Thursday, August 13, 2015

Fall Schedule of Classes

Winthrop University Hospital (breast cancer only) Mondays 6:30 starting 9/21

Stony Brook Cancer Center Tuesdays 6:30 starting 9/29

Southampton Hospital (Hampton Bays) Wednesdays 3:00 starting 10/7

Mather Hospital Wednesdays 6:30 starting 10/7

Winthrop University Hospital (all cancers) Thursdays 5:30 10/1

Dates and times TBD:

Wantagh World Gym - Mondays

Monter Cancer Center

Brookhaven Hospital

Southside Hospital

Please "like" our FB page - we focus on articles that are relevant to a cancer diagnosis, treatment, recovery, healthy eating etc.

Here is a link from Dr, Lee Jones of MSKCC on exercise:

TWO 'active' ways to help cancer survivors.

Come and Join Us for “Cycle for Strength” an Epic 2 Hour Spin at World Gym Wantagh. Barbara Larrea has organized another outstanding event - KUDOS, our friend!!!!

On October 3, 2015 at Mulcahy’s 9:30 am - it is an event beyond your expectations - entertainment, incredible workout, brunch,, raffles, prizes etc.... and you are supporting the Strength for Life programs that help cancer survivors feel their absolute best. Strength for Life programs are available for all adult cancer patients/survivors regardless of age, gender or cancer diagnosis.

Your responsibility is to raise $350 in donations...the goal is 100 bikes - with more than 60 reserved already and donations rolling in. We will help you set up an ‘active’ page so donations can be made easily on line at any amount too small or too big. Please call 61-675-6513 for particulars.

Gearing up for Our Annual “Evelyn Knapp 5K Trail Run and Wellness Walk” at Sunken Meadow State Park Sunday, November 22, 2015.
We are asking you IF you can help in any way...we need sponsors (all levels), we will need refreshments after the run - bagels, bananas etc.... and we need fundraisers so we can make this the very best. Please remember we are growing, so the expenses are growing as well, and we have great plans to accomplish.
The ‘Active’ website for registration will be ‘live’ shortly and I will post the application...for now I m posting the sponsorship information....but always remember your participation in the event is powerful as well.

Thank you, every effort helps..and this is how:

Testimonial of client served (via Great Non Profits) class
I found out about Strength for Life from my daughter’s mother-in-law who saw an article in a hospital bulletin about it. I had just finished chemo 4 months earlier for ovarian cancer and although I was feeling better, I still felt weak and fatigued. I joined the class in Nassau County. It was a small group, but we all immediately bonded. Jacqui was a wonderful leader who really knows what she’s doing. She customized the exercises for those of us who couldn’t do the traditional methods. Her encouraging attitude enabled all of us participate and benefit from the exercises. When I started, I could barely do the exercises, but after a couple of more classes, I felt stronger and was able to do them. More importantly, it was not only exercise, but it turned into a support group. Even though we all have a serious illness, at no time was it ever sad. It was an upbeat and supportive environment and with lots of humor throughout each session. I am so thankful for Jacqui and for the wonderful people in my class. Thanks also to Strength for Life for this program and for the exercise ball, bands, and mat. It hardly gives me an excuse not to continue to exercises at home.
This is such a worthwhile service. I hope it keeps on going and grows.
Testimonial of client served (via Great Non Profits) retreat and class
I am so fortunate to have shared a wonderful retreat with other women who share similar diagnoses. Strength for Live is a non-profit agency geared towards those who are directly affected from breast, ovarian and other cancers. The mission of Strength for Life says it all. Collectively through volunteers, survivors, and healing practitioners, we learn how to become strong mentally emotionally and of course physically. The spectrum of ages is no barrier when surrounded by love, support and unconditional acceptance. This organization is powerful and there is not one out there which compares. I am privileged to have taken part in the retreat which is filled with laughter, education, and practitioners who share a common goal, health and then the next step is, how do we get to there together!?
I have also participated in the 8-week strength for life program. It was the first time since I worked out since surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. The instructor, Jacqui is pure motivation and she tailored the work outs so each and every one of us was able to full participate given our ‘physical’ limitation. I highly recommend Strength for Life. Upward and onward we go!
Empower, Inspire and Strengthen

