In Blog Flu Natural Remedies

7 Natural Ways To Heal From A Cold Or Flu Really Quickly

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Nothing is more annoying than waking up on a Sunday morning feeling as though a train has run over your body. That's exactly what happened to me because the flu virus multiplied and infected my system to the point of smashing me with symptoms out of nowhere.

Frustratingly, I could have avoided it. I know I could have.

My father was the first to get it and in that week, rather than take precautions and dial it in with my diet, I took on the opposite approach. My diet was pathetic, my supplementation plan took a back seat and my overall bedtime shifted from 10 pm all the way back to 12 am. 

All these things significantly weakened my immune system to the point of catching the flu. It absolutely sucked! 

Fever, dizziness, sinus issues, sore throat, headache and a nagging cough plagued me all the way until Tuesday night. 

However, today, I feel as if I'm almost healed. What's surprising is that I didn't go onto a course of antibiotics. I did, however, take about 3 pain killers in that time but that was it in terms of medication.

I believe it was a combination of the remedies discussed below that helped me kick the flu in the butt and recover in just 4 days. 

1. 5 Cups Of Green Tea Per Day

Ask me about Green Tea and I'll harp on and on about all the wonderful effects this green elixir has had on my body.

From it's anti-inflammatory effects to its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. Green tea is a must have in every kitchen!

Apparently, researchers have discovered that EGCG has the ability to inhibit the influenza A virus endonuclease making green tea a possibly effective remedy for flu prevention and treatment.

I started downing 5 cups of Green Tea throughout the day in 2 - 3hour intervals and it literally made a huge difference in how I felt. It sorted out my sore throat within 2 days which blew my mind because that's usually the last symptom to leave my system.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar 3 Times A Day

The next best antifungal and antiviral drink would have to be apple cider vinegar. This fermented drink has been used for centuries and with good reason. I try to drink at least a tablespoon of ACV a day but this past weekend, I decided to up the dosage and drink about 3 tablespoons before each meal. Here's the trick though, dilute it with water. That should dull the taste significantly!

As far as possible, stick with organic apple cider vinegar that also has the 'mother' or 'scoby' present. But, if you don't have that on hand, use regular apple cider vinegar.

3. 1 - 2 Litres Of Carrot, Beetroot, And Apple Juice

When sick, the last thing you want to do is starve your body of vital vitamins and nutrients.

It's going to need it to fight off the flu and all the associated symptoms. But, as you probably know, not everyone can stomach eating food when literally tossing around in bed with pain and fever.

Which is why I opted to juice carrot, beetroot and apples for a taste, nutritionally dense and super healthy drink to aid my system.

4. Bone Broth 

Packed with branch chain amino acids like L-glutamine, bone broth is a must have regardless of whether you're sick or not. During this sickly weekend, I made it a priority to sip on bone broth throughout the entire day to soothe and nourish my gut.

Alternatively, prepare a regular pot of fresh chicken soup with lots of root vegetables and herbs. It's just as nourishing as bone broth that is gentle on the gut. 

5. Vitamin C and Omega 3 Supplementation

Vitamin C is scientifically known to boost the immune system, lower hyper tension, promote elasticity in the skin and so much more.

It makes sense to supplement with Vitamin C to give your immune system that well needed boost to fight off the flu virus. Vitamin C or as some would like to call it, Ascorbic Acid, should come from a healthy nutrition plan but that doesn't mean you're getting enough. Sometimes, supplementing with 500 - 1000iu of Vitamin C may just become essential during the cold season.

Omega 3 fish oil is a fatty acid that is incredibly anti-inflammatory. If you're taking traditional medications that tend to exacerbate inflammation in your body (or if you suffer from a chronic inflammatory disease), Omega 3 supplementation is epic for you! Start off with 500 - 1000iu per day and increase the amount if needed. 

6. Turmeric, Ginger And Honey Milk

It is no secret that turmeric, aka curcumin, is known for its wonderful healing antiviral, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties but it also happens to be the secret ingredient to this healing, soothing and rejuvenating golden drink.

Turmeric tea (aka haldi milk) is a staple in our house and we swear by it for all symptoms flu related. Be careful though, you want to use all organic products and avoid cows milk in this particular case. Throw in some black pepper and a few chopped almonds for maximum benefits of and a delicious tasting drink.   

7. Peppermint Oil In Hot Water To Clear Sinuses

Struggling with a stuffy nose? Can't get your airways to clear up so that you can sleep peacefully through the night? No problem, in a bowl, mix a few drops of peppermint oil in steaming hot water, cover your head with a towel (if you can manage too) and inhale the peppermint steam through your nose as best you can.

I guarantee that within 5 minutes, your nasal passages will be clearer and breathing through your nose will be much easier!

What Shouldn't You Do When Sick?

Look, as much as we may want to get as much done as possible and keep up with all our habits, it's not always wise to push ourselves too hard when recovering from illness. Don't engage in strenuous exercises, avoid all junk food, try not to sleep late at all and don't exhaust yourself by staring at a computer screen all day and night.

It's just a few days of sacrifice before you can resume normal activities but until you're better, focus on recovery over performance or else you'll just extend the time needed to fully heal.

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In Blog Cold Showers Health Natural Remedies

5 Epic Benefits Of Cold Showers And Why You Should Try It

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At the end of a long and tiring day, nothing beats the relaxing feeling of a soothing hot shower, am I right?

It stimulates blood flow throughout your body, unclogs pores and preps you for a relaxing night with your loved ones.

So then why the hell do we insist on taking a hot shower first thing in the morning? After a long nights rest, what we need is energy, clarity and focus to take on the day with vigor!

