Why You NEED To Avoid Packaged Foods

Ingredients for An Unhappy BOdy

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This is quite a doozy of a topic. And while I can go super in depth with it, I’ll save you from the pages and pages of nutritional explosion.

Bottom Line: If it comes in a package, you should probably keep it in a package. 

Not only can these foods cause breakouts, sagging, dull skin, early onset aging, but serious health conditions- obesity, heart problems, diseases, diabetes, etc. You’re playin’ with fire, people.

Steer Clear from Packaged Foods

Excuse me Ma’am, Where Can I Find the Nutritional Value?  

I’ll keep it simple: nowhere. Mostly all conventional packaged foods have been so overly processed that even if it does have “okay” ingredients, the nutrientsare long gone anyway. Excessive heating and processes drain any goodness from foods. So you may feel full, but you’re nutritionally starving. And when your body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs, it’s going to start sacrificing parts of your body to stay running; i.e the skin.

Get Behind Me, Sugar!  

Processed Foods have a tendency to contain an INSANE amount of sugar. Not only does this cause inflammation and a heck of a lot of breakouts, but also totally wrecks your immune system. In order for our body (skin) to heal and prevent unnecessary degeneration, we have to be able to fight off diseases, injuries, viruses, etc. Sugar will also make you fat. true story.

Kookoo for Grains

The main reason why processed, packaged foods leave us feeling satisfied and full– processed, inflammation causing, gut damaging, highly refined grains. They fill you up, but then your body instantly breaks them down into sugars which spikes your blood sugar, causing wrinkles. And the inevitable post lunch crash. Food should give you energy and life, not take it away.

Drowning in Oils

If you check the ingredients, you will almost 100% of the time find some sort of processed, vegetable oil. Canola, Sunflower, Soybean, Corn, and Cottonseed are the worst and most common. They are full of Omega 6’s which can insane amounts of inflammation.

If you’re still paying attention, you’ll notice the overarching theme here is I N F L A M M A T I O N. Poor Diet is the #1 cause of inflammation. If you’re body is struggling to work properly, it is technically “injured.” And with any sort of injury, your body is going to send out signals to increase blood flow and histamines to that area to heal it. When it’s something serious, naturally induced inflammation is a necessity because it lets you know there’s something wrong. But when the cause is simply eating nutrient deficient food.. your body is going to slowly break down over time- starting with your skin.

I highly encourage you to eat whole foods rich in vitamins, proteins, fats, and antioxidants. If it was made in a lab, then a lab is needed to digest it properly. Don’t let your skin suffer because of tempting convenience foods! Treat yourself lovingly and get on that whole food diet!

xxJoannaxx

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Matcha Latte Recipe

I’ve Met My Match(a)

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If you follow me on instagram, and more specifically my stories, you know I have routines. Things I like to do daily to give me a sense of solidarity and peace. I do not do well with not having at least some kind of consistency in my life. (I’m always that person who HAS to know the plan…. which I “guess” can get kind of obnoxious..? Meh)

Something I always need in my day is big fat delicious matcha latte. Even though it’s not snowing or freezing here in Florida (sorry northern folks), I still find such comfort from a creamy warm beverage. Not to mention it’s bustin’ out the ying yang with nutritional benefits. Here’s a secret though *Some days I don’t add the matcha because my level of cortisol is super high so I don’t need any more “jump” to my system.** But I still want that yummy drink.

BUT before I give you the keys to matcha heaven in the form of a recipe, lemme just give you some of the benefits this drink can offer:

Benefits of Matcha:

  • Packed with POWERFUL Antioxidants (20xs more than blueberries!!)
  • Boosts Metabolism and Burns Calories (aka weight loss if you need it)
  • Naturally Detoxifies
  • Calms the Mind, Relaxes Body, Aids in Concentration (monks would use this to aid them in meditation; “relaxed alertedness”)
  • Rich in Fiber, Chlorophyll and Vitamins
  • Provides Vitamin C, Selenium, Chromium, Zinc and Magnesium (the modern american diet is HIGHLY lacking in these)
  • Prevents Disease (the antioxidants & vitamins keeps your body in tiptop shape)
  • Lowers Cholesterol and Blood Sugar

Benefits of Cinnamon:

  • High Source of Antioxidant
  • Balances Blood Sugar
  • Anti-inflammatory Properties
  • Aids in Heart Health
  • Helps Brain Function
  • Fights Infections and Viruses
  • Protects Dental Health

Benefits of Coconut Manna:

  • Great Source of Fat
  • Rich in Lauric Acid (boosts immune system)
  • Boosts Metabolism
  • Increases Energy
  • Contains Essential Amino Acids, Calcium, and Magnesium

Benefits of Ashwagandha (ancient medicinal herb):

