Posts tagged garlic

Ultimate Guide to Staying Healthy in the Colder Months by Herbal Papaya

Ultimate Guide to Staying Healthy in the Colder Months by Herbal Papaya

http://www.herbalpapaya.com

The colder months provide us with a certain nostalgia, of changing foliage and winter wonderland memories. Don’t let this cold season be tainted with feeling less than your best.

As the weather gets colder and more friends start getting the flu, it’s time to take a step back and look into what we should be doing for our own health this holiday season.

You may hear time and time again that your body is a temple and you should treat it as such, but have you taken the time to think about what that means for your busy lifestyle?

The following tips for staying healthy in the colder months may come as obvious to you, but really think about if you do in fact focus on these parts of your health every week. Sometimes we need a simple reminder in the form of a blog post to get us back on track and thinking about putting our health first.

You’ll notice that this guide to staying healthy is not just about nutrition, although that’s a big part of it. Health begins with a balance of wellness in both the mind and body.

If you’re eating nutritious food but constantly stressed about little things at work, you will not reach your full healthy potential. Likewise, if you’re starting to exercise everyday but never getting enough sleep at night, you probably won’t feel at all energized or happy the next day.

Read through this list, take it in, and start to realize how interconnected every aspect of our mind and body are in terms of health. Try to hit each one of these goals for a month straight and see if you notice a difference in how you feel. It may seem like a lot of different aspects to focus on right now, but once you get into the habit, you will thank yourself later.

Hydration is Key

Hydration, hydration, hydration…hydration. The fact is, it’s hard for the average person to stay properly hydrated throughout the day, to reach that impossible 8 glasses of water.

The best advice I can give you is it’s all about making it a habit. When you wake up, have a glass of water with your morning coffee. Before you go to bed at night, drink a glass of water. Instead of reaching for that coke at lunchtime, you guessed it, reach for water instead.

Some people have a hard time enjoying the taste (or lack thereof) of water. If you’re one of those, opt for sparkling flavored water or hot tea.

Goal: Stay conscious of how much water your getting a day, and always try to one up yourself until you reach your personal goal of water intake.

Focus on a Nutritious Diet

The winter can be the hardest time to have a nutritious diet, there are so many indulgences around this time of the year it’s very easy to slip into bad habits.

Instead of the the warm comfort foods or canned overly-salted soups that are taunting you, try making your own soups and stews from home with fresh winter vegetables that have a high amount of vitamins and nutrients. Sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, and beetroot are all great winter vegetables to try in a soup.

It’s great if your diet also includes plenty of legumes, wholegrains, nuts and seeds, and uses a lot of herbs and spices to round it out.

Try to eliminate sugar as much as possible – I realize this is easier said than done with the giant more chocolate popping up in the grocery store these days.

Goal: Try to go a whole month with little to no sugar in your diet (before Christmas!) and make 2 new homemade soups with delicious winter vegetables.

Exercise Regularly

There’s no doubt about it, it’s hard to exercise regularly as it starts getting colder outside. Your body’s natural response is to curl up under mountains of blankets and watch Netflix marathons while sipping hot cocoa.

I get it, I really do, but you have to start thinking about your body too! If it’s more attractive, think of moving your exercise indoors where it’s warmer. At the gym, or at home with weights, or a yoga mat and your ability to do jumping jacks. Whatever will keep you moving, do that.

If you’re more of the runner type or still want to spend time moving around outdoors, make sure to spend extra time warming up your joints inside to avoid any unnecessary strains or discomforts.

Goal: Exercise 3x a week for 1-2 hours at a time. If you’re feeling adventurous, try out a few different types of exercise – both indoors and outdoors – to see what motivates you the most.

Reduce Stress

Stress takes everything happy out of your life and puts it into a pinhole perspective of negativity. And ironic enough, the most stressful time of the year is usually around the holidays.

A small amount of stress can be good and keep you motivated to do what you need to get done. For the most part; however, stress is a very, very bad thing to give into.

