Health

Where To Begin A Healthier Lifestyle When The Advise Is So Darn Expensive?

healthy living 2 healthy living

The other day a friend of our family was over at my house. She was talking about how her hormones were out of whack and that was causing weight gain and making it difficult to loose weight. She had been to a holistic nutritionist and did a consult with here but then told her each visit from there on out would be $200!! She proceeded to tell me how she is not able to pay that kind of money and then on top of that, buy the suggested supplements and food. I was just  listening , waiting for here to finish so I can tell her a less expensive way…..Then my husband interrupted her and said “your talking to the right person”. She looked at me as if a light bulb went off and and said “oh yeah, you know this kind of stuff”. I humbly smiled and was feeding her information over the next 2 hours. I was also making a fruit salad for  breakfast that I shared with her.

Since she had no clue what real food was, I hand wrote her a page, front and back just off the top of my head to ease her into it based on the foods her family enjoys. Things like:

  • Take out any foods containing soy, wheat, and corn (sounds more simple than it is when you buy ready foods).
  • No vegetable oils, use coconut oil and olive oil instead of other oils.
  • Use brown rice pasta instead of wheat pasta (eventually and hopefully this would not a regular in any diet, but to help ease the shock of the transformation).
  • Cut out soda
  • Use oat flour to bread chicken and fish instead of wheat. Oat flour can be made by grinding dry oat meal in a food processor.
  • Since she uses Pappy’s seasoning for everything, I  suggested that she go online and get a recipe to make it at home, that way she can just have the powdered spices and unrefined salt without the added preservatives and table salt which contributes to stiff joints and swelling as well as other health problems.
  • Switch salt to pink salt or other unrefined salt.

There were  other suggestions on things to switch out and also to incorporate such as yogurt, whey (since she is diabetic), flax, chia, spirulina, fermented cod liver oil, and so on. I also drew her a plate and divided it into 3 sections = 50% non starchy vegetables, 40% protein, and 10% for the rest. Now, this will not work for everyone, and should be used as guidelines.

I also shewed her some reflexology points that she could used when in pain and she went on her way.

When she left, I thought of so many other things I should have said, or included, but I didn’t want to overwhelm her, so I thought I will just give her my books and let her get inspired, which is why I am working on A Nutritional Makeover in the first place!!

Later that day, she sent a text to my husband asking what was in the breakfast I made, she had energy all day and couldn’t believe it. She wanted the recipe, so I directed her to my blog here, the only difference is I added coconut oil and chia seeds to this recipe.

I saw her a few days later and she told me she had not needed to take insulin since she saw me and she was taking it 5x a day! She thought is was a miracle breakfast, but didn’t realize that was only the kick start. She had made drastic changes and even went through all the food in her house and threw out almost everything, including her Pappy’s!

woman-scrutinizing-nutrition-label-21362706

That was pretty impressive to me that she is so gung-ho on making this change. Her husband even said the outline is doable but was freaking out that she was throwing it all out, she even dumped cat litter over the bag so there was no temptation for him to retrieve it out of the dumpster 🙂

I though this experience/story should be shared in case anyone else out there in the same situation can get motivated to make a change.

The following is a part from my book “Total Fitness Routine, An Introduction to Real Food & Fitness” that goes in further detail:

Real Food Fitness Nutrition Guidelines

Depending on your goals whether weight loss or just overall health, included here are various sample meal plans that you may wish to follow. These are just guidelines; listen to your body’s needs.

Guidelines that form the base of A Nutritional Makeover (if you’re not sure what it means, don’t worry, start where you can and feel free to contact me with questions):

  1. Eat the right foods for proper nutrients; If you eat whole grains – legumes, beans, A Nutritional Makeover will teach you how to properly prepare them for maximum digestion. Healthy fats, local (non GMO)/seasonal fruits and vegetables, and if you eat meat – pasture-raised/grass fed animal products.
  2. Use unrefined salt and spices that do not have additives of any kind.
  3. Proper digestion; incorporate Super Foods, natural supplements and Pro-Biotics
  4. Learn to create a Meal Plan based on your culinary preference, ethnic background, geological area and seasonal availability.
  5. Exercise regularly; physical activity, walking, biking, yoga, sports, etc…
  6. Exercise Your Face! It will help you look and feel young.
  7. Use natural hygiene products and keep a close eye on your nails and skin, they reflect what is going on inside your body. Take care of your inside so the outside will glow. Try dry loofah brushing, salt scrubs, natural/homemade beauty and cleaning products and pamper yourself with homemade face masks.
  8. Follow the keys to health and well being; manage stress, get enough sleep, stay well hydrated, control blood sugar, detox your body, and hormonal balance.

