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Health and Healing the Way Nature Intended
Updated: 8 hours 51 min ago

Spooky Ghostly Meringue Cookies

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 10:03

Ghostly Meringue Cookies

After the creation of our meringue apple pie, my kids have been obsessed with the thought of meringue anything. This week I was making up a batch of homemade hollandaise sauce and had a bunch of egg whites to use up. Well, what better to do with those egg whites than to make some delicious meringue cookies. Since it’s October, we decided to make them into ghostly meringue cookies for fun!

  1. Preheat oven to 210°F.
  2. Put the salt in with the whites and beat with a hand mixer until they start to foam up.
  3. Slowly add the sugar while continuing to mix on high.
  4. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  5. Put mixture into a plastic bag and snip the bottom corner off, to make a piping bag.
  6. Pipe meringue onto parchment covered baking sheets.
  7. Bake at 210°F for 40 minutes or until firm.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  9. Melt chocolate chips over low heat in a small pot, add cream to thin down if necessary.
  10. Using a small paintbrush (never used for actual paint) or a toothpick to paint the faces on the meringues so they look like ghosts.

 

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Instant Pot Creamy White Cheddar, Chicken Sausage, and Kale Soup

Mon, 10/09/2017 - 10:03

Is there really anything better than a delicious, flavorful, creamy soup? Ever since I purchased our Instant Pot a few years back, it has been cooking up a storm in our kitchen, and soup is one of the main features! SO easy for this work-from-home mom of three! It’s so easy even my husband can do it

This recipe can be made in a stock pot if you don’t have an Instant Pot. I like to use my IP because it cooks those veggies in two minutes. No waiting around for meals in this house. *wink*

This particular soup has so many wonderful health promoting ingredients and has quickly become a family favorite. It is gut healing, full of vitamins and minerals, high in protein, and deeeelish! I hope your family loves it as much as we do! Who knew they could love kale soup?!

Instant Pot Creamy White Cheddar, Chicken Sausage, and Kale Soup Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 4 organic carrots, diced
  • 4 ribs organic celery, diced
  • 1 organic sweet onion, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 3lbs organic potatoes, scrubbed and diced
  • 2 quarts bone broth
  • 2 cups organic half and half
  • 3 Tbsp Cassava Flour — where to find
  • 8 ounces shredded raw cheddar cheese
  • 3 (12 oz) spicy chicken sausage, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder (more if you’d like)
  • 3 large handfuls organic kale, chopped
Directions:
  • In your Instant Pot on the saute setting, melt butter and add carrots, celery, and onion.
  • Saute until veggies are softened.

  • Add in bay leaf and thyme, stir until fragrant.
  • Add in potatoes and bone broth.

  • Put the cover on your Instant Pot and cook on the manual setting for 2 minutes, potatoes should be tender.

  • Remove bay leaf.
  • In a small bowl, whisk flour together with half and half.
  • When the potatoes and other ingredients are done cooking, transfer to a large stock pot.
  • Add in half and half.

  • Stir in cheese, sausage, salt & pepper to taste, garlic powder, and kale.

  • Cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until it thickens a bit.
  • Garnish with shredded cheese, chopped chives, sour cream, or bacon bits.

  • Enjoy your Instant Pot Creamy White Cheddar, Chicken Sausage, and Kale Soup.
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Delicious and Healthy Paleo Sweet Potato Brownies

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 10:03

Ever the healthy food recipe hacker, of course, I needed to figure out a healthy brownie. Because: duh, brownies! Getting kids to eat healthily is a full-time job and when you can bribe them to eat a healthy dinner, but offering (healthy) brownies at the end of the meal is a win-win! #momwin

Plus, these little buggers are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants! Go ahead, have one for breakfast. I won’t tell. I live guilt-free when I’m eating these paleo sweet potato brownies, that’s for sure!

Let’s break it down: 

Sweet Potatoes: They are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene). They are also a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitaminB1, vitamin B2, and phosphorus.

Coconut Oil: It’s a very healthy fat; one of the few foods that can be classified as a “superfood.” Its benefits include weight loss, better brain function, skin health, and much more.

Maple Syrup: It contains calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus sodium, potassium, and zinc. Maple syrup also contains the vitamins thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and B6!

Cacao Powder: It contains 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries. It’s the highest plant-based source of iron. It’s full of magnesium, has more calcium than cow’s milk, and is a natural mood elevator and anti-depressant!

Delicious and Healthy Paleo Sweet Potato Brownies Ingredients:
  • 2 cups mashed organic sweet potato
  • 1 cup nut butter — we used this kind because it also contains coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup — like this
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder — where to find
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Dairy-free chocolate chips (optional to put on top) — we LOVE this brand
  • Butter for greasing baking dish
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Grease a glass brownie dish with butter (size depends on how thin or thick you like your brownies).
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, except the chocolate chips.
  • Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.
  • Spread evenly with a spatula.
  • Top with chocolate chips or chopped nuts.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool before serving.
  • Store your paleo sweet potato brownies in the fridge. They will last up to one week.
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Why I Take Athletic Greens Every Day

Mon, 09/25/2017 - 10:03

It’ѕ еѕtimаtеd that wе rесеive оnlу 40 реrсеnt оf thе nutritional value we need every day from our food, and sоmе reports ѕuggеѕt this figure is highly optimistic. So, unless you’re fоrtunаtе еnоugh tо hаvе a year-round gаrdеn full of fresh, оrgаniс fооd you саn hаrvеѕt and eat on a daily basis, you are lacking a large amount of the daily nourishment your body needs to sustain health. Even with a clean diet, I still want to tell you Why I Take Athletic Greens Every Day.

Nutriеntѕ should соmе рrimаrilу frоm thе fооdѕ we eat. However, many fresh foods trаvеl grеаt distances and аrе processed to increase ѕhеlf lifе. To obtain the highest possible уiеld, рrоduсеrѕ аrе forced tо rеlу оn сhеmiсаl fеrtilizеrѕ and реѕtiсidеѕ for thеir crops, whilе оthеr producers use grоwth hоrmоnеѕ, аntibiоtiсѕ, аnd inhumаnе соnfinеmеnt for аnimаl рrоduсtiоn. Besides all this, it’s bесоming inсrеаѕinglу diffiсult tо find fооdѕ that have not bееn grown in nutritionally-impoverished ѕоil. Decades of рооr аgriсulturаl practices аrе dерlеting foods of the nutriеntѕ wе need for орtimаl hеаlth аnd wеllnеѕѕ.

Thе availability оf high-саlоriе, high-fat, high-sugar, аnd low-fiber fооdѕ is соmmоnрlасе and muсh less еxреnѕivе thаn nutriеnt-dеnѕе fооdѕ such аѕ fruits and vеgеtаblеѕ. Thе availability аnd lоwеr рriсе оf processed fооdѕ full of sugar and fаt mаkе thеm appealing tо thе росkеt bооk аѕ well аѕ the tаѕtе budѕ, but nоt withоut consequences. Obеѕitу, heart diѕеаѕе, аrthritiѕ, diabetes, and оthеr сhrоniс соnditiоnѕ are gаining a stronghold in North Amеriса, and researchers аrе now bеginning to аdmit thаt diеt рlауѕ a huge rоlе in thе рrеvеntiоn and trеаtmеnt of diѕеаѕе.

