Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Digestion - Why its Important for Overall Health

Hi there,
Well its the second day of the challenge. So far so good. I been eating healthy and doing some sort of physical activity every day. I am doing a yoga class tonight to help me relax and destress from a long day of work. Today's post will be about digestion and why its important for overall health. Our health starts in our stomach. If you feel tired, have bad skin, are aging too fast, etc, its all because of your digestion.

Our digestion gives us the ability to break down our food and have nutrients transferred into our cells which in turn gives us energy and improves our immune system.

I have pretty good digestion especially since I took out grains and dairy. Both of these foods were making my stomach bloated and making me tired.

Its also important to know which foods to pair with what for the best absoption of vitamins and minerals. Here is a great article on food pairing - http://kimberlysnyder.com/blog/2015/06/25/the-beauty-food-pairing-cheat-sheet-infographic/

In the morning, I have started drinking water before breakfast sometimes with a half lemon. This combination starts working your digestion and gives you energy to start off your day. I wait about an hour till I eat my breakfast which is usually green smoothie or acai bowl.

Here are some tips for healthy digestion:

1. Don't eat breakfast right away when you get up. Wait at least 30 to 1 hour till you have your breakfast. You can just have some water with lemon.

2. Chew your food - take at least 30 minutes or more to eat your food and slowly.

3. Don't eat every couple of hours - I keep reading about eating 5 or 6 times a day (I was guilty of this and my digestion was so messed up) - now I just eat every 4 hours - breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner. This gives my digestion a break and can break down my food that I have eaten.

4. Eat tons of fiber foods

5. Limit dairy - eating dairy does not help your digestion at all.

6. Limit or eliminate meat - I have not eaten meat for about 10 years and I don't miss it. Meat takes a very long time to digest. For example, if you eat meat for a meal, it will take about 4 to 5 hours to digest where if you ate a vegetarian meal it would take about 30 minutes to digest.

7. Drink water - drink water but not with meals.

8. Exercise - yoga and walking are the best

9. Eat probiotics - eating probiotics help you with good bacteria in your stomach. My favorite types of probiotics are sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha.

10. Manage stress - stress causes a lot of health issues but it will definitely mess with your digestion.

Hope you have found these tips helpful. Now I am off to my yoga class😃

Saturday, March 25, 2017

My favorite breakfast - ACAI BOWL

Good Morning,
I am so happy its Saturday. The weather is perfect today. Lots of sunshine but a bit chilly. I love Saturdays during Spring and Summer time - farmers market, hiking, biking in the morning, being in parks, etc. Today's post will be about what I eat for breakfast every day. This year I am focusing on fueling my body with healthy foods especially in the morning. I need to have energy for work and to get my day started. If I eat a donut, cereal, waffle - I get hungry a few hours later and it just makes me bloated. I am trying to avoid grains because every time I eat rice, bread, or pasta I get bloated and tired.

My favorite breakfast this year that I started making is acai bowls. They are so good and versatile. There are so many different combinations and they are filling and so healthy.

Here is a recipe that is one of my favorites.

1 banana
1 cup frozen berries (my favorite is raspberries)
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp acai powder (I use the sunfood acai powder)
1/4 cup walnuts

Blend all of the ingredients in a blender and pour in a bowl. Top it off with toppings (walnuts, almonds, pecans, unsweetened shredded coconut, sliced fruit).

This breakfast is so filling and it lasts me about lunch time. There is about 400 calories with enough carbs, fat, and protein.

Friday, March 24, 2017

$40 dollars a week on Groceries

Hi there,
Happy Friday. Its finally Spring except with all of the rain that Boise is starting to get, I can't seem to go outside and do my workouts. I rather exercise outside than inside - fresh air and vitamin D. Today's post will be about grocery shopping. I do my grocery shopping on Sundays for the week. I buy the basics at the beginning of the month - almonds, walnuts, shredded unsweetened coconut, acai powder, etc. I spend about $40 for my basics that usually last for a month or sometimes longer. The way I save money is I make a list and plan my meals for the week. Here is a typical grocery list (this is for one person). I usually go to more one grocery store - either Trader Joe's, Fred Meyer, and Natural Grocers.

