How this Simple Blend of Superfoods Can Help You Improve the Health of Your Heart, Brain, Liver, Skin, Hair, Nails, Joints, Muscles and Blood.

Have you ever wished for a simple drink that has everything you need to promote and maintain your health? Something that’s easy to prepare, easy to include in your daily routine, has natural ingredients, it’s not a pill and above all that protects and promotes the health of your heart, brain, liver, skin, hair, nails, bones, joints, muscles, blood, everything? Well, here it is! A magical mixture from Mother’s Nature itself of everything you need for your body, mind, and soul, in just one cup of water.



Add 1 teaspoon of:

  • Maca powder
  • Spirulina
  • Matcha
  • Bee pollen

Add 1 tablespoon of:

  • Collagen peptides
  • MCT oil
  • Cocoa butter
  • Hemp hearts

To one cup of water ( 236ml).

But what are all these ingredients and why they are so great for my health? Read more about it and learn about the fantastic health benefits of each one of them.



Spirulina is a blue-green microalga, one of the oldest life forms and one of the most nutrient-rich foods on Earth. It has almost 50-65% protein ( more than beef or chicken) and all the essential amino acids we need. It has high levels of beta-carotene, vitamin B12, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), chlorophyll, linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, calcium, phosphorus, iron nucleic, acids RNA & DNA, and phycocyanin, a pigment-protein complex that is found only in blue-green algae.

One tablespoon (7g) contains 4g of Protein, Vitamin B1, B2, B3, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids and small amounts of almost every other nutrient that we need.

Health Benefits

  • Powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Lowers LDL and triglycerides levels
  • Protects HDL ( good cholesterol)
  • Improves symptoms of allergic rhinitis ( see study here)
  • Anti-cancer properties
  • Effective against anemia ( see study here)
  • Improves immune system ( see study here)
  • Reduces blood pressure ( see study here)
  • Improves muscle endurance and strength
  • Lowers blood sugar levels



Maca is a Peruvian plant grown in the Andes mountains. It has been used for medical purposes and in the kitchen as well.

Health Benefits

  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Female hormone imbalance
  • Powerful antioxidant
  • Energy booster
  • Effective against anemia
  • Improves memory and learning
  • Increases fertility
  • Improves mood
  • Reduces menopause
  • Boosts the immune system



Matcha literally means ” powdered tea”. The preparation of matcha is the focus of Japanese tea ceremonies, and it has long been associated with Zen. Unlike traditional green tea, in matcha preparation, the tea plants are covered with shade cloths before they’re harvested, to avoid direct sunlight. This way the leaves grow with better flavor and texture, which are hand-selected, steamed to end fermentation, then dried and aged in cold storage, which deepens the flavor. The dried leaves are then stone-ground into a fine powder.

Health benefits

  • It has more antioxidants than any other superfood
  • Boosts metabolism and burns Calories
  • Natural detoxifier
  • Calms the mind and relaxes the Body
  • Mood enhancer
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Protects the liver ( see study here)
  • Memory enhancer ( see study here)
  • Protects the heart



Collagen peptides are a cold-soluble, easily digestible and highly bioactive form of collagen. They are made from pasture-raised bovine hides. The hides are first cleaned and soaked in hot water to remove the fat. They are then soaked in an alkaline or acid solution to facilitate the release of collagen. They are obtained by breaking down of the molecular bonds between individual collagen strands to peptides.

But what is collagen?

Collagen is the body’s most important building block and it makes up approximately 30% of the proteins in our bodies. Collagen is the key structural protein that ensures the union, elasticity, and regeneration of all our connective tissues, including skin (70%), tendons (85%), ligaments (70%), cartilage (70%), and bones (90%). In essence, collagen is strong and flexible and is the ‘glue’ that holds everything together.

With age, our bodies naturally begin to produce less collagen, and the first signs of aging start to occur such as wrinkles, more fragile and breakable bones, joint discomfort.

Health benefits

  • Promotes younger looking skin
  • Support nails growth
  • Strengthens hair
  • Replenish moisture levels in hair
  • Prevents the formation of wrinkles
  • Improves skin moisture levels
  • Supports bone and joint health
  • Contributes to weight management
  • Supports healthy gut
  • Aids the liver in ditching toxins



Bee pollen is a ball of pollen made by young bees when they land on a flower. It’s a mixture of pollen, saliva, and nectar or honey. It contains vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, lipids, and protein. Be careful as bee pollen can cause a serious allergic reaction including shortness of breath, hives, and swelling. Also, it is not safe for pregnant women or if you are breastfeeding and can interact with certain medications.

Health benefits

  • Relieves inflammation
  • Boosts liver health
  • Reduces stress
  • Speeds up healing
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Works as an antioxidant ( has resveratrol, an antioxidant found in wine)
  • Great for hay fever or mouth sores
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Aids constipation


MCT oil

MCTs (medium-chain triglyceride) are partially man-made fats. MCT oil is most commonly extracted from coconut oil, as more than 50% of the fat in coconut oil comes from MCTs. They have been used as medicine for treating food absorption disorders including diarrhea, steatorrhea (fat indigestion), celiac disease, liver disease, and digestion problems due to partial surgical removal of the stomach (gastrectomy) or the intestine (short bowel syndrome). Athletes sometimes use MCTs for nutritional support during training, to increase exercise performance, for decreasing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass, and for weight loss.

Health benefits

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • An instant source of energy
  • Fights yeast and bacterial growth
  • Support diabetes management
  • Balance hormone levels
  • Improves your mood
  • Better digestion



Cocoa butter is a pure, stable fat that is pressed out of cacao beans. It is considered a vegetable fat and despite the word ‘ butter’ in it, it doesn’t have any dairy products.

Cocoa butter is perfect for salves, lotions, lip balm, and some makeup. Because it is nontoxic and melts at body temperature, it is also used as a base for medical suppositories to deliver medications.

