Three Color Mistakes That Make A Small Space Feel Cramped & How to Fix Them

November 26, 2021

There are three color mistakes that can make a small space feel cramped unless it’s understood how to fix them.  Whether people live in a big city or a little town, there is generally one big benefit to choosing to reside in a small apartment or tiny home – the monthly rent or mortgage (and utilities) are easier on the budget. But there is a big downside – space is very limited and there are many mistakes people make that can make a small home feel cramped, chaotic,  and lifeless. 

Carla McBeath-Urrutia knows this problem well.  In fact, she is a small living space design and color expert and literally wrote the book on How to Find and Love Your Small Space.  She has actually lived in more than ten small spaces including studio apartments, one-bedroom houses, and dormitory rooms from Los Angeles to New York City.

BOOK: How to Find and Love Your Small Space

Carla loves her downsized lifestyle and is on a mission to help others learn how to make a small space feel huge and it’s all about using color in creative ways.  She says, “Whether you want a home that feels like a sanctuary when you come home from a nine-to-five or you’re working from home full time, the colors you have in your home can transform the way you live, work, and enjoy your life in your living space.”

McBeath-Urrutia attributes her unique skills to attending art school where she studied sculpture and  learned how to estimate volume and work with minimal resources, even in small spaces like her college dorm room.  She also has a Certificate in Light and Color Therapy from the Holistic Arts Institute in California that prepared her for infusing different color combinations that have remarkable effects on health and wellness when used for home décor.

Carla has determined that there are three big mistakes people make when they decorate their small homes  with some easy fixes to make them feel more spacious.

1. They choose no color or too much of one color.  Everything is better with color, but choosing only one color like all-white or all-beige can create a home that feels sterile and empty. Carla says, “Often people thumb through magazines to get ideas on how to decorate but that can lead to a sort of  ‘peer pressure’ to go with a fad or even neutral colors featured in layouts that tend to suck the life out of a room. We are hardwired to be responsive to color and people should explore colors like shades of green that tend to make you feel calm and balanced or shades of yellow and gold that can spark creativity.”  

Author, Carla McBeath-Urritia

2. They don’t know how to accent with color.  “The colors you use around you can transform the way you live,” according to Carla. “You can still spice up your home by combining colors that make you feel good using art and accent furniture, since vibrant colorscan take a room to the next level.  You should also think of colors as being multilevel, like adding yellow throw pillows, a pink tea kettle or coffee maker, or even a red frame for a painting or photo. Combine colors that make you feel good and use accent colors that make you smile.”A small space can be transformed into a sanctuary using these tips.

3. They don’t realize that color controls mood.  Colors affect a person’s mental and physical well-being.  According to Carla, “Using certain colors actually affects your ability to focus, relax, and sleep.  Shades of blue, for example, help you focus, whereas Caribbean sea shades of turquoise are very relaxing.”  She suggests, “Create colors in your home to make you feel good. Everyone has a different experience of colors and the objective is to use color as a tool to make your space feel the way you want to feel.” 

Color adds joy, creativity, passion, and adventure to life. An intentional use of colors can transform a small space into an extraordinarily cozy and inviting oasis from a chaotic world that inspires —  whether cooking, working, or relaxing. Truly, colors can add a dimension of wellness to life in a home.

Carla McBeath-Urrutia does a deep dive on how to use color in cozy places in her book, How to Find and Love Your Small Space that includes her innovative tips for making the most of small spaces. Feel free to connect with her on Instagram.

Time for a New Year! Time for a New You!

January 3, 2018

Each New Year, one in three Americans vows to make new year resolutions that better their lives with a fresh start. We talked to lifestyle expert, Emily Kaufman, about how to make changes in your finances, make a difference, and make more your of free time.

Question: Are people looking to get a fresh start on their personal finances this year?

Emily: After the holidays, finances are on everyone’s mind especially if you were overly generous and charged a lot of gifts on credit cards, but that holiday debt can start to feel like a crushing weight.

So, if you’re looking to get your finances in order in the new year, I suggest consolidating your debt at a lower interest rate and into one monthly payment with a personal loan from LendingClub. Their customers save almost $300 dollars a month on average and that’s money you can put into savings to re-invest in yourself. If you apply with someone who has even better credit than you like a spouse or friend, you could qualify for a larger loan or a lower interest rate. To find out more, go to LendingClub.com.

