Flax Seed Health Benefits


Lately, I have been reading a lot about how flax seed has a ton of health benefits.  Here are some heath benefits I have found:

It has lots of Omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are “good” fats and play an important role in the anti-inflammatory system of our body. Since flax seeds are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, especially alpha linoleic acid, it gives your body oils that keep your skin soft and clear, with just the right amount of moisture. Our bodies do not naturally create omega-3 fats, so we need to get them from our diet.

It contains Lignans, which have both plan estrogen and antioxidant qualities. (This helps reduce breast cancer and prostate cancer.) Flax seeds also have vitamins and minerals like magnesium, manganese and most of the B vitamins!

Flax seed is a great source of fiber! Often times, we do not get enough fiber in our diets. However, because flax seed does contain a lot of fiber, it is important to start with a small amount and increase slowly. 

Research shows that it can help reduce your risk of heart diseasecancerstroke, and diabetes.That’s pretty impressive for a tiny seed that’s been around for centuries.

Some other benefits include:

  • Lowers blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
  • Reduces bone loss.
  • Helps with weight management.
  • Improves digestive health.
  • Increases immunity.
  • Helps balance hormone levels.

There are so many ways you can incorporate it into your meals.  You can add it to cooked oatmeal, bread, muffins, pancake batter, or yogurt. It has a nice nutty flavor and will go great with various recipes!

Recently, I added it to my peanut butter protein balls recipe and it was so delicious.. it added a little crunch to the taste! I added 1/2 a cup of Bob’s Red Mill Flaxeed Meal to my protein balls recipe. You can see the whole recipe here.

peanut butter protein balls flaxeed

Healthy Snack Recipe: Peanut Butter Protein Balls

peanut butter protein balls

These peanut butter protein balls are a healthy snack to make that is very quick and easy. They are packed with lots of protein and are the perfect alternative to junk food when you want something to munch on. You can make these protein balls in less than 10 minutes.

Here is the recipe for Peanut Butter Protein Balls:

1. Mix these ingredients into a bowl: 1 cup of Natural Vanilla Shaklee Energizing Protein, 1 cup of natural peanut butter, and a 1/2 cup of honey.

2. Once it is mixed well, shape the ingredients into little balls and set them on a plate.

3. To prevent the little balls from sticking to one another, I like to rolls the balls into Shaklee 180 Vanilla Energizing Smoothee.

4. Lastly, place the protein balls in the refrigerator. They taste so good when they are cold!

I have started to add 1/2 a cup of flax seed to this recipe for a yummy, crunchy taste and lots of health benefits! See all of the health benefits of flax seed here.

Choosing Quality Fish Oil

fish oil

One of the more common nutrient deficiencies in the most people’s diet is the lack of EPA and DHA found in fish oil. 

Following dietary suggestions to consume 2-3 servings of fish a week – especially cold water, oily fish — is good advice to ensure adequate EPA/DHA, but most consumers do not eat fish that frequently. Many consumers are concerned about the risk of contaminants in many common fish. In fact, many consumers question whether the health benefits of eating fish outweigh those of eating fish that could contain mercury, lead, or other toxins.

Recent reports do suggest that there may be cause for concern about the quality of our fish. Imported seafood accounts for around 80 percent of the fish we consume, and according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), only about 2 percent of imported seafood is inspected (and only 0.1 percent is tested for banned drug residues). Farmed fish seems to be no better with many of these fish containing PCB’s and other chemicals with serious long-term health effects. While mercury is certainly a concern, fish may also contain lead, arsenic cadmium, dioxin or other toxins.

With all of these concerns, many people turn to supplemental fish oil as a solution. When fish oil is properly processed, contaminants can be removed or reduced to levels where they should not pose a risk.