Some of us lead much more stressful lives than others, usually depending on our socioeconomic status or our careers. Regardless of your amount of stress in life, there are always ways to at least try to reduce it or combat it completely. A lot of those de-stressing tactics use the idea of mindfulness.

Taking a step back to survey your life and the root of your stress, can be incredibly successful in making you realize either how unimportant that stressful item is in the scheme of things, or how unhelpful stress is in working through the issue.

Goal: Take up a mindfulness hobby this month – whether that be yoga, meditation, or singing away your blues in the shower. Whatever works for your personality and gets you out of your stress bubble.

Get Enough Sleep

This is such an important tip to follow in life, and one that’s hard to adhere to sometimes in our busy lives. Sleep allows your body to recover and renew.

Similar to an iPhone that’s low on battery charge and stressing you out with the chance it could shutdown on you, your body can get overwhelmed mentally and physically a lot quicker with a lack of sleep.

Everybody is different in the amount of sleep you need, and it also depends on how active you are on a day-to-day basis. In general, it’s best to set aside 7-9 hours of sleep a night for your body to rest and feel good the next day.

Goal: For the next month, never dip below 7 hours of sleep. Download an app such as SleepCycle onto your phone, which records your sleep patterns and gives you insight on how your sleep could be better depending on your lifestyle.

Wash Your Hands

You may think this as a way too obvious recommendation, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into a public bathroom stall, heard the stall door open next to me and footsteps echoing out the door without a squeeze of soap or a hint of water spilled from the faucet.

That my friends, is what I call gross. And more importantly, unsanitary. So many germs are spread from not washing our hands before cooking, after taking out the trash, and yes, even after using the bathroom.

Take that extra minute to let the tap warm up and use hot soapy water to wash your hands properly.

Goal: This should be a life goal – always wash you hands after using the bathroom. That goes for you too, guys!

Boost Immunity

Although a nutritious diet is one of the most important gifts you can give to your body, sometimes you need an extra little kick in immunity as well. We’ve talked a lot on this blog about how you can boost immunity and why it’s important to do so.

Immunity makes your body strong to fight against those viruses and seasonal attacks that can be so nasty once they get inside your body.

However, there are a variety of ways you can go about boosting your immunity depending on your preference. Echinacea, garlic, vitamin C, and zinc are also great for supporting a healthy immune system, whether you decide to take supplements or find them in fresh foods.

It could also be the time to start thinking about getting that flu shot if you haven’t already yet.

Goal: Focus on boosting your immunity once a day through herbal tea, food that contains one of the immune boosting elements above, or through a daily supplement.

Stay in Contact With Loved Ones

Don’t you always feel a rush of contentment or happiness after a long catch-up on the phone with a friend/mom/dad/you name it that you really love?

How about when you get a surprise postcard in the mail from your daughter who’s living across the country right now? How about just making a house call to your grandma who lives down the street?

Again, with busier and busier lives in the modern age, we sometimes push these interactions to the side and justify it by saying we’ll see them at the holiday.

Not only is life short and we’ll never truly know how much time we have with our loved ones, but these interaction provide you with a type of social proof and acceptance that makes you feel part of a community. This is very important to our mental wellbeing as humans.

In other words, these connections make you feel loved and respected, they tend to make you have a positive outlook on life, and thus provide you with a healthy mindset. Plus, it never hurts to make other around you feel nice and fuzzy inside.

Goal: Send a few handmade notes in the mail this month to people you respect and love, just to say hi and let them know you’re thinking of them.

Surround Yourself with Natural Light

Did you know that on average about 4 to 6 percent of people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD? Up to 10 to 20 percent of people can have a mild version of it, and SAD is also four times more common in women than it is in men.

There are a few ways to combat this type of seasonal depression, but one of the best ways is through light therapy. You can do this by purchasing a light box and/or surrounding yourself in places that provide a lot of natural lighting.

I’m attracted to places with a lot of natural light because I know it makes me feel happy, whether that be in a new cafe or the apartment that I choose to lease. I’m not the minority in thinking this way either, natural light has proven to be effective it making people feel content, happy, productive, and even inspired creatively.

