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Heart Disease and Cholesterol

All About Heart Disease and Cholesterol – What’s the Connection?

heart health issues

 

Heart Disease — I am sure we all know someone who has personally been affected by this disease, as it is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Interested to debunk the myth about heart disease and cholesterol? Continue to read more in this blog post.

Hearty Facts

Let’s first talk about what is “heart disease?” This term refers to different kinds of heart conditions. The most common one is Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) that is the primary cause of heart attack, valves in the heart or heart can’t or does not pump well which causes heart failure.

On the other hand, Cardiovascular disease or CVD refers to the different types of diseases which involve the heart and blood vessels.  These include the CHD, strokes and heart failure.

Understanding How Cardiovascular Disease Are Made Of

Arteries and veins pump oxygenated and de-oxygenated blood to and from the heart to make sure the rest of the body a) gets fresh blood and b) has a place to send de-oxygenated blood. These vessels of blood transportation need to be clear and strong, so your heart can function optimally.

Our arteries specifically can develop layers of plaque, which is a waxy-like substance that can interfere with the flow of blood when too much accumulates thus, reducing the blood flow to the heart. Plaque is made of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances. Plaque buildup is also known as atherosclerosis.

This is where different types of cardiovascular disease happen. Take for example the case of Coronary Heart Disease or CHD — it is where the build of plaque in the arteries that supply blood to the heart is completely blocked. This leads to chest pain or angina which is just a symptom and may progress to a heart attack.

 

Understanding Cholesterol

Let’s talk for a minute about cholesterol to clear the air. Cholesterol is an oil-based, fat-like substance that is present in all the cells in our body and even with animals. This is a very good and necessary component of our bodies — we need it to survive and create hormones, the substance called bile acids for digesting foods, Vitamin D and cell wall structuring. This is carried out in the body by lipoproteins.

 

Main Types of Cholesterols

  1. High-density lipoprotein (HDL): The “Good Cholesterol” — They are called “good” because it is recommended to have a high level of this type of cholesterol (of course, levels comes with age and sex) in our body. It carries all the cholesterol back to the liver so the liver can remove the cholesterol in our body.
  2. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): The “Bad Cholesterol” — it is not recommended to have a high level of LDL to avoid plaque or cholesterol build up in our arteries. This has a quite same function as HDL only that it is less dense. It is recommended to have less than 100mg/dL levels of LDL.

One of the cholesterol’s main jobs is to help put out the “fires” (inflammation) whenever they arise. It is helpful to determine our body’s cholesterol level — this is often examined through blood works or testing.

Think of it this way: 

There is a fire at a house (inflammation in your arteries). The firehouse (liver) sends firemen (LDL) to the location to put out the fire (accumulation of cholesterol). Then, another crew of firemen (HDL) takes the fire trucks away whenever all is cleared.

 

4 Takeaways With Cholesterol Numbers

  1. The higher the LDL means the more inflammation in the body. So, rather than bringing down LDL numbers with medicines (statins – which is another article for another day), the main objective should be to see where the fires are and what is causing them. Then, work to decrease the inflammation present to naturally bring down LDL numbers. Otherwise, you will keep chasing your own tail trying to continuously put out fires throughout your body.
  2. The total cholesterol is not as important as the ratio. If you have several firemen on site trying to put out fires (LDL) but not enough of the second crew coming to take the fire trucks away (HDL), then the first round of responders just hangs out on site twiddling their thumbs and causing a scene (buildup of LDLs). So, the ratio of cholesterol is most important when analyzing blood work.
  3. Cholesterol is NOT the cause of heart disease- inflammation is. It is the root source of a majority of diseases that exist, so as we decrease the body’s inflammation, we support and clean out its systems.
  4. We need cholesterol.

 

Now Back to the Plaque!

Two main causes of the buildup of this substance in the arterial walls are from smoking and our diets. Inflammatory foods — such as processed sugar, unhealthy fats (vegetable oils like canola and corn, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, margarine, etc.), conventional (not grass-fed) meats, and processed and highly refined grains wreak a whole bunch of havoc in the body. It is like a red siren goes off, and emergency measures are taken to minimize damage.

