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Home Self Care Self Healing and Wellness Lifestyle

Lessons Learned from Foam Rolling for 45 days

If it doesn’t feel good yet, keep it up.

When foam rolling for the first time or after a long break, we are all in for a bit of a rough start.  Akin to stretching ones’ muscles, foam rolling takes consistent practice to achieve the desired results and may be slightly uncomfortable in the beginning.  We never want to foam roll through intense pain, but after a few sessions the natural soreness will inevitably turn into a delightful massage sensation. Keep it up and you will fall in love.

Not all foam rollers are created equal.

Diversify you foam rollers to have a variety of densities and textures.  You will most likely find your favorite, and stick mainly to it, but there are times when a roughly knobbed foam roller can get into spots which your smooth foam roller just glazes over, and vice versa.  Vibrating, length,

Don’t forget to get your sides.

When we are rolling out, it’s easy to neglect muscles that make up the lateral movement chains.  Don’t be afraid to roll out the sides of your torso and legs.  Take special care to get into to the lateral portions of muscles like the Latissimus Dorsi (Lower Shoulder) and the Vastus Lateralis (Outer Quad).  The glutes, which are powerful muscles that hold a ton of tension are also great areas to focus on.

Don’t be afraid to pick up a ball. 

Using a soft ball or lacrosse ball for smaller or more had to get areas, is a great tip.  Simply roll your foot over them to get a nice foot massage or put your favorite ball into an old sock and hang it over your shoulder so you can roll out spots on your back.  Simply position the ball in the sock in the spot you want to massage and lean up against a wall pressing the ball to desired pressure.

Vectors are everything. Get creative.

Vectors are objects that have both magnitude and direction.  Each movable joint within the human body has a natural vector on which the movement of that joint occurs.  Foam rolling is a great way to gently re-gain the natural movement of the joints and playing with different vectors is the key to doing so.  Simple variations, like elevating one of both of your feet on blocks while rolling out one’s thoracic spine can help initiate movement into each vertebral space.  Play around with angles while rolling out and any painless pops or cracks you hear are a sign of increased joint mobility and health.

Take a Course

If you have fallen in love with foam rolling like we did after our first forty-five days, you may want to make it a lifelong practice.   Get certified by one of the many foam rolling certification courses is a great way to deepen your practice and provides an opportunity to share the wonderful art of foam rolling by teaching others.

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Bold Flavor Recipes Home Self Care Self Healing and Wellness Lifestyle

Chia the Superfood – Chia Seed Banana Bread Recipe

Native to Mexico and Guatemala, “Chia” is a flowering plant in the mint family with an extensive history of use by humans.  The Aztec culture featured chia seeds as a vital part of their diet and chia is packed with antioxidants, fiber, minerals.  Chia consumption has been touted to bring better heart health, improvement in blood sugar levels, inflammation reduction, weight management, bone health, and even anti-cancer properties.   But chia is more versatile that just growing bearded ceramic sculptures on your kitchen windowsill or creating a healthy pudding alternative.  Chia can be incorporated into a variety of recipes and will add a nice poppy texture as well as a bunch of nutrition.  Research has shown that bread containing chia seeds seems to trigger a lowered blood sugar response than traditional bread, and in turn helps to prevent high blood sugar levels.  We absolutely love the Chia Seed Banana Bread recipe below. It is packed with chia seeds, which helps mitigate the blood sugar spike that is common with banana bread, and is an even more delicious, healthier alternative to traditional banana bread recipes.

Chia Seed Banana Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

2 Cup All-purpose Flour

1 tsp. Baking Soda

1 ¼ Cup Chia Seeds

1/4 tsp. Sea Salt

1/2 Cup Butter (Softened)

1/4 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup Maple Syrup

2 Eggs. (Beaten)

4-5 Overripe Bananas (Mashed)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F (~ 170 degrees C).  Butter sides and bottom of 9×5 inch Loaf Pan.

