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health | Your Healthiest You
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The Truth About Meditation {& Why You Shouldn’t Give Up Just Yet!}

April 14, 2015 | By | No Comments

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Over the past five years I’ve worked with hundreds of clients. One thing we always have to tackle is a fear of meditation. With as little as 3 minutes a day my clients notice better memory, more energy, and a greater enthusiasm for life. And all this with no expensive pills or products!! So the question is, why isn’t everyone doing it?!

Let’s face it. Sitting still with our eyes closed like some zen buddha isn’t that appealing.

It took me years to even get to 10 minutes four days a week. Luckily however, sitting legs crossed doesn’t even begin to describe the diverse options there are for getting in your 300 hundred seconds of daily stillness – in fact, you don’t even have to be still at all! Over the last few months, the women in my signature program and I have been experimenting with ways to modernize meditation and make it fun! Here’s what we’ve come up with:

– Journaling morning and/or evening.
– 3-5 deep, belly breaths. Try putting your hand on belly.
– Drinking a cup of tea or water with lemon and/or ginger undistracted.
– Dancing to a song.
– Listening to a guided or kundalini meditation.
– Cuddling with pets.
– Taking a bath.
– Reading stories with your kids.
– Laying on the floor in silence for five minutes.
– My favorite is just placing my hands on my body. Kind of like a self hug. I think, “I’m me. I got you. I’m here. This is my face. These are my arms. This is my chest. I’ve got you.” Now, breath into you.

In the end, we’ve decided that meditation is anything that helps you quickly feel calm and connected, any activity that helps you feel YOUR healthiest you {Tweet it!}.

Let us know your favorite way to meditate – traditional or not – via Facebook or take a pic and tag me on Instagram @robynyoukilis AND #yourhealthiestyou.

17 Feb

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Spiced Sweet Potato Fries [recipe]

February 17, 2015 | By | No Comments

Spiced Sweet Potato Fries

6 Servings

Ingredients:

3-4 sweet potatoes or yams

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Coarse sea salt

White pepper (black pepper works fine too)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash potatoes. Slice into sticks and place in large bowl.
  3. Drizzle on remaining ingredients and toss to distribute evenly.
  4. Spread coated potatoes in single layer on cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven, flip slices and bake another 10-20 minutes or until tender and browned (cooking time will vary depending on thickness of potato slices).
  6. Serve hot & enjoy!

27 Jan

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Macaroni and Four Cheeses [recipe]

January 27, 2015 | By | No Comments

Mac n cheese. Cheesy. Gooey. Healthy… wait what?! Yup, you read that right. Here’s my healthy version of the comfort food favorite. No guilt here while you dig your fork into this healthier mac batch!

Your Healthiest You Macaroni and Four Cheeses

8 servings

Ingredients:

Cooking spray – I like Coconut Oil

1 pound whole grain elbow macaroni

2 (10-ounce) packages frozen pureed winter squash

2 cups nonfat milk or rice milk

4 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar grated (about 1 1/3 cups)

2 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated (about 2/3 cup)

1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

1 ¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground white pepper

½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (okay to leave out if you don’t already have it)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon powdered mustard

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 tablespoons grated Parmesan

4 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs

2 teaspoons olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until tender but firm, about 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, place the frozen squash and milk into a large saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally and breaking up the squash with a spoon until defrosted. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until the mixture is almost simmering, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the Cheddar, Jack cheese, ricotta cheese, and all of the seasonings. Pour cheese mixture over the macaroni and stir to combine. Transfer the macaroni and cheese to the baking dish.  Don’t worry if mixture looks a little thin, it will thicken in the oven.
  5. Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan and oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes. Then broil for 3 minutes so the top is crisp and nicely browned.

 

20 Jan

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Winter Fruit Salad [recipe]

January 20, 2015 | By | No Comments

Winter Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

2 seedless oranges, peeled and sliced lengthwise

1 pomegranate or ready to serve pomegranate seeds

2 pears, sliced lengthwise thinly

1 apple, sliced thinly

Mix of dried apricots and Turkish figs, chopped

Handful of chopped fresh mint leaves

2 teaspoons agave nectar or other natural sweetener

Juice of one lemon

Directions:

  1. Combine fruit and dried fruit in a bowl.
  2. Drizzle with sweetener and lemon juice.  Add chopped mint.
  3. Allow to sit and marinate for at least 20 minutes before serving.
  4. You can serve in a bowl or plate and add extra mint on top.  

13 Jan

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Your Healthiest You Macaroons [recipe]

January 13, 2015 | By | No Comments

Your Healthiest You Macaroons

Ingredients:

2/3 cup pitted Medjool dates

1 ½ tablespoons coconut butter (can substitute coconut oil)

Optional: shredded coconut, cocoa powder

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients in a small Cuisinart or food processor.  You can also use a Magic Bullet or stick blender with cup attachment.
  2. Mix in your coconut if using.  You can also roll the balls in coconut after forming them.
  3. Pack mixture into a plastic bag and press firmly together.
  4. Remove mixture and form into small balls.
  5. Store in the refrigerator or freezer and enjoy!

 

07 Jan

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Stop Thinking About Your Resolutions and Go the Eff To Sleep [Part One]

January 7, 2015 | By | No Comments

I don’t know about you, but the New Year can bring up some anxiety for me.

The energy of everyone’s expectations often gets me worrying about what my year is going to bring – even though worrying is really not my thing. Questions like will the year ahead be easy? Frustrating? A year of learning? Or maybe of massive expansion? Lately I’ve been thinking about how to help my clients and community reframe their stories around resolutions and it’s been keeping me up at night. Which brings me to what I think is really at the heart of the matter…

It’s time to drop our thoughts and just go the f*ck to sleep!

