Spring into Health

Well, I wish it was as easy as it sounds.  Springing into health is more of a journey that takes patience and persistence before we see any results and habits change. It kind of reminds me of our Wisconsin ‘Spring”, we have to wait through the cold and still sometimes freezing temps until it really feels like Spring.  Even though the temps are still cold, the longer days and more sunshine, give us incentive to come out of hibernation and get ready to be more active and focus on healthy lifestyle choices, whether that includes walking or running around the lake, hiking, riding the bike paths, getting out on the water in some form or another, participating in team sports and daily choosing healthy foods for meals and snacks.

For me, being active and eating the healthiest foods comes easiest when it is warm outside. [ I did take a vacation to Florida in March and was so thankful for the sunshine on my skin, walking miles on the beach morning and night, and for all the fresh fruit and vegetables that were in season at the you-pick farms.]  I am so ready for spring. So as we start to warm up here in Wisconsin, I want to encourage you to make a plan…

Take a quick evaluation of how you want to feel better, sleep better, eat better, have fun better. If you write that list down, you are more likely to do something about it. Then make a plan to incorporate one activity of movement a day, that will raise your heart rate for a few minutes. More and more studies are coming out that debunk the “rule” of having to do an hour of aerobic exercise for it to be of any benefit. Instead small bursts of exercise that raise heart rate are very beneficial and do not take hours of your time. Next add more green leafy vegetables to your daily meals or snacks, try them in a green smoothie, as a wrap instead of bread for sandwich filling, blended with an avocado and lemon juice for a dip with other vegetables, sauteed with coconut oil and garlic, chopped and mixed in with some raw kraut, wrapped around a banana or spread with almond butter or hummus and rolled. By adding in high nutrient-dense snacks and foods, your body will thank you with more energy, better focus, better sleep, better weight and overall well-being.  With small steps toward replacing empty calorie foods that are processed and full of additives, with more nutrient rich whole foods, you will spring into greater health!

A person with health has many dreams, a person without health has but one dream.

Juice Feasting?

Summer is the perfect time to take a couple days to lighten up and supercharge your cells with nutrition. This can be accomplished by a short juice feast, even if it’s just for one day. Giving your body a break from having to digest heavy foods can allow more time for your body to heal, clean out toxins and repair or bring systems back into balance. A juice feast is something you can do that will provide essential nutrients while allowing the body to focus its energy on important cellular function and repair. Typically you do not need to be supervised by a healthcare practitioner for a short juice feast, but if you are concerned about specific health issues, it is recommended you check with your physician or know that you can stop and resume eating whole foods at any time if you wish. Short juicing periods can make a noticeable impact on your energy, skin, weight loss, colon health, mental clarity and overall vibrancy of life.

Over a weekend or for a week, consider only drinking fresh juiced fruits and vegetables. The juice, or life blood of plants, is super dense in vitamins, mineral and phytonutrients that can provide essential nutrients for proper cellular function, repair and regeneration. Most of us are deficient in the amount of vitamins and minerals we consume because most of us are not eating enough plant food which has the highest concentration of these necessary nutrients.  And most of us do not assimilate and absorb efficiently, so we are lacking in the nutrients we need to manufacture healthy cells. Juice can help. But, NOT the juice on the grocery store shelves. That juice is low in quality nutrition because of the processes and treatments it has to go through for sustaining shelf life. Fresh juiced fruits and veggies are best! If you do not have a juicer, I’m here to help. I can supply you with juice for the number of days you would like to feast: one, three or five days. I will supply you with five juices a day and you will drink water or herbal teas between juices.  If you don’t think you can make it on liquids alone, I recommended that you supplement with raw whole foods: fruits, vegetables, and small servings of seeds and nuts during the time you are setting aside to do this for your health.

