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7 Health Legacies to Give Our Children

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7 Health Legacies to Give Our Children

HealthLegacy

Have you ever thought about about the health legacy you are building for your children? As parents we set the foundation for the rest of their life and it's important to leave them with a wellness foundation that is healthy in mind, body and spirit. Here are 7 health legacies to give to our children. 1) Teach them where their food comes from

Today, many children (and adults) do not know where their food comes from and think chocolate milk comes from a cow. Food education is critical to helping children eat healthy for the rest of their life. Now, this may involve some education and research on your part, but it's so worth it! Food is not just calories on a plate, it's food to nourish our body and prevent disease. This might be the time to start buying local produce and food if you aren't already. Real food is not made in a lab, real food is grown on small farms with organic practices that care for the earth for years to come. Begin to investigate how far the food you are buying travels to get to your plate. The average food travels 1,500 miles. And this is taking a toll on our health, our environment, our air. Teaching your kids where their food comes from may also inspire you to make healthier choices for you and your family!

2) Teach them how their food is made

HealthLegacy
HealthLegacy

Do you know how the cereal was made that you are pouring into their bowls? What about eggs, meat, dairy? Was it made with harmful ingredients that you can't pronounce? Or was it made with local ingredients? A healthy relationship with food sets a healthy relationship for our children for years to come. Food is fun! Food is made-from-scratch with fresh, organic, local ingredients. Real food doesn't grow on cans or cardboard boxes. Teaching them how their food is made can involve a trip to the local farmer's market and your local, organic farmer. Visit your local beekeeper (no bees, no food!). Sign up for a CSA (Community Supported (Sustainable) Agriculture). See if your town or city has a community garden. If they don't, why start one with your neighbors? It's fun and relaxing to get your hands in fresh soil! When we get back to the basics of our food system we teach our children healthy principles for generations to come. 

3) Teach them how to cook and bake

One of the great travesties is that people no longer cook in their kitchen! (This personally makes me sad.) Learning to cook and bake is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children for years to come! Buy local, fresh, organic ingredients and make meals from scratch. Rely on what's in season instead of using a microwave. Make yummy chocolate chip cookies from scratch with real ingredients (real, whole butter, organic whole wheat flour, Celtic sea salt) instead of a mix. Have a-make-your-own pizza night! Making naturally gluten free dough is super easy. Have the kids pick their toppings. More pizza ideas here. Tip: if your attitude is "but I don't like to cook!" change your attitude. It doesn't serve anyone to have that outlook! Rely less on the commercial grocery store products and more on your kitchen (and local farmer) for your food. P.S. the kitchen is awesome.

4) Teach them to thank a local, organic farmer

A thankful heart is another part of a healthy life. And one place to start is with your local, organic farmer. Build a relationship with them! Thank them for the food they provide, for their care for the soil and earth and air. If we lose our small local farmers we lose out on our health for generations to come. Children will love visiting the farms! Make it a weekly or bi-weekly routine.

5) Teach them by setting a positive example

Healthy eating habits are set and learned by you. Your attitude towards the kitchen, healthy eating and physical activity all starts with you (no pressure, right?!). Children will follow your lead so you have a big responsibility! Set the positive example by showing them that it's natural to eat kale chips, drink pure water, run, practice yoga, ride bikes, shop at local farmer's markets!

6) Teach them that living a healthy life always looks for ways to give back

We live in an instant gratification society and it's having a negative impact on our lives and on our world. By teaching them to look around them and see how they can help others will instill a grateful attitude in their tender hearts. It can be as simple as picking up trash at the playground, making a warm meal for the homeless family on the street corner or contributing funds to build a well in Africa for the millions that don't have access to the basic human right of clean water. Gratefulness is a great healthy habit that will have lasting dividends.

7) Teach them that healthy habits will last them for a lifetime

Building healthy habits is critical for the rest of their lives. Healthy living will be a natural part of their life and in turn they will be able to help others. Teach them that eating for health and disease prevention is a great thing! Let them see you getting active. Let them hear you speak encouraging words. Ride your bikes together to the local playground or park. Make healthy living a family affair!

Learn more about living gluten free! Visit http://udisglutenfree.com/community

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Udi's Gluten Free. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Are You Brushing Your Teeth with Cancer?

