6 Tips to Staying Healthy While Traveling by Katie Brown

Thank you to Pure Encapsulations for partnering with me on this post. While I use and recommend Pure products, the opinions expressed here are my own.

Just as November hits, we slowly start to slowly fall off our routine and things can get a little dicey but that’s life (especially when it comes to holiday parties, travel, etc). Once December rolls around and we are typically buried in celebrations, shopping until we drop, the continuous flow of alcohol and sweets and even that unwanted family time stress. Make sure you are maximizing every minute of your precious time off, quality time with friends and family and possibly some travel but make sure you stay feeling healthy while doing so. Let’s be real, it’s hard to enjoy these times if you're not feeling well! So, I have partnered with one of my go-to companies – Pure Encapsulations - to bring you my Tips for Travel during the Holidays (or of course, anytime you travel). 

1. Supplements

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Stomach issues, bathroom woes (like staying regular), sleep schedules, travel stress (delays, traffic, etc) are just a few things under the sun that happen when we travel so I highly recommend a few supplements to add into your daily routine: 

-Digestive Enzymes

When we travel we are exposed to so many different foods, ingredients, oils, etc that our stomachs are not typically used to. Digestive enzymes help break down your food and help make it more absorbable. Overall, helping you digest better while on the road. I use the Digestive Enzyme Ultra which is a blend that supports the digestion of proteins, carbs, fat, fiber and dairy.* 

-Probiotic (one that doesn’t have to be refrigerated)

Probiotics contain good bacteria that help balance out any bad bacteria that can build up in your gut. As we travel, our immune system can be exposed to a lot and probiotics can help support your immune system and keep it functioning optimally. I tend to take the Probiotic G.I. which is just a shelf staple blend of probiotics that help support your immune function within the GI tract or the ProbioMood single serving on the go packs, which is a probiotic blend that focuses on emotional well being and lessening the occasional stress.*

-Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral in our body that helps with many different areas including bone structure, muscle function, neutralizing stomach acid and helping stool travel through your intestine. With that being said, adding a magnesium supplement is a good idea to help keep you regular.* I love using the Magnesium Easy Sticks (a powder that you can take directly, no water needed and it actually tastes good)

-Cortisol Calm*

As we travel, a lot of unnecessary stress can build up from delays, traffic, family drama, etc. When we get stressed, our cortisol levels can increase. When those levels are high it can cause fatigue, sleep disruption,, and even just feeling overly emotional. 

2. Stay Grounded with Staples from Home

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Determine what parts of your routine you “can’t” or “don't” want to live without that makes you feel good. Once you have a few, decide if they are “portable” or “doable” when you are away from your home. Mine personally is bulletproof coffee so I make sure to grab a few to-go ghee and oil packets and a foamer and while I am traveling. I will find some black coffee, add it in and mix it together. This helps keeps me feeling grounded. Find something that allows you to "keep your morning routine" if that is something you thrive on, like me. Aka quiet time with coffee allows me to decompress before the day begins. 

3. BYOBottle

Staying hydrated is KEY. Make sure you pack your own water bottle, keep it filled and bring it wherever you go. You will notice a difference in your energy, skin and even your bowel movements

4. Hand Sanitizer

Always carry a on the go hand sanitizer, especially while actually traveling (airports, trains, etc are full of more germs than I want to even think about). As I mentioned before, our immune systems are really challenged when traveling so making sure you are taking all precautions to keep unwanted germs away from you as best as possible

5. Movement/Walking (when possible)

In your daily life/routine, you probably work out or at least get a good amount movement in. When we travel, especially during the holidays there can be a lot of “hanging” out time so make sure you make movement a priority. 

6. Lose the “All or Nothing” Mentality- embrace balance but also try to stay grounded 

No need to focus on “extremes” when you’re on vacation or trying to enjoy the holidays. Make sure you are enjoying yourself and not restricting yourself but keep in mind, you want to continue you feel good so listen to your body and know when to let up, etc. If you find yourself in a downwards spiral of extreme unhealthy eating, etc try not to think that you’ve failed and you’ll get back on track when you get home. No need to wait and feel blah when you're supposed to be having fun. This is a fine line but as you navigate through your trip, you should slowly start to understand your body more and know what it needs. 


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

2018 Holiday Gift Guides by Katie Brown

2018 Holiday Gift Guides

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  1. Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil

  2. Ancient Nutrition Cold Brew Collagen Protein

  3. Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides (Unflavored)

  4. Jade Roller // Gua Sha Tool

  5. Primally Pure Natural Deo — use RFWG for 10% off

  6. Wine Purifier

  7. Essential Oil Diffuser — Vitruvi

  8. Daily Harvest Subscription — use RFWG for 3 Free Cups

  9. Healing Foods Encyclopedia

  10. Thrive Market Gift Card

  11. Probiotics (NOW Foods)

  12. Yoga Mat (Jade Yoga- Harvest)

  13. Protein Powder (Nuzest)

  14. Nut Milk Bag

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  1. Vitamix

  2. Daily Harvest Subscription — use RFWG for 3 Free Cups

  3. French Press

  4. True Roots Cookbook

  5. Nespresso — Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine w/ Milk Frother

  6. Air Fryer (Ninja)

  7. Laure Lea Balanced Cookbook

  8. Love Real Food Cookbook

  9. Avocado Hugger/Food Saver

  10. Le Creuset Dutch Oven (investment kitchen piece)

  11. Spiralizer

  12. Thrive Market Gift Card

  13. Temperature Control Mug — Ember Ceramic

  14. Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

  15. Wok

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My First 365 days of Being an Entrepreneur by Katie Brown

It has been 365 days since I have officially (legally) been in business, on my own, financially and in every other way possible. It has been 365 days since Real Food with Gratitude, LLC was born. What a year. There were ups and downs, excitement, anxiety, overwhelm, nervousness, fear, stress, chill, busy and any other antonym adjectives you can think of. But, it has been the BEST year of my life. 

