3 Amazing Facts About Your Heart You Didn’t Know That Can Positively Impact Your Day

Today I want to share 3 facts about your heart that you probably don’t know that could make a positive difference in your life.

Since becoming a HeartMath Resilience Coach, I’ve learned some amazing things about the human heart that you’ll be interested to know.

  1. Negative emotions like anger and frustration can create nervous system chaos, but positive emotions do the opposite. This is known as cortical inhibition.
  2. Positive emotions like gratitude, ease, and joy can increase your brain’s ability to make good decisions. 
  3. The heart communicates more information to the brain, than the brain does to the heart. Through learning to manage your stress differently, you can actually change how your nervous system reacts to stress–translation–>you can change your baseline so that your normal day-to-day stress doesn’t take such a toll on your ability to focus and be creative, sustain your energy levels throughout the day, and feel more emotionally balanced.

Isn’t your heart awesome?! Now that you know what a key player your feelings play on your physical health and quality of life, here’s some action steps you can make to give yourself the advantage.

  1. Start your day appreciating something–pick whatever comes to mind and let yourself feel gratitude for a few seconds or as long as you like. This is part of Pleasure Meditation and you’ll notice how much better your day starts when you do this.
  2. When you take bathroom breaks, take a couple of deep breaths and reflect on what’s going right with your day so far.
  3. Find an excuse to laugh. A cascade of biochemical benefits occur when we laugh, so try to find some humor each day and get in a good belly laugh as often as possible.

Thanks for joining me and I’m wishing you a day filled with gratitude and playfulness!

In health & happiness,

~Rebecca

Bec’s Spaghetti Bolognese

Do you love spaghetti? Spaghetti was a staple food for me growing up and I could eat it 3 times a day and be happy as a clam.

My Dad, who was Italian, made amazing homemade sauce. Unfortunately, the spaghetti sauce was put onto processed, white pasta (full of gluten, very high in starch, low in nutrients). To support my and my family’s health as well as everyone like you who is looking for ways to incorporate healthy, delicious meals, the noodles in this recipe are spaghetti squash (nature’s spaghetti!).

Ingredients:

  • 2 large 24 oz. can (or glass bottle) of tomato sauce or strained tomatoes~either texture is yummy. If you are using canned tomato sauce, I really like Muir Glen Organic sauce.
  • 2 pounds grass-fed ground beef (or 1 lb ground beef and 1 lb Italian sausages, pastured pork OR grass-fed beef, sliced into bite sizes)
  • 1/2-1 lb “pet food” (ground beef and ground organ meats). This ingredient is optional, but I kid you not, it makes the sauce AWESOME and you can’t tell there’s organ meats in there but you get all the benefit (huge dose of iron and fat soluble vitamins). More stores are selling this or you can ask your butcher if they’ll grind up some organ meat for you. If you can’t find it locally, you can order it from U.S. Wellness Meats and keep it in the freezer to add to meatloaves, hamburgers and any meat sauces.
  • 1 can large black olives (preferably without ferrous sulfate in the ingredients)
  • 2 tsps. ea rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, sea salt, black pepper
  • 1 cup cubed Shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 tsp. fennel seed (optional)
  • Garlic (3-4 cloves finely chopped), onion (1 yellow, finely chopped), and green bell pepper are optional
  • 1 large spaghetti squash

How To:

  1. Brown ground meat and sliced Italian sausage in a large pot on medium heat with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. If you are using garlic, onion, and bell pepper, add to the mix when about halfway cooked, approx. 5 mins.
  2. Add tomato sauce and spices, put lid on and cook on low-med heat.
  3. Wash outside of spaghetti squash. Use a sharp knife to poke a couple of holes in the skin and then put into a glass dish and into the oven for 1 hr at 375 degrees.
  4. Remove squash from oven and cut in half (horizontally). Allow to cool for about 10 minutes and then use a spoon to remove the seeds from the center (easy). Use a fork to scrape out the strands of noodles and add them to the pot of sauce.  Stir so that noodles are covered with meaty sauce.
  5. Chop up Shiitake mushrooms into bite-sized pieces and add. Drain and add olives and continue cooking for at least 30 minutes so the flavors blend (this meal is even better the next day after refrigerating overnight and re-heating!)
  6. Serve in a bowl, optionally with Parmesan cheese  and/or over a bed of spinach. Enjoy!

