Healthy Essentials: Green Vibrance

Green Vibrance by Vibrant Health - 60 serving containerWe all know that greens are good for us - to eat, juice, take intravenously - ok, that last one is taking it a bit far, but you get the idea. Greens are good for you. You need them, so get them.

One of the powerhouse ways that I like to get my greens (& soooo many other healthy essentials, like enzymes, probiotics, liver support, etc.) is with Green Vibrance from Vibrant Health.


Get Your DAILY Greens

Some people juice their greens or take a green powder because they have a true aversion to eating their green vegetables. That's not me. Broccoli is my favorite vegetable - I don't only crave it, I get excited about eating it just like I get excited about eating brownies. I know this is only one of the many ways that I am not normal, but I'm comfortable with that. At least this is one of those areas where my "lack of normal" is exceptionally helpful to me and my health. Still, with my love of broccoli, kale, spinach, collards, and so many other wonderfully green foods - I know that it's hard to get a truly amazing dose of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that these greens pack in every single day. That's one of the reasons that Green Vibrance is on my Healthy Essentials list.


What Are The Best Greens To Get And Why?

Gross Food Face - woman with red hair, green shirt.I've tried many greens throughout the years. I've had barely-there greens, swampy-slime greens, "are-you-sure-this-is-green??" greens...you get the idea. I've found greens that were disgusting, but since they were packed with good nutrients, I suffered through them. ("Bitter-beer face" has nothing on my "Oh my word, what was that!?!" greens face.) I've had greens that tasted good, but found that I was paying too much for them. Why? Simple - the lighter taste came with lighter nutrients (fillers made them more palatable and took the space of the nutrients I was trying to get).

I have found a few greens that fit the requirements of being nutrient dense while still having decent flavor. My favorite of all of these greens is Green Vibrance, and here's some of the reasons why:

(Click one of the links above to take you directly to that reason why I choose Green Vibrance.)


Cost of Greens (Relatively)

A Little Over $1 A Day

Before we go into detail of each of the above reasons I take Green Vibrance over any other green, let's deal with the expense. I get a 60 serving container of Green Vibrance from iHerb for around $68 (depends on discount). First, for those looking to try it and are new to iHerb, you can get a $10 discount off of your first order of $40 or more by following this iHerb link or putting in the code tas065 when you order. Next, let's look at why $68 is actually a great deal.

That's a little over $1 a day. A head of lettuce costs about $1 a day and has a great deal less nutrients, but there's more...keep reading.

Saving On Products It Replaces

It replaces other products for me: Food-Based Multi-Vitamin, Probiotics, Prebiotics and More (see More Than Just Greens below for more details). That's a huge reduction in overall cost. Getting more products from one source saves money. If you're looking into greens, then you care about your health. A good food-based multi-vitamin and probiotics are central to your health. Green Vibrance covers those needs as well as many other supplements you may or may not already be taking, but could certainly benefit from.

Coffee vs. Greens - Choices: It's that simple

Where Else Are You Spending It?

Cup of coffee - It's an example that we've all heard or seen applied many times to other things. I hate to be cliché, but it's still true, so it bears pointing out. If you're willing to pay $1 for a cup of coffee (or a snack), shouldn't you be willing to pay around $1 for your health? It really is that simple.

You Genuinely Don't Have The Money

I've had friends that genuinely didn't have the money to pay $1 a day (especially per person when looking to the health of their family). I understood then and I understand now, if that's your situation. I'll tell you what I told her: Buy it and take 1/2 a dose. 1/2 of the serving is still going to do a great deal more for your health than any other product. 1/2 of a nutrient-dense, multi-health formula is still going to do wonders for you and your family. Just because you can't do everything, doesn't mean you can't do anything - remember that!

Just because you can't do everything, doesn't mean you can't do anything -
Remember that!Natasha Renée Hayes


Green Vibrance: Mix of Greens (get a mix of greens in one place)

One of the reasons that I like taking Green Vibrance vs. juicing my greens or taking a simple powdered spirulina is the mix of greens. We all know that different foods have different amounts and spectrums of nutrients. We understand that though a carrot and a clementine are both orange, they're not made up of the same stuff. Sure, they might have some of the same nutrients, but not all of them. This is no difference when looking at sources of greens. That's why I like to mix it up.

Mix your greens with Green Vibrance: spirulina, wheat grass, oat grass, barley grass, kelp, spinach and more.

