Monthly Archives - January 2017

DIY Bath Salts/Benefits of Epsom Salt

Epsom Salt has many therapeutic qualities! Today we’ve got some reasons why this mineral compound, comprised of magnesium and sulfate, does wonders for the body and why you should incorporate a good soak in them to your wellness routine. We’ll also share some links to homemade bath salt recipes so you can try making your own concoctions to give to friends and family and enjoy yourself.

Magnesium deficiency is all too common and soaking in epsom salt can naturally boost internal levels of magnesium as it’s easily absorbed through the skin. This benefits many bodily functions including muscle control, boosting energy levels and the ability to eliminate harmful toxins. Epsom Salt also works to alleviate muscle tension, joint pain from inflammation and speeds up healing from bruises and sprains. Researchers have found that magnesium deficiency also has a profound effect on stress so a nice long soak in Epsom salt relaxes the muscles and the mind.

Epsom Salt also works wonders as a natural exfoliant to keep skin soft and smooth. It’s not as harsh as typical sodium chloride (table) salt so it’s less drying and irritating. The coarse texture is ideal for removing dead skin and it’s anti-inflammatory properties prevent irritation. You can also use it on hair that is prone to being oily in order to get more volume.  To do this, mix equal parts conditioner and Epsom salt and warming it in a pan. Work the warm mixture through your hair, leave on for 20 minutes then rinse thoroughly.  

Finally, it just feels heavenly to take a nice long soak in the tub! Here are links to several simple bath salt recipes for you to try out.

Lavender Mint Bath Salts

DIY Bath Bombs with Epsom Salt

Pink Lemonade Herbal Bath Fizzy

Candy Cane Bath Salts

Sinus Congestion Bath Soak

Vanilla Chai Scrub

Whole Foods Spotlight – Chickpeas

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well” – Virginia Woolf

It is in this spirit that we present re:iimmune’s new blog series “Whole Foods Spotlight” where we will focus in on a specific whole food, its nutritional benefits and provide you with a few links to some tasty recipes that may inspire you to add more of that particular food into your diet. After all, good health begins with good nutrition. . .including fiber rich chickpeas!

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans or ceci, were one of the earliest cultivated legumes. Remains of chickpeas dating 7,500 years ago have been found in the Middle East where they remain a staple of the region’s various cuisines and they are enjoyed around the rest of the world as well. In fact, it’s the world’s second most widely grown legume just behind the soybean. Today, they are only found in the wild in areas of Turkey and Syria and it was likely domesticated there around 11,000 years ago.

Considered both a vegetable and protein, chickpeas are a staple in most vegetarian diets and are a great source of minerals including magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc. A 1 cup serving provides 270 calories, 4 grams of fat, 15 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber. Fiber is one of many reasons to add this nutty legume to your diet. The average person needs about 21 to 38 grams of fiber a day and that serving of chickpeas meets about a third of your daily need. Fiber not only helps to keep you regular but chickpeas also contain soluble fiber which helps to lower bad cholesterol and thereby reduces hypertension and protects against heart disease.

You can find chickpeas dried, precooked/canned or precooked/frozen but many say that making them from scratch (in their dried form) leads to the best flavor and texture. If you do use the canned variety, be sure to rinse them thoroughly to remove excess sodium. If cooking the dried variety, be sure to soak them as you would any dried bean overnight prior to cooking them. This makes them more digestible, decreases cooking time and aids in nutrient absorption.

Need some recipe ideas to get you going? We’ve included links to a few recipes featuring the magnificent chickpea below!

Easy Chana Masala

Chickpea Avocado Feta Salad

Roasted Carrot and Garlic Hummus

What People Say About re:iimmune

The change of the year has us thinking about how changing your routine or adding something new into your life can be unsettling or invigorating or perhaps a little bit of both. Even something small, like adding re:iimmune into your routine to better improve your gut health and stay hydrated can seem like a huge commitment. You might be thinking “I’ve got a thousand things to do in a day. What? Now I’ve gotta remember to drink this too?” Don’t laugh! You know what we mean. All of us are creatures of habit but it takes some of us a lot of time, effort, reminders and information to fall INTO those habits. So today we thought we’d give you some ideas on how to kickstart the habit of making re:iimmune part of your day and inspiration from some of our customers on why you should!

