Tag Archives: healthy living

Healthy Action of the Week: Get Yo Greens In!

GREENSEvery day this week try to incorporate fresh organic green vegetables in at least one meal. Your body will thank you. -Xo Raw Girl 

Some benefits of chlorophyll found in green vegetables include:

  • Increases the functioning of the heart
  • Improves the health and wellness of the intestines
  • Cleanses the liver
  • Improves the overall health of the vascular system
  • Maintains healthy bones and strong muscles
  • Protein. Yes! Greens have protein
  • Lowers or maintain healthy blood pressure
  • Helps body to detox and cleanse of impurities naturally
  • Improves the quality of your skin
  • Can increase the quality and quantity of your red blood cells because the compound has a chemical composition very similar to hemoglobin
  • Can lower your risk for developing certain types of cancer

***Warning: eating a larger amount of green vegetables may accelerate healing or cause an increase in joie de vivre, sexiness, youthfulness, and overall magnetism. Heed this advice at your own risk.****

The Skinny on B Vitamins

b-vitamin-fruits-vegetables-dietWe’ve all heard about RDA or recommended daily allowance for vitamins and minerals that are set by the Food and Drug Nutrition Board and give us the estimated minimal amount that people need to consume in order to avoid deficiencies. However, the optimal level of consumption of any micronutrient should actually fall well above the RDA for maintaining adequate nutrition and optimal health. B vitamins in particular can be consumed several times more than the RDA. When it comes to the optimal level, it’s an amount that can be consumed in order to allow for the nutrient to provide proper functioning while now allowing symptoms of toxicity to develop or any adverse symptoms. B-vitamins are essential for the metabolism of glucose, act as co-enzymes in mitochondrial aerobic respiration, and are instrumental in cellular energy production and the production of ATP (basically the process of turning our food into energy).

How B vitamins get to the brain?

The B vitamins for brain function are actively transported across the blood barrier by dedicated transport mechanisms. Cellular uptake mechanisms dictate the distribution of where all the B vitamins are allocate once in the brain. Following that B vitamin levels are controlled by several homeostatic mechanisms which guarantee that brain concentrations remain comparatively high. Much of the evidence related to the impact of B vitamins on the brain has not been consistent. Some studies suggest that B vitamins do have significant benefits to brain function.

The pentose phosphate pathway is a necessary step in the synthesis of fatty acids, steroids, nucleic acids and the aromatic amino acid precursors to a range of neurotransmitters and other bioactive compounds essential for brain function. In essence B vitamins will help keep our thinking sharp and keep us from going cray cray. Thiamine is a coenzyme in that pathway and acts as a cofactor during metabolic processes and contributes to the structure and function of cellular membranes.

Why you care? Although B vitamins are totally essential, prevalence of B vitamin deficiencies has increased in developed societies. Figures calculated for RDA and other nutritional requirements have barely changed over the past four decades despite glaring facts that point to the decreasing ability to absorb nutrients from our food and soil. Studies have found that populations in developed countries such as the U.S. do not consume the RDA of B vitamins. As obesity continues to climb there is a clear relationship between obesity and malnutrition because the SAD (Standard American Diet) consists of too much high fat, sugary, processed or fast foods which have little to no nutrition in the form of vitamins and mineral. Large portions of developed populations have been shown by studies to have biochemical levels of B vitamins that could cause deficiency related diseases, or reaching levels considered “marginal deficiency” which isn’t completed deprived but still not optimal either. All of these factors are a part of why deficiencies in developed societies occur.

Supplementation

Studies have shown that supplements higher in B vitamins and lower in other micronutrients have stronger effects than supplements with lower levels of B vitamins and higher concentrations of other micronutrients. So it may be wise if supplementing to purchase a B-complex or B vitamins as separate from your daily multivitamin. Some foods rich in essential B vitamins like B1, B2, B3, and B5 include: spirulina, goji berries, beans, broccoli, turnip greens, asparagus,  spinach, tomatoes, carrots, oranges, dandelion greens. –Xo Raw Girl

References

Kennedy, D.O. (2016). B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy – A Review. Nutrients. 27(8), 2. doi: 10.3390/nu8020068.

 

What if Your Healthy Food Was Unhealthy?

pexels-photo-247685Today’s exercise in “what the heck? Why not?” was to identify a food that I perceive to be a “good” food and look for primary literature that contradicts my view of that food. Why would I do this? I find it so interested how much health information is out there and depending on what a company or organization stands to gain, you may hear biased evidence about particular kinds of food. Obviously this happens the most in the meat, dairy, and processed food industry; since vegetables have NEVER been proven to cause cancer, hypertension, or osteoporosis. But anywhoo, the gist is, it is healthy to reconsider your viewpoint from time to time and in the healthy living world, it doesn’t happen enough, with various sides clinging to their opinion like it’s the religious truth.

