Mix all ingredients together, roll into balls or pat into a parchment lined tray (as pictured above). Refrigerate for 30 mins until set. Enjoy!
Adapted from http://simplegreenmoms.com/bake-brownie-bites/
I never considered sprouting my own beans, but when my mom came across a sprouting kit while doing some spring cleaning, we decided to give it a try. Turns out its much easier than you think and you can sprout so much more than just beans!
Why sprout? Because the sprouting process increases the protein availability of the food, the fiber content and overall nutrient absorption. There are many more benefits to sprouting which Dr. Axe has highlighted in this chart.
But what I found to be really interesting, is just HOW MANY things can be sprouted for extra nutrients. This is definitely worth looking into if you are interested in increasing the nutrient content and absorption of foods you already eat.
Check out this great chart for soaking and sprouting times: https://draxe.com/sprout/
When the weather gets this hot, its often easier to just find something to cool you down than to really plan for a nice meal. While it is the season of summer salads and BBQ's, it is also the best season to try adding more variety to your dinner plate!
When it comes to energy levels, we all seem to have good days and bad days. But when the bad days seem to constantly outnumber the good ones, it might just be a sign that your body is calling out for help.
Nootropics are a class of treatments intended to support or enhance cognitive functions including memory, focus, concentration, and learning. In the medical world, these substances are often used adjunctively in the treatment of depression, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and ADHD. Students find them of particular benefit during stressful exam periods when exhaustion and burnout start creeping in. Many of these nootropic agents also work on a physical level, supporting blood flow and oxygen to the muscles and encouraging efficient energy production within each cell. The best part about these brain-enhancing compounds is that you probably take at least one every day without even knowing! They are much more common than you think and you may already have some of them in your medicine cabinet
.1. Caffeine: We know it to be a powerful stimulant that reaches the brain within 40 minutes of consumption and helps to reduce fatigue. However, caffeine also has its benefits in the realm of physical fitness, supporting endurance athletes and enhancing athletic performance. Some evidence suggests that caffeine may reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease and may be beneficial in lessening depression and stress in certain individuals. But don’t run to Starbucks just yet! Caffeine is found in many more beverages and foods than just coffee, and some alternatives can include yerba mate, certain soft drinks, black tea and dark chocolate. Remember that caffeine is still a drug and should be used within a reasonable limit to avoid irritability, anxiety, insomnia and dehydration.
2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: This might be one you take already, and if you don’t you probably have it somewhere in your kitchen. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in many types of seafood, including salmon, herring and mackerel, but are present in smaller amounts in walnuts, soybeans and flaxseeds. To be more specific, EPA (ecosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are the important Omega-3’s to look out for as they have been shown to host a wide array of health benefits. EPA may delay cognitive decline in the elderly and decrease whole body inflammation. DHA is essential for brain and spinal cord development and has helped many children improve their academic performance. Whether you choose to take it in capsules or consume it in whole foods, this is one nootropic agent not to miss!
3. Gingko biloba: It is an ancient herb in Chinese medicine and today has become one of the most commonly used natural remedies for brain health. It is thought that Gingko works by widening blood vessels, which increases blood flow not only to the brain, but also to all the organs and muscles of the body. This makes Gingko helpful in improving short term memory and cognition.
4. Acetyl L-Carnitine: This well-known antioxidant can help increase the energy in the body by supporting the mitochondria, the powerhouses of each cell. Acetyl-l-carnitine is made naturally by the body but is often supplemented in higher doses for those looking to improve memory and attention. For these amazing benefits, it is often a part of the treatment plan for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Some recent research indicates it might be a suitable prevention strategy for age-related mental decline.
5. Alpha-Lipoic acid (ALA): Similar to Acetyl-L-Carnitine, ALA has strong antioxidant actions and improves the efficiency of energy production within the mitochondria. ALA works very well with other nootropic agents and is often given together with Acetyl-L-Carnitine to improve cognitive function and overall energy. When combined with Omega-3 fatty acids, ALA helped to slow cognitive and functional decline in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. You can get ALA from foods such as spinach, broccoli, yams, potatoes and tomatoes, however the amounts are too low to see significant benefits.
7. Bacopa monierri: This Ayurvedic herb is another ancient medicine that has been used for centuries to enhance learning and cognitive function. There are two important compounds responsible for its effectiveness and both have demonstrated particular effectiveness in elderly populations suffering from amnesia and Alzheimer’s disease. A study of healthy human subjects taking Bacopa showed improvements in visual information processing, learning and memory compared to those who did not take anything. Other than its nootropic effects, Bacopa may help reduce inflammation, support the heart muscle and decrease anxiety.
Please remember to consult your Naturopathic Doctor before add any of these into your routine.
In the spirit of immune building, it is only fair that you are provided with natural tools to help you overcome a cold, should you get one. Remember, the purpose of building your immune system is to help you fight off an illness FASTER. So if you DO get sick, don't think you've failed at immune building. It's healthy for your body to have to fight something every once in while, just as long as it doesn't leave you out of commission for a long time.
