The Healthy Truth About Chocolate: It’s Good for You!

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Good Chocolate is Good for You

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and that gets everyone thinking about one of my all time favorite things: chocolate! We talked all about many of the health benefits of chocolate in this blog post, Get Your Chocolate Fix! But, recently, a new study suggests that eating chocolate may make you smarter. Check out this article on PsyBlog, a website dedicated to figuring out how the mind works and founded by psychologist and author Dr. Jeremy Dean. In a nutshell, the study followed over 1000 people for over 30 years and found that people who regularly ate chocolate performed better on tests of reasoning and attention as well as tests of working memory. Not like I need another reason to eat chocolate, but, woohoo!

Yummy Sugar-Free Chocolate Candy Recipespaleo_sugar-free_chocolate_recipes

Now, most chocolate isn’t good if you are following a Paleo Diet, Primal Diet or any diet that eliminates white, processed sugar. But, I’ve been making these fantastic Paleo-friendly chocolate delights the past few months – since my last 21 Day Detox in November. I first introduced them to my extended family on Thanksgiving and they’ve been a big hit ever since. I always have a batch of one of these recipes in the fridge at any given time. Right now it’s the fruit and nut clusters. OK, so now I have to go get one because just talking about them makes me want one – or three!

Paleo Almond Joy Bars

inspired by detoxinista.com
Crust:
1 cup almond meal ( fine ground almond flour is ok, but rough almond meal works better)
1 1/2 Tbs maple syrup
1 Tbs organic unrefined coconut oil (more solid the better)
1/4 tsp pure almond extract
pinch of sea salt
Coconut Filling:
1 cup shredded unsweetened organic coconut
3 Tbs pure maple syrup
2 Tbs organic unrefined coconut oil
1 tsp Bovine Gelatin dissolved in 2 tbs hot water
1/3 cup halved raw organic almonds or organic Brazil nuts (optional)
Chocolate Topping:
1/4 cup organic cocoa powder
1/4 cup melted coconut oil (substitute half with organic cocoa butter for firmer chocolate)
2 Tbs organic maple syrup
6 drops stevia liquid (optional)
pinch of  sea salt

Instructions:
Before starting, get the cocoa butter melting if you are using it, see step 9.
1) In a glass bowl, add almond meal, maple syrup, almond extract and salt.
2) In a small glass dish, melt coconut oil in the microwave for 15 to 30 seconds or on the stove in a double boiler. Add to other ingredients and mix well.
3) Line a small glass pyrex dish (7.5 x 5.25 x 1.75) or bread pan with parchment paper. Dump the crust mix into the dish, spread it out and press it firmly into the bottom of the dish with a fork. Put in freezer to set while you make the coconut filling.
4) I always just use the same glass bowl for this next part to save on dish washing. Add the shredded coconut and maple syrup to the bowl. Melt the coconut oil as before and add to the bowl.
5) In a very small glass or mug, dissolve the Bovine Gelatin into the 2 Tbs hot water. Use hot water so it dissolves completely and mixes better with the rest of the filling. Add to filling and mix well.
6) Remove crust from freezer and pour filling on top. Spread out and again press it firmly into the bottom of the dish with a fork.
7) If you are adding the nuts, cut each in half and spread on top of the coconut filling. Press into the filling with a fork. You want them to be halfway in and halfway out of the coconut layer. Return to freezer while you make the chocolate topping.
8) I again use the same bowl, although if you mind tiny bits of coconut in your chocolate layer, you may want to use a clean bowl. Add the cocoa powder and maple syrup to the bowl.
9) I originally made this recipe using only coconut oil for the chocolate topping, but found it to be a little on the soft side. So, I’ve been making it with 2 Tbs coconut oil and 2 Tbs melted organic cocoa butter. To melt the cocoa butter, grab a deep frying pan or wok and add about an inch or so of hot water, set the heat on low to warm the water further, but don’t boil it. Place the cocoa butter chunks in a small glass dish or mug and place that in the frying pan. Start this early because it takes a while to melt. Once the cocoa butter is melted, add the coconut oil directly to it, it will melt in the hot oil. You don’t want the coconut oil to be super melted or the chocolate comes super thin. If the coconut oil doesn’t mix enough, then zap it in the microwave for a few seconds to melt it a bit more. Whisk till well blended.
10) Add oils to the bowl and whisk to mix well. Don’t forget to add salt to taste – it adds a really nice touch to this recipe. Add stevia to taste if you like it sweeter.
11) Remove dish from freezer. Use a small spatula to pour chocolate onto the top and spread evenly. Return to freezer to set for at least 15 minutes.
12) Remove from freezer. Remove from dish by pulling the parchment paper up and out of the dish. Pull sides of parchment paper down and place the whole block on a cutting board. I cut it in half the long way and then I usually make 6 cuts the short way for a total of 14 pieces. Which immediately turns into 13 pieces or fewer depending on how many people are standing there waiting for me to finish. Store left-over candies ( if you have any) in the fridge.