Question: What’s a great way to make a difference in the new year?

Emily: I think a lot of people want to help change lives and one of the most powerful and personal ways to do that is sponsoring a child through World Vision.  Your gift of $39 a month not only helps a child, but also their community with access to life-changing resources like healthcare, education and child protection.

You also have the opportunity to get to know your child personally through progress updates and letters.  It’s such a positive step to make a difference in the new year.  You can find out more at WorldVision.org.

Question: What are some of the most popular New Year Goals that can change your life in 2018?

Emily: Some of the most popular News Years Resolutions are spend more time with your family, take better care of yourself, and to travel more.  If any of these are on your list I’ve got the perfect place for any or all of those things – Huntington Beach California.  Known as surf city USA- this ocean front destination is filled with options for healthy living with active options like stand up paddle boarding, bike riding, yoga on the beach, beach volleyball and of course surfing.

Huntington Beach, California.

There are plenty of spas to choose from where you can pamper yourself – and if your family includes dogs, you can bring them along because Huntington Beach is super dog friendly with their hotels and dog beach. Go to SurfCityUSA.com to learn more.

Have a Happy New Year!

The Great American Road Trip Travel Tips

July 9, 2016

Emily-Kaufman-Ft Lauderdale-2014

The Travel Mom, Emily Kaufman, frequently appears on The Steve Harvey Show and The Today Show to share her insider travel trips. If you’re planning a great family road trip this summer, she has some ideas to pack your vacation full of fun and great memories.

The Road Trip is a Big Part of the Vacation. First, remember that the road trip is part of the vacation and not just a way to get there. In fact, some of my favorite memories are from the cool places we stopped along the way to our vacation destination. So make sure you build in time to stop at unique roadside attractions, beautiful spots in nature and take some time to enjoy your favorite summer treats like ice cream.

sweet_republic

The First Sustainable Ice Cream Trail. In fact, July is National Ice Cream Month and you have to check out the first Sustainable Ice Cream Trail created by natural oral care leader Tom’s of Maine. It features ice cream shops in 14 states that not only give back to the community, but they make their delicious ice cream (or gelato) using local ingredients with no artificial ingredients.

818tZAPQUzL._SX522_

Now, if you have sensitive teeth like 40 million of us do, you usually have to skip eating ice cream but Tom’s of Maine new Rapid Relief Sensitive Toothpaste uses a patented combination of arginine and calcium carbonate — both derived from natural sources — to seal the pathways to sensitive tooth nerves to help block the pain.  It is the only toothpaste currently available in the U.S. to use this technology.

You’ll get rapid relief when you apply it directly to a sensitive tooth with your fingertip and gently massage it for one minute. Continuous use provides long-lasting protection so make sure you pack a tube in your suitcase and enjoy the great ice cream and gelatos around the country. Go to TomsOfMaine.com\icecream for more information.

Ways to Keep The Kids Entertained in the Car. Next, let’s talk about how to keep the kids entertained while you’re in the car for the long drive so they’re not constantly asking, “Are we there yet.”

I’ve always been a fan of loading up a boredom buster bag packed with lots of toys, coloring books, games, and snacks.

Also, bring several cookie sheets to use as a lunch tray, magnet board, or even a hard surface for coloring. Although electronic gadgets and video games will keep the kids occupied, I like to encourage moms and dads to get the kids to enjoy the scenery and play old fashioned road trip games to create family memories.

Maine Lighthouse IMG_1435

How to Find Hidden Nature Spots Just Beyond the Highway. Finally, make sure you stop at beautiful places along the way to enjoy nature. ExitTheHighway.com has a map of some hidden gems in nature located throughout the country that lie just beyond the highway. You might even find a great spot for a picnic and that’s so much nicer than grabbing a quick lunch through a drive-thru.

So before you hit the road, take note of these travel tips from The Travel Mom and have the best road trip ever.

