Monday, January 18, 2016

Great Green Juice Recipes!!! How To Make Your Own


Today we are very fortunate to have a special guest blogger. Welcome to Garrick from the Philippines!

It’s the New Year and lots of resolutions are being made and I’m pretty sure that a majority of them has something to do with weight loss. 
There are a lot of ways to lose weight from straight up dieting to working out, but for me a more sustainable way of doing so is combining the two.

Based on my experience losing weight does not have to involve crash course diets which involve depriving your body of solid food for extended periods of time. A more sustainable solution involves radically changing what you eat. That involves removing greasy, fried, sugar rich foods from your diet and replacing them with healthy food choices.

One of the best ways of incorporating these healthy foods into your diet is through juicing. 
When done right juicing can help you fast track your weight loss goals by providing your body with nutrients it craves for. Another benefit of juicing is that it realigns your taste buds from craving for sugary sweet to craving for something more natural.
The biggest reason why a lot of pundits say that juicing is bad is because they fear that juicing feeds the body lots of sugar, which is a valid concern if you add a lot of fruit into recipes but what I’m going to share with you is something totally opposite of fruit based juice recipes. Let me introduce to you to the world of green juice.
These juice recipes contain mostly vegetables and low-sugar fruit like lemon or cucumber so the drinks that result are generally low in terms of the amount of fructose which is one of the main causes of weight gain.
In the infographic below you’ll see how to concoct your own green juice recipes by combining different types of ingredients I broke down into four different categories.
How To Juice
The first category is the juice base which is what every juice recipe should have. I’d recommend that you either should have cucumber or zucchini + lemon as these ingredients add to the content of juice because it has high water content plus it only contains very minimal amount of sugar so it is safe to add this without worrying about the negative effects of sugar.
On occasion to satisfy your sweet tooth you can use the carrot and apple combo but not everyday.
The second category is the main ingredient which is vegetables. You could add any of the suggested leafy green vegetables, or combine it with other vegetables like a celery or beet. These combinations have been tried and tested by myself and other experienced juicers.
The third category are the sweeteners, basically these ingredients add flavor to an otherwise unappealing concoction. Hey, being healthy doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy your drink. The important thing here is to limit the amount of fruit you will add, and follow the 80/20 principle or 20 percent of the ingredients in your juice recipe are fruit and the other 80 percent are vegetables.
The last category are optional add ins. If you’re feeling adventurous and want some heat in your recipes you can add a clove of garlic or thumb of ginger to it. Why not add some plant based protein like chia seeds or flax seeds to fill you up – the options are endless!
How to Make Green Juice


Let me know in the comments section if you’ve tried any of the combinations I’ve presented in the infograph. How do you like the taste? These are just the basic combinations, you can experiment your own once you’ve gotten the hang of it. Enjoy!



Guest Author: 
Garrick Dee, Founder of Juicing with G
Garrick started his blog Juicing with G after his mom gave him a juicer to encourage him to live a healthier lifestyle by eating right. 
He shares different recipes and other health topics in hopes of inspiring others to live a healthier lifestyle by making the right choices. You can also follow him in social media through Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
*For more of Garrick's story on what got him into juicing and how it's helped his health, check out this link on his site.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Vitamin D- The Vitamin You Need to Stay Healthy


When winter hits there's a good chance we're all getting vitamin D deficient.

Vitamin D is a crucial vitamin to get enough of because it reduces inflammation, and you're much more susceptible to many types of disease, sickness and even asthma when you're deficient in it.

My doctor once told me that there are two supplements she recommends everyone take, vitamin D and B complex. We also add probiotics to that at our house.

During the summer and warmer months we tend to be outside more.  When the sunlight hits our skin it causes a reaction in our bodies that actually creates vitamin D.  Isn't that cool?

So you can see how in winter, when we are getting a lot less sunlight, we have a greater shortage of vitamin D in our systems.  So where are healthy places to get vitamin D in winter?


We have a few choices...

Snow Canyon 1The Sun

Whenever possible get at least a few minutes of sun exposure directly on the skin, but not to the point of sun burn which can happen even in winter.  Even if it's just on the face, direct sun light will produce vitamin D.  The sun is our most natural source, so enjoy the warmth!

