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13 Toxic Chemicals You Need to Avoid for Better Health

There are so many toxic chemicals we use on our skin, mouth and in our daily household cleaning regimen that IS making you and those you love sick! Your body is meant to naturally detox. However, we are overloaded with harmful chemicals and carcinogens our organs can’t do it’s job and that’s when disease sets in! These toxins also travel through our blood stream directly absorbed from our skin. It might not be apparent in your everyday life that they are making you sick,  But they are wreaking havoc on our bodies causing disease slowly. Hello breast cancer! Hello depression! Hello weight gain! Hello hormonal disruption! Hello infertility! Hello thyroid condition! Hello liver & kidney damage! Hello skin rash! Hello brain & gut disfunction! Hello allergies! Hello developmental delay! You get the picture ~ it IS affecting your health every single day in every single way!  

The US is about the only country that allows all these harmful chemicals in our products. Most of these chemicals are banned from other countries. Would you believe the US only bans 11 toxic chemicals but Europe has 1,300 on their list of banned chemicals? What? This is crazy!

It’s really up to us – the consumer – to stop buying and using these products that are killing us and our children. Apparently, children absorb 40-50% more than adults making them at higher risk for disease.  Not to mention the rate of children with learning disabilities, ADD, ADHD, autism, depression, mood disorders and allergies has skyrocketed the last 50 years!! This is just sad but often ignored as a trigger! There are so many people still using harmful chemicals on their bodies and household cleaning. These chemicals have direct impact to how well our endocrine and neurological system is working especially your Thyroid! Once absorbed they produce systemic damage to internal organs.

13 Toxic Chemicals You Need to Avoid:

  1. BPA – (bisphenol-A) is a chemical that is added to many commercial products. Most widely used in the lining of cans, plastic food containers, bottles as well as hygiene products. The reason why they use it in the lining of cans is to keep metal from corroding. It is also found in CDs/DVDs, thermal receipts, plastic containers and bottles, toiletries, feminine hygiene products, eyeglass lenses to name  few. Because BPA is estrogenic (mimicking estrogen properties), it has the potential to affect hormone-mediated neurologic and behavioral development in early life(1) and is recognized as an endocrine-disrupting chemical as well as linked to breast cancer. It can bind to estrogen receptors which can influence growth, cell repair, fetal development, energy level and reproduction. It also can alter the function of your thyroid and your entire endocrine system.  Unfortunately, recent research is showing BPA has been replaced by bisphenol-S (BPS) or bisphenol-F (BPF) which may also disrupt the function of your cells similar to BPA(2). Using glass whenever possible is best for food storage and avoiding plastic overall when possible to avoid these harmful chemicals.
  2. Plastic – Use glass whenever possible especially heating your food (not that microwaving your food is good either). Toxic chemicals leach out of plastic and are found in the blood and tissue of nearly all of us. Exposure to them is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and other ailments.
  3. Parabens. Parabens are widely used preservatives that prevent the growth of bacteria, mold and yeast in cosmetic products. While that might sound good, parabens possess estrogen-mimicking properties and are linked to breast cancer and are found in biopsies of breast tumors. The skin is one of the largest organs and it’s directly absorbed into your body. Parabens can be found in makeup, lipsticks, body washes, deodorants, shampoos, conditioners and facial cleansers, lotions and creams, etc.(3)(4)(5) 
  4. Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea — These are the most commonly used preservatives after the parabens. According to the American Academy of Dermatology they are the primary cause of contact dermatitis. 
  5. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – is used as a sudsing and foaming agent which penetrates the skin. Harmful effects include reproductive and developmental toxicity, tissue damage that could result in chronic liver, brain, heart, lung damage and may include cancer. SLS has been found in the tissue of these organs so it accumulates in the body. It is found to be a contributor to acne, eczema and other dermititis skin irritations.  It also disrupts your skin’s natural oil balance because of its harsh agents.(6) 
  6. Tricolsan and Tribclocarban – found in toothpaste, deodorant and antibacterial soaps and   handsanitizers. We have become so obsessed with germs that it is actually causing bacterial resistance which is opposite of what we want. We need microbes in our gut to keep us healthy. It also disrupts our endocrine system, impairs muscle and immune function and allergies.
  7. Benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride, and chloroxylenol – these are the chemicals that have been replaced in some antibacterial products and are showing just as harmful affects as Tricolsan and Tribclocarban (7)
  8. Phthalates – a group of chemicals used in products to increase the flexibility and softness of plastics. It is used in cosmetics and personal care products such as nail polish, perfumes, moisturizers, deodorants, and hair spray.  They are endocrine disruptors and have been linked to breast cancer as well. Unfortunately, companies are not obligated to disclose their secret formula of fragrance which is a major flaw in the law. 
  9. Polyethylene/PEGs – PEG, which is the abbreviation of polyethylene glycol.  It’s most common form is plastic and when combined with glycol, it becomes a thick and sticky liquid. It’s found in cosmetics as emollients which help soften and lubricate the skin, it’s also an emulsifier and it helps deliver other ingredients deeper in the skin (ugh!!!). They are used in cosmetics for scrubs and exfoliants as well as body wash. These PEGs wind up traveling through our waterways and collecting more pollutants along the way ultimately being consumed by fish and other marine mammals.
  10. Dibutyl phthalate, toluene – linked to endocrine disruption, respiratory issues, birth defects and headaches.  They are found in nail polish and nail products and other cosmetics.
  11. BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) – synthetic antioxidants used as preservatives in lipsticks and moisturizers, among other cosmetics. They are also widely used as food preservatives such as some potato chips, cereals as well as oils. They are beneficial because they help prolong the shelf life of certain items. This doesn’t mean it’s safe.  Though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has determined that BHA is “generally recognized as safe,” The Department of Health and Human Services, however, cautions humans to avoid BHA because certain studies show it is linked to cancer. It also can accumulate in the body and can be considered a human carcinogen.   Evidence shows high doses of BHT may mimic estrogen resulting in hormone disruption. 
  12. Formaldehyde – Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and poses significant danger to human health (it has been linked to nasal squamous cell cancer(8).  It is also skin irritant that can cause allergy-like reactions including watery, burning eyes and throats, stuffy noses, and skin rashes. It is mainly used in the production of industrial resins such as particle board.  It also can be found in furniture, permanent press clothing, draperies, glues, adhesives, cleaning, beauty products and in some brands of baby wipes(9).
  13. Mercury – Exposure to mercury impairs neurological development, and recent research has linked high levels of mercury to ADHD. Because neural development happens rapidly in pregnancy and early childhood, it is important to eliminate exposure where possible(10) (11)   Oxidative stress is associated with the cause of neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease(12)(13). Mercury enters the environment through air pollution and industrial waste. When mercury enters water, fish absorb it through their gills. The primary exposure to mercury is from consuming large, older, and predatory fish (ahi tuna, swordfish, shark, orange roughy, mackerel,  yellowfin tuna, sea bass, blue fish, grouper). Here’s a list of the levels of mercury found in fish/seafood from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration so you can decide which seafood is best for you to consume.