Which is why you need to substitute those hot morning showers for cold showers!

Ladies, if you're reading this, don't be alarmed if the men in your life scream like ladies because let me tell you, cold showers can even make the manliest of men scream like a 10-year-old girl. Dudes, don't let that fool you from missing out on the wonderful benefits of a cold shower which we'll be discussing below.

1. It Helps Prevent Breakage Of Hair

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By tightening and closing pores whilst preventing the natural oils in your scalp from drying up, cold water showers aids in strengthening hair follicles. 

Also, cold water allows dirt and grime to easily wash away from your scalp! How awesome is that? If you were to switch over to an all-natural hair care regimen combined with cold water showers, the results will be awesome!

2. It Stimulates Blood Flow To The Skin

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When your skin is exposed to cold temperatures, blood rushes to those areas (in hopes of warming it up). 

The stimulation of blood flow encourages repair and reconstruction of cells that have been damaged from all sorts of factors such as injuries, bites, acne and so on.

3. It Reduces The Appearance Of Skin Conditions

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While we're on the topic of skin care, when suffering with conditions like psoriasis and acne, hot water can tend to exacerbate these conditions because it strips the skin of it's natural oils and is generally drying.

Because cold water doesn't have the same effect on skin, it doesn't worsen skin conditions.

Apart from that, cold water can help with inflammation thus reducing the appearance of red marks.

4. It Gives Your Metabolism A Boost

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With a healthy metabolism, you can function properly and burn calories at an optimum rate. The problem is that as we age, our metabolism tends to slower down.

Alternately, if you've been dieting haphazardly, chances are that your metabolism may take a knock.

As it turns out, cold showers stimulate the cardiovascular system resulting in the expenditure of energy which ends up boosting your metabolism. 

5. Strengthens Immunity Against Viruses

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With autoimmune diseases becoming a worldwide phenomenon, it comes as no surprise that more and more experts are placing an emphasis on maintaining a healthy immune system to live a healthy (autoimmune) disease free life.

Cold showers stimulates the production of white blood cells in your body making you more immune to viruses and so on. 

Also, if you suffer from an autoimmune disease that is inflammatory in nature, cold water baths and showers could help in reducing the amount of inflammation in your body!

How Long Do I Have To Shower In Cold Water For?

Some people argue that it's imperative you shower under cold water for 3 minutes on average whereas others believe that effects are experienced within just 10 seconds. It's hard to say how you will react.

Personally, I've noticed the 3-minute average seems to be the sweet-spot for myself. Not only do I experience a burst of energy and elevated moods after my shower but my skin looks amazing.

You could start with 10 seconds of cold water just before exiting the shower and work your way up to 3 - 10 minutes of cold showers.

Are There Any Possible Side Effects?

It depends. I know that's not the answer you were looking for but that's as honest as I can get. If it's the middle of winter, I don't think it's such a wise idea to have a cold shower.

Not so much for physical side effects but for the psychological effects it may have on you. The last thing you want is to be stressed out over freezing your ass off in the shower when you've spent most of the day frozen like a Popsicle.

Use your discretion. If cold water showers make you feel brittle, sick or uneasy beyond the shock, avoid it.

What If I Don't Want To Shower In Cold Water? Is There Any Other Way For Me To Get Some Of The Benefits Listed Above?

In the likelihood that you don't 'warm' to having cold showers, the next best thing is to shower in tepid or luke warm water. 

By doing so, you avoid drying the natural oils in your skin and hair from super hot water whilst possibly experience the benefits mentioned above in varying degrees of efficacy.

Alternately, swimming in a pool or at the beach could be an option for you. You're still submerged in cold water but with the added advantage of having fun and getting some exercise. It's a win-win situation!

Worse case scenario, have a combination of hot and cold water showers. It's not perfect but it's a great way to get the best of both worlds!

With that being said, I hope you enjoyed this article and found value in it. As more information becomes available on the topic, we'll be sure to update this list and inform you about it! For now, get into the shower and turn on the cold water!

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In Blog Health Sleep Stress

5 Fundamental Habits That Will Help You Manage Stress And Feel Better

There has never been a more devastating and physically (as well as emotionally and psychologically) destructive emotion in the entire world than Stress.

It is the silent killer! There is no magic pill that cures stress and it often goes ignored for far too long before people realize how it can change their lives.

More and more research is being conducted on a daily basis showing an insane occurrence and connection between stress and almost every disease known to man. Being stressed isn't necessarily a bad thing when it's acute. If anything, it's a good form of stress that allows us to be alert, fully functional and capable of protecting, surviving and overcoming obstacles.

When stress starts to corrupt your life on a daily basis, that's when things become truly dangerous.

In today's post, I want to highlight a bunch of issues related to stress, what daily habits cause or aggravate stress, habits that will help you manage and deal with stress as well as an overall look at how stress can damage the body.

I strongly urge you to take a step back, analyze the way you've been feeling and operating for a while now and if you notice a common trend of stress and anxiety, then pay careful attention to the rest of this article because it is imperative that you make a positive change in your life.

Not just for your mind but for your physical health and wellness. Let's get cracking, shall we?

How Chronic Stress Damages Your Body

Before we can talk about how stress is damaging, we need to understand exactly what is stress and the role it plays in everyone life.

When tasked with something demanding (physically, emotionally or psychologically) or challenged by something we perceive as dangerous, we experience stress. How does this occur?

Well, certain hormones like cortisol (stimulated by the adrenals), adrenalin and norepinephrine are released.

