Are You Stuck In Your Comfort Zone?

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5AM. Waking up, the open window is blowing in cold air. Breathe in. Breathe out. Get up.

Why?

To get uncomfortable. To get out of your comfort zone. You see, within your comfort zone you can convince yourself that you’re less than what you actually are. Within your comfort zone you can convince yourself that life is unfair and you can be happy about not being this or that person. You can convince yourself to be happy with what you have and that making a change is too hard.

You may even feel like you don’t have a choice of getting up. That it’s not an option. But you do. And eventually you’ll figure out: Do I make the change or am I staying within my comfort zone. Am I getting up or am I sitting there complaining about my situation without actually doing something about it. What happens if i go for the change? How will it feel like?

Uncomfortable!

Embrace the feeling of being uncomfortable. Recognize how it feels like and rise above it. The difference between staying in your warm bed and pulling away the covers to get up is – feeling uncomfortable. Are you feeling cold? Tired? Weak? Sluggish? Demotivated? Uncomfortable? GOOD! It’s working!

Constant repetition

It’s your time to start stretching. It’s your time to start pushing yourself. Pushing yourself every single day will not only make you a stronger individual, it will help you creating a consistent progress of striving forward. Let’s strive for positive habits and one of them is pushing yourself through rough patches. Pushing yourself to go beyond your limits. And the repetition of this habit is important because it trains you to be an individual that has discipline. A person that has discipline is committed to do things even though it is not what they want to do or are reluctant to do.

“(…) There are some things in life you don’t need no degree for. There are some things in life you don’t need no money for, you don’t need no support for. There are some things in life you’ll get through when you tell yourself ‘I can get through this’.” – ET

Make up your mind

I empathize with over-thinkers. I know how hard it is to quiet the mind. But sometimes it is just about making up your mind. Making up your mind that you’ll not quit, that you’ll not give up. Making up your mind that it IS possible. Eliminate negative thoughts by not believing them. Decide not to believe the voice in your head that tells you you can’t do something, that you’re too weak or that you have no possibilities. Let those thoughts go and make space for more brighter and positive things. Try to develop your own set of affirmations that you can tell yourself especially when you’re feeling low.

Growing out of your comfort zone

As long as your being uncomfortable, striving forward and putting yourself in situations that make you uncomfortable you are on you’re way to get out of your comfort zone. You’re growing out of a place and state of mind that is holding you back from becoming the person you truly want to be.

“To get something you never had you have to do something you never did.” This is what being uncomfortable and growing out of your comfort zone is all about. It gives you the chance and enables you to grow out of whatever is holding you back. It enables you to strive for things that are not even present yet.

So the next time you turn down a task because you think it is too hard, decide not to go because you’re too nervous or decide to give in, I hope you remember those words:

“I don’t know what that dream is that you have. I don’t care how disappointing it might have been as you’ve been working towards that dream. That that dream that your holding in your mind. That it’s possible. That some of you already know that it’s hard. It’s not easy. It’s hard changing your life. That in the process of working on your dreams you are going to incur a lot of disappointment. A lot of failure. A lot of pain. There are moments when you are going to doubt yourself and say ‘God why? Why did this have to happen to me?’.Β  For those of you that experience some hardships. Don’t give up on your dream. There are rough times that are gonna come but they have not come to stay. They have come to pass!

It’s very important for you to believe that you’re the one! “

XO, Monalisa

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Why Should I Consider Switching To A Whole-Foods And Plant-Based Diet?

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Because of my passion for nutrition I often find myself talking to people about why the standard western diet is detrimental to our health and how we can reverse the damage of excessive consumption of unhealthy and processed foods. At first, a whole-foods and plant-base diet can seem daunting, due to the flood tide of controversial information on the Internet telling people what to eat.

Switching to a whole-foods and plant-base diet is not a short term diet, it is not a quick fix for years of eating wrong and it is not meant to be a strict program that you’ll have to follow in order to be successful.

