Monday, December 29, 2014

Cheesy Bean dip

Cheesy Warm Bean Dip 
Every Christmas Eve and New Years Eve we make snacks for dinner. Dips, finger foods and anything you can stick on a toothpick. Its fun and festive and makes my family happy. This bean dip is super easy to make. While I normally make refried beans from scratch in the crockpot, grabbing a few cans to make this dish is super quick and easy. You can also substitute a package of taco seasonings for all the spices if you don't normally have them in your pantry.













Ingredients: 
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 cans (16 ounces, each) refried beans
1 t of cumin
2 t of chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded

How To's: 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together cream cheese and sour cream in a large bowl. Mix in refried beans until combined. Stir in taco seasoning. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray. Spread mixture evenly into the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle the top with both cheeses. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cheese in melted and slightly browned. Serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Greens Reboot


I have been prepping for this mentally for a few weeks, but today I restarted my Greens Reboot program. The idea is to alkalize and detox your body, flooding it with nutrition and enabling it to clean out everything. Its not hard to do, and I find it to be pretty pleasant compared to some of the detoxes and fasts I have done in the past. Its also very flexible. I can start off with doing it three days but if you continue, you modify it slightly along the way to make sure you are getting enough calories and not starving your body, which can cause a whole host of other problems down the road.

Here is how it plays out

9am: 4 Its Vital, 3 Thermofit, 2 Confianza, 1 New You, 2 Relief and
         Greens on the go (4 scoops) in a 16 oz bottle of water.
10am: 1 scoop of Profit in 8 oz water
11am:Greens on the go(4 scoops) in a 16 oz bottle of water.
1pm:Greens on the go(4 scoops) in a 16 oz bottle of water.
3pm:Greens on the go(4 scoops) in a 16 oz bottle of water.
5pm:Greens on the go(4 scoops) in a 16 oz bottle of water.
7pm: 2 Greens on the go(4 scoops) in a 16 oz bottle of water.
9pm: 2 Its Vital, 3 Thermofit, 3 Confianza, 2 New You, 2 Relief and
         Greens on the go (4 scoops) in a 16 oz bottle of water.
10pm: 1 scoop of Profit in 8 oz water

Do this for three, five, ten, fifteen or twenty days.

If you are doing the 15-day, from days 11-15 turn your morning profit into a smoothie, adding fruits and veggies of your choice. Also add an Its Essential bar at 3pm
If you are doing the 20-day, from days 16-20 add dinner.

Pretty simple, huh? I use the Berry Greens because I like the mild sweetness from the stevia and the berry flavor but if you prefer orange, it is unsweetened and has a flavor much like an orange mineral water.

For the vitamins you can use what you are already using. The greens will more than supply the fruits and veggies you need for a day, but if you can take your regular multi-vitamin instead provided its a good, safe, high quality vitamin free of food dyes, fillers and manufactured nutrients. If you don't have a multi or are missing parts of your complete nutrition, you can try one or all of our vitamin supplements in the Its Vital line



We use Thermofit to boost metabolism. If you are not striving to reset your metabolism or lose weight, you can leave that off too.
Confianza is full of adaptogenic herbs that will help your body manage daily stress. I highly recommend this during the fast because it will help you body to manage the additional stress of the diet itself.
New You helps your body to produce HGH. If you are over 30, this is naturally declining in your body, so its a good one to take if you are having trouble sleeping(without help).
Relief is for joint pain and maintaining joint health. If you are stiff and store you might want to try this one too.

Again, the MAIN part of this is the Greens and Profit  They will provide all the nutrition you need. Adding the additional products is up to you. So are you ready to try it?

If you can get past the cravings in those initial days, you will be fine. I always feel SOOOO good after about the third day. My energy levels ramp up, I sleep better and my body aches and headache goes away. If you would like to join me on this cleanse or if you would like information on getting the products so you can do it too, head to my website.
www.wrappednaturally.com
If you need help in deciding what you should take, please feel free to contact me and I will help you figure it out.


