VIDEO | A Quick and Simple Way to Eat Healthier More Consistently! + FREE eBook

You hate to admit it, but your efforts to eat healthier and feel your best are sporadic.

The problem isn’t knowledge of what’s healthy.

You have a good understanding of what’s good for you and what’s not.

The real problem that keeps you from eating healthy consistently:

Time.

You feel like there’s just not enough time in the day to plan, prep, and make it happen day in and day out.

But feeling your best and showing up as your best each day requires you to be consistent.

That’s where the rubber meets the road- consistency.

Easier said than done, you might be thinking.

But I’ve got a super simple strategy to help you 😊

One of the best ways to be consistent:

Stocking your kitchen with healthy food.

But I’m not suggesting you stock your kitchen with dozens and dozens of items that will overwhelm you and leave you thinking that grabbing takeout is so much easier (which would leave you feeling bloated and disappointed).

What you need are the must-have essentials that make healthy decisions effortless (or nearly effortless).

What you need are the healthful fundamentals that you can use to make meals and snacks in 15 minutes or less.

A stocked kitchen should contain items that make consistent healthy eating a no-brainer.

So, what are the 10 kitchen staples I always have at my fingertips?

The ones that nudge me to eat healthy consistently?

I created a free eBook for you to not only show you what I always have on hand, but to show you exactly what you can make using those 10 essentials!

Breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks- it’s all in there 😊

I know from experience that having these staples on hand, and having a cache of super quick and simple recipes in my back pocket, helps me be consistent.

I hope you find that they help you be consistent too.

Grab your free eBook now>>

VIDEO | Who Else Wants a Fresh Start?! September is the Other New Year's + 3-Day Action Plan

September always feels like a fresh start to me- the crisp air, back to school season, a new beginning.

You could say that September is like the other New Year’s!

Which, if you’re anything like me, makes me want to set new goals, new routines, and really hone in on healthy eating and activity.

But there’s a catch:

We often set out to accomplish way too much, with too many goals and changes all at once…

Which wears off after a week or two and we fall back into old routines.

So, here’s my game plan and I’d love for you to join me:

I’m setting a goal for the next three days.

Yes, only three days.

And here’s why:

• The first day is easy, because motivation is high.
• The second day is easy, because there’s only two days left to accomplish the goal.
• And the third day is easy, because it’s the finish line.

Three days for a goal is long enough to feel like you’ve accomplished something great, but short enough that you feel motivated and inspired to take action all three days.

Today, I'm sharing with you my 3-day goal, and two BONUS ways to ensure success with accomplishing the goal you set for yourself!

And if your goal is to eat a little healthier by cooking in (always the best and simplest way to eat healthier), then I’ve got you covered!

Download your FREE eBook to learn how to stock your pantry, fridge, and freezer with 10 staples, and how to combine them to make 21 meals and snacks in 15 minutes or less>>

VIDEO | One Key Strategy You Can Implement Today to Achieve Your Goals + FREE Checklist

Do you ever struggle with NOT getting your goals done for the day?

You know, like snoozing the alarm in the AM instead of working out like you said you wanted to do?

Oh my friend, you are not alone!

Today I'm sharing with you one strategy that will help you get closer to your goals and help you hold yourself accountable :)

And want to sleep better so you can get up at 4:45 AM to win the day and crush your goals, too?

Then, grab your free checklist on the Top 10 Tips to Sleep Better Tonight: http://bit.ly/sleep-checklist-victae

Is Sugar from Fruit Bad for You?

One of the most frequently asked food questions I hear:

Isn’t fruit bad for you because it’s so high in sugar?

Current trending diets, like the ketogenic and paleo diets, have sounded the alarm when it comes to fruit sugar.

Sugar in fruit is bad! Fruit is toxic!  Fruit makes you gain weight!  Sugar in fruit spikes your blood sugar!

No wonder so many people limit and avoid fruit…

But is the sugar in fruit bad for you?

Should you limit your fruit intake? 

And how much is too much?

Let’s take an apple for example.

If we look at an apple, it’s a package of fiber, water, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and yes, sugar.

Let’s break down each component of our apple:

1.      Fiber

·        Slows digestion

·        Prevents blood sugar from spiking

·        Feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut to improve gut health

·        Helps manage your weight

·        Keep you full and satisfied

2.      Water

·        Helps keep you full

·        Boosts immune system

·        Enhances concentration

·        Improves mental function and decision making

·        Necessary for exercise recovery

·        Regulates body temperature

·        Boosts energy

·        Carries nutrients to cells

·        Protects tissues

·        Flushes out waste

3.      Vitamins and minerals

·        Needed for the health of every tissue, muscle, and organ in your body

·        Necessary for metabolism and immune system

4.      Phytochemicals

·        Antioxidants fight free radicals, which damage your cells

·        Prevent cancer

·        Lower inflammation

·        Promote heart health

·        Reduce risk of Alzheimer’s

·        Help muscles recover

·        Lower risk of diabetes

·        Lower risk of stroke

·        Reduce blood pressure

·        Lower risk of kidney stones

5.      Sugar

·        Brain food to improve decision making, focus, concentration

·        Needed for muscles to work

·        Provides energy

The sugar in the apple is used for energy, to feed our brains, muscles, and organs effectively.

