Granny’s Chicken Soup

Grannies always make the best chicken soup

IMG_4306Chicken soup is nature’s immunity booster. I think it is one of the best remedies for not only colds and flu, but anytime you want to boost your immune system. 

Here’s why:
As per the research, it has anti-inflammatory properties and helps in loosening up that mucous and congestion. It's also very hydrating, and comforting too!

I like to add some extra green leafy veggies as they are full of iron, protein, and fiber which helps with getting rid of those toxins from the body. Celery is really good for toxin removal as well. Oregano is a natural immunity booster and has antimicrobial properties.

Anytime someone is getting a cold in my house, I immediately go put a pot of chicken soup on the stove. This is a recipe I put together based on many years of different recipes I learned from my mom, and other “old wives” as I call them :).  I created my own variation, and named it “Granny’s Chicken Soup” since my grandkids all call me “Granny” lol.  My Cuban roots also taught me to add some lemon juice once served as it adds a little citrus flavor and Vitamin C (great fro colds), and makes it taste extra good!             So here it is.

Ingredients: I use all organic or home grown IMG_4304

1 whole organic chicken
large pot of water
1 green pepper
1 onion (prefer Vidalia)
4 cloves garlic
2 tomatoes
2 ears corn cut in 3 sections
2 stalks celery
couple stalks kale and/or spinach
2 carrots
Oregano
Sage
Cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
2 large chicken bouillon or chicken stock cubes
Angel hair noodles
1 tsp Bijol natural yellow coloring powder

IMG_4298You have to put the whole chicken in the pot of water, as you need all that yellow chicken fat, as that's where the majority of the good “immune boosting” stuff is! Just be sure you are using organic chicken. You don't want to boil in hormones and antibiotics from non-organic chickens. 

While the chicken is cooking, cut up and prepare the other ingredients.

IMG_4305Be sure to skim off the foam that forms on top of the pan as the soup begins to heat up. 
Once you have all the foam gone, lower the heat to medium, to medium low simmer for about 2 hours, until the chicken is fully cooked.

Cut up the veggies and other herbs into small chunks. I like fresh veggies and herbs, so I don't really measure, just take a few sprigs. I have my own little herb garden where I love getting my fresh herbs and tomatoes. Yummy! IMG_4301

Remove the chicken from the pot and add all the other ingredients and chopped up veggies to the pot and simmer for another hour until the flavor starts to seep through.

Cut up the chicken and add the amount you like to the soup. You can use the rest for chicken salad, chicken fried rice, or anything else you like.
Add the noodles at the very end and simmer an additional 10 mins.
Enjoy!  IMG_4213

Plant Based Diet-The Key to Better Health

Plant Based Diet –The Key to Better Health

 

 

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People look at me like I have 2 heads when I mention a “plant-based” diet.  All kinds of visions of tree hugging hippie vegetarians spark up (lol I guess I may belong to this). girl-811607_1280But frankly, the plant-based diet has gotten a pretty bad rap for decades. Why? Because since the 1940’s there's been big business in the meat and dairy industry and big money they don't want to lose. They have pumped Americans to believe that the only way you can get calcium and protein are from meat and dairy. Not true! This misconception has lead to the epidemic health obesity and chronic disease problems we are seeing today. We are sicker and fatter than any other country in the world! 

Take a look at how we eat. Most Americans fill their plates with a huge piece of meat (way over the recommended 4-6 Oz) as their main portion. This is done, not only once a day, but 3 times a day! That is not what humans were meant to consume. I do agree we are omnivorous however we are doing the protein thing to excess. Interestingly, though, other omnivorous species, including ancient man, normally ate whatever was either available or in the season. Therefore, man (until now) ate meat very rarely. Remember it takes a lot to go out there and kill something and dress it to eat. it (no supermarkets).

We were mainly hunter-gatherers and most of the meat was reserved for the lords and elite. Note that they used to be the people bushman-509239_1280most plagued with the chronic disease back then (gout, obesity, arthritis gut issues). Most peasants lived off potatoes, rice and beans, corn and other starches and plants as that was all they could get their hands on and cultivate. There’s even an article in National Geographic  about the real Paleo diet. Nothing at all what it's thought to be today. 

So here we are in modern America. What’s happening is we are lead to believe that starches and carbs are evil and make us gain weight, so we avoid them and stack our plates with tons of meat, eggs and dairy. This is where we go wrong. We are eating way too much animal protein which the average body cannot handle, and it stores this excess as fat. In addition to that, animal protein contains enzymes not found in plant foods, which creates inflammation in our bodies. Research is finding that inflammation is the #1 cause of chronic disease and cancer.

There are sources  that state that some people do thrive on more animal protein than others (blood type diet ), but even so, the research of that diet ultimately states:
In a large observational study of 1,455 young adults, eating a type A diet (lots of fruits and vegetables) was associated with better health markers. But this effect was seen in everyone following the type A diet, not just individuals with type A blood (9).