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Are You Brushing Your Teeth with Cancer?

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Last week we wrote about oral health and oil pulling. (If you don’t know about oil pulling, make sure you read this.) Oral health is just as important as daily sweat fests, eating real food, drinking pure water and thinking positive thoughts. Brushing and flossing our teeth is part* of a healthy oral routine. 

*Nutrition plays a major role in our oral health. In fact, our oral health begins before we're even born! Mothers begin to establish their children's DNA and oral health. Another reason to "eat for health"!  

But have you ever looked at the ingredients at the tube of toothpaste?

If you haven’t, run to your bathroom right now and read the label.

(We'll wait for you.)

Okay, now that you have the box or tube in your hands, read the label. See the ingredients? These ingredients are toxic and some of them are known to cause cancer.

Yup, cancer.

Does putting known toxins and carcinogens into your body sound healthy? No, of course not! When we consume toxins whether it’s through our mouth from things like toothpaste, mouthwash, gum, mints, prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, food-like products or on our skin like lotion, perfumes, colognes, our body absorbs them. And it's causing many health problems.

A quick rundown of the some these ingredients that are found in toothpaste (and a host of other products like anti-bacterial soaps and hand sanitizer, body & face lotion, shampoo, food products to name a few):

Triclosan

This toxic chemical is in antibacterial soaps, dish soaps and hand sanitizers and Colgate still puts in toothpaste. Triclosan is a pesticide and a fungicide. Studies have also shown that triclosan disrupts the endocrine systems of rats -- including thyroid function and production of sperm, testosterone and estrogen. Another startlingly fact? This chemical can be found in the urine of 75% of Americans (CDC) and the EPA has registered triclosan as a dangerous pesticide. And yet people are still ingesting it and wonder why their health is not good. See how wellness is not singular? It’s plural- mind, body, spirit.

What happens when you are exposed to this chemical? It damages the liver, kidneys, heart and lungs, suppress the immune system, and cause hormonal disruption, paralysis, sterility and brain hemorrhages.

If you are sweating daily, eating real food but still having chronic pain and other health issues, look at your toothpaste, soaps, body care products. Your endocrine system controls so much of your wellness (like metabolism for example).

Bottom line: read labels and get rid of anything that contains triclosan. This means no antibacterial soaps, antibacterial hand sanitizer, popular dishwashing detergents, etc. Note: germs aren’t the enemy, deadly chemicals are.

Propylene Glycol (PG)

Another toxic chemical is found in many Big Food products as well as body care products is propylene glycol. This is used in antifreeze, in “blueberries” in some Big Food products, and yes, even toothpaste.

This chemical has been shown to cause allergic reactions in patients with eczema and other skin allergies.

Sodium Fluoride

This is another dangerous chemical. Do you eat rat poison? Before you say “no way!” sodium fluoride is in toothpaste and rat poison. This is why you see the warning label on commercial toothpaste boxes.

But did you know that most popular toothpastes contain enough fluoride to kill a small child within 2 to 4 hours?!

What are the consequences of this chemical? In children and youth, minimal ingestion of sodium fluoride causes salivation, nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, and diarrhea. Large doses of the carcinogen may cause paralysis, muscular weakness and clonic convulsions, followed by respiratory and cardiac failure. Source.

Sodium fluoride is also used in rat and cockroach poisons, and a key component in anesthetic, hypnotic, and psychiatric drugs and sarin nerve gas! Yikes!

Important note: Fluoride has never shown to reduce cavities and scientists link fluoride to dental deformity, arthritis, allergic reactions and about 10,000 unnecessary deaths each year from cancer. And the FDA has never approved fluoride.

Note: kids and pregnant moms should be careful using oral fluoride (toothpaste/mouthwash). Fluoride is useful in preventing tooth decay so using a natural source of mouthwash or adding to the toothpaste recipe below is helpful in preventing cavities. Natural Dentist Healthy Teeth Fluoride Rinse is a good option. Made with quality and safer ingredients (no coloring dyes or alcohol) it will be helpful in keeping teeth cavity free. You could also supplement brushing with a natural toothpaste (although many natural toothpaste at the health food stores do not contain fluoride because of the associated risks). We don't want unwanted trips to the dentist!

