Beachbody Myths (and facts!)

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What do you think of when you hear “multilevel marketing (MLM)?” Do you think pyramid scam? Get rich quick scheme? Easy side business?

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about these types of companies, and I want to clear up some of them.

You probably already know that Beachbody is a MLM company. But so many other companies operate this way too! I bet you’ve heard of a few of these:

  • Pampered Chef
  • Mary Kay & Avon
  • Herbalife
  • Rodan & Fields

MLM companies have been around for decades and have some quality products. (I LOVE my Pampered Chef tools!) There’s a pretty simple definition of this type of business: Multilevel marketing companies pay their employees a fee for the sales they generate AND for the additional salespeople they recruit. Beachbody coaches get paid when they sell a product (Shakeology, workout equipment, a DVD program), and also when their team of coaches sells something.

Even though it’s a pretty simple concept, there are still tons of myths about MLM companies.

Myth #1: Multilevel marketing is the same thing as a pyramid scheme.

Truth: MLM and pyramid schemes are VERY different. Pyramid schemes focus most (if not all) of their energy on recruiting new salespeople. They compensate their employees a very small amount for the amount of actual product they sell, and a HUGE amount for the new salespeople they recruit. This is totally unsustainable. The product is usually low quality, so salespeople have trouble actually getting people to buy. How many people can you recruit if those people quickly realize that they can’t sell anything?

MLM companies focus on building a quality team that shares their success with quality products. I absolutely would NOT be a part of Beachbody if I didn’t personally use and believe in the products. I really don’t consider myself a salesperson. Most people run the other way from someone trying to make a sale. All I can do is share my positive experience with others and encourage them to give the products a try!

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Some of the awesome ladies on my team!

Myth #2: MLM is a “get-rich-quick” scam.

Truth: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is! Any company that promises you thousands of dollars in a few weeks is lying. It’s almost impossible to earn that amount of money in such a short time (well, in any LEGAL way!). Beachbody has many coaches who are making six-figures or more, but those people have been working the business for YEARS! When I signed up, no one PROMISED me any income. I knew that I would have to put the work in if I wanted to be successful. I’m doing ok for myself now, but I most definitely did not “get rich quick!”

Myth #3: Multilevel marketing is an easy side job. 

Truth: I work harder at my Beachbody job than I have ever worked at any other position! Your success completely depends on the amount of work you put into MLM. If you treat it as an easy side job, you’ll make a little extra money. If that’s ok with you, awesome. But if your goal is to make a decent income, you’ll have to work HARDER than you do at your normal job!

So many people claim that MLM “doesn’t work” because it didn’t work for them. It’s definitely not for everyone. If you’re not a social person who likes sharing their experiences, you probably won’t enjoy it. And if you’re not enjoying it, that will come across to potential customers and lead to decreased sales.

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I hope this helps you understand a little bit more about my company. I would absolutely NEVER be involved in a company that I felt was scamming its employees or customers. Beachbody chooses to operate as an MLM company because they understand that word-of-mouth and shared experiences are the most effective form of marketing. I’m proof that this type of business IS a sustainable way to make a good income! IF you’re ready to work it!

If you’re interested in learning more, fill out this simple form, and let’s talk!

 

3 Days To A Fresh Start!

It’s that time again…time for the 3-Day Refresh!

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I’ll be honest, before July of this year, I had never actually stuck to a cleanse program. I would always cheat. I’d tell myself I *DESERVED* a treat because I was stressed out, or too busy, or whatever other excuse I came up with!

I think part of the reason I never stuck to cleanses is because most of them don’t actually give you REAL FOOD! Thankfully, Beachbody has figured out that people need to EAT even if they’re trying to clean out their systems!

 

Here’s a little preview of what I’ll be drinking and eating for the next 3 days:

1) Shakeology – if you don’t know about this amazing nutrition-packed shake yet, read up on it.  I’ll have this for breakfast every morning (as usual!)

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2) Vanilla Fresh Shake – I’ll have one of these for lunch and dinner, in addition to a small amount of fruits and veggies. What’s awesome about this shake is that it has 20 grams of protein! Juice cleanses don’t have a good protein source, so no wonder people feel starved!

