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Easy tips for staying hydrated in winter.

Easy tips for staying hydrated in winter.

Am I drinking enough water this winter? Next question. Staying hydrated in winter can be rough like your skin if you don’t drink enough water. See what I did there. Yes drinking enough water is important especially during winter. Aside from sticking post it notes everywhere to remind you to drink enough water, I’ve got some golden tips.

The top tips for staying hydrated in winter.

Pretend your British and enjoy some tea.

Easy tips for staying hydrated in winter.

Tea is actually the second largest consumed beverage in the world after water. With tea shops popping up everywhere loose leaf and convenient tea bag options offer an easy way to add some flavor to your water. Grocery stores will have all sorts of tea options as well but make sure you are watching your caffeine intake- herbal is the way to go. Flavors like chamomile, dandelion, apple, orange teas, passionfruit, black currant, and hibiscus are just some of my favorite herbal tea blends I drink to beat my winter de-hydration.

Eat foods with high water content.

Oranges, grapefruit, watermelon, iceberg lettuce, celery, peppers, spinach, grapes, cucumbers, cantaloupe, strawberries, and pineapple are just some of the vegetables that are over 80% water.

Easy tips for staying hydrated in winter.

Make it count.

Buying a large water bottle and filling it in the morning will help you monitor your water in take throughout the day. I sometimes reuse a 1L water bottle from a previous alkaline water purchase which I refill when I get home from work to fill up for the evening. 2 refills worth of my water bottle and I get my needed water for the day. Counting 2 refills is easier than counting 8 cups. Make sure you  are getting enough water for your weight and activity level- you can google “water consumption calculator” and find out.

If you don’t want to reuse a water bottle (since you aren’t really supposed to) you can always buy a large one online or check out your neighborhood TjMaxx/Marshalls for some great BPA free deals.

Easy tips for staying hydrated in winter.

Make it alkaline.

Drinking just any water is not going to hydrate you. If you are drinking water that is more acidic than alkaline your body is not going to get the hydration it needs. Alkaline is a term related to the PH scale that measures how acidic or base a substance is; acidic actually meaning acidic and base meaning alkaline. Looking for waters with a higher PH are typically going to be better, although high PH does not always mean that water is alkaline. Your water should also have minerals such as calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium to ensure your body is able to absorb the water.

Ideally an ionized water is the best as it breaks down the water molecules which makes it easier for your body to absorb. Essentia is one of my favorite brands, but thankfully many gas stations will now carry alkaline water.  Whole Foods even offers a refillable ionized alkaline water that you can refill each time you visit!

Easy tips for staying hydrated in winter.

Stay hydrated this winter and your body will thank you.

Drinking water in winter can be the last thing on your mind or in your body. Cold or room temperature beverages may not be your idea of nourishment when the wind is roaring and snow is falling out of the sky. Sometimes that warm and cozy feeling does not extend to your body. Lack of hydration can cause fatigue, low energy, headaches, foggy thinking, constipation, sugar cravings, and the dreaded dry skin.

For the sake of nothing else but your skin and circulation follow the tips above and let the H2O flow.

 

 

 

The Kombucha health benefits will never stop trending. Here’s why.

Kombucha dates back to 221 BC and has been hailed as the miracle elixir ever since. It has been used for thousands of years all over the world and is now a staple of any wellness woman’s diet.

Kombucha tea benefits can be diverse.

Originally coming from China and dating back all the way to 221 BC (!!!!)  the tea has been called Stomach Treasure, Long Life Elixir, and Immortality Tea. It also has ancient roots in Japan and has been used in Eastern Europe and Russia. The history and story of Kombucha is totally fascinating and I definitely suggest reading more if you need some convincing of Kombucha’s health benefits.

What is Kombucha?

Kombucha is a fermented tea also known as mushroom tea.

What is that Scoby you talk of?

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A Scoby or symbiotic culture of bacteria is a living home for bacteria and yeast. It looks like a slimy pancake and can be numerous sizes. Also known as the “Mother” it has the capacity to grow numerous batches as it produces a “daughter” or new scoby with each brew.

Is it safe:

Compared to the rest of things typical Americans eat? Yes. Like any living food you have to watch out for mold. Typically a black scoby will signify this, in which case you will need to dump the whole brew and start over. I haven’t run into this as the Kombucha mother is like any Mother, resilient as hell.

Where can I find Kombucha:

Any health food store will likely now have a variety of bottles and flavors. You can also brew your own Kombucha at home!

What are the health benefits of drinking Kombucha?

