Eat Your Veggies?

Yummy Nutrient Dense Superfoods Smoothie

Happy Nat’l Eat Your Vegetables Day!

If you don’t like them, hide them in a fruit/berry smoothie! Great way to get your children to consume their veggies! 

I like veggies but I prefer them raw for health reasons and my favorite way to get raw veggies everyday is in a smoothie! But I don’t particularly enjoy veggie-flavored-smoothies, so fruit and berries are in there with added health benefits and yumminess!

I just posted to my online vasculitis support group a couple days ago how much better I feel when I have my daily nutrient-dense-superfoods smoothie! I had gone a few days without and felt run down. Had a smoothie and felt more energetic, less lethargic, had better mental clarity – and so of course I was happier!

It really makes a difference in how you feel! Smoothies are a great way to get your veggies everyday!

Get a good blender if you don’t have one and make it part of your daily routine!

My smoothie today has all organic, all raw: mixed baby super greens, broccoli, mixed berries, banana, pineapple, carrot, acai, watermelon.

I don’t taste the veggies! Sometimes at first I do, but after marinating for a few minutes, all I taste is fruit and berries.

Note: If your smoothie tastes too green, add more pineapple.

I use mostly frozen organics from Trader Joe’s. Convenient, affordable and produces an ice-cold smoothie!

I buy organic bananas and when they get nicely spotted, I peel and slice them and toss them in a container and freeze them. If you buy them already spotted, they are discounted and perfect for smoothies – and spotted bananas have anti-cancer nutrients that unspotted bananas don’t have! Most people don’t care to eat them once they’re spotted but they are wonderful in smoothies!

So are avocados! They make your smoothie smoother! And add health benefits!

Adding chia seeds and other seeds to smoothies is great, too!

Eat your veggies or drink your veggies! Fruit and berries too! You will feel better!

A superfoods smoothie is the healthiest energy drink there is!

But they are pricey away from home. Investing in your own good blender is a great way to have them everyday and not break the bank.

Other great resources for affordable frozen organics are Grocery Outlet (opening soon near me, can’t wait!), Walmart and Costco.

For fresh produce this time of year, support your local farmers market! It just feels good to shop at them!

For more tips on healthy eating without breaking the bank, go here.

This started out as a status update to just say: Happy Nat’l Eat Your Veggies Day! But I got carried away ♥️

Mom, You should Blog about Eggs!

Mom, you should blog about eggs!

So that’s exactly what I’m doing for National Egg Day today!

  • What’s Up with That Bad Reputation?
  • What About the Yolk?
  • Did You Know…
  • Duck Eggs
  • Health Benefits
  • Free-range eggs vs cage-raised eggs
  • Fun Fact about Refrigeration of Eggs
  • How to Successfully Peel Boiled Eggs
  • One of My Favorite Egg Recipes: My Momma’s Poached Eggs

What’s Up with That Bad Reputation?

Eggs have a bad reputation for cholesterol but it’s a very unfortunate reputation as organic free-range eggs actually help regulate and control cholesterol, as free-range hens lay omega-3 eggs! And omega-3’s regulate cholesterol!

Part of the reason free-range hens’ eggs are higher in omega-3’s is because they feed on natural food sources provided by nature!

What About the Yolk?

The entire egg is good for you! Yes, even the yolk! The egg white without the egg yolk is not as beneficial as it is with the yolk! I would like to shout that from a mountain top! Eat the whole egg! You’re seriously missing out on health benefits when you only eat egg whites!

“If you toss out your egg yolks, you’re also tossing out some of the most nutritious parts of the egg. The good cholesterol and saturated fat in animal foods like egg yolks are quite beneficial for your health.” – Dr. Mercola

Did you know…

that the protein in eggs is especially beneficial for preventing muscle wasting and recovery? It’s used in geriatric supplements for this reason! Very good for athletes!

Following a severe illness, my son had an extremely hard time retaining muscle. We started loading him up with eggs and he was able to build and retain muscle!

Duck Eggs

If you’re allergic to chicken eggs, or you want an egg with even more protein and health benefits, consider duck eggs. As pictured above. Most people who can’t tolerate chicken eggs can tolerate duck eggs. And they are wonderful to bake with! Makes a run-of-the-mill cake amazing! They are wonderful for everything except scrambling. The texture of the yolk when boiled is just so nice! There’s an Amazon link below. That’s a pretty good deal on them and if 4 dozen is too many, split the order with a friend or two!

Ten Health Benefits of Free-Range Organic Eggs

  1. Anti-inflammatory
  2. Reduces risk of heart disease
  3. Reduces chances of developing metabolic syndrome (fights disease)
  4. Improves eye health
  5. Promotes weight loss
  6. Liver health
  7. Brain health
  8. Skin health
  9. Protection against muscle wasting
  10. Muscle recovery

Free-range eggs vs cage-raised eggs

Free-range eggs contain:

  • ⅓ less cholesterol
  • ¼ less saturated fat
  • ⅔ more vitamin A
  • 2 times more omega-3
  • 3 times more vitamin E
  • 7 times more beta-carotene

“I would strongly encourage you to AVOID ALL NON-ORGANIC eggs which are labeled “omega-3 eggs,” as they are some of the least healthy for you. These eggs typically come from chickens that are fed poor-quality sources of omega-3 fats that are already oxidized.” Dr. Mercola

Organic, free-range, farm-fresh, is your best choice. Check your local farmers market or health food store.

