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Our Immune Health Starts in Our Gut

Did you know that our immune health starts in our gut? I makes sense, if you think about it, since the gut is where everything we eat gets absorbed. So if we have an unhealthy gut, we may also have a weak immune system.

With this in mind, I wanted to provide some tips to help you IMPROVE YOUR IMMUNE HEALTH BY HEALING YOUR GUT, that you can start doing today to reduce and reverse illness.

1. Take a Probiotic 

Probiotics can assist in rebalancing your microbiome.

I have finally found one that I love and I can actually feel the difference since I started taking it. It comes in a powder pixie stick form. Just open it, pour it into your mouth and it melts away. It’s a yummy sweet cucumber flavor. Click HERE for more info.

2. Eat Fermented and Cultured Foods.

Foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and fresh pickles. Not only do these foods contain probiotics, but they are also full of digestive enzymes, which can compensate for your stomach, liver, or gallbladder.

3. Eat Sprouted Vegetables.

Sprouted veggies contain dramatically increased amounts of enzymes compared to their unsprouted counterparts.

4. Eat radishes, artichokes, dandelion, and chicory.

These foods and other bitter greens stimulate the liver to create bile.

5. Try a Demulcent.

Demulcents soothe irritated or inflamed tissues and include foods like almonds, barley, coconut oil, figs, parsley, prunes, and sage.

6. Avoid Alcohol and Coffee.

These substances can adversely affect your microbiome — the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut.

7. Try Ghee.

Ghee (clarified butter) has been used in India for thousands of years to treat digestive problems. It can reduce inflammation and is high in gut-healing butyrate.

8. Eat More Fiber.

Fiber helps regulate your digestive tract and also acts as food for your good bacteria.

I hope these immune health tips are helpful for you. Personally my best and favorite tip is to add a probiotic to your daily supplement routine.

Stay safe out there, friends – Keep that gut and immune system in good health!

(Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/arthritis-and-your-immune-system)

Recipe: Gluten Free Banana Protein Pancakes

Me and my sweet tooth LOVE pancakes! But gluten is a problem for me, so I found this flourless banana pancake recipe and I’m OBSESSED!

They are super easy to make with only 3 ingredients, and they have a serving of protein, carbs and fruit to help you get your day started right!

Recipe Details: Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 5-8 minutes

Shopping List:

  • 1½ large bananas, ripe to overripe (200g; 7 oz)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Maple syrup, butter, or fruit of choice, to serve

Flourless Banana Pancakes - Ingredients

Directions to make your gluten free protein pancakes:

  1. In a mixing bowl, crack the eggs and add in baking powder. Whisk or beat with a fork to combine.
  2. In another bowl add in 1½ large bananas. Lightly mash with a fork or potato masher, but not too much. There should be chunks of bananas to make fluffy pancakes. And use only ripe bananas.

    Flourless Banana Pancakes -  Mashing Bananas

    Flourless Banana Pancakes -  Mashed Bananas

  3. Pour egg mixture into mashed bananas and stir to combine.
  4. Heat a frying pan to medium high heat and add a bit of butter or oil so the pancakes won’t stick.
  5. 2 tablespoons of batter is enough for each mini pancake.
  6. When the baking powder is activated, flip it over and cook for about one minute more.
  7. Serve immediately, when hot, and add maple syrup and your fruit of choice for added deliciousness!
  8. ENJOY! 

Gluten Free Banana Protein Pancakes

Social Distancing – A Test of Humanity

Mariska in the woodsToday, I am doing my best version of “Social Distancing,” due to COVID-19.

Getting my Sunday therapy session in the woods. Sunshine. Fresh air. Peace and quiet. Beasties. It’s all I need to get me through another week for my 14 days of self isolation.

It feels like all the relaxing and rejuvenating I did in Bali for 4 weeks has already unraveled and melted away this past week, with the craziness that’s going on around the world, and in my local community.

