Potassium’s Goodness

IMG_7387Our last Truce blog was on balancing your body’s pH level, which is it’s acid-alkaline balance, and we discussed this ideally should be slightly alkaline.  This brings me to the importance of potassium in our diets, as it’s the job of this important mineral to neutralize acids in our body.  Low potassium can mean the body becomes too acidic, and as we know, acidity can lead to a poorer quality of life (poor digestion, impaired cognitives abilities, sleep problems, frequently feeling tired, joint pain and body aches . . the list goes on).  Fruits and vegetables have built-in acid-neutralizers but meats, dairy, and most grains do not, which is where the importance of potassium comes in.  Also given that the Standard American Diet is heavy on the meats, dairy and grains and weak on fruits and vegetables, potassium is extra critical.

Potassium is an important electrolyte and the third most abundant mineral in the body.  Its levels are controlled by the kidneys and it’s found in virtually all cells of the body.  In addition to its importance in balancing pH, it’s the main compound that interacts with sodium to perform numerous important functions, especially balancing fluids and mineral levels in the body.  It also regulates heartbeat rhythms and nerve impulses, allows muscles to contract, prevents muscle aches, supports digestive health and boosts energy levels.

The issue . . . many adults don’t even get half the recommended potassium they should!  The recommended daily amount for adults is 4.7 grams/day (and this can vary depending on activity level and age), yet according to USDA surveys we are getting on average less than half of this amount.  The solution . . . increase your intake naturally from whole foods rich in potassium. Potassium is often added to processed foods (like cereal, grains, bread, and some sports drinks) but synthetic potassium isn’t absorbed as well as potassium from whole foods, and therefore it’s not able to perform the functions potassium should be performing in the body.  It’s also not recommended to supplement with potassium.  This is done only in extreme cases and under guidance as high potassium levels can cause complications as well.  In a healthy individual with normal kidney function, excess potassium obtained from whole foods is excreted in the urine and isn’t an issue.  So opt for whole foods!  Here are some top potassium-rich choices:  white beans, dark leafy greens, avocado, coconut, sweet potato, bananas, salmon, broccoli, grapefruit, raw milk, sardines, peas and grass-fed beef.  There are loads of others, but as you can see, the point is that if you’re eating a wide variety of whole foods, you’re bound to get adequate potassium levels.

We have plenty of options at Truce to help you get your potassium from amazing whole food sources.  Check out our smoothie choices, all of which have bananas and two of which are made with coconut milk.  Our Bey-Green Smoothie even has dark leafy greens included but you can add this option to any of them!  When a customer comes in looking for a juice after working out, a Cocobombe, made with the coconut water and coconut meat of young Thai coconuts, is one of my first recommendations.  Potassium is lost during exercise so going for a high-potassium option like a Cocobombe helps to replace potassium levels, rehydrate, and rebalance minerals important for growth and maintenance of muscles and bones.  And try any of our Green juices that include dark potassium-rich leafy greens, such as Hardcore, Easy, Morning and Glow.  Bananas are an important ingredient in our popular Acai Bowls, and our Isles and Caesar salads, built on organic leafy kale leaves, are amazing options as well.  You can opt to add the avocado for an extra boost!

As you can see, whether if it’s with us or elsewhere, it’s easy enough to get optimal amounts of potassium as long as your eating a good variety of whole foods with plenty of fruits and vegetables.  Fortunately, potassium is absorbed well by the average healthy adult, so the issue isn’t so much using the potassium once it’s in our bodies, it’s making sure we’re taking in enough foods naturally rich in potassium.  Eat food that looks like food and a good variety of it, and you’ll be on the right path to a healthy vibrant life.:)

For more information on potassium and daily intake recommendations, I like Dr. Axe’s article found here: https://draxe.com/low-potassium/

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A Balanced pH

IMG_7341We’re so happy to be offering alkaline water at Truce and we do so knowing the importance of balancing your body’s pH.  Why is this so important for your health?  Disease, whether mild or severe, can’t take root in a body with balanced pH.  Given what we’re bombarded with on a daily basis, whether it be from stress, environmental toxins, or what we ingest, bringing our body back to optimal pH requires a conscious effort.

