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Author Archive

Giving Up Control

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One thing that was always really helpful to me when I was changing my lifestyle and eating habits is that I never said, “I can never have that again!” Instead, I always said, “I just really choose not to have that right now.” Before I knew about all the things I know now and changed my mindset for good, I would just say, “Maybe I’ll have that 6 months from now or a year from now.” So whenever there was something in front of me that would make me say, “Oh, that looks amazing!” (And it could’ve been something like a chicken cutlet parmesan hero!), I would tell myself that I could have it right then and there if I chose.

By not saying I can NEVER have this again, it really helped tremendously. And the other thing I would tell myself is “If somebody else is going to eat it, is it worth it?” I would ask that to someone if they had a bite of something that looked like the most amazing thing in the world. I’d say, “Is it worth it?” More often than not they would say, “Not really. It’s good but not really.” So then I would tell myself,  “Okay. I don’t need something that’s just good. It’s got to be incredible, right?”

You see, by never saying never, I gave up control. I didn’t try to control what I ate. I let other things control it. So if the moment came when I wanted something, I could choose to have it. But more often than not I didn’t even want it that bad anymore because the overwhelming need to be in control and NOT have it was no longer there.

So I say that about a lot of stuff now, from clothes to stuff for the house. Whatever you’re gonna do, do you love it? And if you love it, great. If you don’t love it, is there something else you could do instead that you would love more? It could be the same with food. You might not necessarily love it in the moment you eat it for the first time. But you know that you’re going to love the way you feel from it or you’re going to love the end result or you know that you’re going to love the fact that you’ve gotten so much healthier.

It’s all about moving forward. And the universe can only course correct us if we’re moving. If we’re standing still, the universe can’t course correct. And of course, we have to be open to it. But how does it steer the car if the car is in park? Once we give up control, we can let the things we really want take control show us the right way.

But of course you might be thinking, “Somebody else is in control and I’ve given up my control”. It’s almost like being subservient, where you’ve given your power and your control to somebody else. And in a way, it’s kind of like that. So once you get out of that mindset and you start shifting into the mode of “I’m taking control by giving up control”, you become proactive. And by being proactive, you become empowered.

And it’s because you’ve made a choice (to give up control), you’ve made a choice to really take responsibility and actually do it. It’s one thing to take responsibility but you could still stay in inaction. However, you’re staying in action. And by doing that, you get rewarded because things will align to give you what it is that you most desire when you do that.


Avocado Mint Soup

½ tsp salt

¾ bunch cilantro (1 cup loosely packed)

1 large ripe avocado (flesh scooped out)

Juice of 1 lime

Juice of 1 lemon

¾ cup extra virgin olive, grapeseed or avocado oil

1 clove garlic minced

1/16 cup of coconut vinegar (if desired)

 

Blend. Add more oil, vinegar or citrus juices to desired consistency.

Are You Missing Out?

tumblr_nhx7wb4RNU1tb3vqdo1_400It’s the end of a long day and you’re thinking back about all that happened. Do you start thinking about all the things you missed out on or should have done? Or do you focus on the things you accomplished and are satisfied with whatever the outcome was? More often then not, we find ourselves stuck in this first way of thinking. However, thinking this way can keep us stuck on that day, causing us to miss out on what the next day and the day after might have in store for us.

Constantly keeping count of what we are missing out on isn’t going to make each passing day any easier. Instead, we’re carrying that regret, that missed opportunity around with us. Then what we really miss out on is moving forward and allowing each new day to create new opportunities. We get moody, upset or complain because something didn’t go our way. But how are you going to let something new happen if you keep focusing on what didn’t happen on that one day?

A while back I had a day like that. I started thinking to myself about two opportunities I didn’t take simply because I wasn’t feeling like I should take charge of the situation and I didn’t want to bother anyone. Then I had to stop myself. You know why? Because I actually had a fantastic day! I may have missed out on those two things, but if they were meant to happen, they would have happened. See what a difference that makes? It’s a matter of recognizing the gift that comes out of that opportunity vs. beating yourself up about a missed one.

