Homemade vicks vapor rub

Homemade Natural Vapor Rub and Essential Oils for Everyone

Homemade vicks vapor rub

photo source: livestrong.com

What is your go-to with stuffiness, nasal drainage and as your chest rub? Is Vicks VapoRub on the nightstand ready for combat? I’ll tell you, it was for me. The soothing peppermint-like scent that waded into my nostrils, clearing out any congestion I had and to relieve common colds. It was wonderful.Until I learned that there are safer and healthier ways to get the same effect. Environmental Working Group is an organization that researches the safety of the products we put on our skin. And we have to be super careful these days with the products we use because they can be filled with toxins.

IMPORTANCE OF EVALUATING SKIN CARE PRODUCTS

 

The skin is the largest organ of the body, and whatever gets applied to it goes into every cell within seconds. So if we are applying toxic or chemical-laden ingredients into our skins, our cells notice (and they react!). And cellular health is SO important because cells run the body. So do we want our bodies running on chemicals or nutrients? I choose the latter!

Vicks VapoRub is one of the most popular decongestants used in every household — mostly applied under our nostrils, on our temples, and mostly used in our throats and as chest rubs. But there are studies that show ingredients in Vicks can cause short- and long-term ill health effects, especially when used continuously. That’s why proper usage of this product is advised and should only be used externally. Camphor which is one of the main ingredients of this brand of vapor rub can negatively impact your entire body, which can cause various types of reactions like irritated skin, long-term allergy reactions (sneezing, coughing, stuffiness — ironic, huh?), potential immune reactions that could lead to cancerous cells, and organ system toxicity. Yikes!

For mommies who want to soothe the nasal congestions and relieve common colds of your little ones, pls. be reminded that the Vicks VapoRub is a big no-no to them as it can cause potential hazards especially for babies below 2 years old. Luckily, they offer Vicks BabyRub Soothing Vapor Ointment for your little one. It is helpful to check the ingredients and potential concerns for this product through this EWG researches.

So what can we do to avoid these harmful consequences but still achieve the same soothing effect?

NATURAL REMEDY FOR COUGH & NASAL CONGESTION

coconut-essential oil

The Solution: Make Your Own Natural Vapor Rub!

Good news, friends! There is a very simple way to make your own version of Vicks Vapor rub that is better for your body and provides healing to your nasal! Coconut and peppermint oils are amazing supports and detoxes for the body!

What you need :

  • Coconut oil
  • Good quality peppermint oil (from reputable brands like doTerra and Young Living)
  • Mix 2-4 tbs of coconut oil with 1-2 drops of peppermint oil in a mason jar.
  • Apply to the bottom of your nose, cheeks, and/or bottom of your feet (at night- put on socks, and the oils will help detox your body).
Voila! And you are finished – enjoy the soothing effects of natural oils!

Share us your thoughts!

Do you have any other DIY home remedy similar to this? Share how was your experience using this or any other natural home remedy not just for coughs and colds — Drop comments below!

 

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how to help spring allergies

How to Help Seasonal Allergies

how to fight seasonal allergies

 

Pesky allergies are no fun! Can I have an “AMEN!”? The time of year is upon us when many of our bodies start to react to the changing of seasons and blooming of flowers. I am also seeing now more than ever that clients are not just experiencing Springtime allergy symptoms, but it’s all year-round! The body is constantly at-bat against allergens entering the system, whether they be food, nature, or stress.

So how does one fix the situation? Let’s chat about that.

How Allergies Work

First, let’s determine where do we get these allergies and how does our body react.

  1. FOREIGN INVADERS
    The body senses a “foreign invader” (pollen, grass, food, or other stressors), and the immune system tags it as a toxin as a future warning.
  2. RESPONSE
    When that same invader enters the body again, the immune system responds quickly with its strongest weapons (like histamine) to attack and destroy the invader.
  3. RESULTS
    You experience the sniffling, sneezing, cough, mucous, etc., which is triggered by your body’s response to eliminate the threat of the allergen.

 

The Gut’s Role in Your Overall Health and Immunity

We all know about “gut feeling.” But did you know that out “gut’s” contributes to our overall health and immunity? First, let’s understand what is “gut“. It is also called as gastrointestinal (GI) tract or digestive system which is a group of digestive organs working together in sustaining and protecting the overall health and wellness.

Considering over 60% of the immune system is hosted within our guts, the digestive system plays an integral role in determining its strength. The foods we eat, drinks we consume, and toiletries we put onto our bodies matter. They either help support & build up OR work to tear down the function of our digestive track. Therefore, keeping your digestive system (along with other body systems healthy, of course) means boosting your immunity to fight against seasonal allergies.

 

3 Natural Ways to Fight and Prevent Seasonal Allergies

Wondering how to stop the internal fight? Have no fear — there are ways to help mitigate symptoms and support the function of your body!