Bill Bixby’s TV Son on a Crusade to Get ‘Hulk’ Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

July 9, 2016

 

Bill Bixby with TV Son, Brandon Cruz, in 1967

Bill Bixby with TV Son, Brandon Cruz, in 1967

Many former child actors don’t have a good track record when it comes to life after stardom and Brandon Cruz, a child star from the 60’s and 70’s, could have easily become a sad statistic. He struggled with drug and alcohol addition for 25 years, but unlike many who lost the battle, Brandon beat the odds. After conquering his demons, he now helps others stay clean and sober as a rehab specialist that works with a confidential clientele (including celebrities) in private and personalized treatment programs – much like the addiction treatment Prince’s team was working on arranging for him the day before he died of a suspected overdose of pain medication.

But Brandon is not just a crusader for people struggling with addiction, he is currently on a mission to get his late TV dad, Bill Bixby, a much deserved star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Bixby, who starred in My Favorite Martian, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, and The Incredible Hulk, was like a second father to Cruz.

“Bill was a mentor to me,” Cruz said. “He was a father figure to me. He was the guy who told me, ‘No acting. We hired a kid. Remain a kid’.”

Bixby was loved in Hollywood and his career, that included acting and directing hit shows like Blossom, but somehow never received a Walk of Fame Star before his untimely death at 59 from prostate cancer in 1993.

Brandon is on a crusade to raise the $35,000 needed to cover the costs involved of the installation. He’s started a Go Fund Me page and needs to enlist the love and donations of fans to meet the cost and he is reaching out through social media and any means possible to give his TV Dad the honor he deserves.

Brandon Cruz - 2016

Brandon Cruz – 2016

Brandon Cruz was just five years old when he was cast as Bill Bixby’s TV Son, Eddie Corbett, in the hit television series The Courtship of Eddie’s Father that aired on ABC from 1969 to 1972. Bixby and Cruz spent a lot of time together even when the show was on hiatus and according to Cruz, “Bill Bixby was like my second father.” When the series ended, Brandon had guest roles on iconic shows including Kung Fu, Gunsmoke, and The Incredible Hulk—which reunited him on-screen with Bixby. Cruz also played the role of Joey Turner, the Yankees pitcher, in the Blockbuster 1976 movie, The Bad News Bears. In the 1980s, Cruz turned to music as a member of the hardcore punk band Dr. Know. He has been working in the drug and alcohol recovery field for 15 years.

Busy Moms Kitchen Survival Guide

March 15, 2016

Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, work-at-home mom, or a working mom, busy moms need help and no one knows this more than Emily Kaufman and she shared some time saving and money saving solutions in the kitchen for busy moms.

Emily

Start with snacks. Moms want snacks for kids that are easy to make and also nutritious, so just bundle plenty of cheese sticks, fresh fruit, and pre-cut raw veggies together in a large container and place them in the fridge so kids can serve themselves when it’s snack time.

Snacks

Dinner made simple. Now, getting dinner on the table is a daily chore. As busy moms, we need to feel confident in the food we’re serving our family, but don’t always have time to make a home cooked dinner. That’s why I like Banquet frozen meals that have provided wholesome meals wholesome meals for more than 60 years and they’ve recently been made even better.

3100000730

Customer feedback is important to Banquet and that’s why you’ll find more food, more meat and more real, quality ingredients like mashed potatoes made with real cream and 100% natural chicken breast in place of dark meat. In fact, the Salisbury Steak Meal has 25% more food and the Chicken Pot Pies now have 20% more meat. You’ll also get real white meat chicken in popular kid favorites like Chicken Fingers and Fried Chicken dinners. Banquet meals are available in the freezer aisle at grocery stores nationwide for under $1.25 and you can find out more at banquet.com.

Water

Beverages on a budget. Keep beverages simple at the dinner table and throughout the day. Children should drink six-to-eight glasses of fluid each day and water is a perfect drink at meals when you dress it up with a wedge of lemon. It’s easy to make and also easy on the budget.

ChoreMonster

Delegate tasks to the kids. Finally, get the kids to help out in the kitchen by delegating simple and age appropriate chores to little helpers, tweens and teens so it’s not “all on mom.” From setting the table, doing the dishes and even taking out the trash.   You can make an old fashioned daily chore chart and if your familiy is plugged into smartphones and tablets, there are several apps, like Chore Monster, that make chores fun for kids.

