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Real Wellness with NFL star Ricky Williams | Jovanka Ciares

Today I have a really awesome treat. I met Ricky Williams (the ‘Heisman Healer’) a few months ago and loved his commitment to excellence in his career as an NFL player AND to his own wellness journey.

He co-founded Real Wellness and sat with me to talk healing, men’s health and alternative practices and traditions. Check out the interview and let me know what you think!

Check Out Real Wellness Here: https://realwellnessherbal.com/

4 Ways to Manage Stomach Reflux and Heartburn

An excellent home remedy for heartburn is to eat 1 toast or 2 crackers, since they absorb the acid that is causing the acidity in the larynx and throat, reducing the burning sensation.

Other options are to suck on a pure lemon at the moment that the acidity arises, because the lemon, despite being acidic, helps reduce this symptom; or you can also eat a slice of raw potato as it is capable of neutralizing acidity, fighting discomfort in a few moments. Learn more about heartburn.

However, there are a lot of DIY herbal and remedies that can be easily prepared at home and used throughout the day, especially for those who suffer from reflux and often have a heartburn crisis. Some of them are:

1. Baking soda

Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda when diluted in water has an alkaline effect on the digestive tract and as a consequence decreases the acidity of the stomach, the inflammation in the esophagus and relieves the discomfort caused by heartburn.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon of baking soda;

8 ounces of water.

Preparation mode

Mix the ingredients and take this mixture in small sips.

2. Fennel tea

Home remedies for heartburn

Fennel tea also contains excellent anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve inflammation of the stomach and a burning sensation in the throat.

In addition to promoting gastric emptying and can be used in case of reflux to reduce the onset of heartburn.

Ingredients

1 cup of boiling water;

1 tablespoon of fennel bulb cut.

Preparation mode

Add the fennel to the boiling water and let it steep for 10 minutes, then strain and drink 2 to 3 times a day or 20 minutes before the main meals.

3. Pear Juice

Home remedies for heartburn

Those who do not like tea can choose to drink a freshly made pear juice, as it helps fight heartburn and burning, improving digestion. To prepare, you only need to blend 2 ripe pears with a little water, and if necessary you can add a few drops of lemon so that the juice does not darken.

Pear is semi-acidic, rich in vitamins A, B, and C and mineral salts such as sodium, potassium, iron, and calcium, which help dilute stomach acid and relieve the discomfort and burning caused by heartburn.

In addition to the pear, there are other fruits that have the same properties and that can be used to make other juices, such as: ripe banana, red apple and melon.

4. Licorice tea

Home remedies for heartburn

Licorice, is a medicinal plant with which you can make tea and is known to improve the symptoms of respiratory problems, however, it is also used in cases of gastric ulcers and to relieve the sensation of acidity and burning.

Ingredients

½ ounce of licorice root;

16 ounces of water (1/2 liter) of water.

Three Ways to Combat Dandruff Naturally

Struggling with dandruff? Many of us do. Dandruff can be caused by a variety of reasons: from poor hygiene and low-quality hair products, to fungal infections, eczema, psoriasis or other serious health conditions.

Depending on the reasons for your struggles with dandruff, you should get your scalp checked by a dermatologist to rule out any serious problems.

The 3 herbal blends mentioned below will work for most people as they are to be used topically only and can be used in combination with medicated shampoo.  

Coconut with Lemon: 

Lemon is a key ingredient in most of the hair care remedies.

Mix the juice of a full lemon

4 Tbsp of warm coconut oil (do not microwave)

Apply on the scalp

Massage and cover your head with a plastic bag

Leave it for 30 mins

Shampoo and set as normal

Aloe Vera:
Ideally you want to find fresh aloe from the thick plant leaves but if that’s not available, you can buy a high-quality extract in your local health food store.

Use 5-6 Tbsps of gel extract and apply in your scalp only late at night

Let it dry out a little before going to bed, leaving it overnight

Shampoo and set as normal in the morning.