3) Fiber Sweep – Gotta keep it real…you know when you eat less, you tend to poop less. This fiber supplement keeps things moving for me. All the junk I’ve been eating and drinking will be GONE by the time I’m done with this stuff.

4) Fruits and Veggies! – The 3-Day Refresh program guide has some awesome, simple recipes that I’ll make for lunch and dinner. No matter how much nutrition I’m getting from shakes, I still feel the need to actually chew on something! This cleanse lets me do that.

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5) Water – You know it. It’s important to stay hydrated, especially with the extra fiber I’ll be getting.

These were my results from my last round:

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I always feel leaner, less bloated, and more defined after this cleanse. It kind of resets my eating habits too. I feel like I get on a sugar kick sometimes, and it’s hard to get off! When I haven’t been eating it for a few days, it’s easier to pass up.

Are you curious? Want to learn more? I’ll be posting about it on Facebook, so check me out! I promise, I’ll be honest about it.

Keep eating (healthfully) everyone!

A Quick (intense!) Cardio Workout

If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I’m almost done with my Hammer and Chisel program! I’m so excited about the results I’ve been seeing. Lifting heavy has given me muscle definition and endurance that I never thought I’d have!

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After H&C versus last year!

 

Some people have asked me about the lack of cardio in this program – fyi, it does have cardio, but it’s a smaller component of the program.

People used to think that you had to run, or bike, or climb stairs for at least 30-60 minutes in order to get your “cardio” workout in. But now, we know much more about the benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

HIIT is usually a minute of hard, intense work that raises your heart rate, followed by a period of rest. You repeat the sequence of work-rest for about 20-30 minutes. Working out this way gives you similar benefits to an hour-long run, but in half the time! Many Beachbody programs use HIIT instead of traditional cardio because it’s a time saver, and allows you to work other areas of your fitness too.

Here’s a quick HIIT routine that you do anytime you have an extra 20 minutes!

(Well maybe not anytime, you’ll probably be very sweaty by the end of it…) The secret to HIIT is that you have to go HARD! You’re only working it for a minute each time, so push yourself!

Start with a quick (2 minutes or so) warm up – jogging in place, jumping jacks, etc. Do each of these exercises for 1 minute, followed by 1 minute of rest.

1) Star jumps: Start in a squat position. Jump as high as you can, and spread your legs and arms wide (so you look like a star!). Land softly in a squat position and repeat.

2) Mountain climbers: Start in a plank position, hands or forearms, whatever is more comfortable. Alternate bringing each knee up to your chest as quickly as you can.

3) Burpees: Start standing. Squat down, and jump your feet back so that you’re in plank position. Do a pushup. Jump your feet back to your hands. Stand up, and jump as high as you can. Repeat.

4) Cross jacks: Start with your arms straight out at shoulder height and your feet wide. Jump your feet together so that one crosses in front of the other, and at the same time, bring your arms so that they cross in front of you. Jump your feet back out wide, and repeat, crossing the opposite foot in front this time.

5) Switch lunges: Start in a lunge position (back knee bent, not straight). Jump, and switch your feet so that the opposite foot comes in front. Land in a lunge position and repeat.

Repeat this whole sequence again, and you’ve done your cardio for the day! You should be sweaty and tired by the end of this quick workout.

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This is me after Hammer and Chisel Cardio!

 

The Healthiest Part of My Day

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Whew! I just got back from an awesome, intense weekend in Los Angeles! I was able to attend the Beachbody leadership conference, and I learned so much. It was supposed to be a 2-day trip, but winter storm Jonas had other plans for me. After a LONG day and a half of traveling, I’m FINALLY home!

Traveling nightmare aside, I’m really glad I was able to go. It definitely rekindled my fire to work super hard this year and achieve my goals.

One thing we always talk about in Beachbody is “be a product of the product.” I wouldn’t recommend anything that I don’t personally use, and I’m glad Beachbody has that philosophy too.