 

Emily Kaufman, has been a leading “mom expert” since her first television appearance in 1996. She was a contributor to Good Morning America, has numerous appearances on The Today Show and is a regular contributor to The Steve Harvey Show, offering practical lifestyle, travel and parenting tips and advice. 

Chef Amy Thielen Shares Tips to Get Summer Fresh Tomatoes in the Middle of Winter

January 22, 2016

Finding fresh fruits and vegetables in January is definitely a challenge but perhaps you are not looking in the right place. Professional chef, Amy Thielen, is host of the Food Network’s Heartland Table, amy thelen and has great tips to find great tasting family farm grown tomatoes in the middle of winter.

Amy-Thielen-Red-Gold-Tomatoes

Question: Amy, how can you find fresh farm tomoatoes in the middle of winter?

Amy Thielen: Well, they’re not in your produce sections so don’t look there. I’m going to send you right down the middle aisles. Outside of summer, I don’t buy and cook with fresh tomatoes. I use canned tomatoes and I’ve tried them all, but Red Gold Tomatoes really are my favorite. They are picked at peak ripeness. They are grown under the sun. not in a greenhouse. They are canned immediately and I know they are going to have great flavor, be super tender and really bright red. When it comes to canned tomatoes, you want the deepest red you can find. In fact, the redder the tomato, the more of that antioxidant lycopene it has inside. Red Gold Tomatoes these are grown on family farms in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana in the hot Midwestern sun. They are non-GMO verified and the can is BPA free.

Canned-Tomatoes-Cursh-Test-Red-Gold

Question: Are all canned the tomatoes the same? How can you tell they were picked at their peak of freshness?

Amy Thielen: Some people say canned tomatoes are the same but they’re not. They vary in quality and all you need is a simple crush test to determine if they are picked at the peak of freshness. What I do is take my whole can (and I like to buy whole peeled tomatoes) and then I pour them into a bowl or, in this case, a colander, and I give them what I call a quick crush test. I squeeze one. and I can tell immediately if it squeezes to a pulp that the tomato was picked at teh peak ripeness and it’s going to be really, really sweet.

Red-Gold-Tomatoes-Pizza

Question: Let’s talk about how to pack more nutrition in family meals this winter with these great tomatoes

Amy Thielen: I have a couple recipes that are good for high-quality canned tomatoes. one is a Tomato Mozzarella Pie with rich custard and a lightly seasoned tomato top. Then I have a variation with a Thin Crust Pub Style midwestern kind of Pizza with a cracker crust and fresh tomato marinara. I like toss my own cracker crust dough which doesn’t even have yeast. It’s very simple to make or you can use any pizza dough that you like or have on hand. First, brush the crust with olive oil, then lay down a thin blanket of fresh mozzarella, and then I tear the tomatoes and lay them right on top. Finally, I shower the pizza with parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, and pop it into a 500 degree oven for 10 minutes. It’s going to come out blistering and so fresh — who doesn’t like fresh tomato in the dead of winter? You can find some of my recipes for crusts in my cookbook, The New Midwestern Table, and you can find all these recipes on www.redgoldtomatoes.com.

Get a Fresh Start to Your New Year with Positive Changes for a New You

December 30, 2015

Emily-Kaurfman-New-Year-New-You-2016Each New Year, one in three Americans vows to make positive changes that better their lives with a fresh start but many people get side tracked before January is over. Emily Kaufman has three easy solutions for a healthier new year and ways to hit your targeted goals so your resolutions don’t get derailed.

Boost Your Weight Loss Efforts with Celsius. Each new year is an opportunity for a fresh start to make positive changes in your life and the number one resolution that tops the list for most people is to lose weight and get healthy. One way to boost your weight loss effort is to make Celsius, a healthy energy drink, your go-to fitness partner. Multiple university studies have shown that drinking one Celsius will burn an additional 100 calories or more.

Celsius

It also has been proven to help burn up to 93% more body fat during moderate activity. There are five flavors and it contains no sugar, no high fructose corn syrup, no gluten, no artificial flavors or colors and you can get it at stores nationwide. Use the store locator at Celsius.com to find a retailer near you.