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

American College of Toxicity has stated this chemical is corrosive and harmful to skin tissue.

Even more appalling is that the journal of the American College of Toxicology reports that SLS can penetrate and be retained in the eye, brain, heart, and liver with potentially harmful long term effects. This ingredient is also found in most shampoos including "no tears" baby shampoos, SLS can keep children's eyes from developing properly, can cause cataracts in adults, can retard healing, and can impair hair growth. Source.

Other toxic ingredients in popular toothpastes are coloring dyes like FD & C Blue Dyes 1 & 2 is just like ingesting crude oil (petroleum) or coal tar, hydrated silica, parabens to name a few. If you didn’t think toothpaste was toxic before reading this, you do now!

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So now that you are going to throw out your toothpaste RIGHT NOW, what will you brush with? Here is a recipe for toothpaste that I created. Safe, very effective with no death, blindness or cancer as side effects. Before you make this, I also suggest that you begin the healthy ritual of oil pulling every morning upon rising. Read how to do it here.

How to make toothpaste

Ingredients:

½ cup Baking soda

5 drops Tea tree oil (antiseptic, anti-fungal, infection-reducing, antibiotic)

2 tablespoons EVCO (Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral)

1 teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt (not table salt) (Celtic Sea Salt contains 82 trace essential minerals for human wellness and longevity)

1-2 tablespoons water

For peppermint toothpaste add

3 drops of organic peppermint extract (fights cavities, fresh breath, reduces stress, whitens teeth)

For cinnamon toothpaste add

½ teaspoon organic ceylon cinnamon (antibacterial, anti-fungal, supports immune system)

Method:

Mix all together in a small glass bowl to form a paste. Adjust water and baking soda amounts as needed.

(I personally add both peppermint and cinnamon as the health benefits from both are fantastic.)

To use:

Simply scoop a little of the paste on your finger and onto toothbrush.

After you brush your teeth, simply rinse with water and then use this mouthwash (making sure not to eat or drink for 30 minutes after rinsing) and rinse well with water. And, of course oil pulling is another healthy oral practice!

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Healthy habit tip: if you aren’t in the habit of reading the label of everything you buy and knowing exactly what that ingredient is, start doing so right now. So much of what is marketed to us is toxic and disease, cancer-promoting. Be an educated consumer!

Cover photo credit: Narin-flicker

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The 3 Benefits of Oil Pulling

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The 3 Benefits of Oil Pulling

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Oil pulling. Is it hype or healthy? Let's find out! The practice of oil pulling has been around for centuries- since ancient Ayurvedic times in fact. The health benefits of oil pulling are fantastic for so many reasons. Here are the 3 benefits of oil pulling.

Oral health. Our mouth is filled with bacteria and given the Standard American Diet (SAD), all those acidic and chemical heavy food-like products take a toll on your oral health which affects everything else. Wellness isn’t exclusive to one thing, it’s all tied together. Bad breath, gum disease, plaque buildup, sensitive teeth, and cavities are just a few unhealthy problems that occur from toxins (pesticides, dyes, acidic products) in our mouth. And in addition, our mouth is a breeding field for viruses, diseases and infections! Are you ready to oil pull?! Oral health is really, really important. By oil pulling you can actually cure the aforementioned oral problems. (Case in point, I was having some toothaches and within a few days of oil pulling they disappeared!) Another thing oil pulling does? Whitens teeth! Forget toxic strips, just oil pull.

Wellness tip: don’t mask bad breath with chemical-filled gum, mints, Altoids. These products are made with ingredients that have been linked to diseases like cancer. Oil pull instead!

Heart health. Did you know that oral health and heart health go hand-in-hand? Well, they do! There is a connection between oral plaque and heart plaque. According to research when there is gum disease people have a greater chance of heart disease. Oil pulling helps to pull all those toxins out of the teeth and gums and naturally detoxifies your mouth making your heart healthy. See how wellness is all connected?!