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, chia seeds, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate bowl cream butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup.  Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well combined. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture just until flour has become moist; do not over stir or the bread may be tough. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes.  Bread is done when a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean without little crumbs attached.

Remove from oven and let the bread sit in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Enjoy with tea for a delicious and nutritious afternoon snack.

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Bold Flavor Recipes Home Self Care Self Healing and Wellness Lifestyle

Lactose Toleration in Goats Milk – Roquefort Blue Cheese Dressing Recipe

Lactose is a sugar found in milk and milk products and eating products that contain lactose causes many people gastrointestinal distress, called lactose intolerance.  People who suffer from lactose intolerance, lack the enzyme lactase and are to or unable to digest lactose leading to painful indigestion.  The lactose intolerant either completely avoid dairy products or use processed products with the lactose removed.  However, as a healthy and safe alternative to lactose-free products, goat’s milk has been shown to be a more digestible option for those who are lactose intolerant.  Surprisingly goat’s milk is not lactose free and does contain the same amount of lactose as its cow-based counterparts.  The digestibility of goats’ milk is due to the size of the fat molecules in goats’ milk.  The fat molecules contained in goats’ milk are shorter than those found in the milk of a cow, and this is thought to be the main reason that some people who are lactose intolerance can still enjoy goats’ milk without the same drastic gastrointestinal reaction.  Goat milk has become more popular again these days, and there are more products available than ever before.  One of our favorite goat-milk based recipes is the Roquefort Blue Cheese Dressing in this blog.  Skip the upset tummy from cow-based dairy products, while still enjoying all the intense delicious flavor and creamy texture of traditional blue cheese.

Roquefort Blue Cheese Dressing Recipe

Ingredients:

4 Oz. Roquefort Cheese

3/4 Cup Whole Goat Milk Yogurt

1/2 Cup Mayonnaise

1/2 Tbsp. Garlic Powder

1 tsp. Coriander

1 tsp. Sea Salt

In a medium sized bowl, crumble the Roquefort cheese into small and medium pieces.  If you prefer your dressing extra chunky or intend to use it as a sip, keep the pieces big and do not over crumble.

Add yogurt, mayonnaise, garlic powder, coriander, and sea salt.

Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours to let the flavors meld.

Serve with spicy wings over your favorite crispy lettuce with bacon bits and diced cherry tomatoes.

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Home Self Care Self Healing and Wellness Lifestyle

Vitamin D – Covid Prevention and Long-term Bone Health

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which promotes the absorption of calcium and supports normal bone mineralization.  A powerful anti-inflammatory, vitamin D also supports the proper function of one’s nerves, muscles, immune system and maintenance of blood sugar levels.  And if that wasn’t enough to get you to go out and grab some for yourself, it was also recently shown that it may be effective in supporting one’s COVID 19 prognosis.  Most likely a result of the supportive effects of the immune system and maintenance of blood sugar levels, vitamin D supplementation is a promising tool in preventing and combatting the symptoms of a Covid 19 infection.

Vitamin D is naturally abundant some foods like egg yolks, beef liver, and in fatty fish like mackerel or salmon.   For many years vitamin D has been added to milk, which may be the real reason behind milk’s reputation for building strong bones in kids and keeping old people from osteoporosis. 

However, vitamin D is also produced endogenously (within the body) when we are exposed to enough sunlight.  Exposing your half of your skin for a few hours a day should be sufficient for most people depending on their climate and the natural pigmentation of their skin.  Those with a farer complexion, who are prone to burning, will produce enough vitamin D within about half of the time it takes for a sunburn to develop.

Vitamin D is cheap and readily available as a supplement we highly recommend looking in to incorporating into your daily health routine.  Some sources recommend taking it in the form of vitamin d3 (cholecalciferol) which seems like it may be the most bioavailable form.  Also, combining vitamin D with calcium and ingesting them with some sort of fat are important to aid in the absorption into the body.

