About livecleannourish

Hi, I'm Ania. I'm a natural living, primal advocating mom of a crazy toddler.

Intermittent fasting is all the rage, but should it be?

intermittent fasting and paleo


Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor nor claim to be. Please seek medical advice should you choose to begin a fasting protocol.

I won’t keep you in suspense. I think intermittent fasting is all the rage and with good reason (mostly).

Before I get into why, let’s talk about what intermittent fasting is. You may also see it simply referred to as IF.

Intermittent fasting is purposeful fasting in order to improve health and/or lose weight. It’s an eating pattern that cycles periods of eating with periods of fasting. There are many methods to achieve this with varying hours of fasting and in varied frequencies.

Why would anyone not want to eat?

That’s a good question. Food is awesome, right? So why on earth would we purposefully not eat if we have the means to do so?

From an ancestral perspective we would fast on a regular basis. Our bodies are built to function assuming periods of fasting.

It makes sense.

Food wasn’t always abundant and you ate when you had access to food and sometimes would go long periods without. Our bodies are built to have breaks of time to regenerate and heal. Fasting brings about cellular repair processes, such as removing waste from cells.

It’s nature’s detox, essentially.

In addition, extending time between when you eat allows your insulin levels to drop and increase your rate of fat burning. Intermittent fasting changes hormone levels to make stored fat more accessible. This is why it is often used as a tool in weight loss.

Finally, due to lower insulin levels, hormone changes and cellular repair, intermittent fasting reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, reduces risk of diabetes, can improve risk factors for heart disease, and most impressively, it has been found, at least in mice, to reduce the risk of cancer.

Check out these studies showing the impressive benefits of intermittent fasting on health:

“Periodic cycles of fasting reprogram pancreatic cells and restore insulin production”

“Relatively mild dietary restrictions should be included in clinical trials designed to inhibit cancer growth and enhance the survival of human cancer patients.”

“Fasting cycles retard growth of tumors”

“Alternate fasting could exert a beneficial antioxidant effect and a modulation of the oxidative stress associated with aging.”

” Long-term IF regimen exerts an anti-promoting effect on rat hepatocarcinogenesis”

There are many other purported benefits, many of which are scientifically backed up. It can definitely be a positive and therapeutic tool.

Ok – so should everyone fast?

No, not necessarily. For women, long term intermittent fasting might be a bad idea due to its influence on reproductive hormones. Our reproductive organs might be thinking “oh no, a famine.. Don’t reproduce now” and turn your hormones out of whack. That’s why I don’t advocate any sort of long term or overly frequent fasting like many intermittent proponents might recommend. It’s a powerful tool and with such, it should be used with caution.

using bulletproof coffee to fast

Dave Asprey of bulletproof fame has his version of fasting he specifically recommends for women called bulletproof intermittent fasting. Basically, he recommends having coffee or tea with fat (generally coconut oil, MCT oil or butter) for breakfast which lets your body receive the benefits of fasting because you are still refraining from carbohydrates and protein. Due to the added fat, your body has fuel and doesn’t think you’re in a famine, keeping hormones more in line.

There are also specific medical conditions that do not support intermittent fasting. If you have existing medical problems, take extra caution. Your mainstream doctors will likely think you’re crazy saying you’d like to fast to improve your health, so I recommend seeking a functional medicine practitioner or a more progressive doctor who is cognizant of the latest research in fasting.

But practically speaking, what does intermittent fasting entail?

A lot of people do a lot of different things. Some fast for a full day then eat for a few days, some fast for 18 hours every day and only eat during a small window. There are many methods of intermittent fasting.

What I advocate for is 16 hours without eating once or twice a week. It’s a small enough amount that it shouldn’t cause adverse reactions for the vast majority of people. It’s also relatively easy to do. Here’s what that looks like:

Dinner 6pm
Breakfast 10am

Doesn’t sound that crazy right? Heck, you might already be doing that sometimes. This gives your body a break and helps it regenerate and remove waste from cells!

Pretty cool, huh?

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By | 2017-08-13T22:30:42+00:00 August 13th, 2017|Uncategorized|4 Comments

Paleo Sweet Potato Pad Thai!

sweet potato pad thai recipe
This is a guest post from Brynn at My Sweet Potato Life. She has many wonderful recipes, so do check her out!

