Monday, March 26, 2018

The Beet and Carrot Smoothie

Try this smoothie if you are struggling with PMS and hot flashes
Drink one serving per day during the 5 days before your period, and any time when you are having hot flashes. 
Beets support the liver in estrogen detoxification and carrots support progesterone production.
If you can’t tolerate almonds, replace them with other nuts such as raw walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, or pecans.
If you are allergic to nuts, try tigernuts (they are not nuts but tubers and are hypoallergenic – I get mine from Thrive Market).
Adding hemp seeds will boost the content of omega 3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory and can help mitigate PMS and hot flashes.

Serves: 2
Prep time: 10 minutes
Equipment: high-speed blender (daily, I use Nutribullet)
1 1/2 cups filtered water
1/2 cup coarsely chopped unpeeled carrots
1/2 cup coarsely chopped peeled beets
1⁄4 cup raw almonds
11⁄2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon hemp seed (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of sea salt
Add all of the ingredients to a blender and puree until silky smooth. 

Food as Medicine
As you can tell, each ingredient has a role.  In addition to what I said about the lovely beets and carrots…
  • The lemon juice will alkalize your body
  • Ginger will add digestive fire
  • Cinnamon helps rebalance sugar levels.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

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Monday, March 19, 2018

The truth about detoxing - 4 biggest myths debunked

Thanks to much of what we hear in the media, detoxing has earned a reputation for being unhealthy and even unsafe. When you hear the word “detox,” so you immediately think of all-liquid diets, expensive supplements and short-term deprivation for short-term gains? 

The truth is, a detox doesn’t have to involve any of the above—and if you detox in a healthy, supportive manner, you can achieve lasting results in weight loss, energy gain and full-body health 

The following are four myths you may have heard about detoxing. Understandably, these myths may cause you to be hesitant to try a detox.   Keep reading to find out the truth behind these myths and why detoxing might be just what your body is craving.  

Myth # 1: You won’t enjoy anything you’re eating while on a detox 

While you might have to eliminate certain foods that you enjoy, detoxing isn’t all about eating lettuce with a drizzle of olive oil. There are many delicious recipes that can be prepared using healthy ingredients that not only taste amazing, but nourish and detox your body.  

The best part is, many of them don’t involve any fancy ingredients and can be prepared even by a cooking novice. In fact, my detox participants always discover new foods and recipes that they absolutely love that have become staples in their diets long after the detox ends.  

 Myth #2:  You’ll constantly be hungry while detoxing.   
While you might end up consuming fewer calories while following a detox, you shouldn't feel deprived or hungry. Going on an extremely low-calorie diet can actually disrupt your hormones and metabolism, making your body less efficient in the long run.  

Everyone’s caloric needs are different, so a detox should never dictate how many calories you consume. By consuming whole foods that provide you with the right nutrients, you help detox your body while feeling satisfied.  My participants are always amazed that they never feel hungry during my detoxes. 

Myth #3:  You need to do an all-liquid detox to remove toxins from your body.  
 Liquid-only detoxes have had more than their fair share of popularity. These types of detoxes can backfire: Not only do people often gain the weight back as soon as the detox ends, but such restrictive eating for several days can be detrimental to your health. An effective detox will include a variety of whole foods to help nourish your body and produce long-term results. 

Myth #4: Detoxes are just a way for people to make money on expensive supplements.  
 Supplements involved in a detox should be just that, a supplementary part of the program, not the primary source of your nutrition.  While on a detox, you get most of your vitamins and minerals from whole-food sources.   Supplements may be recommended to help your body make the most of the nutrients it receives from these foods.  For example, by including probiotics in your diet, you help your body produce vitamins, absorb minerals and remove toxins from the body. 

Aside from the benefits discussed above, detoxing is an incredibly effective way to identify if you have any food sensitivities, balance your hormones, and establish healthy habits for the long term.  

I’ve worked with detox participants who not only have lost weight and kept it off, but who have also seen their energy level skyrocket, their skin clear up and even their allergies disappear.    
Are you ready to discover the benefits of healthy detoxing for

 yourself?  Click here to learn more about my upcoming program

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What questions or concerns do you have about participating in a detox?  Before you try something new, like a detox, it’s normal to feel hesitant.  I want to hear from you. Hit “reply” or email me at I read every email that comes

 into my inbox and I promise to email you back personally.

Castor oil Pack

Castor oil (ricinus communis) comes from the castor seed, native to India. It is extremely high in ricinoleic acid, which is thought to be responsible for its health-promoting abilities. In fact, it was once called palma christe because its leaves resembled the hands of Christ. It is important to note that while castor oil is said to have health benefits, the castor seed itself can be deadly. Internal use of castor oil can be safe, but warrants caution.
Used in ancient Japanese healing arts and other ancient cultures, castor oil enjoys a long and distinguished history. One of the oldest medical textbooks in existence, the Ebers Papyrus, mentions that the early Egyptians applied castor oil topically as early as 1550 B.C.
While it is considered “Generally Regarded As Safe” by the FDA and up to a tablespoon per day is considered approved for internal use, it can cause extreme digestive upset in some people. I am not a doctor and don’t play one on the internet, so talk to yours before using castor oil or anything else internally.

