Lunch with Kara Mejia – Macrobiotics Chef – SO GOOD!

I met with an amazing woman yesterday. Her name is Kara Mejia and she is a macrobiotics chef/natural health advocate. She recently moved to the area from NC where she used to offer cooking classes to groups of people as large as 50 – 100 per class and has helped so many people get over disease, illness, overweight, or just feeling crappy all the time.


For lunch yesterday we had an Open face brown rice and lentil grain burger, Garden slaw with a kiss of red lady slipper apples… And sinfully delicious, chocolate, date truffles dusted in cocoa, coconut, and pecans…Sorry, no picture. We ate them all:) Next time …

After having lunch with her today (she prepared a meal for me personally in her very own home, what a treat!), I totally 100% can say I agree with her approach to nutrition and health and would recommend her to anyone looking for answers to their health & wellness dilemma’s or questions in general regarding nutrition and how macrobiotics can help.

She follows a vegan diet that consists of whole foods/unprocessed/prepared to avoid disturbing the enzymes/nutrients they contain that our bodies need. Her website is www.cookingwithkara.com and email is cookingwithkara@gmail.com. If you’d like to contact her in regards to your health or macrobiotics or whatever, she is amazing!

This Thursday she is offering (to anyone willing to commit & lives in the general Baltimore area) a 30 Day Cleanse/Challenge to get themselves on track and on the path to wellness. It will entail 6 consecutive Thursdays from 7-9pm in which she will teach cooking/prep/rotation know how & questions/answers and is supplying with a grocery list/plan to get you through the 30 days. It is similar to the ‘raw’ approach to diet in that you prepare foods in a way that your body can digest and obtain the vital nutrients it needs to function properly, but there is ‘cooked food’, look up ‘macrobiotics’ to get a better understanding or check out her website. If there was anything I’d ever suggest someone try out and give a go-ahead for 30 days, it would be this. She is ‘rolling out’ her business here and offering this 6 week (30 Day Challenge) FOR FREE only once. If you want to join me in this challenge, contact me a.s.a.p. so I can send you the details so that you can decide on whether you’d like to commit to this. Or contact Kara Mejia at the email I listed above.

Info, share with friends & family: 30 Day Natural Body Makeover beginning Thursday, April 26th, from 7 -9pm. This will be a 2 hour Introductory cooking and weight loss program re-introducing folks to the deliciousness of whole foods. It will run for 6 consecutive Thursday evenings and the best part…. It is absolutely FREE!!! For further details they can get in touch w/Kara directly by calling (706) 970-9505.

Kara also shared a book with me, in which I’ve already read a good amount of it, and I’d recommend to ANYONE and EVERYONE. It really helps spell out all the improvements/changes/ways to go about eating/diet to assist someone in becoming very knowledgeable on what is good and bad for the body! It’s called, ‘Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition” Third edition, by Paul Pitchford.

Health & Happiness!

Natty Mac

Bring it ON Intestinal Flora, the Good the Bad & the FUGLY…

What is intestinal flora?

How is intestinal flora linked to weight gain?

What can I do to improve my health in this area and in turn possibly shed some weight?

“Good VS. Bad Bacteria”

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly side effects…

  1. Intestinal Flora: Think Activia & Jamie Lee Curtis….The bacteria in your “gut”. Microorganisms that assist in many key functions within your body; assist in the metabolism of food (breakdown of food), immune system functions, producing vitamins, preventing growth of harmful pathogens, and producing hormones that affect the way humans store fat. Some may be capable of causing disease or increasing risk of cancer. Etc., etc., etc…
  2. Good V. Bad Bacteria
    • “Beneficial bacteria in your intestines make up 80% of your immune system!”
    • “Good Bacteria’s key role is the breakdown/metabolizing of food. The more thoroughly your food is broken down that’s usable by your body, the less excess wastes, toxins, and fat you’ll accumulate.
    • Foods to Avoid: Typical junk foods, refined carbs, soda, foods that are nutrient deficient, “are a feast for the harmful bacteria in your gut.”
    • Without Good Bacteria: “Your body doesn’t metabolize foods correctly, retains more calories, and becomes more toxic.”
  3. You may ask…I have been watching what I eat, counting calories, so why am I not losing weight!!!???
    • It’s probably your GUT! If your body has high levels of bad bacteria, you probably are not going to be able to drop those pounds…sorry!
    • How can I fix this? Avoid the foods I mentioned above and take a high quality probiotic! (With your daily multivitamin and mineral)
    • Taking a probiotic supplement can also help alleviate gas, constipation, bloating, allergies, and even helps asthma sufferers.
  4. Products listed below can aid in destroying your good bacteria (Avoid These):

Foods with traces of fertilizers or pesticides found in/on them (Organic=no fertilizers/pesticides)

Food injected with Hormones or antibiotics (meats, eggs, dairy…again Organic=no hormones/antibiotics)

Medications/Antibiotics

Alcohol

Foods containing high fructose corn syrup (SODA, a lot of products that have this…and I mean A LOT!)

Foods containing additives (unnatural sources, if there is a lot of ingredients on the list that sound scientific it is probably good to stay away from it)

Foods containing unnatural preservatives

Foods containing nitrates (hot dogs, bacon, deli meats)

Please, start becoming conscious of what you eat. Foods that are natural, organic and healthy for you and the environment are what you should try to fill your refrigerator and kitchen pantry with, remember you are what you eat. So, I guess I’m a giant cup of organic spinach!

