Healthy Cove

3 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Body

Green grass is beginning to show, tulips are starting to bloom, and the snow is melting. Springtime is finally here. Huzzah!

With the changing of the weather comes good ol’ fashion spring cleaning. If you’d like to mix it up this year, leave the dirty details of your house to a cleaning service, and spring clean your body instead.

Here are three easy ways you can get started on spring cleaning your body.

1: Pantry Purge

3 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Body: Pantry

If you have a goal to eat healthier foods and snacks, let’s begin in the kitchen. For starters, how long has it been since you de-junked your pantry? Chances are you have graham crackers way past their expiration date (gross) and bags of potato chips and pretzels that make it too easy to graze on empty carbohydrates.

This might be a little difficult, but it’s important to get rid of the junk and replace it with healthier snacks and foods . We’ll get to the healthy replacement foods later.

If you’re worried about wasting food, you can donate any non-perishable items to your local food pantry or soup kitchen. You can also give perishable items away to your friends. As for the rest? It’s going in a big, black garbage bag.

Food for Thought: This doesn’t mean you can never enjoy your favorite treat. It just means that instead of stashing them in your home like a squirrel collecting nuts for the winter, you’ll have to head to the bakery to purchase that single, gooey, chocolate and caramel brownie you love.

Out with the Old

With your first sweep of the cupboards and pantry, get rid of all the stuff you know is horrible for your health. This will be the candy bars, sugary juices, chips, gummy bears, soda—it’s all gotta go.

3 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Body: sugar

It may feel like you’re rubbing sugar in your wounds, but it’s important to completely rid your house of poor food choices. Otherwise, you’ll continue to fall back on old, unhealthy eating habits. Because let’s be real—if there are Hostess cupcakes in the cupboard, you and I are both going to eventually cave and eat them.

Later, you’ll feel better about your decision to pantry purge. Especially when you experience the many health benefits that come from eating nutritious meals and snacks. (And how awesome your figure looks in the mirror!)

3 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Body: kitchen ipad

Next, check out the ingredient listing on the remaining products in your pantry. If you see sugar, salt, or unhealthy fats listed as one of the first ingredients, it’s a safe bet this isn’t a healthy food option. This should go in the trash.

Don’t forget to check your freezer too—just in case you’ve stocked up on frozen pizzas and ice cream.

In with the New

It’s time to go grocery shopping. Since you’ll be emptying your cupboards of junk food, you need to replace it with healthier alternatives. This is the time to think about what kinds of foods and flavors really tickle your taste buds.

For instance, you’re gonna hate life if you try replacing your Cool Ranch Doritos with celery sticks. But if you find something comparable and tasty, you’re more likely to enjoy and stick with it.

Eat This Instead

3 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Body: healthy food

Here are just a few healthy snack options you can fill your pantry and fridge with:

  • Nuts—Almonds, pecans, walnuts, and natural peanut butter are all great sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats if eaten in moderation. A yummy trail mix is another nutty option. Stick with unsalted for less sodium.
  • Air-popped popcorn—It might not be movie-theater style popcorn that’s swimming in butter, but you can season it yourself. And it is a much healthier alternative to potato chips.
  • Hummus—A good quality hummus is rich in protein and fiber, and in my opinion, it seriously tastes amazing with carrots and bell peppers or other veggies. Guacamole and pesto are other savory dipping sauces that are on the healthier side.
  • Hard-boiled eggs—They’re super easy to prepare and provide you with a good source of proteins and fats. Plus, you can sprinkle a little sea salt for extra flavor.
  • Berries—Whether fresh or frozen, you can never go wrong with a handful of delicious raspberries, blueberries, or plump strawberries.
  • Greek yogurt—If you’re craving something sweet, try adding some berries or banana slices along with a drizzle of honey.

Here’s a few more healthy food options.

2: Get to the Gut of Health

Did you know that the microbial cells in the gut outnumber human cells 10 to 1? Yeah, I didn’t know that either. Learn something new every day and all that jazz. To further illustrate this point, think of the microbiome as a tropical rainforest living in your gut. Just as there is a wide diversity of plant types in the rainforest (which all play a different role in the ecosystem), each microbe (bacteria) in your gut also plays an important role.

So basically, your microbiome is pretty vital when it comes to your gut health.

Eating Healthy Takes Guts

When we eat certain processed foods, the delicate microbe balance in the stomach can be disrupted and thrown out of whack. Obviously, you don’t want that. To help keep the right balance of microbes thriving in your gut, consider the following tips:

  • Cut back on sugars and starches—If you think you love sugar, it’s nothing compared to a bad bacteria’s sweet tooth. Sugar is their favorite food. To keep bad bacteria from building up in your gut, avoid consuming anything with refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup. And take care to reduce the amounts of starches you’re eating (think bagels and white bread, corn-based foods, potatoes, etc.).
  • Nosh on whole, unprocessed foods—The more healthy, whole foods you eat, the better. This would include fibrous fruits and veggies, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
  • Chow down on fermented and living foods—Now I’m personally not a fan of sauerkraut or pickles, but foods like these and fermented dairy products like kefir and yogurt (made through natural fermentation with good bacteria) can actually help to increase the rainforest of friendly bacteria in your gut.
  • Supplement with a good probiotic—This can go a long way in keeping your gut on track by repopulating healthy bacteria. Try taking USANA® Probiotic This probiotic supplement helps bring balance to your belly and digestive tract with a blend of good bacteria—Bifidobacterium BB-12 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG.*

3: Move Yo’ Body

Part of spring cleaning your body includes getting regular exercise. Think about it—our bodies aren’t designed to sit around all day. (Why do you think your adorable toddler runs around all day and is a hurricane of energy?)