Although dеvеlорmеntѕ in thе food industry over timе hаvе imрrоvеd food quаlitу аnd ѕаfеtу, thеrе are ѕtill соnсеrnѕ оvеr the nutritiоnаl соntеnt thе food actually соntаinѕ.

Thiѕ iѕ whу nutritiоnаl supplements аrе imроrtаnt.

Why I Take Athletic Greens Every Day

Even though my family and I eat organic, whole foods, it’s honestly tough to squeeze in all of the nutrients our bodies crave.  That’s why I went in search of a green supplement that could fill in all the gaps while still tasting great! Obviously, many other people are turning to green supplements because they’re one of the fastest-growing supplements on the market. Unfortunately, most of them don’t deliver what they claim.

That’s why I use Athletic Greens every day. Check them out HERE, use coupon code REALFOOD for 10% off too!

Athletic Greens саn be uѕеd аѕ a multivitаmin/multiminеrаl, as well аѕ a grееnѕ ѕuррlеmеnt, аnd provides a ton of vitаminѕ аnd minеrаlѕ. Namely, оnе ѕеrving рrоvidеѕ the full daily vаluе of zinc, vitаmin A, аnd аѕ much or mоrе of vitаminѕ C, E, biоtin, аnd many оf the B vitаminѕ. Thаt inсludеѕ 160% оf the dаilу vаluе оf B6, аn imроrtаnt cofactor in the production оf several nеurоtrаnѕmittеrѕ, аnd nеаrlу 500% оf thе daily vаluе of B12, whiсh iѕ important fоr brаin health.

Thеѕе nutriеntѕ соmе frоm a host оf grееns, herbs, and muѕhrооmѕ. Athlеtiс Grееnѕ divides thеѕе ingrеdiеntѕ into four major classes:

Suреrfооdѕ and Prebiotics: These аrе thе herbs аnd greens inсludеd fоr nutriеntѕ аnd аlkаlinitу. Thе lаttеr is, оf course, imроrtаnt fоr аthlеtеѕ to help maintain the pH of thеir bodies, particularly in thоѕе whо dо nоt соnѕumе enough grееn vеgеtаblеѕ in their diets. Thiѕ list inсludеѕ such greens as ѕрirulinа, wheatgrass, аnd chlorella. It also inсludеѕ fructooligosaccharide, a tуре оf prebiotic thаt mау help with thе natural development of miсrоflоrа already еxiѕting in thе intеѕtinеѕ.The ѕuреrfооdѕ grоuр mаkеѕ uр thе bulk оf thе powder.

Hеrbѕ аnd Antiоxidаntѕ: This grоuр оf foods iѕ thе ѕесоnd mоѕt аbundаnt in thе роwdеr. Thе hеrbѕ and аntiоxidаntѕ аrе inсludеd fоr nutrients and high levels оf antioxidants. Thiѕ grоuр includes реа рrоtеin, сitruѕ biоflаvоnоidѕ (grеаt antioxidants fоr аthlеtеѕ), аnd соQ-10, аmоng оthеrs.

Digеѕtivе еnzуmеѕ аnd Muѕhrооmѕ: This ѕесtiоn inсludеѕ ѕеvеrаl hеrbѕ high in digеѕtivе еnzуmеѕ, аѕ wеll as reishi and ѕhiitаkе mushrooms.

Probiotics: Athlеtiс Grееnѕ also includes 3.6 billiоn соunt еасh оf dairy-free lасtоbасilluѕ асidорhiluѕ and bifidobacterium bifidum, twо important ѕресiеѕ of intеѕtinаl miсrоflоrа.

Although Athlеtiс Greens соntаinѕ both grееn tеа еxtrасt and сосоа еxtrасt, you don’t need to worry about getting the jitters from using it. These extracts are ѕtаndаrdizеd fоr аntiоxidаnt соntеnt, so thеу don’t соntributе muсh caffeine.

Athlеtiс Grееnѕ iѕ an all-natural, mеgа-nutriеnt formula dеѕignеd tо соvеr thе dаilу nutritiоnаl nееdѕ оf active people likе us. Thiѕ stuff iѕ like mаgiс—еасh ѕеrving iѕ расkеd full оf rаw greens, аntiоxidаntѕ, herbs, еnzуmеѕ, со-fасtоrѕ, mushrooms, vitamins, ѕсаrсе nutriеntѕ, аdарtоgеnѕ, trасе еlеmеntѕ, minеrаlѕ, prebiotics, and probiotics.

Whew! They pack a lot in a scoop of this yummy stuff!

It mixes easily into my daily smoothie so I can feel confident I’m getting all the nutrition I need in a quick, delicious concoction. If, like me, you’re worried about your family’s nutritional intake, check out Athletic Greens HERE, use coupon code REALFOOD for 10% off too!

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Quick and Easy Pumpkin Pie Cake In a Mug

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 10:03

Pumpkin pie cake is a great way to get the kids to eat more veggies, but these pumpkin mug cakes will appeal equally to adults. With a quintessential pumpkin pie flavor, these mug cakes can be quickly thrown together for a high-fiber, guilt-free dessert. I advise to microwave one mug at a time to ensure that the cakes are cooked thoroughly. 

Pumpkin Pie Cake in a Mug

Makes 2

Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 2 min
Total time: 7 min

Ingredients: Directions:
  • Simply add all the ingredients into a bowl and combine well

  • Lightly grease two microwave-friendly mugs and divide the mixture between the two mugs
  • Microwave on high for two minutes, then carefully remove

  • Eat straight out of the mug, or tip out onto a bowl. Serve with dusted Stevia or a drizzle of maple syrup
  • Delicious when warm!

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Why Miron Jars Are the Best for Preserving Food

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 10:03

Miron jars are the bomb for storing and preserving everything from homemade beauty products to food. They are a beautiful violet blue color that keeps the ingredients fresher for much longer than the average container. But we’ll go into that more in a bit.

Miron jars are manufactured by a number of different companies (my favorite one is Infinity Jars), but the concept of preserving precious ingredients in violet blue glass jars isn’t new. The Egyptians stored their healing solutions in blue or gold glass containers. It wasn’t until the development of preservatives that using Miron jars fell out of favor. Now that we’re aware of how harmful all those preservatives are to our health, these violet jars are again enjoying popularity.

Everyone is trying to improve their lives in a way that Miron jars can help! You and I, and happily, a whole bunch of others, are determined to reduce the amount of preservatives that their families come into contact with. We also want to keep our food preserved for as long as possible to avoid costly waste. We can do both these things with Miron jars!

There’s a reason why Miron Jars are the best for preserving food and other preservative-free ingredients, besides the fact that they are pretty. It’s kind of scientific, but I’ll simplify it for us.

First, our sun produces different types of light, some of which we can see with the naked eye and some that we can’t. This range of light is called the light spectrum and it affects us and all living things, even though we can’t see it all. Now, we understand that the sun is necessary for the growth of plants. But what we might not be aware of is that when the full spectrum of light can reach our food or other plant-based ingredients, it continues to “grow” them, even though they are no longer at a stage where they can grow (no longer in the soil). This “growing” process means that the food is decomposing, and at a faster rate than if the full-spectrum light couldn’t get to it.

The magic of violet glass is that it only allows beneficial light from the spectrum to permeate through it. The light that reaches the ingredients inside the glass doesn’t speed up the decaying process. So our food stays fresher longer. Ta da!