Green Vibrance takes a collection of greens from different sources (land and sea) and puts them together into one product:

  • Certified organic Barley grass juice powder
  • Certified organic Oat grass juice powder
  • Certified organic Kamut grass juice powder
  • Certified organic Wheat grass juice powder
  • Certified organic Spirulina powder
  • Chlorella (pharmaceutical grade)
  • Certified organic Parsley
  • Certified organic Spinach
  • Certified organic Alfalfa sprout powder
  • Certified organic Broccoli sprout powder
  • Freeze dried Green Bean powder
  • Freeze dried Zucchini powder
  • Certified organic Kelp (sea vegetable)
  • Certified organic Rockweed (sea vegetable)
  • Certified organic Alaria (sea vegetable)


Green Vibrance: More Than Just Greens

I'm always interested in getting more of my needs met in one place - especially when it comes to purchasing products. (I like clothes that can be dressed up or down, a purse that doubles as a briefcase, a cake plate that becomes a punch bowl - Multi-purpose, baby - that's what I like!) Multi-purpose makes things easier to buy, store and travel with, and it usually saves money. All of those apply with Green Vibrance.

Greens Plus Probiotics, Vitamins, Enzymes, Liver Support, Antioxidants and More: Green Vibrance Review at Younger-Body.comGreen Vibrance has more than just greens. It also has:

(Click one of the links above to take you directly to that added nutrient in Green Vibrance.)


Greens Plus Multi-Vitamin Replacement

The first time-saver, money saver and storage saver that Green Vibrance gives me is the multi-vitamin. First, please know that all multi-vitamins are not created equal - it all depends on the source of the vitamins. That's why I always get my vitamins sourced from natural foods.

If you're looking for a multi-vitamin, I can strongly suggest Garden of Life's Raw One Multi-Vitamin for Women, or Garden of Life's Raw One Multi-Vitamin for Men. These are the multi-vitamins we used to take (and still do, depending on our current nutrition, travel and lifestyle needs). When we're at home, or traveling to stay somewhere for an extended period of time, we use the Green Vibrance instead. It gives us all of the vitamins we were getting in the Raw One Multi, with the exception of some B-Vitamins. To make up for this lack, we find it easiest to simply supplement with a good B-Complex. You can get one here.

Feel free to follow this link and compare the breakdown of vitamins for yourself. The breakdown of vitamins in Green Vibrance is below:

  • Vitamin A from beta carotene (4,764 IU)
  • Vitamin C (45.5 mg)
  • Vitamin D3 from Lichen (2,000 IU)
  • Vitamin E water dispersible d-alpha-tocopherol acetate (100 IU)
  • Vitamin K (124 mcg)
  • Vitamin B12 (2.66 mcg)
  • Calcium (106 mg)
  • Iron (3.74 mg)
  • Magnesium (27 mg)
  • Selenium from Orgen-SE mustard seed ext. cert, organic (50 mcg)
  • Chromium from Indian mustard, hydroponically grown (80 mcg)
  • Sodium (46.7 mg)
  • Potassium (203 mg)

Greens Plus Probiotics

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus HA-122 (2.5 billion)
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus HA-111 (2.5 billion)
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus B, HA-114 (2.5 billion)
  • Lactobacillus paracasei HA-108 (2.5 billion)
  • Lactobacillus plantarum HA-119 (2.5 billion)
  • Bifidobacterium breve, HA-129 (2.5 billion)
  • Bifidobacterium longum, HA-135 (2.5 billion)
  • Lactococcus lactis HA-136 (2.5 billion)
  • Propionibacterium shermanii HA-182 (1.25 billion)
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum HA-132 (1.25 billion)
  • Streptococcus thermophilus HA-110 (0.75 billion)
  • Lactococcus helveticus HA-128 (0.5 billion)

Greens Plus Prebiotics and Fiber

  • Larch arabinogalactans FiberAid (600 mg)
  • Fructo-oligosaccharides (600 mg)
  • Stabilized brown rice bran (500 mg)
  • Whole apple powder certified organic (400 mg)
  • Milled Flaxseed concentrate non-GMO, de-oiled certified organic (200 mg)
  • Apricot fruit powder (90 mg)

Greens Plus Enzymes

  • Protease 4.5, Aspergillus oryzae (500 HUT)
  • Protease 6.0, Aspergillus oryzae (400 HUT)
  • Lipase Aspergillus niger (300 FIP)
  • Amylase Aspergillus oryzae (400 DU)
  • Invertase Saccharomyces cerevisiae (75 SU)
  • Cellulase Trichoderma longibrachiatum (500 CU)

