Heal Dry Winter Skin Naturally

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

This time of year, with cold temperatures outdoors and hot dry air circulating indoors, many experience dry winter skin. For many years I slathered on additional moisturizing lotions during the winter months, and applied tons of lip balm. And yet I still struggled with skin that was so dry, it itched and burned. The corners of my lips would crack and get painful as well.

Since adopting a plant based lifestyle I learned an important truth about dry winter skin. Healing my skin begins on the inside. All that fancy, expensive lotion did little good in my battle against dryness.

A radical approach, to me at the time, included less moisturizers and more fruits, veggies, water and herbs to combat a yearly reoccuring condition. Check out my lists of healing foods to combat and heal dry winter skin, naturally.

Heal Dry Winter Skin Naturally

Healing Hydration

  • Water – We all know how important drinking an adequate amount of water is, for health in general and for the skin. Eight glasses of water is a good guide, just don’t guzzle it down. The body quickly eliminates excess water. Instead, sip on water throughout the day, allowing it to be absorbed more slowly. Fill a large water bottle, keep it nearby, and have a goal of emptying it by day’s end. Hydrating the body goes a long way in keeping the skin hydrated and supple, which helps to combat dryness and aging.
  • Herbal Teas – These healing drinks count as water as well. See the list below for the best herbs to help ease dry skin. Two drinks to avoid, if dry skin is an issue, are coffee and alcohol. Both dehydrate the body, and the skin, contributing to aging the skin’s appearance.
  • High Water Content Foods – Fruits such as watermelon and veggies such as cucumber have a hydrating effect on the body and therefore the skin. Check out the list of healing foods below. A very common food to avoid, to keep the skin supple, is processed sugar. It negatively affects proteins in the skin, aging it as well.

Heal Dry Winter SkinWater with cucumber makes a very hydrating drink.

Healing Foods

  • Celery – With its incredibly high water content, and vitamins A, C and K, celery, and specifically, celery juice, is so healing and nurturing to the skin. This green elixir is actually healing to the whole body. Don’t overlook what it does to keep the skin clear and vibrant. Drink celery juice every day, and watch what happens.
  • Watermelon – All melons have high levels of water that hydrate the body. They also reduce puffiness around the eyes.
  • Root Vegetables – These veggies, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, are high in vitamin A, which is crucial for healthy skin. Plus they regulate oil production and prevent early aging.
  • Avocado – This superfood is rich with vitamins A, D and E, and good fats that give skin a healthy glow. Used as a mask on the face, avocado penetrates skins cells, helping to renew them.
  • Almonds – This nut contains vitamin E and has powerful antioxidant, anti-aging and even anti-cancer properties that support skin health.
  • Red and Yellow Bell Peppers – These veggies, high in vitamin C, diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Berries – All berries are antioxidant, helping to nourish the skin while preventing signs of premature aging. They counter free radicals, which damage skin cells.
  • Cucumbers – This veggie has a very high water content, hydrating the skin and improving elasticity. Add sliced cucumber to water and sip on it throughout the day.
  • Walnuts, Hemp Seeds & Flaxseed – These are valuable as they provide plant based Omega 3s, which are vital to healthy skin.

Heal Dry Winter Skin Naturally

Healing Herbs

  • Dandelion – This plant is edible, from roots to bright yellow flowers. Dandelion is especially important as it detoxes the liver, and the health of the liver greatly affects the health of skin. When the liver is sluggish, toxins can show up as dry, dull or itchy patches on the surface of the skin. Use dandelion essential oil or brew tea from the leaves. The roots, which are more bitter, make a great substitute for coffee.
  • Burdock – This herb balances the liver and helps to move lymph fluid throughout the lymphatic system, which results in clearer, healthier skin. Drink as a tea or take as a capsule supplement.
  • Calendula – One of my favorite herbs to grow, this plant has bright yellow blooms that fight inflammation in the skin and promote skin cell repair. Use as an essential oil or drink as a tea.
  • Comfrey – A common herb, comfrey contain allantoin, which heals and repairs dry, damaged skin. Use as an essential oil or in tea form.
  • Lavender – Well known for its healing properties, lavender is soothing to the skin and helps to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. Use in tea form or as an essential oil, adding it to skin serums and lotions.
  • Rose – This traditional flower has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiaging properties. It nourishes as it hydrates. Rose water is a gentle alternative to washing the face with soaps.

Heal Dry Winter Skin Naturally

Additional Tips to Combat Dry Winter Skin

  • Use a Cold Water Humidifier – The heated air in homes, during the winter, is very drying, and damaging to skin. Use a cold water humidifier while sleeping, adding a few drops of lavender essential oil.
  • Avoid Hot Water – Don’t wash the face with hot water. Instead, use warm water. And don’t wash the face in the mornings. Doing so strips the skin of natural oils that the body creates overnight. We think of this oil as a nuisance, however it is the best personalized moisturizer for our skin, as we created it. Smooth the natural oil over the face and neck. If you are prone to breakouts, or the thought of not cleansing your face in the morning bothers you, try using a gentle cleanser such as rose water. A microfiber cloth and water gently cleans the face, without using soap.

