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A Happier Way To Spend The Holidays!


It’s just a few days from Christmas and boy is it a busy time for many of us?! As a culture, we are used to this time as being super stressful and hectic. As we try to wrap up work, school, family plans and gifts, we tend to fall into a state of being overwhelmed and totally depleted. It’s easy to lose sight of the true meaning of this beautiful season. I’m here to tell you that there is still time to turn it all around and truly embrace the Holidays with Peace, Joy and Grace. 

I caught myself being unhappy and irritable earlier in the week, for all the reasons mentioned above. I wasn’t kind to myself and the people around me, and felt very disconnected. Something was really imbalanced! Fortunately after meditating and praying, I was able to reconnect with my higher self and found more clarity, inner peace and harmony. This was a game changer and I’m now able to enjoy this time without getting so caught up in the things that really don’t matter in the end. Best of all, I have more compassion and love for myself, which is priceless.

If you are finding yourself more stressed and out of sorts than usual, then I invite you to take a step back and breath deeply. Find some quiet time and evaluate your current state of body and mind. Are the physical and mental stresses really coming from important matters or are they exaggerated by your own fears? Perhaps write down what the holidays really mean to you and how you’d like to experience it this year. Prioritize your time on important matters and only say yes to activities that bring you peace and joy. 

Remember to utilize your healing resources to help you feel more grounded. It’s easy to put self-care last during this time, just know that SELF-CARE is the most important gift you can giveyourself and others right now. The better you feel, the more you are able to enjoy this time and bless your family and friends with your great energy. Self-care is not a luxury, it is a necessity! Write down the self-care practices that work wonders for you and schedule them in your planner. Need suggestions? How about deep breathing, meditation, walking outside in nature, exercising, getting a massage, doing yoga, spending time with a great friend, reading a good book, or watching a heart warming movie? Note that self-care could mean 5-10 minutes of breathing or walking, or shifting the way you’re focussing your time, energy and thoughts. It doesn’t have to take more time out of your day!

You are so brilliant and amazing, and your mere presence is enough. You are enough. Connect deeply with your authentic self, with love and gratitude and miracles may happen for you This Season and in the New Year.

I’m sending you my warmest wishes and love, Happy Holidays! 

Natural Remedies For Colds & Flus


It’s that time of year when so many of us are susceptible to catching different bugs that result in the cold or flu. Even when we try to eat healthy, drink lots of water, exercise and sleep, we may still get sick due to the various stress factors in life. The cold weather, holiday stress, traveling, emotional triggers during family get gatherings, the unusual amount of unhealthy food – these are all so real!
 
Here at our home, health and wellness is our top priority, but we still got hit last week with a lingering cold. In hind sight, I could see some of the food and lifestyle decisions we made were not ideal prior to us getting sick. Good thing we have a great tool box of natural remedies that work amazingly to boost our immune systems and restore our health. Lesson learned!
I’d like to share with you some of these natural remedies to help you treat colds & flus and stay healthy and whole this season! 
 
The Best Nutritional Remedies:
  1. Drink lots of pure water  – One gallon a day (drink Essentia or Penta Water when possible)
  2. Drink warm ginger, lemon and honey water – 3x/day. If your symptoms are severe, I recommend drinking garlic water as well (recipes below).
  3. Drink herbal teas – dandelion, nettle, lemon balm, echinacea (1-3 cups a day).
  4. Drink freshly pressed fruit & green juices – at least 16 oz/day
  5. Increase your raw fresh fruits and vegetable intake (eg. berries, mangos, papayas, apples, pears, kale, spinach, and celery). 
  6. Take Ionic Zinc by Good State (at least 10-20 drops/day) or another good zinc from the health food store. 
  7. Take Vitamin C by Garden of Life or Ester C by Pure Encapsulations (at least 1000 mg/day) or another good Vitamin C from the health food store. 
  8. Take echinacea/goldenseal if you’re just feeling the first early signs. Add Black Elderberry if your symptoms are more severe. Gaia herb or Herb Pharm are good ones.
  9. Use pure organic essential oils like Eucalyptus, Lavender, Thyme, Rosemary, Sage, or Olbas Oil. Rub on your belly, chest, and spine with a carrier oil like calendula or jojoba. You can also diffuse the oils or put a couple drops in your palms and breath in deeply. 
  10. Eat light meals only, take in more fluids and less solid foods. Fresh smoothies with fruit & leafy greens or blended soups with squashes, root vegetables, onion, garlic and ginger are so healing! You can find some great recipes on my blog.
  11. Be mindful not to take in foods and drinks that at are cold. Room temperature or warm are best.
  12. Try to eat less or omit animal protein, eggs, gluten, dairy, fried foods, sugar and processed foods.
The Best Lifestyle Remedies:
  1. Rest, rest, and rest! Most likely your body got sick because it reached a state of overwhelm and stress. It is wise to take it easy so your body can restore itself.
  2. Do things that are nourishing and calming for your body, mind and soul. Some wonderful activities are: meditating, praying, taking light walks outside, doing yoga, getting sunshine, reading, and whatever else you love to do. 
  3. Leave work stress and other stress aside for now. You need to fully recover so you can be your best self again. Anything unnecessary can wait! 
  4. Take this time to go inward and connect with yourself. Listen to your body, it will tell you what’s really going on – the physical, emotional and mental imbalances, and what it needs to come back to alignment. 
  5. Be kind to yourself, connect with love, compassion and gratitude.
Ginger, Lemon and Honey Water
 