Fun Fact

In many parts of the world, eggs are not refrigerated! It was so surprising when we were in the U.K. to see eggs in the grocery stores and markets, on shelves, without refrigeration! The reason is that eggs have a protective cuticle that keep them fresh without refrigeration! Once the egg is washed, the cuticle is removed and the egg requires refrigeration, which is common practice in the U.S. But we buy farm-fresh, unwashed eggs, and so now, into the pantry they go – no longer taking up space in the refrigerator!

How to Successfully Peel Boiled Eggs

  1. Add baking soda to your water
  2. Bring to a boil before adding eggs
  3. Add eggs gently with a slotted spoon or a spaghetti/egg spoon
  4. Boil to your specified liking
  5. Place them in ice water, keep adding ice as needed – this halts the cooking time so if you prefer your yolks well-done, add to the cooking time
  6. Chill in ice water for at least 15 minutes before peeling
  7. Roll the egg to create many cracks
  8. Peel carefully

Note: The fresher the egg, the harder to peel.

I’m going to share with you one of my favorite egg recipes, a little different than the usual poached egg method, the way my momma made them, in milk! 

Poached Eggs in Milk

Organic Ingredients

A slice of bread of your choice, gluten-free, etc
1- 1 1/2 cups milk, as needed
Salt and pepper and your favorite egg spices
2 eggs

Directions

Toast the bread and set on a plate. Butter lightly, if desired.
Meanwhile, liberally season milk and bring to a simmer in a sauce pan over med-high heat. When it begins to simmer, drop in eggs, 1 at a time. I like to crack them into a small bowl and then add them to the milk.
Once the milk begins to simmer for the second time, poach for 2 minutes more. Do not let the milk boil over. Use a slotted spoon to remove eggs from the milk. They will be done once they look solid on the outside.
Drop the poached eggs on top of the toast, then pour about ½ cup or less of the hot milk over the eggs.

Click here for another great recipe using eggs!

And watch for more egg recipes to come!

Enjoy ♥️

References

Dr Joseph Mercola, Dr. Josh Axe

 

Delicious Medicinal Cinnamon Toast 

World’s Best Cinnamon Toast

Not only is this cinnamon toast medicinal, it really is delicious! It’s the recipe recommended in my “Bag of Tricks” for fighting colds, flus and allergies!  

Another one of my recipe makeovers! Simple, Delicious, and extremely healthy.

Even yummier than the old-fashioned-traditional cinnamon toast which was heavily laden with processed white sugar and often made with refined white bread. Really unhealthy! This recipe is not only healthy, it’s medicinal! It fights colds and flus and pollen allergies! And more!

Ingredients

  • Toasted organic non-gmo whole grain bread of your choice or gluten-free, etcetera (nonorganic GMO bread is pro-inflammatory, avoid it!)
  • Organic virgin coconut oil (virgin is yummy while refined is not yummy)
  • Raw local honey (available at farmers markets, local apiaries, and natural food stores)
  • Organic cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Spread toast liberally with coconut oil
  2. Drizzle liberally with honey
  3. Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon

Note: For added health benefits and flavor, try Chocolate Cinnamon Toast by sprinkling with organic cocoa!

I’ve had this when I feel a cold coming on and I feel it being stopped in its tracks upon eating a slice of this delicious medicinal toast! Don’t wait for cold and flu season, enjoy it year-round, as it has many health benefits! Raw local honey fights seasonal pollen allergies!

*You may want to cut back on the quantity of honey though, if consuming regularly, or if you have diabetes.

*Increase the cinnamon if you have diabetes!

Some of the Benefits

Organic non-gmo whole grain toast: anti-inflammatory, reduces chronic inflammation, gastrointestinal health, lowers risk of diabetes, high in fiber

Coconut oil: antimicrobial, fights colds and flus, anti-inflammatory, long list of health benefits

Raw local honey: cough suppressant, anti-allergen, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, rich in enzymes

Cinnamon: antimicrobial, fights colds and flus, anti-inflammatory, protects against diabetes

Cocoa: fights allergies, antioxidants, blood vessel health

Note: I’ve included some links to some my favorite brands. That is a great deal on the coconut oil!

Enjoy ♥️

References

Dr. Josh Axe, Dr. Joseph Mercola, Dr. Andrew Weil

Anti-Inflammatory Superfoods – who needs it?

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

The answer is: actually everyone needs anti-inflammatory superfoods

You can unknowingly have chronic inflammation for years before becoming symptomatic.

Chronic inflammation is an epidemic that leads to countless debilitating, painful and even life-threatening diseases. Many of them are auto-immune.

“It’s important to realize that dietary components can either trigger or prevent inflammation from taking root in your body. If you have not already addressed your diet, this would be the best place to start, regardless of whether you’re experiencing symptoms of chronic inflammation or not.” – Dr. Joseph Mercola

Implementing an anti-inflammatory superfoods regimen prior to symptoms is a very good lifestyle practice in an effort to avoid inflammatory health issues which can be extremely difficult to deal with once you become symptomatic.

“Anti-Inflammatory Foods Can Transform Your Health. Patients who consumed anti-inflammatory foods found enough relief that they were able to discontinue at least one of their medications. ” – Dr. Josh Axe 

When I was pursuing my degree in holistic nutrition, I did in-depth research reports on anti-inflammatory superfoods & supplements; and auto-immune superfoods, I covered auto-immune superfoods recently and now I want to cover anti-inflammatory foods.

