Getting Healthy with #Plexus

What is Gut Health?

“I never knew how unhealthy I was, until I felt healthy.” This is a common reaction from people who started using Plexus Worldwide products, including *myself. I was skeptic, but I am lactose intolerant and gluten-sensitive so many things I eat make me feel bloated or constipated. I thought I’d try the supplements.

“Healthy Gut. Healthy Life” is Plexus’ tagline and it’s true. There’s more toxic buildup in your gut than in any other organ. Clean your gut, and you’ll feel more energized, the bloat and full feeling goes away after eating, you may notice other symptoms lessen, and a positive side effect is you’ll lose inches (if needed) and/or experience some weight loss. There’s medical science that our bodies are full of toxins – from food, the environment, etc. Dr. Mark Hyman lists several ailments that are the result of toxins. Do you feel miserable or lack energy or suffer from allergies, stomach cramps, constipation/diarrhea, fibromyalgia or any of the other ailments listed?

It’s important to detox our bodies a few times a year or more, but also to alter our eating and exercise habits in between to keep our guts clear and energy high.

Why Choose Plexus Supplements?

live-love-plexus

Why take Plexus products?

  • American company (Scottsdale, AZ), relatively new
  • All the ingredients are listed on every bottle
  • ProBio5 (probiotic) has live active cultures at time of manufacture and I don’t have to refrigerate it
  • BioCleanse is a combination of Vitamin C, Magnesium, and Plexus proprietary blend of fruit/veggies (that’s it!).
  • No ingredient listed is harmful according to FDA guidelines
  • These are health supplements NOT diet pills (not everyone loses weight)
  • Backed by science and thousands of users
  • 60 day Money-back guarantee!
  • Be a customer, consumer, and independent company Ambassador (you can make money with very little investment, but the real value is your health)
  • It worked for me, and I can share my experience with others too! I’m not a skeptic anymore!

I love the results of Plexus supplements.

I was taking magnesium and a probiotic before starting Plexus with some success, but I needed a stronger probiotic that could counteract the lactose and gluten sensitivity I experienced daily. Sometimes it’s not enough to avoid these types of foods or too expensive to buy foods without them. I found relief in Plexus TriPlex (Plexus Slim, BioCleanse, and ProBio5) for awhile and initially lost 6 inches before I ever lost pounds. However, I stopped taking the Slim and now take BioCleanse and ProBio5 on a daily basis to maintain weight loss, energy and keep my gut healthy along with MegaX (Omega 3, 6, and 9), which replaces the Fish Oil (1000 mg) I was taking and occasionally Plexus Block before higher carb meals (it blocks nearly 50% of carb intake).

There are 12 primary supplements that Plexus Worldwide markets in addition to a BreastChek kit and combo packages. They are safe for children and also include Plexus XFactor™ Family Chewables.

 

*I am a consumer and product Ambassador for Plexus Worldwide health supplements, but I have not received any type of compensation for this article.

Disclaimer: Individual results may vary. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Ringing in the New Year with Healthy Food Remedies

Happy 2014! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted here, but I’ve been working on other endeavors. This year, you’ll see more posts about homesteading, eco-living, and healthy mind, body & spirit articles.

Here are some foods that have natural antibiotic properties that help ward off colds and more.

Garlic: Antibacterial properties make it useful for treating and preventing colds, athlete’s foot and other infectious problems. Scientists attribute garlic’s powers to a sulfur compound called allicin, which it releases when cut or crushed. Because cooking changes and deteriorates this compound, eating raw garlic is the best way to derive the healing qualities from this antibacterial food.
Tip: Try chopping garlic, let it set for a few minutes, and put it on crackers or toast to get the most prevention.

Honey: Use as an antibacterial salve like treating cuts and wounds. Researchers at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam recently discovered that bees add a protein to honey from their immune systems that gives honey its antibacterial quality. Honey also produces an enzyme that in turn produces hydrogen peroxide, which prohibits the growth of bacteria.
Tip: Mix honey and cinnamon, take a teaspoon every morning. Add to oatmeal, pancakes, and tea as well.

Cranberries: Well-known for their ability to help prevent and treat bladder infections, in part because of their antibacterial properties. Cranberries prevent bacteria from latching onto the walls of the bladder and urinary tract by altering bacteria such as E. coli—responsible for illnesses such as kidney infections and the flu—to prevent them from forming the biofilm necessary for an infection to develop.
Tip: Buy fresh cranberries in the store, usually around November, and freeze them. Frozen cranberries are good for 1 year. Make your own cranberry sauce using sugar or honey and whole cranberries.

