Natural Remedies for the Top 5 Aliments

Headache, Insomnia, Digestion, and More

Grow Your Own Health

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 Many Years ago, it used to be that the majority of people relied on natural remedies. But then that sort of got pushed aside and modern medicine took over. There’s no doubt that modern medicine has done a lot of good.

But it’s not without its downside. Sometimes people end up over-medicated for health issues that can be treated simply and effectively at home.  A great way to treat some of the common health problems that affect people is through the natural use of plants.

These plants don’t give you the same dangerous side effects that a lot of the medications prescribed today cause. Plus, it’s easier and a lot more cost effective to turn to nature when you need healing.

There are a lot of different plants that you can grow to naturally treat your ailments and some can be applied topically while others can be brewed into teas. You should make sure that you understand how much to use, because, just like medicines from the pharmacy, there are dosing guidelines you will need to follow when using plants to treat ailments.

Headaches

A good natural treatment for a headache is the bark of a willow tree. You can grow a willow tree with a cutting from a mature tree. One of the reasons that this is effective is because it contains salicin, which is comparable to what you’ll find in aspirin. It’s also a good treatment for anything that causes you to feel pain since it works like aspirin does.

One drawback is that people who experience a reaction to aspirin could also potentially have a reaction to willow bark. It should not be used by nursing mothers or given to ill children due to the same side effects that aspirin can cause.

Lavender is a flowering plant that looks beautiful in a garden but it’s also a natural treatment for headaches - even if those headaches are migraines. It’s the oil from the plant that gives relief from the pain. It can be applied directly to the skin or inhaled by boiling the plant and inhaling the oils as they’re released. Lavender is safe to use on the skin without having to dilute it.

Another plant that you can grow to treat headaches is peppermint. This plant is used by crushing the leaves and applying the mixture to the area of the body where you feel the pain. The oils are absorbed through the skin.

If you’ve ever had to deal with cluster headaches, you know how bad these can be. These headaches, which show up and then come back repeatedly over the course of several weeks can be difficult to treat with modern medicine because as soon as you stop the treatment, you can end up with rebound headaches.

One of the best natural remedies that you can plant indoors or outdoors to help with these types of headaches is cayenne pepper. This plant contains capsaicin, which is used to relieve pain. It can be applied directly to the skin. However, you should be extremely careful to keep any of the plant from touching your face. If the plant comes in contact with your eyes, it can cause painful burning.

A side effect of this plant when applied topically is a burning sensation that does go away after a few minutes. If you’re prone to skin allergies, this may not be the right remedy for you to use.  Thyme, when made into a tea can also be used to relieve the pain associated with headaches. Bay leaves are helpful in treating headaches as well.

Insomnia

 Doctors recommend that you get between six to eight hours of sleep every night. This is what’s best for your body. When you have insomnia, it can take a toll on your personal and professional life, plus prolonged bouts of insomnia can cause your health to suffer. Persistent insomnia can lead to sleep deprivation behavior, which can be dangerous.

Fortunately, there are plants that treat this ailment. Many of these plants have a sedative qualites to them, which help relax your mind and body. As a result, you end up with a good night’s sleep.

One of these helpful plants is the lemon balm plant. If you look closely at the leaves, you’ll see how they resemble the leaves if the mint plant. This is because lemon balm is in the same family of plants as the mint. Just like mint It can be taken as a tea.

One flowering plant, that’s actually labeled as a weed is evening primrose - commonly called primrose. It is effective in treating insomnia. The flowers of the plant are colorful and quite beautiful. It’s best to grow this plant with outdoor gardening rather than indoor gardening because it thrives outdoors.

Another plant that’s well-known to aid in helping to treat insomnia is woodruff. This plant has small white flowers and is a perennial. It has a sweet scent and grows best in shade rather than direct sunlight.

Passionflower is another plant that you can grow that’s used in the treatment of insomnia. The plant has medicinal properties that are used to produce calmness and a state of relaxation, which helps you get some sleep.

There are some plants that you can grow that work toward helping you to get a good night’s sleep. These are plants that you can use during your waking hours that won’t induce sleepiness so you’ll still be able to go about your day.

