5 Root Causes of Autoimmunity
Did you know there are 70-80 million people in the U.S. alone that are suffering with an autoimmune disease and up to 150 million people worldwide? These numbers have increased threefold over the last 50 years and are continuing to rise.
What is Autoimmunity?
Autoimmune disease is a whole spectrum of illnesses that all have common root causes, even when they show up in different parts of the body. The commonality among these illnesses is that the body is attacking its own tissues. This can happen when our immune system no longer recognizes our own cells as safe, it identifies them as harmful intruders and launches an attack against them. There are many things that can change the shape and appearance of your cells which is what's at the root cause of these chronic illnesses.
The traditional western medicine approach to these illnesses to prescribe steroids and other immunosuppressant drugs to reduce the immune system's response. They are focused on "diagnosing" your illness and then "treating" you with pharmaceuticals to reduce symptoms. These drugs to do not to anything to cure or reverse your illness or help you heal, they are simply "masking" the symptoms of your illness at best. And they come with horrible side affects like a insomnia, depression, and immune deficiency making you more likely to get infections that will only make you sicker.
As someone who was diagnosed with 3 different autoimmune conditions by 3 different specialists, I understand just how frustrating and hopeless it is be given a diagnosis(s) without any answers as to the known cause. That's why I became a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner so that I could figure out my own answers, reverse my illness, and help others do the same.
In Functional Medicine, our approach is to ask the questions, "why are you sick?", "why did you develop this set of symptoms or this illness?", "what is at the root cause of this illness?". What we find when we ask these questions is that regardless of the type of symptoms that are being expressed or the type of autoimmune disease that has been diagnosed, there are common things that we find at the root cause of every autoimmune condition.
5 Root Causes of Autoimmunity:
The good news is that once you know the underlying cause(s) of your condition, you can truly support your immune's system ability to heal itself. In my practice I use special functional lab work to identify what's at the root cause of your autoimmune condition and then design a personalized dietary, nutrient replenishment, and lifestyle protocol to help lower inflammation and slow or reverse autoimmunity.
So if you are sick of being sick and tired of not having answers as to the development of your condition, check out my approach and read about what it's like to work with me,. If you like what you see, consider a 15 minute free consultation to learn how to identify the underlying causes of your autoimmune condition and get rid of chronic symptoms that dominate your daily life!
Estrogen Dominance: Signs of this Common Hormonal Imbalance & How to Correct It
This common hormonal imbalance affects both women and men and can leave you feeling blue, overweight, and unable to sleep. Estrogen dominance occurs when estrogen levels are too high relative to other hormones, especially progesterone. This can occur in the presence of excess estrogen or when there are deficient progesterone levels to counterbalance estrogen.
These two hormones need the presence of each other in order to correctly perform their individual roles and act like a system of checks and balances to one and another. In general progesterone calms the effects of estrogen and keeps it in check. But when their delicate balance becomes skewed, estrogen can overstimulate the brain and body and you can experience a wide variety of mild to serious symptoms including...
Signs of Estrogen Dominance:
Causes of Estrogen Dominance:
Conventional medicine uses a narrow minded approach to correct estrogen dominance, typically using Hormone Replacement Therapy, birth control, or IUD's to tame estrogen levels. The problem with this approach is that it only treats the test results - low or imbalanced hormones, by replacing them. BUT it doesn't actually address the causes of estrogen dominance at all! Particularly if the person cannot metabolize excess estrogens, this type of treatment approach is like adding fuel to the fire.
I was someone who experienced this personally - I spent my teens in and out of several endocrinologists and gynecologists office suffering from endometriosis, PCOS, depression and difficulty losing weight. And then spent my twenties in fertility clinics trying without success to get pregnant. Now that I understand what was really going on with my body chemistry and metabolism at that time, I also understand why none of the hormone replacement or fertility treatments were effective. My body was suffering from a chronic illness that was taxing my adrenals and throwing my metabolism out of balance, leaving my progesterone levels significantly depleted. Plus my liver detoxification pathways were overloaded because of my hidden, chronic infections and I was not metabolizing all the excess estrogens I was being exposed to in my diet and lifestyle. Using the hormone shots and tablets never worked because they just made the imbalances worse! (Wish I could have discovered this information 8 years, 4 doctors, and thousands of dollars ago!!)
It wasn't until I got off the synthetic hormones, addressed my chronic candida infection, and made big changes in my diet and lifestyle that I started to lose the extra 20 pounds I had carried my whole life. And after being diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease and early onset menopause in 2013, I've made it my personal mission to become an expert on balancing hormones naturally and I practice what I preach everyday!
As a Functional Nutritionist, my goal is to help my clients identify the specific metabolic and chemical imbalances that are unique to them using functional nutrition labs. This allows me to develop a customized diet and lifestyle protocol to correct their specific imbalances and help them meet their health goals. Here are some of my basic tips to correct estrogen dominance naturally...
How to Correct Estrogen Dominance:
If this blog has resonated with you, I offer a FREE 20-MINUTE PHONE CONSULTATION, where I will review your health history and give you some recommendations on how to balance your hormones naturally. You can also learn more about how you can work with me by viewing our programs page.
DISCLAIMER: MEAL PLANS FOR HEALTH DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Meal Plans for Health is designed and intended for educational and informational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.
12 Ways to Relieve Constipation
As much as 1/3 of the U.S. population suffers from chronic constipation, or the inability to have at least one bowel movement everyday. Do you eliminate everyday or 5-6 days a week at the very least? If you answered, "No" to this question, you are gonna want to continue reading.
Warning...personal disclosure ahead...I've suffered from chronic constipation my entire life. I constantly felt bloated and had a painful, swollen belly almost everyday. I remember suffering through classes, meetings, flights, exercise and sporting events, and even social engagements with horrible stomach pain dying for the moment I could go home, get in my p.j's and curl up in the fetal position in bed! Constipation prevented me from feeling good about my body, prevented me from losing weight, and left me feeling constantly tired, sluggish, and depressed. Can you relate?
I worked with and was evaluated by several doctors over several years including a gastroenterologist, endocrinologist, gynocologist, and an internal medicine doctor. I was given an IBS diagnosis and was told it was likely I would have this problem most of my life and that laxatives, fiber in the form of Metamucil, and pharmaceutical medications were my best "treatment" options. I used some of these remedies on and off for several years but was never able to overcome my constipation.
Around the time I turned 30 I decided to do a 30 day detox with a friend which required eating only whole, unprocessed foods and juicing daily. I noticed that after a couple weeks on this diet, I had not only dropped 10 pounds but was also FINALLY eliminating EVERYDAY! By the end of the 30 days, I had said goodbye to chronic constipation, bloating, pain, and embarrassment and was determined to stick to a whole-foods based, anti-inflammatory diet.
