The Raw Glow Blog

Category — Healthy Living Tips

Holiday Stress Tips

Holiday Stress Tips

The holidays can be a magical time and they can also be a stressful time. Here are my best holiday stress tips!

(Some of the below links are affiliate links, yet I really do love and recommend these products!)

  • Holiday Stress Tip 1: Recognize your priorities. Focus on what matters most to you this holiday season and get rid of the unnecessary superficial activities that only cause you stress. Use this simple journal exercise to get clear on your priorities this holiday season.
  • Holiday Stress Tip 2: Avoid the mall. Opt for shopping at small craft fairs, mom and pop shops, and online. Here is a list of all my favorite places to shop online.
  • Holiday Stress Tip 3: Simplify food prep. Simplify your recipes. Do a lot of your food prep a few days before your celebration. Let semi-homemade be acceptable once and awhile. Consider making it a potluck, so all the stress is not on one person. Even going out to eat can be a fun way to switch it up!
  • Holiday Stress Tip 4: Simplify clean up. Use fancy paper plates and cups for a quicker clean-up. Recruit your family and friends to help clean up too!
  • Holiday Stress Tip 5: Let everyone be right. Instead of arguing with family members about differences of opinion, entertain the thought that you can be right without making anyone else be wrong. Try to to find other people “right” by imagining that in their point of view they are right. Instead of confronting them head on, try to validate their point of view first, and this will usually diffuse a tension filled discussion or situation.
  • Holiday Stress Tip 6: Honor your need for introspection. Even though the holiday season is filled with parties, it is still important to acknowledge your need for alone time. The colder weather draws our bodies indoors and also draws our attention inside as well. Let yourself be introspective without being melancholy by journaling, taking long baths, or reading a good book in bed.
  • Holiday Stress Tip 7: Meditate. Meditation is a great way to de-stress and only takes minutes a day. You can simply take some time out during your busy day to focus your attention on your breath or do more structured guided meditations. Either way, meditation is a great tool for staying centered and keeping stress at bay.
  • Holiday Stress Tip 8: Fall in love with aromatherapy. Certain aromas can have a profound affect on our mental states. There are so many fragrant essential oils that can help to reduce stress. Some of my favorites are lavender, sweet orange, chamomile, bergamont, ylang ylang, and rosemary. I like to get my essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs. My favorite way to use essential oils is with a diffuser so that the calming scents fill the entire house!
  • Holiday Stress Tip 9: Keep up with your self care. Even though the holidays can be a busier time than most, don’t neglect to get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, exercise, and drink enough water. The happier and healthier you are, the less grumpy you will be, and the more energy and holiday cheer you will have for others!

Thank you for visiting the Raw Glow Blog, if you liked the holiday stress tips please “like” it below. Do you have a favorite holiday stress tip? Please post it in the comment’s section below. Comments are always welcome. Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season!


P.S. To support you in having a stress free holiday season, my guided meditations are 25% percent off the entire month of December. Use the coupon code: holiday. Get my guided meditations here.

Get Your Organic Essential Oils Here:
Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils.

December 12, 2014   2 Comments

List of Heart Healthy Foods – How to Take Care of Your Heart

list of heart healthy foods

In honor of Valentine’s Day in February, I thought I would create a list of heart healthy foods and give you some tips on how to take care of your heart all year long. The heart is the most important organ of the body, in my opinion, without it we can’t survive and we are only born with one! Hope you enjoy my list of heart healthy foods and tips for a healthy and happy heart.

(Some of the below links are affiliate links, yet I really do love and recommend these products!)

How to Take Care of Your Heart

  • Slow it down. Relaxation techniques such as meditation can lower your blood pressure and decrease your risk for heart attack and stroke.

Try this heart centered meditation I recorded whenever you need to relax:

Click here if you can’t see the video below.

Cecilia says: if meditation isn’t your thing, find other ways to relax such as massage, listening to beautiful music, being out in nature, or whatever helps you to relax.

  • Speed it up. Studies clearly show that exercise helps the heart, both by improving exercise capacity and reducing the risk of heart disease and premature death.

Cecilia says: find aerobic exercise that you enjoy such as walking, dancing, or swimming because you are more likely to be consistent by doing something you love.

  • Spice it up. Flavoring foods with more herbs and spices and less salt can enliven your diet while helping to keep your blood pressure balanced.

Cecilia says: preparing food with fresh herbs and spices can be so much fun! There are many quality herbs and spices on the market and I recommend buying in bulk to save money. You can get good quality bulk herbs and spices here.

