Bust Holiday Stress

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By Ali Wetherbee

The holidays can be fun and magical and ever-so-memorable — but this busy time of year can also really stress your mind and body. From holiday shopping to fighting traffic, from being cooped up indoors with germs to being cooped up with the in-laws, there are countless hits to our time, our finances, our health, our peace and sanity. We don’t eat as well and don’t have time to exercise. All of this leaves us especially vulnerable to all those colds and flus going around. So before you wind up in bed with a box of tissues and a hot water bottle, try these ideas. 

In Your Medicine Cabinet:

Instead of toxic, chemical-laden medicines, stock your medicine cabinet with organic vitamins and herbs and homeopathic formulas. Take these daily, but especially when you are under unusual stress or already sick.

Start with Vitamin C

Whole Food Vitamin C belongs in every family’s medicine cabinet. Take it daily to keep your immune system functioning optimally, and begin taking it more frequently or in higher doses as soon as you feel something coming on. Vitamin C, when taken daily, can shorten the duration of the common cold. Taking one or two extra doses when symptoms first appear can thwart a cold before it really gets started! It also prevents and reverses free radical damage caused by oxidative stress, UV rays, and environmental toxins. Vitamin C is necessary for serotonin production, so this is a must-have for anyone suffering from depression or seasonal affective disorder.

Try:

Adapt Better to Stress

Take adaptogens during intense periods of stress. Adaptogenic herbs help you adapt to physical and mental stress and keep the body in balance. They may be particularly useful if you are experiencing anxiety, fatigue, or depression as a result of stress or tension. Stress increases cortisol levels, which may lead to chronic inflammatory conditions, weight gain, fatigue, thyroid problems, hormonal imbalances, and illness. Adaptogens such as rhodiola and cordyceps lower high cortisol levels, minimizing the harmful effects of stress on the body.

Try:

Get a Good Night’s Rest

Stress can disrupt your sleep/wake cycles, making it hard to fall asleep and sleep through the night. This leaves you even more prone to feeling stressed, and you wind up stuck in a vicious cycle. These all-natural formulas can ensure you get an adequate amount of sleep, whether you are up late wrapping gifts or at your company Christmas party past bedtime. Healthy sleep is critical to a healthy immune system, and those who get poor-quality or insufficient sleep are more likely to succomb to colds, flu, and viruses.

Try:

Support Your Immune System with Antioxidnts

Take supplements loaded with antioxidants to keep your immune system in tip top shape. This is an excellent way to boost your body’s resistance to illness during this stressful time of year. Inadequate sleep, poor diet, stress, lack of exercise, increased exposure to germs, aging, and chronic health conditions can all leave you much more susceptible to illness, but these supplements strengthen the immune system, naturally.

Try:

Treat Your Cold Naturally

If illness hits despite your best efforts, you will be glad to have a medicine cabinet stocked with healing herbs, vitamins, and supplements! Keep these items on hand for when you start to feel stuffy or achy. Sovereign Silver is a colloidal silver supplement that my family goes to whenever any of us has a cold. It can be taken every 2 hours or so to help kick the cold out before it gets a firm hold. Calm Balm is an all-natural alternative to petroleum-based chest rubs, and is great for colds, aches, and pains. Wedderspoon Manuka Honey Nuggets help soothe sore throats with organic antibacterial ingredients.

Try:

‘Tis the Season to Stay Healthy!

Keeping healthy and fighting stress is not just a physical process. Every choice we make and each action we take can leave us more stressed or more relaxed, sicker or healthier. Try these tips to stay on track toward a healthier holiday season:

Learn to Say No

You do not need to attend every party or gathering you are invited to! Pick your favorites and skip the rest. The same goes for gift swaps among friends or at the office. Feel free to opt out of those that bring you more stress than pleasure.

Designate one day a week as a “day off” and avoid errands, shopping, planning, ordering, and organizing for the entire day. Instead, read a book, watch a movie, go for a walk, or do something else relaxing. If an entire day seems unrealistic, aim for at least one stress-free evening a week. 

Focus on the Important Things in Life

Spend time with your family. Your kids or grandkids won’t remember every present under the tree or how perfectly the gifts were wrapped, but they will remember the days spent baking cookies, playing games, building snowmen, and cuddling by the fire. Take time out each day to do something that builds memories.

Be grateful. At the end of the day, instead of thinking about all the things you didn’t get done, spend some time thinking about all the things you are thankful for. Keep a Gratitude Jar with scraps of paper for family members to write down each happy moment or blessing, and read through the papers every night at dinner. Bake cookies for someone who has helped you out sometime this year. Bring gifts or food to those who are less fortunate.

Get Plenty of Fresh Air and Exercise

Go for a jog before work or take an evening walk with the family to see neighborhood light displays. Enjoy winter sports such as sledding, skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating. Build a snow fort with the kids or have an improptu dance party. It’s fine to do your workout indoors if the cold is too harsh for you, but also bundle up in a blanket and sit on your front stoop for a few minutes with a hot cup of tea and breathe in the fresh air.