Heal Dry Winter Skin Naturally

My Results

I stopped using expensive lotions and moisturizers last winter, with a bit of trepidation I admit. Also, I switched to plant based shower soaps, shampoo and conditioner, and chemical free laundry products.

In the evenings before bed I use a Norwex microfiber cloth and warm water to cleanse my face, and apply a homemade skin serum that contains lavender, frankincense and calendula essential oils. Recipe HERE. I use BOOM makeup, with is made with simple, all natural ingredients. Review HERE.

The skin on my arms and legs used to get so dry during the winter months that I’d scratch them until I created painful welts. However, this is the second winter that I haven’t used any lotions on my body.

As a result of staying hydrated, eating foods with high water content and using healing herbs, I don’t need the lotions. My skin is healthy, supple and not a bit dry. For the first time in my adult life, I have not had dry cracks in the corners of my mouth, or chapped lips during the cold winter months.

My skin glows, with a health that begins with a nourished, healthy body. And that feels very good to me.

Heal Dry Winter Skin Naturally

Check out my Amazon Storefront, for herbal teas and other healing products.

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

Answering Questions About Celery Juice

This post may contain affiliate links. Please ready my Disclosure Policy for details.

I’m coming up on three years, drinking freshly prepared celery juice. This daily practice is the first I adopted, based on the teachings of the Medical Medium, Anthony William. Drinking celery juice is a global phenomenon. Thousands and thousands of people start their day with a glass of this green elixir.

Why?

Because celery juice delivers amazing health benefits.

Answering Questions About Celery Juice

Answering Questions

These are the questions I get asked the most, about drinking celery juice:

How do you prepare celery juice?

Celery juice can be prepared two ways.

Trim the base off of a bunch of celery, wash, and run through a juicer. Try one of these juicers: centrifugal or masticating .

Or, place cut up celery in a blender, blend on high speed until smooth, strain juice into a glass. I love this blender.

Answering Questions About Celery Juice

Why drink celery juice on an empty stomach?

Drinking this juice first thing, or 30 minutes after a glass of lemon water, allows the healing nutrients to be absorbed quickly. And, celery juice first thing in the morning strengthens the digestion of the foods eaten during the rest of the day. Finally, straight celery juice on an empty stomach deeply heals the digestive system and restores the stomach’s hydrochloric acid.

Can celery juice be prepared the night before?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions that I get about celery juice. It’s best to drink it fresh, immediately after juicing, so that it doesn’t oxidize. I know is takes a few minutes to prepare in the morning. It is worth the trouble, prepping the celery and then rinsing the juicer after use.

Can I get the same benefits if I eat the celery?

It is much easier to drink 16 ounces of celery juice, rather than eat a whole bunch. Plus the nutrients are delivered quickly to the body, through the juice. Of course, add celery to salads and recipes. It is a very healing food.

What if I don’t like the taste of celery? Can I add other fruits/veggies?

It’s best to drink celery juice plain, to get the most benefits. However, if the taste is a challenge, Anthony suggests adding half an apple to the juice. Gradually decrease the amount of apple, until it’s plain celery juice. Another idea is to start with a very small amount of juice, and gradually increase the ounces until you can drink 16 ounces. I tell people to just do it. The benefits of celery juice are so many, and so powerful, that I’d recommend drinking it, even if you don’t care for the taste. I know people who started out not liking celery juice, however they continued to drink it, day after day. They love the green juice now.

Answering Questions About Celery Juice

Can I drink more than 16 ounces?

Yes! It’s okay to drink up to 32 ounces in the morning. Add another glass of celery juice in the afternoon or evening, if desired. Feel free to create a blended juice in the afternoon, for a health boosting pick me up. Add other fruits and veggies, ginger, cilantro, or other herbs. Have fun creating your own blends. Try this Apple, Ginger Celery Blend.

Does the celery need to be organic?

Organic celery is great, however, regular celery can be used with the same healing results. Make sure that the celery is washed well, using a dishwashing soap such as Seventh Generation.

How Long Should I Drink Celery Juice?

The simple answer to that question is, for the rest of your long and healthy life! This juice will continue to bring healing and restoration to the body. I crave it. As I prepare the juice, my body responds by vibrating at a higher frequency, in anticipation. I know…that’s wild. When I travel, or if I have several packed out days in a row and miss my morning celery juice, I can feel the difference. I don’t like to go very many days without my green elixir.

The Biggest Question

The biggest question I get is,
“So what are the health benefits?”

Which is another way of asking,

“If I’m going to go to the trouble of making celery juice every morning, is it WORTH IT?”

Yes, it is so worth it.

Celery juice delivers these healing benefits to the body:

  • Lowers inflammation
  • Heals the entire digestive system
  • Reduces bloating
  • Supports weight loss
  • Helps to heal eczema and psoriasis
  • Fights infections
  • Heals acne and other skin conditions
  • Prevent UTIs
  • Lowers and prevents high blood pressure
  • Lowers high cholesterol
  • Prevents ulcers
  • Supports liver health

That’s a lot of healing! And it is ongoing, and cumulative.

