My Story

Hello everyone,

I’m so sorry for not posting earlier, but the last days have been so busy and crazy and I’ve been having difficulties getting things done. Anyway, back to my original reason for writing this post. Today I want to share with you how I got interested in health and wellness and why I always stress listening to your body.

About a year ago I went on vacation in one of my favorite states (Florida!) and my family and I had found this adorable supermarket that offered freshly made juices called Native Sun. Long story short, my family and I met a young man (early 30s) who had done something called an elimination diet. I had experienced a lot of gastrointestinal problems during my senior year of high school and therefore had to revamp my entire diet. I had been on a strict gluten-, dairy-, soy- and nut-free diet. This young gentleman explained to us how he had had so many issues with energy, anxiety and mood and how since eliminating, or getting rid, of certain foods he’s become so much more productive, happy and stress-free.

Inspired by this meeting, my family and I decided to follow suit and try this elimination diet thing out. Let me tell you, it isn’t easy but it’s so worth it. I’m still trying things out now and probably will for a very long time. The general gist of an elimination diet is that you have a list of foods that most people don’t have any issues with and you only eat those for a while and slowly add new food items in, one at a time. After each food item is reintroduced, you wait a few days to see how your body reacted to that food. For me, limes caused extreme anxiety, a rapid heartbeat and cramps. So slowly you figure out what works best for you and your body. Trick is though that you take it slowly and be very patient. There will be times where you’re not going to be sure and you’ll have to reintroduce the same food at a later time again to make sure you know how you react, but it’s so worth it. I’m not surprised anymore by my body’s reactions to certain foods and I feel so much lighter, healthier, energetic and pain-free.

Anyway, that’s all from me!

Staying Naturally Me,

Maxi

The 15 Foods I Always Have in Stock & What To Do With Them

Ever since switching to a whole foods diet, there are a few food staples I make sure to always have in the kitchen and pantry. Here they are!

  1. Apples
  2. Chicken Stock or Broth
  3. Celery
  4. Kale
  5. Broccoli or Broccolini (I prefer the taste of broccolini)
  6. Zucchini
  7. Lean Chicken or Turkey Breast
  8. Cucumbers
  9. Salad Mix or Lettuce
  10. Mangoes
  11. Red Bell Peppers
  12. Bok Choy
  13. Raspberries
  14. Blueberries
  15. Blackberries

There are so many things you can do with these fifteen food items, it’s amazing!