  1. CLEAN UP THE DIET.
    Per our conversation about “leaky gut,” it is imperative to fill the diet with whole, natural, organic foods (leafy greens, veggies, some fruits, clean meats, and tons of healthy fats). While some of the processed foods initially taste yummy, they drastically harm the body’s systems (short- and long-term) just like poison, pesticides, infections, and smoke does. All of these things cause internal inflammation of some kind, which causes the immune system to react. We need to repair the gut, not create holes.

    To-Do :
    Eliminate all processed foods – grains, dairy, soy, sugar (causes of inflammation). If that task seems overwhelming, start with cleaner versions of each food (organic and sprouted ancient grains, grass-fed and organic dairy, or natural sweeteners like raw honey or maple syrup). Then, work to eliminate one entire category at a time until all categories are not in your diet. For the sake of your gut, immune system, and future health, choose foods that fuel and not destroy.
  2. CLEAN OUT THE HOUSE / TOILETRIES CABINET.
    Our skin is the largest organ of the body. Anything that touches the skin gets absorbed into the body within seconds. Fragrances (unless from pure essential oils), antiperspirants, and the chemicals in lotions all wreak havoc and are tagged as toxins (hence, leading to inflammation). So if you are using a chemical-laden lotion daily, your body is constantly bombarded with immune pressure.

    To-Do :
    Swap all things that go on or near your skin to all-natural, organic options. Environmental Working Group has an online database where you can type in your product, and you will receive its letter grade of toxicity. The higher the grade, the safer the ingredients. Check out how to make your own natural remedy for colds and decongestion using essential oils.

    Looking for a specific product to swap? Let’s chat — I’ll share my faves!
  3. SUPPORT NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES.
    If our bodies are utilizing all of the (sometimes few) nutrients, we have to manage inflammation. We need to sometimes add extra support to give the body a boost.We have talked already about NRT (Nutrition Response Testing) and blood work analysis and together, these techniques help us determine what is needed by your body personally. If allergies are overwhelming your systems, we might look at immune / liver as a means or support. Or perhaps, it is the cardiovascular system that needs up-regulation and extra nutrition. Certain foods and herbs are excellent at helping support the body’s natural physiology is dealing with allergies and building up gut health.

    To-Do :
    Set up a time for us to get together to analyze your blood work and body’s functionality in responding to allergens!

 

Do you want to set up a nutrition visit to determine the best support for your body?

We would love to partner with you on your detox journey.

 

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nutrition response testing

What is Nutrition Response Testing? How Can Blood Works Help?

nutrition response testing
How do blood work and nutrition work together beautifully? Now that I have your attention, let’s chat!

The body works as a whole unit, and various factors are at play when talking about overall health — emotional stressors, food and nutrient intake (or lack thereof), sleep habits, exercise routine, sunshine and toxin exposure, etc. As we adjust the spine through chiropractic adjustments or loosen the muscles with massage therapy, the body requires specific nutrients to maintain the results from both therapies, and all three components work synergistically together to build up YOU!

 

So many of us walk around all day with symptoms our society has deemed normal, when in fact they are not. Being tired and bloated is not normal — sadly, it is common. Taking too long to get to sleep or waking multiple times in the middle of the night is not normal– these symptoms, too, are common. We have normalized symptoms that are actually not normal for our bodies — rather, they are signals from our bodies to get our attention that something is out of balance.

2 Nutrition Testing Techniques

Our goal in the nutrition program is to help your body avoid these roadblocks using nutritional intervention, so you can function optimally every day. We help you through the use of a clinically-based nutrition approach in order to get achieve holistic health benefits.

Nutrition Response Testing

One way we analyze your body is through a non-invasive technique called Nutrition Response Testing (NRT, or Muscle Testing), which uses your body’s neurological reflexes to test for nutritional deficiencies, food intolerances, and toxicities that could be contributing to the root cause of ill health (symptoms). NRT is needle-free since it is non-invasive — perfect for everyone from the baby to small children to busy adults and elderlies.

Most of the medical practice diagnose and treat a disease, with NRT, we do the nutritional analysis through your own body’s reflexes and acupressure points to determine the underlying weakness or reason of health issues. Then, basing from that analysis — we create a personalized nutrition program to support every individual and get back on track.

Depending on your the client’s condition, we sometimes recommend whole food supplements to support your nutritional diet. We may also ask you a adjust your food diet and eating habits as well as the lifestyle modification to help achieve the desired holistic results.

 

Blood Lab Testing and Analysis

Another technique we use is functional blood work levels.

In February, I spent an entire weekend mentoring under a well-established practitioner on the ins and outs of understanding blood work. I walked into the room first thing on a Friday morning to begin to comprehend all things blood-related, and 72 hours later, I finished with a binder full of copious notes, more questions, a greater understanding of how our bodies function, and a mission to help people feel and function even better.