My Celery Juice Healing Story

I began drinking celery juice, March 2016, hoping to calm the inflammation that was raging throughout my body. By July of the same year, I had read the book, Medical Medium, and switched to a plant based lifestyle.

What a difference celery juice made. It led me to the realization that my body does better when I eat plants only. I have healed, in so many ways

The immediate improvement I experienced, thanks to celery juice, was a healed digestive system. At one time, I kept Tums in my purse, car, and in multiple locations in the house, due to severe acid reflux and indigestion. Plus, I took a variety of over the counter antacids. My whole digestive system was a mess. I suffered from irritable bowel syndrome, gallbladder inflammation, stomach and abdominal pain, and what I called a sensitive gut. Later I discovered that’s a real condition. The nerve ending in my intestines were hyper sensitive, causing me pain when I ate high fiber foods.

All of this has healed, thanks to celery juice

And I feel better overall. My skin is more clear and vibrant. And I no longer take meds for high blood pressure

I will drink celery juice for the rest of my life. When I get up and move into the kitchen, I just fix my juice. I have a routine that works for me, prepping the celery, juicing, and then immediately cleaning the juicer while I sip my green drink. In case you are wondering, I follow celery juice with a fruit or detox smoothie.

What Other Questions Do You Have?

Do you have additional questions about preparing or drinking celery juice, or about its amazing health benefits?

Ask away in the comments. Or visit this website that Anthony William has dedicated just to celery juice: www.celeryjuice.com

Cheers! Here’s to optimal health, vitality and wellbeing, for us all.

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

Guide to Gluten Free Flours

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Avoiding gluten doesn’t mean I don’t ever bake or cook with flour. It means I use gluten free flours, and fortunately, there is a wide variety to choose from. They don’t all have the same properties, and most are not interchangeable with wheat flour, one on one. Knowing what flours to use, for which purposes, and how much to use, prevents baking flops and catastrophes. And trust me, I’ve had a few of those.

Check out 8 Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance, to see why some people avoid gluten.

One thing I learned early in my plant based journey is that it’s best to use a combination of gluten free flours, for the best end results.


Below are great gluten free options, and the best ways to use them.

Guide to Gluten Free Flours

Gluten Free Flours

The flours can be divided into three categories: starches, medium density flours and heavy density flours. It’s best to use a combination of the three, and to experiment occasionally to see which blend suits your baking needs the best.

Starches

Arrowroot Flour

Arrowroot flour is a very fine flour that is derived from the arrowroot plant. It is also called arrowroot starch or arrowroot powder. The flour resembles corn or potato starch.

Best used as a thickener, in place of corn starch, it can be substituted 1:1 for other starches. Arrowroot flour is helpful when combined with other gluten free flours as it helps the dough and finished product to hold together.

Use up to 25% of arrowroot flour in a mix of gluten free flours.

Potato Starch

Different from potato flour, this starch adds wonderful moisture to baked goods.

Best used for all types of baked goods.

Use up to 25% of potato starch in a mix of gluten free flours.

Tapioca Flour

Also known as cassava flour, this product is made from the dried roots of the cassava plant. It is also known as tapioca starch, and should be used in combination with other gluten free flours.

Best used for mixing in gluten free flour blends and thickening soups, sauces and fillings.

Tapioca flour can be substituted for corn or potato starch. Use no more than 25% when combining with other gluten free flours.

 

Medium Density Gluten Free Flours

Sorghum Flour

This flour is closest in texture and taste to traditional wheat flour. It is high in antioxidants and in many instances, can be used as a 1:1 substitution for regular flour.

Best used for muffins, breads, pancakes, cookies and cakes.

Swap sorghum flour 1:1 for wheat flour or use up to 50% in gluten free mix.

Quinoa Flour

This grain has a nutty flavor. However, as a flour it can be slightly bitter. Use sparingly in a mixture of other gluten free flours, to add protein.

Best used for biscuits, flatbreads, herbed breads or muffins.

Only use 25%, or less, in a mix of gluten free flours.

Oat Flour

This flour is made by grinding oats. You can grind your own gluten free oats, in a blender or food processor. Otherwise, make sure the package states that this is a gluten free product. Oats are naturally gluten free, however, they are often cultivated and processed with wheat products, leading to cross contamination.

Best used for breads, muffins, cookies, cakes, crusts, fruit crisps and scones.

Use up to 50% of oat flour in a gluten free mix.

Millet Flour

This mild adaptable grain is rich in magnesium and also completely gluten free. Millet flour adds a crumbly texture to breads and muffins.

Best for breads, muffins, cookies, cakes and crusts.

Use up to 25% of millet flour in a gluten free mix.

Bean Flours

Beans can be ground into flour, just as grains can. All are naturally rich in protein and fiber. Available varieties include chickpea, or garbanzo, black bean, white bean, lentil and fava. Bean flours have a robust flavor and can leave an aftertaste, so experiment with these. I use garbanzo flour most often, of the bean flours.