The foods we eat definitely affect our internal and external function (and appearance- am I right?).

So the blood should flow through the arteries with minimal pressure, like a smooth river. However, as we fill our bodies with toxic foods, the remnants can get lodged in our arterial lining and make the arteries more clogged, and the body uses more force and pressure to flow the blood through the “rocky” obstacles (hence blood pressure increases). And this entire process is natural — the body’s innate way of managing to keep the body alive.

 

The Hearty Solutions

However, this situation is not ideal. How do we “de-plaque and unclog” the arteries to better support our heart Heart-Health-and-diseasesmuscle?

  1. Eat the right foods.
  2. Exercise (and decrease weight, if needed).
  3. Do not smoke.
  4. Eliminate stressors (emotional stress (stay calm and breathe!) | environmental stresses like perfume, cologne, toxic deodorants, and cleaning products, etc | toxic air pollution | toxic water supply)

 

Heart-Healthy Foods

  • Beets (yes!) – juice, greens, root
  • Dark Leafy Greens – Swiss chard, arugula, spring mix
  • Cilantro
  • Healthy Fats (coconut oil, grass-fed butter, avocados, raw nuts, and seeds)
  • Grass-fed meats and pasture-raised eggs
  • Anti-Inflammatory herbs and spices like turmeric, ginger, basil)
  • Organic green and white tea
  • Veggies and fruits

 

Have more questions about heart health? Let’s chat on how we can support you from these cardiovascular disease and how to maintain cholesterol level by eating and living healthy!

 

Like this hearty talk? Let’s connect!

Know someone battling any heart disease or just debun to someone the myth of cholesterol to heart disease? Share this post or comment below — we’d love to hear from you!

 

Fair Trade Chocolate Pudding

Fair Trade Chocolate Pudding

The Bitter History of Chocolates

Chocolate. Oh, the sweetest of decadent treats. Hot chocolate, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate almond butter smoothies. What’s not oh-so-sweet about chocolate, though, is the amount of forced labor and child slavery involved in harvesting the cocoa beans to make it. This forced slavery thing is very real, friends.

In college, I was an Anthropology major and focused my studies on human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking in the United States. As we discussed the definition of slavery for an entire semester, I learned more about the issues of labor trafficking on an international level, and chocolate hung out at the of the “goods most harvested by slaves” list. Cocoa beans for making chocolate oh-so-sweet is a great example of one of the products made by child labor.

forced child labor- slaveryA majority of the world’s cocoa beans are grown in West Africa and Latin America, and day in and day out, many folks are enduring inappropriate and abusive situations to ensure that we all get to enjoy a savory bite of chocolatey dessert.

I remember one story someone told me about a child they saw interviewed who picked cocoa beans for a living. The reporter asked this little boy about his role on the farm, and he said he had never even tasted a chocolate bar and didn’t even know why he was picking the beans. He also made comments about the abuse he endured. Child abuse and slavery are very real today.

On that day in my class called “Is This Slavery?”, I committed to stop consuming any chocolate made by forced labor. I decided it was not worth the risk of what someone else had to experience for me to enjoy a dessert for 5 minutes.

I share this information not as a guilt-trip by any means — and please hear me when I say that. I share about the reality of child slavery with you because I want you to be an educated consumer and know where your food is made. Whether it is chocolate, veggies, fruits, coffee, tea, or meats — know the source of your food.

 

The Good News:

Not every cocoa farm maintains unethical practices. In fact, many companies are striving for better working environments for their employees (as well as improved protection of the land) and are banning child slavery.

How do you know which companies to trust? We must do research, friends. Gratefully, there are people out there who are doing this type of investigating for us (thank goodness for them!). Look for Fair Trade labels — they are certifications that ensure ethical practices for both people and the Earth.

Check out the Food Empowerment Project for more information about chocolate slavery, as well as the approved fair-trade list of chocolate maker companies who do not embrace slavery practices. Let’s change the world, friends. One chocolate bite at a time.

