I fell in love with South Africa eight years ago and I’m never going back!

Trees and Fields at Sunset

In 2006, I moved from the United States to South Africa in search of a healthier lifestyle. If you didn’t know, the United States is one of the most chemically laden and corrupt food supplies in the world. It was nearly impossible to live a healthy life in America because it was nearly impossible to find organic food. I’ve since visited the United States and learned that they have put more effort into local and organic food, but the food supply is still vastly corrupt and genetically modified. Besides, I fell in love with South Africa eight years ago and I’m never going back!

I now follow a Weston A. Price inspired diet that consists of whole and organic foods that I cook myself. I try to buy local and organic whenever possible. I eat plenty of healthy protein and fats from grass-fed dairy, pastured meats, and wild caught seafood. I also eat plenty of vegetables and fresh fruit. I try to avoid gluten, and all processed foods- ESPECIALLY processed sugars.

When I moved to South Africa, I got a gym membership and I’ve had one ever since. I try to work out 3-5 times per week but I am always sure to give my body at least two days of rest. I like to do a lot of functional movement training- my own special blend of crossfit and traditional body building. My favorite exercises are dead lifts, lunges, and squats! For cardio, I prefer to get out of the gym with nice long walk on the beach or an adventurous hilly bike ride. Ellipticals are lame!

I will be using this blog to keep myself on the healthy track and to help others join me a long the way. It took a huge change for me to get healthy, but I’m going to use this blog to share the little, everyday changes you can make in order to live a healthier lifestyle.

Don’t Supplement Shop without this Guide

Supplements exist to make getting key nutrients and antioxidants easier; yet shopping for supplements can seem anything but easy. Walking down the rows of the health food section or browsing online stores can leave shoppers feeling confused and bewildered on what the right purchase choice really is. Keep a few basic guidelines in mind as you shop for supplements. We will use shopping for an ubiquinol supplement as an example, but the principals can be applied to any supplement purchase.Herbal

  1. Know the Functions of the Supplement You are Seeking. Ubiquinol, the active and usable form of the vital Coenzyme Q10, has multiple benefits. Are you seeking it for its energy boosting properties? Help with heart health? Aid to the immune system? Or maybe all of these things. Whatever your reason for taking a supplement, enter your purchase knowing why you are searching for a supplement.
  2. Look for a Pure Version of the Supplement You Are Seeking. High quality supplements should be free of artificial fillers and synthetic ingredients. In our example, a choice like the Dr. Mercola Ubinquinol supplement would be a good choice because it is both all natural and free of any unnecessary fillers.
  3. Choose a Reputable Company. With the ease of setting up an internet shop these days almost anyone can set up whatever sort of shop he or she wants on the internet. Further, supplements are not regulated by the FDA, making it easier for companies to make low quality versions in the name of a quick profit. Look for a well-established company grounded in medical research, like the aforementioned Mercola company.

It can be intimidating to make a supplement purchase, but armed with these criteria you will be able to purchase any supplement with full confidence.

How to Find the Best Cordyceps Supplement

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I have spent years searching for the perfect cordyceps sinensis supplement and I believe I have developed the perfect guide for finding the best cordyceps sinensis available. First, let me begin by explaining what cordyceps is and why you would want to take this magical herb as daily supplement. Cordyceps sinensis is a mushroom like herb that grows in the Himalayan Mountains at about 12,000 feet above sea level. This amazing herbs ability to adapt to the climate and thrive gives cordyceps nearly magical medicinal properties. For this reason, cordyceps sinensis is considered an adaptogen herb.

Adaptogen herbs work to balance the body by adapting to the body’s specific needs. They balance energy levels, the stress response system, hormones, and more while simultaneously boosting overall health. Each adaptogen has its own unique properties, but they all adapt to the body’s needs while causing little to side effects or negative interactions. Adaptogen herbs are safe alternative to many dangerous prescription medicines.