These hormones place you under a state of stress that manifests physically, emotionally and psychologically. But, it's not a bad thing. If you were being attacked by a Tiger or participating in the Olympics, this state of being can propel you forward and help you survive or perform phenomenally.

However, there's more to the story. Just because you survived an attack doesn't mean you're okay.

At this point, once the danger has been avoided and is no longer imminent, you're supposed to calm down! Those hormones that were stimulated and released needs to lower and normalize. You're not supposed to stay in the Flight or Fight state.

Ordinarily, we know how to do that. We switch back to normal automatically.

But, as time goes on, that's not always the case. Your levels of stress don't lower and your adrenals are firing on all cylinders long after the imminent threat has been evaded. At this point, you're in danger of developing chronic stress - the silent killer and the underlying cause of many illnesses.

What this can lead to is all sorts of problems such as adrenal fatigue, anxiety, depression, a compromised immune system, autoimmune disease and disorders, thyroid issue, acne, rosacea, eczema, insomnia, weight gain, severe weight loss, loss of appetite and so much more.

RELATED POST: 10 HEALTHY LIFESTYLE CHOICES YOU CAN MAKE TODAY

Chronic stress is absolutely awful and as time goes on, it piles up until your body can't handle it well because it's beaten down.

Think about this for a second, the last time you had an adrenalin rush, how did you feel afterward? Exhausted, right?

But then you recover because there's not much adrenalin in your system and stress-free time allows your body to regulate itself.

Now, imagine being in a stressed state almost every single day? Imagine the beat down your body is taking from months, if not years, of chronic stress? It's crazy!

My Long Term Battle With Stress

For as long as I can remember, I've battled with stress. Although I wore a smile on my face, stress took a toll on my mind and body in ways I never imagined. As time went on and I entered my late teens, I suffered more and more with lethargy, weight gain and acid reflux.

It wasn't just a direct reaction to stress, those issues were triggered by bad habits that stemmed from a stressed out mind. Everything is connected and that is wildly fascinating.

By the time I hit my 20's and entered the college life, everything took a turn for the worse. From skin conditions like acne and psoriasis to a physically challenging disease like psoriatic arthritis, I've had it all.

RELATED POST: HOW TO HEAL AND CLEAR PSORIASIS (IN JUST WEEKS) 

If only I understood the impact of stress and bad lifestyle choices at an early age, I could have possibly avoided all those issues. But, there's no need to stress about things that are beyond our control, right?

The best thing we can do for ourselves is to avoid the mistakes of the past, rectify our actions in the present and enjoy a better future.

It all starts by making good choices Right Now! Before we discuss good choices and habits, let's go over the bad habits and lifestyle choices that are causing stress and destroying your body.

The Top 4 Bad Habits That Cause Stress

1. Horrible  Nutrition

You wouldn't fuel a diesel vehicle with leaded petrol, now would you? It'll break down and sustain some serious damage. Similarly, pumping your body full of processed, genetically modified, pasteurized, pesticide covered, antibiotic injected, synthetic junk food is the worst thing you could ever do to yourself.

Your Omega 3 to 6 ratio is going to be absolutely horrible and let me just inform you, inflammation will be a part of your daily life.

Inflammation often imposes heavy stress on your immune system which in turn affects the way you digest food and absorb mineral, vitamins, and nutrients. When that happens, you're screwed!

Seriously, you're in for a serious wake-up call, as was I! Ditch all that junk food because it's doing you absolutely no favors whatsoever.

2. Poor Sleep And Sleep Deprivation

You can only go for so long before sleep deprivation leads to death. Let's say you're not an insomniac but you sleep for perhaps 4 hours a night and most of the time you're only hitting the bed much after 12 am (as I used to do).

Though you're getting some sleep, it's placing an enormous amount of stress on your body. Everything from your adrenals to your immune system suffers from poor sleep habits.

More and more studies are reporting findings of sleep deprivation resulting in poor immune health and aging. More importantly, stress and lack of sleep are closely connected to each other.

What's one of the problems most people with anxiety suffer with? Stress? Yes, but apart from that, poor sleep. Their mind is racing and they can't get a good nights sleep. What does this result in, Stress! What does that stress add too? Anxiety.

It's a vicious cycle that's breaking you down from the inside out. Routinely sleeping past 12 am and under 6 hours is strictly prohibited.

3. A Sedentary Lifestyle

I came across a study by the Deakin University’s Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research that established a link between sedentary lifestyles with anxiety and depression.

We are built for movement and yet common day routines consist of waking up from sleep, heading into work and sitting at a desk all day, returning home and sitting on a couch or at the computer before heading to bed for sleep.

There's not much movement involved and this is contributing to physical health ailments and excessive stress.

4. A Demanding Lifestyle

In complete contrast to the above situation, we have what many regard as the daily life of a Stay At Home Mom. A shout out to all those moms out there who run a household and do so damn much every single day!

Many of you don't get a chance to sit down and relax because life is just so demanding.

The thing is, most of the time you're running on fumes and you're heading straight into the burned out zone (not the good kind during a workout).

People living that kind of lifestyle need a break every day, even if it's just 30 to 60 minutes of Me-Time to recover and restore energy.

5 Fundamental Habits That Will Help You Manage Stress

1. Nutrition Focused On Reducing Inflammation And Repopulating The Gut With Good Bacteria

Aha! We've finally made it onto the good part of this stress management post!

Earlier we spoke about how inflammation and a poor gut biome affects your moods and body which is why the very first fundamental habit to develop is proper nutrition.

Foods that are natural and not man made fall into this category. Think about your green vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds as well as grass fed meat products.

