One of the most important things you can do today to improve your health and boost your energy is eat leafy greens. This simple act has powerful implications.
In his book, Integrative Nutrition, author Joshua Rosenthal describes it this way: “Greens help build our internal rainforest and strengthen our circulatory and respiratory system.” He goes on to say that the color green aligns with spring, “a time of renewal, refreshment, and vital energy.”
Indeed, the list of beneficial properties offered by greens is long and includes everything from improving circulation and liver function to strengthening the immune system, clearing congestion, and promoting healthy gut flora.
Greens provide a whole host of valuable nutrients, micronutrients, and phytonutrients such as:
- Vitamins A, C, and K
Chlorophyll (found in all green vegetables) is a powerful blood builder akin to liquid oxygen! If you are trying to get pregnant, you can benefit from the high folate content in greens. And if you need to increase your calcium intake, leafy greens beats milk because it doesn’t put the body into an acidic state the way dairy does. Greens with significant amounts of calcium include cooked beet greens, kale, dandelion greens, collards, parsley, turnip greens, and watercress. (An interesting aside: the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, who said “let food be thy medicine,” relied so heavily on the healing powers of watercress that he supposedly built his first hospital next to a stream so he could grow it.)
Other greens to rotate into your diet include spinach, cabbage, mesclun, bok choy, broccoli, and broccoli rabe.
Here are some easy ways to eat more greens:
Handful watercress, kale, or Swiss chard
- Drink them in the morning! Start off your day with an alkalizing green smoothie by mixing the following ingredients in a high-speed blender:
Handful parsley or cilantro 1-2 stalks organic celery 1/2 cucumber (peeled) 1 organic apple (peeled and cored) Juice of 1 lemon Thumb-sized knob of fresh ginger (peeled) Filtered water (amount depends on desired thickness)
- Drink the broth that’s leftover in the pan after briefly steaming or boiling your greens.
- Grow your own greens either in a container on your porch, in a raised garden bed in your yard, or in a community garden. Alternatively, seek out fresh greens at the farmer’s market or join a CSA to ensure regular delivery of them!
- Get into the habit of having a simple raw mixed greens or kale salad with lunch and dinner.
- Add green algae superfood supplements such as spirulina and chlorella to your daily routine for an added dose of disease-fighting phytochemicals.
Once you crowd out other foods with these nourishing plant-based options, you’ll be glowing with so much positive energy your friends will be green with envy.
______________________ResourcesGreens Glorious Greens by Johnna Albi: http://www.amazon.com/Greens-Glorious-Great-Tasting-Super-Healthy-Beautiful/dp/0312141084
Eat More Kale: http://eatmorekale.com/
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.
Today is Sleep Apnea Awareness Day.
How is the quality/quantity of your sleep? Do you find yourself irritable and tired during the day? Maybe even wake up gasping for breath at night? Sleep Apnea is very real and affects many more people than you may realize. 3 out of 4 people in my immediate family (my husband, myself, and our 10-year-old son) have it and use CPAP/APAP machines. A CPAP machine provides continuous positive airway pressure, and an APAP automatically adjusts pressure as needed.
Untreated sleep apnea can lead to many health conditions including: high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, depression, heart failure, irregular heart beats, and heart attacks to name a few.
If you have trouble sleeping, are tired and/or find yourself falling asleep during the day, please get it checked out. A few of the other symptoms may include:
- Waking up with a dry throat
- Gasping for breath at night
- Feeling like you are suffocating at night
- Morning headaches
- Restless sleep
- Recurrent awakenings or insomnia
You do not have to have all of the above symptoms to have sleep apnea. Not everyone who has sleep apnea snores and not everyone is overweight. I am still amazed at the misconception that in order to have sleep apnea someone must be obese. That is just not the case, and people need to become more aware that it affects people of all sizes and shapes.
I believe there is possibly a hereditary link, and I believe it is more prevalent in children than originally thought. In my opinion, studies should be conducted regarding behavioral and hyperactivity issues and lack of quality sleep in kids. We have seen a drastic improvement in our son since treating his sleep apnea.
Please, if you or someone you love thinks you may have sleep apnea contact your doctor and ask about having a sleep apnea test, called a polysomnogram, conducted.
The Epworth Sleepiness Scale
American Sleep Apnea Association
Dr. Joshua Rotenberg’s (Texas Medical & Sleep Specialists) Sleep Medicine BlogWhat is CPAP?
How many times have you wolfed down a meal so quickly your body barely registers that you even ate? It’s a sad consequence of our fast-paced society, but you don’t have to be a Zen master to learn the art of eating consciously, which carries the happy side effect of losing weight.