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My personality thrives on passion. My passion for food, my passion for success, my passion for “creating something”, overall I just am a very passionate and opinionated person. With that being said, the typical/norm corporate environment with certain “rules” did not work for me, all that well. Not to say that I don’t like to follow rules, but you know… its not my favorite thing to do :) (especially when it comes to be micromanaged) I say this because i’m not the type to need someone to tell me to “work hard” or constantly watching over my shoulder or even telling me “when” to work aka 8-5pm because I know me and I know, the work will get done. I have always been that way because I grew up with a Dad that was the same way so I truly picked up the entrepreneur vibe even as a little kid.

Ok, so with all the being said, it has officially been 1 year of having my own LLC and as you can imagine, I have learned … a lot. I thought I would run through some of my biggest successes, failures, highlights, life lessons etc and overall what I have learned in case you are interested in building your own business as well. 

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Successes:

Honestly, my main success is that I am actually happy, i’m making money and feel like I am on the “right path”. But to get to that point, I had to have successes along the way. Some of those are:

  • Enrolling and Graduating from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and am now a certified Health Coach

  • Taking a leap and hiring a business coach for my first 6 months to tame some of my fears and self doubt

  • COMMITMENT! I committed to this, put my mind to it and feel as if I actually achieved what I committed to

  • Becoming a Certified Barre instructor

  • Passing my Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) Group Exercise Certification test —> becoming Group Ex certified

  • Putting myself out there and out of my comfort zone and attending 3 food Expos/Conferences out of the state, alone

  • Traveling solo for the first time

    • Went to LA for Expo West — to better my business, myself, meet brands, try new products and did it all financially and physically alone

  • Successfully creating, marketing and running pop up fitness classes, 3 nutrition workshops in my hometown

  • Becoming the social media consultant for 3 small businesses

  • Being able to “do” the work

    • Discipline and work ethic generates results

  • Meeting a few best friends (lolz, over the internet)

  • Being Passionate

  • Learning (and knowing) that authenticity is indispensable

Failures: 

  • Straying away from who I am to try to appease social media

  • Spending way to much time on ONE thing and putting everything else to the wayside 

  • Buying every single “fad” or “cool” product I saw for a few months instead of listening to who I really am (i.e wasted money)

  • Believing everyone and everything

  • Thinking success happens overnight

  • Letting the comparison game get in my head (to often)

  • Not finalizing things or getting a contract in place BEFORE working on content for brands

  • Doing or taking on to much at once

  • Wording something wrong in an email that didn’t go over so well (OOPS! But, you can only grow from those awkward experiences)

  • Forcing content when something “didn’t fit”, etc

  • Accepting “a job” that I was not passionate about strictly for the money (this is also a success because now I know not to)

  • Baking, time and time again (but at least i’m getting better!)

  • Authenticity is indispensable 

Life Lessons/What I’ve Learned:

  • Only do something if you’re passionate about it

  • Learn to Say N0 (but also, Learn to Say Yes)

  • Don’t let fear stop you

  • Be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

  • Be OK with the fact that you may work different hours and schedules than your family/friends

  • Don’t Take it Personally

  • Challenge Yourself (and continue to do so)

  • People will always Come and Go

  • You Can’t Please Everyone (nor should you try to)

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help

  • Don’t be the Victim

  • Entrepreneurs do not just “have a job”, they ARE the job (but learning to understand balance is important) …i’m still learning this

  • Learn to DISCONNECT/UNPLUG … i’m definitely still learning how to do this

  • Get Out of your Comfort Zone

  • KNOW YOUR WORTH!

  • Authenticity is indispensable 

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authenticity is indispensable … the most important thing I have learned thus far. As I realized, I am no longer spending my time and effort into someone else’s business … I am now spending 100% of my time and effort into, ME (my brand, my photos, my food, my everything). With that, being REAL is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. I am putting myself out there, I am attracting people to, ME (and pretty photos of food!) There is no other way to distinguish yourself and your business (which honestly, those 2 things start to blur together in this world) than to BE YOURSELF. As you read above, my successes, failures and lessons all contain, authenticity is indispensable. Success wise, Being REAL is something I have never had a problem with (and honestly, that has its pros and cons). Failure wise, I had times over the last year where I lost sight of that and ended up seeing negative effects from it. Lesson wise, I believe that Being Authentic is something you are constantly learning to do because we are constantly learning more about ourselves. So, keep learning, keep growing and keep moving forward but most importantly, keep being you. #youdoyou

If you are on the fence about making a leap of faith, making a change, quitting your job, following your passion, etc…don’t let fear stop you. I promise that if you have the passion, you “do the work”, commit, and BECOME COMFORTABLE WITH BEING UNCOMFORTABLE… you CAN DO it, too.