Unfortunately, with the colder months and the lessening sunshine, natural light isn’t always possible or easily accessible. When this happens, try out a light box and see if it makes a difference in your overall wellbeing this winter.

Goal: Find a new cafe to go to in the morning that has great natural light, and notice if it makes you feel overall more happy when you start your day there.

– – – – – – – –

As I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, our happiness and wellbeing our interlinked by a multitude of aspects in life pertaining to our health. I hope you’ll try out a few of these tips and notice a difference this holiday season in your energy levels and health.

As Andy Williams once said, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”. Don’t let poor health spoil a time meant for appreciating your family, friends, and the little things in life that make us happy.

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How to Cure a Cold Quickly – by Frederic Patenaude

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How to Cure a Cold Quickly by Frederic Patenaude

Last week, I got sick with a pretty nasty bug! Thankfully, I managed to recover very quickly using a counterintuitive method I’ll talk about in a moment.

I found that following a high-raw, plant-based diet has improved my immunity. I rarely get sick with the cold or flu. I also work from home and don’t get exposed to the big melting pot of viruses being passed along in offices.

But last week, I got hit hard!

It all started when I picked up a friend from the airport, who had just spent two months in Morocco. She was coughing her lungs out for hours during the car ride but told me it was because of exposure to second-hand smoke during her trip. Well… I should have known better.

The very next day, I started getting the typical symptoms of a pretty nasty cold: a sore throat, headache, slightly elevated body temperature, fatigue.

Under normal circumstances, I would have stayed home and rested.

But it turned out that next day was December 24th, and I had, of course, a big Christmas Eve dinner and party with my family. So I stayed up late, which made my symptoms worse.

So I decided to put my healing into high gear. Without going into all the details, I fasted through the night for 36 hours on water only.

And then I was fully back in action the next day, feeling better than ever.

I’m glad I didn’t listen to the standard advice to “Starve a fever and feed a cold.”

Most people drag colds for at least 7 to 10 days. I think that’s because they’re not taking the time to rest and let their body heal.

Fasting helps the body direct its energies on healing rather than digestion.

What’s the best way to get rid of a cold quickly?

So many remedies exist… from rum mixed with honey to oregano oil and garlic.

But the best remedy is to give your body plenty of REST and if you can, fast for a day or two on water only. If you must, drink vegetable broth (no sodium) or vegetable juice, but no fruit or sugar.

An old saying goes like this “the untreated cold lasts seven days and the treated cold lasts a week.”

We always get better from a cold in SPITE of our remedies rather than because of them. Mostly, they work as psychological support more than anything else.

However, from personal experience, I remain convinced that water fasting accelerates healing vs. “feeding the cold.” An alternative to fasting would be to eat only vegetables.

Fasting is truly one of the best natural “cures.” That’s why I want to explore this topic fully next year.

Anyway, I’m glad to be back in action so quickly (thanks to the fast!) and next time you need a ride from the airport, make sure you’re not bringing a Moroccan virus with you! 😉
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Company Review: Farmhouse Culture – Fine Fermented Foods

Farmhouse Culture Raw, Organic and Fresh refrigerated fermented Krauts and Kimchis in business since 2009

Tagline from their website: “We make the best darn kraut on the planet by infusing regional organic ingredients with wildly imaginative flavor profile.”

At the Natural Product Expo in Anaheim, CA I always find great new products to share with my readers and this company is definitely one of them. There are so many things to see and there is not enough time to see it all. I am glad I found this one. I love sauerkraut/fermented foods because it is yummy and also is great for your “gut” health. Our intestinal flora needs to be continually renewed and cultured food is a way to do it right! I would rather eat food then take a pill. It also helps if you are dealing with any issues of gluten/celiac (which we probably all have, even if we do not get tested) because it has to do with inflammation in the colon and high quality fermented foods help a lot!

