Massaged Kale with Fennel

This salad is delightfully nourishing and gives you all the benefits of kale, without the digestive distress. When you massage kale you break down some of the tough fibers in the cell wall that make raw kale hard to digest.

When I started eating healthy I couldn’t digest kale very well. It upset my digestion and I didn’t get what all the fuss was about. If this happens to you the solution is to either steam your kale or massage it. This recipe is one of my favorites because you still get all the amazing benefits of raw kale: the enzymes, magnesium, vitamin C and more.

Massaging nourishing oil and lemon juice into the kale also help make the nutrients more bioavailable and easier to assimilate. Plus, it tastes delicious and can be paired with grilled chicken or fish for a classic healthy meal.

Ingredients

1 bunch kale, chopped

1 large lemon, juiced

1 large garlic clove, minced

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

1 cup shredded carrots

1 cup chopped celery

½ cup thinly sliced fennel

¼ cup pine nuts

 

Directions

Add kale to a large mixing bowl along with lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Using clean, bare hands, massage the kale until it is wilted (about 2 to 3 minutes).

Once the kale is ready, top your salad with carrots, celery, fennel, and pine nuts. No extra dressing is needed.

If kale is something that’s hard to digest for you, there might be a deeper issue that needs to be addressed. If you want to be able to eat whatever you want and have no digestive issues, you need to check out my gut health program. These principles have truly transformed my life as well as countless others.

 

Please join me in my Facebook group, where I’ll be sharing more information, tips and recipes to help you live a happier, healthier life. Sorry men. This group is for busy moms.

 

To your wellness,

Shaline

Poll Time!!

Hi everyone! I hope you all are staying well and safe.

I am conducting a poll. What topics would you like to see discussed on my blog?

  1. Relieving stress during Coronavirus
  2. Using essential oils to help emotional health
  3. Tips to ease Exhaustion/insomnia
  4. Meal planning ideas

Thank you for taking time to answer my poll.

Stay well!

Love and light,

Shaline

 

 

 

 

4 Benefits of a Spring Detox

Spring normally brings new hopes, promotes positive vibes, and brings out blooming flowers. So, Spring usually is the best time to embark on a detox plan. In winter we feel too indulged in food and drinks and it seems nearly impossible to do a detox. But there is no such issue in spring as you are full of energy and the weather is also in your favor making the whole detox plan easier on you. You need to keep in mind that detox is not a permanent weight loss plan, it just provides a jump start towards the whole process. You would still have to plan for regular exercise and follow a healthy eating routine. Here are some reasons why you might need a detox and the benefits it will bring for you.

Why Spring Detox?

We are constantly exposed to the toxins in this modern world due to the air pollution as well as the foods we intake. Even our livestock is treated with drugs and the crops are sprayed with pesticides which pose serious threats to our health with their harmful side effects. So, it is a great idea to plan for a spring detox to get rid of all these toxins and provide a fresh start to your body for a stronger immune system and an improved blood circulation. But why spring? Well, spring represents renewal and refresh – it is the perfect season to detox your body and mind and elevate your life.

Woman Spring Flowers

Benefits of Spring Detox

A spring detox has various benefits from an improved immune system to elevated energy as well as better circulation. The list of benefits continues, we can sit here for hours to be honest. But we won’t. Instead I’ve compiled a list of quick benefits a spring detox can have in your life. Check them out!

1.     Weight Loss

If you are planning to lose some weight then the spring detox is the best way to start with. It will provide you with the perfect kick start towards your weight loss goals and help you achieve them at a faster rate. So, start off this spring to get better outcomes with improved energy levels and a quick metabolism.

2.     Elevated Energy

Speaking of energy, yes! Detoxing can increase your energy levels. This helps you to work out twice as hard and longer for better results. The more active you are, the more you move, the more you lose weight and improve your overall health.

3.     Better Digestion

There is clinical evidence that detoxing also helps greatly with the digestion. As the toxicity might lead to various health issues such as bloating, nausea, furred tongue, constipation, gas, indigestion and a toxic liver. However, all these issues can be avoided by indulging in a spring detox.

4.     Improved Immune System

A spring detox is also beneficial in improving the immune system immensely. It helps to avoid colds and the flu, blemishes, cellulite, tiredness, fatigue and puffy eyes by improving the lymphatic system. It also helps to clear the sinuses by vanishing congestion and improving the lung function. It also resolves the urinary tract issues by increasing the urine output. In other words, it improves the immune system and doesn’t let the illnesses take over.

So, go ahead with and try a spring detox and see for yourself how much it benefits your overall health and well-being!

Love and Light,

Shaline

2 Ways to Loving Your Inner Self

Are you so stressed and being a busy mom that you don’t take time to slow down and love yourself?  And do you want to make your life a happier and more peaceful one?

These two ways will help you achieve the highest level of love with your inner self and become a more confident you by using some simple techniques.

Meditation is vital for loving yourself (self-love) because it gives you quiet, alone time. Here are five meditation techniques to help you meditate and the Power of Eating Food with a high (positive) vibrational frequency.

1. Why Meditation is Vital for loving your inner self

Meditation has a positive effect on our attitude towards life because it makes us take some time to quiet our mind. This helps to soothe our nerves and make us feel stress-free. Removing the negativity of stress helps you better perceive positive vibes from others and feel happy about your life and relationships. Yoga is also effective in clearing your mind and reducing the tension of stress.

