Tag Archives: self care

How Toxic Are You?

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Is your body a toxic waste dump?

This is a simple question guide that will tell us early warning signs for the need of cleansing impurities or toxin build up in our body.

  1. Do you often feel tired or fatigued?
  2. Do you feel dizzy, foggy-headed or having trouble concentrating?
  3. Do you use coffee, cigarettes, candy or soda to get “up”?
  4. Do you eat fast, fatty, processed or fried foods?
  5. Do your bowels move less than twice a day?
  6. Do you experience intestinal gas and bloating or constipation?
  7. Do you experience headaches or yeast difficulties?
  8. Do you live with or near air and water pollution?
  9. Do you experience general aches and pains or arthritis?
  10. Do you have food allergies, or skin problems?
  11. Do you experience frequent back pains or sinus problems?
  12. Are you often exposed to chemicals, sedatives, or stimulants?
  13. Do you rarely exercise or feel sluggish or overweight?
  14. Have you done a cleansing program before?

If you answered “Yes” to three or more of these questions, or “no” to the last question, it would be desirable for you to purify your system of toxins.

Toxic-Body

Basic Nutritional Rules

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1.Choose a diet that is as close to natural as possible.

The more processing that foods go through before they are eaten, the less nutritient value they have and the more added non-nutrient substances that have been added to them. For example, eat fruit and stay away from fruit juice drinks. Eat fresh vegetables and stay away from frozen vegetable servings with cheese or other sauces. Usually, foods in their natural state are cheaper and by far more nutritious than their refined cousins.

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  1. Choose good fats over bad fats

The worst fats for you to eat are partially hydrogenated fats. You will find these included in most processed foods. These are related to all sorts of health problems. Limit your intake of fried foods as the constant heat will change a good oil into a health hazard. Next, limit your intake of animal fats, saturated fats, and increase your intake of good omega 3 and omega 6 oils. An example of an omega 6 oil is olive oil. Make sure that it is extra virgin and green in color. The omega 3 oils are the nut and seed oils or deep water fish oils. Of course, you may choose to take capsules of these good oils, but don’t do that if it is just an excuse to let you eat more animal or trans fats.

  1. Variety is the spice of life

Eat a wide variety of foods each day. The most commonly missed foods in a diet are fiber foods, fruits, vegetables and dairy products. Plan your day so that you get at least two of each of these types of food per day.

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  1. Water – the other essential nutrient

Our bodies work on water. It fills our blood vessels, our kidneys need it flush out waste products, our skin uses it to help control our body temperature and the list goes on. We have a thirst center for water, not for coffee or juice or beer – just water. When you are thirsty, drink plain water until your thirst is gone. Then if you choose, drink what you want for enjoyment but avoid sugared drinks or those with artificial sweeteners. Drinking tap water can contain other chemicals so if you want to start with good water get Reverse Osmosis water from the grocery for water refill. Only do Reverse Osmosis water purely for 2-3 months then start putting a tiny amount of tap in it to change the concentration of Reverse Osmosis water. It will be too strong of a concentration of water to continue in long term and will drain out important minerals, vitamins, proteins in your body.

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  1. Vegetables – the source of most vitamins

Don’t skip on your vegetables. They are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals (except calcium and magnesium) and fiber. Don’t be fooled into thinking that a salad of iceberg lettuce provides you with anything. It is one of the most useless foods ever grown. Choose any other leafy vegetable or lettuce for you salad and don’t use a bottled dressing. In general, try to eat one vegetable from below the ground to every four to five from above the ground.

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  1. Fruit – hidden gems

Fruit is relatively high in carbohydrates so limit your consumption but don’t overlook these great sources of energy and nutrients. These colorful components of our diets are high in special nutrients like carotinoids, lycopene, flavinoids, rutin and other substances that help prolong our health and vitality. First, eat the fruit that is in season. Second, wash the skin of the fruit thoroughly and if it is edible, eat the skin with the fruit. Third, if possible eat one piece of citrus fruit for every two servings of other kinds of fruit.

