Clear Skin Remedy: Purple Cabbage, Cucumber, Grape Juice Recipe

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Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable, with anti-cancer and blood building properties. It also helps to promote a clear complexion Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable, with anti-cancer and blood building properties. It also helps to promote a clear complexion. If you don’t like eating it.

Ingredients: 
• 1/2 head purple cabbage 
• 2 large cucumbers 
• 2 handfuls purple grapes

Method: 

• Wash all the ingredients thoroughly.  
• Juice the cabbage, cucumbers and grapes in a juicer and drink immediately.

 

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Oveview of the Seven Chakras in Yoga

According to yoga science, our bodies have seven chakras that function as intake organs, collecting energy from the universe and enhancing different innate abilities and intuitions. These energy fields can either be open or blocked, meaning your psyche can either access the energy within the chakra or is unable to access that energy.

The Sanskrit word “chakra” translates literally to “wheel” or “disk.” The chakra or symbol of the wheel is used to signify each one of your energy centers. The science of yoga asserts it is best to keep the chakras open and in balance, as this is considered a significant way to promote spiritual and physical well being.  Many yoga postures and breathing and meditation exercises are used to open and balance the chakras.

Having the chakras out of balance or the blocking of a particular chakra is theorized to produce specific physical ailments in the body.  For example, if you have low energy and struggle with chronic lethargy, you may want to try to open up your third chakra, the power chakra, located in your solar plexus area in order to tap into more energy.

Interestingly enough, the seven chakras correspond exactly with the seven main nerve centers along the spinal cord.

The Seven Chakras

First Chakra
The first chakra is at the base of your spine and is often represented by the earth symbol and is linked to your physical identity. This chakra acts as a root and keeps you securely grounded on the earth.  The energy of this first chakra relates to primal needs such as self-preservation, but is also linked to your sense of being connected with the earth and your physical surroundings.  When kept in balance, this chakra promotes health, security and a sense of contentment with your physical body and physical surroundings.

Seven Chakras in Yoga

Seven Chakras in Yoga

It is believed that the kundalini energy lies within the base chakra, waiting to be uncoiled and released up through the other chakras, bringing with its release enlightenment, well-being and total balance. This experience is sometimes referred to as kundalini rising.  Such an experience is brought about by regular practice of yoga, chanting, meditation and the use of pranayama (controlled breathing exercises).

Second Chakra
The second chakra is centered in the vicinity of your reproductive organs. This chakra is represented by water and is linked to your emotional identity and self-gratification. It controls sexual energy and creativity.  When in balance, this chakra brings depth of feeling and sexual fulfillment to your life.

Third Chakra
The third chakra is located at your solar plexus. This chakra is represented by fire and is referred to as the power chakra. It is connected to endurance, self-control and well-being.  If in balance, this chakra brings us energy and non-violent power.

Fourth Chakra
The fourth chakra is centered in your chest. It is referred to as the heart chakra and is related to feelings and expressions of love, both towards your self and others. This chakra is represented by air. When in balance, you will feel deep love, compassion and peaceful goodwill to others.

Fifth Chakra
The fifth chakra is located in your throat. It controls the ability to speak truthfully and to speak in your own defense. This chakra is represented by sound. When healthy, you will be able to communicate clearly.

Sixth Chakra
The sixth chakra is at the center of your forehead, located between your eyebrows. This chakra is represented by light and is linked to psychic abilities. It is also connected to the ability to listen to intuition and retain visionary inspiration.

Seventh Chakra
The seventh chakra is located at the crown of your head. It is represented by thought and universal identity. This chakra is related to your ability to connect with the rest of the universe in mind, heart and spirit.

15 Tips To Balance Your Hormones (Hint: You Don’t Need To Take Hormones!)

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Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, cortisol, insulin etc. We’ve heard the names and we may even know how some of them function, but let’s be honest: This stuff is complicated

I wrote this to make it easy for you.

I’ve been trying to figure hormones out for years (college, medical school, and beyond) and during my journey, I’ve learned some solutions that keep coming up in the literature and from the experts. I found that these often mitigate the need for exogenous hormones.

Let me say it a different way: DO NOT take hormones if you haven’t tried some or all of the natural methods below!

Even healthy women and men who follow a good diet may find issues with fatigue, weight gain, brain fog etc. Balancing your hormones is not that difficult and can boost your personal and professional life in ways you never imagined.

Here are the top tips:

1. Avoid “white” foods.

In Dr. Christiane Northrup’s Hormone-Balancing Food Plan, she asks patients to eliminate refined carbohydrates, such as sugar, white rice, bread, alcohol, and foods made with white flour, such as muffins, bagels, pasta, pretzels and other snack foods. I’d go further and suggest you do a trial off of wheat completely for one month. When you reintroduce it, journal your symptoms to see if you should stay off of it permanently.