Camphor Oil with Coconut oil: 

This remedy is skin friendly and coconut has anti-fungal properties so it gives you a one-two punch approach to help your scalp heal.

Mix 1 Tbsp of camphor or a single camphor tablet (if they come in hard tablets, warm them up first until it melts)

Add 4-5 Tbsp of coconut oil

Keep in a small bottle and apply nightly to the scalp

How To Address the Lack of Diversity in the World of Wellness

There is a big diversity gap in the wellness world. If you attend a yoga class in places like New York City, Chicago or Los Angeles, you will see mostly white faces. Wellness conferences and events often have a high-ticket entry price and offer products and services that only a few can afford.

The diversity issues aren’t limited to the audience: the makeup of the elite wellness expert pool is also homogeneous. Other than a couple of large players (Deepak Chopra, Iyanla Vanzant, JJ Smith), there are almost no top-level wellness experts of multi-cultural background appealing to and attracting new audiences. Despite the plethora of diverse talent in wellness, the industry has not yet fully tapped into it and elevated these voices, to the detriment of all of those seeking to become or stay healthy and happy in mind and soul.

As a black woman of Latinx background and wellness expert, it is my mission to inspire the communities I belong to, to embrace the wellness practices that had such a positive impact in my own healing process and life as a whole. My goal is to bridge the gap between the world of wellness and brown and black communities in the USA by reminding these communities of the history behind common wellness practices.

On today’s today’s video blog I explore the “radical” idea of how we can together enrich, diversify and create equity in the world of wellness. Please have a listen.

While long term solutions would require mayor changes in public health policies, socio economic development and access to both education and healthy food options, we cannot sit idle waiting for politicians to do the right thing and laws to change. Much can be done today, to get people of all colors and creed excited about #ReclaimingWellness. We know, for example that while some wellness practices can only be afforded by the wealthy, many more are easily accessible and available to all.

The fact is that many of the wellness practices we embrace as “mainstream” today were originally developed, used and disseminated by people of color around the world. From meditation (Nepal, North Africa, India) and herbal medicine (Africa, Asia, South America) to Yoga (India) and other holistic mind/body practices (Africa’s ubuntu, Amazonian’s spiritual medicine) there are plenty of life-changing wellness practices that are part of our ancestry, our DNA and it’s time we reclaim and reincorporate them for our benefit and the benefit of our community as a whole.

By #ReclaimingWellness people of color can learn to love these healthy lifestyle practices while getting an easy-to-follow, no-nonsense blueprint to incorporating them into their daily routine.

It is my hope that other wellness experts, regardless of the color of their skin, become allies in the quest to diversify the world of wellness. It is a crucial opportunity to affect growth and increase our impact while enriching the lives of many.

5 of the Most Powerful Medicinal Plants Backed by Science

Chances are, you have heard of these herbs and how powerful they are. You have heard me talk about them many times or your family or ancestors may have used them before.

While we have lots of anecdotal evidence related to many herbal remedies, these 5 in particular have properties backed by science and I wanted to share what modern science has found about them here with you.

These herbs really work and now we have all the persistent stories backed clinically:

MILK THISTLE

Famous as the national flower of Scotland, this lovely looking plant has now spread around the world. We now know that milk thistle:

– protects cells from damage

– helps treat liver and stomach ailments like spasms

– has a relaxation effect on the gastrointestinal muscles

– helps boost digestion

NETTLES

Nettles is famous for its stinginess when the plant is fresh but it has also been used for centuries in herbal remedies. Nettles is a natural diuretic, that:

– aids in gastric health

– can help lower blood pressure

– helps break down stones in the kidney and gallbladder

– can reduce inflammation

GINGKO

Gingko is one of the oldest trees on the planet as well as one of the oldest alternative medicine plants out there. It can be used in many ways but science shows us that gingko:

– can boost brain health

– can treat mild to moderate dementia

– can slow cognition decline and Alzheimer’s

– can help diabetes

TURMERIC

Today turmeric is one of the most popular medicinal herbs in the West, but it has been used for thousands of years in place like India. We know that turmeric can:

