The Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

Remember the Chia Pet?

chia petRecently I have been learning more about Chia seeds and what great health benefits that they offer. The Chia seeds come from a plant called Salvia Hispanica and is originally found in South America. The Chia Pet was made with the chia seeds because the seeds sprout so quickly and look great!

 

 

Some of the nutrients that you can find in chia seeds are:

  • Vitamins A, C, and E – These vitamins help with skin health, eye health, general immune system function and the absorption of iron.
  • Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc – Your body needs these minerals to function properly. Minerals are important for things like building strong bones and healthy teeth, keeping blood healthy, clear skin, healthy hair, proper nerve function, strong muscle and for turning the food we eat into energy.
  • Chlorophyll, Amino Acids – Amino acids are building blocks for our bodies and are a big part of what makes up proteins.
  • Antioxidants – Antioxidants make our cells healthier by eliminating free radicals.
  • Protein: 20-25% – Proteins are what a large part of your body is made of.

 What to do With Chia Seeds

Juices: I put chia seeds in juices and they expand and have a strange texture like fish eggs. This is because they are mucilaginous. Mucilaginous means moist and sticky basically. When the seed gets wet it absorbs water and forms a little gel-sack around itself so it can be independent of surrounding conditions because it has all the moisture in needs to sprout. Pretty cool!

Baking: Chia flour that is made from the seeds is great to bake with. It can take the place of the gluten that is found in wheat or eggs as it is a great binding element. The whole seeds are excellent for baked goods that need some texture such as muffins, cookies and nutty breads.

Topping: I like to add chia seeds to my morning bowl of oatmeal or yogurt and granola. It gives it a nice texture and is a great start to a healthy day.

Smoothies: I use chia seeds in smoothies in the same way as I put them in juices but I don’t notice the fish eyeball texture as much because you have the fibrous parts of the smoothie ingredients.

 Sprouting Chia Seeds

Microgreens are incredibly good for you and chia is a very easy to grow and sprout. You can learn how to sprout chia seeds at The Happy Raw Kitchen blog. Microgreens are a great addition to salads, as a topping for your veggie burger or to add potent nutrients to a juice or smoothie.

I enjoy sprouting because the time it takes to see results is very short so you can use the sprouts right away. Some of the other microgreens that are great for sprouting are:

  • arugula
  • broccoli
  • buckwheat lettuce
  • flax
  • garlic chives
  • kale
  • mustard greens
  • sunflowers
  • turnips

Chia for Athletes

The secret ingredient for athletes, especially runners, was revealed in the book Born to Run. According to the book, chia seeds were a dietary staple of the Tarahumara Indians and gave them what appeared to be almost supernatural endurance.

Chia seeds can help with sustaining energy, reducing dehydration, inflammation reduction, joint pain, weight loss and exercise recovery acceleration. These are all important to both the professional and amateur athlete.

Conclusion:

Adding chia seeds to your diet can help keep you healthy and give you energy and many of the nutrients that you need to have optimum health. We would love to know what you think about chia seeds and how you use them in your diet. Please leave your comments below.

 

Improve Your Health With A Dry Body Brush Detox

Dry Skin Brushing

Have you heard about it? Well you should consider trying it, dry skin brushing has detoxing health benefits for your body and your largest organ the skin. It’s not new it has been around for a long time.

Centuries ago originating with the Russians and Scandinavians dry brushing was used to help detoxify, exfoliate and stimulate the skin and lymphatic system. Dry skin brushing was first prescribed by a Finnish doctor Paavo Airola to help his patients with their circulation. It was also sited to be used by the Greek Olympic athletes and also in Japan before their traditional hot baths. It’s stimulating and brings a fresh and alive feeling to you and the skin you’re wrapped in.

How To Do Dry Skin Brushing

What you need: a natural fiber bristle body brush, one with long handle so you can reach hard places like your middle back area.

When to do it: Mornings seem to be a great time to dry brush because it is stimulating, wakes the circulatory system and gets your lymph flowing. I don’t suggest doing this before bed because of the stimulation. Everyone is different and some may find it very a comforting routine before bed especially if you bathe before you sleep. Depending on your skin health and type, starting once a week is a good protocol to follow at first and you can increase frequency if you feel and want more. Be aware of how it makes you feel, both during and after. Thinner skin types may stick to once a week, thicker skin may benefit with more often skin brushing even up to once a day.