This vegan & paleo dish has all the quintessential flavors of pad thai: lime, coconut aminos, sesame oil, peanut butter, et cetera. Let’s be honest, sometimes all you want to do is faceplant into a BIG bowl of noodles, am I right? I used my handy-dandy spiralizer (which, by the way, was a birthday present that I actually asked for #foodie) to make awesome sweet potato noodles! Sweet potatoes are the BEST way to make an epic recipe even more epic! As you can tell by my blog name, I’m a bit obsessed with sweet potatoes.

Note: I used homemade peanut butter in this recipe because I tolerate peanuts, but you can use sunflower seed butter to make it “perfect paleo!”

Happy cooking!

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Total time: 20-30 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients

for the sauce

1/2 cup smooth natural sunbutter or peanut butter, salted
juice from 1/2 lime
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1/8 teaspoon red chili powder

for the pad thai

1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, spiralized on smallest setting
1 red bell pepper
1 small yellow or sweet onion
sea salt to taste
fresh red cabbage, cilantro, green onions, lime wedges, and chopped peanuts/cashews/sunflower seeds, to serve
meat or sliced scrambled eggs, to top (optional)

Directions

1. Heat the sesame oil and olive/coconut oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat.
2. Add sweet potato, onion, and red bell pepper. Cover and cook until soft (10 to 15 minutes), stirring every so often.
3. While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the sauce by mixing all ingredients together until smooth.
4. Add the sauce to the vegetables and season to taste with salt. Stir until combined.
5. Serve noodles over a bed of cabbage with desired toppings.

-Brynn Elson

My Sweet Potato Life
www.mysweetpotatolife.com

 

 

 

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By | 2017-08-10T23:17:54+00:00 August 7th, 2017|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Clean eating on the go

Clean eating while traveling
I’m leaving for vacation in a few days and staying healthy is top of mind. My healthy eating lifestyle is super easy to maintain while I’m home because I’ve set up my kitchen to make it a breeze.

Things aren’t always so simple when I leave the confines of my kitchen.

Traveling and trying to eat real food is a struggle. Most restaurants simply serve junk, even if it’s disguised in healthy appearances. Vegetable oils, preservatives, sugar… restaurant meals are full of it. Fast food, rarely an option.

So what’s a paleo momma to do? Here’s my plan and my thinking for this particular trip so you have an idea of how I plan out my travels.

First, I plan out my travel day.

I’m flying from Denver to the Bay Area, and with travel time and car rentals, I’m probably looking at about 7 hours. If I wanted to, I could simply not eat during that time period or have a quick snack… and plan for a healthy meal on arrival. But I love me some food.

So here are some of my options:

The first thing I do is I think about my options at the airport if I were to want to get food there. Denver, unlike most airports, actually has 2 really good real food options (Mod Market and Root Down if you’re wondering). I won’t bother looking into Oakland, because if I’m at my destination that means I have options OUTSIDE the airport which are much more plentiful.

My other option, and the option I’ll most likely take is to pack some food!

I could bring any of the below assorted foods, usually I just take whatever I already have so I don’t need to go to the store and make a big hubbub about the trip.

Snack type items:

  • Grassfed sausage, which I would plan to eat cold
  • Fruit: Anything not too messy, I usually stay clear of oranges or things that will make my hands sticky
  • Veggie sticks or grape tomatoes: I rarely bring this because personally I find it boring, but it’s definitely an option for some.
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Bars: Lara bars or some relatively clean equivalent
  • Dried fruit (high sugar but easy to snack on!)
  • Cans of fish: I usually pack a fork or take one from a Fast food restaurant at the airport (something about stealing their utensils to eat my healthy food makes me feel good). Options include: sardines, tuna, oysters, whatever you can find in a can! Don’t eat this on a plane though unless you want to get the stink eye from everyone around you.
  • Hard cheese: I don’t eat much dairy at home, but while traveling it opens up a lot more options so I may include some.
  • Dark chocolate: No explanation needed.
  • Almond butter: Sometimes I’ll buy pouches ready to squeeze on a banana or apple or just eat straight
  • Jerky: Grass fed of course!
  • Avocado: If not too soft, I may bring one to eat with my fish

Prepared food:

  • Hard boiled eggs: Sometimes I boil up a few eggs, keep the shell on and munch on them at the airport. This is also a no plane food – people don’t like the smell of eggs!
  • Meat roll up: I may roll some sliced meat over lettuce or shredded carrots
  • Paleo treats: I might make some paleo approved banana bread, muffins or something in that category. They are easy to eat and travel with.

