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Chocolate for your loved one

Giving chocolate to your loved one for Valentines Day is an old tradition. But why do we associate chocolate with love and what are health benefits of eating it?

Benefits of chocolate.

1. It improves our life.  Anandamide is the chemical in chocolate that quickly activates dopamine receptors in the brain which temporarily blocks feelings of pain and depression and provides the sense of wellbeing or “high”.

2. Substitutes for love.  It delivers a potent neurotransmitter called phenylethylamine, which is more commonly known as the “love drug.” That is why people crave chocolate when love is missing in there lives.

3. Makes us happy.  Cacao also has tryptophan – a precursor to the mood-stabilizing neurotransmitter serotonin.

4. Reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems. It has anti-clotting, blood-thinning properties that work in a similar way to aspirin which can improve blood flow and circulation.

5. Prevents cognitive decline. Cocoa’s flavonoids seems to make people feel more awake and alert and perform better. ( No wonder why my mom always gave me dark chocolate  when I took my tests).

6. It  is also and inflammation fighter due to resverathrol  presence. Eating dark chocolate is the most natural ways to reduce the inflammatory processes underlying the chronic, degenerative diseases.

7. Keeps cholesterol healthy. Naturally occurring polyphenols in cocoa, the fundamental component in chocolate, actually boost levels of HDL, the “good” cholesterol, while at the same time reducing the atherogenicity of so-called “bad” variety – LDL – by preventing its oxidation.

8. Increases energy. Chocolate contains caffeine, a stimulant that can help heighten physical energy and alertness, but studies also show that it can inhibit inflammation in the brain that causes migraines.

9. May reduce cravings for sweet, salty and fatty foods.

10. Increase insulin sensitivity and reduce risk of diabetes.
All those beneficial properties related to dark chocolate over 70%. My personal favorite is 85%

Caution!!!

1. Non-organic bars might contain GMO- soy product, such as lecithin!
2. Watch for amount of sugar!
3. Do not overeat!

As mentioned in Cleveland Clinic study:

“It’s important to remember the word moderation. There’s a measured and tested amount of chocolate – 6.7 grams a day (or one small square of chocolate two or three times a week) – that provides the best health benefits. While it undoubtedly comes as a pleasant surprise that chocolate is actually good for you, eating the right amount is crucial if you want it to be a benefit and not a liability.”

Keep all this information in mind  when you buy good quality chocolate for your Valentine.

If you would like to surprise you loved one and make chocolate yourself check my recipe from the forthcoming cookbook.

—–> GET RECIPE HERE <—–

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How to stay away from colds and flues this winter.

 

 

 

Winter is approaching us rapidly with cold temperature and busy Holiday time. Are you taking extra steps to stay away from colds and flues, prevent yourself from falling off the wagon of your healthy habits?  Yes, there are some people who believe that getting flu vaccine will give them protection in the winter and reduce number of sick days. But there are other folks, including myself, who prefer more holistic and natural preventive measures. Regardless, following few simple steps will help to you to improve the body ability to fight infection or to recover from any sickness faster.

  1. Keep your body warm. Make sure to cover your neck (thyroid gland area) and head (brain) when it is cold to keep warm energy flow in metabolic and temperature control areas.
  2. Eat and drink only warm or hot food and fluids. Any food or drink with lower that body temperature will activate stress respond and lower the immune system. Drinking warm or hot lemon water throughout the day will stimulate lymphatic system alongside the gastro-intestinal tract, which play a primary role in your defense mechanism.
  3. Allow your body to rest by utilizing stress management techniques, proper exercise and good quality of sleep.
  4. Utilize necessary supplements depending on your nutritional and lifestyle habits.
  5. Use food as medicine. Adding warm, sweet and spicy herbs and grounding, cooked root vegetables like squash, yam or pumpkin to your meal will make your body feel satisfied and balanced. Check this winter soup recipe here.
oxidative-stress

HOW TO DEAL WITH HOLIDAY STRESS IN A POSITIVE WAY ?

The holiday season can be a magical time for some people, while others have a tendency to stress out.

