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While conducting research for acne cures, I was reminded of just how important it is for everyone to supplement adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Dr. Alan C. Logan, author of the “Clear Skin Diet” asserted that the ratio of North American omega-6 to omega-3 intake is as high as 20:1 when the ideal is 2:1! This drastic increase in the supply and consumption of vegetable oils like corn, safflower, sunflower, and soybean oils which have omega-6 linoleic acid, and the decrease of omega-3 consumption is a sure recipe for inflammation. If you didn’t know, tons of research has made it clear that inflammation is connected to virtually ALL chronic health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and acne. For parents struggling with children with ADHD, know that research has shown that frequently kids diagnosed have lower levels of omega-3’s along with B vitamins and magnesium, so supplementing omega-3’s could improve the negative behavioral patterns in ADHD children.
If you are experiencing any of the following conditions, you especially need to ensure proper supplementation:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Dry, itchy skin
- Brittle hair and nails
- Inability to concentrate
- Joint pain
In addition to preventing the onset of some serious diseases, getting sufficient omega-3’s is going to help decrease your stress-factor. Our planet is in a constant state of stress these days, and a large majority of diseases are caused by simply being stressed out. According to a study conducted at Ohio State University, consumption of Omega 3’s will lower stress levels. Additional research has shown that this necessary super supplement may also reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and depression. It may even speed recovery after a workout. Hopefully these benefits have wowed you enough; below are some good veggie sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Along with B-12 it’s important for vegans and non-vegans alike to add omega-3 into the arsenal of can’t-live-without-supplements. -XoXo Raw Girl
Some great vegetable sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
- Chia Seeds
- Flaxseed Oil
- Neuromins DHA (supplement from algae; highest non fish source of DHA)
You are having one of those bad days. Whether it’s a break up, job loss, or just general stress, for many of us bingeing is how we cope. Add to that the determination to stay on a healthy path, and you sometimes have the tug of war between denial and gluttony. You may feel horrible about yourself, but don’t. The binge eating phenomenon is partially a product of the scary processed frankenfoods on your market today that never existed. The scientists that work on these unnatural flavorings and additives for processed foods have admitted that their goal is create tastes and flavors that make you want to eat more. That coupled with the fact that your body is craving food for nutrients and the processed foods are nutrient-less is a recipe for binge eating! You may want to stop, but your body has not gotten the nutrition it needs, and the chemicals cue you to want more. It’s a vicious cycle.
I know first hand about the dangers of extreme bingeing, because when I was in college from my sophomore to junior year I struggled with bingeing. My last year of college I finally got control of my eating issues by seeing a therapist and dealing with emotional trauma. At the time I would say I had an eating disorder, but now looking back I would say it was a combination of several things: emotional trauma from a less than perfect childhood, stress, parasites, and the inability to confront my emotions head on. When you are an extreme binger, most times you binge instead of allowing whatever emotions are arising to just be. On the more average spectrum, bingeing may be the result of restrictive dieting or cravings when transitioning from an old lifestyle to a new one. At either extreme, I think there are several things you can do to keep yourself from overeating yourself into sickness or messing up your healthy regimen. Below are some tips from a Raw Girl who is proud to say she no longer has the urge to binge! -XoXo Raw Girl
Don’t Diet, Commit to Lifestyle Changes. If you are approaching healthy living, veganism, or raw foods as a diet, just like any fad, your zeal will come and go and all that will be left is you with indigestion and an empty tub of Haagen-dazs you said you wouldn’t eat. I’ll say it again don’t diet! Your lifestyle change should be about transitioning to healthier behaviors and taking care of yourself, emotionally, physically, spiritually. That is the only way to have lasting effective change.
Find Healthy Subsitutes for Junk Foods You Love. In the beginning and even later, it’s all about substitutes. When you are going from meat to vegan you may go the fake meat route to help you get there. I’m a sweet tooth girl, or at least I used to be in extreme (parasites!) So when I was transitioning I found raw sweets, which are even more rich and satisfying than junk food, and that did it for me. Now if I need some ice cream, I grab a small pint of raw hazelnut (YUM) icrecream that will never ever have me yearning to binge on some Breyers. It’s important to know your taste buds and what you crave most and find things that fulfill that. You may be a more crunchy/salty person, so its about raw or vegan chips, crackers, nuts. Make an effort and there’s no way you won’t find something satisfying. For every type of junk food there is in the world, there is a more satisfying and nourishing raw or vegan alternative. That I can put my money on.
