Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Must Have Kitchen Appliances

When I started this health journey about 5 years ago, I quickly learned if I was going to make this stick, I was going to need help...help in the kitchen. Thought it would be fun to invite you into my kitchen so you can see what appliances and tools make my life so much easier!


My most prized and favorite possession in the kitchen is my high speed blender. Hands down the Vitamix is my best friend. I use it everyday whether its for smoothies, dressings, soups, gluten free pancakes, or grinding gluten free grains, nuts, or seeds. I have the 5200. It's not the newest version, and it does quite well. It will blend just about anything and comes with an 8 year warranty. How many appliances do you know come with a warranty that long? By the way, their customer service, labor, and parts are all from the USA, not outsourcing.


After my Vitamix, I use my Cuisinart food processor all of the time. Some people would say you only need a food processor or a blender, but I disagree. Depending on the recipe really dictates which on I will use. Certain recipes have a viscosity that can be kind of a pain to get out of a blender. Also I have more control with the pulse button on my food processor. There are much cheaper food processors out there, but Cuisinart has been a round for a long time. It's not a fly by night company, so if you need to replace a part after some time, you have the assurance that it will be available.


I learned a long time ago the value in slow cooking. It saves time, energy, and you can throw just about anything in the things to cook. What I didn't know years ago was how toxic most of them can be. Slow cookers have lead in the ceramic paint. That's right lead. While there have been several reports and blogs done on this matter, I decided that when it comes to my family, I didn't want to play around. Through doing a little research, I found a great solution, The VitaClay! It's a clay pot that is completely non-stick chemical free and can cook anything a regular slow cooker can in less time.


When I got into eating healthy I quickly became aware of the health value in consuming raw foods. While I don't believe the following appliance is a must buy at first, I do adore the Excalibur. So this is the best dehydrator on the market. You might ask, what do I need a dehydrator for exactly? Well, the cool thing about dehydration is that you can dry foods at an extremely low temperature. That's keeps all of the health value in tact, like enzymes, minerals, and vitamins. Many raw foodies have these in their kitchens.

If you are on the hunt for one, this is it. Honestly, I can say I purchased by reviews and friends' comments. Truth be told, there are several much less expensive dehydrators on the market. Everything that I read said not to waste the money. I'm a single parent on a budget, so I totally get the hesitation in such a huge purchase.  I am also not the type of person that likes to just get by, I'd rather save up, and purchase the right item, the first time. I'm not into aggravation because I was trying to be cheap.

Going gluten free it can be difficult to give up certain foods, like crackers. You'll be hard pressed to find a gluten free cracker on the market that isn't fairly junky. Dehydrating allows me to make my own crackers with healthy, simple ingredients. Be aware dehydration does take quite a bit longer than oven cooking due to the low temperature. My favorite treat to make in the dehydrator by far are cheesy kale chips. I use it a lot also to dry out my nuts and seeds that I soak overnight. Why would I do that? Read my post next week. :)

Tell me your favorite kitchen appliance below! Be healthy, be blessed, and be a good steward!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

What's In Your Spice Cabinet?


So do you use your spice cabinet to it's full potential? Did you know most of you have a powerhouse of ingredients sitting right there? Herbs and spices add flavor and nutrition to your meals. They can turn a boring bland dish into an adventure. Experiment and have fun with them! For those of you that have been following me for a while and consistently, then you know I've advised you on purchasing organic herbs and spices. 

FYI: I do not recommend organic because it is cool or trendy. Organic is simply natural and normal, although sadly, not yet the norm. Almost all plants as you probably know are sprayed with tumor causing, brain disorder causing herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides. More and more plants are becoming genetically modified (GMO), and more specifically many conventional herbs and spices are getting a large dose of radiation, that's right our herbs are being radiated. This is very, very dangerous to our bodies.

 Dried herbs and spices are an awesome time saver too. If you don't have any fresh herbs and spices prepared, these babies can save your meal. Do you do smoothies? I love adding herbs and spices into my smoothies dry and fresh! They make changing up a smoothie really simple and delicious! Do you ever switch around your spices in your favorite dishes to give them a new twist?

