Posted on Posted in health, tips, wellness

Hey guys!

For those of you who don’t know my I’m Mandy. I am a 31 year old Mother of 3, married to a handsome athletic man, and together we are the Dugas family.

I have been on this healthy lifestyle now for the past 6 years. Making the choice to say NO to the junk and YES to whole foods was decision I made and I’ve stuck to it. Why? Cuz the results are so profound…I can’t even explain it all here. It would take me 1354930575403 pages to explain to you, in detail, how much my life has changed, what I’ve done, and all that I’ve accomplished. Or you could just read my first book here!

Going through so many changes wasn’t easy work. But I was excited, I felt amazing, and I was motivated. Whenever something inspired me, BAM, lifestyle change! My husband is the same way. If he listens to a podcast and finds something inspiring he runs over to me and tells me all about it, then makes the change. Sometimes I join in, sometimes I don’t. We are in this together but both respect each other’s individual journeys.

We’ve gone from eating vegetarian, to raw, to plant-based vegan, to slowly introducing meat (because I felt so darn lethargic – I could have been living in a dream world), then we introduced bone broth and are working out 5 days a week, along with loving life with our kids, feeding them nourishing foods and keeping up with friends and family!

But really it’s not about labels, it’s about finding what is right for you! Our bodies are so different from each others. We all need different foods, different activities and different interests. That’s life. And the sooner we respect everyone’s lifestyle choices, the better we can all live on this planet! Ya hear?

Anyway so 2017 is a big year! There are so many health trends already out.

Last year it was all about the fermented foods, bone broth (or veggie broth), golden turmeric lattes and smoothie bowls. Honestly how many smoothie bowls did you see in instagram? It was a gong show!

This year my intentions are headed to the next level of health. These are my top inspiration ideas for OPTIMAL HEALTH for 2017!!



Cruciferous Vegetables

Everyday, but not in every way, Dr. Rhonda Patrick (I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of her, but she’s kinda the biggest health nerd on the planet) talks about Sulforaphane and how it is a compound found in cruciferous vegetables, like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, radish, cabbage and so on. BUT sulforaphane is only released through the action of chewing, chopping or blending, and is shut off with heat or during the boiling process. So to unleash sulforaphane you must it it raw, and chew it real good. Sulforaphane can alleviate depression and anxiety symptoms. It also decreases the stress hormones. Broccoli sprouts have 50 times MORE sulforaphane then broccoli. 50X!!!!!  They have a powerful taste so if you want to get it over with just eat a handful quick. To totally geek out, listen to her videos here. We sprouted broccoli seeds, dehydrated them, blended them up and placed them in dissolvable pills. Genius or what!? We also eat cauliflower and broccoli in our salads and eat kale 2-3 times a week.


Sprouts and Sprouted Pseudograins

Like sprouted buckwheat! The process of sprouting something sounds so intimidating, I know. I used to think, “I can’t even get my plants to stay alive let alone get a seed to sprout!” But once I watched a video on youtube, I tried it and have been doing it for years! I, I mean WE, eat sprouted buckwheat everyday for lunch as a snack. It’s loaded with so much nutrients it’s crazy (the term cray cray’s over now right?). As soon as you sprout a seed it’s honestly at it’s peak. Enzymes levels are through the charts, helping us digest it and save energy. AND sprouted buckwheat is high in bio-flavonoids and co-enzyme Q10. It contains calcium, boron, magnesium, manganese, and selenium, as well as all of the B vitamins. It’s loaded with protein AND it’s super alkalizing! LIKE WOAH. All other sprouts are just as beneficial. Buy some today or go sprout your own! Note* Don’t buy or eat any sprouts that look slimy. They have gone bad and have lost most of their health properties and may contain e-coli.

For tips on how I sprout buckwheat at home, click here.



Living a Minimalist Lifestyle

I am on day 40 of Project 333. Their slogan is BE MORE WITH LESS. And it couldn’t be more correct. Be more with less! Honestly! Okay okay I’ll explain. So Courtenay had this idea. She wanted people dress every day with less worry – less option meant easier choices. AND it also speaks to those shopaholics! You get 33 items (including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes) and you do this for 3 months. Hence the name project 333. On December 31st I cleaned out my closet and boy did it ever feel good. It’s finally organized and clean! I have so much space. It’s beautiful! I placed everything into totes and placed them out of sight. Last week I went through all of those totes and donated everything that I haven’t worn over the last year. If it doesn’t serve me, let it go.

And let me tell you. Getting up in the morning, seeing that small clothes pile has made me feel SO GOOD each morning. My options aren’t endless, meaning I just grab and go. I don’t have to think, What matches with what. No should I wear this shirt? Or this one? Or this shirt with these pants? NO! I basically have 7 outfits and that’s it. Grab and go! Life is good with less! I’m so inspired by this topic that I’m definitely going to be talking about it more in my next book.

Check out Project 333 here.