Tumeric: Essential oils contain a wealth of antibiotic molecules, making this antibacterial food useful for treating topical cuts and wounds. Turmeric is also often taken in Ayurvedic medicine to prevent and treat colds and other internal infections.

Oregano: Essential oils in oregano lend this herb antibacterial powers that have been shown to inhibit even salmonella and E. coli bacteria. Oregano oil is also useful at boosting immunity,  preventing and treating common colds. Because oregano’s antibacterial powers are found in its oil, an oregano oil supplement is better than the dried version.

Peppermint: commonly used in toothpaste, mouthwash and other oral hygiene products—and for good reason, too. Peppermint oil has antibacterial powers that help to kill bad breath-causing bacteria in the mouth.
Tip: Eat a peppermint after meals, it will settle your stomach and freshen your breath!

Basil: Thanks to its volatile oils, this flavorful antibacterial herb can inhibit bacteria growth. Studies have shown that basil can restrict the growth of E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus bacteria, as well as inhibit growth in strains of bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics.
Tip: Use raw/fresh basil to get the most use from it. Basil is also easy to grow in pots or in gardens. Snip the leaves regularly, and it will multiply quickly throughout the season. Add to pizza, soups, salads and more.

Note: Above content is credited to: Susan Melgren from a Jan 18, 2012 article originally posted on Mother Earth Living.

Natural Cures for a Cold: Stage 3 Stuffy Nose

Alleviate a stuffy nose without going to the doctor’s office by heeding these natural cold remedies. From a box of soft tissues to a natural menthol based vaporub, you can snuff out a stuffy nose!

It’s that time of year again….cold and flu season. Once a year or maybe more if you have a weak immune system, you’ll catch the common cold, a sinus infection, bronchitis or the flu. There is help for the common cold and sinus infection that will save you a trip to the doctor’s office and lots of money.

I experience 4 stages of a cold; first there’s the ticklish scratchy throat (time to start taking Vitamin C), which turns into a sore throat – Stage 1;  then the sore throat turns into sinus congestion with a sinus headache – Stage 2; after the sinus congestion (excessive runny nose) I get a stuffy nose for a few days, and finally hoarseness or laryngitis. However, my first defense against a cold or sinus infection is not prescription medicine (which do not cure the common cold anyway – science says), it’s Natural Cures for the Common Cold.

By taking an active and aggressive defense against the common cold bug, I can knock it out in just a few days. Plenty of rest is a key component of getting well again and back at 100 percent operating level.

This is my defense against the common cold or a sinus infection. Everything can be found at your local drug or grocery store.

Over the counter teas, vitamins, cough drops and tissues help alleviate the symptoms of a common cold and sinus infection.

Relieving a stuffy nose 101: 

Tissues – Spend a little more of the super soft kind. I prefer Puff’s line of tissues because they have an extra layer of softness that won’t leave my nose dry and sore.  Ensure you have a few extra boxes in your closet. I got through at least 2 small box of tissues in a few days. Keep 1 in your living area, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen (yes, the kitchen). These are the places where you will likely spend the most time as you recover from a cold.

Cough Drops – Opt for any flavor you choose; however, select the brand with Vitamin C and Zinc to get the most benefit. Hall’s has coupons for many of their cough drops with extra cold fighting vitamins. I keep several Halls’ Defense cough drops nearby at all times while fighting a stuffy nose. Soothing flavors keep my throat moist and my nasal passages open.

Vaporub – A menthol based salve will alleviate a stuffy or runny nose within a couple days. Popular Vick’s Vaporub works well for adults, but can be quite overwhelming for children. I prefer an Ohio based company, Skinner’s Vaporizing Salve, which is available in many drug stores or you can order online through the company’s website as well as Amazon. Rub a little behind your ears, on your chest, under your nose and on your feet (put on a pair of heavy cotton socks too). It’s best to do the all over body rub at night. However, you may also apply a warm compress to your chest such as a heating pad or warm washcloth.

Hot/Cold Liquids – Alternate between hot teas (try Traditional Medicinals Herba Tussin or Breathe Easy) and cold beverages such as water and sports drinks, which will prevent dehydration and keep mucous membranes moist. Note – do not over hydrate yourself, this will cause more work for your kidneys and liver. Read more info about this study here.

