“Spring Green Cleaning” for Good Health!

Mix of green vegetables and fruits on rustic backgroundSPRING is in the air!  If you missed this month’s Newsletter,  it was packed full of tips on “Spring Cleaning” for the body, mind and spirit.  As we begin to clean our homes (inside & out), we should also do the same for our body.  It is the perfect time to transition from more “winter” foods to those that help the body detox from those indulgent moments over the Winter of festive food delights (grin). Cleansing is a gentle and effective way to bring the energy of renewal into our own lives. “Spring cleaning” is more than just detoxifying the body, it can also mean avoiding toxins our environment and thoughts as well!

You may have heard critics argue that the human body is designed with just the right physiological processes necessary to clear the body of impurities and maintain health. Yes, that was likely true 20+ years ago. Unfortunately, for many people, lifestyle habits and the environments where we live, work, eat, and play often expose us to toxins that our bodies don’t efficiently eliminate. (Let’s face it, times have changed. We are exposed to more things that can impact our body than ever before – changing times often mean shifting our approach and focus to achieve optimal wellness!)

The toxins you can be exposed to everyday include:

  • heavy metals in the food and water supply
  • environmental pollution, including pesticides
  • electronic devices
  • chemical food additives
  • smoking; overuse of alcohol or OTC drugs
  • use/overuse of Rx medication
  • prolonged high stress
  • poor quality diet, sleep, and lifestyle habits
  • frequent colds or chronic illness

Below are some gentle and safe ways to bring the energy of “spring cleaning” into your life,

from the inside out…

  1. Rest the digestive system by eliminating solid food for a short time.  This is the time to consider homemade vegetable juices, broths, or carefully planned protein shakes to provide the extra nutrients that help your body eliminate toxins.  Leafy green veggies are particularly cleansing, especially those that are bitter such as dandelion, Endive, parsley, beet, kale, Swiss chard, spinach, bok choy, and arugula.  The advantage of making “greens” juices and shakes at home is that you have control over making sure it includes the highest quality ingredients.  After cleansing re-introduce a balanced healthy eating plan. Here is one of my favorite GREEN protein shake I have been drinking lately.
    • Combine 11/2 cups filtered water with 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1/4 cup ice
    • Add the following
      • 1 scoop of pea protein powder (I like SunWarrior Plus or Designs by Health Pea Protein)
      • 1 1/2  cup local spinach, Swiss chard, or kale
      • 1/3 cup frozen blueberries or strawberries
      • 1/2 Tbsp. maca root powder
      • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed or chia seed
      • 1 Tbsp. raw pumpkin seeds
      • 1/3 avocado
    • Blend in Nutribullet, Ninja, or Blender! 
  2. ‘Water’ your body and entice it with herbal tea. Drinking water and tea are a perfect way to cleanse and hydrate the system.  Make sure you are drinking clean, filtered water.  Try adding a squeeze of fresh lemon to your water to stimulate the liver each morning.  Different herbal teas have different cleaning properties.  Some great examples are dandelion, burdock, ginger, licorice root, mint, fennel, and cardamom. I enjoy using fresh loose organic tea (vs. tea bag), however when I do use a tea bag one of my favorite brands is Traditional Medicinals.  Ginger tea with cardamom is my “go to” for good digestion and to curb cravings for sweets in the afternoon!  
  3. Reset your sleep time routine.  Research is clear, we cannot underestimate the benefits of a good nights sleep.  Not just a couple times a week but every night!  It is important to commit to a regular bedtime and wake time to help your body’s circadian rhythm. Not to mention, that critical quality 7-8 hours we all need to function at our best and avoid the side effects of a poor sleep pattern such as cravings for sweets, weight gain, lack of focus, fatigue, brain fog…(need I go on!).  Do you really think skimping on sleep is helping you get more done? If you do nothing else for your health this Spring…DO commit to a routine sleep patter! (oh, and think you “need an app for that”? Check this out as one option)
  4. Go ‘Green and Clean’ in Your Home. Often a major area of toxic exposure is in our homes. Household cleaners, laundry products, lawn care chemicals, and bug sprays expose us to numerous chemicals and petroleum based toxins than ever before.  (Especially if you are clean-freak like me. This was an area I had to really “clean up” a year ago). Even cosmetics, perfumes, shampoos, face washes, deodorants, and toothpastes have chemicals that can disrupt our health. (For some more than others). Health food stores offer environmentally-friendly, all-natural products. Personally, I love using high-grade essential oils to make all my own cleaners, weed killer, and even bug spray (It really works and is less expensive!)
  5. Manage Your Stress & Breathe.  Think back over your day today.  Did you take any deep cleansing breaths? (If you were like me about 8 years ago…I honestly couldn’t think of a good time I actually breathed!) Just taking the time to breathe has been shown to enhance both physical, mental, and spiritual well-being; and help to overcome stress, boost energy, focus your mind, improve sleep, and foster greater peace.  Stress itself can wreak havoc on problems such as IBS, bloating, heartburn, headaches, and more.  Furthermore, it can contribute to chronic inflammation.
    • Take time to breathe deep each day.  One of my favorite breathing exercises is called “flapping your wings”! (I can’t remember where I learned this!).  Here is how it is done:
      • Sit up straight and relaxed in your chair. Close your eyes,  take a deep breath and let your shoulders relax, and hang your arms at your sides.  Close your mouth gently and bring your tongue to the roof of your mouth.  (When I do this, I visualize shutting out the world).  Through your nose, breathe in deeply for 4-6 counts as you slowly raise your arms to your sides and up to the sky.  Next very slowly lower your arms as you breathe out through your mouth for 4-6 counts.  Repeat this 3-4 times.  Do you feel refreshed?!  
    • Looking for a book to help you breathe and manage stress?  Check out The Healing Power of the Breath by Richard Brown