What one of these plants does is it relieves stress and tension which are the leading causes of insomnia other than reasons related to diseases. This plant is rosemary and it can be grown indoor or outside but it can grow to some substantial height. So what you might want to do if you’re into indoor gardening is to start the plant inside and then transfer it outside once it gains height.

Fevers, Colds and Coughs

There can be many different reasons for your body to develop a fever. The same stands true for a cough. Unless a doctor finds that the fever has a direct cause, the only thing you can really do for it is to treat the symptom, which is the fever itself.

For the common cold, there is no cure. All you can do when you catch a cold is to try your best alleviate the symptoms. Many of the over the counter remedies that are offered can sometimes make you feel worse because they make you feel fuzzy-headed or they’ll make you feel dizzy.

Instead of reaching for the mass-produced medication, you can grow what you need to treat a fever, a cough or the common cold. And because this is a natural method, you won’t have any of those annoying side effects that come with taking medication. To treat a fever, the bark of the willow tree is good for this. Just like it treats headaches, it can also reduce your fever.

Again, the reason for this is because the bark of the tree is like aspirin with the properties it contains. But another natural remedy you can use that you can grow yourself is sunflowers. These plants make a great addition to a garden because of their beauty and multi-purpose usefulness.

The seeds from the plant can be eaten and they contain helpful qualities like some of the B vitamins, folate and zinc. Plus, they fight against cancer cells. They’re hardy and easy to grow. It’s the leaves of the plant that can be use to make a tea that lowers fevers. Besides treating the fever, the sunflower is also helpful for reducing ailments such as a cough and a cold. So if you have a fever that’s associated with a cold, then you’re getting two-fold relief with one plant.

Chamomile is another plant that you can grow that’s helpful in reducing fevers. These flowering plants look like daisies but they’re not exactly the same. They’re very hardy and easy to grow. They can be grown indoors but also flourish outside. The plant can be taken in a tea form and is good for not only reducing fever but in the treatment of a cold as well.

When you have a cold, even though it’s not a serious ailment, it can make you feel pretty miserable. Sunflowers can be used to treat this and so can ginseng. This plant is associated with Chinese medicine and has a long history of helping to treat ailments.

These his plants trigger the immune system to battle the ailment. As a result people who use it end up not being down with a cold or cough for the same length of time as those who didn’t use ginseng.

One of the annoying symptoms that always seems to come along with getting a cold is all the congestion that just makes you feel miserable. You don’t have to put up with that if you grow your own medicinal plants. Peppermint is a natural decongestant that contains menthol, which is the ingredient you’ll see in many of the over the counter medications that are used to treat cold symptoms.

A surprising plant that’s effective for a cold is parsley. This plant helps to minimize the symptoms and it stimulates your immune system at the same time. While these plants can be grown outdoors, they are attractive to outdoor animals like rabbits so you’ll want to protect them. Besides treatment for colds, this plant is great for relieving the symptoms associated with UTIs.

There’s nothing as annoying as a cough that comes along with a cold. Even after the cold is long gone the cough will often stubbornly remain in place. That’s because your upper respiratory system has been irritated.  Fennel is a plant that belongs with the celery family and is effective for treating coughs. This plant needs a lot of sunlight. It can be grown indoors but is better suited for outside gardening. Not only will you find this plant useful for treating coughs, but it can be a tasty addition to meals as well.

Anise is a small growing plant that’s perfect for growing indoors. To use this plant to treat a cough, you would use the seeds. After mashing the seeds, you would let them steep as if you were making a tea. Drinking the liquid calms a cough.

Thyme is also successfully used for treating coughing. This is a sturdy plant that grows easily. It’s a perennial plant and can be made into a tea . The reason that this plant works so well is because it calms muscle spasms. When you cough, especially repeatedly, this is caused by smooth muscle spasms. The thyme relaxes those muscles so you don’t feel like you have to cough.

Constipation and Diarrhea

When you are struggling with constipation, it can make you feel absolutely miserable. It can cause bloating, stomach cramps and make you feel sluggish. What happens when you take over the counter medication to treat this ailment is the side effects can often swing you all the way to the other end of the spectrum and you end up with diarrhea.

