Best Vegetarian Protein Sources

By: Natasha Uspensky

The first thing everyone asks me about when transitioning into a plant-based diet is, “Where will I get my protein?”  Great news, people! There a tons of delicious vegetarian protein sources that are naturally lower in saturated, unhealthy fats and cholesterol (not to mention toxins, antibiotics, hormones, and other additives) than their plant-based counterparts.  A well-rounded plant-based diet with plenty of delicious vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds is naturally high in protein.  Getting your protein from plant-based sources decreases your risk of cancer and heart disease, increases life expectancy, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and a million other benefits! Check out these amazing sources of vegan protein in the chart below!

Photo: MercyForAnimals.org

Other great vegetarian sources of protein are:

Organic eggsOrganic greek yogurtHemp seedsChia seedsAmaranthBuckwheatWhole grain breadWhat are you favorite vegetarian protein sources?  Share in the comments below!Related articles:vegetarians may live longer than meat-eaters! (thefitchronicles.com)Yoga Mama Series – My Plant-Based Pregnancy (yogalina.net)Could That Steak Be Killing You? Vegetarian Diets Proven To Increase Life Expectancy (medicaldaily.com)Want to Live Longer? Eat a Plant-Based Diet (livescience.com)Vegetarians & Protein (fit4liferbm.com)Study: Vegetarians Live Longer (secretsofthefed.com)

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Get Your Green On: Juices and Smoothies

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Eat Your GreensYou know by now that you’ve gotta eat those greens.  Dark leafies are the single healthiest group of foods out there.  Loaded with nutrients, they are major health powerhouses, and the best part is, you can eat them as much as you want!  If you’re not doing so already, make greens a big priority in your eating — shooting for a full serving at least twice a day.  Salads, cooked greens, greens in your eggs, greens tossed into soup, and as a side for pretty much anything you’re eating — they are super easy to make into a daily habit.

Green smoothies and green juices are some of the best and easiest ways to get a whole load of greens, with the least amount of time and effort.  Check out my favorite, nutrient packed recipes below, each targeted toward a specific health concern (but they’re great even if you don’t have that particular issue).  So get your green on, and make green juices and smoothies a part of your day!

Green Juices (best for between meal pick-me-ups, or detox dinners)Detoxifying Green Juice

This green juice is great after a night of partying, or some not-so-great food choices.  It’s also super energizing and mood-boosting.  Pretty much the workhorse of the green juice world.

5 large leaves organic kale2 organic apples, washed, peels on1 cucumber, washed, peel on1 organic lemon, peeled

 

Anti-Inflammatory Green Juice

Great for pain, inflammation, arthritis, and immunity, the addition of ginger and parsley really take this green juice up a notch!

3 large leaves organic kale4 sprigs flat leaf parsley2 organic apples (tart varieties like granny smith are best)1 inch piece of ginger1/2 an organic lemon, peeled1/2 tsp raw honey (optional)Juice all the ingredients, and mix the honey in at the end, if desired.Liver Tonic Green Juice

Great liver cleanse for skin, detox, and again, cleansing the body of alcohol and other toxins.

2 handfuls dandelion greens3 organic carrots1 cucumber1/2 organic lemon, peeled

 

Skin Clearing Green Juice

Awesome for clearing up skin and balancing hormones.

1 cup organic broccoli florets2 large organic carrots1 cup organic spinach1 celery stalk1/2 organic appleGreen Smoothies (meals, not snacks — breakfast or a detox dinner)Mood-Boosting Green Smoothie

Omega-3’s in kale and flax seeds, combined with the tryptophan in the banana, makes this one happy-making smoothie.  

5 leaves organic kale1/2 of a peeled, sliced cucumber1/4 frozen mango1/2 banana or 1 small banana2 tablespoons ground flax seed10-12 ounces of coconut water

 

Stress-Busting Green Smoothie

Avocado is amazing for lowering blood pressure, which combined with calming fennel, and potent anxiety-quelling nutmeg, makes this one powerful stress relieving smoothie!