“Unity is strength... when there is teamwork and collaboration, 
wonderful things can be achieved.”
~Mattie Stepanek

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Cycle for Strength - October 3, 2015

Cycle for Strength - October 3, 2015

Come join for another 'epic ride

Barbara Larrea of the World Gym Wantagh continues to expand this event.  This year it will be held at Mulcahy's Pub In Wantagh and include a wonderful Brunch Buffet plus much more. Great music, raffles etc.etc. Ride the two hours, ride tandem,  or simply come and support - there are many options.

Remember the cause...Strength for Life provides FREE exercise classes and wellness retreats for cancer patient/survivors on LI. Dr. Lee Jones of Memorial Sloan Kettering  spoke recently at the MSKCC survivor night' stating these statistics.  Chemotherapy (alone) has a 30% efficacy rate....Exercise (alone) has a 30% efficacy rate....Chemotherapy and Exercise have a 50% + efficacy.... 


You are helping Strength for Life achieve that better survival rate.

You can start your fundraising page and make it easy to collect donations  by using this link
on the top of page "Become a Fundraiser"

Contact Barbara Larrea to register

Each one of us can make a difference. Together we make change.
~Barbara Mikulski

Sunday, June 28, 2015

LI 2 Day Walk for Breast and Other Cancers.

First of all "Kudos" to Ginny Salerno, Kristie Moore and everyone that makes up Team LI2Day - another outstanding job. There are too many to mention individually but all are integral parts of the success.

Although Strength for Life has only been a part of this incredible organization for 4 years/ 3 walks we are in awe of how much this organization is able to achieve. On the flip side we are so disappointed in the lack of press coverage given - so my plea to you is help share their story.

Three years ago, our first walk as crew with a only a few walkers we started learning the ins and outs of this walk.  That was the last year it was actually a 2 Day 35 mile walk  and overnight stay in tents. That first I could not wrap my head around the organizational talents they proved so successful at.

Last year it was the first 13.1 mile / half marathon length walk with another change of venue and just as successfully organized.  This year another 13.1 mile walk but followed by a 13.1 run the next day - more organizational challenges - what is going what is staying...

Please don't think it is all about the organization however for our non profit who does an annual 5K run we are aware of what that takes so we appreciate watching all the gears in motion.

The emotional conclusion, the procession of survivors over the bridge at Smith's Point led by the Suffolk County Emerald Society Bagpipes is so moving, it should not be missed.  This will bring you back year after year as we all know someone affected by cancer. And the help and aide from the local Fire, Police ad Park Departments is such an honor to behold.  Again too many to mention, take a look on the LI2Day Walk website

The job of Strength for Life was the Serenity Tent, a place of respite to honor the cancer warriors, our angels above.

"The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear." 
~ Rumi

Another request, along with your participation and support for next year's event would be to have more photos sent in so we can honor additional angels.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Thank you!!!

The night is over and event was a huge success, and with this moment we want to offer our sincerest thanks for your support of our Recognition Dinner 2015. The honorees, Carol Delvalle and Barbara Larrea, two amazing women who inspire, strengthen and empower others are a true blessing for Strength for Life.

Your support helped Strength for Life net over $11000 towards the mission of providing free exercise classes and wellness weekends to people living with cancer and survivors. Strength for Life is able to impact the lives of cancer survivors with your generous help. Thank you!

As you may know, Strength for Life was formed in memory of Evelyn Knapp, an exercise physiologist, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2005.  Evelyn’s vision was to help others with a cancer diagnosis feel their absolute best during and after treatment.  Strength for Life’s mission is to make her vision a reality.

Since 2007, when Strength for Life was officially formed, we have helped over 1300 cancer patients and survivors regain their “strength for life”, this number doubled our 2013 totals. This month alone we have had 100 survivors register for our spring session giving us a total of 11 classes in 9 locations.

