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COLOR YOURSELF WELL WITH A RAINBOW OF #FOODS


COLOR YOURSELF WELL WITH A RAINBOW OF FOODS

It’s flu season again. Rather than getting caught up in mass hysteria, arm yourself against viral attack with practical ways to boost your immune system.

Prevention

eat-a-rainbow-imageEat a rainbow of foods. When your immune system detects an enemy, it must rapidly draw vitamins and minerals from the blood to make white blood cell ninja fighters. If those vitamins aren’t there, you are vulnerable to a long, drawn-out battle. Make sure you are eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. If your are doing this, you can be sure you are getting tons of immune boosting nutrients like vitamin A, E, C, B-6 and zinc. A healthy immune system is your best defense against infection.

You’re gonna need a breath mint – Garlic is a fantastic way to boost the immune system. It is a super anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and antibiotic food. Plus it makes food taste and smell delicious.

Getting enough sleep is crucial in optimizing immune response. So is decreasing stress. There it is again. Just get more sleep and don’t sweat the small stuff. Look for an upcoming blog on decreasing stress and increasing joy. 

Getting adequate exercise has also been linked to lower incidence of infection. Just 20 minutes a day of brisk exercise can make a huge difference.

Avoid refined grains, sugary and starchy foods. Sugar suppresses the immune system. It seems that flu season, besides falling in the winter months, also occurs in the months when many of us are indulging in sweet treats a little more often.

Adequate levels of Vitamin D are essential to an immune system’s ability to quickly and effectively fight off infection. It’s also important for preventing osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, depression, and dementia. Harvard Medical School asserts that as many as one third of Americans are deficient in Vitamin D. Vitamin D is produced in our bodies using sunlight that comes in contact with our largest organ: our skin.  We can also get vitamin D through diet. Salmon is a good source, most milk is fortified with vitamin D and a good vitamin D3 supplement is great too (5,000 IU per day for adults). My favorite dietary source with a slew of other healthy benefits is fermented cod liver oil. The flu usually runs rampant in the winter months when direct sunlight is diminished in many areas of the world and people are bundled up and keeping indoors. This is why flu cases go down the farther south you track and disappear in summer months.  Increasing your sun exposure (sans sunscreen) by 10 minutes a day is adequate for most people. If you live north of San Francisco, don’t bother doing this between November and March since the UV rays aren’t direct enough to make vitamin D. I would suggest a blood test to discover if you are deficient and supplementing through diet.

Getting Over the Flu Fast

So what if you get the flu? Well first you should make sure it is in fact influenza. Here’s Dr. Darla’s blog on how to correctly identify the symptoms of influenza. So if you have the flu, how can you get recover as quickly and as painless as possible?

Cut the sweets. Eating sugar will suppress your immune system from fighting off nasty bugs. I know it’s comforting to eat, but sweets will only make it worse.

I’m going to suggest vitamin D again. Taking several thousand IU per day of a good D3 supplement can shorten the duration of infection. It’s pretty hard to overdose on D, and when I’m sick I take a medicinal dose of about 20,000 IU per day. Also, vitamin C in large amounts can greatly speed up your recovery. It’s pretty much impossible to overdose on C, so take at least 5,000 mg per day or more. Zinc prevents a virus from replicating.

When I feel the “ick”, I like to take a detox bath. It really lessens my symptoms and shortens the duration of my illness. Here’s a link to the recipe. Detox Bath 

If you are pregnant, make sure to consult your physician before taking a detox bath.

Get lots of sleep. Your workplace will get the job done without you. They don’t need you spreading around the flu either. Stay home and sleep, sleep, sleep.

Cinnamon is anti-viral and anti-bacterial too. Mix 1 tablespoon cinnamon with one teaspoon of honey and mix it into an herbal tea.

Since the flu is usually accompanied by fever, it will often lead to dehydration. Make sure you stay hydrated with lots of broth or chicken soup. Broth isn’t just comforting flu food, it has lots of immune boosting nutrients. Herbal teas and hot lemon water help too. Nettle leaf tea has a huge amount of vitamins and minerals and detoxifies the body. Other herbs that help fight flu are elderberry, yarrow, ginger, chamomile, and peppermint. Consult your local herbalist for the correct ways to use these herbs. Fever is the body’s natural defense for killing a virus, so using drugs to stop a fever can actually prolong an illness. To keep a fever out of the dangerous zone, without killing it completely, I use peppermint essential oil on the bottom of my feet. Make sure you do plenty of research into the safe use of essential oils before trying this one.

Whatever natural remedy or prevention method you choose, make sure it will not interfere with any medications you are taking and try them one at a time. Stay healthy and disease free this season. And most importantly, your thoughts are more effective than any vaccine or remedy. If you think you’re immune to the flu with absolute, fearless certainty, I’m willing to bet it’ll pass you by.

Important Notes: I am not a doctor, nor do I claim to be a doctor. I cannot treat, cure, prevent or diagnose any illness. If you have concerns about any illness, talk to your doctor. Do you own research on natural remedies to ensure that you think they are safe. 

