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Natural Solutions for Seasonal Allergies

 

You might be wondering why the heck I am doing writing about SEASONAL ALLERGIES at the beginning of February. 

 

I mean the snow is still on the ground in most of the northern hemisphere.  Seasonal Allergies don’t start for at least another 6-8 weeks depending on where you live, so why think about it now?

 

Well, what if I told you that you could begin now to prevent symptoms and even heal the root cause.

 

Ok, you would have to take action, but still, wouldn’t it be worth it?

 

First, let's talk about what causes Seasonal Allergies?

 

It has been said that everything begins in the GUT, and this could not be closer to the truth when it comes to Allergies.

 

Almost everyone I have personally worked with that has any kind of allergies also had what is known as a LEAK GUT. 

 

Leaky What?

 

You probably have heard this term a few dozen times by now as everyone is talking about it and the information is everywhere.  

 

But, in a nutshell, Leaky Gut starts with the tight junctions in your Gut becoming porous.  In other words, poor diet, stress, medications, among other things have slowly worn away little tiny holes in your gut wall. 

 

This is a bad place to be, as now little food particles, toxins like bad bacteria and viruses, candida can leak into your bloodstream by way of these porous tight junctions.  

 

This essentially creates a ton of work for the immune system.  Now the immune system is over burdened with TOXINS.  Furthermore coupled with daily life stress and because it is overburdened, when you now get exposed to grasses, pollens, dust etc, an immune system hyper-reaction takes place (Allergic Reaction).

 

The answer to all of this is to focus on your digestive tract, cleanse out toxic build up and de-stress, so your immune system can calm down.

 

Where to Begin?

 

The very first place to start is with your DIET.  If you suffer from Allergies you must eat a Clean Diet. 

 

I always suggest beginning with a diet to help heal your digestive system. 

 

This means that you should definitely be eating a whole foods diet that does not contain anything out of a box or package.  Your diet should contain a plethora of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats like avocado, grassfed butter, coconut oil, lean protein and nuts and seeds that have been refridgerated (nuts on the shelf have usually grown mold by the time you get them). 

 

I often tell people to avoid all gluten, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, corn, soy, dairy, and most grains with the exception of Quinoa.  Grains can be quite inflammatory for people and it is a nice break for your body to help it clean out some stored toxins.

 

Recap

 

Foods to Eat for First 6 Weeks:
  • Quinoa
  • Millet
  • Green Vegetables
  • Low Glycemic Fruits like berries and apples
  • Lean Protein (if you eat meat make sure it is grassfed, organic and ethically raised)
  • Healthy fats like grass-fed butter, avocado, fish oils, extra virgin organic cold pressed olive oil, coconut oil, etc
  • Root Vegetables like beets, carrots, squash and yams (sorry white potato is not recommended)
  • Lentils (no other beans in the beginning)
  • Homemade bone broth (very healing for the gut)
Do Not Eat these Foods for First 6 weeks:
  • No Corn
  • No Gluten or grains other than the ones on the allowed list (remember grains can be inflammatory and we want to bring down inflammation)
  • No sugar
  • No Alcohol
  • No Caffeine (caffeine creates inflammation by taxing the adrenal glands)
  • No Soy
  • No vegetable oils
  • No margarine
  • Nothing from a package or processed
  • No pasta (although zucchini noodles make great pasta)
  • No dairy (for the first 6 weeks only grass-fed butter is suggested)

After the first 6 weeks, you can slowly add in one food at a time and notice how it makes you feel.  I would suggest excluding gluten and packaged processed foods indefinitely and keeping sugar to a minimum.

 

If you add back in a food and notice any reactions, continue with the diet longer.  It can take a good year to completely heal the gut.

 

While you are healing your digestive tract you can begin supplementing to deal with histamine, inflammation and your immune system.

