5 Ways To Have A Healthy Start To Your Day

I’ve never been one to sleep in, even on a weekend. In fact for most of my 20’s I got up before the sun. Mornings are my favorite time of the day and I HATE to waste them. There is something special about the quiet peacefullness of the morning, before others wake up to start the day. Starting my day off right is important to me.  When I start my day off on the right foot, I am more likely to continue to have a day that contributes positivley to my health and happiness. If you feel as if your mornings are rushed and chaotic read on to find out how  you can kickstart your day in a healthy way!

1. Wake up earlier

Setting up a morning routine that incorporates healthy habits can benefit you in many ways. In order to have some “me time”, I wake up earlier than I would if I just had to run out the door to work. I get up  an hour and 15 minutes before I need to leave which is 6:00am. These are the small ways I incorporate health during that time.

  • using a light simulator alarm clock to support morning cortisol levels
  • skin brushing to stimulate lymphatic system
  • oil pulling for detoxifaication
  • hydrotherapy shower to boost immune system
  • applying essential oils for focus

2. Drink water/herbal tea/ bone broth rather than coffee

I gave up coffee two years ago and would never go back. When I drank coffee I always felt jittery, irritable, and out of balance. My energy was all over the place with highs and lows. It was a drug I was addicted to. Yes, I went through terrible withdraws but after two days I had tons of energy that didn’t stop! Now after drinking a big glass of water in the morning, I stick with tea or bone broth for the retainer of the morning. These options provide the body with lots of vitamins and minerals that will help your skin glow!

3. Eat A healthy breakfast

Whenever I meet someone who doesn’t eat breakfast, I am astonished.  Your brain needs energy to concentrate during the day!  Eating a meal that contains a good amount of protein will keep you more satisfied throughout the day so that you are less likely to reach for something unhealthy. Here are some breakfast ideas my hubby and I use through the week.

  • Pastured egg omelet with added veggies
  • Paleo pancakes or waffles
  • Veggie fruit smoothy with added collagen for protein
  • Veggie and meat stir Fry

14406031184_ac3675bb19_z

source

4. Pray

Starting my morning of with prayer and devotion is crucial for me. I find that if I don’t do it first thing in the morning, I end up skipping it all together. I love using the website  shereadstruth.com for daily devotions.

5. Go outside/ work out

While I prefer to work out in the morning, I value my sleep more, and sometimes save it for the afternoon.  Regardless, I always try to get outside to work out. Being outside in nature can help restore and heal your body. Being in outside can promote relaxation and can actually reduce inflammation in your body. If I choose to workout in the afternoon, I always spend a few minutes outside breathing in the fresh air!

How do you start your day in a healthy way?

 

Happy Healing!

 

Creamy Blueberry Freezer Pops

Summer is my favorite season. I love the hot sun, lake swimming, no makeup, summer days. Growing up I remember eating lots of popsicles in the summer time. It so refreshing to cool down with something icy after being out in the sun all day. Wanting to recreate that summer tradition, I set out to make a healthier version of the popsicles I used to eat. These blueberry treats are full of healthy antioxidants and taste delicious. A bonus is that they only have three ingredients!

Blue Berry Freezer Pops

Creamy Blueberry Freezer Pops

  • Servings: 4 popsicles
  • Time: 20 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
1 6oz container of blueberries
1 cup water from boiled blueberries
1/2 cup fat from can of coconut milk

Directions:
1. Fill one pot with blue berries and enough water to cover blueberries completely
2. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes
3. Put blueberries, and 1 cup water from boiled blueberries, and coconut fat into a food processor
5. Process for 30 seconds
6. Place liquid into four freezer pop molds
7. Place in freezer until fully frozen
8. Enjoy on a hot day!

Simple Coconut Milk Recipe

I’ve mentioned how much I love nut milks before. While I sometimes buy coconut milk in the can, it can often times be difficult to find a brand that doesn’t use thickeners. This coconut milk is easy to make and SUPER creamy! Enjoy!!

Coconut milk recipe

Simple Coconut Milk Recipe

  • Servings: 8 cups
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Supplies:
Blender
Nut-Milk Bag

Ingredients:
2 cups Unsweetened Coconut Shredded

8 cups hot water

Directions:
• Add 2 cups shredded coconut to blender.
• Pour in 2 cups of hot water.
• Blend on med/high for 1-2 minutes.
• Pour mixture into nut milk bag and squeeze out all liquid.
• Save and dry excess coconut and freeze for later use.
• Drink and enjoy!