Greens Plus Liver Support

  • Alma fruit powder (100 mg)
  • Silymarin milk thistle seed extract, Silibum marianum 80% silybin (60 mg)
  • Carrot root extract 4:1 (50 mg)
  • Chicory root extract 4:1 (50 mg)
  • Dandelion root extract 4:1 (50 mg)
  • Chicory root powder certified organic (25 mg)
  • Gentian root extract 4:1 (15 mg)

Greens Plus Antioxidants

  • Amla fruit powder (100 mg.)
  • Whole freeze dried strawberry (250 mg)
  • Goji berry juice powder (150 mg.)
  • Vitamin E (143 mg./100 i.u.)
  • Silymarin standardized extract (60 mg.)
  • Ginkgo biloba standardized extract (20 mg.)
  • Green tea catechins standardized extract (20 mg.)
  • Grape seed standardized OPC extract (20 mg.)
  • Grape skin extract (20 mg.)
  • Pomegranate extract, 40% ellagic acid (20 mg.)
  • Schizandra berry extract, 2% schizandrin (100 mg)
  • Acerola berry juice powder (200 mg.)
  • Tomato concentrate, 2% lycopene (100 mg.)
  • Pluss all the carotenoids from cereal grass juice powders, algae, and Apricot
  • Plus uncounted milligrams of polyphenols from green food components and tocotrienols from stabilized rice bran.

Greens Plus Lecithin

Lecithin is good for many things, including a cell membrane and nerve support.

  • Sunflower lecithin powder (non-GMO) 98% oil-free 700 mg

Greens Plus Immune Boosters

  • Elutherecoccus senticossus standardized extract
  • Suma extract
  • Astragalus membranaceus standardized extract
  • Schizandra berry extract, 2% schizandrin
  • Vitamin E
  • FiberAid arabinogalactan
  • ResistAid arabinogalactan
  • Beta-1,3-1,6 glucans

Greens Plus Bone Health Support

  • CALZBONE Cissus quadrangularis extract
  • Phyto-Boron
  • Vitamin D3 in alfalfa base
  • Plant calcium

Greens Plus Circulation Support

  • Sunflower Lecithin powder
  • Vitamin E
  • Silymarin standardized extract
  • Ginkgo biloba standardized extract
  • Green tea catechins standardized extract
  • Grape seed standardized OPC extract
  • Pomegranate extract (40% ellagic acid)


Taste of Greens

If it's disgusting, you're not going to keep drinking it. Taste is important. Green Vibrance is that it doesn't have any off-putting tastes. There's nothing that stands out and it doesn't taste like swamp water (though it does look like it).

Sweet or Salty?

Taste is about more than palatability - it also has to do with flavor. I've had greens that tasted fine because they added stevia, so they were a little sweet. This is great, if you like sweet. If you don't? Good luck.

One of my reader's pointed out that she gets really tired of sweet things and would love to have her greens salty. That's one of the things that I like about Green Vibrance (other than the no disgusting flavors) - they don't add any sweeteners. That gives me control of flavors. If I want it sweet, I add a scoop of Stevia or mix it with a chilled juice or herbal tea. (Yes - it tastes better cold.) If I want it salty, I add salt, maybe even garlic or mix it with a Raw Gazpacho Juice Recipe, or chilled broth. The point is, you control the flavor. Sweet or Salty? Your choice.


Greens: Easy Mixing

Vitamin Shoppe Shaker Bottle

If you've ever had the experience of chewing the chunks in your greens or getting a burst of powder that didn't get blended, you appreciate the importance of a green that mixes well.

I find it easiest to have my greens "shaken, not stirred".  To accomplish that, I use this simple little shaker cup I picked up from Vitamin Shoppe. If you have trouble finding one (I can't find them online), here are a few more options you could pick from. Just click on the image, and it'll take you to it on Amazon.

I particularly like BlenderBottle GoStak Twist n' Lock Storage Jars. You can take your greens and a few servings of protein all to be used in the same bottle! (I told you I like multi-purpose.) For the moms and dads out there, you could even use a sippy cup. Just make sure to take out the filter first, put a finger over the sipping area and wash when done. I certainly don't want to get any of you into trouble with this suggestion. Hey, it's all about using what you have (again with the multi-purpose!).


What About You?