UVA rays from the sun can increase your risk of skin cancer.  However, UVB rays convert a cholesterol derivative into vitamin D3, which is an oil soluble steroid hormone.  It takes up to 48 hours for it to be absorbed into your blood stream, so Dr. Mercola recommends not washing the sunlight exposed skin with soap right after sun exposure.

To get the most amount of UVB rays Dr. Mercola also recommends being in the sunlight when the sun is at least 50% above the horizon.  The UVA has a longer wavelength than the UVB and can therefore penetrate the ozone layer more easily.
It's important to remember that vitamin D3 is formed from exposure to UVB rays, whereas UVA radiation actually destroys vitamin D. This helps keep your body in balance; it's one of the protective mechanisms your body has to avoid overdosing on vitamin D when you're outside. However, when you're exposed to sunlight through windows -- in your office, your home or your car -- you get the UVA but virtually none of the beneficial UVB. (source)

Tanning Beds

Sunbed

This one took me by surprise, but there are some tanning beds out there that mimic sunlight and can help you relax away the blues.  Dr. Mercola recommends tanning beds with low pressure UV lamps with a reasonable percentage of UVB.  Ask the tanning salon for further information.







Cod Liver Oil

The most natural supplement, besides sunlight, is cod liver oil.  A high quality one is most recommended because the more processed ones are likely to be lacking in minerals which help with absorption.  Many find the Green Pasture brand to be the best quality. I take their pill form to minimize the yucky taste (the pill really isn't bad at all).



Vitamin D3  

Our bodies change UVB rays into vitamin D3.  When looking for a supplement make sure to look for the "3" after the D, it's the most like natural sunlight.

"Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorous from the small intestine. It is essential for the growth and maintenance of bones and teeth and can boost your immune system. People who get sufficient vitamin D are less likely to get colon cancer and research suggests it may help treat irritable bowel diseases."  (source)
"The main source of vitamin D in food is in milk and dairy products. Manufacturers fortify milk, yogurt, cream, butter and cheese with vitamin D; breakfast cereals are also often fortified with vitamin D.
Another way to get it through food is by eating seafood, such as salmon, tuna and sardines and oysters, with the nutrient. Additional sources of dietary vitamin D include liver, egg yolk and (fortified) orange juice." (source)

Being deficient in vitamin D leads to many health problems, and can easily lead to feelings of depression. Make sure you're taking care of your self and getting a good dose of it every day.

Sources:
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/26/maximizing-vitamin-d-exposure.aspx
http://www.vitamin-insight.com/vitamins/vitamin-d.aspx#
http://www.livestrong.com/article/393312-the-best-sources-of-vitamin-d/

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Simple Change that Can Reduce Headaches, Sore Throats and Coughs by up to 40%

That smell of dust in the heat vents kicked in a few weeks ago, as we delve into the colder season here in Minnesota. 

Is it Friday yet?I once heard someone say they like that warmed dust smell, and I thought they were a little crazy, but after nearly 15 years of calling this colder climate home, I get it now.

That isn't just a smell its a memory trigger. It triggers the memory of heat that makes you warmer, of sitting in front of a fire place, snuggled under a blanket and drinking some hot chocolate. All in all it's a happy smell!


Unfortunately with all that delicious warmth also comes the air getting dried out from that welcomed heat. Dry air that dries out our sinuses and makes us more susceptible to getting sick. Yuck! We'd all rather pass on that one, right?

While we are stuck inside, getting less sunshine in winter than at other times of the year, our bodies need all the help we can get to stay healthy.

A study conducted by Professor Tove Fjeld of the Agricultural University in Oslo, Norway found one important change we can make to our homes and offices to keep us from getting more sore throats, headaches and coughs.


That one change is more plants.


Here are the results of Dr. Fjeld's study...


Plants
(Source)

As you can see the results show an improvement in over all well being, as well as help with warding off fatigue, headaches, dry throats, and coughs.


Further study showed that...
"Neuro-psychological and mucous membrane symptoms were also 'significantly reduced’. 
A study conducted by Dr. Virginia Lohr at Washington State University found that plants can lower computer lab test participants’ stress (systolic blood pressure was lower) while raising attentiveness and reaction times."(source)

The plants used in the study were common foliage plants. 

Now that we know what a great benefit plants can be to our health, and they just make everything look nice, let's all go get some more plants!


If you'd like an added boost to your plant purchase you can buy plants that also help clean the air. 