Overall health. A few other things oil pulling does is to detoxify the body of inflammation, toxins (remember how your mouth is a playground of unhealthy bacteria?!), helps with allergies, congestion, and digestive issues. If you have any kind of chronic inflammatory diseases (RA, Celiac, IBS/IBD, etc) oil pulling is one healthy component to healing your gut. Building a strong immune system is so important to staying well and fighting disease!

How to oil pull

So how do you “oil pull”? First thing upon rising. For most people this is the morning time but if you work night shift, then of course that means your morning is nighttime. Here are the easy step by step directions! It’s not gross (unless you have really, really poor oral health) and 20 minutes goes by in flash.

1) Upon waking DO NOT drink (including coffee, water, etc) or eat anything. Your mouth is full of toxins and bacteria so you don’t want to swallow them!

2) You can keep a jar of oil in your room, bathroom or head into the kitchen. (Bonus: EVCO makes an excellent moisturizer!) With about 1 teaspoon of organic EVCO (Extra Virgin Coconut Oil*) begin to swish and “pull” the oil through your teeth. Your saliva will mix with the oil to create a “mouthwash” feel.

3) Swish for 20 minutes. (DO NOT SWALLOW as you are removing toxins.) Note: best to do in privacy so you don’t have to do hand motions. Once you get the hang of oil pulling, you can also gargle off & on during these 20 minutes too. And I have personally found that sneezing, coughing, yawning, laughing will become impossible! Just a friendly heads up ;)

4) During these 20 minutes you can check email, put away the dishes, fold laundry, clean house. The minutes go by fast!

5) When 20 minutes are up, spit out into trashcan. Do not spit down the sink drain as the now-toxic-oil will clog it.

6) Rinse your mouth with Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). (About a teaspoon.)

7) Brush teeth. (Now you can enjoy some pure H2O!)

8) Repeat every morning for 30 days (healthy habits!) Then you can oil pull Monday-Friday. But once you feel the amazing effects of oil pulling you may never stop!

Notes:

You can add organic essential oils or organic spices (Turmeric) to your oil pulling routine for even greater health benefits. Here is a suggestion list from Hayley Hobson:

1 drop of Cinnamon Essential Oil: use as an antioxidant to boost immunity.

1 drop of Myrrh Essential Oil: use if you have coughs, digestive issues, or mucus.

1 drop of Clove Essential Oil: use if you have sensitive gums or issues with bad breath.

1 drop of Lemon Essential Oil: use to rid your mouth of bacterial, viral or fungal infections.

1 drop of Lavender Essential Oil: use for allergies or as an antihistamine.

1 drop of Peppermint Essential Oil: use if you are depressed or have allergies.

*Other acceptable oils include organic sesame oil or organic sunflower oil.

I highly recommend making oil pulling a part of your daily wellness routine!

--- Your turn!

Do you oil pull? Will you try if you don't? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

 Cover photo credit: SingChan

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Calories 101

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Calories 101

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Calories. When you read that word you probably went into a slight panic attack. From being bombarded with false advertising to diet books to unhealthy photo models, we no longer know how to cook and how to eat. All we know is "calories are bad!"

And that has turned us into a nation that doesn’t know the basic knowledge of how to care for ourselves, how to cook, how to eat. In the film Hungry for Change, they said it best "we are a nation that is overfed, but undernourished". Sadly, that is true. We have more food than ever before but we also have more disease than ever before.

What is a calorie? In very simple terms, it is energy.

A few facts about calories:

  • All calories are not created equal. All calories are not the same.
  • Calories are not points, portions, restrictive, free.
  • Calories are energy.
  • Your body needs the right calories in order to thrive.
  • A calorie is not “just a calorie”.

Our nation is filled with millions of people who do not know how to eat. They have been relegated to counting points (thanks Weight Watchers) instead of teaching people how to nourish themselves with real, nutrient-dense food. Lean Cuisine might be x points, but it is not real food. It is a box full of chemicals and disease. People should be counting how many toxins are in their food instead! It is horrifying appalling.

In America our food supply is filled with very toxic and deadly ingredients (that are banned in other countries). Products (note I didn’t say food) are designed to keep a customer for life by making them addicted and sick.

You want to eat foods that nourish your body, prevent disease (and most importantly don’t give you disease!), strength, strong immune system, and give you energy. Those calories are the best kind of calories!

