Avoid Feeling Low When Stress is High

 

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By Ali Wetherbee

The holidays can be fun and magical and ever-so-memorable — but this busy time of year can also really stress your mind and body. From holiday shopping to fighting traffic, from being cooped up indoors with germs to being cooped up with the in-laws, there are countless hits to our time, our finances, our health, our peace and sanity. We don’t eat as well and don’t have time to exercise. All of this leaves us especially vulnerable to all those colds and flus going around. So before you wind up in bed with a box of tissues and a hot water bottle, try these ideas. 

In Your Medicine Cabinet:

Instead of toxic, chemical-laden medicines, stock your medicine cabinet with organic vitamins and herbs and homeopathic formulas. Take these daily, but especially when you are under unusual stress or already sick.

Start with Vitamin Ccaties_real_vitamin_c_supplements

Whole Food Vitamin C belongs in every family’s medicine cabinet. Take it daily to keep your immune system functioning optimally, and begin taking it more frequently or in higher doses as soon as you feel something coming on. Vitamin C, when taken daily, can shorten the duration of the common cold. Taking one or two extra doses daily when symptoms first appear can thwart a cold before it really gets started! It also prevents and reverses free radical damage caused by oxidative stress, UV rays, and environmental toxins. Vitamin C is necessary for serotonin production, so this is a must-have for anyone suffering from depression or seasonal affective disorder.

Try:

Adapt Better to Stress

Take adaptogens during intense periods of stress. Adaptogenic herbs help you adapt to physical and mental stress and keep the body in balance. They may be particularly useful if you are experiencing anxiety, fatigue, or depression as a result of stress or tension. Stress increases cortisol levels, which may lead to chronic inflammatory conditions, weight gain, fatigue, thyroid problems, hormonal imbalances, and illness. Adaptogens such as rhodiola and cordyceps lower high cortisol levels, minimizing the harmful effects of stress on the body.

Try:

Get a Good Night’s Rest

Stress can disrupt your sleep/wake cycles, making it hard to fall asleep and sleep through the night. This leaves you even more prone to feeling stressed, and you wind up stuck in a vicious cycle. These all-natural formulas can ensure you get an adequate amount of sleep, whether you are up late wrapping gifts or at your company Christmas party past bedtime. Healthy sleep is critical to a healthy immune system, and those who get poor-quality or insufficient sleep are more likely to succumb to colds, flu, and viruses.

Try:

Support Your Immune System

Take an immune support formula to keep your immune system in tip top shape. These are an excellent way to boost your body’s resistance to illness during this stressful time of year. Inadequate sleep, poor diet, stress, lack of exercise, increased exposure to germs, aging, and chronic health conditions can all leave you much more susceptible to illness, but these supplements strengthen the immune system, naturally.

Try:

Treat Your Cold Naturally

If illness hits despite your best efforts, you will be glad to have a medicine cabinet stocked with healing herbs, vitamins, and supplements! Keep these items on hand for when you start to feel stuffy or achy. Calm Balm is an all-natural alternative to petroleum-based chest rubs, and is great for colds, aches, and pains. Manuka Honey Nuggets help soothe sore throats with organic antibacterial ingredients.

Try:

‘Tis the Season to Stay Healthy!

Keeping healthy and fighting stress is not just a physical process. Every choice we make and each action we take can leave us more stressed or more relaxed, sicker or healthier. Try these tips to stay on track toward a healthier holiday season:

Learn to Say No

You do not need to attend every party or gathering you are invited to! Pick your favorites and skip the rest. The same goes for gift swaps among friends or at the office. Feel free to opt out of those that bring you more stress than pleasure.

Designate one day a week as a “day off” and avoid errands, shopping, planning, ordering, and organizing for the entire day. Instead, read a book, watch a movie, go for a walk, or do something else relaxing. If an entire day seems unrealistic, aim for at least one stress-free evening a week. 

Focus on the Important Things in Life

Spend time with your family. Your kids or grandkids won’t remember every present under the tree or how perfectly the gifts were wrapped, but they will remember the days spent baking cookies, playing games, building snowmen, and cuddling by the fire. Take time out each day to do something that builds memories.

Be grateful. At the end of the day, instead of thinking about all the things you didn’t get done, spend some time thinking about all the things you are thankful for. Keep a Gratitude Jar with scraps of paper for family members to write down each happy moment or blessing, and read through the papers every night at dinner. Bake cookies for someone who has helped you out sometime this year. Bring gifts or food to those who are less fortunate.

naturally_healthy_holidayGet Plenty of Fresh Air and Exercise

Go for a jog before work or take an evening walk with the family to see neighborhood light displays. Enjoy winter sports such as sledding, skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating. Build a snow fort with the kids or have an impromptu dance party. It’s fine to do your workout indoors if the cold is too harsh for you, but also bundle up in a blanket and sit on your front stoop for a few minutes with a hot cup of tea and breathe in the fresh air.

