Tag Archives: Living la Vida Raw

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.

Why Taking a Bath in Nature is Good For You

bryan-minear-315906I take my nature baths regularly. You may be imagining me in a bathing suit jumping into a lake, but that’s not exactly what I mean. Our family home is minutes away from a gorgeous park with a dense forest and hiking trail. Since moving to this area, one of my staple rituals has been to take a weekly walk or run on the forest trails. When I am stressed I walk it out on that trail. I have gone into that park feeling sad, stressed, and a host of other emotions, and I always feel like I leave whole. There’s something about the sounds of nature, the fresh air, the trees that just brings me back to one. Well it turns out, there is science behind it that suggests that exposure to nature can have remarkable benefits on human health. Not only can regular time in natural environments promote positive emotions, lower stress levels, improve working memory and increase feeling of being alive it also has been associate with increasing physical and mental energy, and accelerating the healing process when disease is present in the body. The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture jumped on nature bathing full force in the 1990s when their coined the term Shinrin-yoku, which literally means forest bathing! Some researchers say that the health benefits of forest bathing may be attributed to organic compounds called phytoncides that are given off by plants and allow those who breathe them in to achieve a more relaxed state. Others say benefits may come from the pure wonder and awe one feels when immersed in nature. Although the reasons are not necessarily definitive, we do know that taking a bath in nature is a good thing. So leave your bath salts and swimming trunks at home, grab your trail sneakers, and a hoodie and try to find some time to hit a trail. Your health: mind, body, and spirit will say thank you. –Xo Raw Girl

 

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

 

 

 

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

Simply Flavorful Fruit Salad – Recipe

unnamedWho knew fruit could taste so good? (Raises hand). I whipped this up so quick with fruit I had left over, and the flavor was so unexpectedly amazing I had to share. The spices really take this combo which could be a normal fruit salad and make it into a meal that gives your taste buds and brain some feel good action.  If you need more fruit, free to add other types of fruit you like to make it more hearty if you choose. I made one small serving for one person, add more fruit and spices to make in bulk. -Xo Raw Girl 

 

Ingredients

1-2 bananas

2-3 kiwis

7 strawberries

dash of cardamom

several dashes cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon coconut palm sugar

hemp seeds to top

Lightly mix in spices. Serve & Enjoy!

 

Things You Can Eliminate to #StayAgeless!

You can still enroll in our class, Staying Ageless 30+! To find out more and preview the curriculum click HERE.

How to Create a Self-Care Plan

pexels-photo-275765Self-care is completely essential to thriving and feeling at your best. Some people think of self-care as selfish, but it really is not. In order for you to be out in the world at your best, and also give to others, you must do that from a full place. Self-care helps us to fill “our well” so that we are not showing up for others from a depleted place, which can lead to resentment and anger. Before we take care of our kids, jobs, work, we must take care of ourselves.

Self-care involves areas such as the need to connect with our tribe or closest friends and family; taking care of our physical and psychological health; managing and reducing stress; intuitively listening for and honoring our emotional and spiritual needs; sustaining healthy relationships; and achieving balance across personal, school, and work commitments.

Each and every one of us is different, so it’s important that our self-care be tailored to our unique needs, wants, and preferences! Below is a template with some sample answers that you can use to create your own self-care plan with a few minutes of reflection. Once you go through this process, schedule into your calendar a few of the tasks you would like to try that will feed your mind, body, or spirit. If you don’t already have a plan I encourage you to sit down and create one today. So much ends up on our to-do list from day-to-day so if you fail to plan, you will fail at taking care of the most important person in your life, YOU. –Xo Raw Girl

SECTION ONE: 

Self-Care Dimension

 

Current Practices

(List all that you currently do)

Frequency
Physical ·       Gym/ Exercise with Trainer

 

·       At least three times per week
Intellectual ·       Reading a new book

·       Social media fast

 

·       Weekly

·       Once a week I shut down all social media

Emotional  

·       Meditation

·       Daily meditation
Spiritual  

·       Meditation

·       Prayer

·       Church

 

·       Daily meditation & prayer, Church once sometimes twice per week

 

Social ·       Church Group

 

·       Once every two weeks and ongoing

 

SECTION TWO:

Self-Care Dimension

 

New Practices

(List all practice you are COMMITTING to doing on a regular basis)

Frequency

(How often do you commit to doing these)

Physical ·       Try Capoeira as a new form of movement

 

·       Once a week
Intellectual ·       Write in my journal

·       Listen to my favorite music

·       Schedule regular thinking time

 

·       2-3 times per week

·       at least twice a week

·       at least once per week

Emotional ·       go for reflective walk

·       Connect with a good friend

·       once a week

·       at least once a week

Spiritual ·       go for reflective walk

 

·       once a week
Social ·       Call one friend and schedule something fun

 

·       Once per week

 

SECTION THREE:
What can you let go of? What is no longer serving you?