Stress is an inevitable part of everyone’s life.  Particularly during the holidays, you  spend extreme amount of money  in over-crowded shops, you tend to over-eat and drink a lot , you try to fit in last minute events in already over-booked calendar.  As a result, all this can put you over the edgeUnderstanding the following two facts about stress will help you deal with it in a positive way.

1. Stress is cumulative; it builds upon itself day after day.

2. Your ability to handle stress depends on how resilient you are at any particular time in your life. Resiliency factors are things that make life easier, like supportive people, good health, and positive thoughts. If resiliency factors are missing, than the same stressful event will knock you to your knees or worse yet, flat on your face.

How to fight the cumulative nature of stress and strengthen your resiliency factors:

1. Learn to relax. This DOES NOT include watching TV or taking a nap. Although in moderation, there are benefits to these activities.  What really works is training your body and mind to refocus and take a break from any situation. You can learn meditation, breathing exercises, visualization, journaling, progressive muscle relaxation, or yoga, and connect to your senses by using music, aromatherapy or a favorite soft blanket to help you relax. Everyday you can choose to make a conscious effort  to practice these relaxation tips for at least fifteen minutes.  Then you will breakdown the cumulative nature of stress and see the  considerable difference within one week.
2. Find out which situations, people, and things make you more stressed and come up with a plan of action. Be realistic with your personal expectations and don’t overwhelm yourself by concentrating on everything you need to do.  One step at a time.

3. Surround yourself with supportive people. Choose to limit your time around somebody who stress you out and try to emotionally distance yourself from situations that sabotage your good efforts for health.

4. Decide what you can control and what you can’t. If there are situations or people out of your control then continually remind yourself that it is wasted energy trying to make someone do what you want them to do, or trying to make something to be different then it is.

5. Choose to change the negative tapes playing in your head; replace “I can’t do this”, “I’m not smart”, or “I will fail” with “I can deal with challenges”,” I may have made mistakes in the past, but I am doing better”, or “I’m a hard worker”.

6. Most of your experience of stress has to do with your attitude and the way you perceive your life’s events or others. Here are some tips to help you maintain a stress-relieving attitude: positive affirmations, optimism, maintaining a sense of humor, using low of attraction, and letting go of anger.

7. Exercise, sleep and nourish your body in a healthy way. Physical activities release healthy chemicals ( endorphins) in your brain. Therefor, increasing your heart rate for at least 15 minutes a day, every day, is the single most effective thing your can do to fight stress. Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Eat right because your brain will not function properly if it is malnourished.

8. Everyday do something that you like to do and remind yourself who you are. Your life will be off balance unless you restore your sense of fun.  Harmonizing  your life will help you to be resilient to stress.

9. Don’t mask your stress with addiction forming drugs and alcohol.  Natural stress-relievers such as valerian root, chamomile and passion flowers work synergistically to help you regain control of your emotions. 

Start now in order to reduce and better manage your stress by using my effective tips, and enjoy the holidays in good health and happiness!
If you would like help and support for boosting your resiliency and for staying happy and healthy during holidays, schedule a free session with me
here

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7 Superfoods to Fight Cancer

There are so much evedence that what we eat matter. The food that we consume every day can kill us or heal us. Dr. Young S. Kim and her team of researchers of The National Cancer Institute of America in July/August 2012 concluded that a poor diet (too much glucose, bad fats, dairy, too much salt, too many refined and junk foods) could cause a cancer to regrow from the Cancer Stem Cells left behind after conventional treatment. Dr. Kim also concluded that certain natural compounds in foods could stop this regrowth. High level of beneficial natural compounds like vitamins and minerals makes it SUPERFOOD. There are few superfoods that can reverse or prevent cancers.

