BLOG

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.

Stop Emotional Eating with Hypnosis

Today I have a very special video, talking to my friend and renowned hypnotherapist Grace Smith. After so many of you shared that you are “eating your emotions” and “stress eating”, I wanted her to share with all of us how her work can help us all stop behaviors that can become highly destructive and downright unhealthy.

You see, Grace’s work has helped thousands around the world stop emotional eating, lose weight more effectively than ever before and fall in love with their magnificent bodies where it matters most… inside your subconscious mind.

Because if your conscious mind wants something (to lose weight) and your subconscious mind wants something else (to stay the same), the subconscious will win every.single.time.

It will sabotage success from the inside out until things return to the status quo…

Unless you learn how to access and upgrade your subconscious mind directly.

Grace’s BRAND NEW BOOK “Close Your Eyes, Lose Weight” will teach you exactly how to do just that.

Her book will also teach you:

✔️Magical Meal Prep + Motivation to Keep Going ⠀

✔️The Fundamentals: Chew, Hydrate, Stop! ⠀

✔️Limiting Beliefs That Have to Go ⠀

✔️Intuitive Eating ⠀

✔️Train Your Brain to Crave Exercise ⠀

✔️Freedom from Emotional Eating ⠀

✔️Overcome Eating When Bored ⠀

✔️ Upgrade How You Reward Yourself ⠀

✔️ The People and Places That Trigger You ⠀

✔️ Putting the Law of Attraction to Work⠀

✔️ How to Cope with Unwanted Attention ⠀

✔️ Overcome the Fear of Success ⠀

✔️ Learning to Love Yourself for the Long Run ⠀

Due to the fact that we’re all more isolated than ever, there are two ways that you can enjoy “Close Your Eyes, Lose Weight” and the wisdom inside that will help you to transform your relationship to food and your body, for the long term.

Option A: Self-Study

Purchase your copy of “Close Your Eyes, Lose Weight” here today and make your way through the book, it’s daily journal pages, and it’s accompanying digital resources website on your own, in your own time.

Option B: Group Study

Enroll in Grace’s 90 Day Live Weight Loss Challenge (launching on May 1st) and join a community of like minded souls from all over the world who are committed to making their way through the 12-week journey laid out inside “Close Your Eyes, Lose Weight,” TOGETHER. You’ll receive additional bonus videos each week, live Q&A chats with Grace each week, and most importantly, you’ll receive ACCOUNTABILITY. Click here to learn more about the Group Study option!

You’ll see me inside the Group Study program myself as I’ll be providing you all with a bonus lesson on the meal plan that I created for “Close Your Eyes, Lose Weight”…

That’s right! Grace asked me to create the official “Close Your Eyes, Lose Weight” meal plan and I can’t wait for you to get your hands on it and for me to walk all Group Study participants through it in even greater detail <3

If you have any questions feel free to reply to this email.

Otherwise, give yourself the gift of freedom from emotional eating during this time of heightened fear and uncertainty by choosing either the Self-Study option or the Group Study option.

How To Manage Stress-Induced Diarrhea and Constipation

The stress of today’s world, now compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic can lead to digestive disruption that could manifest in either constipation or diarrhea, among other uncomfortable symptoms.

The recurring feelings of worry, the sadness, anger and frustration related to our current reality and even your present social situations (whether you feel alone/isolated or overwhelm with too many around you), leave us in an emotional “flight, fight or freeze” state where your body constantly feels like it’s in danger, stress hormones are over produced and all kinds of tummy issues materialized.

If you are the kind that is experiencing loose stools, here are a few tips that can help:

  • Reduce the amount of caffeine/caffeinated beverages for a few days
  • Avoid oily foods
  • Reduce alcohol consumption also for a few days
  • Practice the 4-5-7 breathing technique
  • Use probiotic rich foods like miso or kombucha
  • Take instead ginger to manage discomfort and improve digestion
  • A strong black tea or blackberry tea can help control diarrhea as its tannins have a dehydrating effect, decreasing secretion of fluids in the intestines

If, on the other hand you’re experience stress-related constipation, here are a few tips for you:

  • Give yourself time in the bathroom to empty your bowels, this is NOT the time to be bashful
  • Use a step to elevate your feet when using the toilet
  • Workout: especially movements that help you move your core and your upper body in opposite direction to the lower body
  • Drink a TON of water (and avoid caffeinated drinks too)
  • Practice the 4-5-7 breathing technique
  • Use papaya sprinkled with lemon
  • Use Cascara Sagrada – My GO-TO (I rarely use Senna, it’s too harsh)

In a couple of days, I will be sharing with you a special surprise video showing you how to manage stress and stress-eating in the pandemic era, stay tuned!

Stress Relief Herbal Compress

The stress of the new world we’re living in can be is overwhelming and can cause a reduction in our immunity response. Adding to the risk, is the toll that stress take on our emotional & mental health and wellbeing.

You may have an extremely busy schedule, working longer and longer hours, are taking care of children, the elderly, the sick. Perhaps you are out of a job and struggling to make ends meet. Or you simply struggle to make a difference in the face of so much pain.

