There are so many chronic illnesses on the rise lately. It seems like we have been blindsided. We see not only our elderly parents coming down with these illnesses, but people in mid life, and our children as well. I hear people question "WHY", all the time. It is as if it just came out of nowhere. But the truth is, illnesses do not just one day appear out of nowhere. We have signs, we just don't see them. For several reasons, most likely, we just don't know what to look for, and maybe we are just to busy with our lives, running around stressed to even notice. Or......we conveniently just go get a medication to make the symptoms go away.....after all, this is what we have been taught. There is pretty much a medication for every symptom, and although these medications have side effects, we really do not think those things will actually happen. And today, even if we are not thinking of running and getting medication, the ads on TV sure will get you thinking about it. But the thing is, our bodies are machines, that work really well. And they go and go for such a long time, even when they don't get what they need they go and go, and they give sign after sign, and then one day, it just all breaks down, like a car without oil, or a clogged oil filter. One of the issues is, we really do not know what it is exactly that our bodies need. And many people are worried about losing weight, but not necessarily about HEALTH. But if you are truly healthy, you will not be overweight. We are swayed by what we see on TV from companies that are promoting themselves as healthy, but are hiding things in their ingredients. There are so many ingredients, words that we have no idea what they mean or if they are safe, so we just trust what we are told. I feel that there are 6 main components of health or illness on the flip side: Nutrition, Stress, Sleep, Toxins, Exercise and the emotional component. The nutrition part actually starts with digestion. Which means that it really begins with how we prepare to eat. Rushing around, eating in the car, eating fast or while stressed, all contribute to not so great digestion. If our food doesn't get digested properly, then the nutrients do not go where they are supposed to go, and do not get broken down properly. It is the acid in our digestive system that breaks down our food. but for many reasons, such as stress, or eating fast, not chewing enough, we never make enough acid to properly break down our food. One key to this is slowing down, appreciating the food, thinking about it, this gets the digestive juices flowing and is the start for proper digestion. Of course that is just the first step, but it is Important! If we don't get the first step correct, what can we expect after that? Many people think that they have stomach issues because they have too much Stomach Acid. That is really, hardly ever the case. Our stomach acid serves a purpose, and many times the problem is actually the opposite, and we don't have enough. Slowing down the process from the beginning will help with this.
Self-care is the cornerstone of great gut health. 70 % of our immune system lives in our gut. Caring for yourself, making your body feel beautiful, and pushing toxins out from your body is necessary for great health and a wonderful life. Self-care is also a way to connect with yourself, to fall back in love with yourself, and to cultivate health and joy within and spread it to everyone you touch! Here are some of my favorite tools.
Skin brushing is a must when it comes to eliminating toxins and restoring your gut health. Doing this supports your lymphatic system, kidneys and liver.
Using a skin brush such as the one by Yerba Prima, brush your skin in the morning before showing and at night for maximum results.
Always brush toward your heart with the flow of the lymphatic fluid.
Start at the soles of your feet and then move up your legs, brushing in a circular motion.
Brush your chest and shoulders toward your heart in long strokes, and then start at the fingertips and brush toward your body. Use small, circular strokes in your armpits.
Move in a circular motion counterclockwise on your stomach to respect the direction of digestion.
Tongue scraping is one of my go-to tools to relieve my body of toxicity. This removes mucus and toxic buildup in your mouth.
You can purchase a tongue scraper on Amazon or simply use a spoon. I use Dr. Tung’s Tongue Cleaner.
In the morning and at night, reach to the back of your tongue with your scraper and pull forward, scraping off the white film and then repeating.
Epsom salt baths
Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, is wonderful for supplying your body with magnesium, boosting nutrient absorption, relieving stress, improving sleep, and reducing muscle cramps.
Adding Epsom salts to your bath is a divine experience. To do this, add 1 cup of Epsom salts, ½ cup baking soda, ½ cup sea salt, and ¼ cup Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar (optional) to a warm bath. You can also add a few drops of essential oils, such as lavender or another favorite essential oil.