Blood lab testing is the most common way and practice used to analyze what’s happening inside your body. Blood works are used to determine the levels of your serum proteins (albumin, transferrin, prealbumin, retinol-binding protein), the number and appearance of blood cells – red blood cells which are the most common ways to measure nutritional deficiencies and health status.

 

What Can Blood Work Tell Us? 

A great deal, actually. There are different ways to analyze blood levels, but the key is to look at them from a functional standpoint (i.e. is your body in a critical state? Is it on its way to getting there? Or is it functioning optimally?).

Did you know there are distinct trends we can follow on the blood levels that can lead us to a root cause of an issue? Following these patterns begs us to ask the question, “What is the root cause of this trend?” For instance, your cholesterol numbers might be a bit “high”, but why is that the case? How is your blood sugar playing a role in that? Or your dietary fat intake (or lack thereof)? Or your liver enzyme levels (i.e. detox)? There are many questions to ask before coming to a conclusion about what a blood level actually means.

 

What’s Next?

Let’s get your blood levels checked! There are certain tests that give us the most specific understanding of what is happening internally, depending on each person. Whether you go through your medical doctor to get the labs run, or you need me to get you a blood draw requisition through an organization we utilize at the office, let me know, and I will get you the ideal tests to run for a robust picture of how your body is operating.

 

Conclusions

Remember, symptoms are not normal – they are common. The goal is to make a healthy body the normal and common thing! So, see your symptoms like a red flag warning, that something is off-kilter inside. Then we will help your body regain that balance once again.

By incorporating the blood lab works and NRT technique in our analysis, together we can evaluate the best route to take to increase your health, so you can feel and function at your highest level.

Interested in setting up a Nutrition Visit? We are happy to help! We would love to partner with you on your health journey.

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Heart Disease and Cholesterol

All About Heart Disease and Cholesterol – What’s the Connection?

heart health issues

 

Heart Disease — I am sure we all know someone who has personally been affected by this disease, as it is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Interested to debunk the myth about heart disease and cholesterol? Continue to read more in this blog post.

Hearty Facts

Let’s first talk about what is “heart disease?” This term refers to different kinds of heart conditions. The most common one is Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) that is the primary cause of heart attack, valves in the heart or heart can’t or does not pump well which causes heart failure.

On the other hand, Cardiovascular disease or CVD refers to the different types of diseases which involve the heart and blood vessels.  These include the CHD, strokes and heart failure.

Understanding How Cardiovascular Disease Are Made Of

Arteries and veins pump oxygenated and de-oxygenated blood to and from the heart to make sure the rest of the body a) gets fresh blood and b) has a place to send de-oxygenated blood. These vessels of blood transportation need to be clear and strong, so your heart can function optimally.

Our arteries specifically can develop layers of plaque, which is a waxy-like substance that can interfere with the flow of blood when too much accumulates thus, reducing the blood flow to the heart. Plaque is made of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances. Plaque buildup is also known as atherosclerosis.

This is where different types of cardiovascular disease happen. Take for example the case of Coronary Heart Disease or CHD — it is where the build of plaque in the arteries that supply blood to the heart is completely blocked. This leads to chest pain or angina which is just a symptom and may progress to a heart attack.

 

Understanding Cholesterol

Let’s talk for a minute about cholesterol to clear the air. Cholesterol is an oil-based, fat-like substance that is present in all the cells in our body and even with animals. This is a very good and necessary component of our bodies — we need it to survive and create hormones, the substance called bile acids for digesting foods, Vitamin D and cell wall structuring. This is carried out in the body by lipoproteins.

 

Main Types of Cholesterols

  1. High-density lipoprotein (HDL): The “Good Cholesterol” — They are called “good” because it is recommended to have a high level of this type of cholesterol (of course, levels comes with age and sex) in our body. It carries all the cholesterol back to the liver so the liver can remove the cholesterol in our body.
  2. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): The “Bad Cholesterol” — it is not recommended to have a high level of LDL to avoid plaque or cholesterol build up in our arteries. This has a quite same function as HDL only that it is less dense. It is recommended to have less than 100mg/dL levels of LDL.

One of the cholesterol’s main jobs is to help put out the “fires” (inflammation) whenever they arise. It is helpful to determine our body’s cholesterol level — this is often examined through blood works or testing.

Think of it this way: 

There is a fire at a house (inflammation in your arteries). The firehouse (liver) sends firemen (LDL) to the location to put out the fire (accumulation of cholesterol). Then, another crew of firemen (HDL) takes the fire trucks away whenever all is cleared.

 

4 Takeaways With Cholesterol Numbers

  1. The higher the LDL means the more inflammation in the body. So, rather than bringing down LDL numbers with medicines (statins – which is another article for another day), the main objective should be to see where the fires are and what is causing them. Then, work to decrease the inflammation present to naturally bring down LDL numbers. Otherwise, you will keep chasing your own tail trying to continuously put out fires throughout your body.
  2. The total cholesterol is not as important as the ratio. If you have several firemen on site trying to put out fires (LDL) but not enough of the second crew coming to take the fire trucks away (HDL), then the first round of responders just hangs out on site twiddling their thumbs and causing a scene (buildup of LDLs). So, the ratio of cholesterol is most important when analyzing blood work.
  3. Cholesterol is NOT the cause of heart disease- inflammation is. It is the root source of a majority of diseases that exist, so as we decrease the body’s inflammation, we support and clean out its systems.
  4. We need cholesterol.