One mindful practice that can help you get a handle on emotional eating is to ask yourself what you’re really hungry for in the moment you are blindly grabbing for something salty or sweet. Are you bored? Lonely? Feeling overwhelmed? At this point is it just a habit? By shedding light on the real reason you’re snacking, you can begin to unravel the underlying cause of your hunger and take steps to find true fulfillment—outside of food.
Another side effect of the abundance of food at our disposal is that we’re grazing all day long, and we have lost touch with our body’s innate signals of hunger. In addition, studies show when our mind is tuned out during mealtime, the digestive process may be 30% to 40% less effective. This can contribute to digestive distress, such as gas, bloating and bowel irregularities. To become more mindful, make mealtimes a time to feel nourished by putting the following tips to use.
- Prepare more food at home. Food that you’ve lovingly prepared tastes much better for the effort. If cooking is foreign to you, take baby steps. Find a few easy, healthy recipes and make them on the weekend before you venture into weekday cooking. Before long, it’ll become habit!
- Give thanks before you eat. Taking time to express gratitude, whether silently or aloud, at the start of each meal forces you to slow down. It also helps calm you down, which leads to more efficient digestion.
- Say no to multitasking! Put the Crackberry, magazine, or computer away at mealtime. Eat at the table, not in front of the TV, and focus on your dinner company and what’s on your plate.
- Chew your food. Inhaling your food prevents you from benefiting from the first stage of digestion, which starts in the mouth with chewing and the creation of saliva. When you thoroughly chew your morsels (we’re talking at least 30 times for each bite; more if you’re eating meat), your body thanks you by giving you more energy that would normally be used up digesting the partially chewed food.
- Make the meal last. Eat for at least 20 minutes, longer if possible, and remember to breathe between bites.
- Make your meal an experience. Savor flavors, hone your senses, and pay attention to the mouth-feel and aromas of the food you eat. As you place your attention here, you’ll find your taste buds open up to respond and everything tastes a little bit brighter.
Taking these steps will help you to feel more connected to the food that sustains you. Better yet, you’ll begin to drop pounds and enjoy eating again! It’s one of the best-kept weight-loss secrets.
“Nature has been for me, for as long as I remember, a source of solace, inspiration, adventure, and delight; a home, a teacher, a companion.” —Lorraine Anderson
According to studies, exposure to plants and trees can benefit your health in tangible ways. Yet, we live in a time when “nature deficit disorder” (a phrase coined by journalist and author Richard Louv) prevails. Characterized by increasingly sedentary and indoor lifestyles, this condition is not recognized by the mental health community but the side effects are becoming evident in today’s society.
This relationship has shifted from the days when children’s free time was less structured to today’s prevalence of organized sports and video technology. Although children suffer most from nature deficit, adults who are not comfortable with nature and science also contribute to the disorder.
Here are some suggestions for how to overcome this disorder and benefit from the horticultural therapy offered up by Mother Nature.
Spend more time outdoors. Plan parties at local parks, take vacations that involve hiking or camping, and spend time walking around your neighborhood, listening to birds chirping and noticing the changing environment as the seasons turn.
Limit screen time for yourself and your children. As a society, on average we spend 8 hours per day plugged in. What would happen if you cut that down to 2 hours? You could extend your life! A 2011 study reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology conducted by a group of international researchers, showed that anyone who devotes more than four hours daily on screen-based entertainment such as TV, video games or surfing the web, ups their risk of heart attack and stroke by 113 percent and the risk of death by any cause by nearly 50 percent compared to those who spend fewer than two hours daily in screen play.
Volunteer. Find a local environmental or land stewardship organization and see if you can donate your time in their outdoor campaigns. You may be surprised at how many projects they need helping hands!
Plant a garden. Whether it’s a few pots on your balcony or a full-blown 20x20 garden, growing your own food and getting your hands dirty connects you with the earth. If you don’t have much outdoor space of your own you can use for this purpose, look into securing a community garden plot or sharing space with a willing neighbor.
Shop at the farm. A weekly trip to a local farm can expose your family to the sights, smells, and wonders of living off the land and provide context for where your food comes from. By making that connection, you foster a sense of respect for the natural world that can’t be undone. If there’s no farm nearby, opt for the farmer’s market!
The late environmentalist Rachael Carson may have summed it up best when she said, “Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the Earth are never alone or weary of life.” Once reconnected with nature, that solace is yours to keep. Related Links
The Nature Principle by Richard Louv
“Nature Deficit Disorder” by Timothy Egan - Opinionator – NY Times
“No matter what happens, always keep your childhood innocence. It’s the most important thing.” —Federico Fellini
When was the last time you danced with abandon? Spent a lazy afternoon looking for shells by the water? Let your natural curiosity lead you on an adventure? Laughed until you snorted water from your nose? Felt truly unconcerned about what others thought of you?