Sessions are held, quarterly, at Stony Brook Cancer Center, Winthrop University, Mather Hospital, STARS Rehab and the Dolan Center (parts of NSLIJ), Long Island Cancer Wellness Center (affiliate of Good Samaritan Hospital), Southampton Hospital, and our newest location Southside Hospital.  

Strength for Life is very active with support groups throughout Long Island; we are on the advisory committee for the Suffolk County  Cancer Prevention and Health Promotion Coalition; and we have are proud of our ‘5’ star rating on “Great Non Profits” with comments from our clients stating they had a “life changing”, “powerful” and “nurturing” experience. A recent testimonial from our February retreat reads:

“Hands down, Strength for Life is the first support group that I have found where focus is on ‘what I CAN do’ to get fit physically, and as a result mentally and emotionally……
For me, being shown and told that I am capable was hugely empowering.”

Our mission is to educate survivors and the general public how to use exercise as a complementary therapy to increase the odds of survival, and how exercise as prevention decreases the risk of chronic diseases.

Thank you!

Please support our generous sponsors for their gifts for our raffles (50 baskets)

Monday, April 13, 2015

14th Wellness Retreat

Been a very busy month, oh my!!!!
Todays we completed our 14th wellness retreat for cancer patients/survivors at the Hyatt Windwatch in Hauppauge. Each retreat has its own personality and spirit...and although many have the similar lineup of activities the survivors make the magic happen.
Yesterday’s activities (with no rest - at all) began with breakfast meet and greet; a presentation by Dr. Siobhan of Inner Source Health, a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine - always enlightening. Dr. Siobhan could probably keep the survivors in awe for the entire morning - but we have an agenda.

Debbie and I hold our strength training class and we are always going with the flow and the accommodations provided. We gave them a snippet of what our exercise classes (held at 9 locations) are like.

We brought them back for lunch, then a yoga class....ala restorative/relaxing yoga with a wonderful friend Laura Binder. She was incredible and absolutely made each person feel positive about the movements even given their limitations. That’s powerful in itself! Thank you Laura!

Then Laura Cerrano of Feng Shui LI/Manhattan joined us for a mid-day lecture on how to ‘feng shui’ your home and living space for the best flow of energy and ‘healing’ energy. This is a hands on project with each survivor drawing their space and learning how best to utilize this age old practice. Laura has been joining our retreats for 5 years now and there is always another tweak we could make.

This class is followed up by a powerful Reiki Circle organized by our dearest friend and BOD member Rosemary Maginniss. Rosemary has also been with Strength for Life from the time she first time she volunteered her talent in 2009 for our first retreat. Since her first retreat she has corralled so many wonderful reiki practitioners to join these events - some retreats there are more than one practitioner for each survivor. In addition, on many retreats she has added the healing therapy of “sound” having additional practitioners bring their beautiful crystal bowls and add another vibrational element.
Sound relaxing enough?????......time for dinner and conversation.

Not finished - not be a long shot. Theresa Walsh of The Sacred Walk and our newest friend Donna Rieth brought their talents to the event. Theresa & Donna introduced their practice of healing through energy and soul guided work. Using cards, there was an interactive group ‘opening and awareness’ therapy that was so powerful and beautiful. Tears and belly laughs took over the room.

I am not doing justice to these practitioners - so I have included links for each - please read about the incredible work that each does and partake in some on your own.

Sunday morning after breakfast a nice 3 mile hike on the Greenbelt trail...who is the star of this trek....Ruth, 90 years old!!!! Ruth joined us for every class and the walk and even brought the girls down to the bar for a nightcap. My hero in more ways than one. God bless you Ruth!

One event - more to follow....

Monday, April 6, 2015

Via Young & Raw.... Wise Food Swaps

Via Young & Raw....

