5 Top Ways to Boost your Immune System

immunesystem

What is an immune system?

The immune system is the body’s natural defense system that helps fight infections. The immune system is made up of antibodies, white blood cells, and other chemicals and proteins that attack and destroy substances such as bacteria and viruses that they recognize as foreign and different from the body’s normal healthy tissues. In other words, it’s the kick ass system our bodies have in place to keep you healthy and without illness.

The foods you choose to eat can play a major role in how well your immune system functions.

Here are some foods to help boost your immunity.

sweet potato

  1. Sweet Potatoes

These delicious vegetables are very high in Vitamin A which is known to play a crucial role in skin health. You may not think of skin as part of your immune system. But this massive organ serves as a first-line fortress against bacteria, viruses, and other undesirables. One of the best ways to get vitamin A into your diet is from foods containing beta-carotene (like sweet potatoes), which your body turns into vitamin A.

 

In fact not consuming enough foods rich in vitamin A can lead to a deficiency, which studies link to a weaker immune system and a higher sensitivity to infections.

Besides sweet potatoes, other foods that are high in vitamin A include carrots, pumpkin, cantaloupe, dark-green leafy vegetables, squash, romaine lettuce, dried apricots, red peppers, fish and organ meats.

probiotic

 

  1. Probiotic-Rich Foods

Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy and can help strengthen your immune system. This may reduce the likelihood and severity of your symptoms and help you recover faster when you do fall ill.

Studies also show that when people do get sick, those who regularly consume probiotics less likely to need antibiotics. In certain cases, regularly consuming probiotics may also lead to a faster recovery from illness.

Great sources of probiotics include sauerkraut, naturally fermented pickles, kimchi, tempeh, miso, natto and kombucha.

garlic

  1. Garlic

Garlic contains an active compound, allicin, which may help reduce your risk of infection

It’s been show to improve your immune cells’ ability to fight off colds and has antimicrobial and antiviral properties that may help it fight bacterial and viral infections.

Consuming two to three cloves of fresh garlic per day may help boost your immune system. Garlic seems particularly effective at reducing the symptoms and duration of the common cold and flu.

berries

  1. Berries

Berries are a rich source of polyphenols, a group of beneficial plant compounds with antimicrobial properties.

These tasty treats and their polyphenols have the ability to protect against the influenza virus responsible for the flu and may even offer some defense against Staphylococcus, E. coli and Salmonella infections.

Berries also contain good amounts of vitamin C, which adds to their immune-boosting properties.

coconut oil

 

  1. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains lauric acid a medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) known for its antimicrobial properties. Lauric acid, which is converted into a substance known as monolaurin during digestion both have the ability to kill harmful viruses, bacteria and fungi (43).

One study suggests that coconut fats may help fight off the types of bacteria that cause stomach ulcers, sinusitis, dental cavities, food poisoning and urinary tract infections.

You can easily add coconut oil to your diet by using it instead of butter or vegetable oils in cooking or baking.

On top of these 5 foods, making sure you get enough H2O, sleep and exercise will also play a major role in your immune system and its ability to fight off illnesses.

Live longer, healthier and happier

Sulforaphane – The Next Big Health Discovery in Anti-aging and Anti-cancer

 

sulforaphane

The science:

Early studies have shown that it has a major effect on brain aging (did you know that at 20 years old our brains start to show signs of cognitive decline!!) The same study showed that sulforaphane can active a group of genes called Nrf2, these genes are thought to be essential to anti-aging and it’s believed they were once activated in all humans through stress responses like harvesting the land and having to protect oneself from wild animals. Nowadays we don’t really do these things anymore and therefore these potent free radical scavenging and detoxifying enzymes lay dormant. Sulforaphane can activate these genes supplying an abundance of anti-aging.

The benefits of this compound are endless, it’s also been shown to have a very profound effect on cancer prevention, not only prevention but in one study actually decreased prostate cancer cells from doubling (which they’re well known to do) by 86%!

It has been found to be a very promising chemopreventive agent against not only a variety of cancers such as breast, prostate, colon, skin, lung, stomach, and bladder but also against cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and diabetes.

So what is it?

Sulforaphane is a compound found in cruciferous vegetables such a broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbages. There have been studies done on the extremely high amounts found in broccoli sprouts, I’m talking 100X the sulforaphane in broccoli sprouts as opposed to just broccoli.

 

Whats the best source for me to start adding sulforaphane to my diet?

sproutignjar

Well, I’ve started growing my own sprouts in mason jars or you can buy sprout kits at your local health food store. Sprouting is very simple and very cost effective. You can buy them already sprouted but will be paying a way higher price and the longer the sprouts sit on the shelf, the higher risk of contamination they have.

greensmoothie

I grow about 4-5 jars at a time and freeze the sprouts. They are great in smoothies or on salads.

