5 Foods That Are Surprisingly High In Fiber

When it comes to fiber, there are more ways to eat them than just chomping on some prunes. (Which also totally might not be your thing to begin with.)

And, the best part about high-fiber foods is the benefits. When you’re getting enough fiber in the day, you’re likely to be more regular, meaning you’ll be hitting the bathroom with ease and consistency, just like you should.

When you’re not eating enough fiber, you run the risk of getting constipated (as your digestive system isn’t running as smoothly and efficiently), and it could also result in painful poops and abdominal distention, or bloating, that might seem to never go down. Not fun.

So, by stocking up on fiber-filled foods, your gut remains happy. (Which then makes us happy, too.)

And, an added bonus—fiber can also create space in our bellies to make us feel satisfied after meal, so we stop over-indulging or mindlessly eating during the day.


Here are a few top picks that are packed with fiber, as well as a few other essential nutrients, like protein and healthy fats.

Here’s more reason to add a handful of berries to your morning yogurt. Not only are they delicious and sweet, but they also are high in fiber to keep things moving.

 “Blackberries and raspberries are a surprisingly great way to get your fiber intake up. Both contain approximately 8 grams of fiber per cup full,” says Dr. William E. Newsome, M.D. Add them to your next smoothie, or freeze them and enjoy as a cool, refreshing snack, he suggests. 

Beans aren’t just a great plant protein option, but they also are high in fiber. So, while you might get a bit gassy when eating them, it’ll pay off once you hit the bathroom later on.

“I love using beans for snack time. Bean dips can be bulk prepped and go great with whole grain crackers or baked tortilla chips,” says Carolina Guizar, MS, RDN, CDN.

Here’s a recipe for fava bean dip: To serve three 1/2 cup servings of dip, each with 5 grams of fiber, try this. “Purchase a 15-ounce can of fava beans, drain and add to a food processor. Add 1 clove of raw garlic, 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice and 2 tbsp of grated pecorino Romano. Pair with whole grain crackers for a crunchy kick,” she says. 

And, another option with black beans? “Blend 15-ounces of drained black beans with a sprinkle of cumin and chili powder for added flavor. This will yield three 1/2 cup servings with 6 grams of fiber in each serving. Top with a store-bought pico de gallo, fresh cilantro and cotija cheese or queso fresco. Baked tortilla chips will be the perfect accompaniment for this dip,” she says.

There’s more to beets than just their pretty, red hue. Turns out, beets are loaded with fiber to fill you up.

For a 1 cup, it’s only 58 calories, 13g carbohydrates, and 4g of fiber, says Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, NYC-based Registered Dietician, bestselling author,  and founder of The F-Factor Diet.

Here’s how to enjoy them. Beet salad: Boil fresh beets then slice into cubes, add fresh arugula and grated parmesan cheese, and lastly, dress lightly with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, says Zuckerbrot. Yum.

Cruciferous veggies might make you toot, but all that tootin’ is good for you. It means that fiber is working!

For a typical serving size of a medium head 5-6” diameter of cauliflower, it comes in at 147 calories, 29g carbohydrates, and a whopping 12g of fiber, says Zuckerbrot.

A few ways to cook with them? Mae a homemade cauliflower pizza crust, says Zuckerbrot. It’s a delicious and high fiber pizza, without the excess carbs.

 Or, try cauliflower fried rice, where you skip the carb heavy, sodium laden fried rice take-out you’re used to and whip up your own healthy version on the fly, she recommends.

Get this: 1 medium artichoke (128 g), which has only 60 calories and 13.5 g carbohydrates, gives you a heaping 7g of fiber, says Zuckerbrot. Score.

“One of the simplest and most delicious ways to enjoy artichokes is to boil them with ½ a lemon, drain, and then enjoy,” she says.

“Pull the leaves off the artichoke, and scrape the meat off the leaf with your teeth.  Once you are out of leaves, use a spoon to scrape the spiky hair off the artichoke heart,” she explains.

And, you can always just roast artichoke hearts with some olive oil for an easy no-fuss side dish, she says.

What are your favorite high-fiber foods? Please share below!

5 Health Conditions That Affect Women More Than Men

We all know that women’s bodies are different from men, but to what extent do we truly understand how women can take unique preventative measures to live a long and healthy life?

Here are 5 health conditions that affect women, and how you can take care of yourself now to prevent them from arising or escalating in the future.

1. Stress
Stress affects all of us in varying degrees depending on circumstances, but in a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 50% of women are likely to report being stressed, compared to 39% of men. Stress is related to inflammation, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system, and can be a pre-cursor to many, more serious, health conditions. Take care to reduce stress now, before it becomes more severe! Get plenty of sleep, eat well, hydrate, address and remove the root cause of your stress, and let something go when you feel overwhelmed.

2. Osteoporosis and osteoarthritis
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, Osteoporosis affects 44 million Americans, 68% of which are women. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, and is the leading cause of disability in the United States. To slow down or prevent the onset of these diseases, ensure a diet rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals, especially calcium and vitamin D. It also helps to have regular weight-bearing activity to keep core muscles and joints strong, and to maintain a healthy weight.

3. Urinary tract issues
Affecting women more often than men, things like urinary tract infections (UTI’s), incontinence, pelvic floor disorders, uterine fibroids, and related conditions can be uncomfortable, painful, and embarrassing. Prevent these by doing kegel exercises regularly, urinating after intercourse, consuming adequate water and not holding your pee too long, and staying clean. Avoiding processed foods and consuming lots of leafy greens and organic foods will also help.

4. Autoimmune disease
About 75% of cases of autoimmune diseases occur in women, according to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA). The include a very long list of diseases including lupus, hashimotos thyroiditis, and multiple sclerosis. More research is needed to understand what causes these diseases, but ultimately it comes down to the body attacking it’s own cells and tissues. Genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors are suspected contributors. Maintaining overall health and being vigilant about getting help are the best strategies for prevention, be especially determined if you have mysterious or persistent symptoms with no clear diagnosis.