40 Simple Food Swaps that Could Make You Drastically Healthier

1. Baked Sweet Potato Fries for French Fries: Traditional French fries are loaded with calories and fat (both saturated and trans – the bad fats!). One serving typically contains nearly 400 calories and 20 grams of fat, and French fries are generally just a side dish! Instead of starchy, artery clogging white potato fries, bake your own sweet potato fries. Simply cut them into small wedges or thin strips (to your preference), coat with a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake at about 375 degrees Fahrenheit until browned.
2. Sprouted Grain Bread for White, Whole Wheat and Multigrain Bread: White, whole wheat, and multigrain breads are more or less the same. Usually, even whole wheat bread and multigrain bread contain white flour, just a bit less than 100% white bread. Most bread causes a spike in blood sugar and a crash without any nutritional value, this stimulating hunger. Additionally, hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup and preservatives are found in most bread. Choose sprouted grain bread such as Food for Life’s Ezekiel, which is a complete protein source, contains essential amino acids, is easily digestible, and is made from freshly sprouted certified organic grains with no flour, GMO’s, refined sugar, or anything artificial.
3. Sprouted Grain English Muffins for Bagels: One bagel is the equivalent of four slices of bread. Would you eat four slices of bread at one meal? Likely not. Additionally, for the same reasons listed above regarding the unhealthy nature of bread, bagels are typically heavily processed, contain no nutritional value and nasty additives, and will spike your blood sugar. Instead, opt for sprouted grain English muffins, which will give you the chewy bagel texture with much more nutritional value.
4. Nutritional Yeast for Parmesan Cheese: Nutritional yeast is made from a single-celled organism, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, which is grown on molasses and then harvested, washed, and dried with heat to kill or deactivate it. Since it is inactive, it doesn’t froth or grow like baking yeast does so it has no leavening ability. It is a great Parmesan cheese substitute as it has a similar texture and enhances flavor. It is also great sprinkled on popcorn, on pasta dishes, beans, potatoes, soups etc.
5. Plain Greek Yogurt with Fresh Fruit for Fruit Flavored Yogurt: Instead of fruit at the bottom or fruit flavored yogurt, choose plain Greek yogurt, Icelandic-style yogurt or make your own coconut yogurt and add your own fresh fruit and even a touch of raw honey. Fruit at the bottom and fruit flavored yogurts are packed with added sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. Additionally, the Greek and Icelandic styles contain more protein.
6. Unsweetened Almond or Coconut Milk for Skim Milk: One cup of skim milk contains 90 calories and 12 grams of sugar, while unsweetened almond and coconut milk contain about 30-40 calories per cup with zero grams of sugar. Though almond and coconut milks typically contain about 3-4 grams of fat per serving, the fat is harmless, whereas the 12 grams of sugar in skim milk will convert to fat inside your body. Additionally, dairy milk is processed and contains nasty additives.
7. Oil & Vinegar for Salad Dressing: Pre-bottled store bought salad dressings contain added sugars and preservatives. Opt for oil, such as coconut oil, and vinegar, or make your own dressing with oil, vinegar, some Dijon mustard, and herbs. You can even add in avocado for a creamier dressing and fresh lemon juice for a nice zing. Also, avoid fat free dressing; it contains even more sugar to make up for the lost fat and more chemicals as well. Extra virgin olive oil contains heart healthy fats.
8. Plain Greek Yogurt for Sour Cream: Sour cream is high in fat and calories, replace with plain Greek yogurt and the fat/calorie content will be drastically decreased.
9. Avocado for Mayonnaise: Mayonnaise is very high in fat as it’s the emulsion of egg yolks and soybean oil, which is an unhealthy oil due to its hydrogenated fat content. An easy, healthy alternative to mayonnaise is avocado. Smear some on a sandwich or mash it up as a creamy spread and it’s sure to hit the spot while adding healthy fats to your meal.
10. Hot Sauce & Mustard for Ketchup: Ketchup is packed with sugar and in the form of high fructose corn syrup. This seemingly harmless “tomato-based” condiment can pack on the sugar at nearly 4 grams per tablespoon (now think about how much you typically use on that burger!). Opt for hot sauce and mustard, which are lower in calories and sugar.