This recent video shows how Kaiser Permanente (one of the largest managed care organizations) is now advising physicians in their network to recommend a plant-based diet for their patients. This move was based on research showing results of lowering of cholesterol, high blood pressure, lower the risk of diabetes and cancer, maintaining a healthier weight which can decrease the incidence of chronic disease.

From personal experience, I can firmly say the plant-based diet changed my life. I have monitored my blood work for the last 3 years and since I switched to a plant-based diet. All my numbers improved dramatically. Three years ago I had started taking Statins for my high cholesterol but started experiencing all kinds of side effects, so I got off them. My thyroid medication was also decreased since my change. Now my cholesterol overall number, as well as my LDL/HDL, are way better the normal makers. I also no longer experience symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). I have more energy, sleep better and lost the belly fat and bloating I used to have.

Hey, I get it, you like your meat, and that's fine, you can have it. Just do it in moderation. Here are some tips:

  1. Limit the amount of meat to no larger than the size of your fist (4-6oz), and try to make it organic.
  2. meet-1154341_1280Limit the red meat to once a week,
  3. Try to eat the animal protein once a day (not 3 times).
  4. Enjoy whole grains, healthy starches, beans and legumes and lots of veggies and fruits instead.
  5. Avoid ALL processed foods. Buy whole foods in their natural state.

It may hard at first, but after a couple of weeks, you will actually no longer crave all that meat. You will begin to feel and look better and that will give you the incentive to keep going!

References:
https://youtu.be/4NjklRZ1ctQ

authoritynutrition.com/the-blood-type-diet-review/

What Is the Forks Over Knives Diet?

5 Tips to Get Rid of Belly Fat

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One of the biggest struggles I hear from people is getting rid of that stubborn belly fat that just won't go away. I know I have, and still have a little bit to go. Especially after age 40, it's like some evil fairy came in and zaps us right? dog-84439_1280

You may have heard lots on this topic before, but I will share what I’ve learned about belly fat from both personal experience and from many medical courses and articles and how you can start to get rid of at least most of it for good!

You may not want to hear this, but the truth of the matter is most women don’t achieve that “flat belly” because they just aren’t healthy enough.

You need to help burn off the visceral fat (deep fat that surrounds your internal organs).
It is the most dangerous fat of all and is highly associated with many chronic
diseases (heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases).

The fat didn't just appear out of nowhere. It’s taken some time to get there! Bottom line, it's related to our lifestyle and what we put in and on our body! Only a very small percentage of this is due to hormonal imbalances. Guess what? Most of the current hormone imbalances and chronic diseases are related to diet! Unfortunately, our food supply is loaded with hormones and antibiotics and GMO’s. But there are healthy options.

Healthy living is a choice and one that is very much in your control. The body has a great way of healing itself. You must first commit to change your lifestyle and eating habits for good! Or none of this will work for long.
It will help give you glowing skin, radiant hair, and a clear brain. Plus the added benefit of getting rid of that belly!

Here are 5 steps to help you get rid of some of that belly fat.

#1—Stop doing sit-ups and crunches-those alone are not going to get you anywhere. Yes, it will help tone those belly muscles, but this alone is not the answer, and it won't walkers-907574_1280work--yet. Save these for later, once you get the other steps in order.

#2—Increase your aerobics (walking, running, swimming, etc). Yes, targeting your heart rate during aerobic exercise, will help burn fat, and therefore, that belly fat. Figure out your max heart rate (Max Heart Rate = 220 – your age). And then determine your fat-burning range, which is 60% to 70% of your max heart rate. Get a heart rate monitor app and figure out your best “burn rate” heart rate and try to stay in that zone even for short intervals. here's a good blog post on this.

#3— Don't Diet—Make it a lifetime commitment to eating clean instead-
Diets DON’T work. Believe me, I have tried all kinds of diets (I was a fat kid) and all it did is make me gain more weight afterward. So get OFF the fad diet trends that are out there. I have not ever seen any of these work for a sustained period of time for anyone. Restricting what you eat all the time only causes a rebound effect. Some diets may be actually harmful in the long run, and cause you to have health problems later. I almost died of an electrolyte imbalance a few years ago because of one of these “fad” diets. That's when I changed my ways and swore I would never diet again!

Clean Eating:
First of step to a good eating plan is to get rid of inflammation in your gut by removing all the foods and drink that cause this. This is the #1 way to stop the accumulation of fat period! What do I mean by this?

Start by eliminating the 3 A’s: highly allergenic, acidic, or addictive foods

  • processed foods and drinks- addictive & allergenic
  • sugars and sweets- addictive
  • soda, and energy drinks- addictivetin-148169_1280sugar-1068288_1280
  • dairy—very allergenic
  • gluten-very allergenic
  • alcohol- addictive
  • caffeine- addictive

The #1 addictive and toxic substance in your diet is sugar. Currently, sugar is added to all processed foods. It's in large amounts in sodas and energy drinks and in foods that state they are “low fat”. They are replacing the fat with sugar. Even low-fat milk. Don't be fooled. We eat way too much sugar, and it's leading to craziness with our Insulin metabolism causing spikes and lows that are wreaking havoc on our health and causing us to gain enormous amounts of weight quickly. Avoid all forms of refined and processed sugars in your diet. Have that birthday cake and coke—on your birthday! (once a year folks). I’m not kidding. If you must absolutely have that dessert, do so very sparingly, for a taste, then leave it alone!