Nourish Your Soul

Engage in soul-friendly practices. While you’re sitting at a red light or stuck in traffic, take some deep breaths and relax your shoulders. When someone cuts you in line at the store or pushes you aside to grab the very last can of cranberry sauce, take some time to think loving, forgiving thoughts about this rude person. Be present and live in the moment instead of spending the entire holiday season tallying your mental lists. Practice yoga, mindfulness, or meditation. All of these things will reduce your stress load and leave you stronger, healthier, and happier.

Vacationing this winter? Stay healthy & energized with a quick smoothie-on-the-go!

Having difficulty getting your daily smoothie while traveling? Check out these travel-friendly takes on the smoothies you love.

We just got back from a short vacation in sunny Florida. It was nice to get away from the cold of the northeast for a few days. AAHHHH!!! While away, I was very happy to be able to quickly have my morning smoothie. It’s good to know at least one meal is going to be healthy! Smoothies are an easy, tasty means of getting your daily dose of vitamins and minerals. If you’re heading off on vacation, or even a day trip, you may be wondering how to continue to get all your nutrients in a convenient, portable way. Packing a blender, an extension cord, a head of greens, a container of yogurt, and several bags of frozen fruit for your morning smoothie isn’t really a feasible option for most of us! Fortunately there is another method.

Portable Smoothies for Vacations, Camping, and Day Trips

It all starts with the Shaker Bottle. Look for a lightweight portable smoothie shaker that will fit easily in your suitcase or backpack. With a rubber seal to prevent leaks and an agitator to break up clumps, all you need to do is add your powdered supplements, fill with water or other beverage of choice, and shake it up to make an instant, healthy smoothie! Smoothies are perfect any time of the day, whether you need a simple breakfast, lunch, snack, or post-workout recovery drink.

If you’re heading out for the day, simply add a scoop or two of powdered supplements to the dry smoothie shaker bottle. Later, when you’re ready for your afternoon snack, just pour in some liquid, shake, and drink. If you’re planning a longer trip, combine all your powdered supplements (in the desired proportions) in a large container. Include a measuring cup to scoop out individual smoothie servings as needed. Although we recommend reusable containers when possible, you can even pre-measure single servings into plastic zip top bags if you need to save space. You can have healthy, nutritious smoothies for breakfast every day of your trip!

Catie’s Organic Greens and Catie’s Gluten Free Greens provide many of the nutrients you may be missing in your diet. With a variety of concentrated greens, Catie’s Greens add probiotics and enzymes, fiber, fatty acids, and antioxidants to your smoothie.Get Your Greens on the Go

Vitamineral Green smoothie powder contains grasses, sea vegetables, herbs, enzymes, chlorophyll, iodine, and adaptogens. Made entirely from real foods grown with standards that surpass organic regulations, this superfood smoothie powder is raw, vegan, GMO free, and gluten free.

fermented_kale_smoothie_powderPerfect Supplements Fermented Kale Powder may help prevent numerous diseases due to its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, and antitumor properties. Kale is one of the most popular health foods, with vitamins A, C, E, and K, calcium, potassium, protein, and fiber, and fermented kale in your smoothie provides all these nutrients in an easily digestible form.

Perfect Aquatic Greens Powder  is made up of two freshwater algae, spirulina and chlorella. These algae are complete proteinspirulina_and_chlorella sources with vegetarian B12 and packed with vitamins and minerals. The greens in Perfect Aquatic Greens have been used for centuries throughout the world and boost energy, detoxify, aid in digestion, lower body fat, and reduce blood sugar. You can also choose to use Perfect Spirulina or Perfect Chlorella separately in your smoothies.

Perfect 3 Grass Blend is an organic combination of nutritious barley, oat, and wheat grasses. These grasses add protein, fiber, calcium, iron, essential amino acids, B vitamins, vitamins C and K, and more to your smoothie. Perfect 3 Grass Blend detoxifies, improves digestion, reduces high blood pressure and high blood sugar, and strengthens the immune system.

Add in Superfoods for Superior Sustenance

Limitless Good BaobabLimitless_Good_Baobab_for_Smoothies has a refreshing citrusy flavor with a bit of sourness. This superfood smoothie ingredient is high in fiber, with 6 grams per serving, which helps you feel full. Baobab powder contains iron, magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants. Other benefits of baobab extend to digestion, cardiovascular health, the immune system, blood sugar levels, sleep, and energy levels.

Organic Chia Seeds will thicken your smoothie, creating an almost gelatinous texture. A little goes a long way, so start with about a tablespoon, else you may end up with a congealed mass instead of a smoothie! Make sure to let the finished smoothie sit for 15-20 minutes to allow the chia seeds to absorb the liquid. Chia seeds that haven’t fully hydrated may lead to digestive discomfort or constipation for some people.

Catie’s Whole Plant Food Vitamin C Plus is one of my favorite smoothie add-ins. It is a chemical-free, preservative-free vitamin C supplement made from real food, never anything created or grown in a lab. And it tastes like fruit punch! Vitamin C has too many health benefits to list them all here. Check out this blog, Five Startling Facts About Vitamin C, for more information on whole food vitamin C.