Thanks for reading and please reach out if you ever have ANY questions, feedback, want help, want to chat, etc. I am here FOR YOU.

Cheers to another year of more successes, failures and life lessons! #realfoodwithgratitude

My Experience with Everly Well : At Home Health Tests by Katie Brown

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A few weeks ago, I shared on my stories that I was doing an “At-Home Vitamin D & Inflammation Test”. As you have probably seen on your Instagram stories and feed, these Food Sensitivity tests are popping up everywhere. I have previously done a food sensitivity test in the past, which was great and I learned a lot! Then, I recently saw that Everly Well has a few other test options! I have always felt that I’m someone who has excess inflammation and tends to come from things I eat/drink, etc. So, a few weeks ago I decided to take the leap and do the test.

I am definitely one of those people that thing, if I am doing a test that involves a lab and/or blood, I need to be at the doctors office. I’m here to tell you, i’m that person that faints when they get their blood drawn. So, when I found out I could do this type of things in the comfort of my home with no pain or needles, sign me up. Of course, I was a little weirded out at first but whats interesting and great to know is that all of the tests are reviewed by a physician before sending any information back to you. They partner with labs around the country that are all CLIA certified. They even have an in house doctor that you can contact to help understand the results and help you figure out if and how to make any lifestyle changes. 

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Now, to go into my own experience with this test! From the time I received the kit and got my results back, I probably spent about 10 minutes of my own time. That time included unpacking the box, 1 little prick, getting it onto the sample card, sealing up the package and dropping it in the mail. After that, had nothing else to do other than wait for a text and email confirming that they were received and then after that letting me know my results were in. The hardest part for me was actually pressing that little prick (I counted to 3 maybe 5 different times) and then once I did it, I realized I hardly felt it at all. 

This specific test measures your Vitamin-D level. Recently, it has been found in many cases that a V-D deficiency can be associated with inflammation. Which is why, they also test your h-CRP (c-reactive protein), which helps determine the inflammation build up in your system. The test will show if your hs-CRP levels are Acceptable or Elevated. You want this number to stay below a 3. Thankfully, mine came in at .5

As for the Vitamin D, it will result in your Vitamin D level being deficient, diffident or elevated. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, which means it is store In our fat. There can be many risk factors for a deficiency in this. You want your level to be between 32-100. If its below 32, you are known as being deficient in and if its above 100, your levels are a little too high, or elevated. Mine came back at 26.00.

Once I read through the tests, I needed to learn more about HOW to get more V-D and WHY it is so important. The result email gave me a few different resources to learn small ways for me to increase my levels. Now moving forward, I will be a lot more conscious about adding a few more things into my diet, adding a VD supplement to my daily routine and even try to get outside a little more! 

Overall, I highly recommend their tests. I have only done 2 but looking to do a few more in the future! If you're interested in checking out any of their tests, use the code REALFOOD for 15% off your entire purchase!

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My Story. by Katie Brown

Do you ever look at someone and think, “I wish I could do that” or ‘why can’t I do that”, "why cant i be like that". Im here to tell you, you can. I’m sure you look at some people think that it must just come easier to them or that you are just not strong enough. I'm here to tell you YOU CAN and YOU ARE. I used to say that all the time to myself but I'm here and believe me, it does not come easy to me.

Everyone in the world (undoubtably) says, “I want to be healthier”. But, REALLY, what does that even mean? Lets be real, “being healthy” doesn’t have 1 clear definition like most other things in our life. We all have a different version or definition but truthfully, I feel, it has become the most cliche term that exists. So, if thats the case, do I consider myself healthy? I mean, yes, i guess technically, but I try not to even use that word anymore. Question for you before you continue to read. What is YOUR definition of “healthy”? I’m going to quickly assume your first thought is, “eat more vegetables”. While that is partly true, try to think of something deeper and more meaningful. 

Have I always been this way? Had this mindset? Had this lifestyle? HELL NO! Was it hard to get here. HELL YES! I gain weight easily, I can lose motivation easily, i'm in love with pizza and i hate running. All of those things, even though they are true, held me back from being my REAL self .. because I thought I couldn't ever feel good if those things were the case. I thought, ugh i have to go on runs and stop eating pizza if i want to be skinny (which is all I cared about). But i'm here to say, I DONT run and I DO eat a lot of pizza. AND I feel better mentally and psychically better than I EVER have. Thats the beauty of it all.  No i'm not saying I stuff my fave whenever and with whatever I want and never work out.... i'm just staying straight facts. That being said, find a workout that you LOVE. If you hate the gym, don't go to the gym; find something else you like to do. If eating pizza makes you happy, don't restrict yourself because then you're going to want even when you don't want it. But, there will be more on this topic later.

