk and lemon juice.

2. Using your hands, roll the quinoa mixture into 1-inch balls, squeezing tightly in your hands as you go to get the air bubbles out and for a dough. Place the formed balls on a tray or plate. Put them in the freezer for 5 minutes or 15-20 mins if in the refrigerator.

3. Coat a large pan with canola oil and place over medium-high heat. Add the tots in batches and lightly press on each of them with a spatula to flatten them a little.

4. Cook tots for 5 mins until the bottom is golden brown and appears gentle friend. Flip them, lower the heat to medium and cook for another 5 minutes.

Three Medicinal Mushrooms You Should Know About | The Power of Mushrooms

Three medicinal mushrooms you should know about – the Power of Mushrooms

I’ve been learning about and becoming obsessed with mushrooms for the last couple of years. I’m truly in love with these powerful products and wanted to share at least 3 that you should consider trying and adding to your healthy foods arsenal.

First of, it’s important to know that mushrooms (or fungi) are neither part of the vegetable world nor part of the animal world. They are their own kingdom, the fungi kingdom! There are tens of thousands of mushroom types out there, with a few dozen considered edible and beneficial to our health. We still don’t know all of them so chances are we may learn about a new mushroom or two and its benefits in the very near future.

For now, let’s look at 3 that are among the most popular and with the strongest known health benefits.

  1. Reishi

Traditional Chinese Medicine has been using reishi for hundreds of years. It is considered the “longevity” mushroom in many parts of the world.

There is strong evidence that reishi can help:

  • Boost your immune system
  • Have anti-cancer properties
  • Fight fatigue
  • Protect your heart
  • Can help control blood sugar levels
  • Provide antioxidant protection

It is mostly used in powder form (capsules or loose powder) but can also be found in tea and tincture form

  1. Chaga

This mushroom has been used for centuries in Siberia, Scandinavia and parts of Northern Canada to help improve overall health. It is so powerful indeed that a single cup of chaga tea can provide almost all of the antioxidants you need in a day.

In addition to antioxidants, evidence shows that chaga mushrooms can help you:

  • Prevent cancer
  • Lower blood sugar levels
  • Lower cholesterol
  1. Shiitake 

This is a yummy edible mushroom. I’m particularly obsessed with them because they have a smoky flavor when oven roasted and are incredibly tasty in soups, stews, salads other dishes.

There is strong scientific data showing how shiitake can help:

  • Boost health
  • Protect against cancer
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Increase circulation

Now, have you tried or are ready to try these magical ‘shrooms? Have you tried others that you love? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

How To Manage Stress-Induced Diarrhea and Constipation

The stress of today’s world, now compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic can lead to digestive disruption that could manifest in either constipation or diarrhea, among other uncomfortable symptoms.

The recurring feelings of worry, the sadness, anger and frustration related to our current reality and even your present social situations (whether you feel alone/isolated or overwhelm with too many around you), leave us in an emotional “flight, fight or freeze” state where your body constantly feels like it’s in danger, stress hormones are over produced and all kinds of tummy issues materialized.

If you are the kind that is experiencing loose stools, here are a few tips that can help:

  • Reduce the amount of caffeine/caffeinated beverages for a few days
  • Avoid oily foods
  • Reduce alcohol consumption also for a few days
  • Practice the 4-5-7 breathing technique
  • Use probiotic rich foods like miso or kombucha
  • Take instead ginger to manage discomfort and improve digestion
  • A strong black tea or blackberry tea can help control diarrhea as its tannins have a dehydrating effect, decreasing secretion of fluids in the intestines

If, on the other hand you’re experience stress-related constipation, here are a few tips for you:

  • Give yourself time in the bathroom to empty your bowels, this is NOT the time to be bashful
  • Use a step to elevate your feet when using the toilet
  • Workout: especially movements that help you move your core and your upper body in opposite direction to the lower body
  • Drink a TON of water (and avoid caffeinated drinks too)
  • Practice the 4-5-7 breathing technique
  • Use papaya sprinkled with lemon
  • Use Cascara Sagrada – My GO-TO (I rarely use Senna, it’s too harsh)

In a couple of days, I will be sharing with you a special surprise video showing you how to manage stress and stress-eating in the pandemic era, stay tuned!

La Rayia’s: Providing Healthy Meals to Homeless in LA

Today I have a super special video for you. A few months ago, I learned about and visited a new Bodega (little market in Spanish) owned and run by a fellow Afro-Latina.

If you don’t know this powerful little bodega in the heart of Los Angeles, you must! LaRayia’s is the first and only organic plant-based, vegan bodega known.

Through food recovery programs, they offer organic, vegan and whole foods to the community for less than $5.

