I had great skin as a teenager. I know. Weird right? It wasn’t until I became pregnant with my first child that my skin rebelled. It affected everything, including my self-esteem. I would cry with frustration. I swear there were times where it looked like I was coming off a meth bender. Don't laugh. I'm serious.
Over the past ten years, I have spent thousands of dollars trying to clear up my skin. I’ve tried Proactive (which made it worse), expensive peels, chemical-ridden gels and even harsh antibiotics. Nothing worked. NOTHING. Sure, I was taking diet pills at the time, and not exactly eating healthy, but there had to be a magic price I could pay for clear skin.
When I started school at Institute For Integrative Nutrition, I had a whole course on holistic skincare. As I began listening to the lectures, I was torn between two feelings:
I was EXCITED! This is exactly what I had been searching for. Could it really be this simple??
I was also ANGRY! How did all the “professionals” not know this??? I felt ripped off by all their broken promises of clear skin.
I decided to see for myself and low and behold, my skin is pretty dang clear these days. In fact, it's really clear. A thin layer of mineral make-up does wonders for me these days. I never thought I would say that.
Here are ten simple and easy to follow tips for clearing up your skin. It worked for me!
1) Avoid Dairy
This is the number one thing I do to keep my skin clear. Sure, once in a while I have some cheese, but if I have too much, I can tell in my skin almost instantly. There is a very famous Nurse’s Health Study that examined the health habits of 47,000 nurses. They found that those who drank more milk had much higher rates of severe acne than those who had little or no milk. There was a direct link between the amount of milk consumed and the severity of acne.
Keep in mind, almost all commercial milk comes from pregnant cows, which means it is loaded with hormones- even organic milk. You’re drinking sixty-some hormones you’re taking in when you consume dairy products. Hormones cause growth. That includes acne growth. It’s also important to remember that dairy turns to mucus in the body. When it has nowhere else to go, it leeches out through the pores in the form of acne. Not sexy. For more information on the link between acne and dairy, click here.
2) Avoid Sugar
You’ve all heard this one before, but I had no idea how important it was! Sugar, liquid calories, and flour products all drive up insulin and cause pimples.
3) Eat Healthy Fats
Avocado, almonds, salmon and flax are a few of the Omega-3 rich foods that will help kick acne's butt. Omega-3 foods help reduce inflammation, thus reducing acne.
4) Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide
You all might think I’m crazy here, but it works wonders for a spot treatment. Hydrogen peroxide is just water with an extra oxygen molecule. Acne cannot survive in an oxygenated environment. If you don’t believe me, believe these guys.
5) Eat an Alkaline Based Diet
This goes back to the idea that bacteria or any virus cannot live in an alkaline environment. Hello green smoothies! Click here for a list of alkaline foods you can start incorporating into your diet.
My little brother always says that water is the key to success. Well, he’s right. We often forget that our skin is the largest organ in our body. Staying hydrated leaves skin looking hydrated. It also flushes toxins out of the body in a timely fashion. Simple as that.
I seriously love probiotics. Good bacteria helps fight bad bacteria. The link between skin and intestinal health has been a source of speculation for at least 70 years, when two dermatologists, John Stokes and Michael Pillsbury, recommended acidophilus (probiotics) preparations. I get mine daily in the form of Kombucha tea. You can also buy probiotics at your local health food store.
8) Pay Attention To Food Sensitivities
When we are sensitive to foods, our bodies react. It’s believed that food allergies/sensitivities play a large part in acne. Here are some of the main culprits:
9) Use Simple Products
Proactive and most other products on the market are meant to treat the skin on the outside. Besides being pricey, they are also made with toxic chemicals. When you realize that acne is an internal problem, your world will shift. Curing acne topically would be like trying to fix a car’s engine by giving it a new paint job. Doesn’t make much sense does it.
Here is what I use on my face. Affordable, sustainable and chemical free!
Wash- Dr. Bronner’s castile soap
Toner- Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with water and tea tree oil
Moisturizer- Almond Oil or a mixture of coconut oil, olive oil and shea butter
Scrub- Raw honey, crushed almonds lemon juice and olive oil.
