Homemade Salsa From Your Garden

Medical Weight Loss in Melbourne, FL

By now you have probably have had had all the caprese salads and tomato sandwiches your stomach can handle. After months of pawning them off on family and coworkers (even they don’t want anymore), you still have a surplus of crops left in your garden, so what can you do? The process of freezing tomatoes can be daunting. Instead, make salsa.

You can make a huge batch at one time and store it in the freezer,  it will last for months.  It has several uses, pull it out at parties with chips, have it with your morning eggs or top your tacos. The possibilities are endless. Best part, it’s extremely healthy. Delicious and good for you, that’s hard to come by. You can use all your leftovers from your summer garden (tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, cilantro) and clean out your fridge and pantry. You can modify this recipe to you and your family’s taste by playing with different spices and peppers. Below is a recipe to use as a guide but play around with it and make it your own. This recipe will make around a gallon of salsa. Add or subtract ingredients, depending on how much you want to make and what you have left to use. You can freeze it in a freezer bag or tupperware container.

  • 7 cups diced garden tomatoes
    (use a variety)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2cup chopped yellow onion
  • 4 tablespoons diced jalapeño peppers
  • 1/2 a cup diced sweet peppers
  • 1/2 a cup diced green bell peppers
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons red wine or white vinegar
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with juice

The chopping of the veggies can take a little time but after that its smooth sailing. Try to remove most of the pepper seeds and avoid the mushy parts of the tomato. If you dont like spice, skip the jalapeños. Like it sweeter? Try adding corn, mango or pineapple. Salsa is simple and delicious. Add your own personal touch.


Make Your Own Body Scrub

Mind and Body Treatments in Melbourne, FL

Exfoliating your skin is an important part of our beauty regime that easily gets overlooked. It’s great for your skin, when done properly. When you exfoliate, you remove the dead skin cells from the outer layer of your skin. There are several products available out there and devices that are marketed directly for skin exfoliation. An at-home all natural body scrub is all one needs. Use it once a week, depending on your skin type. It is always important you test it on a small area of your skin first, since everyone’s skin is different. After exfoliating apply your favorite body lotion to seal in the moisture. Exfoliation is important all year but with the dryer months ahead it is vital for your skins health.

The body scrub recipes below are all natural and you are going to apply them with your hands, massaging the mixture into your skin. They’re very gentle and no tools are required. After mixed, you can store it in a Tupperware container, Ziplock bag or I prefer mason jars (because they’re cute). It will last up to a month, remix it before you apply each week to blend everything together again.  These two are my favorites.

Lemongrass Sugar Body Scrub

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup coconut oil in solid form

1 tablespoon of salt

Couple drops of lemongrass essential oil (amazon.com or your local health store)

Chocolate Body Scrub

1 cup loosely packed brown sugar

1/2 cup coconut oil (in solid form)

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon of jojoba oil


Apple Season

Medical Weight Loss in Melbourne, FL

It’s apple season. Apples are an excellent source of fiber and vitamin c. They have anti-cancer, anti-asthma and cardiovascular benefits, proving an apple a day could keep the doctor away. They do contain sugar and carbs but you can still enjoy them in your favorite fall treats with a little modifying.

Apple Cider

Delicious and crisp drink that screams fall. However it is very high in sugar. Make yourself a refreshing apple cider drink by mixing your favorite apple cider with half sparkling water. It gives you the taste of cider with refreshing bubbles.  A special treat on a picturesque autumn day.

Apple Pie Roll Ups

A tasty alternative to apple pie. Satisfy your cravings and cut calories with this delicious, easy-to-make pie substitute.

1 medium granny smith apple peeled, cored, cut into ¼ inch slices

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 8oz can of crescent rolls

¼ cup Truvia

2 tablespoons brown sugar

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss together apples, 1 tbsp. of butter, coconut oil, sugars and cinnamon. Top each piece of crescent dough with filling and wrap it up. Brush remaining melted butter, on top. Bake for around 12 minutes.

Roasted Apples

Warm and savory, this fall dessert is decadent. It not only tastes amazing but looks stunning. Great for entertaining.

8 granny smith apples (seeded cored )

1/4 cup dried cranberries

2 tablespoon butter

¼ cup Truvia

½ cup rolled oats

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons organic honey

2 tablespoons almond flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup, 2 tablespoons water

Combine flour, whole rolled oats, walnuts, dried cranberries, cinnamon, vanilla, honey, butter, 2 tbsp. water. Clean apples and core them. Place in a deep baking pan fill with a cup of water, cover pan with foil and cook for an hour.

Serve warm.


Thinning Hair: When Hormone Replacement Is Needed

Laser Treatments in Melbourne, FL

Hair loss can be a symptom of something else that’s going on with your body. Sometimes, simple styling tricks or stress-relieving meditation, isn’t enough. Problems like hormone irregularities, thyroid abnormalities, scalp diseases, or other serious diseases can all lead to hair loss. If you are facing any of these issues and are experiencing hair loss, it is time to talk to a doctor.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

According to the Women in Balance Institute, hormonal balance is vital to a healthy, cancer-free mind and body, but can be disrupted in many ways. Hormone fluctuations occur naturally, such as in puberty, menopause and perimenopause. Hormone imbalance may also be caused by toxins or an unbalanced lifestyle.