Yet far too often we slump down in our desks all day at work, and then go home to slump some more on the couch while we binge-watch Netflix.

Incorporating daily movement into your lifestyle can have major positive health benefits. Even 30 minutes of moderate movement can help rid your body of toxins through perspiration.

Easy Ways to Move More

If you work in an office setting at a desk all day, you can still get daily movement in:

  • Park further away in the parking lot so you have to walk a bit
  • Always take the stairs over the elevator (unless there’s like 20 floors, in which case I say screw it and take the elevator)
  • Use a standup desk so you’re not sitting on your butt all day
  • Take work breaks and go for a 10–15-minute walk outdoors, or even walk laps around the building in colder weather

As for exercising, you don’t have to join a gym or train for a marathon (especially if you’re like me and you hate running). There are tons of fun and easy ways you can get your daily movement in and also get your heart rate up.

Here are just a few different enjoyable ways you can exercise:

  • Disc golfing
  • Walking the dog
  • Playing Pokémon GO
  • Gardening
  •  HIIT workouts (high intensity interval training)
  • Swimming
  • Mud Run 5K
  • Stretching
  •  Mowing the lawn
  •  Rollerblading (does anyone else love watching the roller-bladers at the park?)

Whether it’s wearing a fitness tracker and getting 10,000 steps a day or taking a daily bike ride, find what works best for you and get movin’.

Spring Forward with Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning your body doesn’t have to be difficult. But by incorporating these simple tips into your daily routine, you can start off this spring season with a fresh pep in your step.

Passion Warrior

Rethinking Mental Illness: Are We Drugging Our Prophets and Healers?

Rethinking Mental Illness: Are We Drugging Our Prophets and Healers?

People suffering from mental conditions are marginalized and people tend to stay away.

When it comes to helping these people, there are a couple of things that that strike you: firstly, everyone thinks they’re crazy and dangerous for possessing abilities that most people need meditation to access.

Secondly, our current mental health care system hasn’t progressed much since e century ago: the white straight-jackets are replaced by chemical ones. And lastly, mental illnesses seem like nightmares, but with the right care and support, it can make suffers realize they’re dreaming and wake up from it.

But what if these people are not crazy at all, and need no medications?! Perhaps the cure is just the right amount of sleep, support and encouragement to become a healer.

Our mental health care system is breaking people. We’ve got no room for the sacred, just for the normal.

The list of socially accepted behavior is a short one, and it oppresses us more than we might realize. It’s only after we’ve been judged, failed to fit in, broken down and needed fixing, that we see how limited we are. We take people in possession of a different perceptual experience and deem it wrong.

We’re weeding out our geniuses. We’re killing off our prophets. We’re drugging our messiahs.

If any historically notable person were alive today, they’d probably be on anti-depressives. From artists, to writers, to scientists, many of the geniuses who revolutionized our knowledge, suffered at the hands of the psychic strain of doing so. If you think treating their genius with medications would ease their suffering while allowing them to explore their talents, think again. And even if these drugs prevented some suicides, these people would fade into obscurity, known by few, admired by fewer.

It’s unfortunate that in our society, those who refuse treatment have nothing to catch them if they stumble; no people to offer them support and embrace their new abilities. Only pain and the will to get rid of it.

So what are people suffering from mental and emotional distress to do? How do they get the true support, help and respect they require? How can we transform our mental health centers into places of healing and growth, rather than confinement and apathy? How can we accept the experiences of people experiencing life differently from us, so that they stabilize and we become wiser by sharing their perspective? And most importantly, how do we take mental illness activism past this point of stagnation, and accept mental suffering as equally grave as physical suffering?

How do we recognize the healers in people who are, themselves, healing?

How do we learn to look past the defined categories, and look into the beautiful realms of consciousness that defy categorization? We need to come together, learn and share each other’s perspectives. How can the manic, the depressed, the generous, the needy, unite disregard all labeling and learn together? How can each person be allowed to matter, and no one is left to rot between four walls? How can we stop arguing for a second a listen to ourselves agreeing?

The answers to these questions aren’t important; it’s the questions themselves that matter. We need to keep asking questions until things finally start to work. The state of the mental health care system is inhumane, it’s mechanistic and cruel.

Our inability to think differently about mental illness is no one’s fault, but it’s our responsibility to come together and decide to do better. We deserve it.