They also make their own vegan foods, juicing and snacks. The store also sells crystals, candles and merchandise with profits going to fund their food delivery programs. Their non profit arm, Lunch on Me, provides organic food & healing for those experiencing homelessness in downtown Los Angeles.

This is truly a group of exemplary women doing incredible work. I’m especially proud about this fellow Afro-Latinas changing the world for good one meal at a time.

Visit LaRayia’s Bodega at 2713 W. 6th Street in Los Angeles or on Instagram at: @larayiasbodega.

To learn more about Lunch on Me, check out IG: @lunchonme 🇵🇷🇨🇺 www.crowdrise.com/la-bodega  

Five Veggies That Burn Belly Fat

Belly fat, why are you still with me? That’s the question most of us have asked of the little extra round soft stuff in our mid-sections. Belly fat is not just about how we look but more importantly, how we feel and how we stay healthy long term.

Scientific studies have now shown that fat around your belly is a potential precursor to heart disease and can put you at risk for diabetes, chronic inflammation and other health issues.

Sadly, most of us struggle to lose that pesky fat that seemingly refuses to leave our bellies. Especially if you have a sedentary lifestyle, you can only expect that belly fat to get larger still.

Luckily, there are whole foods now easily available in most markets across cities that have natural belly fat burning abilities. Consuming these foods can be a great compliment to slowly reducing fat from your abdomen and achieve your healthy living goals.

Some of the ingredients that have fat-burning abilities are also anti-oxidant, high in fiber and densely nourishing, making them superfoods in the true sense of the word.

Let’s check these amazing foods that can help you lose belly fat:

1. Mushrooms

One of my favorite superfoods, mushrooms are immunity powerhouses. You can find dozens of edible mushrooms in supermarkets but my favorites are shiitake, maitake and portobello. They have been known to promote weight loss and fat burn by regulating the levels of glucose in the blood. They are also rich in protein and can help you increase your metabolism, resulting in eventual fat loss.

2. Cauliflower

Cauliflower has become a go-to option for folks who don’t want to eat starchy foods like potatoes or rice. Cauliflower contains phytochemicals that can help enhance fat loss in the body. It is a highly versatile vegetable that can also help regular digestion, making it easier for your body to absorb nutrients and prevent fat storage.

3. Asparagus

I often consume mushrooms and asparagus together. For some reason, they go together really well. Asparagus contains the chemical asparagine, an alkaloid that acts directly at a cellular level to break down fat within the body. Also highly versatile and can be consumed roasted, in stews and stir fry’s alike.

4. Cucumbers

Cucumbers are highly cleansing, filling and rich in vitamins. They are ubiquitous in the juicing world, especially because they are water rich and help you feel fuller longer, eventually helping you consume less calories.

5.  Pumpkins

Who doesn’t love pumpkins? They are relatively dense (because of their  high fiber content) yet low in calories. Pumpkins are common in weight loss programs as one of the few starchy vegetables “allowed”. They will help you feel full, grounded and satisfied when you are consuming less calories than normal.

Why losing Weight Is Hard (And What You Can Do About It)

What is the one thing you might be missing that could lead to long term, healthy weight loss. For years, dieters have been told that less calories equal more weight loss. But the truth is a lot more complex than that (you already know that!)

Set Point Weight... Have you heard about this concept? Set Point Weight is a concept that believes that each person’s brain fights to keep a pre-determined weight where the body functions at an optimum or comfortable level. It’s like a thermostat, that different people keep at different temperatures to stay comfortable.

Learn more in the video and follow these 3 simple steps:

1. Change the structure of your diet.

2. Change the structure of your gut.

3. Change your background.

What do you think about this concept? Does it make sense? Are you willing to try just a wee bit harder to reach those weight loss goals? Let me know in the comment section below the video.

Vegan Keto Diet – Is it possible? Is It Healthy?

My clients keep asking me about the ketogenic diet and whether it is healthy.

More importantly, they (and I) want to know if you can do keto and still follow a plant-based, whole foods, vegan diet.

Here’s my take on the keto craze and a vegan version of a keto diet.

1st effect

Anyone eating a plant whole foods diet with no white crap, sugars and junk will get into a mild ketogenic state

2nd effect

Intermittent fasting – can also put you in a mild ketosis state

13-16 hrs without solids

3rd effect

Exercise can help you achieve a mild ketogenic state

fat moves faster out when moving regularly

less free radicals = more longevity

The Poopy Fish Tank – Dr Romeo, Part II

Dr Romeo (founder and CEO of Roots Nutrition) – www.RootsNutrition.com sat to chat a few days ago and I had such a great time learning and sharing healthy truth bombs that I decided to make a second video with just a few more healthy living tips.

Check out part one of this interview here.

Do you have any questions for Dr Romeo? Make sure you share it here and I’ll make sure to pass it on and get you an answer ASAP.

