4 Quick DIY Detox Drinks

4 Quick DIY Detox Drinks.

Have you ever had too much of a fun weekend… maybe you enjoyed yourself just a little too much? Food, drinks, skipping the gym – it happens to the best of us!

The great news, is that our bodies are extremely resilient. In fact, most cells can regenerate themselves every 28 days (kind of cool when you think that 28 days is also a typical lunar cycle, menstrual cycle…..) Our bodies WANT to be healthy, and if we give our body what it needs – it really can be that easy!

So if you’re feeling sluggish, or have overindulged – maybe you’re just returning for a vacation, or want to look your best for an event. I was recently featured on Sonoran Living TV , where I show exactly how easy it is to make these 4 DIY easy detox drinks. Likely, you can make them from ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen! Learn how to detox your body naturally, feel better, look better and even lose weight!

DIY Detox Drinks – Recipes

1. Salt water – by adding a little bit (about 1/4 tsp) of Himalayan salt or sea salt to water first thing in the morning, this can help to support our adrenal glands and ease our bodies into the day.  Especially for women over 40 that may feel sluggish or have a little bit of extra weight around the midsection, this can be a great detox option! Himalayan and sea salt are also very alkalizing to the body, which is important to help with detox. Most toxic things we put in our bodies are acidic (this includes stress!).

When our bodies are out of balance, they tend to be slightly acidic, so this simple salt drink can quickly bring you back into balance. I don’t recommend regular salt because it is usually processed with a bunch of nasty chemicals, and it also doesn’t have the trace minerals that Himalayan salt or sea salt have.

2. Lemon water – this is also another alkalizing and cleansing detox drink. Simply boil some water, and then add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. The warm lemon water will help to clear out any mucous in the body that has accumulated overnight. If you drink it during the day it can quickly bring your body back into balance, and even help get rid of sweet cravings! This drink works well either warm, or by adding lemon slices to cold water. I like to do both: start my day with the warm lemon water, and then add lemon slices to my cold water bottle to sip throughout the day!

3. Tea – Tea is one of my all time favorite drinks (well – it’s up there with wine for sure!!) The best kinds of tea to detox the body, are either dandelion, or green tea. Both of these types of tea are liver cleansing. So they actually support the liver to filter out toxins from the body. I like to drink at least one cup of green tea daily, to maximize the antioxidant benefits and provide ongoing support. I use the dandelion tea when I feel like my body needs a little extra TLC.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Drink:
Simple version 1 – ACV with optional stevia. Simply add 1 tsp of ACV to a cup of water, and then sweeten with stevia to taste. I personally love the way this tastes. But it seems to be a kind of ‘love it or hate it kind of drink’. ACV is so powerful to help alkalize the body and flush those nasty toxins out. It also helps with digestion, and gets rid of cravings. I drink this in the afternoon, if I feel a little snacky but I’m not actually hungry. I’ve noticed that drinking this after a meal helps me digest it better, and freshens the breath too!

Option 2 – In addition to ACV, you can also add lemon juice, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and stevia. Experiment with one or all of these to find a combination that works best for you. The addition of the spices is great because it ups the antioxidants in this drink. And that means more protection and detox for the body!

Enjoy one or all of these drinks as daily maintenance (that’s what I do!), or on an as-needed basis. I’d love to hear in the comments, what your favorite detox drinks are!

Planning Christmas Lights: Christmas Is Closer Than You Think

Planning Christmas Lights: Christmas Is Closer Than You Think

“For every minute spent in planning, an hour is earned.” —Anonymous

It’s 80 degrees on a beautiful day in July as this blog is being written. A clear blue sky is streaked by a few wispy clouds; trees are decked in green foliage; the flowers are blooming in a riot of colors. Why in the world would I be planning Christmas lights today? There are several reasons:

  • It’s more comfortable to test Christmas lights when the weather is beautiful than when it’s 10 degrees below.
  • There’s plenty of time to get replacements or repair kits for holiday lights that flunk the test.
  • It’s easier to plan your lighting theme when the weather is sunny and the visibility is clear.
  • Lack of planning could make you a candidate to be recognized for an ugly Christmas lights award.
  • Selection and availability of lights: get unique colors and products before they sell out for the season!
  • Most importantly, the best time to save is during the summer. Look for great promotions on a wide range of products.

The first step is to test all of your lights, because a nonfunctional light set needs to be repaired or replaced now, not later. (And if you’re one of those people that puts the dysfunctional lights back in the box, don’t do it. (There’s a better way to handle old, dysfunctional lights: recycle!)

