Tag Archives: Health

My Oil Pulling Experience

My Oil Pulling Experience

I’ve been hearing about the benefits of oil pulling for the past several months. I figured one day I’d get around to checking it out and seeing what all the fuss was about.

oil pulling ayurvedic oral health toothache toxin allergy sinus homeopathic

I had seen the list of benefits but didn’t know anyone personally that had done it yet. Then my yoga instructor Becki mentioned that she had been oil pulling and loved it and encouraged her friends to give it a try. Since I respect and look up to her, I decided to bite the bullet and go for it. Plus I had a toothache and have a horrible phobia of the dentist so if it could prevent me from having to go, I was in.

oil pulling ayurvedic oral health toothache toxin allergy sinus homeopathic

Oil pulling is a traditional Ayurvedic technique to detoxify the body. Traditionally, sunflower/sesame oil is used but more and more people are finding the same beneficial results with organic coconut oil (I use organic refined coconut oil).

Before I go into my personal experience, here is a long list of what the alleged benefits of oil pulling are:

    • Brighter, whiter teeth
    • Prevention of diseases of the gums and mouth, such as cavities and gingivitis
    • Prevents bad breath
    • Overall strengthening of the teeth and gums and jaw
    • Prevention of dryness of the lips, mouth and throat
    • Increased energy
    • Clearer mind
    • Decreased headaches and headache relief
    • Clearer sinuses
    • Alleviated allergies
    • Better sleep
    • Clearer skin
    • Regulated menstrual cycles
    • Improved lymphatic system
    • Improved PMS symptoms by correcting hormone imbalances
    • Reducing inflammation of arthritis
    • May help with gastro-enteritis
    • Aids in the reduction of eczema
    • May reduce symptoms of bronchitis
    • Helps support normal kidney function
    • Helps detoxify the body of harmful metals and organisms

Sounds pretty unbelievable doesn’t it? I have to admit that I was skeptical but since I use several other homeopathic things on a regular basis and have had positive/effective experiences, why not try this. I use coconut oil for a zillion other reasons so what’s one more.

oil pulling ayurvedic oral health toothache toxin allergy sinus homeopathic

  • When you wake up, before drinking water or eating, brushing teeth or anything, take about 1 tablespoon of oil into your mouth.
  • Swish it around in your mouth pulling it in and out of your teeth like you would with mouthwash for 20 minutes, no more no less. Do not swallow the oil as it will be loaded with toxins and bacteria.
  • After 20 minutes, spit the oil into the garbage can. It will be milky white. It’s important not to spit it out into the sink because the oil can solidify and end up clogging your pipes.
  • Rinse mouth with warm salt water to remove more of the toxin containing oil. You can spit this into the sink.
  • Brush your teeth and go about your day. All done.

oil pulling ayurvedic oral health toothache toxin allergy sinus homeopathic

DAY 1 – I scooped a tablespoon full of coconut oil (mine was in a solid state) and chewed it for a few seconds in my mouth. The heat of my mouth quickly melted it into a liquid form.

I swished the oil around in my mouth, pulling and pushing it in between my teeth for a full 20 minutes while I went about my normal morning routine like making the bed, doing the dishes, setting up my laptop for the day, etc. It was a little strange not to be able to speak to my cats at all, I could only moan and hum at them. Not speaking for the 20 minutes ended up being almost meditative.

After pulling for exactly 20 minutes, no more no less, I spit the coconut oil into the kitchen garbage can. What I spit out was milky foamy white just like others said it would be.

After spitting the oil into the garbage, I rinsed with warm salt water to remove the excess then I brushed my teeth as I normally would.

Within the next hour after pulling, I sneezed no less than 15 times within about 20 minutes. I ended up having to blow my nose a few times because my sinuses were draining a lot. Once I did, that was it, no more draining for the rest of the day.

I don’t know if it was my imagination or a placebo affect but I had so much energy all day. But by the end of the day I really wasn’t feeling that great. I almost felt like I was catching a cold. Now I know that it was the toxins in my body surfacing due to being pulled by the oil.