The other side of the spectrum deals with foods that ought to be avoided altogether such as conventional dairy products, processed meats, candy, sodas and takeout food (aka, garbage).

Juice vegetables, drink pea protein smoothies, eat loads of berries, supplement with pre&probiotics or eat fermented foods, get your daily dose of Omega 3's fish oil and Vitamin D.

All these nutrition changes will make a huge impact on how your body functions, how hormones are regulated which essentially determines how you feel.

2. Deep Sleep, Proper Bedtime, Night Time Routine And Comfort

If sleeping late and not getting enough sleep creates an insane amount of stress on your entire body, the complete opposite to that is bound to have a positive effect on your body!

Ever since learning about REM sleep (deep sleep) and how detox plus repair takes place between the hours of 11 pm and 1 am, I've pulled back my bedtime to 10:30 pm and aim to get about 7 - 8 hours of sleep every day.

Not much more and nothing less than that! It takes some adjustments to sleep earlier but within a week or so, you'll feel awesome and settle into this new routine.

As a rule of thumb, follow these guidelines every night:
  • Turn off all blue light devices 30 minutes before getting into bed.
  • Sip on some green tea or warm ACV (apple cider vinegar) mixed with water.
  • Make a list of your goals for the upcoming day.
  • Read something soothing and calming.
  • Massage your body and sleep in a dark room. 
These guidelines have helped my sleep soundly through the night and have proven to be effectively de-stressing.

Give it a try and let me know what you think! 

3. Yoga, Meditation And/Or Mindfulness

There's a common denominator between all 3 of the above-mentioned practices and that happens to be singular focus on the present moment in time.

A huge chunk of stress originates in our fear of the future. The uncertainty launches us down a dark path of fear and anxiety. But, fear isn't real (so to say). Fear is actually False Evidence Appearing Real!

Perhaps you're even aware of how ludicrous your fears are but getting over them requires more than just awareness. Which is why I highly suggest the practice of Yoga, Meditation and/or Mindfulness.

These practices ground us in the moment. They redirect our attention towards living today rather than fearfully living in our thoughts of tomorrow.

Just 10 - 30 minutes of these practices a day can go a long way in managing and reducing stress.

4. Exercise Targeting Hormonal Rebalance And Release

Two hormones have gained a lot of attention in general media (which is surprising) and they happen to be Dopamine and Seratonin. Penned as the 'Feel Good' hormones, these two hormones are usually released during and after exercise!

Think about the last time you had a great weight lifting session or played a sport, didn't you feel terrific during and after? That's because exercise, specifically aerobic exercise, tend to promote the stimulation and release of both serotonin and dopamine.

The whole idea of exercise is to lower those cortisol levels and increase your feel good hormones so that you can actually wear a smile on your face and really feel happy inside.

All you need is about 30 minutes a day! Not only will you feel happier but you'll physically feel better, stronger and fitter as time goes on. That's what you call a double whammy!

Jump rope, box, swim, play sports, lift weights, do yoga or just take a walk outside. All these activities are enjoyable and de-stressing.

5. Active Therapy Through Notes, Speech And Social Interaction

Last, but certainly not least, we have to talk about Releases. I'm sure that if you're stressed out, there's a lot going through your mind.

Those thoughts bounce around the walls of your brain and drive you mad. If you stay locked within your own mind, those thoughts will consume you.

However, if you were to release those thoughts out into the world in hopes of getting some support from people you care about and who care about you, then you have a far better chance of managing and overcoming debilitating stress.

It is believed that you are the sum total of the 5 people closest to you.

Which means that if you are surrounding yourself with people who are poor at managing stress, lazy, demotivated and depressed, chances are that you too will experience varying degrees of the same issues. If you were to surround yourself with people who communicate well, overcome their fears by being brave and courageous, motivated and persistent minds and generally positive people, those traits and characteristics will rub off on you too.

Build an open environment for yourself where everyone supports each other, where stress and fear are dealt with through communication and persistence, where fun and relaxation often follows hard work and a loving environment.

Make an effort to socialize with the kind of people you aspire to be and you'll find yourself in a great space.

Apart from that, every day, journal or write into a diary. Get those negative thoughts out of your brain so that you can catch a break.

It's a simple habit that generates great results as time goes on.

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In Blog Health Natural Remedies

4 Incredible Benefits Of Prune Juice (And Why You Should Be Drinking It Today)

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 If you're absolutely sick and tired of feeling constipated and the traditional laxatives at your disposal are either ineffective or causing all sorts of problems for you due to the side effects, then stick around because prune juice may just be the natural remedy you've been wishing for.

Prunes are basically dried plums. There's nothing complicated about it. What I like about prune juice, in particular, is its efficacy.

Believe me, sometimes just 2 tablespoons are enough to clean the pipes and get the ball rolling (if you know what I mean).

With that being said, let's dive into this list of 4 incredible benefits of prune juice and why you should be drinking it today(or tomorrow, depending on when you need to empty the can).

The Top 4 Incredible Benefits Of Prune Juice

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1. It's A Natural Laxative

Dealing with constipation more or less boils down to upping your intake of dietary fiber (in general). Which is why consuming prune juice is so effective. Because it's already in liquid form, absorption and digestion speed up and the amount of dietary fiber aids in bowel movement.

I'm sure you've come across a dozen adverts that harp on and on about their special cereals that are high in fiber. Rather than eat all that junk, opt for prune juice!

2. Aids Weightloss

When looking at someone over or underweight, there could be bigger problems going on in the background that the average person isn't aware of.

