Trouble Getting Some Zzzzzzs? Try These Sleep Aids

 

I’ve certainly had my share of sleep-deprived nights. For me, it’s usually not a matter of having trouble falling asleep, but waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to get BACK to sleep.

Anyway, if you’re looking for some natural ways to help you get a better night’s rest, then I hope you find the following information helpful. I haven’t tried all the things listed here, but the ones I’ve used so far that seem to make a difference are magnesium and tart cherries, either freeze-dried or in juice concentrate form (be sure you buy organic, since cherries are one of the most pesticide-laden crops around). FYI, 8 oz of Montmorency tart cherry juice has 4 times the melatonin of other kinds of cherries, so that’s what I always look for. I keep meaning to try kiwis, since I really like them, but usually eat them in the morning, so I want to see what happens if I eat them before bed.

 

High sleep index foods

You’ve probably heard of tryptophan, the amino acid that many people blame for their lethargy after Thanksgiving dinner. The body converts tryptophan into neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and melatonin, that help us relax. As a result, tryptophan-rich foods help us feel sleepy. Turkey, hummuslentils and kelp are naturally high in tryptophan and contain many other beneficial nutrients.

*Bananas are also a great “sleep index” food: They contain tryptophan, potassium and magnesium, all of which are natural muscle relaxants. Cherries are a good source of melatonin, which can help us get more restful, reparative sleep.

And did you know that in one study, people who ate two kiwi fruits before bed got an extra hour of sleep at night? They woke up later and took less time to fall asleep.

Carbohydrate-rich foods are often excellent at promoting better sleep. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that high-glycemic carbohydrates, which increase sugar levels rapidly, encourage sleep when eaten about four hours before bedtime. Jasmine rice, potatoescarrots, corn and honey are healthy options.

Calcium helps the brain use tryptophan to create melatonin. Specific food combinations, such as whole grain cereals and milkpeanut butter sandwiches, or cheese and crackers contain balanced amounts of calcium and carbohydrates. Calcium is also a natural muscle relaxant.

When to eat

Eating high sleep index foods calms the nervous system and triggers sleep-inducing hormones. But timing is everything. A large meal right before bedtime can interfere with sleep. Tryptophan takes at least an hour to reach the brain, so plan meals accordingly.

Avoid rich, high-fat foods close to bedtime. They require a lot of work to digest and may cause stomach trouble and heartburn. Also, moderate your beverages. Too many fluids will cause frequent trips to the bathroom during the night. In particular, caffeinated beverages stimulate the body and act as diuretics, a double whammy when trying to sleep.

Natural sleep aids

As noted, there is no shortage of sleep aids, either over the counter or by prescription. While these aids generally work in the short term, they come with a long list of detrimental side effects and can become habit-forming. In addition, these powerful drugs are known to interfere with a number of critical biological mechanisms. Remember, they’re not meant to be gentle, but rather to put you out like a light.

I recommend a combination of relaxing, non-habit-forming herbs: lemon balm, passionflower, vitamin B6 and small doses of melatonin, about 500 mcg, can be very helpful.

When taken together 15 minutes before bed, these herbs and nutrients help to promote a gentle state of relaxation and drowsiness. Even better, they help optimize the body’s natural repair processes during sleep. They also work to support numerous other areas of health and longevity as well.

One of the shortcomings of modern society is that every problem requires maximum response. But when it comes to healthy relaxation and restful sleep, you should take a softer, gentler approach.

High sleep index foods, together with calming supplements can help you relax, enjoy a restful sleep and wake feeling refreshed. Other excellent sleep-supportive measures include mindful relaxation techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing.

Getting a good night’s rest is one of the best things you can do for health and well-being. When you support your natural sleep rhythms and cycles with the right foods, supplements and healthy relaxation measures, you reap significant and noticeable benefits. In addition to greater physical energy, mental clarity and emotional balance, getting quality sleep each night results in stronger vitality and better overall health, naturally.

Source: http://easyhealthoptions.com/high-sleep-index-foods-nutrients-help-sleep-like-baby/

 

Turmeric milk, also called golden milk,  before bedtime is used by many people as a sleep aid (also see the link later in this post to the Self-help **blog on golden milk that includes a version where you don’t have to make a paste beforehand)……

Source : http://www.thepaleosecret.com/fbfreegift/morningdrinkfb/01/

**Also see this Self-help Health post on golden milk.

One of my favorite relaxation and sleep aids is lavender essential oil….rubbing a couple of drops on my hands and then inhaling, or dabbing on my wrists, temples or soles of my feed. Also, warm epsom salt soaks, and being careful of the amount of blue light I get at night by turning off the computer an hour or two before bedtime. I’ve also read where oranges, pineapples and passion flower tea are helpful. Chamomile tea is well-known for its relaxing, sleep-inducing quality, and the Mediterranean diet and olive oil are supposedly good for sleep, as well. And I read that most sleep disorders are connected to hormonal toxicity, so that’s something some people may need to address.

*And the peel of a banana apparently has 3 times as much magnesium as the fruit itself, which is probably why someone came up with a recipe for using “Banana Tea” as a sleep aid. All you do is wash a banana (be sure it’s organic), cut in half w/ peel on; cut off tips and boil 3 to 4 minutes in filtered/structured water, steep and drink the liquid. You can refrigerate the fruit  for use the next day in a smoothie (the peel is totally edible and high in nutrition, so you may try tossing that in, too), yogurt, oatmeal, or some other way.

And here’s some info about using magnolia tree bark as a remedy for stress and deeper sleep:

https://easyhealthoptions.com/tree-bark-less-stress-sleep-not-pillow/

Want more info? Here’s a in-depth post by Dr Joseph Mercola about sleep, the ramifications of not getting enough of it, best sleeping positions, and 50 ways to improve it, including eliminating EMFs, using 5-HTP and/or magnesium, going back to using incandescent bulbs, and more.

Related Self-help Heath posts:

9 Yoga Poses For Better Sleep

What’s Not To Love About Cherries?!

Spirit Gate: Heart 7 Acupoint For Anxiety, Insomnia And More

Stay tuned for a post on how raising the head of your bed a few inches can promote better sleep, as well as help with varicose veins, detox the brain, and more!

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

 

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Wow! Lots of Edible Flowers to enhance your meals!

 

Wow, I was aware of some of these, but never realized there were so many options of edible flowers! I’m excited and relieved  that spring is finally showing its face (we had an extra cold winter) and things are starting to bloom. I volunteer in a community garden and we grow a number of the flowers and herbs listed here, so now I’ll know to be picking even more of a variety to use in my salads than I did before. Delightful to have the added color and nutrition!

 

List of Edible Flowers

List of Edible Flowers

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Before you venture out to the garden and harvest a bunch of flowers for the dinner table, it’s important to remember that some flowers are poisonous. Make sure you’ve made a positive identification of each variety you’re using. Obviously, you should avoid flowers that may have been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals, so either grow your own organic flowers, or harvest them from a location you’re sure about. Organic or not, all flowers should be shaken and washed in cold water prior to use, as they may to be homes for insects.

