Getting “Couch Tots” Up Off Their Perch

Couch Tots Grow Into Couch Potatoes...

If you’re in the vicinity of my age, then… like me… you probably marvel at the lack of outdoor activity kids get these days.

Seriously, we practically LIVED outdoors when we were kids, didn’t we?!  I don’t think I could have told you ANY television shows that were on during the day… not counting Saturday morning cartoons, of course.

Of course, parents have the extra hurdle of getting their kids away from, not just television, but also computers, iPads, iPhones, etc.

Experts recommend that kids get no more than two hours per day of “screen time” (tv, computer, and/or video games).  Most kids, however, average more than 4 hours a day.

Below are tips from the American Heart Association to get your kid(s) up and moving.  Couch tots grow up to be couch potatoes, and neither are particularly healthy as a result.

  1. Suggest and Offer alternative activities.  Have a “Family Game Night,” shoot some hoops, go for walks, or visit a nearby park.
  2. Become active with your kids.  Play with them rather than just watch them!
  3. Don’t position your furniture so that the TV is the main focus of the room.
  4. Remove TVs from bedrooms.
  5. Plan TV watching in advance. Go through the TV guide ahead of time and pick the shows you’ll watch. When the show’s off, turn the TV off.

I love the one about playing with your kids.  I’ve had some of my best times in trees, on swings, and inside blanket tents with my girls. You haven’t lived until you’ve played Barbies or paper dolls beneath a tent that spans the entire space of your living room or den.  My daughter Brittany was a MASTER tent builder!

One thing I would suggest is this:  If your child already has a certain number of shows that he/she watches faithfully – it may not be what the experts suggest, but I’d suggest not rocking the boat. Instead, how about buying a stationary bike or treadmill and tell them that (in an effort to make the family healthier) you want everyone to exercise at least 30 minutes everyday. Place it right in front of the television!  Then you can suggest that they do it during a favorite show.  Before you know it, they’ll be hopping on and working out throughout the day – and getting more and more all important exercise.

If you try to take a show away from someone who watches it and enjoys it, I think you’d just be asking for a battle.  Tensions will arise and what you’re trying to suggest (exercise/activity) will suddenly become the enemy.

You want the activity to be fun and positive, you don’t want it (or yourself!) to be the enemy.  Just think how you’d feel if someone told you, even if it were for your own good, that you couldn’t watch your favorite television shows or sports again.

I believe if anyone told me I had to give up watching Animal Planet, the History Channel, or baseball I’d throw a pillow at them.

Probably two pillows.

If a treadmill or stationary bike is out of reach (I understand the whole out of reach thing as much as anyone.) – an exercise mat, a few dumbbells, and/or an exercise ball can also do wonders.

Zoos are another fun way to get your kids, and yourself, out and about.  If you’re lucky enough to live near one, you should become a familiar face to the monkeys, tigers, lions, bears, and even the reptiles.

The best way to get your kids to become more active is to lead by example. If they see your life revolving around “screen time,” they’ll assume that’s the cool thing to do. Get moving and get grooving – your entire family will be better off.

Get those bodies moving!
~ Joi

Review: Bend Your Brain (From the Minds Behind “Marbles” The Brain Store)

151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (And Grow) Your Mind

Bend Your Brain
Bend Your Brain: 151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (and Grow) Your Mind has a few questions for you: Want to get your frontal lobe breaking a sweat? Make your blood pump to your cerebellum? Stretch your occipital lobe to its limits?

If you’re as interested in mental fitness and brain health as I am, you’ll answer this question with a question of your own: How soon can we begin?!

Fortunately, you can begin the second you get your hands on this outstanding book. Bend Your Brain: 151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (and Grow) Your Mind is actually more than a book, if we’re being honest here. It’s more of a workout program for the part of our body that is probably taken more for granted than any other part.  Which is perfectly ridiculous when you consider that it runs the whole shebang.

Bend Your Brain
From the Back Cover:

Then you need to bend your brain! This first book from the team behind Marbles: The Brain Store, a chain devoted to building better brains, offers puzzles and brain teasers to help enhance memory, build problem-solving skills, and reduce stress.
Since Marbles started helping people play their way to a healthier brain, they’ve sold, solved, and been stumped by more than their fair share of puzzles. Along the way, they’ve learned which puzzles tie people in knots (not in a good way) and which ones make the neurons downright giddy. With the help of their in-house team of BrainCoaches and access to cutting-edge neuroscience, they’ve designed these puzzles to keep your mind flexible and fit.
Arranged in five key brain categories—visual perception, word skills, critical thinking, coordination, and memory—Bend Your Brain offers a variety of puzzles ranging from mind-warming (easy) to mind-blowing (hard!):

·  Connecting the dots? More like working your spatial-orientation skills.
·  Identifying famous smiles? Flexing your visual memory.
·  Taking a closer look at your keyboard? Coding, storing, and retrieving.
·  Word-doku? Summoning cognitive abilities like appraisal, inference, impulse control, and evaluation.
·  Word scrambles? Tapping your brain’s association areas.

Your brain is your most important muscle, so let the brain-building begin! –  Bend Your Brain: 151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (and Grow) Your Mind

Bend Your Brain
I have to say, I love everything about “Bend Your Brain.”  I know the STELLAR reputation Marbles: The Brain Store has in the mental fitness world.  When it comes to brain fitness, Marbles is “all in.”  They invest their hearts, bodies, and souls into discovering how the brain works, what it needs to keep working at an optimum level, where problems can arise, and what steps can be taken to avoid these problems.  I’d have as much confidence in their teachings on brain health as I would Rachael Ray’s teachings on cooking, Jillian Michael’s teachings on physical fitness, Albert Pujols’ teachings on swinging a baseball bat…

Well, you get the idea. We’re talking about experts in their chosen field.

MARBLES: THE BRAIN STORE is in malls across the country. They’ve been featured in Good Housekeeping, Real Simple, USA Today, and Wired, as well as on the Today show and Martha Stewart Living.  Like I said… experts.

While the book is flexible, the cover is made of a very sturdy material – it isn’t the type of “romance novel” paper covers that dog-ear or tear. It’s ideal for curling up in a comfy chair with a pencil and a hot Chai Tea Latte as you treat your mind to a FUN and STIMULATING workout.  I’m, perhaps, more familiar with brain games and brain puzzles than the average person. Another one of my blogs (“Out of Bounds“) involves mental fitness and brain health.  While doing research for the articles on “Out of Bounds,” I’ve bought and used countless books with “brain stimulating” puzzles.

Frankly, there are quite a few on the market that are outstanding. However, the puzzles throughout Bend Your Brain: 151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (and Grow) Your Mind are different from other puzzles I’ve seen in other books. Bend Your Brain does a much better job of letting you know WHY you need each type of puzzle.  I also love the fact that the puzzles address the five key brain categories (visual perception, word skills, critical thinking, coordination, and memory).

What good would it be to focus on just one or two?!?!

If I were to recommend one book for the individual who is interested in protecting and strengthening their mind, this would be the book.  The puzzles are a PERFECT blend of challenging, very challenging, and OMG challenging.  What’s more, they’re a lot of fun!

