There has been a huge upswing of talk about probiotics in the last few years. There has also been an increase in the number of studies that show how what happens in our guts and with our gut microbiota (the colony of millions of good and bad microbes that live inside our digestive tract) has a direct and HUGE impact on all aspects of our health from our digestion and inflammatory bowel issues to weight loss, thyroid function, joint issues, chronic diseases and even our brain function.
One way to first establish and heal, and then to support a healthy microbiome, is by giving your little internal colony the right ‘food’. Probiotics do help, but even before that come ‘Prebiotics’
Prebiotics are indigestible carbohydrates – indigestible to us in the larger sense, but because they don’t digest they reach your microbiome intact where they feed your good bacteria.
What does this have to do with potato salad and mofongo (and what IS mofongo??)
There are three types of prebiotics:
Non-starch polysaccharides (inulin and fuctooligosaccharide), found in onions, bananas, leeks, artichokes, chicory, cane sugar and asparagus
Soluble Fiber (including psyllium husk), found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains and flax
And Resistant Starch. – from raw potatoes, green bananas, plantains, cooked-and-cooled potatoes, cooked-and-cooled-rice, parboiled rice, and cooked-and-cooled (This is where the potato salad and mofongo come in! – Don’t worry, I’ll tell you what it is below)
Each type feeds different types of gut bacteria, but Resistant Starch has some very unique benefits.
Why is it called Resistant Starch
Most starchy foods, carbohydrates are digested quickly and can cause spikes in blood glucose or insulin and, as we all know, tend to cause weight gain.
Resistant starch however, is not digested in the stomach or small intestine, reaching the colon intact. (this is how it got it’s name) So when consumed, we don’t have spikes in either blood glucose or insulin and we don’t gain significant calories either.
There are four types of resistant starch:
RS Type 1: Starch is physically inaccessible, bound within the fibrous cell walls of plants. This is found in grains, seeds, and legumes.
RS Type 2: Starch with a high amylose content (amylose is a soluble component of starch that forms a stiff gel at ordinary temperatures), which is indigestible in the raw state. This is found in potatoes, green (unripe) bananas, and plantains. Cooking these foods causes changes in the starch making it digestible to us, and removing the resistant starch. (MOFUNGO.. it’s in this category!)
RS Type 3: Also called retrograde resistant starch since this type forms after Type 1 or Type 2 RS is cooked and then cooled. These cooked and cooled foods can be reheated at low temperatures, less than 130 degrees and maintain the benefits of resistant starch. But be careful! Heating at higher temperatures will again convert the starch into a form that is digestible to us rather than “feeding” our gut bacteria. Examples include cooked and cooled parboiled rice, cooked and cooled potatoes, and cooked and cooled properly prepared (soaked or sprouted) legumes. – so pour your warm curry over cooled and room temperature rice! (Potato Salad is this type)
RS Type 4: This is a synthetic form of RS – (not recommended, always go for the most ‘REAL’ foods). A common example is “hi-maize resistant starch.”
Once resistant starch reaches the large intestine, bacteria attach to and digest, or ferment, the starch. This is when our bodies benefit from the resistant starch.
What resistant starch does
As I said above your gut is filled with hundreds of types of bacteria, some good…some.. not so much. The balance of each type has profound effects on our health. Resistant starch stimulates and feeds the good bacteria, helping to maintain this healthy balance.
The good bacteria “feed” on resistant and produce several types of short chain fatty acids (through fermentation), the most significant of which is butyrate. Butyrate is of particular importance due to its beneficial effects on the colon and overall health. It is the preferred energy source of the cells lining the colon. (more on this below) It also helps in increasing metabolism, decreasing inflammation and it improves stress resistance.
So how does Resistant Starch affect my overall health?
Metabolic Syndrome is something that seems to have gone haywire in the last couple of decades. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, a high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels — that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Even if you don’t have all of these conditions, any one of them is of concern.
Insulin resistance and chronically elevated blood glucose are associated with a host of chronic diseases, including metabolic syndrome and its associated conditions. In one study, consumption of 15 and 30 grams per day of resistant starch showed improved insulin sensitivity in overweight and obese men, equivalent to the improvement that would be expected with weight loss equal to approximately 10% of body weight.
