Category Archives: Nutrition

Breaking Bad

Monthly Series: What’s Love Got to Do With It

good habits 2

Point to Ponder:
What bad habit is interfering with you being your best and that you need to eliminate from your life, right now?

iGnite Neissa

Neissa Brown Springmann

Many times I’ve partaken in iGnite’s awesome bi-annual ten day Body Re-Boot, which is a form of a fast, however; while I’ve always been intrigued by a full-on fast, I’ve never committed to a spiritual fast because the thought of consuming liquids only for 40 days sounded terrible (I’m not sure why I thought I had to be like Jesus and fast for 40 days and 40 nights–duh)!. That said, our church started a 21-day fast on January 11th and I decided to participate. Ultimately, I was curious to see what I would learn, how I would grow and what God would reveal to me, hopefully.

Prior to starting, I researched the fast and learned that like our Body Re-Boot, fasting from certain things were recommended, however I could choose to fast from anything that I felt was interfering with my overall well-being, quality of life, relationship with God and/or what I was abusing and using to fill physical, mental or emotional, spiritual voids. (There are so many…where would I begin!)

Originally, I thought I would go for the gold and strive for the top tier fast, which was drinking only liquids, light juices and broths, HOWEVER after only the first day I demoted myself to the second level fast, which was the Selective Fast. This fast was eating and drinking only fruits and vegetables–mainly smoothies, teas, and salads (and yes, no caffeine or sugar!)

Joyfully, today is day 21 and while my fast has not been easy or perfect, it’s been great, I feel really good and I’ve gained a ton of additional knowledge and awareness, such as, I absolutely abuse food and use it for more than just fuel and an energy source. It’s an unconscious and emotional filler for me. Most interesting, the cleaner my whole body became, the cleaner my non-dietary decisions were also. For example, I haven’t wanted to watch negative, wasteful and worthless television. With two small children, I usually don’t get to watch much adult T.V., however it, nor tabloids are appealing. It seems extreme, but I don’t want to contaminate my mind and spirit. I have great stamina, I want to be outdoors more, and I am more playful and patient, especially with my children, and my words are more kind. I even feel like I gained more time because I wasn’t lamenting over what I was going to eat or spending extra time eating when food actually wasn’t what I needed more of. I also asked God a lot of questions and I received some answers. Could it have been that food is so much of a distraction in my life that it prevents me from being able to communicate, connect and hear God and my spirit? No doubt!

Before the fast my diet wasn’t terrible, but it definitely wasn’t great. Over the past eight months (really three years) I have accumulated some pretty poor habits that are not just dietary. I pushed my margins beyond my healthy limits and I haven’t been making consistent good and clean choices. Ultimately, I wasn’t treating my body, mind or spirit like a temple and therefore temple-like qualities and characteristics were not being produced. All in all, I needed to do the hard work and break some serious bad habits and replace them with good, wholesome and life-giving habits.

Throughout the month of February, we of course will focus on love, and the goal each week will be to partake in actions that contribute to loving yourself more, loving your life more and showing love to the people who you love so much. You deserve to have the best of yourself and the people you love deserve to have the best you too! Therefore, for this week, the emphasis is choosing a bad habit to break and replacing it with a good habit, as this will give you greater access to loving yourself and others.

Admittedly, breaking habits is not fun or easy, however it’s vital to occasionally evaluate where you are in your life, what you are doing, and determine if you need to add healthy margins or remove restrictive ones. To make this action more fun, I recommend printing the Break a Habit printable. Then, after you’ve given it intentional time, thought and/or prayer to which habit you are going to break, begin filling out the printable and counting down your 21-days of breaking bad and a more awesome you!

Action Item:
Choose a bad habit that is interfering with you being your best and that you want to break. Print the Break a Habit printable, fill it out and begin your 21-day countdown to breaking the bad and creating a more awesome you!