Another reason I love dried herbs and spices is you can magnify their medicinal benefits by using them  in a homemade tincture or salve.

My Dried Favorites and Why

Turmeric: awesome root that has super anti-inflammatory properties for the entire body from the component curcumin.

Garlic: well first of all it adds incredible flavor, now while dried it doesn't have a the anti-bacterial properties of raw garlic, it does help the body absorb iron, and is a source of manganese and phosphorus.


Ginger: oh such a yummy spice; it contains gingerol, this component helps the body stay warm, and is magnified highly when dried. Gingerol also helps control opportunistic or non-beneficial bacteria in the body.

Cayenne: has super great anti-inflammatory properties, and great for a healthy heart.


Cardamom: great for digestive issues, uplifting mood, mouth ulcers, lowering blood pressure

Cinnamon: great for balancing blood sugar, always put this in desserts if you can, natural sweet and spice to it, immune boosting, antibacterial (less effective when heated, helps mental concentration, can fight certain cancer cells (probably most effective through an essential oil)

Rosemary: stimulating the immune system, increasing circulation, improving digestion, and  improving/increasing blood flow to the head (probably most effective as an essential oil)

What is your favorite spice? Share below!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Why We Don't Get Enough Vitamin D

So it is summer and most people are out in the sun, which is great! Sun exposure, done in a healthy manner is excellent for your body! Sunlight has been connected directly with mood, emotions, and energy levels. A lot of the connection has to do with vitamin D.

While truth be told, vitamin D is truly much more of a hormone than a vitamin. While it can be found in certain foods, our primary intended way to absorb D is though the sun. The vitamin D our bodies need, that comes from the sun is D3.

Most people think we are able to get plenty of that wonder vitamin from the sun. That's almost true. You have to understand the best way to absorb though. Unfortunately, the tips we've heard over the years are actually hindering our ability to take in and produce this much needed hormone. 

Things We've Heard That Have Hindered Our D3 Absorption:

1) Wear Sunscreen: Most sunscreens on the market contain so many toxic chemicals that wind up causing different types of skin cancer. Dr. Mercola covers this in depth.

2) Stay Out of the Sun From the Hours of 12pm-3pm:  For years most doctors have said to stay out of the sun during those hours due to the sun's strength during that time. The reason for that is it's also the most likely time of day to burn.there are ways to avoid burning and still getting the D3 you need.

3) Showering: I know this sounds funny, but believe it or not, showering with soap actually blocks D3 from being absorbed. The reason for this is the D3 is actually an oil created on the skin by the sun. This oil can take up to 48 hours to be absorbed. If each day we wash our bodies with soap we strip the D3 before we can receive it. Read what Dr. Mercola says about it here.

Ways to Stay Safe in the Sun and Get What We Need

1) First 20 Minutes Uncovered: All most people need each day is 20 minutes in the sun. Don't use any sunscreen then, and leave as much skin uncovered as possible. After that 20 minutes the application of sunscreen if you will be out for a while is okay, if it is a safe brand on the market. These can be found in health food stores. One brand I like is Badger. I actually sell my own safe natural sunscreen as well through Kingdom Health.  Another option is making your own.

2) Get Outside During 12pm-3pm: This is the best time to get the D3 you need. The sun is shining its brightest and most likely to produce the most D3. Stay hydrated by drinking water and  eat fruit in the morning. This will encourage a longer stay in the sun. Keep in mind the darker you are the longer you need to be in the sun. Darker skin tones do not adsorb D as well as others.

3) What to Wear: Wear natural fibers that are very light in color.This will reflect the sun's rays.  Also wear a hat.When water is involved, using rash guards can be very effective as well.

4) Bathe Like Europeans (Almost): Showering everyday with soap, due to it's natural pH, it strips our skin of all it's oils, including D3. You may say ewww to this, oh well, but only wash the spots you need to wash most of the time, if you get my drift. Only scrub down everything with soap once a week, and rinse the rest with just water. Take a shower every other day if you can. Avoid one everyday if possible. The "cleaner" you eat, as well as the use of essential oils daily while using organic unrefined coconut oil as a carrier oil for the essential oils will keep you clean, smelling fresher, and resistant to illness.