Deal With Your Emotions. The rule I have had for years now, since dealing with bingeing issues is to not eat when I am stressed, angry, sad. You have to start training your body to not seek emotional relief from food. Talk it out with a friend, journal, scream, dance, find a way to release that energy without grabbing three extra portions of something you know you shouldn’t be eating. You can binge on “healthy” foods too, and even if it’s better than the junk you used to eat, you are going to be doing damage to your digestive system and your colon if you over consume in excess. Not to mention, you shorten your life span. Studies have show that eating less as we get older increases our longevity.
Find Nutritional Balance. Some cravings are the result of an addiction to the unnatural flavors, and others may be because your body is lacking well rounded optimal nutrients. When you are getting off the junk food lifestyle you have to recognize that it can be as powerful as drug addiction. So give yourself room to mess up, but continue to stick with your resolve to be healthy, find substitutes, and after some trial and error your body will get sensitive enough that it may reject the foods you once loved. No matter what you eat whether you are a meat-eater or not, you need to make sure that your meals are giving your body the nutrients it needs. To get a boost I highly recommend adding in superfoods like spirulina, maca, seaweeds, cacao etc. because they are packed with nutrients. Now, I know that at times, I crave certain vegetables and fruits because my body needs the nutrients that are in them. once you get on the healthy path, you’ll be more in tune and rather than just letting your taste buds alone guide what you eat, your body will sometimes give you cravings to resolve imbalances.
#MOVETHATBODY & Find Your Spiritual Center. When you excercise your emotions and mood get an immediate boost from the increased levels of serotonin in your brain. Beyond a mood boost, working out is a good remedy for controlling your eating habits. Usually when you workout you feel better and are more inclined to make and sustain healthy food choices throughout the day. So get up and get moving, NO EXCUSES. Stress can also play a big part in the urge to binge. Exercise can combat this and so can mindfulness and spiritual practices such as yoga, meditation, and prayer. Do what you have to do and find what works for you to help you stay calm in the midst of life storms. That way the next time a catastrophe hits, you’ll be centered enough to handle it without overeating.
Do a Parasite Cleanse. I know, I say this about everything, but seriously, if I could talk to my former self when I was dealing with this issue this would have been one of the first things I would tell the former me. Take a look at what kind of food you are binge eating. Are they mostly carbs and sugar? I have this theory that the majority of overweight people in our country that cannot stop eating are dealing with the fact that yes the foods are addictive, but also that their colon health as been further compromised by parasites from eating a bunch of junk which in turn heightens cravings. I can tell you firsthand that parasites will make you crave things to stay alive and feed off your nutrition. When you begin to eat green they are literally fighting for their lives and so suddenly although you haven’t touched bread in years, or had those cookies or whatever, the parasite inside you may drive you to feel you need that food. This is not a joke, and I wish more people were cleansing, because so many other health issues would cease from plagueing our population. Whether you think it’s parasites or not, do a cleanse anyway. Better safe and parasite-free than sorry and bingeing.
You’re stressed out. You cant get your day started without caffeine, and you can’t be satisfied until you get a high carb snack. This however, leaves you so wired that at the end of the day you cant even sleep. The cycle repeats. Whether it be you or someone you know (I’m sure you know a friend or two), it’s the typical profile of someone who suffers from adrenal gland issues. The adrenal glands (a.k.a. suprarenal glands) are hormonal glands that sit right on top of your kidneys on your lower back. They are responsible for releasing hormones in response to stress, such as the stress hormone cortisol, the fight or flight hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine, and steroid hormones (i.e estrogen, testosterone). The adrenal glands also help to maintain electrolytes, salt and water balance, and the metabolism of carbohydrates by regulating blood sugar.
You should be aware by now that mental and emotional stress can have a negative effect on the body and contribute to the development of dis-ease. If your nutritional profile is not looking good on top of being extra stressed, then the body is even less able to endure an added workload. But don’t worry, there’s good news for you and your oh so special adrenal glands that influence and fuel your moods, thoughts, and passions. But before we cut the raw vegan cheesecake, here’s a little breakdown of how the adrenal glands work for you.
