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Why Dandelion Belongs in Your Spring Detox Plan

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Dandelion may be a pesky weed when it’s in your garden, but in your body, it could be the key to a successful spring detox. If you have a sluggish liver or suffer from digestive issues like bloating, dandelion is the ultimate superfood to kick-start your internal spring cleaning plan! Dandelion is called pu gong yin in Chinese medicine, where it’s traditionally known as a blood-purifying, immune-strengthening herb that targets the liver and stomach meridians. It gets to work by cooling and flushing out your kidneys, gallbladder, and liver, and acts as a diuretic, releasing excess fluid from your body.

Ayurveda holds that dandelion may help you achieve inner balance and harmony and will sync your body with the unique energy of the season. Now that winter is finally coming to an end, it’s the perfect time to tap into dandelion’s potential to make a clean sweep of your system and attune you to your environment. Plus, dandelion is an easy addition to a natural cleanse, because it’s relatively inexpensive and widely available. Have you seen your front lawn at the start of spring?!

Here are just some of the healthy highpoints of why dandelion roots and greens are a detoxing must-have:    

Is Balancing Cortisol the Key to Women's Health?

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Sara Gottfried, MD, became a great doctor by first becoming her own best patient.

"I was the woman sitting in the exam room, shivering in the little pathetic gown talking to my doctor about how, at 35 years of age, l couldn't lose weight, had no sex drive, and was miserable all the time," says Sara Gottfried, MD. "He suggested an antidepressant."

Disappointed with what conventional medicine had to offer, Dr. Sara--a Harvard trained OB-GYN and New York Times best-selling author of The Hormone Cure--decided to look for solutions. "I had a hunch it was hormonal." she says. "After all, I'm a gynecologist. I think about hormones. And I know they drive a lot of things that happen in the body." Following a hunch, Dr. Sara measured her levels of cortisol, a substance secreted by the adrenal glands that's known as one of the major stress hormones. And she discovered that her cortisol levels were triple what they were supposed to be.

"In conventional medicine, I wasn't trained to look at cortisol," she says. "Yet it impacts everything--weight loss, mood, well-being, the whole nine yards."

Cortisol Keys

Spicy (and Healthy!) Avocado Deviled Eggs

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My family has a lot of big gatherings in the spring. We’ve got a pile-up of birthdays and anniversaries, with Easter right smack in the middle of it all! With lots of family parties come even more appetizers and finger foods. Maybe it’s because they’re an easy, crowd-pleasing dish, or maybe it’s because Easter eggs are on our minds, but deviled eggs always seem to make an appearance at these parties.

I’ve always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with deviled eggs. I love how they taste, and I adore the little dish my Grandma serves them in, made specifically for deviled eggs—but I don’t love how unhealthy they can be. Don’t let these little eggs fool you! You may think that an egg is a healthy appetizer option, but it’s so easy to forget that mayo is responsible for making the filling so decadent and creamy!

This year, I’m on a quest to make a healthier, and even more delicious, deviled egg than what my family is used to. I think this avocado recipe has just enough of a spicy kick to do the trick. Now the biggest challenge is getting my hands on Grandma’s plate to serve them!

Spicy Avocado Deviled Eggs

Makes 24 deviled eggs

Ingredients

7 Reasons You Should Eat a Paleo Diet

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The concept of “eating Paleo” has been around for a few years now, and you probably have some sense of what it refers to: cavemen, meat, etc. But what’s really behind the relatively recent diet movement? And is it something you should consider trying?

The Paleo diet takes us back to the basics of how our caveman ancestors ate, with the reasoning that our bodies were designed to properly digest and get nourishment from these types of foods. Following this diet as intended means thinking about the types as well as the quality of the foods that you eat. Our ancestors during the Paleolithic period had to hunt for and gather their food, which means they only had access to wild animals, wild vegetables, and limited amounts of wild fruits. Their foods were not adulterated with pesticides and chemicals.