Second step-Think differently about protein- studies show protein to be effective when protein is at 25-30% of your calories. Too much protein can actually add more fat as the body cannot store extra protein, so it gets stored as fat. Unless you are a high-performance athlete or burning lots of calories. A fist size portion of animal protein on your plate is more than enough (4-6 oz).

Keep in mind that veggies, beans, nuts, legumes and some starchy veggies (like the potato) have lots of protein. Animal protein can be inflammatory as well, as it contains enzymes not found in plant-based foods that can cause inflammation. I limit my animal protein to once a day and chose poultry or seafood vs. beef or pork.life-863705_1280

Third Step - Carbs are ok- Carbs have always gotten a bad rap as the culprit for fat, but that is a misconception. Not all carbs are going to make you gain fat. As long as they are complex carbs (veggies, fruits) even potato and brown rice, whole grains are very good for you and help to increase your fiber  which is a great natural detox. Just avoiding the refined carbs (white bread, pasta, etc) should be sufficient.

#4--Minimize your body’s exposure to toxins. We can't control what's in the air, or most of the water supply, but we can certainly take steps to remove the toxins we put on and in our bodies. This includes everything we eat and absorb into the body- lotions, makeup, shampoo, cleaning supplies, etc. Do you know that the body’s natural way to help remove toxins is to make more fat cells? Yes-and most of it gets stored in that belly! It's the body’s natural defense when toxins invade it.

Stop buying cheap products that don't work! Buy quality products without most of these toxins, and check your labels (parabens, phthalates,BPA) .airplane-465619_1280

Believe me, you get what you pay for, and sometimes it's better investing a bit of money on a quality product that will last you longer (they are more concentrated), and not harm your body. Don't be cheap with your health! Do you want to put boiled down animal fat full of toxins & hormones known as Tallow on your skin, hair, and face??? Yuk! Well, that's what you are doing when you buy cheap.

Unfortunately, the mass production of foods has made our common food supply very toxic, and full of hormones, antibiotics, and GMO’s. However, there are options. They now carry organic foods at Costco or BJ’s. So there are economical means to provide this for your family.
Buy organic grass-fed beef, go to farmers markets for produce or local stores. Or freshly frozen veggies.

Check out the dirty dozen and clean 15 (Top Dirty Dozen And Clean 15 Foods) here to help decide what you can get organic vs conventional. 

#5--Detox—you gotta clear that drain. Let your body’s natural toxin removing organs do their job (liver, kidneys, lungs, gut and skin). But if these organs are blocked up and full of toxins, they won't work well, and those toxins will end up as fat! So help them out. Read my blog post on Detoxing for help with this. Adding more fiber to your diet  is one of the best ways to help your body naturally detox. We need 25 gms of fiber a day and we barely get half of that!  Eat your fruits, veggies and whole grains. 

If you can start with this and keep up the clean eating habits, watch your portion sizes and stay away from the inflammatory foods, you will be on your way to getting rid of that belly fat once and for all.

Not only will you look better, and trimmer, but you will start to feel better too. You will notice it on your skin, the way you can think more clearly, will experience less brain fog, you won't feel the afternoon tiredness and drain, and you will have more energy, sleep better and even be on your way to avoiding some serious chronic diseases.

If you would like some information on the products I recommend to help you on your journey, check out this link to 30 days to healthy living and beyond.

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What are you afraid of?

spring-938593It’s been a while since I posted something. Lots have been going on in my life in the past few months, some great some challenging. First I was very blessed with two new grandbabies! baby Max, and baby Elise. Then, of course, all the holidays, shopping, etc. and in between it all, I find out I have to have a hysterectomy. Luckily everything went very well, and I am recovering nicely. Finally, and most importantly, I quit my per diem “day job” and I came off with some life lessons.

I should have done this months ago, and kept hanging on for no good reason except my own head.

So here I am, a new chapter in my life, full of possibilities! My time is now completely my own. I can truly dive in completely to my network marketing business, and into my blog. I’ve had time to think and evaluate what’s happened. Fear has kept me back from taking that plunge. Fear of the unknown, the “what ifs” always negative. Trying to hold onto security, to what I’ve known all my life. But the irony of it is, that I was never secure in any “day job”. I see I was always meant to be an entrepreneur. Like my mother always said to me, “work for yourself”, there’s nothing better than that! No one can control your life. She was a very successful calligrapher and entrepreneur herself. She was right!

I have been doubting myself and my network marketing business yet, during this entire time that I was basically not doing much of any work, a check still came in every month!  Do you think that happened with my “real job”??  Residual income. It’s true. It really does work! But it took for me to go through this challenge, this step of finally letting go of that “day job” to see it.