Use bean flours in sweet treats such as pancakes, muffins or zucchini bread.

Up to 25% of a gluten free mix can be comprised of bean flours.

 

Wild Blueberry Scones

Heavy Density Gluten Free Flours

Almond Flour

This product is made from raw, blanched almonds that have been ground to a fine flour. Almond flour, and other nut based flours such as hazelnut, walnut or seed flours, add a punch of protein and a slightly nutty taste to baked goods.

Almond flour is best used for cookies, cakes, muffins, pancakes and crumbles.

Use up to 25% almond flour in a mix of gluten free flours.

Buckwheat Flour

This flour, made from ground buckwheat, is 100% gluten free, and has a rich nutty flavor.

Best used for muffins, cookies, pancakes, waffles and breads.

Use up to 50% of this flour, in a gluten free mix.

Coconut Flour

This very dense flour is created from dried coconut. It is the most fibrous of all gluten free flours, which means it soaks up liquids. Plan to use at least 1/4 cup of extra liquid in recipes, when using coconut flour, or use a different flour. My mother had several failed recipes, before figuring out that coconut flour absorbed too much of the liquids, resulting in a dry and crumbly baked good.

Coconut flour is best used for pancakes, cookies, waffles and crusts.

You can use 1/4 cup of coconut flour, in place of 1 cup of other gluten free flours. You’ll still need to add at least ¼ cup of extra liquids.

Brown Rice Flour

This flour is made from rice that still contains the germ and bran from the rice grain. It is an excellent gluten free flour, suitable for a multitude of uses. White rice flour is available as well. It qualifies as a medium density flour.

Best used for all gluten free baking and cooking, thickener for soups, sauces and fillings.

Use up to 50% in gluten free mixes.

Creating a Gluten Free Flour Blend

When creating a blend of gluten free flours, to bake with, use a mix of starches, medium textured flour and heavy textured flours, for great texture and flavor.

I typically use a blend of oat flour, almond or brown rice flour, and arrowroot or tapioca starch. In a recipe that calls for 2 1/2 cups of flour, I use 1 cup of oat flour, 1 cup of almond or brown rice flour, and 1/2 cup of arrowroot or tapioca starch. Some gluten free bakers use a 2:1 mix of flours to starches. For every cup of flour, they mix in 1/2 cup of starch.


Create this blend of gluten free flours, to have on hand, ready for use:

3 cups sorghum flour

3 cups brown rice flour

1 1/2 cups potato starch

1 1/2 cups arrowroot powder


Combine all ingredients well and store in the fridge. Makes 9 cups.


Or try out Bob’s Red Mill packaged flours. They have a 1:1 gluten free flour blend that can be used in place of wheat flour, without having to mix your own. I’ve used Bob’s several times, with excellent results. This company also packages many of the above mentioned flours individually.

Most grocery stores carry gluten free flours. Natural Grocers carries a large assortment of bulk packaged flours under their own brand, plus the Bob’s Red Mill brand.


Guide to Gluten Free Flours

Creating Healthy Treats

I don’t bake nearly as often as I used to. After eliminating dairy products, eggs, sugar and gluten from my diet, I at first thought baked goods were a thing of the past. Occasionally, however, I prepare a special treat, such as the wild blueberry scones, or wonderful chocolate wacky cupcakes, all prepared without dairy, eggs, refined sugar…I use organic coconut sugar or 100% pure maple syrup…and with gluten free flours.

These goodies are special treats, indeed.

Guide to Gluten Free Flours
Gluten Free Flours that I frequently use.

 

Journey with Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra charge to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Premium Bamboo Foot Pads

This post is written in exchange for products from Careness Foot Pads. The genuine and honest opinions expressed are entirely my own.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

When Careness contacted me about trying their Premium Bamboo Foot Pads, I responded with interest. I’ve heard of foot pads, having read comments that scoffed at whether such items benefitted the body, or not. Believers and non-believers weighed in with a variety of opinions.

This is what’s true about me though. I form my own opinions, after giving products of all kinds a try. I’m grateful that I make up my own mind. Where would I be, if I had not begun the then unheard of practice of drinking celery juice almost three years ago? Or what if I had decided food must not have healing properties, since not one of my doctors ever mentioned that possibility to me? I would not be the healthy, vibrant person that I now am.

The Premium Bamboo Foot Pads arrived in the mail, and not only did I try them, several of my family members tried them as well. Below are our results.

Premium Bamboo Foot Pads

What are Bamboo Foot Pads?

Foot pads, also called detox foot pads, cleansing foot pads or foot patches, have been used in Chinese medicine for many, many years as a way to naturally draw out toxins from the body, through the soles of the feet. There are other reported benefits as well, from improved sleep to stress relief to increased energy.