It’s very simple, but not always easy, our busy lives often get in the way. Changing your lifestyle nutritionally may seem like a difficult process, but through A Nutritional Makeover you will be introduced to simple concepts that focus on one phase at a time. Keep an eye out for it!

 Daily drinks:

Any of the following meal plans should include:

  1. DRINK WATER!! Drink at least 6-8 Cups of water and/or 2 Cups herbal tea a day, along with fresh foods that contain water (fruits and vegetables; smoothies or freshly juiced. Even soups contain water and beneficial gelatin if made with bones). If you need water during your workout, drink it – stay hydrated.
  2. Drink  ½ -1 Cup probiotic drink.

Detoxification:

If you’re looking to Detox, here is a simple formula to follow.

Tip for Weight Loss and Overall Health:

(The following suggestions may not be for everyone, please listen to your body’s needs as we are all individuals)

Many people have benefited from eating a diet high concentrating on:

  1. First on unlimited non-starchy vegetables (at least 5 servings a day).
  2. Then focusing on a High protein- 1 gram of protein per body weight, per day (from clean sources).
  3. Along with upping natural healthy fat intake (the right kind) is extremely important when upping intake of protein and can be extremely dangerous if you eat a low fat diet at any time.  All meals should contain a sufficient amount of fat in the form of vegetable fats; coconut oil and avocado, grass-fed butter or ghee, animal fat from grass-fed only, or extra virgin olive oil (in moderation).
  4. Less carbohydrates- between 75-150 grams per day, while trying to avoid and breaded foods made of wheat, corn and soy (any foods containing gluten seem to be a contributor to weight gain in some, so if you are trying to lose weight but don’t want to worry about “carb counting”, just try cutting out gluten until you have achieved your goal, then slowly incorporate it back in unless you have discovered a gluten intolerance).
  5. Try to eat 50% raw to make sure you are getting proper digestive enzymes to help break down the food you are consuming. Raw foods include; vegetables, fruits, sprouted legumes, grass-fed dairy and pro-biotic foods (whole fat yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, or other fermented foods) and drinks (kombucha, kefir, water kefir, beet kvass, rejuvelac.)
  6. Every 1 hour, drink ½ Cup of water or herbal tea hot, warm, or room temperature; not cold, not sweetened.
  7. Make sure you don’t have drinks with your food, its best 1 hour before or after. Sometimes drinking kombucha or hot tea (or even hot water) shortly after eating food is good for digestion, which is a traditional practice in some cultures.

Not Losing Weight?

If you are exercising right and eating right but not losing weight, you may have a further condition and should seek the advice of a health care professional, and/or explore the possibility of certain food intolerances; gluten, dairy, soy, and corn are the main culprits amongst others.

There are other possibilities of different allergies, by doing a simple elimination diet or blood tests, you can find out. (An elimination diet is just taking out certain foods for a certain amount of time while documenting how you feel, then introducing them back in one by one while documenting any changes; positive and negative.)

Sample Meal Plan; Real Foods

Not everyone likes the same kind of foods; just do your best to stay away from processed foods such as foods that have a nutrition label or foods with ingredients, foods from a can or a box and already prepared foods of any kind. If you are new to “Real Foods” this concept may seem overwhelming, but it’s not. My goal in life is to help transition one woman at a time to simply understand what that means and help them apply it. So please do not hesitate to contact me if you need help.

Tips for saving time:

  1. The most important first step is to make a weekly meal plan. If possible, let it revolve around the produce that is in season.
  2. Cut vegetables ahead of time, every few days.
  3. Buy baby spinach and/or mixed baby greens in a 1 lb tub (most every store carries organic baby greens and spinach in the refrigerated section in the produce.
  4. Cook broth once a week and store it in the fridge.
  5. If you are going to eat beans or legumes, soak them and cook ahead of time then put them in freezer sized portions in Ziploc baggies instead of using cans.

This sample meal plan has many options that are Paleo, Primal, dairy free, and Gluten Free friendly. If you are trying to get a certain amount of vitamins and minerals daily, you will need to do the homework to figure out the amounts of food you need, however, it is not necessary unless you feel you must.