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Arugula, Brussel Sprout & Walnut Salad

IMG_9239

Arugula, Brussel Sprout & Walnut Salad

Salad Ingredients:

  • 3-4 Cups Arugula
  • 1 C Roasted Brussel Sprouts
  • 1 TBSP Dried Cranberries
  • 1 TBSP Pepita
  • 1 Bacon Slice Bacon Crumbles
  • 1/4 C Walnuts
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Vinaigrette Dressing

Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • 2/3 C Olive Oil
  • 1/4 C Balsalmic Vinaigrette
  • 1 TBSP Honey
  • 1 TBSP Dijon Mustard

Mix all vinergrette ingredients in a pot. On stove top, heat on low, simmer and wisk. Upon simmer, remove from heat.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts:

Heat Oven to 400ºF
Cut Brussel Sprouts in half
Toss Brussel Sprouts in Olive Oil, Sea Salt and Pepper
Place Brussel Sprouts on cooking sheet and drizzle with Balsamic Reduction Vinaigrette
Bake for 30-40 minutes

Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

Mix all Salad Ingredients together and toss with Vinaigrette. Be careful with the vinaigrette. A little dab will do you and you will definitely have plenty left over for your next salad.

10 Healthy Eating Recipe Sites to Kick off the New Year

The holidays are over, and it is New Year’s resolution time. Since most resolutions include eating healthy, the iGnite Leaders have created a great guide to help in this — their favorite go-to healthy recipe sites.  Eating better in the new year will be much easier with these creative recipes to keep you interested. We suggest subscribing to a few of these blogs in order to get daily inspiration and motivation. Here are our top 10 favorites:

  1. Skinnytaste.com  Provides delicious, healthy, low fat, family-friendly recipes. You can sign up to get new recipes sent to you several times a week. Check out the Top 25 Most Popular Skinnytaste Recipes of 2015 to get you going. 
  2. The Defined Dish Two Dallas-based sisters give you the dish about food, fitness and other happy and healthy lifestyle tips. Along with great recipes, the site includes workouts, fitness styling, music playlists and more.
  3. Plant-Based Pulse iGnite member Allison Quinones created this blog as resource for those trying to find a healthier lifestyle by providing delicious plant-based recipes. She strives to make all recipes as close to refined sugar and oil-free as possible. She is a wonderful resource and  periodically shares her recipes such as Breakfast Quinoa with Fruit on the iGnite blog.
  4. Connoisseurus Veg  This blog is written by a vegetarian who has a passion for cooking and sharing her favorite recipes.  Try the herb crusted whole roasted cauliflower – delicious!  
  5. AmyChaplin.com Amy Chaplin, author of “At Home in My Whole Kitchen,” inspires people to seek out local and organic vegetables, stock their pantries with nutrient rich whole food ingredients and to cook at home. Find beautiful, healthy recipes on her blog or follow her on Instagram.
  6. Elana’s Pantry A go-to website for easy, healthy, grain-free Paleo recipes.  Elana Amsterdam is the author of the New York Times Best Selling cookbook “Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry.”  Her site even includes pizza, donuts, and other treats made the healthy way! 
  7. Greatist Daily Greatist covers all things healthy and makes it easy to navigate throughout their site — categorized by quick breakfasts, make-ahead meals, detox recipes and more.  Get their daily email with Greatist’s top health tips, workout ideas and delicious recipes.
  8. Oh She Glows One of the most popular vegan recipe blogs around featuring over 500 healthy recipes by Angela Liddon. Her goal is to inspire you to embrace more plant-based foods in your diet without feeling deprived. Most recipes are gluten-free and many are allergy-friendly. 
  9. Against All Grain  Paleo recipes to make you feel great created by Danielle Walker. She is the author and photographer of the New York Times Best Selling cookbook “Against all Grain.”  Use her Costco Paleo Shopping List as a great resource. 
  10. Naturally Ella Created by Erin Alderson, the blog focuses on seasonal vegetarian recipes that are pantry-inspired. Her goal is to keep the recipes simple, fresh, and exciting for the entire family. Her tex-mex inspired recipes are definite crowd-pleasers.

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*Food photography by Allison Quinones of  Plant-Based Pulse

 

 

 

4 Healthy & Delicious Thanksgiving Recipes

Sweet Potato & Cranberry Bake

Neissa’s Cranberry & Sweet Potato Bake

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and we love finding recipe ideas for adding some new flavors and healthier options to the table. Try out these 4 iGnite leader favorites and leave us a comment to let us know how you enjoy them!

1. Cranberry Salsa with Cilantro, Lime & Jalapeño

by Amy

Amy Younkman

I found this recipe three years ago in the Austin American Statesman (recipe by Kalyn Denny) and I have made it every year. I love the fresh lime juice and cilantro and it is the perfect combination of tart and sweet. This salsa is wonderful as a Thanksgiving side, and I really enjoy it with leftover turkey or in a sandwich. You won’t miss the gravy at all!

