holistic health – mind. body. soul.

This delicious asparagus salad was on my clients menu today and it’s one that they often request so I snapped a quick picture.  When I prepare food for clients I have to think of how this will hold up so I don’t mix in the feta as I would normally serve this so that is why there is big blob of feta just sitting there and not all dispersed pretty – like I said I just snapped a quick picture!  But I wanted to share this since asparagus is in season right now!  Besides the health benefits of asparagus, eating seasonally has many benefits. Here are a few:

  • Save money on food
  • Peak supply and cost less to farmers for distribution
  • Best tasting, healthiest food available
  • Food is more local since it’s in season

Also, your body actually has seasons just like the planet does. Do you ever notice how you want to eat lighter come spring time? It’s because our bodies are ready to shed the winter stagnation in our bodies and it naturally cleanses which is why we crave lighter foods.  Same when fall comes around it’s just natural that we reap our harvest from spring and eat more grounding foods such as carrots, squashes, potatoes, etc.  Your own life has seasons as well which is a good thing especially if you are going through a difficult time.    Ebb and flow of life ~ it’s normal for people to perk up a bit in spring, have a bit of fire in the summer and tend to close down in the fall and winter and can easily be more melancholy!

But lets stick to asparagus for now and enjoy all that it has to offer. Praise it for it’s beautiful green color and all the vitamins that it nourishes our body with.

 

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.html

This is an issue near and dear to my heart!  When I was 19 years old, I was diagnosed with Graves disease. Graves disease is an autoimmune disease that causes your thyroid to produce too much thyroid hormone causing hyperthyroidism. I spent months not knowing what was wrong with me before finally going to the doctor as my symptoms got worse.  Even though I was super-hyper I also had extreme exhaustion all in the same day not to mention all the other symptoms that come along with Graves. Although Graves disease dates back to the 1800’s, I don’t remember not one doctor explaining to me that this is an autoimmune disorder.   Frankly in the 80’s doctors believed there is not much you can do about an autoimmune disorder and even now 30 years later there is this very same misconception. Honestly, I found that out through my own research when I started studying health and nutrition many years later that Graves disease was an autoimmune disorder. Not having a thyroid now has honestly made complications with weight management as well as just regulating the amount of thyroid hormone I need to take to keep everything else in check in my body.  This makes me very frustrated because I could have possibly avoided having my entire thyroid removed.

According to Dr. Mercola, your thyroid is responsible for producing metabolism hormones that control every function in your body.  When your thyroid levels are out of balance, so are you. Too much or too little hormone secretion in this gland can wreak havoc for your overall health.  Hormones secreted by your thyroid interact with all your other hormones, including insulin, cortisol, and sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. The fact that these hormones are all tied together and are in constant communication explains why a less-than-optimal thyroid status is associated with so many widespread symptoms and diseases.

Yet so many people are living with thyroid symptoms and not even know it.  Or, have just settled on taking synthetic hormones to try to help regulate your thyroid but yet still suffering.  Synthyroid  was one of the top selling drugs in this country for the last several years.  Crazy!  It’s why I went in the health & wellness field in the first place so I can help people heal naturally.  Unfortunately, for me it’s a bit too late to change my thyroid condition but it may not be for you.  Did you know that eating gluten is the one of the worst things you can eat if you have a thyroid condition?  Did you know that eating iodine rich foods such as sea vegetables can help nourish your thyroid.  Of course, this is not the only thing but don’t be fooled into thinking there is nothing you can do to help nourish and regulate your thyroid.

The truth is approximately 30% of the population will get a thyroid related condition in their lifetimes.  It’s slightly higher if you’re a woman. And 60% of those people, who will have thyroid disease…

They won’t ever know what’s making them so sick.

Thyroid disease and it’s many different types and conditions is far, far more common than you might think – and it’s one of the most often misdiagnosed medical conditions on the planet. Furthermore, the treatments offered by conventional medicine are seriously lacking, but there are solutions that no one really knows about- I want to change that.

Even if you’ve never even considered the idea that you might have a thyroid problem, I urge you to take a minute and watch the trailer to an explosive new documentary.  It was created by Dr. Izabella Wentz, a pharmacist who was diagnosed with thyroid disease and wouldn’t accept a lifetime of suffering.  She has put together an amazing documentary and it’s called The Thyroid Secret and the World Premier will be released on March 1st – Absolutely FREE for everyone to watch online!

Watch the trailer now and reserve your spot for the main event!   Dr. Wentz has also put together an online quiz if you are interested in finding out if any of your symptoms might be related to your thyroid.

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.

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… intendedand 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!

’Tis the season where we are overloaded with goodies and/or alcoholic beverages.  It happens to everyone, we fall off of our healthy living habits and we over indulge more than we should or care to think about.  It starts at Thanksgiving and continues though the holiday season leaving us to forget about our health for the time being as well as all the other gatherings throughout the year.  It’s not until we start to feel fatigued, our pants a little more snug and/or brain fog sets in that we realize we are out of balance.  With so much misinformation coming at us from every angle it’s hard to figure what’s what in health and our food! 

I do believe there is a difference!  A detox is just that ridding your body of toxins.  Most likely starting from the very environment we live in.  It’s almost impossible to avoid all chemicals – its in the air we breathe.  But top that with chemicals in our food as well as heavy metals, smoking, cleaning products, makeup, hair and poor skincare products and your body gets overloaded and weighed down and just doesn’t work properly.  Sometimes a good detox in supporting specific organs is in order to help you bring your body back to it’s natural balance.

A cleanse on the other hand helps clear out your digestive system and enhances your bodies natural detoxification system.  It helps rid your body of toxic matter that is clogging your digestive system.  With so many people using them interchangeably it’s hard to decipher which one is for you and I think that’s a personal choice depending on how you are feeling.  Believe or not our bodies are meant to cleanse themselves naturally aka the skin, liver, kidneys and colon not to mention our entire lymphatic system.  Given the right foods they can work beautifully together.  Keeping them healthy and clean is key to keeping them working well.  I don’t believe you should be sitting on a toilet and afraid to leave the house!  I recommend using food as a natural detoxification even if you are “cleansing/detoxing.”  Although some good supplements or herbal teas help the detoxification process move along.  One thing you have to remember is detoxing and cleansing may have ill effects on you the first few days if you were eating poorly prior to it.  It’s important to keep that in mind and also to prepare yourself prior to do doing a cleanse so the body is eased into it.  It would be a good idea for instance to slowly take caffeine out of your diet starting several days before you start your cleanse so you don’t get that dreaded “caffeine headache”. 

Here are some signs of that your body is in need of a cleanse or detox:

  • fatigue
  • stressed
  • anxiety
  • acne
  • not losing weight when you are doing your best
  • headaches
  • allergies and/or food sensitivities
  • joint pain
  • mood swings

I hope that helps in some way but either way just ridding your body of the junk one to two times a year is a good idea!  It’s almost inevitable even if you are eating well, and not using toxic chemicals our bodies get clogged up.  They need to reboot and take a break from working so hard to keep us healthy which is truthfully it’s only goal.