It might surprise you to know that a very effective plant that you can grow to treat constipation is aloe vera. Although this plant is widely known for its topical uses, the latex of the plant is extremely effective in curing constipation. One plant that’s considered a weed but is effective to treat constipation is the dandelion. The root of the dandelion is a natural laxative that won’t give you those harsh side effects like you get with over the counter medications. 

To get the benefit from this plant, you would need to boil the root. Be careful, it doesn’t take much to be effective. You only need about a teaspoon for every cup of boiling water. Be sure you strain out the root parts before you  pour it into a cup. Mild cases are often resolved with one to two cups of the tea.

To treat diarrhea naturally, you need to make a tea from blackberry leaves. These are very hardy plants that can be grown indoors or out. You can also use the leaves from a raspberry plant if you prefer that over growing blackberries.

Treating Skin Ailments

You want to take care of your skin because it’s what keeps germs from entering your body. There are several types of skin ailments that can be effectively treated with the use of plants. If you burn yourself cooking in the kitchen or through some other task, you’ll want to use an aloe vera plant.

To treat the burn, you break one of the leaves of the plant and use the gel contained within to cover the burn. Lavender is another plant that, like aloe vera, can be effectively used to treat non-serious burns. Besides burns, there are other skin ailments that can cause you discomfort. For example, anyone who’s ever dealt with eczema knows how irritating it can be.

Dandelions can be used to treat this skin condition as well as peppermint. You would use the dandelion as a tea to treat eczema. The oil from a peppermint plant is applied topically to the affected area. The oil reduces the itching as well as the inflammation caused by the condition. The goldenrod flower has also been used to treat eczema.

Along with skin irritants like burns and eczema, you might battle fungal conditions. This is used topically to treat the fungal infection. Chamomile, when used as a bath can be used as an anti-fungal medication. Cloves are also good for treating fungal conditions.  Oregano leaves can also be used to treat fungal infections especially those that infect the toenails or fingernails. This plant can be grown indoor or outdoors also as well as a food spice.

If you are like me and chose to heal naturally "when possible" you will want to check out my Healing Juice Recipe book.  It is my FREE gift to you .  Simply tell me where to send it in the form below ( Name and email address)   and I will send it to your email box immediately. 

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The One Superfood That's Actually Worth The Money (According to Registered Dietitians)

We love playing around with superfoods in the kitchen, but it can get expensive. We asked registered dietitians to weigh in on their absolute favorite, so you can kick your collection off on the right note.

Article by Liz Moody

Turmeric

Photo: Stocksy

Photo: Stocksy

I think turmeric is worth it. I sprinkle it everywhere—in smoothies, teas, on roasted veggies and soups and marinades too. The mood benefits are insane (curcumin, the active ingredient, has been found as beneficial for mood disorders as Prozac), as are the anti-inflammatory, whole-body benefits. Black pepper also increases turmeric absorption, so i try to have a sprinkle of it wherever possible. Try to buy organic, and the whole root will be more nutritious than most shelf-stable powders. 

Carolyn Brown, R.D., founder of FoodTrainers

Cacao

I'm a big believer in sourcing the highest quality and unadulterated as well as sustainably and ethically sourced ingredients that provide the most bioavailable and absorbable nutrients, and this alone usually comes with a hefty price tag. It can be hard to factor quality today, though, with the explosion of superfood products and companies. If I'm being completely honest, though, the superfood that I use almost on a regular basis is cacao. There is nothing I crave more that provides me with the core minerals, mood-lifting, and energizing benefits, and for that result I will happily pay top dollar for both the fermented raw bean, or unprocessed raw bar that has been sweetened with unrefined sugars. 
 

Alle Weil, AADP, founder of Flora Ex Machina

Flaxseed

Photo: Stocksy

Photo: Stocksy

Flaxseeds are best absorbed when ground and provide many benefits to the diet. They are a great source of fiber and help things move along in the digestive tract. Flaxseeds are also are a great vegan source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are protective of the cardiovascular system by preventing and healing vascular damage related to inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of ground flaxseeds are not only limited to the cardiovascular system but assist the body in fighting free radicals, which lead to oxidative stress. Consuming anti-inflammatory foods helps to reduce the risk of certain cancers and diseases related to chronic inflammation. Flaxseeds are also a source of plant-based protein and are easily integrated into the diet. Throw them into a smoothie, top your oatmeal or yogurt with them, or add them to healthified baked goods or pancakes. 