When I first started searching for anti-inflammatory foods and diets, it was unheard of! Now many books have been written on the subject and it’s a household term!

Pro-inflammatory foods to be aware of, cut out, cut back on

  • GMO’s!
  • Processed foods
  • Processed white foods: flour and sugar and the foods that contain them: most baked goods – opt for organic, whole grain baked goods.

Top 15 vs My Extensive List

I have an extensive list of anti-inflammatory foods and herbs that I’ve researched and compiled, much too long for this blog, so I’m including here, The Top 15 according to Dr. Axe, with a few health benefits in addition to each one being anti-inflammatory.

And if you’d like my much longer list, an accumulation of many scientists and doctors lists, I will be happy to email it to you! 

The Top 15 Anti-Inflammatory Superfoods (organic is best: GMO and pesticides make them pro-inflammatory!!)

  1. Dark Green Leafy Veggies: antioxidants, restores cellular health (hide in fruit/berry smoothies if you don’t like veggies! Watch for recipes!);
  2. Bok Choy: powerhouse of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals;
  3. Celery: improves blood pressure and cholesterol, heart health;
  4. Beets: repair cell damage caused by inflammation;
  5. Broccoli: antioxidant powerhouse, anti-cancer (hide in smoothies!) 
  6. Blueberries: antioxidant powerhouse, improves cognitive and motor function;
  7. Pineapple: immune system health, fights blood clots, heart health;
  8. Wild Alaskan Salmon: omega-3, brain function (avoid farmed salmon at all costs!)
  9. Bone Broth: rich in minerals, heals leaky gut, fights colds and flues;
  10. Walnuts: protein, omega-3, brain/cognitive health;
  11. Coconut Oil: antioxidants, fights osteoporosis and colds and flues;
  12. Chia Seeds: increases energy, heart health, improves cholesterol and blood pressure
  13. Fresh Ground Flaxseed: omega-3, antioxidants, gut health, fights yeast and candida;
  14. Turmeric: reduces pain, gut health, diabetes;
  15. Ginger: immune system health, detox, painkiller.

Leave a comment if you’d like my extensive list of anti-inflammatory food options. 

The way we eat is just part of the regimen. The way we exercise plays a role as well. Click on these links for more methods to combat inflammation:

I’ve included some links for some of my favorite anti-inflammatory foods, below! That’s a great deal on the coconut oil!

Note: This drug interaction checker is great to check supplement interactions with medications, go here.

Here’s to health ♥️

References

Harvard University, Dr. Josh Axe, Dr. Joseph Mercola

Easy Delicious Anti-Inflammatory Superfoods Oatmeal 

World’s Yummiest Oatmeal

If you hate oatmeal, this is the recipe for you! Try it! 

I used to hate oatmeal! And I still can’t stand traditionally prepared oatmeal.

But I know how nutritious it is so I was determined to make it palatable. I have an issue with textures and traditional oatmeal is over-cooked in my opinion and the texture is unbearable for me! So I experimented until it was not just bearable, but delicious! 

Highly recommended for anyone with a chronic inflammatory condition.

All ingredients are anti-inflammatory!

Note: I’ve included some links to some of the ingredients. They were the best deals I found on some of my favorite brands!

All ingredients have a long list of health benefits – superfoods!

Organic Ingredients:

  • Oats (not quick oats) (preferably thick cut)
  • Coconut oil (a delicious brand such as Nutiva)
  • Walnuts
  • Chia Seeds
  • Raw local honey
  • Cocoa

Optional:

  • Cinnamon
  • Other healthy toppings/mix ins of your choice

Instructions:

  1. Barely cook the oatmeal in a small amount of water. I cook it for a minute or two tops. If you have excess water, add more oats or pour water off and cook a few more seconds.
  2. Add other ingredients and enjoy!

My brother’s secret is to cook it in chai tea! But pure water is good to keep it simple.

Just a few of heath benefits in addition to being anti-inflammatory:

Oats: lowers cholesterol, heart health, high in fiber

Walnuts: brain health, anti-cancer, omega-3

Chia Seeds: increases energy, digestive health, omega-3

Raw Local Honey: counters pollen allergies, increases energy, digestive enzymes

Coconut Oil: fights infections, brain health, overall health

Cinnamon: lowers blood sugar, fights infections, brain health

Cocoa: promotes blood vessel health, improves blood pressure and cholesterol

Here’s to deliciously fighting inflammation! Enjoy ♥️

References

Dr. Josh Axe, Dr. Andrew Weil

34 Autoimmune Disease Superfoods

Autoimmune Disease Superfoods

Autoimmune diseases affect one in five families. How we eat is crucial.

This is a list I compiled when I was in college, pursuing my degree in holistic nutrition. The assignment was to compile a “new list of super foods,” so I researched and chose foods specific to autoimmune and vasculitis diseases. I’ve updated it to include the newly discovered superfoods that benefit autoimmune conditions.

Note: These are in addition to the well known nutrient-dense superfoods, such as coconut oil. (I’ve included some links to some at the end. They were the best deals I found on some of my favorite brands!)