  • Reduces Blood Sugar Levels
  • Balances Hormones (both men and women)
  • Reduces Inflammation
  • Anti-Cancer Properties
  • Reduce Stress and Anxiety
  • Reduce Symptoms of Depression
  • Reduce Cortisol Levels
  • Lowers Cholesterol and Triglycerides
  • Improves Brain Function (including memory)

Benefits of Collagen:

  • Improves Skin and Hair
  • Helps Heal Leaky Gut.
  • Reduces Joint Pains and Degeneration
  • Aids in Cardiovascular Health.
  • Increases Metabolism, Muscle Mass and Energy
  • Strengthens Nails, Hair and Teeth

Benefits of Water:

  • Hydrating
  • (ha you should by now that water is pretty much life so I’m not gonna list all of the benefits of water)

ALRIGHT. jeez I feel like I just talked a ton without taking a breath. Imma take a breath now.

okay, so here’s what you’ve been waiting for: I present to you, I entrust you with THE KEYS.

Matcha Latte Recipe

Ingredients

Directions

  • Heat water in kettle, but do not boil
  • Add all powders to a blender.
  • Once hot enough, add water to blender and blend away!
  • I usually blend for about 20 seconds, but you can go more or less depending on how much froth you want.
  • Pour into your prettiest, most favorite mug.
  • Sip away and feel your body thanking you.

**YO DON’T GO YET. Vital Proteins now offers a bomb product that combines matcha AND collagen in one product! With additional coconut water powder which is SO good for hydration. Check it Here!**

alright, imma go make one for myself now! (seriously)

 

 

xxjoannaxx

Benefits of Yoga//My Story

Namaste, Beautiful Yogis

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We’ve all seen them- those girls on the internet doing crazy arm balances and stretches in beautiful scenery.. makes yoga seem like a dream, yeah? The healing, relaxing, de-stressing mind-body ritual that has been around for thousands of years, and that is now taking the world and instagram by storm. It was actually first used to center the mind before meditation, allowing a deeper, calmer, more focused meditative state. Today it is more so used as a form of exercise, a way to release stress, and a super easy way to make yourself look really, really cool.

I began my practice a couple years ago when I wanted to change my body and start exercising (at 19), but I wasn’t really into running or any other cardio. Yoga brought this wonderful way to work my entire body in a very non-strenuous way but with amazing results. Seriously, people started asking what I was doing to get so skinny and fit.

However, the yoga I was doing wasn’t hatha (slow, stretching) yoga, it’s called Interval Yoga which combines deep stretching with high intensity movement. This form of yoga was invented by the bulgarian beauty Ali Kamenova. If your main motivation for yoga is losing weight/gaining muscle or definition, I highly recommend her youtube videos.

As I developed a body I was pleased with, I began dabbling in other forms of yoga. Some more slow, relaxing, others that held positions for 5 long, deep breaths.. etc. I now have a wide range of yoga series that I practice and I definitely feel like my body is thriving from it. The other great thing was that as I started looking more into yoga I began to read ALL of the amazing benefits! Yoga not only positively affects the body, but even more importantly- the mind.

I’ll be honest, I get stressed and overwhelmed pretty easily. I tend to hold in a lot of angst, stress, and grief, it’s just the way my mind processes things (INFJ.) But this can cause serious internal damage; stress on the body is even more detrimental than unhealthy food, lack of exercise, etc. But yoga has the ability to counteract that! It is not really the poses that are so healing, but the breathing, the focusing on the body, letting the mind become still and rest.

 

BodyOnYoga

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Yoga is beneficial for literally everyone. If you want to lose weight, stretch, detox, have better digestion, sleep better, have more focus, reduce stress, increase mental clarity– yoga is for you. And we all have at least one of those things we wish was better, right?

Even just five minutes a day, five minutes out of your 15-18 hour day is nothing and it offers SO many benefits! Do you think it’s definitely a possibility to add in a small daily practice into your daily routine? What benefits would you hope to achieve, what are you currently struggling with? Comment below and let me know! Maybe even tag a friend you’d like to start yoga with!

xxJoannaxx

Dry Brushing=Less Cellulite

Who Doesn’t Want Silky Smooth Skin? 

IMG_0292Yes! Another interesting thing to add into your beauty routine! All you have to do is brush your bare, dry skin with a (you guessed it) brush. Pretty much the most simple thing.. like ever. And it benefits both the outside and inside of your body! Double Win.

Benefits of Dry Brushing ::

Invigorates Body

Releases Toxins

Exfoliates Skin Cells

Reduces Cellulite

Improves Circulation

Stimulates Lymphatic System

You have to use a natural fiber brush. They have specific ones for dry brushing, usually found at health food stores and of course online (like this one.) Make sure it has a long handle so that you can reach your back. It’s recommended to do it before you shower so you can wash off all of the dead skin cells that you sloughed off, and then make sure to moisturize afterwards!