The adrenal glands have two parts: the medulla and the cortex. The Medulla secretes the fight or flight hormones (epinephrine and norepinephrine) which work to increase metabolism to adapt to stress; the cortex adjusts natural sugar metabolism and regulates steroid hormone levels of estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, and aldosterone. If you’re stressed out, the adrenal glands can become exhausted of hormones leaving you feeling tired, alter your weight, and create all sorts of uncomfortable and, well, kinda strange changes.
Some common symptoms of adrenal gland dysfunction are:
- An under active adrenal gland (Addison’s disease).This is characterized by discoloration of the skin, darkening of the skin on the knees, genital area, mouth, elbows, skin folds, dark creases in the hand, decreased body hair, loss of appetite, mood swings, dizziness or fainting, inability to cope with stress and nausea, and feeling uneccesarily cold all the time. Also includes chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, and weight loss.
- An overactive adrenal gland (Cushings Disease). This is characterized by weight gain in the upper body (but with thin limbs), muscle weakness, dark spots on the face, and swollen eyelids. If you’re adrenal glands are overactive, you may compromise your immune system and have a greater tendency to get ill. This also show up as inappropriate hair growth on the face in women, pink or purple stretch marks on the skin of the abdomen, thighs, breasts and arms, fragile skin that bruises easily, and acne. Not so cute.
Foods and vitamins/minerals that enhance and support adrenal gland function: Vitamin B Complex – supports function, Vitamin C – protects nervous system, Potassium – stabilizes nerves, Chlorophyll – purifies the blood and increases oxygen to cells. You can also eat broccoli, cantaloupe, cranberries, celery, cucumbers, endives, garlic, guava, citrus fruits, peaches, pears, strawberries, raspberries, or jackfruit. All of these fruits, along with some other supplements and herbs all work to support, protect, and maintain the function of your adrenal glands. The hormones require a delicate balance in order to maintain properly, so make sure you get plenty of the foods listed and if needed, supplementation.
We live in a stressed out, fast paced, and overworked society; it’s no surprise that many people find themselves burnt out from time to time from coping with the madness. When we administer mind body medicine such as meditation and affirmations, we give our bodies permission to be at peace and our hormonal state only naturally becomes a reflection of that. Neglecting to do so, and remaining uninformed on how to nourish ourselves optimally will cause imbalances and the possibility of developing a chronic condition. So make sure to do yourself and everyone else a favor today: eat your fruits and veggies and take a chill pill! –XoXo Nicola signing in for Raw Girl
Celery is one of those dependable veggies that most often gets taken for granted. The word celery comes from the Latin word celeri which means quick acting, probably referring to the therapeutic properties of this powerful root vegetable. A great base for vegetable juice due to its high water content, celery has been considered a cure-all since ancient times. Besides being extremely hydrating, celery juice is highly nutritious and boasts a good amount of vitamin A, along with vitamin B1, B2, B6, C, potassium, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, phosphorous, and essential amino acids. I consider celery juice a staple in the Raw Girl super power boosting arsenal because it is extremely alkalinizing and can balance out the bodies’ PH level. It provides live sodium essential for the body that is soluble and organic, and is a great juice for athletes because it replenishes electrolytes in the body. Below’s a quick run down of some of the amazing benefits of celery juice:
- Fights cancer
- Lowers blood pressure
- Gets rid of LDL “bad” cholesterol and leave HDL “good” cholesterol intact
- Prevents stress, calms the nervous system and relaxes the body
- Regulates body temperature
- Boosts weight loss and reduces cravings for sugar
- Natural diuretic
- Eliminates toxins from the body
- Prevents constipation and reduces risk of kidney, urinary, and gall bladder stones
- Research has shown celery juice useful in treating numerous conditions such as: arthritis, rheumatism & gout, nerve disorders, blood disorders (such as acne and anemia), respiratory disorders, indigestion, insomnia, kidney and gall stones, stomach ulcers, treating neurological damage from parkinson’s disease and stroke, and more.