If that weren’t amazing enough, the light that is allowed through the violet glass mystically extends the freshness and potency of the stuff inside the jar! This is all made possible by the molecular structure of Miron glass. The contents are activated and energized by the violet life radiation that is created when natural light comes through it. How did the Egyptians know all that? It took 14 years for Swiss scientist Yves Kraushaar to develop Miron glass after extensive research and testing!

We’ve done the science, but now I’m going to go a little woo-woo on you. Miron glass jars also preserve the vibrational energy of the natural, living ingredients you put inside them. That’s one reason why they are so popular to store homeopathic treatments and essential oils in. In the scientific world, this “vibrational energy” is called bio-energy. Whatever. It’s the same thing. It’s been proven that Miron glass jars preserve and actually stimulate the bio-energy of food and water!

There have been tons of tests run on Miron glass jars to prove they can’t be beaten for long-term storage, but I’ll give you one of my favorite tests as an example of how amazing they are. In 2007, a scientist put a cherry tomato—bought at the same time, from the same package—into a clear glass apothecary jar and one in a Miron glass jar. Seven months later, the jars were opened.

The tomato from the clear glass jar was unrecognizable, as you would expect. It was all decayed and gross. The one in the Miron glass jar, however, was perfectly fresh, ripe and ready to eat. That story is what first sold me on trying out these jars, and I’m so glad I did! Why? Simple!

  • They save me tons of money because they keep my whole foods fresh. I waste practically no food at all, whereas, the average household throws away approximately $2,000 worth of food a year!
  • I store all of my homemade body products in them to keep them fresh and safe to use longer. Plus, my skin gets the full range of benefits from the all-natural ingredients I make them with because the jars keep their vibrational energy inside.
  • I never throw away leftovers. I just put all extra food in these jars and it stays fresh for a long time. I can pull out the leftovers and create a whole “new” meal from them. My family never suspects a thing.
  • I can safely buy in bulk. I know I can buy preservative-free foods in bulk, even if I don’t use them very often because I’m going to store them in my Miron glass jars. Another way they save me money!

Miron glass offers:

  • Protection from sunlight and all forms of visible light
  • Preservation and stimulation of the bioenergy found naturally in food and water
  • Highest quality of protection for long-term storage

If you want to get your hands on some of these gems, HERE is my favorite brand. I am actually kind of obsessed with how beautiful they are! 

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Meringue Topped Polish Grain Free Apple Pie Recipe

Mon, 09/04/2017 - 10:03

 

The saying goes: “As American as apple pie”…and this is true, but today we are going to be making a Polish version of this American apple pie. I am part Polish, and we have the most wonderful houseguest staying with us from Poland who showed me the way that she makes it back in her country. To say I was amazed at this recipe is an understatement. There are a few more steps than I was used to, but BELIEVE ME, it’s worth the effort. This pie is light, sweet, and oh so pretty! Of course I worked with her to make it grain free too! I hope you enjoy this Polish Grain Free Apple Pie!

Polish Grain Free Apple Pie Ingredients:

Crust: 

Filling: 

  • 8 medium apples peeled
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Meringue: 

  • 6 pastured egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups organic sugar — where to find
  • pinch sea salt
Directions:
  • Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and egg yolks
  • Using your hands, work the mixture into dough

  • Form it into two balls, 3/4 of dough is one ball and 1/4 of dough is the other ball. Wrap the smaller ball in saran wrap and place in the freeze. Wrap the larger ball in saran wrap and place in the fridge for 10 minutes

  • While the dough is chilling, peel the apples

  • Take the larger dough ball out of the fridge
  • Press the dough into a buttered pie dish (cassava flour does not roll out as well as when you make it with regular wheat flour, so I press it into the pan to make it easier). Cover it with saran wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes
  • While dough is chilling again, grate the apples using a cheese grater

  • Place the shredded apples in a large cloth and squeeze out the juice
  • Put apple shreds into a bowl and add cinnamon, lemon juice, and vanilla

  • When dough is chilled, bake at 350° for 40 minutes

  • Next, whip the egg whites using a hand mixer, with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form

  • Then add 1 1/2 cup sugar slowly until its nice and shiny egg whites — meringue

  • Tip: the meringue is done when you can flip the bowl without it falling out!

Lick those beaters! 

  • Chill the meringue in the bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes
  • Spoon the apple filling into the pre-baked crust, then top with meringue, finally take the small ball of dough out of the freezer and grate it on top of the meringue using a cheese grater (you will probably not need all the dough)

  • Put back into the oven and bake at 450° for 30 minutes until nice and brown on top

  • Enjoy every last bite of your Polish grain free apple pie because it’s deeeeelish!

  • Store your Polish grain free apple pie in the fridge, lasts for three days

My kids LOVE this pie! Thanks Magda!!

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Easy and Delicious Chinese Chicken Salad

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 10:03

Salad is such a wonderful food because it is so forgiving, you can add pretty much any vegetable and with the right sauce it can turn into magic. Well, Asian inspired sauces are some of my favorites and they just happen to go really well with veggies and chicken. This Chinese Chicken Salad recipe is a keeper, and my husband proclaimed it “counter pounding good” — thats pretty much a 5 star rating!

Easy and Delicious Chinese Chicken Salad Ingredients:
  • 5 cups organic cabbage, chopped
  • 2 cups organic sugar snap peas, chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 carrots shredded (I like to shred them in my food processor)
  • 2-3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
  • 1/4 cup EVOO (plus more for cooking chicken)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar — we like this kind the best
  • 1/4 Tbsp coconut aminos (plus more for cooking chicken) — where to find
  • 1 Tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil — where to find
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
Directions:
  • Combine all of the chopped veggies in a large bowl.

  • Combine EVOO, tamari, ACV, aminos, ginger paste, honey, and sesame oil in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine.

  • Pour dressing over vegetables and stir to combine.

  • Allow to sit and marinate.
  • In a medium skillet, cook the shredded chicken with some olive oil and aminos to add moisture and flavor. EVOO is not a high heat oil, so keep the heat just high enough to warm the chicken. Add a little garlic if you like. I sometimes do.

  • To serve: plate up some of the veggies, top with chicken and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

  • This Chinese Chicken Salad lasts in the fridge for 2 days. I like to store the chicken and the veggies in separate containers and then warm the chicken again later. It lasts longer that way.
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Delicious Coconut Cherry Dairy Free Ice Cream

Mon, 08/21/2017 - 10:03

Dairy is a funny thing. Some love it, some are tortured internally by it. This is why I love to come up with recipes of all sorts, so everyone can enjoy delicious food. Ice cream is a favorite food of mine that does not always agree with my digestion. So coconut milk ice cream has been made many times in our kitchen. Not always a favorite with my kids, but the addition of cherries completely changed their minds! Move over plain old vanilla ice cream, coconut cherry dairy free ice cream is taking over the favorites list in this house! 

Coconut Cherry Dairy Free Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pitted organic cherries
  • 2 (13.5 oz) cans of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot powder — where to find
  • pinch sea salt

Directions:

  • Process cherries in a food processor until chopped but still with little chunks, you don’t need to liquefy them

  • Pour coconut milk, cherries, honey, lemon juice, and salt into a bowl. Stir to combine

  • Whisk arrowroot powder into the mixture making sure there are no arrowroot clumps

  • Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and process according to your machines instructions

  • Pour your Dairy Free Coconut Milk Cherry Ice Cream into a container (we use these) and store in your freezer

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Easy Homemade Vanilla Lavender Ice Cream

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 10:03

I first tried lavender ice cream at the Young Living lavender farms in Mona, Utah. It was nothing short of amazing! Cold, refreshing, and calming. It was on my mind the whole weekend, and I could not get enough! When I returned home from my trip, I made the mistake of telling the kids. I say mistake because they would not stop asking me about it until I finally whipped some up in my kitchen. It was an instant hit and didn’t even last three days in our house! I hope you love the Homemade Vanilla Lavender Ice Cream recipe too! 

