Castor Oil pack for the bowels and liver.

photo-copy1.jpg

Castor Oil Packs

Castor oil packs have been said to help improve liver detoxification naturally, support uterine and ovarian health, improve lymphatic circulation and reduce inflammation.

The idea is to keep castor oil on a piece of cloth on the skin for at least an hour with a heat source to stimulate lymph and liver function. Unlike some “detox” methods, this is not said to have any negative side effects and the there are many accounts of people who noticed immediate better sleep, more energy and clearing of skin symptoms.

There aren’t any conclusive studies on the use of castor oil packs externally, but a long history of traditional use in many cultures. There is some evidence that it can have a suppressive effect on tumors and a positive effect on arthritis when used externally. Castor oil packs also provide time of quiet relaxation, which also has health benefits, so I thought they were worth a try.

Castor oil packs have traditionally been used on various body parts:

  • On the right side of the abdomen or the whole abdomen, which is thought to help support the liver and digestive system
  • On strained joints or muscles (not as a substitute for medical care but to speed healing of minor injuries that don’t need medical attention)
  • On the lower abdomen to help with menstrual pain and difficulties

Even for external use, I’d consult with a doctor or naturopath to make sure that this natural remedy is ok for you.  It should not be used if pregnant or struggling with a medical condition. I also test any new oil (or any substance) on a small part of my arm before using on a larger area of the body.

How to Do a Castor Oil Pack

Castor oil packs are simple to do at home and I like them because they require me to be still and relax and read a book for at least an hour. They can be messy, but with proper preparation are not.

Needed Supplies

  • High-quality castor oil (hexane free) – I’ve gotten from Radiant life catalogs and if you search on Amazon you should be able to find it.
  • Unbleached and dye free wool or cotton flannel – can be reused up to 30 times
  • Wrap around pack (plastic free) or plastic wrap but not my favorite.
  • Heating pad
  • Glass container with lid – I use a quart size mason jar (for storing the oil soaked flannel between uses)
  • FYI castor oil does stain

You can also find castor oil pack kits online that will include everything you need.

How to Do A Castor Oil Pack

Before Beginning:

  • Cut a large piece of cotton flannel and fold into thirds to make three layers. My original piece was 20 inches by 10 inches and when folded it was roughly 7×10 but yours could be larger or smaller, depending on where you are planning to place it.
  • Thoroughly soak (but not completely saturate) the flannel in castor oil. The easies way I found to do this was to carefully fold the flannel and place in a quart size mason jar. I then added castor oil about a tablespoon at a time (every 20 minutes or so) to give it time to saturate. I also gently shook the jar between adding more oil so that the oil could reach all parts of the cloth. Ideally, this should be done the day before to give it time to evenly soak. I save the jar since this is where I keep the flannel between uses (it can be used about 30 times).

Using a Castor Oil Pack:

  1. Carefully remove and unfold the castor oil soaked cloth.
  2. While lying on an old towel or sheet, place the cloth on the desired body part.
  3. Cover with plastic (like a plastic trash bag), and place the heating pack on top of this. A hot water bottle, electric heating pad can be used, but hot water bottles and rice packs may need to be reheated several times.
  4. Lie on back with feet elevated (I typically lie on the floor and rest my feet on the couch), and relax for 30-60 minutes.
  5. Use this time to practice deep breathing, read a book, meditate or pray (or whatever you find relaxing).
  6. After the desired time, remove the pack and return the flannel to the glass container. Store in fridge.
  7. Use a natural soap or a mix of baking soda and water to remove any castor oil left on the skin.
  8. Relax and rest. Make sure to drink enough water and stay hydrated after doing this.

Other ways to use castor oil:

From Japanese Healing Arts:

Castor oil is used externally in three ways. First, castor oil may be applied directly to the skin for dryness, rashes, hives, fungus, infections, boils, furuncles, liver spots (age spots), warts, benign skin cancers, etc. Also for infection or fungus in the finger or toe nails. Apply castor oil directly and gently rub into the area for a minute or two. Repeat this application 2 or 3 times a day for a few weeks or up to two months in the case of stubborn warts.

Second, the application of castor oil packs can bring significant relief for any kind of trauma, sprain or degenerative joint disorder. In the case of a painful joint, apply a pack and secure it with an ace bandage. Keep the pack on the body continuously and reapply castor oil every 24 hours. For back pain, lay on a castor oil pack for 90 minutes every day for 5 days. (See instructions below.) In severe cases, you may have to repeat this course 3 times over a period of 3 weeks.