If you’re looking to strengthen your mind and memory, increase self-confidence, and even improve your problem-solving skills, Bend Your Brain shouldn’t just be the next book you buy… it has to be the next book you buy.

Click through and learn more about Bend Your Brain: 151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (and Grow) Your Mind. Trust me, this is one you and your brain are going to love.

Never stop learning!
~ Joi

Bend Your Brain Book Review
Note: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review. The opinions are entirely my own.

3 Simple Things You Can Do Today to Feel Better Tomorrow

Just What the Doctor Ordered!


Dr. Frank King is a chiropractor and doctor of naturopathy specializing in homeopathic remedies. He has added author to his bio with an exciting new book, The Healing Revolution: Eight Essentials to Awaken Abundant Life, Naturally.

Imagine you’re a spider with just one leg,” says Dr. King. “You put forth immense effort to try to haul yourself around and not only does it wear you out, it’s frustrating and you don’t get farIt gets a bit easier with two legs and easier still with four legs. But it’s not till you have all eight legs that you can really dance!

Dr. King explains that the eight legs represent Eight Essentials we need for optimum mental, physical and spiritual health:

  1. Empowering your human spirit
  2. Water
  3. Nutrition
  4. Fitness
  5. Sleep
  6. Nature
  7. Relationships
  8. Hands On Techniques (touch).

It would be overwhelming and self-defeating to look at all eight areas and think, ‘I have to make significant changes in every area immediately!” Dr. King says. “You don’t have to and who could? I know from my experience with countless patients and friends, and even in my own life, that you can see immediate results by making a few small changes at a time.”

Below, Dr. King describes three steps we can take today that we can actually benefit from tomorrow… if not sooner!

Drink half your body weight in ounces of spring or well water every day.

If you weigh 150 pounds, that’s 75 ounces of water (about 9 cups).

Many of us walk around dehydrated without realizing it and that can have a significant effect on our health and how we feel,” Dr. King says. Dehydrated bodies trap toxins and encourage water retention – a natural defense against the chronic “drought.”

Our bodies need the steady flow of pure, spring or well water. If you don’t like the taste, try mixing up to a teaspoon of sea salt into a quart of water,” he says.

A simple test for dehydration: Pinch the skin on the back of your hand and hold for three seconds. When you release, if the ridge from the pinch remains for more than a second, you’re probably dehydrated.

Take at least a few minutes every day to connect with nature. Nature brings perpetual revitalization and ongoing renewal, especially when experienced through multiple senses: the smell of freshly turned earth or evergreens in the woods; the touch of cool stream water on your face or feet; the sight of birds on the wing and budding blooms.

These are not just pleasant little gifts to experience – we need them for restoration, renewal, revival and rehabilitation,” Dr. King says. “The more disconnected we become from the Earth, the more we inhibit our body’s natural ability to heal.”

Take a brisk, 10- to 20-minute walk every day. Walking is the simplest, most natural form of exercise. You might walk a nature trail, walk to the store instead of driving or take your pet for a stroll.

Three brisk 10-minute walks a day are as effective at lowering blood pressure as one 30-minute walk,” Dr. King says, citing an Arizona State University study. “Outdoor walking is preferable to walking on a treadmill or other machine, since the uneven surfaces and changing directions of natural walking will engage more muscles and tendons.”

Swing each arm in synchronization with the opposite foot to strengthen your cross-crawl functionality and mind-body balance.

About Dr. Frank King:


Dr. Frank King is a chiropractor, doctor of naturopathy, and founder and president of King Bio, an FDA-registered pharmaceutical manufacturing company dedicated to education, research, development, manufacture and distribution of safe and natural homeopathic medicines for people and pets. Dr. King is also the author of, The Healing Revolution: Eight Essentials to Awaken Abundant Life Naturally! ( A fourth-generation farmer, Dr. King raises yak, camel, boar, wisent and American bison sold under the Carolina Bison brand. He is a member of the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention of the United States.


The 2 Day Diet? Now You’re Talking!

Diet Two Days a Week, Eat the Mediterranean Way for Five

The 2 Day Diet

I love it when I’m able to write a book review about a book that I actually got a lot out of.  Today I have the opportunity to do just that.

I was sent a copy of The 2-Day Diet: Diet two days a week. Eat the Mediterranean way for five to review and the benefits are twofold:

  • I get to tell you beautiful people all about a book that I know you’ll love.
  • I learned a lot about nutrition, calories, and eating healthy from reading the book myself!

I regularly read a great deal about health and nutrition (as in daily… 24/7).  Before reading The 2-Day Diet, I actually felt like I was sitting on an impressive amount of information when it came to the whole game of calories in/calories out.  However, after reading the book cover to cover, I now have a much better understanding of a body’s needs and a better handle on how the body uses food as fuel.

From the Back Cover:

Lose weight fast with the international diet sensation. Diet two days a week. Eat the Mediterranean way for five.

The 2-Day Diet is easy to follow, easy to stick to, and clinically tested. Simply eat a low carb, high protein diet two days a week, and follow the classic Mediterranean Diet (now recognized as the gold standard in warding off heart disease) for the other five.

The 2-Day Diet is designed to  maximize weight loss, minimize muscle loss and keep you feeling full. It  can have dramatic anti-aging and anti-cancer benefits. With this diet you can finally be slim, fit and healthy. With meal plans and 100 delicious and filling recipes.

“A far more effective way to lose weight.” –Daily Mail

“Put an end to 24/7 calorie counting.” – The Sun

“Revolutionary and clinically proven.” –Good Housekeeping


The Value of Updated, Clinically Proven Information

A lot of people cling to out-dated fitness and weight-loss information that really amount to little more than old wives tales. So much clinical research has been done over the years and it’s kind of nuts not to take advantage of the information this research has uncovered.

Researchers, doctors, and nutritionists are sitting on more information today than they were 20 or even 5 years ago.  In spite of this fact, most people still struggle with their weight and if most of us actually went for yearly checkups, we’d probably find several numbers that didn’t mesh with the numbers on our doctor’s chart.

I guess part of the problem is the fact that, sure, there’s a wealth of nutritional information available – but there’s even more junk food and empty calories available.  Pile that fact on top of the fact that we’re basically a non-active society and it’s a wonder the problem isn’t worse than it is!

The 2-Day Diet: Diet two days a week. Eat the Mediterranean way for five presents a clear plan for taking control of your diet and your health.  In addition to naturally solving weight issues, following this plan will also help you age better and will provide you with anti-cancer, anti-diabetes, and anti-heart disease benefits.  If you aren’t at your optimum weight – this program will help you find your way and if you ARE at your ideal weight, it’ll help you stay there.

Some of the information covered in The 2 Day Diet Includes:

  • the combination of exercises you need to be doing
  • eight steps to weight loss
  • the foods you should eat on the five days you aren’t on a “diet”
  • WHY this program works
  • meal planners
  • how to become more active
  • recipes for each of the 7 days
  • and more…

(review continued below)

The 2 Day Diet

From the Introduction:

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone reading this that we are getting fatter. Rates of obesity have reached epidemic proportions, and worldwide there are now more overweight people than those who are a healthy weight.  Despite massive government investment in healthy eating campaigns and any number of different diets promising effective weight loss, the number of us who are overweight just keeps rising…..