 

Now Back to the Plaque!

Two main causes of the buildup of this substance in the arterial walls are from smoking and our diets. Inflammatory foods — such as processed sugar, unhealthy fats (vegetable oils like canola and corn, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, margarine, etc.), conventional (not grass-fed) meats, and processed and highly refined grains wreak a whole bunch of havoc in the body. It is like a red siren goes off, and emergency measures are taken to minimize damage.

The foods we eat definitely affect our internal and external function (and appearance- am I right?).

So the blood should flow through the arteries with minimal pressure, like a smooth river. However, as we fill our bodies with toxic foods, the remnants can get lodged in our arterial lining and make the arteries more clogged, and the body uses more force and pressure to flow the blood through the “rocky” obstacles (hence blood pressure increases). And this entire process is natural — the body’s innate way of managing to keep the body alive.

 

The Hearty Solutions

However, this situation is not ideal. How do we “de-plaque and unclog” the arteries to better support our heart Heart-Health-and-diseasesmuscle?

  1. Eat the right foods.
  2. Exercise (and decrease weight, if needed).
  3. Do not smoke.
  4. Eliminate stressors (emotional stress (stay calm and breathe!) | environmental stresses like perfume, cologne, toxic deodorants, and cleaning products, etc | toxic air pollution | toxic water supply)

 

Heart-Healthy Foods

  • Beets (yes!) – juice, greens, root
  • Dark Leafy Greens – Swiss chard, arugula, spring mix
  • Cilantro
  • Healthy Fats (coconut oil, grass-fed butter, avocados, raw nuts, and seeds)
  • Grass-fed meats and pasture-raised eggs
  • Anti-Inflammatory herbs and spices like turmeric, ginger, basil)
  • Organic green and white tea
  • Veggies and fruits

 

Have more questions about heart health? Let’s chat on how we can support you from these cardiovascular disease and how to maintain cholesterol level by eating and living healthy!

 

Like this hearty talk? Let’s connect!

Know someone battling any heart disease or just debun to someone the myth of cholesterol to heart disease? Share this post or comment below — we’d love to hear from you!

 

7 top healthy living tips

My 7 Top Health Practices

7 top healthy living tips

 

Happy Monday! I was listening to a sermon the other day, and the preacher shared that it’s in the small, dedicated practices that create long-term change. So, what better way to start the week than to share some of my favorite day-to-day health practices that cumulatively make a big impact on our overall wellness!

7 Healthy Living Practices for a Healthy Life

1. Start off Day with Water and Fats

After multiple hours (hopefully!) of sleeping without water, the body becomes slightly dehydrated. Think about that first glass of water as the power turning on the lights inside. You know when you see that scene in a movie when a dark room suddenly glows with the brightest of lights with the flick of a switch? That is what water does–it energizes your cells, boots up your metabolism and flushes out toxins.

Furthermore, sometimes when we are awake and feel hungry, we are actually thirsty, so the water helps us determine how much food to eat without overeating. A glass of room temperature water is a great start to the day, and adding fresh lemon juice and/ or 1-2 tbs of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is even. better!

As far as the fats, our body’s engines crave this nutrient for so many functions. By consuming fats first thing in the morning, it sends a message to your brain to stimulate your metabolism and utilize fats for fuel (instead of carbs). We need plenty of healthy fats, friends.

Some of my favorite options include:

      • Grass-fed meats and eggs
      • Wild-caught fish
      • Almond butter with a piece of fruit
      • Eggs + sweet potato
      • Avocado, chia seed pudding
      • Raw nuts and seeds
      • Smoothie with coconut milk or flakes
      • Check out my morning fuel recipes smoothies for more ideas!

2. Sleep at least 7 hours, ideally 2 hours before midnight

The research is in! Sleep trumps so many of the healthy practices we work into our daily lives. Do not get me wrong, exercise, healthy eating, showering … they are all necessary and good habits. However, the need for adequate and good quality rest of absolutely utterly essential to good health.
So much happens during our zzz’s like body detoxification, cell regeneration, hormone balance (hey, weight loss!), and a brain reboot, to name a few.

Adults need 7-9 hours of good sleep to experience health benefits. However, there are quite a few health detriments for a lack of sleep, too. Did you know that a chronic (long-term) lack of good sleep is the main instigator of many diseases and reactions (like a stroke)?

Here is a list of health hazards made by Dr. Mercola in his article Nobel Prize-Winning Science Highlights Importance of Good Sleep for Health”. So prioritize your rest, friends!

