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Smooth It Out

Heels To Laces is on a mission to break through the clutter of health and fitness and make it easier to live healthier – and have a ton of fun doing it. As always, we love interaction so email us, comment, share and send your thoughts.

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK
“The greatest gift you can give someone is your time, because when you give your time you are giving a portion of your life that you will never get back.” ~unknown

TRUTH OR DARE
Each post we will present you with a truth or dare. All you have to do is tackle it with gusto and make it happen. Often, by just focusing on one change…just one, it’s much more palpable and achievable and becomes the jump start you need.

DareGive it all you’ve got
Although it’s not officially holiday season, the season of giving is fast approaching. But why wait? We all know how it feels to receive – but giving is so good for the giver…dare we say even better than getting? It has the most miraculous way of making you feel centered, calm, happy, fulfilled and inspired.

Giving can be as simple as picking up the keys someone dropped, sending a text to someone that pops into your head letting them know your’re thinking of them, sending an unexpected little trinket in the mail, opening the door for someone, buying the person next to you a cup of coffee, volunteering for a neighborhood program or just writing a note (yes, hand-written).

It all counts.

ASK THE EXPERTS
We don’t claim to know everything – so sometimes we have to ask the experts:

What the Fascia?!
We have heard a lot about something called fascia lately – but what is it exactly? We are here to clear up the confusion. Well, Beth is. Beth Geller, the founder of Just Be Smooth Endermologie Studio, is an expert on fascia and sub-dermal treatments.

So here’s how Beth explains it – Fascia is a band of fibrous, connective tissue beneath the skin, primarily collagen, that attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles and other internal organs.  They run throughout the body in 12 meridian lines (similar but not the same as acupuncture or Chinese Medicine meridians) that connect all parts of the body.  It acts like a glove that supports and connects the whole body.

It is important to keep fascia nice and loose to avoid stiffness and pain.  Especially if you train hard with running, jump roping, cross training or HIIT –  you want your fascia light, springy and flexible to avoid injuries. Loose fascia also helps muscles work more efficiently by being less constricted, which creates better blood flow.

Fascia is a direct correlation to cellulite. Cellulite, most often in women, is due to tight fascia, which creates dimples. Cellulite may form when there is excess water retention, poor blood circulation, enlarged fat cells or a hormone imbalance. But have no fear! There are cures! Fascia can be kept nice and flexible and in optimal condition by drinking enough water, regularly exercising (including yoga/pilates/barre/HIIT), foam rolling, stretching and endermologie treatments.

Basically, keeping your fascia loose and springy will help you with everything that you do; you will feel and look younger, healthier and more agile. One endermologie treatment can increase blood flow 400%, lymphatic drainage 300% and collagen production 27-100%. And because Beth is a friend of HtoL, she is passing on the discounted rate of $45 for your first time (psst…you just lie there and get massaged by the machine). Thanks, Beth. Beth@justbesmooth.com/ www.justbesmooth.com 

WHAT’S TRENDING
Cassava. We are not speaking Spanish (although it is Brazilian). Cassava has been getting more visibility lately as another gluten-free option, especially considering it has a low glycemic index (meaning glucose is released into the blood stream slower). Cassava, also known as manioc and yuca (not yucca), is a tropical root plant used in Asia, Africa and South America because it’s plentiful and inexpensive.  It is high in B-complex vitamins (B6, B5, B2), folate, thiamin and contains high performing minerals like zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium…whew.

Cassava is considered a resistant starch – which are said to be the healthiest kind of starch for your gut. Resistant starch feeds beneficial gut bacteria, can reduce inflammation and harmful bacteria. Bonus.

Here’s a cassava flour we like. And cassava chips, which we’ve bragged about before, we LOVE.

WHAT WE’RE OBSESSED WITH
Sometimes, you just gotta have it.

Flip It and Reverse It
Winter = dry. Dry hair, dry nails, dry feet. It’s already starting and it’s maddening. We are always searching for THAT hair product that can take the straw look away and add some life and shine. We are happy to say we found one. NYR Organic is fair trade, fair wild, fair for life…just plain fair. And we like that. Their hair treatment is as pure as it gets and super affordable – and the results are amazing. You can leave it in anywhere from 30 min to overnight (we prefer the overnight). A little goes a looonnngggg way. If you want it even cheaper, simply email organic4framak@gmail.com for free shipping or 20% off (whichever is the better deal).

Put Up Your Dukes
As you know, at HtoL, we’re all homeopathic and stuff. And we have written blogs on natural cold remedies here, here and here. Well, there’s a newbie on the market that we swear by. This one little product has all the homeopathic remedies blended down into one powerful pill. It is a 5-day regimen that legit kicks a cold’s ass. Try to do the whole regimen (the entire jar). You will be amazed at it’s power.