5. Breast and cervical cancer
According to the World Health Organization’s latest global figures, around half a million women die from cervical cancer, and half a million more from breast cancer each year. Many of the deaths occur in low and middle income countries with little screening, prevention, and treatments, and generally lower quality of health when it comes to nutrition and sanitation. To keep yourself healthy, maintain overall wellness, eat well, assess your family history, and get appropriate screenings as needed.

You may have noticed a common theme emerging, which is that simple self-care practices like sleep, hydration, regular movement, and nutritious diets are your best defense against the onset of many diseases common to women. That’s what the holistic approach at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition is all about.

We may not always be able to prevent diseases from impacting our bodies, but relatively simple techniques can go a long way in minimizing or staving off health conditions to improve our quality of life!

Share with us below your techniques to improve quality of life!

The Role of Health Coaches

Have you ever thought about why rates of cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses continue to rise, despite increasing healthcare costs?

We tend to normalize illness based on how widespread it is in the United States, but illness is not the normal state of our bodies.

Our bodies want to be well – they are meant to be well.

Despite the high costs of healthcare in the United States, the care Americans receive is not necessarily better than other places.

Doctor’s offices are often booked with multiple appointments back to back. This fast-paced environment can lead patients to feel rushed and like they’re not truly being heard. Or worse, patients may not even bother to fully explain the issues they’re having.

If this all sounds grim, don’t despair!

We have the answer: the role of Health Coaches in the healthcare community.

According to a recent article in The Hill, certain healthcare start-ups have created models known as “holistic care teams.” These teams often include a physician, behavioral health specialist, nurses, a registered dietitian, and Health Coaches.

The model is revolutionary as it encourages patients to take responsibility for their own health while providing support and guidance – two things that are rarely found in conventional healthcare systems.

In addition, this model saves money. One study found that compared to a control group using a more typical healthcare system, hospitalizations are down 37% and healthcare spending is down 12%.

For this idea to work on a large scale and truly intervene with the conventional healthcare system, public-private partnerships have emerged as a way to pay for these holistic care teams.

Great strides are being made to prove that transforming the conventional healthcare system and improving the health of the nation (all while creating jobs in the process) is possible.

It’s now our responsibility to explore how we can help contribute to this change and take action!

What steps can you take to help revolutionize the healthcare system? Are there doctor’s offices or healthcare businesses you can connect with in your area?

Share your thoughts and ideas below! We love hearing from you.

If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, check out the article here

Take the Breakfast Experiment

In the world of modern nutrition, almost everyone is on one diet or another, and people dwell on fats, proteins, and lists of “good” and “bad” foods. Low fat, low carb, Paleo, vegan, Atkins…. each day we are hit with a new discovery that touts the health benefits of a certain way of eating. Diet books are bestsellers and there is a constant barrage of news programs and articles on the fastest way to lose weight. 

But it wasn’t too long ago that humans existed without this media blitz, without diet gurus or celebrity chefs telling them what to eat. Instead, they relied on intuition. People simply knew what to eat and how to prepare it without engaging in such a cerebral interpretation of basic human needs. 

That’s why I take what I like to call a “post-modern approach to nutrition.” Being healthy is really not all that complicated. The body knows what to eat – it’s the brain that makes mistakes. Maybe you heard about a diet that sounded great in theory, but after a week of eating that way, you started to feel weak or bloated. You don’t have to read nutrition books to know what foods are right or wrong for you. Instead, you can foster a deep relationship with your body in which it naturally tells what it needs to function at its highest potential. This post-modern approach will help you cultivate the ability to eat intuitively. 

Fortunately, you already have free, 24-hour access to the world’ most sophisticated laboratory for testing how foods affects your body and your health. You’re living in it! Your body is a sophisticated bio-computer. By learning to listen to your body and discovering an understanding of what foods it needs and when it needs them, you will discover what is best for you. 

If you doubt this connection to your body, begin by acknowledging that your body is highly intelligent. You heart never misses a beat and your lungs are always breathing in and out. You can trust your body. It has evolved helpful instincts to keep you alive and well. 

As a way of tuning into your body and learning how to listen to its messages, I recommend trying this breakfast experiment. Explore a different breakfast every day for a week. Jot down what you eat and how you feel, both right after the meal and then again two hours later. 


  • Day 1: scrambled eggs

Right after eating I felt:

Two hours after eating I felt: 

  • Day 2: scrambled tofu

Right after eating I felt:

Two hours after eating I felt: 

  • Day 3: oatmeal

Right after eating I felt:

Two hours after eating I felt: 

  • Day 4: boxed breakfast cereal

Right after eating I felt:

Two hours after eating I felt: 

  • Day 5: muffin and coffee

Right after eating I felt:

Two hours after eating I felt: 

  • Day 6: fresh fruit

Right after eating I felt:

Two hours after eating I felt: 

  • Day 7: fresh vegetables

Right after eating I felt:

Two hours after eating I felt: 

Once you get the knack of this experiment, you can expand it to include your whole daily intake, exploring how different foods and liquids affect you. For example, for one week, make a point of drinking more water during the day, or eating more leafy greens or meat. Notice how your body feels and how each change of diet affects your mood. 

Have you ever tried a diet that didn’t work for you? How did you know? I’d love to hear about your experience – let me know in the comments section below! 

Yes, There’s Plastic in Your Seafood

Researchers have been warning about the dangers of ocean pollution – especially the accumulation of plastic – for decades. However, it is only recently that comprehensive studies have begun to emerge showing just how contaminated life in the ocean has become.

Not only is this a tragedy for the environment and biodiversity, it impacts human health too.

A recent study by Ghent University in Belgium shows that micro-plastics are ubiquitous in the world’s oceans, and that they are ingested by organisms like plankton, ultimately bio-accumulating in larger vertebrate wildlife, shellfish, and a variety of consumable seafood. That means if you eat seafood, you’re likely consuming plastic – up to 11,000 micro-plastics per year by their estimates.

The long-term effects of such consumption continues to remain uncertain, but it is known that micro-plastics can become embedded in tissue, and that they release toxins like BPA and PS oligomer which disrupt the functioning of hormones and reproduction in animals.

