Category Archives: Uncategorized

Pumpkin Wonders for your Health

It’s pumpkin season! Besides decoration, taste and recipes, here are little wonder about this vegetable that benefits your health:

The beautiful orange color is given by carotene, which fights cancer, asthma and heart disease.

Pumpkins are rich in vitamin A and potassium, it actually has more potassium than a banana – how could you guess? Why not get more seasonal and in tune with the rhythms of nature: instead of a banana around workout time, try a bowl of pumpkin soup. In addition, potassium plays a positive effect on blood pressure.

Rich in fiber, supports good gut health and aids weight loss and elimination of toxins.

But wait! Don’t waste the seeds! They are high in protein, complementing the pumpkin itself that is more on the starchy side, and contains phytosterols that help to reduce “bad” cholesterol. They are tasty and easy to carry, so the seeds make a great nutrient dense snack option.

Tryptophan, an aminoacid that helps with depression and is a precursor of serotonin, one of the “feel good” neurotransmitters, is also present in pumpkin seeds.

With so many goodness, we need to make sure not to use them only for those beautiful fall decorations, but bring them right to the table! I feel like trying some new recipes this week do you have a favorite recipe to share with me?

Happy Fall!

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Big Feast & Small Doses – After party Homeopathy for hangover and indigestion.

Let’s say that despite all good intentions of eating & drinking sensibly during the party didn’t go exactly how you predicted, or perhaps you didn’t have intentions at all to behave that way to begin with, and in fact you indulged with your full heart – and tummy! Either way we all know that feeling after awhile or next morning when our body cries – “please take it easy!” Well, homeopathy is on the way to help!

The two remedies I consider most useful for these situations are Nux Vomica and Pulsatila. Nux Vomica is a classic hangover remedy, in addition has affinity to digestive symptoms. Pulsatilla follows well after greasy food, here is how identify:

 

  • Nux Vomica: is one of the major remedies for hangover and indigestion. It covers symptoms such headaches, aversion to light and noise, and digestive issues after overeating or overindulging spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine and tobacco. Nux vomica is often indicated when you have the feeling that if you could only vomit you would be so much better.
  • Pulsatilla: For the digestive issues occurring after too much rich food, cakes, pastry and fatty meat (especially pork), Pulsatilla is indicated. Unlike Nux Vomica that feels full and bloated, wishing that could vomit, Pusatilla feels an “all-gone” sensation on the stomach, and prone to have loose yellow-greenish stools after overeating.

When we talk about taking easy on the day after, we think of slowing down on alcohol and maybe eating something lighter, but because of the unpleasant symptoms of hangover and indigestion, we often take conventional medication such as pain killers for headaches, forgetting that these remedies and mild but not harmless to our health. For example, most of pain killers aggravate digestive issues as a side effect, and might interfere with your gut microbiome balance, demanding more from our body to recover at the end. As an alternative, Homeopathy is a gentle and natural approach to these issues, supporting your body own ability to recover and heal.

Get ready for the party and have these couple of homeopathic remedies before hand just in case you might need. Remember when taking homeopathic remedies: avoid handling; drop pill on the lid of the bottle and then tip into the mouth; let it melt, do not swallow; do not take with food and drinks; avoid menthol and camphor scents and keep it away from electromagnetic waves.

Besides homeopathy, what should we eat on the day after? Coming next some ideas for a one-day after party mini detox.

Happy Holidays

November smells cinnamon – and benefits your health!

Ahhhh … I love the smell and taste of cinnamon, do you? It has this warming aroma that nourishes my body & soul while the days are getting cold. It seems to be everywhere: from food recipes to candles, fall calls for cinnamon. But what you perhaps you don’t know, is how cinnamon affects your health. Its benefits are so interesting that this spice was used by ancient civilizations as a medicine – the Chinese used cinnamon for joint pain for example, while European herbalists used it for digestive issues.

With all the stress and overindulging that goes around at this time of the year, we are likely more prone to inflammation. Cinnamon helps to protect your body, counter balancing this inflammation, because it is very rich in antioxidants, so you are less prone to the consequences of free radicals such as diseases and aging.

