Q: Every night I promise myself that I'm going to exercise in the morning - but when I wake up all I want to do is drink a cup of coffee and do a crossword puzzle. By the time the workday starts, I don't have anymore time for exercise. How can I break my bad habits?
A: I know how you feel - you want to get in those early morning pleasures in and working out is not often on that list for most people. My personal take on food and exercise is to combine practical things with pleasure and make what's practical more enjoyable. I find it's a more realistic approach than torturing yourself during already stressful times. Most people already find it hard to get out of bed, let alone exercise!
Q: I have been waking up with anxiety for the past few months. With everything that's going on in the world and my business being in trouble due to the lockdowns, I find it is hard to find the enthusiasm that used to carry me through out my day. What can I do to get the day started on the right foot and not end up exhausted in the evening?
A: I totally get it - and it is one of the reasons I haven't written in a year on this blog - I have been keeping myself afloat enough to take care of me, my family, friends and clients, but didn't have enough energy for anything else.
So, first and foremost, I want to tell you that it's completely ok to feel the way you do. There is so much going on right now, that is absolutely normal to have anxiety about things. Usually when things feel dangerous, our natural reaction is to fight or flight. However it might be hard to do either one of those during a pandemic or current turmoil in our country and so we get anxiety because we can't fight or flight the things that are out of our control.
Therefore, I find that the best solution for anxiety is its acknowledgement and then taking small actions that we can control. With that, here are eight things that helped me and I hope will help you. You still may not get all of your apples in a row, but since energy flows where your attention flows, you should see improvements in your life. Try them out and let me know how you feel.
Q: What foods can you buy at the normal grocery stores (stop & shop) and which ones should you travel for (Trader Joe’s / Whole Foods)? Keep in mind the organic section at Stop & Shop is limited. Please include meat STAY AWAY FROMS and LOOK FORS. My closest TJ’s is 45 min away and my WF has an hour line just to get in these days so a complete turnoff at this point yet the food at S&S doesn’t taste the same as in Europe and I’m having a hard time finding food if that makes sense.
A: The short eAZy answer:
Shop for fresh produce at your local stores (and farmers markets if you have time) then stock your pantry and freezer with items from Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, so you can stock up and do only 1-2 trips a month. If you have a big family, I do suggest buying a separate garage freezer (even if a previously owned one) to save yourself time in grocery store runs and to save money, since you can get more on-sale stuff.
The long, but still eAZY answer on what to buy:
- Any and all organic frozen fruit, berries and veggies that you love. Don't buy any
I know it has been a long time since I've written last. There has been so much going on in the second half of 2019 for me and then 2020 happened that I didn't feel inspired to write more than a social media post. My whole focus has been cooking for my clients and trying to keep sane during the crazy year we've had, so not much time was left for creativity here.
During such crazy times, I felt lost just thinking of how much everyone is struggling and how can I help? And it finally dawned on me this holiday season - all I have to do is ask and then answer questions that so many people have when it comes to health, wellness, lifestyle and finding joy amid chaos.
So, with that, I created a new way of writing this newsletter and my blog - by answering YOUR questions! I call this "Ask Alina!" Want to know how to make healthier desserts? Ask Alina! Need tips on grocery shopping so you are not spending too much time or money? Ask Alina! Need to find a way to exercise when you only have 5 minutes a day but no desire to move? Ask Alina! Anything that has to do with cooking, health, wellness, nutrition, lifestyle choices, positive outlook on life, etc... just ask.
In these newsletters I will be sharing questions people send me and my answers. I hope you find them useful and they will help you be healthier and happier!
Email me any time so I can support you.
With lots of love,
If you have been over-indulging during the winter months and are craving a detox or simply want to jump-start a life-long path to health, I want to recommend a little beginner cleanse. In the past I used to recommend juice and smoothie cleanses, but I know they can be expensive and challenging for those who are new to healthier eating and cleansing. This is why I want to share a very eAZy cleanse that costs about $15 and is perfect for beginners.
First of all, why try a juice cleanse to begin with?
Even though we are watching what we eat and make the right food choices, toxins still lurk into our bodies. For example, if you go out to eat, then you have pesticides and toxins in your system from non-organic foods that are found in most restaurants. The unpleasant side effect of having them in our systems can be seen in
If you are eating animal protein and are looking for a healthier version of "Fried" chicken, then look no further than this eAZy recipe!
QUICK TIPS ON WHY I AM USING THESE INGREDIENTS:
- Always buy organic and humanely-raised animal proteins
- Eat animal protein in moderation. We don't usually need it at every single meal
- When cooking on high heat, use grapeseed oil and organic ghee as they are best
Whether or not you celebrate Valentine's Day, most of us are probably good with an excuse to enjoy some chocolate.
If you are not big into cooking, but love to eat and to eat well, then check out these two super eAZy recipes! Both are paleo, raw vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free!
As my friends know, I am a big fan of sparkling wines and as I was enjoying a delicious glass of bubbly the other day, I had two revelations:
1. Champagne/Sparkling wine is an actual gift from God!
2. I discovered a way to not get drunk and still enjoy having a yummy effervescent drink.
Here is why/how:
I am so happy to share these eAZy recipes that were featured on ABC7 in Los Angeles
Feel free to customize the recipes according to your personal preferences and tastes. Let me know how you like these!
A little Naughty, But Mostly Nice Holiday Drinks
One of the things I often hear from clients is that they don’t want to give up their wine or other alcoholic beverages. I am a big believer in balance and sometimes that may mean having a drink, especially when you are celebrating the holidays with your family and friends. To get the most value out of your alcoholic beverages, take a look at my tips and recipes for healthier versions of classic favorites:
Why ask me?
- After many challenges and different crazy life experiences I am living my dream life and since my friends say I am pretty wisdomous and I think I am a little bit funny too, I want to share my life approach with you so you can live the life you love as well.
Here is a little bit about me:
- I am a creator of #1 Best Diet as selected by Harpers Baazar Magazine
- I started my career in the corporate world and didn't even know how to peel a shallot
- I have been a chef for celebrities for over 10 years
- I have a realistic approach to food and life
- I have a great relationship with food and can even let chocolate go bad because I simply forget I have it at home (something I wasn't able to do 10 years ago)
- I eat carbs whenever I feel like it without any guilt
- I used to hate to cook and now absolutely love being a private chef and a food relationship coach
- I wear whatever clothes I desire no matter what everyone is wearing or thinking
- I am in good shape and my body’s biological age is 13 years younger than the one in my passport
- I have experience being super poor, super wealthy and in between
- I’ve worked in corporate world and am now an entrepreneur
- I was married and divorced
- I used to cry going to work because I was so miserable with my boss
- I’ve had an emotional eating disorder
- I moved from Russia to USA alone at the age of 15
- I’ve lived in Russia, Europe and on both coasts of USA
- I have been super skinny and overweight
- I have been insecure and unhappy with reasons and secure and happy for no reason
- I used to wear glasses and healed my eyes with the power of thought and exercises
- I created "Couture Nutrition®" so you can have tailor-made solutions for your body and soul
- My brain usually comes up with jokes to soften stressful situations
- I think color coordination, sparkles and rainbows are underused