Pick your edible flowers in the morning, when they have the highest water content. Keep them on some dampened paper towel inside a sealed container in the refrigerator for as long as a week. You can revive wilted flowers by floating them in some ice water for a few minutes. Prepare them for eating just before serving in order to prevent further wilting.

Remove the stamens and styles from flowers before eating. Pollen can cause allergic reactions when eaten by some people, and it may overwhelm the otherwise delicate flavour of the petals. The exception here is the Violas, including Johnny-Jump-Ups and pansies, as well as scarlet runner beans, honeysuckle and clover. The flowers of these varieties can be enjoyed whole, and will probably be more flavourful this way.

This list of Edible Flowers is not comprehensive so if you notice a flower missing from this list, please do further research before you consider it edible. Don’t assume that all flowers are edible – some are highly poisonous.

Agastache BloomsAgastache – Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) is also sometimes known as licorice mint. Both the young leaves and the striking purple flowers have a mild licorice flavour. Pull the purple flower tubes away from the central structure of the flower and scatter them in salads or fancy drinks for a pop of colour and flavour.

Angelica – This relative of celery (Angelica archangelica) has licorice-scented pinkish flowers borne in large umbels. The flowers make an interesting addition to salads, but it is mostly grown for its stronger-tasting leaves.

Apple – Be sure to only try flowers from trees that have not been sprayed. Apple blossoms (Malus spp.) have an appealing but delicate flavour and scent. They work particularly well with fresh fruit salads. Use in moderation, as the flowers contain very low levels of poisonous chemicals.

Edible flowers arugula flowersArugula – Once this cool-season plant (Eruca vesicaria) begins to bolt, its leaves will have become tough and almost too spicy to eat. So let it bolt, and enjoy some of its very small, spicy, white or yellow flowers. They add a nice, unusual zing to salads.

Edible basil flowersBasil – Most growers use basil’s leaves (Ocimum basilicum) before the plant has flowered. After blooming, the character of the leaves changes and becomes less appealing, but the flowers can be eaten. They may be white to lavender, but they look stunning when sprinkled over pasta. Thai basil is sometimes allowed to flower before whole stems, with leaves attached, are harvested. The whole flower is edible.

Edible tuborous begonia flowersBegonia – both tuberous (Begonia x tuberhybrida) and wax (B. x semperflorens-cultorum) begonias have edible flowers with a slightly bitter to sharp citrus flavour. Tuberous begonia flowers contain oxalic acid, so should be avoided by people suffering from kidney stones, gout, or rheumatism.

Edible flowers of Bergamot, wildBergamot, wild – This plant (Monarda fistulosa) may be listed as bee balm, Monarda, Wild Bergamot, Oswego Tea, or Horsemint. The flowers (and the young leaves) have an intense flavour of mint with undertones of citrus and oregano. This plant that has a scent highly reminiscent of Earl Grey tea. Somewhat confusingly, the “oil of bergamot” used to flavour Earl Grey is actually derived from citrus peel from the Bergamot Orange. Monarda flowers are formed by large clusters of edible tubular petals that can be separated before adding to cakes, fancy drinks, or salads.

Borage edible flowersBorage – This familiar garden herb (Borago officnialis) has furry leaves and exquisite blue, star-shaped flowers. Both have a cooling taste reminiscent of cucumber. Try some of the flowers in a summer lemonade or sorbet – or a gin & tonic! They work particularly well as garnishes for gazpacho, cheese plates, or just sprinkled over salads.

Calendula Seeds in bloomCalendula – All “pot marigolds” (Calendula officinalis) have flower petals that are edible. They have a nice flavour that ranges from peppery to bitter, and they add bright yellow, gold, and orange colour to soups and salads. They may even tint some dishes like saffron does.

Edible chamomile flowersChamomile – Choose the German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla syn. M. recutita) for its daisy-like flowers. They can be used fresh or dried, and make a particularly nice tea that tastes vaguely like apples. Drink the tea in moderation – some allergy sufferers may have a negative response. Otherwise, sprinkle the petals into salads and soups.

Chervil – The lacy leaves of this shade-loving herb (Anthriscus cerefolium) are topped by delicate white flowers borne in umbels. Both the leaves and the flowers have a very mild anise or licorice-like taste. Add chervil to your dishes just before serving to maintain the best flavour.

Edible flowers of chicoryChicory – All endive varieties (Cichorium endivia & C. intybus) produce, at summer’s end, tall stems with striking, sky-blue flowers. The petals can be pulled off and added to salads for their earthy, endive-like flavour. The unopened flower buds can also be pickled like capers.

List of edible flowers including chivesChives – The flowers of chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are ball-like clusters of hundreds of little florets that can be separated and scattered onto salads for colour and a mild onion flavour.

Shungiku edible chrysanthemum flowersChrysanthemum – The edible chrysanthemum and garland Chrysanthemum (both are Leucanthemum coronarium) that we offer produce both edible young leaves and appealing white daisy-like flowers with yellow centres, or flowers that are entirely yellow. The petals of both types are edible and faintly tangy.

Edible flowers of cilantroCilantro – This leafy herb (Coriandrum sativum) is also known as Coriander. In summer heat it is quick to bolt, and will send up tall umbels of white flowers. These have an intensely herbal flavour, just like the leaves, roots, and seeds of the plant, and can be used as a garnish where cilantro leaves would otherwise be used.

Edible clover flowersClover– The flower heads of clover (Trifolium spp.) are edible, and have a sweet, mild licorice flavour. In fact, the whole above ground plant is edible, but it’s best to grow clover as tender sprouts or to use the flower tubes in moderation as a salad garnish. Mature clover is tough to digest, and may cause bloating.

Blossoms of Cornflower Seeds in bloomCornflower – The pretty, blue flowers of cornflower (Centaurea cyanus) have a slightly spicy, clove-like flavour with a subtle sweetness. Cornflower petals look wonderful in salads. Use torn petals as a garnish, or whole flowers in fancy drinks.

Dame’s Rocket – The petals of this tall relative of mustard (Hesperis matronalis) are pink, lavender, or white, and always come in fours. Perennial Phlox looks similar, and also has edible flowers, but always have five petals. The petals (and the immature leaves) of Dame’s Rocket are worth adding to salads, but have a mild bitter flavour.

Edible dandelion flowersDandelion – The ubiquitous dandelion (Taxacum officinalis) is entirely edible. When picked small, and unopened, the flower buds have a surprising sweetness, reminiscent of honey. Young greens are also tasty either raw or steamed. Dandelion petals look very nice when scattered over pasta or rice. While dandelions are rather easy to come by, make sure to harvest them only from organic gardens. Avoid any grown near roads or picked from lawns where chemicals may be present.

Edible day lilies flowersDay Lilies – The fleshy, short-lived flowers of day lilies (Hemerocallis spp.) are sweet, with a flavour resembling mild melon or cucumber. Make sure to cut the tasty petals away from the bitter base of each flower. Try them in salads! Eat in moderation.