When thinking about what you missed out on, instead look at why it turned out the way it did. Were the circumstances right? Were you in the right place? Was it really the right time? Once you start approaching each missed opportunity from this perspective, you’ll realize that if something didn’t happen, maybe it’s because it wasn’t the right moment for it. It’s now out of your control so you can just let it go.

Once you start seeing those missed moments in a new light, you’ll start tuning in to an opportunity for it to happen again. It might not be exactly the same opportunity, but then again you won’t be exactly the same person you were the first time it happened. Stop worrying about what you missed out on! Just think about all the new exciting opportunities to come because you are now more aware and ready for them….

…and ask yourself: What kind of day did you really have today?

 


 

                                      
Avocado Mint Soup

 

Blend the following:

  • 4 Avocados
  • Juice from 1 orange (optional)
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 4 cups of organic veggie broth
  • 1 cucumber- peeled
  • 2 cucumbers- not peeled
  • ¼ cup of fresh organic mint
  • ¼ cup organic cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon of safflower oil

Blend until smooth and add salt/pepper to taste. 

Are You Paying Attention to Your Intuition?

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When you have a gut feeling about something, you usually know it’s right. But we don’t always go with what feels right, do we? After all, we have other demands that take over and tend to lead us into deciding with our head rather than what actually feels right. We may even ignore our intuition completely because something happened in our life to make us feel like we can no longer trust it. Then, even the smallest decisions we have to make become a challenge.

There’s a good way to figure out if you’re giving your intuition the attention it deserves. Next time you have a choice to make try picturing different outcomes, the one that feels right and the other one that you may think is right. Which outcome really feels best to you, in your gut? No matter what your head is trying to tell you, you already know which choice to make just by paying attention to how it feels. It’s easy enough to get wrapped up in making decisions based on what other people want or what other people say you should do. However, if you’re not following your own gut feeling, is it really going to be helping anyone in the end?

Our intuition is just another reminder that we are here to enjoy life, to learn from it and to fill our soul. So why wouldn’t it guide us towards doing that? If you don’t follow what feels right to you, do you think the alternative will really be better for you in the long run? It can seem like a tough choice when we are programmed with that inner voice opposing every thing we desire to do. You know the one: “Work later, work harder, be a better parent, make more money, don’t say the wrong thing, try to eat less, don’t be selfish…” That voice isn’t doing anyone any favors.

Just be more aware of what you really want by seeing how you feel. Sit with that feeling for a while and learn to trust that gut instinct. Then act on it! You could feel some relief from having made “the decision” and even enjoy what comes as a result of making a decision from intuition, not regretting them. As long as you follow your intuition, you will be doing something that will be filling your soul and not be giving in to demands that won’t serve you. And won’t that also benefit everyone around you in the end?

So listen up and see what your intuition is trying to tell you.

Keep on, Keeping on…

If we pursue what we want to achieve every single day, we are doing something important for ourselves. Sounds simple enough, right? So then why aren’t you doing everything you can to pursue what you want to achieve each and every single day?

Many of us get stuck, we’re doing good and then all of a sudden we hit that wall. We find ourselves having a bad day, a bad week, a bad month and the first thing we lose site of is what we have been working so hard to achieve. Then we start using the excuse that we have to get ourselves out of our bad situation before we can get back to what we were trying to achieve. We end up relenting at the first road block. Once that happens, there’s no telling how long it will take for us to get back on track with our achievements.

What if instead of seeing a situation that doesn’t go as planned as being bad, we embrace it as a new opportunity to see things differently. You can still achieve everything you want to do and keep up with your daily pursuits, just maybe you need to approach it from a new perspective. The important thing is to keep going with it, day in and day out, be relentless, no matter how many more obstacles or walls are now in your way.

