5 Natural Remedies for Allergies

Here we are in the beginning of June and congestion, sneezing, and itchy eyes are still lingering. Allergies, your time has come and gone now-  please leave! Summer is here and we want our beach bags full of good reads and magazines, NOT tissues. We heard it for the past few months-  this spring season would be extremely heavy with pollen and other allergens, but we didn’t expect it to hang around for this long.

Relief is on the way with 5 natural remedies for allergies.

1) Apple Cider Vinegarapple211

Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into a tall glass of water 3 times a day and it will work its magic, naturally! Apple cider vinegar reduces mucous production and cleanses the lymphatic system. The congestion and runny nose that we are all used to will slow down with the apple cider vinegar ability to reduce the mucous. Allergy symptoms and allergy attacks can all be prevented with this simple remedy.

2) Neti Potskh042-seeking-health-nettie-the-elephant

l/../3) Nettle-Peppermint Tea

Nettle leaf is a natural antihistamine meaning that it natural blocks the body from making histamine. The peppermint leaves contains flavonoids such as luteolin-7-0-rutinoside  which helps inhibit the growth of anti-inflammatory enzymes. While the leaves work together they help reduce the discomfort of the brutal side effects of allergies.

You’ll need:
1 teaspoon of dried pepperment leaves OR 1/4 cup of fresh chopped peppermint leaves
1 teaspoon of dried nettle leaves OR 1/4 cup of fresh chopped nettle leaf
8 ounces of water
*honey and lemon

4) Probioticssoy1_600x450

This may sound a little different but let’s boost our gut bacteria! Having more of a balanced gut bacteria can help prevent some of the symptoms that come along with allergies. Adding more beneficial bacteria to our diets will help balance our immune systems. Some probiotics that can be added are kombucha and kefir. There are also supplements to buy, simply take one a day. Probiotics have numerous health benefits including a healthy digestive tract, better immunity, help control moodiness, hormonal imbalances, and much more.

5) Citrus DrinksIMG_5601

The vitamin C packed in lemons, oranges, and grapefruits can boost your immune system when allergies are taking over. A drink that contains two or more citrus fruits can pick up the immune system and allow our bodies to fight the sneezes and itchy cough. Squeezing a half of a lemon, two oranges and adding some local, raw honey will fulfill the vitamin C craving your body needs to fight off the allergies.

Other foods to include in your everyday diet during allergy season:

Dark, leafy greens

Deep yellow and orange vegetables

Onion, garlic, cayenne, ginger, and horseradish

hydrate, cleanse and debloat: simple flavored water

We all know drinking lots of water throughout the day is important for so many reasons – to hydrate, flush out toxins, regulate digestion, for heathy skin… the list goes on.

However, sometimes sipping plain old H2O can get a little boring. By using these simple ingredients you can add loads of flavor without additional sugars and calories of store bought flavored water. My favorite combination is cucumber, lemon, ginger and mint.  Not only do these ingredients add delicious flavor- they offer so many health benefits.images-1

Lemon- lemon is a powerful cleanser and also helps to alkalize your body. Lemon also contains Vitamin C, which will help boost immunity.

Ginger – ginger contains many anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps aid in digestion, settle your stomach, and helps with flushing out toxins.

Mint – mint is a natural stimulant, which helps soothe the digestive tract. It also stimulates the digestive enzymes that absorb nutrients from food and consume fat and convert it into energy. Therefore, it is helping you convert the food you consume to energy rather than storing it as fat. As a natural stimulant, mint is known to naturally combat fatigue and help to recharge your batteries.

Cucumber- cucumber has many detoxifying, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. It also adds a refreshing taste and leaves you feeling refreshed and hydrated.

Thinly slice 1/2 a the cucumber, ginger (as much as you desire) and a lemon or two. Add in a few sprigs of mint and add all ingredients to a pitcher of water and let sit overnight. Sip throughout the day.

hearty and healthy banana bread

What’s better on a cold winter day (or any day really) than a delicious, comforting piece of banana bread? Since it is one of my all time favorite treats and I have been craving it a lot this winter, I have been been making healthier versions by using whole wheat flour, a touch of maple syrup, adding ground flax seeds and walnuts for extra omega 3s. Feel free to add some dark chocolate or cacao nibs for extra flavor and health benefits such as antioxidants, lowering blood sugar and boosting moods.

