Oil Pulling: How 20 minutes a day can detox your body.

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What is oil pulling? 

It is mind blowingly simple: swish oil in your mouth and spit it out after a while.

How long should I pull for?

The optimum amount of time is 15-20 minutes, to reduce toxins and reap the benefits of oil pulling. This may seem like a long time, but actually goes really quickly especially because you can do other (speechless) things while you pull.

How much oil should I use?

It depends on your level of experience with oil pulling. Starting out, 1-2 teaspoons is a nice amount. After a few weeks of this or when you feel comfortable, move up to 1 tablespoon.

What kind of oil should I use?

This one is personal preference. Coconut, sesame, olive, turmeric are all beautiful oils to use. Pick one that you like the flavour of and give it a go. Adding an essential oil, like peppermint, clove, lemon are all uplifting and antibacterial plants that will assist the detoxification process.

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When should I oil pull?

First thing in the morning is the best time. Straight after waking up, pop some oil in your mouth and have a shower or start preparing breakfast. It’s an efficient way to gently detox on a daily basis.

What does oil pulling do?

Oil pulling is a powerful detoxifying technique that has recently become very popular as a remedy for many different health conditions. Using this method, this study suggests that surgery or medication could be prevented for a number of chronic illnesses.

The oil therapy is preventative as well as curative. The most compelling aspect of using this method is its simplicity and accessibility.

Studies have shown that oil pulling can significantly reduce plaque induced gingivitis. Oil pulling was also reported to reduce bad breath. This study measured bacteria in saliva and plaque in teenage children and concluded that oil pulling is an effective way to improve and maintain oral health.

Ayurveda health experts advise oil gargling in the mouth purifies the entire system; and believes that each section of the tongue is connected to different organs, such as to the kidneys, lungs, liver, heart, small intestines, stomach, colon, and spine, similarly to reflexology and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Taken from: http://www.greekmedicine.net/diagnosis/Tongue_Diagnosis.html
Taken from: http://www.greekmedicine.net/diagnosis/Tongue_Diagnosis.html

Further to this, using the right oils helps to eliminating the following from the body:

o heavy metals
o parasites
o pesticides
o preservatives
o additives
o hormones
o environmental toxins

Not only is the body highly interconnected, but the mouth is also a host to many organisms that breed in it’s warm and moist conditions. Dr. Bruce Fife, explains it really well (Bruce is the author to an entire book on oil pulling). He describes the oil as acting like a cleanser.”When you put it in your mouth and work it around your teeth and gums it “pulls” out bacteria and other debris. As simple as it is, oil pulling has a very powerful detoxifying effect. Our mouths are the home to billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites and their toxins. Candida and Streptococcus are common residents in our mouths. It is these types of germs and their toxic waste products that cause gum disease and tooth decay and contribute to many other health problems including arthritis and heart disease. Our immune system is constantly fighting these troublemakers. If our immune system becomes overloaded or burdened by excessive stress, poor diet, environmental toxins and such, these organisms can spread throughout the body causing secondary infections and chronic inflammation, leading to any number of health problems.”
The Mind Body Green website suggests that oil pulling may result in the following benefits:
  • Brightening & whitening teeth
  • Healthier gums
  • Removal of mucus
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Preventing bad breath
  • Increasing energy
  • Having a clearer mind
  • Decreasing headaches
  • Clearing the sinuses
  • Alleviating allergies
  • Better sleep
  • More clearer skin
  • Regulating menstrual cycles
  • Decreasing inflammation
  • Improving the lymphatic system
  • Improving PMS symptoms

So, what do you have to lose? Nothing! There is so much to gain from this quiet, gentle practice that will detox your body and offers amazing benefits.

Eating for Nourishment vs Comfort

This post was inspired by the ladies from ‘Up For a Chat’ a podcast about health with 3 of Australia’s leading wellness women (Cyndi O’Meara, Carren Smith and Kim Morrison). Get on it, if you want to keep up to date with health and living an abundant life in all aspects of your being.

let food be thy medicine

Emotional eating is a concept that has taken me a long time to transform into one that is useful to me. It’s at times of vulnerability that we often turn for comfort, often through food. Chocolate, ice-cream, lollies, sugary foods, chips and alcohol are often the first things we turn to.

Everything we eat directly effects the person we become. Food is the foundation- the very building blocks for every cellular function our bodies exert. The body is a machine, the fuel we give it determines how we operate.

Feed yourself with good fuel
Feed yourself with good fuel

The relationship we have with food is a complex one. Going all the way back to the womb, your body started consuming food. Childhood is also the main place where we start forming emotional connections with certain kinds of foods. Think Tiny Teddies, or Sunday roast meals, juice boxes, sultanas. Did any of these things conjure up memories from years passed?

Sometimes we forget that these foods aren’t actually comforting to our body. The tastebuds may enjoy a brief moment of pleasure from salt, fats and sugar, even our brains go crazy for it! But consuming foods high in refined sugar, alcohol, unhealthy fats, causes inflammatory responses in our system and does nothing to make us feel better.