**I was told by many “professionals” that I could never use oil based products. Now, that’s all I use to moisturize. Coconut oil is a wonderful too. It’s all I use on my kids.
According to my class on holistic skin care, these are the recommended supplements for acne
Evening primrose oil: 1000 to 1500mg twice a day.
Zinc : 30 mg a day.
Vitamin A: 25000 IU a day. Only do this for three months. Do not do this if you are pregnant.
Vitamin E: 400 IU a day.
Fish Oil: 500-1000 mg once a day
I hope you're inspired to modify a few areas of your life! It can't hurt?! As someone who as spent thousands of dollars trying to clear up my skin, I hope you give it a go! The cure for acne is not on a perscription pad or in a bottle of expensive gel. It starts on the end of your fork.
I've been intrigued with homemade veggie burgers lately. Unfortunately, none of the ingredients made my heart skip a beat. Then, right before we left for Montana, I was thumbing through one of my Whole Living Magazines when I came across something spectacular and borderline holy. Quinoa patties. One look at the ingredients and I knew I needed to make them a part of my life. I’m so glad I did!
For those of you unfamiliar with quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah), let me tell you a little something about this super versatile food. Quinoa is an amino acid-rich seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. In fact, it’s the only “grain” that is a perfect protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids found in animal protein. This fact makes it an ideal protein for vegetarians and vegans. Quinoa is amazing for you!! Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. Believe it or not, it was once considered "the gold of the Incas." Don’t you love when you learn something new?
When preparing quinoa, I always like to remind clients to wash it first. This removes the soapy looking saponins that coats quinoa seeds. The easiest way to do this is by running cold water over the quinoa in a fine-meshed strainer, gently rubbing the seeds together with your hands. This will help remove the bitter taste too.
Now that you have your PHD in quinoa, let’s move on to the recipe. You can make this recipe gluten free by substituting crushed almonds or oat flour for the bread crumbs.
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, room temperature
4 large eggs, beaten (organic and local if possible!! The animals are treated so much kinder than factory egg farms)
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh chives
1 onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Gruyere cheese
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup whole-grain bread crumbs, plus more if needed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Combine the quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the chives, onion, cheese, and garlic. Add the bread crumbs, stir, and let stand for a few minutes. Form mixture into twelve 1-inch thick patties. (Add more breadcrumbs if the mixture is too wet; add water if too dry.) Mixture can be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Working in batches, add patties, cover, and cook until bottoms are deeply browned, about 7 to 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium if there is no browning after 10 minutes and continue to cook until patties are browned. Flip patties with a spatula and cook the second sides until golden, about 7 minutes. Remove from skillet and cool on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining patties
Everyone in the family loved these. My husband had this to say, “I’d rather have this than a burger.” Score!
We made them into “burgers” with some ezekial buns, onion, romaine and a little pineapple-cilantro mustard. I was also thinking about doing a greek style quinoa burger with cucumbers and homemade tzatziki sauce. The possibilities are endless.
Raise your hand if you’ve been to Costco.............
Now raise your hand if you’ve tried their lemon poppyseed muffins..............
I know. They’re amazing. Too bad they’re basically giant cupcakes with 690 calories and 38 grams of fat. Yikes! While I'm not one to count calories anymore, this shocked me.
Good news though. I have a healthier version!
Lemon Chia Seed Muffins
1 3/4 cup oat flour (oats in the vitamix)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
2/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp lemon zest
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients
In another bowl combine the wet ingredients
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir gently until combined.
Fill each well of a muffin tin that has been lined with cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Ever since the Long Beach Conference, I've been back on my super food kick. And I feel great!
It’s rare that I believe a food is worthy of it’s own post, but maca is deserving. In fact, if kale and maca ever got into a fight, I'm afraid to say maca would win. If you’ve never heard of this amazing super food, (one of the top 10 in the world!!) fasten your seat-belt and get ready to have your mind blown. Yes, maca is THAT exciting. If you struggle with fertility, low energy, low libido or any hormonal issues, this post is for you.