Friday, October 3, 2014

Its Vital Complete Nutrition

This week I wanted to share the It's Vital Complete Nutrition Pack from ItWorks.

Meet all of your daily vital nutrition needs with added nutrients and minerals, superior calcium absorption, and triple strength support for heart health all in one premeasured daily pack.It’s Vital Complete Nutrition Pack builds on the foundational It’s Vital Core Nutrition, adding It’s Vital Minerals and It’s Vital Omega-3 to give you complete, premium nutrition. While you can get all of these products separately for your individual needs, the It's Vital Complete Nutrition Pack will meet all of your daily vital nutrition needs with added nutrients and minerals, superior calcium absorption, and triple strength support for heart health all in one pre-measured daily pack.
•  Sea algae-derived Aquamin® premium mineral blend with over 74 trace minerals
•  Support for healthy bones and teeth with 250% the RDA of Vitamin D
•  Maximum calcium absorption with Vitamins K1 and K2 (MK-7), ensuring calcium stays in bones to help minimize arterial calcification
•  Keep your heart strong with Vitamin Ksupport for cardiovascular health


It’s Vital Omega-3:

•  Triple strength fish oil-derived DHA and EPA fatty acids to help maintain and support healthy cholesterol levels
•  Natural rosemary-based antioxidants to fight free radicals and support health cell growth
•  Support for healthy joint movement and for the body’s response to minor inflammation
•  Lemon-flavored softgel that’s easy to swallow




•   Gluten-free, plant-based, whole food complex
•  Patented controlled-release technology for sustained nourishment throughout the day
•  Mind/body energy blend to stay energized and sharp mentally and physically
•  Improved metabolic support to boost your body’s ability to burn calories





Wednesday, September 24, 2014

ItWorks Loyal Customer Program

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The $50 membership fee is waived after a 3 month commitment as a loyal customer



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Flank Steak Gyros

Flank Steak Gyros are easy to make and super yummy. I do the meat marinade and the yogurt sauce the night before or first thing in the morning so the flavors are better.

Ingredients 

MEAT MARINADE 

1 pound flank steak
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

SAUCE 

2 cups plain greek yogurt
2 T fresh dill (can use dried), chopped
1 T garlic, minced
1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice salt and pepper to taste 

4 6-inch pita pockets
1 white onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (mediterranean flavor is nice)

How To: 

Prepare the meat

Cut the flank steak into thin strips against the grain. If its slightly frozen, its easier to slice. Place the strips in a large glass dish. I use a pyrex baking dish so the marinade is more easily distributed. In a bowl, combine the olive oil, oregano and salt and pepper and mix well. Pour over the meat and stir to coat well. Cover and place in the refrigerator and let marinate 2 hours or up to all day. I usually do this the night before and let it marinade till dinner the next night.

Prepare the sauce:

In a small bowl mix together the yogurt, dill, garlic and lemon juice. Cover and place in fridge as well. Allow ample time for the flavors to meld.

Before Dinner: 

Spritz the pitas with a little water, wrap in foil and place in the oven to warm. I usually do about 300 degrees. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove meat from bag and discard marinade. Add meat slices to pan and saute until brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Saute the onion until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Return the meat and any juices to the skillet and stir until heated.

Stir the yogurt sauce and season with salt and pepper.
Arrange the pita bread on plates and fill with beef mixture. Spoon some yogurt sauce over the meat and top with feta and a little dill if desired.
Fold the gyros in half and serve.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Greek Chicken with Feta Cabbage Slaw

Greek chicken and Feta cabbage slaw


This is a fresh summer meal that makes my tastebuds happy and doesn’t make me feel deprived. 
If you do all the prep work in the morning, everything will be ready for a quick dinner that night.

