Wellness Wednesday: The Power of Being Present

Happy Wednesday everyone,

buddah

With everything going on in the world today, it is easy to get distracted. So for today, I wanted to re-post one of my favorite videos I ever did for Lady Code.

For Wellness Wednesday, I want to challenge all of you to put away the phones or laptops, to turn off the music and have a powerful, meaningful conversation with someone. We are missing the beauty of what occurs right under our noses.

Have a beautiful Wednesday!

Love Char ❤

 

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Thursday Treats for Someone Sweet with Char

Hi everyone, 

I am currently swamped with homework and  overwhelmed with 8 hours of math alone. However, I wanted to take the time to share a recipe with you. Eating healthy has always been a big part of my life, limiting the number of treats I could eat. But, over the holidays, I made this cake with my mom. Everything in this cake is good for you and is loaded with anti-oxidants and healthy fats.

Image courtesy of Instagram:@dreliztratts
Image courtesy of Instagram:@dreliztratts

 

Lemon Raspberry Cheezecake.

I used a silicone heart shaped pan from IKEA. Whatever you choose as your mold, make sure it is silicone as your dessert will slide right out. I have quadrupled the recipe because the mold was so huge, but it served about 25 people.

Coconut Layer:

  • 4 cup raw cashews, soaked and rinsed
  • 1 cup cold pressed coconut oil
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 and 2/3 cup coconut cream
  • 1 cup organic rice malt syrup
  • juice of 1 whole lemon
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh raspberries

Raspberry Cream Layer

  • 4 cup frozen or fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil
  • 4 cup raw cashews, soaked and rinsed
  • 4 cup coconut cream
  • 2 cups organic rice malt syrup
  • 2 packets of thawed pitaya for color

Coconut Layer

1. Using your food processor, blend the cashews until completely smooth. As smooth as possible.

2. Add the coconut oil, desiccated coconut, coconut cream, rice malt syrup, and lemon juice. Blend until smooth and creamy. If it isn’t sweet enough add more rice syrup or a touch of stevia.

3. Fold in the raspberries and pour mixture into your silicone mold. Freeze for a few hours or, until set. Raspberry Cream Layer –

1. Using your food processor, blend the cashews until completely smooth.

2. Add the coconut oil, desiccated coconut, coconut cream, rice malt syrup, thawed pitaya and raspberries.

3.Blend until smooth and creamy.

4. Pour mixture over the top of the coconut cream layer, and freeze until set. When ready to serve, flip it over, and top with extra raspberries.

Chocolate Syrup

  • 1 and 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup brown rice syrup

Mix all ingredients with a whisk and carefully pour over chilled cake. It should set up immediately from the cold. Put in freezer to solidify the chocolate sauce.

Note: Please remember that this recipe was quadrupled for size. The mold I used was huge and needed a lot of volume. You can safely cut this in half and make two separate 8×8 silicone mold cakes. Extra silicone cupcake holders are excellent for surplus ingredients. Don’t forget to freeze on a level surface for a straight line otherwise the cake will freeze lopsided. Also, make sure you leave the cake out at surface temperature for about an hour from the freezer. Use a knife in hot water to cut.

Please follow me @Charvontratt for more healthy treats and motivation.

Enjoy this special Thursday treat.

 

Lots of love and sweetness,

Char ❤

 

Detoxing for Wellness Wednesday

Happy Wellness Wednesday everyone,

The post below was inspired by an article my mom, Dr. Elizabeth Trattner wrote for a national magazine and her blog on detoxing.

It seems to me that everyone is making New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier, work out more (something I have witness at my college gym), act nicer to others and DETOX!

However, we are living in a society that is too engaged with technology and less connected with our natural environment. Although there are many pros to these technological advancements, one of the biggest downfalls is that we are unable to “ground down”, meaning we seem to have problems unhooking ourselves from social media like Instagram and Facebook. We are in a never ending race to post every social moment, instead of being present and experiencing the moment.

We have become focused one episodic cures. My Wellness Wednesday tip for you is to incorporate several prolonged life changes instead of a quick juice cleanse. Try to get to bed earlier, eat organic food, cut back on refined sugar. These small steps make a big difference.

Another great idea for a detox in to take a trip outdoors where there is bad cell phone reception and practice taking a break from technology. Research has found that spending time outside in nature, without cell phones and laptops can refresh the brain and also increase attention and focus.