Further, resistant starch has been shown to exert a “second meal effect.” This means that not only does the resistant starch decrease the blood glucose response at the time it’s consumed, but blood glucose and insulin levels also rise less than would otherwise be expected with the subsequent meal. Bonus!!!!!
Why you might hear about resistant starch as a “weight loss food” Really? Potato Salad could help me lose weight?
Resistant starch seems to have several beneficial effects that may contribute to weight loss, including decreased blood insulin spikes after meals (as discussed above), decreased appetite, and decreased fat storage in fat cells. There may also be preservation of lean body mass, though further studies in humans are needed to confirm if there is a significant impact in overall body weight.
Further, several studies have shown alterations in the gut microbiome in association with obesity, which subsequently change towards the balance seen in lean individuals with weight loss. Without getting overly technical, this has to do with the balance of types of beneficial bacteria –resistant starch seems to put them into the correct balance.
Back to Butyrate, intestinal and other inflammation
As we mentioned previously, resistant starch intake increases production of butyrate by our gut microbes. Butyrate acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent for the colonic cells, and functions to improve the integrity of our gut by decreasing intestinal permeability and therefore keeping toxins in the gut and out of the bloodstream.
The short chain fatty acids that aren’t utilized by the colonic cells enter the bloodstream, travel to the liver, and spread throughout the body where they exert additional anti-inflammatory effects.
Resistant starch may also decrease the risk of colorectal cancer, by providing protection from DNA damage, creating favorable changes in gene expression, and increasing apoptosis (programmed cell death) of cancerous or pre-cancerous cells.
If you have a chance to avoid colorectal cancer by eating more potato salad (and this odd stuff..mofongo)….would you do it?
Adding resistant starch to your diet – (or is she finally going to tell us what mofongo is?)
Food sources of resistant starch include green (unripe) bananas, plantains, properly prepared cooked and cooled parboiled rice or legumes, and cooked and cooled potatoes. (There’s that potato salad and mofongo again!)
Bob’s Red Mill Unmodified Potato Starch (NOT potato flour) is one of the best available sources of resistant starch with around eight grams of in one tablespoon.
Plantain flour and green banana flour are also excellent sources, and there may be benefits to including all three of these sources, alternating them to get more benefits than relying on just one.
All three are bland in flavor and can be added to cold or room temperature water, almond milk, or mixed into smoothies. Just remember, if you do add them to warm foods, they should not be heated above 130 degrees.
Start slow and work up to a regular daily amount
If you choose to try using resistant starch, start with about ¼ teaspoon once daily, and very gradually increase the amount. You may find you have some increased gas and bloating as your gut flora changes and adapts, but you should not be uncomfortable. If you have marked discomfort, then back off on the amount you’re taking for a few days until you feel better, and then try increasing again gradually.
Everyone is unique. However studies have shown that the benefits of resistant starch reach their peak between 15 to 30 grams a day which is 2 -4 Tablespoons in real language. Above this amount is generally just wasting your starch!
NOTE: If you experience marked GI distress with even small amounts of RS, this may be an indication of SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) or microbial dysbiosis, and you may need to consider working with a healthcare practitioner to establish a more balanced gut microbiome by other means before trying to use resistant starch. As always, when in doubt, contact a healthcare professional – preferably one versed in Functional Medicine – who will look at the whole body and help you find balance in all areas and not just prescribe a pill to fix a symptom.
MOFONGO – FINALLY!
Now granted, Mofongo can be healthy or not, depending on how it is made.
I make it with pan-fried (not deep fried as in many recipes) plantains, fried in ghee or a little coconut or avocado oil, which I then throw into a big bowl and mash until they are pasty and let them cool.
Then I fry up a ton of finely chopped onions, garlic and some spices (salt and pepper, smoked paprika, but you can use your favorites)
Toss it all in with the mashed plantains and mash it all up to a pasty lump – you can add a bit of broth to thin it if it is too thick.
Sometimes I add some bacon or a few crumbled pork rinds on top (a little fat won’t kill you! – use a good quality naturally processed bacon from a good supplier. The pork rinds..well, sometimes you just splurge – just don’t get crazy!)