Cordyceps sinensis’ unique benefits include its ability to increase energy, endurance, and stamina. Cordyceps also works to boost oxygen capacity and lung function while battling weakness and fatigue. For all of these reasons, cordyceps has become very popular with athletes. Cordyceps also works to boost the immune system, improve sexual function, and boost overall health.

The best cordyceps sinensis is organically grown in the USA or wild harvested from the HimalayanMountains. It is very difficult to find wild harvested cordyceps, so organically grown US cordyceps is a very good option. The cordyceps should then be processed without the use of extreme heat or chemicals so that none of the nutrients get destroyed. Last but not least, a cordyceps supplement should contains only 100% pure cordyceps sinensis with absolutely no fillers, flow agents, or artificial ingredients.

10 Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

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1. Weight Loss – Coconut oil benefits natural weight loss in a number of ways; it increases metabolism, prevents overeating, and reduces body fat around the midsection.

2. Skin Care – Coconut oil can be applied to the skin for use as a natural moisturizer. Coconut oil can also be used a shaving cream to prevent razor burn.

3. Stress Relief – Coconut oil can be used as a wonderful massage lotion to prevent and reduce stress. It has a light tropical sent that will help you take a mental vacation.

4. Heart Health – Coconut oil contains lauric acid. Studies suggest that lauric acid improves heart health and may play a hand in preventing heart disease.

5. Digestion – Coconut oil promotes a healthier digestive system and improves regularity. The saturated fats found in coconut oil have anti-microbial properties which work to combat bacteria, fungi, and parasites.

6. Immunity – Coconut oil contains lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. These important acids boost the immune system and ward of illness naturally.

7. Liver Health – Coconut oil reduces the livers work load and prevents accumulation of fat on the liver white promotes optimal liver function.

8. Blood Sugar Levels – Coconut oil helps the body utilize blood glucose which promotes healthy blood sugar levels and improves the secretion of insulin.

9. Bone Health – Coconut oil boosts the body’s ability to absorb important minerals such as calcium and magnesium which are needed for the strength and development of healthy bones.

10. Dental Care – Coconut oil boosts the intake of the very important mineral known as calcium, which is of vital necessity for both healthy bones and healthy teeth. For use as a dietary supplement, I recommend unrefined coconut oil capsules.

Shake Up Your Morning Routine

Shake It Up

We constantly hear about the importance of breakfast for getting your day started right. The right type of breakfast helps kick start the metabolism and give you lasting energy. Unfortunately, many breakfasts do just the opposite of this. Kick your old breakfast to the curb and choose a new breakfast that will leave you feeling full and ready to tackle your day.

 

The Problem

 

Many breakfast foods are full of ingredients unhealthy ingredients. For example, toast and cereal is full of sugar and refined grains. Many other breakfast staples are highly processed. Such foods cause dramatic blood sugar spikes and dips that leave you with headaches and hunger pains.

 

Conventional breakfast meats like bacon and sausage at least give you a dose of protein in the morning, but are full of chemical preservatives. These chemicals have been linked with increasing the odds of diseases, including cancer. Not a good way to start the day!

 

The Answer

 

The answer to a healthier breakfast is easier than you may think. Simply mixing up a smoothie in the morning can give you a quick dose of protein, fruit, vegetables, and more—all in one cup!

 

How To

 

It is difficult to make a mistake on a smoothie. Choose a few healthy ingredients and the blend button. Bananas make a good base because of their creamy texture. Avocados can provide a similar, though less sweet, effect. Berries of almost any variety add a sweet taste and high antioxidant content.

 

The next step is adding dark leafy greens like spinach or kale. For those who don’t care for the texture that these greens add, organic kale powder can offer a nutrient-dense and convenient alternative. Simply add a couple scoops to your morning smoothie for kale’s anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, cholesterol lowering, and anti-aging powers.

 

Be sure to avoid putting any added sugars or artificial ingredients into your smoothie and you will be all set.