How to do it: Dry bushing is easy and takes very little time. Start with dry skin and begin from the left sole of your foot and brush upwards using long and short strokes toward the heart. Then brush your right leg. Avoid your lady or man parts but do get in around them where we have lots of lymph nodes .

Use circular counter clockwise bush strokes in the abdomen area. Then brush your arms, starting at your finger tips working towards your body. Taking extra care and time in your arm pit areas. We have sweat glands, lymph nodes and hair follicles that may need a lighter touch but a few extra brushes to get the lymph flowing. Your neck and chest area can be done by brushing downwards and when on your neck and shoulders brush toward the heart. Spend a little extra time on your back also to get some circulation going on around that back bone!

A few things to remember:

  • Clean your skin brush once every couple weeks with soap and water (I use castile soap).  After rinsing, place your skin brush in a sunny window to dry and prevent mildew.  The sun will naturally kill any bacteria.  Be sure that everyone in the family has their own personal dry brush, for sanitary reasons.
  • Do not dry brush over skin rashes, sensitive areas, open wounds or cuts.  Let your body be your guide.  If it doesn’t feel right, don’t brush over that spot.
  • Apply as much pressure as you like while dry brushing.  Start out light as you get used to how the brush feels (it will be coarse and feel rough at first).  Condition your skin over time and increase the pressure you apply as you can stand it.

It will take about 30 days of routine dry brushing to begin noticing changes in your skin. For a full lymphatic cleanse and detox, it will take at least 3 months of daily dry brushing. Keep it up from there — the results are worth it!

We would love to know what you think about dry skin brushing in the comments below.

Liver and Gall Bladder Cleanse

This is one way to do a liver and gall bladder cleanse.

iHealthTube.comAndreas Moritz Explains How to Do the Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Flush!

Andreas Moritz talks about the benefits of doing a liver and gall bladder cleanse with olive oil. Make sure to check the expiration date on the olive oil that you use and get pure extra virgin olive oil.

You should do this after 6 days of cleansing to get the best results. Your cleanse should include apple juice and fruits and veggies.

This is how you do it:

Take 1/2 cup olive oil and mix it with 1/2 cup citrus juice like orange, grapefruit or lemon juice.

Drink this before bed (around 10pm is the most common) and after you have done 2 doses of an epsom salt cleanse earlier in the day. (Usually around 6pm and 8pm).

When you get up do 2 more epsom salt cleanses in the morning and you are cleaned out!

This will cleanse your liver overnight and promote good health.

 

Notice: Users should note that this site is not a medical site and cannot replace advice from your physician or health care provider. Individual results may vary.

5 Fabulous Ways To Find Inner Peace

As we go through our busy days, handling projects, dealing with challenges, and doing our best to keep up with our schedules, we often find that we’re stressed out, frantic, and filled with anxiety. But that’s not a healthy or happy way to live. In addition,…

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Inversion Yoga Therapy

What is Inversion Yoga Therapy

Over the last few years I have had the opportunity to take some aerial yoga classes and one of my best friends actually hung a couple silks in their studio. I also was employed as the medical liaison for a company called Relax The Back. My background and experience with inversion therapies has shown me the benefits the human body gets from inversion. In this day and age where most of us lead a sedentary lifestyle compared to our ancestors is it no wonder our backs are paying the price.

What I learned about inversion for your back is that it gets your back moving again. Our spines are suppose to be supple and moveable. Our discs are suppose to cushion and be flexible. What inversion does is takes your spine and separates its parts and gives them space so your discs can rehydrate, reshape and get nutrients back into the discs. Just like exercise it’s not a one time fix, although you will feel pressure relief instantly when you do inversions. This helps create a healthier back.

Inversions are not for everybody, but don’t rule it out even if you don’t have the the perfect yoga body yet. I am in my early 50s and not an extreme athlete or even a graceful person but the benefit I receive with inversion makes it worth the few minutes a day I take for myself and my back. The contraindications would be if you have blood pressure issues, or been diagnosed with glaucoma. Throughout my time with helping others and talking with clients about inversion I have heard so many people actually say that inversion saved their lives, keeping back pain out of their lives and got them moving again.

Not everyone can have a big inversion table or silks hanging from their ceiling but we have found an exciting product called The Yoga Trapeze that is available to the average person. It can be brought with you when you travel too! I am very excited about this product and what it can do for my health!

Check out the video below that shows the Yoga Trapeze in action.