…. With so many different diets available, can The 2-Day Diet really make a difference? We believe that it can. The 2-Day Diet is designed to help you make the right choices, lose weight, change your habits, and actively improve your health without leaving you feeling deprived. Our work with serial dieters has shown that this unique approach offers a real alternative for anyone who struggles to stick to a conventional diet. We were so impressed by the positive results of The 2-Day Diet that we wanted to make it available to everyone who is struggling – or who has struggled – to lose weight.  The 2-Day Diet has paved the way to a slimmer, healthier future for many of our dieters…. – From The 2-Day Diet: Diet two days a week. Eat the Mediterranean way for five by Dr. Michelle Harvie & Professor Tony Howell

Click through any of the links above to learn more about this revolutionary (and common sense) approach to weight loss and management.

 ~ Joi


The Next Book You Have to Read: Sitting Kills, Moving Heals by Joan Vernikos, Ph.D.

Why We Have GOT to Get Moving!

Sitting Kills, Moving Heals
I’m asked the following question a lot, “What’s your favorite book?”  My answer?  “Besides the Bible, cookbooks, and every Agatha Christie mystery I ever met… my favorite book is the one I just read.”

Sounds trite, but there it is – the pure, plain, simple truth.

I love books a great, great deal.  They’re mentally stimulating – whether they’re a great mystery by Christie, an inspirational book by Max Lucado, a “Complete Idiot’s Guide to..” (love those!), or a self help book everyone…  or no one..  is talking about.

I recently finished reading Sitting Kills, Moving Heals. Not only is this the next book I hope YOU read, I hope it’s the next book you recommend to everyone you care about. The information is golden and, quite frankly, a little startling.

From the Back Cover:

Your Chair is slowly killing you.  But exercise alone isn’t the answer.  Easy, everyday, all-day movement will keep you healthy for life.

Medical studies show that too much sitting will shorten your life, even if you exercise.  No matter how much exercise we get, most of us spend hours each day immobile in our chairs, and we’re fatter, sicker, and more tired than ever before. Why isn’t exercise enough? What’s missing?


Dr. Joan Vernikos, former Director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division, applies her groundbreaking NASA research on Gravity Deprivation Syndrome to everyday health here on Earth.

Your body needs to move in gravity to stay healthy.  In the near zero gravity of space, astronauts’ muscles and bones atrophy, as if they were rapidly aging.  Sitting all day at a desk, in long commutes, or in front of the TV is just like zero G – if you don’t move in gravity, you’ll suffer the same rapid aging as astronauts.

Astronauts are quickly restored to full health by returning to active life on Earth – and so can you.  Vernikos shows that the key to lifelong health is more than just traditional gym exercise, but a natural lifestyle of constant, natural movement that resists the force of gravity.

Vernikos’ easy-to-follow, commonsense plan shows how simple, everyday, fun activities like walking, gardening, dancing, golf, and more will keep you healthy, strong, and independent your whole life long.

Sitting Kills, Moving Heals is a fascinating read from page one.   Learning about the effects of gravity and “Gravity Deprivation Syndrome” literally made me stand up and pace as I read a great portion of the book!  I love the encouragement to move – for adults and children, alike.  As the author points out, children mimic what they see adults do. If children see active adults, they’ll tend to be more active, themselves. However, if they see inactive adults who rely too heavily on television, computers, and other forms of technology – they’ll probably mimic the inactivity as well.

Exercise is not a substitute for activities that come naturally throughout the day, 365 days a year, for the rest of your life. – Page 52

Among Other Things, the Book Includes:

  • Easy ways to “sneak” more activity into your day.
  • The benefits of stretching.
  • The 8 Fundamentals of G-Effective Activity.
  • How to create healthy habits that’ll keep your body from aging prematurely.
  • Stretches and Exercises to prevent muscle atrophy (remember, we’re dealing with a NASA expert here!).
  • The Health and Fitness Pyramid explained in detail.
  • How to completely relax.
  • Strength Training benefits.
  • The author’s expertise on gravity and exercise machines.
  • Gravity therapy and rehabilitation.
  • Helping the brain heal itself.
  • How to be a kid again and why you should!
  • Benefit of inversion (gets blood to the head).
  • Benefits of certain sports and activities.

Basically, you’ll gain a whole new way of looking at your health and life.  This is honestly a book unlike any other and I’m 100 percent certain it” effect your life and health positively.

See Sitting Kills, Moving Heals: How Everyday Movement Will Prevent Pain, Illness, and Early Death – and Exercise Alone Won’t for more information. This one’s a life changer.

~ Joi

13 Ways the Internet Can Improve Your Health!

How Social Media, the Internet, and Online Health Communities Can Be Good for You

Pinterest for Your Health

November is National Health Blog Post Month and I have been honored with an invitation to participate. Each day in November, I’ll post a health-related article or piece of information on Self Help Daily. I’m as excited as I am honored and the reason for the excitement ties in with the subject of today’s post: Top 10 Ways the Internet Can Improve Your Health: Things I Love About social media, the internet, and online health communities.

Why I Write So Much About Improving Your Health and Health-Related Topics

Before I get to the top 13 list, I thought I’d give a quick explanation of why I write so much about health topics such as preventing diabetes, heart health, green smoothies, and so on. There are several reasons, actually, and they each have to do with people I love.

  • A great number of people in my family (on my side as well as my husband’s) have had diseases that most of us hope and pray we never experience. These diseases include diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, uterine cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Hypertension.  Not only did I watch these diseases steal a lot of the quality of loved one’s lives, I saw these diseases take a great number of them far too soon.
  • Even if I didn’t write and/or run a web publishing business, I’d still research health-related topics for the sake of my husband and daughters. I’d read everything I could get my hands on that’d give me an edge in fighting off diseases that haunt our family.  The information I find helps me decide what meals to cook, what activities to encourage and discourage, etc. Knowing what diseases your family is most prone to (and in our case, we seem to be open to just about anything!) gives you an edge – you know what to try your darnedest to fend off.
  • I not only want to protect my family, I want to help you protect your family.  Yes, I am a bona fide people person. If, when it’s all said and done, I can help prevent just one person  from losing a loved family member as early as we’ve lost some of ours – it has been more than worth it.
  • Not only would I like to help pass along information that could save lives, I want to find and pass along information that could help improve lives.

So. That’s why I write about Health-Related Topics.  I’m trying to save the world here, okay?

13 Ways the Internet Can Improve Your Health

The internet gets a bad rap. Thanks to a lot of disgusting websites and a lot of ridiculous people on certain social media sites, the internet often comes across as a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah.  However, there are a lot of ways the internet can improve your health, help you prevent diseases … and potentially save… your life.  This very fact is the reason I chose the number 13 for this list.  Like the internet, the number 13 gets a bad rap. It’s considered to be an unlucky number, so I wanted to take it and create something positive with it – the same way we can all take the internet and do something positive with it.