  1. To top off the list: Bone Broth! (Link at end)

Recent research reveals that bone broth is an autoimmune superfood! But it can’t just be chicken or beef or fish broth, where the bones are cooked quickly, the bones need to cook for at least 6 hours and preferably longer to reap the benefits! Adding a couple tablespoons of organic raw vinegar helps extract all the beneficial nutrients! Great Grandma was onto something back in the day with taking all day or even a couple days to make that good old fashioned chicken noodle soup which is scientifically proven to fight off colds and flus as well as autoimmune diseases and many other health benefits! Run of the mill canned chicken noodle soup will not provide the outstanding level benefits as the bones are not cooked long enough. It has to be labeled ‘organic bone broth’ – or make your own. Watch for the recipe!

2. Glutathione – the mother is all anti-oxidants (link at end)

Plays a crucial role in immune function. Essential for preventing and fighting autoimmune disorders.

Studies have shown that people who have autoimmune diseases are deficient in glutathione.

Note: This is important to know if you have an autoimmune disease and you have children as autoimmune diseases run in families, so make sure your children have sufficient levels of glutathione in an effort to prevent the diseases.

When glutathione is deficient, all other antioxidants and vitamins are deficient as a result, as glutathione is necessary for their absorption.

Until now glutathione supplements fell short as it’s hard to absorb, but now we have the new ‘setria glutathione’ which is readily available and absorbable. Read the label and make sure it’s “setria.” (I’ve included a link for this type of glutathione at the end.) 

Foods rich in glutathione include:  spinach, potatoes, asparagus, avocado, squash, okra, cauliflower, broccoli, walnuts, garlic and tomatoes;

3. Fermented Foods

Sauerkraut, kimchi, Greek yogurt, kombucha, pickles, miso, raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar, and other fermented foods. The fermentation creates probiotics, which greatly benefits gut heath! Improved gut health equals improved overall health! Autoimmune diseases and other health issues have been linked to gut health, so heal the gut with fermented foods and heal the immune system! Fermented foods also help boost and maintain energy levels.

Note: Raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar is a fermented food. BACV  (Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar) or similar brand –  must be raw, organic, unfiltered, ‘with the mother.’ – Reduces moonface caused by steroids, increased energy, long list of health benefits; improves gut health and ph balance, and so many other health benefits. 1-3 T day can really help overcome fatigue as well as many other health issues! No matter what your level of health is, it’s beneficial.

How to consume raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar, such as Bragg’s: 

1-3 T/day, diluted in water, juice or Emergen-C. Add raw local honey if needed. I usually add 3 T to several ounces of water and sip throughout the day. But mixing with Emergen-C is the most palatable, IMHO, and it will give you quick energy without a letdown!

4. High Quality Organic Undenatured  Whey Protein

It increases glutathione production, immune system support, promotes weight loss, improves cognitive performance, reduces blood pressure, controls appetite. Whey protein contains all the amino acids the body needs in the best possible balance (also alleviates the sweet-tooth!);

5&6. Sockeye Salmon & Sardines (in it’s own oil)

High omega-3’s to fight inflammation, increased brain function, combats depression and mood swings, good for memory, and blood sugar control. Also good for kidney health.

Note: I choose sockeye salmon over all others because: “it is never farmed, it’s always wild, from the pristine seas of Alaska, where they feed on omega-3 rich krill and the waters are cleaner than most anywhere on the planet. And sockeye do not live as long as other species of salmon so therefore do not accumulate the toxins that other choices may accumulate.” – Dr. Andrew Weil;

7&8. Maitake and Shitake Mushrooms – For counteracting fatigue and nausea caused by chemo drugs, as well as help prevent some of the damaging side effect of chemo drugs. Immune system support. Available in pill/capsule form;

9&10. Black and Green Tea – Black for the quick repair of damaged blood vessels; Green for reducing the risks of blood clots, strokes and weight gain and improving mood and increased relaxation. Both teas are anti-inflammatory. They are packed with powerful anti-oxidants;

11. Yerba Maté (link at end)- Has all the benefits of green tea tenfold. Plus bone Health. And a great Fatigue Buster/Energy Booster;

12. Rosemary – Fights inflammation of the respiratory system! Protects the liver, anti-biotic, anti-viral, improves brain function, memory, and disease of the head and brain;

13. Thyme – Anti-inflammatory, aids digestion, long history of relieving respiratory problems, including cough and bronchitis;

14. Avocados – Anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, good for eyes and skin, contains glutathione;

15. Cherries – Anti-inflammatory, good for respiratory health and allergies;

16. Raisins – Bone health, anti-inflammatory;

17. Turmeric/curcumin – Anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-diabetes, protects the liver, long list of health benefits, including pain reduction (take with black pepper to increase absorption, most supplements include pepper – pepper improves absorption of all nutrients);

18. Ginger – Immune system health, anti-inflammatory, alleviates pain, alleviates nausea;

19-22. Pecans, Macadamia Nuts, Walnuts and Almonds (with skins) – High Omega-3, anti-inflammatory, helps with brain function & moods;

23. Spinach – Anti-inflammatory, promotes lung health;

24. Serrapeptase (link at end)– Systemic enzyme: anti-inflammatory, lung & airway health, reduces mucous, eliminates fibrosis – when taken on empty stomach;

25. Rosehips – Reduces CRP (inflammatory marker in the blood);

26. Oil of Oregano – anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-parasitic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, good for immune system and respiratory health;

27. Oregano – anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, aids digestion and joint function;

28. Artichokes – heals the liver;

29. Milk Thistle – protects and heals the liver from medication damage;

30. Digestive Enzymes – gut health essential for immune system health, alleviates indigestion, digestive health;

31. Pro-biotics – gut health essential for the immune system health, stave off infections;

32. Multi-Vitamins – the disease and the medications deplete our vitamins. We need to replace them with a high quality multi-vit;

33. B Complex and extra B-12 – for energy and stress, we are deficient due to stress, disease and meds;

34. D-3 – fights disease, we are deficient, it’s a pandemic deficiency

Note: To check for medication-supplement interactions, go here.