The Flexitarian Diet

Flexitarianism

We have been learning about and trying different diets. We have tried vegetarian, vegan and raw food diets and are finding that the best diet for us so far is the flexitarian diet.

I believe that the healthiest diet is 80% raw vegan diet if it is done right. That is also the most difficult diet for us to keep up with and to find a good balance with.

I enjoy the occasional small piece of meat, chicken or fish but I like to know where they come from. Grass fed beef, organic-fed free range chickens and wild fish are the animal products that we look for when we eat meat. I have never big a large milk consumer but I like the cheese. We look for cheese made from healthy animal products organic and grass fed.

What is a Flexitarian Diet?

Flexitarian is a relatively new term that describes a diet that is mostly vegetarian with occasional meat. Most people who eat this way find local, organic and high quality foods that include their animal products. One of the first books about this type of diet is called The Flexitarian Diet written by Dawn Jackson Blatner and has some great information on what this diet is about. She has some recipes and guidelines that help define what being a flexitarian is.

Our Version of the Flexitarian Diet

One of the things that I like about this diet is that is it very flexible and can be tailored to your individual tastes. We like to add meat to our diets whenever we want and not be highly structured as some people are. This means for us we have meat maybe once a week on average. The guideline is how we feel after we eat a meal.

Our version is mostly fruits and vegetables, legumes, lean high quality meats and non-wheat grains. There are many recipes that we like that conform to this ideal. I found that cutting down on wheat products makes a significant difference in the way I feel and look. The most noticeable benefit is the reduction in abdominal fat.

Your Flexitarian Diet

If this type of diet appeals to you then you can come up with your own terms. Here are some things to think about when designing your flexitarian diet.

  • How much meat do you eat now?
  • Do you like the vegetarian diet?
  • Are you getting enough exercise?
  • How do you feel when you eat meat or not eat meat?

Start with keeping a diet journal for a month and then see how much meat you actually eat. If you enjoy the vegetarian diet pay attention to your cravings, do you want a little meat or are you fully satisfied. If you have meat for every meal every day try cutting back to once a day and then once every two days and pay attention to how you really feel.

Sometimes we are not really aware of how we feel. That may sound strange but I know that in my life when I was not eating well I didn’t really pay attention to how I felt. I knew that when I ate a big meal I didn’t feel healthy but I wasn’t concerned about that I just knew that I was eating what I had and the feeling went away until the next meal. Once I became more aware of how food effects both my emotional and physical health I was able to make different choices.

The most important part of any diet is how it makes you feel. Some people feel weak when they stop eating meat, some people feel great on a strict raw vegan diet, some like me want to have the variety that makes them feel healthy. Eat what makes you feel healthy.

 

7 Mood Tools for the Winter Blues

7 Winter Blues Mood Tools

When the winter blues hits having a few tools to adjust your mood can really help. Having a way to sit on a tropical island for a few weeks eating fresh fruits and vegetables is ideal but for most we will have to be cooped up for the next few months with less sun and fresh air and associating with others that perhaps are down in the dumps too. When you start feeling the blues hit here are a few tools to try. Some you may have in your tool bag already but putting intention to these actions can help you through those blues.

  1. Gently wash your face with exfoliation salt scrub and warm water, add an essential oil that uplifts you like peppermint or perhaps a grounding spruce. Brush your teeth and wash your hands. Do these actions with intention and it can give you a refreshed feeling that uplifts.
  2. Do little things to maintain your self esteem, look at your trophies, diplomas, certificates, achievement awards and organize them on a shelf or dust them off if they are framed. If they aren’t framed consider framing them or putting them in a scrap book.
  3. Tell yourself you are the person that the loved ones in your life think you are. Yes you deserve their love too. Tell yourself you deserve love, you are loved. Lift yourself up, putting yourself down is too easy. Know that even your dog or cat knows you are that person they love.
  4. Clean your closet, organize it for the season you are in. Winter months in most places need a different set of clothes. Take the time to rotate your closet and donate poor fitting clothes or ones you have not worn. You will be more likely to take a walk in the rain or snow if you can find your boots easily or any accessory fitted for the weather.
  5. Go for a walk. Just a 10 minute change of scenery, around the block, up one flight of stairs at work, around your building or house. While walking, intentionally think of a past success and the emotion it gave you.
  6. Give yourself a good shave. Being clean shaven also gives you that fresh start feeling. Knowing you are looking your best gives your spirit a lift and a ready to go feeling.
  7. Stand up straight and sit tall. Good posture not only shows others confidence and sense of well being it is the backbone to good thoughts. Chin up people say when your faced with sorrow. Good posture can help you breath easier and will get more oxygen to your brain offering a new view also. So when you feel that rock kicking position taking over that will only bring you sore toes, chin up. Breath in deeply with your good posture and feel the strength it gives you.