Healthy Peanut Butter Cup Bars

This can be made Paleo or primal by using any other nut butter instead of peanut butter.

inspired by detoxinista.com
Both Chocolate Layers (make two batches separately):
1/4 cup organic cocoa powder
1/4 cup organic unrefined coconut oil or softened grass- fed butter (substitute half with organic cocoa butter for firmer chocolate)
2 Tbs organic maple syrup
6 drops stevia liquid (optional)
pinch of salt
Peanut Butter Filling:
Use any other nut butter for a Primal version.
1/2 cup crunchy natural organic peanut butter (the kind with no sugar or oils added)
2 1/2 Tbs pure maple syrup
1 Tbs  coconut oil or softened grass-fed butter
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup organic nuts (optional)

Instructions:

1) I originally made this recipe using only coconut oil for the chocolate topping, but found it to be a little on the soft side and it added a mild coconut flavor that I didn’t really like with the peanut butter flavor. So, I’ve been making it with 2 Tbs grass-fed butter and 2 Tbs melted organic cocoa butter. To melt the cocoa butter, grab a deep frying pan or wok and add about an inch or so of hot water, set the heat on low to warm the water further, but don’t boil it. Place the cocoa butter chunks in a small glass dish or mug and place that in the frying pan. Start this early because it takes a while to melt. Melt enough for both layers of chocolate.
2) Line a small glass pyrex dish (7.5 x 5.25 x 1.75) or bread pan with parchment paper.
3) Add the cocoa powder and maple syrup to a glass bowl. Once the cocoa butter is melted, add the butter or coconut oil directly to it, it will melt in the hot oil. You don’t want the butter or coconut oil to be super melted or the chocolate comes out thin. If the oils are starting to cool and thicken, the chocolate comes out thicker.
4) Whisk to thoroughly combine and it’s a nice thick texture. Don’t forget to add salt to taste – it adds a really nice touch to this recipe. Add stevia liquid to taste if you like it sweeter.
5) Use a small spatula to pour chocolate out of bowl into parchment lined dish. Spread evenly and put in freezer to set.
6) I use the same bowl to mix up the peanut butter filling because a bit of chocolate in my peanut butter layer is OK with me. Add the peanut butter and maple syrup to the bowl. If using softened butter, add to bowl. If using coconut oil, melt it slightly, like 15 seconds in the microwave. Stir so texture is consistent and thick, but not chunky. Add to bowl and mix thoroughly. Salt to taste.
7) Remove base chocolate layer from freezer and using a spatula, pour peanut butter filling onto chocolate layer and spread evenly.
8) Add nuts evenly to top and press into the peanut butter layer. Put back in freezer to set.
9) Follow steps 1 and 3 to make another batch of chocolate.
10) Remove dish from freezer. Use a small spatula to pour top layer of chocolate on the peanut butter layer. Spread evenly. Put back in freezer for at least 15 minutes to set.
11) Remove from freezer. Remove from dish by pulling the parchment paper up and out of the dish. Pull sides of parchment paper down and place the whole block on a cutting board. I cut it in half the long way and then I usually make 6 cuts the short way for a total of 14 pieces. Store left-over candies ( if you have any) in the fridge.

Paleo Fruit & Nut Clusters

Chocolate Base:
1/2 cup organic cocoa powder
1/2 cup organic unrefined coconut oil (substitute half with organic cocoa butter for firmer chocolate)
4 Tbs organic maple syrup
12 drops stevia liquid (optional)
sea salt to taste
Mix-ins:
3/4 cup dried organic fruit and nuts
My most recent batch has unsweetened coconut flakes, cranberries, pecans and cashews. A really tasty combination was dried cherries and pistachios, YUM!!!

Instructions:

1) To melt the cocoa butter, grab a deep frying pan or wok and add about an inch or so of hot water, set the heat on low to warm the water further, but don’t boil it. Place the cocoa butter chunks in a small glass dish or mug and place that in the frying pan. Start this early because it takes a while to melt.
2) Add the cocoa powder and maple syrup to a glass bowl. Once the cocoa butter is melted, add the butter or coconut oil directly to it, it will melt in the hot oil. You don’t want the butter or coconut oil to be super melted or the chocolate comes out thin. If the coconut oil or butter doesn’t melt nicely into the cocoa butter, you can microwave it for a few seconds to melt it a bit. Whisk to thoroughly combine. Add to bowl and whisk and to a nice thick texture. Don’t forget to add salt to taste – it adds a really nice touch to this recipe. Add stevia liquid to taste if you like it sweeter.
3) Add dried fruit and nuts to the bowl and mix till all is coated in chocolate. Spoon out bite-size portions onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Freeze for 15 minutes or set in fridge for a few hours. Store left-over candies ( if you have any) in the fridge.

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Reasons to Choose Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil

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What is Cod Liver Oil?

Cod Liver Oil is a popular dietary supplement whose touted benefits are supported by centuries of documented clinical research. It is historically remembered as the vitamin D source used to prevent rickets in children, attaining popularity for both medical research and general consumption in the early 1900s due to the esteemed works of Dr. Weston A. Price.

What does Cod Liver Oil Do?

Cod Liver Oil is an excellent source of vitamins A and D, nutrients that are difficult to get in sufficient amounts through modern diets. It also provides heart healthy Omega 3 fatty acids with a good-sized portion of the daily recommended allowance of EPA/DHA. Multiple research studies have shown that this combination of vitamins from a 100% natural source, such as cod liver oil, has a significantly positive effect on overall health and wellness. What’s more is its potential to both prevent and treat a large variety of illnesses and diseases.

Who can benefit from using Cod Liver Oil?

