At a young age I started with the ‘health food’ thing. My mother got heavily into it, and from age 12 on, my 3 sisters and I were sent to school with green juices, vitamin-mineral packets, and homemade lunches full of grainy breads, beets, carrots, yogurt, etc. Every morning she made us a porridge of oats, barley, wheat germ, and honey. We never went to the doctor. If we got sick then she was making us green drinks, herbal tinctures, and putting colloidal silver up our noses. Yes, up our noses. Thankfully, we rarely got sick. She wasn’t vegan but I got a head start to learning about health and the body. I went above and beyond what she taught us at home, spending much of my time reading about the body and natural healing, and at the health food store learning about what was on the shelves, what cures what, etc. Over the years I’ve become in tune with my body. I know exactly what it needs, when it needs it, how to make and get what I prescribe myself with, and am often asked for advice by others. Everything I do is natural, well researched, and safe.
Some of the basics of health and nutrition-
Taking supplements is no substitute for a clean diet and exercise. But, they can help assist your body in many ways that you cannot get from diet alone. There are so many nutrient lacking foods because the soil is depleted, so we must add a vitamin mineral supplement to our diets, and sometimes a few extra to address particular needs. We absorb too many toxins in how we live; the water we drink, plastics, the chemicals in our detergents and clothing dye, the air, the inorganic and processed foods, hormones and antibiotics, heavy metals, alcohol, and other substances, and this list could go on and on. It is a priority to make sure that you consistently cleanse and build your body. All of our organs and glands are connected in how they work and are affected by stress, overload, and abuse. Unfortunately, most doctors aren’t trained in preventative healing, therefore they cannot give us the information we need to live preventively and keep healthy. We need to do our own vast research for this. Do not wait to get sick to start learning what you can. You may be able to heal yourself with this information rather than be at the mercy of a drug. Drugs do not cure, they only treat symptoms.
- Candida– Our gut is the seat of our immune system. When we experience stress and ingest processed, inorganic, unhealthy, dead, foods and animal products, we don’t give our intestinal bacteria a chance to do their best work. The levels of healthy flora decrease and candida takes over. Candida is a yeast that grows in response to our body defenses getting weaker. It affects our entire well being and flourishes in an acidic unhealthy environment. Animal products, sugars, and processed foods are acidic and inflammation causing, which will feed the candida and lead to disease. Antibiotics affect our gut directly, and if you've ever taken them, you'll need to think about a probiotic. A candida cleanse and diet is difficult, but even if someone can incorporate a vegan probiotic into their regime then they can strengthen their system to fight it better.
- Always keep a probiotic in your cabinet. For the rest of your life.
- Herbal Body Cleanse– The liver, kidneys, colon, lungs, and blood get overloaded. It's a necessity that you do a cleanse annually to regenerate your systems. There are many full body cleanses out there that range from gentle to hardcore. Herbs and raw foods are the best way to do this. Make sure that when you find a cleanse you like, it’s organic. I’ve seen how they spray these plants and herbs and it’s not pretty, plus it defeats the purpose of a cleanse if you are going to use something that has poisons in it. Go to your local health food store or shop online. Organic will ensure you are dealing with a reputable company as well. If you have never done a cleanse then you will need to cleanse for longer than others, taking a break in between.
- Get sunlight, every day if possible, for at least 10 minutes.
- Essential Fatty Acids– These are essential to your brain and body, regulating mood, blood sugar, brain health, energy, etc. Many people think fish oil is a good way to get their omegas. This is wrong. Fish oil is a byproduct and most everything that comes out of the ocean is full of pcb’s and mercury. Mercury is one of the most toxic substances known. I eat a high fat diet and have never been overweight in my life. These fats literally flush out bad fats and keep your metabolism pristine. My favorite is Sacha Inchi oil, which has a great balance of Omega 3, 6, and 9, including tryptophan for a little mood lift throughout the day. Borage, flax, chia, pumpkin seed, hemp, evening primrose, and algal oil are some pretty heavy hitters. Make sure they are labeled organic, non gmo, vegan, extra virgin, cold pressed. Coconut oil has medium chain triglycerides, which are an important line of energy production. They aren't sensitive to heat or light as the omegas which makes them great for cooking. They also are good for the skin and do not get stored as fat. Be sure to always keep a jar of extra virgin, organic, cold pressed, unrefined coconut oil handy and use it internally and externally.