The mind is attached to the brain, and the brain is attached to the gut. Research is proving more and more that our stomach and brain are directly linked. Feeding the healthy bacteria in your gut improves brain function. BUT, when we try and deal with our emotions with unhealthy foods, it is a terrible cycle that will feed your brain unhealthy responses.

So, what needs to change in order to stop eating for comfort?

Step 1: THINK.

Eating to comfort yourself is a learned response. Somewhere along the line, we become attached to certain foods in response to specific emotions. Before you reach for the ice-cream, think about how you feel. What triggered you to reach for food? Are you sad, frustrated, angry?

Step 2: Deal with the emotion. Start viewing food for it’s nourishment, not comfort.

Rather than eating food to deal with your emotion, consciously delve into how you feel. Ask yourself why you feel this way? Ask yourself what you can do to feel differently?

Eat foods that build you up, strengthening you from the inside, out.

Step 3: Remind yourself that your attachment does not serve you!

Eat foods that care for your body, whole foods that empower you to undertake your daily tasks. A good place to start is replacing unhealthy fats with good ones, refined sugar for it’s natural counterpart sweeteners. Look to nature to satisfy your body’s needs. Try my Gooey, Fudgey Peanut Butter (N)icecream.

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Step 4: Create a new habit. 

Instead of ice-cream, go for a walk, take a bath or do something you love. Do something that allows your mind to repair itself. Nurture your mind and your body. Don’t let your emotions rule you.

Step 5: There is always a way to rebuild yourself.

If you fall off the band wagon and eat something that doesn’t nourish you… you have not failed. Learn to be with your emotions and learn to love and nourish your body with both your emotions and food.

 

11 Fun Facts About Avocados

I just love avocado! I was going to write a full profile on them, but came across this article. I thought there were some interesting facts in there that could spark some interest.
This article has been reblogged from Mind Body Green. The original article is by NICOLE BAKER published on MAY 31, 2013 7:02 AM EDT.
See here for the original article.
1. They’re baby friendly. 
Avocados are the size of a baby in its mother’s womb at 16 weeks. They’re also a good snack to feed to babies young and old!
2. They’re fiber rich. 
There are 10 grams of fiber in one medium-sized avocado. There are two grams of fiber in one serving, which is one-fifth of a medium avocado. It contains both insoluble and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber (which speeds up the passage of foods) accounts for 75%, with the remaining 25% as soluble fiber (the fiber that makes you feel full).
3. They have natural packaging.
Their thick skin protects them; it’s natural packaging! You can’t eat the skin, but it shields the green goodness inside, making avocados perfect for travel.
4. They lower bad cholesterol.
Avocados are one of the only fruits that contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fat (the good-for-you fat) that helps boost good (HDL) cholesterol and lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol.
5. They upgrade your dips and spreads. 
An avocado serving size is 50 calories, which works out to be 3 thin slices or 2 tablespoons mashed. There are fewer calories than the same amount of butter, mayonnaise, sour cream, peanut butter, almond butter, olive oil, and coconut oil — PLUS avocado has over 20 vitamins and minerals to upgrade your natural diet! Use avocado as a substitute today!
6. They’re gluten free, dairy free, vegan, vegetarian and cholesterol-free. 
Avocados are naturally FULL of nutrition, so there’s no need for special labels. They’re full of flavor; think of all of the meals you can healthify with avocado!
7. You know when they’re ripe and ready. 
Avocados are ripe when they feel heavy for their size, yield to light pressure and are dark in color. But don’t squeeze these delicate babies too hard. Not ripe? Put in a brown paper bag for 2-4 days, or you can speed up this process by putting a banana or apple in the bag.
8. They’re an anti-aging powerhouse. 
Supercado is what we should call avocados, because they’re one of the most inexpensive anti-aging tools for your skin! Don’t let its rough outer covering fool you — the inner smoothness and creaminess are what we need for youthful skin. With all of the nutrients, healthy fat and vitamins, an avocado tree could be the next fountain (tree) of youth!
9. They have a fun etymology.
The word “avocado” comes from the Spanish word aguacate, which is from the the Nahuatl word ahuacatl. When I lived in Chile, we called it palta, which is its Quechua name. It’s also sometimes called the alligator pear due to the shape and rough green skin (cut it open and it looks like an alligator eye, too). I prefer to call it palta; my strong love for avocados started in Chile.
10. They’re a climacteric fruit.
Yes, avocado is a fruit and is climacteric, meaning it matures on the tree but ripens off of the tree. The “paltas” we get in non-avocado bearing climates are picked hard and green and kept in coolers until they reach their final destination. Avocados must be mature to ripen properly. In a perfect world they would fall off the tree and ripen on the ground naturally.
11. Avocados need love, too.
Avocado trees do not self-pollinate; they need another avocado tree close by to bear fruit. The avocado is an Aztec symbol of love and fertility, and they also grow in pairs on trees. My love and I eat them every day, and we create natural loving meals with love filled food!
When will you be picking up some avocados? Do it today! There are over 500 varieties of avocados in the world, with the most popular in the United States being the Hass varieties. Pick a few up and share some green avocado love!