When fruit is consumed in its fiber-rich whole form (i.e. not juice), it does not spike your blood sugar, especially if you pair it with a healthy fat (nut butter, nuts, seeds) or protein (hardboiled egg, quinoa, nuts, seeds, whole wheat bread, oats).

And the phytochemicals in a piece of fruit is king!

Those little free-radical fighting superheroes are what help prevent a wide range of disease and illness.

High pigment fruits, like berries and cherries have more phytochemicals than an apple or banana, but all fruits do have some level of phytochemicals.

So don’t be afraid to eat other fruits besides blueberries.

But can you eat too much fruit?

It’s very difficult to eat too much fruit.

Fruit has a built-in stoplight that prevents you from eating too much.

The water and fiber in fruit slow your eating and digestion, leaving you feeling full and satisfied- especially if you pair it with those healthy sources of fat and protein.

90% of Americans don’t meet the minimum recommended daily amount of fruit, which ranges from 2-5 cups depending on which organization’s guidelines you read.

Researchers have even studied the effects of eating 20 servings of fruit (1 serving= ~1 cup) each day…

Wow, that sounds like a lot of fruit!

The conclusions of these studies:

20 servings of fruit each day showed no adverse health effects.

What’s a good rule of thumb for how much fruit you should eat each day?

Eat fruit until you are satisfied, as part of a balanced diet.

Sugar from processed food and baked goods is easy to overeat, which can cause weight gain. 

Eating too much added sugar (i.e. not a piece of fruit) can:

·        Increase inflammation

·        Disrupt your microbiome

·        Lead to energy swings

·        Cause mood swings

·        Cause uncontrolled blood sugar

·        Increase your risk of disease

But the sugar in fruit tells a different story.

Fruit is nature’s package of fiber, water, phytochemicals, and energy.

You can, and should, enjoy it without guilt or fear 😊

A Quick & Simple Way to Eat Healthier More Consistently

Here’s something you LOVE to admit:

You actually like eating healthy! 

You enjoy how making healthy choices makes you feel.

Yes, you feel great physically.

But you also feel great mentally, because you’re proud of making a healthy decision. 

You show up as your best self when you start your day strong.

And when you feel your best, it has a ripple effect for the rest of the day.

You’re more open, more creative, more energetic, happier, more productive.

But something you DON’T like to admit:

You don’t eat healthy consistently

You hate to admit it, but your efforts to eat healthier and feel your best are sporadic.

The problem isn’t knowledge of what’s healthy.

You have a good understanding of what’s good for you and what’s not.

The real problem that keeps you from eating healthy consistently:

Time. 

You feel like there’s just not enough time in the day to plan, prep, and make it happen day in and day out.

But feeling your best and showing up as your best each day REQUIRES you to be consistent.

That’s where the rubber meets the road- consistency. 

Easier said than done, you might be thinking.

But I’ve got a super simple strategy to help you 😊

One of the best ways to be consistent:

Stocking your kitchen with healthy food.

Yes, it really is that simple.

When your kitchen is stocked with healthy food, you’ll eat healthy.

But I’m not suggesting you stock your kitchen with dozens and dozens of items that will overwhelm you and leave you thinking that grabbing takeout is so much easier (which would leave you feeling bloated and disappointed).

What you need are the must-have essentials that make healthy decisions effortless (or nearly effortless).

What you need are the healthful fundamentals that you can use to make meals and snacks in 15 minutes or less.

A stocked kitchen should contain items that make consistent healthy eating a no-brainer.

So, what are the 10 kitchen staples I always have at my fingertips?

The ones that nudge me to eat healthy consistently?

I created a free eBook for you to not only show you what I always have on hand, but to show you exactly what you can make using those 10 essentials!

Breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks- it’s all in there 😊

I know from experience that having these staples on hand, and having a cache of super quick and simple recipes in my back pocket, helps me be consistent.

I hope you find that these kitchen staples and fast and healthy meal ideas help you be consistent too. 

10 Must-Have Tools to Save You Time, Energy, and Effort!

We always want to take the path of least resistance- and it makes sense!

The easier something is, the better. And that's true when it comes to habits, too. The easier, the better.

That's why our "bad" habits often stick around- they're the easier alternative to the healthy habits.