I chose to focus on Nori, a type of seaweed I love to consume especially in dried unsalted form, and consider healthy because of its nutrient content. My personal bias with this food is that I began to consume it, along with other seaweeds when changing my diet to transform my acne problem skin. Seaweeds played a major part in my healing so I have firsthand positive experience with it. Nori is fat-free and provides the body with Vitamin A,C, folate, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and protein.  Although it is highly debated, studies also support that dried Nori is the most excellent source of B12 for vegetarians, and contains less dietary iodine than other seaweeds, (Watanabe et al, 1999).

It was actually difficult to find to many studies or journals that asserted Nori is a “bad” food, but what I did find are studies that confirm the heavy metal contamination of commercially available seaweed (Nori being the most popular). “On April 13, 2021 Enviroreporter.com tested Nori seaweed from Japan bought from a Los Angeles store….the [seaweed] was 94.7% above normal. These tests were performed with an Inspector Alert nuclear radiation monitor, the same detector used in over 1,500 tests for Fukushima radiation beginning four days after the March 11, 2011 triple meltdowns at the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi six-reactor complex in Japan.” Another study found levels of total and inorganic arsenic in seaweed. “Using 31 samples (all purchased as a dried product) covering five varieties of seaweed were collected from various retail outlets across London and the internet. Arsenic was detected in all samples with total arsenic at concentrations ranging from 18 to 124 mg/kg. Inorganic arsenic, which can cause liver cancer, was only found in the nine samples of hijiki seaweed that were analysed, at concentrations in the range 67–96 mg/kg. Other types of seaweed were all found to contain less than 0.3 mg/kg inorganic arsenic, which was the limit of detection for the method used,” (Rose, M. et al, 2007). In this study, Nori was not found inherently toxic, but low levels of arsenic were present.

After conducting this research, my views on this food have not changed. I do believe it is a healthy food. However, obtaining this information has caused me to be concerned and more intent on gathering information about where the Nori I consume is harvested and whether or not it has been tested, especially for radiation. Considering another contradictory opinion wasn’t bad at all, worst case I would have had to give up my delicious Nori rolls, and best case scenario, I learned something new to share with you. –Xo Raw Girl

References:

Netten, C. (2000). Elemental and radioactive analysis of commercially available seaweed.The Science of the Total Environment, 169-175.

Watanabe, F., Takenaka, S., Katsura, H., S. A. M. Zakir Hussain Masumder, Abe, K., Tamura, Y., & Nakano, Y. (1999). Dried Green and Purple Lavers (Nori) Contain Substantial Amounts of Biologically Active Vitamin B12 but Less of Dietary Iodine Relative to Other Edible Seaweeds.Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2341-2343.

Rose, M., Lewis, J., Langford, N., Baxter, M., Origgi, S., Barber, M., … Thomas, K. (n.d.). (2007) Arsenic in seaweed—Forms, concentration and dietary exposure. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 1263-1267.

Collins, M. (2012, April 20). Japanese Seaweed Radiation Doubles. Enviroreporter.

Recipe! Banana Chips

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Bananas anyone? Eating high raw requires you step yo snack game up to a new level. It’s always great to have something to take with you on-the-go. But time is money, and sometimes we get lazy about preparation. These banana chips take no time at all to prepare. Just stick them in the dehydrator, go about your business, and by the end of the day you’ll have a yummy snack ready. -Xo Raw Girl 

Ingredients:

Bananas

Lemon Juice

Spice Mix: 1- 2 Tablespoons Cinnamon, Dash of Cardamom, Dash of Nutmeg

Directions:

Peel and slice to about a ¼ – inch thickness.

Dip banana slices into a bowl of lemon juice. This lessens the browning of the banana chip. (optional)

Shake off extra lemon juice. Put spices onto a small plate or bowl and dip banana chip into spices.

Can dip half or all of the chip. Then lay the banana slices on the dehydrator tray.

Dehydrate at 140 degrees F for 1 hour

Turn the temperature down to 115 degrees F, dehydrate 8 hours.

Half way through, stop the dehydrator and flip over all the banana slices. The slices are easy to peel off the dehydrator tray when they are warm, and turning ensures dryness.

If the banana chips are leathery to crisp, they are done.