To explain first, the pH (short for “potential of hydrogen”) of our body is essentially the measure of alkalinity or acidity of our body’s fluids and tissues and it’s measured on a scale from 0 to 14, with the strongest acidity being 0, neutral being 7, and strongest alkalinity being 14.  Different organs in our body have different pH’s and for good purpose.  For example, we want our stomach to be slightly acidic so that it can properly break down our food.  But overall, the optimal pH for our body is slightly alkaline, at about a 7.365.

Though there are many sources of acidity and toxicity in our lives, diet is the main culprit.  If you’re eating a typical western diet heavy on salt, dairy, animal protein, processed foods, alcohol, and grains (yes, even all grains are acidic), and bringing in very little fruit and vegetables, then you’re in need of a good re-balance.  Fruit and vegetables contain potassium which buffers acidity, but unfortunately the general population is very low on these foods and therefore potassium (I see a future blog coming on the importance of potassium!).  Even fruit that is acidic in nature, like lemons, tomatoes and grapefruit, are actually digested alkaline by our bodies and contribute to an alkaline environment.

I’m not saying we should stay away from all acidic foods.  We just need a conscious balance.  Nuts and eggs, for example, are acidic but have very important nutrients for us.  It’s just a matter of recognizing whether your diet is largely acidic, sticking to eating food that looks like food (aka not processed!), and incorporating more alkaline food into your diet.  Fruits and vegetables are alkaline forming, especially in raw form, like in juices.

On top of our raw alkaline juices at Truce, we incorporate alkaline water into our cashew milks and charcoal lemonades, and also offer it bottled at a 9.0 pH.   In my opinion, a good quality water is so important because the body IS largely water (70-80%). On top of that, blood is largely water (about 92%)! So therefore, getting the best water seems very crucial to me. Alkaline water is important for cleansing, hydrating and balancing our body, as well as providing antioxidants (which help fight free radicals from damaging the body).  Most water, especially tap and purified bottled water, are acidic and void of antioxidants.

There’s no miracle water or single food that cures everything, but given that what we ingest becomes our bodies on a cellular level, I believe in making it the best quality, and of course at Truce, that is what we’re all about offering.  Given that 70% of the immune system is in the digestive tract, food and a healthy digestive system is key in preventing as well treating disease.  Remember that disease cannot thrive in an alkaline state.  Acidity, whether it be from our water, food, stress level, the products we use, or what we breath in, leaches minerals from our bones and tissues.  Returning to an alkaline state and making a conscious effort to maintain this balance is a crucial key to our health!

Lovin’ Coconut

IMG_7135We love to take care of you at Truce by giving your body nutrition with a purpose, and one way we do that is by incorporating coconut, in its many forms, into our drinks and food.  Whether it’s our beloved and freshly prepared Cocobombe made from the coconut meat and coconut water of young Thailand coconuts, our coconut macaroons, or our smoothies made with creamy unsweetened coconut milk, we’ve got your taste buds and your health covered.  In Sanskrit, coconuts are called “kalpa vriksha”, which means “tree which gives all that is necessary for living”.  And you’ll see why in the following paragraphs.

Coconut water (used in our Cocobombe along with the scooped out “meat”) has been used in tropical countries for centuries to not only hydrate but to treat a variety of health conditions.  Its high electrolyte content has given it the name as “nature’s sport drink” (and a much healthier, natural, lower sugar option than other sports drinks on the market)!  It’s also very detoxifying since coconut water has a similar electrolyte profile to our blood, making it ideal for replacing fluids and removing toxins.  The primary nutrient in coconut water is the electrolyte potassium, of which many of us are low on, and which specifically counteracts some of the negative effects of a high sodium processed diet that unfortunately is quit common.  Two other important electrolytes coconut water contains are calcium and magnesium.  These two nutrients work together in our bodies to help maintain muscle relaxation, including our heart muscle, and help with the formation of serotonin, the “feel good” hormone.