Nourish Your Soul

Engage in soul-friendly practices. While you’re sitting at a red light or stuck in traffic, take some deep breaths and relax your shoulders. When someone cuts you in line at the store or pushes you aside to grab the very last can of cranberry sauce, take some time to think loving, forgiving thoughts about this rude person. Be present and live in the moment instead of spending the entire holiday season tallying your mental lists. Practice yoga, mindfulness, or meditation. All of these things will reduce your stress load and leave you stronger, healthier, and happier.

Six Supplements to Fight the Flu

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Two weeks ago we posted a blog about all the potential risks associated with getting an annual flu vaccine. This week we’ll give advice on what you can do to boost your immune system and help avoid flus and colds. Remember, we are not suggesting you go buy everything listed below to start taking it all every day. But, by adding a few to your daily diet, you may find the combination that works for you to prevent or drastically shorten duration of illness.

Don’t Encourage Illness

You’re probably thinking “Well, duh!”. But, there are many things we all do in a day that encourage illness. Eating foods that have been grown in toxins, dealing with stress, and not getting enough sleep are just a few. All of this adds up, so the less we do in a day, the better it is for our bodies. So we need to do the opposite – encourage wellness. Focus on doing the things that make and keep us well and do more of those. A healthy diet, preferably organic, and regular exercise are excellent ways to encourage wellness. The following supplements also encourage wellness in our bodies, in many ways. But, for the purposes of this blog, we’ll focus on their immune boosting and virus busting properties.

Real Vitamin C

caties_real_vitamin_c_supplementsI know, this one is a no-brainer. Everyone knows Vitamin C helps boost your immune system because it is loaded with antioxidants. But, did you know our bodies don’t produce it? So it has to be eaten every day in proper quantities to be effective against fighting flus and colds. Check out this post from September for lots of great information on Vitamin C. A whole food vitamin C supplement is a great way to make sure you and your family are getting all the vitamin C necessary to fight colds and flus. We have two great whole food Vitamin C powdered supplements from real food. They are Catie’s Whole Plant Food Vitamin C Plus and Ramiel Nagel’s Organic High Vitamin C Powder from acerola cherries.

Acai

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Many people have heard of acai for weight loss, but did you know it is loaded with antioxidants? It has twice the antioxidant power of wild blueberries and 10 times that of red grapes! And it has 10 to 30 times more anthocyanins than red wine! Anthocyanins are the pigments in red, blue and purple foods and have mega antioxidant properties. Back in 2009, Dr. Oz talked about acai on Oprah and it became an overnight sensation. He recommended taking it daily because it is a concentrated protein source and for it’s high ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value. The higher the ORAC value, the better at immune boosting. We recommend Perfect Acai in capsules or powder form because it is organically grown, fairly traded & there are never any fillers or flow agents.

Colloidal Silver

Sovereign_SilverBelieve it or not, silver is a necessary element in our bodies. It has been used medicinally for over 2000 years because of its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. In the 1970’s, Dr. Robert O. Becker, MD, conducted research at Syracuse Medical University on electrically generated silver ions. He discovered that people with the lowest amounts of silver in their bodies were prone to frequent and severe colds, flus and infections, while the people with the highest amounts of silver in their bodies were the least prone to colds, flus and infections. What’s more, their illnesses were less severe and for a shorter duration. Colloidal silver can be taken daily to help boost the immune system and increase the amount of silver in our bodies, but taking too much can be harmful. We recommend Sovereign Silver Bioactive Silver Hydrosol because it never contains stabilizers, salts, compounds, proteins, or other questionable ingredients. There are only 2 ingredients, 99.999% pure silver and pharmaceutical-grade purified water.

Probiotics

Prescript_Assist_probioticsIt may seem kinda crazy, but so much of our health is tied to our guts. Did you know eighty percent of our immune system is located in the digestive tract? That information alone helps us see why probiotics could be very effective at helping to avoid cold and flu viruses. There was a study done on three to five year old children that was very convincing. The children took probiotics twice a day for six months. The probiotic users had fewer fevers, less coughing, fewer runny noses, and, amazingly, 64 – 83%  less antibiotic use. There are a variety of probiotics in our store, but my favorite is Prescript-Assist. It is a multi-strain soil-based probiotic. If you are looking for a more traditional probiotic, try Just Thrive Probiotic & Antibiotic blend or Mercola Complete Probiotics.

Apple Cider Vinegar

This one may not be so widely known, but drinking a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily can greatly reduce your chances of getting any flu or colds. This is because it changes the pH in our bodies to alkaline, which creates a hostile environment for viruses and infections. Essentially, they can’t grow well in an alkaline environment and it even helps to kill the bacteria and infection. It is important to use a raw variety with the mothers. I get mine here. Daily, I try to drink a concoction with 2 Tb apple cider vinegar, 1 Tb raw honey (I use medicinal Manuka Honey if I’m feeling stressed or feel like I’m coming down with something) and 100% organic pomegranate or cranberry juice. I can still taste the vinegar a little, but it doesn’t bother me so much. When I actually do end up with sniffles and sneezing because of sickness, I drink 2 – 3 glasses a day. I drink them slowly, so that there is a somewhat constant infusion of alkaline fluids entering my system. Recently my sister asked if lemon will do the same thing. And yes, lemons are also acidic but I haven’t found the correct amount to fend off my own colds. Apple cider vinegar works well for me.