East Coast Life Solutions has a passion for caring the alternative way.  Someone has to take a stance to defy the system in a way for the betterment of all.  2018 seems to be guiding us to speak out and release our passion warrior style.  Are you interested? One by One We Can Make a Difference!

Shout Out to Y.O.P. for this article.

Healthy Cove

Fitness Through the Holidays with Erin Oprea

Editor’s note: The following was written by USANA Fitness Ambassador Erin Oprea. 

The holidays can be a crazy time of year. From huge family gatherings to office parties and even colder weather, there are a lot of excuses floating around that can ruin your diet and fitness plans. But these aren’t reasons to lose hope and fall into lasting bad habits.

With the right plan in place, you can absolutely enjoy yourself while sticking to your healthy lifestyle.

Here are a few tips to help limit the impact the holiday season may have on your fitness.

Keep Fitness Fun and Family Oriented

The holidays are a great time to get your family involved in fun fitness activities. Grab your family and find a local 5K to get everyone out, moving, and enjoying the season together. My family and I run a 5K every holiday. It’s good bonding and it’s a great way to burn some calories before we eat a bunch of food. And holiday runs are just a fun environment.

Obviously not all family members are going to be at the same level of fitness—it’s just a matter of going out there together and enjoying the festivities. Some people are going to walk and some are going to run, and some might not finish. But the important thing is knowing you all got out there, got fresh air, and enjoyed it together.

If running isn’t your thing, nothing beats a good old-fashioned jump rope. When there’s no snow or ice on the ground, that’s my go-to favorite thing to do outside because it’s such a versatile piece of equipment. It’s something you can do anywhere. And you can easily do it in short bursts in a Tabata workout to get your heart rate up and your blood pumping.

I love Tabata so much that I gave it an entire section in my book, The 4 x 4 Diet. Tabata is 20 seconds of high-intensity moves followed by 10 seconds of rest, done for eight rounds—a total of four minutes. There are lots of free Tabate time apps. Take a few minutes to look around and pick the one that works best for you.

After you have your timer, grab your friends and family, bundle up, head outside for some fresh air, hit start, and get some work done. Make a game out of it.

It’s OK to Enjoy Holiday Treats, Just Plan Ahead

Eating well during the holidays can be hard, but it’s possible. It’s all about planning ahead and picking and choosing.

Here are my favorite tricks.

  • Take something healthy to share at holiday parties.

This means you’ll have at least one healthier option. And then just have little bits of all the other goodies. Enjoy a little bit in moderation, but have something you feel good about eating.

  • Don’t stand next to the food table.

I have to repeat this one: Don’t park yourself right next to the food table. Those temptations are endless and you’re doomed for failure.

  • Eat before you go to parties.

Never go to a party hungry. This isn’t just for the holiday season; this is a rule I live by. If you’re not starving when you go out, you can have enough to satisfy you and not feel like you have to eat everything. Food always looks better when you’re hungry.

  • If you drink, drink in moderation.

Alcohol is not our friend, especially sugary, high-caloric drinks. Drink in moderation. Have a cocktail and then have a full glass of water before you go on to your next one. That will slow you down quite a bit.

Make Fitness Goals, Not Resolutions

Instead of making New Year’s resolutions this year, set small, attainable goals.

If you make a goal to lose 50 pounds but only see two pounds come off the first week—even though that is healthy weight loss—you’re going to think 50 pounds is forever away and that there’s no way you’re going to get there. That kind of negativity will just lead to failure.

But if you make small, attainable goals, such as focusing on drinking more water and less soda, you have something to build on the next week. Over time, those small, accomplished goals add up to huge results. And then when you attain those goals, you reward yourself. But not with food.

To me, the best reward is new workout clothes. But I’m not most people. I have clients who set weekly goals and put $5 in a jar when they hit them. And when they hit a monthly goal, they go out and buy something big with it.

But the most important trick about keeping up with your fitness goals through the holidays is to plan ahead. You have to plan out your activity. You have to plan out your food. You even have to pick and choose what days you’re going to be bad. That way, you’ll know in advance what days you’re going to be good.

And then all you have to worry about is having a fun, safe, and fit holiday.

Happy Holidays from East Coast Life Solutions!


In The Beginning – the East Coast

In the beginning – is the starting point of our new blog – we are happy and excited to finally have East Coast Life Solutions up and running.  It takes time and courage to decide and then put into action the plans that we have made.

I thought it only fitting since we are on the East Coast to keep the topic close to what is near and dear to us, and that is the ocean.  We are fortunate everyday, to see the water.  Someday’s it is can be taken for granted, but put a separation of week or holiday away from home and we quickly realize the need to see it or feel it.  Yes, there’s something about the coast that is deep in our hearts, whether it is it calming sounds of the waves rushing in, or the total respect of it’s mighty force, there’s no denying it. The coast allows you to escape, by walking the beaches to collect your thoughts or give you a chance to heal. It’s nature’s therapy.

The message we would like to convey is one of inspiration, motivation and healthy coastal lifestyle choices. We would like those interested in joining our crew to contact us about healthy living. Follow your dreams!

Remember….”EastCoastGirls Just Want to Have Fun!”