When It Comes To Food Choices, What Are The Lesser Evils?

This post has been reblogged from Mind Body Green. The original post can be seen here.

Sure, it’s easy to say when it comes to your morning coffee, it’s ideal to drink unprocessed almond milk with no additives or sugar. But the reality for most people rushing into the coffee shop in the morning is that they have to make the best choices they can with the options that are available. Which leaves us wondering, when it comes to food choices, which are the lesser evils? We spoke to Laura Kraber, a health coach over at Dr. Frank Lipman’s Eleven Eleven Wellness Center, to get some answers.

Milk
MBG: You walk into a coffee shop, really wanting a cappuccino. Here are your milk options: skim milk, whole milk, soy milk, and almond milk with sweeteners and additives. Which one should you choose?

Laura: Whole milk if you tolerate dairy, almond milk if you don’t. Whole milk is a good choice in that it is natural, does not include the additives or preservatives found in the nut milks, which usually contain sweeteners and carrageenan. Whole milk, and whole milk products such as yogurt and cheese are beneficial in that they provide much needed healthy fats. As building blocks of our cell membranes, precursors to our hormones and essential for the fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K, fats play an essential role in our bodies and many of us are not getting enough, due to the proliferation of low-fat products and our fear of fats generally

Low fat milk vs Whole

MBG: Why don’t you get the same benefits from low-fat milk as you do from whole?

Laura: Generally, fats and protein modulate the uptake of glucose in your body so whenever you consume sugars, including lactose, or milk sugar, you also want to consume protein and fat to help regulate your blood sugar. As a general rule, the lower the fat content of a dairy product, the higher the lactose (milk sugar) content of that food. So skim milk has a higher percentage of lactose. Additionally, the vitamins in milk, A, D, E, and K are fat soluble vitamins; in order to be absorbed, they need to be consumed with fat. Calcium absorption is greatly enhanced by Vitamin D, but if you are drinking skim milk, you are not absorbing the Vitamin D. Furthermore, when we remove natural fats from our diet, we inevitably have cravings (because we need fat in our diet) and we turn to refined carbohydrates and sugar, which spike our blood sugar and cause blood sugar crashes later, necessitating more sugar/carbs — an endless cycle.

For more info about skim milk, you can read fellow health coach, Jenny Sansouci’s blog post about this issue.

Sweeteners 

MBG: Now you want to sweeten you coffee. The options are splenda, cane sugar and honey that has been heated. Which is your best option?

Laura: Honey. Although sugar is sugar and is certainly not a health food, if you are going to add a small amount of sweetener to your coffee or tea, opt for honey. Honey has lower levels of glucose and fructose and requires more work for your body to break it down, thereby slightly reducing its impact on your blood sugar levels, as compared to sugar. Secondly, depending on the type of honey, it may contain small amounts of vitamins and minerals, since it is a natural food it contains no preservatives or additives.

About honey

MBG: But once honey is pasteurized, doesn’t it lose most of these health benefits?

Laura: Pasteurized (heated) honey does not have the same benefits as raw honey. However, most of the beneficial enzymes found in honey can survive the pasteurization process, depending upon the specific producer’s processes so it is still a better option than sugar. We do recommend raw honey as the best option.

Sandwiches?

MBG: Now it’s lunchtime. Your sandwich shop offers sandwiches on white, whole wheat and gluten-free (which may contain sugar and additives). Which is your best bet?

Laura: NO SANDWICH! Any place that has sandwiches will usually have salads, or you can ask to have the sandwich contents prepared without the bread. Why? Although only a small percentage of people have celiac disease or a wheat allergy, there are increasing numbers of people with gluten sensitivity. One theory is that the dramatically higher levels of gluten in today’s wheat are causing reactions in a greater number of people. Similarly, scientists have shown that gluten increases zonulin production in the body, which increases likelihood of “leaky gut” or intestinal permeability, opening the door to allergies of many kinds. Whatever the cause, taking wheat out of the diet has proven beneficial for health — not for everyone, but for many. Although we may be accustomed to the convenience of sandwiches, there are many other lunch options to explore which are readily available.

Burgers Vege vs Meat

MBG: You meet a friend for dinner at a casual restaurant and feel like a burger (no bun). What’s better, a veggie or meat?

Laura: Regarding burgers, generally, you are better off with a humanely-raised grass-fed beef burger as opposed to a soy and preservative or additive-filled veggie burger. That said, there are plenty of healthy vegetable burgers to be found or to be made at home, as soy is not a required ingredient.

On Soy

Soy is another food that has become ubiquitous in our food supply and, unless labeled organic, is a genetically modified food. Soy is potentially disruptive to thyroid and endocrine function and it can interfere with leptin sensitivity, setting you up for metabolic syndrome. If you do choose to include soy in your diet, aim to eat only fermented soy products and make sure that you take a good multi-mineral supplement. It is important to remember that you should not rely on soy for your protein, but to think of it as a small portion of a balanced diet.

Laura Kraber is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) and a health coach, offering nutrition counseling and health coaching at Dr. Frank Lipman’s Eleven Eleven Wellness Center and in her Brooklyn office. She works with clients to develop dietary and lifestyle habits to improve their overall health, energy levels, and resolve digestive disorders.