How to Grow DianthusDianthus – Look for the large-flowered carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus), and cut the sweet tasting petals away from the bitter white base of each flower. The bright red and pink petals have a mild clove flavour and are great for desserts or salads.

Edible dill flowersDill – Stronger in flavour than the leaves, the flowers of dill (Anethum graveolens) can be used when cooking fish, or raw in salads. They are very small, yellow, and borne on tall umbels. Best used when they have just opened, as they set seed quickly.

Edible flowers English daisyEnglish Daisy – The low growing flowers (Bellis perennis) have a bitter flavour, but are entirely edible. They are small enough to use simply by sprinkling the petals onto salads or other meals, and will not overwhelm stronger flavours.

How to grow Florence fennel Selma Fino Fennel Seeds HR1089-1Fennel – Both the garden herb and the vegetable Florence fennel(both are Foeniculum vulgare) will eventually produce attractive and tall umbels of tiny yellow flowers that have the same mild licorice flavour as the leaves. These work very well in desserts!

Edible fuchsia flowersFuchsia – Avoid nursery-bought Fuchsia (Fuchsia x hybrida) flowers, as they may have been sprayed. Otherwise, the extraordinary looking flowers make great garnishes and have a slightly acidic flavour.

Garlic scapes

Garlic Scapes!

Garlic – Allowed to open, garlic flowers (Allium sativum) are pink to white, with florets that can be separated and inserted into salads for a mild garlic zing. However, allowing the plants to flower may divert energy that would otherwise go to the bulb. Many garlic growers prefer to cut the flower stems (scapes) before they open. These can be sautéed in butter for an intense, early summer side dish, or run through the food processor and mixed with Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and pine nuts for a sensational pesto.

Hollyhocks edible flowersHollyhock – The large, brightly coloured flowers of common hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) have almost no flavour of their own, but they sure look nice cut into salads or sprinkled over desserts. Be sure to use the petals only – cut these away from the central structure of the flower just before serving.

Honeysuckle – The long flower tubes of various honeysuckle species are edible, but Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) is best, with its distinctly honey-like flavour. Do not eat the berries that follow, or any other part of the plant, as they are all poisonous.

Impatiens – The flowers of Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) may be bright white or shocking red, but the petals are edible and have a surprisingly sweet taste. They can be torn into salad or mixed into fancy drinks.

Johnny-Jump-UpJohnny-Jump-Up – This plant (Viola tricolor) produces masses of small, brightly coloured flowers that have a faint wintergreen taste. They look great served on cakes, served with soft cheeses, or as a topping for salads. Use the whole flower intact.

French LavenderLavender – Pull the clustered flowers of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) apart and sprinkle a few pieces onto chocolate cake. Submerge one or two pieces in a glass of chilled champagne. The sweet, intensely floral flavour of lavender should be used with restraint, but adds an incredible to pop savory dishes as well as desserts.

Edible flowers lemon bergamotLemon Bergamot – Like its wild cousin above, Lemon Bergamot (Monarda citriodora) has a perfume-like, intense, almost astringent quality, but it is strongly scented with citrus. Use portions of the flower conservatively in drinks or desserts or in herbal teas.

Lilac – Like lavender, the flowers of lilac (Syringa vulgaris) have an intensely floral, almost perfumey flavour with lemon undertones. A little goes a long way, but one or two individual flowers added to a summer punch looks wonderful and tastes very refreshing.

Gold Gem Edible FlowersLemon Marigold Tagetes tenuifolia

Edible marigold flowersMarigold – Both French marigolds (Tagetes patula) and African marigolds (T. erecta) produce flowers that are technically edible, but the pungent scent is probably worth avoiding. African marigold flowers are used as a food colourant in Europe, but have only been approved for use as a poultry feed additive in the US. However,T. tenuifolia has a refreshing citrus, lemony flavour, and its petals work well torn into salads or smart drinks.

PeppermintMint – All mint varieties (Mentha spp.) have minty-flavoured, edible flowers that may be sweet or lemon-scented, or even with chocolate overtones depending on the type.

Edible Nasturtium flowersNasturtium – All garden nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) produce edible flowers and leaves. Even the fresh seeds can be pickled like capers. Curiously this familiar garden flower is a cousin of the Brassica family (cabbage, broccoli, mustards, etc…). All parts of the nasturtium have a pleasant, sweet, peppery flavour. The flowers can be used whole to decorate salads and a variety of other foods, but you may want to remove the long spur at the back of the flower, as this is the nectary and may harbour small insects.

*For more on nasturtiums, check out the link to an article at the end of this post.

Edible pansies flowersPansy – The flower petals of the familiar garden pansy (Viola x wittrockiana) are edible and highly decorative. The petals have little flavour, but the whole flower can also be used. It has a grassy, wintergreen undertone that works well in fruit salad.

Edible pea flowersPea – Edible garden peas (Pisum sativum) produce edible flowers that look great in salads. Serve a blend of peas in a meal: shelled peas, pea tendrils, pea pods, and some flowers for garnish. Note: Ornamental sweet peas are poisonous.

Perennial Phlox – Be certain that you’ve got the tall-growing perennial garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata), and not the inedible annual, creeping type before you try the flowers. The perennial type bears pink to white flowers with five petals that have a pleasant, peppery flavour. They look great and taste great in fruit salads.

Primrose – With its bland, but highly colourful flowers, primrose (Primula vulgaris) is worth cultivating if only to tear its petals into a few summer salads. The flower buds can also be pickled, steamed, or fermented into wine.

Queen Anne’s Lace – The Wild Carrot (Daucus carota) produces tall umbels of exquisite, tiny, white flowers, each one marked by a blood-red centre. Although this plant is grown for its decorative, edible flowers, it can cross-pollinate with its close relative the carrot, so if you happen to be growing carrots with the intent of saving seed, avoid this plant in your garden. The flowers of Queen Anne’s Lace have a mild, carroty flavour. Be absolutely certain that the plant you are harvesting is not the invasive weed known as Wild or Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum), which looks very similar. The stems of Queen Anne’s Lace are hairy, while Poison Hemlock has smooth, hollow stems with purple spots.

Garden party rose seeds FL2061 1Rose – Another surprisingly edible garden flower is the rose (Rosa spp.). Although its petals are intensely perfumed, their flavour is subtler and a bit fruity, with complex undertones that depend on the variety and soil conditions. The petals of all roses are edible, but you should remove the bitter white base of each petal. Be sure to use only rose flowers that have been organically grown from a reliable source, as nearly all nursery or cut flower roses will have been treated with pesticide.

Rosemary edible flowersRosemary – It takes nimble fingers to pull the strongly scented flowers of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) from between the tightly packed leaves. The leaves contain more oil than the flowers, but both are similar in flavour. Use the flowers as you would the herb. Flowers are deep blue to pink, depending on the soil.

Safflower edible flowersSafflower – The dried yellow flowers (Carthamus tinctorius) are sometimes sold as Mexican saffron, and used like saffron as a food dye. Otherwise, fresh petals can be torn into salads, soups, and sauces. They have a very mild flavour of their own.