My daughter has requested this meal for her birthday dinner since she was 4 yrs old. 🙂

Healthy Chocolate Milkshake

Who says that cravings have to be unhealthy? Years ago when I was pregnant, I had serious chocolate milkshake cravings for about a week. Luckily, this recipe did the trick without any nutritional backlash like crashing energy, skin breakouts, or sugar cravings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole raw cow’s milk (or milk alternative of choice such as coconut or almond)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream (or coconut cream)
  • 2 T grass-fed collagen hydrolysate (to support blood sugar balance, healthy hair/skin/nails/connective tissue/bones)
  • 1.5 T raw cacao powder
  • 6 drops liquid chocolate stevia (plain or vanilla stevia is also delicious!)
  • Ice (3/4 cup)
  • A delicious option is to add a small, barely ripe banana to this mixture. If you don’t tolerate carbs well, leave it out.

Mix in a blender and enjoy!

Herbed Turkey Ricotta Meatballs

Today I want to share a delicious immune boosting recipe with you that my 6 yr old daughter and I made last week. There’s so many bad colds going around right now so its the perfect time to ramp up your immune system with awesome recipes like this one.

Before that though, I’d like to share a few tips about how busy folks like you who get stressed out at the thought of cooking can make it more fun.

Making Cooking & Meal Prep Fun

Once a week, make a date with yourself, and possibly a friend or family member, to prepare a meal together.
Why will this be good for you, you might be wondering?
2 reasons:
1) We’re all so busy with work, family, errands, social life. Cooking together  is multitasking at its finest! It’s a great way to connect with each other, relieve some stress, have fun, and turn food prep–which many of us find boring–into a teamwork experience.
2) I know I’m not alone here: cooking can feel like a chore. But when you prepare a meal with someone, you share the workload. This is especially nice for parents who work all day and don’t want to have to make dinner–they want to relax and spend some quality time with their kids and spouse. If you’re cooking with your kids, give them simple things to help with and then talk about something they find fun or interesting. Make it so they’ll want to cook with you. It’s a win-win. They learn great life skills (knowing how to prepare yummy healthy food is awesome!), they also learn the importance of contributing, and you get to hang out and talk as you work together to put dinner on the table.

Meatball time!

This recipe is a great immune booster because its loaded with fresh Italian parsley, basil and garlic. These ingredients pack quite an immune boosting punch so if you are getting sick or recovering from getting sick, this recipe is:

  • Full of antioxidants which help you fight colds and other infections.
  • Garlic is anti-bacterial and anti-viral.
  • The fresh herbs and marinara sauce are loaded with vitamin C, a classic immune boosting vitamin.
  • Basil can also be helpful for both coughs and fevers.

These meatballs go well with a side salad or eggplant parmesan for extra vitamins and minerals (we ate them with eggplant parmesan last week, which was super yummy).

Ingredients for meatballs:

  • 2 lbs ground turkey thigh
  • 1.5 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 3/4 Tablespoon sea salt

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Ingredients for marinara sauce:

  • 1 large can organic crushed tomatoes (28 oz.)
  • 4-5 cloves of finely chopped or minced garlic (set aside for about 10 minutes before cooking so all the good immune boosting components get activated).
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

How to:

  1. Get 2 cookie sheets and coat them with coconut oil so the meatballs don’t stick.
  2. Preheat your oven to 425.
  3. Get a big bowl and mix up all ingredients thoroughly.
  4.  Roll into meatballs about 1.5-2 tablespoons big in size.
  5. When your baking trays are full, stick them in the oven for 30-45 minutes (smaller meatballs cook faster).
  6. While they’re baking, put all the sauce ingredients into a medium-sized pot and heat on low-med heat.
  7. When the meatballs are done, toss them into the sauce. You can eat it right away or let them cook together for 10 minutes or so to blend the flavors.

SOOOO good! And so good for you!

If you’re loving recipes like this one, email me and let me know. And while you’re at it, I’d love to hear about what health successes you’ve had lately or where you may be feeling stuck with your health progress so that I can provide tips or recipes that can help you out.

Wishing you health and happiness!
~Rebecca

Grain free pizzettes!

When it’s pouring rain outside, don’t you just love tossing something delicious into the oven?

Here is a mouth-watering, easy recipe for you to try! Great as an appetizer, aside a salad or veggie side dish, or snack~and fun to prepare with friends or kids!

