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8 Natural Headache Remedies

Headaches…argh! From minor to debilitating, headaches are a pain – literally. As part of our journey to reduce and eliminate chemicals and toxins, we try to avoid many over the counter and prescription medications when possible. It’s not easy considering how quick we are as a culture to throw medication at a problem, even when unnecessary. In fact, as research shows, some medications actually cause the very issue they are supposed to be resolving, leading to this never-ending cycle and dependency on said medication. I personally fell-victim to this process with PPIs, before I discovered a more natural way of living and treating my body. Another example of this unfortunately is NSAIDs, or Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. According to these findings, NSAIDs not only damage the gut lining and create inflammation, but they also induce gluten sensitivity (eye opening information for those questioning the sudden rise in gluten sensitivities!). So while there are certainly times when medications may be necessary, I have made it a priority for my family to live as medication-free as possible. And I – like many of you – have found that most common health issues can be resolved through natural measures. That said, do your own research and decide what’s right for you and your family! In this post I’m sharing some information related to headaches and some natural remedies that work for me and my family.

Types of Headaches

There are numerous types of headaches that millions of people suffer from. The most common types of headaches are:

  • Sinus Headaches. Usually accompanied by other sinus symptoms such as runny nose, fever, pressure.
  • Tension Headaches. The most common type, these headaches are also known as “stress-headaches”, often occur daily, and are typically mild to moderate.
  • Migraines. These may last a few hours or even a few days, once or twice a month. Usually accompanied by other symptoms such as sensitivity to light, nausea or vomiting, and upset stomach or belly pain.
  • Cluster Headaches. These are severe, with shooting pain behind the eyes, that may occur several times over a couple of weeks or so. They usually go away for a period of time and then may return later.

8 Natural Headache Remedies

There are many possible causes of headaches, including stress, environmental toxins, dehydration, food allergies and sensitivities, leaky gut, eye strain, and vitamin and mineral imbalances. If you are someone who suffers from any of the above types of headaches, read through these 8 natural headache remedies before you reach for that bottle of aspirin:

  1. Hydrate. So simple, right? I can’t tell you the number of clients that have seen us complaining of headaches and as soon as we get them drinking more water the headaches vanish! How much water are you consuming daily? Try working up to half your body weight and notice the difference.
  2. Reduce Stress. Duh, right? Do things to reduce stress. No, don’t quit your job. But do try yoga, brief meditations, exercise, and deep breaths.
  3. Move and Stretch. Exercising and doing yoga are excellent ways of relieving tension and stress, and thus reducing head pain and the chance of headaches occurring. A regular fitness and yoga routine can be the best preventative medicine, for this and for numerous other things.
  4. Eat Real Foods. We have drilled this into you, I know, but food really is medicine.
  5. Sleep. Lack of good quality sleep can wreak havoc on a body, inside and out, so it’s no wonder that it’s often a culprit of head pain. Make sure you’re getting 7-9 hours of good quality sleep each night. Read this post to learn more about sleep and how to get enough!
  6. Peppermint Essential Oil. Backed by research, not to mention anecdotal support, peppermint essential oil is my go-to for headache relief. I run a little on my temples and immediately feel relief.
  7. Detox Baths. Detox baths rid your body of toxins, help prevent getting sick, and can prevent headaches. In addition, as they help relieve stress, they can be a good remedy for headaches too. Learn more about detox baths and how to take one here.
  8. Increase Magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is rampant among Americans, and is often the cause of headaches and even migraines. Learn more about magnesium deficiency and what to do about it here.

For more information on how to relieve or prevent headaches and other health issues, contact us for a free online or in-studio consult!

 

2-Ingredient Maple-Chocolate Candy (Paleo, Refined Sugar-free)

Have you ever been to a sugarhouse in Vermont? If not, you should go. Why? Because first of all Vermont is beautiful. Peaceful, serene, unplugged. Everyone should spend at least a weekend in Vermont. Seriously. Maybe we’ll add that as part of our health and wellness plan for our clients. As soon as you enter the state you immediately feel your breaths become deeper, your shoulders relax back down to where they’re meant to be, your mood lightens. It’s the perfect place to de-stress, to enjoy nature, and

Maple sugar house between trees with fall foliage at the countryside at Reading, Vermont, USA

to just be. Second, sugarhouses are usually set in some beautiful majestic setting (it is Vermont afterall), often down a windy, hilly path surrounding by mountains, trees, and gorgeous clean air. Third, this is where the most delicious, pure, straight from the trees maple syrup is made. And if you’ve never tried Vermont’s maple syrup, well…you should. It’s the perfect blend of sweet and intense flavor, and you can almost taste the cool air and pure nature that only Vermont can produce.