Sage makes the list of edible flowersSage – The deep blue flowers of sage (Salvia officinalis) add an interesting mild-sage flavour to salads or savory dishes. Pull individual flower tubes from the stems and use with discretion, as the taste is strong.

Scarlet runner bean edible flowersScarlet Runner Bean – The flowers of this vine (Phaseolus vulgaris) are vivid, intense red, and also delicious. They make excellent garnishes for soups and salads, providing a real visual high note.

Large Leaf Organic SorrelSorrel – Like the leaves of sorrel (Rumex acetosa), its flowers have a strongly lemony flavour, and can be scattered over salad or used in sauces. The flavour comes from oxalic acid, so should be avoided by those with kidney conditions or rheumatism.

Squash-BlossomSquash – Both male and female flowers of all squash and zucchini varieties are edible, and have a faint squashy flavour. It may be sensible to only use the male flowers, as they will not form fruits. They can be torn into salads or stuffed with savory items like herbs and goat cheese, and then fried in a light tempura batter. There are many squash blossom recipes online.

Edible sunflower flowersSunflower – It’s still a little known fact that unopened sunflower (Helianthus annuus) buds can be steamed or sautéed in butter and served whole. They have an artichoke-like flavour. Alternately, the petals can be pulled from the edge of the opened flower and added to soups and salads. Their flavour is somewhat bitter.

Violet – Many varieties (Viola spp.) are suitable for decorating food. They come in a range of sweet, perfumed flavours, and a wide range of colours. Some of the tiniest violet flowers make the best additions to cakes, drinks, and salads.

(You can get seeds for these plants at westcoastseeds.com, the source of this article, as well as elsewhere.)

Source: https://www.westcoastseeds.com/garden-resources/articles-instructions/list-edible-flowers/

*Dr. Joseph Mercola recently did an article about growing and eating nasturtiums that includes the following highlights:

  • Nasturtiums — colorful flowers that are fast and easy to grow — provide edible blooms known for their peppery tang
  • As their name suggests, you can be “nasty” to nasturtiums because they do well in lean soil and thrive even when somewhat neglected
  • Nasturtiums not only contain beneficial amounts of vitamin C, beta carotene, iron and manganese, but they also boast the highest lutein content of any edible plant
  • Some of the purported medicinal uses for nasturtiums include fighting bacterial and fungal infections, neutralizing free radicals, promoting hair growth, soothing colds and coughs and treating skin conditions

You can read the full article here.

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

 

Wondering About Which Flour To Use? Here’s A Great Resource!

 

This is one of the best sources I’ve found for having information about all the various flours available these days for those looking to get away from wheat. It does a good job of giving you an idea of how they affect your cooking/baking results, and the pluses and minuses of each option, so you can decide which ones will be best for your particular need. 

BTW, I think I have either cooked with our tasted products made with all the flours listed (including snack bars made with cricket flour :-))  except green banana flour. It’s great that we have so many more choices available these days!

 

Coconut Flour vs Almond Flour vs Hemp Flour vs Green Banana Flour vs Buckwheat Flour (and more)

 

Wheat Flour is Probably the Worst Flour for Health.  So What about Coconut Flour, Almond Flour, Hemp Flour, Cassava Flour, Buckwheat, Green Banana Flour, or Cricket Flour? Let’s Look at Alternative Gluten Free, Grain Free Flours for Comparison…

When I first began eating gluten free, there wasn’t much of a choice for alternative flours, except rice flour. I actually got used to using it, and was successful using it instead of wheat flour for most recipes. However, rice is a grain and a highly refined one at that, so I’ve begun to experiment with other non-grain, low-glycemic flours. All of them have differing nutrient qualities and different textures, so what works for one recipe, may not work for another. In addition, many flours, even if they are non-grain, can still be highly refined starch and therefore high glycemic. Not good! New types of flours are showing up everyday, so it’s hard to keep up, but here is a rundown of some of the top-selling Paleo, non-grain/gluten free flours.

Coconut Flour

Coconut has been one of the popular, Paleo-style, low-glycemic substitutes for regular flour. And it is gluten free and grain free, and tends to be low-allergenic .It is high in fiber, and healthy fats, low carb, and generally low on the allergen list as well. Even though it is a flour, it still contains a decent amount of healthy saturated fats, that are easily and quickly metabolized for energy. Coconut flour is also considered low glycemic and because of its high fiber content, it is helpful in maintaining stable blood sugar. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition show that consuming products with coconut flour will help lower the glycemic impact of the food. However, if you are using it in cookies or other sweetened products, keep in mind, the other sugars will still affect blood sugar levels.

Downside of Coconut Flour – Coconut’s high fiber content can be either good or bad. Coconut flour has a lot of fiber, and much of that fiber comes in the form of inulin. Unfortunately, inulin is considered a FODMAP, which is a type of fiber that can set off digestive symptoms in certain types of people who are sensitive to it. The high fiber, combined with the heavier texture, means very filling, heavy baked goods. Coconut flour tends to ‘suck’ up a lot of the liquids in a recipe, so it generally works better if you make adjustments for the extra liquids, otherwise you may end up with a very dry crumbly texture. Coconut flour can be a bit expensive, but is less than some of the other alternative flours out there. Some people who are allergic to nuts, may also be allergic to coconut as well.  Because of the nature of coconut flour to suck up moisture, it’s generally best blended with a fattier flour like almond flour, and that blend usually creates more moist baked goods rather than coconut flour alone.

Almond Flour

Almond flour is great for those who want to be gluten and grain free, and also follow a low-carb diet. Almonds, like other nuts, are full of great nutrients like L-arginine, magnesium, potassium, calcium, copper, and manganese, as well as mononunsaturated fats.

Almond meal or almond flour makes a great Paleo flour that is non-grain based. Almonds are healthy fats, nutrients, and fiber. Although almond flour is heavier, it doesn’t tend to soak up liquids like coconut flour and works well for cookies and other baked goods. Almond flour is low carb, even lower carb than coconut flour, so it’s perfect for a low carb or Paleo or ketogenic diet and is also great for diabetics to keep blood sugar stable. It also has a delicious crunchy texture and works well for coating things like chicken or fish.

Downside of Almond Flour – Almonds contain phytic acid which can be a gut irritant if you consume too much almond flour too often. Almond flour is also high in Omega 6 fats, which can be inflammatory (in excess), especially if you eat a lot of almonds and almond flour—and don’t balance it out with a sufficient amount of healthy Omega 3 fats. Almond flour definitely does NOT work if you have a nut allergy. And if you have a tendency to be sensitive to oxalates in food, almonds should be minimized.

Note on almond flour:  Since this flour is more fat-based, it tends to mix well for baking with drier flours like coconut flour or a few of the starchy flours like rice, cassava, or green banana.