Following a detox program suited to your personal needs supports the body’s natural cleansing process and boosts your health in many ways:

  • Allows digestive organs to rest
  • Stimulates the liver to process toxins more efficiently
  • Promotes movement of bowels
  • Improves circulation
  • Restores vital nutrients and energy to the body
  • Provides clarity of thought and refreshment to the soul

What is YOUR Plan this Spring to have a gentle “Spring Cleaning”?  You maybe looking for a comprehensive plan or intend to focus on one of the areas listed above.  I would love to learn about your plans and support and guide you along your journey.

Cheers to an AMAZING SPRING ahead!

Julie

My 6 “Rules” to Live By in the Kitchen

 Flavor, health, memories, perceptions, desires, and traditions are all things we associate with FOOD, which influences our choices and approach to eating!  When I help people embrace food as a positive and exciting aspect to their journey toward abundant health, it is important to stay away from hard set “rules and restrictions”.  Instead, I like to take an individual and collaborative approach using structure and strategies that will work best for each person.

We are all unique and different!  That is what makes YOU so special, and why the same approach will not work for every person.  That being said…there are some basic tenets you may want to consider while planning, preparing, and eating your meals that will promote good health.  I strive to incorporate these myself, and I hope you find them helpful too!

  1. Love the Food You Choose to Eat:  It honestly hurts my heart when people tell me they have been eating bland food they don’t enjoy for years, and they feel guilty for eating pleasurable food.  Food is meant to be pleasurable, enjoyable and satisfying!  I love hearing clients say “I love the food I am eating AND I feel amazing and happy”.   One of the selling features when I bought my home was the kitchen. On the wall painted in deep red it reads, “Approach love and cooking with equal abandon”.  Spend some extra time to put “love” into preparing a meal that you can’t wait to enjoy. It will empower you to eat well (and happy) for life!
  2. Know Where Your Food Comes From:  It is more important than ever to mindfully select safe foods (uncontaminated) while also being aware of the environment, quality of the food, and nutrient density.  (Think about it… WHERE did those chicken nuggets actually come from and WHAT is in them (see #3)…? (grin)). Here in Florida, we are blessed to have so many local farmers (many organic)  to support! This helps not only our environment and carbon footprint but also offers more nutrient-dense produce vs. food shipped all the way across the country which often doesn’t land on our plate for days or weeks.  Know where your food comes from, so YOU can make an informed choice…and make a commitment purchase more local!
  3. If You Can’t Pronounce It, Don’t Eat It: Yes, this sounds pretty basic but super important.  Check out the next flavored drink or even that “healthy” protein powder or coconut milk you choose to drink. You may be surprised to see words that are not coming from Mother Nature!  Even I get surprised at some of the ingredients in food I have purchased, despite my desire to eat as close to nature as possible! So, check your labels…ingredients can change without you realizing.   (Remember these 6 to avoid)
  4. Step Back and Ask – Is This Food Harming or Helping? This was a big lesson for me based on how some foods impacted my health.  Most of us know what foods help us feel our best and ones that don’t.  I finally came to a place in my life years ago. when I decided it just wasn’t worth it anymore when I had a reaction, felt lousy, or sluggish. So you may ask yourself prior to eating, is this helping me feel my best, keeping me balanced, and moving me towards my health goal”?  Now, we must remember that this would apply about 90% of the time.  Don’t underestimate the value of sharing the occasional pint of good ice cream with your “besties”.  So just like rule #2 and 3, it is important to be mindful, but not so strict that you can’t be REAL!
  5. Make it Last – I don’t know about you, but I don’t cook every night.  I plan meals around my recipes lasting us for several days, whether it is a dish to be eaten as left overs or reused in a way to create another dish.  For many (myself included), this is the only way to be healthy and have a balanced life.  Let’s face it, when we are cooking every night (unless cooking is your true passion), it is easy to get burned out and just grab “take out”! Check out one of my favorite meals that I can eat all week long…
  6. Sit Down (and Up) to Eat – Too often we don’t stop to enjoy (or acknowledge) our meals or even those around us.  In our Western world we eat while we move, multi-task, slouch on the coach, or drive in our cars. This can impact our digestion, weight, happiness, gratitude, mindfulness, and relationships! Sitting at a table (upright) with others, allows us to better digest our food by slowing down our eating and lives!  One constant attribute to all cultures of centenarians is the importance of socializing and joy, particularly around meal times.  We cannot overlook the health value of stopping our busy lives and sitting down to enjoy a meal with others. Priceless!

