Sunday Soul Food- Thankfulness

Happy Sunday!

I hope you are having a peaceful day of rest today. Every Sunday I am going to be talking about Soul Food. This type of nourishment is often overlooked, especially in the health food world, however it is incredibly important to nourish the soul to achieve optimal mind-body-soul health!

Today, I want to talk about choosing to focus on being thankful.

 

Notice, I said CHOOSING. This is 100% a choice. Every single person alive on this planet has something to be thankful for. I know that is a bold statement, but it is true. Everyone who is alive has at least 1 thing in their life to be thankful for. If you’re reading this, chances are you have MANY things to be thankful for! All too often, we get stuck focusing on what we wish we had, what we we wish never happened, what we wish would happen, our hurts, our pains, what someone did or said to us, and all our problems. While these factors in your life may be very real, you still have a choice as to how you view them and whether you focus on the negative or the positive and the things you are thankful for in your life.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE: Make a list of the TOP 10 things you are thankful for that make you happy and feel good when you think about them. Tape that list up somewhere where you will see it every day throughout the week.

 

Now, pay attention to your thoughts. Whenever your mind slips into a negative thought pattern, read your list and really think about those things or people you’re thankful for and how happy they make you. Make the conscious EFFORT to switch your thinking process today. At first it may take extra effort, but eventually it will become a habit. And this is a habit that could truly change your life. When you focus on positive things in your life you start attracting positive things and people into your life.

Gratitude doesn’t just help you feel better, there have actually been studies on this emotion and it has been proven to improve your health!

For instance, in 2007 Robert Emmons, UC Davis psychology professor and author of the book, Thanks! How the Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, conducted research that asked a group of organ transplant patients to keep what he calls “gratitude journals” while another group simply wrote about the basic details of their day. The group that regularly listed what they were thankful for scored significantly higher on measures of both physical and mental health.

Emmons says similar studies were consistent with these findings. People who focused on what they were thankful for reduced stress and depression, and improved in sleep and exercise. That’s right! People who show gratitude actually spend more time working out. (source)

Being thankful and appreciative for other people also creates stronger and deeper connections with others. When someone feels genuinely appreciated, they tend to want to help you more and support you in anything and everything you are doing in life. That is created just by you being thankful!

Research from 2010 found that gratitude is also important in committed relationships like marriage. 65 couples were studied and researchers discovered that those who were most committed and satisfied corresponded with couples who expressed gratitude towards each other.

When you’re spending all your brain power thinking about how thankful you are and looking at the blessings in your life, you don’t have the time, energy, and brain power to constantly be thinking about the overwhelming negative, even if it’s still there. Imagine that your world was crashing down, and although a part of you was hurting, you didn’t react like the world expects you to…you are actually still thankful and a part of you is still able to be happy because you know you are a part of a bigger plan and you are CHOOSING to be thankful today. That is powerful!

I am thankful for each and every one of you! I am thankful for your desire to learn more about how to live a life free of disease & illness. I am thankful for your passion to help others. I am thankful for your support! Have a wonderful day today! I pray that your eyes may be opened to the blessings and love letters to you from our Creator that are all around today! Take a deep breath, smile, and be thankful :).

xoxo

~Jessica

 “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you.”- Philippians 1:3

Here is one of my favorite worship songs about being thankful. Thought some of you might enjoy it too!

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Sweaty Saturday!- Benefits of Zumba!

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Yay! It’s the weekend! Every Saturday I’m going to be bringing you some tips on exercise- workouts, reasons to exercise, and more! Today’s topic is….ZUUUUUUUMBA!

I had fun taking sweaty pictures today, as you can tell! I had a BLAST in today’s Zumba class. My gym here in Spain just started offering Zumba this week and I was SO excited! It’s funny because anyone who knows me, knows I am not the most graceful

person… I remember one day in Junior High, I was at a girls church retreat and I sprained my ankle and was in a soft cast and

crutches for a month! What was I doing you may ask….well, it wasn’t playing soccer, rock climbing, in an obstacle course, or snowboarding…I was running in place. Ha! Yep, clutzy me was able to manage to sprain my ankle pretty bad while running in place.

