Month: April 2017

Camu-Camu more vitamin C than any other food!

Camu-Camu more vitamin C than any other food!

      Camu camu is a low-growing shrub found throughout the Amazon rain forests of Peru and Brazil. It produces a lemon sized, light orange to purplish red fruit with yellow pulp. This fruit is packed with more natural vitamin C than any other […]



Cozonac – a delicious sweet bread typically filled with a walnut filling, this is the most traditional sweet thing you will find in every Romanian family on Easter and Christmas. It is normally filled with a walnut-egg white filling, but you can actually find many […]

Romanian White Bean Dip – Fasole batuta

Romanian White Bean Dip – Fasole batuta


Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

A creamy, garlicky, vegan white bean dip, topped with delicious tomato-paprika onions, Romanian fasole batuta.

  • For the dip:
  • 250 g/ 8.8 oz white beans (See note *)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, to taste
  • salt
  • For the topping:
  • 75 ml/ ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 onions
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • salt
  • some more oil to drizzle, optional
  • fresh parsley, optional
  • more sweet paprika to sprinkle
  1. Rinse the beans and place them in a large bowl. Cover with water and leave to soak overnight. Rinse again, place in a large bowl, cover with plenty of water, add the halved onion and the bay leaves and bring to a boil. Cook for about 1 hour or until the beans are soft. The cooking time will greatly depend on the size and age of the beans so keep checking.
  2. Drain the beans but keep the cooking water. Discard the onion and the bay leaves. Leave the beans to cool slightly, then place them in the food processor together with about ¼ cup of the cooking liquid and two tablespoons vegetable oil. Add the grated garlic cloves (I prefer to grate the garlic myself before giving it to the food processor, just to make sure I will not bite on some larger pieces of garlic later). Process until they are really smooth, scraping down from the food processor walls a few times in between. Add more cooking liquid, a little at a time, to get the right consistency, it should be like a really thick crème fraiche or softer mashed potatoes. Add salt to taste, I am generous with the salt here, but keep tasting until it is right for you.
  3. To make the topping: halve the onions and slice the halves into thin half rings. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan. Add the onions and ½ teaspoon salt and cook gently for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. When the onions are golden, add the tomato paste, sugar and paprika powder and stir for further 2 minutes, until well combined and slightly caramelized.
  4. Transfer the beans to a bowl or a serving platter and top with the onions. Drizzle with more oil if desired and sprinkle with parsley and sweet paprika. If served as a dip or bread spread leave to get cold. If served as an accompaniment to sausages, meatballs or any kind of fried meat, serve it straight away, while still warm. Don’t forget the pickles: cucumber, green tomatoes, red peppers, hot peppers and so on.
Cook more than the beans needed for this recipe – you can easily freeze the rest for future use (soups, stews, salads) and cooking a lot at a time saves time and energy as well. You can even freeze the cooking liquid for making more dip or soup in the future.
Easter Chicken Drob

Easter Chicken Drob

Drob de pui – a delicious chicken appetizer for the Easter brunch, a twist on the traditional Romanian lamb drob. The traditional Romanian Easter drob it is actually made with lamb. For the orthodox Christians the lamb symbolizes Jesus’ sacrifice for the mankind, so traditionally […]

Romanian Easter Cheesecake – Pasca

Romanian Easter Cheesecake – Pasca

  This is another traditional Romanian Easter dessert: “Pasca de Pasti” or Easter Cheesecake. Basically a typical cheesecake made with the so called “cow’s cheese – “branza de vaci”, but untypical baked in a sweet bread case.The name of the cheese doesn’t only mean that […]

Shakeology Recipes

Shakeology Recipes


Today I want to share with you MORE of my FAVORITE Shakeology recipes and also HOW TO MAKE IT! There’s a bit of a science to YUMMY shakeology and I want to share it with you today!



Fill up the scoop that came in your bag to the top (or empty an entire packet) into at least 8 oz. of liquid (the unanimous favorite is almond milk or coconut milk, dairy milk seems to change the flavor a bit and water just isn’t the same). Or you can use Coconut Water. You can shake it up and add ice or (even BETTER) you can blend it into a smoothie with ice in your blender. Either way there some fun flavor combinations you can try:


-PB CUP: Chocolate shakeology, vanilla almond milk, powdered PB, ice (peanut butter cup)
-MOCHA FRAPPE: Chocolate shakeology, vanilla almond milk, cold black coffee, ice
-MOUNDS BAR: ½ chocolate shakeo, ½ vanilla shakeo, coconut milk, ice (mounds bar)