In this day and age, weight has become a good indicator of how healthy we may or may not be. Why? Good question, weight is directly dependent on factors beyond exercise such as types of food consumed on a daily basis, caloric intake, sugar and its connection with insulin, stress and its impact on the thyroid gland as well as poor sleep and the over stimulation of the adrenals. All these things contribute to weight gain and obesity!

For people who are overweight and are looking for an additional source of dietary fiber and energy from a sweet juice that consists of a fruit low on the glycemic index, prune juice is your go-to drink! A study conducted by researchers at the University Of Liverpool found a correlation between added weight loss and daily consumption of prunes.
"Researchers found that members of the group which ate prunes as part of a healthy life-style diet lost 2kg in weight and shed 2.5cm off their waists. However, the people in the group which was given advice on healthy snacks lost only 1.5kg in weight and 1.7cm from their waists."
If you ask me, buying and drinking prune juice daily is a tasty and small price to pay for shedding those extra few pounds!

3. Lowers Bad Cholesterol

Despite a common misconception amongst folks, cholesterol can be good just as much as it can be bad. Good cholesterol (HDL) helps to protect the heart from damage whereas bad cholesterol (LDL) can negatively impact the heart by blocking/clogging up arteries.

If you eat a diet rich in processed foods, your bad cholesterol is going to be through the roof. Lifestyle plays an important role in maintaining good and bad levels of cholesterol (please get your blood pressure checked regularly) and one of the 'foods' that can help with that is prunes.

A study titled “Use of prunes as a control of hypertension” established a connection between prune consumption and lower blood pressure levels!

4. It Can Prevent Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are such a pain in the ass (bad joke, I know). You see, long term constipation and straining bowel movements are known to cause hemorrhoids!

By now, you already know that prune juice is high in dietary fiber and is a great remedy for constipation and bowel problems! So, by consuming prune juice regularly and keeping your systems flowing smoothly, essentially, you can prevent hemorrhoids.

It might just be as simple as that!

How Much Prune Juice Can I Drink Per Day?

Consistency and sustainability is the name of the game when it comes to natural remedies. The last thing you want to do is chug a gallon of prune juice and end up suffering from diarrhea. I tend to drink about half a cup of prune juice a day mixed with apple juice. A good indicator of whether you've had too much is the consistency of your stool (I know, I know, TMI).

If it's too weak or runny then cut back on the quantity of prune juice. Also, I know that I mentioned mixing apple juice for an extra sweet taste but you don't have to do that. Dilute your prune juice with just a bit of cold water or throw it into a smoothie. The choice is completely up to you.

Should I Be Aware Of Anything Bad In Prune Juice?

Prunes contain trace amounts of both histamine (a possibility to form an allergy isn't ruled out) and acrylamide which is regarded as a carcinogen (although keep in mind that there is a bunch more of this stuff in ordinary processed junk like french fries).

Make of that what you will. To be safe, consult your doctor or a medical professional before consuming prune juice daily so that they can guide, advise and monitor you.

I hope you found this post insightful and that it puts you on a path of health and wellness. Prune juice offers some seriously cool health benefits, especially when combined with a healthy lifestyle. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below and don't forget to subscribe by email for content like this (it's free).

Love, blessings and well wishes!

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In Acne Blog Natural Remedies Skin

5 Natural Sugar Scrubs For Clearer Skin

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After clearing up from cystic acne and psoriasis, I was left with what many people don't account for during flare ups - scars! I'm not talking about post inflammatory hyper pigmentation marks (those red spots left after a pimple clears up), I'm talking about indentations.

In my eyes, these are the worst scars you can get from acne because they last so damn long.

Notice how I said that they last long rather than state their permanent. Because here's the truth, despite what most people say, these types of scars can be healed or reduced in severity with natural remedies if you understand how skin works.

What's I've come to understand is that by stimulating collagen and removing dead skin cells regularly, acne scars tend to appear better as time goes on.

I'm not someone to make crazy promises or guarantees and I never will. In my experience, I was able to heal acne indentations over a period of 2 -3 years.

Rather than use typical products (which I tried for a few months the first year), I switched to an all natural skin care regimen that produced pretty awesome results.

Results did not come overnight but I put in the work every single day. As time went on, the appearance of indentations started to improve until one day I was outside getting a haircut from my mother, whilst looking into the mirror I noticed that I didn't see the usual dark indents I grew accustomed too!

At that point, all the years of daily skin care maintenance didn't matter. The results were worth it and I didn't even expect it.
With that being said, I consider healing acne scars to be a journey rather than an overnight issue. Start by cleaning up the inside of your body by eating healthily, exercising, sleeping well, drinking liters of water daily, consuming anti-inflammatory foods and drinks like green tea and apply natural toxin free healing remedies to your face.
When it comes to sugar scrubs, I think it's safe to start with 2 sessions every week and you can slowly work your way up to 4 sessions a week until your skin looks a lot better. Alright, let's move on to these awesome sugar scrub recipes for glowing skin. 

1. Lemon And Sugar Scrub

If you want to stimulate collagen, remove dead skin cells and lighten the appearances of marks, lemon is your go-to natural product to get the job done. This mask doesn't even cost more than a dollar or two but works amazingly!
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 Lemon 
  • 1 - 2 TBSP Sugar
Mix together and gently scrub your skin in a circular motion for 2 - 5 minutes. Leave it on your skin for about 10 minutes in total and then wash with lukewarm water. 