I was so inspired by my experience that a couple years later I changed my career, went to back to school, and become a Functional Nutrition Health Coach so that I could help others rid themselves of this and other chronic symptoms that keep them from enjoying their daily life. You don't have to live with constipation and you don't have to take pharmaceutical medications or daily Metamucil to have regular bowel movements! Check out this week's What's That?! Wednesday post where I share my top tips and home remedies for relieving chronic constipation.
12 Tips for Relieving Constipation:
What other home remedies work for you? I'd love to hear your constipation remedies as well as any questions or feedback below. Thanks for tuning in and catch ya next week friends!
DISCLAIMER: Please be sure to inquire about all nutritional supplements and home remedies with your physician or healthcare practitioner to make certain there are no contraindications with medications, etc. The information shared here should not be seen as medical or nursing advice and is certainly not meant to take the place of your doctor's recommendations. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please check with your doctor before adjusting any of your medications or supplements. DO NOT do enemas or castor oil packs if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Always consult with your physician before making any changes.
I've shared some of my personal health battle against Late Stage Chronic Lyme Disease on and off on this blog. And since May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, you will be hearing a bit more about my journey and how I'm slowly healing from this devastating illness. Along the way, I hope to provide some insight into some of the daily at home, self-care, and detoxification remedies that I use to keep myself healing physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
I strongly believe that you cannot heal from this disease or any chronic illness with just medications alone. You've got to dig down deep, make some sacrifices, implement changes, and make commitments to yourself to really heal from chronic illness. When your body has been chronically ill, it is toxic and supporting your body to appropriately eradicate those toxins is a must do or you simply will not get well.
While your doctor or other practitioners may suggest or prescribe medications, supplements, or herbal remedies that will be helpful in this area - this is simply not enough for someone who has been ill for a very long time. This is where the expert help ends and you are the one with the responsibility to treat and support your body in a healing way. It's a choice you have to make everyday.
But...a daily practice of detoxification and relaxation strategies can very hard for someone who is ill to implement. I totally get it! This is a learned practice, especially for those who are used to putting others needs before their own. I have to continually motivate myself and "keep myself in check" to stay on track and make sure I have dedicated the time to focus on my self care.
One way I do this is by making my daily self care strategies my first priority. For example, I often start my day with some yoga stretches, followed by doing a castor oil pack while listening to a guided meditation. I also block off time to take a detox bath about 5-7 days a week in the afternoon or early evening to help my body unwind from my day. I usually incorporate my EFT and positive affirmations during bath time as well. Yes, I'm still a "multi-tasker" at heart:)
Then some days I will also do a coffee enema or an ionic foot bath. These are my weekly self-care rituals I try to stick to...am I perfect? Absolutely not! But if I miss a day or don't do all of it one day I try not to beat myself up. Tomorrow is a new day to chose healing, choose positivity, and choose putting myself first! The longer I've been dedicated to these types of practices, the easier they are and the more I look forward to doing them rather than having to make myself do them. This has taken me almost 3 years to slowly incorporate these practices regularly, but if I can do it, so can you!
Last week, I shared my 10 Self-Care Practices to Promote Healing & Relaxation and this week's post is dedicated to one of the at home detoxification practices I use weekly: enemas!
To be very honest, getting started with this practice was very hard for me - doing ENEMAS, sounded a bit scary and overwhelming to me. This may be something many of you are thinking right now as well! But I did it and cannot say enough how much this practice has helped me to decrease my toxic load and reduce my die-off symptoms and flares from treatment. Big shout out to my fellow Lyme warrior's and friends - Christie & Shelly for inspiring me to start these about a year ago! Love you ladies! So....in this week's What's That?! Wednesday post, I share my top three favorite home enema remedies, the benefits of each and how to do them! Check it out...
First, Here is What You Will Need to Do an Enema at Home:
3 Types of Enemas to Boost Detoxification & Improve Gut Health:
How to do an Enema:
Each time you do these they will get easier and easier and you will feel better and better. Remember, you are the one that gets to make the choice everyday to support your body to heal or prevent your body from healing. Choose yourself, choose positivity, choose healing!
Are enemas something you do regularly? What benefits have you seen? What types are your favorite? I'd love to hear your experiences and stories in the comments below! Happy healing friends!
DISCLAIMER: Please be sure to inquire about all home remedies including enemas with your physician or healthcare practitioner to make certain there are no contraindications for you. The information shared here should not be seen as medical or nursing advice and is certainly not meant to take the place of your doctor's recommendations. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, I highly advise not doing enemas of any kind. Always consult with your physician before making any changes.
Are you someone that forgets to take care of yourself? Is your life in constant "go-mode"? Are you suffering from a chronic illness or chronic stress? Most of us these days have busy, go-go lifestyles and we tend to save self care for very last on our "to-do" lists. I get it! Your busy and you don't think you have time to take care of yourself.
In fact, I used to be the same exact way, until that lifestyle caught up with me and then I slowly became sicker and sicker and about 4 years ago I was finally forced to resign from my job at the time. I had built my life around my work, my work schedule which included frequent travel, and the unreasonably high expectations I had set for myself in terms of life and career goals. I was at my computer very early every morning and sometimes late into the evening.
I was also very much a "people pleaser" and when I wasn't working, I would devote my energy to attending social events, hosting dinner parties, helping friends or family, and I even took on a second job. I was always running late or behind on everything I did because I ALWAYS over-committed myself. Sound familiar?!
BUT....I had a high tolerance for the pain and fatigue that I felt everyday and was driven to "power through" and "meet my life goals". I rarely had any downtime or quiet-time and if I did, I would sleep since my body was desperately screaming "REST WOMAN". I got sick easily and much more often than any of my friends in their early 30's.
Then about 6 years ago my lifetime of mild depression turned into severe depression, I suddenly had high anxiety about the smallest of things, and I noticed that my brain just wasn't able to focus and process things like it used to. I realized I couldn't do basic math in my head or remember my phone number any longer. I even got lost driving home from the grocery store one day in my own neighborhood!
I worked from home so in terms of flexibility, I had a lot, but it wasn't enough and my boss at the time urged me to take some time off for myself and figure out why I was sick and couldn't get well. At this point, I was in so much pain and so run down that could barley even walk around my house. My very stubborn self finally gave in and realized that my boss my indeed right - thank you Regi! I needed to take some time for MYSELF and figure out how to get well again!
About 6 months after I left work I was finally correctly diagnosed with the disease that had been plaguing me for the last 20 years - Late Stage Chronic Lyme Disease. I was also diagnosed with an "army" of other pathogens that had made their home in my body besides the Lyme. I was so sick I didn't leave my bed or couch most days and found it difficult to do basic things like take a shower. I was completely non-functional physically, mentally, and emotionally!