Rebounding is a great way to support lymphatic drainage. You can purchase a used rebounder on Craigslist or a new one on Amazon. I suggest rebounding for 15 minutes each day.
Castor oil pack
Castor oil packs are another way to efficiently remove toxins from the body. There are two ways to do a castor oil pack:
Rub castor oil on your stomach, the right side of your liver and upper abdomen. Some people prefer to soak a cloth, towel or old shirt in the castor oil, wrap the pack in plastic wrap (BPA-free preferred) and then apply over the desired organ. You can lay a hot water bottle or a heating pad on the top of the pack and relax as you release toxins for about 45 minutes.
Lay down on a towel and rub the castor oil on your stomach, the right side of your liver and upper abdomen. Then re-apply every 15 minutes until you've reached the 45-minute mark.
Oil pulling is one of my favorite and most effective advanced tools because it cleanses the mouth of bacteria and yeast that can lead to infection and toxicity in the body.
You should oil pull in the morning on an empty stomach, and follow up with tongue scraping (above).
Gratitude may feel difficult and confusing in these times, but it does help our stress level, which in turn helps our health, by calming our stress, and therefore helping our immune system.
When many of us think of gratitude, we associate it with the act of simply saying “thank you” to someone for an act of kindness. However, gratitude is more than just a reaction or the feeling associated with feeling thankful for something. Instead, it is a positive emotion, and a deeper appreciation of someone or something. This deeper relationship with gratitude, of course, has a longer-lasting effect.
Gratitude is a state of mind that we create when we affirm good in our lives that comes from outside of ourselves or from relishing in small pleasures. We all have those precious blessings in our lives that we are grateful for, but gratitude does not necessarily have to come from our own circumstances.
Practicing gratitude means developing an awareness that allows you to be grateful for things like good health, a delicious meal, a child’s smile, the air that you breathe. It is a deeper appreciation of life in all its moments. This includes negative experiences as well because by practicing gratitude, you become aware and grateful that there is always something to be learned. You choose what to be grateful for and when.
The benefits of practicing gratitude are plentiful. Here are some of them:
Expressing your gratitude can improve your overall sense of wellbeing.
Gratitude strengthens interpersonal relationships.
A focus on gratitude can increase optimism by shifting your energy to more positive emotions.
The pursuit of happiness is subjective, but the satisfaction that comes from practicing gratitude has a lasting positive effect. Therefore, the more we practice gratitude, the more positive we feel, thus the happier we are with our lives.
So. how do you enter into this state of mind?
Starting a gratitude journal is a wonderful way to get in touch with what makes you feel grateful.
To do this, get yourself a journal that is only going to be used for your gratitude journal. This is important because you want this journal to be filled with positive, happy experiences and emotions. It is good to be able to express all of your emotions, so maybe have a secondary journal for all other expressions.
The purpose of the journal is to reflect on your day or week to pull out at least five things you feel grateful for.
Before you begin your journaling, make sure you feel sincere about what you are about to write about, and try to focus your energies on both people and intangibles.
Besides highlighting the wonderful things you can be grateful for, this practice has been proven to increase sleep quality, decrease symptoms of sickness, and increase happiness and joy.
Enjoy the journey!
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Yours in wellness
It cannot be denied that everyday life has some accompanying stresses. Often we carry those stresses to bed and carry them along through the next day as we collect new stresses. With this in mind, it is essential that we take some time for ourselves to sit quietly with our thoughts, to pamper ourselves, or just to relax once in a while.
For many of us, this sounds like a great idea, but it’s hard to put into action. We either can’t seem to find the time to take for ourselves, or a day at the spa sounds great but is not within our financial reach. Regardless, it is important to find the time because prolonged stress can lead to:
There are many ways to reduce your stress, including eating healthy, exercising, practicing meditation, and finding quiet moments to yourself. One great way is to carve out the time by creating a spa day for yourself at home. And guess what, it doesn’t cost much!
Here are some steps to help you create a relaxing, rejuvenating self-care experience:
Make yourself a pitcher of lemon water with fresh mint to treat your senses.