  • Eat your greens. Research indicates that a diet rich in green leafy vegetables lowers the risk of heart disease.

Cecilia says: if salads aren’t your thing, try juicing or blending your greens for a daily delicious green drink.

  • Magnesium is your friend. Magnesium helps maintain normal heart rhythms.

Try these magnesium rich foods: pumpkin seeds, spinach, Swiss chard, sesame seeds, and summer squash.

  • Get your omega-3s. ALA an anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid that may reduce inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation in the body can damage your blood vessels and possibly lead to heart disease.

Try these omega-3 rich foods: walnuts, macadamia nuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax, winter squash, olive oil, navy beans, kidney beans, and soybeans.

  • Eat the rainbow. A wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables deliver powerful phytonutrients that can prevent and repair damage to cells. That’s the essence of preventing heart disease.

Try these phytonutrient rich foods: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, blackberries, carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, red bell peppers, asparagus, oranges, tomatoes, acorn squash, cantaloupe, papaya just to name a few!

  • In summary, for a healthy heart try to relax, get moving, reduce your sodium intake, and try to include as many heart healthy foods into your diet as possible!

List of Heart Healthy Foods

(This list is not all inclusive)

All leafy greens

Magnesium Rich Foods

Swiss chard
pumpkin seeds
sesame seeds
summer squash

Omega-3 Rich Foods

macadamia nuts
chia seeds
hemp seeds
winter squash
olive oil
navy beans
kidney beans

Phytonutrient Rich Foods

sweet potato
red bell peppers
acorn squash

Thank you for visiting the Raw Glow Blog, if you liked this list of heart healthy foods and how to take care of your heart tips please “like it” below. Comments are always welcome.

From my heart to yours!


Get your heart healthy hemp seeds here:

February 19, 2014   No Comments

Healthy Living Gifts Guide

Ever since I got hit by a shopping cart from an overzealous shopper on Black Friday years ago (true story), I do most of my gift shopping online. Here are some of my favorite online healthy living gift recommendations. Hope you enjoy this healthy living gifts guide as much as I enjoy giving and using these products myself. (because most of them I own!)

(Some of the below links are affiliate links, yet I really do love and recommend these products!)

Omega Vert 350 HD

Healthly Living Gifts Omega Vert 350For those that already have blenders, a good juicer is a nice compliment. Juicing is all the rage these days, but why pay for an overpriced vegetable juice at a crowded juice bar when you can juice at home? For the best quality juice and the most versatile juicer I love my Omega Vert 350 HD and use it everyday. Order the Omega Vert 350 from this link and get a free 350 page book, Juicing for Life, plus free shipping. Or call 1-877-849-3191 to order and receive special pricing.

(FYI: New isn’t always better, I much prefer the 350 model for the value to the newer 400 model)

Vitamix Blender

healthing living gifts vitamixBlenders are a great gift for everyone, because who doesn’t love a good smoothie? The Vitamix is my ultimate favorite blender and I use it every single day to whip up delicious green smoothies for my husband and I. Order the Vitamix from this link and get my raw food salad dressing e-book and green smoothie e-book free plus free standard shipping!

Humio Aromatherapy Humidifier

healthy living gifts humio humidifierThe Humio Aromatherapy Humidifier is not your average humidifier, it is a work of art! The beautiful LED lighting subtly changes color (from red, blue, and green) to create a beautiful mood in the home or office. Also, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the Humio for an uplifting effect. Order the Humio from this link for free shipping or call 1-877-849-3191 to order and receive special pricing.

Lello 4070 Gelato Junior

healthy living gifts lello gelato makerWho doesn’t love homemade ice cream? Make frozen gelatos, sorbets, and ice creams in only thirty minutes! With Lello 4070 Gelato you can make fresh fruit sorbets, and non-dairy ice creams out of nut and coconut milk to make wholesome deserts that taste sinfully delicious. Order the Lello 4070 Gelato Junior from this link and get free super saver shipping.

100% Pure Cosmetics

healthy living gifts 100 percent pure gift basketI haven’t met a woman that hasn’t fallen in love with 100% Pure Cosmetics at first smell. They are my (not so) secret beauty weapon. (About 95 percent of the make-up, skincare, body care, and hair care products I use daily, I get from 100% Pure.) Their products are made from natural fruit pigments and oils with no artificial preservatives. Vegan and cruelty free, they look, feel, and smell divine! You can’t go wrong with a gift certificate or gift basket for the special women in your life. Order a 100% Percent Pure gift from this link and get free shipping on orders over 50 dollars.

