Making Mornings Mindful

Making Mornings Mindful

What is a morning routine? 

  • daily ritual you perform every single morning as soon as you wake up before work. Morning rituals set the tone for the rest of your day. 
  • “Every action you take is a vote for the person you’re trying to become” -Atomic Habits, James Clear

Benefits of a morning routine:

  • Less stress: YOU control your schedule instead of letting your schedule control you. Mornings are typically known for being chaotic, but they don’t have to be this way if you choose to take control over it. 
  • Prioritize Self-care: A morning routine helps you take care of your mind and body before the rest of the day demands your attention. Ever notice that when you push a workout to the end of the day something often comes up and you end up not working out at all? Well, if you got it over with in the morning, that would never happen. You’ll feel 100% after you took that extra time in the morning to take care of yourself and are ready to take on the day, no matter what life throws at you. Remember, you can’t fill from an empty cup! 
  • Better sleep quality: Think you don’t have time to do a morning routine? That means you need to wake up a little earlier, which means you need to sleep earlier! Consistently going to sleep and getting up at the same time every day has a positive impact on your sleep. You’ll be surprised at what waking up just 30 minutes earlier can do. 
  • Reach your health goals: When moving your body is part of your morning routine, it becomes a habit that you won’t be able to live without. You’ll notice you will begin to workout to feel good both mentally and physically, rather than to look a certain way. But because you are doing it consistently every single day, you will end up seeing the results you always wanted. You will also make better eating decisions throughout the day, because of all the hard work you already put in that morning.

Steps to a successful morning routine
Take a screenshot or print out this infographic as a checklist! 

  1. Avoid going on your phone as soon as you wake up (unless absolutely necessary). Most of us will check social media or respond to text messages / emails before we even brush our teeth or drink water! The moment you look at your phone, your mind will become reactive to everything. By taking care of your personal obligations first without distractions, you can respond to the demands of others with a clear mind. We like to utilize Apple’s “Do Not Disturb” setting so we don’t receive any notifications until we are done with our morning routine. 
  2. Drink water! Ever feel hungry as soon as you wake up? Probably means you’re just thirsty! You haven’t had water for 8 hours so you’re probably dehydrated. We like to drink a huge 40oz water bottle before our first meal of the day.
  3. Meditate. Some people could never imagine themselves sitting in silence, alone with their thoughts. This is something we struggle with doing every day, but when we are able to take even 5 or 10 minutes to meditate, it clears our minds and centers our focus. Think of meditation like a gym for your brain – the more you practice it, the stronger your mental focus and clarity will be no matter what the day throws at you.
  4. Move your body: Get your blood flowing! Not every day has to be a hard workout. Some days can be yoga, walking, or stretching, but the goal is to move your body every single day to keep your heart and mind healthy. You’ll feel so great after you get those endorphins flowing and you’ll have one less thing to do for the rest of the day. 
  5. Get outside: We suggest going for a short walk outside (this could also be your workout.) Did you know that just getting 10 minutes of sunshine in the morning can boost your mood and energy levels? 
  6. Take a cold shower: There are numerous benefits to showering in cold vs. hot water. Improved skin and hair, decreased inflammation, improved blood circulation, and potential weight loss are only some of the benefits of taking cold showers regularly. When you take a cold shower, it activates your body’s energy, waking you up quicker than a double shot of espresso. This doesn’t mean you have to always shower in cold water but a quick rinse after your morning routine to get your day started will kick you into high gear. 
  7. Eat a healthy breakfast: Now after all those things you did to improve your well-being, you’re definitely not going to want to ruin it with an unhealthy meal. Think of food as FUEL! What nutrients does your body need to function at its optimal performance? Remi’s favorite go-to breakfast is a protein smoothie with protein powder, almond milk, fruits, spinach, almond butter, and chia seeds for a quick and nutrient dense meal. Bryn’s go-to breakfast is avocado toast on sourdough bread with an egg, spinach, and pickled onions. 

If it seems daunting to incorporate all of these into your life at once, just take it one step at a time. Even just not going on your phone and drinking water as soon as you wake up are HUGE steps to improving the quality of your life. The goal isn’t to do a million things every single morning, but instead to do a couple small things consistently. Trust us, once these things become habits you will see huge results! We have grown to love our morning routines and hope you do too.