- Every morning, at least a half hour before coffee or tea or food, drink 2 to 4 cups of water with lemon and a teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar.
- Coffee– I drink coffee every day, cold brew. I make a huge amount that lasts for a week and it tastes better, has more caffeine, 70% less acid, is easier on my stomach, and I can’t go back to the other stuff anymore.I've tried to quit my coffee addiction but since I switched to cold brew I feel no guilt. Check out my recipe for href="http://beautifulvegankitchen.com/cold-brew-coffee/"target="_blank">cold brew here.
- Juicing– I love juicing. I have an Omega 8008 that is the closest thing to a cold press without the hefty price tag. Greens and ginger make up the majority of my juices. I believe fruits are best ate whole rather than juiced because they digest quickly and have fiber that counters the sugar. Juicing is a great cleanser in itself. Use organic. The more bitter the green, the healthier for your liver. ALWAYS chew while you drink to get your stomach enzymes going.
- Total body cleanser juicing ingredients= Swiss chard, beet chard, carrots, beets, ginger, tumeric, lime, lemon, fennel, celery, cucumber, parsley, parsley, wheatgrass, cilantro, kale, spinach, mustard greens, dandelion.
- Smoothies– Only put in the blender what you would be able to eat in a sitting and can burn off. Too much fruit can be a lot of sugar to handle at once for many people. If you can handle a 6 banana smoothie (I've seen people actually do this), that's great, but some of us are sensitive to too much sugar (fruit sugar included).
- Try to always consume eaten fruits and fruit smoothies on an empty stomach. They have a cleansing effect and need minimal digestion. Superfood bowls are a good way to mix fruit with something else if you need the extra sustenance of grains, nuts, and seeds, for activity. Do not eat fruits with vegetables if you can help it.
- Superfood bowls– I love these. Simply because they’re not just blended fruit, but seeds, nuts, coconut oil, and superfoods added to it that prepare you for anything. I like to call them Superhero bowls, because I’m full for hours and have the stamina to do anything. Superfoods are foods that are nutrient dense and healing, high in antioxidants, and can cure ailments. There are many, acai, cacao, goji berries, maca, hemp, sacha inchi, spirulina, E3live, camu camu, and the list goes on. I use cacao, hemp seeds, red maca, chia, and coconut oil every day for their healthy fats and balancing properties. Plus, they taste good in my bowls. These are typically eaten for breakfast to start your day with the right balance in fats, protein, enzymes, and nutrients.
- Gluten free– I eat gluten free most the time but not as a rule. Wheat products are highly processed and can be gmo, and gluten free has become a tasty option these days. If I can find something that is made with brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat and spelt flour, then I know I’m getting something more nutritious than wheat. I do have a weakness for pasta and it is my favorite thing to cook and make sauces for but I often use gluten free pasta. There are lots of good ones out there these days. For baking, an unbleached all purpose wheat flour is great to work with. I only use sprouted spelt flour (has a small amount of gluten) for baking, sometimes adding teff flour, buckwheat, and brown rice flour. If you want to mess round with gluten free blends, by all means, but the texture will come out different depending on which gluten flour blend you are using. If you want more consistency, but want less gluten and to experiment, use half and half.