5) Use Essential Oils:By using 100 therapeutic grade beyond organic essential oils and other natural oils to stay clean, fresh, and burn free you'll be amazed at your results. Try carrot seed oil, avocado oil, and raspberry seed oil.

Should I Supplement? 

My short answer to that question is yes, everyone should supplement with D3 unless you live below the equator and you are out in the sun between the hours of 12pm-3pm everyday for 20 minutes, and you bathe only every other to 2 days.  I supplement with 4000-6000 IUs daily. Everyone is a little different. If I know I'll be in the sun I go lower. We need very high amounts of D3 for our bodies in comparison to what the FDA regulates. Dr. Joshua Axe talks about dosage recommendations here.

I hope you found this information helpful! Be healthy, be blessed, and be a good steward!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

5 Things To Do With Quinoa (4)

During the "wintery" weather I love nothing more than a wonderful, healing, steamy bowl of soup. Soup when made at home is so very nourishing, economical, and can feed a family for several days. Include lots of local, seasonal veggies, organic herbs and spices, and be sure to use homemade bone stock for all of health benefits.

Soup is really versatile. If you are following a recipe, don't get locked in to ingredients. Explore your kitchen, use what you have, and play. Try a variety of of different flavors together, you may create a masterpiece in a pot. Don't skimp on the flavor with spices either, be generous. Do be careful if you like a little kick in your soup though. Keep in mind spices like cayenne travel far a wide in soup. In that case, a little goes a long way.

A "SOUPER" addition to soup is quinoa. Instead of chicken and rice, do chicken and quinoa or instead of noodles in your mom's minestrone recipe, swap it out for protein rich, gluten free, delicious quinoa! Really you can add it to any soup you like. It creates a really nice body in the soup as well. If you have any leftovers in the fridge, toss it in there. You will enjoy it!

Quinoa,Tomato, & Zucchini Soup Recipe

4 Cups Homemade Organic Chicken or Veggie Stock
1 1/2 Cans of Native Forest Whole Coconut Milk
1 1/2 Jars Bionutrae Organic Strained Tomatoes
4 Zucchini, chopped with skin on
1 Medium Red Onion, chopped
3 Fresh Garlic Cloves, minced
 2-3 Tbsp Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil
1 Tbsp Dried Organic Basil (Please feel free to use fresh if you have it, about 1/4 cup chopped)
1 Tsp Himalayan or Celtic Sea Salt
1 Tsp Organic Garlic Granules/Powder
1/4 Fresh Ground Organic Black Pepper
3 Cups Cooked Organic Quinoa

Directions:

 In a large pot saute the zucchini, onion, and garlic in coconut oil.
Once soft, add stock, coconut milk, and tomatoes.
Add the spices and quinoa.
Simmer on low to medium for 30 minutes.
Serve with salad & enjoy! (Truth be told, if you do dairy, this soup screams for a grilled cheese. Try paleo bread with goat cheese and a little fresh spinach...lovely!)



Thursday, March 13, 2014

Dealing With Depression...Naturally



We live in the culture of the diagnosis. Everyone has a label. Each person supposively has some kind of disorder. Prescription medication is given out like jelly beans, meanwhile hands are being shaken and money is being exchanged...infuriating! Today specifically the topic of discussion is anxiety and depression.

Truth be told though there are numerous dangerous side effects to prescription medication. If you are not on medication, and you believe you are dealing with depression and anxiety, this article will go over some areas to be aware of and things that you can do naturally to cope and heal. Even if you are on medication,  many of these practices can be employed to raise your quality of living while continuing with your prescription. Depression is an authentic condition. It should not be discounted. In many cases though it is more of a symptom, and using natural methods is great way to heal. 