When choosing a clean fish oil, look for the following:

  • Quality Company: Not all fish oil is created equal. Find a company you can trust that has a long history of quality production.
  • Molecular Distillation: This process places the fish oil under a vacuum, which allows it to boil at a much lower temperature (protecting it from damage). Molecular distillation allows for EPA and DHA to be removed and the heavy metals left behind. A benefit of the process is that the EPA/DHA is concentrated and fishy odor/taste is reduced. When done correctly, molecular distillation is capable of reducing the toxins in fish oil to levels considered to be safe by the EPA and other agencies.
  • Small Fish: Bioaccumulation occurs when toxins accumulate as we move up the food chain. A small amount of a toxin is no problem in a small fish, but as a larger fish eats thousands of small fish, it now has accumulated more of that toxin. When still larger fish now eats hundreds of those fish, toxins concentrate even more. Companies using small fish help to reduce the bioaccumulation of toxins.
  • Sustainability: Fisheries must be managed to ensure we have a good source of fish oil well into the future. Friends of the Sea is an international conservation organization that sets strict criteria for sustainability. Friends of the Sea only certify products made from fish stocks that are not overexploited. Attention is paid to population size and catch limits and avoiding harvesting at spawning time.

Ensuring quality should be a priority for anyone looking to get the most out of their fish oil.

How to Ensure You Are Getting Enough

To help avoid a deficiency in omega-3’s, follow these guidelines:

  • Start with cold-water fish: Eat two servings of cold-water fish a week. Since many fish are not sustainably fished and others don’t have enough omega-3, the best fish to provide you optimum omega-3 content are wild salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, black cod, wild trout, and albacore tuna.
  • Supplement: Take a daily omega-3 supplement. Take enough to supply approximately 1,000 — 2,000 mg of fish oil a day. If you have a heart condition, talk with your health care provider and consider taking up to 2-4 grams a day.

OmegaGuard is a natural fish oil supplement I highly recommend. It contains all seven omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHA, which studies show help: 

  • Reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Retain healthy triglyceride levels
  • Maintain normal blood pressure
  • Support brain, eye, and joint health
  • Helpful for skin health and may help for a variety of conditions including inflammatory conditions of the skin

Get more information on OmegaGuard here.

Source: Shaklee

Natural Sunscreen For Face & Body

Summer is right around the corner.  With warm and beautiful weather, also comes dry, irritated and burned skin.  You must protect your skin when out in the sun to keep it looking young and fresh.  

100% Natural Sunscreen For Face & Body

Designed for all skin types, including the most sensitive skin, this patented, water resistant, oil-free sunscreen smooths easily into your skin and absorbs quickly, without leaving a sticky residue. Soothing and moisturizing, it does not irritate the skin. Patented Vital-Repair+® contains antioxidant vitamins and botanicals. The formula offers broad spectrum protection and adds an extra defense against premature skin aging.

Here are a few benefits of the Enfuselle® SPF 30 Suncreen:

  • Vital Repair+® complex adds extra protection against prematurely older-looking skin by neutralizing harmful free radicals
  • Filters out sun’s harsh rays to protect against skin damage
  • Nonirritating formula designed for sensitive skin
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Paraben Free.

I highly recommend Enfuselle® SPF 30 Suncreen for everyone who wants to protect their skin while out in the sun.

Vitamin D For Weight Loss

Vitamin D has a countless number of health benefits. 


Vitamin D..

  • Helps support healthy, heart function
  • Helps promote immune health
  • Facilitates healthy cell development
  • Aids in calcium absorption for maintaining strong bones and teeth.

These four bullets are quite enough reasons why you should incorporate a Vitamin D supplement into your diet. 

However, there is one more that many people may never have heard of before. Vitamin D can also aid in weight loss.  

A lot of “weight loss pills” are usually not effective. If you want to take a pill to help promote weight loss, your best bet is a vitamin that you associate with the sun.

“Researchers from Canada found that people with higher levels of vitamin D also have lower levels of body fat. The connection isn’t a coincidence. Vitamin D helps you feel fuller because, according to Australian researchers, it releases more leptin, a hormone essential to weight loss. It also helps you store less fat by decreasing parathyroid hormone, which makes you hold on to your love handles. Best of all, vitamin D literally burns more fat by reducing production of the stress hormone cortisol.” [Source: Adam Bornstein, SHAPE]

Up to 80% of Americans may have suboptimal levels of Vitamin D.  Could this correlate with the high obesity levels we face in the United States?  It is most likely not the only factor in our high obese levels.  However, with all the benefits of Vitamin D, it is worthwhile to supplement with it daily. 