Chicken Prep
2 lbs of chicken breast
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 T greek seasoning
1/4 cup sliced onion

Slice chicken into strips(or use tenderloins) Combine other ingredients and pour over chicken. Seal dish and marinate for at least a few hours. 

Make the slaw:
1 small head of cabbage, shredded
6 oz crumbled feta
6 -7 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoon evaporated cane juice(you should use stevia)
salt & pepper to taste



Combine shredded cabbage, feta and chopped green onions in a large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar, and EVOO.


Pour over the slaw and toss.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. It’s best if you let it refrigerate for a few hours so you may want to make the day before. 
Prepare meal:
When you are ready to prepare dinner, heat a 12" skillet over high heat and add 1T of olive oil. When pan is hot, add the chicken spreading evenly in pan in a single layer. Cook without stirrng for 1 minute until it begins to sear. Chicken should just begin to be opaque. Stir and continue to cook 1-2 more minutes until cooked through. Remove chicken to a serving dish to cool slightly. Chill if you prefer cold chicken strips.

Stir slaw to coat cabbage again. Place a serving on a plate and place chicken strips on top. Serve and enjoy

Monday, June 16, 2014

90 Day Weight Loss Challenge


Starting again.

With my adrenal issues I battle weight gain. If I don't actively make an effort NOT to gain weight, I do. This means exercise 5-6 days a week, eating less than 1200 calories a day and keeping protein high and carbs low. Some would say that based on my activity level I should be eating more and I should, but because of issues with my adrenals my body doesn't seem to want to burn calories the way it should. I started lifting weights in 2013 in an effort to "fix" this problem(muscles burn more energy) but it didn't seem to make a difference although I looked better and felt better. I ended last year by completing the Holiday Crunch; working out 21 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas and then I just gave up. I quit. I quit on me and I quit on my goals. 

What a mistake.

Now, I'm back where I started. Soft, sluggish and feeling pretty lousy about physical self.  

So I am about to change things again. And this time I won't give up!

I started a 90 day challenge with some of my team from ItWorks and while each of us have different specific goals, we all want to feel and look better.  Some of us are detoxing with GREENS, improving our diet and using our great ItWorks products to assist us in our journey. Since most of us are trying to lose some weight, we are using Thermofit to help us burn extra calories, Fat Fighters to block some of the carbs and fat we consume, and wrapping to tighten, tone and firm that loose skin. I am also using New You for exercise recovery and defining gel to tighten trouble spots. As I lose weight I will wrap more to continue to tighten the skin that is loose from inch loss.

For motivation we created a secret Facebook group to help and encourage one another in our journey and we invite our loyal customers to join if they would like the support.   Would you like to join us? The more the merrier! Whatever your goals, you are welcome. Contact me or comment below for more information.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tightening my Tummy and this Crazy Wrap Thing

As I continue to sell ItWorks products I run into similar questions from my potential customers. One of the most popular questions is "How do the wraps work?" I decided to address that in today's post.

