Five Friday Finds #160

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Are you all ready for the fun and festivities tonight? I want to encourage you and your children to not over indulge on the candy and sweet treats tonight. Sugar lowers our immune systems leaving our bodies prone to colds and infections during an already difficult time of the year for the cold and flu virus. Moderation is key!

If you find yourself or your children feeling ill over the next few days or anytime this winter please remember all of the immunity boosting and cold fighting healthy living tips I’ve shared this month in my 31 Days of Healthy Living Tips series. Elderberry, Ginger, Echinacea, Water, and of course sleep all help fight off viruses and boost your overall immunity.

11 ways to remove sugar from your diet. Go sugar free!  Includes a 21-day sugar free challenge. It is a lifestyle not a diet. Health Matters. Life Matters. AlexisMathews.com

As we enter the time of year when candy, sweet treats and desserts bombard our senses please remember my 21 day sugar free challenge. Sugar is highly addictive, hence why you crave it so strongly. You don’t truly have a sweet tooth and a sugar craving is not normal. Sugar can even affect your mood. I’d love to see all of you start the new year healthier than you are right now.

The Most Popular Post from Last Week’s Five Friday Finds

 

 

Hubby’s Awesome Baklava from The MisAdventures of a Born Again Farm Girl

 

And Now Four Featured Recipes

 

 Spicy Quinoa, Kale and Kimchi Bowl from Urban Naturale

 

 

 Gluten Free Almond Pistachio Cake from Tulip & Lily

 

 

 

Grilled Pineapple with Cinnamon Vanilla Yogurt Dip from Jay Tried and True

 

 

 

Carmel Popcorn Balls from Yesterfood

 

I hope you enjoy these Five Friday Finds! And please link up your recipes below, you might even get featured. Recipe images will be pinned on Pinterest.

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Share your recipes on Morsels of Life: Five Friday Finds

If your recipe was featured on Five Friday Finds, please grab this button for your site!

Featured on Morsels of Life: Five Friday Finds

Please stop by and tell CJ hello and congratulations on her new baby!

CJ @ Morsels of Life

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Which recipes made your “must try” list this week?

Here are a few simple rules before you link-up:

      • Recipes only please. Link to the recipe page directly, not your home page.
      • Stop by a few other links and say hello.
      • Please link back to this page in your recipe post.
      • By linking-up you are giving permission to use your images with a link back to your site.

 


Healthy Living Tip #21: Elderberry

Healthy living tip, elderberry. Health Benefits of elderberry on your immune system. Help your immunity naturally.

Elderberry is from a fruit bearing shrub native to Europe and North America. In the past 20 years it has gained research attention for it’s antiviral, immune boosting properties, as well as possible weight loss effects.

Health Benefits of Elderberry

Immune Boosting

According to the “The Pill Book Guide to Natural Medicines” authored by Michael Murray, ND only the blue and black elderberries possess the potent immune boosting properties. Rich in flavonoids, these natural compounds with antioxidant properties protect cells against damage and infection. Elderberry also contains vitamin A, B, high amounts of vitamin C and amino-acids. These nutrients boost your immune system and thereby can help you stay healthy and prevent diseases.

Fight Influenza

Two studies indicate that elderberry is more effective at fighting the influenza virus including H1N1 than a placebo and flu vaccines including tamiflu. The first study, published in the winter 1995 issue of “Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, New York” looked at influenza A and B in Panama 1993. This study found that of the 90 patients that contracted the flu virus were cured within 2 to 3 days when they regularly took elderberry versus the placebo group which required 6 days to recover from the virus. The second study, by B.Roschek, published in the July 2009 issue of “Phytochemistry” indicates that elderberry is comparable in efficacy to tamiflu and Amantadine for H1N1 viral infections.

Personally, my family and I take elderberry during cold and flu season to help boost our immune system and ward off viruses. Elderberry syrup is thick with a deep purple color and sweet-tart taste. 

Our favorite elderberry syrup is Gaia Herbs – Black Elderberry Syrup 5.4 oz

I hope you are enjoying my 31 Days of Healthy Living Tips series this month.

