All posts in Health and Fitness


Wellness Wednesday: STOP worrying about all the foods you “can’t eat”

As a woman who enjoys the occasional glass of wine just as much as a green smoothie, I thought I’d share with you my underlining philosophy on food and eating – that I hope anyone can agree with: paleo, vegan, what have you.

1) 
ADD HEALTHY FOODS!  
Cutting out the foods we enjoy, grew up on, or are a part of our culture can be difficult and a bit sad.
I mean, who wants to give up Matzo Ball Soup!?

Therefore, I propose we start small by introducing new and delicious, nutrient dense foods into our day.
Here are a few examples of how you can do that:

  • Start your day off with lemon water
  • add chia seeds, cinnamon and flax meal to your morning oats
  • sprinkle hemp seeds on your salad at lunch
  • pack your own hummus and loads of veggies for a snack
  • have a green smoothie with a superfood powder in the afternoon

There you have it – you just added 400 calories of nutrient rich foods that boost your immune system, create healthy hair, skin and nails, and provide your body with nourishment that will actually keep you feeling satiated and satisfying.  You’ll notice that nutrient dense foods will fill you up and keep you energized for longer than empty foods (Honey Bunches of Oats and Cheezits).

2) 
LOOK AT ALL YOU CAN EAT
With all this hype and chatter around dairy, gluten, sugar, soy – what our paleolithic ancestors ate and didn’t eat –  it seems almost impossible these days to know what’s good for us and what’s not…

I propose we shift that perspective.
What about if instead of dwelling on the foods we can’t eat, we start thinking,
“I can eat anything from the earth!”

How amazing would that be!?
I think we’re safe to assume that if cultures have been eating it for thousands of years, we’re cool to, too: coconut, rice, fish, lentils, mango, honey, miso paste. 

I don’t think the man in the Japanese fishing village is worrying about consuming too much rice or miso soup (fermented soy).
It’s the American diet we should be questioning, the ThinkThin power bars and diet sodas.  

News flash for those avoiding gluten:
Gluten is only found in 4 grains: rye, bulger, barley and wheat.  
Which are easy to avoid if you are eating a whole foods diet.
I mean how often do you go to the bulk aisle and scoop out a bag of bulger? Not often.

Look at it this way, in the bulk aisle there are LOADS of grains that are gluten free which you probably have never tried, let alone heard of.  So why not try something new!?
For example, millet, quinoa, all rices, oats and amaranth are all gluten free.

In addition, as opposed to replacing your cookie with vegan or gluten free cookie, try satisfying your sweet tooth with THESES!!

And while we’re talking about clean eating and mindful living…I’d love to invite you to
JOIN ME ON May 30th in West Marin

It’s a weekend of combined
HEALTH: 
green smoothies, walks, mat movement, massage, relaxing
AND INDULGENCES: cheese from the farm, wine, chocolate

 

Wellness Wednesday: Beauty, it starts on the inside

Before we can throw green tea, kale and brazil nuts at our wrinkles, we must go a little deeper than what’s on our plate.  I think we can all agree, that the most beautiful woman in the room is the happiest woman in the room.  No amount of makeup and hair products can fake that natural glow and vibe of a radiating happy chick!  I love talking about foods and their health benefits, but I think first we should all remmind ourselves of this:

 

Now to what;s on your plate.  It’s true, our food choices give us the power to reshape our beauty and body from the inside out.   The foods and nutrients we consume affects cell growth (in our skin, hair and nails), therefore, it’s important we eat what’s best for maintaining healthy cell rejuvenation.  Mother Nature has been so kind as to give us a planet full of berries, herbs, nuts, fruits and veggies, all of which are loaded with vitamins, minerals and other benefits for a glowing body.  