I sure am glad to be home, considering the current state of air travel and borders closing and the insane costs of changing flights, etc.

The mass stockpiling of supplies is not something I expected to see when I got home, especially after spending a month in a country where most people are barely getting by, earning the equivalent of just $300cad/month.

I had a bit of culture shock coming home to people lining up before stores even open to literally run and almost trample each other to buy up toilet paper, hand sanitizer and food like it’s some kind of apocalyptic event. (I still don’t understand the toilet paper part…)

I mean, I get it, to a certain extent, but at the same time, not EVERYONE is being quarantined. If you’re not sick, you don’t need a 2-4 week food supply. The stores will remain open, and the supply chain will continue to operate. You can still have stuff delivered right to your door.

Everything that’s going on around us, for the most part, is precautionary to work toward flattening the curve and avoiding a potential outbreak. We are not at a point where we are all going to inevitably get sick to the point of requiring critical care if we run out of toilet paper. Just sayin.

PLEASE be conscious of others when you are loading your shopping carts. Buy only what you need just like you would for a regular shopping day. Everyone out there needs their weekly food supply.

Think of your parents or grandparents or elderly friends who may be on a fixed income and are only able to grocery shop a few times per month and are only able to purchase what they need. Imagine them going to the store to find empty shelves when their cupboards at home are bare as well because they don’t have the means buy in bulk.

Social distancing is suddenly a thing, but being socially conscious and caring about others, and taking care of others is ALWAYS a thing.

Think of this whole mess as a test of our humanity and social conscience. Selfishly stock piling is not the answer. Taking care of each other and making sure we all have what we need is.

#livealifeyoulove

Identifying Toxic Humans, Bless and Release

It has been quite a while since I have had a toxic human in my life that upset me in a way that rocked me to my core.

I’m learning that despite hopes and wishes and long periods of time, some things simply never change. As humans, we just simply clash with some other humans in life.

We may care for them. We may wish things were different. We may have hopes that things will change one day… but in the end, it’s better for our own mental wellbeing to move on, let them go, and walk away.

Identifying Toxic Humans - Bless and Release

How to Identify a Toxic Human in Your Life

How do you identify someone who is toxic to your wellbeing? It’s all connected to how you feel when you are in their presence.

Column A:

  • Do they speak to you with love and respect?
  • Do they treat you with kindness?
  • Do they make you feel good about who you are?
  • Do they encourage and support you in your goals and dreams?
  • Do they make you feel loved and appreciated?

Column B:

  • Do they compare you to others and make you feel less than?
  • Do they make you feel anxious and make your stomach tie in knots?
  • Do they make you feel like you can’t do anything right or like you are always doing things “wrong”?
  • Do they criticize and judge the things you do or say, or the choices you make for your own life?
  • Do they just generally make you feel shitty? Even with a simple text message?

If you answered mostly “no” to column A, and mostly “yes” to column B, then you are more than likely in a toxic environment that you would be better off walking away from.

It may be difficult.
It may be painful.
It may even be the hardest thing you have ever done.

However, for your own sanity, wellbeing and personal growth, you must distance yourself. Even if it’s someone you have known for a long time, or it may even be a family member you have known your whole life – distance yourself.

Walking away is the only way you are able to grow into the person you are meant to be without being held back by the toxic energy from this person.

You will thank yourself for it in time, I promise you this.

My Experience with Toxic Humans

I have personally had several toxic people show up throughout my life. I will be honest, at first I was blind to it. I had no idea why I always felt drained, grumpy, and lacking confidence and belief in myself while in their presence. Why did I always feel like I had to walk on eggshells, or behave a certain way to make them accept me? It wasn’t until I forced myself to walk away, and the “smoke” cleared, that I realized the connection around why I was feeling that way.

Contact MariskaSince then, each time it becomes easier to identify the traits of a toxic human, who I am simply not meant to have in my life, and it has become a little bit easier each time to walk away.