Saline Nasal Wash/Spray. Common store bought versions like the Neilmed Nasal Rinse that comes with pre-measured packets of a salt-baking soda mixture and a nasal wash bottle. You can also mix your own nasal wash using 1/4 teaspoon pure salt (should be iodine free) and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Mix this together with warm, not hot water, and using a bulb syringe flush one nostril at a time (allow water to run out of other nostril). It will feel funny going up into your nasal passages at first – somewhat like getting water in your nose while swimming. Blow your nose after each nasal rinse and you should start feeling better after just a few times.

What do you find the most helpful when treating a cold or sinus infection? Post your responses below!

 

Natural Ways to Relieve Allergy Symptoms

Found this helpful article on Natural Home and Garden website and wanted to share it with you. I’m a 4 season allergy sufferer myself, but when the humidity is high they are even worse in the spring and summer.

Do note that if you have allergies to pollen and other types of flowers, you’ll want to skip the remedy and opt for something else.

Nasal rinses are good for alleviating clogged sinuses and itchy noses. You can buy or make your own nasal rinses using salt and baking soda, dissolve in warm water, then add to a Neti Pot or sinus irrigation bulb.

Here are a few other natural ways to cure those annoying allergy symptoms.

Relieve congestion with horseradish. Steep several spoonfuls of the grated root in a bowl of boiling water or soup stock. Drink and breathe in the pungent aroma. Also try peppermint tea. The sweetness of peppermint combined with the natural menthol helps alleviate congestion and clears nasal passages.

Congestive coughs? Try crushing some anise (1-2 teaspoons) seeds, add to boiling water allow to steep like tea and drink. Also may add anise essential oil to peppermint tea, sweeten to taste. The expectorant qualities of Elder Flower along with vitamins A, B and C make a great tea to relieve coughs and congestion.

Itchy eyes are the most annoying type of allergy symptom. Try soothing itchy eyes with cool, wet Chamomile tea bags placed on your eyelids. (Do not use if you have allergies to ragweed.)  You might also try Stinging Nettle tea or capsules from fresh freeze dried leaves. Stinging nettle is known for reducing the histamine produced from some allergens.

4 Mood Foods that May Surprise You

Your mood is dependent on the foods you eat. Add these 4 mood and energy food boosters to your daily diet instead of caffeine or sugary energy drinks. Eggs, seeds, nuts and fruit are just a few foods that will help your mood.

Have you been feeling a little “off” lately? Or maybe you’re feeling more like the weather – hot one day, frigid the next?

The common link in these foods seems to be certain vitamin combinations as well tryptophan (you know, like in turkey). Try incorporating these foods into your diet to get the energy you need, according to Care2.com.

Bananas – One my favorite fruits, bananas. I eat one a day, instead of an apple since it’s packed full of potassium, iron, protein and vitamins A, C (surprise),  B6 and a good source of carbohydrates (I never knew!) I often have problems with circulation – like muscle spasms in my legs and feet – and bananas help curb those untimely muscle aches.

These yellow tree fruits are a great energy boost as well, so eat one at breakfast or use in your yogurt smoothie after lunch, when you start feeling the afternoon slump. Need an extra boost to get through the night shift? Pack a couple bananas. We are fortunate enough to have bananas available all year long in the US.

Got a few bananas looking a little brown? Mash them up and use in muffins, pancakes, waffles or banana bread too. Dr. Oz has a yummy tasting energy smoothie that uses bananas too.

Eggs are great energy boosters.

Eggs – Really, eggs? Yes, eggs are chocked full of protein, Omega-3s (free range chickens are best), B12 as well as B2, B5 and vitamin D. Another good source for tryptophan and improving your mood.

Hard boil a few eggs to pack in your lunch for the week or use as a snack mid-day. The lean protein in eggs helps convert tryptophan into the mood-enhancing serotonin, which may give you that extra energy without reaching for a candy bar or another cup of coffee. Eggs are also good for improving your memory (I have short-term memory problems, so I try to eat eggs a few times a week) and depression. (Wow!)

Look for free-range eggs in the grocery or buy from a local farmer or the farm house with the “Eggs for Sale” sign. These eggs will more likely have the most Omega-3s that you’ll need to boost your mood. If you can’t stomach an entire hard-boiled egg, cut it up and make egg-salad sandwiches or add to a salad. Fried egg sandwiches with mustard are another favorite of mine. Be creative!

Sunflower seeds – A handful of sunflower seeds can boost your mood because it has mood-enhancing magnesium. According to Care2.com, a lack of magnesium can be responsible for “feelings of fatigue, nervousness, and anxiety (since it triggers an increase in adrenaline).” In addition to magnesium, sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin B9 (folate or folic acid) that may help alleviate irritability, insomnia, and depression symptoms. (Note: a deficiency in folate may result in these feelings.) Sunflower seeds also contain the mood booster, tryptophan.