Third, castor oil packs are used for cleansing and regulating the internal organs. For disorders relating to the digestion, intestines, liver, lungs or reproductive organs a series of castor oil packs on the abdomen for 90 minutes a day can have remarkable effects.

Have you ever used Castor oil? I’ll be sharing some of my other favorite uses soon, but please share yours below!

Healthy Kit Kat Bar Recipe

With a buttery, coconut-based crust reminiscent of a shortbread cookie, a sweet, gooey caramel sauce in the middle and rich dark chocolate on top, these magical bars come together in one delicious crunch!
IngredientsFor the crust layer:

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3 T honey

For the caramel sauce layer:

  • 1 cup dates, pitted and soaked in water
  • 1 T unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 T coconut oil, melted

For the chocolate layer:

  • ½ cup dark chocolate
  • ½ t coconut oil, melted
Instructions

  • Place dates in a large bowl and fill with water to soften 1-2 hours.
  • Drain water from dates, set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine melted coconut oil, honey and coconut flour until it becomes a gooey mixture.
  • Place the dough in plastic wrap 20 minutes to set. Do not place in the refrigerator or the coconut oil will harden and separate from the dough.
  • While the dough settles, preheat oven to 350oF. Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to hang over the edges for easy removal.
  • Transfer the crust mixture to the pan and spread into an even layer into the corners of the pan.
  • Place crust in the oven to bake 10 minutes until slightly raised and browned. Cool crust 30 minutes before proceeding.
  • While the crust bakes, place the dates in the microwave to warm 1-2 minutes. Then add all ingredients for the caramel layer in a blender, placing the dates in first.
  • Blend on high until the ingredients are broken down and becomes a sticky, smooth mixture.
  • Spread the caramel sauce into an even layer over the crust. Place in refrigerator for 2 hours.
  • Once set, make the chocolate layer by melting chocolate and coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat.
  • Spread the chocolate into an even layer over the bars. Place back in the refrigerator to set 1 hour.
  • Remove from the refrigerator and gently lift the bar out of the pan with the parchment paper and place on a hard surface. Slice into 12 bars using a large knife.

FAT is your Friend!!!

Why is everyone so afraid of Fats?

Do not worry you are not the only one most of my clients are afraid of fat.  Fat in food has become the villain in America the past decades. Everyone assumes that low-fat and fat-free foods are what we should be eating to shed fat and look and feel our best. Well that is so far from the truth. Fat is the building blocks for all of our hormones. Believe it or not cholesterol is the main fat that helps us produce all of our necessary hormones. Without fat what happens? YES, our hormone levels can drop and as a results we have

7-Healthy-Fats-that-Promote-Weight-Loss

 thyroid, hormone, weight, fatigue, fertility, and many more symptoms. SO eat your good healthy fats!! Now I am not saying go eat a ton of corn oil and canola oil. There are good fats and bad fats which I will tell you about below.

My Top Favorite Fats for your body:

  1. Butter or Ghee (clarified butter)

Assuming you do not have a cow milk sensitivity or allergy butter is a great source of fat. I am not saying the “I can’t believe it is not butter” and Margarine are ok.  Those are filled with tons of trans fats from vegetable oils. I am talking about REAL butter made from grass- fed organic cows. The omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids found in butter help your brain function at optimal level and improve your skin health. These two fatty acids are considered to be very important since your body cannot produce them on its own. These fats must come from other sources.  Butter also has a lot of trace mineral and fat soluble vitamins. One being Selenium which can help with thyroid function.

Ghee is also a great option. It is loaded with fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and E. It also contains high levels of Vitamin K2 which helps strengthen bones. These types of vitamins are best absorbed by your body when they’re in a fat substance and then stored in your gastrointestinal tract, keeping your metabolism and digestion on track. Another great thing about ghee is it is lactose and casein-free. What this means is if you can’t have lactose ghee may be an ok alternative.

  1. Coconut oil:

Unknown.jpg

This is one of my all-time favorite oils to use because it has such a high number of benefits. You can cook with it, use it on your hair and skin, use it for your teeth and gum health, a natural lubricant, and raise your body temp just by eating it which can help you lose weight!  Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids, which are easy for your body to digest and not stored in the body as far in small size, allowing them to infuse cells with energy almost immediately. These fatty acids also improve brain memory and function.