Since my focus has been and continues to be using natural products I couldn’t possibly talk about the wraps on my blog without researching it for myself. My favorite site for checking cosmetic ingredients is The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database, which rates both finished products and individual ingredients for the toxicity based on the available studies and information. Their database is very large, having over 64,000 entries. Scoring is based on a scale: 0-2 is a low hazard, a 3-6 is a moderate hazard and a 7-10 is a high hazard. So we want to see lots of ingredients with low scores;  a zero being ideal.
Here is how it looked: Water (Aqua) – 0
Glucose – 0
Caprylic /Capric Triglyceride – 0
Glycerin – 0
Alcohol Denat – 0
Stearic Acid – 1
Stearyl Alcohol – 1
Ceteareth 12 – 3-7, The biggest concern is that it not be used on injured or damaged skin.  Do not apply to damaged skin (cuts or scrapes, etc). It is a penetration enhancer to help get the herbs into the skin.
Aesculus hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract – 0
Urea – 0
Centella asiatica (Hydrocotyl) Leaf Extract – 0
Camellia sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract – 2  This is regulated as to how much concentration can be used in a particular material.  This is why it is listed as a 2 on the hazard scale. Fucus vesiculosus (Bladderwrack) Thalle Extract – 0
Hedera helix (Ivy) Leaf Extract – 0
Equisetum arvense (Horsetail) Leaf/Stem Extract – 0
Ruscus aculeatus (Butchers Broom) Root Extract – 0
Paullinia cupana (Guarana) Seed Extract – 0   It's listed as a 1 because it is in many products as an additive.  The concern is that one may exposed to too much of this ingredient.
Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil – 0
Decyl Oleate – 0
Magnesium Aluminum Silicate – 1  The Research reviewed by the Cosmetic Database site says this is only a concern if it is overused or one is overexposed.  When within the concentration limits, there is no concern.
Glyceryl Stearate – 1
PEG 7 Glyceryl Cocoate – 4 This is a derivative of Coconut Oil. There are contamination concerns with the manufacture of this ingredient. If too much is used, then there is a concern.  Like the others, if used as directed(wrap every 72 hours, one wrap at a time)
Tocopheryl Acetate – 3 This is vitamin E. If too much is used, then there is a concern with skin irritation.  Like the others, use as directed; one wrap every 72 hours.
TEA-Hydroiodide – 2
Methylsilanol Mannuronate – 0
Menthol – 1
Camphor – 2
Panthenol – 1
Phenoxyethanol – 3  This number is in relation to risk for products that are used around the mouth.  There is no concern for the Body Applicator as it is used from the neck down.
Retinyl Palmitate – 8  This is a Vitamin A derivative that the FDA was scrutinizing in sunscreen hence the high rating. It is also something you would not want to take by mouth. Vitamin A in sunscreens was under scrutiny because the studies were showing the promotion of skin cancer.   You shouldn’t be sunbathing while wrapping. I am not one to take artificial Vitamin A so my exposure to this is limited to the wraps. This is not a prescription strength concentration so I am not personally concerned.
Triethanolamine – 5  This is regulated as to how much concentration can be used in a particular material. 
Carbomer – 0
Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil – 0
Eucalyptus globulus (Eucalyptus) Leaf Oil – 0
Caprylyl Glycol – 0
Sorbic Acid – 3
BHT – 6  This is used as a preservative in cosmetics. It was given a 6 due to the fact that it can irritate the eyes or lungs.  Is recognized as safe for use outside of in food.  Don’t eat your wrap!

Limonene – 6  This is a scent that is found naturally in fruits. Citrus oil in high concentrations can be irritating to sensitive skin, eyes and lungs. Another reason to use from the neck down and as directed. (one wrap at a time, every 72 hours)
Linalool – 5  If too much is used, then there is a concern. It is a fragrance ingredient. Like the others, use as directed.(one wrap at a time, every 72 hours)

So as you can see, most of the ingredients that scored as a 3 or above are due to their allergenic potential and are at the end of the ingredient list. So I would say the recommendation to use the wrap for only 45 minutes the first time is justified and acceptable. Once you assure your skin won’t have a reaction, then you can wear the wraps for longer periods of time in subsequent uses. Also, drinking water and staying well-hydrated during that 72 hours will allow your body to not only process the herbs in the wrap but also flush out what your body doesn't need.

After looking up several of the ingredients in my other beauty products on the EWG list and weighing it against what I have to gain using the wraps, I’m willing to accept exposure to these few ingredients. Of course, that is a personal decision. Given that use of the wraps is limited to once every 3 days and eventually I  will stop using them when I've achieved my desired results, its not going to be a long term exposure to those few ingredients either. 





Now lets look at the herbs....

The graphic above sums it up nicely. And none of these statements below have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, so I encourage you to do your own research. What I have gathered here is just documentation of historical use of the herbs and what current scientists are finding in their labs. I used several sources including the PFAF Plant database, NIH’s Medline, and WebMD as well as several other herbal sites.