Careness uses all natural ingredients in their bamboo foot pads, including:

  • wood vinegar extract
  • bamboo vinegar extract
  • chitin and chitosan
  • tourmaline
  • vitamin C
  • vegetable fiber
  • minus ion powder
  • dextrin

The pads attach to the bottoms of the feet, which are rich with nerve endings and pores. Other practices, such as reflexology, bring healing to the entire body by focusing on the soles of the feet. The bamboo foot pads are worn while you sleep, drawing out toxins, increasing circulation and stimulating the feet to improve health and well being.

Opening the package. The ingredients are in paper bags, similar to tea bags. They affix to the adhesive sheets.
Premium Bamboo Foot Pads
A foot pad ready to be attached to the bottom of my foot.
Premium Bamboo Foot Pads
Bamboo foot pads attached, in the center of each foot. I’m ready to try these out!

Bamboo Foot Pad Results

For many years I took sleep aids or allergy meds, to put me to sleep at night. Since becoming plant based, I have not had trouble going to sleep. However, I wake up throughout the night, every 1 to 1 1/2 hours, roll over, and usually go back to sleep. Occasionally, I wake up in the middle of the night and have difficulty sleeping after that. I use the time to think or meditate and eventually doze again.

After attaching a bamboo foot pad to each foot, I was ready to go to bed, and see what happened. The pads should be worn for eight hours. I admit to feeling very curious!

The soles of my feet felt slightly warm and a bit tingly, pleasantly so. I became drowsy right away and fell asleep quickly. Rather than waking up every hour or so, I slept soundly until 5:00 am. I woke briefly. My feet still felt warm, in a cozy kind of way, making me smile. I felt very relaxed, almost as if I had taken a sleep aid. In a few moments I had slipped back into sleep, and rested well for a couple more hours.

When I woke fully, I felt rested, alert and settled, I think would be the proper word, more grounded. I had a slightly dry mouth. Peeling off the bamboo foot pads, I found them to be brown in color and a bit gooey. Whether this was from detoxing, or simply moisture from my feet interacting with the ingredients, I can’t say. However, I can attest to experiencing an excellent night of rest. I tried the bamboo foot pads the next night, and was rewarded with the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a very long time. I slept straight through the night, without waking at all, until 7:00 am, which is something I have not done for years. The second morning, I did not note a dry mouth.

My family members…Greg, Mom, and my stepdad…all reported a more restful night’s sleep as well. Each also said that the pads changed to dark colors overnight. Greg, who is a very restless sleeper, felt his body relaxed and was more quiet.

Premium Bamboo Foot Pads
The foot pads after being worn for 8 hours, as I slept.
Premium Bamboo Foot Pads

Where Can You Find Bamboo Foot Pads?

Careness Premium Bamboo Foot Pads can be purchased through this Amazon link and includes a 20% off coupon. And, the package comes with a bonus lavender foot mask to try.

I will definitely use these again. With their ease of use and natural ingredients, the foot pads are a great alternative to sleep aids. Plus, I felt energetic after those great sleeps. And oh, what I can accomplish after a wonderful night of rest!

Have you ever tried bamboo foot pads? What was your experience?


Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

8 Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Gluten intolerance? I never gave those words a thought.

In fact, I used to say, a bit smugly too, that I could live on soup, bread and Diet Pepsi. Those three favorites were the foundation of my poor diet. And for years, I attempted to live by that motto. I gave up the Diet Pepsi first, more than a dozen years ago, and experienced an immediate improvement in my health. Soup can stay, minus dairy products and unhealthy toppings. Bread, though? I love it and thought I could not live without bread. I craved it, from gooey cinnamon rolls to thick slices of sandwich bread to pizza crust to those big soft pretzels.

What I did not realize, until I switched to a plant based lifestyle, was that bread did not love me. In particular, gluten did not do my body any good. I grew up in the 60s and 70s, eating a typical American diet that relied on white bread as a staple. Never once did I consider that my digestive problems and skin rashes might be caused by a substance found in wheat products.

Maybe you haven’t considered that possibility either. Here are eight common symptoms of gluten intolerance.

8 Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in the grains wheat, barley, rye and spelt, which is a form of wheat. Oats can be contaminated by gluten grains, so if eating them, look for the words “gluten free” on the package. Some people do not have an allergic reaction to gluten. Those that do experience inflammation, especially in the digestive system. Gluten compromises the immune system and can trigger diseases such as Celiac Disease, Crohn’s, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, colitis and a host of other disorders throughout the body.