– help reduce inflammation

– help reduce pain and discomfort form arthritis

– current studies are conducted to determine its anti-cancer properties

TEA TREE OIL

This is a plant that’s native to Australia. Long been thought to be beneficial for skin conditions, including mild acne, small wounds, insect bites, and other conditions. Research also shows that tea tree oil is:

– a powerful antimicrobials extract that can help heal wounds and skin infections

– can help slow the development of acne-causing microbes

– has antiseptic and antifungal properties

How to Manage Sore Throat, Inflammation, Laryngitis and Cough

There are a few ways to calm and relieve a sore throat and persistent cough using natural remedies. People who want to use natural remedies to treat sore throat and cough should look for various resources, and do your research regarding herbs and supplements that can help, taking into account any medications they may be taking, which can lead to unwanted side effects.

If you have a severe or persistent cough for a few weeks, it is essential that you see a doctor.

If you want to try herbal remedies to help you with the pesky cough and sore throat try the three featured in today’s blog to start with!

Marshmallow root

Marshmallow root is a herb widely used throughout history as a treatment for coughs and sore throats. The herb can improve the irritation produced by cough, due to its high content of mucilage. It is a thick, sticky substance that covers the throat.

In another small study, it was revealed that an herbal cough syrup with marshmallow root, thyme, and ivy relieved coughs caused by common colds and respiratory tract infections. After 12 days of taking the syrup, 90 percent of the participants rated its effectiveness as good or very good.

Marshmallow root is also available as a dried herb or tea bag. Add warm (not hot) water and drink it immediately or let it cool first. The longer the marshmallow root stays in the water, the more mucilage it will drink.

Bromelain

Bromelain is an enzyme that comes from pineapples and is most abundant in the heart of the fruit.

Bromelain has anti-inflammatory properties and can also have mucolytic properties, which means that it can shrink the mucosa and remove it from the body.

Some people drink pineapple juice on a daily basis to reduce the lining of the throat and eliminate the cough. However, there is not too much bromelain in the juice to relieve symptoms.

You can find bromelain supplements at a store and they can be more effective at eliminating coughs. However, it is best to speak to a doctor before trying new supplements.

Thyme

Thyme has both culinary and medicinal uses and is a common remedy for coughs, sore throats, bronchitis, and digestive problems.

A study showed that a cough syrup with thyme and ivy relieved a cough more effectively and faster than a placebo syrup in people with acute bronchitis. The antioxidants that make up the plant may be responsible for its benefits.

To treat cough with thyme, look for a specific syrup that contains this type of herb. Alternatively, brew a cup of tea and add two tablespoons of dried thyme to one cup of hot water. Let stand 10 minutes before straining and drinking.

Cooking Spices that EAT FAT and Help You Lose Inches

The best way to ensure your weight loss plan is successful, is to include tasty and satisfying foods in your daily meal plan. It’s just a matter of preparing your meals with ingredients that make the food so tasty, you feel like it’s being prepared at a high-end restaurant.

That’s one of the main reasons why I love herbs and spices so much. Very few ingredients can make such a positive impact in your meals like spices without the need to add unhealthy, fattening options like fat, sugar, salt or junk. And if you included the added benefit of fat burning properties to this equation, using the following 4 herbs in your meals is not just a win-win, but a no-brainer.

So here are 4 herbs and spices that have the power to burn fat faster and make you slim in no time.

Cayenne pepper

Cayenne pepper increases the body temperature, helping you boost your metabolism and increase caloric burn. Adding this spice to your meal can help you burn up to 100 calories per meal.

Black pepper

Black pepper is a very common herb, in the same family as cayenne pepper. Black pepper is rich in piperine, which prevents the formation of fat cells helping you to lose, and later maintain, that weight.