- Eating Vegan– If you learn the way I eat and get creative with your own recipes, and change up mine, then you’ll understand the food thing. Ween yourself off packaged and processed foods. Buy fruit if you’re in a bind. Always carry some fruits, nuts, and seeds in case you are hungry and can’t find anything healthy. I can’t stress enough, vegan, organic, non gmo, lots of raw foods and salads and fruits. If you are out to eat, try to see if they can custom make something healthy for you. Research healthy vegan places to eat in your area so you always have suggestions and check out their menus for ideas on vegan dishes. Always pre-make food and have stuff handy so that you don’t have to eat junk in a bind. Shop at health food stores to see what’s out there. Join vegan food pages on social media and see all the amazing things people are doing with them and the new products that you can find out about. Your tastebuds will change. You will feel better, look better, function better, and have more energy.
- Raw– I love eating raw. It cured me of my allergies. I love cooked foods too, but I make sure that I mix in raw foods, peppers, onions and spinach etc., to balance it off. The raw foods provide enzymes that are necessary to cleanly fuel your body and break everything down. An hour after my morning superfood bowl or toast, I start to eat fruit and that’s all I’ll eat for a few hours. Grapefruit, acai bowls, berries, apples, pears, kiwi, etc. Lunch is usually a big raw salad as well. If it's not always feasible, no problem, I eat out and have days where I can only get a little bit of raw food in, but try when you can.
- Protein– The protein myth is what largely contributes to the high consumption of animal products in this country. We do not need nearly as much protein as they would have us believe. You don’t need any protein powders or even need to think of it. Lentils, peas, hemp, and black beans are loaded with protein. There are lots of vegan protein powders out there used and made by top athletes that will sustain you if you feel that’s what you need.
- Top vegan sources of protein are; nuts, legumes, seeds (particularly hemp), tofu and tempeh, spinach, peas, broccoli, grains, artichokes, chick peas, spirulina, asparagus, and many more. No worries, just eat a balanced vegan diet.
- Water– Too important! Drink half your weight in ounces daily, and even more if you can! Make sure it is clean and fresh. Water (tap) can have heavy metals and fluoride that clog in your body, so do a heavy metal cleanse and take zeolite, cilantro, greens, and bladderwrack to flush those out every year or two. Adding electrolytes to your water will really help with hydrating and staving off fatigue, especially if you exercise a lot.
- Exercise– This is common sense. Start small and as you strengthen your body and core you will be able to add more and more without feeling it’s a strain. You could do dance, yoga, gym, running, stretching, martial arts, at home exercises, etc. If you go to the gym, step it up on the stairs, the weights, push yourself! Don’t leave until you are drenched with sweat. You won’t get your endorphins going unless you exercise regularly and build lean muscle tissue, which will speed up your metabolism and burn fat.
- Mind– I can’t say how important this is. Destress and prioritize, practice altruism, try new things, be open to change, engage in healthy activities and people, and work towards being a better person who thinks of others. Part of good health is taking care of yourself emotionally as well. Meditation is a great way to calm your mind.
- Extra Supplements– I could go on and on about all the supplements I’ve tried and take now. In the end, I believe healing with foods should be the focus, but supplements cannot be ruled out in addition to that. Eat healthy, raw, organic, fruits and salads, good fats, and vegan protein sources! Be careful with the supplements, take them in powders, liquids, and bulk. Even the fats I take are by the spoonful and not a capsule or tablet. Many companies use gelatin (made from horse hooves) and other fillers in their capsuling which collects residue in your body and is tough on the liver. Look for the vegan, organic, non gmo, label on supplements when buying. My favorite website to buy supplements and superfoods is Sun Foods, Sun Foods. They have lots of information on their site and all their products are of the highest quality.
Summary– Start with a candida cleanse. Change the way you eat to incorporate a balance of raw and cooked fruits, superfoods, grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and legumes. Do a whole body herbal cleanse. Take probiotics, a vegan vitamin-mineral, (take an extra vegan iron and calcium/magnesium for women), vegan essential fatty acids, coconut oil, a few superfoods, and drink lots of water. Exercise and self improvement. If you have a mild to serious ailment, I suggest doing some research on natural healing. I am open to questions and can guide you to more information.