This amazing root vegetable grows in South America. It's cultivated in one of the harshest most difficult farmlands in the world. Basically, no other crops can grow there. This gorgeous relative of the yam contains extremely high levels of trace minerals; thirty-one to be exact! Native Peruvians have used Maca since before the Incas.
Maca became well known by word of mouth. Generation after generation told the story of it’s ability to increase fertility, relieve anxiety and cure impotence. It regulates menopausal symptoms and PMS. It is also proven to be useful for memory loss, arthritis, respiratory ailments and diabetes. Let’s break these benefits down. Shall we?
The whole reason maca was respected so much among the ancient Peruvians was due to it's ability to raise fertility in livestock and humans. Maca contains glucosinolates, which directly affect fertility. Study after study has been done to support this fact. I find it fascinating that maca was used centuries ago to relieve stress and increase fertility. Men and women in Peru who struggled to conceive a child would eat maca until the woman became pregnant. We’ve lost the natural healing in our culture and I’m so thrilled it’s making a comeback.
Maca is best known for being an adaptogen. An adaptogen is a food or herb which brings the body to a heightened state of resistance to disease through physiological and emotional health. Basically, maca can normalize functions within the body even in disease-ridden states. Pretty remarkable.
Maca’s reputation as an adaptogen goes hand in hand with it’s ability to increase libido. Basically, it’s nature’s Viagra. Sex hormones are a delicate balancing act and any stress can really mess up these hormones. Maca helps restore the adrenal glands to normal, thus balancing energy, libido, sexual function, immune system and overall sense of well being. In men, maca is great for prostate health and helps to increase sperm count.
Now we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty of why maca rocks the world we live in. Maca has a huge impact on our hypothalamus, which regulates our adrenals. (Millions of Americans suffer from adrenal burnout. If you crave caffeine or are on thyroid medication, I’m talking to you.) The hypothalamus also influences the production of sex hormones and is considered the brain’s sex center. It’s all connected folks.
We live in a thin-obsessed society where anti-aging is on the front of everyone’s mind. What many people don’t realize is that youth and health revolve around optimal and balanced hormones. Maca is a rejuvenator for the entire endocrine system, therefor it helps the body makes it’s own natural hormones- and correctly. No trips to the doctor to determine your dose. I encourage you to consider maca therapy :) Hormone replacement therapy (as it is done in the doctor’s office) actually ages the body by diminishing the hormone-producing capability of the glands. Basically, if an unnatural hormone is introduced into the body, the body gets lazy and stops it’s own production. Maca is great because it gets to the root of the problem instead of masking the symptoms like HRT.
PMS? Menopausal? Maca can help. Because of maca’s ability to regulate hormones, women who use maca experience less mood swings, cramps, hot flashes and menstrual irregularity. (Why do I have a feeling that all the men out there are going to get their wives a big bag of maca for Christmas this year?) During these times, estrogen is dominant in woman’s body. Maca can correct this. Many women who have used everything from HRT to phyto-estrogens have reported that maca has given them their lives back.
Depression and Anxiety
According to master herbalist Carmen Mattes, “Maca is excellent for depression and that ‘out of control’ feeling common to many men and women.....Sometimes within days, but usually 2-3 weeks, people report feeling a sense of well-being, increased energy and reduced menopausal symptoms for women. Maca presents us with an excellent choice to nourish and balance the endocrine system.”
Lower Stress, Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
One of maca’s most dramatic and noticeable benefits is its ability to reduce stress. Because it’s an adaptogen, it can lower high blood pressure and raise low pressure. Maca is one smart cookie!!Because it is nature’s balancing plant, it has a positive influence on anything on the body that is out of balance. Maca is also ultra rich in sterols, which reduce cholesterol! It’s ability to do this is often overlooked by doctors who choose to match the pill to the ill.
Who doesn’t want to up their energy? Maca rebuilds exhausted adrenal glands and therefor takes charge of exhaustion. The positive effects can actually be seen in the blood within a few days!
How To Use Maca
Today, the most popular way to consume maca is in a dried and powdered form. I put a few teaspoons of maca in my smoothies every morning! I find that it goes really well with raw cacao. Amazing Grass has maca in their shakes and I just add extra. I’m hardcore like that. I use Navita’s Naturals maca powder. I feel like it’s affordable and great quality.
