How Sharp is Your Brain? Take this Free Quiz to Learn More!

Do you misplace your keys more frequently? Do you often mix up names of coworkers? Forget meetings and appointments you’ve made? Enter a room and immediately forget why? Do you have to re-read passages often just to understand the meaning?

Maybe you blame these symptoms on the “natural” aging process. Or maybe you chalk it up to being busy and stressed at work.

But the truth is, none of these are “natural” or “normal.”

In fact, even if work causes you great stress, you don’t have to suffer from loss of concentration, focus, or memory.

Regardless of your age or your stressful environment, there is always room to improve cognitive function.

Being mentally sharper and more productive, and preventing (and reversing) memory loss IS possible—because regardless of what you’ve been told — memory loss is NOT caused solely by genetics or environmental factors.

That’s why I’m eager to share an amazing resource with you today.

My friend, Steven Masley, MD, created The Brain Symptom Score Quiz https://ez233.isrefer.com/go/BBQuiz/abbymason/ to help you determine how sharp your brain truly is.

Dr. Masley is a physician, nutritionist, trained chef, author, and the creator of the #1 health program for Public Television, 30 Days to a Younger Heart. More recently, Dr. Masley has set his focus on helping people like you tune up their brain to prevent, and even reverse memory loss.

He has created The Brain Symptom Score Quiz  https://ez233.isrefer.com/go/BBQuiz/abbymason/ to help you determine whether or not you’re experiencing a drop in cognitive function, or have early signs of memory loss.

Best of all, this resource is FREE. Please don’t miss this opportunity.

It will only take you a few minutes to take this quiz, and it could change your work and life.

When you get the results, you’ll also receive a FREE bonus, Dr. Masley’s Better Brain Shopping Guide—which gives you the Top 12 Brain-Boosting Foods to buy, and the Brain Injuring Foods to avoid so that you can nourish and protect your brain starting today.

If you want to find out how sharp your brain really is, take this quiz now! https://ez233.isrefer.com/go/BBQuiz/abbymason/

To your health,

Abby xo

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Do You Know the Difference Between Primary Food and Secondary Food?

As a health coach, I work with my clients to not just improve the food that they put on their plate. We focus initially on their Primary Foods, which is made up of these four areas: Relationship, Career, Exercise and Spiritual Practice. The physical food on your plate is actually your Secondary Food. When your primary foods are in balance, the physical food you put on your plate (your Secondary Food) will also be in balance. Together improving the Primary and Secondary Foods in your life will lead to total mind, body and soul wellness.

Relationships: Think back to a time in your life when you were newly in love. You probably felt energized, vibrant and beyond happy. I bet when you where in the beginning of this relationship, you lost track of time and didn’t focus on what was going to be on your plate at your next meal. I also imagine that you didn’t come home after an amazing date and plop down on the couch with a pint of ice cream. When you can surround yourself with relationships that lift you up and bring joy to your life, you will be more likely to make healthier food choices.

Career: How are things going with your career these days? Here’s a hypothetical to imagine for a moment – If you think of yourself as a beautiful plant sitting on your desk and your coworkers, job title, boss, daily activities, etc. as the water that nourishes your plant. How much water does your plant get each day? Is your plant happy and healthy or is it looking a bit sluggish and starving for good “water”? Does your career fulfill you? Does it bring you joy? Do you wake up each day excited to go to work? If not, what could you do to feel positive and uplifted in your job.   Think about what your day would look like if your career were a source of contentment and inspiration. How do you feel? When you get home from the office, what do you prepare or choose to eat for dinner? I bet if you enjoy your job it’s not a greasy burger and fries.

 Exercise/Movement: We all know we need to keep our bodies moving consistently. It is one of the key components to a healthy body and mind. Don’t you feel good about yourself when you know you are taking great care of your body physically? I know I certainly do. When I skip a workout or don’t exercise regularly, I feel not so great emotionally or physically. When I do exercise consistently, I feel great. I feel inspired, motivated and energized. I also make sure to fuel my body with nutritious, whole foods as often as possible because goodness knows, if I make the effort to be physically active, I am definitely not going to sabotage my efforts with unhealthy, sugar, chemical and additive loaded processed foods. You don’t have to go all P90X here if that’s not your gig. Just choose something that you will enjoy and look forward to doing each week. Be sure to mix up your types of exercise as well so your muscles don’t get bored and plateau.