Knowing what I know now as my future self, I can look back at where I was 15 years ago—where some of you might very well be at this moment—and know that, at that time, I did everything I possibly could to be here now. There was nothing I wouldn’t learn about and try to improve my health. I not only did everything, but I then followed up with everything, and I was flexible with how I allowed myself to heal. I was relentless! Being here now, as that future self that I envisioned, I can now tell my old self, my then-self, “Wow, that was some ride! I’ve made lots of “mis-takes” along the way–mistakes that cost me a lot of time and money. And I wouldn’t change a thing. Because now I get to use those mistakes to keep others from making the same ones, therefore saving them time and money.” When you can get to this point where I’m at now and realize that every step had a lesson to be learned and you learned it, it’s an awesome place to be.

I trusted that no matter what it took for me to do it, I would be there to learn all those lessons. When your energy shifts to that realization of being there through all of it, the journey itself becomes that much easier and better for you. Now put yourself in that same place: as the future you: Each step you achieve and each lesson along the way is still going to take a lot of work, but you’ll soon realize that it will all be worth it. And the sooner you realize that, the faster the whole process will go. And it gets easier and easier. You’ll be relentless as you move forward to a more positive place in life and to better health.

I could never have imagined that my life would be so unimaginably better now than it seemed back then before I got cancer. But it is, so much better in so many ways. But those came with lessons, hard work, commitment, belief in possibilities and being relentless at learning those lessons! So work at achieving that better life for yourself everyday, even when you feel at your lowest, and trust what the end result will be: Your future self smiling at you in amazement, knowing how far you have come.

Are Your Symptoms Controlling Your Life?

What makes you decide to become healthier? Usually, you have to feel bad first in order to want to feel better. As Kevin says, “Most people don’t even realize how bad they’ve felt all along until they start feeling good.” So what’s the first step to feeling better? I like to start with recognizing your symptoms.

Start by taking a closer look at all your symptoms. See how many things you can come up with that bother you either everyday or even once in a while—allergies, stomach upset, a lingering pain from an old injury. When I first began my “healing” journey after I was diagnosed with cancer, I couldn’t believe all the symptoms that I had been ignoring all those years. All those things since childhood had been like speed bumps in my path showing me that I was living an unhealthy lifestyle and heading towards health issues. Each nagging symptom was like a little warning to be more careful about what I ate and how I took care of myself. But I didn’t listen because I didn’t even realize they were symptoms, I just thought it was normal to feel those things. I went to several doctors to help get rid of the symptoms. When they couldn’t help me, I actually thought it was “normal” and everyone had sinus problems, fatigue, headaches and so on?! No!!! We are meant to wake up in the morning, put our feet on the floor and say “I feel great and can’t wait to start my day.” If we’re not, then something is out of balance, something is creating those symptoms. It wasn’t until I started cleansing, detoxing, identifying and removing contributing factors that I was able to wake up and say I felt great! Believe it or not, when I did, in just 30 days, I was able to feel better than I had in my entire life.

The best way to start recognizing the root of your symptoms is to take a piece of paper and list out all the things you feel. Then rate each symptom on a scale of 1-10. The next step, is to discover what is causing those symptoms. What are you putting into your body and how do you feel immediately after, 2 hours later, 24 hours later or even three days later? Now seal it in an envelope and put it away. Once you start listing this stuff out, you might already start seeing the root of your health problems from a physical perspective (there’s a whole other aspect relating to emotional root causes, but today we’re just focusing on the physical). But perhaps you think you eat good, live healthy, have a “normal” amount of stress at work and at home and have a “normal amount” of allergies. Normal? There’s no such thing! What’s your normal is not my normal or another person’s. What one person is sensitive to, another one isn’t. What may seem like it’s overall healthy according to ads, media or what we learned in school may not be right for a specific person.