Need any more of a reason to load up on sweet potatoes and almond butter? I think not!
.
Here are a few of my favorite foods and their Beauty-fing Health Benefits 

1) Selenium 
Benefits:  Protects skin from sun damage
Found in: Brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts, tuna, sole, rice, wheat

2) Biotin
Benefits: Promotes strong hair and nails
Found in: Egg yolks, hazelnuts and sesame seeds

3) Coenzyme Q10
Benefits: Kick-start cell activity and provides energy to cells, supports healthy metabolism
Found in:  Fish oils, walnuts, beef

4) Omega 3 fatty Acids  
Benefits: Combats skin inflammation
Found in:  Flax seeds (ground and oil), salmon, walnuts, hemp seed, nori

5) Antioxidants
Benefits: neutralizes free radicals (caused by pesticides, uv rays, stress) by giving them electrons
Found in: Green tea matcha, berries, orange vegetables

6) Zinc 
Benefits: Supports cell repair and renewal.
Found in: Garbonzo and kidney beans, oysters, sardines, beef, liver, lamb.

7) Vitamin A 
Benefits: Skin cell renewal
Found in: Leafy greens, orange and yellow vegetables (sweet potatoes, carrots, squash)

8) Vitamin B 
Benefits: Overall skin health
Found in: Whole grains, nuts, meat, potatoes, bananas, prunes

9) Vitamin C
Benefits: Production of collagen and components that keep skin tone and firm
Found in: Bell peppers, brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale, kiwi, strawberries

10) Vitamin E
Benefits: Maintains healthy, moisturized skin and scalp.  Supports healthy levels of antiaging glutathione
Found in: Almonds, avocado, chard, olives, papaya, spinach, sun flower seeds, tomatoes

Here’s to good health,

Haley & Claudine

 

I’m super PUMPED – check out my eBook!

Guess what!?

(drum roll please)
I teamed up with Haley (an awesome chick and nutritionist!) to create an eBook and guided program that makes healthy living FUN, EASY & DELICIOUS!
See HERE!

We believe that living healthy is a LIFESTYLE – not a strict diet plan –
which is why our guide is designed for real people, with real (busy) lives!
yes, you can eat your cake and have quinoa too :o)

sounds pretty awesome, right?

our beautifully illustrated eBook gives you the tools and guide to get you started and keep you motivated… forever!

You can purchase the eBook at anytime for only 30 bucks, or you can

 

 
 

Wellness Wednesday: Over Night Oats {and my story on self control}

Ciao!
Check out this wonderful breakfast recipe that can be prepared in a big batch on Sunday & enjoyed all week!  {plus: it tastes like an Oatmeal Raisin Cookie!}

This recipe checks all “breakfast boxes”:

  • Healthy

  • Fast & Easy

  • Naturally Gluten Free

  • Dairy Free

  • Whole Ingredients

  • Complete Plant Based Protein

  • No Sugar

  • Delicious

  • Cheap


We’re talking about OVERNIGHT OATS, my friends!!!

Ok, if you know me, you know I do not follow recipes or take notes when I’m cooking… so I’m not exactly sure on the quantities.  But this only proves my philosophy:  cooking can be simple… just add and taste as you are creating, and you can’t go wrong! All you really need to know are the ingredients, you can adjust the quantities to your taste preferences.

Ingredients: {makes a ton}

3 Cups of boiling water
1 cup Steel Cut Oats
2 cup Dairy Free Milk (I’m obsessed with Project Juice’s Almond Mylk – SO rich, creamy & flavorful)
1/2 cup Chia Seeds (and I use buckwheat groats too)
Raisins
Cinnamon
Vanilla Extract
Walnuts or Almonds

In a large Glass container combine the boiling water and steel cut oats.
In a separate container combine the remaining ingredients, except for the nuts.  Mix well.
Let both soak over night.
In the morning mix it all together really well – this is an arm workout!
Divide into jars and top with nuts

ENJOY!

 

My personal story on Self Control

I’m going out on a limb here and being a bit vulnerable by sharing this with you… here we have it, my truth:
I HAVE ZERO SELF CONTROL WHEN IT COMES TO DONUTS. And I’m not embarrassed nor ashamed to admit this to you.