A little about me; growing up with a bad ass chef as a mother, I had with family dinners almost every night and saw the amount of love and passion that went into my moms meals. We hardly ate out & I actually lived too far out in the country on a farm that nothing even delivered to us. It was a freaking TREAT when my mom and I would get Chinese take out. She never said the words healthy, unhealthy, etc to me so I didn't really think about what was or wasn't. I just ate, to fuel my body and mind. But, as I went to college and was feeding my body with LOTS of cafeteria food and LOTS of alcohol, late nights (and basically no veggies or nutrients).. the weight started to creep in, QUICKLY. And thats when the words healthy and unhealthy were all I thought about. By the end of my freshman year, I couldn’t fit into any pants I brought with me. My sophomore year I wore sweatpants & nike shorts, oversized t-shirts and dresses. While doing so, I was gaining more weight and I was so wrapped up into college and the lifestyle I had chosen at that point, it didn't matter. Do I regret that? Not realllllyyyyy….because college is COLLEGE and I will never get those years back. But, I did spend the second 2 years of college trying to be a little better in my choices and work out a little more but was kind of in denial and made a lot of excuses. I become obsessed with “trying to be healthy”. [keyword: trying. because I never actually was]

After college, that same obsession just continued where I would not eat carbs or anything I deemed "unsafe" during the week and then on the weekend would binge DRINK with friend, eat ANYTHING until the point of extreme uncomfort and then would wake up and have what we called “Fat Sunday”. aka, a day that I would eat whatever I wanted because basically it was my “last supper” before the week started and I knew wouldn't be eating much. I did this cycle for about 6 years. My body was constantly in shock and couldn’t keep up. I would basically gain 5-10 pounds over the weekend in water weight and junk and then spend my entire week “trying to lose that weight” just so I look a little better going into the weekend, just to do it all over again. Any of this sound familiar to you? If this is currently how you live, I can promise you, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you used to be that way, you know how freeing it is to get out of that cycle. During that time, yes I was having fun but deep down, I was unhappy, unhealthy and basically in jail in my own mind and body. 

2016 rolled around, 5 years after college and I was constantly sick. Strept throat, headache, stomach aches, tired (mind and body) from constantly “trying to be skinny” and "trying to be healthy". It was getting strept throat monthly, having to stay home from work and got it so often I ended up having to get my tonsils out. I honestly think my immune system was revolting against me because my health was consistently down. A little while after that, a doctor found a crazy big lump in my uterus. It was something called a fibroid; which is common for women that sometimes develop during ovulation and they can come and go. Mine stayed and continued to get bigger and bigger. I had to get it removed. I was basically on bedrest for . month. I couldn’t wait to get back to my routine. Then I thought about it and had extreme anxiety thinking about going back to that lifestyle. At that point, I new I needed to new routine because it dawned on me that I wasn’t truly happy in that life because my mind was CONSUMED with weight and food. At that moment, I decided to make a change.

During this time, it took some time to find myself. I went through periods of not drinking, obsessing over losing weight, went on weight watchers, went off WW, times where I got super “off track”, times where I thought my way was the only way, felt lonely, felt lost, but also felt a sense of freedom, passion, excitement and challenge. All of that brought me to TODAY. And through all of that trial and error, I finally found MYSELF, found who I am, found what makes me tick, what makes me truly feel ALIVE and what works for ME; what makes me happy and what I need in my life to THRIVE (which is actually practicing the art of living a balanced lifestyle). This looks a little different to everyone and something that takes a little time and trial and error but will happen if you let it. 

I type all this out not to be negative, not for pity or anything like that, but to allow you to remember that instagram shows the BEAUTY in people (which is great!!) but doesn’t show where they came from, what they’ve been through and why they are who they are. EVERYONE has a story and ANYONE can live the life they want to live. So next time you think, “I wish….”, remember everyone has or is going though something and that everything happens for a reason. Your experiences, your decisions, your regrets, the people who come in and out of your life, all of that, allows you to become the person you are today. You can do anything or be anyone you put your mind to. 

I will end this to say, I have made decisions in my life I am not proud of, I have said things, done things and reacted in a way I wish I hadn't. College was a time I made a lot of those decisions but it has led me to WHO I am today. What I learned from that was, its not about what happens TO YOU, its about how you REACT to it. We all have unfair things happen, get into shitty situations, etc but what matters is how you handle yourself. From here on out, do what makes YOU happy, feel good and allows you to live your best life. You have this one life to live, be happy and feel good doing it. 

 

If you are struggling with something similar, know that I was there once (and its always a work in process) but that Food Freedom is the most free I have ever felt, in my life. Even though food is such a HUGE part of my life (and now my work), I knew my mind and body deserves more than 95% of the time obsessing over what I was going to be eating next and if I was going to help me "be skinny". If you feel that you are far down this hole of restricting and obsessing and wanting and wishing, know that there is a way out. You just have to commit and figure out what works for YOU. 

Healthy Doesn't Mean Hard by Katie Brown

                                 Hilary's 'Worlds Best Veggie Burger'

                                Hilary's 'Worlds Best Veggie Burger'

To be honest, I am alllll about fast and easy meals but when people look at my instagram pictures, they immediately think I spend HOURS on end in my kitchen. Most of the time, all I care about are if the meal is nutritious,. keep me FULL and took only minutes to throw together without all the guilt and super bloated feeling.

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For most people fast and easy equals food from a drive through, eating a Lean Cuisine (and then being hungry 20 minutes later), heating up something else frozen or even getting delivery. But, that typically isn’t going to be the best option to sustain a good feeling mind/body and or look the way you may want. Every single one of my clients all say that when they are “trying to be healthy” they just end up “giving up” because of the amount of time they think it takes. But in reality, that doesn’t have to be the case; if you’re eating the right things, the right way…it can be just as quick and easy to eat the REAL food thats fuel you. Quick and easy doesn’t have to equal unhealthy. 

