Expansive, mind-blowing change can happen when we are in an environment where we feel supported, heard and inspired. This was exactly my experience when I underwent the last 21 Day Transformation with Holistic Nutritionist, Kristin Dahl and Health Coach, Alexa Gray.
Through their work, I was able to open up, shift my relationship with food, meet new incredible souls and received the most amazing goodie bag in the mail full of beautiful holistic products that assisted me in using the tools I acquired even after the cleanse was over.
Research shows that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Well, I believe this is even more true when those days are filled with a tribe who is on the same path, experts who are there to answer any questions you have and endless inspiration to quickly alleviate anxiety and fears through the process.
Nature has provided us with many sources of medicine and raw cacao is one of the most effective (and delicious) of them all. It is an immune-boosting powerhouse full of antioxidants, vitamins and essential minerals.
This superfood is a potent source of magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium and fiber. It is by far one of the most antioxidant rich foods, assisting in balancing hormonal mood swings by raising levels of serotonin in the body and creating the feeling of euphoria due to the anandamide (or bliss molecule) in the cacao. It is heart protecting, energy creating, improves skin texture (more powerful than antioxidant rich green tea & blueberries) and contains endorphins for mood-boosting effects. I could go on and on about the benefits but as you can see, this is an extremely powerful food that we have access to. It is also important to note that raw cacao is a wonderful source of magnesium, something many of us are deficient in. Magnesium is responsible for a lot in the body from balancing brain chemistry to building strong bones and is crucial to creating vitality.
Raw cacao is now a daily part of my diet. My favorite ways to enjoy it are 1-2 tbsp in my morning smoothie, sugar-free hot chocolate (I stir into warm coconut milk with a few drops of stevia), making my own chocolate, adding a tbsp to homemade banana ice cream or a handful of raw cacao nibs if I am having a craving or need an energy boost.
Apple cider vinegar has been a wonderful addition to my holistic medicine cabinet. It is a true multitasking product that when consumed raw and organic has numerous benefits from maintaining proper pH levels in the body to clearing skin. I love Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar as seen above.
I have been including ACV as part of my morning routine for a while now with my lemon water. I mix in one tablespoon ACV, half of a lemon and about 1/2 a cup of water so it goes down easier (I don’t recommend drinking it straight as it is very potent and can harm tooth enamel as well as burn going down). This drink helps to give my metabolism a jump start first thing in the morning as well as detox my body by helping to remove toxins.
Apple cider vinegar is rich in potassium which helps to prevent brittle teeth and hair loss as well soothe the pain of leg cramps (ever heard of trying to eat a banana when you get leg cramps, ACV works great too). Apple cider vinegar can relieve stomach pains by balancing acid in the stomach and when taken consistently can help ward off sickness due to the concentrated mix of vitamins and minerals. When used in the morning to gargle it can help to freshen breath and whiten teeth. It can also improve energy levels and get rid of bloat when consumed daily. These are just a few of the many benefits that apple cider vinegar can provide. Other uses include helping to relieve sunburn, getting rid of warts, a hair rinse and all-purpose cleaner.
Have you ever tried apple cider vinegar? If yes, what did you think? Let me know in the comments below!
I have mentioned the importance of routine in my life throughout this blog. Small acts add up and really make a difference in how I feel on a daily basis. My mental and physical health are top priorities which is why no matter how busy I am I never sacrifice moments like my morning meditation and journaling, cooking healthy meals or taking my supplements (to name a few).
I have also mentioned how much I value my beauty routine. Whether it is taking the time to do my hair or use organic products. Today I am discussing another aspect of this routine, dry brushing. In my opinion, this is one of the most inexpensive and effective detoxing tools.
Despite my best efforts there is a ton of toxins in the environment that are difficult to avoid. Dry brushing stimulates the immune system, helps digestion, improves circulation, removes dirt and dead skin cells, helps to unclog pores, aids in the elimination of toxins and tightens the skin by increasing the flow of blood.