-STRAWBERRY: Strawberry shakeology, vanilla almond milk, fresh strawberries, ice
-NEOPOLITAN: Strawberry shakeology, vanilla almond milk, 1 tsp cocoa powder, ice
-STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM: Strawberry shakeology, ¼ scoop vanilla ShakeO, vanilla almond milk, ice
-BERRIES AND CREAM: Vanilla shakeology, vanilla almond milk, frozen berries, ice


-SNICKERDOODLE: Vanilla shakeology, vanilla almond milk, cinnamon, dash of nutmeg, ice
-PUMPKIN PIE: Vanilla shakeology, vanilla almond milk, pumpkin puree, cinnamon and nutmeg, ice
-FAUX FROSTY: Vanilla shakeology, vanilla almond milk, 1/2 banana, ice, 1 tbs cocoa powder (tastes like a Frosty from Wendy’s)


-I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S NOT STARBUCKS: Vegan Chocolate shakeology, vanilla almond milk, cold black coffee, dash of flavored coconut milk coffee creamer, ice
-CHOCOLATE SPICE: Vegan Chocolate shakeology, 1/2 c. water, 1/2 c. vanilla almond milk, tsp. pumpkin pie spice, ice
-PEPPERMINT MOCHA: Vegan Chocolate shakeology, vanilla almond milk, cold black coffee, 2 drops peppermint extract, ice
-MOUNDS BAR: Vegan Chocolate shakeology, 1/2 c. lite coconut milk (from a can), 1/2 c. water or vanila almond milk, ice


-BAHAMA MAMA: Vegan Tropical Strawberry shakeology, 1/2 cup pineapple juice, 1/2 c. lite coconut milk (from the can), ice
-CLASSIC: Vegan tropical strawberry, 1/2 banana, 8 oz. vanilla almond milk, ice
(greenberry is not my favorite, but if you love it, I suggest starting with fruit juices and water to add to the fruity-flavor.)

**If you feel like it’s too thick for you, go down to 3/4 of a scoop. (But don’t do less than that or you’ll be sacrificing the benefits!)


You can find more Shakeology recipes HERE!


Top 10 benefits of Blackberries

Top 10 benefits of Blackberries

    Nothing says “Summer!” like a fresh fruit salad and if blackberries aren’t in the mix, you’re definitely missing out! Sweet and succulent, this fruit belongs to the same family and closely resembles dewberries and raspberries. Blackberries, which grow on thorny bushes called brambles, […]

Lamb & Chicken Kabobs

Lamb & Chicken Kabobs

    Lamb & Chicken Kabobs Recipe TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 25 min. MAKES: 2 servings   Ingredients 6 ounces sirloin lamb roast, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 boneless skinless chicken breast (5 ounces), cut into 1-inch pieces 1 large portobello mushroom, quartered 1/2 small […]

Ashwagandha improve thyroid function and treat adrenal fatique

Ashwagandha improve thyroid function and treat adrenal fatique


If you are looking to restore your energy, look younger, and reverse disease then ashwagandha may be the herb you’re looking for. As you’re about to see, ashwagandha benefits are impressive.

Ashwagandha, is an adaptogenic herb popular in Ayurvedic medicine that has shown incredible results for lowering cortisol and balancing thyroid hormones.

In India, ashwagandha is known as the “strength of the stallion” since it has traditionally been used to strengthen the immune system after illness.

Ashwagandha has also been referred to as Indian ginseng because of its ability to enhance stamina and has extraordinary stress relieving properties.

There have been over 200 studies on Ashwagandha’s ability to:

Improve thyroid function

Treat adrenal fatigue
Reduce anxiety and depression
Combat effects of stress

Increase stamina and endurance

Prevent and treat cancer

Reduce brain cell degeneration
Stabilize blood sugar
Lower cholesterol
Boost immunity

In this article I’m going to discuss the benefits of ashwagandha in healing your thyroid, adrenal glands, improving mood and energy, preventing cancer, and supporting brain health.


Ashwagandha Thyroid Benefits

Ashwagandha is a superstar when it comes to improving the health of your thyroid.  Scientists don’t completely understand how adaptogens work, but we know that they can be extremely effective especially at balancing hormones.

One of the most incredible aspects about adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha is that it can help people with both hypo and hyper thyroid issues.  It has been shown to support a sluggish thyroid for people diagnosed with Hashimotos, and has been shown to improve the health of those with an overactive thyroid or Graves disease.

Adaptogenic herbs work with your body to bring you back into balance whether your levels are high or low.

Animal studies reveal ashwagandha has a thyroid hormone balancing effect.  In a 20 days study mice were give ashwagandha and their T3 and T4 levels were analyzed along with lipid peroxidation (anti-oxidant protection).  Significant increases in serum T4 were found which indicates this herb has a stimulatory effect on a sluggish thyroid.

Also, ashwagandha may benefit thyroid function because it greatly reduced lipid peroxidation by promoting scavenging of free radicals that cause cellular damage.  These results prove ashwagandha can be useful in treating hypothyroidism.

