Staying Balanced This Holiday Season…

The holidays are here! As an IIN certified health coach and a busy Mom of a 6 and 1 year old, having energy and feeling good in my body this holiday season is so important. I know if I go overboard I will feel bloated, exhausted and overwhelmed during the holidays. It’s SO important to remember that the holidays are just a few DAYS, not MONTHS!

*General Tips:
– Keep portions reasonable
– Avoid foods high in fat, sugar and salt
– Save leftovers/seconds for another day
– Holidays are a few days/events, not months – don’t get carried away
– Continue regular  exercise routine
– Don’t save up all your calories for one meal. Start every day with a health breakfast & have a healthy snack before the event so you don’t show up overly hungry
– Limit alcohol (stick with wine or vodka if you indulge).
– Slow down and enjoy each bite – give your stomach time to tell your brain it’s full. When you shovel your food in too fast, your stomach doesn’t have time to realize that it’s full, which leads to massive overeating.

The holidays are about having fun and enjoying good company. You do NOT need to over drink or overeat to enjoy yourself. You don’t have to avoid social settings. You can partake in a reasonable way and still be part of the festivities. With a little bit of self control you can have fun AND feel good this holiday season.

Desire List…Make Your Dreams A Reality

Your desire list is a summation of your ultimate goals – a bucket list of sorts. Go wild! Get in touch with your ambitions, from relationships to finances to vacations – anything goes.

Step 1:  Start writing down your desires. You can begin simply, and soon the ideas will start flowing out of you. Use strong, affirmative language, such as “I want…” “I desire…” or “I intend…”

Example: I want to drive across the USA.

Step 2: When you have fulfilled a desire, check it off your list and write a thank-you note to whoever helped you complete your desire – you might be thanking yourself.

Example: Thank you, Mom and Dad.

Step 3: Put the list in a place where you see it, such as on your refrigerator, and add to it as new desires arise. Extra credit: mount a big dry erase board in clear sight and write your desires on it.

Step 4: Acknowledge that it might take time to complete your list. Enjoy the process of fulfilling your goals and dreams! Once you’re clear about the things you want, they will come to fruition!

My Ideal

This is a tool for you to create a clear list of what you truly want in all aspects of your life – be it an apartment, a job, a relationship, or a regular exercise routine. Use this to break down your Desire List and more fully realize what your ultimate goals consist of.

Step 1: Choose what it is you want to manifest, and write it at the top of a sheet of paper.

Example: My ideal apartment.

Step 2: List all the things that your ideal must have. Be specific.

Example: Large bathtub, full-size refrigerator, air conditioning, three blocks from the subway.

Step 3: List all the things your ideal preferably will have.

Example: A dishwasher, a washing machine, an office, wood floors.

Step 4: List all the things that your ideal must not have.

Example: Mice, roaches, leaks, and thin walls.

Step 5: List all the things that your ideal preferably will not have.

Example: Noisy neighbors, above third floor, far from grocery stores.

Writing down your goals and desires helps you to picture them more clearly in your head. It gives you something specific to work toward. I always say – A goal that’s not written down is just a wish!

Classic Apple Pie from

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE pie on Thanksgiving! I try to find healthier alternatives so I don’t feel so bloated and sluggish the day after. This pie looks absolutely delicious and will make a great addition to our Thanksgiving menu!
Serves: 6
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. If you haven’t measured out your coconut oil and water and then placed them in the refrigerator to cool, do it now.
  2. Place the apple slices in a large bowl. Fill a large pot with enough water to soak all of the apple slices, and bring it to a boil. When it is hot, pour the water into the bowl with the apples until they are just covered. Let them sit in the hot water for 8 minutes, and then place in a colander to drain and set aside while you make the crust.
  3. To make the crust, combine the arrowroot, coconut flour, palm sugar, and sea salt in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Using a pastry cutter, butterknives, or your fingers, cut in the cold coconut oil until you have pea-sized lumps. Add the cold water, and mix gently. The mixture will be crumbly and not like regular dough–don’t over mix!
  4. Place the mixture into a 9-inch pie dish. Using your fingers, spread it evenly across the bottoms and up the sides. Prick some holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork. Again, the dough will not behave like regular pie dough, and the less you handle it the more flaky it will come out. Bake for 15 minutes and then set aside while you make the filling.
  5. Lay out a clean kitchen towel and pour the apple slices on it, blotting them dry. Combine the coconut palm sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl, and then add the dry apple slices and mix gently. Pour the mixture into the crust, arranging the slices as needed.Sprinkle the pie with lemon juice and place in the oven to cook for 30-35 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
  6. Let cool for 10-15 minutes and then serve.

Foot Pain? Your Shoes may be the Culprit

By Rachel Song

Foot health obtains varying levels of priority in American society.  Like our attitude towards other matters of health, most of us only start to worry about our feet when we start to experience problems.  Statistics show that foot health issues are highly likely to occur with 88% of women wearing shoes too small and 55% developing the associated foot conditions such as bunions, which is 9 times more common in women than in men.