As you can see every single one of these chemicals are an endocrine & neurological function disruptors.  They are linked to many cancers and diseases.

Now, if you think I’m being overly cautious, I’m not. It’s up to us to start making these changes for our health and our children’s health. I don’t even like the fake and strong smells from the cleaners that are on the market. If you think Mr. Clean, 409, Fantastic, Gain, Palmolive or Dawn dish detergent is safe to use they are not. Once you switch to a healthier cleaning regimen and skin care you will notice the difference. I know it has made a difference in my own thyroid function and that is coming from someone that no longer even has a thyroid. 

One of the most popular laundry detergents on the market – Tide –  is loaded with toxins for example.  I’ve ditched Tide about 20 years ago!  There are many natural detergents that are on the market today that work well!  You can also make a homemade natural detergent too using simple ingredients like borax, washing soda and natural soap such as Dr. Bronner’s. 

Here’s list of ingredients for Tide detergent:

  • water
  • alcoholethoxy sulfate
  • linear alkylbenzene sulfonate
  • propylene glycol
  • citric acid
  • sodium hydroxide
  • borax
  • ethanolamine
  • ethanol
  • alcohol sulfate
  • polyethyleneimine ethoxylate
  • sodium fatty acids
  • diquaternium ethoxysulfate
  • protease
  • diethylene glycol
  • laureth 9
  • alkyldimethylamine oxide
  • fragrance
  • amylase
  • disodium diaminostilbene disulfonate
  • DTPA
  • sodium formate
  • calcium formate
  • polyethylene glycol 4000
  • mannanase
  • Liquitint™ Blue (a dye)
  • dimethicone

Wow – that’s a long list of toxicity! Apparently, there is a petrochemical solvent known as 1,4-dioxane that is found in Tide that is also used in paint and varnishes.  The EPA (Environment Protection Agency) considers this solvent a human carcinogen(13).

Companies are tricky in making you think something is natural and safe – like Tide Free and Gentle is not “free and clear” of all chemicals!!  Thankfully, in a 2013 press release noted on EWG’s website, Procter & Gamble has agreed to reformulate Tide and other popular laundry detergents to reduce contamination with 1,4 dioxane, defined as a carcinogen by California consumer product safeguards known as Proposition 65. The giant multinational’s action came in response to a lawsuit filed by an Oakland-based nonprofit called As You Sow. My understanding is as of today, 1,4 dioxane has been taken out of Tide Free and Gentle, however, EWG.org website still rates this product an “F”. I would stay away from all conventional detergents that are in the market despite Tide being the most popular laundry detergent on the market. Read your labels – natural or free doesn’t mean that it is non-toxic and chemical free. I try my best not to use harmful chemicals on my skin or in my home. The chemicals that are in your products have a direct connection to how your hormones work (both in women and men!) as well as can cause many different cancers. We must all be conscious consumers and realize that these very products are making us sick in more ways than we care to believe.  