1 cup organic chard or spinach8 leaves of fresh mint1/2 an avocado1/2 cup fresh, roughly chopped fennel1/2 cup frozen blueberries1/8 tsp nutmeg

 

Green Smoothie for Digestion

Chock full of digestive enzymes, fiber, and the cooling power of mint, this smoothie is amazing for improving digestion.  Add some flax seeds if you’re a little backed up!

1 papaya (fresh or frozen), peeled and cut into chunks1 bunch organic beet greens (just the greens!)1 inch fresh ginger, finely choppedJuice of 1/2 organic lemon4 fresh mint leaves, plus 1-2 sprigs for garnishWater, to taste1/2 tsp raw honey (optional)

 

Anti-Aging Green Smoothie

Loaded with potent antioxidants, this green smoothie will stave off wrinkles, disease, and aging inflammation!

1 cup mixed organic frozen berries3 leaves organic kale1/2 avocado1 tbsp sesame seeds1/2 cup unsweetened green tea

{Images: LunchBoxBunch.com, InspiredTaste.net}

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10 Rules of Longevity and Agelessness

Dr. Deepak Chopra, one of our favorite healthy living gurus, prescribes 10 simple rules for aging gracefully and beautifully in his book Ageless Body, Timeless Mind – A Quantum alternative to growing old. We absolutely love the simplicity of these rules… So spot-on, so intuitive, and so vital for staying young, healthy, beautiful and happy.

1. Intake fresh food, eat frugally, drink wholesome liquids, abstain from stimulants and sedatives, and have a bowel movement at least once a day.

2. Maintain a high level of personal hygiene, get plenty of fresh air, sunlight and rest, have enjoyable leisure time, and satisfying hobbies.

3. Exercise, meditate, practice balanced refined breathing (pranayam) and yoga, listen to the body’s signals of comfort and discomfort.

4. Work for a happy marriage, long-term relationships, cultivate the ability to laugh easily, to make friends and keep close friends.

5. Choose a congenial occupation, go on vacation every year, be optimistic about the future, feel financially secure and live within your means.

6. Develop an easygoing personality, cultivate nonviolent behavior, and have reverence for life.

7. Live in temperate climate, enjoy a reasonable sex life, and get proper medical attention in case of illness.

8. Live in the present – accept what comes your way, appreciate it, learn from it and let go. Resisting the natural flow of things causes negative emotions.

9. Relinquish external approval, avoid being judgmental, replace fear-motivated behaviors with love-motivated ones, nurture positive emotions and express them freely.

10. Always know the world outside is a reflection of your deeper intelligence – the real “you” is within.

Photo: DeepakChopra.com

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How To Use Lucid Dreaming To Tap Into The Deepest Depths Of Your Consciousness & Upgrade Any Dimension Of Your Life

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How To Use Lucid Dreaming To Tap Into The Deepest Depths Of Your Consciousness & Upgrade Any Dimension Of Your Life

A New Masterclass on How to Use Your Sleep To Accelerate Spiritual Growth, Solve Complex Problems, and Have Mind-Blowing Adventures You Choose

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In this Masterclass, you will discover…

  • The Secrets of Lucid Dreaming and how you can upgrade key areas of your life through the hours you spend sleeping. (Considering the fact that Americans currently average 6.8 hours of sleep at night according to a Gallup study… which is 2,482 hours a year… or roughly 21 years for a person living up to the age of 75… you can imagine the opportunity for growth and expansion that awaits anyone who’s willing to utilize at least a fraction of those missed hours.)
  • Andrew Holecek’s #1 most popular Lucid Dreaming technique (which is a combination of two techniques) that studies prove can increase your chances of experiencing a lucid dream by 2000% or more.
  • Why Lucid Dreaming is the best tool for accelerating your spiritual growth and how it can help you get to the forefront of the current revolution of spiritual awakening.
  • Fascinating ways in which you can use Lucid Dreaming to enhance your life — and 4 ways in which professional athletes use it to upgrade their physical skills in waking life.
  • How Lucid Dreaming can be 1000 times more impactful than Creative Visualization in helping you overcome obstacles, attract synchronicities and awaken your creative genius.
  • Meditation and Lucid Dreaming, the hidden link that makes meditators better Lucid Dreamers and why a small shift in your awareness during your waking state can open up a whole new world that you can explore at night.
  • And so much more…
Instructor Profile

About Andrew Holecek

                                                                                                     fourthturning-11-wilber-holecek-600_0
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Andrew Holecek, a devout buddhist practitioner, is an undeniable expert in laying out complicated contemporary practices of eastern spirituality in simple words. Through his teachings on meditation, lucid dreaming and dream yoga, Andrew has delivered a body of wisdom that liberates people from all sorts of mental and physical limitations.

