Liver Health

So… my husband has some liver issues. I’ve been doing research and wanted to share how important our liver is and how we can care for it. I’m also really interested in review of this Dr. Axe product: Leaky Gut Support

“Is life worth living? It all depends on the liver.” -William James, American philosopher

 

From http://blog.factor75.com/signs-and-symptoms-of-liver-damage/

When you think of your body’s health, what comes to mind?

Strong muscles, flexible joints, and a quick-thinking brain, most likely.

However, there’s a contender for the top of this list that most people haven’t even considered – the liver.

Your liver is an unsung superstar.

It’s responsible for so many things, and a small change in your liver’s health can have an effect on every other system in your body. It’s also one of your largest organs, weighing in at over three pounds!

Your liver, along with your pancreas, gallbladder, and intestines, is responsible for digesting, absorbing, and processing all the energy and nutrients that enter your body.

Its main job is to filter the blood coming from your digestive system. The liver is where all of the newly digested nutrients are sorted, broken down, and distributed to every other organ in your body. It’s also where drugs are metabolized and where toxins are filtered out.

As you can see, your liver has an extremely important role!

“Every chemical that makes it into your bloodstream – be it through your lungs, stomach, or skin – meets up with your liver at some point. Since your liver is your body’s best defense when it comes to filtering out all those toxins, you need to treat it well.” -Suzanne Somers, actress and New York Times best-selling author

 

Digestion

When you eat food, you masticate it in your mouth with your teeth, after which point stomach acid partially digests it before it is passed on to your small intestine.

There, it mixes with bile, an alkaline mix of digestive agents that your liver continually produces and stores in your gallbladder until you eat. Then, the stored bile enters your small intestine, where it (along with enzymes from your pancreas) digests fat and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), allowing them to be absorbed.

Digestive System signs and symptoms of liver damage factor 75

The liver is also essential for regulating cholesterol levels in your body. It oxidizes the cholesterol into a variety of bile acids which are then “pulled into the liver,” carried into the bile ducts, and then on out through the intestines.

Bile acid is recycled through your liver several times each day – that’s a lot of work for one organ!

Blood filtration

Your red blood cells carry oxygen – and I don’t have to tell you how essential that is.

Oxygen is bound to a four-part protein called hemoglobin, which is responsible for the red color in blood. With an average life cycle of three months, red blood cells are recycled by your lymph nodes, spleen, and – you guessed it – your liver.

They can also be damaged due to illness or injury. The broken down fragments are filtered out by your immune system. The hemoglobin breaks down into iron and bilirubin – the chemical responsible for the yellow color in bruises and jaundice (yellowed skin) and the brown in poop – and are then filtered out by the liver and excreted back into the intestine.

Your liver is also responsible for manufacturing important molecules.

It makes the clotting protein prothrombin and albumin, the main protein in blood sera, which is the liquid portion of blood that carries hormones, drugs, and fatty acids throughout your body.

What happens when your liver gets damaged?

Your liver can become damaged in several ways.

Normally, the liver contains between 5 and 10% fat. More than that is called steatosis, or fatty liver disease. When too much fat accumulates in cells, they can’t function properly, and in severe cases they can even burst, causing scarring.

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is the most common form of liver disease in the USA, with between 75 and 100 million cases. As its name suggests, it is the buildup of extra fat in liver cells that is not caused by alcohol.

NAFLD is caused by:

It’s also linked to diabetes. It is considered a lifestyle disease.

Most people have no symptoms – those who do have moderate to severe fatigue and a tender abdomen. Left untreated, it can lead to cirrhosis and permanent scarring.

signs and symptoms of liver damage cirrhosis factor 75

Fortunately, if caught early, it is a reversible disease – a change in diet and an increase in exercise are all it takes to ensure your liver functions at peak performance.

 

(NOTE: If you are looking to change your diet but don’t know where to start or don’t feel like cooking, you can eat healthy without having to lift a finger using Factor 75. Our produce is organic, the meats are grass-fed and free-range and all of our meals are free from herbicides, pesticides, GMOs and antibiotics. Find out more here.)

 

“While there are diseases like hepatitis, as well as bacteria and viruses which can directly affect the liver, the most damage done to the organ is usually a reflection of our lifestyles. It is important to protect the liver, and the best and easiest way to do this is to focus on ways to improve your lifestyle,” says Dr Manny Alvarez, Chairman of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Science at Hackensack University Medical Center, NJ.