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  1. Loaded with Probiotics- Kombucha contains two strains of gut rebuilding bacteria called acetobacer xylinoides and acetobacter ketogenum, lactobacillus and saccharomyces. Sound funny? They are no joke for your gut and will aid in getting that gut in good shape. Those amazing probiotics will aid your digestion and promote gut health.
  2. Support Immune system function- If you don’t know this by now then I obviously haven’t been annoying enough writing it throughout my posts. 80% of your health is dependent on your GI tract aka gut. By adding the good bacteria back into your gut you are helping to rebalance your immune system. If you have any sort of autoimmune issue and you are a fan of fermented anything Kombucha may be for you!
  3. Antioxidants galore Polyphenols, Amino acids, Vitamins B2 and B6, Vitamin C, glucoronic acid, gluconic, actetic acid, lactic acid and active enzymes are the bounty that are found in this fermented tea.
  4. Antimicrobial properties- Thanks to the higher concentration of antioxidants these properties are so great that they can combat dangerous free radicals known to cause cell and liver damage.
  5. Cell shielding- Gluconic, Lactic and Acetic acid are cellulose producing bacteria which is needed to shield our cells. If you are suffering from inflammation or other autoimmune issues your cells have been in their own war zone and would benefit from a bit of shield rebuilding.
  6. Reduces inflammation- Back to those power antioxidants again helping to detoxify our bodies and reduce inflammation!
  7.  Helps manage diabetes- Shown to help regulate your blood sugar while helping to support liver and kidney function. Quite a few animal studies have been done revealing Kombucha’s healing action on the pancreas of diabetic individuals and guarding of the liver and kidney functions by reducing concentration or urea and unfavorable activities occurring in the plasma membrane.
  8. Liver detoxifyer- Also high in glucaric acid this increases the efficiency of your liver’s detoxification pathways.

 

While on any type of healthy eating plan, cleanse, or wellness reboot, adding a few sips of Kombucha in your diet can only benefit your efforts. There are a ton of store-bought brands you can enjoy if you are on the go but if you are into saving money then again brewing your own Kombucha at home is incredibly easy and well worth it.

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Kombucha has been taking over the wellness community for a while now and with those amazing health benefits shows no sign of slowing down. You can mix Kombucha with wine, alcoholic drinks or even ferment longer to make your very own Kombucha wine! May you and your gut enjoy!

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Signed me on a bike.

 

How to Make Kombucha like a Home Brewing Hippie.

Kombucha, the very trendy fizzy tea that lines every health food market shelf has now gained enough traction that thankfully recipes flood the internet. Most are very easy and if you can make any sort of Iced Tea then you can surely make your own “continuous brew” Kombucha.

How to make Kombucha:

Making your own Kombucha brew is not only a great way to save money as store bought Kombucha’s can cost upward of $4 but can also give you consistent access to Kombucha’s great health benefits.

I’m not a huge fan of store bought brews because of the over carbonation. Kombucha isn’t a soda so let’s not try and make it one shall we. Slight natural fizz is fine and naturally occurring for the second round of brewing/flavoring but there are some brands out there that show utter disregard for my tooth enamel and dental bills by inducing forced carbonation. By brewing your own Kombucha at home you have more control over the flavoring process and can control the carbonation based on your own preference.

Here’s what you’ll need for the first round of brewing:

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A Kombucha Scoby or “Mother”

2 cups Kombucha starter tea

*If you not have enough starter liquid 1 cup starter tea and 1 cup Organic Apple Cider Vinegar will work)

8 Organic Oolong tea bags ( black tea works great but you can try green tea as well!)

1 cup organic cane sugar

14 cups filtered or boiled water

A big pot

Coffee Filter or cheese cloth

2 Gallon container- Most people recommend a container with a spicket. I have one and while I use the container I never ever use the spicket to pour out my Kombucha. I just pour it out of the top because it’s faster and I do what I want.

Second round of brewing where the “fizz” and flavor come in:

Fruit or fruit juice for flavoring (organic preferred)

Airtight glass bottles to store

Where can I get a scoby?

1- Buy a Scoby online- Simply google, “buy Scoby online” and you will have a variety of resources. There are a ton of brewers who will mail you a Scoby complete with starter tea for your first brew. They can range anywhere from $5 to $30. The thicker the Scoby the more brews it has made but don’t start away from thin Scoby’s as they will still give you a fantastic brew.

2-Check your natural food market- Some natural health food markets may also carry Scoby’s or Mother’s but it is wise to call before you go.

3-Make your own from scratch- This is actually the same process of making your own Kombucha but just using a store bought unflavored bottle as your starter liquid. Good news! Making your own Scoby at home as easy as brewing your own.