Well, I'm here to say that building healthy habits should be easier. The easier they are, the more likely we are to stick with them.

Today, I'm sharing the tools you need in the kitchen to save you time, energy, and effort, so that meal prepping becomes that much easier (and something you want to keep doing!).

These are your 10 must-have kitchen tools that will make prepping, cooking, and cleanup so much easier and will help you build healthy habits: http://bit.ly/10-must-have-tools-VICTAE

A Must-Have Secret to Living like the World’s Healthiest People

Do you ever wonder how the healthiest people in the world live?

How are they so healthy? 

How do they live to 100 years and longer?

How is their quality of life so good?

The Blue Zones, the communities of the world’s healthiest people, have many habits and daily practices in common.

And one of those common habits is to put “loved ones first.”

My parents are in town from Virginia this week, which reminds me of one of the key secrets to living a long, healthy life.

The Blue Zones people never eat alone.

They sit down to a long meal with family and close friends.

They put loved ones first.

Two nights ago, Matt and my parents and I went out for dinner in our Historic Third Ward. 

We sat outside, good food, great company, on a warm summer evening for 2 ½ hours!

Now that’s a lot longer than I usually take to eat my meals 😉

And while that’s not doable every night of the week, the lesson is clear:

“How you eat can be as important as what you eat.”- Dan Buettner

Eating slowly, having great conversation with loved ones, creating stronger relationships all have a massive impact on our health.

The benefits of sitting down to dinner with family, close friends, and eating slowly are numerous:

  • Better digestion

  • Better food metabolism

  • Less risk of obesity

  • Less risk of being overweight

  • Less risk of overeating

  • Stronger relationships

Health is more than what we eat. 

It’s how we eat.  It’s how we spend our time.  And it’s who we spend our time with.  

What we eat is a small part of the picture of health.

The secret to living like the healthiest people in the world?

How they live.

VIDEO! My Morning Routine When I Travel + The One Simple Habit That Sets Me Up For Success

Do you wish you had a solid morning routine?

What if you could feel set up for success for the WHOLE day with one simple habit?

In this video, I share with you my morning routine when I travel & the one thing I have do to every morning to feel like I'm winning the day!

Win the day with this FREE cheatsheet, which includes simple, quick, and easy breakfasts: https://www.victae.com/cheatsheet/

Simply Morning Routine Travel Edition:
https://www.victae.com/…/simple-morning-routine-travel-edit…

My Morning Routine- How and Why I Became a Morning Person:
https://www.victae.com/victae-blog/my-morning-routine

Should You Eat Breakfast:
https://www.victae.com/victae-blog/should-you-eat-breakfast

How to Choose a Healthier Breakfast Cereal + My Top 3 Recommendations:
https://www.victae.com/victae-blog/how-to-choose-healthier-breakfast-cereal

A Simple Morning Routine-Travel Edition

The power of morning routines is undeniable.

When you win the morning, you win the day.

And as creatures of habit, we thrive off routines.

But travel throws a wrench into our routines, since vacation, by definition, is an experience outside of our daily habits.

My morning routine is so engrained in my daily practice that I often feel antsy and a little “off” when I don’t do it.

And part of my routine is a healthy breakfast.

But again, travel often throws a wrench in our healthy eating habits.

Do you feel the same way?

To beat this wrench-throwing travel fiasco, I found a solution to help me feel my best on vacation.

And I had to share it with you, because the solution is incredibly simple:

Eat the same healthy breakfast every day.

So simple, yet so effective.

Last week, I traveled to Virginia to visit family.

And on the first day there, my Mom and I went on a wild goose chase through town to find the precise breakfast items I wanted.

Apparently, Ezekiel cereal is hard to find, because we went to 5 grocery stores before finding it…

But once I found it, I had it every morning with warm unsweetened almond milk, cinnamon, and creamy almond butter.

Simple breakfast.  Simple routine.

And the power of this simple morning routine on vacation was undeniable.

I didn’t feel antsy or “off.”

I didn’t overindulge the rest of the day, because I started my day strong.

I ate ice cream almost every night with my family, and looked forward to it each day, knowing I hadn’t eaten unhealthy from the very beginning of each day.

I felt great.

I didn’t spend time guessing and wondering what I would have for breakfast the next day.

And I looked forward to my breakfast each morning.

Your Action Step: 

When you’re traveling, establish a morning routine by eating the same healthy breakfast each day.

Perhaps you go to the same café and order the same thing each morning.

Or perhaps you do a quick shop for cereal and almond butter that you can have in the hotel.

No more time wasted, wondering “what should I have for breakfast?” or “where should we go out to eat today?”

Simple.

Healthy.

Routine.

Winning the day.

What will your travel edition morning routine be?