Drink Smarter, Not Harder

Drink Smarter, Not Harder

Happy May, everyone! This month, we will both be celebrating our birthdays with our friends and loved ones. Since we already know we’ll be drinking alcohol as part of the festivities, we thought we’d share our tips on how to still partake in drinking without wreaking havoc on your body. 

News flash! You don’t have to drink 10 shots a night to have fun, and you most likely can’t drink like you’re 21 anymore. If you were drinking back to back nights in college, with an incredible resilience and no hangover to date, consider yourself lucky but those days only last for so long and age will eventually catch up with you. The sad truth is that alcohol has a lot of detrimental effects on the body. However, when consumed properly and in moderation, it can still be a fun social activity you can enjoy with others. 

How alcohol negatively affects your body:
Alcohol unfortunately has a long grocery list of short and long-term negative effects on your body.

  • Short term: hangover, dehydration, fatigue, lack of coordination, inflammation, mood and behavioral changes, weakened immune system
  • Long term: liver damage, muscle deterioration, heart damage, increased chances of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. 

Realistically, alcohol is a part of life for many people and is often present at most celebrations, meaning that giving up drinking for good is difficult. While it may be bad for you, it can certainly be consumed responsibly by following our tips below: 

Tips on how to drink smarter: 
Before drinking – make sure you are eating a lot of fiber and whole foods. The more processed junk food you consume beforehand, the worse your hangover will be the following day. Do NOT drink on an empty stomach, as doing this will cause the alcohol to damage your stomach lining. We like to take a milk thistle supplement if we know we’ll be consuming alcohol later that night, which helps coat and protect your liver! 

During drinking – Hydrate! Make it a habit to drink water in between your drinks and remember to pace yourself. You are in control of how much you drink and only YOU can gauge how much is too much. A good rule of thumb to remember is that your body metabolizes around one drink per hour, depending on your body weight. 

After drinking – Sleep well, hydrate, be sure to have a hearty meal the next morning to soak up whatever alcohol is left within your body. Many people think greasy, fried foods the morning after drinking will help absorb the alcohol but in reality it is only a temporary fix and will end up making you feel even more lethargic and disgusting than before.. If you are hungover, sipping on any type of herbaceous bone broth will do wonders, which is why pho is the ultimate post-drinking cure! 

Our favorite hangover free / sugar-free drink recipes: 

Remi’s Skinny Spicy Margarita

  • 1 shot tequila blanco
  • Juice of an entire lime
  • couple slices of jalapeno (option to muddle w/ seeds for extra spice)
  • liquid stevia
  • Lime La croix or other sparkling water
  • Instructions: Mix everything together except la croix in a cocktail shaker or cup and pour over ice (Don’t forget to rim the top of your glass with some tajin.) Top with la croix and enjoy! 

Bryn’s Vodka Mixer

  • 2 shots of vodka
  • 1 can of fresca
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • ice 
Eating Out Without Stressing Out

Eating Out Without Stressing Out

With restaurants closed for dine-in during the pandemic, many people have learned just how much healthier and cheaper it can be to cook your meals at home. Admittedly, sometimes food just tastes better at a restaurant and eating out is such a fun social experience that we’ve all missed. As restaurants are starting to open for dine-in again, we wanted to share our tips on how you can get the best of both worlds by staying on top of your health goals and still enjoy meals out. When we both struggled with our eating disorders, eating out was a topic that brought upon anxiety and stress. If you’ve dealt with a similar insecurity of overindulging and ruining your “diet” from eating out with friends, we’ve got you covered. Like everything in life, moderation and balance are quintessential to truly appreciating something. Here are our tips on how you can still dine out at restaurants without the guilt.

PLAN AHEAD! Find out what restaurant you’re going to eat at and look at the menu beforehand to choose what you want to order and plan in advance.

  • If you know you’re eating out later and and that the food won’t be very healthy, try to eat something lighter and full of nutrients for breakfast or lunch to balance your day. 
    • ie. If you want to order pasta, maybe eat a lunch that is light in carbs and high in protein. If you’re going to order a steak, maybe opt for a plant based protein source for lunch. 
  • Having a few drinks at dinner? That is totally fine! Make sure to hydrate during the day beforehand and eat foods full of nutrients that will help your body metabolize the alcohol faster, reducing your hangover the next day. 
    • Foods high in protein, fiber, and vitamins. Ie. oats, salmon, eggs, dark leafy greens will help your body metabolize alcohol faster.
    • Add lemon juice to your water which helps to protect your liver and detox your body. 