  1. Applesauce: Peel and core apples. Dice the apples and put into pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Let apples simmer until soft and tender. Then either mash them (if you like a chunky consistency) or puree them for a smooth applesauce. For different flavors you can always add berries to it to make a berry applesauce. Super simple and always a favorite to start the day!
  2. Green Juice (see my post on My Favorite Juices).
  3. Stir Fry: Cut meat into chunks or strips, or grind them. Brown the meat and then add whatever you want to it. I usually do 2 veggies and turmeric or salt and pepper.
  4. Soup: Brown the meat in a big pot, and fill with chicken broth or stock. Cut up your favorite veggies and add to the broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste, or whatever spices you like.
  5. Fruit Salad: A simple and pretty straightforward dish. You cut up whatever fruits you want ( I like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, mangoes and apples), juice one apple and pour juice over cut fruit to sweeten. Mix.
  6. Salad: Start with cleaning the lettuce. Either add raw or cooked veggies to your salad with fruit. For a salad dressing puree a mango with water and salt until smooth. Pour the mango dressing over the salad with veggies and fruit. Add cooked meat, if desired. Now use a pizza cutter to chop the lettuce and veggies into bite-size pieces.
  7. Lettuce Wraps: Choose toppings for the wrap. Brown the meat, cook the veggies (or don’t, depending on how you like it), and have fruit ready if you want to add a sweet flavor to it. What works really well is the mango dressing (as described in the Salad Recipe) and then heap all of your toppings onto a leaf of lettuce. Pour dressing over the toppings and roll lettuce into a wrap. Ta-da!
  8. Grilled Chicken or Turkey with Steamed Vegetable Medley: This dish is pretty self-explanatory. Cook the chicken or turkey to your liking and then steam a mixture of veggies. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Grilled Veggie Platter (my favorite grilled veggies are broccolini, zucchini and bell peppers)
  10. Raw Veggie Snack (same as Grilled Veggie Platter, but keeping it raw)
  11. Raw Fruit Snack (I love having a cup of mango or apple slices throughout the day)
  12. Filled Bell Peppers: Cut the top part of the red bell pepper off (stem and about half an inch from the very top, so you have a small bell pepper bowl). Heat the oven to 350 degrees and brush olive oil on the bell pepper. Place the bell peppers with opening down onto a tray and cook in oven until it’s a bit softer. Brown meat with half a zucchini cut up. Season with salt and pepper. Fill meat and zucchini mixture into bell pepper.
  13. Turkey-Zucchini Burgers: Grate one zucchini and add to a pound of ground lean turkey meat. Season with salt and pepper and mix. Form patties and heat in a pan with olive oil and a bit of water on the bottom. Cook until brown.
  14. Mango sorbet: Peel mango(s) and cut into cubes. Puree mango cubes with freshly juiced apple(s). Taste mixture for sweetness. Pour mixture into an ice cream mixer and run, until consistency is right for you.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post! If you ever try any of these short recipes, please let me know how they turned out for you or if you tweaked it and it turned out spectacular! What kind of food staples do you carry around the house?

Hope to hear from you guys,

 

Naturally Maxi

My favorite juices

I’m a huge fan of juicing. If I don’t have my three juices each day, I notice a big difference. I’m tired, more prone to being sick and just not as mentally there. These juices are delicious and always a hit with my family. Hope you enjoy them too!

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Green Juice #1:

Serves 1

 

1- 1,5 apples

2 medium celery stalks or 1 long celery stalk

¾ of a medium size cucumber (not the European)

2 leafs of Kale

 

Remove any produce stickers and wash. Cut off any leaves from the celery and about an inch from the bottom of the stalks. Run through the juicer.

 

Note: Green apples are supposedly best for juices, since they aren’t quite as sweet as others. My mom and I really enjoy fuji apples though. Experiment with the apples and see how many you need to make the juice appetizing. Keep in mind though, that you want more veggies than apples in your juice!

 

Green Juice #2:

Serves 1

 

1-1.5 pears (love red Bartlett!)

2 medium celery stalks or 1 long celery stalk

¾ of a medium size cucumber

2 leafs of kale

1 broccoli stem

 

Wash produce. Cut off an inch of the bottom of the celery and leaves if there. Run through juicer.

 

Note: In any juicing recipes, you can substitute pear for apple or vice versa. I like to mix it up and sometimes have half an apple and one pear in a juice.

 

Traditional orange carrot juice:

Serves 1-2

 

2 navel oranges (bigger ones give better flavor)

4-6 carrots, depending on size and taste

 

Peel oranges. Wash carrots. Cut off top of carrots. Run through juicer.

 

 

What are your favorite juices?

Naturally yours,

Maxi

Happy Living Tip #1: Smile!

 

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I know, I know. You read the title and thought “Duh! I’ve heard that before!” Honestly I’ve read it a thousand times and thought the same thing, but a week ago I actually tried it. Have you?

Here’s my experience with it.

In the past months, my mom has kept commenting on how when I’m concentrating, the corners of my mouths turn down into a frown. Now, this is neither attractive nor does it make me look like the happy and passionate young woman I’d like to consider myself to be.

Well I wanted to put a stop to the unknown habit of frowning and save me the money I’d be spending on anti-wrinkle creams in the future. (Kidding!) I smiled all day long.