Today I want to share a very simple remedy you can do even if all you have to spare is 5 minutes of self-care each day. It is a stress relief compress that you can apply to your head (over your eyes and forehead), wrap your feet with it or even apply on your chest near your heart, feeling not only its warmth but its healing embrace as well.

All of these ingredients can be easily found in markets around the world and you can use a cheese cloth or small hand towel for the compress. Check it out:

1 lavender tea bag

1 lemon balm tea bag

1 valerian root tea bag

1 chamomile OR passionflower tea bag*

*If you can’t find all 4 of these, pick whatever 3 you can find from the above list. You can still have a truly wonderful blend

Instructions

  • Place all 4 tea bags in a deep ceramic or glass bowl and pour hot water (16 ounces will do)
  • Cover the bowl for 30 mins
  • Strain the herbs or bags out of the liquid
  • Dip a clean cloth or light hand towel in the warm infusion and then squeeze out excess liquid
  • Apply the compress over your eyes (you can use another cloth for your feet, even your chest area. Leave for 4-5 mins at a time.
  • When the compress cools, dip it into the warm infusion again, squeezing out the excess, and reapplying as often as needed*

*Please do not rewarm the water in the microwave. Use the stove 🙂

Fever Reducing Tea Blend

When trying to bring a fever down, herbal remedies can help cool the body down. The herbs can stimulate the circulatory system, help your body sweat, pushing pathogens out of your body through sweat and cooling you down in the process.

Here’s a simple blend using 4 herbs. Three of these herbs are very easy to find in markets across the country. The 4th one, yarrow, may be a bit harder to find (but never impossible).

Check out the video and the recipe and “how to” below.

2 tsp ginger root, grated

2 tsp dry basil

1 tsp of peppermint

1 tsp of dry yarrow leaves

*If you can’t find yarrow, take elder flower or dry catnip

Directions

  • In 2 cups of hot water (not boiling), add all herbs and steep for 30-45 mins
  • Strain and drink small amounts of about ¼ cup of this infusion every 30 mins
  • Must be used within a 24 hour period

Three Oils That Protect your Respiratory System

The US Surgeon General said in an interview last week: “… we would rather prevent disease than treat disease”.  The worldwide struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic has made this more evident than ever before.

You have been seeing my IG Lives and YouTube videos where I am sharing various ways to keep your body healthy, strong and have yet another line of defense against preventable diseases like the cold, the flu and the coronavirus.

Essential oils are another way in which we can keep our immune system strong and ready to fight pathogens. Here are 2 essential oils (to be used topically) and one oil-based infusion (to be used internally) that my family has been using for generations.

– EUCALYPTUS: This highly anti-oxidant oil can help you relieve cold symptoms, break down congestion in the chest, clear your nasal passage and promote relaxation, helping you sleep at night.

My mom used to put a few drops in our chests before bed when we were super congested. I still remember those moments fondly.

– THIEVES essential oil: a blend of oils

The blend includes herbs like cloves, cinnamon and rosemary and is believed to help boost the immune system. It has antimicrobial activity and can help you fight nasal and sinus congestion. It is also good at promoting respiratory health and energizing the mood.

My sister would put 3-4 drops on my little nephew’s hands right before dropping him off to school every morning. He rubbed his hands together and smell the oil before rubbing it on his temple and neck. That first year of use, he avoided the cold when most kids in his school got it at least once.

– OIL OF OREGANO: This is a natural antibiotic and antioxidant with antiviral properties. It contains various potentially healing compounds that can also help reduce pain and symptoms of the cold and flu.

I often use it at the first sign of symptoms, adding 3-4 drops of the oil blend (NOT the essential oils but the oil infused in a carrier oil) in a cup of tea, 3-4 times a day. You can also take it in small caps.

Immunity Boosting Herb-Infused Vinegar

This is an incredibly versatile herb infused vinegar, based on the original recipe made famous by the story of the 4 thieves who, legend has it, during the black plague stole from the dead and dying without getting sick themselves.

The herbs on this blend are all regularly used to help us strengthen our immunity, reduce inflammation and most are amazing at helping you improve digestion and absorption of nutrients.

This vinegar can we used topically, can be used in food or as a remedy. Check out the video here and the recipe / ingredients below the video.

Ingredients

16 oz organic apple cider vinegar
2 tsp of cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

2 teaspoons dried sage leaves
2 teaspoons dried rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorn seed, crushed
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 bulb fresh raw garlic cloves, chopped

Directions

  • Fill a large jar with the herbs and then add the organic apple cider vinegar, making sure all herbs are fully covered in the liquid.
  • Stir with a wooden spoon and ensure the herbs are thoroughly saturated with the vinegar.
  • Seal the jar using plastic paper, then add the metal lid to prevent the vinegar from corroding the metal in the lid.
  • Let the mixture marinate for a minimum of 2 weeks (ideally 4 weeks) in a dark place, shaking the jar daily to ensure better extraction.
  • Once done, you can strain all the herbs and store in an amber or dark blue color glass jar and start using your vinegar in salads, in tea blends or topically.