Ingredients:
Makes about 2 cups of salsa

  • 1 bag (12 oz.) fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup Splenda, Stevia in the Raw Granulated or sugar
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 fresh jalapeños, seeds removed and chopped (use more if you like it spicy)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

Instructions:

  1. Put cranberries into a food processor or blender and pulse until they’re partly chopped.
  2. Add sweetener of your choice and pulse a few times more to combine.
  3. Add green onions, cilantro, jalapeños (1 or 2, depending on your tolerance for heat), olive oil and lime juice and pulse until all ingredients are chopped and mixture is well combined.
  4. Put mixture into a glass or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid and chill for several hours or overnight.

Adapted from a recipe by Kalyn Denny

2. Cranberry & Sweet Potato Bake (pictured above)

by Neissa

Neissa Springmann

View the recipe

This is a favorite in the Springmann household because it’s tasty, healthy and easy!

 

3. Roasted Green Beans

by Sha

by Sha

I know most of you roast vegetables, but not many think to roast fresh green beans! Roasting is my favorite way to prepare green beans — they are delicious and easy, and my family always asks me to bring them to Thanksgiving.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bag fresh French style green beans
  • 1 & 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Roast 20 minutes at 400 degrees (or until tender with dark brown markings)

4. Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette (by Barefoot Contessa)

View the recipe here

by Catherine

by Catherine

I have made this a couple times to serve with Thanksgiving dinner and it is amazing! I love interesting salads and I’m always willing to make the extra effort with this one for special occasions because it’s just so tasty 🙂

 

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Pumpkin Spice Coconut Oil Bites

Pumpkin Spice Coconut Oil Balls

Pumpkin Spice Coconut Oil Balls

by Allison Quinones of Plant Based Pulse

by Allison Quinones of Plant Based Pulse

Yields: Approx. 35 T Sized Balls
Serving: 3 per day
Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic unsulphured raw coconut butter (boughten or homemade)
  • 3/4 cup organic extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup + 1 T organic pumpkin puree
  • 2 T  pumpkin pie spice
  • 15 drops stevia (or to taste)

Pumpkin Spice Coconut Oil BallsInstructions:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until combined. Take the mixture and refrigerate for no more than 30 minutes to allow the dough to become more firm. Using a melon baller/cookie scoop, or your fingers, gently roll dough into tablespoon sized balls. Place on a plate cover in parchment paper and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until hard. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, will last about 3 weeks.

Why We Love Coconut Oil

One strategy to increase ATP (the energy currency for the body) for brain healing & preventing dementia is consuming coconut oil: 1 tbsp with breakfast, lunch and dinner.  MCT (medium chain triglycerides) found in coconut oil have many great benefits, including:

  • Improving the body’s use of insulin
  • Improving cholesterol by increasing HDL (good cholesterol)
  • Boosting thyroid function resulting in increased energy
  • Acting as an antioxidant and natural antibiotic
  • Improving overall health of skin and hair
  • Improves cognitive function

As one way to get your fill of coconut oil, I love the idea of using coconut oil to satiate sweet cravings. This is an especially good idea for those who might have a taste or texture aversion to coconut oil on its own (like my wife). Personally I create a chocolate version using raw cacao powder, coconut oil and stevia to satisfy my sweet cravings.

 

The Scoop on Coconut Butter

by Allison Quinones of Plant Based Pulse

by Allison Quinones of Plant Based Pulse

You may be asking yourself, “Why did she use coconut butter in addition to the oil, versus just oil?”  Coconut butter is made from ground raw coconut flakes or meat, that when processed at a high speed, pulls out the oils (just as nuts do into nut butter). When using coconut butter, you are not only getting the benefits of the oil, but also dietary fiber, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Coconut butter provides a full flavor and creaminess that compliments the texture of the coconut oil.

