Juicing is a fabulous way of making our nutrients bioavailable, as juicing removes the fibre part of the fruits and thus requiring very little work from our digestive system and is also very high in water.

Lesson #1: Always use Pesticide-free organic veggies

It is wise to choose organic whenever possible. However some vegetables are worse than others. Below are the vegetables that are the most pesticide loaded one according to the Environmental Working Group, so it is wise to only purchase these vegetables if they are organically grown. The worst ones are listed first.

  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers (not as bad if you peel them)

Lesson #2: Get ready to juice!

The order listed below is only intended for those who are new to juicing so you can have a pleasant experience with it.  Using some lemon or lime to the juice can help effectively counter the bitterness of some of the bitter greens. That being said it is far better to use lemons or limes than carrots,  beets,  or apples which contain more fructose.

Step 1: If you are new to juicing,  I recommend starting with these vegetables as they are easiest to digest and tolerate.

  • Celery
  • Fennel
  • Cucumbers

Step 2: While these three aren’t as nutritionally dense as dark green vegetables, once you get used to them you can add the following:

  • Red leaf lettuce
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Endive
  • Escarole
  • Spinach

Step 3: Next you can add:

  • Cabbage
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Bok Choy

An interesting side note:  Cabbage juice is the most healing nutrients for ulcer repair as is a huge source of Vitamin U.

Step 4: Add herbs to your juicing.  Here are two wonderful combinations that work exceptionally well!

  • Parsley
  • Cilantro (go easy with this herb, many cannot tolerate it well, but are highly beneficial)

Step 5: Last step! The following are quite bitter but delicious when you get used to them! Use only a couple leaves at a time.

  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Dandelion greens
  • Mustard greens (very bitter!)

Lesson 3: Make your juice taste great! If you would like to make your juice more palatable, especially in the beginning you can add these elements:

Lemons and limes: You can also add a quarter to a half of a lemon or lime, leaving much of the rind on.

Cranberries: Add some cranberries if you enjoy them. Researchers have found that cranberries have five times the antioxidant content of broccoli, which means they may protect against cancer,  stroke and heart disease. In addition they are chock full of phytonutrients, and can help women avoid urinary tract infections.

Fresh Ginger: This is an excellent addition if you can tolerate it. It gives juice a little “kick”, and as an added bonus researchers have found that ginger can have a dramatic effects on cardiovascular health, including preventing oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL)

Lesson 4: Drink your vegetables right away or store very carefully:

Juicing is a time consuming process, so you will probably be thinking to yourself “ I wonder if I can juice first thing in the morning and then drink it later?” This is not a good idea. Vegetable juice is HIGHLY perishable so it’s best to drink all your juice immediately.

Lesson 5: Clean your juicer properly.

We all know cleaning your juicer takes no longer than 10 minutes to clean. An old toothbrush works well to clean any metal grater. Remember to clean immediately after you juice to prevent any remnants from contaminating the juicer with mold growth.

10 Tips for Better Sleep Without Medication

Stick to a schedule
Mum was right when she set a time we always had to go to sleep as kids. Sticking to a schedule allows your body to set its internal rhythm so you can get up at the time you want, consistently, every single day. Also, make sure you try to keep the same schedule on weekends too, otherwise the next morning; you’d wake later and feel overly tired.

Sleep only at night
Avoid daytime sleep if possible. Daytime naps steal hours from nighttime slumber. Limit daytime sleep to 20-minute power naps.

It’s actually known to help you sleep better. Your body uses the sleep period to recover its muscles and joints that have been exercised. Twenty to thirty minutes of exercise every day can help you sleep, but be sure to exercise in the morning or afternoon. Exercise stimulates the body and aerobic activity before bedtime may make falling asleep more difficult.

Take a hot shower or bath before bed
This helps bring on sleep because they can relax tense muscles.

Avoid eating just before bed.
Give yourself at least 2 hours from when you eat to when you sleep. This allows for digestion to happen (or at least start) well before you go to sleep so your body can rest well during the night, rather than churning away your food.

Avoid caffeine.
It keeps you awake and that’s now what you want for a good nights sleep. We all know that.

Read a fiction book.
It takes you to a whole new world if you really get into it. And then take some time to ponder over the book as you fall asleep. I find as I read more and more, regardless of the book, I get more tired at night and so find it easier to fall asleep.

Have the room slightly cooler.
I prefer this to a hot room. I prefer to turn off the heat and allow the coolness to circulate in and out of the windows. If I get cold, I wear warmer clothes. It also saves on the bills as you’re not going to require the heat all night long.