TIPS FOR ORDERING AT A RESTAURANT: Always look for an option with veggies! 

  • Try to order something that has some type of vegetable incorporated. One of our favorite tips at any noodle soup restaurants (ramen, pho, etc.) is to order the vegetarian option but sub veggie broth for beef / chicken broth. You can still get the delicious flavor of the broth while still getting all your veggies in. Also, beef / chicken / pork bone broth has tons of vitamins and collagen. 
  • If your group is okay with it, try family style! Offer to split multiple dishes with the person / people you’re dining with so you can order a vegetable dish and get to try more entrees. 
  • None of the entrees look appealing to you? Check out the side dishes / appetizers! You can typically make a meal out of the sides / appetizers which usually have smaller portions, are more inclined to incorporate vegetables, and cost less than an entrée. 
  • Save your leftovers and add more vegetables when you eat them the next day: 
    • Ie. adding spinach to noodle soups, adding more vegetables to pasta or rice dishes, or just eating it with a side salad at home to boost the nutritional content and volume. 

Treat eating out as a special occasion by not doing it too often during the week. We like to view eating out as a nice weekend treat. Weekdays are typically for cooking and eating healthy while weekends are for enjoying new restaurants with friends. Stick to your diet on the weekdays so you can enjoy your weekends eating out guilt-free! 

Give your body a digestive break after eating a large dinner by skipping breakfast the next day. We recommend at least a 12 hour break between the last meal of the day and first meal the following day to reset your digestion. 

It’s easy to overeat when eating out (anyone else love all you can eat kbbq?) but listen to your body! Eat slow, enjoy the food, and stop eating when you’re satisfied. No one likes being stuffed to the point where they can’t breathe. Remember, you can always take home leftovers to eat the next day! 

Don’t beat yourself up for having a couple unhealthy meals a couple times a week! You won’t ruin your progress after straying from your diet once in a while. Even fitness professionals cheat every so often for their sanity. It’s all about balance!

Our goal has always been to make living a healthier lifestyle easier to understand and execute. As we all know, food is one of life’s greatest gifts to us so we hope this month’s newsletter brings you more sense of calm and control. You have the power to choose what you eat and how you eat it — food does NOT own you! Happy eating, everyone!

Wonton Happiness Salad (inspired by Souplantation)

Wonton Happiness Salad (inspired by Souplantation)

Souplantation has always been one of my favorite places to eat. Even though they basically just serve soup, salad, and lots of carbs, something about it was just so good and I have so many fond memories there. Since they didn’t have Souplantation in Hawaii, my family and I would always make a trip there whenever we would visit the states. Once I moved to Los Angeles, of course I became a club veg member so I could receive all the coupons and special offers. I ate there at least once a month, always looking forward to their new menu items and of course always sneaking an extra blueberry muffin in my purse on my way out 😉

When I found out Souplantation was permanently closing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I was devastated. The thought of never having the tuna tarragon pasta or those fat noodles in the chicken noodle soup ever again broke my heart. My friends and I were all equally distraught so we decided to recreate some of the dishes at home for a (social distancing) potluck. I was in charge of creating the famous Asian Wonton Happiness salad which I put my own healthy twists on, of course, and surprisingly it turned out so good! Dare I say possibly better than the original? I wouldn’t go that far but I have been craving it for lunch every day since which definitely says something.

This salad is basically a Chinese chicken salad (I added chicken but Souplantation’s version doesn’t have chicken) but what makes it so good is the sesame ginger dressing and the air fried wonton chips. All the yumminess of fried wonton strips without all the oil / deep frying for less guilt! I hope you guys give this recipe a try and pay homage to the great salad and soup buffet that we all love and will miss greatly. Enjoy 🙂

Recipe: (makes about 6 servings)