Green leafy vegetables

Green vegetables long with avocado, beans, carrots, apricots, pumpkins, and egg yolk will give you folic acid if your gut bacteria are strong.
This will help your DNA to replicate properly and protect it during radiotherapy.
400 micrograms is a recommended amount. Folate, biotin, choline and inositol, niacin and vitamin B12 are all B vitamins that help in the cancer fight. Niacin has been shown to kill cancer cells. Green vegetables and sprouting seeds are a source of sulforaphanes which have strong epigenetic (gene expression) benefits and have been shown to aid survival from colorectal cancer. A diet rich in greens will help alkalize your body. A slightly alkaline body is important as it improves the performance of your immune system and research shows it stops new metastases.

Broccoli

Like other green cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts), broccoli contains fibre which helps eliminate toxins.
Moreover, the fibre binds to damaging agents in the intestine, and is one of the favorite foods of good, helpful gut bacteria (as are carrots, apples, chicory and onions).
Broccoli also contains indoles, and especially indole-3-carbinol which modifies and diminishes aggressive estrogen action, can modify cellular estrogen receptor sites, and aids in fighting estrogen-driven cancers like some breast, prostate, brain and colorectal cancers.

Ginger


Fresh, raw ginger has a number of very important benefits in cancer. It is a terrific anti-inflammatory agent. It also lowers blood sugar levels, and gingerols have been shown to have effects against prostate, breast, leukemia and other cancer cells. Grate 5 gm or more of ginger each day into your juices. It is also full of helpful vitamins and minerals and is anti-parasitic.

 

 

Garlic

It is a truly wonderful food. Active ingredients like allicin seem to act to stop the spread of cancer in a number of ways, for example by stopping blood supply formation for tumors.
Garlic also kills microbes and yeasts and anti-inflammatory in the body. It contains selenium, tryptophan and sulphur-based active agents that attack cancer cells.
Two or three raw cloves of garlic per day will chase away cancer as well as vampires.

 

Beetroot

Beets as well as any purple colored fruits and vegetables like cherries, plums, red grapes contain anthocyanins (and sometimes also resveratrol). Anthocyanins have been shown to kill cancer cells; Resveratrrol has research supporting its role in fighting certain cancers like blood and brain cancers.

 

 

Fish oil

Fish oil will provide long chain omega-3, a powerful anti-inflammatory in the body. Omega-3 has been shown to re-lengthen telomeres, which shorten when you have cancer, putting the DNA structure at risk and reducing longevity. Fish oils also contain vitamin A, an important vitamin in the fight against cancer (herring, mackerel and salmon are top of the list). Fish oils have been linked to reduced levels of prostate, breast and colon cancer. Research shows they help prevent cachexia (weakness and wasting of the body) when having chemotherapy. You´ll also get a little vitamin D from them, another proven cancer-fighter. Omega-3 from fish is an important ingredient in your cancer diet. Please note that the omega-3 from flaxseed is short-chain, equally important but has different benefits (for example, it helps oxygenate the tissues and provides essential fiber).

Seeds

Seeds are full of good oils, whole vitamins in a natural form (like vitamin E) and fiber to strengthen your gut flora. People who consume the highest levels of natural fiber have higher immune systems. For example:

Sunflower Seeds
: High in zinc and natural vitamin E. Zinc helps vitamin C do its work and accelerates healing time. It is important to a healthy prostate. You need 15 to 25 mg per day. Five tablespoons of sunflower seeds give you 10 mg. Sunflower seeds will also provide a little selenium.
Pumpkin Seeds: 
Can be mixed with the sunflower seeds and added into cereal,  oatmeal or snacks.   5 tablespoons will each provide 20 mg of vitamin E, the ultimate cancer buster, which inhibits cancer cell growth and protects immune cells from free radicals. Vitamin E boosts your immune system´s fighting abilities.
Sesame Seeds: The unique lignans in sesame seeds can reduce blood pressure and lipid levels. Research shows they can fight inflammation and also cancer! Gamma tocopherol vitamin E reduces inflammation around the body. Both sesame and flax lignans are converted to compounds that can arrest estrogenic cancers.

Try to incorporate all of these superfoods into your diet to heal your body and chase away not only cancer but also many other degenerative diseases.

To your health and happiness!

