Friday, July 31, 2009

Three Steps to Fit into your Bikini next week!

It's never too late! Look in the mirror and say: Yes you can wow your friends at the beach or pool party next week!

*Step 1: Control your Eating Habits! It's so simple and so easy! If you find yourself reaching for a muffin or spooning sugar into your Latte, STOP and think of how FIT you will look if you just say NO! If you're trying to look curvier in your bikini (like me), then choose larger portions of lean protein, and whole grain breads rather than Dimple-Producing white breads and refined sugars! And, if you're trying to lose a couple of inches, then cut portion sizes and stick with the foods that leave you feeling light. Avoid foods that leave you feeling a serving of Lasagna would. Veggies, Fruits, Greens, Lean Protein! Consult with your doctor before changing your diet in any way.

*Step 2: Pilates! 2 hours a day will get you sweating, and working those long lean muscles into shape. Pilates lessons can be found online on Youtube or On Demand through your cable provider! Your gym will also definitely have a Pilates Class--Pilates is one of my favorite workouts for building long lean muscle tissue and lengthening the legs and arms. Target Abs, Legs, Hips, Glutes, and your Core. Don't forget your eco-friendly water bottle to keep you hydrated throughout your workouts.

*Step 3: Dance! Cardio can be boring, especially jogging, running, or even cycling. Even the most dedicated spinner may find cycling monotonous. When you're starting something new, you have to make it EXCITING! So find the nearest stereo and turn on some dance music, hit your favorite nightclub dancefloor, or take a dance class at the gym! Salsa, Merengue, Hip Hop, Swing, or even Belly Dancing will get your heart pumping and you'll have fun at the same time.

Being Fit and Healthy is a lifestyle for me and means more to me than simply fitting into a bikini--it means being Strong Inside and Out! I have a stronger immune system now, I have increased my endurance, and improved my self-confidence and performance overall. This is a Whole Body process connecting Mind-Body-Spirit. When you begin to feel confident as you are, you will begin to see the results you want in life!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Be Eco-Savvy this Summer! It's Simple, It's Hot, and It's Guaranteed to Boost your Good Karma Vibes! Got kids? Teach them to be little Green Monsters and reward them for each good Green deed done around the house!

Save H2O!!

  • Cutting back 10% of your water usage will not only help conserve your city's water supply, but will save you some green each month on your water bill. Some cities in SoCal are even monitoring water usage and citing residents caught watering their lawns during peak hours!

  • Fix leaky faucets and pipes! Get out that tool belt and Let out your inner handy man or hire a professional! This is the time to stop throwing $$ down the drain literally.

  • Conserve and Reuse water around the house: need examples? Water your plants with water used to cook pasta, turn on the dishwasher when it is really full, don't use running water to thaw foods, collect cold water while you're waiting for it to heat up, shorten your shower, and shut off the water while you shave or brush teeth! A little bit of consideration goes a long way!

Save Energy!!

  • Set your thermostat to the highest temp possible.

  • Turn on your ceiling fans to circulate the cool air. This is a great way to save on your energy bill!

  • Unplug appliances that are not in use! Small electrical currents continue to run through appliances that are plugged in even when they are off!

  • Turn off the Computer or TV when you leave the room.

  • Run your dishwasher and do your laundry in the evening! This may not save you tons of money on your bill if you're on a flat-rate system, but it will reduce the strain on the power grid during peak hours when everyone is running their A/C systems!

More Eco-Savvy Tips:

  • Skip the plastic water bottles! Buy an aluminum bottle that you can reuse over and over!

  • Already Eco-Savvy? Buy someone you know an aluminum water bottle or a few canvas shopping bags! It feels good to give.

  • Getting your children involved in being Eco-Savvy is not only important for our environment, but also for teaching kids responsibility and confidence! When kids contribute to the household and help out--they feel important! This is the beginning of the development of their own self-esteem and self confidence.

  • Don't let those eco-canvas-totes sit in your pantry or in the back of your car! Use them each time you go shopping. Some grocery stores provide a discount if you don't use their plastic bags--hey, every quarter counts! Plus, you're setting a cool green example!

  • Buy reusable every chance you get!

  • Go Paperless! Get all your bank and credit card statements, utility bills, and even Magazine subscriptions Online!

Got More Eco-Savvy Ideas? Spread the Green Love and Post them here!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Skinny on Dairy

Feeling Itchy lately? Bloated? Congested? You may want to take a closer look at Milk!

A common misconception is that a Dairy Allergy and Lactose Intolerance are the same condition. In fact, they are two separate reactions to different components of Cow's Milk.

An Intolerance signals the lack of the enzyme Lactase which helps the body digest the complex sugar molecule, Lactose, in the small intestine. Without being broken down, the Lactose molecules then make their way to the large intestine where they cause a myriad of digestive problems which, let's just say, can effectively ruin any social occasion! This is not an immune response.

Dairy Allergies on the other hand are an immune response to the Casein or Whey Proteins in Milk that can result in asthma, nasal congestion, anaphylactic shock, eczema, and a severely itchy skin rash! *Have you ever been told to avoid milk when you have a cold/sinus infection? That's because the release of histamine in reaction to milk will exacerbate the stuffiness and congestion of your nasal tissues! A person can have allergies to different parts of milk, but most often, the protein is the culprit. Millions of people live with dairy allergies and dismiss the symptoms as seasonal allergies. There could be a delayed response (e.g. a rash appearing 24-48 hours after ingestion) or an immediate response (e.g. anaphylactic shock or nasal congestion).

