Make Your Own Toothpaste!

 

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Save yourself from toxins and save yourself some money! Have you ever wanted to try to make your own toothpaste but didn’t know how to start? Or maybe you want to avoid toxins and preservatives found in any conventional toothpaste. Those more natural brands can be expensive though! At $5 or $6 a tube, that is not exactly cheap. I have a recipe for you that is easy to make with ingredients you most likely already have at home.  Here is what you need:

Mix well in a glass bowl. Transfer to a glass jar with lid. Use just as you would regular toothpaste.

Peppermint oil has amazing benefits! It is antimicrobial and has cooling properties, which can also help to soothe inflammation. It also has antiseptic properties which can help to kill germs and alleviate bad breath. It may also help to boost the immune system.  Keep in mind this toothpaste will not foam up like conventional stuff, but that does not mean it is not working!!

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Can Apple Cider Vinegar Treat Hypertension?

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I see a lot of patients with hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, diabetes…etc. Many of these people do not want to go on prescription drugs. So how can we treat these metabolic disease naturally? Can apple cider vinegar really be used to treat hypertension? The answer is YES! My uncle used it to treat his own high blood pressure with great results. He never had to go on any other drugs to treat his high blood pressure. As long as you check with your doctor first, I do not see any harm in treating your high blood pressure naturally!

Why apple cider vinegar (ACV)  you may ask? ACV helps to lower renin activity. Renin is an enzyme secreted by the kidneys and helps to control blood pressure. Renin also helps regulate vasoconstriction and moderates the volume of extracellular fluid. ACV also helps to lower blood glucose, which in turn can help to lower blood pressure. ACV can also help to lower bad cholesterol, which helps keep blood pressure in check as well. ACV also helps to regulate sodium and potassium, as excess sodium may contribute to high blood pressure as well.

ACV has a very strong, bitter taste and can be hard to drink alone. You can try a shot of ACV in the morning, first thing, before coffee or breakfast. You could put some in a smoothie. You could mix with some lemon juice,warm water and cinnamon for a great digestive boost. Make sure to take it consistently every day and check your blood pressure at home to see if it is working for you. I personally do a shot of ACV every morning to help give my body a metabolic boost!

Do You Have A Magnesium Deficiency?

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Do you know that Magnesium is one of the most common mineral deficiencies? Magnesium is a key mineral in the body that is essential for proper bone function. It powers our enzymes and helps with fat and glucose breakdown. It also helps to regulate electrolyte balance and protects our DNA. Magnesium is also a required ingredient in the production of ATP. ATP stands for adenosine tri-phosphate, and it is our cell’s basic building block of energy. It is also needed for proper Vitamin D absorption.  Pretty important stuff, yeah?

Some common signs of deficiency are:

  • muscle spasms, twitches and cramps
  • heart palpitations
  • cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
  • high blood pressure
  • low energy/fatigue
  • arterial calcification (blockage that causes heart attacks)
  • sleep issues
  • osteoporosis
  • kidney stones

Any of these sound familiar? A diet low in plant food or high in processed foods could also contribute to a magnesium deficiency.  If so, try supplementing with magnesium and see if this makes a difference for you! The BEST way to uptake magnesium is topical. It will be absorbed more quickly into the blood and tissues this way. You can also try soaking in a bath with epsom salt, or even just soaking the feet in epsom salt. Avoid taking a magnesium supplement as this can cause diarrhea.

Also these foods are high in magnesium:

  • pumpkin seeds
  • avocado
  • spinach
  • yogurt
  • almonds
  • dark chocolate (and who doesn’t need an excuse to eat more chocolate 😉
  • popcorn

I try to take an epsom salt bath at least twice a week. I also eat 2-3 servings of spinach a day, topped with pumpkin seeds and avocado to make sure I get enough magnesium.

 

Shocking Names For Sugar

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Did you know there are over 50 different names for sugar?! That sounds crazy! However, it is true. Here are some common different names for sugar:

  • glucose
  • fructose
  • sucrose
  • fruit juice
  • agave
  • corn syrup
  • maltodextrin
  • rice syrup
  • diatase
  • dextrose
  • lactose
  • and the list goes on………

It’s no wonder that sugar is hidden in a lot of the foods we consume, especially processed foods. Sugar causes insulin resistance, which puts you at risk for diabetes. Sugar promotes inflammation and research has shown that this link has actually been the cause of heart disease, NOT fat! Sugar can also cause fatty liver disease and can promote other metabolic diseases. We have tons of reasons why you should avoid excess sugar, so let’s take a practical look at ways to reduce sugar in your diet:

  • Swap out sugary sodas and fruit juices for water instead. For an extra kick, opt for sparkling water or add lemon to your water.
  • Try a sugar alcohol such as Stevia or Xylitol. (Some people are sensitive to these, so experiment with a small amount firs to see how your body responds.)
  • Pay attention to the sugar content on food labels. Compare ingredient lists and choose the option with the least amount of sugar.
  • Buy plain yogurt and sweeten with fruit or berries.
  • Buy “unsweetened” products. Again, this requires checking labels carefully to make sure the product does not have any added sugars.
  • When baking, cut the amount of sugar a recipe calls for by half and experiment with how that changes the taste.
  • Eat plenty of protein and healthy fats to keep you feeling full and satiated.