How do you know if you’re a candidate for Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy. Common symptoms are fatigue, weight gain, low energy, memory loss, mood swings, low libido, poor concentration, hair loss, sleeplessness, depression, acne and headaches.

The process to get tested to see if you have a hormonal imbalance begins with a review of your current symptoms and medical history, as well as your family history. Next you will do a simple saliva test. Essentials has a great hormone replacement therapy program led by Dr. Michael F. Lesser, who holds 4 separate Board Certifications, including Anti-aging and Bio-identical Hormone replacement. Essentials has a BHRT Classic Monthly Membership for only $150 a month, for 12 months. It includes your initial Doctor visit with your saliva test, four follow-up Doctor visits, prescription for personalized hormone creams, supplement recommendations, four nutrition/diet meal plan sessions with a wellness coach and a referral to a fitness expert.

Laser Therapy

Laser hair replacement is a painless hair restoration procedure. During low level laser therapy hair follicle cells absorb laser light, which stimulates growth and repair. Typically, a patient visits the doctor weekly or biweekly to get the treatment and requires no downtime or recovery time. According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery. It works best for patients at an early stage of hair loss.

There is also the option of at-home laser treatment combs that you can do in the comfort of your own home. It is considerably more affordable than professional treatment, but still not cheap.  These tools can usually be purchased at a Doctor’s office or on Amazon.com.


According to NYU Lagone Health, several medications can be used to help stimulate hair growth. There are different options depending on the person and what is causing the hair loss.

Topical minoxidil stops hair from thinning and stimulates new hair growth. This medication can help people with: male and female pattern hair loss, autoimmune disease related hair loss, and rapid hair loss resulting from medical treatment.


Medications that inhibit sex hormones that damage or destroy hair follicles, which may stop hair loss in female pattern baldness. Antiandrogen medications are available by prescription only and include spironolactone and oral contraceptives, or birth control pills.


Some types of hair loss are caused by an autoimmune disease and are treated differently than hormonal induced hair loss. With an autoimmune condition, the body’s immune system focuses on healthy organs and tissues, including the skin. Sometimes the body destroys good hair follicles. These immune system suppressors can offset the effects of an autoimmune disease, letting hair grow.


Help Prevent Thinning Hair

I used to find myself obsessing over the thought of having thick, beautiful hair. I would even get jealous of other girls, even some guys hair. I felt that my hair would never look like that. My hair is extremely fine, as a hairdresser once told me, “My one-year old has thicker hair than you.”  To make matters worse it was constantly falling out. My thinning hair has been a problem that has plagued me most my life but; after some experimenting, tons of research and talking to several hair professionals, my hair is a lot healthier and looks a lot better do to simple changes. You can see results too. Everyone’s hair is different but there are options for everyone. Today I want to talk about quick ways to make your hair look thicker and all natural ways to treat it. Next post we will discuss when professional help is needed and what one’s options are.

What causes thinning hair?

According to the Mayo Clinic, the four main causes of thinning hair are heredity, hormonal changes, medical conditions and medications.  Stress is another sneaky trigger that can cause temporary hair loss. So what can we do to fix it?

All Natural Remedies

Proper Diet

To grow, hair needs protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. You can achieve this with a healthy diet and supplements. Along with my daily vitamin, I take Omega 3, and a probiotic. I recently added an iron and B12 supplement. All are good for your overall health, but has made my once lackluster hair stronger and healthier looking.

Stop Stressing

Sudden and chronic stress can not only make your hair fall out but actually halt hair growth. Think this may be contributing to your hair loss, read our old post about how to stop stress. (HOW TO PREVENT STRESS)

Castor Oil Treatment.

Twice a week make a hair mask with Castor Oil. It can be purchased almost everywhere. Castor oil has many great uses, one of them is increasing hair growth. Castor oil carries ricinoleic acid and omega- 6 essential fatty acids, which accelerate blood circulation to the scalp, hence increasing hair growth. I combine it with rose oil because I love the smell but you can mix with coconut, rosemary and jojoba oils.  When applying, give yourself a 5 minute scalp massage; it will help stimulate hair growth. I tuck it all under a shower cap and leave it on for at least a few hours, the longer the better.

Daily Treatment options:

Leave in Conditioner

Use a daily leave in conditioner. It will help strengthen and protect your hair from any future damage and help treat problems that are already there. My favorite is It’s a 10. They have one for all hair types. I use It’s a 10 Lite, it’s perfect for fine hair.

Thickening Shampoos and Conditioners:

I personally think they don’t work. I have tried dozens, occasionally one will give my hair a little more lift but it usually will just flatten back down quickly. I recommend just finding one you like, that cleans and conditions well. Don’t worry if it says “thickening” or not, finding one that makes your hair healthy is the most important thing because it will decrease breakage. One of my favorites is a Milk-Clenz Conditioning Shampoo by Image. It is full of protein and deeply strengthens you hair, without making it oily.