Unfortunately, the cosmetic industry is also unregulated and the FDA doesn’t require them to make safety assessments on their products.  There are tons of products on the market starting from the conventional deodorant that has been linked to breast cancer to the foundation make-up that is loaded with chemicals that are being absorbed through our skin. Harmful ingredients are often masked with the label of “fragrance” or sometimes they are labeled with the actual chemical but are not required to inform the consumer of its harmful affects on our health. Wouldn’t it be nice to know if the products you use everyday are harming your health?

Check out how your product rates.

If you’d like to see how your cleaners or skin care products rate on The Environmental Working Group (EWG) website which was developed in 1992. You can visit their site at www.ewg.org to look up your product.  Please note that ratings are based on the scope of ingredient safety data contained in Skin Deep®, and the number of studies available in the open scientific literature so I find some of the ratings not totally fair but still a good resource to see where your product rates.

I know I was very disappointed to see a brand of cleaners I used to be fond of not rate well – method brand.  Unfortunately, another misguided product on the market making it seem they are made from safe ingredients.  While method products are definitely “greener” than conventional products apparently they are using ingredients that are still considered unsafe.  Since there is no regulation, I’d rather be safe than sorry and stick with a product I know is safe for myself and my family. Not all the method products are rated poorly but a lot of them are. As consumers it’s extremely important to read labels because many of these products are misleading making you think they are perfectly safe and natural.

Please tell me some of your favorite products that you love down in the comments!

These toxic chemicals are a huge factor in so many diseases that we are an aware of.  The first place we need to clean up is our skin care and cleaning products.  Many chemicals cross the skin barrier and are absorbed directly into your blood stream.  Once absorbed they produce systemic damage to internal organs.

Additional References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3554682

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4702494/

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Anti-inflammatory Golden Milk

Achy joints may need extra attention especially in the winter when you may not be moving as much! Do you know that stagnation is not good for achy joints? You need to keep moving if you want to help your joints. I know that sounds counter-intuitive but they need movement to keep them healthy. You just want to make sure you are doing the right exercises. For example if you suffer with bad knees or hip issues, jogging would not be good. You get the picture!

This drink is so comforting – perfect for winter! It’s soothing and immune boosting! Drinking it before bed actually helps you have a more restful sleep while boosting your immunity while you sleep.

The secret spice actually is the curcumin in the turmeric that has numerous health benefits. Curcumin has been extensively studied. It has shown benefits to support digestion as well as alleviate inflammation in your digestion system. Boosts immunity, reduces inflammation due to osteoarthritis to name a few and has numerous studies in reduction in many types of cancer.

Too many benefits not to include this in your diet several times a week! If you aren’t allergic to tree nuts, I find it’s most delicious using cashew milk (regular dairy is inflammatory so I wouldn’t use that). I used cashew milk but it’s commonly made with other non-dairy milk such as almond or coconut or any combo of them both.  

If you can find fresh turmeric it really comes out so delicious vs. dried turmeric in your spice aisle – although that is good too but fresh just has a different flavor.  You can find fresh turmeric at your local supermarket (my stop & shop carries it), Whole Foods, or health food store should also have it if they sell produce.   Here’s a picture so you know what you are looking for:

Anti-Inflammatory Golden Milk

Servings 1
Author Stacey DiVerde

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cashew milk my favorite is Elmhurst Brand (so creamy)
  • 2 tsp grated fresh turmeric or 1 tsp dried turmeric (fresh is best)
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger or 1” sliced
  • Pinch black pepper freshly cracked
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp organic raw coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 tsp raw honey optional

Instructions

  1. Heat in a saucepan, over medium heat until hot but not boiling.

  2. Stir and let steep for about 5 minutes. 

  3. Strain through a fine mesh sieve over a mug. 

  4. Serve with an additional sprinkling of black pepper (helps with absorption) and an extra sprinkle of cinnamon.

Recipe Notes

You can find fresh turmeric at your local supermarket (my stop & shop carries it), Whole Foods, or health food store should also have it if they sell produce.  

 

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Balanced Healthy Life – Mind, Body, Spirit

While we sometimes do need a prescription for certain ailments or life threatening situations true health arises when we balance our mind, body and spirit.  We need to look to ourselves for the answers.

What Does a Balanced Healthy Life Really Look Like?

Getting there doesn’t happen overnight and it’s not really a destination!  Good health nourishes you from inside out.  Starting with the how we talk to ourselves – self love. Our bodies are meant to work like a well-oiled machine and in perfect harmony.  It’s truly miraculous!  When given the right ingredients your body can heal itself but you need to be aware of what’s going on and do not ignore the symptoms it gives you.  A healthy balanced life doesn’t have debilitating side effects like some prescriptions do especially if taken long term for a chronic issue.  Especially most of them weren’t even designed to be taken that long (ie. acid reflux medicine!!).  