Health benefits

  • Makes you happy by boosting neurotransmitters and balancing hormones
  • Increases immunity
  • Regenerates your skin
  • Relieves constipation
  • Boosts your metabolism
  • Fights signs of aging
  • Helps with mouth sores
  •  Improves heart health
  • Great source of vitamin K and vitamin E



Hemp seeds are the seeds of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa, the same species as cannabis (marijuana). But they contain only trace amounts of THC, the compound that causes the drug-like effects of marijuana.

Health benefits

  • Very rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6
  • Great source of plant-based protein ( 30g hemp seeds- 10g of protein)
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Great source of healthy fats
  • Aid digestion
  • Relieves dry skin
  • Reduce PMS symptoms
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Reduce muscle cramps



Lastly, I want to end this blog post with this beautiful quote from Wild Woman Sisterhood:

” The mountains are my bones,
The rivers my veins.
The forests are my thoughts,
And the stars are my dreams.
The ocean is my heart,
It’s punding in my pulse.
The sounds of the Earth write
The music of my soul.”


With all my love,

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach

How to read labels and avoid toxic ingredients

Like me and many others you probably too have never thought of reading food labels. The only thing I used to read on products was the calorie content. I literally assumed and trusted that whoever sells food has to go through hundreds of tons of paperwork to be approved by the government so there is no need for me to read it, it’s safe. No, it’s not. It’s not safe to eat foods that contain MSG – a processed flavor enhancer that screws with the brain chemistry and makes you want to eat more. But who cares? They don’t. You buy more, they make more. It’s all about the money, not about you or your health. And what about organic versus conventional? Is organic really organic or it’s just more expensive?  Let’s find out.



I’ll start by defining what normal was not so long ago. Our soil was rich in nutrients and the ingredients we used for our recipes used to be natural, not processed or enriched. The taste, smell and color of vegetables and fruits was delightful. In some countries, you can still find this, countries like Romania where I was two weeks ago. I was able to feel the life in the fruits there, the freshness, the rich flavors, and colors. No herbicides or pesticides, just the pure result of mother’s nature.

What is normal now? Nowadays the majority of our food supply is manufactured in a laboratory with substances that can harm our health in the long run and with the intention to make us consume more. You would think that cooking at home is your only option but even cooking at home becomes a concern because the majority of the ingredients that are going into your home cooked meal are genetically modified or filled with herbicides and pesticides. Studies have shown that many of these toxic additives can cause headaches, make you fat, cause allergies, and are a catalyst for diseases such as diabetes, hormonal imbalances, heart disease, cancer or high blood pressure.

So what can we do? How can we maintain a healthy diet while being surrounded by all these toxic harmful hidden ingredients that are found in our food? By educating ourselves and learning how to read labels. Shopping with an untrained, uneducated eye has become critical to our health.


The FIRST STEP is to completely ignore the labels on the front of the packaging. That’s where the marketing companies can trick you. Manufacturers want to make you believe that their product is healthier than others.

The SECOND STEP is to look at the ingredients list. If it’s longer than 2–3 lines, you can assume that the product is highly processed. Another simple rule is ” If you can’t read it, don’t eat it!”

The THIRD STEP is to educate yourself and learn how to spot toxic ingredients.




Genetically Modified Organisms – GMOs

” Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering. This creates combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and virus genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods. ” ( source )

For example, plants are genetically modified by inserting bacterial genes so they can handle higher amounts of herbicides. These genes allow them to survive doses of herbicide that would otherwise kill them under normal circumstances.


Is there any evidence that says GMOs are not safe?

Conducting a study that is valid and reliable requires a lot of work. Especially, in the field of nutrition, you’ll find a lot of contradictory studies. Lots of them are funded by big corporations which need a certain result in order to continue selling their products so even studies are not that trustworthy. But let’s be honest now, there is no smoke without fire.

” Anti-GMO crusader Jeffrey Smith, on his personal website, the Institute for Responsible Technology, lists more than a dozen cases in which he claims animals fed GMOs exhibited abnormal conditions, including cancer and early death. He also references his own self-published book, and anecdotal evidence that pigs fed GM feed turned sterile or had false pregnancies and sheep that grazed on BT cotton plants often died.”

“Nearly every independent animal feeding safety study on GM foods shows adverse or unexplained effects,” he writes. “But we were not supposed to know about these problems…the biotech industry works overtime to try to hide them.” – article by Jon Entine at Forbes.

A study published in 2014 links GMOs to cancer, liver/kidney damage, and severe hormonal disruption.

It was interesting to find that both the cultivation and imports of GMOs are banned in some countries such as Russia, Algeria, Kenya, Peru but in countries like Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Turkey, Switzerland imports are allowed but cultivation is banned.


Monosodium Glutamate – MSG

MSG is a flavor enhancer added to most of the processed food we consume. This substance crosses the blood-brain barrier and quite literally excites your brain cells to death.

According to Mayo Clinic – ” it’s commonly added to Chinese food, canned vegetables, soups and processed meats. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified MSG as a food ingredient that’s “generally recognized as safe,” but its use remains controversial. For this reason, when MSG is added to food, the FDA requires that it be listed on the label.

Over the years, the FDA has received many anecdotal reports of adverse reactions to foods containing MSG. These reactions — known as MSG symptom complex — include:

  • Headache
  • Flushing
  • Sweating
  • Facial pressure or tightness
  • Numbness, tingling or burning in the face, neck and other areas
  • Rapid, fluttering heartbeats (heart palpitations)
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Weakness

” The MSG regulation allows food manufacturers to include some MSG in your food without labeling it. In order for food companies to list MSG as an ingredient, the glutamic acid content in the food must be 79% or greater. If there is 78% or less of glutamic acid in the substance, the food companies are not required to include MSG in the labels.” – (source)


List of ingredients you should be aware of:

  • Glutamate
  • Glutamic acid
  • Monosodium glutamate
  • Magnesium glutamate
  • Natrium glutamate
  • Gelatin
  • Calcium caseinate
  • Sodium caseinate
  • Textured protein
  • Hydrolyzed protein (anything hydrolyzed)
  • Yeast nutrient, yeast extract
  • Yeast food
  • Autolyzed yeast
  • Vetsin
  • Ajinomoto
  • Carrageenan
  • Maltodextrin
  • Malt extract, Malt flavoring
  • Barley malt
  • Citric acid
  • Soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, soy protein
  • Whey protein concentrate, Whey protein isolate, whey protein
  • Seasonings
  • Protease, Protease enzymes
  • Pectin
  • Natural Flavor, flavorings



Aspartame is one of the most common artificial sweeteners in use today. It is about 200 times sweeter than sugar. It has been used in the United States since the early 1980s. Commonly used as a tabletop sweetener, as a sweetener in prepared foods and beverages, and in recipes that do not require too much heating (since heat breaks down aspartame). It is sold under the brand names NutraSweet and Equal and most often labeled as containing phenylalanine. It can also be found as a flavoring in some medicines.