Meditation gives your immune system a boost and your mind a chance to reflect on the positive things in your life. There is a variety of meditating techniques, such as concentration meditation, which is used to focus on a single point, and mindful meditation, which is used to control wandering thoughts. Meditation can help lower your blood pressure, improve blood circulation, lower your heart rate, reduce perspiration, slow your respiratory rate, reduce anxiety and relieve stress. Meditation can also help you develop self-love in the following ways:

Meditation addresses the stress

In today’s world, stress has become our biggest enemy; it promotes negative feelings and vibes about ourselves and contributes to long-term exhaustion and mental fatigue. Meditation helps to ward off such negative thoughts by promoting a good sleep cycle, better nervous system health, and improved digestion. Meditation is great for relieving stress from your life and helping you discover and love yourself.

Mindful awareness helps us to steer clear of self-destructive habits

A meditation practice not only helps guide you into better eating habits and exercise, but it also helps you steer clear of other self-destructive habits. These can be anything from avoiding junk food to sleeping better and fending off negative thoughts. Meditation provides the mindful awareness that is required to avoid negative behaviors and maintain positive ones.

Meditation improves our self-awareness

Meditation increases your self-awareness; as a result, be become more in tune with what you should eat and how you should exercise to keep your body healthy and promote positive vibes. Practicing good self-care ultimately helps you love yourself.

Here are a few simple ways to help you start meditating:

  • Sit back or lie as comfortably as possible.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Breathe naturally; don’t try to control it.
  • Now breathe by focusing your attention on it and notice how your body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Observe how your throat, chest, and abdomen move during breathing.
  • Just notice the movement without controlling the breathing process. Start doing this for 2 to 3 minutes and then increase the duration.

Including meditation in a regular routine will also help boost your energy levels.

 

How to start meditating with 5 simple techniques including moving meditation

Here are five basic meditating techniques. Try them all, and decide which one best fits you and your lifestyle.

1.   Moving Meditation

If you don’t like sitting for long periods of time, walking meditation might be for you.  You focus on your body while moving.  While your arms and legs swing, feel them lifting and extending. Feel your feet as they rise and touch the ground. Keep your mind focused on the movements of your body instead of on other things.

2.   Breathing Meditation

Get in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and inhale slowly through your nose. Hold the breath for a few seconds, then exhale it slowly through your mouth.

3.   Mindfulness Meditation

To practice this one, your mind needs to be present in the right moment. Start by focusing on your breath and continue by feeling other sensations throughout your body.

4.   Mantra Meditation

This technique is conducted by repeating a sacred word or phrase, such as “aum.”  To bring your mind to a state of focused tranquility. You can repeat the mantra aloud or repeat it silently.

5.   Empty Mind Meditation

This meditation technique allows you to be fully aware without a specific focus. Simply sit in a peaceful place in a good posture and let your thoughts float without passing any judgment on them or lingering on any of them.

These meditation techniques are simple and effective enough to start your meditation practice or enhance your existing one.

2. The Power of Eating Food with High Vibrational Frequency

They say we are what we eat, and rightly so: food is a basic necessity and may even be one of the reasons behind making our lives great and helping us feel good about ourselves. Because we are made up of and use energy, our bodies require us to consume energy in the form of food, air, and water for sustenance and good health. To promote self-love, our inner selves require thoughts made up of positive vibrational energy. We can raise our energy vibrations by eating highly nutritious, energetic foods and eliminating unhealthy thoughts, foods, and relationships. Eating high-energy foods helps us reach a higher consciousness and better connect with our higher source. Fresh and organic foods are high in nutritional value and offer great vibrational energy benefits. Fast food and junk food, on the other hand, are of low vibrational quality and don’t add any valuable nutrients to the body. Eating high amounts of these foods can result in poor health.

To lift the energetic vibration of your food, practice gratitude and avoid negative thoughts while preparing your food. Here is a short list of high-energy foods to increase, and low-energy foods to avoid:

High-energy foods

• Fresh, certified organic fruits and vegetables
• Natural supplements, like spirulina
• Pure or filtered water — reverse osmosis or freshly collected spring water are the best choices
• Healthy oils, like olive oil and coconut oil
• Nuts and seeds
• Fermented foods
• Herbal teas
• Herbs and spices
• Raw chocolate
• Raw honey and maple syrup
• Legumes
• Grains such as buckwheat, brown rice, amaranth, and spelt

Low-Energy foods

• Genetically modified (GMO) foods, and conventional foods that have been treated with chemicals and pesticides
• White rice and flours
• Sugars and artificial sweeteners
• Coffee
• Sodas
• Alcohol
• Meat, fish, and poultry
• Processed, packaged, canned and fast foods
• Unhealthy oils, like canola, cottonseed, margarine, and vegetable oils
• Frozen foods
• Pasteurized cow’s milk, yogurt, and cheese
• Cooked foods, deep-fried foods, and microwave foods

Click here for your free downloadable guidebook.

4 Ways to Love Your Inner Self Guidebook 2

 

 

6 Ways to Support Immune Health: Does CBD Help?

Amid what is happening around the world with the Coronavirus, I wanted to re-share this blog post with you.

 

This is a stress time due to the uncertainty.  This excess stress can weaken your immune system, thus making us more susceptible to falling ill.  Fortunately, there are several preventative measures you can take to make sure you’re doing the best to maintain overall well-being.

 

CBD Health Benefits for the Immune System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is responsible for regulating most functions in the human body. One of these functions is our immune response. Cannabinoids (like CBD) interact with our ECS. When our ECS is active, it helps to aid our body in bringing itself back into balance (homeostasis). When our body is in balance, it is more likely to make sure proper immune function and regulation is occurring.