Shakeology (Beachbody’s amazing superfood meal replacement shake) has been a part of my life for the past 3 years. In 2015, I drank it EVERY DAY. I’ve never been in better shape or felt healthier than I do now. So, I’m not pushing product here. I genuinely want you guys to know WHY I choose this product over the millions out there.

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Protein.

There are so many different protein powders and supplements out there, it’s hard to know which one to choose! Shakeology is so much more than a protein supplement. But one serving gives you about 30% of your protein intake for the day. In my last e mail newsletter, I talk more about the importance of getting the RIGHT AMOUNT of protein during the day. (You didn’t get it? Sign up here to make sure you get the next one!) Not only that, it has protein from multiple sources. Most supplements are just whey protein, but Shakeology’s protein blend includes chia, flax, and pea! If you’re sensitive to diary (whey), they even have a vegan option that eliminates it.

 

Superfoods.

I seriously can’t find another product that includes all of the superfoods found in Shakeology. If I listed them all, this blog post would be way too long. So here are just a few of the amazing ingredients and their benefits:

Gogi berry, acerola cherry, and pomegranate – antioxidants that fight inflammation and support muscle recovery.

Chlorella, spirulina, and kale – phytonutrients that support immune function and overall health.

Gingko, maca, and maitake – adaptogens that help minimize your body’s response to stress.

I used to take multivitamins and supplements, but I was still only getting a fraction of what’s available in Shakeology. One serving gives you 100% of your daily intake of Vitamin A, B1, B6, and B12 – and 300% of your daily dose of Vitamin C! No need for additional supplements. You could take 5 different pills – or you could just blend up a yummy smoothie! I know what I choose (I hate taking pills)!

 

Value.

I get it – when you first see the price tag on Shakeology, it seems pretty expensive. But let’s break it down for a minute. If you take high-quality vitamins or supplements, you could easily spend that much every month. And after those studies came out of New York, we know that store brands (and even some well-known brands) of vitamins don’t cut it! (When they tested them, some of them were just ground-up house plants! UGH!) So if you’re looking for high-quality nutrition, you get what you pay for.

Think about this – how many times a week do you get coffee from a shop or buy your lunch from a restaurant? If you spend more than $30 during your work week, you could pay for Shakeology with that money. $30 isn’t that much anymore – that’s three $10 lunches, or about 6 fancy coffee drinks. And I know that Shakeology is probably healthier than whatever that $30 is buying you.

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Bottom Line.

I drink Shakeology because is an investment in my health. It provides me with the nutrients I need to keep my immune system running well, my body recovering quickly after workouts, and my cravings for sweet things down (did I mention the taste?! – Even my sister, who is super picky and has tried tons of different protein-powder supplements, agrees that Shakeology tastes the best!)

I am a product of this product, and I couldn’t be happier about it! As you can probably tell, I love talking about this stuff, so if you want any more information, please get in touch!

Stay happy and healthy everyone!

3 Things That Destroy Commitment

So, it’s almost the end of January. How are you doing with your goals for 2016? Have you stuck to them, slipped a little bit, or totally abandoned them?

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Sometimes commitment means working out in a creepy stairwell!

Every year, so many people struggle to stay committed to their goals. What is it about commitment that is so difficult? I’ve run a lot of online accountability groups, and I’ve seen people struggle and succeed. I have a few thoughts on why committing is a challenge:

1) Commitment happens daily.

You set a goal. Awesome. It probably only took you about 5 minutes to write it down and hang it on your refrigerator. But now, EVERY SINGLE DAY, you have to actually demonstrate commitment to that goal. It’s hard! That’s why I like to post my goals in various places, so that every time I see them, I mentally recommit. I know our lives are busy and sometimes things get in the way. But try this – next time you say to yourself, “I don’t have time for this,” replace it with “I’m not making this a priority right now.” See how that feels. Sometimes it will feel ok (prioritizing healing from an injury? good choice!), but sometimes it will point out that you’re slacking on your commitment.

2) You subconsciously give yourself an “out.” 