Some examples of aspartame-containing products include:

  • sugarless candy
  • diet soda
  • sugar-free ice cream
  • reduced-calorie fruit juice
  • yogurt
  • gum

There is still inconsistent outcomes in studies but some research links the use of aspartame to disease. Other studies show that women drinking two diet sodas per day are 50% more likely to die from heart-related disease.

Artificial sweeteners may increase your risk of weight gain, obesity, metabolic syndrome and other related problems like Type 2 diabetes by inducing “metabolic derangements,” according to a report published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism. ( source)

Natural alternatives to aspartame:

  • honey
  • maple syrup
  • agave nectar
  • blackstrap molasses
  • stevia leaves


Cancer-causing additives

Nitrites and nitrates are used in processed meats. They function as preservatives, helping to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. They also add a salty flavor and improve the appearance of the meat products by giving them a red or pink color.

They are also found naturally in foods like vegetables, foods that are generally perceived as healthy. Vegetables are actually the biggest dietary source of nitrates.

Our bodies naturally produce nitrates in large amounts and secrete them into saliva, they function as antimicrobials in the digestive system.

BUT when nitrites are exposed to high heat, in the presence of amino acids ( protein – meat), they can turn into compounds called nitrosamines ( potent carcinogens). Because most bacon, hot dogs, and processed meat tend to be high in sodium nitrite and they’re high protein foods (a source of amino acids), exposing them to high heat creates the perfect conditions for nitrosamine formation ( formation and occurrence of nitrosamines in food).

What to look for :

  • sodium nitrite
  • potassium nitrite
  • anything that has nitrite or nitrate in the name


High-fructose corn syrup

High-fructose corn syrup is a sweetener made from corn. It’s sweeter and cheaper than sucrose, which is the form of sugar made from sugar cane.


Dr. Mark Hymann gives us 5 reasons high fructose corn syrup will kill us on his website.

” HFCS is a marker for poor-quality, nutritionally-depleted, processed industrial food full of empty calories and artificial ingredients. If you find “high fructose corn syrup” on the label you can be sure it is not a whole, real, fresh food full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. Stay away if you want to stay healthy. We still must reduce our overall consumption of sugar, but with this one simple dietary change you can radically reduce your health risks and improve your health.”


Sodium benzoate

Sodium benzoate is a food additive used as a preservative. It’s suspected that sodium benzoate, in addition to artificial food color, may increase hyperactivity in some children. Sodium benzoate in soft drinks may also react with added vitamin C to make benzene, a cancer-causing substance.


Hydrogenated oils

Hydrogenation is a process in which a liquid unsaturated fat is turned into a solid fat by adding hydrogen. During this process, a type of fat called trans fat is made.

Partially hydrogenated oils can affect heart health because they lower HDL the ‘good’ cholesterol and increase LDL the ‘ bad’ cholesterol.


How to spot them?

  • vegetable shortening
  • baked foods, especially premade versions
  • packaged snacks
  • ready-to-use dough
  • margarine
  • coffee creamers, both dairy and nondairy

How to avoid them?

Use vegetable oils when cooking such as sunflower oil, avocado oil.


Hidden sugar

  • barley malt
  • molasses
  • cane juice crystals
  • lactose
  • corn sweetener
  • crystalline fructose
  • dextran
  • malt powder
  • ethyl maltol
  • fructose
  • fruit juice concentrate
  • galactose
  • glucose
  • disaccharides
  • maltodextrin and maltose.


I know this may be overwhelming, which is why I want to remind you that big changes require time and effort. Take small baby steps whenever you want to change something in your life, be patient and kind to yourself. Some of the ingredients found in our food can cause addiction, suddenly taking them out of your diet may cause headaches or mood changes. You don’t have to stop eating everything that has these ingredients today! Do it over time, learn and develop new recipes that contain wholesome food, research your area and see if you find a farmer’s market and read food labels. Change requires time.


I hope this post was helpful to you if you have any questions feel free to address them in a comment below or find me on Instagram.



Types of HUNGER – Which one describes you more?

When my brother was 5 years old he went through what I like to call a ” why” period of time where he would ask us why everything is the way it is. At that time it annoyed me a lot, I was only 16 years old; wherever we went, whatever we did, he would ask ” But why?”. Now, looking back, I realize how important this question is and how many things you can learn or redefine if you question everything around you from time to time. Many of us took our parents answers for granted and never asked some questions again, still thinking that our parents know the best. The day you realize that your parents are just some other humans that talk and give advice from their own experience ( good or bad) and they can’t know the best because there is no such thing, is a very important day for you! It’s the beginning of YOUR life!

That said, I’ll begin by asking a simple question – Why do we eat?

The first answer that comes to my mind is – because we need food in order to survive. Still, some of us eat more or less so why do we really eat? What role plays food in our lives? Before we use to fight and possibly get killed for a small piece of food that we needed in order to survive, now what is killing us is too much food. So how did we end up here?

After asking myself and others this question I concluded that we eat for various reasons, therefore I came up with 5 types of HUNGER.


This is the real hunger, the one that you physically feel in your stomach. You feel like you don’t have the energy anymore, your blood sugar levels are low and you just can’t focus on anything anymore.

