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HUGS-can they really prevent or help depression? ABSOLUTELY

Hugs…therapeutic…YES!

The average length of a hug between two people is 3 seconds. But the researchers have discovered something fantastic. When a hug lasts 20 seconds, there is a therapeutic effect on the body and mind. The reason is that a sincere embrace produces a hormone called “oxytocin”, also known as the love hormone. This substance has many benefits in our physical and mental health, helps us, among other things, to relax, to feel safe and calm our fears and anxiety. This wonderful tranquilizer is offered free of charge every time we have a person in our arms, who cradled a child, who cherish a dog or a cat, that we are dancing with our partner, the closer we get to someone or simply hold the Shoulders of a friend.

A famous quote by psychotherapist Virginia Satir goes, “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” Whether those exact numbers have been scientifically proven remains to be seen, but there is a great deal of scientific evidence related to the importance of hugs and physical contact. Here are some reasons why we should hug::

1. STIMULATES OXYTOCIN

Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter that acts on the limbic system, the brain’s emotional centre, promoting feelings of contentment, reducing anxiety and stress, and even making mammals monogamous. It is the hormone responsible for us all being here today. You see this little gem is released during childbirth, making our mothers forget about all of the excruciating pain they endured expelling us from their bodies and making them want to still love and spend time with us. New research from the University of California suggests that it has a similarly civilising effect on human males, making them more affectionate and better at forming relationships and social bonding. And it dramatically increased the libido and sexual performance of test subjects. When we hug someone, oxytocin is released into our bodies by our pituitary gland, lowering both our heart rates and our cortisol levels. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for stress, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

2. CULTIVATES PATIENCE

Connections are fostered when people take the time to appreciate and acknowledge one another. A hug is one of the easiest ways to show appreciation and acknowledgement of another person. The world is a busy, hustle-bustle place and we’re constantly rushing to the next task. By slowing down and taking a moment to offer sincere hugs throughout the day, we’re benefiting ourselves, others, and cultivating better patience within ourselves.

3. PREVENTS DISEASE

Affection also has a direct response on the reduction of stress which prevents many diseases. The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine says it has carried out more than 100 studies into touch and found evidence of significant effects, including faster growth in premature babies, reduced pain, decreased autoimmune disease symptoms, lowered glucose levels in children with diabetes, and improved immune systems in people with cancer.

4. STIMULATES THYMUS GLAND

Hugs strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates activates the Solar Plexus Chakra. This stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body’s production of white blood cells, which keep you healthy and disease free.

5. COMMUNICATION WITHOUT SAYING A WORD

Almost 70 percent of communication is nonverbal. The interpretation of body language can be based on a single gesture and hugging is an excellent method of expressing yourself nonverbally to another human being or animal. Not only can they feel the love and care in your embrace, but they can actually be receptive enough to pay it forward to others based on your initiative alone.

6. SELF-ESTEEM

Hugging boosts self-esteem, especially in children. The tactile sense is all-important in infants. A baby recognizes its parents initially by touch. From the time we’re born our family’s touch shows us that we’re loved and special. The associations of self-worth and tactile sensations from our early years are still imbedded in our nervous system as adults. The cuddles we received from our Mom and Dad while growing up remain imprinted at a cellular level, and hugs remind us at a somatic level of that. Hugs, therefore, connect us to our ability to self love.

7. STIMULATES DOPAMINE

Everything everyone does involves protecting and triggering dopamine flow. Low dopamine levels play a role in the neurodegenerative disease Parkinson’s as well as mood disorders such as depression. Dopamine is responsible for giving us that feel-good feeling, and it’s also responsible for motivation! Hugs stimulate brains to release dopamine, the pleasure hormone. Dopamine sensors are the areas that many stimulating drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine target. The presence of a certain kinds of dopamine receptors are also associated with sensation-seeking.

8. STIMULATES SEROTONIN

Reaching out and hugging releases endorphins and serotonin into the blood vessels and the released endorphins and serotonin cause pleasure and negate pain and sadness and decrease the chances of getting heart problems, helps fight excess weight and prolongs life. Even the cuddling of pets has a soothing effect that reduces the stress levels. Hugging for an extended time lifts one’s serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness.

9. PARASYMPATHETIC BALANCE

Hugs balance out the nervous system. The skin contains a network of tiny, egg-shaped pressure centres called Pacinian corpuscles that can sense touch and which are in contact with the brain through the vagus nerve. The galvanic skin response of someone receiving and giving a hug shows a change in skin conductance. The effect in moisture and electricity in the skin suggests a more balanced state in the nervous system – parasympathetic.