Breakfast - smoothies, acai bowls - $10 for the whole week
Bananas - $1.79
Frozen fruit - $5.00 - its usually a bag of raspberries, peaches, or blackberries
Almond Milk - $2.99

Lunch - $10
Bag of sweet potatoes - $3.99 at Trader Joe's
Guacamole packs - $3.99
Tuna - $1.99 - I get one can of tuna so I can have it with a salad in case I don't want to eat sweet potatoes

Dinner - $20
Salmon - $8.99 - two packs of frozen wild caught salmon
Organic Eggs - $4.99
Frozen veggies - $4 - mixture of different veggies
Spinach - $1.99 - I alternate between spinach and kale

Best tip is to do grocery shopping at the beginning of the week and plan all of your meals. Buy only what you will eat. This will save you tons of money and make you healthy.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Establishing A Morning Routine

Hi there,
My favorite time of the day is in the morning. I like to have a good morning routine to start off my day.

7:00am - wake up. Since I usually go to bed at 11am, I try to get 8 hours of sleep or 7.5. I am well rested when I have that much time for sleep. Brush my teeth and go downstairs and prepare breakfast. I don't check my phone till I leave for work.

7:15am - prepare breakfast. Its either a smoothie or acai bowl. Breakfasts are my favorite meals to prepare. I eat my breakfast and either jot down my to do lists and look at my planner to see what I have going on that day. After breakfast, I wash the dishes really quickly and make sure everything is put away. This saves a lot time so when I come home from work, I don't have to clean anything.

7:45am - Get ready for work. Do my normal skincare routine, brush my hair, and get dressed.

8:15am - Go to work.

My morning routine is very simple. Sometimes I will get up early and if I have extra time, I will read in the morning.

Its important to have a simple morning routine as it can affect the rest of your day:)

My Night Time Routine

Hi there,
Here is my post on my night time routine. I think its important to have a good night time routine after you come home from work as its your time to unwind after a long day and relax.

5:30pm - I work till 5 and usually will get home around 5:30pm. I make sure to put all of my stuff away in its right place (purse, keys, jacket, phone).

5:45pm - I change out of my work clothes and into something comfortable - yoga pants and sweatshirt

6:00pm -7:00pm  - time to prepare dinner. I like to have music playing while I prepare my dinner. My dinner usually takes about 30 to 45 minutes to prepare. I eat and wash the dishes right away. I don't like to leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight.

7:00pm - 9:00pm - At this time, I am not on my computer or watching TV. I will either go for a hike, bike, walk, go to the mall (window shop), etc. This is the time that I like relax

9:00pm - take a shower. I like to take showers at night since I don't like to go to bed without showering especially since I do my workouts at night.

10:00pm - get everything ready for work the next day. Lunch is prepared, decide on what to wear.

10:30pm - read a book

11:00pm - go to bed

This is what my routine looks like most of the time during the week. Weekends are different.

I am usually a night person so I used to stay up late but am trying to go bed earlier. I just don't get tired till about 11:30pm.

Digital Detox

Hi there,
Its almost Spring time. The daylight savings time happened on Sunday. I am still adjusting. It will take me a week to get used to it. I do like how its lighter at night and the day is longer. Today's post will be about doing a digital detox. In today's world, we spend so much time on our phones, computer, watching TV, etc. I am guilty of this. I used to spend so much time on my phone browsing on the Internet, pinterest, Facebook, etc. This year I decided to not be online a lot. My job has me on the computer from 8 to 5 everyday so when I get home, I try not to be on my phone, computer or watch TV. I will do a post on a creating a night time routine.

Here is how to do a digital detox:

Smart phone - get rid of apps you don't use, social media, emails, I only use my phone for calls and texts. Turn off notifications

Computer - clean up your desktop, use your computer only for an hour (check emails, pay bills, etc).

TV - I try to watch TV only for a couple hours a week maybe 2. I do have some of my favorite shows I like to watch.