8 Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

  • Digestive distress tops the list of gluten intolerance symptoms. Disorders include upset stomach, bloating after a gluten heavy meal, abdominal pain and discomfort, indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, gastric ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis and Crohn’s disease. Celiac disease, considered an autoimmune disease, is a severe form of gluten intolerance. It can adversely affect the digestive tract, damaging it. Bloating, which is a feeling of fullness after eating a meal, is one of the most common symptoms of a sensitivity to gluten.
  • Headaches, and especially frequent migraines, are another indicator of gluten intolerance. Those who are sensitive to gluten may be more prone to headaches than others.
  • Irritability, depression and anxiety can be very debilitating and can be accompanied by feelings of sadness, despair or hopelessness. Surprisingly, those with a gluten intolerance are more susceptible to depression compared to those without the sensitivity. One possibility is that gluten creates changes in the gut microbiota, increasing bad bacteria and decreasing good bacteria. This change may affect the central nervous system, increasing the risk of depression.
  • Muscle cramps and bone and joint pain can be a result of inflammation, caused by gluten. This pain can be widespread throughout the body and accompanied by tiredness and extreme fatigue.
  • Tingling or numbness in arms and legs is common in those with diabetes or B12 deficiency. It can also affect those with a sensitivity, perhaps because of a reaction to certain antibodies in gluten.
  • Brain fog refers to a feeling of not being able to think clearly. It has been described as forgetfulness or mental fatigue or feeling foggy headed. Such a condition is a common symptom of gluten intolerance.
  • Skin rashes and disorders are another common ailment among those who are sensitive to gluten. These tiny blisters or bumps are often found on the upper arms, elbows, knees and torso. A gluten free diet can clear rashes up and also help other skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
  • Canker sores in the mouth or digestive tract are another symptom of gluten intolerance. Chronic mouth sores are almost always an indication of sensitivity and a condition that can be greatly improved or eliminated completely on a gluten free diet.
8 Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

Healing a Gluten Intolerance

The first step toward healing sounds simple but can be difficult for people who love their bread, like I did. Stop eating grain products that include gluten. This involves more than passing on the bread. Gluten can be found in pastas, desserts such as pie, cookies, cake and doughnuts, cereals, pancakes, waffles, bagels, gravies, sauces, soups and the bread coating on veggies. Anything made from wheat, barley, rye, spelt and sometimes oats has gluten lurking in it.

Surprisingly, gluten can be found in foods that are not easily identified as a grain product. It becomes very important to read labels. I checked out the label above, for veggie burgers. They appeared to be a healthy choice. However, listed in the ingredients are wheat and gluten…and several other things that I do not eat. Eliminating gluten from the diet involves awareness and determination.

The rewards are great though. I had most of the symptoms listed above and have had them my whole life. They ranged from minor to troublesome and I never connected them to the same source…gluten. In my quest to eliminate inflammation in my body, I decided to stop eating gluten products and see if it made a difference. The change in my health was amazing. The rash I’d had on my upper arms since childhood disappeared. My gut healed, indigestion stopped, pain and swelling in my joints went away. I stopped getting mouth sores and headaches, and my irritable bowel syndrome cleared up.

I’d suggest keeping a food diary and then begin eliminating gluten laden products from your diet, a few items at a time. Read labels. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Look for “gluten free” substitutions. I enjoy pasta still. It’s just made from brown rice instead of wheat. There are many gluten free products available in grocery stores. Typically these items are grouped together in their own section. I bake using almond or oat flour that is gluten free. Check the labels of gluten free products too, however. Those crackers or that cereal that is gluten free may contain sugar or other surprise ingredients.

Gluten free bread is available, often in the frozen food section. You know what though? Since changing my diet I don’t crave bread anymore. I rarely eat a gluten free roll or slice of bread. And I don’t miss it. I can live on healthy soups, fruits, veggies and water…and really live, while experiencing optimal health and well being.

8 Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

 

Discover which Gluten Free Flours to use and how to create your own blend in Guide to Gluten Free Flours.

Find gluten free recipes on Pinterest, or check out this plant based gluten free cookbook!

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, and affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

30 Foods That Fight Inflammation

Inflammation is a condition in which a part of the body becomes swollen, hot, painful or reddened, in reaction to an injury or infection. Continued inflammation can result in premature aging and diseases, including those referred to as autoimmune disorders. What I’ve discovered, through the teachings of Anthony William and by switching to a plant based diet, is that the underlying causes of inflammation, when not due to an injury, are pathogens such as viruses.

I healed from years of chronic pain and the shingles virus, which had attacked my sciatic nerves, by eating fruits, vegetables and herbs that not only soothed the inflammation but killed off the viruses. What I’ve continued to learn about my health is that when I do get a slight injury, my body reacts with an inflammatory response still.

I am grateful that I know how to deal with inflammation.

30 Foods That Fight Inflammation

Fighting Inflammation

Three times, in three years, I’ve injured myself slightly. And every time, it’s my left leg that suffers as an inflammatory response is triggered. This time I tangled with the front door, loaded down with bags of groceries, and lost my balance. As I fell, I threw myself forward toward a nearby chair, preferring to fall onto a cushioned seat, rather than onto the floor.

I’d love to see a slow-mo replay of that move! I successfully, albeit awkwardly, landed with a thump in the chair…and twisted my left knee in the process. This poor leg, that I call Darling with a mix of affection and exasperation, seems to be the weakest part of my body. The shingles virus affected it horribly, causing a great deal of pain over the years. After my graceless plop into the chair, I scanned my body, mentally, checking for injuries. Other than mild pain around the left knee, I seemed to be okay. However, within days I felt the tell-tale signs of inflammation in that leg. They included heat around the joint, muscle soreness and tightness, spasms, and pain. I began to limp.