You can also buy it in capsules or make tea with crushed maca and some goji berries. As a traditional remedy, use 2-10 grams (2,000-10,000 mgs)
Don’t be mislead. Make sure to buy only organic maca root. That root is the only part with medicinal properties. Make sure it is 100% maca root. No cheap fillers!
I first learned about maca during my training at Institute For Integrative Nutrition and it has been a wonderful addition to my diet ever sense. I feed it to my kids in their smoothies as well. Have you ever tried maca? What are some of your favorite ways to use this super food?
It’s been raining and icky here in Boise. (WTF happened to spring?) Maybe that’s why I’ve been in the baking mood. I can’t wait to be in the salad and smoothie mood. That will mean summer is on the horizon!
This muffin recipe is on the back of the Bob’s Redmill flaxseed package. I’ve been making them for years and cannot believe I haven’t shared the recipe with you guys! Of course, I’ve switched some things up. I omitted the flour and used oats instead. I also add chia seeds. Why? Because I can....and I love the added texture.
One of the reasons this recipe makes my heart so happy is because I love having hearty and healthy fiber-loaded muffins around for my kids. You can make a batch and use them throughout the week. A quick breakfast or after school snack. Even my husband loves them and he’s the first to turn his nose at my “cardboard food.”
Just a FYI, the first few times I made these, I pureed the carrots so my kids wouldn’t freak out.
Here's the recipe:
2 1/4 cup oat flour (blend quick oats in the blender)
¾ cup Flaxseed meal
¾ cup brown sugar (I use palm sugar. Low glycemic and just as sweet!)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups pureed or shredded carrots
2 cups shredded apple
In separate bowl mix
¾ cup almond milk
2 organic eggs
Optional (I use raisins and chia seeds)
1 cup raisins or cranberries
1 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup chia seeds
Feel free to mess around with the chia seed and flax combo. If you want to do 1/2 cup and 1/2 cup I totally support you and offer up a virtual high five!
Combined just until moistened. Fill muffin papers. Bake muffins at 350 for 20 minutes. Makes 24.
Throw some peanut butter and raw honey on top and enjoy!
You can also use this recipe for a “Baby’s First Birthday Cake!” This is what we did with Carsyn. Use homemade whipped cream or whipped coconut milk for the topping and omit the raisins. Brilliant.
Altough I'm all for mindful eating, feel free to eat these like my three-year-old.
I feel so sneaky (insert malicious laugh) because kiddo number two (Carsyn) disdains all but a handful of food items. I seriously wonder how the kid functions some days. I have to be creative in trying to find foods she will accept. This recipe is a blessing. If you do have a picky eater, give these a try. Plus, they’re great reheated and the perfect breakfast bar.
Banana Almond Oatmeal Bars
2 ½ cups quick oats
¾ cup shredded coconut
¼ cup raisins or cranberries
2 tablespoons flaxseeds (optional)
½ cup chopped dates
½ cup slivered almonds
2 tablespoons almond butter
3/4 cup applesauce
2 large smashed bananas
This recipe doesn't get much easier.
It's as simple as mixing
up all the ingredients!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8 x 8 inch pan with tin foil and spread the “dough” evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve warm or let cool. Cut into squares and enjoy!
If you think cookie dough is addicting, just wait! If you're nervous about your kids trying these, feel free to add a few tablespoons of honey, agave or maple syrup to sweeten them up even more. You can also drizzle some over the top.
We’ve all felt anxious or depressed at times. It’s a part of life. Unfortunately “at times” turns into “all the time” for many people. In fact, anxiety and depression have reached epidemic numbers and have TRIPLED in the last ten years alone. Let's get to the bottom of this. Shall we?
My bouts with depression began at a very young age, and continued into adulthood when I suffered with postpartum depression after the births of both my girls. Medication helped for a little while, but only masked the symptoms. Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro and Wellbutrin; I’ve been on them all. Like a revolving door, each one cycled in and out of my life for years with little or no avail. Weight gain, acne, exhaustion and numbness were side effects that were not only frustrating, but seemed to contradict the whole purpose of “curing” my depression.
