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Wink, Wink

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.

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“A strong woman looks a challenge dead in the eye and gives it a wink.”~ Gina Carey

Each week we will present you with a truth or dare. It’s your job to 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. This week, we dare you.

Dare: Commit 3 days/week
We all know the new year garners the need to “get healthy”.  According to Business Insider, “80% of people fail to stick to their New Year’s resolutions for longer than six weeks.” Why? Because most of us have an all or nothing mentality – which is the main trigger for yo-yo dieting and “falling off the wagon”. When we’re good, we’re oh so good. When we’re bad, well…you get the gist. You’ve heard it before…just be consistent.

Now here’s the dare: commit yourself to 3 days of exercise a week. Write it in ink and do not let anything get in your way. Preferably, every other day (ie. Mon/Wed/Thurs). Start with 30 minutes of walking, running, HIIT training, cycling…there are so many workout apps and Amazon videos there are no excuses. Commit to it. For 6 weeks. It will become a part of your weekly routine that you will look forward to and start to quickly reap the benefits (less stress, more toned, natural endorphins, mental clarity, clothes fitting better…and so on, and so on…)

We don’t claim to know everything – so sometimes we have to ask the experts.

We received such an incredible response to the mention of food sensitivity tests, we thought we’d dig a little deeper this week and turn to one of our local experts – Kate Motz, INHC, AADP  founder of Integrative Wellness Advisors. Kate is a food sensitivity testing guru and opens our eyes as to why it can be a game changer. We asked Kate “what’s the deal”  and how does it work, and this is what she told us:

Food Sensitivities – Invaluable Insight
Food sensitivities cause inflammation in the body, which leads to weight gain and a whole array of conditions such as headaches, low energy, indigestion, constipation, bloating, diarrhea, skin conditions, mental fogginess and loss of libido.  When we eat foods we are sensitive to, the body correctly identifies the food to be foreign and sends a response to destroy and remove the offending food, much like it would for a bacteria or a virus.  To understand you body, it takes a deeper level of understanding of the interaction of our hormones, immune system, neurotransmitters, environment, emotions, and genes.

Food sensitivities are not the same as food allergies. Symptoms can be very subtle (such as bloating, indigestion or eczema), and it can be difficult to make the connection between what you’ve eaten and how you feel. Over the years, this sensitivity takes a toll on the immune system, which is mostly located in your gut, and we trigger a hormonal, immune and neurotransmitter response.

Inflammation is one of the biggest causes of weight gain and disease. A simple food sensitivity test (an easy finger prick, blood spot test done at home) can give you invaluable insight and critical component of any comprehensive approach to good health.  The blood test measures sensitivity to certain foods from an antibody-mediated immune response. The antibody measured in this test is IgG (Immunoglobulin G). Research and clinical studies suggest food sensitivities identified by IgG testing can be a major contributing factor in many chronic health conditions.

You can contact Kate if you’d like to learn more about potential food sensitivities that could be causing your health challenges: kate@integrativewellnessadvisors.com

Migitty -Mag
We also touched on a magnesium product last week that could help you attack stress issues. But why and how is magnesium a go-to for not only stress, but so many other health benefits?

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and plays several important roles in the health of your body and brain. Almost 50% of the population does not get enough magnesium.

Modern scientific research reveals the top health benefits of incorporating magnesium into your diet:

  • Facilitates hundreds of biochemical reactions in your body – every cell in your body contains it and needs it to function. It is involved in energy creation, protein formation, gene maintenance, muscle movement and nervous system regulation
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits – low magnesium is linked to chronic inflammation. Adding magnesium to your diet can reduce inflammation in your body. It has been shown to reduces the inflammatory blood marker CRP.
  • Fights depression – magnesium is directly correlated to brain function, mood (including PMS), insulin and stress hormone levels. Low levels are linked to depression and mental illness. “In a randomized controlled trial of depressed older adults, 450 mg of magnesium improved mood as effectively as an anti-depressant drug.”*
  • Enhance performance – magnesium has been shown to enhance exercise performance.
  • Prevents migraines – In one study, supplementing with one gram provided relief from a migraine more quickly and effectively than a common medication.

The great news is magnesium is safe and available. The recommended daily intake is 400–420 mg per day for men, and 310–320 mg per day for women – which you can get from both food and supplements.

Some food sources high in magnesium (from highest to lowest) include: pumpkin seeds, boiled spinach, boiled Swiss chard, dark chocolate (70–85% cocoa; raw cacao is the best choice), black beans, halibut, nuts (almonds & cashews), avocado and salmon.*

As mentioned in last week’s blog, we think Calm is one of the purest forms of magnesium. You can find it here.