 

 

 

Warning:

There are several supplements claiming to have sulforaphane but in order for it to be produced there must be presence of the pre cursor glucoraphanin and the enzyme myrosinase. Sulforaphane is only released when these two compounds mix and when the plant is damaged. (Aka chewing). Most of the supplements contain only one of the two necessary compounds and are generally very expensive so in my opinion it’s a better option to grow sprouts.

This amazing, health pioneering compound is only starting to pique the interest of the health and science world but I guarantee we will start to hear more and more about it.

For more information on Sulforaphane check out Dr. Rhonda Patricks Blog. She is one of the leading scientists in this domain and is one of my personal role models and has been a major inspiration to my life.

Live longer, healthier and happier

 

6 Ways to not only survive but conquer and thrive in a relationship with a strong independent person

heart

  1. First of all be super proud of yourself and honoured that this independent person or IP as we’ll call them from now on, has chosen to be with you. Most IPs don’t feel that urge or need to settle down and almost always don’t buy into that “find your one” bullshit. So, if they’re with you, it’s cause they love you or can see the possibility of loving you.
  2. IPs don’t need you. For all the codependent people out there that might be a hard pill to swallow- for comfort read above.

    alone

  3. IPs are comfortable and quite content to be alone, trust me when I tell you that most IPs actually find it easier to be alone. They have their routines and schedules and don’t have anyone else’s to try to contend with.
  4. IPs think and will try to do everything themselves, which at some point may make your life a lot easier. Here is the important part. Just because they CAN do it all themselves doesn’t mean they SHOULD. This one can be kinda tricky because IPs have this “if you want it down right, do it yourself” attitude. My advice: continue to be an adult. Pick up after yourself, offer help, don’t start to rely and here is the big one; don’t expect your IP to do everything for you.
  5. IPs will love, love, love their alone time. Don’t take it personal, it’s not that they want time away from you, it’s that they want to be able to shut their brain down and sometimes that requires alone time to immerse themselves in whatever they choose… without distractions. Reading a book, meditation, yoga, watching a mindless TV show. Whatever your IPs chosen alone time activity is, give them that time.
    couoplefight
  6. And last but not least, IPs might be harder to “deal” with than other people. They know what they want, and aren’t afraid to go for it, they can make decisions for themselves and sometimes forget to involve you. (See point 4 for explanation)

They can be stubborn, and arguing with them can seem impossible. In those moments be grateful, you have a strong partner, that you have someone that is smart and driven, someone that can make decision on their own and isn’t needy or always relying on you.

heart love

IPs can make wonderful partners and generally more successful in all kinds of ways, making you more successful by osmosis. 😂 be proud of your IP and be proud of yourself for finding a strong independent partner.

Live longer, healthier and happier

8 Natural Ways to Deal with Insomnia

calm mind

Here are some ways to deal with insomnia that don’t include prescription medication.

1. Guided meditations: YouTube Deepak Chopra or invest in an app like Headspace. These help quiet the mind and 99% of time I don’t even make it half way through the meditations on Headspace before passing out.

guided meditations

sleepy herbs

2. All natural remedies like a sleepy tea that contains Valerian. Chamomile, passionflower, hops, Ashwagandha are all amazing herbs that you can make a tea out of and consume it before bedtime. Valerian has been shown to not only help you get to sleep but also keep you asleep. *If you suffer from a liver disease or are pregnant or breastfeeding, Valerian is not for you.

3. Try to create a bedtime routine that doesn’t include stimulants like exercise or caffeine if your sensitive to those things. With that said, having a proper exercise will actually help you fall asleep, the key would be to do it earlier in the day instead of the evening if you think this may be the offender. no caffeine

 

 

4. Deal with whatever shit is keeping you up. This might be as easy as talking to the person that your pissed at or it might require some professional help. Whatever it is just do it.
calm mind

5. Don’t stay in bed if you can’t sleep. Get up, do a lap of the house or read a book (unless this is a stimulant for you) but don’t just lay there and get more and more frustrated. This will actual keep you up more then doing something else for a minute or two and trying again.

6. I mentioned caffeine above but it could be something else in your diet that is the reason you can’t sleep. People can be highly sensitive to refined sugars or even fruit sugars so try cutting those out of your evening snack regiment and see if that helps. If you do think it’s food related, do a food journal and compare what you ate on the nights that you couldn’t sleep. A pattern may very likely show up.