Other places to look for info:

Guacamole and Sweet Potato Chips

Homemade Guacamole Recipe

Food For Thought: Purpose of Life

Happy Monday, friends! What a beautiful weekend it was outside- I mean, who expects 75° weather in the middle of January? Hey, I’ll take it! I did take full advantage of the sunshine and headed to north Georgia for some hiking (and Vitamin D!). As I sat on top of the mountain and overlooked the vastness of the state below me, two thoughts came to mind:

  • I am one piece to this massive and historic puzzle, and my role was created intentionally to serve a specific purpose to the world.Every Monday at our office, each staff member comes with a word and quote that drive the direction of her or his week. I chose the word purpose with this quote: “Purpose is the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s needs.” (Frederick Buechner).

    My purpose is to love and serve people well, and I am beyond grateful I get to do that in my job every day. My purpose is to make a change in my corner of the world, knowing that others are making similar impacts in their corners, as well. If we all work in our spheres, we would see goodness everywhere we turn.

  • Peace comes with stillness. Atop the mountain, there was silence. It was pretty uncanny actually. As I let my eyes wander over the below cities, hills, and trees, it seemed like life had stopped momentarily. But we all know it was zooming quickly under us, as has become the norm in most of our lives.Are we running so fast we are actually missing life? My yoga instructor Angela always says, “Before there is movement there is stillness,” and this quiet space is pivotal for a full life. My heart calmed sitting on top of those rocks; God knows all things about this world, so we can be still and find comfort in knowing that all will be all right.

Comfort Foods For You!

Speaking of comfort, let’s talk guacamole. This food certainly brings my heart comfort and joy 🙂 Make this super simple and delicious recipe for a healthy dish (be warned: you may not want to share). Enjoy!

 

Winter Squash Soup

Winter Squash Soup – New Year Food Recipe

With the start of this 2017 year, I have been reflecting on this ever-popular idea of New Year’s Resolutions. We tend to speed so fast at the year’s starting line on January 1st toward better health, financial stability, or renewed relationships (all of which are incredible things). Our momentum is 100%-all-in to create change. We can for sure do this. Then, a couple of months into the race, we often times lose a bit of speed, and some of us even stop racing. We let go of the resolution— the commitment to ourselves— to do something differently.

What makes us lose steam? Often, it is one or both of two things: challenge and value (or lack thereof). Change is hard— I get it. We are creatures of habit, as the adage goes. Here’s the thing, though. If something is not working well, not lifting us up or helping lift up others, change is necessary.

Are you living a daily lifestyle that creates the best version of you? If yes, keep going, friend! If not, it is time to start reflecting on where change will be a positive thing in your life.

If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done.

Value is required to make our priorities. We focus our attention, money, and time on the individuals and things that ultimately bring value to our lives. I classify people, obligations, material things, etc. by their levels of AV (a.k.a Added Value). Is this relationship an AV one, or does it cause more pain? Does this activity I have been doing for the past year have AV, or do I feel uneasy about going each week? AV is a method of deciphering priorities. This idea of AV is not just for you and me personally, but we can use it to measure how much value we add to the world.

So when it comes to resolutions, think about the AV things you want in your life. Write them down, and next to them, scribble down the steps it will take to get there. One foot in front of the other, my friends. And eventually, this effort will lead to habit, which morphs into a lifestyle. You are changing your life one decision at a time.

 

Cheers to Your New Year, New Goal!

To help you on your journey, fill your soul (and tummy!) with comfort and warmth. This Squash Soup is just the ticket to a successful goal-setting evening!

 

Asian detox stir fry-The Best Cleanse Food

Asian Detox Stir-Fry, The Best Cleanse Food!

Happy New Year, friends! How were your celebrations? Mine was so wonderful–my sweet friend got married at a winery in Dahlonega, and it was the most beautiful wedding. I just love weddings.

Now that the year is starting anew, it’s time for a detox. My mom has always said, “If not now, when?” So now it is. Once or twice a year, I will do the Standard Process 21-Day detox to reset my body. This detox program is truly amazing because it cleans the body at a cellular level, and the basis is all whole foods. We love those whole foods over here at MTF!

