Top 7 Natural Health Remedies

Cold and flu season is in full swing! And sometimes, no matter how careful or healthy you are, you can get sick. It’s okay. It happens. The winter and spring can be especially tough when it can sometimes be 70 degrees one day and 30 degrees the next.

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Believe it or not, both Elyse and I have asthma. I have practically grown out of it, but Elyse hasn’t been so lucky. To top it off, she is allergic to all kinds of trees and animals, so we understand how frustrating it can be to get sick and not feel 100%. And in case you were wondering, yes, Elyse is allergic to our cat, but a.) she did not care, and b.) she has thankfully gotten used to Jovie after quite an eventful adjustment period!

Now, when it comes to aiding ailments, Elyse and I are by no means opposed to taking medication.  We know that sometimes we may need more than a natural remedy.  However, if we can avoid taking pills and opt for something natural, then we always try that first! Here are some at home items that you can incorporate into your daily routine to help prevent and aid ailments:

  • Tea! This is an easy one. Tea, especially green tea, can be hugely beneficial for you! Not only does it aid in increasing your metabolic rate to help you burn fat faster, but it can also help prevent certain diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s, lower cholesterol, and reduce/relieve allergy symptoms!

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  • Raw local honey.  Not only is honey a great natural sweetener for foods and smoothies, but it can also aid in medical symptoms as well. Buy honey that is local to your area because it can help your body adjust to your environment and allergens (this is one Elyse lives by to help with her allergies).  Honey can also sooth sore throats, help to improve your skin, and provide you with antioxidants to help fight off diseases.
  • Ginger. If you are feeling nauseated, ginger is your friend! If you experience a lot of motion sickness or are starting to feel sick, then taking ginger capsules is best, but you can always mix some fresh ginger up in warm tea too. Or, if you think you are getting a head cold, taking ginger juice shots can be a great way to help you fight off a cold too.
  • Feverfew/Magnesium.  Suffer from migraines? You’re not alone! There are multiple medications out there that can aid in migraines or help to prevent them, but often times it takes multiple doctors visits and multiple different pills to find the right concoction. If you have something that works, then by all means stick with it! However, if you want to try a natural route, try a daily regimen of magnesium or feverfew as a preventive medication.  You can often find these in capsule form in the supplement/health section of your local market.
  • Peppermint oil. Peppermint oil can be great for flavoring a smoothie, but it is also another natural way to soothe a migraine or headache! Just rub a few drops of peppermint oil onto your temples or forehead (or wherever your head may be throbbing), lay down, and let the oil get to work! The oil creates a cooling sensation, almost like icy hot or biofreeze, so be careful, you do not need much!
  • St. John’s Wort. Feeling anxious? Having trouble sleeping? Then try some St. John’s Wort.  This natural wonder contains melatonin that will help you sleep, but also help to improve your body’s own naturally occurring melatonin.  For best results, try taking a capsule daily.

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  • Aloe Vera.  The Aloe vera plant may be a giant, scary, it’s-going-to-overtake-your-house, looking plant, but it can be a savior. If you have a bad burn, itchy skin irritation, or minor cuts and scrapes, then cut off a piece of aloe vera, chill it in the fridge (this is optional, but helps to soothe more), and rub the aloe gel directly onto your skin.

There are plenty of other natural health remedies out there, and these only just begin to scratch the surface! However, please always be sure to consult with your physician first before trying to treat yourself and/or if your symptoms persist.

What are some of your favorite at-home remedies that you like to try? Comment below and let us know!

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Both of my ladies are fighting off colds!

Exercise vs. Nutrition: Which is More Important?

Whether your goal is to lose weight, tone up, maintain your weight, or just try to be healthier overall, both exercise and nutrition play a role. However, the roles they each play are not exactly equal!

We all know (or have been) the person who works out at the gym constantly, but doesn’t see much, if any, results.  This is because when it comes to healthy living, and especially if you are trying to attain or maintain a healthy weight, about 75% comes from proper nutrition, and only 25% comes from exercise. So when a person works really hard at the gym, but then goes home and does not eat clean, that person will not see the results that he or she could really attain.