While more research is needed to understand just how this toxic accumulation materializes in our bodies, the evidence so far suggests that we may want to be thoughtful about consuming seafood. Environmental Working Group and Seafood Watch both have helpful resources for choosing the safest options.

Generally speaking, seafood is rich in Omega-3 fats and a variety of minerals like iron and iodine, and it is a good source of protein, but there are many other foods that contain similar benefits. Olive oil, avocados, coconut oil, beans, nuts, lentils, quinoa, and seeds as well as nutrient-dense veggies like kale and spinach are also rich in these nutrients, minus the plastic!

Education and balanced wellness are essential to our philosophy at Integrative Nutrition, so we hope this information empowers you to make the best choices to nourish yourself, your family, and those around you. 

Want to learn more? Get our Curriculum Guide, and explore health coaching if you’re passionate about holistic health!

Forest Bathing: What It Is and Why It's Healthy

Wellness trends come and go, but we can always look to nature for timeless wisdom that’ll never go out of style. If you’ve taken a walk in the woods lately, you probably know what we mean.

Forest bathing is a creative term for something our ancestors have known for a long time: nature heals. It comes from the Japanese phrase “shinrin-yoku,” which means taking in the forest atmosphere, and was first proposed in 1982 by the Forest Agency of Japan as a wellness and relaxation activity to promote good health – especially for those who lived in cities.

Simply being among trees, breathing fresh air, and walking at a comfortable pace can do our bodies and minds a world of good. But it wasn’t until recently that the scientific research of forest bathing caught up with the reasons how.

Here are some of the benefits associated with walking in a forest:

  • Improved immune system functioning, with an increase in the body’s cancer fighting Natural Killer cells – partly due to the essential oils from wood in the air
  • Reduced stress and blood pressure – via a reduction in cortisol
  • Improved mood/positive outlook
  • Increase in energy
  • Greater ability to focus and think clearly
  • Improved sleep
  • Quicker healing from illness or surgery
  • Additionally, participants in research studies on forest bathing showed a decrease in mortality rate from cancer and a greater frequency in feeling “calm,” and children also experienced benefits in fitness, weight, and attention span.

Now that spring is upon us in the northern hemisphere, this is the perfect time to get the benefits of forest bathing firsthand! No matter where you live, find the closest forest or hiking trail and embrace wilderness on a regular basis.

Why do we love forest bathing?

At Integrative Nutrition we believe that health is about much more than what you eat. Our concept of Primary Foodstates that a holistic approach to life creates the greatest balance, which is why we consider spending time in nature, physical movement, a fulfilling career, nurturing relationships, and many other non-dietary elements as all playing a vital role in our wellbeing.

Get our Curriculum Guide or join an Info Session to learn more about our unique approach!

What do you think about forest bathing? Will you give it a try?

4 Simple Ways to Create a Healthier Home Environment

Did you know that health is about way more than what is on your plate? That’s right, your relationships, career, level of fitness, and hobbies all contribute to your well-being – it’s what Health Coaches call primary food.

Your home environment is no exception! It’s where you spend much of your time, and it should contribute to – rather than undermine – your health and happiness.

Here are 4 ways to create a healthier (and happier!) home environment:

  1. Remove dust regularly.
    Pthalates, flame retardants, and phenols, oh my! The dust in your home can harbor a stew of toxic chemicals, so it’s best to remove it frequently. Dry dusting can kick up the dust particles into the air you breathe, so use a wet mop on uncarpeted floor, microfiber or moist towels on furniture, and your vacuum cleaner instead. This will help to absorb and remove the dust with minimal agitation.
  2. Be mindful of what you buy.
    Aim to prevent the accumulation of toxins in your home by paying attention to what you buy in the first place. Plastics – such as for food containers, children’s toys, and vinyl shower curtains – are linked to health effects related to hormone disruption, behavioral changes, and even cancer. Other materials such as carpets, paint, and furniture can release harmful gases, and synthetic materials in clothes can rub off and be absorbed into your skin. The point, of course, is not to avoid all purchases or become consumed by paranoia, but to make more conscious choices. Choose natural or organic fibers when you can, use glass or ceramic food containers, find BPA-free and non-PVC plastic, and make your owncleaning products. And sometimes, yes, see if you really need to buy something new at all.
  3. Get more plants.
    Houseplants offer immense benefit to us - mind, body, and soul! They remove toxins from air and lower the amount of dust that accumulates, release oxygen and humidify the air, and even lower stress. They also improve our moods, reduce pain and discomfort, and can apparently make us more productive andsmarter by improving attention span. Beyond that, they remind us of nature, which creates a sense of equanimity and balance, and they make our homes look welcoming, fresh, and clean.
  4. Create your special wellness zones.
    Many of us share a home with others, so we can’t always control what happens in our overall surroundings, but you can create your own special pockets of wellness, small spaces that simply make you feel healthy, calm, and good. For example, your bedroom can have a meditation corner with some candles, crystals, and a singing bowl. Your kitchen could have a special cupboard or drawer just for your favorite superfoods, herbs, and tea. Your living room can have a cozy cushion next to a small table with a plant on top and some essential oils that you like. The point is to create your wellness zones and go there when you a need to get grounded and balanced.

Additional ideas to maintain a healthy home environment:

  • Get an air purifier if you live in a city.
  • Share your wellness intentions with whoever you share a space with.
  • Don’t wear outdoor shoes inside.
  • Clean up diligently after pets.
  • Clear out old clutter and “piles.”
  • Open windows regularly to let in fresh air (even in winter).

What are your favorite ways to keep a clean and clutter-free home? Share in the comments below!

Black Garlic: A New Superfood?

At first glimpse, you might not be so enthralled to put black garlic on your dinner plate. But looks can be deceiving. Does it resemble little jelly-like pebbles of coal? Sure. But its sweet, non-acrid taste and nutritional benefits might make you a believer (and the fact that you’ll avoid garlic breath after eating it doesn’t hurt either).