Sleep in silence.
I find sleeping with no music or TV on more easy and restful. I guess others are different, but sleep with no distractions is best for a clearer mind.
Avoid alcohol before bedtime.
It’s a depressant; although it may make it easier to fall asleep, it causes you to wake up during the night. As alcohol is digested your body goes into withdrawal from the alcohol, causing nighttime awakenings and often nightmares for some people.
Adapted from www.lifehack.org

Here’s to a new you!

Daily demands challenge us modern day women with information overload about nutrition and wellness. Constant bombardment of advertisement from the beauty industry is no exception. The most important thing to remember is that beauty does indeed come from the inside, meaning that what you put in your body will reflect on your skin.

Have you noticed that beauty products in the last few years seem to be boasting their natural ingredients as their selling point, i.e. Vitamin E, Omega 3, collagen, Vitamin C. While these are unquestionable beauty enhancers, coating your outermost shell will still make it completely out of reach to your insides, you have to EAT these ingredients! Every single nutrients has to be absorbed to work it’s magic. A harmonious running digestive tract is paramount to beautiful skin.

Here are some tips:

  • Eliminate all things white in your diet, such as white bread, pastries, potatoes and sugar! All those can wreak havoc on your body at a cellular level, affecting digestion , mood, weight, libido and skin
  • Drink filtered water! Preferably room temperature as to not stop our natural digestive enzymes from doing their work….especially in our cold, dry climate nothing will plump up your skin better. Did you know that signs of dehydration include, fatigue, low energy, and a sluggish digestive tract? Drink up, ladies!
  • Introduce “Good Fats”….. yes there is such a thing! Avocados, salmon, sardines, almonds, coconut oil, flax oil, and olive oil. Their healthy benefits are numerous. Each and every one of the outermost layer of our cells are coated in lipids and proper body function is reliant on Essential Fatty Acids. These EFAs are essential for growth, healing, nervous system function, inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, heart disease and cancer and overall well being.

Load up on fibre. Fibre is essential to facilitate proper colon function, is found in plants and comes in two forms, insoluble and soluble. Soluble fibre dissolves in water, while insoluble does not. Soluble attracts water to form a gel thereby slowing down digestion, delays stomach emptying and makes you feel full. This is beneficial both for weight loss, satiety, and helping to control blood sugar levels, which will also helps with cravings.

Soluble fibers include oatmeal, apples, pears, nuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, psyllium( my fave!) cucumbers, carrots, celery and legumes such as navy, kidney, and lima.Insoluble includes, brown rice, green beans, dark leafy greens, cabbage, broccoli. These fibres are considered gut healthy as they prevent constipation and keep the colon healthy by preventing bacteria buildup.

One of the most important things to remember is that a quick change to a high fibre diet may cause bloating and gas…as your body gets used to a new way of eating it will adapt. Increasing fiber in your diet will also increase the need for water.

Importance of digestion

A person’s health is directly linked to the health and process of the digestive system. The process by which taking in of food, which are then broken down and transformed into life giving particles. A person’s health is not only based on the foods we eat but most importantly on how well one is able to break down these foods and be processed in a manner that is useful and lifesaving for the body.

Digestion starts in the mouth where food is broken down into smaller particles though chewing. The salivary glands produce an enzyme called amylase that helps the process. The food then passes to the stomach whereby further chemicals help to propel the food along to the first part of the small intestine where it then mixes with pancreatic enzymes along with bill from the liver and the gallbladder. These powerful enzymes help the breakdown of the food particles into amino acids, glucose and minerals and vitamins. These particles are then further broken down in the latter part of the small intestine and are transported through the intestinal walls and ending up in the blood stream.

Problems with improper digestion due to diet or poor digestion, not only lead to digestive disorders but also to allergies, illness in the body and immune system impairment. Impaired digestion can be attributed to low stomach acid (which helps the breakdown of food particles) to damaged stomach and colon. One of the biggest problems with poor digestion is food allergies which are caused by toxins in the small intestine, low stomach acid secretion. These results in larger food particles which were unable to get properly digested, crossing the intestinal membrane, the body’s immune system makes antibodies against them. These antibodies attack these food particles causing immune complexes and inflammation. This can result in Irritable bowel syndrome IBS, and many other comprising immune system diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis. Due to faulty digestion the food particles do not get properly broken down into life giving amino acids, vitamins, minerals and glucose resulting in malabsorption. Even with a proper diet high in complex carbohydrates, fish and fruits and vegetables malabsorption can still occur. Proper gutocology must be established by the use of digestive enzymes taken with every meal, as well as probiotics such as lactobacillus acidophilus and bifodobacterium bifidum taken daily to help insure and correct problems with stomach acid and malapsorption to prevent possible food allergies and disease.