Transitioning into a whole foods and plant-based diet gives you the opportunity to:

  • get in touch with what you’re eating
  • Β to change the relationship you have with food
  • be empowered, motivated and and ready to change your life in terms of mental, emotional and physical health
  • reset your body and fueling your body with foods that it deserves.
  • eat foods that won’t drag you down, slow you down or hold you back from reaching and maintaining a healthy body and mind
  • maintain a healthy weight without counting calories, following a strict diet or being forced to focus on only one type of food. No starvation, no jo-jo effect, no pills, and no weight-loss shakes, powders etc.
  • detoxify your body, ultimately helping you to a strong and lean body and clear skin
  • prevent/cure/lower risk of: diabetes, heart disease and stroke, hypertension, cancer, fatigue, nausea, eating disorders, depression etc.
  • maintain a healthy immune system
  • reduce your carbon footprint and help protecting our environment; 20 vegans can live off the same land required by one meat eater
  • live according to your personal values such as compassion and doing no harm, reducing suffering etc.
  • prolong your life and increase your life expectancy (!)

It is a lifestyle that will slowly but surely spread through not only your eating behavior but also your general behavior in terms of conscious living and finding your place in the world as a human being.

Writing for this blog, I hope to inspire you to make conscious food choices and find joy in taking active steps towards a healthy body and mind. Switching to a whole foods and plant-based diet absolutely transformed my life and I’m so happy I get to share my experience with you!

XO, Monalisa

Healthy Eating On A Budget

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The most common concern when switching to a whole foods plant-based diet is the following:

“I really want to eat better but it is so expensive and I cannot afford it.”

Sounds familiar? Then this post is for you. I’ll break down how to make good food choices while shopping on a budget so that you too can follow a whole foods and plant-based diet.

1. Setting priorities

Setting priorities is extremely important when eating on a budget. Setting priorities means that you stick to the basis of your diet even though you are tempted to do otherwise. To figure out what to cut in your diet to save expenses, start a food journal or mentally go through a week and see on what foods/drinks you spend your money on. You might come to the conclusion: No more Starbucks coffee on my way home, no more bought snacks and no more second drink when going out. Cha-ching! More money to spend wisely on proper food choices.

2. Quality over quantity

Yes, organic fruits and vegetables tend to cost more. But checking the list of the “dirty dozen” (http://www.organic.org/articles/showarticle/article-214) will ensure that you won’t ingest harsh chemicals and buy foods that truly help nourish your body so that you feel satisfied. Quality over quantity also means not being afraid of buying 3 onions and 2 tomatoes if that is what you need for a meal. You don’t always have to buy large quantities if the chances are high that most of it will go to waste.

3. Buying in bulk

Local farmer’s markets and sometimes even supermarkets offer the possibility to buy in bulk. (See blog post “Bulk up” to learn how and get all the info you need). While it is wise to carefully select some foods and buy a decent amount that you will use for sure, food staples that you eat everyday are best to buy in bulk. It will save you a significant amount of money and your kitchen is stocked up.

4. Eating clean = Eating simple

The easier the better. The best thing when eating on a budget is to create a very simplistic basis of your diet. So that when more money is available you can stock up your kitchen (with spices for example or superfoods) but in general you can rely on not tapping into unhealthy eating habits when money is short. Eating simple means also buying fresh ingredients instead of products. Rather than paying packaged foods you opt for foods that won’t come with a list of ingredients you don’t even know and give you the possibility to create your own delicious meals. Good food staples to keep in mind:

  • Tomatoes, Apples and Bananas (buy in bulk! choose ripe bananas as they are better for your health and markets/supermarkets give them away cheaper most of the times),
  • Quinoa, rice and beans (if the selection at your supermarket is still pricey try ordering large quantities online, rice: preferably brown rice)
  • Onions (onions make hearty dishes and soups and not only help regulating your blood sugar but also keep your heart healthy)
  • Garlic and ginger (there is a great variety in using both and they add great flavor to your diet)

5. Monitoring and planning ahead

We fall off of our initial plan to eat healthy most likely when we’re starving or coming home after a long day of work. Also being active during the day, not being able to eat at home makes up for many possibilities to make poor food choices and spend money on snacks, drinks and meals that could be avoided. Spending an extra hour in the kitchen on Sunday to pre-cook all your lunch meals for the week can save you not only money but also ensures that you successfully stay on your path. What I found extremely useful is also keeping foods in the fridge or freezer that can be easily combined with other/fresh ingredients for a proper and quick meal. An example could be a container of pre-cooked quinoa that you can heat up and eat with veggies or toss in your salad.