Put on your favorite tunes. This might be something calm and relaxing, or it might be that album from high school that you secretly love.
Candles! Why not? Light a few in your bathroom for your bath. The light of candles is naturally calming.
A calming foot soak is great before that mani/pedi. And it is as easy as pouring warm water into a bowl with Epsom salt, olive oil, and your favorite sensual oil.
Pamper yourself with a fresh coat of polish on your fingers and toes! Plan ahead and buy yourself a new color.
Create a natural DIY mask to smooth and soften your skin. Here are some wonderful recipes to try: https://wellnessmama.com/12200/face-mask-recipes/
Olive oil is a great hair treatment. Apply it and simply massage it into your scalp and all the way down to the ends of your hair. Leave on for at least 15 minutes, shampoo out, and enjoy your soft, lustrous locks.
Elevate your bath with a soothing bath bomb - a dry mixture made to dissolve in water and release essential oils, scents, flowers, or bubbles into the bath. A wonderful DIY recipe follows.
At the end of the day, it is nice to have something relaxing to look forward to. It may not come until after help with homework, dinner, and laundry, but when you can, jazz up your next bath with this DIY bath bomb recipe:
-1 cup baking soda
-½ cup citric acid
-½ cup of sea or Epsom salt
-¾ cup cornstarch
-2 tablespoons of oil (olive, coconut, almond)
-2 teaspoons of witch hazel
-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
-30-40 drops of your favorite essential oil
-Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix until combined.
-In a separate bowl, combine the oil, witch hazel and vanilla extract and stir well. Add essential oils if using.
-Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients a few drops at a time. Mix well with hands.
-The mixture should hold together when squeezed without crumbling. You may need to add slightly more witch hazel if it hasn’t achieved this consistency yet.
-Quickly push the mixture into molds or greased muffin tins. Press in firmly and leave at least 24 hours, or until hardened.
-When dry, remove from molds and store in an airtight container. Use within 2 weeks
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Typically, 75 to 90 percent of all doctors' office visits are related to conditions that are the result of stress. Unchecked stress can wreak havoc on the body, and in chronic cases, it can lead to heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, mental disorders, digestive disorders, and even cancer. This is possible because chronic stress changes our hormones, which can cause an increase in inflammation, which is the root of many medical problems.
We can’t always control the amount of stress that enters into our lives, but we can change how it is we react to them. The human body is designed to respond to stress, but it is how we handle it that causes the problem.
With practice, we can learn how to release some of our stress through many productive measures.
Here’s are some ways:
Exercise and Yoga
Exercise is one of the best stress-relieving activities because it releases endorphins, the chemical in the brain that acts as the body’s natural pain-killer. Exercise also helps to improve sleep, which in turn helps to relieve stress.
Meditation is proven to decrease stress, worry, and anxiety through a mindful practice of centered relaxation and breathing (breathing exercises below).
A diet rich in essential vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, electrolytes, amino acids, and antioxidants works to help your brain handle stress, which has the same effect on the entire body.
Time in Nature
Spending time outside in nature has a calming effect on the mind and body, and it helps to create a sense of wellbeing.
Breathing exercises have long been used for stress relief. Whether you are in the car, in a tense situation, or seated in a relaxed position in a quiet space, breathing exercises have an immediate effect.
Give these exercises a try:
Pursed Lip Breathing
Take a breath for about 2 counts. Then pucker your lips and exhale for 4 counts. Do this for a few rounds.
Put one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. As you breathe in deeply for about 2 seconds, your belly should stick out a bit. Feel the air expanding your stomach and then breathe out slowly through the lips.
Place your right thumb over your right nostril as you breathe in through the left nostril. Then take your right ring finger and place it over your left nostril as you exhale from the right one. Then switch sides.
Inhale for a count of 4. Hold the breath in for 7 counts, then release it in 8 counts.epeat this at least three times.
Take a few deep breaths, then settle into a pattern of “normal” breathing. When you exhale, count “one.” The next time, count “two.” Do this until you have exhaled (and counted to) five, then start the pattern over.