I feel as if there a notion that healthy automatically equals something that is expensive, takes a long time and doesn’t taste great. Over the last year I have defied this notion and made the concept of “healthy living” easy, doable AND sustainable. 

One of the things that showed me this was a possibility is Hilary’s. I tried their original veggie burger and immediately fell in love. As you may know, I am passionate about eating REAL food and thankfully their Moto is Eating Well Made Easy. They use REAL ingredients and its minimally processed with free from all the common allergens. Everything is Non-GMO and free from gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, nuts AND corn! 

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If you’re looking for some protein to throw on your salad, maybe make a sandwich but dont have any meat or just not feeling meat but need some substance or even a burger replacement… any of Hilarys veggie burger flavors work! They are sold at all Whole Foods, Sprouts, health food stores, and most big box grocers. They even have Veggie Sausages now, which are a great breakfast option, too!!

 

 

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How to Navigate Healthy at Large Grocery Stores by Katie Brown

In recent years people are looking for enhanced transparency. Consumers are seeking honesty from the food and beverage world. As a result, brands have started simplifying their products and using higher quality ingredients. Entire companies have formed, because of this era of ingredient transparency. Grocery stores are also beginning to follow suit. Five to ten years ago, you we’re almost forced to shop exclusively at your local natural health food store to get anything that was, organic, non-GMO or gluten free! Of course, those stores are still great and it’s easy to spend hours there, geeking out on all the healthy food options, but these boutique health food stores are notorious for breaking the bank and the high cost often deters people from eating healthy foods.

 Just as we’re seeing food brands take hold of this concept, something exciting has happened in recent years… the bigger chain/big box stores are beginning to respond to the trend! The stores I’m talking about are ones that typically carry 1-3 different products of the “popular” brands or the industries biggest players. Choosing healthy options at these stores has been difficult in the past, but it seems as if we’re turning a corner toward making health foods, not only more affordable, but also accessible!

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One of the main places I’ve started to notice this shift in recent years is Costco! Growing up Costco was one of my favorite places to shop and I remember that I would go every Sunday with my dad as he stocked up for the house and his dental office for the week. From what I remember, we bought mostly, fruit, cheese, veggies, bread, alcohol and household cleaning items. So, that’s what I went to Costco for when I had my own house and needed those things. Over the past year, I’ve noticed Costco seriously stepping up its game! I would see a brand here and there that I would buy somewhere like Whole Foods and think, “OMG, they have xxx and look at the price!”. Recently, I’ve even begun to grocery shop at Costco! Five years ago that is something I never would have even imagined! I’ve seen the same shift at everyone’s FAVE place for the essentials (or not so essentials)… YOU GUESSED IT, TARGET! Target has started to carry SO many more amazing health food options than they used to!

Beginning to shop at these larger stores, you have to make sure you’re navigating through the products the correct way and utilizing the nutritional panel in order to find the healthy food options! For example, JUST because a box of crackers is labeled “Organic Flax and Chia Whole Grain Crackers” does not mean its good for you! It’s a common mistake to see the words “healthy” and pull the trigger, but pause; pick it up, turn it around, look at what’s inside…. And no, I’m not referring to the calories and carbs.

When you look at the ingredients list, here is a quick list of what to avoid/look out for:

Things such as, enriched flour or sugar (of any kind) being listed as one of the first ingredients. More specifically, High Fructose Corn Syrup, corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, fructose, shortening, artificial sweeteners, canola oil, soy (soy flour, soybean oil, soy protein isolate, etc), BHT, glycerin, vegetable oil, dextrose, vegetable glycerin, rice starch, shortening, monosodium glutamate, sodium nitrate, carrageenan, sulfites, paraben, sucraclose, any food coloring (red #5, caramel coloring), sodium benzoate.

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 People can tell you all day to avoid those above, but WHY?

For example, artificial sweeteners tend to have, no sugar and no calories, so to most people thats a win/win. Not so fast. They sweeteners are first off, artificial aka just chemicals and second, can typically raise your blood pressure which then has you actually crave sweets (and who wants that?!) 

I'm sure you see canola oil used in lots of products and baked goods too. Why avoid that? Some people think canola oil is healthy due to his high omega 3 properties but that's just surface level. Canola oil is a genetically modified product and is refined aka. it's partially hydrogenated, which forms its negative health effects. 

Nitrates to added to foods as a preservative; to prevent bacteria from growing. There many studies that say consuming too much of this type of preservative can increasing the cause of pancreatic cancer, in more ways than one. And if you've been following me for a while, you probably know, pancreatic cancer is extremely close to my heart. Anything to avoid increasing that demon of a disease is enough for me.

What to look for: Quality, REAL FOOD. Minimal ingredients and avoiding preservatives as much as possible. This is to feel good and feel your best, feel confident and fuel your body with what it deserves (for now and for the long term)

One of the key things I’ve realized about living a healthy lifestyle is that you don’t have to give up your favorite foods. It’s about finding a healthier version of that food! The options exist and are becoming easier to find i.e. Target, Costco, etc.