Any brand of coconut butter will work as long as the only ingredient is raw organic coconut. If you own a high-speed processor or blender, it’s much cheaper to make it at home than purchase it (plus it is satisfying to make yourself!). I paid $3.28 for 3/4 lb., which yields at least 16 oz. coconut butter, versus boughten at no less than $10.00 per 16 oz.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

10-Day Reboot: Trina’s Day 9

iGnite 10 Day Body Reboot

by Trina Keathley

by Trina Keathley

One more day, I know we can do this! Day 9 was just like most other days of the Reboot for me. I woke up to my alarm at 5:30am after about 7 hours of sleep. Sleep has not been one of my successes on this Reboot, but it hasn’t kept me down. After pushing snooze a few times, I get up and start off with my hot lemon water and making lunches for the kids. After making lunches for the kids and getting my daughter Sloan out of bed, it is time for breakfast.

Breakfast of Paleonola and Coconut Beverage

Breakfast of Paleonola and Coconut Beverage

My usual breakfast has been egg whites with sausage. I made the recipe of Everyday Sausage last week, but it was time to change things up. I wanted crunchy cereal!  So with some help from fellow iGniter Olivia, she introduced me to Paleonola. Palenola with a little coconut beverage and an orange is a perfect breakfast.

After getting both kids out the door to school, it is off to workout. Today’s workout was Dance Fit with Betty. It was a great cardio workout with a little “Whip and Nae Nae.”  🙂

Lunch: a salad with deli meat

Lunch: a salad of lettuce, avocado, red bell peppers and turkey

During the Reboot, I strangely haven’t felt hungry. As I move along through the day, I have to remember to eat. I don’t feel hungry, but look down and it is coming up on lunch and I haven’t even had a snack. So today, I ate a snack at 12 and had lunch 2. Since I had to go to the grocery store before lunch, I decided to pick up some turkey and have a salad. A thick cut of deli turkey is nice to add to lettuce, avocado and red bell peppers.

Super Seed Chocolate Protein Bites

Super Seed Chocolate Protein Bites

While at the store, I picked up the ingredients to make the Super Seed Chocolate Protein Bites from the Reboot recipe book. I was trying to have a healthy snack for this afternoon and for the kids when they get home from school, and I was hoping they would like them… or at least try them. Well, needless to say, they were a big hit!!  Not only with my kids, but with some fellow Rebooters (Jamie and Alice)! I texted them and told them they tasted like chocolate and they were by in an instant to taste and see. One small note, when I was purchasing the ingredients I purchased dark chocolate cacao nuts and was supposed to purchase cacao nibs. I don’t know if there was any harm in my mistake, but it sure helped us get through the afternoon and satisfy our sweet tooth!

Dinner: sirloin steak and baby broccoli

Dinner: sirloin steak and baby broccoli

My belly would have been satisfied for a little bit, but dinner was around the corner. And my family loves meat!  So for dinner, I usually grill something grass-fed and add a vegetable. Tonight was a sirloin steak and baby broccoli.

This is the second time I have done the Reboot with iGnite, and I will say that the second time has been better than the first. This time I took Molly and Catherine’s advice to wean myself early from caffeine. I love to drink ice tea all day long, and I knew getting off of it was going to give me a big headache to start. It was the best decision!  This reboot has helped me accomplish my exact goal: to get myself back on track with eating better and taking care of my body.

10-Day Reboot: Karen’s Day 5

iGnite 10 Day Body Reboot

by Karen Elliott

by Karen Elliott

This is my first iGnite Reboot experience and after 5 days, I LOVE the small changes in my habits and food choices. I have a busy household, so keeping up with my family while taking care of myself is a challenge. I love to cook, so my family doesn’t go out to eat often. I subscribe to a CSA –Community Supported Agriculture — program, so this Reboot has “encouraged” me to experiment with new spices and use up all of the fresh, organic vegetables! What I have easily adapted to and have enjoyed over the past 5 days is planning. Planning for meals, planning for a soak in the tub, making time to sit out in the sun or float in the pool after an afternoon workout. Half-way through this Reboot, I am looking more closely at food ingredients when making purchases. Even if I am buying something I will not eat, I am looking for better ingredients for my family.

When Molly started talking about the Reboot Program, I was very excited to learn more about it. The summer had left me fatigued from the lack of meal planning and letting everyone’s schedule pull me in different directions. The Reboot presentation and guidebook are well-laid out and easy to follow. When I first perused the guidebook, I was excited for the recipes. I was really excited that my pantry and refrigerator were already stocked with many of the recipe ingredients. I have challenged myself adding curry, turmeric, cumin, coriander, and balsamic vinegars to my vegetable dishes.