Screenshot-93Percent- celsius_com

Don’t Let Your New Year Resolutions Get Derailed with a Cold. Whether your new year goals are to eat healthy, exercise more, or even work on your bucket list and travel goals, nothing will sideline your momentum more than a cold. And colds are no match for Cold-EEZE cold remedy products. Their classic cherry lozenges are clinically proven to shorten your cold by almost half the time based on double blind, placebo-controlled studies conducted at Dartmouth College and the Cleveland Clinic. The Cold-EEZE quick melts also provide relief to multiple cold symptoms.  Not only is it the #1 pharmacist recommended brand, but it’s Emily’s go to brand, too. For more information, check out Coldeeze,com.

Cold-EEZE

Set Specific Goals. You can’t hit a target if you don’t know where to aim, so regardless what your New Year Goals are, you need to be specific. For example, don’t just set a goal to “lose weight,” but define how much you need to lose and give yourself a timeline to achieve it like “I’m going to lose 10 pounds by March 1st.” Also, make a plan about how you’re going to achieve that goal that specifies exactly how you’re going to go about it.  

Holidays on a Budget & Ways to Make the Season Easy

November 19, 2015

It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it can be stressful, too, since many budgets are squeezed to the max. Lifestyle expert, Emily Kaufman, has some tips on how to survive the holidays on a budget using the latest technology, apps, and some old-school ideas to make preparing for the season easy.

Emily Kaufman - Holidays on a Budget 2015

Smartphones Come to the Rescue During the Holidays.   Smartphones have become a part of our daily life and are a great tool to stay on top of your budget this holiday season. During the holiday shopping rush, mobile banking app alerts are a great way to stay on top of your budget. They can help you manage your accounts while you are on-the-go. In fact, according to Bank of America’s second annual Trends in Consumer Mobility Report, more than half of Americans have tried mobile banking and a majority of users are receiving mobile alerts that can flag a low account balance (which can help avoid overspending), unusual activity and deposits received into your bank account.

Bank of America is seeing an increasing interest in mobile alerts with customers receiving more than 1.5 million push alerts each day. You can download their app or find out more at BankofAmerica.com.

The report also found that nearly three-quarters of Americans actually sleep with their smartphones nearby and 35% say it’s the first thing they reach for in the morning which may be especially true if you’re traveling during the holidays and using your smartphone alarm to wake you up in the morning.

Bank of America - Mobile Banking Study 2015

Ways to Save if You’re Going Home for the Holidays. Staying with family and friends is a great way to ease your budget if you’re headed home for holidays since staying in a hotel will definitely add your travel expenses. If you’re hosting guests during the holidays, you can give your guest room an easy and inexpensive spruce up that not only helps your guests get a good night’s sleep, but also protects your mattress and pillows over time. AllerEase zippered mattress and pillow protectors create a barrier between you and allergens like dust mites, pollen, and pet dander that can disrupt your sleep and collect in mattresses and plush bedroom surfaces. These protectors and pillows create a clean comfortable sleep environment, so guests rest easy during the holidays. They also make great gifts! Get them at Target, Kohl’s and Walmart and online at Aller-Ease.com.

AllerEase Pillows and Mattress Covers

How to Find Great Holiday Deals. A lot of deals can be found when you shop locally and YP has an easy-to-use app that is the “go-to” authority on the best local shops and businesses for holiday shopping at home or when you travel. You can maximize efficiency and do more in less time with all the info you need in any U.S. city or town right at your fingertips on your mobile phone. You can download the YP app for free at Google Play, Apple for mobile and the Apple Watch. You will also love the gas-finder feature that helps you find a gas station that has the cheapest tank of gas in your immediate area. You can find out more at YP.com.

YP-radiant_assets_157850_products-mob-2014

Online Shopping Still a Great Source for Last Minute Gifts. If you’re short on time for holiday shopping, you can order great gifts online and a new trend you’ll see this season is companies that use a NOT-com web address.