Listen to your body, be aware of the signals it’s sending you and eat when you physically feel hungry. Do not leave it until you feel very hungry because that can lead to making bad food choices and eating too much during one meal.



We tend to associate food with pleasure, happiness, positive emotions. If you ever hear yourself saying ” I eat because I like it, it makes me feel good” then you are in this category. If you would already feel good you wouldn’t look for stimulants such as food or alcohol or drugs to make you feel good.

Loneliness, stress, anger, boredom are negative emotions, emotions we want to escape so whenever we feel like that we look for happiness in food. Instead of dealing with the deeper issue we want a quick satisfaction. The trick is that it will fix you but only for a short period of time. When the satisfaction ends your negative emotions will rise again only this time stronger along with others caused by the binge eating, shame, and guilt which will only make you feel worse and in time will cause a vicious cycle that can lead to weight gain, chronic diseases, and depression.

This HUNGER is not located in the stomach, you don’t physically feel it and it is not mindful eating. When we emotionally eat we tend to stuff food without thinking about it, we end up feeling full but not satisfied as if we would eat more if we could.


  • Practice mindful eating.

Be present with your food, smell it, taste it, look at it, savor it. Avoid shoving it, eat slowly.

  • Be curious.

When you find yourself in that moment of impulse ask yourself ” What am I really feeling or avoiding to feel? What am I asking the food to do for me?”

  • Find other ways to deal with your negative emotions

-If you are feeling lonely or down, call a friend or a family member or hug a beloved one.

-If you are feeling bored, find a way to entertain your mind, play a game, take a walk, watch a movie, read a book.

-If you are feeling tired/stressed, take a nap or a moment to relax. Light up some candles and take a long nice warm bath.





If you are someone that says ” I feel hungry all the time!” then you are in this category. The truth is you might be feeding your body with food that has no nutritional value such as processed high-calorie foods. These foods keep you satisfied for a short period of time. Our body is a perfect smart machine that naturally craves real food which is why you will find yourself hungry again. This explains why obese people are actually starving.


  •  Eat real food, minimally processed with high nutritional value.



You fall into this category if you tend to associate certain activities with food. For example, you have to eat popcorn when you go to the movies or get a snack when you watch TV at home. This is a habit that is developed over time, by doing so a few times now your brain is programmed to associate movies with popcorn. Or for example, I got to a point in my life where I couldn’t eat cheese anymore without craving red wine, whenever I would see cheese I would instantly crave red wine. Or I managed to quit smoking but somehow I created a connection between alcohol and cigarettes so whenever I have a drink I feel the urge to smoke. I am currently working on that.

Observe yourself and discover what associations your brain has developed. Name one right now.


  • Break your habit

This might be difficult because it takes desire, practice, and willpower. Nothing else will help. I used to not be able to watch a movie at home or cinema unless I eat popcorn. I had to go to the movies, not eat popcorn and drink water instead a few times until I was able to stop feeling this huge urge. I knew I broke the habit the day I entered a movie theater and didn’t think of popcorn.

The cool thing is that you can use this to your own advantage. You can build healthy habits. I, now, have a habit of always having a bottle of water with me. It’s funny how I just can’t leave home without a bottle of water. Noor always says to me ” Wherever I go there is always a bottle of water!”, living room, bedroom, kitchen, car haha.



Do you ever find yourself eating more whenever you visit your parents/grandparents? Or during holidays when everyone gathers and eats? Or when friends come over? Yes, food brings people together and that can cause overeating as well. Plus some of the family members are very persuasive and encourage you to eat more. I don’t know how it’s in your culture but in the Middle Eastern culture when you are someone’s guest they will keep telling you to eat even when you tell them you are full and can’t possibly eat anymore. Their intention is to be nice and respectful but the result is that you’ll feel bad for not being able to eat more haha.

Lots of people who live by themselves told me they eat less at home because they don’t enjoy food alone as much as they enjoy food when they are in an enjoyable company. I am the same, whenever Noor travels I eat less, it’s like I lose my appetite. I want something fast and yummy, when I am alone I usually eat because I have to.


  • Learn to say NO

Say NO to family members and stop when you are feeling full. Learning to say No to food and insistent people will also help you in other areas of your life.

  • Bond differently

Instead of allowing food to become the center of a celebration, find other ways to bond with the people around you. For instance, you can dance, play games or take the time to have meaningful conversations.



Which type describes you more? Share with me below or find me on Instagram.





Is breakfast the most important meal?

                You’ve probably heard of my all-time favorite motto-

“Eat Breakfast Like a King, Lunch Like a Prince, and Dinner Like a Pauper”,

but is it true? Yes, I believe it is. If you don’t, let me convince you with a colorful delicious healthy breakfast and facts backed up by science!



Throughout my life, I’ve heard many people saying ” I can’t have breakfast! I am just not hungry. I only have coffee.”, some continue with ” and a cigarette too!”. That it’s a terrible idea and if you are one of those people you need to watch this video immediately. Don’t get me wrong, I love coffee and it has a ton of health benefits but not on an empty stomach!


Why it’s bad to drink coffee on an empty stomach?


  • Stomach acid increases

Stimulates the production of more acid in your stomach which can harm your stomach and digestive tract ( heartburn, stomach ulcers);

  • Ruins digestion

The consumption of caffeine leads to the secretion of stress hormones ( adrenaline and cortisol) which increases your heart rate and blood pressure. Your body is in flight or fight mode ( survival mode) which is why the digestive system is shut down and therefore digestion is ruined, leading to a bloated feeling, pain, and irregularity.

  • Anxiety and depression

It lowers the brain’s power to properly break down serotonin ( the happiness hormone) which causes anxiety and depression. Drinking coffee in the morning on an empty stomach will leave you feeling shaky, nervous and weak.

  • Dehydration

It raises the amount of fluid that your body passes which causes dehydration.

  • Reduces hunger

While this may sound exciting for those who are looking to lose weight, it’s not! Drinking coffee on an empty stomach makes you skip breakfast which can again lower your body’s ability to make serotonin. If you don’t have serotonin, you can’t feel happy or sleep good and when you are not happy and rested you tend to eat more which will lead to weight gain – reverse causation.