 *Before I go further I want to state that am a certified holistic health and life counselor. I am not a medical doctor nor a trained psychologist. If you are a patient on ANY type of prescription medication, I am not telling you to go home and flush your meds down the toilet. That is not what the article is about today. There are real conditions going on in people's bodies. Every condition is different. You can never be fully aware of all of the factors in someone's life: other medications, lifestyle choices, as well as illnesses/conditions. I would instruct anyone who reads this to NEVER tell anyone to just stop prescription medication. That would be irresponsible.That is a decision between the individual, God, and their doctor. It is extremely important to follow a doctors directives with medication, if you desire to be free from it. Find a trained medical professional. Do not do it on your own. You are not Sally down the street, you are you. Please be responsible.

Build a Healing Foundation
It's important to always start with a firm foundation. Examine yourself. Purchase a journal for a dollar and write down these questions and the answer them. Ask why do I feel a certain way? Is there anything truly internal going on causing me to be depressed or anxious? Examples are but not limited to: physical illness, prescription medication, poor daily diet, unhealthy digestive system, or unbalanced hormones.

Is there anything external going on causing me to feel this way that would rationally cause prolonged tension? Examples are but not limited to: separation, divorce, a severe physical illness-someone else's, an abusive personality in your life like a spouse, parent, or co-worker, job loss or simply financial instability, or death of a loved one. 

If something like this is going on then you have to give yourself some breathing room! You are bound to fall in one or both catagories. You are normal to have reactions to these situations. There simply seasons in life that are difficult. It's perfectly normal for your body to be fighting the negative stress that follows from negative situations. It's even okay for you be depressed, but only for a time. Chronic negative stress, not dealt with in a positive fashion has been shown to alter the way your brain operates and cause more harm.

Create healthy boundaries for yourself, if possible. If someone is physically abusive removing yourself from the situation is always appropriate. Do not stay in harm's way. Bruises and beatings are not God's Will for your life. Don't allow anyone to tell you otherwise. You are worth so much more. You are a beautiful creation of the Most High God, be safe. 

If someone is emotionally abusing you, I would also seek safe space when possible. Emotional abuse, mind games, and manipulation are just as harmful as physical abuse. People are emotionally abusive in different ways as well, don't think if they aren't yelling then they aren't abusive. Someone can be calm and consistently cruel. Separating yourself even if it is just for a temporary time until things can be resolved, perhaps in counseling, is healthy for you. 

Pray and ask the Lord Almighty what He'd like you to do and guide you. If you are married, I know the pain of divorce. Avoid it if you can. I would never advocate it. It is awful, and grieves Yeshua's (Jesus') heart. Use patience and pray unceasingly. Physically and emotionally, divorce can wreck your body from the inside out. This is a season of life that can cause depression. Avoid the repairs if you have the choice, they are costly, and take much time. Do your part. Husbands love your wives like Christ loved the church and wives respect your husbands. While Yeshua (Jesus) endured torment for us, and we will suffer for His namesake, I do not believe it is His will for us to be terrorized mentally and emotionally daily from our spouses. He took the punishment of sin upon His shoulders because it was one we could not bear. 

Yes, of course there will be trials, these are meant to grow us and mature us. You cannot have a trial free life, period. The Bible encourages us to NOT be afraid and to be strong and courageous though, not door mats. It is NOT prideful to take good care of yourself. It is responsible and necessary. Mothers and fathers, you owe this to your children. Do not let others heap guilt upon you. This is not of God. Others, no matter who they are, do not know the pain or fear you experience. Seek godly counsel, but first seek God's counsel. Ask Him where to go for help, and don't just assume all are helpful. Use wisdom with self-care always. We are told to be anxious for nothing, and trust Him always. 

Be self-affirming. For every negative comment you hear, out loud tell yourself that you are beautiful, you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and you are loved!

Do talk with someone! Good counsel is imperative. Find a trust worthy counselor to meet with often. This may be a psychologist, pastor, or health counselor. Don't go through this alone. 

The Basics
Now is the time to accept responsibility for the things you can change. The number one area is with what you stuff your face. Yep, it really matters what you eat. There is no one best way to eat for all. It is very individualized. 