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A few weeks ago I found out that Rise Bar, is now being carried at BOTH of these stores, which signifies a huge turning point in my opinion! I had searched for granola and protein bars at these stores in the past, but it was impossible to find anything that didn’t have “agave” or “brown rice syrup” or was filled with sugary things to hold the bar together, etc. I mean, most of us were given “granola bars” and “protein bars” growing up and it was considered to be a “healthy snack, but if you haven’t already, I encourage you to go check out what’s in some of those bars you used to eat as a child. It will blow your mind! The industry was driven off of convenience and sustained by a lack of knowledge. Seeing that these big players, Target and Costco are beginning to carry a product like Rise Bar, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Peanut Free, No Sugar Alcohols, No Preservatives, Non-GMO and Nothing Artificial is HUGE! 

Also, these bars have only about 5 ingredients in them. In my opinion, they are CHANGING THE GAME (ie. RISING above!) when it comes to packaged foods and bars. They have plant-based options and whey protein options, something for everyone! I think as we continue to show retailers that we favor these kinds of products they will respond and we will all be better, healthier and happier because of it!

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Gift Guide by Katie Brown

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Healthy Human

Vital Proteins

Your Superfoods

Use Code Katie15 for 15% off

Candelles Candels

CocoKind Skin Care

Lululemon

Align Pant

Kitchen Essentials:

Alarm Clock Stimulator

Amazon

Apple iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case

Amazon

Ullo Wine Purifier

Food & Powders

Essential Oils & Diffuser

Brand: NOW

Favorites: lavender, tea tree, cheer up buttercup blend, clear the air blend, eucalyptus, good morning sunshine blend, lavender&tea tree blend, peaceful sleep blend

Daniel Wellington Watches

Shop Here

Code REALFOOD15 for 15% off

Cookbooks & Reading

Bulletproof

Plants/Planters

OSEA Malibu Skin Products (All Natural)

 

 

 

 

21 Day 'Real Food' Reset by Katie Brown

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Holidays are exciting because it brings us back to being a kid and it allows us to let loose and be present with our friends and family. That typically includes lots of eating fun foods and drinking lots of alcohol to celebrate! but yes, lots of sweets and getting a little off our usual routine. I am not about “diets” or “new years resolutions” but I am all about FEELING good because that correlates to being happy. However, I totally am for a quick “reset” or detox after the holidays are over because who doesn’t want to start the new year off with a bang!

This 21-day REAL FOOD RESET challenge is Jan 8-Jan 28. This challenge will be whatever you make of it and can/will have multiple different outcomes including losing weight, feeling better and becoming more aware of your surroundings regarding food.

Questions to ask yourself? Do you know where/what makes you feel bad/sluggish? Do you feel you are an intuitive eater? Do you know how to “listen to your body”? These are the types of questions I hope you can answer YES to by the end of the reset. You already might know the answers to these questions but do you need motivation to actually do it? Either way, this challenge is for YOU!

This reset will…

  • Help you create healthy habits
  • Allow you to become more aware of what foods serve YOUR body
  • Teach you how to incorporate more real foods in your everyday diet/lifestyle
  • Help you become aware of how certain foods/ingredients effect your mood/body

You will…

  • Become empowered by accomplishing something for yourself, daily
  • FEEL amazing
  • Learn how easy/fun it can really be to incorporate more real foods

So, WHAT is this reset? … Each day you will have a “challenge”; some being action based such as, not eating any “added” sugar 1 day; some will be more of a watch & learn/reflect.Want to join? CLICK BUY NOW below!

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January 8-January 28

           New Year; New You

     Feel Better to Look Better

You will earn and lose points throughout the process to keep you motived, accountable and on track (more info on that to come). The 2 people at the end with the most points will win a free hour long Health Coaching session with me.

Throughout this process remember to HAVE FUN, do whats right for YOU and know you are supported by me and all the other members who are taking this step for themselves to live a healthier life. We are in this together. There are resets all over the internet but why chose this one? You will have daily support in the facebook group, you will actually find it fun and easy, I will teach you self-care tips and you will get tips/tricks in alllll my magic!

'Real Food' November MEAL PREP Challenge by Katie Brown

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[wp_paypal button="buynow" name="My product" amount="29.99"]

Do you ever feel like you never know what to buy at the store for the week or you spend too much time making intricate meals or all your food goes to waste? Well... I'M HERE TO HELP! Learn more below: 

I’m constantly asked, “how can I live a healthier lifestyle?”. I personally believe, it all starts with ensuring you are consuming the correct food for YOU and to do that, you have to set yourself up for success. If you make prepping your food for the week ahead of time a habit, you're setting up that success.

But, I get questions on, what exactly IS meal prep, how do I do it? However, you might know what meal prep is AND how to do it. But, think back to the last time you did it- did you enjoy the food, were you excited to eat it, was it just 5 Tupperware full of chicken, broccoli, and rice, did you waste a ton of food rotting away in your fridge? If you answered YES to any of these, keep reading.  

It's very common what towards the end of the weekend when those Sunday scaries hit, we all think about what we are going to eat the coming week for lunch and dinner. If you don’t have a plan, that can become stressful and or lead to buying random shiz when you walk into the grocery store or buying obscure ingredients for this “dish” you want to make.

