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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)

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

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

A Monumental Day In My Business

Today is a monumental day in my business.

First, let me tell you how absolutely amazing our company is that they paid us 3 days early today! Whooop!!!

Second, and this is the monumental part, when I saw my paycheque land in my account a few minutes ago, I got curious and had the idea to look at my old pay stubs from my last full time office job, and here’s what I found —> I have officially EXCEEDED my previous job’s monthly income by $47!!!

So here’s the thing.

When I started with this business, all I wanted was to make $500 per month to help with our household bills while Adam and I built up our coaching business, The Cycling Co. That $500 was going to help relieve some financial stress and allow us to still have a bit of fun and go on date nights, as new business owners.

When I hit my goal of $500 after 3 months, my “Why” changed.

You see, we had gotten married about 9 months earlier, and we never went on a proper honeymoon. So I set my new goal to earn $2000/month with my online business, so that we could save some money to take the trip of our dreams for our honeymoon.

7 months later I hit that goal.

(We are planning our honeymoon later this year!)

The Next Goal

The next goal I set for myself (because why stop now) was to earn enough m

oney with my online business to replace my previous full time employment income.

You see, when I left my last office job, I swore that I would find a way to never have to work in that environment again. I knew that there were other ways to earn an income that did not require me to commute in traffic to and from an office everyday, sit in a stuffy windowless cubicle, in an office where I was the only woman, where although I liked the work, I felt I was not treated as an equal in the workplace.

I would NEVER go back to that environment. (There is more to this story, but I will leave that for another time.)

Because TODAY is a MONUMENTAL DAY!

Today (5 months later) it happened! Today my monthly income from my online business has exceeded the full time monthly income from my last office job!

And THAT is a reason to CELEBRATE!!!!!

#celebrationfriday #livealifeyoulove #whynotyou

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

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!

Recipe: Apple Butternut Squash Soup

I’m a HUGE soup lover, so I thought I would give this delicious looking apple butternut squash soup a try with the surplus of apples I picked from my parents’ trees. I had a fairly small butternut squash to work with, so I cut the recipe in half – an average squash should be fine with the full ingredient amounts.

Apple Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Apple Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Total Time: 1 hr.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 50 min.
Equipment: Blender, large saucepan
Yield: 8 servings

Shopping List:

  • 4 lbs. butternut squash
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 medium apples, peeled and chopped
    (Tip: Use the apples of your choice, a more sour apple will help reduce sweetness of the soup.)
  • 4 cups low-sodium organic chicken broth
  • 1 thin slice fresh ginger, peeled, finely chopped
    (Tip: I keep my ginger in the freezer, it helps it last longer and makes it super easy to cut into very thin slices.)
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
    (Tip: if you have lactose intolerance, use almond milk instead.)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground white pepper
  • Optional: Cilantro to garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.
    Apple Butternut Squash Soup Recipe - Squash cut in half
  3. Cover squash halves with foil and place them on a baking pan cut sides up. Bake until tender (about 45-50 minutes). Set aside.
    Apple Butternut Squash Soup Recipe - foiled butternut squash
  4. While your squash is in the oven, add oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  5. Add chopped onion; cook, stirring frequently until tender (maybe 3-4 minutes).
  6. Add apples, broth, ginger, and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally until apples are tender (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat.
  7. Pour the apple mixture into the blender (in batches, if necessary). Blend until smooth. Return apple mixture to saucepan.
    Apple Butternut Squash Soup Recipe - Blended apple mixture
  8. Take the squash out of the oven and scoop the flesh out into the blender, add milk (or almond milk in my case) and blend until smooth.
    Apple Butternut Squash Soup Recipe - baked squashApple Butternut Squash Soup Recipe - Blended squash
  9. Add blended squash to the apple mixture in the saucepan and add salt, and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil over low heat, stirring frequently.
  10. Remove from heat and serve. Garnish with fresh apple chunks and cilantro.