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Bold Flavor Recipes Home Self Care Self Healing and Wellness Lifestyle

The Aphrodisiac Meal for Valentine’s Day – SH&W Nectar and Ambrosia

A variety of foods have been touted through the ages for the aphrodisiac qualities.  Asparagus, oysters, strawberries, chocolate, figs, are some of the most known aphrodisiac foods and it is no coincidence that they find themselves in our valentine’s day meals.  Some naysayers claim that their effects are all placebo, but there seems be a reason these known aphrodisiac foods have maintained their reputation for setting the mood over centuries.  Classic valentine’s day treats feature combinations of two aphrodisiac foods such as chocolate covered strawberries, arguably one of the sexiest desserts out there.  Pairing strawberries which are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that support a healthy libido and chocolate which contains phenyl ethylamine (PEA), a which is believed to arouse emotions in our central nervous system.  So, when planning the perfect valentine’s day meal choose to incorporate foods with aphrodisiac qualities but also keep in mind that the overall experience is just as if not more important.

When choosing a valentine’s day menu using aphrodisiac foods is a good start but also keeping it light but satisfying is key.  The goal is to leave everyone completely satisfied but left energized and ready for a great night. Every meal is an opportunity for an intimate shared experience, and this is where much of the aphrodisiac qualities of a meal are born.  Serving a few simple small tapas dishes can be a great way to extend a romantic meal and keep the excitement going through the meal, while still not overeating.  Keep it simple and easy like the SH&W Nectar and Ambrosia recipe below. Even preparing a portion your valentine’s day meal with your lover can be a sexy and fun activity, such as dipping strawberries in hot chocolate fondue.  Do not overlook your lover’s favorites and keep it fun.  With the right set up, the act of sharing the experience of enjoyment with your lover can be all the aphrodisiacs a meal needs.

SH&W Nectar and Ambrosia

Ingredients:

5 Fresh Figs

5 Ounces Chevre Style Soft Goat Cheese

Honey

Fresh Mint

~Cut figs in half longitudinally.

~Place a small dab (1/2 ounce) of goat cheese in the center of each half.

~Arrange on serving plate and drizzle plate with honey.

~Garnish with fresh mint and serve.

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Home Self Care Self Healing and Wellness Lifestyle

Fenugreek Face And Hair Mask Skin And Hair Rejuvenation Miracle

Fenugreek seeds and leaves are common ingredients and ancient ingredients in dishes from the Indian subcontinent, including ancient Persia.  Touted to improve milk production in pregnant women, increase sperm count in men, reduce general inflammation throughout the body, promote weight loss, and even provide pain relief, you would think fenugreek would be a household staple.  However, many of us have been sleeping on this fantastic herb and its many useful applications.  One of our favorite uses for fenugreek is our simple Fenugreek Face and Hair Mask recipe below.  This mask is naturally healing for our skin and hair, replacing nutrients and acts to condition both into a softer smoother texture.  Chronic dandruff and unmanageable hair are no match for the inherent power of fenugreek.  It’s also great for calming rosacea and other skin irritations. This super simple mask will leave your face feeling refreshed and protected for days after it is applied.

SH&W Fenugreek Face and Hair Mask

Ingredients:

3/4 Cup Water

1 Tbsp. Fenugreek Seeds

In a medium sized saucepan, combine the fenugreek to the water and bring to a boil.

Simmer gently for 10 minutes, or until the seeds are a bit swollen and the water has changed color.  A slight aroma of maple will develop letting you know it is ready.

Remove fenugreek and water mixture from heat and set aside to cool.

Add mixture to a blender and blend until it forms a creamy sauce texture and there are no chunky bits left.

Apply liberally to face, hair.

Let sit for 20 minutes and wash off using cool water.  (Please be careful to avoid slipping here as this mask can make the shower slippery when rinsing it off.)

Enjoy several days of a smoothened and refreshed complexion.