Do you take greens? What do you use? What do you like and dislike about it? Give us tips. Tell us your success stories and your horror stories. We can help each other out...or at least have a good laugh together. Come on...tell me all about it. ;)

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Arsenic in Rice: Should You Be Worried?

The short answer is “No”. The long answer tells you why.

Stop The Panic!

This week, I got an email from a friend of mine titled “UGH! Now What!!!!!????”. In it, she linked a recent article about arsenic in rice. She was worried because her family eats a lot of brown rice and she had a big sigh as she was trying to make sense of it all. I completely understood her frustration. Another food we’re not supposed to eat. What’s Next?!?

I replied with a “You can still eat brown rice - don't worry - and brown rice is still better for you than white rice.” I answered a few question, and included some links for more research (people should always make their own informed decisions). I realized, however, that this conversation should really be happening online so that others can benefit. So…here goes. We’ll cover it in this order:


Is There Arsenic In Rice?

Yes, there is arsenic in rice…and in vegetables, and fruit, and other grains, and water, and soil, and…yeah, you get the idea. Arsenic is found naturally in our water and soil. Plants absorb this as they grow. Rice is grown in water, so more is found in that particular grain.

The presence of arsenic isn’t (or shouldn’t be) alarming. It’s an element found almost everywhere, including our own bodies. The question comes in with the amount.


Is The Amount Of Arsenic In Rice Dangerous?

It depends on whom you ask. Consumer Reports says “yes”. The World Health Organization (WHO) says “no”. The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) says “no”.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has set the provisional maximum tolerable daily intake (PMTDI) of inorganic arsenic at 2 mcg/kg of bodyweight per day. Let’s break that down for you.

  • The Dose Makes The Poison Quote50kg = 110lbs, so a 110 lb. person’s maximum tolerable intake of inorganic arsenic would be 100 mcg per day.
  • The FDA lists the average brown rice tested at 7.2 mcg per 1/2 cup serving.
  • This is not a significant source of arsenic to be concerned about for adults.
“The dose makes the poison” -Paracelsus (1493-1591), founder of toxicology

Paracelsus, the founder of toxicology (the study of the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms), introduced the idea that substances that are considered toxic at large doses can often have a positive effect in small doses. Conversely, an ordinarily harmless substance can be deadly if over-consumed. Let’s explore that a little further.


Can Small Amounts Of Arsenic Be Good For You?

It would seem so. There are two very good arguments for this:

  1. Arsenic may be an essential trace element (meaning we actually need it)
  2. Exposure to small amounts of toxins educates the immune system

Arsenic: An Essential Trace Mineral

“Studies in animal species provide strong evidence that arsenic is an essential trace element...When researchers completely eliminated arsenic from the diets of animals in experiments, the animals became ill; some developed reproductive problems. The offspring of these arsenic-deprived adults were born with developmental problems. Putting a small amount of arsenic back into the animals' diets completely reversed these effects.” Darmouth

Arsenic: Educate & Build The Immune System

Dr. Henry I. Miller, in his Forbes article, Can Tiny Amounts of Poison Actually Be Good For You, discusses the increased immunity after low-level exposure to radiation.

“This phenomenon is called hormesis, a non-linear dose-response relationship in which something such as a toxic heavy metal or ionizing radiation that is harmful at moderate to high doses may actually produce adaptive beneficial effects at low doses.” Dr. Henry I. Miller

This argument is rooted in an understanding of how our immune system works.

Even though higher doses cause harm, the low-level stress caused by extremely low doses appears to trigger cellular repair and maintenance, leading to beneficial outcomes such as reduced risk of certain types of cancer in laboratory animals.” Nancy Trautmann, Ph.D.

Basically, our immune system is built by having exposure to small amounts of toxins and learning how to fight them. That's how we build immunity to something. The body has a mini battle with it and learns how to contain, eliminate and destroy it. The body stores this information (literally) and the immune system is now able to have a faster, more effective approach to managing the problem if it ever occurs again. So, exposure to small amounts of arsenic actually educates the body about the substance so that it can deal with it more effectively in the future. Check out this video for a quick and fun overview of how parts of the immune system work.

Obviously, as with all potentially toxic substances, there is a dose at which even the best trained immune system doesn’t stand a chance. However, since most of us won’t be exposed to a lethal dose of arsenic, let’s get back to the question of arsenic in rice and when you should be careful.