Hemp Flour

Hemp flour and hemp seeds are not the same as marijuana, so no need to worry about getting high. This flour is made from hemp seeds, so is gluten free, grain free and low glycemic, but high in nutrition. Hemp contains all the amino acids and is a great protein source, along with healthy fats. Hemp seeds contain a large amount of Omega 3 fats, although a good part of the oil is removed to make it into flour. Hemp is also rich in vitamins and minerals including vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin. Hemp flour makes great bread and baked goods. Hemp has no gluten and works well if you have any kind of nut allergy. Hemp flour is also full of fiber. Hemp has a delicious, nutty taste, even though it’s safe for those with nut allergies.

Downside of Hemp Flour – Hemp flour is generally greenish-brownish, so if you are making cookies or a cake, keep that mind—it may taste good, but the color may not look very appetizing. Hemp does not rise on its own, so it should be mixed with other flours, or used as a flatbread, pancakes, crackers, or for breading. Hemp flour is not cheap and sometimes harder to find.

Cassava Flour

I used to think Cassava flour and tapioca flour were the same things, but that is not actually true. While both come from the cassava root, which is also known as yucca or manioc, tapioca starch is actually a highly refined and processed powder extracted from cassava root that goes through a process of washing and pulping. The pulp is then squeezed to extract a starchy liquid, which is then dried and bleached, and the remaining powder is tapioca.

Cassava flour, on the other hand, comes from the whole root, simply peeled, dried and ground. This means it has more dietary fiber, and overall is a less refined, whole food flour. Cassava is full of vitamin C, great for healthy skin, the immune system and an anti-inflammatory.

Cassava flour is starting to become more and more popular as a great gluten-free, grain free flour, with a great versatile consistency similar to regular flour, which makes it a great substitute for regular wheat flour, unlike almond, coconut or hemp flours. It also has a very mild taste and texture, making it work on a 1:1 basis as a perfect substitute for wheat flour.

Downside of Cassava Flour – Unfortunately cassava flour is not low glycemic or low carbohydrate, although it is grain free. Cassava has a very high carbohydrate profile—in fact, it’s double the calories and carbohydrates as a sweet potato, meaning it could easily create insulin spikes and high blood sugar. Because of the higher carb content of this flour, it’s generally best used blended with a high fiber flour like coconut flour and/or a high fat flour like almond flour.

Buckwheat Flour

Buckwheat actually contains neither wheat nor gluten, and is not a grain. Buckwheat is actually a seed that provides so many nutritional and antioxidant benefits that it is often considered a superfood. Buckwheat contains a wealth of B vitamins, manganese, magnesium, zinc, iron, folate, and bioflanonoids such as rutin and quercetin which are known anti-inflammatory agents that help allergies, strengthen blood vessels and prevent blood clots. Buckwheat is a great source of protein, containing 12 amino acids. Buckwheat has more protein than rice, wheat, millet or corn.

Buckwheat has the added attraction of being low glycemic, keeping you full for longer and helping keep blood sugar levels low. This also makes it an ideal ‘fat-burning’ food. Studies found that when diabetic patients consumed buckwheat over a two-month period, they experienced a lowering in blood sugar and reduced insulin resistance without any form of medication. Buckwheat works well for baking breads, muffins, crepes, pancakes and other foods.

Downside of Buckwheat – It’s tough to find a downside to this superfood. It is relatively inexpensive, medium-carb, grain-free, gluten-free, low glycemic, full of protein and fiber and other super nutrients. It may be a bit heavy to use on its own for breads, but it’s not bad. The only downside is that it is a deep brown, making your baked goods dark-colored.

Green Banana Flour

One of the newer grain free, gluten free Paleo flour options, green banana flour is similar to cassava flour in how it’s used. This flour comes from dried, pulverized green banana slices and is common in many of the warmer, tropical regions of the world, like Central and South America It’s not very common yet, but it may become one of the more common flour substitutes in the future. Don’t be confused—this is not made from the sweet yellow bananas that are eaten as a fruit, this flour is made from green bananas, and is not sweet—nor does it taste like bananas. The flour has a delicious rich, nutty taste—nothing like bananas. It is a bit heavier though, so use less than you would regular flour. Plantains are rich in iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, B, and C.

While green bananas are a starchy food, the starch they contain is resistant starch, which helps to maintain blood sugar levels without an insulin spike, making them good for people who are trying to lose weight or fight diabetes. Resistant starch is not absorbed by the body, so it mostly just passes through your system. This is what makes banana flour lower glycemic, and not as fattening as other flours, as the body cannot absorb all the calories in this flour. Resistant starch is also an excellent prebiotic, which helps to feed and maintain a healthy microbiome, improving your mood, as well as your immune and digestive system.

Downside of Green Banana Flour – Can’t really find a downside of this flour either, it’s an awesome, low glycemic, non grain, gluten free substitute for wheat flour. The only thing is this flour is not white, its brownish green, and is heavier and denser than regular flour, so it may make your baked goods less pretty to the uneducated general public. It is also relatively difficult to find as of yet, and somewhat pricey also.

Cricket Flour

I had to add this one in! Yes, it’s real crickets it’s made from! While cricket flour is actually made from dried and roasted crickets, it is an amazing gluten free, non grain, high protein flour. It has three times the protein of a steak and twice as much as a piece of chicken! It’s also full of vitamins B2 and B12, iron and calcim. Still feeling squeamish? It doesn’t taste a bit like bugs, you cannot find eyeballs or wings or anything else gross in it. It has a nutty, mild taste and is ultimately much more sustainable than many other plant-based crops used for flour.

Downside of Cricket Flour — Well, you the know, the obvious, it’s from—crickets. But other than that, it’s a bit expensive, and it’s not something you see at the grocery store—yet.  But cricket flour is becoming more common, and I think it’s going to be big in the future.

My recommendations:

I’ve been gluten-free and mostly grain-free for the last 10 or more years, so I’ve had lots of chances to experiment with some of these flours. Almond flour or hemp flour is great for a heavier, healthier, more filling flour. They make great cookies. I love buckwheat for pancakes, muffins, waffles, etc. Cassava is a great alternative if you want a ‘pretty’ fluffier looking flour that bakes well and is a good substitute for regular flour, and is widely accepted, but it is high carb/high glycemic.

Other flours worth mentioning include garbanzo flour, oat flour, ground flax, rice flour, sorghum flour, amaranth, and teff flours. My best suggestion is to try a few in different recipes, combine some of them, experiment and enjoy!

Mike’s Note (from NutritionWatchDog.com):My personal experience is that it’s almost ALWAYS best to combine some of the alternative flours for the best texture.  For example, we make various muffin recipes using a mixture of equal parts coconut flour, almond flour, and green banana flour (or rice flour)… this works well because the higher fat content of the almond flour mixes well with the drier coconut flour, and then adding 1/3 of a starchy flour like green banana or rice flour finishes the blend perfectly, while still maintaining a much lower carb count and lower blood sugar impact.  Blending 2 or 3 of these alternative flours usually ends up having the best taste too, whether it’s muffins, pancakes, waffles, etc.