Effects of Lack of Sleep to Our body and Productivity:

    • Reduced ability to learn or remember
    • Reduced athletic performance
    • Increased risk of neurological problems, ranging from depression to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
    • Reduced regulation of emotions and emotional perception
    • Reduced productivity at work and poor grades in school
    • Reduced creativity at work or in other activities
    • Increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease
    • Increased susceptibility to stomach ulcers
    • Reduced ability to perform tasks
    • Slowed reaction time
    • Decreased immune function
    • Contributes to premature aging by interfering with growth hormone production, normally released by your pituitary gland during deep sleep

3. Read a book or journal before bed

Speaking of sleep–the kind of light from our technologies drastically affects the quality of our sleep, so if we are staring into the abyss of the internet or emails 30 seconds before bed, your brain is confused if it is daytime or night-time.

The best way to calm down the mind and shift into rest mode (especially if you struggle with good quality sleep) is to read a book or journal for at least 30 min in bed. This is one of my favorite parts of the day because I get to be in a calm and quiet place, reading a book or my bible, journaling some thoughts.

Whether I am reflecting, goal setting, or fully enjoying a good beach read about a cheesy love story, my body is settling down and understanding that rest is soon. Taking this time can help you sleep more soundly and wake up more refreshed.

4. Pictures around my home

I love my people, and seeing them every day around my house makes my soul happy. Surrounding ourselves with people who bring us joy and makes us better are those who I call AV (added value) people. I need my AV folks with me all the time, and because most do not live in Atlanta with me, photos are the next best thing.

5. Move my body 4-5 x a week, mix-up workouts

Movement is life for the body. God designed us to stand, to move, to squat. Our muscles should be worked and moved. Moving every day is important, and intentionally exercising 4-5 x a week is a positive thing, not only for the cardio system but also for the mind.

Research shows that decreased incidents of depression and digestive issues are related to regular exercising. Moving your body helps circulate blood flow, flushes out toxins, gets into those stubborn fat cells for weight loss, improves skin, and supports mood balance.

So much goodness comes from exercising! Now, make sure you enjoy your workouts–sometimes they push you beyond your limits, while other times they are meant to be rejuvenating. They are always meant to be fun, though!

6. Create a vision board

When we are clear on what we want to achieve, accomplish, purchase, and enjoy, the path to these things becomes easier to navigate. One is able to see an end goal and make the effort to work her or his way to that point.

For the first time last year, I created a vision board with various pictures and quotes describing things on which I wanted to focus in 2017 (work, health, and personal goals). I keep the collage in my bathroom, so I see it every morning. This helps me always remember my purpose and the things I set to accomplish on a daily basis.

7. Eliminate sugars

Do our bodies need sugar? Just a slightly teeny tiny amount, yes. From whole foods like blueberries and sweet potatoes. However, most everything else can be tossed out of the window. Sugar in excess is inflammatory, and inflammation is what triggers various diseases.

One of the best health practices we can make is to eliminate all process sugars from our diets and limit even the natural sugars (so not having a massive bowl of fruit at each meal). Simply because the body can only handle so much sugar at one time.

Craving something sweet? Make these bars here! Super tasty and full of a sweet taste and lots of healthy fats! You can also visit my healthy dessert recipes that will satisfy your sweet tooth.

 

Do you have your own healthy living practices like me? Let us hear yours too!

Comment down below or let’s chat to help you develop your own healthy livign practice.

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Food to Bring on Airplane

What are the BEST Supplements?

best food supplements

 

We work quite a bit with food supplements in the office to aid in supporting people’s bodies toward better health. But there is a caveat – some supplements are superior to others.

Before we dive into which ones to choose, we must first need to understand how the body utilizes them. There are various types of supplements, including Isolated and Whole Food versions.

Isolated food supplements mean a part of the vitamin is extracted (or created in a lab) and put into a pill, liquid, or powder form. Contrarily, whole food supplements include the entire food in a pill, liquid, or powder form, which means all parts of that vitamin or mineral, for instance, are present and available to be used.

While isolated supplements certainly have their place in functional support (like when a person needs a therapeutic dose of a specific nutrient), they can sometimes create imbalances in your body long-term because they do not come with all of the parts necessary for them to be fully utilized by the body’s systems.

Here is an example:

Imagine that Vitamin C is a car, and all of the parts to a car (tires, doors, steering wheel, etc.) are the different parts of the Vitamin C complex. Ascorbic Acid is the main component of Vitamin C, so when you look at the back of your Vitamin C supplements label, it will say, “Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)”.

Now, the challenge is that Ascorbic Acid is not the only part of Vitamin C — In fact, there are several other components to that vitamin. So when you take Vitamin C in this isolated form, it is as if you are getting a brand new car that looks shiny and spiffy, ready to drive away. However, once you get seated and buckled, you realize there is no steering wheel. Hard to drive a new car without one of those, right? The car appears to be effective when in reality it is not functional.