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  1. Don’t over eat or under eat your protein

A good rule of thumb is to make sure you eat two to three small servings of protein a day. Small means small, not the size usually given in a restaurant. Make an attempt to eat more fish. Fish is easily digested and deep-water fish like salmon, not farm raised, is high in the good omega 3 oils. Eggs are one of the best protein sources but as with all things don’t over do it.

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  1. Sugar and salt have no redeeming value besides taste

Use sugar and salt sparingly, a little goes a long way. Don’t even think of using artificial sweeteners, their side effects can be worse than sugar and they don’t reduce your taste for sugar. Honey, maple syrup, brown sugar and etc. are almost as bad.  Salt causes water retention and mineral balance problems. Instead of salt on meat, try a little lemon juice. This Italian trick enhances the taste of the meat without salt.

  1. Walk the perimeter of your grocery store

Think about where the healthy foods are in the typical grocery store. They are all on the outside. Shop there. About all that you need on the inner isles are cleaning agents and toilet paper. When you are on these isles of prepared foods, read the labels. Look for the quantities of fats, calories and ingredients that you can’t pronounce. Remember that the list of ingredients is in the quantity. If water or sugar is listed first, then that is the most plentiful of all of the ingredients. Glucose, sucrose, maltose, galactose, lactose and corn sweetener are all of the names for different types of sugars. By using more than one of these, a company can try and trick you into thinking the product has less sugar than it does. Pay attention to the number of servings in a package. To make a candy bar seem not as bad as it is, the company will say that the package contains two servings. When was the last time someone shared a small candy bar or saved half of it for another day? If you can’t understand the ingredient, most likely it is artificial sweetener or food preservative. This makes most of the food are not whole food.

Calcium-Foods

  1. Don’t forget your calcium

Dairy products are one of the few great sources for calcium. Aging effects bone density and calcium is a critical component. Most of the societies where people live long healthy lives are cheese or yogurt eaters. As in all cases, moderation is the key.

  1. Take your supplements

It is impossible to create a diet that you will eat all year and fill all of your nutrient needs. It sounds ideal and it is. Our soil is depleted in some nutrients. In the winter, our vegetables and fruits come from South America. Food preparation destroys some of the nutrients. Set a good supplement program for your specific needs and think of it as an insurance policy. If you have any questions regarding which supplement company has good quality, stay tuned for a future blog topic!

Remember, a diet to support a long and healthy life is not like a religion. It doesn’t have any Do Not’s – just a lot of reductions and increases.

Ginger Buzzzzzz

It’s February already, that time of year when most people have had enough of winter, 3 months is plenty right, but there is still 4-6 more weeks of cold ahead. So what can we do to stay warm and carry on for 4-6 more weeks?! Well here it is, that spicy warm drink that helps to warm you up from the inside and strengthens you Wei Qi (otherwise known as defensive qi), not to mention it is delicious delicious delicious… Ginger Buzzzzzz!

For 1-2 people:

Juice one fresh lemon (remove peel), and about 1 inch of fresh raw ginger – set aside.

Heat 8-16oz of filtered water to about 200 degrees. Put 1 tbsp of raw honey (local honey is preferred for it’s ability to treat local allergies) in each mug. Pour hot water into each mug and stir honey until it is completely dissolved. Add the lemon ginger juice to the mugs.

If you like add a dropper full of echinacea tinture  for extra immune support to each mug!

Stir, sip, feel the warmth, and enjoy!

Anti-inflammatory Smoothie!!

The Anti-inflammatory Smoothie
Ingredients:

1 cup berries of your choice (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries)
1 cup leafy greens of your choice (kale, spinach, beet greens), compressed
2-inch (5 cm) piece of ginger
1 tablespoon unrefined organic coconut oil
1 teaspoon (or more, to taste) of fresh chia seeds
Green tea, steeped to desired strength
Honey, maple syrup, or stevia to taste to sweeten, if desired
Directions:

Put all ingredients in a blender and mix well. Drink immediately to enjoy the most nutritional benefits.

Berries contain antioxidant phytonutrients called flavonoids (specifically, anthocyanin) in their skins that exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. They are the pigment that give berries their color.