2. Green Tea, Honey, Lemon And Sugar Scrub

If you're looking for a cheap, anti-inflammatory, anti fungal and antibacterial scrub, then this is exactly what you should try.
Ingredients:
  • 100ml Green Tea 
  • 1/2 tsp Honey 
  • 1/2 Lemon 
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
You may need to play around with the sugar content so it creates a thick scrub but this recipe should make enough for a few applications. Store in a plastic container and apply to your skin early in the morning or before going to bed. 

3. Coconut Oil, Lavender Oil, Tea Tree Oil And Sugar Scrub

I absolutely love natural oils that are effective at clearing and adequately moisturizing my skin. In this case, a combination of the above 3 oils makes for a potent oil scrub that will leave your skin feeling the softest it's ever been.
Ingredients:
  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil 
  • 1 tsp Lavender Oil
  • 1 tsp Tea Tree Oil
  • 2 - 3 Tbsp Water 
  • Sugar
I would advise using this scrub only once or twice maximum per week to avoid clogging of pores or reactions (some people tend to breakout when using certain oils). Don't use any of those processed synthetic stuff either, opt for organic and cold pressed oils. 
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4. Matcha, Green Tea Leaves, Honey, Rose Water And Sugar Scrub

I'm so excited to share this scrub with you because it's my favorites! Ever since Matcha blew up in popularity, I've been hooked. I've noticed fantastic results to the overall texture and feel of my skin since adding it into my regimen.
Ingredients:
  • 1 Tbsp Matcha Powder
  • 1 Green Tea Bag (Cut Open To Access The Leaves)
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • Rose Water (As Much As Needed To Make A Paste)
  • Sugar
Combine all the ingredients and scrub into your skin for about 2 - 3 minutes. Thereafter, let it dry into a hard mask for about 15 minutes and then wash your face with water. Trust me, this one is AMAZING!

5. Rooibos, Peppermint Leaves, Lime And Sugar Scrub

Last but certainly not least, try this soothing fresh scrub early in the morning. Not only will it leave your skin with a healthy glow but the divine smell is to die for.
Ingredients:
  • 100ml Rooibos Tea
  • A Sprig Of Peppermint Leaves
  • 1/2 Lime
  • Sugar
Start by brewing a cup of rooibos tea, once done, let it cool down whilst chopping your peppermint leaves or regular mint leaves into small pieces. Combine everything and follow the basic scrubbing procedure as described above. Let it sit on your face for about 10 minutes minimum and then wash with cold water!
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What's The Deal With Sugar Scrubs? When And How Often Can I Use Them?

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After exfoliation, the cleaner, clearer and plump layer of skin is revealed! Which is where sugar scrubs come into play.

Don't waste your money on those so-called exfoliating washes that mostly strip your skin of natural oils! Instead, use a sugar scrub 2 - 3 times per week maximum to reveal fresh glowing skin. Sugar particles are big enough to properly exfoliate yet small enough to mostly prevent the occurrence of microscopic tears in your skin.

It's a win-win situation.

The addition of ingredients like essential oils and lemon is to effectively moisturize your skin, remove impurities, 'bleach' or fade pigmentation scars and stimulate collagen for healthy looking skin.
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But, like most things, you probably shouldn't use a sugar scrub often if you are suffering from an ongoing breakout. Chances are, the scrub will irritate your acne and cause more problems for you which is counterproductive.

In fact, when you are suffering from acne, the last thing you want anywhere near your body is sugar in any form. Don't eat it and don't use it. Period!

Let me know your thoughts on these sugar scrubs in the comment section below and don't forget to subscribe to our email list for more content like this (it's free)!

Love, blessings and well wishes! 

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In Blog Diet Juicing Natural Remedies

5 Life Changing Benefits Of Juicing Vegetables

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What if I told you that there was a way for you to lead a healthy life and pump your body with a high amount of nutrients without having to stuff your face with cooked vegetables all day, would you be interested?

What if I told you there was a quick, simple and tasty way to consume vegetables without getting fat because of hidden preservatives and sugar, would you be tempted to try it?

Well, guess what, I'm talking about juicing vegetables! Over the last few years, vegetable juice has become a popular topic across the world and with good reason.

Personally, I've been juicing vegetables ever since I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and it has made a world of a difference in my life. Not only am I disease free right now but I've never felt this great ever before. A huge part of that is because of the amount of vegetable juice I consume on a daily basis (about a liter a day now).

1. Detoxifies

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Nothing eliminates toxins from the body much like vegetables packed with antioxidants such as kale, spinach, broccoli, and cabbage. Also, the fiber from vegetables has an awesome digestive effect which often results in regularly passing of stool. Ditch those processed cereals and down a cup or two of vegetable juice early in the morning and let me know how clean and fantastic you feel!

2. Improves The Immune System

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When you think about the immune system, think of Vitamin C, Antioxidants, Anti-fungal and Anti-Bacterial properties. All of these things can be found in many vegetables and fruits. Juicing them is a fantastic way to give your body a boost in immunity against germs and bacteria. Most importantly, it comes without the side effects usually attached with traditional flu medication.

3. Hydrates The Body

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A lot of vegetables have a considerable amount of water content in them naturally, right? But, more so than that, some vegetable juices provide a well-needed boost in electrolytes which helps the heart and muscles to work more efficiently. Try combining pineapple, orange and coconut water for a mean electrolyte rich juice that is absolutely refreshing. When training, sip on any form of natural electrolyte juices to stay hydrated, alert and energetic.

4. Absorb A Higher Rate Of Nutrients

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It's an unfortunate reality that a significant amount of nutrients are lost during the digestive process, especially in people who suffer from leaky gut. To work around this problem, juicing vegetables is a form of predigestion that makes it easier for the body to absorb more of the available vitamins and minerals from vegetable juice in comparison to vegetables being eaten whole. You don't necessarily have to pop multivitamins every day if you're drinking a good serving of various vegetables!