A graduate of Yale University and a certified English teacher, Laura offers health and nutrition seminars and workshops in NYC-area schools and for corporate clients.
Photo Credit: Stocksy

Profile: Banana

This week on the blog, we are going bananas!

Bananas are in season, and very cheap at the markets right now. I bought an abundance of them and over the next week I plan on giving you a banana recipe every day to give you some inspiration to fit these beautiful fruits into your diet. They are loaded with health benefits and delicious to eat. What more could you want? I think bananas are the unsung heroes of Super foods.

Frozen Banana Slices

What is it?

Banana is a fruit that has a thick waxy skin and soft flesh on the inside. In most varieties the skin changes from green to yellow to brown as it goes through the ripening stages. Yellow is when it is commonly eaten, but did you know that the darker the colour of your banana- the higher it is in antioxidant benefits?

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Banana plants are the largest plants on earth without a woody stem. They are actually giant herbs of the same family as lilies, orchids and palms. Banana plants can grow to heights up to 9 metres tall.

Why is it good for you?

There are so many reasons why bananas should be your next snack of choice.

1. They pack over 80 nutrients! Check out this nutritional profile for the list.

2. Known for their high potassium which contributes to cardiovascular health eating a banana can help manage cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

3. Feeling tired? More than potassium, bananas have a huge amount of Vitamin B6, which boosts energy levels and aids red blood cell production.

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4. Bananas contain enzymes that help to balance gut bacteria and increase overall digestive health.

5. Got reflux? Bananas are a powerful antacid. Providing relief from acid reflux, heartburn and GERD.

6. Banana peel has a variety of uses and benefits. Some include natural teeth whitening, wart removal or a leather conditioner.

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7. Feeling stressed? Eat a banana. They have natural chemical, tryptophan which helps the body to process serotonin which calms and stabilises your mood.

8. High in dietary fiber, bananas can regulate bowel movements in a gentle and natural way.

9. More healing powers: they can reduce swelling, protect against type II diabetes, aid weight loss, strengthen the nervous system, and help with the production of white blood cells, all due to high levels of vitamin B.

10. They taste amazing and are versatile to use! Put them in a smoothie, cake, or just eat by themselves.

bananapic

Colours and varieties

There are more than 500 varieties of banana plants in the world: The most common kinds are Dwarf Cavendish, Valery, and Williams Hybrid bananas. Other types of bananas include Apple and a small red banana called the Red Jamaica. A large type of banana called the plantain is hard and starchy and is mostly used as a vegetable in cooking.

 

Profile: What is Paleo?

What is it?

It was really hard to find a concise definition for the Paleo Diet, or the Paleolithic Diet (also known as cave-man, stone age or hunter-gatherer diet). First, I should point out that the word diet is used to refer to the lifestyle of eating, rather than relating to ‘weight loss’ or a program.

Basically, the theory behind eating a Paleo Diet is to eat the foods that were available hundreds of years ago. Lots of vegetables and some fruit in their natural season, few to no grains, and nothing in a packet. Definitely no GMO’s, or synthetic ingredients. It is a natural way to think about the food we eat.

Image from: eatdrinkpaleo.com.au
Image from: eatdrinkpaleo.com.au

How do you say it? Most people say “pay-lee-oh”

What foods do ‘Paleo’ followers prioritize and avoid?

Robb Wolf has put together this chart as a nice overview of what the Paleo diet emphasises.

Okay To Eat Avoid
Fruits Dairy
Vegetables Grains
Lean Meats Processed Food & Sugars
Seafood Legumes
Nuts & Seeds Starches
Healthy Fats Alcohol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What about the dairy? That’s a tough one, some say “do” and some say “don’t”. Read here for the pros and cons of dairy.

What to Eat: 


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  • Meat – GRASS-FED, not grain-fed. Grain causes the same problem in animals as they do in humans.
  • Fowl – Chicken, duck, hen, turkey…things with wings that (try to) fly.
  • Fish – Wild fish, as mercury and other toxins can be an issue in farmed fish
  • Eggs – Look for Omega-3 enriched eggs.
  • Vegetables – As long as they’re not deep-fried, eat as many as you want.
  • Oils – Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil – think natural.
  • Fruits – Have natural sugar, and can be higher in calories, so limit if you’re trying to lose weight.
  • Nuts – High in calories, so they’re good for a snack, but don’t eat bags and bags of them.
  • Tubers – Sweet potatoes and yams.  Higher in calories and carbs, so these are good for right after a workout to replenish your glycogen levels.

Preparation: The preparation of Paleo food is usually with simple, natural oils (like coconut and avocado). Raw and simple cooking methods are encouraged, and use of the whole food prepared as nutritiously as possible.

Is it Nutritious? Yes! The Paleo diet values nutrient density very highly. They encourage full fats (avocado, and Omega-3’s), high fiber, low carbohydrate and high protein. These factors, combined with consuming whole foods as they were designed to be eaten, encourage growth, repair and maintenance of the body.