Elderberry Syrup

Feel the effects of elderberry & honey home remedies.Many people report great success preventing and fighting colds and flus by taking a daily dose of elderberry syrup. The use of elderberry as an herbal medicinal goes way back. Folklore around the elder tree pre-dates christianity. More recently, research done at Hadassah-Hebrew University in Israel shows how elderberry helps. They found viruses use specific enzymes to penetrate healthy cells in the nose and throat. Elderberry helps to block these enzymes, thus thwarting the infection before it starts. If it is taken after an infection is already present, it helps prevent the spread of the infection through the respiratory tract. There are many pre-made elderberry syrup supplements out there, but it is actually very easy to make and store at home for a fraction of the cost. Check out this blog we did last year for a recipe for homemade elderberry syrup and elderberry gummies. The recommended amount for prevention of flu is 1/2 to 1 tsp daily for children and adults during cold and flu season. Up this to at least 3 times a day if you already have an infection or feel one coming on.

Other Preventatives

I’m sure there are many other natural preventatives out there and welcome input from our readers. If you have a preventative that works for you, please share it with us so we can share it with the world.

 

Secrets of Aging Wisely

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“There has been an explosion of science in the field of aging. And I think the public doesn’t realize how far aging research has come. We have a lot of ideas about the mechanisms of aging, and tons and tons of pathways that can be optimized, tweaked, or activated to possibly extend lifespan. I think the public is probably about 30 years behind our thinking about aging. It’s as if we thought about cancer in the way we did in 1960.”  

Stuart Kim, Stanford University aging researcher

Are You Old and Wise, or Just Old?

Our culture tends to view aging as pathology. We fear it as though it is a dreaded disease. Most people believe that as we age we will become forgetful, incontinent, weak, fatigued, and senile. This leaves us afraid or depressed, both of which can further aggravate the downward spiral. Recently however, many doctors, researchers, and pro-active older people have begun to counter the prevailing wisdom about aging. Elders are speaking with knowledge and authority about their experience, and scientific research is redefining aging as a process. Our modern understanding of aging does not demand the end of health, pleasure, exercise, or mental engagement. Scientific inquiry has come a long way in support of ways to maximize vitality in our “golden years”.  We do not need to emulate our youth or negate our maturity. Instead we can learn the lessons from the science of physiology that enable us to take care of our bodies from the inside out.   It is possible to live a vital, honest expression of ourselves that honors the miles we have traveled.

The Physiology of Aging

Primitive people living in preindustrial cultures, whether in modern times or historical, show remarkable longevity and freedom from many of the chronic conditions that plague us today.   Weston A. Price, the esteemed dentist and nutritionist who studied indigenous people, found that tooth decay, cardiovascular disease, and obesity were virtually non-existent in these groups. He theorized that the vitamin rich, nutrient dense, non-processed foods that formed the basis of these diets held keys to the vital health experienced by those cultures. Today science is examining many of these same concepts and is able to analyze and define necessary foods and nutrients for a revitalized approach to health and aging. Today our wisdom is anchored in research and science.

Intelligent and Informed Aging

This cultural change in beliefs about aging can have tangible effects in how we experience life and what we feel our bodies are capable of. After all, it is pretty stressful to accept the definition of aging as decline. No one really wants to be “over the hill”! There are many common sense lifestyle factors that one can change as well as nutritional strategies for taking charge of one’s health as the years progress. Risk factors you can change include:

  • Poor Nutrition Habits
  • Smoking
  • Inactivity
  • Elevated Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Obesity and being Overweight
  • Excessive Alcohol
  • Stress

Listen to Your Gut

Eat the foods that make you feel good for the long haul rather that for instant gratification. If you eat lots of empty calories or sugary snacks, chances are your energy will drop, you’ll feel emotionally drained, and your tummy might actually hurt. These are signals directly from your gut!  Our physiologies were designed to thrive on nutrient dense foods such as vegetables, fruits, pasture raised meats and eggs, and whole grains. Proteins and fats should be eaten together to maximize absorption. As we age, our systems produce fewer digestive enzymes. Adopt good gut hygiene by supplementing with digestive enzymes to assist with nutrient absorption and decrease inflammation and oxidation from undigested food. In addition, aging guts tend to lose one of the key probiotic species necessary for optimal colon function. The colon (or large intestine) is the site of most of the bacterial and fungal population that keeps metabolism running smoothly. Without Bifidobacterium, immune and nervous system functioning may be compromised. Bifidobacterium is therefore an essential ingredient in a senior probiotic. Look for Bifido species in Mercola Complete and Catie’s Proflora probiotics. Many of today’s most difficult diseases are the result of inflammation which begins when toxins make the gut lining become permeable. This is often referred to as “Leaky Gut”.  Restore is a revolutionary new supplement for the gut which strengthens and repairs the membranes in the intestines bringing the all the body’s systems back into a healthy homeostasis.