Its important to disconnect from technology and be present with your loved ones and explore other things that is not technology based.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

101 Things To Get Rid Of

If you are interested in minimalism and don't know where to start, I found this on pinterest that will help you get started. This will declutter a lot of stuff in your house.

Minimalist Office

Hi there,
It finally feels like Spring today. I was able to be outside and go for a run and a bike ride. My bike has been fixed so I can start riding it. I live close to a lot of shopping centers so I won't need to drive. I can just ride my bike and get my groceries as well as my exercise at the same. Its been a busy Saturday for me. I got my condo spring cleaned today - getting everything decluttered and cleaned. The last thing I did was to go through any old papers, bills, receipts, anything that I don't need any more and throw it away. I don't have an office space in my condo because I keep my laptop underneath my coffee table and my documents are stored in a 3 drawer cart and everything is organized in folders. I have one folder for insurance, one for house, one for bills, etc. Having an organized office will save you time and money - plus you will be able to be more productive if everything is put in place.

Here are some of my favorite designs for an office: I really like clean and white offices with some color.





Thursday, March 9, 2017

Minimalist Kitchen

I spent most of my time in the kitchen. I love to cook and its one of those things that help with stress. Its nice to create something new and its therapeutic. I like my kitchen to be very clean and decluttered. I don't like to keep a lot of appliances out - the only thing that is on my countertop is my blender and my Keurig. I use my blender everyday since I drink a smoothie or make an acai bowl for breakfast. All of my cabinets are organized by category - one would be dishes, another appliances, utensils, and miscellaneous items. Here are the steps for minimalist kitchen.

1. Go through all your dishes and make sure you keep the ones you need and get rid of any that are matching. I like white dishes so most of my stuff is white.

2. Mugs - I only own two but I know some people that own like 15 mugs. I don't think you need 15 mugs. Keep a minimum and donate the rest

3. Appliances - I don't have a lot of appliances. Only keep what you use daily. If you haven't used it in a year, get rid of it.

4. Organize your pantry - go through and see what is expired and what you need to get rid of. Organize it in categories - spices, baking goods, etc.

5. Clean out your fridge - I clean mine weekly and get rid of stuff that I haven't got a chance to eat and it went bad. I try to only buy food that I am going to eat for that week. I don't like wasting food.

Having a clean kitchen makes cooking easier. After you cook, make sure to wash your dishes and clean everything around you so the next time you want to cook, its already clean.

Here are some of my favorite minimalist kitchen decor:)



Minimalist Living Room

Hi there,
Its been a while since I wrote a blog post. I just been very busy with work and getting my house ready for Spring. March is all about spring cleaning. I got my room all decluttered and cleaned. Last weekend I cleaned and decluttered my living room. I tried to make it more open and comfortable. I only have a candle on my coffee table and some books underneath. The couch only has two pillows which is all I want. The remotes are by the TV so everything has a room for its place. Here are the steps for having a minimalist living room.

1. Decide on how much furniture you need. In a minimalist living room, all you need is a sofa, end table, coffee table, lamp, TV, and maybe a chair.

2. Wall art - I like to keep it simple with one painting in my living room.

3. Coffee table decor - I don't like to have a lot of stuff on my coffee table. I only have a candle and when I have guests over, Ill put some food on the table. Keep it simple

The less stuff you have in the living room, the easier it is to clean and you can enjoy other things instead of cleaning.

Here are some living rooms that I like:)




Sunday, February 26, 2017

Minimalist Bedroom Decor/Decluttering

Hi there,
What a weekend. I been so busy that I finally am relaxing. Plus February is almost over. These last 2 months have gone so fast. I am ready for March. Today's post will be about decluttering your bedroom and some decor ideas for minimalist bedroom. I don't like to have a lot of things in my bedroom - keeping it simple and relaxing for my sleep. The only furniture I have is my bed, nightstand, dresser, and a mirror.

Here are some steps for having a clutter free bedroom.

1. Start with your closet - take everything out of the closet and put it on the floor. Go through every single item and see if you have worn it in the last couple of months. If not, donate it. You should also make three separate piles - keep, donate, throw away. After I did this with my closet, it looks a lot cleaner and more organized.