Black garlic, which was created in Korea, is slowly treated with heat and high humidity over about a month’s time, which allows for a Maillard reaction—the same chemical reaction that browns bread and toasts marshmallows. The result is a head of caramelized, syrupy, balsamic-like cloves with a similar consistency to roasted garlic.

Black garlic is shown to have higher levels of antioxidants than raw garlic as well as 18 times as much S-allyl-cysteine (SAC), a compound that may lower cholesterol and protect the heart. Black garlic may also work to prevent cancer and diabetes, and a study has found it to have positive effects on hepatic function, making it beneficial for those with liver problems.

Black garlic, which you can find in most specialty markets, can be prepared similarly to roasted garlic—used in spreads and pureed with olive oil for sauces or dressings. Its flavor is especially complementary to roast chicken and steaks, but veg-heads, don’t be disappointed—it goes equally well in stir-fries and as a glaze on kale and other vegetables. Find recipes here.  

Have you cooked with black garlic? What did you think? How did you prepare it? Share in the comments below.

5 Examples of Everyday Mindfulness (That Aren’t Meditation)

Mindfulness has entered our everyday conversations in a powerful way. But what does it really mean? Jon Kabbat-Zinn, the creator of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), defines it as such:

“Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.”

In essence, it means being aware of and attentive to what’s going on inside and outside of your body. It means not being on “autopilot,” going through the motions of life without a clear connection to what you’re feeling or doing.

It takes some measure of self-reflection to recognize whether you’re being mindful or not. It’s also a continuous endeavor, meaning that life’s circumstances make it hard to maintain for extended periods of time, so it’s important to regularly refocus our attention when it wanders.

As for its benefits, according to the American Psychological Association, empirical evidence suggests mindfulness helps reduce stress, improve focus and working memory, lower emotional reactivity, increase cognitive flexibility, and improve relationship satisfaction, to name a few.

How you can apply mindfulness to everyday life:

1. Decide to be more mindful.
This may sound obvious, but intention is everything. By simply making the commitment to be more mindful, you prime your mind for being more attentive and aware of what’s going on around you. You’re also more likely to recognize when you’re not being mindful and shift your awareness.

2. Leverage moments of “waiting.”
Whether you’re waiting for a train, are in an elevator, or at your desk waiting for a slow web page to load, our days are filled with moments of waiting. Use those moments as triggers for tuning in. You can close your eyes and take a deep breath, look more thoroughly at the space around you, or simply check in with how you’re feeling at the moment.

3. Listen closely when people speak.
How much of what others say do you think really gets through? How often do you find yourself consumed with thoughts or seeking distraction while someone else is speaking? Listening is a great anchor to mindfulness. Whenever you're in conversation, aim to pay closer attention, make eye contact, and ask questions to fully take in what the speaker is saying. You’ll gain more insights and form a deeper bond.  

4. Notice the senses.
Your senses offer constant invitations to mindfulness because they’re always attentive to the stimuli of the present moment. Linger over a delicious bite of food as you taste it, appreciate the smell of essential oils, gaze at the interesting views of your daily commute, touch someone in a loving and appropriate way, and hear the murmur of sounds outside your window. If you’re not sure where to start, feel your own heartbeat or the rise and fall of your breath.

5. Seek out nature.
There is something awe-inspiring about nature that easily quiets the mind. Going on hikes to watch the sunset is nice, but you can still experience the mindful benefits of nature almost any day. Look out the window and see the trees swaying in the breeze or step outside for a brief walk during your lunch break. You can even pull up beautiful photos of nature online. Seek out nature as much as you can and observe it closely.

Being mindful is something we can all do regardless of the day or what we’re doing.

How do you invite mindfulness in everyday life? Share with us in the comments below!

Set an Intention, Not a Resolution

Is it almost the New Year already? It seems like just yesterday we were setting resolutions, hopeful about accomplishing new goals and making positive changes in our lives.
But while we often do our best to stay focused, resolutions don’t often pan out the way we’d like. We lose steam by the end of January, and then endure guilt and shame at having abandoned our own desires.
The problem? Resolutions are too specific. They work for short-term goals such as going for a run today, but don’t have the sustaining power you really need to keep up your motivation all year long. Resolutions also tend to focus on fixing flaws rather than addressing something deeper. Think about it, the resolution of losing weight implies you are currently overweight, the resolution of getting a better job reminds you that you’re currently miserable in the one you have, and even something like “traveling more” can trigger self-criticism at having a lack of adventure in your existing life. No wonder they don’t work, they’re nagging reminders of our shortcomings!
If resolutions haven’t proven effective for you in the past, then it’s time to try a new approach.
Set an intention, instead.

Unlike a resolution, which is a promise you make to yourself, an intention is a mindset. It’s less specific than something like exercising 3 times a week, but it’s also more connected to the core of what you really want, and therefore leaves you more open to fulfilling that in a variety of ways.
Here are examples of resolutions:

  • Meditate 5 times a week for 10 minutes each
  • Avoid junk food
  • Reconnect with an old hobby

And here are their corresponding intentions:

  • Develop a calm mind
  • Live more healthfully
  • Make more time for creativity and play

The difference is subtle, but it’s just enough to shift how your actions unfold.
To use the first example, developing a calm mind could certainly include meditating 5 times a week, but it also leaves you open to all sorts of possibilities that contribute to the same effect, thereby leaving you far less bored (or likely to quit trying) as the year goes on. Developing a calm mind could manifest as a class you take, spending more time in nature, reading some books on wisdom traditions, re-evaluating your relationships, etc. By not limiting yourself to one specific method, you open yourself up to a range of possibilities and increase your chances of ultimately reaching that deeper goal – sometimes through surprising ways.
Give it a try this year and see how it goes. At the very least you’ll take a break from resolutions and might discover that you don’t even miss them!
What’s your intention for the new year? Share in the comments below!

Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu Season

Feeling under the weather? When the temperatures drop, we tend to spend more time indoors, get less sunshine and fresh air, and consume more indulgent, comfort foods. This combination leads to a higher exposure to airborne organisms and decreased immunity, which means you're more likely to catch a cold or flu.