Rosemary

Rosemary aids digestion, improve your chances of losing weight by increasing your metabolic rate. Drinking rosemary infused water on an empty stomach can help increase its qualities.

Cardamom

Cardamom, is a popular Indian spice with a very aromatic flavor. It helps warm your body from the inside out, helping you lose weight. It also prevents the formation of gas, preventing the bloat.

Three Medicinal Mushrooms You Should Know About | The Power of Mushrooms

Three medicinal mushrooms you should know about – the Power of Mushrooms

I’ve been learning about and becoming obsessed with mushrooms for the last couple of years. I’m truly in love with these powerful products and wanted to share at least 3 that you should consider trying and adding to your healthy foods arsenal.

First of, it’s important to know that mushrooms (or fungi) are neither part of the vegetable world nor part of the animal world. They are their own kingdom, the fungi kingdom! There are tens of thousands of mushroom types out there, with a few dozen considered edible and beneficial to our health. We still don’t know all of them so chances are we may learn about a new mushroom or two and its benefits in the very near future.

For now, let’s look at 3 that are among the most popular and with the strongest known health benefits.

  1. Reishi

Traditional Chinese Medicine has been using reishi for hundreds of years. It is considered the “longevity” mushroom in many parts of the world.

There is strong evidence that reishi can help:

  • Boost your immune system
  • Have anti-cancer properties
  • Fight fatigue
  • Protect your heart
  • Can help control blood sugar levels
  • Provide antioxidant protection

It is mostly used in powder form (capsules or loose powder) but can also be found in tea and tincture form

  1. Chaga

This mushroom has been used for centuries in Siberia, Scandinavia and parts of Northern Canada to help improve overall health. It is so powerful indeed that a single cup of chaga tea can provide almost all of the antioxidants you need in a day.

In addition to antioxidants, evidence shows that chaga mushrooms can help you:

  • Prevent cancer
  • Lower blood sugar levels
  • Lower cholesterol
  1. Shiitake 

This is a yummy edible mushroom. I’m particularly obsessed with them because they have a smoky flavor when oven roasted and are incredibly tasty in soups, stews, salads other dishes.

There is strong scientific data showing how shiitake can help:

  • Boost health
  • Protect against cancer
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Increase circulation

Now, have you tried or are ready to try these magical ‘shrooms? Have you tried others that you love? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

How Does THIS Help You Lose Weight

We all know that carrying excess weight has health consequences, including increased risk of diabetes, coronary heart disease, and even depression, also, lower self-esteem, aches and pains, etc.

For patients who need an extra edge in their weight loss efforts, adding on a specialized weight loss supplement might be the answer.

Historically, supplements that claim to aid weight loss have overwhelmingly been ineffective or unsafe—and sometimes both.

Exploring How Berberine Enhances Weight Loss

Berberine is an isolate derived from many common plants, including the barberry shrub (Berberis vulgaris) after which the chemical takes its name.

Historically, berberine has been used as a pigment and as a curative in Chinese traditional medicine.

More recently, however, scientific interest into berberine has revealed a handful of potential clinical applications, including weight loss.

Berberine’s primary appeal as a weight loss supplement stems from its ability to make production of cellular energy less efficient.

When cells can produce their cellular energy in a highly efficient way, a higher percentage of nutrients are turned into energy.

How Effective is Berberine for Weight Loss?

In 2012, for example, one study showed that obese human patients lost an average of 5 lbs over the 12-week course of treatment.

In another study, those who took berberine lost an average of 7 lbs more than the patients who consumed a placebo.

How To Use It

While berberine is known to be well-tolerated, patients should still exercise caution when using it for weight loss, particularly if they have liver issues.

Currently, data suggests that berberine is completely safe to use for up to 12 weeks.

No more than 1500 per day or 500 mg 3TID

Post Workout Recovery Smoothie

Whether working out at home or at a gym, this is one of my favorite drinks after a workout. I always include the ingredients below in my morning smoothie to help my body feel energize and recover quickly after a hard workout.

