Here are our favorite, powerful recommendations for healthy living in 2017. These quick hits are fairly inexpensive and easy to incorporate into busy schedules. Make sure you always consult with your health care provider before making changes to your diet or starting a new regime.
Want more? Let us know and we’ll try and include it in a future blog post.
1. BE ALKALINE
What is it? Your body’s ideal pH level for optimal health.
Why? Disease and illness are less likely to be present and thrive.
If you’ve never considered your body’s acid or alkaline level, it can be the key to disease prevention. If your body is alkaline, that’s good. Acid, not so good. Being alkaline means that your body is in a healthy state that doesn’t welcome or provide a comfy environment for disease to breed and grow. If you’re too acidic, your body can be a perfect host for free radicals, illness and disease.
How? A diet high in vegetables, water, fruit and unprocessed foods is a good first step to being more alkaline. Stress, low sleep, pharmaceutical meds, alcohol and sugar are significant contributors to being acidic. You can test your personal pH with strips from your health food store. Just dip the strip of paper into your urine to quickly get your approximate indication – and get eating those veggies!
(you can also test pH strips in your saliva, but it is considered less accurate)
TIP: Want the fast track to being alkaline? Get a juicer and make your own fresh veggie juice every day! There is a whole lot more to this, so get researching if you’re interested or stay tuned for future blog posts. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a juicer, many of the less expensive models work great.
2. DIATOMACEOUS EARTH
What is it? Food-grade earth that is full of silica.
Why? Beauty from the inside out. Great skin, hair, nails and super detox.
Get the dirt! This dusty, flour-like substance may just end up being the fountain of youth. Better than all those expensive creams, makeup, fillers and injections, food-grade diatomaceous earth (not to be confused with non-food-grade types) is made from fossilized diatoms from aquatic environments. Basically, it’s a dust made from the little tiny skeletons of unicellular algae. They have cell walls made of silica that do a great job of cleaning out your intestines, lowering blood pressure, reducing high cholesterol, making your skin glow like a cherub and ridding you of any intestinal parasites that may be hanging around. After consistent use, you may notice you have softer, glowing skin, improved hair and nails, increased energy and less cravings as your newly cleaned intestines are able to absorb all those nutrients you may have previously missed out on. It’s got other practical uses too. Research it, check with your health care provider, whatever you need to do — and make sure you read the instructions for use on the product that you purchase. It’s not expensive either.
How? Add about 1 tablespoon to your glass of milk, juice, kefir, water, kombucha or whatever and drink it down. It is relatively tasteless, has a slight dusty or flour-like taste.
3. CHAGA & MATCHA
What are they? Two superhero antioxidants.
Why? Disease-fighting properties and great overall health.
Chaga is a truly amazing fungi that provides a powerful dose of antioxidants. This mushroom family-member grows on the sides of trees — and when ground up, it makes a coffee-like beverage that has a woody, earthy flavor. It’s full of immune-boosting, anti-microbial and antiviral properties, is known to break down bad cholesterol in the blood, helps to stabilize blood pressure and blood sugar. Said to provide even more antioxidants than quinoa. A great way to get rid of destructive free radicals. We’re in!
How? Buy ground in health stores or online in a chunk. Hammer into smaller pieces you can grind in a coffee grinder or professional blender. Make it just like coffee or tea, allow to steep/brew for 10 minutes, add milk, cream or sweetener. Grounds can be used repeatedly.
Matcha is potent, powdered, green tea. One of Carolyn’s favorite “greens,” this ancient, antioxidant superfood can help clear free radicals and illness from the body. And it’s not just any ol’ antioxidant, in fact, it contains the most powerful antioxidants, called catechins, and it’s loaded with one of the biggest and widely-known cancer-fighting catechins, EGCg. It may also improve focus, energy, memory, endurance, immunity, calm and calorie burn.
How? Available online, at most health and many grocery stores. Be sure to get a small bamboo whisk, necessary for whipping the powder into a froth before adding hot water. Read the directions.
What is it? An essential mineral in many of the body’s key processes.
Why? Many people don’t get enough. Improves overall health, better sleep and more.
Are you really gettin’ it? Magnesium is a key building block in over 300 of your body’s processes! It helps with everything from nerve function to protein synthesis, blood, bone, heart and cellular processes. An indicator of insufficient magnesium can be muscle cramping and poor sleep, anxiety and eventually it may lead to things like chronic pain and fibromyalgia. Studies say many of us are just not getting enough of it. Consuming carbonated beverages and sugars can also leach magnesium from your system.
How? Get more in magnesium-rich foods such as dark, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, whole grains, avocado, yogurt, bananas and yes, even quality, dark chocolate. (AlterEco is our go-to fave, if you haven’t tried it – get some!)
What is it? Natural plant-based pigment.
Why? Disease fighter, healer and detox agent.