Coincidentally I did have a toothache prior to starting my oil pulling experiment and the tooth pain did not subside after one day of pulling.

I still went to yoga class despite not feeling my best and afterwards I felt awesome. I no longer felt ill like I did earlier. I slept really good but then I usually do after yoga.

DAY 2 – The 20 minutes really goes fast, I even showered while pulling. After swishing the coconut oil and spitting it out I do a final rinse of warm salt water then brush my teeth. I did have another sneezing fit about an hour after pulling and my sinuses drained again.

I had an incredible amount of energy and my tooth pain was slightly improved. I got so much done today and was still going strong at 11 pm.

DAY 3 – Woke up with a headache and a little heartburn. I’ve heard that because the oil pulling draws toxins from the body that some people may experience headaches when they first start oil pulling. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence but I rarely, very rarely headaches.

Had another sneezing fit about 45 minutes after pulling, sinuses drained but a little less than the days before. Still had tons of energy.

DAY 4 – Woke up headache free. Only 2 sneezes today. I’ve heard that oil pulling is supposed to help with allergies and I think they might be right. All the sneezing is actually clearing out my sinuses. My tooth is as pain free as it has been all week, bonus. Loads of energy too.

DAY 5 – More of the same. Woke up headache free. Sneezed a few times, drained the sinuses. Tooth is feeling great still, can barely feel it. Loads of energy.

DAY 6 – More of the same. Today my tooth is completely pain free. I never would’ve thought it possible. I’m loving all the energy.

DAY 7 – Mouth feels healthier, no more tooth pain, sinuses are clear, I have tons of energy, no headaches and sleep more sound.

CONCLUSION OF MY WEEK OF OIL PULLING

After my first initial headache and sneezing, all other side effects have been super positive.

  • Mouth health is improved. Toothache is completely gone and its actually been 4 weeks since I started writing about my experience. I’m still oil pulling and my toothache has not returned.
  • My teeth are getting whiter and whiter.
  • Even morning breath is much improved. I used to get an icky film on my tongue overnight and now when I wake it feels like I just brushed my teeth. No film at all.
  • My sinuses are clear as a whistle. I used to blow my nose after a shower but now I don’t even have to do that because the pulling drains my sinuses great.
  • My lips aren’t chapped anymore because I rub any excess oil all over my lips while pulling.
  • I have so much energy and get so much more done during the day which probably contributes to me sleeping better at night.

I promised myself a full week of faithful pulling and I’m so glad I did. I’ve been oil pulling now for 4 weeks and it has become part of my morning routine.

There is something peaceful about not speaking at all for 20 minutes when I first wake. I’m kooky like that but I find it almost meditative.

Give it a week, you’ve got nothing to lose and lots of benefits to gain

 

 

 

 

 

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I Love Ghee and Here’s Why

I Love Ghee and Here’s Why

In my journey and constant research on healthier living, I kept seeing this stuff called ghee while researching grass fed butter information. We started using grass fed butter but had not yet jumped on the ghee wagon.

Last weekend at our local grocery store that has the most extensive organic, healthy food section we found a jar on the shelf labeled GHEE. Did you read that? Jar on the shelf! I had to check this out for myself.

Ghee is a form of butter that is an integral part of traditional Indian cuisine. It is clarified butter, which means that the water and milk solids (mostly proteins) have been boiled off, leaving just the rich, golden butterfat. 

Ghee is a simple word for ‘clarified butter’ actually. If you have ever ordered lobster or crab legs at a reputable restaurant, you were most likely served a little cup of clarified butter. That very golden, translucent and rich butter in a cup. So guess what, you’ve probably had ghee before but just didn’t know it.

Ok so we know what it is but why should you care? Read below for the Top 10 Reasons to get to Know Ghee.