2. Organize your dresser - on top of my dresser, I only have a small tray with a few items - my fragrances, lip balm, and body moisturizer. My dresser has 4 drawers - first drawer is my undergarments and socks, second is my pajamas, third is my workout clothes, and fourth are my accessories - hats, scarves, etc. I folded and organized everything so I can see when I open the drawer and know what I'm looking for.

3. Make your bed simple. I don't like a lot of decorative pillows on my bed. It just looks clutter to me. So I only have my sleeping pillows.

4. Nightstand - My nightstand is very simple. It just has a lamp, book, and my alarm clock.

Having a clutter free bedroom will give you a better sleep and make you more relaxed. Also don't have any electronics in your bedroom - no TV, computer, or phone. I read somewhere that it disrupts your sleep.

Here are some minimalist bedrooms I really like. I especially love white bedrooms - it just looks clean and modern.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

DIY Spa Facial at Home

Hi there,
I am so glad that the weekend is almost here. I feel like this week has been really busy and a bit overwhelming. I just want to be able to relax and be outside. The weather has been getting better so I will be able to go for a walk or run outside. One of my favorite ways to relax is to do a spa facial at home. I really do enjoy getting a facial at a spa but sometimes they can get a bit expensive so if I can't go to a spa, I like to do it at home. Here are my steps for doing a facial at home.

Step 1: Remove makeup (if you wear makeup). The best is to use either jojoba oil or grapeseed oil. Just use a cotton pad and put some oil on there and wipe your face. Its better for your skin and only one ingredient.

Step 2: Wash your face with a gentle cleanser (I like to use the Calia natural face cleanser or another good brand is Juice Beauty organic facial wash).

Step 3: Exfoliate with a scrub. I like to do a DIY scrub. I mix equal parts of coconut oil and coconut sugar.

Step 4: Steam - I just boil a pot of water on the stove and carefully put my face over the pot for about 10 minutes. Careful not to burn yourself.

Step 5: Mask - I like to use ingredients from my kitchen for the mask. One of my favorites is a honey face mask. Just take raw honey and put it on clean skin for about 10 minutes. Honey has so many benefits for the skin - moisturizing, antibacterial, anti-aging, etc. I also like smearing a mashed banana on my face for more of a moisture mask.

Step 6: Moisturize - its always good to moisturize your face after you do a mask. One of my current favorite moisturizers is Juice Beauty antioxidant moisturizer.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Pre and Post Workout Snacks

I usually do my workouts either afternoon around noon or at night so I don't eat a pre workout snack. During the week, I like to take a walk during my lunch time before I eat my lunch so technically that is my post workout meal. If I am working out at night before dinner, I will have a pre workout snack such as a banana, dried fruit, or a smoothie. Its mainly carbs so I can have energy to do my workout. For post workout, I like to have some sort of protein to fuel my muscles. For dinner, its either salmon with vegetables or beans with rice and vegetables.

Health and Fitness Blogs

Hi there,
I am so ready for the 3 day weekend. This week has been crazy but at least the weather was nice and I was able to take a walk during lunch time and get fresh air. Today its suppose to be raining and its dark so I am going to go to the gym for my workout. Once the weather starts getting nicer, I will be doing my workouts outdoors such as biking, walking, hiking, etc. I wanted to write a post on the blogs that I visit daily and the recipes that I make. 

My favorite health and fitness blogs:

Jessica Sepel (http://www.jessicasepel.com) - awesome recipes, tips on health, skincare, travel, etc. 
Tone It Up (https://www.toneitup.com) - free workouts, easy recipes, tips on healthy eating
Chalkboard Mag (http://thechalkboardmag.com) - this is more of a wellness lifestyle blog. It has topics on pretty much everything that's health related
Deliciously Ella (https://deliciouslyella.com) - easy plant based recipes plus its all gluten free

What are some of your favorite blogs that you like to read?

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Healthy Snack/Drink Ideas

I usually don't snack and only drink water or tea. I try to make sure I eat 3 square meals a day - breakfast, lunch, and dinner so I don't need any snacks. If I am going to be late for dinner, I will eat a piece of fruit or have some nuts. I also like to make energy bites sometimes or have apple with almond butter or peanut butter.