The Secret to Losing Weight...While You Sleep | + FREE Checklist on the Top 10 Tips for Better Sleep Tonight |

Have you noticed that you’ve gained a few pounds lately?

But you’re not sure why?

You’re eating healthy most of the time…

You’re working like a boss…

You’re even working out a few times per week…

So, what gives?

There might be an explanation to slow and steady weight gain that you’ll be surprised by:

You’re getting less than 7 hours per sleep.

Yeah, but who isn’t??

It turns out that poor sleep is a major contributor to weight gain.

Lack of adequate sleep (7-9 hours) puts you at a 55% greater risk of obesity!

That lack of sleep causes:

·        Your brain to crave high-calorie foods

·        A spike in cortisol (remember that stress hormone…link to article)

·        Your body to store fat

·        A decrease in your ability to process carbs (and therefore you store more fat)

·        Your metabolism to drop

·        An increase in cravings

Oh yes, that’s why you’re seriously craving sweets, and snacking like crazy after dinner!

And there’s fascinating research out there on this, like this one study, which followed 16 adults for 2 weeks in the inpatient setting, and deprived them of adequate sleep for 5 days.

You should know that “deprived” meant 5 hours of sleep per night for 5 days…

Sound like a typical work week to you?

In just those 5 days, the adults gained almost 2 lbs!

They ate more carbs, fat, and more calories in general after dinner.

When you’re tired, you simply eat more food.

And if that lack of sleep is chronic (hello, work like, family life, social life), the weight creeps on slowly and steadily.

Want better sleep?  And want it now?

I’ve created a checklist for you with my top tips that you can implement TODAY to get better sleep TONIGHT!

You can download your free checklist for the Top 10 Tips for Better Sleep Tonight here.

The Surprising Truth About Travel Dehydration + Your 5-Step Plan to Fix It!

Have you ever wondered why you feel so hungry after a flight?

Or that you have a headache and feel weirdly foggy as you walk off the plane?

By the end of a flight, the cabin can be significantly drier than the Sahara Desert!

Yes, that’s exactly why your skin feels so dry, your eyes and throat are scratchy, and you feel like you’ve just woken up from a 20-hour nap- hello, grogginess!

In a nutshell, dehydration wreaks havoc on our bodies.

We feel:

·        Hungry

·        Tired

·        Foggy

·        Groggy

And have:

·        Dry skin

·        Irritated eyes, nose, and throat

·        Nausea

·        Headaches

The main reason for feeling like this?

The air we breathe on the plane as we fly through the sky is 50% outside air.

Which has almost no moisture…

So, as we fly, the relative humidity drops from about 50% to 10%.

Dehydration then compounds:

·        That low humidity in the plane draws water out of our bodies

·        Drinking coffee, tea, and alcohol on flights leads to even more dehydration

·        Not to mention, we’re given a measly cup of water every 3 hours on a typical flight

·        Salty foods (“pretzels or peanuts?”) can further dehydrate us

And if you’re traveling to a place with high altitude, you’ll have to fight altitude sickness and further dehydration with more water.

Will all of that said, there’s still good news :)

You can actively fight off dehydration using these 5 simple steps:

1.      Fill up on water before getting on plane

2.      Drink one cup of water per hour on the plane

3.      Drink an extra cup of water for every serving of alcohol

4.      Bring hydrating snacks (apples + mini cucumbers travel well)

5.      Bring a greens powder to add to your water (you’ll benefit from extra nutrients, too)

Craving more travel tips?

Check out this article>> The One Thing I Ask Myself to Eat Healthier | Travel Edition

Is the Impossible Burger Healthy?

“I can’t believe this isn’t meat!”

I was more than a year into my vegetarian lifestyle when I first experienced the Impossible Burger.

The sizzle, the mouth-feel, the flavor, the look of a real, reddish, meaty burger…

It shocked me that this veggie patty wasn’t a full-on red meat burger.

I even felt like I was cheating on my vegetarianism when I ate the Impossible Burger!

Should I really be enjoying this burger…THIS much?!

Probably not 😉

But there’s one question I’m constantly asked:

Is the Impossible Burger healthy?

The quick answer:

Absolutely not.

But why? Aren’t I eating plants!?

Yes, true.

The Impossible Burger is completely vegan. 

It uses much less land and water to create the Impossible Burger than a meat patty does.

It’s more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

No animals are harmed in its making.

It’s halal and kosher certified.

And for us vegetarians and vegans, we’re able to partake in the experience of grabbing burgers and beers with our friends.

But in terms of nutritional benefits?  Are there any?

Well no, there’s not a lot.

The Impossible Burger packs a whopping 16% of your daily value of sodium!

Pair that with those deliciously salty truffle fries, cheese, and a white bun, and you’ll be feeling puffy all day.