The immune system is extremely complex, and there is still much to be learned about it. We are excited to see more research being conducted about the relationship between CBD and the immune system. For now, though, it appears the ECS and CBD are very much involved in the maintenance of a properly functioning immune response.

Due to the complex nature of the immune system, there are many misconceptions when it comes to staying well as the weather changes. Let’s bust some of those myths before jumping into the best preventative measures you can take to keep sickness at bay.

 

Busting Myths About Immune Health

Many of us have heard the phrase ‘put a coat on or you’ll catch a cold!’ Although we may associate sickness with colder weather, research suggests our increase in sickness during the winter months is most likely due to spending more time indoors (to avoid the cold) and spending more time in close contact with others who may pass a virus to us.

Having busted this common misconception, let’s dive into some effective, preventative measures to keep you healthy.

 

  1. Manage stress

woman stress

Stress is the single most important factor you can manage to avoid weakening your immune system. Stress wears down our immune system rapidly, making us more likely to fall ill when we are exposed to germs.

It’s not uncommon to be stressed out, it can be a stressful time! You can help mitigate this stress by meditating, indulging in regular exercise, and practicing mindfulness. There are many various ways to manage stress, so whichever option works best based on you and your schedule is great! We’re not so concerned HOW you manage stress, we’re merely advocating for you to do so!

 

  1. Prioritize sleep (or make it better!)

woman sleeping

Our bodies repair themselves while we sleep – which is why it is so crucial to make sure we’re getting enough quality sleep. When we skip out on our regular amounts of sleep, the number of infection-fighting antibodies and cells in our bodies are reduced.

Supplementing with a CBD supplement before bed will help you relax and therefore get into a deeper sleep. There are several things you can do to ensure you get a better night’s rest, and it is in your immune system’s best interest to get quality sleep when you can.

 

  1. Support your body with herbs and supplements

herbs

It is recommended using a supplement as just that – a supplement to an already healthy lifestyle! Things, like sleeping well and managing stress, will always make a more significant impact than a supplement, but we listed a few supplements that can help boost your immunity nonetheless.

CBD

As mentioned before, CBD can be a powerful tool to help maintain balance in your body. Including CBD into your daily routine will be all-around beneficial – and will especially aid in activating your ECS and keeping you balanced this winter.

Medicinal Mushrooms (Chaga, Reishi)

Mushrooms are widely used in Eastern medicine and have been known to act as a powerful immune sidekick. Source high-quality reishi mushroom powder and try mixing it into your morning latte.

Echinacea

Echinacea has been shown to increase the number of white blood cells, which helps to fight off colds or infection. Try an herbal echinacea spray or a bag of tea that contains dried echinacea.

 

  1. Load up on healthy foods

fruit smoothie bowl

Vitamins can help an infection from even happening in the first place. If you are eating a healthy, balanced diet, then you should not need to take a supplement – the vitamins are already in the food we eat! We know there are plenty of treats around this time of year and we are not suggesting you don’t indulge (because we sure do!), but that doesn’t mean you have to completely ditch your healthy lifestyle altogether. You can still eat healthy meals in between your holiday get-togethers, and squeeze in workouts when able.

Vitamin D

Due to the decreased amount of sunshine, vitamin D is an important supplement to add to your regime. You can either purchase a high-quality vitamin D supplement or look for fortified milk and cereals.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is probably the most well-known immune booster. You can get your dose of vitamin C by eating citrus (like oranges, grapefruit, or lemon), bell peppers, kale, and broccoli.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that will help the body fight infection. You can get vitamin E from nuts (like sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, or hazelnuts), avocados, mango, and kiwi!

Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that keeps the immune system strong and aids in healing. You can find zinc in legumes, nuts, seeds, and soy products.

Prioritize eating a salad packed with vegetables, drinking a green juice, or even making your own vegetable broth before your next holiday get-together. Your immune system will thank you!

 

  1. Stay hydrated

water lime

Making sure you stay hydrated aids your body in eliminating toxins and other unwanted bacteria. Soda, alcohol, and sugary drinks are not substitutes for water; if you need to, try herbal teas or add flavorings to your water to make sure you are getting enough.

As a guideline, to be properly hydrated, our bodies need ½ of our body weight in ounces per day to stay hydrated. If you weigh 150lbs then 75oz of water daily is what you need. We know drinking that much water isn’t always possible, but 35oz of water daily is better than zero. Do your best!

 

  1. Wash your hands

 

person washing hands

One of the easiest tips of all, but we had to mention it! Thoroughly wash your hands, especially before handling food or after being in an environment with a lot of germs. (like grocery stores, doctor’s offices, hospitals, etc.)

These tips can help you avoid sickness anytime. This article is written to  show you how easy it is to integrate a wellness lifestyle into your already busy schedule. Wellness is a choice that everyone can make!

Stay well!

Shaline

 

Reference: MadebyHemp

February Recipe of the Month

I love to start each day with a positive affirmation. This is your affirmation of the month.

Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love. -Rumi

Soul Food

Think for a moment of a food from your past, one that makes you feel great after you eat it for no specific reason. Maybe it is macaroni and cheese, slow-simmered tomato sauce, ice cream cones or potato pancakes. Eating comfort foods (every now and then) can be incredibly healing, even though your rational brain might not consider it highly nutritious.