You may have heard of cirrhosis – it killed 1.2 million people worldwide in 2013, and numbers are rising.

Severe scarring caused most commonly by chronic, long-term NAFLD, alcoholism, or hepatitis (both viral and inflammatory), its symptoms include fatigue, itching, high blood pressure, and jaundice.

Left untreated, it can lead to liver cancer, hepatic encepalopathy (liver failure and potentially coma), and kidney disease.

 

Signs and Symptoms of Liver Damage

Liver disease affects your whole body, not just your liver. It can lead to gallstones, vitamin deficiency, and overworked organs.

As you can see, a poorly functioning liver can really affect your overall health.

signs and symptoms of liver damage chart factor 75

Usually caused by gallstones or inflammation, cholestasis is the blocking of your bile duct between your liver and intestines. If your bile has too much cholesterol or bilirubin, usually from cirrhosis, drugs, or infection, or if your gallbladder is not emptying completely, gallstones can form, and they can be extremely painful.

Splenomegaly is the enlargement of your spleen, often caused by increased blood pressure (hypertension) in the portal vein (part of the main blood supply for your abdominal organs), which is in turn caused by liver damage. It often occurs when the spleen is overworked, destroying damaged red blood cells, and it causes abdominal, chest, and back pain.

Portal vein hypertension is also responsible for another common symptom of liver dysfunction – abdominal swelling, or ascites. Because fluid collects in the abdominal space, blood pressure drops in the rest of your body, causing the kidneys to retain more water. This exacerbates the problem, stresses the kidneys, and in extreme cases can cause kidney failure.

A lack of fat-soluble vitamins can also cause major problems:

  • Vitamin K is important for blood clotting
  • Vitamin D is essential for bone and muscle development
  • Vitamin A is required for eye health
  • Vitamin E deficiency causes nerve problems

Nick Giordano, marathon runner and NAFLD patient ponders,

“They say everyone has a moment in their life where they begin to view their lives differently and I believe that being diagnosed with liver disease was mine. Several years ago while reading Lance Armstrong’s book ‘It’s not about the bike!’ he made reference to a statement that he would say to himself on a daily basis while battling cancer and that statement stuck with me. ‘Get up….keep moving…..I’m alive!’ Now by no means do I intend to compare myself to someone with cancer, but my hope is that I can take my experience with liver disease and help educate others about it. Because I can get up….I can keep moving….I’m alive. I’m alive and able to make a difference.”

 

How do I look after my liver?

  • Love your liver Factor 75Avoid foods containing regular or high fructose corn syrup
  • Maintain a healthy weight – a BMI under 25, without excessive abdominal fat
  • Limit your alcohol consumption – the FDA recommends one drink per day for women and two for men.
  • Easy on the medication – take the minimum amount of medication, and ask your doctor before taking anything new, including supplements.

Frankincense

10 Surprising Facts About Frankincense and Frankincense Essential Oil

We use frankincense essential oil in a few of our essential oil blends, so we wanted to highlight a few unusual things about it.

1. Some Believed it Was Protected by Dragons

Perhaps to keep others from encroaching on their livelihood, those who grew the Boswellia trees were happy to spread the rumor that their land was protected by dragons. Ancient Greek writer Herodotus (5th century B.C.) wrote: “Arabia is the only country which produces frankincense, myrrh, cassia, and cinnamon…the trees bearing the frankincense are guarded by winged serpents of small size and various colors.”

Because it was more valuable than gold at one time, legend had it that the trees from which frankincense came were guarded by dragon-like creatures that were happy to fend off any intruders. According to Appleton’s Popular Science Monthly, published in 1896, so precious was frankincense that “the old Sabaean merchants invented marvelous stories of genii and dragons guarding the trees and of the woods exhaling deadly odors, in order to protect them from too curious and enterprising trespassers.”

We can relate. There are days that we don’t want to share our chocolate and feel tempted to warn people that there are cockroaches in our desk. But that’s beside the point…

2. The Resin is Edible

Whether in its hardened state or as oil, frankincense is edible. Ancient cultures chewed it like gum, and used it to treat digestive ailments and to boost the immune system. Edible versions are supposed to be “pure,” meaning of translucent color, with no dark-colored impurities.

3. It Contains a Compound That Kills Cancer Cells

In 2009, for instance, researchers found that frankincense oil activated genes that suppress cancer cell growth and kill cancer cells. Yet it didn’t harm normal cells. “Frankincense oil might represent an alternative intravesical agent for bladder cancer treatment” the researchers wrote.