Food
Good rules of thumb are lots of plant foods, especially organic leafy greens like lettuce, kale, collards, chard, and baby spinach. Greens will cleanse the blood of toxins with lots of chlorophyll and vitamin C. Raw greens are great! If you have certain types of auto-immune disorders though like with thyroid, then you want a higher percentage of cooked green veggies, at least 50/50. Different health conditions require different foods as well as the way they are prepared. If you are dealing with something like breast cancer, then you want to be as raw as possible and vegan. 

There are different classes of vegetables. I cover this in my holistic health counseling program. All veggies are not the same. Eat lots of different colors, and try new things. Take note to how certain ones effect you.

If you eat meat make sure it's organic, 100% pastured/grass fed beef (no grains), soy and corn free for chicken feed for the chickens and eggs. What the animals eat directly effects us. Animals also need lots of sunlight as well as fresh air and space to roam. This provides healthy protein for the muscular system to operate properly. Any animals eating soy and corn are consuming genetically modified fake foods, then those are going into your bodies.

Fruit is great! Eat the lower sugar choices most often like apples, berries, and grapefruit. If you eat oranges, do so with white part, that's fiber to balance out the high sugar. Do not drink fruit juices. Straight fruit juice is too much sugar. If you own a juicer the rule is juice your veggies, but blend your fruits. So do veggie juices and fruit & veggie smoothies.

Higher doses and portions of healthy fats. Be liberal here because anyone suffering from depression and anxiety has a lot of internal repair work to do. Healthy fats are one of tools used to perform the healing. Positive choices are: organic unrefined coconut oil, hempseeds/oil, extra virgin olive oil, chia seeds, grass fed hormone free butter, red palm oil, raw nuts & other seeds, grass fed ghee, wild caught salmon (from clean water if you can find it), organic peanut butter, raw almond butter, and my favorite food-avocados. Fats do not make you fat, sugar does. If you start craving unhealthy starches, which have lots of bad sugars that turn into fat, retrain your brain for what it needs, more healthy fat. Fat does not add fat to the body. The fat is used as a tool in the body for maintenance.

Consider going grain free during this time period. Even whole gluten free grains like brown rice and GF oats have a lot of natural sugars. Choose foods like quinoa, buckwheat, millet, and amaranth. If you don't eliminate them, prepare them properly by soaking before hand, and reduce them in your diet, if possible. The body doesn't always metabolize sugars well during high negative stress intervals. Do what is right for you. Think along the same lines for beans and legumes. Look, I love these foods, just pay attention to your body. Sometimes we need to make adjustments.

Sweet stuff, even GF/DF raw clean treats, should be treated like a regular Twix Bar or Snickers. Choose just a little, don't go overboard, and all will be fine. Stick to low glycemic sweeteners like whole stevia leaf drops, coconut sugar, and coconut nectar. Healthy choices though ones to use less often are delicious raw honey, whole organic cane sugar (also called Rapadura; this is NOT regular organic cane sugar or raw sugar or sucanat or turbinado sugar), and organic maple syrup, dates, and other fruit.

Supplements
Yes, using truly natural high quality supplements is extremely helpful in giving the body what it needs to cope. Some choices are foods and others are in liquid capsules and herbs. Again, I am not a medically trained physician. So I cannot prescribe these to you. I would suggest you do your research, if you have a doctor make him or her aware of the regimen you'd like to start, and be responsible for your own wellness. If you were a health counseling client of mine these are some we would discuss. For supplements mentioned, if you are on prescription medication of any kind, check with your local pharmacist for contraindications.

Probiotics: a healthy gut is a key to a healthy immune system; inside the gut is it's own set of emotions which affects the rest of our body when it's gets off balance, providing healthy bacterial strains with a high quality probiotic encourage balance; FYI- acidophilus is not enough, look for a multi strain probiotic containing at least acidophilus, bifidus, bulgaricus, plantaris, and saccharomyces boulardii.

Enzymes: extremely important little protein catalysts to the body functioning properly, the digestive function alone is crucial. Enzymes are needed by the entire body though, so their use therapeutically, which will be in an up coming blog post, is extremely helpful to proper body function.