  1. Medical Websites. You can go to and research symptoms and diseases any time of day or night.  You’ll find things you can do to make yourself feel better and heal faster and find out when or if you need to see a doctor. There are also countless tips for preventing diseases, improving your health, feeling better, increasing your energy, and living healthy on this site as well as others such as Everyday Health and Mayo Clinic. When it comes to health advice and illnesses, I always advise people to stick with the sites mentioned here. Be very cautious where you take advice from for serious conditions.  If you’re searching for ways to make a mouth ulcer feel better, by all means try whatever relief you can – but when it comes to more serious matters, never get your information from someone on a forum, for example, who goes by the handle IronMan5 or Gr8Grl. Know what I mean?!
  2. Real  A website so vital, so cool, and so helpful that it gets its own place in the top 10. Real is more than a website, it’s a tool. When you (honestly!) fill out the questionnaire, you aren’t just given your “Real Age” (as opposed to the year determined by your birth date ).  However, it doesn’t just leave it at that. You’re given TONS of great tips and advice to help you improve your real age and your health and, thereby, increase your chances for a longer life.
  3. Apps. There are apps that count calories for your, apps that tell you how many calories you’re burning, and even an app that reminds you to take your prescriptions! When you search for specific apps, you’ll be amazed by what you find.  If you have time, search for reviews of the apps you find. Do a little research and find the best ones out there.
  4. Fitness. is one of the best places online for fitness articles and exercises.
  5. YouTube Workouts! If you search YouTube for keywords such as Yoga, Zumba, Pilates, Cardio, Aerobics, exercise video, Kettle Bell Workout, etc.. you’ll find some really cool workout videos to increase your strength, stamina, and fitness level. If you aren’t careful, you may even burn some calories!
  6. Healthy Recipes. You can find the most amazing healthy recipes online. If you’re on Pinterest, a lot of people even have boards devoted entirely to healthy eating.  If you need heart-healthy recipes, gluten free recipes,  or vegan recipes, they’re literally at your fingertips.  No one with an internet has the excuse of not having healthy recipes.
  7. Relax and Unwind. At the end of a hectic day, there’s something kind of relaxing about cruising Pinterest or catching up on Twitter.  If you love cats like me, you’ll find that funny cat pictures and/or cat videos are  fun ways to grab a smile or two at the end of the day.  Here’s a little personal tip of mine when it comes to relaxation. After a long day writing and working online, when I get up from the computer, I want to leave all of that craziness behind and unwind.  I’ll often go to You Tube and search for “Japanese Music” or “Classical Piano Music” and let it fill the house as I make supper, do laundry, or simply crash on the couch. I’m not sure anything in the world is as relaxing as piano music or Japanese music.
  8.  Speaking of Twitter… The world has never known a better place for staying on top of important, life-effecting news. If you “follow” your local weather stations, CNN, the Weather Channel, Fox News and other authoritative agencies, you’ll always know (almost immediately) what’s headed your way.  Twitter is also the first place I usually learn about food recalls too.
  9. Relationships. Social Media Sites don’t just help you relax – and they don’t just keep you informed.  They’re also  a great place for making new friends. Any time you build relationships (online or off), it’s good for you.  Mental fitness experts tell us that the more relationships we have in our life, the better.
  10. Official Health Groups and Agencies. What better place to get information about heart health than the American Heart Association, up to the minute information about diabetes from the American Diabetes Association, or information about preventing cancer from the American Cancer Society? Follow these groups on social media, check them regularly, and (when available) take part in their forums.
  11. Newsletters.  Just about every official health agency has a newsletter you can sign up for. They’ll deliver the latest research, tips, and medical advice right to your inbox!
  12. Overcome Addictions and Find Support.  Whatever your own personal monster under the porch is, you can find wonderful support groups online. People who know what you’re going through and can help you overcome, persevere, and take your life back.
  13. Health Communities.  I saved this one for last because, quite frankly, I think it’s huge.  While doing research for my Self Help Daily, my food blog, and well as my mental fitness blog, I visit a lot of  medial websites. Sometimes I read through their forums or I’ll read the personal stories of individuals who have either survived or are surviving a health issue. The advice these individuals have for one another is almost as vital as the support they provide for one another. Some of the strongest bonds in the world take place in these communities.  Personal tips, stories, and simple words like, “I did this, you can too!” and “You’re going to make it!” can mean the absolute world to someone who needs it.  Menopause, cancer, heart disease, asthma, addictions, diabetes – you name it, there’s a community for it and communities are all about strength.

~ Joi

6 Reasons to Consider Veganism

I Guarantee These Points will Make You Ponder

Koya Webb
Below is a guest post by the ridiculously beautiful Koya Webb. I remember the first time I saw a picture of Koya Webb. The article was discussing healthy diets and promoting healthy lifestyles.  When I saw Koya’s picture, I thought, “Just give me what she’s having.”

I know you’ll put aside all preconceived opinions about veganism and read the article with an open mind. It’s only when we have ALL the facts that we can make the healthiest decisions in life.  ~ Joi

Unveiling the Vegan Lifestyle: 6 Points to Ponder

by Koya Webb

Dietary veganism—the practice of abstaining from eating animal products—is a lifestyle rife with mystery, myths and misconceptions, and is often erroneously regarded as a dietary regime for extremists.  In fact, amid copious health and wellness benefits, the vegan diet is far more mainstream today. This is exemplified by the number of vegan restaurants, and vegan dishes at traditional restaurants, increasing exponentially as well as the high profile personalities that have adopted a vegan diet.

Perhaps the vegan diet officially “arrived” when Oprah Winfrey went on a vegan diet for 21 days in 2008, and in 2011 asked her 378 production staff to do the same for one week, as well reported*. Reports also note that Former U.S. president Bill Clinton adopted a vegan diet in 2010 after cardiac surgery, while his daughter Chelsea was already a vegan. In November 2010 Bloomberg Businessweek stated that a growing number of American CEOs were becoming vegan, such as Steve Wynn, Mortimer Zuckerman, and Russell Simmons. A list of other notable vegans can be found on Wikipedia.

