Made this choc-mint smoothie for lunch today and it tastes so good I had to share! Very refreshing on this hot day we are having here in Melbourne. Added bonus, it’s packed full of nutrition including anti-oxidants and is great for you brain, your digestion and your energy levels!
2 cups spinach or kale
250ml milk of your choice (I used Nutty Bruce coconut and almond milk)
1 banana fresh or frozen
6 ice cubes
1-2 drops DoTerra peppermint oil
2 tablespoons chocolate protein powder (I used a whey protein isolate from grass fed cows. Isolate is easier to digest for lactose intolerant people. I don’t suffer at all!)
1 tablespoon MCT oil (I used bulletproof brand available here)
1 teaspoon pure cacao powder
Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. If it’s not sweet enough you could add some liquid stevia or a different type of sweetner but I think it’s sweet enough as it is.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I am (I am literally drinking it as I write!) let me know what you think or if you come up with any variations for me to try.
If you’ve already been in to the clinic you will know that we love aromatherapy! We use doTERRA oils. In the winter we diffuse the ‘on guard’ mix to ward off cold germs; we use tea tree oil in our mix for wiping down the leather and vinyl surfaces; if hayfever is rampant we diffuse the ‘easy air’ mix and I use an array of oils in cooking and baking which I have mentioned in some of the previous recipes posted on our site. Today I want to share a couple of oils that you can use for various aches and pains. Make sure you get good quality oils to guarantee their therapeutic effects. Modere, Living Young & doTERRA are the companies I know of that provide good quality oils but I’m sure there are others too, just do your homework. Hopefully you find these oils as helpful as we do!
Lavender oil has a relaxing effect on the body. For headaches dab a drop or 2 of the oil at the base of the skull and let it trickle down the neck. Unless you’re allergic to lavender oil you should find it very calming and balancing. Besides headaches lavender oil is also great for relaxing the body and mind to prepare for sleep. A few drops on the bottoms of your feet massaged in is quite effective. It can also be used for bites and stings to reduce the swelling and take away the itch. It can help with eczema and other skin irritations such as dermatitis and dandruff, I suppose that’s why they use it in a lot of shampoos for sensitive skin! It has anti-bacterial properties so is good for minor cuts and burns. It sounds strange but for travel sickness or nausea a drop on the end of the tongue, behind the ears and on the belly is helpful. Lavender is a really well rounded oil which is why it’s at the top of the list of must haves!
Due to Peppermint’s cooling effect on the skin, it has a similar effect for muscle aches as other menthol based gels such as ice gel. Use a few drops over the effected area or add a few drops to a squirt of oil or moisturiser for larger areas. Peppermint oil can also be used in the kitchen in place of peppermint essence. You need much less of the pure oils though so just keep that in mind so you don’t ruin your baking! It also has anti-microbial properties so you can use it to freshen your breath (or your dogs breath) just make sure you dilute it 80-90 percent when using with animals. It’s great for soothing stomach aches as well, you can add a drop to your dry teabag before brewing a cup of tea!
Frankincense is an extremely versatile oil. A study conducted by Cardiff University showed reductions in inflammatory molecules that are involved in Rheumatoid Arthritis but it’s long been used for pain of joints and muscles, oral hygiene & repair, digestive complaints and with colds and respiratory complaints. Topically simply rub a few drops into the painful area. For digestive complaints you can put a drop onto a tea bag and ingest it; for colds you can put it in a diffuser and for oral hygiene you can dilute it in a home made toothpaste or mouthwash.
Wintergreen promotes circulation and brings warmth to the area, therefore it’s good for tired aching muscles. It’s analgesic and relaxant effects are quite powerful and therefore it’s also useful for sleeping, to reduce stress, to relax the airways for asthma or congestion, it’s good for muscle cramps, stomach cramps and nervous conditions such as ticks and anxiety. This oil is only ever used externally due to it’s very strong antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Care should also be taken not to apply to any open wounds. If taken internally it can be quite toxic. To use wintergreen simply rub on the affected area or nearest to the internal organs you are trying to effect. For example, for asthma you may rub on the chest, for kidneys you may rub on the lower back.
These oils are at the top of my list for relieving pain because they have other uses too so they wont go to waste in your home. If you want to incorporate the 4 oils and make a super pain relief blend you can absolutely do that. I’m sure these oils have other amazing benefits and qualities about them not listed here but if you’d like more specific information about the oils please click here.
I love coffee! Unfortunate downside of coffee and other foods such as red wine and dark chocolate to name a few is that they can leave your teeth looking less than pearly white. This is how I got onto this recipe. I knew that charcoal and bicarb were good teeth whiteners so I thought why not add them together! I don’t know why but my teeth also feel smoother and cleaner from using this, give it a go as a powder with you’re regular toothpaste first to see if you like the feel and the results then you can add the other ingredients to turn it into a paste. Each batch should last about a week.
1 tsp of Baking soda (I use Bob’s Red Mill because it’s aluminium free)
1 tsp of Activated Charcoal powder or capsules
2 tsps of Coconut Oil melted
1/2 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar (I use Bragg’s with the mother)
6 drops of Peppermint Oil (I use DoTerra)
To trial the toothpaste add the baking soda and the activated charcoal to a shallow container so that it’s easy to dip your toothbrush in.
When you have your regular toothpaste on your brush dip it in the mixture before brushing your teeth.
Once you have decided you love it add the rest of the ingredients and mix with a teaspoon or something smaller so it doesn’t go everywhere. (It’s kind of a mash and repeat process.)
It does make the bowl a bit messy so you can either spit into a bin or what I do is just run the water as I spit so it goes straight down the plug hole.