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Image courtesy of Primal Palate – http://www.primalpalate.com/about/the-paleo-diet/

Uses: The Paleo diet is a ‘lifestyle’ and some might say quasi-religion. It is designed to be a lifelong way of interacting with food, rather than just a fad or a temporary solution to a variety health problems.

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Brief History: Many experts argue that Paleo started at the dawn of time, and is the way that humans were designed to eat.

Gastroenterologist Walter L Voegtin coined down the term ‘Paleo’ in his book “The Stone Age Diet” published in 1975. In his book, he argued that human beings are naturally carnivorous where a diet that would give us the perfect health while keeping us fit and strong would be to have a diet that our ancestors from what the Paleolithic era used to have.

The Paleolithic era was the time before the agricultural revolution or during the Stone Age. Dr. Voegtin believed that since 99.99% of our genetic blueprint came from our ancestors of that Paleolithic era, we are naturally meant to have a paleo diet program to keep us naturally healthy to the fullest level.

Joseph Knowles 1913
Joseph Knowles 1913

Back in 1913 Joseph Knowles went to live in the wilderness to experiment with the lifestyle of ‘hunter gatherer’ like the people of the Stone Age. He lived in the forest and ate whatever fruits and vegetables that he could find there. He did this for two months, and when he came back he realised how much his wellbeing had improved, from his strength, health and fitness.  He didn’t coin or promote the term ‘Paleo’ but his experiment and fame became a gateway to re-explore the ‘hunter gatherer’ lifestyle .

Where can I get it? The Paleo diet starts at home. It is accessible to anyone, by sourcing naturally grown products (even in your own garden!) and cutting out allergens and other inflammatory nasties.

The Paleo Mom suggests getting used to your meals consisting of some kind of protein (meat, fish or eggs) and some vegetables (maybe a few different vegetables) in her 10 point plan which she calls “I want to eat Paleo, but I don’t know where to start!“.

However, there are many Paleo cafes and restaurants popping up now, in support of this new lifestyle, where you can try delicious options to inspire your culinary adventures.

 

Further Links:

See here for recipes and more information about the lifestyle that is Paleo: http://www.primalpalate.com/about/the-paleo-diet/

Robb Wolf’s site where you can learn about the Paleo diet in more depth: http://robbwolf.com/what-is-the-paleo-diet/

A comprehensive blog about all things Paleo from a scientist turned stay-at-home mum: http://www.thepaleomom.com/

10 Things I Wish Every Woman Knew About Health

I have reblogged this article from www.mindbodygreen.com. Originally written by DR. AMY SHAH  SEPTEMBER 26, 2014 6:14 AM EDT. Find the original publication here.

It has been written so well, and I think we all need a little reminding sometimes that despite our desire to care for others, we first need to take care of ourselves. Here are 10 ways that you can re-evaluate your lifestyle and make plans to implement some new habits.

 

1. Taking time for self-care is not selfish.

Self care means taking a little time out in the day to exercise or meditate or schedule a health screening, a massage or even just getting much-needed sleep.

Women are still, by and large, the caregivers in our society and overload themselves with responsibilities and duties. They often feel guilty taking time for their own health. Treat yourself as you would treat your closest loved one.

2. You have choices beyond the birth control pill.

Changing your hormonal balance with a pill is really something you should be using as last resort. If nothing else, get educated on the health effects of the oral contraceptive pill before you start using them.

Too often, the pill as a first line treatment for a host of symptoms, but it is actually masking the underlying problem. What’s more, many people are unaware of some of the risks of birth control. It’s too important not to be informed.

3. Your body will never be the same after puberty, pregnancy and menopause — but that’s OK.

I don’t only mean that your body changes physically – of course it will. But, in addition, your body chemistry changes and health conditions emerge or disappear.

For example, two conditions I treat all the time (asthma and skin allergies) often change with those hormone transitions. Most women are shocked to know how much their bodies change during those hormonal transitions, and often it’s scary. It’s always important to pay attention to the changes, but remember that many of them are normal.

4. Health is never a number.

It’s not the number on the blood pressure cuff, or on the lab work, and of course it’s not the number on the dreaded SCALE.

In our society, we have a placed a premium on relying on numbers — especially weight. Because of the obsession with losing weight, and thinness — many women feel that food is an enemy and that thinner is always better. The emotional and physical toll of starvation and food obsession is just never worth it.

5. All those things that you think make you “pretty” can also harm your body.

Women spend $426 billion per year on beauty products! I cringe when I see my 4-year-old vying for my lipstick. Even worse than the money, many cosmetics contain toxic and unidentified ingredients!

6. Heart attacks are still the number one killer of women.

Heart attacks kill more women than every cancer combined. In the US, heart attacks kill nearly 300,000 women annually.

We often think of heart disease as a “male” problem, since more men than women have heart attacks. But when a woman has a heart attack, she’s more likely to die from it.

There are some symptoms of heart attack that may present differently in women, such as jaw pain or shortness of breath. So even if it’s not chest pain, it’s best to check it out.