This new year, make it a resolution to connect to your food and loved ones, and disconnect from things that do not serve you.

You can read the full article that inspired me for this post at:

 

http://elizabethtrattner.com/blog/index.php?year=2017&month=January&post_get_id=13&page_type=recent

 

Happy Wellness Wednesday!

Char ❤

 

5 Ways to Manage Your Weight Over the Holidays

The holidays are filled with cheer– which usually means food! We all love to indulge, which is good because it means we’re living a little. Just remember, swimsuit season is right around the corner, and your body is your temple! Here are 5 ways to manage your weight over the holiday season.

  1. Track your weight
    screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-9-19-51-am

To shed pounds, or stay on point while everyone is feasting, start by weighing in and having a goal. That way, when you’re keeping track of what you’re eating and the calories you intake, weight loss becomes a simple formula.

The more calories you consume, the more you gain over time. It’s not about being on a diet, though, it’s all about portion control. For example, if you’re given a large plate with extra stuffing, eat half of the plate, and come back to it if you are still hungry.  

  1. Drink a lot of water before meals
    screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-9-19-57-am

According to the “Healthy Women Website”, our body tells us we’re hungry when we’re actually thirsty. In fact, there’s a study from CBS that says 75% of Americans are functioning in a chronic state of dehydration. Try making a habit of drinking a cup of water before you sleep and when you wake up, and before each meal! It might make all the difference in the world for your mind and body function.

3. Avoid alcohol

screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-9-20-05-am
When you’re around family and friends, you may have an urge to have a drink or two…maybe six! What you might not know is alcohol is high in empty calories and encourages cravings. At your next get together, try sticking to only two or three drinks. Also, consider having a nutritious meal before going out so you don’t eat an entire pizza like someone I know from last halloween.

  1. Make your own treats

Of course, your mom’s triple layer, brownie-cookie made with condensed milk, and an extra cup of white sugar is tasty… but, in it there’s a lot of calories hidden with love. In fact, in one small chocolate chip Applebee’s cookie alone there are over 1,660 calories! Things I pack with me are:
screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-9-20-13-am

  • Chocolate-dipped strawberries
  • Chocolate-nut popcorn
  • Chocolate frozen banana

If you dip them in dark chocolate (70% cacao), you’re avoiding fats and sugars, and it’s actually considered a not-so-bad, healthy treat packed with antioxidants. Dark chocolate also aids in regulating your stress hormones (cortisol).

  1. Speed up your metabolism
    screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-9-20-20-am

Tea’s the season to be healthy! A lot of celebrities like Kim K., Nikki Minaj, and even Lisa Vanderpump (for our Real Housewife lovers) have been endorsing detox teas lately. And for good reason! t’s easy to drain your immune system when it’s cold, and food filled family get together’s can leave you feeling extremely bloated! SkinnyFit 28 day detox is my favorite product to help with unhealthy cravings, plus it contains a powerful blend of 28 vitamins and superfoods that boost your metabolism, while burning nearly 100 calories in one cup!

 

Wellness Wednesday: Making Butternut Squash

Happy Wellness Wednesday everyone,

squash

Now that it is Fall and the leaves are changing color, I like to eat nourishing fall foods, so I thought I would share a simple, delicious and healthy recipe for butternut squash. Being a busy college student, time is precious and this is super easy to make, plus this healthy dish is a great way to combat the freshman fifteen.

maple-leaf

Ingredients:

  1. Organic Butternut squash- I buy pre-cut since it saves time.
  2. Organic Coconut Oil Spray
  3. Organic Maple Syrup
  4. Organic Cinnamon

*try to buy only organic ingredients for this dish*

Directions

  1. Pre- Heat your oven to 375 degrees
  2. Place your squash in a simple pot and steam for 6 minutes. (This helps soften the squash making it easier to bake.)
  3. After the squash has steamed, strain off the water.
  4. Spray the ceramic dish with coconut oil.
  5. Move the squash to the ceramic dish and spray the coconut oil on it.
  6. Pour the Maple Syrup on the squash*.
  7. Sprinkle cinnamon on top of the squash*.
  8. Place the squash in the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes.
  9. Remove the squash and let it cool for 10 minutes.

