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Keep it Cool as the Summer Heat Builds

Like it hot or not you need to keep all systems cool this summer.

Though like Mary Poppins I like to think I am ‘practically perfect in every way’ – (ha!) –   I know I am starting to build too much heat when those little toads of sarcasm start popping out of my mouth, I feel irritable, more impatient.

Other top signs of over-heating include:  heartburn, acid reflux, sensitivity to heat, skin rashes, acne, difficulty falling asleep. I have even seen a client with thrush (red burning gums.)

Theory:

Remember that digestion (our internal fire) is weaker in the summer so heavy, fatty and rich foods are harder to digest. If your nature is naturally hotter (pitta) then the added seasonal heat and longer days may build up to a problem.

Here is the seasonal eating logic:  all of those fruits of the summer vine are getting naturally cooked to ripe perfection for us. Those sweet, juicy cooling fruits are just waiting to be plucked when we need them most.

Tips to stay cool:

  • Avoid exercise in heat of the day.
  • The Daily Breath exercise: in an out through the left nostril. Block right nostril and Inhale/Exhale for count of 6.  This is cooling, soothing, calming. Follow by a few minutes of just sitting ‘watching’ the breath.
  • Get 15-20 minutes of direct midday sun so your skin can produce vitamin D3.
  • Switch to coconut oil for daily massage  (Daily Balm is still good but avoid sesame oil in summer as it is a heating oil.)
  • Take 1 teaspoon of organic, cold-pressed coconut oil with the morning and/or midday meal to keep gut and digestion happy.
  • There is also a probiotic, cultured coconut oil – a kefir product called CocoYo that is fantastic for digestion but as explained below, avoid too much fermented food which can be heating.

As Far As Diet:

  • Eat more foods that are Sweet, Bitter, Astringent / Cold, Heavy, Oily: such as salads, smoothies, fresh fruit.
  • Eat less foods that are Pungent (Spicy), Sour, Salty / Hot, Light, Dry: such as spicy foods, hot beverages.
  • Go easy on the fermented foods which though good for the gut because they introduce probiotics naturally are heating by nature and so should be moderated in the heat of summer.  (ex. olives, Kombucha drinks, pickles, krauts, yogurts and some cheeses.)
  • Choose fresh ripe berries, melons (eat alone or leave alone), apples, apricots, grapes, peaches, pears, pomegranates, plums, watermelon.
  • Favor asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, celery, cilantro, leafy greens, seaweed, snow peas, and summer squash.
  • Sip water with slices of cucumber or try coconut water for added hydration. (An old spa recipe: mint, cucumber, lemon)
  • Try taking Amalaki (liquid extract or Tablets) said to keep the mind cool, cleanse the blood and prevent inflammation. Take 500-1000mg of each day after food.

Post courtesy of LAH Life.

Lisa Hedley is a dedicated student of ways to harmonize and align body, mind and spirit in the context of a busy, contemporary life. A long-time student of yoga practices and its literature including Sanskrit, Hedley is a Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, professional member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA), a graduate of the Kripalu School of Ayurveda as an Ayurvedic Practitioner and Yoga Specialist, a Yoga Alliance certified yoga professional, and is a Master’s Degree candidate in Social Work from New York University. Hedley previously practiced law with a special interest in Medical Ethics and holds her Juris Doctorate from the New York University School of Law.

Hedley sees clients privately in Florida, Connecticut, New York and via Skype and sees patients at a clinic for traumatic brain injury and neurogenic conditions in New York City. She also hosts a weekly regional NPR Radio show (WHDD 91.9FM), Strategies for Dealing with Stress, where she offers insights, tools and strategies for balancing the need for harmony with busy modern lives. Visit Lisa’s personal website and blog at www.lahlife.com.

 

Heal Your Gut!

The single most important piece of advice for healthy living is to get your gut health in order.

Heal your gut and the rest will follow. If the gut isn’t working properly, nothing is working properly.