It sounds weird, it tastes FABULOUS – and the cooled plantains are FULL of resistant starch!
Try it for breakfast topped with eggs!
I included a link to the results I got from Google when I looked up official recipes – you can choose your favorite and adjust it to be as healthy (or not) as you want.
As to the potato salad, I will leave you to yourself on this. Google healthy potato salads and you will find dozens of recipes and you are sure to find one that appeals to you that is not smothered in commercial mayo.
What in the world is Moringa?
In the U.S. most people have not heard of this plant, but it has been well known around the world as a miracle tree.
The most commonly used parts are the leaves and seed, but the pods, fruit, flowers, roots and bark all have uses and are a powerhouse of nutrients and antioxidants. The entire tree is useful or edible in some manner. Many traditional medicines are made from the parts in the countries it is native to and it is claimed to have the capacity to cure several diseases.
Moringa is safe for consumption, although there are some precautions concerning the roots, bark and flowers in certain specific situations. particularly pregnancy (see webMD link below). But in normal circumstances, the leaves, tender stems and ‘drums’ are completely safe for everyone and highly nutritious.
Moringa leaves contain about 30 antioxidants, which work in the body to combat the free-radicals that cause disease.
The moringa seed contain 40% edible oil known as Ben oil. It is a clear, sweet and odorless oil that is rich in antioxidants, protects against heavy-metal toxicity and is similar to olive oil in terms of its nutritional profile. It has an indefinite shelf life as it does not turn rancid like other oils. The oil is also used for cosmetic purposes
Moringa contains all the essential amino acids needed by the body.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins which are needed to grow, repair and maintain cells. Human body manufactures 10 to 12 amino acids. The remaining 8 amino acids are known as the essential amino acids which should be provided from everyday diet and moringa contains all of them. The list of essential amino acids and their benefits are listed below.
||Helps in building protein and enzymes and creation of biochemical components within the body.
||Builds protein and enzymes along with isoleucine to enhance body’s energy and alertness.
||Ensures the absorption of right amount of calcium by the body and aids in collagen formation and production of antibodies, hormones and enzymes. Maintains the balance of nutrients that reduce viral growth.
||Provides sulphur to the body and prevents hair, skin and nail problems. Lowers cholesterol levels by increasing liver’s production of lecithin. Helps in reducing liver fat and bladder irritation.
||Production of chemicals required to transmit signals between nerve cells and brain, thus reducing hunger pains. It also improves memory.
||Forms an important part of collagen, elastin and enamel proteins. Assists metabolism, prevents fat build up in the liver and boosts digestive and intestinal tracts.
||Supports the immune system and alleviates insomnia. Reduction of anxiety, depression and migraine symptoms. Decreases the risk of artery and heart spasms as it reduces cholesterol levels along with lysine.
||Promotes a sharp mind, coordinated muscles and calm mood
Moringa has been used:
- to boost energy levels by stimulating metabolism and cell structures of the body – because of this it aids in weight loss, a definite plus.
- to heal ulcers
- to stop tumor growth
- to reduce arthritis pain and inflammation
- to control blood pressure
- to stimulate the immune system and it is often prescribed for AIDS afflicted patients.
- to prevent blindness as it is rich in vitamin A or beta-carotene
- to dramatically increase production of breast milk. (leaves and tea only!)
- to balance sugar levels, it can be extremely effective against diabetes
- in balancing the cholesterol levels
- to help calm the nerves. The leaves are said to have anti-depressant properties.
- to replace vitamin and mineral supplements as it is a natural source of calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, selenium, copper, zinc and manganese and vitamins A, B’s, C, D, E, and more.
- as a method of birth control in certain medical preparations (always be extremely cautious of anything you put into your body when pregnant!)
- as an aphrodisiac: Like every ‘miracle’ food, there are claims that moringa boosts your libido and stamina, and frankly, with all the good nutrition, it would be no surprise if this area did improve!
Moringa leaves also contain sulfur. This mineral is present in every single cell of the body and is the key ingredient for Collagen and keratin, which are building blocks for healthy skin and nails. Perhaps this is part of the reason for the claims of better skin and wrinkle reduction in those who regularly consume moringa.