Medical Disclaimer

Five Friday Finds #159

I am so excited to be joining CJ from Morsels of Life again this week for the Five Friday Finds link-up party. I am looking forward to seeing all of the delicious recipes you share with us this week. Remember, 5 of  you will be featured next week.

Healthy living tip fluoride. Find out why you need to avoid fluoride. Including toxic overdose, bone health, and hypothyroidism.

My most popular post from last week is a topic near and dear to my heart. As you will read in this post, avoiding fluoride is critical for your health, especially your thyroid health. Did you know that fluoride was used as an anti-thyroid drug and treats over active thyroids? Even a small amount can have a huge effect on this very important hormone regulating gland.

I hope you are joining me for my 31 Days of Healthy Living Tips series.

The Most Popular Post from Last Week’s Five Friday Finds

 

Jack-o-Lantern Quesadillas from Florassippi Girl

 

And Now Four Featured Recipes

 

 Honey Date Muffins from Jay Tried and True

 

 

 Root Vegetable and Brown Rice Noodle Soup from UrbanNaturale

 

 

Heavenly Pumpkin Bars from Easy Life Meal and Party Planning

 

 

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie from Table for Seven

 

I hope you enjoy these Five Friday Finds! And please link up your recipes below, you might even get featured. Recipe images will be pinned on Pinterest.

Spread the word! Grab this button for your site.

Share your recipes on Morsels of Life: Five Friday Finds

If your recipe was featured on Five Friday Finds, please grab this button for your site!

Featured on Morsels of Life: Five Friday Finds

Please stop by and tell CJ hello and congratulations on her new baby!

CJ @ Morsels of Life

 *Facebook* *Twitter* *Google+* *Pinterest*

 

Which recipes made your “must try” list this week?

Here are a few simple rules before you link-up:

      • Recipes only please. Link to the recipe page directly, not your home page.
      • Stop by a few other links and say hello.
      • Please link back to this page in your recipe post.
      • By linking-up you are giving permission to use your images with a link back to your site.

 


Healthy Living Tip #20: Fluoride

 

Fluoride is harmful to your health. Remove fluoride toothpaste and filter your drinking water because your health matters. Get more healthy living tip at AlexisMathews.com

Health Benefits of Avoiding Fluoride

Fluoride occurs naturally in many water sources across the country. Naturally occurring levels are very low and do not pose a threat to our health. According to the American Dental Association, flurried prevents tooth decay and helps build enamel.

However, when fluoride is added to water supplies and is not closely monitored or a break in the monitoring system occurs a toxic condition known as fluorosis can occur. This condition is characterized by brown spots on teeth. Thankfully fluorosis is largely cosmetic and does not pose a threat to heath.

Two health conditions that are serious and caused by fluoride however are skeletal issues and hyopthyroidism. High levels of fluoride can lead to skeletal fluorosis. In skeletal fluorosis fluoride builds up in and around bones which leads to pain, stiffness, and mobility issues. Water supplies must be closely monitored to prevent skeletal fluorosis in areas with naturally occurring high levels of fluroide.

The health of my thyroid and your thyroid for that matter are near and dear to my heart. My healthy living journey got a huge kick start when I was diagnosed with thyroid nodules. My endocrinologist nor my general physician ever told me why I had developed nodules. I was left fearing for my health and the fate of my tiny little gland that plays a huge role in regulating hormones in my body. In researching thyroid nodules I’ve come to learn that I likely developed the nodules in response to hypothyroidism. My thyroid was underperforming therefore my thyroid responded and developed nodules to counter the low thyroid hormones. Equipped with this knowledge I am now incredibly careful to eliminate compounds and chemicals in my life that affect my thyroid and I would encourage you to do the same. According to a 2006 National Research Council study¹ fluoride is “an endocrine disruptor in the broad sense of altering normal endocrine function.” It is well established that fluoride has the ability to alter endocrine function. This altered function can involve your thyroid, parathyroid, and pineal glands, as well as your adrenals, pancreas, and pituitary. According to this article fluoride was used as an anti-thyroid drug in the first half of the 20th century. Seriously? Why are we being forced to drink or pay to filter our water so that we can eliminate fluoride in our water supply?

After reading these health related side effects of fluoride, please do your research and seriously consider eliminating this toxic anti-thyroid drug from your body.