Vitality starts in the gut where we assimilate input from the outside world into resources for inside our bodies. Gut health is crucial for the health of every other system in our bodies. It affects our skin, our immune response, our hormones, our weight, or energy level, our bowel movements (obviously), even our MOOD and PERSONALITY. That’s right, there are studies being done now to attempt to isolate certain bacteria in the gut responsible for depression and anxiety. That level of detail hasn’t been worked out in the lab yet, but rest assured that altering the human biosphere to address any number of mental health problems is in the not-too-distant future. If you don’t believe me, see for yourself.

Did you know? The microbiome in the gut comprises more than 60% of our immune function (some say as much as 75%).

We have more cells of bacteria in our bodies, and especially in our gut, than we do human cells. 10 times more, in fact. Certain bacteria in our gut represent the body’s ability to fight off invaders, and they actually communicate with those neurons I just mentioned above. When the right bacteria are overtaken by the wrong ones, we start to see both acute and chronic malfunction in our bodies, often accompanied by inflammation and pain. A healthy gut means a healthy immune system.

95% of serotonin is found in the Enteric Nervous System.

It makes sense that medications aimed at addressing depression through SRIs (serotonin re-uptake inhibitors) would disrupt bowel function, considering that so much of it resides in the bowel. Surely it would follow that ensuring the healthy functioning of our second brains would some day enter the scope of practice in mental health care. That day could come very soon indeed! A healthy gut means a healthy mood.

Gut permeability is the culprit for a large number of autoimmune diseases and is arguably to blame for the sharp rise of food allergies (gluten, corn, dairy, soy to name the most common).

If your intestinal lining is compromised, you could suffer from something called gut permeability. In layman’s terms, what should stay inside your intestines leaks out into the rest of your body through tiny holes that shouldn’t really be there. The partially digested food that leaks into the gut is seen by the body as a foreign invader, so an immune response occurs – an allergy.

The causes of gut permeability vary from person to person, but a major factor is inflammation. Inflammation can occur for a number of reasons and is actually implicated in the chronic diseases of the western world – heart disease, diabetes, obesity, dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis. Inflammation in the gut can occur due to over-consumption of inflammatory foods, gut dysbiosis (too much of the wrong kinds of bacteria wreaking havoc in the gut), and too much sugar in the diet (can be a cause of gut dysbiosis). That’s not an exhaustive list by any means, but it’s a good start. A healthy gut means less allergies and inflammation (often resulting in healthy skin).

The gut is often called our “second brain” due to the more than 500 million neurons that reside in the Enteric Nervous System (ENS).

In fact, communication between the gut and the brain is a two-way street, with information going from gut to brain far more often than we ever thought was the case in the past. The term “gut feeling” is a lot less metaphorical and a lot more literal than you might think. A healthy gut means proper communication between the systems of the body.

The bacteria in your gut might determine your cravings AND your ability to gain/lose weight.

Scientific studies are being done to test this hypothesis, and very interesting findings are coming about. We’re learning so much about the communication between the bacteria in our gut and our brains, and while major conclusions haven’t yet been drawn as it relates to common medical practice, this field of research could revolutionize the way we address obesity in medicine.

“…the capacity of bacteria to adapt is such that if it is to their advantage to influence their host preferences for food, they will.” (source)

It’s been shown that “bad” bacteria such as candida thrive on sugar and foods that quickly turn to sugar. When there’s an overgrowth of candida, the bacteria actually cause you to crave those foods that they like to eat! Likewise, when you have “good” bacteria at healthy levels in your gut, you’re more likely to crave a diet that they want to eat – one rich in fiber.

Studies have also shown that when certain bacteria are placed into the intestines of mice, and the mice are fed the same exact diet, those implanted with “bad” bacteria gained weight and those implanted with “good” bacteria lost or stayed the same. A healthy gut means a healthy weight.

