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Embrace your curves

Here’s a reason to embrace your curves. Oxford University recently did a research study on behinds and found that big butts are healthy butts!

The study revealed that women with bigger behinds have lower cholesterol, as well as an excess of heart healthy omega 3 fats, which also help brain development. That means that people with bigger behinds are less likely to develop cardiovascular diseases and dementia.

While cultural norms may promote thinner bottoms for aesthetic reasons, from a health perspective, women with larger behinds tend to be smarter and healthier.
So let’s put these findings in context.
When it comes to body composition, a moderate amount of fat concentrated in the butt, hips and thighs won’t adversely affect health.
Women are born with a tendency to store fat in different areas of the body.
Pear shapes tend store fat in the lower half of their body, the butt and legs. Hourglass shapes tend to store fat in their breasts, butt and legs. And lastly, apple shapes store fat in their tummy. Of the three types, apple shapes are the ones who need to be concerned about their weight. Decreasing belly fat will make the most difference in protecting their health.
Research shows that people with apple-shaped bodies, that store fat in their middle, face more health risks than those with pear-shaped bodies, who carry more weight in their lower half. Belly fat is often associated with higher cholesterol and susceptibility to fatty liver disease and cirrhosis. Belly fat also affects blood sugar stability.
Fat that is stored around the tummy is more readily converted into energy when needed than fat around the hips and butt, and this raises cholesterol. Conversely, more fat around your bottom and less around your waist usually means lower cholesterol.
Belly fat is a marker of visceral fat, which is stored around organs such as the liver, pancreas and intestines. It has greater blood flow and more receptors to cortisol, a stress hormone produced by the adrenals. The fat stored in the hips and buttocks is peripheral fat, which does not affect the stress response like visceral fat does.
The greater the number of cortisol receptors, the more sensitive the visceral fat tissue is to cortisol. This heightened sensitivity to cortisol stimulates fat cells to further increase in size.
Hip to waist ratio (WHR) is a way doctors calculate obesity and the risk of conditions caused by obesity. Just like it sounds, WHR measures the ratio of the circumference of the hips to the waist. The waist measurement is divided by hip measurement to get the WHR number. A lower number is considered healthier and a higher WHR is associated with increased risk of health issues.
WHR is also used by doctors as an indicator of health and probability of developing serious health conditions. WHR also correlates with fertility and is found to be a more efficient predictor of mortality in older people (over 75 years of age) than waist circumference or BMI.
One of the best ways to lose belly fat is to stop eating sugar and refined carbs. Doing a real food cleanse like the 21 Day Body Makeover is another great way to lose belly fat, stabilize blood sugar, balance cortisol production and improves liver function.
So flaunt that healthy butt and embrace your curves as you work towards losing the fat that really matters.
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The pH factor

vegetables 317497 640To prevent disease, you must keep your body in balance. pH level is one of the best ways to measure that balance. pH stands for power of hydrogen, which is a measurement of the hydrogen ion concentration in the body. It is an indication of how acid or how alkaline the body is.
You can test your acid alkaline pH balance regularly by drenching a piece of litmus paper in your saliva or urine first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything.
Morning readings will be slightly higher than usual daytime pH levels because the body has just spent the night detoxing. Mornings readings, however, are a good indication of general pH range.
Ideally, the body should be balanced between acid and alkaline at a blood pH level of 7.365, which is slightly alkaline. The acid- alkaline scale goes from 0 to 14, with zero being pure acid (think of battery acid) and 2 being the acidity level of lemons. On the other side, 11 is the alkalinity level of ammonia. All fluids and cells in the body have an acid alkaline balance, but none are as important as blood pH, which must be kept from 7.3 to 7.4 to survive. The goal is to maintain this neutral pH range for optimum health and disease prevention.
While neutral pH is linked to health and vitality, acidic urine and saliva pH make you more vulnerable to diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and heartburn. Acidity is also the ideal environment for viral, bacterial and fungal infections to thrive. Less serious complaints are associated with acidity (also called acidosis) such as migraines, constipation and allergies.

Nobel prize winner Dr. Otto H Warburg found that the root cause of cancer is oxygen deficiency. Oxygen deficiency leads to an acidic state in the body. Conversely, high levels of oxygen, as found in an alkaline state, create an environment where cancer cells can’t survive.