 

1. National Research Council. 2006. Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards. National Academies Press: Washington, DC. 507 pp.

Healthy Living Tip #19: Cranberry Juice

Cranberry juice has been used to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs), digestive health, and help fight cancer. Find out more health benefits of cranberry juice and other beneficial healthy living tips in my 31 Days of Healthy Living Tips series. AlexisMathews.com

Health Benefits of Cranberry Juice

With their deep, rich red color it is no surprise that cranberries are high in antioxidants.  Second only to blueberries in antioxidant capacity, a cup of cranberries has a total antioxidant capacity of 8,983. Antioxidants are responsible for fighting free radicals which may cause damage which leads to heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.

Frozen cranberries are available year round while fresh cranberries are sold during the fall and winter months. While eating cranberries is an excellent option for enjoying the health benefits, most prefer the convenience of drinking cranberry juice.

Pure cranberry juice is the best choice when considering juice options, however pure cranberry juice can be quite tart in taste. Cranberry juice blends are very common just be careful to choose a blend that is low in sugar.

Prevents Urinary Tract Infections

According to this article, cranberry juice may help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) in women, particularly in those that are highly susceptible to these types of infections. Also according to the same article, a scientific study published n the Journal of Urology found that cranberry juice changes the structure of e.coli the main culprit in UTIs an prevents it from attaching to the lining of the urinary tract.

Promotes Digestive Health

In a May 2008 article in Nutrition, researchers found that cranberry juice slowed the growth of a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria responsible for stomach ulcers and a risk factor for gastric cancer. This article show that cranberry juice is effective at preventing bacteria from attaching to the stomach wall and causing damage.  Cranberry juice also helps maintain the levels of beneficial bacteria, particularly in the mouth. The antioxidants in cranberry juice according to an article in the Journal of the American Dental Association may prevent periodontal disease. If oral bacteria can not stack to teeth and gums, periodontal disease will not develop.

Helps Fight Cancer

Numerous scientific studies including a June 1996 Plant Medica and The Journal of Nutrition indicate that the antioxidants in cranberry juice may help prevent certain types of cancers including prostate, lung, breast, colon and other tumors.

Lakewood Organic Cranberry Juice is my favorite brand of organic cranberry juice. There are numerous juice blends as well as pure cranberry juice available depending on your tastes.

I hope you are enjoying my 31 Days of Healthy Living Tips series.

Medical Disclaimer

Healthy Living Tip #18: Neti Pot

The neti pot is a nasal flushing device and a great addition to your healthy living medicine cabinet. Keep your sinuses clear and healthy with the neti pot. Alexis Mathews.com

Health Benefits of a Neti Pot

Millions of Americans suffer from sinus pain, pressure, and reoccurring infections each year. Unfortunately, time and time again those suffering from sinus problems turn to western medicine and prescription drugs to relieve their pain. A simple little device, known as a neti pot could save pain, suffering, infections, and unnecessary antibiotics every year.

The neti pot is a ceramic or plastic container that looks like a tea pot or genie lamp. When filled with a saline solution, the neti pot is highly effective at flushing the nasal passages and helping the body’s natural cleansing methods function better. Surgeries, allergies, and environmental irritants can clog the nasal passages and prevent the sinus cilia cells from clearing mucus and irritants naturally.

Many people that suffer from sinus pressure, pain, and infections are turning to neti pots to relieve their symptoms more often. Most use the neti pot on a regular basis, some even as frequently as daily to relieve their pain, congestion, and prevent infections. 

Biologically speaking, the neti pot works with the tiny hair-like cilia cells in the nasal and sinus cavities.  Cilia cells wave back and forth to move mucus back toward the throat or forward into the nose to be blown out. The saline solution in neti pots helps the increase the speed and efficiency of expelling mucus.

Neti Pot Use

The process is quite simple when using a neti pot. After preparing a simple saline solution of 2 cups lukewarm filtered, purified water and 1 teaspoon of salt the solution is added to the neti pot. Once filled, tilt your head at a 45 degree angle and place the spout of the neti pot in one nostril. Gently pour the saline solution, it will flow through your nasal cavity and out the opposite nostril. A bit of the saline solution may travel to your throat, simply spit it out. Be sure to blow your nose to remove any remaining saline solution before repeating the process in the opposite nostril.  Wash your neti pot and leave to air dry between uses.