As an option, you can add vegan protein powder to your post workout recovery drinks. Here are the main ingredients on my smoothie and the reason why I love them (check them out below the video):

  1. Cordyceps – recovery, helping your body get ready for the next big workout
  2. Banana: Carbohydrates and potassium help muscles recover
  3. Spinach: rich in vitamins magnesium, calcium and iron. Protects and benefits eye health, reduces oxidative stress and reduces blood pressure levels.
  4. Blueberries: High in antioxidants that help reduce inflammation which can help counteract soreness
  5. Ginger: Also anti-inflammatory, which will help with soreness
  6. Hemp Seeds: High in protein, which helps repair and build muscles after a workout
  7. Chia Seeds: Also high in protein and helps you rehydrate at a cellular level
  8. Coconut Water: full of electrolytes, helping you replenish after a long workout. Has antioxidant properties and will help lower blood pressure.

Having a daily smoothie is one of the best ways to ensure large amounts of deeply nourishing foods your body needs for weight loss, fat burning, muscle building, elasticity, etc.

Your Gut Health Questions Answered with Dr Mary Pardee

Today, I have Dr Mary Pardee functional medicine doctor and Naturopathic Medical Doctor specializing in integrative gastroenterology and gut-brain health to some of the most popular questions I hear from folks about gut health.

We will talk about over the counter remedies, those pesky, gassy, smelly symptoms you struggle with and more. Tune in!

Living with chronic conditions like diarrhea, acid reflux, constipation, gas, or bloating can leave you feeling drained and hopeless, not to mention embarrassed. You shouldn’t have to scan every restaurant menu before going out to eat, or avoiding restaurants altogether. Your gut should be nourishing you, not causing stress and discomfort.

And let’s face it: none of this is all that fun to talk about. But facts are facts: The health of your body is largely affected by the health of your gut.

It’s time we talked about poop.

And probiotics.

And all things gut health.

Check out today’s interview, you’ll learn a TON today!

2-Herb Blend To Help You Lose Weight

In these stressful times when we need feel good experiences, it is very common for people to increase the amount of sugar and sugary-converted foods as they trigger the release of serotonin and beta-endorphins, soothing us and making us feel better, at least temporarily.

These include not just sugary treats but simple refined carbohydrates that are easily converted to glucose (sugar), like bread, white rice white pasta and others.

Unfortunately, and as you probably know, sugar overuse can lead to some serious health issues including obesity, heart disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, type-2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, hormone irregularity, and depressed mood and anxiety.

In my practice as an herbalist, I often get asked what to do to help control sugar cravings while you take other steps to learn how to eat and have a better relationship with your foods.

I’ve mentioned one of the 2 herbs here before, the other one may be new to you. But both of them in combination are even more powerful to kill sugar cravings and assist in your weight loss journey.

Fenugreek Seeds 

These seeds taste a little sweet and are often used in Indian cuisine, both sweet and savory dishes.

It is an antioxidant herb used to manage metabolic disorders like diabetes or anemia, clear excessive mucus and reduce inflammation

Fenugreek can be used to control sugar cravings and even blood sugar effectively. A study published in the Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders, “fenugreek delayed the onset of diabetes in subjects with prediabetes and even helped to reduce fasting plasma glucose, postprandial fasting glucose, and LDL cholesterol.” It was also observed that the control ground had a “4.2 times higher chance of developing type-2 diabetes compared to subjects in the fenugreek group.”

Gymnema Sylvetre

The Hindi name for gymnema translates to “destroyer of sugar.”

The plant’s compound can reduce the absorption of sugar from the intestinal tract and boost insulin production, all of which could help lower blood sugar. In some animal studies, gymnema extract also causes subjects to eat less and eventually lose weight.

How To Use It

1 Tbsp each in 24 ounces of water

Bring to a slow boil and simmer for 5-7 mins.

