Health Tips That Will Change Your Life
On my podcast, Conversations with Maria Menounos, now “Better Together with Maria Menounos,” I’ve been lucky enough to interview experts in the health and wellness industry who have shared some life-changing tips on what we need to be putting into our bodies and how we can do it. Below are three of my favorite podcast guests and what I’ve learned and implemented into my life from each of them:
- Elissa Goodman
Holistic nutritionist, cancer survivor and author of Cancer Hacks: A Holistic Guide to Overcoming Your Fear & Healing Cancer, Elissa Goodman has explored holistic alternatives along with traditional treatments & healed herself of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in less than a year. She taught me so many things in this interview that I know everyone can apply to their lives as well.
- If you’re like me, you almost always start your day with coffee first thing in the morning. Elissa taught me that this causes us to start our day dehydrated. So now when I wake up, I start my day with water and little bit of Himalayan salt…and then coffee.
- Soup can provide you with a ton of nutrients, can stand alone as a meal, and store well. Elissa provides clients with a soup meal plan that redefines what it means to cleanse. I use it as a meal replacement. It’s become the easiest thing for me to eat when I’m short on time and has become my go to when I want to get a ton of nutrients in, or don’t feel like preparing an entire meal. Learn more here: https://elissagoodman.com/soup-cleanse/
- I’m always searching for ways to add variety into my breakfast and she provided some super simple meals including chia seed pudding, edamame and chopped avocado and overnight oats. All so simple and so good! Look for recipes with the lowest amount of ingredients, that way they’re healthier and quicker to prep!
- Gem Vitamins-Sara Cullen
During my interview with Sara Cullen, the founder of Gem vitamins, I realized that a lot of the vitamins I was taking were BS. I was taking them at face value with no research, as I’m sure many of us have/are. Luckily I was able to sit down with Sara to get the 411 on this vitamin fiasco.
Sara started the GEM vitamin journey back in 2017, after battling a series of health issues from severe inflammation to hormonal imbalances, acne and fatigue. She found out she just wasn’t getting the right nutrition. After heading to the vitamin aisle she realized many of the vitamins we all take were filled with artificial ingredients, hidden fillers, and toxic routines. So, Sarah, having a background in food and sustainability, partnered with women entrepreneurs, scientists, farmers, herbalists, doctors and activists, to found GEM. GEM is a whole nutrient vitamin, filled with the 15 nutrients women need most based off of common American diet deficiencies and ailments. My favorite part about GEM vitamins is that I don’t have to swallow any pills. One thing to note is that after talking with Elissa Goodman we came to the conclusion that I needed two a day. So it’s best to figure out serving size by what your body needs.
- Fully Raw Kristina
Kristina Carrillo Bucaram, also known as “Fully Raw Kristina,” is one of the most popular “raw and vegan celebrity and digital influencer of her time.” At the age of 18, she overcame Type 2 Diabetes (Hyperglycemic) by eating a raw, vegan diet. This diet is widely recognizable as strictly fruits and vegetables in their raw and unprocessed states as found in nature. Over the last 13 years, she has inspired many, including myself.After my episode featuring Kristina, I thought about how much she had to eat to get her nutritional needs met and the variety of fruits and vegetables she would implement into her diet. I realized I wasn’t eating nearly enough fruits and vegetables, and I definitely wasn’t including enough variety into my diet. I don’t know about you, but I was under the impression that my little ol’ salad would be enough to satisfy most of my nutritional needs. Kristina explained how you can get the proper amount of nutrients, including protein and iron, from fruits and vegetables, but you just need to make sure you’re eating the proper amount and including a wide variety. A lot of us might not be eating enough, so it’s important to see what works for you and your body.
Kristina also explained how nutrient depletion in soil is a big reason to increase your quantity intake. For example, one apple in the past would have provided the equivalent number of nutrients as a few apples in the present day. The lack of nutrients was a big reason why I was always hungry after I finished a meal. Not only was I always hungry but I was always tired. I realized that I was a creature of habit eating the same thing every day. I also was under the impression that I needed to limit my fruit intake due to their sugar level. If I ate fruit, I would only eat the one’s known for having less sugar, and I would eat a really small amount. I realize this idea in my head must have stemmed from my dad dealing with diabetes throughout my entire life and the constant concern over his sugar intake, which therefore became a concern over my sugar intake.Shortly after my episode with Kristina, I went on my honeymoon where the hotel we were staying at had a breakfast buffet filled with all kinds of fruits like pomegranate and kiwi-fruits I would have normally stay away from. Luckily, she taught me that I needed to explore and indulge in the variety of fruits, vegetables and nuts, and honestly, I felt the difference instantly. What I thought would cause a sugar overload ended up helping me in so many ways.
Takeaway: VARIETY is your friend when it comes to fruits, vegetable and nuts. You can’t get all the nutrients your body needs without variety and re-examining the quantity you’re taking in and seeing if it’s enough for you.
I know many of us are fans of Starbucks. I happen to be a Dunkin’ Donuts girl myself, but when I can’t find a Dunkin’ I go to Starbucks. However, the truth is, not only are we spending a ton of money on drinks, a ton of time in line, but many of our favorite drinks are really high in sugar and fat and filled with tons of unhealthy ingredients. Even when I think I’m being healthy and ordering a matcha green tea latte…I’m not.
I did my research and wanted to share some of the nutritional facts we should all be aware of. I’m also providing some of the alternatives I’ve implemented into my own life. These alternatives not only benefit our health, but save us time and money as well.
The Nutritional Facts:
Important to note: 3 teaspoons = 14.3 grams
*OMG! Who knew a sugar free latte still has 17 grams of sugar*
What Are The Alternatives?
Not only are most of the drinks at Starbucks are still filled with a ton of sugar, natural flavors, preservatives, thickeners, emulsifiers and other artificial additives, but if you haven’t noticed yet, every Starbucks has a disclaimer that warns of contact with chemicals that are known to cause cancer.
It’s much cheaper and healthier to make your drink at home and buy the ingredients from the store. My favorite non-dairy options are coconut, hazelnut and almond milk, but always, check the back to make sure there are as little ingredients possible.
As for the caffeine portion, I brew dunkin’ at home and k-cups have become my go-to for when I’m on the go. It’s so fast and easy and the best part is I know exactly what’s going into each cup. I usually add about one stevia and almond milk on top.
Also, being a matcha lover, I had to find alternative ingredients to make it at home as well. The below recipe is filled with great nutrients and clean ingredients:
Homemade Matcha Latte with Cinnamon and Vanilla via shape.com – Makes 1 latte
- 1 teaspoon matcha powder
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- 1/2 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Place hot water in a mug. Add matcha powder, and whisk well until matcha is completely dissolved.
- Add vanilla, cinnamon, and honey, and whisk again until dissolved.
- Heat almond milk in a saucepan until it starts simmering. Vigorously stir milk for around 30 seconds until it becomes very frothy, and pour it into the matcha mug.
- Optional: Sprinkle a bit more cinnamon and matcha powder on top.
- Enjoy immediately while it’s nice and warm, or let mixture cool before pouring over ice for an iced matcha latte.
Nutrition facts per serving: 68 calories, 2.5g fat, 10g carbs, 8g sugar, 1g protein
All of these options are so easy to make, will save you a ton of money, keep your sugar and fat intake down and taste just as good as your $5 drink order.