 Merianne1Merianne Drew is a holistic health coach specializing in integrative and energetic nutrition. She coaches individuals to better health by teaching practical ways to incorporate healthy eating and lifestyle choices. Find out if health coaching is a good fit for you by scheduling a health strategy session.  meriannedrew@gmail.com

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Tahini Kale #RECIPE VIA #MaximizedLiving and #SmartMeals


Tahini Kale

Tahini Kale
Image courtesy of Smartmeals.wordpress.com

Kimberly Roberto, co-author of the Maximized Living Nutrition Plans

Core & Advanced Plan Approved, Serves 4-6

The nutrition in this dish is out of this world and so is the taste. This recipe is great for people new to kale, even for those who say they don’t like it. You can customize it to your taste and it is great for packing on the go.

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 3-4 tablespoons of tahini (sesame paste)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon liquid aminos or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, optional
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Depending on the size of your kale bunch, you can adjust the quantities. Feel free to add more or less of any of the ingredients, just adjust according to your own taste.

 Directions

  1. Put all ingredients in a large bowl and massage the kale with your hands, really working the mixture together and breaking down the kale. It should reduce quite a bit.
  2. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

You can email me @ info@urhhut.com

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Anti-Aging Foods For Women via Maximized Living


Anti-Aging Foods For Women

Assorted berries

Image courtesy of iStockphoto / Thinkstock

Today, people are searching for ways to keep themselves feeling and looking younger. In addition to keeping an active lifestyle, eating well can decrease risk of heart disease–the no. 1 killer of women in America—as well as other health issues.

Eating a fresh whole-food diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals will keep women of all ages feeling and looking their best.

Here’s a brief list of foods that have been shown to fight the effects of aging in women:

Berries

Blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, blackberries and gooseberries are all foods that are rich in flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants, one of the greatest anti-aging assets found in organic foods.1

Berries protect against the deterioration of cognitive and motor functions, reduce oxidative stress, lower inflammation and improve brain cell signaling, according to Dr. Barbara Shukitt-Hale, Ph.D.

They’re also a great source of vitamins and can even ensure proper blood flow. Besides flavonoids, berries also are loaded with other nutrients, including vitamin C, potassium and folate (vitamin B9).

There’s a large amount of fiber in a daily serving of berries, which also offer digestive benefits. Consuming berries on a consistent basis provides the body with minerals and salts that destroy free radicals, which helps protect women against aging. Shukitt-Hale suggests 1 cup of berries per day to prevent memory loss, lower disease risks and curb weight gain.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olive oil provides the clean, healthy fats the body needs to maintain healthy skin and hair throughout life. In general, “good” fats—monounsaturated fatty acids in olive oil’s case—are lacking in the diets of most North Americans. Extra virgin olive oil represents your best choice because it is minimally handled and processed, and it tastes delicious.

When cooking with olive oil, never heat the oil so much that it begins to smoke. Use low to medium heat only, and monitor the oil. Once it starts to smoke, olive oil actually turns rancid.

Salmon

In order to keep skin supple, women are encouraged to eat about 12 ounces per week of wild salmon, as suggested by the American Heart Association.

Salmon also contains omega-3 fatty acids, is rich in vitamin B12, vitamin D, reduces inflammation and slows the progression of chronic disease. Salmon is known to reduce blood pressure, a common health issue for women over 50.2

Dark, Leafy Greens

Kale, spinach, collard greens, romaine lettuce and Swiss chard are dark green vegetables that are full of vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium. The vitamin B in greens guards the heart and memory. Vitamin A supports skin cell turnover, and the lutein found in many forms of green vegetables protects vision.

According to Martha Clare Morris ScD, director of the Center of Nutrition & Aging at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, those who eat three to four servings of greens a day will experience less of a decline in memory, recall and other mental functions. Morris and her team have tested 37,000 people.

The antioxidants in greens prevent fine lines and wrinkles. Lycopene, lutein and beta-carotene–commonly found in green vegetables–help block UV rays that cause skin to age rapidly. The nutrients in greens help fight against cardiovascular disease, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and may even prevent certain types of cancer.

Garlic

Garlic is equally as delicious as it is good for you. Garlic is part of a class of vegetables known alliums, which help support your liver’s natural ability to neutralize and remove toxins and carcinogens. To prevent cell degeneration, garlic keeps blood thin and also prevents heart disease.3

Like many of the other foods on the list, garlic is rich in antioxidants. It can help limit the growth of abnormal cells and increases blood flow that goes to the brain for awareness.

According to Dr. Ian Smith M.D., garlic also helps fight acne, prevent dandruff and kill bacteria.

What You Can Do

Eating healthy is not about depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about fulfilling your body’s needs for vital nutrients. With the right dietary information, you can keep your body looking and feeling fantastic for life.

To get the nutrition news your body needs, contact your nearest Maximized Living doctor, or subscribe to our newsletter, which features all the latest health news.

Sources

  1. zeenews.india.com/news/health/healthy-tips/top-10-anti-ageing-foods_16482.html
  2. articles.herald-mail.com/2012-09-10/news/33744294_1_fatty-fish-fatty-acids-oats
  3. http://www.oprah.com/style/Superfoods-for-age-defying-beauty
  4. http://www.Healthywomen.org/content/article/foods-rich/antioxidants-healthy-aging?context=healthcenter
  5. http://www.doctoriansmith.com/
  6. http://www.Americanheart.org