My Story:
Last Friday was International DONUT DAY! My favorite day of the year. But here’s my problem with donuts, I can not stop when I’m perfectly satisfied {after 3 bites} and I will end up eating the entire donut and feeling sick to my stomach.  I’m sure we are all familiar and can relate to some degree.  Whether it’s with chips and salsa, french fries, beer or chocolate… we’ve all done it.
Sure, we could go into the psychology of “why” we overeat and lose control, but I’ll leave that to the experts. {SarahNisha and Jamie are 3 of my close friends who can help you with coming clean with the “why”}

Also, there is a chemical reaction happening in your body/brain when you eat packaged/processed/manufactured foods.   Seriously.  Scientists have created packaged “food” in a lab that when eaten send signals to your brain so that you will keep reaching for more, more and more. Michael Pollan does a good job of explaining that here and elsewhere.

So I have few tips for when you have zero self control like me :)
a little silly, I know…
1) Simple: I do not keep “trigger” foods in my house.  I know that I have trouble stopping at one chip & salsa so I just don’t BUY it!  Easy as that.  Out of sight, out of mind.
2)  Ok, you’re going to laugh…. but after I savored a few bites of the apple fritter donut {and was perfectly satisfied, and honestly already feeling sick from the sugar} I put the donut in the sink, poured over dish soap and shoved it down the garbage disposal! haha!  And there you have it. Out of sight out of mind :)

Love & Light,

Claudine

 

Wellness Wednesdays: Thoughts on Gluten

Naturally Gluten Free Pantry Staples

Hello Friends,
My goodness, gluten sure has become the hot topic over the past few years.

My Thoughts: I believe gluten is difficult for many people to digest and most people feel better when they cut back on the bread a bit.

However, the gluten free packaged and processed foods on store shelves are not necessarily healthy – do not be fooled, my friend.  Many gluten free breads, crackers, cookies and cereals are packed with ingredients you can not pronounce and sure as heck do not keep in your pantry.

Instead of turning to the gluten free versions of bagels and breads, try foods that are naturally gluten free. For example, have oatmeal instead of a bagel and a grain instead of bread.

– If you are not allergic to gluten, ask yourself this:
Which of these two crackers would my body prefer?
Rye Crisp Crackers (containing gluten. with 2 ingredients, rye and salt)
Glutino’s Crackers (oh my gosh you will not believe all of the ingredients here)

My favorite post run snack: rye crisp, almond butter, banana and chia and hemp seeds


Naturally Gluten Free Pantry Staples:
Whole:
Quinoa, amaranth, millet, buckwheat, all rices

Processed a bit from their natural state:
Brown Rice CousCous
Quinoa Pasta
Oats
Corn meal
Flax meal (I use as an egg replacement in veggie burgers and baking)
almond/coconut flours

As you may know I cook and live primarily gluten free.  I am not allergic to gluten, however, 4 years ago when I removed gluten from my diet I immediately started feeling better.  That’s not to say I pass on pasta in Italy or my dad’s berry pie on my birthday.

 

Wellness Wednesday: 4 Tips for Healthy Travelers

Weekly Tips on Living Deliciously

Hello Friends,

Traveling and being away from home is the perfect opportunity to rest, replenish and restore your body and mind… not to mention turn off your phone and disconnect!

I’ve just gotten back from a wonderful 3 week trip to New Zealand! You can see our pictures HERE.  

A few of my tips for staying healthy while on the road.

1) Move your body!
Download exercise videos and apps to your phone and iPad. My Favorites are pilates, stretching and abb exercises.  There are SO many free apps out there!  Everyone has 5 minutes….no excuses.
I also encourage you to jog or walk daily.  Not only is this a great way to check out a new city, but it’s a great way to reenergize and clear your mind.
Even something as simple as pushups, squats and planks in your hotel room will get your heart pumpin in just 5 minutes! (try 20 of each exercise 4 times)

2) Order Wisely & Pack Healthy Snacks!
Yes, I pack my own meals for the airplane.  It’s easy and you can too.  Even picking up a salad from the airport is a great option if you’re tight on time.  See what’s in my carry on HERE and watch the VIDEO HERE.
Airplane food is full of salt, nasty additives and factory farmed animal products.