Let’s look at each herb in the wrap. 

Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut). According to the NIH’s Medline Plus, it is effective for improving the circulatory system and is historically used to improve varicose veins in the legs.Centella asiatica (Hydrocotyl) Leaf Extract,  (Gotu Kola): Increases circulation according to several sources including the American Cancer Society. Historically, it is used to increase circulation and enhance memory and is also used as a cleansing herb for skin problems.Camellia sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract has a high antioxidant content and is used in many natural skin care products.Fucus vesiculosus (Bladderwrack) Thalle Extract, is harvested from the Atlantic Ocean.  It is historically thought to increase skin elasticity and thickness.  Recent studies in Japan have suggested good results from its use. It is recommended to not use it orally during pregnancy or nursing due to its high iodine content. It is also extremely rich in many different vitamins and minerals.Hedera helix (Ivy) Leaf Extract sometimes called English Ivy, historically is used for disorders in the lung. I have made many syrups and tinctures using it for coughs and bronchitis. But it is also known to be used to increase circulation and to treat under-skin infections(cellulitis). A major action of this herb is that of a circulatory compound which assists other components to be absorbed by the skin, whilst also helping to remove waste products and fatty build-ups from the tissue and helps release fatty deposits from the cells.Equisetum arvense (Horsetail) Leaf/Stem Extract is thought to be the most abundant plant source of silica and is in a highly absorbable form.  It was thought to stimulate production of collagen, and it has shown promise in studies to speed the repair of damaged connective tissue, improving its strength and elasticity.  It is astringent, antioxidant and thought to benefit circulation, as well.Ruscus aculeatus (Butchers Broom) Root Extract  once used to make brooms, is thought to improve circulation and is used to treat varicose veinsPaullinia cupana (Guarana) Seed Extract,  is revered by the natives of Brazil. It is thought to be stimulating to the circulatory system and is used in weight loss products. It also has astringent properties.
Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, contains such microelements and nutrients as zinc, copper, silicon, iodine, chromium, Vitamins E and B group, acids and other natural ingredients. When used externally, this natural product allows us enjoy its antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and soothing properties.Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil has analgesic, astringent, diuretic, rubefacient, stimulant and tonic therapeutic properties in skincare.Eucalyptus globulus (Eucalyptus) Leaf Oil: has a cleansing effect on the skin and reduces redness and irritation. It is reputed to aid in wound healing and is antispetic and anti-parasitic.


I hope this post helps you see for yourself that the wraps are safe to use. If you have more questions, please feel free to post questions below.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Greens

I have recently joined an amazing company that offers products that improve your quality of life; your health, your skin, your mood. One of my favorite products is GREENS. Greens blends 38 herbs and nutrient rich "super foods" to provide your body with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and enzymes in their naturally-occuring, bio-active, bio-available form. This detoxifying, alkalizing drink powder mixes easily with water or juice. It can be added to a smoothie or yogurt and it promotes pH balance within the body. 

Tell me something. Do any of these conditions sound familiar?
Allergies
Skin Diseases(eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, etc) 
Osteoporosis
Arthritis/Osteoarthritis/Rheumatoid Arthritis
Diabetes
Asthma
Anemia
Cancer
Gastritis

I got this list from an article here that discusses disorders from having a poor pH in your stomach
The next list is from an article on this page. In addition to the diseases above, they list more:
Acid reflux
Immune deficiency
Autoimmune diseases
Premature aging
Obesity, weight gain
Cancer
Yeast infections
Low energy/Chronic fatigue
Bladder and Kidney conditions(including kidney stones)
Periodontitis
Heart Failure
Hypertension