Andrew has studied directly with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and many other esteemed Rinpoches, Khenpos, Acharayas, and Lamas. His work has appeared in the Shambhala Sun, Buddhadharma, Light of Consciousness, Utne Reader, and other highly acclaimed periodicals. He is also affiliated with theShambhala Centers Worldwide and was an adjunct faculty atNaropa University and Ngedon School of Buddhist Studies.

Andrew also has a strong scientific background. He is a dentist and co-founder of Global Dental Relief – a non-profit organization that provides free dental assistance to impoverished children around the world.

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7 Fertility-Boosting Foods (And 2 Baby-Busting Foods!)

By: Stephanie HeinoFertility-Diet

You probably know that eating a nutritious diet and living a healthy lifestyle (which includes exercising, keeping your weight under control, and cutting back on caffeine and alcohol, among other things) is a great way enhance the chance of conceiving and prepare your body for pregnancy. And if you’re already taking those steps, you are on the right path. What you may not know, however, is that researchers have found that beyond eating a generally healthy diet, there are some foods (fertility foods) that may be particularly helpful when trying to conceive. In addition to that, there are some unhealthy foods that may be especially harmful when trying to conceive. So while there is no one food that will guarantee pregnancy, there are definitely some foods you should you dig into (they’re good for you, and that’s a good enough reason) and other foods you should ditch.

There’s no need to feel deprived when you’re trying to get pregnant though, it is actually quite the opposite. Check out these foods that taste great and can help keep your body in top baby-making condition!

low-glycemic-grains1. Whole Grains. You don’t have to give up carbs, just choose the right ones and you are fine. Complex carbohydrates like whole grain breads, brown rice, stone-ground cornmeal, and oatmeal don’t affect blood sugar and insulin as dramatically as refined carbohydrates (white bread, white rice, bleached flour, etc). And anything that’s good for insulin function is good for fertility.

2. Plant Protein. Protein from plant sources like beans, peas, and nuts have been associated with increased fertility, as opposed to protein from meat and poultry. Beans are also high in iron, another fertility-helper. There is no need to become 100% vegetarian while trying to have a baby, but do try to eat mostly seafood if eating protein from animals.

fruits+and+veggies+border3. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. It is possible to explain how healthy and important fresh produce is for fertility? There are just so many reasons! First of all, it’s full of antioxidants, which promote general and reproductive health. Plus many fruits and vegetables like oranges and citrus fruits, strawberries and, green leafy vegetables are very high in folate (water-soluble B vitamin) which is an important nutrient to load up on before pregnancy to prevent birth defects.

4. The “Healthy” Fats: Monounsaturated, Polyunsatured, Omega-3 Fatty Acids.healthy_fats
Always remember this: Say no to trans fats and saturated fats and yes to monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3 fatty acids. That is the rule of thumb when it comes to health! These fats reduce inflammation and insulin sensitivity. You’ll find them in avocados, nuts, sesame and pumpkin seeds, sardines, and salmon.

You can combine these foods in all sorts of ways to magnify the fertility-boosting impact of any meal or snack. Instead of a plain salmon sushi roll, order the one with avocado; add almond butter to your morning smoothie or switch to brown rice. It doesn’t have to be hard, those small changes will be very fertility-boosting!

YAM5. Wild yams. Some experts think that this yummy Thanksgiving staple contains a substance that may help stimulate ovulation (amazing!). In fact, populations that eat a lot of wild yams have a high rate of twins. When it comes to fertility foods, this one may have double the effect!