Cinnamon is also a natural antimicrobial agent. Many of us tend to be more vulnerable to colds and flu with winter approaching, but here comes cinnamon to the rescue again, protecting against bacteria, viruses and fungus.

The list o benefits can go on, but these are the ones I find most interesting for this time of the year, considering seasonal celebrations and colds & flu that happen so often during this time.

Take advantage of this warm & sweet spice, and tell me: what is your favorite recipe or use of cinnamon?

Happy November!

Wait! Before you feast …

You might try to be mindful about what and how much you eat during the Holidays celebrations, but the truth is, very often we overindulge. To be honest, one sporadic event is not what really will make a difference in your health and wellness, but instead what you do consistently. So if you if you are on the top of your healthy lifestyle and have the mindset of a free pass during one party or another through the season, go ahead and enjoy. However not everybody feels like that. Some of you might be trying hard to engage in a healthier lifestyle and are already thinking: ok, it is likely I might overindulge, but how can I minimize or dribble all temptations? Today I share here a couple of hints for the day of the party: two natural supplements that can help you to stay on track.

Garcinia Cambogia is a fruit that acts as a natural appetite suppressant. You can take it just about one hour before the meal,  and it can help you to slow down on the food. This small fruit grows mainly in Asia, and is also known as tamarind. Rich in HCA (hydroxycitric acid), boosts serotonin naturally, the “feel good” neurotransmitter, and as a consequence you are likely less driven to eat. In addition to the appetite suppressant effect, HCA also interferes on the process of your body transforming carbs in fats, by blocking and enzyme (citrate lyase) necessary for such conversion.

White Kidney Bean Extract is another natural supplement that acts as a carb blocker. Yes, that’s it, a carb blocker – it blocks carbohydrate absorption by inhibiting and enzyme (amylase) necessary to breakdown carbs in molecules small enough that your body can absorb. You can take it 15 minutes prior your meal and combined with Garcinia, reduce your excess of carb absorption.

These supplements are considered very safe, however should be avoided by anyone with liver or digestive issues, during pregnancy and lactation, and of course is always wise to check with your physician.

Garcinia and White Kidney been extract have been in vogue for few years now as an weight loss aid. If you liked the tips and are now wondering if you should take them regularly, here is my thought: I honestly do not recommend the continuous use of these supplements targeting weight management. I strongly believe that effective and long lasting weight loss should be achieved by appropriate diet and adequate lifestyle, not promising pills that often lead to a yo-yo effect. Carb blocker helps on one hand not to absorb excess of carbs, but you also won’t absorb important nutrients that might come with them, in a long run it is not the best choice for your health. Instead, I like to take advantage of these supplements strategically, on special occasions as mentioned above.

Keep in mind that the stress relive techniques I mentioned on the previous post such as breathing exercises also have a calming and soothing effect, that might help you to slow down on overindulging. More you practice, better results! Make this a habit: breathe.

Now that you are covered for before and during the party time, stay tuned for what comes next!

Happy Holidays!

Ready or stressed out for the Holiday Season? Breathe.

Is that time of the year again! Holidays are approaching and with the season, we often feel overwhelmed, stressed out and end up overindulging in food & drinks. During this week I share my top tips to keep you on the top of your health and wellness while you enjoy the Holiday Season. From today to the party time and afterwards, simple and effective things anyone can do to have fun and support your health as a whole. Here is how I start:

  1. Awareness: take few seconds daily and ask yourself how you feel at the moment, acknowledging your emotions. Scan your body and check how you feel physically, from head to toes. Pay attention to any tight spots, pain, sensations. Most of us are so much on the auto pilot, that we don’t even notice how much we are stressed out, but the thing is: if you are not aware, how can you make it better? So let’s start with these daily moments of awareness.
  2. Breathe: in thought your nose, slowly, expanding your belly so you expand your lungs as much as you can, little pause then exhale with relief through your mouth and let it go all the tension and worries that you identified on the previous step by scanning your body. Take at least 5 deep, slow, paused breaths in and out through your nose or try alternating nostril breathing. It is quick, easy, simple, free and you can do it anywhere! Probably that’s why many people underestimate the power of controlled breathing. Science says that this type of breathing stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system, that improves your digestion among other things, and has a soothing effect counter balancing your sympathetic nervous system activated by stress.
  3. Essential Oils: Another trick I like to add is the use of essential oils. Besides its own therapeutic properties, if you diffuse the same oil often enough during your breathing exercises, your brain will associate that scent with relaxation, so during the chaotic days you can carry that specific oil with you and anytime you need inhale and relax. For this soothing effect my favorite ones are frankincense, lavender and geranium.
  4. Reminders: within our busy lives, it’s hard to put time aside for these simple techniques, when you notice the day is over in a blink. Set an alarm as a reminder to check in with yourself, scan and breathe.