I often see this same commonality among those who are chronically ill, like my fellow Lyme Disease warriors. We are those who give the most to others and save no time or energy for ourselves. But if you don't slow down, self-access, re-prioritize, and make time for self-care, it won't be long before the constant stress continues to deplete your health and symptoms start to appear. Symptoms like insomnia, fatigue, pain, depression, and anxiety are all small "signs from our body" that something is out of balance or not working optimally. I IGNORED the signs and "powered through".
Don't be like me! Don't wait until you have a chronic, deadly illness to make time for self care in your life - trust me- not a fun way to go! These days my everyday life revolves around my self-care, it comes FIRST! I COME FIRST! Treatment for Lyme Disease the last 3 years has been very rigorous and the self-care portion is just as important, or MORE IMPORTANT, than the medications that I use to treat my illness. When I don't focus on self care, I find that treatment is more difficult, I don't make much progress, and my symptoms escalate quickly!
The truth is that our bodies need time to heal and rest EVERYDAY no matter if you are sick or not. And it's YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, not your doctor's, to make self-care a priority in your life. You are in charge of whether or not your body, mind, and spirit are in a "healing place" or a place or stress, pain, and fatigue!
So what do I mean by self-care? Focusing on self care means implementing small habits into your life EVERYDAY to give yourself the attention and care you need in order to lead a truly healthy and balanced life physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
The self-care practices below are simple to implement into your life and don't require a lot of time or money. Start by picking 1-2 things on this list and make them a priority in your day, EVERYDAY. Block off self-care time on your schedule if you have to - seriously!! Repeating these practices everyday will slowly make them habits in your life and that's when change, wellness, and more balance and peace starts to happen friends!
Even though everyday is still an uphill battle for me and treatment is very difficult, I have a much more balanced, present, and healthy mind and spirit than I ever have. I've found my place in the world and have purpose, reason, and hope to continue to fight my illness with courage everyday and make my life my own! I did this by focusing on self care and you can to. Check out this week's What's That?! Wednesday post below...
10 Self-Care Practices that Promote Healing & Relaxation:
Because I center my energy around self care first and my passions second, I'm leading a much more fulfilling present life than I was before and I'm helping others do the same which brings me enormous joy and motivates me to continue to focus on my own healing as well!
I hope you've found this long (sorry) blog helpful:) What are your daily self-care practices? I'd love to hear your feedback!
Are you suffering from stubborn health problems that won't go away no matter what you try? Things like constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, migraine headaches, chronic joint pain, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, inability to lose weight, eczema or skin rashes, or chronic brain fog are some of the most common symptoms related to specific immune reactions to the foods we eat.
In fact, the evidence continues to grow that sensitivities to food are what's behind many of our ongoing health problems. Experts believe that as many as 50% of us may be experiencing adverse symptoms that can make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight and may keep us from reaching our health and wellness goals. In this week's edition of What's That Wednesday?! we will talk about the most common symptoms and give you some action steps to find out if food sensitivities are affecting your health.
Food Allergies vs. Food Sensitivities:
It's common to use the words allergy and sensitivity interchangeably, but its important to understand that they mean slightly different things. A food allergy is FIXED and when triggered causes an immediate immune response; release of antibodies into the bloodstream to combat inflammation and potential organ dysfunction. Once you have a food allergy, for example to shellfish or nuts, you are generally allergic forever and must completely avoid that food.
A food sensitivity is VARIABLE, meaning that the immune response might be slower and more subtle and your symptoms may change or shift overtime. Food sensitivity reactions can be delayed for hours or even days after ingestion. And often, food sensitives are dose related. This means that a small amount of a certain food may not cause noticeable symptoms, but a larger amount does. This makes them a little harder to understand and identify.
Testing for Food Sensitivities:
The truth is that many MD's do not recognize food sensitivities because standard food allergy testing may not be precise enough to detect low levels of food substances that could cause symptoms. For example, an allergist will give you an ELISA IgG blood test, but often times these result in a false negative because this test only detects one type of food reaction, type 3, which only covers about 25% of all food sensitivity reactions.
For my clients, I recommend and order a MRT (Mediator Release Test) Food Sensitivity Test since this test has been shown to be the most comprehensive on the market because it is able to test for the one thing that all food sensitivities have in common - an inflammatory reaction! All diet-induced inflammatory reactions release proinflammatory and proalgesic "mediators" from white blood cells. "Mediators" include cytokines, histamine, leukotrienes, prostaglandins, etc., from neutrophils, monocytes, eosinophils, and lymphocytes that lead to all the negative clinical effects a food sensitivity sufferer endures. The MRT test measures these "mediators" or inflammatory responses to 150 different foods and food chemicals and gives you a list of RED (avoid), YELLOW (eat in small amounts), and GREEN (non-reactive foods that are safest and best). This test is a very effective tool and I consistently see significant clinical improvement in my clients by implementing a diet based on the MRT results. If you'd like to understand if the MRT test is right for you or if you are interested in having an MRT test ordered for you, I offer a free 15 minute phone consultation. Just contact me to set up a time - I'd be honored to speak with you!
Top 5 Most Common Food Sensitivities:
Other common foods that cause sensitives include: eggs, citrus, beans, nuts, yeast, fish/shellfish, and nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers).
Most Common Food Sensitivity Symptoms:
If you have any of these symptoms on a regular basis - daily or even weekly, your body is telling you that something or somethings are out of balance. And it could be as easy as changing some of the food you eat! Foods that our body is sensitive can initiate an immune response reaction that can lead to certain hormones like insulin and cortisol to be released in larger than desired amounts- these are both "fat storage hormones" and will signal your body to store fat in those hard to get rid of places like your belly, hips. thighs and the back of the arms.
Properly identifying and removing foods that you are sensitive to can make a HUGE difference in your quality of life - and this is something I can attest to personally. A few years ago, after going through an elimination diet myself, I learned that I in fact had sensitives to gluten, dairy, citric acid, yeast, and nightshade vegetables. When I eliminated these from my diet, I dropped the 15 extra pounds I'd been carrying around all my life and could never get rid of, saw my lifelong IBS symptoms completely disappear, my energy increase, and my menstrual cycle completely balance out.
Then earlier this year, I suddenly had some rashes appearing regularly on my torso , so I decided to do another MRT test to learn what may be affecting me in addition to the sensitives I had already cut out. After adjusting my diet to incorporate the tests results, my rashes cleared within a couple weeks. This was a reminder to me that food sensitivities can change over time, especially for those who are chronically ill with infection or autoimmune conditions.
So what are you waiting for?! Follow these simple steps below to find out if food sensitivities are derailing your health goals.
Steps to Take For Finding Food Sensitivities:
Once you've identified the foods that make your body feel sick, you can get rid of them from your diet permanently and enjoy a healthier you without the extra chronic symptoms of pain, fatigue, and digestive distress! If you find that you have many foods you are sensitive to or if this process seems overwhelming to do on your own - we've got your back! Our nutritional coaching services provide expertise, support, and most importantly, DELICIOUS and EASY RECIPES, as you go through the elimination diet. Our goal is to help you feel satisfied and not deprived and make the process as successful and seamless as possible. Please let us know if we can be of any help to you.
