Month: April 2015

One Simple Change – Juice Plus+

One Simple Change – Simple Things You Can Do to Improve Your Health and Well-Being

You only get one body, so treat it well.  You’ve probably heard that saying a million times.  You know the importance of a healthy lifestyle, but sometimes, it can be overwhelming to try to balance nutrition, exercise and mental wellness with all the rest of life’s activities.  Instead of attempting to change everything about your diet, sleep and activity levels at once, try taking a more simple approach to a healthy lifestyle. We call it One Simple Change. 

The idea is to make a number of little and manageable changes in your life that will, together, make a big impact.  Incorporating any number of these small changes can make a dramatic improvement to how you look and feel, and the best part is that none of them are overwhelming.  So what are you waiting for?  Check out some of our ideas for simple changes you can start making right now!

1. Healthy Eating

You are what you eat, so make sure you’re eating healthy and wholesome foods.  You’d be surprised by how much better and more energized you feel when you eat healthily.  A great way to jumpstart a healthy diet is to stop buying junk.  If all you have to eat at home is whole grains, fruits and vegetables, you won’t be tempted to reach for an unhealthy snack! 

2. Hydration

One of the most basic nutritional needs is water.  Our bodies need it to function, and we are constantly losing water- even when we’re not sweating.  Making sure you are getting proper hydration is vital to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water every day.  So if you weigh 120 lbs, you should be drinking at lease 60oz of water.  60 oz may seem like an overwhelming number at first but it’s much more attainable than you may think. The easiest way to start drinking more water is to keep a water bottle with you.  Fill it up in the morning, and try to finish it by the end of the day.  Once it becomes more second nature, challenge yourself to fill it again until you reach your goal! 

3. Physical Activity

Exercise is good for you for more than just weight loss.  Working physical activity into your life will give you more energy and improve your mood.  If you’re new to the workout scene, try to look for opportunities during your normal schedule to squeeze in some activity.  Park as far away from the mall entrance as you can.  Take the stairs.  Go for a family walk.  There are so many easy ways to add activity to your everyday routine- what other ones can you think of?

4. Sleep and Stress

Mental health is just as important as physical.  Controlling stress and making an effort to get enough sleep will not only make you feel better, but will make you function better, in-turn making physical health goals that much more attainable.  While it can be difficult to keep stress at bay, there are simple things you can do to help manage it.  Take up yoga or find a fun hobby that can take your mind off work, for example.  Anything that makes you relaxed and/or happy will help manage stress.  Getting enough sleep can also help.  Make an effort to go to sleep at the same time each night.  Your body will get in a routine, and it will help you sleep sounder.

5. Juice Plus+

Perhaps the easiest and simplest change of all is to take Juice Plus+.  By taking a few capsules every morning, or adding Juice Plus+ Complete to your diet, you are providing your body the whole-food nutrition it needs to thrive.  It couldn’t be any easier to incorporate into your life.  If you’re looking to start a new healthy lifestyle, adding Juice Plus+ is the perfect first step. 

What simple change will you make to look and feel better? Tell us in the comments!


References:

http://www.juiceplus.com/content/JuicePlus/en/one-simple-change/one-simple-change.html#.VTUostJViko

 

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10 Signs of Nutritional Deficiencies in Children

We want the best for our kids, right?

As parents, we do everything we can to provide a good, healthy environment for our kids. Sometimes though, even with our best efforts, our children can suffer from nutritional deficiencies. I’ve experienced this myself. I don’t blame myself or feel guilty. I just try to learn and do better. I can’t be perfect, but for the sake of my children, I can keep an open mind and try to change some things in our diet to help my kids perform at their best.

Many of the following signs are labeled as “genetic” or pre-determined. But I believe that although we are born with certain tendencies, our nutrition throughout our lives can determine whether they will manifest themselves or not. 

10 Signs of Nutritional Deficiencies in Children

 

1. Depression/Anxiety 

Depression and anxiety all starts in the brain, and can be brought on by nutritional deficiencies. Protein, for example, contains amino acids. Most protein from plants contain an incomplete number of amino acids. Protein from animal foods are more likely to contain all amino acids and they are more easily absorbed by the body.