What these have in common is that they are innately childlike actions. Things we may have done when we were young—before life’s program began to rewire our thoughts and actions into a hardened state that actually has a term attached to it: “psychosclerosis.”
In fact, a study out of UCLA backed this up. It showed that 5-year-olds act creatively 98 times per day, laugh 113 times, and keep curious by asking 65 questions. By comparison, a 44-year-old clocks in at 2 creative tasks, 11 laughs, and 6 questions. How sad!
To reverse this and invite more joy, wonder, and creativity into your life, try to consciously focus on the following:
- Drop Your Guard. When your defenses are up, you're not living in a fully present state, but instead one in which you are constantly protecting yourself from potential or perceived hurts. By muffling your innocence in this way, you become far removed from your inner child. Instead try to remain truly open to all the people and experiences the universe puts in your path.
- Play More! Give yourself permission to be silly, dance, sing, laugh, or goof off to your heart’s content and experience the buoyant feelings that go along with it. Guaranteed, your worries will fall away when you allow lighter energy to flow.
- Create and Innovate. While you may have lost touch with this over the years, you were born with an innate desire to create. Make a point to rediscover this special gift by flexing your creative muscles in small ways each day. Whether it involves doodling on a scrap piece of paper, playing music, or putting pen to paper to craft a poem matters very little. By merely flexing this muscle you can bring it back to life and it can lead to beautiful innovations.
- Tap Into Your Intuition. Finally, by drowning out all the “noise” that keeps you from hearing your inner voice, you can gain deeper access to your intuition. Once you have a direct line in to this most trusted guide, you can embrace all that life has to offer while remaining playful, lighthearted, and curious. No kidding!
Sark’s Journal and Play!book: A Place to Dream While Awake
The Key to Happiness: A Taboo for Adults? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joe-robinson/why-is-the-key-source-of-_b_809719.html
April is here, and doTERRA is offering a HUGE promotion for their anniversary. When you place an order of at least 200 PV during the month of April, you will earn a FREE DeepBlue Rub and a FREE Deep Blue 10ml Roll On. This is over $124 retail value in FREE products. This promotion counts for standard orders, retail orders and new enrollments. So basically EVERYONE gets this offer if they want it!
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You lose weight, you gain it back, you lose weight, you gain it back, and so it goes…
The vicious loop of yo-yo dieting, also known as “weight cycling,” normally stems from highly restrictive eating patterns that are unsustainable—and unhealthy. Extreme calorie curbing followed by weight fluctuation comes at a steep price. Yo-yo dieting puts undue strain on your body, such as:
- Damage to the cells that line the walls of the blood vessels. When this happens, blood flow is restricted and your risk of heart attack and stroke increases.
- Altered metabolism. Dramatic weight loss causes your metabolism to plummet. Your body then goes into starvation mode in order to survive. When you resume your normal eating habits, your metabolism has trouble revving up. As a result, every time you repeat this cycle, it becomes harder to lose weight!
- Nutritional deficiency. Your body needs a certain number of calories per day to function properly. By virtue of the severe calorie restriction inherent in fad diets, it is nearly impossible to maintain the levels of protein to maintain muscle mass; the calcium to maintain bone density; and all of the various vitamins and minerals essential for mood, energy, and other bodily functions.
Small Changes Add Up!
Instead of going on a dangerous crash diet, try implementing small changes to your daily routine. One small, but potent, change: Replace soda and other sugary drinks with sparkling water or herbal tea sweetened with natural stevia. Reducing your sugar intake slashes calories.
In addition, opt for lean protein sources. Some examples include: legumes, organic chicken and turkey breast, or grass-fed beef. In moderation, enjoy fish such as wild salmon for its healthful and essential omega-3 fatty acids. Meals that include protein help stabilize blood sugar and keep you full for hours.
Another simple dietary switch? Load up on vegetables—fill half of your plate with vegetables at dinner. Instead of nutritionally void, high-calorie carbs, replace breads and white rice with a generous serving of starchy and green vegetables. Pile on steamed broccoli and cauliflower and eat a large salad. Vegetables are packed with fiber, which keeps you satisfied for much longer than any dinner roll can.
