DIY: Goji Berry Smoothie

Goji berries are known to have anti-aging benefits, boost immune function, protect vision, and prevent heart disease. Goji berry extracts may even boost brain health, mood and protect against age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s so eat them up! They are perfect to add to any smoothie like this one loaded with potassium, vitamin A, fiber and good essential fatty acids, or as a snack.


  • 2 tbsp. goji berries
  • 1 cup of coconut water
  • 1 banana
  • ½ avocado
  • ½ cup of raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon flaxseed
  • Ice cubes (optional)


    1. Soak the goji berries in coconut water overnight or for a few hours (optional)
    2. Combine all ingredients in a blender
    3. Blend & enjoy!
5 Healthy Habits For Exercise

Exercise is an effective coping method for stress, anxiety and depression, and healthy exercisers harness these powers for good. Some of us need an extra push to get off the couch, or some reining in once in a while. For others, finding the balance between too much and too little physical activity comes easily. Below are a few things these people do differently.

People with a healthy relationship to exercise know the difference between a good burn and true pain. "You hear so much about the whole 'no pain, no gain' attitude," says Cohn. "I think we really have to redefine what pain is." Yes, you want to feel like you worked hard, you want some fatigue, you might even relish your second-day soreness. But feeling discomfort in joints, or feeling so exhausted you just want to drop at the end of the day is not normal, says Cohn. Pain can be serious, and pushing through could cause worse injury. People with a healthy relationship to exercise know when to say when.

They take rest days. And when they are in pain or are exhausted, they know it's time to skip a sweat session. "It's the same as that chocolate cake," says Cohn. "It's delicious, you want to have another piece, but you know it's not good for you, and you need to stop eating now." No matter how much you love working out, there is such a thing as too much exercise, and the people with the healthiest relationships to exercise enjoy their off days. Carter recommends taking at least one a week.

They don't exercise to eat, they eat to exercise. Exercising purely to "influence weight or shape", says Carter, can be a slippery slope into obsession and disorder. For a healthy athlete or exerciser, food is fuel, not the enemy. Our bodies require a bare minimum amount of calories simply to survive, and we need to provide extra energy for physical activity. Rather than exercising "to allow themselves to eat," says Carter, people with a healthy relationship to exercise eat to allow themselves to exercise. Eating whatever you want just because you exercised today doesn't cut it either, even if you just want to maintain weight, she says. Of course we'd never say the occasional brownie was completely off limits, but "'occasional' doesn't mean every dinner warrants a dessert!" Carter says.

They can go with the flow. Many experts recommend scheduling exercise into your day like you would any other appointment to help you stick with your fitness plan. But there also needs to be some flexibility in the scheduling. Even walking just a few more steps a day -- whether it’s by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or commuting by foot -- is still physical, and can help ease anxiety over skipping a sweat session.

They Mix things up. "Doing the elliptical every day at the same intensity level is just a repetitive motion," says Cohn, not one you're going to see huge results from. People with the healthiest relationships to exercise balance their workout routines with a mixture of activities, whether that's high and low impact, cardio and strength training, or arm days and leg days, she says. And it doesn't require pricey sessions with a personal trainer or a degree in exercise science to add a little more balance to your regular routine, she says. Simply reading the directions on a machine at the gym you've never tried before, for example, can be surprisingly helpful, she says.

This article was originally written by Sarah Klein. We shared this with you because we want to help you balance life and fitness.

DIY: Banana Bread Smoothie

If you have a sweet tooth but you're on a weight-loss journey, this banana bread smoothie is the answer to your prayers — a dessert that's actually good for you, thanks to its protein status.

Clocking in at over 34 grams of protein per serving, this tasty beverage will regulate your appetite, keeping you full and satisfied all morning long. Chopped walnuts are tossed into the mix for their nutty flavor and anti-inflammatory benefits, while the addition of metabolism-boosting cinnamon ties the smoothie together for dessert-inspired perfection.


  • 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese (for dairy-free, add silken tofu)
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 medium banana (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg


Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. Enjoy immediately!

This recipe was originally Lizzie Fuhr of FitSugar. We shared this recipe with you because we care to keep you healthy & happy since food is medicine. Enjoy the weekend!

5 Reasons To Listen To Music When You Work Out

A recent study found that not just listening, but controlling and creating music in time to one's pace had an even more profound effect on perceived effort during a workout. Listening to music when you hit the gym to improve your workout isn't exactly a new concept. But understanding how your favorite tunes enhance your exercise is a little less obvious.