6. Check Locavori for recipes πŸ˜‰

Here on Locavori you can find many recipes that are easy to re-create. Hearty dishes are excellent for cooking ahead and storing in the fridge so that you can pull out quick and delicious meals out of the fridge all week long. All recipes allow many variations so that you can always use what you have on hand.

I hope this little post helped you on your journey! If you have questions or comments please leave a comment below or join the conversation on Facebook. πŸ™‚

XO Monalisa

Korma-Style Lentil Dhal

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I love love love the Indian cuisine. I love the spices and the colorful, super delicious dishes! Since a lot of dishes call for meat or side-dishes like yoghurt, I thought why not cook a vegan variation πŸ™‚

“Can I finish the Paella?”

I’m thrilled that the dishes I cook at home for my family and friends are highly appreciated. The last few days, people were coming and going and nearly 10 people tried out all the dishes I either cooked that day or still had in the fridge from past cooking sessions. “It’s so creamy.. wait.. you didn’t add cream? Are you sure?” Yep. All dishes I cook at home don’t contain any dairy or meat and are just as delicious πŸ™‚

Back to our dish. The lentil Dhal is a tasty and rich dish that I like to combine with Quinoa. It has a nice flavor to it thanks to the spices but it’s also fresh due to the coconut milk. If you don’t like the taste of coconut milk as much or coconut in general you may alter the recipe and use less as it has a strong unique taste to it. I personally love the taste and I find it combines nicely with the spices.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2.5 tsp curry
  • 1.5 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • sea salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with basil
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 250 g lentils
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans
  • 150 g Quinoa

DIRECTIONS:

Soak the lentils for at least 4 hours. Drain and rinse. Set aside. (You can soak the quinoa as well if you like.) In a large saucepan heat up the oil and add the onion. When the onion is translucent add curry, coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper as well as salt and pepper. Stir for about 5 minutes before adding the diced tomatoes, coconut milk and lentils. This may look super watery as of right now but I promise it will thicken up. Stir frequently and make sure the heat is distributed evenly. When some ‘water’ is left on the surface add the garbanzo beans and stir. Now you can put the quinoa in a separate pot cover with water and let it cook. When you think your lentil dhal is thick enough turn off the heat, cover the saucepan and put aside. Serve with quinoa on the side.

I hope you have fun cooking this dish! Oh, and this dish keeps perfect in the fridge for whenever you don’t have the time to cook and just want to heat up a delicious meal.

XO, Monalisa

Super Easy Curried Potato Soup

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Sometimes you just need a good bowl of soup! Growing up, a warm meal a day was oh so very important. If I’d come home late from school as a kid my mom would say something like “You poor kid you haven’t even had a warm meal yet”. To this day, I like to eat something warm at noon time. I’m not sure if this is a cultural thing as I have seen many different eating habits in different countries but it stuck with me. Nowadays I do eat a significant amount of food raw but I didn’t ban cooked foods from my diet.

If you find yourself wanting to include more vegan meals into your diet, try simple recipes that won’t take hours to make so that you’re not hesitant to cook it again, don’t include tons of ingredients so you don’t have to buy too much and can use what you already have and – last but not least – meals that are so good you won’t even miss any dairy and/or meat.

– Perfect to combine with a huge salad beforehand πŸ˜‰ –

INGREDIENTS:

  • 7-8 medium potatoes
  • 1 – 2 carrots
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1,5 l vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp curry
  • 1 pinch paprika
  • sea salt and ground pepper to taste
  • that’s it!

DIRECTIONS:

Cook and peel potatoes, chop in cubes and put aside. Chop carrots and zucchini. Bring vegetable broth, potatoes, carrots and zucchini to a boil, add spices and let simmer. Let cook until carrots are tender. The longer you let your soup on the stove the creamier it gets.

Easy!