Functional Forum - Digestion

Coconut-Banana Ice Cream Cupcakes

Ice cream is a part of warm season. I always eat ice cream with pleasure to cool my overheated body down in the summer hit. My kids and I enjoy even more the healthy version of this sweet haven. Try my healthy simple and easy recipe this summer.

NGREDIENTS

For the crust
¼ cup almond flour
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

For the ice-cream
2 large and very ripe bananas, frozen
1 can full-fat coconut milk, chilled overnight
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbs. cacao nibs plus additional for topping

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Line 6 muffin cups with paper liners. To make the crust, combine all the crust ingredients and press into the bottom of the 6 muffin cups.
2. To make the filling, open the can of chilled coconut milk and scoop out the thick coconut cream which separates to the top. Save coconut water for smoothies.
3. With a handheld blender, whip the coconut cream until it looks like whipped cream.
4. In a blender, blend the frozen bananas until creamy. You may need to add a tablespoon of water or coconut water to allow blending.
5. Stir together the whipped coconut cream, blended bananas, and cacao nibs and divide between the muffin wells. Sprinkle with additional cacao nibs. Freeze until solid, at least 6 hours, before enjoying.
6. Once frozen solid, transfer to an airtight container and keep in the freezer.

Enjoy with your friends and family!

Functional Forum - Digestion

Global Wellness Day is June 10

 

The world celebrates Global Wellness Day with the slogan “One day can change your whole life,”on the second Saturday of June every year as an international day dedicated to living well.

Global Wellness Day is an entirely not-for-profit day, a social project created by volunteers dedicated to living well. The purpose of Global Wellness Day is to ask the question, even if for just one day, “How can I live a healthier and better life?”, to direct the thoughts of both individuals and society towards “living well” and to raise awareness.

First celebrated in 2012, Global Wellness Day was established in Turkey as the “first” day dedicated to living well, and has now been accepted worldwide. Global Wellness Day has been officially celebrated in over 90 countries at 3000 different locations in 2016, reflecting its success.

According to The World Health Organization, Wellness is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

My vision of living well as a community, society, and a world in general is being happy, healthy physicals and mentally, and leave in peace with each other.

My own living well mantra is love and mindfulness of my own body and mind and people around me.

What is wellness for you personally?

What would you do today to achieve your wellness?

Wellness is the conscious development of the whole self. Embarking on a wellness journey is a process of searching for the appropriate “tools” to make you a healthier and happier human being, plus discovering your own effective methods to use these “tools” for continued growth and development.

If you don’t know where to start, try the following 8 steps. You will improve your wellbeing step-by-step with one step at a time.

GWD 8 step manifesto
  1. Walk for an hour.
  2. Drink more water.
  3. Don’t use plastic bottles.
  4. Eat healthy food.
  5. Do a good deed.
  6. Have a family dinner with your loved ones.
  7. Sleep 10 hours.
  8. Be grateful.

Share the manifesto, the video or the whole article with you families, your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers or your communities and spread awareness about Global Wellness Day.

Living well one day at a time and educating others about it is my mission. My belief and my passion is to educate, support and empower people to transform their lives and reach their optimal health and happiness. As a ripple effect, we can change our community, our nation and the globe to better place with peace, love, health and happiness as priorities.
I am here for you if you need my support. Schedule a complementary transformational session here.

On this Global Wellness Day I would like to present you a gift – “7 De-Stress Tips for Busy People” e-book.

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10 Day Holistic De-Stress Online Program

Do you feel…

     Tired all the time?

          Something is off, but you’re not sure what?

               Extra pounds cling to you and won’t let go?

                     Like you haven’t slept?

                         Out of control with food cravings?

                              Stressed out, anxious or depressed? 

 

These might be symptoms of a toxic body.

 Let’s clean you up from the inside out!