It probably doesn’t look like the super-model on the cover of Vogue either!  Get comfortable in your own skin!  

Balance isn’t Perfect Everyday!

Balance isn’t perfect everyday but a practice over time to what feels good for you. Listen to your body and look to your higher self for the answers, it knows intuitively what it needs as well as has all the answers it needs. Symptoms pop up to tell us “hey, something is off, come look a bit deeper to finding the root cause”.  Try to get out of the habit for looking for the quick fix or pop a pill to put a band-aid approach to a bigger issue.  Question your health care professional, seek a second opinion, don’t believe everything you read, what is good for one might be poison to another.  

Stress can Wreak Havoc on Our Bodies

Stress is also a huge factor in our lives today especially with all the technology that is literally coming at us every minute of the day.  

Stress comes in many levels. For example, your body can be stressed internally from a simple sugar overload which is difficult for you organs and blood to process.  Or you may be eating a food that you don’t even realize you are sensitive too which is causing digestive distress.  Top that with stress from business or job, financial pressures, family, relationships, etc.  You could be eating all the super-foods in the world and if you have a lot of stress in your life you can kiss your health good-bye.  On the flip-side, some small level of stress, helps keep us motivated and strive for something better so that’s where balance is key.  Do what feels good and practice what keeps you peaceful!

12 Steps to balance your life for better health:

  1. Take 6-8 deep belly breaths, breathe in through your nose while your belly expands (not your chest) and hold for 5 then out through your mouth slowly for 6-8 when you first wake up or anytime you want to recenter yourself.  This helps trigger your parasympathetic nervous system and awaken more happiness, peace as well as productiveness in your life!
  2. Get a morning daily ritual that includes some self-care.  Meditation, reading, journaling are all great to include.  Time to reflect and appreciate the day that is coming.  Also a gratitude journal is also a great way to start your day.  Gratitude truly can be a game changer!  
  3. Just eat whole foods (forget food with labels and boxes, fast food and it would be a good idea to try to eat home as much as you can).  Restaurants are known for using bad oils and unhealthy ingredients.  However if the restaurant you frequent is using healthy ingredients and preparation  than go for it!  And, please share in the comments who they are!  Even Whole Foods is using canola oil in preparation of their already prepared food station — canola oil is not a healthy oil!
  4. Drink more water!  When you urinate your urine should be light not yellow and dark (although if you are taking supplements they do cause yellow urine).
  5. Exercise!  Find what works for you but get moving to create oxygen and move stagnant energy that might be stuck in your body!! It doesn’t have to be hard core as a matter of fact over exercising is not good either!  Walking or stretching is great way to start!
  6. Body Tapping! Your body is energy! If you’ve been sitting for a long time or when you first wake up you want to wake up your organs and get the blood and energy moving and release stagnant energy in your body.  This helps to release toxins as well.  First rub your hands together in quick motion creating energy or even clapping is great.  Start with your ankles and move all the way up the back of your legs, arms (each one), neck/sternum, chest, back and kidney area.  The whole idea is to move the energy in your meridian lines in your body and helps balance your chakras (your energetic/emotional body).
  7. Eat more vegetables! I don’t subscribe to one style of eating but everyone, everyone could benefit from eating more vegetables!  They are nutrient dense and help with so many ailments.  Please note eating cold salads everyday doesn’t necessarily mean that they are good for you if they cause bloat and gas.  This typically means that you may not be digesting them and cooking them would be ideal for you.
  8. Sleep! You should shoot for 7-9 hours of sleep a night.  For some that might seem like a dream but if you are not sleeping, your health will deteriorate in some form or another.  You need to restore and rejuvenate, to grow muscle, repair tissue, and synthesize hormones.  It all happens when we sleep.
  9. Dump the chemicals you are using in your home, on your skin and in your food!  Nowadays it is easy to find natural products in regular stores as well as online.  Chemicals disrupt hormones, cause cancer, breathing/lung issues, asthma, brain fog, ADD, ADHD, contributing to you not losing the weight you want to lose, inflammation, organs not working optimally…just to name a few!
  10. Prepare and plan!  Food, schedules, life needs to organized not wake up and figure it out in a scattered mindless way. You set your day up for failure that way.  Focus and allow yourself enough time to plan your week and day.  Everyone has a different system but find one that works for you.  If you are running late all the time for appointments, going through the drive through or just plain exhausted you need a better plan!  We all get 24 hours in a day – it is a choice on how we choose to use it ~ no excuses!
  11. Eat mindfully.  Sit down and really enjoy your food and praise it.  Take time to really appreciate it.  You might think this is something you can skip but digestion starts the minute you look at your food.  Digestive enzymes are start to churn in your mouth the minute you look at your plate!  Take time to chew your food that is half the battle of helping it to digest!
  12. Feed your mind with good thoughts!  Your beliefs DO rule your life.  It’s good practice to continue to feed your mind with positive thoughts several times a day if you tend to have negative self talk.  Just be aware of the thought and then send it on it’s way then replace it with something positive even if it’s not really true.  Believe first, then see!!! Not see and believe!
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Roasted Dandelion Root Latte