So, you can imagine how graceful I am in Zumba. It’s actually quite funny to watch myself in the mirror, but I LOVE IT! When people find out I’m half Mexican, they always think I naturally have rhythm and can bust a move like nobody’s business. But, I always tell them, the upper half of me is Mexican, the lower half of me is as gringo as it gets!

Back to Zumba…If there is a class around you, TAKE IT! It may take a few classes to get the hang of it, but it is an amazing workout and so much fun! The reason why so many people loathe exercise is because they make it so boring! Zumba is great for your core, arms, legs, butt, and amazing cardio! I recent study was done showing that the average calorie burn in Zumba classes is 817 per hour!!! Holy smokes that’s amazing!

For more info on the benefits of Zumba, check out this awesome article written by the Huffington Post. I couldn’t have written better than they did.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE: Get sweaty! I don’t care HOW, WHERE, or WHY you do it, just get sweaty at some point today! 😉 Then post your sweaty picture on my FACEBOOK PAGE HERE!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and remember to share this info with your friends!

xoxo,

Jessica

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” ~1 Corinthians 9:24-25

Make sure you check out my new program,

“The Empowered Woman”!

 

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Feel Good Friday- What’s your gut got to do with it?

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Today is Feeeel Good Friday!

Today’s topic is on the gut-brain axis and what your digestive system has to do with your emotions and mental health. Check out my video and info below…

2 extra tools to heal the gut-brain axis that are worth mentioning is Vitamin D and Essential Fatty Acids.

Vitamin D has been proven time and time again to improve your immune system, decrease inflammation, fight cancer cells, and support all around healing in the body. The sun is the optimal source of Vitamin D. For those who do need supplementation, I only recommend a few sources that are truly safe and effective, so make sure you speak with someone before you purchase one.

Essential Fatty Acids are amazingly effective when it comes to inflammation in the body. These EFA’s are phenomenal healers for both the gut and brain. Deficiency in EFA’s can cause multiple problems including disruption in the gut-brain axis. Great sources are Jeff’s Best Hemp oil (found in my amazon store), Dr. Mercola’s Krill oil for women (also found in my Amazon store), soaked walnuts, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, amd pure flax oil to name a few.

Keeping our gut clean & healthy is proving to be one of the most beneficial things we can do for our overall health. Taking the simple steps to heal our intestinal tract could in itself drastically change health statistics for the better. If we start instilling this information into our kids and making sure they are full of healthy bacteria and are being fed nutrient dense foods, I know we would see amazing changes in our future.

It is heartbreaking to me how many children & teens truly do not have the nutrients to be happy. The rate of depression and suicide in our country is out of control and WE can make a difference. “UCC scientists have shown that brain levels of serotonin, the ‘happy hormone’ are regulated by the amount of bacteria in the gut during early life.” What if instead of serving chocolate and strawberry milk with toaster struddle and deep friend tater tots at schools, we served fresh strawberry kefir with whole food gluten free blueberry muffins and organic fruit? Or grass fed hotdogs with sauerkraut. If we give kids these foods early in life, they will begin to crave them!

As adults, we are grown up to make choices. It is no one elses responsibility to take care of our bodies. WE must choose to nourish our bodies. If someone wants to cultivate illness, then don’t sleep much, drink energy drinks and sugar free sodas, eat Taco Bell, have donuts for breakfast, drink fluoride filled tap water, and never exercise. If you want to cultivate health- give your body the tools it needs to regenerate itself and it will do just that. We are perfectly created and when our bodies have the tools, it knows what to do.

So today, CHOOSE to cultivate health. Cut the sugar & gluten and add some Sunrider foods and probiotic sources to your diet. You will be AMAZED at the difference you feel!!!

Here are some additional resources about the Gut-Brain axis and what you can do to make sure they have a good relationship…

 

Have a great weekend and have fun healing your gut and feeling good!!

xoxo

~Jessica

CHECK OUT MY NEW PROGRAM LAUNCHING SOON!

“THE EMPOWERED WOMAN”

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Wednesday Weight Loss- Benefits of Lemon Water

Happy Wednesday Everyone!!