Spiritual Practice: I know this is a super sensitive issue for many people and I respect that of course. I would just like to encourage you with whatever your spiritual practice is to strive to nourish it every day. It is a very important element that connects us to our amazing spirit and the core of who we are. How do you feel in this are of your life? Is your spiritual practice one that you chose for yourself? Is it one that your family or loved one chose for you? I hope that in this part of your life you are actively honoring it in a way that completes you. This is food for the soul my friend!

An exercise you can do to visualize where you are in these areas of your life is to complete The Circle of Life below. The Circle of Life is your wheel of life. When all the spokes on your circle are even (hopefully at a high level of contentment) your wheel will be balanced and roll smoothly. How well does your wheel roll?

Click on the link to print your Circle of Life Form –  CIRCLE OF LIFE

Abby

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10 SIMPLE STEPS TO SURVIVING THE HOLIDAY SEASON!

What a wonderful time of year it is! All the hustle and bustle of the Holidays can be very exciting and also a little draining. It’s super important to make sure you are taking fabulous care of yourself during this time to ensure you feel your best emotionally and physically. As lovely as the holidays are, they can also bring a little added stress with all of the parties spent with friends, coworkers and extended family. If you are like me, sometimes these moments can be a little exhausting and quite frankly, stressful. Family is wonderful, but there have been times when issues have come up.  Staying focused, positive and having a heart of compassion and forgiveness has always helped me get through it in a genuine and peaceful way.

 1.  STAY HYDRATED – Proper hydration is so important to your body functioning at an optimal level. Did you know that sometimes if you find yourself craving sweets, you could actually be dehydrated? Your body is in need of water at that moment, not something highly processed or loaded with sugar.  Strive to drink the amount of water each day that is right for your body.  What’s the right amount for you?  Take your body weight and divide it in half.  That is the amount of water in ounces you should be drinking each day.

2.  GET ENOUGH QUALITY SLEEP – Getting quality sleep is what your body needs to set you up for a healthy day ahead.   When you give your body the amount of sleep it requires, it is able to replenish and rewire. Your hormones are able to come back to balance, which is so important to your entire body and mind.

3.  MINIMIZE THE SUGAR – Sugar is such a hot topic today. What does it really do to your body? Does it actually cause negative health problems? Yes, the answer is yes! Sugar is highly inflammatory in excess. We are consuming far too much in our daily lives. Sugar is in almost every processed food today. Eating more of a whole food and seasonal food diet is exactly what your body needs to be at its best throughout the year. It is also important to eat less sugar because over consumption of sugar causes chronic inflammation, which can weaken the immune system.

4.  TAKE THE FREE VIA CHARACTER STRENGTH QUIZ (HERE) – Taking this quiz shows you what your top strengths are. When you are aware of your top strengths, you can learn to access them throughout each day and week to help you feel strong and centered.  This tool is perfect for this time of year!

5.  MOVE YOUR BODY – Movement is very important to healthy bones and muscles. Daily movement is also a key component to living a long and full life. Don’t you notice when you exercise that you not only feel better physically, but emotionally as well?

6.  EAT BALANCED MEALS THROUGHOUT THE DAY – Skipping meals is no good! When you have too much time between meals, your blood sugar levels get out of whack and you start to crave something that will quickly bring you more energy. Usually, this tends to be something overly processed. Instead of giving you lasting energy, this form of food actually causes an increase or spike in alertness and then it is followed by a drop, which leaves you feeling lethargic and foggy headed.

7.  PRACTICE A GRATITUDE EXERCISE EVERY NIGHT BEFORE GOING TO SLEEP – Our days are full of crazy and hectic schedules especially this time of year. Not just with schedules, but the Holidays can be a very emotional time. Family stuff, relationship stuff, etc. can all come to the surface in a time where we are meant to be merry and jolly. Make a habit of saying a few things that you are grateful for each day, as part of your nightly ritual. This way when issues do come up that make you sad or bring you down, practicing gratitude can help shift your focus back to a more positive mindset.