The cost for me to provide you with juices for a Juice Feast is $30 a day for 5 juices. I do suggest a day or two before you decide to embark on a Juice Feast, to start eating lighter and more salads or steamed vegetables and eliminating coffee, sodas, dairy and meat. Ideally, the summer months are best for this because the weather is warmer and our body’s are more inclined to lighter meals, and cool foods and drinks. So, this is something I am offering trough August, however there is a week mid August I will not be available. If you are interested in doing this please contact me. I am happy to work with your schedule. 

Spring Cleaning on the Inside

Today was a wonderful spring day, warm and sunny!  An absolutely beautiful Resurrection Day. As we enter this time of year and see the new growth as flowers start to pop up and the grass turn green, we are usually so ready and eager to open the windows and start the Spring Cleaning ritual. We often take better care of our homes and cars than we do our body’s. So I want to encourage you to think about giving your body a good Spring cleaning on the inside!  You can get rid of the built up toxins and toxic emotions that are either stored away in fat cells or that consume our thoughts and energy like un-forgiveness and bitterness.  Overtime these toxins become like the dust that accumulates inside our homes and covers the beauty that is really there. You can get your lymphatic system moving in order to clear out the stagnation in your system that has been accumulating over the long winter. There are some pretty complex and expensive cleanse packages that you can purchase and join, but you may want to try a food cleanse first. Sometimes this is all you need to reset your body chemistry, but this outline is not all encompassing for what a cleanse can include. For a simple, yet effective, cleanse there are just a few recommendations to get you started. First, mentally prepare yourself to feel better. Get excited about how you will feel after a week: you will have more energy, spring in your step, better focus, less anxiety, less weight, cravings gone, better digestion, freedom from emotional holds, and you will notice the little things that seemed ‘normal’ will go away and you will feel great! So mentally, get psyched!  The next important step is to confront the stuffed emotions that you have not been willing to deal with and look to the resurrected Christ Jesus, for forgiveness and the ability to forgive others. There are documented studies that show how emotional barriers, unresolved issues and unrepentant sin can manifest as physical illness and disease. God wants you to be well.  Then take time to add in some deep breathing time during your day, and extra movement. Whether it is going up and down the stairs rather than using the elevator or taking a walk over lunch break, get out into the fresh air to stimulate your lymph by moving around and get oxygen into your lungs and into your cells for energy and renewal by doing some deep abdominal breathing. Our cells need oxygen more than they need food, so this is an important step to include for cleansing and overall better health. (You can live for 40 days without food, but only about 5 minutes without oxygen). To cleanse, you need water, so begin substituting pure water for your other drinks during the day. In order to get toxins out of the body, you need pure water to dilute and flush them from the body. Water is so important that many of the symptoms we attribute to illness are really our body’s cry for pure water. Try to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water. (i.e. if you weigh 150 lb. then drink 75 oz. of water).  Make food choices that will significantly decrease the energy demand on your digestive system. There are foods that are heavy and require a lot of energy in order to digest them; those are primarily meats and dairy products. There are foods that are very easily and quickly digested; those are fruits and vegetables. Nuts and seeds are important for their protein and whole food fats, but during cleansing, should be eaten in small amounts. Also adding smoothies and juices during this time will greatly increase your nutritional intake and ease digestion, which are both important factors that allow your body to release stored toxins. Also consider eating more of your food in the uncooked/raw state for the enzymatic action that provides, which helps the digestive process and decreases the energy required. The digestive process is helped immensely by taking a multi-strain blend of probiotics to increase the beneficial micro-flora of the gut, which is essential for nutritional absorption and immune function. Eating fermented foods is a means of getting this beneficial bacteria. Finally, rest is very important during cleansing and for overall greater health because of the repair and renewal of cells and tissues during our sleeping state. Rest is also a major influence on the hormonal balance and proper function in the body. All of these help the body to rid itself of unwanted and stored toxins, both physical and emotional.