It is still very important to eat a healthy diet and exercise. Some supplements can help fill nutritional gaps that will help your body function more efficiently. Supplementing with Vitamin D3 is a smart investment for your overall health and fat-loss goals.You just need to make certain the supplements you are taking are NOT synthetic.  Make sure you read to product label carefully. Shaklee Vitamin D3 is an all natural supplement that is clinically supported and proven to significantly raise blood levels of vitamin D. 

15 Health & Fitness Tips You Need To Know NOW

After losing 30 pounds, I wanted to put together a little cheat sheet that would help other people reach their health and weight loss goals. I came up with 15 health & fitness tips that really helped me lose the right weight, which is fat, not muscle!

I was determined to get fit and feel good about my body.  I didn’t want a quick fix, or an impossible diet that you can only stick to for a week.

I wanted a lifestyle change.  Something I could continue after I reached my goal weight.

I started my journey at 135 pounds and as of right now, I am at 105 pounds! 30 pounds down!! 

However, I am not finished. I want to continue to make goals for myself, so I can always strive to reach my fullest potential.  I think it is very important to constantly push yourself and challenge yourself, because you can accomplish things you never thought possible.  I think this philosophy applies to life in general.

I am going to take you through the steps that helped me lose the weight and also the products that I recommend to anyone trying to lose weight.  A lot of the products are from a company called, Shaklee, the #1 Natural Nutrition Company in the United States.  I became an affiliate for them in 2011, because I just love all their products so much. You can find more information about their products here, or by clicking on each one below.

So, here are my 15 Health & Fitness Tips:

1. Pomegranate Tea with Lemon Performance Drink – Every morning I have this delicious drink with my breakfast that I drink throughout the morning. The Pomegranate Tea contains an exclusive blend of antioxidant-rich green, white and red teas, as well as taurine. It naturally boosts my energy and enhances alertness. I like to mix it with Lemon Lime Performance, because the performance is a great hydration drink.

2. Replace Coffee With Energy Chews   I try to avoid drinking my calories, so I prefer taking Energy Chews when I am tired, rather than coffee. It helps me focus better, whereas coffee seems to make me more ‘jittery’ than focused. If you find that you just need something to sip on, then try my Pomegranate Tea & Lemon Performance drink I mentioned above. It helps with that!

3. Leucine – Leucine is such a powerful protein. You can read more about why you should have it here. To get my share of Leucine everyday, I usually have a Smoothee or a Meal Bar. My favorite meal bar is the Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Meal Bar. I have it almost everyday for lunch. I like how it fills me up without making me feel sluggish or tired. I also like to drink a smoothee when I am low on time. Here are some great Smoothee Recipes to try.

4. Exercise 5 Days A Week – I like to do a combination of cardio and lifting at the gym.  I always do some type of cardio each time I am at the gym. I mix it up between the elliptical, treadmill, and bike. I do a leg workout twice a week and an upper body workout three times a week. I like to work out my triceps and chest together, biceps and back together and shoulders by itself. I also do an ab workout 5 days a week.

5. Lift Heavier – I have a rule that if I can lift more than 12 reps, then I am not lifting enough. I have started to slowly increase the weight in my strength training and I have seen great results from it. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be. The faster your metabolism is, the more calories you burn! Don’t be afraid to lift more if you are a girl!

6. HIIT Training. At least 2 days a week I incorporate HIIT. Speed interval training is very good for you. I like to do 10-15 minutes of it on the treadmill. I will walk for 1 minute (4 mph) and then sprint for 1 minute (8 mph – 10 mph.) It helps get your heart rate up and metabolism moving!

7. Have A WHY – It is important to know why you want to lose weight. For me, I wanted to feel comfortable in my body, as well as confident and proud of my body. In the words of Jim Rohn, “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”  I also became obsessed with Pinterest and started pinning cute outfits I’d love to wear if I had the body for it, and that helped motivate me in losing 30 pounds. 

8. Don’t Deprive Yourself – If you really want some ice cream, then have some.  Just watch your servings (don’t have a full tub of it, or have it every day!) I still eat a lot of the foods I love, but now I just make sure I watch how much I have of it.