Ask Health Coach Maria: What is Ayurveda?

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Hi, I’m Maria Marlowe, a Certified Health Coach and author of Detox without the Deprivation. This is my weekly “Ask Health Coach Maria” series, in which I answer frequently asked questions that relate to health and wellness. Have a question? Ask me here. 

Ayurveda literally translates to “science of life,” and is a health and healing system from India that has been practiced for over 5,000 years. As a holistic approach to overall wellness in life, this system not only teaches you how to cure an illness, but also how to avoid illness altogether, with a focus on maintaining a vibrantly healthy life. 

I’m personally a huge proponent of Ayurveda, and incorporate many of its tenets into my health coaching practice. The following three principles, which set the foundation for Ayurveda, also set the foundation for my practice. 

6 Reasons to Drink Kefir (Hey, It Can Be Vegan, Too!)

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Kefir is a cultured milk beverage that has a slightly sour, or tart, taste and a texture similar to liquid yogurt.

A popular component of traditional diets in Eastern and Northern Europe, kefir has become increasingly recognized in the western world for its many health benefits. Yet it still remains outside the mainstream, with many people unaware of its healing properties, unsure of how to consume it, or even concerned that they can’t eat it due to dietary restrictions.

So let’s clear up the kefir confusion. Read on for 6 reasons why kefir is awesome, and how to incorporate it into your diet!

1. Ultra pro-biotic. Like yogurt, kefir is loaded with beneficial bacteria and yeasts. But while the probiotics in yogurt tend to simply feed the good bacteria in your gut as they pass through you, kefir actually goes a step further and is able to colonize your intestinal tract with new friendly bacteria. This makes kefir an excellent food for enhancing digestive health.

Greek-Style Lentil Salad

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Traditional Greek salad is so delicious on its own—the creaminess of the feta against the crunchy cucumber and sweet tomatoes is a perfect combination. And adding lentils is an easy way to up the protein. This classic salad is just the lunchtime pick-me-up I need to give me energy to attack the rest of the day. Add grilled salmon, chicken, or shrimp for even more of a protein boost if you're extra hungry.

 

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

2 cups lentils du Puy

6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Zest of 2 lemons

6 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

4 tbsp chopped fresh oregano

2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

2 tbsp chopped fresh mint

1 small red onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, grated or minced

½ pint of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

½ greenhouse cucumber (or mini seedless cucs), cut in ¼ inch cubes

6-8 oz feta cheese

Salt and fresh ground pepper

Instructions 

1. Place the lentils in a saucepan with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Strain and set aside.

How to Cook Tofu Like a Pro

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Tofu got a bad rap in its early days as a bland, tasteless necessity of a vegetarian diet. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then, and you can now find all sorts of exciting and delicious ways to prepare tofu. This is especially fortunate because it’s such an inexpensive and excellent source of protein.

Tofu is made from fermented soy, and you can be purchased in a variety of forms including silken, soft, firm and extra firm. Most major grocery stores stock it in 1-pound blocks packed in water.

At first glance, tofu can look a bit off-putting. Looking at a jiggly white block floating in a few inches of water, it’s pretty difficult to think of it as a delicious and appealing dish. But with a little imagination, and not very much effort at all, you can turn it into a satisfying, lip-smacking meal! 

How to Massage Kale [VIDEO]

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I know we all love kale here, but it might seem like overkill to give the leafy green a massage. But in reality, massaging kale is actually a perfectly reasonable thing to do, and an important step in preparing kale to eat!

Raw kale can be coarse, so if you don’t plan on cooking it before eating, you need to take some steps to tenderize it first. Massaging kale helps smooth out raw kale’s roughness, making it the perfect crispness for a delicious salad—or anything else you want to use it in!

In this video, Hailey from Wellness Today gives you some pro tips on how to nail down your kale massaging technique. Check it out below!

 

Have you ever massaged kale? Do you have any expert tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!

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