Herbal Tonic for the Cold, Flu, Other Respiratory Illnesses

This powerful tonic can be used by people who are perfectly healthy and trying to stay healthy and those with the cold, the flu and other symptoms.

If you have a fever, aches and pains, and are concerned about getting sicker, this can help shorten your symptoms, reduce inflammation, rest easier and feel better a little sooner.

You can do this with just 5 ingredients:

2 inches of ginger root (boiled in 16 ounces of water)

1 cap full of raw apple cider vinegar

½ lemon juice (freshly cut)

1 dash of cayenne pepper

1 tsp of raw honey (avoid if you’re a vegan)

You can also add a couple of other ingredients, to create a one-two punch of protection:

20 drops of reishi tincture

10 drops of oil of oregano

Take this 12 ounce drink once a day as a protective tonic and 3-4 times a day if you’re fighting a cold, the flu or something else!

How to Make Hand Sanitizer at Home

In light of the continued spread and worldwide struggle with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the CDC’s directive to practice social distancing and other guidelines, many of you have asked if alternative practices like herbal medicine can help add an extra layer of protection to your health and immunity.

In the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing with my community simple herbal and other home-made remedies to help you stay strong and supporter through this world-wide pandemic.

In this post, I’ll show you how to make WHO and CDC approved hand sanitizer at home with just 4 ingredients.

I tried it at home and showed you the process here.

Here is the mix/recipe:

4 ounces of isopropyl alcohol (91% or above)

1/2 tsp of glycerol or glycerin

1/2 tsp of hydrogen peroxide

1 ounce of water (boil the water, let it cool)

5 drops of tea tree oil

5 drops of lavender

*Add to a clean, empty bottle with a spray cap

Coronavirus: Can Herbal Medicine Help Protect You?

The coronavirus is wreaking havoc around the world, not just in the health of people but in our psyche and in the world economy as a whole. We don’t know as much as we’d like to about this virus and that is one of the reasons for the type of panic we’re seeing. If you don’t know an enemy, how do you fight it, right? In my practice as an herbalist, I’ve had a dozen people ask me if I could recommend botanicals that can protect them from getting the coronavirus. Check out my answer and my recommendations here:
Practical recommendations from the US Federal Government: coronavirus.gov In addition, please make sure to check for symptoms, like:
  1. fever
  2. dry cough
  3. shortness of breath – less common
In Herbal Medicine we take a 3-step approach: 1 – Prevention 2 – Lessening of symptoms 3 – Strengthening the immunity The Botanical/Herbal recommendations for prevent and protect your respiratory and immune systems include: Respiratory:
  1. garlic
  2. elderberry
  3. plantain leaf
  4. echinacea
  5. thyme
Immune System:
  1. reishi/chaga mushrooms
  2. oil of oregano
  3. tea tree
  4. ginger
  5. eucalyptus

Easy Sauce Recipe: Black Garlic Sauce

*To get a copy of my cookbook: http://ebookbundle.jovankaciares.com/

For months, I’ve been wanting to create a few video recipes featuring easy-to-make recipes that can dress veggies and salads and make the experience of eating more plants more exciting.

So I enlisted the help of amazing Executive Chef, Verité Mazzola (my sis’ in law) to create today’s recipe: a simple black garlic sauce. Easiest thing that could change the way and amount of veggies you eat each and every day. It is so simple and so YUMMY it should be illegal! Check out the recipe video below.

Ingredients:

  • 5 heads of black garlic (if no black garlic, use 5 regular garlic cloves)
  • 1/4 vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of avocado oil
  • 2 Tbsp of date syrup
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

*get the black garlic here: https://amzn.to/2wtqFiw

Instructions:

  1. 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.
  2. Add to your veggies just before consuming and enjoy!

La Rayia’s: Providing Healthy Meals to Homeless in LA

Today I have a super special video for you. A few months ago, I learned about and visited a new Bodega (little market in Spanish) owned and run by a fellow Afro-Latina.

If you don’t know this powerful little bodega in the heart of Los Angeles, you must! LaRayia’s is the first and only organic plant-based, vegan bodega known.

Through food recovery programs, they offer organic, vegan and whole foods to the community for less than $5.

They also make their own vegan foods, juicing and snacks. The store also sells crystals, candles and merchandise with profits going to fund their food delivery programs. Their non profit arm, Lunch on Me, provides organic food & healing for those experiencing homelessness in downtown Los Angeles.

This is truly a group of exemplary women doing incredible work. I’m especially proud about this fellow Afro-Latinas changing the world for good one meal at a time.

Visit LaRayia’s Bodega at 2713 W. 6th Street in Los Angeles or on Instagram at: @larayiasbodega.

To learn more about Lunch on Me, check out IG: @lunchonme 🇵🇷🇨🇺 www.crowdrise.com/la-bodega  

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”...

READ MORE

JOIN MY VIP LIST
 
Connect
Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Youtube
Consent to display content from Youtube
Vimeo
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google