Take action:

  1. Mentally get ready to feel great.
  2. Emotional release and forgiveness
  3. Breath deep and move
  4. Drink pure water
  5. Choose foods that facilitate cleansing and probiotics
  6. Rest well

Ideally you will see great results if you eliminate sugar, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, soy, meat, and gluten for a period of one to two weeks, while incorporating fresh smoothies with fruit and greens, big vegetable salads, soups and steamed/roasted/grilled vegetables. And you can eat as much of these as you wish. No counting calories is necessary. *Real whole food does not come in a box, so these chemical non-foods contribute to the toxic load on our systems, so cleansing foods do not include boxed ‘food’.

If you have any questions, ask away! If you decide to Spring Clean your Insides, drop me a comment and let me know how it goes.

Thought of the Day: Is your food making you sick?

This question is on my mind a lot with so many people having reactions to food and not feeling well on a daily basis. The new “normal” or “feeling fine” translates to the normalcy of being tired or fatigued, bloated, achy, and can’t focus all the time.  Does this sound familiar?  The food that is most available to us and that we have been indoctrinated into thinking is “good for us” is really NON-food or it has been genetically tampered with and turned into a false food that our bodies do not recognize.  This is a topic that can go on for volumes, but I wanted to bring it up and put it out there to stir some thought on the issue. If you are eating foods that have ingredient lists, make sure you know what each ingredient is. Another way to think about it is to ask yourself if that ingredient was in your grandmother’s cabinet or refrigerator. If not, it is likely created in a lab and not ideal for your dinner plate.  The foods most important for good health are WHOLE foods that have a single ingredient – that food. Apples, pears, lemons, mushrooms, kale, broccoli, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc. No ingredient list is needed for whole foods. If you buy canned and boxed foods, know that the nutritional content of those foods are typically not worth the calories. The only canned items I recommend are single food items like tomatoes, and cooked beans – with the stipulation that the can is not lined with BPA plastic. When it comes to whole foods, even those can be dangerous because of the manipulation of species by the Big AG companies and the Genetic Modification that is taking place, which is affecting everyone and why I think more and more people have issues with food allergies. These GMO foods cause gut inflammation because they are NOT natural and our bodies do not recognize them as food, reacting to it like a foreign substance and generating a histamine or allergic response. I wholeheartedly recommend watching the documentary “Genetic Roulette” and  checking out the website for Responsible Technology Org.  You need to protect yourself and family from the foods that can cause so many problems. Most of the Corn, Soy, Canola, Sugar, and Cottonseed grown for commercial food companies and animal feed is genetically modified. These foods are ingredients in primarily every boxed food item on the shelves.  The only way to know for sure that you are not ingesting GMO foods is to look for the USDA Organic seal or the NON GMO Project seal on processed food items. If produce is ORGANIC it can not be GMO. But there are no labels yet to let us know if something is GMO, so buyer beware!  Many people have seen amazing results in their health and with symptoms going away when they take the effort to eliminate processed foods with GMOs and start eating Real Whole Food! Give it a try – your ‘normal’ state of being might improve and you will enjoy greater health!

Take Care

Green Goodness!