Daily regrowth serums I have tried several hair regrowth serums and sprays and haven’t found one that really helps. That’s not to say none of them work or won’t work on you but I have had no luck. At the price I was spending I think it would have been better to invest in professional treatments at that point.

Quick tips on how to make your hair look more full

Don’t go the extension route. I used to put in clip-in extensions, not for the length but to make my hair appear thicker. It might have looked nice in photos but was damaging my hair. The weight of the extensions pulled down on my roots making it appear even thinner around the scalp and caused more breakage. For the appearance of full hair and to hide bald spots my favorite find has been Toppik. It’s a product consisting of hair rebuilding fibers that instantly bond and blend with your own hair. You might have seen the infomercial, but don’t let that scare you, I have been using it for years. It is amazing. It almost looks like ground hair, it comes in a little shaker can in every natural hair color, even gray. You just tap a little out and lightly spray it with a flexible hairspray or Toppik’s setting spray, then you’re all set. (https://gettoppik.com/) I can’t stress enough how much of a life saver this stuff has been. It really boosts my hair confidence. They sell it online and at beauty stores. I recommend trying Ulta because they have a great return policy if you need to switch colors. They also have testers at the store so you can try it out and make sure you get the right shade.

Mastering the art of a round brush.

Very easy to say but hard to do. With some practice you can create the look of full hair by giving yourself an at-home blow out. It took me a lot of practice, at first it was a real struggle reaching the back of my head, however after watching my hairdresser and countless YouTube videos I found my own way.  I apply a light weight mousse to my wet roots and just take the blow dryer and round brush to the crown of my head. It definitely would be easier with a third hand but we aren’t so lucky. I section off the hair on top of my head and do it piece by piece. I set the blow dryer down in between sections, making sure my hair is on the brush correctly. You can do your whole head and it will look even better, but realistically most of don’t have this time so I stick with just the roots. Still too much work, go to a salon and get a professional blow-out treatment. This is also a good way to learn how to do it on your own. They can talk to you about what products and brush work well with your hair type. The Essentials Salon offers Thickening Treatments,  Keratin Express Blowout, and Professional Styling Sessions. All great ways to learn more about styling based on your specific hair. They also have a great Anti-Aging Hair Treatment to fix hair that has suffered the effects of hormonal, environmental or chemical aging all factors that can contribute to hair loss.


Delicious Low-Carb Pancakes

Medical Weight Loss in Melbourne, FL

Breakfast, it’s the most important meal of the day, but when you’re trying to avoid carbs, there isn’t a lot to choose from. They might as well call It, Carbfast. Aside from egg dishes, your more traditional breakfast items like, French toast and pancakes, are overloaded with refined sugars. Although delicious, these items are terrible for you. As someone who has done the Ketogenic Diet and several other “low-carb diets” in my lifetime, I understand the struggle of getting your carb fix without actually eating carbs. These scrumptious coconut flour pancakes do just that. They are satisfying, sweet and guilt free. They are also incredibly easy to make. You can add a variety of toppings and fillings to spruce them up. Fruit is a great-tasting, healthy addition if you aren’t monitoring your carbs too closely. I usually am, so I opt for low-carb peanut butter and Truvia nectar. Below is the pancake recipe and other topping ideas, it makes about a dozen hotcakes.

  • 4 eggs, room temperature.
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract.
  • 1 tsp. of stevia.
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour.
  • 1 tsp. baking soda.
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt.
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Grease your frying pan with butter. Mix everything together and you got tasty, low carb pancake batter.

Topping Ideas:

Sugar free chocolate chips or shavings, whipped cream made with heavy cream and truvia, low-carb peanut butter, truvia nectar, organic (unsweetened) coconut shavings, cinnamon and truvia sugar, chopped nuts, fruit


Revamp Damaged Hair

Hair Salon Services in Melbourne, FL

Summer is a wonderful time, however your hair might not be thinking the same thing. Our schedules are usually packed, leaving little time to focus on your normal routine. After spending the last few months in chlorine filled pools, salt water oceans or countless hours in the sun, there is a good chance your hair is damaged.  Fear not, a quick trim with your hairdresser will clear all the dead ends away and a specialized  treatment will revitalize your locks.  Essentials offers a wonderful add-on strengthening and moisturizing treatment, both vital to your hair after a hot summer. Another option, make your own hair mask.  Look in your fridge, you can probably find everything you need to make an at-home repairing treatment. These are great because they are made up of items you can easily find in your fridge and pantry. The two below are my favorites because they not only work great but smell amazing.

Honey/Banana Mask

  • 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. of honey (lightly warmed)
  • 1 large banana

Pulse together in a mixer. Massage into hair, make sure your hair is coated. Put a shower cap over everything and leave it on for 20 minutes. Then shampoo your hair to remove mask. You may have to wash twice, but no worries, the olive oil will protect your hair from damage.

Avocado mask

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. lime juice

Whisk everything together and apply to hair. Tuck under a shower cap and leave it on for 20 minutes. Shampoo to remove it.