2. Supplement with omega-3 fatty acids.

Getting more polyunsaturated omega-3 fats is one of the easiest ways you can balance your hormones. This can be in the form of oily fish or for vegan algae oil. Chia seeds, flax and walnuts all have alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is more difficult to convert to usable omega-3.

3. Steer clear clear of commercial oils.

Many commercial oils contain omega-6 fats which lead to heart disease, and hormonal imbalance to name a few. Examples of oils to avoid: vegetable oil, peanut oil, canola oil, soybean oil, margarine, shortening, or other chemically altered fats. Choose fats/oils like coconut oil, real butter, olive oil (don’t heat!) and animal fats (tallow, lard) from healthy sources instead and eat lots of high Omega-3 fish (if you eat fish).

4. Sorry to say this but … LIMIT Caffeine.

Excessive caffeine raises your cortisol and slows down your thyroid. That’s not to say that you can’t ever have caffeine, but try to pair it with good fatty food for a slow release of the stimulant. (For tips on how to healthify your coffee, Dave Asprey has invented a recipe for Bulletproof Coffee, which uses a similar concept.)

5. Eat coconut oil and avocados.

And other healthy sources of saturated fat. This is the best way to boost testosterone or female hormones. Cholesterol is needed for formation of healthy cell membranes and is a precursor to all steroid hormones (progesterone, estrogen, FSH, ect). We cannot have proper hormonal balance without adequate amounts of saturated fats.

6. Fix your leptin.

Leptin is a hormone that regulates hunger and metabolism. We can create a deficiency in our leptin levels by consuming too much sugar or processed foods, or by skimping on sleep—and as a result, we can experience more food cravings and a slower metabolism. The fix? Eat whole foods, steer clear of sugar, and get some sleep.

7. Consider supplementing with Vitamin D.

Vitamin D acts like a hormone in our bodies, and deficiency has been linked to allergies, asthma, weight gain, fatigue, food allergies and even cancer. It’s best obtained from the sun but often sunlight is not enough. Vitamin D levels can be tested by your healthcare provider, and supplemental vitamin D can be found in various forms.

8. Consider maca root.

Maca root is tuber in the radish family that has a history of boosting hormone production and libido. Many women notice fewerPMS symptoms, increased fertility, and improved skin while men notice increased sperm production, libido, and better sleep. Maca is also high in minerals and essential fatty acids, making it great for hormones. It tastes good in a smoothie and is also available in capsule form.

9. Get your fiber on.

Get more fiber into your diet with raw fruit, and raw vegetables. Fiber binds itself to old estrogen, clearing it out of the system, and leading to better overall balance. This is good for men and women who suffer from estrogen dominance.

10. Eat more phytonutrients.

I’m talking raw, green plants, 3 to 5 servings a day. That’s a lot, but it’s not hard if you incorporate vegetables into a smoothie at the beginning of the day and then eat a salad later.

11. Do 8 sprint exercises a few times a week.

I am a sucker for long, slow cardio so this one was hard for me, but it works. It gives you an endorphin high and slows down aging. My favorite take on this is to warm up for 2 to 3 minutes on the treadmill, then increase the speed to a 30-second sprint. (That pace that works for me is about 8.0 to 8.5 mph.) Then decrease the speed to a comfortable jog (in my case, about 6 mph). Do the sprints 8 times and you’re done! It’s quick but exhausting.

12. Recognize the hormone disruptors in your bathroom cabinet.

We just know the tip of the iceberg with regards to chemical hormone endocrine disruptors. It’s too hard to avoid everything but try to avoid these:

  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Bisphenol-A (BPA)

The comprehensive list of endocrine disruptors is about 870! And we don’t even know all of them.

13. Manage your stress.

Even if you’re doing everything else right, if you’re stressed out, high levels of cortisol will throw all your hormones off balance. While high levels of cortisol are typically thought of as something that affect only people struggling with weight gain, even thin people have to worry about cortisol: researchers at Yale University, for example, found that slender women who had high cortisol also had more abdominal fat.

14. Consider weaning off synthetic hormones such as birth control pills.

Unless it’s absolutely necessary for birth control or another condition, I suggest you read an excellent post on this site regarding hormonal birth control.

15. If you have menstrual or menopause issues, try chasteberry.

Chasteberry is believed to work by suppressing the release of prolactin from the pituitary gland. Elevated prolactin levels can also cause an irregular menstrual cycle or even the absence of periods. Chasteberry is also included in many herbal combinations to help with PMS or menopause symptoms.

Is It Time For A Cleanse? 5 Signs From Ayurveda

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Do you ever experience feeling “not quite right,” even though nobody can tell you exactly what’s wrong? In Ayurveda, there are several early warning signs when an imbalance is present, and these happen long before an actual labeled disease or illness sets in. One of the most frequent triggers for these imbalances is when the body is unable to adequately rid itself of toxic materials that tend to accumulate, both in gross and subtle ways.