The important thing is to remove the word normal from your thinking and see what applies specifically to you and you alone. Maybe you are eating healthy enough, but your body isn’t absorbing the nutrients you need from it. Maybe you aren’t cut out to work 10 hours per day like your job demands. Maybe you have low energy and need more rest than your lifestyle allows. So many things can factor in to our individual symptoms and underlying causes. If you’ve read my book, Choose To Live, then you already know what my daily work schedule and diet was like on Wall Street. It was crazy to say the least! How I functioned in that life was going against my natural ability to be healthy.

Taking care of ourselves starts with recognizing when something is wrong. Be sensitive to how you feel. Check in and see what’s not right. Even try different things to see if something changes for the better or worse. Maybe you thought that knee pain was something you had to live with until you switched from jogging to yoga. Or maybe you noticed your hay fever disappeared that time you gave up sugar and gluten or started juicing. You really never know what’s causing those symptoms until you try something different. If you’re interested in how to do this and transform your health on your own through my step by step Jumpstart Home-study system (all my checklists are included in the Home-study), you can check it out here.

It’s amazing what happens when you start paying attention to your symptoms and making changes to your diet and lifestyle. You may notice that you don’t need two or more cups of coffee to stay awake. You won’t be sneezing and blowing your nose as soon as the first blooms appear in the Fall or Spring.

After you’ve made the changes for a month or so, do another symptom checklist and pull out the envelope with the first checklist and compare them. You’ll likely be surprised that some have disappeared and others have improved. Get use to not being normal! It’s all about you and how you feel, pay attention to that. So go ahead and free yourself from your symptoms so you can get back in control of your health.

What do your symptoms feel like?

Finding Joy

When was the last time you took a good hard look at the joy in your life? Joy is easy to take for granted. We can easily forget how important it is for both our emotional and physical well-being. We need it just as we need any other basic necessity in life. Think how much harder things are when you can’t find joy in anything.

If you are suffering from a health issue or significant stress losing all sight of joy can happen pretty easily. You are so use to feeling so lousy, fearful or overwhelmed that it’s as if you become immune to things like joy. That’s when it’s most crucial to give yourself a regular dose of joy. Think of it as a healthy prescription! Simply remind yourself to find joy each day, the same way you remind yourself to take your vitamins. Eating healthy and exercise will definitely help in making you feel more joyful, but you may need some extra help in really experiencing joy.

Finding joy doesn’t seem like it would be that difficult. But for some us, it’s the absolute last thing we are looking for when our health and/or personal life aren’t going well. We allow ourselves to get stuck feeling miserable and see only the negative energy all around us. Think of the last time you had a really good day where you enjoyed yourself. If you’re really having trouble thinking of when that was, then you may need to try a little harder to bring some joy back into your life.

Intuitively, you already know where to find joy, you just have to ask for it. So start paying attention to those things in your daily life that can bring you some joy: how something tastes, something your child says, sunshine, music, a funny movie, dancing or Youtube videos of babies laughing. Initially, your joy level may be low, like a one on a scale of one to ten. But the next time, it might be higher, like a three out of ten. Before you know it, the sensation of that joy will become greater and greater. Who knows, you may even get to the point where you will be jumping for joy!

Once you start seeking out more joy, you’ll notice that it starts finding you more easily as well. Every day, there are so many simple moments filled with joyful pleasures. Embrace them and let yourself feel their positive energy. Once you do, you’ll start focusing on more of the good in your life thus creating more joy.

Where did you find joy in your life today?

Staying on Course While Traveling

One of the great things about summer is going on vacation. I know that’s one of my favorite parts of summer! And one question I get asked is, “How do I keep up with my juicing and eating habits while traveling?”

First off, when I travel, I typically bring 2 days worth of juice and smoothies with me and pack it in a soft pack cooler because it’s so much easier for me to bring it than it is for me to try to get it once I’m there. And with that said, what I typically do before I go on a trip is I find out where there is a Whole Foods or health food store and see if they have a juice bar where I can get green juice and wheatgrass. I also will ask the hotel if they will make me smoothies (I’ll give them the ingredients if they don’t have them on hand).  Most of them have a high powered blender so that they can make smoothies. And finally if none of that is going to work out, I find a local store that carries organic ingredients, do a little shopping and bring a travel blender and a peeler, and I make my smoothies myself when I get there. And since hotels don’t typically have juicers, I bring the powdered greens and just drink that throughout the day.  