Speaking of Whole Foods, we have some exciting news to share! More Than Food is collaborating with Whole Foods Atlanta for some amazing events and social media fun this year! Once a week during the month of January, MTF will take over the @wholefoodsatl Instagram with a new recipe created especially for Whole Foods Atlanta (so be sure to follow them for updates). It’s pretty much a dream come true–I mean, who wouldn’t want to work alongside WF? I am the most excited!

Because this week begins the detox, I wanted to create a meal that is cleanse-appropriate and nourishing. Plus, it was raining and cold outside this weekend, so my body screamed, “comfort food!” Stir-fry dishes are always warm, super flavorful, and practically foolproof (and truly just so easy to whip up), so Asian food for the win.

I hope you enjoy this savory meal on your couch in your PJ’s wrapped in a blanket with a great movie and your best friend (or your dog, which is essentially the same thing, right?).

 

Disclosure: I have a partnership with Whole Foods Market and was compensated for my work, but all words and opinions are my own.
How to Deseed a Pomegranate

How to DeSeed a Pomegranate

How to Deseed a Pomegranate

 

Let’s talk pomegranates. They are:

  • delicious
  • packed with nutrients (who knew those little nuggets could be made of so many good things– Vitamins K, C, B, Folate, Phosphorus, etc.) and
  • indicative that fall/winter are on their way (pomegranate season grows from October through February)!

Here’s the thing with them, though. These seeds are a bit stubborn. Oh, and they can stain everything. May I persuade you to see there is another way to ensure a stain-free method to the goodness at the other end?? Because there is a way to enjoy the seeds practically hassle-free! Just following these steps. I promise–they’re worth the reward when you have a massive bowl-full of tiny red edible rubies. Here are the simple things on how to remove pomegranate seeds.


You’ll need these things:

  • Cutting board (darker the better, so the red color from the seeds is more easily hidden)
  • Sharp knife
  • Bowl of water (big enough to fit both of your hands and a pomegranate)
  • A pomegranate

Step 1. Cut the pomegranate into 4 pieces.
Step 2. Dunk the pomegranate into the water, seed-side facing down.
Step 3. Underwater, pick out the seeds and let them fall to the bottom of the bowl.
Step 4. Once all seeds are extracted, pour out the water from the bowl (use your hand as a guard to keep the seeds from falling out).

And you’re done! It is as easy as that–No red-dye mess. No time-consuming and labor-intensive work, just ease. And a delicious reminder of the chilly air and holidays approaching.

Pomegranate recipe: Dairy-free | Gluten-free | Vegan

Enjoy, friends!

 

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Personal Nutrition Advising

What Are the Best Food Sources of Minerals and Vitamins?

best natural food source supplements and vitamins

 

Have you ever wanted to know which foods provide high sources of certain minerals and vitamins? Check out this list for a quick reference of food choices you can make to balance out your internal nutrient levels. Remember, food comes exactly as God intended (i.e. with all of the components of that mineral or vitamin), so be sure to eat it in its whole-food form.