There’s also no fiber in sight.

Traditional veggie burgers made with beans, rice, chickpeas, mushrooms, and other veggies are loaded with gut-healthy fiber.

But not the Impossible Burger. 

The lack of fiber is the price you pay for a burger that actually tastes like a burger.

And back to those deliciously salty fries, cheese, a white bun, and grabbing beers with friends…

All those foods are not nutritionally dense- I know, not shocking.

But does that mean you should avoid the Impossible Burger?

Absolutely not!

How boring life would be if we only ate “nutritionally dense” food.

I certainly don’t want to eat healthy food all the time (and spoiler alert, I don’t!).

But the more informed you are, the more empowered and confident you are in yourself when choosing what you’ll eat next.

Savor your food, have fun grabbing burgers and beers with friends, enjoy the innovation of a vegan burger that tastes like a red meat burger!

But maybe don’t eat it several times per week 😉

The One Food to Help You Be Happier

You know the expression, “Happy Wife, Happy Life?”

Well, I’m proposing an updated version of that:

Happy Gut, Happy Life!

You’re right, it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it…

But it does happen to be more accurate.

That’s because the happiness hormone, serotonin, is mostly made in our gut.

In fact, it’s a whopping 90% of serotonin that is made in our gut!

Serotonin is the “feel good” happy hormone that affects our:

  • Mood

  • Sleep

  • Appetite

  • Digestion

And if we’re low on serotonin, we:

  • Feel low

  • Have trouble sleeping

  • Feel anxious

  • Have cravings for sweet and starchy food

And chronically, low serotonin can increase the risk of:

  • IBS

  • Heart disease

  • Osteoporosis

So how do we make sure our bodies are producing enough serotonin?

Well, it all starts in the gut.

The microbes in our colon determine whether our cells make enough serotonin.

If we have a healthy and diverse group of microbes, then our cells can make serotonin.

And how do we make sure we have a healthy and diverse group of microbes?

We feed the good bugs in our gut!

And what do the good microbes eat?

FIBER!

Now, fiber comes in many shapes and sizes (soluble, insoluble, resistant) but there’s one type I want you to focus on:

PREBIOTICS!

Prebiotics are the specific fiber-rich, fermentable foods that feed the good microbes in our gut. 

Here’s your must-have list of prebiotics to add to your meals:

  • Bananas

  • Onions

  • Garlic

  • Artichokes

  • Soybeans

  • Oatmeal

  • Flax

  • Barley

  • Greens

  • Berries

When the microbes eat these foods, they grow and multiply and thrive.

And why is this all important?

Remember, Happy Gut, Happy Life!

When we feed the good microbes, they repay us by helping cells make serotonin.

And that serotonin, in turn, helps us live happier lives.

Need a few prebiotic-rich recipes to put in your meal rotation?

Try one of these to get you started:

>>Zero-Added Sugar Zucchini Muffins

>>Vegan Raspberry Muffins

>>Swiss Bircher Muesli

>>Rosemary White Bean Cauliflower Soup

>>Sweet Potato, Red Onion, and Spiced Chickpea Salad

 Your Action Step: Choose one prebiotic from that list that you will add to one of your meals this week!

Mother's Day Recipe Roundup! 15 Favorites to Celebrate Mom + FREE Cheatsheet

I love celebrating Mother’s Day, because I’m one of the lucky ones who has a mom as her best friend!

My mom is selfless, generous, and incredibly supportive- and she happens to be the best cook I know 😉

So in honor of my mom and her amazing cooking, I’ve rounded up my favorite Mother’s Day recipes that you can make for breakfast, brunch, a luncheon, a special dinner, or even dessert!

Why these recipes?

·        Can be whipped up quickly

·        Not many ingredients

·        Many can be made in advance

·        Saves you stress and gives you more time with your mom on Mother’s Day

What will you make for your mom this Mother’s Day?

Do You Need Collagen Supplements?

Have you jumped on the collagen train yet?

The trend of adding collagen peptides to drinks and smoothies for glowing, elastic skin and sipping on bone broth for healthy joints, healthy gut, and weight loss is exploding.

In 2018 alone, we spent $46.6 MILLION on collagen supplements!

And why are collagen peptide supplements so popular?

The promises of younger looking skin, weight loss, and healthy joints are appealing to almost everyone.

But are these promises true?

And are collagen supplements worth their high price tag?

Let’s see…

Have you asked yourself what collagen is?

Collagen is a type of protein, often referred to as our body’s “scaffolding.”

Why “scaffolding?”

Because the tissues that hold out body together is made out of collagen.

Think bones, tendons, ligaments, skin, blood vessels, our organs…

Yes, our whole body is made largely out of collagen.

And as we age, our collagen production declines.