Similarly, when we give Vitamin C in the form of Ascorbic Acid only, the body cannot fully utilize it because it is missing all of the other parts needed. That is when the inevitable “peeing out your vitamins” phrase comes into play; since your body cannot use the vitamin part present, it sends it out asap.

SO that means the best way to get usable nutrients is to consume whole foods and then fill in the gaps with whole food supplements! That way, the body gets to decide which parts of that vitamin, mineral, etc. need to be used that day. Although we are intelligent beings, we still do not fully understand everything about how foods affect our body’s systems, so it is vital to let nature do its thing (and let the foods do the work).

Here at our office, we offer Standard Process whole food supplements to support your nutrient deficiency. This whole food supplements can only be bought and available to approved health care provider like us, so that means you need to be our client so we can examine and determine the right whole food supplement you might need.

If you have further questions about the best supplements or want to understand your nutritional needs, please contact me directly here to set up your customized nutritional consultation. I look forward to partnering with you on your health journey in 2018!

Interested in seeing what nutritional deficiencies you may have? 

We would love to  fill in your gaps with whole food based supplements?

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lessons from detoxing

What I Learned from Detoxing

Why I Get To Detox?

lessons from detoxingDetoxing Your Life, Your Home, and Your Body

Sometimes I get on these detox kicks – I will decide to have closet decluttering: one shirt is no longer a great wear and all of a sudden half my closet is tossed across the floor in separated piles (1- Goodwill, 1- Keep). Or kitchen detoxing: I will clean out a cupboard shelf, and then somehow an hour later everything is perfectly organized and detoxed once again. It just feels great to clean out the old to make space for the new, doesn’t it?

The body is the same way. While the innate detox mechanisms are superb (and keep us alive and well all the time), we do bombard our bodies with a lot to handle (stress, sweets, fried foods, alcohol, sleeplessness, constant technological stimulation, etc). Therefore, it is helpful to give the body a little boost and extra TLC every one in a while.

#CleanseWithFriends — Last month, we did a GROUP DETOX with staff and clients, and it went so well! The best part about this program is that — we get to eat real food throughout the entire detox while eliminating more of the inflammatory foods (like sugar, grains, alcohol, soy, etc.). As we fuel the body with the good and keep away the more harmful, our detox systems are cleaning at a cellular level and helping us function at an even higher level. All through the power of nourishing food!

 

3 Things I Learned from Detoxing

 

1. Proper hydration during detoxification.

Water is so so important. In the first stages of detox, especially, I was getting rid of the gunk hanging out in my body. Water flushes out all the body toxins through perspiration and sweating, urinary and digestive system. Electrolytes can also help you get on track and avoid dehydration.

So as the foods flushed out my cells, all that stuff had to come out (in the form of a headache, bloating, and a bit of a stuffy nose). But water by design is a miracle-worker and helped speed up the detox process. Proper hydration (along with proper nutrition) is also vital for skin health and organ function and supports you throughout your detoxification journey. So more water it is!

 

2. Bowel movements tell a whole lot about what is happening on the inside. 

We are going to get nice and personal, is that okay?
The ideal poops should be soft and solid, medium to dark in color. They should happen 1-3x a day, and they should be easy to pass. If your stools look differently or are more or less frequent, something could be happening inside (so let’s chat to figure that out!).

With this body cleanse program or detox, we are using some pretty strong foods to clean out the tissues, cells, and organs. Pairing that with the elimination of inflammatory foods allows the body the chance to go into the intestines and get out the remnants of toxins that do not need to be there. And without that extra “weight,” so to speak, you have much more energy to do all the things in your day you want to do! It is a beautiful thing.

 

3. My perspective shifted on how to eat healthily. 

Busy schedules. Eating on the go. Not enough time — There are a lot of reasons to choose the easy fast-food option versus taking the time to prepare a quick salad. I get it, we all have very full days, and eating — to some — is a to-do rather than a restful time.

Good news! There are ways to lead full lives and still eat well. Doing so does take a bit of effort, but once you are in the swing of things, it’s a breeze! Pre-chopped veggies, crock-pot recipes, soups, and smoothies became my go-to options because they are one-stop shops that do not take a lot of time, yet are packed with nutrition.

I also get to travel for two of the three weekends during the detox and was able to stay on the program throughout the time away. I found restaurants that had lots of veggies and clean meat options – the local and organic places in the cities. Whole Foods was also a great resource because I knew what to expect.

For instance, one night, we needed food right off the highway, and we found a Whole Foods. So I marched into the store on a mission for organic sliced turkey breast, apples, and avocado. I made a delicious wrap out of them, and my tummy was satisfied!

 

Check out some of my quick and easy detox recipes.

Is your life moving at a super high speed, and healthy meals are a challenge?
Do you travel often and need support on how to eat well on the go?
Need a clean sweep of your system to detox and start a new?