So whenever I travel, I set myself up to win by making sure that I take care of myself. And if a place nearby has the wheatgrass and the juice, then I look at my schedule to see if I’m going to have time to go and get it. And if I’m not going to have time to go and get it, then I just make sure I bring my own. At the very least, you can always be drinking the powdered greens wherever you go throughout the day.

If juice and smoothies aren’t going to be available for the morning (because the morning is typically the toughest!), I ask the hotels ahead of time, or wherever it is that I’m staying, to make vegetables for breakfast. They can do steamed veggies or even cut up avocados and tomatoes. Oh and I ask if they will put a refrigerator in the room, because I have a special diet for health reasons.

Now all this is based on the way that I eat. But the way that you eat if you were traveling, is based on your individual health circumstances. I just happen to be a little bit more prepared when it comes to that for obvious reasons. I do my best to really do as many greens as possible. Some other options are to bring some pre-made quinoa, salmon burgers and a good quality vegan protein powder. 

I have also found that most places are very accommodating, even on cruises. 

I do my best to stick with things that are easy and already made up, so that when I’m traveling, I’m not tempted to have things that I don’t necessarily want to have. And I find that it’s like that most of the time if I have food available, even if I’m just going out for the day. I want to be eating from a health perspective so I do so much better preparing ahead of time than just trying to wing it while I’m already out there. For example, if I arrive someplace and I say, “Well, I’ll just see if I can figure something out.” I don’t do as well as when I bring some of it with me.  This is especially important at the beginning stages of healing.

And as soon as I’m back home, that’s it! I’m right back to my juicing, wheatgrass, smoothies and huge salads. However, if you’re on vacation, make sure that you’re enjoying your vacation, too! And if you could do a little bit of the extra work ahead of time and have your smoothie or your fresh green juice ready to travel with you, then why not?!

Get Uncomfortable with Yourself

Yep, you heard me right, it’s time to get uncomfortable with yourself! Why? Because when most of us try to tell ourselves what is good about ourselves, we just get downright uncomfortable. Believe it or not, most of us find it easier and more comfortable to beat ourselves up instead.

One of the fastest ways to shift out of beat up mode is to replace the negative tape that is playing in our head with one that is more empowering.

A way to do that is to instead regularly list your good qualities, the things you could be proud of, even if it’s things you wouldn’t normally say to yourself and certainly wouldn’t say them out loud. It seems so simple, but how often do you say something nice about yourself? I usually tell my clients to list 20 of these qualities. How many can you come up with about yourself off the top of your head? It isn’t so easy, is it? In fact, it’s probably downright uncomfortable, right? But there are probably some that come to mind: loving, reliable, smart, dependable, creative, sense of humor. Now try digging in deeper and finding what other ones you can find…maybe generous, kind, caring, magnetic, inspirational, powerful?  

I can’t emphasize enough how important this is for all of us. Maybe the first ten qualities will be easy to come up with, maybe only the first five, or maybe you can get all the way up to 16 with no problems. But once you come up with them, they’ll be an important tool to help improve your self image and create those “feel good” feelings. Maybe you’re struggling with keeping to your diet, maybe with stress at work, maybe you’ll just be having a long, exhausting day. Then, your tendency will be to beat yourself up, get stuck in negative thoughts, decide not to workout, decide to cheat a little on your diet, or yell at your kids just because they were annoying you.

Now think of the potential all those wonderful qualities have! They can remind you of all the things you are and can be in that moment, instead of just tired, angry, hungry, cranky, stressed. They will be your arsenal when you need it, and when you repeat them to yourself on a regular basis, the feeling becomes more of a norm for you and creates a more solid, happier foundation.

