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Saturday, December 5, 2009

What Foods to Avoid When You're Sick

At some point every winter, despite taking our supplements and eating all the rights foods, most of us get sick. Once you’re already sick—what to do? Below are three foods to avoid eating once you’re sick.

  • Dairy, including milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream… anything milk-based. Dairy promotes the formation and secretion of mucus, so if you’re already congested, this should be the first thing to go.
  • Sugar. Refined sugar, including fruit juice, promotes inflammation in the body and lowers your immunes system’s ability to be effective. Your body is already trying to heal—don’t make it harder for it to do its job.
  • Anything you know you’re allergic or sensitive to. Most of us are sensitive to at least one food (e.g., wheat, gluten, dairy). Food allergens cause inflammation in the body, so do your best to avoid known allergens while trying to heal.

You also might notice that you’re not particularly hungry when in the midst of a bad cold or the flu. Don’t force yourself to eat a lot—you’re body is using its energy to heal, not digest. Make sure you stay hydrated with lots of water , tea, and broth-based soups, but stay away from rich, heavy meals. Towards the end of the illness, you should get your appetite back, which means you’re on the road to recovery!

Keep it fresh!
- Lauren

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Friend Shout Out - Bring Balance 2U

This week's shout out is to my wonderful friend and mentor, Andrea Tortorella of Bring Balance 2U Holistic Health Counseling. Andrea and I met well over a year ago when she first started giving nutrition seminars at my job in Westchester, NY. We instantly connected and have remained friends ever since. She is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is a Holistic Health Counselor and Nourishment Coach.

I admire Andrea's ability to connect with people. She formulated the S.E.L.F. Nourishment Program, which stands for:
S - Silence
E - Exercise
L - Laughter & a 'Lighter' attitude
F - Food!

Through her Health Counseling, Andrea creates fun and easy ways to incorporate simple and effective lifestyle changes that last. For example, she always says how time has the word "me" in in it, and explains how important it is to make time in your schedule to take care of you. Andrea also offers cooking classes where she exhibits how easy it is to prepare a whole, natural foods meal. I've learned so much about cooking just from the few cooking classes that I've attended with her. She continues to be such an inspiration as well as a wealth of information to me. She supported me 100% through my year at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and she makes it a point to still be there for me for whatever I need.

Due to my new position at my job as Wellness Manager, I now have the pleasure of working with Andrea! I couldn't be happier and feel so privileged to have her as a friend.

Please check out her website for more information on Bring Balance 2U!

Thank you, Andrea, for everything!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Breathing Your Worries Away

Check out 3 Healthy Chicks article on Breathing Your Worries Away in this month's on line edition of the Healthy Hippie Magazine!

And see the fabulous picture of Lauren in Tree Pose on the Streets of Georgetown outside of Washington, DC.

Keep it Fresh!
~ Terra

Monday, November 30, 2009


So many people today are overloaded with work, family and personal demands, often rushing to adhere to a stressful "24/7" schedule. When our lives are packed to the max with busyness, one of the first things that goes out the window along with self care, is our nutrition. Oftentimes, in a busy frenzy we end up choosing meals that are fast, easy and neatly packaged. The thing about fast and easy is...well, you can’t be fast and easy forever and still keep it together. The reality is, your everyday meal solutions don't need to come from drive-through windows or Styrofoam take-out boxes. Even with a busy lifestyle, you can incorporate nutritious choices for every meal with ease. Being time-starved doesn't mean you have to sacrifice nutrition. A few small changes in your meal and snack strategies can yield positive results.

Shop Smart

Supermarkets today offer an array of partially prepared while not overly processed products and other kitchen "shortcuts." When you're busy, you can still put good nutrition on your table without doing all the time-consuming preparation yourself and cutting your self short with additives and preservatives.

  • Always keep fresh greens in the fridge and then add nutrient-rich extras: add nuts and seeds for protein; chopped fresh vegetables; sliced apples, pears, or berries. If you top your greens with flavorful fresh choices, you won't want to drowned your salad with fatty, creamy dressing. Just a splash of olive oil and a dash of vinegar will zest it up.
  • Stock up on seasonal, quality snack foods including fruits, nuts and seeds. Instead of reaching for that bag of chips to satisfy your craving opt for carrot sticks and your favorite flavor of hummus. I happen to love red pepper....and lentil spread is totally growing on me! Try Oasis Classic Cuisine Lentil Dip with some gluten free Mary’s Crackers (flax and onion are the best!).
  • To boost the nutritional quality of your favorite pasta dish, always add additional vegetables. Brown rice pasta tossed with garlic, tomatoes, spinach, and mushrooms is a staple in my house. The pasta, vegetable variations are truly endless.

Do It Ahead

When you're doing it all yourself, it's best to do it ahead. Spend some kitchen time on nights or weekends for easy meal prep during the week. And always prepare and try to stick to a weekly meal plan. This will help limit your snacking and you will save money on eating out last minute.

  • Plan - Keep an ongoing shopping list so you always have nutritious, easy-to-prepare ingredients on hand.
  • Pre-prep when you can. Put breakfast cereal and bowls on the table or put together a packed lunch the night before. Assemble tomorrow's casserole while you clean up from tonight's dinner. Wash and slice raw veggies ahead so they're ready for snacking, salads, or a stir-fry.
  • Make double or triple batches. With soup, stew, salads (i.e., pasta salad or bean salad), sauce, or whole grains, such as brown rice, you can make enough at a time for several meals. Or prepare two casseroles at a time - one for now, one to freeze for later.
  • Cook once for two different dishes/meals. For example, each Sunday evening I (try to) make a large batch of brown rice that will last for 3-4 meals. Sunday night dinner is grilled salmon with brown rice, Monday breakfast is a brown rice porridge with almonds, So Delicious coconut milk and dried cherries and Monday night it’s stir fry! Cook once and eat many times. You can also prepare hearty vegetable soup on Sunday; add chicken or beans and rice for variation on Tuesday. Cook plenty of brown rice or whole wheat pasta - some for tonight's primavera, some for tomorrow's pasta salad. The options really are endless.

Simply because life is busy doesn’t mean we can let our nourishment fall short. Besides if you don’t fuel that machine called your body with the proper nutrition, one day it will break down.

Keep it Fresh!

~ Terra