IMG_0005Mornings have been the easiest for me. It is usually very hectic getting my children awake, feeding them breakfast, and getting them out the door. I am not a coffee-aholic, I just drink it when I am out with friends. I don’t even have a coffee maker. If I want a cup of coffee at home, I use a French Press. The new routine of having a cup of hot lemon water calms me as I look over my emails, cook breakfast, and pack lunches. I am a breakfast person, so I make eggs with left-over veggies from the previous night or an egg with tomatoes and avocado. After a morning walk, I have brushed and sat in the tub. The house is empty and I can truly focus on myself and my well-being.

Snacks have been a little harder. I’m used to grabbing a Kind bar to have between meetings or in the car. So planning to have fruit plus a protein when I’m on-the-go has been challenging. One day, I skipped my morning snack and ate a little more during lunch because I was hungry. My stomach felt nauseously-full, and I felt sluggish for most of the afternoon.

My snack of rice crackers and hummus

My snack of rice crackers and hummus

Today, I tried some coconut yogurt with sliced strawberries and a sprinkle of chia seeds. I’m not sure what the chia seeds add nutritionally, but it added some texture. In the afternoon, I had rice crackers with hummus — what a filling combination. I also carry serving-size bags of almonds and dried cherries in my purse for when I am out of the house.

For lunch, I dined with some friends at Galaxy Cafe. I knew I could always order a salad if I couldn’t find something that was dairy, soy, or gluten-free. What I ordered was absolutely delicious — I think I’ll even try to replicate it at home. I had the Galaxy Buddha Bowl: steamed kale, homemade lentils, brown rice, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and all-natural free-range grilled chicken. It came with a side of chile peanut vinaigrette, which I didn’t need. Very tasty.

Buddha bowl from Galaxy Cafe

Buddha bowl from Galaxy Cafe

I have been really surprised by how easy cooking dinners has been. I do add a carb with gluten for my children, but I make extra veggies for my husband and myself. Tonight I made ground turkey pasta sauce, served over roasted spaghetti squash, zucchini sautéed in olive oil and garlic, and a green salad with lemon balsamic. So filling, and all of the vegetables came from my CSA box!

IMG_0013

Dinner: ground turkey pasta sauce served over roasted spaghetti squash and zucchini sautéed in olive oil and garlic

Five days left, and bedtime is an area in which I still struggle. That being said, the downstairs air-conditioner has been out for a couple of weeks, so I have been sleeping in the guest room upstairs. An unfamiliar bed and a disruption in routine makes it hard for me to sleep, plus I usually read from my Kindle before I go to bed. My energy level has remained the same, but my skin feels better and I no longer have that “bloated” feeling. I miss CHEESE! — it is probably the one food item I crave and miss. I am surprised that I do not have a craving for sweets or bread. I make sandwiches for my children and pack them a “dessert” everyday — so far so good. I missed Facebook and Instagram the first day, but my curiosity has waned.

Dinner side salad: green salad with lemon balsamic dressing

Dinner side salad: green salad with lemon balsamic dressing

After a fast-paced summer and eating whatever I desired, this detox has been good for my body and the Reboot was something I needed for my mind. Thank you iGnite for taking a “wholistic” approach to the detox/cleanse/Reboot!

Our 20 Habits for Feeling Our Best

20 Habits for Feeling Your Best

As a group of health & fitness professionals, the iGnite leadership team uses a number of habits to keep ourselves feeling our absolute best.  And since we all love hearing new ideas, tips & tricks for living our best life, we thought — better to share them!  So, here are some of our team’s tips & tricks for feeling our best — hopefully you’ll find they enhance and improve your life in body, mind and spirit, too 🙂

1. Prioritize Sleep

Catherine Sanderson

Catherine Sanderson

“The thing that has made the biggest difference in making my body feel its best and healthiest has been prioritizing SLEEP.  Yes, that means over working out(!), over late nights of squeezing in that last to-do followed by early mornings, over my favorite tv shows, over … lots of things! I’ve found that I am a completely new person when I make sure that I get around 8 hours of sleep.  The idea that you will be ‘healthier’ if you skimp on sleep in order to exercise more is just plain wrong.  Your body needs sleep to heal and rest before it can perform exercise well and in a way that is helping your body more than hurting it. The second I accepted this and prioritized sleep for health above all else, my energy, mood and ability to take on other things skyrocketed.
I’ve learned that that workout/errand/to do list item/television show can wait.  Making sleep #1 and then scheduling in an exercise routine that allows me to get the zzzzzz’s our bodies so crave is my feel-great secret!”  