Fermented Cod Liver Oil: cod liver oil that has been through the fermentation process has kept all of its nutritional factors in tact unlike distillation methods used on most fish oils,. FCLO provides healthy omega 3 fatty acids which are integral to the brain working as it should. Studies have shown that higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids have been extremely useful in those experiencing depression and anxiety. (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2006/08/03/getting-your-omega-3s-beats-depression.aspx)

Chia Seeds: there are 2140mg of omega 3 fatty acids in one TBSP of these wonderful little seeds. They do not need to be ground to absorb nutrients like flax seeds. Chia are also a super source of fiber and calcium. They give fantastic energy. Great in smoothies or on salads or GF oats. I take 1 1/2 TBSP in a mason jar of water with 2 drops of grapefruit essential oil and 2 drops of organic stevia.

Raw Unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar: only beneficial when unpasteurized, great way to boost the immune system, naturally cleanse the body, balance pH by supporting proper amount of stomach acid, and burn fat. Do a healthy sized splash in your water daily.

Coconut Oil: in it's unrefined organic form it will nourish the body with healthy fat, combat unhealthy bacteria, and detoxify poisons. I take 2 TBSP a day. Eat it solid, liquid-melt it (not in the microwave) in a glass jar in a pot of boiled water, spread it of GF toast, on an organic baked sweet or russet potato, or in a smoothie.

B3: another name for Niacin; research has shown higher dosages of Niacin has been extremely help in correcting nutritional deficiencies contributing to depression.(http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/10/21/pellagra-causes-violent-crimes.aspx)

B12: many ailments spoken about today can be contributed to a deficiency in B12. It's an extremely important vitamin and allows the body to function properly. Make sure it is in Methylcobolamin form only and if you purchase it over the counter you get it in sublingual or patch form only. You will not absorb it in a multi vitamin or B complex that go through the digestive tract. (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2003/12/17/vitamin-b12-depression.aspx)

D3: more of a hormone than a vitamin, it's integral to the brain and hormonally based systems in the body operating as they should; best gotten from the sun although difficult to attain for many reasons; ALWAYS supplement it unless you live below the state of Georgia, and are outside between 12pm-3pm daily; read Dr. Mercola's dosage recommendations. (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/01/02/vitamin-d-deficiency-depression.aspx)

Magnesium: a tremendously important mineral, helps operate the nervous system, can only be attained by plant foods, most people are deficient in the USA, best taken in topically when supplementing; I make and sell a magnesium chloride spray; aluminum depletes magnesium, as does a lack of D3 , and TOO MUCH calcium. (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/08/27/deficiency-of-this-vital-mineral-may-result-in-a-shorter-life.aspx)

Tulsi (Holy Basil): Ayurvedic herb that is in a class called adaptagenic; allows body to deal with stress while enhancing the immune system.

Ashwaganda: another Ayurvedic adapatgenic herb; works well with Holy Basil to teach the body how to cope with emotional, physical, mental, and environmental stress.

Turmeric: a great root vegetable used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries is a natural all over anti-inflammatory. This allows the body to fight the heart of all illness: inflammation. Eat the organic culinary spice often or the root. Take a high quality organic supplement with a high ratio of curcumin. It's the anti-oxidant in turmeric that gives it the anti-inflammatory action. 

Essential Oils: amazing and potent healing tools, often over looked, misunderstood, or misused. Essential oils are not some new concept under the sun, but it is only in the last 5-6 years that they are gaining credibility in the USA. Do be sure to know who you are buying from when it comes to essential oils. They should always be pure, have only gone through 1 level of distillation, so that they've not been exposed to heat which damages the integrity of the oil. They should have gone through the MCT and GC testing as well. Do not purchase of you cannot verify these facts. 

 To be safe essential oils should always be used with a carrier oil applied topically. A carrier oil simply an oil, that is not an essential oil, to blend it with because essential oils are so strong and potent. It only takes 1-2 drops of an essential oil per ounce of carrier. My favorite carriers are organic unrefined coconut oil and avocado oil. Rub them on daily.