Freeze mini plain Greek yogurt -it got through customs and doubled as an icepack for keeping other items cool :)
As far as alcohol goes: Wine or vodka soda (with 1/2 a lime) are healthy options compared to beer and fruity cocktails.
On every menu you can find a BIG SALAD.  Ask for dressing on the side and add a piece of protein (fish, chicken, beans or tofu).  Beware of  anything that includes the words “crispy” “cheesy” “fried” “creamy”
Treat yourself once a day.  Allow yourself to have one splurge a day like french fries, dessert or cheese.
Drink lots of water.

3) Disconnect from media and email!
Seriously.  Turn off your phone.  We don’t bring our phones into the bedroom which I love.  Try starting with just that if you can’t make the full move to turning off your phone for the day.  Or schedule  15-30 minutes a day (that’s it) to check in…but don’t get sucked in.
There is really no better time than when you are traveling because if your VM and email auto response is updated to say “out of the office and will get back to you on —” than you are free to disconnect.

4) Sleep!
Without a million things on your “todo list” – use these extra hours to catch up on some much needed shut-eye.  When you rest, you are giving your body the time it needs to digest, repair and restore.  So not only will you be feeling great the next day, but you won’t be feeling the need for that 4pm pick-me-up cookie and coffee.

Life Balance:
As I’m sure you can imagine, taking 3 weeks off (fully) from work was a bit stressful for me, especially because while I’m not working my business essentially stops.  The first few days (like during any shift in life) were the hardest for me.  The feeling of  “I don’t deserve this time off” and “there are emails and work I should be doing” haunted me.  But I reminded myself, “I’ve hustled and worked hard so that I we can enjoy these moments with the people I love, doing the things that make me happy (hiking, wine tasting, experiencing foreign cultures!)”
My dear friend Sarah Jenks put it perfectly here “How to Hustle and Flow”

A few great healthy traveling tips from Women’s Fitness Australia, HERE

And if you’re new here, check out  My Meal Delivery Service:
Every week I create 5 recipes based on what’s in season and available locally. 
The meals are gluten free, vegetarian, organic and absolutely delicious!
You can checkout last week’s menu here, I deliver to client’s in SF every Monday night.
I make everything from scratch and do not use pre-made gluten free crusts or tarts.  For example, these cauliflower crust pizzas and cornmeal zucchini tarts are all made with ingredients you can find in the bulk aisle at Whole Foods.  Shoot me an email if you’re interested in getting on my private mailing list for meal delivery.

Hemp Hearts,

Claudine

 

Wellness Wednesdays: The power of Community

Hola Amigas!

Coming at you from Todos Santos, Baja.  {My last day actually, as I’m packing up and moving back to SF tomorrow…My dreams came true here and it’s been an amazing experience}

It’s week two of Wellness Wednesdays and I’m LOVIN this!

Today’s Take-Away on Living Well:

The Power of Community and a Support System… Together we can inspire, reenergize and cultivate change! 

I took this photograph at Fort Funston in SF

Over the weekend, I was reminded time and time again of the importance of community, a support system and surrounding yourself with inspiring, driven and like-minded people!

This is going to be a quick one… :) I’d like to share a few thoughts and hopefully my experience can inspire you too!

4 days with 5 wonderful girlfriends will do that! We are all coaches, teachers, givers and therapist who share the same vision: to spread wellness and enlighten the people in our communities.  Whether through yoga, business coaching, healthful cooking or massage, our mission is to inspire, teach and heal!

{The women who I had the pleasure of spending the weekend with: Ashley, Leila, Nicole, Martine & Janet}

A Women’s Mastermind Wellness Weekend, we called it, and it was a perfect!  We were able to seamlessly move from relax to present, teacher to student, baja white wine to local organic kale juice. Ashley and Martin led effective and strategic lessons on business/personal goal setting and helped us dial in on our 2014 business plan.  They held the space for us to be open and clear so we could give ourselves permission to fully express ourselves.  Twice a day we took a break from relaxing and business-work-shoppin to clear our minds with a little rooftop, gentle yoga, led by Leila and Nicole.

It was being in the presence of inspiring women that was the force behind my transformation :) It was all of our combined energy that has created change within and furthermore, provided us with the tools to create change in our communities back home!  It this support-system that can motivate all of us to translate our passions into action in our urban communities.