Here are 6 “vegan revelations” to provide fundamental key facts and clarify misconceptions about the vegan diet and lifestyle*:


  1. Vegan food is flavorful! Most people think a vegan diet means tasteless food and poorly-disguised fake meat. While in the past this may have been true, vegan recipes have evolved and today there is a wealth of vegan fare bursting with flavor, from barbecue classics and chili to lasagna and other Italian favorites that are prepared with a heightened health factor since fresh vegetables, fruits nuts and seeds are often key ingredients.  Spices, herbs, sauces, fresh ingredients and inspired culinary vision have made the modern vegan diet quite tasty!
  2. It’s a fruit feast. Those trying to reduce dietary sugar are reluctant to eat a lot of fruit, but the vegan diet allows for as much fruit as you desire. If you minimize or eliminate the consumption of complex carbohydrates like bread, rice and pasta, which all break down to sugar, you can add more fruit to your diet—also beneficial since fruit also contains fiber and enzymes that help you maintain and regular functioning system, while the starchy carb counterparts can clog you up and slow your metabolism.
  3. Meaty matters. It’s been shown that releasing meat from your diet—as vegans do—can protect you from many degenerative diseases. Meat quality remains an issue in the marketplace, while issues of toxicity, contamination and excessive hormones and chemicals abound. Even if you happen to eat the best quality meat products when dining at home, fast food and other restaurants are generally not as discriminating.
  4. Eco-friendly epicure. The vegan lifestyle causes less environmental damage and consumes fewer resources. Organizations such as PETA point out that animal agriculture is linked to climate change, water pollution, land degradation, a decline in biodiversity, and that a commercially available animal-based diet uses more land, water, and energy than a strictly vegetarian one, as cited on Wikipedia. With this in mind, a striking report out of the University of Chicago found that switching from the standard American diet to a plant-based one reduces more greenhouse emissions per person per year over switching from standard sedan like a Toyota Camry to a hybrid Toyota Prius, proving that what you choose to eat could do more to offset greenhouse gas emissions than what you choose to drive. So, if you want to reduce your carbon footprint go vegan…even for just 10 days.
  5. Go ahead and indulge!  The vegan lifestyle is not about deprivation.You can still enjoy favorite treats like ice cream, cheesecake, and many other desserts. Of course, as with any wellness regime, those with a sweet tooth must still heed the calorie and fat consumption.
  6. Body benefits abound. The vegan diet tends to be higher in dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, and phytochemicals, and lower in calories, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Eating vegan has proven to control allergies, PMS, and depression. This is helped, in part, by avoiding the hormones, antibiotics, and antidepressants among other chemicals found in meat products. The vegan lifestyle also promotes healthier hair, skin and nails since mineral absorption is optimized with an animal-free diet. And, it’s been well-reported that eating more fresh fruits and veggies reduces the risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, heart disease and other deadly conditions.



Koya Webb
Koya Webb
Koya Webb is an internationally recognized holistic health and wellness expert, author, motivational speaker, and consultant who is helping revolutionize the vegan cuisine and holistic living landscape. Her book “Koya’s Kuisine: “Foods You Love That Love You Back!” helps individuals make positive lifestyle changes that maximize their ability to lose weight, increase energy, reverse life-threatening conditions, and experience optimal health and vitality through a fit, active lifestyle. Reach Koya online at

Find Vegan Books on Amazon!

Green Smoothies: My Personal Experience

And Why You Should Start Drinking Green Smoothies TODAY

Nutri Bullet
Nutri Bullet NBR-12 12-Piece Hi-Speed Blender/Mixer System

I recently wrote an article on Self Help Daily about Green Smoothies. I reviewed the book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Smoothies and gave you a few links. I hope you checked them out and hope, with all my heart, that The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Smoothies is either in the mail or, better yet, lying right in front of you.

I’d been planning to write this follow-up article a few months down the road.  Several members of my family and  I recently began drinking green smoothies daily and I thought that an article, say 6 months down the road, would be an effective way of letting you know how it’s going, and what you can expect.

Problem is, I’m so excited by what I’ve already seen (and felt) that I couldn’t put a lid on it.  I’d much rather tell you NOW so you can buy everything you need to start enjoying the benefits of green smoothies right away.

So what do you need to make green smoothies?

If your budget wouldn’t feel the pinch too badly, I personally think you should invest in the Nutri Bullet NBR-12 12-Piece Hi-Speed Blender/Mixer System.  Why? Several reasons. For one thing, the system absolutely, positively mixes up and pulverizes greens, seeds, and vegetables better than a blender.  I happen to have a very nice blender – when it comes to buying me things for the kitchen, my husband has never pinched pennies.  Sometimes when shopping for a small appliance, I’ll pick one out that I think’s perfectly good, only to have him find one twice as much and hear him say, “But this one’s better.”  It’s what happened when we picked out our current blender – so… know this… it’s a great blender.

However, when I made my first green smoothie, I noticed that it was a lot chunkier than I needed for it to be. My blender’s great for fruit smoothies, shakes, and things like that – but when it comes to green smoothies, it’s just not as good as the Nutri Bullet NBR-12 12-Piece Hi-Speed Blender/Mixer System.   Can you make green smoothies in a traditional blender? Yes. Will they be better with the Nutri Bullet? My experience doesn’t just say yes, it screams it!

Another benefit of buying the Nutri Bullet NBR-12 12-Piece Hi-Speed Blender/Mixer System is the literature that comes with it. Invaluable.  You get a “Pocket Nutritionist” booklet as well as a User Guide & Recipe Book. The Pocket Nutritionist lists a ton of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds and tells you why you should add them to your green smoothies. For example, almonds can help reduce the risk of heart disease up to 30%.  They’re also high in heart-healthy magnesium and blood pressure-regulating potassium.  This same little booklet details the selection process for these healthy foods and… something I’ve really found beneficial… how to store the foods.

I’ll tell on myself, here. When I first read through the booklet, I just looked at the health benefits. I thought, “Gimme a break, I know how to store food and I certainly know how to pick them out.”  Not so fast, blogger girl, not so fast. Turns out there were quite a few things I didn’t  know.

Go figure!

Long Story Short: Yes a blender will do the job, but a Nutri Bullet NBR-12 12-Piece Hi-Speed Blender/Mixer System will perfect the job.

What foods go into a green smoothie?

It’s very important to switch up the greens you use. I try to keep at least three types of greens on hand all the time.  You add about 2 handfuls of greens to each smoothie. The following are perfect to use in green smoothies:

  • spinach (my personal favorite)
  • kale
  • collard greens
  • romaine lettuce (a great one to start with – it’s very mild)
  • spring greens
  • Swiss chard (work up to this one!)
  • parsley

The following fruits and vegetables are all excellent in green smoothies, but you simply can’t beat a good old-fashioned banana. Bananas put the smooth green smoothies. They’re also excellent at concealing the flavors of the harsher greens (yes, Swiss Chard, I’m looking at you.).  Experiment with the fruits and vegetables you use in your smoothies. That’s part of the fun! The best green smoothie recipes will be the ones you come up with yourself because they’ll be the ones that include your favorite flavors.

  • apples
  • avocados
  • bananas
  • blackberries
  • blueberries
  • broccoli
  • cantaloupe
  • carrots
  • celery (like bananas, they can dominate the flavor – so go easy, unless you’re WILD about celery)
  • cranberries
  • cucumbers
  • figs
  • grapes
  • honeydew melons
  • kiwifruit
  • mangoes
  • nectarines
  • oranges
  • papayas
  • peaches
  • pears
  • pineapples
  • plums
  • raspberries
  • strawberries
  • watermelon

Most people, in addition to the greens and fruits/veggies, add an extra nutritional “boost” called… are you ready for it… “boosts.”  You can add about 1/4 cup of these flavor and health enhancers. Some of our favorites are:

  • almonds
  • cashews
  • chia seeds (I’m addicted to these nutritious little guys – sometimes I just pop 1/4 tsp in my mouth for kicks.)
  • flax seeds
  • Goji berries (dried)
  • hemp seed
  • pumpkin seeds
  • sesame seeds
  • sunflower seeds (awesome in green smoothies)
  • walnuts

How do you make a green smoothie?