Embrace, embrace with your heart.

autoimmune disease

Is Chewing Gum Bad for You? (One Ingredient Is Linked to Gut Destruction)

Disturbing side effects of chewing gum.  Alternative bad breathe ideas and reasons why you should rethink putting gum in your mouth.
Gut Destruction

Chewing gum manufacturers have been turning to an ingredient called titanium dioxide for years. Now used in nanoparticle form, this extremely tiny metal compound is posing some serious emerging health threats. This is probably the scariest reason to avoid gum.

Generally recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration, this compound is often used in nanoparticle form to create a bright white pigmentation in paints, plastics … and chewing gum. (2) It’s also found in tons of other foods, like candies and powdered white sugar (donuts!) and even bread. Although it’s allowed on store shelves and considered safe, scientists are starting to paint a different picture.

In fact, a 2017 study published in the journal NanoImpact shows that nano-titanium oxide ingredients like titanium dioxide can severely impact gut health. Researchers exposed small intestinal cells to a meal’s worth of nanoparticles over four hours (acute exposure) or three meal’s worth over five days (chronic exposure). What they found is a bit shocking.

Chronic exposure to titanium dioxide nanoparticles in the diet:

Weakened the intestinal barrier
Slowed down metabolism
Triggered inflammation
Weakened the gut’s defense against pathogens

Blocked nutrient absorption of key nutrients like iron, zinc and fatty acids
The nanoparticles actually blunted the effectiveness of the small intestines’ microvilli. Microvilli are tiny projections that jut off of small intestinal cells and work to absorb nutrients our bodies need to survive. (3)

People also face this type of titanium dioxide exposure through toothpaste, and it’s even sometimes used to created a smoother texture in chocolates and to create a brighter appearance in skim milk.

In 2012, Arizona State University found that titanium dioxide nanoparticles turned up in five percent of products tested, including Twinkies and mayonnaise samples. Under public pressure, Dunkin Donuts stopped using nano-titanium dioxide in its donuts’ powdered sugar in 2015.

“To avoid foods rich in titanium oxide nanoparticles you should avoid processed foods, and especially candy. That is where you see a lot of nanoparticles,” — Gretchen Mahler, PhD, study co-author and assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Binghamton University, State University of New York. (4)

Beyond that, many chewing gum products contain emulsifiers to retain flavor and keep gum from sticking to your teeth. (5) The trouble is, many emulsifiers act almost like detergent in your digestive tract, throwing off the natural balance of your gut flora. In fact, research in lab animals suggests certain emulsifiers used as food additives could contribute to colon cancer development.

Is Chewing Gum Bad? More Reasons to Stop

Migraines

For children and adolescents dealing with vicious migraines and tension headaches, the natural solution could be right under their noses: Stop chewing gum. A small study published in Pediatric Neurology discovered that nixing gum led to significant improvements in 26 out of 30 adolescents in the study. Amazingly, 19 of them experienced complete headache resolution. No pills, no treatments — they just stopped chewing gum. (6)

If you’re trying to figure out how to get rid of a migraine naturally, your gum habit is a great place to start. In tweens and teens, common proven headache triggers include stress, lack of sleep, hot weather, video games, noise, sunlight, smoking, skipping meals and menstruation. Now we can add gum to the list. Researchers aren’t sure if it’s the artificial sweeteners or a TMJ issue related to gum and headaches, but the good news is we can stop many headaches with this simple step. (7)

Sinister Sweeteners

You’d expect fake sweeteners like aspartame in diet soda, but chewing gum? Come on! Different chewing gum companies turn to ingredients like aspartame, sorbitol, high-fructose corn syrup, acesulfame K, sucrolose and xylitol. Some actually use multiple fake sweeteners in a single gum product.

These ingredients are linked to serious health issues like tooth decay, liver fat buildup, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, leukemia, lymphoma, kidney tumors and more. Acesulfame potassium, also known as acesulfame K, is among the most common artificial sweeteners detected in breast milk. That’s troubling, since the ingredient is also linked to thyroid dysfunction. Sucralose harms the gut, throwing off healthy levels of enzymes and disrupting the microbiome. (8)

While xylitol and sorbitol may seem more natural, these processed sugar alcohols aren’t absorbed well by the body and cause an allergic reaction for those who have a sensitivity to it. And then there are the digestive sugar alcohol and xylitol side effects, including bloating, gas, cramping and diarrhea. And get this: Its laxative effect is so pronounced that it’s actually part of the chemical makeup for many over-the-counter laxatives.

