Post 2 of “My Favorites Series”: Supplements and Vitamins

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A: George’s Aloe water The best tasting aloe water on the market – it literally tastes like water! Aloe water can help heal your digestive tract, sooth your acid reflux and help clear skin problems. I put 2 oz. in my smoothies each morning & swig another 2 oz at night before bed!

B: Thorne Vitamin D/K2 drops Vitamin D is common to lack, not just in people with compromised immune systems. Unless you spend lots of time outdoors soaking up the sun throughout the year, then you most likely could use some Vitamin D. Vitamin K & D mixed together go hand in hand for bone support, immunity and a healthy cardiovascular system. It is also great for restoring enamel & health to your teeth – something I always need! Two drops goes into my smoothies each morning. The taste is undetectable and because it is liquid, it is immediately absorbed.

C: Dr. Furhman’s Gental Pre-Natal Vitamin Its always a good idea to take a basic multi-vitamin. I really love Garden of Life brand for my multi’s but recently I tried Dr. Furhman’s and really loved how it made me feel. I love his philosophy and trust what’s inside of his supplements. The reason I take a pre-natal is because it contains a lot of things that Crohn’s patients often lack. (Vitamin D, Iron, B-12, Minerals) What I also love is that it does not contain synthetic folic acid, which according to Dr. Furhman and many studies, show to be more harmful then good. Instead he suggests getting folate from living foods – Folate is abundant in green vegetables like spinach, collards, bok choy, artichokes, and broccoli. More than adequate folate levels can be easily and safely achieved by including these foods in a healthy diet.

D: Jarrow Formula Glutamine This can help protect the mucosa lining of the intestine. It works as a fuel for the cells lining the intestine and promotes a healthy digestive tract. Taking a glutamine supplement may help the intestinal walls repair more rapidly, which in turn leads to better nutritional absorption. Read more about it in my blog post here.

E: Garden of Life Raw Iron  Although I take a multi with Iron in it, I still feel the need to get an extra source in. I take this when my energy is low or my skin is extra pale or my under eye circles are dark (all signs of low iron) or when I know I’m am not getting enough into my diet through food.  I will take one pill of this a few times a week if needed, but not everyday.  Garden of Life if a wonderful brand and the raw iron they make is high potent, Vegan and filled with live enzymes and probiotics. A bonus is that it does not make me nauseous like most iron supplements out there!

F: Floradix Iron + Herbs I have not tried this brand but it is on my list to try next after I run out of the Garden of Life. I read and hear so many rave reviews of this stuff that I must recommend to you! Supposively this stuff really works wonders by bringing immediate natural energy and raising iron levels to a successful level. Because it is natural and gentle on the system, it also doesn’t cause nausea. This product has been around for ages, so there must be something to it!

G: Green Pasture’s Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil This is considered a sacred food, recommended by Weston Price. I just recently started these and I can already tell a difference from taking them! Can’t describe it, but just feel overall better. Omega’s are so good for Crohn’s so I wanted to buy the best source I could find. These are it! The practice of fermenting cod liver has been a great historical practice amongst many cultures used to ensure strong mind, body & spirit. There is always something about a nurturing practice like this that has been used for so years that makes me trust its success.

H: Boswellia This is my natural version of an anti-inflammatory. I take this along with turmeric to fight off any flares. Boswellia is an ayurvedic herb that has been used to treat many inflammatory conditions. Also called Indian frankincense, boswellia is actually an extract that is made from the gum resin found in the stem bark of the boswellia tree. Boswellia has been studied for use in Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and collagenous colitis and in these studies, boswellia has been shown to be effective.