Cool the banana chips for a few hours in the dehydrator before removing them. Pack the dried chips into a Ziploc bag when they are cool. Store at room temperature.

Other Variations:

Make Plain

Dip banana slices into chopped nuts or dried coconut flakes prior to drying.

Sprinkle with cinnamon only.

Sprinkle with Celtic sea salt

Health Action of the Week: Get Creative with Your Salads

peach summer salad

If you want to start eating high raw, the first thing on your to-do list should be to learn how to prepare a kick ass, finger licking, victory dance, booty shaking salad so good, it will convert your most vegetable apprehensive aunty. I am proud to say I have mastered the art of converting people to a love of fruits and veg, just by making salads that provide a magical flavorful experience. How do you do this? Well first off you have to get creative. You CANNOT make enticing salads by sticking to the romaine lettuce and tomato formula found in restaurants the world over. Try other greens, and don’t be afraid to mix them together: kale, mixed greens, arugula. Add in unexpected toppings like fennel, artichokes, olives. Or go the fruity route and try things like strawberries, cranberries, etc. You can also throw together “salads” using additional ingredients that bulk them up like quinoa, adding hummus, or guac, and a wide variety of diced vegetables.  After you get some dope ingredients, the secret you must employ to achieve the holy grail of all salads, is you must massage your salad with your hands. This is non-negotiable. I like to use either olive oil with lemon, lime, or apple cider vinegar as the acid, sea salt, sometimes a dash of Braggs, and other seasonings, and work them all in with my hands. Even when I make a dressing, I like to massage the greens first using this method, because it makes them easier to digest and works in some intrinsic flavor. Below are links to a few salad recipes from this blog. Your challenge this week is to experiment with combinations you’ve never tried to make a glorious and hearty salad. Sharing is caring, so tag me on Instagram or shoot me a message on Facebook with some of your creations so I can try too! -Xo Raw Girl 

Mediterranean Salad w/ Cilantro Goddess Dressing

The Ultimate Beauty Salad

Raw Curried Okra Cobb Salad

Collard Green Salad w/ Grapefruit Vinagrette

Sweet n’ Scrumptious Summer Salad w/ Orange Strawberry Dressing

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Have you checked out my new online classes yet? In my new course, Staying Ageless 30+  you will learn about Diet Basics, Lifestyle Factors, and elements of Longevity that promote an ageless way of life.  Over the course of three modules you learn what to eliminate from your diet to stay ageless, how to ensure your body is receiving adequate nutrition, powerful detox rituals you can incorporate to increase your longevity, beauty remedies that will leave you glowing, and how to exercise effectively and get results.  In addition you will learn health lessons directly from renowned longevity and health experts that will equip you to transform your lifestyle. You can still enroll! Check out the class HERE to preview the curriculum our save your seat! -Xo

Going Vegetarian or Vegan in College

Things You Should Know About Taking Vitamin C

israel-egio-51174Vitamin C is not only necessary to boost your immunity it’s also essential for beauty as it supports the production of collagen. Anyone else trying to avoid Botox? If so, Vitamin C is your friend. Below are a few additional things to know when choosing to supplement Vitamin C.

  • Generally there is no difference in the bioavailability of synthetic vs. non-synthetic vitamin C; but research has shown that the bioavailability from natural sources with flavonoids may have greater bioavailability than synthetic forms.
  • Vitamin C may increase the absorption of aluminum
  • Vitamin C enhances the bodies’ absorption of non-heme iron
  • Quercitin and rutin have been shown to inhibit the oxidation of vitamin C in vitro.
  • Vitamin C may decrease the availability of selenium for absorption. Selenium is a trace mineral that our body needs so if you were deficient, excess vitamin C supplementation could make the issue worse

Want to skip the pills?

Camu Camu are nutrient-dense berries that are considered a superfood and contain an awesome amount of vitamin C and flavonoids. I discovered them years ago when I started to consume superfoods regularly. Cam Camu berries are actually considered by many to be the most vitamin C rich fruits on the earth. One teaspoon of camu camu powder contains 1180 percent of RDA for vitamin C. I personally would chose camu camu powder in a morning smoothie if I wanted to consume something that would replace the supplement and meet my daily vitamin C requirements.