8.  PRACTICE DEEP BREATHING – When you practice deep breathing, it really does help reduce stress and take you out of the heat of the moment. My favorite way to get back to “Zen” throughout the day is with Dr. Andrew Weil’s 4-7-8 breathing technique (learn more here). If I start to feel a little stressed, this really helps me rewire and feel more balanced.

9.  HAVE A HEART OF FORGIVENESS – Forgiveness is so important to our overall soul centered way of life. Holding a grudge or staying angry about something really only hurts you in the long run. Why not forgive those in your life whom you might feel wronged by even if they aren’t asking for it? You might be surprised to notice how much better you feel.

10. FIND HUMOR IN EVERYTHING – LAUGH HARDER AND SMILE MORE – There is a lot of serious stuff going on in our lives and in the world around us. I truly believe that if we all try a little harder to bring more joy, humor, laughter and smiles to the people we interact with it will create a ripple effect of positivity. This way, more and more people can be lifted up and find genuine happiness in their lives each and every day!

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From my family to yours, have a fantastic, balanced and lovely Holiday Season!

Abby xo

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ROCK YOUR RADIANCE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON!

-NATURAL BEAUTY AND RADIANCE BEGINS ON THE INSIDE-

It starts by eating a diet full of colorful and nutritious whole foods, along with eliminating and/or reducing harmful toxins from our environment and our bodies. I am talking about the emotional as well as physical toxins here. Negative thoughts don’t serve you or your potential. I encourage you to find ways to remove them from your life, which will be very beneficial to your emotional (internal), well-being. The physical toxins are those that are in the air we breathe inside as well as outside of our homes. It’s the added and unnatural chemicals found in our carpets, paint, furniture, skincare and haircare products, cleaning products, certain types of pots and pans, plastics, etc.

What we eat on a daily basis affects our body on the inside as well as the outside. Eating foods rich in vitamins and minerals will give you beautiful lustrous hair, vibrant, youthful skin and healthy nails. Who doesn’t want that?! How many of these foods find their way to your plate every day?

 

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SUPER FOODS FOR GLOWING HEALTH AND PREVENTION OF PREMATURE AGING: 

LEAFY GREENS: Leafy greens are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber. Fiber is a great nutrient to help with weight loss because it provides you with a feeling of fullness, which assists in controlling hunger. These glorious plants are also loaded with water, which benefits your hair, skin and nails. You can eat as many leafy greens a day as you want  because they are low in calories.

BERRIES: These beautiful little gems are powerful in helping to prevent disease and control inflammation in your body as well as reduce the LDL (bad) cholesterol.

CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES: They can help prevent the growth of cells that can lead to cancer because they minimize free radical production. These vegetables include Bok Choy, Kale, Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Cauliflower and Broccoli. Enjoy these vegetables sautéed, steamed or roasted.

CHIA SEEDS: Are the highest plant based source for Omega-3 fatty acids. They are packed with fiber, minerals, protein and antioxidants. They help you feel full fast because they expand when added to liquid.

WILD SALMON: This is a good source for Omega-3 fatty acids. It is also high in vitamin D, B2, B3, B6 and B12. Of course it is a great source of protein as well.

WALNUTS: They are rich in omega-3’s. About a fourth of a cup is the perfect amount for a single serving. Walnuts are so great for brain health. Add some to the top of your salad for a great plant based source of protein.

AVOCADO: These little beauties are full of healthy fats, which help defend your body against heart disease and cancer.

DARK CHOCOLATE: It is packed with antioxidants. It helps stabilize your mood. It can lower blood pressure and enhance blood flow. Look for organic dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa. YUM!

MUSHROOMS: A great source to help prevent cancer. They are high in antioxidants. Mushrooms contain minerals such as selenium, potassium, copper, iron and phosphorus. These guys are also a great source of vitamin D and B.

BEETS: Are a great liver detoxifier.

SWEET POTATOES AND CARROTS: They contain vitamins A, B6 and C. They also contain potassium, calcium and fiber. Orange vegetables are high in phytonutrients, which help prevent disease. They are also high in beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A.