It doesn’t mean I have ill feelings toward anyone. It simply means I am better off to send them love and light, bless and release them and their energy from my life.

If you feel that this post resonates with you at all, or if you have questions, please comment below or reach out to me on Facebook, or by commenting on this post.

You deserve a life you love, surrounded by people who care about you and truly have your best interests and success at heart and speak to you with respect and kindness.

Bless and release. Live a life you love.

The Decline of Common Courtesy

This is going to be a bit of a rant. I’m frustrated.

Frustrated with how common courtesy simply doesn’t seem to be a THING anymore.

What happened to asking someone how they are doing or how they’ve been before asking them for something you want from them?

Is common courtesy is fading away with the advancement of technology?

Thanks to technology, people have become instant gratification junkies and have almost forgotten that there’s actually a human being with hopes, dreams, feelings and a life at the other end of their text message. Someone who might be having a shit day, or could really use a friendly message from someone in that moment, only is made to feel insignificant when there is no regard for them as a human being.

It’s no longer a “Hi! How are you? How have you been? What’s new?” society, but more of a “Hey, I need something from you right now!” society. Sometimes the “Hey” is even totally omitted too. 

What has happened to the idea of actually caring about the human being on the other end of the message?

Common Courtesy

I’m not going to claim to be completely innocent of this, I’ve done it too. 

However, over the past few years I have been making an effort to connect with people on the other end of my messages before I ask them to go out of their way for me, or ask a favor of them. Sometimes – and I know this is totally crazy – but sometimes I just message them to see how they’re doing and don’t actually want anything from them at all!

There are people who sometimes reach out to me after months or even YEARS of no contact and and without so much as a “how have you been?” they ask me for a favour. 

Please. People. Be humans. Be kind. Connect. Interact.

Make the person on the other end of your text message feel appreciated, cared about and important. Not just a means to an end (yours).  

Kindness costs nothing. Asking someone how they are, costs nothing.  Asking how life is treating them, or how their vacation was, or how their work is going, costs nothing! Making someone feel good and appreciated, costs nothing. 

My Courtesy Challenge to You

I challenge you to catch yourself, and not just go straight in for the end game of getting something from the person you are contacting. Start by asking how they’re doing and connect to something in their life first, wait for a reply, and only then decide if it’s appropriate to ask them for whatever you need from them.

You just might help someone have a better day. You just might have an unexpected impact. You just might still get what you’re after, and this time that person just might be happy to help you out, rather than feel used and unappreciated.

And after you get what you want, PLEASE express your heartfelt thanks. Yes, HEARTFELT thanks, it’s a thing. Drop a comment below, if you accept the challenge!

Common courtesy. Let’s bring it back. Let’s make it a thing in 2020. 

Life a Life You Love

end rant —/

Allow Me to Introduce Myself: I’m Mariska Richters!

Happy New Year, Friends! 

With a new year, a new DECADE, and so many new visitors to my page, I thought it a good time to re-introduce myself. I’m Mariska Richters, and this page is where I share my life adventures, travel addiction, my loveable fur babies, Roxidoo and Cash, health/wellness and positivity tips & all the delicious food my husband, Adam, cooks for me. 🙂

I’m a Dutch/Canadian, a Leo, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a beastie mama of two. I love to travel, love food and wine (especially pink wine with bubbles) and am passionate about location independent business.

Mariska Richters - 2020

Why a Freedom Lifestyle?

One of the reasons I’m so passionate about creating a freedom lifestyle is because I have an allergy to bosses, daily commutes, and being told when I am allowed to eat, nap and pee. 

I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I grew up in an entrepreneurial family, and it has always been my dream to earn my living from anywhere – like a beach!

About 3.5 years ago I stumbled into an online business opportunity that opened my eyes to a whole new way of earning income. I dove in and I haven’t looked back… I never imagined that sharing my story and passions on social media would allow me to help so many people while allowing me to live life on my own terms. It has been an absolute game changer, and now I can’t imagine living life any other way.

