Oh SNAP, Here’s the Deal!

gingersnapHERE GOES

If you know me, you know that I’m a VERY bad cleanser. I have every excuse in the book to not do ’em or follow through. Here are some of my favorite “reasons” for not starting, cheating & quitting; “I’ve worked out SOooo much today!”, “I’m STARVING!!!”, “I feel sick, I MUST need to eat something!”, “I have a headache.”, “How can I possibly teach when I’m this friggin’ hungry?” Those are just a few of my go tos to get me off track.

NOT NO MO’

Today I’m on Day 3 of a 3 day cleanse from Gingersnap’s Organics. I’ve made it through like a champ (well, if champions mildly complain about being hungry)! I walked Dakota over to 7th Street between 1st and A to pick up a Green Shake mid-morning from GO. I got to chat with Omar, one of the amazing peeps that work at GO, and he said it’s the freshest and cleanest kitchens he’s ever worked in (including his home kitchen). I have to say that you can taste it and feel the goodness. I don’t know it’s a Greek thing, but one of the greatest compliments my mom ever gives about food is that it’s “So Fresh” and that’s the way I feel, FRESH!

Gingersnap'sFO’ REAL

Yes, I was hungry yesterday, but it was only for a hot minute and I made it through. I went to bed wanting to eat, but I wasn’t really hungry and I didn’t cheat. I woke up this morning and felt awesome! I hopped on the scale thinking I feel great, but not SO much lighter and BAM I’ve lost 5lbs in 2 days! WHAT? Yeah, it’s crazy, I KNOW!  Believe me, I’m psyched that the pounds are falling off, but even more excited that I’m feelin’ so good.

I’m going to continue my “cleanse” aka new way of eating next week with 4 days of the Raw GO cleanse (it’s all gluten free, raw & organic). Next week more of my clients will be joining me, if you’re interested or have questions you can hit up the Gingersnap’s Organic Website!

Happy & Healthy Eating!

x

D

YOU’RE WICKED FIERCE!

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Cool as a Cuke, HUH? Here’s Why…10 Benefits of the CUCUMBER

Basket FULL o Cukes!A Greek Fave

I know, I’m Greek and we do love a cuke. A Fo’ REAL Greek salad (like if you got one in Greece) is only cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, olive oil and maybe some fresh herbs sprinkled a top. I add cucumber to my AM green juice to “smooth” out the taste, but I always thought of it as “just a filler” with little health benefit… WRONG! Below are 10 benefits of using cukes in your diet and in your life!

  1. Vitamin B – Cukes contain loads of Vitamin B which helps maintain your nerve and red blood cells health. Vit B is also crucial in converting carbs to glucose in the body which is how our bodies create energy. YAY!
  2. Hydration – Cucumbers are 95% water, keeping the body hydrated (you KNOW how I feel about hydration) while helping the body eliminate toxins.
  3. Skin & Hair – The skin of the cucumber can be used for our own skin irritations and sunburns. Place a slice over puffy eyes (like you’re in the spa), its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce puffiness. Also, the silicon and sulfur in cucumbers help to stimulate hair growth. Mash up a cucumber (in a Cuisinart is best) and use the mash to rub onto your hair and scalp. You can leave for 20 minutes then rinse out.
  4. Cancer fighters – Cucumbers contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol; lignans that have been proven in research studies with reduced risk of several cancer including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and prostate cancer.
  5. Vitamin C – By leaving the skin on (a medium size cuke) you get up to 10% of your daily recommended Vitamin C.
  6. Bad Breath (Eww) –  The phytochemcials in cukes kill bacteria responsible for causing bad breath. Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds,
  7. Hungover? No More! – To avoid a morning hangover (hurts so bad these days!) eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients, reducing the intensity of both hangover and headache. (HINT: forego that “last” drink of the night…you REALLY don’t need it)
  8. WEIGHTLOSS – Cukes are low calories and high water content…an ideal diet for people who are looking for weight loss. The high water content and dietary fiber in cucumbers are very effective in ridding the body of toxins from the digestive system, aiding digestion. Also, eating cucumbers daily can remedy chronic constipation.
  9. Diabetes, Cholesterol & Blood Pressure – Cucumber juice contains a hormone which is needed by the pancreatic cells for producing insulin which research has proven to help diabetics. Thanks to more research, scientists found that a compound called sterols in cucumbers may help reduce cholesterol levels. Cucumbers contain a lot of potassium, magnesium and fiber which effectively regulate blood pressure (GOOD for hight and low pressure).
  10. Joint Health – We gotta keep you moving for a LONG time and cucumbers contain an excellent source of silica, known to promote joint health by strengthening connective tissues.

