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10 Healthy Tips For 2017

I often get asked what I’m like in real life.  Truthfully, I’m a little bit all over the place.  I have a very strong stubborn streak, a wild and rebellious spirit, a kind, nurturing heart and am very regularly plagued with thoughts about food.  What dessert will I be sinking my teeth into next?  What will my next meal smell and look like?  What strange and unusual combinations can I dream up?  I’m also the sort of person that when struck with a particular craving, I just have to satiate it or I die a little bit inside.  Ok, that’s a bit melodramatic but it feels so true.  Due to this very serious condition, I often give in to all that ooey gooey, luscious chocolate and deep fried dreams are made of.  I can’t help it.  I was just born this way.  I still try my very best to lead a clean lifestyle when I can help it.  Here are a few tips that help me.

1).  Meditation and gratitude.  I talk about this in my morning routine video.  Begin the day with these two and you’re already off to a better start.  Oh, and water/lemon water never hurt either.

2). Eat your greens.  I’m particularly fond of whipping them up into a smoothie and am partial to our local moringa, dino kale or barley grass.  If you’re not feeling up to a cold smoothie because it’s actually cold where you live, I like massaging avocado into my greens to not only wilt it down but to coat it with delicious, buttery flavor and get in another kind of green.

Moringa leaves from our backyard.

2). Cozy up with some healthful teas.  I really like silver needle, boricha {roasted barley tea} and fresh lemongrass from our garden.

3).  Get outside.  I know we live in world that often demonizes the sun but I can personally attest to its magical healing qualities.  Since moving to a place where it’s mostly sunny year round, I can tell you that I’ve never felt happier.  Not only will you get a healthy dose of much needed vitamin d, it also gets you into a new environment that is constantly changing.

4).  Eat the dessert.  What I mean is, don’t restrict.  Life is too short and unless you have a pre existing condition, life won’t end just because you had that chocolate cake.  I promise, you’re still beautiful.

Healthy No-Bake Superfood Brownies

5).  Do for others.  The holidays may almost be over but that doesn’t mean that the spirit of giving has to be.  It also ties into tip #1 by perpetuating gratitude.

6).  Make simple swaps.  For example, substitute beet juice for pink/red food color, swap out refined bleached flour for unbleached or spelt flour, table salt for pink himalayan salt, cacao or carob for cocoa, sparkling infused waters for soda, herbs and fresh citrus {Im pretty much having a love affair with turmeric right now} versus dousing dishes with sauce…you get the idea.  There are often healthier alternatives to most everything we enjoy and if you’re going to indulge, really indulge and make sure it’s the best quality you can get your hands on.  I personally melt for a pure 85% dark chocolate bar sprinkled with sea salt.  Yum.

Healthy “Crunch Bars”

7).  Get active.  Start small with steps like parking further away so you have to walk, taking the stairs, etc.  I’ve recently made an effort to take Nala on more walks.  It’s a 2-birds kind of deal and Nala is really happy about it.

8).  Spend more time laughing {and don’t be afraid to cry either}, slow down, enjoy the moment and participate in the present.  Take the time to really enjoy your lunch instead of whizzing through it, go to a comedy show, watch a funny movie with a loved one, share more hugs and tell those around you how much they mean to you.  Because being healthy isn’t just a physical thing.

9).  Try and keep it raw, eat real food and more healthy fats like hemp seeds, raw nuts, avocado, coconuts, etc.  Raw garlic, for example is a powerhouse of healthy properties.

10).  Take care of that gut!  My mama always told me, healthy happy gut, healthy happy you!

Kimchi is a great source of probiotics.

Wonders of St. Croix: Bioluminescent Bay

Part of my New Years resolution is to go out and do more, even things I wouldn’t normally do.  To jump start this resolution, we recently went to St. Croix’s bioluminescent bay with some friends through the “Sea Thru Kayaks” tour.  They are the only tour featuring clear bottom kayaks so you can really have an immersive experience.

When we called to book our reservations, which cost $60 per person, they were very clear about not wearing any sort of product on your person.  I’ve been advocating for reef-safe sunscreen just about forever so I completely understood this.  When we arrived, the guides confirmed that much of what we topically apply drips into the water and harms the sea life which in this case are {predominantly} Dinoflagellates.  We were advised to leave our phones/bags behind and were only allowed soft water bottles on the boat.  We were then told to take our shoes off and the guides helped you into the two person kayak.  I have to admit that the mosquitoes were fairly aggressive while you stood in line to get in and just as bad as you paddled your way out but once you were out in the water and the wind kicked up, it wasn’t bad at all.

Since we had coincidentally booked our tour after the full moon, we were also able to witness a mating ritual.  Before being led into the actual bay where much of the bioluminescence is concentrated, we were taken on a quick detour where we watched tiny little glow worms emit a “fizz” that lasted all of a couple seconds.  Me and my husband just grinned at each other as this part of the tour was a wonderful and unexpected surprise.

Slicing into the actual bay was a magical experience in itself.  I’m always mesmerized by the night sky as St. Croix has some amazing star gazing.  Since we do not have very much light pollution, it really is a sight to behold.  With this distraction, the presence of the glittering “stars” beneath me took me by surprise.  I felt like I was paddling one moment and remarking at the beautiful night sky when all of a sudden, I found that our entire kayak was nestled in a glowing soup of glitter.  The guides encouraged us to agitate the waters as much as possible as that activates their glow.  My favorite part was submerging my arm into the water and bringing it back out to watch my entire arm glisten with bioluminescence.

We were given about an hour {out of 2 hours} to explore the bay by ourselves, keeping close to the group.  The bay itself wasn’t large but it was fun to discover the best spots to watch them congregate.  It was completely dark with the exception of a few houses high up on their mountain top.  St. Croix looked completely different from this perspective.  Cloaked in mysterious darkness with the flashing brilliance of the bioluminescence beneath us and the sparkling sky above us, it really made it feel like an intimate, otherworldly secret.

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