5. Reduce Inflammation

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Most of you who follow this blog closely have learned about the negative impact of chronic inflammation on our bodies especially in the occurrences of chronic diseases. From thorough research and anecdotal evidence, daily consumption of vegetables and fruits provide a well-needed dose of natural antioxidants and polyphenols that reduce inflammation.

My Sweet And Healthy Vegetable Juice Recipe

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Now that we know exactly how nourishing vegetable juicing can be, I think it's time you made the investment of consuming at least a cup or 500ml worth of this juice daily. I'm completely open to experimentation which is why if I tell you a certain vegetable tastes horrible when juiced, trust me!

With that being said, I've nailed a sweet tasting vegetable juice that is packed with Vitamins, chlorophyll, polyphenols, antioxidants and all those micro-nutrients needed to build a super strong and healthy body.

Here's what you'll need:
  • 2 Beets
  • Kale Leaves (as much as you can fit in one hand)
  • 1/2 Cucumber
  • 4 -5 Carrots
  • 1 - 2 Red Apple
  • 2 -3 Celery Sticks
Mark my words, this juice tastes terrific and is insanely cleansing. I'd suggest newbie veggie juicers to dilute their juice with a cup or 2 of water and sip very slowly throughout the day to prevent bloating and gas.

As your gut becomes stronger and more accustomed to vegetable juices, you'll be able to handle stronger consistencies and larger amounts at a given time.

When it comes to buying a juicer, any standard high-speed juicer will suffice but I suggest trying this juicer given its reputable reputation and price (relatively cheap). The only downside to high-speed juicers is the longevity of a fresh batch of juice. It should last 24 hours before losing nutritional benefits.

Alternatively, if you're a heavy juicer like me and prefer to stock up on days worth of juice at once, invest money in a slow speed juicer. This reduces the amount of heat created from juicing the actual vegetables thus preserving most of the nutrients for a longer space of time!

What If I Can't Afford To Juice Vegetables Daily?

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Great question! I totally understand where you're coming from because I was also blindsided by the cost of vegetables in most supermarkets. If you don't have access to a small local market that sells vegetables at a reasonable price, I suggest buying one or two vegetables in bulk at a discounted price.

For instance, every 2 weeks or so, out supermarket sells about 10kgs of carrots at a ridiculously low price. We pick that up and just juice carrots for a week or 2 straight. The latter half of the month is when we invest in a bunch of green and root vegetables for juicing! It's a cost effective strategy with the benefit of getting added nutrients into your diet.

Another option at your disposal is dilution. Mix half a cup of filtered cold water with half a cup of juiced vegetables! It may not have as many nutrients as drinking undiluted vegetable juice but it's certainly cost effective.

If all else fails, opt for blending over juicing. This keeps the fiber (which is still beneficial) but doesn't require as many vegetables per serving.

Can I Juice ANY Vegetable?

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Yes and No. Look, vegetables are so dynamic in structure that you can almost certainly find a way to liquefy almost any and every vegetable.

The one set back you may face depends on whether or not you have an allergy, intolerance or autoimmune reaction to a specific vegetable. For example, people who suffer from rheumatic diseases tend to get super ill when consuming nightshades!

I avoid tomatoes for the same reason. In very small servings, it doesn't trouble me anymore because I'm so healthy but if I were to drink tomato juice or munch on a whole tomato, my joints will ache in that day.

Also, people who are not accustomed to eating green vegetables like kale, spinach and cabbage sometimes experience bloating and gas. Usually, as time goes on, your gut acquires the necessary enzymes to digest these green vegetables without issues but it takes time and it's not a 100% guaranteed.

Be safe rather than sorry. Rule out any allergies to vegetables before juicing them. Start with small quantities and build up the ability to drink larger amounts per day.

Should I Be Aware Or Cautious Of Anything In Particular?

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Vegetables themselves are pretty damn safe for consumption (given that you have no allergies and so on) but you should be cautious of pesticides, worms, and fungus.

Most vegetables and fruits are sprayed with pesticides that are harmful and dangerous to humans. To be safe, wash all your vegetables and fruits thoroughly (preferably with hot water), wipe and then juice.

If possible, opt for organic vegetables and fruits that haven't been sprayed with dangerous pesticides either. Alternately, if you're like us, grow your own vegetable garden!

Obviously, it takes time but certain vegetables and plants like Kale, spinach, and leaf based vegetables grow faster than root vegetables and tend to produce new batches of leaves for an extended period of time!

Will I Get Fat Drinking Vegetable Juice?

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No! Absolutely not! There's a huge difference between synthetically processed juice, fruit juice and vegetable juice.

The first two forms of juices are either loaded with added sugar and flavorings or natural fructose. Processed juices are obviously the worst of the lot because they are generally pretty damn void of nutrients and loaded with preservatives.

Fresh fruit juice lacks those nasty preservatives and still contain nutrients but the fructose from fruits high on the glycemic index will cause a spike of insulin preventing fat loss and possibly weight gain (also depending on the calories of that particular fruit juice).

Vegetable juices, on the other hand, are relatively safe and can actually aid in weight loss!
  • Firstly, vegetables are usually super low in calories but dense in nutrients. 
  • Secondly, vegetables are seriously low on fructose or void of it all together (that's why some of them can taste so bitter). 
  • Thirdly, the vegetables that are kind of sweet (like beets and carrots) are usually super low on the glycemic index and don't cause much of an insulin spike.
So, if you're replacing sodas and all drinks high in sugar with vegetable juice, you're essentially setting yourself up for weight loss.