But don’t be too quick to jump to over-the-counter solutions unless it’s absolutely necessary. Nature is chock full of remedies that can help you boost your immunity and alleviate symptoms of sickness. 

Here are 4 natural foods and remedies that will help you get through cold and flu season:

Raw garlic is an everyday superfood that should be included in daily meals to keep your immune system strong. It’s an anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal powerhouse! In fact, one study found that consuming a garlic supplement every day reduced the number of colds by 63%, and even those who did get a cold had it last just an average of 1.5 days. Garlic is also full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber for overall health. Chop it up and sprinkle it on something every day, whether you’re sick or not!

Apple Cider Vinegar, Lemon, Honey, Ginger, and Water
This remedy is great for coughs or sore throats, and should be consumed like a tea. Boil some hot water, add a capful of apple cider vinegar, a squeeze of fresh lemon, ½ a teaspoon of raw honey, and some sliced fresh ginger. The combination of acidity, B-vitamins, Vitamin C, and the general cocktail of immunity-boosting compounds will soothe irritation and help your body begin to recover. The warmth and mild sweetness will also soothe your soul and help you rest while keeping you hydrated.

Oil of oregano
This is most effective if taken right after exposure or at the first sign of a cold. It can also help to relieve sinus congestion when combined with steaming hot water and inhaled deeply. Oil of oregano is available at many health food stores and is a powerful anti-microbial that can stop viruses and bacteria from proliferating.  

Coconut oil and peppermint/eucalyptus essential oil
This makes a great chest rub if your lungs are feeling sore and your sinuses aren’t clear. Combine a dollop of coconut oil with a few drops of peppermint and/or eucalyptus oil and rub it on your chest or back before going to sleep. The soothing massage will relieve some of the physical discomfort while the essential oils can help clear your breathing passages as you inhale the oils while sleeping.

Additional ways to reduce the severity and duration of colds:

  • Use a humidifier in your bedroom
  • Blow your nose regularly to eliminate germs quickly
  • Stay hydrated
  • Just rest, don’t try to multitask
  • Reduce sugar – it lowers immunity
  • Eat nutrient-dense foods like eggs, kale, or beans

What’s your go-to natural cold remedy? Share in the comments below!

5 Superfood Swaps That Will Save You Serious Cash

Healthy foods, especially superfoods, have a notorious reputation for being expensive, and a lot of people use that as an excuse to grab fast food and sacrifice their health. 

While high-quality food is the greatest investment you can make for your health, sometimes you just can’t afford to splurge on goji berries, maca, and that fancy camu camu powder.

Fortunately, there are plenty of nutrient-packed foods proven to protect against cancer, prevent heart disease, lower blood pressure, and more – that won’t break the bank.  

Next time you run out of an ingredient for your superfood smoothie, save yourself a little cash and swap out high-priced items for their more accessible counterparts.

Superfood: Goji berries
Instead choose: blueberries
Chock full of vitamin C, goji berries are famous for their super sweet taste and bright red color. They’re abundant in China and the Himalayas, where they’ve been used for centuries as a medicinal plant that can treat everything from eye problems to liver disease. But these tiny berries are high in fructose and typically pretty pricey.

Instead, opt for blueberries. You can buy them frozen or fresh (frozen fruit typically retains the same amount of nutrients as the fresh kind!), and they’re just as good as gojis. One serving contains a quarter of your daily recommended value of vitamin C and almost 20 percent of the fiber you need. Plus, they’re proven to contain cancer-fighting antioxidants and improve memory.

Superfood: Kombucha
Instead try: apple cider vinegar
The fermented, vinegary drink is popular among the health set for its probiotic benefits—but it’s pretty difficult to tell just how much beneficial bacteria is in a glass of the ‘booch. Instead of shelling out $4-$6 for the stuff, take a swig of organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV). Brands of ACV like Bragg’s contain what is known as “the Mother” which has beneficial pectin, enzymes, and probiotics that encourage healthy gut bacteria. And you can use ACV so many different ways—from facial toner to kitchen cleaner, it’s a staple for any healthy home.

Superfood: Cacao
Instead: dark chocolate
Cacao is the raw form of chocolate. Pure cacao has over 300 beneficial chemical compounds, and loads of antioxidants, but it can be bitter and expensive! Grab some dark chocolate. Yes, it’ll be a little bitter, too. But very dark chocolate—the kind without any added dairy—retains the initial benefits of cacao. Remember to grab a bar that’s low in sugar, additive free, and is made from organic, fair-trade cacao beans. 

Superfood: Wheatgrass
Instead pick up: bok choy
Wheatgrass had a big moment in the nineties—remember how it was available at practically every juice bar around? And it’s still a popular ingredient in superfood green powders. But it’s not exactly delicious and it’s difficult to get enough of it to see much benefit. Instead, try bok choy. This cruciferous vegetable is one of the most nutrient-dense items you can find at your local farmers’ market; one serving of bok choy delivers vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin B6.

Superfood: Maca
Instead go for: chia seeds
Known as an adaptogen, maca root powder is prized for its energizing powers and often cited for its ability to balance hormones. Despite the fact that it’s mighty tasty in smoothies and super elixirs, there isn’t much scientific evidence that maca has an effect on our hormonal levels. One way you can support healthy hormonal function? Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Try out chia seeds—they’re full of good-for-you fats, protein, and fiber. Nicknamed “runner’s energy,” one tablespoon mixed into a smoothie or oats can give you a boost in the morning if you’re feeling sluggish.

Do you have a favorite superfood or superfood swap? Share in the comments below!