I’m a woman that just wanted to find my purpose and live a freedom lifestyle where I was not stuck commuting 2+ hours per day to work in a stuffy windowless cubicle for the rest of my working life. I was sick of feeling guilty for leaving my Roxidoo home alone for 10+ hours a day.

So I found a way to create the freedom lifestyle I always wanted through an online health & wellness business, where I teach busy working women (like you) with no experience how to earn extra cash online by leveraging social media. I help them find their purpose, which creates an online marketing machine! I also love helping people achieve their health & wellness goals, allowing them to live their best and most energetic life.

My goal for 2020 is to support women reclaim their freedoms and power, step into their greatness and to help them create a life they love!

Fun Facts About Mariska Richters

  • My biggest loves in life are dogs, travel, wine, fitness and sunshine.
  • My biggest fears are heights and water splashing in my face.
  • I have a rosé and prosecco addiction. 😉
  • I have solo traveled through Thailand, Costa Rica, Bali, Europe, and Morocco.

I started my journey in Online Marketing in 2016 just wanting to pay for my health products – today, I have fired my boss and this business is my main income gig.

Please, be curious!! Ask me about online marketing, how to start a business from the ground up with zero experience, health tips, fitness, travel, how to get back on track after a setback and how to step into your courage when you’re scared shitless!

I get PUMPED to share my hacks of what drove me to create the successful business, impact, positive mindset & freedom lifestyle.

One thing I have realized throughout this journey, is that we REALLY do create our own reality through our thoughts and our language. And I truly love helping others come to the same conclusion, help them shift their mindset and as a result: Change Their Life!

I finally found a way to break out of the hamster wheel of the monday-to-friday 9-5 grind, feeling lost and having no real purpose. So it’s now my mission to help other women do the same.

Now it’s your turn:

  • Tell me one fun fact about YOU below!
  • Share fur babies’ names with me (and your human kids too, haha!!) 

What is Intermittent Fasting and the What Are the Benefits?

Fasting has been a norm for humans for centuries. Throughout history, people did not eat 3 meals a day at set hours, plus snacks in between. Today, our eating habits are very different. We no longer have a need to hunt for food, it is readily available and we can pretty much eat any time we like. More recently, intermittent fasting has become a popular topic in health and wellness conversations (especially in the keto realm), and has shown to have many benefits.

Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting

What Is Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is where you cycle in and out of periods of eating and not eating.

Although people do experience weight loss with intermittent fasting, it is not so much a diet plan but more of a lifestyle choice to take advantage of some incredible health benefits, some of which are listed in the section below.

Types of Intermittent Fasting

  • 5:2 – eat normally five days a week, and then the other two days you are fasting, although you do still eat between 500 and 600 calories per day.
  • Eat-stop-eat – You restrict all food for 24 hours, once or twice a week.
  • 16/8 (most popular) – You eat all of your daily meals within typically 8 hours, and then you fast for the remaining 16 hours. You can do this every day, or just a few times a week. It can be any 8 hours you choose – a typical schedule could be 11am-7pm, or 12pm-8pm.
  • Keto Coffee Intermittent Fasting – resembles the 16/8 method, but with one difference: you drink a cup of keto coffee in the morning. It’s a clever hack to keep your hunger at bay while still staying in the fasting state.

