- Scented vinegar- Most of you know that vinegar is great to clean with…but let’s face it, it stinks. By making scented vinegar, you get the cleaning power of vinegar without the smell. It’s so easy. Put peels in a quart jar. Fill with vinegar. Let sit for 10 days (more or less, depending on the strength you’re wanting). After 10 days, strain out the peels…from there, you can use in several ways…
- Clean your toilets, showers, sinks by pouring some in/on the surface, then sprinkle with baking soda. Let sit for 5 minutes and then scrub and rinse
- Dilute it (about 1 c. scented vinegar to 3 c. water). Add to a spray bottle and use as an all purpose cleaner (on counters, glass, mirrors, etc)
- Dilute 1:1 and use as a hair rinse in the shower (this is what I use instead of shampoo)…it’s cheaper, more natural and leaves your hair clean and shiny. Just wet hair, pour over head (don’t get it in your eyes), massage your scalp for a minute or so and then rinse out. Your head/hair will smell so fresh!
- Clean your face/skin- Take a small piece of the peel and rub with white side (inside) on your face. Lemon is a natural cleanser. Less expensive and more natural than any “face cleansing pad” you can buy in the store. You can look up more detailed instructions but basically, you boil the water, then add organic cane sugar (don’t worry, it’s just food for the healthy bacteria so it gets eaten up before you ever drink it). Stir to dissolve and let cool until its warm but not hot. Pour into jars with a kefir culture starter and lemon peels or whatever flavoring you want to use. Cover with coffee filter (hold in place with a rubber band around the rim). Let sit in a warm dark place for about 4-5 days (depending on your climate). Then pour into sealed bottles. Let sit for another week or so. Enjoy. Warning, be sure that all of the utensils, jars and pan are completely clean or you can ruin the batch by introducing bad bacteria.
- Make water kefir- water kefir is a non-alcoholic fermented drink (similar to kombucha)…if you’re worried about “fermenting=alcoholic”, think sour kraut or miso…no one ever gets buzzed off saur kraut or miso.
- Add to trash cans- Just throw some lemon peel in your trash cans to keep them smelling good.
- Add to vents in cars or house- put in the vents (hanging out, not all the way through), every time your heat or air conditioning kicks on, it will blow the fresh citrus scent into the air. Works well for about 1-2 days and then they dry out…but again, cheaper and more natural than any air freshener.
Cleansing and detoxifying can feel uncomfortable at times but overall should not be painful and most often, any discomfort will subside between a few hours and a couple of days. For most people, after a few days of cleansing, energy increases, sleep improves, digestion and elimination are more efficient and so much more!
Gentle Cleansing- Here are several options (you don’t need to do them all at once:):
- Start every morning with a warm glass of lemon water (you can add a couple of drops of liquid stevia to sweeten if you’d rather have “lemonade”) – this will hydrate your body and help flush out toxins that the cells may have ejected in the night. For an even more beneficial detox drink, add 1/4 teaspoon of Pink Salt and open one capsule of Medi-Clay to your freshly squeezed lemon.
- Eat only raw food for 3 days or more.
- Deep breathing (4-4-4)…inhale for 4 counts, hold for 4 and exhale for 4.
- Eat only whole foods for 3 days or more.
- Eat more organic dark leafy greens!
- Do at least a 12-15 hour fast each night.
There are many different types of cleanses ranging from eating a diet of only fruits and vegetables to juice or water fasting. With most types of cleanses, the goal is to put LESS stress on the body so it can spend more of its energy healing, repairing and cleaning, rather than digesting food.
There are supplements and boxed cleanses that can be helpful, however, keep in mind that there is no quick fix for a long term healthy lifestyle. Be careful not to fall for a gimmick! If you’ve been eating toxic foods for 30+ years, a 7 day cleanse won’t be a magic fix.
Regardless of what type of cleanse you do, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Stay hydrated. This is critical and can help a great deal with detox symptoms.
- Take it slow…if you are currently eating a standard American diet, don’t jump right into an intense cleanse. Start by just adding more whole organic foods to your diet.
- Have a plan and goal…what do you want to achieve? How long will it take (be realistic)?
