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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Natural Pink Eye Remedy

This last week, both Austin and I had been a bit run down with a chest cold and pink eye.  We're both feeling a lot better now, after taking a week or so to rest and boost our immune systems.  I've been noticing on our Facebook page that a few folks have been battling eye infections lately, too.  I wanted to share my tips for helping your eyes and body heal naturally.

I don't like to admit this, but I am somewhat of an expert on pink eye and eye sickness.  It is something I have battled frequently for my entire life.  I was born without functioning bottom tear ducts in both of my eyes, so my tears don't drain after being produced.  The constant tear production and pooling process creates the same affect as a stagnant pond in nature.  Without drainage and circulation, bacteria accumulates and thrives.  Growing up, I was in and out of the medical doctor at least once a month for conjunctivitis or some other form of an eye infection.  This was a constant battle for me all the way through my college years.  No one ever explained WHY my eyes were so susceptible to getting sick.

That was until I met my now husband, Dr. Dave.  He was the one person to explain the nervous system to me and its role on allowing my eyes to heal.  I began getting regular chiropractic adjustments in 2007.  For me, that meant 3-4 adjustments per week based on the damage in my neck.  The nerves going to my eyes were literally being pinched off by the bones in my neck due to ligament damage that I had never known about until then.  It took a few months of consistent chiropractic care, but soon I noticed I wasn't getting sick anymore.  For the first time in my life, I had gone 4 months without an eye infection!  And I noticed something else..  My eyes were draining better on their own!  I used to have to wipe my eyes with tissue multiple times in an hour -- often friends or classmates would ask me if I was okay, thinking I was crying.  I realized that not only were my eyes healthier and warding off sickness better, but I was able to wait 2-3 hours without having to wipe my eyes!

Now fast forward six years, after getting my spine corrected, and fully incorporating the 5 Essentials of Health into my life, my eyes have been doing even better!  This recent bout with pink eye is one of maybe 4 times I've had it in the last six years.  Who can complain about that looking back from where I have come from?

All of this said, I want to share my tips for helping your eyes heal naturally without the use of antibiotics.  Something to remember about antibiotics is that they kill both the bad bacteria AND the good.  A man-made antibiotic knows no difference.  Our body needs its good bacteria as it is the foundation for our immune system.  Also, an eye infection is not always bacterial.  My doctors growing up told me "there's a 50/50 chance it could be bacterial or viral," so they would give me an antibiotic eye drop plus some pill for viral infection.  I don't remember the names of the medications, but I do remember thinking how come I needed pills and drops that really didn't help and why couldn't my body heal on its own.  It wasn't until much later in life that I learned that my body CAN HEAL if I just give it the best opportunity to do so.