What People Are Saying

“Best. Product. Ever. My wife and I are both very health aware and try to make good choices. re:iimmune® does exactly what it says it will do – help you rehydrate and recover. How and why? It is the product of solid research. Simply put, it really does “make people better.” Dale Moore

“As a Registered Dietitian I am always on the lookout for superior nutrition products that are supported by evidence-based medicine, and have found a keeper in re:iimmune.  I often find myself becoming dehydrated throughout my busy workday, when things become so hectic it’s easy to forget to drink or eat anything! It’s a snap to mix up some re:iimmune and instantly feel recharged- and it tastes great, too, not like some other supplements that contain artificial sweeteners and a chemical-laden aftertaste. The nutritionist in me also likes fact that there aren’t extra calories from added sugars- it’s really just good, simple, nutrition- and can be enjoyed by diabetics or others who are controlling their carbohydrate intake.  Knowing that re:iimmune contains probiotics and L-glutamine, both proven to support intestinal health, makes me feel even better about drinking it and recommending it to patients, especially those on low-fiber diets or with gastrointestinal disease. re:iimmune contains just the right ingredients whether you’re recovering from an illness or just trying to stay healthy! And did I mention it tastes great?!” Stephanie B.

“I have been a daily user of Emergen-C and was recently introduced to re:iimmune®, my current job requires weekly travel with extended stays in hotels and use of rental cars and public transportation, my body tends to weaken / breakdown with the air travel and poor diet. With re:iimmune’s® keen ability to rehydrate my system it allows me to stay focused and maintain my energy level.” Mike Smith

re:iimmune® has been helping me since I was diagnosed with cancer. I drink one packet the day before and one the day of chemotherapy. I have not needed any additional medication for nausea. I am so thankful for this product.” Ladonna Appelbaum

“I have suffered from IBS since I was a teenager, I know how important “gut health” is so when I heard about re:iimmune I knew I had to try it.  I have used it for a couple years and I love it.  Every morning I drink a full glass of it, so it helps rehydrate me and the probiotics keep my gut in check. Since starting on re:iimmune I have not had any IBS issues, even in situations that would otherwise cause a flare up. I also have shared the product on numerous occasions with my elderly parents when they have had the flu and or have to take antibiotics and it has helped them recover faster and like me, my Dad thinks the salty flavor is great.  So, why re:iimmune…because it is all about taking care of yourself, being healthier, and living an active life style with NO side effects.”  Paula T.

“As a hairstylist and make-up artist, I spend most of my days on my feet rushing around, and I rarely have a chance to even slow down long enough to take a drink of water or eat a full meal. I love my job, and I am passionate about creating art with my clients, but the toll it takes on my body is unavoidable. Days when I’m feeling especially run down, dehydrated and fatigued, one glass of re:iimmune will put me right back on my A game. When my husband has clients in town, his job is to entertain them, so after a long day of work when the only thing my body wants me to do is relax and recuperate, re:iimmune gives me the refreshment and stamina to socialize without winding up sick the next day!” Vivian Conway

“I was first introduced to re:iimmune by a friend, when I was feeling under the weather one day. Back in 2009 I had gastric bypass (weight loss) surgery. I have kept off about 80 pounds of that weight loss. One thing that weight loss surgery patients must be very attune to, is their hydration levels. Some who have had this type of surgery can dehydrate faster than the average person, and it can be much more dangerous, sometimes even sending people to the hospital for days of re-hydration I.V.’s. Living in the great state of Texas where summer temperatures easily reach over a hundred degrees for several days in a row, I must stay acutely aware of my water intake. Any time I feel like I’m not quite there with my hydration, or I’m feeling tired, I just drink a re:iimmune and in about 30 minutes, I feel completely refreshed and recharged.  I feel so glad that I was made aware of this wonderful product and I always keep a box on hand. I’ve recommended it to friends as well!  While I may not be the type of consumer using this product for a more serious medical issue, I think it’s good to get the word out that this is extremely useful for the “average” consumer; i.e., after having been out in the heat all day, etc.  Everybody needs re:iimmune.