Ingredients

  • 2 packages Applegate Farms organic pepperoni, large slices (or any brand that you love)
  • 1 can organic pizza sauce (tomatoes get heavily sprayed with pesticides so go organic whenever you can)
  • 1/2 lb-3/4 lb whole mozzarella, preferably organic, cut into cubes or slices about 1 inch wide or grated
  • 1 cup fresh organic baby spinach
  • Optional toppings: bell pepper, Italian sausage, mushrooms, olives, etc.

How to

  • Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Separate the pepperoni into mini pizzettes and fill both cookie sheets (use 2 slices stacked on top of each other; this is the “crust” of each pizzette).

  • Add a dollop (1-2 teaspoons) of pizza sauce on top of each pizzette.
  • Add 2-3 spinach leaves and then add desired amount of cheese.
  • Bake at 375 until cheese melts (12-15 mins).
  • Once on your plate, you can add additional toppings if you desire or enjoy as is!

Enjoying new & delicious, healthier recipes like this one helps you sustain your health improvements long-term without feeling deprived.

Until next time, I’m wishing you health & happiness!
~Rebecca

Vitamin L?

Vitamin L is a vital nutrient that improves blood vessel function and increases blood flow and may prevent heart disease, reduces pain, reduces physical tension and relaxes muscles, boosts your immune system, strengthens the deep muscles of your belly, and can instantly reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

Where do you get Vitamin L?

Laugh, laugh, and laugh some more! Laughing is a great example of how boosting your health can be easy and awesome.
When’s the last time you laughed so hard you snorted? Like the laughter burst out of you so quickly that you made a weird sound and that only made you laugh harder.


Feel free to send me your comments (including silly jokes)!

~Rebecca

Egg muffins

This is a super convenient recipe to help you get a healthy breakfast in the morning so you can rock your day!

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 7.37.03 PM

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 large pastured eggs
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 6 slices pastured bacon
  • Optional: Bell pepper, mushrooms, onions

HOW TO:

  1. Chop up bacon and cook on medium heat till done.
  2. Add in veggies and cook on low heat for 3-5 mins.
  3. Mix eggs up in a bowl and add bacon and veggies. Scoop/pour into lined muffin tray and cook on 325 for 20 mins or until eggs have puffed up.

Taking action for the life you want!

Last week you discovered the 2nd key to better health & happiness so you can look and feel awesome. Click here if you missed it.

Today, you’re going to learn about the 3rd and final key called act.
Let’s quickly recap and put it all together so you can move forward with confidence and excitement!
Key 1 is reflect. This is where you took a moment to look at your habits from the outside and see which tools you currently use. Key 2 is define. This is where you got clear on what you deeply desire for yourself & and your health.
Now, you’ll layer in the act key. This allows you to transfer your current habits and what you want into smart action.

Be grateful: you’ve essentially created a pathway to your health goals with blinking arrows next to them, so that if followed, will lead you toward what you ultimately desire for yourself.
Here’s how you take smart action: you apply any current habits you can to your why (you can also call your why your goal). Any habits that push you further from what you desire most from your health must be upgraded and replaced. You can do this slowly over time or go for the “cold turkey” approach. The point is to take some smart action every day, one day at a time.

Additional guidance

If you are still unsure where to start, here’s a useful exercise. Make 2 lists (they don’t need to be long). The first list is your responses to the questions~when you were healthiest, what did you love about your life? What were you able to do that is hard or feels impossible for you now? What were you doing then to support that great healthy feeling (what were you eating, how were you moving your body, what support did you have)?
For list two, answer the questions~If your health isn’t where you’d like it to be, what is continually more challenging (for example: playing with your family or friends, focusing and being productive at work, sex life)? How are you suffering or struggling because of the action you’re currently taking?
The answers that you’ll come up with will tell you exactly where action needs to happen AND reinforce why taking action is important to you.
Here’s an example: One of my clients came to me because she wanted to lose 15 pounds because the excess body fat was taxing to her joints, she felt tired a lot which made her less productive at work and anti-social with her friends, and didn’t encourage intimacy in her relationship. She remembered how much better she felt when she was taking walks most days, not skipping meals or reaching for processed foods/drinks (and eating quality, whole foods), and taking some time for herself to recharge. Somewhere along the way, these had fallen by the wayside and she’d forgotten that they’d ever been a habit. She’d also forgotten why they’d been important to her in the first place. Stress had caused her to lose focus and put her self-care on the back burner…and then it felt impossible to get back to where she’d been.
Going through the 3 keys reflect, define and act served as a way for her to re-commit wholeheartedly. Now she’s dropped that 15 pounds, has more energy and creativity at work, wants to connect socially, and has more desire in her romantic relationship. In other words, she got what she focused on and put action toward. That is truly what it comes down to. Now, sometimes the stress in our lives causes deeper shifts to occur (hormone imbalance, nutrient deficiencies, etc) and it isn’t as simple as returning to what worked for us before. If this sounds like you, I want to hear from you. Email me at rebecca@choosinghealthnow.com.
Getting what you deeply desire for your health may simply be the return to doing what worked best for you before. Start there. And then let your imagination ponder…what gifts will emerge for you?