We are pack animals…. we’ve evolved over hundreds of thousands of years to to stick together, support one another, inspire one another and survive together!

So let’s get out there and LIVE  more socially!

Join Mom Groups, Book Clubs, schedule long lunch dates with friends, go on Wellness Weekends or Women’s Retreats

 

 

Health and Fitness: Food Facials

Hola Friends!

Grapefruit makes for a yummy snack, but this power fruit’s uses extend far beyond the kitchen. You can use grapefruit to make a facial mask for your skin. The citric acid in grapefruits helps to exfoliate dead skin and boost collagen, and the vitamin C in the fruit brightens and tones your complexion.  Source: Livestrong 

Since I was leading the cooking and nutrition portion of the weekend, I felt it only necessary to cover our bodies in food too :) Made with everything we have on hand in the house and all local ingredients….Yeah!

Who knew a facial could be SO simple…and economical!?

What you’ll need:

1/2 a grapefruit, Zest of 1 Grapefruit, 1 Egg yolk, 1 T Coconut oil, 1/4 cup oats.  Blend it all together and lather on your.  Wait 20 minutes (we painted our nails and whale watched!)  Then rinse off!

Hello Hottie!

I’m actually making the laftovers into pancakes in the morning :) we’ll see.

Let’s start making Food Facials every Sunday.

 

Wellness Wednesdays: Weekly Tips on Living Deliciously Well

Hello Friends,

Welcome to Day 1 of  Wellness Wednesdays!   I’ve started this weekly news letter as a way to share tips, advice  and wisdom on “Living Deliciously Well”.  If you haven’t noticed, I LOVE an alliteration.  So clearly, Wednesday must be the day to share Wellness Wisdom :)

Why “wellness” as opposed to “recipe” or “health”?  Because wellness incorporates ALL aspects of living a whole, healthy, happy and mindful life!   And yes, “wisdom” sounds a little hippie dippie or self-salvant of me {I made up that term}, just don’t over think it…it works well with my alliteration obsession :)

Day 1 on Living Deliciously Well… drum roll please…

Happiness!

I truly believe happiness is the foundation for overall wellbeing, health and success (in relationships, career, finances, etc).  If you are living a life of resentment, substances and greed, it won’t mater the number of yoga classes you attend and green smoothies you down, you will never reach a level of contentment and true happiness.

And how coincidental that this was my YOGI tea mantra this morning.  So true:

“Inspiring others towards happiness brings you happiness”

Ben sent me an article today published in the Elite Daily titled, “15 things that emotionally strong people do not do”   And number 15 nailed my happiness philosophy to a T!  Here it is verbatim… I wont even paraphrase, that’s how spot on this is:

They don’t forget that happiness is a decision: Most importantly, the emotionally strong have learned to understand the power their brains have over both the mind and body. They understand that emotions are reactions, not reactions to direct physical causes, but to the way we perceive those causes. In other words, our emotions don’t reflect reality; rather, our emotions reflect the way we interpret reality. Understanding this gives us near-full control of our emotions and, therefore, our lives.”

I read this quote in Oprha on the plane yesterday, and though Iyanla is speaking of LOVE, I believe it applies to happiness as well.

Don’t expect to get all you need from someone else.  Whether we are talking about romantic relationships, deep friendships, or close bonds with family members, love is never codependency, validation, self-worth, self-value, or self-esteem.  It’s an experience that should fill us with joy – not serve as a replacement for loving ourselves.”

Happiness and love begin from within.  You must be happy and content in your life, in your body, and with yourself FIRST and not seek it through external sources (relationships, materialism, food, etc).  Your GLASS must already be FULL before moving into a deep authentic relationship with someone.

I’m writing to you from Baja.  On Halloween, I packed up my entire life, left SF and drove to the very most southern tip of highway 1….you can read about the journey HERE.  Anyway, point being, I thought a life of beach, sun, tacos, organic farming and yoga would be the happiest place on earth.  And as it turns out, even though I accomplished and learned a lot while living here, a slow-paced Mexican beach town, away from my friends and family, is not for me.

