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Using Herbs to Activate Digestion

Herbs contain a variety of vitamins, minerals and other nutritional substances, these nutrients can be used by the body to nurture, repair or balance itself. Because these nutrients are naturally occurring in the plants, they are easy to absorb, naturally balanced, and when bought from a reputable they are free of chemicals, pesticides, and molds. Herbs have an affinity to organs or systems in the body. This means that the herb’s energy and nutrients have an energetic attraction for a particular part of the body. Herbs also contain vitamins and minerals which help support the function of the different organs or systems.

Herbs have specific properties, and when it comes to activating your digestion, herbs with Bitter and Aromatic properties come front and center. The Aromatic herbs stimulate, promote, or relax the body’s energy. These herbs are associated with your sense of smell because of the volatile oils they contain. Aromatic herbs like ginger and chamomile stimulate the secretion of digestive enzymes before a meal. These aromatic herbs have carminative and anti-spasmodic properties which help to break up gas in the digestive tract and relax tight tissues. This morning I drank a cup of Ginger and Chamomile tea to activate my digestion as well as relax tension in my stomach (I have a busy morning ahead of me).

Bitter herbs also activate digestion by stimulating the production of digestive enzymes. They also promote cleansing in the body (like cascara and dandelion). I added a squeeze of fresh lemon to my tea this morning. Lemons are fruits that also have both bitter (think of the rind) and aromatic (think of their wonderful fresh smell) properties. Drinking lemon juice in the morning is well known for activating the liver to release digestive enzymes such as bile.

Another digestive aid I love is NSP’s chewable Papaya mints. Papayas have bitter properties to activate digestion and are high in plant enzymes which help to break down our food. Papaya is a reliable source of papain, a protein digesting enzyme. As we age, or when we are under stress, we tend to make fewer digestive enzymes and so we suffer more from digestive complaints. I always have a bottle of Papaya Mints on hand and will chew a couple after a meal if something is not digesting properly. The Papaya Mint formula also includes peppermint leaf, which has aromatic properties to stimulate digestion. They taste so fresh, and the mint invigorates your taste buds! They are a great natural healthy replacement to a sugar filled after dinner mint.

Jumpstart your Morning Energy

I like to wake up early, around 5:30 AM, because I like to have time to read before starting into my morning routine. Around 7 AM I have my morning energy cocktail with a small handful of berries, followed by my breakfast smoothie around 9 AM.

It's a ritual I created to help me keep my focus on building health and vitality. My cocktail contains Noni juice and Ionic minerals which are bursting with life building nutritional properties.

Nature’s Sunshine’s Ionic minerals provide seventy natural plant minerals. This is important because the soil quality is so depleted that even with excellent quality organic veggies or fruits, our food is still missing some key trace minerals. Even if you take a quality multiple vitamin and mineral formula, they typically only contain around ten added minerals.

Minerals are like spark plugs in the body; they are involved in turning on hundreds of enzyme reactions in the body. They are essential for antioxidant-enzyme function, for releasing toxins from the body, for hormones to work, and for maintaining fluid balance in the body. Minerals assist in blood clotting, muscle contraction, nerve transmission and oxygen transport, the list could go on and on. The minerals in this formula are from Fulvic Acid, a naturally occurring source of plant derived trace minerals which have powerful antioxidant properties. Fulvic acid is easily absorbed into the body and can transport up to 60 X its own weight in nutrients directly into cells! Fulvic minerals are so helpful in building and maintaining your health.

The Ionic minerals are in the base of Acai berry, a tropical fruit grown in the Amazon. Acai berry is a very nutrient dense fruit, it contains ten times the antioxidants of grapes and twice that of blueberries. I have begun to look forward to taking the minerals daily, as my body recognizes the benefits that they hold. I believe that adding these minerals to your current nutritional program will enhance the program and further activate the healing process in your body.

Noni is an amazing fruit which is high in antioxidants and immune supporting properties. Noni juice has been a stable food source in Polynesia for centuries. Many are familiar with the fruits ability to boost endurance and stamina. Noni juice is a tonic which means it contains a variety of nutrients and properties which help to build and strengthen the body and improve vital energy. Noni supports the digestive, nervous, immune, and structural systems of the body. Like Fulvic Acid, noni helps with nutrient absorption. The compounds in Noni appear to have the ability to increase the absorption, assimilation and utilization of vitamins and minerals. It is thought that the presence of proxeronine in Noni initiates a rise in xeronine in the intestinal tract which enables the walls of the intestines to absorb various nutrients more efficiently, especially proteins.

I think you can understand why I begin my morning with these super foods.

My cocktail contains:

1 ounce of Ionic Minerals

and 2 Tbs. of Noni juice.

If you don't like their flavor, try adding a splash of pineapple, orange, or berry juice to your mix.

Morning Smoothie Ideas

This past Saturday I woke up feeling energized and happy, so I decided to make a special breakfast smoothie to match my mood. I wanted to make a healthy version of the Orange Julius frozen drink I remembered drinking at the mall when I was a teen. Luckily, Lifeway, my favorite brand of Kefir (a healthy fermented drink like yogurt, but drinkable), just came out with a new Lemon kefir – Yum! It tastes like a combination of fresh lemons and cream. I combined it with a whole clementine and a scoop of Matcha vanilla protein smoothie. This created a wonderful healthy version of the Orange Julius flavor I loved. Of course, to make it extra special I had to top it off with a swirl of Natural, non-GMO whipping cream. I had a handful of raspberries left over so I decided to try another version by adding them to the mix. Although tasty, I wouldn’t recommend it because the raspberries overpowered the lemon.

All this got me thinking about what the ingredients of an original Orange Julius were and did this company even exist anymore. Sure enough, they are still blending up their smoothies (as part of Dairy Queen), but the ingredients do not reflect anything like the original and are full of chemicals. The original Orange Julius was made with ice, orange juice, sweetener, milk, powdered egg whites and vanilla flavoring.

The Dairy Queen version has these ingredients listed on their website:

High Fructose Corn Syrup, Water, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (To Protect Flavor), Water, Orange Juice: Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice, Orange Julius Flavor Enhancer Modified Whey Solids, Maltodextrin, Egg White Solids, Sugar, Karaya Gum, Natural & Artificial Flavors, Corn Syrup Solids, Guar Gum, Modified food Starch, Dipotassium Phosphate, Xanthan gum, standardized with dextrose. Yikes!

For those of you who avoid dairy, Lifeway has just come out with a cultured Oat milk version. I haven't seen lemon yet, but the blueberry one I bought was delicious!

It is wonderful to take time to treat yourself to healthy versions of special foods you love. Create an experience worthy of the special person that you are!

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