A more recent study found that a chemical compound in frankincense (acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid or AKBA) had the potential to destroy ovarian cancer cells—and that even cells resistant to chemotherapy were more sensitive to this compound. Other studies have shown it to have similar characteristics against colon, prostate, skin, and breast cancer cells.

4. It’s a Natural Bug Repellent

Frankincense has long been used to drive away mosquitoes and other disease-carrying insects. Mosquitos don’t like it.

Burning it keeps these bugs away, which is especially helpful in areas afflicted by malaria. The Egyptians fumigated wheat silos and repelled wheat moths with it. In addition to burning it, you can also apply it directly to skin.

5. It May Help Ease Your Anxiety

A 2008 animal study found that burning frankincense activated areas in the brain that helped alleviate anxiety and depression. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, after administering a constituent of the resin to mice, found that it significantly affected areas in the brain known to be affected by current anxiety and depression drugs. We still need human studies to see if the affects are the same, but it’s an intriguing area of research.

Try adding a few drops to your warm bath to relieve stress, or burn a bit of incense in your office.

6. Women Used it to Make Eyeliner

Think makeup is only a modern-day invention? Think again. Ancient Egyptian women used frankincense to create their famous heavy black “kohl” eyeliner. They charred it first, and then ground it into a powder that they applied to their eyelids.

They believed it not only helped them look beautiful, but also protected their eyes from the sun, and improved vision.

7. It’s Great in Toothpaste.

Frankincense was used historically to treat halitosis (bad breath), and chewed to protect the teeth. You can still find frankincense in toothpaste today.

Studies have found that it is an effective anti-inflammatory, and is great for keeping your gums healthy.

A 2011 study, for instance, found that the extract lead to a “remarkable” decrease in inflammation in those with gingivitis. “Frankincense,” the researchers wrote, “a safe and low-cost herbal medicine, may be feasibly applied to improve inflammation-based disease of gingival as an adjust to the conventional mechanical therapy.”

So if you’re making your own DIY toothpaste, consider using some frankincense essential oil in it!

8. It May Stimulate Your Memory

Feel like your memory is slowing down? This oil may help. So far, we have only a few studies, but researchers believe the anti-inflammatory action may be what’s creating the results.

A 2015 animal study, for example, found that rats with impaired memory, after receiving frankincense extract, had improved memory retrieval compared to those who received a placebo.

An earlier human study on patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) found that those taking frankincense as a capsule (300 mg twice a day) experienced improvements in visual-spatial memory.

9. It’s Super for Skin

Herbalists prize Frankincense for its healing abilities. Combine it with lavender to treat cuts, scrapes, and burns, and use it on its own to help fade scars. It may also help relieve the itching of some insect bites.

Because it’s a natural antiseptic, it’s also a good option for those with acne—simply dab some on stubborn spots at night before bed to wake up with clearer skin. Combine it with a carrier oil to help moisturize and make fine lines less visible. Some also say it helps to get rid of skin tags and warts—apply several times a day directly on the affected area until they’re gone.

10. It May Ease Your Pain

Chronic, low-level pain is something many Americans suffer from on a daily basis. It may come from joint problems, back pain, fibromyalgia, and more.

Many essential oils contain anti-inflammatory properties that can help, and frankincense is a standout in this respect. It’s been used for centuries to treat a wide range of painful conditions, and new studies have been so positive that in Europe, the extracts have been labeled as drugs for reducing swelling in specific clinical settings. Some studies have found them to be just as effective as our modern-day non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (like aspirin and ibuprofen), without the side effects on the stomach.

Grow food instead of grass!

So, we bought our first home! Aside from picking all the designs for the interior I was thinking about having a garden out back. Maybe a few herbs and tomatoes, and banana peppers…and, wait. I realized I was totally focusing on edible plants. So I googled ‘urban farming’ to find out the best designs and tips for growing food in the city. I wasn’t prepared for all the cool info I found.

Luke Keegan started with his own small front yard using several raised beds.