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How to brew your kombucha:

  • Pour 14 cups of filtered water in large pot and bring to a boil
  • Pour in 1 cup organic cane sugar and stir until dissolves
  • Throw in 8 Organic Oolong tea bags to steep
  • Let steep until liquid cools and sugar fully dissolves
  • Take out tea bags once cooled

Next:

  • In designated Kombucha container pour 2 cups starter liquid
  • Pour 14 cups tea/sugar mix
  • Place Scoby on top of liquid. If the Scoby sinks or turns it’s fine and totally naturally.
  • Place coffee filter or cheese clothier top of container. Use rubber band if you need to keep out the fruit flies if in warmer climates.
  • Leave for a week up to 30 days to ferment. You can start tasting your brew after 7 days to see if the desired sweetness or acidity and ferment is to your liking.

*Do not place a lid on this container as the air is what will help ferment your tea.

*Do not place in direct sunlight

*If brown strands form throughout the week, that’s normal. Those are called yeast strands and are part of the process. You can always strain them out before the second brewing process.

After a week fermentation process your brew should look more cloudy than clear. It should also smell more vinegar-y than sweet. I love the first brew Kombucha because it is more vinegar-y. If you are new to Kombucha I would definitely suggest flavoring for taste.

 

You are now ready to flavor your Kombucha.

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What’s you’ll need:

Fresh or frozen fruit or fruit juice for flavoring (organic preferred)

My favorite flavoring options are: Pineapple, Ginger, Blueberries, Palo Santo (oh ya the incense stick) as they are always in my house.

Airtight glass bottles to store

  • After a week or longer depending upon your preference remove the Scoby from your brew and store in any glass storing container. You will likely have another Scoby that either formed on top of the Scoby or from it. You can pull off the new Scoby and store it or reuse it on the next batch.
  • Pour Kombucha in airtight glass bottles leaving a bit of room for air on top. Typically filling up until the bottle starts to narrow into the  spout is good place to stop.
  • Cut fruit in small pieces enough to fit in bottle. Typically 1/4 -1/2 cups is good.
  • Seal the bottles so there is no air and place in a warm spot to ferment for 3 to up to another 7 days.

*You may notice small bubbles forming.

  • Take care in opening the bottles as there second fermentation is going to produce a bit of air that will be trapped in that bottle.

 

Kombucha will likely be around for a long time as it has withstood thousands and thousands of years already. The best way to get your daily fix that will be way more cost effective is of course brew your own at home. Don’t give up after one brew if it doesn’t come out the way you want. You’ll be a Kombucha brewing maniac in no time! You totally CAN be THAT person!

 

 

 

 

 

Part 3- The effect of the autoimmune diet for alopecia areata and how I grew my hair back.

What really happened on the autoimmune inflammation diet with my alopecia areata?

Month 1 and 2– I didn’t see much hair growth but I felt GREAT. I wasn’t tired, sluggish and any sort of mind fuzz was gone. I had incredible energy and my body snapped into some muscular super hero shape. Mind you I was riding horses three times a week and doing heavy manual labor (I was a tour manager) but the diet change really turned me into a health mutant. I am already in shape but I had to make sure I was eating A LOT to keep me at a healthy weight and not waste away. I already have a crazy good metabolism from my many years as a dancer.  Incredibly this diet really trains your body to burn fat and not carbs. To recap the crap I was dealing with:

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When I tell you I was eating an avocado a day I’m not kidding. I needed those nutrients!

Month 3 and 4– I started to see thin strands coming in like when you can start to see new grass come through the soil. It was happening and boy was it exciting. I wish I took pictures for everyone but I never expected to one day write about all this. Such is life!

Month 4 and 5-By the end of the fourth month my patch was filling in with super soft baby hair! It was about an inch or two and it was growing FAST. I also noticed though that I had a smaller patch falling out right above the Mega patch. In fact that is the left over patch I’m growing in now. See below.

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Month 6- By month five I was on a hair regrowth role and decided to continue following the diet into the sixth month. I had also started towards the end of month five to work in some of the foods I had cut out to see if my body was ready to handle them. I worked back beans and eggs and all was well.

Month 6 and 7- The end of month six I went out for pizza. No hair fell out, I didn’t die, my body didn’t panic, so I decided slowly I would work back in other foods.

Month 8- By this time I decided I was going to let my body do wha it needed to do and I was not going to worry about my hair unless I started to see constant hair loss which I did not.

*Any time I put myself through extreme stress or really negative thoughts, the next day a bunch of strands would fall out. Luckily I’m semi- shallow so I’ve learned to cut that shit out real quick. For Latina woman, hair is our thing. Not to mention my Mother has gorgeous locks as well so the one thing I love that I got from my Mom I was not about to completely sabotage.

