Thursday, 22 June 2017

This 91-Year-Old Gymnast Proves That Age is Just a Number!

Johanna Quaas is far from your average grandma.
The lifelong German gymnast, 91, is still active, making her the oldest gymnast in the world as far as Guinness World Records is concerned. She set the record in 2012 (when she was 86) with a floor-and-beam routine on the set of Lo Show dei Record in Rome.
She's gone viral recently, wowing people with her impressive routines and proving that you're never too old to stay in tip-top shape.
Check out the inspirational gymnast's routine below:
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Makes about 6 cups
There are all sorts of variations for this process, but we use a Toddy T2N Cold Brew System. It's simple, relatively inexpensive, and easy to use. The following brew method is adapted from their instructions, and makes about 6 cups of cold brew coffee concentrate.
12 ounces fresh roasted coffee - ground slightly finer than you would for drip. I grind at setting 10 (of 40) on a Baratza Virtuoso, for reference.
7 cups cold, filtered water
Makes about 14 ounces
Creamer adapted from The First Mess
4 pitted dates
1 14-0z. can full fat coconut milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. sunflower oil (or other neutral oil that is a liquid at room temperature)
Fill - First, insert the stopper into the outside bottom of the brewing container; then, dampen the filter and insert it into the inside bottom of the brewing container.

Next, add 1 cup of water into the bottom of the Toddy brewing container and 6 ounces of ground coffee. Slowly pour 3 more cups of water over the grounds, in a circular motion. Then, add the remaining 6 ounces of ground coffee. Finally, wait 5 minutes and slowly add the last 3 cups of water. DO NOT STIR (stirring the bed of grounds can result in a clogged filter).

Lightly press down on the topmost grounds with the back of a spoon to ensure all grounds get wet.
Cover - lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the grounds with as few air bubbles as reasonably possible. The idea here is to minimize the amount of oxygen interacting with the steeping slurry.

Brew - Steep your coffee grounds at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours to create a smooth, rich flavor.
Filter - Remove the plastic wrap and the stopper and let your coffee concentrate flow into the glass decanter - stays fresh for 1-2 weeks in your refrigerator.
Serve - Into a glass full of ice, we went with a ratio of 2 parts coffee (which is a concentrate) to 1 part water to 1 part creamer. Not super sweet or decadent, so you can adjust that based on your own mood.
If your dates are soft, move forward with the recipe. If they are a little dry or tough, soak them in boiling water to soften then drain completely.
In a high powered blender, run the dates, coconut milk, vanilla and oil until you have a smooth, thick liquid with minimal chunks of dates. Strain the creamer with a fine mesh strainer.
Into a glass full of ice, we went with a ratio of 2 parts coffee (which is a concentrate) to 1 part water to 1 part creamer. Not super sweet or decadent, so you can adjust that based on your own mood.

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Is Peanut Butter Healthy?

Peanut butter has a special place in my heart, and I'm confident I'm not the only one. Although perhaps known best for pairing beautifully with your favorite fruit jelly and two slices of bread, or being surrounded by melt-in-your-mouth chocolate, these are definitely not the only ways to use it. It's right at home with sharp cheese, tart apple, or in a spicy sauce on chicken skewers. The crazy among us—i.e., me—have been known to use it as a condiment on a hamburger.
But peanut butter's benefits don't end with its pallet-pleasing power. It's actually a healthy fat. That's right, I said healthy.
Despite the stick-to-your-mouth goodness, too many people leave peanut butter sticking to the grocery-store shelves for fear that it will make them fat. But that's not the whole story. Spoon yourself out of this creamy conundrum and get the scoop on this much-loved, but often misunderstood, spread.
Peanut butter's benefits don't end with its pallet-pleasing power. It's actually a healthy fat.

The Unshelled Truth

The major reason peanut butter seems to be placed on dieters' "naughty" list is because of its high calorie content. A mere two tablespoons contains 200 calories, which, depending on your daily intake, could make up as much as 10 percent of your daily calorie allotment. A few heaping spoonfuls throughout the day, and you may quickly find yourself at half of your daily calorie allotment. Well, nuts (or legumes, as it were).