Through my studies at The Institute For Integrative Nutrition, I began to deepen my awareness of amino acids. When Julia Ross taught one of our classes on the connection between amino acids and depression, the concept clicked with me. When shespoke at the conference a few weekends ago, my excitement was reignited! For those of you who don’t know, amino acids are the building blocks of protein. For the purpose of this post, let's just say they regulate everything in our bodies from metabolism to our mood. Our bodies can only produce 10 of the 20+ amino acids. The rest, we have to get from food.
The problem is that the foods we eat today are much different than they were 30 years ago. Due to factory farming, high-protein foods such as fish, eggs, chicken and beef don’t have the same nutrients and only carry a fraction of the amino acids they once did. (Do you see the importance of organic?) When we’re living on white flour and white sugar, our bodies are depleted of all the amino acids we need to maintain a stable mood. Food is a drug for many people and the more we use processed foods as a drug, the more we deplete our body’s amino acids.
Time to get down to business.
According to Juila Ross, there are four chemicals that create our moods:
1) Dopamine/norepinephrie. These chemicals are what gives us natural energy and mental focus.
2) GABA (gamma amino butyric acid) These chemicals are natural sedatives that allow us to calm down and relax
3) Endorphins. These are our natural painkillers. You may recognize these because they are released when you exercise. (hint! hint!)
4) Serotonin. These are our natural mood stabilizers and sleep aides.
When all four of these lovely chemicals are in balance, we are feeling stupendous, stable and more like ourselves. When they are out of balance, we overeat and feel exhausted, emotional and depleted.
If this blog post is clicking with you, and you've struggled with anxiety or depression in the past, I highly suggest taking this testto find out which amino acids you are deficient in. Once you figure it out, check out this amino acid chart to find out which amino acid you can began supplementing into your diet. I also highly recommend reading The Mood Cure and The Diet Cure by Julia Ross. If you don't have time to read the book, ask yourself if you have time to feel like shit?! Too harsh? There is so much more to learn and her books are life-changing on so many levels! The underlying concepts bring us back to the idea that our bodies are brilliant when given the proper nutrients needed to function.
For the record, I am no longer on anti-depressants! In fact, it’s been almost four years! While I supplemented L-tyrosine and GABA for quite a while to rebuild my amino acid storage, I now get my nutrients from the food I eat. When my moods get icky, the first thing I look at is my food intake. One too many trips to U-Swirl and overindulging in white carbs and sugar reak havoc on my energy and moods. (Trust me, I'm far from perfect with eating!) Incresing my protein, healthy fats and upping my water intake is an almost instant cure for me.
**Always remember I am not a doctor. (I just play one on this blog?!) If you’re on anti-depressants, it’s important to talk to your doctor first if you are thinking about alternative therapies. Amino Acid Therapy is something that worked for me but may not work for everyone. I used it in conjunction with other healing modalities. If you'd like extra guidance, I am currently taking clients and have a very limited number of spaces available. If you choose to venture alone with your healing remeber toAlways take precauations when using amino acids.
When I was pregnant with my youngest, I ate gross amounts of Brussels sprouts. I’d microwave them and then douse them with mayo, ranch, parmesan cheese and lemon. Disturbing. I know. If I only knew then what I know now.........
While I’m no longer creating the above tummy-churning concoctions, I have found a new favorite way to prepare Brussels sprouts. In fact, I was so excited about this recipe, I think my husband was a bit concerned. (Truly) This recipe is the perfect combination of sweet and salty. Roasting them makes a little miracle happen right in your oven. It’s a beautiful thing.
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, cut in half lengthwise
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 425 degrees
Toss Brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons olive oil and spread evenly on baking tray
Sprinkle with salt and pepper
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until some of the sprouts begin to brown
Mix 1 tablespoon olive oil with the maple syrup and balsamic vinegar.
Toss Brussels sprouts and enjoy!