A lot of people don’t feel hungry for breakfast because they’re eating too much at night or because they have formed this bad habit through years and years of skipping breakfast. But skipping breakfast can lead to heart disease as a recent study posted in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology shows.

The team studied ‘ The Importance of Breakfast in Atherosclerosis Disease’ from which it turned out that people who skipped breakfast and those who ate a light breakfast were more likely to have atherosclerosis than those who ate a full breakfast. Also, they are more likely to have certain risk factors for heart disease, like greater waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting glucose and triglycerides.

Alice G. Walton who has a Ph.D. in Biopsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience and is a contributor at Forbes writes  “People who skipped breakfast also had significantly less healthy lifestyles in other ways. As mentioned, they were more likely to be overweight, which suggests they may have skipped breakfast in order to lose weight—a case of reverse causation. But they were also more likely to have a poor diet, smoke and drink more alcohol, which are all serious heart-risk factors. In fact, the researchers say many of the participants who skipped breakfast fall into what they call the “social-business eating pattern,” which includes a busy schedule and a lot of meals out. So again, skipping breakfast may be more a marker of an overall lifestyle than anything else. ”



In conclusion, skipping breakfast is a choice that has an impact on your overall lifestyle and health. On the other side, having breakfast is part of a self-care routine and it’s definitely an act of self-love to me which can lead to the implementation of other healthy behaviors.




If you do decide to have breakfast every day remember that it is your first meal of the day, it’s how you start your day, it’s what gives your body the energy to walk you around all day, it’s what forms your blood, cells, organs, thoughts, actions, life so make sure it’s a healthy colorful nourishing one. I personally like having eggs in the morning, this recipe with poached eggs is one of my favorites or these delicious omelette wraps  but here is a sweet breakfast as well ‘ fluffy flourless pancakes’ or these apple toasts with almond butter.









Fluffy flourless pancakes with homemade blueberry sauce

When I think of pancakes, I think of flour and sugar, but what if pancakes can exist without regular flour or added sugar? It doesn’t just sound interesting, but tastes and looks delicious! Don’t believe me? Here, take a look!


I am more of a salty person so I don’t eat lots of sweets but this sounded too fascinating to not give it a try. Plus, I am a huge fan of coconut, blueberries and almond butter!


I adore spending time outdoors and after living in Chicago ( it gets very cold in here during winter) for almost two years now, I have decided that spring and summer are my favorite seasons. Therefore my favorite place right now is officially our balcony which we decorated so beautifully that every time I sit there my heart fills with peace and happiness. Flowers, lights, comfortable chairs, candles, the sun or the silent evenings with gorgeous sunsets are a perfect way to start or end your day which is why I have my breakfast/brunch/dinners there.


You might ask yourself ” But why use coconut flour instead of regular flour?” that’s what my mom asked me when I told her about my latest discovery, haha. Here is why!

Benefits of coconut flour

  • Metabolism

It supports a healthy metabolism and balanced blood sugar levels due to its high levels of healthy saturated fats, that are used by the body for energy.

  • High in fiber

When you eat foods high in fiber, the sugar in those foods is absorbed slower, which keeps your blood glucose levels from rising too fast. This is good for you because spikes in glucose fall rapidly, which can make you feel hungry soon after eating and lead to overeating.

  • Supports a healthy digestive system

The scrub-brush effect of fiber helps clean out bacteria and other buildups in your intestines and reduces your risk for colon cancer. A high-fiber diet helps you have soft, regular bowel movements, reducing constipation.



The ingredients of these pancakes are delicious and healthy, from coconut flour, almond butter ( which I am obsessed with), banana to berries ( I used blueberries) which have a ton of health benefits and are one of the fruits that can actually promote weight loss.

I took the recipe from Ambitious Kitchen to which I only added a little bit of mascarpone cheese. This is my second time making these fluffy pancakes, the first time they got a little bit burnt ( still tasted good) because of the coconut flour that is sensitive to burning, so be careful!

If you are looking for other breakfast/brunch ideas that are also colorful, tasty and healthy try this recipe of mine – Sweet potato toast with poached egg and mushroom sauté or these delicious Omelette wraps.

The pool is open so I am going to take a dip and enjoy the warm sunny weather. What are your plans for today? Wishing you an awesome day filled with whatever it is that you need at this moment, besides these delicious pancakes, haha!



Ayurveda: The Science, Doshas & Lifestyle

What is Ayurveda?

            Ayurveda or Ayurvedic Medicine is an ancient healing system discovered before western, homeopathic and traditional Chinese medicine created by the sages in India over 5,000 years ago. Ayurveda ( Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge) is a Sanskrit word and it means the science of life.

I love how Deepak Chopra describes it here: ” The two main guiding principles of Ayurveda are 1) the mind and the body are inextricably connected, and 2) nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind. Freedom from illness depends upon expanding our own awareness, bringing it into balance, and then extending that balance to the body. This process isn’t as complicated as it may sound. For example, when you meditate you effortlessly enter a state of expanded awareness and inner quiet that refreshes the mind and restores balance. Since the mind and body are inseparable, the body is naturally balanced through the practice of meditation. In the state of restful awareness created through meditation, your heart rate and breath slow, your body decrease the production of “stress” hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, and you increase the production of neurotransmitters that enhance well-being, including serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins.”

While western medicine ignores the root cause of the diseases, Ayurvedic Medicine focuses on it. It treats allergies, obesity, insomnia, migraines, digestive problems, asthma and many other ailments. HEALTH is seen in Ayurveda as the balance between the 3 fundamental energies called DOSHAS ( Vata, Pitta, and Kapha), in other words, the balance between the body, mind, and soul.

Ayurvedic Medicine says that our bodies are made of 5 universal elements:








Season: FALL

The energy of movement. Regulates all movement in the body ( physical and mental) such as breathing, blinking of the eyes, heartbeat, the ability to get rid of waste through your intestines as well as the cellular movements ( under a microscope).