 
My Supplement Suggestions:
  • Quercetin – This supplement is a wonderful gut healer.  Not only does it help heal the tight junctions in the gut, but it also acts like an anti-histamine. It is a natural bioflavinoid that helps to stabalize mast cells from releasing histamine. Begin taking Quercetin 6 weeks before the allergy season begins.  Click here to buy Quercetin or find in a health food store.
  • MSM – Here we have a sulphur containing supplement that not only heals the gut, but also lowers inflammation in the body.  MSM helps to stop particles from leaking into the blood stream by healing the digestive wall and tight junctions.  It is also a wonderful painful joints and muscles, helps us hold onto collagen and keratin and the elasticity of the skin.  Click here to buy MSM or find it in a health food store.
  • Probiotics – With any immune system issue probiotics are essential.  Good bacteria make up the first line of defense for the immune system and probiotics will build good bacteria in your digestive tract.  They are also essential for any gut healing and allergy protocol. Since Allergies are a result of an imbalance in the gut, probiotics are a must. Click here to buy Probiotics or find them in a health food or grocery store. 
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids – Fish oils that are higher in EPA rather than DHA are an amazing anti-inflammatory.  Because inflammation is such a huge part of allergies, keeping inflammation down is essential.  This together with a good diet help to combat allergies. Click here to buy Omega 3 Fatty Acids or find them in a health food or grocery store.
  • Local Bee Pollen and Honey – There is a lot of information on local honey and bee products to help combat allergies.  Just a tsp a day can help your body adapt to the local allergens in your environment.
  • Astragalus – This herb is a powerful immune tonic.  It not only helps to increase your energy, but strengthens your immune system as well as your respiratory system.  It is a great addition to any allergy plan.  Click here to buy Astragalus or find it in a health food store.
  • Nettie Pot – Nasal Rinses can really help to clear out allergens from the sinuses and keep inflammation down.  This should be used daily until your allergies are a thing of the past.

These supplement suggestions coupled with the right HEALING DIET are usually enough to not only prevent allergies, but get rid of them all together. 

 

Remember, your immune system is speaking to you.  The best thing you can do for your immune system is look to your digestion and flood it with the amazing good bacteria found in probiotics and fermented foods. 

 

Do you have ALLERGIES?  

 

I know first hand how bad they can be.  But, by taking healthy actions you can overcome them.

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Boost Your Immunity In Winter

 

 

January is said to be the month that hosts many dreaded colds and flu bugs.  Not only that, but it is historically known as one of the most depressing months in North America. 

 

Why is it a dull month to many? I think it is the lack of sunshine, flu’s and colds, and a dull feeling after the excitement of the holidays. 

 

Many people find themselves battling cold after cold, having less energy than they would like and even feeling alittle blue.

 

But, rather than grab for cough syrup and cold remedies, how about boosting your immune system so you are rock solid and don’t get sick at all?

 

Wouldn’t you like to cruise through winter healthy, happy and have boundless amounts of energy?

 

I know I would!

 

Lets Clear Some Things Up First

 

Many people believe that if you go out into the cold weather dressed improperly, you will catch a cold.  Whether that is an old wives tale or a good parental scare tactic, it’s just not true. 

 

Cold weather actually boost your IMMUNE SYSTEM.  Going from cold to hot gets your lymphatic system moving, heart pumping and immune system engaged.  It’s like giving your immune system a workout!

 

What About the Germs?

 

Do you think that there are actually more germs floating around in the winter than in the summer?

 

Not true!

 

The germs are still there.  It’s actually the sun’s UVB & UVA Rays that increase your absorption of Vitamin D keeping your immune system strong in the summer months.   

 

Yes, you still get Vitamin D in the winter just less is absorbed from less UVB & UVA Rays.

 

I should mention that people are generally happier in the summer.  With happiness comes less stress, and since stress is a major immune system inhibitor, it’s no wonder less people get sick in the summer.

 

Could It Be Less Exercise?

 

Like it or not, for the most part, people are not as active in the winter months.  They stay indoors more often than not, and don’t engage in as many sports.  Even getting to the gym can prove to be a big feat for some. 

 

Exercise improves circulation, stimulates the immune system, detoxifies your body and raises energy levels.  Not only is it essential for good immunity, but it gives you a good boost of 'feel good hormones.'