We are here to help! Let’s be in touch about how to get you to an even higher quality of health (and life)!

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Are Fats Healthy -avocado source

Are Fats Healthy?

are fats healthy

 

Sugar and fats are pretty much associated with each other when it comes to its relationship to heart disease. Unfortunately, our culture has victimized fats as the culprit to all of our health woes. But guess what? That was a scam.

 

The Unsweetened Truth of Sugar

 

Here is a quick history on what really happened:

 

Sugar is a form of carbohydrates which is generally converted to energies that we used in our everyday lives. However, if too much sugar is consumed in our body — it will be as stored as body fats. Moreover, these “added sugars” (i.e. high-fructose corn syrup and sucrose) which are added to many foods are of no nutrition. That’s why they are also called “empty calories” which is one of the major cause to raise the blood glucose levels. — that is why people even without diabetes are advised to limit sugar intake.

Here’s the problem: Our bodies were designed to handle limited amounts of sugar and high amounts of healthy fat.

 

Now let’s talk about fats.

Fats are key to hormone balance, brain health, digestive function, cardiovascular function, memory retention, liver processing, and the list continues. They build our brains and our cells. They support our joints. In short, we need fats oh so much.

Living without enough fats can lead to obesity (ironically), low energy, hormonal imbalances, emotional instability, degenerative issues, weakness, anemia, skin issues, and this list continues, as well.

If you recall nothing else from this article, make sure you hear that HEALTHY FATS ARE GOOD AND NECESSARY.

 

What are good fats and bad fats?

How do we know which fats are the ones to eat and the ones to avoid? I’m glad you asked.

Good Fats — Unsaturated Fats

Unsaturated fats are composed of Monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. Of course, when eaten in moderation, these types of “heart-healthy fats” helps to lessen the cholesterol level, triglyceride levels, reduce heart disease risk, a great source of antioxidant vitamin E, and most of all — replace the saturated and trans fat need.

 

Fats to Include regularly in the diet:
Are Fats Healthy -avocado source

  • Grass-Fed or Pasture-Raised Meats & Eggs<
  • Wild-Caught Fish & Cold-Pressed Fish Oils and fatty fish like salmon (Omega 3)
  • Grass-Fed Butter & Ghee
  • Coconut
  • Avocado
  • Raw Nuts and Seeds
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil **

** Be sure to use EVOO in its raw form like in salad dressings versus cooking. Olive oil has a lower smoke point, which means if it is heated at too high of a temperature, the fats will go rancid.

 

Bad Fats — Saturated and Artificial Trans Fats

Saturated Fats are animal-based fats. Which means that it can be found in high-fat meats and dairy products.

Now, we have been told for a long time to avoid saturated fats (the ones that are solid at room temperature… think S — saturated or solid). But truly, we need these fats — limited intake of this at 7-10% of our total calories. The human body was designed to consume them (in their most pure state). After all, a large portion of breast milk from a healthy mother comprises saturated fat.

When it becomes bad? When excess saturated fats and artificial trans fats play the role — studies show that saturated fats can cause risk of colon and prostate cancer, while even small amounts of artificial trans fats can cause heart disease risk by increasing the “bad cholesterols.” American Heart Associated recommends having 2 grams or less of trans fat per day.

 

Fats to Avoid:

  • Vegetable and Legume Oils (canola, soy, peanut, corn)
  • Trans Fats (hydrogenated oils) in processed foods and fast food
  • Genetically Modified Fats (GMO’s)
  • Poultry, poultry skin
  • Palm oil, palm kernel oil, and products

 

Conclusions

It is recommended to limit the intake of sugar rather than the fats. Healthy fats “good fats” are an essential part of a healthy body. Include them at every meal, and have no fear — fat doesn’t make you fat … too much sugar does. So enjoy a healthy dose of healthy fat 🙂

If you have any questions, let me know through comments or let’s chat. I am happy to talk with you about all things fat!

 

Do you want to set up a nutrition visit to determine the best support for your body?

We would love to partner with you on your detox journey.

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Fair Trade Chocolate Pudding

Fair Trade Chocolate Pudding

The Bitter History of Chocolates

Chocolate. Oh, the sweetest of decadent treats. Hot chocolate, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate almond butter smoothies. What’s not oh-so-sweet about chocolate, though, is the amount of forced labor and child slavery involved in harvesting the cocoa beans to make it. This forced slavery thing is very real, friends.

In college, I was an Anthropology major and focused my studies on human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking in the United States. As we discussed the definition of slavery for an entire semester, I learned more about the issues of labor trafficking on an international level, and chocolate hung out at the of the “goods most harvested by slaves” list. Cocoa beans for making chocolate oh-so-sweet is a great example of one of the products made by child labor.

forced child labor- slaveryA majority of the world’s cocoa beans are grown in West Africa and Latin America, and day in and day out, many folks are enduring inappropriate and abusive situations to ensure that we all get to enjoy a savory bite of chocolatey dessert.