Above all, the key to lasting weight loss lies in setting attainable goals and being patient in the process. Remember: A quick fix is usually too good to be true. By making lifestyle shifts such as adding veggies to your diet, exercising for an extra 30-45 minutes per week, or reducing most refined sugars, you’ll see that slow and steady wins when it comes to weight loss. _____________________________Related Link:Six ideas for low-sugar drinks: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-drinks/low-sugar-drink-ideas/
These days, vegetarians and vegans are everywhere, but unless you live in Southern California, raw vegans—those who eat foods in their natural state and avoid cooking anything above 116ºF—are harder to come by.
It’s no wonder. As a society conditioned to cook mostly everything we put in our mouth, the idea of trading our gas range for a dehydrator may seem daunting. But most who follow a raw diet say they live life with the utmost vigor and vitality and are even able to reverse the aging process!
The truth is, we can ALL benefit from incorporating more raw food into our diet—because it’s highly alkaline and oxygen rich, it promotes optimal health. In addition, cooking food zaps it of its nutrients, zaps valuable digestive enzymes, and zaps good bacteria (probiotics).
Here are a few ideas of how easy (and tasty!) it is to convert some of you old standby recipes into healthy raw dopplegangers. Zucchini Pasta & Tomato-Pesto Sauce
2 large zucchini
2-3 large tomatoes
Handful fresh basil
½ cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 large cloves garlic (peeled)
¼ cup nutritional yeast
¼-1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste
- With a mandolin or a spiral slicer, slice zucchini into thin pasta-like ribbons. Set aside.
- Put remaining ingredients into food processor and pulse until thoroughly combined. Toss with zucchini and enjoy.
1 bunch kale leaves
1 avocado, diced
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt to taste
Raw Brownie Bites
- Tear kale leaves into bite-size pieces and put into a large bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients, and with CLEAN hands, massage avocado and lemon thoroughly and evenly into the kale leaves (don’t be shy!). You’ll be left with an uber-healthy salad that’s dressed with a creamy-tart dressing.
Makes 12-15 bites
1 cup walnuts
1 cup dates, pitted
Splash of vanilla
Pinch sea salt
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
Dried coconut flakes for dusting
__________________Related Links Raw Food Culinary Arts Institute Raw Food for Real People by Rod Rotondi
- In a food processor, pulse nuts until finely chopped.
- Add in dates, vanilla, salt, cacao powder, and cacao nibs, and pulse until everything is incorporated and the mixture sticks together when pressed between your fingers.
- Roll into balls and dust in coconut. Set and store in the fridge or freezer, and TRY not to eat the entire batch in one sitting. (It’s hard not to…)
When your muscles are knotted or you desperately need to relax there’s nothing more heavenly than a whole-body rubdown from your favorite therapist. But aside from feeling fantastic, a massage offers health benefits that far exceed the obvious. Research shows the power of touch can help reduce pain, anxiety, depression, promote immune function, lower heart rate and blood pressure, and even improve asthmatic conditions. Bottom line: Massage could be the unsung hero of the health world.
In a study on 53 healthy adults published in the October 2010 Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, researchers in Cedars-Sinai's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences looked at two types of treatments. Tests showed that participants who had a Swedish massage (moderate pressure) had decreases in stress hormones and increases in white blood cells, or an immune system boost. Those who received “light touch” treatment reported higher levels of the love and cuddle hormone oxytocin. The research suggests massage could even help treat inflammatory and autoimmune conditions and seems to prove that we are hard-wired to respond positively to touch.
Here are some of the specific physiological benefits that go along with getting a massage:
Muscular System — Aside from relieving soreness, tension, and stiffness massage can improve the flow of nutrients to muscles and joints, accelerating recovery from fatigue and injury.
Skeletal System —Massage decreases inflammation and restores range of motion (increasing joint movement). It also improves the circulation and nutrients of your joints.
Skin --Massage improves skin tone by removing dead cells and improving circulation. It also improves elasticity of skin and helps normalize glandular functions.
Circulatory System—Massage increases the number of red blood cells, especially in cases of anemia. It also helps lower blood pressure and reduce the heart rate (which strengthens the heart in the long run).
Lymphatic System—Massage cleanses the body of wastes and toxic debris and stimulates the immune system.
Respiratory System—Massage helps regulate respiration and promotes deeper and easier breathing.
Nervous System—Massage has the unique ability to both stimulate the nervous system (thereby boosting energy), or calm the nervous system depending on the type and length of the treatment. Massage can also relieve restlessness and insomnia and stimulate your body’s natural painkillers (endorphins).
Endocrine System—Massage can help support hormonal balance (through immune system regulation) and develop restful sleep patterns.
Digestive System—Abdominal massage helps relieve constipation and stimulate activity of the liver and kidneys.
Now there’s no need to feel guilty scheduling regular massage! You just need to think of this as essential self-care—and do it for the health of it.