 

So, exercise is essential for warding off flu bugs for sure.

 

7 Tips for Increasing Immunity

 

1. Exercise – Make sure that you are getting at least 30-60 minutes of exercise daily.  This will increase your immunity, help you stay strong and fit and give you the 'joy du vive' you are looking for in the winter.

 

Have you ever noticed that people who exercise in the winter are happier?

 

2. Vitamin D – Supplement with Vitamin D to increase your body’s immunity in the winter months. Vitamin D helps you fight infections of all kinds. 

 

A study in Japan, showed that school aged children taking Vitamin D everyday during the winter, reduced their risk of catching the flu. 

 

The recommended daily intake of Vitamin D is 1000 iu for adults.  But, I have found that most people living in the Northern Hemisphere require more to maintain optimal levels.  Make sure to get tested with your doctor to see where your Vitamin D levels are.

 

You can purchase Vitamin D at health food sotre or online:  Click here for Vitamin D 

 

3. Get Adequate Rest – Let’s face it, even with the dark days upon us, a lot of us have a tendency to stay up way too late.  Lack of rest not only decreases your body’s energy, but also increases your stress levels.  Stress lowers immunity.

 

You should be striving to get to bed by 10pm everyday to keep your body’s energy up and therefore your immunity.

 

4. Probiotics – One of the best immune boosters are good flora or Probiotics.  Did you know that good good flora make up the first line of defense for your immune system.  Good flora also create about 80% of your immunity.  So, it goes without saying that to have great immunity, you definitely need to have a strong gut health.

 

I personally supplement with good flora containing fermented foods like kefir and kombucha on a daily basis. You can also use Probiotics, which can be found in your natural health food store or in my store.

 

Buy Probitoics Here   

 

Make sure you buy a Probiotics that are stored in the fridge to maintain potency.

 

5. Herbal Immune Boosters – There are many Herbal Immune Boosters you can use in the winter for both prevention and treatment.  The key is consistency.  My favorvites include:

  • Echinacea
  • Goji Berries 
  • Maitake Mushrooms
  • Astragalus Root
  • Pine Needles

Echinacea – This is one of the more commonly known immune boosters, but I find that it is not always used correctly.  Echinacea is widely used to fight infections, especially common colds and other upper respiratory infections.  I have also used it at the first signs of mastitis quite effectively. The key is to use it at the first signs of infection: virus or bacteria.

 

So how do you use Echinacea?

 

Firstly, it’s more potent and effective to use a tincture made from fresh Echinacea rather than dried.  Dried Echinacea has normally lost a lot of its potency. 

 

Echinacea tincture can be used on the first signs of a cold or flu.  But, 20-30 drops two to three times a day is usually not that effective.  For the first sign of a cold or infection, Echinacea can be used safely every 1-2 hours 1tsp or 30 drops, until the cold or infection subsides. 

 

As always if you have an infection that does not improve, you should always see a doctor.  Also, if you have an auto-immune disease you should speak with a practitioner before using it.

 

You can purchase Echinacea at health food stores or online.

 

Buy Echinacea Here  

 

Goji Berries – For more than 5000 years the Chinese have used Goji Berries as part of their traditional medicine.  It’s known as ‘The Fruit of Longevity;’ having amazing immune enhancing qualities.

 

Goji Berries are loaded with Vitamin C and I love to get it from natural sources. 

 

Most Vitamin C supplements found on store shelves are derived from corn and most likely genetically modified (GMO).  So that’s a big win for Goji Berries.

 

Goji Berries also reduce inflammation, improve resistance to cancer cell growth, nourish blood, reduce allergies & dizziness, improve vision and even help with low back pain. WOW!

 

You can buy Goji Berries in health food stores, grocery stores and online.

 

Buy Goji Berries Here

 

Maitake Mushrooms – They contain Beta Glucan, a compound responsible for immune support and macrophages, which are immune cells that eat up viruses.