 

7. Use crystals: I know it sounds silly but these powerful little stones can help us in so many ways, one of which is sleeping. Amethyst, Quartz Crystal and Selenite are the most powerful crystals to help you sleep

sleep crystals

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Try breathing exercises, inhale for 4 counts, hold for 4, then exhale for 4. If your focusing on your breathe, your mind is less likely to wander.

You can also count your breathes, inhale is 1, exhale 2, inhale 3, etc.. the second you catch your mind thinking of something else or realize your not counting anymore, no big deal just start over.

Sometimes (once in a blue) not being able to sleep or having a hard tome falling asleep can be normal. If you’ve been burning the candle and only getting to be at 1am, then one night you can go to bed early. You might have a hard time falling asleep at 9pm or if you do, you might find yourself wide awake at 4 am because that’s the amount of sleep your body is used to. Don’t stress about these one-offs.

sleeping dog
I genuinely hope one of these things helps you on your quest for sleep. It’s essential to living a healthier, longer and happier life so do what you need to to get it.

 

Holiday Hangover Cures

monkey-hungover.jpg

 

Holiday Season is upon us and many people will wake up and find themselves needing a “recovery day”. With the in laws coming, kids running around, those 7 dinner parties to attend you may not have an extra day to lay in bed and nurse a hangover so here are some quick fixes to help you get up and get going!!

1. Go for a walk – as rough as it may be at first it will make you feel better. The combination of fresh air, sunshine and exercise are all mood-lifting which will counteract the dopamine crash that results from alcohol withdrawal.

2. Eat food – Alcohol ups your insulin production but your liver is too busy to release the stored glucose= hello nausea!!! Get your blood sugar back on track with a veggie omelet and toast.The antioxidants in the veggie omelet will also help fight the aging free radicals generated by alcohol metabolism.

 

hungover

3. Reduce inflammation = reduced headache – Alcohol metabolization cause inflammation that can make your temples pound!! Try a chilled face mask and gently squeeze the flesh between your thunb and pointer finger for 5 minutes.

4. Drink water – This is the one we all know well but I wanted to throw it in there anyways.

water

 

5. Last but not least choose Alcohols that are light in colour, avoid mixing with sugary pops or juices and skip the caffeine added drinks.

 

Don’t drink and drive this holiday season, let’s keep everyone happy, healthy and safe!!

Alicia

Can you make a difference this holiday season?

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Yes! I’m writing to put a call for help out to anyone who follows me.
My friend Cristina’s mom lives in Equador and has been diagnosed with  lymphoma non hotchkins. There is one hospital that can administer the medicine she needs but the supply for the chemo drug she requires is not readily available, so in order to get the treatment she needs, she has to find and pay for this very expensive medicine.

I had planned on cutting and donating my hair and have been selling tickets to actually snip of my pony tail. All this money will be donated to Cristina’s family.

So, anyone that donates will be entered to be the one to snip of my pony tail and if you donate over $50, you get a gift certificate for a free reiki season with me.

I know money is tight this time of year but everyone can spare 5-10 for a good cause like this.

You can donate here:

https://www.gofundme.com/please-help-my-mom-with-her-chemo

Or message me and I’ll pick it up.

We are all one,
Alicia

Can vinegar really clean as well as the products we buy at the store?

white vinegar

The answer of course is yes, not only does it clean just as well and maybe even better in some cases but Acetic acid (a.k.a. white vinegar) is one of the best disinfectants. Plain white vinegar can even tackle salmonella, E. coli and other bacteria that can cause pneumonia, meningitis, wounds or surgical site infections.

How does it work?

The acid in vinegar crosses the bacteria’s cell membrane, prompting a release of protons, which causes the cell to die.

What about the smell? 

Sometimes the smell of vinegar can be strong while you are using the cleaning product however it’s not harmful like inhaling some other store bought chemical cleaners and the smell will evaporate within a few minutes.

How do I make a cleaner using vinegar? 

Add 1 part vinegar and 4 parts water to a spray bottle, add a few drops of any essential oils and you’ve made an all in one cleaner.

all natural cleaner

What can I clean with using vinegar?

 

Here are just a couple ways:

  1. Clean your bathtub
  2. Clean your floors and counter tops
  3. Fill your dishwasher rinse agent dispenser with white vinegar.
  4. Soak sweat-stained white clothing in about 1/4 cup of white vinegar and enough water to cover the stain. Leave overnight. Wash with eco-friendly laundry soap.
  5. Soak rusty tools in a pail of white vinegar and brush to clean.

Click here for a great article on 95 ways you never thought to use vinegar.

 

Live longer, healthier and happier

Alicia