Thanks for creating this great product!”  Angie M.

Making re:iimmune Part of YOUR Day

So as you can see, people have so many good reasons to add our hydrobiotic recovery formula into their routine! Now how do you go about turning that into a habit? We found this awesome article on lifehack.org “18 Tricks to Make New Habits Stick” by Scott H. Young. We’ll share a few of his recommendations below but then we highly recommend you click on the link above to read it in it’s entirety because his suggestions are spot on!

Commit to Thirty Days –  Young says, “Three to four weeks is all the time you need to make a habit automatic. If you can make it through the initial conditioning phase, it becomes much easier to sustain. A month is a good block of time to commit to a change since it easily fits in your calendar.”

Stay Consistent – With any habit you are trying to form you need to play upon your regular routine. So for something like adding re:iimmune into your routine, find a certain time of day that you can easily see yourself mixing and drinking it. Perhaps it works best for you to mix it up in the morning and drink it in the car on the way to work. Or maybe it’s better for you to incorporate it during lunch. As Young says, “When cues like time of day, place and circumstances are the same in each case it is easier to stick.”
Remind Yourself –  Young suggests, “Around two weeks into your commitment it can be easy to forget. Place reminders to execute your habit each day or you might miss a few days. If you miss time it defeats the purpose of setting a habit to begin with.”

Stay Safe in the Snow – Snow Shoveling Tips

 

Last week we gave you some suggestions for driving in the snow in part one of our Stay Safe in the Snow series. Today it’s snow shoveling tips as we focus on how to take care of your body when you have to shovel the snow away from steps, sidewalks and driveways. It’s really all about body mechanics. Snow shoveling is a rigorous task and one people can easily get hurt doing.

Snow Shoveling Tips:

  • First and foremost, check with your doctor if you are unsure of whether you are in healthy enough condition to be shoveling snow in the first place. Don’t be stubborn! Your life is worth more than a cleared sidewalk!
  • Stretch before you go out! The cold can be hard on your muscles. Limber up a little, for at least 10 minutes to warm up and to avoid strain. Concentrate on your lower back and hamstrings. Shoveling a driveway can burn up to 500 calories!
  • Be sure you are dressed for the weather. Layers of light, water-repellent clothing are best. Don’t forget a hat, gloves and slip-resistant boots.
  • Find a lightweight, ergonomic snow shovel. One with a curved handle or adjustable handle length will minimize bending.
  • Spray the shovel blade with cooking oil to keep snow from sticking. It’ll slide right off.
  • Pay attention to what’s around you. Watch where you are stepping and when shoveling near a street pay attention to the traffic since they may not have good traction in the snow and ice.
  • Push the snow when you can. Use your legs, not your back to lift the snow if you can’t push it.
  • Keep your back straight when you move from a squat to an upright position.
  • Hold the shovel close to your upper body. Keep one hand close to the blade of the shovel for better leverage.
  • Never twist your body as you throw snow. Your back will thank you! Use those shoulder muscles. Walk and dump it instead of throwing it.
  • Keep hydrated. Rest frequently and always ask for help if it’s just too much!

#TBT – Lavender – History and Benefits

Spices, herbs, tinctures and essential oils have been used for millennia to season our food, heal our bodies and boost our spirits. In our Throwback Thursday (#TBT) series, we at re:iimmune will take you back in history to learn how these gifts from Mother Nature have been used. We’ll focus on their use through the ages and beneficial purposes in regard to nutrition, natural health and household care. Today we focus on the sweet benefits of lavender!