There are currently millions of people who struggle with thyroid problems (many who don’t even know it) and ashwagandha may just be the solution they are searching for.


Ashwagandha Adrenal Rejuvenation

Ashwagandha has also been proven effective in supporting adrenal function helping you overcome adrenal fatigue and chronic stress.

Your adrenal glands are endocrine glands that are responsible for releasing hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) in response to stress on your body.

If your adrenals are overtaxed due to an overabundance of emotional, physical and mental stress, it can lead to a condition known as adrenal fatigue. As you can see from this chart below, if your adrenals become exhausted it can also disrupt your other hormones, including progesterone, which can cause infertility and lower DHEA — which can cause you to age faster.

Medical studies have shown that ashwagandha improves cortisol levels, improves insulin sensitivity and naturally balances hormones. A case study reported a case of a 57-year-old woman with non-classical adrenal hyperplasia. She was treated with ashwagandha for six months, and after her treatment she saw improvements in four adrenal hormone markers, including corticoosterone and 11-deoxycortisol, which decreased by 69 percent and 55 percent respectively — a major improvement!

This hormonal improvement was also accompanied by a noticeable reduction in hair loss.

Benefits Brain Health

Emotional, physical, and chemical stress can all have damaging effects to the brain and nervous system.  Recent research has proven ashwagandha is more than a stress reliever, it also protects the brain from degeneration and improves symptoms of alzheimer’s, depression, and anxiety.

One of the main reasons ashwagandha is so effective at healing the brain has to do with its powerful antioxidants that destroy free radicals that cause aging. A study published in Phytotherapy Research explains these benefits:

Several studies have revealed that natural antioxidants, such as vitamin E, vitamin C and beta-carotene, may help in scavenging free radicals generated during the initiation and progression of this [Alzheimer’s] disease.  But we found Ashwagandha afforded lipid peroxidation inhibitory effects more potent than commercial antioxidants.

Researchers at the National Brain Research Centre found that mice with Alzheimer’s were unable to retain what they learned, but after 20 days of supplementing with ashwagandha, this improved significantly. The results of the study found a reduction in amyloid plaques (these cause degradation of the brain).


Improves Mood

There is also now evidence that ashwagandha is effective at treating both anxiety and depression.  In fact, in a recent study its results were comparable to common pharmaceutical drugs lorazepam and imipramine without the side effects.

In the 12-week controlled study, 87 participants with anxiety were given 300mg of ashwagandha two times a day or two placebo pills two times per day.  The group treated with ashwagandha resulted in much greater improvements in anxiety as well as focus, reduced stress, and decreased fatigue than the placebo group.

The other major benefit of ashwagandha is that there are no adverse reactions by taking it compared to anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications which can have terrible side effects.


Prevents and Treats Cancer

Ashwagandha extract has been shown in studies to have very promising benefits when it comes to helping with preventing and treating cancer. In certain studies, researchers have found that ashwagandha extract has a powerful anti-tumor effect. 

The extract has been shown to help inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells – specifically breast, lung, stomach, and colon cancer cells which are among some of the leading types of cancers in the world. It’s believed that ashwagandha helps to prevent the growth of cancer cells mostly due to its immune boosting and antioxidant abilities. Supplementing with ashwagandha is correlated with an increase in white blood cells within the body, which indicate that the immune system is better able to protect the body from disease and harmful invaders.  Another way that ashwagnadha helps prevent cancer is due to its ability to stop blood vessels around cancer cells from feeding into the growth of cancerous tumors.

In addition to preventing cancer cells from growing, studies have shown that ashwagandha can be a very useful addition to chemotherapy in treating existing cancer. Taking the extract seems to be effective in halting the immune system from becoming suppressed during chemotherapy.

Ashawagandha is able to counteract one of the biggest concerns with chemotherapy- the count of white blood cells in the body becoming lowered, which puts cancer patients as much higher risk for things like infection. Many cancer experts are now recommending ashwagandha extract be both a cancer prevention method as well as an addition to typical cancer treatments. In fact some studies have shown that some patients are even able to reverse signs of cancer using ashwagandha alone over other standard treatment methods.


Increases Stamina and Endurance

Studies have shown that ahswagandha can boost endurance during physical activity by sharpening brain function and reducing bodily pain. Due to its positive calming, yet energizing, effects on the brain and ability to lower stress hormones, ashwaganha showed improvements in concentration, motivation, and stamina in conducted studies.

One particular study found that when lab rats were given ashwagandha, they actually were able to swim twice as long compared to the same type of rats that were not given the supplements. Researchers believe that similar effects take place in humans due to the extract’s ability to balance adrenal hormones that are involved in physical activity. The extract was also shown to reduce bodily pain in the muscles and joints while at the same time keeping energy levels more steady, which is another reason why it could be a promising supplement for athletes, or for those who find it difficult to be physically active due to pain.