Or

I might just bring what I normally eat in a pyrex or perhaps a disposable container I have laying around, depending on the circumstances. I’ll just eat it cold instead of warm, and all is the same as if I were at home! Make a fresh salad, eat some leftovers, whatever floats my boat.

Next up, what am I going to eat when I get there?

Lucky for me, we’re staying just north of Berkeley, CA and getting fresh, real food shouldn’t be too difficult. Hippies love real food, right?

I’ve already staked out a natural health food store that sells organic prepared food. That’s a great option! There are some Whole Foods as well. Awesome.

I’ll typically search online for the city I’m staying in and the words: paleo, organic, farm to table, healthy food, etc. Lucky for me, Berkeley has a full scale paleo restaurant called Mission Heirloom. I’ve heard good things.

Outside of that, my favorite food in the world is Asian food. Generally, the following are relatively clean and filling if you’re ok eating white rice:

  • Thai curries
  • Vietnamese soups
  • Indian curries (though do expect them to use vegetable oil)
  • Sushi (avoid artificial crab and most sauces)

I also have a backup of chain restaurants I know sell a few things I’m ok to eat: Chipotle, Panera, Ruby Tuesday (they have a salad buffet), Wahoo Fish Taco (they have a paleo plate), and some american style restaurants have ok meat/veggie plates. I won’t have to extend this option in such a culturally diverse area as the Bay area, but sometimes when I travel that’s not the case.

Any American chains you’ve found healthy meals at?

Next up, hotel living.

If you’re staying somewhere with a fridge and microwave, you can go a long way! I will have access to both.

Some things I may be able to find at a grocery store for snacking at the hotel:

  • Ready made hard boiled eggs
  • A small bottle of olive oil (to put on something I make at the salad bar instead of their vegetable oil poison they call salad dressing).
  • Amy’s Organic Soups. They aren’t perfect, certainly not ideal eating soup from a can, but they are relatively clean and a good snack item to have lying around. Plus, they are cheap.
  • Steamables. Sometimes you can find vegetables in a steamable bag you just put in the microwave. You could buy butter to put on it or snatch some salt packets.

Concluding thoughts

Part of why I make such a big deal about staying healthy while traveling is because my diet at home is clean 95+% of the time. I just can’t handle processed food anymore. My body knows best and it says poison! My main goals while traveling are to 1) be gluten free and 2) eat as few processed ingredients as possible.

I don’t want to feel like crap all vacation.

But at the same time… It’s a vacation.

I want to indulge a little.

That’s why I stick to foods that generally don’t make me feel sick but aren’t necessarily perfectly paleo. I love ethnic food and it’s a real treat, so that’s the direction I’ll likely take for many meals. If I find a gluten free bakery, I may splurge.

I also have a toddler to travel with, so it’s a whole new ballgame. I may be ok eating some vietnamese pho, but my 19 month old? It’ll be on the floor in 3 seconds flat.

Wish me luck.

 

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By | 2017-08-11T02:29:33+00:00 July 31st, 2017|Uncategorized|2 Comments

The science is not settled on GMOs

science is not settled on gmos
I have a lot of issues with the way the term “science” has been used to push GMO agenda over the last few years.

Skeptical about GMOs? You’re anti-science. You’re now lumped in with climate change deniers. But is that fair?

Hardly so.

“Science” is used to prove GMOs are safe, but it’s the very same “science” showing how little we actually know. I think it should be re-phrased as:

“The science that can be linked, in one way or another, to Monsanto is settled. GMOs are safe.”

Independent research? Not so much.

Science from government and corporate funded studies should not hold more value than independently researched science, in fact, much the opposite. The conflicts of interest in science are immense.

According to a cellular biologist (referenced here), “Funding, much of it from the companies that sell GM seeds, heavily favors researchers who are exploring ways to further the use of genetic modification in agriculture. He says that biologists who point out health or other risks associated with GM crops—who merely report or defend experimental findings that imply there may be risks—find themselves the focus of vicious attacks on their credibility, which leads scientists who see problems with GM foods to keep quiet.”