I hope your week is going well! Today is Weight Loss Wednesday! Every Wednesday, I’ll be giving you a tip on weight loss that will be easy to implement. Today’s is very simple. Check out my video below!

10 Benefits to drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning…

1. It helps alkalize the body

  • I will be expanding soon on the importance of maintaining a healthy pH in the body, but for now all you need to know is that lemon water helps your body get where it needs to. Research shows that those with a more alkaline pH have a much easier time with healthy weight loss. It is also CRITICAL that you know this very important fact: NO CANCER CELL CAN SURVIVE IN AN ALKALINE ENVIRONMENT, BUT EVERY CANCER CELL THRIVES IN AN ACIDIC ENVIRONMENT. That is powerful knowledge!

2. It hydrates the body

  • Hydration is essential for health and weight loss. 70% of our bodies are composed of water. That’s a lot! What do you think is going to happen if you don’t drink enough water…your body is going to begin to deteriorate. Makes you think twice before starting off your day with a huge cup of coffee huh? You can go for a significant amount of time without food, but without water, we would die after approximately 72 hours according to research. Many people will lose weight just by hydrating their body alone. When you are dehydrated, your body goes into starvation mode and begins to hold on to every ounce of water it gets just in case it won’t see any for a long time again. But, if you drink it regularly, your body knows it’s safe to let go of extra water weight. Of course many factors play into this, but hydration is KEY to health & weight loss.

3. Kick starts the digestive system

  • Lemon has been known for hundreds of years to help with digestive issues and constipation. Water as well is wonderful for digestion. Many times dehydration is the culprit behind constipation or acid reflux. Water and lemon together have a synergistic action on the digestive tract as it gently stimulates peristalsis (the wavelike movement throughout the digestive tract that pushes foods through), lubricates the colon to move waste through, and bulks up waste to push it out of the body. Lemons are also full of minerals that help to relax the digestive tract and loosen stored toxins along the colon wall.

4. It’s good for your lymphatic system

  • Your lymphatic system consists of your lymph nodes (those little nodules you feel in your neck that swell up when you get sick- they are found all throughout your body and act as mini filters to screen out the toxins in the body) and your lymph fluid. Warm water is one of the best things you can do to cleanse the lymphatic system. Lymph stagnation is a major cause of abdominal bloating and water retention. There are many different processes that play a role in lymphatic stagnation and abdominal bloating, but doing this simple tip can be a huge help!

5. Antioxidant morning boost with high levels of vitamin c

  • Lemons have a good amount of bioavailable vitamin C and antioxidants to boost the immune system and fight off viruses, colds, & the flu. Vitamin C also helps the absorption of calcium which research has shown to significantly aid in weight loss.

6. Strengthens and cleans the liver

  • Water is responsible for the fluid content of the blood. The liver is the organ that filters the blood, so blood viscosity plays a big role in how hard the liver will have to work. So, not drinking enough water will cause the blood to become thicker and more difficult for the liver to filter. According to Dr. Alexander F. Beddoe in Biological Ionization in Human Nutrition, the liver can make more enzymes out of fresh lemon juice than any other food. Lemons have a wonderful stimulative action on the liver to release toxins and improve a congested liver.

7.  Ignites the Metabolism

  • Both lemon and water help rev up the metabolism. Adding cayenne pepper will be an even stronger metabolism booster and fat burner!

8. Blood purifier

  • A great trait of lemons is that they help purify the blood. They help improve liver function which is the liver filter and in turn improves the quality of our blood. If you add in Fortune Delight, you will get twice the benefit! Fortune Delight has shown to oxygenate and purify the blood as well.

9. Lowers sugar absorption

  • “It has been studied that even a little lemon can help you lower the absorption of sugars from the food you eat simply because of its high acidic content. You can go one step further and eat some lemon peels along with the juice, this acts like a double whammy on weight gain, because the pectin present in the peels helps in weight loss by becoming a gel forming substance in your stomach which reduces the sugar absorption from the food you eat.:- Read more here…

10. Acts as a gentle, natural diuretic

  • The mixture of warm water and lemon works excellent to remove excess fluid from the body. There are some theories that it improves adrenal function. The adrenal glands regulate a hormone called aldosterone that is key in fluid retention. It also helps release toxins from the body. When we have toxin overload in our tissues, it causes fluid retention. Drinking this simple concoction can help deflate the fluff in multiple ways. Woohoo!

