Hawaiian Sea Salts

With various illnesses on the rise, such as high blood pressure and autoimmune diseases, people are on the hunt to find healthier alternatives to traditional salt. If you remember a few months ago, I created a small post on Himalayan Pink Salt and its benefits. Well today, I wanted to circle back around and share a couple of wonderful salts from Hawaii.

First, the reasons why table salt is not good for you, is because it has no nutritional value. Yes, I am speaking of the lovely blue cylinder container, with the girl in the yellow dress holding the purple umbrella...yep, no bueno! Of course, there are other table salts, but this is the most common of them all. The mining process of table salt breaks it down to sodium chloride. It is, like the boxes on the shelves with expiration dates, over chemically processed.

With that being said, I challenge you to research the health benefits of these two tasty Hawaiian sea salts:

Hawaiian Alaea Sea Salt
Hawaiian Black Lava Salt
I would love to read what information you have found. Please take the time to comment below and let's have a healthy discussion on your findings! Also, these salts can be purchased in health food stores and online sites like Vitacost.

Healthy Living at Houston Community College Part II

Today, I was back at another Houston Community College speaking with faculty members about health and wellness. Thank you so much to the staff for allowing me the opportunity to provide nutrition education. I hope to work with more of your campuses!!

To learn more about HCC, click here.

Vegetarian Eggs

During my workshops, I receive a lot of questions concerning vegetarian eggs and the reason they are called "vegetarian" when they are produced by chickens. I thought this would be a great topic explaining why, so that you can make your own decision as to eat veggie chickens or not!
First, I want you to imagine a farm with a large cage, filled with 20 chickens. Now, to the side of this cage, there is a smaller cage with 10 chickens. Can you visualize this? Good!  Ok so, the 20 chickens in the larger cage are typically fed scraps from the farm - which may include other chicken parts, pigs and cows. In addition to their diet, they could also be injected with hormones and antibiotics.

On the other hand, the 10 chicks in the smaller cage are fed a strictly vegetarian diet. Their feed has no hormones, antibiotics or other animal by-products. However, they do eat foods rich in omega-3, which means you get an added dose of essential fatty acids by eating them! Sometimes, if a farmer is raising chicks, he/she may opt out of raising the other 20 and allow for these 10 to roam free (minus the cage) on the farm.

Call me a not-so optimist when it comes to grocery stores and "organic" labels, but I always tell people that the best way to truly tell that your food is what it claims to be, is to grow/produce it yourself! If you are not able to, find a local farmer and build a solid relationship with them. I have met several people who own a farm for their personal use and/or they sell to consumers. Also, the farmer's market is a safe gamble.
*I do want to add, I am not a vegetarian or vegan. The diet that I identify with is the "flexitarian" diet (Google it!). I typically purchase regular Grade A eggs*

Minimizing Stress

According to The American Medical Association, "stress is the basic cause of more than 60% of all human illness and disease." As someone who used to get "stressed out" often, I am not surprised that these numbers are not higher. 

If you click on this link, you will be redirected to the Heart Math website. Be sure to read about the 5 facts associated with stress and how it affects the body.

Here are some simple tips that worked for me to reduce stress:

Tip 1: eat healthy and maintain a well-balanced diet (daily)
Tip 2: get at least 7 hours of rest a night
Tip 3: learn basic meditation techniques (an iPhone app that I use is Calm)
Tip 4: try yoga and deep breathing exercises
Tip 5: keep a journal

Benefits of Flaxseeds

One of my staple ingredients that is always added to my green smoothies are flaxseeds! These tiny seeds may appear to serve no purpose, but they are actually filled with a ton of health benefits, some of which are known to fight off symptoms of depression.

Whole seeds & Ground seeds
Health Benefits of Flaxseeds:
  • perfect balance of omega 3-6-9 
  • high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) - good in treating depression
  • helps lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • reduces symptoms of menopause
  • eases Chron's and colitis stymptoms
  • high in vitamin E
Vitacost has a variety of flaxseed options (seeds, powders, oils and pills) that is linked here. I have faithfully purchased my ground flaxseeds from stores like TJMaxx and Marshals, in their home goods section. As an aside, the cost vs. amount is significantly better in these stores.


A couple of posts ago, I spoke briefly about exercising. Well, one of the most important parts of exercising is sweating! Have you ever heard someone say that they actually enjoy sweating? Below are a few health benefits of sweating:
  • cleans the skin - removes unwanted toxins and bacteria
  • calms the mind
  • natural stress reliever
  • speeds up metabolism
  • helps to regulate the body's temperature
  • reduces cholesterol levels
If you are ever in a gym with a sauna or a steam room, take full advantage and sweat away!

The Food Color Wheel

One of the best approaches to shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables is to remember this rule of thumb: eat from the rainbow. Yes, it's great to be "green", but not eating a variety of foods from the color spectrum is doing your body a disadvantage. By eating from the rainbow, you can be reassured that you are maximizing your intake of a wide range of nutrients.

If you are wondering why your body has some mineral and nutrient deficiencies, it is because you have neglected to consistently add color to your diet. Each fruit and vegetable of different colors, add a host of health benefits that are essential. Click to enlarge the graphic below and the next time you're shopping for fruits and veggies, remember the rule of thumb.

Original Source of Photo: Unknown

Secret to Weight Loss

I am often asked what the best way to lose weight is. One of my first questions that I ask after finding out that the person is working out is, "How much cardio exercise are you doing?". The response is usually close to "barely". The saying, "80% nutrition and 20% exercise" is very true, but what types of exercise?

In addition to having a well-balanced diet, I always recommend that clients seeking weight loss are committed to cardio exercise, on a regular basis. If your motivation in the gym is weight lifting and your goal is to drop pounds, I am sorry to tell you that you are essentially building muscles on top of fat! I am not suggesting to get rid of weight lifting completely, because you are still burning calories. But adding cardio to your workouts will not only aid in your cardiovascular health (which far outweigh the health benefits of weight training), it will also help you slim down with ease.

It is smart to have a balance when you are working out and to remember that eating healthy in addition to your workouts, is what will help you to lose those extra unwanted pounds!

Food & Mood Connection

A huge thank you to my friend Deavin for sending me this graphic. This sums up my reason for creating Food-Mood. The problem is not in your mind, but understanding that your mind is what is blocking you from being in tune with your physical body.

Healthy Living Manifesto by Celestine Chua

I found this graphic online and thought I would share with you. If you want an overall positive well-being, this is a great list to follow. I particularly like #11.
Healthy Living Manifesto by Celestine Chua