P.S: I bet an added can of coconut milk would taste delicious:)

Happy cooking,

XO Monalisa

Finger-licking spanish vegetable Paella

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It’s been quiet around Locavori as I was traveling through Spain with my family, hiking in the Spanish mountains and enjoying endless beaches at the Costa del Azahar. To make it up to you guys I decided to share my favorite Paella recipe that is so good your friends and family will lick their plates. I recently made it for my family and before everybody was even home an astonishing amount of 2 kilos of paella was already missing from the stove. For everybody who has trouble convincing your family to eat cleaner, this dish is genius. I promise you there won’t be any leftovers! This recipe does not call for the typical ingredient saffron and meat/fish and is therefore whether pricey nor complicated. You can make large amounts of super rich and delicious paella in no time. Perfect dish for inviting your friends and family, getting together and eating a meal together that has a high nutritional value πŸ™‚

Let’s start with the ingredients:

  • 3 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 chopped yellow bellpepper (cubes)
  • 1 chopped red bellpepper (cubes)
  • 1 chopped eggplant
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 cup rice
  • 3,5 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 glass jar of diced tomatoes blended with basil
  • 1 or 2 pinches of cayenne
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp curry
  • salt and ground pepper
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans (optional)
  • black olives and fresh minced parsley (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Start heating the oil in a typical paella pan or a wok (non-sticky skillet pan will work as well). Add the onions and garlic and stir for a minute. Add the bell pepper, eggplant and paprika and stir for another 4 minutes. This is the base of your dish. You can also already prepare the base ahead of time. Add the rice, vegetable broth, diced tomatoes and stir. Now you can add your spices: cayenne, thyme, curry, salt and pepper. Let it come to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes. After, you can add the garbanzo beans and let simmer for another 15 minutes. Make sure you stir frequently to distribute the heat evenly! The typical Spanish paella calls for rice that is al dente, but ultimately you have to decide how thoroughly cooked your rice should be.You can garnish the dish with pitted black olives and fresh minced parsley.

(Oh, and if I make this dish for myself I leave out the garbanzo beans as there is a lot of controversy in eating them. But for my family, all meat and fish eaters, I added them to make the dish more rich and filling.)

VARIATION:

If you don’t have fresh vegetables at home or just a few tomatoes, you can just heat the oil, add onion, garlic, chopped tomatoes and paprika as your base. Then you add rice, vegetable broth and your spices and voila you have a yummy and super easy dish!

Feel free to play with the recipe and come up with your own delicious variations πŸ™‚ If you have questions or want to share your experience cooking leave a comment below,

XO Monalisa

I’M SO HUNGRY!!

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I see a lot of people wanting to follow a plant-based nutrition but somewhere along the way they feel so light-headed and/or dizzy, feel like they can’t concentrate anymore and soon this whole idea starts to look like a bad… bad bad idea. Aren’t we supposed to feel energized and powerful? After 3 weeks of feeling kind of starved and light-headed you FINALLY allow yourself to bite into your chicken-cheese-sandwich and aaahhh that feels good you feel like you’re finally EATING something. I see this happening aaall the time. What is going on here?

First of all, switching to a plant-based nutrition takes time. Adapting to every single principle all at once is not only exhausting it also won’t allow your body to get used to the changes you’re making. You can also monitor the benefits way better sticking to one principle at a time. A lot of the principles make so much sense though (“eating light to heavy”), you want to adapt them right away. Be careful and really stick to one at a time. They seem like “easy” principles but they often times turn our nutrition upside down. So to switch in a few days or even a week – please! Allow your body to get used to what you’re practicing to avoid the situation I described above.