What will happen if you don’t stay committed? If there are no consequences for backing out on your commitment, you’re less likely to keep it. That’s why things like signing up for a mud run with a friend are such great motivators to keep your commitment strong. There will be consequences if you don’t stay committed – You’ll be out that money you spent to register, your friend will probably be disappointed if you bail – and if you’ve been sharing your journey online, those friends will probably be disappointed too. There’s a saying that goes, “If you want to take the island, burn the boats.” Meaning that you can’t allow yourself an out if you want to stay fully committed.

3) You have a perfectionist mindset. 

So you had to work late and missed exercising. You had too many drinks at happy hour. Are those small slips going to destroy your commitment? Saying, “Oh I had a donut for breakfast, I’m already on the wrong track. Guess I’ll just eat crappy for the rest of the day” – that’s like saying, “Oh I dropped my phone and cracked the screen a little bit. Guess I’ll stomp on it and break the whole thing!” Doesn’t make sense! It’s ok if you don’t do it PERFECTLY. The hard work you put in isn’t undone by a few mistakes. You can recommit any minute of any day.

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Find a friend!

I also have to point out – support from others makes commitment SO MUCH EASIER! The best tip I can give you to keep your commitment strong is to connect with people on a similar path. You’ll have someone to support you when you’re not feeling it, someone to commiserate with, someone to celebrate with! If you can’t find someone in your physical life to be your commitment buddy, look online. I’m always running accountability groups, so contact me via Facebook!

 

Winter Fruit and Veggie Recipes

Brrrr! It officially feels like winter now! We got spoiled by that warmer weather, and now it’s frigid up here in the mid-Atlantic.

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When it’s this cold outside, all I want to do is stay under a blanket and eat carbs. Seriously, there’s something about cold weather that just makes me want bread, sweet things, anything with sugar!

It’s also harder to eat fruits and veggies in the colder months, because there’s fewer fresh options. I once bought peaches in the winter…yuck! They were mushy and had no flavor! In the summer, you can’t help but eat delicious fresh fruits and veggies – berries, peaches, tomatoes, beans.

But what do you do when it’s freezing and your options are limited?

Well, turns out that there are a decent amount of fruits and veggies that are actually in season during the winter! Here are just a few:

WInter fruits

winter veggies

And there are so many more! Think about all the delicious, healthy recipes you could make from winter fruits and veggies.

When it comes to getting your daily servings of veggies, the key for the winter months is ROASTING! If you love cold salads in winter, more power to you, but I need something warm. All of those winter veggies I listed (well, except avocado) can be roasted – just drizzle some olive oil on them and pop them in the oven at 375 for 30 minutes or so! Play around with different combinations to find one you like. Right now, I’m loving a combo of sweet potato, red onion and cauliflower.

I love playing around with adding winter fruits to my smoothie recipes. Here’s an awesome smoothie with kiwi. I love the slightly tropical taste, it makes me feel just a little warmer!

Kiwi Pear Smoothie

::sigh:: Summer will be back soon, right?! In the meantime, keep eating your fruits and veggies everyone!!!

What do you DO all day?

Happy 2016!!!

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I hope you all had a great start to 2016! My new year started off well – with some good friends, in my nice little house, enjoying some beverages 😊 It was a good kick-off to my best year yet!

That’s right, I’m putting it out there right now: 2016 will be my best year ever!! I’ve got some personal goals that I’m going to stay consistent with and some HUGE business goals!

Working this business is no joke – even though I don’t go to an office, I’m busy almost everyday. Sometimes it’s harder than working for someone else! When I’m feeling lazy and unmotivated, there’s no boss to push me to get it done. I’m responsible for EVERYTHING. But personally, I like that!

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I’ve had people ask what I actually DO all day long, so I wanted to share a day in the life of Fit Coach Ashley! If you’ve ever wondered what the life of a fitness coach is like, read on.

7:00am – Wake up and meditate for 10 minutes. Drink water. Make myself look ready for the day – thankfully this just involves brushing my hair and putting on workout clothes!