A while back, I began educating myself on the thousands of dangerous chemicals in ordinary household products. Laundry detergents areone of the worst! When you take a minute and contemplate this fact, how odd is it that we wash our clothes in toxic chemicals? This is how we “clean” our clothes? SCARY!
With that being said, I switched laundry soaps. Immediately. The problem? Pure, legit and all-natural laundry soap that actually works costs a small fortune. Plus, since companies are not required to list all ingredients, there is no guarantee on what you’re getting.
Around this time, I came across a DIY laundry soap recipe on Pinterest. I’m always looking for ways to save money while providing my family with the most natural products possible. I tweaked it a little bit by using organic, chemical-free almond soap. (About $3 at Natural Grocers) I also added a few drops of grapefruit essential oil. (It smelled good enough to drink!)
The best part of this recipe? It’s super duper easy and very cheap to make!! It will end up costing you about $6.50 for 600 loads. This new laundry detergent actually has me excited about doing laundry again! (That was a huge lie.)
1 bar of soap (You can use any kind but I chose Dr. Bronner’s almond hemp soap. It’s my favorite and smells delish. As you can see, the ingredients are simple and legit! **Virtual high five!!)
1 cup of Borax
1 cup of washing soda
a big pot (for 2 gallons or more)
2 empty gallon jugs/containers (Or you can leave it in the pan)
Grate bar of soap into the pan.
Add 1 gallon water and bring to a boil stirring often until soap completely dissolves.
Add the Borax and washing soda.
Bring to a boil. The mixture should start to coagulate.
Turn off the heat and add one gallon of cold water.
Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
Let cool and poor into jugs or keep in pan and use from there.
This recipe has me so stoked, I’m going to experiment with other homemade cleaning products. Watch this space for more homemade cleaning goodies!
If you're interested in learning more about the nasty chemicals in today's cleaning products, here are some articles that you may find helpful. Education is key ;)
If you’ve ever dabbled in the raw food world, you know David Wolfe. Author of several books, including Eating For Beauty and Superfoods, he is arguably one of the most knowledgable and passionate people on the topic of raw foods. You can’t help but get excited when he goes off about changa mushrooms, goji berries and raw chocolate! He’s literally high on life and super foods. Not even joking. The simplicity of his theory; to eat uncooked food, with the highest nutritional density, as close to their natural state as possible, holds ancient wisdom we are finally reconnecting with again. Science is finally acknowledging the fact that food is power, energy and a magnificent life force that fuels all aspects of who we are.
When he took the stage, I swear the whole vibration of the room shifted. My jaw hurt from smiling (and laughing) throughout his presentation. My only complaint is that he was only given 40 minutes. Perhaps a whole day of David Wolfe next time? A David Wolfe conference even? OK, I have to stop. I’m starting to sound like a groupie.
David’s focus during this lecture was on the the healing power of super foods. I’m not talking blueberries and salmon here either folks. Waaay more powerful. He took the most highly regarded super food from each of the ancient cultures to create a list of the top ten super foods. Each one contains powerful healing properties that not even kale could rival. (I can’t believe I just said that. Sorry kale!) By combining them, you’re giving your body an optimal chance at health. Each one is raw, allowing you to receive the most nutrients possible. While he wasn’t able to cover the benefits of each one during the lecture, you all lucked out when I decided to write this blog. As a long time groupie...I mean fan of David’s, I’ve been dying to share this info for a while now.
Here you go! The top ten super foods and their healing properties:
Ohhh Maca! How I love thee. Because of my love affair with kale, I often forget about the beautiful root vegetable Maca. This energy booster supports and balances your hormones, heals depression, increases libido, supports the endocrine system, and provides thyroid support. The Inca tribe used to take maca before entering into battle because of it’s ability to boost endurance. In men, Maca has proven to heal many issues involving the prostate. Mix some in with your favorite smoothie today. Why wouldn’t you?
Chocolate in it’s purest form is a superfood!? Yes please!! The Mayans actually traded with cacao instead of gold. As a superfood, it is nature’s number one weight loss/energy boosting tool. It has the highest concentration of anti-oxidants in the world! It’s also loaded with vitamin c, zinc, copper and the number one source of magnesium in the world! (Just a quick reminder that we cannot digest calcuium without magnesium and magnesium is super lacking in our current diets.)