2. Prepared Healthy Snacks

Amy Younkman

Amy Younkman

“I always fave a variety of cut-up veggies in the fridge so I’m less apt to reach for crackers to dip and munch on.”

3. Regularly Getting in the Water

Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker

Dunking myself in any water, anywhere, anytime is something that I crave and that makes me feel rejuvenated.  Studies have proven that if you are in, on or near water you are 90 percent happier!  I don’t think there is anyone around who does not feel rejuvenated when jumping in a pool, river, lake or ocean.”

4. Take Probiotics

Betty Cunningham

Betty Cunningham

“One of my stay healthy secrets is Ortho Probiotic.  I used to suffer from dry mold allergies every fall.  I was congested from October into November, and I had a constant cough.   The Ortho Probiotic has made a huge difference.  I take one in the morning on an empty stomach before I run.”

5. Planned Date Nights

Amy Younkman

Amy Younkman

“One thing that helps me feel my best is my Friday date night with the hubster at Fonda San Miguel here in Austin – we hit happy hour followed by a quiet evening at home.”

6. Get Regular Massages

Jill Watts

Jill Watts

“I get monthly massages at Massage Envy, it’s reasonably priced and a sure way to get yourself a relaxing massage once a month! I really enjoy it — they have great therapists for all types of massage and the monthly fee is only $59.99. Plus you get other perks and discounts being a member and you can go to locations all over the U.S. if you want to get a massage while traveling.”

Molly Daniels

Molly Daniels

“I make sure to schedule a 60 minute massage quarterly, if not more often! I have been to several places in Austin, all varying in price, including Mecca Gym and Spa, Massage Harmony in Westlake and Foot Massage in Northwest Hills. With how much I am on my feet during the week, I make this a priority to help me feel good!”

7. Morning Prayer

Amy Younkman

Amy Younkman

“I make sure to pray before I get out of bed in the morning.”

8. Juicing

Jill Watts

Jill Watts

“I bought a NutriBullet about a year ago and I absolutely love it! I try to have one a day, and it’s a perfect way to get a healthy boost without spending $8 on a green smoothie.
I just pop in 1/2 greens (I prefer spinach), and then 1/2 fruits, (whatever I have) and then a boost like flax seed, chia, almonds, etc.  Then you just add water, so no added sugar!
It takes a few minutes to extract all the healthy nutrients from those veggies and fruits. You can put any type of veggie and fruit in. It’s quick, easy and healthy!”

9. Calming Pet Time

Cary Fyfe

Cary Fyfe

“My go-to for nurturing my emotional self is to sit down — that’s the key part, sitting down — to pet my dog, Sam. Within seconds, I feel my heart slow down, my brain quiets and a smile comes across my face — no matter what weights I’m carrying that day. Then the icing on the cake is when all my other animals hear the “love-rubs” happening, and here they come! It’s a guaranteed drop in blood pressure…and, really, what is better than a dog-smile?”

10. Homemade Skin Care

Alli Phillips

Alli Phillips

“With ingredients most of us probably already have in our pantry and fridge, I create lotions, scrubs, and occasionally masks, to supplement my skin-care routine. I have a few “must-have” skin-care staples, listed below.  And when I have time to treat myself to a full “home-spa-day” I’ll experiment with more “complex” recipes.

Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil
Instead of store-bought moisturizer and body lotion, I use coconut oil (unrefined and organic) on my skin. I apply it daily after I shower/bathe to both body and face, and I also use the excess on my hands as a “leave-in conditioner,” running my fingers through my hair after applying to my face and body. (Also, although I don’t wear make-up very often, I discovered coconut oil is a great natural make-up remover.)

Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Organic Brown Sugar
About once a week I make a body-scrub using EVOO and brown sugar. I don’t follow a recipe, I simply mix the two ingredients together adding more or less of one or the other until I get the consistency/texture I want, depending on the exfoliation intensity needed/desired (coarse for feet, legs, hands, and arms; medium coarseness for torso; light coarseness for neck and face). This scrub is very gentle and leaves the skin feeling amazing.