What It Is

The idea is to keep castor oil on a piece of cloth on the skin for at least an hour with a heat source to stimulate lymph and liver function. Unlike some “detox” methods, this is not said to have any negative side effects and the there are many accounts of people who noticed immediate better sleep, more energy, and clearing of skin symptoms.
NOTE: Even for external use, I’d consult with a doctor or naturopath to make sure that this natural remedy is OK for you. It should not be used if pregnant or struggling with a medical condition. I also test any new oil (or any substance) on a small part of my arm before using on a larger area of the body.
The beauty of a castor oil pack is you can place it where benefits are needed: 
  • Using on the right side of the abdomen or the whole abdomen  is thought to help support the liver and digestive system.
  • Place directly on strained joints or muscles to reduce inflammation.  (Note: This is not as a substitute for medical care but to speed healing of minor injuries that don’t need medical attention)
  • Or try on the lower abdomen to help with menstrual pain and difficulties.

What It Does

Castor oil packs harness the anti-inflammatory and lymph stimulating benefits of castor oil but allow safer external use. From a 1999 study:
With a minimal 2-hour therapy period, this study found that castor oil packs produced a “significant” temporary increase in the number of T-11 cells that increased over a 7 hour period following treatment and then returned to normal levels within 24 hours later.
The T-11 cell increase represents a general boost in the body’s specific defense status. Lymphocytes actively defend the health of the body by forming antibodies against pathogens and their toxins. T-cell lymphocytes originate from bone marrow and the thymus gland as small lymphocytes that identify and kill viruses, fungi, bacteria, and cancer cells. T-11 cell lymphocytes supply a fundamental antibody capability to keep the specific defense system strong.
In short, castor oil packs have been said to help detoxify the liver naturally, support uterine and ovarian health, improve lymphatic circulation, and reduce inflammation.
There aren’t any conclusive studies on the use of castor oil packs externally (though there are some preliminary ones), but a long history of traditional use in many cultures. There is some evidence that it can have a suppressive effect on tumors and a positive effect on arthritis when used externally.
Castor oil packs also provide time of quiet relaxation, which also has health benefits, so I thought they were worth a try! Anything for that!

How to Do a Castor Oil Pack

Castor oil packs are simple to do at home and I like them because they require me to be still and relax and read a book for at least an hour (not always easy to accomplish). They can be messy, but with proper preparation are not.

You’ll Need

  • high-quality castor oil (hexane free)
  • unbleached and dye free wool or cotton flannel (like this) – can be reused up to 30 times
  • a wrap-around pack (or large piece of cotton flannel) or plastic wrap (not optimal)
  • hot water bottle or heating pad
  • glass container with lid – I use a quart-size mason jar for storing the oil soaked flannel between uses
  • old clothes, towels and sheets – castor oil does stain!
  • patience (most difficult to find!)
The easiest and least messy option I’ve found is the castor oil pack kit from here. It has the castor oil, cotton flannel, and a non-messy wrap-around pack that removes the need for plastic wrap and has kept mine from leaking at all.
NOTE: I highly recommend carefully prepping the area where you’ll be doing the castor oil pack to prevent mess.  Try using an old shower curtain, covered with a sheet under under you to make sure nothing stains. I don’t often have to wash the sheet, and I just fold and store in the bathroom cabinet for the next use.

How to Use a Castor Oil Pack

  1. Cut a large piece of cotton flannel and fold into thirds to make three layers. My original piece was 20 inches by 10 inches and when folded it was roughly 7 inches by 10 inches. Yours could be larger or smaller, depending on where you are planning to place it.
  2. Thoroughly soak (but not completely saturate) the flannel in castor oil. The easiest way I found to do this was to carefully fold the flannel and place in a quart-size mason jar. I then added castor oil about a tablespoon at a time (every 20 minutes or so) to give it time to saturate. I also gently shook the jar between adding more oil so that the oil could reach all parts of the cloth. Ideally, this should be done the day before to give it time to evenly soak. I save the jar since this is where I keep the flannel between uses (it can be used about 30 times).
  3. Carefully remove and unfold the castor oil soaked cloth.
  4. While lying on an old towel or sheet, place the cloth on the desired body part.
  5. Cover with the wrap-around pack or cotton flannel, and place the heating pack on top of this. Less optimally, a plastic grocery bag can be used prevent any oil from getting on the heating pad. A hot water bottle, electric heating pad, or rice heating pad can be used, but hot water bottles and rice packs may need to be reheated several times.
  6. Lie on back with feet elevated (I typically lie on the floor and rest my feet on the couch) and relax for 30-60 minutes.
  7. Use this time to practice deep breathing, read a book, meditate, or pray (or whatever you find relaxing).
  8. After the desired time, remove the pack and return the flannel to the glass container. Store in fridge.
  9. Use a natural soap or a mix of baking soda and water to remove any castor oil left on the skin.
  10. Relax and rest. Make sure to drink enough water and stay hydrated after doing this to support detox.

Other Ways to Use Castor Oil

Castor oil is handy to have around the house for other uses as well. Use castor oil externally to:
  • Apply to dry skin, rashes, boils, age spots, warts, and any undesirable skin defects
  • Treat toenail fungus
  • Soothe a sprain, injury, or sore joints
  • Apply to areas of back pain
  • To cleanse and soothe abdomen when having digestive or reproductive trouble
For best results, when trouble begins, apply a series of castor oil packs for 60-90 minutes about 3 times a week for a 3 week period. Consult with a doctor to rule out more serious causes.