Another great thing about this recipe is it’s fairly simple and quick to make and only requires one bowl, minimizing clean-up 🙂

banana2

Ingredients
3 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup melted coconut oil, butter or ghee
1/2 cup maple syrup, brown rice syrup, or coconut palm sugar
1 egg beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
1.5 cups 100% whole wheat flour
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/2 cup cacao nibs or chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions
Preheat oven to 350F and grease a loaf pan with coconut oil or butter or line with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas and add the melted coconut oil or butter.

Mix in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the maple syrup, beaten egg, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix in the ground flax seeds and flour. (Do not over mix)

Stir in any additional ingredients like chocolate chips and walnuts.

To make this recipe vegan, swap the egg for a flax egg (soak 1 TBS of ground flax in 3 TBS water for 15 mins) or your favorite egg replacer.

I have been making a lot of different variations off of the above recipe. Feel free to add any of your favorite dried fruits, nuts, seeds or even swap out the flour for gluten-free variety and add 1/4 tsp xanthan gum.

Enjoy!

Aloe : skin saver or delicious and healthy beverage?

The cool, jelly like substance that comes in a transparent bottle and is usually an electric green color or a frigid blue. Give the bottle a nice squeeze and the gel oozes out with an odd squishy noise following it. It’s our dear old friend aloe that only shows its face in the summer hot months. Sticky, cold and leaves you stuck in scarecrow position for a few minutes to let it sit in and dry off, then you try to sit down and realize it’s less painful just to stay in that position because Mr. Golden Sun did a number to your skin earlier today. But, I’m not here to remind you to put your sunscreen on or to bring back painful memories of a family member rubbing aloe on your bright red back, I’m talking about drinking it. NOT the topical kind!!! Have you ever considered drinking the juice from an aloe vera plant?  Is it good? Is it healthy for us? Let’s dive on in.

ganoderma-aloe-vera-juvebrew
Benefits:
Detox: aloe works as a natural detox. Aloe contains different trace elements, vitamins and minerals that help the body flush out.

Digestion: Aloe has the power to increase protein absorption and regulates the bowel. Aloe helps reduce yeast and bacteria by moving it along the digestive system and aloe soothes heartburn.

The Immunity Booster: Full of antioxidants! Sending those free radicals away with a dose of aloe.

Anti-inflammation: Aloe Contains 12 different substances that reduces and prevents inflammation. The kind of inflammation that aloe can help with are swollenness, stiff or painful joints.

Healthy Skin: We all know aloe helps are skin on a topical level, but consuming the drinkable kind of aloe can repair out caloe-vera-juiceollagen and elastin from the inside. Aloe also helps sooth minor skin irritations, scrapes, cute and burns.

Energy: Because aloe works our digestive system, this can go hand in hand with energy. Aloe regulates the system which prevents you from feeling sluggish.

Vitamins: Aloe includes Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, niacin and folic acid. In addition chromium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, potassium, iron and calcium. Maybe it would have been easier for me to list what aloe doesn’t contain!

Amino Acid: Aloe contains amino acids which aid the process of building protein.
Smile: Aloe helps your gums and mouth hygiene. It helps with mouth ulcers and bleeding gums.

Cardiovascular Health: Aloe boost the ability to diffuse red blood cells in return aids the oxygen transportation. It improves the oxidation process, circulation and lowers cholesterol.

As you can see, the benefits of consuming Aloe Vera Juice are abundant. There are brands at local health food stores and Whole Foods that are ready to drink. Others are concentrated and can be diluted in water or juice. I love adding either kids to my smoothies as well for added benefits.

Let’s get one thing straight, we are drinking only the consumable kind of aloe, NOT the topical kind. Drink up and enjoy, let us know your thoughts on the taste, results or experience you have with drinking aloe vera juice.