Special note to dog owners: Xylitol and other sugar alcohol-based sweeteners are life-threatening toxins to dogs. Be mindful of breath mints, candies, sugar-free gum, frozen desserts and other foods when your pets are around. (9)

Better Bad-Breath Fighters & Gum Alternatives

Bad breath is a good excuse to reach for gum, but as you can see, the side effects are bad news, especially for your gut. Luckily, there are better ways to cope. After ruling out potential underlying issues for bad breath, you can turn to these things to naturally improve your breath:

Eat parsley.
Drink enough water, especially tap into the benefits of lemon water.
Learn how to safely tap into peppermint oil benefits.(Not recommended for young children.)
Learn about oil pulling with coconut oil.
Avoid grains and added sugars.
Final Thoughts on ‘Is Chewing Gum Bad for You?’
American played a huge role in spreading the popularity of chewing gum all around the world.
However, today’s ingredients include fake dyes and flavors. But perhaps most concerning is nanoparticle-sized titanium dioxide, an ingredient used in everything from gum, candy and bread to paint and plastics.
Nano-titanium dioxide helps create a vibrant white color, but scientists now show that it can impact small intestinal cells in a way that blocks absorption of key nutrients, slows the metabolism, increases inflammation and weakens the gut’s ability to protect against dangerous pathogens.
Chewing gum is also linked to migraines and tension headaches in children and adolescents.
There are still some chewing gum companies that rely on old-fashioned, real-food ingredients, but they are sometimes harder to come by.

Source: www.draxe.com

Turmeric Curcumin

Turmeric Curcumin 1000mg
Patient One MediNutritionals
60 capsules $21.25

Promotes normal inflammatory response while also supporting joint, immune, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular function
Promotes immune system function
* Supports brain and joint health
* Promotes healthy liver, gall bladder and digestive function
* Free radical scavenging properties
* Supports cardiovascular function
* Black pepper included for enhanced absorption
Unique Properties
Curcumin, a polyphenol nutrient found in the spice turmeric (Curcuma longa), has beneficial effects for nearly every organ system in the body. Used for its medicinal effects for centuries and extensively studied, Curcumin has been shown to help maintain the bodys normal inflammatory response while also supporting joint, liver, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular function. To enhance the normally poor bioavailability of curcumin, our potent formula also contains black pepper extract that promotes rapid absorption of nutrients from the gastrointestinal tract.
Key Ingredients
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Patient One Turmeric Curcumin combines the benefits of both whole Turmeric root and Turmeric extract (standardized to 95% curcuminoids), along with black pepper extract for enhanced absorption.
Curcumin is the orange pigment in turmeric (the primary ingredient in curry) and has been studied for its effective therapeutic outcomes acting as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, anticoagulant, immuno-modulatory activities and even in wound healing. Research suggests support for joint, eye, GI tract, liver, prostate and nerve health.

Curcumin supports production of B and T cells which is useful for promoting proper immune function. It also supports production of bile and enzymes that digest sugars and fats. This helps to maintain cholesterol levels within normal range. Turmeric supports intestinal flora and the mucus membranes of the body, including those of the digestive tract. As such, it may be beneficial after a course of antibiotics and for those with unbalanced intestinal flora. It also helps protect the stomach against excess acid and is used for its soothing effect on the mucosa of the gut.
Black Pepper Extract (as BioPerine®)
It has been found that the therapeutic effectiveness of curcumin is often limited due to its poor absorption from the GI tract. When taken orally only traces appear in the blood, whereas most of the dose is excreted though the feces. Our formula includes BioPerine®, a patented extract derived from the common black pepper fruit that contains the alkaloid piperine. Black pepper has been shown to enhance the bioavailability and promote absorption of curcumin both in pre-clinical studies and in studies on human volunteers.
Research
* Several studies have illustrated curcumins hepatoprotective effects, leading researchers to suggest its use in protecting the liver from exogenous insults from environmental toxins.
Servings Per Container: 60
Take 1 capsule daily, preferably with a meal, or as directed by a qualified healthcare professional.
Serving Size: 1 capsule
Amount Per Serving
Turmeric Complex Proprietary Blend … 1000mg
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) (root) and Turmeric Extract (Curcuma longa) (root) (Standardized to contain 95% Curcuminoids) 
BioPerine® Black Pepper Extract … 5mg
(Piper nigrum) (fruit) (Standardized to contain 95% piperine)
Other Ingredients: vegetable cellulose (capsule), rice powder, l-leucine
This product is free of milk, egg, fish, peanuts, crustacean shellfish (lobster, crab, shrimp), soybeans, tree nuts, wheat, yeast, gluten, corn, sugar, and artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors and preservatives. This product is free of ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
BioPerine® is a registered trademark and patented product of Sabinsa Corporation