News Flash

You need adequate fats at all calorie levels in order to feel good and stay healthy!
Sure, peanut butter is high in calories, but that's no reason to completely dismiss it from your diet. At the end of the day, your weight is dictated by calories in versus calories out. Whether you've allotted yourself 1,800, 2,400, or 3,000 calories per day, peanut butter can absolutely fit. Its high fat content might even help you feel more satiated with fewer calories. As with all things in life, moderation is key.
Here's what not to do: boost your peanut butter intake through the roof, thinking it's a protein source. At about 8 grams of protein per two-tablespoon serving, PB is nothing to sneeze at, but it's a better fat than a protein. Eat it for what it is.

Saturated Fat


Beyond the caloric load it brings, peanut butter's saturated-fat content is a concern for some people. Saturated fat was once deemed the demon of heart disease and was portrayed as evil by the fat-loss community. For decades, this caused a huge hit to peanut butter's social following, particularly the whole-fat variety. But that doesn't mean the fear was justified. And as is often the case, the low-fat "improvement" is worse than the original.
The truth is that saturated fat is not the root of all evil. In fact, it's actually beneficial to the production of crucial hormones and vitamins such as testosterone and vitamin D.[1,2]
Peanut butter also contains an abundance of "good" fats, or, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. One serving has 8 grams of monounsaturated fats and 4 grams of polyunsaturated fats. These "good" fats help lower cholesterol, reduce heart disease, and lower blood pressure.[3] They're also anti-inflammatory, which may help with recovery and reduce your risk for metabolic syndrome.[4]

Peanut Butter Shopping Guide

In a perfect world, the only ingredient in peanut butter would be peanuts. After all, peanut butter is just mashed up peanuts, right? Of course, that's not how it plays out, and not all nut spreads are created equally.
When it comes to peanut butter, don't let the "low-fat" claim on the label lure you. Most low-fat versions make up for the cut by adding in sugar and partially hydrogenated oils—or trans fats—which are detrimental to your health. Many of us grew up on these overly sweet variations, so you may have to retrain your palate, but it's worth it. Reap the benefits of a full-fat, full-flavor nut butter!
Likewise, you may find that one of the new flavored peanut butters catches your attention, such as cinnamon raisin, white chocolate, or banana. Keep in mind that this added flavor almost always comes at the expense of added sugar and carbohydrates, as well as other shelf-stabilizing agent.
Keep in mind that this added flavor almost always comes at the expense of added sugar and carbohydrates.
Are these delicious? Of course! But they're also a treat on par with a candy bar. Use them sparingly, and fill your sandwiches with the original whenever possible.

The Competition Almond Butter

Over the past few years, almond butter has often inched ahead of the generic peanut in terms of perceived health benefits. Some people argue that a miniscule percentage difference in key nutrients such as vitamin E and iron makes the scales fall in almond butter's favor. Almonds offer 25 milligrams of vitamin E, while peanuts offer 10 milligrams per serving, which is still 50 percent of the recommended intake.

Almond butter has often inched ahead of the generic peanut in terms of perceived health benefits.
But what about the greater amount of selenium or vitamin B-3 in peanut butter? Selenium is a powerful antioxidant, and vitamin B-3—more commonly known as niacin—plays a major role in energy production and fat metabolism in the body.
The truth is, both butters are interchangeably great and offer different healthy fats and essential nutrients. Up-and-comers like cashew butter also have a lot going for them. Try them all; each nut butter is great. But it's also OK if, like me, peanut butter will always have your heart.