Here is what I do to fight an eye infection naturally.  It's all about addressing your immune system.  The only time you will get an eye infection is when your immune system is weakened.  Here are my tips to boost you:
  1. GET ADJUSTED  Your body has an amazing ability to heal itself.  That power starts in the brain and travels through the spinal cord to every organ and cell of your body.  Chiropractic looks for any interference in the spine which prevents the healing power from traveling to the places it needs to.  Each adjustment to your nervous system boosts your immunity anywhere from 200-400%!  Do yourself the favor and get your neck checked by your Maximized Living doctor.  Getting corrective care adjustments can greatly accelerate your healing when you are sick.  Visit MaximizedLiving.com to find a corrective care chiropractor near you.
  2. COLLOIDAL SILVER  This is what I use in place of an antibacterial eye drop medication.  There are two ways you can use this.  You can drop 2-3 drops directly into each eye 3-5 times per day.  Or you can fill an eye wash cup with colloidal silver and wash your eye that way 3-5 times per day.  Make sure you have 10ppm colloidal silver (proven to kill the bad bacteria in 6 minutes or less on contact).  It's best to treat both eyes with colloidal silver in case there is bacteria cross contamination.  Often just as your one eye is healing, the other will get sick.  That's never fun.
    (You can alternatively use a few drops of fresh breast milk directly into each eye to naturally kill any bad bacteria in the eye.  The breast milk will also soothe the irritation.)
  3. GARLIC  Raw garlic is a natural antibiotic, antihistamine and holds many immune boosting capabilities.  If you can handle eating it raw, pop a couple cloves in your mouth throughout the day, chew and swallow.  Most likely you won't be able to handle this (I know I can't!).  Instead, find raw garlic capsules and supplement that way.  2,000-6,000mg daily is a healthy high dose to boost your immune system.  I'll usually do 2,000mg in the morning and 2,000mg before bed when I'm sick.
  4. OIL OF OREGANO  Oil of oregano contains natural compounds that combat viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections.  It is a powerful oil and a few drops can go a long way!  One of the most important things to look for when buying Oil of Oregano is the amount of Carvacrol and Thymol. Most of the health benefits of Oil of Oregano are due to these two active ingredients.   Oil of Oregano can come in different strengths.  The higher the carvacrol concentration, the stronger it's antimicrobial effects.  Also, be sure it is organic.  There are two ways to dose Oil of Oregano for an eye infection:  1) Place 4-6 drop sublingually (beneath your tongue) and hold for 30 seconds before swallowing.  Repeat up to 10 times daily.  2)  In a shot glass of filtered water, float 15 drops on the surface.  Take the shot and let the oil coat your throat.  Repeat up to 10 times daily.
  5. VITAMIN C  Up to 10,000mg daily is a safe high dose for Vitamin C.  Be sure you are using a high quality and safe brand that meets food-grade standards.  If you're not sure, ask your Maximized Living doctor!
  6. VITAMIN D3  Vitamin D3 is a HUGE immune booster, believe it or not.  And we often wonder why we get sick in the fall and winter months more than summer.  Well, it mostly has to do with our lack of vitamin D during those 6 months.  Not only are we not getting outside as much with less skin exposed, but we are farther away from the sun as well so the precious healing rays can't reach us as effectively even if we were outside!  Up to 20,000 IUs daily is a safe high dose for Vitamin D 3 while sick.  On a daily basis in the fall/winter, I take 10,000 IUs daily to make up for lack of sunlight (5,000 IUs daily in the summer months).  Be sure you are using a high quality and safe brand that meets food-grade standards.  If you're not sure, ask your Maximized Living doctor!
  7. WATER  Drink PLENTY of pure, filtered water each day.  Normally you want to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water daily.  When you're sick, you need to drink even more!  This does not include tea, almond milk, or protein shakes, etc.  It needs to be pure water to hydrate your cells and help to flush out toxins.
  8. PLAIN TISSUE  When dealing with an eye infection, this is a very important step to take.  By "plain tissue," I mean just tissue, not the kind that's got "vitamins or lotion added."  Did you ever think about how they get lotion onto a tissue?  It's definitely NOT natural.  It's actually toxic chemicals that have been studied and shown to make you more sick (so the can sell more tissue?)!  Instead, you should use only plain, uncoated tissue sheets or a handkerchief (wash often).  Unbleached tissue is best, as we all know the dangers of chlorine to our health.  And guess what?  Natural uncoated tissue is actually less expensive than the more commercial 'lotion added' tissues!
  9. COLD EYE COMPRESS  I know, I know.  When your eyes are sick with crusty gunk and swollen, we want to use a hot washcloth to soften the gunk away.  What's actually better is using a cold washcloth and actually holding it over your eyes for some time.  A hot compress will actually create more inflammation to your eyes, worsening your symptoms.  Instead run a clean wash cloth under freezing cold water, wring it out well, and hold it on your eyes for 10-20 minutes at a time as many times a day as you can.  I like to do this right before putting the colloidal silver drops into my eyes.  And I usually do the cold compress for 15 minutes 5-6 times per day (about every 2 hours if I'm able to).  It really, really helps you get through the day.
  10. EAT FOODS HIGH IN VITAMIN A  Vitamin A is one of the main vitamins your eyes utilize to keep healthy and strong.  Eat plenty of spinach, sweet potato, kale, and more foods found here.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hazelnut Latte

I have another Starbucks recipe hack for you!  Sara commented on my Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe looking for a natural and whole food alternative for her hazelnut lattes.  Here's what we do when we feel like hazelnut.  We don't use any of those flavor syrups, which are loaded with high fructose corn syrup, food dyes, and chemical flavorings.  Even the "sugar-free" options use chemically made artificial sweeteners.  Sure, there are some out there that use agave syrup, but did you know agave isn't a whole food and is processed the same way as HFCS? 

So, if flavoring syrups are out, what's a girl to do?  I'll tell you, read on!

Hazelnut Latte
Makes 1-2 Servings

10 oz fresh brewed hot organic coffee
1/3 cup raw hazelnuts (about 10-12nut)
10-30 drops of pure liquid stevia (to taste)*
Splash or two of almond milk or coconut milk (optional)**

Blend on high for 1-2 minutes. You can strain it if you want to remove the hazelnut pulp, but I don’t bother. The few small pieces of nut will sink to the bottom of your cup.
1.)  Add all ingredients to the blender and start on Low speed, gradually working up to High speed.  Blend on High for 1-2 minutes until completely smooth.  Strain if you wish, but I just drink the little bit of hazelnut pulp at the bottom of the cup. 

*You may wish to wait to add the stevia the end, once you can taste the sweetness.  Add 2-3 drops at a time and mix thoroughly, tasting between additions, if you're unsure the sweetness level of stevia.

**We don't usually add any nut milks to our hazelnut lattes, as the hazelnuts get nice and creamy when blended.  But, you may prefer it!  That is why I listed it.  We do foam some almond milk on the stove top to pour over the mug for the foam effect.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Gingered Pear Upside-down Cake

I'm back to blogging.. again.  :)  We lost Internet last week and finally got it fixed today.  If you're like me, that is a crisis that severely limits daily functionality!  I totally went through an Internet detox!!  LOL  Not proud of it, but I'll be the first to admit I depend on the Internet, email, Facebook, and social media connection on a daily basis.  [A quick disclaimer, that I do this all in the right balance to make sure my little man is well taken care of and he always gets my first attention and time every single day.  :)  We are an Attachment Parenting family and our child always comes first!]  But any free time I have during the day goes to the computer.  I learned this because last week my house got REALLY clean with all that don't-know-what-to-do-with-myself time.