Miranda Hammer, R.D., founder of Crunchy Radish

Spices

Spices! While spices aren't a solo superfood, collectively they are antioxidant superstars, and I try and incorporate them into everything. Remember, antioxidants are the "good guys" that scavenge dangerous free radicals that can otherwise cause damage on the cellular level. Plus they add a ton of delicious natural flavor to any given dish. If you can't take the heat, remember that spices don't have to actually be spicy. Think cinnamon, turmeric, basil, garlic powder, etc. I add cinnamon to my morning coffee, oatmeal, and smoothies. Garlic powder and turmeric are great in homemade soups, whole grain pastas, vegetable sides, and even omelets. The key is to make sure your spice cabinet is stocked and easily accessible, so you remember to use them!
 

Leah Silberman, R.D., founder of Tovita Nutrition

Collagen

I think purchasing superfoods is a wise investment into our health. When we place importance on consuming superfoods, naturally nutrient dense and full of health-boosting phytochemicals, we are really investing well into our health and prevention of diseases! If I could pick one in particular, I'd have to say collagen powder. It is incredibly rich in amino-acids that provide the body with many health-boosting benefits, and the powder dissolves so well into all kinds of foods it's virtually undetectable (unlike many other protein powders on the market).  
 

—Cristal Sczebel, CHN, founder of Nutritionist In The Kitch

Bone broth

Bone broth.jpg

Bone broth is truly a superfood, it has so many healing properties. While the bones are simmering, collagen, glycine, and glutamine all get released into the broth. The collagen in the broth helps your skin, hair, and nails look beautiful. It evens helps reduce cellulite and wrinkles! On top of that, the nutrients in bone broth help to heal your gut (which boosts your immune system since about 70 to 80 percent of your immune system lives in your gut!) and reduce inflammation.

Bone broth also contains a variety of different nutrients such as magnesium, phosphorus, and iron that are bioavailable to your body. You know that expensive supplement glucosamine and chondroitin that's recommended for joint health? Well, bone broth is loaded with it. That doesn't even complete the list of benefits—bone broth can also help with sleep, detoxification, metabolism, and anxiety.

Drink a cup daily or add it to your soups, stews, or veggie dishes. If you're going to purchase bone broth only, purchase homemade batches, from a co-op or a quality meat market. Even better, it's very simple to make yourself (and far more affordable!). 

Britni Thomas, R.D., of Nutritional Weight & Wellness

Chia seeds

A great source of omega-3 fatty acid ALA (the plant-based form), these tiny seeds are also packed with filling fiber and even provide some calcium and protein. They’re great for adding staying power to oatmeal, yogurt, and smoothies. Because they absorb so much water and easily form a gel, they’re also useful as an egg substitute or binding agent in baked goods or as a simple way to thicken sauces and beverages.
 

—Jessica Cording, R.D., founder of Jessica Cording Nutrition

Clean Eating Course 101

From diet books and recipes to your Instagram feed, the clean eating trend seems to be everywhere lately. Read on to find out what it's all about and if it's really worth trying.

Defining Clean Eating

Maybe a new raw cafe has sprung up in your neighborhood, or you read about Katy Perry and Gwyneth Paltrow being fans. Either way, eating "clean" is gaining traction — but what does it actually mean, and how is it good for the body?

Clean eating is a deceptively simple concept. Rather than revolving around the idea of ingesting more or less of specific things (for instance, fewer calories or more protein), the idea is more about being mindful of the food's pathway between its origin and your plate. At its simplest, clean eating is about eating whole foods, or "real" foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible. However, modern food production has become so sophisticated that simply eating whole foods can be a challenging proposition these days.

What Counts as Processed Foods?