I bought the exact brand below, Purity Farms. It’s paleo, lactose and casein free, kosher, non GMO, organic, pasture raised (grass fed) and salt free.

ghee grass fed butter good fat paleo clarified organic

I found this great post by lahealthyliving.com about ghee and what makes it’s so awesome. Here are their Top 10 Reasons To Get To Know Ghee

  1. Outstanding Cooking Oil. Ghee’s smoke point is 485°F which makes it an excellent cooking oil.  Unlike butter, ghee can tolerate high temperatures.
  2. Supreme Taste.  Ghee has a more creamy texture and nutty flavor than butter since most of the liquid is skimmed off during the clarification process.
  3. Long Shelf life. Because of its low oxidation rate, ghee can be kept unrefrigerated for a long time.
  4. Easy to Digest. Ghee aids in a healthy digestive process as it stimulates the secretion of stomach acids thus increasing the absorption of nutrients.
  5. Boosts the Immune System. Modern research found that ghee also contains phenolic antioxidants which boosts the immune system.
  6. Lowers cholesterol. CLA ( conjugated linolenic acid) contained in ghee, not only lowers cholesterol, but also reduces total cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) and triglycerides. (source)
  7. Improves Eyesight. According to Ayurveda practitioner, Dr. Vasant Lad,  eye disorders such as glaucoma, can benefit from adding ghee into the diet. Ghee improves our vision by helping our bodies properly digest fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A.
  8. Body Detox. Ghee is the perfect tool for body detox. Ghee penetrates the body tissues dissolving any toxins found in them. Then it gets rid of the toxins in the body through the intestines.
  9. Anti-inflammatory. Ghee has been proven to reduce leukotriene secretion and reduce prostaglandin which are both responsible for  inflammation.
  10. Aids in weight loss. Due to the conjugated linolenic acid contained in Ghee, it aids in weight loss (especially belly fat). Being easily digestible, it helps to develop a faster metabolism.

So now we have an opened jar of ghee sitting on our counter. I love cooking with it. It gives foods a richer taste. I also cook veggies in it and because of the properties, allows the body to absorb more of the goodness of the organic vegetables we eat.

ghee grass fed butter good fat paleo clarified organic

Our eating philosophy is to consume as much “whole foods” as possible into our diet. Seems like every week we are finding a food in a more natural state and incorporating it into our lives. Why don’t more people use this and why aren’t people talking about it, constantly?

Well I say “WELCOME TO FAMILY, GHEE”.

 

 

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Kefir – My Favorite Probiotic

Kefir – My Favorite Probiotic

I have to tell first off that I absolutely despise yogurt. I can’t stand it. I don’t like the texture or the super sour the taste and smell. I’ve tried it so many times thinking that maybe this time will be different but no. I want to like it so bad because of the probiotic benefits. The only way that I can tolerate it is to put it in my protein shakes.

wallaby kefir organic probiotic fermented milk dairy good bacteria immune systemThe story continues to the last time I was at my local grocery store. I noticed a probiotic drink called kefir. The dairy manager happened to be standing right there and asked if I had ever tried kefir. I explained my disgust for yogurt and turns out that he and I shared the same opinion. Surprisingly he said that he loved kefir. Since I’m always trying expand my foodie knowledge, I gave it a go.

Result? I LOVE KEFIR! 

So what is kefir and why is it different than yogurt? 

First of all, our guts are the heart of our immune systems so it’s very important to keep bacteria in balance to keep our immune systems strong. With a good immune system, you have the best chance to fight off illness without antibiotics or medicines. Good health starts with a good immune system.

Probiotics are essential for keeping your gut healthy. Consuming probiotics has numerous benefits.

probiotic immune system healthy bacteria fermented protein calcium digestion vitamin b

www.probiotics-for-health.com

Kefir is defined below. For the full description, go here:

Kefir is a fermented milk product that originated centuries ago in the Caucasus mountains, and is now enjoyed by many different cultures worldwide, particularly in Europe and Asia. It is slightly sour and carbonated due to the fermentation activity of the symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast that make up the “grains” used to culture the milk (not actual grains, but a grain-like matrix of proteins, lipids, and sugars that feed the microbes). The various types of beneficial microbiota contained in kefir make it one of the most potent probiotic foods available.