Tea : Powerful Health Benefits + Recipes for Energy, Stress-relief and Detox

Next to our number one hydration buddy, water, tea is the runner up on the most consumed beverage in the world. I love this statistic! Whether you like it for the taste, the endless health benefits, the comforting warmth or just the sophistication of having a cup of tea, there are plenty of health benefits as to why we should up our tea consumption. Eastern medicine has looked towards teas and herbs for centuries, and there are proven studies to show just how powerful these plants can be in health and longevity. The 5 most common teas are black, white, green, herbal and oolong. Each tea has its own special powers  – all benefitting our body in different and powerful ways.

Tea_in_different_grade_of_fermentation

Below we give a brief summary of the main benefits of the different popular types.

Looking and feeling younger is something that we all aspire  – white tea can give us a lift here. The properties of white tea can help inhibit the wrinkle process with its power of strengthening elastin and collagen. Goodbye crow’s feet and forehead wrinkles!

Black tea is shown to lower our blood pressure, decreasing out risk for a heart attack or stroke.

Green tea is our saving grace with its ability to increase the body’s ability to burn fat. Also, with weight loss, green tea is shown to increase our metabolisms, therefore making it easier to burn off calories faster. The antioxidants in green tea help our immune system put those free radicals to rest – fighting off cancer and other harmful disease. Green tea can also strengthen our bones.

Oolong tea is fragrant with a fruity hint that includes multiple benefits to our bodies. Oolong tea can help reduce heart disease, inflammatory issues and aids with high cholesterol levels. Many Eastern practices use this for weight loss as well.

Herbal teas have endless amounts of health properties and medicinal purposes.  Depending on what you need (stress relief, sleeping aid, energy booster) specific herbs blends in can be your cure-all in a cup. From detoxing, energy boosting, nausea reducing, skin healing, constipation, even helping mother with lactation and women with menstrual cycles, different herbal teas and blends can work wonders. Do some research on what you are looking for and go to your local loose leaf supplier for the cure  (instead of your pharmacy!) Make sure to contact your physician or an experienced herbalist when consuming large amounts or different herbals teas/blends (especially when pregnant).

Also, make sure you aren’t overdoing teas that contain caffeine (green, black, white and red). Caffeine is good in moderation but can also cause added anxiety, sleep disturbances and dehydration. Feel free to sip on most herbal teas all day though!

Now let’s get specific. What do we need? What does our body crave? Check out these 3 tea recipes: one for detox, energy and last but not least a stress reliever tea!

Ginger Turmeric Detox Tea Recipe
Ingredients:
• 2 inch knob of ginger
• 2-3 inch piece of turmeric root or substitute 2 tsp turmeric powder
• 1-2 dashes of cayenne (or you could juice 1/2 a habanero or jalapeño pepper)
o Circulatory stimulant: increases pulse of lymphatic and digestive rhythms
• 4 lemons (3 for juicing and 1 for slicing as a garnish)
• 3 droppers vanilla stevia
• 2 quarts waterginger_tea

1. In a juicer, juice your ginger root, turmeric, and 3 lemons
2. In a large pitcher add your juice to about 2 quarts of water, a couple droppers of vanilla stevia to taste, a couple dashes of cayenne and your thinly cut lemon slices.
3.  Mix well with a wooden spoon and adjust flavors to taste.
4. Let sit for about 10 mins before serving to let the flavors blend. Will last about 5 days in the fridge.

Heath Benefits

Ginger:
Colon Cancer Prevention
Reduces Pain and Inflammation
Cold and Flu Prevention Treatment
Turmeric:
Natural Antiseptic and Antibacterial agent
Natural liver detoxifier
Assists in healing of damaged skin
Cayenne
Anti-Cold and Flu Agent
Anti-fungal Properties
Digestive Aid

Give Me Energy Tea
Ingredients:
• A clean glass bottle or container
• 1 kaffir lime leaf
• Organic yerba mate – about 3 tablespoons per cup of water
• A few slices of fresh ginger
• Water

1)Combine all ingredients, stick’em in the bottle.
2)Let it sit overnight.
3) Bottle up and enjoy!
Yerba mate is full of antioxidants, aids digestion, and has a natural caffeherbal_lavender_flower_tea_1ine

Stress Relief Tea
Ingredients:
• 1 Tbsp St John’s Wort (suggestion)
• 1 Tbsp Oatstraw
• 1/3 c Chamomile
• 1 Tbsp Lavender
• 2 Tbsp Lemon Balm
• 2 tsp Catnip
• 1 Tbsp Orange or lemon rind.

