The 411 on Adaptogens and How To Use Them

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Happy Monday y’all! I’ve been posting a few smoothie recipes with adaptogens and you guys have been asking a TON of questions about them. Today we are going to break down what adaptogens are, who should use them and how to incorporate them into your diet the right way. ashwagandha, how to use ashwagandha, how to use adaptogens, health benefits ashwagandha, health benefits adaptogens, adaptogens anti inflammatory, adaptogens cancer, adaptogens autoimmune conditions, adaptogens breastfeeding

Adaptogens are a nontoxic substance that helps the body adapt to physical & emotional stress, minimize it’s damaging effects while keeping our bodies in working order. They focus on helping the body as a whole rather than one specific function. They earned their name by growing in extreme conditions and evolving to adapt to their environment. By doing so they were able to survive and thrive in otherwise harsh conditions. If they can do that for themselves just imagine what they can do for our bodies!

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Adaptogenic herbs are major stress relievers. Photo credit: Chalk Board Mag.

Over many years, adaptogens have been proven to reduce stress and inflammation, boost immunity, stabilize moods, improve mental clarity, combat signs of aging, increase endurance, improve sleep and so much more!

When our bodies are stressed we are prone to:

  • exercise less often
  • emotionally eat (usually the wrong foods too)
  • digestive issues (bloating, stomach upset, diarheaa
  • have sleep issues
  • emotional outbursts

Do any of these sound familiar? I can count at least 3 that affect me if I take on too many tasks or don’t make enough time for self care. If I go even 1 -2 weeks without exercise or meditation I feel it! I’m moody, lethargic, hell…even bloated! Adaptogens help your body physically respond in a healthy way to life’s daily stressors while ensuring it doesn’t miss a beat.  Our bodies and brains are then able to thrive at their fullest potential, leaving less room for ailments and other problems to arise. When we are thriving we feel good, look good and are way more motivated!

Here is a list of a few adaptogens and what they are commonly used for: ashwagandha, how to use ashwagandha, how to use adaptogens, health benefits ashwagandha, health benefits adaptogens, adaptogens anti inflammatory, adaptogens cancer, adaptogens autoimmune conditions, adaptogens breastfeeding, cordyceps, resihiWho Should Take Adaptogens?

Short answer…EVERYONE! But if you’re looking for more specifics:

Anyone who has an autoimmune condition, digestive problems, inflammatory/chronic pain conditions, migraines, vascular conditions, history of cancer, diabetics, fatigue, mood disorders, adrenal issues..the list goes on! Mamas, certain adaptogens are safe to take while breastfeeding while others aren’t. Always double check before ingesting anything!

How To Incorporate Adaptogens Into Your Diet

Most adaptogens come in powder form but there are a few available in pill form. You can add adptogens to your salads, teas, coffee, smoothies, soup, oatmeal, water, juice and much more! How you take them is really up to you. I take reishi and chlorella daily in powder form. I add chlorella to my smoothies only. It has a very dark green color so I don’t recommend adding to tea..lol. I add reishi to tea and smoothies.ashwagandha, how to use ashwagandha, how to use adaptogens, health benefits ashwagandha, health benefits adaptogens, adaptogens anti inflammatory, adaptogens cancer, adaptogens autoimmune conditions, adaptogens breastfeeding, cordyceps, resihi, sunpotion adaptogens review ashwagandha, how to use ashwagandha, how to use adaptogens, health benefits ashwagandha, health benefits adaptogens, adaptogens anti inflammatory, adaptogens cancer, adaptogens autoimmune conditions, adaptogens breastfeeding, cordyceps, resihi, sunpotion adaptogens review Check out my Easy Adaptogenic Coconut Milk Elixir here! (It’s an inexpensive dupe to Rebbl’s cold brew with less sugar. You’ll be hooked!). ashwagandha, how to use ashwagandha, how to use adaptogens, health benefits ashwagandha, health benefits adaptogens, adaptogens anti inflammatory, adaptogens cancer, adaptogens autoimmune conditions, adaptogens breastfeeding, cordyceps, resihi, sunpotion adaptogens review

Adaptogens are great for helping your body resist the damaging affects of stress BUT you still need to be proactive in how you respond on a conscious level! There a a million ways you can keep yourself centered and in a positive space such as:

Regular physical activity.
Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi or getting a massage.
Keeping a sense of humor about things.
Socializing with family and friends.
Setting aside time for hobbies, such as reading a book, listening to music or doing whatever makes you happy!