Hence the desire of many people to boost their collagen supply!

But are collagen supplements necessary for boosting our collagen supply?

The truth is, collagen supplements may not be necessary for you to see the benefits of younger skin, strong and gorgeous hair, weight loss, healthy joints, and improved gut health.

While researchers have studied the effects of collagen, the results are often limited or biased.

Does it seem right that the collagen supplement industries should fund the research on collagen?

If you answered “no,” you’re right.

Industry backing of their own products is sketchy at best.

The research studies are also small, and there hasn’t been research on the long-term effects of collagen.

And the scope and number of clinical trials are lacking.

So, more research on the effects and necessity of collagen supplementation are needed.

But while we wait on the researchers to do their thing, what should we do in the meantime?

You can buy collagen peptides for about $50 for a month’s supply. 

And yet, those collagen supplements come with some risks.

You might experience an allergic reaction, or suffer the side effects of nausea, heartburn, headaches, diarrhea, constipation, and skin reactions.

So, is there a better way to boost your collagen supply without a high price tag or side effects?

Consider this:

Collagen is a type of protein, which means it’s a chain of amino acids linked together.

Whenever we ingest protein, whether that’s from a piece of chicken, quinoa, beans, or collagen peptides, we break down that protein into amino acids.

Here’s the thing, you don’t get to choose where those amino acids go in your body go, or how they are used.

Instead, your body prioritizes those amino acids for whatever your body needs them for.

In other words, those expensive collagen peptides your adding to your morning coffee might not be used for collagen production at all!

Your body chooses where those amino acids will be best used.

If your body is choosing how the protein you consume is used, you’re likely better off eating real food instead.

The protein from nuts, seeds, quinoa, spirulina, salmon, chicken, and eggs can be consumed to boost your collagen supply.

When it comes to healthy skin, healthy weight, healthy joints, and a healthy gut, a balanced diet is king.

·        Vitamin C-rich and antioxidant-rich foods boost collagen formation and skin regeneration

o   Think oranges, peppers, strawberries, broccoli, and tomatoes

·        Vitamin E can also help protect your skin, since it’s a powerful antioxidant

o   Think nuts, seeds, and whole grains

·        Even turmeric has collagen-boosting benefits 

o   You can make curries and Golden Milk to see turmeric’s benefits

·        Zinc and sulfur both play roles in collagen formation as well

o   Think chicken, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, onions, garlic, and broccoli

·        And don’t forget that protein, as mention above

o   Think nuts, seeds, quinoa, spirulina, salmon, chicken, and eggs

You see, a whole foods, plant-based diet allows you to get the protein, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals you need for healthy collagen production.

And be aware of the choices that actively reduce collagen.

Sugar actually can cause irreversible damage to the collagen in your body! 

Sugar binds to collagen, which creates AGE’s (advanced glycation end products), which causes a loss in the strength of the collagen.

Which then leads to wrinkled, saggy skin.

Just another reason to limit added sugar, isn’t it?

And be sure to load up on SPF to protect your skin from damage!

All of these can lead to the damage of collagen:

·        Sun exposure

·        Pollution

·        Smoking

·        Alcohol

Final thoughts:

Don’t let yourself get swept up by the marketing tactics of products, like collagen.

Always come back to your eating and lifestyle choices when trying to make a healthy decision.

And when in doubt, experiment with what works best for you and your needs.

Knowing what you know now, would you spend the money on collagen peptides?

Need a few collagen-boosting recipes?

>>Strawberry Chia Seed Pudding Parfait

>>Easiest Vegan Chili

>>Foolproof Restaurant Quality Salmon

>>Tomatillo Chicken in a Pot

>>Raw Vegan Pad Thai

>>Red Lentil Stew

>>Anti-inflammatory Pasta Salad

>>Chewy Trail Mix Bars (Raw Vegan)

The Anti-Inflammatory Diet: What You Need to Know and 5-Step Plan to Make it Work For You | + FREE Gift! |

Chances are you’re either stressed out by work or by kids.

How’d I know that?

Well, those are the two most common stressors in America, where striving for work-life balance seems to always be the goal (and always a struggle)…

And maybe you feel anxious, irritable, or especially tired from all the responsibilities you carry.

The chronic inflammation caused by daily, excessive stress can definitely take its toll:

·        Suppressed immune system

·        Colds

·        Illness

·        Increased risk of cancer

·        Increased risk of food allergies

·        GI issues

·        Increased risk of autoimmune disease

·        Depression, sadness, anxiety, fatigue, irritability

Ok, so what can you do about it?

It might seem obvious at first glance, but the Anti-inflammatory Diet is a surefire way to reduce inflammation in the body.

The Anti-Inflammatory Diet is based on the Mediterranean Diet, rated the Best Overall Diet of 2019 by US News and World Report.