One of the most popular herbs/flowers on the planet, lavender is believed to originate from the Meditteranean and parts of the Middle East and India. The name lavender has its roots in in the Roman word “lavare” which means “to wash” as it was used frequently to scent baths, hair and beds. The herb, which is a member of the mint family and contains high amounts of camphor, is known for deterring mice, fleas, mosquitos and other pests. Through the years, it gained quite  a reputation with ancient herbalists for its disinfecting and sanitizing abilities and it’s many healing qualities.

Here are some fun facts and uses for lavender . . .

  • In the language of flowers, lavender is associated with devotion, luck and success
  • High quality honey is often made from the nectar of the flowers
  • Most plants produce blue or purple flowers but there are some pink and yellow varieties
  • The herb is often used to promote sleepiness and calm relaxation
  • Lavender buds are covered in fine hairs which is where the oil comes from, extracted in a process called distillation
  • The plants do not produce seeds and are propagated by cutting or root divisions.
  • It is drought tolerant and can thrive even in very high temperatures
  • Lavender plants will attract bees and butterflies to your yard
  • A few whiffs of the oil are said to help with dizziness
  • According to some studies, in high doses it can destroy many common bacteria such as pneumococcus, streptococcus, diphtheria and typhoid
  • Highly beneficial in relieving muscle tension, aches, soreness and headaches
  • Used often in cooking meats and sweets, it’s part of the popular blend Herbes du Provence

 

DIY Lavender Sleep Balm

DIY Hand Sanitizer and Antiseptic Spray

Lavender Lemon Bars

Making a Healthy Smoothie

A well made smoothie is a delicious, simple and quick way to get in servings of fruits, veggies and protein. They are a favorite “on-the-go” breakfast for a lot of folks and can help keep you away from donut shops and drive throughs where you may be tempted to load up on empty carbohydrates. A well concocted smoothie made with natural, nutrient dense ingredients are a great source of vitamins and fats for complete nutrition. Dietary fat assists the body in absorbing vitamins and nutrients.

However, there are some things you could be doing that are limiting or working against nutritional benefits. So today we’ve got some do’s and don’ts when it comes to concocting a truly healthy smoothie.

What to avoid using in a smoothie

  • Store bought fruit juices which are typically laden with sugars and sometimes even high fructose corn syrup
  • Ice cream and sherbert
  • Chocolate syrups and powders
  • Milk that comes from cows treated with hormones and antibiotics
  • Commercial peanut butter (avoid ones with additional sweeteners and hydrogenated oils

What to choose when making a smoothie

  • Fresh and frozen fruit
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Yogurt (organic, Greek, homemade)
  • Fresh fruit and veggie juices either extracted from a juicer or squeezed
  • Almond and coconut milk or organic cow’s milk
  • Fermented beverages like kefir and kombucha
  • Local honey, pure maple syrup
  • Raw nuts and nut butters
  • Hemp seeds and/or protein, chia and flax seeds
  • Cacao, aloe vera, spirulina
  • Herbs and spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cayenne, mint, etc.

Don’t forget the greens! Smoothies are a great way to reap the nutritional rewards of greens. Spinach, kale, collard greens, parsley, dandelion greens and watercress are all great choices and pair really well with fruits like apples, pears, bananas, mangoes and avocados. For those of you who really struggle getting those greens into your diet, this is the perfect option!

We’ve gathered up some links to several smoothie recipes to give you some inspiration. . .

Strawberry Spinach Green Smoothie

Kale Berry  with Almonds

Green Ginger Apple

Peach Mango Smoothie

Banana Kiwi Chia Seed 

Why Electrolytes Are Important

 

Electrolytes, substances that produce an electrically conducting solution when dissolved in water, are vital for the normal functioning of the human body. They regulate our blood pH, blood pressure, nerve and muscle function, hydration and rebuild damaged tissue. Electrolytes are literally electric in that they have an electric charge. When dissolved in water they separate into positive and negative charged ions. Because the nerves of our bodies signal to one another through a process of chemical exchanges dependent on these oppositely charged ions found both outside and inside your cells, appropriate electrolyte levels are crucial.