In good health,
~Billie & Jennifer
Simple Detox Salad
This is a great, nutrient dense, "base salad" recipe that I use often. It's ingredients will help cleanse your gut and support your body’s detox pathways while keep you feeling full and satisfied! You will also get a nice boost of healthy fats from the avocado, olive oil, and sunflower seeds. Great on its own as a side salad or add almost any choice of clean protein on top for an entree salad. I like grilled or sauteed organic chicken breast, wild caught salmon, or boiled wild caught shrimp.
This salad is one of over 30 delicious, whole food recipes we have in our new 10 Day Sugar Detox eBook. Boost your nutrition, increase your metabolism, and burn fat with this simple 10-day eating plan. This ebook also has two weeks of meal plans with "make-ahead" preparation tips and grocery shopping lists to save you time!
Simple Detox Salad (PRINT RECIPE):
4 cups baby arugula
3 cups light greens (butter lettuce, romaine, etc), chopped
1-1 ½ cups coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage + 1 carrot, shredded
1 heaping ¼ cup parsley, chopped
2 green onions, minced
1 large or 2 small avocados, pitted, peeled, and chopped or sliced
¼ cup sunflower seeds
Apple Cider Vinaigrette:
4 tablespoons olive oil or flax oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
4-6 drops dark liquid stevia OR 1 tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup or raw honey
Enjoy & happy detoxing!
One of the most common things I hear from the clients I work with is, "I have such strong cravings for sugar and carbohydrates." or "...if I could just get rid of these sugar cravings, I think I could follow through on my healthy eating plan."
If this resonates with you, you are not alone. In fact research shows that the average American eats between 3 and 5 pounds of sugar each WEEK! Holy cow! Back in the 1800's, people would eat only 10 pounds of sugar a YEAR!
The USDA estimates that most of this sugar comes from processed and pre-packaged foods that contain refined sugar as well as sugar loaded beverages like: soda, fruit juice, cakes, cookies, and candy. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition proved that the refined sugar found in these foods was just as addictive as cocaine or heroin.
When you eat sugar, your brain releases tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that acts as an anti-depressant and makes you feel good and happy. But that feeling only lasts a little while until the body crashes from the sugar high. So in order to increase serotonin and help you feel better again, your body signals cravings for MORE sugar!
This vicious cycle is not your fault, these foods are crazy addictive, but that doesn't mean that you have to stay on this crazy sugar ride forever. There are some simple steps you can take to get rid of this addiction, check out this week's What's That?! Wednesday post for...
Top 10 Tips to Get Rid of Sugar Cravings:
If you found this post helpful, stay tuned next week when our new eBook, 10 Day Sugar Detox Diet, goes on sale Wednesday, January 27th! This book is packed with over 30 real food, sugar free recipes that you and your family will love! I've even included two (5-day) meals plans with shopping lists to help you incorporate the recipes into your daily life with ease! I really love how this eBook turned out and I know you will love it as well!
You can even enter to win 1 of 4 free 10 Day Sugar Detox Diet eBoooks that we will be giving away to our community next week. Click here to learn more and enter to win!
Thanks for tuning in and I look forward to connecting with you next week!
These days, you often hear the words, "Cleanse" and "Detox" in relation to diet, health, and weight loss - there seems to be a new detox diet that hits the market every month. So in today's What's that?! Wednesday post, we talk about what detox diets are safest and most effective as well some of the benefits you may feel after detoxification. We are also offering a Special Sale Price on our 4 Week Detox Diet now through Sunday 1/3!
What is a Detox Diet?
A detox diet is a short term diet focused on cleansing the body to remove toxic environmental and dietary substances. These diets emphasize foods that provide vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants that the body needs for detoxification. The foods consumed in a detox diet are high in fiber and water content and help draw out and eliminate toxins from your body. These diets also focus on refraining from foods that can impede this process like refined flours, sugars, and processed foods, as well as dairy and grains.
How Do Toxins Accumulate in Your Body?
A continuously growing amount of research indicates that we ingest chemicals daily through food, water, and air and that some of these chemicals get deposited in fat cells in our bodies. Common environmental toxins include pesticides, antibiotics and hormones in food, as well as the chemicals from food packaging, household cleaners & detergents, food additives, heavy metals, pollution, prescription and recreational drugs, and cigarette smoke. These toxins get deposited in our fat cells and produce excess build-up that our bodies are no longer naturally able to eliminate on their own. This 'toxic load' makes our immune system work overtime which can lead to illness, disease, hormonal imbalances, and nutritional deficiencies - most commonly, weight loss resistance, digestive irregularity (especially constipation), weakened immune system, low energy, trouble sleeping, and mental sluggishness.
What are the Benefits of a Detox Diet?
Some detox diets are based on fasting, juicing alone, or replacing 2 or more meals with a protein shake. These types of diets can be difficult for most people to stick to, but more importantly, they lack enough nutrients to support the body through the detoxifying process. If you are considering a detox diet, we generally recommend one that includes a large amount and wide variety of fresh vegetables and clean proteins to keep you feeling full and to give your body the energy and nutrients that it needs to detox, repair, and rebuild.
Our Detoxifcation & Cleansing Programs:
If you're looking to start the year with a simple, effective cleanse that includes easy and delicious recipes, shopping lists, and step by step instructions check out the details of our Nutritional Cleanse & Detox Diet Programs - On Sale now through Sunday 1/3/2016!
All you need is a blender and a willingness to spend 40-65 minutes total in the kitchen each day. We take care of the weekly eating plan including breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner and give you weekly shopping lists along with a plan and the proper support to make sure you see results!
Both of us have personally been through detoxification and elimination diets and based on our experience and our training have created a program that is both effective and easy to follow. We've taken many clients through this diet with rave reviews and success stories...check out our testimonials to learn more and consider joining us today!
~Billie and Jen
In this week's What's That?! Wednesday post, we are excited to talk about one of our favorite "food as medicine" ingredients...Raw Apple Cider Vinegar! This food comes from apple juice has been fermented into hard apple cider, then fermented a second time to get the final product we lovingly call apple cider vinegar (ACV).
In order to receive all the medicinal benefits this food has to offer, we suggest you choose an apple cider vinegar that is organic, raw, unfiltered, and unpasteurized - our go to brand is Bragg's Raw Apple Cider Vinegar and it is sold in most grocery stores, health food stores, and online.
While there are probably 30 or more uses for this amazing product, today I'm only sharing the ones that I've personally experienced myself.
5 Amazing Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar
There are many other published uses and benefits for ACV, but these are my personal favorites that I've discovered and use regularly. If you've never used this product before, you may want to consider all it has to offer. How else do you use apple cider vinegar? We'd love to hear your comments below!