But when you research the Med Diet, the amount of information out there is seriously overwhelming!

Information overload!

And when there’s too much information and overwhelm, we simply won’t take action.

How do you sort through all the research, tips, strategies, shopping lists, food lists, and recipes?

Well, that’s why I’m here 😉

Let’s first break this diet down into its simplest lessons!

Then I’ll give you an actionable step-by-step plan for you to do this week.

From information to action plan, let’s dive in!

The core tenets of the Med Diet:

·        Frequently eat a variety of plant-based foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains like farro, barley, and bulgar, lentils, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds)

·        Focus on fiber (fruits and veggies galore)

·        Switch to healthful fats (avocado, nuts, seeds, olive)

·        Get omega-3’s from fish, walnuts, and flax

·        Season your food with an abundance of herbs and spices

·        Frequently consume tea

·        Enjoy two servings of fish per week

·        Moderately eat dairy and eggs

·        Have the occasional poultry (if you choose)

·        Get your sweet craving itch scratched by antioxidant-rich dark chocolate

·        Infrequently eat red meat

·        Infrequently indulge in sweets

·        Limit processed, refined food

·        Exercise daily

Ok, easier said then done. 

I mean, that’s a lot of “core tenets” to focus on if you think about it!

To avoid information overload and inaction, follow this actionable step-by-step plan to successfully reduce inflammation:

Step 1: Choose one of the two goals listed below:

1.      Eat one entirely plant-based meal this week at home

2.      Eat plant-based for an entire day

Which did you choose? 

Step 2: Look at your calendar for this week and choose either the meal or the day that you commit to eating plant based.

Which day did you choose?

Step 3: Schedule your plant-based meal or day in your calendar.

Did you schedule it?

Step 4: Choose the recipe(s) that you will make for that meal or day.

Need a few anti-inflammatory, plant-based ideas?

Try one (or all!) of these:

Green smoothie for breakfast

Anti-inflammatory pasta salad for lunch

Red lentil stew for dinner

Energy balls for snack

What recipe(s) did you choose?

Step 5: Complete your goal!

Did you eat plant-based for your planned meal or planned day?

Woohoo!  Celebrate! You took intentional action to lower inflammation in your body.

Which is what you wanted to do in the first place, right?

Yep, I’m right there with you 😊

Want even more meal and snack ideas that are quick, easy, and anti-inflammatory? 

Meals that you know can help you on your journey of eating healthier and living your best life?

I’ve got a FREE gift for you!

Download your FREE PDF of 21 Simple, Quick, & Easy Meals now! www.victae.com/cheatsheet

I’ll show you 21 meals (and snacks) that you can make in 15 minutes or less!

Oh, and you’ll only need 10 ingredients TOTAL to make ALL 21 meals and snacks 😊

Cheers to anti-inflammatory eating that doesn’t take time and energy!

Mind-Altering Microbiota + 5 Ways to Promote a Healthy Gut and Mood

Have you heard that you have two brains?

Yes, there’s the one in your head…

But what about the one in your gut?  The one known as your “second brain?”

There’s 100 million neurons running through your gut; that’s more neurons than in your spinal cord!

It’s no wonder that when you get nervous before a big presentation, your stomach churns, or when you have an exciting event, you get butterflies in your stomach.

The two brains (the one in your head and the one in your gut) are intimately connected.

Which means that those signals work in the opposite direction.

If your gut is unhealthy, you might experience more stress, anxiety, and depression.

When the GI system is irritated, the neurotransmitters and hormones that regulate our mood become “irritated” and out of balance, too.

Meaning an out-of-balance gut can trigger mood changes.

Those tiny microbiota are literally mind-altering.

An out-of-balance gut can occur for several reasons:

·        Poor diet (low fiber, high meat intake, processed foods, lack of variety)

·        Antibiotics

·        Proton pump inhibitors

·        Antacids

·        Stress

·        Environmental toxins

·        Food allergies

“A healthy mind breeds a healthy body, and visa versa.” - Zig Ziglar

Well, a healthy gut breeds a healthy mind and visa versa, too 😉

To reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression, you have to prioritize your diet and lifestyle.

Here’s 5 tips to get you started in healing and promoting gut health:

·        Focus on fiber (hello, whole grains, fruits, and veggies!)

·        Don’t get stuck in a rut! Choose a variety of foods (whole grains, beans, lentils, various fruits/veggies)

·        Consume probiotics as part of a healthy diet (yogurt, kombucha, miso, sauerkraut, kimchi)

·        If you do eat meat, treat it like a condiment instead of the main event

·        Swap in fresh food in place of processed snacks and meals

And if you want some specific recipes to get you started to eating for gut health and mental health, I’ve got you covered!