Easy Homemade Vanilla Lavender Ice Cream Ingredients:
  • 2 cups organic whole milk (we use raw milk)
  • 2 cups organic heavy cream (we use raw cream)
  • 3/4 cup organic sugar — where to find
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • pinch sea salt
  • 10-15 lavender vitality essential oil — we only use the highest quality essential oils when using them in our food, here is the brand we trust
  • Optional: if you want chocolate, then add in 2 Tbsp cocoa powder. We also add in chocolate chips, fruit chunks, or homemade caramel swirl
Equipment: Directions:
  • Throw everything into a bowl and whisk together until well combined

  • Pour into ice cream maker

  • Process according to your ice cream makers directions
  • When the ice cream is just about ready (looks like soft serve), add in your lavender essential oil. Add a little at a time and add to your taste preference

  • We store our ice cream in these containers because they freeze it well and make serving it up really easy!

  • If you eat the ice cream right away it will be more like soft-serve, but still delicious. Put it into the freezer for several hours to get more solid ice cream
  • My kids LOVE this ice cream! Bonus: the lavender is very calming so this ice cream actually chills my kids out a bit! #momwin

They would barely look up for a photo!

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Kombucha Strawberry Shrub Recipe

Mon, 08/07/2017 - 10:03

Strawberries are so delicious that I could eat them by the crate full. But, then you end up with five crates full at prime strawberry picking season and panic about what to do with them! I freeze most of them, turn some into chia jam, and I have added to my recipe collection: Kombucha Strawberry Shrub Recipe. It’s super easy to make and so delicious. I only had a small amount of vinegar on hand when I made the recipe, so I improvised with some homemade kombucha and it turned out awesome! 

Kombucha Strawberry Shrub Recipe Ingredients:
  • 2 cups organic strawberries, washed and sliced
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar (not GMO beet sugar!) — we use this kind
  • 1 cup vinegar — this one is our favorite, it’s the real deal
  • 1 cup homemade kombucha
Directions:
  • Mash those berries up! I use a potato masher because that’s what my grandma would have done!

  • Combine the berries and the sugar in a bowl.
  • Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge overnight.
  • In the morning, strain the berries through a mesh strainer. Really work them because the liquid will be syrupy and the more you mash them with that spatula, the more juice you get.

  • Save the berries for a delicious treat.
  • Pour the sweetened strawberry juice into a mason jar and pour in the vinegar and kombucha.

  • Put back into the fridge and allow to sit for 2-3 days.
  • Serve strawberry shrub with your favorite beverage: sparkling water or mixed drinks. Whatever suits your fancy!

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Spiced Grilled Sea Bream with Vegetables

Mon, 07/31/2017 - 10:03

I am not a big fan of fish, but I am a big fan of the numerous health benefits. So I decided to ask for some assistance in the fish cooking department. I enlisted the expertise of a chef over in the UK and here is the awesome sauce that she came up with! 

But first, here is a word on the fish of choice: Sea Bream is a variety of fish species that are very popular for eating, especially in Europe. Despite their popularity as seafood, these species remain very plentiful throughout much of the world and are sometimes considered sport fish. They are sought after because of their mild, white meat, considered some of the best of any white-meat fish.

Sea Bream also contains selenium, omega-three’s, B Vitamins, and phosphorus.

Spiced Grilled Sea Bream with Vegetables

Serves 4

Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 15 min
Total time: 30 min

Ingredients:
  • 1 Tbsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp whole coriander seeds
  • 4 sea bream fillets: deboned; skin-on
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 small heads broccoli, trimmed florets
    coconut oil
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (approx. 12)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced (optional)
  • Sea salt flakes — where to find
Directions:
  • Preheat the oven to 160°C / 320°F.
  • Toast the cumin seeds and coriander seeds in a dry, hot pan until popping and fragrant. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Crush using a pestle and mortar.
  • Pat the sea bream fillets dry and season with salt and pepper.
  • Scatter the crushed spice over both sides of each fillet, pressing the spice into the flesh and skin. Set aside.
  • Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Add the broccoli and cook for 4-5 minutes. Drain and plunge the broccoli into a bowl of iced water to prevent further cooking. Once cooled, remove from the bowl and place on a tray lined with paper towels.
  • Heat one or two tablespoons of coconut oil in a pan and grill the fish skin-side down for 3 minutes until you can see the skin is crispy when peeking underneath. Carefully remove the fish and place skin-side up onto an oven tray. (You may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your pan.)
  • Place the tray of fish in the oven to cook through, while you finish the vegetables.
  • To complete the vegetables, simply wipe the pan and heat another tablespoon coconut oil. Lightly fry the broccoli and cherry tomatoes for 2-3 minutes, adding the garlic slices just towards the end of cooking. If you have any leftover spice mix, scatter over the vegetables.
  • The fish will not take longer than 5 minutes to cook through in the warm oven, so it should all come together at the same time.
  • Season the lot with sea salt flakes and serve immediately.
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Is Technology Dependence Harming Our Health?

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 10:03

It’s no secret technology is becoming more ingrained in our lives every day. We don’t always notice it, but when there’s an interruption, we quickly realize just how much technology dependence we really have. For example, have you ever been at work when the internet in your office has gone out for an extended period? If so, you probably found it difficult to conduct many of the essential functions of your job.

We rely on various technologies every day without thinking twice about them. But, is all of this technology dependence good for us? There is a lot of data suggesting technology is doing us more harm than good in many ways.

Several Ways Technology Dependence Could be Harming Your Health

Sleep

There is little doubt technology is having a negative effect on both the amount and quality of sleep most of us get. In fact, a few months ago, Real Food RN did a whole post about the harmful effects of blue light at night.

In addition to the sleep problems caused by blue light, we are also experiencing poorer quality sleep due to going to bed with our phones nearby. In fact, 71 percent of people sleep with their cell phones within reach every night. That means each time your phone lights up with a notification or an alert, your sleep is disturbed.

Another problem technology presents to our sleep patterns is our ever-present need to stay connected. We are constantly checking emails, reading text messages, and scrolling through various social media accounts, even after going to bed. This additional screen time is cutting into our sleep time, thus, making our already sleep-deprived lifestyles even worse.

Physical Ailments

Our move to a technology-dependent lifestyle is also wreaking havoc on our bodies. Research has attributed increased technology usage to a host of ailments and conditions including:

These and other health problems are the results of the prolonged and repetitive use of computers, smartphones, and tablets for hours every day.

Mental Health

Studies show our mental health is suffering from increased exposure to technology as well. One recent study found cognitive function worsens in people when they are separated from their phones, even for a short period. Dubbed iPhone Separation Anxiety, the study also discovered people experience spikes in anxiety and blood pressure when they are unable to respond to a call or other message on the phone.

Our infatuation with our mobile devices is also hurting our self-esteem, according to a wide range of studies. Since most people only want to display the best parts of their lives online, many of us have the mistaken impression others are doing much better than us in various aspects of their lives. This leads to self-doubt and low self-esteem.