Research consistently finds that listening to music distracts athletes from their "bodily awareness" or better known as pain. A recent study found that not just listening, but controlling and creating music in time to one's pace had an even more profound effect on perceived effort during a workout.

Here are 5 very good reasons to jam during your next gym session.

Music is the good kind of distraction. While the study did suggest there's more to it than distraction, working out with music did make participants less aware of their exertion. Such a distraction can benefit athletic performance by up to 15 percent, The Guardian reported. The faster the better, according to WebMD: Upbeat tunes havemore information for our brains to process, which takes your mind off of that side stitch.

It ups your effort. A 2010 study found that cyclists actually worked harder when listening to faster music as compared to music at a slower tempo. But too fast is no good, either. Songs between 120 and 140 beats per minute (bpm) have the maximum effect on moderate exercisers. 

Music puts you "in the zone". Everyone has that go-to song that gets you "in the zone," and there's science to why it works. We associate certain songs with memories, often relating to the context in which we originally heard them, such as the first time you watched Rocky. Channeling that memory -- or even just the emotion of the singer -- boosts the motivational power of the song, and has been shown to improve physical performance.

A good beat can help you keep pace. The rhythm of your workout music stimulates the motor area of the brain as to when to move, thereby aiding self-paced exercises such as running or weight-lifting. Clueing into these time signals helps us use our energy more efficiently, since keeping a steady pace is easier on our bodies than fluctuating throughout a sweat session.

Music can elevate your mood. An August 2013 analysis found that people often listen to music as a way to change their mood and find self-awareness. Study participants said that listening to music allowed them to think about themselves, who they wanted to be and give them an escape from the present. No matter what happened an hour ago, you can use your tunes to help you escape negativity and power you through your workout -- and you know you'll feel great when it's over.

This article was originally posted by Huffington Post. We think it's great to share with you because we find it informative on how to better our workouts so we can reap more benefits.

Foods That Fight Inflammation & Belly Fat

When eaten on a regular basis, foods with anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce inflammation in the body, helping to prevent the long-term health consequences associated with it — but only if you also eliminate the foods that cause inflammation. When inflammation is under control, not only will you have more energy and feel better overall, but you’ll also find that weight loss and reduction of belly fat both become easier!

Remember staying hydrated is essential to flushing inflammation-causing toxins out of your body. So always aim for 64 ounces of water per day. Add an additional 8 ounces of water for every 30 minutes of exercise as well.

Try adding anti-inflammatory foods into your meal plan on a daily basis. The more often you eat these foods, the less inflammation that will be present in your body. The following foods and nutrients can fight inflammation:

Fruits and vegetables. All fruits and vegetables, due to their rich nutrient and fiber content, help to combat chronic inflammation, so make sure to include adequate amounts of these foods daily. Some types of fresh produce, however, are even more potent than others.Some terrific anti-inflammatory fruits and vegetables to include in your meal plan include apples, berries, broccoli, mushrooms, papaya, pineapple, and spinach.

Green tea. This mild beverage is great for helping shrink your waistline as well as for decreasing inflammation. The flavonoids in this tea have natural anti-inflammatory properties. And the compound EGCG in green tea has been shown to help reduce body fat.

Monounsaturated fats. These heart-healthy fats help raise your healthy HDL cholesterol levels and reduce overall inflammation. Great sources include olive oil, almonds, and avocado.

Spices. Certain spices, including garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, and chili peppers, have potent inflammation-reducing capabilities, so try adding them to meals as often as possible.

Whole grains. Rich in fiber, whole grains help control the insulin response in your body. The high B vitamin content of whole grains also helps reduce the inflammatory hormonehomocystine in the body.

Omega-3 fatty acids. Research has shown that a diet with a high percentage of omega-3 fatty acids and a low percentage of omega-6 fatty acids has been linked with decreased inflammation. Food sources of omega-3s include walnuts, flaxseed, and fish, such as wild Alaskan salmon.

5 Tips to Make Time for Exercise

Time is a precious commodity and with the fast-paced, urgent world we live in, most people push their needs -- including exercise -- to the bottom of their to do lists. You may not have thought of it this way, but exercise saves you time and will most likely add longer and stronger years to your life. Read on for 10 tips to make time for exercise.

Taking a little time for exercise will surprisingly help you manage other areas of your life. Some of the positive effects include lifting your mood, boosting your self-esteem and reducing your stress. Exercising gives you a healthier focus. Those who exercise are sick less often, report being happier and even make more money then those who do not. Exercisers make healthier food choices and sleep better. If you can manage to make exercising a priority, you will be pleased with how much better you become at managing life tasks.