9. 1200 Calorie Cap – I didn’t go crazy calculating, I just estimated all my meals. With my height, 1200 calories was a good number for my calorie intake. It may be different for you. Now, I eat about 1400 calories a day. I never feel hungry or deprived with my diet.

10. Watch Your Portions. – Really listen to your body – know when it says you’re full. Half the time, we eat just because we are bored. We are not really hungry, we just eat to eat. I basically cut a lot of my portions in half. Before, I was eating way too much. Try and keep yourself distracted by doing the things you love, working out, etc.

11. Drink Water & Get Sleep – Need I say more?? This is pretty self explanatory! Water does the body good and you need sleep to be able to function during the day. Whenever I don’t get enough sleep, I usually become cranky and crave food. I am always in a better mood when I give my body what it needs, water and sleep!

12. Limit Alcohol — I noticed that when I use to drink more, I would crave fatty and greasy foods. When I started to drink less, then I stopped getting the urge to eat these types of foods. I haven’t completely eliminated alcohol from my diet, but now I just don’t drink it as often. I think it is important to not deprive yourself. If you want to go out and have a few drinks with friends, then go for it. Just don’t go too crazy with the drinks! I love to drink cranberry juice and vodka. It is one of the low calorie alcoholic beverages and it also contains antioxidants!

13. Take Vitamins – It’s important to give your body the nutrients it needs and to always feel healthy! Everyday, I take a Shaklee Vitalizer Strip. They are very easy to take with you on-the-go and contain all the necessary nutrients that your body needs. I haven’t been sick in over a year and a half.. at least!! Here is more information on Vitalizer. 

14. Look for support. Whether it be online, or a friend – a great support system will help motivate you to accomplish and stick to your goals. I like to follow different accounts on Twitter and Pinterest to help keep me motivated in reaching my goal. There are some great social media accounts that will post healthy recipes, new workouts, and cute outfits to help motivate you to reach your goal weight!

15. DON’T STRESS: Losing weight takes time. Don’t check the scale every 2 minutes to see if you lost any weight, because you probably didn’t! If you stick to my 14 steps above, you will see the weight come off – it just takes time.  Relax and enjoy your life during your weight loss journey!

An added bonus of my weight loss journey was I started to receive a lot of compliments from friends and family about how ‘GOOD‘ I looked and that just helped me continue to push myself even more to achieve my goals. What I was doing was PAYING OFF and that is more gratifying than anything else!

I hope this article helps you!  Let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment in the section below – I am here to help in anyway I can!

Stay Hydrated: Smart Hydration for Better Workouts

image3_345xDid you know the human body is made up of 60% water? Physiologically, fluids assist in the transportation of oxygen and nutrients through the bloodstream, provide lubrication in our joints and cushioning for our organs, and carry heat generated by exercise to the skin where it can be dissipated as sweat to cool the body. An adult loses about 2 liters of fluid per day through sweat, urine, respiration, and bowel movements, and that’s why we often make the recommendation to drink eight glasses of water daily for proper hydration.

But as individuals, we all have different metabolic rates, we all live and exercise in different environments, and we all experience unique rates of sweat loss. Failure to replace lost fluids raises the risk of dehydration and increases the chance athletic performance and even health can be compromised. In addition to water, sweat contains electrolytes such as sodium and potassium that need to be replenished to support optimal fluid balance in the body.
Consider these hydration strategies to help get the most out of your workouts:

  • Prehydration is a relatively new concept, but the goal is to prevent dehydration from occurring by properly hydrating and assuring normal plasma-electrolyte levels prior to exercise. Prehydrating can be accomplished by drinking water or sports drinks, and by consuming foods with a high water content several hours before exercise. Most of us can benefit by drinking two to three cups of fluid in the hours before exercise.
  • Hydration during exercise helps to prevent dehydration and electrolyte imbalances and to minimize adverse effects on athletic and mental performance. Losing as little as 2% of body weight (or just 3 pounds in a 150-pound person) during exercise has been shown to compromise athletic performance. Drinking cool liquids early and often, and opting for sports drinks that contain electrolytes and energy-sustaining carbohydrates can be beneficial. In hot and humid conditions, you should drink half a cup or more of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes that you exercise.
  • Rehydration after exercise is important to enhance the recovery process and to make up any remaining fluid or electrolyte deficits. In the hours after exercise, try to rehydrate with 2 cups of fluid (yes, 2 cups!) for every pound of weight lost during your workout. If weighing yourself is not an option, checking your urine color is a simple indicator of hydration status. A pale or clear color is usually a sign of proper hydration, whereas a dark yellow or tea-colored urine is a common indicator of dehydration.