 

In addition to that, Maitake mushrooms help turn on natural killer cells (NKC), which give viruses the 1-2 punch combo out of your body!

 

Lastly, they are loaded with polysaccharides, reduce inflammation, help with collagen production, energy production and so much more. 

 

I’m sure that in future studies we will see more amazing qualities of this mushroom.

 

You can buy Maitake Mushrooms in health food stores or online.

 

Buy Maittake Mushrooms here

 

Astragalus Root - This is another herb used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as an ENERGY & IMMUNE BOOSTER.  It’s known as an adaptogenic herb, which means it lowers your stress hormone cortisol.  Stress hormones inhibit your immune system, so Astragalus is a powerful herb to keep on hand. 

 

Astragalus also strengthen the lungs, which can lessen your susceptibility to respiratory infections and viruses and contains antioxidants that reduce inflammation. 

 

This is something I like to take everyday in the winter to keep my immune system top notch.

 

You can buy Astragalus at health food stores or online.

 

Buy Astragalus Root here 

 

Pine Needles – Did you know that pine needles are extremely high in Vitamin C & A?  Not only that, but they are also a very powerful antioxidant, antiviral and immune system powerhouse.  Pine Needles have been used for eons by native communities to boost Vitamin C levels, prevent cold and flu. 

 

Pine Needles are great for preventing oxidative stress, beneficial for your skin and hair, and even have been known to improve vision.

 

Pine Needle tea also is antiseptic, helping to prevent bad bacteria and microbes from affecting your body.   They also help treat respiratory cold and infection by expectorating phlegm and neutralizing pathogens found in the sinuses. 

 

All you need are some Pine Needles and a pot of water.  A good handful will do.  Just bring water to a boil, turn off, put Pine Needles in pot, cover and let steep for 15-30mins.  Strain and enjoy. 

 

6. Local Raw Honey – Honey is perhaps one of the best immune system boosters out there.  The world health organization lists honey as a demulcent, which treats coughs.  I have used it for dry cough quite successfully.

 

Raw honey contains bee pollen, which is also known to ward off infections, prevent allergies, and is a natural source of energy.

 

Honey has been extensively studied and has been shown to increase disease fighting polyphenols in the blood.   Polyphenols are part of what makes honey a great choice for both prevention and treatment of colds.

 

7. Laughter - They say laughter is the best medicine.  I think this is more true than we realize. Not only does laughter increase our sense of well being, inner happiness and energy, but it creates a strong immune system.  

 

It is one of the easiest ways to boost immunity.  

 

I think that as adults we tend to laugh less than children.  Perhaps we should take a tip from the kids and be more care-free in life?  

 

So, how can you bring more laughter into your life?  Make a commintment to laugh everyday, even if there is nothing to laugh at.  Some would call this Laughter Yoga.  Simply laugh.  Soon you will be laughing at how silly it is and it will become infectious.  

 

You could also make time to watch a comedy, visit friends (this usually brings about some laughs) and even play with kids.  It doesn't matter how you do it, just make time for laughing each day. 

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Discover How to Improve Your Health for FREE!

 

Have you ever noticed how good you feel when you spend time in nature?  If you do not know what I am talking about, it is time to get out into nature.

 

Nature is in a constant state of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE and it gives without expecting anything in return.  Unconditional love is what all the great sages and healers like: Jesus, Buddha, and even Mother Theresa embraced.

 

We have a lot to learn from nature.

 

Albert Einstein understood it when he said, “Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.”

 

I have noticed, in general, people who spend little time in nature have more health issues.  Is there a connection?  Personally, I believe there is and you might think so after reading the scientific health benefits below.

 

First, I would like to share with you how nature has favourably impacted my life.

 

I find time spent in nature helps return me to who I am….my natural, balanced state…. I believe nature does this for everyone.

 

It happens because being in nature, naturally, aligns you with the healing vibration of unconditional love.  When in a state of unconditional love, your stress melts away and your body can heal much faster.

 

You breathe in more oxygen, as well as, therapeutic scents of trees and plants.