Dr. Warburg found that cancer cells are anaerobic, which mean they don’t breathe oxygen and thrive in a low-oxygen, acid state. On the contrary normal cells need oxygen to survive. He also found that if normal cells are deprived of only 35 percent of their normal oxygen supply, for only 48 hours, it could turn them cancerous.

Another major determinant of acid alkaline balance is diet. Eating a diet of toxic, acid-forming foods like processed, refined grains and sugars or genetically modified organisms leads to acidic pH. The body compensates to balance blood pH by pulling salts and mineral such as calcium, potassium and magnesium from other areas of the body, like the bones, to neutralize the acid. This can result in mineral deficiencies.

Here’s an easy home remedy for balancing acidity that, in conjunction with an alkalinizing diet, will bring your body back into pH balance.
Ingredients: 1/3 tsp. baking soda and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or organic apple cider vinegar.
Method: Mix everything together. The acid/base combination will immediately begin to fizz. Keep adding baking soda until the fizz stops and then fill the glass with 8 oz. water. Drink all at once. This home remedy will neutralize the pH and create an alkaline-forming environment in your body. It will help with stomach acid and reduce acidosis.
An alkalinizing diet is one that is full of fresh fruits and veggies, organic or pastured meat/eggs, gluten-free grains and raw nuts and seeds. Dairy, refined sugar, processed foods, vegetable oils (except for coconut, avocado and olive) commercially raised meat, sodas, coffee, black tea, alcohol and chocolate all create acidity in the body.
Stress and negative emotions also contribute acidity to the body. Stress reduction and pleasurable activities are just as important in balancing pH as food. Exercise also adds more oxygen to the body, making it a pH balancing activity.
Detoxification is vital to maintaining pH balance. Most detox diets focus on eating alkalinizing foods, exercise and stress reduction. Detoxing not only helps bring the blood and body back into pH balance but also gets rid of stored toxins that affect the body’s ability to function, balance and detoxify.

The 21-Day Body Makeover will help bring the body back into pH balance, increasing energy, clarity, and creating a balanced environment in your body to naturally fight disease.
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Effects processed meat has on our bodies

pizza 1179404 640One of the best ways to promote health and longevity is through the food we eat. Food can be medicine or it can be toxic, requiring us to seek medication down the line.
There are ways to measure the effects that certain foods have on our body’s aging process. They are called telomeres. Telomeres are the caps on the end of chromosomes that protect DNA from damage. These telomere caps work much like the plastic tips on the end of shoelaces, to keep them from unraveling.
Telomeres can shorten and lengthen in response to the foods we eat and the stress we experience. When telomeres shorten it can trigger cells to malfunction and die. Shorter telomeres have been linked to conditions like cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Telomeres slowly and gradually shorten as we age, but the speed of their shortening can be controlled by lifestyle factors and diet. So though you can’t stop aging, you can definitely put he brakes on the aging process.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at the effect of multiple food groups on telomere length. They found that eating the following foods can speed up your aging clock by shortening your telomeres prematurely. These popular foods and beverages are soda, processed meat, industrially-raised meat and alcohol.
Processed meat includes products like pepperoni, hot dogs and bologna. Researchers found that people who consumed one or more servings of processed meat each week had shorter telomeres that those you didn’t eat any processed meat. Not only is processed meat made from low quality meat, it also typically contains preservatives and other chemicals.
The topic of meat, red meat in particular, is controversial. But consuming high quality red meat from pasture-raised, grass fed animals can be extremely beneficial to some people. It can bolster the immune system with zinc and fortify the blood with iron. The trick to healthy meat consumption is to avoid commercially-raised meat pumped full of hormones and antibiotics. And of course, moderation is key with red meat, consuming it only a few times a week and not every day.
Red meat can be hard to digest for some people. Taking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or bitters before you eat meat will boost stomach acid and help the digestion process. Consuming resistant starch when eating red meat is also recommended. Resistant starch is they type of good carb that helps burn fat and weakens the effect red meat has on telomeres. Foods that contain resistant starch include green bananas, green plantains, yuca and lentils.
Lastly alcohol can greatly influence telomeres. A study presented at the 2010 meeting of the American Association of Cancer research found alcohol to have a profound effect on telomere shortening. And of course, the more you drink the more they shorten. People who had 4 drinks a week or more had dramatically shorter telomeres than those who drank occasionally or moderately. In some cases the telomeres of people who drank heavily were half as short as non-abusers. But even in the case of moderate drinkers, alcohol may speed up aging.
While having a glass or two of red wine with dinner may provide stress relief and antioxidants, it doesn’t have a positive effect on telomeres. Taking a walk after dinner and eating organic red grapes several times a week can have the same beneficial effects on health as drinking wine without the aging side effects.
Detoxification is also very important for reversing the effect of aging and telomere shortening. While the body detoxes naturally, it is always a good idea to do a cleanse or two each year to help unclog sluggish detox channels. One detox a year can boost the body’s detox ability throughout the year. The 21 Day Body Makeover can help open detox channels, clear built up toxins from the body and break the sugar addiction so you aren’t a slave to soda.
The right foods and detox routine can have you looking and feeling younger than your chronological age.
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Flu Myths

