Monday, September 29, 2014

Kale Chips

    This is for you Carrie.  Years ago Carrie introduced us to kale chips and thus began my and my daughters addiction to kale chips.  Since that day I've been working on perfecting the recipe. I've finally come up with how to make them crispy but not burnt in the least amount of time. 
     First before the recipe let's take a look at the benefits of kale:  
Kale is high in iron, it has more iron than beef
Kale is high in Vitamin K
It is an anti-inflammatory food
Kale is a great detox food since it filled with fiber and sulfur   
It has more calcium than a cup of milk

Kale Chips
1/2 bunch of kale 
olive oil
garlic powder
sea salt

     Preheat oven to 325 for regular or 275 for convection bake oven. Tear kale into bite size pieces removing the stem. Place into a mixing bowl.  Pour a small amount of olive oil on top.  You want enough to cover each piece but not so much that it's dripping off. Sprinkle with garlic powder and sea salt.   Then massage the oil, garlic powder and salt into the kale.  Spread kale on a cookie sheet.  In a regular oven bake for 6 minutes then turn off the oven and leave for 10 minutes.  If cooking in a convection bake oven cook 8 minutes then turn off the oven and leave for 10 minutes.  Take out to cool and enjoy.  

Friday, September 26, 2014

Feet: Part 1

     Feet. Let's talk about feet.  As a massage therapist I am constantly telling people pay good money for good shoes and a good pillow.  These two things can greatly affect how our bodies work.
    Let's start out with some fun facts about feet.
   -Your feet have 1/4 all the bones in your body-52 bones
   -There are approximately 250,000 sweat glands in a pair of feet and they excrete as much as half a pint of moisture each day.  (Yuck)
   - It is not normal for your feet to hurt.
   -There are times when you're walking that the pressure on your feet exceeds your body weight, and when you're running, it can be three or four times your weight.
    -Your feet mirror your general health. Such conditions as arthritis, diabetes, nerve and circulatory disorders can show their initial symptoms in the feet -- so foot ailments can be your first sign of more serious medical problems.
     The overall health and wellbeing of your body starts on the bottom of your feet.  Here, there are millions of touch receptors, which are stimulated each time they make contact with the ground (by standing or walking).  These touch receptors form different patterns, depending on what part of your foot is touching the ground.
   These patterns of stimulation send a signal (message) to the brain as to the position of your body (posture) in space. The brain, acting on these signals, makes continuous micro-adjustments in the position of your body in order to maintain balance and prevent you from falling down. 
     Now imagine your body making these tiny micro adjustments to correct improper feet positions while running and putting 3 or 4 times your weight on them.  Over time this would really affect the proper use of your joints and in turn the proper use of your muscles.            
     When we wear improper shoes, shoes that are too wide, too narrow, not enough arch support, too much arch support and especially high heels our body has to make too many adjustments. 
   Next week we will discuss different types of feet and different foot arches and how to find the correct shoes.  I just ordered these from Amazon yoga sandal  to hopefully correct some minor foot imbalances and hopefully help elevate some knee and hip problems I've been having.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

School is back in session, here come the germs

    Germs by themselves aren't bad, in fact exposure to germs can strengthen the immune system.  Germs become a problem when our immune systems are run down and unable to fight off of the dreaded germ.  Last week my kids came home from school feeling less than great.  I immediately took action.  The first line of defense is to boost and protect the immune system.
    Here's what we did:
    A couple of days before, on a whim, I had brewed a big pot of pau d'arco tea.  I prefer the loose leaf and brew for at least half an hour.  According to the website pau d'arco tea increases red blood cell counts.  Bernhard Kreher a Munich researcher wrote his doctoral work on the immuno stimulating effects of Pau d’arco and found that the body’s defense system activity increased by more than 48% when Pau d’arco was regularly consumed.  My children enjoy it cold with a little stevia in it.  Honey would work nice too.  
   Next we upped our probiotics.   There are numerous ways beside pill forms to do this such kombucha, fermented foods, yogurt with low sugar.  I prefer the pill form when sickness is knocking at the door to avoid consuming any extra sugars that can feed what ever is trying to invade.
    Two completely free and very important things to do are increasing water intake and getting extra sleep. Proper hydration is key to healthy immune system.   It flushes out any toxins, keeps things moving and keeps our cells hydrated and working properly.  I try to remember to put a pinch of Himalayan sea salt in their (and my) water.  It helps the body's electrolyte system stay balanced by providing the appropriate minerals.  My children know that if they come home feeling less than great it means an early bed time. If you need motivation for getting more sleep here's a great TED talk on the importance of sleep.TED talk-sleep.
   To help the immune system we also began to take homeopathic remedies.   If you don't know much about homeopathy I encourage you to learn more.  Maybe I'll even do a post about them.  The basic principle is that "like cures like".  I really like the brand Professional Complementary Health Formulas.  (I am in no way associated with them).  We took the formulas Immune System Stimulator Drops and Bacterial Immune Stimulator.  
    Just by doing these things my son was back to normal within 48 hours.  My daughter took a little longer and ended up with a lingering cough that we used essential oils for.  We used eucalyptus and lavender oil down her spine.  This really helped her to sleep and helped with congestion.  
   A few other things to do include sweating it out, either through a hot epsom salt bath or even better an infared sauna.  Sweating is great because it not only excretes toxins, it increases your red blood cell count.  It's a natural antibiotic and can actually kill bacteria that  can cause infection through antimicrobial peptides.  Supplements like echinacea and colostrum can boost the immune system.  We are unable to take colostrum due to the dairy content but love Xymogen's IgG 2000 DF. (Again no way affiliated.)  And last but not least good old chicken soup.  Bonus points if its made with homemade bone broth.     
   What else would you add to this list?

Monday, September 22, 2014

This one is for you Deb

     This post if for you, Deb.  I've decided to start this blog at the constant nagging encouragement of my dear friend Deb, who also suffers has been blessed with multiple autoimmune disorders.  And this also goes out to my friend and mentor Carrie who first suggested I start a blog.
    The title of the blog comes from my grandma.  She always use to say "life is hard, then you die".  As a child I didn't really understand what she meant.  As an adult with multiple autoimmune disorders I have come to understand what she meant.  Life is hard and then you die.  And while life is hard, its finding joy, blessings and humor through the hard that makes life worth getting out of bed in the morning.
     This blog is meant to be a place of realness, the imperfections, the bad, the hard, the ugly but also the joy, the fun, the humor in life.  This blog is ultimately dedicated to my grandmother who also suffered from chronic illness but found joy in everyday life, in everyday people.
    I plan to start out writing three days a week.  Monday will cover a new recipe. Wednesday will cover a health topic.  Friday will cover a massage/bodywork topic.  Please let me know if there is a topic you would like covered.