7. You are especially prone to depression, anxiety and insomnia — so change your outlook now.

Women are twice as likely than men to suffer from depression, and are particularly vulnerable to depression and other mood disorders during hormonal transitions

While family history and other genetic factors play a large role in these diseases, finding purpose, improving your outlook and doing meditation are all vital preventive strategies.

8. Learn the easy ways to prevent cancer.

Although the obvious one is not smoking, cutting back on alcohol can also be helpful. The risk of various types of cancer — including breast and liver — increases with the amount of alcohol you drink and the length of time you’ve been drinking regularly.

Another is going to regular cancer screenings. I’m a huge believer in avoiding doctors and hospitals at all costs EXCEPT when it comes to cancer screenings and emergency care.

Another big one is to have safe sex.

Finally, knowing your family history of cancer and practicing good skin health (say no to tanning beds!) are also key.

9. You are living EVEN longer than men today, so live it well!

Over the last 50 years the life expectancy gap has actually widened to five years! You’re living longer, so make sure you take care of your health now.

10. Food is stronger than any medicine you take.

There’s no better way to optimal health than improving your diet and lifestyle. With your diet, you can heal yourself from illness or prepare yourself for pregnancy.

I’m dedicating my life to educating everyone I come into contact with about the beauty of healing through food. I’m a believer in an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle, and recommend an anti-inflammatory plan to all my patients and friends.

If we do nothing else in health in the next 50 years but update our practices on diet, we would reverse most common diseases such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, and heart disease.

So, what do you think? Do you agree with the above? Let me know!

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Profile: The Benefits of Bone Broth

What is Broth?

Broth (or technically, stock) is a mineral rich infusion made by boiling bones of healthy animals with vegetables, herbs and spices. It is also a powerful health tonic that you can easily add to your family’s diet.

Broth is a traditional food that your grandmother likely made often (and if not, your great-grandmother definitely did). Many societies around the world still consume broth regularly as it is a cheap and highly nutrient dense food.

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Why is it good for you?

1. Excellent source of minerals and is known to boost the immune system (chicken soup when you are sick anyone?)

2. Often used to improve digestion, because of the gelatin, collagen, nutrient value and is easily digested by the body.

3. Its high calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus content make it great for bone and tooth health.

4. Bone broth also supports joints, hair, skin, and nails due to its high collagen content.

5. Some people even suggest that it helps eliminate cellulite as it supports smooth connective tissue.

It can be made from the bones of beef, bison, lamb, poultry, or fish, and vegetables and spices are often added.

6. Can improve allergies, immune health, brain health, and much more: Gut and Psychology Syndrome.

7. Bone broth can even remineralize teeth.

8. Broth is also helpful to have on hand when anyone in the family gets sick as it can be a soothing and immune boosting drink during illness, even if the person doesn’t feel like eating.

9. Broth is very high in the amino acids proline and glycine which are vital for healthy connective tissue (ligaments, joints, around organs, etc). The Paleo Mom has a great explanation of the importance of these two amino acids.

BoneBroth

Homemade vs Store-bought:

 

Image fr
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Homemade, nutrient dense bone broth is incredibly easy and inexpensive to make. There is no comparison to the store-bought versions which often contain MSG or other chemicals and which lack gelatin and some of the other health-boosting properties of homemade broth.

In selecting the bones for broth, look for high quality bones from grass fed cattle or bison, pastured poultry, or wild caught fish. Since you’ll be extracting the minerals and drinking them in concentrated form, you want to make sure that the animal was as healthy as possible.

Image taken from www.draxe.com
Image taken from http://www.draxe.com

Taste: The taste of broth depends on the ingredients. It is usually quite mild in flavour, but hearty and meaty at the same time. Flavour can be intesified by roasting or browning off the bones before cooking them into stock. This gives the broth a darker amber colour and a rich depth to the flavour.

Texture: The texture is a thin soup, or when there is lots of gelatin and collagen in the bones it can set like a jelly.

Uses:

Bone broth is very versatile! You can use it as a stock for meals. A base for delicious soups. It can be drunk on its own. Broth can also be used to make sauces and gravy.

Where can I find good bones for stock?

  • Save leftovers from when you roast a chicken, duck, turkey, or goose (pastured)
  • From a local butcher, especially one who butchers the whole animal
  • From local farmers who raise grass fed animals (ask around at your local Farmer’s Market)

How do I make broth at home?

bonebroth2

Making broth at home is very simple, and with the help of a slow cooker it can be easy. Simply use water, spices, herbs, vegetables and bones plus vinegar (apple cider vinegar or kombucha work well). Using an acid helps the bones to release their minerals more efficiently. Slowly cook all of these ingredients together over a long period of time (some do 3 hours on the stove, or up to 30 hours in the slow cooker) this helps to draw out all of the valuable minerals and nutrients that are stored in the bones and makes them easy for the body to digest. Simply strain, and cool and skim off the fat (I use the fat for cooking) and it is ready to be consumed as a drink, or stored (fridge or freezer are both good options).

Broth is a cheap way to add nutrients to your diet. It also gives food a unique home-cooked taste, while eliminating nasties that can be in store-bought stocks. While rich in minerals it helps to repair and maintain the gut, connective tissues and joints. Making broth is also a good way to use cuttings of vegetables and bones that would otherwise go to waste.