3 Ways to Create a Wellness Tribe Wherever You Are

Isn’t it nice when you can let your hair down and just be yourself? When you can share your personal passion, struggles, or vision for the future, and have someone to turn to with questions, someone who actually “gets” you on a deeper level?
That’s what a wellness tribe is all about!
A wellness tribe is a group of people who share a common interest in wellness, who get together to exchange ideas and provide mutual support, and who gain inspiration from collective empowerment.
The concept of tribes is ingrained in human history, and was used to refer to groups of people who shared land and followed certain ways of life for many generations. But in modern times, we can choose our tribes as a form of non-dietary social nourishment.
If you’ve ever felt alone in your efforts to change your diet or lifestyle, or transition your career in a more positive direction then a wellness tribe is definitely for you. It can help you feel more connected, inspired, and motivated to maintain your wellness habits and experiment with new ones. Besides, it’s fun to discuss creative new yoga trends and the most affordable superfoods with others who will get as excited about it as you do!
So what can you do to create a wellness tribe if you don’t have one?
1. Attend a meetup.
Meetup.com is a great resource for local gatherings centered around nearly any topic you can imagine, including wellness or even specific areas of wellness, such as nutrition, fitness, mental health, certain conditions, energy healing, you name it! See what you can find in your area and attend a few meetups to connect with wellness-loving people in your area.

2. Organize a gathering.
If you have a few friends or acquaintances who are also interested in wellness, schedule a get-together at your place, or meet for lunch at a healthy café once a month. You can share your latest personal wellness practices, favorite recipes, books, challenges, or tips. Keep it regular so you stay connected, and use social media to share virtually between gatherings.
3. Become a regular at a local wellness hub.
Whether it’s a yoga studio, a café, or a meditation center, chances are that there’s someplace in your area where wellness-loving people are already coming together, so go there and check it out! A real tribe is one you come in contact with regularly, so once you find a place you like make it a part of your schedule to attend. You’re likely to meet new people and keep the connection alive even outside that particular hub.
Wellness tribes that connect in person will have a stronger bond, but digital tribes can be great too! Find a virtual wellness program that has a “community” element so you can interact with others regularly, or find forums or Facebook groups focused on topics that interest you.
Consistency is key when it comes to tribes. You won’t get the deeper feeling of connection if you jump around from one group to another, so find one you like and stick with it or start your own!
Do you have a wellness tribe you’re a part of? Share in the comments below!

5 Simple Systems to Help Reach Your Goals

As we move away from summer vacation and everyone buckles down into back-to-school routines, it’s a great time to refocus your goals and create a plan to stay true to your priorities. 

We all have big dreams and long to-do lists but why is it that some people are so good at actually accomplishing things, while others constantly feel like they’re struggling to catch up?  

The answer lies in developing a unique organizational system that works for you!

Just like there is no one way of eating that works for everyone – there is no one way of getting organized that works for everyone either.

The important thing is to get clear on what you want, set the intention to reach those goals, try out different methods, and then stick with the one that best fits your schedule and circumstances.

To help you get started, I’ve outlined a few simple strategies that may serve as a good foundation for your system, try them on and see what fits YOU.

1. Big Rocks 
Inspired by Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Integrative Nutrition founder Joshua Rosenthal teaches future Health Coaches one especially powerful tool called “Big Rocks.” Here’s the gist: get clear on your “big 3” goals, focus your time and energy each week on tasks in service of those goals and de-prioritize the day-to-day little tasks that aren’t serving you. Curious to learn more about how it works? Download this handy PDF guide here for more details!

2. Bullet Journal
A to-do list, diary, and planner in one, “Bullet Journaling” is taking the world by storm. Developed by Ryder Carroll, the Bullet Journal is referred to as the “analog system for the digital age.” This system of organization is the perfect fit for those who love handwriting in their planner and keeping everything in one place. Bullet Journals are incredibly flexible and customizable since all you need to get started is a blank notebook and pen. From there you can build out your goals, future plans, and tasks for the rest of the year in a simple bulleted fashion. 

3. Vision Board
For those who are more artistically inclined, creating a vision board as a way to focus on the things you want to achieve can help improve motivation, boost self-confidence, and foster behaviors that lead to success. It’s simply a visual representation of your goals: images that represent all the things you’d like to accomplish in your life—who, what, and where you want to be. The power of this technique comes from the fact that it allows you to spend time getting clear on your dreams, hopes, and vision for your future. There are no hard rules when it comes to making a vision board—just have fun with it! Don’t have the wall space for a big corkboard? Create a digital vision board using Pinterest!

4. Digital Calendars and Productivity Apps
From phone calls, to texting, to online shopping and social media we use our phones for everything. Why not keep your goals readily accessible and always visible by tracking them on your phone! Whether you use a formal habit tracker like Productive or Strides, or simply keep a running list of notes on your phone – leveraging the power of your smartphone to get clear and stay on track is a great way to make your goals attainable with just one click.

5. Morning Pages
Julia Cameron encourages everyone to handwrite morning pages – three pages of free-flow stream of consciousness first thing in the morning. They will help you get ready for your day by getting all your thoughts on paper and put you in touch with your subconscious feelings so they can inform you on how to prioritize your day leaving your mind free and clear to focus on your goals.

What’s your favorite way of setting goals and staying organized? Let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you!

Is Hummus Healthy For You?

Have you ever wondered if those little tubs of hummus you find at the grocery store are actually healthy for you? Hummus is marketed as a healthy snack option, but is it really? If you’re anything like me you’re probably hoping that the answer is yes! Hummus is super delicious and dresses up any veggie when used as a dip. Hummus is also a tasty snack that most kids enjoy which makes getting them to eat their veggies that much easier. 

The great news is that, generally speaking hummus is an excellent healthy snack option. However, you do have to be careful when buying store bought hummus. Depending on what hummus you buy, it may be best to make your own at home to ensure you’re actually getting the health benefits hummus provides. Let’s take a look into why hummus is healthy, and how you can be sure you’re actually getting the healthiest hummus available. 