~Billie & Jen
Did you know that adding a few simple, natural ingredients to your relaxing bath time can have a powerful affect on the way you feel? It's true, in fact your skin is the largest organ in your body and facilitates over 60% of all the body's cleansing activities. A cleansing detox bath can not only decrease stress and anxiety, but it can also assist to decrease joint pain and muscle aches, reduce swelling and inflammation, heal irritated skin, improve circulation, replenish electrolytes, and much more.
So in this week's edition of What's That?! Wednesday we will be sharing our knowledge and experience about the best ways to do a detox bath as well as what types of baths may be best for what aliments. I personally never used to be someone who took baths...loved the hot tub, not so much the bath tub. But when I started to understand how it could help me feel better and relieve some pain, I became a "bathing believer". Now I hop in a few times per week with my favorite guided mediation or some calm spa-like music and get my relax and detox on!
During the last several years as I've battled chronic Lyme disease, I've experimented with and researched all types of home detoxification remedies and found that baths are one of the most effective ways to detox and a good use of my time and energy.
Some Detox Bath Basics:
4 Natural Detox Bath Recipes:
1. Salt Baths
Very relaxing...this recipe is best for decreasing the swelling of joints or injuries, and reduce muscle spams and tension. It also helps to balance electrolytes and replenish magnesium to promote better circulation and heart health.
1/2 cup sea salt
1/4 cup natural baking soda*
1-4 cups Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) or 1/2 cup BATHERAPY Product**
8-10 drops of 100% pure peppermint or lavender oil (optional)
Add ingredients to hot bath water and use your hands to churn the water and help dissolve. Bathe for 30 minutes.
*You could also try 1 cup food grade hydrogen peroxide instead of baking soda in this recipe.
**This product has essential minerals like magnesium and adds Siberian Fur Essential Oil to help you overcome feelings of exhaustion after a bath.
2. Clay Baths:
Bentonite clay is a powerful detoxification ingredient and has become one of my favorite home remedies. This clay is great for overall detox and specifically unique in that it binds to heavy metals and helps to pull these toxins out of our body. It also makes a great skin mask...
Bonus Detoxifying Skin Mask Recipe: Mix 2 tablespoons water or raw apple cider vinegar with 1/4 cup bentonite clay together until a thick mask in made, add more water or ACV if needed to thin consistency. Then apply evenly to a clean face, avoiding the eyes. Leave on for 8-10 minutes (no longer - it will turn your skin very red if you leave it on) and wash off with a hot wash cloth followed by a splash of cool water. Follow with moisturizer. Repeat up to once per week. TIP: Do not use a metal spoon or bowl to mix your mask. I like to use a small silicone spatula and glass bowl.
Clay Bath Recipe:
1/2 cup sea salt
1/2-1 cup bentonite clay (I use Aztec Secrets Indian Healing Clay - on amazon.com & some natural food stores)
1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar
8-10 drops 100% pure lavender oil (optional)
Combine clay with apple cider vinegar and 1 cup hot water. Mix well to combine and do your best to smooth out clumps of clay. Start your bath, add sea salt when 1/2 full , then add the bentonite clay-vinegar mixture to the bath, give it a good stir and get in. For an extra detox effect, you can rub any remaining clay clumps evenly onto skin as you soak in the tub. Don't leave the clay directly on your dry skin for longer than 10-15 minutes or your skin will turn quite red. Just soak in the clay-infused tub and relax for 30 minutes or until water starts to cool.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar Baths:
Adding raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) to your bath can help to pull uric acid from your joints to reduce pain and swelling, which is one of the main contributors to chronic joint inflammation. Since ACV is a natural anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and anti-viral, this recipe can also help to relieve symptoms of chronic candida and/or yeast infections, fungal toenail infections, and general skin irritations.
1 1/2 to 2 cups raw apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg's brand)
8-10 drops 100% pure organic lavender oil (optional, but recommended to overcome the strong vinegar smell)
Add apple cider vinegar and several drops essential oil to a full, hot bath, climb in, relax, and enjoy. Bathe for 30 minutes or until water starts to cool. Avoid showering for 6-8 hours afterwards, if possible.
4. Ginger Bath Recipe:
Can be especially helpful during a cold, flu or other illness to relieve congestion and ease muscle aches and pain.
Add 1 tablespoon ground ginger to your hot bath tub, climb in, breathe deeply and enjoy! Bathe for 30 minutes or until water starts to cool. I often combine the ginger bath with the salt bath...try it out.
Relax, detox, and heal, dear friends. Please share your detox bath questions, experiences, and recipes here if you are inspired to do so.
Also, for related information, check out our 4 Week Detox Diet Program. This program can help you re-set your metabolism and get your body into fat burning mode, get rid of excess weight, say goodbye to digestive distress like constipation, bloating and heart burn, and improve your energy! 28 days to change the way you feel...check it out here.
**We are licensed holistic health practitioners, but we are not physicians. Advice in this article is intended to be informational only and is based on our personal experience and education. We always recommend speaking with your physician, especially if you are being treated for a specific ailment, before beginning anything new.
In good health,
Billie & Jen
If you are not already making your own bone broth, I'm going to give you several reasons why you should consider starting. Not only is it inexpensive to make, but it's also one of the worlds most nutrient dense foods. Bone broth is packed with highly absorbable forms of calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphate, sulfur, and a variety of amino acids, as well as collagen, glucosamine, and condrointin. These nutrients support our immune system, calm and heal digestive distress, and nourish our musculoskeletal system just to name a few.
Bone broth has affectionately been referred to as "Jewish penicillin" because of it's amazing healing and health promoting benefits. Did your mom ever make you chicken soup when you were sick? Most of us have had that experience more than a handful of times. It comes of course from generations and generations of people from all over the world making this very traditional healing and inexpensive food for decades and decades.
I often consume bone broth for breakfast or as a snack with just some fresh herbs and diced raw veggies of choice. But you can also use it in your soups, stews, casseroles, and much more to add flavor and a boat-load of nutrients to your meal!
I started making my own bone broth regularly last year when I started treatment for chronic Lyme disease to help support my gut health while taking antibiotics and to nourish and support my immune system. But the benefits of bone broth go way beyond these two things...check it out...
Health Benefits of Bone Broth:
How To Make Bone Broth:
3 pounds organic chicken or turkey bones or carcass**
12-16 cups filtered water or enough to cover all ingredients (depending on how big your pot or slow cooker is)
2-3 tablespoons organic, raw apple cider vinegar
1 large onion, not peeled, quartered
2 stalks celery, quartered
2 large carrots, peeled and quartered
2-3 inches ginger root and/or turmeric root (optional - for an extra Anti-Inflammatory boost!)