The mouth and teeth are the entry to the digestive system but are often overlooked when thinking about supplementation. Take zinc to help aging taste buds restore their sense of taste and pleasure. CoQ10 in the converted form of ubiquinol helps prevent tooth loss at the same time that it ramps up your immune system and your brain. Finally, consider giving the body a full 12 hours of overnight fasting to allow it to move all the remaining food through the intestines. If it is not bogged down with digestion it can move the probiotics further into the colon where they do their most good.

Bone Up

Bones are constantly being replenished although the process can slow as we get up in years. In order for bone synthesis to keep up with bone loss there are several critical factors. First, exercise that engages the muscles against the bone keeps the bones strong. Secondly, one must get enough vitamin D, which tends to be harder to absorb with age. The best source of Vitamin D may be sunlight, but whole food supplements such as cod liver oil ensure that the bones and immune system are getting what they need, even when the sun isn’t shining. Catie’s Raw Vegetable Calcium provides the third necessary ingredient in bone and tooth health. Calcium is particularly tricky to absorb in isolation making it all the more important that Catie’s is a raw, whole food calcium. It happens to be a good source of vitamin D as well. Vitamin K2 supports the metabolism of many other nutrients and is needed for calcium to be directed to the bones. K2 also contributes to heart health and is useful in preventing calcified arteries. Lastly, magnesium assures adequate strength and density of bones and teeth. It is necessary for many biochemical reactions in the body including absorption and utilization of calcium. Take Catie’s Whole Food Magnesium or combine your calcium and magnesium in a balanced 1:1 ratio with Natural Vitality CalMag.

Power Up Your Brain

A 12 hour overnight fast is not only good for the gut. It also benefits the brain. There is a strong connection between the intestines (or gut) and the brain to the point where stress can affect bowel movements and gut integrity.  Conversely, stomach problems can result in depression, anxiety, and other emotional problems. A 12 hour overnight fast enables the brain to do repair work and eliminate unhealthy cells. The process is called apoptosis, and it happens most effectively when digestion is complete. Allowing apoptosis to occur regularly has the direct effect of clear thinking the next day and preventing cognitive decline for the long-term.

There are three powerful anti-aging supplements for the brain. One of them, CoQ10, reduced into its more bio-available form of ubiquinol, was also mentioned as a supplement for the gut. This is no accident. Ubiquinol is critical for the production of aerobic energy throughout the body. Many age related diseases are results of cellular dysfunction and oxidation both of which may be prevented by ubiquinol’s strong antioxidant action. This includes mental processes such as alertness and clarity of thought, which can be enhanced with ubiquinol. The second top anti-aging supplement is resveratrol. Resveratrol can improve blood supply to the brain, decrease the chance of blood clots or aneurysms, and support cellular energy. Resveratrol is not found naturally in the body, but can be found in grapes and Japanese knotweed. Supplementing with a quality brand of resveratrol such as Perfect Resgrape or Biotivia Transmax can provide what some researchers have referred to as the “Fountain of Youth”,  especially in regard to brain protective properties. The third highly beneficial anti-aging antioxidant is Acai. The Acai berry from Brazil is harvested sustainably from the Amazon palm tree locally known as “the Tree of Life”. Recognized for its ability to reduce stress, improve mood, and support memory into the senior years, Acai provides the omega fatty acids necessary for brain and cardiovascular health. It is a good source of fiber while being low in fructose thereby supporting digestive health as well.

A Blueprint for Aging

There are no ends to the lengths that people may go in order to look and appear younger. An entire market of products has built up around the demand for ways to combat the effects of aging whether it is beauty creams offering youthful skin, plastic surgery to mold and sculpt the aging body, or sexual enhancement pills offering hours of frisky action. By contrast, some promote the idea of aging gracefully. This seems to connote a degree of passive acceptance as we try to convince ourselves that we are now esteemed elders and can afford to look the part. Both of these perspectives seem to involve the belief that degeneration and loss of function is inevitable. Fortunately there is a third option for aging strategically. We can look to the experts in the fields of physiology, aging, and supplementation and decide what makes the most sense for us. What is applicable? What can be incorporated that could have critical life enhancing effects? We can design our own blueprint using the best that science has to offer.  Perhaps this is the truest way to wise and graceful aging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Best Tips to Keep Kids Healthy Naturally This Summer

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Are Your Blonds Looking a Little Green?

When the heavy metal content of your swimming pool rises, the excess copper in the water can turn blond hair green. Don’t fret; just dissolve 1 teaspoon of Catie’s Vitamin C Powder in a pint-sized spray bottle. Spray it all over, rub in, and rinse after fifteen minutes.