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Everyone wants to lose weight quickly, especially now that it is almost summer, but there is no magic pill that can make you thin in a month. However, there are several ways that you can jumpstart your weight loss by increasing your metabolism. And all these things have added benefits of also starting you on the way to a healthy lifestyle which can keep you free from chronic disease.
1. Keep yourself hydrated: This is the most basic and easiest way to jumpstart your weight loss. Drinking a lot of water and detoxifying herbal teas will help you flush all the harmful toxins from your body, boosting your metabolism by improving the efficiency of your thyroid functioning. Drink five glasses of water daily at the very least to keep your body at its best. Drinking a lot of water and herbal teas, especially first thing in the morning and before meals, will also curb your hunger and prevent you from binge eating.
2. Get enough sleep: Your diet, your workout, and all the water that you consume will go to waste if you fail to get enough quality sleep. Good sleep help to keep your hormones and your mood balanced. If your hormones and your mood are balanced, then your body will function more efficiently and will keep all your unnecessary cravings at bay. Make sure to give yourself a peaceful night of at least eight hours.
3. Hot lemon water: Drinking hot lemon water early in the morning before breakfast helps fire up your metabolism.
4. Health shots: Another way you can fire up your metabolism is by having a health shot of lemon, honey, ginger, and turmeric first thing in the morning. You may not like the taste, but it has a dramatic impact on your metabolism.
5. Workout hydration: Drinking loads of water or green tea before a workout is an easy and efficient way to burn twice the amount of calories that you usually do.
6. Cardio: Exercises that keep your heartbeat up are another way to burn a lot more calories and jumpstart your weight loss. You can add exercises like planks, burpees, and jumping jacks to get your heart pumping.
7. Fidget: Some studies have shown that people who have a habit of fidgeting or bouncing their knees can burn up to 500 more calories a day.
8. Spice is the key: Spicy food burns more calories during digestion because it can fire up your metabolism. Add a few more spicy foods, like hot peppers, to your diet. You can add jalapeno in almost any dish you like, even in your eggs. Spices also add a ton of flavor with little to no calories.
9. Graze throughout the day: Another trick is to eat five or six small meals throughout the day instead of eating three large meals. If you keep eating small amounts, your body will be constantly functioning to break down that food into energy. Your body will learn to work more efficiently and will burn more calories.
8. Drink black coffee once a day: Drinking pure black coffee at least once a day will boost the rate at which your body burns calories.
Losing weight is not meant to be an expeditious activity; your body does not function that way. These tips should be practiced along with a healthy diet and exercise for best results, but they may be able to give your body that little extra boost it needs to power into weight loss mode.
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Yours in wellness
What are adrenal glands and where are they located?
Your adrenal glands play a very important role in maintaining your health. They are incredibly small, about the size and weight of a coin. They are located above your kidneys, just below the muscle tissue of your lower back.
What do adrenal glands do?
Our adrenal glands are responsible for many things that assist in regulating our body and hormones, including thyroid and reproductive hormones. They are also responsible for managing stress, the amount of inflammation in our body, our immune system, our blood sugar levels and the electrolytes in our blood. They influence all the physiological functions processes of the body and help stave off physical fatigue.
Signs your adrenal health is bad
When there is something wrong with our body, it will start to signal us that something needs to be addressed. Here is how your adrenal glands will signal you that something is wrong.
How to improve your adrenal health
If you suspect your adrenal glands may need some care and attention, try some of the following tips.
1. Get your sleep schedule in sync: Make sure that you get quality sleep for 9 to 10 hours. Sleep and wake up at the same times to get your body in a rhythm. It needs to follow a routine to start to heal.
2. Daily exercise: Set aside at least 30 minutes a day for exercise, no matter how busy or tired you may be.
3. Add these to your diet: To improve your adrenal health, add proteins, healthy carbs, zinc, calcium, and vitamins (especially C and D) to your diet. Also increase foods like coconuts, avocados, olives, chia seeds, bone broth, nuts, vegetables and fish, but make sure you do all of this in moderation.
