Day 31-Products Week-Just the Facts on Flax & Chia

I’m going to be honest here, I don’t remember my flax and chia everyday.  I really should get back in the habit because I’m missing out on some fabulous benefits. Lately, I find myself only adding them to my smoothies, when there are so many other ways to use them. What are the facts on flax you ask? First of all, flax is more digestible if you use the ground version. Besides, whole seeds don’t release the nutrients properly.

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Flax is a superb source of omega 3 fatty acids, only fish oil can beat it! Omega 3’s are what fight inflammation in the body, so as you can imagine, getting in your diet helps prevent a plethora of problems including heart disease, diabetes and many more. Consuming flax can help prevent osteoporosis and menopausal symptoms as well. Omega 3’s also have been proven to reduce the risk of many types of cancer and  the eye disease macular degeneration.

The high fiber content of flax also helps your digestive tract, keeps your heart healthy and helps maintain normal blood sugar in diabetics. It provides both types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, the first being good for the tummy and the latter helping out the heart. The healthier your digestive tract is, the lower the risk for colon cancer, a reason to make it a big part of your diet.

Its an immune booster, dynamic for dieters (since it keeps your stomach full) and some say the lignans found in flax actually help level out your hormones and assist in reproductive health.Flax consumption also makes for beautiful skin and strong bones, due to the abundance of vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, potassium and iron.

Flax tastes slightly nutty and provides texture in baked goods and smoothies. You can even use it as an egg replacement by mixing 1 tbsp of flax with 2.5 tbsp of water. I have done it, and it works! Mix it in oatmeal, yogurt, salads and even ice cream without changing the taste. Bake it into cookies, muffins and bread and reap all the benefits without noticing.

Now let’s chat a bit about chia seeds. You know them as what makes chia pets grow, but they are really a nutrition powerhouse. Use them in many of the same ways as flax, but what most people don’t know is to make a thickener for puddings and smoothies, mix chia seeds with water and make gel. 1tbsp chia seeds to 2 tbsp water in a small container overnight and you’ll have about 1 1/2 tbsp of gel to work with.

Chia seeds are also high in fiber and omega 3’s and are great for providing a boost of energy. If you’re dragging by lunch, toss some on your favorite salad or add em to your smoothie and you will feel it in no time. I have personally put them to the test! My problem is remembering to use them because I naturally reach for the flax first. I keep it in the freezer with my other smoothie ingredients like unsweetened coconut flakes and fruits. The chia seeds are in the cabinet next to the dark cocoa powder and coconut  palm sugar, so they get used less. My BAD! This little pep talk has me convinced I need to utilize them more frequently and practice what I preach. Just being honest here.

Not a milk drinker? Eat chia seeds, since they are high in calcium. Need more fiber? Eat chia seeds, since a one ounce serving provides 11 grams of dietary fiber. Want stronger bones and teeth? Again, chia is the answer because of all the manganese and phosphorus the tiny seeds provide. High protein means they are great for vegetarians, one ounce gives you 4.4 grams worth! Lower LDL and triglycerides means they are also good for the heart.

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However you choose to use them, do try these amazing seeds and watch your health improve. I plan on adding them to more foods myself, I’ve been slack-a-lackin for too long! Now that vacation is over, I’ll get back on track by sprinkling them in my Greek yogurt, or adding them to salads for a little extra crunch. I haven’t had a baked good in quite awhile either, I can mix both seeds in the batter next time I make some plantain and sweet potato waffles, yum! Makes me want to woop out the almond and coconut flour and get busy, alas, it’s almost bedtime. Maybe tomorrow, if I find some time. See you then on the patio! 

 

What's the Best Essential Oil-Frankincense

This post is taken from my blog on Kimmy’s patio dated 8/15/16. It has been modified.

Frankincense is one of the oldest and most powerful of the essential oils, some claiming it even cures cancer! I use it for prevention, energy, clarity and concentration. It is the way I start most every day, a drop of this and one of lemon in my water, which I then sip on throughout the day, wakes me up and gives me a pep in my step.