Drinks - I just stick to water or tea (herbal teas). I did drink coffee but stopped drinking it. Sometimes I like to make fruit flavored water.


Healthy Dinner Ideas

Hi there,
It's been a while since I wrote a post. I just been so busy this whole week with work. At least the weather is getting better. Today was such a nice day to be outside. I actually went for a run outside and it was the best. I been doing errands all day and it was nice to take a break and be outside. Spring will be here before you know it. I wanted to write a post on healthy dinners. I know a lot of people are tired to cook when they get home and just want to grab a frozen dinner or go through the drive- thru and pick up dinner. I usually get home around 5:30pm from work and try to prepare an easy and healthy dinner that doesn't take a lot of time to cook. Here are some healthy ideas.

- boiled potatoes with steamed vegetables
- any type of salads - usually kale salad with avocado
- oatmeal with apple - this is one of my easy dinners that I like to make when I am feeling very tired. I know oatmeal is meant to be eaten for breakfast but I like it for dinner


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Natural Skincare Routine - Calia Naturals Brand

This year I am transitioning on using all of natural and organic products. I have used all of my skincare up so it doesn't go to waste. Yesterday I received my order from Calia Naturals. This brand is awesome. Its natural, has ingredients you can pronounce, and its made in Canada. They sell skincare products as well as hair care which I also ordered. I will be doing a post on hair care routine later. The less ingredients a product has, the better your skin is.

Morning routine
- I just wash my face with water and then moisturize

Night routine
- I don't wear makeup daily except if their is a big event but if you do wear makeup, use coconut oil to remove your makeup with a cotton pad. Coconut oil is awesome - so many uses for.
- Next wash your face with a cleanser. I just use a little bit and message gently around your face
- I don't moisturize at night - I did a post a couple weeks ago.

Every 3 months - I like to get a facial at a spa. My favorite place is Remedy Skincare in Boise. The lady who owns the place gives the best facial ever. I been going to her for the last couple of years plus the products are all organic. Its good to get a facial every couple of months just like you do with getting your teeth cleaned.

Naturally Pure Facial Cleanser
Skin Cream

Healthy Lunch Ideas

Hi there,
I am so happy its the weekend. Who is excited for the SUPERBOWL? I am. I'm hoping the falcons win plus I like to watch the commercials. Today was a good day. I got to hang out with a friend this morning, went to work to finish some stuff, and now just relaxing and cooking myself lunch. Technically a late lunch. I had a snack around noon. Also its week 3 of my challenge. This week was a bit hard - I was stressed a little so wasn't eating a lot so my energy levels were down. I just have to remember to eat and not skip a meal. 

Today's post will be about healthy lunch ideas. I usually have a big breakfast, medium lunch, and light dinner. I'll post a quote about this. My lunch for work varies - I'll have a sweet potato with avocado or guacamole, quinoa salad, veggie bowl, or a veggie sandwich. On Sundays, I prepare my lunch for a couple of days so I don't have to cook my lunch for work every night. Another thing I do is when cooking dinner, I make more so the leftovers I can take to work the next day. I been mainly eating plant based foods but occasionally will have fish or eggs. I like to keep my lunch simple, easy, and healthy. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Its February already. Where has January gone. Its crazy how fast time flies. I am glad that its a new month and I started my no eating out challenge this month. I'm excited to cook at home every single meal I eat and drinks (I drink a lot of tea). It will be tough but I am looking forward to it. Also January was my no spend month. I did great and the benefits of not buying stuff I don't need and taking up clutter in my home made me physically and emotionally happy. If I'm bored I don't go out to the store and buy something I don't need or because its on sale. 

Today's post will be about healthy breakfast ideas. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I love waking up in the morning and heading to the kitchen to prepare my breakfast and relax before heading to work. Here are some of the breakfast meals that are nutritious and easy to make and unprocessed. Most of these recipes come from blogs I read and get recipes from. The links are under the picture for full recipe.





Let me know what are some of your favorite healthy breakfasts meals:)