Why are amino acids so important? Well, the brain uses amino acids to create neurotransmitters. Ever heard of Serotonin, Endorphins, Catecholemines, and GABA? A proper balance of these neurotransmitters helps to keep us feeling happy and calm instead of depressed and anxious. A diet with a good amount of complete protein is the answer to correcting this nutritional imbalance. We don’t count protein, or even try to eat high protein, but we do eat whole meat with cuts that include fat and make broth out of the bones to give ourselves a good dose of gelatin (another good source of protein). For severe cases, you may need to supplement directly with specific amino acids to help support the body.

2. Hyperactivity

Hyperactivity is related to the brains ability to process information and remain calm at the same time. Children with hyperactivity tend to have poor bacterial flora and digestion. This can make it hard for the body to absorb many different nutrients. Some doctors will recommend removing processed food along with food dyes to help combat hyperactivity. While I agree that these recommendations are a good start, hyperactivity is often a problem with digestion. I would recommend that adding some good digestive natural treatments will help. Besides eating a good amount of gelatin and broths, a good gut healing protocol involves a good source of homemade probiotics.

3. Delayed Speech

Delayed speech can be related to a deficiency in B12. Children shouldn’t be supplemented with B12 unless first tested for a deficiency, but an increase of natural foods of B12 is a good alternative to supplementation. Foods high in B12 are organ meats, beef, chicken, fish, shellfish, pork, dairy, and eggs. There are no plant/grain sources of B12. 

4. Dry Skin/Hair

Dry skin and hair can be related to a deficiency in fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E, and K2. 

5. Crowding of teeth

This is a sore subject for a lot of people, because honestly, nobody wants to feel responsible for their child’s crowding of teeth. However, the relationship between crowded teeth and nutritional deficiencies is well-recorded in Dr. Weston A. Price’s book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. His travels around the world, visiting traditional cultures untouched by modern foods, helped him discover the link between good dental spacing and good nutrition. He found that even twins who ate different foods developed different dental spacing depending on the foods they ate. Those who ate modern, processed foods or whose mothers ate poorly during pregnancy, had children who developed poor dental structure and spacing. Those who ate a traditional diet full of rich fats, complete animal proteins, and properly prepared carbs across the board developed even spacing of teeth and even had enough room for wisdom teeth.

6. Cavities

Cavities are often thought to be from a result of too much sugar or candy in the diet. While this certainly doesn’t help, it’s not so much about the sugar the person is eating and more about what the person is NOT eating. Dr. Price found that those with cavities were mostly likely to be deficient in proper minerals, and also deficient in fat soluble vitamins needed to absorb and assimilate the minerals. Conversely, Dr. Price found that those who were not deficient had no cavities.

All groups having a liberal supply of minerals particularly phosphorus, and a liberal supply of fat-soluble activators, had 100 per cent immunity to dental caries. – Dr. Weston A. Price

7. Frequent colds and flus

We used to get sick all the time, but once we changed our diets, we noticed changes in our health as well. I noticed that my kids had a higher immunity, and could play around other kids who were sick without getting sick themselves. If your kids are getting sick frequently, again, instead of focusing on one specific nutritional deficiency, try adopting some of the practices of our family here. A good diet is always going to be the best prevention for sickness. I would also encourage you to move away from the germ-a-phobia lifestyle and embrace dirt a bit:)

8. Cranky or sporadic emotions

Julia Ross from The Mood Cure, points out that fats (especially Omega 3s found in wild salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies, and mackerel) are vital for good mood stabilization. She also states that good saturated fats from butter and coconut oil help keep and protect the Omega 3s in our brain. I would also add that hormones need to be balanced as well. Did you know that carrots help absorb any extra estrogen in the body? A high amount of estrogen in the body can make us feel irritable and moody. 

9. Poor cranial structure or “flat-head” syndrome

This one also links back to Dr. Weston A. Price’s research. He found that the development of the palate (teeth crowding) as well as the development of the cranial bones were greatly improves when the mother ate a diet high in good fats (including rich saturated fats from animal products), whole proteins from seafood/animal meat, and properly prepared grains. Vegetables and fruits were also included in these diets depending on what was available during the season, but fats and animal foods were especially held sacred and given to pregnant and nursing mothers. Those who avoided processed food (including seed and vegetable oils, canned, and packaged food) were immune to this problem.