How to work back in foods on the autoimmune inflammation diet:

When I say work back a food item, go with the least inflammation causing foods first. For me it was beans. Eat a small amount and pay attention to your body for the next day or two. Some fine it helpful to journal their experience during this time and keep records. I just went for it.

If nothing happens eat another slightly larger amount and repeat the few day inspection period. Hopefully by this time a lot of the internal inflammation will have gone down and you won’t have any huge reactions. At month three I tried to work back eggs in my system and my sciatica flared up like crazy. Remember your body is not normally at an inflamed state so when you eat these things and your body is “normal” and “healthy” you won’t have any reactions. In an inflamed state common foods can cause discomfort or a flare up.  If you have a sunburn you can’t but your normal lotion on your body because your skin is inflamed but when you aren’t sunburned that lotion is just fine.

After month six ended I was careful what I ate but was pretty much eating all foods. I didn’t eat fast food except for Wendys (Wendy’s is my go to “healthier” fast food option) and wasn’t a huge fan of eating out at restaurants because by now I preferred a simpler less seasoned taste.

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My current hair sitch:

This last patch has been doing it’s own thing. I haven’t been diligent in taking supplements or following the AIP diet anymore as I wanted to see what my body would do. I would say it’s been now almost a year since little patch started falling out and and only recently have small strands started appearing.

I plan to once again do the AIP diet to grow back this baby patch as I saw results fairly quickly and after testing and letting my body do it’s thing- a boost of vitamins and nutrients certainly jump started my progress.

Everyone on this journey will have their own experiences and beliefs. This is my specific journey and if it works for you GREAT and if does not, I’m not a Dr. and of course do your own research, surely you are capable. Good luck to you and may the hair growth be with you!

Why every feminist should be using feminine wash PH soap.

Ph soap or feminine wash is not a feminist movement for your lady parts, it’s the proper care needed to maintain the good bacteria and ph level of dare I say the most important physical part of a woman. If you call yourself a feminist you better be using proper feminine wash Ph soap. This isn’t political, it’s science. Just like how woman are the stronger sex…wink wink.

Feminine wash PH soap is a wash that maintains the good bacteria and natural acidity of your vagina.

I have read that some OBGYN’s say feminine wash is unnecessary citing that our bodies are pretty good at maintaining themselves. While I do agree on some level I’m sure we have all used regular soap and felt the dryness in our special area when it’s clear we used the wrong wash. Soaps or other non gentle cleansers can strip the good bacteria and cause unwanted imbalances.  So here are my top reasons I use Ph soap:

  1. Maintains a healthy PH level– Our vagina (the collective one) sits at a Ph between 3.5-4.5, which is actually acidic. Normal soap which tends to be more alkaline and is higher than your vagina’s PH will dry out your skin and your special area.
  2. Lactobacilli friendly– Maintains a healthy environment for the good bacteria to flourish and keep your
  3. Can make your own at home– I usually buy the organic versions but you can also make your own at home using the ingredients you probably already have in the cabinets.

To be clear this is not a douche. Douches can disrupt your body natural chemistry and were invented probably by the patriarchy! That’s a joke… just don’t use them.

For a homemade DIY feminine wash mix the following:

  • Apple cider Vinegar- 1 part
  • Chamomile tea- 2 parts
  • Coconut Oil- 2 tablespoons

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Shake it in a bottle until it’s mostly blended and go to town. No you won’t smell like vinegar and you can always add a drop of essential oils such as Lavender or even Rose Water if prefer. I tend to just be simple and go with the easier version.

If there is no way you are going to pull a DIY feminine wash then absolutely go buy one. Obviously make sure there are no parabins or other harsh chemicals. You can find them at any drug store, Walmart, Target, sometimes grocery stores, and of course Whole Foods.

Care of the most intimate part of yourself is really self nurturing. An area that can sometimes be very delicate is also the strongest, as we do push babies out and snap back like nothing only to do it again with another babe. Treating your intimate areas i really taking care of your whole self. DIY or buy at the store but make it happen ladies, your PH will thank you.

 

Why Binchotan Charcoal is better than your water filter.

Binchotan Charcoal is better than your water filter.

Binchotan Charcoal, YAAS Bitch. Not familiar? How about activated charcoal, charcoal pills, charcoal powder? We’ve read countless articles telling us why charcoal can remove impurities, absorb toxins and make our skin flawless. Did you know it can also purify and alkalinize our water? Binchotan Charcoal, Sumi or Kishu Binchotan Charcoal hails from Japan and is reusable, recyclable and all natural.

These charcoal sticks are made from the highest quality Japanese Holm Oak, a tree native to Japan. Hello, charcoal is from a tree…did I know this? The charcoal is burned in small workshops by skilled artisans at extremely high temperatures and are then rapidly cooled, like how cool I feel from using Binchotan charcoal for my water filter.