Vitamineral EarthVitamineral_Earth_powder contains omega-3 fatty acids, adaptogens, the Essaic herbs, probiotics, and minerals such as chromium, selenium, and manganese. High in fiber, raw, and vegan, Vitamineral Earth supports healing, digestive health, detoxification, the immune system, and healthy blood sugar levels. Vitamineral Earth adds a savory flavor to your smoothie.

Perfect Acai Berry Powder not only has a pleasant, tart, fruity taste that pairs well with other fruit flavors or chocolate smoothies, but it is also loaded with antioxidants. Acai smoothie powder supports digestion and heart health and the acai tree has been dubbed the “tree of life” for the berry’s anti-aging benefits.

Power Up with Protein

Tony’s Pure Whey Protein Plus Double Dutch ChocolateGreat_Tasting_Whey_Protein is a highly absorbable protein powder free of added sugars and other unhealthy additives. Whey protein is an optimal source of high-quality smoothie protein that has been found to boost immune health, aid in weight loss, and lower blood pressure. This is a great tasting protein powder — it’s like chocolate milk when added to milk.

Dr. Tony’s Vegan Protein comes in both French Vanilla and Double Dutch Chocolate and provides vegan smoothie protein from pea, rice hemp, cranberries, and chia seed along with 1000mg of l-glutamine. L-glutamine helps build and repair muscle, boost the immune system, stabilize blood sugar, and promote gastrointestinal health.

PaleoPro Protein Powder  is a paleo-friendly protein powder made from grass-fed beef and egg protein. Unlike many other Paleo protein powders, PaleoPro uses the flesh from the beef, not the collagen. While collagen is a great source of protein, it does not have the desired amino acid profile of beef flesh. And, this protein powder tastes great!

Perfect_Protein_PowderAvailable in Vanilla or Simply Natural, Perfect Plant Protein is a unique blend of mushroom protein, hemp protein, brown rice protein, probiotics, and enzymes. This hypoallergenic formula is perfect for those with allergies and provides 17 grams of complete vegan protein per serving. Perfect Plant Protein smoothie powder supports digestion, reduces inflammation, promotes muscle growth and recovery, supports metabolism, and contains countless vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids.

Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen and Perfect Bovine Gelatin are both great protein powders to add to any drink. They come from super healthy pasture-raised grass-fed, Brazilian cattle. They have very similar potential health benefits, including great for digestion, hair and nail growth, and reducing joint pain. The big difference is Hydrolyzed Collagen doesn’t gel whereas gelatin does gel as it cools. And, hydrolyzed collagen may be more easily absorbed as it has been processed one step further with natural enzymes, making the collagen peptides shorter. One 11 g scoop of either provides 10 g of protein!

Make Your Smoothie Taste Great

While many of these supplement powders already have a great taste with natural flavors, you’ll want to make sure you choose a combination of flavors that will mix together well in your smoothie. If you’re not used to the taste of greens, start with a very small amount and rely more heavily on chocolate protein powder or fruit powders. You can also add cocoa powder, ground spices such as cinnamon and ginger, or powdered stevia to your dry smoothie mix. Instead of water, use juice, nut/dairy/coconut milk, coconut water, tea, or even coffee in your smoothie shaker for a stronger flavor. Have fun experimenting, but try mixing up a sample smoothie before your trip to make sure your final concoction is delicious. Happy shaking!

Kerrie’s Favorite Smoothie-on-the-Go Combo

This is for one serving

1 scoop Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen
1/2 T Catie’s Whole Plant Food Gluten Free Greens
1/2 T Catie’s Whole Plant Food Vitamin C Plus
1 scoop Perfect Acai Powder
2 scoops Limitless Good Baobab Powder
8 – 12 oz of juice, water or any combination of the two

All together, it makes up about 1/4 cup of powder.

I mix 10 days worth at a time up and keep it in the fridge for easy dispensing.

Why these supplements?

I choose the Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen because it is tasteless in combination with everything else, and I’m still recovering from knee surgery in May and need all the collagen I can get to help rebuild and repair the joint.

I like the Catie’s Gluten Free Greens because it comes from real food, many of the ingredients are organic, and I like to eat gluten-free whenever possible.

I add the Catie’s Vitamin C and the Perfect Acai because I used to get lots of colds, and I get far fewer when I keep my immunity high. Both these products are loaded with antioxidants and immune boosters.

The Baobab Powder is also a great source of antioxidants, but is also naturally high in fiber. Good fiber is an excellent addition to any liquid meal.

I usually get a good 100% organic red juice like pomegranate cranberry or cherry. Then I use about 5 oz each juice and water with the 1/4 cup of pre-mixed supplements.

 

8 Great Detox Diet Plans for Internal Cleansing

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Last week we gave you the Top 5 Ways to Detoxify Your Body. For many of us, January is time for a really good, cleansing detox plan to get a fresh start on the new year. Read on for 8 Great Detox Diet Plans for all kinds of deep, internal cleansing.