I created this process a while back when I was having trouble sleeping. When I have too many thoughts, ideas and to-do’s in my head, running through my list of qualities calms my brain down. It’s reassuring and relaxing and helps me get back to sleep. Trust me, listing your potential qualities at first might be uncomfortable, but isn’t learning, growing, healing and evolving all about getting uncomfortable?! You’re getting uncomfortable so you can change those comfortable habits that aren’t serving you, and that are downright hurting you, into ones that elevate you.

Just as important as making a list is going back and reviewing those qualities again and again. I find it’s a great thing to do just before falling asleep and as soon as you wake up, maybe even as part of your meditation routine. As you regularly repeat this to yourself, you may notice that something will start to shift within you.  It’s super important that each one of those qualities feels really easy for you to say. You need to be able to know those qualities and grab them willingly and proudly next time your instinct is to beat yourself up. So for example, you can start to catch yourself every time you say, “I’m so disorganized” and immediately replace it with “I’m very creative” or “I’m very generous”.  If you keep doing this again and again, you’ll notice that in time, you’ll stop saying “I’m so disorganized” and you’ll start feeling confident in your creativity. Eventually, you’ll be able to get rid of all that damaging language. And soon, that uncomfortable feeling will become the new more comfortable you.

Think it over and discover for yourself what good qualities you have. You will more than likely even surprise yourself with a few of them. So what are your 20 qualities?

Are You Focusing on Change or the Results?

 Doesn’t Spring Cleaning Your Body and Mind sound good? It really is the best approach to eating and living healthy. And I’m talking about more than just the food you eat. It’s also about the mindset that you approach each day with.
 
It’s amazing how much you can heal yourself by changing to a simpler and cleaner way of eating. And the nutrient benefits for your body are tremendous. Of course, an even bigger component than the food is your mental commitment to it long term. If your mental approach to it is one of being frustrated and stressed and weighed down by doing it, it means you have to work even harder because of the type of negative energy you are bringing to it. Now if you just keep your mind as simple and clean as your diet, think of how much more positive energy you will bring to it.
 
What you eat and how you think about eating it, affect each other dramatically. You may already have all the healthy foods around you, but what happens when you let yourself think you need something else to eat because you’re tired or stressed. We all have those moments! And when we want that familiar and comforting thing, it begins to feel like we don’t even have a choice in the matter. We ignore those vegetables we have in the refrigerator or that we brought with us while on the run and instead reach for our kid’s favorite snack, grab something from the nearest vending machine or even make a late night dash to the grocery store just to satisfy our craving.
 
One evening I was in a rush to leave the house for an appointment and realized I didn’t have time to wait for the dinner my family was preparing. So I had two choices, right? I could grab something quick— but it wouldn’t help me feel the way I wanted to feel—or I could get all the greens in that I wanted to.  I thought, “I could really use some more greens today.” At that moment, I chose to take a couple of extra minutes and put together something that was simple and clean. I made a quick salad (which I always keep washed and in the fridge) and added in the roasted vegetables I already had prepped in the refrigerator (which I also always keep on hand), mixed the two together and took that with me. And it also allowed my mind to stay simple and clean because I then didn’t have to worry for the rest of the evening about things like, what am I going to find to eat here or “I shouldn’t have had that.”
 
The best approach to have is to remember to keep your perspective as simple and clean as the foods you are eating. Remember to tell yourself that if you eat more vegetables and green juices, you can feel even better. Also plan it all out, have all the food you need on hand and then simply just do it. When you see that broccoli in the fridge, don’t think, “This won’t satisfy me!” Believe me, broccoli is amazing when you approach it with the right energy. Simply change your mindset! Remind yourself that when you eat that piece of broccoli, you are not going to have to work as hard to be healthy and you won’t regret it afterwards. Each time you do that, there’s a compounding effect.  Now, see how amazing that broccoli feels to eat!
 