Rest Assured
Sleep deprivation is said to equate to being intoxicated. Lack of sleep, and the need for more of it, is one of the most common denominators among us. In the latest Consumer Reports survey of 4,023 US adults, 27% said they had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep and a whopping 68% struggled with sleep at least one a week. We think it’s their bedding. This new-er company has made it their mission to help people sleep better with 100% organic, sustainably sourced, softer-than-soft bedding. We’re talking from sheets to duvets to now even mattresses. They have certainly done it right. And because they are friends (you could say family) of HtoL, they are offering our readers $50 off a $200 purchase (holidays, people!). Simply use code: BOLLH2L (ps. it expires on Nov 2nd!).

THE DISH ON DELISH
All of our recipes will always be quick, healthy, easy, gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, mostly dairy-free, SCD legal and Paleo friendly. And yes, all sorts of deliciousness.

‘Tis the season…

Pumpkin Spiced Granola*
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup flaked almonds
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions:
– Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
– Place the walnuts, pecans and whole almonds (not flaked) in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds until the nuts have broken into small pieces (don’t over pulse them into a powder).
– Transfer the nuts to a large bowl and add in the pumpkin seeds, flaked almonds, coconut flakes and raisins.
– In a small bowl whisk together the pumpkin puree, melted coconut oil, honey and all of the spices and salt. Once well mixed, pour the liquid over the nut mixture and stir so that everything is  well coated.
– Spread the mixture evenly out on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 50 minutes to an hour, stirring every 15 minutes to ensure it evenly browns (don’t let it burn!).

Once everything is golden in colour, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool. The granola should become crunchy as it cools. Transfer to an airtight container.

Thank you for the recipe, EveryLastBite!

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PS. We love you too.

WANT TO SHINE?
Have a product you’d like us to try and review for potential inclusion in our newsletter? Simply contact us: info@heelstolaces.com

WANT MORE?
Let the fun continue…Follow us on Instagram & Facebook to get daily doses of inspiration, knowledge & recipes.

Disclosure: some product recommendations are affiliate sites, which simply means we get a small compensation from the companies that sell the products we endorse. We will never endorse a product we do not personally use or love. Opinions expressed are solely those of Heels To Laces.
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Badda-Bing, Badda-Boom

The response to the last blog entry was overwhelmingly positive. So, why not continue the fun? Let’s consider this Part II…with a little twist. Following is a list of great finds that will help you cope with the stressful-excess-eating-pressure-filled-gift-giving-primping-indulging holidays.

The Holiday Hangover. You know the hangover is inevitable…but is it? This one is gold: Drink Before Elixir is a pre-cocktail beverage that claims “No hangovers & reduces redness”. The product’s goal is to “make it healthier and more comfortable for you to enjoy alcohol.” Giddy-up. Loaded with vitamins, potassium and amino acids, I was sold. So does it work? I say “Hell, yes.” Worked for me during a crazy weekend outing when drinks started pouring at 2 pm and the night ended at 3 am. Yep, I still got it. No hangover, no nausea, no problem. Find it on Amazon.

Loyalty Program. Who doesn’t love the Bed Bath and Beyond 20% off coupons, especially for holiday shopping? I can’t keep them in the house. If I wasn’t enough of a loyal customer before, now they really got me. They started a new loyalty program where you pay $29/year for an on-going 20% off your entire purchase. If you receive this exclusive invite…jump on it. Pure brilliance. Here’s more info.

Learn How To Read Your Body. This one is key. Especially during the holidays. Note what causes reactions to your body. Are you unusually bloated after you drink dairy? Do you crash hard after eating carbs? Are you unbearable after eating sugar? Are you especially thirsty in the evenings or AM from not drinking enough water or eating too much salt? Are you super lethargic in the morning from over-eating at night? Listen to these triggers and avoid them. Keep a journal of these reactions and when they occur and you will have incredible insights on how to feel and look better.

Luscious Lashes. We think holidays and we think lash extensions and falsies. There’s a new solution. No more expensive applications or over-promising mascaras. Rodan & Fields just launched this product called Lash Boost with clinical trials resulting in 85% longer, 90% fuller, 63% darker lashes with results in 4 weeks. And they’re killin’ it. Forget the iris-changing, crazy side effects of Latisse. Started mine 2 weeks ago and the difference is remarkably noticeable. They are offering a holiday gift with purchase – free cosmetic bag and eye cream. And now that I have access, so do you (or your favorite gift recipient). Buy here.