Relationships

Our technology dependence is also jeopardizing our relationships. Online dating sites make it easier than ever to stray from your partner. When having problems in a relationship, it’s much more tempting to scroll through potential matches to find someone new, rather than the more difficult task of working through problems.

Many people also believe having cell phones constantly within reach harms relationships of all types. How often have you been talking to someone only to have them automatically pick up their phone to respond to a message in the middle of your conversation? Do you listen when someone is talking while you scroll through your email? Or do you reply with a distracted “Uh-huh”?

Many of us unconsciously put the technology in our lives ahead of the people we care about, and this has the potential to cause some real problems in our relationships.

What You Can Do

Luckily, there are some ways you can mitigate the effects of technology dependence on your life and health without returning to the Dark Ages.

Digital Detox

Try a digital detox. This can be a daily or weekly time, such as dinner time or Sunday afternoons when you consciously choose to eschew from all technology. Phones, tablets, televisions, laptops, etc. are all turned off and put away for the duration of the detox. A detox is a great way to get back to spending time in the moment with your loved ones without so many distractions.

Fitness Tracker

If you have a job where you sit at a computer all day, a wearable fitness tracker is a great investment. Most trackers come with movement alarms to remind you to get up and move around after a certain period of inactivity. Refraining from prolonged periods of uninterrupted computer time will help mitigate many technology-related health conditions.

Blue Light Blocking Glasses

If you have to be on the computer in the evenings, you should consider a pair of glasses that filters out blue light. The glasses will do wonders for your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Check out these recommendations.

There’s no doubt technology is responsible for many health issues in our society today. However, the real problem is the way we are using the technology, not the technology itself. If we can learn to modify our behavior and moderate the time spent using technology, we will undoubtedly notice vast improvements in many areas of our lives.

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About the Author: Caroline is a freelance writer and health and technology expert. She specializes in helping people maximize the benefits of technology while minimizing the harmful health-related aspects. You can find more of her work at eHealth Informer and Secure Thoughts.

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Grilled Vegetable Stack on Red Lentil Puree

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 10:03

 

Grilled vegetables stacked high on a bed of delicious red lentil puree and topped with a spoonful of moreish pesto and crunchy pine nuts – what’s not to love? These highly nutritious, fiber-rich lentil recipes are as tasty as they are pretty – and will tick all the boxes for your meat-free-Mondays. Lentil recipes have many health benefits such as lower cholesterol, improved heart health, and the insoluble dietary fiber leads to an improved digestive health. Don’t be alarmed that the cooking time is a total of one hour, you can prep everything in the first 30 minutes of the tomatoes roasting away in the oven, and after adding the aubergines in the second half-hour, you can crack on with your chores. Lentil recipes like this are also a wonderful source of protein for vegetarians and vegans! If you are cooking for a larger family, simply double the recipe below. 

Grilled Vegetable Stack on Red Lentil Puree

 

Serves 3

Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 60 min
Total time: 1 hour 5 min

Ingredients:
  • 3 plum tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 TB pine nuts
  • 1 large aubergine (eggplant)
  • 1 cup red lentils — we buy them here
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Pinch turmeric — we buy it here because its heavy metal free
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • ½ TB balsamic vinegar
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 3 tsp basil pesto, optional
  • Salad leaves to serve, optional
Directions:
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C.
  • Halve the tomatoes and drizzle over 1 tsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and place them in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Use this time to prep the rest of the meal.
  • Slice the aubergines and sprinkle with salt. Place on a colander over the sink for 20 minutes, after which you will rinse with cold water and drain well. Use kitchen paper to absorb excess moisture.
  • Toast the pine nuts in a hot, dry pan. Set aside.
  • Cook the red lentils in the vegetable stock until cooked and about to turn to mush. You may need to add a dash of water. Add the smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, turmeric and crushed garlic and a stir well, cooking for a few more minutes. Set aside to keep warm.
  • After the 30 minutes have passed, remove the tray of tomatoes from the oven and add the aubergines to the tray. Drizzle the aubergines with the second teaspoon olive oil and bake for 30 minutes. (This means the tomatoes roast for 1 hour)
  • Make a quick vinaigrette by whisking together the balsamic vinegar and the second mention of olive oil in a small bowl.
  • When ready to serve, divide the warm lentil puree between 3 dishes. If you are feeling a bit fancy, spoon it on arugula or lettuce. Pile the grilled vegetables on top of the warm lentils and drizzle over the vinaigrette. A small spoonful basil pesto and a scattering of toasted pine nuts will round it off perfectly.
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Foods for Babies & Young Children That Are Critical for Their Development

Mon, 07/10/2017 - 10:03

It’s confusing to know what foods to start your baby on! It’s always important to check with your doctor, but the latest research shows that starting allergenic foods before age 1 actually prevents allergies. Ultimately, the best foods for babies should be the same as the foods that are best for us. Babies grow rapidly, and even though they are small, their need for nutritious food is very high. The most nutrient-dense foods will help them grow into strong, smart, healthy, happy babies.

Foods for Babies & Young Children That Are Critical for Their Development

Here are my top recommendations for baby food and reasons why they are. Hint: It all comes down to nutrient density.

Vegetables are always a great start! Carrots, sweet potato, broccoli, and cauliflower are great starts. These can be mixed with some healthy fats to make them delicious! These vegetables are also nutrient-dense. The sweet root vegetables (carrots, sweet potato) contain beta-carotenes, and the cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli) contain magnesium, calcium, iron, and vitamin C.

Egg Yolks have been a common weaning food from many traditional cultures. They are rich in vitamins A and D that support the nervous system, eyes, and bone health. Plus, eggs contain choline and healthy fats that boost brain development. Check out this avocado and egg yolk puree to try with your baby!

Grass-fed Butter or ghee is a common weaning food in ancestral cultures and in India. In India, traditional wisdom tells them that babies need these healthy fats to develop large brains. So, until age 2, they mix lots of butter or ghee into their baby’s food to promote smart children. Our brains contain 60% saturated fat. Therefore, we need healthy sources of these fats, especially when growing. Finally, grass-fed butter contains vitamins A, D, and K2 for strong bones, proper growth, and nervous system function.

 

Grass-fed meats and wild-caught seafood offer critical nutrients to your baby aside from protein. Specifically, wild-caught salmon contains omega 3s that promote brain development. Organ meats, like chicken liver, are also important to incorporate into your baby’s food because of the high nutrient content, especially vitamin A and iron.

To Help Prevent Picky Eaters

To help develop your child’s palate, wait to do sweet foods, even fruits, until after their first birthday. This is a common practice in France to help their children grow accustomed to a wide variety of foods and not have a strong preference for sweet foods. These tastes need to be developed early or it becomes a serious STRUGGLE later on.

Trust me.

However, this is not to say that your child will like everything you serve on the first try. Do not give up, though! It can take seven tries to develop a taste for something. So, try to introduce a food at least that many times. You can retry it every few days, or see if mixing it with other foods helps them get accustomed to it. For example, when I fed my son salmon, I mixed it with sweet potatoes to lessen the strong fishy taste. Overtime, he developed a taste for fish, and now, it is his favorite food!

If you want a really amazing comprehensive guide for baby and childhood nutrition, then you NEED to grab a copy of Nourishing Traditions: Baby and Child Care. I read it cover to cover when pregnant and followed all of their guidelines!