How to:

Before your shower, start at the bottom of your feet and brush upwards towards your heart. You should take long, firm strokes, and brush the same area about 3-4 times, kind of overlapping each area. I have attached a diagram to help with the visual.

**Don’t brush your face or any other sensitive areas (groin, breasts)**

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Now, it is going to hurt at first, probably the first couple times. So just be gentle until your body gets used to it. I went super gentle at first, especially in my inner thighs because it was so sensitive, but now it actually feels really good. My body afterwards feels so so soft and smooth, that’s worth it for me right there. I practice this every night before my shower, and it only takes a couple minutes. It kind of gets me in the zone for my “night time me routine.”

So, give it a couple tries and let me know what you think!

xxJoannaxx

Common Causes of Acne

Power to the Pimple

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image via www.drterry.com

Now this is one heck of a topic. The majority of people, men and women alike, have struggled with acne. If you’re one of those people who have miraculously avoided the common curse, well forgive me as I silently praise but also become increasingly jealous of you.

Our skin is an organ, just like your liver, spleen, and lungs. It is the mighty organ because it is exposed, first hand, to all of the external attacks- i.e. toxic fumes, sun rays, bacteria, etc. It can handle a lot, but it’s not a saint. Any sort of issue on your skin is a sign that your body is out of balance. There is something going on that isn’t right, and your body is telling you that through- you heard it- the dreaded, cursed, loathed, pimple.

External Causes

Dirty Phone

Dirty Pillowcase

Your incessant touching and picking of your skin

Incorrect Cleansing

Stress

Clogging Makeup

 

Internal Causes

Hormone Imbalance

Poor Diet

Food Sensitivity

Digestive Issues

Genes

Toxic Buildup

 

Yeah.. so pretty much anything can cause a skin flare-up. It can be a quick fix for some, or a long, long journey for others. My number one tip is to don’t stress out over it, that will only cause more skin problems.

 

Your skin does not define you. 

You can and will conquer it. 

Be patient. 

Love your skin. 

xxJoannaxx

Natural Solutions for Bloating, Nausea, and stomach pain

Pain, Pain Go Away!

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With severe digestive issues, I often have extreme stomach problems. My stomach swells up like I’m pregnant, I get chills that run all over my body, I get sharp pains in my upper stomach that feel like knives repeatedly stabbing me over and over. I try not to complain, but it is something I live with 24/7. And over the years I have learned various tricks that help with these symptoms. I don’t use any sort of chemical/medication because I don’t want to cause even more problems.

Nothing instantly makes my stomach lay flat again or completely eliminate the pain, but it helps drastically. Your body is in pain for a reason.. wouldn’t it would be scarier if you had a serious condition and didn’t know because your body wasn’t telling you?

Tips for Stomach Problems:

        Deep Breathing– This is a double whammy- it helps with bloating and pain. Breathe in d e e p l y through your nose, pulling your stomach in, and once you can’t inhale anymore, slowly exhale through your nose keeping your lower abdomen tight. Repeat as many times as you need. This breathing helps massage all of the organs and muscles in your stomach that are currently inflamed.

        DigestZen– This has literally become a major lifesaver. It is an essential oil blend composed of peppermint, spearmint,—- all of which help digestion, and increase blood circulation to the gut to speed up healing. I always always have this in my purse, kitchen, and bathroom. I simply add a drop or two to my stomach, rub it in, and embrace that wonderful cooling sensation. I use it so often that is has unintentionally become my signature “perfume”… not the sexiest but if it helps I;m not changing it.

        DGL (Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice) sugar free– Licorice is an herb that has been used for centuries! It has properties that can help fatigue, immunity, heartburn, leaky gut and of course- stomach pain. If I eat something that doesn’t agree with me, or if I know I ate way too much, I chew up a tab and instantly feel SO much better. This is also with me constantly- especially if I’m going out to eat or to a friend’s to eat. Even though I stick to my strict diet, eating foods that aren’t made the cleanest way can cause major damage to my stomach.. for hours.

        Stretching/Yoga: Similar to Deep Breathing, this massages and stretches all of those muscles that become tight and sore with constant fluctuation. Your mind is also calm and relaxed which really helps the stomach heal. (Stress can make your body sick so, so fast.)

Preventative Care:

Health is about not only treating when you’re sick, but also when you’re well to prevent the sickness. These are simple and easy to implement into your daily routine.

        Drinking Water with Lemon and Apple Cider Vinegar: This helps your body to constantly detox and keep it alkaline, which keeps your body balanced. I have a full blog post on it here!

        Taking a Really Good Probiotic: If your body (specifically stomach) is out of whack, then you definitely have a bacteria imbalance. We all have bacteria in our gut to digest food, but sometimes the bad bacteria takes over and we need to replenish our good bacteria. It’s nearly impossible to eat enough/a varied enough diet, so probiotics are the answer. I love both Dr Axe’s Soil Based Probiotic, and Dr Mercola’s Probiotic.