Summarize:

To sum up what was already introduced –

  1. First load your plate with non-starchy vegetables
  2. Make sure to include healthy fat with the vegetables
  3. Then protein
  4. Then carbohydrates. If you are going to eat grains, legumes and beans, let them be a small side serving, not your main focus in the meal and make sure they are properly prepared.

Depending on the time of year, you may want BBQ or a bowl of steaming stew. The main thing is to eat what you like while avoiding what’s bad. Meaning, take the foods you love and give them a makeover. You can even create deserts to mimic the “bad” ones you love for an occasional treat. Let the internet be your guide in making your favorite foods healthy.

Try to make homemade bone broth and use it in place of water for recipes. Bone broth is excellent because of the gelatin; it contains magnesium, calcium, and enzymes to aid with proper digestion (plus weight loss).

(These meals can be eaten in any order you choose, or substitute any foods you like. This is only for an example; feel free to create your own.)

BREAKFAST

Since we all function differently, different foods will have various effects on each person individually. For me, smoothies work well during the spring and summer months. During winter months, I prefer eggs. We all like different things and different times. I have only 3 choices here for breakfast, but you can create your own, just make sure it has protein and healthy fats such as coconut oil, grass-fed butter or ghee, or animal fat.

  1. Smoothie (1 Cup berries, 2 Cups greens; baby spinach, kale or other, 3/4 Cup fresh squeezed orange juice, coconut water or water, 1 Tbs. flax seeds or chia seeds, and 1 Tbs extra virgin coconut oil and any additional (optional) super foods you would like to add) Blend all this in a blender instead of juicing so you will get the beneficial nutrients in the fibers as well. Or you can choose a different smoothie of choice. Making a “Green” smoothie by adding organic baby spinach is an excellent way to get your raw non starchy vegetables in.
  2. Fresh fruit/berry salad with 1-2 cups fruit/berries, 1-2 Tbs. EV coconut oil, 1 Tbs. chia seeds, 1 Tbs. unsweetened coconut flakes.
  3. Egg frittata or omelet

SNACK

  1. Homemade Laura Bar or Almond Joy energy balls, these are great for a long lasting energy boost between meals. Make sure if you are constantly on the go, pack a couple in your bag for when hunger strikes!
  2. 2 Tbs. nuts or seeds with a slice of raw cheese
  3. Smoothie (same as breakfast)
  4. Yogurt drink, if you choose to add dairy only use grass-fed and preferably buy raw and make yogurt yourself.
  5. Boiled egg 1-2
  6. Dates (6-8) or other dried fruit (1/4 Cup)
  7. Hummus and veggie sticks

LUNCH

  1. Sardine (or other fish such as tuna or salmon) Salad,
  2. Soup or stew would also be good especially made with homemade bone broth.
  3. Cottage Cheese Salad or Greek Yogurt
  4. Salad; 3-4 Cups greens (mixed baby greens work great for this or other greens), homemade salad dressing, and a protein; either 1-2 boiled eggs, 1 can tuna, 1 can sardine, or other fish that has been baked. (Note, I do not recommend canned food, except in this case. Of course if you can get fresh fish that is wild caught is better.) And you can add 2 Tbs. of pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds if you want.
  5. Japanese Soup; Seaweed soup make with wild caught fish broth if you can.
  6. Sprouted lentil salad or Lentil Soup.
  7. Lentils and brown rice or quinoa porridge (soaked) with a simple salad.
  8. Stir fry, use a good protein source, Braggs amino acids or naturally fermented soy sauce, and broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, kale, or anything you like. You can have it alone or with quinoa.
  9. Quinoa lettuce wrap tacos
  10. “Cheesy” Kale Sauté; kale, red palm oil, garlic, nutritional yeast. You can also do this with cauliflower or broccoli and steamed fish.
  11. Hummus and veggie sticks
  12. Steamed cauliflower and broccoli with tahini sauce
  13. Baked salmon with tahini sauce and steamed cauliflower and broccoli.
  14. Baked garlic and lemon chicken with grilled vegetables or a large salad.

DINNER

You can have anything for dinner that you would for lunch. Here are some sample main courses.

Breakfast for dinner – Egg omelet or Frittata, or healthy meat and vegetable stew (without any grains, legumes, or beans)

If you like what you see here and would like to learn more, please click on the picture to purchase the full book.