thermometer 1539191 640Though I haven’t had the flu for more than a decade, I’ve recently came down with a bad case with fever, chills, aches, congestion, etc. The doctor offered medication to relieve my suffering but I was able to heal in record time without drugs. I’m going to tell you how I did it and bust some flu myths along the way.
Flu myth #1: Reduce the fever with medication
The aches and general misery of the flu come from having a fever. My fever was 101.6 and my doc told me to take 500 mg both of Tylenol and Aleve, staggered around the clock to bring down my fever and let me body heal. I didn’t take her advice because I know, that in some people, these over the counter medications can cause digestive issues by damaging the intestinal lining. Instead of these meds I focused on boosting my immune system, and my fever broke day later.
Fever is the immune response to fighting foreign invaders, like viruses, with heat. If this natural process is interrupted, it may ease some of the symptoms, but will likely stretch out the duration of illness.

For adults and children, a fever under 104 is nothing to worry about. If it gets above that, taking a bath or shower in tepid water (never cold) will help bring down temperature naturally. Anything above 107 is considered dangerous and a doctor should be consulted.
Flu myth #2: Probiotics won’t help with flu
It’s true that flu is viral and not bacterial, however, that doesn’t mean that supporting your immune system won’t speed up recovery. While probiotics won’t fight the flu virus directly, it will support the immune system’s fight, just like vitamin C will do. Anything that supports the immune system, such as Frankincense essential oil, turmeric supplements or medicinal mushroom tea (dried chaga or reishi mushroom), will help your body fight it off.

Flu myth #3: Feed a cold and starve a fever
You need energy to fight off the flu. While I wasn’t hungry while sick, I drank most of my calories in the form of bone broth soups, with lots of coconut oil for it’s anti viral properties. I also drank lots of tea with honey and lemon or honey and almond milk and water with cranberry juice (vitamin C).

When you have the flu, you should drink as much liquids as you possibly can, up to about 2 to 3 liters a day. This helps flush the body of toxins as well as prevent dehydration from fever. Homemade bone broth is one of the best things you can have while battling illness as it provides healthy fat, amino acids and lots of minerals. And it boosts the immune system. You can add collagen powder to the broth to increase its protein content. You can also add sliced veggies or protein to the broth and stew them, for extra vitamins, protein and carbs. This is easy fuel for your body because it won’t spend too much energy digesting it.

Flu myth #4: The flu shot is the only thing that will prevent the flu
Getting the flu shot is a personal decision, but I don’t do it because I focus instead in building up my immune system. The flu shot only protects against certain strains of flu, while your immune system protects against everything.

One of the best ways to build up immunity and protect against flu is elderberry. You can buy dried elderberries and make your own tea or get elderberry tinctures at the store. Elderberry is highly antiviral. I took elderberry capsules during the day (4 in total) and a night-time elderberry syrup to help me sleep. I also made myself calendula tea to sip during the day because calendula is also highly anti viral and anti-inflammatory. It also supports your liver.

The best prescription for flu is rest and fluids. But you can try the tips I used above or these additional ones for extra help:
  • Dandelion tea supports the liver
  • A splash of apple cider vinegar in warm water with a touch of honey
  • A drop of lemon essential oil in your water
  • Sauerkraut juice for natural probiotics
  • Eating roasted garlic for antibacterial properties
  • Keeping a positive frame of mind.