Intermittent Fasting Made Easy

5 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

  • Helps with Weight Loss and Reduce Belly Fat
    • When you are in the fasting state for an extended period of time, your body goes into a ketogenic fat burning state, where it burns your body’s fat for fuel instead of the food you would otherwise eat.
  • Reduces Inflammation
    • Inflammation is at the root of many health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Fasting for prolonged periods, coupled with drinking lots of water and proper hydration, can help eliminate inflammation in the body.
  • Boosts Brain Function
    • What is good for the body is often good for the brain as well. Intermittent fasting improves various metabolic features known to be important for brain health.
      IF may improve mental acuity and concentration. According to Johns Hopkins Health Review, IF can improve connections in the brain’s hippocampus and also protect against amyloid plaques, which are found in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Reduces Insulin Resistance and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
    • Case studies have shown that intermittent fasting has helped people with type 2 diabetes to limit their insulin intake, dramatically lower insulin levels and significantly improve insulin sensitivity, as well as significantly lower blood pressure.
  • Simplifies Life and Saves Money
    • When you eliminate the number of meals you eat in a day or week, you will find that meal prep becomes much easier, YAY! During eating windows, you can simply eat your regular food and then drink water, tea, coffee, or bone broth while fasting. Easy, right?! This saves you both time and money on food.

How to Survive Your Fasting Hours

There are a few tips and tricks I can give you to survive your intermittent fasting hours. I have learned these over time, as I went, because my stomach normally wakes up before my brain does and I normally need to eat as soon as I wake up.

These tips will help you ease into intermittent fasting, if you are just getting started:

  1. You can drink tea and COFFEE!! Just make sure you are drinking either black coffee or keto/bulletproof coffee.
  2. Drink LOTS of water. This will help you feel full and will help keep your hunger at bay. You can add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to it as well.
  3. You can drink bone broth. It contains numerous minerals and vitamins and is quite ‘filling’ in terms of reducing hunger pangs. The other benefit is that you can add a good amount of sea salt to it, which will help you stay hydrated.
  4. Hunger will often increase into the second day. After that, it gradually decreases – many report a complete loss of hunger by day 3-4.
  5. Stay busy to keep your mind off of being hungry and the countdown to your eating window.
  6. IMPORTANT: Don’t binge after fasting! This will only counter the benefits and will make the next day more difficult.
I hope this post been helpful to you. If you are interested in joining a super fun informative group filled with challenges, prizes and more, please shoot me a message

I used to dread Mondays…

Mariska on MondaysI used to dread Mondays… 

I used to start thinking about my work week on Sunday afternoons. My entire Monday evenings would be spent stressing out about how much I REALLY did’t want to go into the office the next morning to spend my whole week in a windowless cubicle, in a completely male environment with far too much chauvinistic testosterone flying around. I would become a grumpy, stressy, mess and I probably was not that pleasant to be around…

All I could dream about was how I wanted to, one day, work from home (or from anywhere for that matter), so I could hang out with my dog, Roxie, all day and wouldn’t have to feel guilty about leaving her home alone for nearly 10 hours a day. (Poor beastie!) 

I used to sit in my Vancouver basement suite and dream up ideas on how I would make my income from wherever I wanted, and I even started my own little company at one point, found a few clients, and was slowly working toward being able to leave my cubicle job.

It was HARD!! And eventually I just gave up. 

THEN I saw this girl on Facebook who was doing exactly what I always wanted to do. She had it all! She had the freedom to work from home while raising her baby, and she had the financial freedom to buy her dream home/hobby farm with her earnings! She was doing it!!

So I started to follow her. At first I would silently stalk her posts. Then, as I got to know her online self a bit better, I started to interact with her posts a little bit, and one day I got up the courage to send her a message. 

Let me tell you something: That was the BEST thing I’ve ever done for myself!

This girl inspired me to dream bigger and to believe more in myself and my ability to be, do and have whatever I can dream!

I joined her team and haven’t looked back!

Mondays Look Different Now

I am now living my dream, spending my Mondays and everyday working from home, with my 2 dogs and my husband at my side. I start my days with a workout, make my own hours and can take my work with me wherever I go, so my income isn’t impacted if I want to take a vacation or spend a week at the beach. I no longer need to ask for time off. I no longer work in a windowless cubicle. And I am now surrounded by an incredibly inspiring team of people who motivate me everyday to be a better version of me!