– sensitive; spiritual; tardy; fidgety; forgets to eat; daily routine feels difficult and overwhelming; flighty; memory problems; easily confused; not present; baldness; creative types might have a propensity toward arts, writing, poetry, music.

When it’s in balance:

 – you feel creative, flexible, fresh, light and joyful.

When it’s out of balance:

– you feel fear, nervousness, anxiety, and tremors.

Ailments: arthritis, insomnia, anxiety, insecurity.

Excess of VATA:

– dry skin, constipation;

CLICK here if you are VATA and you want to know how to balance it.



Season: SUMMER

The energy of heat. Represents metabolism ( how well you break down food), digestion, absorption, assimilation and body temperature. Governs all the biochemical changes in our bodies.


– compelled to accomplish things; organized; never misses meals and can be cranky if a meal is skipped (has strong metabolism); focused; workaholic; doesn’t do well in hot, humid climates; sassy; creates problems that don’t really exist when feeling too balanced; needs to eat often.

When it’s in balance:

– you feel intelligent and have a deep understanding of those around you;

When it’s out of balance:

– you feel frustrated, angry, jealous and overly critical;


– perfectionism, acid indigestion, heartburn, hives, acne, Crohn’s diseases.

Excess of PITTA:

– bloating, fatigue, liver complaints;

CLICK here if you are PITTA and you want to know how to balance it.



Season: WINTER

Represents body structure and stability, lubricates joints, moisturizes skin, heals wounds and maintains immunity.


– grounded; stable; solid; clear about the ways of the world; sensual; strong sexuality; a sense of physicality; steady appetite but not overly strong like Pitta; can miss a meal; slower metabolism; resists exercise and is slower moving; often tries to lighten up (physically and emotionally).

When it’s in balance:

– you feel love, forgiveness and a sense of calmness;

When it’s out of balance:

– you have feelings of attachment, greed, lust, and envy;


– colds, congestion, allergies, possessiveness;

Excess of KAPHA:

– weight gain, diabetes, lethargy;

CLICK here if you are KAPHA and you want to know how to balance it.


Is Ayurvedic Medicine safe?

Some of the products used by Ayurveda may be harmful, particularly if used improperly or without the direction of a trained practitioner. For example, some herbs can cause side effects or interact with conventional medicines.

Is Ayurvedic Medicine effective?

At the moment, there aren’t enough well-controlled clinical trials and systematic research reviews (the gold standard for Western medical research ) to prove that the approaches are beneficial. Even though the research is limited some of the present evidence from clinical trials show that turmeric may help with certain digestive disorders and arthritis.

How can I find which one I am?

CLICK here if you want to discover your type.

I have recently ordered a book about AYURVEDA, therefore, I will come back to this post and add on new information about it. Stay close!

I hope you find this post helpful, if yes please SHARE. ( Just imagine how beautiful a world full of balanced doshas would look).

Sending you lots of love and wishing you a joyful Sunday evening filled with whatever is that you need at this moment!




Healthy homemade mayonnaise with avocado oil

Like I’ve said in my other blog posts, being on the Whole30 program forces me to come up with healthy options for foods that I used to eat before which would not be described as 100% healthy.

To me, Whole 30 is more than a diet or a program that promises to break all your unhealthy habits. It is a self-discovery journey. I learned so many things about food and about myself throughout this program. Now I know how to make the difference between hunger and a simple craving; cravings that are so connected to my emotional state. I also learned how to identify ‘ bad’ ingredients in products by reading the lables, how much sugar is hidden in almost everything we buy from the store, how so many ‘unhealthy foods’ are being sold under the label ‘ healthy’ and many other things that I’ll talk about in a future blog post when I’ll finish the program ( Whole30 – Part two).

We usually buy our groceries from Whole Foods, which is my favorite grocery store. On those days when neither Noor or I feel like cooking we go there, get a rotisserie organic chicken ( so delicious) some potatoes that we roast in the oven and organic fire roasted red peppers. First time we ate this combination, I felt like something was missing from  all these yummy tastes and that was mayonnaise, more specific, garlic mayonnaise. To me, the taste of chicken combined with garlic is just perfect!


So here it is, my latest discovery:

“Healthy homemade mayonnaise with avocado oil”

Easy, delicious and healthy!


  • 2 small eggs or 1 large;
  • 1 cup Avocado Oil;
  • pinch of salt;
  • optional : 7-8 cloves garlic minced;

Depending on your preferences you can add garlic, spices (oregano) or leave it as it is, plain. I did because I just loveee garlic.


  • Add the eggs, the avocado oil and the salt.



  • Using an immersion blender start blending the composition slowly from the bottom to the top. You want to make sure you blend it good until the oil is mixed well with the eggs.





  • Add the garlic and mix everything with a spoon.


Done! Yes, it is that fast and easy.








The benefits of Coconut oil

Dry skin is something I have never experienced in my life until recently when I moved to Chicago, the great windy city. Everything changed including my skin. I feel you now, ” dry skin-er”, it’s terrible, the struggle is real! Sometimes it gets so dry it itches. But don’t lose your hope, I found the solution! It ends with nut and starts with coco, yesss coconut, you got it!

When this first happened to me questions started popping into my head like bubbles- ” Is it because I am still not finding my place in here yet ( mentally & emotionally)?”, ” Is it because I am stressed?”, ” Is it the food?”, ” Is it because I don’t drink enough water?”, ” Is it because of the environment?”. Well, there was only one way to find out the answers and that was to do everything the right way. So I started drinking plenty of water, eat super healthy ( healthy delicious breakfast), no sugar, organic vegetables and leafy greens, fish, grass-fed beef, organic poultry, limited use of alcohol, mostly red wine, drink warm water with lemon first thing in the morning, sleep 8 hours a night, relax by reading a book or taking a warm bath, go to yoga classes, go to the gym. All this really improved my mood, my acne, my digestion, my hair, my sleep, my emotional and mental state, everything except my skin. It was still dry.