When I tasted the krauts from Farmhouse Culture, I wanted more. They are so good and the flavors are so unique. Even more then that, is their packaging. It is not in a jar, as with most companies, they actually use a pouch that does not leach harmful chemicals (no BPA’s, PVC plasticizers or phthalates). It is commonly used in Europe and this company is the first to use it. What makes it special is the patented Ferment-O-Vent which releases the buildup of pressure without harmful bacteria entering and allows the healthful micro-organisms room to grow. Also, the pouch gas a lower carbon footprint and takes less energy to produce and transport then glass.

My Review

Overall impression: Love the colorful packaging/stand-up pouches with the peek-a-boo windows to see what is inside. All the products are great! It depends on your taste buds and how much “heat” you can handle whether you would try/like the spicier krauts and kimchi. I live the unique flavors/ingredients used as it perks up/excites your palate!

Krauts

1- Garlic Dill Pickle

This is my all time favorite! #1 for me! It reminds me of Gus Pickles, a company on the Lower East Side of NY where I used to go as a child with my Dad and siblings to get fresh pickles out of the barrels. This is better because it is organic, too. It is so good, I could eat the whole bag. I also love dill and the flavor is great! This is another really good one if you do not want a spicy kraut.

2- Ginger Beet

This is my 2nd favorite! I love the color of this product. It is also high in Vitamin C. Be careful because it may stain you since it has the red color from the beets. Since it is fermented, it actually smells like cooked beets. It also has ginger, which is warming to the body and has medicinal benefits. This flavor is very good and it not too strong for me to handle like the chili and jalepeño in the other products.

3- Classic Caraway

This is my 3rd favorite! This is really good with only a few ingredients. It is simply delicious. For those of you who do not want a spicy sauerkraut, this is a great option. They carry it in a larger pouch, 22 oz size, as it is probably one of the most popular and perhaps was their first product sold.

4- Horseradish Leek

This is my 4th favorite! High in Vitamin C and A. I am familiar with horseradish, as I eat it on Passover, called “marror” or bitter herbs. I like this flavor and it does not taste bitter to me. It has a slight “bite” and not overly strong where I can not eat it.

5- Smoked Jalapeño

This is my 5th favorite! High in Vitamin C. It has daikon radish which is a very good food for the body. It is known to “cut the fat” when eating fatty/oily animal foods – you would grate it finely and eat with your meal. It is also used medicinally – the greens are dried for a hip bath for feminine issues, the radish is also sun-dried and used in cooking. This flavor was spicy for me – hot! It is tasty and flavorful and has a nice crunch. After a short while I got used to it and wasn’t too hot for me.

Kimchi

Spicy Wakame Ginger

This is my 6th favorite! it is high in Vitamin C. It has wakame seaweed which is used in Japanese culture, mostly in miso soup and helps get rid of heavy metal toxicity in the body and high in minerals. It also has ginger which is warming and medicinal to the body. This one was Very Hot for me! The chili powder is more powerful in the heat index then is jalepeño, in my opinion. It is super intense and still is good. The way I can handle it, is by eating a little hit at a time.

Farmhouse Culture - Fine Fermented Foods

Farmhouse Culture – Fine Fermented Foods

Farmhouse Culture - Raw, Organic  Krauts and Kimchi

Farmhouse Culture – Raw, Organic Krauts and Kimchi

To check out more about this great company, their awesome products and where to buy them, go to: http://www.farmhouseculture.com

Also check out my youtube channel for a video review of all these products that I do a tasting of: http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal

Disclaimer: I was not sponsored to write this, but I did receive a sample of the product(s). These are strictly my opinions. I only review products that I, myself would use and purchase.

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Company Review: Raw O.N.E. Food – Raw, Organic Savory and Sweet Snacks

Raw O.N.E.(Organic/Nutritious/Enriching)Food company began in 2009

When I go shopping (such as to Whole Foods, in this case), I usually look around for new products that I could perhaps review. That is how I found this one. Of course, I do my research first and after looking at the product in the store, I spend some time on the website looking through the products and what the purpose is for what the company is doing. I have very high standards as to what I am willing to review and share with my readers. If there happens to be something that I feel does not go along with my principles then I will not even give it a second thought. I have even removed previous reviews I have done for companies because they had added new products with ingredients that are highly toxic to the body. I do not want to no will I ever be willing to give in for any price, even though I get samples of the products and the people are very nice.
I am happy 🙂 to say that Raw O.N.E. Food is a great company and have high integrity and purity in their products and personal character.