Food has the power to impact us on a level deeper than just our physical well-being. What we eat can reconnect us to precious memories, like childhood playtimes, first dates, holidays, our grandmother’s cooking or our country of ancestry. Our bodies remember foods from the past on an emotional and cellular level. Eating this food connects us to our roots and has youthening and nurturing effects that go far beyond the food’s biochemical make-up.

Acknowledging what different foods mean to us is an important part of cultivating a good relationship with food. This month when we celebrate lovers and relationships, it’s important to notice that we each have a relationship with food—and that this relationship is often far from loving. Many of us restrict food, attempting to control our weight. We often abuse food, substituting it for emotional well-being. Others ignore food, swallowing it whole before we’ve even tasted it.

What would your life be like if you treated food and your body as you would treat your beloved – with gentleness, playfulness, communication, honesty, respect and love? The next time you eat your soul food, do so with awareness and without guilt, and enjoy all the healing and nourishment it brings you.

Food Focus

kidney beans

Beans, or legumes, including peas and lentils, are an excellent source of plant-based protein. Beans are found in most traditional cultures as a staple food, offering grounding and strengthening properties that enhance endurance. They offer a highly usable and absorbable source of calcium for the body. A very inexpensive source of high nutrition, beans can be rich, delicious and satisfying,

Lack of sexual energy is often due to overtaxed adrenal glands and kidneys. Beans are known for strengthening these organs (ever noticed the shape of a bean?) and can help restore vital energy as well as sexual energy.

Beans have a reputation for causing digestive distress, but this is usually because they have been under-cooked or improperly prepared. To help reduce gas-forming properties, soak beans overnight prior to cooking, increase cooking time, add spices like bay leaf, oregano or cumin, or add kombu (a sea vegetable) when cooking.

Recipe of the Month

Easy Beans and Greens

Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes Yield: 2-3 servings

Ingredients:

1 can black beans (or pinto, red, kidney—your choice) 1 bunch collard greens (or kale, spinach—your choice) your favorite toppings, such as salsa, avocado or guacamole and sour cream.

Directions:

1. In a medium saucepan, heat drained beans. Add your favorite seasonings, if desired.

2. Fill a separate medium saucepan with 1-2 inches of water and bring to a boil.

3. Wash and chop greens (you can use the stems, too) and add to boiling water.

4. Cook for 2-3 minutes until greens are bright green and tender. Drain off water.

5. On a plate, arrange a portion of the greens, top with a portion of the beans and finish with toppings of your choice. `

Have fun trying the recipe.

Shaline

 

What to Buy in Whole Foods to Reduce Your Anxiety

While there is a ton of new studies that are starting to show that what you eat can have an effect on your anxiety, the real connection is between the food you eat and your brain. This means that when you eat certain foods, it has a calming effect on you that helps you to reduce your anxiety (the good foods). But at the same time, there are also foods that have a negative effect on your anxiety and actually make it worse (the bad foods).

While anybody can go online and find some foods that are supposedly going to help them reduce their anxiety, what foods can you go down to your local Whole Foods store and purchase today?

Here is a list of foods that you can buy from your local Whole Foods store to reduce your anxiety, and what to avoid buying, as it will only aggravate your anxiety.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

omega-3-300x210

Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the foods that you must have in your diet if you want to be healthy and happy. In fact, some will even say that Omega-3’s are brain food that will make your brain happy.

While most doctors prefer to prescribe you some type of medication to help treat your anxiety, the real answer is right in front of you; the food you eat. And when it comes to Omega-3 fatty acids, nothing can be better for your brain. So how does this relate to your anxiety?

When you lack certain nutrients (such as Omega-3 fatty acids), it will have a negative effect on your brain. In fact, it will disrupt your brain function and can even alter the chemistry and neurotransmitters in there as well. This is bad as it’s those neurotransmitters that control your mood, how you feel, and even your appetite.

walnuts-300x154

But when you add Omega-3’s to your diet, you will be giving your brain the nutrition it needs while also reducing the symptoms of anxiety.

Some of the foods that you can add to your daily diet that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids and readily available at your local Whole Foods store include:

Probiotics

Not commonly known by most, probiotics are another food that will help to calm you. While probiotics are for your gut, your gut is extremely important in the production of several neurotransmitters that include dopamine, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), and serotonin.

homemade-sauerkraut-300x200

In fact, recent research has shown that using probiotics can actually work to help you treat, and even prevent your symptoms of anxiousness.

The best ways to get more probiotics in your diet are to either take a probiotic supplement or eat/drink foods that are fermented. The process of fermentation encourages the good bacteria in your gut to grow and can help calm and prevent the symptoms of anxiety.

yogurt-in-glass-bottle-300x200

Foods that will help increase the number of probiotics in your gut that are readily available at Whole Foods include:

  • Sauerkraut
  • Kefir
  • Yogurt
  • Pickles

More Antioxidants

sweet-potato-300x154

There is a reason that foods rich in antioxidants are considered to be superfoods; they help to prevent your feelings of anxiousness. Antioxidants have been proven to protect your brain against stress, which eventually leads to inflammation. This can and will eventually affect your neurotransmitter production. What this means is that when you are in a state of lower antioxidants, you will feel more anxious more easily.

fresh-spinach-300x200

In fact, studies have shown that when you follow a diet that is rich in antioxidant foods, it will help to treat your mood issues and make you feel better more often.

fres kale-300x184

Some of the antioxidant-rich foods that you should include in the daily diet that you can easily get from Whole Foods include:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Squash
  • Fruits Rich In Vitamin C
  • Broccoli
  • Red Peppers
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Avocado
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Almonds
  • Strawberries

These are the foods that are readily available at Whole Foods stores, and that is essential if you want to support your optimal brain function.