  1. Ingredients:
    • 4 cups romaine lettuce, cut into bite size pieces
    • 3 cups cabbage, shredded
    • 1 cup carrots, shredded
    • 4-5 store-bought wonton wrappers (for air fryer version) OR can buy pre-made wonton strips
    • 1/4 cup cilantro, stems removed
    • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
    • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
    • 2 chicken breasts (optional)
    • optional toppings / ingredients:
      • sliced almonds
      • avocado
    • Dressing:
      • 2 tbsp avocado oil
      • 1/4 cup Rice vinegar
      • 1 tbsp Sesame oil
      • 1 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari / coconut aminos for gluten free)
      • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
      • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce OR see below for healthier alternative
        1. Healthier hoisin sauce (makes 1/4 cup)
          • 1/8 cup light soy sauce (or tamari / coconut aminos for gluten free)
          • 1 tbsp natural peanut butter (read ingredients, should just be made of peanuts)
          • 1 tbsp honey
          • 1 tsp rice vinegar
          • 1 tsp sesame oil
          • 1/2 tsp miso paste
          • 1 clove garlic, grated
  2. Instructions:
    1. For chicken:
      1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
      2. Once boiling, add chicken breasts in and cook on medium high heat for 20-25 minutes.
      3. Once time is up, place chicken in cold water immediately to stop cooking and let sit for about 5 minutes, until cooled.
      4. Pat chicken dry and place in large bowl. Use two forks to shred the chicken into small bite size pieces.
    2. For dressing:
      1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well combined.
    3. For air fryer wonton strips:
      1. Take about 6-8 wonton wrappers from package, keeping them stacked together. Cut entire square into 16 pieces so each strip is about 1 1/2” x 1/2”
      2. Separate all strips from each other and place into a bowl (it’s okay if some are still stuck together, they will separate in the air fryer.)
      3. spray a little avocado oil (option to omit oil, it will still work.) Mix well until all strips are evenly coated.
      4. Place strips in air fryer basket and set air fryer to 350 degrees F for about 8 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
      5. Once done, let cool
    4. For salad:
      1. Place all salad ingredients except avocado, if using.
      2. Pour dressing over salad mixture and toss well to combine (start with a little dressing and add more as needed by preference)
      3. Top with avocado (if using) and serve immediately!
The Skinny on Skincare

The Skinny on Skincare

Hey guys! This month’s topic is all about the skin! Maintaining clear and consistent skin is something we have both struggled with our entire lives. Growing up, we had horrible acne that was primarily caused by our genetics however many other external factors played a huge role in this too. We’ve tried every product, gimmick, or supposed quick fix on the internet to clear our skin.  Although it has taken some time, we’re finally at a place where we’re very familiar and content with our skin but we wish we knew what we know now back then. As a disclaimer, we are not dermatologists and we know that everyone’s skin is different, but here are some basic tips that have worked for us in hopes that it may help some of you!

Your skin is the largest organ in the body. Aside from your digestive tract and stomach, your skin is the first part of your body that touches the outside world. Like a sponge, your skin will absorb any environmental factors it comes into contact with. 

Skincare starts from within, products are merely supplements that can help. Similar to pharmaceuticals, they treat the symptoms but not the cause. Although your skin may look better on the outside, it is a direct reflection of what’s within your body too, aka your health. 

Hydration! Your skin will appear just as hydrated as how much water you consume to quench your body internally. Try to drink at least 9-12 cups of water per day. 

Diet. Processed sugar, carbs, and high fat products will wreak havoc on your skin. When your skin begins to age, it is oxidizing, which is what brown spots are a result of. Eating foods high in antioxidants will slow down the aging process in your cells. 

Exercise. When you take the time to break a sweat, you’re assisting your body with pumping new fresh blood everywhere. This improved circulation will keep your skin looking healthy and alive. Be sure to wash your face after your workout though.

Stress. Your body is a holistic interconnected system, meaning when one part is out of sync, other parts of your body will malfunction. When you stress out, your hormones are out of flux, producing more than it should. This may lead to losing sleep or making unhealthy unhealthy eating choices, both which will reflect in your skin.

Environment. External factors play a significant role in your skin’s appearance. If you live in an area that is known for being polluted or having very dry air (ie. Los Angeles) make sure to use a humidifier and air purifier in your home to offset the time you spend outside. 