5 Ways to Heal Your Gut:

  1. Eliminate sugar* from your diet for two weeks to a month (depending on the severity of your problem) and then slowly reincorporate natural sugars only and very sparingly.
  2. Take a probiotic and eat foods rich in live cultures (kim chee, kefir, sauer kraut, yogurt, kombucha).
  3. Heal the gut lining and reduce/eliminate permeability by drinking bone broth and/or supplementing with l-glutamine.
  4. Eat foods that support the propagation a healthy gut biome – fiber-rich foods that represent every color of the rainbow.
  5. Explore the possibility of food sensitivities through an elimination diet (start with the ones I listed above). By identifying trigger foods, you can help reduce inflammation and promote healing. Once your gut is healed, you can attempt to reintroduce the trigger foods watching closely to see if any old symptoms return.

*If you truly want to see positive results in your health, this is one of the only times I suggest going cold turkey. If you completely eliminate sugar for at least 2 weeks, it will have a synergistic effect with the rest of the suggestions on this list. If you do all the things below but remain on a high-sugar diet, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle. Sugar is a highly inflammatory food. After your two weeks of cold turkey, test the waters with fresh berries or a small amount of dark chocolate, but pull back for another week or so of you see negative side-effects.

Originally posted on Cultivated Wellbeing.

ToniSicolaToni Sicola is the Wellness Program Manager at Alameda Health System (AHS) and an Integrative Wellbeing and Nutrition Expert at Cultivated Wellbeing. You can find more health and wellness tips from Toni at www.cultivatedwellbeing.com, where she explores the how the intersection of food, personal fulfillment and creativity affect wellbeing. She also manages and is the primary contributor for the AHS Passport to a Healthy Me! blog. When not writing, Toni is feeding her passions of cooking, gardening, rock climbing, creating, and playing with her dog Dexter.

 

Slow-Cooker Black Bean Enchiladas

This is a classic dump-and-cook crock pot recipe. It only requires you to mix the filling and roll the tortillas before plugging in the cooker and walking away. Perfect for when we don’t want to dirty a lot of dishes or deal with an extra step of pre-cooking vegetables. Not to mention, its delicious!

2010-09-15-Enchiladas2.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced small
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced small (any color)
  • 1 16-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cheese, shredded and divided – we like monterey jack
  • 2 16-ounce jars of your favorite salsa
  • 12 6″-8″ tortillas, flour or corn
  • Optional: 1 cup leftover meat – chicken, pork, hamburger, or shredded beef

Directions:

In a medium bowl, mix together the onion, pepper, black beans, corn, spices, meat (if using), and just 1/2 cup of the cheese. Pour about a cup of salsa (half a jar) into the bottom of the slow cooker and spread it around evenly.

Scoop about 1/3 cup into one of the tortillas, roll it up, and nestle it into the bottom of the crock pot. Repeat with the half of the remaining filling, rolling tortillas until the entire bottom of the crock pot is filled. Spread another cup of salsa over this layer and sprinkle it with another 1/2 cup of cheese.

Continue with the remaining filling and tortillas to create a second layer. Top with another cup of salsa, but reserve the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese for later. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 2-4 hours. In the last 15 minutes of cooking, sprinkle the leftover cheese over the top and let it melt.

Serve the enchiladas with the remaining salsa. Leftovers will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Additional Notes:

• You can cook the enchiladas for longer (6-8 hours on LOW), but we found that the tortillas in the middle start to get mushy while the ones touching the sides of the cooker get crispy. Still tasty, though!

• To cook these enchiladas in the oven, layer the rolled tortillas in a 9×13 baking pan and cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese, and bake uncovered for an additional 5-10 minutes.

• We haven’t tried it, but we so reason why this recipe couldn’t be doubled if your slow cooker is big enough. Just continue creating layers in the slow cooker and bake as usual.

Recipe compliments of The Kitchn.

The Joy of Traditional Thai Yoga Massage

Traditional Thai Yoga Massage is an ancient form of energetic bodywork that has been practiced for over 2,500 years in East Asia.