Coconut meat and coconut milk, which is extracted from the meat, are more dense and higher in fat, but I like to clarify that it’s high in GOOD fats.  For a long time, I feel like the high fat content of coconut (meat, milk and oil) got a bad rap, but the medium chain fatty acids of the saturated fat in coconut are very good for you.  They are used by our brain (which is primarily made up of fat and relies on a steady stream of it) without going through the digestive tract, so easily accessed by the body.  As well, 50 percent of the fat is lauric acid, which has antibacterial and antiviral properties and also improves cholesterol levels. So the saturated fat in coconuts actually lowers cholesterol levels, improves blood pressure and helps with overall heart health. Just to top it off, the fat in coconut helps slow the rate at which sugar is released into the bloodstream, better controlling insulin levels and preventing a “sugar high”.  The healthy fats in coconut meat and milk are just one part of it.  It’s also high in potassium, calcium and magnesium, like coconut water, as well as iron, manganese and selenium.

If that doesn’t get you running for a coconut, maybe the fact that it’s just a “safe” food for anyone will. Because it’s completely free from dairy, lactose, soy, nuts or grains, it’s a good option for anyone with allergies or intolerances to these foods.  Nutritious, delicious and safe rolled into one….you can’t beat that!   So whether it’s our hydrating Cocobombe, our snacky coconut macaroons, or our more filling coconut milk smoothies, you really can’t go wrong.  Satisfy a craving and get a nutritional boost at the same time. 🙂

 

Mid-Summer Reboot

IMG_7141Hard to believe it’s mid-summer already!  Fourth of July festivities, summer vacations and weekend get-aways have been gratefully enjoyed, with ideally more in the works to take advantage of this beautiful season before it’s back-to-school and/or back-to-the-grind. I’ve heard more than a few times, “I started out so well . . . “, in the store, so I’m thinking this might be a perfect time for us all to re-evaluate where we are with our health and what we put into our body.  Have you maybe indulged more than usual, or have those back-yard barbecue knocked you off-course one too many times?  It’s all good, happens to us all, but now could be the perfect time to re-start your summer so that you go into Fall feeling strong.  For some, it may be picking back up their workout routine that has gotten pushed to the side in exchange for summer relaxing.  For others, it might be getting back to eating foods that work for them and re-building that self-control they know they have, they just have to find again.

A mid-summer cleanse could be a great way to re-boot your health in summer.  And it seems we’re not the only ones who think so, as we see daily cleanse orders rise!  A cleanse can be one day, two days, three days, or even more depending on the individual.  Each option is beneficial and it really depends on what you’re looking for.  If you’re looking to just get back on-track and lighten up for a day while you get the fridge full of healthy fruits and vegetables, then a one or two day cleanse might be just enough.  If you’re really feeling like you need to let your digestive system rest and repair (you can be honest with yourself just how much you feel you’ve indulged!), then you might take a look at a 3-day cleanse option.  The idea behind a juice cleanse is that the nutrition packed into the juices is readily taken up into the blood stream, allowing the gut to rest and the body to repair.  Besides allowing you a chance to reset your eating habits, most also experience increased energy, mental clarity, stress reduction, clearer skin and brighter eyes, and a better functioning digestive system by the end of their cleanse.

At Truce, we have 3 different cleanse options, 2 of which are made of entirely juices for the day and comprise of 6 juices per day.  Our “Take it Easy” option contains more fruit and is usually recommended if you’re new to juicing, while our “Make a Truce” option contains more greens and is usually for those that juice more regularly.  Our third option is the “Complete Cleanse”, which includes 3 juices, a salad and a soup.  This is a great option if you’re just not sure you can handle a day of only liquids! It’s also wonderful for easing-in or easing-off of one of our other cleanses that’s juice-only.

Regardless of what you choose, if you’re looking to push the reset button, you can’t go wrong with a cleanse.  We are happy to guide you in picking the best option for you, so don’t hesitate to stop in or give a call.  Your body, mind and spirit will be grateful for it!

Homemade Cinnamon Walnut Milk!

imageThis was super easy and delicious, even my 3-year old liked it (she’s super picky so I always feel good when somethi she super picky so I always feel good when I press but approval no passes her tastebud-approval)!  Here’s my recipe, which makes about 16oz of walnut milk:

Soak one cup of raw (preferably organic) walnuts in a glass bowl overnight.  Use enough water to cover the walnuts plus a little extra (I used 3 cups).  In the morning,  drain and rinse the walnuts, then place them in a blender and add 3 cups of filtered water  and two cinnamon sticks. Blend on high for about a minute or until you feel the cinnamon sticks and walnuts are finely ground.  Strain the liquid through a nut milk bag  (this can be purchased cheaply online or at most health food stores and organic grocery stores).  Use a large glass bowl to catch the liquid and squeeze every bit out of the nut milk bag. Store in a tight container, preferably a glass jar, in the fridge. So easy, healthy, and delicious!