If we don’t have a life-threatening illness, we know someone who does.  We have been taught that disease is a result of a host of many possible causes, of course depending on what the illness or symptoms are.   It is my understanding, that the majority of illnesses and diseases are primarily the result of two causes…  either a deficiency of nutrients that prevents the body from functioning in a healthy way, or a toxic load under which the body cannot function, or the combination of both, in most cases.  The body was created to deal with all kinds of assaults from bacteria, viruses, injuries and poisons and has in place specific mechanisms like generating fever for overcoming pathogens and acute inflammation and cell renewal for healing itself.  But these self – healing abilities require proper nutrition for the innate mechanisms to take place. When the nutrients are not provided through eating fresh whole foods, the lack of nutrition generates dis-ease in the body in addition to it not being able to fight off pathogens and  self-heal.
When a food is ripe in nature, it is at its nutritional peak. As soon as it leaves the ground, branch or plant it grew on, it begins to lose nutritional value. If that food is then processed in some way and ends up ground, bleached, heated, pasteurized, sauced and in a box, can or jar, there isn’t much nutritional value left. Then usually, synthetic vitamins are added. However, the synthetic vitamins are difficult for the body to utilize, if at all. So much of our food that we have been told is good for us and we have lived on for many years, has been nutritionally deficient causing our body’s to reach a level of having significant deficiencies. When food is processed it is also loaded with additives to sustain its shelf life, but the additives are toxins to our bodies. Our bodies try to break them down and get rid of them, but adequate nutrients are necessary for proper detoxification to occur. So many of us have also reached appoint where our bodies can no longer detoxify sufficiently, so we have a large toxic load due to insufficient nutrients. In addition to food toxins, we are exposed to hundreds of environmental toxins and toxins found in personal care products. So there is no shortage of toxic buildup in our bodies. The combination of toxins and the deficiency of nutrients play an integral part in the dis-ease and illnesses we experience.
To successfully overcome illnesses, super nutrition is needed in the form of fresh vegetable juices, a whole foods diet comprised of mostly raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes. If you take care of your body and give it what it needs, your body will take care of YOU. It was created as wonderful self-healing machine.

I will be giving a Come Clean-Cleanse Workshop on Thursday November 7, from 6:00-7:30 PM at Fresh and Green Market. Green Juices and Smoothies will be served and the cost is $10.

 

Let the Sunshine In

Doesn’t your body yearn for the warmth of sunshine in the dead cold of winter? Mine sure does. If I were a cat, I could lounge in a sunny window and stay warm during those few sunny days that bless a Wisconsin winter.  My two cats flaunt that fact, while I get ready for work and bundle up in five layers to walk from the car into work.  For five weeks I am so blessed to be able to enjoy the warmth of the sunny days in NC that far outnumber the grey cold snowy days in Wisconsin.  It feels like Spring here, evidenced by daffodils and pansies in full bloom, making my spirit light. It seems impossible, because it’s only February and there are at least 2 months of winter left, at least that is what I have experienced the last twenty years.  But even in the funk of grey cold days, the sunshine can penetrate and lift our spirits, by experiencing a blessing from another.  That kind of sunshine is really Sonshine, the way God created us to interact with each other, blessing one another, just as he blesses us with his expansive and beautiful creation, and all those special people he puts in or midst.  Look around you and enjoy all the blessings and experience the warmth of the Sonshine!

You may know that the color green in our leafy greens: kale, chard, lettuce, collard greens, spinach, arugula, parsley, cilantro, bok choy, etc. is called chlorophyll and is the primary receptor of sunshine that allows the plant to make its own food.   But chlorophyll  also brings that light energy into our bodies when we enjoy our leafy greens in smoothies, salads and as snacks. So let the sunshine in by eating your greens! See posted recipes Recipes.

What do I know?

What I understand about food is this:

  • You will enjoy food first with your eyes, so make your food beautiful.
  • The more nutrient dense your food is, the less volume you will consume.
  • Relax and enjoy the flavors of your food for best assimilation
  • More nutrition is found in raw unprocessed food.
  • 100% raw diet is not necessary to get the benefits raw foods offer.
  • Food feeds the whole individual, not just filling the stomach.
  • Food and your amazing body can work together to heal the dis-ease you may be experiencing.
  • There is not one diet that is right for everyone – you are an individual and your food choices should be the best for YOU.
  • There are healthy food guidelines that everyone should consider.

I’ll touch on these topics as different posts. But take a bit of time to consider the ideas and think about each bite you take.  Remembering that what matters most is what you do “all the time” or by habit, not what you do every once in a while. If you splurge every once in a while, be thankful, enjoy it and then go back to regularly eating whole unprocessed foods.

If you need to change your habit of regularly eating refined, boxed and processed foods, then begin by incorporating one whole food (fruit or vegetable) at each meal.  Smoothies for breakfast are a great way to start. See RECIPE.