In a quick online search of “home-made skin-care” you’ll find countless recipes that include nourishing yet simple ingredients like oats, honey, almond milk, peaches, avocado, pumpkin, cucumber, lemon, and even coffee and cocoa(!) to name just a few!”

11. Nutritionist Consultations

Molly Daniels

Molly Daniels

“I see Applied Clinical Nutritionist Joseph Strickland of Better Body Clinical Nutrition once every 12 weeks. I began seeing Joseph in May 2012 specifically for allergy issues, hives, and constant fatigue, and after the success I’ve had with him, I continue my visits to check in and see how my body is functioning. I currently take 4 different Standard Process supplements that he specifically recommends for my body that I buy from People’s Pharmacy. I can tell a difference when I miss a day or two, and I know how important they are for me to maintain a healthy body.”

12. Nighttime Technology Turnoff

Amy Younkman

Amy Younkman

“I make sure to turn off the computer at night and crawl into bed with a good read.”

13. Evening Treat

Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker

“I always drink a large glass of chocolate milk each evening.  It has been proven by studies over and over again–even by our University of Texas — as the number one muscle recovery drink of all time!  It tastes SO good and truly helps my muscles recover, and I sleep so well.  I love it!”

14. Varied Workouts

Molly Daniels

Molly Daniels

“I make sure to go to different iGnite workout classes weekly. Yes, I know I work for iGnite, but I feel different when I teach versus when I participate. I am “on” in different ways when I teach than when I take a class. I’m able to step out of my ‘teaching brain’ and simply follow the leader’s instructions. I don’t enjoy working out on my own, and in fact, I don’t do it. I appreciate going to different classes, and I listen to my body when it’s telling me to speed up or slow down.”

15. Self-Guided Yoga

Amy Younkman

Amy Younkman

“I make sure to schedule a weekly yoga session with and for myself.”

16. Cranberry Water

Molly Daniels

Molly Daniels

“I always have a pitcher of the iGnite cranberry water in my fridge! I get bored of drinking plain water, and I enjoy this refreshing drink.”

17. Morning Stretching Ritual

Amy Younkman

Amy Younkman

“Kitchen counter stretching and moving my spine in 6 ways first thing each morning while waiting for my tea to steep helps me continue to feel my best.”

18. A Favorite Eye Cream

Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker

“My eye cream Olay Total Effects 7 in 1 Eye Cream: I am addicted to it and put it on three times a day!  It has a little glisten to it and it so hydrating.  It truly has helped my bags under my eyes go away that I inherited from my sweet Mom — it is awesome stuff, AND is available at the grocery store!”

19. Body Oil

Cary Fyfe

Cary Fyfe

“My go-to for just feeling pretty and well-taken care of is to spray a few drops of my favorite oil — Caudalie Divine Oil — onto my palms, then I rub it behind my ears, under my nose and on my neck. It smells so quietly fresh, and hydrates my skin beautifully. I sometimes rub a little onto the ends of my hair, and, well, it just makes me feel pretty and fresh!”

20. Bike Ride Escape

Amy Younkman

Amy Younkman

“I go for a bike ride and leave any worries or distractions behind me!”


Although all of these habits are unique to each of us, one common habit we all share (in addition to exercise!)  is that all of us rest and recognize that we can’t have one (exercise) without the other (rest)!  No one can perform exercise to their fullest ability without adequate rest.

So, go ahead — pick out one or a few of these habits and test drive them in your own wellness routine!  We hope they iGnite your body, mind and spirit.

Have some great healthy habits and tricks of your own? Please share them with us by leaving a comment below!  We love hearing your feedback and learning from you.

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A Nutrition Coach's Easy & Healthy Meal Ideas

A Nutrition Coach’s Easy, Healthy Meal Ideas

by Molly Daniels

by Molly Daniels

With my Nutrition Coaching clients, I’ve found that most of us are wanting and needing more healthy meal and snack ideas for ourselves and our families. So, I’ve put together a list of easy, quick and healthy ideas for each mealtime.

First, I believe in moderation and portion control. You should never completely deny yourself of anything, because when you do, you will most likely binge on it later.  If dessert calls your name weekly, feed your craving in a controlled way!