Thai Yoga Massage is a unique form of interactive bodywork that blends yoga stretching, rhythmic compression along energy lines, acupressure points, breathing and meditation. Unlike conventional western-style table massage, Traditional Thai Yoga Massage is practiced on a special heated futon on the floor. Since the client wears loose comfortable clothing, no oil or lotion is needed. Most stretches, however, can be easily adapted to the massage table and incorporated into other forms of bodywork.

During a session of Thai Yoga Massage, the client is taken into a variety of passive stretches that simultaneously relax and energize their body. Pin-and-stretch and range of motion movements are combined with other stretches to help improve mobility and reduce joint pain.

Clients may be worked on in four different positions: supine, side lying, prone and seated. This gives the client a rich experience for receiving a wide variety of stretches. Besides using fingers and hands, practitioners also incorporate the use of their elbows, forearms, knees and feet. This way, no one area of the practitioner’s body gets overused and fatigued.

One of the keys to practicing Thai Massage effectively knows how to properly use body weight, gravity, leverage, and good body mechanics. This helps the therapist minimize their effort while maximizing the benefits of a stretch. It also reduces the impact on the therapist’s body and helps prolong their career as a healer.

In Thai massage, the practitioner’s intent is to harmonize and clear energetic imbalances. After a session, it’s very common for clients to feel relaxed, grounded and calm while simultaneously feeling energized and alert.

The pace of a Thai Massage is slow, rhythmic, and steady, much like a heartbeat, drum beat, or the cadence of a slow song. This rhythm taps into the parasympathetic nervous system and creates a sense of calmness and inner peace. By creating and maintaining a consistent pace, both the client and practitioner canexperience a deep meditative state.

Benefits of Thai Massage

Thai Massage is very effective for people suffering from muscular tension, sports injuries and motor vehicle accidents. Athletes and physically active individuals benefit from the muscular compressions, range-of-motion movements, and joint mobilization. Office workers and those who sit for long periods of time doing repetitive movements often experience energy, blood and lymph stagnation.

There are hundreds of different Thai Massage stretches that one can learn. A well-trained practitioner will be able to select the most appropriate stretches for their client, while taking into account their physical condition, age and body size. While most people can receive Thai Massage, everyone’s session will look a bit different.

Eric Spivack, LMP, EAMP, RTT is a certified Thai Yoga Massage instructor who has studied with master teachers in Thailand and holds certificates from several Thai institutions. He is a nationally certified massage therapist and acupuncturist and continuing education provider in Seattle, WA. Visit his website HERE.

Do You Know How to Breathe?

 “Of course I do,” you are saying to yourself. It may be an automatic response, but many of us do it improperly. Some of us breathe improperly all of the time. Some of us do it when stressed. We are a society of shallow breathers, and it’s just not serving us well.

Long Deep Breathing is the easiest breathing technique to learn. It literally changed my life when I first started taking yoga classes. I developed the practice in class, but carried it over into my daily routine. Then my yoga teacher went on vacation for the summer. My routine was disrupted. I forgot how to breathe again. After a few months, I was irritable, agitated and anxious again. All the time. When I started to make a conscious effort to breathe properly again, that went away.

Sit or lie down comfortably. Start by filling the abdominal area by inhaling and pressing the air consciously into the lower areas. This means that your lower belly should fill first, and become rounded. As you do this, you are automatically pulling your diaphragm down. As your diaphragm moves down, it pulls the bottom of your lungs down, bringing air into the bottom of your lungs.  Allow your bottom ribs to expand, and then expand the upper ribs to bring air into all of your lungs! S.L.O.W.L.Y.

Once the lungs are completely filled, hold the breath lightly for a moment, without straining. Then begin to exhale (slowly), releasing the air from your lungs first, and working down to your low belly. Make sure to pull your belly in, so that all the air is squeezed out.

Always inhale and exhale through the nose.

What will long, deep breathing do for you?