- Use a tongue cleaner to remove toxins that come out on the tongue. You can buy a tongue cleaner at most health stores.
- Practice dry skin brushing before you shower. You can buy a dry skin brush at most health stores. This will help open pores and allow more toxins to exit the body.
- Don’t add any toxins to the body (toxic (processed) food, juice, skin care products, etc)…this will undermine your cleansing efforts.
- Work with a qualified detox expert to ensure that you’re doing the right cleanse for your body!
LEARN, LEARN, LEARN! Educate yourself regarding natural and healthy cleansing.
WARNING…First, I must just say…this is a general blog post and should not be taken as a specific health protocol for any individual. It should also not serve as a substitute for seeing a qualified health practitioner. Nothing said or implied is intended to treat, cure or diagnose any disease.
Due to all the things going on in the world, most specifically, the recent Boston Marathon explosions, I would like to take a moment to address post trauma from a holistic perspective.
I am not just referring to or addressing clinically diagnosed PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder), but rather the deep and serious stress that occurs from any traumatic event as your brain/body perceives it. Here is what I mean…your body was created to with stand daily stress. It is even pretty good at handling intense stress but only for a SHORT period of time. You may have heard the term “running from lions” in reference to how the body physically ramps up when it perceives danger. This response is natural, trouble free and necessary if there truly is a danger. However, here is what occurs in the body when a traumatic event takes place…
What happens upon trauma?
There is a trauma (explosion, war, car accident, death, witness a crime etc). The person effected goes into “fight or flight/running from lions” mode. The brain tells the body that there is danger and therefore, the following commonly occurs:
Increased heart rate (so you can run to safety)
Increased blood flow to muscles (so you can run/get away)
Digestion, elimination and the reproductive system temporarily shut down- your incredible body knows that you can’t take time for these things while you are in harms way.
Blood pressure increases
Senses are peaked (exp. eyes dilate so you can see clear and wide etc)
The mind is sharp but only as it pertains to getting to safety (you aren’t worried/thinking about mundane tasks)
The mind/body continues to be on high alert, waiting and ready for the next trauma to occur
Adrenaline is released
Strength is HIGH
and many more issues depending on the person and the situation
Again, if you are truly in danger, this is exactly how you want your body to respond. It could save your life or the life of others. This is how we hear of small women lifting up cars to save a trapped loved one. This physiological effect should normally last about 15 minutes past the danger point. Meaning, once you recognize that you are out of harms way, it should only take about 15 minutes for you to calm down and for the body to “re-set” if you will.
The challenge occurs when you physically make it to safety but because your brain/mind is still “not sure”, your body continues in this “fight or flight” mode as you live on pins and needles waiting for the next trauma. This can mean that days, weeks or even months later, you still can’t sleep, you struggle to focus on daily tasks, your blood pressure is high and you have an over feeling of stress and anxiety. If this goes on for long, it can result in a very serious crash! There is hope! It can change! Here are some tips to speed this process along.
The goals in this case must be:
to turn off the body’s “running from lion’s” mode
ensure the brain that you are safe
NOURISH your body with the extra nutrition that is depleted during times of high stress
If you are dealing with such a trauma in your own life, please consider the following:
Stress of ANY kind burns up minerals. More stress equals the need for more minerals! I recommend using LOTS of organic dark leafy greens or a high quality green powder such as Vitamineral Green. If you would normally need a serving per day, you may need 3-6 servings for a while until your body is recovered.
B vitamins are especially depleted during stress and trauma. I would recommend supplementing with a high quality B complex such as “Max B” as well as B12.
Trauma does major harm to the adrenal glands. Your adrenal glands are very sensitive organs that sit just above the kidneys. Adrenaline is one hormone that is released by these glands during high stress. Adrenals need minerals, water and good salt to replenish. I would recommend Pink salt (lots more than usual), extra rest and more minerals!
The nervous system is “fried”. Just like a cord to an electronic device with exposed wires, the nerves are very sensitive. I would recommended adding lots of extra healthy plant based fats (NOT fish based) such as hemp, chia, flax, avocado and coconut oil. It may be helpful to supplement with large doses of DHA for a time.