This toxic buildup happens for a variety of reasons. Internally, if your digestion isn’t up to snuff, the body’s inability to process and transform food can leave undigested residue that putrefies and blocks channels. Simultaneously, if the body’s waste removal systems, particularly bowel movements, aren’t optimal, then further toxicity accumulates in the system. And finally, there are numerous external exposures to pollutant and irritant materials that also settle in the system.

You can assess the level of toxic buildup in your body using the following five signs culled from Ayurvedic tradition:

1. Thick coating on the tongue.

Ayurveda recommends looking at your tongue every day to gauge your overall health. A thick white coating (or sometimes even yellow) indicates the presence of toxicity. The heavier and more prevalent the coating, the deeper the clogging runs in your system. Using a tongue cleaner helps clear the tongue and also starts to stimulate the digestive system to support natural cleansing.

2. Unexplained body aches.

While muscle, joint, and other general body aches can happen for a number of reasons which should be evaluated by your health care practitioner, when there’s no other identifiable cause, it often means there’s toxic waste built up in the system. If there’s also excess heat in the system, there may even be associated inflammation and very low-grade fever.

3. Lethargy after eating.

Eating provides the body with fuel. When digestion is optimal, you should feel energized and content after eating. But when your digestive fire is struggling, eating a full meal may leave you lethargic, dull and even exhausted. If this happens frequently, it means your body isn’t able to deal with what’s being put into the system, and undigested food residue is surely accumulating and turning toxic.

4. Foggy thinking.

Do you find that when you need to be on your toes and make sharp, accurate decisions, your mind is in a fog and you can’t think clearly? This can also be a sign that there’s toxic buildup in the system.

5. Foul odors.

Does your breath frequently smell bad, even after you’re careful to brush, floss and gargle? Do you find yourself emitting a foul body odor, even sour or putrid in nature? Do you have frequent flatulence that is smelly? All of these body odors are signs that there is toxicity in the body that needs cleansing.

If you find that these signs describe you, and consider a cleansing program to help bring your system back into balance. You can find an Ayurvedic center to complete the Ayurvedic cleansing process called Panchakarma, or you can even start with asimple home cleanse. You’ll soon find yourself feeling (and smelling and thinking and looking) better!

5 Reasons You Should Try Acupuncture

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Most patients try acupuncture as a last resort when their doctors have declared their discomfort unfixable or psychosomatic, or prescription drugs have caused collateral damage. Some give it a try when their insurance plans cover a certain number of visits. Others have found community acupuncture offers a way to make regular treatments affordable.
 
If you still haven’t tried acupuncture and are curious whether it’s worth your time and money, here are five encouraging reasons to give it a chance:
 
1. It’s personalized healthcare.
 
No two acupuncture patients receive the same treatment for the same disease or discomfort. Acupuncturists treat patients, not diseases. They are trained to take in every detail of you, from the sound of your voice to the quality of your skin to the sparkle in your eyes. They care about your whole story, past and present. They see your body as a network of interdependent parts: muscle, bone, fascia, organs, blood and body fluids, as well as more subtle layers like meridians and qi. They see what is deficient and what is stuck, mentally as well as physically, and make adjustments like a traffic cop, facilitating the body’s own healing ability. 
 
2. It’s nothing to be afraid of.
 
Sure, you may feel the needles and their immediate effects, but you needn’t be anxious. If you’re suffering aches and pains on a daily basis, that chronic pain far outweighs any momentary mini pinch of a hair-thin sterile acupuncture needle. 
 
3. It has lovely side effects.
 
You may go to acupuncture to cure your neck and shoulder pain, and find that the pain diminishes. Meanwhile, your stress level, sleep quality, digestion, and overall mood improve too.
 
4. It gets to the root.
 
Acupuncture treatments are deeply healing because they focus not only on the patient’s current condition, but investigate why their symptoms are manifesting and aim to treat the underlying root cause. 
 
5. It works.
 
Acupuncture has been around since before recorded history. The earliest written record comes from a few hundred years before the common era. If it didn’t work, it certainly wouldn’t have lasted thousands of years and spread through hundreds of Asian medical lineages.  
 
Scientists try to understand how acupuncture works from a biomedical perspective. Some refer to its effects on fascia, the connective tissue that surrounds all our muscles and organs. Some point to acupuncture’s ability to stimulate the limbic system and autonomic nervous system. 
 
Some scientists claim in their studies that acupuncture is sometimes as effective as “sham acupuncture.” While they attempt to fit a versatile and non-linear medicine into a formulaic model with double-blind studies, the clinical experience of everyday practitioners and patients agrees with thousands of years of history — acupuncture works!