  • Promote relaxation and a feeling of calm
  • Give greater energy (by pumping spinal fluid to your brain)
  • Reduce and prevent toxic build-up in the lungs
  • Cleanse the blood
  • Stimulate endorphins, which may reduce depression
  • Help in releasing energetic blockages
  • Reduce insecurity, anxiety / fear
  • Reduce reactionary behavior

Shallow (chest-only) breathing simply does not afford you these benefits, which explains why I was a stressed out mess when I stopped doing this. I still catch myself taking shallow breaths during times of stress, but now I know how to change it, and my mood and thought patterns also change. It’s all about self-care.  Although, the people in your life will thank you, too.

Now, you’re not going to go about your entire day breathing long and deep like this. You can do this for 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 11 minutes…however long it takes you to feel a relaxation response. You can do it once a day, three times a day…whatever works for you.

Utilizing the technique long breathing, but at a “regular” pace, is what proper breathing is all about. That’s mood-lifting, chill-out worthy, life changing stuff, all on its own. But now, you also have a way to bump up your wellness during times of stress.

smallAlyssaS49As a Registered Ayurvedic Health Practitioner, Ayurvedic Educator and Meditation Instructor, Alyssa Semple aims to bring out the vital energy in her clients. While a part of Ayurveda can be used to treat disease, the primary focus of the science is to prevent illness through awareness of the individual body’s needs, and achieve better health naturally. This means looking at how imbalances are manifesting in the body (anxiety, depression, arthritis, insomnia, digestive issues, weight issues, etc), finding the root cause, and treating the body before the imbalances turn into disease. Her website can be found at: www.getmyprana.com.

Avocado Hummus with a Kick

If you need a new twist on your favorite hummus recipe, this will have you hooked! The avocado gives it an extra creamy texture, and the jalapeño adds just the right amount of spice. This is delicious on it’s own as a dip with raw vegetables or crackers, but we also love it on a piece of toast, topped with an over-easy egg cooked in coconut oil.

Makes approximately 1.5 cups.

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-ounce can of garbanzo beans
  • 1 Tbsp. Tahini
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 medium sized jalapeño, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 of a lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 2-3 Tbsp. of water or juice from garbanzo beans
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Drain and rinse garbanzo beans, setting aside some of the liquid.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend on high for about two minutes, until texture is smooth.
  3. Add water or juice from chickpeas to thin to desired consistency. Add more of any flavor to taste.

Recipe compliments of mindbodygreen.com.

Low-impact High Results Workouts

High-impact activity has its place in the world of working out. However, if you’re looking to increase your fitness level and pounding pavement doesn’t appeal, here are a handful of low-impact options that deliver results—without putting extra stress on your joints.

Walking – You walk every day, but how do you turn this into an exercise worthy of breaking a sweat? Try increasing your speed, swinging your arms, holding weights, and/or adding intervals (short bursts of speed or a hill climb) to your regular walk to up the intensity. Walking up stairs is also a great way to raise your heart rate and blast more calories during your walking workout.

Hiking – Changing terrain requires a lot of work from your lower body and walking up a mountain involves your largest muscles—the glutes, hips, and thighs; just what you want from an intense cardio workout. You can burn even more calories by adding a backpack!

Swimming – Here’s a low-impact exercise that delivers dramatic results. Swimming improves the condition of your cardiovascular system, but also increases muscle mass and flexibility without taxing your joints. In fact, swimming has even been shown to have beneficial effects on such conditions as arthritis. Most local YMCAs and many gyms have pools, so add laps to your routine to increase your stamina and shed pounds.

Rebounding – This lesser-known exercise provides a potent low-impact workout while making you feel like a kid again. Bouncing for up to 40 minutes a day, five days a week on a mini-trampoline has shown to increase heart health and provide amazing benefits to the immune system due to the vertical movement’s specific effect on de-stagnating lymph fluid. Be sure to invest in a high-quality rebounder for optimal results.