The high amount of natural saturated fats in coconut oil means that it increases good cholesterol and promotes heart health. IT also has anti-inflammatory effects which can help reduce pain in joints. Now that you know coconut oil is so great remember to store it at room temperature. I recommend buying extra virgin as refined or processed coconut oil can eliminate some of the health benefits.

From my personal experience with my clients some of them can’t loose weight and are constipated. I add in two tablespoons of coconut oil a day to start and they have started to loose weight and go potty!!

  1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil:

olive-oil-and-olives

Now this is one fat that everyone should include in their diet. EVOO is what people like to call it. However, it is not recommended that you use olive oil to cook because if it gets too hot the good fat will become rancid. So keep it cool and use it on veggies and salads. EVOO is amazing for heart health. There was a study done that when people supplemented a Mediterranean diet with extra virgin olive oil, it reduced the incidence of heart attack or dying of heart disease, probably due to its high amounts of monosaturated fats. The high amount of antioxidants in EVOO means it protect your cells from damage. We all could use a little damage control. EVOO also helps improve memory and cognitive function, and will work as an anti-inflammatory. Again, we can all use a little anti-inflammatory seeing that is where a majority of our health problems come from.

When you buy EVOO is is important that you buy a specific kind. “Extra virgin” is the best it means that there are no chemicals involved when it is refined. You want to look for an olive oil that is  cloudy if you can that means it has been refined down the least but there are plenty of non cloudy that are great. Believe it or not some of the most common brands are fake olive oil!! There was a study done that found most of the top selling brands failed the test for the standards for extra virgin olive oil and there was even a lawsuit filed.  A good rule of thumb is that if a liter bottle is less than ten dollars then look for the seal from the international olive oil council. Yes, there is such a council .

It is also good to check the harvesting date on the label; if it’s labeled as “light,” “pure” or a “blend,” it isn’t virgin quality; and last opt for dark bottles this protects the oil from oxidation.

Recap it is not recommended for cooling at high temperatures because of its low smoke point!!

  1. Omega-3s:

This type of fat is super important because the body is not able to produce them by itself. This fat we have to get through food or supplementation. There are three types of omega 3 fatty acids ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).

The most preferred sources of EPA and DHA are found in seafood: salmon, mackerel, sardines, walleye, and cod are some common sources. ALA, is found in foods such as plants and some nuts and seeds and grass fed beef. The best nuts to eat with the most abundant amount of omega 3s are chia seeds, walnuts and flax seeds. For ALA the green leafy veggies are great such as Kale, Brussel sprouts and watercress.

There is a lot of debate over the high levels of mercury in fish and how we shouldn’t have any fish oil due to that but if you read the label for what type of fish is used you should be ok. Many people are staying away from fish all together due to the contamination and that is why supplementing with a good quality fish oil is key.

Cod liver vs Fish oil can be very confusing so let me clarify that a little bit. The difference between fish oil and cod liver oil is lower in omega-3s but very high in vitamins A and D. I would recommend that the best form of omega-3 fish oil contains astaxanthin (a powerful antioxidant that also helps stabilize fish oil), so my preferred choice is fish oil made from wild-caught pacific salmon, which has high levels of DHA/EPA and astaxanthin.

So, when it comes to getting enough omega-3s into your diet, I recommend eating plenty of omega-3 foods and also supplementing in most cases.

I would recommend at least 1,000 milligrams a day of EPA/DHA and about 4,000 milligrams of total omega-3s (ALA/EPA/DHA combined).  Many people will also notice a dramatic decrease in inflammation in the body, increase growth in hair and nails and better cognitive function. So make sure you get a goo

Unknown.jpg

d fish oil in your diet.

Functional Diagnostic Nutrition (FDN)

What is FDN?
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition (FDN) is a type of detective work that seeks to identify the underlying causes of disease instead of treating symptoms. Using functional lab work, I will identify healing opportunities and engage each client in a health-building process using the potent, proven, professional protocols in our D.R.E.S.S. for Health Success program. This includes Diet, Rest, Exercise, Supplements and Stress Reduction. This natural, holistic approach yields the highest level of positive clinical outcomes. I do not medicate, I educate!

Functional Diagnostic Nutrition

 

 

No Bake Granola Bars with Raisins and Chocolate Chips {Grain Free, Paleo}

Chewy, crunchy, sweet and salty, these grain free and paleo no bake granola bars are going to become your favorite with the first bite!  They’re loaded with raisins and mini chocolate chips, coconut flakes and nuts, sweetened with raw honey and packed with healthy fats.  Kid approved, gluten-free, dairy-free, grain free and addicting! 