If you’ve put celery on the back burner, I suggest you start showing some celery love. Your body will say thank you. -XoXo Raw Girl
Diatemaceous Earth is an amazing substance I discovered through a girlfriend of mine who had some crazy run-ins with some bugs and needed something that would be quick, effective, and most importantly natural. This substance which is a mouthful to pronounce, is composed mainly of silica, occurs naturally, and is mined all over the world. Not only is DE good for killing pests such as fleas, ticks, roaches, and slugs (perfect as an organic pesticide), but its also extremely safe for human consumption and helps fight off parasitic infections, cleans the colon, and aids in overall detoxification of the body. Many bread manufacturers actually use DE in their products to prevent pests from eating them. One of the most amazing things about DE is how it actually works. On a microscopic level, DE has a honeycomb structure with razor sharp edges which gets caught into the exoskeleton of the pests and literally slices them up and dries them out. They are made of fossilized diatoms of prehistoric algae which look like cylinders. As these millions of cylinders move through the stomach and digestive tract, they attract and absorb fungi, protozoa, viruses, endotoxins, pesticides, drug residues, E.coli, and heavy metals. These are trapped inside the cylinder and passed out of the body.
DE is easily ground up into a fine powder very similar to talcum, and is usually simply taken with a glass of water. Now before you jump out of your seat to go and quickly purchase some (which is super affordable by the way) it is important to know that if you consume DE you MUST take FOOD GRADE diatomaceous earth. There is also Industrial DE which is used mainly as a pool filter and has a more crystallized form of silica which you do NOT want to take. So FOOD GRADE not INDUSTRIAL…alright we get the picture. Anyways, food grade diatomaceous earth is composed of 80-90% Silica which is an important trace element that plays an important role in mineral absorption, as an antioxidant and is great for healthy skin, hair, and nails. And not only that, there are NO negative side effects. My girlfriend noticed after a month of taking one heaping tablespoon every morning that not only did she have increased energy levels but her nails were growing strong, and she was detoxing more heavily. It also helped with that bug problem too.
Diatemaceous Earth is one of those substances that is good for just about everything and has multiple uses for your body, around the house, and in the yard all at the same time. I’ve just purchased my own and I’m excited about it’s cleansing properties, which are useful this time of year. Silica is a trace element that is very important in preserving skin, bone, and cartilage health. DE is 80-90% silica which is what makes it such a great wound healer. If you happen to have any pets, you can also rub it on their fur to keep away any pests. Below is a brief outline on some more of the goodness Diatemaceous earth offers. Based on this list, you may agree it’s something worth trying. – XoXo Nicola, signing in for Raw Girl
● Assists in natural weight loss ● Stimulates metabolism ● Kills Parasites ● Aids healing of external wounds (sprinkle on top) ● Fights acne ● Cleans colon ● Kills household pests (fleas, ticks, bed bugs) ● Aids in calcium absorption (due to silica content) ● Lowers blood pressure and bad cholesterol ● Relieves sore joints. ● Promotes healthier skin and hair● Promotes healthier teeth and gums, and harder nails. ● Helps to detox from mercury, viruses, drug residues and common causes of intestinal infections ● Fades age spots and prevents premature aging ● Raises energy levels ● Improves lung functioning
Recently, I started to do some research on the condition known as fibromyalgia to help a family friend. Prior to this research I had heard of this dis-ease but never knew exactly what it was. After learning the symptoms, which are definitely not pretty, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Fibromyalgia is the name of a condition that consists of chronic, widespread muscular pain. It is said that there is no known cause for the pains that may be aching, stiff, throbbing, or burning in any location all over the body. As if fibromyalgia wasn’t bad enough to deal with on its own it is linked to chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, and palpitations. Brain chemistry imbalance (of serotonin and neurotransmitters), hormone imbalance, disordered sleep, and nutritional deficiencies are issues that are quite common for those affected. Poor digestive functioning and the need for detoxification may need serious attention as fibromyalgia can sometimes lead to development of leaky gut syndrome or candida overgrowth. Since this is a disease that is dealing with inflammation, it is no surprise to me that diet especially paying attention to foods that rectify nutritional imbalances is one solution that can provide long-term relief to those suffering from this condition.
Some of the minerals and vitamins that need to be added to the diet include foods high in magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. Foods high in magnesium are particularly important and include foods like: dark leafy greens, brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, papaya, bananas, lentils and more. Omega-3’s are particularly important in the form of cold water fish (if you are a meat-eater) or veg friendly flaxseed oil to assist in reducing inflammation. It’s important to avoid foods that are aggravating and can increase inflammation like caffeine, meat, high fat dairy products, junk foods, sugar (which will also increase candida growth). Valerian Root is a great remedy to have on hand to ease sleep when experiencing pain or just insomnia, and incorporating fermented foods will combat any candida growth and keep the good bacteria going in the gut. Below are five dietary changes that may greatly help those suffering with fibromyalgia to get their symptoms under control. Always take care when implementing any changes to consult with your physician or naturopath/holistic practitioner. If you or someone you know has this condition and has tried the traditional medicine route, but never tried a diet/lifestyle change, I urge you to give it a chance. You have nothing to lose, and your health and livelihood to gain. -XoXo Raw Girl
- Low-glycemic Diet. This is about managing blood sugar imbalances/ spikes in glucose levels to curb inflammation and ease pain.