How to Test Your LED Christmas Lights

Take out all of your light strands. One at a time, plug each set of lights in, individually. When a set passes the light up test, put it aside and test the next strand.

If set a fails the light test, here’s how to proceed:

    1. The set doesn’t light at all, change the fuses in the male plug of the set.
Testing Your LED Christmas Lights  photo readyforinstall_zps0b286a27.jpg
    1. If the set still does not light, it means there’s a break in the wires or connection.
    2. If the set “half” lights, it means there’s a break in the wires, or that the connection in the middle of the set has gone bad. This is also something that can be fixed, but only with a special repair tool.
    3. If you have just a bulb that doesn’t light, your next step will depend on the type of bulbs you have in that set:
      • If you have non-replaceable, 1-piece construction sets, you cannot replace this bulb. Unless the set is stretched out on a roofline, people won’t be able to detect one bulb being out. The good news is that you can use these “as is,” with no worries about safety hazards.
      • If you have replaceable bulbs or Color-Rite 3-Piece Constructionsets, you can simply replace the bulb that is out.
      • If you have LED Retrofit Bulbs, you can simply unscrew the bad bulb, and screw in a good replacement bulb.
Replacing an LED Christmas Bulb Replacing an LED Christmas Bulb 2

There are supplies available to help you with your Christmas light testing and repairs: Mini Light Repair Boxes, Mini Light Testing/Repair Guns, and LED Testing/Repair Guns.

LED Light Tester Light Repair Gun

How to Develop a Christmas Light Plan

Now that you’ve tested your Christmas lights and ordered repair kits or new lights, it’s time to develop a lighting plan. Walk around your property with a sketchpad in hand and consider the following design elements.

Focal Point

Most noteworthy of all pick out a focal point on the building, and highlight that area. Also, choose landscape interests from the curb as well as from inside your home. Cluster lighted trees by color or type of tree. Remember to decorate focal points from the inside of the house also and include entertaining areas and the backyard. Place silhouette lighting in locations that don’t distract from the landscape.

Architecture

Highlight architectural features of the building or home. Choose architectural interests that give the home dimension and draw attention to its best features. Enhance the roofline, peaks, and dormers with Christmas lights. Illuminate large windows, doorways, arches, and pillars to create a dramatic effect. Consider where you may place wreaths and garlands that will enhance rather than distract from the architecture.

Color

Start with clear/white lights C7 or C9 on the roofline. Use color to create consistency in the landscape. Keep lighting on trees similar in color for trees that are the same sizes and types.

Create contrast by using multiple colors in odd numbers. Create depth by lighting foregrounds and backgrounds.

If you’re a person that has a hard time visualizing what could be, there is free software (from Softonics) available to help with planning your Christmas light design. It allows you to visually place lights and décor on images of your home or building.

With that said keep a few simple principles in mind:

      • Don’t overdo it.
      • Keep it consistent with your lighting style.
      • Ask for help if you need it.
      • Don’t delay. Planning ahead will pay off.

3 Things Planners Need to Know About Food Allergies

3 Things Planners Need to Know About Food Allergies. Unless you have your own food allergies, or have a loved one who has, it can be difficult to understand why there are so many demands around food today. Without getting too scientific, I’d like to share a bit about what it means for your attendees who live with food allergies—and how you can support every attendee’s health during your event.

What does it mean to have food allergies or sensitivities?

Food allergies and sensitivities range in severity. While some attendees just feel better when they avoid certain foods, there will be others who have life-threatening allergies. An obvious choice for meeting planners is to avoid serving foods that would cause a life-threatening situation during the event. But what about those who aren’t allergic, but whose systems are compromised by the types of food they’re offered, leaving them feeling bloated, headachy, or lethargic?

If you want to fully support your attendees’ health. And ensure they have an exceptional meeting experience, you’ll want to offer food that supports each and every person regardless of the extent of their sensitivity or allergy. One way is to avoid foods that are high in sugar or highly processed. Also, incorporate fresh, whole foods as often as possible, and select gluten-free whole grains for meals.

How is it possible to be respectful of allergies when there are so many to consider?

Get everyone moving in the right direction from the start. Ask your attendees what their allergies/sensitivities are when they register. Once you have their data, take proactive measures. Team with the executive chef to discuss options that will avoid the top two or three allergens. Then serve the greater population. Provide cards to the attendees with allergies so they may place the card on the table for the server to see. The server will then know, without any conversation, that the attendee is in need of an allergen-free meal.