References
* Shoba G, Joy D, Joseph T, et al. Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers. Planta Med 1998 May;64(4):353-56. [PMID: 9619120]
* Jagetia GC, Aggarwal BB. “Spicing up” of the immune system by curcumin. J Clin Immunol. 2007 Jan;27(1):19-35. [PMID: 17211725]
* Funk JL, Oyarzo JN, Frye JB, et al. Turmeric extracts containing curcuminoids prevent experimental rheumatoid arthritis. J Nat Prod. 2006 Mar;69(3):351-55. [PMID: 16562833]
* Jurenka JS. Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research. Altern Med Rev. 2009 Jun;14(2):141-53. [PMID: 19594223]
* Ng T, et al. Am J Epidemiol. 2006;164:898-906.
* Sun AY, Wang Q, Simonyi A, et al. Botanical phenolics and brain health. Neuromolecular Med. 2008;10(4):259-74. [PMID: 19191039]
* Neelofar K, Shreaz S, Rimple B, et al. Curcumin as a promising anticandidal of clinical interest. Can J Microbiol. 2011 Mar;57(3):204-10. [PMID: 21358761]
* Epstein J, Docena G, MacDonald TT, et al. Curcumin suppresses p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase activation, reduces IL-1beta and matrix metalloproteinase-3 and enhances IL-10 in the mucosa of children and adults with inflammatory bowel disease. Br J Nutr. 2010 Mar;103(6):824-32. [PMID: 19878610]
* Ukil A, Maity S, Karmakar S, et al. Curcumin, the major component of food flavour turmeric, reduces mucosal injury in trinitrobenzene sulphonic acid-induced colitis. Br J Pharmacol. 2003 May;139(2):209-18. [PMID: 12770926]
* Holt PR, Katz S, Kirshoff R. Curcumin therapy in inflammatory bowel disease: a pilot study. Dig Dis Sci. 2005 Nov;50(11):2191-93. [PMID:16240238]
* Lal B, Kapoor AK, Asthana OP, et al. Efficacy of curcumin in the management of chronic anterior uveitis. Phytother Res. 1999 Jun;13(4):318-22. [PMID: 10404539]
* Xie L, Li XK, Takahara S. Curcumin has bright prospects for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Int Immunopharmacol . 2011 Mar;11(3):323-30. [20828641]
* Martins CV, da Silva DL, Neres AT, et al. Curcumin as a promising antifungal of clinical interest. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2009 Feb;63(2):337-39. [PMID: 19038979]
* Mythri RB, Harish G, Dubey SK, et al. Glutamoyl diester of the dietary polyphenol curcumin offers improved protection against peroxynitrite-mediated nitrosative stress and damage of brain mitochondria in vitro: implications for Parkinsons disease. Mol Cell Biochem. 2011 Jan;347(1-2):135-43. [PMID: 20972609]
* Ravindran J, Prasad S, Aggarwal BB. Curcumin and cancer cells: how many ways can curry kill tumor cells selectively? AAPS J . 2009 Sep;11(3):495-510. [PMID: 9619120]
* Goel A, Aggarwal BB. Curcumin, the golden spice from Indian saffron, is a chemosensitizer and radiosensitizer for tumors and chemoprotector and radioprotector for normal organs. Nutr Cancer. 2010 Oct;62(7):919-30. [PMID: 20924967]
* Choi H, Chun YS, Shin YJ, et al. Curcumin attenuates cytochrome P450 induction in response to 2, 3, 7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin by ROS- dependently degrading AhR and ARNT. Cancer Sci. 2008 Dec;99(12):2518-24. [PMID: 19018768]
* Zhang, Dong Wei, Chuang Fang Huang, Chang Fu Yang, Ren Zuo Liu, Ji Feng Wang, Jian Zhao Niu, and Dieter Bromme. “Antifibrotic Effects of Curcumin Are Associated with over Expression of Cathespins K and L in Bleomycin Treated Mice and Human Fibroblasts.” Respiratory Research. Respiratory Research, 2011.
* Davis, J. Mark. “Curcumin Effects on Inflammation and Performance Recovery following Eccentric Exercise-induced Muscle Damage.” Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. American Physiological Society, 2007.
* Karlstetter, Marcus, Elena Lippe, Yana Walczak, Chistoph Moehle, Alexander Aslanidis, Myriam Mirza, and Thomas Langmann. “Curcumin Is a Potent Modulator of Microglial Gene Expression and Migration.” Journal of Neuroinflammation. Journal of Neuroinflammation, 2011.
Warnings
If pregnant, nursing, have gall stones or gall bladder disease, consult your healthcare practitioner before taking this product. Individuals taking medication, especially blood thinners or cancer treatment, should discuss potential interactions with their healthcare practitioner. Discontinue use and consult doctor if any adverse reactions occur.

Herb Vs. Spices

Herb Vs. Spices
The difference between the two is where they are obtained from a plant.

Herbs come from the leafy and green part of the plant.
Spices are parts of the plant other than the leafy bit such as the root, stem, bulb, bark or seeds.

We often hear the term “herbs and spices”. As any amateur chef knows, herbs and spices are vital ingredients in many dishes. They add flavor, aroma, color, texture and even nutrients.

Both spices and herbs are parts of plants (fresh or dried) that are used to enhance the flavor of foods. They’ve also been known to preserve foods, cure illness and enhance cosmetics.