A simple and clean approach is the best way to make your food and life easier. And by making your life easier, you’re making your choices easier. As we all know, it’s much “harder” to be sick. There’s missed work, missed school, missed time with family and friends, the to-do list get’s backed up and it’s not fun to be unhealthy! Then you have to work so much harder just to be well again. So just take a look at the healthier food you are buying and say to yourself, “This is going to make my life easier!” This way when you buy the healthier item, you’re already in the mindset to eat it, even when you are struggling with a bad day and overwhelming cravings.
 
Now, what simple and clean choices are you going to make today?

Want Your Kids to Eat Healthier?

Have you already made the switch to eating a healthier diet? Fantastic! Now, what about getting your kids on board as well? Not only can that be challenging, it can seem like an outright battle at times. It’s our gluten-free, no-dairy breakfast vs. their cherished bowl of sugar puffs! So what’s the best way to face that challenge?

There are plenty of ways to gently assimilate your kids into healthy eating habits. The main problem is getting it past their taste buds! That’s why a slow and easy approach might be better than just replacing everything they are used to—no matter how tempting that is for you! An all or nothing approach might work for you, but you can’t expect your kids to handle it in the same way.

One way to introduce your kids to healthier habits is by educating them. Let them know that you would like to enlist their support for eating healthier. Once they understand that you need to make this change in your life and that it’s important for you, they may be more supportive and try to help in whatever way they can. Of course, they can help you best by not having in the house any of those foods that would tempt you. Let them know how much it would mean to you to have healthier alternatives in the house. Obviously, it won’t be exactly the same foods they love but explain to them that you’ll find good replacements that they’ll like too.  It will take some getting used to, but the important thing is that you can face that challenge together.

You can also remind them that these changes will make them feel better. It’s important that they know what your body is going through and why you need to make these changes, whether it’s because of cancer or another illness or a health scare. You don’t need to overwhelm them with information or scare them about what the food they are eating is doing to them. Simply try educating them about what they are putting into their body and what changes they will be able to see. Have them make a list of anything at all that might be bothering them, whether it’s colds, headaches, congestion, fatigue, anxiety or acne.  They may start to notice that they feel better as well with some of the changes.  If they can start making the connection now between the foods they are eating and how it is making them feel, they’ll be more likely to want to stick with those changes.

Another gentle approach is to slowly start substituting their regular foods. A good place to start might be with milk. Try blending coconut or almond milk into their regular milk. Maybe at first you replace 15% of the milk, then 30% and then 60%. Before you know it, they’ve already become used to the new taste! Then there are all those breakfast foods they love so much. Most of those things— like cereals, bagels and waffles—can also be found gluten-free. And what kid doesn’t love pasta! Well, try giving them gluten free pasta or quinoa with their old favorite toppings, just to get them used to it.

The other big thing in our house is smoothies.  It’s a great way to get lots of nutrients into them and they taste great.  My girls drink smoothies for breakfast.  They love them.  Kelsey didn’t at first, now she asks for it if I wind up having to skip a day or two.  They feel better when they have them.  Their energy is more balanced, they’re calmer and think more clearly during the day. That’s especially huge for a teenager. I didn’t even tell them at first what was in them.  You can start with a more fruit based smoothie with coconut milk, cucumber, vegan protein powder and fruit.  After they are used to it, keep adding in more of the veggies and even a greens powder then start reducing the fruit. Fruit has a lot of sugar in it, which can raise their blood sugar and then they’ll crash later.  You can swap out beef meatballs with organic turkey meatballs, do a stir-fry with organic free-range chicken or even try a quinoa recipe.  There are many options to do it in a way that they can still enjoy.  These are just a couple of ways to have them start eating healthier.

The key is to make it fun for them, get them involved and let your kids know that they can still have their favorite foods. Most important is that they still have their familiar meals. Little by little, your kids will be getting healthier without feeling like they’ve been ambushed into it. And you can feel good that you and your family are being healthy together!

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