The Blog

GET RID OF CELLULITE WITH PURE ESSENTIAL OILS

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herbs-and-essential-oilsThink it’s impossible to get rid of cellulite – the lumpy, bumpy skin most women have on the back of our legs?  Think again! I had cellulite for years and being tall and thin made no difference.  When I first noticed it, I hated it but really didn’t know what to do about it, other than try all the expensive creams and lotions on the market.  Every time a new one was advertised, I was convinced it was “the one” to get rid of my cellulite for good.

Once I became knowledgeable about health, fitness and wellness and learned that a clean diet and exercise played an important role in combating cellulite, I began a strict regimen and waited patiently for all my detoxifying and clean eating efforts to pay off.  I also used a product from Weleda called Birch Cellulite Oil since it is a natural, non-toxic product.  Although the cellulite did improve, it was not enough to decrease my self-consciousness about it.  If you have mild cellulite, Weleda Birch oil is an excellent product to try, but if you are like me, you’ll need something stronger.

That’s where my very own Anti-Cellulite Cream comes in.  After trying many different formulas and perfecting the best recipe, using only once a day within a matter of a few weeks I noticed a dramatic change and over time it has continued to improve to the extent that I am finally happy with the results.  The cream smells great, feels great and I love using it after I shower.

I initially used Aura Cacia essential oils in my formula, but have since been using only DoTerra oils after the discovery that they are the only brand Dr. Josh Axe, who has one of the top 10 most visited natural health websites in the world, uses and recommends.  DoTerra oils have a stronger scent and seem to be a much higher quality than the less expensive brands, which sometimes gave me a headache.  As a side note, many of DoTerra oils can also be taken internally, while most other brands do not have that qualification.  For more on DoTerra oils and how they are sourced and manufactured, check out their website HERE.

I have had several clients ask me to make the cream for them since they didn’t have the time or patience or desire to invest in the ingredients needed to make this blend.  So I have made it easily accessible to you, available in my online store (US shipping only), for only $29! Why not give it a try today, you’ll be glad you did!

Massage the cream into legs, thighs and anywhere you have cellulite once or twice a day. Skin Brushing first is very helpful as well and will greatly improve results.   Let me know in the comments how it worked out for you.

 

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HIGHEST QUALITY FISH AND OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

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We all know that salmon is good for you and for your heart.  This is because salmon contains high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA, which are essential to human life and support optimal health in key organs, systems, and life stages*:

  • Aging
  • Vision
  • Metabolism
  • Inflammation
  • Cardiovascular
  • Fetal development
  • Skin, hair, and nails
  • Joints and movement
  • Cognition (thinking), attention, mood, and memory

The only problem is, most salmon – especially at your local grocery store –  is farm raised.  This means that the fish are fed a diet that contains high levels of contaminants which actually cause a lowering of the salmon’s Omega-3 levels, in addition to the threat of mercury, PCBs, and other toxins.

If that doesn’t sound disturbing enough for you, consider this: Farm raised salmon become so unnatural looking that fish farmers often inject them with an orange-colored dye to make them look like “real” salmon.  They can literally choose from a color wheel, similar to what you would find at a paint store, to decide how orange they want the fish to look.  Ew.

In 2004, the Los Angeles Times reported a study that “focused on commercially raised salmon in both the Atlantic and Pacific. It found roughly 10 times more PCBs, dioxins, and pesticide residues in farmed salmon than in the wild variety.”

Finding unpolluted sources of salmon is becoming more and more difficult; that’s why I’m happy to tell you about Vital Choice, a company that is not only committed to providing consumers with high quality wild fish and other organic foods, but also manufactures what many Nutrition experts believe to be the highest quality fish oil available on the market in the form of pure wild caught Alaskan salmon oil.

Lets take a look and see why I recommend Vital Choice Salmon Oil over other brands.  It is:

  • Gluten-free
  • Made with fish gelatin capsules
  • Virgin, whole, natural, unrefined
  • Purity and potency certified by NSF
  • Pure Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Oil
  • Certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
  • 600mg omega-3s per serving (with 240mg EPA + 220mg DHA)
  • Contains no artificial preservatives, color, dairy, starch, wheat, yeast, sugar, or soy

Their whole, unrefined, certified-pure virgin Omega-3 Sockeye Salmon Oil is extracted from wild Alaskan sockeye within hours of harvest. The brilliant orange color, which you won’t find in other Salmon Oil supplements, comes from astaxanthin: a potent antioxidant pigment that wild sockeye acquire by eating krill and other zooplankton.