Herbs are usually grown in more temperate areas than spices and have great medicinal value and are also used in the preparation of cosmetic products.

Spices are usually dried before being used to season foods. Unlike herbs, they are grown in more tropical countries. They’ve also been known to preserve foods and some have medicinal value, such as turmeric with its anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal properties.

Despite the above clarification, according to the American Spice Trade Association, spices are defined as “any dried plant product used primarily for seasoning purposes”. This really broadens the definition of spices, allowing it to include herbs, dehydrated veggies, spice blends and spice seeds.

Here are a few example of herbs and spices, along with their reported nutritional/health benefits.

Spice Nutrition
Cinnamon
Lowers blood sugar levels, LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides especially in people with type 2 diabetes

Ginger
Can stop nausea and may also relieve heartburn

Cloves
Have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiseptic properties; they are known for relieving flatulence and can actually help promote good digestion as well as metabolism

Chili
Contains capsaicin which puts the heat in chilies, may lower the risk of skin and colon cancers, shown to suppress appetite and boost metabolism

Mustard seeds
Contain phytonutrient compounds that protect against cancers of the gastrointestinal tract; believed to reduce the severity of asthma

Herb Nutrition
Basil
Rich in Vitamin A and K. Assists with combatting bowel inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis

Oregano
Assists with inflammation

Mint
Helps with digestion and asthma

Parsley
Protects against rheumatoid arthritis, antioxidant-rich, fights cancer, high in vitamin C and iron.

Thyme
Contains the oil, thymol, especially helpful for chest and respiratory problems, also acts as an antiseptic and disinfectant.

Amino Acids-Benefits & Facts

Purium Super Amino 23

100% Vegetarian

Vegan Friendly

Superior for Athletes

Super Amino 23 is pre-digested 100% vegetarian and vegan protein that has been featured in the Physician`s Desk Reference* and is comprised of non-soy legumes.

Benefits:
Aids in normalizing protein synthesis
Assists with the stabilization or recovery of muscle strength, endurance, and volume
Helps keep body tissues firm
Helps minimize body fat
May support a weight loss regimen

Interesting Facts:
Super Amino 23 is PREDIGESTED protein and it is 400% to 500% more nutritionally effective than isolates from whey casein and safer than soy. “Pre-digested” means Super Amino 23 does not enter the intestines and is absorbed into the lymph system; thus, Super Amino 23 produces no fecal residue. Because it is pre-digested, it is available to the body within 23 minutes of ingestion.

Super Amino 23 has 99% NNU or Net Nitrogen Utilization, which is why there is no burden on your kidneys or liver like other proteins. This is because the liver and kidneys do not have to clear catabolic waste that comes with the digestion of common dietary protein.

Super Amino 23 has over 30 clinical studies published on its uses and is listed in the Physician`s Desk Reference.

Super Amino 23 is protected by 27 international patents and available in North America. (US Patent no. 5,132,113)
There have been 8 years of field trials on the Super Amino 23
18 years clinical trials: Super Amino 23 was first used for patients with stomach removed because of cancer. Then, elderly patients were given it for nutrition and recovery of lean tissue. Now, the terminally ill are also given Super Amino 23 to improve their quality of life.

Medical doctors use Super Amino 23 to maximize protein utilization and minimize the negative effects of protein diets.
Olympic athletes and fitness buffs around the world use the Super Amino 23.

Super Amino 23 is also used by the Vatican (through its Caritas Foundation) to treat malnutrition & the effects of starvation in developing countries.

Super Amino 23 is an all-natural way to build muscle mass, it also maximizes strength & endurance, minimizes body fat, and reduces recovery time.

The Super Amino 23 formulation can be used for different purposes; as nutrition for people who need more and better protein, as part of a weight control program, for strength building, and as a muscle mass enhancement.

Chocolate Cooking Class info & Recipes

Cooking Class 2.12.2017
Chocolate Info

Cacao can fuel energy and mood. It is an excellent source of fiber good source of protein and iron. It is high in antioxidants and polyphenols. A half half a cup of raw organic cocoa powder has 110 cal, 2 g of fat 16 carbohydrates, 10 of which is dietary fiber. It contains 8 g of protein and will give you 10% of the iron you need for your daily requirements. It is considered a stimulant and should be eaten occasionally not every day.

Cocoa beans are the fermented seeds of the cacao tree. The fruit of the cocoa tree is a pod full of sweet pulp enfolding a cluster of about 20-40 cacao seeds. Cocoa refers to the low-fat constituent of the finely ground cacao beans. These ground beans, known as cocoa liquor or cocoa mass, also contains cocoa butter which is a non-dairy, naturally occurring fat. Cocoa butter is a mixture of monounsaturated fats like oleic acid and saturated fats, namely stearic acid and palmitic acid. About 50-60% of cocoa liquor consists of cocoa butter.