Last but not least, Moringa has antibacterial properties and can be used as a purifier and as a natural detoxifier. In areas where the water is impure moringa seeds are used to absorb the impurities. In a similar manner, moringa works in the body to remove toxins from the blood.
Moringa is a food substance and is used as such in many countries, not a medicine that has side effects. It is one of the healthiest food products on the planet. It’s time we learned more about it, and started making it a regular part of our own diets.
The great thing is, it is easy to grow! I live in Florida, and I have 4 trees in my yard. They grow like weeds! In a year they grew from 2 to 10 feet tall, and that was with me trimming them regularly to use for eating and to dry the leaves. I know people who are growing them indoors, they just have to be trimmed regularly or they will be hitting the ceiling!
Two of My Moringa Trees in My Back Yard
Scroll below the Resources for some recipes and ideas for use.
Some Excellent Resources for more information:
HOW TO USE MORINGA
My favorite way is simply as a dried leaf. I trim the plants, strip the leaves and tender stems from the branches and spread them on a clean sheet on the bed in our guest room. There they fan dry in the dark for 3-4 days, getting stirred every 12 or so hours.
Then I use the powder in EVERYTHING! From smoothies to sprinkling it into skillet dishes (near the end to keep as many nutrients in it as possible), to adding it to baked goods and even a little in oatmeal. A little in a lot of things adds up to a lot of extra nutrition packed into your food.
Crushed after Drying
You can steep it into a tea also. I use about a teaspoon of the loose leaves, and steep them for 3-5 minutes. Moringa tea has a unique flavor and if you don’t particularly care for it, add it to your favorite herb tea and get the benefits while not catching the flavor straight up. Some people love it, some don’t. But either way, you can find a way to use it. Many people like it with a bit of peppermint or lemon.
If you are not lucky enough to be able to grow your own, you can get dried Moringa from many sources. However, I like to support organizations that support others so I would suggest purchasing from ECHO, which is an organization that not only sells the trees, but works to plant them in areas where hunger and malnutrition is prevalent. All proceeds from the sale of books, plants, gifts and seeds are used to support the global ministry of ECHO. Your purchase will make a valuable contribution to fighting world hunger. Partnering with ECHO by purchasing from them helps to sow “seeds of hope” around the world!
ECHO has other awesome products also. The link above takes you directly to the Moringa page, but please look around before you leave.
My other favorite way is fresh, tossed into salads, or made into Pesto. (see my 100+ Ways to Make Pesto article for ideas and ‘How-To’). Moringa Pesto is deep and earthy and so healthy for you.
It’s great on pasta, spread on gluten free crackers or veggies, or right off the spoon! I’ve smothered chicken breasts in it and baked them, made pesto shrimp and topped grass-fed steak with it.
It looked so good the last time I made it, I thought it deserved a fancy glass!
The moringa pesto works especially well with a sweeter nut like almonds, cashews or pistachios which play against the slightly bitter taste of the moringa nicely.
I found this link and while I am not endorsing their products because I do not know them, the recipe page here is extensive!
Moringa Tree of Life.com also has some good recipes and some more information about Moringa (good smoothie recipe here also)
Once my own trees get bigger, I am hoping to be able to provide dried moringa at a reasonable price.
If you are interested, please leave a comment below so I know if there is any interest.
If you would like to receive my e-book, head back to my main page and sign up for it HERE
If you would like to receive my e-book AND an exclusive coupon for a discount AND free shipping on Dr. Danielle’s supplement products (Organic Curcumin with Bioperine, “Bee Well”- a combination of bee products, or several other organic supplements) CLICK HERE
Cancer. It’s a word no one wants to hear. Especially if it is directed toward YOU. It can be equally devastating when a loved one hears the word from a health care provider.
When I was told I had cancer, my whole world changed.
I have never returned to the person I was.
For some, that is a scary statement, but looking back, it’s not a bad thing. I am better now. I am stronger, wiser, HEALTHIER, and having cancer has burned away all the inconsequential things in my life, all those things that really weren’t important and have helped me to focus on what is important.
Now, it wasn’t easy, not by a long shot. I didn’t know about all this health stuff I am able to share with you back then. All I knew is what my doctors told me and being terrified, I followed blindly, every step of the way.