Top 4 Reasons Why Hummus Is a Great Choice

  1. Helps with Weight Management: If you are looking for healthy snack options to help with your weight loss goals, hummus is an excellent choice. The chickpeas in hummus are packed with fiber which helps promote satiety, prevents overeating, and boosts the digestive system. There was even a study done back in 2014 published in the Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences that found that those who chose hummus as a healthy snack had a 53% lower chance of being obese and a 51% lower chance of having high blood sugar as opposed to those who don’t eat hummus!
  2. Hummus is a High Protein Snack: If you are looking to increase your protein intake, humus packs a whopping 4 grams of protein per 1/3 cup serving, which makes hummus a great source of plant based protein. Hummus is especially helpful for those following a vegan diet and need an extra protein boost. Protein is needed for nearly every process in the body, and snacking on a healthy food such as hummus can help to replace protein stores, which makes it a great pre- or post-workout snack. 
  3. Hummus Makes an Excellent Spread: Hummus is an excellent alternative to mayonnaise, or other processed spreads on sandwiches, wraps, or buns. With a wide variety of flavors, hummus can be a delicious complement to any healthy sandwich or veggie wrap, and can even be used as a base for a healthier chicken salad! Try mixing garlic hummus with mashed avocado for a healthy spread packed with fiber, healthy fat, and protein. 
  4. Hummus is Incredibly Easy to Make: Hummus is one of those foods that anyone can make. It only takes a handful of ingredients, and 5 minutes of your time to whip up a delicious and nourishing snack. All you need is a food processor, chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Simply blend all of the ingredients together, and you have yourself a delicious hummus full of health benefits!

The Top 3 Things to Look for When Purchasing Hummus

While hummus is generally a very healthy food choice, if you are buying hummus from the grocery store there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you’re getting the healthiest option available. 

  • Stick to a hummus with limited ingredients. A general rule of thumb is that if you see a food label with a long list of ingredients, chances are some of those ingredients aren’t healthy. Stick to a brand that contains only whole foods. You will want to see chickpeas, olive oil, lemon, garlic, and tahini on the food label and that’s about it. 
  • Avoid additives. You will want to make sure the food label does not contain any additives such as potassium sorbate, artificial flavors, colorings, or benzoates. These are additives often found in store bought hummus may extend its shelf life or make it look pretty but can cause unwanted side effects, from inflammation to skin issues. 
  • Check what kind oil is used. You have to be careful with store bought brands, as many manufactures may choose to use cheaper oils, like canola, vegetable, or soybean oil, when making their hummus. These processed oils can cause inflammation, are primarily genetically modified, and contain harmful polyunsaturated fats. Make sure you to purchase a hummus made with olive oil and tahini since these are two of the ingredients that gives hummus its anti-inflammatory properties!

When made properly with wholesome ingredients, hummus is super healthy for you, easily accessible, affordable, and can be used in a variety of ways to boost the flavor of many meals. If you are looking for a healthier spread, a creamy dressing, or an indulgent dip, hummus is a great choice. Plus, with the variety of flavors you can create, you really can’t go wrong! You can add in just about any herb or spice you want to reach the flavor you desire. If you have never made hummus before, and want to see just how easy it is follow the recipe below!

Basic Hummus Recipe:


  • 1 (15) ounce can of chickpeas
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
    Pinch of sea salt


  1. Simply place all ingredients into a food processor, or a high speed blender, and blend until smooth.
  2. That’s it! This is a basic recipe, so feel free to add in any herbs and spices to adjust the taste to your liking.

Do you have a favorite way to enjoy hummus, or a go-to recipe? Share with me in the comments!

How to Detox Your Body, Mind, and Home Without Dieting

Detoxing is hot right now, but it goes beyond doing a juice cleanse to lose a few pounds and get glowing skin. You can renew your body, mind, and home any time of year – you don’t have to wait for the seasons to change or a beach vacation where swimsuits are required.

Here are nine high-leverage ways to refresh your body, mind, and home so you can feel light, clear, and motivated to move forward in your life.

First, let’s talk body. Follow these three steps to detox your body without dieting:

1. Eliminate processed foods. They hinder your circulatory and excretory systems, leaving you bloated, tired, and heavy.

2. Sip warm water with lemon throughout the day. This is a natural and highly effective way to gently trigger your body to release excess fluids that lead to bloating and toxicity.

3. Experiment with an elimination diet to easily test for allergies. Start by eliminating dairy, gluten, soy, and eggs for two weeks. Then add in each allergen, one at a time every three days, and notice if you have any reactions or symptoms. Always get approval and guidance from a medical doctor.

Next, master your mind with these steps:

1. Start each day by writing down 3–5 things you’re grateful for. When you’re grateful for what you already have, everything you want flows more easily.

2. End the day by doing a brain dump of everything on your mind and writing out a to-do list for the next day. This will wipe your mental slate clean for the following day and help you sleep without anxiety.

3. Experiment with meditation. Start by sitting and breathing deeply for 3–5 minutes. If it feels good, meditate for longer and research different techniques to see what you like best.

Now cleanse your environment to support yourself. A clear, calm environment fosters a peaceful mind and a balanced body:

1. Grab a large garbage bag and go through your closet and drawers, throwing in everything that no longer fits and/or makes you feel great. You can sell or donate these things.

2. Replace your cleaning products with nontoxic versions. Choose products that use the natural power of essential oils, soaps, and even household items like apple cider vinegar and lemon to keep your house clean.

3. Burn candles to absorb food scents and naturally keep the air fresh. Open your windows frequently to improve air circulation.

What’s the first step you’ll take to detox your body, mind, and home without dieting? What’s the big reason you want to renew and refresh yourself on a holistic level? Your big “why” will drive you and keep you on track.

Leave a comment below and tell me the first step you’ll take – I can’t wait to hear from you.