The biggest “mistake” I see people do when switching to a plant-based diet, is replacing every meal with healthy choices but eating roughly around the same amount of it. So at the end of the day you ate everything you wanted to eat and are supposed to eat but why don’t you feel better or even worse? It is most definitely the amount of what you’re eating. A smoothie, medium sized salad, 1 banana or 2 apples are not cutting it!! The thing is, through processed and packaged foods, our sense of what has how much value nutritional and calorie wise is kind of off. So we think if this packagedΒ  lasagna has this many calories my replacement dinner will most likely be roughly around the same amount. No no and… wait for it.. no. We really can’t compare whole foods and a plant-based nutrition to a diet that includes processed and boxed foods when it comes to calories. It’ll blow your mind how little calories you really eat by simple and clean eating. My best advice and most helpful for me was to monitor my calorie intake just for a few days or even a week to visualize how much more you have to eat to meet your daily calorie intake (=your energy!). More? Yes on a plant-base diet get used to eat more! Yippieh! You’ll notice that fruits and vegetables but also unprocessed foods are low in calories and therefore we’re able to eat a lot if it. I recently talked to a person who said: “Wow all the time I felt like I had to learn how to eat less and now I’m trying to eat significantly more”. Yes! And you choose! But, you’re right, this lifestyle is absolutely NOT about counting calories. This monitoring is only meant for you to learn about the foods you’re eating and to see what you have to eat in a day. When I first started to monitor my calorie intake I found out that I’d have to double my intake to reach my estimated “goal” in terms of calories a day. No wonder I felt light headed! Gradually adding more food to your meals will help you to feel satisfied and also will train your body to be able to eat more of it all. You might feel full fairly quick but your stomach will expand and contract, so don’t be afraid of gradually adding more to your plate. There is a reason for certain movements such as 30 bananas a day or even people who go fully raw and eat astonishing amounts of fruits and vegetables. As crazy as they sometimes sound or look especially if you’re new to it all, you’ll see that if you’re seriously getting into this and this is really what you’re eating, it seems to be more reasonable bite for bite. The core of it all however is, that it is important to talk about the amount of what you’re eating when learning about a plant-based nutrition. So we don’t have to eat 30 bananas in a day and we most definitely won’t be able to afford a weekly farmers market for our taking, BUT we can learn and keep an open mind when it comes to eating more of what is good for us. (Check out Kristina from fullyraw.com or fullyraw on Youtube!)

So how can you monitor your intake with getting all the information? Try cronometer.com. It is a free service that allows you to type in the foods you consume and it will present you with not only nutritional information about a single fruit or vegetable for example but also will present you with an overview showing you how many percent you have reached from your daily calorie intake. Your daily calorie intake will be calculated according to your height and weight. Again, this is to visualize your overall intake, not to depend and live on. You want to learn how much you have to eat to get your daily calorie intake. Eating healthy is however, not about counting calories as there really is no need for that. So after monitoring your intake you are welcome to say goodbye to such services as cronometer and live happily without.

Short recap: With a plant-based diet comes the need to eat the right amount of it to satisfy your needs. Boxed and processed foods are high in calories with little to no nutrients, whereas fruits and vegetables as well as unprocessed whole foods are low in calories and have a high nutritional value. Because you do need to meet your daily calorie intake to be able to function properly and have energy, you might find yourself eating too little of what is good for you. If you have already started switching and find yourself in the situation above try gradually adding more foods to your diet and eat more of it all. As you can see, with this whole lifestyle you’re really NOT on “a diet” and you’re not restricting yourself. It is about learning what works for you fuel your body with foods it deserves to function at its best.

Through years of eating highly processed foods and consuming dairy and/or meat, it is also possible that your body is not able to absorb all the nutrients right away. So you might start to eat well but if your colon for example is still backed up you might not get all the benefits right away. This is normal as it take time for your body to detoxify and get all bad things out of your body and also to clean out your colon. A clean colon makes a happy body! I’ll definitely talk about digestion on this blog as it is one of the most important topics to talk about when it comes to eating healthy and detoxifying your body. There are things you can do to speed up the process and detoxify efficiently such as helping your body digest the huge amounts of fiber you’re now eating and cleaning out your colon by taking a daily probiotic or digestive enzymes after heavy meals (post will follow!) or even a colonic. But first of all stick to the healthy choices you’re making and I promise you’ll see changes. It does however take willpower, often times because you might deal with detox reactions (post will folow!) along the way as toxins are leaving your body. But more of this in upcoming posts!

Puuh we cut on so many topics in this post, but I promise I’ll break it down for you in smaller packages. So in the upcoming blog posts I’ll talk about more principles, healthy habits, digestion, nutrient absorption and detox reactions.