 

What do you do now for self-care or to manage your stress that no longer serves you? Answer in the space to the right.

 

 

 

SECTION FOUR:

How will you eliminate obstacles to your self-care plan? Answer in the space below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

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Make an Epic Comeback! 4 Ways to Boost Your Resilience & Health

kaboompics_Lemons on colorful plate, tropical pillows

When life gives you lemons…Bounce Back!

Have you noticed some people can endure breakups, deaths in the family, unexpected mayhem at work, and somehow come out of the storm looking like Olivia Pope, strutting in a room, glowing and repeating her classic mantra: “It’s handled.” There’s a part of all of us that wants to be Olivia Pope in those crazy crisis situations in our lives, but the reality is that when the veggie hits the fan, it can feel like the world is coming to an end!

Resilience is the key to our epic come-back, and is also in my opinion one of the greatest markers of health. We know bad things happen in life, it’s more a matter of whether or not you can weather the storm and how quickly you recover and get back in the game. The textbook definition of resilience is successful adaptation and swift recovery after experiencing life adversities. In shrink language: secure attachment (especially in childhood), experiencing positive emotions and having a purpose in life are three important psychological building blocks of resilience. Resilience can help protect you from various mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. Resilience can also help offset factors that increase the risk of mental health conditions, such as being bullied or previous trauma. If you have an existing mental health condition, being resilient can improve your ability to cope. Below are a few ways you can boost your resilience and make an epic comeback from life’s challenges that will cause your friends and fam’s jaws to drop. If you are going to go through hell, may as well look like a goddess emerging from the flames! Xo Raw Girl

  1. Heal Your Inner Child. For those of us (raises hand) who may have had crazy childhoods that left deep emotional wounds, part of creating resilience is to deal with our past trauma and rebuild our self-worth and self-esteem. For years I thought my traumas were resolved only to find out there were patterns repeating in my life that were a result of some past wounds that were still affecting me subconsciously. How do you work through this? Journaling is great, seeing a therapist can help to. If you can’t afford a therapist check out the book Self-Therapy by Dr. Jay Earley which can help you work through the same process on your own at a fraction of the cost.
  2. Keep Your Immunity Up! When crisis hits, we immediately become more susceptible to disease or illness. That’s why its imperative we do not wait before the veggie hits the fan to take care of our daily vitamins and immune boosters. Vitamin C is essential, and taking a daily multivitamin can go a long way. Want more on the importance of vitamins? Check out this PAST POST.
  3. Practice a Daily Mindfulness Ritual. Mindfulness has been show to decrease stress, reduce the likelihood of contracting a host of diseases, and can also assist with keeping the mind positive in times of crisis. When things get rough it’s easy to slip into that downward spiral of thinking, and what mindfulness can do is help us to pay less attention to that negative chatter that keeps us in negative Nancy mode. Some practices that can work wonders: daily meditation, yoga, Qi gong, walking meditations in nature.
  1. Connect to a Higher Power. The Practice of organized religion is slowly becoming scarce in our modern world, as people seem to feel they don’t have time. The amazing thing about faith however, is that it can provide some assurance during times of crisis. Church communities or spiritual organizations with like minded believers can provide essential support when weathering life’s storms. In addition to this, many people fid that when they can give their problems over to God, stress reduces, and a deeper sense of peace and positive expectation emerges.

FREE Webinar: 7 Tips That Will Boost Your Beauty in 30 Days or Less!

 

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Don’t you have it when you try beauty remedies that give you ZERO results, or take forever to see progress? I do too! THIS WEEK! On June 29th at 11 AM PST or 1 PM EST I will be hosting a free webinar with my Ageless partner in crime Khaleeqa of Paparoxi called : 7 Tips to Boost Your Beauty in 30 Days or Less; where you can get some tips about staying ageless and learn what the E-Course is all about. We are excited about giving you some of the best tips in our beauty arsenals that will give you tangible results! Sign up HERE to reserve your seat! XO Raw Girl

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Ageless Flier

In Staying Ageless 30+ @paparoxi and I have teamed up to give you the information and techniques you need to preserve your health, look flawless, and drop it like its hot for decades to come. 😉  Preview the curriculum or sign up for the course today on www.rawbeautyinabox.com.