The deficit of calories from substituting sodas and fruit juices with vegetable juice is obviously going to make a big difference in your daily caloric intake resulting in weight loss.

How freaking awesome is that!?

And with that, we've reached the end of this article. I really hope you enjoyed this collection of information regarding vegetable juicing but more importantly, I hope you take action and start introducing more vegetables in your life. It could make a world of a difference on how you feel each and every day.

Feel free to comment below on what your experience on juicing has been like! Catch you in the next article.

Love, blessings and well wishes!

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In Blog Diet Fermented Vegetables Health

The 4 Fermented Foods That Are Incredibly Healthy

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If you are serious about gut health and want to consume as many sources of pre and probiotics as possible, then this post is perfect for you.

Back in the day, when we ate like intelligent beings and not sugar crazy mongrels. Fermenting foods was just an ordinary part of life! We knew that it was healthy and that it made us feel awesome so we did it.

What we didn't know to a grand extent is how the fermentation of certain foods results in the growth of healthy bacteria which allows our body to thrive and prosper. I kid you not, a healthy gut biome can make a ridiculously big difference in how you feel on a day to day basis.

While on my journey to a  super healthy life without autoimmune diseases (psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis) I fermented vegetables like it was an obsession. Props to Dr. John Bergman for whipping my ass into making healthier lifestyle choices! You can find his videos on Youtube and let me tell you, this guy deserves some kind of humanitarian award because he's saving lives with all that incredible information he shares on Youtube.

So many people have reported a fantastic difference in their battle against conditions like fatigue, depression, gastritis, food intolerances, arthritis, acne and so on!

Nevertheless, here's a list of the 4 fermented foods that taste great, help fix the gut and improve the function of your immune system.
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1. Sauerkraut

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Also known as sour cabbage, Sauekraut is by far the cheapest and one of the healthiest vegetables you could ever ferment. It's loaded with amino acids like L-glutamine which is a fatty acid that coats the lining of the gut adding protection from foreign particles whilst healing the holes in your gut. Apart from that, Sauerkraut is an awesome boost in probiotics that make a great addition as a side for any meal.

Best of all, it's super cheap to make!

RELATED POST: THE BEST FOODS TO HEAL LEAKY GUT

2. Yogurt

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Guess what? Yogurt is made by fermenting milk with a culture. I've tried making my own yogurt at home with coconut skin/meat and water but that's just an unnecessary process if you aren't lactose intolerant. When buying yogurt, avoid those brands with added sugar and make sure it has been enriched with live cultures.

So many of us are desperate for a healthy source of dairy to add into our desserts, curries, and snacks without suffering from bloating or an outbreak of cystic acne. I find that properly prepared yogurt with a super healthy dose of probiotics and lactase tends to respond superbly in my body!

Heck, you could even make ice cream without the added guilt that comes usually comes attached with it. (Yay!)

3. Kombucha

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It was back in 2015 that I first tasted kombucha and I absolutely love it. Look, it all depends on where you buy kombucha from. The place I went to made it perfectly so it tasted like a delicious fizzy tangy drink loaded with good bacteria.

They even had a Cranberry flavor! Here's the deal, kombucha is slightly tangy, acidic (in a good way) and loaded with healthy bacteria. Making Kombucha can be kind of intimidating because you need a 'mother of vinegar' made up of bacteria. Typically, you'll find organic apple cider vinegar with the mother still in it (sounds weird, I know).

Which is why I prefer purchasing it from the health store. But, if you'd like to prepare a batch of Kombucha at home, check out this video!

RELATED POST: 10 HEALTH BENEFITS OF DRINKING LEMON WATER

4. Beet Kvass

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On the topic of fermented drinks, it would be an absolute shame if I failed to mention the wonderfully beneficial Beet Kvass. The name sounds ridiculously Russian hey! Basically, when fermenting beets, rather than dispose of the liquid after fermentation, you drink it!

Though it may not be the tastiest thing on the planet, it certainly makes a world of a difference to gut health so give it a try before ignoring it.

How Often And How Much Can You Consume Fermented Foods

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To be brutally honest, there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to eating fermented foods. There are a few signs to look out for that can give you an inclination of what your limits are and that you need to dial it in.

One of the most popular tell tale signs of overconsumption is bloating and or gas. Sure, it's not uncommon but if you notice excess bloating and gas, cut back on your quantity and slowly build up to larger amounts.

For those people who are just getting started, try eating just a tablespoon or 2 of fermented foods at each meal. As each week passes, bump up that amount by a tablespoon until you hit a sustainable amount.

As usual, consult with your physician and have him or her monitor your progress on fermented foods. Remember, it's best to be safe than sorry!

Is There A Specific Way To Make Healthier Fermented Foods

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Yes, there is! Always keep in mind that the very purpose of eating fermented foods is to repopulate and encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.

Which means that there is a need for higher quality and a larger quantity of good living bacteria in your fermented foods! To do this, it's preferable to ferment these foods with a live starter culture (consisting of multiple strains of pre&probiotics).

Again, this isn't a necessary step to fermentation but an option that I choose to implement in my routine because I've noticed better results from it.
Cutting Edge Cultures Vegetable Starter Culture, 6 Pouches
Supercharge your vegetables, enhance taste and crispness and ensure that your cultured foods are rich in probiotics with this potent starter culter by Cutting Edge. This special blend of selected cultures are bound to make a significant difference in your fermented foods.

Click Here For The Best Price
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