Chewy Trail Mix Bars>>

Anti-Inflammatory Pasta Salad>>

Easiest Vegan Chili>>

Red Lentil Stew>>

10 Minute Healthy Stir Fry>>

Which one will you try first?

My Top 5 Nutrition Tips for Reducing Stress

If you’re frequently stressed out, you’re certainly not alone. 

According to Gallup, 80% of Americans feel stress on a daily basis.

Woah, that’s a lot of people…

And in a fast-paced world where “busy” is rewarded and hectic schedules abound, daily stress takes its toll.

We’ve all been there:

·        Running late to a meeting

·        Trying to put a fire out at work

·        Managing the schedules and emotions of children

·        Or juggling numerous projects while trying to have a social life

We’ve experienced the immediate effects of stress:

·        Faster heart rate

·        Faster, shorter breathing

·        Tensed muscles

All perfectly normal signs of stress, which can give us that beneficial edge to getting work done. 

But what if we never fully come down from elevated stress? 

What happens to our bodies and mind then?

The effects of chronic stress are:

·        Weight gain

·        Insomnia

·        Anxiety

·        Depression

·        Weakened immune system

·        Reduced nutrient absorption

·        High blood pressure

·        High blood sugar

·        And even fertility problems

In the moment, you might not feel like you have to worry about stress- it’s normal, right?

But if you’re gaining weight, having trouble sleeping, struggling with anxiety, or are constantly getting sick, you might want to consider managing your stress through lifestyle tweaks.

The good news is you CAN reduce stress naturally, with food (in conjunction with exercise, quality sleep, meditation, and other tricks for winding down).

Here are my top 5 nutrition tips for reducing stress through food:

·        Eat a high-fiber diet (a minimum of 25-30 grams of fiber per day)

·        Eat a whole food, plant-based diet (i.e. lots of fruit, veggies, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains)

·        Limit foods that make your blood sugar spike (beware “healthy” snacks that are sneakily high in sugar, like most yogurt)

·        Eat the rainbow (antioxidants come in different colors, so eat a variety of fruit and veggies)

·        Enjoy probiotics (kombucha, miso, yogurt, probiotic supplements, kimchi, sauerkraut)

Throughout the month, I’ll continue to provide specific strategies and tips you can do right NOW to reduce stress and the effects of stress.

Your Action Step: What is ONE THING you can do today that will help you reduce stress? Use the 5 tips above to inspire you.  If you need extra help with this one, simply email me!  I’m here to support you 😊

Need a few recipe ideas to reduce inflammation caused by stress?

Check out these popular, easy, and fun anti-inflammatory recipes:

>>Fruit Sushi with Pomegranate Roe

>>Detox Salad

>>Zero-Added Sugar Zucchini Muffins

>>Anti-Inflammatory Pasta Salad

>>Strawberry and Mint Spring Rolls with a Lime Peanut Sauce

The One Thing I Ask Myself To Help Me Eat Healthier | Travel Edition |

Here’s one thing you might not know about me:

I hate large crowds.  I become claustrophobic and a little hot and anxious. 

So, connecting in LaGuardia on Monday was a little crazy. 

I walked quickly away from the crowded gates and to the Food Court. 

When I travel, I tend to eat consistently, even when I’m not hungry.

It seems like the best way to pass the time…

As you know, there aren’t many healthy choices in an airport food court. 

I made two laps through the LGA Food Court, searching for something that would satisfy. 

I stared at the burger joint’s menu and saw an egg and American cheese sandwich on a Kaiser roll.

And then asked myself one thing:

How is this going to make me feel?

Well, not very good, I guessed. 

This one thought changed everything. 

I made another turn and found that the coffee station behind me actually offered smoothies!

And healthy smoothies! Not the ones masquerading as healthy but are sugar bombs waiting to give you a stomach ache.

I chose a green smoothie with banana, kale, spinach, pineapple, mango, and coconut oil.

Someone remarked, “Oh, how very healthy!”

It was.  And it was also delicious 😊

I paired the green smoothie with homemade energy balls, which are sweet and satisfying and taste like cake! 

Here’s your action step: The next time your faced with a few food choices, ask yourself “How is thing going to make me feel?”

It jolts you out of an emotional decision (melty American cheese sounds really good right now….) and into a decision that you might feel better about.

Here’s the other thing about asking yourself this question:

You might decide, “well, not very good” but still decide to get the egg and cheese sandwich.

That’s ok too!  Because you took a second to think about it.  And you owned your decision.

Now that’s what I call healthy.

Need a few ideas for delicious and healthy homemade snacks for your next trip?

>>Recipe for Lemon Blueberry Muffin Energy Balls

>>Recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate Superfood Raw Brownies

>>Recipe for Lemon Amaretto Cookies