6. Berries. Blueberries and raspberries are particularly packed with antioxidants, which help prevent damage and aging to your body’s cells, and this includes cells in your reproductive system–meaning your eggs. So a diet that’s rich in berries may help keep your eggs healthy and increase their shelf life.

oyster.sflb7. Oysters. The oyster is famous for being an aphrodisiac because it contains zinc, which is crucial for conception. Zinc deficiency can disrupt the menstrual cycle, as well as iron, and slow the production of good-quality eggs, but if you are not sure if you get enough through your diet you can get zinc from a good prenatal vitamin.

And the foods you should ditch:

1. High-mercury fish. Mercury has been linked with infertility. It’s also known to be harmful to the development of your baby, so you’ll want to avoid eating any high-mercury fish while trying to conceive, especially swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, tuna steak, and shark.

2. Trans fats. Researchers have found that the more trans fats in a woman’s diet, the greater the risk is to develop ovulatory infertility. Trans fats (also called hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, check the labels!) are found in processed and fried foods (packaged snacks and doughnuts, and millions of other items!). So read nutrition labels carefully to avoid trans fats, and stick to polyunsaturated fats (in fatty fish, walnuts, and sunflower seeds) and monounsaturated fats (such as olive oil).

Other natural ways to improve your fertility include:

The-best-way-to-Increase-your-Fertility1. Tracking Fertility. There are a number of natural family planning methods that can also help you to become pregnant. Keeping track of your cervical mucus, and using the Fertility Awareness Method will help you to become more aware of your body’s natural cycle (Try the cervical mucus method). Try keeping a fertility chart – this will raise your fertility awareness, allowing you to know exactly when you are actually ovulating (Many couples have difficulty getting pregnant because they are having intercourse at times when the woman isn’t ovulating. It is important to have sexual intercourse just before an egg is released, in order to maximize your chances of becoming pregnant!). You may also want to look into purchasing a fertility monitor, which can help you keep track of your conception calendar and dates. Good investment for you who want a little one! There are also lots of free tracking apps, like FemCal that track your fertility signs and let you know your peak times for conception b

Six-Simple-Steps-to-Improving-Fertility-for-Men-Women-RMACT-Infertility-CT-NY2. Sexual Positions. If you are having difficulty becoming pregnant, you and your partner may want to experiment with different conception positions during intercourse. In order to become pregnant, your partner must deposit his sperm as close as possible to your cervix. Certain positions will allow this to happen more easily. Avoid having sex while standing, sitting, or with you on top, as this can cause semen to leak out of your body. Instead, try the missionary position, which allows for deeper penetration. Rear entry intercourse is also effective, as it allows your partner to deposit semen closer to your cervix. To keep any extra semen from leaking out of you, try elevating your hips for fifteen minutes or so after your have sex.

3. Herbs. If you are having difficulty becoming pregnant you and your partner may want to look to herbs for fertility (Very effective!). Herbs have been used to promote fertility for thousands of years and can be considered to be a form of natural fertility medication. Because herbs can be very potent, it is important to speak with a registered naturopath, herbalist, or holistic practitioner before taking any herbal supplements.

– Vitex (Chasteberry): This herb works to increase fertility by stimulating the pituitary gland. This is the gland responsible for producing sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Chasteberry should help fertility by balancing the sex hormones. It is great for women with irregular cycles, a short luteal phase, or PMS.

– Dong Quai: Dong Quai is a Chinese fertility herb, long-used to solve menstrual difficulties. It also helps to balance estrogen levels in the body and improve chances of implantation.

– Maca Root: Maca has been used as a fertility supplement for thousands of years! Maca contains over thirty different minerals and over sixty different phytonutrients. While Maca itself does not contain hormones, it can help to affect hormones in both men and women, making it a valuable supplement. Maca supports the balance of hormones in the body and also supports the thyroid, and normal sexual function. Maca is also able to increase stamina, energy and mental clarity, making it a very valuable supplement indeed. It has been shown to help with a lot of the essential body processes that are necessary for fertility, such as supporting the function of the pituitary gland and other vital body processes.355390-43118-14