So let’s all get out and exercise—and drink up for peak athletic performance!


Source: Shaklee

Think Nutrition: Sports Nutrition Before, During, and After Workouts

image2_345xWe all know regular exercise is an important component of fitness and health, but how many of us know that what we ate last night and this morning can have a huge impact on the quality of today’s workout? Sports nutrition, the science of using simple dietary practices to help optimize athletic performance, combines all the best nutritional components and strategies to ensure your diet will efficiently fuel your exercise regimen—not slow it down.

Let’s look at the components of a healthy training diet that supports athletic performance:

  • Fluids help maintain normal body temperature and deliver energy and nutrients to hardworking muscles, so it’s no surprise that well-hydrated athletes perform better and can sustain longer than their poorly hydrated counterparts.
  • Carbohydrate is the fuel of choice for both recreational and competitive athletes because it is the most readily available fuel for working muscles. In fact, low-carbohydrate fuel stores are a common limiting factor in high-intensity and endurance exercise.
  • Protein is essential for increasing muscle mass and strength, as well as for recovering from prolonged exercise.
  • Vitamins and minerals don’t provide energy, but they’re essential for converting the food you eat into energy your muscles can use.

Timing the consumption of food and drink throughout your exercise session can significantly improve hydration, energy, recovery, and the quality of individual workouts. Following this hydration and nutrition regimen before, during, and after workouts can help to optimize exercise performance and improve recovery for subsequent workouts.

BEFORE: Two to four hours before exercise, be sure to hydrate early and often, and eat healthful and nutritious carbohydrate-rich foods, including light sandwiches, pasta, salads, fruits, and nutritional bars. Consider more rapidly absorbed nutritional shakes as little as one hour before an event, depending on your individual level of digestive comfort. Continue hydrating right up to the start of an event and consider a natural caffeine boost 30 minutes prior to exercise.

DURING: Continue hydrating with small amounts of cool fluids, including water and sports drinks, every 15 to 30 minutes. For events lasting longer than an hour, consider rapidly digested carbohydrate-rich foods such as bagels, gels, bananas, apples, oranges, and nutritional bars.

AFTER: Try to consume a balanced intake of fluids, carbohydrate, and protein immediately after exercise to maximize hydration, muscle-energy refueling, muscle repair, and muscle rebuilding. The right balance of carbohydrate and protein can trigger and enhance the anabolic recovery process when consumed immediately after exercise and again an hour or two later—especially for those who have multiple daily workout sessions.

Sports nutrition—it’s smart nutrition for elite athletes and smart for the athlete inside each of us.


Source: Shaklee

Get Focused: Find Your Inner Athlete

image1_345xProfessional athletes are different from the rest of us. They endure grueling training schedules, adversity, and even pain, yet still find a way to compete and succeed. Sports and competition are not just for professionals, but can be a part of everyone’s life. You, too, can become an athlete, not by running a marathon, or biking across France, but by cultivating the mind-set of an athlete and pushing yourself to do the best you can.

Becoming an athlete (whether you compete or not) can have huge benefits for your health and well-being. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 80 percent of us are not meeting physical activity recommendations for aerobic and non-aerobic exercise. That is unfortunate because we can all benefit from being active. Exercising helps maintain your weight, strengthens bones, contributes to cardiovascular health, reduces stress, and even improves your mood.

What is the difference between you and a serious athlete? It is less than you might think and has to do with their habits and mind-set. Knowing what professionals know can help you live a long and healthy life.

