If you spend more than two minutes on the internet at any given time, you're likely to see new health advice pop up somewhere. Some of these tricks actually do work and are more than worth your time. While others are just complete bogus. In the last 4 years I have really become passionate about health and the foods we eat. Before I had my son, I had never even read a nutrition label but now that is one of the first things I look at. However, I don't care about the calorie content as much as I do the grams of sugar and ingredients of whatever it is that i'm buying/eating. I have a very acidic body and have been diagnosed with skin cancer over 2 dozen times, so cancer is always a big worry in the back of my mind. I have noticed that since I started reading food labels and recognizing the hidden sugars added to so many foods (even fat free and gluten free foods) that I have felt so much better in knowing I'm not feeding my body unnecessary sugars that would help feed a cancer. Don't get me wrong, I will still enjoy a big chocolate chip cookie once in awhile and I may or may not have had two Reese's peanut butter eggs within the last 24 hours (I can't resist) but in general, I'm more cautious about the foods that I buy and eat. There are also a few things that I do every morning that help to remove toxins and keep my body healthy.
Okay, so I am far from a nutritionist but these are just a few things that I have learned and are tried and true.
1. Oil pulling- While oil pulling is an ancient medicinal practice (originating in India) it has just recently become quite the craze. But this isn't one of those health trends that may or may not work. It works! I have been doing oil pulling for the past 2 years and have seen major benefits from it. You can use anything from coconut oil to olive oil to sesame oil and it'll work amazingly. I even used some form of an orange oil (I bought it in Italy) and loved it. For those of you that haven't read much about oil pulling here are some of the health benefits you can expect to receive from pulling:
-Stronger gums and teeth: oil pulling literally pulls out all of the toxins that make their home inside your mouth. I have always had sensitive gums but since oil pulling and not only made my gums stronger but much much healthier.
-Whiter teeth: I use coconut oil when I pull, which naturally contains antibiotic and antiviral properties that can help clear off the gunk that build up on your teeth. Making them whiter and eliminate bad breath.
-Clear complexion: Not only can you use coconut oil topically on your face, but when you pull it helps remove toxins that could potentially enter your bloodstream, aiding in acne breakouts.
These are just a few of the amazing benefits that I personally have received from oil pulling. Interested in trying it out? Here's how:
-Oil pulling needs to be done in the morning before you brush your teeth or eat anything. You take 1T of coconut oil and put it into your mouth. You'll have to kind of chew it to get it from the solid consistency to oil. (This part may make you gag a little. I pull while in the shower, just in case. :) ) Once the oil is a liquid then you can start swishing and "pulling" the oil in between your teeth. You'll want to do it for 15-20 minutes. It sounds like a long time but it can go by fast. And if your jaw starts to get tired then you're probably swishing too quickly. Once you are done, you'll start to notice the oil becomes a frothy consistency. That's how you know it has pulled out a lot of toxins. You'll want to spit the oil out into the toilet or garbage can (it can clog drains), rinse your mouth with water multiple times then brush your teeth regularly. Do it 3-5 times a week and you'll see big results!
2. Greek Yogurt- I'm pretty sure that everyone and their mom loves Chobani greek yogurt, but if you read the nutrition label of these delicious snacks, you'll see that most of them contain anywhere from 16-20 grams of sugar. In one small serving. That's ALOT! That's more than a cup of mint ice cream which only contains 16 grams of sugar. Women in general shouldn't eat more than 25-30 grams of sugar a day and eating one of these would take up most of that. One way I have found to cut the sugar but still enjoy yummy Chobani yogurt is to buy the PLAIN greek yogurt. Not even the vanilla, just the plain.
Now, how can you make this yummy? Easy! Just had a few teaspoons of Stevia, a couple drops of natural vanilla and you've got yourself vanilla greek yogurt. With no added sugar! Also, you can add fresh fruit and recreate your favorite fruit filled Chobani. I also like to add cinnamon and dark chocolate chips for a delicious dessert.
(This obviously works with any other kind of yogurt. I just chose Chobani because it's my fave.)
3. Apple Cider Vinegar/Lemon/Warm water: I know this may sound kind of gross but it is absolutely amazing and so so good for you to do.
-helps detox the body
-balances body's pH (alkanizes body)
-promotes weight loss
-illuminates bad breath and strengthens gums
-stabilizes blood sugar
-helps break down fats for your body to use rather than store
-hydrates the lymph system
-aids in digestion
-gives a natural burst in energy
-starts your morning off right with loads of Vitamin C
Plus, many many more.
It's best to do this in the morning (after you oil pull) or a 1/2 hour before you eat anything any time of day.
Get a glass of warm water (not hot) and add a tsp of apple cider vinegar, freshly squeezed lemon juice and you can even add a tablespoon of raw honey for added sweetness. Stir and enjoy!
Here's to starting off the week healthy! What are some of your tips and tricks?