Okay, okay, maple syrup is delicious. But it’s sugar, right? Actually, maple syrup is an unrefined natural sugar, and like honey it contains higher levels of antioxidants and beneficial nutrients than white table sugar or high fructose corn syrup. It’s a wonderful alternative to refined and processed sugars, which are linked to numerous health problems. In fact, here are some benefits of maple syrup, in case you’re on the fence (I suggest getting down from the fence and going to Vermont, but hey that’s just me):

5 Benefits of Maple Syrup:

  1. Contains nutrients: zinc, potassium, manganese, magnesium, iron and calcium.
  2. Contains antioxidants
  3. Lower glycemic index than refined sugars
  4. Good for the skin: can lower inflammation and dryness
  5. Healthier alternative to artificial sweeteners and refined sugars, thus helping to prevent health problems that these cause
  • Even with these health benefits, maple syrup, just like any sugar, should be consumed in moderation.

In our house, maple syrup and raw honey are the sweeteners of choice when we need to satisfy a sweet tooth. This Easter I decided to think outside the box a little, and instead of more chocolate candies, I decided to make a maple candy. It turned out delicious, and just like the candy we tried in Vermont! It’s pretty easy to make, but make sure you follow the directions as accurately as possible. We no longer use chocolate chips because even the dark chips often contain soy and/or sugar, which we try to avoid. Instead we use our eating evolved chocolate bars and chop them up into chip-sized pieces! Also, you can choose to omit the chocolate chips and you’ll still have a delicious maple candy that can be spooned into candy molds for a cute presentation!

2-Ingredient Maple-Chocolate Candy

  1. In large saucepan, boil maple syrup over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Use candy thermometer and continue boiling until it reaches 235 degrees F.
  2. Remove saucepan fro heat and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes, or 175 degrees F.
  3. Once cooled, whisk rapidly until lighter in color, thick and creamy. Quickly stir in chocolate pieces (it’s okay if the chocolate is a little melty; you want to add the chocolate once it’s smooth and somewhat cool, but if you wait too long the mixture will be too hard!)
  4. Pour into candy molds or into an 8X8 pan (or something similar). Cool in refrigerator for a few minutes. Can be stored in airtight container in fridge for up to 3-4 weeks (but I promise it won’t last that long!)

I hope you enjoy this Maple-Chocolate Candy as much as we do, and at some point get to experience Vermont too! What are you’re favorite uses for maple syrup?

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This website may, from time to time, endorse various products and/or services that we believe will benefit you in your quest for improving your life and health. It may be true that this website and its owner will receive compensation for these endorsements should you choose to purchase said products or services. In fact, in such cases, you should assume that we are an affiliate and will be compensated. Having said that, this website and its owner will only endorse products and/or services in which we strongly believe, or which we have used ourselves. By using this website, you hereby consent to the disclaimer and agree to all terms, policies, and conditions.

3 Supplements That We Take and Why

3 Supplements That We Take and Why

It’s no secret that Japheth and I eat a healthy diet. We are big proponents of the Paleo diet, for ourselves, our kids, and our clients. What this means for us is that we eat a varied diet of whole, non-processed, organic foods, without refined sugar or grains. We order our produce and meats from local organic farms and avoid any unknown additives or chemicals. In addition we make and eat bone broth and fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, and coconut milk yogurt. So with all these nutrient-rich foods, why do we take supplements?

Why We Supplement

I love the idea of eating a clean whole foods diet and getting all of our body’s nutrients through that. After all, our bodies were made to survive and thrive on food from the ground and unmodified meats. Unfortunately in our modern environment, this is no longer possible. According to Chris Kresser, multiple environmental factors negatively influence the nutrient quality of foods, and how our bodies respond to them. Some of these factors include:

  • A decline in soil diversity and quality
  • Decreased diversity of plant species
  • Increased exposure to environmental toxins
  • Overuse of medications leading to gut and liver damage
  • Poor sleep quality and high levels of stress
  • Reduced connection with nature and social relationships
  • A society of sitting

Kresser notes that “supplementation is not necessarily a sign that your diet isn’t working. It’s a means of making it work better.” The supplements that we choose to take for maintaining our health are not meant to replace foods, but instead to compliment our natural diet.
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3 Supplements That We Take

Every body is unique and complex, and while certain supplements are needed by – and work well for – us, they may not work for everyone. If you suspect that you have nutrient deficiencies, please consult a knowledgeable professional before beginning supplementation. Here are the 3 supplements that we take daily as maintenance supplementation:

  1. Probiotic. Adding probiotic-rich foods such as fermented foods into your diet is essential. However, for some, a probiotic supplement may be beneficial as well. Probiotics promote a healthy immune system, improved digestion, increased energy, and overall gut health. They can also reduce symptoms of diarrhea, cold and flu. We take these probiotics daily, and sometimes double up when sick. It’s important to note that when trying probiotic supplements you may need to try a few different types and doses before finding one that is a good match. Generally you want between 10 and 30 different strains, and a probiotic number of 15-100 billion.
  2. Magnesium. An estimated 80% of adults are deficient in magnesium, and symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the level of deficiency and the duration. Learn more about the signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency and what to do about it .  We take this magnesium daily, especially in times of high stress.
  3. Fermented Cod Liver Oil (FCLO). Many healthcare professionals recommend taking Omega-3s in some form because of its many benefits to health, such as lowering inflammation and preserving brain health. FCLO is a particularly great source of vitamins A and D, and is anti-inflammatory. According to Dr. Josh Axe , FCLO can owner cholesterol and blood pressure, helps treat depression and prevent heart disease, and helps maintain bone health, among other benefits. We take this Fermented Cod Liver Oil  daily and find that it also helps boost energy.