“You can’t out exercise a bad diet”

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Now, we do not want you to think that exercise is useless, because it definitely is not! We understand and appreciate that for many, exercising is the catalyst that gets people to start thinking about their nutrition.  But you definitely want to think about what it is that you are really putting into your body.  If you were to only eat clean and not workout, you would actually be able to maintain a healthier weight and lifestyle compared to someone who only worked out!

Since we ourselves promote an overall healthy lifestyle, we of course believe that you should complement your nutrition with exercise (both cardio and weight resistance trainings), because when you eat clean, you are able to reveal all of the hard work that you have been putting in through exercise!

Want to complement your workouts with proper nutrition and great recipes? Join our Lifetime Plan here and receive a nutrition break down, when to eat, what to eat, weekly meal plan options, and hundreds of clean recipes to choose from (including dessert)!

 

Being Healthy is Too Expensive

Being healthy is just so expensive.  You have to buy all of these organic products and fresh produce, so you spend so much more money, right? Well, no! We actually hear this on a WEEKLY basis from people, and it kills us!

So why is it that everyone thinks being healthy is so expensive?

When you eat healthier, chances are you are cooking for yourself more and eating out less. This means your weekly grocery bill might be quite a bit higher than before. However, if you add up all the extra meals you were purchasing throughout the week (especially if you order out lunch), it is likely that your cost was much higher when you weren’t making all those healthy meals at home. Ultimately, we think what scares people is seeing a large number at once, versus smaller food bills throughout the week.

What can be done to help control my weekly grocery bills?

For dry goods such as oats or nuts, try going with store brands. Some stores even sell some of these items in bulk or in bins where you can scoop out what you need by the pound. We were shocked to find out the difference in price in going with store brands on certain items.

For produce, try checking out your local farmers’ market when in season. Not only do you get fresh local produce, but it often costs less. If you don’t have access to a farmers’ market, try buying produce that is in season as it tends to cost less.

But what if I do these things, and being healthy still seems expensive?

One of our friends always likes to say “Wouldn’t you rather spend money on being healthy now versus paying health bills for all of your ailments and hospital visits later in life?” We couldn’t agree more! Living a healthy lifestyle is an investment in yourself that will pay off for a lifetime.

We all know someone in our life who did not take this approach and has suffered illnesses that could have been prevented, or at the very least, less severe if they had just taken better care of themselves. Does that mean that we never indulge? No, of course not! Because as far as we know, we have one life, and we want to enjoy it! But on that same note, we also want to make sure that the life we live can be as long and healthy as possible!

Making your health a priority

Lastly, we have put together a list of some popular and well known products that people spend money on, and we wanted to compare the price to our own Lifetime Guide, which is $99. Please note that we are in no way shaming any of the products listed below, especially the fitness and health products since we appreciate that they help motivate people to become healthy, but the cost is the cost.  Ultimately, it comes down to whether or not you are willing to make your health a priority!

As a reminder and comparison note, our Lifetime Guide includes a whole nutrition breakdown of how much to eat, when to eat, and what to eat. It also includes over 275 recipes (including “on-the-go” meals), weekly grocery lists, weekly meal prep help, sample weeks planned out for you, and of course, LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP so you never have to pay for another update to our guide (we update twice a year to keep recipes fresh and information up to date). 

Things that cost $99 or more:
  • Not even a full year at a gym! Yes, even the cheapest gyms will run you over $99 a year (average cost of a gym membership is $58 per month)!
  • Amazon Prime – $99 per year
  • Tablet/iPad – Anywhere from $250 – $700+ and warranties are one year
  • A night out at a nice restaurant – it’s a fun night and sometimes needed, but it lasts for just one night
  • Average cup of coffee per 5 day work week at $3.25 = Not even a full two months worth of coffee! This average was also based on one regular cup of coffee and does not include any special add-ons or lattes, etc. Reports show that Americans can actually spend upwards of $1,000 per year on buying coffee out!
  • About 5 months of the cheapest Weight Watchers plan
  • Not even a 30 day supply of Shakeology ($129.95 for 30 days)

This list is not meant to make you think we never want you to go out again or indulge on anything! Rather, it is simply to help put the cost of your health and nutrition into perspective. That is why we work hard to provide you with what you need to be successful and help you to eat whole and delicious foods, all while keeping the cost affordable! You do not need any gimmicks – just the willingness to go for it! So, are you willing to add your health to your list of priorities?