– Red Raspberry Leaf: Red Raspberry Leaf Tea has become one of the most popular herbal “fertility teas” that women are using to help them conceive. The red raspberry leaf is the green leaf that is found on the raspberry plant. It has been used for thousands of years, starting long ago with the ancient Greeks and Romans to cure various sicknesses and ailments. These days, it is a popular herbal treatment for fertility and can help with various problems throughout pregnancy since it prepares your uterus, as well as boosting overall nutritional intake since the leaves are high in carotenoids, citric acid, tannins, vitamin A, B complex, C, and E. They also have an easily assimilated form of iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and silica.

benefits-of-yoga-for-female-fertility4. Exercise. This one seems to work on every single condition, but yes people, moderate exercise can also be a good natural fertility treatment. When combined with a balanced and nutritious diet mentioned above, exercise can help you to maintain a healthy body weight. Excess body fat can increase the amount of estrogen in your body, throwing the female fertility cycle out of balance. Exercise helps to burn off this excess body fat, allowing hormone levels to return to normal. It is best not to overdo exercise since over exercising can actually impair fertility. Try low impact aerobic workouts like walking, swimming, cycling, pilates and yoga (Check out the amazing benefits of yoga for women’s fertility here!) Balance within is everything!

Good luck! If you need any help getting that right balance in life, don’t hesitate to schedule your free consultation with holistic health counselor Natasha Uspensky!

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Say Buh-Bye to Belly Bloat!

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Say-Goodbye-to-Belly-BloatBelly bloat is one of the most common issues that my clients come to me with, and if you’re anything like them (and I know you are!), that “food baby” nasty bloat is something you are ready to say goodbye to, forever.

Unless you’re suffering from an unmanaged food intolerance or IBS (and if you are, please schedule a consult with me so we can get you feeling all better, fast!), belly bloat is a matter of compromised digestion or simply sub-par food choices.  And guess what? It’s a pretty easy fix.  Follow the tips below to make that belly bloat a thing of the past!

1. Quit that 6 small meals a day/snacking habit!  To give your system a chance to fully digest your food, you need to go at least 3 hours between meals.  If you’re snacking all day long, or committing that carnal dietary sin of several small meals a day, your body never has a chance to completely digest what you’ve eaten, and all that food just piles up in your belly.  Rock three meals a day, with lunch as your biggest meal (see the next tip) to give your body all the time it needs to fully digest and metabolize what you’re eating.

2. No more big dinners!  Our digestion is at it’s strongest at midday, and that is when your body is best able to digest a big meal.  Not at night!! Think about it… If you’re eating your biggest meal at a time when your body is winding down, you have no chance to burn it off, and no chance to properly digest.  This means that big dinner is still sitting in your stomach when you go to sleep, getting stored as fat in all the places you don’t want any extra padding.  So have your biggest meal of the day at lunchtime, when you can actually digest and burn it all off, and make dinner a light and easily digestible meal — like a soup, salad, or some cooked veggies.

3. Chew your food!!  Seriously, if you pay attention, you’ll be amazed at how little you’re actually chewing your food.  Which means that you are swallowing larger chunks of food that haven’t been properly broken down, making your digestive system work so much harder.  This especially applies to high-fiber foods like bread, beans, and potatoes.  Turn everything into a smoothie-like consistency in your mouth before swallowing, and watch that bloat disappear!

4. Step away from the computer!  Eating while stressed or distracted also compromises your digestion, and can lead to overeating.  It is super important to eat your meals in a calm, undistracted state to promote digestion and decrease bloat.  So make time to eat away from work and your computer.  I promise you, you can find 15 minutes to sit in at your dining too table, conference room, or break room to eat your meal.

5. Go for a post-meal walk.  This is an awesome habit that is a cultural staple in many countries.  Particularly after your biggest meal (lunch!), it’s important to take a walk to get things moving and promote digestion.  This also helps to release gas!  A crucial anti-bloat move.

6. Sip some ginger tea after your meal.  Ginger tea is wonderful for aiding in digestion and soothing your stomach.  Keep some tea bags in your purse and make it a post-meal habit!