When To Be Careful With Arsenic in Rice Products

Again, “The dose makes the poison”. Arsenic is still toxic at certain levels, and there are two main areas of concern that you should examine when deciding about the arsenic levels in rice and whether or not they are a danger to you or a loved one. These areas are:

  1. A currently compromised immune system
  2. Portion size compared the size of the individual (mainly infants and children)

Arsenic on a Compromised Immune System

“it is important to keep in mind that a chemical that is beneficial in one way may also be damaging in others. For example, although exposure to tiny doses of a contaminant might improve immune responses in healthy adult males, that same exposure potentially could harm children, pregnant women, or people with suppressed immune systems.” Nancy Trautmann, Ph.D.

So, it might help to build your immune system...unless your immune system is already shot. Then, you should be careful about serving sizes of any substance that could cause harm to an already weak system.

Arsenic for Babies and Children

The main concern with arsenic in rice is for those infants and children that are consuming a great deal more rice based products per lb./kg. of bodyweight than adults. Between rice formulas, rice cereals, rice milk and rice snacks, some children are having rice as their main source of everything they eat.

“Dietary exposure to inorganic arsenic for children under three years old, including from rice-based foods, is in general estimated to be about 2 to 3-fold that of adults. These estimates do not include milk intolerant children substituting rice-drinks for formula or cows’ milk.” European Food Safety Authority

Rice baby formulas - 4 different brands

Again, as a reference, the provisional maximum daily tolerable intake (PMDTI) of arsenic for a six-month-old baby that weighs 16.5 lbs. (approximately 7.5 kg.) would be 15 mcg.

Mom feeding baby rice cereal

So, if you’re:

  • Immune Suppressed (elderly, sick, recovering from illness or surgery, etc.)
  • Pregnant
  • Nursing
  • Feeding an Infant or Small Child

you should examine more closely what you’re exposed to (food or otherwise). This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to make any changes at all. It simply means that you should check what you’re already getting (or feeding your young ones) and check if it’s within safe limits. This isn’t just a rice question. This applies to so many things and is an overall health question.


Is There Safer Rice With Less Arsenic?

There are a few different options for getting rice that has less arsenic. Which of these you choose will depend on your nutrition goals.

White Rice With Less Arsenic

The FDA reports that white rice has between 1/2 and 2/3rds the amount of arsenic as brown rice (depending on the variety of white rice). FDA

That does not make white rice a healthier choice, however. White rice has less arsenic than brown rice because it has less of every trace mineral. White rice is made by simply scrubbing the outer bran layer off. The bran layer is where most of the micronutrients are. If you’re looking for a simple carb to boost blood sugar, then white rice is a good option for you. If you’re looking for vitamins and minerals, then brown rice is still the healthier choice. Here's a quick video on how white rice is made:

Now, is there a safer brown rice available?

Brown Rice With Less Arsenic

There is a difference in the amount of arsenic found in rice depending on how and where it was grown.

“Inorganic arsenic occurs in nature in the soil, copper and lead ore deposits, and water, but usually in low concentrations. However, it can become more concentrated when industrial processes use it to make wood preservatives, metal compounds, or organic arsenic-containing compounds such as insecticides, weed killers, and other compounds.” Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

Though arsenic is found in the soil and water, an increased amount is found where certain pesticides and fertilizers were used. For example, you'll find that rice grown in the Southern U.S. is higher in arsenic, because it is grown in the same place cotton used to grow. The cotton farmers used arsenic-based pesticides to control boll weevils.

To be on the safe side - check where it's grown. We get the Lundberg from iHerb. They regularly take their own readings and seek to keep the arsenic low. Both their brown rice and white rice is well below the average reported by the FDA. Check out the Lundberg website to see the exact numbers.


Keeping Poison In Perspective

All substances are poisons; there is none which is not a poison. The right dose differentiates a poison from a remedy. Paracelsus, 1567, founder of toxicology

The Dose Makes The Poison

Salt:

Too much salt is in a person’s system is known medically as hypernatremia. If hypernatremia occurs,

Salt spread out as a skull and bones to represent the idea of salt as a poison
“there is too much sodium outside the brain cells, water will flow out to right this discrepancy, causing the cells to shrink. Confusion, jitteriness, seizures, coma, and death can result if things aren’t corrected.” Sauders, 2014

Caffeine:

“The caffeine in a normal human diet does not cause illness, but just 50 times this amount could kill you.” Nancy Trautmann, Ph.D.