First, let's start with the definition of processed food. "Processing" includes:

Additions of any kind — everything from salt, sugar, and fat to aid flavor and mouthfeel, to preservatives that keep food from spoiling too quickly, to the vitamins enriching everything from beverages to breakfast cereal. 
Changing the form of the natural food — for instance, removing the bran and germ from whole grains to create refined bread, mashing apples into applesauce, or stir-frying veggies.
Foods with components manufactured in a lab. (You probably don't need clarification on this one, but if the ingredient list has stuff you can't recognize or pronounce, that's a pretty solid indication that it's not natural).

In that light, processed food includes everything from a hot dog (where do we even begin?) to jarred organic pasta sauce and instant oatmeal. And yes, changing the form of natural food includes cooking as well, so even your steamed broccoli is technically processed, albeit minimally.

So why, exactly, is processing so bad — especially if it's something as simple as adding heat?

Why Is Processed Food Bad?

In two words: It's not. Or rather, not categorically.

"Processing is not always bad," says Jessica Fanzo, assistant professor of nutrition at Columbia University. "Often processing removes toxins or bacteria, or allows for us to eat certain types of foods in off-season due to freezing or canning." (Pasteurized milk, anyone?) Processing "can also include altering the consistency or taste of food to make it more appealing," Fanzo adds. So that delicious post-workout kale-celery-spinach- banana smoothie  you had? Enjoy that virtuous feeling knowing that you were likely able to down that giant amount of greens because your treat was somewhat processed.

Still, even though pasteurized milk, kale smoothies, and instant oatmeal are all processed, that doesn't make them on par with doughnuts and Diet Coke.

"The key is to avoid foods that are 'ultra-processed,'" says Fanzo — basically, anything food-product-like or ready-to-heat."

The Problem with Ultra-Processed Foods

As you can probably guess, the health problems associated with ultra-processed food are numerous. Foods with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been linked to cancer and infertility; highly processed foods are stripped of nutrients needed for overall health; and heavily modified food tends to have additives that overstimulate the production of dopamine, the "pleasure" neurotransmitter, perpetuating a negative cycle of constant junk food cravings.

However, there's added reason for pause when reaching for the Pop-Tart.

In a 2011 article published in the Journal of the World Public Health Nutrition Association, Carlos Monteiro, professor at the Department of Nutrition of the School of Public Health at the University of Sao Paulo, argues that having ultra-processed foods touted in a way that makes it seem good for you — less sodium! no trans fats! vitamin-enriched! — actually causes more damage to our collective understanding of healthy eating than we may realize. Considering the increasing abundance of "healthfully" enhanced products in the grocery aisles (or perhaps even your refrigerator), Monteiro may be on to something.

The Perks of Clean Eating

Thanks to extensive research that has linked eating whole foods with good health, "we do know that largely plant-based diets are healthy," says Fanzo. Multiple studies have shown that diets heavy on fruits and vegetables can curb or prevent certain life-threatening conditions and diseases, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Plus, there's research linking diets high in fruits and veggies to healthy weight management and glowing skin and hair — as if you needed more motivation.

Clean eating.jpg

How to Eat Clean

Unprocessed foods include:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Dried legumes
  • Nuts
  • Farm-fresh eggs

Minimally processed foods include:

  • Unrefined grains, like whole wheat bread and pasta, popcorn, steel-cut oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice
  • Frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Unprocessed meat; wild over pastured, pastured over grain-fed
  • Hormone-free dairy
  • Oils

Pesticide-free organic food is preferable to avoid consuming added hormones or chemicals. It's also important to note that eating clean doesn't give you free reign to eat endless quantities. They may be healthy, but they still have calories!

"You always have to think about portion size," says Marissa Lippert, RD, owner of Nourish Kitchen + Table, a seasonally influenced cafe in New York City. "I always encourage people to think of their plate in terms of fifths: three-fifths should be fruits and vegetables, one-fifth should be protein, and one-fifth healthy carbs."

How to Shop Clean

Realistically, eating clean doesn't mean you need to eat everything raw and straight from the ground. It means choosing minimally processed foods with few ingredients on the label, if it has a label at all.

If you're shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store, that's always a good start, says Lippert.