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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

6 Benefits Of Eating Moringa Plant: New Superfood Shows Promise In Fighting Disease, Weight Loss!


We all know superfoods, like fruits, vegetables, and seeds are beneficial for our daily diet. Popular food staples like avocado, kale, and turmeric are packed with nutrients that can boost our health and wellbeing. Now, there's a new health food that's rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and other compounds — moringa, which is touted for fighting disease and aiding weight loss.
This superfood is known for its medicinal and healing properties when it comes to our health. The plant's various parts, including the leaves, flowers, seeds, fruit and bark, each provide nutritional value that can help treat illnesses from cancer to heart conditions to protecting skin cells from aging. This makes moringa a wonderful addition to a dietary routine.

Below are six benefits of having moringa every day to boost your overall health.

Fights Diabetes

Moringa has been shown to balance blood sugar levels via chlorogenic acid, which allows cells to take up or release sugar as needed. A study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition found diabetics who had moringa, curry, and bitterground as part of a high-carb meal saw improvements in blood sugar control and insulin levels. Their plasma insulin responses were noticeably lower when the three plants were included in the meal compared to when they weren't.
“This is thought to be caused by isothiocyanates, which are derived from glucosinolates (sulfur containing compounds) found in green, leafy vegetables” Dr. Konda Reddy, a physician at Weight Loss Physicians in Orlando, Fla., told Medical Daily.
Similarly, a study in the Journal of Food Science found moringa leaf powder had a positive effect on postmenopausal women. Those who took seven grams every day for three months reduced their fasting blood sugar levels by 13.5 percent. The researchers concluded its antioxidant properties have therapeutic potential for complications linked to postmenopause.

Lowers Cholesterol

Moringa helps reduce cholesterol levels due to beta-sitosterol, a power packed nutrient that blocks LDL "bad" cholesterol build-up and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent for the body. Beta-sitosterol possesses a similar structure to cholesterol, which means it competes with cholesterol in the intestines. This reduces the absorption of cholesterol, preventing damage of the blood vessels and keeping the arteries and veins free of plaque. High cholesterol in the blood is linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
In a study, published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, researchers compared moringa to a widely used class of cholesterol and statins, which lower lipids. Moringa was found to be comparable to statins in decreasing serum, liver, and kidney cholesterol levels by 14 percent, 6 percent, and 11 percent in rats, respectively. The effect on the serum cholesterol was statistically significant.

Reduces Inflammation

Moringa contains a mix of essential amino acids, carotenoid phytonutrients — found in carrots and tomatoes — antioxidants, and natural antibacterial compounds that mimic the effects of anti-inflammatory drugs. The plant is also a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which also acts as an anti-inflammatory, and can even protect us from allergic reactions. For example, a study published in the journal Allergy found people who have a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids were less likely to suffer from fewer allergy symptoms.

Fights Cancer

The water-soluble extracts of moringa lead have been touted for helping treat various types of cancer including lung, breast, and skin cancers. In a study, published in the journal Oncology Letters, researchers tested the effects of several doses of water-soluble extract from moringa leaves (0, 50, 100, 200, 300 or 400μ/ml) on human liver and lung cancer cells for two days. The researchers found about 97 percent of the cells exhibited cell death at the highest dose (400μ/ml).
Following, the researchers looked at the plant's effects on inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. Similarly to the first study, they treated liver cancer cells for two days at various doses. The findings revealed cancer cells treated with moringa were inhibited in their growth, and this inhibition was also dose dependent — there was up to 80 percent inhibition by the highest dose provided (200μ/ul).
After other experiments, the researchers concluded the ratio of cell death was five times higher in cells treated with moringa than control cells at the highest concentration (300μ/ml).

Improves Digestive Health

Moringa's anti-inflammatory properties and high fiber content has made it an ideal plant to treat digestive issues such as stomach ulcers, liver disease, kidney damage, among many other disorders. Moringa powder contains 31 percent fiber, helping food move smoothly through the digestive system to be broken down and used in the body. Fiber can also act as a weight loss aid, which makes us feel fuller for longer while supporting a healthy metabolism.
"Moringa, historically, has been used for digestive health. Many claim it helps 'mop up' anything lingering in your digestive system” said Reddy.
However, Reddy warns, there is no official data to back up these claims.