The potential benefits of a detox program are many: more energy, improved digestion, decreased inflammation, clearer thinking, better sleep, fewer cravings, and more. Detoxing can also help jumpstart weight loss. A detox plan usually includes detoxifying supplements, but may also include dietary changes as well. Some plans last just a couple of days, while others are intended to be followed for weeks or even longer. Since all of us are exposed to toxins on a daily basis no matter how “clean” we try to eat and live, we can all benefit from most any cleanse or detox plan. However, certain health and lifestyle factors may affect which detox program is best for you at this moment. Below, I’ve outlined a few of our favorite detox plans to help you choose which one to try.

The 21 Day Detox Program

Best if: You suspect food allergies or intolerances, or you have gotten into a rut of unhealthy eating

The 21 Day Detox Program would be my top choice after all the indulgences of the holiday season. This plan not only provides supplements to encourage the cleansing process, but also helps you completely revamp your diet and get back on track. Three weeks (plus a couple more weeks to slowly reintroduce foods) might feel like a big commitment, but your health is worth it! Developed by Dr. Erica LePore, ND, this is a comprehensive detox program that includes dietary changes as well as supplements to target inflammation, digestive health, liver support, and heavy metal and toxin removal. This plan also helps you pinpoint which foods you may be reacting poorly to. The 21 Day Detox Program includes all the supplements you’ll need, plus a full guide written by Dr. LePore so you know exactly how to carry out the plan. Ready to get started? The 21 Day Detox Program is available here. If you want to hear a first-hand account of this program first, you can read more here.

Oxy-Clean 6 Day Colon Cleanse

Best if: You’re feeling backed up, foggy, and sluggish

Compacted fecal matter lodged in the colon can really weigh you down! If you feel like your digestive system isn’t functioning optimally — you’re often constipated, have diarrhea, or are always bloated and gassy — or you just feel dragged down by a heavy gut, you may need a colon cleanse. The Oxy-Powder Colon Cleanse takes less than a week to flush everything out. You don’t necessarily need to follow a special diet; you’ll take Oxy-Powder, Latero-Flora (a probiotic supplement), and a colon cleansing cocktail made from ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. The concoction will clean out your digestive tract while you sleep. You’ll likely experience watery stools as everything is liquified and passes out, which is a sign that the cleanse is working. Within a few days you’ll be feeling lighter and cleaner! Oxy-Powder can also be taken long term to keep the colon clean, and on an as-needed basis to detox after a day or two of overindulging.

Harmful Organism Cleanse

Best if: You suspect you may have parasites

You might have a problem with parasites if you feel like something is sucking the life out of you. You may feel tired, weak, and mentally foggy. You may struggle to fight off colds and viruses, and be unable to maintain a healthy weight. Parasites can literally steal nutrients from the food you eat, leaving your body chronically deprived. The Harmful Organism Cleanse Kit contains a natural supplement to cleanse your body of these harmful parasites and ward off invaders, as well as a probiotic designed to fight off bad bacteria and yeast. You can do the parasite cleanse alongside the Oxy-Powder colon cleanse detailed above.

Liver Detox

Best if: You’re exposed to lots of toxins via food, medicine, workplace, or environment

Toxins surround us all, but some of us get more exposure than others. A liver detox is particularly important for those that drink a lot of coffee or alcohol, take daily medications, eat foods containing hormones or chemical additives, or have work exposure to toxins such as chemicals, smoke, cleaning solutions, radiation, or fumes from paint or plastics. Unfortunately, while many of these toxins might be hard to avoid, they can really tax the liver, leaving you feeling sick or just not quite yourself. A clean, unstressed liver is so important to maintaining a clean, toxin-free body, so it’s critical to keep this organ functioning optimally.

Dr. Junger’s 3-Day Liquid Cleanse

Best if: You’ve been gaining weight or relying on packaged foods

It happens to the best of us, especially when we’re stressed or overworked — sometimes you can’t help but turn to packaged, processed foods. The problem is, what started as a reaction to a rough day or a quick lapse for the sake of convenience, can quickly become an addiction, and the cravings for junk food escalate. The first of Dr. Oz’s “Detox for Your Body Type,” the 3-Day Liquid Cleanse developed by Dr. Junger recommends eating all-liquid meals for 3 days, in the form of smoothies or soups, to reset your system. You’ll also take a supplement with milk thistle to support the liver. The goal of this detox plan is to aid the liver in eliminating fat, and it is ideal for those who are “fat all over.”

Dr. Junger’s 5-Day Gut Flush Cleanse

Best if: You’re so bloated that you’re worried friends will start asking if you’re pregnant

Bloating may not only leave you feeling self-conscious, but it can also be extremely uncomfortable, even painful. Dr. Junger’s 5-Day Gut Flush, also featured on Dr. Oz’s “Detox for Your Body Type” episode, is targeted at those who crave fatty or salty foods. Instead of opting for an order of French fries, you’re encouraged to eat whole, unprocessed foods. While lunch is a solid meal, breakfast and dinner primarily consist of smoothies or soups. Probiotics are the focus as far as supplements are concerned, as they help alleviate the digestive problems caused by an overgrowth of bad bacteria.