Cacao bark, butter and flowers have also been valued since ancient times for treating various diseases like skin ailments, bowel malfunction and wounds. Cocoa has anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant qualities. Health benefits include relief from high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity, constipation, diabetes, bronchial asthma, cancer, Chronic fatigue syndrome and various neurodegenerative diseases. It helps to improve cardiovascular health and brain health. It also helps in treating copper deficiency.

Commercially available chocolates and cocoa-products may not be rich in the original beneficial flavonols since their properties get destroyed by over-processing and heat. In order to obtain the benefits of cocoa, it is important to consume the correct source of cocoa. Milk/dairy blocks the absorption of the antioxidants in chocolate, so be sure to check the labels!

Antioxidant Capacity: Studies have shown it is evident that cocoa exhibits higher antioxidant activity than against green and black tea, and red wine. Antioxidants helps to neutralize the oxygen-based free radicals that are present in the body. Cacao is abundant in phenolic phytochemicals and possesses a high amount of flavonoids as well.

Of course, everything in moderation!

 

 

Jodi’s Sweet Potato Brownies
Grain Free, Paleo, GF, Dairy free
Happily serves 12

ALL ORGANIC INGREDIENTS

2 medium Sweet Potatoes
14 Medjool Dates
1 1/2 Cups Quinoa or Almond Flour
4 TBSP Raw CACAO Powder
3 TBSP maple Syrup (Grade B) or Coconut netar
Pinch of sea salt

Peel Sweet Potatoes. Slice/cut and steam for about 20 mins until soft.
The smaller the pieces, the faster it will cook.

Add Sweet Potatoes and Dates to food processor, blend until a creamy smooth texture.
Mix all other ingredients in a bowl, then add cream mixture. Stir well.
Place on Parchment paper lined baking dish and bake for 20-30 mins on 350 until the toothpick comes out dry.
Allow to cool 10 mins for the brownies to gel together, very important step!!

Tip: If you don’t use raw cacao powder, you cause conventional cocoa powder but you will need to double the quantity.

 

 

Chocolate Nut Butter Cookies
GF, Refined Sugar Free
Happily serves 12

ALL ORGANIC INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Chocolate Peanut or Sunflower butter
3/4 Cup Coconut sugar
1 egg

Combine all ingredients. Bake on 350 for 7-8 mins.
If you are not using an already flavored nut butter, you can use a regular nut butter and ad 1/4 cup raw cacao
Chocolate Iced Coffee Protein Shake
Dairy Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free
Happily serves 1

ALL ORGANIC INGREDIENTS

2 TBSP Raw Cacao powder
2 TBSP Collagen Powder
2 oz Coconut milk
2 oz Cold brew (optional)
4-6 oz Chai Tea or water
Dash of cinnamon
Stevia Powder if desired sweeter
Ice

Blend all ingredients in bullet/blender, transfer to shaker bottle.

Obesity Facts

Food for thought as you prepare for the super bowl today? The alarming rates of Obesity need to published and talked about.  Everyone wants to “live in the moment” But we are stealing precious moments due to our repeated poor food choices.  If you want to be around to outlive your kids, and you want to be the fun mom or fun grandparent that can keep up with the kids we need to educate ourselves and start making better choices to make that happen.

You can do it.  We can do it, and I can help!

Obesity facts:

Today, about 75% of US men and 67% of US women are either overweight or obese. Between 1988 and 1994, 63% of men and 55% of US women were overweight or obese.

The NHANES says that about 35% of men and 37% of women are obese, 40% of men and 30% of women are overweight. 2/3 of US adults are at a unhealthy weight.

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that Americans have been gaining weight since the 1960’s. The average US woman weighs about 166 pounds compared to 140 in 1960. 166 was the average for a man in 1960.
Our children are not expected to outlive us. Obesity is one of the biggest contributors to this shortened life expectancy, it is the root of a lot of chronic health conditions.

Our environment contributes in some of the following ways:
Overuse of antibiotics in food production and medicine
Growth-enhancing drugs used in food animals
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals and pesticides
Social media centered around junk food and artificial sweeteners.
Highly processed genetically modified (GM) foods are full of ingredients that contribute to metabolic dysfunction and weight gain/obesity.

The McKinsey Global Institute says the annual global cost of obesity is now $2 trillion. (For comparison, alcoholism costs are $1.4 trillion annually, road accidents cost $700 billion, and unsafe sex costs $300 billion)  The McKinsey report estimates that nearly 1/2 of the world’s adult population will be overweight or obese by 2030.

In the US, 8 obesity related diseases account for 75% of healthcare costs. These include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia, cancer, Polycystic ovarian syndrome, hypertension, lipid problems, NAFLD (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease).