Raw Honey and Bee Pollen
Notice the word “raw” in raw honey. Raw local honey is even better! You know the bees are respected and you’re getting a high dose of allergy fighting goodness. This product is extremely high in protein, regulates nerve fibers, B-Vitamins, and treats hormonal imbalances. Bee Pollen is also highly alkaline, neutralizes free radicals, increases hormone levels, increases strength and also increases muscle definition. Raw honey is an antibiotic too!
This superfood contains the highest concentration of any protein on the planet. It's also one of the best sources of Iron and great for anemics. This super food contains all eight essential amino acids, rich in vitamins and minerals, chlorophyll (which is 40 times more nutrient dense than wheatgrass), an anti-inflammatory, balances brain chemistry, a blood builder, immune booster, high in antioxidants, and contains Gamma-Linolenic Acid, which gives us soft silky skin and healthy hair.
A complete protein source that contain 19 different amino acids, and 21 trace minerals, goji berries are extremely high in iron and one of the highest antioxidant foods in the world! They make blueberries look like chopped liver. They are known for their ability to increase longevity. My oldest eats them like candy. I like to make goji berry tea and always toss them in with my superfood shakes. (Don’t worry. I’ll get going on some recipes for you)
AFA Super Blue-Green Algae
Another great green, this algae improves digestion, is a great blood builder, has over 40 trace minerals, is an excellent source of B-Vitamins, a complete protein source, inhibits the growth of cancer cells, reduces inflammation, and protects against free radical damage. It also contains Phenylethylamine, which is known as the "love chemical" It increases our feelings of joy.
One word here. POWERFUL! Marine Phytoplankton contains every single nutrient needed for the creation and maintenance of new cells. That’s right folks, phytoplankton is 100 percent bio available to the human body which means that when you eat it, not a single part of it is wasted. Energy, immune support, weight loss, improved memory and stamina, better sleep and digestion, inflammation reduction and better sex are well-documented side effects!
It’s safe to say that Gatorade is terrible for you. Loaded with fake sugars and food coloring. WTH right? The only thing Gatorade is good at is advertising. Don’t worry. I have good news too. Coconuts are nature’s Gatorade and quite the hangover cure! Coconuts improve digestion, aid in fighting off viruses, help with symptoms of hypoglycemia, regulate hormone production, support the thyroid, increase metabolism, support healthy cholesterol, alleviate kidney stones, aid in urinary tract infections and are a great source of raw saturated fat. (Yes we NEED good saturated fats to function, but that’s a whole other post.) Coconut water, coconut oil and coconut meat are all excellent choices.
Aloe Vera is one powerful plant. It reduces inflammation, reduces cancer tumors, normalizes blood sugar, produces white blood cells, promotes healthy kidneys and increases the elasticity of our skin. Make sure you aren’t fooled by cheap impostors. Real aloe is 100% aloe, with no additives. I like George’s brand since it’s not bitter at all. You can drink it!! A shot a day :)
Poor hemp gets such a bad rap, but it’s actually one of nature's richest sources of complete protein, only exceeded by Spirulina and Blue-Green Algae. Hemp Seeds are extremely high in Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids, are a great source of fiber, an anti-inflammatory, have high mineral content and contain 18 amino acids. This is a wonderful source of vegan protein and more nutrient rich than it’s animal product competitors.
Don’t feel like you have to go buy every super food on this list. Super foods should not be intimidating or scary. They should make your heart explode with excitement and joy! In fact, sometimes adding one at a time can actually be a better way to go. This way you really get the opportunity to feel the impact each one has on you.
To conclude, I wanted to point out that David is the first to admit that a 100% raw food diet is not suitable for everyone. While adding in raw foods and super foods can only bring positive results, some people lack the digest enzymes to break down a raw foods only diet; especially those who are older or live in colder climates. Once again we go back to the concept of bio-individuality. We all have very different nutritional needs.
David ended his time with this super food smoothie recipe! I’d love for you to experiment and let me know how it goes.