The body is already inflamed and therefor it is best to avoid inflammatory foods such as sugar, meat, dairy, wheat and processed foods. Add more fresh whole foods to the diet. Green juice would be an ideal way to decrease inflammation, add minerals and nourish the body in an easy to digest way.
Digestion is shut down so eating easy to digest foods, avoiding difficult to digest foods and supplementing with some digestive support can be really helpful. I recommend a plant based enzyme called Digest with each meal as well as HCL after meals.
Elimination is hindered which can really halt healing. You should ideally be having 2 comfortable bowel movements each day. If you don’t have proper elimination, you can be constantly re-intoxicated by the waste that is stuck in the body. To get things moving again, be sure that you are drinking plenty of pure water and getting lots of fiber. If you still aren’t going, there are several supplements that can be helpful depending on your specific situation. Enemas can also be helpful here (2 quarts warm pure water with 1 tsp fresh lemon juice). An organic, whole leaf aloe (I use Aloe Pro) can also be helpful.
Sleep is interrupted which also hinders healing. Everything re-sets, repairs and re-builds at night when you sleep. If you don’t sleep, you can’t repair. Start with the basics…don’t eat late at night, take a warm bath before bed, make sure your room is comfortable, drink warm chamomile tea and avoid stimulating/scary/violent TV, movies, or stressful conversations, working etc before bed. You may temporarily need help with supplements. I like to start with a product called Tranquinol.
The neurotransmitters in the brain can be thrown out of balance after trauma. Nourish the brain with healthy fats and plenty of water as well as adequate rest.
Grounding…if possible, spend a few minutes every day with your bare feet on the ground. The earth puts out negative ions that are healing and anti-inflammatory to the body.
Deep breathing calms the nerves, oxygenates the body and just feels good. However the most significant reason for deep breathing in this case is to help rid the body of excess adrenaline. Try to remember 444 (breath in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts then exhale for 4 counts). Do at least 4-5 breaths, at least 3 times per day. You can do much more if you feel like it.
When you are ready, get help! This could be formally by seeking the help of a counselor or it could be less formal by just talking to a trusted and wise friend who can listen and help point you in the right direction.
Avoid watching, reading and listening to things that remind you of the trauma (movies, news, FB and maybe even email in some cases etc)
Give yourself permission to talk about if and when you feel it will be helpful but in the mean time, it is OKAY to NOT talk about it. Have a statement ready for those well-meaning loved ones who ask…perhaps something like, “I really appreciate your concern but its just not helpful for me to talk about it at this time. I hope you understand”. Most people will gladly understand.
Serving others is great medicine. Help someone in some small way. This could be a relative, friend, neighbor, etc.
Prayer and meditation are healing to the mind, body and soul. Even a few minutes can be helpful.
Mantras can help you stay focused when you mind starts spinning out of control. For this case, one of my personal favorites is a Proverb…(Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe).
Do something that you LOVE to do. Whatever you like to do to have fun and help you relax, make time for it!!! This could be taking a walk with a loved one, cooking, shopping, playing cards, getting dressed up, gardening or anything else you love (as long as its not strenuous). DO NOT underestimate this one. This is possibly the MOST effective step in TURNING OFF THE FIGHT OR FLIGHT mode that your body is in!!! Make time for this every day if possible!
Give yourself time to adjust. There may be a little confusion for a time. Don’t worry about things that aren’t done as quickly as usual (things like laundry etc) and ask for help if you start to feel undone.
Keep a journal. Write down things that you are grateful for, things that you are learning, things you want to work on in light of what you are learning, victories you’re experiencing (this can be as simple as being able to sleep through the night), people that you want to reach out to or help etc. If you feel its helpful, you can journal on the event itself as long as you don’t continue to rehearse it in a way that is counter productive.
Speak TRUTH to yourself and take your thoughts captive. When you find yourself dwelling on harmful thoughts, stay STOP and replace them with that which is true!
If you have a loved one who is struggling, please consider the following:
Be patient with them. Let them talk about the trauma if they want to but don’t constantly ask them about it. Keep in mind the purpose of this is to help their body get back to a regular way of functioning.