So now a wonderful new window has opened for me. It’s a blessing that I finally had the guts to walk away from a job that was only draining me physically and mentally. I feel a breath of fresh air, of new life! Of so many possibilities. Perfect timing as this is my birthday month. So I am making February the beginning of my year!

So be fearless! Whatever has stopped you from taking that next step? Take it!  It’s only fear that’s keeping you from your goals. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of acceptance, fear of being alone, fear of security, fear of the future, the past. All the “what ifs” and excuses we make for ourselves.

Take a look at yourself and see if this sounds familiar?  Then jot down the following:

What are some things you keep saying you are going to do and you still have not?

What excuses have you given yourself for not accomplishing them?

What are your fears? Write them down and take a look at what’s holding you back.

Then, the most important step is to take action on each one and check out the results in a couple of months.

On a flight back from Rome

Rome
Rome

On my flight back from Rome, I wrote this. Little did I know about the horrific events that were happening in Paris at that time. It’s so sad to see such terror brought towards people that love and savor life.

It’s ironic that on that plane I was writing about all the wonderful things I had experienced during my 3 weeks in the Mediterranean. When I got home, I was going to change this in light of what's happening in the world since then but decided not to. As if we give in to the fear of terrorism then they win! We must continue to live our lives (with vigilance) without fear. Continue to keep our plans. I would go back to Europe again and again, as I will not allow these lunatics to control my life! Life is still wonderful in the Mediterranean.

During my 3 weeks there (mostly Italy), I observed that people appeared to be content with what they have and their way of life. They are not out to have more " things”. They don't own large houses as most live in small flats that they either rent or own. Yet they speak very well of their hometowns and appear to be satisfied and happy living there even though taxes are high (an approx. average of 40%) but they have free healthcare and education. Yes, there can be a long wait for medical tests and such but they are satisfied with their way of life and prefer to stay where they are. Besides, we over -utilize medical testing here because of defensive medicine and the fear of lawsuits as well as corporate profits. They love their countries and towns and are proud to state where they are from. They do not desire to leave. Really made me think about priorities and what really matters after all.

Tuscany
Tuscany

While driving through Tuscany, our tour guide told us about the Etruscans. History repeats itself doesn’t it? The Etruscans were actually the civilization way before the Romans (approx. 7th century BC). They were nature, art and music loving people. They understood that nature works in unison with man and we should cherish it and respect all of it. Yet man is the very creature that is destroying this earth. So sad we didn't learn from their way of life. We continue to fight and extinguish each other all in the name of power and riches. Even though that civilization vanished after the Roman expansion, their spirit remains. I saw it in the people there. They thread “life” into their daily routines. They are passionate about everything, and savor each moment, even the simplest. Yet here we look for something or someone to “entertain” us in order to feel happy, but are we truly happy inside?   Or is the way we are living so empty?

Here's what I saw:
No AC in hotels as they turn it off for the fall and winter months, you can open the windows and let in the fresh air
Clothes dried on lines out windows of ancient flats
Fresh food in open markets or small stores dedicated to either produce or meats, bakeries - I rarely saw a supermarket
Food was bought fresh from many local farmers
Rare to see obese person (except for other tourists)
I walked at least 5 miles average / day
Took time for afternoon break - “siesta” - stores actually closed from 1-3 and yes they return to work afterward until 6 or 7, however, people stop to have a small tapas or wine in the evening after work, in mostly open air cafés 
In Rome, there were many Osterias. Which are places to eat and gather with friends to chat, laugh and have some food and wine. It's very loud and crowded but so lively and fun
Roof top terraces
Clean streets, even in large cities as Rome and Barcelona
Public bathrooms were all very clean with usually an attendant that you pay minimum fee (approx. .50 euro) to use facility - worth it for the cleanliness 
Eat supper late after 8 pm or even at 10 and stay up late past 10 

I also didn't notice many people on cell phones while out in public nor while eating or chatting with friends (except for other tourists) and people actually converse with each other at restaurants ( even the youth) vs being on their cell phones and not talking to one another. 

I did not observe "thugs" out in the streets. There is a low violent crime rate. You will see minor crimes such as pickpockets. Even in Rome I felt safe walking in the streets late at night.
Yes, there was heavily armed police and military presence in some places but it actually gave me a feeling of security. Yes, this was written before the attacks in Paris. But that can happen anywhere including right here in the US. Those were initiated by a terrorist group, not by the local people.  Yes, I feared terrorist activity in large tourist areas, but not fear of being raped, mugged or murdered in the streets as I would here walking the streets of certain major cities at night.

So here are the “Pearls of wisdom” I took back with me from this wonderful trip:

Volcano Ionian Sea
Volcano Ionian Sea

Live every day to the fullest. Enjoy even the most simple pleasures. As what I remember most from my trip were those special moments such as waking up to a beautiful sunrise over the Ionian sea or seeing the sunset on a hilltop over Florence, the red huge full moon over the horizon in the mediterranean sea, a volcano island out in the ocean, the narrow cobblestone streets, the cafes, the people laughing, the delicious wine and food I had. All the marvelous impressive history I witnessed and learned about. The art, the ancient ruins.