Everyone that has happiness in their life actually created it for themselves. If you are feeling dumpy and blue try a few of these little tools of the trade of happiness. You will find with awareness you probably have a few more to add to your personal tool belt. Just like you need certain tools to get a job done, say like building a bookshelf you also need a set of tools for your mood building or adjustments.

I hope you find these helpful and I would love to hear any tools that help you! Anyone have something to share that helps them with the blues?

Happy Healthy Henna Hair

Henna Hair Color

Being the managing partner at Happy Healthy Living has been very rewarding  and looking happy and healthy is part of the adventure, that’s why I like henna hair color.

Before Henna

before henna

It all started last Hallowed Eve when I was throwing together some kind of costume for John & Cynthia’s bash. I was low on funds so I went and bought a very inexpensive long red hair wig. That evening at the party several of my good friends said that my hair should be that color.

I looked back at the posts of pictures and really liked seeing my hair red like that. I had been thinking seriously about going natural, I had been bleaching and putting chemicals in my hair for decades. Not the healthiest choice for sure, especially for a cancer survivor! There are chemicals in hair dyes that have proven to promote cancer. My hair before henna hair color was always up because it was unhealthy looking when I wore it down.

Then came the decision to stop using chemicals in my hair, it wasn’t overnight that is for sure. It’s funny how vanity plays a part in your decisions. I had never researched what hair dyes were doing to me as I happily plunked down into the salon chairs and spent a few hours looking and probably smelling like an alien! I didn’t really want to lose my young appearance (forever 49) by just letting the white hair show so I did research on Henna and made the jump to being a red head. It’s not just a stamped on color from a box either, the henna blends with my hair naturally giving me depth, highlights and my own personal hue of red and as my hair comes in more gray/white my hair takes on a beautiful highlighted look.

Henna Science

First I did some research and found out a lot about Henna and its benefits. Henna has been around thousands and thousands of years. It is a small flowering tree or bush and its Latin name is Lawsonia inermis. For over 6,000 years Henna has been used to dye hair.

This little bush or tree was used in ancient Egypt on the hair of mummies. The history of henna touched all humanities timeline going in and out of style. Famous painters in the 1800s painted their maidens with long flowing red hair. Closer to our times in the 50s the famous Lucille Ball was all a fire with her red locks. The 60s brought a interest in eastern culture and henna and Mehndi was popular with the young generation. Traditionally it has been used in ceremonies, healing arts and celebrations. Its health properties are not to be over looked either.

I found Henna Hair Color actually changes your hair when its applied. Unlike chemical dyes that can strip you hair like a bleach which makes it weaker, henna actually penetrates the hair and binds with the keratin (protein) gives it strength. I have also read other medical studies on the benefits of lawsonia inermis. I made a little drawing of how the henna works on a strand of hair, elementary for sure but it gives you an idea.

After Henna

Being red makes me extremely happy, it has changed my outlook most definitely. The joy I have from going red has made me very grateful. I am grateful for the lovely compliments I receive almost daily on the color of my hair. The health of my scalp and the strength of my hair is changing too and confidence seems to be rising in me as my hair is a shiny red now.

I feel more grounded and yes hippie comes to mind. My family and friends joke about my hippie ways but it resonates and reinstates me with me. I feel joy, happiness, beauty, love, abundance, grounded and healthy! I want to share what this has done for me and encourage you to make steps towards your  Happy Healthy Living too!

Here are the steps I took:

Gathered Ingredients

  • 2-100 ml boxes of Pure Henna (Depending on your hair length) Mine is a bit past my shoulders
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (organic)
  • 1/2 fresh juiced pineapple (organic)
  • 4 bags of Orange Vanilla Cream Rooibos organic tea
  • Warm filtered water approximately 2 cups
  • gloves
  • plastic bag or cap
  • knit beanie hat
  • old towel
  • news paper for your floor
  • bottle of inexpensive conditioner

Directions:

First I gathered my hair from a brush, a good size ball. I did a test batch and dyed that ball of hair to see what it would do. This part should not be skipped! You should always do this a week before and watch the ball of hair oxidize to see if the color is what you are wanting. There is no going back, henna is permanent as you see from the diagram above your hair protein actually changes.