There are several different ways you can develop this condition but the biggest culprit is ill-fitting shoes that pinch the toes and compress the foot.

Here are a few examples of footwear that can cause and worsen bunions & other foot conditions:

  1. The pointed-toe shoe

Shoes that are too narrow are bad for your feet because they compress your foot causing a protective barrier around the nerves within to break down.  As fluid builds up, you may experience inflammation and discomfort that eventually translate into foot deformities. The pointed toe can even force your toes to squeeze on top of one another which can lead up to a permanent deformity called crossover toe.  Also common are calluses that form between the toes as they chafe together.

  1. Small shoes

Shoes that are short in length relative to your feet can also cause a wide range of foot issues.  Hammertoe is a common consequence of wearing shoes too small.  Although this tip may seem obvious, many women don’t wear shoes that are the correct length.  There should be at least an inch of space between the tip of your big toe and the tip of your shoe to accommodate the shifting of your foot within the shoe as you walk in them.  To get your feet properly measured, visit a local footwear retailer or try the insert removal test to check shoes for the proper length featured in the video (1:48) below.

  1. High heels

High heels put an abnormal amount of pressure on your forefoot and strain the tendons and ligaments along your foot.  Yet we all know that heels are hard to resist especially on special occasions.  For those days, try opting for a lower heel to reduce the strain on your foot and make sure to do some foot stretches at the end of the day!

While the search for fashionable yet healthy shoes may seem daunting, the rise of comfort footwear brands makes it a lot simpler than you’d think!  Brands such as Aetrex cater specifically to health-conscious people who value comfort and wellbeing using innovative technologies such as Lynco orthotics for better support, balance, & alignment, slow-recovery memory foam, and PU midsoles for shock absorption & resilience.  They also create wider toe boxes to accommodate the natural shape of the human foot! This couldn’t be a better time to reevaluate your shoe collection to prevent or alleviate painful foot conditions.

Beauty Doesn’t Have To Be Toxic!

I love looking glamorous for the holidays as much as the next girl, but I am not willing to sacrifice my health for beauty. So what’s a girl to do?

One of my favorite ways to jazz up my look during the holidays is with a professional manicure! I was so excited when I first found toxin-free nail polish. I love using a safer, non-toxic alternative to the typical nail polishes that you buy in the drug store, and there are many brands that you can choose from. Did you know that most traditional nail polishes contain formaldehyde? Knowing that everything we put on our bodies gets directly absorbed into our blood stream, I am not comfortable using a nail polish that is laden with chemicals. A few of my favorite natural brands include Zoya, Poofy Organics and Piggy Paint (for the kiddos).

I am also a huge fan of using argan oil for my skin! I actually use it all over my face in the colder months, as I tend to get dry skin in the winter. It really moisturizes me without that greasy feeling. I always used to get dry blotches over my face in the past, which hasn’t happened since I started using argan oil.

Our family is also big on natural toothpaste. You have to really be careful as many “all natural” brands still contain ingredients that are anything but natural. Some favorites in our family are Thieves toothpaste by Young Living, Earthpaste and Poofy Organics Toothpaste. My daughter particularly loves the Poofy Toddler toothpaste. It’s a great, organic option that can be safely swallowed by children. It works really well for my daughter and I love that I know it doesn’t contain any nasty chemicals or additives.

I am also a big fan of natural deodorants. Aluminum in traditional drug store deodorants has been linked to cancer and Alzheimer’s. Instead of option for an anti-perspirant, I choose a more natural product that helps eliminate odors without aluminum and without completely blocking the pores. Two if my favorites are Primal Pit Paste and Poofy Organics. If you are not a big sweater, rubbing a lemon slice on your armpits is also a great way to naturally eliminate odors.

It’s important to remember that we can look good, feel good AND be healthy at the same time. Remember to read labels, educate yourself and make your health a priority.

Turmeric…A Miraculous Spice!

Turmeric is not a popular spice in the US, but it has very powerful health benefits that should not be ignored. It has been used for thousands of years in India as a medicinal herb, and is what gives curry its signature yellow color. Turmeric contains compounds called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory, and a very strong antioxidant.

It is now believed that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various degenerative conditions. Incorporating anti-inflammatories into our diet is critical.

I try to sprinkle turmeric in most of my sautés and soups to give my meals a nutritional, anti-inflammatory boost. However, if you are really looking to get a concentrated dose of curcumin, you can take it in capsule form. This allows you to get all the benefits without having to alter the taste of your food much. Be aware that it is poorly absorbed in the blood stream, but absorption may be improved by eating it with a healthy fat (it is fat soluble).