If you've ever developed an unexplained itchy bumpy rash on your skin, you may have a milk allergy triggered by toxic levels of casein or whey in your body!

"Why am I allergic now, if I've been drinking Milk all my life?" The truth is: Today's Milk is NOT the same as the Milk we used to drink 20, 30, 40 years ago!

Stuff you can now find in Milk:

  • Growth Hormones
  • Antibiotics to treat cow infections
  • Pus
  • Blood
  • Steroids

Another reason to try Soy, Rice, or Almond Milk: There is a sad byproduct of the Milk Industry: VEAL. Cows are impregnated to keep up milk production, so what happens to the millions of baby cows? Most become VEAL.

As optimistic as I am that more and more people will begin to avoid cow's milk altogether, I know that it will take time. Milk is found in MANY processed food products like Cereals, Bread, Chips, Protein Bars, even canned Tuna and Deli Meats. Eating healthy, nutrient rich foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, and legumes fuels your body, your brain, and keeps you feeling strong and rejuvenated. Think twice next time you go for that Latte or reach for the butter. There are some excellent alternatives! Check out for resources and links.

These videos are worth watching.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Shopping Green!

Where To Shop!?

So you've decided to take the first steps in Going Green! Congratulations and Thank You. So, what's next, you ask? This week, i'm bringing you the facts about Where To Shop.

Shopping locally is usually my rule of thumb when it comes to purchasing produce and even dairy and eggs-- if you can purchase goods from local sustainable growers and farmers, then you should! The obvious first reason is: you are, in essence, decreasing the demand for long distance transport for items you can purchase locally. The freeways are packed with large transport vehicles used to transport endless goods and if we can do our little part in reducing the transport of goods you can purchase from local farms, then we are doing a huge part in helping the environment in the long run (think: Cleaner Air). Another reason is you are helping the local economy! We don't want to lose our local farmers and growers--they are an integral part of the economic stability of our community.

I'm not discouraging purchasing Avocados from Chile or Mangoes from Mexico, but I am encouraging a more conscious shopping experience! Remember, if fruits or vegetables look perfect (i.e. waxy and shiny, unblemished) then they were probably sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals. Don't be afraid to buy organic fruits even though they may have a bruise or two!

Certain Fruits and Vegetables are safe to buy non-organic, especially when family budgets are tight (Also known as: OK to buy imported!!):

  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Limes
  • Lemons
  • Other Citrus (the pesticides do not get through)
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Kiwi
  • Avocadoes
  • Broccoli/Cauliflower
  • Corn
  • Asparagus

Certain Fruits and Veggies, you should always prefer organic, or peel outer layer if you buy non-organic (Also Known As: Try to Buy Local!!):

  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Lettuce
  • Zucchini/other Squash
  • Cucumber
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Other Berries
  • Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears

**I personally do not spend extra money on organic bananas when the budget does not allow, however, When we Shop for Organic Produce, we are increasing the demand for products from responsible, sustainable growers. So, if you can afford to do so, i strongly recommend always purchasing organic!

Last month, June 2009, Greenpeace USA, the nonprofit, independent organization which "acts to expose global environmental problems and achieve solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future," published the Carting Away the Oceans Retailer Scorecard report. Their findings will hopefully help consumers make informed decisions regarding where they spend their money when shopping for Seafood!

The purpose of this research was originally to inform the retailers the effect their seafood sales were having on marine life. Another purpose was to reward the sustainable and responsible retailers through public awareness of their practices. Since the original report was released one year ago, June 2008, some of the retailers have improved their practices and business operations while several others have not. I was happy to find that my favorite neighborhood store, Vons (Safeway) is among the Top 5 on the list and the company has continued to make "strides toward a more sustainable seafood regime since the original release of Carting Away the Oceans." The report is impressive and informative, please click the link below to the full pdf version of the publication.

Happy Green Shopping!

Next Week: Stocking your Green Kitchen!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Karinna's Red, White, and Blue-berry Pancakes

I love getting patriotic in the kitchen! A true American tradition gone green: Here's my "Verde" twist on a good old American treat.
Wake up your family with my yummy pancakes this weekend and let the aroma of warming berries and buttery pastries fill your home with happiness.
I make my pancakes from scratch, but if you'll be short on time, make sure and whip together the dry ingredients the night before so all you have to do is add the soymilk, egg, and oil. I created this recipe a few months ago when my son and twin daughters were craving pancakes and I was out of the store-bought mix. Most of these ingredients are already in your pantry!!
Red, White, and Blue-berry Pancakes
**Vegetarian Recipe (See Vegan Recipe Alternative Below)
1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 large brown Egg
1 tbsp Sugar
2 tbsp Canola Oil
1 c Silk Soymilk
1/4 c Flax Meal (I recommend Barleans)
Handful Fresh Raspberries
Handful Fresh Blueberries
Earth Balance Vegan Butter Spread for pan
Preheat your griddle or pan. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, mix together the milk, sugar, egg, and oil. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined, then add the berries. Cook on heated griddle for about 2.5 minutes per side. Makes about 6 medium sized pancakes!
VEGAN alternative (the way I cook mine): For each egg, mix together equal parts soymilk and flax meal.
Get Creative: Throw in some cooked Quinoa, more Flax, or Rolled Oats!!!


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