Want natural, organic, nutrient-dense baby and toddler food, shop at Mama Bear Naturals, or check out my E-book!

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Chelsea Thiede is a food scientist and owner of Mama Bear Naturals, a natural, organic, nutrient dense baby and toddler food company. She completed a BS in Food Science and MS in Food Safety at Michigan State University and has worked in the food industry for almost 10 years. But, most importantly, she is a mom passionate about real food. Her connection with food started at 5 years old when she watched cooking shows instead of morning cartoons. For her, cooking nutritious, delicious food is a big way that she loves and cares for her family. Contact her at chelsea@mama-bear-naturals.com, or connect with her on her blog, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Pinterest!

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Healthy and Delicious Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Mon, 07/03/2017 - 10:03

Growing up, my dad would make his famous burritos almost every weekend. We would have contests to see who could eat the most! They were so simple: tortillas, pureed pinto beans, cilantro rice, cheese, sour cream, and jalapenos (for the brave, like me!).

Well fast-forward to our current diet and so many of these ingredients cause me and family digestive distress, especially the grains! The tortillas are an easy fix: grain free tortillas. The dairy is an easy fix: raw dairy. The rice, however, was more of a challenge. Enter: Healthy and Delicious Mexican Cauliflower Rice. It’s so good that I actually eat it without the rest of the burrito! 

Healthy and Delicious Mexican Cauliflower Rice Ingredients:
  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil — we like this brand
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp garlic
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, destemmed finely chopped
Directions:
  • Dice the onion
  • In a skillet over medium heat cook the onion in coconut oil until the onion is translucent

  • Add cauliflower to the skillet and stir to combine. Add more oil if necessary

  • Cover the rice and let it cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Add in cumin, salt, and garlic

  • Once cooked to desired doneness, add in chopped cilantro and stir to combine

  • I like to stir in some butter when it is warm for extra flavor. Because: butter!

  • Serve Mexican Cauliflower Rice immediately. If you want to make into burritos: serve with meat or beans and wrap it all up in a tasty grain free tortilla with your favorite fixins.

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Top 10 Apple Cider Vinegar Uses

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 10:03

Your grandma may have cleaned with this stuff, but the uses for Apple cider vinegar go beyond cleaning (though it’s great for that too!). We’ll save the ways to use it for cleaning for another day because I want to focus on all the great stuff it can do for your health right now.

Apple cider vinegar has been used since 5,000 BC as a way to improve health. This includes keeping homes germ-free. People way back then knew that fermenting apple juice created vinegar that detoxified the body, aided circulation, purified the blood, kept lymph flowing, and improved overall immune response. Hippocrates used it to cure colds and coughs in his patients. The acetic acid that forms during the fermenting process is what makes apple cider vinegar so effective in keeping bad bacteria at bay while promoting good bacteria and assisting many bodily systems to work at their best.

This liquid is a powerhouse of health. It naturally contains potassium, magnesium, probiotics, enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and polyphenols.

Apple cider vinegar has both antibacterial and antifungal properties, which increases its natural health benefits (and is why grandma used it to clean house). Like coconut oil, apple cider vinegar helps all types of issues, whether just irritating or potentially deadly. It was a challenge to decide which of the many ways ACV can be used to improve health, but I think I’ve done it. You’ll be amazed at all of the uses for apple cider vinegar, and what this stuff can do for you and your family!

Top 10 Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar

Blood Sugar and Diabetes

Apple cider vinegar has anti-glycemic properties that improve insulin sensitivity, insulin responses and lowers blood sugar after starchy meals, which all adds up to protecting you from developing Type 2 Diabetes. With the increase in both insulin resistance and diabetes, this is great news for many people in the West. It can be used to prevent diabetes and to assist diabetics to keep their blood sugar under control. {If you are taking medication for diabetes, talk to your doctor before starting an ACV regiment.}

Acid Reflux

It may seem counterintuitive, but yes, apple cider vinegar can do wonders for those who experience acid reflux. Although it’s high acidity, it reacts in the body as an alkaloid, which balances the pH level in the stomach. Another common cause of acid reflux and general heartburn is a lack of the necessary probiotics and enzymes in the stomach. Apple cider vinegar contains probiotics and enzymes, and an acid that stimulates the growth of probiotics in the digestive tract. And, if that weren’t enough, its anti-inflammatory properties reduce inflammation in the stomach, lessening heartburn, and acid reflux.

Warts

Though warts aren’t a horrible illness, they are ugly and can be painful. Rather than using a toxic wart remover, you can use apple cider vinegar to rid yourself of them. The acid in the vinegar attacks the HPV virus that causes warts so they can be peeled right off the skin, virus and all. To remove warts, put ACV on a cotton ball and wrap it with a Band-Aid, so it will stay put overnight. Do this each night until the wart can be easily removed.

Circulation and Varicose Veins

The anti-inflammatory properties make it a great remedy for improving circulation and for varicose veins. Apple Cider Vinegar breaks up calcium deposits in the blood vessel wall, helping the blood circulate through your body more easily. Restricted circulation can cause all manner of diseases and keeps the body’s organs from working at their highest performance level.

Colds and Flu
Because apple cider vinegar is full of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, adding it into your diet can improve your overall immunity to help you get over colds and flu faster. It doesn’t hurt that it also has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties that help your body fight infections and viruses.

Weight Loss

Apple cider vinegar has lots of tricks up its sleeves and induces weight loss in several ways. It also promotes fat loss, in one study on mice, up to 10%! Sounds good to me! Even the Journal of Diabetes Care published a medical study proving ACV could assist in weight loss. It gives dieters that little extra oomph they need by decreasing sugar cravings, stabilizing blood sugar for longer stretches of time, and improving body detoxification.

Blood Pressure

High blood pressure or blood pressure that is tough to regulate can be improved by consistently consuming apple cider vinegar. Medical studies have proven it helps in a couple of different ways. First, it lowers the renin activity in the bloodstream. Renin is an enzyme that regulates blood pressure, so reducing the amount of it in the body makes blood pressure easier to regulate and control. It also lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides, which in turn allows blood to flow more freely through the arteries, naturally lowering blood pressure.

Sunburn

Yes, vinegar is smelly, but if you have lobster-red skin that’s burning, you probably don’t care. Apple cider vinegar soothes the burning and takes away the sting of sunburn. And I swear, it turns the burn to tan faster too. The smell dissipates pretty quickly, so you don’t need to deal with it too long, and it’s totally worth the relief you get.

Allergies

You can use apple cider vinegar two different ways to get allergy relief. The first way is to dilute it and then drink it.* It breaks up mucus in the body and also increases lymph drainage. Keeping your lymph moving freely gets the pollen out of your system fast. The other way you can use it is to put it in your Neti pot solution to clean out your sinuses. I use both of these ways to keep my allergy symptoms under control. You can also use these suggestions for colds and sinus conditions.

Body Detox

We’ve already covered some of the ways it helps your body, specifically your liver, detox, but let’s sum it all up here. The acid in it binds up toxins so that your body can remove them more quickly, reducing the amount of damage they can do. It also increases blood and lymph circulation which further speeds up the process of elimination. Finally, breaks up mucus so it can be removed from the body.

