The Belly Blast Smoothie – Berry Good!

TCMblueberry-smoothie

Yes, the holidays are over the decorations are put away and yet I am surrounded by a little extra love…..my belly!  Try this Berry smoothie and get a jump start to 2016!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup skim or flaxseed milk
  • 1 cup frozen unsweetened blueberries
  • 1 T cold-pressed flaxseed oil (2 T ground flaxseeds will do in a pinch)
  • Ice, to taste for consistency

Directions

Place in a powerful blender until desired consistency is reached. If using the flaxseed oil, blend all ingredients without the oil, and slowly stir in oil after transferring to glass.

Thanks to Chalkboard Magazine for this wonderful recipe!



4 Natural Detox Tips

four-natural-detox-tips

 

Holiday weekends are for fun in the sun with friends, family & putting all of our stressors behind us. But for many, this means going a little too overboard on the snacks & cocktails, which can leave us feeling not-so-sharp come Monday. That’s why this week we decided to go over 4 simple & natural ways to detox from the inside out so you can get back to feeling fresh & fabulous again!

Internal Detox

Detoxing the body from the inside is important because of the build up of waste & toxins. No matter how healthy you are, we are all exposed to toxins on a daily basis, & the accumulation of these toxins can lead to disease, headaches, fatigue, allergies, & other health problems. Although our bodies naturally detox themselves, there are times we need an extra boost to help out our organ friends like the kidneys & liver, & by increasing healthy foods & drinks that will aid in the ridding of toxins, that’s exactly what you’ll be doing.

*Even if you didn’t have too much fun over the holiday weekend, these detoxes can still be beneficial, but check with your regular physician before attempting any detox methods if you have any pre-existing medical issues.

Drink Up

Increasing fluids during times of detox can be crucial to flush toxins from the body. Increasing your water intake can help the kidneys to function better & maintain a healthy digestive system to eliminate waste. To boost your body’s hydration & allow your body to more easily release toxins, try cutting down on caffeine. Even though caffeine seems to be a saving grace for many, it’s considered a diuretic which means it can cause your body to use & absorb more water than usual. If this water does not get replaced, it can easily lead to dehydration. If you simply can’t cut caffeine from your daily routine, remember to add a glass of water for every glass of caffeinated beverage that you consume.

Drinks to try:

  • Plain ol’ H2O: pure water is very cleansing & we should all be getting at least 8-8 ounce glasses per day, but it has been said to increase this amount in times of detox or dehydration.
  • Lemon water: a glass of water with a few slices of lemon (any temperature, although warm is recommended) can help aid in digestion, reduce inflammation, & help flush out toxins by enhancing enzyme function & give your body a nice immune system boost.
  • Coconut water: packed with potassium & other minerals, coconut water is an amazing hydration boost that will replenish your body’s electrolytes.

Dish Up

Foods that are high in nutrients & antioxidants are not only necessary for a healthy body, but increasing fruits & veggies can help rid the body of harmful toxins too. Many fruits & veggies contain nutritious compounds that keep us healthy, but it is important to remember when detoxing, to buy organic non-GMO foods as they are chemical free. Ingesting harmful chemicals like pesticides or neurotoxins is just one more hurdle to jump through to get us toxin free. So to make our detox journey as simple as possible, aim for foods that are natural & safe from harsh chemicals.

Foods to try:

  • Artichokes: artichokes are an immature flower bud that not only taste delicious, but also contain cynarin which is an antioxidant compound that helps the liver produce bile & purify the blood. Although that may sound icky, bile aids in the liver flushing out toxins, so more bile production means less toxins in the body. And with the large serving of fiber & a low calorie count, artichokes have officially been added to the superfood list.
  • Garlic: garlic is a wonderful way to add flavor to a dish & is highly nutritious as it’s known to boost the function of the immune system because it contains allicin & alliin. These compounds are known to kill germs directly, which keeps your immune system strong while also removing toxins such as heavy metals & parasites.
  • Broccoli & other cruciferous vegetables: although broccoli may seem like one of the more cliche vegetables to consume, it’s for good reason when it comes to the nutritional punch it packs. Broccoli works with the enzymes in your liver to turn toxins into something your body can easily remove. If you aren’t into broccoli, try kale, cabbage, or cauliflower which are known to have detoxifying compounds that can fight off cancer-causing toxins.