Total Fitness Routine For Beginners

At-Home Flu “Shots”, Super Creative!

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Photo credit

This was the most AWESOME and creative post I have come across for cold and flu season. I literally read it, commented then cam straight to my blog to post it. This way I will have it saved and I can share with you all.

You can see the post here:

Rethink Simple.com

Part 2 Toning ABS; Flat Abs Are More Than Just Exercise

flat tummy

Why I Care About Flat Abs?

I don’t really, I just never knew how uncomfortable it was (other than pregnancy) to have my stomach stick out and as a result feel lazy and unmotivated.

I’ve always had a flat stomach and never had to work at it, even after 5 kids and age 33. In fact, I never thought about “fitness” or getting flat abs, or any of that. Then, a few months ago I started feeling bloated all the time, and thought it was time for me to do more than yoga, which I’ve been doing for the last few years (nothing too intense, just enough to stay flexible).
So, I started doing research and trying to find a “fitness” program to help motivate me to be more active. I found a great site called No Skinnies and I really liked her challenge, but I have been doing yoga for the last few years, I’m not used to jumping around or anything too rigorous. So I developed my own routine which I will share in an upcoming post; It’s fitness for people who don’t do “fitness” or who are new to exercise (the previous post on Toning Abs is part of it). I also started walking 3 miles every morning (or at least 5 days out of the week).

My Progress?

Still after 1 month, I didn’t feel any different. So I sought elsewhere and did research on the possible reasons why. I mean, I eat healthy; no processed foods, I cook all my meals at home, I don’t over eat, wheat else could it be?
It turns out that although diet and exercise are the key to flat abs, they are not the only factors! It’s not that simple. Here is a list of other hidden culprits that may be causing bloating, digestive problems, and even weight gain:

  • Stress and/or Depression- If you are suffering from stress or depression, you should consider opening up to someone who may be able to help put things in perspective and start a journal to help you reflect on your situation.
  • Bugs -Bacteria like H. pylori, C. difficile, E. coli, Salmonella, yeast and fungi such as Candida and parasites of all sizes, shapes and colors. These bugs set your gut on fire, they eat your food and make your stomach extend out like a balloon. If you suspect a bug, see your doctor immediately to be tested. There are many symptoms, you can read about them here and here .
  • Excess Sodium – Too much sodium in your diet can cause you to retain water so when you drink too much water, it can look like excess fat. This is actually excess sodium causing you to retain water. It’s important to stay hydrated and keep drinking water when you feel this since water helps to flush out toxins in your body. Try reducing the amount of sodium in your diet instead. You should switch to an unrefined salt and avoid foods with added salt of any kind.
  • Gas and/or Indigestion – Some fruits and vegetables don’t do well with certain people. Also, the wrong kinds of fats in your diet, processed food and GMO foods; all are difficult to digest adding inches to the waist line.
  • Food Allergies – This can cause inflammation, which is your body’s way of defending itself against allergies to food or medications you might be taking. Most people don’t even know they have a problem. Talk to your doctor about an allergy test if you suspect that this might be an issue.
  • Medications – Some may interfere with your ability to lose weight. Do some research on your own or talk to your doctor about what you are taking and if there might be an effective alternative.
  • Not Enough Calories -You may not be eating enough. This might sound strange, but if you are restricting your calories too much, your body will go into “starvation mode” and store the few calories you eat as fat.
  • Wrong Food Combining – There is a theory that certain foods combined together can cause digestive problems and other health issues.
  • Hormonal Imbalance – most women with hormonal imbalance have no idea how many symptoms they experience, please click Hormonal Imbalance to find out more.
  • Unhealthy Metabolism – To understand what that means and to read further on the subject, click here.

How Did I Use This List?

To get rid of the bloating, went through the above list to try and figure out where I’m going wrong.

I thought the first thing to do is to look at the stress/depression in my life:

  • I re-evaluated my life and decided that some things aren’t worth stressing over and the situation in life that was causing depression is meant to happen and the outcome will depend on how I look at it, receive it, and deal with it. I sought out the help and advice of my husband, told him what I was going through and with his help, I was able to overcome the obstacle with him, in just a matter of hours. It really helps to get an outside perspective from someone who cares and is understanding.