Tips for better skin:

  • Don’t touch your face! 
  • Wash your pillowcases at least once a week. Pro tip: Replace your regular cotton pillowcase with a silk pillowcase and your skin and hair will thank you. 
  • Wipe your phone screen and glasses down frequently 
  • Avoid re-wearing the same mask often (ever heard of Mask-ne?)
  • Consider using a humidifier while you sleep for added moisture
  • While your face is important, don’t forget to give the rest of your body some love too! Put lotion on your entire body right after you get out of the shower because that’s when your skin will absorb and lock in the moisture best. 
  • When doing your skincare, rub the products on your neck, chest, and hands as those are the areas that show the first signs of aging

Skincare Products: 

  • Most important skincare item: SPF SPF SPF! UV rays from the sun are the primary culprit for damaged, aged skin. Apply even if you’re indoors (UV rays penetrate through windows) and multiple times a day if you’re going outdoors (only lasts 30-50min, depending on SPF.) 
  • Top 3 ingredients for better skin

Yes, having clear healthy skin is extra work but you deserve to look and feel your best! When you have clear skin, it boosts your confidence by allowing your beauty and health to shine. Let yourself have that extra time in the morning and night to give your skin some extra TLC and your skin will thank you. Hope you enjoyed this month’s newsletter and see you back next month for more tips and tricks to improve your health and become your best self. ❤

New Year, Better You

New Year, Better You

As 2020 comes to a close, I’m sure we’re not alone in welcoming the fresh new year with open arms. We’ve all spent the majority of 2020 cooped up inside and perhaps not making the best decisions to improve our health. This year has definitely been rough for many of us but every fall off of your horse is just another opportunity to get back on it, right? For the last newsletter of 2020, we’re sharing these tips on how to set your own personalized, attainable, idealistic goals for the upcoming year. 

When it comes to setting goals for the new year, here are our tips / tricks to creating goals that you will actually stick to in order to see results: 

  • Set goals that are realistic to meet or you will abandon your endeavors after a week or two of pursuing it. 
    • For example, proclaiming “I’m going to completely give up carbs” is a bold statement. If you love carbs and this is a major drastic change in your lifestyle, you will find yourself miserable and throwing in the towel early. Instead, choose a more practical goal like “I’m going to eat less refined carbs (white bread, pasta, rice, etc) and try to eat more whole carbs (vegetables, fruits, sweet potatoes, whole grains)”
  • When it comes to fitness goals, try to set goals for progress in strength and endurance rather than your weight.
    • Instead of “I want to lose X amount of pounds” say “I want to be able to do 10 pushups” or “I want to be able to run a mile without taking breaks.” By aiming to improve your strength and working out by putting your mind to muscle, the physically aesthetic results will follow your progress. 
    • Instead of using a scale, take progress photos of your body. On the day you decide to start working out more, take a photo of yourself. After the first few months of working out, take another one wearing the same clothes and standing in the same position. These snapshots over prolonged periods of time will show the physical changes your body is undergoing that you can’t see by looking at yourself everyday in the mirror. 
  • Make your goals achievable by creating small, actionable steps you can do every day. Instead of “I want to be healthier” make your goal “I will work out for at least 30 minutes a day” or “I WILL incorporate at least one serving of vegetables into every meal”. In Atomic Habits by James Clear, Clear explains that by performing a small actionable step everyday, you are increasingly becoming at least 1% better and disciplining yourself to form a habit that will actually stick. Associate the small actionable step with the benefit to make it appealing. 
    • Some examples of small actionable steps:
      • I will eat out less and try to cook more so I know exactly what I am putting into my body
      • I will read for 30 min a day to expand my vocabulary and learn more about the world
      • I will listen to one podcast a day about self-help or self-improvement to better myself
      • I will give up drinking soda to consume less sugar and avoid long-term health issues
  • Write down your goals physically and place them somewhere you can see them everyday and constantly be reminded. Locations such as your refrigerator, your phone wallpaper, your mirror, or your office computer monitor should work. 
  • Keep yourself accountable by sharing your goals with a friend or family member. Bonus: if your family or friend has a similar goal, you can work towards it together. 
  • It’s ok to make mistakes and fall off the wagon, but examine the why of your failure to make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future. The idea here is to strive for consistency, not perfection. When you find yourself off course, steer right back on the road. Do not give up! Every step in the right direction, no matter how small, is still progress. 