Binchotan Charcoal

How does Binchotan Charcoal work?

In so many ways folks. Here’s why you need to be using charcoal sticks in stead of your tired old Brita water filter:

Absorbs water born chemicals – The process called “Nerashi” carbonizes the structure of the wood leaving microscopic cavities where water born chemicals like chlorine, lead, mercury, cadmium and copper are trapped. It bonds with the toxins. They become frenemies.

Mineralizes your water – Adds calcium, mercury, magnesium and phosphates. Without these necessary minerals in your water your body will not rehydrate. Drinking water and actually rehydrating live on different water planets.

Alkalizes your water – Worth it! Sumi aka Binchotan Charcoal will alkalize your water which is essential to rehydrating you body. My ultimate favorite alkaline water is Essentia but my new home filtration water is a close second.

Why it’s better than your current water filter:

Sustainable, reusable, recyclable, and all natural – These sticks will last you about 3 -4 months and can be disposed of in your garden once they start to diminish. You can also use it as a deodorizer in the fridge like baking soda. Kishu Binchotan is powerful purification at it’s purest form. I’m into that.

Easier than your current water filter – Simply place them in your glass, ceramic, aluminum free- definitely not plastic (unless BPA-free) water carafe, jug, or pitcher and let it go to work. The charcoal starts working immediately.

A deal – Charcoal sticks will range from $18-$28. Each stick will last about 3-4 months. For a large vessel go ahead and throw two sticks in there. Water filters typically can range $11-$15 but only last 2 months.

Alkalizes your water – Did I mention it alkalizes your water?!

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Maintenance of your charcoal:

Once a month you’re going to want to boil your charcoal stick to keep the pores open so it can keep doing it’s magic. Boil for 10 minutes in a shallow pan of water, make sure it’s completely submerged. After the boil take it out and let it dry for 30 minutes. Then reuse!

Things to know:

If there is bacteria in your water it’s not going to the take that out. It also won’t take out the fluoride. So in that regard we need to hope and educate ourselves whether our cities and towns are properly filtering things out of our water. The only way to completely remove these things are through distillation, reverse osmosis- which strips out beneficial minerals, and ionization and that leads us to buy bottled water and contribute to the ever increasing plastic problem we have in the world. These machines can also cost upwards of $1000 so I am a okay with using my Binchotan charcoal sticks until I hit the lotto and can by one of said machines.

Initially your water will have a bit of a mineral taste because perhaps you have been used to drinking filtered tap water sans minerals, so don’t panic and let your taste buds adjust!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

benefits of collagen

The unexpected benefits of adding extra collagen in your diet.

If you haven’t heard about the new collagen trend that is taking off and forming companies like Vital Proteins let me give you the complete rundown. A collagen rich diet is not a new thing and cultures around the world have been eating collagen rich diets for hundreds and thousands of years. Check out my post on foods we tried to pass of like we discovered to learn about the cultures who brought us our current food trends.

Adding extra collagen to your diet is easy.

Collagen, which is found in the bones, muscles, and skin is the most abundant protein found in the human body. We are most familiar with collagen relating to our skin back from those old plastic surgery jokes. The collagen molecules act together to allow skin elasticity and strength but what we perhaps are not familiar with is collagen’s incredible benefit and really the one to write home or you all about is it’s benefits relating to your gut health. Most of our collagen intake comes from meat and chicken from hides, bones, or even fish scales. Sounds gross. I’m still here for it.

 

After losing some hair to my self induced alopecia areata I incorporated collagen to my diet on a regular and generous amount in the form of “bone broths.” We now say bone broth but cultures call it soup people. Let’s get real about it. Any soup that has animal products or bones is likely going to be called bone broth. You aren’t re-inventing the health wheel you have just renamed it.

Easy ways to add collagen to your diet:

Smoothies – After solely relying on my collagen and gelatin from soups and stews (bone broth- eye roll) I now embrace my high quality powdered collagen peptides from none other than Vital Proteins, which I do love, to put in my smoothies. PS- no they don’t pay me to hock their collagen I really just am super into it.

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*Pro tip: Scoop protein scoops in smoothie liquid for no clump action. Don’t just throw in there with no liquid- it will clump, you will eat/drink them-it will be gross.

Pills – Not into drinking powdered bone no problem! Take collagen pills instead. Remember wellness can be easy and accessible so find whatever way works for you.

Soups – Yes you can put in your soups! No I’m not putting it in my tea or coffee, that is sacred but in my soups all day everyday….assuming your SOUP doesn’t already have collagen but either way go for it.