RECIPES:

“Sweet Peach Raw Smoothie with a Kick”: (serves 1)

  • Frozen Organic Peaches (1 cup)
  • Frozen Organic Mango, Strawberries OR Blueberries (1/2 cup)
  • ½ Giant Organic Banana
  • ¼ cup of almonds or cashews
  • 2 splashes of almondmilk
  • 3 pinches of Cinnamon
  • Fresh mint leaves

Put all ingredients into your blender, blend until pureed well. Enjoy!!

It can be really useful to get help with designing an exercise program to assist you in achieving your fitness goals. Hiring a fitness trainer is a great way to get on the right track. As an expert I understand how to help you modify your exercise routine and diet to suit your goals.

Visit my website, Raw Fitness, to see more about Personal Training. I do ‘Skype’ too! 😉

Health & Happiness,

Nat

There is an endless amount of information I have about this topic, I will try to fit in the most important facts. Email me if you have questions.

Let me just start by saying, I am not a nutritionist or a doctor. What I write in my weekly bulletins is simply information that I have gathered over the years from reading and researching several health related topics from credible resources as well as personal experiences. I urge you to consult with a physician before changing your diet. The purpose of my weekly bulletin is to share my experiences and fitness knowledge with everyone I possibly can to help others in their journey to improve their state of well-being.

Multi-Taskin’…Healthy Diet & Exercise No Matter How Busy Your Day Is!

A day in the life of Natalie!

Don’t fret, I don’t really think that you care what my day is like, I’m not that vain! I wanted to give you an example of how I fit in healthy eating habits and consistent exercise into a very busy schedule.

I usually wake up at 5am and don’t finish work until 7:30pm. So as you can see, I have LONG days…don’t be misinformed though, I LOVE what I do for a living and I DO get breaks here and there throughout the day. I use those breaks to eat healthy and exercise and it makes getting through my day all the better and easier! Exercise gives me stress relief and stamina, healthy eating gives me a clear mind and energy!

I wake up early enough so that I have at least 1 hour to get ready and eat breakfast before I need to hit the road to train my first client. Right out of bed I down 1 scoop of fiber dissolved in a 16oz. glass of water. Then, I usually eat oatmeal & Shakeology (for protein/vitamins/energy/health). I have a cup of coffee with a splash of unflavored almond milk. I head out to train my clients usually until noon or 1pm. Then I have my afternoon ‘break’. I eat lunch, which is either a salad with chicken or a ‘green smoothie’ (pics below) and get to work in my ‘office’. This is when the multi-tasking comes into play!

In my ‘office’ (which I’ve moved outdoors since the weather is beautiful right now in MD) I do admin, marketing, blog, emails, and anything else it takes to make my personal training business run! During this ‘office work’ I fit in intermittent workouts. I use my body weight, dip station, TRX, stability ball, kettlebells, resistance bands and sandbag. I will do a post tomorrow on exercises I do using these different pieces of equipment.

I also have a gym membership. I go there daily as time permits and do cardio on the arc trainer, step mill, treadmill, and spin classes. I also use the bench, barbells, smith machine, cable machine, kick boxing bags, dumbbells, and other equipment that I do not have at home. While I’m working in my ‘office’, I do exercises for the muscle group I’m focusing on that day that I can do using my home workout equipment so when I hit the gym, I can get in and out of there faster. For example, I do push ups/chin ups/dips/core work at home while working on my upper body days so that when I hit the gym I only have to do the remaining exercises on the equipment that I don’t have at my house, such as bench presses and cable rows and the step mill!

When I need a power packed lunch but will be working out within an hour or so and don’t want to feel ‘full’ or ‘heavy’ from undigested food, I eat a green smoothie! I throw 8 oz of water, a few dashes of cinnamon, a handful of spinach salad leaves, a scoop of my chocolate Whey protein supplement and 1/2 scoop of my Shakeology, a couple frozen organic strawberries, ice cubes in my Bullet Blender cup and blend. I LOVE the ‘Bullet’ because it has single portion cups that you throw all your ingredients into and blend and drink out of the same cup, then throw the cup in the dishwasher and go!

Finally, after my last personal training client, I come home to eat a light dinner. I won’t be doing anything quite physical after dinner so there is no need for a huge dinner, you just don’t need the fuel because you’ll be sleeping soon! Today, I trained a client outside at a park that overlooks downtown Baltimore City…it was BEAUTIFUL today! I came home and threw a salmon filet in my skillet and cooked it in 8 minutes on my stove top, I also threw together a quick side salad.

So that’s my day! Jam packed yet I get in my workout and healthy nutritious meals to fuel my body and help me achieve my goals!

If you find that your schedule is busy and it is hard to get a workout in or eat healthy food while on the go, YOU’VE GOT TO PLAN AHEAD. I prep meals the day in advance if I know the following day will not allow me time to cook or I won’t be home for lunch. I ‘schedule’ my workouts in my calendar so I know exactly when I am scheduled for my daily workout and don’t end up at the end of the day, out of time and no energy to exercise.

Hope this helps! Health & Happiness,

Nat

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