8:00am – Drink coffee and eat some breakfast (steel-cut oats with berries, greek yogurt and granola, etc.). Check in with my challenge group participants (people that post in our Facebook group about their daily fitness and nutrition). Post new stuff on my Facebook and Instagram. Make new connections with people who might be into fitness coaching.

10:00am – Workout! After sitting at my computer for 2 hours, I need to move! This is typically my workout hour.

11:00am – Personal development. I read or listen to something that will improve my life. It could be something about the power of positivity, or a specific training about how to connect with more people on social media.

12:00pm – Shakeology time! I usually drink my shake for lunch. I take a minute and relax during this hour too.

1:00pm – My afternoon varies depending on the day, but I typically do some combination of this stuff: Check in again with my challenge groups and respond to any messages. Check in with my team of coaches, have some 1:1 calls with a few of them. Design new social media content. Write blog posts and newsletters. Update random things that I’ve been neglecting.

4:00pm – Around this time I start wrapping up my work and doing personal stuff; cleaning the house, running errands, etc.

6:30pm – Dinner with my husband. We spend some time together afterwards just hanging out and talking about our days.

8:00pm – Final social media check-in. I respond to any last minute messages or questions.

9:00pm – Unplug and chill! We typically watch Netflix and are in bed not too much later!

My hours are longer than a typical 9 to 5 job, but I also get a ton of freedom during my “work” time. I mean, who gets to work out for an hour at their job?!

I don’t mind putting in the work for something that I love. Something that helps other people live more fulfilling lives. Something that’s improved my life SO MUCH and given me the freedom to live how I choose.

What do you think? Could you do this job? 

 

 

 

Modifying Your Workout When You Don’t Have the Equipment!

Happy last-week-of-2015! I hope you all had an amazing holiday.

I know a lot of us are planning our new year’s resolutions already. If you’re looking to start a fitness program, it can be intimidating thinking about all of the equipment you might need. Weights, bands, a bench…if you don’t have a gym membership or a really large basement, it’s probably not  realistic to get a ton of stuff.

But then what do you do when your workout calls for an exercise that you don’t have the equipment for?

You modify!

There’s nothing wrong with switching up an exercise, as long as you’re still hitting the major muscle groups that are supposed to be working. Here are my best tips for modifying some tricky stuff.

Pull ups.

Unless you have a pull-up bar, you will probably need to modify these. Even if you do have a bar, use this method to work up to a pull-up if you struggle with them.

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Find a nice sturdy door and open it. Loop a resistance band over the top hinge. Tilt your body forward about 45 degrees, and pull the band from over your head towards your chest. The farther back you move, the harder it will be to pull the band towards you.

 

Weight bench work.

If you don’t have a weight bench, try using a stability ball! Almost anything you can laying on a bench, you can do on a ball. BONUS: Your core will be more engaged stabilizing your body on the ball.

Position the ball so it’s in the middle of your back, in between your shoulder blades. Keep your knees bent and both feet on the floor during any exercise. Now you’re in position to do chest presses, overhead lat pulls, whatever you need!

 

Medicine ball.

You can modify any medicine ball exercise, as long as it doesn’t actually involve THROWING the ball! You can use a dumbbell to do Russian twists, squats with overhead presses, or anything else really. If you don’t have a the right size weight…improvise! A gallon of water weighs about 8 pounds. So grab a full jug and get moving!!

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Remember, the most important thing is just to get your body moving for at least 30 minutes a day. Your workout doesn’t have to be perfect. Don’t feel like you’re “not doing it right” if you have to modify something.

If you have questions about these or other modifications, please message me on Facebook or send an e mail to fitcoachashley@gmail.com

 

 

 

Healthy (and not-so-healthy) Holiday Recipes!

Merry Christmas

Happy holidays everyone!!!

What’s your least favorite part of preparing for Christmas? Mine is wrapping presents. I’m not very good at it, and they always turn out a little lumpy. Ugh.