Note: Avoid pro-inflammatory foods such as processed foods and GMOs as much as possible. For more on anti-inflammatory/pro-inflammatory foods, click here.

Here’s to health ♥️

References

Dr. Joseph Mercola, Dr. Josh Axe, Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, Lorna Vanderhaeghe, BSc, Colombia University

Top 5 Anti-Inflammatory Essential Oils

IMG_1337
Top 5 Anti-Inflammatory Essential Oils

What are the top five anti-inflammatory essential oils and should you use them?

Inflammation is a major health issue leading to countless debilitating diseases.

I have a chronic inflammatory illness called vasculitis.

The medications to treat inflammation often fall short.

To reduce inflammation – and in an effort to reduce the dose of anti-inflammatory drugs and get off said drugs – an anti-inflammatory regimen is key.

This month for Vasculitis Awareness Month, I’m going to share delicious, simple anti-inflammatory recipes and various natural remedies to reduce inflammation in our bodies and improve our health. See also: Anti-Inflammatory Superfoods and Anti-Inflammatory Exercise.

So today, I want to share the top five anti-inflammatory essential oils with you. I was skeptical about essential oils but I’ve had some really great results so now I’m a fan!

There are more anti-inflammatory oils, as all oils have many benefits, but these are the best five for inflammation, according to Dr. Axe, whose opinion I greatly respect, among other things, he is an essential oils expert. And none of us need to be spending money on twenty oils when five are enough!

How to use essential oils:

Using an aromatherapy diffuser, diffuse essential oils on a table next to your bed while you sleep, or during the day, or both. I really like diffusing while I sleep.

The oils can be blended together: 3-5 drops of each oil added to your diffuser.

Using aromatherapy jewelry is another really nice option, especially when traveling. Use high quality jewelry that won’t corrode. There’s some good deals out there! (Some links at the bottom!)

You can also use the oils topically by adding a few drops to a carrier oil, such as fractioned coconut oil, and applying directly to areas where you have inflammation/pain. Be careful to avoid contact with your eyes.

Bonus: these oils also help alleviate pain and improve sleep, among many other health benefits. 

Bonus #2: they smell wonderful! Best room freshener ever!

Note: Not all essential oils are created equal. You need to use high quality therapeutic grade oils.

Top 5 Anti-inflammatory Essential Oils:

  1. Ginger – potent anti-inflammatory/pain reliever
  2. Turmeric – anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties
  3. Frankincense – anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety
  4. Orange – anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antidepressant, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties
  5. Myrrh – powerful antioxidant, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, expectorant, and antispasmodic properties

Enjoy! Follow my blog for upcoming anti-inflammatory recipes and remedies. Here’s to improved health  ♥️

References

Dr Josh Axe, Dr Joseph Mercola

14 Healthy Energy Boosters and Fatigue Busters

 Healthy Energy Boosters and Fatigue Busters
Energy Boosters and Fatigue Busters

Healthy Energy Boosters and Fatigue Busters ~

The average North American drinks 599 cups of coffee per year.

Coffee, caffeinated soft drinks, and energy drinks, are multi-billion dollar industries because most everyone struggles with energy and reaches for a caffeinated pick-me-up.

As a society, we suffer from a lack of energy.

This is an issue for so many, no matter what their level of health is.

But if you have health issues and/or take prescription medications, they deplete you of vitamins and minerals, often causing crushing fatigue and severely reduced energy.

If you’re not a fan of supplementation, it is very possible to overcome energy issues with some smart food choices and a few other tricks!

If you have health issues and/or take medication, I highly recommend trying everything you can that’s suggested here, including the supplements. Those of us with health issues and medications need the extra nourishment from both food and supplements.

Let’s first talk about what’s causing your lack of energy and/or fatigue.

Energy Drainers

  • Negative Emotions 

Emotions such as anger, regret, resentment, and jealousy. Negative emotions make our minds and bodies tense. When we experience these negative emotions, we exert a lot of energy, which can be exhausting and draining. Negative people can drain energy as well.

  • Heavy Meals and Junk Food 

Large meals require our bodies to expend more energy breaking down all that food, which is why most people feel lethargic after a big meal. Junk food, usually in the form of empty calories, simple carbs, and chemicals, causes a quick spike in blood sugar, which makes us feel energized initially, followed by a rapid drop in blood sugar, a letdown, which makes us feel drained.

  • Skipping Breakfast 
  • Dehydration 
  • Serious/Chronic illness 
  • Medications 
  • Staying up too late

Energy Drink Warning

Energy drinks can be risky. It is important that you understand what is actually in these products because their labels typically don’t tell you! Energy drinks are cited as a possible cause of thousands of emergency room visits each year, and there are reports of at least ten deaths among people who drank 5-Hour Energy. And five deaths have been associated with the use of Monster energy drinks.