7. Avoid cold drinks while eating.  Sipping ice water with your meal is a one-way ticket to Bloatsville.  It makes your digestive system work twice as hard, and can cause gas to boot.  It’s generally best to drink liquids before or after eating, but if you must drink something during your meal, make sure it’s room temperature.

8. Don’t finish with fruit. If you’re still experiencing belly bloat after eating, take a look at when you’re consuming fruit.  Eating fruit after a meal can promote gas and bloating.  Opt for having fruit 30 minutes before your meal instead.  Consider it a little appetizer or amuse bouche!

{Photo: Pinterest}

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5 Tips to Grow out Your Healthy Hair

Organic-Beauty-5-tips-for-growing-hair

I don’t know about you, but I think long luscious locks are totally timeless… the perfect accessory.  But growing out your tresses can be tough if you’re dealing with dry, damaged hair that breaks and splits.  I’ve dealt with this myself since I was a teenager and first starting coloring my hair.  But I’m happy to report that I’ve nailed down the perfect recipe for stronger, healthier, shinier hair that grows out beautifully.  As with everything, it takes a holistic approach, inside and out!

1. Go sulfate-free.

Sodium lauryl sulfate is a common ingredient in most shampoos, but what you may not know is that it has a drying and damaging effect on your hair, especially curly or color treated locks.  To maximize your hair’s hydration, and therefore promote softer, stronger hair that’s easy to grow out, opt for a sulfate-free shampoo.  My faves are Wen Conditioning Cleanser, Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo, and Acure Organics Moroccan Oil Shampoo.

2. Shampoo less.

Even the most moisturizing, natural shampoos out can be drying for hair.  The simple solution is to just shampoo less often!  If you wash your hair daily, start cutting back to every other day, then 2-3 times a week, then eventually just 1-2 times a week, which is ideal.  In the beginning, you may feel that your hair is a little oilier than normal, but the cool part is that your hair naturally adjusts!  I have super oily hair, but can now go almost a full week between washes!  Rock a dry shampoo throughout the week if you need to zap some oil and increase volume!  I like Acure Organics Dry Shampoo and Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo.

3.  Embrace oils.

Oils are your hair’s best friends, for strengthening, conditioning, and imparting amazing shine.  My favorite is argan oil, which is perfect for post-shampoo deep conditioning and heat protection.  Try Argana Vita Organic Argan Oil.  For deeper conditioning, smoothing fly-aways, and treating dry ends, use coconut oil.  The one from your kitchen will do fine, but if you’d like a dedicated batch for beauty, try Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil for Body and Hair.

4.  Supplement smartly.

Getting beautiful hair starts on the inside, and supplementing with some key nutrients is a must.  I love Hair Essentials, which is loaded with everything your body needs to repair damaged follicles and grow healthy hair.  Biotin, iodine, saw palmetto, horsetail and more.. It’s truly a potent formulation that also helps to prevent hair loss! If you’re pregnant or trying to conceive, using a good food-based prenatal like VitaminCode Raw Prenatal will give you a lot of the same benefits, while being safe for baby.  Other great supplements for luscious locks are essential fatty acids like fish oil and evening primrose oil.

5.  Eat for gorgeous hair.

You are what you eat, and nutrient-rich foods will give you nutrient-rich hair. Foods like nuts, leafy greens, bananas, cauliflower, legumes, whole grains and cage-free organic eggs are loaded with biotin which strengthens hair and helps it grow.  While foods rich in essential fatty acids like sardines, wild-caught salmon, flax, and walnuts will help hair look shinier and healthier from the inside out!

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9 Herbs For Weight Loss

 

By: Stephanie Heino

Today we are drowning in supplements available to promote weight loss; most of them being dangerous and unhealthy. What people don’t know is that herbs can do wonder for weight weight loss, and they are all natural. Many are safe and effective in helping you lose weight without causing any side effects such as depression or other things that might occur with the processed pills available in the drugstore. But don’t think that solely consuming herbs will help you lose weight; they should be taken in conjunction with a nutritious diet and a sensible and regular exercise plan in order to succeed. Natural weight loss herbs contain tonics that boost your nervous system which makes you more capable of coping with stress and prevents you from emotional eating (one of the biggest culprits of obesity). Herbs make you feel positive and also give you the strength to exercise. They keep you feeling sated because of their high fiber content and since you don’t feel hungry, you aren’t tempted to indulge in snacks and junk food all day. Herbs therefore help you lose weight safely and effectively. Sounds amazing, right?