Here are 4 air improving plants...


1. Dryness With Bamboo Palm
Growing between 3 to 6 feet tall, the long, elegant leaves of this sturdy palm sweep away toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide, xylene, and chloroform. In addition to helping you breathe fresh air, it is an excellent spider mite repellant. During the cold winter months when air is very dry, the bamboo palm emits some much-needed moisture. It is best kept out of direct sunlight and feeds on all-purpose liquid fertilizer during the summer months.


2. Cleanse With Chrysanthemums
Purple DahliaOriginally cultivated in China in 15th century BC, this plant boasts multiple medicinal and culinary uses. Its yellow and white flowers are enjoyed as a sweet drink in some parts of Asia, while the greens are boiled and served as a delicious meal in China. In addition to being a tasty treat, the NASA study found that chrysanthemums were effective at removing benzene from the air. Benzene is one of the most common odorless pollutants found in inks, paints, plastic, dyes, detergents, gasoline, pharmaceuticals, and pesticides. The flowers last about six weeks and thrive in bright, indirect light.  These should be kept out of reach of pets and children.

Arum

3. Purify With Peace Lily
Native to tropical regions, this beautiful perennial plant contains large leaves that vacuum benzene, trichloroethylene, and other hard-to-pronounce pollutants. Peace lilies thrive in low and bright light with a slightly moist soil. The next time you need an air freshener, don’t reach for the chemical spray! Breath in the bloom and serenity of a peace lily.


4. Doze Off With Gerbera Daisies
Flowers
If getting a good night’s rest is not on your agenda this evening, you may want to add some gerbera daisies on your night stand. While most plants release oxygen during the day, their respiratory cycle decreases in the evening hours. However, gerbera daisies continue releasing oxygen all through the night to help you breath and sleep better. Gerbera daisies are especially helpful for those suffering from sleep apnea or breathing disorders. These daisies will have you dozing off in no time!  

Here's to our health!
Natalie  :-)

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Articles you may also like:

A Hidden Winter Danger
Fumes


Eggs, To Eat or Not to Eat?
eggs - 2


How to Make Chocolate!



How to Make Your Drinking Water Safe Again
ZeroWater ZD-018 23-Cup Water Dispenser and Filtration System

Monday, September 28, 2015

Transitions

Hey everyone! Sorry I haven't been writing as faithfully on here, but I have not forgotten you, or my passion to share simple and healthy ways to eat and live better.

Our family is currently in a time of transition. After years of dreaming of living in the country we have found ourselves a little bit of it to call our own, and we're in the process of moving there. What a pain moving is. I think it's like giving birth, you forget how painful it is until you're going through it again. LOL

Nothing about the NaturalNats site will change as a result of this, just want you all to know I haven't dropped off of the internet planet.

I am learning during this process how much harder it really is for those of you who are constantly busy to find the time and energy to eat healthy.

With that I offer this small bit of advice.

Although you may be eating out more than you'd like to try to focus on small healthy choices.

When you are able to cook focus on buying quality ingredients like grass fed beef and butter, they really will make a big difference in your health!

Try to keep fresh fruits and vegetables on hand to snack on and add to meals. I've found it extremely easy to eat "brown meals" when eating out. There is no color because there are no vegetables beyond a processed potato.

Cook up meat in larger amounts, then freeze the cooked meat so that future meals can be made faster.


I look forward to sharing some of the faster recipes I've come across with you very soon!

With joy in my heart for our journeys ahead,
Natalie  (ie NaturalNat)


PS. What are some of your favorite fast meals? I'd love to have you share by clicking on the pencil below and leaving a comment. :-)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Help for Depression that You've Probably Never Thought of

There is someone in my life whom I've known well for many years now. He has struggled with depression for over 2 decades.

Footpath in snowy ForestI've done my best to support my friend and encourage counseling, but to no avail. I've tried to encourage him to take St. John's Wort (funny sounding name for an herb), which is very effective for many people, but not a good enough long term solution for him because it reduces the effectiveness of other medications.

My biggest surprise was yet to come.

He tried a Paleo diet about a year ago and the results shocked me. The diet calls for all common allergens to be removed from the diet. As he reintroduced wheat he noticed somethings, like he became depressed each time he ate wheat.

There are a few other helps I've discovered along the way, and I'd like to share them with you in the hope that this will help others to overcome their depression.