Besides containing highly beneficial bacteria and yeasts, kefir is a rich source of many different vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids that promote healing and repair, as well as general health maintenance. (2) Kefir contains high levels of thiamin, B12, calcium, folates and Vitamin K2. It is a good source of biotin, a B vitamin that HELPS the body assimilate other B vitamins. The complete proteins in kefir are already partially digested, and are therefore more easily utilized by the body. Like many other dairy products, kefir is a great source of minerals like calcium and magnesium, as well as phosphorus, which helps the body utilize carbohydrates, fats and proteins for cell growth, maintenance and energy. (3)

Bacteria differences in yogurt and kefir each perform different tasks.

probiotic immune system healthy bacteria fermented protein calcium digestion vitamin bYOGURT: The beneficial bacteria found in yogurt help keep the digestive tract clean and provide food for the friendly bacteria found in a healthy gut. They pass through the digestive tract and are called “transient bacteria.” Meaning when it’s there, it does it’s job and then it’s gone. It doesn’t hang around.

Yogurt is food for the bacteria in the colon. Yogurt only lasts 24 hours while kefir lasts indefinitely. Yogurt helps to ensure that good bacteria grows and remains stable so it is important.

probiotic immune system healthy bacteria fermented protein calcium digestion vitamin bKEFIR: The bacteria in kefir, on the other hand, can actually colonize the intestinal tract and hangs out for a long time continuing to do it’s job. Kefir also contains a lot larger range of bacteria as well as yeasts. So while yogurt may contain a handful of different strains of bacteria, kefir may contain many more than that.

Kefir has more strains of beneficial bacteria and good yeasts; over 50 in homemade kefir, while yogurt only has 7 to 10. Kefir bacteria act like a SWAT team entering into the colon and attaching themselves to the colon, pushing away other harmful substances. It has been said that antibiotics cannot kill kefir – it is that strong. If you are someone that routinely takes antiobiotics, this is really important.

The other great thing about kefir is the amount of good yeasts. There is not much said about yeasts but they are extremely important. It is the good yeasts that put the fizz in kefir. They dominate and kill and control pathogens in the gut. They clean house and strengthen the gut, making it harder for pathogens to dominate and parasites to exist.

I’ve also read that even lactose-intolerant individuals can tolerate kefir as it soothes the tummy because the “good” bacteria have digested the lactose in the milk. For example, the actual lactose left in kefir is 1% or less. So, kefir is 99% lactose free. It also boasts more protein, B vitamins and more relaxing amino acid tryptophan than yogurt.

probiotic immune system healthy bacteria fermented protein calcium digestion vitamin b

I usually drink my kefir (always organic) straight up but I also use it in my protein shakes and make delicious salad dressings with it. My go-to flavor is vanilla for most things but I use plain for cooking or salad dressings (ranch, goddess, bleu cheese, ceasar, etc). I prefer Wallaby kefir but I hear that Trader Joe’s kefir was ranked #1 by Taster’s Choice.

probiotic immune system healthy bacteria fermented protein calcium digestion vitamin bI’m so happy that I gave kefir a chance because my diet lacks probiotics and they are essential to our immune system.

Be good to your gut.

 

 

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The Differences Between Raw Honey and Processed Honey

The Differences Between Raw Honey and Processed Honey

I love learning about healthier versions of the foods or products I use. You may have noticed that there are a lot more honey choices at the store than there ever was before. I really wanted to know what all the hub-bub was about raw honey so I bought some at Whole Foods yesterday and started investigating.