It just takes a few minutes to throw together a green smoothie.  I put a few handfuls of greens into my Nutri Bullet, followed by the fruit I’m in the mood for that day (usually a banana and pineapples, apple, grapes or berries). Then I add my “boosts” (some wicked cool combination of chia seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds…).  If the greens are anything besides spinach or romaine lettuce, I’ll add about a teaspoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil for extra creaminess and goodness.  Then I add some purified water, juice, or green tea and blend it all together.  It isn’t necessary, but I finish my smoothies off by adding a little ice to the smoothie  and blending it again – I prefer my green smoothies not just cold, but shivering.

After I make mine, I prepare my husbands and put it in the refrigerator for him.  He likes to enjoy his coffee, check his e-mail and sports news THEN have his green smoothie. Your’s truly goes for the Green right off the bat.

When I first heard about green smoothies, I thought, “I don’t really need these green guys because I eat lots of salads and snack on fruit.”  I figured there HAD to be something special about putting everything together in a smoothie, so I did  a little research.  Turns out, by processing the food in the blender or Nutri Bullet, more nutrients and health benefits are extracted than would be if we just ate the foods raw.

I’ll let Kim Caldwell, author of  How Green Smoothies Saved My Life: A Guide for Using Green Smoothies, Uplifted Thinking, and Live Food to Enhance Your Life explain it. The following is from page 22 of her wonderful book (which I’ll review on Self Help Daily tomorrow!):

Why can’t I just eat my green leafy vegetables in a salad?  This is a commonly asked question. Some people explain that they eat several salads a day and therefore do not need to drink Green Smoothies.

There is a big difference in the consistency of a salad and a green smoothie. Green smoothies are blended into a liquid which breaks down the plant and releases the chlorophyll much more efficiently than normal chewing. Blending makes the liquid super easy for our bodies to digest and assimilate the nutrients.

Also, when we eat salads, we top them off with dressings and sometimes even croutons or bacon bits, whereas in green smoothies, they’ll be topped off with fruit and healthy boosts. Green smoothies for the win!

In the author’s quote above, you noticed the word “chlorophyll.”  I thought you might like a little explanation of why this is important for our health as well as weight management.  Chlorophyll – something green smoothies excel at like none other – is, quite simply, a blood and body cleanser.  It gives your body what you need in order to operate at the highest level!  When you drink green smoothies regularly, you’ll find that you visit the bathroom more regularly.  When this happens, you’ll be able to truly appreciate the cleansing power of chlorophyll.

Green smoothies give your body what it needs for optimum health and fitness and eliminates the rest – toxins that’d like to stick around and lead to a dramatic sickness are sent packing.

My own experience with green smoothies.

Several members of my family are enjoying green smoothies and have fallen in love with the way they make them feel.  I’ll briefly give you the highlights of their experiences and then I’ll share my own.

Emily – My beautiful oldest daughter works in the school system, in the school nurse’s office. She has to get up each morning around 6:00.  NOT something she enjoys!  A few weeks into the school year, she told me that she loved her job but HATED getting up so early. She said by the time she got off work, she just wanted to go to bed.  She also said that she’d put on about 5 unwanted pounds.  My husband and I gave her our Green Smoothies sermon and she went immediately to the store to load up.  A few weeks later? The 5 pounds she gained have gone, and took a few extra pounds with them!

The biggest difference is the fact that she doesn’t get up at 6:00 am anymore… she gets up at 5:30!  She tells me that she has more energy than ever before and doesn’t even experience that mid-day lull that most people trudge through.

She has also noticed something else I have noticed – the cravings for junk food and fast food have disappeared.  Instead of wanting a burger and fries, she finds herself craving a smoothie, grilled shrimp, steamed broccoli, or a salad.

I can’t put my finger on it, but drinking at least one green smoothie a day all but eliminates the cravings for unhealthy food. It’s as though your body suddenly becomes a certified nutritionist and automatically knows what’s good for it. It begins craving healthy foods. Believe me, I was as shocked as anyone.

My Husband has lost over 10 pounds since we began having green smoothies each morning.  He has more energy than before, just like Em. He recently had a back injury that almost always requires surgery, but his body was able to begin healing itself. It continues to do so and I’m certain the doctors are as amazed as we are delighted.

He has also noticed an improvement with his sinuses and seasonal allergies. Generally, around this time he’d be in agony, but so far not so much as one sneeze.

My youngest son-in-law, Rusty.  Now this one’s a shocker. I’ve always called Rusty “Hamburglar” because he eats a wild amount of hamburgers. As for vegetables, green beans and potatoes are it. Fruit? Forget about it… unless you count Strawberry Kool-Aid.  I made Rusty a green smoothie one night, kind of as a dare.  Not only did he take a drink – he drank it all!  This… from a guy who HATES green vegetables with all his heart and soul.  He has had one each day since (I think it’s been like 5 days) and he has lost 4 pounds.   Here’s something even more shocking – he hasn’t made any other changes at all and the green smoothie he drinks isn’t even as a meal. It’s in addition to his normal meals.

That’s the magic of green smoothies!

Rusty has also found that he doesn’t need Red Bulls or other energy drinks for energy. He gets his energy naturally now.

My own experiences with green smoothies are just as wonderful.  I happen to have a couple of health issues – very mild compared to what some people live with – but they’re things that can make it almost impossible to lose weight or keep it off.  I have asthma, seasonal allergies, low blood sugar, and a thyroid problem. My thyroid had to be destroyed years ago and I’ve been on Synthroid since.  I don’t say all of these to brag (even though that’s pretty boast-worthy material right there), I simply want anyone with similar issues to know they have a kindred spirit.

Below are a few of the lovelies I’ve noticed with Green Smoothies:

  • Normally, this time of year would have my asthma in a tail-spin – it’s much, much better this year. I’m actually going to begin having 2 green smoothies each day instead of 1. I figure if my health is already this much better with 1, I can’t wait to see how it is with 2!
  • Like the others, I’ve noticed that I  have more energy.  In fact, I”ll let you in on a little secret – sometimes my “get up and go” gets up and I have to catch up. I simply find that I want to move more than ever before.  My daily 30 minute walk is now more like a 45 minute walk and some days it’s 2 30 minute walks.
  • Emily and I both have low blood sugar which rears its ugly head when we’re even the slightest bit hungry. We’ll get kind of nauseous, light-headed, and have to dive for the nearest cracker or granola bar we can find.  This is why I was kind of skeptical about either one of us replacing our breakfast with a green smoothie.  I just knew I”d be dying of hunger an hour later.  HOWEVER… green smoothies keep me full longer than my normal breakfasts did. Emily has noticed the same exact thing.  Green Smoothies are extremely filling and satisfying. I’ve noticed that they eliminate the need for a mid-morning snack and they even allow you to eat a lighter lunch than normal.
  • Anyone who has thyroid disease knows that it’s almost impossible to lose weight. Your metabolism is so screwed up when you have thyroid disease – and Heaven help you if you happen to be in or near menopause (the killer of metabolisms everywhere).  I’m thrilled to report that I am losing weight. Yay! I FEEL better than I have felt in a very long time and the funny thing is I never realized I didn’t feel fantastic.  I thought I was fine and dandy… then I began drinking green smoothies and I was reminded of how great it feels to feel great.
  • Again, I can’t explain the “whys” but my hair is thicker and in better condition. The extra nutrients and vitamins are simply showing up in the most unexpected places. And I couldn’t be happier.