The last tip is very important as the faster you think you’ll heal, the faster you do! A typical flu last anywhere from 5 to 14 days. I was able to kick my flu in 4 days.
Prevention is the best treatment for the flu. The best defense is building up your immune system during the winter and year. One of the best ways to care for your immune system is to do a detox or two each year. The 21-Day Body Makeover is the perfect, gentle detox to support your immune system and important organs like the liver and adrenals. It will also help clean up eating habits, because refined sugar consumption notoriously suppresses immunity.
When you first feel you’re coming down with something, that’s the best time to rest, take herbs and drink liquids as you body has the best chance to fight it off before the virus takes hold. And if you do get sick just use the tricks above to get better faster.
This article is written and provided by Angela Privin is a digestive health coach who uses natural methods to help people heal their digestion.
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Double your protein to prevent muscle wasting

steak 353115 640Protein is quite controversial in the health world. Some people say the less protein and meat you eat the better for health. But avoiding protein and meat is not the answer either, especially for older adults. A new study from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock proves that nutritional balance in key to good health and body mass.
Limiting your protein intake and avoiding foods like red meat and eggs could accelerate a process of muscle wasting that’s commonly seen in older adults.
This condition is called sacropenia, defined as the loss of muscle tissue related to the natural aging process. Between the ages of 20 and 80, the average adult loses 20 to 30 percent of their total muscle mass.

Sacropenia is a concern because it can reduce capacity to do the most basic tasks of daily life. In much older adults in can increase the susceptibility towards falling and risk of fractures.
The current dietary recommendation for protein is .8 grams of protein for every kilogram of weight. For American readers, 1 kilogram equals 2.2 pounds. That means if you weigh 77 kilograms, or 169 pounds, you should be getting 62 grams of protein per day. This requirement can be met by eating a breakfast of yogurt, a peanut butter or turkey sandwich for lunch, a handful of nuts as a snack and a piece of salmon for dinner.
However, if you’re an older adult, the recommended grams of protein per kilogram rise to 1.2 grams. That means a 77 kilogram adult actually needs about 92 grams of protein. Aiming for 30 grams of protein per meal would hit that target.
However, many older adults experience a loss of appetite and can’t eat that much in one sitting. In that case, spreading caloric intake over several smaller meals would also work. Snacking on high protein snacks such as nuts or nut butters can also increase protein intake.
The Arkansas study, which looked 20 healthy adults between the ages of 52 and 70, compared the recommended level of protein (.8 grams per kilogram) with double that serving and found the double protein group did better in building muscle mass (also called protein synthesis).
This study found that the timing of the protein was not important, and what mattered most was total grams of intake per day. That means you can eat your daily protein all in one sitting, though it may be hard on digestion.
Experts agree that getting protein from food is better than getting it from supplements like protein powders. But if you need to use protein powder as a boost the best one is collagen, derived from grass-fed animals. Collagen dissolves easily in cold water and can be added to smoothies, teas and soups for a protein boost. The problem with most conventional protein powders is that they are packed with processed and unhealthy ingredients.
One of the best and cleanest protein sources are eggs. Eggs contain all the essential amino acids needed to build muscle. One egg contains 6 grams of high quality protein. It’s always best to choose eggs that are organic or better yet, pasture raised. Chicken, fish, red meat, beans and nuts also provide good sources of protein.
Some people are concerned about raising their cholesterol from increased meat and protein consumption. There are many modern studies that have disproven the original 40-year old study about saturated fat and cholesterol in foods causing heart disease and raising cholesterol. There is however a danger of gaining excess weight from increased calorie consumption. But there’s a great remedy for that. Exercise.
Not only does exercise help maintain a healthy weight but it also guards against age related muscle wasting. In fact, lack of exercise can actually exacerbate sacropenia. While all exercise is good, the best kind of exercise for gaining or maintaining muscle is weight or resistance training. And this type of exercise is effective for all ages.
The 21-Day Body Makeover emphasizes a diet that is rich in organic, free range and grass fed protein, as well as lots of fruits, veggies and nuts to satisfy nutrient requirements and keep your gut happy.
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