I thought then maybe my vitamin D levels are low ( see my blog post about vitamin D) so I started taking supplements since the weather in Chicago was clearly not going to help me get some sunlight. But still, my skin did not improve.

So I came up with these so-called ” coconut oil baths”. What you need to do is just put 2-3 tablespoons ( or even more) in the water while you are taking a long relaxing bath. Light up some candles, bring a book, put some relaxing music or even bring a glass of your favorite wine. It’s your time and you deserve it.

I use coconut oil when I cook as well. Coconut oil is great! Here are some benefits in case you are wondering how great it can be for your skin, hair and much more.



  • Skin moisturizer;

Coconut oil is one of the best choices for a skin care agent because of its composition which is almost 94% saturated fat ( lauric acid, myristic acid, capric acid, stearic acid); fat which prevents moisture loss through the skin’s pores. Vitamin E is also found in its composition, which is known to block free radicals from the body ( aging process). Definitely, something you need if you want the smooth younger-looking skin.

  • For your hair;

Due to its composition of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have low molecular weight and straight linear chain, coconut oil can penetrate inside the hair shaft and act as a moisturizer. Researchers from India studied the effects of mineral oil, sunflower oil and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage and found the coconut oil as the only oil that reduced the protein loss remarkably for both undamaged and damaged hair when was used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product.

  • For your scalp;

Coconut oil prevents peeling away of the skin on the scalp and conditions like dandruff by keeping the skin moisturized.

  • Weight management;

I use coconut oil when I cook and it’s delicious. But besides its taste, it is also beneficial for your metabolism. Studies show that it can help you lose weight and belly fat because it contains medium chain triglycerides that can increase diet-induced thermogenesis. Also, the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) found in coconut oil are used for energy production, not stored as fat unlike the fat in other vegetable oils.

  • Cures fatigue;

Because of the saturated fats present in it, coconut oil is a great source of energy, curing fatigue and energy malnutrition.

  • For your immunity;

Lauric acid is a natural antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral. It is known to reduce candida, fight bacteria, and create a hostile environment for viruses. It can also increase our body’s production of monolaurin, enhancing anti-bacterial protection.



Enjoy your coconut oil bath and let me know if you have any questions by addressing them below or on Instagram.




Vitamin D – everything you need to know about it!


Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient. Soluble means ” able to be dissolved” therefore vitamin D needs fat to be dissolved ( healthy fat such as avocados, cheese, eggs, nuts, olive oil), unlike other vitamins, for example, the vitamin B complex which is water-soluble meaning it needs water to be dissolved.

There are two main forms of vitamin D, vitamin D2- ergocalciferol ( found in mushrooms) and vitamin D3- cholecalciferol ( found in animal foods like egg and salmon). Recent studies have suggested that the latter one is superior to the first one, ergocalciferol ( D2).





  • Fatty fish like carp, salmon, Chilean sea bass, herring, mackerel, tuna sardines;
  • Oysters;
  • Shrimp;
  • Beef liver;
  • Cod liver oil;
  • Eggs;
  • Fortified foods;
  • Cheese ( not low-fat, as I said vitamin D needs fat to be dissolved);
  • Mushrooms are the only plant source of vitamin D excluding the fortified foods;


Sunlight exposure

It is the simplest way to get vitamin D. But even after exposure to UV B light, its synthesis is influenced by latitude, season, use of sunblock and skin pigmentation. Those with fair skin need about 45 minutes of exposure, while those with darker skin require up to 3 hours a week to maintain sufficient levels.



In areas with limited sunlight, like Chicago for example where there is not a lot of sunlight for more than half of the year, supplementation is a common way to get sufficient vitamin D.

Current guidelines suggest that consuming 400–800 IU of vitamin D should meet the needs of the majority of all healthy people.



  • Cognitive function;

In a study in India called ‘ Vitamin D and Alzheimer’s Disease’ researchers found that lower levels of vitamin D are associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. In addition, the clinicians found that vitamin D has neuroprotective properties.

  • Immunity;

Research shows that a response to infection is hampered when vitamin D status is suboptimal. Seasonal infections are lowest in the summer and highest in the winter because in winter there is no exposure to sunlight (sunlight is a trigger for the synthesis of vitamin D). Unknowingly, before the arrival of effective antibiotics, doctors used vitamin D to treat infections such as tuberculosis. The patients were sent to sanatoriums where treatment included exposure to sunlight which was thought to directly ” kill” tuberculosis.

  • Heart;

” A growing number of studies point to vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor for heart attacks, congestive heart failure, peripheral arterial disease (PAD), strokes, and the conditions associated with cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.” says Dr. Erin D. Michos, Assistant Professor of Medicine at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

  • Bones;

Vitamin D promotes mineralization of the collagen matrix in bone, therefore, it’s necessary for strong bones. Without Vitamin D, our bodies cannot effectively absorb calcium, which is essential to good bone health.

  • Muscles;

Studies show that high levels of vitamin d might improve muscle strength and that low levels may lead to fatty muscles.

  • Lungs;

” More than 60 years ago clinical studies were carried out administering oral vitamin D as a treatment for mycobacterial infections with high success rates.” – source.

  • Weight loss;

A new study conducted in Milan, Italy by doctor Dr. Luisella Vigna suggests that the administration of vitamin D daily to people that are obese/overweight and already have low levels ( fat cells absorb vitamin D and keep it from circulating throughout the bloodstream) might help them lose weight.

They recruited 400 obese/overweight adults, put on the same low-calorie diet and divided them into three groups:

  1. The first group did not take supplements;
  2. The second took 25,000 IU of vitamin D per month;
  3. The third took 100,000 IU of vitamin D per month.

After six months, the second and third group, the ones that were supplemented with vitamin D experienced weight decrease and reduction in waist circumference compared to the first group who did not take any supplements. The second group lost an average of 8.4 pounds ( 3.8 kg) and 4cm from their waist, while those in the third group who took 100,000 IU of vitamin D/month lost an average of 11.9 pounds ( 5.4 kg) and 5.5cm from their waist.