My email to Dion Taylor, co-owner of Raw O.N.E. Food:

Thanks for the package. I appreciate your generosity in sending me all the products. The packaging itself is exquisite, informative and educational (also love the additional inspirational words inside the flaps of the flax cracker boxes and on the underside of the granola bags (I have not opened the biscotti, to see if there, as well). Since you sent me everything, I will still sample the sweet products, even though I am not fond of honey. As I mentioned previously, would you consider switching to date syrup or coconut nectar for the sweetener and then the products can all be vegan, too!

Response from Dion:

Thank you Mindy for offering to review the line, I do remember that you are vegan but we wanted to feature the entire line, even though you may not review the ones that contain honey, we’d like the general public to know the complete line. Sandesha, my wife, Founder and our Head of Product Development and Production…might want to chime in on her thoughts about alternative sweeteners….so I’ll punt to her for that.

We look forward to your review and appreciate your kind words on the packaging. We set out to both nourish, educate and inspire as we see this as our responsibility to those who, in some small way, trust their wellbeing to us…Conscious Capitalism is what we strive for Purpose driven over Profit driven.

My review of the products

General information: I LOVE the packaging as it has eye appeal (I love colors) and great nutritional information that educates/informs you about the products. It also has words of inspiration on the underside of the granola bags, the inside flap of the flax crackers and biscotti. What a pleasant way to start the day and make you feel happy and inspired. You can use the affirmation/saying as part of your meditation or say it when you need a spiritual “pick me up.” Who would think that the package of the product could nourish you and this company has figured out a great way to do so. Sometimes we may go to eat a snack because we are feeling down, depressed, bored and here you can feel great, perhaps even without eating/overeating anything and simply open up the package and read the words. Of course, you would want to try this products as they are delicious and the best ingredient in there (written on the packaging) is “Lots of Love.” All the products are certified organic, non GMO, gluten free, raw and kosher (Kosher Certification for Kosher, Natural and Organic Products – See more at: http://kosherorganics.com/ Bringing highlighted public awareness of Kosher Dietary Laws and Earth-Friendly Natural and Organic Foods and Products to everyone). It would be great to start seeing products like these (while I call them snacks they are really whole food products with all the goodness of fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and lots of love) in mainstream places like 7-Eleven, Starbucks, Walmart and get rid of the rest of the junk that is just making people sick, fat and tired. I hope it will happen in my lifetime – it would be time to celebrate and see people wake up to realize their health matters!

I will also share with you my RVG(Rawsome Vegan Gal)Rating for all the products I tasted and reviewed here.

Flax Crackers

There are 4 different varieties that I will review individually. Overall, I enjoyed the different flavors of these flax crackers (made with golden flax seeds that are high in omega essential fatty acids). They are nice and crunchy with the right thickness. They are also vegan and the packaging is colorful and educational, as mentioned above. They are all great, but I rate them according to what I prefer according to my tastes. I am including photos of each product for you to see. The products are beautiful to look at, like art! You can click on each picture to view it in its full size and see the details.

Rosemary-Sundried Tomato
This is #1 favorite flax cracker for me! I love sundried tomatoes and the dried herbs used, namely, rosemary and parsley. It has a mild flavor and not very spicy, as I like it that way.

Flax Cracker Rosemary- Sundried Tomato

Flax Cracker
Rosemary- Sundried Tomato

Rawritos
This is the #2 favorite flax cracker for me. This one has a lot of different yummy ingredients mixed together from tomato, bell pepper, onion and garlic powder, etc. It also has a slight peppery flavor from the cayenne and black pepper, but is not too strong for me.

Flax Crackers  Rawritos

Flax Crackers
Rawritos

Tumeric-Nori
This is #3 favorite flax cracker for me. It has a mild flavor initially and then as I chew it, I get the added “Kick” from the cumin and cayenne powder. It is rich in antioxidants from the tumeric and nori.