1. Heat 2 quarts water until almost boiling.
2. Add the St. John’s wort and oatstraw and steep for 6 minutes.
3. Add the rest of the herbs and steep for an additional 3-4 minutes.
4. Strain herbs and sweeten with honey if desired.

I love purchasing loose tea in bulk- it cuts down on price and more importantly – wasteful packaging materials. If you do prefer buying packaged bags that are conveniently prepared, make sure the tea is organic. Many commercial tea bags can contain harmful toxins and chemicals that will end up counter acting the health benefits from the teas. My two favorite brands for herbal and medicinal teas are organic Alvita and Traditional Medicinals.

Summer’s Bounty

Did you know some of our staple summer produce holds some of the most nutritious vitamins? Here they are right in front of us, in bulk, at our grocery stores and farm stands! They are as fresh as can be and less expensive compared to the colder months. Now that we have all of these fresh and nutritious options at our finger tips lets gobble them in before it’s too late! Some things to keep in mind when buying produce is to consider organic. We can understand that buying 100% organic can be expensive. The “Dirty Dozen List” is a list of fruits and vegetables that are at the top 12 pesticide infested fruits and vegetables, and therefore should be priority when choosing which foods to purchase organic.  Going organic for these 12 are definitely worth your pretty penny!

The Dirty Dozen

Apples Strawberries Grapes Celery Peaches

Spinach

Sweet bell peppers Nectarines Cucumbers Potatoes Cherry tomatoes

Hot peppers

If there is produce available that is organic and locally grown, that’s a double whammy! Buying local doesn’t only benefit you, but the people around you. Your produce will taste better if it is locally grown because it doesn’t have to go through being picked before being ripe and shipping. Local food also promotes energy conservation by decreasing our carbon foot print by traveling miles to grocery stores. Buying local helps local farmers and builds the community as a whole.

One of my favorite summer fruits are BLUEBERRIES. I could go through a carton all by myself, no shame. Blueberries are low in fat with only 80 calories per serving. They are also full of dietary fiber, which helps keep your body regular during digestion, keeps our heart healthy and keeps our cholesterol in check. Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that help with cardiovascular disease, cancer and other age related diseases. These small little blueberries carry a lot of Vitamin C on their shoulders; Vitamin C helps with collagen formation, maintains healthy gums and capillaries and boosts that immune system. Manganese can also be found in blueberries which aids with bone development and with converting proteins, carbs and fats into energy. Who would have thought blueberries came with such a punch?!

Nothing says summer like a juicy peach. Taking the first bite of a perfectly ripened peach is a force to be reckoned with. You are bound to get peach juice all over your cheeks and then it starts to drip down your hand and then it somehow ends up on your lap, but…it’s all worth it. When there is nothing but the pit left you could go in for another peach. Not only are they delicious this time of year, they benefit our bodies. Peaches contribute to our eye health because they have beta carotene in them which improves eye vision by increasing circulation of blood. Peaches can make our skin glow! They are packed with Vitamin C, which can help with dark circles and wrinkles. Hallelujah. Peaches are a rich source of antioxidants and fiber. Antioxidants help with the immune system and fiber keeping our digestion regular.

watermelonA slice of watermelon is always a special treat during the summer because we all know winter watermelon and summer watermelon don’t even compare. Watermelon helps with cardiovascular and bone health because it improves blood flow and  it’s also rich in potassium which holds onto calcium in the body, therefore promotes healthy strong bones. Watermelon is known to reduce body fat with its partner citrulline that reduces the accumulation of fat in our fat cells. Along with the other fruits, watermelon contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant support.

 These are just a few of summer’s special treats to us. Whenever you feel a sweet tooth craving come in, give in with fresh fruit! Looking for something a little more complex on your tastebuds? Check out some simple healthy recipes using our favorite summer treasures!