Prevent & Treat Swimmer’s Ear Naturally

Water trapped in the outer ear canal allows bacterial growth and may cause an infection known as swimmers ear. This can be prevented or treated naturally and effectively without harsh antibiotics.
Prevention:  Place 3 drops of Sovereign Silver in each ear once a week.
Treatment: First cleanse the ear by filling with peroxide: allow to bubble and sit a few minutes. Then, drain it and dry with a tissue. Once dry, add 3 drops of Sovereign Silver to the ear and allow it to sit for three minutes. Insert a cotton ball to keep it from leaking out. Do this 2-3 times a day when signs of an infection arise.

Avoid Mosquitios & Ticks Without Using DEET

Use all-natural, DEET-free Mercola Insect Repellent to prevent mosquito and tick bites on your outdoor adventures.

Protect From Sunburn With Safe, Waterproof Sunblock

Choose an EWG-approved physical sunblock likeThinksport Kids to protect delicate skin from sunburns without dousing them in toxic chemicals.

Maintain Active Energy Levels & Boost Immunity

Keep your children healthy and active with whole-food vitamin supplements like Garden of Life Vitamin Code Kids.

Replenish Vital Electrolytes with Homemade Sports Drinks

Make a healthy, homemade sports drink out of your child’s favorite 100% juice! Use 2 cups water, 2 cups 100% juice and 1/4 tsp real sea salt. Don’t use table salt because it is missing many of the vital trace minerals found in real sea salt. Himalayan and Celtic sea salt are excellent for this.

Supplements 101: A Beginners Guide to Healthy Habits

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The Maiden Voyage

Caps and gowns are being donned, diplomas are being received, and the long walk across the stage signals the final accomplishment of years of effort. But as you throw your cap into the air in gleeful abandon, remember that graduation is as much a beginning as it is an ending in your life’s voyage. If you or someone you love is graduating this spring, either from high school, technical school, or college, it is time to consider the reality of life outside the protective confines of the academic structure. This is really the calm before the storm as you learn to sink or swim.

You are the captain of your ship!

Graduation marks the passage from one academic endeavor to the next round of opportunities and challenges. In all likelihood it will bring with it increased choices and freedoms along with the responsibilities they require. While extremely exciting and positive, this transition will be smoother with an increase in personal awareness and stress management. You are heading into the winds of change. Whether you don’t yet know what comes next or have your course plotted, you will benefit from knowing how to maximize your energy to perform at your best. Learning how to take care of yourself is one of the most important investments you can make in your career and personal life success. Good nutrition and supplementation will put the wind in your sails and carry you anywhere you want to go.

Chart your course.

One secret to post graduation success is to become organized. Time management is your best friend. As your own boss you will need to learn to give yourself the good food, regular exercise, and plenty of sleep that your body needs. This is how you set yourself up for smooth sailing. It’s time to tune into what your body is telling you on many levels. You may not have paid attention before to signals such as how you feel after eating a pizza, a bowl of ice cream, or one too many drinks. Not to take the wind out of your sails, but soon some of these pleasurable foods may begin to rock your boat. Some may leave you lethargic, achy, or with symptoms of poor digestion. Others may make your brain foggy and unequipped for cognitive performance. Better to get your bearings now so that you can navigate knowing the lay of the land.

Popeye & Olive Oil

Popeye the Sailor Man and his girlfriend Olive Oyl knew a thing or two about nutrition. The perpetual underdog, he guzzled cans of spinach to pump up his muscles while keeping Olive Oyl close at hand. We know today that olive oil and spinach are two of the healthiest foods around. If you are just learning to cook for yourself, consider stocking up on olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil. Contrary to conventional wisdom, these nutrient rich fats do not make you fat. It is vegetable oils that put one at risk for obesity and diseases or will become denatured at high cooking temperatures causing free radicals to develop. Instead use extra virgin olive oil for cooking and salads. It has a high enzyme content which aids digestion as well as being rich in antioxidants. Or try coconut oil, which has a nice flavor for baking. These delicious flavors mix well with all foods, can be added to smoothies for sustaining, on-the-go energy, and also have high vitamin contents and antioxidants. Coconut oil fights off all kinds of infectious agents as well as helping the body to burn fat and decrease hunger. But that is just the tip of the iceberg! To keep your boat going with the flow even in life’s sometimes-stormy seas you will need a few basic supplements.

Set sail with the right supplement.

Even with the best of intentions, no one cooks all their own meals and eats right all the time. But you can adopt a good, basic supplementation strategy to keep you heading in the right direction by filling in any gaps your menu may have.

1. Make sure you take a good, whole foods, multi-vitamin such as My Kind Organics Men’s/Women’s Once Daily. Not only are these vitamins made from actual food rather than being synthetic creations, they are all organic and contain 100% of the recommended daily value or higher of 15 vitamins and minerals with nothing artificial added. Adjusted for the health needs of men and women, the women’s version benefits metabolism, skin and nails, and contains iron for red blood cell production. The men’s formula supports good energy, heart health, and prostate health.