First, did you know that people are growing enough food in the yards on their city lots to feed themselves and share with friends? Did you know that your front lawn doesn’t have to be grass? That it could be a beautiful, edible, paradisaic garden?? Well, I didn’t know. So I’m endeavoring to find out. I’d like to grow more of my own food to eat, and then share, trade, or sell the rest. I’m interested in organic gardening and using permaculture to ensure sustainability. What is permaculture, you ask? Well, I asked the same thing. Here is what I found:

“Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labour; of looking at plants & animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system.” Bill Mollison (from the permaculture.net website)

This definition of permaculture expresses a basic concept in permaculture – examining and following nature’s patterns. Permaculture advocates designing your garden based on natural ecosystems. The term permaculture is a contraction of the words “permanent,” “agriculture,” and “culture.” Basically, you design your garden or homestead in the most natural, sustainable way possible.

Front Yard Lawn in Oakland, CA

Not knowing exactly what those sustainable design features were, I did some more digging. I found that several families were on the same path and in the same habitat (urban) as me. So…instead of reinventing the wheel I started reading about how they got started. I wanted to find out their ‘lessons learned’ and figure out how to maximize output and increase the resiliency of my front and backyard garden ideas. I’ve gone from just wanting a few tomatoes to searching for heirloom seeds, thinking about water features so I can have a few ducks (to eat the bugs and fertilize, and lay eggs!), and figuring out how to mimic the southeastern LA terrain on my compacted city dirt/grass lot. I’m also really liking the idea of an herb spiral and hugelkultur.

Herb Spiral

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is where I started:

Tyrant Farms a couple who started out by having dinner at a friends house where all the food served was grown by the friend. They were amazed at the variety and tastefulness of the spread.

Appalachian Feet – the master gardener “friend” who inspired the Tyrant Farms couple to strike out on their own gardening adventure. Every post in her blog is a green living “how to” that can be applied to your own life. The primary focus is local food and growing in the varied altitudes of the southeastern mountains and foothills. She has a great permaculture library and a quick start guide for city folk with lots of photos. Plus a post about how to “forage” in the city 🙂

Luke Keegan – starting small is a good idea. This guy started with 8 raised beds on his front lawn. They look fabulous!! If you can get past the vulgar word in his page title, the photos and tips don’t contain any others.

Derveas Family – have an urban homestead blog, a website, and videos. They live 15 minutes from downtown LA and grow over 6,000 pounds of veggies per year (enough to feed all 4 of them). They make 20K off the excess, which they sell to local restaurants.

English: Forest garden diagram to replace the ...

The (Horror) Story of Cosmetics

So, I’ve been making my own beauty products for a little while now. It started when I was researching cosmetics in the middle ages…and realized that from the beginning of time women have had the choice between safe cosmetics and cosmetics that are harmful to their health. I wrote a little bit about that here.

Even in the times of the Romans there was pressure to achieve an “ideal” beauty standard that most of the women had to work very hard at. To get the prized unibrow, they drew them in. To smell nice, they used scented olive oils. To appear pale (difficult for these naturally olive toned women) they used powder made with lead. Yep, the poisonous stuff. It looked (sort of) ok at first (as long as they didn’t mind the greyish tint, or go out in the rain, or sweat), but eventually it caused their skin to pit (akin to corrosion) and lose elasticity. Then, of course they just piled more on (and on top of little patches made of linen placed over the pits) to hide the effects of the harmful cosmetic. Ugh.

If that sounds horrible, wait until you learn what we are marketed as healthy/happy cosmetics today:

To learn more about which cosmetics have toxic ingredients read about safe cosmetic choices at this website http://safecosmetics.org/ and search the cometics safety database for the brands you use or are thinking of using to see what’s really in them: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

Coconut Oil Deodorant That Really Works

I love simple green smoothies, and today I have to admit one of their posts had really hit home for me. I’ve tried every natural deodorant out there in an effort to avoid the harmful ingredients in commercial brands (i.e. aluminum). So far, every one has failed. You see, I sweat a lot. I sweat so much I prefer to call it “glistening”, like a horse. So, after 4 hours of glistening (yes, even indoors) I’ve sweated my natural-schmatural deodorant off. All the way off. And I get a little smelly 😦

So, when I read the testimonial for this homemade deodorant from another girl who has had the same experience with natural deodorants and who lives in Florida (I live in New Orleans) I had to try it….and she is right. It’s amazing. See for yourself:

Ingredients

——————————————————————————–

1/2 c. baking soda
1/2 c. arrowroot powder
5 tbs unrefined coconut oil
20 drops of grapefruit essential oil

Directions

——————————————————————————–

1. Mix baking soda and arrowroot together—I used my craigslist-score Kitchenaid Mixer.
2. Next add the oils and mix well.
3. Pour into clean jar.