If you are a chronic sufferer of sinus problems 3 times per week or as frequently as daily will help relieve your symptoms.

Side effects are rare and minor when they do occur. Nose bleeds or nasal irritation may occur. Reducing the frequency or concentration of salt in the saline solution will alleviate these minor side effects. To prevent infection, always use clean purified or bottled water.

 
This ceramic neti pot is my favorite and one that I use when the need arises. However, if you prefer a plastic neti pot the NeilMed NasaFlo Unbreakable Neti Pot with 50 Premixed Packets is a great choice.

 

Medical Disclaimer

Five Friday Finds #158

It is that time of week again. Another wonderful week has come and gone and we have another Five Friday Finds. I want to thank CJ at Morsels of Life for allowing me to host another week and discover amazing recipes shared by all of you.

I hope you are enjoying my 31 Days of Healthy Living Tips series. Each day I am sharing a new healthy living tip to encourage and equip you to live a cleaner, healthier, and less chemical filled life. No diets, no fads, just real all natural health tips that come from nature. This week’s tip on adding a probiotic to your daily diet is getting great feedback. Are you taking a probiotic to help with digestion and immunity?

Probiotics restore gut health and help the immune system. Join me for 31 Days of Healthy Living Tips. AlexisMathews.com

The Most Popular Post from Last Week’s Five Friday Finds

And Now Four Featured Recipes

 

Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate and Cinnamon Chips from A Sprinkle of This and That

 

Pecan Pumpkin Bread with Warm Carmel Glaze from My Sweet Mission 

Banana Chip Muffins from Jay Tried and True

Maple Cornbread Muffins from Yesterfood

I hope you enjoy these Five Friday Finds! And please link up your recipes below, you might even get featured. Recipe images will be pinned on Pinterest.

Spread the word! Grab this button for your site.

Share your recipes on Morsels of Life: Five Friday Finds

If your recipe was featured on Five Friday Finds, please grab this button for your site!

Featured on Morsels of Life: Five Friday Finds

Please stop by and tell CJ hello and congratulations on her new baby!

CJ @ Morsels of Life

 *Facebook* *Twitter* *Google+* *Pinterest*

 

Which recipes made your “must try” list this week?

Here are a few simple rules before you link-up:

      • Recipes only please. Link to the recipe page directly, not your home page.
      • Stop by a few other links and say hello.
      • Please link back to this page in your recipe post.
      • By linking-up you are giving permission to use your images with a link back to your site.

 


Healthy Living Tip #17: Echinacea

Echinacea is an herb with numerous health benefits. Part of my 31 Days of Healthy Living Tips series.

Health Benefits of Echinacea

Echinacea is an herb that is used to primarily fight colds and upper respiratory infections. The leaves, flowers, and root can be used in making medicinals from this herb.

Echinacea Uses

According to research, echinacea is most effective in treating the symptoms of a cold rather than preventing an infection of the cold virus.

This beautiful flowering herb can also be used to help with the flu, urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast infections, genital herpes, bloodstream infections (septicemia), gum disease, tonsillitis, streptococcus infections, syphilis, typhoid, malaria, and diphtheria.

The chemicals in echinacea appear to have anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties which explains why this herb is also used to help with skin issues including burns, bee stings, and psoriasis. Echinacea may also help with yeast infections.

Immunity Booster

Researchers at UM found that echinacea has compounds that boost the immune system. Which explains why it can be used to treat pain, hormonal, inflammation, viruses and fungi.  Echinacea also has anti-septic properties which is why some use it to treat sore throats.

Echinacea Sources

As with all other herbs, essential oils, and natural alternatives be sure and source your products from a reputable and organic distributor. I use Mountain Rose Herbs for all of my essential oils, herbs, tinctures, and teas.

Echinacea is available in powder, dried herb, tea, tincture, and capsules. The freshest source is always better when considering adding herbs to your diet so capsules are the lowest on the list of preferred delivery methods.