So now every day, enjoy your moments. The time you spend talking with a good friend--yes put the phone down. And even more the time you spend with your loved ones. Savor each moment of your day and your life. Work to live, don't live to work! It's definitely not about all the “things” that you own or want to own, it is all about experiences and people you love.

 I choose not to spend my money on more “things” but rather on new adventures and experiences that I will remember and savor the rest of my life. When was the last time you went on a trip and remembered what you wore, or what you bought? No, you remember what you experienced! That’s what it's all about.

Limoncello Break
Limoncello Break

Anti-aging Skin Care Tips

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Stop Skin from Acting it’s Age

Anti-aging skin care is probably the most popular and sought after treatment out there. Who doesn't want to look young for as long as possible? It’s definitely one of my favorite topics, and how I got started with my current business. I’ve loved skin care since I was a teenager, always reading up on the latest articles and caring for my skin since I was 16. I was lucky to have been blessed with good genes. I remember my mom and aunts hardly having a wrinkle way into mature ages. I used to admire them and say “I want to look like them when I get older!”. Well, here I am! Luckily I do frequently get compliments on my skin.

So what's the secret to having and keeping youthful looking skin? Here are some of the tips I’ve learned throughout the years.

First, we need to know what actually causes skin to age. Skin becomes thinner as we age and loses its ability to hold moisture, therefore becoming drier. Collagen and elastin are what keeps skin thicker, and firmer and help to retain the plump smooth appearance. Production of this slows down dramatically after age 40. This process actually starts happening as early as age 20. This is why its so important to start taking care of your skin early into your 20s so you can enjoy its beauty later on as the years pass.before_after skin

Age not only appears on your face, but one of the main areas where it’s noticed is the neck where the skin is even thinner and more sensitive to show the signs of aging. Another is the skin of your hands.

So how do you keep your skin from acting its age? Here are some tips.

1-Protect your skin from the sun. The top culprit for skin damage is the sun. The sun causes 90-95% of the wrinkles and lines, as well as the dark dislocations on our skin, and can lead to skin cancer.

There are two types of UV light that can harm your skin — UVA and UVB.
UVA rays are the ones responsible for causing the wrinkles and dark spots and UVB rays can burn the skin. Too much exposure to both can lead to skin cancer. So the best thing is to ensure you wear a sunscreen that gives you protection from both with a minimum SPF of 15.

I like to wear a moisturizer with an SPF of 15-20 every day as part of my daily morning skincare routine.

2- What are you putting inside your body? What you take in will definitely show up on your skin. One is smoking. I can easily tell someone is a smoker by their skin. Nicotine constricts the blood vessels, therefore the skin cannot get all the nutrients and oxygen it needs to maintain and produce the collagen and elastin to keep it looking youthful. If you smoke, you are already accelerating the aging effects, plus the wrinkles it creates from constantly using the facial muscles to purse lips or make facial expressions will cause that skin to wrinkle faster.

Eating a healthy diet will definitely show up on your face! Eating lots of fresh veggies and fruits will give your skin a healthy youthful glow from the Vitamin C and antioxidants they contain.

Drinking plenty of fluids especially water will hydrate and keep skin plumped, but be sure to stay away from sodas and excessive alcohol and caffeine as that will actually make your skin age more.

3- Be gentle with your skin Repeated facial expressions will cause wrinkles and lines to form in those areas. That's why Botox works so well on wrinkles. It stops those facial muscles from working and, therefore, causing wrinkles. So next time you catch yourself making the same facial expressions, think wrinkles! Of course, you want to laugh and be yourself, just be aware not to over do those facial expressions :).

Keep those hands away. Putting your hands all over your face and neck, rubbing eyes lips and chin not only bring dirt and germs, but you are adding to wear and tear on the skin. Treat your skin with care, so keep those hands away.

Use a gentle cleanser to wash your face and neck, not harsh soaps because they will strip the oils from your skin and make it drier and prone to wrinkles. Find one that is specific to the face and neck. Use warm water, not hot, as that will also cause drying. Avoid long hot baths and showers as that will also dry out your skin from its natural oils. Moisturize twice a day, in the morning with an SPF moisturizer and a good moisturizing night cream at night. Moisturizers keep skin from drying out, as when skin dries, it cause wrinkles to deepen. Moisturizers will “plump” the skin and smooth out some of the lines.

Apply moisturizers right after bathing, while your skin is still moist. The oil or cream will lock in that moisture right into your skin.Faces-0100

4- Wash your face before going to sleep—just like your teeth, your face and neck reap the best rewards at night while you sleep. Your skin has been exposed to all kinds of dirt, dust, toxins as well as the makeup you wore all day. You don't want to sleep with all that gunk of the entire day on your skin. So be sure to remove all the makeup and cleanse it well before bed. Washing with water alone won't be effective. Apply a good night moisturizer so your skin can rest and absorb all the goodies in that product while you sleep. You will wake up with a fresher complexion.