11. Ghee for Butter: Though derived from butter, ghee is a healthier option. Butter contains butterfat, milk solids and water, whereas ghee is pure butterfat cooked longer, until all moisture is removed and the milk solids are caramelized and then filtered out. Ghee has more health benefits and can help decrease unhealthy cholesterol levels.
12. Spinach, Kale and Arugula for Iceberg: The lettuce in your salad is an easy way to sneak in extra vitamins and nutrients. Typically, the darker the green, the more nutrients. Spinach, Kale and Arugula have higher levels of vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and iron than iceberg.
13. Kelp noodles and Spaghetti Squash for Spaghetti and other noodles: We all know the sad truth about beloved spaghetti – the white flour it is made of is essentially sugar and contains slim to none nutritional value. It’s high in carbohydrates as well. Try kelp noodles, which contain about 6 calories and 1 gram of carbohydrates per serving, and spaghetti squash, which is just 31 calories per serving and 7 grams of carbohydrates. You can use these noodles with marinara or a healthy pesto sauce, and even make a stir-fry or Pad Thai with the kelp noodles.
14. Wild Rice, Quinoa or Cauliflower Rice for White Rice: White rice, just like white bread and white pasta, contains little nutritional value and will spike your blood sugar. Instead, opt for wild rice, quinoa or make rice out of cauliflower (way easier than it sounds – just pulse it in a food processor!).
15. Cauliflower Pizza Crust for Traditional Flour Pizza Crust: Again with the white flour, it is no good! It is a refined carbohydrate that raises triglyceride levels, spikes blood sugar and triggers a release of insulin, leads to weight gain, etc. Try making pizza at home with a cauliflower crust, it boosts the nutritional value of the pizza, will digest slower and won’t cause a blood sugar spike.
16. Sparking Water with Added Fresh Fruit Essence for Soda: Soda, we all know it’s bad for us, both diet and regular, yet it’s still one of the most widely consumed beverages. One can of soda contains about 44 grams of sugar, usually in the form of high fructose corn syrup, and diet soda contains artificial sweeteners, which have been clinically proven to cause cancer. People drink diet thinking it will help keep their waistlines down, but it causes bloating and tricks taste buds into craving sweetness. Choose sparking water with naturally infused fruit essence, or buy plain sparkling water and add your own squeeze of lime and any fresh fruit you’d like. You’ll stay hydrated and healthy!
17. Frozen Banana Ice Cream for Ice Cream: Ice cream is high in fat and sugar, and just ½ cup can contain 250 calories, 20 grams of sugar and up to ten grams of fat. Try blending a couple bananas and add your choice of flavors – vanilla extract, peppermint extract, cocoa, shredded coconut, cacao nibs, fresh fruit such as raspberries and strawberries, etc.
18. Matcha Tea for Latte: Try a Superfood Tonic Matcha Latte instead of your daily latte.  Latte’s become high in calories, fat and sugar due to all the milk, while Matcha is a nutritional powerhouse; containing 10x the nutritional and antioxidant content as regular brewed green tea do to its concentrated whole form.1
19. Kale Chips, Seaweed Snacks, or Air Popped Popcorn for Potato Chips – Starchy, high in fat and sodium, potato chips are no good. When you have a salty crunchy craving, choose kale chips, seaweed snacks, or air popped popcorn.
20. Steel Cut Gluten-free Oatmeal for Dry Cereal – Dry cereal is heavily processed and contains lots of added sugar. It is also usually derived from white flour or corn, which is quickly digested in the bloodstream and causes a spike in blood sugar. Opt for steel cut gluten-free oatmeal or rolled oats, top with some raw nuts, fresh fruit, and a bit of almond milk if you’d like. Sweeten with a touch of raw honey or Grade A maple syrup. It will keep you fuller longer and won’t cause a spike in blood sugar.