Prep Time: 15 minutesChill Time: 2 hrsTotal Time: 15 minutesCourse: Paleo snack/treat Cuisine: dairy-free, grain free, Paleo Servings: 20 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw pecans or walnuts
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 cup  coconut flakes unsweetened
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 tsp salt or 1/4 for less salty
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted (use refined for no coconut flavor)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (no sugar added)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mini choc. chips  dairy free, soy free

Instructions

  1. Place the nuts in a food processor and pulse several times to “chop” them into a crumbly texture – a few larger pieces are a good thing – don’t overmix!
  2. Transfer the nuts to a large mixing bowl* and stir in coconut flakes, cinnamon, salt, and raisins to evenly combine.
  3. Place melted coconut oil in a small sauce pan and whisk in the almond butter and honey. Set heat to low and whisk while honey and almond butter melt. Once mixture is smooth and well combined, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the large bowl with the dry ingredients and stir to fully combine – I used a silicone spatula for this step. Thoroughly mix to make sure all the dry mixture is coated. Once coated, gently stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Line an 8 x 8” or 9 x 9” square pan with parchment paper along the bottom and sides, with extra up the sides for easy removal. Transfer mixture in and press down, using your hands, or another piece of parchment paper to get it packed tightly into the pan.
  6. Cover the top with parchment or plastic wrap, then set in the freezer for at least 1 hour to firm, or longer if you have time.
  7. Remove pan from freezer and grab two ends of the parchment paper to remove the bars, set on a cutting board.
  8. Using a long very sharp knife, cut into 20 bars.  You can wrap them in parchment individually storing in the fridge (for up to two weeks) or freezer for longer.
  9. Bars will start to melt around room temp due to the coconut oil, so they’ll need to be kept chilled to stay firm. Enjoy!

LEMON BLUEBERRY SCONES (PALEO, GLUTEN FREE, DAIRY FREE

Paleo lemon blueberry scones (gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free)

I love these easy lemon blueberry scones. Made with almond flour, blueberries, lemon, and honey, they are everything that is good about scones. And they are paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free. These scones are amazing with honey butter (I make it with ghee) right out of the oven. Of course, you can use coconut butter for a dairy-free topping.

It’s important to use fresh blueberries — frozen blueberries add too much moisture to these scones. And I like a lot of blueberries, they add to the natural sweetness of the almond and honey. Gently fold the blueberries into the batter at the last minute.

The key to this blueberry scone recipe is to keep stirring the flour mixture with the wet ingredients until it forms a dough. At first, it will seem like there is not enough moisture, but if you keep going it will come together into a nice dough. The consistency is similar to biscuit or cookie dough.

It’s also important to use superfine blanched almond flour for these grain-free blueberry scones. Do not substitute coconut flour or other gluten-free flour blends as they will not work in this recipe.


These lemon blueberry scones are perfect with tea or coffee.Prep Time10 minsCook Time20 minsTotal Time30 mins

Ingredients

  • 315 grams almond flour  about 3 cups
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoonshoney
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Add the almond flour, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest to a large bowl and stir to combine.
  • Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the wet ingredients. Starting in the center, stir the dough until well combined. Fold in blueberries.
  • Using a large cookie or ice cream scoop, drop the scones onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly wet hands and gently flatten the tops of the scones. They should be about 1 inch thick.
  • Bake 18-20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

Nutrition

Calories: 233kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 168mg | Potassium: 22mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1.2% | Vitamin C: 3% | Calcium: 7.9% | Iron: 8.5%

HEALTHIEST KIDS MEAL WHEN YOU JUST DO NOT HAVE TIME!!

So we all have those days where we just can’t manage to cook a nice dinner or lunch for our little ones. We just wish we had some healthy options in the freezer we can pop in the toaster oven. Well I have done some research on which frozen foods for kids are the most well balanced and cleanest. I wanted to find some that include veggies and protein. I looked to avoid products with soy, artificial ingredients and sugar the best I could. I know for Jaxson he loves a lot of the Earth’s Best products and Vans. He will gobble up the gluten free vans waffles and they have no sugar. Make sure you read the label because some of them do contain sugar. I love the Kidfresh products and there is a wide variety of main meals and sides all free of artificial products and most free of sugar. I have posted some products below with direct links to order so you can save time running to grocery stores all over town!