Everyone! Cod Liver Oil is routinely recommend by all kinds of doctors and specialists as a daily nutritional supplement for its preventative and restorative health benefits. Its high Vitamin D level is essential for strong teeth and bones. Vitamin D also plays a role in nervous system and brain development, helping to prevent learning disorders in children. It is widely recognized as an immune-boosting antioxidant. Vitamin A promotes growth, vision, the immune system and reproduction. The Omega 3s, EPA and DHA, are also vital to brain function, the nervous system, cell membranes and much more. Raw cod liver oil contains numerous other nutrients as well, all working together to benefit people of all ages. Many people and doctors have praised cod liver oil for helping with the following:

  • Joint Pain
  • Heart Disease
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Arthritis
  • Mood Disorders
  • Autoimmune Disease
  • Tooth Decay
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Hormonal Acne
  • Eye Issues

Which Cod Liver Oil do we think is the best?

So now that you have a little history of what cod liver oil is and why it’s good for you, which cod liver oil should you choose? We love Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil for the following reasons.rosita_cod_liver_oil

Top 5 Reasons to Choose Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil

1) Time Tested Process

As many as 1300 years ago, the Scandinavian Vikings relied on fresh cod liver oil to get them through the cold, dark winter months. The oil was cherished for its strength and healing powers. Cod liver oil was used to ease sore muscles and joints, alleviate rheumatism, and cure illnesses such as gout and rickets. Later, cod liver oil became common for fighting the effects of malnutrition. Today, cod liver oil is a staple of the Paleo diet, the Weston A. Price diet and other healing, whole food diets.

Rosita uses an all-natural, secret method passed down by the Ancient Norse people to extract the oil from the cod livers. It starts with artisan fishers in Norway who use sustainable methods, line catching the fish and carefully harvesting them on their small, open boats. The time-tested process is heat free and uses no freezing, chemicals, solvents, bleaching, or decomposition. The process is done under low light conditions free of oxygen. The final cod liver oil retains all the vitamins, fatty acids, antioxidants and other nutrients that give high-quality cod liver oil its numerous benefits.

2) Comes From Fish Caught in Super Clean Water

Rosita fishers catch cod in the crisp, clean arctic waters around Norway. A cleaner living environment makes for less toxic fish and, therefore, less chance for toxicity in the final cod liver oil.

3) Raw Cod Liver Oil is More Nutritious

Most of the Cod Liver Oil supplements manufactured for the market today are molecularly distilled. This is a chemical process involving high heat which basically denatures a high percentage of nutrient value of the cod liver oil. It is the most cost-effective and fastest way to process cod livers, therefore many companies switched to this process, but at the cost of the nutrient value of the finished product. The ancient process noted above leaves Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil raw, thereby it retains ALL the healthy, beneficial nutrients.

4) No Synthetics Ever Added!

Cod Liver Oil manufacturers realized that their money-saving process was effecting the nutrient value of their fish oil. To combat the reduction in potency and replace the vitamins and heat-sensitive Omega 3 fatty acids, these inferior oils are refortified with synthetic versions of certain nutrients. Rosita only adds minimal amounts of natural antioxidants to slow the oxidation process and keep it fresh once the bottle is opened. The only ingredients are raw, wild-caught cod liver oil, and tiny amounts of rosemary and natural vitamin E oil.

5) Top Cod Liver Oil Brand Recommended by both Chris Kresser and the Weston A. Price Foundation

Rosita is Paleo health guru Chris Kresser’s number one pick for cod liver oil. The Weston A. Price Foundation also recommends Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil as a top high-vitamin cod liver oil supplement.

Now, two convenient forms to take it!

Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil now comes in either the traditional liquid oil form or new softgels. The new Rosita softgels are the same great Rosita Cod Liver Oil, but encased in 100% fish gelatin capsules.

 

 

Vacationing this winter? Stay healthy & energized with a quick smoothie-on-the-go!

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For a Limited Time Only!!!
Free Shaker Bottle with any order of 2 or more powdered supplements!

We just got back from a short vacation in sunny Florida. It was nice to get away from the cold of the northeast for a few days. AAHHHH!!! While away, I was very happy to be able to quickly have my morning smoothie. It’s good to know at least one meal is going to be healthy! Smoothies are an easy, tasty means of getting your daily dose of vitamins and minerals. If you’re heading off on vacation, or even a day trip, you may be wondering how to continue to get all your nutrients in a convenient, portable way. Packing a blender, an extension cord, a head of greens, a container of yogurt, and several bags of frozen fruit for your morning smoothie isn’t really a feasible option for most of us! Fortunately there is another method.

Portable Smoothies for Vacations, Camping, and Day Trips

It all starts with the Ultimate Shaker Bottle. This lightweight portable smoothie shaker will fit easily in your suitcase or backpack. With a rubber seal to prevent leaks and an agitator to break up clumps, all you need to do is add your powdered supplements, fill with water or other beverage of choice, and shake it up to make an instant, healthy smoothie! You can drink right out of the bottle. Smoothies are perfect any time of the day, whether you need a simple breakfast, lunch, snack, or post-workout recovery drink.

If you’re heading out for the day, simply add a scoop or two of powdered supplements to the dry smoothie shaker bottle. Later, when you’re ready for your afternoon snack, just pour in some liquid, shake, and drink. If you’re planning a longer trip, combine all your powdered supplements (in the desired proportions) in a large container. Include a measuring cup to scoop out individual smoothie servings as needed. Although we recommend reusable containers when possible, you can even pre-measure single servings into plastic zip top bags if you need to save space. You can have healthy, nutritious smoothies for breakfast every day of your trip!

healthy-smoothie-powder

Use coupon code “SuperSmoothies” to save 10% on powdered supplements and the travel smoothie shaker bottle.