Cuke WaterWHO KNEW?

Loads of good stuff in these little green numbers…go to your farmers market to day and grab a few. Chop ’em, put ’em in your water, chew on ’em before you hit the gym or go to bed and know you’re fillin’ up and losin’ weight!

HAPPY MONDAY!
xxxD

YOU ARE FIERCE!

I’m starting a COUNTDOWN 2CABO  …24 DAYS!

ELEVEN DAYS: Only 3 More Ways!

I Can Barely Stand It!

BEST LIFE EVER!I don’t know if I have the words to share how excited I am to turn 35! I know it seems so silly. It’s not 18, 21…there’s no specified BIG thing that happens now in life, I just have a REALLY good feeling about this year (honestly about every day)! I’m giddy! I woke up (at 5AM) today and as I was brushing my teeth I did a little “I’m almost 35” dance!

Now, I have 3 more days to post 3 more ways that I’m continuing my quest to live my FIERCEST LIFE. I’m 1/3 into this game of Life (cuz I plan on being 105) and I’ve learned SO much. especially in the last 5 years. I’m committing to being my BEST me starting NOW. Today with things that I will actually DO daily (some weekly) for the next 70 years! I’m sharing the steps I’m takin’ to get there with you, one each day until my 35th birthday next Friday. Today is day #9. (Check out DAY 1DAY 2 DAY 3DAY 4DAY 5, DAY 6, 7 & 8 for other game changers.)

I have to say I LOVE this ONE! I’ve been doing it nearly MOST days already, but on the days I switch it up I just don’t feel as good, SO I’m adding it to my list of FIERCE life things to do EVERY day!!!

GREEN JUICE#9: I AM GREEN: Startin’ my day with a fresh pressed green juice.

WHY?

  1. HEALTH: Drinking FRESH and WHOLE foods will start my day super charged with vitamins and minerals.
  2. JOY: When I drink my juice it makes me happy and makes me feel really strong. It inspires me to eat EXTRA healthfully all day long.
  3. LOVE: Sharing in the love if you want to join me I LOVE the following juice; kale, spinach, lemon, parsley, apple & cucumber. You can add ginger if you like (I know all of the benefits, but it’s really just not for me.)

DAY 9: I will start my day (after I drink my coffee…I’m not super human!) with a green juice.

Wanna join me? This is a GREAT one and not just for adults. This juice is a CRAZY color, it’s sweet; kids LOVE it. I started out as an Upper East Side nanny when I first moved to the city. When I go visit the kids we go out for “juice”…green juice! At first they thought Nanny Dyani was crazy (as usual), but now they drink ’em a few times a week when I’m not there…they like it! Share it with your family. FIERCENESS is a family affair.

xxx

D

YOUAH WICKED FEAHCE! (Hometown style)

2-fer Tuesday

Whud Up, Fierce Ones?

I’ve been a bit lax with my writing the past few days. I apologize, but know that I’ve been workin’ my butt off literally. I know that if you don’t move it you lose it, but in my line of work it also means mo’ money, more awareness, more skillz…this all, in the end, benefits YOU! I learn what works best, in terms of what keeps me going (NUTRITION), what keeps me inspired (YOU and TUNES) and what brings me “down” (MEDITATION).