- Vegetarian, Vegan or Raw Foods Diet. A BMC Complimentary and Alternative Medicine published study confirmed that when thirty patients were put on a mostly raw foods diet for four months that consisted of raw fruits and veg, flax oil, carrot juice and very limited whole grains, their condition improved. It’s no doubt that a vegetarian lifestyle in whatever extreme you choose may be very effective in reducing or even eliminating symptoms. Raw foods take it up a notch because you would be increasing the fiber, vitamins, and minerals in your diet, while avoiding a great deal of artificial sweeteners or chemicals in processed foods that may be aggravating the condition.
- Gluten-Free Diet. Some doctors believe that those with fibromyalgia are at greater risk for food sensitivities. Cutting out gluten in the form of wheat products, barley, rye, oats, may assist in calming your symptoms.
- Elimination Diet. This diet would be a trial and error where you discover what foods aggravate your condition and completely cut them out of your diet. This is important whatever dietary change you choose because each person has their own set of triggers. It’s up to you to find yours.
- Organic Diet. Just as those with fibromyalgia may have an increased disposition for food sensitivities, increased sensitivities to chemicals may be an issue as well. To combat this it’s important to try to reduce the number of pesticides, or chemically engineered additives that may be lurking in non-organic processed foods.
I was first astounded by the power of neem years ago when an Ayurvedic doctor told me that it can be used as an effective natural birth control. Last week I was reminded of neem again, when another holistic doctor friend posted about neem oil as an insecticide to help keep away mosquitoes and other bugs. These two benefits are just scratching the surface of the uses and benefits of neem.
Neem is a flowering tropical tree native to India, Pakistan, and Malaysia, that can survive the worst of environmental conditions. All parts of the tree can be used for many benefits, and in East Africa, neem is referred to as Muarubaini which means “the tree of the 40” because it is known to be effective in treating at least forty diseases. Over 75% of Ayurvedic remedies contain neem because of its anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-fungal, antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic properties. In addition to the uses I mentioned above, neem is very effective in treating acne, psoriasis, eczema, gum diseases, malaria, chicken pox, fever, parasites, arthritis, rheumatism, bronchitis and more. Neem helps to facilitate wound healing, so it can also be applied topically to combat fungus, warts, cold sores, bee stings, bug bites, poison ivy, athlete’s foot etc.
One use that I thought was super cool and is useful for all the gardeners out there is that neem can be used as a natural pesticide and is effective against 500 or more pests! To do this just search for neem pesticides. It doesn’t negatively affect humans or harm beneficial insects, and it makes plants bitter so that they won’t be eaten. The oil itself can also be used as a moisturizer and is high in vitamin E (if you can stand the smell). Based on all the wonderful uses of neem, it’s safe to say neem oil is a great thing to have on hand in your home. You can also find a plethora of neem products in stores from soaps to lotions, but take care to understand what the other ingredients are. Whether your fighting acne, dealing with parasites, healing wounds, or trying to keep your garden pest-free, neem is a one stop natural cure that will meet your needs. -XoXo Raw Girl
Did you know that the number of people with diabetes rose from 1.5 million in 1998 to an epidemic 17.9 Million in 2007? How about that each year over 1.6 million new adult cases are diagnosed? At this point it’s an anomaly to not know personally or have at least heard about someone that has had to deal with some of the devastating side effects of diabetes such as blindness, kidney failure, and even cognitive decline. Many people who have altered their diet to include a wide array of fruits and vegetables and have seem remarkable results, even those who were former sufferers of diabetes and all sorts of other degenerative dis-eases. Diabetes is essentially marked by the presence of excess sugar in the bloodstream, which then results in an inability for the pancreas to secrete sufficient or sometimes any insulin.