Dark leafy greens are full of nutrients: vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support every system in your body. Magnesium in particular is important for inflammation regulation and spinach, kale, beet greens, broccoli, okra, are especially rich in this mineral.

Ginger is a magical plant. It eases arthritis pain, aids digestion, prevents cancer, and inhibits the formation of arterial plaque through its anti-inflammatory phytochemical gingerol.

Coconut oil is a healthy, nutrient-rich saturated fat that has a positive influence on your body.

Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids (with eight times more than salmon!) which are critical for cell health. These building blocks reduce inflammation, thereby decreasing the risk for cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disease. Flax seeds and walnuts are good substitutions.

Warm your core this winter with a curry red lentil and kale soup

It is important in the winter months to keep your Stomach Qi warm. A good way to do this is to nourish your Stomach with warm soups. Here is a warm soup recipe to keep your Stomach Qi strong and moving.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons salt

2 onions diced

2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons ginger copped finely

1-2 jalapeños diced

2 tablespoons curry powder

2 tablespoons red curry paste

3 cups red lentils

4 large sweet potatoes peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes

10 cups water

1 large bunch kale chopped

In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the salt, onions, and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent.  Add ginger and jalapeños, cook for 5 more minutes. Add the curry powder and curry paste. Cook stirring constantly for about 2 minutes, color will start to darken. Add lentils, sweet potatoes, and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until sweet potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Add kale and cook for about 10 minutes or until kale is softened. Salt and pepper to taste and let your Stomach Qi enjoy! Remember to be happy when you eat!

Thanks for reading!

“EAT” more water!

If we have less water in our body the muscles can’t rub over each other and move with ease! We are burning up the water so fast and hence the reason we feel achy in the winter months. Remember our bodies are about 70 percent water no matter what time of the year is it. We should all increase how much water we intake by about 2-3 glasses per day.

Snacking on water- fruits and vegetable

Watermelon and strawberries contain about 92 percent water. Other fruits with high water content include ,cantaloupe with 90 percent, grapefruit with 91 percent and peaches with 88 percent water. Some fruits containing 87 percent water by weight include pineapple, cranberries, orange and raspberries. Apricots hold 86 percent water, while blueberries and plums contain 85 percent water. The water content for apples and pears is 84 percent. Cherries and grapes contain an average of 81 percent water. Also banana’s composition includes 74 percent water.

On top of the vegetables list are cucumber and lettuce, consisting of 96 percent water. Zucchini, radish and celery are comprised of 95 percent water. Ninety-four percent of tomato’s weight is water, and green cabbage is 93 percent water. Vegetables that contain 92 percent water include sweet peppers, cauliflower, eggplant, red cabbage and spinach. Broccoli is 91 percent water by weight. Additional healthy hydrating foods include carrots with 87 percent water and green peas and white potatoes with 79 percent water.

In the end of it all we need water to stay healthy and to help flush our bodies toxins of every day life!

Are you positive and healthy?

Happy Monday! As the Acupuncturist at Zen Healing Center, I focus a lot on stress and how it impacts lives. Stress is a large cause of many of the emotional and physical symptoms that we experience daily and is something that can be worked on! Not sure if stress is affecting your health or well being? Ask yourself this…

Ever feel like you are slightly critical of yourself, or others? How many times a day do you find yourself being easily irritated? How many times a day do you praise yourself, or praise others? Praise is not something that must be spoken out loud, it can be something you say internally or write down in your journal. We grow up being taught that others are affected by our words and actions, but it is good to be reminded that you are just as affected by your own words. With this said, it is good (and easy!) to practice praising.  Just say 3 nice things to yourself (and others!) every day.

Example:

1. Good job at work today, you were very productive and made a difference.

2. Good job today for taking deep breaths and  letting your body relax, you really do deserve it!

3. Good job today for being a wonderful person and noticing the wonders in others around you!

The first few times you do this, it may feel silly, but if you keep it up you will find yourself feeling more positive about yourself and the world around you. Praising can help you to relax, slow down, and not be bothered by the little things. This practice is not about enhancing your ego, it is about becoming a positive being. With that said, remember to stay humble as you walk though this wonderful path!