* For more info on the Sunrider foods and Fortune Delight check out my Sunrider info page!

 

Here are some resources for you to check out…

http://www.quantumbalancing.com/news/lemon%20water.htm

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4769/Why-You-Should-Drink-Warm-Water-Lemon.html

http://www.liversupport.com/wordpress/2010/11/love-your-liver-with-lemon-water/

http://www.energiseforlife.com/wordpress/2006/02/10/lemon-water-alkalising-superstar/

 

In my new program, “THE EMPOWERED WOMAN”, we will dive into the biggest weight loss myths and the some key foundational elements to make weight loss easy and effective!

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Guilt Free Cookies- 4 Different Ways

These cookies are a mix of different inspirations and they actually turned out really good! What’s really awesome is that you can have these raw or baked and play with the add ins to make your own creation!

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups Chick Peas soaked overnight, cooked, & strained
1/4 c. coconut oil
1/2 cup GMO-free xylitol or palm sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Baking soda
1/4 c. almond meal
2 rounded tbs coconut flour
1 heaping tbs flax or chia meal
OPTIONAL add-ins: cacao nibs, hemp seeds, dark chocolate chunks

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine all cookie dough ingredients — EXCEPT for chocolate chips or add ins — in food processor. You can also use a hand blender.
  3. After completely combined and no chickpeas remain, you can stir in desired add ins OR you can choose to sprinkle them on top of the cookies after you place them on the cookie sheet.
  4. Scoop 1-inch thick balls onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Before placing in the oven, use the back of a spoon or spatula to flatten the cookies because they will not flatten on their own.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until chocolate chips are melting. YOU CAN ALSO MAKE THESE RAW! All you need to do is form the little balls of cookie dough and either dehydrate or put in the freezer. You’ll be surprised at how delicious they are! If you choose not to bake them you can also use stevia as a sweetener instead of the xylitol or palm sugar.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool. I personally prefer to store these in the freezer and eat cold. They still remain soft even when frozen, and in my opinion have a better texture.
  7. Have fun and enjoy with some homemade walnut-coconut milk!

xoxo,

Jessica

P.S…Make sure you check out my new program, “The Empowered Woman”!!  Share it with the women in your life 🙂

 

Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.

~ Proverbs 12:18

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Q&A Recording

Hey Everyone!

We just had a GREAT Q&A Call today for the upcoming program, “The Empowered Woman”! Thanks everyone who was able to join us! I know many of you were not able to make it due to work schedules, so I made sure to record it. Below you will find a link to download the recording as well as a recording player.

Make sure you check out all the details on our upcoming program over on The Empowered Woman page!

 

Click here to download recording

Click play and wait a few seconds to play on audio player below:

Feel free to pass it on to friends & family!

Have a blessed day!!

xoxo,

Jessica Lopez, RN

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FREE RECIPES!

Kiwi Salad

Hey Everyone!

Today, I want to share 3 of my favorite Go-To, Under 5-Minute Superfood meals with you! We all know vegetables and salads can be a bit boring sometimes if you eat them for every meal, but these are AMAZING and never get old! Here’s a sneak peak at their delishisness…

 

 

So, here’s what I’m going to do today…I want you to head on over to my page on “The Empowered Woman”, and if this sounds like something you’re interested in, I want you to put your email in the box at the bottom and use the calendar link you’ll receive in your email to schedule a FREE appointment with me to talk about how I can help you.

Once you put your email in, I’ll send you these 3 one-of-a-kind delicious recipes straight to your inbox!

And if you like the looks of these beauties, all the members of my program are really in for a treat! I’ll be giving them all my secrets and cream of the crop from my recipe collections. FUN! 🙂

I hope you all have a great day today and I hope to talk with you soon! Remember, if you know any women…which I’m pretty sure you do…pass on the link and program details, maybe you can do it together! Friends helping friends, that’s what it’s all about, right?

xoxo,

Jess

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The Empowered Woman

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I am SO excited to announce the launching of my revolutionary program, “The Empowered Woman”! For all you women out there, you have to check this out! This program will rock your world- in the BEST way possible!