The Poopy Fish Tank | Interview with Dr Romeo

A few months ago, I met the owner of a supplement company that specializes in green powders and other herbal blends for detox, cleansing, reducing inflammation and restoring balance in the body.

Dr Romeo is the founder of Roots Nutrition, a true character and someone that teaches people in the most logical of ways how to transform their bodies and feel incredible again.

I had a chance to pick Dr Romeos in his training studio in LA and wanted to share what we talked about here. There are a ton of anecdotes and life-changing healthy living tips on this one, so don’t miss it.

Whiter Teeth At Home In 5 Minutes A Day

You love teas and herbal remedies as much as I do… but after months of drinking teas, coffee and other drinks, your teeth are looking a bit yellowish… what do you?

Whitening gels bought in stores can be very abrasive and irritating to your gums. And similar procedures at the dentist office can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. What to do?

Check out my one-two teeth whitening routine that will get you a beautiful smile in a giffy.

1. Coconut swish / oil puling

3-10 mins TOPS per day

You don’t want to aspirate some of the oil into your lungs

Always spit out the oil in the trash, never in the pipes

ALWAYS brush your teeth immediately after oil pulling.

2. Activated charcoal

Gets rid of free radicals and pollutants too

Use a thin layer of charcoal

Brush LIGHTLY, never too harsh

Do it 3-4 days in a row, then rest for 3-4 days

After brushing gently, I follow with another brush and clear water, to remove the charcoal excess from my tongue, gums, etc.

Copper Vessel Water Benefits

Storing water in a copper vessel creates a natural purification process. It can kill all the microorganisms, molds, fungi, algae and bacteria, present in the water that could be harmful to the body and make the water perfectly fit for drinking. In addition, water stored in a copper vessel for a few hours acquires some quality from the copper. Copper is an essential trace mineral that is vital to human health. It has antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps neutralize toxins.

Unlike some nutritional elements, the body cannot synthesize copper, so you need to get it from dietary sources. The best dietary sources of copper include seafood, organ meats, whole grains, lentils, nuts, seeds, chocolate, cereals, potatoes, peas and some dark green leafy vegetables. Or you can drink water stored in copper.

According to Ayurveda, drinking copper-enriched water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach helps balance all three doshas (Kapha, Vata and Pitta). This also ensures proper functioning of different organs and several metabolic processes.

In addition to that, here are 10 reasons why drinking water from a copper vessel is beneficial for you.

1. Helps the digestive system perform better

2. Aids weight loss

3.Helps heal wounds faster

4. Slows down aging

5.Helps reduce high blood pressure

6. Can reduce the risk of cancer

7. Protects you from infections

8. Helps arthritis and inflamed joints

9. Boosts skin health and melanin production

10. Beats anemia

Drinking 2 to 3 glasses of water that has been stored in a copper vessel is another easy way to supply your body with enough copper.

Have you tried this or think you would? Let me know in the comments below!

Herbs that Help Manage PMS

90% of women report having painful menstrual cramps from time to time. In parts of the world, women use fennel seeds to relieve cramps and pain during menses. In studies done with fennel versus placebo, they worked just as well as over the counter pain drugs and without the side effects.

Fennels seeds also have the added bonus of helping reduce bloat and painful abdominal gas. They’re like tiny 1-2 punches of goodness.

Note: Fennel seeds relax the uterus so you may bleed heavier than normal. Please exercise caution if you have very heavy periods.

On the other hand, ginger is one of the most effective herbs for cramps AND to reduce bleeding. Having ginger tea regularly throughout your period can just do the trick. In studies, ginger seems to appears to be a highly effective treatment for the reduction of menstrual blood loss.

And of course, it is safer than most prescription medication, and with fewer side effects

In combination, these 2 powerhouses may work incredibly well to manage PMS symptoms.

Here’s how I used them:

BENEFITS:
(1) Ginger Root
Effective for cramps
Reduces inflammation
Relieves pain
Reduces bleeding
Helps with anxiety and depression

(2) Fennel Seeds
Reduces gas and bloating
Can increase blood flow
Reduces cramps and discomfort
Anti-inflammatory
Relaxes muscles

Tea Recipe
1-2 inches of ginger root
1 Tbsp of fennel seeds
3-4 cups of water

Boil at low heat for 5 mins. Let cool and drink 1 cup twice a day at least one week prior to your period or when the first symptoms appear.

About Jovanka

Jovanka Ciares is a former entertainment executive turned Wellness expert, detox specialist, nutrition educator and author. She is the creator of the Wellness Smackdown™, a proprietary detox and weight loss program for natural weight loss which was featured on the first season of ABC’s “My Diet Is Better Than Yours”...

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