ElixirFOOD NEWS

I’ve added 6 cycling classes a week to my teaching schedule taking my tally up to 20/week. I LOVE my job, but I know that I have to take care of myself even more diligently now. Nutrition is a HUGE part of this equation. In the past month I’ve dropped almost 8 lbs, whoot whoot! I haven’t been focused on “weight-loss”, but I HAVE been very clean with my eating and listening to what my body wants. Here are some of my favorite things that have been keepin’ me going (and the why) for the past few weeks!

  • EBOOST – This powdery goodness can be added to your water (I put a 1/2 pack of the orange kind in 16 oz of purified water). EBOOST’s ingredients are REAL stuff you’ve heard of; Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Green Tea, Vitamin B-12 and Folic Acid.  And some stuff you may not have heard of; Quercetin, 5-HTP, Resveratrol, Huperzine-A, but no worries it’s all good, FIERCE! EBOOST is sweet (which is why I put 1/2 in double the amount of water), but it’s done with Stevia, a plant, not a chemical. WHY I use it? Cuz it keeps me goin’! I get a little “crazy” with green tea. I get shaky, feel “out of it”, but EBOOST has Green Tea so I get the benefits of the natural caffeine, but without the jittery feeling! On top of that it has a healthy set of vitamins that are critical for all of the added physical output.
  • GREEN JUICE – I love me some green drink! I like to start my day with one post class that is (I still coffee up pre-class!). In my juice I get spinach, kale, cucumber, apple, parsley and lemon. Fresh pressed is the way to go for me. I totally love me some BluePrintCleanse Juice, but if it’s available I go JUST pressed juice. 2 things…you get to CHOOSE YOUR ingredients (which really is key for me cuz I don’t enjoy ginger and it’s in A LOT of green drinks) and it’s EXTRA fresh! Elixir and Jus’ Juice (outside of Coffee Shop, Union Sq, NYC) are two spots I frequent. WHY I crave it? My body knows, I think, how good this is. it’s REAL, it’s FRESH, it has cleansing properties for my bod and LASTLY it makes me FEEL good, strong & ready to GET FIERCE!
  • BREAKFAST – You ain’t no dummy! You KNOW this is the most important meal of the day. Yes, I start with a coffee, yes I have a green juice on my way home from class…it all seems so “on the go”, but I DO take time to MAKE my own breakfast. I know how important it is to actually know what goes into my food (including LOVE). Now, I’m totally a creature of habit. I literally eat the SAME thing each morning. 1/2 cup quinoa salad made in advance (quinoa, garlic, parsley, onion, crasins), 1/2 cup low fat organic cottage cheese and 3 scrambled egg whites with sauteed onions (in one tsp olive oil), fresh spinach and yellow peppers. LOVE IT! AND it keeps me going  until late afternoon.
  • LISTEN UP – This isn’t a specific thing, but it is THE most important thing that I’ve begun doing this past month. I’m listening to my body, when it’s hungry I eat, when it’s tired I sleep…these two things, I believe have lead to the drop in weight.

TUNE IN TUESDAY

You know it…this is what I’m listenin’ to, playing, sweatin’ it up to this week. ENJOY!

  • Rosa Parks Remix – Outcast
  • Countdown – Beyonce
  • Canned Heat (Calvin Harris Remix) – Jamiroquai
  • New In Town – Little Boots (I LOVE ME SOME LITTLE BOOTS, FIERCE!)
  • Buy My Love (Fareoh Remix) – Wynter Gordon
  • Clique (Fresh Direct OG Edit) – Kayne (do I need to put West?), Jay-Z and Big Sean
  • Drop It Low –
  • Rude Boy (Wideboys Remix) – Rihanna
  • Anything Could Happen (Blood Diamond Remix) – Ellie Goulding
  • We Found Whitney (Isaac Jordan Remix) – EZ Money, Whitney Houston & Calvin Harris

TAKIN’ IT DOWN A NOTCH!

AHHHHH, after all the cycling, running, teaching, training, talking, traveling, lugging I’M READY for a break! At the end of the day (and sometimes on the subway) I sit and listen. I focus on what I want, need, am grateful for. I’m so appreciative to be in this space. Surrounded by people I love, family, friends, roommates, co-workers, it’s pretty awesome and I truly believe that I’ve created it all.