SEA VEGETABLES: Are high in iron and vitamin C. Some of the benefits are prevention of chronic disease and slowing the aging process. They are a good source for detoxifying your body of heavy metals and other pollutants in the environment.

GREEN TEA: It is high in antioxidants, which can help in preventing cell damage. It can also assist with blood flow and lower cholesterol.

WATER: Your skin requires adequate amounts of water to stay hydrated. Dehydrated skin will show more wrinkles and look dry. The best way to determine what is the right amount for your unique body is to divide your body weight in half. Drink that amount in ounces of water every day. If you live in a warmer climate or exercise rigorously, you will         need to up your intake a bit to stay properly hydrated.

Eating healthy, seasonal and organic as much as possible along with a healthy and balanced lifestyle equals a vibrant, healthy and radiant you!

Abby xo

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6 Simple Steps to Make Your Big Dream for Your Life a Reality!

What would your life look like if you could make your dream come true?

The stories are everywhere, always uplifting, always inspiring:

  • The woman who created a wellness clinic in her inner city neighborhood.
  • The man who lost 200 pounds after being housebound for a decade.
  • The mother who worked tirelessly bringing her sick child to radiant health.
  • The grandfather who quit cigarettes to realize his dream of running a marathon.

Every day, people just like you go out into the world and make their dreams come true.

They did it. Why not you? You’re no different than any of these successful individuals.

Why Couldn’t Your Dream Come True?

True, it sounds hard. In fact, it probably is hard, with a number of obstacles to overcome. That may be reason enough to put your dream on permanent hold.

“Obstacles are like wild animals. They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can. If they see you are afraid of them… they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.”—Orison Swett Marden, writer.

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Could a Plan Help?

The easiest way to turn a dream into reality is one step at a time:

  1. Choose one thing to get done. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
  2. Identify what scares you most. Ask yourself: What’s the worst thing that could happen if I face this fear? Write down the worst-case scenario, and also write how you would confront it.
  3. Identify a small reward for yourself once you’ve accomplished that activity.
  4. Then just do it. Complete and check that task off your list.
  5. Now treat yourself to the reward, rejoice, and celebrate!
  6. Repeat the above steps as many times as necessary and watch yourself get happier and healthier by pursuing what you love.

 Would you like support in making your health dreams come true? Connect with me by phone at 614-620-7420 or email at abbymasonhealthcoach@yahoo.com.

Abby

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Recovering from injury or illness doesn’t have to be hard!

Have you recently suffered from an injury or illness? Are you finding it hard to get back to your healthy, rockin self?

I can relate to how you might be feeling. I recently had back surgery (this past February). Prior to surgery, I was actively and consistently working out and feeling good about my body. After surgery, I had to take time off my exercise routine to heal. This was very hard for me. You could say my approach to working out is “go big or go home”. I have had this attitude about my exercise for as long as I can remember. I push myself to do the best I can at each work out to achieve the best results. Well, it was extremely difficult for me, emotionally, to accept that at least for a couple of months simple walking each day would be the extent of my post surgery workout routine. I felt a little sorry for myself, sad, and I guess a bit defeated. All that work I had done and now just walking?! That was a very hard reality for me. I actually found myself not really doing much movement/walking at all the first couple months. I adopted the idea that starting small wasn’t going to be effective. I was very wrong.

I had to accept that starting small after recovery was the foundation my body (and mind) needed to heal and get to the next level after my doc gave the green light to kick up my workouts from the daily walks. This was such a new approach for me. Once my pride and emotions got out of the way, I realized that the “go big or go home” approach would no longer serve me. It has also opened my eyes to new and exciting forms of exercise that I might not have tried before surgery because I felt they wouldn’t be intense enough.

Through my personal journey, I have learned that movement daily, any movement, is better than no movement.  You might even notice that you sleep better at night.  I know I do when I am active on a regular basis.  So if you are recovering and/or healing, just start small. You could park a little farther away from the entrance to the grocery, your home or your office. Take the stairs whenever possible (even if you start with taking the elevator partially to your floor…. You could get out a couple floors before and take the stairs the rest of the way) or take a 15-20 minute walk each day (I have noticed that a nice walk in nature is not only great for my body, but it’s energy for my mind and soul).