Essential oils such as frankincense can be used in this way, inhaled straight from the bottle or diffused in a diffuser. It can also be used topically with a carrier oil such as almond, fractionated coconut, or jojoba and rubbed on age spots and scars to lighten them, or the forehead and neck to help with concentration and promote spiritual awareness. Essential oils pass through the skin making them transdermal, where they can then enter into the circulatory system and cells. This is what makes them so powerful and some compounds in essential oils have such small molecules, they can pass through the blood-brain barrier. In addition, healing through the olfactory system is what is known as aromatherapy and therefore simply diffusing certain essential oils can help speed up getting over a cold or prevent one in the first place. Frankincense is one such oil. It is one of the ancient oils the wise men brought to Jesus as a gift along with Myrrh.

The highest quality essential oils are Certified Therapeutic Pure Grade Essential oils and one should make sure they buy from trusted brands recommended by their doctor or aromatherapist. I’m not allowed to go into brands I like here, but honestly, I have tried several different brands I know to be trustworthy and I have my favorite among each of them.Because they are quality, they cost more, depending on the oil and which company makes them, but you can’t take chances with your health, so buy the best. I have personally had such good luck with mine, I come close to panic when I run out!

When I first started using them 2 or 3 years ago, I did so to improve my health and aid in my weight loss efforts. Frankincense and lemon are my magic bullets, I don’t want to be without them. More energy meant that I could increase my exercise, and they also provided added benefits like elevated mood, reduction of inflammation, and getting over my depression meant that I could wean myself off my anti-depressants, which I did with my doctor’s approval.

Speaking of doctors, Dr Axe has a great book that is my go-to for all things essential oils called The King’s Medicine Cabinet, which I borrowed some of the material presented here on this post. It is a free download and has an abundant amount of helpful information, reference charts and history on essential oils.

If you could have an oil with so many benefits in your arsenal, this would be my top choice.  No matter how you choose to use it, internally (upon approval from your doctor of course), topically, or with a diffuser, do try this wonderful powerhouse of an essential oil and let me know if you don’t enjoy an increase in energy, better mood, and heightened spiritual awareness. Pm me for brand names I recommend or stores where you can find good quality essential oils. Please educate yourself with Dr. Axe’s book and other resources I would be happy to suggest.

 

 

 

Day 30-Product Week- What's Your Sweetener?

I have read countless articles on how addicting sugar is and how we need to stop consuming so much of it because, lets face it, it feeds cancer. That’s why I quit, not that I have cancer (that I know of) but why give it a reason to thrive if it’s there? Just saying. So today, I would like to tell you about my favorite sweetener and some others that are considered safe in small quantities if you’re living the Paleo lifestyle like myself.

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While doing more research I discovered an article from Foodbabe.com that discusses the safety of this sweetener, and let me just say, she makes several great points and may have influenced my decision to change the brand I’m currently using to the one pictured above. I thought I was being a smart consumer by choosing any kind of stevia over table sugar and artificial sweeteners like Equal and Splenda. After reading her article however, I believe I’ll go with the one that has no additional ingredients like dextrose or chemicals. The closer to the real plant you can be, just like with food, the better you are. I could make a trip to Trader Joes or Sprouts and get some but I prefer the inside comforts today (still feeling the effects of my infection) so I may opt for ordering some from IHerb.com.

Other safe sugars, when eaten in small quantities, are raw local honey, 100% pure maple syrup, and coconut palm sugar. I love the latter because of it’s caramel taste, still, I hardly ever use it unless I’m following a particular recipe.

Stevia is my go-to sweetener, I use it in my coffee and iced tea, I have the liquid on-the-go in my purse, and I use the powdered form in my pitchers of tea. What is your favorite way to sweeten your foods and drinks? I wish I could get away from it all but since I’m at my ideal weight and my blood work is completely normal, I’ll stick with Stevia thank you. I might even get wild and grow my own! Give it a try and get away from the chemical laden artificial sweeteners will you, and let me know how you like it. According to the article I read on the Sweetleaf brand, it should not taste bitter and is safe for diabetics. You can check that out for yourself under Is Stevia Safe, by Food Babe, at food babe.com.

This morning I tried a new product I found from Dannon called Triple Zero yogurt, which has Stevia in it! It was delicious and I need the yogurt cultures since I’m on antibiotics. That reminds me, it’s time to also take my probiotic pill, so I’ll check  out for now and hope to see you tomorrow when I fill you in on flax and chia! Be seeing ya then, on the patio. 😀