At night I take a moment to appreciate it where I am and everything I have! I then focus on what I want to create in the future. I put on my “greatest hit” The Hicks. If you don’t know who they are, Abraham is a spirit voice, Jerry and Ester are the physical ‘Hicks” here on earth. Ester is the channel for Abraham’s voice and Jerry is her husband and “business partner” if you will. I know it sounds totally CRA CRA’Y, but TRUST a sister, it’s an awesome meditation and FIERCE way to end your day. THE VORTEX is the name of the meditation and was introduced to me by my friend and mentor Patricia Moreno.

Let’s get down to business, THE VORTEX is a guided meditation that comes in four parts, General Wellbeing, Physical Wellbeing, Financial Wellbeing and Relationship Wellbeing. You pick which of the 15 minute sections you want to focus on and all you have to do is sit, breathe and listen. It gets me in a space, before I sleep, of peace, joy and excitement for what’s coming. Download it and lemme know what you think!

I LOVE YOU, ALL! Take care of YOU and listen to what your body needs!

xxx

D

I can see you ARE FIERCE!

 

I HEART ARUGULA!!!

I Can’t Get Enough!

With the warm weather upon us, I have to say, I love me some arugula! If you’ve never tried it, it’s a spicy, flavor-filled herb. Until I read up on it I thought it was a lettuce, but It’s actually a cruciferous vegetable (same family as broccoli and cauliflower). Arugula isn’t only SO tasty and refreshing, it’s packed with antioxidants, minerals and vitamins.

The Basics

A cup of arugula contains .52 g of protein, .13 g of total fat, .73 g of carbohydrates, .3 g of fiber and .41 g of natural sugars. All of these values per cup are minimal, BUT at 5 calories per cup, arugula is truly a low-calorie food. You would need to eat nearly 20 cups of arugula to get the calories afforded by a single medium-sized apple!  Arugula’s healthy amounts of dietary fiber help to create a feeling of fullness, and may help avoid snacking…aka the basics of healthy weight loss, FABULOUS!

Vitamins

Here’s where we get to the truly GREAT stuff about arugula. It’s an excellent source of:

  • Vitamin A (475 IU/cup) – Vitamin A  is a fat-soluble antioxidant vitamin, needed for vision, bone growth, the division and differentiation of cells and proper immune function.
  • Beta-Carotene (285 mcg) of beta-carotene, a vitamin A precursor that turns to retinol –a natural form of vitamin A — in your body.
  •  Lutein and Zeaxanthin (711 mcg/cup) – Researchers believe that these antioxidant plant pigments can help prevent macular degeneration, an age-related eye disease.
  • Vitamin K (21.7 mcg/cup) – Essential for the proper clotting of blood and maintainance of bone density. Vitamin K is currently being studied for potential applications in treating Alzheimer’s disease.

Phytonutrients

Arugula has high levels of a sulfur-containing compound called glucosinolate. According to studies chopping and chewing arugula turns glucosinolates into indoles and isothiocyanates. These enzymes have cytotoxic effects on cancer cells and may help to protect against breast, prostate, cervical and ovarian cancers. Just like Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Damn, my man was smart!

Minerals

Arugula provides modest amounts of essential minerals. Per cup of arugula contains the following:

  • Calcium (32 mg) – Needed for strong bones
  • Potassium (74 mg) – Necessary for maintaining stable blood pressure
  • Iron (.29 mg) – Vital in making red blood cells
  • Zinc (.09 mg) – Essential for wound healing
  • Copper, Manganese and Selenium appear in trace amounts

How I Like It

I love arugula in salads with avocado, tomato, cucumber and when I’m feeling like some added protein I throw in some grilled chicken. I top it with balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil. You can use arugula in place of any of your favorite lettuces in salads or sandwiches. If you want some clever ideas for your arugula you can check out yesterday’s Huffington Post for 15 tasty lookin’ recipes. Click HERE to check ’em out.

Enjoy!

xxx

D

I can see you GETTIN’ FIERCE!

Cheaper & Healthier…Seems Like a No-Brainer!