Ingredients:
1 inch fresh ginger root, grated
12-16 oz. water water
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1-2 teaspoons raw honey
a pinch of organic turmeric powder (optional)

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a large mug or thermos and let it steep for 10-15 minutes. Sip throughout the day.

Garlic Water

Ingredients:
1 clove organic garlic, peeled and mashed lightly
12-16 oz. room temperature water

Directions:
Combine the garlic and water and let steep for an hour. Sip throughout the day.
 
I hope that you will stay healthy this season. But if you or your loved ones do get sick, know that you have all the knowledge and natural tools to heal quickly.

I’m sending you my best!

Green Beans with Onions & Red Peppers

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of green beans, stemmed and trimmed
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • ½ of an onion, cut into thin strips
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste.

Directions

  1. Parboil beans in boiling water until they are bright green, about 2-3 minutes. Drain and plunge into ice water to stop cooking.
  2. Heat coconut oil over medium high heat in a sauté pan.
  3. Saute peppers and onion until they begin to soften, about one minute.
  4. Add beans and cook another minute.
  5. Add garlic and cook until fragrant – about 30 seconds.
  6. Season with pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.

 

Oh So Sweet Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients

  • 3 large peeled sweet potatoes, chopped into small cubes
  • Himalayan Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½-1 cup water
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1¼ cups peeled and diced carrots
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
  • Cinnamon for topping
  • ¼ teaspoon Avocado oil and more for greasing pan

Instructions

  1. Preheat overn to 375 F, grease a casserole dish with avocado or coconut oil
  2. Steam the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes until soft
  3. Mash sweet potatoes, then add the almond milk. Blend the potato mixture with an electric hand mixer set to medium until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Set aside.
  4. Heat ½ tsp. avocado oil and 2 Tbs. of water in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the onions over medium-low heat until translucent, then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the celery, carrots, peas, thyme and rosemary. Increase the heat to medium-high.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the rest of the water and arrowroot until smooth, and add to the skillet. When the mixture gets close to boiling, immediately reduce heat. Add sea salt and black pepper, and season to taste.
  6. Pour the veggie mixture into the prepared casserole dish, spreading it evenly across the bottom.
  7. Spoon the sweet potato mixture over the vegetables, spreading to cover all the way to the edges of the dish.
  8. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon. Bake in a preheated 375ºF oven until the top is slightly browned, about 40 minutes.
  9. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving, enjoy!

Apple Cinnamon Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 cups quinoa flour (store-bought or made from the Vitamix)
  • ¼ cup flax seed meal
  • 1 ½ cups almond milk or coconut milk
  • 2 dates (optional for more sweetness)
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey or maple syrup
  • 2 cups chopped red delicious apples or other sweet ones
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin spice (add more for topping, optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
  • avocado oil or coconut oil for greasing the loaf or cake pan

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F, grease a bread loaf pan or round/square cake pan
  2. Put all dry ingredients in medium mixing bowl (except apples)
  3. Put all wet ingredients including apples into a high-speed blender or food processor, blend/process until slightly smooth
  4. Pour wet ingredients into the dry bowl, mix well
  5. Pour batter into greased loaf or cake pan, sprinkle the top with some cinnamon or pumpkin spice
  6. Bake at 350F for 35-45 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean
  7. Let cool for 1 hour, enjoy!

 

Sesame Almond Cookies

Ingredients
  • 1 ¼ cups almond flour
  • ¼ teaspoon himalayan sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅓ cup honey or maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup organic tahini 
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds (hulled)

Directions

In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt and baking soda
In a smaller bowl, mix together sweetener, tahini, oil and vanilla
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet
Form the dough into 1 inch balls and roll in the sesame seeds
Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and flatten
Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes until lightly brown
Cool on baking sheet and enjoy!