Now, before you rush out to grab up all the bottles of apple cider vinegar off the shelves, I want to let you know that it’s important to only use organic, unfiltered and unpasteurized ACV. Make sure it also has an active “mother” percentage listed on the label. This ensures all of the great probiotics and other nutrients have not been removed. If your apple cider vinegar looks cloudy, that’s a good thing. We personally LOVE this brand, it’s been our favorite for years!

*It’s also important to always dilute ACV. It’s super strong and drinking it straight can burn your esophagus. You don’t want to overdo it for the same reason. Most experts say you should take no more than 2-3 tablespoons per day in a large glass of water.

I would love to hear what your favorite uses for apple cider vinegar are, please post them in the comments below!

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The Many Health Benefits of Emu Oil Explained

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 10:03

Isn’t it funny how, with all our advanced technology and industry, we are still “discovering” what native peoples have known for centuries? Emu oil is another one of those amazing resources that Mother Nature gave us long ago, but took us hundreds of years to notice.

The Aborigines have been using Emu oil for over 4,000 years. The Emu, that weird looking bird that’s related to the ostrich, has been a natural source they treasured since time began. They used it for healthy dietary fat, medicine, and lubricants.

Unlike any other bird, the Emu stores nutrient-rich fat to help it survive long bouts without eating or drinking—they can go for 54 days without consuming anything! That’s some good, healthy fat! What can it do for us? Tons! There are many health benefits of emu oil. 

It’s full of poly and monounsaturated fats, essential fatty acids 3, 7, 6, and 9, eicosanoids, carotenoids, flavones, vitamin D3, vitamin K2 ( as MK-4) and vitamin E, which combined do remarkable things for both the skin and the body.

My family and I take it internally as part of our healthy diet,  and we also use it topically when needed. Depending on your needs, you may want to do both on a regular basis. Let’s look first at ways Emu oil can improve your health from the inside out.

Health Benefits of Emu Oil

Improves Gastrointestinal Health

Emu oil does much more than providing relief to those with gastrointestinal issues. It delivers actual healing. All different types of gastrointestinal issues can be treated and healed with Emu oil, including Chron’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, and even intestinal damage done by chemotherapy. All the anti-inflammatory properties of this oil soothe the system, giving relief from pain and discomfort while stimulating the healing of the GI tract.

Lowers Cholesterol and Improves Heart Health

The combinations of healthy fatty acids found in Emu oil prevent the buildup of plaque in the arteries. Already have plague in there? Well, most of us do, unfortunately, because of our Western diet. Emu oil is also able to get rid of the plaque build-up already in our arteries. Linoleic and arachidonic acids, both found in Emu oil, help prevent blood clots, and therefore heart attacks. Neither of these acids can be created by our bodies, but are so important to our health. Emu oil has been found more effective in lowering cholesterol and triglycerides than olive oil, which is often touted as the best oil to use for those purposes.

Arthritis and Joint Pain

Chronic inflammation is something many people live with. It causes a great deal of additional stress on the systems of the body, leading to many serious health issues. Emu oil has been medically proven to reduce various forms of inflammation when used topically and taken internally. It contains large amounts of linoleic and oleic acids which reduce inflammation. Due to its transdermal properties, it is able to sink deep into the skin to relieve inflammation on site. Sufferers of arthritis and other joint pain can find great relief by applying emu oil directly onto their joints. Once you reduce the amount of inflammation in the joints, the pain is naturally lessened. What’s more, Emu oil also contains eicosanoids, which trigger the body’s hormones to increase blood flow to that area.

Muscle Pain

Just as Emu oil works to reduce inflammation and pain in joints, it also works on muscles. It’s great to put onto sprains or strains to speed healing and reduce pain. I always keep it around to put on sore muscles when I’ve overdone a workout or done a lot of yard work that caused sore, tight muscles. Some massage therapists use it for this reason. If you’re lucky, you can get your significant other to massage the oil into your overworked muscles for you. If you have chronic pain throughout your body, you can take Emu oil internally also, just like it’s recommended for arthritis.

If the thought of drinking Emu oil makes you gag a little (or a lot), don’t worry. I use a brand that offers the same excellent Emu oil in a capsule too. I get mine here.

Now let’s look at some ways we can use Emu Oil to improve our skin.

Heals Wounds and Burns

Emu oil has been used in several burn victim research studies and has been found extremely beneficial to both reduce pain and inflammation and to heal damaged skin. This transdermal oil contains terpenes, which are highly antiseptic and provide relief from chronic pain throughout the body when taken internally. The powerful antioxidants, healthy fats, minerals and anti-inflammatory compounds found in Emu oil heal skin more quickly than commercial products, whether used on burns, wounds or bruises. It also works great on sunburns.

Reduces Stretch Marks and Scars

The anti-inflammatory properties combined with the fatty acids and antioxidant compounds found in Emu oil greatly reduce stretch marks and scars. Emu oil is transdermal, meaning it’s deeply absorbed into the skin. This allows the oil to reach the source of the scars to make them all but invisible. Research shows that applying Emu oil several times daily to skin early in the healing process (and pregnancy) greatly reduces scars and stretch marks.

Moisturizes Skin & Erases Wrinkles

Emu oil may be the closest we can get to the Fountain of Youth. It moisturizes skin without clogging pores. Its fatty acids and antioxidant compounds make it tremendously effective at reducing the lines, age spots and wrinkles we experience as our skin matures. As we age, our skin tends to dry out, but in studies, Emu oil applied topically plumped the skin up and increased moisture retention by three times more than other anti-aging commercial products. I include Emu Oil in my Beautifying Bedtime Serum recipe!

Treats Dandruff and Healthy Hair Growth

The amazing moisturizing properties of Emu oil makes it the perfect remedy for dandruff, which is basically dry, itchy scalp. It also revitalizes hair follicles and replenishes the hair’s natural oils stripped out by harsh, commercial shampoos and conditioners. It even stops hair loss and reverses it. In clinical trials, Emu oil was found much more successful at improving hair growth than the top two commercial products (Rogaine and Propecia). It does this by nourishing the scalp and hair follicles. If you have fine hair, you can still moisturize by using Emu oil because it isn’t heavy, so it won’t weigh your hair down. It improves the elasticity of your hair too, so you don’t have to worry about breakage and split ends.

Relieves Psoriasis and Eczema

Skin irritations, whether they flair up occasionally or are chronic, are…well…irritating! Emu oil soothes and heals skin conditions such as rosacea, dermatitis, shingles, eczema, and psoriasis. It does this by providing moisture and macro-nutrients deep into the skin. Because most skin conditions stem from inflammation, obviously, Emu oil can radically improve them.

Even if you have sensitive skin, you may be able to use this fabulous stuff. Most people tolerate it better than many other natural resources because it comes from animal fat rather than a plant source.

You should be sure you are getting your emu oil from a credible source, that is pure and has the most health benefits intact. After much research, I decided on this brand and have been SO happy with the results! They also have capsules available. Such an easy way to experience the health benefits of emu oil!

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Surprising Foods That Improve Skin Health

Mon, 06/12/2017 - 10:03

You know that following a proper diet can enhance your health. But, did you know that eating the right foods can give you flawless and beautiful skin? We all turn to expensive products to get the perfect skin and end up spending a ton! These products consist of chemicals and unnatural ingredients that might later end up damaging your skin. There are potential skin care products on your shelf at home that you might not even be aware of. So ditch the toxic skincare products and pay attention to what you put into your body and discover the foods that improve skin health

Before we get started, if you are not aware of the toxins in your skincare products, I invite you to join my online Safe Skincare Facebook Group.