Instead of thinking of calories, think real, life-giving nutrients. Nutrients are vitamins and minerals from real food that give your body life and wellness and health.

When deciding what to eat (and buy) you always want to think what are the real nutrients in this? The vitamins listed on the back of a cereal box nutrition label are not a nutrient-dense food choice. They are enriched, fake, lab-made "vitamins". Nutrients from a fresh, raw organic bunch of kale contains authentic vitamins and minerals that your body needs to fight disease.

Any product that says “fat-free, sugar-free, zero calorie, calorie free, low-calorie, enriched” is a sign to run away. Very, very fast. These are lab-made products and will give you horrendous health disease (from weight gain/obesity to cancer to heart disease to brain tumors).  (Remember: gum/mints, cooking sprays, Jell-O, etc are included on this toxic list!)

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photo (69)

Lesson: stop counting calories. If you count anything, let it be nutrients from real food that will give you life.

Substituting one toxic ingredient or product for another is neither smart nor effective. Get rid of the junk entirely! Drink pure water, never soft drinks (and do not add liquids or powders to your water either). Eat real food.

What is real food?

Real food is organic, whole, fresh foods. If you eat meat (beef, pork, chicken, fish), it is humanely raised and killed, it ate grass, it’s not frozen for months on end, you know where it came from. If you eat eggs, you eat the whole egg, not half the egg (i.e. egg whites from a box). The eggs come from chickens that were pastured, roamed, fed organic feed, humanely raised (no chicken prisons). And lastly, real food is never, ever, EVER, ever GMO.

Here are some nutrient-dense, real food options:

  • Homemade kale chips for chips, crackers
  • Quinoa, sweet potatoes, bok choy instead of frozen crap (dinners)
  • Carrots, red+yellow+orange bell peppers, cucumbers with hummus instead of chips & dip
  • Raw nuts & seeds instead of Planters Nuts
  • Hemp Hearts for fish
  • Red lentils and brown rice for chicken
  • Kidney beans and brown rice for beef
  • Whole eggs+sauteed veggies instead of boxed cereal, toast, bagels
  • Chia seeds instead of sports drinks/Gatorade, MiO, Crystal Light, etc
  • For beverages the answer is always, always pure water. No soft drinks, energy drinks, coffee dessert beverages.
  • Get used to not having something in your mouth instead of gum. There is no need to be chewing all day long! Give your gut a break.

There is so, so much power in real food! Hint: if it came in a package, box, can, wrapper, frozen section via Big Food this is a sign that isn’t real food.

How can you feel better? How can you lose weight? Look better? The answer is pretty simple*: eat real food, drink pure water.

Go make healthy choices, stop counting toxic calories, start living!

*daily exercise, healthy thoughts, balancing hormones, absorbing nutrients from real food are factors to losing weight as well.

Cover photo credit: Jeff Kubina 

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7 Habits of Healthy People

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7 Habits of Healthy People

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It’s the first week of 2014 and as the days turn on the calendar, many people will lose their resolve to be healthy. This is because they’ve made unsustainable resolutions instead of attainable goals. But the main reason most people do not follow through on their New Year Resolutions is because they haven’t learned that healthy living is a mindset. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. A way of life.

So what sets those apart who live a healthy life, day in, day out? Here are seven habits of healthy people.

1. They know it’s a life-long lifestyle, not a short-term diet(s). Healthy people know that it’s a lifestyle, never a diet. Whether it’s a mainstream diet or a lesser known diet, healthy people know it’s about making daily, sustainable changes. They learn how to eat. Counting points doesn’t teach people how to eat. Food isn’t points! Food is nutrition! Real, whole food is life! Depriving yourself of food isn’t a diet, it’s starvation. No matter what comes along in life, healthy people continue to eat healthy. Their bodies crave raw, cold-pressed juice, not a greasy pink slime burger or 17-ingredient french fries. Healthy people also know it’s nutrients in, nutrients to live. Not calories in, calories out.