Collagen is crucial for your gut health.

The star of collagen is the fact that it contains so many amino acids. The proteins not only help regulate the body’s water balance and maintain optimum PH but help regulate all body processes. Vitamin and mineral absorption can not be effective with out amino acids present. The amino acids glycine and proline can help reduce inflammation, aid digestion, and help rebuild your leaky gut by repairing intestinal lining.

If you don’t know who Edgar Cayce is I would suggest reading the first chapter of Edgar Cayce’s Everyday Health and what he says about collagen and your gut. Many dismissed him as a kook but both myself and my Mother followed his recommendations and saw results in our alopecia areata and psoriasis.

 

Adding collagen to your diet has some other unexpected benefits.

  1. Protein Shake – That’s right collagen is a protein. A serving size has 19grams! So if you are in-between meals and you can have a collagen protein smoothie for hunger and health. That’s a win win.
  2. Strong Nails – It will indeed strengthen your nails. I saw this effect right away! Your nails are also a great way to check on your overall health and what vitamins you are low on. Brittle and yellow nails mean vitamin deficiencies so pump up your nails with some collagen.
  3. More energy – Amino acids convert proteins into fuel that your body needs to thrive and work at it’s optimal health. I concur with this from my own experience.
  4. Joint Health – Doctors and nutritionist have used collagen for many years as a nutritional aid to support joint and connective tissue support in treating those with degenerative diseases.

benefits of collagen

The big word on the street is that collagen is good for your skin and I don’t not think that. I will say I can see why articles, science and people say that.  I will say if you are looking to go from wrinkles to no wrinkles or acne to no acne that’s not going to happen with two scoops of collagen peptides. If you are taking supplements consistency is key so that means one month minimum to realistically see some results although I will note I saw some favorable benefits earlier than that which was fun and exciting.

*Remember whatever is amiss in your body didn’t happen overnight so it will take time to rebalance!

Extra pro tip: Add almond milk or apples to smoothies if you aren’t a fan of the initial collagen taste. Albeit it is very slight and you get used to it, adding the almond milk or apples helps keep the taste neutral. Enjoy!

 

working from home

Is working from home really right for you?

Working from home is a romantic notion we have all dreamed about at some point while working in an office, with others, or for a boss or manager we don’t love. If we could only work from home our problems will be solved. Right? Wrong? You decide.

Working from home won’t solve the problem that you are still working for someone else.

Let’s be honest most of us think the idea of working from home is a bridge to eventually working for ourselves on our own terms. Unfortunately that’s not really how it works. There is a major difference between working for yourself and working from home.

If you work from home you are still working on someone else’s time. You still have to job to do. If your company, boss, or manager don’t bring you happy thoughts now it’s likely working from home will be a symptomatic choice.

Let’s look at the top unfavorable possibilities working from home may bring. Here are the cons:

  1. Micromanager- It is possible if you are trying to escape the boss or manager from hell, working form home could cause him to micromanage you more. If he doesn’t trust you in the office or thinks you are incompetent, working from home is not the solve. Yes you won’t have to see their stupid face daily so that’s a plus but those emails will still keep rolling in.
  2. Lunch break anyone?- When I worked for home I had to physically force myself to take a lunch break. Once you are in the flow it is common for you to just keep going like a robot so that you can (in your mind) finish work a little early. Funny how some issue always comes up at 4:00pm isn’t it.
  3. All by myself- In the words of Celine Dion- Don’t want to be aaallll byyyy myyyseellllffff.” Not putting on pants, makeup, and sitting on your couch with your computer sounds really freeing at first. Eventually most people will start to miss the outside world and have to force themselves outside. If you are a social person working remotely may not be for you. *I met a guy at the park a while back that also worked from home who walked his neighbors dogs during his lunch break just so he could be around other humans and in the world. Do you want to be that guy?
  4. Where’s my work life balance- It might be back at the office. It’s nice to shut your computer down at 5pm everyday and go home and hopefully not worry about it until tomorrow at 8am. Well if you are working from home your computer is always close by and “it’ll just take second” can become a dangerous part of your vocabulary.
  5. Kids, pets, significant others- If you think you are going to stay home and have more access to the aforementioned you might be mistaken. Most companies have a strict at home policy that states in fact you are WORKING and will not be spending time with your kids, etc. If you are focused on work it’s hard to focus on anything else and if you are working for a company that uses any sort of time management software you are being tracked like a work prisoner.

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Working remotely really depends on the type of job you have and company you work for.

This is a huge factor in deciding whether or not working from home is right for you. If you work for a great company in a great position remote work can have a ton of pros!