Roasted Dandelion Root is the perfect restorative tonic to support your liver and help get it in optimal functioning shape. The liver is so taxed from our everyday environment, household cleaning chemicals, poor diet, etc. Not only does the liver detoxify it also helps convert T4 (inactive thyroid hormone) to T3 (active thyroid hormone). If your thyroid is sluggish it’s something to consider cleaning up the function of your liver besides just looking at your thyroid for optimal functioning.  

Roasted Dandelion is bitter which is what the liver loves to help clean it up – bitter foods/herbs! Other plants/herbs that are bitter and helps support liver function are the dandelion greens itself, asparagus, arugula, kale, cilantro, parsley, milk thistle, to name a few.  Adding these foods to your diet will help support your liver.  

In this latte, I’ve used the dandelion root itself and turned it into a powder to make the latte.   Using roots keeps it fresher for long term storage vs. buying the powder.   You can also make dandelion tea by steeping the root.  It is actually a good replacement for coffee as well.  You can purchase dandelion root tea right at your local grocery store.  The roots and other herbs I buy from a reputable supplier such as Mountain Rose Herbs.

I hope you enjoy this healthy and detoxifying latte!!  

Let me know in the comments if you give it a try!

Roasted Dandelion Root Latte

Great detox tonic for your liver!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Organic Roasted Dandelion Root Powder
  • 1/2 cup full-fat organic coconut milk such as Native Forest Brand
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • dash of cinnamon sprinkle on top after blended

Instructions

  1. In your high speed blender (or regular blend) add ingredients and blend it all up until frothy.  Enjoy.  

Recipe Notes

I like to buy roasted dandelion root in its whole form and make powder in a high speed blender (you can use a spice grinder or nutribullet to do this as well) instead of purchasing it in powder form for optimal effectiveness as well as freshness.  Unless you plan on using the powder within a short time.  

 

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Simple Detox Salad

Good-bye summer!  Good bye beach, bbq’s, cookouts, parties and all the other fun and indulgences that go along with summer! Let’s embrace a new season and start with a fresh clean slate.  

I like to do that with letting my digestion rest so it can work at optimal levels and detox naturally – with food.  

It’s a good idea to cleanse your body at least two times per year. Even with eating a very clean diet our environment is filled with toxins all around us. In spring, our bodies naturally detox on its own more than any other season. I guess that’s why, as human beings, we also like to do spring cleaning in our homes to detoxify our environment! But after just a few extra indulgences during summer it can certainly send our bodies into a downward spiral. 

So, it’s the perfect time to get your bodies back into eating a bit more clean and healthy.  Just as we like to start things on Mondays, we also like to start new things when seasons change. We tend to get more organized, structured and in a routine as September rolls around.  Especially with the kids back in school. It also gets your mind, body and spirit in line with a healthier you before the holidays are upon us. This way you won’t want to over eat, drink or indulge in desserts that are loaded with refined sugar.  Imagine getting a head start on a healthier you finishing the year strong and going into 2018 with a healthier you!  

Start with this yummy detox salad!

Incorporating these types of food in your daily regimen helps your body naturally cleanse, rebuild, detoxify and thrive.  This specific salad is alkalizing and has ingredients that help your body naturally detox.  Here’s the low down on each ingredient:

Cabbage – It is an excellent source of vitamin K and C, along with being a good source of fiber, manganese, folate, vitamin B6 and potassium.  It is particularly noted for being a powerful cleanser of the GI tract and is anti-inflammatory.

Kale – is high in vitamin K,  A and vitamin c and also high in chlorophyll which is great for the cleansing the blood.  It’s also a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory as well.

Carrots – high in vitamin A (from beta-cartotene), C, B6, K and potassium.  Carrots also are rich in glutathione which helps detoxify the liver.  It’s an all around good cleanser and best to eat them raw in their natural state. 

Cilantro – is rich in flavonoids and and phytonutrients.  It also is loaded with vitamins A, C, E, K, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium.  It’s a natural detoxifier of heavy metals in your body. 

Lime – has so many cleansing and nutritional benefits!   It is loaded with vitamin C.  It also has calcium, iron, potassium, copper, magnesium and phosphorous.  Also the zest or peel is rich in phytochemicals. Limes help detoxify the liver.  Helps with weight loss, improves digestion, treatment of scurvy, piles, peptic ulcer, respiratory disorders, gout, gums, urinary disorders.

Ginger – is naturally anti-inflammatory, anti-septic and anti-carcinogenic.  Ginger helps calm the  digestive tract and intestines.