Happy Healing!

How To Eat When Traveling On The SCD Diet

Going on vacations and traveling can seem like a daunting task when on the SCD diet. The first thing that comes to my mind is, how am I going to eat? When you can’t eat on the road, preparation of food is a must! Here are some food ideas that helped me stay satisfied while traveling this summer.

  • Peter Rabbit Organics Baby Food are perfect because the fruit and veggies are already cooked and pureed. I like this brand because the only other ingredient besides fruit and veggies is lemon. I also use these as a snack when I am cycling, they are similar to the Gu Energy Packs I used to eat without all the added junk!

  • Nut Butter/Coconut Oil packets are so yummy and the perfect snack to keep in your purse. I typically will get almond, walnut and sunflower seed.

  • Epic Bars are paleo, gluten free and low in sugar. The animals are 100% grass fed. Due to the added sugar, I don’t go crazy on these, but have them every once in a while.

  • I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw these Pesto Zucchini Chips! Everything is SCD legal! They are absolutely delicious.

  • Wild Caught Alaskan Smoked Salmon is the perfect protein to bring on the road because you can eat it cold. My husband and I typically drive to our vacation spots, so I am able to bring a cooler. I like eating snacks but sometimes feel like I need something a little more sustenance.
  • If you are farther along on the diet and have added in nuts, sprouted nuts would also be a great snack to have on the road!

I hope that this helps you on your next vacation!!

Happy Healing! 

How To Dry Herbs

How To Dry Herbs

Ohh herbs. So many plants with so many different healing properties. I loved that I was successful in growing herbs in my garden this year. There is nothing like picking fresh herbs and using them while cooking. One thing that I do over the summer is dry my herbs in order to use them throughout the fall and winter months. I want to share how easy it is to dry herbs with you today!

Here are the steps to drying herbs…

  1. Cut off a section of leaves.

IMG_0838

  1. Rinse off any dirt and dry off.

IMG_0839

  1. Pick leaves off of stem and place onto dehydrator.

IMG_0840

  1. Dehydrate under 100 degrees F for 24 hours, or until crispy and dry.
  1. If using for tea crush leaves between fingers, otherwise you can just save the whole leaf.
  1. Place into air tight container and store in a cool dry place.
  1. Enjoy your herbs throughout the year!

Happy Healing!

The Healing Benefits Of Kuzu Root

My acupuncturist mentioned Kuzu root to me when I was in the middle of a flare. I had never heard of this root before, but wanted to give it a try in order to restore my gut.

Why use kuzu root?

There are amazing health benefits that go along with consuming this starch. Kuzu root is a source that has been used by healers to repair the digestive track in any way that it needs. For example, it can help with constipation as well as diarrhea. In Mathew Lovitt’s article, The Healing Benefits of Kuzu, he mentions the other proven benefits such as,

“to reduce high blood pressure, regulate blood sugar, relieve chronic migraines and ease muscular tension. A few studies have even found that the consumption of flavonoids reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.”

After several days of using this root, I saw a big difference in my digestive track and how I was digesting foods. I continue to use it as a daily supplement of healing for my gut.

How do you consume kuzu?

 Kuzu root is a starch that can be used as a thickener. It can be used in soups, sauces, gravies and puddings. There are many recipes that you can find online that use this healing root. I personally add it to my tea or bone broth at night with the recipe below.

Kuzu Root Tea

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

1tsp Kuzu Root Starch

1 cup hot liquid (water for tea or bone broth)
3 TBSP cool water

Directions:
Mix the kudzu root and cool water until it is completely dissolved.
Add hot liquid and mix.
Drink and enjoy!


Happy Healing!

Sources:

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5648/The-Healing-Benefits-of-Kuzu-Root.html

My Experience With Meditation

A few months ago I saw a social media post on a meditation app called headspace. The person was raving about how after the first 30 days of using the app they felt calmer and could handle stressful situations better. I had several I Tunes gift cards laying around and decided to give the app a try. I figured I had nothing to loose, and if anything it might be nice to  be quiet and focused for 10 minutes a day.  I was amazed at my findings that by incorporating this meditation into my morning routine, I arrived to work with a clearer, calmer demeanor, and was much more productive!

