Define Your Health

What Matters Most ~ Living the Best YOU


Why Letter Writing Deserves a Comeback

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When I walk into my apartment building every night, I check my mailbox and hope there’s something with my name on it. Every night there is! There are plenty of stamped envelopes for me.  I’ve been preapproved for the latest and greatest credit card—0% APR!  The grocery store wants me to shop their latest sale and Banana Republic is offering me yet another 40% off coupon!

This wasn’t exactly what I was had in mind.

The reality is, we live in a digital age where our phones are essentially glued to our hands. Emails and text messages have become our primary mode of communication, and we can reach our loved ones instantaneously. We can say whatever is on our mind to whomever we want, whenever we want.  As a result, snail mail has become unnecessary. And simply stated, this makes me really sad.

Video: How Do New Yorkers Stay Healthy?

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How do New Yorkers stay healthy? Integrative Nutrition’s film crew headed out into Madison Square Park to find out! From Paleo diets to juice cleanses to those who eat like “an unsupervised six-year-old,” there was a wide range of nutritional approaches in one small park.

As one New Yorker put it, true change must come from within, but a Health Coach can help individuals identify their imbalances and become their healthiest selves. Watch the video below to hear what these New Yorkers have to say about healthy eating, exercise, vitamins, and disease in one of the busiest and most expensive cities of the world.

4 Ways to Naturally Cure Allergies

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Early summer is one of my favorite times of year. With all the sunshine and greenery, it’s hard not to be in a good mood! Unfortunately, with spring flowers come spring allergies. If you’re all too familiar with the itchy eyes, sneezing, and stuffiness that are the telltale signs of spring allergies, there may be a way for you to reduce your symptoms without taking prescription or over-the-counter medications. 

Before you stop taking allergy medications to give these natural remedies a try, be sure to have your doctor run a test to see what you are allergic too. This will help you determine the best way to treat your symptoms.

Local Honey

If you have a pollen allergy, this one is for you! Eating a spoonful of raw, local, organic honey every day can help boost your immunity to local pollen. It’s important to use local honey, because it contains traces of the local pollen that you are allergic too. It works best if you eat a spoonful all year long, not just during allergy season, to build up your tolerance to pollen. Local honey can be purchased at most health food stores or farmers markets. 

Get Beach-Weather Beautiful with...Apple Cider Vinegar?

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Apple cider vinegar may be replacing coconut oil as our favorite health- and beauty-boosting superfood. Add in the fact that it’s incredibly inexpensive and available at every corner store, and it’s pretty hard to beat.

Of course, this is nothing new. ACV has been a natural tonic for different ailments since Hippocrates’ time. The fermented amber liquid has potent antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, making it an effective treatment against bee stings, sunburn, and indigestion, as well as warts and moles.

But beyond treating ailments, apple cider vinegar is a major power player in making you look your absolute best. As we shed our winter layers and get ready to bare all in the sunshine this summer, it might be wise to toss out the fancy body lotions and exfoliators, cut down on those hours on the treadmill, and use ACV as your one-stop summer beauty shop!

4 Tips for Motivating a Friend to Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle

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Maybe it’s smoking, or a pizza-centric diet, or a penchant for spending every weekend planted in front of the TV—whatever the vice, we all have loved ones whose unhealthy habits give us cause for concern. Watching people you care about do things that damage their health and happiness is never easy.

No matter how healthy your lifestyle is today, it probably wasn’t always that way. Chances are, you’ve benefited from some form of motivation, either from someone or something, that helped you make better decisions about a certain aspect of your life. If you have, then you know the sense of well-being and satisfaction that comes with accomplishing healthier lifestyle goals. But what about when you want to help someone else experience the same thing? Though ultimately change has to come from within, there are certain steps you can take to help motivate a loved one to move toward healthier habits.

5 Healthy Homemade Ice Pop Recipes

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Spring has sprung and summer is hot on its heels!

When the weather gets warmer, I start craving cold, refreshing, and sweet treats to help me cool off—and what fits that description better than an ice pop?

Ice pops are the perfect summertime treat, but are often loaded with unhealthy sugar, preservatives and harmful additives. That’s why I prefer to avoid store-bought pops and stick to homemade versions using all natural ingredients.

Homemade ice pops are not only fun and easy to make, but also a healthy and refreshing treat that you can enjoy while feeling good about the nutrients you’re giving your body.  

Here are a few of my favorite healthy homemade ice pop recipes that will help you stay cool and healthy all summer long!

How Do You Naturally Treat an Underactive Thyroid?

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Hi, I’m Maria Marlowe, a Certified Health Coach and author of Detox without the Deprivation. This is my weekly “Ask Health Coach Maria” series, in which I answer frequently asked questions that relate to health and wellness. Have a question? Ask me here

Hi Maria,

I was recently diagnosed with an underactive thyroid. How can I help treat it naturally?

- Sandy

I’m seeing thyroid disorders more and more frequently in my practice. An underactive thyroid can be caused by a variety of reasons, from inadequate iodine intake to radiation exposure, but no matter what the cause, you can take a number of steps to naturally support your thyroid health.

So whether you’re like Sandy and currently experiencing a sluggish thyroid, or want a little insurance policy against experiencing a future problem, check out these tips to naturally treat an underactive thyroid.

4 Steps to Finding Your Dream Career

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In college, I majored in advertising. I was completely enthralled with the idea of writing witty taglines and telling compelling stories that evoke an emotional response to a brand. I graduated from college wide-eyed and ready to take on the world in New York City.  But after just a few informational interviews, I soon realized that I wasn’t the next Don Draper. Advertising just wasn’t for me, yet after spending so many years focused on breaking into that industry, I had absolutely no idea what was for me.

Fast-forward six years and now I’m embarking on my dream career as a writer and recipe developer. A lot different than advertising, I know. How did I get here, you might ask? Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward path or one-size-fits-all method. Finding my passion took a lot of hard work and dedication, but there are a few steps that really helped me along the way and can also guide you on your journey to a dream career.

Don’t Panic, Just Find a Job

7 Reasons Why You Need Matcha

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If you think all green tea is created equal, think again.

Matcha, a Japanese green tea, differs from Chinese green teas in several ways. With matcha, the whole tea leaf is ground into a fine powder after being picked, whereas Chinese green tea is brewed from whole leaves. Tea drinkers identify matcha by its characteristic vegetal flavor—it tastes a bit like spinach with umami undertones.


Benefits of Matcha Green Tea:

1.    Prevent Aging

Matcha is a nutritional powerhouse. Composed of vitamins A, C, and E, along with antioxidants, it helps neutralize free radicals to keep cells healthy, maintain DNA integrity, and prevent aging.

2.    Increases Metabolism

Matcha increases metabolism through thermogenesis; your body expends more energy while resting, so your body burns more calories.

3.    Detoxifies the Body

The rich chlorophyll content that makes matcha green also helps expel toxins, heavy metal, and hormone disruptors from the body.

Video: Maple Almond Chia Pudding Recipe

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What happens when you combine a classic, comforting dessert with one of the most powerful superfoods? You get the ultimate delicious, nutritious sweet treat: Chia pudding! Sure, you may not associate pudding with healthy eating, but this recipe turns that notion on its head. Made with nutrient-filled chia seeds, plus antioxidant-packed maple syrup and health-boosting cinnamon, this isn’t just healthified “junk food,” it’s a nutrition powerhouse in its own right.  

In this video, Hailey guides you through her super easy maple almond chia pudding recipe. Once you try this one out, play around with different spices, sweeteners, and toppings to make it your own! Before you know it, you might have a new favorite dessert!