If electrolyte levels are off, it can lead to weak muscles or muscles that contract too severely. Kept constant by our kidneys and several hormones, our electrolyte levels tend to change when our level of hydration goes up or down. As we sweat and urinate we lose electrolytes, mainly sodium and potassium, so they must be replaced by the foods we eat such as fresh fruits and vegetables. If we don’t consume the necessary levels, there can be serious health consequences.

When electrolytes are out of whack due to altered levels of magnesium, sodium , potassium, phosphorus, chloride or calcium you may experience the following symptoms. . .

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Twitching
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Seizures

Several conditions and health problems can bring on an imbalance of electrolytes, such as kidney disease, prolonged periods of vomiting, severe dehydration, heatwaves, congestive heart failure and cancer treatment. Also some drugs like ACE inhibitors and diuretics can mess with your levels. One study revealed that 20% of patients who were prescribed diuretics for high blood pressure or a heart condition had reduced potassium and sodium levels.

re:iimmune® is a water-based solution for drinking which provides Clinical Strength Hydration® with a rich package of health-supporting ingredients. We’ve included electrolytes like chloride, sodium and potassium to help keep your body in balance. This unique combination has been specifically formulated to help you get better, better!

Eczema – Natural Remedies and Link to Gut Health

Eczema is a chronic and irritating problem for many people. It’s a type of inflammation of the skin called dermatitis that causes redness, scaling, swelling, itching and bleeding. An estimated 35 million Americans suffer from one form or another of the condition. Seventy percent of cases develop in children prior to age five and over half of infants who have eczema will continue to have symptoms into adulthood. There are three forms; atopic, contact and seborrhoic dermatitis. The latter, seborrhoic dermatitis is also known as cradle crap or dandruff, causing dry or oily scaling of the scalp. Contact dermatitis is the result of contact with different types of allergens and irritants found in creams, foods, plants and some metals. Atopic dermatitis is the result of allergies like hay fever and typically makes itself known at an early age on the face, scalp, neck, inside elbows and behind the knees.

There are several triggers of eczema, including what’s happening in the digestive system. Infants who are bottle fed are more likely to develop eczema as they are not getting enough essential fatty acids that they would receive from breast milk. Other people have trouble converting linoleic acid to anti-inflammatory hormone-like substances called prostaglandins. Much research is now being done on the connection between gut health, emotions and skin. Emotional stress results in a depletion of digestive enzymes and digestive and skin issues emerge. Or in cases of “leaky gut syndrome” the intestines become porous allowing bits of undigested food to enter the bloodstream which can cause allergic reactions. Candida, a form of yeast is also linked to skin irritations such as eczema.

So what to do if you are suffering from a form of eczema? We’ve got some suggestions for you including things to avoid and foods to eat. . .

Re:iimmune

Hydration is extremely important when it comes to maintaining a healthy intestinal tract. The L-Glutamine in our intestinal support formula works to rebuild the delicate tissue of the intestinal lining, while ginger aids in decreasing inflammation and zinc which benefits the skin’s ability to heal. re:iimmune also combines a variety of probiotic strains as well as one essential prebiotic which acts as food for the probiotics to thrive. These probiotics allow the body to produce the beneficial bacteria your digestive system needs to function properly.

Get the right nutrients in your diet

A diet rich in essential fatty acids, zinc, Vitamins A and B6, and beta-carotene is key. Some good choices are bananas, bone broths, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green onions, buckwheat, rice milk and mung beans. 