Lets face it, we all live in a time where we are BUSY, really, really, BUSY with kids, work, schedules, social functions, and everything else. People are constantly on the go and endlessly connected to one another through the internet and cell phones. It has become so ingrained in us to keep ourselves busy and connected that we may even feel guilty for letting ourselves relax and disconnect from one another for a while. However, it is essential for our wellbeing that we take the time to just be still and sit, and give our minds a break from the constant chatter that takes place on a daily basis.

6174344321_a6b3b6aa69_m

Nickolai Kashirin- Road Meditation

How to Meditate 

There are lots of different ways to meditate. If you would like a guided way to meditate, there are many podcasts and smart phone apps that you can download and listen to. My personal favorite is headspace because you can choose a specific series based on health, relationships and performance.

If you would like to start on your own, simply sit outside or in a room where you will be alone and won’t be disturbed. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes. Close you eyes and start to breath. Focus on the sounds that you hear around you. You might hear cars, or even people chatting, continue to just observe the sounds. Each time your mind wonders to a thought, just bring it back to the sounds. Next, feel the ground below you body and observe what that feels like. Again, each time your mind starts to wonder and think about other things, gently bring it back to what you are feeling. Finally, concentrate on your breath. How does the breath feel as it enters and exits your body? The main idea is just to have a focused mind, which is something you will need to practice. At the beginning there will be lots of thoughts in your head, but eventually as you keep practicing, it will be easier to have a focused mind.

My favorite way to meditate is while I am on a walk. It is the same idea as above, without the sitting. You are focused on what you hear, see, and smell. I love a meditation walk because when I am listening to music or talking on the phone, I miss the beauty around me.

IMG_1279

Benefits

  • Less Stress/Anxiety and Increased Positive Emotions- Meditating before work helped me to feel grounded and ready to tackle the day. Stressful deadlines didn’t seem so taxing and unattainable. It was easier to just be part of the day rather than try to control every aspect. Kirk Warren Brown and Richard M Ryan’s article, The Benefits of Being Present: Mindfulness and Its Role in Psychosocial Well-Being” stated that a, study showed that higher levels of mindfulness were related to lower levels of both mood disturbance and stress before and after the MBSR intervention.” Who wants to feel less stressed and happier during the day? I know that I do!
  • Better Cognitive Focus- Another plus of meditation is that after a session you will have increased mental clarity. I found myself being more about to focus on the task at hand rather than worrying about what will happen later in the day. This means that meditation can improve your attention.
  • Decreases Inflammation and boosts immune system-In Jill Sakai article, “Study reveals gene expression changes with meditation” she mentions that a new study found that meditation, “reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation.” I see a difference in my digestion when I use meditation compared to when I do not. I believe that slowing down and focusing helps my body to reduce inflammation and disease in my body. Plus, i will take all the help I can get to boost my immune system during the school year. Those first grade germs are no joke ;)!

Happy Healing!

Sources:

(1)  Brown, Kirk Warren, and Richard M. Ryan. “The Benefits of Being Present: Mindfulness and Its Role in Psychological Well-being.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology4 (2003): 822-48. Web.

(2) Sakai, Jill. “Meditation May Reduce Inflammation – Study.” VOA. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 July 2015. <http://www.voanews.com/content/meditation-may-reduce-inflammation/1806796.html&gt;.

Stage 2 SCD Reflections

Things are in full swing over here as I continue into stage 2 of the diet. I am loving all of the new foods that I can eat! Here is the list of everything I have added back in so far.

Vegetables:

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Pumpkin

Butternut Squash

Acorn Squash

Cucumber

Garlic

Carrots

Zucchini

Spinach

Fruit:

Peach

Applesauce

Pear sauce

Avocado

Other:

Almond Milk

Hemp Milk

Almond Butter

Walnut Butter

Coconut oil

Olive Oil

Walnut oil

Garlic

Pepper

Herbal Teas

I continue to peal, cook and puree my veggies. I am adding back a food every three days to see how my body reacts to it. I make sure to make notes in my food journal to pin point any reactions.  Best of all, I am finally feeling like I have some variety in my diet! The only thing my body has reacted to during this phase is wine, which was not suppose to be added back on the diet yet. I had organic sulfate free wine without an issue. However, I thought that I felt good enough that I could add back regular wine without a problem. I was very wrong! The day after consuming 2 glasses at a wedding, I had immediate blood return. It took me several weeks to get my symptoms back under control. I won’t be making that mistake again ;).