I realize this article has become almost a book – my word count right this minute is well over 2,000! I apologize for the length, but there’s just so much to say.  Don’t worry, though, I’m almost through and you can go make yourself a green smoothie to celebrate.  I’m certainly going to!

I’ve created a new category on Self Help Daily called Green Smoothies (found under the Health category).  I’ll post updates about our experiences, recipes, tips, book reviews, and so forth. I’ll be reviewing Kim Caldwell’s  How Green Smoothies Saved My Life: A Guide for Using Green Smoothies, Uplifted Thinking, and Live Food to Enhance Your Life tomorrow.  It’s a great book and I’m in love with her writing style.  In fact, I have another one of her books to review later this week!

A few last tips:

  • For optimum health, I (and I noticed Kim does as well) recommend you drink more tea.  I drink green tea and black tea all day long and simply swear by them. They work beautifully along with green smoothies – riding your body of what it doesn’t need while loading you up with life-giving antioxidants.
  • Frozen fruit is great in smoothies.
  • Pineapples make any green smoothie even better.
  • Experiment with using juice in your smoothies. When cold and flu season get here, a little extra orange juice can keep you healthier.
  • Speaking of cold and flu season, why not start your green smoothie regime today – it’s just in time to give your body the extra strength it needs to fight off colds, bugs, and other miseries.
  • Think green smoothies are too expensive?  Here’s what I’ve found – there is almost always some fruit, vegetable, and variety of greens on sale at all times.  Check several stores and grab what each one has on sale. I ducked into a store in town that I never go in – a Save-A-Lot. They had cheaper frozen fruit than a few other stores and they’re produce section was pretty reasonable as well.  Wal-Mart is another store with very inexpensive produce, seeds, and nuts.
  • If you try one green smoothie and don’t care for it, try another! I fell in love with green smoothies right off the bat (as did Emily and my husband), but some people have to try a few combinations before they find the one they like.  With another beautiful daughter, Brittany, I hit pay dirt when I added pineapples and an apple to spinach along with a little pineapple juice.  In her words, “That’s really, really good!”  Another day, another convert.  Her boyfriend has also jumped on the bandwagon.  He had some of one I made for Rusty a few nights ago and said, “I love it.”  I’m the green smoothie piper.  Might as well, I gotta do something with all this energy.

Thank you for sticking with me through these thousands of words – you are a champ. I hope you’re able to pick up on my excitement and I hope (with all my heart) that you’ll give green smoothies a chance.  They could be the catalyst to take you to better health, weight loss, increased energy, better skin, and (man I love this part) thicker hair.

~ Joi

It’s Simple: Green Smoothies + A Healthier Diet = A Healthier YOU

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Smoothies Review

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Smoothies
I fancy myself the inquisitive type. The type of person who, upon hearing a particular name mentioned or an interesting new subject broached, has to research the dickens out of it until she can carry on an intelligent conversation about said person, place, thing, or idea.  When teaching our three beautiful daughters in our home school, I always told them to latch onto anything that interested them and “study” it from all sides and angels until they could, literally, write an essay on the subject.

I wish I had a dollar for every essay they ever wrote over those years. 

As a component of staying as mentally active as possible and as someone who writes (and reads) a great deal about brain fitness, I encourage everyone – in addition to my girls – to read and study as many subjects as you possibly can.  Don’t just latch onto one and don’t limit yourself to one source – dissect a subject like an earthworm on a board. Look at it from every possible angle, while keeping an open mind and always, always, always think for yourself.

Don’t worry, I won’t ask you to write an essay.

I’ve been reading a lot the past few months about a couple of different subjects. Like my brain, these subjects are all over the place:

  • Green Smoothies
  • Preservatives in Food
  • Squirrels
  • Joan of Arc
  • Yoga

Did you know that, although we’ve always seen paintings of her as a fearless fighter, riding into battle armed and dangerous – the heroine of the Hundred Years’ War (between France and England), Joan of Arc, never actually fought in a single battle? She certainly never killed an opponent.  (For 6 other cool facts about Joan of Arc, check out

Green Smoothies and Raw Food

My fascination with Green Smoothies came about a while back when I was sent The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Smoothies to review. I was mesmerized immediately.  The book is easy to read, simple to understand, and the first step you should take if you’re considering green smoothies.

From the Back Cover:

Blended from fresh, natural, whole foods and juices, green smoothies help burn fat, promote immune and digestive system health, and rid your body of toxins.

The next best thing to a personal smoothie chef, this superb guide gives you 150 taste-tempting recipes to amp up your nutrition, satisfy your cravings, and cleanse your body.

In it, you get:

  • Advice on combining ingredients and flavors into delicious green smoothies even kids will love.
  • Easy ideas for creating energizing green smoothies packed with protein to fuel the athlete in you.
  • Recipes for powerful superfood smoothies that increase your vitamin, mineral, and phytonutrient intake.
  • Tips for blending nutritionally dense, low-calorie weight loss smoothies that leave you feeling satisfied.
  • Healing green smoothie and tonic recipes that boost your immunity and purify your body from the inside out.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Smoothies is the perfect (ideal, ideal, ideal) introduction to Green Smoothies. The author, Bo Rinaldi, is a chef and co-owner of Blossoming Lotus Restaurant in Portland, Oregon. He’s also the co-owner of and He has written several great books for The Complete Idiot’s series.

What you eat empowers you. – Bo Rinaldi, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Smoothies

In addition to the 150 Green Smoothies recipes, this great guide includes the following informative chapters:

  • Why Green Smoothies?
  • The Bountiful Benefits of Green Smoothies (fiber, nutrients, vitamins, anti-oxidants…).
  • Making the Perfect Green Smoothie.

[highlight color=”yellow”]Recipes in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Smoothies include Everyday Smoothies, Powerful Superfood Smoothies, Smoothies for Weight Loss, Healing Smoothies, Green Smoothie Tonics, Smoothies for Athletes, Kid-Friendly Smoothies, Exotic Green Smoothies![/highlight]

I’ll be writing more about nutrition, preventing diabetes. raw foods, and yoga in future posts but I wanted to share a few links with you.  I’ve loved smoothies for a long time now. Strawberry, Banana, Peach… Never met a smoothie I didn’t love.  I also am a huge fan of vegetables, so when the subject of Green Smoothies came up, how could I NOT be fascinated? Green Smoothies were, apparently “invented” by the late Dr. Ann Wigmore in 1988.