The Easy Way Out!

So, it’s VERY convenient, especially in NYC to pop into a restaurant and grab lunch or dinner on the go, but do you REALLY know what’s going into your food? I’ll answer that for you….Nope! The only way to know definitively what’s in it is to buy and prepare it yourself.

Not only will you know exactly what is going into your food, but it’s also a sense of pride and accomplishment that goes into your meal and your bod.  Sundays are a great time for prepping your food for the week and for grocery shopping, but if you don’t have the time, like my high school soccer coach, Jackson Foster, use to say, “Follow the K.I.S.S. method, Keep It Simple, Stupid”. It’s a great way to think about cooking. It doesn’t need to be crazy complicated it can be easy to cook for you and your family.

But How?

Take some time to go to the grocery store and get a whole bunch of your favorite veggies. On Sunday night (or Monday if that’s more your style) take time to chop ‘em all up so they’re ready for you to use throught the week. Store them in the Tupperware, best if it’s glass, in the ‘fridge. You can use them to bring to work for a salad. The next night take some veggies and a chicken breast or your favorite protein and make a stir-fry with some brown rice. The next day you can add some black beans and a whole wheat pita and you can have a burrito. You can use the same ingredients all week long adding in additional things, swapping ingredients out to make entirely new meals! K.I.S.S. (But now I’m changin’ the last ‘S’ to Smarty!)

Be Proud

Not only will you know for sure what’s in your food, but you get to add that extra element…Vitamin L…LOVE! If you like, cook with music and dance a lil around the kitchen. You’ll burn some extra calories and have some fun too! It’s my favorite way to do it!

Xxx

D

I can see you GETTIN’ FIERCE!

She May Look Like a Sweet Grandma…

But NOT So Fast Granny!

I thought my rant last week about the new ‘treatment’ for Type 2 Diabetes was a one-off, but now thanks to the lovely Ms. Paula Deen I’m back at it again.

The Backstory

Paula Deen plays the lovable grandma character on the Food Network and so many daily talk shows, sharing her highly caloric and artery clogging recipes all the while raking in millions in cookbook sales and endorsements. Deen was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes over 3 years ago, but only announced it to the public when she became the spokesperson for Novo Nordisk, a drug company focused on Diabetes….hmmm…Paula, you best get to talkin’ straight, Gurl!

I’m Totally WIth Anthony Bourdain!

When Anthony Bourdain famed chef (known for his around the world food and travel adventures and abbrasive attitude) heard of Dean’s diagnosis he Tweeted, “Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later.” Touche Mr. Bourdain! I’m proud of you for standing up and saying what’s (in my opinion…clearly this is MY blog) right. I know it’s the “hard” thing to do as a celebrity and nobody’s gonna pay you to pimp kale or beets, BUT what a gift it would be to people to see her make the shift, to eat for health.

This woman could stand from her platform, say in her southern droll that her mama and her mama before her cooked with love, but now that she’s learned about her health challenge she’s not only cookin’ with love, but with smarts too. She could cook and eat for health and to heal. I may be crazy (I know I am a lil’) but I think that a lot of people would listen.

A Wolf in Grandma’s Bed

Just like in Lil’ Red Riding Hood, people aren’t always what they may seem. Rightly, Nova Novartis SHOULD be paying Deen…she’s promoting T2D with each recipe she shares with the world! I use to think watching Paula dean was comical. I thought it was grotesque how much lard and butter she would put into everything. Throw it in the fryer…it’s better that way! To me, I wouldn’t cook or eat this way, so it was laughable…but people DO (I totally DID)! I don’t blame people for their ignorance about the link between food and health, BUT what I do think people should do is take responsibility.

Take Time to Learn

Ms. Deen, in my opinion, has a responsibility as a public figure and as a food authority do teach people about food and part of that is what it does to your body.  Give us a little credit, Paula, if you changed your tune I bet a lot of people would listen and get a lot healthier for it.

Thank you Anthony Bourdain, for your snarky (love it) attitude and for speaking up. I’m listening!

xxx

D

I can see you GETTIN’ FIERCE!