External Detox

Externally detoxing is a way to excrete or pull out those nasty toxins from the body. This can include ways of getting the body to produce more sweat or applying natural substances to the skin. Not only will you feel pretty & pampered, but your body will be getting that much-needed energy boost all from the outside.

Chill Out

If you’re feeling like you just want to lay down & relax, but still want to do some good for the body, try a soothing detox bath using 1 part baking soda to 1 part Epsom salts. Epsom salts are a mineral compound of magnesium & sulfate, which have been used for hundreds of years for their holistic health properties. According to Salt Works, “stress drains the body of magnesium & increases levels of adrenaline. When dissolved in warm water, Epsom salt is absorbed through the skin & replenishes the level of magnesium in the body. The magnesium helps to produce serotonins, a mood-elevating chemical that creates a feeling of calm & relaxation.” The baking soda helps to neutralize chlorine & other chemicals found in unfiltered water, & in doing so, aids in the absorption of the minerals found in the Epsom salts.

How to take:

Fill up your bath with warm to hot water, it’s important to get a good sweat going to extract toxins from the body but make sure the water temperature is comfortable enough to withstand for at least 20 minutes.

  • Pour 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salt into bath
  • Pour 1 to 2 cups baking soda into bath
  • Optional: put a few drops of your favorite essential oil, Lavender is great for soothing your senses
  • Soak in bath for 20 minutes
  • Hydrate before & after bath

You may feel dizzy or fatigued for a bit after the bath, so try to take the bath when you have some time to relax afterwards.

Get Moving

Exercise may seem like the last thing you want to do after an exhausting weekend, but exercise has been said to help give the body more energy & improve fatigue. Moving the body helps circulate the blood & creates a healthy environment for our organs to more effectively do their job. By increasing our movement (& water intake as we do so of course), our bodies can more easily flush out the unwanted toxins through perspiration & circulation. Although the exercise doesn’t need to be intense, toxins are stored in the fatty tissue of the body, so when fat tissue is reduced from exercise, more toxins can be released. So next time you’re contemplating that nap, think about taking a walk instead to get your body breathing & your blood moving. And hey, that endorphin release isn’t so bad either!

Exercises to try:

  • Yoga is good for building strength & mental vitality, some practices use toxin releasing moves to help circulate blood to specific organs, but any yoga practice has been said to be good for strength, gentle breathing & a calming mental detox.
  • Running is good aerobic exercise for circulation & building a quick sweat, remember sweat means you’re hitting those fatty tissues & releasing those toxins stored within.
  • Swimming is a great exercise to build breathing & strength while being gentle on our body’s joints, who doesn’t like taking a quick dip to soothe your skin & escape the heat?

So there you have it ladies, some light exercise, delicious food, lemon water & a relaxing bath will have you feeling back on cloud 9; just in time for the next fun filled weekend!



Red, White, & Blueberry Coconut Margaritas

red-white-blueberry-coconut-margarita

Between hours of food & family fun, you might find yourself in need of a light cocktail to round out the weekend celebrations. This simple recipe is a fun & easy way to add festive flare to any party, & at only 150 calories, this colorful drink gives us something extra to celebrate! Did we mention our coconut margarita is nutritious too? That’s right, we said nutritious!

Coconut water is loaded with minerals & nutrients that help replenish the body of electrolytes, are ultra-hydrating, & can even aid in weight loss. While topping off the delight with fresh raspberries & blueberries adds an extra dose of superfood power as both are high in antioxidants, which fight free radicals & counter the effects of cellular oxidation within your body. Not only will this cocktail make your taste buds jump in excitement, but your insides will love it too!

Red, White, & Blueberry Coconut Margarita 

What you’ll need:

  • 1 oz. tequila
  • 3 oz. coconut water (try coconut milk for creamier alternative)
  • 1 tbsp. simple syrup
  • 1 lime
  • 1 package of fresh raspberries
  • 1 package of fresh blueberries

How to make:

  1. Pour tequila over ice in a rocks glass
  2. Add a splash of coconut water
  3. Squeeze a lime wedge over the top
  4. For some light sweetness add simple syrup (1 part sugar to 1 part water, boiled)
  5. Throw some fresh raspberries & blueberries on top, & voila!

You’ve got yourself a simple & delicious cocktail without the guilt – enjoy!