        Digestive Enzymes: This is something I’m not too sure about. I have read a lot of stuff about how great they are, but then again you are training your body to rely on them and not produce enough enzymes on it’s own. I could never tell a difference when I personally took them, but some people have great results!

 

I have found these to be so helpful and effective. I love understanding my body, it allows me to care for it even more! It is extremely empowering. Take your health into your own hands, you are your own Health Representative.

 

xxjoannaxx

Morning Detox Elixir

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Over the years I have tried a lot of different health concoctions to try and clear my skin. These would offer other benefits, but one promise would be clearer, glowier skin. One that I’ve stuck with for years is the warm water with lemon and Apple Cider Vinegar as soon as I wake up.

Benefits::

  • Detoxes Body
  • Strengthens Immune System
  • Aids Digestion
  • Clears Skin
  • Increases Energy   

I don’t recommend trying a huge glass at first; start with a small dose and work your way up to something more heavy duty.

Morning Detox Elixir

1 cup of warm water

1/2 lemon

2 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother– that brown stuff floating at the bottom– make sure you shake!)

**if you don’t have problems with yeast, bacteria, or candida, you can also add in a 1/2 tsp of raw honey**

Trust me, if you’ve tried it and really don’t like the taste, it will grow on you. I can drink tablespoons ACV all day and not mind the taste one bit- I’ve actually grown to enjoy it!

But also! Keep in mind not everyone’s body is the same. What works for me may not work for you. If you really don’t feel good while drinking it then stop and reassess to listen to what your body is telling you.

Cheers!

xxJoannaxx

My Experience with Acupuncture-pt 1 

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Acupuncture: Being stuck with a ton of needles.. willingly. 

This is part of a series. I will continue to write new posts when there are updates that are worthy of announcement.

Health Background: (aka why I ever started acupuncture)

I am plagued with SIBO (small intestine bacteria growth.)Which pretty much means:  I’m frequently bloated, I randomly get these sharp, debilitating pains in my gut that render me unable to walk or even stand, I have a super limited amount of foods I can eat without feeling nauseous or bloated. It’s an awful problem that unfortunately a lot of people struggle with but aren’t aware of it. (If you think you’re a candidate, ask your doctor for a breath test.)

I’ve had this for a couple years, now. First thinking it was just certain foods causing it, but it progressively got worse and worse despite eliminating more foods from my diet. I eventually went to a holistic doctor who prescribed a bunch of tests, and eventually referred me to an Acupuncturist. Who is thankfully a doctor who also practices in the same building.

I had  been reading about acupuncture for a couple years, always super curious but never dived in because I didn’t want to spend the money. Well I now had a really good reason, so I was not only excited about healing my body, but also learning about one of the coolest, most ancient practices out there!

We had an initial consultation and because of my serious condition she recommended I see her once a week for a couple months to start, and then reassess to see how my body was healing. I already liked her, she was super knowledgable with no nonsense, and I could tell she actually cared for me and my wellbeing- which is hard to find in conventional doctors.

First Treatment:

Laying on a paper covered table, head on a pillow, legs propped up on a pillow, in a dark, warm room, ears filled with soothing music. Before the needles, she took my pulses on each wrist, and felt around my stomach to see where the pain was. I couldn’t look as she poked my legs, feet, hands, arms, stomach, ears and head. I have a weird thing with needles. Not gonna lie, a few of them hurt which I wasn’t expecting. But then she left the room and let me lay for twenty l o n g minutes. With it being my first time I had a really hard time relaxing. I definitely didn’t fall asleep like a lot of people do. My mind kept whirring around with all the lists I needed to check off, then also these crazy waves of extreme grief came over me, like a full on mind and body detox. Afterwards though, I felt so good and relaxed and had this beautiful pink glow.

Now:

I just finished my fifth treatment and each time it is more and more enjoyable. I’m pretty sure I fell asleep last time! I can tell a huge difference in my body already, and it’s only been a little over a month. For one, my eyes don’t have crazy burning sensations anymore, I don’t feel exhausted at 3, and I am becoming less frequently bloated! I also feel more relaxed and “even.” Before I began my treatment, I really did feel like butter spread over too much bread. Thin, fragile, always on the verge of crying.. totally not healthy. I am so thankful for the opportunity and ability to heal my body in this natural way, and my doctor is amazing. She never misses a moment to teach me, and is so willing to answer all of my questions.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments! I would be more than happy to help.

*You are your own health representative. You have the power to be in control of how you are treated. If you do not agree with a doctor’s assessment, or feel uncomfortable, feel free to say no and do your own research. Doctors don’t know everything. And every body is different.*

xxJoannaxx