It doesn’t matter what type of movement/exercise you choose, just choose something and focus on being  consistent each week. Don’t forget to put it on your calendar.   This way,  you are sure to get it done just as you would if you were planning to attend a meeting or an event.  You could also partner up with a friend so that the two of you could cheer each other on and hold each other accountable to reach your goals.

What type of exercise would you like to try? What type have you wanted to try but haven’t been motivated to give it a go? Here is a fun list. What type(s) intrigue you?:

Aerobics, Ballet, Barre Class, Baseball, Basketball, Biking, Boating, BODY PUMP,  Boot Camp, Bowling, Boxing, Canoeing, Circuit Training, Cross Country Skiing, Cross Training, Dancing, Eliptical Machine, Field Hockey,  Flag Football, Frisbee,  Golf, Hiking, Hockey, Hopscotch, Horseback Riding, Hula Hoop, Ice Skating, Interval Training, Jazzercise, Jiu-Jitsu, Jogging, Jumping Rope, Karate, Kettle Bells, Kick Boxing, Lifting Free Weights, Martial Arts, P90X , Ping-Pong, Pilates, Playing Catch, Plyometrics, Power Waking, Qigong, Racquetball, Resistance Training, Rock Climbing, Rollerblading, Roller Skating, Rowing, Rowing Machine, Running, Ski Machine, Skiing, Soccer, Softball, Spinning, Squash, Stationary Bike, Stair Stepper, Strength Training, Swimming, Tae Bo, Tae Kwan Do, Tai Chi, Tennis, Trampoline, Treadmill, TRX, Volleyball, Walking, Water Aerobics, Yoga, Zumba Dance 

It doesn’t matter where you start, it’s simply that you start – and of course with your physician’s ok. Remember that starting small and taking those  baby steps is the foundation you need to begin your journey back to feeling healthy and well.

Get that beautiful bod moving!

Abby

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Is Forgiveness a Way to Help You Heal?

Have you ever consumed an entire bag of chips, box of crackers or package of cookies? Did you ever eat pizza or dessert until you felt physically sick? What about indulged in too much coffee or an alcoholic beverage that your body didn’t even want?

What were you feeling at the time? What emotions were you experiencing?

These questions are important to understand and answer because so many times we eat too much or drink too much as a way to turn our attention away from some sort of inner pain we are trying to ignore. When you think about times that you have over indulged, were you even hungry at that moment? Where you feeling alone, sad, depressed, angry, frustrated, etc.? Or was it something else?

Forgiveness can be very powerful! Would you like to tap into the effectiveness/benefits of forgiving someone and/or even forgiving yourself?

Forgiveness is a truly powerful way to get in touch with feelings that are uncomfortable. I realize that forgiveness isn’t always an easy thing to do. Is your current state of health being controlled by your past hurts/pains? I would encourage you to look at forgiveness on a deeper level. Here are some steps to help you along the way:

  • Talk to someone who is close to you that is sympathetic. This should be a person in your life that you can confide in and trust to express your feelings about forgiveness. Expressing your desire to do this with someone that is compassionate can be very comforting.
  • You can write a letter to someone who you feel has wronged you/someone you want to forgive. If this person is alive, consider mailing it to them. It isn’t always necessary to mail it. Sometimes just putting your thoughts on paper can help release the hurt and open up a path for forgiveness.
  • If the person has passed away, write the letter and address it to yourself. Put a stamp on it and mail it. When it comes back to you. Read it out loud. Notice how you feel. What emotions come up?
  • Take a few moments to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Can you perhaps see the situation from their perspective? Does this exercise shift your focus/feelings positively toward healing in any way?
  • Is it possible you need to forgive yourself? We can really be tough on ourselves at times. Forgiving you is also very important to healing.
  • There is no one that is responsible for your own attitude but you. Holding a grudge can hold you back from feeling powerful, content and open in your own life.

When you can be more open to forgiveness and letting go of past emotional pain caused by others or yourself, you might just notice that your relationship with food improves as well.

I would love to help you break through your emotional barriers. Are you ready to improve your relationship with food and learn more about food and mood?