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Yours in health and wellness,
You need loads of energy to get through your day. When you feel like slacking or low on energy, you most likely need to get some nutrient-dense foods in your system. Here are some foods that will give you a quick boost of lasting energy without the crash.
1. Oatmeal: Oatmeal is one of the easiest and most delicious meals ever. Oatmeal contains the healthy type of carbs that are a great source of energy. They help metabolize the energy in your body by providing nutrients like vitamin B, thiamine, folate and niacin. Oatmeal is personalized energy! You can throw in whatever ingredients you like. To enjoy a warm bowl of delicious oatmeal, try this recipe:
Boil two scoops of oatmeal in a pinch of salt, a cup of water, and two tablespoons of peanut butter. Cook until the water is absorbed and it looks a little soupy. You can even sprinkle some black pepper on the top for additional taste and seasoning.
2. Eggs: Eggs can provide 30% of the protein your body requires and help strengthen and build your muscles. You can use eggs however you like. You can make an omelet, scramble them up, or simply hard-boil them.
3. Yogurt: Yogurt may be an easy thing to snack on, but it also provides your body with an incredible amount of energy. It’s milk, lactose, and low sugar levels are responsible for the energy, and the protein helps slow food digestion so you can store the energy for a longer period of time.
4. Shrimp: Shrimp is rich in vitamin B12 and very low in calories. Vitamin B12 helps your body produce energy at a much faster rate. Shrimp also contains omega 3 fatty acids, which help boost your mood and your energy levels.
5. Hummus: This Mediterranean dish is made from various herbs, spices, and chickpeas. It also contains olive oil, lemon juice, and sesame seed paste. These ingredients provide the nutrients and healthy carbs needed to help our bodies produce energy. They also contain healthy fats and protein, which means that you will be able to store that energy for a longer period of time.
6. Strawberry: Strawberries contain natural fructose, which gives you a quick yet sustainable boost of energy. You eat them raw or add them to your oatmeal, acai bowls or smoothies.
7. Spinach: Mitochondria are the powerhouse of cells. Spinach contains nitrates that are responsible for improving the efficiency of mitochondria, helping provide energy to your cells.
8. Bananas: Bananas not only provide your body with energy but also help in storing it. They make a perfect snack before you head to the gym.
I know this article is titled Foods for energy, but there are also several oils that will help you with energy, as well......Wild Orange and Peppermint being a few.
Try adding some of these foods to your diet to boost your energy levels and power up your body’s performance!
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Yours in health and wellness,
When your blood sugar is not balanced, your body stops functioning like it is supposed to. Medical supplements can be expensive, but there are some natural supplements for regulating blood sugar that are available at your local grocery store, if not right in your kitchen. If you have trouble managing your blood sugar, try adding some of these natural supplements to your diet and in your daily routine. You can eat many of them raw or add them to your food or smoothies.
Cinnamon is made from the bark of Cinnamomum trees. It is a very popular spice that can help manage the body’s insulin and blood glucose levels. It contains a lot of antioxidants that help regulate blood sugar by enhancing your insulin sensitivity and slowing your stomach’s process of emptying after each meal. Cinnamon is easy to add to a lot of recipes.
Ginseng is a root with Chinese origins that is often used to manufacture organic and herbal medicines. The primary health use of ginseng is to help lower blood sugar levels. Consuming ginseng on a daily basis after each meal can help balance blood sugar levels. According to a study conducted by an American university, daily consumption of ginseng helped approximately 20% more patients with blood sugar issues as compared to those who took the placebo pills.
3. Fenugreek seeds:
Fenugreek is an aromatic plant that can help regulate your blood sugar level by slowing down the process of digestion and carbohydrate absorption. Its abundance of amino acids can also stimulate the production of insulin in your body.