  1. Reduces commute time – Indeed it does. The walk from your bedroom to your living room or home office aka dining room table is not far at all. Freeing up time before and after work can lead you open to spend more time with family, work out, do yoga, read your book, or work on that side gig that you’ve been wanting to designate some more time to.
  2. More efficient – Working on your own terms (if it is such that your company and job position allow that) will make you more efficient. When I worked from home I was able to work a few hours early in the am when I was replying to emails and making deals (big time) and then later on in the evening to follow up with said big deals. I had my midday to myself every now and then which for my type of personality was  ideal.
  3. You’re the boss- You’re not, but feeling like there is some ownership over your time and work life can definitely make you feel like one. Nothing better than feeling like you are in charge of your own destiny… You are btw.
  4. More flexible – Again depends on the company and job. If you are able to move your meetings and managerial check ins around then this may definitely be something that is appealing for you.
  5. Life work balance – It may be possible for you to put your life first and plan work around that. Working from home really mimics that whole concept of you, your life and your happiness are what’s really important. If a company puts employee wellness first or at least on the board at all, working hard and well for your employer doesn’t feel like an uneven exchange.

working from home

Work is necessary but working from home may make you feel more human.

Numerous studies show that working from home reduces stress. We can all agree less stress is appealing. It can give us more contact with the things that make us comfortable which can lead us to be more productive and balanced. Your home after all is your sanctuary from the world.

If you aren’t sure working from home will lead you to days filled with pajamas pants and smiles then ask your employer if you can try one or two days a week at home first before making the all or nothing leap. You may find the balance you need in your work life may only be a day or two working from home. Whatever work road you take know that it has to match up to what is best for you and if the romantic remote work fantasy doesn’t fit that’s okay too.

 

 

 

The cultures who introduced us to alkaline, anti inflammatory and fermented foods.

It’s no secret I openly scoff at trends. Maybe it’s because I mostly shop at TjMaxx and Marshalls so I am always a season or two behind. Alkaline, Anti inflammatory and Fermented Foods have become somewhat of a health food trend popping up in magazines, from celebrities and from faint whispers in the back of your yoga class. A trend it is not. These foods have been around for hundred of years in cultures all over the world.

What is alkaline?

Alkaline is a term related to the PH scale. The Ph scale measures how acidic or base a substance is. Acidic meaning acidic and base meaning alkaline.

alkaline PH strips

Why should I care about my PH?

Your body’s most optimal and healthy blood PH should sit somewhere between 7.35 and 7.45. I do want to note that your urine PH and your blood PH are different and come from different bodily regulated systems. PH strips can test saliva and urine but testing your blood PH will require a blood test over a course of time.

Alkaline forming foods- Foods that can be acidic in their natural state, like lemons or apples, but produce an alkaline reaction once they are in your body. What other foods are alkaline forming?

To learn more about the comprehensive specifics surrounding body PH and how it relates to different areas of our body check out this article that breaks everything down for you. You can never stop learning about this stuff…or you can just read the highlights in my articles.

 

You’ve probably already been eating fermented foods.

If you’ve eaten yogurt as a child or an adult guess what you have been eating fermented foods. See how not a trend this is.

Fermented Foods- Foods that produce helpful bacteria or cultures good for your gut. Some of these can be acidic such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, or kim chi but are still great for your system. An alkaline diet is about balance so the 80/20 rule applies. Don’t go alkaline crazy.

 

Why should I care about Anti- inflammatory foods?

Anti-inflammatory foods are very important in your diet and the overall health of your immune system. Cultures around the world eat these on a regular basis as part of their day to day meals because of the health benefits.

Anti-inflammatory foods- Foods that reduce inflammation and help your body naturally balance out for optimal health. Inflammation can be caused from exceed bad bacteria in the body, stress, hormonal imbalance, immune system disorders/diseases and a number of environmental factors.

Where did all our food trends come from?

JAPAN

  1. Tofu – An alkalizing food that contains all 8 amino acids. I’m personally not a fan of soy based on how the U.S has bastardized it but Japanese/Chinese soy all the way.
  2. Seaweed- Alkalizing and a super nutrient dense food.
  3. Alkaline water- The rest of the world filters and treats their water differently from how the US does. In Japan regular tap water is alkaline and sadly the US tends to be super acidic. Head over to any health food store and I’m sure you’ll notice at least ten different alkaline water brands now on the shelf. I actually used to work for an alkaline water company long before alkaline grabbed trend status in the U.S.
  4. Fermented vegetables- Miso is great for your immune system and skin health. Tempeh helps in lowering cholesterol as well as increasing bone density.

fermented vegetables

INDIA

  1. Tumeric- Native to India and while prevalent in its culinary dishes, it is also linked to India’s almost non-existent rate of Dementia and Alzheimers. Tumeric is a miracle root which also acts as an inflammatory.

tumeric

  1. Tons of Veggies- See a pattern here?
  2. Ghee Glorious ghee- Ghee or clarified butter is an anti-inflammatory and good for your digestion. If you’ve never tried ghee honestly just throw out your crappy organic butter and move on over to ghee because it’s so damn buttery it will change your life.

ghee

CHINA

  1. Fermented foods- A Chinese diet is loaded with alkaline vegetables and fermented foods. The Chinese have always valued their diet and how foods can affect ones overall health and wellness using foods’ hot and cold, yin and yang properties.