Check out this list of 9 natural herbs promoting weight loss to start your journey towards that beach body:

Guarana. Guarana is a diuretic that’s useful in helping you lose weight. It also stimulates the nervous system and helps you fight depression and cope with stress. Guarana thus helps you to avoid emotional eating, one of the chief causes of weight gain, but make sure to also include some meditation in your everyday life to deal with the actual cause of your stress and depression.

Guar gum. Guar gum is obtained from the Indian cluster bean. Since it contains lots of fiber, eating guar gum gives you a feeling of fullness that prevents you from overeating. It also decreases bad cholesterol (LDL) and helps control diabetes (amazing!). Make sure to pick up some Guar gum powder next time you go to your natural food store.

Ginseng. Ginseng increases stamina and helps you to treat fatigue. It increases your capacity to do physical activity, so you can no longer use the excuse that you’re too tired to exercise when using Ginseng. It’s also responsible for reducing blood sugar levels and helps you lose weight by increasing the leptin levels (the hormone that helps regulate body weight) which will lead to loss of body weight and decrease in blood glucose levels. Take a look at this guide on how to buy the best supplements.

Flaxseed. The seed of the flax plant has a coating that swells when exposed to water. If you soak whole flaxseeds in water and eat them, they act as bulking agents in your stomach and give you a feeling of fullness. They are neither digested nor absorbed by the body when soaked whole. By giving you a feeling of fullness, they prevent you from overeating and help you lose weight.

Ginger. Ginger (yes, it is an herb!) cleanses the body by reducing the stomach’s acidity and helps getting rid of the food stuck in the digestive system. This lodged food can cause weight gain, and the purging helps you lose it. I like to start my day with a lemon, ginger and cayenne shot to really get my body going!

Cinnamon. Cinnamon regulates blood sugar levels and cholesterol. The ability to regulate blood sugar levels makes cinnamon an important tool in the fight against fat. It also helps speeding up your metabolism!

Glucomannan. Glucomannan delays the absorption of glucose from the intestines and helps you lose weight. Glucomannan is a sugar (a healthy one!) made from the root of the konjac plant that has been used for centuries in traditional Japanese cooking as a thickener agent. Glucomannan creates a sense of fullness by absorbing water and expanding to form a bulky fiber in your stomach. The “bulky fiber” is then expelled from your body via the natural route. This cleansing effect has been said to help with a host of medical issues like reducing cholesterol, helping control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes, and constipation. I would recommend using Glucomannan powder which is practically tasteless, thus great for mixing into smoothies and other foods.

Laminaria. Laminaria regulates the thyroid gland and helps you lose weight that you may have gained due to malfunction of the thyroid gland. Laminaria is a type of seaweed that is native to Japan. Laminaria contains iodine, an element that the body needs to make thyroid hormones. It is also a rich source of iron and potassium. Laminaria is used for weight loss, high blood pressure and as a bulk laxative for constipation. It is also used for preventing cancer. Laminaria forms a thick, sticky gel when it comes into contact with water, and can also be placed inside the cervix to expand the cervix and speed up the onset of labor.

To figure out which herbs are best for your body, talk to your holistic healthcare practitioner, or schedule a session with Natasha!

 

{Image: Pinterest}

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8 Holistic PMS Remedies To Reduce Symptoms!

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By: Stephanie Heino

Ladies, you can feel in your whole body when it’s that time of the month. You are like a bomb ready to explode if anything doesn’t go your way. Even the smallest insignificant thing, such as waking up and getting ready for work finding nothing to wear, can make you just break down in tears and yell at your poor man (how do they deal with it every month?). The premenstrual syndrome monster makes a visit once a month and turns most of us into wrecks. Those physical and emotional symptoms that some women experience in the week or two before their period can be very severe in some cases, where as some women are more lucky. A holistic treatment approach for PMS addresses symptoms of the mind and body. Frequently occurring symptoms of PMS include irritability, mood swings, sadness, stomach cramps, bloating, headaches and muscle tension. These recurrent symptoms cause women a great deal of physical discomfort as well as emotional upset. In order to treat symptoms of PMS effectively, a combination of holistic treatments is recommended.