Refined Sugars And Processed Foods Are Bad

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When it comes to processed foods and sweets, it is no big secret that they are bad for you. But did you also know that they are bad for your mental health too? You see, it’s the sugars and refined carbohydrates that are going to cause your blood sugar to spike extremely high, followed by a huge sudden drop.

While this may not sound like it’s that bad, this drop in blood sugar levels has been linked to a higher risk for depression and mood swings.

As if that weren’t bad enough, fried foods and processed meats have also been linked to a drop in your mood, as well as inflammation and heart disease. All these symptoms are linked to mental health problems, as well as anxiety.

processed-food-300x121

While these types of foods are readily available at Whole Foods stores, your best plan of action is to steer clear of any fried foods, processed meats or refined sugars.

Instead, try to shop for the more complex carbohydrates such as the ones that are found in whole grains. These are directly linked to a lower rate of mental health conditions, as well as a lower rate of anxiety.

Alcohol Is A Major Downer

While alcohol is a natural depressant, it is even worse if you suffer from anxiety. While alcohol makes you feel ‘better’ initially, it goes hand in hand with anxiety. In fact, studies have shown that if you suffer from social anxiety, you are 4.5 times more likely to be more dependent on alcohol.

Avoid-Alcohol-Anxiety-300x171

Drinking alcohol may seem to calm you down, but what it does to your body is cause massive spikes and then dips in your blood sugar levels. On top of that, it also dehydrates you, impairs your brain’s ability to function, and causes even more anxious feelings than if you didn’t drink anything at all. It is a vicious cycle when it comes to alcohol.

When it comes to what you should buy from Whole Foods to reduce your anxiety, there are many good things that you can use to help your situation. But at the same time, there are also some foods that you should stay away from as they are only going to aggravate your anxiety symptoms.

Just be sure that you maintain a healthy diet and buy the good foods that are going to help lessen your anxiety symptoms when you are shopping at Whole Foods, and you will be fine.

This article by Madeleine Taylor is originally published at SundayScaries.

CBDa: More Than Just the Precursor to CBD?

CBDa-front-cover

Would you consider eating a hemp leaf? It sounds very natural, but early research suggests that compounds in the raw cannabis plant may provide distinct health benefits. One of these compounds is cannabidiolic acid (CBDa), the precursor to the well-known cannabidiol (CBD) compound. 

In a natural state, the hemp plant contains over 85 active compounds called cannabinoids. These compounds are secreted in a sticky resin through the trichomes (glands) of the cannabis plant. 

When the hemp plant is processed, cannabinoids can be changed or removed. The final hemp product can contain one cannabinoid or all the available cannabinoids depending on how it is manufactured. 

Environmental factors such as heat, air, and light can also affect what cannabinoids are present in the plant. Cannabinoids levels will vary slightly between each plant—even those that are grown right next to one another! 

With the amount of emphasis that is placed on CBD, it may be surprising to learn that the raw hemp plant contains very little CBD. Instead, it contains an abundance of CBDa (the ratio is about 95% CBDa to 5% CBD at the highest.) 

CBDA-precursor-cbd_2a

Through a process called decarboxylation, CBDa is heated to break down the acidic form. What is left is referred to as “activated” CBD (cannabinoids in their acidic form have been considered “inactive”.) CBDa also converts to CBD naturally by way of time and heat. 

We are familiar with CBD because of its therapeutic potential. In the past, CBD has been viewed as the more “important” cannabinoid and manufacturers have intentionally converted CBDa into CBD. Today, most CBD products are decarboxylated and contain little CBDa. 

CBDa: More Than Just the Precursor to CBD? 

Researchers are finding the “inactive” status of CBDa may not be entirely accurate. The compound provides its own set of benefits that are still being uncovered. 

As of now, there has been far less research on CBDa than CBD. So far, all studies are at the preclinical stage, meaning they are carried out on cell cultures or animal models. In preclinical studies, CBDa has been studied for the treatment of nausea, inflammation, and epilepsy. The results are significant enough that further research is being explored. 

Like CBD, CBDa is non-intoxicating. However, CBDa is used by the body differently than CBD. Studies suggest that CBDa may not interact with the endocannabinoid system; rather, CBDa affects other non-endocannabinoid receptors and enzymes. 

If you are interested in the specific benefits of CBDa, we suggest performing a quick Google search for the preclinical studies. As of now, FDA regulations prevent us from presenting the specifics regarding research. 

 

CBDA-precursor-cbd_3

Which is Better: CBD or CBDa? 

There is no one “best” cannabinoid; however, there are cannabinoids that have been more thoroughly studied. To determine which cannabinoids are best suited for your situation, we recommend researching the benefits of each. 

Oftentimes, it is a combination of cannabinoids that suit our bodies best. During what is known as the entourage effect, compounds such as cannabinoids and terpenes work with one another to produce an effect greater than the compound alone. It is suggested that taking CBD and CBDa together may provide more benefit than taking the compounds alone. 

As of now, research is attentive to CBD and the market will reflect such. As more research is conducted on CBDa, we predict to see a greater emphasis on this cannabinoid. 

 

This article originally appeared on MadeByHemp.com

6 Most Dangerous Excitotoxins

Processed foods remain loaded with excitotoxins which can lead to health issues.

 

First, what is the definition of excitotoxins? Excitotoxins are a class of chemicals (usually amino acids) that overstimulate neuron receptors. Neuron receptors allow brain cells to communicate with each other, but when they’re exposed to excitotoxins, they fire impulses at such a rapid rate that they become exhausted.