Surprising Foods That Improve Skin Health 

As much as we try to avoid it, our skin is damaged due to various factors. Wrinkles, blemishes, pimples, redness, etc. are just a few of the many issues we face on a regular basis. Why not give only the best to your skin? Maintaining a proper system with the right diet and proper hydration can result in improving the quality of your skin significantly. When you cleanse your body from within, it acts as a detox regime to drive away toxins. These foods clean your system and improve your skin’s health significantly!

Sunflower Seeds

Acne is a common concern for most people. Sunflower seeds are known to be rich in vitamin E and can keep your skin pimple-free. Doesn’t that sound amazing? According to a study, sunflower seeds fulfill the requirement of vitamin E that is needed to tackle inflammation. As a result, you will notice that there is visibly less acne.

Bell Peppers

It is quite obvious that veggies have a good impact on your skin. Red and yellow peppers have immense health benefits, one of which is making your skin look younger. Their antioxidant properties help in reducing fine lines near the eyes, popularly termed as “crow’s feet.” Peppers are also good to have during the hot months as they have cooling properties that decrease the sensitivity of the skin to the sun rays.

Green Tea

Green tea is not only a refreshing beverage but also an excellent skin toner. It has proved to have health benefits that work to improve your skin quality. Regular consumption of green tea can make your skin smooth and supple. It also reduces redness of the skin. The tea has the goodness of antioxidants that boost blood flow and oxygen to the skin, which in turn result in a glowing and clear complexion.

Walnuts

Have you ever wondered why people who eat fish have such amazing skin? Well, all credit goes to the omega-3 essential fatty acids that are present in them. You can get similar results with walnuts. They contain a significant quantity of omega-3 fatty acids that can give you the skin you have always dreamt of. Having walnuts every day can improve your skin’s elasticity and texture. Within a short while, you will have blissfully smooth skin.

A proper diet is an ultimate secret to a glowing and younger looking skin. Many factors in the environment can damage the skin. But, with care, you can create a barrier to protect your skin from these harmful effects. The golden rule to keep your skin fresh is to stay hydrated as lack of water leads to various skin issues. Incorporate these foods that improve skin health into your diet and reap their powerful health benefits. You will fall in love with your skin all over again!

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Author Bio: Vineetha Reddy

Being a regular practitioner and adviser of everything related to nutrition, fitness, health, and wellness, I also have begun to write and contribute to this knowledge ecosystem on sites like LifeHacker.co.in, StyleCraze.com and ElephantJournal.com. I strongly believe that the ingredients you find in your pantry provide the best benefits for good health. Follow me for my best ideas and solutions: Twitter

 

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What Is the Ketogenic Diet? + 5 Benefits It Can Bring into Your Life

Mon, 06/05/2017 - 10:03

 

This is a guest post by Louise Hendon, co-host of The Keto Summit.

By now, you’ve probably heard of the ketogenic diet.

But, if you’re like most people, you’re already finding it hard enough to keep track of all the different types of diets out there: Paleo, vegetarian, raw food, Mediterranean…

So, Do You Really Need Another Diet?

Although the ketogenic diet may be the new kid on the block, it’s definitely here to stay. This diet has some serious health benefits beyond just weight loss.

Here’s why…

Metabolic Flexibility.

Metabolic flexibility is your body’s way of being able to switch back and forth between using carbs or fat for energy. It’s what all healthy human bodies should be able to do.

But if you’re overweight, insulin-resistant, or just unhealthy, it’s likely that you burn carbs well for energy but not fat. And that’s a problem because it makes you hungrier, more tired, and less able to lose weight.

A keto diet is all about making sure your body is burning fat instead of sugar or other carbohydrates. This powerful fat-burning mode is called ketosis, and it’s what makes the ketogenic diet so special.

We’ve put together a handy guide to the ketogenic diet below – what you can eat, the health benefits you’ll get, how to tell if keto is right for you, plus tips and recipes so you can get started today.

What Is The Ketogenic Diet?

So, first things first, here’s what you can expect to eat on a keto diet:

The basic principles: a moderate amount of protein, lots of fats, and very few carbohydrates.

  • That means lots of non-starchy vegetables, meats, organ meats, seafood, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, avocados, olives, as well as healthy fats like ghee and coconut oil.
  • And don’t worry, fellow caffeine addicts, coffee is allowed!

A “Paleo-Keto” approach combines two fantastic diets for maximum effect:

  • No processed products, no soy, ideally no dairy, and no artificial sweeteners (except a little bit of stevia occasionally).
  • Basically, just think of keto like a lower carb version of Paleo, and you’re on your way.

Worried about remembering all this? Print out this handy infographic and stick it on your fridge, problem solved! 

5 Health Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet

Now that you basically know what a keto diet is, here are five ways it can make you healthier:

  1. It can help you lose weight – a study found participants on the keto diet lost weight with no significant side effects.
  2. It can curb hunger and decrease cravings by affecting the hormones which influence appetite.
  3. It may help stabilize your mood as researchers found a ketogenic diet could act as an antidepressant in animals: making it good for your mind and your body.
  4. It can stabilize blood sugar levels, so you don’t have to live with sugar highs and crashes throughout the day.
  5. It can help you gain energy and get rid of brain fog so you feel more focused, motivated, and vibrant. Helping you be the best version of yourself!

Bonus benefits: It could potentially help prevent cancer and protect you against Alzheimer’s disease as well.

IMPORTANT: Is Keto Right for You or Not?

Despite these great benefits, there are a few situations when keto may NOT be a great fit for you:

  • If you have an autoimmune condition you’ll want to get that checked out first, as it can prevent you from getting all the benefits of keto.
  • You’re just looking for a quick fix rather than learning about how to take lifelong care of your body with a healthy lifestyle.
  • Be careful if you’re nursing or are taking insulin for diabetes as eating a ketogenic diet can lower your blood sugar levels, which means you’ll need to adjust the amount of insulin you take.
  • If you’re an athlete in a very “sprint”-based sport, like CrossFit, Soccer, or power-lifting, then keto might not lead to the best performance results for your sport.

Most other people will be able to follow a keto diet without problems, although it’s always worth getting your doctor’s advice before starting any new diet.

How to Get Started on a Keto Diet

Even if keto is right for you, we all know the hardest part of any new health plan is getting started! 

Here are 5 easy tips to help:

  1. Pick a stress-free week to start your diet, make sure you’re not traveling and don’t plan any meals in restaurants.
  2. Clear out all non-keto junk food in your house – it can’t tempt you if it’s not there!
  3. Plan your meals for the week and fill up your pantry with the things you need, so you don’t end up starving and being confused about what to eat. 
  4. Eat unlimited protein/fat but under 25g of carbohydrates per day at least to begin with. Once you’re comfortable you can play with the ratios more.
  5. Recognize that the first few weeks will be tough. If you’ve been eating a pretty high carbohydrate diet for awhile, then that initial switch will be hard. Many people will get flu-like symptoms at first. Try to eat enough food, drink plenty of water, and take in sufficient salts.

And here are 3 great recipes to start with:

I hope this post has piqued your interest in keto and the amazing benefits it can bring into your life.  And regardless of whether you try keto or not, make sure that you eat a nutrient-dense, real food diet and avoid too much unnecessary high-carb foods (even if it’s Paleo).

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