Flax Crackers Tumeric-Nori

Flax Crackers
Tumeric-Nori

Garlic With A Kick
This is #4 favorite flax cracker for me. At first bite it did not taste very strong, then with the second bite I felt the “heat” from the chili flakes. I was able to handle it (I did not grow up eating spicy foods, so I personally stay away from “hot” foods) because I was not eating the chili by itself, since it was part of a cracker and listed as the last ingredient on the package, so there is much less of it in there.

Flax Crackers Garlic with A Little Kick

Flax Crackers
Garlic with A Little Kick

Granola

There are two varieties of this product and when you open it, it is more like a granola bar then granola you would put in the bowl, as cereal. You could crumble it up and add vegan milk (such as from sesame, hemp, almond, etc that you can easily make yourself), if you would like it that way. It is nice that you can actually see the “whole food” in the product and identify it. There is raw honey in these products, but it only has a mild sweetness. I abstain from honey, as a rule and would prefer if there was a vegan sweetener used, such as, date syrup or coconut nectar. After looking over the ingredients on the package, I wonder if honey is even needed, as there are so many different delicious fruits and berries in the granola that would probably make it sweet enough. It might be something for the company to consider and make a “test” batch to see how it’ll taste (and the same would apply to the Biscotti that I will review below).

Goji-Mixed Berry
This is #1 favorite for me of the granola. I can taste the goji berry (chock full of antioxidants) – yum! and it is has a nice crunch with all different types of berries, including strawberries, blueberries and cranberries. It is a very good combination of ingredients and has a mildly sweet flavor.

Granola Goji-Mixed Berry

Granola
Goji-Mixed Berry

Banana-Walnut Cacao Nibs
This is #2 for me. I do not usually eat bananas because they don’t agree with me. This is different because it is dried and chips. The flavor is nice and mildly sweet. Also has a well thought out mixture of ingredients. The cacao gives the added benefit of antioxidants.

Granola Banana-Walnut Cacao Nibs

Granola
Banana-Walnut Cacao Nibs

Biscotti

I do not know if I ever tasted biscotti before or if it is traditionally made by baking it. These are so yummy! There are moist and chewy, to me, more like a soft cookie with great flavor, texture and eye appeal. They are also rich in antioxidants like cacao, goji berries and cherries. They are more like a work of art to be displayed in a museum (or maybe a food museum and when you get hungry you eat the art and feel good about it (ha! ha! and it would be delicious “real” food and not the junk that is sold in the convenience stores).

Goji-Cherry Pistachio

This is the #1 favorite of the biscotti for me. I love the mixture of goji with cherry and the whole pieces visible in it. I would display it on a plate with some goji berries, cherries, almonds and pistachios. These were so good (even though they have raw honey, but a very low glycemic load) that I could eat the whole box in one sitting (of course, I would not do that because I want it to last a while).

Biscotti Goji-Cherry Pistachio

Biscotti
Goji-Cherry Pistachio

Cacao-Incan Berry-Hazelnut

This is #2 favorite of the biscotti for me. It is decadent and yummy. I do not usually eat cacao, so it a real special treat for me. When I opened the package up I could smell the cacao. Again, a great combination of ingredients and flavors (probably took a while of taste testing to get it right and I wish I could have been there to do the sampling) 😉

Biscotti Cacao-Incan Berry-Hazelnut

Biscotti
Cacao-Incan Berry-Hazelnut

Overall, I am a bigger fan of the savory snacks. The sweet ones were very good, but I would like to see them without the raw honey as they already have a lot of sweetness from the other fruits in them.

To check out this great company and learn more about their products and purpose, go to: http://www.rawonefood.com

I also did a video review on my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal
Subscribe to my youtube channel if you have a Gmail, Google+, Picasa, YouTube, Orkut or Google Chrome account and then you can also leave a comment and like my videos, with a “Thumbs Up!”

Disclaimer: I was not sponsored to write this review, but I did receive a sample of the product(s). These are strictly my opinions. I only review products that I, myself would use and purchase.

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