Apple Cider Vinegar, a magical tonic

IMG_6989I truly feel like apple cider vinegar is a “multipurpose” solution, the go-to for preventing a slew of illnesses and conditions as well as part of any good protocol for healing.  And it just so happens to be part of our unique and tasty Grapefruit-Aloe-Apple Cider Vinegar shot down at Truce.  We know what your body needs, and your tastebuds want! In this article, I’ll give the reasons why apple cider vinegar is just so amazing as well as different ways that you can include it in your diet.

Because of its acidic profile, apple cider vinegar (ACV from now on) is a major germ-buster.  It’s super anti-microbial and antibacterial. I’m sure you can see now why it’s a remedy for so many things . . . a perfect sanitizer within and without the body!  ACV is amazing if you have a cold with a lot of congestion, as the ACV helps break up mucus. As well, it’s shown to be beneficial in helping and eliminating heartburn and acid reflux.  This is pretty major, as there are so many people with this uncomfortable condition these days.  Heartburn and acid reflux are due to too LITTLE acid in the stomache.  To improve the acid profile in your stomach and aid with digestion, take a tablespoon of ACV mixed with water, or take it in a shot like we have at Truce.  This is especially recommended before eating if you suffer from heartburn and acid reflux, indigestion, or if you know you’re going to be eating some pretty heavy foods.

ACV taken on its own can be a little rough . . it tastes like, well vinegar.  But mixed with water and a little honey or stevia makes it an easy mixture.  We use in-house freshly squeezed organic grapefruit juice with our ACV, a nice combo not only for taste but for added health benefits.  Grapefruit juice is high in vitamin C, strengthening our immune systems.  It also has a high enzyme profile, low calorie count, and is super hydrating given its high water content.  For an extra vitamin boost, we also add aloe vera juice to our shot.  Aloe is high in vitamins A, B-12, C, and E, as well as folic acid which boosts the immune system.  It’s also an anti-inflammatory, and like its counterparts in the shot, high in antioxidants, both of which promote healing from the inside out.

What is apple cider vinegar exactly?  When you crush an apple with stem, skin and seeds intact, you create what is called apple must. The must then goes through fermentation which turns the sugar in the apple into alcohol.  The alcohol is then turned into acetic acid during oxygenation, given ACV the health benefits it’s known for.   It’s important that the ACV is also organic, raw, unfiltered and unpasteurized.  Non-organic apples contain many pesticides and GMOs.  Using a raw ACV means that is hasn’t gone through any filtration or chemical process, which some brands do to make it look “clear and pretty” in the bottle, but which robs it of its beneficial nutrients.  You want unfiltered and “with the mother”, which means there may be some floaty things in the bottom of the bottle but this is the good stuff, produced from the fermentation process and containing the live bacteria and enzymes that make it so powerful.  You also want unpasteurized as pasteurizing kills the live and powerfully beneficial bacteria. We incorporate all these guidelines in choosing the ACV to use in our shots.

There are loads of other uses and benefits of apple cider vinegar.  It’s useful in something so small as curing annoying hiccups and sore throats, and in something so big as helping to prevent heart disease.  ACV protects from arterial damage and oxidation, which is the main risk with high cholesterol and heart disease.  If you’re looking to loose a few pounds, ACV is great to include, as its acidic profile helps to suppress appetite, increase metabolism and reduce water retention.  ACV is high in antioxidants, which helps fight unwanted “things” (aka free radicals) in your body, boosting your immune system and body’s ability to ward off sickness.  Because it’s such a germ-fighter, it’s also great for the mouth and I use it in making my own mouthwash. It helps remove stains, whiten teeth, and kill bacteria.

As you can see, plenty of reasons to include ACV into your daily regime, so stop in and check out our unique shot using this magical tonic!

 

 

The Flying Trapeze

IMG_6224“Sometimes I feel that my life is a series of trapeze swings. I’m either hanging on to a trapeze bar swinging along or, for a few moments in my life, I’m hurtling across space in between trapeze bars.