1 bunch parsley
2-4 sprigs fresh thyme, tied together kitchen twine
I like to just add some Pink Himalayan sea salt and fresh parsley and drink it down!!
If you've done this all correctly, your broth will most likely gels or congeals after you've had it in the fridge for a half day or so. Don't worry! This is a good sign that your broth is packed with collagen and all the other healing nutrients. Just re-heat and it will go back to a liquid broth consistency.
If you can't find bones or don't have time to make broth, you can also make stock, which is has less collagen and gelatin but will still give you lots of protein and minerals in your final batch. For stock, follow the same directions except use a whole chicken or bones with meat on them instead of just the bones. Then you only cook it for 3-4 hours versus 12-24 for the bone broth.
If you have more than 3 pounds of bones, this recipe is easy to double and I highly recommend making as big a batch as your pot or slow cooker will allow. You can store broth in a freezer safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
**You can buy chicken bones, feet, and other organic bones at places like Whole Foods. OR make friends with the butcher at your local grocery store and ask for bones and even feet (the feet have extra collagen). It is also super important to get your bones from an organic bird as these will yield MANY more nutrients and not be contaminated with added hormones or antibiotics. You could also opt for organic, grass-fed and finished beef or lamb bones for a different flavor and nutrient profile.
Happy soup slurping friends...
Starting your day with a green smoothie can help to regulate digestion, fight inflammation, assist in weight loss, and boost your immune system and energy level - lots of awesomeness in one drink!! And that is why I am religious about my raw green smoothie or juice almost every morning. Read our blog, 4 Reasons to Make a Green Smoothie Part of Your Routine, to understand more about the health benefits of these awesome drinks.
Not only are these drinks good for your health, they make excellent breakfasts that come together in a flash and anyone can learn how to make them - all you need is a blender and an open mind. Green smoothies are an integral part of our 4 Week Detox Diet, on Sale Now Through Sunday 1/10!
In the meantime, follow these simple steps and you will be a green smoothie rockstar in no time!
5 Steps to Make the Perfect Green Smoothie:
Perfect Green Smoothie (PRINT RECIPE)
Makes 2 servings
2 cups dark leafy greens (options: kale, chard, or spinach)
1 cup light greens (options: romaine, celery, cucumber, leafy lettuce)
½ cup frozen fruit (options: pineapple, mango, berries, etc)
½ of a medium green,unripe banana, frozen (or substitute 1/2 ripe avocado for creamy texture and healthy fat)
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk of choice (hemp, coconut, or almond)*
½ cup ice cubes or frozen milk cubes
2 scoops/servings of protein powder of choice (following 15/15 rule)
2 tablespoons super food ingredient (hemp seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, almond butter, raw walnuts, cacao powder)
*We recommend non-dairy milk or just water in green smoothies for most people, because dairy can disrupt the digestion and nutrient absorption of raw greens.
Try some of our other green smoothie recipes:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Green Smoothie
Sneaky Green Smoothie
Spring Refresh Smoothie
Mint Chip Smoothie
Sending you each health and joy!
~Billie & Jen
What is a Raw Food Diet?
Do you know anyone that follows a raw food diet? The raw food movement is becoming quite popular these days...so we thought it important to review the basics of what this diet is about in this week's edition of What's That Wednesday?!
Raw Food Diet Basic Theories:
People that successfully convert to a raw food diet usually experience weight loss, reduction in inflammation, improvement and regularity in digestion, and increased energy. So is this the right diet for you? We strongly believe that each person's biochemistry is unique and that no one diet can work for everyone. We also strongly advocate following a diet that makes sense for your lifestyle and body and encourage our clients to make small changes one at a time. For most people, converting to a diet like a raw food diet all at once could be really overwhelming, may be unnecessary for your body, and will likely be very difficult to stick to in the long term because it could feel very restrictive. For these reasons, this is not a diet that we recommend for everyone.
We do however, feel like there are some great takeaways from the raw food theory that are easy to implement and that we would recommend for anyone wanting to feel better, lose weight, and improve digestion.
Our Top 3 Raw Food Diet Recommendations:
1. Increase consumption of raw foods, especially leafy greens. Try adding a green smoothie or juice to your morning routine. Or add a side salad to your cooked lunch or dinner. Have some raw food at every meal!
2. Choose raw nuts and seeds over roasted nuts and seeds.
3. Use cooking methods like steaming, boiling, and simmering more often. If you are sauteing or roasting, choose an oil that is stable at high temperatures like coconut oil. You can check out our blog, Best Oil Choices When Cooking, for further recommendations on this.
Check out one of our favorite raw food dishes -Kale Refresh Salad with Tahini Dressing and our newest raw food treat, Raw Coconut Snack Balls.
As always, if you have questions, please post or reach out to us directly!
~Billie & Jennifer
We get asked ALL THE TIME why organic foods are important, and we totally understand why. Buying everything you can organic will typically inflate your grocery bill by at least 20%, and sometimes that can be hard on the budget. We both understand budget constraints first hand, but we still emphatically recommend that you purchase as much of your shopping list as you can find as organic, and here's why:
1. Pesticides: Organic foods do not contain chemical pesticides. There are over 400 varieties of chemicals typically used to kill bugs on plants on conventional farms. Let's be clear--these chemicals are designed to kill things and there is simply no way that having them in your body is going to do anything good for you. They don't all wash off when you get them home, and kids are especially sensitive to them. Pesticides have been linked to asthma, cancer, precocious puberty and breast cancer. Yuck. On your produce, you have direct pesticide exposure and any non-organic meat or farmed seafood comes from animals that eat massive amounts of produce that have been doused in the stuff. Those toxins don't get easily flushed out of an animals system, so they build up and are even more potent in meat, seafood and dairy than they are on your apples or spinach. YUCK.
2. Antibiotics: Animals that are raised organically are not given any antibiotics or genetically modified vaccines. Conventionally raised animals are given some or all of these things to keep them healthy in some pretty awful living conditions where they would naturally get sick. Remember when we talked above about pesticides storing up in animal tissues? Same thing goes for antibiotics here. If you've heard about antibiotic resistance in humans, this is where it's coming from--you get low level doses of antibiotics in virtually all of your non-organic meat and dairy and farmed seafood, so your body adapts to them and then can't respond to regular antibiotics when you really need them.
3. Hormones: You also have to be very careful of the hormones that are given to animals raised conventionally. Why do you ask? Well, first, they tend to overload them with growth factor and other hormones to make them grown bigger and stronger (makes sense, right?!..more meat, more money). The animal's body cannot properly process all these extra and unnecessary hormones and so they get stored in the tissues, which we end up consuming. The big problem is that these hormones look and act similar to the natural hormones our body produces; this can create an improper balance of hormones and throw off communication to help the body get back into balance naturally. Studies have linked hormone riddled meat and dairy consumption with several types of cancer as well as increased occurrence of infertility and hormonal imbalance conditions in women of all ages. NOT GOOD.