Before supplementing, be sure to consult with a qualified professional. Contact us if you’d like more information about how to make sure you’re getting enough essential nutrients to optimize your health!

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This website may, from time to time, endorse various products and/or services that we believe will benefit you in your quest for improving your life and health. It may be true that this website and its owner will receive compensation for these endorsements should you choose to purchase said products or services. In fact, in such cases, you should assume that we are an affiliate and will be compensated. Having said that, this website and its owner will only endorse products and/or services in which we strongly believe, or which we have used ourselves. By using this website, you hereby consent to the disclaimer and agree to all terms, policies, and conditions.

14 Health Benefits of Magnesium and How to Make Sure You’re Getting Enough

14 Health Benefits of Magnesium and How to Make Sure You’re Getting Enough

Magnesium is an essential mineral for our bodies, with endless benefits, yet it’s not something that we hear a lot about in the mainstream medical realm. When we bring this up to our clients, for example, we often get blank looks, or sometimes a vague sign of recognition. Despite the lack of awareness for this mineral, an estimated 80% of Americans are actually deficient in magnesium, and the symptoms can range from mild to severe. We hope that after you read this post you will be armed with more knowledge and awareness about the importance of healthy magnesium levels, what to look for if you think you may be magnesium-deficient, and how to use diet and supplementation to compensate for any deficiency.

Signs of Magnesium Deficiency

Symptomology is the primary indicator of a magnesium deficiency. There is no lab test that can accurately and consistently diagnose a person as deficient in magnesium. While there are blood and urine tests that provide estimates of magnesium levels, most doctors Will likely look at the presenting symptoms as the primary indicators. So what symptoms should you be looking for? A magnesium deficiency, especially one that has been ongoing, can cause a number of symptoms. Some of the most common ones are:

  • Muscle weakness and cramps
  • Seizures
  • Hypertension and abnormal heart rhythms
  • Mood swings and behavioral disorders
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Other nutrient deficiencies
  • Headache/migraines
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Significant loss of appetite

14 Health Benefits of Magnesium

Numerous studies have evaluated the benefits of magnesium, with staggering results. Here are 14 health benefits of magnesium:

  1. Relieves muscle aches, cramping, and spasms
  2. Aids digestion and relieves constipation
  3. Helps with sleep by quieting the mind and relaxing muscles
  4. Calms nerves
  5. Increases energy
  6. Helps prevent hypertension and promote heart health
  7. Helps relieve symptoms of PMS
  8. Helps prevent migraines
  9. Helps relieve pain of fibromyalgia
  10. Promotes healthy blood pressure levels
  11. Can boost exercise performance
  12. Helps regulate mood and reduce symptoms of depression
  13. Promotes bone health
  14. Strengthens tooth enamel

How to Make Sure You’re Getting Enough

Magnesium-Rich Foods. If you suspect that you may be deficient in magnesium, it is always a good idea to evaluate your diet. Add in as many whole, organic, and varied foods as possible. Remember that plant foods are only as healthy as the soil they were grown in. Organic vegetables, for example, tend to have higher levels of magnesium than non-organic. Some foods naturally rich in magnesium include:

  • Spinach
  • Chard
  • Avocado
  • Almonds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Banana
  • Figs
  • Dark chocolate
  • Salmon

Magnesium Supplements. Depending on your symptoms, it may be a good idea to use magnesium supplements. There are lots of different types of magnesium supplements, with the citrate, chelate, and chloride forms believed to have higher absorption rates. We use Davinci Labs Tri-Mag 300, which provides three chelates forms of magnesium. As with any supplementation, its important that you additionally adhere to a diet of varied, whole and organic foods. The paleo diet provides healthy levels of magnesium, as well as an optimal calcium to magnesium ratio.

Contact us at Water and Rock Studio for a free online or in-studio health consult today!


Affiliate Notice
This website may, from time to time, endorse various products and/or services that we believe will benefit you in your quest for improving your life and health. It may be true that this website and its owner will receive compensation for these endorsements should you choose to purchase said products or services. In fact, in such cases, you should assume that we are an affiliate and will be compensated. Having said that, this website and its owner will only endorse products and/or services in which we strongly believe, or which we have used ourselves. By using this website, you hereby consent to the disclaimer and agree to all terms, policies, and conditions.