21. Chia Pudding for Pudding – For a satisfying sweet treat, try making chia pudding, it’s incredibly easy. Put two tablespoons of chia seeds into a small bowl or mug, add about one cup of almond milk and add flavoring depending on what you’re in the mood for. If you want chocolate, do a splash of vanilla extract, pinch of stevia and a few teaspoons of cacao powder. You can also add in some cacao nibs and coconut flakes. For vanilla, simply add vanilla extract, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and coconut flakes if you would like. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Chia are a terrific source of fiber and protein, are loaded with antioxidants, contain Omega-3 Fatty Acids, calcium, among other nutrients.
22. Frozen Fruit for Ice Pops – Ice pops can be refreshing but contain artificial coloring and added sugar. Simply freeze grapes, buy a bag of frozen mango, cherries, or whatever your favorite fruit may be, and enjoy those when you are in need of a sweet, cold, refreshing treat.
23. Fresh Fruit for Pie – Pie is a very sugary and fattening dessert, so don’t let the fruit inside fool you into thinking otherwise! Additionally, the crust is a simple carbohydrate, which is never good. Try having a bowl of fresh fruit instead; you’ll be surprised how satisfying it can be.
24. Marinara for White Sauce – Cream based white sauces, such as Alfredo, are packed with fat from the milk, cream and cheese, and it’s saturated fat, the unhealthy kind. Chose marinara sauce as it’s tomato based and cream-free, making it lower in fat.
25. Broth Based Soup for Cream Based – Tomato soup and chowders are loaded with cream making them high in saturated fat. Chose chicken soup, vegetable soup, or minestrone, which are cream-free and lower in fat.  Chicken and vegetable stock are packed with nutrients, so are a much better choice!
26. Raw Vegetables for Dipping Instead of Crackers – When you’re grabbing something to dip into hummus, guacamole or salsa, chose raw vegetables such as carrots, celery, bell peppers, broccoli, radishes or cauliflower instead of crackers. Crackers are highly processed and are often white flour based, which will breakdown into sugar once inside the bloodstream.
27. Green or Herbal Tea for Chai Tea Lattes – Chai Tea Lattes are unhealthy due to the added sugar and milk. Try plain green tea or any herbal tea – peppermint, licorice root, ginger, chamomile, etc., and add a squeeze of lemon and a touch of honey if you’d like. You’ll also reap the added health benefits of the herbs in the tea.
28. Mashed Fresh Berries with Raw Honey for Jelly and Jam – Instead of jelly and jam on toast, mash up fresh berries, smear on toast, muffins, whatever it may be, and drizzle with a touch of raw honey. Jam and jelly contain too much added sugar and will spike your blood sugar. The fresh fruit will give you an extra bit of fiber, too.
29. Raw Honey for Artificial Sweeteners  - Artificial sweeteners are carcinogenic and should be avoided. Opt for raw honey instead, which contains many healing properties and is packed with antioxidants, enzymes and minerals. Honey also promotes the growth of good bacteria in the intestine.
30. Roasted/Salted Chickpeas for Roasted/Salted Peanuts Roasted and salted peanuts often contain unhealthy additives such as corn syrup solids and are roasted with unhealthy oils. Additionally, peanuts are highly susceptible to growing toxic mold. Look for roasted/salted chickpeas, which should be roasted in an olive oil, sunflower or safflower oil and contain salt with no other added ingredients.
31. Flax or Brown Rice-Based Crackers for Flour Based – Although raw vegetables are always the best choice, if you must have a cracker, look for those that are based with flax, quinoa or brown rice rather than white or wheat flour.
32. Brown Rice Cakes for Pita Chips – Pita chips have been marketed as a healthy option, but in reality, they aren’t. They’re high in fat and carbohydrates and are made from white or wheat flour. The calories on the packaging may seem low, but pay attention to what the serving size is, chances are it’s fewer chips then you would typically eat. Chose brown rice cakes instead, they’ll digest a bit slower and very low in fat.
33. Portobello Mushroom Cap for Hamburger – Pre-made hamburgers often contain pink slime, a mechanically separated meat product that is treated with ammonia to kill bacteria, and is used as a low-cost ground beef filler. They’re high intrans fat and have up to 1,000 calories (once you add on toppings and the bun), in addition to other additives such as sodium phosphate and nitrates. A great alternative is a Portobello mushroom cap. .