Most of the time, I spend my life hanging on for dear life to the trapeze- bar-of-the-moment. It carries me along at a certain steady rate of swing and I have the feeling that I’m in control of my life. I know most of the right questions and even some of the answers.

But, every once in a while as I’m merrily (or even not-so-merrily) swinging along, I look out ahead of me into the distance and what do I see?  I see another trapeze bar swinging toward me. It’s empty and I know, in that place in me that knows, that this new trapeze bar has my name on it. It is my next step, my growth, my aliveness coming to get me. In my heart-of-hearts I know that, for me to grow, I must release my grip on this present, well-known bar and move to the new one.

Each time it happens to me I hope (no, I pray) that I won’t have to let go of my old bar completely before I grab the new one. But in my knowing place, I know that I must totally release my grasp on my old bar and, for some moment in time, I must hurtle across space before I can grab onto the new bar.

Each time, I am filled with terror. It doesn’t matter that in all my previous hurtles across the void of unknowing I have always made it. I am each time afraid that I will miss, that I will be crushed on unseen rocks in the bottomless chasm between bars. I do it anyway. Perhaps this is the essence of what the mystics call the faith experience. No guarantees, no net, no insurance policy, but you do it anyway because somehow to keep hanging on to that old bar is no longer on the list of alternatives. So, for an eternity that can last a microsecond or a thousand lifetimes, I soar across the dark void of ‘the past is gone, the future is not yet here.’ It’s called ‘transition.’ I have come to believe that this transition is the only place where real change occurs. I mean real change, not the pseudo-change that only lasts until the next time my old buttons get punched….I have a sneaking suspicion that the transition zone is the only real thing and the bars are illusions we dream up to avoid the void where the real change, the real growth, occurs for us….Yes, with all the pain and fear and feelings of being out of control that can (but not necessarily) accompany transitions, they are still the most alive, most growth-filled, passionate, expansive moments in our lives.

So, transformation of fear may have nothing to do with making fear go away but rather with giving ourselves permission to ‘hang-out’ in the transition between trapezes. Transforming our need to grab that new bar, any bar, is allowing ourselves to dwell in the only place where change really happens.

It can be terrifying.

It can also be enlightening in the true sense of the word.

Hurtling through the void, we just may learn how to fly.”

Excerpted from “Warriors of the Heart”, by Danaan Parry

Ginger-Turmeric, A Powerful Duo

IMG_6884Talk about a dosage of “wellness”, this Ginger-Turmeric shot is it!  This is an amazing anti-inflammatory, antioxidant combo that’s sure to turn on your body’s natural defenses . . . and take your breath away for just a bit.  The duo packs a powerful punch for sure.  The ginger and turmeric roots are juiced together and then combined with a little lemon, honey and cayenne to up the anti-bacterial and digestive benefits even more.  Let’s break down the amazingness behind these powerhouse roots.

Ginger, ahhh one of my favorite spices and exactly for that reason, for the spiciness it brings to the table.  Or shot in this case.  It has an amazing power to stimulate digestion by warming the digestive tract, making it more ready to receive and digest what you eat.  This stimulating/warming effect is why its also useful for also relieving indigestion.  You’ll feel its warmth running down your body and settling in your stomach after tipping one of these shots back!  It’s warming properties also help the body detox by removing toxins and fighting bacteria and free radicals.  Ginger is also a strong anti-inflammatory.  Inflammation is part of any disease, so hence the importance of reducing any signs of inflammation in our body.  And as if that’s not enough, it’s well-known for relieving nausea related to motion-sickness, pregnancy and chemotherapy.

Turmeric can more commonly be found in its dried powdered form than its root form.  The powdered turmeric is one of the key ingredients used in making curry powder found in Asian dishes.  At Truce, we use the roots.  Curcumin, which is a substance in turmeric that gives the root and powder its gold pigment, is said to be one of the most anti-cancer nutrients studied today.  It’s a very strong antioxidant, but the unique thing about its antioxidant strength is that it not only neutralizes free radicals (meaning it basically blocks them directly from causing damage in the body), but it also stimulates the body’s OWN antioxidant enzymes.  Therefore, it’s like a 2-in-1 defense for the body, fighting disease while stimulating the body to do so also!  Curcumin also targets multiple steps in the inflammatory pathway, making it a very strong anti-inflammatory nutrient.  To sum it up, turmeric/curcumin is good in both preventing and treating illness!  An interesting historical side note . . . the use of turmeric can actually be dated back to 3,000 BC, and to give perspective on just how prized and highly sought-after a spice it was, it is thought that the “gold, frankincense, and myrrh” that the Bible says Jesus was given was actually “turmeric, frankincense and myrrh”.