Stay hungry! πŸ™‚

XO Monalisa

Vegan fast food: Mono meals

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What I love most about my diet is, that it really is simple. With eating clean comes a sense of simplicity and an appreciation for foods in its natural state. Because the majority of the food I eat is raw, I spent less time cooking, frying and baking. Spending hours and hours in the kitchen preparing meals with a ton of ingredients is history. But don’t get me wrong, I love trying out new colorful recipes that call for spices and ingredients I haven’t used before. Like trying out vegan taco “meat” for example. It tasted amazing and it was HILARIOUS to fool people because it really did look exactly like taco meat.

What are mono meals?

A mono meal is a meal that consists of one ingredient. If that doesn’t sound like the easiest vegan meal you’ve ever heard! Now what foods are suitable for mono meals you might ask. The most common foods for mono meals are fruit. As I mentioned light and heavy foods in a previous post you already know that fruits are light foods and therefore digested very well and best of all – fast. So eating only one fruit at a time makes it even easier to digest as your body focuses on breaking down one type of fruit instead of a bunch of different ones. Mono meals are meant to give your body a break from tiresome digestion!

If you really set your focus on eating only one type of food you’ll find yourself looking at the food you’re eating from a different perspective. First of all you’ll automatically choose better quality foods to eat. Why? Well if you’re about to eat a whole cantaloupe or nothing but oranges for lunch, trust me, you’ll choose the most delicious and juiciest fruit there is. Good for you! Raising the quality of the food you’re eating, raises the standard of what foods you want to put in your body and ultimately raises the quality of the life you choose for yourself! But isn’t it kind of boring? To only one fruit at a time? Often times the foods we eat consist of so many ingredients we can’t even tell what exactly we’re eating right now. The highly processed and boxed foods we eat are not “just cereal” or “just bread”, a close look on the ingredient list reveals 30 ingredients, half of which we probably don’t even know. Eating “just a cracker”? Think again. Mono meals are great because they give you the possibility to fully taste your food: mouth-watering, flavor-bursting and colorful foods! The sensation of appreciation doesn’t stop there. As you eat only one type of food, you’ll find yourself concentrating on proper chewing and taking your time to eat. All of which contribute to a healthy digestion and mindfulness. You will also notice when you want to stop eating and when you’re satisfied or full. Ever ate a lot of fast food and still felt hungry afterwards? Then you probably know what it feels like to be totally out of touch with what you’re eating and simply not feeling satisfied.

Personally, I love to start my day with a green smoothie but whenever I don’t have my blender on hand (like right now as I’m enjoying myself in Spain) I eat a mono meal for breakfast. Fresh juicy peaches, watermelon and cantaloupe are so refreshing and perfect for hot summer days.

I love to learn ways to simplify my life, as it is easy to feel completely overwhelmed in the fast-paced environment we live in. Finding simplicity within my lifestyle calms me down and takes the nervousness away as well as raises the quality of my life.I hope you’re inspired to find ways to simplify your life and declutter from things that you simply don’t need.

Lots of light and sunshine from the Costa del Azahar,

XO Monalisa

Clean products you’ll love

Bueutiful Teen Girl Face Wash HD Wallpaper by Simply get it

Being mindful about what you put in your body is as important as being mindful about what you put on your body. Often times we are lured into advertising promises, unknowingly buying harsh chemicals. While thinking we’re giving our skin a good treatment, all harmful ingredients are absorbed by our skin and end up in our blood stream.

As for my personal journey, step 1 was to eliminate harsh face washes, peelings and co. Propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, fragrances etc. are not only commonly cheap chemicals used by the industry, they are simply harmful and often times have a reverse effect such as irritating and drying out your skin, hair loss, allergic reactions, the list goes on and on… . Again with all those toxins ending up in your bloodstream, we really can’t justify the use of any of them. What about zits and pimples? A flawless face does not come by drying out our skin or even peeling off layers of our skin with chemicals. Letting our skin breathe and recover from years of using harmful products can often times do wonders for our skin.

What products do I use?