When perusing the main aisles for packaged foods, ask yourself: Where did this food or its ingredients come from? How much has it been processed or handled? The ingredient label should be short, and all ingredients should be recognizable. Scan for easy-to-avoid additives like artificial coloring and flavors.

How to Cook Clean

Cooking does alter your food, but it isn't necessarily a bad thing.

"While it's true that some nutrients are lost during cooking, like vitamin C, other nutrients are increased when foods are cooked, like lycopene, so it's best to eat a wide variety of foods, in both their raw and cooked forms," says EA Stewart, RD, who blogs at The Spicy RD.

When cooking food, "the focus should be on maintaining the integrity of what you are consuming and avoiding high-fat cooking methods such as deep-frying or stewing in animal or vegetable fats," says Miranda Hammer, a New York City registered dietitian and author of food blog The Crunchy Radish.

When cooking, opt for flash-cook methods such as stir-frying and ones without additives like steaming. For fruits and veggies, raw is best, but steaming is a close second in terms of preserving nutritional value and keeping the food's natural integrity.

The Paleo Lifestyle

The Paleo diet, which promotes eating only foods as our ancestors did during the Paleolithic era, is similar to a clean diet in that they both advocate whole foods. However, the Paleo diet limits food to pre-Industrial Revolution, meaning it prohibits all grains (not just refined ones), legumes, and dairy products, which clean eating does not.

While there are many personal testimonials that Paleo works, some experts are skeptical. "I don't think we need to all eat meat," says Fanzo. Moreover, "banishing major food groups makes no sense from a physiologic point of view. It sets a person up for failure and rebounding weight."

The Whole 9 Lifestyle and Whole 30

Founded in 2009 by a couple in Texas, the Whole 9 lifestyle is based on nine principles that contribute to a balanced life. Nutrition is one of the core factors, and the lifestyle's eating recommendation is one of whole foods, like meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, healthy oils, nuts, and seeds.

If you're new to Whole 9, it kicks off with a 30-day detox called Whole 30, in which whole foods are eaten but all alcohol, sugar, grains, legumes, and dairy are eliminated to "push the reset button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you've been making."

Experts like Fanzo see the elimination of entire food groups (as with the Paleo diet) as problematic. For some people, though, a short cut-off may help them get in the right "healthy eating" mind-set.

"If a brief, up to one week abstinence from certain foods — not all foods! — helps people get in the right mind-set to eat healthier, and they don't have any medical conditions, then I think this is fine from a health and nutrition standpoint," says Stewart. "However I don't think it is necessary, and in many cases it sets people up for an 'all or nothing' approach to their diets."

To receive the latest information on "Clean Eating" sign up for our newsletter.  We love to hear from you so feel free to drop us a line in the comment box below.

Be Healthy,

Total Wellness Resource Center 

Original article was published in Fitness Magazine . Author : Joselyn Voo

Looking for Meatless Options for Protein?

Check out these top Vegetarian Protein Sources.  By switching animal protein with organic vegetarian options just twice a week you will be on your way to a healthier heart.   

DAIRY

  • Egg Whites
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Mozzarella
  • Ricotta Cheese (low fat)
  • Parmesan
  • Gouda Cheese
  • Feta Cheese
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Low Fat Yogur

PULSES (LEGUMES)

  • Lentils
  • Peas
  • Blackeyed Peas
  • Kidney beans
  • Beans
  • Soybean

NUTS & SEEDS

  • Pine Nuts
  • Black Walnuts
  • Pumpkin seeds/Squash seeds
  • Roasted almonds
  • Cashew nuts
  • Hemp seeds
  • Sunflower seeds

CEREAL

  • Oats & Oat bran
  • Whole wheat spaghetti
  • Couscous
  • Bulgur
  • Rye bread
  • Whole wheat pita bread
  • Pita bread
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat

VEGETABLES

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower

Enjoy a healthy life like lifestyle in 2017.