Let’s get PHYSICAL

Let’s get PHYSICAL

What defines exercise?
When you think of exercise, what words come to mind? Weight loss? Calories? Muscle?
Here are some questions to ask yourself to understand how you perceive exercise:

Do I see it as a chore or a form of self-care? Do I workout for physical results and burning calories or do I workout to improve my mood and get my blood pumping? Are there days when I workout and push myself past my limit or do I intuitively listen to what my body’s wants and needs? 

In today’s world, social media has completely transformed our definition of “fitness”. We associate being “healthy” or “fit” with the aesthetics of having a nice body or looking good in certain clothes. Exercise, at its core, is movement. Once we start exercising for the holistic payoffs rather than just the physical, it becomes more natural, sustainable, and gratifying. 
Exercise should be an extension of who YOU are and it should be enjoyable.

How much exercise should I be doing? 
Dr. Oz recommends working out for at least 30 minutes a day. If you’re absolutely too busy to block out 30 minutes, he suggests breaking that 30 minutes into two 15 minute sessions instead. It is better to do a short workout every single day than doing long, hard workouts 2-3 times a week. Implementing small changes and staying consistent are the keys to seeing results. 

Ways to exercise during quarantine
The simplest way to get your body moving, especially during quarantine since we’re finding ourselves cooped up inside the house all day, is to go for a walk. Try to make it a point to go for a walk every single day, even if it is only for 30 minutes. Our favorite time to go for a walk is in the morning right after waking up when fewer people are outside. Not only will you get some fresh air and vitamin D which are both great for your immune system, but you will get your blood pumping while in the fasted state before eating your first meal and we can guarantee your mood will improve as well. If you feel like you want to add even more movement, there are many free workouts on YouTube that you can do in the comfort of your home such as Pilates, yoga, bodyweight strength training workouts, and more!

Some of our favorite FREE online at-home workouts:

Sleep is NOT for the weak!

Sleep is NOT for the weak!

Numerous people experience sleep issues every night, and these unprecedented times we are living through aren’t much help. It’s okay to feel anxious or stressed with life but always remember that, although you may not be able to control what’s going on in the world, you ARE in control of your life and health. 

Why is sleep so important?

  • Sleep heals your body, muscles, and internal organs to function better when you are awake. 
  • Improves stress management and metabolism.  
  • Increases overall mental, emotional, and physical stability
  • Better sleep = healthier lifestyle. If you have poor sleep, you’re more likely to make unhealthy eating choices. 
  • If you don’t get enough sleep, your insulin sensitivity decreases which lead to weight gain and higher diabetes risk

How much sleep should you get per night?

  • According to Medline Plus, “The amount of sleep you need depends on several factors, including your age, lifestyle, health, and whether you have been getting enough sleep recently. Most adults need about 7-8 hours each night.

Now is the time to start feeling your best by implementing small yet effective changes in your life. Here are some tips on how you can fall asleep easier and stay asleep.

The Un-Sugar Coated Truth: Part 1

The Un-Sugar Coated Truth: Part 1

It’s common knowledge that sugar is not good for us — it causes unwanted trips to the dentist and energy crashes. In the last newsletter, we discussed how fats can be beneficial for your overall health and, surprisingly, don’t always make us accumulate unnecessary pounds or heart problems. If anything, sugar is the real culprit in the food industry, causing more Americans annually to become diabetic and adopt other chronic health diseases.

Fat doesn’t make us fat, SUGAR makes us fat. 

Why should we demonize sugar in our diets as much as possible? 

  • It’s extremely addictive, more than any drug in the world. We are addicted to sugar already and we don’t even know it. Eating sugar makes us crave MORE SUGAR! Food companies know this and add sugar to keep consumers buying their products.
  • Added unnatural sugars in your diet cause inflammation which leads to chronic diseases such as heart disease or cancer, headaches/migraines, stomach problems, and even depression. 
  • Too much sugar causes our body to become insulin resistant, thus developing diabetes.
  • Consuming added sugars does not provide any vitamins or nutrients. Besides, we don’t need any extra sugar in our diet because we already consume naturally occurring sugar from fruits, vegetables, and starches! 
  • Sugar affects the collagen in your skin, causing you to age and LOOK OLDER FASTER!