Let it cool

Drink 4 ounces of this drink 4-6 times a day until you have drank 3, eight-ounce cups per day

Salsa Verde (Chimichurri Sauce) Recipe

Today I have the 2nd video recipe with guest Executive Chef Verite Mazzola, who is teaching us how to make a super easy and extra yummy salsa verde (a take on the famous chimichurri sauce.

A few weeks ago we made a fantastic black garlic sauce that you can find here: https://youtu.be/NEDGroK9510

And for the book we reference, check it out here: http://ebookbundle.jovankaciares.com/

Here’s the recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tbsp dried oregano

1/2 bunch of fresh parsley

1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro

1 Serrano pepper (less if you don’t like spice)

3 garlic cloves

1 full lemon zest

1 cup of oil

1/4 cup of vinegar

salt & pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

In a blender or small food processor, blend until smooth. Safe in a glass jar and place in the fridge until it’s time to use. Spread over your veggies, rice or quinoa right before consuming and enjoy!

Awesome Vegan Mexican Dish from La Vida Verde

Today I have a very special recipe feature. It’s a mushroom cocktail from the #vegan cookbook: “La Vida Verde: Plant-Based Mexican Cooking with Authentic Flavor” by @la_yoselin, chef and founder of @TodoVerde

I met Chef Jocelyn Ramirez over a year ago and since have tried her recipes in at least 3 events she catered. Literally every single time, I wanted to meet the chef behind the delicious Mexican plant-based foods served. And, as a fellow Latina, I am filled with pride and joy that our foods, and work is featured in mainstream books and social platforms.

So I couldn’t WAIT to make this recipe (also, because I am in love with mushrooms) and it is a super yummy one.

Check out the full video and recipe here and run to get the book! Run to get the book and enjoy!

To get the book: https://amzn.to/35N5CFn

Vegan Ketogenic Diet Cookbook Interview

Today, I’m interviewing the Authors of the Vegan Ketogenic Diet book, Whitney Lauritsen and Nicole Derseweh. To get the book, https://amzn.to/3aqTzyJ

I’ve been curious about a low starch, low simple carb and low simple sugar vegan diet for quite a while, mostly as a way to offer alternatives to clients with very unique health concerns. Whitney and Nicole wrote a book with really tasty whole foods that also appeal to those into keto and low carb sensitivities. Check out the video below….

To connect with the authors:

Whitney: https://whitneylauritsen.com/evg-coming-soon/

@whitlauritsen

@ecovegangal

Nicole: http://nicoracle.com

@nicolederseweh 

I’m also featuring one of the recipes in the book, a garlic Fried cauliflower rice that’s to die for!

As the description of the book on Amazon reads:

A vegan-friendly ketogenic diet is possible―and delicious. In your hands you hold the complete guide to eating meals that are free from animal products but still contain the right high-fat and low-carb nutritional content for achieving ketosis (changing the way your body burns fuel, to aid with health and weight loss).

The Vegan Ketogenic Diet Cookbook teaches you how to get started and stay motivated, with step-by-step recipes that focus on nuts, seeds, and low-glycemic fruits and vegetables. Featuring everything from breakfast to desserts, this cookbook offers plenty of variety so there’s always something new to try. Eating vegan now includes the full benefits of the ketogenic diet, thanks to dozens of dishes that promote increased energy, better digestion, and more balanced body weight.

The Vegan Ketogenic Diet Cookbook helps you:

  • Get prepped―The introductory chapter runs you through the principles of a ketogenic diet―and how easy it is to make it vegan.
  • Get cooking―Recipes have serving sizes included so you can calculate your macronutrients, plus shopping lists of essential vegan-keto ingredients to have on hand.
  • Get eating―Find tips for serving, storing, swapping ingredients, and creating meal plans.
About Jovanka

Jovanka Ciares is a former entertainment executive turned Wellness expert, detox specialist, nutrition educator and author. She is the creator of the Wellness Smackdown™, a proprietary detox and weight loss program for natural weight loss which was featured on the first season of ABC’s “My Diet Is Better Than Yours”...

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