*source: Healthline.com

Sometimes, you just gotta have it…

Gimmie an M, Gimmie an S, Gimmie an M – What’s that spell? M-S-M!
This cheeky little supplement is more than meets the eye. It is marketed as helping reduce chronic joint pain (osteoarthritis, joint inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis) – which it does…brilliantly (we use it!), leaky gut syndrome, autoimmune disorders, osteoporosis, susceptibility to bone fractures, tendinitis, allergies and asthma. However, one of the other side effects of this natural phenomenon that is not so widely talked about is what it does for your skin, hair and nails. It is a key xomponent of collagen & keratin and eliminates free radical damage of your skin by supporting glutathione production. Double wammy. You can take the flakes mixed in a liquid (true confessions – it’s extremely bitter) or in a capsule. Read more here.

Feelin’ Bubbly…or Not
Our go-to beverage of choice here at HtoL is Riondo prosecco. Smooth, not to sweet or dry and just the right amount of happy. What we recently discovered is some health benefits of prosecco: it can reduce blood pressure/improves circulation, it has natural trace elements of zinc, magnesium, and potassium, it contains anti-oxidants and flavonoids, and can smooth, even and plump your skin. If bubbly is not your style, we recently came upon a new brand FitVine Wine that is specifically targeted toward health and fitness enthusiasts as it has less sugar, less carbs and low sulfites. We tried it and we liked it. Best Cellars in Summit, NJ is offering 10% off to all HtoL subscribers (and their prices are already competitively low). Just mention HtoL and ask for Jack.

Cinnamon has some stellar health benefits (anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol, is immune building (it’s a natural anti-microbial, anti-biotic, anti-fungal and anti-viral agent)…however, not all cinnamons are created equal. Most cinnamon in supermarkets are the less expensive cassia cinnamon – which may contain coumarin (said to damage the liver). One of the best sources of cinnamon is Ceylon cinnamon. Two great options: for those that use it a lot (like we do) this or less frequently, this.

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.

Recipes that are sweet and savory can serve as a meal, a snack or just fulfill a craving. This yumness does it all while incorporating 3 cups of veggies you do not even taste – and it’s super, super easy. Put it in the fridge for a perfect go-to option.

Paleo Coconut Flour Zucchini Bread (thank you, Detoxinista)
Makes 1 standard loaf (or 12 muffins)

3/4 cup coconut flour
6 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (we sub raw organic honey – and use a little less)
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini, tightly packed

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a standard (9-inch by 5-inch) loaf pan with parchment paper. (If you’re making muffins, line a standard muffin tin with 12 baking cups.)

In a large bowl, combine the coconut flour, eggs, maple syrup, oil, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda and use a whisk to stir well, breaking up any lumps as you go. The batter will most likely be thicker than the cake-like-batter you’ve come to expect when making quick breads. Stir in the shredded zucchini then scoop the batter into the loaf pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. (Or divide the batter into the 12 lined muffin cups.)

Bake the loaf at 350F for 45 to 50 minutes, until the top is golden and firm. If baking muffins, bake them at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. It’s a very moist bread so it’s recommended to store it in the fridge for best shelf life. It should keep in an airtight container for up to a week– if you don’t eat it all before then!

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

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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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Keepin’ It Light

As our name “Heels to Laces” suggests…a girl’s gotta put on her heels and have a little fun. With the holiday weekend fast approaching, we thought we would give you some great tasting,  “light” cocktail recipes for a little indulgence while keeping your calories in check.

If you have other suggestions, please comment at the end of this blog.

Cheers to all and a happy Memorial Day!Key-Lime-Margarita

8 oz. club soda
1 oz white rum
Fresh Mint
Fresh lime
2 tbsp. of sugar (half the normal serving) prepared as simple syrup
Total about 150 calories.

Strawberry variation of the mojito:
8 oz. club soda
1 oz. white rum
10 mint leaves
4 sliced strawberries
4 lime slices (1/2 of lime)
1 tsp. agave syrup
Combine all ingredients, serve over ice.
Only 95 calories!

Skinny Peach Margarita
1 oz. tequila
1/2 oz. of peach nectar
Few squeezes of fresh lime juice
Citrus zest for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a shaker and pour into martini glass then garnish with lime.
Approx. 95 calories.

Farmer’s Market Margarita
1 1/4 oz. Corzo Silver Tequila (or your favorite variety
2 sprigs cilantro
2 slices cucumber
2 slices jalapeno
1 oz. fresh lime juice
2 oz. distilled water
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 lime wheel, for garnish
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and shake. Serve over the rocks and garnish with lime wheel.
About 164 calories.

Peach Tea
1 ½ oz. Vodka
4 oz. Cold Peach White Tea
Combine ingredients and shake vigorously in a shaker with ice. Strain into a glass.
About 150 calories.