4. Banaba Leaf Extract:
Banaba is a tree is found in the Asian tropical forests. The extract of its leaves has been found beneficial for regulating blood sugar levels. It contains corosolic acid, which assists your body in transforming the glucose in your blood into energy. People have seen drastic changes after consuming Banaba leaf extract daily for two weeks.
5. The sun:
It is in common knowledge that the sun can provide our bones and body an abundance of vitamin D. This vitamin is nearly always found to be deficient in patients who are dealing with blood sugar issues. Ten to 15 minutes of exposure of vitamin D on a daily , basis will assist your body in regulating your blood sugar and will help your body function on less insulin by improving insulin sensitivity in your body.
6. Gymnema Sylvester:
Gymnema Sylvester is an herb found in the tropical forests of India. The leaves of this herb can help reduce absorption of glucose in your body and normalize your body’s blood sugar levels.
7. DoTerra Slim and Sassy essential oil:
Made up of Grapefruit, peppermint, ginger and cinnamon essential oils promotes a healthy metabolism, promotes a positive mood, and helps regulate blood sugar.
Balanced blood sugar levels are important to your overall health, and some struggle more than others. In addition to small changes in your diet, try a few of these tips to help balance your blood sugar naturally!
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Yours in health and wellness,
Alkalizing your body simply means reducing its acidity, and you can do that by eating the right kind of foods. There are a lot of benefits to alkalizing your body. An alkalized body often results in more nights of peaceful, deep sleep; an increase in energy; and a reduction in weight. Alkalizing your body also promotes mental alertness, reduces candida growth, improves memory, generates healthier tissues, ensures proper functioning of your cells, supports a healthier heart, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases and muscle degeneration.
Alkalizing your body is a gift that you can give yourself. Here are eight ways to do it.
1. Not all acidic foods are bad. This may seem counter-productive since you are trying to reduce acid levels in your body, but not all acidic foods are bad for you. Case in point: lemon. Lemon may be an acidic food, but it helps to alkalize your body instead of harm it. Add a few drops of lemon water to a glass of water and drink it first thing in the morning. This will increase your body’s metabolism and help detoxify all the acids and toxins in your body.
2. Devour the greens. Another great way to alkalize your body is by adding green vegetables and fruits in your diet. Try a simple green salad with olive oil and sprinkle with some black pepper for seasoning.
3. A for alkalizing. A for almonds. Try adding unsalted and raw almonds to your diet as a snack. Almonds contain naturally occurring alkaline, magnesium, and calcium, which help your body to balance your body’s blood sugar and acidity.
4. Don’t choose the cow. Switch your milk to non-dairy, like almond milk, because cow’s milk promotes more acid growth.
5. Workout. Exercise is vital to alkalizing your body. Even just fifteen minutes of exercise moves the acidic foods in your body to a position where it is easier to completely eliminate them from your body.
6. Meditate. Mediated in fresh air or invest in essential oils or a salt lamp. Essential oils are known for purifying and cleansing your body. Investing in a Himalayan sea salt lamp will prove beneficial toward alkalizing your body because it will cleanse and purify it by producing negative ions and canceling out the positive ions in your surroundings and in your body.
7. Quit the meat. Try to consume as little meat as possible. Better yet, start a completely plant-based diet. Meat has a tendency to leave residual acid in your body even after it has been eliminated.
8. No more sugar. No more soda. Cut out all soda and sugar from your diet because they are nothing but empty calories. Choose water or green tea instead because they will detoxify your body from acidity.
An alkalized body is a balanced, happy body. Try integrating a few of these into your daily routine, and experience the difference of an alkalized body!
Coconut Curry Soup
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 leek, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 medium to large head of purple cabbage, chopped
2 cups chopped sweet potato
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 15-ounce can organic coconut milk
6 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon thyme
Add coconut oil to a large soup pot over medium heat. Add chopped celery, onion, leek, and garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes until it starts to brown. Next, add cabbage, sweet potato, quinoa, coconut milk, vegetable broth, curry powder and thyme. Mix well and cover. Continue to cook for about 20 minutes until the quinoa is fully cooked and the vegetables are tender.
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Yours in health and wellness,