“Science” is being used as a term to justify the use of GMOs, by belittling people and labeling them anti-science. But to refer to the term science, as if it’s one thing and not something immensely complex, is anti-science in itself. It’s anti-science is say that science is settled. The science is never settled, we should always be pursuing further information and evaluating risks and benefits to everything, always. You can cherry pick science all day long and get whatever result you’d like… painting science with a broad brush as a reason to be for or against something is misleading.

Just because a short term study looking at a specific number of factors doesn’t find anything egregious about GMOs does not mean they are safe. We don’t know their true impact and we probably won’t for a long time. This “it’s safe until proven otherwise” mentality needs to stop. It’s UNSAFE until proven otherwise.

I’m tired of being an experiment.

canola field gmo

Research into GMOs is in relative infancy, there are many health risks that we have yet to fully understand, and it’s naive to think otherwise. I prefer to err on the side of caution. For me as a consumer, besides a minor dent in the pocketbook, there are no actual benefits to buying GMO (eating real food makes that dent much smaller, which I’ll discuss later). I confidently believe that feeding the world is simply a myth perpetuated by big agriculture. I’m not the only one who thinks that, here’s a report from the Environmental Working Group on how GMOs don’t feed the world and in fact, helping small farmers is the right approach.

Most of Europe doesn’t want anything to do with GMOs. A lot of times when I look at health decisions I step outside my American box and think about the rest of the world. Most of the world is skeptical, yet in American culture you’re supposed to just accept them because science says so? There’s enough science in Europe to warrant debate, but why not here?

But don’t trust me, let’s look at some science (from Europe, of course).

According to a consensus statement of 300 independent scientists published in the Journal, Environmental Sciences Europe:

“This statement clearly demonstrates that the claimed consensus on GMO safety does not exist outside of the above depicted internal circle of stakeholders. The health, environment, and agriculture authorities of most nations recognize publicly that no blanket statement about the safety of all GMOs is possible and that they must be assessed on a ‘case-by-case’ basis. Moreover, the claim that it does exist – which continues to be pushed in the above listed circles – is misleading and misrepresents or outright ignores the currently available scientific evidence and the broad diversity of scientific opinions among scientists on this issue. The claim further encourages a climate of complacency that could lead to a lack of regulatory and scientific rigour and appropriate caution, potentially endangering the health of humans, animals, and the environment.”

Simply put: THE SCIENCE IS NOT SETTLED.

Their conclusion?

  • There is no consensus on GM food safety
  • There are no epidemiological studies investigating potential effects of GM food consumption on human health
  • Claims that scientific and governmental bodies endorse GMO safety are exaggerated or inaccurate
  • List of several hundred studies that purportedly show GMOs are safe do not show GM food safety “Examination of the studies listed reveals that many do not provide evidence of GM food safety and, in fact, some provide evidence of a lack of safety.”
  • There is no consensus on the environmental risks of GM crops
  • International agreements show widespread recognition of risks posed by GM foods and crops

The safety of GMOs is misleading and misrepresented. And I’m not even getting into the fact that glyphosate is used alongside GMOs, which California has recently decided to label as “possibly carcinogenic.” Glyphosate is reason enough to avoid GMOs, but alas, that’s for another day.

So here’s where a real food diet comes in. The debate as to the safety of GMO’s will rarely affect you if you don’t eat processed foods. What foods are most commonly GMO? Corn, soybean, canola, sugar, and cotton.

Yup, we don’t eat those foods. (but we do eat zucchini, yellow squash and papaya, so watch out there and buy organic if you can afford it)

Eat real food, buy organic if you can afford it, and be on your way.

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By | 2017-08-10T23:18:24+00:00 July 25th, 2017|Uncategorized|3 Comments

You don’t need a diet… you need a lifestyle

Ditch the diets and join a lifestyleIt’s pretty simple.
“Diets” are about losing weight, not gaining health.

What most people need is not a diet… but a lifestyle.

Losing weight is a poor motivator because it’s superficial and assumes that there are no other reasons why one would “diet.” It’s easy to give up when motivations are superficial, more than two thirds of Americans are overweight or obese after all… it’s normal (NIH obesity stats).

When you’re eating healthy and making lifestyle changes in order to gain health, everything changes.

Suddenly that candy bar is not just that thing you can’t eat because it makes you fat. It’s an item that is full of processed chemicals and high sugar that are not contributing to your optimal health.

They are making you sick.