Annmarie Gianni Skincare

healthy living gifts annmarie gianni skincareAnnmarie Gianni cosmetics are so luxurious that you’ll feel like you spent an afternoon at the Spa. They have a bunch of products that I love, like their neroli toning mist and their coconut honey face mask, but my absolute favorite is the Aloe Herb Facial Cleanser. It’s a gentle blend of healing herbs and plants that leaves your face clean and silky-soft (and it works amazing for shaving). Order an Annmarie Gianni sample kit from this link and get free shipping.

Mountain Rose Herbs

healthy living gifts moutain rose herbsDo you have a friend or family member that enjoys DIY projects? Are they known to make their own home brewed kombucha? Do they make batches of natural homemade soap and other body care products? Do they love to make their own herbal teas and spice blends? I have a family member like this, and last year she really appreciated a gift certificate from Mountain Rose Herbs. At Mountain Rose Herbs you will find organic herbs, teas, super foods, essential oils, and more. Order from this Mountain Rose Herbs link and get everything you need for your recipient’s next project.

Therasage Far Infrared Heating Pads

healthy living gifts therasage heating padsThis is no ordinary heating pad! The deep penetrating infrared heat gently warms muscles and tissues offering temporary pain relief. This gift would be perfect for any one you know that suffers from joint or muscle aches. (Which is pretty much everyone I know over 40!) It’s like a soft warm soothing blanket of comfort that I can’t live without. Order the Therasage Infrared Heating Pad from this link and shipping is included.

Xero Shoes

healthy living gifts xero shoesFor your outdoorsy and running friends you might consider Xero Shoes that have similar benefits to running barefoot as described in Chris McDougall’s best-selling book, Born to Run. Xero Shoes are for walking, hiking, working out, hitting the beach, running, and tossing in your backpack for camping, while letting your feet and legs work the way nature intended! You don’t even need to know your recipient’s shoe size as they offer “do it yourself” sandal kits for the perfect fit! Order Xero Shoes from this link to give or get the better than barefoot experience!

Thank you for visiting the Raw Glow Blog, if you liked this healthy living gifts guide please “like it” below. Comments are always welcome.

Happy Healthy Living Gift Giving!

December 5, 2013   No Comments

Setting Weight Loss Goals Using SMART Goals Criteria

happy family

If you’re anything like me, you have goals for your life that you either think about on a day to day basis or you’ve written them down to remind you of what you want to accomplish.

Last month I attended a life coaching and yoga event by bardo coaching and they had us do a useful exercise where you evaluate your goals and determine if they are SMART. SMART is an acronym that can help you determine whether your goals are worthwhile and achievable. (According to Wikipedia the first known uses of the term occurred in the November 1981 issue of Management Review by George T. Doran.)

SMART Stands For: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound

Can you articulate more clearly what you are trying to do?

How will you know that you attained your goal?
Can you quantify or put numbers to your outcome?

Is this goal realistic?
Are there any things that would prevent you from accomplishing your goal?

Is this goal in accordance with your values?
Will this goal really make a difference in your life?

When will you reach this goal?
How long would it take to create a sustainable habit in this area?

The SMART criteria can be used for any type of goal but today we are going to focus on setting weight loss goals. For example, lets say you have the goal of losing some weight. If we measure the goal of losing weight by the SMART criteria we will need to make some changes to make it a SMART goal.

  • Is the goal of losing weight specific? The answer would be no, we can make it more specific by perhaps changing it: I want to lose ten pounds.
  • Is it measurable? Yes, we can measure weight loss on a scale or perhaps by the size of our clothes.
  • Is it attainable? Yes, losing ten pounds is attainable for most people.
  • Is it relevant? The answer to this question will depend on the individual, but perhaps the goal: I want to healthfully lose ten pounds would make the goal not only more specific, but more in accordance with someone who has health as one of their values as well.
  • Is it time-bound? No. We will need to give a time frame for this goal. How about: I want to healthfully lose ten pounds in two months or by (insert date here).

We have now changed our general goal of wanting to lose weight into a SMART goal: I want to healthfully lose ten pounds in two months.

One of my favorite quotes from Tony Robbins is:

If you talk about it, it’s a dream, if you envision it, it’s possible, but if you schedule it, it’s real.

Now that we have a SMART goal, we can start scheduling in activities into our lives that will help us achieve our weight loss goals such as working out, watching what we eat, positive visualizations, and affirmations . . .(etc.)