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Home Self Care Self Healing and Wellness Lifestyle

No More Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome – Help is Here

Pelvic pain lasting for longer than six months is Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS), one of the most prevalent debilitating pain conditions in our society today.  Thought to effect 1 in every 4 women, and some men, CPPS is one of the more insidious conditions nobody is talking about. However, the discussion about CPPS is one we all need to have.  CPPS can severely reduce one’s quality of life and sufferers deserve to know that CPPS can be effectively treated.  The current allopathic treatment model is often unable to effectively diagnose and treat CPPS leaving many sufferers feeling lost and unable to find help getting out of their pain.  But effective clinical treatment interventions are available, including therapeutic exercise, external manual therapy, education/behavioral modification, and electrotherapeutic modalities.  In concert with chiropractic manipulation, these interventions have shown to be amazingly beneficial. These modalities are best performed by a Doctor of Chiropractic or Physical Therapist that has been specially trained and certified in the treatment of pelvic conditions.  Chiropractic physiotherapeutic treatment programs for CPPS aim to identify the root cause of the dysfunction through careful assessment and treatment of the muscular structures in and around the three bones that comprise the pelvic girdle, the ilium (il-e-um; plural, ilia), ischium (ish-e-um; plural, ischia), and pubis (pu-bis), also known as the coxal bones.  A treatment of chiropractic mobilization of the spine and pelvis, combined with therapeutic exercise, external manual therapy, and electrotherapeutic modalities, guided by a trained professional certified in pelvic rehabilitation has shown to be an effective approach to combatting Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome. 

Click Here to find a certified pelvic rehab specialist near you.

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Bold Flavor Recipes Home Self Care Self Healing and Wellness Lifestyle

Fruit Salad Recipe – A Delicious Angiogenic Regulator

At a recent Self-Healing and Wellness Team potluck one of our favorite Ted Talks by William Li was brought up over the delicious fruit salad made by one of our contributors.  In William’s talk he discusses the role f angiogenesis (creation of blood vessels) and the role this process may play in a variety of diseases.  Many common illnesses share angiogenesis dysregulation as a common denominator and better regulation of these angiogenesis processes within the body has shown to be a promising tool in combating a wide swath of disease, especially cancer.  Some cancers have shown 70 – 100% improvement in survival from traditional chemotherapy. Antiangiogenic therapy drugs are used to combat cancer by blocking the creation of blood supply from cancerous cells, starving them from nutrients and keeping them from metastasizing further through the body. Unfortunately, cancer is most often diagnosed late in the game, and the later the diagnosis the worse the outcome is likely to be.  So, should we all be on these drugs just in case? The short answer is no, not really, nature has our back.  A huge array of fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs come naturally packed with angiogenic regulators.  Even better, when these angiogenic regulator packed foods are eaten in combination their antiangiogenic characteristics have been shown to synergize, making them even more potent than the pharmaceutical antiangiogenic drugs offered to cancer patients.  Enjoy some delicious food synergy and feed yourself and starve your cancer with a Fruit Salad, recipe below.

Link to Antiangiogenetic Ted Talk featuring Dr. William Li:

Fruit Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

1 Bunch Grapes (Halved)

1 Basket Fresh Strawberries (Halved)

2 Oranges (Peeled and Cubed)

3 Kiwi (Peeled and Cubed)

2 Banana (Peeled and Cubed)

1/2 Mini Watermelon (Peeled and Cubed)

1/4 Cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

1 Tbsp. Maple Syrup

In a small mixing bowl, combine orange juice and maple syrup.

In a large bowl combine fruits and stir gently.

Add orange juice and maple syrup and stir gently until combined.

Serve cold and fresh.

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Home Self Care Self Healing and Wellness Lifestyle

Endocannabinoids – Are we all holding?