Leave a comment and let me know what “rules” you follow in the kitchen to set  YOU up for success.  

I would love to hear from you.

Oh, and just a “little insider”… next month I would like to help you with your Spring cleaning.  Yes!  Spring is coming and with it a good time to clean up your kitchen and focus on your wellness dreams.  So I am feeling really grateful and have decided to offer a little “gift” to those who are part of the JBS Community.

So… if YOU have not subscribed to my Newsletter and to receive regular updates…now would be the perfect time to Sign Up!

(Only those who are on my LIST will receive the Spring treat!)

Happy cooking and meal planning!… Julie

The TOXIC FREE Weed Killer That WORKS!

ToxicfreeweedkillerAre you busy in your yard improving that “curbside appeal”?  Did you know you may be exposing yourself to possible cancer causing chemicals?!  

Until just last year…I WAS!  Most weekends you will find me in my yard lovingly trying to help it look its BEST…and that includes killing WEEDS.  And of course my solution to all my weed woes… Roundup®!  It WORKED and delivered every time.  WOW – was I in the dark as to the potential harm.  

The World Health Organization just this year classified glyphosate, an active ingredient in “Roundup®,  as “probably carcinogenic to humans” .  The World Health Organization’s research arm, the International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC), made its updated cancer determination for glyphosate following a review of the available scientific research by 17 of the world’s top oncology experts from 11 countries.

SO, I very reluctantly said goodbye to Roundup®, and have been in search of a chemical-free solution.  My search for an alternative that actually WORKED had been in vain, until a friend of mine introduced me to a crazy “recipe” that I swore would never work.  (THANK YOU KATHY!) After a month of trying to pull weeds by hand (sheer misery) I finally gave it a whirl…  and all I can tell you IT REALLY WORKS!    Here is the Recipe for an all-natural Herbicide.

Mix the Following into a Sprayer (see picture – I got mine for $19 at Home Depot):

  • 1 gallon vinegar
  • 2 cups of Epsom salt
  • 1/4 cup Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds (found at Whole Foods, Richards, Earth Origins) 

Mix well and spray on weeds. It honestly works as well as the Roundup!

Apparently it works because the vinegar is a mild acid, and with the Epson salts and soap it forms a scum that coats the weeds.

(note: when you are done, make sure you rinse and clean the sprayer well before your next application…the Epson salts can potentially clog the sprayer) 

You may think I am “over the top”  but did you know…

  • Approximately 85,000 synthetic chemicals are registered today in the US
  • It is estimated that 1000 or more NEW chemicals are made each year.  and complete toxicological screening data is available for only 7% of these chemicals!
  • 94% of these chemicals have not even been tested for their effects on human health. (references to these stats available upon request!)

NOW more than ever, there is good reason to take “pause” as to the many chemicals and toxins we may be exposing ourselves to on a regular basis.  (For MORE on this – check out one of my earlier blogs)

So be good to YOURSELF, the Environment, Pets, & Neighbors and try this DIY Herbicide!

 I would LOVE to hear about YOUR Experience!  So Leave a Comment….

Oh, and be sure to SHARE with friends, family, and co-workers.  

Let’s take a stand for keeping ourselves and our world HEALTHY!

~ Julie

12 Worst Potential Cancer Causing Ingredients Lurking In Your Products

EndocrineDisruptors-Paint

Are you reading your labels?

Not just on your food label but how about your non-food product labels ?

(I can almost hear you thinking… seriously??!…Trust me, I was with you several years ago.  I promise it will be worth your while or at least health! (grin).   

Think about this…

Does the smell of your kitchen cleaner, perfume, or scented air freshener ever give you a headache?  Do you worry when your kids or grandkids handle toxic cleaning products and paints?  Do you hear about plastic water bottles being “hazardous to your health?  

 

In my blog earlier this month I reviewed the Dirty Dozen (check it out and get your own pocket guide), which breaks down fruits and veggies highest and lowest in pesticides.

Well, this year, EWG added a new list tackling the toxins that lurk outside the grocery isles.  Those that can increase our risk of cancer and chronic illness. Folks we can’t ignore this.  Now, more than ever, we need to become knowledgeably (not fearful!) of what we are putting in our bodies and exposed to…and take gradual changes to better our health.

Taking a few Simple Steps NOW to Limit exposure (for yourself and family)

will be valuable for your FUTURE wellness! 

Continue reading “12 Worst Potential Cancer Causing Ingredients Lurking In Your Products”