 

Why Choosing an Organic Protein Powder Matters

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People consider a variety of factors when choosing a protein powder. Ability to help meet the desired goal, compatibility with any dietary restrictions, taste, and cost are a few of the top factors people look for in protein powder. One important factor that cannot be overlooked is the quality of ingredients used in the protein powder. One of the best ways to ensure that ingredients are of high quality is by selecting only protein powders made from organic ingredients.

Avoiding Chemical Pesticides

Conventionally grown crops are sprayed with harsh chemicals to encourage growth and prevent pests and disease from getting the crops. These powerful chemicals are designed to resist being washed away by the elements. This means that even a thorough washing cannot remove all chemical residue from crops. There is little to no data to support the safety of long term human consumption of these pesticides and fertilizers, but plenty of questions about the risks.

Organic crops are held to higher standards. They can only be grown with the aid of natural products. The result is the sources used in organic protein powder never come in contact with the harsh chemicals that conventional protein powders do.

Avoiding GMO Crops

Corn and soy are among the crops most commonly grown from genetically modified crops (GMOs). While the connections between soy protein powders and genetically modified soy crops is obvious, genetically modified corn crops also have a tremendous impact on protein powders. Most conventionally raised cows are fed a corn-based mixture, and most conventional corn is genetically modified. Therefore, dairy protein products from cows fed GMO crops are also impacted by GMOs.

Opinion on GMOs is divided, but many health experts advise people to avoid them as much as possible. The governments of dozens of countries around the world have such concerns about GMOs that they have banned their use. By choosing an organic protein powder, people assure themselves that they are not exposing themselves to GMOs in any way.

Final Thoughts

Most people use protein powers on a daily basis. The frequent consumption of them multiplies the need for them to come from the highest quality organic sources possible.

 

The Top 4 Most Important Supplements

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I often get asked “What vitamins are the best to take?” Well, that answer will vary from person to person, and technically speaking, I’m not exactly qualified to answer that question. I am a health and fitness aficionado, but I am not certified in any medical or fitness fields. So to answer this question to the best of my ability, I will tell you about the 4 most important supplements that my body needs.

1. Fish Oil

I take fish oil because it is the perfect natural source of omega fats and vitamins A and D. It is important to remember that not all fish oil supplements are created equal. I buy a traditionally fermented cod liver oil. Traditional processing of fish oil allows all of the precious nutrients to stay intact.

2. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is another highly important source of healthy fats. It contains many fatty acids that work to combat disease, boost energy, boost metabolism, and benefits healthy weight loss. Coconut oil is an all around superfood because it is so nutrient dense and it boast so many beneficial properties.

3. Algae

Algae supplements are another one on my top 4 list. I think of algae supplement’s as nature’s multivitamins because they contain such a vast array of nutrients. My favorite algae supplements are spirulina and chlorella as those are the most beneficial.

4. Probiotics

Last but not least, I feel that everyone should be taking a probiotic supplement. Our modern diet does not contain NEARLY enough fermented foods. Fermented foods, the probiotics they provide, are entirely necessary to the core of human health and wellness.

There you have it! Fish oil, coconut oil, algae, and probiotics are the top 4 supplements that my body needs. I believe that everyone should be taking at least a probiotic, but almost everyone can benefit from each of these superfood supplements.

Three Healthy Changes You Can Make TODAY

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Perhaps you have been thinking you need to make some changes to improve your health and fitness for some time now. But the thought of overhauling your entire diet and lifestyle is overwhelming, to say the least. Like with anything else, a big change is really the result of many small changes. Rather than putting off the changes you know you need to make another day longer, you can make the following three changes today.

Break a Sweat-

Adding in just a few minutes of exercise to your day offers a host of benefits: stress release, heart health, and calorie burning, just to name a few. If the thought of hitting the gym lacks appeal, think of something that does sound appealing to you. Just because something isn’t traditionally classified as exercise does not mean it does not offer you benefits.

