Get Your Green On: Juices and Smoothies

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Eat Your GreensYou know by now that you’ve gotta eat those greens.  Dark leafies are the single healthiest group of foods out there.  Loaded with nutrients, they are major health powerhouses, and the best part is, you can eat them as much as you want!  If you’re not doing so already, make greens a big priority in your eating — shooting for a full serving at least twice a day.  Salads, cooked greens, greens in your eggs, greens tossed into soup, and as a side for pretty much anything you’re eating — they are super easy to make into a daily habit. Continue reading

Healthy Menu Navigator: Chinese

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Can’t live without Moo Shu?  We’ve got you covered in the latest installment of our Healthy Menu Navigator.  Make sure to check out all the cuisines we’ve featured so far, and keep coming back! We’ll have a new featured cuisine every week to take the guesswork and drama out of eating out!

The Organic Beauty Healthy Menu Navigator: Chinese

Chinese cuisine can be tricky for healthy ordering for a couple of reasons.  First the quality of animal protein in most Chinese restaurants is typically not that high, so that means ordering vegetarian, which can be limited to tofu.  Although fine every once in a while, tofu should not be a healthy diet staple due to it’s estrogenic effect on the body.  Secondly, a lot of Chinese food is floating in sauces made with lots of sugar and MSG, which are both super problematic. So you see, kinda tricky.  But, as always, we’re here to save the day with the healthiest options around!  And there are a surprising number of healthy dishes to choose from!

  • Steamed Veggie DumplingsIf you don’t have a gluten sensitivity, steamed veggie dumplings are your appetizer of choice.
  • Soups: Options like Egg Drop Soup or vegetarian Hot & Sour Soup can be ok, but make sure you ask for no MSG! Some Chinese restaurants will have a vegetable, tofu, or seafood soup that can work as well.
  • Vegetable Chow Fun or Mai Fun: These rice noodle dishes are gluten free, and can be pretty healthy if you get the veggie version.  Again, make sure to ask for no MSG!
  • Vegetable Chop Suey: This stir-fry can be super yummy, and even pretty healthy when loaded with veggies. Get it with brown rice, if it’s available, and again, no MSG!
  • Vegetable Fried Rice: Again, basically a veggie stir-fry! If you can get it with brown rice, you get extra brownie points ; )
  • Moo Shu Vegetables: This is quite possibly the healthiest thing you can get at a Chinese restaurant.  Tons of sautéed cabbage, mushrooms, and other veggies, served in a little pancake with duck sauce.  Yums!
  • Vegetable Mu Gu Gai Pan: This Cantonese dish is loaded with snow peas, mushrooms, water chestnuts, and other good stuff.
  • Other vegetable dishes: From Broccoli or Eggplant in Garlic Sauce to Szechuan String Beans or snow peas, you can usually find a whole bunch of yummy vegetable dishes on a typical Chinese menu.  Hold the MSG and get brown rice to make it a meal!

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Healthy Menu Navigator: Japanese

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Craving some sushi? You’re in luck! We’ve got you covered in the latest installment of our Healthy Menu Navigator.  Make sure to check out all the cuisines we’ve featured so far, and keep coming back! We’ll have a new featured cuisine every week to take the guesswork and drama out of eating out!

The Organic Beauty Healthy Menu Navigator: Japanese

Japanese cuisine is generally the easiest for finding healthy menu options.  With all the amazing seafood going on, it’s hard to go wrong!  Japanese food is also loaded with awesome super foods like seaweed and mushrooms, making it totally come out on top in the healthy dining scene.

  • Soups: From miso soup, to seafood and soba noodle soups.. there are lots of great options to choose from!
  • Salads: Make sure you go for hijiki or another seaweed salad that isn’t that creepy bright green color (which typically means artificial coloring has been added). But there are also many different kinds of yummy Japanese salads, many of which come with that amazing carrot-ginger dressing!
  • Sushi: From maki rolls to nigiri, sushi is always a great pick.  Make sure to limit high mercury types of fish like tuna and opt instead for varieties like salmon, shrimp and eel.  And of course avocado rolls and cucumber rolls are super healthy vegetarian options! Shoot for brown rice to amp up the health-factor!
  • Soba noodles:  Loaded up with veggies or seafood, gluten-free buckwheat soba noodles are a super yummy choice!
  • Other seafood dishes: Miso-marinated cod, soft-shell crab, the list goes on and on. Again, it’s hard to go wrong at a Japanese restaurant!  Just try to avoid teriyaki sauces and other preparations that might be loaded with sugar.  Other than that, you’re good to go.
  • Sake or green tea: Japanese cuisine also has the corner on awesome drinks.  Be it some hot sake, or a mug of antioxidant green tea, you’re covered!