Family Biking in Jackson HoleBiking – A great workout for the entire body, you should try biking if you want to develop great muscle tone on your legs, glutes, and hips while trimming your waist and increasing your cardio capacity. Biking regularly can significantly decrease your risk for heart disease and can also reduce stress—even short rides daily make a noticeable difference in a short period of time. Best of all, you don’t need to start out buying fancy equipment, you just need an all-purpose bike to get outside and start riding.

This article came from the Sprouted Content wellness article library. The library’s mission is to help holistic practitioners SAVE TIME and GAIN CLIENTS. By providing more than 100 high-quality done-for-you articles that can be dropped into newsletters, blogs, video scripts, or e-books, Sprouted Content makes practitioners’ marketing effort much easier, which means they’ll feel less stress as they grow their practices. Go to www.sproutedcontent.com to learn more and take advantage of a special 10% off coupon – just enter coupon code: SAVETIME at checkout.

 

Zucchini and Beet Muffins

Don’t let the bright pink batter scare you – these little nutrient-packed gems are sure to please any muffin lover!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (deep amber preferably)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk (I prefer almond)
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce, unsweetened (or finely grate 1 medium-large apple)
  • 1/2 cup shredded beets
  • 1/2 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Stir together dry ingredients. Make a well in center. Beat egg and combine liquid ingredients. Add liquid to dry ingredients, add nuts and combine all. Spoon into muffin cups. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes.

Recipe compliments of Recreation Fitness.

Make the Most of Your Summer Vacation

Can you believe that summer is already here?! The time that everybody looks forward to for one reason: vacation! Ironically, vacations can end up being more stressful than your daily life. With the distractions of finances, children, travelling, etc, it is hard to remember that you are actually on vacation – that you do not need to stress! A vacation is for you and the others with whom you share it – it should be peaceful and harmonious. When you finally get around to taking that well-deserved break from your daily chores, keep these things in mind:

1. Plan ahead

If it makes you feel comfortable, create a general outline of what you want to do each day of your vacation with the freedom and openness to be spontaneous! Brainstorm activities for the kids, ways to get alone time for yourself and with your loved ones, and things to do as an entire family. The options are endless and do not have to cost money! For example, go to a superstore to pick out items for a picnic lunch and enjoy the beautiful scenery in each other’s company as a family activity.

2. Unwind at the end of your day

Take a hot bath or shower to relax your muscles. Follow with some light stretching or yoga poses such as knees to chest and head to knee pose. When you get into bed, sit up and take a few moments to breathe. Center yourself and connect with those around you. Remind yourself that you are on vacation and that you have permission to be stress free! Before going to sleep, tell those around you that you love them and that you are looking forward to a good night’s rest and to the next day.

3. Release all of your expectations of what a vacation is “supposed” to be

The reason vacations end up being stressful and disappointing is because of your expectations. Take a moment and ask yourself what you want out of this vacation and how you can get it. Don’t feel like you have to plan your days filled with activities and costly events. Leave room to just be and to enjoy the presence of others. Go with flow and see where this spontaneity takes you!

4. Check in with yourself when you start to fight the feelings of stress

If you begin to feel stressed, your automatic response will be something like, “Wait, I am on vacation. I should not be stressed right now. This is not what I expected…” This attitude will just keep you in the cycle of stress. Instead, don’t create that civil war in yourself. Let yourself be how you are, to feel how you feel, and to be open to its transformation. “Okay, I am feeling a little stressed right now. I’m just going to breathe and to remind myself that I am on vacation!” Smile!

Keep these tips in mind and you will be sure to have the most relaxing vacation ever! We wish you a fun-filled summer where peace and harmony exists in you and all around you. Enjoy!

r3 ad picMatthew Mitlas is a certified Yoga instructor at the 200 hour level. His classes invite a steady stream of consciousness that envelops all types of movement and keeps the mind steady and focused. He is currently influenced by the alignment principles of Anusara Yoga and the meditative aspect of Kripalu Yoga. Matthew works to co-create the conditions and space where his students may experience an authentic and inward experience of Yoga-learning to surrender to the infinite creativity of the universe as it takes form in each and every body in its own unique way. Namsate!