Sunflower seeds give an energy boost when you need it, but it doesn’t make up for your daily rest. Be sure to get a good 7 hours of rest each day in addition to a healthy diet that includes good protein and vitamins. Sunflower seeds help with your daily recommended amount of vitamins and minerals.

Walnuts – Go nutty with walnuts! These nut meats contain all the best mood and energy boosters including vitamin B6, folate, protein, Omega-3s and tryptophan! Seems that a handful of walnuts are good for improving your mood and alleviate negative feelings.

Whether you like cracking your own walnuts or prefer to buy them shelled, you’ll get the same benefits of getting the recommended dose of Omega-3 oil in less than an ounce of walnuts, which is about 7 shelled walnuts.

Grab a bag of trail mix or make your own for your next road trip, business meeting (those things usually put me to sleep within the first hour), add to brownies, waffles, muffins, top cereals and mix in yogurt. (Beware of nut allergies)

Baked Oatmeal with Fruit Recipe

I’m one of those people who loves to eat oatmeal…almost every day for breakfast. I prefer making my own with rolled oats on the stove instead of the quick-cooking instant cereal packets.

Favorite toppings are cinnamon and brown sugar, fresh blueberries, peaches or bananas. However, my absolute favorite type of oatmeal breakfast is Baked Oatmeal. The first time I ever had baked oatmeal was at a little coffee shop in Archbold, Ohio..best cup of coffee with the best wholesome breakfast in Northwest Ohio…if you’re ever in the area, stop by Carol Ann’s in Archbold.

In the meantime, try this recipe at home. Substitute your favorite kind of fruit as well as milk (I prefer soy milk over cow’s milk).

The original recipe can be found on SkinnyTaste.com

Baked Oatmeal with Fresh Peaches

You’ll need the following:

1 cup uncooked rolled oats
1-2 cups cubed ripe fresh peaches
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1-1/2 cups soy milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Baking Directions:

Preheat oven 375° F.  Lightly spray a 8 x 8″ or 9 x 9″ ceramic or glass baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.

Line the bottom of baking dish with cubed peaches. (Canned or fresh-frozen peaches can also be used, defrost frozen peaches & drain juice before adding to the dish.)

Combine the oats, nuts, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl; stir together.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla extract.

Pour the milk mixture over the oats, making sure to distribute the mixture as evenly as possible over the oats. 

Bake the oatmeal for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the oatmeal has set. Serve warm from the oven with milk or cream.

Drink to Your Health with Chamomile

Many benefits to drinking chamomile tea.

The weather is becoming cooler, so now is the time to curl up with a romantic movie and a hot mug of chamomile tea.

Chamomile known for its calming and relaxation effects has several other health benefits too including stomach aches, digestion and congestion.

Read more about the Benefits of Chamomile Tea and enter the giveaway by November 23, 2011 too!

**Do not drink chamomile tea if you are allergic to the flower or any plant in this category. Consult with your doctor if you have questions about chamomile.**

 

Natural Cures for a Cold: Stage 2 – Sinus Congestion

Even if you only get a cold once or twice a year, natural remedies are cheaper and better for your body than prescription or over-the-counter cold elixirs. Here are a few of my tried and true remedies for clearing sinuses and chest congestion.

Even if you only get a cold once or twice a year, natural remedies are cheaper and better for your body than prescription or over-the-counter cold elixirs.

As an allergy sufferer for nearly 11 months out of the year, sinus and chest congestion seem to always creep back when my allergies are at their worst. This is the second part in a series of 4 blog posts about curing a cold naturally. Here are a few of my tried and true remedies for clearing sinuses and chest congestion.

Garlic. Minced or chopped raw garlic (allow to set for 15 minutes to allow healthy compounds to be more potent) on toast or crackers consumed 4-5 times a day will loosen phlegm in your chest and help you breathe better. I’ve had 2 people testify that they could feel a difference after only 1 intake of raw garlic and toast.

Vitamin C. Combined with raw garlic, these two natural cures are just as potent as a prescribed antibiotic. Both can stave off colds and flu-like symptoms quicker than common cold elixirs and tablets. See Stage 1 Natural Cures for recommended doses of Vitamin C when your body is fighting a cold.

