So Delicious #savemysummer Winner and more…

So Delicious Save My Summer Contest Winner
I won a HUGE ‪#‎prize‬ from So Delicious Dairy Free in their ‪#‎savemysummer‬ ‪#‎contest‬ a few weeks ago! Just arrived full of ‪#‎coupons‬, two Contigo water bottles, plates, silerware, a cookbook AND 2 packs of the new cococcino products (plain latte and mocha)! All in a super nice wicker and leather basket that closes at the top! I am so excited to try the cococcino latte and find some new products to try with the ‪#‎dairyfree‬ #coupons… Especially now that their products are almost all carrageenan free!! Check out the message below from So Delicious!
So Delicious Save My Summer Contest Winner
MESSAGE FROM SO DELICIOUS

“Hi Customer,
We are currently in the process of removing carrageenan from all of our products. We always like to remind our wonderful fans that we do have quite a few carrageenan free products already. Please visit Carrageenan Free to see a full list. Our goal is to offer a complete line of dairy-free products that are all carrageenan free. We will also be launching several exciting new products in 2014, and we’re happy to announce that from now on, every new product we release will be carrageenan-free. As a reminder, all of our products are Non-GMO Project Verified, often made with organic ingredients and never have artificial flavors or sweeteners. We work hard to make foods that you can be proud to serve. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@sodeliciousdairyfree.com.”

This is GREAT news for those of us avoiding carrageenan. For many people with celiac or gluten intolerances, carrageenan can cause similar symptoms as gluten when it enters the body. It is also linked to cancer!! Read more about it from the amazing Food Babe!
So Delicious Save My Summer Contest Winner

Even my kitty, Buddha, approves of the prize and the company! 🙂

Sleep Deprived? It’s Worse Than You Think

How many hours of sleep do you get on an average night? Make sure you are getting enough for you mind and body!
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I suffer on and off from severe insomnia and have had periods of total mental meltdown from lack of sleep. It’s horrible. The effects of lack of sleep are not only immediate but can be long term as shown in this great info graphic.

TASTE THE RAINBOW

Happy Monday!

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Health Benefits Of Multi-Colored Fruits & Veggies

I know it’s Monday and it’s back to the grind at work and school and errands and cleaning, but don’t forget to take the time to include fresh fruits and veggies in your diet. Not only will the variety of colors, flavors and textures help replace other foods your might be craving like chips, candy and cookies, but the extra vitamins and nutrients will give you just the energy boost you need to make it through another week!

If you take one hour (or less!) each week to wash and pre-cut your favorite fruits and veggies you will be less likely to grab the unhealthy snack of convenience out of your pantry! You will be well stocked all week with perfect size packs of multi-colored snacks!

My favorite way to store all this deliciousness is in BPA FREE Tuperware or super fun Mason Jars! ps. Get the wide mouth ones!! I PROMISE they are worth the extra buck or two to save your sanity getting things in and out!! JUST TRUST ME ON THIS ONE!

You can use anything you like but I recommend at least making sure your containers are BPA FREE. If you are trying to avoid plastic, the mason jars are a great way to store anything from fruit and veggies to cereal, sugars and flour. I love being able to see what I have in my fridge and pantry. I even use them for smoothies when I am feeling fancy! 😉

*I need to find an awesome picture I took of all my whole grains (gluten free of course) when I first got all my mason jars. Stay tuned!*

Until then, make sure to TASTE all the COLORS of the RAINBOW for optimum health!! Have a great week!

Photo credit: TryFoodLovers

Bikram Yoga for Back Pain

Bikram Yogis what do you think about this?

Bikram Yoga for Back Pain

bikram yoga for back pain

I swear by yoga for back pain and completely agree that the more I practice the better I feel.
I don’t think it is a cure all but I think it’s benefits are amazing!

I am working on a much longer, more in-depth article about my experience with yoga and Bikram and all the amazing benefits it has brought to my life! Until then, enjoy this article 🙂

This is where I practice: Bikram Yoga St. Augustine

Bikram Yoga St. Augustine

LIKE = Yoga has changed your life! SHARE = Excited to see more changes in the future!

Oil Pulling: Transform Your Health — Maybe?

Oil Pulling: Transform Your Health... Maybe?

I can’t scroll through my Facebook news feed without seeing an article about oil pulling. For months I have had friends emailing me links, texting me links or bringing it up over lunch. I have skimmed most of the articles and listened intently and intrigued as my friends described their experiences.

However, until today, I had never tried this “magic cure all” for myself. I admit, I was very skeptical… and a little grossed out by the thought of swishing anything in my mouth for 20 minutes, never mind oil!

First Thoughts:

I am totally sold! I swear my mouth has never felt so clean! It’s been 12 hours since I spent 10 minutes swishing and “pulling” coconut oil through my mouth and my teeth still feel smooth and fresh!

Pearly Whites!

While I can not personally attest (yet!) to the supposedly amazing benefits of oil pulling, it is hard to argue with thousands of years of Ayurvedic medicine, a holistic system of medicine that developed 3,000 to 5,000 years ago. Oil pulling’s roots are found in this ancient Indian medicine, where it’s practitioners used oil pulling, chewing sticks and herbal tree leaves, to keep their mouths clean and healthy, according to the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine. Today, advocates of the practice claim oil pulling can cure everything from gingivitis, hangovers, diabetes, acne and…. cancer??