5 Tips to Make Time for Exercise

Make an appointment. Schedule workout activity in your planner 1 month in advance and keep that commitment the same way you would any other meeting. When you go to schedule other activities, do so around your workout session. If it’s necessary to cancel a workout session, reschedule it immediately for another time during the day or for the very next day.

Plan Ahead. Cook on Sunday night for the week. This way, you can head to the gym after work and still come home to a healthy cooked meal. This will help you stay on track for your meal plan as well as your exercise schedule. For best results, both your meals and activities need to be planned for and should not be left to chance.

Workout at Lunch. A workout break will refresh you for the second half of the day and is known to boost brain power. You will be more productive after recharging your body with exercise than working through your lunch and eating at your desk. Live with no regrets!

Get Support. Let your significant other know your exercise schedule ahead of time, so there are no conflicts or guilt when it comes time for working out. Inform your employer of your goals and ask for some flexibility in your schedule. For example, come in later and work later, so that you can get in your morning run.

Stick to Your Schedule. Set your smart phone to go off when it’s time to exercise. Then stop what you are doing and take 30+ minutes to exercise. You will be more productive finishing up tasks after you worked out versus trying to work through a situation knowing you did not keep your commitment to yourself.

7 Health Benefits of Strawberries

Strawberries are called ‘the queen of fruits” in Asian countries, because they are packed with health benefits. Yummy, juicy and mouth-watering, we love to enjoy strawberries in the form of ice creams, shakes, smoothies and other desserts.

Compared to fruits like apples, oranges or bananas, strawberries have the highest amount of nutrients. Strawberries are rich in vital nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These juicy heart-shaped delights have much more to offer beyond sweetness and flavor.

7 Health Benefits of Strawberries

Helps burn stored fat. The red coloring contains anthocyanins, which stimulate the burning of stored fat. When a group of animals was fed a high-fat diet along with anthocyanins, they gained 24 percent less weight than the animals eating the high-fat diet without added anthocyanins. The compound nitrate found promotes blood flow and oxygen in our body, which is great for weight loss.

Boost short term memory. The anthocyanins boost short term memory by 100 percent in eight weeks. 

Ease Inflammation. Strawberries lower blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a signal of inflammation in the body. In a study, women who ate 16 or more strawberries per week were 14 percent less likely to have elevated levels of CRP. 

Lower cardiovascular disease. Flavonoids — which are responsible for the colour and flavour of strawberries — lower the risk for heart disease.

Promote bone health. Strawberries contain potassium, vitamin K and magnesium which are important for bone health.

Anti-aging properties. Strawberries are filled with biotin, which helps build strong hair and nails. They also contain the antioxidant ellagic acid, which protects the elastic fibers in our skin to prevent sagging.

Promote eye health. Eating three or more servings of fruit like strawberries may lower the risk of macular degeneration, a condition resulting in vision loss.

The Amazing Health Benefits of Coconuts

We're crazy for coconuts! Not only are they extremely nutritious and their content is quite rich in fiber, but they are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. The coconut palm is actually viewed as the tree of life. And thankfully, its (very) long list of health benefits that is passed on from a generation to another has now for the most part been validated by modern science.

Coconut oil,  most popular form of Coconut is used around the world to treat a vast spectrum of health conditions for its anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. It’s medicinal uses are many and varied...

TIP: Buy organic, unrefined, cold-pressed, extra virgin coconut oil.

Heart-Healthy. Coconut oil is beneficial for the heart since it contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in actively preventing various heart problems like high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The saturated fats present in coconut oil are not harmful as you commonly find in vegetable oils.

Skin Care. Coconut oil is an excellent massage oil for the skin as well. It acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skin, including dry and mature skin. Its high moisture retaining capacity keeps the skin from cracking or peeling off. Try rubbing coconut oil on wrinkles and sagging skin can help rejuvenate it by strengthening the tissues. Applying the same method is also a great way to fight off skin problems such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema.

Immunity. Coconut oil is also good for the immune system. It strengthens the immune system because it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Weight Loss. Coconut oil is very useful for weight loss. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and endocrine system. Further, it increases the body’s metabolic rate by removing stress on the pancreas, thereby burning more energy and helping obese and overweight people lose the weight.


  • "Health Benefits of Coconut Oil." Organic Facts. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2014.
  • Simard, P. "Coconuts Are the 'wonder Food' with a Multitude of Uses." NaturalNews. N.p., 27 July 2013. Web. 04 Apr. 2014.
  • Zelman, Kathleen M. "The Truth About Coconut Water." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2014.