10. Obesity

You wouldn’t think that obesity is related to malnutrition but it is exactly why they person is obese. When we eat foods that aren’t nutrient dense, our bodies are hungry. They become starved for good nutrition and that’s why you won’t feel satisfied when eating highly processed foods and/or foods devoid of nutrients. Our bodies were meant to feel satisfied with a balance of all foods, including seafood, animal products, raw milk, cheese, butter, coconut oil, fruits, vegetables, and properly prepared grains. When we sway from this diet and start to eat more processed food, or restrict any macronutrient like fat, carbohydrates, or protein, that is where we start to become malnourished. 

So what can we do as parents as we try to improve the health of our children?

I’m definitely not a perfect parent and my children don’t have perfect health, but I do know that we have drastically improved our health by turning away from processed food and satisfying our bodies with real food. It’s really an amazing thing when you can eat food that is nutrient-rich AND delicious. 

When it comes to making sure my kids are healthy, I focus on the following:

  • Preparing real food by cooking from scratch most of the time and limiting the amount of processed food our family eats.
  • Making sure my kids get plenty of daily outdoor exercise. 
  • Boosting their immune system, helping them sleep deeply, caring for cuts, scrapes, & bug bites, & making non-toxic cleaning & body products with our stash of essential oils.

What ways have you found to improve your child’s health?

 

Sources:

http://www.moodcure.com/good_mood_foods.html

http://www.westonaprice.org/thumbs-up-reviews/gut-and-psychology-syndrome

The Meat of B12 Deficiency: Interview with Sally M. Pacholok, R.N., B.S.N.

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Easter Carrot Cake

 

 

I’m not much of a cook but I recently came across this recipe and thought I’d give it a go. If you, like me love carrot cake you have to try this as its a healthier version of the traditional carrot cake and it definitely does not compromise on taste. It’s the perfect Easter treat to make for your family and friends. 

Ingredients
2 cups of wholemeal or spelt flour
3 cups of carrot, peeled and grated
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 eggs
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 cup of raw honey
½ cup coconut oil, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup coconut cream (if you don’t have this you can substitute for ½ cup applesauce)
½ cup applesauce
1 tbs lemon zest
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Frosting
1 cup of coconut cream
250g cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180c fan forced (350f). Grease two 22 cm round cake pans with a little coconut oil.
  2. Using a spoon mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Beat the eggs until foamy and then pour in the honey and beat further. Add the melted coconut oil, coconut cream, vanilla extract and applesauce and beat for a further minute.
  4. Slowly add in the flour until it is just mixed in.
  5. Add in the grated carrot, walnuts and lemon zest then mix gently.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake for about 30 mins,using a toothpick inserted in the middle to check if it is cooked.
  7. Let the cakes cool.
  8. Make frosting by beating all the ingredients together until well incorporated.
  9. Spread the frosting on top of the cooled cakes then sandwich them together to make one cake.

 

Happy Easter, enjoy!

Mary x

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Mashed Avocado & Poached Eggs On Toast

This is a classic healthy breakfast (and one of my absolute favourites!). The flavours are SO tasty, it’s the perfect lazy weekend breakfast that is also super good for you. Avocados are an amazing source of Omega-3 fatty acids which are important for good brain health, glowing skin and healthy hair.

Serves 2

Ingredients
1 ripe avocado
Pinch of salt
¼ cup feta, crumbled
1 tsp finely chopped mint, fresh
1 tbs freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
Red chilli flakes (optional)
4 eggs
2 tsp white vinegar
4 slices of rye bread

Directions
1. To make the smashed avocado, scoop out the avocado and use a fork to roughly mash it. Stir in the salt, feta, chopped mint, lemon juice & chilli.
2. To make the perfect poached eggs watch the video below.
3. Poach eggs for 2-4 mins depending on how runny you like them. I settle for the middle – 3 minutes.
4. Toast your bread.
5. Assemble mashed avocado on your toast, topped with poached eggs.

 

Enjoy!

 

If you, like me, struggle to make a poached egg then watch Jamie Oliver’s video 

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