I: Life Extension Super Bio-Curcumin I swear by the magical powers of this stuff! This specific brand was recommended to me by a top NYU Dr. and it does not disappoint. I think this is one supplement everyone should be taking! I use it as my main anti-inflammatory. The pill I take to avoid flares and the pill I use to help prevent more skin cancer.  In studies its been shown to reduce intestinal inflammation & decrease congestion in the mucus membranes of the digestive tract. In skin cancer it is shown to help melanoma cells commit suicide. Here is a slew of other reasons you should be taking this. If I haven’t convinced you enough thus far, let me tell you that studies using Turmeric have been going under way at many universities and hospitals and the results are coming in at high marks. Even my Gastro says that studies using Turmeric for Crohn’s and IBD have been proving that it is just as powerful as prescription anti-inflammatories.

J: MRM Digestive Enzyme I get asked a lot why it is essential to take enzymes. Starches, protein, fiber and dairy are often hard for the body to break down, especially if they are being combined (like in most SAD diets). Enzymes not only help break down food but they also help nutrient absorption. By achieving optimal digestion through taking enzymes before meals, you can alleviate, gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea and even acid reflux. Of you tend to get any of these symptoms, give an enzyme a try!

K: Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics        L: Garden of Life Primal Defense          M: New Chapter GI Tract Probiotics

Probiotics are essential to everyone & anyone who has digestive issues or compromised immune systems. They not only help build good bacteria in your digestive tract, but those good bacteria act like an army against foreign bugs that may visit in the form of colds, viruses, joint pains or yeast overgrowth. Finding a good strain may take some time, for there are all different brands that carry different ingredients, different armies of bacteria, and vary in numbers of live cultures. A high strain count does not necessarily mean it will be the best for your situation. I’ve tried probiotics with billions of different good bacteria in it that did nothing but on the other hand has helped others tremendously. My point is that it all varies upon what makes YOUR system happy so I am suggesting a few brands that I have tried with much success. Some others that are very reputable that you may want to try are VSL3, Renew Life Ultimate Flora or Mega Foods Mega Flora When starting a new probiotic, you may experience bloating & gas or digestive upset more then usual but these are signs that they are working. When bad bacteria die off, they release gas, which must exit somehow and unfortunately that is through you! Once you get past this short stage it should be clear sailing to a healthier gut environment. Happy Gut=Happy Body 🙂

Getting back to normal after Sandy

With all the supplements I take, it is super easy to become disorganized and forget to take them. That is when something like this handy-dandy organizer saves me!

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Click to see where I bought 🙂

I’ll be back soon with Post 3 of my Fav’s: Beauty Items – I peek inside my bathroom cabinet & what I keep in my purse at all times!

Good Eats

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Post One of "My Favorite’s" Series: Smoothie add-ins.