Garlic – has manganese and sulfur compounds and helps boost your immunity and support your liver.

Maple Syrup – has far more health benefits that you can imagine. Helps prevent anemia, aids in digestion, good for immunity, rich in antioxidants, helps balance blood sugar. 

This salad is loaded with healthy nutritional benefits that not only cleanse your body but nourish it as well.  

Add it to your meals this week and let me know how you like it in the comments below.

 

Simple Detox Salad

This simple detox salad is so crunchy and tasty you will be coming back for more.

Course Salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2
Author Stacey DiVerde

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 cup shredded organic green cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded organic red cabbage
  • 2 ea shredded organic carrots
  • 1 cup chopped organic kale
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Vinaigrette

  • 1 ea zest of 1 lime
  • 2 ea juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tsp real organic maple syrup
  • 1 clove grated garlic
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tbs organic extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Mix all the shredded salad ingredients together.  Add the vinaigrette and toss together, adjust seasonings to your liking.

Vinaigrette

  1. In a small bowl, zest one lime using a microplane.  Add juice of two limes.  Add garlic, ginger, maple syrup and evoo.  Whisk together and season with Himilayan pink salt to taste.

Recipe Notes

You can use a knife to thinly slice the cabbage or a mandolin.  Use a box grater to shred the carrots or use a knife to julienne cut them.  

Feel free to add some cumin to the dressing and top it with a sliced avocado & sprinkle with sesame or hemp seeds which I thought of after taking the picture!

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My Favorite Podcast – The Quote of the Day Show

This is my all time favorite podcast! 

Listening to this podcast every day is like a daily vitamin b-12 shot in personal development!

If you have not listened to the “Quote of the Day” show by Sean Croxton then you are missing out on a great start to your day! I highly, highly recommend it.

Sean chooses snips of well-known best-of-the-best speakers and prosperity teachers.   I first came across Sean Croxton years ago when he had a health/wellness radio show/podcast called Underground Wellness – which is awesome as well.  While he doesn’t actively produce anymore podcasts in that field, you can still listen to the over 450+ episodes he developed!  He is a value adding machine!  Love this guy!

It wasn’t until I started sharing “the quote of the day show” with my coaching clients that needed to shift their mind did I realize I was being selfish in keeping this gem to myself!

Let’s face it life comes at you at all angles. Keeping your thought life in check especially when running a business, raising kids, wife, activities, etc. could be challenging. Setting your day in the right direction starts with your mindset.  After meditation, this is the perfect podcast to start your day!

You don’t need to be in business to enjoy this podcast either. There are life lessons in every episode. If we just applied one thing each day imagine where life can take you. Imagine what people around you will gain from being around an infectious inspired person. What a gift to share with the world!

Many people are stuck in their own mind and don’t know how to break loose from it. They think that is just the way life is!  Wrong!  It’s a choice!

“Small shifts in your thinking, and small changes in your energy, can lead to massive alterations of your end result.” 

― Kevin Michel

You have to be resilient to win in the game of life!  

Go listen now!  And, please tell me in the comments which podcast you love!

You will not be disappointed! seancroxton.com/quoteoftheday  

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Mixed Berries with Sweet Cashew Cream

This has been my go-to breakfast lately!   Who knew breakfast could be so creamy but delicious, healthy and satisfying while being dairy-free!  I have been really enjoying this!  It all started when I was cleansing a few weeks ago and decided to have this over a smoothie.  Smoothies in the morning are great especially on the days I chef.  However, I become “smoothied-out” sometimes especially after years of drinking smoothies.   Plus there is something to be said about chewing your food.   Digestion starts in the mouth when you chew your food.  The enzymes amylase and lipase are released which starts the digestion process.  

When you are eating healthy you just feel better, think better, move better and your body runs better!   Try this delicious and satisfying breakfast it’s so light and refreshing as well as gluten-free and dairy-free!  Berries are packed with antioxidants and lower on the Glycemic Index!  Ideally fruit should be eaten alone so another plus to have this first thing in the morning.  

Mixed Berries with Sweet Cashew Cream
Serves 1
Light & refreshing!
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Prep Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2+ cups of berries (strawberries, black berries, blue berries)
  2. 1 ripe banana (divided)
  3. 1/2 cup raw cashews (soaked in hot water for 1/2 hour or more)
  4. 1/2 cup+ coconut milk or almond milk (no carrageenan) (add more depending on consistency)
  5. 1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
  6. handful slivered almonds
  7. chia seed (optional)
  8. cinnamon (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place mixed berries in a bowl and slice up 1/2 of banana. Blend the other 1/2 banana, coconut milk or almond milk, vanilla extract and cashews together until creamy smooth.
  2. Pour cream over fruit and top with slivered almonds. Add cinnamon and chia seeds if desired.
Stacey DiVerde http://staceydiverde.com/
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Cinnamon Pro’s & Con’s

Surprisingly, cinnamon is a lot more than just a spice you bake or cook with.  Although when you do, the aroma is quite warm and comforting, isn’t it?   It is considered a “warm” spice that can literally warm you up when you ingest it.  Not only do I love the aroma, I love the numerous health benefits it brings.  Cinnamon is considered an ancient superfood, has been prized for it’s medicinal properties and is one of the oldest known spices.  It has been used for thousands of years according to Ayurveda medicine (one of the world’s oldest holistic (“whole-body”) healing systems).  In Ayurveda medicine, it is considered a “fire” element due to its warming properties and may be used to stimulate and/or balance where appropriate. 