Why You REALLY Shouldn’t Use Protein Powders

 

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People love their protein powders, and they’ll defend the benefits of these supplements until they’re blue in the face. I get it, because I’ve been there. Years ago I drank a banana, blueberry and a whey protein powder blend smoothie every day. I thought I was being really healthy, because after all, the powder promised ripped abs, sleek muscles, more energy and better athletic performance.

Sounded good to me. I just drink this protein shake every day, and I’ll be a healthy, hot super-yogini, right?

Wrong! Protein powders are highly processed and are often heated to the point that the protein is denatured, which makes it nearly impossible for the body to recognize and use. The result is higher levels of acidity and toxicity in the body, which can lead to plenty of unwanted illnesses and diseases.

So here we are again, consuming something we think is supposed to be healthy for us and make us look and feel our best, and yet, it could be making us sick. Ugh. Protein powders are often filled with preservatives, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), allergens like dairy (whey protein isolate) and soy, and other synthetic toxins like aspartame, saccharin, and artificial flavors.

In case all that wasn’t enough to get your attention, since protein powders are considered a supplement, they’re not even regulated by the FDA. In fact, Consumer Reports conducted an eye-opening study a few years ago, showing that several protein powders on the market contain dangerous levels of toxic heavy metals — specifically arsenic, cadmium and lead. Not good.

The long of the short here is that there are way too many scary risks, which far supersede the promised health claims of protein powders. The good news is you don’t have to rely on these supplements, because you can get all the protein you need from eating real whole foods!

My go-to plant protein of choice is hemp seeds, which are in my mind the cleanest complete protein available on the market today. Hemp seeds are considered a whole food, so you don’t have to worry about any scary manufacturing nightmares, nasty preservatives, artificial flavors or toxins. They’re an amazing source of source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, helping to keep you fueled, regular, happy and healthy.

For the protein gram counters out there, just three tablespoons of hemp seeds will load you up with 14 grams of protein! If you know someone using a questionable protein powder, please share this post. And now, I want to hear from you. Do you use protein powder? Have I convinced you to try an alternative? I want to know!

7 Yoga Styles to Fit Every Body and Mood

There was a time when I didn’t really think much of yoga. As a runner, I’m used to sweating it out, lots of intense movement, burning tons of energy, and actually going places. But then I decided to test out a yoga class at my local gym. And it was…pretty intense. The next day I was sore, but felt relaxed and invigorated. And I could hardly wait to go back and give the Vinyasa class another try. What I hadn’t realized before was that yoga encompasses a wide variety of styles and methods of practice, each of which is based on the foundation of breathing, balance, mindfulness, and spirituality. And depending on what the needs of your body and mind are, there’s probably a method of yoga practice that is a good fit for you. The tricky part is knowing which style that is. Here’s a quick yoga style guide to get you on the right track and to the right class.

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Vinyasa 
What it is: You’ll “flow” from pose to pose in this vigorous style that will likely leave you feeling sore the next day and strong the day after.
What it’s good for: Building strength – in limbs and core – and building up a sweat. Breathing with your movement will help you release tension, stretch farther, and manage discomfort.

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Bikram 
What it is: If striking a pose in a 105-degree yoga studio sounds like what you need, check out Bikram – sometimes called “hot” – yoga. The practice has 26 poses and is focused on building strength and flexibility from head to toe, while “flushing toxins” through copious sweat.
What it’s good for: Increasing flexibility, sweating, recovering from injury, sweating.

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Iyengar 
What it is: Props – like straps, blankets, blocks, and cushions – are commonly used in this gentle yoga practice where mastery of the basics are encouraged before students move on to more advanced variations of the poses.
What it’s good for: Precise alignment is key in this style, which can help improve posture or recover from injury.

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Restorative 
What it is: Lying still can sometimes be hard work. This gentle, meditative practice will help you relax and release tension to bring your body back to a more energized state.
What it’s good for: De-stressing, releasing tension, relaxing – slowly, gently, and thoroughly.

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Prenatal 
What it is: A gentle hatha practice modified to accommodate growing bellies and changing bodies.
What it’s good for: Building or maintaining strength, flexibility, and circulation throughout pregnancy without the discomfort of many high-impact activities.

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Paddle Board 
What it is: Yoga on a paddle board? You better believe it! The gentle rocking makes finding the balance in a pose more of a challenge, but if you fall in, all you get is a bit wet.
What it’s good for: Finding balance, relaxing, and enjoying the soothing feeling of being on top of the water.

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What it is: Expect a slower-paced class, that gently moves you through basic poses combined with meditation and breathing.
What it’s good for: While it can help you relax and de-stress at any time during the day, it can also be a good style to practice as you prepare for bed.