4. GMO's: I'm sure you've heard at least a little lately about GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms) in the news. In fact, the state of Vermont just passed the nation's first GMO labeling law. GMO's are plants that have been altered at the genetic level by the insertion of a modified gene or a gene from another organism. These genes are intended to do something different than plants have done in the past. Like kill bugs. And the properties that kill the bugs are in EVERY SINGLE CELL of GMO foods. You can't wash it off or make it safer as you prepare the food. Also, as scientists insert the modified genes, there is not a way to tell what else those genes are doing to the plant. Did you know that one of the most used methods of creating a modified plant is to dip a bullet into some DNA soup and then shoot it through the leaves of a plant and see what happens? I'm SO not kidding here. The speed of the bullet splices new genes into the plant's DNA, and then they let it grow and see what happens. This is not precise science so really, you have no idea what you're getting into with GMO foods. An additional consideration is that your body doesn't recognize GMO's as real food, so they get treated like pathogens or "bad bugs like viruses and bacteria" which stimulates an immune system/inflammatory response. There are many studies that show increased levels of inflammation in the body can lead to chronic inflammatory conditions like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and other auto-immune conditions. So...it's best to read your labels and ALWAYS AVOID GMO's! Don't purchase anything with ingredients you cannot pronounce and that are not whole food ingredients.
5. Nutrition: Organic foods contain higher levels of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals than most conventionally raised food. On average, about 25% more. So that 20% premium you pay at the cash register is going directly to the nutritional value you're eating. There was a study that came out recently about how organic food isn't necessarily more nutritious than conventional foods, but the holistic nutrition community agrees that the study was flawed. You can read more about that here. And, even if organic food weren't packed with more nutritional punch, the first three items here should be reason enough to make the investment.
There are about a million other reasons to do this, but these are the most important for us here. We understand that it's not always possible, either financially or because of what's available, to eat 100% organic. If that's the case, we recommend that you do your best to buy organic whatever foods you eat most. If you juice with greens every day, make sure they're organic. If you eat chicken for lunch every day, ditto.
A couple of additional tools to help you make informed decisions at the grocery store are the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen Lists that The Environmental Working Group Publishes and just updated this year. The 'Dirty Dozen' is the list of the most contaminated produce that you should try to get organic whenever possible. The 'Clean Fifteen' are those that have been deemed the least contaminated. Go to EWG's website and download the list so you can make more informed choices at the grocery store!
If you have any questions or if we can help you in any other way to incorporate whole foods into your life, please let us know. We'd be happy to hear from you!
~Jennifer & Billie
Coconut water plus cleansing greens and tart fruit make this drink taste like summertime in your mouth! Refreshing and light - I think it kind of resembles strawberry lemonade myself, but I'll let you be the judge of that. This light weight drink does pack a nutritional punch as well - rich in B vitamins, antioxidants, and packed with electrolytes to replenish your energy.
If you've never used coconut water before, it's actually been called, "Nature's Gatorade" as it is packed with electrolytes like potassium, sodium, manganese, and phosphorus, and calcium but clearly without the harmful sugars and GMO's.
Every cell in your body needs the right balance of electrolytes in order to maintain cell function and communicate with other systems. Electrolytes are also essential for building lean muscle, reducing inflammation, and maintaining healthy blood pressure. Most of us have experienced how the body feels when your electrolytes are low, like after participating in strenuous physical exercise or even after having one (or several) too many cocktails the night before (ahem).
The good news is that coconut water can help to replenish those electrolytes which will improve your energy level, your mood, and stamina as you go through your day. It will also help to alkalize your body so that your immune and other systems operate more efficiently. Try this beverage first thing in the morning or after a workout.
1 kiwi, peeled
1/3 cup frozen strawberries (about 3-5 berries only depending on the size)
½ of a lemon, peeled and seeds removed
2 cups spinach
1 cup romaine lettuce
1½ cups coconut water**
½ cup ice cubes
Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
**Coconut water is usually in the same aisle as juices, waters, and/or sodas. It VERY important to choose coconut water that is plain and unflavored with no added sugar or other ingredients.
Oil pulling is based on an ancient Ayurvedic practice. It is said to help "pull" toxins, bacteria, and fungus out of the mouth while stimulating the body's lymphatic system and activating your metabolism. While some folks will argue that there are only oral health benefits, this practice can actually stimulate the entire body's detoxification process. So it is a great practice to implement if you are acutely sick or dealing with a chronic disease.
The practice involves placing a tablespoon of oil (Cold Pressed Sesame or Organic, Virgin Coconut Oil) into your mouth and swooshing it around for about 15 minutes. The lipids in the oil pull the bacteria and other harmful toxins from the teeth, tongue, mouth, and saliva. At the same time, the swishing, swooshing and suction movements activate the thymus gland, which is said to be the "motor of metabolism". This practice activates the lymphatic flow and thus increases detoxification and the elimination of metabolic acids.
Oil Pulling Health Benefits:
• Improved oral health - can help to prevent cavities and gum disease
• Helps to whiten teeth and keep your breath fresh
• Aids in the prevention of dryness of the lips, mouth and throat
• Improved skin health and can even aid in the reduction of eczema
• May reduce symptoms of bronchitis
• Helps stimulate normal liver and kidney function for detoxification of harmful metals and organisms
• Can help to reduce sinus congestion & allergy symptoms
• Reduced hangover after alcohol consumption
I've been oil pulling for about 3 months now as I go through treatment for Lyme disease and I can say that I've experienced each of these benefits firsthand, except the hangover one (I'm not drinking right now, so someone else will have to "test" this benefit for me!). I'm sure I have LOTS of willing participants reading this now, so post your experience when you try it out! So if you are convinced you need to try this out, here is how to do it...
How to Oil Pull:
1. Always oil pull first thing in the morning on empty stomach. If you don't, it may make you feel nauseous.
2. Brush your teeth with your regular tooth brush first thing like you normally would.
3. Place 1 tablespoon of organic, cold pressed sesame oil or organic, virgin coconut oil into your mouth and swish and swoosh for 15-20 minutes. It might sound like a a lot at first, but just set a timer on your phone or in your kitchen and go about your morning routine. I oil pull while I make coffee for the hubby and do morning 'chores' or while I scan my email or Facebook news feed - lord knows 15 minutes can go by quite fast this way.
4. Spit out oil and wash it down the drain. (NEVER SWALLOW - it will make you feel pretty nauseous because it is filled with the boitoxins you are trying to get rid of.) The output should be a whitish color, if it is yellow, then you have not done it for long enough and will need to increase your time the next time you practice it.