Whether you feel it or not, by providing your body with something that doesn’t nourish, you’re negatively influencing your health. The sugar and random artificial ingredients in that candy bar aren’t directly or immediately causing diabetes or a host of other preventable chronic diseases. But over time, the cumulative result of making the “it’s ok” choice day after day might. It’s like the analogy of the frog in the water: put a frog into boiling water and it immediately jumps out, however, slowly turn up the heat and eventually the frog will die. Slowly by slowly we are making ourselves sick. (Just to be clear, I’m not saying a candy bar here or there is going to kill you).

You want to put things into your body that bring wellness, reduce disease risk, and make you feel vibrant. Luckily, losing weight is a much appreciated byproduct. When you change your line of thinking towards wellness, your motivations change. It’s easier to be motivated by the whole picture than simply a part.

Dieting misses the mark entirely.

You can “diet” by taking weight loss pills, eating processed NutriSystem or Slim Fast meals every day. While those diets may help you lose weight, they are deleterious to your overall health.

Moving beyond food, lifestyle changes encompass so much more.

While you should nourish yourself with nutrient dense food, optimal health also requires sleeping well, living purposefully, exercising the right way, and minimizing exposure to toxins through air, water, beauty and everyday products in the home. That’s where the lifestyle comes in.

When the focus is on gaining health, it includes more than just food and that’s when true health arises. It’s amazing what diet and lifestyle changes can do to heal (and lose weight… we all know that’s a happily accepted perk!).

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By | 2017-08-10T23:21:56+00:00 June 26th, 2017|Clean, Live, Nourish|1 Comment

3 clean living apps to reduce toxins in your household and beauty products

I find eating clean and avoiding food based toxins to be pretty straightforward. In general, if it’s packaged or there are ingredients you can’t pronounce, it’s probably not healthy. There are exceptions to the rule, but in general, it’s simple enough.

Eat real food.

Shopping for household, cleaning and beauty products is much less straightforward. Herbs and essential oils are generally a safe and clean addition to a product but if their scientific names are used, they aren’t easy to pronounce and aren’t easily deciphered from their synthetic counterparts.

It can be very difficult to understand what the ingredients mean.

In America and in other western countries (but less so), there’s a mentality of something is safe until proven unsafe. However, the approach should be to assume something is unsafe unless proven safe. The FDA rules for labeling and use of chemicals makes it very clear that anything can be used UNTIL it’s proven unsafe. To me this is even more reason to live a clean, toxin-free life. Personally, I’d rather be safe than sorry, even if 90% of this stuff ends up being perfectly fine.

Luckily, there are a few apps that can help you make your shopping decisions. These apps offer the ability to look up how toxic a product or its ingredients are. All of the apps utilize published scientific literature to supplement incomplete data available from companies and the government.

They should be used a guide and not an end all be all, but they can help put you in the right direction. You may get different ratings for the same products with different apps. This is why I typically recommend cross referencing an item if you have any concerns. They also have different algorithms for their decisions and don’t always look at the same factors.

There are a few key flaws to be aware of:

  • Some products are not listed, or sometimes only a few versions of a brand are listed.
  • Brands that fully disclose ingredients are compared with brands that are not disclosing all of their ingredients. The FDA leaves it up to companies to ensure they are properly labeling. In addition, some compounds have more data available than others. An item may score really well because it has no known toxic compounds.. when in reality, it may have one… research simply hasn’t proven it yet.
  • Scores are based on ingredients being present but there’s a difference between an ingredient being 1st on a list and last on a list in terms of their quantity in a product. Quantity matters. In addition, sometimes 2 ingredients will formulate synergistic toxicity where they are more harmful in the presence of each other.
  • Finally, a few of the apps evaluate food products. For instance, Good Guide evaluates food products based on a nutritional evaluation of a product’s ingredients. I haven’t extensively explored this portion of their app, but from what I have explored they base this on government guidelines and I wouldn’t suggest using this feature. For instance, I saw a perfect score for a processed box of Chex cereal and decided to stop looking. Just focus on beauty and household products!

The 3 main apps are Good Guide, EWG Healthy Living and Think Dirty.


Good Guide

Good guide has rated over 75,000 household, food, and beauty products. These products are ranked by health, environmental, and social factors. You can search by product name or scan the UPC code for an instant look.