Sugar is added to most packaged foods you find at the grocery store and is often disguised by other names such as:

High-fructose corn syrup, Honey, Malt syrup, Molasses, Oat syrup, Rice bran syrup, Rice syrup, Dextrose, Fructose, Galactose, Glucose, Lactose, Maltose, Sucrose, Maltodextrin, and more (a total of 56 other names for sugar but these are the most common

Always read the ingredients list to check for any of these hidden names. Often times there will be more than one of these names listed to make it seem like there is less added sugar than there really is. Also check the nutrition facts to see the total grams of sugar.

According to the American Heart Association, this is how much sugar you should be consuming daily (but preferably less)

Women: 24 grams
Men: 36 grams
Children: 12 grams

One can of soda is already more sugar than your daily intake should be!

Now that you know how bad sugar can be for you, definitely try your best to avoid it as much as you can! A simple place to start is to cut out drinks like soda, fruit juices, and sport drinks as they are loaded with added sugars. And yes, that means cutting out diet sodas too! Diet sodas use artificial sweeteners, such as saccharin or aspartame, which are equally as bad as regular sugar even though the nutrition label says “0 sugar.” Instead, opt for a sparking seltzer, like La Croix, or sparking water with lemon for a nice refreshing drink. Try this tip out for now, and next month we will be back with even more ways you can cut out sugar and also provide healthy recipes so you can still satisfy your sweet tooth craving while making healthier lifestyle decisions.

The Good, The Bad, and The Oily

The Good, The Bad, and The Oily

Oil is a commonly used ingredient in all types of cooking, especially Asian food, because it adds moisture, makes food extra savory, and can create a crispy texture unlike any other. Although oil is often associated with fat and weight gain, the truth is…NOT ALL OILS ARE CREATED EQUAL! Good oils and healthy fats can be extremely beneficial for your health.  To break it down simply, oil does create fat but fat isn’t always bad. In fact, good oil that creates mono or polysaturated fat will help to protect your internal organs, support brain function, keep your cholesterol at bay, and keep your heart beating strong.  On the other hand, BAD oils are those not made by nature and extremely processed. When you consume these bad oils hidden in fast food and processed items, this creates saturated or trans fat in your body aka the main cause of weight gain, coronary heart disease, and chronic inflammation. This inflammation can increase the risk of depression and dementia. Not to mention these oils are also filled with added chemicals which act as carcinogens that attack our endocrine and immune systems. Remi and I have created a clear list of the oils you should toss out of your pantry below:  

BAD OILS TO AVOID (in no particular order) 
1. Canola/vegetable oil (ie. Crisco. All fast food chains use this) This also includes PAM, the canola oil spray
2. Corn oil (ie. Mazola. Fast food chains use this as well) 
3. Soybean oil (found in most salad dressings, mayonnaise, margarine products)
4. Cottonseed oil
5. Grapeseed oil
6. Sunflower oil (used in a lot of Trader Joe’s products)
7. Rice Bran oil
8. Safflower oil 

GOOD OILS
1. Avocado oil. Avocado oil has a high cooking point and can substitute any of the bad oils noted above. It has a mild taste and cooks everything well, even french fries! Costco a large bottle of this for $10 and also sells a two-pack of the cooking spray that you can use instead of PAM, which is made out of canola and palm oil. Although it’s a bit more expensive than the other oils, it’s worth the investment in your long term health. 
2. Extra Virgin Olive oil Olive oil is naturally derived and tasty even on its own. You can find this product everywhere and is usually cheaper than avocado oil. This oil does NOT have a high smoking point and becomes cancerous when you cook it higher than 375 degrees. 
3. Coconut oil Coconut oil is extremely versatile. It can be a great addition to your morning coffee, smoothies, and skincare routine. Because coconut oil has such a high amount of fat and calories, it boosts your brain function and immediately gives you energy. Coconut oil does harden at room temperature so if too much is consumed, it can create a hardened build up of plaque in your arteries which interferes with blood transferring oxygen throughout your body. Do not eat more than 2 tbsp a day. 
4. Sesame oil This option will resonate the most with us since sesame oil is commonly used in Asian dishes. Swapping vegetable oils with sesame oil will greatly improve your heart health, lower blood sugar, reduce inflammation, and improve your skin and hair. Sesame oil, like olive oil, has a low smoking point so it’s not recommended to fry with

We hope you take the time to go through your kitchen cabinets and choose healthier options like these at the grocery store! If you have any questions or need more recommendations, don’t hesitate to ask us!