To dry brush start at your feet and work your way up by moving the brush in circular and long upward strokes toward your heart, the direction your lymphatic system goes in. The lymph is responsible for regulating the immune system and the removal of wastes from every cell in the body. Of course, it is ok if every motion is not perfect. What matters is the effort, just do your best. I try to do this before every shower but sometimes I don’t have time so I strive for as many days as I can (twice a day is recommended for optimal benefits). Don’t forget to clean your brush with soap and water once a week.
Use an organic body oil post shower (moisturizing is extremely important) and your skin will feel soft and clean. Don’t forget to look for brushes with natural bristles and remember that your skin should feel glowing after brushing, not red and inflamed. Some like the mittens but I like a long handle because it allows me to reach my back. Taking the extra 5-10 minutes before showering to dry brush has been very beneficial for my skin and I hope see a difference too. As with everything it is not an overnight fix so try it for a month and see how you feel.
There is tremendous power in rituals. They are grounding and an experience we can rely on when life inevitably gets hectic. The morning is a sacred time to me and despite what the day holds, I begin feeling calm and centered (at least that is the goal). As my yerba mate tea is steeping and I am getting ready to meditate and journal, I begin sipping a glass of warm lemon water. Many people have written about the benefits of this fruit. It has become a lovely aspect of my routine and benefits the body in so many ways.
The reasons I drink lemon water (and you should too) are to take advantage of:
1. The hydrating properties. When we first wake up our body is dehydrated. Lemon water will hydrate your cells and tissue allowing your body to function at its best vs. dehydrating it more with coffee (which is a diuretic).
2. The ability to energize and wake you up, giving you natural energy first thing in the morning.
3. Aids in digestion and flushes out toxins.
4. Gives your immune system a boost with a serious dose of Vitamin C.
Such a small act with numerous fantastic benefits. Another fun way to drink your lemon water is with some stevia to make sugar-free lemonade. That is sounding quite delicious right about now.
So tell me, do you drink lemon water?
I am sitting on a cloud of holistic love + excitement at the potential of feeling better than ever before.
Many months ago I was recommended to visit Dr. Frank Lipman. I had watched many of his videos as well as visited his website countless times. Surely, this doctor of celebrity status (I assumed) would not be available to see me.
How very wrong I was….
I think one of the most amazing aspects of being spiritual is the ability to trust that my future is in good hands. At the time I was introduced to the thought of seeing Dr. Lipman I eagerly wanted to make an appointment that week; something kept stopping me. Weeks went by and this winter was not an easy one for me health-wise so I pushed it out of my mind. Feeling good but ready to feel better, I finally made an appointment to see him last week. Boy o’ boy… I sure am happy I did.
I walked into his office and immediately a wave of peace swept over me.
I am exactly where I need to be.
Not long after I got there did Dr. Lipman come out and call my name. We sat down in his office and I began telling him my history over the past few years. It wasn’t long until the real reason I was there came out.
I explained to him that for almost my entire life I had been bloated and uncomfortable. I fancy myself a pretty healthy eater but this did not matter. A diagnosis of celiac disease in 2006 was helpful but not the end all-be all answer to my problems that I had hoped for. I tried every diet in the book, did countless research, watched every documentary I could get my hands on but nothing worked. Sometimes I would stay bloated for weeks. Often times I would eat the same meals and be bloated one day but not the other. It just did not make sense.
Until Dr. Lipman asked the golden question. What probiotics have I been taking throughout my transplant while I was slamming my body with over 50 medications daily at times. My answer: NONE.
The look on his face was something I will not forget. His jaw dropped and disappointment took over. His advice simple but clear, “We need to heal your gut.”
How had I not thought of this! He explained to us that our entire immune system begins in our gut. With all the medications I had been on without taking care of it, I was most likely not even absorbing all the nutrients I worked so hard to give my body.
I left with a list of holistic remedies which I am getting approved by my doctor as I type this. If anyone is interested I can share this info and fill you in on how my healing goes. For now, the idea of feeling like my most healthy and energetic self is something that makes me giddy inside.