Standard Omega-3 supplements contain oils from different types of fish which vary widely purity and fat composition. The oils have to undergo chemical refinement to ensure their safety and to consistently provide predictable levels and ratios of omega-3 EPA and DHA. In contrast, because it comes from extraordinarily pure fish, Vital Choice Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Oil does not need to undergo chemical refining.  This is not to say that other fish oil brands are “bad.” There are excellent brands of different types of fish oil on the market; I simply believe that its whole-food attributes make Vital Choice Salmon Oil a rare and powerfully health-promoting omega-3 supplement.  It’s also the one I now personally use on a daily basis  and hope you will consider it to benefit your health as well!

You can purchase Vitality Choice products HERE.  While as of now they only ship their food products to the US, their specialized supplements can be shipped to Canada as well.

Please note:  The links above, as many on this site, are affiliate links of which I receive a small commission from sales of certain items, but the price is the same for you. If I post an affiliate link to a product, it is something that I personally use, support and would recommend without an affiliate link and I have not been compensated in any way for review of this or any other product recommended on this site.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

 

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FIXATE COOKBOOK REVIEW

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This cookbook was created and designed by Autumn Calebrese, best known for her Beachbody Programs, 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme and soon to be released The Master’s Hammer and Chisel.  The cookbook was created to be helpful to those doing the 21 Day Fix programs and has become very popular so I decided to go ahead and purchase it to see what all the fuss is about! Although I am a Beachbody coach, I don’t automatically endorse everything that comes from them (shocking, I know) so after making quite a few of the recipes from the book, I thought I’d write a review and share my opinion. Read on for the Good, the Bad and the Verdict:

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THE GOOD:

  • There are 101 recipes in the book with options for vegan, vegetarian, paleo-friendly and gluten free diets.  All are clearly labelled at the top of the page with either V, VG, PF, GF or a combination thereof.
  • The cookbook has a neat layout, nice design, and beautiful pictures of each completed recipe.
  • The recipes are easy to make and will appeal to anyone looking to eat healthy.  Recipes like Chicken Noodle Soup, Easy Pizza, Raspberry Filled Cookie Bites, and Mexican Taco Meat aren’t likely to scare away people who have never been “healthy” eaters.
  • Simple but extremely useful kitchen tips for those who are new to making healthier food choices.
  • Fantastic Sauces and Dressings Section.
  • Container measurements so you can easily incorporate the recipes into the 21 Day Fix program, as well as complete nutritional information if you are doing your own thing.
  • The beginning of the book has some interesting personal info about Autumn, and while normally I might find this annoying in a cookbook, I found it rather interesting and fun to read.  Autumn is a genuine and likable person, who is never condescending or holier than thou in her wording and approach to healthy eating.
  • Autumn quickly corrected any Nutritional information mistakes found in the book with this updated list in .pdf format.

 

THE BAD:

  • I wasn’t too happy to see recipes that had dairy and soy as part of the ingredient list.  That being said, there weren’t a lot of them and dairy ingredients can always be substituted with non-dairy ones.  On page 22, Autumn explains why she included these ingredients in her cookbook.
  • Several recipes in the book include her grandmas homemade tomato sauce (page 81) to be made from scratch.  The truth is, any organic tomato sauce brand will do and be less of a hassle.  The recipe itself was fine, but not so extraordinary that it needed to be included as part of a few recipes.
  • Some recipes are too simple, to the point of being ridiculous.  Tuna salad scooped into a tomato, Poached egg on a slice of toast with a layer of steamed asparagus or Spreading hummus on a sliced cucumber and rolling it up with sliced red peppers …… Do we really need instructions on how to make any of that?  I suppose if you’ve never stepped foot into a kitchen or really can’t think outside the box, those recipes will be helpful but I felt it was completely unnecessary.

 

THE VERDICT:

Fixate is not a cookbook with recipes that will make you “ooh” and “aah” over all the amazing food but what it does have is healthy, doable and tasty recipes with a clear indication of portions per recipe using Autumn’s 21 Day Fix Food Containers.  Incidentally, if you don’t want to do the fitness program, but are interested in the cookbook, you can purchase the containers separately HERE.

Overall, I would say for the $20 it’s a worthwhile purchase, especially if you are following the program and need new ideas.  On the other hand, if you are an experienced healthy eater it might not be worth it for you.