They rank health, environment, and social separately which is unique. This is where good guide excels. For instance, palm oil is generally safe but perhaps that palm oil is contributing to deforestation in Indonesia, if so, I’d like to know. I find social and environmental factors equally as important in my decision making process.


EWG Healthy Living App (previously Skin Deep)

The EWG Healthy Living app from the Environmental Working Group rates over 120,000 food and personal care products. You can search by ingredient, brand, product name or simply scan the barcode on your phone.

EWG also lists a data availability rating so you can tell if their ratings are based on a lot of sound scientific research or perhaps just one or two studies.

You may be familiar with EWG from their EWG Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen lists. EWG is a reputable organization that is leading in their industry.


Think Dirty App

The Think Dirty app is another way to learn about toxic ingredients in your cosmetics and personal care products. You simply scan a UPC much like the other apps.

They base their rankings of a given product on the potential health impacts of the published ingredients. Ingredients are evaluated for carcinogenicity, development and reproductive toxicity, and allergenicity and immunotoxicity.

There are a few flaws to this app to be aware of. One downside is the way they rate allergenicity. What is an allergy to one person may be perfectly fine for another person. They also rate against companies due to potential impurities, even though some companies may have received a certificate proving their ingredients are not contaminated.


Conclusion

I think all of the apps do a good a job in aiding consumers to make smart choices and buy safer products. Their differences are minor, so to some it may simply be a matter of preference. The main thing I want to make sure you take from this is that you need to draw your own conclusions. These apps are a tool and a resource to guide you, but don’t take the information as fact. There are many flaws in the process.

I’m strongly committed to buying products that are clean and free of toxic ingredients. I’m also committed to buying products that are created in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.

I think you should be too.

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By | 2017-08-10T23:22:17+00:00 July 10th, 2017|Uncategorized|3 Comments

Can we be too clean?

Please note: This is just my opinion, please make your own conclusions. I’m not responsible for any dirt you eat as a result of this.

Modern sanitation has been the impetus for ridding the world of major diseases and bacterial infections. It is LIFE SAVING, there’s no denying that.

But can we be TOO CLEAN?

Many people believe that your environment needs to be as clean and sanitary as possible. But did you know that children kept in ultra clean environments have higher rates of respiratory conditions such as asthma and hay fever? You’ve probably heard that having a dog or being around farm animals reduces risk of childhood illnesses. That’s because having access to beneficial bacteria is good for you and having the occasional access to mild viruses helps build your immune system.

Our water is sterilized, food sanitized, we wash our hands constantly and we don’t have access to some of the ways humans traditionally acquired beneficial bacteria (being outside). I’ve had food poisoning in the developing world far too many times and very much understand the necessity for clean water and food. Let’s not change that. Work with patients? Hanging out at an airport? Visiting the restroom? By all means, wash your hands. It’s the incessant hand washing that I believe could be doing more harm than good (especially considering many people use hand sanitizer with triclosan… but that’s another story). When I go to playdates I often see moms washing their children’s hands every other minute (or at least it seems that way)… it’s like the second they touch something they must have acquired a deadly disease and must be sanitized.

Let them build their immune system, let them get exposed to the world.

According to Jack Gilbert, author of ‘Dirt Is Good’: Why Kids Need Exposure To Germs:

“In the past, we would have eaten a lot more fermented foods, which contain bacteria. We would have allowed our children to be exposed to animals and plants and soil on a much more regular basis. Now we live indoors. We sterilize our surfaces. Their immune systems then become hyper-sensitized. You have these little soldier cells in your body called neutrophils, and when they spend too long going around looking for something to do, they become grumpy and pro-inflammatory. And so when they finally see something that’s foreign, like a piece of pollen, they become explosively inflammatory. They go crazy. That’s what triggers asthma and eczema and often times, food allergies.”

We’re built to be exposed to bacteria all day everyday, and much of that bacteria is beneficial. The gut microbiome is essential to the immune system and does a lot of the work to keep your body healthy and distinguish between friend and foe. By sterilizing everything and having no exposure to natural soil, we are sterilizing ourselves in unnatural ways. We’re meant to get exposure to pathogens at an early age to build our immune system in ways that help us for the rest of our lives. Without these natural exposures, the immune system never learns how to respond to its environment and can eventually overreact to non-threatening stimuli and to our own bodies.

Ask your grandparents if they remember a time where allergies, asthma, and autoimmune disease was commonplace.