 

 Good news! It’s easier than you think with the 10 Day Holistic De-Stress Online Program”

 

 

 

 

To have…

  • More energy
  • Clearer thinking
  • A stronger immune system
  • Easier weight loss
  • A more positive attitude
  • Fewer cravings                                         

                                  …And sleep better

“The detox program is very unique and easy to follow. After completing this program, spiritual growth was the primary benefit for me.”  ~Martine

“Patience, kindness, dedication and love represent a few characteristics of Larisa. She maintains this positive attitude that makes change easy. Larisa’s guidance and knowledge are both helpful and beneficial as I was dedicated to help myself.” ~Lea

Here’s how it works:

 During Our 10 Day Holistic De-Stress Online Program you will receive:

  1. Daily e-mails with tips, affirmations, and empowering messages
  2. An easy-to-use Handbook
  3. Meal Plan templates
  4. Cookbook with Simple and Easy Recipes 
  5. Private Facebook group support

Please join us in for our  10 Day Holistic De-Stress Online Program and enjoy 50% off for a limited time

Regular price  $139

 Join today for a special $69

Bring a friend with you for $30 


REGISTER



For more information and registration
email lara@holisticexpert.org or call 732-735-1527

love

Love, Health & Happiness this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. It’s a beautiful holiday to celebrate and share with your family, children, partner, spouse and friends. We traditionally share our love on this holiday by purchasing gifts, flowers, chocolates, candy, or fancy dinners for our loved ones.
But have you thought about what you can do to celebrate Valentine’s Day for yourself?
Why do we purchase all these items and indulge in such unhealthy eating behavior?
Is this how we show someone we love them; let alone is this how we perceive feeling valued and loved by others?
Do you believe that if you put others first that they will love and therefore you will feel loved?
Do you believe it is selfish to love yourself first? I’d like to challenge you on a different approach in conveying your Love this Valentine’s Day. That is to practice the selfless, not selfish, act of self-love.A famous psychologist and social philosopher coined the idea that:“In order to truly love another person, a person needs first to love herself, in the way of respecting and knowing oneself.”In my book Listen to Your Body and Regain Your Health I share with you my Secrets including:

  • The four aspects of self-love
  • The Process of Transformation in Trust and Self-awareness
  • Self-care routines; like my ‘Mirror Work’ Exercise

The only way to Love others with all of your heart is by first loving yourself.

Take this Valentine’s day as an opportunity to not only love others, but love yourself too. Listen to what your heart is telling you.

Follow your heart, Listen to your body, Reenergize your mind and Exert positive energy into your spirit.

When you have accomplished these tasks of being a healthier, happier and self-loving you, you will then discover the power of sharing your love with others.

So, take this Valentine’s day to connect with your inner self.

I wish you all Love, Health & Happiness this Valentine’s Day.

stress

Oxidative Stress and How to Prevent It

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In my October newsletter, I talked about acid environment that causes our body to create a breeding ground for cancer and many other chronic diseases. This months newsletter concentrates on the topic of Oxidative stress and its link to chronic inflammation. Oxidative stress is essentially an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or “detoxify” harmful effects through neutralization by antioxidants.

Chronic inflammation is a pathological condition characterized by continued active inflammation response and tissue destruction. From recent articles, it appears that there is a general concept that chronic inflammation can be a major cause of several types of cancers, as well as increasing the aging process. Moreover, many studies suggest that chronic inflammation could have a serious role in a wide variety of age-related diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases. The inflammatory process induces Oxidative stress and reduces cellular antioxidant capacity.

Recently, new findings of free radicals and Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) in biology is producing a medical revolution that promises a new age of health and disease management. It is ironic that oxygen, an element indispensable for life, under certain situations has deleterious effects on the human body. Most of the potentially harmful effects of oxygen are due to the formation and activity of a number of chemical compounds, known as ROS, which have a tendency to donate oxygen to other substances.

 

Free radicals and other ROS are derived either from normal essential metabolic processes in the human body such as Mitochondrial or cell malfunction,  inflammation, and exercise.  Varying external sources can be exposure to X-rays, ozone, cigarette smoking, environmental pollutants, drugs, and certain food types.

Reactive Oxygen Species play an important role in Carcinogenesis. ROS induces DNA damage, as the reaction of free radicals with DNA includes strand break base modification and DNA protein cross-links. Numerous investigators have proposed participation of free radicals in Carcinogenesis, mutation, and transformation; it is clear that their presence in a biosystem could lead to mutation, transformation, and ultimately cancer.