Energy Bars 

An Ohio State University study compared the glycemic index of typical energy bars with other sources of carbohydrates. The power bars were no better than a candy bar at providing sustained energy.

And now for the good news! Most of these strategies are used by me and they work! I have chronic health issues and I have overcome the extreme fatigue and lack of energy associated with chronic illnesses.

Energy Boosters and Fatigue Busters

1. Stay Hydrated – Drink water and coconut water.

2. Sunshine – in moderation, the sun has health benefits, including increased energy, but an overdose has the opposite effect.

3. Negative ionsavailable in nature. Go outside, get your nature fix! Open the windows (previous blog topic). Authentic Himalayan Pink Salt Lamps increase negative ions in your home and workplace (buyer beware of fakes).

4. Aromatherapy – diffusing these oils helps combat fatigue and boost energy:

  • black pepper
  • cardamom
  • cinnamon
  • clove
  • angelica
  • jasmine
  • tea tree
  • rosemary
  • sage
  • citrus

5. Reframe

When you’re feeling angry or upset, try deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and positive imagery. Focus on the positive aspects rather than the negative aspects of a situation. In psychology, this is called reframing, which means changing negative feelings or thoughts into positive ones. It takes practice, but it makes a big difference in your level of energy if you do it.

6. Avoid Negative People

7. Use Caffeine to Your Advantage

“As a stimulant, caffeine can increase or decrease your energy level, depending on when and how much of it you consume. Caffeine does help increase alertness, so having a cup of coffee before going to a meeting or starting on a project can help sharpen your mind. But to get the energizing effects of caffeine, you have to use it judiciously. It can cause insomnia, especially when consumed in large amounts or after 2 p.m. (or noon if you’re caffeine sensitive).” – Harvard University 

I’ve always said, “use caffeine medicinally!” and I’ve always advised to not consume too much and not after 2pm! I was pleasantly surprised and delighted to see my advice backed by Harvard!

8. Power Naps and Longer Naps 

If you’re in good health, power naps during your lunch break are very beneficial, 10-20 minutes and you’re rejuvenated!

If you have health issues, you’re more than likely going to need longer naps and sometimes more than one. Your immune system and body heal when you sleep so take those naps.

During flares I need one-to-three long naps per day. During times my health issues are ‘quiet,’ I can get away with a power nap or no nap – providing I’m eating and supplementing right!

For tips on how to nap when you have little ones, go here.

9. Exercise – move your body!

10. Go to bed earlier – at least try to.

11. Eat clean

Cut out junk food/drinks that drain you of energy because they lack nutrients and contain ingredients our bodies don’t recognize and can’t use – and our bodies use a great deal of our energy to try to dispose of. Eat your vegetables! And if you don’t like them, hide them in a smoothie with fruit and berries! Eat more plant based foods and high quality proteins and healthy fats, such as coconut oil and olive oil. Try to eat organic. Specific energy producing foods listed below.

12. Eat Breakfast – suggestions below.

13. Energy Boosting Foods:

  • Lemon water. Adding lemon to water transforms regular H20 into a natural energy drink that is packed with electrolytes, which are critical for cells to produce energy. (Wash your lemons first).
  • Fresh fruit and berries. The natural sugar in fruit provides a quick pick-me-up when you’re dragging and helps keep blood sugar levels steady because it’s packed with fiber. They help turn fat into energy. Plus many other health benefits.
  • Nuts. Cashews, almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts, are high in magnesium, which plays a key role in converting sugar to energy. They’re also filled with fiber to keep your blood sugar levels balanced and protein to stave off hunger. They also contain healthy fats which increase energy. Keep a bag of mixed nuts or trail mix in your purse, backpack, car, or desk drawer to stay energetic all day. Bonus: they are anti-inflammatory!
  • Chia Seeds. Chia seeds are nutrient dense and pack a punch of energy boosting power. Aztec warriors ate chia seeds for high energy and endurance. They claimed that just 1 spoonful of chia seeds would sustain them for 24 hours. Warriors would consume chia seeds as fuel for battle and running long distances. Chia seed benefits also include promoting healthy skin, heart and digestive system health, building stronger bones and muscles, and more. They have even recently been linked to healing diabetes. Add to smoothies, oatmeal, salads, soups, etc.
  • Dark chocolate. A little dark chocolate is good for you. It contains the natural stimulant theobromine, similar to caffeine, which boosts your energy and your mood. Lots of other health benefits as well. Must be at least 70% dark chocolate.
  • Breakfast. Organic oatmeal or Organic whole-grain toast  or pancakes, eggs, etc, and fruit/berries/superfoods smoothie. Stay away from GMO grains! They cause health issues while organic grains improve health in most cases. Complex carbohydrates provide 60% of the energy that your body requires, and whole grains are packed with complex carbs (the good kind!), which are full of vitamins and minerals. Eating whole grains can prevent a surge in blood sugar after your next meal, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, which means fewer energy crashes than when you eat refined carbohydrates in sugary or heavily processed snacks. Start your day with organic complex carbs and fruit. Snack on organic whole-grain crackers or granola bars, etc, and fruit for an afternoon boost.
  • Cardamom. In Asia, this spice is valued for its ability to increase energy and promote blood flow by expanding small blood vessels. So enjoy some chai tea.
  • Asparagus. This green veggie is high in B vitamins, which naturally support healthy energy levels by turning food into fuel, and it contains plenty of blood sugar-steadying fiber. When it’s in season, add asparagus to your salad at lunch to help get you through the afternoon.
  • Broccoli, spinach, and other dark leafy greens. Like asparagus, boosts energy. Packed with nutrients that combat fatigue.
  • Nutrient dense super food smoothiesThey can taste purple but can be green or purple! I have recipes! Or just use the fruits and veggies listed above! Veggies can easily be hidden, undetectable in a berry/fruit smoothie, if you prefer. Great way to get kids to consume veggies!
  • Yerba Maté. A tea-type beverage made from the nourishing leaves of the South American holly tree. Contains 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, abundant antioxidants. The Pasteur Institute and the Paris Scientific Society in 1964 concluded “it is difficult to find a plant in any area of the world equal to Maté in nutritional value” and that yerba mate contains “practically all of the vitamins necessary to sustain life.” It has the strength of coffee, health benefits of tea, euphoria of chocolate. Boosts energy, busts fatigue and it’s good for keeping bones strong and other health benefits. Don’t drink after 2pm. It contains a mild caffeine that does not cause jitters. I prefer the unsweetened options.
  • Fermented Foods. Sauerkraut, kimchi, raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar, and other fermented foods, help boost and maintain energy levels. The fermentation creates probiotics, which helps you digest food more efficiently. Since the body has to work less to digest, you’re left with more energy.