Recipes I particularly enjoy and make often are the: Quinoa and bean salad (page 63), Toasted kale salad (page 69), Banana oat pancakes (page 95), Vegetable egg cups (page 119), Italian meatballs (page 153), Turkey sloppy joes (page 171), Zuchinni chips (page 203) and Chocolate chip cookies (page 211).  I haven’t made nearly all the recipes, so I am sure there will more to add to the list at a later date.  Share below what you like or dislike about the cookbook; I would love to read your comments and opinions. happy

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HOLISTIC NUTRITION AND SUPPLEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS

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“I have been getting these headaches lately, what can I take?” Or, “I don’t know why, but my stomach has been bothering me lately I need a supplement to fix it.”  These are a couple of examples of the questions I get asked on a daily basis.  Many people are under the assumption that a Holistic Nutritionist can offer a quick fix to their health problem or a band-aid solution to whatever ails them.  Then again, maybe I should feel honored that people believe I can cure them on the spot!  Unfortunately, it’s usually not as easy as that.  You see, while there are a number of supplements and remedies that can offer quick relief of symptoms, typically the issue has been going on for a while and we need to uncover the cause of the problem in order to find a long-term solution .

When you go the Doctor, his or her main job is to get you out of your discomfort or pain and to make sure you don’t have a serious illness.  A Holistic Nutritionist works in a completely different manner.  Of course, we also want to make sure you don’t have a serious illness, but since we are not trained to determine that, (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked to “diagnose” things) it is always best to consult with your Medical Doctor if you are concerned about a persistent symptom.  On the other hand, if you have had the same symptom(s) for years OR you have already received a diagnosis of your condition, that’s where we come in.  For example, your Doctor may tell you that you have gastric reflux or chronic migraine headaches or high cholesterol, and he/she will want to give you prescription medicine to take every time your “issue” comes up, or even daily to prevent the problem in the first place.  Unfortunately, too often those medicines simply block the problem from surfacing and don’t really “fix” anything; many times, they actually make the problem worse in the long run, or cause new health issues to emerge, as in the case of antacids, corticosteroids, blood pressure lowering medication and others.

medicine-side-effects

So why are so many people tempted to go this route?  Usually because (a) it will get them out of their discomfort quickly, which is certainly understandable so I’m not diminishing that fact; and (b) for some reason I’ve never been able to understand, they are terrified of not listening to the Doctor or trying a healthier alternative before resorting to harmful prescription medications.

Unlike some others in my field, I’m not opposed to Doctors or medicine when required.  Obviously, if you have a raging infection and need antibiotics right away, or are in a tremendous amount of pain or you simply don’t feel comfortable with natural medicine, then you should absolutely follow the treatment plan your Doctor provides.  The issue I have is that more often than not, unnecessary medications or repeated antibiotics are prescribed for chronic health issues when a much simpler treatment plan will correct the imbalance with time.  And that’s the important part: the process can take a while, since it took time for your body to get so out of whack in the first place!  It involves changing your lifestyle, your diet, determining which foods you might be sensitive or allergic to, finding the type and level of toxicities in your environment and the food your ingesting as well as dealing with any emotional factors or hormonal problems that may be contributing to your problem.  This, along with the appropriate vitamins and supplements – which often need to be reviewed and updated every month to ensure progression towards better health – generally takes a lot longer than the the quick fix pill your doctor will provide.  Eventually you will feel better, have more energy and not get the symptoms making you feel like crap in the first place, but it certainly won’t be overnight.

All that being said, in acute mild illnesses or discomfort, such as a cold or sore throat, sinusitis, acute digestive upset, stress due to a particular event, etc., herbal, homeopathic redmedies and essential oils can provide fantastic quick relief in most cases without suppressing the bodies natural functions the way OTC medications do, but when those very same colds or sore throats are chronic, the underlying cause has to be dealt with.

I hope this helps clear up your understanding of Holistic Nutrition and Natural medicine.  Contact me HERE  and I will be happy to help you any way I can. happy

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TOP 10 REASONS TO OWN A FOOD DEHYDRATOR

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I thought about getting a food dehydrator for quite a while.  The reason I waited so long is because they are quite expensive and I thought I needed the 9 tray (shown at right) to get the most bang for my buck.  I also wanted the one with the timer, until I realized that it’s a silly extra for another $75 and completely unnecessary.  After a lot of internet research, I recently purchased this Excalibur 5 Tray Deluxe Dehydrator and I’m extremely happy with it.  Excalibur is known to be the best dehydrator out there, although if you aren’t sure and don’t want to spend the money, I have heard that many people are happy with the Nesco Dehydrator as well.