Owner and Speaker, Essential Health and Wellness

Healthy Incentives that Don’t Skimp on Luxe

Luxe incentive programs are all about pampering and making memories. But times have changed. Today’s attendees want to stay in shape, and they don’t want to return home five pounds heavier. What they expect from a luxury incentive program is experiential health and wellness activities with a wow factor. “Health and wellness very much has a place in luxury incentive travel programs, now more than ever,” says Patty Karsten, division vice president, industry relations/incentives at BI WORLDWIDE. “Not only are people more health conscious, but they are traveling more and want to stay fit when they’re away.”

Healthy Incentives that Don’t Skimp on Luxe

What this mindset means for luxury incentive programs is offering creative wellness experiences that take attendees away from their daily grind, says Nathan Boyd, president of RMC, a destination management company in Aspen, Colo. “It used to be that a world-class spa was all that you needed for proper health and wellness on incentive trips, but today, while an amazing spa is nice, we are being asked to incorporate more activities outside the hotel—such as a guided hike to a remote lake for a healthy picnic lunch, or a meditation class in a grove of Aspen trees.”

The healthy living trend is also bringing a new generation of fitness-oriented teambuilding, such as Navy Seal–type boot camps, to luxury incentives, adds Catherine Chaulet, president of Global DMC Partners. “A few of our DMCs have even had requests from clients who want to set up high-impact teambuilding activities for their attendees similar to TV’s ‘American Ninja Warrior’ or ‘Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge.’”

Here are more tips from the experts on how to add wellness “wows” to luxury incentive programs:

Incentive attendees also want healthful food choices—but not the spare spa food of yore. “People definitely want to eat healthier. But they also want to experience local cuisine,”. Says Nancy Matos, vice president, Group Services Inc., Puerto Rico, a Hosts Global Alliance DMC. As well, attendees expect chef-driven menus. Which, says Denise Landis, publisher of The Cook’s Cook magazine, have become part of the general wellness trend. Landis—who is also a long-time professional recipe tester. Recommends that planners work directly with the chef. To design menus for meals and breaks that reflect current farm-to-fork food trends.

Fore more click here for the article on Meetings Net

6 Brain Food Snacks That Are Office-Friendly

6 Brain Food Snacks That Are Office-Friendly. What is an office-friendly snack, you ask? One that requires little to no preparation, carries little to no odor, and ideally can be tucked into a desk drawer for the moments throughout the day when hunger calls.

Studies have shown that people tend to select healthier foods for themselves when purchasing them in advance, versus when selecting food they plan to immediately eat.  The lesson there is to pack a lunch whenever possible instead of making a trip to the grocery store or ordering take-out for lunch. The same goes for the snacks you store in the office. When that 3:00 PM hunger hits, you want to crush your cravings but also provide the necessary energy to get you through the rest of the day at optimum efficiency.

Finding foods that accomplish all of the above aren’t as difficult as you might think. The biggest challenge is to stock your office with them and stay away from the heavier snacks that could lead to a sugar-induced coma.

Types of Brain Food Snacks

1. Nuts

Most nuts, when eaten in moderation, provide a filling and healthy snacking alternative. Walnuts lower bad cholesterol, and are linked to reduced biomarkers associated with stress.

Almonds can also help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. They are a source of vitamin E, copper, magnesium, and high-quality protein; they also contain high levels of healthy unsaturated fatty acids along with high levels of bioactive molecules.

2. Peanut Butter

Whether on a piece of toast or spread over apple slices or celery, peanut butter is a delicious way to snack and stay focused, providing healthy fats and vitamin E.

3. Blueberries

Blueberries are an easy snack to store in the fridge, can cure a sweet tooth, and have been linked to improved short-term memory in animal studies.

4. Dark chocolate

In small doses, dark chocolate provides a decadent and beneficial pick-me-up. It offers a little caffeine, a lot of flavonols, and antioxidant-rich cacao.

5. Seeds

Like nuts, several different kinds of seeds are a convenient snack that can be stored in a desk drawer. Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, which can help boost memory and cognitive function. They also contain magnesium, B vitamins and tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin, a mood-boosting brain chemical.

6. Avocado

Never considered avocado as a snack? You should! It’s easy to pack and prepare, and it’s full of monounsaturated fats and is an excellent source of vitamin E, which research suggests might help lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. There are lots of ways to transform avocado, too. If making it ahead of time, you can add tomatoes, jalapenos, lime juice and seasoning for a quick guacamole, or dice and spread on toast with a drizzle of olive oil and dash of salt and pepper.