Know Your Food

Despite public outcry, processed foods remain loaded with excitotoxins, all of which have been linked to brain cell death, migraines, seizures, ADD/ADHD, heart palpitations, tremors, infertility, problems with sexual development, violent behaviors, and hormonal disorders. Here’s a list of the 6 most dangerous excitotoxins you need to avoid.

1. MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)

This salt form of glutamate, or glutamic acid, has been known to trigger headaches for decades. It is also known as Chinese Restaurant Syndrome. Glutamate easily crosses the blood-brain barrier, stimulating cell receptors that triggers cell death. While the body naturally produces glutamate when needed to trigger cell termination, flooding the body with dietary glutamate can seriously disrupt normal cellular function, especially in the brain. Avoid foods with MSG, but don’t think food is MSG-free just because you don’t see it in the ingredients list.  MSG also may appear under these names:

  • Natural flavor(s)
  • Flavoring
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • Autolyzed protein
  • Plant Protein
  • Textured Protein
  • Yeast extract
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Carrageenan
  • Anything with glutamate

These ingredients always contain processed free glutamic acid:

  • Glutamic acid (E 620)
  • Glutamate (E 620)
  • Monosodium glutamate (E 621)
  • Monopotassium glutamate (E 622)
  • Calcium glutamate (E 623)
  • Monoammonium glutamate (E 624)
  • Magnesium glutamate (E 625)
  • Natrium glutamate
  • Yeast extract
  • Anything “hydrolyzed”
  • Any “hydrolyzed protein”
  • Calcium caseinate,  Sodium caseinate
  • Yeast food, Yeast nutrient
  • Autolyzed yeast
  • Gelatin
  • Textured protein
  • Soy protein, soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate
  • Whey protein, whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate
  • Vetsin
  • Ajinomoto

These ingredients often contain or produce processed free glutamic acid:

  • Carrageenan (E 407)
  • Bouillon and broth
  • Stock
  • Any “flavors” or “flavoring”
  • Maltodextrin
  • Citric acid, Citrate (E 330)
  • Anything “ultra-pasteurized”
  • Barley malt
  • Pectin (E 440)
  • Protease
  • Anything “enzyme modified”
  • Anything containing “enzymes”
  • Malt extract
  • Soy sauce
  • Soy sauce extract
  • Anything “protein fortified”
  • Anything “fermented”
  • Seasonings

The following ingredients are suspected of containing or creating sufficient processed free glutamic acid to serve as MSG-reaction triggers in highly sensitive people:

  • Corn starch
  • Corn syrup
  • Modified food starch
  • Lipolyzed butter fat
  • Dextrose
  • Rice syrup
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Milk powder
  • Reduced fat milk (skim; 1%; 2%)
  • Most things low fat or no fat
  • Anything “Enriched”
  • Anything Vitamin enriched

Note: “E” numbers are use in Europe in place of food additive names.

The following ingredients work synergistically with MSG to enhance flavor.  If they are present for flavoring, so is MSG.

  • Disodium 5’-guanylate (E 627)
  • Disodium 5’-inosinate (E-631)
  • Disodium 5′-ribonucleotides (E 635)

2. Aspartate

Aspartate, or aspartic acid, acts very similarly to glutamate. This non-essential amino acid triggers NMDA receptors in cells, another of the cellular receptors used to initiate cell death. Most humans receive aspartate through consuming aspartame, an artificial sweetener often hidden in many processed foods. It has been linked with serious neurological effects such as headaches, sleep disorders, and seizures. Aspartame comes in the form of Nutrasweet.

3. Domoic Acid

Another non-essential amino acid, domoic acid occurs naturally in shellfish. Excessive overconsumption has shown to lead to the development of epilepsy, especially in the elderly. [5] If you’re a seafood eater, pick wild-caught varieties of fish like salmon, trout, and tuna. This way you are receiving your omega-3 fatty acids without the excitotoxins and pollutants common in shellfish and farm-raised seafood.

4. L-BOAA

Also known as ODAP, this protein is another excitotoxin that behaves in similar manner as glutamate. It naturally occurs in the grass pea and similar plant species. Overexposure to grass pea and L-BOAA leads to neurolathyrism, a disorder that affects motor skills and movement and can lead to paralysis.

5. Cysteine

Cysteine is industrially created by hydrolysis of human hair and poultry feathers. This excitotoxin is important for artificial flavor creation. It reacts with sugars in a process known as the Maillard reaction, resulting in meaty and savory flavors. High cysteine levels are associated with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

6. Casein

This protein compound occurs in cheese at naturally high levels. 20% of casein is glutamic acid which makes for a tasty treat; however, it also increases glutamate overload. Casein is often used by food producers to improve flavor, although it is also frequently used to increase protein levels in fitness products.

Conclusion

Excitotoxins (MSG, aspartame, and cysteine) have been linked to adverse effects. Some of these may be irreversible. Some people have reported allergic reactions like hives, shortness of breath, and rashes. Others have reported the well-known MSG headache, as well as rapid heartbeat and stomach cramping. The most serious reactions involve depression and paranoia.

Have you had a reaction to MSG or any of these excitotoxins? Please share your experience so we can better understand the dangers of these ingredients.