However, while stumbling down that road, I started peeking at alternatives, and what I found was a WEALTH of information that surprised and encouraged me.
Today I want to tell you about one thing I found that will amaze you if you haven’t heard of it before. If you have, perhaps you will find something new that you didn’t know before. Perhaps something that might help you also.
Do you like Curry? Do you like English Curries, Indian and Middle Eastern food? The spicy, pungent, aromatic smells and exotic flavors from those distant, bright and interesting parts of the world?
One of the wonderful things about Turmeric (Curcumin) is you can often pair it with Coconut when cooking – double health whammy!
If you have cancer or want to prevent cancer (and a host of other things) Turmeric, a major component in curry and all those types of food, can be your best friend!
More specifically Curcumin, which is a compound found within the Turmeric.
Curcumin is a very powerful Antioxidant. Used for centuries in Ayurvedic Medicine (an ancient Indian medical practice) as an anti-inflamatory. Over the last 50 years or so there have been studies too numerous to mention that have shown that Curcumin slows and stops the enzymes in the body that cause inflammation. So the Ayurvedic practitioners had it right, science has now proved it! It’s funny how you find so many things that traditional (in the sense of the more ancient) medicine has known for so long, now being proven by science.
Turmeric(curcumin) contains anti-oxidants that can prevent free radical damage to cells. (Cells damaged by free radicals are more prone to becoming cancerous). These antioxidants are stronger than vitamin C and E and fight the most powerful oxidants in our systems. The curcuminoids in Turmeric also help support the functions of healthy blood and liver, and our joint health. This covers a lot of the major functions of the human body, all in one little supplement.
A few areas where curcumin has been found helpful are: diseases of the vascular system, type II diabetes, arthritis, and Crohn’s disease, among others.
Turmeric has an antioxidant activity and can prevent blood flow to cancer cells.It has been helpful in fighting breast, prostate, colon, and skin cancers.
It has been used for centuries in India to treat stomach problems, being soothing for heartburn, nausea, and peptic ulcers. It helps stimulate bile production, which prevents gallstone formation. It is a proven liver detoxifier.
Other uses are topical. as Turmeric has naturally occurring antiseptic properties. It can be used to help cuts, burns, and scrapes heal more easily. It has been used to treat atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. It can also be used for oral health as a tooth paste.
Another promising area is in the treatment of Alzheimners as Amyloid plaque in the brain aggravates Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric can help remove it from the brain. This can help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease or slow its progression. The wonderful thing is, if you try it, it won’t hurt you. What have you got to lose….NOTHING, and everything to gain.
……….. please take a moment watch this short (not even 3 minutes) video What is the #1 Natural Compound for Cancer……
You better believe I sat up and took notice. And immediately got myself some Turmeric. With TNBC, you don’t have a lot of choices. So I was open to trying most anything. I began taking Curcumin supplements and have done so every day for over three years now. I learned that with the addition of healthy fat (coconut oil in my case) and something called Bioperine (a component of black pepper) the curcumin is made more bio-available to your system.
Once again, the ancient, and not so ancient Ayurvedic practitioners got it right. And if you look at recipes using Turmeric, almost all of them have healthy fat in the form of coconut or ghee and some black pepper included in them.
My message here is that there is too much evidence out there to show that curcumin is an effective substance against many human ailments to not take it seriously. It is harmless to take and frankly, I adore Indian and turmeric spiced food! In my opinion it is the #1 supplement in my anti-cancer arsenal!
Our local Whole Foods and some of the smaller natural food stores carry fresh turmeric root. – a great way to get turmeric into your body – I have some in my fridge now, grated and stored in vodka for cooking purposes. I also have some stored in raw honey, and I continue to buy and use fresh when I can find it.
I have powdered turmeric in the spice cabinet, and I take supplements daily.
One word about supplements. Be careful what you are getting. READ YOUR LABELS – the cheapest supplement is many times a waste of your money and cut with fillers and things you don’t want to put in your body.
It took me a long time, but I have finally found an EXCELLENT curcumin, that includes the Bioperine in it. I love it so much that I not only buy all my own curcumin from them now, but they have given me the opportunity to pass on special savings to you (AND FREE SHIPPING) if you would like to try their product.