Not to say that this is the only cause of modern ailments; these are multi-factorial problems. But science certainly shows there is a relationship between the bacteria we are exposed to and our susceptibility to certain diseases.

The conflict between cleanliness and exposure can be difficult. You want to be exposed to good bacteria in your environment, especially dirt. You also DON’T want to be exposed to bacteria and viruses that can cause major illness, which in rare cases, can come from dirt. It’s a balance between doing what is genuinely protecting yourself and being unnecessarily clean. Ever hear the story about doctors who would go from the morgue to deliver babies because they didn’t understand germ theory?

It’s a balancing act.

We have to live with the downside of our modern living. We’re too clean and our bodies don’t understand how to work in our ultra clean environment. BUT, no one wants a horrible flesh eating parasite either.

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By | 2017-08-10T23:30:53+00:00 July 16th, 2017|Uncategorized|4 Comments

Little known iPhone hack for better sleep

iphone hack for better sleepI’m more addicted to my iPhone than I care to admit.

I’m fully aware that artificial blue light at night suppresses the secretion of melatonin. It’s not good for our circadian rhythm, it’s not good for our health, and some research even shows that it can increase the risk of major chronic diseases, including cancer.

It’s complicated so I won’t get into the details of why you should avoid blue light at night. If you’d like a quick catch up, please read the following article from Harvard Health Publications:

Why you want to avoid blue light at night

So you want to use your iPhone at night but you don’t want to be exposed to blue light?

What I used to do is wear fancy amber tinted glasses, but now that I co-sleep with a toddler, that doesn’t work very well. There’s no way my toddler is wearing amber tinted glasses. Not because I wouldn’t think to do such a thing, but because he’ll rip his and mine off in 2 seconds flat. I’m usually on the phone AFTER he falls asleep, but the light still brightens up the room and I think he’ll wake up in a second at the opportunity to play with my glasses. I want my baby to have his melatonin! In addition to having a lamp with an amber light bulb…

I utilize a little known iPhone hack to make my screen red.

This is not to be confused with the iPhone’s nighttime mode which tints your phone (that’s useful too), this makes your phone RED. Your entire screen is overlayed with a red filter. You must have ios 10 installed for this to work. I have an iPhone 6, I haven’t confirmed it works on earlier versions but I assume so.

The way this is done is using the iPhone accessibility features. First you’ll set up your color tint, and then you’ll enable an accessibility shortcut to switch back and forth in 3 easy clicks. (There are many steps so this is not something you want to do every night!).

iPhone Settings -> General -> Accessibility

And then follow the directions below:

Step 1: After getting to the Accessibility screen (iPhone Settings -> General -> Accessibility), Turn ON Display Accommodations

Display accomodations iPhone

Step 2: Select Color Filters

Color Filters iPhone

Step 3: Turn ON Color Filters

Color filters iphone

Step 4: Select Color Tint, and drag Intensity and Hue to the far right side

Color filters iPhone

Step 5: Access Accessibility shortcut at the far bottom of the Accessibility screen (iPhone Settings -> General -> Accessibility)

Accessibility Shortcuts iPhone

Step 6: Select Color Filters

Accessibility shortcut iPhone

Now, click 3 times! Clicking 3 times should take you back and forth between regular lighting and red lighting! Magic!

Turn on your new found red screen while you lay in bed on your iPhone, and let your melatonin thrive!

p.s. The setting will turn your phone screen red, therefore, anything that is red on the screen (i.e. a red button) will no longer be visible.

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By | 2017-08-10T23:21:40+00:00 July 3rd, 2017|Live|3 Comments

Dairy free pesto recipe

This is a guest post from Wendy at www.PlantsAreMyMedicine.com.

Wendy is an herbalist and publisher who homesteads in Southern Georgia. She teaches herbs, plant medicine methods, and how to make herbal remedies for your family.

Let’s get to the recipe

There are moments in your life when clarity of just how Alive you are comes crashing into your kitchen. Ok, well, it does for me anyway. One thing I love about living in the south is that I can grow my favorite basils for so much longer than I could in the Pac NW. There just isn’t enough sun up there.