The National Health Expenditure Accounts (NHEA) are the official estimates of total health care spending in the US. In 1960, the NHEA measures annual U.S. expenditures for health care goods and services, public health activities, government administration, the net cost of health insurance, and investment related to health care.
U.S. health care spending in 2014 reached $3.0 trillion or $9,523 per person.
The nation’s Gross Domestic Product accounted for 17.5% of health care costs.

cms.gov/research-statistics-data-and-systems/statistics-trends-and-reports/nationalhealthexpenddata/nationalhealthaccountshistorical.html
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=189100
http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/calls/
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/07/08/increasing-us-adult-weight.aspx
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=189100
CDC: Average American Woman Now Weighs As Much As 1960s US Man
http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2323411

Struggling with Depression??

Do you struggle with Depression or know someone who does? Tired of being pushed the drug route? Want to heal your body naturally?  Try a few of these herbs.  You  can take them in combinations in tea form or supplement form.  If you need help deciphering what you think you need first, let me help you sort it out before you spend extra money trying to experiement on your own.

Herbs for depression
Rhodiola rosea
Rhodiola rosea (Crassulaceae) is a perennial plant that grows in cold, alpine regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Its roots contain a sap that has long been used to improve physical and mental endurance, relieve symptoms of anxiety and stress, and even lift mood and alleviate depression symptoms. This is why it is considered to be an adaptogen, a natural substance that helps normalize the body’s response to stress, and maintain optimal homeostasis by balancing the immune system and endocrine hormones (http://cms.herbalgram.org/herbclip/342/review45139.html).

Numerous scientific studies, including research conducted and compiled by Dr. Zakir Ramazanov, a former Soviet soldier-turned-doctor, has revealed that rhodiola rosea can be safely used to reduce recovery time after workouts, improve attention span and memory, improve physical fitness and performance, enhance psychomotor function, and alleviate depression and anxiety (http://rhodiolarosea.org/rhodiola-benefits/).
100mg of Rhodila a day (Dr.Weil.com)

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035463_depression_herbs_remedies.html#ixzz3zjQgnxzR

St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum), a plant native to temperate and subtropical regions of the world, has long been used in many cultures to treat depression. Numerous research studies, including a 2008 study published as part of the Cochrane Systematic Review, have found that St. John’s Wort is at least as effective as standard antidepressant drugs at treating mild to moderate depressive disorders, but with few potentially harmful side effects (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081007192435.htm).

When taken as a whole extract, St. John’s Wort has also been shown to help naturally alleviate sleep disorders, promote relaxation, and boost energy levels in such a way that avoids the “spikes” and “plunges” typically associated with consumption of caffeine and other stimulants. St. John’s Wort is considered to be a safe, inexpensive herbal remedy that can help promote improved overall mental health.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035463_depression_herbs_remedies.html#ixzz3zjSFGRPF

Camu Camu
Camu Camu (Myrciaria dubia) is a tropical rainforest plant whose berries have the highest known levels of natural vitamin C in the world. The plant’s fruit, which is naturally tangy and sweet, contains a host of nutrients, including vitamin C, that fight the negative effects of the herpes virus, promote immune health, alleviate inflammation, and fight bacteria and viruses. Camu Camu also has adaptogenic properties that normalize bodily processes during stress, and help relieve symptoms of depression.

In his Clinician’s Handbook of Natural Healing, Dr. Gary Null, Ph.D., critically-acclaimed nutritionist and researcher, lists Camu Camu as the second most potent known plant for containing natural antidepressant compounds — and best of all, eating camu camu has absolutely no know negative side effects
Therapeutic Ranges for Vit C falls between 3000-5000mg day

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035463_depression_herbs_remedies.html#ixzz3zjSTNQ4d

Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), an Indian plant that has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine, contains powerful adaptogenic compounds that are known to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. The plant is also known to help fight degenerative brain conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells.

Several studies, including one published in the journal Phytomedicine back in 2000, have found that ashwagandha works as well as, or better than, antidepressant drugs at relieving anxiety and treating depression symptoms. And ashwagandha naturally prevents stress-induced free radical damage without causing harmful side effects (http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2006/jun2006_report_ashwa_01.htm).
Ashwaganda can be up to 6000mg a day, suggesting to be taken in 3 doses divided.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035463_depression_herbs_remedies.html#ixzz3zjSWnAz2

Maca
Maca (Lepidium meyenii), also known as “Peruvian ginseng,” is a root vegetable that is packed with amino acids, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Like the other herbs mentioned, it has long been used in traditional medicine to increase energy and stamina, enhance libido, and boost the immune, adrenal, and endocrine systems.