 

You Can Have Your Cake and Eat it Too!

There are so many diets and programs out there that tell you to not eat any carbs, that chocolate is the devil, that you must count every calorie, and that absolutely no alcohol is allowed! We understand and recognize that many people have been able to kickstart their health journeys with these programs, which is always an excellent thing, but the problem is that many of these diets tend to be short-term fixes and are more difficult to sustain.

We have actually done A LOT of fad diets!  We would see changes in the beginning, but then after some time, we would end up binging and feeling awful because we had been depriving ourselves.  However, the blessing of doing these diets is that they motivated us that much more to create a sustainable lifestyle plan that not only we could get on board with, but that others could enjoy as well!

We actually hate the word “diet” because although a diet can mean a way of eating, it has a negative connotation that you are cutting back on eating! Even our friends and family members will say, “why are you dieting, you guys are skinny”?  Our response to them is, “why does the fact that we are eating a piece of salmon have to mean we are on a diet?”  We don’t ever want you to view our plan as a temporary fix.  We want to help motivate you to make an overall lifestyle change and to be able to sustain those changes.  Whether that means you want to lose weight, gain weight, tone, lose baby weight, have healthier skin and hair, feel happy, improve emotional health, etc., we want to help you get there!

The best part? We don’t cut out carbs, we don’t think chocolate is the devil, we don’t count calories, and we don’t cut out alcohol.  Does that mean that we shove our face with these things all day every day? Of course not! But after trying so many different diets and ways of eating, we finally just started cutting out processed foods, eating more natural fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.  Oh, and we now enjoy a glass of wine or two every week and even break off some dark chocolate or bake up some treats.  Since we do not cut any of these items out completely, we do not feel deprived and never feel like we need to hoard treats when we get them. In fact, you may be surprised how much you actually get to eat on our plan! It’s not about eating as little as possible. It’s about eating whole and delicious foods and knowing what and when to eat! So check out our plans here – you’ll find that we have a cake recipe that you can bake and eat too!

David’s Healthy Homemade Granola Recipe

Granola is a very popular snack and topping to use, but it can be extremely unhealthy depending on what you buy and what is added! That is why David started making his own granola using natural ingredients and sweeteners, in order to bring you a healthier snack.  Scoop 1/4 cup of this granola onto yogurt, make a parfait, or add on top of some oatmeal for a little crunch.

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David's Homemade Granola

  • Servings: 1 large batch, approx. 36 1/4 cup servings
  • Difficulty: easy
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 Ingredients:
-½ cup 100% pure maple syrup
-4 teaspoons vanilla extract
-½ teaspoon salt
-½ cup melted coconut oil
-5 cups old fashioned rolled oats (do not use instant/quick oats)
-2 cups raw almonds, slivered or 2 cups of dry roasted peanuts (or 1 cup of each)

Optional:
-can substitute 1 cup of the nuts for 1 cup of a seed, like pumpkin seeds

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  To help the parchment paper stay down, you can grease the pan and then place the parchment on top.  Set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together the syrup, extract, and salt.  Then whisk in the coconut oil. Fold in the oats, almonds, and other nuts (if using), until all of the oats and nuts are coated.

Spread the oat mixture out evenly in a thin layer on the parchment lined baking pan.  Using a spatula, press the mixture down firmly to help “pack” it all into place on the pan.  Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, or until golden brown, and make sure to rotate the pan halfway through cooking.  Let cook on a wire rack for an hour. Once cooled, break the granola into pieces and store in bell jars or an air-tight container. 

Healthy Snack: Ants on a Log!

Remember when you were a kid and your parents tried getting you to eat your veggies? Well we are brining back a childhood classic with Ants on a Log! This quick and easy snack is healthy, delicious, and will give you a trip down memory lane! This is also an easy snack to prepare ahead of time so you can grab and go when you are in a hurry!

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Teddies is one of our favorite natural peanut butters, but you can even make your own but processing peanuts until smooth!

Ants on a Log

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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 Ingredients:
-2 to 3 stalks celery, sliced
-2 tablespoons smooth, unsalted peanut butter
-¼ cup dried fruit of choice (i.e. raisins)

Directions:
Slice celery sticks and spread peanut butter into the hollow cavity. Top with dried fruit and enjoy! 

Want more healthy snacks? Check out more recipes here.