8 holistic PMS remedies to feel like yourself again:Calcium. It has been shown that calcium levels are much lower in women with PMS and that calcium supplementation may help reduce the severity of symptoms. Women with the greatest intake of calcium from food sources had the least PMS symptoms so make sure you stock up on collard greens and kale. It has also been shown through a study that 300 mg of calcium carbonate four times a day significantly reduced bloating, depression, pain, mood swings, and food cravings. (It’s best to take calcium with magnesium and zinc. You can get a combo single dose capsule like this one from Solaray or get higher dose capsules separately.  I like Essential Blend Calcium from Jigsaw Health. You also want to make sure you have adequate vitamin D for calcium to do it’s magic, and since it’s not possible to get enough in combined capsule, we recommend this high dose, sublingual vitamin D, Bio-D-Mulsion Forte)Chaste Tree Berry Extract. Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) berry is one of the most popular herbs for premenstrual syndrome. Studies found that chaste tree berry effectively reduced PMS symptoms over three menstrual cycles. Women taking chaste tree had significant improvements in irritability, depression, headaches, and breast tenderness (awesome!). The most common side effects of chaste tree berry are nausea, headache, digestive disturbances, menstrual disorders, acne, itching, and skin rashes– but these are all pretty rare. Chaste tree berry should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women, and it may interact with hormones or drugs in your body. You can find this is in your nearest health food store or in our online store!  (Nature’s Way Vitex). NOTE: Vitex is not generally approved for breastfeeding moms, but the rest of these supplements are!Magnesium. The mineral magnesium, found naturally in food and available in supplements, has showing good preliminary results for PMS. Several studies have been done where it shows that the mineral significantly improves PMS mood changes. It was also found that magnesium significantly reduces weight gain, swelling of the hands and legs, breast tenderness, and abdominal bloating.  Take it with your calcium! I recommend the slow release Magnesium from Jigsaw.Acupuncture. In traditional Chinese medicine, the liver is the organ most affected by stress, anger, and frustration. Liver problem caused by emotions, alcohol, and spicy and fatty foods can lead to PMS symptoms such as breast tenderness and abdominal bloating and cramping. Acupuncture, exercise, expressing emotions, and breathing exercises are recommended by practitioners to relieve liver stagnation.Evening Primrose Oil. Evening Primrose oil is a plant oil that contains gamma-linolenic acid, which is an omega-6 essential fatty acid. Gamma-linolenic acid is involved in the metabolism of hormone-like substances called prostaglandins that regulate pain and inflammation in the body. You can find this is in your nearest health food store or in our online store! (Solgar Evening Primrose)Dietary Suggestions. PMS symptoms are decreased by consuming foods that are high in essential vitamins and minerals, including fish, green vegetables, whole grains and assorted nuts. Certain foods such as celery and asparagus help decrease bloating caused by water retention in the body. Whole grains are great for stabilizing mood. It is also crucial to avoid unhealthy foods, especially those that exacerbate PMS symptoms. Stay away from caffeine, alcohol, refined sugars, excessive salt and fatty fried foods. If nothing else, try to eliminate caffeine as much as possible, which can aggravate anxiety, depression, and breast tenderness, as well as alcohol.Exercise. Regular aerobic exercise such as brisk walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling may help relieve PMS symptoms, as do stretching and twisting practices like yoga. Try to focus more on the frequency than the intensity of the exercise, which is what matters when trying to decrease PMS symptoms.Relaxation. Breathing exercises, meditation, aromatherapy, and yoga are some natural ways to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Many women feel more assertive and attuned to their needs in the weeks before their period. This can be used constructively by allowing for personal time to relax, reflect, and give priority to your needs and what nourishes you. Take a hot bath tonight, light some candles and practice your breathing exercises![Photos: 1]

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