Application

——————————————————————————–

“Use a popsicle stick to get the deodorant out of the container and make sure you use enough under your arms to keep you “sure” all day long.

It does take a little bit to get used to the application process, but it’s worth it. Not to mention the money I save and the chemicals I avoid, like aluminum. Although, there’s no solid evidence that aluminum-based compunds lead to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, there are correlations. And to me, that’s reason enough to ditch it.

The less chemicals I put in and around my body, the better chance I have to be doing cartwheels around the grandkids someday.

Simple living takes baby steps. I am trying to get there. Trying to simplify. Trying to reduce my risk of cancer and live a longer, healthier life. And if I can lead by example, then a healthy family is pretty much in the bag, right?”

http://simplegreensmoothies.com/coconut-oil/homemade-deodorant-that-really-works/

The Ultimate Beyonce Playlist for Glam Fitness

Whichever phase of Beyoncé’s diverse career is your favorite, you’ll find it represented here. In addition to her own chart-topping singles, this workout playlist features Bey singing with (then future) husband Jay-Z, tearing it up with Destiny’s Child, remixed for the dance floor by Dave Audé, and collaborating with Lady GaGa. In other words, you’ll go from warm-up to cool-down without skipping a single track!

Beyoncé & Jay-Z – Crazy in Love – 99 BPM

Destiny’s Child – Survivor – 81 BPM

Beyoncé – Run the World (Girls) – 127 BPM

Beyoncé – Countdown – 84 BPM

Destiny’s Child – Lose My Breath – 118 BPM

Beyoncé – Get Me Bodied (Extended Mix) – 98 BPM

Beyoncé – Single Ladies (Dave Audé Remix) – 127 BPM

Lady GaGa & Beyoncé – Telephone – 122 BPM

Destiny’s Child – Jumpin’, Jumpin’ – 89 BPM

Beyoncé, Bun B & Slim Thug – Check On It – 83 BPM


To find more workout songs, check out the free database at Run Hundred. You can browse by genre, tempo, and era to find the best songs to rock your workout.

-Via Shape.com

Glam Fruit Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Close-up of fruit salad

Close-up of fruit salad (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 I found this healthy recipe in a copy of Heart Insight Magazine. Enjoy!
      Salad Dressing Ingredients:
      3/4 cup 100% cranberry juice
      1 teaspoon cornstarch
      1 tablespoon sugar
      1 teaspoon grated peeled gingerroot
      1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest (optional)
      1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
      Salad Ingredients:
      2 cups cubed watermelon
      1 cup whole strawberries, quartered
      1/2 cup green grapes, halved
      1/2 cup blueberries

DIRECTIONS: In a small saucepan, stir together the juice and cornstarch until the cornstarch dissolves.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour into a shallow bowl and refrigerate until completely cooled, about 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining dressing ingredients. Meanwhile, arrange the salad ingredients on salad plates. Spoon the dressing on top.

Serves 6; heaping 3/4 cup fruit and 2 tablespoons dressing per serving

Minutes to Prepare: 15 – Minutes to Cook: 10

 

Workout and Running Music Listed by BPM

56/365 morning run

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion, or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or the gazelle – when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.” – African Proverb

Workout/Running Music Listed By Beats Per Minute

Full List of over 100 songs at Fleurty Naturelle’s Tumblr Page.