I’m not a doctor or nurse, however, I do know my body well. And although I have healed from so much, this leg continues the recovery process. It reacts to stress by succumbing to inflammation. Thankfully, I can speed up the healing process by turning to foods that fight inflammation.

30 Foods That Fight Inflammation

Fruits that Fight Inflammation

First of all, when dealing with inflammation, whatever the cause, avoid wheat and dairy products. Both foods can aggravate and increase inflammation in the body.

Add these fruits, as many servings as possible during the day:

  • berries – all kinds
  • cherries
  • cranberries
  • grapes
  • kiwi
  • melons – all kinds
  • pomegranate

These can be eaten fresh or added to salads and combined in a variety of ways in smoothies. While oranges don’t make the list, for fighting inflammation, they are great for soothing body pains. I add them to smoothies and salads or eat them on their own.

Vegetables that Fight Inflammation

Add these veggies to eliminate inflammation:

  • asparagus
  • celery
  • cruciferous vegetables – all kinds
  • cucumbers
  • leafy greens
  • onions
  • potatoes
  • radishes

These foods can be eaten raw or cooked. My favorite anti-inflammatory meal includes steamed veggies, from the list above, with a fresh salad incorporating the rest of the list and pomegranate seeds tossed on top.

Herbs that Fight Inflammation

And finally, include these anti-inflammatory herbs and wild foods, in the form of fresh, tea, capsules or tinctures:

  • aloe vera
  • astralagus
  • burdock root
  • cat’s claw
  • chaga mushroom powder
  • chicory
  • cilantro
  • cinnamon
  • cloves
  • garlic
  • hemp seeds
  • honey (raw, organic)
  • lemon balm
  • nettle leaf
  • turmeric

Many of these can be taken in capsule or tincture form, however it works well to create tea blends and sip on the hot drink throughout the day. Combine dried burdock root, lemon balm and nettle leaf in a single large cup, add very hot water, and steep for 15 minutes. Stir in a spoonful of raw organic honey to receive the healing benefits from four inflammation fighting foods. Cinnamon and cloves can be added to chicory for a savory hot drink. Turmeric and cinnamon, combined with dairy free almond or coconut milk, makes a soothing anti-inflammatory drink.

Detox smoothie, celery juice, anti-inflammatory smoothie, turmeric milk (made with almond milk)

Sample Anti-inflammatory Menu

When I realized inflammation had settled around my left knee, I focused on consuming foods from the lists above. Here’s what a day of meals looks like:

Breakfast – 12 ounces of celery juice, 32 ounce smoothie (frozen berries, mango and pineapple, bananas, kiwi, grapes, pomegranate seeds, fresh aloe vera gel, teaspoon each of chaga mushroom powder and hemp seeds)

Lunch – plain baked potato with cooked cauliflower, salad of leafy greens, cucumbers, radishes and pomegranate seeds

Dinner – steamed veggies (potatoes, white and sweet, and asparagus), salad of leafy greens, cucumbers, radishes and pomegranate seeds.

Snack – fruit salad, mixing all the fruits from the list together.

During the day, I drank plenty of water and cups of hot tea, combining dried herbs together and throwing in several cranberries. I took cat’s claw and turmeric in capsule form, increasing my usual dosage. Several times during the day I iced the knee, to ease pain and reduce heat in the muscles.

List in hand, I headed to the grocery store and purchased as many of the healing foods as possible. I noticed improvement within 6 hours of including anti-inflammatory foods in my diet. After a couple of days of eating these foods, primarily, I am well on my way to being back to normal.

And this is what I’ve learned, finally. Because even a slight injury seems to trigger an inflammatory response, especially in my left leg, I need to be including foods from this list regularly, rather than waiting until I feel inflammation. I do eat lots of potatoes, celery and cilantro, and berries go into my smoothies most mornings. However, I want to be more intentional, more consistent, about eating these healing foods.

I’d rather be proactive. And perhaps someday, a little bump or tumble won’t set Darling off!

30 Foods that Fight Inflammation

Check out my Amazon Storefront for anti-inflammatory teas and supplements.

I am an Amazon Affiliate, and may make a commission on products ordered through my links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for making a purchase through my link.

Rustic Shortbread Cookies

Post holidays, the Liver Rescue book club, consisting of my mom, sister and me, picked up again with Chapter 3. We are learning much about our overworked, underappreciated livers. It truly is amazing, how hard our livers work, to keep us healthy for as long as possible. More about what I am learning in a future blog post.

Tonight it was good to get together and chat about the book over a simple, plant based meal, a cup of hot tea, and a healthy treat. I supplied dinner…Lentil Shepherd Pie…and a healthy dessert…Rustic Shortbread Cookies. The recipe came from my favorite health conscious grocery store…Natural Grocers.