Sending you health and wealth,
~Rebecca

Boosting your health just got easier!

You already know that “stress” is a common culprit linked to every major disease. But what is stress? And how do you measure it? Today you’ll learn the answers to these questions and a simple tool you can use to gain and sustain your greatest asset: your health.

What is stress?

Stress is an umbrella term for anything that gets in the way of your body doing its best:

  • Lack of sleep, poor diet, deficiency of vitamins and minerals, infections and pathogens, and lack of emotional self-regulation (i.e. not having tools for managing your feelings and stress level throughout the day) are some common examples I see in my practice.

How do you measure stress?

There are many great tools for measuring stress. The one you’re going to learn about today has been well researched, is easy to use, and is becoming the gold standard in identifying whether your autonomic nervous system function (controls breathing, heartbeat, and many other vital duties) and overall health are at increased risk.
It’s called heart rate variability or HRV for short.

This is how it works. Your heart has variation between beats. Some people have very little variation and others have more and this is something you can measure with a device that measures HRV. Stress impacts this variation and leads to lower HRV. Lower HRV is a strong and independent risk factor for future health problems and is associated with diabetes, heart failure, autoimmune disease, impaired mental performance, being overweight, etc.
By using a tool called Inner Balance, you can measure your HRV and help manage your stress before it becomes an irreversible health condition. This is a wonderful opportunity!

Managing Stress & Improving HRV

Chances are, your HRV score is going to be an invaluable eye opener and you are going to be inspired to seize the opportunity before you. You can manage your stress and gain the health advantage by eating a clean, unprocessed diet; drinking plenty of filtered water; getting sufficient quality sleep, and managing your emotional stressthroughout the day.

Need support? You’re not alone! The majority of us get the best results when we get expert coaching, a tailored plan, and accountability. I’d love to connect with you and empower you with the tools you need to unlock your best health, beauty and purpose.

~Rebecca

3 Nutritious Delicious Noodle Replacements!

Do you love finding foods & recipes that taste great, help you have more energy, and load your hard-working mind & body up with nutrients? Who wouldn’t?!
This week I’m sharing with you 3 AWESOME noodle replacements and quick, easy recipes to try them in.

Why substitute for wheat, rice, or gluten-free pastas at all?
Well, there’s A LOT of good research and books on this topic. The quick and dirty reasons are that grain-based pastas are all high in starch (makes it easy for your hormones to go from fat burning to fat storing and for your energy to spike and then crash). Grain flours also tend to be inflammatory, difficult on digestion (may lead to leaky gut), and displace more nutrient-dense foods in your diet (they pack a big calorie punch, but fall short in delivering the nutrition your body needs).
You may not think you’ve got inflammation, and maybe you don’t, but check out the 6 signs of it:

  • Overweight, fatigued, achy, skin issues, autoimmune disease, and allergies or infections.

It’s more common than you might think and your food choices make a huge difference in whether you have it.
So wouldn’t you agree that it’s worth trying some alternatives?

Here they are! Zoodles, Caboodles, and Poodles!
To get the long strands that look like noodles (zoodles and poodles), you’ll need a spiral slicer. This is the one I have (inexpensive and is holding up great over the years). You can also use a veggie peeler (takes longer and different shape, but it works).
Zoodles are made with zucchini and are high in potassium, Vit C, Vit A, folate and provide some great fiber too.

Caboodles are made with cabbage and are a great source of Vit K, B vitamins, Vit C, potassium, manganese and fiber.

Poodles…don’t freak out! We’re talking about parsnips not pets! Parsnips are high in fiber, B-vitamins, Vit C, calcium, iron and anti-oxidants (protect your cells against damage).


Here’s a bonus noodle replacement and recipe you’re sure to love!

You’re going to love swapping these veggie noodles out for traditional pasta and your health will thank you! Enjoy!

~Rebecca