Dr. Junger’s 7-Day Vegan Cleanse

Best if: You have lots of signs of inflammation, including aches and pains or itchy skin

Think you can handle going vegan? Don’t worry, it’s only for a week! The 7-Day Vegan Cleanse from Dr. Junger encourages you to temporarily eliminate meat and dairy products, and instead focus on healing superfoods. This detox diet counteracts the inflammation that can lead you to have aches and pains, sore joints, and dry, itchy skin or scalp. Hallmarks of this body type are intense sugar cravings and being over-stressed. Unlike some of the other detox plans, the 7-Day Vegan Cleanse allows you to eat full, satisfying meals of solid foods, so it may be easier for those who struggle with more restrictive plans that can leave you feeling deprived.

Chlorella Cleanse

Best if: All these other plans scare you, but you still want to detox

If you’re not looking for an intensive detox, but just a real food to gently encourage toxin elimination, chlorella is just what you need! All you have to do is take a couple chlorella capsules or add a scoop of chlorella powder to your morning smoothie — it doesn’t get much simpler than that! Chlorella draws out toxins and heavy metals while improving the bacterial balance in your gut, plus provides lots of protein, vitamins, and minerals. This is also a great way to start for those new to detoxing or reluctant to get started.

How to Stay Healthy While Indulging This Holiday Season

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Let’s face it: between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, the opportunities for indulgence abound, and even the most committed of us sometimes stray from our normally healthy diets. I’m not going to be the one to tell you to give up your grandma’s special glazed ham or the amazing chocolate dessert party-goers are saying you just have to try. Of course it’s ideal to adhere closely to a healthy, minimally-processed diet, but the holidays are full of traditions and temptations, and making a gluten-free, sugar-free version of your family’s favorite dessert isn’t always feasible or even desirable. Go ahead, enjoy a bite — or two! But follow these tips to minimize the impact of a month or two of indulgences.

Prepare for Parties & Avoid Overeatingweight_loss_smoothie

If you’re headed out to a holiday party, don’t skip meals all day so you can binge all night! That’s a surefire way to ensure you’ll end up eating too much of all the wrong foods. Instead, keep your pre-party diet as healthy as possible. Eat a healthy, protein rich breakfast, like a quick smoothie or an omelet. Have a hearty salad topped with meat or nuts for lunch, drink plenty of water, and snack on fruits and veggies all day. When you arrive at the party, you won’t be starving or delirious from low blood sugar. You’ll be able to pick and choose the foods that you’ll truly enjoy and pass on the rest of the artificial-ingredient-laden fare.

When dinner is finally served, pause. Check in with yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Do you need a few moments of calm and quiet before joining the busy dinner? Are you angry about a cousin’s remark, and craving fried food to stuff down the anger? Pause. Halfway through the meal, as you’re shoveling in the mashed potatoes, pause. Are you really still hungry? Are you enjoying these potatoes, or just eating them because they’re on your plate? Are you worried about wasting food or offending the host? Pause. Make a deliberate decision to stop or continue eating. One of the truest maxims I’ve ever read is this: “Your body is not a trash can.”. If you’re hoping to avoid the average 5 pounds of holiday weight gain, check out some more tips from Dr. Oz for preventing weight gain over the holidays.

Weigh the Consequences; Then, Savor the Moment!

Try not to just mindlessly fill your plate with a bit of each option. Instead, think about how these foods will make you feel, which is different for everyone. Maybe enjoying fresh bread outweighs the slight chance of a stomach ache, while a meal containing dairy just isn’t worth the consequences. I myself need to be extra conscious of sugar, since too much refined sugar can make me feel sick both immediately and for days afterward. Indulging in a few unhealthy foods doesn’t mean you need to give up on all your ideals. Take some time now to plan out which dietary ideals are worth sticking to and which leave you with more wiggle room.

If you do decide to break your personal top diet rules, make it completely worth it! Take time to really chew and taste each bite. Focus on the food’s appearance, smell, texture, and flavor. Eat it slowly and mindfully. Ask your aunt how she made this delicious dish. Revel in the memories it brings back or the images it conjures up. And let go of the guilt; you can get back to your normal diet as soon as the holidays are over. Give yourself permission to just savor each moment and every bite.

Detox, Detox, Detox

No one’s likely to embark on an intense detox program a week before Christmas. But when your best intentions go awry and you wind up eating too much processed food, too much sugar, too much poiprescript-assist_probioticsson… support your body in processing and eliminating those toxins as quickly as possible. Taking probiotics is a simple way to alleviate some of the digestive distress that can accompany a sudden change in dietary habits. Drink a glass of water with the juice of half a lemon each morning to flush out toxins. In addition, these supplements gently draw toxins out without the time commitment or emotional investment of a full detox plan:

Perfect Liver Detox Support is a doctor-developed supplement designed to keep your liver performing its best. After all, the liver is the body’s filter for all those toxins coursing through your body. If it becomes overloaded, it can become sluggish and ineffective. Use Perfect Liver Detox Support which comes in convenient capsules loaded with milk thistle and other organic, detoxifying herbs, each day to help your body better process the chemicals, pesticides, sugars, and artificial ingredients in your holiday diet.