 

8 Things Nature Has Taught Me

 

  1. Slow down and enjoy the moment
  2. Unconditional love
  3. Inner peace
  4. Forgiveness
  5. Adaptability
  6. Energy Medicine
  7. Herbal Medicine
  8. Wild Food

The famous Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu said it well, “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

 

I like to walk in nature every morning before I start my day.  Also if I have had a particularly stressful day, I like to go into nature as it is naturally therapeutic.  I have also found my intuition has been enhanced by spending time in nature.

 

For years, I have been intuitively guided to daily spend time in nature in order to balance myself and improve my health.

 

And guess what, science has done several studies that prove this is exactly what is happening.

 

Scientific Health Benefits of Nature

  • Improved short-term memory
  • Restored mental energy
  • Stress relief
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Better vision
  • Improved concentration
  • Sharper thinking and creativity
  • Anti-cancer effects
  • Immune system boost
  • Improved mental health
  • Reduced risk of early death

If you are struggling with any health issues, I challenge you to daily spend time in nature and see how much your health improves.   

 

All health issues are a sign the body is out of balance and not in its natural state.

 

Positive Improvement of Health Issues With Time Spent In Nature

  • Memory problems
  • Mental fatigue
  • Fatigue
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Depression & anxiety
  • ADHD & ADD
  • Cancer
  • Hypertension
  • Myopia (nearsightedness)

If you want to enhance your health… get out into nature.  Its therapeutic benefits are FREE!

 

I would love to hear any comments you have about nature.  Share them below in the comment section.

 

* Click here to read scientific studies done on people in nature. 

 

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How to Boost Your Heart's Coherence and De-Stress

 

 

 

"Healing is accomplished the instant the sufferer

no longer sees any value in pain."  

~ A Course In Miracles

 

Have you ever wondered if STRESS is the reason for your HEALTH ISSUES?

 

You try to keep your level of stress, but you still find yourself stressing about what to make for dinner, juggling work and kids, paying your bills on time and even trying to fit in some needed  “me” time. 

 

Have you noticed that you just don’t feel as alive or happy as you once did? 

 

Your body is telling you that it needs rest, you are fatigued, not sleeping well and even find yourself a little irritable, but you keep pushing yourself anyways.  

 

Your body is silently beginning to give you warning signs that you need to unplug and tune in! 

 

I know I have been there before.  In fact, I believe that stress is what brought about my very own health storm.  Learning to unwind the after effects of stress, has been one of my greatest healers.

 

So, if you feel emotional turmoil more than you feel happy, it's time to listen to yourself and do something about it!  

 

The Scoop On Stress

 

Stress really is all about your perception of life and your experiences.  It is often related to your feelings of:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritation
  • Hopelessness
  • Helplessness
  • Despair
  • Self -judgement
  • Resentment
  • Insecurities
  • Self-doubt 

Over time, these negative feelings and emotions become compounded and can trigger chronic stress. 

 

Stress is the number one reason for illness these days, and your body’s symptoms are often just signs and signals that something is wrong.

 

Negative emotions and feelings have been known to drain energy and wreak havoc on the body.

 

These emotions trigger the body's stress response and autonomic nervous system to a cascade of stressful hormones.

 

Stressful hormones not only lower your immune system, but they also weaken your digestion and steal your sex hormones and deplete them.  This leads to a chaotic rhythm of your heart. 

 

What is a Chaotic Rhythm of the Heart?

 

When your heart and brain have poor communicating, physical issues begin to show up in the body. 

 

People often treat these symptoms with medications, nutritional supplements, diet changes and even new exercise programs. 

 

The truth is, nobody wants to feel awful or imbalanced. 

 

The trouble with only treating your body on a physical level is that usually your results are not sustained.  If the original thought patterns and stressors is not dealt with, new symptoms often arise.

 

I know for me, I had to learn to tame my self judgement and learn acceptance so that I could surrender to the things I could not change.  It was a process of letting go, that brought me greater healing.

 

Your approach to healing needs to incorporate all levels for permanent healing.

