Music and Exercise.

If you’ve ever needed a little motivation with your workout- okay, let’s be honest, you have- you already know that music makes a huge difference. I went to see if there was any proof of this instead of it just being a “me thing” and it turns out that it does, in fact, motivate you. The same goes for slowing you down, too. I’ll be the first to admit that I listen to James Blunt and Jewel 100 percent of the time, but that doesn’t really work for me at the gym. Here is a (censored version) song that is guaranteed to be the star of your workout playlist.

Stop Feeling Guilty.

Diet mentality usually forces us to feel guilty about eating something that’s not exactly all that great for our bodies. One way to break this habit is to trust your body and just give in sometimes. If you’re craving chocolate- eat it. Your body knows what it needs more than you do. Isabel Foxen Duke does an amazing job at explaining why just giving in doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.

Miracle Food: Pineapple.

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Pineapple is not only a healthy and sweet snack, but a gateway to healthy weight loss and even healthy for your eyes. Pineapple contains beta carotene, which is important for good vision through your old age. Plus, it stimulates menstruation! It is, however, important to eat pineapple- as well as all things- in moderation. If you’re pregnant you may even need to consider discussing with your doctor about safe ways to enjoy the fruit.

Low Carb Diets.

Like cauliflower, zucchini can be used as a replacement for high carb foods, such as pasta. Zucchini noodles are easy to make and don’t require cooking! Zucchini can also be used in place of bread for a lot of recipes as well. The benefits of replacing high carb foods with vegetables include feeling fuller longer and increased energy. Check out how to make zucchini pasta in the video below.

Your own, tasty infused water.

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We’ve all come across pictures of pretty fruit infused water whether it be on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest. If you’re anything like me, you’ve already tried- and failed- at making them. How hard could it be? It’s just water and fruit! The trick is knowing how to cut certain fruits and how long to let them soak in the water. Citrus fruits are best for your infused water, only taking a couple of hours to release flavor. Fruits like pears and apples have to be cut very thinly before being put in the water and placed in the fridge overnight. For instant flavor in your water- try herbs instead of fruit! Happy infusing.

Healthy Alternatives: Cauliflower.

If you’re looking to cut back on carbs or just add more vegetables to your diet, cauliflower is a great start. It’s a very versatile vegetable and through a simple Google search, you can replace the main part of almost any dish with cauliflower. It’s a quick switch too! Below is a video showing how to make cauliflower rice. All you need is a food processor and cauliflower.

Date Sugar.

img_6459Looking for a way to cut back on your processed sugar intake? Consider using date sugar next time you bake. Date sugar consists only of finely shredded dates. Although this sugar will not mix into liquids (so it’s not ideal for coffees and teas), it is a good replacement for most uses of cane sugar. Check out some of the benefits of date sugar here.

Pink Himalayan Salt.

You’re probably already familiar with Himalayan salt lamps, but did you know there’s a way to incorporate the healthy salt into your food? Pink Himalayan sea salt can be used in place of everyday table salt and has all kinds of health benefits and even makes your food taste better! Replacing your white table salt for this sea salt is cleaner and an easy way to get necessary elements into your diet.

Peppermint Podcast #2: Vegetarianism.

On this episode of the Peppermint Podcast, I spoke with my dad Tony Nelson, a vegetarian of 30+ years. He makes suggestions for how to make the switch over to vegetarianism with ease. Mentioned in the podcast is Morning Star Foods, a line of vegetarian options of all sorts usually found in the frozen breakfast aisle. Below is his “mean” low-carb broccoli and cheese soup recipe.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup:
2 cups almond milk
8 cups broccoli- boiled
1 onion- chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 cups sharp cheddar
1 tablespoon xanthum gum
5 cups chicken less broth
1 chickenless bouillon cube
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Cajun seasoning to taste
Paprika