So now that you have the breakdown of adaptogens, who should use them and how to incorporate them into your diet, how will you be using them? If you already use adaptogens, what are your go to’s? Lets chat in the comments!

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Best Essential Oils For DIY Cleaning Products

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I’ve always been a fan of using essential oils for my healthy hair and skincare regimens. Sweet Almond Oil has been a staple in both of my DIY regimens.IMG_1179 Essential oils can be used for everything from massages to freshening up your home naturally. Did you know that you can use essential oils for cleaning as well? If you’re looking for a greener, cheaper yet effective way to clean your home, you’re in luck! Here’s a rundown of the Best Essential Oils for DIY Cleaning Products. best Essential oils for diy cleaning(3)

Lemon

essential oils for cleaning, green spring cleaning, essential oils cleaning, non toxic, green living, natural living, essential oils, best essential oils cleaning, aura cacia oils, now oils, vegan, plant based, organic, green home, lemon oil cleaning, lemon essential oilLemon is in many homemade cleaning recipes and products. This essential oil is mainly loved for its clean, light scent. It’s naturally antibacterial and antiviral which make it a must have in homes with children. Lemon is commonly used to degrease stubborn stains as well as freshen the air (win win!) . You can also use it to deodorize your fridge and clean your floors. Tip: Combine 10 drops of lemon essential oil with 1/2 cup olive oil for a natural wood or leather polish.

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Lavender just simply smells AMAZING. It’s calming but also has powerful antibacterial properties. If you can’t stand the smell of vinegar just add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your cleaning mixture. It makes for a much more bearable scent while giving your DIY cleaner a germ killing boost! Tip: Pair 10 drops of lavender essential oil (or essential oil of choice) with 1/2 cup baking soda to deep clean your mattress. Spray mixture on mattress and leave on for an hour or longer. Vacuum off and you’re good to go!

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Similar to lemon, wild orange oil has a fresh and happy scent. It can also be used to cut grease effectively without the use of harsh and abrasive chemicals! Just use 1-2 drops alone to lift grease or glue from surfaces. Tip: Combine 12 drops with 1/4 cup castile soap and water to wipe down stove tops and counters.

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Many people use tea tree oil for scalp conditions such as dry scalp, excessive dandruff. Did you know that tea tree oil can also fight germs, bacteria and viruses? You can use this essential oil in everything from homemade hand soap to a DIY daily shower spray. It can serve as an effective insect repellant too! Tip: Just add tea tree to a spray bottle with water, shake well, and spray outside and inside the home to safely deter lice and other pests.

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Thyme is considered one of the most powerful essential oils in killing germs. Thyme oil is extremely effective in killing food borne bacteria such as salmonella. You can add thyme oil to homemade dish soap and use it to clean & disinfect cutting boards post contact with raw meat.

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Remember those old Pine-Sol commercials from back in the day? Well they were on to something! Wood floors are not the only thing pine is meant to clean. Pine is the perfect ingredient for disinfecting as well! It’s most effective at killing yeast spores, E.coli and other household germs. Pine is also great at ridding bathrooms of mold and mildew. The fresh scent that it leaves behind is just the icing on the cake.

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Clove oil is a strong analgesic, that is also antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and antiviral. It’s the strongest natural ingredient you can use for mold removal! Clove oil is just as effective as bleach without the toxic fumes. It’s strong scent is great in soaps and other DIY recipes. Since it’s strong, take special care to properly dilute it before applying to surfaces. Try blending it with lemon, sweet orange or lavender for a more blissful scent in your DIY cleaning recipes.

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I absolutely love peppermint oil for its versatility. It’s cool and invigorating scent aren’t the only thing to love though! Peppermint oil has antibacterial properties that make it a great addition to spray cleaners and natural deodorant spray. This little gem also doubles as a repellant against spiders and ants! Just try mixing 10-15 drops of peppermint essential oil with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Shake well then spray along cracks and crevices or wherever these little critters are seen.

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Who doesn’t love cinnamon? I add a dash to most of my homemade vegan dessert recipes. It’s scent is extremely warm and comforting yet bold & spicy! This essential oil has antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. It’s extremely powerful in removing fungus, mold, and mildew from the home. Tip: Ground cinnamon and its essential oil are both effective against eliminating pests. Just sprinkle the ground cinnamon anywhere that pests are seen. You can also apply pure undiluted cinnamon essential oil to the areas with a cotton swab. You’ll also have added a natural fragrance to your home!