Added benefits of fermented foods:

Gut Heath! Improved gut health equals improved overall health! Many diseases and health issues are linked to gut health so heal the gut with fermented foods!

Raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar improves gut health and ph balance, and so many other health benefits. 1-3 T day can really help overcome fatigue as well as many other health issues! No matter what your level of health is, it’s beneficial.

How to consume raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar, such as Bragg’s: 

1-3 T/day, diluted in water, juice or Emergen-C. Add raw local honey if needed. I usually add 3 T to several ounces of water and sip throughout the day. But mixing with Emergen-C is the most palatable, IMHO, and it will give you quick energy without a letdown!

14. High Quality Energy-Producing Supplements (organic is best)

  • High Potency B Complex Vitamins
  • Vit B-12 in addition to B Complex
  • Vit D-3
  • Magnesium
  • CoQ10
  • Vit C
  • Multi-Vitamins
  • Emergen-C: effervescent packed with vitamins, enters your system faster than pill form vitamins for a quicker response in energy. Used by athletes for pregame performance. Also great when fighting a cold! I first learned of it from a woman who had overcome chronic fatigue syndrome using only this supplement when medications failed!
  • ZipFizz: much like Emergen-C but also contains caffeine.

Before taking any supplements, please use this online drug-supplement interaction checker. I use it all the time. Great resource:

https://www.drugs.comdrug_interactions.html

I’ve added some links to some of my favorite energy boosters and fatigue busters below.

Here’s to less fatigue and more energy ♥️

Photo/Adventurer Credit: Justin Olsen

References:

Harvard University, Ohio State University, Dr. Josh Axe, Dr. Joseph Mercola, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, Psychology Today, Readers Digest

Vitamin C: Do You Need It?

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It’s April 4th ~ It’s Nat’l Vitamin C Day!

I grew up hearing Vitamin C is good for you! It fights off colds and flus!

But is it true? Do we really need it? How do you know if you need it?

Our bodies do not produce Vitamin C and many people are deficient and don’t know it.

  • Vitamin C has been scientifically proven to lessen the duration and symptoms of a common cold
  • Vitamin C may be as beneficial to your heart as walking
  • Vitamin C is well known for helping relax blood vessels
  • There’s scientific evidence that Vitamin C may help protect against a variety of cancers by combating free radicals, and helping neutralize the effects of nitrites (preservatives found in some packaged foods that may raise the risk of certain forms of cancer).

The only way to get Vitamin C is from food and/or supplements. If you use supplements, organic is best. It’s important to get nutrients from foods – we can’t just eat horribly and count on supplements alone. I like to eat healthy, nutritious foods – and use supplements as well. It works well for me with battling chronic illness and prescription medications.

If you have a chronic illness or take prescription drugs, chances are great that you are deficient in all vitamins, including C and you need to consume even more Vitamin C rich foods than the average person.

Some More Vitamin C Benefits:

  • Repairs and regenerates tissues
  • Protects against heart disease
  • Increases the absorption of iron
  • Prevents scurvy
  • Decreases bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Helps delay or prevent cataracts
  • Supports healthy immune system function
  • Promotes skin health, including reversing ‘crepey skin’ and thin skin
  • Combats free radicals

I have personally had very good results with thin and crepey skin repair from Vitamin C therapy.

Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency:

Deficiency symptoms include fatigue, frequent colds, muscle weakness, joint and muscle aches, bleeding gums, rashes and other skin problems. Prolonged deficiency can cause scurvy, a rare but potentially severe illness.