2. Many people eating a western diet are deficient in calcium and magnesium. Even if one gets enough calcium from dairy, the two minerals work together and can be difficult to get in correct proportion. Natural Vitality CalMag is a great way to ensure that you are getting a balanced ratio of bioavailable calcium and magnesium for strong bones and muscle health in a relaxing, powdered supplement drink. Just add it to water, juice, or your favorite smoothie ingredients.

3. Catie’s Whole Plant Food Greens is an organic super-concentrated greens powder to throw in your smoothie. This mix of whole food vegetables, fruits, herbs, and adaptogenic mushrooms provides abundant energy and overall health. Contained are some of the richest vitamin and mineral source foods along with their phytonutrients, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and fatty acids. There is also a Gluten Free version for those who are sensitive to gluten. You can either commit to eating 7 servings a day of the best quality organic vegetables available or you can keep afloat with the best buoy money can buy! Strengthen and nourish your system every day with Catie’s Greens for full steam ahead health!

4. In addition to the above mentioned oils, many people benefit from taking daily cod liver oil with it’s wealth of fat-soluble vitamins A, D,and E, as well as the fatty acids EPA and DHA which are essential for proper functioning of the brain and nervous systems. When Green Pasture Cod Liver Oil is fermented in the traditional way, without heat, and taken with Green Pasture X Factor Gold High Vitamin Butter Oil, the combination found in Blue Ice Royal Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Oil Blend works like magic to maintain robust good health.

Down the hatch!

Now that you have the nutrition and supplement strategies in place to keep your ship on an even keel, you have much less to worry about. Go ahead and celebrate your commitment and determination that brought you to this graduation moment. You are ready to sail into deep water knowing you have a solid foundation of nutrition to support you. The coast is clear, and your goals are waiting to be chased!

Natural Remedies for Colds & Flu

Beat colds & flu to get back to you!

Cold and flu season is in full swing and there have been lots of runny noses and coughing around these parts lately! Fortunately, we have some great natural remedies for all those yucky symptoms.

The elderberry syrup recipe featured below is one of the first supplements to turn to when you start feeling something coming on. Rich in vitamins A, B, and C, elderberry syrup is a natural alternative to flu shots that you can make at home for only a few dollars. Not only has elderberry syrup been found to prevent the flu, but it also shortens the duration of illness for those who’ve already succumbed to the flu. Plus, you can customize homemade elderberry syrup to suit your needs — for example, substituting manuka honey for extra antiviral and antibacterial benefits, adding a spoonful or two of cocoa powder to relieve coughs, or turning it into gummy candies to better appeal to kids.

Manuka Honey Nugget Cough Drops
All the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits of manuka honey are packed into these convenient Manuka Honey Nuggets, perfect for soothing sore throats and coughs

We have also found vitamin C powder to stop colds in their tracks, and many studies indeed support vitamin C’s ability to lessen the severity and duration of a cold. Catie’s Vitamin C Plus is made from organic plant foods, not synthetic ascorbic acid. Mix a spoonful into a glass of water for a tasty fruit punch that’s actually good for you! Or try Organic High Vitamin C Powder made from organic acerola cherries. You’d have to eat 16 oranges to get the amount of vitamin C in just one teaspoon of powdered acerola cherries… I don’t know about you, but I certainly can’t eat that many oranges!

To alleviate the sinus pressure and congestion accompanying winter bugs, VAXA Sinus Formula combines traditional herbs with homeopathic ingredients to reduce sinus congestion and post-nasal drip, decrease sneezing, coughing, and swollen eyes, and eliminate that “stuck in a bell” feeling caused by blocked ears, dizziness, and vertigo. If you’re more prone to respiratory problems than sinus troubles, GHC AllerTrex eases swollen, inflamed bronchial passages and helps clear out mucous and supports the lungs.

Finally, for the congestion and all-over aches and pains that the flu may cause, Calm Balm is a natural alternative to vaporub, relieving congestion and soothing aches and pains with healing fermented cod liver oil, high vitamin butter oil, coconut oil, menthol camphor, and essential oils. And don’t forget the old standby of hot tea with lemon and honey — just a cup or two always makes me feel so much better!

While colds and flus don’t generally require antibiotics — in fact, antibiotics may be completely ineffective in these situations and contribute to the development of superbugs — some bacterial infections such as strep throat, certain sinus infections or ear infections, and some types of pneumonia may require additional treatment. Natural remedies for bacterial complications include colloidal silver, raw garlic, and manuka honey, all of which may be more effective than prescription antibiotics, without the dangerous side effects and the ability to breed superbugs.

If you do opt to take antibiotics, the best way to protect your immune system and digestive tract is to take probiotics daily during and after the course of antibiotics. Prescript-Assist restores the beneficial bacteria that are wiped out by antibiotics so that you can return to good health quickly and get back to the activities you love. Feel better soon!


Get 10% OFF these cold and flu supplements with coupon code: FluFighters


Feel the effects of elderberry & honey home remedies.