Apple Butternut Squash Soup

If you liked this apple butternut squash soup recipe, share the love with a pin, a like, a pic or a comment below!

Recipe: The Best Healthy Apple Crisp

I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical about this apple crisp recipe when I first read about it – mostly because there is no butter or no sugar in it. But I thought, “Hey! I have a TON of apples from my parents trees, so I may as well give it a shot.” Well let me tell you, I am pleasantly surprised by what I pulled out of the oven last night! So here, as promised, is the recipe. (Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for a bonus Shakeology recipe.)

Apple Crisp - 21 Day Fix Approved

Apple Crisp (21 Day Fix Approved)

Recipe Details:

Prep Time: 28 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes (approx.)
Serving Size: 1 cup

Shopping List: 

  • Your favourite apples (enough to make 4 cups, peeled and sliced)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 finely chopped (or crushed up) pecans and/or walnuts

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
  2. Peel and slice up 4 cups of apples.
    (I had a leftover peach that needed to be used up, so those are the orange bits you see in the photo below.)
  3. In a medium baking dish; combine the apples with 2 tbsp maple syrup and 1/2 tsp cinnamon and mix well.
    Apple Crisp Recipe - 21 Day Fix Approved
  4. In a bowl, combine oats, nuts, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and mix well.Apple Crisp Recipe - 21 Day Fix Approved
  5. Top the apple mixture with the oat mixture in the baking dish.
    Apple Crisp Recipe - 21 Day Fix Approved
  6. Bake 25-30 minutes or until the apples are soft.
  7. Clean up. There’s not a whole lot of mess…

Cleanup from apple crisp recipe

Enjoy your fresh, delicious, 21 Day Fix approved apple crisp with a cup of tea or coffee! (In the photo: Earl Grey de la Creme black tea from Steeped Tea With Jenn)

Apple Crisp with Earl Grey del la Creme Tea

Bonus Vanilla Shake Recipe

Apple Pie Shakeology RecipeThis morning, as I was making my fiancé’s vanilla shake, I wondered how good it might be with some of the apple crisp blended into it.

Um, Hello Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream!

Apple Pie Shakeology Recipe:

Blend together:

  • 1/2 cup apple crisp
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Shake Powder
  • 1 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
  • Ice (optional)

Did you like this recipe? Share the love with a pin, a like, a pic or a comment below!

This Opportunity Could Make Your Dreams Come True!

If you’ve been following my blog and social media for a while, you know that financial freedom, time freedom and location independence have always been important to me. These are things that I have dreamed about for quite a while.

For years I have been working a day job, and taking on side projects with hopes that “one day” the side jobs would out-weigh the daily grind. But, due to the time commitment of the day job, that dream always stayed a dream. I never found the right formula and support system to make it happen.

Are You a Dreamer?

Are You a Dreamer?

Are you a daydreamer? Do you ever sit at your desk job, thinking about the other things you could be doing? Thinking where you might be if you were location independent with financial freedom? What you would be doing? Who you would be doing it with? Which passion projects you would be working on?

  • Close your eyes.
  • Take a deep breath.
  • Think about what that day dream looks like.
  • Visualize it.
  • Got it?
  • Write it down.
  • Read it to yourself everyday.

What would you say if I told you that you could HAVE that dream?

What would you do if you had the tools and the means to get there?

Would you give it a shot?

What if I told you your dream could be a reality?

Becoming my own boss has given me the freedom to work on my own terms, set my own hours and do something I’m passionate about, all from any location I choose! Whether I’m  at home, at the beach in Parksville with my family, skiing in Whistler, or somewhere more exotic like Europe or Costa Rica, as long as I have an internet connection I can get my work done! My online business has taken my dreams out of my head and into my life!

If this inspires you and you’re ready to take your dreams into your own hands, try something new, be a part of a supportive community of like-minded entrepreneurs, and dream a little bigger, drop me a Facebook message, comment below or shoot me an email for more info.