Source: http://thenutritionwatchdog.com/forget-about-grains-try-these-grain-free-flours-that-spike-fat-loss-and-improve-your-health

And here’s some additional options listed in an article by Scott O’Reilly on paleo flours:

  • Arrowroot flour. The name is derived from the fact that Central American Indians used this plant-based starch to heal poison arrow wounds. They also used it to aid digestion and boost vitality. Today, there’s evidence that arrowroot flour can boost immunity and improve digestion. You can use this flour as a thickener and as an alternative to cornstarch.
  • Tapioca starch. This is an inexpensive flour that can be used to make gravy, cupcakes, muffins and pancakes.
  • Tigernut flour. The name is something of a misnomer because this flour is derived from a plant root (not a nut) found in North Africa and the Mediterranean. It reportedly helps nurture your good bacteria.
  • Sweet potato flour is loaded with nutrients like vitamins A and K. It holds moisture well and is ideal if you’d like sweet-tasting waffles or cupcakes.

In general, each of the paleo flours tends to have their strengths and weaknesses. In most instances, you won’t be able to substitute them at a 1:1 ratio for white flour. However, combining paleo flours (which entails some trial and error) can help you achieve your desired culinary and wellness goals.

 

Related Self-help Health post: Cooking With Coconut Flour

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

 

Still Eating Margarine? Please Read This!

 

A number of years ago I became aware of the fact that margarine was actually not good for us, but was still shocked by some of the details mentioned in this post by Jeff Passofaro. I grew up in the era when margarine first came on the scene and gained wide popularity as a cheaper, healthier alternative to butter. At one point I even preferred using it on toast and other things….probably because my taste buds were manipulated by the artificial flavorings and other ingredients that can have an addictive-like effect on the body.

But I’ve been back on the butter band wagon for years now, especially if it’s grass-fed, and if you aren’t already on board, too, then this post might do the trick. Who needs horror movies when there’s so much scary stuff in our food and water supply these days?!

 

 

This is interesting . .. .

Margarine was originally manufactured to fatten turkeys. When it killed the turkeys, the people who had put all the money into the research wanted a payback so they put their heads together to figure out what to do with this product to get their money back.

It was a white substance with no food appeal so they added the yellow coloring and sold it to people to use in place of butter. How do you like it? They have come out with some clever new flavorings….

DO YOU KNOW.. The difference between margarine and butter?

Read on to the end…gets very interesting!

Both have the same amount of calories.

Butter is slightly higher in saturated fats at 8 grams; compared to 5 grams for margarine.

Eating margarine can increase heart disease in women by 53% over eating the same amount of butter, according to a recent Harvard Medical Study.

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Eating butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other foods.

Butter has many nutritional benefits where margarine has a few and only because they are added!

Butter tastes much better than margarine and it can enhance the flavors of other foods.

Butter has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for less than 100 years .

And now, for Margarine..

Very High in Trans fatty acids.

Triples risk of coronary heart disease …

Increases total cholesterol and LDL (this is the bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL cholesterol, (the good cholesterol)

Increases the risk of cancers up to five times..

Lowers quality of breast milk

Decreases immune response.

Decreases insulin response.

And here’s the most disturbing fact… HERE IS THE PART THAT IS VERY INTERESTING!

Margarine is but ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC… and shares 27 ingredients with PAINT.

These facts alone were enough to have me avoiding margarine for life and anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is added, changing the molecular structure of the substance).

Open a tub of margarine and leave it open in your garage or shaded area. Within a couple of days you will notice a couple of things:

* no flies, not even those pesky fruit flies will go near it (that should tell you something)

* it does not rot or smell differently because it has no nutritional value ; nothing will grow on it. Even those teeny weeny microorganisms will not a find a home to grow.

Why? Because it is nearly plastic . Would you melt your Tupperware and spread that on your toast? Of course not, so share this with your friends…..(If you want to butter them up :-))!

Pass the BUTTER PLEASE!

Related Self-help Health post: Healthy Fats, Plus Butter vs Margarine

And check out my What’s New page for details about the upcoming free Holistic Oral Health Summit. Oral health is the most overlooked health issue in conventional and integrative medicine, even though 80% of disease symptoms are caused by problems in the mouth. Plus, millions are exposed to disease-promoting dental procedures every day. So Jonathan Landsman has gathered 33 of the world’s top experts to show you the best ways to improve oral health, prevent and reverse disease symptoms, and save thousands of dollars in unwanted medical expenses. A wide variety of topics will be covered, including oil pulling, harmful toxins like mercury, problems with root canals, cavitations and implants, proper heavy metal detoxification and much more.

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Freeze Your Lemons?! YES!!

 

I actually heard about this awhile back, but am just now getting around to featuring an article on it.  I tell ya, the “lowly” lemon just continues to amaze me. It really is a superfood, when you think about it, and I’m so glad I love the taste and smell of lemons. I usually buy a bag of them a week,  organic of course!

What’s nice about this is it gives you a way for never wasting or letting a lemon go bad again. Got some that are already at they’re peak of ripeness, but you’re going out of town and can’t use them for awhile? No problem, just freeze them for later and use them like in this article!

And be sure to check out the Gary Parent video at the end of the post. Fascinating! Great visual reference.

 

(by Hesh Goldstein) When I got this from a friend, I was in utter disbelief. So, I go to Snopes and they back it up. So, In answer to the question, everyone should freeze lemons.

All kinds of people are saying that the entire lemon should be used with nothing wasted. How?

Simple, take a lemon, wash it, and then put it in the freezer. Once it is frozen you get whatever is necessary to grate or shred the whole lemon without even peeling it first.

Then sprinkle it on your salad, ice cream, soup, cereals, noodles, spaghetti sauce, or whatever. No holds barred. What you will experience is that whatever you sprinkle it on will take on a taste you may never have experienced before.

Why would I do this? Because the lemon peel contains 5 to 10 times more vitamins than the lemon juice itself and the peel is the part that is usually wasted. Not only that, but the peel helps to get rid of toxins in the body.

But wait, there’s more. Lemon is effective in killing cancer cells because it is allegedly 10,000 stronger than chemotherapy.

This has been revealed because there are people out there that want to make a synthetic, chemicalized version that will bring them huge profits. Shades of Monsanto.

The good news is that the taste of lemon is pleasant and does not deliver the horrific effects of chemotherapy.

What’s bizarre is that people are closely guarding this fact so as to not jeopardize the income to those that profit from other’s illnesses.

Another interesting aspect of the lemon is that it has a remarkable effect on cysts and tumors. Some say the lemon is a proven remedy against all types of cancer.

It doesn’t end there. It has an anti-microbial effect against bacterial infections and fungi; it is effective against internal parasites and worms; it regulates blood pressure which is too high; it acts as an anti-depressant; it combats stress and nervous disorders.

The source of this information, although not specifically named, is one of the largest drug manufacturers in the world. They further say that after more than 20 laboratory tests since 1970, the extracts revealed that it destroys the malignant cells in 12 cancers, including colon, breast, prostate, lung and pancreas and that the compounds of the lemon tree were 10,000 times more effective than the product Adriamycin, which is a drug normally used chemotherapeutically in the world to slow the growth of cancer cells.