Contact me at 614-620-7420 to schedule your free one-on-one Health and Wellness Consultation.

Abby xo

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Self-Care – It’s one of the most important things you can do for optimal wellness!

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Are you burning the candle at both ends?  Are you taking care of everyone else in your life except you?

 

You have probably heard the phrase “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”  How full is your “cup”?  Sit quietly for a moment, close your eyes and calm your mind by taking smooth, even breathes, in and out.  What thoughts come into your head?  What would you do if you had 20 minutes, a few times a week that was set aside, for you to recharge?   What would you do if time were not an issue?  What if you were expected to take this time for yourself?

Self-care is not a selfish thing.  Do you know that if you don’t make time to take care of yourself you won’t be any good to the people in your life?  If you are constantly going from one thing to the next, you run the risk of becoming depleted emotionally and exhausted physically.  It is really important to give yourself permission to take this time to get back to feeling centered and grounded.

I have been making an effort to do this three to five times a week.  My goal is to take 20-30 minutes on these days to shut out the world.  I spend this time doing something that I enjoy and that makes me feel alive.  As a busy mom, I am constantly juggling our family’s crazy, busy schedules.  On days that I don’t practice self-care, I often get a sense that there is a knot in my stomach.  It feels like a ball of anxiety and tension.

This anxiety and tension raises cortisol (the stress hormone) levels in my body.  Cortisol is a good thing when it comes to helping us through a scary or dangerous situation.  It is the fight or flight response in our body.  For example, if you are walking in a big city and you suddenly feel like you are being followed, your immediate response is to go somewhere safe.  The adrenaline in your body kicks in, which launches your energy into high gear and you do what it takes to get out of there.  Once you realize there is no longer a threat, your body calms and the stress of the incident slowly dissipates.  This is a normal bodily response.  However, constantly feeling stressed and overworked on a regular basis can lead to all kinds of health problems such as digestive issues, depression, heart disease, weight gain, trouble sleeping, anxiety and brain fog.

I have noticed that I am less stressed and have more of a sense of calmness when I make it a priority to do something just for me.  Here are some ideas for self-care to rejuvenate and be at your best each and every day:

  1.  Hot bath with a few drops of lavender or other calming essential oil
  2. Read a good book
  3. Take a walk in nature
  4. Listen to your favorite music
  5. Dance
  6. Get a massage
  7. Sing
  8. Paint
  9. Breathing exercises
  10. Practice Restorative Yoga
  11. Move your body/exercise in a way that ignites your inner fire
  12. At home spa treatment
  13. Dry skin brushing
  14. Prayer or meditation
  15. Journaling
  16. Talking on the phone to a good friend or loved one
  17. DIY shower body scrub
  18. Relaxing foot soak

Here is one of my favorite body scrubs to make at home.  It relaxes me and helps me unwind, which sets me up for a good night’s sleep.

Calming Body Scrub:

-1/2 cup organic brown sugar or coconut palm sugar

-2 tbsp local honey or Manuka honey

-3/4 cup sweet almond oil or jojoba oil

-5-10 drops of Lavender essential oil

Mix all the ingredients together. Place in a glass bowl or jar with lid. Transfer the amount you need to a BPA free small plastic container for each shower.

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I encourage you to find something you can do at least two times this week that is just for you!  Notice how you feel afterwards.  Can you commit to doing this on a regular basis?  You deserve it!

Abby xo

 