Citrus oils in particular help with lifting mood. Lavender is wonderful promoting rest and de-stressing the body. Vetiver can also be used theraputically for lifting mood. Lemongrass for some has proven to be a very positive hormone balancer which can help tremendously with depression. Apply these around the neck, chest, and shoulders. Also certain pressure points on the bottoms of the feet can be effective.

To help encourage a healthy digestive system to flourish good flora/bacteria for emotional balance using pressure points on feet and the abdomen/stomach area use ginger and fennel.

Inhalation is extremely healing for a safe theraputic response to mood elevation. One drop rubbed into your palms then cupped up to face to breathe in deeply is very healing. Also consider purchasing a high quality diffuser. Good ones run $60-$150.

Exercise
We were made to move! Don't skip it! Sedentary bodies do not provide healing environments. Motion, movement, and building of muscle detoxifies the body. We must sweat! Never wear anti-perspirants. They clog the lymphatic system. 

We need the release of healthy endorphins, the hormones that say to our body, "Hey, we're doing pretty good!"

Walking is one of the best ways to get the body motivated to heal. It is the most natural movement. Try a healthy medium pace for 30 minutes 3-4 times a week. 

In addition employing a high intensity short duration workout is paramount. You will build muscle, especially in your core. The core are the muscles in your abdomen area. These must be strong for a healthy back and posture. I use Dr. Josh Axe's Burst Fit Workout with my clients. It's a 20 minute DVD program 5 days a week. 

*Extras
Be aware of skin care products, home cleaning products, air fresheners, and dental products. These all have ingredients that go into the body too. Choose wisdom. Just because it's on the shelf at a store, is FDA approved, or is "doctor recommended" doesn't make it healthy or safe.

Choose clean water. There are all sorts of unsafe chemicals in our water that affect the body's own ecosystem. Reverse osmosis for the whole home is best, but any filter is better. Filters in the fridge, on the faucets, and showers are very beneficial.

Closing
I hope this post helps someone. Let me know if you employ any of these tips, and how helpful they are to you. Be healthy, be blessed, and be a good steward! Much love!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Truth About Non-Dairy Milks

If you are into the health scene, and are an avid blog reader, it's fairly old hat these days that dairy is not what dairy once was unless you own cows, sheep, or goats. Due to the high toxicity levels of hormones, antibiotics, and the dangers of pasteurization, ultra-pasteurization, and homogenization the milk at your local market is just pure, well, people hate it when I say this, but puss. All nutrition is lost, the body no longer recognizes it as food, and then eventually it starts to rebel.

I get asked all of the time, what about organic? Well, now you are doing a little bit better. The cows will not be treated with antibiotics or hormones. However, organic doesn't guarantee grass fed or necessarily that the cows are treated properly. It should, but it doesn't.  If cows are not 100% grass fed atleast most of year outside of colder times when certain hays or other types of grasses can be given, then they are not healthy moo moos. It's the truth. Just like us, when we don't eat what we were intended to eat, and get sick, the same thing goes for the poor cows. In my article on my making ghee I discuss this in detail. Here it is for referencing.

So on to the world of non-dairy milks. The cool thing is a milk substitute can be made from several grains, seeds, and beans. The big question is: are they healthy? My answer is yes and no. 

Pros
I think in general as a liquid substitute they are super! They taste good. They are easy to cook with as well. They do have nutritional value in general.

Cons or Things to Know
Non-dairy milks are NOT milk. These do not provide the same nutrition as gorgeous, lovely, organic, raw milk. They provide the same nutrition as the grain, nut, bean, or seed from what it was made. Please do not give these to babies under 1 year of age. Their digestive systems cannot handle them, nor could they ever be a substitute for breast milk.

Now if you buy store bought non-dairy milk, I hate to burst your healthy bubble, but they really aren't that healthy. Yes, I know....I felt the same way....WHAT DO YOU MEAN ITS NOT HEALTHY? Well, if you read the labels most of them have stabilizers, thickeners, sugar (except for unsweetened of course), preservatives, and are fortified with synthetic vitamins. Yes, even the organic non-dairy milks. So what you're drinking is mostly water (I have no idea if it's filtered) with chemicals and a little bit of whatever kind of nut, seed, grain, or bean it was in the beginning. 