Get Matcha’d: I have searched for a good, authentic Matcha Tea for a long time  – however, most of them (including Starbucks) are not the real deal. I recently stumbled upon Motto Sparkling Matcha Tea: made to “make you feel and think better”. For centuries, Matcha has prepared Buddhist monks for meditation and readied samurai warriors for battle. Ok, so I’m neither – but I do frequently adorn my Wonder Woman cape. This Matcha tea is supposed to be a powerful agent of health, wellness and natural energy. Sugars are higher than I would normally grab (13 per bottle) but no more than the natural sugars in my afternoon latte. Small handcrafted batches made up of sparkling water, Matcha green tea, honey, organic agave, fresh lemon juice, organic apple cidar videgar and natural plant extract. (found it at Kings)

Read The Label: The most important thing in weight maintenance is reading the nutrition label. All too often, especially during the holidays, we have this “all or nothing” mentality. “I’ll get back into shape after the holidays.” Which I never truly understood why you would sacrifice 2 months of your life to binge eating. It only results in a guilt-filled, reluctant New Year with unreasonable “now I have to make up for lost time” pound abolishing goals. Learn to read nutrition contents and ingredients and always practice portion control. You can start using 4th grade math: If a serving contains 120 calories, 9 grams of sugar, 18 grams of carbs and 2 grams of saturated fat and there are 5 servings in the bag – and you eat the entire bag (and many of these bags are small and manageable enough to do just that), you have just indulged in 600 calories, 45 grams of sugar, 90 grams of carbs and 10 grams of saturated fat. Can you say sabotage?

Kill The Temptation. Want desperately to eat something on your plate you know is not the best choice? Spill water on it. Ever take a look at left-over food in the kitchen sink? Not very appetizing. Bet ya won’t want it anymore after it’s doused with water.

Talk In Code. We have all that partner in crime that we confide in at a holiday dinner. I mentioned The Skimm in my last write-up but what I forgot to mention was the kick-ass acronym cheat sheet they offer with the latest and greatest social uses. This one’s a must – read here (how fun to practice them over turkey dinner). And if you still haven’t joined The Skimm – do it now.

Burn Fat. There is a pretty good chance you will be indulging during the holidays (avoid making it a month-long habit). The key is to get your heart rate high enough to use up your stored glucose and get into the fat burning zone. How do you do that? Intervals. Workout example for a runner: Warm up 5 minutes at moderate rate (4.5 mph). Jog at a steady pace for 5 minutes (6.0 mph), then exert yourself running at a much faster pace (6.8-7.0) for 2 minutes. You should be breathing heavily and trying to catch your breath for those 2 minutes. Repeat that 5 min/2 min cycle for 30+ minutes, 2-3 times a week. This is the same concept of Tabata. High intervals with moderate rests in between. Adjust the times/pace to your level. Walkers walk for the 5 min and light jog/speed walk for the 2.

And that’s all folks. If you are looking for more tidbits or are interesting in a private nutrition counseling session, email me at dakarrat@yahoo.com. Happy, healthy holidays.

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When Things Get Itchy

You’ve got that New Year’s itch. “This year is going to be different.”drunkwaffles-300x300

As suspected, the most common new year’s resolution is to “lose weight.” According to Newsweek, there is a 12.1% hike in new gym memberships sold in January. “There are 54 million people in the U.S.—approximately 17 percent of the population—who are members of some type of gym or fitness center. A disproportionate number of them join shortly after the guilt of a gluttonous December sets in.”

Aisling Pigott, a spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association, says many people allow themselves to binge over Christmas on the promise that they will fast in the new year. Unsurprisingly, this is not the best way to start, she says. “People need to think about moderation all the time. Weight loss involves adjusting lifestyle, diet and calorie intake, whilst overcoming the psychological barriers too.”

When that new year hits, so does the sinking feeling “I gotta do this now”. The idea of getting healthy can be overwhelming and is mostly psychological. The language we tend to use is “I’ll never be able to eat that again” … it becomes an all or nothing. Which just sets you up for failure.

It’s important to not see food as an enemy – but more of a method of fuel – a way to keep your body healthy and in optimal form. Rather than making eating a stressful experience, try to make it an enjoyable part of your day.

Make small adjustments – not trying to do everything at once. Looking for that quick-fix 10 pound unsustainable weight-loss is not realistic. Diet pills and shakes will not get you where you want to be. Remove yourself from the scale, stop over-thinking what you are ingesting and eliminate your fear of food.

Some tools to use:

  • Stop thinking about food 24/7 – make a list of healthy food choices you can pick from for each meal – takes out the guess work.
  • Know your trigger foods – what makes you feel awful after you eat it and only crave more? Remove those from your diet.
  • Don’t eat in front of the TV – it sabotage. If you must – dish out one serving and don’t return for more.
  • Try to stop eating at least 2 hours before you go to bed…you will feel so much lighter in the morning.
  • Add a probiotic to your daily routine…it works miracles in balancing out your gut and building your immune system.
  • Drink water. Chug a glass first thing in the morning to start your day flushing out your system.
  • Try to eat a salad everyday. Easy on the toppings, less on the dressings.
  • Cut out the processed foods and eat more non-GMO and organic.
  • Cut sugar from your diet – this alone will create a huge difference in bloating and energy levels.
  • Add more exercise – if you are a beginner, start small and build up.

You have to make each small commitment realistic and achievable. Always remember – it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle.

And on the weekend, have that burger, sans fries. Just keep your daily routine in check. And, Happy New Year.

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