 

Blueberry Peach Cobbler 

Ingredients

  • 5 lb peaches, pitted and sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup organic cane  sugar or coconut sugar, divided
  • 3/8 tsp salt, divided
  • 6 3/4 oz plus 2 tbsp 100% whole wheat flour, divided (or brown rice flour for GF + 1/4 tsp xantham gum)peach
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup organic butter or EarthBalance soy-free vegan butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk (or dairy free with 1/2 tsp lemon juice)
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 tbsp turbinado sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a large bowl, toss peaches with lemon juice, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/8 tsp salt and 2 tbsp flour.  Arrange peaches in a 9×13-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and remaining 1/4 tsp salt.  Place the butter and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed.  Add in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.  Mix in the vanilla extract.  Add the flour and buttermilk, alternating between the two, starting and ending with the flour.  Stir in the blueberries.  Pour the batter over the peaches and spread evenly.  Sprinkle the top with the turbinado sugar.
  4. Place pan on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour or until topping is golden and filling is bubbly.

 

Watermelon Blueberry- Mint Popsicle 

Ingredients

  • 6 heaping cups diced seedless watermelon (or remove the seeds)
  • 3 tablespoons agave or honey
  • ½ tablespoon lime juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced mint leaves
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries

Instructions

  1. In a blender, puree watermelon along with sugar, lime juice, and salt until smooth.
  2. Add mint and blend briefly to finely mince the mint and get it mixed in.
  3. Pour puree into popsicle molds. (You should be able to make at least 10, but it will depend on the size of your molds.)
  4. Freeze until hard.

 

 

Can’t cool down this summer? Check out these Ayurvedic Cooling Foods + Recipes

It’s a hot one this summer!  The high temperatures are  really making up for this frigid winter we had here  in Philadelphia. Looking for some other ways to beat the heat besides hogging the closest AC units? We have some helpful tips and recipes to help keep you feeling cool from the inside out.

First, if you are filling up your glasses with more ice cubes than water, stop there!  Although it’s tempting, consuming ice cold drinks will make your body work harder in the digestion process. Working harder = more heat.  Room temperature water is the best choice for cooling yourself down while hydrating (add cucumbers and fresh mint for extra benefits and cooling properties!)

There are many foods that can help cool our bodies down through the summer months. You may or may not be familiar with Ayurvedic practices –  in short Ayurveda focuses on balancing the body’s systems through diet, herbs, yoga and breathing techniques. The dosha Pitta is associated with heat (among other properties) and its effects are greatly felt throughout the hot summer months. If you tend to experience heartburn, excess stomach acid, irritableness and/or skin breakouts you may be experiencing an aggravated Pitta. Be sure to incorporate the cooling foods listed below to help balance and cool your body from within.

SPOSTeasons play a large role in Ayuvedic practices as well, during which the foods we consume help to balance our doshas through out the year.  The following Ayurvedic cooling foods will help to lower our body temperature and help correct any Pitta related discomforts.

 

Ayurvedic Cooling Foods

Avocado         Cherries        Plums        Grapes       Pineapples      Peaches      Mangoes      Cilantro           Mint              Asparagus       Cucumbers          Sweet potatoes    Broccoli           Green leafy vegetables       Zucchini          Green beans          Almonds             Sunflower seeds  Coconut       Melons          Pomegranate     Apples          Pears          Dates      Figs

All of these foods are perfect for snacking alone or get creative and try them in a fun summer recipe. We provided a few of our favorites below. Enjoy 🙂

Hibiscus Tea with Lime
Ingredients
• 1 tablespoon dried hibiscus flowers
• 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
• Lime slices, for serving

Directions
Bring 2 cups water and the hibiscus to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Strain and discard flowers. Let cool to room temperature. Before serving, stir in honey and lime juice and garnish with lime.

cool-drinks-mbd108831_vert

Melon, Mint + Cucumber Smoothie
Ingredients
• 1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
• 2 cups cantaloupe chunks (from about 1/4 large cantaloupe)
• 1 cup finely chopped kale or baby spinach leaves
• 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
• 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
• 3/4 cup plain unsweetened almondmilk
• 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
Blend until smooth.