5-Exfoliate — wrinkles and fine lines can be minimized by removing dead skin. When you exfoliate away the dead skin, the new cells underneath will appear and the moisturizer can reach those new cells and the skin will appear smoother and softer decreasing the appearance of those wrinkles. Do this with a good mild scrub or glycolic at least once a week. When you “scrub” do it gently with an upward motion, remember that the skin is fragile, so treat it gently.

6-Don’t skimp on good skincare. If looking youthful is important to you, then make it a priority. If you spend money on clothes, going out to eat, or even a daily latte, put some of that money towards good skincare. It doesn't have to be expensive, it just needs to be a good product. Look at the ingredients. Stay away from mineral oil and other emulsifiers that block pores. Your skin needs to breathe.

See if it contains some of the ingredients that will help with anti-aging. Some are rich with antioxidants such as Vitamin C, vitamin A or retinol. But be careful with Retinol as it can cause redness and peeling. A plant based retinoid of phytinol will not do that and works just as well or better. My favorite is Genius.

Another is hydroxy acids which will help with the exfoliating process. Which will get rid of those dead skin cells and stimulate the growth of new smoother skin cells. Just be sure to wear a good sunscreen or moisturizer with SPF to protect your new skin layers from the harmful rays of sunlight. This will allow that new skin to appear smoother and less pigmented avoiding those “dark spots”.

Bottom line, treat your skin with care. If you take care of it, and stick to some of these tips, you will notice the difference within a few days and definitely within the first few weeks. You will be on your way to a glowing youthful appearance.

If you would like to see what I use go to: Recommended products.

References:
http://beautywellnessnews.arbonne.com/index.shtml

 

Recipe–Starfruit Mojito

I have a Starfruit tree, and I was never a big fan of the fruit except for salads and stuff. Thanks to a friend, I learned you can make all kinds of things with Starfruit. So I decided to try one the other night. It was Friday, and time for happy hour so I decided to make some Starfruit Mojitos!  Here it is:

4-6 Ripe Starfruits

Inch of ginger

Teaspoon raw honey

1 orange

Mint sprigs

1 oz Rum or Champagne (Sparkling Wine)

Splash of Perrier or Club Soda

Ice

Take a few ripe Starfruits and juice them in a juicer. Don’t use a Nutri bullet because it will be too thick with all the fiber and stuff. You only want the juice. Add the orange and ginger to the juicer as well. Mull the mint sprigs with the honey and rum at the bottom of a tall glass , then add the ice then add the juice and a splash of the perrier and garnish with some mint. Enjoy this refreshing mojito!

By the way, Starfruit is very low calorie (only 35) has great anti-oxidant properties, and is a good diuretic too. It has a sweet and tangy tart taste.

Starfruit Mojito
Starfruit Mojito

5 Entrepreneurial Tips I Learned from a Millennial

Interview with Amanda Abella

 

5 Entrepreneurial Tips I learned from a millennial. Interview with Amanda Abella

So many people are curious or interested in entrepreneurship including network marketing. I thought it would be great to launch my blog with this topic. Who better than the person that has helped me so much with this entire adventure. I had the pleasure of interviewing Amanda Abella. Watch the entire interview right here.

Amanda is a business coach to millennial entrepreneurs, (as well as others, like me) and of the Make Money Your Honey coaching process. She is the author of the Amazon bestselling book Make Money Your Honey (and new workbook) the focus of this interview!

Some topics covered in her new workbook are issues that I have been dealing with in my network marketing business, and I personally hired Amanda to coach me with my business, as well as in building my new website and blog. 

Here are 5 tips Amanda shared with me during this interview. The advice was based on specific questions I asked her. These were topics I observed and experienced not only in my own business but with other entrepreneurs both new and seasoned.

1- How do you strategize your business to deal with different cultural markets?  
Is there a difference culturally in how people accept entrepreneurship?  The scope of business is changing with the internet. We are now global. There is no limit to where we can reach or grow our business. But how do we succeed in different markets?
Amanda's research does support the difference in how entrepreneurship is viewed and accepted. For example,  Europeans are more cautious about having their own business. Americans are more accepting, entrepreneurship is a way of life for many. Americans grow up with a belief that they can do anything! So they are more willing to go out there and take that risk. We are ready for it. Other cultures may need more time and education to trust the business before they jump into it. As Americans, we are bold, we are not afraid to get out there and ask for money. Other cultures may be more reserved. They have to learn to trust you, build a relationship before they are going to do business with you.

So her recommendations are:
• If you need money right away and want to jump in quickly, stick with people right here in the U.S. before you set out to launch in other markets. Get to know those markets first. Learn about their culture.
• Educate people you are prospecting or doing business with about entrepreneurship, and give them time. Its not going to happen quickly.