So why did I finally cave in? Well, for all the reasons below:

1) I love dried fruit but they contain sulfites in order to preserve the original color of the fruit.  Unfortunately, sulfites have a distinct unpleasant taste and have also been shown to possibly cause headaches, asthma attacks, and allergic reactions such as flushing, redness, and itchiness. Definitely not fun side effects of trying to enjoy some dried fruit.  You can of course purchase organic unsulphured dried fruit from any local health food store but, frankly I got tired of spending $7 Cnd for a tiny bag of dried pineapple.  Since purchasing my dehydrator, I’ve made dried apple, pineapple, and banana, and they all came out delicious.

2) I am obsessed with kale chips but it is almost impossible to find Kosher-certified kale chips, and when you do, a tiny container costs a fortune!  While you can make them in the oven as explained here, now that I have done them both ways, I can honestly say there is no comparison to how yummy and crispy they turn out in the dehydrator.

3) Sundried tomatoes add a delicious flavor to many dishes – and I prefer the taste of these freshly dehydrated tomatoes to the store-bought variety.  I can also store them in organic olive oil and add the herbs that I prefer for extra flavor.  Alternatively, make them a little more crispy by dehydrating for a longer period of time, store in a container and enjoy as a snack.  That might sound weird but you have to try it to see what I mean!

dehydrator tomatos4) Dehydrated food stays fresh for quite a while so if you have a garden it’s a great way to preserve extra fruits and vegetables.

5) Make your own fresh dried herbs and spices; I haven’t tried that yet, but I plan to in the Summer when I grow an abundance of oregano and cilantro in my little garden.

6) The Excalibur comes with this book which shows step by step instructions on how to properly make every conceivable food item turn out perfectly in the dehydrator.

7) There are a lot of cool things you can make that are super easy – using Paraflexx Sheets, you can have fruit roll ups without chemicals or added sugars – yum! – and also flax crackers like these shown below:

Dehydrated flax crackersTo be honest, the kids weren’t a fan of these particular crackers;  On the other hand, the hubby and I absolutely loved them and ate them all in one sitting – dipped into my favorite store bought hummus of course!

8) While I haven’t tried it yet, you can apparently make your own yogurt using the dehydrator.

9) The dehydrator is the perfect place to rise dough by simply removing the trays and setting to the lowest temperature.

10) If you are so inclined, you can make your own Kosher beef jerky.  The only problem is, you would then need 2 dehydrators if you are strictly kosher.  Yikes! Much to my 14 year old son’s disappointment, I will not be making beef jerky anytime soon. sad

Best of all, using the dehydrator is fun and easy – and the kids love to help!

What are the cons of owning/using a dehydrator?  I’d love to say “none” but there are a few things to consider:

1) It’s quite large and my kitchen isn’t big enough; there is simply not enough room on the counter.  I tried putting the unit in the living room, but it was a real eyesore, so I nixed that idea.  I know some people use their laundry room, but since mine is in the basement, it’s not very practical.  In the end, I settled on my family room near the fireplace which seems to be working well so far.

2) Some foods dry at different times and temperatures than others so if you make 2 trays of one type of food and 3 trays of another, you will have to check it periodically and remove the trays that are ready.  For this reason I am finding it a lot  easier to make 5 trays of one type of food rather than to try to mix and match.  5 trays seems like a lot but when the food is dehydrated, especially if you have a family, it gets eaten a lot quicker than you might think.

3) Initially, there is quite a bit of an investment especially if you don’t already own Mason jars to use for storage, a Mandoline slicer – evenly sliced food makes drying times quicker and more reliable, an apple corer or a pineapple slicer & corer if you plan to dry those food items. I also recommend getting the Paraflexx sheets mentioned earlier in this post if you want to make your own fruit leather/fruit roll-ups or flax crackers.

4) It takes time for the food to be ready so you have to be patient.  This was definitely hard for me at first and I was eating some of the food in the middle of the cycle. I’ve gotten better though. winking

All in all I am very happy with this purchase and I hope this helps you decide if this would be a worthwhile addition to your kitchen appliances! I would love to hear if you have one, what type, if you are happy with it and what you have made in it.

Please note:  The links above, as many on this site, are affiliate links of which I receive a small commission from sales of certain items, but the price is the same for you. If I post an affiliate link to a product, it is something that I personally use, support and would recommend without an affiliate link and I have not been compensated in any way for review of this or any other product recommended on this site.

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