Progress

I have finally stopped bleeding for long periods of time- Woo whoo! When I did have a slight flare up after the wine, I was able to get things back under control fairly quickly. I have no gas or bloating and my stomach looks less puffy on a daily basis. I have massive energy and have broken several running personal records.. This is a BIG improvement from the beginning of the year when I barley had enough energy to get out of bed in the morning. Finally, the constipation has subsided and I have regular bowel movements!

Negatives:

Though I believe the positives outweigh the negatives I occasionally have some not so pleasant issues arise. One issue being that I am not able to eat outside the house. I have had lots of weddings and bachelorette parties recently, which as we know typically involve food. Since I have to prepare 100% of my meals at home, I get kind of awkward when everyone is sitting down to eat. Most of my close friends and family know that I have food allergies and understand my situation. However, I still get people asking me why I’m not eating, or very surprised waiters when I don’t order anything at a restaurant. While this can get irritating, I know that through this diet and healing the gut I will eventually be able to tolerate eating outside the home occasionally. I will be celebrating on the day I can have someone else cook for me ;). The only other issue I have had is eating too much nut butter. While I can handle these butters in small quantities, too much gives me a stomach ache!

There you have it, moving right along through the diet and feeling great!

14878592169_73fcf1eb47_m

DES Daughter

Happy Healing!

Super Quick Creamy Hemp Milk

During my time on the SCD diet I have added a supplemental protein shake that my doctor recommend to me for breakfast. I wanted to mix it with something besides water, but couldn’t find any milk that didn’t have added fillers and thickeners! Guar gum which is used in most nut milks have been know to be troublesome for people with inflammatory bowel . I headed out on a quest to find a quick any easy milk I could use that was safe for my stomach! This hemp milk is quick and simple to make!

  • Servings: 8 cups
  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Hemp Milk

Supplies:

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Pour 2 cups of hemp seeds into blender
  2. Add 8 cups filtered water to blender
  3. Start on low and move speed up to med/high for 2 minutes
  4. Cover bowl with milk bag and pour in mixture to separate milk and hemp seeds
  5. Pour milk into containers

*If you can tolerate vanilla or honey, these ingredients can be added to the milk*

You should use your milk within a week. I have frozen milk before and it stayed good for 2 weeks.

Happy Healing!

Eating Away From Home On The SCD Diet

Today I am going to talk a little about my experience of eating away from home while on the SCD diet. Since I am a teacher, I am able to prepare my meals at home in the summertime. However, I started the SCD introduction diet during the school year and needed to bring my prepared meals with me to work. If you are bringing your meals with you, there are a couple of items that make eating away from home a little more convenient.

The first item that made my life a whole lot easier is a Thermos . During the first few weeks of the diet you will be eating a lot of soup. This particular thermos kept my soup hot throughout the day. It was also large enough that I could fill with enough for two meals. That way if I got hungry after lunch, I had more to eat! The only down side is that it is a larger container and not as easy to carry with you on the go.

My next go to item is a LunchBot. This is a stainless steal container that will keep your food warm for hours. I use this for steamed veggies, or meat that is not put into a soup. This container is convenient to carry around with you because of its smaller size, and it will fit nicely inside a purse or bag. I used this when visiting the D.C. museums all morning with my hubby.  After we were finished I had a nice lunch available!

Drinking water while on the SCD diet is a must! I will not use plastic due to the harmful chemicals that can leach into food and water. I prefer to drink out of a glass or stainless steal bottle. Sometimes I will just use a big mason jar, but I always get funny looks from my kidos. I use this Ello Pure BPA-Free Glass Water Bottle while i am at school. I usually will fill it up the night before and stick it in the fridge so I have cool water to drink in the morning. I have never had an issue with it leaking and it comes in super cute colors!

My last item that I use is a Contigo -Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug. I love to sip on tea or bone broth at work and this particular brand keeps the liquid hot!   


There you have it, the best items for eating away from home while on the SCD diet!!

Happy Healing!