Bitter melon is a special vegetable that you probably have never heard of, that has been used with positive results in the attempt to treat diabetes naturally. This vegetable is very well known in Asia and has been shown to significantly lower blood sugar. Bitter melon is an amazing healing agent has a structure similar to insulin, hence its natural ability to assist in the movement of glucose into cells which gives you the energy to do all the great things that you do! Bitter melon has been used as in traditional medicine for a long list of conditions such as: killing bacteria, parasites, and viruses, reducing inflammation, cleansing the blood, acting as an antibacterial agent against e.coli, and possibly destroying some strains of the herpes virus.
What’s even more interesting is that this vegetable is widely used by the Okinawa people in Japan which have per capita some of the longest life spans in the world. This vegetable grows in tropical areas like East Africa, Asia, South Africa, and the Caribbean. Bitter melon is very rich in iron, phosphorous, contains twice the beta carotene of broccoli, twice the calcium of spinach, twice the potassium of bananas, and Vitamins A, C, B1 to B3. Which is not surprising due to its amazing healing effects. To make things even better, it is a great source of dietary fiber. Bitter melon can usually be found at your local Asian supermarket, or bought as a supplement from a health food store. It can also be made into teas, tinctures, and soups.
The mother of a friend of mine a few years ago was suffering from intense symptoms, and was later diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. She started juicing bitter melon with lemon every morning, and in a matter of months the doctor was flabbergasted at the fact that she was no longer in need of any insulin. Moral of the story? Mother Nature has always provided us what we need and our bodies can heal if we choose to give it the right fuel. I encourage you to try bitter melon out for yourself and recommend it to others who are battling diabetes. As the name suggests, it may be an acquired taste, but in order to live optimally we need balance. We need the bitter and the sweet, and sometimes the bitter may hold the key to our healing. – XoXo Nicola, signing in for Raw Girl
**Be sure to take precautions; consuming a large amount of bitter melon juice may cause diarrhea or abdominal pain. If you have diabetes or other terminal diseases please consult with your doctor or holistic health practitioner.**
A couple weeks ago I stumbled upon a few of those “got milk?” ads and a light bulb went off in my head. I wanted to create an ad that promoted greens and their true healing power. So much of the information that is fed to us by the media has more to do with weight loss fads and corporations meeting their bottom line. Since I was a little girl I’ve been lactose intolerant, so I never felt that milk did my body good. In fact it was quite the opposite. I felt bloated, cramped, lethargic, or even nauseous after drinking milk. Later when I became a vegan and cut out absolutely all dairy, it was like a fog had lifted. My allergies decreased and I felt lighter, clearer, and healthier.
I’m all for each person finding the right diet for them, but we must start championing the power of fresh fruits and vegetables by any means necessary. These are essentials that should be a large part of any diet. Our country is at a crossroads and it’s up to us to take control of our personal health and demand that good wholesome foods be readily available and affordable to anyone willing to consume them. Below are benefits of getting your daily dose of chlorophyll. Just in case you don’t know what chlorophyll is, it’s the molecule that gives green plants their pigment. During the process of photosynthesis chlorophyll absorbs the sunlight. Without this essential ingredient green leafy vegetables would loose their life force and power and wouldn’t be able to convert sunlight into the energy they need to grow.
If you are sold on the benefits, be sure to eat or drink your green leafy vegetables every day if possible. To get a mega-dose of chlorophyll start adding a liquid chlorophyll supplement, chlorella, or spirulina to your diet. Chlorella and spirulina can be bought in pill or powder form and blended into smoothies. Please share this post and the ad, like it, love it, talk about it. Let’s keep pushing the GREEN movement! More to come…-XoXo 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.****
“Fast and your light will break forth like morning…[and your] healing shall spring forth speedily.” – Isaiah 58: 6-11
One of the coolest things I’ve ever learned about fasting I read in Gabriel Cousen’s book Spiritual Nutrition. He mentions that when you fast, your body turns on a “youthing gene,” and that it has been scientifically proven that our genes revert to an earlier expression of themselves when in fasting mode. In other words you begin to get younger, rather than older! Which is why long-term, adding the habit of regular fasting into your lifestyle literally adds years onto your life. Besides living longer, fasting, especially on fresh vegetable juices can speed your healing process, cleanse your body, boost your energy, revive your skin, and enhance your general joie de vivre.