75      Katy Perry feat. Kanye West – ET
87       Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys – Empire State of Mind
90      Bad Meets Evil feat. Bruno Mars – Lighters
90       Jason DeRulo – Ridin’ Solo
91       Annie Lennox – Train in Vain
91       Rihanna – Hard
93       Madonna – Revolver
96       Miley Cyrus – Party in the USA
97       Blink 182 – The Rock Show
101    Selena Gomez and The Scene – Who Says
102    Jordin Sparks – One Step at a Time
103    Iggy Pop – Lust for Life
105    Adele – Rolling in the Deep
106    Taylor Swift – Picture to Burn
108    The Black Keys – Tighten Up
109    Bruno Mars – Just the Way You Are
110    All-American Rejects – Move Along
110    Scissor Sisters – I Don’t Feel Like Dancing
111    Bruno Mars – Grenade
111    Jason DeRulo – In My Head
112    Black Eyed Peas – Let’s Get It Started
113    Alien Ant Farm – Movies
113    C+C Music Factory – Gonna Make You Sweat
113    Madonna feat. Timbaland and Justin Timberlake – 4 Minutes
114    Black Eyed Peas – Disco Club
114    Maroon 5 – Makes Me Wonder
115    Britney Spears – Circus
115    Sean Kingston – Take You There
115    Shannon – Let The Music Play
115    Taylor Swift – Sparks Fly
116    Maroon 5 – Never Gonna Leave This Bed
118    Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
118    Taylor Dayne – Tell It to My Heart
119    Michael Jackson – Thriller
120    Chris Brown – Forever
120    Katy Perry – Teenage Dream
120    Ke$ha – Blow
120    Lady Gaga – Bad Romance
120    Muse – Supermassive Black Hole
121    Ellie Goulding – Lights
121    MC Hammer – Pray
125    Kylie Minogue – Love at First Sight
125    Rammstein – Du Hast
125    Rihanna – Breakin’ Dishes
125    Technotronic – Pump Up the Jam
126    Amber – This is Your Night
126    Annie Lennox – Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
126    Cascada – Evacuate the Dance Floor (Radio Edit)
126    Flo Rida – In the Ayer
126    Kylie Minogue – Can’t Get You Outta My Head
126    Panic! At The Disco – Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have…
126    Pink – So What
126    Rihanna feat. Sean Paul – Break It Off
126    The Offspring – You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid
127    Alien Ant Farm – Smooth Criminal
127    CeCe Penniston – Finally
128    Adele – Rumor Has It (Rascal Remix)
128    Jay Sean feat. Lil Wayne – Hit The Lights
128    Kylie Minogue – In My Arms
128    LMFAO – Shots
128    Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera – Move Like Jagger
128    Muse – Neuron Star Collision
135    Ace of Base – Beautiful Life
135    Jordan Knight – Give It To You
135    Pink – Trouble
135    The Killers – A Dustland Fairytale
135    Theory of a Deadman – Bad Girlfriend
135    U2 – Beautiful Day
135    Weezer – This is Such a Pity

Via: http://katierunsthis.com/running-music/)

Fruity Immunity Boosting Smoothie

This rosy pink smoothie is deceptively yummy, from the taste alone you might underestimate the powerful dose of vitamins and antioxidants contained within. The vitamin A from the carrots and vitamin C from the oranges and strawberries support your immune system, boost eye health, increases your body’s ability to absorb iron, and helps resist infection.

Ingredients: 2 cups raw spinach, 3/4 cup orange juice, 3/4 cup water, 1 banana, 1/4 cup carrots, 2 cups strawberries, 1/2 cup blueberries

Method: Blend spinach, orange juice, and water together first. After that is blended and creamy, add the rest of the ingredients and blend for 1 minute.

IMG_0244 

 (via Simple Green Smoothies)

Brown Girl Success Against the Odds

The part of her (@adriarichards) article that touched me deeply because I completely identified with it was this:

“I was diagnosed with ADHD and PTSD.  Part of the assessment was an intelligence test.  I had an IQ of 130.  I’m smart enough to join MENSA!  I began to see a psychologist who practiced EMDR, a type of therapy to help people process traumatic experiences.  This made a huge difference in my life.  I began to take long strides vs timid steps on my path to healing.

Because of my experiences growing up, I have triggers.  This means that I’m always scanning for danger; for situations that seem like something from the past that could hurt me.  When I recognize something that matches, I can overreact and feel intense fear, anger or anxiety.  This is something I’ve worked on a lot.  It’s much better now than 10 years ago but there are some things that send me over the edge.

Like the other day when someone asked me if I had a baby photo.  The answer is no — I don’t have any photos of myself before the age of 11…and it hurts.  So I started crying.  They hadn’t hurt me or threatened me but the overwhelming feeling of my childhood overcame me.  Mourning for the child version of me who never had the chance to enjoy being a child.”

Our diagnoses are the same, for similar reasons. Our (genes, and) escape into books at an early age (IMO) also gifted us with high IQs. EMDR made a difference to us both. Triggers, yep, still. Overwhelming feelings at the oddest times, exactly. I’ve had success with treatment, but when I become lax I can relapse into a very manic/anxious/depressed state. The key is maintenance.

The point is that there IS hope. Read her full article and suggestions here: http://butyoureagirl.com/13871/success-against-the-odds-filling-my-technology-knapsack-from-scratch/

 Little brown girl with mandolin, sitting ...