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a.  Nirvana Coconut Water – I like using Coconut water as my base for smoothies because it adds sweetness and plenty of electrolytes. Nirvana brand, in my opinion,  is closest in flavor to raw coconut water and reasonably priced. You can sign up for monthly shipments from Amazon for $25 for a case of 12. One 16 oz. can makes me two smoothies. 
b. Chia Seeds I make a big jar of chia pudding (recipe HERE) every week and add a tablespoon or two to each smoothie. Making the chia seed gelatinize first is more soothing to my digestive tract and flavored pudding adds a nice taste to smoothies as well. I don’t particularly think there is a big difference between where you get your chia seeds. Trader Joes has a small bag for a few bucks that I buy when I’m in a pinch. If trying to choose a source, try to buy organic, non-GMO. I typically buy my chia seeds from the Raw Food World because I know they are a trusted source but other brands that I like are Nutiva, The Chia Company, and Navita’s.
c. Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Protein Powder If you are looking for a pure, great tasting, non-chalky vegan powder, this is it. I love the taste, it is smooth on my digestive tract, very easily assimilated and it provides clean raw nutrients. The Chocolate flavor is great as well. Sunwarrior is a brand I really love and trust – check out all their other great products HERE
d. Raw Carob Powder  I am one of the rare few who doesn’t love raw cacao powder in my smoothies. The taste of raw cacao in smoothies can be great when paired with something sweet because it counteracts the bitterness that cacao tends to have. Some people really enjoy the taste but sometimes it’s just too stimulating for me and my system. Carob powder is a great alternative without the Theobromine which is the caffeine stimulant in cacao. Although carob isn’t as nutrient dense as cacao it is more alkalizing on the body and has more calcium – about 3x’s more then cacao. It has a slightly sweeter, fake-chocolate, nutty taste to it. 
e. Hemp Hearts I put hemp seeds into all my smoothies! It is a great source of natural complete protein & essential fatty acids. You usually can’t taste them when blended up but if you are making hemp milk (water blended with hemp seeds + sweetener) then taste is important. I typically buy Nutiva Brand which is great too but I recently ordered this 5lb tub of Hemp Hearts due to all the good reviews they have gotten for taste. I go through so much that this tub is perfect for me and what a great price!
f. Artisana Raw Coconut Butter I have a tasted a few brands but this has by far the best taste.  Coconut butter is made from the whole coconut flesh rather then just the oil.  It is filled with essential amino acids, magnanese, fiber, protein, fatty acids and enzymes. I add a tablespoon to smoothies but it can also be spread on toast, fruit, mixed into raw desserts, eaten straight out of the jar, frozen into ice pops…definitely always a staple in my cabinet! 
g. Vanilla Essence This is my new latest favorite thing to add to smoothies. It is a very potent vanilla extract made without alcohol. I add a few drops along with vanilla bean powder and I am transported to Vanilla bliss!!!
h. Raw Cacoa Nibs Although I’m not a fan of cacao powder in my smoothies, I do like an occasional cacoa nib smoothie. Throw a handful in and it almost gives it a “cookies & cream” texture that goes well with peanut butter smoothies or vanilla banana mint smoothies! The crunchy texture adds a nice element and a little bit of a bite. 
i. Spirulina I absolutely love my Spirulina in smoothies and get so excited telling people about its dense nutrient profile! This blue green algae is chock full of minerals – 92 in all. It is loaded with beta-carotene, filled with antioxidants, iron, B-12 and a HUGE source of protein. About 60% of spirulina’s dry weight is protein. Spirulina contains twelve times more digestible protein than beef, ounce-for-ounce. Another health benefit of spirulina is that it stimulates beneficial flora like lactobacillus and bifidobacteria in your digestive tract to promote healthy digestion and proper bowel function. It acts as a natural cleanser by eliminating mercury and other deadly toxins commonly ingested by the body. I love this brand for its great taste – it has a mellow nutty flavor to it, not too powerful or unpleasant like other brands. 
j. Amazing Grass Raw Reserve Green Powder Its always good to have a green powder in your kitchen.  When you want an extra kick of nutrients in your diet, this is great to mix into smoothies juices.  These powders pretty much cover it all, being loaded with everything and anything.  If you are traveling, this is great to have at your side to quickly mix with some juice. I love Amazing Grass brand for its pleasant flavor. Let’s admit that green powders can taste pretty icky. This brand has other flavors like chocolate, berry, lemon lime and flavored powders for kids too that are pretty tasty in my opinion.
k. Vanilla Bean Powder This is my “powdered gold” and it goes into each and every one of my smoothies. I am in love with this stuff! Pure vanilla bean powder straight from the vanilla bean pod. I have had the same bag for over a year now so don’t let the price scare you. A little goes a long way & I use a lot. If I would suggest to buy one thing for flavor value for your smoothies, this is it. You won’t regret it.
l.  Maca Powder Maca comes from a tuber root and has been used for centuries by people in Peru.  It has a subtle caramel nutty taste to it. Maca has a long list of health benefits but its famous for being good for hormonal & adrenal balance. It increases libido, stamina and energy. Something I was unaware of, that I just learned today is that gelatinized maca is better on the stomach for those who are sensitive to starches. The concentrated powder, with more active ingredients per unit, is easier for the body to absorb. I’ve always used raw but I might try the gelatinized version next. They say it tastes better then raw maca as well.
I will be back next week with Series Two of My Favorite’s: Supplements, Probiotics, and Vitamins





Spring is here!