Spinach:

The oxalic acid found in spinach is harmless in the amounts anyone would normally eat but could lead to kidney damage or death if 10 to 20 pounds were consumed at a single sitting.” Nancy Trautmann, Ph.D.

The Body’s Ability To Filter Out Toxins

One thing that people seem to be missing from these reports about arsenic in rice is that they are testing higher doses of arsenic in people's urine - as in, they're peeing it out - getting rid of it.

“The toxicity of each type of chemical also depends on whether it gets excreted from the body or stored in the liver, kidneys, fat, or other tissues” The Dose Makes the Poison--Or Does It? Nancy Trautmann, Ph.D.

So, how toxic a substance is depends on how efficiently the body gets rid of it. This is one of those areas where a compromised immune system makes you disqualified from counting on your body’s ability to properly filter toxins. It might be able to, but you can’t be sure how efficiently it will do so. For a relatively healthy individual, however, arsenic is excreted through the urine.

“Arsenic is removed from blood very quickly...arsenic is mainly excreted from the body through urine within 1 to 2 days” CSA Illumina

Again, no matter how efficiently your body filters out toxins, there is always a dose at which it cannot keep up. Rice clearly does not contain this dose.


What You NEED To Know About Arsenic in Rice

Basics on Arsenic in Rice

  • Arsenic is a necessary element that your body needs - Dartmouth
  • Too much arsenic is toxic and can be deadly (like salt, iodine and many other substances)

Arsenic in Rice: Verdict for Adults

  • The provisional maximum tolerable daily intake (PMTDI) of inorganic arsenic is 2 mcg/kg of bodyweight per day (50kg = 110lbs, so a 110 lb. person’s maximum tolerable intake of inorganic arsenic would be 100 mcg per day) - World Health Organization (WHO)
  • The FDA lists the average brown rice tested at 7.2 mgc per 1/2 cup serving. - FDA
  • This is not a significant source of arsenic to be concerned about for adults.

Arsenic in Rice: Verdict for Children

  • Children under 3 years old generally get 2 - 3 times the exposure to inorganic arsenic as adults. - FDA
  • The provisional maximum daily tolerable intake (PMDTI) of arsenic for a six-month-old baby that weighs 16.5 lbs. (approximately 7.5 kg.) would be 15 mcg. - World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Concern comes in for rice-based infant formulas and toddler cereals, as their consumption per bodyweight might be too high. Check the amounts you are giving your child, or consider adding in some alternatives to balance the diet more.


Conclusion of The Arsenic Rice Question

You can still eat rice, and brown rice is still better for you than white rice (at least if you’re looking for more vitamins and minerals in your food…which most of us are).

If you eat a lot of rice or are feeding a lot of rice to your growing children, there are safer brands and types of rice.


What About You

Let’s learn from each other. Share with us your stories and any research you’ve found that helps us all make educated decisions.

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The Sick "Healthy" Person

Do you know one?

We almost all know some person or family that is so “healthy” - they don't use chemical cleaning products, only eat organic foods, etc. - and yet they always seem to be battling one ailment or another. They are some of the sickest “healthy” people we know. Why?

It Takes Two

As we talked about in our last post, Never Be Sick Again, there are two main things needed to achieve this goal:

  1. Detox - get rid of the bad, toxic substances within the body and home
  2. Nourish - bring in the good nutrients the body needs to heal itself

Sick “healthy” people usually make one major mistake - their focus is one-sided. They understand getting rid of the bad, but forget the importance of bringing in the good.

Annie's Organic Macaroni & Cheese

Organic Mac & Cheese

Here's a classic example: Organic mac & cheese.  See, they've made the “healthy” choice. They've stopped eating foods grown with chemicals and hormones. They're eating “natural”. There's only one problem: their bodies are starving. They've taken out the bad things, but they haven't replaced it with the nourishing foods their bodies need. (Nothing against organic mac & cheese - let's just recognize that it's a comfort food, not a nourishing one.)

Organic vs. Natural

I love the concept of organic food and encourage people to, whenever possible, eat organic or locally, naturally grown (no pesticides) foods. It's more important, however, that your meals are filled with nutrient-dense foods then chemical-free ones. You can keep the machine clean, but if you don't give it any fuel, it still won't run. If the only apple you can buy has been grown with chemicals - then buy it, wash it and nourish your body with it. It's amazing how much better our bodies can deal with the toxins when it gets the nutrients needed to function properly.