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

Wellness Mama makes this yummy elderberry syrup to prevent flu, as well as treat it. Use regular honey when making for a preventative, but use manuka honey when taking for treatment of an active illness, to give an added boost to the immune system. In addition to having powerful illness-fighting abilities, elderberry syrup is a delicious topping for pancakes, waffles, plain yogurt, or even a bowl of newly-fallen snow!

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup black elderberries
  • 3 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 2 Tbs ginger root
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp cloves or clove powder
  • 1 cup raw honey (preventative) or manuka honey (acute illness)

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients except honey to a saucepan. You do not want to heat the honey, as this will destroy many of the beneficial compounds, so we’ll add this at the end.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until liquid is reduced by about half. Wellness Mama said this will take 45 minutes to an hour, but it took me over 2 hours.
  4. Remove saucepan from heat and allow to cool a bit.
  5. Use a mesh strainer or cheesecloth to strain the liquid into a jar or bowl.
  6. The elderberries are no longer needed; you can compost them, but they are also great in pancakes or muffins!
  7. Allow the liquid to cool, then mix in the honey.
  8. Pour into smaller mason jars and refrigerate.

Recommended Dosage:

The preventative dose for kids is 1/2 – 1 tsp a day; for adults, take 1/2 – 1 Tbs a day. Many suggest skipping the weekend doses to further boost immunity.

During a cold or flu, take the usual dose, but increase the frequency to every 2-3 hours until symptoms subside.

Elderberry Gummies

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine elderberry syrup and lemon juice.
  2. When it is hot, slowly add the gelatin. If it is added too fast it may clump and leave gross lumps in the gummies. Stir constantly until the  gelatin is completely dissolved. The mixture gets a glassy look when this has occurred.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool. You want it to be no warmer than 115° before you add the honey. The mixture should still be a warm enough to mix the honey easily, but not so hot it will destroy the beneficial compounds of the manuka.
  4. If you don’t have a silicon mold, then use coconut oil to grease the sides of a bread pan. Once the honey is completely combined into the mixture, pour into silicon mold or into the bread pan.
  5. Put into the freezer for 20 – 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from freezer and pop out of the mold. If you used the bread pan, then cut into bite size pieces for easier removal from the pan.

Manuka Honey & Lemon Cough Drops

If you or your child has a cough you want to treat, then these homemade gummy drops are an excellent choice. Even regular honey has been used medicinally for treating coughs, and has been shown in studies to be just as effective as over-the-counter cough suppressants. Manuka honey does this and more with its extra immune-boosting and healing  properties. Coconut oil is loaded with antioxidants and contains lauric acid, which gives it its ability to kill viruses and germs, so these little babies can help suppress the cough and help your body fight the cold at the same time.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine coconut oil and lemon juice.
  2. When it is hot, slowly add the gelatin. If it is added too fast it may clump and leave gross lumps in the gummies. Stir constantly until the  gelatin is completely dissolved. The mixture get a glassy look when this has occurred.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool. You want it to be no warmer than 115° before you add the honey, as higher temperatures will reduce the effectiveness of manuka honey.
  4. If you don’t have a silicon mold, then use coconut oil to grease the sides of a bread pan. Pour the mixture into a silicon mold or bread pan.
  5. Freeze for 20 – 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from freezer and pop out of the mold, or if you used a bread pan, use a knife to cut into bite size pieces.

All supplements mentioned above are 10% OFF! Enter coupon code “FluFighters” at checkout.

By Ali Wetherbee and Kerrie Bross

Natural Immune Boosters

Natural-immune-boostersBy Ali Wetherbee

No one enjoys being sick! A stuffy nose, inflamed sinuses, and all-over aches and pains stop you in your tracks and leave you feeling miserable. But what if there were ways to boost your immune system — naturally! — to improve your body’s resistance to viruses and bacteria? Fortunately, there are many options when it comes to natural immune boosters. Each of these whole-food supplements is an amazing natural immune booster for preventing mild and acute illnesses as well as more severe and chronic illnesses. A compromised immune system can leave you susceptible to every passing germ, but with a healthy diet and a natural immune booster (or several), you can be back on the track to good health!

Receive 10% off these and other immune boosting supplements with coupon code: ImmuneBoost

Natural Immune Booster #1: Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin naturally present in many fruits and vegetables, and is perhaps the most popular and widely-researched natural immune booster. According to Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, who has studied vitamin C extensively, “Higher blood levels of vitamin C may be the ideal nutrition marker for overall health.” He recommends consuming much more than the RDA — at least 500mg of vitamin C a day —  in supplement form, in addition to a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Since any excess vitamin C is water-soluble and excreted from the body rather than stored, overdose is not a concern, but at very high doses (2000mg or more) it can irritate the stomach or loosen bowels. Whole food vitamin C contains all the co-factors needed to obtain optimal benefits from this vitamin. Studies suggest that vitamin C can strengthen an immune system weakened by stress, reduce the duration of illness, prevent complications (such as pneumonia) from the common cold, combat inflammation, and prevent more serious illnesses stemming from a compromised immune system, such as cancer, arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease. For those that are anemic, taking vitamin C along with your iron supplement can boost your body’s absorption of iron. Vitamin C is also able to increase the production and function of white blood cells, particularly neutrophils, those cells which are responsible for fighting off invading bacteria and viruses, as well as boost interferons, which trigger the body’s antiviral response — all key components of a healthy immune system. Vitamin C is a particularly important natural immune booster in preventing colds and other illnesses in children and in those who are under hard physical stress, such as marathon runners, soldiers in harsh climates, and skiers.