As I said in the beginning, it’s “wellness in a bottle”.  A small but loaded bottle.  Take it straight up like the boss you are, or drop it in one of our juices to “diffuse” its power a bit.  Enjoy!

P.S. I recommend taking this shot in the morning or early afternoon, as the turmeric gives a natural energy boost.  Bottoms up!

 

The “Sunshine” Vitamin for Our Health!

IMG_4453The role of Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin”, in our bodies has become an important topic as there’s now evidence that Vitamin D deficiency is the most common medical condition in the world.  Crazy, right?! It’s estimated that 50% to 70%  of children and adults in the world are Vitamin D deficient.  In the past, I always either avoided the sun or covered my body repeatedly with sunscreen.  Now I realize the extreme importance of Vitamin D in our health, and that those beautiful rays the sun blesses us with aren’t something to avoid.  They’re just that . . . blessings for us to enjoy and soak up, of course in a healthy amount.  What a relief, to be honest, because it’s now so calming and balancing for me to be out in the sunshine without the stress of thinking “I shouldn’t be out here, this is so bad for my skin”.  And avoiding a good deal of the hassle of putting sunscreen on me, much less my 3-year old, is awesome!  So how much is too much sun, what is the effect of sunscreen regarding Vitamin D and are health, and how much should we receive?  All worthy considerations with summer here now.  And I know this is an important question for parents regarding their children.  The last thing we want for our children is to be the “reason” that our kids get a sunburn.  Nor do we as adults want leathery skin down the road!  But I think it’s good to be aware of the importance of receiving Vitamin D.  In this article I’ll do a short run-down of the benefits of Vitamin D, sources of receiving it, the low-down on sunscreens, the truth about its relation to skin cancer, and ideal levels we should be receiving.

According to Dr. Michael Holick, director of the Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratory and Director of the Bone and Health Care Clinic at Boston University School of Medicine, Vitamin D plays a critical role in reducing the risk of numerous diseases, as well as improving the immune system and improving and reducing the risk of having infectious diseases.  Most know of its role in helping the absorption of calcium, which helps maintain strong bones.  Without adequate Vitamin D, our bodies absorb only about 10-15% of dietary calcium, whereas with adequate amounts our body takes up 30-40%.  The same goes with phosphorous, which as well plays a critical role in skeletal strength.  With low Vitamin D, the body absorbs about 60% of phosphorous,whereas with adequate amounts it absorbs about 80%.  The list of other related illness due to low Vitamin D are: common cancers, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, vascular disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, influenza, and more, including having an effect on healthy pregnancy and birth.  Having the optimal amount, which I’ll get to later, of Vitamin D significantly reduces the risk of getting these diseases.  I could go on and on with studies and statistics, and the research behind this but that will take longer than I’ve set aside for this article and I really want to get to the use of sunscreens and optimal dosage of Vitamin D.  But for further information, check out Dr. Holick’s website, http://www.drholick.com, or his book The Vitamin D Solution.  As well, The Truth About Cancer at http://www.thetruthaboutcancer.com has amazing info on Vitamin D.

According the research done and presented in The Truth About Cancer, sunscreens actually INCREASE the risk of cancer because they filter out the UVB rays, which is exactly what our bodies use to convert to Vitamin D and protect us from cancer.  Sunscreens don’t however filter out UVA rays, which cause cancer.  It turns out, according to Dr. Holick, that excessive exposure to sunlight (sunburning experiences) increases the risk of non-melanoma skin cancer, which is easy to detect and easy to treat.  Most melanomas, the most serious form of skin cancer, occurs on the LEAST sun exposed areas.  So something to consider the next time you bath yourself in sunblock before even going outside to receive some of those delicious rays the sun gives us!