Make sure you give your mouth a good rinse afterwards as well. You could use your normal mouth wash, water, peppermint tea or a homemade mouth wash to bring it all together! Maybe I’ll try that next!
If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me or google the hell out it! Just a FYI, if you have a diet high in sugar it’s probably best to stick to fluoride based toothpastes however this is something best talked about with your dentist. Did you know there are holistic dentists now?
Do you need more magnesium? Women need approximately 255-265mg daily. This means eating 1 cup of Kefir, 1 cup of spinach, 1/4 cup of almonds, 1 medium avocado and 1 square of dark chocolate! Men need a bit more than women and children need a bit less (check out exact values here). The other thing to consider is the source of your food, the processes it has been through including cooking and whether your gut is absorbing it properly. In today’s article you will find some common signs of too little or too much magnesium, some common food and alternative sources of magnesium, a bit about the role magnesium plays in our bodies and of course links to 4 yummy magnesium rich recipes!
Signs you need more magnesium
Although magnesium deficiency is rare in healthy people, it is common to show signs of slight depletion before any major problems occur. Signs of slight depletion include muscle twitches especially of the eye lid, calf cramps particularly when they occur at night, generally tight muscles or feeling of anxiety or stress for unknown reasons. When you are getting these signs it is a good idea to increase your dietary intake of magnesium via the food list provided below. You can also try a topical magnesium such as Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil or an Epsom Salts bath. If your symptoms are severe or they don’t improve you should see a nutritionist, Naturopath of a General Practioner to test your body is able to absorb it properly from your food or that your symptoms are not a sign of something else going on. There are a few groups of people who are at risk of severe magnesium depletion such as people with osteoporosis, diabetes, malabsorption conditions such as Crohn’s Disease and Coeliac’s Disease and people with chronic alcoholism. The signs and symptoms may include numbness or tingling, muscle contractions or severe cramps, seizures, low calcium or potassium on a blood test and abnormal heart rhythms.
Signs you need less magnesium
Luckily a healthy digestive tract is extremely good at allowing the right amount of magnesium to enter into the body. This means it is extremely difficult to overdose on magnesium when it is in our food or water. Topical magnesium lotions, oils or bath salts can be a great tool to get more magnesium into the body when we are showing signs of deficiency however they do pose a higher risk of overdose although I have never overdosed and don’t know anyone who has so if you follow the advice on the containers of these products I’m sure you will be safe! Some of the signs of overdose are a feeling of weakness in the muscles or overall fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, low blood pressure and irregular heart beat. These are similar symptoms to some of the winter viruses that have been going around at the moment here in Melbourne, so unless you have been taking very high doses of magnesium perhaps check with your doctor it’s not a illness as well!
Some common sources of magnesium
The top sources of magnesium in food are spinach, chard, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, almonds, yogurt or Kefir, black beans, avocado, figs and banana. You can also get magnesium from other green leafy vegetables, other nuts and legumes, whole grains and some water filters now come with mineralisers which can boost you water in magnesium. You can also get magnesium tablets from the health food shop although a word of warning, not all are made equally and often you are best to get them through a Naturopath or nutritionist so you know you are getting a good brand. Magnesium ingredients ending in -ide such as magnesium oxide are less absorbed by the stomach and are often used in laxative products! Look for magnesium types ending in -ate such as magnesium glycinate when you are taking it orally and look for magnesium chloride for topical and bath use. Magnesium is found in Epsom salts but this type of magnesium is better as a detoxifier than a muscle relaxant. Bet you didn’t realise there were so many different types of magnesium!!
Magnesium’s role in the body
Magnesium is found in higher levels inside the cell than in the blood which is why a blood test will not usually show up magnesium deficiency unless very very low. Just over half of our magnesium is found in our bones and another third in our muscles and soft tissues with the remaining helping with more than 300 biochemincal reactions in the body! Magnesium helps maintain the heart rhythm, the nervous system and brain function, helps with a muscles ability to relax after a muscle contraction has taken place, it helps make proteins and to produce energy for the body just to name a few.
4 Magnesium Rich Recipes
To help you get started, here are some magnesium rich recipes you can try!
An oldie but a goodie. I have made and adapted this so many times over I honestly can’t remember where I got the recipe but it is sooo delicious. So if you are reading this blog and this recipe sounds familiar, thank you! There are a few reasons I like this recipe so much. Firstly it’s really quick to whip up, secondly raw ingredients are a good source of micro nutrients (chocolate is quite high in magnesium – us Myotherapists love magnesium!) and thirdly, as an alternative to high sugar desserts or treats it really does tick the delicious box! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Ingredients & Method
1 cup of coconut flakes or desiccated coconut
1 cup cashews (try other nuts such as almond or macadamia for slight flavour variation)
1 cup pitted dates (I use fresh medjool dates and I do just under a cup as I don’t like it sweet, this is about 7-8 dates)
1/2 cup cacao powder
Blend all these ingredients in your ThermoMix, bellini or food processor until chopped up into little pieces (about 30-60 seconds should be enough)
Add 5 drops of food grade pure peppermint oil (I actually add 6 because I like it extra minty)
Add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
Blend for another 10-30 seconds until the coconut oil has spread throughout and started clumping the mixture together
Line a 20cm square tin with baking paper and spoon the mixture in.
Flatten down nice and firm then pop it in the fridge or freezer to set (it takes about an hour in the fridge and about 10 minutes in the freezer)
Cut into squares (16-24 squares depending on size) and enjoy!
For variations, instead of the peppermint oil, you can use orange oil, coffee beans or you can add cherries for a cherry ripe flavour. You can also leave the cacao powder out for a caramel flavour, you can make 2 batches of different flavours and layer them such as caramel and cacao, you can also roll them into balls instead of flattening into a tray if you wish. Have fun and I look forward to hearing your variations and creations!