  • Mood;

According to the WHO ( World Health Organization), depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting more than 300 million people.

There are several studies that prove a connection between mood and vitamin D deficiency.  The Natural Center for Biotechnology Information states in a study conducted in Toronto, Canada that the intake of vitamin D was associated with improved wellbeing. In another study of healthy students, it was concluded that 10 or 20 mcg (400 or 800 IU)/day for only 5 days during winter improved mood.

According to the WHO ( World Health Organization), depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting more than 300 million people. Exactly how vitamin D works in the brain isn’t fully understood but taking a vitamin D supplement when needed can improve or prevent depression.

A study in the Netherlands involving 1,102 people aged 18-65 years with a current depressive disorder and 790 with former but not current depressive disorder, found lower vitamin D levels among those with a current depressive disorder and lower symptom severity for those with higher vitamin D levels. ( Source)

  • Skin;

In a study conducted by Johnson and Johnson Skin Research Center – USA, researchers observed a correlation between vitamin D levels and skin moisture content, individuals with lower levels of vitamin D had lower average skin moisture.




  • Limited exposure to sunlight;

People with light skin need about 45 minutes of exposure, while those with darker skin require up to 3 hours a week to maintain sufficient levels.

  • Obesity;

Fat cells absorb vitamin D and keep it from circulating throughout the bloodstream.

  • Darker skin;

People with darker skin have more melanin ( what gives skin its color) which means they have a natural sun protection. Melanin is able to absorb UV-B radiation from the sun and reduce the skin’s capacity to produce vitamin D3 by 95%.

  • Age;

As people get older they absorb less vitamin D from their diet and produce less vitamin D in their skin. Also, their reduced activity forces them to spend more time indoors.



  • Depression;

One study in Boston found that vitamin D deficiency may be a risk factor for depression, especially in older adults.

Another one with the title ‘ Vitamin D and depressive symptoms in women during winter’ suggested that supplemental vitamin D3 reduces depressive symptoms.

  • Infections;

One of the most important roles of vitamin D in our body is maintaining a strong immune system so can fight off the viruses and bacteria. Getting sick often is a sign that your immune system is not functioning properly which can mean that your vitamin D levels are low.

  • Bone & back pain;

Another study in India revealed a correlation between low levels of vitamin D and back pain.

  • Hair loss;

The biggest cause of hair loss is stress, but vitamin D might have a role as well. However, in both cases when it’s severe it might be a sign of a disease.

There is not a lot of research on this topic but several studies show there is a correlation between hair loss and low levels of vitamin D. One study in Egypt- Cairo concluded that low levels of vitamin D2 are associated with hair loss in females.

  • Tiredness;

A study conducted at University of Florida College of Medicine found that low levels of vitamin D are associated with excessive daytime fatigue. In another one performed at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center – Sleep Medicine Program researchers evaluated a 28-year-old woman for 4 months of excessive daytime sleepiness. After concluding that her levels of vitamin D are low, they prescribed her a dose of 50,000 IU once weekly. Her symptoms improved within two weeks.

  • Muscle pain;

A study in Norway investigated vitamin D levels in patients with non-specific musculoskeletal pain, headache, and fatigue. It revealed a high prevalence of hypovitaminosis D in the examined patients which means muscle pain is associated with low vitamin D levels.


I hope you find this post useful! If you have any questions please address them below or click here to find me on Instagram.





Juicing vs. Blending

Juices or smoothies? Which one is better? That’s a question we all start to think about once we begin juicing or blending. What we know they have in common is their purpose, which is to detoxify the body and give the digestive system a rest. Also both are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Bellow you’ll find important information about both of them, so you can determine which one is the best for you.



  • JUICES have little to no insoluble fiber. During the process of juicing the pulp is separated from the juice, leaving the soluble fiber, which is more easily digested and passed into the bloodstream.


  • BLENDERS pulverize the fruits and vegetables as a whole, leaving you with all the fiber. The insoluble fibers found in the smoothies helps slow digestion which means they keep you full longer.



Release speed

  • When consuming JUICES the nutrients are released in a much quicker way which could cause your blood sugar levels to rise. That might be helpful before or after exercise to give you a quick boost of energy.


  • When consuming SMOOTHIES the nutrients are released in a more slower way because of the insoluble fibers. It can help you keep your blood sugar balanced or curb your appetite between meals.


  • When consuming JUICES all the nutrients go directly into the bloodstream because there is no insoluble fiber in them to slow down the absorption process.


  • When consuming SMOOTHIES fewer nutrients are absorbed because some of the them attach to the indigestible fiber and are eliminated out of the body.



  • JUICING requires a larger amount of produce which means juices tend to be more expensive but they can benefit you more because you can pack in more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.


  • BLENDING has the advantage of using certain produce that can’t be juiced like banana, avocado or figs. And they are more cost-effective because they require less produce.


Sugar is still sugar, even if it comes from fruits!

  • JUICES tend to have more sugar because most of the people chose fruit juices falling into the trap of ” juices are healthy”. Yes they are healthy when you limit the use of fruits and add more vegetables like celery, kale, cucumber.


  • SMOOTHIES can be full of sugar as well if you don’t limit the use of fruits. But because the smoothie blends the whole fruit you might use less fruits than you would normally use for juicing which means less sugar per glass.


In both cases, JUICING or BLENDING choose high-quality produce. Going organic can be more expensive, but it’s a health investment that pays off long-term.


Personally, I have tried both and I do like both. I drink smoothies when I want to achieve a durable satiety. Plus it feels more like a meal for me since I use toppings like almonds, cashews, chia seeds, hemp heart, coconut flakes or fruits. I drink juices when I want to detoxify my body because I feel juices do that to me more than smoothies. Find my favorite smoothie recipes here.

         Take into consideration your personal health goals before deciding whether to juice or blend. You can consume both juices and smoothies depending on your current nutritional needs. They might change from day to day based on how you feel or your activity level.



I hope you find this post helpful; if there are any questions, please feel free to address them below or you can find me on my Instagram, I am always there.