Perfect Chlorella is a powerful detox agent and also provides essential nutrients that your body may be lacking if you’re not prioritizing a healthy diet. High in chlorophyll and numerous vitamins and minerals, chlorella binds to toxins so that they can be safely eliminated. I recommend capsules for this busy time of year, but you can also opt for powder if you’re whipping up daily smoothies anyway. Get your chlorella along with spirulina in Perfect Aquatic Greens, for even more abundant and diverse nutrients.

Like chlorella, bentonite clay, too, binds to and draws out toxins as it passes through the digestive system. Start with a small amount — about a teaspoon — mixed into a glass of water. Make sure to eat plenty of fiber and drink lots of water to avoid constipation. You may need to add a bit of extra magnesium while taking bentonite clay if you find constipation is a problem for you. Bentonite clay also provides trace minerals that your diet may not provide during this busy holiday season.

Reduce Stress

Stress is good for no one, and a stressed body is much more vulnerable to toxins as well as illness. Fortunately, we have a great holiday stress guide featuring supplements and daily practices to help minimize the effects of stress on your body and mind. Simply getting outside for a short walk or taking a few moments to breathe or meditate can make a huge impact on your stress level, leaving you feeling healthier in both mind and body.

Spring Detox

spring_detox

Spring has sprung! The birds are chirping, the trees are budding, and the first early flowers are beginning to poke out from the dirt. Spring is a beautiful time of rebirth and renewal, and just as the world around us is waking up, cleansing, and renewing itself, our bodies, too, could use a little Spring cleaning. Many of us get into a rut during the winter. We probably aren’t always making the best food choices, and the bountiful availability of fresh foods is still months away. Perhaps we’ve become more sedentary this winter due to shorter, colder days, or maybe we still have a touch of the winter blues. The beginning of Spring marks a perfect time to embark on a detox program and leave winter — with all its dark, cold moods and unhealthy habits — far behind.

The benefits of a detox program are many: more energy, improved digestion, decreased inflammation, clearer thinking, better sleep, fewer cravings, and more. Detoxing can also help jumpstart weight loss. A detox plan usually includes detoxifying supplements, but may also include dietary changes as well. Some plans last just a couple of days, while others are intended to be followed for weeks or even longer. Since all of us are exposed to toxins on a daily basis no matter how “clean” we try to eat and live, we can all benefit from most any cleanse or detox plan. However, certain health and lifestyle factors may affect which detox program is best for you at this moment. Below, I’ve outlined a few of our favorite detox plans to help you choose which one to try.

The 21 Day Detox Program

Best if: You suspect food allergies or intolerances, or you have gotten into a rut of unhealthy eating

The 21 Day Detox Program would be my top choice after a long, lazy winter. This plan not only provides supplements to encourage the cleansing process, but also helps you completely revamp your diet and get back on track. Three weeks (plus a couple more weeks to slowly reintroduce foods) might feel like a big commitment, but your health is worth it! Developed by Dr. Erica LePore, ND, this is a comprehensive detox program that includes dietary changes as well as supplements to target inflammation, digestive health, liver support, and heavy metal and toxin removal. This plan also helps you pinpoint which foods you may be reacting poorly to. The 21 Day Detox Program includes all the supplements you’ll need, plus a full guide written by Dr. LePore so you know exactly how to carry out the plan. Ready to get started? The 21 Day Detox Program is available here. If you want to hear a first-hand account of this program first, you can read more here.

Oxy-Clean 6 Day Colon Cleanse

Best if: You’re feeling backed up, foggy, and sluggish

Compacted fecal matter lodged in the colon can really weigh you down! If you feel like your digestive system isn’t functioning optimally — you’re often constipated, have diarrhea, or are always bloated and gassy — or you just feel dragged down by a heavy gut, you may need a colon cleanse. The Oxy-Powder Colon Cleanse takes less than a week to flush everything out. You don’t necessarily need to follow a special diet; you’ll take Oxy-Powder, Latero-Flora (a probiotic supplement), and a colon cleansing cocktail made from ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. The concoction will clean out your digestive tract while you sleep. You’ll likely experience watery stools as everything is liquified and passes out, which is a sign that the cleanse is working. Within a few days you’ll be feeling lighter and cleaner! Oxy-Powder can also be taken long term to keep the colon clean, and on an as-needed basis to detox after a day or two of overindulging.

Harmful Organism Cleanse

Best if: You suspect you may have parasites

You might have a problem with parasites if you feel like something is sucking the life out of you. You may feel tired, weak, and mentally foggy. You may struggle to fight off colds and viruses, and be unable to maintain a healthy weight. Parasites can literally steal nutrients from the food you eat, leaving your body chronically deprived. The Harmful Organism Cleanse Kit contains a natural supplement to cleanse your body of these harmful parasites and ward off invaders, as well as a probiotic designed to fight off bad bacteria and yeast. You can do the parasite cleanse alongside the Oxy-Powder colon cleanse detailed above.