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Curry and Coconut

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Curry and Coconut
 
I have been working on perfecting this soup for a couple months and I am happy to tell you that I did it! I really love roasted butternut squash! This time of year it is very comforting. I hope you will give this soup a try. xo
Ingredients
  • 1½ Tbsp. high heat oil such as grapeseed, coconut, red palm oil or ghee
  • 2 Tbsp. good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Shallot diced
  • 3 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 4½ cups butternut squash (about 1 medium), peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 2 Carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 3 Celery stalks, diced small
  • 3 cups of vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • ½ tsp. Pink Himalayan salt
  • ½ tsp. Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 can reduced fat coconut milk (good quality)
  • Optional Toppings: Basil, Parsley, Hemp Seeds or Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Place the cubes of butternut squash in a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil over the squash and sprinkle with Himalayan salt and fresh ground pepper. Mix the oil, salt, pepper and the squash together. Place the squash on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the squash for about 25-30 minutes.
  2. Heat your high heat oil on medium heat in a medium-large pot on the stove. Once the oil has heated, add the onion, carrots and celery to the pot, Sauté for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften and the onion becomes translucent.
  3. Add the curry powder to the vegetables and stir to incorporate. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add 1 cup of the stock, the garlic and the salt and pepper to the pot and stir to deglaze. Allow the stock to reduce by half (about 4-5 minutes).
  4. Add the remaining stock to the pot. Cook for 15-20 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and the roasted butternut squash. Transfer the soup to a heavy duty blender such as a Vitamix and puree until it has a smooth and creamy texture.
  5. Add the toppings of your choice and Enjoy!

 

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Wellness Wednesday!

Hiya sweet friend,

Do you want to have that healthy glow from the inside out?

I am sure you already know how important it is to feed yourself and your loved ones the best quality food available. Are you aware, however that certain fruits and vegetables are better for you when purchased organically?  There are so many toxins in our environment and pesticides and chemicals on our food. I wanted to give you a handy tool to help you make the best decisions possible while taking a trip to your local market.  Below is the “Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen” list of foods. The Dirty Dozen are the fruits and vegetables that contain the most amount of pesticides. Even when you wash the fruits and vegetables, the pesticides that were sprayed onto the plants and on the ground get into the root system of the plant.  You sure don’t want to ingest these toxic chemicals.  Try to purchase these foods labeled organic as much as possible. This is really important!  The Clean Fifteen are those that can be purchased conventionally when organic, is not an option.  They are the fruits and vegetables that have been shown to contain the least amount of pesticides.

Dirty Dozen:

Apples
Celery
Cherry Tomatoes
Cucumbers
Grapes
Nectarines
Peaches
Potatoes
Snap Peas
Spinach
Strawberries
Sweet Bell Pepper
Plus Hot Peppers and Kale and Collard Greens

Clean Fifteen:

Asparagus
Avocados
Cabbage
Cantaloupe
Cauliflower
Eggplant
Grapefruit
Kiwi
Mangoes
Onions
Papayas
Pineapples
Sweet Corn
Sweet Peas (Frozen)
Sweet Potatoes
Source – ewg.org

BFM produce for blog book

It’s not just about what you put in your body, but also what you put on your body. Below is the list of ingredients found in so many beauty, skin care and hair care products that are toxic and harmful to your, body. Your skin is your largest organ. What you put on it gets absorbed into the bloodstream. When you buy products that contain these ingredients, you are exposing your body to chemicals, which can cause birth defects, cancer, infertility, learning disabilities, reproductive problems and skin allergies. These ingredients should be avoided

Benzoyl Peroxide (found in acne products)
BHA/BHT
DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), TEA (Triethanolamine) (a foam booster)
Dioxin (often found in antibacterial ingredients such as triclosan, emulsifiers, ethoxylated cleansers and PEGs)
DMDM & Urea (Imidazolidinyl) (2 formaldehyde releasing preservatives)
FD&C Color and Pigments (synthetic colors)
Hydroquinone
Isopropyl Alcohol (found in hair color rinses, body rubs, hand lotions and aftershave lotions)
Lead
Mineral Oil
Nanoparticles
Parabens (Methyl, Butyl, Ethyl, Propyl) (Used as preservatives)
PEG (Polyethylene glycol) (found in baby care, personal care and sunscreens)
Petrolatum
Phthalates (often in most products)
Propylene Glycol (PG) and Butylene Glycol (petroleum plastics)
Quaternium-15 (a preservative in many haircare and skincare products)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) (found in 90% of personal care products, which foam)
Sunscreen Chemicals (avobenzone, benzphenone, ethoxycinnamate, and PABA are some of the common used ingredients)
Sulfates
Synthetic Fragrance
Talc (found in makeup, adult and children’s powders, foundations)
Triclosan (a synthetic antibacterial ingredient)
Sources: healinglifestyles.com, mindbodygreen.com, healthychild.org, drfranklipman.com, ewg.org/skindeep/

 

Abby xo

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