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Eucalyptus’ powerful antiseptic and antiviral properties make it a must have essential oil year round. Kill cold/flu germs while disinfecting your bathroom, kitchen, floor and multi-surfaces. Eucalyptus can be used to neutralize odors in your garbage cans & shoes! This natural germicide is also a powerful dust mite buster. Tip: Eucalyptus leaves and essential oil are both great in cupboards to deter pests!

Isn’t great to know that essential oils can be used for more than just aromatherapy? The list of essential oils that can be used for everyday cleaning is endless. Harsh chemicals and fumes can now be a thing of the past when including these natural gems into your cleaning regimen. Let me know if you try any of these recipes!

Healthy Hair To Toe <3

 

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4 Simple Ways To Detox Your Home

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It’s March so let the spring cleaning commence! Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth. The leaves come back and fill our trees with luscious green leaves. Birds make their way back to our window sills (and cars..lol) and the air has a crisp yet dewy feel. Many of us look at spring as a time to detox and de-clutter from the winter. When it comes to home, you don’t have to go overboard. Small changes can easily make for a non toxic, healthy and clean sanctuary. Here are 4 simple ways to detox your living space.

Clear Your Closet..Again

I know, we did this for the New Year..lol. This time go through every closet in your home. Clear out anything that has not been worn or used in the last year. detox your home, detox living space, non toxic household cleaners, non toxic soaps, green cleaning, spring cleaning, organic, natural, detox, vegan, healthy home, health, wellness, blogger, healthy living I usually go by season. To make it simple, winter items that I didn’t wear this winter or the previous one MUST go. I use that rule of thumb with all clothing, footwear, linens and even accessories. It’s a great way to make room for new inventory while giving you an idea of what you actually need to buy or replace. Feel free to look at your makeup and hair products and do the same!

Take Off Your Shoes

Mom wasn’t saying this just for her health! Our shoes carry so many germs on a daily basis. 41Lp1TACClLThey can trek in nasty stuff like road sealant, pesticides, saliva and lead dust along with a million other things that can cause illness. Make it a rule for yourself and guests to take shoes off before entering your home.

Crack The Windows

Did you know indoor air can be up to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air? detox your home, detox living space, non toxic household cleaners, non toxic soaps, green cleaning, spring cleaning, organic, natural, detox, vegan, healthy home, health, wellness, blogger, healthy livingTry opening your windows to let fresh air circulate as long as the weather permits. This is a great way to flush toxins out when you and family members are sick as well.

Clean Green

The average home contains 500-1,000 chemicals, many of which we are unable to see, smell or taste. In small doses, exposure to these chemicals may not be harmful. However, longtime exposure to these toxins will lead to health problems.detox your home, detox living space, non toxic household cleaners, non toxic soaps, green cleaning, spring cleaning, organic, natural, detox, vegan, healthy home, health, wellness, blogger, healthy livingAvoid cleaners with triclosan. It’s been linked to liver and inhalation toxicity and even low levels of triclosan may disrupt thyroid function. Triclosan and other antibacterial ingredients may also increase bacterial resistance to antibiotics.  Try opting for simple natural ingredients like vinegar and baking soda. You can also make your own DIY household cleaner using baking soda, washing soda, distilled white vinegar, Dr. Bronner’s peppermint oil soap and tea tree oil. If you’re not into the DIY method, here a few household cleaning brands that are triclosan free and void of other harmful chemicals and dyes:

  • Seventh Generation
  • Babyganics
  • Green Works
  • Method
  • J.R Watkins
  • Mrs. Meyers
  • The Honest Company

Seems easy right? There are a million other ways you can detox your home and live a less toxic lifestyle. These basic steps can help you get started in doing so without becoming overwhelmed. Just be sure to balance your home with an abundance of love, compassion, selflessness and forgiveness. Ridding your home of emotional toxicity is just as essential for a healthy home.

Stay tuned for more detox tips this month!

-Healthy Hair To Toe <3

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3 Things You Should Know For A Healthy Heart

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In the United States, 1 in 4 women die from heart disease every year. Heart disease affects men and women of color at an even more alarming rate. The good news is that heart disease is one of the most preventable diseases. There are many cases of people who exercise regularly and have a clean & healthy diet that unexpectedly die from heart related illnesses. Give the gift of good heart health by knowing 3 key things.

Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure reflects how hard your heart has to work to pump blood through your arteries (systolic/top number) and how much rest it gets in between beats (diastolic/bottom number). Tip: A reading of 140 or more is considered hypertension or high blood pressure. See the chart below for more details. heart health, healthy heart, how to have healthy heart, high blood pressure, normal blood pressure, heart disease prevention, health, wellness, heart healthy food, heart healthy exercise

 

Some risk factors for high blood pressure include smoking, stress, age, genetics and family history. Too much salt in your diet, pregnancy, weight and lack of physical activity also play a role.