You may be sold on the idea but have no idea where to start? No fear, it’s not as daunting as it seems. Most people like to have a program to follow and a schedule so they can stick to something and not fall off after one day of fasting. The first day and sometimes even the second can be the hardest. Preparation is definitely key when fasting, as well as motivation. You want to be clear on your motivation and fuel it, so that when the going gets rough you can stick with it to the finish line.
I fast for a number of reasons. Sometimes I feel like my skin is looking dull and I’ve had too much cooked food, so I’ll juice fast for a while to cleanse and get my vegan glow back, and other times it’s more of a spiritual thing. I’m sure that other avid fasters can attest to the fact that fasting can also put you in a heightened state of receptivity, and/or force you to listen and be more aware if you are seeking guidance on a major decision or waiting for something awesome to manifest in your life. There’s a reason so many spiritual leaders and sages have engaged in fasting. In the Bible alone there are several stories that are awesome commercials for fasting, from David to Jesus himself, which illustrate how fasting can unleash supernatural power.
There are plenty of fasts you can follow in books or even online, but I highly recommend creating something yourself that works for your personal goals. If you’ve never embarked on a fast I would recommend no more than three days. Also, be sure to consult with a doctor or holistic practitioner if you have any preexisting medical conditions. Below are five simple steps you can take to create your own fast. Hope this post is helpful, if you have more questions feel free to post or message me via Facebook. -XoXo Raw Girl
- Find & fuel your motivation. Whether it be for cleansing/detox, clarity, spiritual insight etc. figure out your reason to begin. If you are doing longer fasts up to 10 days, you should be prepared with daily reading, quotes, or whatever works for you to keep you focused on your intention. If it’s a spiritual fast, or even if it is not, you may want to make time daily for prayer, meditation, or just reflection.
- Set the parameters. Decide whether or not this is a 3 day fast or longer. Choose your method: are you fasting on green juices, veggie juices, water, raw foods? Fasting just means that you are committing to abstain from something. You could do a vegan fast or a raw fast. You could even be a meat eater who decides to abstain from meat for awhile. But for cleansing purposes if you want results, juice fasting with mostly if not all green vegetables is definitely the way to go. If you are incorporating other sweet veggies like carrots and beets make sure you balance it by getting in some green juices daily as well. If you have a specific ailment you are nursing, you can actually look up recipes online or in holistic health books that will cater to that dis-ease. I don’t recommend you do a water fast unless it’s supervised. Make sure whatever method you use that you also consume large amounts of water during your fasting period. There is no set rule to how many juices you consume a day. Make sure you have enough on hand to get your fill. Some days you may need more juice than others. Go with the flow.
- Relax your schedule & plan ahead. Make sure you’ve got enough groceries and recipes for juices or whatever method of fast you choose. Even with die-hard commitment when the veggie hits the fan if you are juice fasting and can’t get your fix you may leave yourself vulnerable to eating other foods that happen to be around and breaking your fast the wrong way. Your fridge should be stocked with more than enough veggie ammo to survive your cravings. During this time respect your cleansing process and try to relax your schedule as much as possible. It’s possible to exercise while fasting, but for beginners and even veteran fasters, you may opt for much gentler workouts during your cleansing period. My favorite exercise while fasting (not exactly gentle) is hot yoga, because I get to sweat more toxins out.
- Commit to some sort of colon cleansing for the duration of the fast. This is a HUGE must. I recommend you also read my past post Tips For a Stress Free Fast which elaborates on this point even more. Fasting accelerates the bodies process of eliminating toxins, and if you do not support this process you could end up feeling sick during your fast. To avoid this you are going to need to incorporate enemas or colonics in your process. You will feel incredible if you do this. Some people say daily enemas, I say feel out your body and do what works for you, but do not skip this step.
- Have a plan for breaking the fast. Alright you made it to Day 3, and you are salivating because you want to bite something! Slow down. Make sure that you spend at least half of the time you fasted coming down off the fast. So for a three day, at least a day and a half coming down off the fast. Introduce solids very slowly. Veggie broths, fruit juices, and raw fruit can be great and not jarring. Eating things like nuts would throw your system into shock and may cause constipation so start with lighter foods.
** Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. Listen to your body, consult w/ yr doc if need be, and take my advice at your own risk. Side effects may include general joie de vire, a spiritual awakening, or an increase in magnetism & overall sexiness.***
Check out this past post Tips for a Stress-Free Fast: http://rawgirltoxicworld.com/2009/11/18/tips-for-a-stress-free-fast/