Generally, help them carry out the things listed above. The foods, supplements and other tasks are CRITICAL to their healing but can be overwhelming for them to organize it all.
Hug them! Seriously, it really helps to turn of the fight or flight mode. The brain knows that hugs and running from LIONS don’t go together.
Affirm them! Remind them that they are safe and loved and have no need to fear.
Be observant and helpful! With all that they are dealing with from the trauma itself, plus jumping back into daily life, just step in and help where you can. We ALL need each other at different times in our life!
Take care of YOURSELF! When someone you loved experiences trauma, it can be traumatic for you as well. Take good care of yourself. You can’t help them if you are depleted yourself.
One final thing to keep in mind, unfortunately, many of us live in these state even though we haven’t undergone a real specific trauma. Remember that trauma is “as the mind/brain perceives” it. So constant stress and worry can result in these same issues. Most people could really benefit from these tips.
There is SO much more that I could say about this…please share this link and spread the word, especially at this time so we can help LOTS of people who are hurting deeply.
My thesis work has been filling most of my time lately. I have been researching and writing for hours and hours each day. Last week I turned in my rough draft and just heard back from Dr. Cousens that he was impressed with my work. I still have a little more work to do and still have a few people to finish up. It should be pretty well complete in the next 2 weeks! I will be graduating in July with a Master’s Degree in Raw Vegan Nutrition. I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to get this education.
The study itself is producing incredible results. I will be coming out with more details as I finish up but the participants all had incredible results healing from their depression. Lives have been changed forever! Including mine! I have learned so much through this challenging but rewarding process.
Personally…I won’t lie…this past few months has been extremely stressful but it is all part of my learning and growing process. My thesis work has been all consuming but so incredible plus there has been some family health issues as well. I am training for a half marathon which has been a great experience and has helped a lot with burning stress and creating more energy- exercise is magic! I am starting to balance out again and looking forward to what is coming next!
The store is filling up. There are lots of new superfoods, sea veggies, supplements and so much more on the shelves including glass straws, fair trade hand made market baskets and bamboo utensils (great for travel or camping). If you haven’t been in lately, stop in and say hello!
Coming soon…starting in August there will be some exciting things in the works: a new natural health class schedule, a book out in the fall (possibly two, depending on how I choose to break it up), a new web site with an on line store and a few other things that are still in the early planning stages. Thanks for reading! Create an amazing day!
After many requests for an online store…it’s coming…it will probably still be a couple of months but I will keep you posted. Thanks to those of you who keep asking me to do this…it was the motivation that I needed to get going on it!
My most lovely assistant Jessica, has been promoted to management her on the New Hope Health team. You will be seeing more of her here at the store, mostly in the afternoons. Stop in and introduce yourself. She LOVES to meet the customers and clients and I know you will all adore her as I do:) I am SO grateful for here help here.
My depression study that I am working on for my thesis is going well. The results with the participants who started a few weeks ago so far already have been incredible! Thanks so much to those of you who helped me spread the word about this exciting work.
MORE GOOD NEWS…as a result of my thesis work, I am working on both my healing book and my raw food recipe book. They should both be out early fall. I have been experimenting in the kitchen a lot and have come out with some wonderful recipes. If there is something specific that you think would be good for me to address or include in either book, feel free to drop an email and let me know. Stay tuned!
Since several people have asked…a fasting update…I am still fasting (today is day 56 I think). I feel great! I have had some wonderful times of scripture reading and meditation twice each day. My energy is good. Sleep is great and emotions are even and balanced. I am using mostly fresh green juice with just a little fresh fruit juice each day. This is a great experience.
I have had the opportunity to see LOTS of new clients lately and have been grateful to able to educate people about natural health and healing. We will be planning some classes coming soon (March) to do more teaching about raw food nutrition and other natural health topics.
If you need resources for natural health recipes, education, equipment etc. be sure to click on my “shop” or “education” page. I have updated my web site with lots of great new things.
Thank you for reading…as always, feel free to forward to others who may be interested. Create a wonderful day!