Maple Glazed Spicy Apple Turkey from

I’m getting so excited for Thanksgiving! It’s one of my favorite holidays because we all get together and spend the day together. It’s not my turn to host this year, but I am going to save this recipe in my files to use next year when it’s our turn. It looks delicious!


    • 1- 10 to 15 pound fresh turkey
For the wet rub
    • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
    • 1 tsp Himalayan or unrefined sea salt
    • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
    • ½ tsp chai spice (see this post for the mix)
    • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
To stuff the cavity
    • 3-4 large red apples, cut into quarters (I used Fuji)
    • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
To be added to the roasting pan
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 cups all natural, unsweetened apple juice
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 2 whole cinnamon stick


  1. The previous day, combine the ingredients for the wet rub in a small mixing bowl. Stir with a spoon until well combined.
  2. Pat the bird dry and carefully loosen the skin from the breast by delicately sliding your fingers under it from the neck end until you reach the end of the breasts. Be careful not to break the skin. Rub half of the spice mixture between the flesh and skin. Rub the other half all over the bird’s skin, including breasts, thighs and wings.
  3. Cover the turkey with plastic film and set it in the fridge to rest until the next day.
  4. Preheat oven to 325F
  5. Remove turkey from the fridge and place it on a rack in a roasting pan.
  6. Stuff quartered apples as well as a few sprigs of fresh rosemary in the cavity. Tie legs neatly together.
  7. Add maple syrup, apple juice, star anise and cinnamon stick to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle bird generously with salt and pepper. Tent loosely with foil and roast in a 325F oven for about 20 minutes per pound or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thighs registers 180F
  8. Remove the foil for the last hour of roasting.
  9. When turkey is done, take it out of the oven, place tent back over the bird and let it rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.
  10. Oh, and by all means, do not chuck those baked apples; eat them. They are absolutely spectacular!

Are You Nuts?

I confess, I am a nut lover! Cashews, almonds, walnuts, peanuts…I would eat them all day if I could. Sadly, they are high in fat (albeit healthy fat) so I must restrain myself from going overboard. I find my cravings for healthy fats start to increase as the weather starts to get cooler. It’s my body’s way of attempting to “bulk up” on fat for the winter. I often get asked what the best choices are when eating nuts or nut butters, so I thought it would be a great topic to discuss.

My number one choice for nuts from a health perspective is almonds. Cashews comes in as a close second. I love both of these because they have good fatty acid profiles and provide some important nutrients. Walnuts are great because they are a healthy, vegan source of omega-3’s.

While I personally find peanuts and peanut butter to be the most delicious “nuts,” they are not actually nuts! They are technically legumes.  One of the reasons why I enjoy peanuts as a rare treat is because they have been shown to be somewhat high in aflatoxins. What on Earth are aflatoxins, you may ask? Aflatoxins are a known carcinogen that are produced by molds found on peanuts stored in warm, humid silos. While I still think enjoying peanuts in moderation is OK, I prefer not to overdo it, just to be on the safe side.

When you’re shopping, look for raw, unsalted nuts for the best health benefits. If you are buying nut butters, looks for brands that contain only nuts or nuts & salt as their ingredients. Steer clear of anything that contains hydrogenated oils, sugar or other additives. Just because a nut butter says it is “All Natural” doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain some of these less than desirable ingredients. ALWAYS read the ingredients for yourself.

Paleo Leap Pumpkin Pie Bites

Ingredients for the pumpkin pie bites

  • 1 ½ cups pumpkin puree;
  • 2 ripe bananas;
  • 1 egg;
  • ¼ cup honey (optional)
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger;
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg;
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt;

Ingredients for the whipped cream

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk;
  • 2 egg whites;
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract;


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the pumpkin bites and blend until smooth using a hand blender.
  3. Spoon the mixture into small muffin cups.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
  5. In a bowl, whip the two egg whites with a hand blender until they start to look like whipped cream; then slowly add the coconut milk while blending.
  6. Keep blending until you get a whipped cream texture, and add in the vanilla.
  7. Top each bite with whipped cream and serve.

Ditch the Toxic Air Fresheners & Candles

As I am cleaning out my house I came across some old scented candles and air fresheners that I used to use before my holistic journey began. We no longer use them in our house because of all of the research I found that supports how dangerous the chemicals and fragrances they use can be for your family’s health.

My oldest daughter used to suffer from allergy induced asthma. The quality of the air in the house became very important to me. I started researching and found studies that suggested that long term use of scented candles and air fresheners can cause cancer, asthma and lung damage! How scary is that?

So what’s a healthier alternative to keep your home smelling fresh? We are coming up on the holiday season and I am sure none of you want to welcome your guests into your home unless it smells fresh and clean. In my house, I use Young Living’s Purification Oil. I diffuse it to cleanse the air of impurities and keep it smelling fresh and clean. Everyone who comes over always comments on how great my house smells. I highly recommend you check it out! If you would like more information on how to purchase this oil through a distributor, please feel free to send me a message.