Driftaway.coffe and BetterBox.life

Driftaway.coffee, (that’s dot-coffee, NOT dot-com) is perfect for the person who has everything. For as low as $36 for 3 months, Driftaway has a personalized coffee subscription that’s a great tasting gift and is customized to fit your coffee preferences. Also, check out Betterbox.life (that’s dot-life, NOT dot-com). BetterBox has gift box subscriptions specifically designed to inspire you each month and has themes like gratitude, mindfulness, and improved sleep – all designed to make life happier.

So don’t stress about the holidays when you have new ways to navigate through the most wonderful time of the year.

Fall Fun in the Sun: Emily Kaufman has Ways to Save on a Florida Vacation in Ft. Lauderdale

September 18, 2015

Fall is here, but in case you’re missing the summer weather, ’tis the season for fall fun in the sun and some great off season travel deals. The Travel Mom, Emily Kaufman has the latest on some fall vacation and getaway ideas.

Emily-Kaufman-Ft Lauderdale-2014

Fall is a great time to travel since the weather is terrific, the summer crowds are gone, and you can get incredible travel deals. Also, airfares tend to be lower and now, gasoline prices are low making a fall road trip a good value. Greater Ft. Lauderdale is a great fall travel destination because it’s a short flight or a short drive from many mid-west and east coast locations.   With over 27 miles of beaches, 300 miles of waterways, and lots of fun things to do when you get there, it’s a great fall getaway.

 

Travel Promotions for Sunny Florida. The fall season is typically the shoulder season in travel so you’ll find lots of great vacation deals.   Here are two that really give you a lot bang for your buck.

See You in September Promotion. Free hotels are always a great savings, right? With Greater Ft. Lauderdale’s “See You in September” promotion you can book two nights at exclusive hotels in Greater Ft. Lauderdale and get the third night for free. Rates start at $95/night at the Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach and you can stay at other beautiful hotels like the B Ocean Resort, Courtyard by Marriott, and more. Here are some of the deals you get right now:

  • B Ocean Resort Fort Lauderdale – rates start at $139/night
  • Courtyard By Marriott Fort Lauderdale Beach – rates start at $169/night
  • Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach Resort – rates begin at $95/night
  • Hollywood Beach Marriott – rates start at $159/night
  • Neptune Hollywood Beach Hotel – rates start at $99/night
  • Riverside Hotel – rates start at $129/night
  • Sonesta Fort Lauderdale beach – rates start at $159/night
  • W Fort Lauderdale – rates start at $229/night

It’s available through October 12th and go to sunny.org/september for all the details.

Vacation Like a VIP Program. Everyone prefers to Vacation Like a V.I.P. and this program has affordable pricing at some of Greater Ft. Lauderdale’s top hotels and resorts like the Ritz Calrton, W, Marriott, and Hyatt Regency plus a lot of extras when you stay.   You can get the V.I.P. package through October 12th and it includes complimentary room upgrades; $100 resort credits for spas, golf, food & beverage services; a $25 American Express gift card; and the Summer Savings 2-for-1 Card, valued at $2,000 in savings on over 70 attractions in the area. To find out more, go to sunny.org/VIP.

 

Things to Do When You Get There. Greater Fort Lauderdale’s fall events calendar is filled with festivals, celebrations and shows so there’s always something to do. Some can’t-miss events include:

Duende Festival – To cap off its centennial celebrations, Broward 100, Broward County will host Duende, a three-day public celebration of the arts, culture and community from October 2-4. Duende, which means “a quality of passi​on and inspiration; a spirit; having soul, a heightened state of emotion, expression and authenticity,” will feature street festivals, performance arts, concerts and a Broadway-style show featuring multiple Grammy Award-winning entertainer Jon Secada, recording artist Linda Eber and talent from hit shows including ““So You Think You Can Dance,” “The Voice,” and “X-Factor”

Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show – Greater Fort Lauderdale, with its 300 miles of navigable waterways, is known as the “Yachting Capital of the World” and the “Venice of America.” From November 5-9 the destination will host the largest boat show in the world, the 56th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. More than a billion dollars’ worth of boats, yachts and accessories from every major marine manufacturer will be displayed throughout the destination.

Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival – Movie buffs will want to check out the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, November 6-22. The highest rated film festival in the state of Florida, FLIFF is a competitive film festival showcasing independent cinema from around the world, in an art house movie setting.

Visit www.sunny.org for more information.