In a 2008 study published in the journal Menopause, researchers found that maca helps reduce anxiety and depression symptoms in women with menopause (http://drtorihudson.com). And in a 2006 study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers found that maca clearly exhibits general antidepressant activity in all people when consumed.
Maca can be 500-2000mg a day. (macaextract.net)
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035463_depression_herbs_remedies.html#ixzz3zjSfMG5m

Purium Super Amino 23

organic and natural

Purium Super Amino 23

Super Amino 23 is pre-digested 100% vegetarian protein that has been featured in the Physician`s Desk Reference* puriumand is comprised of non-soy legumes.

Benefits:

Aids in normalizing protein synthesis

Assists with the stabilization or recovery of muscle strength, endurance, and volume

Helps keep body tissues firm

Helps minimize body fat

May support a weight loss regimen

Interesting Facts:

Super Amino 23 is PREDIGESTED protein and it is 400% to 500% more nutritionally effective than isolates from whey casein and safer than soy. “Pre-digested” means Super Amino 23 does not enter the intestines and is absorbed into the lymph system; thus, Super Amino 23 produces no fecal residue. Because it is pre-digested, it is available to the body within 23 minutes of ingestion.

Super Amino 23 has 99% NNU or Net Nitrogen Utilization, which is why there is no burden on your kidneys or liver like other proteins. This is because the liver and kidneys do not have to clear catabolic waste that comes with the digestion of common dietary protein.

Super Amino 23 has over 30 clinical studies published on its uses and is listed in the Physician`s Desk Reference.

Super Amino 23 is protected by 27 international patents and available in North America. (US Patent no. 5,132,113)

There have been 8 years of field trials on the Super Amino 23

18 years clinical trials: Super Amino 23 was first used for patients with stomach removed because of cancer. Then, elderly patients were given it for nutrition and recovery of lean tissue. Now, the terminally ill are also given Super Amino 23 to improve their quality of life.

Medical doctors use Super Amino 23 to maximize protein utilization and minimize the negative effects of protein diets.

Olympic athletes and fitness buffs around the world use the Super Amino 23.

Super Amino 23 is also used by the Vatican (through its Caritas Foundation) to treat malnutrition & the effects of starvation in developing countries.

Super Amino 23 is an all-natural way to build muscle mass, it also maximizes strength & endurance, minimizes body fat, and reduces recovery time.

The Super Amino 23 formulation can be used for different purposes; as nutrition for people who need more and better protein, as part of a weight control program, for strength building, and as a muscle mass enhancement.ino

 

Amino Acid Articles

Rutabaga Sweet Potato Soup Recipe

rutabaga

Rutabaga Sweet Potato Soup

Vegan, Gluten Free

Happily Serves 4

ALL ORGANIC INGREDIENTS

1 butternut squash, cut in half

3 garlic cloves

2 cups rutabaga, peeled and diced

2 cups sweet potato, peeled and diced

Coconut Oil

1 tsp. Sea salt

½ tsp pepper

1 Yellow onion, chopped

¾ Cup soaked cashews

2½ Cups Coconut milk

2 Cups vegetable or chicken broth

½ tsp nutmeg

1 tsp thyme

Directions

Preheat oven to 400º .

Rub the squash with oil and place cut-side down on a baking sheet.

Cut garlic and let sit 5-10 mins.

Coat the rutabaga and sweet potato in oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Add both to baking sheet. Bake for 50-60 minutes, rotate half way through.

Sauté onion and garlic until soft and caramelized.

Remove roasted veggies from oven and blend all of the above in a food processor until smooth. The nuts may remain grainy, but that’s okay. You can add water to reach desired consistency.

Rutabagas Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 3.5 ounces (100 grams), raw

Calories 39

Calories from fat 2

Total fat 0 g 0%

Saturated fat 0 g 0%

Trans fat

Cholesterol 0 mg 0%

Sodium 20 mg 1%

Total Carbohydrate 9 g 3%

Dietary Fiber 2 g 7%

Sugar 6 g

Protein 1 g

Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 31%  Calcium 5% Iron 3%

Health Benefits of Rutabagas

All crucifers (brassicas or cole crops) are high in antioxidant and anti-cancer compounds. The anti-cancer properties of these vegetables are so well established that the American Cancer Society recommends that Americans increase their intake of cruciferous vegetables.

Rutabaga’s most significant nutrient comes from vitamin C. One cup contains 53% of the daily recommended value, providing antioxidants and immune system-supporting functions that help protect the cells from free radical damage. Although rutabagas provide only 5% of the iron needed for healthy blood on a daily basis, vitamin C enhances its absorption, while helping to form both collagen and the thyroid hormone thyroxine, which protect cells against damage, encourage wounds to heal, fight infections, and promote healthy bones, teeth, gums, and blood vessels.

Beta-carotene-rich rutabagas are also an excellent source of potassium and manganese (for energy), and a good source of fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6 (helps support the nervous system), calcium (for strong bones), magnesium (helps absorb calcium and combat stress), and phosphorus (helps metabolize proteins and sugars).