Catie’s Organic Greens and Catie’s Gluten Free Greens provide many of the nutrients you may be missing in your diet. With a variety of concentrated greens, Catie’s Greens add probiotics and enzymes, fiber, fatty acids, and antioxidants to your smoothie.Get Your Greens on the Go

Vitamineral Green smoothie powder contains grasses, sea vegetables, herbs, enzymes, chlorophyll, iodine, and adaptogens. Made entirely from real foods grown with standards that surpass organic regulations, this superfood smoothie powder is raw, vegan, GMO free, and gluten free.

fermented_kale_smoothie_powderPerfect Supplements Fermented Kale Powder may help prevent numerous diseases due to its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, and antitumor properties. Kale is one of the most popular health foods, with vitamins A, C, E, and K, calcium, potassium, protein, and fiber, and fermented kale in your smoothie provides all these nutrients in an easily digestible form.

Perfect Aquatic Greens Powder  is made up of two freshwater algae, spirulina and chlorella. These algae are complete proteinspirulina_and_chlorella sources with vegetarian B12 and packed with vitamins and minerals. The greens in Perfect Aquatic Greens have been used for centuries throughout the world and boost energy, detoxify, aid in digestion, lower body fat, and reduce blood sugar. You can also choose to use Perfect Spirulina or Perfect Chlorella separately in your smoothies.

Perfect 3 Grass Blend is an organic combination of nutritious barley, oat, and wheat grasses. These grasses add protein, fiber, calcium, iron, essential amino acids, B vitamins, vitamins C and K, and more to your smoothie. Perfect 3 Grass Blend detoxifies, improves digestion, reduces high blood pressure and high blood sugar, and strengthens the immune system.

Add in Superfoods for Superior Sustenance

Limitless Good BaobabLimitless_Good_Baobab_for_Smoothies has a refreshing citrusy flavor with a bit of sourness. This superfood smoothie ingredient is high in fiber, with 6 grams per serving, which helps you feel full. Baobab powder contains iron, magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants. Other benefits of baobab extend to digestion, cardiovascular health, the immune system, blood sugar levels, sleep, and energy levels.

Garden of Life Organic Chia Seeds will thicken your smoothie, creating an almost gelatinous texture. A little goes a long way, so start with about a tablespoon, else you may end up with a congealed mass instead of a smoothie! Make sure to let the finished smoothie sit for 15-20 minutes to allow the chia seeds to absorb the liquid. Chia seeds that haven’t fully hydrated may lead to digestive discomfort or constipation for some people.

Catie’s Whole Plant Food Vitamin C Plus is one of my favorite smoothie add-ins. It is a chemical-free, preservative-free vitamin C supplement made from real food, never anything created or grown in a lab. And it tastes like fruit punch! Vitamin C has too many health benefits to list them all here. Check out this blog, Five Startling Facts About Vitamin C, for more information on whole food vitamin C.

Vitamineral EarthVitamineral_Earth_powder contains omega-3 fatty acids, adaptogens, the Essaic herbs, probiotics, and minerals such as chromium, selenium, and manganese. High in fiber, raw, and vegan, Vitamineral Earth supports healing, digestive health, detoxification, the immune system, and healthy blood sugar levels. Vitamineral Earth adds a savory flavor to your smoothie.

Perfect Acai Berry Powder not only has a pleasant, tart, fruity taste that pairs well with other fruit flavors or chocolate smoothies, but it is also loaded with antioxidants. Acai smoothie powder supports digestion and heart health and the acai tree has been dubbed the “tree of life” for the berry’s anti-aging benefits.

Power Up with Protein

Tony’s Pure Whey Protein Plus Double Dutch ChocolateGreat_Tasting_Whey_Protein is a highly absorbable protein powder free of added sugars and other unhealthy additives. Whey protein is an optimal source of high-quality smoothie protein that has been found to boost immune health, aid in weight loss, and lower blood pressure. This is a great tasting protein powder — it’s like chocolate milk when added to milk.

Dr. Tony’s Vegan Protein comes in both French Vanilla and Double Dutch Chocolate and provides vegan smoothie protein from pea, rice hemp, cranberries, and chia seed along with 1000mg of l-glutamine. L-glutamine helps build and repair muscle, boost the immune system, stabilize blood sugar, and promote gastrointestinal health.

PaleoPro Protein Powder  is a paleo-friendly protein powder made from grass-fed beef and egg protein. Unlike many other Paleo protein powders, PaleoPro uses the flesh from the beef, not the collagen. While collagen is a great source of protein, it does not have the desired amino acid profile of beef flesh. And, this protein powder tastes great!

Perfect_Protein_PowderAvailable in Vanilla or Simply Natural, Perfect Plant Protein is a unique blend of mushroom protein, hemp protein, brown rice protein, probiotics, and enzymes. This hypoallergenic formula is perfect for those with allergies and provides 17 grams of complete vegan protein per serving. Perfect Plant Protein smoothie powder supports digestion, reduces inflammation, promotes muscle growth and recovery, supports metabolism, and contains countless vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids.

Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen and Perfect Bovine Gelatin are both great protein powders to add to any drink. They come from super healthy pasture-raised grass-fed, Brazilian cattle. They have very similar potential health benefits, including great for digestion, hair and nail growth, and reducing joint pain. The big difference is Hydrolyzed Collagen doesn’t gel whereas gelatin does gel as it cools. And, hydrolyzed collagen may be more easily absorbed as it has been processed one step further with natural enzymes, making the collagen peptides shorter. One 11 g scoop of either provides 10 g of protein!

Goatein Pure Goat’s Milk Protein PowderGoat_Milk_Protein_Powder is an excellent complete protein source for those who can’t tolerate cow dairy products. Goat’s milk is highly digestible, as its composition is similar to human breast milk. A one scoop serving of Goatein adds 13 grams of protein to your smoothie.

Make Your Smoothie Taste Great

While many of these supplement powders already have a great taste with natural flavors, you’ll want to make sure you choose a combination of flavors that will mix together well in your smoothie. If you’re not used to the taste of greens, start with a very small amount and rely more heavily on chocolate protein powder or fruit powders. You can also add cocoa powder, ground spices such as cinnamon and ginger, or powdered stevia to your dry smoothie mix. Instead of water, use juice, nut/dairy/coconut milk, coconut water, tea, or even coffee in your smoothie shaker for a stronger flavor. Have fun experimenting, but try mixing up a sample smoothie before your trip to make sure your final concoction is delicious. Happy shaking!

Kerrie’s Favorite Smoothie-on-the-Go Combo

This is for one serving

1 scoop Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen
1/2 T Catie’s Whole Plant Food Gluten Free Greens
1/2 T Catie’s Whole Plant Food Vitamin C Plus
1 scoop Perfect Acai Powder
2 scoops Limitless Good Baobab Powder
8 – 12 oz of juice, water or any combination of the two

All together, it makes up about 1/4 cup of powder.

I mix 10 days worth at a time up and keep it in the fridge for easy dispensing.

Why these supplements?

I choose the Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen because it is tasteless in combination with everything else, and I’m still recovering from knee surgery in May and need all the collagen I can get to help rebuild and repair the joint.

I like the Catie’s Gluten Free Greens because it comes from real food, many of the ingredients are organic, and I like to eat gluten-free whenever possible.

I add the Catie’s Vitamin C and the Perfect Acai because I used to get lots of colds, and I get far fewer when I keep my immunity high. Both these products are loaded with antioxidants and immune boosters.

The Baobab Powder is also a great source of antioxidants, but is also naturally high in fiber. Good fiber is an excellent addition to any liquid meal.

I usually get a good 100% organic red juice like pomegranate cranberry or cherry. Then I use about 5 oz each juice and water with the 1/4 cup of pre-mixed supplements.

Receive 10% OFF portable smoothie supplies — the shaker bottle and any powdered supplements above — with coupon code: SuperSmoothies

8 Great Detox Diet Plans for Internal Cleansing

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Last week we gave you the Top 5 Ways to Detoxify Your Body. For many of us, January is time for a really good, cleansing detox plan to get a fresh start on the new year. Read on for 8 Great Detox Diet Plans for all kinds of deep, internal cleansing.

The potential benefits of a detox program are many: more energy, improved digestion, decreased inflammation, clearer thinking, better sleep, fewer cravings, and more. Detoxing can also help jumpstart weight loss. A detox plan usually includes detoxifying supplements, but may also include dietary changes as well. Some plans last just a couple of days, while others are intended to be followed for weeks or even longer. Since all of us are exposed to toxins on a daily basis no matter how “clean” we try to eat and live, we can all benefit from most any cleanse or detox plan. However, certain health and lifestyle factors may affect which detox program is best for you at this moment. Below, I’ve outlined a few of our favorite detox plans to help you choose which one to try.

The 21 Day Detox Program

Best if: You suspect food allergies or intolerances, or you have gotten into a rut of unhealthy eating

The 21 Day Detox Program would be my top choice after all the indulgences of the holiday season. This plan not only provides supplements to encourage the cleansing process, but also helps you completely revamp your diet and get back on track. Three weeks (plus a couple more weeks to slowly reintroduce foods) might feel like a big commitment, but your health is worth it! Developed by Dr. Erica LePore, ND, this is a comprehensive detox program that includes dietary changes as well as supplements to target inflammation, digestive health, liver support, and heavy metal and toxin removal. This plan also helps you pinpoint which foods you may be reacting poorly to. The 21 Day Detox Program includes all the supplements you’ll need, plus a full guide written by Dr. LePore so you know exactly how to carry out the plan. Ready to get started? The 21 Day Detox Program is available here. If you want to hear a first-hand account of this program first, you can read more here.

Oxy-Clean 6 Day Colon Cleanse

Best if: You’re feeling backed up, foggy, and sluggish

Compacted fecal matter lodged in the colon can really weigh you down! If you feel like your digestive system isn’t functioning optimally — you’re often constipated, have diarrhea, or are always bloated and gassy — or you just feel dragged down by a heavy gut, you may need a colon cleanse. The Oxy-Powder Colon Cleanse takes less than a week to flush everything out. You don’t necessarily need to follow a special diet; you’ll take Oxy-Powder, Latero-Flora (a probiotic supplement), and a colon cleansing cocktail made from ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. The concoction will clean out your digestive tract while you sleep. You’ll likely experience watery stools as everything is liquified and passes out, which is a sign that the cleanse is working. Within a few days you’ll be feeling lighter and cleaner! Oxy-Powder can also be taken long term to keep the colon clean, and on an as-needed basis to detox after a day or two of overindulging.