Dr. Danielle’s is 100% organic, made in the USA (although the Turmeric comes from Non-GMO growers in India), packaged in a vegetable capsule (“veggie cap”). with no Fillers, binders, or artificial ingredients.
Below the form, I have included links to more resources for studies on Curcumin and BioPerine, also the FDA guidelines on GMP manufacturing facilities.
Get Dr. Danielle’s Exclusive Discount and FREE shipping code
Note: Dr. Danielle has several other products. The coupon is good on any or all of them. – Making the offer even better!!
GreenMedInfo.com’s Turmeric Health Guide
Why Dr. Danielle? – About the products
For more information about BioPerine®, please visit their website: http://bioperine.com
For more information and details on GMP guidelines please visit FDA’s website: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/DietarySupplements/ucm238182.htm#IV
(As always, my opinions are my own. There are LOTS of great natural options out there for fighting cancer, Turmeric/Curcumin in my opinion is the best first line of defense, but it is not the only one. Please do your research and look into all the other options also if you are facing cancer or if you wish to be as healthy as possible. While I personally take this product, not being a doctor, I take no responsibility for any use of this product by anyone other than myself. Please consult your health care provider before taking any supplement of any kind)
One pot dish, Simple ingredients, easy preparation, huge flavor!
From Dr. Mercola’s site – Raw Kale, Grapefruit, and Toasted Hazelnut Salad, Crispy Tamari Kale Chips , Barley-Stuffed Poblanos and more!
A fantastic variety of recipes for this controversial vegetable for every taste.
Raw, paleo salad – With the quinoa you have a complete protein so this can be a main dish.
Sweet potato is the flavor focus here. A great hearty ‘beginner’ recipe
You’ll never even taste it!
(Video – awesome salad!) This one has a how to and great tips on techniques and nutrition. This one was as fun to watch as it was to make and eat!
Seriously Garlic and Indian Tandoori spices? How can you beat this!? ……. Ok, perhaps bacon, but we will save that for another dish!
When making this, I substitute Almond milk, use Gluten-Free crumbs and a tiny bit of grated Romano cheese in the breading process (instead of all the cheese called for) But the Pesto is out of this world. (HINT: All sorts of ‘Greens’ made into pesto are a great way to eat them when you don’t ‘like’ them…they taste amazing this way!)
(short video) – Avocado, kale, spinach, mandarin, kiwi, pomegranate -Creamy and YUMMMM… FAST!
18.-20. – Three more from mindbodygreen.
Shredded Brussels Sprout & Kale Salad With Oranges, Dates & Feta, Butternut Squash, Kale & Corn Sauté, Sautéed Kale with Apples, Cranberries & Walnuts
No matter what you do this 4th of July weekend, chances are you will be spending some time outside participating in activities with family or friends. Or even if you just decide to take some time and go to the beach or for a hike by yourself. It is summer and it is warm out there!
Your body always needs fluids, but even more when you are active or losing fluid by sweating or through exercise.
However, if you choose high sugar or artificially sweetened soft drinks you are defeating your purpose!
Instead hydrate with filtered water with a squeeze of fresh citrus or an infused water like the one below: Not only will your body get the benefit of the water, but the antioxidants and vitamins from the fruit will give you an extra boost. Want to SUPER CHARGE? Add a grind of Pink Himalayan Sea Salt to the Pitcher for a kick of minerals and electrolytes!
One of my favorite Infused waters combines the brightness of citrus with the refreshing taste of cucumber. As in any recipe you can vary the amounts to suit your taste, but start with this ratio and see how you like it. Slice all ingredients about 1/8 inch thick
2 gallons of water in a glass jar (decanter style is perfect, or use a dipper to dispense)
2 – 3 large oranges, depending on size
1 lemon, sliced
1 lime, sliced
1 large cucumber, sliced
1 handful of fresh mint (optional)
A grind or two of Pink Himalayan Salt (optional, to taste)
- Put oranges, lemon, lime and cucumber in the decanter jar. Using a long spoon, gently mash everything to release some of the juice. Don’t overdo.
- Gently crush the mint, if using, to release the natural oil and add to the jar.