*indicates no exact measurement

Some of the nutritional benefits of squash include vitamin c, betacarotene and magnesium. It is loaded with antioxidants, plus there is nominal amounts of protein in squash. By adding organic maple syrup and organic cinnamon, you are turning this healthy dish into a sweet treat.

Check out the video to see the step-by-step process

Happy Wellness Wednesday everyone and enjoy this yummy recipe.

~Char

 

On Wednesdays We Wear Pink: Breast Cancer Awareness

Happy Wellness Wednesday everyone!

It is October which means it is Breast Cancer Awareness month. This is very important to me because members of my family have had this disease that effects so many women. In fact, it touches almost everyone I know. One in 8 women are affected by it and environmental exposure is responsible for almost 90 percent of cases! Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in women.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, I am going to discuss some quick ways to help decrease your risk from getting cancer.

  1. Eat organic animal products. I cannot stress how important this is. If you have cancers that run in your family, decrease the amount of grilled meat as it has heterocyclic amines that are linked to many types of cancer. Also if you have breast cancer in your family either lower or avoid red meat.
  2. Drink clean water. A simple filter like Britta can reduce the amount of chemicals in your water. We have seen so much in the news with contaminated water from different cities within the United States. Make sure you are drinking  filtered water and enough water as well. Just because water is in a bottle doesn’t mean it isn’t contaminated. Water in glass bottles is the safest. Also, do not leave plastic water bottles in hot cars where the chemicals in the plastic can leach into the water from the heat. Consume at least 64 ounces of clean water a day.
  3. Eat organic fruits and vegetables. If you are on a budget, please refer to previous posts regarding the ww.ewg.org clean fifteen and dirty dozen. The phytochemicals present in vegetables and fruit are some of the best way to protect yourself from cancer.
  4. Eat 25-40 grams of fiber a day. Fiber can be found in vegetables, fruits, grains, roots and beans. Fiber has be demonstrated to decrease cancers and cardiovascular disease, another increasing health issue with women.
  5. Do not smoke. Smoking increases the risks of cancer dramatically.
  6. Use sunscreen.
  7. Avoid chemical exposure. Last week I wrote about the dirty dozen of endocrine disruptors. These are paramount to avoid because there is a direct link with these and increased risks of cancer.
  8. Use organic or healthy cleaning products for your home. The same goes for body products and cosmetics. Just like food, what when breathe and touches our skin goes directly into our body!
  9. Exercise can decrease the risk of getting cancer. Sitting is the new smoking.
  10. Keep your cell phone away from your bra! Studies are now showing that cell phone radiation has been linked to other types of cancers. Many young women store their phones in their bras. This practice can have cumulative effects. Use a Bluetooth device or headphones. Try and keep your cell phone away from your body.

Thank you to my mom, Dr. Elizabeth Trattner for allowing me to interview her on this very important subject. You can visit her website www.elizabethtrattner.com  . Also visit www.ewg.org to learn more about ways to protect yourself.

Remember to wear pink for Breast Cancer Awareness! on-wednesdays-we-wear-pink

~Char ❤

A Call to Action: Wellness Wednesday

Happy Wellness Wednesday!

Today I went back to Clean the World to volunteer my time. This is one of my favorite organizations to volunteer with. Their mission is so simple yet so impactful – they recycle amenities like soap from local hotels and business and distribute it worldwide in order to combat the spread of disease.  www.cleantheworld.org

love-and-respect-image

Today when I arrived, they notified me that they needed emergency volunteers due to the destruction from Hurricane Matthew in Haiti. I put a call into my Leadership Program and to my sorority sisters and within an hour, I received countless calls and texts from people wanting to help.

Although these volunteers had plenty to worry about themselves as the hurricane is headed our way, it was incredible to see how many people eagerly volunteered their time, putting their own safety on hold in order to help others in dire need. This is what philanthropy is all about!

pi-phi-at-ctw

 

Thank you to the sisterhood of Pi Beta Phi and the Lead Scholars Program at UCF for volunteering your time and answering the call to action. It’s challenging times like this that make us realize how meaningful volunteerism can be.

If you would like to volunteer your time, please contact Gabi Norris, Volunteer Coordinator at volunteers@cleantheworld.org, or if you cannot physically donate your time, you can always make a financial donation. Visit https://cleantheworld.org/forms/donation-form/ to learn more.