Get Natural Henna Here!

Depending on the henna hair color you choose you don’t have to mix in all the extra ingredients. I had fun choosing mine and was very pleased with the result. I warmed the water and steeped the tea, mixed all the ingredients into a paste like consistency in a glass bowl and covered it. I found a warm place to set it over night to let the dye be released. The paste will be darker in color and you will see a red tint. You then give it a stir when you are ready to apply.henna paste

This will make a mess! For my first application I had my boyfriend apply it to my hair so there wouldn’t be any missed spots. We started from the bottom and worked to the ends of my hair covering each section with a heavy layer of paste and gently massaged it into each section. I piled it all on top of my head and put a plastic cap on then a trusty knit black hat. I went to bed and slept for a good 8 hours – by then the henna had been in my hair for about 10-11 hours.

I had read in other posts that a cheap bottle of conditioner really helps with washing out the henna. I found that to be true. That was definitely a helpful hint. I don’t need to use conditioner anymore unless I am putting henna throughout my whole head of hair, but when just doing the roots a nice long warm but tepid rinse works fine for my hair.

Long Term Henna Resultshenna red hair color

My hair is in much better condition now one year later. The color my hair has become is a lush deep red, with highlights of brighter reds probably from the gray and white hair. There really isn’t fading with henna, the sun will lighten the color though. l have seen faded red heads before from chemical hair dyes and it’s not attractive. Its been a year since my first application of henna and my hair has never faded or looked dull. I have happy, healthy and shiny henna hair now. Thank you for checking this out and I hope it was helpful.

I would love to hear what you think about henna hair color.

5 Home Grown Medicinal Plants

There are many medicinal plant that you can grow at home. We have chosen 5 that we like and that have multiple universal uses. Our Happy Healthy Living garden has all of these.

Top 5 Medicinal Plants You Can Grow At Home

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7 Lifestyle Recommendations to Combat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic-fatigue has become part of America’s way of life for a big part of the population. We sit too long, we stress about the small stuff in life. Deadlines and commitments ravage our lives especially if they are not self applied. Applying  these 7 lifestyle recommendations can squash that fatigue and invigorate our bodies and minds.

Avoid a quick fix from sweets

When you are tired, don’t try to boost your energy with a sugary treat like candy and other sweets. Reach for complex carbohydrates instead like nuts and fruits. Try a almond strawberry milk without sweetener.

Spend some time in the sun

We have heard it a million times just 15 minutes in the sun. Get your vitamin D on! If it’s cold out bundle up and breath in the fresh crisp air.  Even in cloudy conditions being outside for a bit can lift your spirits and give you an energy boost.

Make time for you

Set aside and don’t compromise that precious time. Start with 20 minutes each day, make it something real and meaningful to you. If it’s that warm bath or playing a game make it happen and be in the moment. It should only be just for you, whatever it is. Say “this is for me I deserve it” and when your time is up say again to yourself “that was for me I deserved it”

Get adequate sleep

Huge on your list this should be, if the force is to be with you. There are so many sleep studies and a couple thousands tips and remedies, down to hard core medications to getting that perfect night of sleep. Start with breathing and meditation techniques first, and adding a simple, cool, dark, quiet atmosphere as part of your routine can nip fatigue at the bud.

Simplify your life

Too little sleep and too much stress can and will exasperate fatigue. Cut back on your personal responsibilities. Delegate and prioritize the rest. Make lists and keep things off your mind, let the list do the work of worry. When you do complete a task, take that satisfaction and let it roll onto the next item. This will keep you from having to rebuild the energy to move on to the next item. Use momentum in your favor.

Pace yourself

Once you start climbing out of the fatigue cycle the temptation to take on more is inevitable. Listen to your body and take some of the actions above. If you know the last time you over did it at the gym or the dinner table you paid the price with 3 days in bed and not returning calls take those lessons and take baby steps instead.  Try a walk around the block and put down your utensils several times during a meal.

Drink plenty of water

Proper hydration helps prevent constipation. Constipation can cause fatigue. Flushing your system with water removes toxins that build up. This build up can cause muscular pain and back pain which is a trigger for fatigue.