Did you know ashwagandha is one of the superfoods from Shakeology?


Maca Root balance the hormones and increase fertility

Maca Root balance the hormones and increase fertility

  Maca root (lepidium meyenii) is an adaptogen and a member of the cruciferous family, like broccoli and cabbage, but due to it’s unique properties it considered one of the world’s natural “super foods.”  Maca is grown high in the mountains of South America, mainly in […]



    TEAM JEWELL COACHING ACADEMY   Overview  If you have a passion for health & fitness, and helping others get in to the best shape of their lives, I like to think this is the place to start. The coaching academy, simply put, not […]

Live the life you dreamed about

Live the life you dreamed about


Just imagine for a second you could make all your dreams come true, achieve anything you want and succeed in all your undertakings. Wouldn’t this be absolutely amazing?

And you know what? Achieving outstanding success actually isn’t even that complicated. I am not saying it will be easy, because there will be all sorts of obstacles and challenges on your way.

But, the process itself is very simple. It takes only 5 steps to achieve extraordinary success and to make your dreams come true. All of those 5 steps are crucially important and none of them should be neglected.


1. Get a clear picture of what you want to achieve in your mind

Make sure you can see the vision of what you want to achieve crystal clear in your mind.

2. Put it on repeat

It’s not enough to think about it once and forget about it. Habits are formed with daily practice. So continue to run this movie of your future self in your mind every single day until it is materialized. The easiest way is to simply take your first 10 minutes in the morning  to visualize your vision.

3. Start to have your vision everywhere

Now that you have the clear vision in your mind, write it in words in a journal or create a vision board for you to see it every day. Be as descriptive as possible; even minute details are important. I like to have a vision board as a screen saver on my laptop where I crop out pictures from online that fit my vision, and I’ll post them so I seem them every morning when I wake up.

4. Develop the discipline to do what needs to be done and take action

Now that you have surrounded yourself with this vision, you need to take the first steps toward putting it into action. Remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. The most successful people in the world faced many obstacles and adversity, but it was that undying belief that they could create their vision that kept them going and taking action. So convince yourself that it is not only possible, but it’s a given. That kind of self-belief will ensure that you never give up or half ass the steps you need to take to see success.

No matter how much you visualize and how well you control your thoughts, if you don’t take action, nothing will happen.

Ideally, the taking action part should happen naturally out of the love and passion for what you are doing. But, sometimes you will need to do things that are not so exciting, or you may have periods where you feel a bit less passionate and that’s when you will need some discipline to get going, to get started and to take some action.

But, this doesn’t necessarily mean forcing and pushing yourself for months and years. No, just a slight push here and there to get started. The more you practice discipline, the easier it gets.

Also, you will realize that most of the time you will need some discipline only to get started. Usually, you will get into the flow after only 10-15 minutes and from there on, taking action is easy and fun.

5.Believe in your success

If you can’t believe in your success, you won’t succeed. However, if you are starting out on a big project it is perfectly normal if you can’t fully believe in your success right from the start.

Belief usually grows over time. You learn to control your thoughts, you prepare and re-program your subconscious mind by reading and visualizing your goals every day, you have a bit of success here and there… and you start believing more and more in the materialization of your goals.

Ask yourself, what keeps you from fully believing in your goals. Mostly those are old beliefs you took on from your parents, teachers, friends… and they usually can be destroyed fairly easily.

Whatever you want to achieve, there probably has already been someone, maybe even hundreds or thousands of people who already did it. Many of them may have even done it under circumstances that were more complicated than yours.

If others can do it, you can do it as well. Read or listen some biographies and success stories and you will realize that all those hugely successful people haven’t necessarily been more talented or intelligent than the average person. They didn’t necessarily have any of those big connections, many of them don’t even have a college degree but they still succeeded.

So, grab your goal by the horns and really start to map it out and keep a constant eye on it. And finally, remember this is a game of consistency. The one that continues to chug along no matter the weather, wins. Good luck!

How to Get a discount on Shakeology

How to Get a discount on Shakeology

      How to Get a discount on Shakeology   If you’re looking for how to “buy Shakeology cheap” then there’s a very good chance that you have heard all about it and want to know how to get the best possible deal.    […]

Spring into Fitness Beachbody on Demand Challenge Pack Special

Spring into Fitness Beachbody on Demand Challenge Pack Special

    Have you heard of Beachbody On Demand?  Well Beachbody On Demand All Access is our newest feature that allows you to steam every single fitness program that Beachbody has ever released plus all new releases in a 12 month period right to your […]