Every person I know suffers from SOMETHING on these lists. These symptoms and diseases are a result of what can happen to your body when it is too acidic, or your pH levels are not balanced properly. Environmental pollutants, a diet high in processed and fatty foods, and even stress can contribute to high levels of acidity in the body and an unbalanced pH. The natural balance in Greens is designed to counteract that acidic environment. Greens not only give you at least 8 servings of energizing fruits and veggies in just one serving, but you also get an abundance of free-radical-fighting antioxidants. They support circulation and blood vessel health and flow to keep nutrients flowing to the cells and waste products moving efficiently out and it all comes in two great flavors; orange and berry(my personal favorite). You won't have to choke these down, they taste fantastic! I take GREENS every day. I have noticed a big difference in my energy levels throughout the day and I sleep better at night. My aches and pains have decreased and I haven't been sick in a really long time.  My life can be super busy and sometimes I don't eat the way I should. Knowing that I'm giving my body 38 herbs and nutrient-rich “superfoods” with a quick glass of this in the morning makes me feel like I am fighting a little harder for my health. Since joining the It Works team, I have discovered that many of the men and women that join this team, join it because of what the products do for them. I have seen photos of people who have seen a reduction in acne, eczema and psoriasis just from taking this delicious supplement each day. Its so simple and so obvious. Feeding your body the nutrition that it requires is taking a step toward health and wellness. And if you start there, isn't that more incentive to pursue other avenues of health as well? I know for me it does.  If you would like to know more about this wonderful product, view  an ingredient list or place an order, please contact me or check out my distributor page.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Preventing Illness with a Strong Immune System

Many people believe that hand sanitizers and preventative vaccinations are the best ways to keep illnesses away. I’ve seen a huge increase of the use of anti-bacterial substances which are supposed to keep our bodies healthier. But actually, are toxic chemicals that don’t necessarily kill all the bad viruses and bacteria, but they do wipe out all the good bacteria, and our bodies need good bacteria to function optimally.
There are so many ways to keep your body healthy. For instance,  if your body doesn’t have the right nutrients every day, it will weaken. If you are stressed and consume processed foods, sugar and fail to get proper rest, you are setting yourself up for illness. 
Did you ever notice that if you get sick early in the season its harder to avoid getting sick later on in the season? Think of your immune system like the power gauge on a video game. When you run out of power, or lives or ammunition, your a goner. Your immune system is the same way. Receiving a blow here and there will lower your resistance to illness. Daily, repeated blows to your immune system deplete it to the point that you are pretty much guaranteed an infection. By having more fuel going IN to POWER UP your immune system than is coming out you are far more likely to weather this winter, and many more to come, infection-free.

Power depleters:

Processed foods and sugar

Sugar will deplete your immune system for hours after you partake in the Krispy Kreme donut or a Coke with those french fries. Studies have proven this. While comfort foods in the form of sweets might seem to help, the actually REALLY hurt. Even having an organic toaster pastry is going to have a detrimental effect on your immunities. Processed foods are filled with chemicals, unhealthy fats and usually corn syrup(sugar). Diet foods are also terrible attackers of the immune system! Stay away at all costs!

Bad Fats

Vegetable oils and trans fats are deadly. Vegetable oils from the store are typically already rancid, turn carcinogenic upon heating and contain far too many omega 6’s which in turn will cause inflammation and damage your immune system. In addition, corn- and soy-based oils are almost always genetically modified which is doing untold damage to your digestive tract. Stick to the healthy fats I list in Power ups. 

Conventional Produce

Pesticide-ridden produce. Despite efforts to wash off pesticides before you eat your produce, studies show that it does little to remove them. Pesticide use is up as is the use of GMO crops. So avoid the Dirty Dozen at the very least and if you can switch to organic in at least this area, you will be doing yourself a huge favor. By choosing Organic you are also guaranteeing that you aren’t getting a genetically modified product. If you are wondering what the big deal is about GMO’s locate a copy of Seeds of Deception and see what you think. Don't go by what you have heard...read for yourself.

Alcohol

Drinking in excess is bad for your blood glucose, bad for your kidneys as well as your liver. It can also affect your blood pressure and your heart. Occasional alcohol is not going to destroy your immune system but make sure you counteract the diuretic effects with plenty of water and eat properly.