**Note** No all foods grown without chemicals are marked “organic”. See our post Organic vs. Naturally Grown for more information.

What About You?

Do you know any sick “healthy” people? Have you been one yourself? What things were missing?

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Skin - A Window To Our Health

My skin shows everything. I've gotten rashes, acne, cellulite, stretch marks, spider veins and scars…and that's all by the time I turned 16. Is it a curse, or - as my husband tries to tell me - is it a blessing? I'd have to say a little of both.

Skin Problems = Curse

Obviously, from a beauty perspective, it's a curse. I have or do struggle with almost every major skin problem. There are a few I have escaped, and the ones I have I keep under pretty tight control. Still, I have a pretty good list.

If there's someone qualified to test out products and procedures to see what works for skin problems - it's me. My body is stubborn. No easy fixes here. I'll still share with you things that worked for others, because they might work for you too. If it actually worked for me, however, then it has truly passed a difficult test.

I have often wished that things were easier for me, that what works for others would work for me, or that I simply never had the problems in the first place. This is where the wise, yet thoroughly annoying, words of my husband come in: “Your skin problems are a blessing.”

Skin Problems = Blessing

What!?! My skin problems are a blessing? “Yes,” he told me, “Your skin is a mirror that reflects your health. Some people's mirrors don't show them so clearly what's going on inside of their bodies. Yours is a very effective messenger.” Great! I wish it would shut up. I mean, how about a mute button? Even alarms have snooze buttons. Ultimately, however, he is right.

My skin is communicating with me. It tells me when it doesn't like a food, medicine, supplement, face cream, perfume or cleaning product. It shows me when I'm not getting enough sleep, enough nutrients, enough exercise, or anything else my body needs. It communicates quickly so that I can more effectively determine the problem. Some people first learn that there's a problems when an important organ stops functioning properly, or when the doctor tells them they have cancer. I have been blessed with early warning signs that something is wrong, and it's a good thing that I can't mute it.

What About You?

How well does your mirror work? Do you have another way that your body tells you something is wrong? Share with us and let's all learn together how to better listen to our bodies.

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Have A Happy Healthy Christmas!

Enjoy the little things in life...for one day you'll look back and realize they were the big things" Quote by Robert Brault

Holidays are often a time to come together with loved ones, celebrate, heal old wounds, make new inspiring goals, remember hopes and dreams, and reflect on who you are and who you want to be. This holiday season, we wish you joy and encourage you to recognize that health is made up of more than the things we put in our bodies...it is also the things we put in our minds, hearts and souls. Make healthy choices this season and into the new year.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


What About You?

What healthy choices are you making this holiday season? Do you have any old or new traditions that you can share with us?

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Never Be Sick Again

Health - A Gift To Yourself and Others

There are a lot of great books out there and continuing our education on the health of our bodies is a must. No matter how many books I read, however, this one - Never Be Sick Again, by Raymond Francis, M.Sc., - seems to capture and lay the foundation for about every single problem we have, in regards to our health. You really need to read the whole book to get all that it has, but I'll give you the two main concepts to healing and never being sick:

  1. Detox - get rid of the poisons that afflict your body so that it can heal itself
  2. Nourish - give your body the tools it needs to heal itself

These two concepts are simple and so obvious when we think about it. Get rid of the bad and bring in the good.

Note: These concepts are largely preventative maintenance. Once someone is sick, more may be needed for healing. It's important to remember, however, that what is needed to prevent a problem is still needed when “fixing” the problem, so the foundation for healing an illness is the same as preventing it.

Never Be Sick Again, by Raymond Francis, M.Sc.,

Detox: Get Rid of the Bad

The body is designed to self heal. There are things, however, that can block the body from maximum performance and healing. We come into contact with things everyday that our bodies need to filter and dispose of. A clog in one of these filters can result in serious health problems.

There's only so much time and energy the body has to spend on maintaining itself. The more it spends on getting rid of the garbage, the less it has for repairs. Without regular repairs, things begin to function at a lower level or even shut down. It's important to limit our exposure to toxic substances, take steps to clean out our body's filters, and aid it in the regular elimination of unwanted substances.

Nourish: Bring in the Good

Again, the body is designed to self heal. Don't mistake that to mean, however, that it doesn't need tools to do that. We wouldn't need to eat if our bodies didn't require specific nutrients to live. Proteins, vitamins, minerals, fats - these are all needed to maintain and repair your body.

What About You?

What steps do you take to never be sick again?

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