 

Symptoms Of Stress

 

Stress has a laundry list of symptoms that manifest in the body over time.

 

A chronically stressed person can have any of the following symptoms and sometimes multiple symptoms.

 

They are...

  • Fatigue
  • Brain Fog
  • Memory and Concentration issues
  • Weight Gain
  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Thinning hair
  • Blood Sugar Regulation issues
  • Inflammation
  • Autoimmunity
  • Digestive Issues (the gut is our second brain and closely linked)
  • Sluggish Detoxification Pathways
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
  • Musculoskeletal imbalances and Misalignments
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Respiratory issues
  • Anxiety

The list is long and certainly this is not an exclusive list.

 

Stress showed up in my body as chronic pain.  This triggered an even bigger stress response which eventually created a lot of hormonal imbalances for me.  I had burning pain, which created weight gain and sluggish detox pathways.  This was all from stress.

 

As you can see Stress can truly create many issues in the body and not something you want to let take control of your life and body!

 

Remember: illness is just a reminder that you have stepped away from wholeness.  It's finding your way back to that which will bring about TRUE HEALING.

 

"The miracle comes quietly into the mind

that stops an instant and is still"

~ A Course in Miracles

 

5 Steps To Quiet Your Mind and De-Stress For Better Health

 

Breathe  - Take time for yourself each day to slow down and focus on deep breathing.  Deep slow breaths have actually been proven to turn down the sympathetic nervous system or stress response and engage the parasympathetic healing response. 

 

It takes a few minutes each day to achieve a peaceful state through our breath.  

 

I have incorporated deep breathing into my everyday routine.  It brings about a sense of peacefulness and an abiltiy to cope with stress like I have never had before.

 

Visualize Love and Happy Memories  - One of the best ways to improve the communication between your heart and your brain is to sit quietly each day, or whenever you are feeling stressed, and visualize a happy, joyful, loving memory.  It can be something that you hold dear in your heart, or something you make up.  All it has to do is bring you that warm feeling in your heart.  At the same time breathe in deeply and slowly. 

 

I also find it helpful to smile while doing this.  It has been proven that a smile will release your happy hormones, even if it is a fake one! 

 

According to the HeartMath Institute, healthy heart and brain communication is beneficial for improving Heart Rate Variability. As a result, communication between the heart, brain and nervous system are enhanced. 

 

They have proven that positive emotions are associated with a specific physiological state called coherence.  When your heart and brain are in coherence you will have improved physiological functioning, emotional stability and mental performance.  So in a nutshell, better heart brain coherence equals less stress and negativity.

 

I have used the HeartMath clip in my meditations and deep breathing exercises to monitor how relaxed and peaceful my body is.  I have found it a great tool for showing me when I am stressed and how to better relax.

 

Make Time For Yourself – In today’s busy and hectic world, it is even more important to take time out for yourself.  Create time by...

  • Taking an uninterrupted bath
  • Going for a walk in nature
  • Meditation
  • Spend time with your friends

Getting out of your routine and remembering to have fun is what this is all about.  With more joy comes less stress, and a healthier immune system.

 

For me, daily walks on my own are a time to reflect, be one with nature and they bring me a sense of peace.

 

Let Things Go – In the past I used to get caught up in the small things.  Like whether or not the dishes got done, or the mess the kids left behind.  I realized that those things didn't deserve my energy.   I have gotten into the habit of using a great destressing technique called, Will this matter later.

 

The technique is done when stress arises by asking yourself, “Will this Matter Tomorrow?”  If the answer is no, then I do something that will bring me joy instead.

 

Count Your Blessings – I used to get caught up in all the things that were wrong with my life, and all the things I did not have.  Focusing on those things only intensified the amount of stress I had."

 

To change this I made a Gratitude List.  I wrote down all the things I am thankful for.  I focus on that list every day and add things when appropriate.  It reminds me that I have so much to be happy about.

 

Are there things that you do to combat stress and your inner thought demons?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave me a comment below.

 

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