Rustic Shortbread Cookies

Rustic Shortbread Cookies

This easy and healthy recipe arrived via my email. Tonight felt like the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot starch
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup dairy free butter (I used olive oil butter), at room temperature, divided into 8 pieces/spoonfuls
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. In mixing bowl, combine flour, arrowroot starch, coconut sugar and sea salt. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut in butter, a few pieces at a time. Repeat until all eight pieces are incorporated. Add vanilla. Stir and then using hands, knead dough until all ingredients are well combined.

Form dough into walnut sized balls, place on baking sheet and flatten with a fork. Bake 15 – 20 minutes, until golden brown. Allow cookies to cool completely, on cookie sheet. The arrowroot starch acts as a binder, as the cookies cool, holding them together.

Rustic Shortbread Cookies

Perfect with Tea

We rushed the cookies, not allowing them to cool completely before sampling with hot tea. They were excellent though, especially with the herbal tea. Not too sweet, these rustic shortbread cookies make a light, occasional treat to enjoy.

I appreciate Natural Grocers, for sending me recipes. Of course, I purchased all my ingredients there. Visit their website link, in the sentence above. In Joplin, they are located on the corner of 7th and Range Line.

And pick up some herbal tea while you are there! My favorite is the Yogi Detox blend, with echinacea.

Rustic Shortbread Cookies

Health Revolution

Recently my ten year granddaughter Aubrey announced to me that she wanted to start a revolution. When I asked her for more information about that she answered, “Wait. What’s a revolution?”

It turned out she meant resolution. With the new year quickly approaching, she wanted to set some goals for herself, make a list of resolutions.

I like the way this girl thinks. And actually, her choice of words provided thoughts for pondering.

Health Revolution

Resolution vs Revolution

Resolutions, which are very common this time of year, are strong decisions to do or not do something. They are also actions that solve problems or resolve conflicts. Common health resolutions include:
Losing weight
Exercising more
Improving diet
Sleeping better
Changing a lifestyle
Incorporating a new activity, such as yoga or dance

A revolution is a dramatic, wide-reaching change in the way something works or in a person’s ideas about a subject. Common revolutions involve:
Overthrow of governments
Change in social order
Radical restructuring
Shake up or shake down
Transformation

The more I’ve thought about it, the more I think Aubrey’s original choice of words is correct. It brings with it the power to create change.

It’s time for a health revolution!

Health Revolution

Staging a Revolution

This is a new year, and that means a fresh start. More goals are set in January than in any other month of the year. And no wonder. No matter what happened last year, when January 1 arrives it feels like we get another chance, another go at creating the life we desire. The days and weeks ahead seem full of possibilities and potential.

Health related goals typically top the list, with weight loss being number one. Sadly, many goals or resolutions are forgotten by the end of the month. The excitement of shifting habits or trying a new way of doing things fades. Life itself can get in the way and we get too busy to stay on track.

What if we staged a revolution? Instead of a list of goals, what if we crafted radical changes that had wide-reaching effects, improving health for the long term, rather than giving quick results that can be just as quickly lost? What might that do for our lives?

A revolution involves determination to see an old way of doing things completely change. It requires sacrifice, sometimes, and big plans, and the gumption to carry out those plans. And a revolution taps into the willingness to do whatever it takes.

Weight loss, while a worthy goal, is often too vague a term, too broad an idea to fight for when the going gets tough, or simply boring. However, releasing weight to prevent diabetes, or shedding pounds to have the energy to play with the kids, those begin to be more than mere goals. To willingly shake things up, turn life upside down and make radical changes that create a life worth living….that’s revolutionary.

Start with a goal…and ramp it up. What needs to shift, to bring optimal health and well being? What is the long term benefit from that change?

Health Revolution

Creating a Health Revolution

Two and half years ago, my goal was to relieve chronic pain and avoid being in a wheelchair. I was ready for radical change…ready to do anything that would increase my health AND my wellbeing. Selecting a 1200 calorie a day diet wasn’t enough. Drinking more water wasn’t going to do it. I needed big changes. I needed a revolution. Switching to a plant based lifestyle catapulted me into a totally different kind of existence. It has been revolutionary, indeed.

This year? I’m focusing on liver health and the continued detoxification of my body. The revolutionary battles I’m willing to fight include removing toxins from my home and limiting use of plastics, aluminum, and chemicals. Finding alternatives to what I am accustomed to using is my game plan. While removing toxic substances from my home and life, I am getting to know my liver, thanks to Liver Rescue by Anthony William. Just as I am removing toxins from my home, I am removing them from my overburdened liver and body as well.

That’s my 2019 Health Revolution.

What’s yours? What needs to drastically shift in your life, to radically improve your health and wellbeing, your quality of life? And what is the very first step you can take? Every journey, every revolution begins with a single step. What will yours be?

Join me this year, in a health revolution. I’ll be offering tips, recipes, reviews, interviews, foods, herbs, supplements and encouragement, to keep us all marching forward. It is onward and upward, brave souls. And the stakes are high. Our very lives depend on what we do to care for ourselves and live at optimal wellness. I’m willing to fight for my health. Are you?

Health Revolution