Our bodies do not accept synthetic vitamins. Often times our bodies reject them, and we get sick from the synthetics. So when you see a label that says vitamin C, D, or calcium on your almond milk, orange juice, cereal, or whatever, that's not a good thing. You cannot make something fake become real by adding fake vitamins. Fortified means fake. Oh and that vitamin E is most likely soy based unless your milk says soy free. The vitamin D that is being used is D2, not D3. D2 can actually cause toxic build ups in our bodies. The vitamin C is always going to be ascorbic acid. That's an isolate and not whole vitamin C. This form causes vitamin deficiencies in the body. Calcium should almost never, now I say almost not always, be a mineral you supplement or get put extra into your food. Too much calcium can be dangerous for the arteries and actually be bad for dental health. Calcium, if you ever need it in a supplement, it should be plant based from greens or algaes. Our bodies do not do much with calcium from rocks and shells, which is the form calcium is usually sold.

There is also the consideration of the types of containers these milks are sitting in day in and day out on the shelves. Those boxes are called tetra packs. They are made with plastic, paper, and aluminum. Please try not to buy foods and drinks in them. They are a toxin factory leaking in the liquid. Also it's been shown with pictures how there is mold inside a lot of them, especially juice boxes.

Positive Side
Please don't beat yourself up if you have a half gallon on almond milk in the fridge. That's not the point of my post. This is simply to inform. I want to give you the truth. You are doing the best you can to be a good steward. You just need to weigh out what's important in your house and what you can change today. If store bought almond milk is it because little Johnny vomits with processed cows milk, and he loves cereal, then so be it. Stay within your means, do what YOU personally can.

The cool part is that many non-dairy milks are easily made at home! No heat is involved, so enzymes remain in tact, and you know just what's in it! I personally love hemp and coconut milks. I also really like almond and cashew milks.

I don't cook with the hemp milk though because the healthy fat in the hempseeds turns toxic when heated. It's great for smoothies, raw desserts, gluten free oats, and homemade cereal.

I do not drink soy milk or eat unfermented soy foods. They are very rough on the digestive tract, and cause hormonal distress. If you have an autoimmune disorder, you shouldn't either. 

I prefer the almond or coconut milk for cooking. They do great in soups and baking. If you have a good blender, you can make them too! 

Be aware that depending on what food you use, you may or may not need to soak it overnight. I have videos available for tutorials here

You will need what's called a nut milk bag. My business sells these. You can email Kingdom Health to place an order: marieligorria@kingdom-health.com


Now as for cost effectiveness, I guess it really depends on how much milk you are using. I would research getting those foods in bulk. Also I'd look into ways to use the left over pulp. Yes, you usually have some type of fiber pulp left over when you make them. This can be put in quick breads, muffins, or dehydrated into crackers.

Here's a simple recipe for coconut milk:

4 Cups Filtered Water
3 Cups Organic Shredded Unsweetened Coconut

Directions:

Put all in blender and blend very well. Get large bowl. Open your nut milk bag. Place it into the bowl. Pour a little blended milk into bag. Put the blender down. Pull draw string tightly on the bag. Hold the bag up over the bowl in one hand and pull or literally milk the bag. Continue this process until the blender is empty. Pour milk into a glass jar or carafe. Keep in the fridge for 4-6 days.


Be healthy, be blessed, and be a good steward!!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Coconut Snow Cream


This is just a really fun seasonal post. We got almost 4 inches of snow here in the Raleigh area, which only happens every few years. A girlfriend of mine asked for snow cream recipes. I thought that sounded like fun! (Original recipe by eatinginnately.com)

Here's my version:

4-5 Cups of Snow
1/4 Cup Organic Whole Coconut Milk
2-3 Tbsp Raw Local Honey or Coconut Nectar
1 Tsp Organic Vanilla or Almond Extract 
1/4 Tsp Ground Ceylon Cinnamon-(optional; really good)

Directions:

Whisk everything in a separate bowl except for the snow. 


Then mix with the snow. 


Enjoy it!