34. On Taco Night, Swap Ground Beef for Sautéed Vegetables – Making tacos can be a healthy, easy dinner, but stick with sautéing vegetables in Mexican spices, rather than ground beef. Try bell peppers, onions, summer squash and mushrooms. You will consume way fewer calories, fat and additives, and you’ll be surprised at just how tasty the dish is. Extra bonus points, drop the shell or tortilla and use lettuce as the shell, fill with veggies, salsa, guacamole, tomatoes and whatever else you like!
35. Organic, Free Range Poached or Hard Boiled Eggs for Fried and Scrambled – This one pertains especially to eating out. When you aren’t making your eggs at home, ordering fried and scrambled can be risky as it will likely come with added fat from butter, and often times scrambled eggs have milk added in. Order poached or hard-boiled eggs to avoid this. Also, don’t be afraid of yolks, they are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, and contain 100% of the fat soluble vitamins A,D,E and K. They also contain calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Though egg whites are higher in protein than the yolk, which is really just because the yolk is smaller than the white, they are low in nutrients.
36. An Apple Instead of Soda or Coffee for an Afternoon Pick-Me-Up – Around 3 or 4pm, most people tend to hit a wall and feel a wave of exhaustion, leading them to pick up a caffeinated soda or coffee, sometimes even chocolate. Instead, eat an apple, you will be amazed at the wave of energy you get, and without the crash!
37. Homemade Trail Mix for Store Bought – Pre-packaged trail mixes are often loaded with added oils, sugars and sometimes, artificial coloring (those colored chocolate pieces that look like candy!). This seemingly healthy snack packs a ton of calories, fat and sugar with nuts that contain added oil and lots of sodium, dried fruit with added sugar, and chocolate candies. Make your own trail mix with raw nuts, cacao nibs, coconut flakes, and dried unsweetened fruit. If you want that salty fix, add your own!
38. Fresh Fruit for Dried Fruit – Dried fruit is the original fruit minus the water content, leaving sugar, and actually more sugar than the fresh fruit. The sugar in dried fruit is called fructose and gets converted by the liver into VLDL, a form of cholesterol that’s high in triglycerides, which leads to fat storage. It’s also the type of sugar that leads to obesity, heart disease, insulin resistance, among other problems. Additionally, people tend to underestimate the serving size of dried fruit and end up eating multiple servings of the original whole fruit. To put it in perspective, one bag of M&Ms has 30g of sugar, which is less than what’s in a cup of dried papaya or figs. Opt for fresh fruit! It will keep you fuller longer due the water content.
39. Dark Chocolate for Milk Chocolate – The higher the cocoa percentage, the fewer additives. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, provides cardiovascular benefits by reducing inflammation, protects the skin from oxidative damage and helps to improve cognitive function and mood. Milk chocolate is diluted with milk solids, sugar and cream, taking away from the health benefits of cocoa and adding sugar and fat. Look for dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao.
40. Raw Nut Butters for Traditional Nut Butters with Added Oil and Sugar – Nut butters can be tricky and it’s important to read labels closely. Many store brands contain an added oil and an added sweetener. Raw is your best bet, as it won’t have anything added and is simply the nut in its raw, natural form. You’ll also reap the most health benefits from raw as roasting nuts takes away some of their nutrients.

Emily Borgeest

Emily Borgeest is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, founder of Cleo’s Wholesome Crunch LLC, an organic, gluten and sugar-free line of granola and cookies and a public relations professional based in New York City.  Emily holds a Certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school and the only school integrating over 100 dietary theories, from traditional philosophies like ayurveda and macrobiotics, to modern concepts.

In her free time, Emily enjoys cooking nutrient-dense foods and baking with superfoods and gluten-free flours, and without refined sugar (and then posting her creations on her Instagram @cleaneatswithcleo). She is a fitness enthusiast and makes an effort to break a sweat each day, whether it’s through a run, weight training session, or kickboxing. Emily thrives on helping people become their most vibrant self through clean eating and exercise.