5. Rinse and gargle your mouth out well with warm salt water a few times.
6. Brush your teeth with a water-baking soda mixture (1/4 cup water and 1 heaping tablespoon baking soda) as a final rinse and clean. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND using a separate, disposable tooth brush for this 'after oil pulling brush' routine. This will help to ensure your nicer electronic toothbrush stays oil free. I throw my disposable one out after about a month, or you can pop it in the dishwasher with your silverware.
7. Repeat oil pulling steps daily or at least 3 times per week for maximum benefits.
The first few times I did this, I was AMAZED at how clean my mouth felt - it was sort of like the first time I used an electric toothbrush - a whole other level of clean!! If you are someone who is struggling with a chronic illness and need detoxification assistance, I recommend doing this every day. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post.
Lemons are one of the most alkalizing foods for the body! While they are acidic by themselves, the acids contained in lemons are weak and therefore easily metabolized. This allows the mineral content of lemons to help alkalize the blood, reduce inflammation, and promote healthy digestion!
Beginning your day with a warm lemon water can have many positive health benefits - this is a practice that I've had for almost three years now and I cannot tell how much it helps me. So much in fact, that I rarely miss a day!
So...in this week's What's That?! Wednesday post, we review the health benefits of drinking a daily lemon as well as how to make it...
Top 5 Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water Daily
1) Kickstarts the Digestion Process & Detoxifies Your Body. Lemon juice helps to loosen toxins from your digestive track and flush out unwanted materials/waste from the body. Inside the gut, it acts similar to saliva and the hydrochloric acid of digestive juices and encourages the liver to produce bile which is an acid that is required for digestion. It will help to improve and/or alleviate symptoms like heartburn, belching and bloating. The citric acid in lemons helps stimulate enzyme function, which assists the liver and aids in detoxification.
2) Helps to Ease Joint & Muscle Pain. Lemon water on an empty stomach first thing in the morning will help to draw uric acid from your joints that builds up as you sleep at night. Uric acid contributes significantly to joint pain and inflammation so it's best to try to draw it out first thing as you wake.
3) Boosts & Supports Your Immune System. Lemons are high in vitamin C, which is great for fighting colds and combating life’s daily stresses. In fact, Vitamin C is the first thing to plummet in the body when you are stressed – so getting your daily Vitamin C is very important! The acids contained in lemons are weak and easily metabolized in the body, allowing the mineral content of lemons to help alkalize (or make less acidic) the blood. Disease states only occur when the body pH is acidic – daily lemon water helps to remove overall acidity in the body, which helps to decrease inflammation in the body. What kinds of things can happen when you have inflammation? The list is long – painful or swollen joints, excess weight in your middle section, getting sick more easily, getting injured more easily, hay fever, arthritis, cancer...take your pick.
4) Aids in Weight Loss. Mounting research indicates that diets that are more alkaline in nature can lead to quicker and more sustainable weight loss. One of the reasons is that when your body in alkaline state, it is more efficient at incorporating the foods you provide it – it can extract the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it needs and then quickly eliminates waste. This prevents toxins from being deposited in your fat cells where they help feed the vicious cycle of cravings for salts, fats, and sugars. A diet rich in alkaline foods, like lemon water, helps to regulate your metabolism and reduce cravings!
5) Promotes Healthy Skin. Lemon water can help to decrease blemishes, even out skin tone and discoloration, and even fight wrinkles. It’s detoxifying effects help to sweep away blemishes from the inside out. The vitamin C and antioxidants contained in the lemon help fight the free radicals that lead to wrinkles.
Recommendations for Making Warm Lemon Water Part of Your Routine:
**You can also use 100% pure lemon essential oil - essential oils are VERY potent - so start with only 2-3 drops in your warm water.
Questions about the benefits of lemons or other alkalizing foods? Interested in learning more about incorporating more alkalizing foods into your diet but need some more guidance? Click the link below to check out our Metabolic Recovery Program - where one of our practitioners will guide you through how to eat clean foods that will balance hormones, reduce inflammation, and boost your metabolism so that you can lose weight for good!
Our clients also love our Detox Diet hat incorporates a daily lemon water - many of our clients have lost up to 9 pounds in the first week and up to 19 pounds by the end of the program. These eating plans help to re-set your metabolism, clear toxins, regulate digestion, lose weight, and boost energy. Click here to get more details and read more Detox Diet testimonials.
~Billie & Jennifer
A green smoothie or green juice is typically the way I start my day - everyday! And I recommend that you consider doing the same and here's why...
1. Supports Good Digestive Health
Greens literally escort toxins through your digestive tract and aid in regular elimination. If you are someone who deals with IBS symptoms at all - this will help immensely. We've had clients who have had their IBS symptoms completely disappear by adding one green smoothie a day!
2. Helps Reduce Cravings for Carbs & Sugar
When you start your day with carbs and sugar (ex: toast/bread of any kind, cereal, or even a yogurt with granola and fruit), your body is more likely to crave carbs and sugar throughout the day which can lead to snacking, overeating, and weight gain. Break the cycle and have sunshine for breakfast- start your day with a green protein shake, keep fruit content to a minimum, and kick those cravings to the curb.
3. Helps to Fight Inflammation & Prevent Chronic Disease
The alkalizing affects of greens in your body can help reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke, help prevent osteoporosis, improve brain health, and help reduce painful and swollen joints. Additionally, starting your day with something that isn't going to spike your blood sugar will help to keep inflammatory responses lower.
4. Assists in Weight Loss
A green smoothie can help to stabilize your blood sugar, which keeps you feeling fuller longer. The greens also help your body shed excess water weight. Adding more vegetables and fruits also curbs cravings for sugar and processed foods and increases cravings for healthier foods!
5. Nutrient & Vitamin Packed
When made correctly, these smoothies can contain more than your daily allowance for Vitamins A & C, and 25% of the recommended intake for Vitamin D. The daily recommended intake for green vegetables is 2 - 3 1/2 cups depending on your age and gender...and our Perfect Green Smoothie gets you 1 1/2 cups at the start of the day.
Read our blog, 5 Steps To The Perfect Green Smoothie, to get some free recipes and learn how simple and delicious it is to make a green smoothie part of your regular routine.
In order to receive the most health benefits, it's really important when making a green smoothie that you let the greens take the lead and keep the fruit to a minimum. We recommend 3:1 rule - you want to have 3 times as much greens (in volume) as you do fruit. For those of you who need to watch sugars even closer, like me, use a 4:1 ratio.
Enjoy your greens in the morning!
Billie Shellist, FDN-P
I practice functional nutrition, an approach that allows me to look at your entire health history and help you find the "root causes" of your chronic health complaints.
This cuts out the trial and error process and helps you get real symptom relief and resolution!
Food is medicine and knowledge is power -I hope you enjoy my anti-inflammatory recipes which are gluten, dairy, and soy free as well as very low grain and sugar.
If you'd like to heal from the root cause(s) of your chronic symptoms, try starting with a complimentary 15-minute consultation. Click here to request your free session.