Skin Soothers and Relievers

  • Calendula is considered one of the best topical treatments for eczema
  • Aloe Vera Gel – cooling and soothing
  • St. John’s Wort gel
  • Vitamin E and goldenseal are effective in relieving itching
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Honey
  • Coconut Oil
  • Oatmeal
  • Witch Hazel

Iodine Deficiency

The World Health Organization (WHO) regards iodine deficiency as the most prevalent yet easily preventable cause of impaired cognitive development of children around the world. In fact, they report that this deficiency affects 72% of the world’s population. Iodine is an essential component of thyroid hormones which play a vital role in the development of most organs but especially the brain. Inadequate intake of this trace mineral can lead to disorders such as hypothyroidism, goiter, decreased fertility rate, increased infant mortality and increased cholesterol levels.

Iodine also has the following benefits

  • Aids in the removal of heavy metals and  toxic chemicals in the system
  • Boosts immunity
  • Stimulates the activity of antioxidants in the body
  • Aids in shiny hair and healthy skin
  • Prevents enlarged thyroid gland
  • Controls metabolic rate
  • Helps to maintain energy levels

The recommended daily intake for children ages 1- 8 is 90mcg. For kids 9-13: 120 mcg daily, 14 years and older: 150 mcg daily. Pregnant women are advised to have 290 mcg daily. Iodine does not occur naturally in specific foods like calcium, iron or vitamins do. Instead, it’s present in the soil and then ingested through foods grown on that soil. Seafood and sea vegetables are also a good source. Switzerland was the first country to add iodine to table salt in the 1920’s in an attempt to combat deficiency.

There are plenty of iodine rich food sources to add into your diet, including. . .

  • Seaweed, whole or 1 sheet can contain 11% to 1,989% of recommended daily intake! Nowhere is it as highly concentrated as in seaweeds. Kelp and bladderwrack have especially high levels. In Japan, consumption of iodine is 25% higher than compared to American intake due to a diet rich in seaweed. Studies are even being done that correlate breast cancer rates between the two countries to iodine intake.
  • Cod, 3 oz = 66%
  • Cranberries, 1oz = 60%
  • Plain yogurt, 1 cup = 50%
  • Shrimp, 3oz = 23%
  • Egg, 1 large = 16%
  • Dried Prunes, 5 pieces = 9%

Signs of Dehydration

It is important to understand the signs of dehydration. The adult human body is 50-65% water and in a day we need to replenish that supply or dehydration can set in, causing a host of problems. However our bodies are smart! They provide us with a number of really uncomfortable signals or alarms that tell us when something is wrong. If you are experiencing any of these signs of dehydration, it’s time to listen to your body and pour yourself a glass of water.  Add a packet of re:iimmune to aid in your recovery. It delivers Clinical Strength Hydration in an electrolyte balancing formula!

Dry Mouth – The most obvious sign that something is amiss. This is the body’s first cry and first sign of dehydration. That’s right. You aren’t “just thirsty”, if your mouth is dry you are already dehydrated!

Fatigue – Often when we think we just didn’t get enough sleep last night, our body is really trying to tell us that it needs more water. If you aren’t well hydrated, your energy level drops and you begin to feel fatigued.

Headache – Even slight dehydration can bring on a headache pretty quickly but after 24 hours without water, there’s evidence that severe dehydration can shrink the brain. Think of how a plant reacts when it’s not getting enough water. The leaves of the plant begin to contract or shrink and it’s the same with the cells of our brain when the body is not getting an adequate amount of water.

Dry Skin/Skin That’s Lost Elasticity – A quick an easy way to decipher this sign of dehydration is to try the “Pinch Test” a.k.a the “Skin Turgor Test” where you lightly pinch some skin on the back of your hand and pull it up about 1cm before letting it go. If you are well hydrated, the skin will spring back into it’s natural position almost immediately. If it takes a few moments to fall back into place, you may be dehydrated.

Other Signs of Dehydration

  • bad breath
  • muscle cramps
  • rapid heartbeat
  • not urinating/dark colored urine