Liver Detox

Best if: You’re exposed to lots of toxins via food, medicine, workplace, or environment

Toxins surround us all, but some of us get more exposure than others. A liver detox is particularly important for those that drink a lot of coffee or alcohol, take daily medications, eat foods containing hormones or chemical additives, or have work exposure to toxins such as chemicals, smoke, cleaning solutions, radiation, or fumes from paint or plastics. Unfortunately, while many of these toxins might be hard to avoid, they can really tax the liver, leaving you feeling sick or just not quite yourself. A clean, unstressed liver is so important to maintaining a clean, toxin-free body, so it’s critical to keep this organ functioning optimally.

Dr. Junger’s 3-Day Liquid Cleanse

Best if: You’ve been gaining weight or relying on packaged foods

It happens to the best of us, especially when we’re stressed or overworked — sometimes you can’t help but turn to packaged, processed foods. The problem is, what started as a reaction to a rough day or a quick lapse for the sake of convenience, can quickly become an addiction, and the cravings for junk food escalate. The first of Dr. Oz’s “Detox for Your Body Type,” the 3-Day Liquid Cleanse developed by Dr. Junger recommends eating all-liquid meals for 3 days, in the form of smoothies or soups, to reset your system. You’ll also take a supplement with milk thistle to support the liver. The goal of this detox plan is to aid the liver in eliminating fat, and it is ideal for those who are “fat all over.”

Dr. Junger’s 5-Day Gut Flush Cleanse

Best if: You’re so bloated that you’re worried friends will start asking if you’re pregnant

Bloating may not only leave you feeling self-conscious, but it can also be extremely uncomfortable, even painful. Dr. Junger’s 5-Day Gut Flush, also featured on Dr. Oz’s “Detox for Your Body Type” episode, is targeted at those who crave fatty or salty foods. Instead of opting for an order of French fries, you’re encouraged to eat whole, unprocessed foods. While lunch is a solid meal, breakfast and dinner primarily consist of smoothies or soups. Probiotics are the focus as far as supplements are concerned, as they help alleviate the digestive problems caused by an overgrowth of bad bacteria.

Dr. Junger’s 7-Day Vegan Cleanse

Best if: You have lots of signs of inflammation, including aches and pains or itchy skin

Think you can handle going vegan? Don’t worry, it’s only for a week! The 7-Day Vegan Cleanse from Dr. Junger encourages you to temporarily eliminate meat and dairy products, and instead focus on healing superfoods. This detox diet counteracts the inflammation that can lead you to have aches and pains, sore joints, and dry, itchy skin or scalp. Hallmarks of this body type are intense sugar cravings and being over-stressed. Unlike some of the other detox plans, the 7-Day Vegan Cleanse allows you to eat full, satisfying meals of solid foods, so it may be easier for those who struggle with more restrictive plans that can leave you feeling deprived.

Chlorella Cleanse

Best if: All these other plans scare you, but you still want to detox

If you’re not looking for an intensive detox, but just a real food to gently encourage toxin elimination, chlorella is just what you need! All you have to do is take a couple chlorella capsules or add a scoop of chlorella powder to your morning smoothie — it doesn’t get much simpler than that! Chlorella draws out toxins and heavy metals while improving the bacterial balance in your gut, plus provides lots of protein, vitamins, and minerals. This is also a great way to start for those new to detoxing or reluctant to get started.

 

By Ali Wetherbee

Take Perfect Collagen for Aches, Pains, & Joint Relief

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If you suffer from the aches, pains, and soreness of chronic conditions such as arthritis or fibromyalgia, you know how hard it can be just to complete ordinary tasks and get through the day. Don’t despair, though! Perfect Collagen may be just what you need to provide your body with the nutritional support to heal. Some benefits of taking a hydrolyzed collagen supplement for chronic aches and pains include:

  • Less pain
  • Reduced stiffness
  • Increased joint elasticity
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Reduced swelling
  • Improved mobility and function

Why would collagen help reduce pain?

Collagen is critical to the body, as it comprises nearly one-third of the proteins in the human body. Collagen is one of the main components of muscles, bones, joints, skin, cartilage, and connective tissues. As we age, our collagen levels tend to decline, contributing to loose skin and wrinkles as well as aches, pains, and bone loss. Some conditions known for causing chronic pain are associated with low levels of collagen. Therefore, collagen supplementation may be a natural remedy for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic pain disorders, and even osteoporosis.

Collagen is rich in amino acids, the “building blocks of life,” which, among other roles, are essential for growth and repair of body tissues. One particular amino acid in collagen, methionine, helps the body to produce sulfuric compounds. Those with arthritis have been found to have sulfur levels three times lower than their healthy counterparts. Methionine has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as stimulate cartilage production.