Power-ups

Rest

The number one Power-up in my book is getting plenty of rest. Whenever I feel a cold coming on, getting to bed early and getting a good nights sleep can help a lot. Have you ever noticed how you feel better in the morning vs. at night as you wind down? Your body is telling you that you need rest and its clear that it helps. So while you may not get everything done, sacrificing a few items on your to do list to avoid spending several days sick in bed seems like a fair trade.

Whole Foods

I know its boring. I know you can't get it in a drive-thru. But munch on fresh fruit and veggies. Preferably organic to boot. Dip them in hummus or pair with some goat cheese based dip. You will learn to love them. They are not a form of denial. We have gotten away from God's perfect foods in favor of deep-fried and plastic package snacks. We need to get away. Whole grains, homemade treats(not from mixes) and foods with short ingredient lists. If your six-year old can read all the ingredients on the box, its likely to be safe.

Healthy Fats and Proteins

Organic grass-fed butter, pastured meats, extra-virgin olive oil, cold pressed coconut oil. These are the words you need to look for. Even lard from a pastured pig is far superior to “healthy margarine”, which by the way is an oxymoron. I discovered a few years ago that eating healthy fats is good for your body in so many ways, including your cholesterol if you are pairing them with a well-rounded healthy diet. Pastured and grass-fed meats are high in CLA(conjugated lineolic acid)  and EFA(essential fatty acids). CLA is found in ruminants; animals that eat grasses. Cows are supposed to eat grasses, but in feedlots they are fed grain, and garbage and things you don’t really want to know about (if you don’t believe me, do some research). So feedlot meats aren't as good for you as grass-fed cows. The practice of finishing cows on grain to fatten them also depletes the CLA that was in the meat in the name of speed and profit. These are usually called pastured. Look for GRASS-FED. 
Conventionally raised meat has little CLA. But they do have growth hormones and antibiotics, which as you may suspect are bad. So while I digress(you knew I would), it would be wise to avoid anything but grass-fed, locally raised meats. Yes, they are more expensive but the disservice you are doing to your body and the enabling of corporations to profit from the mistreatment of animals are reason enough to switch as you are able. 
Pastured chickens provide excellent eggs and meat. Find a local farm that raises chickens and is willing to sell eggs. Eating an egg from a chicken that was confined to a space the size of an iPad and forced to sit in its own excrement for two years till it was killed because it wasn’t laying fast enough is not a life any animal should endure and by purchasing eggs from a local farmer you are supporting a sustainable lifestyle that honors God and our planet and supports a small business-person who’s just trying to make a life for him/herself.
High quality fish oils are excellent as well. My favorite is Green Pastures Cod Liver oil, which is fermented and preserves all the nutrients you need. You can find other forms of fish oil that are safe. Just remember that the vitamin/supplement industry wants a piece of the pie and if it takes high temp processing and hexane and other nutrient robbing chemicals to sell you a fish oil cap, they will do it. Shop wisely and stay informed. Cold pressed organic coconut oils and freshly ground flax seed are excellent sources of EFA but use coconut oil for cooking, not flax seed oil since it doesn’t tolerate heat well.

Broth

I am known to whip up a pot of soup at the hint of a cold in our family, but don’t wait for an illness to make a healthy broth. And I am not talking about opening a box and pouring it in a pot. I always start with bones from pastured/grass-fed animals. Animal bones are full of minerals and essential nutrients as well as collagen. It is a great vessel for simmering lots of garlic (which is an excellent immune booster and antiviral food) and onions as well as whatever fresh vegetables I have in the house. If the tummy is upset, plain bone broth is easy to digest and an excellent source of fluids.  Here is my recipe for Beef Broth 

Digestive Help

Digestive enzymes help your body utilize the foods you consume. I like the Rainbow Light Advanced Enzyme formula and usually purchase it from our Frontier Co-op but it is easy to find in Earth Fare, Whole Foods and at online pharmacy stores. 
Probiotics as well as fermented foods like sauerkraut, beet kvass,  and plain yogurt(preferably made at home with grass fed, raw milk if possible)  not only help you digest your foods but enable your body to better use the foods you eat by populating the gut with healthy bacteria. They also aid in moving food through you body and excreting what you don’t need.