2. They drink water, not soft drinks (and rarely alcohol).  Regardless of the day, month, year, healthy people are consistent in drinking their water. They carry their reusable water bottle around with them everywhere. They drink at least three liters of pure water daily. And healthy people don’t add toxic powders or liquids to their water either. Consuming a glass of wine daily/weekly, attending every Happy Hour that comes along or having to “celebrate” with a beer for an athletic event are things truly healthy people just don’t do. Free health tip for you: alcohol is acid-forming and disease comes from acid. P.S. Kombucha, organic green and white teas are also beverages of healthy people. But they always drink plenty of fresh, pure water!

3. They eat real, whole foods, not low fat, low calorie, sugar free, fat free, skim products. This is one of the staples of truly healthy people. They are not duped by products with labels that say “low fat, low calorie, sugar free, fat free, skim milk”. (Skim milk is not just “cream off the top, by the way.) Healthy people know the difference between healthy fat and man-made, deadly fat. They eat foods in their whole form (real organic butter, organic whole milk, fresh, organic vegetables & fruit in their whole form). They eat the whole, organic egg (not just egg whites). Big Food Products are not the same as real, whole foods. Healthy people eat real fat (avocado, raw nuts and seeds, coconut, hemp), not processed fat (cheeseburgers, french fries, deli-meats).

4. They live by the choices they make and the word “moderation” is not a part of their vocabulary or mindset. Healthy people have a cookie and enjoy it. Without using the phrase “everything in moderation”. The word (moderation) is used when people feel guilty about their food or drink choices they’ve made that they know they shouldn’t have. How many times have you seen a photo of a plate of freshly made kale chips with a caption that read “everything in moderation!”? Never! Healthy people own the choices they make, they don’t use an excuse to justify poor eating behaviors. Fast food (in reality it’s Fast Death with Disease) is never eaten by healthy people. They know better than to poison their bodies with that artery clogging junk! P.S. You can read more about moderation here.

5. They make reasons to live, not excuses. Healthy people don’t live their life by excuses, they live with reasons. Excuses can creep in very quickly if you aren’t careful. “It’s too cold”, “I don’t feel like it”, “I’ll do it tomorrow”, “it’s the holiday season” or “I earned it” are common excuses from people that haven’t learned how to be healthy (yet). In order to live a truly healthy life, you’ve got to get excuses out of your vocabulary and mindset!

6. They don’t let the holiday season or special occasions sway them. The difference between 365-living healthy people and mediocre healthy people is this. I can’t tell you how many posts I saw this last week of so-called healthy people stating they are “going to eat clean” and “no more hamburger helper” and “drink more water”. The holiday season doesn’t deter steadfast healthy people. They plan ahead, bring healthy snacks with them, drink pure water daily, and exercise. They don’t use the holiday season as an excuse to stop living and being healthy. They’ve trained their mind as much as they’ve trained body. How can you tell a healthy person apart from the rest? Living healthy is at their core of everything they do. Healthy living isn't a season, it's an everyday healthy habit. It’s who they are. Day in. Day out. It’s the air they breathe.

7. They cook at home, rarely eating out. Healthy people cook at home with fresh, real ingredients. Regardless if you are plant-based or omnivore, healthy people cook from scratch at home. Healthy people know the joy it brings to cook a homemade meal! They shop at a local farmer’s market or co-op. They use fresh, real, whole food ingredients. Boxes and cans and mixes aren’t a part of their pantry staples. Their fridge is overflowing with organic vegetables and fruit, not plastic cups of GMO yogurt. Healthy people know that nutrition comes from real food. And they’ll prepare nutrient-dense meals, snacks and lunches to keep their body in great health.

And a bonus as it’s really important.

8. They think healthy thoughts instead of negative ones. Healthy people know that what they put in their bodies is just as important as what they think, listen to, watch, read. Your perspective on life is based on what is influencing you. Healthy people keep good, positive company, listen to empowering and positive music, podcasts, shows (and don't watch much TV).

Healthy living is a title you earn by living it faithfully, not given. It’s being consistent - day in, day out. You can’t imagine life any other way. You can’t imagine not eating kale daily or drinking water consistently. Healthy people can’t wait to move their bodies or try new exercises. Healthy living isn’t just a fad, it’s a way of life forever and ever!

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Your turn!

Are you living a truly healthy life? Do you want to start living well? Join {wellprint} and you can start your wellness journey today! 

photo credit: LuAnn Snawder

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