I used to be stuck in a rut of thinking that life had to be about the morning commute and the 9 to 5. I thought that the location independent lifestyle was something only OTHER people could do. I thought I just wasn’t good enough to deserve it for myself.

Boy was I wrong!

All it took was the courage to send one message and it totally changed my life!

What does YOUR Monday look like? And what would you like it to look like? What will it take for you to send that one message that could completely change your life? Are you ready? I’m here for you. 

#thiscouldbeyou #livealifeyoulove 

Income Disclosure 2016

Delicious Slow Cooker Pasta Sauce Recipe

One of my favorite comfort foods is pasta. And although I have a gluten sensitivity, I still love to get my spaghetti or lasagne on every once in a while, but I use a great trick to avoid the gluten as well as the carbohydrates in pasta, and level up on the healthiness factor of this meal.

I kinda made this recipe up as I went, and it turned out pretty darn good, so I thought it was worth sharing. 🙂

Recipe Details

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 8 hours on low in your crock pot
Serving size: 1 – 1.5 cups

Shopping List / Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef (or ground turkey for a leaner protein)
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper (I also used a piece of orange pepper that I had left over in the fridge)
  • 2 carrots – chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery – chopped
  • A handful of mushrooms – chopped
  • 2 cans tomato paste – try to use one that has the least number of added ingredients.
    • The Italissima brand (in the photo) contains only tomatoes and salt.
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Slow Cooker Pasta Sauce Ingredients
Directions

  1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Add ground beef (or turkey). Cook until the meat is browned (4-5 minutes), making sure to crumble the meat as it cooks. Drain excess fat and transfer to slow cooker.* This process helps melt off excess fat and water from the meat, which helps make it healthier before transferring it to the slow cooker.
  2. Get rid of the excess fat and add remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil to the skillet. Add vegetables to the skillet and cook until the onions are soft (about 3 minutes). This process helps release the flavours from the veggies before adding them to the slow cooker. Transfer to slow cooker.
  3. Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and herbs and seasoning to the slow cooker and mix well.pasta-sauce-ingredients-in-slow-cooker
  4. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook for 8 hours on LOW.
  5. Stir well and serve with your choice of pasta or zoodles.

Enjoy!

Pasta Sauce on Zoodles

Pasta Sauce on Zoodles (zucchini noodles)

Recipe: Crockpot Cilantro Lime Chicken

I’m always on the lookout for easy, healthy and delicious meals to add to my rotation and in the winter months that often involves my crockpot!

This was my first try with this cilantro chicken recipe, and it turned out awesome!

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Corn and Black Beans - Cooked!

Recipe Details:

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Crockpot Cooking Time: 6-8 hours on Low OR 5-6 hours on High
Serving Size: 1 cup
Serves 6-8

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Corn and Black Beans - Ingredients

Shopping List / Ingredients: 

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken, thighs or breast
    (I find that chicken thighs don’t dry out as much as the breast in the slow cooker)
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1, 15-ounce can black beans
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Siracha sauce (optional, if you like it spicy)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

Directions: 

To eat it today: Combine all ingredients except cilantro in the slow cooker and cook it on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 5-6 hours.

To prepare for the freezer:  Chop up all the ingredients (except cilantro) and place them into a ziploc bag and freeze it for an easy meal option at a later date.

When you’re ready to cook it, take it out of the freezer, run warm water over the bag to separate it from the frozen food, and place frozen ingredients in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 5-6 hours.

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Corn and Black Beans

How to Serve Cilantro Lime Chicken:  

Stir in 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro before serving.

Add to tacos, burritos, taco salad, nachos, or make burrito bowls with it. Or just add it to your meals as a side dish. It’s very flexible.

In the photo below I’ve made huevos rancheros with my crockpot cilantro lime chicken for breakfast – DELICIOUS!

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Corn and Black Beans - Huevos Rancheros

Do you have a crockpot recipe to share? Post it in the comments below!