{Image: Pinterest}

Surviving Wanderlust: Tips for the Best Yogi Vacay Ever

By: Nkechi Njaka

As I leave for the mountains, I’m excited to remind myself of the experience I had last year and what this year might be like. For those of you unfamiliar, Wanderlust Festival is a 4 day yoga experience in the mountains and I am going to attend the one in Squaw Valley, Tahoe. Some of the best yoga instructors in the world come from all over to teach. Additionally, there is a huge meditation and wellness component where thought leaders are invited to speak and teach as well.  Last year was my first time attending and I didn’t exactly know what to expect. I know that a few tips would have benefitted me so here is what I wish I knew:

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How to get over the guilt of self-care

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Prioritize Happiness
Last Monday, I woke up feeling a little “meh.” I had tons on my plate between clients, my upcoming program launch, and preparing for my trip home to Minneapolis, but I was feeling some resistance toward jumping into my super productive morning routine.

These days, I know that when that happens, it’s rarely for no reason.  When I feel “meh,” unmotivated, or run down, I know it’s because I haven’t been taking well enough care of myself.  I know what I need in those moments… SPACE.

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Healthy Menu Navigator: Indian

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Craving some curry? We’ve got you covered in the latest installment of our Healthy Menu Navigator.  Make sure to check out all the cuisines we’ve featured so far, and keep coming back! We’ll have a new featured cuisine every week to take the guesswork and drama out of eating out!

The Organic Beauty Healthy Menu Navigator: Indian

Stick with seafood or the multitude of vegetarian options in Indian cuisine, and avoid the heavy cream sauces and overdoing the breads.  Indian food is great for sharing, which also ensures that you can try lots of yummy things without overdoing it. Remember, if you’ve gotta have you naan, just have a few pieces, NOT the whole order!

  • Papadum: These lentil wafers are delicious as an appetizer, and are much healthier than those heavy breads!
  • Daal soup: This delicious lentil soup is a healthy eating staple.  Pair it with a salad or an appetizer for a filling and yummy dinner!
  • Veggie Appetizers: Non-fried dishes like Chana Bhaji, Ka-Chori and Papri Chat are loaded with delicious beans and other veggies. Pair them with a soup to make a nice light dinner!
  • Vegetable Curry: Make sure to double-check that cream isn’t used in the curry, pair it with rice for a delicious lunch!
  • Chana or Okra Masala:  Again, double-check that cream isn’t used, and rock these deliciously spicy chickpea or okra dishes!
  • Mushroom Saag: A delicious dish of sautéed spinach and mushrooms, usually cooked in butter (which does make it a bit heavy).
  • Aloo Gobi: This traditional dish is made with potatoes, peas and cauliflower cooked in delicious herbs and spices!
  • Chutneys:  Don’t forget to load up on the delicious chutneys! They elevate every dish to a whole new level.

{Image: Pinterest}

Natural Summer Makeup Essentials

jcrew summer makeup Summer heat, humidity and sun present an annual makeup quandary that can either leave us melting into an oily, streaky mess or going uncomfortably bare. Neither option is particularly alluring, and neither embodies that glowing je ne sais quoi  that we’re going for.

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Healthy Menu Navigator: Thai

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Are you dying for some Pad Thai? No worries! I’m back with the next installment of our Healthy Menu Navigator series!  Hopefully by now I’ve convinced you that eating out doesn’t having to spell disaster for your healthy eating or your week.  Stay tuned as we cover even more cuisines every week!

The Organic Beauty Healthy Menu Navigator: Thai

In general, Thai tends to be a super healthy option for eating out, and is one of my personal faves. I have a standing weekly order of Tom Yum noodle soup (with tons of veggies, and a sub of rice noodles) along with a Mango Avocado salad, and it just can’t be beat!  Shoot for vegetarian or seafood options and dishes with rice or rice noodles at Thai restaurants, and you’ll be guaranteed a healthy but delicious meal.