My personal favorites are adding lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt to my water. When I crave something sweet, I make a chai tea and add some Xylitol. If I need a little boost, I will grab a sparkling water. The fizz of the water imitates the feel of drinking soda. Alternatively, if I really want a soda (every now and then I will indulge) I reach for a dry soda , they are very low in sugar. I may also snack on dark chocolate from time to time. I encourage you to look at your sugar habits and see what you can do to make a healthy change!

Five Easy Steps You Can Take To Improve Your Health

  • Drink more water. This one is simple and overlooked. Our body is about 60% water and our cells need it to live. Skip the 2nd cup of coffee and reach for water instead. Add lemon to your water for the added benefits of Vit C and potassium.
  • Skip a meal. We eat too much! We snack all day. Our social events revolved around food. When the body never gets a break from all the work of digestion, it can be overly stressful to the body. Try skipping that next snack or meal next time you don’t feel hungry and see what that does to your appetite.
  • Eat more leafy greens. Most of us probably don’t get enough of vitamins and minerals that come from dark leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, etc. Try adding a salad to your next meal.
  • Get more sunlight.Most of us probably spend too much time indoors. Vitamin D is one of the more common vitamin deficiencies. On your lunch break, try stepping outside in the sun for 10 minutes. Or give yourself a little extra time in the morning and get in some sunlight first thing. It will help to enhance your natural circadian rhythms.
  • Walk more. This one can be easily incorporated into daily life. When you park at work or the grocery store, try parking in the furthest corner and walk longer to your final destination. Take the bus or public transport? Get off a stop before you normally do and walk the rest of the way. Walking and keeping active will help to combat the negative side effects of being sedentary.

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I Want To Share A Secret With You…

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There is no “one size fits all” diet or eating plan that will work for everybody! Surprise! We are all genetically different, and so what works for one person will not always work for the next. There is a lot of trial and error involved in figuring out what foods best suit your own individual needs. This is good news if you like experimentation and exclusion diets! unfortunately, there is no magic pill that you can take to help you lose weight, gain energy or boost your metabolism. Sometimes, I wish there were. However, the reality of the situation is quite different. This is why you need to be careful in following the latest trend or fad when it comes to dieting. For example, the ketogenic diet (which I do a modified version of) can be great for fat loss, but it can also negatively affect your thyroid and any malabsorption issues one may have (such as fructose malabsorption)  I am not knocking Keto by any means, because I do understand the positive aspects of it. However, if you have someone who is eating poor quality sources of fat and meat all day, that can be a recipe for disaster in the future as well. Spoiler alert: Good nutrition does not always come in the form of fat bombs and buttered coffee!

How many of you have fallen victim to yo-yo dieting only to gain the weight back (and maybe more) once you stop the diet? This can be VERY frustrating and ultimately stop you from continuing on your health journey.  We live in a culture of instant gratification and too often we carry that expectation over to our diet and weight loss. The truth is that healthy weight loss does not come in the form of a super quick fix. It takes time, energy, motivation, patience, persistence and some self-love.  We also have to educate ourselves and unlearn lies we have been told by the industry (more on this later.)

This education part can be tricky because there is SO much disinformation online and also from the doctor’s office. Did you know most doctors do not focus on nutrition in school? They learn to medicate issues while the root problem of the cause is not addressed. Hey, it’s not their fault, it is the way they were taught in school. Enter nutritional therapy! This is where a nutritional therapist can come in and fill the gap. We can help to educate patients about nutrition and what they can do in conjunction with their doctor to help facilitate a healthy lifestyle. (I am not a doctor and this blog should not be taken in the place of medical advice.) However, I am a medical professional who understands the need to reclaim health may very well start with nutrition and what we are (or are not) putting into our mouths on a daily basis. I also want to help motivate YOU to achieve your goals. What do you live for? Do you want to be active and be able to pick up your grandkids, increase your metabolism or lose some extra weight before your next class reunion? Whatever your goal may be, I am here to help you along your journey! I want to see you succeed and live your life to the fullest. I have always been passionate about helping others and I really think I have found a path where I can turn my dream into a reality.

I have been interested in health, fitness and nutrition for as long as I can remember. I have always struggled with weight loss and staying thin for a lot of my life. What I didn’t realize was that once I focused on eating healthy whole foods and eating less, I would naturally start to loss the weight and feel better. I have always been pretty active, participating in sports during high school and continuing to work out and stay healthy into college and afterwards. Once I realized the magic fix was a myth, I started to focus on eating for health and prevention of disease. I have changed my diet and health approach over the years and have learned a lot from my own experience, as well as reading a lot in the form of books, blogs, etc. I plan on going back to school to get my certification as either a nutrition counselor or practitioner. In the mean time, I thought I could start a blog to share my knowledge. Health is wealth! Thank you for reading and I hope I can inspire you to make a healthy change in your life!