KOREA

  1. Kim Chi- A fermented food loaded with lactobacilli, the healthy bacteria that is great for your gut. An old NYC roommate of mine was from South Korea and made her own KimChi.  The process was stinky but I have no doubt her poop was perfect.
  2. More fermented veggies- Pickled radish, cabbage, cucumber etc. It’s all about the fermented veggies folks.

kim chi

INDIGENOUS CULTURES

  1. Veggies and Fish- Indigenous cultures from all over the world followed diets consisting almost wholly of vegetables and fish. They have been fermenting foods and using alkalizing solutions for centuries before colonization had an adverse effect on their diets.

Thanks to the cultures from all around the world and our newer quest for healthy living, Alkaline, anti inflammatory and fermented foods are now a part of our conversation when it comes to health. Don’t worry about stocking your shelves with kimchi and tempeh if it’s not in your flavor profile. Keeping a diet rich in veggies is the way to go.

I would also like to give a shout out to homeostasis. Homeostasis is basically your body’s ability to maintain a stable working condition even when outside factors, in this case food, come into play and try to disrupt your system. Does this completely discount eating healthy and all that good alkaline stuff I just told you about? No, guys come on, but it does give you more knowledge that the magical body you live in is full of science; it’s always working for you to rebalance you for optimal survival.

Give your body a break and shove some alkaline, anti inflammatory and fermented foods in your mouth every now and then. Your health deserves it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

sleepy time tea

The best tea for sleep that isn’t chamomile tea.

When looking for a sleep tea or sleepy time tea chamomile tea tends to be the most suggested.

Is chamomile tea effective to soothe? Absolutely, whatever helps you count those sheep but let me introduce you to a serious contender, Passi Flora tea aka Passion Flower tea.

Not being able to fall asleep or having a shitty nights’ sleep is the absolute worse. Top reasons affecting your slumber include:

  • thinking too much or problem solving (I do by best work at night)
  • eating protein too close to bed time
  • hormonal changes (enter night sweats)
  • room temperature being too warm
  • working out late
  • caffeine still in your system – it takes 12 hours to leave your system
  •  abnormal sleep patterns like sleeping in too late or staying up watching Netflix shows all night

I have experienced all these using chamomile tea as my soother until I discovered my ultimate sleep tea, Passi Flora.

Passi Flora also known as Passion Flower is an herb that has been used by Natives of South and North America for hundreds of years before being introduced to the European explorers as a sedative and anxiety soother.  In Europe it was used as a remedy for epilepsy and insomnia so when I joke that this tea will put you in a coma I’m not really that far off. Native Americans have also used the herb to treat boils, wounds and other liver problems.

Your best chamomile tea replacement is Passi Flora tea.

Here’s why I love this tea for sleep:

  • It’s a natural relaxer which means no side effects other than a wonderful sleep. Coming off a Dramamine or sleep medicine snooze never feels well rested and can take you a few hours to come back to your regular self.
  • It’s truly soothing which means it’s a great remedy for anxiety, stress, or when the Sandman just won’t appear.
  • It helps cleanse the liver. If you have too much heat in your liver aka energy you will likely be battling anxiety and won’t be able to get the restful sleep you are needing.
  • It can help balance your mood. This gentle herb can have positive effects on your mood and pro tip for women- YES do take when you have your period. Feel free to combine with this miracle herb as well for a double dose of balance.
  • Sleep, Sleep, Sleep, ZZzzzz. Oops I fell asleep. This tea is great for sleep and will definitely get you there.

sleepy time tea

Chamomile tea is great for soothing but Pasi Flora is my number one tea for sleep.

The best part of this tea is how accessible it is. Accessible wellness is who I am and what I preach. You can find this tea at pretty much any grocery store, definitely local health store, obviously Whole Foods, and any kind of ethnic food store especially Hispanic markets. Folks don’t be shy about visiting “ethnic markets” either. Other cultures have healthy gems we don’t even know about yet and exploring them can help you discover wellness gems much like this wonderful Passi Flora sleep tea.

May the sleep be with you.