Matthew currently teaches Yoga classes at R3 Wellness Center, located in Collegeville, PA. In addition to Yoga, R3 Wellness center offers a plethora of holistic health services including Massage, Reiki, Acupuncture, Pranic Healing, Belly Dancing, Past Life Regressions, Life Coaching, and more! They can be found online at www.r3wellnesscenter.com.

Should You Try Juicing?

Juicing—extracting the juice of fruits and vegetables with a machine so they can be consumed in liquid form—is a popular trend. But is drinking your nutrition as good as chewing it?

Benefits

  • Juices provide most of the vitamins, minerals, and plant chemicals found in whole fruits and vegetables.
  • Juice makes a delicious, healthy snack or meal replacement.
  • It’s an easy way to boost the amount of fruits and veggies you consume in a day.

Drawbacks

  • A juicing machine leaves nutrient-rich and fiber-rich skin and pulp behind. Without the fruit fiber, your body absorbs the fructose sugar more easily, which can upset blood sugar levels.
  • Juice made with fruit has a high calorie count. Vegetable juices have significantly fewer calories.
  • Juicing can be expensive. It takes a lot of fruits and vegetables to make drinks, and organic produce boosts the cost even more.

Juicing has become more and more popular to periodically cleanse your system. We live in a very toxic society. We breathe polluted air every day, which contains chemicals such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and lead. In addition, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has reported that there are nearly 900 poisonous chemicals in cosmetics and skincare products, and these chemicals are absorbed through our skin and into our body. We also use toxic cleaning supplies, eat food that is full of dangerous preservatives, and drink chlorinated water. This creates such a load on our bodies that our natural defense mechanisms are overwhelmed, and we cannot eliminate the toxins. A study done at Cornell University found that almost all Americans have at least 116 dangerous chemicals in their bodies.

Some ingredients to consider when cleansing are fresh-squeezed lemon juice, Grade B maple syrup, and cayenne. Lemon juice is high in vitamin C, kills bacteria, and helps dissolve gallstones and kidney stones. Grade B maple syrup contains over 15 important nutrients, including potassium, iron, vitamin A, and several B vitamins. It also has 100 calories in every two tablespoons, so it helps stave off hunger and gives you a sweet taste. Finally, cayenne has been called the most powerful herb in the world. It is such a strong blood regulator that it can reverse the symptoms of a heart attack, and it also breaks up mucus and cleanses the body.

If you are just looking to try juicing to improve your health then consider these ingredients:

Carrots - Carrots are one of least expensive, high yield veggies that taste great and are high in nutrition. It makes a great filler juice for many juice recipes and the sweetness helps offset bitterer tasting produce you might want to juice like most greens.

Cucumbers - Cucumbers make a great base for almost all recipes as they have a more neutral taste and are a favorite in many alkalizing green juicing recipes. It’s also a popular weight loss recipe favorite as its low in calories.

Tomatoes - Tomatoes are a great way to add low calorie sweetness to most juice recipes and are also great high yield veggies. Depending on whom you ask, technically tomatoes are considered a fruit until they are processed like in a juicer or cooking, but for their savory goodness, we are putting them on our top veggie list.

Terry Linde, President of Destiny Management, LLC dba Hyper X Racewear, has been involved in the fitness industry for over 30. He has worked in clubs, owned clubs and has developed his own personal training and nutrition systems. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education with a minor in Business from W.S.U. and has been an instructor for the ESA and WITS certification programs. He has also been the director of the personal training program at Ashmead College Northgate and carries certifications in the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine), Exercise Science Alliance (ESA), World Instructor Training Schools (WITS), and the NSCA-CSCS (National Strength Coaches Association). He has worked with people of all ages, backgrounds and goals.