- Add water to the pitcher, and stir to begin the infusion process.
- Drink/serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
*I recommend making this at least several hours before serving. The longer you let it sit the stronger the flavors will become. You can remove the rinds from the lemon and oranges. This will cut down on any bitterness, but it will also cut down on the antioxidants released into the water.
Some other great flavor combinations: (herbs work well with your fruit too)
Whatever fruit you have in the fridge or that looks fresh at the local market.
Which brings us to:
2. Bring the Veggie Platter!
Find a local market and pick up fresh fruit, veggies or organic treats for your weekend gathering
Not only will you be helping yourself and your friends and/or family to feel better, but you will also be helping your local economy by keeping your money in the community!
Fruits and Vegetables are best the fresher they are. If they haven’t had to be stored and travel halfway across the world to get to you, you can be pretty sure they will be fresher and have more of the ‘good stuff’ that is good for your health still left in them.This may limit your choices a bit as you may only be able to buy what is seasonal to your area, but that might give you a chance to experiment with a fruit or vegetable that you might not have chosen otherwise.
Some vegetable are always better organic and some are ok when they are grown conventionally, The EWG (Environmental Working Group) maintains the ‘Dirty Dozen, Clean 15’ list every year. Here is a link to the current list.
Or Check out your local health food or natural food store and pick up some ‘better for you’ chips and dips for the 4th of July BBQ.
While you are waiting for those grass fed burgers to cook:
3. Soak up the Sun!!
We’ve been scared half to death by all the worries about the sun and skin cancer. But as a result, as many as 1 billion people worldwide are now deficient in Vitamin D3 which is crucial to our health. The trick is to just be sensible about sun exposure. The days of lounging, slathered in baby oil are a thing of the past…or they should be!
Sunshine has lots of benefits:
- It releases endorphins, so it can enhance your mood,
- It helps regulate melatonin production
- It can treat neonatal jaundice and has been known to help fibromyalgia pain and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- Getting out in the sun can help synchronize your biorhythms, something that often gets messed up these days when we bombard our retinas with light from glowing tablet screens for hours at a time, often late into the night.
- There are a host of other benefits… these are just a few
Again the trick is to be sensible!
Short periods of sun exposure with adequate skin coverage if you are fair and burn easily. Also the use of ‘natural’ sun screening products is recommended. Most of the commercial ones are full of toxic chemicals that are absorbed by your skin and like drinking soda to rehydrate, you would be defeating your purpose in being healthier.
Here are some links to alternatives to chemical laden sunscreens:
A good hat,
Lightweight cover-up clothing
Wellness Mama — also a great article about sun exposure and a homemade sunscreen
DIYNatural.com — fewer ingredients, but still effective
You can probably also find a decent preparation at the Local Natural Food Store while your are getting those good for you munchines if you are not a DIY person… just read the labels and watch for those chemicals!
No matter what else happens this weekend:
4. Find your Happy Place
Wherever that is, whether it is with friends around a BBQ, at a ballgame, hiking, at the beach, watching a TV show marathon (not all weekend, please get outside!) or reading a book on your back porch. Find time to get away from your normal weekday routine.
It is important for us to step back now and then, to do something that is not our normal day to day ‘thing’. It is good for our soul, our emotions, our mind and ultimately our health.
Being healthy isn’t just about getting fresh air, and eating right and hydrating. It’s about being a whole person. We can lose sight of that in the everyday rut of jobs, family responsibility (as much as we love them) and the troubles that life brings.
So take a bit of time for yourself this weekend. Meditate, Stand on your head, walk barefoot through the grass or on the beach, read a book.. ….the possibilities are endless. Just do something…..different
….And have a happy 4th of July holiday weekend!
#1 Lemon Water (or lime water) – especially in the morning
It helps digestion
— Drinking any water, especially warm water, first thing in the morning can help flush the digestive system and rehydrate the body. After 8 hours (hopefully!) of sleep, our bodies needs that hydration!
Drinking water, with lemon also stimulates stomach acid production, which will help with digestion throughout the day. A common problem for many people, including me, is not having enough stomach acid, which causes incomplete digestion of the food we eat. So starting the process first thing in the morning can only be a good thing.