 

Sources

https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/6-dangerous-excitotoxins/

https://www.realfoodwholehealth.com/2011/05/excitotoxins-msg-and-hidden-names/

https://www.truthinlabeling.org/hiddensources.html

Top 10 Endocrine Disruptors to Avoid

We are exposed to endocrine disruptors everyday. Endocrine disruptors like BPA and phthalates lurk in everything from cleaning products to fragrances.So, what are the top endocrine disruptors to avoid? Here is a list of the ones you should completely avoid.

1. Organophosphate Pesticides

These pesticides are sprayed on food to kill common pests. Pesticide residue on vegetables and fruits are one of the most common ways we consume these dangerous chemicals. Organophosphate pesticides have been shown to cause infertility in men, slow brain development in children, and have even been shown to affect thyroid function. Try to choose organic when purchasing food to avoid these pesticides.

2. 17α-Ethynylestradiol

17α-Ethynylestradiol is a synthetic form of estrogen and the only one that remains active when taken orally. Currently, this synthetic hormone can be found in all forms of oral birth control. Studies have shown that it promotes breast cancer complications and cell proliferation. Even the US government has acknowledged its dangerous effects.

3. Fire Retardants (PBDEs)

PBDEs, or polybrominated diethyl ethers, disrupt thyroid function by blocking the uptake of iodine, eventually taking its place in the thyroid. Because of this action, they also mimic and disrupt thyroid hormones. PBDEs have been linked to lower IQ and are proven to negatively affect neural and physical development in children and developing infants.

4. Phthalates

Phthalates are added to plastics to aid durability and flexibility. Their negative health effects have been constantly reported in various studies all across the world. Phthalates can easily leach into water and bottled water is subject to contamination. Research has confirmed that phthalates inhibit sperm cell development. They’re also linked to obesity, diabetes, and thyroid conditions. Always store foods and liquids in glass whenever possible.

plastic containers

5. BPA

BPA is everywhere: Food cans, plastic bottles, cell phone protectors, and even water pipes may contain BPA. BPA has even been found on store receipts and can be absorbed through the skin on contact. According to government research, ninety-three percent of Americans have detectable levels of BPA in their bodies. BPA has been tied to obesity, breast cancer, early-onset puberty, cardiovascular disease, and reproductive problems. Choose BPA-free storage containers and, again, use glass whenever possible. The science varies on how much of a risk these combined exposures pose in everyday life, but recent research shows even very low-dose exposures can be significant.

6. Perchlorate

Perchlorate can be found in rocket fuel, explosives, fireworks, and fertilizers. This common environmental chemical noticeably disrupts thyroid function. Similarly to PBDEs, perchlorate replaces iodine in the thyroid and leads to decreased thyroid activity. Symptoms of decreased thyroid activity include weight gain, poor energy, and depression. Water contains the highest concentrations of perchlorate. The best solution to prevent damage from this endocrine disruptor is to ensure you are getting enough iodine. A high-quality water filter may also help filter out perchlorate.

7. Arsenic

This element naturally occurs deep within the earth’s crust, but can also be released through mining and industrial activities and find its way to water sources.  Exposure to arsenic can result in insulin resistance, immune system suppression, slowed cognitive development, cardiovascular damage, and weight gain/loss. The best way to protect against arsenic is to install a water filter that specifically removes arsenic. Arsenic is found in foods like brown rice. It’s best to buy basmatic brown rice. It has less arsenic.

non stick pan

8. Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs)

It’s estimated that 99% of Americans have PFC accumulation in their bodies. PFCs are commonly used to make non-stick pans. During cooking, some of these chemicals escape into your food and accumulate in your body. PFCs disrupt hormone function and have been tied to infertility, ineffective sperm, heart disease, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, and low birth-weight in babies. One study confirmed PFCs, especially PFOA and PFHxS, negatively affect thyroid hormone levels. Avoid non-stick cookware.

9. Mercury

Mercury is toxic and dangerous to pregnant women and their babies. It’s will bind with a hormone essential to menstruation and ovulation. Mercury also attacks the pancreas to affect insulin production. Suffice to say – avoid mercury! Reducing seafood consumption may be one of the best solutions to reduce mercury intake; unfortunately, fish is no longer the only concern. The new compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) light bulbs contain dangerous levels of mercury. In fact, if one of these light bulbs break, evacuation is recommended.

10. Dioxin

The US government recognizes dioxin as an endocrine disruptor. Dioxin, a byproduct of industrial processes, can create issues such as heart disease, diabetes, reduced fertility, poor sperm activity and low sperm counts, embryo development interference, and spontaneous miscarriage. Meats and other food products which contain animal products provide the majority of exposure to Americans. It accumulates in fat and can remain for years.

Other endocrine disruptors

Other chemicals that are known endocrine disruptors include diethylstilbestrol (the synthetic estrogen DES), dioxin-like compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDT, and some other pesticides.

 

What Can You Do?

Although it may be difficult, it is possible to take steps to avoid endocrine disruptors. If you eat meat or fish, choose organic, free-range, or wild sources. Buy fresh, organic produce as much as possible, and choose glass for food storage. Ask your physician or nutritionist, if you need to take an iodine supplement to protect your thyroid. It is suggested that regular cleansing helps remove toxin accumulation.

You may remember learning in your biology class that your body is run by a network of hormones and glands that regulate everything you do. When thinking about the endocrine system, in the context of puberty, but it actually plays a major role in all phases of development, metabolism, and behavior.