By sharing these suggestions I in no way mean to minimize depression and its potential consequences on someones life. I do mean to show that for many there can be real solutions that don't involve being on anti depressants for the rest of your life. No matter what road you choose know that there is no judgement here, we are all just trying to do the best we can.

Here are some suggestions that I hope help you and those that you care for...


Food Sensitivities
This guy I'm referring to had no idea that he had any food allergies. Our bodies change over the years and can change what we're allergic to.

I recommend trying the Paleo diet as a starting place. The Paleo diet removes most common allergens such as corn, wheat, grains, peanuts, dairy, sugar, processed food and fast food. Don't worry there's still plenty left to eat! There are lot's of sites to help get you started. Here's an example of one.

Photo by Chrisss s
Try the diet for about 1 month, then gradually add back in the foods you've taken out. For example, try adding corn back into your diet for a week and see how you do with it. If all goes well a week later try adding another food like wheat back into your diet.

If you don't notice anything then you probably don't have a sensitivity to that food. However, if you do notice effects on your body or moods, take that food out of your diet for another 2 weeks, then try adding it back in again. If you still have a sensitivity to it then should probably stop eating that food.

I've got a Pintrest page just for Paleo recipes which can be found here on my NaturalNats board.

So why does food effect us emotionally? Approximately 50% of our emotional receptors are in the lining of our intestines. That means that what we eat has a big effect on how our bodies respond.


Probiotics
fruit shake
aschaeffer
To create a happy environment in the lining of our intestines we need good bacteria.

There are several ways to get more of the happy bacteria in there, and here's more info on varieties of probiotics. Since writing that article I have also discovered kombucha, a fermented tea that is very high in probiotcs. It's even for sale at my local Target.




Magnessium
Many people suffering from depression seem to experience muscle aches and pains, magnesium can often help. Here's what I use that works wonders! If you can dissolve salt in warm water you can make your own, or it can be purchased.


Vitamin D
Snow Canyon 1Ahhhh vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin! Approximately 90% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D, which I would consider the most important vitamin of all.

From sunshine to supplements here's more info on how to get your dose and boost your mood!



Exercise
Exercise releases endorphines, the happy hormones in our brain. Even small amounts of exercise can do a lot to help. Try going for a walk, doing an exercise class, or whatever you can find to get you moving, and get those happy hormones moving in your brain.


Earthing
Child Standing in Dirt
Photo by d Sharon Pruitt
Also called grounding, is a great mood improver. I'm no expert, but it has to do with the electrical impulses in our bodies getting a release by contact with the earth (and by earth I mean dirt, sand, grass).

It sounded ridiculous to me until I tried it. Even a couple of short minutes walking in the grass outside and I'm a calmer person.




Vitamin B
Depression often leaves a feeling of lack of energy. Eating food high in B vitamins, or taking a good quality supplement can be a big energy booster. For the food approach eat lot's of dark green leafy vegetables, or a quality nutritional yeast.

A supplement that I have started taking every day is the the Country Life brand B complex (which includes all of the B vitamins). I've read that taking just one of the B vitamins can cause deficiencies in the others, so it's best if you're taking a supplement to get one that's got all of the B vitamins.

I notice an improved mood and much more energy when taking these.


Sleep
sleeping babyWhat a huge difference a good nights sleep can make on both body and mind! When we are stressed it becomes harder for our bodies to produce melatonin which we need to sleep.

One natural source of melatonin is tart cherry juice. Try drinking a small amount before bed time.

I keep the NOW brand of melatonin in my cabinet and use it as needed. The consensus among doctors seems to be that 1mg is the recommended amount, 1 per night, and that melatonin should not be used for an on going basis but just as needed. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have further questions about melatonin.



I know how hard depression can be on people. With all my heart I hope that you and those that you love can find the relief needed. Feel free to contact me at naturalnatmn@gmail.com if I can be of any further help.



Disclaimer: The above advice is not medical advice, just well meant sharing of information.


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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Leave In Hair Conditioner

Spring is here with it's warm rays bringing us back to life after winter has passed.

With all that glorious sunshine does come the slight down side of it drying out our hair. Here is a spray that will refresh your hair, and works as a great leave in conditioner!

One of the best parts is that you can make the spray in about a minute. Very easy peasy.