References

Aldrich, N. (n.d.). Module 11 Lecture: Vitamin C. Retrieved March 20, 2017, from https://learn.muih.edu/courses/4673/pages/vitamin-c?module_item_id=108363

Coles, T. (2014, January 23). 11 Things You Need To Know About Camu Camu. Retrieved March 19, 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/07/25/camu-camu-benefits-_n_3644392.html

Camu camu: An incredible source of vitamin C and flavonoids. (n.d.). Retrieved March 19, 2017, from http://www.naturalnews.com/039810_camu_flavonoids_vitamin_C.html

Ross, A. C., Caballero, B. , Cousins, R. J., Tucker, K.L. & Ziegler, T. R. (2014). Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. (11th ed.). Baltimore, MD: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

 

 

 

4 Mindfulness Techniques That Can Reduce Binge Eating

binge-eatingmain

  1. Daily Mindfulness Meditation Practice. Finding a meditation practice that works for you and practicing consistently can greatly reduce your need to binge. Why meditation? Studies on binge eaters have shown that meditation and mindfulness exercises as a whole, had a positive effect on bingeing and also may help us get more present with our emotions. A simple 5 minute meditation is enough to start, and you can increase as you feel more comfortable.
  2. Journaling. As a survivor of binge eating disorder, I am very aware that emotions play a HUGE role in bingeing. In fact, the food is usually a way to stop us from experiencing negative emotions like stress or sadness. When you journal around your feelings in social and solitary situations that cause bingeing, you can discover what your triggers are. Once you know your triggers you can work alone or with a practitioner to find interventions to use to stop the cycle of bingeing.
  3. Stopping in Between Bites: One to two times per week try eating a meal and stopping in between bites. I know it sounds a little crazy but the pause in between bites in which you must put your fork down, causes you to savor your food and have a better handle on your satiety or hunger level. Most of us shove food down our throats quickly and discover minutes in that we are overstuffed. Slowing way down can be maddening at first, but for someone who is used to eating large amounts of food very quickly like most do who binge, it will be a great exercise in re-training you to hear your bodies’ cues that you are full. You can also journal about your experiences.
  4. No Eating While Upset. If you are a binge eater it’s important to start allowing yourself to feel the feelings that come up before a binge. The act of bingeing numbs the emotions and replaces with a temporary feel good from the food, and then bad feelings of shame and guilt come after so it becomes a vicious cycle. It may be extremely difficult at first, but if you can work on turning to journaling, calling a friend, or other activities that allow you to express how you arefeeling, a healthier cycle and way of dealing with her emotions will replace the bingeing habit.  -Xo Raw Girl 

 

References:

Niacin. (2017). AHFS Consumer Medication Information, 1.

Prousky, J. E. (2010). Vitamin B3 for Depression: Case Report and Review of the Literature. Journal Of Orthomolecular Medicine25(3), 137-147.

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Have you checked out my new online classes yet? In my new course, Staying Ageless 30+  you will learn about Diet Basics, Lifestyle Factors, and elements of Longevity that promote an ageless way of life.  Over the course of three modules you learn what to eliminate from your diet to stay ageless, how to ensure your body is receiving adequate nutrition, powerful detox rituals you can incorporate to increase your longevity, beauty remedies that will leave you glowing, and how to exercise effectively and get results.  In addition you will learn health lessons directly from renowned longevity and health experts that will equip you to transform your lifestyle. You can still enroll! Check out the class HERE to preview the curriculum our save your seat! -Xo

 

 

 

Sexy Food in Capetown: Benefits of Fermented Foods

To check out Sex Food visit their website or Instagram: sexfood.co.za or @sexyfoodsa

-Xo Raw Girl

Healthy Action of the Week: Try An Exotic Fruit or Vegetable

kaboompics_Exotic fruits on a wooden tableThis week’s healthy action is about breaking out of those “food ruts.” What’s a food rut? You know how sometimes life gets us in those predictable routines? Well a food rut occurs when because we are busy, lazy, tired, or somewhere in between all of the above we find ourselves eating the same combinations of foods day in and day out. Not this week! I challenge you to take your gorgeous self over to the grocery store and pick one fruit or vegetable you have never tried before and make a meal of it. Google up on its nutritional benefits and possible recipes. Who knows? You may find a new veggie love in the process. -Xo Raw Girl 

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Have you checked out my new online classes yet? In my new course, Staying Ageless 30+  you will learn about Diet Basics, Lifestyle Factors, and elements of Longevity that promote an ageless way of life.  Over the course of three modules you learn what to eliminate from your diet to stay ageless, how to ensure your body is receiving adequate nutrition, powerful detox rituals you can incorporate to increase your longevity, beauty remedies that will leave you glowing, and how to exercise effectively and get results.  In addition you will learn health lessons directly from renowned longevity and health experts that will equip you to transform your lifestyle. You can still enroll! Check out the class HERE to preview the curriculum our save your seat! -Xo