Then I looked at my diet:

  •  I adjusted my diet, I also found out which foods were not helping: White rice, dairy (even raw/grass-fed! Yogurt was fine), wheat (even sprouted or soaked), and sometimes beef. Beef? Yes…beef. As I did further investigating, my organic “grass-fed” meat that I buy, is fed grain (corn/soy) before they process it to help put fat on the cow since grass-fed meat is more lean naturally.
  • Some of the main contributors to digestive issues are soy, corn, wheat, and dairy, that is because of modern day agricultural practices/GMO’s.

I did not get rid of these foods completely; I just cut down and found my limits. I did switch from beef to lamb (pasture raised and fed alfalfa). I stopped using milk other than to make yogurt and strained yogurt and used home-made coconut milk in place of milk when needed.

I thought if these 2 things don’t work, then I will look further into the possibility that I may have a “bug”. Luckily, by taking those 2 steps I was able to reverse the bloating and along with exercise gain back my flat stomach, energy, and motivation. I now know my limits and that I shouldn’t eat the foods I mentioned on a daily basis.

Reasons Why You May Not Have Achieved A Flat Stomach After Working So Hard

If you are working out regularly, eating healthy and not achieving a flat stomach, consider the following:

  • Working individual body parts to trigger weight loss or muscle development is a myth. In order to flatten your stomach or define your abdominal muscles, you need to focus on working the entire body, plus target abs or other areas. For faster, more effective results you should include in you full body workout; planks, push-ups, lower-abs raises and mountain climbers. Full body workouts will boost your metabolism and help you burn fat even while you sleep.
  • You may not be consistent. You should set a realistic goal and go for it.
  • Diet and exercise is the key to a flat stomach, but everyone’s body type is going to be different.

Conclusion

Focus on being healthy and fit inside and the rest will follow. Try not to get caught up in the details of body image; we are all built different and not everyone can obtain that “perfect shape”. At some point you have to learn to love your body for the shape it is.

A near future post will be on the different “Body Types” and how determining yours can help in getting your body in shape for your type.

A Nutritional Makeover Free Health Consultations!

A Nutritional Makeover

Every year as a “pay it forward” karma move, I take on 5 women for free. It is usually done throughout the year, but I am not in practice now since I am traveling. However, I have arranged my time so that I can take on this task at this time.

There is NO cost for the program! No hidden fees. The only thing I want in return is that you FOLLOW the program, record results, and take before and after photos. You will not be required to buy any products or pay for any services unless you wish to continue with me for support. However, I will give you a plan that you can continue to follow without support from me.

Click here to get an idea of the program principles. This is NOT a diet, it’s a change of life to take with you always.

Who I’m looking for?

I am looking for 5 women who are serious about taking their health back!

  • Women wanting to learn to eat healthy.
  • Women wanting to lose weight.
  • Women who want a healthy glow on their skin.
  • Women who want to take back their health. Maybe you have a health issue and need help with diet to alleviate or reverse a specific condition?
  • Women who are trying to conceive, pregnant, breastfeeding, or mothers of any age children.

I only work with women, no man will be considered, sorry. I am looking for diversity in age, geological locations and ethnic backgrounds.  You can be anywhere in the world and still participate. The age range should be late teens and up; no age is too old.

(Considerations may be made for children (boys or girls), if you are really in need, please contact me and we can discuss options of creating a meal plan at no charge. I do understand that sometimes a parent may feel there is no hope, so I won’t turn you down if YOU the parent is willing to change.)

What will you receive?

A Closer Look At Nutrition And Wellness

  • Free eBooks from my Nutritional Makeover Series, you can see them here.
  • One on one consultation (up to 3 sessions) where we will go over Q&A’s and together we will create a plan to take back your health through nutrition, exercise, herbal supplements (if needed), and other forms of natural healing if needed.
  • A program to follow
  • Support along the way. If you need any adjusting or questions, I will gladly help and will be available via email.
  • Included in the program are facial exercises that act as a natural face lift and will target specific areas of your face so that your face is included in the Makeover. (Results can be seen in as little as 5 days!)
  • A simple fitness program that works for you. (I can help you decide which style of fitness best suits you and put a program together.)
  • Homemade skin care products (all natural household products) and a facial routine to help your face glow.