As everyone’s needs are different, I’ll share my personal preferences when it comes to buying skin care products. I go for certified organic products with ingredients that are plant-based and often times infused with essential oils. Here we go:

  • WELEDA: Long story short, Weleda is great! My whole family uses Weleda for over a decade and we all love it! In my purse you’ll find the Weleda Baby Calendula cream at all times, as I use it in the morning for my face and as a hand cream during the day. Great for my feet and elbows, too. They really do have a lot of product lines from skincare to hair and body. I love Weleda oils as well as they smell fantastic and nurture my skin.Β  http://www.weleda.com/
  • SALLY B’S SKIN YUMMIES: This handmade line of natural, all organic skincare and make up blew. me. away! I love the organic lip yummies (especially in orange vanilla), the “B pinched” cream blush and the “Get even finishing powder”. The lip yummy will leave your lips the softest they’ve ever been the cream blush is so subtle and beautiful. The powder does not clog your pores or will look unnatural as many powders do. I wholeheartedly recommend it, all products and more info here: http://www.sallybskinyummies.com/
  • CALIFORNIA BABY: I first checked out California Baby products as I was looking for a natural, toxic-free sunscreen. Since then I tried several products and I really did love them all. With a ton of products to choose from this is what I used: Super Sensitive (No Fragrance) Broad Spectrum SPF 18 Sunscreen, Aromatherapy Aloe vera cream and the tea tree and lavender shampoo and body wash. The aloe vera cream is FANTASTIC. Sunburns, rough skin or even eczema are history if you use this cream. The tea tree wash I also used for my face sometimes as it is super refreshing. http://www.californiababy.com/

As you learn more about the ingredients in your skin care products, you’ll find yourself being more careful about what you put on your skin. I often times do not use any products at all as I love coconut oil and self-made masks (post will follow!).

I hope you’re inspired to take a good look on the products you use and maybe even try some out of my favorites and see if they work out for you, too!

XO Monalisa

Healthy habit #2: Eating from light to heavy

A major shift in my overall well-being and eating behavior started happening when I started to strictly eat from light to heavy. Better digestion and therefore better overall health, the ability to digest food better and faster, consequently gaining more energy as your body spends less energy on digestion (post will follow!) are some benefits you’re able to gain!

Eating from light to heavy means that you put the food you’re eating in an order of what food is digested the easiest, digested fairly quick and food that takes the longest time to digest. Food that digests easy is “light” food, conversely food that takes a long time to digest is “heavy” food.

Kimberly Snyder, a great nutritionist, gave a good example regarding eating from light to heavy: If you have a road with a motorcycle, a car and a truck, how would you arrange those vehicles on the road so that everybody comes to its destination first? Would you place the truck first, then the car and then the motorcycle? No because that would cause a traffic jam. You would want to put the fast motorcycle first, the car after and then the truck so that everybody comes to its destination fast.

The same thing is happening in your body. Eating heavy foods before light foods causes much as the motorcycle and the truck a traffic jam inside of your body. You can however easily solve this problem by switching up the order of eating your food.

An example. For dinner you want to eat fruit first as it is digested most quickly, followed by a salad, followed by vegetables and grains. Rice, pasta, fish and co would go last as well! A common dinner tradition is eating fruit after a heavy meal as dessert. Big no no. As you put heavy food in your body that is digested really slow, eating fruit after causes the fruit to sit on top of your heavy meal. By the time the heavy food is digested, the fruit started to ferment inside of your body. Results are bloating, toxins and waste being stored in your body and also weight gain.

As you eat from light to heave during a meal, you can also try to practice eating from light to heavy during the day. As your body uses the time in the morning to detoxify, freeing your body from heavy breakfasts that puts all your energy in digestion can help you regain your energy in the morning and give your body more time to detoxify. Ever felt like passing out after lunch or being so tired you feel like napping instead of working? Cause can be your heavy lunch as again all your beautiful energy flows into digestion. The longer you will follow the principle the easier it will be and the less hungry you’ll feel in the morning and at noon time. I’m working on a blog post regarding proper lunch meals that won’t slow down your digestion and therefore won’t steal your energy you need throughout the day, so stay tuned! πŸ™‚

Ease off your digestion by eating from light to heavy and see the benefits for yourself πŸ™‚ I hope you’re inspired to try it, if you have question or comments leave a comment below πŸ™‚

XO Monalisa