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I’m a little behind so want to catch up by sharing my Easter with you. 
My mom bought me this adorable vintage bunny {isn’t he cute?} and I treated myself to Easter lilies and daffodils. They make the house smell divine!! 
Every year my Mom & Dad have Easter dinner at their house. We had a few extra guests besides my family, one of which was my boyfriend’s mother. It was so nice to have the families together for the first time. I guess you know when things are getting serious when you begin to celebrate holidays together!  {{big smile}}
As an appetizer I decided to make a festive raw version of deviled eggs. I followed THIS recipe but served a dollop of the mix in endive spears and topped with chives. They were a hit even amongst the regular deviled egg eaters! 
I made organic purple & green asparagus with shallots and lemon zest as a side for dinner but I ended up forgetting to bring it! {silly me}
They still got devoured during the week by me and my honey! 
For dessert I made THIS raw berry tart with coconut pastry cream. Instead of a big pie, I made mini tarts.  I topped it with mixed fruit instead because I wanted it to be colorful. Fresh chopped mint was sprinkled on top. This was a big hit – everyone was amazed how good it was for being raw. 
My friend Lauren gave a great tip for when you are craving pasta. Instead just top your favorite veggies with tomato sauce. Often times its the flavor of the sauce that you might be craving and not the starch. Give it a go and see if it satisfies your craving! It worked for me – here I roasted mushrooms, zucchini and baby broccoli in the oven until cooked/soft then topped with tomato sauce and heated through in the oven some more. Quick easy dinner.
Every month I receive a box on my doorstep called the Conscious Box. It’s a little box filled with surprises and samples of the purest, healthiest natural products in the world from the most ethical companies. I love discovering new healthy products so this service was something I was excited to subscribe to! This face & body lotion from the Honest Co. came in last month’s box and I’ve fallen in love with how soft it makes my hands – and its all natural! I researched the company a little more and I come to find out its owned by Jessica Alba. There are so many products I want to try – sunscreen, cleaning sprays, conditioner hair spray, soy candles….check out all the healthy cool products HERE!
This was another goodie that came in my box this month. I’ve always wanted to buy this but I couldn’t see myself spending the typical $20 for a small bottle without even knowing if it was good. I’m SUPER happy that I was able to try this because now I can totally justify buying a bottle. I added a few drops to my smoothies this week – wow. As you may know, I always add lots of pure vanilla bean powder to my smoothies but with this also added, it brings it to a whole other level of vanilla bliss. Will be ordering a regular size bottle soon for sure. I’ll be purchasing it HERE.
You know what vanilla goes good with? {EVERYTHING} Cherries and vanilla are a match made in heaven. I have been loving the new addition of frozen dark cherries to my smoothies! It makes such a pretty pink hue too. They also go great with peaches – another favorite frozen fruit I have been loving. 
My friend Lauren and I have admitted to our Etsy addiction. It’s a serious problem. We are always texting each other our new finds. You could spend eternity on that site and still find something new and exciting each & every minute. It is definitely the most used App on my phone.  Now, if I only had a big etsy gift card….
So here is my latest Etsy find – Vermana Herbals located in Vermont. I love supporting local small businesses like this!  I’ve been adding these Reishi Mushroom & Immune Blend to my smoothies. 
I’ve been asked to share how I cooked the stuffed peppers I made a few weeks ago. I didn’t follow a specific recipe. You could fill peppers up with anything really!  I made up a mixture of sprouted quinoa, finely chopped yellow squash, minced kale & spinach, tomatoes, ground chicken & green onions. I added a bit of veggie broth, tomato paste, cayenne, cumin, garlic, and chipotle seasoning. Came out great! There are a few tips I’ll share about making your own….First you want to remove the top of each pepper and remove all seeds. Next wrap your peppers in foil and bake at 350 for 15 minute to soften and cook a bit. Remove peppers from oven, remove foil and stuff with whatever mix your creative mind comes up with. Return to oven and bake for 20 minutes & you’ve got dinner on the table.  

I will be back in a few days with all my favorite products and new healing supplements and where you can buy them all!