Synthetic chemicals in products like plastics and fragrances can mimic hormones and interfere with or disrupt your delicate endocrine system. We’re exposed to these chemicals daily, and we’re especially vulnerable to them during phases of accelerated development…before and during childhood. “We have very tight windows of when, say, our brain and liver are made,” explains Kristi Pullen Fedinick, an NRDC staff scientist. “When a hormone-disrupting chemical gets in the way during these windows, it can change the ways these processes happen. The change is often irreversible.”

So, is there any good news? Yes, while NRDC works to get better safeguards in place, there are ways you can try to steer clear of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Here’s how.

mother chlld washing hands

1. Wash your hands

If you follow just one piece of advice from this list, make it this small, easy thing: Wash your hands frequently (avoiding fragranced and antibacterial soaps), and always before eating. You’ll rinse a substantial amount of chemical residue down the drain.

vacuum-cleaner-carpet-cleaner-housework

2. Dust and vacuum often

Even though they’re linked to hormone disruption (and cancer, too), flame retardant chemicals are used in many common household products. Research shows that these chemicals escape from electronics, couches, and baby products and collect in your household dust. Most families don’t have the budget to replace all these items with flame-retardant-free versions; however, we all can afford to keep our house clean by dusting with a damp cloth and using a vacuum with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter, which traps small particles of dust instead of blowing them around the house. You’ll also reduce your exposure to other chemicals that can accumulate in your home, like lead (in older buildings), phthalates, and fluorinated chemicals.

dry brush epsom salt

3. Turn up your nose at fragrances

The word fragrance on a label signifies a mix of potentially hundreds of ingredients, and the exact formulas of most companies claim are trade secrets. And we do know that phthalates is one class of chemicals typically found in fragrance and can disrupt hormones. Fortunately, fragrance isn’t necessary for a product to function well or be effective. Choose fragrance-free creams, cleaning products, and laundry detergents. And check ingredient labels to find out where else fragrance lurks; it can show up in unexpected places, such as diapers or garbage bags. And check so-called essential oils that actually have fragrance oils.

For safer ways of freshening your indoor air, open windows, use fans, and empty smelly trash cans and litter boxes instead of trying to cover them up. You can also turn to natural odor-busters like fresh flowers on the kitchen counter, citrus peels in the garbage disposal, or an open box of baking soda in the fridge.

4. Think twice about plastics

You can’t eliminate all plastic, but you can take some easy steps to reduce your plastic use. Swap plastic food storage containers with glass or stainless steel; if you do keep plastic ones, don’t use them to store fatty foods, and never microwave them. Replace plastic baggies with reusable lunch bags, and plastic cling wrap with beeswax-coated cloth. Choose hard wood blocks and cotton baby dolls over plastic ones. In short, anytime you’re in the market for something plastic, research whether safer alternatives exist.

5. Say “no can do” to cans

Canned foods can make meal prep a breeze, but those cans are likely lined with BPA to keep them from corroding. Even though cans labeled as “BPA-free” may use a similar chemical that hasn’t been proved any safer, according to a study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Choosing fresh, frozen, or dried foods (like beans) that aren’t packaged in cans is a smart preventive measure. Aseptic “brick” cartons or glass packaging are both better than cans.

salmon-dish-food-meal

6. Watch what you eat

Certain pesticides have been linked to hormone disruption. Eat organic food as much as you can afford to. If your food budget is tight, choose conventionally grown foods known to have the least amount of pesticide residue. As a general rule of thumb, try to eat food that is as close to whole as possible, i.e. a whole roasted chicken instead of processed chicken nuggets. When you can, avoid food packaging. And consider how you prepare food, as well. EDCs can hide in nonstick pots and pans, so cook in stainless steel or cast iron instead.

7. Filter your tap water

Drinking tap water out of a glass will reduce your exposure to BPA and other chemicals in cans and plastic bottles. But tap water can contain a slew of its own potential hormone disruptors, including residue from birth control pills, according to NRDC’s Drinking Water Project. Running water from the tap through an NSF-certified water filter can, when properly installed and maintained, decrease the level of some endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

8. Rethink kids’ cosmetics

Even though children don’t need cosmetics, there’s a whole slew of kid-related lotions, potions, bubbles, polishes, glosses, and glitters on the market. These can contain a number of EDCs (not to mention chemicals linked to cancer, asthma, and skin irritation) that make them smell good, glide on smoothly, and be otherwise irresistible to kids. Just say no, and leave that perfect baby skin alone!

Check the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. A rule of thumb, the fewer products you use with the least amount of ingredients, the better.

9. Clean smarter

While “cleaning,” many of us actually introduce indoor air pollutants into our homes in the form of harsh chemical products. It’s difficult (and often impossible) to know what chemicals any given cleaning product contains because companies aren’t required to list the ingredients on the label. To encourage transparency and safer products, buy from companies that voluntarily disclose their ingredients and look for the Safer Choice label. You can also easily make your own cleaners from safe household staples like vinegar, borax, and baking soda.

10. Speak out

Tell companies, agencies, and policy makers that we need systems in place to make sure that toxic chemicals like EDCs, phthalates, and fluorinated chemicals stay out of our food, water, or homes in the first place.

 

Healthy Alternatives

Good news! There are more companies that offer eco-friendly products. Some of these companies are:

Skin Care, Bath, and Cosmetics: Beautycounter

Essential Oils/Household Cleaning Products: Young Living, doTERRA

Cookware: Saladmaster

 

Sources

Global Healing Center

NRDC

 

 

About the Author

Shaline Miller is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach specializing in Women’s Hormone Health. Shaline has on-going issues with her gut, thyroid, and liver and incorporates whole foods, yoga, to keep these issues in check.