Self-Love and Meditation

These two things save me, everyday. Did I mention that I have 3 children? 😛 And I’m a stay at home mom. Some people say it’s the hardest job ever! I’d have to agree.

Years ago I would wake up, walk my ass over the bathroom, use the loo, wash my face and as I’d look at myself in the mirror I would think, “Boy I look tired” or “Man my complexion is bad – I can’t wait til summer.” or “You sure have aged a lot over the last year.” Like why? Why do women do this to themselves? One – it’s a horrible start to your morning and Two – Why are our egos so mean to ourselves? Where’s the love?

Then Not last summer but the summer before that I was introduced to Self-Love, which I honestly new NOTHING about! NOW I’ve read many inspiring books on this very topic and practice self-love EVERYDAY! Instead of being cruel when I look at myself in the mirror I only give myself love, support, and compliments – 5 a day actually! This helps me boost my humble confidence and helps my heart feel full, so I can give WILLINGLY to my family, friends, and complete strangers. Why not!?

Through meditation, just 10 minutes a day, I am able to be patient with my children. 2 years ago I had no patients. I was short tempered and had a controlling ego. But through meditation I have learned how to listen, to be patient, to be open minded, to not take things so personally, or seriously, to take my time with decisions, to not stress over small things, and to feel and embrace my emotions and then to let my issues go. Meditation has changed my life and personally, I think everyone should try it! You can download the app – Headspace for free.



Living a Sober Life

I would not be where I am today without living this alcohol-free life. In March I will be 5 years sober and my husband will be 9 years sober. After time and time again of telling myself I will never drink again there finally came a day when I kept that promise. But I originally made that promise, not for myself, but for my husband, who asked it of me. Yes people love people so much that they give up things! Like partying, liquor, cigarettes and more! Years and years later is when I realized that I was doing it for me.

I was a single mother. I worked 40+ hours a week in a Bakery, which believe it or not, is hard, labour intensive work. I was always lifting boxes, dumping bread pans, moving racks, slicing bread, doing orders, that job was go go go go! Sweaty and exhausting. So on the weekends and sometimes on the week days I liked to drink. Never alone. With friends! Because I was a bit lonely. I’ve always been quite a shy person and alcohol brought out my funny, care-free, confident side. It after it also brought out my bad side. Being hung over I really wasn’t the best mom. And I was hung over a lot. So when I got into a relationship with my husband he could see what I was up to, with my drinking and partying and smoking and such. We were pretty deep in before he asked me to quit. It was the hardest decision I ever made. But I did it! And I’ve continued to grow since then! Making hard decisions, but the right decisions! For my health and for my family. Cuz that is what matters most! ♥

Have you ever given thought to living a life without alcohol? It really is a game changer.




Growing up in a religious house hold I saw fasting often. I heard about it in the Bible, we did a 30 hour famine and raised money for poor children and my mom would even fast once in a blue moon. Christians fast and meditate and pray to God, thanking him for their life and all they have in it.

Now fasting is HUGE! Intermittent fasting is super trendy and daily water fasting is is getting more and more popular by the month. Tod and I both are doing some form of fasting.

I do a bit of intermittent fasting. I stop eating every night at 8 and then eat again around 10, to give my digestive system a much needed break. My husband does two 44-hour water fasts a week! No joke. I have done two 5-day smoothie fasts in the last while. They were pretty intense but super awesome.

The Renegade Pharmacist has a pretty cool poster on their site about fasting. It says fasting can/will:

  • stabilizes insulin levels (may prevent or reverse diabetes)
  • gives  you more energy (get more done, have more fun)
  • lowers triglycerides, prevents Alzheimer’s (possibly cut your medical bills)
  • stops sugar cravings and hunger pains (fastest way to lose weigh safely)
  • boosts human growth hormone (plays an important part in health, fitness, and slowing the aging process)
  • dramatically reduces the risk of chronic diseases and obesity (say goodbye to dangerous belly fat forever)
  • reduce free radical cell damage (look and feel younger for longer)
  • better brain health (sharper mind, less risk of disease)
  • AND that it likely can be a cancer treatment because it slows tumor growth AND helps prevent diseases

That’s huge! Both Tod and I have seen amazing results with fasting. So if your looking to be your best self this year, we both highly recommend you do a bit of research and see if your up for the challenge.

Check out the link here.



Intense Workouts

I love HIIT workouts! It stands for High Intensity Interval Training.

It’s pretty much when you do full body movement for 30 seconds to a minute and then quickly move on to the next movement.

I’ve heard that just 5 minutes A DAY can do wonders for the whole body (and mind) but 15 minutes can really help your body be it’s best, and you can sure burn a lot of fat, keep those muscles toned, and keep that heart healthy!

My 2 fave HIIT workouts are :

  1. Love Your Body™ with HIIT! High Intensity Interval Training by Tone It Up
  2. Hump Day HIIT!! High Intensity Interval Training! with Tone It Up

Yep! Those Tone It Up girls are my faves.