I'm happy to be wired up again and have another dessert recipe for you that we enjoyed over the holidays.  It's another remake of a traditional, the pear upside-down cake.  Hope you enjoy it!  It's perfect with a cup of tea or coffee!

Gingered Pear Upside-down Cake
Makes 8 Servings

2 organic ripe pears (any kind is fine, I like Riesling the best)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp raw local honey
1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup coconut oil, room temp
1 Tbsp Spoonable Stevita stevia
1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
5 free range eggs
1/2 cup organic unsulfered molasses
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp sea salt

1.)  Preheat your oven to 350ºF.  Grease a 9 inch cake pan with coconut oil and set aside.  Cut the pears in half, then quarters, then core each quarter. Remove the stems and butts, then cut each quarter into 2 or 3 wedges (depending on thickness of your pear).  In a small bowl, toss together pear slices with lemon juice, raw honey, and cinnamon.  Let sit while you prepare the cake batter.

2.) In a stand mixer, cream together the coconut oil and stevia.  Add eggs one at a time with mixer on low speed, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Finally, add the molasses.

3.)  With the mixer on low speed, add in remaining dry ingredients/spices one at a time.

4.)  Place the pear wedges in a starburst pattern around the bottom of your greased 9 inch cake pan.  Pour the batter over the pears and pat down with a spatula or your fingers to fill in all the holes and distribute evenly.  (the batter is thick!)

5.)  Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center, comes out clean.  To serve cake right side up, let the cake cool in pan until completely room temperature.  Run a knife around the edges of the pan. Place a plate over the top of the pan, and holding the plate with your fingers and the cake pan with your thumbs, flip the cake pan over, and remove gently (you may need to give it a little shake to release).

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Back from Break and Ready to Cook!!

I'm baaaaack!!!  And so happy to be!  Thank you to all of you for sticking with me during my extended vacation.  I thought I would come back to crickets, but you have been wonderful participating on the facebook page, twitter feed, and commenting on past blog posts.  Thank you!  I loved staying connected with you!

Well, we officially got our new Maximized Living health center up and running in early January and have had a successful first month of business!  We are Triad Health Center, located in Greensboro, North Carolina.  We are already helping so many people in need of natural health care!  But we would love to help more.  If you know anyone in the Piedmont Triad area, we would love to get connected with them and see how we can help them or see who they know that may be looking for a resource like ours.  Email me if you'd like to introduce us to your friends, family, church, or business in the area.

Here are a few pictures of our new space.  We're still getting completely moved in and settled, but it's starting to feel like our second home away from home.  :)
Our welcome desk.  We have filled it in and made it a little more cheery since this was taken!

Sitting area and kids' corner

Grand Opening sign

Exercise area and adjustment rooms along the back.

One of the adjusting rooms.  Where the healing happens!

The start of our product center.

And now, I MUST begin getting through this list of recipes that has built up since Thanksgiving  These are all recipes that you NEED TO TRY!!!  Topping that list is the Mint Creme Fudge Brownie.   To.  Die.  For.  Tastes just like (if not better than) Betty Crocker's!  We enjoyed these on Christmas night with a large mug of homemade hot chocolate.

Mint Creme Fudge Brownie
Makes 25 Bars

1 baked Healing Cuisine Signature Brownies

2 Tbsp organic unsalted butter, room temp (or solid coconut oil)
1 cup powdered xylitol
1-2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk
5 drops pure peppermint oil
8-15 drops liquid chlorophyll for green color (optional)

3 ounces bakers chocolate
15 drops liquid stevia
1 Tbsp coconut oil

1.)  FUDGE BROWNIE LAYER  Prepare and bake my Healing Cuisine Signature Brownies.  Cool completely before proceeding.

2.)  MINT CREME LAYER  In a stand mixer, beat the butter, powdered xylitol, peppermint oil, and 1 Tablespoon of almond milk until smooth.  If mixture needs to be thinned, add the second Tablespoon of almond milk.  Add chlorophyll one drop at a time while blending until the desired green color is achieved.  Spread the mint creme over the brownies and place in fridge for 15-20 minutes while you prepare chocolate layer.

3.)  CHOCOLATE LAYER  In a small pot, over Low heat, melt the chocolate with the coconut oil.  Remove from heat.  Stir in stevia liquid until smooth.  Taste and sweeten to desired sweetness with stevia.  Place in fridge for 15 minutes to cool. 

4.)  Once chocolate is cooled, pour it over the mint cream layer and spread evenly to cover all of the mint creme.  Return to fridge to cool completely 2 hours before slicing and serving.

I hope you enjoy these!  They are so easy to prepare and a great accompaniment to coffee or hot chocolate.

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