To learn all about it, CLICK HERE!

There are only 15 spots available and they are already starting to fill up! Save your seat now!

I’m excited to talk with you!

xoxo,

Jessica

Want to hear what others are saying? Check out the TESTIMONIALS section here!

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Perception Changer- Forgiveness

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Today I was inspired to encourage everyone to forgive. The POWER we have when we CHOOSE to forgive instead of resent and hold on to the past is incredibly freeing. For those of you who want to experience freedom in the deepest way, today could be a huge day for you. Today you have the opportunity to forgive even the worst of acts that have been committed against you.

Despite what our flesh likes to believe, THERE IS NO ACT that cannot be forgiven. I know that sounds radical and this statement in no way is going to make me popular. We like to believe we have the “right” to hold on to things. The enemy (aka- the bastard Satan) likes to speak lies into our hearts and tell us that we need to retaliate, the other person needs to see justice and we need to make sure that happens, there is no way we can forgive that unforgivable act….Do these thoughts sound familiar? We all have experienced them at one point in our lives.

Today is a new day and we have a new challenge. It is both incredibly simple and incredible difficult. Right now you could change the rest of your future. There is a split road right in front of you. Which way will you choose?

I will be honest with you, one of the biggest challenges when it comes to forgiveness in my life is forgiving the drunk driver who hit my father and I when I was 11 and as a result, killed my father. I have two choices: A.) I could HATE this man, and have every reason to. He deliberately drank too much, got behind a wheel irresponsibly and caused a man to be killed, a family to forever be changed and filled with pain, a wife to lose her high school sweetheart and kids to grow up without their real father. This death was 100% preventable…it wasn’t an illness, an accident…no, it was stupidity of another human being that changed my life forever. In the world’s eyes, I have every right to be angry and want to see this man pay for the rest of his life for what he did. That is one choice I have…to hold onto anger, resentment, bitterness… B.) The not so popular choice. I could forgive him. I could forgive this unforgivable act. Why would I do such a thing? I’ll tell you it is definitely a supernatural act! But, you know what?I have been called to live a life set apart. I WANT to live a life free from hatred and resentment. As a health expert, I know what negative feelings such as hatred and anger do to the human body and let me tell you, it is extremely damaging. This man has already caused enough pain in my family. Why in the world would I give HIM power over my body, happiness, and health? I don’t think so mister…

So, I choose the second choice. I told this man when we were in trial that I forgave  him and I meant it. I sat there in a wheel chair with 14 screws and a metal plate in my leg and told him I forgave him at 11 years old and I hoped he found Jesus. To this day I hope the same thing. I refuse to let the enemy have victory over ANY area in my life, and that is my prayer for you.

What area in your heart, and your life have you not surrendured? The definition of Forgiveness is really helpful. Forgiveness is releasing another person of the responsibility to fix what happened. That simple. Who in your life do you need to release of the responsibility to fix what has been done in your life? Did they come to mind? Now say these words with me ” I forgive __________ from any wrongdoing that has been done in my life. I release them of the responsibility to make it better and can now move on with my life knowing this bump in the road will only make me stronger and a warrior for God’s kingdom.”

There you go! DONE! You have just chosen which direction the rest of your life will go. MAKE today an amazing day and share forgiveness, peace, love, and joy with whoever you encounter today.

xoxo,

Jess

“Forgive the unforgivable…because that is what Christ did for us”

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Today’s Green Smoothie

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Mmmmm….This is delicious you guys! Too delicious not to share! Today’s smoothie is a mixture of what I had in my fridge and it came out perfect! Here’s today’s green smoothie recipe…

*Blend it all up and pour into your favorite wine glass…well, atleast that’s my preference ;).

This smoothie is super filling and is perfect for the morning to keep you full. I just got back from the gym and all of these nutrients are perfect for rebuilding muscles and replenishing the body after a workout.

Have a great day everyone! Go kick the crap out of those sick cells in your body!

xoxo

~Jess

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)

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