If you’re one of those women that likes to move around on your lunch break, whether thats doing yoga poses or a desk workout you need to check out Betabrand’s pants for women. They have a great selection of dress pant yoga pants (yes thats right–comfy yoga pants that are work appropriate) that you can move around in for a quick workout and feel comfortable.

HealthFitnessRevolution.com says the benefits of HIIT workouts are:

  1. Helps build endurance
  2. Burns calories and fat in a shorter amount of time
  3. Using your energy effectively (and in return you gain more energy)
  4. Boosts metabolism
  5. You keep burning calories and fat AFTER the workout
  6. Good for heart health
  7. and it’s challenging. Everyone needs a good daily challenge in life!

So the next time you don’t have time for a 1.5 hour yoga class don’t give up on your workout, put a free HIIT workout from youtube on and sweat and feel GREAT!



Have Healthy Cycles

All women are created differently, but we all can do a bit of individual body work to get a healthy regular period. Periods should not be painful, sporadic, super longer, and we definitely should not be having PMS symptoms. these are all signs that something is off. But we can fix it! And who wouldn’t want to fix it.

I had horrible heavy, painful menstrual cycles my whole life, until I changed my diet! Then month by month my periods started lining up, they stopped being heavy, and the pain would be less and less painful each time.

Some women don’t even get their period and that is a problem too.

Omega-3 fatty acids and Antioxidants are great for your ovarian blood vessels. It helps prevent hormone blockage, free radiance damage, and poor blood circulation.

Flax seeds, chia seeds, and maca helps balance hormones.

Chaga tea, matcha powder, gogi berries, blueberries, raw cacao, and pecans are super high in antioxidants and can help neutralize free radicles that will fight the effects of aging and cell damage.

You can also line your period up with the cycles of the moon. We will mentrate around a new moon and ovulate around a full moon. Many women believe that instead of dreading the monthly period, we should be respecting it by taking a couple days off of fitness, by taking extra care of our bodies with healthy food and liquids, and take this time to reflect over the last month. Is there any thing that needs to be changed in your life? Do you see an opportunity for growth?

During the full moon many women go outside to soak up 15 minutes of the moon’s energy. This also helps line your cycle up with the phases of the moon.

Also your diet the week before your period can be changed so you can have have the best period of your life. Staying away from caffeine (organic green tea is okay) and inflammatory foods like meat, bread, dairy, and processed foods can dramatically help. So if there was any time that you should go vegetarian – the time would be now (during that week before the period). There are wonderful women’s blends of tea that also help! Like Yogi’s Women’s Moon Cycle Tea and Harmonic Art’s Womans Moon Tea.



Less Bras/ More Books

Last summer I was having trouble sleeping for a couple of reasons. Our friend recommend Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson. Not only did I find out WHY I wasn’t sleeping as good as I should be, but I also learned how to fix the problem AND that women shouldn’t be wearing tight clothes, along with bras. The studies and research that he found was pretty shocking.

Listen to this podcast here to hear the dangers of wearing bras.

That enough made me want to burn my bras. I gave away all of my bars with underwires and push up bras and bought loose fitting ones with a comfortable band, which I only wear when I need a bar. Now I honestly go braless most of the time. I am so grateful that Shawn’s book landed in my lap, cuz not only did I save my sleep, but I also saved my beautiful breasts as well.



Find your Passion/ Being Creative

I think alot of the time when something is “missing” from a persons life, like they just aren’t feeling like they are living life to the fullest, it’s because they aren’t following their passion or being creative!

And I’ve been there! There was once a time, when Kyri was quite small, I had told Tod that I wasn’t happy. I was a new mom and all of my energy, time, and love was going to my sweet little cutie. I wasn’t putting it out there into the world, doing the things that I love to do. That’s when I decided to change my train of through, and get passionate about something. And that’s when the idea of my first book was born.

I really truly believe that if everyone made the time to do something that they loved each day, the world would be happier place. Just look at all the people who put hard work into their passion! Like at markets! Each person there has made something that they put so much love into, and are now selling it, to you! Do you know when you buy something, not only are your buying the item, but you are buying all that loving energy that was put into the creation of it. HOW AWESOME IS THAT!

Being passionate about something gives you motivation and drive for a better life! You want to be healthy and vibrant, so you can carry on doing what you do best! Being creative in your own way!

“To live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong.” – Joseph Chilton Pearce



Before I end this post I wanted to give a huge shout out to the site Betabrand for connecting with me and for having such an awesome site! Seriously, go check em out HERE!



from Hawaii (just on vacation)!


♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


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4 thoughts on “OPTIMAL HEALTH FOR 2017

  1. Just read most of your blog here,so inspiring. I found out about you and your journey just coming across your cook book on my sisters coffee table! You have inspired me to follow my path. Thank you Mandy! Can’t wait to start the 2nd Radiance Challenge this fall!!

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