Amazing Warm Apple Crisps

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom or pumpkin spice
  • 1 Tspn melted coconut oil or 2-3 Tspn almond milk
  • ¼ cup raw organic honey or maple syrup 
  • 1 Tspn vanilla extract or powder
  • 5-6 medium apples, peeled, sliced, then chopped in half width-wise

Directions

In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, cinnamon and other spices

In a smaller bowl, combine oil, honey and vanilla

Stir wet ingredients into dry

Place apples in a 2 quart baking dish

Crumble topping over the apples

Cover and bake at 375° for 40 minutes on low rack

When apples are soft and their juices bubble, remove cover and bake 10 more minutes to brown crisp

Spiced Red Lentil and Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 2 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 cup fresh tomato, cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp. coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon powder
  • 1 pinch nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 pinch cardamom (optional)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. avocado or coconut oil

Directions

In a large pot, add the oil, onion and garlic, sauté for 1 minute. Then add the butternut squash and sauté for another few minutes.

Add in lentils, water and all spices, bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes with lid on.

Enjoy with some quinoa or brown rice!

Spiced Red Lentil and Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

1 cup red lentils

3-4 cups water

2 cups butternut squash, cubed

1 cup fresh tomato, cubed

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ tsp. turmeric powder

¼ tsp. coriander powder

¼ tsp. cumin powder

1/8 tsp. cinnamon powder

1 pinch nutmeg (optional)

1 pinch cardamom (optional)

salt & pepper to taste

1 tsp. avocado or coconut oil

Directions

In a large pot, add the oil, onion and garlic, sauté for 1 minute. Then add the butternut squash and sauté for another few minutes.

Add in lentils, water and all spices, bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes with lid on. Check from time to time to see if more water is needed, add a bit at a time as necessary. Stir occasionally.

Enjoy with some quinoa or brown rice!

Grounding Techniques for Peace & Harmony

In the midst our busy lives, how do we find inner balance and harmony? With all that’s happening in the world right now, it’s easy to get caught up in the external chaos and allowing it to affect us deeply. Then combine that with our own pain, traumas and inner critic, this can make for a hard life here on earth. So how do we find more peace, freedom, and joy?
I’ve learned that having rituals and a spiritual practice can truly help us ground ourselves, and open the door to heightened awareness and self-love. 
Here are some wonderful rituals for you to try:
  1. Gaze at the stars at night for 2-4 minutes – look deeply behind the stars and connect with your highest self and greatest source of love. This is so healing and can recharge your soul.
  2. Look up at the early morning sun (before 9am for 2-4 minutes) – close your eyes, breath deeply and feel the sun shining on your face. Invite this beautiful vibrant light to come into your body and recharging your whole being.
  3. Stand barefoot on grass or the earth – imagine yourself growing roots and connecting with the earth’s energy. Breath deeply and feel yourself grounding with the earth, knowing that you are safe and supported. When you leave this spot, imagine the roots staying where they are and you become free of the roots. You can come back to this place anytime you need to ground yourself.
  4. Listen to bird songs – when you see birds, stop and take a listen, their sounds are so healing for your heart, spirit and soul. 
  5. Walk in nature – find a couple places that you love to walk or hike in, and make it a weekly ritual to walk there, alone or with a good friend. This can quickly lift your energy and spirits. 
  6. Breath deeply & meditate daily – make space in your day for this practice, even if it’s 10 minutes in the morning or at night. It can have profound effects on your health & wellness. If you don’t have a practice yet, I recommend the apps called “Insight Timer” or “Calm” that you can have right on your phone. Another options is to find a local or online resource that will help you to create a mindfulness practice. 
Here are some healing and grounding foods to help you along the way, try to incorporate more of these organic foods into your diet:
  • bananas
  • avocados
  • apples & pears
  • wild blueberries
  • sweet potatoes or yams
  • butternut squash or other winter squash
  • celery
  • rosemary, thyme, sage, & oregano
  • ginger & turmeric
  • lemon balm tea
  • rose hips tea
  • nettle leaf tea
  • dandelion tea
May you find more peace and harmony within yourself and may you share your gifts with all those around you. Thank you for being you!

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The information on this website is not purposed to replace professional medical diagnosis, treatment or even advice. You should always consult a qualified healthcare professional with questions about any medical condition. The information is not a substitute for medical or psychological treatment. Any results presented on this website do not constitute a warranty, guarantee, or prediction regarding the outcome of an individual for any particular issue. While all materials and links to other resources are posted in good faith, the accuracy, validity, effectiveness, completeness, or usefulness of any information herein, as with any publication, cannot be guaranteed. Dana Tran Wellness accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for the use or misuse of the information contained on this website. We strongly advise that you seek professional advice as appropriate before making any health decision.

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