Here is how to find your inner athlete:

  • Routine: For athletes, exercising is like bathing or brushing their teeth. It is just something that they do every day (or most days), without questioning whether or not they have the time or the energy. Make exercise part of your day, not an addition to it.
  • Uncomfortable: Exercising is not always a comfortable experience. You are going to get too hot or too cold, you are going to sweat, and little aches and pains will pop up from time to time. This is all part of the process and not a reason to stop. In fact, overcoming these challenges can give you a sense of accomplishment that might help you stick to your routine.
  • Diet: What you eat is important. The food that you put in your body is not only your fuel, but the basic building blocks of a healthy body. If you want that body to work and function well, you have to fuel it with good nutrition and back that up with nutritional supplements when you are not getting what you need. As you exercise more, you may benefit from products designed to help you with energy, hydration, and muscle recovery.
  • Mind Games: Cultivating the mind-set of an athlete means understanding that you can go much further than you think you can. Ultramarathoner, Scott Jurak, says that the only thing that keeps him going when he is running 50-plus miles is his mind because his body has been telling him to stop for the past hour. Think you have hit your limit? Give a little more effort and you might be surprised at what you can do.
  • Competition: A little friendly competition can keep you motivated. Winning is important to most professional athletes, but beating their own personal best is often more motivating. They compete against themselves more than others. Competition, whether in a local 5k or against your own record, can be what gets you out of bed and to your training on the mornings you don’t feel like it.

Become an athlete on your level. Try golf, hiking, tennis, swimming, or even walking. Think about challenging yourself with a little competition (look for a run or walk for a cause you believe in to help you stay motivated). The mall is a great place to walk if you live where it gets too hot or too cold for you to exercise outdoors. A pedometer is a great tool to engage that competitive spirit; see if you can walk more steps this week than you did last week.

You may be intimidated by exercising, but it doesn’t have to be that hard. You don’t have to train for a marathon, triathlon, or iron man competition to become an athlete; you just have to dedicate yourself to getting out there and doing something. Exercise has too many important benefits to leave it to the professionals; borrow the mind-set of the athlete and get out there and hit the road today.

Consult your physician before starting any exercise program, especially if you are significantly overweight, have cardiovascular health issues and/or you have not been exercising regularly.


Source: Shaklee

Summer is Almost Here!

Summer is quickly approaching.  We are less than a month away!  With that, comes summer fun like swimming, hiking, gardening, parties, beach trips, etc.  Unfortunately, anxiety and distress of fitting into your summer clothes accompanies the feelings that come with the beginning of summer.

You are frantically searching for a quick solution to your winter weight gain.  Some weight loss programs may seem like an appealing way to take the weight off at first, but isn’t the healthiest way for you or your body.  It is important to look for a weight loss program that not only works, but also is a healthy way to lose your inches.

Don’t try to cut out full food groups when you are trying to lose weight.  You want to get a mix of them all, just make sure it is in moderation.  Make sure you have plenty of fruit, vegetables, and protein!  If you are working out, or doing any type of physical activity – make sure you have plenty of protein sources.  Protein shakes and protein bars can be a great and easy way to get your protein in.

Do NOT let your plate look like the one on the right:


Cutting food out completely to lose weight will just lower your metabolism and your body will get use to the low calorie diet and you will not lose anymore weight once your body gets use to it.  Many people lose a lot of weight in the first week of low-carbing, but it is mostly water weight. Weight loss will slow down significantly after that initial phase.  An impossibly low calorie diet is extremely hard to maintain and you can gain all your weight back once you go off of it.

I know summer is coming fast and you want a quick fix to lose your weight.  However, an unhealthy weight loss program is not good for you in the long run!

Three helpful tips in your summer weight loss journey:

1. Eat a well balanced diet with fruit, vegetables, protein, and healthy carbohydrates.  Just make sure you eat everything in moderation!

2. Exercising can help speed up your weight loss. Make sure to incorporate both cardio and weight lifting into your workout regimen.

3. Add leucine and green tea into your diet.  They both help to speed up your metabolism. Leucine can help keep lean muscle and get rid of fat.  More muscle = faster metabolism!

Read more about leucine in this article: Metabolism Makeover