Cool As A Cucumber Raita
Ingredients
• 1 cup fresh yogurt or coconut milk yogurt for dairy free version
• 1/4 cup cucumber, peeled and finely diced
• 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, peeled and finely grated
• 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
• Salt to taste
• 1/4 cup fresh chopped coriander leaves
Simply combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

Sinfully Delicious Rice Pudding
Ingredients
• ¾ cup basmati rice, uncooked
• 3 cups cow’s milk
• 1/8 teaspoon saffron
• 15 cardamom seeds
• 3-5 tablespoons brown rice syrup, honey or maple syrup  (adjust for sweetness)
• Garnish: 2 teaspoons organic lemon peel, grated and 2 tablespoons toasted unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions
Wash the rice until the water is clear. Combine the rice, milk, saffron, and cardamom seeds in the top of a double boiler. Cover and cook (with water in the bottom or your double boiler) over low heat for 1 hour. While it is simmering, you can toast the coconut in a dry skillet if you like, unless you have happened upon a source of pre-toasted unsweetened coconut. It just takes a few minutes, stirring occasionally so it does not get too brown. Let it cool. When the rice is done, stir in the sweetener and top with lemon and coconut. Serve hot or cold.

Cantaloupe Smoothie
Ingredients
• 1/2 fresh ripe cantaloupe (feel free to add or combine any of your favorite melons)
• 1/2 cup water or almond milk
• 1/4 teaspoon coriander powder
Blend all ingredients together well in a blender.

Sivananda Yoga Cookie Recipe
Ingredients
• 2 cups rolled oats
• 1 cup  wholewheat (or spelt flour)
• 1/3 c brown sugar
• 1/3 c raisins
• 1/3 c nuts/ seeds/ dessicated coconut
• 1 1/2 tsp each of ground cinnamon and ginger
• 1/2 tsp nutmeg grated
• 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 6 oz oil or ghee
• 6 oz water

Directions
Preheat oven to 400F. Oil 2 baking sheets or use greaseproof paper. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, add oil and mix. stir in enough water to make a firm texture. Take a ping pong ball sized amount and shape into cookie shape (about 10cm in diameter). Repeate with rest. Bake in oven for around 15 minutes until golden at edges. Cool on a wire rack. Try experimenting with adding goji berries, raw cocoa nibs etc.

The importance of anti-inflammatory foods

Recently I’ve had a lot of client and readers ask questions about inflammation and what are the most anti-inflammatory foods they should be consuming, as well as those foods to avoid.

Trying to keep it in the most simple terms as possible, below is the main difference between acute and chronic inflammation.  I have also included a list of foods to totally avoid, as well as those you should be consuming daily. It’s so important to include foods these foods that promote the anti-inflammation to avoid illness, fatigue, chronic pain and more.

Acute Inflammation

Acute inflammation is a natural defense mechanism that is initiated when body tissue is damaged.  Typically, inflammation is a healthy immune response to injury, illness, or infection. “Healthy” inflammation carries isolates, identifies and removes bad bacteria and cells. The inflammatory response prevents the spread of damaging agents to nearby tissues, disposes of cell debris, and sets the stage for the repair process. It is crucial for our bodies in recovery and healing to experience acute inflammation to encourage recovery, as well as to protect surrounding healthy cells and tissue. The redness, swelling, and pain are all signs of healthy inflammation when our bodies are recovering.

Chronic Inflammation

After the healing process has come to an end, the inflammation response should too. However, in many cases inflammation continues, whether it was brought on from trauma or was present before any healing process has even begun. Chronic inflammation is when our body is unable to turn off the inflammatory response and starts to attack the surrounding healthy tissue. It can manifest in your gut, destroying stomach lining and causing digestive issues, may attack arteries causing heart disease, or in your joints, resulting in arthritis. Many of us experience chronic inflammation, whether we are aware of it or not. Chronic inflammation in our system is caused from poor diet, high stress, and an imbalance of Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio. Chronic inflammation is the number one factor for numerous health issues and is the culprit for most illness and disease such as cancer, joint disease, autoimmune disease, and heart disease.