Cannabis has been a part of the human experience for as long as history can tell.  Used as food, medicine, building material, and a variety of other uses, cannabis has supported every culture around the world for centuries.  Perceived as a threat to the operations of barons like John D. Rockefeller, a systematic propaganda campaign to demonized cannabis to the world.   Still, we are sure that every reader has heard of at least one seemingly far-fetched story about a very sick person being miraculously cured by consuming cannabis products. Cannabinoids, such as CBD, a phytocannabinoid (made form plants), is more recently breaking through the years of intentional suppression mainly because of its incredible results in some individuals dealing with a dire health crisis. Despite recent acceptance, in much of the world cannabis remains very illegal. But what if we told you that each one of you around the world has a variety of cannabinoids in your bodies right now? 

Cannabinoids are chemical substances, regardless of structure or origin, that join the cannabinoid receptors of the body and brain, including some that occur naturally within the body without consumption of cannabis, called endocannabinoids.  In fact, like all animals and insects, our bodies have and entire endocannabinoid system comprised of cannabinoid receptors and these naturally occurring endocannabinoids. This commonly unknown system is integral to maintaining homeostasis facilitating checks and balancing throughout the body and brain.  Every function in your body uses the endocannabinoid system as a switchboard to direct, correct, and manage their operations.  The cannabinoid receptors are found all through the body and are activated or de-activated by the various endocannabinoids formed by ligands and enzymes on demand within the body.  This system seems to have even more of an influence on the body than the brain itself.  It appears that the cannabis plant may have evolved to produce cannabinoids to self-servingly exploit this system and appeal to the human race and ensure that we continue its propagation and use through history.  The most famous cannabinoid, THC mimics the endocannabinoid anandamide also known as the “bliss molecule.”  People report experiencing a more relaxed state, increased appetite, reduction of insomnia, trauma reduction and other positive effects following consumption of THC.  In some individuals these THC and CBD in combination has been shown to be even more effective than some pharmaceutical interventions offered for the same ailments. 

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Quinoa Tabouli: Better Protein Through Essential Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks that comprise proteins.  Twenty different amino acids are required for the body to synthesize protein.  Eleven of the twenty are produced by the human body and the other eight we must obtain through the foods we eat.  These nine amino acids we must have as part of our diet are referred to as the “essential amino acids.”  In order to be considered a complete protein a food must contain all none of the essential amino acids.  Food such as meat and other animal products contain complete protein. However, other than a few exceptions such as quinoa, buckwheat, hempseed, blue green algae, and soybeans plant-based foods must be eaten in certain combinations in order to ensure complete protein is included in one’s diet.  One of our favorite plant-based complete proteins is quinoa a relative to spinach which originated in the Andean region of northwestern South America.  Rich in protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and dietary minerals, quinoa is an incredible alternative to rice or bulgur wheat and makes and incredible tabouli.  Our Quinoa Tabouli recipe below is a great way to get a fresh side salad rich in protein and refreshing herbaceous flavor.

Quinoa Tabouli

Ingredients:

1 Cup White Quinoa

8 Cherry Tomatoes (Halved)

2 Green Onion (Minced)

1 Bunch Curly Parsley (Minced)

1 Bunch Cilantro (Minced)

1 Lemon (Juiced)

1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tbsp. Coconut Aminos

2 tsp. Fresh Ground Black Pepper

1 tsp. Sea Salt or to taste

Wash quinoa thoroughly and soak overnight in water.

In a medium saucepan, add just enough cold water as to just barely cover the quinoa.

Bring to a boil uncovered.  The whole of the quinoa should be boiling for this step, and you may need to stir the quinoa once or twice to ensure the heat is distributed evenly.

Cover the saucepan and turn down to low. Let simmer for 8 minutes or until water has completely evaporated and the quinoa is light and fluffy.

Set quinoa aside to cool.

In large salad bowl combine the onion, cilantro, parsley, lemon olive oil, coconut aminos, black pepper and salt.  Stir until well mixed.

Gently fold in the tomatoes.

Serve on the side of your Lamb with Spring Mint, along-side Hummus and your favorite grilled vegetables.