Top 10 Vitamin C Rich Foods:

Oranges: 
1 large: 82 mg
Red peppers:
 ½ cup chopped, raw: 95mg
Kale
: 1 cup: 80 mg
Brussels sprouts
: ½ cup cooked: 48 mg
Broccoli
: ½ cup cooked: 51 mg
Strawberries
: ½ cup: 42 mg
Grapefruit
: ½ cup: 43 mg
Guava: 
1 fruit: 125 mg
Kiwi
: 1 piece: 64 mg
Green peppers: 
½ c chopped, raw: 60 mg

♥️ Make your own organic Vitamin C!

You will need several organic citrus peels as the peels contain much more Vitamin C than the fruit itself!

Wash them well, cut into strips or small pieces and dry them for several days, you can use a food dehydrator, but it’s not necessary! Once they are completely dry, grind them into a powder using a clean coffee grinder or a flour mill or the dry blade of a blender, such as Vitamix.

Store your homemade organic Vitamin C powder in an air-tight container, in the freezer up to 6 months!

A teaspoon-or-so-a-day added to your smoothie provides a good daily dose of Vitamin C!

To check for possible interactions with medications, go here. 

References:
Drs’ Andrew Weil and Joseph Mercola

Photo credit: Christina Im and Hayden Olsen

Hay Fever, Colds, Flus, Food Poisining and My Bag of Tricks!

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Cold and flu season sticks around until May – plus we have spring seasonal allergies upon us, so I thought I’d share my “Survival Guide Bag of Tricks” with you.

My Bag of Tricks is in addition to eating clean and living a healthy lifestyle which are key to staying healthy. But there are times we need a ‘bag of tricks’ to stave off illness – or shorten the duration/lessen the symptoms once we are sick. Sometimes we need a bag of tricks despite flu and pneumonia and allergy shots.

That’s me in the selfie picture, not trusting my thermometer, so using two, trying to determine if I was coming down with something. Having a suppressed immune system, so therefore very susceptible to respiratory infections, pneumonia, bronchitis, colds and flus, which can/have landed me in the hospital more times than I can count, as my immune system cannot fight them off, I’ve done a lot of research in building my ‘survival guide bag of tricks.’

There’s measures you can take to protect yourself during cold and flu season:

  • Taking supplements such as Umcka, Defense Plus, oregano oil capsules, coconut oil capsules, probiotics, Vit C & D, Manuka honey lozenges and colloidal silver lozenges.
  • Avoid sick people and wash your hands a lot.
  • Diffusing essential oils such as oregano and eucalyptus.
  • Car diffusers are available and a very good idea to kill germs you carry from public places into your car!
  • Acupuncture with a licensed acupuncturist is another great protection against infectious disease. I don’t miss a week during cold and flu season.

Once you are sick:

  • Continue with the preventives mentioned above plus:
  • Good old fashioned chicken noodle soup/bone broth is beneficial in addition to continuing the aforementioned bag of tricks.
  • Drink lots of water and coconut water to prevent dehydration.
  • Tea with honey and lemon – especially herbal teas specific to your symptoms, I particularly like green and ‘cold and flu teas’ and teas with rosehips, ginger and hibiscus, to treat/prevent illness. Herbal tea companies are good at what they do!

I take oregano oil capsules, coconut oil capsules, vitamins and probiotics, as a preventative – and the others mentioned above once I’m exposed or feel like I’m coming down with something. Diffusing the oils everyday is a good preventative measure, as well as good treatment once you are sick. I diffuse them all night as well.

For food poisoning:

  • Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar/BACV! A tablespoon diluted with water, add honey if you need to make it palatable. Repeat if needed. This has stopped food poisoning in its tracks for my family and me.
  • In restaurants, a good prevention is requesting your water without lemon. Restaurant lemons are rarely washed and 70% of them test positive for bacteria which causes food poisoning.

Note: BACV is good to use on a daily basis as it has many health benefits.

As for seasonal allergies/hay fever:

  • Diffusing peppermint, eucalyptus, basal, lemon and tea tree oils can help.
  • Using sinus irrigation removes the pollen from your sinuses which really helps.
  • Consuming raw, local honey is a great preventative. It must be raw and local for seasonal allergy benefits.
  • A supplement called ‘Aller-Max by Country Life’ is great. My son who suffers from hay fever/spring allergies, gets great relief from Aller-Max. No ill side effects! All natural good-for-you ingredients!

I created a simple recipe for cinnamon toast that is very beneficial in fighting infections and seasonal allergies and it’s absolutely delicious and very good for you on many levels!

Note: Check for drug interactions before taking supplements with your medications: Go here.

♥️ Medicinal Cinnamon Toast Recipe:

  • Toasted organic bread of your choice: gluten-free, etcetera
  • Organic coconut oil (not all created equal, use a delicious brand such as Nutiva or Kirkland)
  • Raw local honey (available at farmers markets and natural food stores)
  • Organic and/or Saigon cinnamon
  1. Spread toast liberally with coconut oil
  2. Drizzle liberally with honey
  3. Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon

Enjoy!

I’ve had this when I feel a cold coming on and I feel it being stopped in its tracks upon eating a slice of this delicious medicinal toast! Don’t wait for cold and flu season, enjoy it year-round, as it has many health benefits! Cut back on the quantity of honey though, if consuming regularly, or if you have diabetes. Oh and increase the cinnamon if you have diabetes!

I’ve included a few links to some of the items in ‘my bag of tricks.’ Here’s to staving off/surviving hay fever, colds, flus and other bugs!

⚫️ Disclaimer: If you’re sick and declining, call your doc or go urgent care or the ER/ED.