2-What do you see as the top reasons people quit entrepreneurship?
Fear is  at the root of most reasons people quit entrepreneurship. They usually have not fully done their research before starting out, only to find out how tough it really is to own your own business. It is completely different than being an employee. It is very hard work, and you have to wear many hats. You have to put in lots of hours in the beginning so that you can have more free time down the road. It's not ever a “get rich quick” option. So do your homework, research this very well before you decide to become an entrepreneur. You gotta have the thick skin and guts and tenacity to stick with it.
Know that you may go a very long time without a “paycheck” that you are used to. You are now trading in time spent on developing your brand or business into what you used to put in as time on the clock. Only the payment will be delayed. It's time up front for long term benefits.

3-How do you quit your  “day job” when you still need that income?
So you think entrepreneurship is for you,  but you are afraid of losing the security of a steady paycheck. You still gotta have that income coming in no matter what during the process of starting your own business. 
Well, the only way to do this is to have a “side-hustle” for a while. You are going to have to work at both until you are making enough money to be able to quit the job you are employed in. Some ways to make this happen sooner is to cut your expenses to the bare minimum. Save up some cash before you decide to start that “side -hustle.”  Amanda’s advice is:
• Have a plan, crunch the numbers, lay out your expenses and see what it's going to take to do it. Set a date, a goal, and stick with it.
• Have money coming in or set aside while you are growing your new business.
• Eventually, you will need to choose to let go of your “day job” so you can devote all your energies to your new business, or it will never get off the ground or grow. You can't serve 2 masters.

4-Whats “hot” now in finding and communicating with prospects and follow up? There are many ways its “alway been done”, but what trends are working now, and which are not?
The greatest change is the online presence that has occurred because of the internet. The world has become smaller. There are all kinds of new tools out there, and Social Media is the hottest thing now. You must get used to using the internet, email, and social media in order to communicate with people. Especially on a global basis. The world has changed and we are not communicating in the same manner as before. Picking the phone to make a call or meeting someone in person may not always work anymore. People are preferring to text, email, or get on an online webinar vs. going to a live meeting or conference. So you gotta go with the flow or get left behind. 
Another major change is that people are now collaborating vs. competing for business. Sales are no longer “sleazy” but viewed as a providing value to others, a service.
Tips:
• Use email to reach out to folks, but be sure to keep it short and sweet. No one wants to read a book on an email
• Get on the social media, create a business page (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest)
• Amanda’s new fav is Periscope. Created by Twitter, it's an app where you can broadcast live directly with other folks that subscribe to it.
• Start a Blog. Hey, I just did! I never imagined I would be doing this. I am a baby boomer and I have learned in a couple of months how to do it! Now writing is more laid back, it's no longer formal. You can be yourself, be authentic.

5-When is it time to delegate to others?
For existing business owners, what happens when you get so busy doing everything yourself but you are scared to let go or to outsource to others. You only trust yourself to get the job done. Well what you are actually doing is hurting your business especially when it comes to growth and service. It will get to a point where you are going to have to outsource some parts of your business to others, otherwise you will drown in work, or you will lose business, customers and money because the quality will suffer. Lets face, it, you cant do it all. Now outsourcing has become very easy.

Amanda’s suggestion:
• Hire a virtual assistant. There's no overhead, no benefits to pay out. Most work virtually online just for the hours or things you need them for.
• Think of outsourcing as an investment. Leave the things that only YOU can do for yourself, and outsource the rest! your business will grow and prosper as a result.

So there you go! Some great tips from Amanda Abella if you are thinking about starting your own business. Or you may already be in business, or network marketing.

Check out Amanda at http://makemoneyyourhoney.com and sign up for her free class! Check out her book and workbook Make Money Your Honey.
I highly recommend her if you are considering becoming an entrepreneur. If it wasn't for Amanda I would not have created this website, nor blog.

Are you giving your customers what they want?

What does your target market want?

Today I had my first experience in finding out what my target market wanted to see, and what to focus on to better serve those who will visit my website. As an entrepreneur, we all have great ideas of what we would like to put out there. Whether it's a service or a product. It's always about what WE think might work. But that's where we fail, as it's not about us it is about the people we are serving. The pitfall is people don't do their research to see what people actually want. People will buy the benefit you are providing. Focus on the results.

So, before I started chasing my tail, I decided to do this step first! I wanted to get an idea of what people want to see from my website before I spend tons of time and energy just to find out no one cares to visit it, as it's not what they are looking for.

How I did it

First I did a simple survey on Survey Monkey. It's free for the-the first 100 responses, easy to set up (they even have templates) and easy to get all the results in a compact manner.

I also pulled out some old profiles I had from prospects and tallied all the results. I was pretty surprised to find out that some of the biggest issues people were dealing with were not what I had in mind. For example, I had no idea people were more interested in Inspirational topics over some of the other health or beauty topics I listed. Also, their method for learning or tuning in was also completely not what I had imagined either. I really thought a Blog would be what people are more likely to read, yet my market wants videos or webinars! Had I started out blogging away on a bunch of health topics, I may have wasted lots of time, and not have the same results.