 

Is Your Salad a High Calorie Land Mine? Monique Coleman has a Perfect Healthy Salad Equation

September 18, 2015

March 20, 2015 – Healthy eating has been High School Musical Star Monique Coleman’s passion and, as an actress in Hollywood, she always has to look her best and knows just how easy it is to get derailed on nutrition. Monique is on a mission to share her nutritious eating tips since her own family has struggled with making healthy choices and weight issues.

WP Rawl Monique Coleman SMT 03-20-15

We all know that too much processed and fast food can put you in the fast lane for fitness failure, but did you know that the biggest sabotage to healthy eating may actually come from an unlikely source? Your salad.

Question:  How can salads that start out healthy turn into a high calorie land mine?

Monique Coleman:  A salad may seem like a nutritious choice until you begin to pile on high-calorie ingredients. What starts out as 400 calorie light meal can turn into a 1200 calorie land mine when you add alarming amounts of cheese, high fat commercial salad dressings, croutons, dried fruit, and “a pound” of nuts.  You know, eating healthy is one of my passions and, as an actress in Hollywood, I know just how easy it is to get derailed on nutrition.  I’ve put together some tips and recipes plus have a perfect salad equation to diffuse the high calorie salad bomb.

Question:  Let’s start with the perfect salad equation. How do you  make a truly healthy salad?

Monique Coleman:  That’s exactly what it is….an equation. Your salad should be three-quarters fresh fruits and vegetables like a mix of greens including kale and other leafy greens like turnips, mustards and collards which are so good for you and even cut up veggies like squash, zucchini, celery, onion, sliced peppers and tomatoes and a one-quarter combo of lean protein, like chicken, or black beans or tofu plus a complex carbohydrate such as wheat berries or quinoa.

You can add one-to-two tablespoons of calorie-dense items like avocado wedges that are healthy fats. If you need extra flavor, just toss in some fresh herbs into the mix like basil, cilantro or mint; or whisk raw or roasted garlic into oil and vinegar. A healthy salad doesn’t have to be boring because it should be a feast for your senses.

Question:  Why is a variety of vegetables better for you?

Monique Coleman:  I recently read a study by University College in London that found that 48% of people who eat seven or more servings of vegetables and fruit a day live longer than those who don’t. So aim for at least two cups of veggies with lots of different colors like the ones you see here from Nature’s Greens and Versatile Veggies which are always in season. Last summer, I got to visit their farm and fields where they grow their produce and know first hand that eating vegetables that are in season will give you maximum nutrition benefit .

WP Rawl Monique Coleman CU PRODUCT SMT 03-20-15

Question:  What are some easy ways to get a variety of veggies in your diet?

Monique Coleman:  We all have busy lifestyles and it’s not always easy to eat healthy so make it easy on yourself and look for pre-cut and pre-washed bags of greens – my favorites Kale and Collards — and already chopped vegetables. Nature’s Greens and Versatile Veggies make it very convenient to eat healthy.

Also, a very popular trend is fruit smoothies but it’s a misconception that they are all healthy for you because many are packed with crazy amounts of sugar so your best option is to make your own and many people don’t think to do a vegetable smoothie, but they’re a great way to add veggies to your daily routine. You know I have put together some really easy recipes that are packed with nutrition and flavor, including my favorite Kale smoothie at Rawl.net.

Monique Coleman is most recognized as Taylor McKessie from the tremendously successful High School Musical franchise, as well as one of the stars of Dancing with the Stars (Season 3). She has also guest starred on such shows as Boston Public, Malcolm in the Middle, Veronica Mars, Bones, and was a series regular on Disney’s The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Coleman has also co-hosted The View, and appeared on Rachel Ray, Good Morning America, The Today Show, and Elle. Monique grew up in South Carolina and has been inspired to pursue healthy eating because of her own family’s struggle with making healthy choices and weight issues. She loves learning about how fresh vegetables are grown and get to markets so she can make the healthiest choices as well as sharing her nutritious recipes with fans on her blog. She is currently partnering with leafy greens grower WP Rawl to promote their brand Nature’s Greens® and healthy living. Monique is passionate about living a well-balanced life and wants to show her fans eating greens in healthy ways can also taste great!