I remember one story someone told me about a child they saw interviewed who picked cocoa beans for a living. The reporter asked this little boy about his role on the farm, and he said he had never even tasted a chocolate bar and didn’t even know why he was picking the beans. He also made comments about the abuse he endured. Child abuse and slavery are very real today.

On that day in my class called “Is This Slavery?”, I committed to stop consuming any chocolate made by forced labor. I decided it was not worth the risk of what someone else had to experience for me to enjoy a dessert for 5 minutes.

I share this information not as a guilt-trip by any means — and please hear me when I say that. I share about the reality of child slavery with you because I want you to be an educated consumer and know where your food is made. Whether it is chocolate, veggies, fruits, coffee, tea, or meats — know the source of your food.

 

The Good News:

Not every cocoa farm maintains unethical practices. In fact, many companies are striving for better working environments for their employees (as well as improved protection of the land) and are banning child slavery.

How do you know which companies to trust? We must do research, friends. Gratefully, there are people out there who are doing this type of investigating for us (thank goodness for them!). Look for Fair Trade labels — they are certifications that ensure ethical practices for both people and the Earth.

Check out the Food Empowerment Project for more information about chocolate slavery, as well as the approved fair-trade list of chocolate maker companies who do not embrace slavery practices. Let’s change the world, friends. One chocolate bite at a time.

Other places to look for info:

Print Recipe
Fair Trade Chocolate Pudding
Paleo, Keto, Vegan, and FAIR 🙂
Instructions
  1. Scoop out the avocado, and toss it in a blender/food processor with banana, cacao, and sea salt. Blend. Taste the pudding, and if necessary, add a bit of honey to sweeten.
  2. Optional: Top with coconut cream and Fair Trade cacao nibs, and enjoy!

Homemade Guacamole Recipe

Food For Thought: Purpose of Life

Happy Monday, friends! What a beautiful weekend it was outside- I mean, who expects 75° weather in the middle of January? Hey, I’ll take it! I did take full advantage of the sunshine and headed to north Georgia for some hiking (and Vitamin D!). As I sat on top of the mountain and overlooked the vastness of the state below me, two thoughts came to mind:

  • I am one piece to this massive and historic puzzle, and my role was created intentionally to serve a specific purpose to the world.Every Monday at our office, each staff member comes with a word and quote that drive the direction of her or his week. I chose the word purpose with this quote: “Purpose is the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s needs.” (Frederick Buechner).

    My purpose is to love and serve people well, and I am beyond grateful I get to do that in my job every day. My purpose is to make a change in my corner of the world, knowing that others are making similar impacts in their corners, as well. If we all work in our spheres, we would see goodness everywhere we turn.

  • Peace comes with stillness. Atop the mountain, there was silence. It was pretty uncanny actually. As I let my eyes wander over the below cities, hills, and trees, it seemed like life had stopped momentarily. But we all know it was zooming quickly under us, as has become the norm in most of our lives.Are we running so fast we are actually missing life? My yoga instructor Angela always says, “Before there is movement there is stillness,” and this quiet space is pivotal for a full life. My heart calmed sitting on top of those rocks; God knows all things about this world, so we can be still and find comfort in knowing that all will be all right.

Comfort Foods For You!

Speaking of comfort, let’s talk guacamole. This food certainly brings my heart comfort and joy 🙂 Make this super simple and delicious recipe for a healthy dish (be warned: you may not want to share). Enjoy!

 

Print Recipe
The Best Homemade Guac + Sweet Potato Chips
Gluten-free | Keto | Paleo| Vegan | Avoiding the corn chips? Use homemade sweet potato chips as the perfect scooper into your homemade, fresh guac! You'll never want to go back 🙂
Servings
Hungry Person or 2 People Willing to Share
Servings
Hungry Person or 2 People Willing to Share
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven for 375°.
  2. Slice sweet potatoes horizontally into ~2 cm slices (they will be thin circles). Coat each side with coconut oil, and lay on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle any of the suggested spices at the top over the "chips". Bake for ~30-35 min (flip them halfway after ~15 min).
  3. While the potatoes are baking, saute chopped onion in butter/coconut oil until caramelized (i.e. a bit golden brown). Set aside.
  4. Cut avocado in half, and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Add lime juice, garlic, salt, and pepper, and using a fork, mix all ingredients together until smooth.
  5. Spoon the guac into a bowl, and enjoy with your sweet potato chips!
Recipe Notes

A Guacamole is an avocado-based dip with seasonings -- originated from Mexico. This dish is a great addition to your balanced diet since it is high in "good fats," the monounsaturated fat which was mentioned in my heart-healthy article that it blood cholesterol levels. Thus, a good source of food to avoid cardiovascular diseases. this recipe is also high in fiber and vitamins, beta-carotene, folate and potassium.

What brings you joy and into a posture of stillness? Comment below to help give ideas to others!