Jan
31

FODMAPS

by Nina Vachkova

Putting together the best diet that will fit your metabolic needs, goals, and health limitations can be a difficult task. It is very tricky to navigate through the world of modern diet tips and advice from fitness and lifestyle experts – partly because we naturally gravitate towards the easy way out and instant solutions. We want results and we want them now. But peak health, well-being, and longevity are not achieved overnight, or in a matter of weeks, months, maybe even years. It all depends on our current state of health, age, sex, level of activity, many lifestyle factors, and also your medical history. There is no easy way to obtain health and there is no deadline with health. Health is a lifelong journey and in order to become and stay healthy, we have to maintain our habits for the rest of our lives. If you build a beautiful house and stop taking care of it once it is finished, it will break down sooner or later, and our bodies work in a similar manner. Once you achieve your desired health, weight, or fitness goal, you have to keep doing all the things that got your there in a first place (though sometimes you can loosen up a little bit), but going back to the old habits will inevitably bring you back to where you don’t want to be. Read the rest of this post

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Jan
24

AVOCADO: THE FAT FRUIT

by Nina Vachkova

We talk a lot about healthy fats, where to get them, how to use them, and what the biggest benefits of using them are. For decades we were led to believe that fat makes us fat, but those myths have been debunked, so we no longer have to live with fat phobia. Butter, lard, and tallow are wonderful sources of healthy fats, but if you are not a fan of animal fats for whatever reason, you don’t have to stick to just coconut oil or olive oil. Avocado is an excellent, versatile, and delicious source of healthy fats and it is a fruit!

Avocado is actually the berry of the Persea americana tree, native to South Central Mexico (no wonder guacamole is such a big part of Mexican cuisine!). It is sometimes called an alligator pear for its shape and the texture of its skin. While we usually consume vegetables and fruits for their micronutrient content (minerals, vitamins, and other trace elements), avocado is over 70% fat and very low in sugar, which is unusual for a fruit and makes avocados very unique. Not only is it full of healthy fats, avocado is also on the top of the Clean Fifteen list, which means that you don’t have to worry about pesticide exposure even if you buy conventionally grown avocados. Read the rest of this post

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Jan
17

SEXY BY NATURE: BOOK REVIEW

by Nina Vachkova

This book is very near and dear to my heart, not just because it was released on March 18th, which is my birthday, but because this book literally saved my ladyparts. I discovered Stefani Ruper, the author of this amazing book, during my search for non-hormonal birth control. At that time I had been on The Pill for 14 years and desperately wanted to go off of it, but I didn’t feel the support I needed from my doctor at that time, who kept assuring me that hormonal birth control is a perfectly natural thing and I could actually hurt myself by going off of it. But that is a whole different story. Birth control is a huge topic that deserves attention, and we will definitely bring you some information in the near future. Stefani Ruper writes about women’s health, nutrition, hormones, and specifically female issues on her blog Paleo For Women; she is a female health specialist by day and bachata dancer by night. In the past, she struggled with her own health in areas that are specific to women with improperly balanced hormones, and she dedicated this book to teaching other women how to recognize, address, and solve these issues.

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Our skin does not just protect everything that is underneath it – like muscles, organs, joints, bones, and vessels – it also works as a large detoxification mechanism. The average adult human body has a surface area of between 1.5 and 2 square metres and it varies in thickness depending on the body part we look at, and it is also differs based on sex and age. Our skin consists of several different layers that are made of different types of cells. The very top layer, called epidermis, works like a waterproof barrier that protects the other layers beneath where vessels, sweat glands, and nerve endings are located. The other two main layers are called the dermis and hypodermis. The dermis is where we can find both blood and lymphatic vessels.

LYMPHATIC SYSTEM

The lymphatic system is a major part of our immune system. Lymphatic vessels create a network in the body that carries lymphatic fluid (or lymph for short; lympha means water in Latin) all around the body, flowing towards the heart, into lymph nodes. Swollen lymph nodes are usually a sign of infection, typically due to a buildup of bacteria. Lymphatic fluid can also be found in various cavities in the body, like joint cavities, where it works as a lubricant. Lymph is derived from intestinal fluid and its composition is similar to blood plasma, with the addition of white blood cells called leukocytes. It constantly changes its composition depending on our diet or exposure to toxins. Lymph delivers proteins to the bloodstream, and transports toxins and bacteria to lymph nodes where they are destroyed by lymphocytes. After the lymph is cleaned, the purified fluid goes back into circulation in our blood stream.

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Jan
03

NATURE’S GUIDE TO BEAUTIFUL HAIR

by Nina Vachkova

The hair on our head is basically the only feature (aside from color changing contact lenses) we can instantly modify to completely change our appearance. By changing our haircut or hair color, wearing our hair up in a bun, ponytail, or braided hairstyle, curling or straightening, we suddenly look and maybe even feel different, even more confident and attractive. We use crazy hair colors and hairstyles to express our mood and personality; we sometimes use our hair (or beard) as a security blanket, and a new haircut is very often what we use as an emotional outlet. Bad breakup? I am getting a haircut – he loved my long hair! Unhappy at work? Maybe a new haircut will make me feel better! Winter is approaching? Oh, maybe I should dye it a few shades darker. You might have heard all those silly jokes about blondes, questioning their intelligence, or sayings like blondes have more fun. Hair length is often the first clue we use to determine whether the person in front of us is male or female, and with identical twin babies for example, the only publicly visible difference between a boy and a girl might be a pink hairbow.

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