Healthy and Holistic

Month: January, 2013

Strawberry Mango All Fruit Smoothie

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I’ve been on smoothie kick lately and have been starting my day with some sort of blended concoction or fresh juice.

I wanted something light and refreshing to start my week, so I made an all fruit smoothie this morning with mangoes and strawberries.

With only 3 ingredients, you can’t get easier than that!

Strawberry Mango All Fruit Smoothie

  • 3/4 cup sliced mango
  • 3/4 sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup coconut water

Throw everything in the blender and blend.

Have a great week everyone!

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Avocado Smoothie

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You those people that put avocado with everything?  Yeah, me too and I’m one of them.  I looooove avocados, so I guess it was only time that I began to incorporate them in my smoothies.  Actually, I’m surprised I haven’t done it sooner.

They’re so creamy and rich, packed with vitamins and fiber, and are great for your skin and hair.

My inspiration came from those Vietnamese avocado smoothies that I used to order at Pho places.  I would always order them, but they are made with milk and sugar and topped with whipped cream.

My version is lighter and dairy free, but still has the same creamy texture and sweetness that I love in those drinks.

Avocado Smoothie

  • 12 oz of coconut water
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Handful of spinach
  • 2 tsp of raw agave nectar (optional, but it does make it sweeter)
  • 1 tsp of matcha green tea powder (optional)

 

Just throw everything in a blender, whip it up, and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Head Cold Home Remedies

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Well it seems that I’ve come down with a bit of a head cold.  I felt it creeping up on me last week and have been trying to fight it, but alas I woke up this morning with a major headache coupled with pain behind my eyes, sinus pressure, and a runny nose. Blah.

It’s no fun being sick, but I have a surefire strategy to help me get over this cold quick.  It’s time to bust out my headcold home remedies.

But first, let’s talk a bit about head colds. A head cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract.  The virus settles in the mucus membranes of the nose and is usually paired with congestion, sneezing, and a headache. It is sometimes referred to as a “common cold,” and it is a very frequently seen in the winter months in many regions of the world. It is usually harmless, but can create several days of discomfort and fatigue.

The mucus which drains from the nose is typically clear in color, but if it becomes yellow or greenish, this could suggest that you’ve developed a sinus infection.  In which case, see my sinus infection home remedy post.

To prevent your cold from turning into a secondary bacterial infection and help your body recover quickly, follow my tips below.

1. Hot Fluids

It’s important when you have a cold to consume a lot of fluids and it feels good to have something warm when you are not feeling well.  Not only does it feel soothing, but hot fluids help increase the movement of nasal mucus and help to soften and relax inflamed nasal passages.  My favorite home remedy is a cold and flu brew tea which contains chamomile, eucalyptus, peppermint, orange peel, yarrow flowers, and elderflowers.

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2. Nasal Saline Spray

When you have a stuffy nose and it’s inconvenient to do a netti pot, having a nasal saline spray on hand will help keep your nasal passages moist and lessen inflammation of the mucus membranes.  Just make sure that when you purchase one that it is says natural saline and does not contain a steroid.  I like the nasal spray that Nutribiotic makes because it is natural saline combine with grapefruit seed extract, an antimicrobial and prevent or help clear up a sinus infection.
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3. Netti Pot

The netti pot is my go to whenever I have a head cold.  It alleviates sinus congestion, pain, and pressure without having to take any medication.  A few years ago, I had really bad allergies and would get numerous sinus infections, one year I think I had 5.  Each time I got one, I would feel miserable and go to the doctor for another round of antibiotics.   Each round lasted three weeks and I have to take what looked like huge horse pills-yuck!  I started researching natural sinus infection remedies and the netti pot kept popping up everywhere.  I decided to try it and while it took me a while to get used to doing it, I haven’t had a sinus infection since.  See my post sinus infection home remedy for more information about doing a netti pot.

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4. Vitamin C

On average, researchers have found the taking extra vitamin C helps reduce the length of your cold by one day.

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5. Rest

Okay, this may seem like it is a no brainer, but it really is important to take it easy when your body is battling a virus.  Also, it’s best to avoid OTCs like Dayquil that temporarily make you feel better.  What your body really needs is extra sleep to help rebuild  and recharge.  So take the time to nurture yourself and find a nice cushy seat on the couch.

Magnesium, the Chill Pill

Hello everyone, Happy Hump Day!  Actually, it used to bug me when people tell me Happy Hump Day at work, but this week it seems I’m happy to get over that midweek ‘hump.’

I’ve been feeling kind of frazzled lately and have been dealing with some not so fun car stuff.  I banged up the side of my car pretty bad. Ouch!

In addition to hitting the side of my car, my power window on my driver side door stopped working (and it was rolled down, brrr it’s been cold)

I’ve been running back and forth between work and different car places trying to get estimates, wheel alignments, and body work done and it’s been a little stressful.  Oh did, I mention that it’s that time of the month for me too?

But it’s all good and I’ve been dealing with everything and will have everything fixed soon.  For weeks like this one, I always reach for magnesium.

Magnesium is a supplement that is vital to many bodily processes and helps balance calcium levels.  Magnesium  benefits women especially because it helps relieve symptoms of menopause, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and minimizes risk of premature labor.  Read below for other benefits of magnesium.

Magnesium Benefits

  • Relieves stress
  • Aids and regulates the body’s use of calcium, and may reverse osteoporosis
  • Assists in bone and teeth formation
  • Prevents cardiovascular disease
  • Regulates high blood pressure
  • Regulates cholesterol production and modulate insulin sensitivity
  • Treats migraines, insomnia, and depression

As you can see, the benefits of magnesium are quite extensive.  While magnesium is available in certain foods like nuts, seeds, and bran, I find it beneficial to supplement my diet with a magnesium supplement.

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When looking for a magnesium supplement, make sure it doesn’t contain a lot of fillers.  Buy powdered magnesium or capsules to avoid binders.

My favorites magnesium supplement is Natural Calm Vitality.  It comes in powdered form and is flavored with natural flavors and stevia.  I mix a couple teaspoons with water and drink in the evening before bed.  It helps me to unwind and fall asleep.

Just remember,when you start supplementing with magnesium to start slow and take a little (half a teaspoon) until your body adjusts before gradually taking the full dosage.

Hope you guys have a have a great rest of the week!

New Year

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Happy New Year everyone!  I’m looking forward to 2013 and all that the year has to bring.  Do you have any New Years resolutions?  Here are a few of mine:

1. Walk to More Places  I was in New York recently and loved how everyone walks everywhere.  I’m going to try to do the same whenever.  I live near a downtown and so far, I’ve walked to do my errands, whether going to the grocery store, farmer’s market, and even my chiropractor appointments.

2. Juice – I love drinking fresh veggie juices, they’re energizing and so healthy for you.  Unfortunately, it’s been difficult for me to keep up a routine long-term.  This year, I’ve resolved to have fresh fruit or veggie juice once a week, by either going out and getting one or making it at home.  I think once a week is a more doable goal that I can keep up with in the coming year.

3. Integrate both sides of myself – This may sound like a strange goal, but it’s about self-acceptance and letting go of a black/white outlook.  I always see myself as having two sides, one is very spiritual and holistic and ‘woo woo’, the other is very ‘of this world’ and is career/success driven and loves to indulge.   I used to think that I had to pick one or the other, but I’ve resolved to integrate both sides of my personality in 2013.  I can eat tripe creme brie and still follow a healthy lifestyle overall.  Or I be a high-tech career women that is spiritual and practices Reiki.  I’m going to embrace being multifaceted.

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