Action step for TODAY #1: Consider taking a hike, going for a walk with a friend, or even doing yard work. Attempt to get 20-30 minutes of physical activity today and build from there. Soon it will be a habit.

Give Yourself Something Extra-

Despite sincere efforts, most people need more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in their diets than they currently get. Whether you are in need of a good multivitamin or a more specific supplement like a green coffee bean extract it is simple to add a supplement or two into your diet. The benefits can be significant both today and in the future. For example, a recent study out of Cornell University revealed that the chlorogenic acid in green coffee beans may play a major role in preventing retinal degeneration.

Action step for TODAY #2: Visit a local health food store or reputable online shop and choose which supplement(s) you want to use to enhance your diet.

Try Something New-

If the thought of cutting out all of your favorite junk foods is daunting to you, start by adding in healthier foods rather than eliminating the unhealthy ones. In time, you will find some new healthier favorites and be able to phase out some of the worst offenders you are currently eating.

Action step for TODAY #3: Choose one new fruit or vegetable you can add to your plate. Tomorrow try another.

Getting to a healthier version of yourself does not have to be done all at once. Feeling the victory of taking these three small steps will propel you to make more changes, and in no time you will have met your goal.

 

An Herbal Remedy for Everything

Adaptogens are herbs that work to normalize anything that isn’t functioning properly within the human body. They also boost the immune system and improve overall health and wellness. Adaptogens can only be classified as so if they cause little to no side effects. The purpose of an adaptogen will vary from person to person as the genius little herbs discover exactly what’s wrong and start working to correct the problem.

Take rhodiola rosea for example; rhodiola rosea has the amazing ability to decrease feelings of stress and anxiety in those who are anxious. It can also cure and prevent insomnia, but oddly enough, rhodiola rosea can also work to increase energy. Someone who is constantly high strung and anxious will notice a soothing effect from rhodiola while someone who is constantly overrun and tired will notice an energizing and uplifting effect. Someone who suffers from both low energy and anxiety will benefit in a multitude of ways.

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I personally take Siberian rhodiola rosea because I feel that it is the most effective. I buy a supplement made from Siberian rhodiola rosea root. It contains a rhodiola extract that contains 3% rosavins and 1% salidrosides- the ideal and most beneficial ratio. I also tend to only buy supplements that contain zero artificial ingredients, so the rhodiola supplement I buy simply contains Siberian rhodiola rosea extract and nothing else. One thing I have learned since moving to South Africa is that it is best to feed my body herbs and foods that are close to nature as possible.

Rhodiola rosea isn’t the only adaptogen herb. There are plenty of adaptogen herbs that work to improve overall health and wellness while causing little to no side effects. I encourage you to research adaptogen herbs to discover the wonders they can do for you and your body.

The Importance of Traditional Superfoods

CLO Even with a healthy diet and exercise, our modern diets are so lacking in important nutrients that we must consider the need for supplementation. I’m not talking about the synthetic supplements boasting ridiculous health claims that you buy at GNC; I’m talking about the traditional superfoods that have kept people healthy for centuries.

New-age, synthetic supplements are not recognized and utilized by our bodies as effectively as the nutrients from whole foods. What this means is that you are likely spending a lot of money for a product that offers little to no benefits. Some synthetic supplements are even down right dangerous. They often contain fillers, flow agents, stimulants, artificial flavors and colors, synthetic dyes, and other harmful chemicals. When it comes to my body, I avoid synthetic supplements entirely. Still, I know that our modern soil lacks important minerals and thus our modern food lacks important nutrients as well.

For this reason, I supplement my diet with traditional superfoods including grass-fed beef liver, green pastures cod liver oil, virgin coconut oil, chia seeds, maca, goji berries, and more! These foods should be thought of as Nature’s multivitamin, as they are incredibly nutrient dense with vast nutritional profiles. Of all the traditional superfoods that I supplement my diet with, I believe that fermented cod liver oil is the most important.