Vitamin A
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Dark Green, Leafy Vegetables
  • (Spinach, Kale, Beet Greens, Bok Choy, Collard Greens)
  • Orange Bell Peppers
  • Winter Squash
Vitamin B
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Kale
  • Tomatoes
  • Organ Mets (pasture-raised)
  • Cauliflower
  • Pasture Eggs
  • Raw, Grass-Fed Kefir or Yogurt
Vitamin C
  • Swiss Chard
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Kale
  • Peppers
  • Fruits: Papaya, Strawberries
  • Apples, Oranges
Vitamin D
  • The Sun!
  • Pasture-Raised Animal (Organ) Meat
  • Cod Liver Oil
  • Lard (Pasture-Raised, Pork Fat)
  • Oysters
Vitamin E
  • Swiss Chard
  • Tomatoes
  • Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon
  • Raw Almonds
  • Avocados
  • Dark Green, Leafy Vegetables
  • (Spinach, Kale, Beet Greens, Bok Choy, Collard Greens)
Vitamin K
  • Swiss Chard
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower
  • Raw, Grass-Fed Kefir or Yogurt
  • Spinach
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Mustard & Collard Greens
Calcium
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Spinach
  • Raw, Grass-Fed Kefir or Yogurt
  • Raw Almonds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Dark Green, Leafy Vegetables (Spinach, Kale, Beet Greens, Bok Choy, Collard Greens)
Sulfur
  • Pasture Eggs
  • Onions
  • Wheat Germ
  • Kale
  • Asparagus
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Garlic
Potassium
  • Kale
  • Tomatoes
  • Cauliflower
  • Raw Almonds
  • Avocado
  • Beets
  • Bananas
Iodine
  • Raw, Grass-fed Butter
  • Sea Vegetables
  • Wild-Caught Scallops/Cod/ Tuna/Salmon
  • Pastured Eggs
  • Raw, Grass-fed Yogurt
Magnesium
  • Raw, Grass-Fed Kefir or Yogurt
  • Raw Almonds
  • Dark Green, Leafy Vegetables
  • (Spinach, Kale, Beet Greens, Bok Choy, Collard Greens)
  • Raw Cacao Powder or Nibs
  • Avocados
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon and Mackerel
  • Squash
  • Fruits: Papaya, Raspberries, Tomato, Cantaloupe, Strawberries
Phosphorus
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Wild-Caught Scallops/ Cod/ Tuna/ Salmon
  • Lentils
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Raw, Grass-Fed Kefir or Yogurt
  • Quinoa
  • Raw, Grass-Fed Butter
Zinc
  • Grass-Fed Red Meat
  • Swiss Chard
  • Spinach
  • Oysters
  • Sesame/ Pumpkin Seeds
  • Cashews
Manganese
  • Cloves
  • Spinach
  • Pineapple
  • Swiss Chard
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Tomatoes
  • Beets
Copper
  • Kale
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Cashews
  • Mushrooms
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Beets
  • Lentils
iron
  • Liver
  • Oysters
  • Grass-Fed Red Meats
  • Lentils
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Raw Almonds
Selenium
  • Raw Brazil Nuts
  • Garlic
  • Spinach
  • Raw, Grass-Fed Butter
  • Wild-Caught Salmon
  • Pasture-Raised Chicken or Turkey
  • Mushrooms

*World’s Healthiest Foods and Dr. Mercola’s articles were utilized to help create some of the content for this article.

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how to make beets salad

3 Ways On How to Make Beets Salad (They’re Easy!)

how to make beets salad

Benefits of Eating Beets

Beets — they are just oh so important! Why do I love them (and therefore why should you)?

  1. Detox Food — Beets are nutritionally powerful in their detox abilities. They help thin the bile from the gallbladder to move toxins through and out of the body. If you have a tan-colored stool, you need to eat some beets because the tan color means your bile is too thick.
  2. Natural Source of Nutrients — Beets are packed with essential nutrients like Vitamin C and B, Manganese, Potassium, and Fiber.
  3. Cardio~ Beets support blood pressure levels and the cardiovascular system.Beet Salad More Than Food
  4. Anti-inflammatory Food Source — Phytonutrients in beets help decrease inflammation throughout the body, which takes pressure off the joints, organs, and all affected areas.
  5. Easy Food Preparation — Beets are super easy to prepare (see below!).
  6. It’s Tasty! — Beets have an earthy and sweet taste that goes well on a salad, as a side with a white fish or poultry, or as a stand-alone topped with some lime and balsamic vinegar.

Also, beet leaves have an incredible amount of nutrients (if not more than the beets themselves), so don’t let those go to waste! Toss them in a smoothie or salad for some superfood support.

Important Reminder: if you eat beets for the first time ever or in a while, your poop will be dark/red. Don’t be alarmed 🙂

 

To prepare beets:

  1. Buy organic beets (red or yellow/orange).
  2. Wash.
  3. Slice off top and bottom of beet.
  4. Chop/Cube like you do a potato.

 

Option 1: 

  • Boil about 2 inches of water in a big pot.
  • Place steamer in the pot.
  • Steam beets for about 15-20 min, until soft.