Harmful Organism Cleanse

Best if: You suspect you may have parasites

You might have a problem with parasites if you feel like something is sucking the life out of you. You may feel tired, weak, and mentally foggy. You may struggle to fight off colds and viruses, and be unable to maintain a healthy weight. Parasites can literally steal nutrients from the food you eat, leaving your body chronically deprived. The Harmful Organism Cleanse Kit contains a natural supplement to cleanse your body of these harmful parasites and ward off invaders, as well as a probiotic designed to fight off bad bacteria and yeast. You can do the parasite cleanse alongside the Oxy-Powder colon cleanse detailed above.

Liver Detox

Best if: You’re exposed to lots of toxins via food, medicine, workplace, or environment

Toxins surround us all, but some of us get more exposure than others. A liver detox is particularly important for those that drink a lot of coffee or alcohol, take daily medications, eat foods containing hormones or chemical additives, or have work exposure to toxins such as chemicals, smoke, cleaning solutions, radiation, or fumes from paint or plastics. Unfortunately, while many of these toxins might be hard to avoid, they can really tax the liver, leaving you feeling sick or just not quite yourself. A clean, unstressed liver is so important to maintaining a clean, toxin-free body, so it’s critical to keep this organ functioning optimally.

Dr. Junger’s 3-Day Liquid Cleanse

Best if: You’ve been gaining weight or relying on packaged foods

It happens to the best of us, especially when we’re stressed or overworked — sometimes you can’t help but turn to packaged, processed foods. The problem is, what started as a reaction to a rough day or a quick lapse for the sake of convenience, can quickly become an addiction, and the cravings for junk food escalate. The first of Dr. Oz’s “Detox for Your Body Type,” the 3-Day Liquid Cleanse developed by Dr. Junger recommends eating all-liquid meals for 3 days, in the form of smoothies or soups, to reset your system. You’ll also take a supplement with milk thistle to support the liver. The goal of this detox plan is to aid the liver in eliminating fat, and it is ideal for those who are “fat all over.”

Dr. Junger’s 5-Day Gut Flush Cleanse

Best if: You’re so bloated that you’re worried friends will start asking if you’re pregnant

Bloating may not only leave you feeling self-conscious, but it can also be extremely uncomfortable, even painful. Dr. Junger’s 5-Day Gut Flush, also featured on Dr. Oz’s “Detox for Your Body Type” episode, is targeted at those who crave fatty or salty foods. Instead of opting for an order of French fries, you’re encouraged to eat whole, unprocessed foods. While lunch is a solid meal, breakfast and dinner primarily consist of smoothies or soups. Probiotics are the focus as far as supplements are concerned, as they help alleviate the digestive problems caused by an overgrowth of bad bacteria.

Dr. Junger’s 7-Day Vegan Cleanse

Best if: You have lots of signs of inflammation, including aches and pains or itchy skin

Think you can handle going vegan? Don’t worry, it’s only for a week! The 7-Day Vegan Cleanse from Dr. Junger encourages you to temporarily eliminate meat and dairy products, and instead focus on healing superfoods. This detox diet counteracts the inflammation that can lead you to have aches and pains, sore joints, and dry, itchy skin or scalp. Hallmarks of this body type are intense sugar cravings and being over-stressed. Unlike some of the other detox plans, the 7-Day Vegan Cleanse allows you to eat full, satisfying meals of solid foods, so it may be easier for those who struggle with more restrictive plans that can leave you feeling deprived.

Chlorella Cleanse

Best if: All these other plans scare you, but you still want to detox

If you’re not looking for an intensive detox, but just a real food to gently encourage toxin elimination, chlorella is just what you need! All you have to do is take a couple chlorella capsules or add a scoop of chlorella powder to your morning smoothie — it doesn’t get much simpler than that! Chlorella draws out toxins and heavy metals while improving the bacterial balance in your gut, plus provides lots of protein, vitamins, and minerals. This is also a great way to start for those new to detoxing or reluctant to get started.

Detox 101: Top 5 Ways to Detoxify Your Body for the New Year!

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by Colleen Russell

January is the most popular month of the year for Cleanses and Detox Diets.  It’s no wonder why:  the beginning of a new year has the wonderful feeling of starting fresh, beginning anew, and making changes for the better.  Doesn’t it feel amazing to just let go?

As with anything that reaches the realm of the popular, though, all this talk about Detox can get pretty confusing.  You may be wondering, what exactly should I be detoxifying?  What do I need to cleanse?  What do I have to gain or to lose?  Since we love a good detox, we thought it was important to remove the veil of mystery from this particular topic, and to share some of our favorite natural tools to detoxify the body and clear the mind.

What Is Detox?

Detoxification is a natural process whereby your organs and immune system process and eliminate toxins from your body.  It is the digestive system eliminating waste, the lymphatic system filtering bacteria from lymph fluid, and the kidneys filtering toxins from the blood.  Detox is a part of every living cell in the body.  So, if it is such a natural process, why do we need to help it along?

 Because our bodies were not designed to live like this.

We work too hard, we eat too much, too little, or just the wrong things.  Our world is polluted, from the air we breathe to the water we drink and the soil we use to grow our crops.  This world is just too toxic for the human body to to detoxify on its own.

What Can We Do To Detoxify Our Bodies?