Most people, today, credit Victoria Boutenko with taking Green Smoothies to amazing new heights.

Victoria Boutenko and her family are champions of raw foods, including green smoothies. They’ve used raw foods in battles against a long list of diseases, and unlike Joan of Arc, they DID kick some major butt.   You can visit Victoria Boutenko’s blog for more information, as well as her family’s website Raw Family.  Beautiful lady, beautiful kids. One of her beautiful children also has a website, Sergio Boutenko. His story is a great one. Be sure to read in all the nooks and crannies of each of these websites and blogs.

Another name you need to know in the world of Green Smoothies is Green Smoothie Girl, Robyn Openshaw.  At 45 years young, Robyn says she has never felt better in her life.  Green Smoothies, as well as a healthy, back-to-basics diet are responsible.  Robyn is introducing a whole new generation to Green Smoothies and her website is outstanding.  Be sure to watch the videos and read everything you can get your eyes on. The information is priceless.  She’s another beautiful lady with beautiful children.  Seems to be a trend…

Finally, you might want to check out the NutriBullet.  We recently got one and I love it muchly. I’ve used it each day (several times in fact) since it came into my kitchen.  Green smoothies are as delicious as they are nutritious and, this really shocked me… they’re filling! Will you want to drink green smoothies every meal for the rest of your life.  Heck no. But any meals throughout the week that you can replace with a healthier alternative is only a positive, and healthy, move.

I know you’ll get a lot out of each of the websites above. I hope you’ll read what each individual has to say, watch their videos, and (most importantly) try green smoothies for yourself.

Remember, when reading what other’s write about diets, nutrition, etc – you aren’t trying to be them. You don’t have to (and shouldn’t want to) mirror everything they do, say, or even eat.  Everyone has different physical needs and each person is, quite simply, different.  Don’t try to mimic anyone else’s diet per seSimply try to be a better, healthier version of YOU.

Also, focus more on adding healthy food(s) to you daily diet than you focus on what you’re giving up.  If you keep thinking about what you’re giving up or what’s missing, it’ll simply stay right there in your brain and, trust me, if it’s there, you will return for it! If I sound like the voice of experience, I am. A year long battle trying to give up diet soft drinks taught me well.  As soon as I began focusing on the good alternatives – and experimenting with different flavors and varieties of tea – I turned the corner, and a healthy one at that.

I stopped thinking, “I’m not going to drink a Diet Dr. Pepper today,” and instead thought, “Green tea, Passion tea, or black tea.. what will it be today?”  It sounds simplistic, but it works.  After a week with no diet soft drinks, I noticed that my rings were no longer tight.  Imagine that.

Cranberry Cooler Smoothie Recipe (From The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Smoothies)

3/4 cup water
1 TBS Maple Syrup
2 medium ripe pears or apples (your choice), cored and chopped
1 cup chopped cucumber
3/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup shopped fresh parsley

  1. In a high-speed blender, combine water, maple syrup, pears, cucumber, cranberries, celery, and parsley, layering ingredients to ensure proper blending.
  2. Blend until completely smooth.

Variation: If cranberries aren’t available, you can substitute other berries like blackberries or gooseberries. Also try replacing the celery with whole peeled oranges accompanied by 1/2 cup chopped fennel for more of a holiday flavor.

To Your Health:  This delicious and detoxifying smoothie makes a great Thanksgiving cocktail or a cooling summer companion.  Parsley, cucumbers, and cranberries are all well known for their tonifying effects on the kidneys, which can be very helpful if you’re trying to burn off heavy holiday food.  Drink this in the summer to keep your electrolytes replenished in the heat and to take advantage of your body’s natural tendency to detox during the warmer weather. – page 81 The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Smoothies.

You’re familiar with the word catalyst, right?  I think of a catalyst as an emotional spark plug – a stimulus that leads you to something else.  To me, the greatest thing about Green Smoothies is the fact that they can be a catalyst for healthier eating and cleaner living.  The “inventor” of green smoothies, Dr. Ann Wigmore is credited with one of my favorite quotes, and I think it’s a perfect one to end on: “The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”

The choice is ours.

~ Joi

Also See: Love reading? Live for books? I totally recommend She’s Got the Book for Fiction Book Reviews.

The Scary Diabetes Epidemic

Things We Can Do to Prevent Diabetes

Salad Eating healthy is a huge step in diabetes prevention.

According to the World Health Organization, there are about 346 million people worldwide with diabetes. If you think that’s alarming (and it is), make sure you’re sitting down before you read this next line: The International Diabetes Federation predicts that at least one in 10 adults could have diabetes by 2030, an estimated 552 million people.

If you’ve ever seen diabetes up close and personal, you know that it’s one brutal disease. I know you’re as anxious as I am to keep this monster out of your closet. The good news is that there ARE things we can do to lessen our odds of getting diabetes. With the estimates we just talked about, I’d say the time to start doing all we can do  is NOW and the time to stop doing all that we can is NEVER.

The American Diabetes Association Recommends the following steps to prevent diabetes:

  • Get active and stay active. Add more activity to your daily routine. If you have a sedentary job, make it a point to frequently stand and take walks. Stretch, lift weights, or just walk in place. Another great way to make sure you’re getting enough activity is to wear a pedometer. Aim for at least 10,000 steps a day. Being active doesn’t necessarily mean jogging or trips to the gym. It simply means getting that body moving – OFTEN!
  • Eat healthy foods.  Lay off the sugar and fried foods. Eat more (as in a lot more!) fruits and vegetables. If choosing healthy meals is a problem for you, you might want to register for MyFoodAdvisor. This freeonline resource provides you with new recipes, cooking tips, and a meal plan each month.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. If your current weight isn’t within a healthy range, move Heaven and earth to get it there.

One of the best weapons against diabetes is common sense.  We all know the foods that we should avoid and we know the foods we should eat more frequently. It’s time to stop messing around and get serious about this.

Before it’s too late.

More Dietary Guidelines for Eating Healthy:

  • Eat more meals at home.
  • Make fast food drive thrus a thing of the past.
  • Eat more salads – but lay off of the fattening dressings.
  • Make fruit your “go to” snack.
  • See Dr. Oz’s Anti-Diabetes Drink
  • Choose whole grains. Whole grains contain more fiber which not only help you feel fuller faster – they also keep blood sugar levels more stable. According to Bob Greene, “When you eat foods made with refined grain, like white bread or corn flake cereal, the glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream very quickly. On the other hand, whole grains take longer for the body to break down, so you get a much slower and less severe blood sugar spike. Start replacing your regular white bread and crackers with whole-grain versions, and trade in white rice for brown rice. Pasta is an exception; because of the way it’s made, even regular pasta promotes a relatively slow rise in blood sugar compared to other foods made with refined grains. Whole-wheat pasta is even easier on blood sugar. If you’re not a fan, try Barilla Whole Grain, which at 51 percent whole grain gives you some of the benefits but not the gritty taste, or Barilla PLUS, which has added fiber and protein. The meal plans in the book feature a number of tasty ways to incorporate more whole grains into your diet.

See The American Diabetes Association for more information about preventing diabetes.