Negroni Sbagliato
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. Vermouth
1 oz. Prosecco
1 orange wedge, for garnish
Build first three ingredients over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with orange wedge.
Only 95 calories.

Vanilla Burst
1 oz. vanilla flavored vodka
6 oz. soda water
Pour over ice.
Approx. 100 calories.

Can do the same with tequila – add a little lime for the taste of the margarita without the sour mix.

Sour Apple Martini
2 ½ oz. sour mix
1 oz. Vodka
¾ oz. sour apple liquor
About 160 calories

Red or white, it is approximately 120 calories for a 5 oz. pour

Gin & Tonic
1 oz. Gin
3 oz. tonic
Squeeze of lime
Only about 103 calories. 

Skinny Bloody Mary
1 1/2 oz. vodka
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 oz. V8 light
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Dash of salt and pepper
Celery stalk & lime for garnish
A few drops of hot sauce (optional).
Combine all ingredients and serve over ice.
Only 117 calories!

Lisa’s Fav
1 oz. Vodka
6 oz. club soda
Splash of cranberry
Pour all ingredients over ice.
About 120 calories.

My Personal Favorite
Riondo Prosecco – light and refreshing mix between a cold glass of white wine and champagne, without the dryness (I buy it by the case.  15% off at A&P Liquors in Summit. Tell them I sent you 😉 )
Approx. 100- 120 calories per glass

I have also enjoyed a Skinny Girl Margarita now and again… the Sweet and Tart Grapefruit is my preference.


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Weight Loss Tips You Will Enjoy!

Most of us are aware of the basics when it comes to keeping our weight in check:  drink water, exercise, eat less calories than you burn, enjoy whole foods and avoid junk food laden with added fats and sugar.  However, below are some fun and interesting tips that you can add to your arsenal to fight off unwanted weight gain.

imagesSnack Before Dinner.  Eat ½ ounce of healthy fat such as nuts or avocados eight minutes before dinner.  You will feel fuller longer and eat less.  One study showed a 4-pound weight loss per year with this simple trick.

Eat Mint.  Mint has been shown to be a natural appetite suppressant and can even improve digestion.  It can be eaten or inhaled.  It could be a cup of mint tea, mint flavored toothpaste (don’t eat it), mint infused room scent or a simple mint leaf in your water.  One study found that people who inhaled a peppermint scent every two hours ate 2,700 fewer calories per week—that’s nearly a one-pound loss!

Personally, I swear by a cup of mint tea at night.  I started drinking it a couple years ago whenever I got hungry at night and it did the trick.  Now it is my go to whenever I want to munch (Tazo Refresh is my favorite.)

Add Don’t Subtract.  If you are getting depressed thinking of all those foods you are not supposed to eat, then instead concentrate on what you should add to your diet.  For example, find a way to add 1 or 2 different healthy foods to your diet each day.  Plan your meals around it, and your focus will go from depriving to thriving.  Some examples: add kale to your scrambled eggs, add spinach to a juice or make a dessert with three different kinds of berries.

Eat Vitamin C.  It inhibits the production of cortisol, a hormone that essentially tells your body to store fat.  One simple way is to eat grapefruit or orange slices with breakfast. Or use it as your afternoon snack.

Shoot Your Food.  We have all heard about writing down everything you eat, well instead of pen and paper, record what you eat with a photo.  Sound complicated?  Not with today’s ever present cell phones.  Simply snap a picture before you pick up that fork.   When you look back and see that healthy salad covered in blue cheese dressing and croutons, it may give you a pause the next time you hit the salad bar.

Eat Breakfast.  A recent study in the journal Obesity found that women who ate a 700-calorie breakfast and 200-calorie dinner shed more than twice as much weight over 12 weeks as those whose meal sizes were reversed. 

Drink Wine. A 2010 study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, which followed more than 19,000 women for an average of 13 years, found that those who had one to two alcoholic drinks daily put on fewer pounds than non-drinkers and heavy drinkers. Weight gain was lowest among wine drinkers. While the researchers can’t definitively explain this, they say that the subjects who sipped a glass or two ate fewer calories—and that women burn more calories after drinking than men do.

Stand up!  Standing burns 1.5 times more calories than sitting. Stand when you’re at the doctor’s office or when you watch TV.  My favorite tip is to set my computer on the bar height counter in my kitchen – this way it is perfect height to stand and work.

Sleep in a Cold Room. A somewhat chilly bedroom could improve both your sleep and your metabolism. An article in Obesity Reviews noted that the average indoor temperature has ticked upward during the past few decades. What’s more, most of us keep the thermostat steady throughout the house, preventing the body from experiencing dips in temperature to stoke its own calorie-burning furnace. Sleeping in a chillier room is a great way to force your body to heat itself up for hours and you will burn calories all night long while keeping yourself warm.

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