Profile: The New Thermomix TM5

It’s here! The new Thermomix is here!

I got to see the brand new Thermomix at a party. And let me tell you, it’s a little bit fancy.

I don’t personally own either the new Thermomix, or the old one but I thought this would make a great post for those who are interested in comparing the two. I’m not an experienced user, but I have been to parties for both models and seen them in action.

newthermomix

Released in secret, much to the dismay of new customers the Thermomix TM5 made its debut in September this year.  The new TM5 is sleek, techy and is interactive both in appearance and functionality.

 

“For those unfamiliar with the Thermomix beast,” In the words of www.news.com.au, “The kitchen appliance is basically a super-high-tech food processor, combining 10 appliances into one unit. It can chop, beat, mix, whip, grind, knead, mince, grate, juice, blend, heat, stir, steam and even weigh food.

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The new Thermomix version, which is retailing for a special introductory price of $1989, claims to be “newer, bigger, better and more digitally advanced” than the version before it. It features innovations such as a colour touchscreen and a guided cooking function, as well as a recipe chip which remembers your meal prep.”

The first difference one notices on inspection is the touch screen, the old model simply had a little digital display panel. But this is colourful, bright and seemingly alive in the center of the new machine.

newthermomix6

 

The touch screen allows for the ‘self-guided’ cooking function to be used. Ingredients and instructions are shown on the screen to walk you step-by-step through recipes which are stored in a small magnetic chip on the side of the machine. The chip is pre-loaded with the basic Cook Book. Other recipes can be uploaded at a later date.

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The self-guided cooking function is entirely optional, for those that are attracted to the independence that comes from complete manual operation of the Thermomix. But for people with little cooking experience, or could use a helping hand for a recipe- this could be ideal.

The touch screen also offers a display of measurements, temperature, cooking time and speed.

Rather than an array of buttons and knobs, the TM5 has been streamlined and refined to a singular control knob, which in conjunction with the touch screen display allows the user to manipulate temperature, time and speed.

newthermomix2

Does it have wifi? No.

Will it have wifi? Possibly. Then you can Instagram and cook your food, both within seconds.

The machine has been built with care and like most technology these days- with room to improve and expand. However, at almost $2,000 do you really want a machine that still has room for improvement?

What does it come with? 

  • Mixing bowl and lid
    • Simmering basket
    • Butterfly whisk (Stirring attachment)
    • Measuring cup
    • Spatula
    • Varoma
    • Cookbook
    • Instruction Manual
    • Thermomix® Recipe Chip

Taken from TM5 Instruction Manual.

A new and increased bowl size may attract some, but I think the difference is like 200 grams. Yay? A slightly bigger Varoma (3.5L) is included and fits neatly on top.

A new self-locking feature makes putting the lid on easy and seamless. Whereas, the previous model needed a particular flick of the wrist and a secret code word that I was not privy to (just joking, I simply found it a little fiddly) to get a quick and stable lock. With the nature of cooking with the Thermomix, where the lid is on-off-on-off for various processes and additions to the dish this new self-locking feature is a significant  improvement on the TM31.

newthermomix1

The self-locking feature is also includes a transport mode to easily move your TM5 around and take it with you, possibly everywhere you go.

Green and red lighting on the space age unit indicate if the bowl is hot or not. A great indication for those with little ones; or for people who are susceptible to forgetting whether they turned it on, or not.

The future of cooking right here at your finger tips – Thermomix

A cut out on top of the lid gives the user a little peek inside, or the quick addition of smaller ingredients. This cut out is stopped by a little round lid that is popped on top while in use, or alternatively doubles as a measuring cup to use while cooking.

 

Technical Specifications taken from Thermomix website

Motor
  • Maintenance-free Vorwerk reluctance motor, 500W rated power
  • Speed continuously adjustable from 100 to 10,700 rpm (gentle stir 40rpm)
  • Special speed setting (alternating mode) for making dough
  • Special safety feature: electronic motor protection to prevent overload
Heating system
  • 1,000W power consumption
  • Protected against overheating
Integrated scales
  • Measuring range from 5 to 3000g in 5g increments (to max 6kg)
Housing
  • High-grade plastic material, food compatible
Mixing bowl
  • Stainless steel with integrated heating system and temperature sensor
  • Maximum capacity 2.2 litres
Connected load
  • 240V
  • Maximum power consumption 1,500W
  • Pull-out cable, 1m long
Dimensions and weight (excluding Varoma)
  • Height 33.5cm
  • Width 33.3cm
  • Depth 32.6cm
  • Weight 7.7kg

Warranty

Thermomix including the Varoma and Recipe Chip carry a 24 month warranty against faulty parts and workmanship when used in a domestic environment and a 12 month warranty against faulty parts and workmanship when used in a commercial environment.

Verdict?

In all, this is an amazing machine. By doing so much work in a few short minutes this machine could quickly pay for itself, if time is your currency. As Bek Daley puts it in her review video- “if you have the old TM31 model, or a brand spanking new TM5, you’re going to have a very satisfied family.”