Even more, this type of therapy with lemon extract only destroys malignant cancer cells and does not affect healthy cells.

The process is simple: *buy a lemon, wash it, freeze it, grate it, and put it on everything you eat.

It’s not rocket science. God puts stuff on the planet to keep the body healthy. The corporations hide this information and create synthetics to treat disease. The synthetic chemical creates other symptoms from its ingestion requiring another drug to combat these symptoms.

Source:  https://www.naturalnews.com/040574_freezing_lemons_lemon_juice_vitamins.html

* Always buy organic, especially since you are using the peel

Related Self-help Health post:  Lemons: They’re Not Just For Lemonade,  Don’t Throw Away The Peel!  Lemon Water = Better Than Lemonade

More on freezing lemons: http://www.healthyfoodteam.com/frozen-lemon-technique-could-fight-malignant-tumors-in-the-body-recipe/

Plus, check out this video posted on Gary Parent’s Facebook page on January 17th. It’s a great opportunity to see visually what lemon water can do and why it’s so powerful and beneficial for the body……

 

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

3 Free Events + 11 Immune-boosting Soup Recipes = 14 Great Health Resources :-)

 

A quick post to let you know about several free upcoming events, plus at the end there’s a link to 11 healthy, immune-boosting recipes for winter soups that look awfully tasty…..

 

First, there’s the upcoming Winter of Wellness  free event taking place from January 16th through 20th……

The New Year is an ideal time to reflect on the previous year and to set goals for the year ahead. With the nightly news overflowing with chaotic stories, it’s all the more important that we take care of ourselves so that we’re better able to play a positive role in creating a world that works for all.

Self-care starts with supercharging your WHOLE being… body, mind, and soul. So I’m glad to announce that our annual Winter of Wellness program will run from January 16–20. This special event is an unparalleled health, healing, and wellness series offering leading-edge solutions to many of today’s personal health objectives.

Winter of Wellness features more than 40 top wellness experts ready to share their practical wisdom with you at no cost. Speakers include Donna Eden, David Crow, Arjun Das, Gregg Braden, Dawson Church, and David Wolfe. And a big thank you to Dr. Robyn Benson for creating such a powerful summit!

To register for free, click here.

 

The 2nd event is the premiere of a documentary that should prove very interesting and informative……

Logo

You’ve seen the recent news about astounding stories in these microscopic miracles. Years of research have brought us to this pivotal point in medicine— …the miracle of stem cell therapy, a powerful scientific breakthrough that captures and harnesses the stem cells in your own body and uses them to heal and rebuild damage done by disease, injury, and even aging. There has never been a more promising development in the medical field.

But in the meantime, Big Pharma and our own government is limiting our ability to use OUR OWN natural stem cells – and they are actively fighting to limit use of stem cell therapy.

It begs the question: WHY?…

This documentary will be bringing you the latest breaking news about what’s REALLY going on in the world of S-stem cells – and you’re invited to see it for free.

You can sign up here.

 

And here’s an event with a more esoteric bent designed to help you awaken your potential for self-healing,  longevity and super-perception. It’s happening tomorrow, but there will be a replay link, if you can’t make the live presentation…..

The Shift Network

Wednesday, January 10, 2018
5:30pm Pacific / 8:30pm Eastern / 1:30am Thursday UTC

On Wednesday, January 10th evolutionary leader, best-selling author and human potential pioneer Gregg Braden will share the new science that exposes the limiting beliefs we’ve held about who we are and where we come from when he presents, The New Human Story: Awakening Your Evolutionary Potential for Self-healing, Longevity & Super-perception.

In this mind-expanding mini-workshop with Gregg, you’ll find out how these new scientific discoveries have the potential to change the way you think about yourself, your relationship to your body, to others, to the earth, and even to God.

You’ll also discover:

  • How new discoveries have overturned 150 years of scientific thinking — and why that’s relevant to YOUR life story
  • How to tap into your innate capacity to leap beyond self-limiting thoughts and behaviors and step into the grandest vision of the life you once thought was beyond your reach
  • How to access your deep intuition on demand through heart-brain harmonization
  • How to enhance your ability to self-regulate so that you can choose to create a powerful immune response, activate longevity enzymes, and move into the gamma state at will to access deep levels of perception
  • How to work with your mirror neurons to open new doorways to accelerated learning

You can register for this FREE virtual event here!

 

And here’s the link I mentioned to the soup recipes from The Food Revolution……

bowl of winter soup

11 Healthy Vegan Winter Soup Recipes (Comforting and Immune-Boosting Ideas)

These healthy vegan winter soup recipes are delicious, nutritious, easy to make, and can be enjoyed by everyone. Whether you’re looking for immune-boosting soup ideas, detox soup recipes, or something to comfort and nourish you, these plant-based soups are sure to please.

Mmm, soup — the perfect nourishing meal for chilly days. Soup can be a soothing and comforting way to get through the long winter months. But finding healthy soup ideas that you and your family enjoy can be challenging.

The healthy vegan winter soup recipes listed below will warm you up on a blustery day, and they’ll also boost your immune system during cold and flu season.

Each recipe is made from whole plant foods and features a rainbow of vegetables, which is important for optimal health. These recipes can be enjoyed by everyone, whether they’re vegan or not — and they won’t miss the animal products!

Some of these soup ideas contain protein and fiber-rich beans, while others feature antioxidant-rich spices. Each one is full of flavor. Which one will you try first?

Go here for the recipes: https://foodrevolution.org/blog/healthy-vegan-winter-soup-recipes/

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Happy 2018!! Yoga, Sugar Detox, Workout Routines, Weight Loss & More!

 

Here are some great ideas to help get your 2018 off on the right foot…..

 

First,  don’t forget to sign up for the free 21-day yoga challenge that I mentioned in a previous post…..

Picture

Vinyasa for Life with Schuyler Grant
Whether it’s your first or 500th downward facing dog, our 21-Day Yoga Challenge with Wanderlust co-founder Schuyler Grant gives you the building blocks for a lifelong, sustainable flow yoga practice.

Daily 20-minute classes alternate between workshops and juicy flows to apply what you’ve learned. We call this format Lab + Flow. Don’t worry, you’ll work up a sweat each day! Stabilize your core, align your spine, strengthen your shoulders, and learn how to carefully and artfully balance on your hands and feet.

By the end of three weeks you will have the tools to safely practice vinyasa yoga for life. Build a strong house for your soul to play in!

  • Combine a Lab day with its Flow day for a 45 minute practice.
  • Whether it’s your 1st or 500th down dog, the 21-Day Yoga Challenge is for you. It’s never too early to develop, or too late to revisit, tools to safely practice vinyasa yoga for life.
  • Each day you’ll receive an email with notes from Schuyler about the day’s flow and a link to the unlocked session. You can stream the class online, on Apple TV, and you can download the classes in the Wanderlust TV app for iPhone and iPad while the Challenge is live.