Check out this short clip from today!

~Char ❤

 

Wellness Wednesday: Staying Away From Chemicals

Happy Wellness Wednesday everyone,

If you have been reading this blog, then you are all aware that I am fervent about staying away from the Dirty Dozen foods which was established by the Environmental Working Group, a public watch dog agency focused on public health through agriculture and creating a healthier environment. The Environmental Working Group created a handy list of the Clean Fifteen and the Dirty Dozen related to the foods we eat.

It should be no surprise that chemicals are bad for the environment and our bodies. Research demonstrates that chemicals are linked to numerous diseases and chronic conditions.  The EWG just released a new list – the Dirty Dozen of Endocrine Disruptors. This is a list chemicals that are known to wreak havoc on our bodies: “increasing production of certain hormones, decreasing production of others, … interfering with hormone signaling, telling cells to die prematurely,” and more. Babies born today have 80,000 chemicals present in their bodies at birth. It is important for the well being of both our bodies and environment they we are mindful of decreasing our chemical load and lessening the burden on our immune system.

more-chemicals

Most people think only our food needs to be organic. The truth is we need to be equally conscientious about our immediate environment. Anything we breathe or touches our air, earth and water should be organic and non-toxic. This means for example using non-chemical based cleaning products and detergents whenever possible.

For a complete list of the dirty dozen chemicals please click here http://www.ewg.org/research/dirty-dozen-list-endocrine-disruptors

 

Do your part to protect your body and our planet!

Happy Wellness Wednesday!

Remembering the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen

Welcome back to Wellness Wednesdays!

foof

Most of you have learned through my writing that eating healthy is important to me since I grew up in an holistic, organic and non-toxic household. Now, I try to educate others about clean eating. With Harvest season right around the corner, I thought it would be fitting to write about the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15.

Founded in 1992, the Environmental Working Group is an American organization that focuses on research and advocacy involving toxic chemicals, lands and farming. It is a non-profit organizations who’s goal is to inform the public on both public health and the environment.  Back in 2010 the Environmental Working Group (EWG) but together a list of 12 foods the we should buy organic. This list is now refereed to as “The Dirty Dozen.” This is because the food on this list contained at least 47 chemicals and up to 67. This list is altered every year based on current research. The list includes:

  • celery
  • peaches
  • strawberries
  • apples
  • domestic blueberries
  • nectarines
  • sweet bell peppers
  • collard greens (spinach and kale)
  • cherries
  • potatoes
  • imported grapes
  • lettucethe dirty dozen

In addition, the EWG released a list of 15 foods that had the lowest pesticide count in regular commercially grown crops. This list include:

  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe (Rockmelon)
  • Eggplant
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi
  • Mangoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Pine-apples
  • Onions
  • Sweet corn
  • Sweet peas
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Watermelon

We need to be aware that these foods contain harmful chemicals since they have been proven to have a negative affect on our health. Children are particularly susceptible to negative side effects like childhood cancers, behavioral problems and trouble learning.  In adults, pesticide exposure has been linked to  issues like rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, lupus and cancer. These foods are prone to absorbing chemicals which are due to lacking protective skin.

However, it is important to be aware of which foods are more likely to have a higher pesticide exposure since they can have a poor affect of health, specifically during important stages of development.

Remember, both the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15 were composed after all the food was washed. The idea that you can wash pesticides away is pure fantasy, but we should still always wash our food and utensils before you eat or cut eat our food.

It is important to shop organically for the dirty dozen and support local farmers markets.

 

15

Check out the Environmental Working Group below

https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/?

Make sure to check out this video from a couple of moths ago explaining about the Dirty Dozen.

 

Happy Wellness Wednesday,

Char ❤

The Benefits of Tea

Happy Wellness Wednesday Everyone! Today I am volunteering, so my mom, Dr. Elizabeth Trattner has sent in an article about all types of tea. She will be talking about white tea, green tea, oolong, black tea and matcha. Each section will talk about a type of tea, it’s benefits and then list a type of the tea and how to brew it.

tea kettle

Can you tell me specifically what the overall benefits of drinking tea are? Some benefits about green tea specifically regarding the elderly are:

Tea drinking is associated with preservation of hip structure in elderly women. This finding provides further evidence of the beneficial effects of tea consumption on the skeleton(American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2007)  another study, Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at the effects of drinking green tea on 1,058 elderly people with depression symptoms. To their surprise they found a forty-four percent reduction in major depressive symptoms in older people who drank more than four cups of green tea each day compared to those who drank less than one. They saw this effect even after adjusting for variables that could alter the results such as lifestyle and diet. Green tea helps lower prostate cancer and other types of cancer, reduced the amount of tooth decay, reduces heart disease, keeps bones and teeth healthy, and helps ward off arthritis.