This challenge will provide you: my advice on how to plan, make a shorter grocery list, how to food prep, troubleshoots common problems and provide tons of tips and tricks to make things easier and WAY LESS overwhelming.

I focus on prepping INGREDIENTS so that I can make different things for each meal; that way I do not get sick of what I have made that week. Before we jump into the fridge, we got to focus on grocery shopping. Have a ROUGH idea of certain things you may want to eat (certain in-season veggies, tacos, salmon, chicken, whatever it may be…) NOW we can focus on prepping….

I will go into detail on tips for prepping and making the food. What I do, what I find works best, talk about different ways of cooking veggies, etc and how to make it a QUICK as possible. Then we will discuss actual ASSEMBLY of it throughout the week to make sure you are not getting sick of your food and different ways to switch it up (most important part is EATING it!!)

KEEP IT SIMPLE is my motto.

To sign up, click the link above and it will take you to PayPal ($29.99 total). I will get a notification and I will add you to my Facebook group. 

I can't wait to spread the #mealprep LOVE!

As always, I'm here to help so email me at realfoodwithgratitude@gmail.com with any questions, etc. 

 

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Travel Essentials (how to stay healthy on vacation) by Katie Brown

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HOW TO STAY ON TRACK/HEALTHY ON VACATION

The people that can just do something different every day, go on vacation with no problem, don’t really need to work out and can just roll with whatever food, drink or the day throws at them… I am mostly envious. Part of me is glad I HAVE to work out because it forces me to.

Over the last few years, I would try to not each much the week before a vacation. Then once I got on vacation, I would not give a shit what I put in my body. About a day or two in, I would feel terrible and then be super self-conscious the entire time and basically not even be able to have fun. Looking back that doesn’t sound like a vacation to me.

Now, I have realized that when going on vacation or traveling, that doesn’t mean fill your body with everything possible and not care but it also doesn’t mean to restrict yourself and not enjoy yourself. You have to find the balance. This is actually something I still struggle with. But, I have found a way to control it a little. I have figured out how to realistically bring part of my routine with me, as I travel WHILE still letting lose and enjoying myself because that’s part of what vacation is about.

I try to just BE MINDFUL of what I am eating. People around you probably are not so sometimes that makes me feel like I can just eat whatever I want, whenever I want and I cant. So honestly, the biggest part about vacation for me is just being mindful and intuitive and not going CRAZY. 

Below is the breakdown of things I will bring with my on a vacation (of course can't bring all of these things if going by plane):

There are a few things that I love to have with me all the time, my Healthy Human (both) 1 with water and one for coffee. To-Go Vital Proteins unflavored collagen peptides and ghee to put in my coffee. Since I am a create of habit, I literally have this coffee every.single.morning. So, I actually just bought a little travel blenderà brew some coffee, add some collagen and ghee and blend it up. If I end up doing a quick run or body work out in the morning, I will add my protein powder to that.

Digestion:

Digestive Enzymes. CRUCIAL for travel. Why? Because, you are not going to be eating like you normally do and you’re going to probably be eating more, too. DE’s will “facilitate the chemical breakdown of food into smaller absorbable components” and they “break down starches into sugar molecules and break down proteins into amino acids and break down fats into its component parts.”

            Basically, they are proteins that will split up your food molecules into smaller building blocks so make it easier for your body to absorb. juices in breaking down food and resetting your hormone rhythms. AKA, they will help minimize side effects of the unfamiliar food that you are ingesting.

Probiotics, which I take every day but still including them into my travel is a necessity. They help regulate your immune system, balance your blood sugar to help maintain weight and your mood. They produce more enzymes that help you digest your food more throughout.

Lemon: I have started to warm lemon chug water right when I wake up so, I make sure to bring them to keep that routine going. It helps kick start my metabolism, helps my digestion (see the theme here?), naturally flushes your system, boosts your immune system, helps clean your skin with the vitamin C and can actually help you maintain a healthy weight.

Hot Tea:  drinking a cup of hot tea is just a great way to decompress and end your day and its one of my favorite ways to relax at night. Tea is super hydrating to the body. #relax

Charcoal Face Mask: absorbs impurities to balance and purify, smooths and brightens as well as has sodium hyaluronate, which supports skins water retention (I NEED this). (I use Beauty Counter)

Hydrating Face Tonic: I use Mac Smacks Flower Power that is made with rose water. Seals hydration, sets make up and produced a radiant glow. It also has Neroli in it (an essential oil from blossom of the bitter orange tree). The combo of Rose and Neroli have a great uplifting effect for your skin. Helps skin appear toned, revitalized and softened. It removes impurities by helping to restore the skins PH

            *Can be used in many other ways: after shaving to prevent irritation, mist after make-up to help it stay in place and also can be used as a deodorant. AND its ALL natural.

Bulletproof Bars: Snack bars and nut butter for random moments of hanger instead of gorging myself with random chips and things that are around. That is extremely important for me because I am so used to just eating everything out in site. These bars contain the same amino acids found in bone broth to help your bones, joints and skin; collagen and has brain octane oil to keep you full and focused and also… tastes like a cookie. They have these bars have 12g of protein, 14 g of fat, 5g of fiber and 2 carbs. PERFECT snack.