Organic_True_Whole_Food_Vitamin_C  Vitamin_Code_Raw_Vitamin_C  Caties_Vitamin_C

Natural Immune Booster #2: Baobab Fruit

Limitless_BaobabGet all the benefits of vitamin C powder, plus antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and more, all in one fruit! This amazing supplement from Limitless Good helps naturally boost the immune system. Baobab powder, made from the fruit of the baobab tree from Malawi, Africa, has limitless potential to improve your health! Not only is baobab powder an excellent source of vitamin C, with 6 times the vitamin C of oranges, but it also contains 6 times the antioxidants of blueberries and 6 times the potassium of bananas, leaving you less susceptible to colds and flus. This natural immune booster is also rich in calcium, magnesium, and iron. Baobab’s high ORAC value (a measure of antioxidant content) means this fruit is a powerhouse when it comes to fighting inflammation and scavenging free radicals, reducing the risk of illnesses related to aging or chronic inflammation. Plus, with every spoonful of Limitless Good Baobab powder, you’ll be getting a good serving of digestive enzymes and prebiotics, which boost the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive system and strengthen the immune system. Mix baobab powder into your juice, smoothie, yogurt, or even plain water — it adds a delicious citrusy flavor with an immune-boosting punch!

Natural Immune Booster #3: Perfect Revive Acai

PSReviveLabelNewFOLPeople who are run-down, tired, stressed, and burnt-out are more likely to fall ill. Stressed people’s immune cells become less sensitive to cortisol,” says Sheldon Cohen, Ph.D., a Carnegie Mellon University professor of psychology. “They’re unable to regulate the inflammatory response, and therefore, when they’re exposed to a virus, they’re more likely to develop a cold.” The research conducted by Cohen and colleagues found that when exposed to a cold virus, those who were under stress were twice as likely to develop cold symptoms than their non-stressed counterparts. But stress can be hard to avoid, particularly if you work in a demanding field (or have kids!) Perfect Revive Acai can help your body better adapt to stress with two key adaptogenic herbs: cordyceps and rhodiola rosea. Adaptogens help regulate factors like blood pressure, hormone levels, adrenal response, and other physical responses to stress, minimizing the impact all that tension has on your body and keeping the immunes system healthy. But the immune-boosting benefits of Perfect Revive don’t end there! This natural immune booster is also packed with antioxidant-rich acai and grape seed extract, lowering your risk of not only minor illnesses but also many chronic diseases. Acai berries come from the Amazonian “Tree of Life,”  and the powder made from these little berries has an ORAC value 50 times higher than that of most other foods. Leave a behind stress and illness, and welcome the improved mood, energy, endurance, and health you can experience from Perfect Revive Acai!

Natural Immune Booster #4: Mercola Immune Support

Mercola_Immune_SupportHere’s another great natural immune booster for warding off illness during times of stress: Dr. Mercola’s Immune Support. Vitamin D, which has been recognized to play a key role in modulating the immune response and preventing influenza, is paired with immune-boosting vitamin C, plus a combination of 8 healing herbs, to create this antioxidant-packed Immune Support formula. The antioxidants within help to combat the free radicals that can prevent your immune system from functioning optimally. With oregano oil, olive leaf extract, propolis, dimethylglycine, European elder flower, yarrow root, peppermint leaf, and boneset leaf, Mercola Immune Support is additive-free and natural, with organic ingredients. This formula is vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free. As soon as you start feeling a bit run-down or sluggish, start a 10-day course of this natural immune booster supplement to get your health back on track.

Natural Immune Booster #5: SunWarrior Immune Shield

SunWarrior_Immune_ShieldWhat if you could literally shield yourself from invading viruses and bacteria? SunWarrior Immune Shield, with fulvic acid, silver ions, and trace minerals, can do just that. Silver has been used for centuries as an antibiotic, and silver ions are teeny tiny particles with germicidal, fungicidal, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties. Ionic silver is safer than colloidal silver and effective in boosting immune system function and speeding healing. Fulvic acid helps transport vitamins and minerals and bring silver ions directly to the cells, where they can go to work at healing the body. Fulvic acid makes vitamins and minerals more available to your body, improves hydration, detoxifies, aids in cellular repair, and fights free radicals. Along with these two natural immune boosters, Immune Shield also contains macro minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, and trace minerals like iron, zinc, copper, iodine, and selenium. These 71 minerals nourish the cells and are essential for many bodily processes, plus enhance the sense of well-being you’ll feel from SunWarrior Immune Shield.

Receive 10% off these and other immune boosting supplements with coupon code: ImmuneBoost