Your takeaway from Day 1 of Wellness Wednesdays:

 

You’re Invited: Wellness Weekend in Baja!

I’ll be hosting a Wellness Weekend in Baja, Mexico January 23-27th…and YOU are invited!

I’ve teamed up with 4 experts in the women’s wellness world to provide you with an unforgettable and relaxing weekend!  Your stay includes morning meditation with my cousin Laney, rooftop pilates with Kelsey, holistic cooking/nutrition demos with Andi and Christian and 1 restorative massage.  I’ll be cooking 3 nourishing meals a day with organic produce picked that morning, eggs from our farm and fish caught in the afternoon.

As you probably know by now, my passion in life is to spread health and wellness through personalized nutritioncooking lessons and detoxes so I figure what better way to educate and inspire women than in a beautiful home on our own private beach.

We’re keeping the group small to just 9 girls, so sign up soon!

 

Offered at a discounted rate of $1,300 until January 4th, after which it is $1,500.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity as it will never be offered again.  I hope you can join the fun!

Shoot me an email at visit@organicfarmgirl.org by January 10th!

 

 

Meatless Monday and a Mountain Run

…and why you”re not invited.  Monday trail runs in China Camp are where some of my best business ideas are generated; my mind is clear and there’s not a soul to be seen or an industrial sounds to be heard.  I mean, if this doesn’t inspire creativity and clarity what the hell would?  It’s what I also call “trail-therapy” and a time when things on my mind are identified, processed, labeled and stowed away.  Not  only are there wonderful mental and emotional benefits to being outdoors, but when we’re connected with nature and our body, specifically during physical activity, we release endorphins creating the “happy” feelings.  Added bonus, your skin “glows” (foods for the glow here)

2 Miles to the top…  Eye spy 3 bridges and SF

Now that you’ve been trail blazing, it’s time to nourish and replenish your body. My favorite post workout snack(vegetarian and gluten free):

Banana, Almond Butter, Chia Seeds and Hemp Hearts

While down in Todos Santos, Baja this summer I was enjoying this snack every morning post run with banana’s from Logan’s orchard.  Look at them hanging over the creek!

A few shots from my run in  Paradise!

CLICK ON THE LINK FOR THE VIDEO BELOW….AND HEAR COW BELLS :) AH!

CLICK HERE Todos Santos Farm Animals

Trail run, or really just the road…

Passing a farm

5 minutes later, arrived

nope, no one on the beach

 
 

Heart Healthy Link Love

This weekend came across a few inspiring and helpful articles embracing healthy living.  Including mind, body, nutrition and spirituality.

Mind Body Green:  9 foods that heal your body and belong in every kitchen HERE

Bella Life:  4 steps to creating a life you want to live HERE

TIME Magazine: 100 ideas that changed the world HERE

Feasting At Home:  A guide to seasonal produce HERE

Warriors Playoffs! highlights HERE

Just Do It, video: When you need motivation to sweat HERE

Her Future: Change Yourself, Change the World HERE  as I ask myself, “should I hop on a plan to Baja and help feed the hungry?’

 Happy Mothers Day Weekend!  I swear we do more than eat and drink…

Picnic at China Camp with Comforts Chinese Chicken Salad.  Mom’s favorite dessert from the 60’s: Pineapple and marshmallow Whip (went to 4 stores before finding it…people really still eat this?).  Mindee (my cousin/best friend) and I take our moms (sister) to the Lyon Street Steps for Champagne and A16 for dinner.

 

Living Deliciously

Spring has Sprung yeah!  Lunch is enjoyed al fresco… after a fun party at the Academy of Sciences, Big Gala last night

 and up at 5am to teach 4 spin/trx classes at Cardio-Tone

Today’s Living Deliciously Tip:

balance late night dancing and boozing with early morning exercising and veg-ing!

check list:

big salad with local eggs – SPF 45 – Anthropologie blanket – bowl dad made 50 years ago in wood shop class- basket I picked up in the South of France – getting inspirations for next week’s veg menu – lemon water – sun hat

Currently listening to on repeat Mayer Hawthorne, Designer Drug