What your responsibilities/commitments will be:

  • You will need to record daily in a journal food and exercise log. (I will go over this with you)
  • You will need to follow the program that we create together. (It will be customized to fit your lifestyle.)
  • You will need to seek out the best quality foods and cook at home (if you don’t know how, I will provide basic lessons and resources to help you along the way).
  • You will need to give up bad habits such as processed foods, alcohol, smoking, soda, sweets, and so on. There will be support for you along the way as well as resources if you have any addictions that need to be broken, I can help refer you to.
  • You will need to do a “Kitchen clean up”. This means, you will get rid of all the harmful ingredients in your house and replace with healthy ones. I may ask for before and after photos of your fridge, cupboards, and pantry.
  • You will need to read the material I send to you.

What you will NOT need to do:

You do not need to starve yourself or eat any odd foods that taste like cardboard. You will only be eating real foods that are individualized to foods you love or don not know you love yet.

Who will be considered?

In order to be considered, you must first of all be a woman and committed to following an individualized program and take before and after photos. If you are chosen, you will be asked to submit a before photo. If you would like to send a photo to be considered, you can, but not necessary. By sending the photos, you are giving permission and copyrights to A Nutritional Makeover for purposes of before and after photos.

If you would like to be considered, please send the following questionnaire via email (click here):

  1. Name?
  2. Age?
  3. Weight?
  4. Health conditions or concerns?
  5. Known allergies to foods?
  6. Are you taking any medications? (Include any over the counter such as Advil, Tylenol, antacids, and so on. Please include how often.)
  7. Why do you think you should be chosen for A Nutritional Makeover? (A brief explanation will do)
  8. What health improvements do you want to see? (You can be general by saying you want to lose an X amount of weight, maybe you want to work on the wrinkles in your face, look and feel younger, work on a health issue such as migraines, digestive issues, arthritis, infertility, and so on. Maybe you are pregnant and need a meal plan and support on a natural pregnancy and birth.

THAT’S IT FOR NOW!

You may include the following in your initial contact, but not necessary. Although, I would like to know the kind of food you eat, so if you can include a sample day off the top of your head would be great.
*If you are chosen, you will need to include a food log for 1 day.

Example (this is NOT a healthy example, it is taken from an old clients file who lost 30 lbs in 2 months after making adjustments):

(times are approx)

8am– 2 Cups Captain Crunch cereal and 1 Cup low-fat milk, and 1 glaze doughnut

9am-1 piece white bread toast with creamy peanut butter

9:15am– 1 piece of gum

10am– 1 Cup water

12pm– turkey 6 inch subway sandwich, 1 lg. diet coke

3pm– slice of pepperoni pizza, 1 lg diet coke, sm bag of skittles

7pm- Grilled chicken sandwich from McDonalds, small diet coke and some ice water, med fries and a hot fudge Sunday.

9pm– king size snickers bar

11pm– 1 bowl cookies and cream ice cream

As you can clearly see, her diet was not doing her body good. She was unhappy, depressed, unmotivated in life and didn’t want to think about a future. She had insomnia, she was overweight, had acne, borderline diabetes, high blood pressure, and her doctors said she might have trouble getting pregnant. She was only 19 at the time of the first consultation. Today she is a married woman who is healthy, vibrant, fit 24 year old that eats healthy and has had 2 healthy babies (naturally) since I first worked with her.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, I do not and can not diagnose any disease or illnesses. Please check with your health care provider before beginning any health program, especially if you any health issues.

Shared with the following sites:

Natural Living Mondays, Real Food Wednesdays, Healthy 2Day 

High Energy Green Blueberry Smoothie

Green Tea Smoothie

This High Energy, Power Packed Green Health Drink (meal in a glass) can be enjoyed in place of a morning cup of coffee or an afternoon pick me up. It’s great for weight loss and helps decrease appetite while providing powerful essential nutrients for your body.

Yerba Mate’ is an antioxidant-rich beverage that prevents heart disease and boosts metabolism. On top of that, the antioxidants in yerba mate’ will help neutralize free radicals from sun damage that could cause skin cancer. Please see the end of this article for the benefits of yerba mate.

Blueberries contain more antioxidants than almost any other food!

Bananas are an excellent source of vitamin B6 to promote a healthy immune system

Greens have so many health benefits and nutrients as well as support and protect your skin from disease and outside damage.

Brazil Nuts: Brazil nuts are an excellent source of the trace mineral selenium, which is essential for beautiful skin. The majority of us don’t get nearly enough selenium in our diets. But a single Brazil nut will pack a powerful punch with a hefty dose of selenium to neutralize outside free-radical damage that can cause fine lines and wrinkles. Make it your beauty goal to eat one Brazil nut a day for youthful skin.