Now, let’s discuss the whole alcohol on vacation. I love indulging and letting lose in terms of drinking just because I used to be a big drinker in college and after so, yes, I think it’s fun. But, I can’t drink like I used to aka I get hangovers, I swell up and feel soooo bloated. As I have grown up, I have tried to figure out what is best for me in terms of that. I have not determined an answer but what I have been doing it finding things that are fun to drink but also are made with real (as much as possible) ingredients. I found Lumi and use their juices for mixers and add ons for some champs and vodka.

    Lumi juices are never pasteurized or heat treated and are cold pressed to preserve the nutrients. Each juice as 2 pounds of veggies and fruits (aka your entire days’ worth of servings). Something different about Lumi is they have a HPP (high pressure process) applied after bottled which applies extreme pressure to inactivate harmful bacteria but still preserve the nutrients. Basically, it’s the natural way to preserve food. So let’s go and add some champs to that orange juice.

My Daily Routine by Katie Brown

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I've always been a pretty routine oriented person throughout my life because yes, I am 100% Type A. I like to be in control of whats going on with my life as much as possible, I'm the biggest planner I know and I also struggle when plans change. Sometimes i'm like yeah I'm a "go with the flow" type of person and love "on the whim" type activities. But, who am I kidding; thats not me. While I was on vacation, which I REALLY needed and loved every minute of, I realized just HOW much of a routine person I am. I struggled and welllll I think my body struggled more. I felt terrible by the 5th day with stomach aches and was just so lethargic. I went from doing basically the same thing everyday and my body knowing what was coming from workouts to food, meals, etc and me knowing how my body was going to feel to having to just chill, not work and kind of eat and drink whenever and whatever I wanted. My body didn't like that too much.

So, point being is, I wanted to give yall a little insight on what I do on a daily/weekly basis. 

Each day is a little different depending on if I work out in the AM or PM or randomly need to work out during the middle of the day. But, overall things are about the same. I work out in the morning half the week and at night the other half the week. I know a lot of people might disagree but I do not eat before I work out in the mornings, I never have. I immediately make about 10oz of Bulletproof Coffee after my workout - same thing in it everyday. 1 Bulletproof brewed K-Cup + 1 tsp ghee + 1 tsp brain octane oil + 1/2 t maca powder + 1 scoop collagen peptides and a few shakes of cinnamon - blended in the vitamix for about a minute. I pour this into my HealthyHuman and it stays warm for literally hours. This coffee gives me energy, keeps me full for a while and is a great start to me morning/day. (I do use my BP has a meal replacement because that works for me at this time in my life but it probably does work for everyone!)

I always meal prep for the week sometime over the weekend to make the coming week less hectic and make it easy/doable for me to be able to stick to eating well. [THIS IS KEY!] But, I try to switch up what I eat every week so I don't get bored but I always end up roasting some type of veggies, grilling or woking up some chicken breasts for tacos/salads, baking some type of coconut/chocolate/nut butter sweet and then make a fresh batch of cashew mylk (because dairy has been giving me stomach aches). This usually takes just a couple hours and I actually enjoy it. If you don't meal prep, try it one weekend and see how different your week is when it comes to meals during the work week.

I have always loved cooking and making meals but I also used to go out to eat almost every meal over the weekend and typically 1 time for dinner during the week because I LOVE eating out. But, when I realized I needed to be more in control of what I was putting in my body, I started cooking a TON more. With this, I started putting more effort into learning how to use different ingredients and different types of foods I'm not used to cooking with to make myself a little more versatile - makes it a little more fun and challenging. A lot of the wonderful instagramers I follow make awesome recipes that they have either adapted from others or created themselves and it gives me such inspiration to do that myself. But anyways, I am one of those people that is actually obsessed with chicken fingers & fries, burgers, mexican, chips, bagels, sandwiches, PASTA, etc. I got that fix whenever I went out to eat. Clearly, since I wasnt eating out as much I decided to just do it myself.

I make a ton of homemade chicken tenders (and try different coatings), cut potatoes/sweet potatoes/asian sweet pots into fries and roast them, eat grain free bagels and Kite Hill cream cheese and make lots of chicken tacos. I also eat some packaged foods with good and little ingredients - cereals and chips made from beans instead of corn and grains. Overall, I eat foods that make you full AND feel good. check out the blog for these types of recipes :)

I will have another blog article to go into more detail about the following but these are the things that I'm lovely lately and eat EVERY week --> corn or almond tortillas (Siete), kite hill cream cheese, my homemade chicken tenders, bulletproof coffee, bulletproof vanilla shortbread bars, Banza pasta, fruit, HealthWarrior protein bars, LoveGrown cereal and there is lots more but ill get into that at another time. I am not the biggest peanut butter and avocado lover as many people are. I doooo love me some PB and avo but it just don't eat it everyday.

My workout routine consists of Hot Barre, Hot Yoga & BBG. I typically do barre most days of the week, a BBG exercise 1-2 times a week and then a hot yoga class once a week. This keeps me busy, interested and keeps my body guessing so that Im not doing the same thing every day. I do need to add in some running and cardio every once and a while but, I'm working on that :) I go to a hot yoga/barre studio that I will also be writing about later on - on why I love it and why it works for me.

Sorry if this post was kind of all over the place but wanted to give you all an insight into my life :)

Let me know if you have any questions or want to know more on something specific!