Research has found that collagen is more effective than glucosamine and chondroitin for relieving the pain of arthritis. MRI studies have found that those taking a collagen supplement for arthritis experienced a regrowth of collagen instead of the deterioration found in their non-supplementing counterparts. Muscle biopsies have noted that those with fibromyalgia have lower levels of collagen in the muscles, so collagen supplementation may benefit fibro sufferers as well. Another study found that those with fibromyalgia and temporomandibular joint pain experienced significant improvement in pain levels after 90 days of collagen supplementation. Other research suggests that supplemental collagen can improve the inflammatory response and, in effect, teach the body to control the T-cell reaction to prevent the breakdown of cartilage and connective tissues.

Collagen vs. Gelatin

Collagen is simply uncooked gelatin. While gelatin only dissolves in hot liquids, collagen dissolves in either hot or cold liquid, doesn’t change the taste, and doesn’t thicken. This means you can add it to plain water, any kind of milk or juice, coffee, tea, smoothies, and more. Another big advantage of collagen is that it’s lower molecular weight makes it easier to absorb than gelatin. Those suffering from chronic digestive issues may have a hard time breaking down the molecules in gelatin or bone broth, so collagen is an excellent, easy alternative.

How do I choose the best collagen supplement?

When choosing a collagen supplement, you’ll want to make sure the one you select is made from grass-fed, hormone-free cattle. The cows used to make Perfect Collagen feed on clean, green, pesticide-free pastures in Brazil. The cows are never given hormones or antibiotics. Perfect Collagen goes through a natural enzymatic process to break down the collagen into its most absorbable, bioavailable form. This process is called hydrolyzation. No chemicals, preservatives, flow agents, or fillers are added — only pure, pastured collagen.

Get the most out of your collagen supplement

  • Vitamin C is a cofactor for collagen production, so this is an important supplement to take alongside collagen.
  • You may also want to consider a B Complex supplement, as B vitamins support methionine in producing sulfurs in the body.

Does collagen have any side effects?

Collagen supplements are extremely well tolerated. Potential side effects include mild diarrhea or a slight rash, but most will experience no side effects from collagen supplementation. There are no known dangers or drug interactions associated with collagen.

What other natural remedies help with aches and pains?

  • Emu oil is excellent for achy joints and sore muscles. An oral emu oil supplement provides anti-inflammatory omega fatty acids. Topical emu oil can be rubbed right into the aching joint to reduce inflammation locally.
  • Calm Balm soothes sore muscles with menthol camphor and healing oils. This is a great natural alternative to Icy Hot.
  • Magnesium is also extremely important for easing aches and pains, as it aids in the nerve response plus muscle contraction and relaxation.
  • There is growing evidence that turmeric is as effective as aspirin in relieving pain — but without the gastrointestinal side effects
  • Avoid sugars and excess carbohydrates in your diet, as these may contribute to inflammation in the body.

 

By Ali Wetherbee

Five Ways to De-Stress

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By Ali Wetherbee

Stress comes in many forms — home life, work, family, friends, drama, fun, finances, and more. Instead of focusing on the many burdens and challenges we each face, take some time to relax, unwind, and undo any damage all that stress may have done. Here are 5 ways to lower your stress level this month:

1. Exercise
Physical activity continues to be one of the top-recommended stress busters. It’s safe, and inexpensive, and improves not only stress and mood, but also overall health. If you haven’t been working out regularly or if the cold weather is driving you indoors, it may be hard to get into a good exercise routine. Try finding a workout buddy, setting some small goals, and choosing a form of exercise that you enjoy. These things will keep you more motivated to get moving.

2. Meditate
Meditation comes in many different forms; it doesn’t necessarily require you to sit silently with your eyes closed for hours on end. A quiet walk through the woods, during which you take time to notice everything you see, hear, and smell, can be both meditative and restorative. If you are new to meditating, a guided meditation can help you stay focused on relaxing. Those with anxiety or trouble staying still and quiet might find that yoga is a more appealing form of meditation.

3. Help Your Body Adapt
These supplements support our bodies in handling all kinds of stress. Adaptogenic herbs bring all systems of the body back into balance, lowering cortisol levels and regulating blood pressure, blood sugar, hormones, and cholesterol. Taking one or several of these adaptogens is a very simple step toward healing your body and feeling more at ease.

4. Don’t Forget to Breathe
When we are anxious or tense, we are more likely to either hold our breath or hyperventilate. This keeps the entire body on alert and in a state of non-stop stress. To correct this problem, practice deep breathing from the abdomen. One method many find helpful is 4-7-8 breathing. Inhale through your nose for a count of 4; hold this breath for 7 seconds. Then exhale through your mouth with a whooshing sound, for a count of 8.

5. Engage In Meaningful Activities
Sure, many of us find ourselves always busy and constantly in motion, but how many of those activities bring you true joy and a sense of peace? How many of them leave you feeling deeply fulfilled and socially connected? Often we get so caught up in obligations that we forget to take time to do the things we really love. A long chat with a dear friend over a cup of coffee, or an afternoon of digging in the dirt can help you leave your tensions behind. Commit to spending an hour this week enjoying your favorite hobby — whether that’s hiking a mountain, drawing, dancing, or playing an instrument.