Second, it is important to always combine your macronutrients, meaning always eat a carbohydrate with a protein, or a fat with a protein, etc.  It’s just like working several muscle groups at one time in a workout by doing compound exercises — make sure to “compound” your diet!  And, of course, the more colorful your plate, the better.

Breakfast:

  1. Toast (bread of your choice, but preferably whole grain, or gluten-free if you have an allergy) with mashed and spread avocado, scrambled eggs and salsa on top
  2. Breakfast taco on a corn or spelt tortilla with scrambled eggs, avocado, any and all vegetables of your choice and salsa
  3. Smoothie with 1 banana, frozen blueberries, frozen strawberries, frozen cherries, frozen blackberries, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter, a little drizzle of honey and almond milk
  4. On-the-go: Oatmega Bar (several flavor choices exist and can be found at HEB, Central Market and Whole Foods). If you eat this before a workout or before heading to work, make sure to eat a good protein-filled snack again around 10:00am

Lunch:

  1. Half of a sandwich loaded with greens and vegetables and your choice of protein with side choices of: vegetables and hummus (if not having for a snack that same day), handful of corn chips and salsa, or side salad
  2. Power bowl (inspired by Maudie’s Tex-Mex): Spanish rice, whole black beans, avocado, tomato, onion, corn chips and salsa on the side
  3. Spinach salad with fresh pear, toasted walnuts, bleu cheese and topped with your choice of protein. Lightly drizzle a vinaigrette for the dressing.
  4. On-the go: homemade smoothie or small smoothie from your local healthy smoothie shop (my Austin favorite: JuiceLand)

Dinner:

  1. Mixed green salad with big avocado chunks, tomato and onion with the Hot Dang (any of the 4 flavors and can be found at HEB, Central Market and Whole Foods) veggie burger on top
  2. Stir fry: brown rice (we use frozen and heat up on the stove), vegetables of your choice including carrots, edamame, broccoli, cabbage, etc. and protein of your choice like grilled chicken, shrimp or fish
  3. Quesadillas on corn or spelt tortillas with refried black beans, cheese, protein of your choice, avocado or homemade guacamole mentioned in the snack section, any vegetables including spinach, tomato, onion, peppers, mushrooms
  4. Breakfast for dinner: If you did not have eggs that morning, try making scrambled eggs with a green smoothie (1 banana, handful of kale and/or spinach, frozen blueberries, tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter, almond milk) on the side.
  5. Grilled salmon with a side of roasted quinoa: Quinoa is so easy to make and you can add diced, roasted vegetables, avocado chunks and roasted walnuts.

Snacks:

  1. Raw vegetables (carrots, celery, bell peppers, cucumber) and hummus
  2. 1/2 – 1 cup (depending on hunger) of mixed nuts with almonds, walnuts, cashews, and dried fruit (be aware of the sugar content of the dried fruit)
  3. Apple slices or crackers (Nut Thins) with peanut butter or almond butter on top
  4. Homemade guacamole (avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro and juice of 1/2 lime) with vegetables or a handful of corn chips
  5. One of iGnite’s Peanut Butter Protein Bars
  6. Two hard-boiled eggs — try covering them with salsa!

Dessert:

  1. Handful (about 5-7) of dark chocolate covered almonds
  2. 1 small scoop dark chocolate ice cream
  3. Small bowl of mixed fruit

Happy healthy eating!

Molly Daniels graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelors of Science in Nutrition. After having worked through her own health and nutrition challenges, and drawing on her expertise in physical fitness, Molly provides a balanced and practical approach to basic nutrition coaching for women seeking guidance, accountability and overall health improvements.

Click here to learn more about Nutrition Coaching services through iGnite. 

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Healthy Treat of the Month: Numi Rooibos Chai Tea

Every month, we share the healthy recipe or treat our team is enjoying the most — and this month doesn’t disappoint!

Betty Cunningham

Betty Cunningham

Leader Betty Cunningham shares her current favorite way to enjoy a sweet treat at home, guilt-free.

numio-ruby-chaiLately, I have been trying to reduce my caffeine intake, and I have been enjoying a cup of the Numi Rooibos Chai Tea. It’s organic, caffeine-free and delicious.

I use steamed unsweetened coconut milk with it and a few drops of stevia. It’s actually very good!”

-Betty

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