Mountain Rose Herbs
Medical Disclaimer

Healthy Living Tip #16: Avocado

Avocados are rich in oil and heart health benefits. Join me for 31 Days of Healthy Living Tips. AlexisMathews.com

Health Benefits of Avocado

Avocados are the unsung fruit in the alternative health arena. Most people do not realize the full potential of an avocado and the positive impact it can have on their health. Packed with healthy oil, fiber, and vitamins avocado should be a regular in your daily diet.

Good Fat

Just half of an avocado has 10g of healthy fats. Of these 10 grams the majority of them are monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated along with polyunsaturated fats are called healthy fats because diets high in these fats are linked to many health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease. The ratio of unsaturated to saturated fats in an avocado are similar to olive oil.

Superior Source of Fiber

Plant foods are typically high in fiber. An avocado however, is proportionally an excellent source of fiber. Containing 4.5 grams of fiber per half of an avocado, this accounts for 10-20% of the recommended adult daily fiber intake.

A Green Fruit

It is recommended for adults to consume four to six servings of fruit and vegetables every day. If you live a plant based lifestyle, of course these serving amounts will be much higher. Of these fruit servings, you can count an avocado toward your daily goal. As a nutrient dense fruit avocados are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate and potassium.

Phytonutrients

Phytonutrients, such as carotenoids, flavonoids and sterols found in plant foods, are being studied for their role in living a healthy life. The carotenoid lutein is found in avocados. Lutein is an antioxidant and may help prevent damage to the eyes as we age. Sterol compounds are also found naturally in avocados. Sterols can help maintain healthy blood lipid levels.

Healthy Uses

You can enjoy an avocado in more ways than just straight from the skin. The healthiest use for avocados is to use them in place of saturated fats in your diet. For example, smear avocado on your morning toast instead of margarine or butter. Also, use avocado on your sandwiches instead of cheese. Avocado is also amazing on salads instead of cheese or bacon bits.

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil can be applied directly to the skin to soothe and heal skin and to treat thickening of the skin, gum infections, and arthritis. Avocado oil is used in combination with vitamin B12 for psoriasis. The fruit pulp is applied topically to promote growth and speed wound healing. 

Thank you for joining me for another healthy living tip in my 31 Days of Healthy Living Tips series. For more healthy living tips, you are invited to check out my Healthy Living pinterest board.

Medical Disclaimer

Healthy Living Tip #15: Garlic

Health benefits of garlic include immune system boost, anti-fungal, and anti-baterial. Come discover other health living tips in my 31 Days of Healthy Living Series. AlexisMathews.com

Health Benefits of Garlic

Garlic has long been a popular herb to add to recipes for the flavor and smell that it adds to favorite dishes. Few people however realize the health benefits that fresh or supplemental garlic can provide. Over the years, garlic has long been used as an herbal medicine to treat a variety of conditions.

Heart and Blood System

Garlic is used to treat a wide variety of heart and blood system conditions including:

  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • heart disease
  • heart attack
  • atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)

Immune System Support

Taking garlic supplements or eat garlic can reduce your risk of catching a cold virus as well as help you feel better faster when you do get sick. Other immune system support conditions include:

  • fever
  • coughs
  • headaches
  • stomach ache
  • sinus congestion
  • asthma
  • stress
  • fatigue
  • diabetes
  • gout
  • health liver function

Anti-Fungal Properties

Garlic is a warm herb, meaning it warms the body so it also follows that garlic would be effective as an anti-fungal medicine. Some people use garlic oil on their skin to treat fungal infection, warts, corns, rung woe, athlete’s foot, and other skin irritation issues.

Other Health Benefits of Garlic

Other lesser known health benefits of garlic include preventing tick bites, snake bites, diarrhea, bacterial infections, and some types of cancer. Some also use garlic to treat an enlarged prostrate.

Garlic can be taken in a capsule form or fresh/raw in your favorite recipes.

My family and I enjoy the health benefits of garlic in a variety of forms including the following: 

Pharmax Garlic Freeze Dried – 90 Vegetarian Capsules

Organic Garlic Oil

GARLIC BULB (3 Pack), FRESH CALIFORNIA SOFTNECK GARLIC BULB FOR PLANTING AND GROWING YOUR OWN GARLIC

Medical Disclaimer