I found this awesome graphic on www.naturalrevolution.org.  I love this site. “Natural Revolution seeks to empower people with solutions to embrace a natural life for a healthy mind, body, home and planet.” The differences were really eye opening. Shocking actually.

raw honey versus pollen vitamin golden processed honey bear bees natural pasteurization

by Karen Foster — There are well over 30 commercial producers of honey that have no traces of pollen and lack beneficial vitamins and enzymes among a host of other natural constituents which are removed due to pasteurization and processing. Most golden honey you see at your local grocery is dead and far from the health promoting powerhouse of its raw unpasteurized counterpart. Processed honey is not honey at all and if you desire any kind of health benefits, you must stick to the real stuff.

The article at Natural Revolution has more in-depth information that I encourage you to read. Really good stuff.

The look between Raw Honey and Processed Honey is vastly different too.  Natural Revolution shows the difference in this graphic:

honey processed bear cute sweet natural organic bees pollen pasteurized natural

I have to admit, before investigating the differences, I was clueless. I thought that because I was purchasing organic honey that I was getting more out of my honey. Nope, I was just purchasing organically processed honey which still has little nutritional benefit.

Raw honey reminds me of coconut oil the way that they both start off in a more solid state and when heated just a little, become liquid. Raw honey tastes better to me than processed honey, it just looks different.

I also want to note that I am allergic to bee stings (venom) and was a little apprehensive about non-pasteurized honey thinking that I might have an allergic reaction.  As suggested by some websites, I tasted a tiny bit and waited for a reaction, tasted a little more and so on until I had eaten a tablespoon full. No reaction and dee-licious! (But of course if you are allergic to any honey products, do not consume even raw honey.)

honey processed bear cute sweet natural organic bees pollen

So I’m sad to say that I have evicted the cute little honey bear face from our house. We are all raw, all the way!

 

 

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5 Things That Helped Me Lose 100 Pounds

success story weight loss 100 pound before after fat thin unhealthy healthy

5 Things That Helped Me Lose 100 Pounds 

My 100 pound weight loss did not happen overnight. I actually took about a year and a half. In that time I’ve learned so much about food, exercise and myself. I learned that food is fuel and energy and good food is necessary for my body to be at it’s optimal health and happiness.

Good food never makes me feel bad after I eat it. I never feel ashamed or regret working out and when I see the scale going down, I never feel defeated or discouraged. Every time I do these things I’m telling myself “I Love Me”.

I’ve had a terrible relationship with food for as long as I can remember. Who knew that unhealthy relationship would affect almost every relationship I had during that time. I didn’t love myself enough to treat my body right therefore I certainly didn’t attract the people that would treat me right.

It’s a vicious cycle but you can make it a healthy and happy cycle. You can turn things around  by making small changes. Small changes become habits and before you know it, they are big changes. A consistent drop of water over time makes a very big pond.

This is why I started this blog. To inspire and share what I’ve learned. These are the top 5 things that have helped me the most in my journey to shed 100 pounds.

EAT WHOLE FOODS:  Read and repeat…put crap in, get crap out. Gone are the processed food days. Foods with laboratory created ingredients, preservatives, dyes and chemicals have no place in my body. The least ingredients on the label, the better.

I purchase organics every chance I get, from poultry to cheese, even spices. GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) scare the crap out of me. GMO labeling is required in 64 countries but not in the United States. Why? The big food companies are afraid they will lose billions if we are informed of the cancer causing, nutritionally void foods they are putting on the grocery shelves. I encourage you to do your research.

“Natural” doesn’t mean organic or non-GMO. The label needs to say that it is certified organic or at the very least “is a non-gmo food”. Only certified organic labeled products are certified organic. Know what’s in your food.

By eating organics, I know I’m getting the full nutrition benefit of the food I eat. This way I can make an educated decision based on the nutritional benefit of my food. In doing so, my body doesn’t require a truck load of food to get the same nutritional benefit as a cup of organic food provides. Simple organic whole foods, period.

success story weight loss 100 pound before after fat thin unhealthy healthy yoga hikingHOT YOGA:  When the hubby and I decided to get healthy for each other, we knew exercise would need to be a part of our lives. We needed to find something we loved enough to stick with. The hubby originally tried jogging but it was just too hard on his body. He ended up falling in love with biking.