I hope you enjoyed this article and I hope it will help you to clarify your goals. Please do share your comments.


October 9, 2012   2 Comments

Vegan Sources of Calcium and a Few Calcium Rich Raw Recipes

green beans

If the number one question Vegans get asked is: “Where do you get your protein?”, then the number 2 question is: “Where do you get your calcium?”

So I decided to make a list of some Vegan sources of calcium and then came up with three simple calcium rich raw recipes.

Deciding to supplement or not is definitely something you will need to discuss with a qualified medical professional according to your needs and this article is not meant to substitute professional medical advice.

That being said, here is a list of some Vegan sources of calcium, according to

Excellent sources: spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, collard greens

Very good sources: blackstrapp molasses, Swiss chard, kale, basil

Good sources: romaine lettuce, celery, broccoli, sesame seeds, cabbage, summer squash, green beans, garlic, Brussel sprouts, oranges, asparagus, leeks, crimini mushrooms, kelp

Go here for a  full list of  vegan and non-vegan calcium rich foods.

I would also like to add moringa powder to the list of excellent sources. If you haven’t heard of it yet you can look it up on wikipedia here.

I decided to whip up some really simple calcium rich raw recipes with the foods listed above. Then I looked up the calcium content in the USDA nutritional database to give you the total calcium content of each recipe. (With the exception of moringa powder where I used the formula of 601 mg of calcium per 30 grams using this chart and used the conversion of 8 grams = 1 rounded tablespoon moringa powder.)

Calcium Rich Recipes

Calcium Rich Smoothie

Blend the following until smooth:

2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice 55 mg
2 ripe medium bananas 12 mg
1 rounded tablespoon moringa powder 160 mg

Total Calcium Content: 227 mg

Calcium Rich Green Juice

Juice the following in a juicer that juices greens well such as the Omega 8006 or the Omega Vert

5 large stalks celery 130 mg
4 cups chopped collard greens 104 mg
1 bunch spinach 337 mg
5 medium apples 55 mg
1 lemon 22 mg

Total Calcium Content: 667 mg (estimate because the calcium values were for the foods before they were juiced)

Calcium Rich Fruit Salad

Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix well.

2 cups oranges peeled and chopped 144 mg
2 cups mangos peeled and chopped 36 mg
2 tablespoons ground sesame seeds 88 mg
1 tablespoon blackstrapp molasses 41 mg
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon 13 mg

Total Calcium Content: 322 mg

To put things into perspective here is a recommended daily allowance chart for calcium uptake:

1 – 3 years old     700 mg
4 – 8 years old     1,000 mg
9 – 13 years old     1,300 mg
14 – 18 years old     1,300 mg
19 – 30 years old     1,000 mg
31 – 50 years old     1,000 mg
51 – 70 years old     1,000 mg
51 – 70 year old females     1,200 mg
71+ years old     1,200     800
14 – 18 years old, pregnant/lactating     1,300 mg
19 – 50 years old, pregnant/lactating     1,000 mg

I personally put moringa powder in my smoothies, always have ground sesame seeds available to sprinkle on fruits, salads, soups . . . (etc.) or available to add to nut milks, drizzle blackstrapp molasses on porridges, fruit, or put it in my tea, and I drink at least 32-64 ounces of green juice everyday. You can also incorporate calcium rich greens into your green smoothies, salads, soups, or simply steam them.

Some other important things to know about calcium uptake, according to

– High intakes of sodium, caffeine, or protein cause an increase in the urinary excretion of calcium.

– Vitamin D accelerates the absorption of calcium from the gastrointestinal tract.

– While research studies confirm the ability of phytic acid and oxalic acid in foods to lower availability of calcium, the decrease in available calcium is relatively small.

For even more information about calcium intake on a Vegan diet I recommend you listen to this interview by Dr. Klaper MD.  The topic is: “Secrets to Preventing Osteoporosis”. He will discuss:

– Which foods put your bones at risk?
– When are x-rays and bone density tests deceptive?
– Which exercises keep your bones strong and which don’t?
– Besides calcium, which other nutrients are critical to strong bones?
– Does fluoridated water strengthen your bones or deteriorate them?
– The shocking “reverse correlation” between milk consumption and osteoporosis
– Why bone density test results are NOT a true indicator of osteoporosis

Normally, only students of The Vegetarian Health Institute have access to this interview. But I’ve arranged complimentary access for you too. To listen to the recording (or download it), click here now: *

*affiliate link


May 17, 2012   7 Comments