 

Blood Glucose

Blood sugar, or blood glucose, is sugar that the bloodstream carries to all the cells in the body to supply energy. Your blood glucose measurements represent the amount of sugar being transported in the blood at a given moment. Your body works to regulate these levels daily. When your body cannot maintain safe blood glucose levels it’s often an indication that your levels are either too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia). heart health, healthy heart, how to have healthy heart, high blood pressure, normal blood pressure, heart disease prevention, health, wellness, heart healthy food, heart healthy exercise, blood glucose, high blood sugar, low blood sugar, diabetes, stroke, health blogger

A low blood glucose level is usually a side effect seen in diabetic patients after being treated with medications to regulate (specifically lower) their blood sugar. Other causes of low sugar levels in people without diabetes include: certain kidney and liver disorders, eating disorders and excessive alcohol consumption. Learn more about the causes and risk factors for low blood glucose levels here!

High blood glucose levels are often caused by not using enough insulin or oral diabetes medication, improperly injecting insulin or using expired insulin, not following your diabetes nutrition plan and being inactive. You can read more about the causes and risk factors for high blood glucose levels here.

Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all cells of the body. Cholesterol isn’t bad for you at all. Your body needs it to make hormones, vitamins, and substances that help you digest foods. When too much cholesterol circulates through your bloodstream it can build up and harden in the inner walls of the arteries that flow to your heart and brain.

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Top: healthy artery with good blood flow. Bottom: artery blocked by fat deposits from high cholesterol.

This blockage is what leads to heart attacks, strokes and heart disease. The good news is that high cholesterol is preventable! A clean diet isn’t enough if you have a family history of high cholesterol. Age, gender and race can also affect your cholesterol levels. Read more about risk factors for high cholesterol and how it can affect your heart health here.

Final Thoughts

Do you know your numbers and risk factors for heart disease? As scary as the statistics are there a plenty of things you can do to improve your odds of preventing and beating heart disease. A healthy lifestyle alone is not enough to minimize your risk. Your family history plays a huge role as well. You should also work with your physician to know your blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol levels. As a team, you both can come up with a plan to keep your numbers in a healthy range. Implementing these changes and steps can help lead you to a lifetime of great heart health.

Be well & take care.

Healthy Hair To Toe

 

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Health Benefits of Turmeric

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Need an energy boost without the caffeine? Want a simple way to boost your immune system, improve digestion or reduce inflammation without popping a bunch of pills? No need for coffee or pills! Just head to your kitchen for some “golden milk” aka turmeric.

What is Turmeric?

Turmeric, Turmeric health benefits, holistic, health, wellnessTurmeric aka “The Queen of Spice” is the main spice in curry. It has a sharp taste, a pungent aroma, and a rich golden color. Turmeric is popular for its antibacterial, antiviral, anticarcinogenic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti mutagenic properties. It has been referred to as the most powerful medicinal herb in fighting and lessening damaging effects of many conditions & diseases due to its renowned healing compound curcumin.

What Are The Health Benefits of Turmeric?

  • Boosts Immunity: Turmeric possesses lipopolysaccharide, a key agent in strengthening your body’s immunity. This medicinal herb also contains antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties that help enhance your immunity and protect you from a cough, cold, and the flu.
  • Reduces Inflammation: Turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. The antioxidant properties of this medicinal herb help neutralize free radicals in your body which prevent the risk of damage to body cells. This is especially helpful to people with inflammatory diseases and conditions such as arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, Lupus, ulcerative colitis and IBS.
  • Improves digestion: Turmeric stimulates the gallbladder to produce adequate bile. When we don’t lack bile our digestive system is able to detoxify while minimizing the symptoms of gas and bloating.

How To Incorporate Turmeric Into Your Diet

Turmeric, Turmeric health benefits, holistic, health, wellnessAdding turmeric into your diet is a lot easier than you think! I love adding it to my stewed dishes and soups. You can also add a teaspoon to your smoothies. Turmeric, Turmeric health benefits, holistic, health, wellnessIt blends well with just about any flavor! You can also take a teaspoon of this super herb after meals to kick your digestive system into full gear. You’ll also feel more energized and a sense of vitality after regular consumption.

How do you incorporate turmeric into your health and wellness regimen? Do you prefer adding the herb to your dishes or smoothies?

Check out my easy Turmeric Latte recipe here!

Thanks for reading! ❤️

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