I’ve made a TON of pesto, in many forms, many ingredients, and this is my favorite. I am a Pesto Junkie. To save yourself from becoming a Pesto Junkie, just pass this recipe over. I wouldn’t want to be a bad influence. (Evil Grin)

In your food processor throw in:

1 and 1/4 cups of basil (pack in there, stems and all)

1/3 cup of raw nuts of your choice (for the one pictured, I used a combo of cashews and walnuts)

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

1 Tablespoons of water (sometimes I’ll use coconut water or orange juice)

1/2 teaspoon of good salt (not table salt… think Himalayan Pink Salt, chunky Sea Salt)

1 clove of garlic (or more if you like)

Zest of 1/2 a lime

Squeeze juice from half a lime right into the processor.

Turn it on and let it whirrrrrrl.

*Freeze in small batches to add to winter soups. (I’ve seen people use ice cube trays?) I just create dollops on a cookie sheet and then put them in a freezer bag after they have frozen.

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By | 2017-08-10T23:25:27+00:00 July 5th, 2017|Nourish, Recipes|1 Comment

Primal peach pepper pork chops

The following is a summer time guest post recipe from M. Leigh from The Healthcare Maquis.

Peaches are in season, and what better way to enjoy nature’s bounty than to work it into as many meals as you can, while you can.

The name of this recipe is Primal Peach Pepper Pork Chops. Do not let the title fool you. It is not about the pork chops. It is not about peppers, it is all about the spicy peach sauce.

What I love about this recipe is that it is a cook once and eat twice type of meal, which I love all year around, but especially when it is hot outside.

This recipe is flexible. I grilled everything. However, if you do not/can not grill this recipe is just as good on the stovetop or in the oven or broiler.

The ingredients are adaptable as well. If you like blow your head off spicy, add more ginger and hot pepper. If you have a sensitive palate, reduce the quantities to your liking.

Let’s get started.

Peach Pepper Sauce

Ingredients

● 1 pound of peaches, peeled, cored and diced
● ½ of Jalapeno pepper
● Juice of ½ Lemon
● 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
● 1 teaspoon of finely minced ginger
● ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
● Dash of salt
● Stevia or other sweeteners optional

Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan on medium high until the contents begin to simmer. Add a few tablespoon of water if the mixture begins to get dry as it cooks.

Cook for about 15 minutes or until the peaches are soft. Take off heat and let cool for about ten minutes. After the ten minutes are up, taste for sweetness. If you would like, you can add a sprinkle of stevia/sweetener of choice to balance out the spicy, tart taste.

The mixture is ready to be blended. A immersion blender is the best for this, but if you have a conventional blender or a Ninja style blender that would be fine as well.

Warning, When using a conventional blender make sure:

● The mixture has cooled some
● You crack the lid
● You use a towel to cover the lid to let steam escape

The heat causes pressure to develop and it could explode. Safety first, last and always.

After you blend the sauce, taste again for sweetness, and you are done. The sauce can store in the fridge for a few days.

Although you do not need a recipe for cooking basic pork chops or peppers, here is what I did and some other alternatives.

Grilled Pork Chops with Peppers

Ingredients

● Bone-in Pork Chops, not thin sliced, not thick cut, but the standard grocery store cut
● Salt and Pepper to taste
● A combination of your favorite bell pepper, red, yellow, and orange work best on the grill

Prep the pork chop with simple salt and pepper. The sauce will be flavor enough by itself. The peppers are sliced into bite size pieces that would not fall through the grill grates.

Grill the pork chop on a 350 degrees flame over direct heat. Cook on each side for ten minutes. Take the chops off the grill, tent with parchment or cover with a tea towel to rest. Next, grill the pepper pieces, turning frequently to prevent burning (charring is good, but set on fire is bad). Remove pepper pieces, and serve.

If you can not grill, another option is to prepare on the stove top. You could pan sear the chops, and then saute the peppers. In the oven, you could bake/broil the chops and peppers at the same time.

Voila’, dinner is served. Pour a little sauce on top or serve on the side, and you have taken boring supermarket pork chops and leftover peaches and elevated to another level.

But wait there is more. I promised you cook once, eat twice. You can put the same meal on top of a bed of spinach the next day.

I hope you try this recipe, and it adds a little pizzazz to your weekday round-up.

I would also love if you stopped by and checked out my site, The Healthcare Maquis. I believe that freedom begins with health and wellness. I would love to join you on your journey to liberation.

 

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By | 2017-08-10T23:23:00+00:00 July 12th, 2017|Recipes|0 Comments

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