It cleanses the liver
— While we sleep, our bodies restore and regenerate. While we may be resting, our livers are not. They are working hard throughout the night destroying the toxins we put into our bodies all day.
Lemon water helps the liver’s bile production and hydration. Even without the lemon, the water itself helps to flush all those toxins out of the system. This also helps you to have clearer skin, which is a very nice side effect of removing toxins and improving digestion.
It helps maintain a healthy weight
A group of researchers found that if you drink enough water, it will increase your metabolism:
After drinking approximately 17 ounces of water, the subjects’ metabolic rates — or the rate at which calories are burned — increased by 30% for both men and women. The increases occurred within 10 minutes of water consumption and reached a maximum after about 30 to 40 minutes. (see reference link below for full article)
Lemons also give you a little extra Vitamin C and Potassium and it is a very thirst quenching drink! You can even add a little ginger or cayenne for a bit of a spicy kick and added benefits.
Drinking lemon water isn’t magic and didn’t lose the weight for me, but added to the rest of my healthy eating plan, it definitely helped and continues to keep me where I want to be! It will be helpful to you too, just like it has been for millions of other people all over the world.
NOTE: Limes work just as well!!!!!
Read about using frozen lemons, how to use the ENTIRE lemon, and studies showing that lemons (and other citrus) are cancer fighters by clicking HERE.
#2 – Coconut Oil – again, especially in the morning
(and here too)
Coconut oil is converted directly into energy by the liver, which stimulates and helps regulate my metabolism.
Let me say this another way.. it is an ENERGY booster, and who couldn’t use more energy in the morning!?
It is easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and endocrine system.
Coconut oil acts as an appetite suppressant, keeping you satisfied with less food throughout the day. It helps stave off that ‘morning snack’ craving that typically hits around 10 a.m. and can be a real junk food trap.
Coconut oil is good for your heart. It contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in preventing various heart problems like high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The saturated fats in coconut oil are NOT harmful like the ones found in other oils or fat products. (check out those two articles linked above)
Coconut oil reduces the incidence of injury and damage to your arteries and does not lead to increase in LDL levels.
Coconut oil is also good for my immune system because it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Are you starting to see why I LOVE coconut oil??
Besides eating it right off the spoon, (I started with a teaspoon and worked my way up to two tablespoons – it can have a laxative effect and starting slowly can help you avoid this), you can put it in your coffee and make coconut/chia treats. Try these ways to get started. They are easy and will soon become an easy part of your morning routine.
But this is only the first use of coconut oil in the morning, I also use it in my homemade toothpaste, and to moisturize my face.
Coconut Oil has HUNDREDS of uses, these are just a few.
So with just these two simple items, coconut oil and lemons, (ok, perhaps a few other things thrown in) You can now have a morning routine that gets you off to a great start and helps you stay healthy. And how much easier can it get?
The Eden Reboot Toothpaste recipe:
Coconut oil and Baking Soda – Start with a Tablespoons or two of coconut oil and add enough baking soda (aluminum free!) to make a consistency you are happy with – remember, coconut oil will be more ‘liquid’ when it is warm, and more solid when it is cooler.
Add a little ground Himalayan sea-salt. This adds minerals to the mix.
Now alone this would taste pretty salty and kind of blah.. so to make it taste good, I add a few drops of Essential Oils – The types you add are up to you, and mine vary depending on my mood at the time.
All the following have anti-bacterial properties and will help your gums and your teeth. Peppermint, Tea Tree, Clove and Cinnamon (I’ve been known to add them all on occasion…it just depends on your own taste)
(I put a link for a great place to purchase Essential Oils at great prices at the bottom of the page)
Store in a small glass container.
I don’t make a lot at one time as it stays fresher that way. Since I started using this toothpaste, my teeth are whiter, my breath is fresher and I’m no longer worried about the fluoride and all the chemical additives that are in store bought toothpaste.
So there you have it. My 2 favorite easy health hacks, and my toothpaste recipe!
Now they are YOURS! Enjoy!
Web MD – Drinking Water and Weight Loss
LifeHack.org – Lemon Water Benefits
Organicfacts.net Coconut Oil Benefits