As you can see, it is crucial to keep inflammation under control. Be sure to eat an anti-inflammatory diet, get adequate rest, and aim to reduce stress in all areas of your life.  It is also a good idea to eliminate pro-inflammatory foods such as sugar, refined grains, alcohol, processed foods, among others. Also, lifestyle suggestions that will help reduce inflammation and boost the immune system are meditation, yoga, exercise, any stress reducing activities, acupuncture, and massage.    TopAntiInflammatoryFoods

  Top Anti-inflammatory Foods

Ginger

Turmeric

Garlic Leafy Greens (spinach)

Beets

Fatty Fish (wild caught Alaskan Salmon, Sardines, Black Cod)

Healthy Fats (Avocados, extra virgin olive oil, expeller pressed coconut oil, nut: walnuts, hemp seeds, flax seed/oil)

Berries and Lemons

                           Pro- inflammatory Foods/Additives to Avoid

Processed Foods

Refined Grains (white bread and pasta Sugar Feed-lot raised meat (fed soy, corn and processed grains) Dairy (limit)
Alcohol Gluten Trans Fats

Omega 6 Fatty Acids (found in low quality oils used in most packaged foods)

MSG

 

 

          List of Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Alfalfa Alfalfa Sprouts Almonds Artichoke Avocado Barley Grass Basil Bee Pollen Beef-grass fed, organic Beets
Boy Choy Boston Lettuce Brussels Sprouts Buckwheat Cabbage Carrots Cauliflower Cayenne Pepper Celery Chard
Cherries Chives Cilantro Cinnamon Cucumber Cumin seed Eggplant Endive Fennel Seed Figs
Garlic Ginger Horseradish Root Jicama Kale Kamut Lemons Lentils Leeks Limes
Mushrooms Mustard Greens Navy Beans Onion Oregano Onion Oregano Parsnips Peas Pecans
Pumpkin Radishes Rutabaga Salmon-wild caught Sardines Sea Vegetables Seaweed Sesame Seeds Spelt Spinach
Sprouted Seeds Squash Sweet Potato Tomatoes Turmeric Turnips Walnuts Wheat Grass Yams

 

 

Rosemary Ginger Lemonade (+cocktail recipe)

rosemaryginger
Let’s switch it up this summer and combat the heat with this refreshing Rosemary Ginger Lemonade.   I know some of us can be dependent on our iced coffees, but what about something even more energizing and delicious? A cool, refreshing drink that will jump start our energy levels and contains more nutritional benefits than our old cup of joe.

This Rosemary Ginger Lemonade will pick us up, cool us down and will leave us feeling stable throughout the day without the crash (will also help flush out those nasty toxins we build up over time)  Try this simple recipe below,  your tastebuds and body will be so very grateful!

Rosemary Ginger Lemonade

Ingredients
7 cups water
3 rosemary sprigs
1 8-10 inch ginger hand, peeled and diced
1 cup honey/agave
1.5 cups fresh juice from lemons

Directions
Simple syrup: Place 1 cup water in sauce pan with ginger. Bring to a boil add agave and rosemary sprigs and return to boil. Remove from heat and let cool.

Lemonade:
Mix remaining 6 cups water, lemon juice and cooled simple syrup. Keep in pitcher refrigerated. Feel free to add more agave or honey for desired sweetness.

Health Benefits

Rosemary in this refreshing, detoxifying elixir has loads of health benefits. Rosemary will help jumpstart our bodies in the morning with its powers to increase blood flow. Getting that blood pumping throughout the body is exactly what our body needs to get itself moving and gain natural energy (great for mid-day slumps too).  Everyone needs a little immune booster , no matter what season it is  – and rosemary will do just the trick. Rosemary also has many anti-inflammatory properties. And get this:  during a long workday (when your brain is feeling a bit fried)  rosemary can be your life saver with its memory boosting abilities. Rosemary also has the perk of reducing severity of asthma attacks, help cure congestion and allergies – who knew?!

how-to-peel-chop-grate-ginger-verticalGinger is the perfect pick me up because it helps jump start your metabolism and awakens your body and mind – preparing you for the busy day ahead. Along with rosemary, ginger is an anti-inflammatory and a great immune booster. For those readers that get motion sickness, ginger can ease that stomach pain and it is also great for seasickness for you adventurous ocean goers. Ginger can help fight and cure infections like athletes foot and nail infections with its anti-fungal properties. Lastly, ginger is great for digestion and helps absorb essential nutrients consumed throughout the day, don’t let them go to waste! Get your ginger in.