Insomnia’s the worst, right? You lay in bed. Tossing. Turning. Praying. You’ve peed twice. Gotten a sip of water. Adjusted your pillows ten zillion times. Counted sheep. Heck maybe you even created a rambling to-do list in the darkness hoping it would help. But none of it does.

So what can you do when your mind just won’t shut off?

::: You stare it in the face :::

Here’s the 5 step process that worked to get me out of my head and into a hard fast sleep (more than a few times this week!):

1. Sit up in bed.
2. Breathe like so – in for a count of five, hold for a count of five, exhale for a count of five, hold the exhalation for a count of five (or as close a you can get). Repeat until you feel a sense of calm throughout your body.
3. Return to your natural breathing rhythm.
4. Ask yourself, “Are you ready to sleep now?” If the answer you hear is “Yes” lay back down. Resting one hand on your heart and the other on your belly, follow the flow of your breath and rhythm of your heartbeat allowing them to lull you back to sleep. If the answer you hear is “No” literally ask yourself the next question(s), “Why are you not sleeping (your name)? What do you need to work through, get out, write down, move past?” Listen for the answer, then breathe it in. Tell your body, “I am listening and will take action tomorrow. Everything is taken care of. You are safe. You are listened to. You are loved. It is okay for you to go to sleep now.” Complete this question answer series until you feel yourself settling into a peaceful resting state.
5. Go the f*ck back to sleep.

Next time you’re stuck awake at night try this out and let me know how it goes on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter @robynyoukilis and use the hashtag #yourhealthiestyou. You can also tweet out these tips by clicking here!

06 Jan

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Sweet Balsamic Collards With Pine Nuts [Recipe]

January 6, 2015 | By | No Comments

Sweet Balsamic Collards With Pine Nuts

Recipe from Healthy Cooking Camp

Servings: 2, Time: 7 minutes

Ingredients:

  •       1 bunch collard greens, deveined, washed and chopped
  •       1 teaspoon extra virgin coconut oil
  •       1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  •       1 small handful yellow raisins
  •       1 handful pine nuts
  •       Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Start by lightly steaming the collard greens for about 2-3 minutes

Then heat up a pan with your extra virgin coconut oil.  Add in your collard greens, season with salt and pepper and sauté lightly for about 1 minute.  Then add the balsamic vinegar and raisins.  Mix well to let the flavors marry and cook for about 1 more minute.

Put greens in a beautiful bowl and garnish with pine nuts.

SWAPS:

  1. Not into collards?  This recipe works great with any dark leafy green.  Try kale or swiss chard
  2. Swap pine nuts for slivered almonds, they’re a little more budget friendly
  3. Out of regular raisins?  We also love currants, dried cranberries, chopped dried figs and yellow raisins
  4. No extra virgin coconut oil?  Sesame oil works well with dark leafies
  5. Want to make this a complete meal?  Layer a slice of toasted sourdough, the collards and pine nuts and an egg cooked to your liking

01 Jan

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Let’s Do This 2015!!!

January 1, 2015 | By | No Comments

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Happy New Year friends!!

Cheers to another year of fabulous food, epic adventures and your healthiest you yet!

This year I’m going to be talking lots more about our favorite topic – digestion! If there’s anything in particular you’d like to learn more about when it comes to your belly and your body just hit reply and let me know! I have a very special announcement coming soon…

Loving you all!

30 Dec

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Vanilla Roasted Nuts

December 30, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hosting a holiday party? Let me guess… you want it to be festive, you want to impress your guests and you want them to feel light and vibrant after the party. I’ve got the perfect party food for you – Vanilla Roasted Nuts! Sprinkle this healthy yet impressive snack throughout the house and watch your guests eat them, and you, up!

Vanilla Roasted Nuts

Servings: 8-12

Total Time: 6-7 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups walnuts, raw

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup

  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Dash of ground cinnamon

Directions

Place nuts and oil in nonstick pan and turn heat to high.

As soon as you hear the slightest sizzle, turn heat down to medium or low and toast walnuts a few minutes until they smell nice and nutty.

Add maple syrup and vanilla extract and continue stirring them around the pan for a minute or two. Then add salt and cinnamon, and continue to stir for another minute.

Spread the nut mixture out onto a tray (a baking tray is good) and allow them to cool completely before eating. (They just taste better when they’re cooled!)

Swaps

  • Instead of walnuts use pecans

  • Make them more savory by mixing in 1 teaspoon of dried herbs (we love rosemary) while adding in the cinnamon

  • You can always use extra virgin olive oil in place of the coconut oil

  • Instead of vanilla extract, try changing the whole flavor profile with almond or coconut extract

  • For a little kick in the pants, add in 1 tiny pinch of cayenne pepper (a little goes a long way) along with OR in place of the cinnamon

24 Dec

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Ho-ho-hungry Holiday Pancakes [recipe]

December 24, 2014 | By | No Comments

Holiday eats can be over-the-top indulgent. You know, to the point where you find yourself paralyzed in a food coma before you even ripped any wrapping paper off your presents.

How about we avoid that this year by starting your Christmas celebrations with these super easy and omg delicious {vegan} pancake recipe? They’ll trick you into thinking you’re having a early morning holiday treat, minus the afternoon crash.

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Let me know how Santa and his little elves enjoy them?

Vegan Pancakes

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cups gluten free flour mix

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk

1 tablespoon maple syrup, plus more for serving (optional)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Coconut oil

Fresh fruit for serving

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the gluten free flour mix, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, and mix well.
  2. Pour in the almond {or coconut} milk, maple syrup, and vanilla, and mix until smooth.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat.
  4. Coat the pan with coconut oil. Pour a heaping spoonful of pancake batter onto the hot pan, and cook until bubbles form. Then flip, and cook the other side.
  5. Make eight pancakes, and serve with fresh fruit!

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