If you have time and is keen, yoga and meditation can make wonders! But since most of us are already overwhelmed, I wanted to share what is the most simple and effective to put in practice. Does it seems to simple? Be curious and try for a couple of days, let me know how you feel and if it makes a difference for you. It makes for me.

Next we will talk about getting ready for the party – What can you do to minimize overindulging?

Happy Holidays!

DIY Epsom Salts

Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) is a great tool to detoxification and relaxation that most of us would benefit regularly by soaking in a bath or even a simple warm foot soaking.

It got its name from a bitter saline spring in Epsom, Surrey in England, where the salt was produced from the springs that arise where the porous chalk of the North Downs meets non-porous London clay.

It is never enough to address the issue regarding how much chemicals and toxins, including heavy metals, cosmetics can carry, disrupting our health over time. By making your own personal products, you avoid lots of toxins commonly found in cosmetics and personal products commercially available that often impact your health and hormonal balance in a negative way.

Besides the detoxification properties of Epsom salts, there is the advantage of relaxation time in a warm bath, that easies the mind at the end of the day, added by the effects of essential oils with their incredible aroma.

Plain Epsom Salts are inexpensive and easily found in pharmacies, supermarkets and health stores and it can be used as it is to benefit your wellness. However, making your own infused Epsom Salts can be a low cost, easy and fun activity for you and the whole family – why not involve the kids? – that in addition brings you health benefits. It also makes a nice and thoughtful gift idea for the dear ones – why not?

You will need:

  • Large glass bowl
  • 3 cups of plain Epsom Salts
  • 10 drops of essential oil (I used lavender for mine)
  • 5 drops of food coloring (your preference)

Add the Epsom Salts to the empty bowl, adding the essential oil drops and coloring afterwards, mix well with a spoon until color is uniform and no lumps are present. Adjust more or less drops of oil or color according to your preference. Keep the content in a glass jar and use as needed. Dissolve 1 to 2 cups of Epsom Salts per full bath, and soak for at least 20 min. Alternatively, you can mix 2 cups of Epsom salts + 1 cup of baking soda instead of 3 cups of Epsom salts.

You might choose just an aroma you like or take in consideration some of the essential oils properties. Lavender is good for relaxation, and citrus such as lemon, grapefruit and orange are invigorating. Frankincense and peppermint are good to keep your focus sharp.

Bath bombs and scrubs are another great and easy DIY idea to make at home. Stay tuned, more recipes to follow soon!

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Tummy Recovery Green Juice

To give your body a break and boost your recovery, a fasting day can make wonders alongside Homeopathy. Fresh juices are packed with dense nutrients that are easily absorbed, soothing your digestive system and helping your body to detoxify. Below, a couple of juicing ideas for you. Note that they are based on vegetables more than fruit. Although fruits are healthy, juicing fruits can overload your body with too much fructose, which is not desirable. As a general rule, use a green apple to sweeten your green juice, and cucumber and/or celery as a base. A bit f coconut water instead of the apple can also be a good way to add some sweet taste, in moderation.  

Green cabbage is well known for its digestive aid properties, and for an extra anti-inflammatory kick, you may add  an inch of  fresh ginger to your juice. Now get your juicer out and let’s press!

Tummy Recovery Juice

  • 1 cucumber
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 2 small apples, cored and seeded
  • 1 cup green cabbage
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled

 

Detox Juice

  • 1 green apple, cored and seeded
  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 1/2 small lemon
  • 2 handfuls of greens
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 1 cup of water or coconut water* (*optional)

 

Happy Juicing!