Lesson learned

Do your market research first before you start up on your entrepreneur idea. It can save you so much time, energy, and lots of money too. That way you can laser focus on your target and give your prospective market exactly what they want.

Ways to do this?

Talk with people, find out what they are dealing with. What's their biggest issue they want to tackle within your expertise? Run a survey. Create a profile they can fill out with questions that will lead you to their interests. Do some research online to see what problems people are struggling with, what would they like to see? Check out the social media on what people are posting, or what pages they "like" on Facebook. That gives a pretty good peak on their interests.

Remember it's all about them—NOT you!

Healthy Lifestyles

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Health and wellness comes from being connected with our body and mind. Learning to hear and understand how both interconnect in the scope of wellness. For the purpose of this post, I will focus on some key basic points for proper diet and nutrition to sustain health and avoid empty calories that only make us toxic and lead to weight gain.

A very popular subject for most is weight loss. Obesity has become an epidemic.
According to the CDC, more than one-third of US adults are obese.   Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, and some of the leading causes of preventable death. Most of these adults fall into the middle age category or those over the age of 60. Although we are now seeing a huge increase in obese children and adolescents as well, and they are now exhibiting the same diseases as middle-aged adults! The estimated annual medical cost for obesity in the US was over $147 billion in 2008. Imagine what it is now!

Obesity is said to result from an energy imbalance (more calories in than utilized) but that is not the only factor. Although genetics can play a big part in this, a lot of it comes from behaviors, lifestyle and the environment, as well as socioeconomic factors.

Environmental toxins are now everywhere. Since the 1990’s we are seeing our food being genetically modified, injected with hormones, antibiotics, etc. and we are all ingesting all of those toxins every time we take a bite or a drink. Kids drink soda like it's water, and even worse, the energy drinks, which are loaded with sugar and caffeine. It's no wonder we are all toxic! The good news is, we are all capable of changing those outcomes. Sugar has become the new “cocaine” and it's just as addictive, and it's added to everything! So is fat. Those two combinations of sugars and fats create a formula for a disease.

Here are some basic takeaways on how you can begin to make changes to a healthier lifestyle, and in turn, improve your chances of losing that added weight and maintaining a healthy body.

#1—Move—start moving your body every day. It does not need to be considered “exercise” as that tends to be a four letter word for lots of us—yuk, I hate to “exercise”. But if we pick something we enjoy doing, it no longer becomes a chore, and we will be more likely to stick with it and make it a habit. Such as going for a walk, gardening, playing a sport you love, riding a bike, hiking, or my favorite -dancing! None of these cost money and it gets the body moving, pumps the blood, removes toxins, and lactic acid build up which causes muscle pain. It also reduces stress and anxiety, lowers blood sugar, and helps with high cholesterol. It helps to loosen up tight muscles and joints and keeps them moving. As what you don’t use you lose!

#2—Eat clean whole foods—like you have heard before, only shop in the outer aisles of the supermarket. Stay away from processed foods. That means, avoid foods that come already packaged. The more whole and pure the food is, the better. You want to avoid foods that cause inflammation. So opt for grass fed organic meats as much as possible, lots of fresh veggies and fruits as well as whole grains. Your plate should ideally be 2/3 veggies and whole grains and 1/3 to ¼ animal protein. Green leafy veggies are one of the best, as they are high in fiber, which actually help your gut to remove toxins from your body. Fiber is the natural “detox”.

Animal protein contains inflammatory enzymes not found in plant-based proteins and whole grains, so try to limit animal protein to two-three times a week. If you can’t stick to that, then at least limit it to once per day, not 3 times a day. This includes dairy. Dairy is actually very allergenic to the body and causes inflammation. That’s why so many people are lactose intolerant, and why so many babies get colic. I opt for almond or coconut milk instead.

Check the labels for the ingredients listed. If there are too many or you can't even pronounce them, then maybe you shouldn’t be eating it. Some to definitely avoid are trans fats, food coloring, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, nitrates, and nitrites. All of those are very toxic to the body. Avoid gluten, which is also inflammatory.

#3--Most importantly, drink plenty of water. Water is a natural way to lubricate joints, improve painful stiff muscles and helps to flush out toxins from the body. Ideally you should drink half your body weight in ounces per day. On average that’s about 64 oz. (half gallon) per day. Avoid sodas and energy drinks they are loaded with sugar and harmful chemicals that are toxic and go right to fat in your body. Limit caffeine or coffee to once a day. I know I love my coffee, but I will only have that one cup in the morning. Caffeine is acidic and creates inflammation in the body. Also limit alcohol to one drink at most per day for women, and no more than two for men. Less is even better. I love my wine, but now I keep it to one glass on the weekends. Limit fruit juices as they are also high in fructose. Juice your own, and include more veggies with 1 low fructose fruit such as green apple. 

So by starting out with just these 3 simple steps you can be on your way to a healthier you. You will notice how much better you feel.

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To check out botanical products to help you detox and maintain a healthy weight go to recommended products.