Quality Counts:

The type you use does make a difference!  After some research, Saigon cinnamon which I use has high levels of coumarin.  Coumarin is actually toxic to your liver when consumed in high amounts.  Yikes!  Ceylon cinnamon has low levels of coumarin and is the one to use!  Ceylon is the best/true source of cinnamon.  Mexico is the biggest importer of Ceylon cinnamon but is native to Sri Lanka (90%), India, Madagascar, Brazil and the Caribbean.  Saigon cinnamon comes from Vietnam and is a bit more spicy than Ceylon which is mild and sweet.  The most common here in U.S is Cassia cinnamon which also has high levels of coumarin.  If you are using cinnamon to boost your health or even using it in baking be sure to check which type you are using.  I know I’m now switching over to Ceylon cinnamon pronto! 

How it’s Made:

Cinnamon is made by cutting the stems of the cinnamomum tree. The inner bark is then extracted and the woody parts removed from it. When it dries, it forms strips that curl into rolls, called cinnamon sticks. The sticks can be ground to form cinnamon powder.

The distinct smell and flavor of cinnamon is due to the oily part, which is very high in a compound called cinnamaldehyde (2).  Cinnamonaldehyde, an essential oil within the bark, is what gives cinnamon its unique aroma and flavor.  Cinnamaldehyde is also an effective insecticide.

Benefits:

It’s commonly used for matters of the immune system, and to help the body fight off bacteria or viruses that is constantly in our environment.  Naturally has antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties!   The oil can also be useful for cleaning, air quality, and mood support believe it or not.   Studies show that it supports blood sugar balance along with proper diet.  You can use cinnamon as a powder, cinnamon sticks or an essential oil.  One or two drops is more than enough as it’s very potent. 

Cinnamon is loaded with powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols.  Polyphenols are phytochemicals, meaning compounds found abundantly in natural plant food sources that have antioxidant properties.  Polyphenols play an important role in maintaining your health and wellness.

It is this compound that is responsible for most of cinnamon’s powerful effects on health and wellness.

How to use doTERRA Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil:

  • During your nightly routine, add one drop of Cinnamon to two ounces of water and gargle for an effective mouth rinse
  • Place two to three drops in a spray bottle with water for a quick and effective cleaning spray
  • During the winter months, dilute Cinnamon with Fractionated Coconut Oil and create a warming massage for cold, achy joints
  • Place two to three drops in a doTERRA Veggie Cap to maintain a healthy immune system*
  • Place one drop of Cinnamon essential oil in hot water or tea and drink slowly to soothe your throat*
  • Add to your favorite recipes in place of ground cinnamon for a delightfully spicy flavor
  • Supports healthy metabolic function*
  • Naturally repels insects
  • May promote healthy circulatory function

Risks of Using Cinnamon

While cinnamon can support your health, too much is not good. Ingesting high levels of coumarin (a natural chemical) found in Cassia & Saigon cinnamon can cause toxicity to your liver. Ingesting high amounts of dry cinnamon powder is dangerous! Not too long ago, teenagers were trying to do the “cinnamon challenge” from ingesting dry cinnamon powder. It caused numerous hospitalizations across the country as well as some deaths due to lung complications!  

If you are taking statin drugs which also has side affects of liver damage, you should be careful, as well as anyone taking blood thinners.  Always check with your doctor for any medications you are currently taking that may have complications with any supplements, herbs or anything else you might be taking. According to drugs.com, adverse reactions to cinnamon have not been reported in doses up to 6 grams daily.

The Take Home Message:

Cinnamon is delicious and one of the healthiest spices on the planet!   It has impressive health benefits ~ just be sure to get Ceylon cinnamon and/or use a pure essential oil such as doTERRA Cinnamon Bark essential oil.  doTERRA essential oils are pure and are natively sourced which is extremely important.  Plus there are no synthetic additives.  

As always, quality counts in food and supplements! 