Slows Down Effects Of Aging

Moringa shows promise in preserving our health and beauty. The plant contains anti-aging properties that are beneficial in promoting the revitalization for younger and healthier skin. A 2014 study published in Advances in Dermatology and Allergology found using an active cream containing three percent of concentrated extract of moringa leaves for a period of three months led to improvements on skin volume, skin roughness, skin scaliness, skin smoothness, and skin wrinkles among others. The researchers concluded moringa cream enhances skin revitalization effect, supporting anti-aging skin effects.
According to Reddy: "High concentration of antioxidants, nutrients, and the alleged anti-inflammatory properties make the plant an attractive candidate for anti-aging products."

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Tasting High Quality Moringa for the First Time!


 At the S & F Event in Brighton, customers tasted Ankh Rah's high quality moringa and gave us some feedback!

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50 Ways You Can Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Transform Your Body and Home

We love great multi-taskers! Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is no exception. This great tonic has been used since biblical times to help with a number of different ailments including common colds and infections, kidney stones, high blood pressure, allergies, arthritis and more!
Japanese Samurai, Roman soldiers and military groups throughout history have used apple cider vinegar as an antiseptic, antibacterial and as an energizer. In 400 B.C., Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, used it for its amazing natural cleansing, healing and energizing qualities.
When buying ACV, be sure it includes the “mother,” which will be listed on the label. The “mother” occurs naturally as connected strand-like chains of protein enzyme molecules and is highly regarded throughout history.
ACV packs a powerful punch in the realm of gut health too! Check out this video to learn more about the importance of gut health and how YOU can keep yours in tip top shape (which also improves your immunity!).
Despite vinegar being acidic by nature, it actually helps to balance your pH levels, which helps support a healthy body, decreasing chronic inflammation and warding off illness.
Here is just a small portion of what apple cider vinegar can do for you and your family.
#1 Dandruff– Mix equal parts water/vinegar in a spray bottle and spray on hair after shampoo, let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse. Repeat for a few days until dandruff problem disappears. Repeat once every week or so for maintenance.
#2 Sore Throat– Combine 1 tsp ACV, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, and 3 tsp raw honey in a glass of warm water. ACV and honey have antibacterial properties to help speed up recovery and the capsaicin in hot peppers will help soothe the pain.
#3 Foot Odor- Pour ACV over baby wipes, store in a plastic bag and refrigerate overnight and use as needed. Also works as an underarm deodorizer.
#4 Gas and Constipation- Dilute a tablespoon of ACV into warm tea and drink before a meal. Vinegar stimulates digestive juices (HCl – hydrochloric acid) that help your body breakdown food.
#5 Heartburn- Dilute a tablespoon or so in some water or tea anytime you feel heartburn symptoms coming on. If it is too nasty for you to swallow, add a little raw honey.
#6 Clear Skin- Soak a washcloth in ACV and apply to your face to lessen oil. This will also help with scarring from acne.
#7 Sunburn- Add a cup or two of ACV to a bath and soak for ten minutes. This helps the skin feel soothed and cool, as well as restores the skin’s pH.
#8 Whiten Teeth– Apply directly to teeth and then rinse with water. Don’t do often as it may break down tooth enamel. For a more gentle approach, dilute with water and use as a mouth rinse.
#9 All Purpose Cleaner- Mix 1 part water, 1 part ACV and 2-3 drops of your favorite essential oil together in a spray bottle. ACV is double fermented and an excellent detoxifier. Making your own cleaner is a fantastic way to get rid of unnecessary chemicals in your home.
#10 Odor Remover- ACV breaks down the volatile compounds and kills bacteria that causes unpleasant odors around the house. You can mix 1 part water and 1 part ACV in a spray bottle and use in rooms where a bad odor is present.
#11 Weed Killer- There are lots of recipes for using ACV as a weed killer. You can use it on its own, mix with dish soap, water, salt and/or lemon juice.
#12 Flea Repellent (pets)- ACV makes an awesome natural flea repellent, that actually works! Simply apply topically to your dogs skin or put in a spray bottle and spray over fur and in the dogs bed.
#13 Skin Tags, Moles, Warts– Soak a cotton ball with some ACV, place over the skin tag, mole or wart and secure with medical tape (duct tape works too!). Leave on overnight and wash area once removed. Repeat nightly until wart problem is gone.
#14 Burns- Apply ACV to the burn as soon as possible to help soothe pain and stimulate healing. ACV will also help to disinfect. Note: do not apply to open wounds.
#15 Bruises- Warm up a cup of ACV and mix in 1 tsp of salt. Apply to bruise as a compress.
#16 Bad Breath- Mix 1 tablespoon ACV in a cup of water and gargle for 10 seconds.
#17 Post Shaving Treatment- Mix ACV 50/50 with water and apply to skin for a soothing aftershave.