According to numerous sources, benefits of oil pulling may include:

  • Helping to cleanse the mouth of harmful bacteria reducing the amount of fungal growth
  • Helping to reduce the germ count which is found in the mouth saliva and teeth plaque
  • Helping to strengthen the gums, jaws and teeth
  • Helping to prevent gum disease, cavities and even gingivitis
  • Helping to prevent bad breath
  • Provide a holistic method and remedy for dealing with bleeding gums
  • Helping to prevent dryness of the mouth, throat and the lips
  • Helping to prevent general soreness around the area of the jaw

Michelle Hurlbutt, RDH, MSDH, an associate professor of dental hygiene at Loma Linda University in Southern California, told The Huffington Post that:

“…while dental hygienists would never recommend oil pulling as a comprehensive dental hygiene regimen, it can be a good way to supplement recommended practices like tooth brushing, flossing and regular visits to the dentist. … [Oil pulling] should not be used to treat oral disease such as gum disease or tooth decay,” Hurlbutt told The Huffington Post. “It’s more of a preventive rinse that could be used adjunctively with your regular mouthcare routine.”

Many believe that the benefits of oil pulling go far beyond the mouth:

  • Relief for migraines and headaches
  • Reducing arthritic inflammation
  • Helping to reduce the signs of eczema
  • Helping to reduce insomnia
  • Reducing the effects of a hangover after consuming too much alcohol
  • Helping to support the normal function of the kidneys
  • Helping to reduce the symptoms of bronchitis
  • May help to reduce pain
  • Some oil pullers have even reported that it helped to improve their vision

Unfortunately, there is little scientific evidence to back these claims up. Nonetheless, the internet is infiltrated with blogs, news articles, and tv spotlights featuring oil pulling. There are hundreds of testimonials online from people who experienced many of the benefits listed above as well as help with arthritis, asthma, hormone imbalances, infections, liver problems and more. At least one study has shown oil pulling does significantly reduces the strep mutans bacteria in plaque and saliva that causes cavities.

That being said, the logic behind oil pulling is that the oral health affects everything! An interview conducted with Dr. Sanda Moldovan, a periodontist in Beverly Hills and a certified nutritionist (with a Masters in oral biology) who teaches at UCLA’s dental school, found that:

Coconut Oil - Everything is Connected“When we improve oral health, we improve so many other things in the body… People with bad oral hygiene have higher incidence for cardiovascular issues such as heart attack and strokes, and a higher incidence for pneumonia. Men with periodontal disease have a greater risk of erectile dysfunction. Even with diabetes, improved oral health can help control problems in diabetic patients. Also, pregnant women with gum disease have lower birth-weight babies. Yes — everything is connected.”

So can we just brush better and get down and dirty with our floss… like the dentist always told us to do??

Yes and no. People tend to be lazy. How many times have you gone to the dentist and been told you have been totally missing one section of your teeth? How often do you actually floss… morning and night?! Do you clean your tongue? Do you swish regularly with an antiseptic mouth wash? If you are anything like me, your answer is probably no. So why not ensure your mouth is extra clean even when you forget the extras you know you are supposed to do and swish away with some oil while taking a shower or folding laundry or preparing breakfast. In twenty minutes you can have a mouth that is essentially scrubbed clean from the “soap like” action of the oil pulling. The results are worth it!

“When there is a healthier mouth, there is less inflammation in the body, and overall then everything can heal, the skin is better, you’re in a better mood, you have more energy, because gum disease — if you have all this infection in the mouth, your body is constantly trying to fight this bacteria to keep it from entering your body,” Moldovan said. “That is stressful for us. That chronic infection in the mouth, once it improves because we have better oral hygiene, we feel better and look better.”

Final Results:

Based on my personal experience and research, I plan to continue oil pulling as often as possible. I will probably continue to use Coconut Oil versus Sesame Oil (only use organic oils! preferably unrefined!) but only because of my flavor preference. Olive oil can also be used but for some reason this completely weirds me out. I already use coconut oil on everything and believe in its health benefits, so for me it makes the most sense. I also love that it is naturally anti-microbial so that even if all of the oil pulling hype turns out to be just that, at least I know my mouth will be clean!

I am excited to report back in a few weeks to let you know if my teeth are whiter, my breath is fresh and my mouth feels cleaner!

Wanna try oil pulling for your self?

Follow the five easy steps below and then comment to let me know what you thought!

How to Do Oil Pulling:

Simply take a tablespoon of whatever vegetable based oil you choose (Coconut, Sesame or olive) and swish it around in your mouth for 20 minutes. Do not swallow it! Work it between your teeth and swish it against your cheeks similar to how you would with mouth wash. You can easily carry on your morning routine: shower, laundry, preparing breakfast, etc, as you do your daily oil pulling. Morning is generally considered the best time to do this, preferably before eating or drinking anything, to achieve maximum benefits.

  1. Put 1 tablespoon of oil into the mouth. (I used 1/2 tablespoon of Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil for my first time)
  2. Swish for 20 minutes. “Apparently the timing is key, according to Dr. Bruce Fife, author of Oil Pulling Therapy, as this is long enough to break through plaque and bacteria but not long enough that the body starts re-absorbing the toxins and bacteria. The oil will get thicker and milky as it mixed with saliva during this time and it should be creamy-white when spit out.” – Wellnessmama
  3. Spit oil into the trash can. Don’t spit into the sink! And definitely DO NOT swallow the oil as it is hopefully full of bacteria and toxins that are now not in you mouth!
  4. Rinse well with warm water.
  5. Brush well. Preferably with a natural toothpaste or one with an added sensitivity compound.

Recommended Products to use for Oil Pulling

Spectrum Coconut Oil Spectrum Sesame Oil

Spectrum Coconut Oil Unrefined Spectrum Unrefined Sesame Oil

READER RESPONSE:

  • Are you a long time oil puller? First timer?
  • What oil did you use?
  • Did you see any immediate results?
  • What do you think about all the health claims for this practice?

Note: As always, you should talk to your doctor before trying new remedies or supplements.

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