  • Vegetable Pad Thai: Load this puppy up with tons of veggies, and you’ve actually got yourself a pretty healthy, gluten-free meal! Ask for extra veggies!
  • Tom Yum Noodle Soup: Get this yummy soup with rice noodles instead of egg noodles, load it up with greens and veggies and you’ve got another great choice!
  • Coconut Curries (Green, Red, Massaman, Panang): These rich, but delicious curries are great for lunch when paired with brown rice and loaded with veggies!
  • Thai salads: Delicious options like Mango Avocado and Green Som Tum are loaded with yummy veggies and spicy, sweet and sour goodness.  You also get the benefit of healthy fats like nuts and avocado, which will keep you full!  Pair your salad with a soup for a perfect dinner out.
  • Seafood: Thai cuisine offers tons of delicious seafood options, from whole fish, to seafood soups, and more.  Though best for lunch, a seafood dish can also work as an occasional dinner option as well!

{Image: Pinterest}

What are you dependent on?

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

“When I accept myself, I am freed from the burden of needing you to accept me.” – Dr. Steve Maraboli

As the 4th of July approaches, I’ve been thinking a lot about independence and freedom.  Though I am no less a patriot than the next gal, my thinking has been more personal, as opposed to civic.  Namely, that of emotional independence.  In my own life, and in my work with my beloved clients, emotional dependency (on food, on a relationship, on a way of being or thinking) is a big recurring theme, and is often times a huge barrier to feeling joy and living the life we crave.

So I ask you this: where in your life do you feel dependent, and how does that dependency make you feel?

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Wearable Organic Beauty from Lovely Hunt

lovely huntIt’s no secret that I’m obsessed with all things organic and beautiful (I mean, it’s in our name!).  I believe that living the organic beauty life is about so much more than eating beautiful, healthy food, prioritizing self-care, joy, and balance, and living a non-toxic lifestyle (in all meaning of the word).  It’s also about adorning your body and home in beautiful things that make you FEEL the way you want to feel.  Whether it’s a unique, one-of-a-kind vibe, an earthy goddess sensibility, or a super cool trendsetter feel, surrounding yourself with beauty is such a key element in living a life of joy, ease, and radiance.

So you can imagine how giddy I was when I discovered Lovely Hunt, a beautifully curated online marketplace of handmade jewelry, bags and accessories that are all deliciously covetable and perfectly unique.

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Healthy Menu Navigator: French

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Are you craving some tartar or creme brûlée? I’ve got you covered! Committing to an awesome way of eating does not mean giving up on your social life or enjoying your favorite restaurants.  It just means making the smartest choices when you eat out, so you’re not undoing all your hard work!  Luckily, I’m here to help! I’ll be posting a new cuisine every week, so make sure to check back!

The Organic Beauty Healthy Menu Navigator: French

Similar to Italian cuisine, French restaurants can be pretty tricky for healthy eating. But there’s always something you can choose that won’t be laden with the butter and cream found all over most menus!

  • Salads: French salads like Niçoise, artichoke, beet, and of course the many green salads you might find are the safest bet to start any French meal.  Even a Caesar salad isn’t the worst thing in the world, particularly if it’s made with a darker leafy green.
  • Soups: Go for a vegetarian soup or a classic French Bouillabaisse, which you can pair with a salad for a yummy light dinner!
  • Tuna Tartare: A yummy and decadent dish!
  • Mussels:  This is my number one favorite dish to order at French restaurants.  Mussels are light but filling and are super fun to eat.  Go for Mariniere or Provençale preparations.  So good!  But don’t go crazy dipping your baguette slices into the delicious sauce.  Limit yourself to one or two pieces!
  • Grilled Fish: You’ll find grilled salmon, branzino, or other types of fish on most French menus, and it’s by far the healthiest choice to go for.  Again, watch the sides… Opt for greens or mushrooms instead of potatoes.
  • Berries, sorbets, or fruit tartes: These fruit-based desserts are the healthiest options on the French menu.  Although an occasional tiramisu or creme brûlée won’t kill you, they’re definitely not for regular ordering.

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