The Only Productivity Tool You Need

Whether you want to lose weight or get a promotion at work, you need to master productivity. You’ll never be able to fit in workouts, healthy meals, and meditation if you’re constantly procrastinating and not making the best use of your time. And if you’re going for that promotion, you’ll never be able to get ahead and learn new skills if you don’t know how to be effective with your time.
Productivity is something every top performer has mastered, and you should, too.
With so many tips on time management and productivity available on the Internet, you might feel overwhelmed by the different approaches experts preach on a daily basis.
Today, I’m going to unravel this whole mystery and share the ONLY tool you need to master productivity and get a huge amount done every day.
Are you ready?
Single-pointed focus: focusing on only one thing at a time.
You might have heard that the key to being productive and getting a lot done is multitasking.
Doing more than one thing sounds effective. Like you’ll get more done because you’re doing two things at a time instead of one, right? Wrong. What happens when you multitask is that your focus and energy are diluted and no task ever gets your full energy.
Often, you don’t finish anything completely because you’re so exhausted from spreading yourself across two (or more) projects. If you do end up finishing multiple tasks at once, it’s likely the work will be low quality – you might even have to redo it.
On the other hand, when you focus on one thing at a time until completion, your work quality will be super high and you’ll feel satisfied at the end of the day because you actually got work done – and gave it your all.
It’s the same when you’re trying to get healthy or lose weight. If you just integrate one tool at a time – like adding in one serving of green vegetables per day – until it’s second nature to you, you’ll see results. If you try to implement every health tip you’ve heard at once, you’ll likely get frustrated, binge on brownies, and give up completely.
See how single-pointed focus applies to every area of your life and is the only productivity tool you need? Experiment with it this week and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear from you! 

7 Simple Ways to Get In More Exercise

You probably already know that physical activity is key to good health, but are you actually integrating movement into your daily routine?

Today you’re going to learn seven simple ways to get in more exercise – none of which involve a fancy gym, a trainer breathing down your neck, or heavy-duty weights.

One of the biggest pitfalls related to exercise is feeling like you need to commit to an intense two-hour routine. When you fail to do this, you do nothing instead of moving your body for even five minutes.

The endorphin rush after a good sweat session has the ability to lift your spirits throughout the day, positively influence the way you interact with others, and even help you sleep better at night.


The secret not many people realize? Even a short workout has huge benefits, so don’t get tripped up in the all-or-nothing mentality – just get moving.

These are my seven favorite ways to squeeze in exercise when I don’t have time for a full-blown workout:

1.    Ride your bike or walk to work (or while doing errands).

2.    Do some household chores.

3.    Tend your garden.

4.    Dance around your living room to one upbeat song.

5.    Take the stairs.

6.    Go on an after-dinner walk.

7.    Do leg lifts and jumping jacks while watching TV.

The key here is to simplify your idea of exercise and just move your body in a way that feels great to you. It’s even better if a friend or loved one wants to do it with you. That way, you can motivate each other and hold each other accountable.

Let’s demystify working out this week and just do it.

How will you move in a way that’s simple and doable every day this week?

Share with me in the comments below.

The Secret Key to Actually Enjoying Life

The daily grind of modern life can be exhausting: working full-time, going to appointments, running errands, squeezing in grocery shopping, preparing nourishing meals, finding time to exercise…the demands might seem endless.

When’s the last time you spent an afternoon doing absolutely nothing?

According to Dr. Matthew Sleeth, taking time to rest and relax may be one of the best things you can do for your health. In his book 24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life, Dr. Sleeth emphasizes that for almost two thousand years, Western culture stopped for twenty-four hours once a week, every week.

“Even when I was a child, you couldn’t buy gasoline, you couldn’t buy milk. The drugstores weren’t open.…And so society just had a day where they put it in park. [That] was Sunday…until the last thirty years or so,” he said.

Now, in a culture that celebrates being busy, people are on the go nonstop – and it’s taking a toll on our health and happiness. According to Dr. Sleeth, constant stress is causing a growing epidemic of depression and anxiety, and stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are linked to obesity and diabetes.

What’s the solution? Blocking out regular time in your busy schedule to rest and recharge. Though Dr. Sleeth recommends an entire day, taking it easy for just a few hours once a week can help you actually enjoy your life instead of watching it speed past.

Even if your Monday is busy and stressful, it can be reassuring to know that you have a relaxing and stress-free Saturday to look forward to. For someone with a sedentary desk job, that may mean unplugging from your computer and going for a hike; for someone who spends a lot of time on their feet, that might mean curling up with a cup of tea and a good book.

Whatever you choose, prioritizing unstructured downtime is a crucial form of primary food that will help you relax, appreciate what’s good in your life, and return to your daily tasks with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

Do you spend enough time doing absolutely nothing?

Share in the comments below.

Gluten-Free Doesn’t Always Mean Healthy

The gluten-free trend is more popular than ever, and many people assume eating gluten-free will automatically make them lose weight, clear up digestive issues, and make their skin glow.

Not so fast.

When you go gluten-free, the instinct is to replace bread, cookies, and pancakes with gluten-free versions. The problem is that these processed foods are often made with hard-to-digest fillers that are more difficult for the body to process than gluten.

Many people view the gluten-free trend as a diet, but it’s not. If you want to lose weight, cutting out gluten may be the answer, but if you replace it with junky processed foods, the scale probably won’t move.

I encourage you to evaluate how gluten makes you feel on a deeper level – how it affects your energy and mood – and decide from there.

If you suspect you have a true gluten intolerance and want to experiment with a gluten-free lifestyle, take these three steps:

1. Evaluate your why. Why are you going gluten-free? Do you want to drop a few pounds, clear up your skin, or improve your digestion? Going gluten-free is not a diet, and I’d recommend reevaluating your approach if that’s your belief.

Avoiding wheat and other gluten-filled foods won’t necessarily make you lose weight, so make sure you’re cutting gluten for the right reasons – to clear up chronic digestive issues, improve your skin health, and get more energy. A goal to lose weight or go on a diet is perfectly valid, but simply eliminating gluten isn’t necessarily the best approach.

2. Focus on foods that are naturally gluten-free. Eliminating gluten might seem intimidating at first, but it’s actually quite simple. There are tons of naturally gluten-free foods you can eat. Think wild salmon, grass-fed meat, vegetables, potatoes, rice, quinoa…the list goes on. If you stick to these whole foods, you will probably lose weight effortlessly (if that’s your goal) and clear up chronic health issues.

3. Ask questions. When you’re dining out, you’ll need to be bold about asking questions if you want to get a truly gluten-free meal. Tell your waiter you’re gluten-intolerant and ask him or her if the dishes you’re interested in contain wheat or other gluten products. Be especially cautious with sauces and anything breaded or fried. These foods contain gluten more often than not.

What role does gluten play in your diet? Do you sense you might be intolerant? Share in the comments below.