The Natural Bud

Blossoming into a Healthier Lifestyle


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Green Living: Not Just a New Trend

photocredit: streetsblog.org

photocredit: streetsblog.org

After we moved to NYC, many of our lifestyle choices changed. Some people may get the impression that we’ve simply joined in the city’s fads – become a “health fanatic” because it’s the popular thing to do here.

We do buy a significant amount of organic food, make our own nontoxic cleaners, encourage breastfeeding when possible, etc. It’s just a coincidence that we lived in the city when we made certain changes.

photocredit: rew-online.com

photocredit: rew-online.com

For those who have read the last few posts, you know that poor choices regarding both diet and environment nearly destroyed my health. I was 22 yrs old, newly married, and hardly had the energy to clean our 1000 sq ft apartment. It was draining physically, emotionally and spiritually. Would I ever have the energy to be the wife I wanted to be? Exposure to black mold, chemical cleaners, eating only cooked and processed foods, birth control pill – all of these contributed to my toxic overload.

photocredit: viktoriastrology.wordpress.com

photocredit: viktoriastrology.wordpress.com

For us as Christians, it’s more than just a better life.  We seek to know and live by God’s Word.  Jesus said that “to whom much is given, much is required.”  The more we know, the more responsible we are to make appropriate choices. (*see note below*)

photocredit: thestrouplawfirm.com

photocredit: thestrouplawfirm.com

After years of health problems, doctor visits, new solutions and research… here is what our family knows**:

  1. Eat Fresh: Our bodies require 50% fresh food (live enzymes) with each meal to benefit from the nutrients. Otherwise our bodies respond to the cooked food as they would to an enemy.
  2. Cut Out Sugar: Sugar has negative side-effects: those who consume sugar age faster, have more difficulty losing weight, tend to have more difficult labors & are more likely to tear at birth. Sugar can also be addictive and feeds candida which can lead to many other problems. (Fatigue, headaches, ear pressure…)
  3. Eliminate Toxins: Chemical cleaners and cosmetics contain ingredients that have been linked to several different cancers.
  4. Rebuild Your System: Live enzymes, nutritional supplementation and probiotics play a significant part in rebuilding the digestive system.
  5. Eat Organic: “The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children eat organic whenever possible.” – Dr. Herzog, Board Certified Pediatrician. Exposure to certain pesticides have been linked to significant problems later in life. Higher amounts of pesticides are found in fat (butter, yogurt). Pesticides also soak into several fruits and vegetables – “The Dirty Dozen” – meaning washing the skin will not protect you from consuming multiple pesticides.

    agapegeek.com

    agapegeek.com

Apathy and ignorance nearly destroyed my health and with that, the freedom to serve my family.

No, this isn’t a trend.  It’s a belief system.  It’s a new way of life.

photocredit: zawaj.com

photocredit: zawaj.com

*Note: We certainly can’t control everything about our health; but we are responsible to be faithful with what we can control.  (I’m still working on this….)  For example, we can’t always control how we feel physically or emotionally. I may feel overwhelmed or discouraged, and that is okay… but I choose how to handle those feelings.  I can feed those discouraged feelings by focusing on all my problems or I can choose to cultivate a grateful heart for what I have. I can also support my body physically, which in turn will help emotionally.

**For sake of brevity, I’ll cite research in the following post.  For those who are overwhelmed with pursuing a healthier lifestyle, I’ll also share some basic tips to help you get started.

***Nothing in this post or blog is intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.***

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We’ve just returned from a refreshing family retreat in the mountains of Pennsylvania.  After splurging a little too much on vacation, and after a long day out yesterday (dr. appt., lunch, Trader Joe’s), I enjoyed making this refreshing – HEALTHY – afternoon snack.  Then I realized almost every ingredient was from Trader Joe’s.  (No, they haven’t asked me to advertise. 😉 )

Here’s the simple recipe.  Modify to your liking…
1. Layer the bottom of the bowl with walnuts (got those from Costco)
2. Cover the walnuts with organic Greek Yogurt
3. Top with a handful of Organic Raspberries and Sliced Almonds
4. Add a couple squares of Trader Joe’s soy-free, sugar-free dark chocolate candy bar.

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Side-note: Something about this recipe makes me want to have a girls’ day watching Anne of Green Gables.

photocredit: weheartit.com

photocredit: weheartit.com


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Guilt-Free Mango “Ice Cream”

Mango Ice Cream

Mango Ice Cream

 

I just made this mango “ice cream” for breakfast.  It began as a quick smoothie with what we had on hand, but it turned into a light, creamy mango ice cream!  My two-year-old ate at least half of it!  And it only takes three ingredients! (Well, four if you count the water :))

Mango Ice Cream: the amount it actually made

Mango Ice Cream: the amount it actually made

1. Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream.  I used 1/2 a can, maybe a little more (my coconut cream had been in the fridge, leftover from a previous recipe; I think that added to the ice cream texture).  Coconut cream is also great for making dairy-free whipped topping. 🙂

Trader Joe's Coconut Cream

Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream

2. Half a slice of frozen pineapple (more if you want it sweeter).

3. About 2 Cups of Frozen Mango Cubes.  The Costco near us just started carrying this big bag of organic mango cubes!
IMG_6504Ingredients in Vitamix: note: the vitamin looked fuller the first time. When I took this pic my coconut cream wasn't refrigerated, plus I had no pineapple.

Add these all to the Vitamix (or a high-quality blender) in the order listed, then add 1/4 cup of water (just enough to help it blend). I also have raw honey that I got from Trader Joe’s; may add that next time if anyone wanted it sweeter.  I enjoyed the light taste of this though!  Great as a quick, healthy breakfast!

Quick Overview for those who NEED an EXACT Recipe 😉

  • 3/4 cup coconut cream (Best if refrigerated first)
  • 2 cups frozen mango cubes
  • Half Slice of Frozen Pineapple
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Add in the order listed, then blend until creamy and enjoy 🙂
Toddler Loved It :)  Excuse the "bed-head."

Toddler Loved It 🙂
Excuse the “bed-head.”