I know you probably have your Christmas dinner menu all planned out, but what are you going to eat for the rest of the week?!  In the spirit of giving (and EATING), I’ll share an easy, healthy recipe. This chicken is delicious no matter how you use it! But I love these lettuce wraps, especially the day or two before I KNOW I’m going to eat a big meal. It makes me feel a little better, saving my calories for later in the week!

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Slow-Cooker Taco Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  • In a slow-cooker, combine 3 chicken breasts, 1 jar of salsa and a 2 tbsp taco seasoning.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours
  • Slice up a few sweet peppers & onion
  • Prepare some frozen corn
  • Combine chicken mixture, peppers, onion, corn & top with a bit of cheese on a lettuce leaf
  • Top with more salsa (we made our own which is why it looks so light)

 

Now, in the spirit of CELEBRATING, this next recipe is not so healthy. Everyone needs a little indulgence now and then, even me! And these things are FREAKING. AMAZING. My mom usually makes these for Christmas morning, because you do all the prep work the night before and enjoy the delicious results while you open your presents!

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Mom’s Overnight Pecan Sticky Buns

  • 1 package frozen dinner rolls
  • 1 box regular butterscotch pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans

Spray a jelly roll pan or a 13×9 pan with nonstick spray. (You need a pan with an edge on it, not a regular cookie sheet. You don’t want this delicious mess all over your oven!). Sprinkle brown sugar, pudding mix, and pecans evenly in the pan. Slice the stick of butter into small pieces and place them evenly around as well. Place 12 rolls evenly on top of the mixture in the pan. Let sit on the counter overnight.

In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until rolls are slightly brown. Remove and let cool for about 10 minutes.

Now here’s the tricky part: Find a plate or other serving dish that’s big enough to cover the pan you used. Place it on top of the rolls and QUICKLY flip it over! Ta-da! You now have amazing homemade sticky buns!

 

I hope you all enjoy your holidays!!! Eat well and have fun!

When Is Bacteria a Good Thing?

Bacteria…when I hear that word, I automatically think germs, sickness, and gross things. Sometimes I forget that bacteria can actually be a good thing!

It’s cold and flu season, and many of you have probably taken antibiotics already. (Just make sure you finish the course – don’t create super-bugs!) The times that I’ve taken those medications, I’ve felt…a little bit off for a few days afterwards. 😕

Bear with me if this gets a little gross for a second… You have millions of bacteria living in your body that are HELPING your systems do what they’re supposed to. Antibiotics can’t tell the difference between good bacteria and bad bacteria, so they end up killing some of the good stuff along with the bad. That can cause lots of problems. I’ve found that my digestion is messed up for a few days afterward. And lots of women have issues with yeast infections. No fun!

So how can you keep yourself feeling good AFTER taking medication?

Probiotic pills are an option, but you know I’m all about being as natural as possible. Yogurt is a good option too. It doesn’t need to be advertised as supporting digestion. Any yogurt with active cultures is great. Just make sure it doesn’t have too much sugar. (Sidebar: I loved Stonyfield vanilla until I found out that it has 30 grams of sugar! Whoa!)

There’s another method that I use to balance out my system. It takes some getting used to, but it’s really made a difference for me!

Apple cider vinegar!

ACV has been a folk remedy for centuries. It’s very acidic, and when you increase the pH in your body, bad bacteria have trouble surviving. It can help rebalance your digestive system. I have a few friends who swear it’s helped clear up yeast infections faster. It’s also been shown to help lower blood sugar!

BUT, you have to get the organic kind with the “mother” in the bottle. It’s that hazy stuff at the very bottom. Bragg’s (the people that make the liquid aminos) has a version that’s usually available in regular grocery stores.

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Here’s the recipe that I make up every morning. I swear that after I drink it, I get an energy boost. My stomach is always much happier when I remember to drink this too:

  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 8 oz warm water
  • pinch of Himalayan salt

Mix it all together, and drink it down!

If you don’t like vinegar, this might be hard for you to get down. You can also add a small amount of natural sweetener like honey, maple syrup, or stevia. That cuts the acidity and makes it easier. Try adding other natural things like lemon, cinnamon, or ginger too!

Drink up and stay healthy everyone!

 

 

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