Sign up now for free! On January 1st the challenge will begin unlocking day-by-day.

 

Second,  check out this free series to help you with losing weight and giving up sugar…..

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With sugar so prevalent in our food these days, the Free 7-Day Sugar Challenge was created to help people kick the sugar habit and live a healthier and happier life. This program appeals to all demographics regardless of age, gender, dietary preferences or location. . . just about everyone has struggled with too much sugar in their diet.​

During this week-long challenge, Marjory Wildcraft will be sharing her personal experiences on how she was able to ditch her sugar addiction and improve her mental and physical health. She offers participants key advice on how to navigate in a world where sugar is everywhere.

You can sign up for this free event that begins January 2nd here.

 

Third,  check this out for some short at-home workout ideas……

4 Short, At-Home Workouts You Can Fit Into Your Holiday Schedule

This time of the year it’s hard enough to find time to do laundry—let alone fit in a workout.

But guess what  . . .  You totally can! What these four workouts lack in duration they make up for in intensity. Whether you just have a few minutes to sweat it out or can dedicate a full 30 to kicking your own butt, these routines will give you the extra boost of endorphins you need to sail through the holidays with ease.  Go here to learn about 4 different routines….one for 5 minutes, another for 8, another for 10 and finally a 30 minute routine….something for everyone and every time schedule.

Or take the Plank Challenge that has come to be a regular part of my New Year’s shape-up kick-off for the last couple of years.

And the other day I was reminded of a post I did a couple of years ago about Superbrain Yoga. Had gotten out of the habit of doing the routine somewhere along the way, but when I re-watched the video about its many benefits, I immediately added it back into my daily time schedule. One unexpected side benefit, besides strengthening my leg muscles, is better sleep at night. I have been doing the exercise routine twice a day, in the morning and then at night before I take my shower and get ready for bed and have slept better than usual since starting it. Coincidence???? This simple and quick-to-do exercise has also been shown to help alleviate Alzheimer’s and dementia in seniors, as well as autism and Asperger’s in students. Just do it! 🙂

And finally, if you’re wanting to add muscle and lose fat, plus up your overall health quotient in the new year, then consider two products that I mentioned in my “favorite things” post the other day. I’ve always just used them for general health improvement, but recently got a newsletter with some pretty impressive information about how they can help with weight loss…..

Emerald Sea™ Organic Sea Vegetables

Emerald Sea™ contains a special blend of seven (7) certified organic sea vegetables, sustainably hand-harvested and carefully sun-dried to retain all the natural raw food benefits of these amazing plants.

When compared to plants that grow on land, Emerald Sea’s™ sea vegetables are 10 to 20 times higher in vitamins, minerals and amino acids. By taking just one or two capsules with your three daily meals, you will get the benefit and nutrients equal to taking 30 to 60 land-based vegetable capsules on a daily basis. You will drastically improve the number of whole-food nutrients in your daily diet.

Plus, these incredible plants support weight management like no other whole-food on the planet:

  • Targets Abdominal Fat: Chemists in Japan have found that certain species of seaweed   contain a compound that appears in animal studies to promote weight loss by reducing the accumulation of fat. A unique nutrient called Fucoxanthin achieved a 5 percent to 10 percent weight reduction in test animals. The compound targets abdominal fat, in particular, and may help reduce oversized guts, the scientists say.
  • Reduces Fat Absorption: Conclusive research has uncovered that special fibers found in certain species of seaweed can actually help to reduce our fat intake. The fibrous material called Alginate is said to have been proven to absorb greater levels of body fat than the majority of over-the-counter slimming treatments! Co-leader of the study, Dr. Brownlee of the University of Newcastle stated, “There are countless claims about miracle cures for weight loss but only a few cases offer any sound scientific evidence to back up these claims…these natural fibers can be incorporated into our diets easily”.
  • Supports Thyroid Function and Metabolism: Emerald Sea™ is a rich source of natural organic iodine, a vital nutrient for optimal thyroid function. “The healthy functioning of the thyroid is essential to maintaining metabolism and preventing the accumulation of body fat,” writes Burton Goldberg in Alternative Medicine.* “I believe that an insufficient intake of organic iodine in today’s modern diet has led to a   serious and chronic form of low-grade hypothyroidism,” writes Donald R. Yance, Jr. in Herbal Medicine, Healing and Cancer.*
  • Boosts Your Daily Nutrition: Emerald Sea™ is loaded with essential minerals, macro-nutrients, micro-nutrients, plant sterols, antioxidants, omega 3`s, omega 6`s, phytonutrients, enzymes, organic iodine and a host of many more power packed nutrients. Nourishing your body every day with all the trace minerals and other nutrients currently missing from your daily diet helps promote better overall health and wellness.

And Emerald Essentials’ Action Whey™ is a premium 100% NATURAL source of whey protein from grass-fed cows. It is designed to be convenient for any lifestyle, incredibly nutritious, and unbelievably delicious. At only 90 calories per serving, Action Whey™ is the perfect source of protein for any weight management program.

Action Whey™ has already been nationally recognized for its anti-aging and immune supporting nutrients. Endorsed by medical, health and fitness professionals, it also provides a multi-pronged attack against those stubborn pounds of excess fat:

  • Boosts Metabolism & Lean Muscle: Lean muscle burns fat for fuel. An increase in lean muscle will help increase your metabolism and melt away stubborn fat. Action Whey`s™ exclusive formulation is loaded with powerful muscle building nutrients. These nutrients will enhance the growth of lean muscle while helping to decrease body fat safely and naturally with no dangerous stimulants.
  • Suppresses Appetite: Action Whey™ is rich in an amino acid called Glycomacropeptide (GMP). GMP has been shown to stimulate intestinal hormones that tell your brain you are full. By suppressing appetite, the GMP found in Action Whey™ provides a built-in weight management benefit not found in other protein sources. This effect, combined with the outstanding taste of Action Whey™ , brings a sense of pleasure and satiety naturally helping curb compulsive cravings for refined carbs and sweets.
  • Preserves Muscle: Action Whey`s™ amino acid profile is almost identical to that of skeletal muscle. Specific amino acids like Cysteine and Glutamine are critical to preserving muscle mass, especially during exercise and weight loss programs. Preserving muscle will help maintain metabolism and benefit your overall health and appearance.

  • Low Glycemic: Diets based on low-fat foods that produce a low-glycemic response may enhance weight control because they promote satiety, minimize insulin secretion, and maintain insulin sensitivity. Studies have also shown that lowering the glycemic index and load of the first meal will result in decreased food consumption in the next meal.

  • Dietary Calcium: An accumulating body of evidence now suggests that dietary calcium plays a pivotal role in the regulation of energy metabolism and, consequently, reduces body weight and fat. Action Whey™ is a rich natural source of dietary calcium.

You can learn more about these products here and check out my What’s New page for details of the 25% off sale that Emerald Essentials is having right now.

 

Salud and Happy New Year!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.