 

Option 2: 

  • Place beets on a baking sheet (no foil) with coconut oil + spices (salt, pepper, or rosemary)
  • Stir up every 10 min or so.
  • Bake for 30-35 min, or until soft.

 

Option 3:

  • Spiralize beets raw for a salad or side dish OR
  • Chop raw beets, and place in a food processor to make finely chopped or minced for a salad or side dish

Recipe Note:

Gluten-Free | Paleo | Vegan | Pescetarian | Dairy-Free

Enjoy beets a few times a week for added health benefits! Happy nomming!

 

Do you want to set up a nutrition visit to determine the best support for your body?

We would love to partner with you on your detox journey.

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vegetarian

Fish & Veg

Recipes

Fair Trade Chocolate Pudding

Fair Trade Chocolate Pudding

The Bitter History of Chocolates

Chocolate. Oh, the sweetest of decadent treats. Hot chocolate, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate almond butter smoothies. What’s not oh-so-sweet about chocolate, though, is the amount of forced labor and child slavery involved in harvesting the cocoa beans to make it. This forced slavery thing is very real, friends.

In college, I was an Anthropology major and focused my studies on human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking in the United States. As we discussed the definition of slavery for an entire semester, I learned more about the issues of labor trafficking on an international level, and chocolate hung out at the of the “goods most harvested by slaves” list. Cocoa beans for making chocolate oh-so-sweet is a great example of one of the products made by child labor.

forced child labor- slaveryA majority of the world’s cocoa beans are grown in West Africa and Latin America, and day in and day out, many folks are enduring inappropriate and abusive situations to ensure that we all get to enjoy a savory bite of chocolatey dessert.

I remember one story someone told me about a child they saw interviewed who picked cocoa beans for a living. The reporter asked this little boy about his role on the farm, and he said he had never even tasted a chocolate bar and didn’t even know why he was picking the beans. He also made comments about the abuse he endured. Child abuse and slavery are very real today.

On that day in my class called “Is This Slavery?”, I committed to stop consuming any chocolate made by forced labor. I decided it was not worth the risk of what someone else had to experience for me to enjoy a dessert for 5 minutes.

I share this information not as a guilt-trip by any means — and please hear me when I say that. I share about the reality of child slavery with you because I want you to be an educated consumer and know where your food is made. Whether it is chocolate, veggies, fruits, coffee, tea, or meats — know the source of your food.

 

The Good News:

Not every cocoa farm maintains unethical practices. In fact, many companies are striving for better working environments for their employees (as well as improved protection of the land) and are banning child slavery.

How do you know which companies to trust? We must do research, friends. Gratefully, there are people out there who are doing this type of investigating for us (thank goodness for them!). Look for Fair Trade labels — they are certifications that ensure ethical practices for both people and the Earth.

Check out the Food Empowerment Project for more information about chocolate slavery, as well as the approved fair-trade list of chocolate maker companies who do not embrace slavery practices. Let’s change the world, friends. One chocolate bite at a time.

Other places to look for info:

Guacamole and Sweet Potato Chips

Homemade Guacamole Recipe

Food For Thought: Purpose of Life

Happy Monday, friends! What a beautiful weekend it was outside- I mean, who expects 75° weather in the middle of January? Hey, I’ll take it! I did take full advantage of the sunshine and headed to north Georgia for some hiking (and Vitamin D!). As I sat on top of the mountain and overlooked the vastness of the state below me, two thoughts came to mind:

  • I am one piece to this massive and historic puzzle, and my role was created intentionally to serve a specific purpose to the world.Every Monday at our office, each staff member comes with a word and quote that drive the direction of her or his week. I chose the word purpose with this quote: “Purpose is the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s needs.” (Frederick Buechner).

    My purpose is to love and serve people well, and I am beyond grateful I get to do that in my job every day. My purpose is to make a change in my corner of the world, knowing that others are making similar impacts in their corners, as well. If we all work in our spheres, we would see goodness everywhere we turn.