Traditionally fermented cod liver oil is packed with omega fats as well as vitamin A and D. Our modern diet is significantly lacking healthy fats, and up to 80% of the American population is deficient in vitamin D. Fermented cod liver oil works to prevent and correct common nutrient deficiencies while simultaneously boosting overall health. Traditional superfoods are extremely important because they boost your overall nutrient intake, health, and wellness, while causing little to no side effects. Superfoods have become even more important now that our diets are lacking in so many important nutrients. For optimal health, eat healthy, exercise often, and supplement your diet with traditional superfoods.

Desiccated Liver Spaghetti Sauce

When was the last time you ate a heaping plate of liver and onions? Most of you are probably thinking ‘NEVER!’ but I hope at least a few of you are thinking ‘Not in a while.’ My point is, liver is a superfood that has disappeared from our modern diet. Once a weekly guest on the 1950’s dinner table; liver is rarely eaten in 2014. This, my friends, is disappointing for a number of reasons.

Grass-fed beef liver is one of the most nutrient dense foods in the world. It is packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy fats. Beef liver works to correct numerous health problems such as anemia and vitamin B12 deficiency. It is also great for increasing energy and endurance, as well as helping your body build and maintain lean muscle. Grass-fed beef liver benefits anyone who chooses to eat it.

The problem with liver? It doesn’t taste very good. In fact, most people can’t eat it at all. Liver is definitely an acquired taste, and many people have never even tried it! This is where desiccated liver supplements come into play. Desiccated liver supplements are simply dehydrated or freeze-dried beef liver milled into a powder and then inserted into a capsule. This is a great option for anyone who cannot stomach the taste of actual liver.

Another great way to use desiccated liver is to empty the capsules into your favorite recipes. Desiccated liver powder can be added to soups, stews, and sauces like the one below.

Desiccated Liver Spaghetti Sauce
4 medium sized tomatoes
4 cloves fresh garlic
1 medium onion
3-4 tbsp of desiccated liver powder
sea salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Chop tomatoes and onions into 1 inch chunks. Arrange tomatoes, onion, and garlic in a shallow baking dish, season with salt and pepper, and roast for 1 hour and 30 minutes. When the veggies have finished roasting, puree all of the vegetables and desiccated liver powder in a food processor until a sauce forms. Add water or broth if sauce is too thick. If necessary, gently reheat sauce at a low temperature before serving.

Easy Bulletproof Latte

You may or may not have heard of Bulletproof Coffee™ but it’s basically the idea of putting healthy organic oils in organic coffee. This type of coffee boosts energy, mental focus, and metabolism. I make my own variation based on Bulletproof Coffee™ but I call it my Easy Bullet Proof Latte. This latte is delicious and can be easily whipped up in the comfort of your own home or office in under 10 minutes.

Easy Bulletproof Latte
8 oz hot organic coffee
1-2 tbsp organic coconut oil
1-2 tbsp organic protein powder
1-2 tbsp raw honey

Directions: Combine all ingredients in your blender and whip until frothy. Enjoy!

My Easy Bulletproof Latte is perfect for keeping me full until lunch. I usually have this latte and piece of fruit or some hard boiled eggs every morning for breakfast. Sometimes when I’m fasting or accidentally forget to get up in time for breakfast, I have this latte alone and it is enough to keep me full and focused until lunch.

Coconut oil boosts brain health as well as metabolism. It works to keep you full and focused. When this latte is combined with a healthy snack for breakfast, the coconut oil helps you burn the calories more efficiently. Coconut oil is also anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal, so it is great for your immune system.

Protein powder is a great way to stay full until lunch. Even a tablespoon in the morning is enough to keep me going. I’m not a nutritionist by any means, but I have heard that diets high in healthy protein help you build lean muscle and maintain a healthy body weight. When it comes to coconut oil, protein, all of the other supplements, and the food I consumes, I choose organic whenever possible.