Are Americans drinking more tea?

Americans are drinking more green tea because of the magnitude of studies on green tea. The contrast between the health benefits between green tea and coffee are huge. The health benefits of coffee do not come remotely close to the benefits of green tea.

Any statistics you have on that maybe helpful.

In 1990, the tea industry brought about $1.84 billion in annual sales, but that number has swelled up to $6.85 billion in 2007. Over the past 5 years, American importers have increased their purchases of green tea by 39.6% from US$58 million in 2005 to $81 million during 2009. As statistics show, that upward trend has continued during the first 6 months of 2010.

 

Now on to benefits: 

Green tea: Green tea (camellia sinensis) and it’s active chemical ECEG has been one of the most studied botanical. From orally ingested to topical administration the benefits from this plant are astounding. Green tea has been demonstrated to be an excellent antioxidant, but has also shown to accelerate wound healing as well. It helps protect against cancer and even has shown to protect again sun damage and photo aging. The active compound, ECEG has been proven to help people lose weight as well.  There are many different mechanisms of action how green tea and its active compounds protect the skin, so it is no wonder why so many cosmetic companies are using green tea and ECEG it their preparations.

Green Tea Leaf
Green Tea Leaf

(How much caffeine does it have? Chinese versus Japanese? 20-40 mg of caffeine. Bags usually have more caffeine as small pieces are cut up vs loose leaf which the leaves are bigger, thus less caffeine. Green tea is not fermented.

White Tea:15-20mg of caffeine. These leaves are harvested before the plant fully opens and has tiny white hairs on the leaves, thus the name, white tea. Some studies have demonstrated that white tea has even more antioxidants than green tea.

Oolong Tea: Oolong tea has more polyphenols than green tea that aid in triglyceride reduction. Oolong has the same if a little more caffeine than green tea.

Black tea: This contains from 40-60mg of caffeine. It is fully fermented. Researchers concluded that the flavonoids in black tea helped reduce the production of LDL – the “bad” cholesterol that can lead to stroke and heart attacks. If you are concerned about the effects of caffeine, you can always steep your tea for 30 seconds, throw the liquid away and re steep the same tea bag. You will have removed most of the caffeine from the tea yet will still have the flavor of your tea.

Herbal teas: Herbal teas can be made from flowers, bark and other plants. They are not related the green tea at all. The most popular herbal teas are chamomile, which helps relaxation and peppermint which aids in digestion.

matcha and green tea

In your opinion, what are some other teas, that I have not asked about there, that have health benefits. I know you talk about matcha. Can you tell me a little bit more? Any other teas? 

I prefer patients drinking matcha due to the quality in general to green tea. Although it is pricier, the benefits are much better than regular green tea. Matcha has much more antioxidants than green tea and with all the oxidative stress on our bodies it makes more sense to consume a drink that helps the body recover quicker. In my practice I recommend that patients try matcha instead of green tea. Match has 10 times more antioxidant power than regular green tea. Matcha is the whole tea leaf versus the tea which is less potent and steeped in water. Matcha is a green vegetal drink that is high in antioxidants, chlorophyll, and contains high amounts of L-theanine, which help induce a state of calmness. L theaine is an amino acid that relaxes the mind. L theanine combined with the caffeine it creates a sense of calmed alertness. Antioxidants help protect the body against aging and disease. The active compound, ECEG has been proven to help people lose weight as well. Matcha is a simple drink that you can incorporate into your daily routine that will have you looking and feeling healthy and calm from the inside out!

What Matcha looks like.
What Matcha looks like.

 

Dr. Elizabeth Trattner, Doctor of Chinese Medicine and Practitioner of Integrative Medicine. Please visit www.elizabethtrattner.com

 

Happy Wellness Wednesday everyone!

Char ❤