So many things!  Detox is not necessarily about weight loss, energy boost, cleaning the colon, or preventing cancer (although those are some pretty enticing benefits).  Listed below are easy things you can do daily to help your body eliminate toxins naturally. Detox is about the same feeling you are given after the ball drops on New Year’s Eve:  a clean slate, a fresh start, and the opportunity to begin anew.

Top 5 Ways To Detox:

  1. Drink more pure water.  If you do nothing else, this one step can move mountains in terms of boosting your physical health and removing toxins from your body.  The National Institute of Health estimates that 48% of the adult population of the United States is chronically dehydrated.  Water plumps up the body’s tissues, creating an internal space that allows blood platelets to separate and for trapped toxins to wash away.  Filtered water, which is free of bacteria, pesticides, and other contaminants, is best.
  2. Infuse your drinks with chlorophyll!  Adding a 3 gram scoop a day of Chlorella powder to your morning smoothie or juice will infuse your body with 90 mg of bioavailable Chlorophyll.  This all-natural plant-derived greens powder is proven to bind to metals, assisting with heavy-metal detox.  Our favorite is Perfect Chlorella.
  3. Try a fulvic/humic acid mineral cleanse.  Fulvic and humic acid are proven to remove toxic metals from the blood, speeding up biochemical reactions, unblocking lymphatic passageways, and preventing cognitive impairment.  Products such as GHC’s Zeotrex are easy to add to your daily routine without making sweeping dietary changes.
  4. Colloidal Silver is a simple, relatively inexpensive, and perfectly safe method for detox.  It is non-toxic, but an effective method of destroying toxic organisms, bacteria, viruses, and even free radicals.  Sovereign Silver Bioactive Silver Hydrosol is Peaceful Planet’s recommendation for a safe, effective Colloidal Silver Detox.
  5. Bentonite clay is volcanic ash that binds to toxins in our body so they can be easily eliminated. All over the globe and for centuries, many cultures have been using bentonite clay to promote healing and overall good health. We like Sonne’s #7 Bentonite Clay Detoxificant because it is rich in minerals and free from impurities.

Stay tuned for more information on detox, specific detox diets tailored to your needs, and more information on how to stay healthy and toxin-free.  If you’re ready to get started on a detox plan now, try the 3 Day Detox Jumpstart from Dr. Oz and Dr. Junger, of the Clean Detox Plan.

Feeling Crappy After Eating Poorly Through the Holidays? We Can Help.

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One of my biggest weaknesses are the desserts. I love desserts of all kinds and the holidays are usually loaded with all kinds of sweet goodies to try. Well all that sugar and flour has done a number on my system and I bet there are more than a few of you out there also feeling a bit off due to eating all kinds of stuff you don’t usually eat. Here’s a list of supplements that may help you feel a little better after all that indulgence.

Food & Inflammation & Your Digestive Tract

Most of those wonderful holiday foods are made with sugar and white flour. Many studies have shown that eating processed white sugar & processed wheat can cause all kinds of inflammation. And, furthermore, the overeating and, for many of us, consumption of alcohol, wreaks further havoc on our entire digestive tract. Here is a list of some good supplements that have helped many reduce inflammation as well as being great for the whole digestive system.

Walkabout Emu Oil – This high vitamin supplement can be taken orally or used topically. Many people report relief of inflammation when they take a good Australian Emu Oil. And, the Omega 7 in emu oil helps with digestion.

Raw Cod Liver Oil – Both Green Pasture’s Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Rosita’s Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil are raw and full of naturally occurring vitamins A & D, as well as lots of good omegas. And, as well as it’s anti-inflammatory properties, cod liver oil has been shown to be great for the entire gut.

Wedderspoon Manuka Honey – Manuka honey has a whole slue of potential health benefits including being anti-inflammatory. It has shown anti-bacterial & antimicrobial properties, as well as being good for digestion. And, if holiday stress has you feeling like you’re coming down with something, then this may help stave off a full-blown cold, too.

Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen – There is a lot of the amino acid glycine in a serving of Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen. Glycine has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. A good collagen supplement may also help with food-related inflammation by helping to maintain a healthy stomach and aiding proper digestion.

Turmeric – Turmeric is a superfood growing in popularity recently due to its many health benefits. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties and is a powerful antioxidant. It has also been shown to help with digestion and aids in nutrient absorption from our food. Global Healing Center makes a powerful Turmeric Liquid Extract made from 100% certified organic turmeric roots.

Get Your Gut Back to Health

Feeling like it’s mainly your gut that needs help after all the indulging? Because it is the center of our bodies, gut health can dramatically affect many other parts of our bodies. Studies show gut health can effect weight, heart health, immune system & even brain health. (1) All the above are great supplements, but for powerful gut healing, you might want to try great probiotics or a gut specific supplement.

Prescript-Assist – These powerful, soil-based probiotics are combined with prebiotics to further boost their efficacy. Prescript-Assist is backed by more than five years of double-blind university clinical trials that show its effectiveness against a variety of digestive issues and other gastrointestinal diseases. It is my personal favorite probiotic and the one I take daily.

Restore – This is a liquid mineral supplement for gut health. It was developed to help repair the damage done by eating pesticides and GMO foods. Restore helps to minimize and eliminate the gaps they cause in the lining of the stomach. It has helped many with leaky gut and other digestive disorders.

Detox for Optimum Healing

January is an ideal time to embark on a good detox program. Many people take this time to help eliminate toxins from all the holiday indulgences and feel great after a few weeks of this. If you’d like to check out a variety of detox options, then check out this Spring Detox post.