Unlike popular belief, we actually can’t become Vitamin D intoxicated from the sun.  Excess Vitamin D produced in the skin is rapidly degraded by the sun.  That doesn’t mean I’m encouraging excess exposure, as it’s still a sunburn and uncomfortable for one, and yes, leads to leathery skin and other skin issues for another!  Here is my sunshine-sunscreen regime.  I use a natural sunscreen on myself and my daughter, but only after we’ve had some exposure to the rays . . and this is true even when we lived in Costa Rica.  Depending on the time of day and what latitude I am, I aim for 10 to 30 minutes of sun exposure before putting on sunscreen.  And if I can find shade, I do that instead of sunscreen, and use a long sleeve shirt and hat.  Why put extra ingredients on our skin if we don’t have to?  I only use zinc-based natural sunscreens and often make mine at home.

When I know that my daughter and I are receiving adequate sunshine, as in during the summer months or while vacationing in sunny areas in the winter, I don’t worry about supplementation.  This is when we can receive at least 10 minutes of direct sunshine a day, on average.  On in-door days when it’s cold or rainy outside, especially day after day, I make sure we’re supplementing, and some people depending on where they live, their outdoor activity and health condition may need constant supplementation.  For supplementing, according to Dr. Holick, children should be receiving at least 400 units of Vitamin D a day, and up to 1,000 units, in his opinion is completely safe.  And adults should be receiving 2,000 units a day at least.

Perhaps Schulz says it all in his Peanuts character where it’s summer in San Diego and Linus gets a note from his mom saying, “Are you sitting in the sun?  I hope so. A little sun is good, as long as we don’t overdo it.  Perhaps 10 minutes a day.  This time of year is about right.”  She nailed the truth!  I hope this article helps you as you head into the sunny summer months.  Get out there and get a HEALHTY dosage of sunshine!

 

 

 

Why Activated Charcoal?

image“Why charcoal?” is a question that comes up often at Truce Juicery when customers see our Charcoal Lemonade.  Whether they’re a hard-core juicer or newbie, they always are intrigued and get into it, and are even more surprised to find out . . “it tastes like lemonade”.  Though it certainly takes on the dark grey color of charcoal, Truce Charcoal Lemonade tastes exactly like the freshly-juiced ingredients that go into it: lemons, apples and ginger. Already amazing cleansers for the body, it takes on an added punch with the activated charcoal.  Activated charcoal traps toxins and chemicals in the body and allows them to be flushed out. Much better than being reabsorbed, right?  It works by Adsorption in the body, not Absorption.  Absorption in the body involves elements being soaked up into the blood stream, whereas adsorption is when chemicals bind to a surface . . . in this case, the millions of tiny pores of activated charcoal. The very porous surface of activated charcoal has a negative electric charge that causes positively charged particles to attach to it, such as toxins and gas-forming chemicals.  Let’s be clear, we’re not talking about the same charcoal you use in your grill to barbecue chicken (which is loaded with toxins and chemicals . . . definitely not an equal substitute!).  This is activated charcoal, which has super fine grains and is made from coconut shells or other natural sources such as wood species.  A good quality activated charcoal will state it’s specific source.

Besides being part of our unique juice, activated charcoal has multiple other uses and benefits.  My two favorite that I use it for are for whitening teeth and as a face mask.  For teeth whitening, it’s super simple . . . just wet your toothbrush and dip it into the powdered activated charcoal, brush as normal focusing more on stained areas, then rinse well until the water you rinse with is running clear.  Do this a few times a week.  For a face mask, I use the recipe I found on Dr. Josh Axe’s site (which I’ll state below) and love it.  I mix 1 capsule of activated charcoal powder (maybe 1/2 to a full teaspoon) with aloe vera gel, smooth on my face and let dry, then rinse off.  I do this once a week or so when I just feel my skin needs an extra cleanse!  Just a note, charcoal stains fabric and grout!  So make sure you’re keeping it on your skin or in the sink where it can be washed.  As well, back to the teeth whitening . . it could also stain caps or crowns, so just be aware if you have these and are using it.

Check out Dr. Axe’s site for the top 10 uses and benefits of charcoal. He’s a valuable resource when it comes to food as medicine.  http://draxe.com/activated-charcoal-uses.  And in the meantime, stop in for a Truce Charcoal Lemonade to see what it’s about.:)