#18 Condiment Enhancer- ACV can liven up condiments like a rockstar. Try adding a little to sauces, marinades and vinaigrettes. Mix ACV with a little olive oil and fresh herbs for a simple topping for meat or salad. Mix with lemon juice for a great veggie dressing – we use this in our Give Your Body 30 Program.
#19 Mix with Fruit Juice – Might seem a little strange pairing vinegar with fruit juice, but it is actually pretty good! Try mixing a small amount of ACV into grape or a similar type of juice. It is an easy and tasty way to get a daily dose of ACV. Please note: I am referring to fresh pressed juice, not store-bought varieties, which are loaded with sugar.
#20 Soups- Add a splash of ACV to your soup for a little extra punch.
#21 Baked Goods- Add to baked goods to add an extra lift. Don’t worry, a small amount won’t be detected by the kids or the guests.
#22 Antifungal-  Apply ACV topically to affected area or soak area in 1 part ACV 5 parts water for 30 minutes a day if possible.
#23 Sore Muscles- Mix a tablespoon with water and gulp it down for pain relief or rub it directly over sore muscles.
#24 Anti-Itch -If you’ve become the unfortunate enemy of a jellyfish or even poison ivy, some ACV should do the trick to get rid of the itchiness. Simply apply directly to skin and let it work its magic.
#25 Insulin Sensitivity- Regularly taking ACV may help keep blood sugar levels balanced. Check out what Dr. Mercola has to say about apple cider vinegar.
#26 Clear Sinuses- A stuffy nose that won’t clear is the worst. Try sipping a cup of water mixed with ACV – it will act as an antibacterial in your throat and may help decrease and break-up the mucus.
#27 Lymph Circulation- Take daily for detox benefits and to help build immunity. ½ tablespoon mixed in some tea or lemon water every morning should do the trick.
#28 Energy Boost- Add a little to a fresh morning juice or smoothie (just a little, it packs a strong taste!).
#29 Facial Toner- Mix 1 tsp ACV in a little water and apply to face with a cotton ball. Yes, the smell is strong but it dissipates quickly and will improve your skin. Repeat daily for best results.
#30 Upset Stomach- ACV has antibiotic properties and pectin, which are soothing the stomach. For a stomach soothing cocktail combine: 2 tsp ACV, 1 tbsp fresh ginger water, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 8 ounces sparkling water and raw honey to taste. Take a swig in a glass of water when you start feeling unsettled or bloated.
#31 Stop Dogs/Cats From Chewing On Your Stuff- Most animals hate the smell of vinegar and will avoid chewing on cords, couches, etc. if you dab some ACV on them once a week. If your dog pees in the house, clean it up with ACV cleaner and they’ll never pee there again.
#32 Detox Bath- Add 1 cup ACV to your bath along with ⅓-1 cup of Epsom salts and 5-10 drops essential oils. Adding sea salt, ginger and baking soda are also great options for further detoxification and relaxation.
#33 Wash Fruits and Veggies- Use some ACV to wash your fruits and veggies before you eat them. This is important to remove any pesticides or chemicals that may have been sprayed on them before they were harvested.
#34 Neutralize Spices- When you’ve accidentally added one too many shakes of cayenne powder to your dinner, add 1 tsp ACV at a time until the taste returns to where you want it!
#35 Flytrap- Put some ACV and a drop of dish soap in a bowl and set on the counter to attract and kill fruits flies.
#36 Urine Smell in Clothes- Add ½ cup to a washing machine to get urine smell out of clothing.
#37 Exercise Fatigue- Take a tablespoon ACV in a cup of water after a workout to battle post-workout exhaustion. Lactic acid builds up in the body after a workout and causes fatigue. The amino acids in ACV provide a perfect antidote.
#38 Yeast Infection- Add 1 ½ cups of ACV to a bath and soak for 20 minutes.
#39 Allergies- 1 tablespoon in water and 1 Tbs. local organic raw honey daily to combat allergy season.
#40 Cramping- Rub directly on area that is cramping for relief.
#41 Hair Detangler- Mix in a spray bottle with 1 part water to 1 part ACV and spritz on hair when combing.
#42 Add to Bone Broth– Mix a few spoonfuls into your bone broth to add a kick and some extra detox power.
#43 Weight Loss- The acetic acid in ACV suppresses appetite and reduces water retention. Take ½ tablespoon in some fresh lemon water every morning or before meals for best results.
#44 Shiny Hair- Rinse your hair in 1 part ACV  and 1 part water after shampooing for a great shine.
#45 Hand and Foot Massage- Rub on your hands and feet after a long day to relieve tired muscles.
#46 Alkalization- Regularly consuming ACV can help your body maintain a healthy pH level. Disease cannot thrive in an alkaline environment!
#47 Detoxify the Liver- Take 1-2 tsp in an 8 oz glass of water in the morning, followed by eating raw organic fruit and vegetables and lots of water throughout the day.
#48 Candida- ACV is rich in enzymes that help the body combat candida. Take ½ tablespoon twice daily.
#49 Dish Detergent- Can use in your dishwasher to help remove grease.
#50 Relieves Gout– Take 2-3 tablespoons, 2-3 times every day.
Talk about a great multi-tasker! I know a lot of you out there have families to take care of and I wanted to make sure you knew about this affordable tonic that can help improve the health and wellness in your home.