Hope You Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!

So, go ahead and enjoy your New Years’ celebrations, but stock up on supplements to help you feel better after.

 

  1. 5 Ways Gut Bacteria Affect Your Health

 

 

How to Stay Healthy While Indulging This Holiday Season

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Let’s face it: between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, the opportunities for indulgence abound, and even the most committed of us sometimes stray from our normally healthy diets. I’m not going to be the one to tell you to give up your grandma’s special glazed ham or the amazing chocolate dessert party-goers are saying you just have to try. Of course it’s ideal to adhere closely to a healthy, minimally-processed diet, but the holidays are full of traditions and temptations, and making a gluten-free, sugar-free version of your family’s favorite dessert isn’t always feasible or even desirable. Go ahead, enjoy a bite — or two! But follow these tips to minimize the impact of a month or two of indulgences.

Prepare for Parties & Avoid Overeatingweight_loss_smoothie

If you’re headed out to a holiday party, don’t skip meals all day so you can binge all night! That’s a surefire way to ensure you’ll end up eating too much of all the wrong foods. Instead, keep your pre-party diet as healthy as possible. Eat a healthy, protein rich breakfast, like a quick smoothie or an omelet. Have a hearty salad topped with meat or nuts for lunch, drink plenty of water, and snack on fruits and veggies all day. When you arrive at the party, you won’t be starving or delirious from low blood sugar. You’ll be able to pick and choose the foods that you’ll truly enjoy and pass on the rest of the artificial-ingredient-laden fare.

When dinner is finally served, pause. Check in with yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Do you need a few moments of calm and quiet before joining the busy dinner? Are you angry about a cousin’s remark, and craving fried food to stuff down the anger? Pause. Halfway through the meal, as you’re shoveling in the mashed potatoes, pause. Are you really still hungry? Are you enjoying these potatoes, or just eating them because they’re on your plate? Are you worried about wasting food or offending the host? Pause. Make a deliberate decision to stop or continue eating. One of the truest maxims I’ve ever read is this: “Your body is not a trash can.”. If you’re hoping to avoid the average 5 pounds of holiday weight gain, check out some more tips from Dr. Oz for preventing weight gain over the holidays.

Weigh the Consequences; Then, Savor the Moment!

Try not to just mindlessly fill your plate with a bit of each option. Instead, think about how these foods will make you feel, which is different for everyone. Maybe enjoying fresh bread outweighs the slight chance of a stomach ache, while a meal containing dairy just isn’t worth the consequences. I myself need to be extra conscious of sugar, since too much refined sugar can make me feel sick both immediately and for days afterward. Indulging in a few unhealthy foods doesn’t mean you need to give up on all your ideals. Take some time now to plan out which dietary ideals are worth sticking to and which leave you with more wiggle room.

If you do decide to break your personal top diet rules, make it completely worth it! Take time to really chew and taste each bite. Focus on the food’s appearance, smell, texture, and flavor. Eat it slowly and mindfully. Ask your aunt how she made this delicious dish. Revel in the memories it brings back or the images it conjures up. And let go of the guilt; you can get back to your normal diet as soon as the holidays are over. Give yourself permission to just savor each moment and every bite.

Detox, Detox, Detox

No one’s likely to embark on an intense detox program a week before Christmas. But when your best intentions go awry and you wind up eating too much processed food, too much sugar, too much poiprescript-assist_probioticsson… support your body in processing and eliminating those toxins as quickly as possible. Taking probiotics is a simple way to alleviate some of the digestive distress that can accompany a sudden change in dietary habits. Drink a glass of water with the juice of half a lemon each morning to flush out toxins. In addition, these supplements gently draw toxins out without the time commitment or emotional investment of a full detox plan:

Perfect Liver Detox Support is a doctor-developed supplement designed to keep your liver performing its best. After all, the liver is the body’s filter for all those toxins coursing through your body. If it becomes overloaded, it can become sluggish and ineffective. Use Perfect Liver Detox Support or HealthForce Liver Rescue, both of which come in convenient capsules loaded with milk thistle and other organic, detoxifying herbs, each day to help your body better process the chemicals, pesticides, sugars, and artificial ingredients in your holiday diet.

Perfect Chlorella is a powerful detox agent and also provides essential nutrients that your body may be lacking if you’re not prioritizing a healthy diet. High in chlorophyll and numerous vitamins and minerals, chlorella binds to toxins so that they can be safely eliminated. I recommend capsules for this busy time of year, but you can also opt for powder if you’re whipping up daily smoothies anyway. Get your chlorella along with spirulina in Perfect Aquatic Greens, for even more abundant and diverse nutrients.

Like chlorella, bentonite clay, too, binds to and draws out toxins as it passes through the digestive system. Start with a small amount — about a teaspoon — mixed into a glass of water. Make sure to eat plenty of fiber and drink lots of water to avoid constipation. You may need to add a bit of extra magnesium while taking bentonite clay if you find constipation is a problem for you. Bentonite clay also provides trace minerals that your diet may not provide during this busy holiday season.

Reduce Stress

Stress is good for no one, and a stressed body is much more vulnerable to toxins as well as illness. Fortunately, we have a great holiday stress guide featuring supplements and daily practices to help minimize the effects of stress on your body and mind. Simply getting outside for a short walk or taking a few moments to breathe or meditate can make a huge impact on your stress level, leaving you feeling healthier in both mind and body.