Totally live and love life

Is Poor Nutrition an Acceptable Form of Child Abuse

It was a beautiful sunrise that Sunday morning as I sat on the boat headed for Catalina Island.  We were only a few minutes from the shoreline when I noticed a young boy sitting a few rows ahead of me attempting to get the attention of his mother who appeared to be too engrossed with her cell phone to acknowledge him.  I felt my heart fill with compassion as I watched the boy squirm in his seat while he unsuccessfully attempted to get some reaction from his mother.  After a few more attempts the boy gave up and walked over to the side of the boat to peer off into the distance.  As he stood there I couldn't help but notice his extreme weight in proportion to his age and height.  As a Certified  Wellness and Nutrition Consultant I could easily see he was morbidly obese.  I found myself wondering if his mother was as negligent with his nutrition as she was with his need for attention.  Don't get me wrong, there are medical reasons, although rare, for some childhood obesity such as hormonal and or thyroid disease. However, 30% of children in the United States are considered overweight or obese due to over eating and little exercise.  I spent the next week haunted by the images of what his future held in store for him.  I knew from my studies that he was at high risk of developing chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and possibly an early death. I asked myself... 

Is poor nutrition an acceptable form of child abuse?

Definition of Child Abuse:

Child abuse is any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child.
— Webster Disctionary

The purpose of this blog is not to judge or condemn but rather to raise the awareness of the long term effects of making good choices for our children that are "healthy" vs "easy".   I believe as a society we all want what is best for our children.  And what is best is giving them the opportunity to be all they were created to be  and help them live a long healthy life. 

Special Note:  As rich as our country is we fall short when it comes to providing adequate education and ample healthy food supply to those who need it most. It is hard to believe that in 2016 we still have communities without grocery stores or farmer's markets.  In some areas the only food option is junk good provided by the local beer and wine store.   

To learn more about nutrition or how you can help communities in need of healthy food options please contact us. 

30 Day Healthy Salad Challenge

Get Heart-Healthy, Lose Weight, and Rediscover Energy

This is not a Fad Diet but rather a Positive Life Style Challenge to help you start taking steps towards healthy eating.  Studies show that eating the right nutrients result in long term health benefits.  And one of the quickest ways is to start is consuming a diet of life changing nutrients by taking this 30 day #Healthysalad challenge.  Simply add one healthy salad recipe as a main course every day for the next 30 days. 

A daily healthy salad will:

  • provide an abundance of antioxidant vitamins
  • provide heart healthy minerals: calcium, potassium and magnesium
  • provide raw food enzymes for energy and health
  • provide your body with an alkaline rich meal
  • provide you with instant energy
  • help you lose weight

Variations to healthy salad recipes

When choosing your lettuce look for dark leafy greens and avoid iceberg lettuce when possible. Fruits and vegetables that are the brightest and richest in color are known to be the most nutritious and highest in heart healthy antioxidants.

  1. I personally enjoy homemade dressings from balsamic vinegar but if you don’t like balsamic vinegar choose another vinegar of your choice or use fresh lemon juice.  If you have a favorite low fat dressing then go ahead and use that, but check the label for sugar and other fillers such as coloring and additives.
  2.  Low fat cheese is a great addition to salads. Greek feta cheese or goat cheese are healthy choices. The manufacturer ‘Allegro’ also makes some really good low fat cheddar and cream cheeses. They are a little expensive but taste good.
  3.  Remember that studies show that garlic is very good at lowering your blood pressure so use it freely or add the flavor of fresh cilantro and mint. Consider growing your own fresh herbs and adding them to your healthy salad recipes.
  4. Extra virgin olive oil is always the best oil to use in your healthy salad recipes. Even though it is a very stable oil, purchase high quality oil in a dark bottle to prevent rancidity.
  5. Almonds are a rich source of the heart healthy mineral magnesium and are considered by many to be the ‘king of nuts’. Walnuts are also very nutritious. Store in the fridge to maintain freshness. Nuts and seeds are also a superior source of good fat and are a great to your healthy salad recipes.
  6. A high quality yogurt is a good source of calcium and a tasty addition to your healthy salad recipes. Choose low fat yogurt with active cultures for additional health benefits. Avoid the fruit bottom yogurts- you’ll be surprised how much sugar
  7. And finally, remember to eat slowly and enjoy every bite........

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Here are a few salad recipes which have been customized to fit the high blood pressure diet plan: approximately 400 calories each, 50% good carbs, 20% good fat and 30% lean protein.