Exercise/Relieve stress

Make sure you make time for you. Exercise is excellent for stress relief and since stress is bad for your immune system you should make time to manage your stress. If exercise is not your thing, try reading; meditation; prayer or a quiet walk in the park. All of these things do a body good.

Get your water

Drink water. Lots of it. It helps you flush out the toxins in your body. It mobilizes the vitamins you get in your foods. Add minerals to it. I recommend Concentrace. This will ensure you get the minerals your body needs. With our soils being depleted from over-farming, with water no longer coming from natural sources but water treatment plants we are missing vital minerals in our diet. Adding a small amount of concentrace to your diet can replenish this deficiency. 
You can do so many things with water to keep it interesting and water keeps your body functioning at optimal levels. If you are on city water and its not optimal, buy mineral water or another safer source of water. Get a water filter to improve the water you drink.  Add fruit to your water, juice, make green tea. Get water kefir grains and you make your water a probiotic. Make a kefir soda. Do what you must to make it palatable short of adding sugar and chemical laden flavor enhancers. But just drink it.

What to do if you start to feel sick

Making the Power-up steps a part of your normal lifestyle is the first step in staying healthy, but if after all of this you do feel that scratchy throat coming on, its your last chance to head it off. My routine, which may or may not work for you looks something like this:
I take echinacea in the form of a tea or capsules, I make sure I get plenty of vitamin C either via a citrus drink I get from Frontier or with capsules. I drink plenty of water and go to bed early. I repeat when I wake up and avoid sugar at all costs. I eat only healthy Power-Up foods and rest as much as possible. I repeat with my supplements again at bed. If I still feel like I am getting sick the next morning, I may add other supplements and herbs for specific symptoms. One of my favorite reference books is The Herbal Drugstore by Linda White. My main goal is to not get sick so I get pretty aggressive at fighting it off, but if I do get sick, I will continue to do whatever I need to in order to get better quickly. 
I do tend to avoid traditional medicine for my own personal reasons but if I do need to see a professional I will seek out an alternative form of medicine first. I want the treatment to work WITH my body rather than against it. While modern medicine can be a lifesaver it isn’t always necessary and can sometimes deplete your immune system further than the illness. I find the chemicals and food dyes in over the counter remedies to be counter intuitive and prefer to work with natural products that achieve similar results. 

As with all recommendations on this website, my opinions are just that. Opinions. I am no trained professional. So please do your own research and try what works best for you and your family. My hope for you and anyone that reads this is that you find some new ideas here that help you to be smarter and stronger the next time an illness visits your doorstep.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Health Challenge


If you know me you know my struggle with thyroid and metabolic issues. I came down hard on those problems last year and with a more renewed focus this year. The results for weight loss have been slow at best but there are other parts to feeling great. You need to nourish your body from all angles and you need to commit to it for several weeks to see real results that make you want to continue. 

I am looking for 5 COMMITTED people who truly want to see results and are willing to take a 3-month health challenge with me... you can TRANSFORM the way you look and feel in 90 short days if you are committed to seeing results!
Do you think you could stick this simple program? 
Month 1: Cleanse
Using three special products that will give your body the support and nutrition it needs to detox efficiently.
Month 2: Lose
Increase fat burning and continue to detox with three great products.
Month 3: Tighten
Use wraps and skin products to firm and tighten the excess skin that is a result of your previous months' weight loss.

Its really that easy! If you're interested in learning more or getting started, email me now! candlerfoods at charter dot com or check out my It Works page: http://frugalhsmom.myitworks.com