 
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
 
 
Sources for this article:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23297571
 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22518078
 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22518078
 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25331834
 
https://www.drugs.com/npc/cinnamon.html
 
http://www.rxlist.com/cassia_cinnamon-page3/supplements.htm

 

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Chronic Inflammation – “The Silent Killer”

10 Common Symptoms that may be Related to Silent/Chronic inflammation

  1. acne
  2. allergies
  3. acid reflux
  4. asthma
  5. obesity
  6. depression
  7. joint pain
  8. eczema/psoarsis
  9. high blood pressure
  10. colitis 

Often chronic inflammation is referred to as “the silent killer”.  It sounds dramatic but it’s the cause of many chronic and/or debilitating diseases such as autoimmune, heart disease and  cancer to name a few.   It’s quite different than acute inflammation (ie. abscess) where your body’s immune activity is aggressive but short term.  In the case of an abscess, an infectious organism or foreign material may cause an inflammatory response in the body, which triggers the body’s immune system to form a capsule to contain the infection and prevent it from spreading to other parts of the body.  Chronic inflammation happens over time and you may not notice it until a symptom that you think is totally unrelated pops up.  Something such as a migraine headache from time to time or high cholesterol levels and even weight gain.  Your immune systems top priority is to defend against outside threats and keep you balanced.  Chronic inflammation is a continued response and there is no resting because it’s job is never done like an acute response.  Chronic inflammation processes can be the bronchial wall in chronic bronchitis/asthma or the debilitating destruction of the joints associated with rheumatoid arthritis. 

Chronic disease is a serious problem here in the United States.  The Center for Disease Control reports that nearly half the population in the United States of America lives with at least one chronic disease.  The pharmaceutical industry is a billion dollar business in the U.S. alone and it’s only growing.  To matters worse, a lot of the side affects from prescription drugs cause more illnesses especially statin drugs or medications for acid reflux.  All those illnesses that end with “itis” are all related to chronic inflammation.  

It has become a serious problem and is only going to get worse unless we take control of our health.  The very food you are eating could be making it worse as well as the right food can make you feel better.  Which is why bio-individuality is so very important.  What’s good for one might be bad for another person. Good nutrition can make all the difference in getting you there. Getting healthy takes time and patience is a virtue ~ you didn’t get sick overnight and it may take a while to regain your health depending on the cause.   There is no magic pill or potion that is going to make it all disappear so why use a band-aid approach to cover symptoms.  

Research shows it’s preventable so eating an anti-inflammatory diet is a start in the right direction!   You need to turn off the inflammatory response!  A lot of these diseases are thought to be normal as we age.  There is nothing normal about joint pain.  Yes, if you are sedentary for most of your life you might expect to be stiff but it’s never too late to add movement to your life.  Yoga is an excellent practice to add to your life at any stage.  The benefits of yoga go far beyond the exercise.  It’s a mind, body and spiritual practice that can also bring lots of peace to your life. Stress itself is another issue that adds to inflammation in your body.  The list goes on and on.  Let’s take control of our health, you know your body better than anyone else.  Listen to it!  

Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or contact me directly.  And, of course never discontinue a medication unless consulting your physician or medical provider.

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Intentions vs. Resolutions For 2017

I can’t believe 2016 is coming to a close in just a few days!  It’s one of my favorite times of the year!  You get to reset no matter what the past year has been like ~ of course you can do that every day but there is something special about the beginning of a brand new year!  Unfortunately, we sometimes set unrealistic goals that we never achieve!  Research shows that resolutions last but a mere few weeks.  Before you know it they all have fallen off the wayside by the second week of February if they even lasted that long.  Mostly because we start obsessing over things we can’t have, shouldn’t do, or mustn’t think about.  It’s just natural for our minds to start seeing these things as desirable. 

For the last few years, I make it a practice which intertwines both personally and professionally to make an intention list of what I want my year to be look like!  An intention is much more well… intended and in alignment with the result you are looking to achieve.  It works toward progress of achieving it instead of perfection and be let down.  Rather than drastically giving up something (unless it totally does not serve well in your life ~ ie. alcohol and sugar), try working on what would be good for me “today” and serves me well.  Possibly going for a walk just to get moving if you barely stepped foot in the gym would work better than signing up for a membership than barely getting there!   When you have big goals most times overwhelm sets in and you don’t know what to do first as well as make unrealistic ones that are hard to stick to.  Keep the intention list with you!  Keep it on your desk, fridge or wherever you will see it often – make multiple copies.  I also love to create vision boards ~ they are a great tool that keeps you focused and inspired.  Setting an intention should be attainable and something that is within your control.  For example, if health and wellbeing is on the top of your list possibly spending some alone time before your day starts.  Write in a journal or even a brain dump that you can write on a piece of paper that just gets things off your mind so you are more clear (you can even throw it away).   Meditating each morning is another great way to start your day while keeping your intentions in hand.  It tells the universe that you are looking for ways to attain them.  Mediation is a powerful tool don’t discount it!  It can help center yourself and worry less!  My list looks like above and doesn’t include drastic unrealistic ones that I know will never happen and just on a wish list!

So here’s to a fantastic 2017!!! May it bring you loads of success, joy, health & peace!  I’m really looking forward to making great things happen in 2017!! 

Please leave a comment below and tell me about how are you going to make 2017 your best year yet!