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Sky-High Doses: Taking Large Amounts of Vitamin D Is on the Rise!

The Institute of Medicine (now called the National Academy of Medicine) reported in 2011 that taking more than what doctors call the "tolerable upper limit" — in other words, the highest amount of a vitamin a person can take that's unlikely to be harmful — may indeed have negative effects on health. The tolerable upper limit is considerably higher than the recommended amount a person should take each day. For vitamin D, the tolerable upper limit for people of all ages is 4,000 IU a day.

The main source of vitamin D is sunlight: When the sun shines on a person's skin, it triggers a chemical reaction that produces the vitamin, according to the National Library of Medicine. Very few foods naturally contain vitamin D, but it can be found in foods that come from animals, including meat and dairy. Mushrooms are the only produce that naturally contains vitamin D.
Because it's difficult to get enough vitamin D from food alone, many people take supplements. In the study, the researchers noted that taking at least 1,000 IU of vitamin D a day likely indicated that a person was "intentionally seeking" more vitamin D.
In the study, the researchers looked at data on nearly 40,000 people gathered during the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which is conducted in two-year cycles. In every survey done from 1999 to 2006, less than 0.1 percent of adults reported taking 4,000 IU or more of vitamin D supplements a day. But in the 2013-2014 survey, 3.2 percent of adults reported taking that much vitamin D, an increase of more than 30 times.

In 2013-2014, high-dose vitamin D intake was more common in women than men, the study found. In addition, high intake was also more common in non-Hispanic people than in people of other races, and more common in older individuals than younger.
The researchers noted that a limitation of the study was that participants self-reported the amounts of vitamin D they took.
Dangers associated with taking too much vitamin D include an increased risk of fractures and falls. And people taking vitamin D with calcium supplements are at an increased risk of kidney stones, according to the study.

Originally published on Live Science.

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