Conditioning Spray


Aloe Vera juice (not gel)

Coconut water

Lemon essential oil (optional)



Mix equal parts of Aloe Vera Juice and Coconut Water together (I used 1/2 cup of each for my spray bottle). Add 10-15 drops of lemon essential oil. Shake.

To use the spray...spray it on wet hair, then comb or brush through as usual.


Before
After 






The aloe vera juice and the coconut water are moisturizing, and the lemon essential oil is clarifying, and also adds a nice scent to it.










I recommend buying spray bottles from hardware stores for large bottles, and hair salon supply stores (like Sally's) for smaller spray bottles. These stores sell spray bottles that are designed to last longer.

I always have extra coconut water, which I enjoy drinking, and the aloe juice which seems to wait patiently in the refrigerator till the next time I need to make a batch of spray, but can also be drank or added to smoothies.

This spray is great anytime hair is wet and needs moisturizing!

Happy sun catching!


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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How to Make Your Drinking Water Safe Again

Food, shelter and water... our basic needs for living.

But what is in most of our water today? Chemicals, fertilizers, heavy metals, prescription drugs, chlorine, lead, and lots of other toxins! 

Pills
Photo by Richard Dunstan
These dangerous add ins to our water supply are not fully filtered out before they come in through our faucets. 

So what can we do to keep everything from chemicals to prescription drugs from wreaking havoc on our health?

Bottled water isn't the best choice. Bottled water can be either straight from a tap somewhere, or water that has been through reverse osmosis with some minerals added back in. 

Some bottle water is from mountain streams, which is definitely better than tap water, however most often it is pumped out of the ground causing water problems for surrounding communities.
Some commonly sold bottled waters are being sourced from California, which is a problem since they're having a severe water drought. Taking more of their water isn't the solution. 

Not to mention all of the plastic bottles filling land fills, and the oceans too.


The best water filter solutions that I've found are...

Reverse Osmosis

Blue 1Reverse osmosis is the best way to clean all the junk out of water. 


The major problems with it are that it's expensive to install, and that it also strips the trace minerals our bodies need out of the water.

An upside to a reverse osmosis system is it can be set up to filter all the water in your house.

If you are able to afford one of these great systems then please make sure to take supplemental trace minerals.


Berkey Filters

Berkey filters are the best rated filters that you can find. They aren't quite as thorough as reverse osmosis, but they do a really good job. You can even put lake water in them and have the water come out pure and safe to drink.

Berkeys can also come with an optional filter that filters out both fluoride and arsenic.
"With a Berkey water filter, you simply put the water into the top chamber and gravity pulls it through the media filters that capture bacteria, parasites, herbicides, pesticides, solvents, nitrates, nitrites, lead, mercury, chlorine, VOCs, and even fluoride. You can run practically any type of water through the unit and get fresh, pure drinking water as a result." (source)
This is the filter that Mike the Health Ranger (NaturalNews) uses, as well as what our family has been using for over 2 years now.  The water is delicious!

Berkeys can be purchased at several online sites, here is the main producer's site. I love that they make their test results available to the public. Those results can be found on their FAQ page here.

berkey-resource-choose-right-berkey.jpg
Photo from www.berkeywater.com
They're only downside is that they do take up a little counter space.

Berkeys typically run about $300 to get started, but after the initial investment you only need to replace filters. The filters are good for filtering 6000 gallons of water, which for our family of 5 means we replace them every 2 years, paying $100 for 2 new filters. That's only $10 a year per person for water that is safe to drink and cook with!


Water Pitchers

The majority of water filters are close to useless. They can filter out chlorine, which is great, but they don't filter out much else.

Mike the Health Ranger tested 7 common water filters, which included Pur and Brita. Here are the elements that they tested for...
ZeroWater ZD-018 23-Cup Water Dispenser and Filtration System
Zero Water FIlter

* Aluminum
* Copper
* Arsenic
* Strontium
* Cadmium
* Cesium
* Mercury
* Lead
* Uranium
For more on how the water pitchers were tested, and for his 2 recommendations click here, and for the filter test results click here.

The basic Zero Water Filter costs only $30.



To avoid heavy metals, chemicals, and other health hazards, you have a variety of water filter choices based on what works best for you.

Happy water drinking!


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Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with any of the companies or products mentioned in this article, and I do not receive any kind of compensation from any of them.