I had not found my niche yet but I started biking with him. I really liked it but I wasn’t in love like he was. My co-workers were all taking hot yoga, they looked great and were losing weight. I remembered taking a regular yoga class years ago and really liked it. I started researching the benefits and found that it was a great way to build strength and lose weight so off I went to my first class.

Guess what.  In love.  Addicted. I attribute to at least 70 pounds of my weight loss to hot yoga. It makes me feel like a warrior when I’m all done soaked with sweat on every single part of my body. I feel confident and strong and sleep like a rock after a yoga class. I still do other forms of exercise like biking, light weight training, a P90 video here and there, some wi-fit and hiking when the weather permits. But hot yoga is my main and favorite form of exercise.

PORTION CONTROL:  After meeting with a nutritionist and re-learning about food, she helped me see food in a whole new way. I used to eat until I was stuffed, took huge bites, didn’t always chew my food and down went huge chunks of unchewed food.

This was wrong for a couple of reasons. I would be full LONG before I stopped eating but because I was eating so fast, my stomach didn’t have time to tell my brain. We do not require a belly full of food. I can’t even count the times I had to loosen my pants or went into a food coma from eating so much.

Another reason this is bad was because I was taking down chunks of food at a time, my digestive system had to work extra hard to break down that food and get the nutrition from it if there was any. This left me with all kinds of digestive issues.

Today I eat 6 -7 meals a day, 3 – 4 ounces at a time. The key is to make each meal count nutritionally. I give my body what it needs now. It does not need junk food or processed foods.

In taking smaller bites and really chewing my food, it made me eat slower and savor my food. It also made my smaller portions go a long way. Then by the time I swallowed, the digestive juices in my gut were able to easily absorb the nutrition from the food and not putting undue stress on my digestive system. It also keeps my metabolism constantly running which in turn helped the pounds to come off even without exercise. I actually lost my first 30 pounds with just diet.

BYE-BYE BAD CARBS:  I still eat carbs, just heavily limit the bad ones like white bread, pasta, rice, white sugar, white flour, rice, potatoes, etc. I am not gluten-sensitive that I know of but have noticed a big difference in how I feel when I eat gluten-free foods.

I rarely eat bread but if i do it’s a small piece of sour dough or pumpernickel and usually has 4 or 5 ingredients or I make my own. I use zucchini or spaghetti squash for pasta, quinoa in place of pasta, rice, meat, potatoes and oats. Lots of quinoa. I also use coconut flour and coconut sugar.  Real maple syrup and honey are staples in our house too. I still get all the taste, I just make better food choices.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love my sweets from time to time. I just make much better choices now to satisfy my craving and I don’t take down the whole box of cookies. I actually eat the suggested serving size, take small bites and savor it. It’s a once in a while treat, not a daily routine anymore.

success story weight loss 100 pound before after fat thin unhealthy healthy

STAY HYDRATED:  Last but not least. We’ve all heard we should drink 8 glasses of water a day.  I just couldn’t stomach all the water. I felt like I was drowning. But it wasn’t the actual water that was giving me hesitation. I just hadn’t found the right “water” for me.

While I was in the hospital for hernia surgery I was supposed to drink water but just couldn’t get it down so the doctor suggested warm tea. It was like the skies opened up, the light bulb went on and I realized what the problem was all along. My tummy loves WARM liquids. Ever since then, I get in my 8 glasses and then some in each day. I even take lukewarm tea to yoga. The key was finding what “water” worked for me.  Everyone is different and one glass of water does not fit all.

success story weight loss 100 pound before after fat thin unhealthy healthy

 That’s my story. Thank you for reading it and allowing me to share it with you. I hope you’ll come back and see what’s new here at The Organic Rabbit real soon.

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