If you are like me, you probably have a hard time eating the recommended 5-9 veggies/fruits per day! Even though I do believe everyone needs to supplement certain vitamins, I know it is always better to get my vitamins from whole foods instead of a pill!
When my kids were growing up, we were always struggling to get them to eat the many veggies per day that we knew they needed. That is why we starting making the "daily green drink" for all of us.
We found that it is so much easier to get a couple of our daily veggies and fruits consumed by drinking them in a delicious smoothie-type drink! Here is an example of how we do it:
In a blender, mix the following and drink a large glass once or twice daily:
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup "no sugar" added juice (grape or pomegranate or orange)
2-3 cups of organic spinich and kale or greens blend (Keep these in the freezer so they will make drink cold each time)
1/2 cup organic baby carrots
1/2 cup organic baby tomatoes
1 pear or 1 cup berries for flavor or 1 banana
2 Tablespoons Organic Virgin Coconut Oil-Try Nature's Way Organic
1 Scoop Greens Powder-Try Organic Greens
Blend well until desired consistency.
My kids actually would ASK for the green drink! They loved it, and I felt good that at least a couple of veggies were being consumed by them daily!
Another alternative is to buy a "juicer" and make the drink. We found that a blender worked just fine, although the drink is a little thicker with the blender!
You can also try and add different fruits and veggies to find your favorite type. Just make sure to add lots of greens! Try and drink one each morning for increased immunity and energy through the day!
I think I will go and make one right now :)
I LOVE eating foods that are tasty and nutritious and filling at the same time! That is why I eat NUTS and SEEDS everyday!
Even though nuts are high in fat, they do NOT make me fat! In fact, this is the first time in my life that my weight has been kept under control easily! And, I attribute much of that to the nuts and seeds that I consume daily!
One of the biggest reasons that they help to control weight is that they are filling. The amount of fat and fiber and protein in them is what keeps me full longer and that helps to prevent blood sugar highs and cravings (more ammunition to help ward off the dreaded Diabetes)!
On the skin and beauty side, nuts have tons of vitamin and minerals and antioxidants that keep skin supple and wrinkle-free. The healthy fat that they contain also contribute to skin health!
Here are a few of the ones I eat most often and some of their health benefits:
WALNUTS: Loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids that are very beneficial to brain and heart health (Have you ever noticed that a walnut kind of looks like a brain :)
ALMONDS: Loaded with Fiber and the antioxidant Vitamin E for fighting cancer.
BRAZILIAN NUTS: Lots of Selenium which is a powerful antioxidant!
CASHEWS: Full of Iron and Zinc which help immunity!
PECANS: Lots of Oleic Acid which studies have found fight Breast Cancer.
PUMPKIN SEEDS: Loads of Magnesium and Plant Phytosterols known to fight Prostate Cancer.
So, next time you feel like reaching for the chip bag, why not grab a handful of nuts and seeds instead and be a little "nutty" for the day :)?
Fifteen years ago something very scary was happening to me. Every three to four months I would develop a 104 degree fever and be diagnosed with a severe case of Strep Throat. My body would be in complete pain and my throat was on fire! For at least five years I had this happen to me over 15 times!
Each time it happened, the only thing I could do was head to an emergency clinic for antibiotics (each time they had to put me on stronger antibiotics just to get the fever down). The last time it happened in 2002, I asked the doctor if there was anything that I could do to prevent this from happening so often. He looked at my chart and said "No, not really. You will just have to get antibiotics each time it reoccurs. There is nothing we can do."
I left the doctor that day with my prescription, burning up with fever, and I decided to fight back. I drove straight to a health food store where my youngest sister worked and asked her if she knew of anything I could take to boost my immunity. (Keep in mind, at this time I did not take any supplements and knew nothing about all-natural holistic ideas.) She told me she would recommend me starting with something very simple and basic. She sold me daily packets of Emergenc-C, which contains 1000mg of vitamin C.
AMAZINGLY, after I started taking the vitamin C that day, I NEVER developed Strep Throat again! It has been over fifteen years since the last bout. Additionally, I rarely develop colds. If I do catch one, it is very short-lived and mild. When I realized how wonderful Vitamin C was for my immunity, I immediately started my whole family on daily doses. My kids rarely contracted any colds or viruses from that point on.
Additionally, I learned that vitamin C fights cancer, heart disease, and builds collagen for the skin. The body does NOT store vitamin C, so it must be supplemented daily. Many foods contain this vitamin, but I found that taking a supplement with at least 1000/mg a day works best in boosting my immunity.
One of my favorite antioxidants is called Astaxanthin. It provides superior skin anti-aging benefits, along with skin protection from the sun. After taking the supplement for awhile, it provides me with a natural looking tan from within. It helps keep the skin smooth, supple and wrinkle-free. My sister even noticed those benefits when she started taking it.
Astaxanthin comes from micro algae, and it is the substance that gives salmon and shrimp the pink/coral color.
It's antioxidant capability is over 500 times more potent than Vitamin E and over 6000 times more potent than Vitamin C. As you know, antioxidants are the fighters of free radical damage in the body that can cause cancer and other diseases. It also works by reducing inflammation in the body, which also fights disease.
I usually take one 10mg daily of the Nutrition Champion Astaxanthin brand that can be found at this link.
When I was a child, my sisters and I ALWAYS played outside. We would many times stay outside during the summer all day long and only come back into the house when it was turning dark. Back then, we didn't have cell phones, computers, or cable TV. Basically, we went outside to escape the boredom!
These days, kids stay inside and play on the computer or they watch TV or they play on their phones. I only go outside for any length of time when we are on vacation. I always wonder why I feel so alive and healthy when I am on vacation. It is the SUN and its ability to provide the body with Vitamin D!
I really never thought about Vitamin D (which is actually a hormone) and its effect on my health, until about 5 years ago when my doctor added the Vitamin D (25-hydroxy) test to my bloodwork panel. The results were shocking. The doctor told me I was in a severely deficient range and that I needed to supplement with Vitamin D everyday. At that point, I decided to have my husband and children tested, and they were all severely deficient, also! They needed supplementation immediately to bring their levels into a normal range, too.
We all began to supplement with 2-3 drops (4,000 to 6,000 IU) of Biotics Bio-D-Mulsion Forte. Luckily, the drops are very inexpensive and the bottles last about six months!
After about three months, we all retested and ALL of our Vitamin D levels were brought into an Optimal Range. Now, we retest with our annual bloodwork and continue to stay in range with 2-3 drops daily.
I feel grateful that my doctor discovered this deficiency in me because I learned of how important Vitamin D is to a person's health. So many people are deficient in this vital nutrient. Even if we are in the sun these days, we are wearing sunscreens, which block the Vitamin D. The consequences of low Vitamin D have been linked to numerous cancers, diabetes, alzheimers, heart disease, depression and many many autoimmune disorders!
I always urge my family and friends to get tested by their doctors and to supplement if necessary. Many of them have found out they are also deficient!
Finally, it is important to retest a few months after starting Vitamin D supplementation to find the optimal level for your body. Then, yearly thereafter!