One of our lifetime alkaline-promoting and germ-fighting faves, chlorophyll is the stuff of powerful, fresh, green, leafy veggies. It can help with weight loss by suppressing cravings, reduce appetite and help to metabolize fat and protein. It’s an antioxidant that collects and eliminates toxins, carcinogens and even some heavy metals from your body. It may help to lower bad cholesterol, promote good digestion, clean your intestines and reduce bad breath.
How? It’s easy to take, just add a teaspoon or two to your daily water. You can find it in most grocery stores in the health food aisle or at any health food store.
6. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
What is it? A liquid made from the fermented sugar of apples.
Why? Disease-fighter, antibacterial, antiviral, heart health, tumor-fighter, weight loss.
This acidic substance will get you alkaline. It’s powerful fermented stuff. ACV can help with weight loss, decrease blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes, increase nutrient absorption, alleviate heartburn, improve healthy cholesterol, and may prevent heart disease. It has antibacterial properties and in some scientific research it has proven itself as a cancer inhibitor with an ability to shrink tumors.
How? Apple cider vinegar is a very inexpensive and all it takes is 1-2 tablespoons a day. If you find the sharp taste bothersome, you may drink it down in one shot, or if you’re okay with it, just add it to your water, juice or salad dressing. Ensure you buy an organic, unpasteurized, raw and unfiltered version that contains the important protein strands of bacteria called, “mother.”
Don’t be sleep deprived. Everyone in our family knows about Patricia’s super ability to take quick, deep, sleep breaks to recharge. She can sleep anywhere (and wehave the pictures to prove it). We all know how lack of sleep can impact mood and brain function, but did you know it can mess with hormones and body fat? Being sleep-deprived can be a double-whammy if you’re trying to lose weight. Lack of sleep can increase the hormone that signals hunger and then disrupt human growth hormone that is key in the breakdown of fat. Get more sleep, reduce the chance of eating when you’re really not hungry and it’s a sure way to get a better calorie burn. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
8. MODERATE EXERCISE
You don’t need to hear it from us. Take a brisk walk, hike or stroll with your morning coffee or on a break, attend a yoga class or even go for a light run. Getting the sweat glands working and your blood circulating has plenty of health benefits, and you’re likely familiar with many of them already. With a list of benefits too long to list here, a few of the biggies are calorie burn, detox, artery cleaning and the powerful endorphin release in your brain. Just say, happy place.
9. CONNECT WITH NATURE & MEDITATE
Get into the woods. We all need a little connection with nature. It enhances emotional wellbeing and healing, increases your happiness and reduces stress. Research has shown that exposure to nature is critical to healthy physical and emotional development in children. It’s a great way to improve alkalinity too (see #1). Going to your local park doesn’t cost a thing! Need proof? Read Richard Louv’s National Bestseller, Last Child in the Woods.
10. AVOID FAD DIETS
Fad diets, those new and so-called improved ways to lose weight may not be realistically sustainable in the long-term. Instead make mindful changes when it comes to what you’re eating. What do you eat most of that may be doing you harm? Make changes in those areas first. Things like decreasing or eliminating intake of sugary drinks or pop, drinking more water, eating less processed foods, or even just making one nutritious change to your daily regime. Turn the television off when you eat, choose whole grains and fill your plate with vegetables.
A few honorable mentions…
Dry brushing the skin can help move out toxins, promote lymph node drainage, blood circulation and exfoliation. Don’t forget, your skin is your largest organ. Dry brushing is a refreshing way to detox and get things moving and can even reduce cellulite and your skin will be oh-so-smooth. Get a natural brush and brush the skin of your feet, legs and arms towards the heart, then hop in the shower. Especially if you’re ticklish, it may feel a bit prickly, but the benefits are huge and you will feel alive! Dry brushes can be purchased online and at health food stores.
Last but not least, the heat of a sauna, steam or hot yoga is another cleansing way to promote circulation, cleanse skin and flush out toxins. On top of numerous health benefits, it can also soothe your body and relieve tension, but ensure you consult your healthcare provider first to ensure this activity is right for you. Check out your local gym, fitness club or hot yoga studio.
Looking for a more customized approach?
If you want to know more about the current state of your health, schedule a face reading with renown whole foods pioneer and diet consultant, Rebecca Wood or purchase her invaluable book, Read Your Face. One of the best natural health experts in North America, Rebecca Wood is a winner of both the Julia Child (IACP) and James Beard Cookbook Awards. Not only is she an holistic health expert who can quickly get you back on track, she is positively, one terrific soul who has helped many. Her appointments book up fast so get in there if you’re interested.
These are brief suggestions only, get googling for more details or let us know what you’d like to see more of.
Important: This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any medical conditions. All material on this site is for information purposes only. Always check with your physician or qualified health care provider before making changes to your diet, exercise or health care program.