Lemons are made up of citric acid that allows the breakdown of bile and dissolves any other toxins in the body. Lemon also helps flush out the kidneys and colon of toxic that tends to build up, the perfect detox! Remember, our goal is to achieve balance in the body, and lemon is a great way to balance the pH levels.  Lemons are packed with Vitamin C, which helps neutralize free radicals in the body and also boosts the immune system!

 

Cocktail Recipe

The Rosemary Ginger Lemonade can be very versatile. Had enough detoxifying and energy boosting? Need to do a little more winding down and  some re-toxing? 😉

It’s so easy to transform this elixir into a fun sumer cocktail – perfect for those warm summer evenings. Just pour 1 cup of the Rosemary Ginger Lemonade in a shaker with ice, add 1 oz vodka, gin or tequila and give it a good shake. Serve in a martini glass with a sprig of rosemary for garnish. Like your drinks on the rocks? Just pour lemonade over ice in a tumbler, top with our choice of liquor and garnish with rosemary, lemon slice or candied ginger.

Relax, cool down and feel better about indulging in a cocktail (or two) with the added health benefits of this light, refreshing libation.   Enjoy!

My Cure All : Ginger, Lemon + Turmeric Elixir

It seems like no matter what you do it is  inevitable to avoid coming down with some kind of cold or flu right now.  ‘Tis the season, right?  Don’t worry! I am here to help with this amazing cure-all Ginger, Lemon + Turmeric elixir.

Whether it’s a debilitating flu, a mild cold, or a pesky cough that you can’t seem to kick – this easy homemade elixir will have you feeling better in no time. It is super easy to make, actually tastes really good, and drastically helps with congestion and inflammation. Aside from its cold and flu curing properties, each ingredient contains amazing health benefits. This is also a great drink for anyone who experiences congested sinuses or chronic sinus problems.

“Turmeric contains curcumin, which is hailed for its antioxidant properties, antibacterial properties, stimulates our adrenal glands and has even been found to actually help rebuild the immune system. Ginger, its cousin and the other half of this power couple has been shown to reduce inflammation and be a powerful decongestant. The powers of these herbs are only enhanced when combined with a spice like cayenne or black pepper. -Turmeric Life”

Ginger, Lemon + Turmeric Elixir

Ingredientslemon-ginger-tea
2 inches fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp turmeric powder, or 2 tsp fresh grated
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper powder
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbs Raw Honey or Manuka Honey
1 liter water

Procedure
Boil water, add all ingredients and mix well. May garnish with parsley or basil leaves.

Additional Health Benefits

Ginger is a great anti-inflammatory and immune booster. It helps to also improve digestion, absorb and assimilate essential nutrients throughout the body, ease muscle or joint discomfort, clears ‘microcirculatory channels’  (including sinus cavities),  and helps to clear nose and throat congestion.

Lemons are alkaline forming, helping to balance the pH balance in the body. The citric acid allows the breakdown of bile and dissolves any other toxins in the body, also helps flush out the kidneys and colon of toxic build up. Lemons also contain Vitamin C, which helps to neutralize free radicals and boost the immune system.

Cayenne has many health benefits. It contains anti-inflammatory, anti-allergen and anti-fungal properties. Cayenne is a great anti-flu and anti-cold agent as well, as it breaks down mucus and flushes from the body. It increases circulation, speeds metabolism, helps digestion, and significantly aids in digestion.

Raw Honey contains many vitamins and nutrients, including B vitamins and Vitamin C. It also contains vitamins such as sodium chlorine,magnesiumcalcium,potassium, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, zinc and phosphate. It is soothing to the throat and also contains anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties.  Honey is a great source of anti-oxidants, supports healthy bacteria in the gut, and provides a natural energy boost (much needed when you are recovering from being sick!). 

Make this today and I promise you will experience a notably faster recovery. I sip it warm throughout the day, or have a big mug of it at night after dinner.  Even when I am not sick, I like to drink it to maintain a healthy immune system and gain all of the health benefits it has to offer.

Drink up!