An antioxidant is a molecule stable enough to donate an electron to a rampaging free radical and neutralize it, thus reducing its capacity to damage. These antioxidants delay or inhibit cellular damage mainly through their free radical scavenging property.The antioxidants acting in a defense system work at different levels:

 

  • The first line of defense is the preventive antioxidants, which suppress the formation of free radicals.
  • The second line of defense is radical scavenging antioxidants that scavenge the activeradicals to suppress chain reactions.
  • The third line of defense is repair antioxidants that are present in the Cytosol and in the Mitochondria of mammalian cells. They recognize, degrade, and remove modified proteins and prevent the accumulation of oxidized proteins.

There is a beneficial balance between free radicals and antioxidants for proper physiological function. If free radicals overwhelm the body’s ability to regulate them, a condition known as Oxidative stress ensues. This Oxidative stress is associated with damage to a wide range of molecular species including lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. Studies have indicated that Oxidative stress is now thought to make a significant contribution to all inflammatory diseases (arthritis, vasculitis, glomerulonephritis, lupus erythematous, adult respiratory diseases syndrome), ischemic diseases (heart diseases, stroke, intestinal ischema), hemochromatosis, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, emphysema, organ transplantation, gastric ulcers, hypertension and preeclampsia, neurological disorder (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy), alcoholism, smoking-related diseases, and many others.

 

How to Reduce Oxidative Stress in the body?

 

  •  Reduce emotional, physical and environmental stress. Chronic stress exhausts the adrenal glands and leads to adrenal dysfunction.  Try some stress-reducing techniques: relaxation breathing, meditation, tapping, yoga. Avoid harmful ingredients in food, household, and personal care product
  •  Reduce exposure to internal and external toxins and regularly detoxify the whole body. Toxins stimulate production of free radicals through detoxification pathways. Try daily and seasonal detoxification to reduce toxic overload.
  • Balance your blood sugar level. High sugar stimulates insulin surges that subsequently increase Cortisol production.
  • Keep your Gastro-intestinal microflora healthy (gut microbiom). Friendly bacteria in the gut fights pathological organisms, helps to digest food, manufactures many vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients.
  • Eat whole, organic, nutrient-rich and antioxidant containing food. Research has demonstrated that nutrition plays a crucial role in the prevention of chronic diseases. eating functional food is the best way to reach our nutritional goal and fight oxidation.

Examples of functional food:

  •  Whole foods represent the simplest example of functional food. Broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes are considered functional foods because of their high contents of physiologically active components (Sulforaphen, B-carotene, and Lycopene, respectively). Green vegetables and spices like mustard and turmeric, used extensively in Indian cuisine, are also beneficial.
  • Nutraceutical is a food or part of food that provides medical and/or health benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease. Nutraceuticals may range from isolated nutrients, dietary supplements, and diets to genetically engineered “designer” food and herbal  products. A Nutraceutical is any nontoxic food extract supplement that has scientifically proven health benefits for both the treatment and prevention of disease. Examples of  Nutraceuticals: Rasveratrol, Co-enzyme Q10, and fish oil.

 

Consuming of whole food is ideal for maintaining proper antioxidant levels. Nine to twelve servings of rainbow-colored vegetables and fruits is optimal to meet a necessary nutritional goal. Veggie and fruit smoothies are easy and fast ways to achieve the recommended intake.  Whole fruits can be consumed for in between meal snacks.  For vegans, vegetarians and for those who do not eat meat on a regular basis or do not get enough servings of fruits and vegetables good quality food supplements (nutraceuticals) can play an important role in meeting their Micronutritional goals.

 

Even though eating nutrient-dense whole food is a number one priority, I personally add vitamin D, salmon oil, probiotic and Protandim to my daily regiment with additional vitamin C during flu season. It helps me to fight any inflammation and infection during cold months, prevent any chronic diseases and delay aging.

Do you consume enough fruits and vegetables to meet your nutritional goal?

If not, learn about my favorite Nutrraceutical here.

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