Saline Nasal Wash/Spray. Common store bought versions like the NetiPot (or bottle w/ syringe) come with pre-measured packets of a salt-baking soda mixture and a nasal wash bottle. I’ve used these in the past and they last for several washes. You can also mix your own nasal wash using 1/4 teaspoon pure salt (should be iodine free) such as pickling salt without the alum and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Mix this together with warm, not hot water, and using a bulb syringe or Neti pot, flush one nostril at a time (allow water to run out of other nostril). It will feel funny going up into your nasal passages at first – somewhat like getting water in your nose while swimming. Blow your nose after each nasal rinse and you should start feeling better after just a few times.

Hot drinks. Whether it’s your favorite Green Tea, Lemon Hot Toddie, hot chocolate or grandmother’s secret recipe, hot drinks are good for loosening phlegm in both your sinuses and chest. Lots of liquids will help your body eliminate congestion and keep you hydrated while those antibodies are hard at work.

 

50 Healthy Tofu Recipes – Tofu Fried Rice

You can create this simple fried rice dish with whatever veggies you have on hand, tofu chunks and brown rice for a filling and healthy meal.

Next in my journey of finding 50 recipes using tofu as a substitute for meat or dairy is this simple fried rice dish. Use whatever veggies you have on hand whether they are fresh or frozen. It is recommended to use brown rice instead of white rice, but it is your choice.

Fried rice and any 1 pan Chinese dish are my favorite recipes to make because they are simple and I don’t have to worry about timing other foods to be done at the same time. I find 1 pot meals fill me up more than separately cooked foods too.

#49 Tofu Fried Rice

What you need:

1 nonstick skillet or wok

2 teaspoons olive or canola oil (your preference here)

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper (roasted red bell pepper works well too)

1 cup sliced mushrooms – I use the stems too

2  garlic cloves, chopped (or use 1 t. minced garlic)

1 onion, chopped or diced

3 cups cooked brown rice (1 cup uncooked rice = 3 cups cooked)

1 cup silken extra firm tofu, chopped in 1/2-inch cubes (you may also fry these in olive oil before adding to the dish)

1 bag of your choice of frozen mixed or stir fry vegetables*

Low sodium soy or fish sauce

White pepper (or your choice of herbs)

Cooking Directions:

1. Heat oil in large skillet or wok over medium high heat.

2. Add red bell pepper, mushrooms and garlic until nearly tender, about 2-3 minutes.

3. Add 3 cups cooked brown rice; stir fry about 3 minutes.

4. Reduce heat to medium, add frozen veggie mix; stir fry until defrosted.

5. Add soy or fish sauce, pepper and herbs, if used. Stir fry about 2 minutes.

6. Add tofu cubes, and gently stir until tofu is warm.

Adjust seasonings and soy/fish sauce to taste.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

More tofu recipes:

Tofu Chocolate Mousse

50 Healthy Tofu Recipes – Tofu Chocolate Mousse

Learn to make a simple chocolate mousse recipe using Silken tofu and you can substitute different types of chocolate including white chocolate if you choose. A delicious dessert that even non-vegetarians will love.

This is my new direction for living a healthier and vegetarian lifestyle. I am not a total dedicated vegetarian since I occasionally still have chicken or beef, but it is my challenge to find 50 recipes that I can substitute meat or dairy for tofu.

Follow me on my journey to living and eating healthier, it’s the greener living road to health.

#50 Tofu Chocolate Mousse

This is a simple recipe and you can substitute different types of chocolate including white chocolate if you choose.

What you need:

1 food processor or blender

2-4 custard or small bowls

1-2 cups of firm Silken tofu, cut in chunks

Honey (or your choice of sweetner)

2-3 Tablespoons cocoa powder*

Directions:

1. Put tofu chunks, honey and cocoa powder in food processor or blender.

2. Mix until smooth and all tofu is completely mixed with cocoa powder.

3. Taste test for sweetness, add more honey if desired. Mix again.

4. Evenly distribute mixture into custard bowls.

5. Place in freezer or refrigerator for 1 hour or until mousse is set.

6. Remove from freezer, and serve with whipped topping, crushed graham crackers or vanilla wafers if desired.

Enjoy! Mmmmm….so creamy & good for you too!

*Substitute 6-8 ounces baking chocolate chips, or semi-sweet chocolate chips for the cocoa powder. Melt chips in microwave at 50% power or in a pan on the stove on low heat until melted. Add honey and stir, then add to tofu in blender or food processor. Using cocoa powder or chocolate chips will depend on your dietary preferences.

I also found this version of Chocolate Mousse from the FoodNetworkTV – another way to fix this delicious dessert.