Tag Archives: Immune system

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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Whats with Dry Brushing?

Whats with Dry Brushing?

Have you heard about dry brushing and wondered what, why and how?

WHAT is Dry Brushing?

Dry skin brushing is a simple and effective way to detox the body and renew the skin.  

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WHY I dig Dry Brushing!

Your skin is your largest organ so if you treat it right, it will treat you right.  The benefits of dry brushing definitely outweigh the effort of dry brushing.  Here’s a quick list of the awesome benefits:

  1. Removes dead skin cells.  Especially in the rough and tumble areas like the elbows, knees, back of the heels and ankles.
  2. Helps the lymphatic system release toxins and boosts circulation.
  3. By releasing toxins, it helps in digestion and kidney function.  The skin is the last organ to receive nutrients but the first organ to show signs of deficiency.
  4. Opens clogged pores.  Most people exfoliate their face on a regular basis but the rest of the body gets no love?
  5. Strengthens the immune system by encouraging the body to release metabolic waste.   We know how important the immune system is right?
  6. And my favorite benefit of dry brushing is the reduction in appearance of CELLULITE!  It promotes tighter skin and a smoother complexion.

In my weight loss journey I’ve had some significant cellulite.  I’ve used creams, coffee grinds, rollers, tears, hopes and wishes but nothing worked until I started dry brushing.  My cellulite is almost non-existent now.  No joke.  The more I dry brush, the better my skin looks.  So much that I don’t focus on my cellulite any longer.

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HOW do you Dry Brush?

Dry Brushing is one of the simplest, quickest and easiest ways to do something great for our bodies largest organ.

I purchased my dry brush at my local big box store for under $10.  It came with a long handle attached to the brush.  The brush has an elastic band on the back of it.  I don’t use the long handle at all.  You may need it for the hard to reach areas on your back perhaps.  I just slip my hand under the elastic band and go to town.   It’s easier for me to reach most places without the long clumsy stick.  But for the middle of the back it comes in handy.images

Dry brush your body prior to showering or bathing so that you can wash off the toxins and impurities that dry brushing produces.  Always use a dry brush on dry skin.

  • Starting at your feet in long upward strokes, brush towards your heart working up your legs one at a time, the calves, back of knees and thighs.  Just a warning, it may tickle a little at first but you get used to it.
  • Continue to work up your body in the direction of your heart including your buttocks.
  • Work your lower back upwards as well.
  • Next, work from your hands, up your arms to your chest working one arm at a time.  Make sure to do your armpits as well as much of your lymph nodes live there.
  • For the abdomen, you will brush in a large circle clockwise motion as if you are making huge circles and zeroing in on your belly button.
  • For the parts above the heart, you will brush them downward towards the heart center.  Start brushing at your collarbone, down your chest towards your heart.
  • Follow your dry brushing session with a cleansing shower and follow with a good moisturizer like coconut oil or jojoba oil. 

dry_brushTIPS:

1. Always brush towards the heart.

2. When brushing the abdomen, brush in a clockwise circular motion.

3. It is normal for the skin to turn pink.

4. Don’t brush too hard, you don’t need strength, a light brushing is fine.

5. Avoid skin that is broken or torn.

6. Clean your brush with soap and water afterwards.  Matter of fact, take it in the shower with you and clean it so its nice and dry for your next session.

7. Don’t dry brush your face.  There are other stimulating techniques for your face.

8. Its best to use long, upward overlapping strokes.

9. The best time to brush is in the morning before your shower.

10. A good dry brushing session should take about 5 minutes.

Your skin is an excellent barometer of your health.  Which stands to reason that if you treat it accordingly, it’s better for your overall health.  I wish I had started doing this simple quick effective routine sooner.

This is one small change that can make a BIG difference.