A hundred years ago, the idea of being allergic to a food would have been absurd. Even just a decade ago, the terms “gluten-free” or “dairy allergy” were uncommon, and most people judged without knowing what it meant or why it was important. Today, most schools are nut-free facilities and laws have been passed to ensure proper labelling of all ingredients in a product. Still, many families struggle with the idea of keeping certain foods off the dinner table, and if you are someone with a food allergy you know how stressful it can be to attend any social gathering. What has triggered this development in sensitivities to food? Has our food changed so drastically that we no longer recognize it or have our bodies become more sensitive? Perhaps the answer is a combination of both, but given the human genome has been nearly identical for last 2000 years, it is unlikely to be a gene mutation.
The gastrointestinal tract has an intricate anatomy that requires specific conditions to be met for proper digestion and absorption of nutrients. Food entering the stomach must be broken down to the smallest particle in order to be absorbed through the very tight junctions of the stomach lining and into the bloodstream.
This first step can be complicated by inadequate production of digestive enzymes, insufficient stomach acid, and rapid transit through the stomach with overactive muscles. In the case of a highly stressed person who eats on the go and doesn’t thoroughly chew their food, large pieces of food are more difficult to digest and can damage those tight junctions in the intestinal lining, resulting in gaps that allow these pieces to enter the bloodstream.
As the immune system is used to seeing the smallest particles of food in the blood, large pieces are extremely foreign and an immediate attack ensues. Immune cells are produced to fight those specific foods and travel around the entire body looking for other foreign particles to attack. This can cause inflammation in muscles, joints, and skin, decrease focus and concentration, and eat away at your energy, leaving you feeling sluggish. As for the remaining food in the digestive tract that is not absorbed, water and bacteria rush in to create symptoms of bloating and gas. Over time, the repeated entrance of improperly digested foods creates a proportionately larger immune response which can result in eczema, acne, headaches, weight gain, fatigue, joint pain and even depression.
Because the immune cells are made specifically for a certain part of a food, for example, the gluten protein, a seeming “gluten sensitivity” develops. Now, Caeliac Disease is a completely different story, because immune cells specific to gluten are delivered genetically and these individuals will never be able to tolerate gluten. The good news for the rest of us is that simply removing gluten for a few weeks and adding in a few healing nutrients can allow the digestive lining to seal those tight junctions. Proper eating habits like sitting down to eat a meal, chewing thoroughly and not wolfing down food allow the body’s natural production of digestive enzymes and stomach acid to increase. With some time and effort, it is definitely possible to overcome a food sensitivity and get back to enjoying foods again.
Lately I've been noticing that a lot of my patients are struggling in the areas of self-confidence and effective communication. I decided to do some of my own reading to discover how I could serve as a positive influence in their road to success. The author of the book Self Confience (Paul McGee) makes it very clear that whether or not you have the confidence, the motivation, and the finances to fulfil your dreams, you always need a team to run alongside you and support you until the finish. He describes 4 kinds of people that are present in a support team and how they can help you achieve your goals:
1. THE CHEERLEADER
This is someone who seeks to encourage you by building you up to everyone you meet. They tell others about all your triumphs and never seem to notice the shortcomings that you might focus on. When you are feeling down, they might not always understand the exact situation you are going through, but they will still help to pick you back up.
The downside of a cheerleader is that they don't always contribute to your self-development because they are constantly telling you how great you are. They have great enthusiasm to get help you get on your feet, but they don't really know how to get you where you need to go.
2. THE CHALLENGER
We all have these kind of people in our lives, and especially in our families. These are the people who question your motives, and your plans to get there. Their intention is not to discourage you, but to raise questions of things you may never have considered. It's important to use these questions to your advantage, but if you are not confident in your goals, a challenger can really bring you down. Choose to surround yourself with this type of support when you are feeling optimistic and have a strong sense of what you want. This person is going to be essential in helping you create a flawless plan.
3. THE COACH
A combination of cheerleader and challenger, the coach is someone who will look into your goals and find the flaws, but they will also help you find the right path to the solution. They are well versed in external opportunities and will point you in the right direction. Coaches are great people to have when they don't know you on a personal level. They tend to challenge you more and take a different perspective than a long term friend.
4. THE CONFIDANT
These are the people to have by your side through all your troubles. They are highly trustworthy and they know how to listen. They may not always have the solution or really understand your goals, but they are great for offloading your stresses and providing you with emotional support. Confidants are great people to have around when you are feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, because they will make you feel heard and offer you the most support in a personal way.
These are the 4 classes of support that Paul McGee describes as being the structure of self confidence. Who are the people in your life that offer you support in your goals? And what class do they fall into? Is there an area that you may need more support? How can you find it?
Remember that at the end of the day, any kind of support can be seen in a positive light. The biggest challenge to our self confidence is often ourselves and the expectations we have to acheive certain goals or behave a certain way. But having the right support from the right friends at the right time can go a long way to helping us grow as people and increase our self confidence.
Spring has officially arrived! The temperatures are warming up and it's nearly time to start shedding the winter layers...and some of the winter comfort habits as well! Spring is a time of new beginnings and fresh starts; the plants begin to grow, birds and squirrels are seen more often and even we start to eat a little differently. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are going to start piling into your local farmers market, and you need to be prepared with some creative recipes to make the best of them. But with all the healthy options available to you, HOW and WHEN you eat are just as important as WHAT you eat. Here are some guidelines to help you stay on track:
Dr. DeSouza shares new research and discoveries along her journey.