 

Profile: Kombucha (Fermented Tea)

What is Kombucha? A fermented tea drink rich in probiotics, made with a SCOBY, tea, sugar and water.

What is a SCOBY?  Also known as a Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast, or (SCOBY). Sometimes referred to as the mother, because of its ability to reproduce, growing layer, upon layer; it has a mushroom like appearance (or ‘alien’ to some).

This living organism ferments sweetened tea (by eating sugar) to become the Kombucha beverage. The amount of living yeast it contains gives the Kombucha beverage an active life which continues after decanting it into bottles.

Taken from secretsoftheoldcountry.com
Taken from secretsoftheoldcountry.com

How do you say it? Most people say “com-booch-ah”

Why is it good for you?

  1. Has anti-cancer properties. Kombucha is very high in Glucaric acid, and recent studies have shown that glucaric acid helps prevent cancer.
  2. Increases energy: rich in vitamin B1, 2, 6 and 12 to increase energy and relieve stress.
  3. Kombucha contains glucosamines, a strong preventive and treatment for all forms of arthritis.
  4. Immune booster: high in antioxidants, kombucha will strengthen your body’s immune system.
  5. With a significant amount of probiotics, kombucha can repair gut damage and improve digestion.
  6. Kombucha is a good source of vitamin C.
  7. Helps the body to detox. Kombucha helps the body to flush out toxic deposits (such as excess cholesterol and uric acid)
  8. Kombucha is rich in a large variety or organic acids, enzymes and vitamins.
  9. Contains more beneficial bacteria, vitamins and minerals than yoghurt.

Colours and varieties: The colour of standard kombucha tea is a light brown colour, similar to plain ‘black’ tea. Colour can change however, with the addition of fruit, herbs, juices or other ingredients.

Taken from www.mrkate.com
Taken from http://www.mrkate.com

Texture: The end result of fermented tea is like a lightly effervescent, carbonated drink.

Taste: Plain kombucha is slightly tangy, and should not be overly sweet (as this indicates that the sugar has not been properly consumed by the SCOBY, and the fermentation hasn’t fully occured). The smell can be off-putting for some, and is often quite earthy and pungent, as most fermented things are. The taste though, is really quite pleasant. However, kombucha flavour is versatile and fruit/juice or herbs can be added to personalise your brew. 

The taste is entirely dependent on a variety of factors, such as temperature, the type of tea used, sweetener, length of fermentation time and if the tea has gone through a ‘second ferment’ where extra flavours can be added.

 

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Taken from http://www.cheapethniceatz.com

Preparation: Preparation is simple. Bring filtered water and tea to the boil, add sugar and let it cool to room temperature. Using a sterilized jar, place SCOBY in the jar (make sure the jar is at room temperature), with some ‘starter tea’ and pour in sweet tea mix. Cover with a tea towel and make sure it is out of direct sunlight, and away from direct heat sources. Fermentation can take anywhere from 3-10 days (this is mainly dependent on temperature- the hotter the weather the faster the fermenting process). The more experienced you are at fermenting, the more aware you are of changes at each stage of fermentation, and can tailor the process to suit your tastes. It takes practice 🙂 Read here for my step by step instructions for brewing kombucha at home.

Uses: Kombucha is most commonly drunk as a probiotic health drink. However, it can be substituted in many cases for apple cider vinegar, used in cleaning products or in salad dressings. Cultures for Health outlines a few more uses here.

Brief History: Kombucha has been drunk in Russia and China for over a centrury (different sources say it was as early as 415AD, some say it was only 100 years ago). It was referred to as the ‘tea of immortality’. The samurai drank it as a staple part of their diet. Kombucha Cultures website also describes Chaga (a birch-tree mushroom) used for hundreds of years as a tea made by the Russian peasants, near Moscow to cure cancer. There is speculation that the Kombucha mushroom is related to the Birch-tree mushroom. Read more here.

Where can I get it? 

It can be bought in health food shops, and sometimes in alternative cafes or restaurants. They will normally stock flavoured kombucha, and prices range from $5-$12 per liter (that I have seen). However, because the tea is rich in living probiotics and enzymes, it is best drunk when it is fresh. Often, during the bottling process many of the living benefits can be destroyed. Kombucha is easy, cheap and fun to make, so I would recommend doing it at home!

 Kombucha helps the body to self heal and regulate by:

1. Aiding your liver in removing harmful substances,

2. Promoting balance in your digestive system, and

3. Being rich in health-promoting vitamins, enzymes, and acids.

The health benefits of drinking kombucha are astounding. I noticed a difference in my skin, metabolism and energy levels a few days after drinking (on a daily basis). It is cheap and easy to make, and is an interesting hobby that will educate you about living organisms and probiotic-bacteria. It is an awesome project for kids, to watch the SCOBY grow, too.

Here are some recipes for Kombucha:

Mango-Apricot Kombucha from Our Small Hours
Strawberry Banana Kombucha Smoothie from Whole Lifestyle Nutrition
Flavored Kombucha Recipes Your Kids Will Love from Homemade Mommy