  • Peace comes with stillness. Atop the mountain, there was silence. It was pretty uncanny actually. As I let my eyes wander over the below cities, hills, and trees, it seemed like life had stopped momentarily. But we all know it was zooming quickly under us, as has become the norm in most of our lives.Are we running so fast we are actually missing life? My yoga instructor Angela always says, “Before there is movement there is stillness,” and this quiet space is pivotal for a full life. My heart calmed sitting on top of those rocks; God knows all things about this world, so we can be still and find comfort in knowing that all will be all right.

Comfort Foods For You!

Speaking of comfort, let’s talk guacamole. This food certainly brings my heart comfort and joy 🙂 Make this super simple and delicious recipe for a healthy dish (be warned: you may not want to share). Enjoy!

 

Winter Squash Soup

Winter Squash Soup – New Year Food Recipe

With the start of this 2017 year, I have been reflecting on this ever-popular idea of New Year’s Resolutions. We tend to speed so fast at the year’s starting line on January 1st toward better health, financial stability, or renewed relationships (all of which are incredible things). Our momentum is 100%-all-in to create change. We can for sure do this. Then, a couple of months into the race, we often times lose a bit of speed, and some of us even stop racing. We let go of the resolution— the commitment to ourselves— to do something differently.

What makes us lose steam? Often, it is one or both of two things: challenge and value (or lack thereof). Change is hard— I get it. We are creatures of habit, as the adage goes. Here’s the thing, though. If something is not working well, not lifting us up or helping lift up others, change is necessary.

Are you living a daily lifestyle that creates the best version of you? If yes, keep going, friend! If not, it is time to start reflecting on where change will be a positive thing in your life.

If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done.

Value is required to make our priorities. We focus our attention, money, and time on the individuals and things that ultimately bring value to our lives. I classify people, obligations, material things, etc. by their levels of AV (a.k.a Added Value). Is this relationship an AV one, or does it cause more pain? Does this activity I have been doing for the past year have AV, or do I feel uneasy about going each week? AV is a method of deciphering priorities. This idea of AV is not just for you and me personally, but we can use it to measure how much value we add to the world.

So when it comes to resolutions, think about the AV things you want in your life. Write them down, and next to them, scribble down the steps it will take to get there. One foot in front of the other, my friends. And eventually, this effort will lead to habit, which morphs into a lifestyle. You are changing your life one decision at a time.

 

Cheers to Your New Year, New Goal!

To help you on your journey, fill your soul (and tummy!) with comfort and warmth. This Squash Soup is just the ticket to a successful goal-setting evening!

 

Asian detox stir fry-The Best Cleanse Food

Asian Detox Stir-Fry, The Best Cleanse Food!

Happy New Year, friends! How were your celebrations? Mine was so wonderful–my sweet friend got married at a winery in Dahlonega, and it was the most beautiful wedding. I just love weddings.

Now that the year is starting anew, it’s time for a detox. My mom has always said, “If not now, when?” So now it is. Once or twice a year, I will do the Standard Process 21-Day detox to reset my body. This detox program is truly amazing because it cleans the body at a cellular level, and the basis is all whole foods. We love those whole foods over here at MTF!

Speaking of Whole Foods, we have some exciting news to share! More Than Food is collaborating with Whole Foods Atlanta for some amazing events and social media fun this year! Once a week during the month of January, MTF will take over the @wholefoodsatl Instagram with a new recipe created especially for Whole Foods Atlanta (so be sure to follow them for updates). It’s pretty much a dream come true–I mean, who wouldn’t want to work alongside WF? I am the most excited!

Because this week begins the detox, I wanted to create a meal that is cleanse-appropriate and nourishing. Plus, it was raining and cold outside this weekend, so my body screamed, “comfort food!” Stir-fry dishes are always warm, super flavorful, and practically foolproof (and truly just so easy to whip up), so Asian food for the win.

I hope you enjoy this savory meal on your couch in your PJ’s wrapped in a blanket with a great movie and your best friend (or your dog, which is essentially the same thing, right?).

 

Disclosure: I have a partnership with Whole Foods Market and was compensated for my work, but all words and opinions are my own.
vegetarian

Fish & Veg

peanut butter and jelly smoothie

“Peanut Butter” & Jelly Smoothie