Flax and Chia seeds both provide fiber and omega 3, along with other nutrients and health benefits.

Coconut oil and flakes provide so many beneficial nutrients the body needs. Many books have been written on the benefits. For this recipe, they are added to provide healthy fats that boost your metabolism while giving you long lasting energy.

Ingredients:

1 ¼ Cup filtered water, room temp.
1 Tbs. yerba mate’; loose tea or tea bags to equal 1 Tbs. (you could also substitute with green tea)
2 Tbs. coconut flakes
1 Cup blueberries
1 banana
1 Tbs. extra virgin coconut oil
1 Tbs. flax seeds or chia seeds
1-2 Brazil nuts (optional  for added selenium)
A handful of greens (I use baby spring greens)
Splash of vanilla (optional)
Instructions:

  1. Place the loose herb (or tea bags) in the water and leave for an hour or up to 4 hours to infuse into a tea.
  2. Strain the liquid tea and put in a blender with coconut flakes, blend well. (You are making infused coconut milk here).
  3. Next, add the rest of the ingredients and blend very well. ~Ejoy~

The profile of Yerba Mate’ is taken from my upcoming book on super foods – A Closer Look At Super Foods; How To Make Your Own Supplements At Home. (Will be available in July 2013)

Yerba Mate 

Originally grown in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, this herb has been consumed throughout the centuries as a daily health drink. But only recently has been scientifically studied in the last 2 decades. The Pasteur Institute in Paris did a thorough study and concluded that it is difficult to find a plant in any area of the word that has equal nutritional value, and yerba mate contains practically all vitamins necessary to sustain life.

The Druze people of Lebanon have also enjoyed this health drink for centuries; it is common to enter a Druze home and share this social drink out of the same gourd (a special “cup” made from a gourd of the squash family) and bombija (bombilla in Spanish, a specially made wooden or steel straw that filters the loose herb while drinking), while disinfecting it with a rind of lemon.

Mate can be compared to green tea in taste with a slight bitterness, but with more nutrients, health benefits and higher in anti oxidants. 

Nutrients Contained:

  • Vitamins A,C,E, B Complex, K
  • Calcium
  • Manganese
  • Iron
  • Selenium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Zinc
  • Carotene
  • Fatty Acids
  • Chlorophyll
  • Flavonols
  • Polyphenols
  • Inositol
  • Trace minerals
  • Antioxidants
  • Tannis
  • Pantothenic acid
  • 15 amino acids

Benefits:

  • Increases oxygen to the heart and lungs
  • Flushes kidneys
  • Contains a 3rd of the caffeine in coffee
  • Increases focus and clarity
  • Detoxifies
  • Immune system
  • Anti oxidants
  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Aids elimination
  • Bad breath
  • Helps in weight loss
  • Decrease appetite
  • Boosts energy

How to take it/ Dosage:

Very important when steeping mate, first cover it with room temperature water for a few minutes, then strain and pour hot water over it to steep again. This will reduce the absorption of any carcinogenic compounds of the plant.

Taken as extract or loose tea (do not use tea bags, the quality and benefits are lessened along with the health concerns of tea bags; bleach, chemicals, metal staple, and so on.)

 Extract:

Use as directed on bottle

Tea (loose herb):

2 Cups a day is a normal dose, as with any herb or supplement, take a break of 1 or 2 days off of the week or a week off the month. Always start with a lower dose and work your way up. 

Directions; place 1 tsp- 1 Tbs. of loose herb in a cup, cover with room temperature water for a few minutes (3-5) then strain, then pour hot water over the loose herb to steep for 5-20 minutes depending on how strong of a brew you desire.

Alternately; you can also cold brew your tea by steeping the loose herb in room temperature water overnight, no need to discard the first strain, just strain and gently heat if desired.

You can enjoy as a tea or make the brew a base for a health drink or smoothie.

1 Cup after a small meal 2 times a day 1-in the morning and 2- in the afternoon will balance energy. How much herb used will depend on the strength you desire.

 Side Effects:

Quality plays a big role, organic and/or fair trade is best. Always steep with room temperature water for a few minutes then strain to reduce absorption of possible carcinogenic compounds found in the plant.

Contains caffeine; may cause:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Always start with a lower dose and work your way up.
  • Due to caffeine content; Avoid if you have high blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Anxiety

Use caution in pregnancy and breastfeeding due to the caffeine, may cause colic in babies.