In the car, when I was listening to the radio. While walking. While fixing breakfast. All the time, I had been smiling. Since you feel like a maniac while smiling all. the. time. you come up with reasons to smile. You think about the last funny, sweet or heartwarming thing happened to you. You create reasons to smile and it’s beautiful! I decided to smile about some of the songs playing on the radio and ended up singing loudly along with them (and with the windows down!). The whole day I smiled at people. It was such a different experience in comparison to always having your head down, look up to glance at a person and then when they look at you, hurriedly glance back down again. I was listening to music on my I-pod in the grocery store and was shimmying and mouthing the words to the song while shopping.

And you know what? It really made a difference! I felt fun, I felt alive and just generally happier. I automatically saw the good in each situation and part of me likes to believe that therefore more good things happened to me. Not only did I find pleasure in small things, I also was more open to others (which is so hard for me to be). In addition to all that, I felt more energetic. Now, this sounds unlikely due to such a small change in the day and behavior of a person, but trust me- it really does make a difference! Try it out and let me know what you think!

I’ve read in dozens of magazines that the body doesn’t know the difference between a real and a fake smile, so you reap the benefits of smiling either way. You might start off fake-smiling but by the end of the day your fake smile has turned into a real one.

There were many more benefits to smiling. For one, people smiled back, making me feel more confident, accepted and relaxed. My entire interactions with others went smoother. People were friendlier, more open, and helpful. I went to one store who offered me a 20% discount, even though I had brought the wrong coupon with me! (Now I’m not sure if he would’ve done that if I hadn’t been smiling, but I’d like to believe that that’s the reason why he was so kind.)

More importantly was how this whole experiment affected me after a whole day of it:

  • I was more positive.
  • I was more relaxed.
  • I felt comfortable.
  • I enjoyed my day more.
  • I felt more likable and confident.

Again, please let me know if you try this experiment, how you felt after. What kind of benefits did you see? Did something great happen to you because of it?

Naturally (smiling),

Maxi :)

Note: Whenever you feel crazy about smiling at nothing, smile at your craziness!

My First Post and What Health Means to Me

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Hello!

I’m so excited to finally start my own blog after years and years of wanting to have one! It had been on my anti-bucket list (more to that later) for a few years now. Then I figured it was time to start doing after so much thinking and wishing about it. Well, I hope you’ll enjoy reading my posts and follow along, while I learn and make mistakes. :)

A topic that I often marvel about is how there are such different interpretations and meanings to the word “Health”. For some people it means having that bikini body. For others it just means not getting sick too often. My interpretation of health is more of a combination of many different aspects of health.

To me, being healthy means that

  • I am energetic.
  • I have a passion for life.
  • I do not get sick often.
  • I am able to do things I want to without my body interfering (with illness, migraines, lack of energy, etc.)
  • I am emotionally balanced and not cranky.
  • I am constantly learning things.
  • I feel content and happy with my life.
  • I feel confident and comfortable with myself.

There are different ways how I try to achieve that idea of health. It’s not easy, because there are so many steps of achieving this. That’s why I try to have a morning and evening routine, which are essential for me to be more balanced and happy.

Some ways how I achieve all of these health goals are: visualizing, yoga, listening to and honoring my body, drinking lots of water, eating foods that nourish my body/ that my body can digest, taking supplements, drinking juices and always having a goal I’m pursuing.

For me, health just isn’t only about my body, it’s about my mind, my emotions, my life and my ambitions. I have to be honest, I don’t know many people that agree with me or I agree with on what health means, and that’s totally alright. I love listening and discussing the different interpretations of health and I always learn a lot from those conversations! One blog I love though, who aligns a lot with my idea of health is the Purely Twins blog ( http://www.purelytwins.com ). (Sorry, haven’t learned how to link other blogs yet!)

Well, those were my musings on health! I’d love to hear what you guys think about health and what your definition of health is. Either comment below, or e-mail me at: naturallymaxi@hotmail.com.

Being Naturally Me,

Maxi