Spirulina: Natural SPF and So much more

ImageSpirulina is certainly gaining popularity and over the last few years has become quite a bit more readily available and more and more people are getting involved in adding this powerful superfood to their daily lives.

We just love this stuff.  Not only because of its amazing SPF qualities but let us tell you many of the great things it does for us.
First of all let us tell you what exactly it is,  for those who don’t already know.
Spirulina is a single celled blue-green algae with at least 35 different varieties.  It is blueish green in colour, getting the green from chlorophyll and the blue from  the exotic pigment phycocyanin.
With summer just around the corner ( though weather wise it has been here for a while now!) and people spending hours and hours outside we wanted to mention the amazing SPF qualities of this superfood.  Because of the high antioxidant amounts in spirulina when we ingest it daily we actually become significantly more protected from ultraviolet radiation.  It is also rich in essential fatty acids which are beneficial to the skins complexion as well.
Why do we love it so much, well Spirulina happens to have the highest concentration of protein ( by weight) of any known foods.  It contains between 65% and 71%, and is highly digestible and readily available to the body.
It also contains as much iron as red meat, but again is more easily absorbed.  A lot of people are concerned about their protein and iron intake when they adopt and raw and or vegan diet but people can find peace of mind knowing that spirulina is just the greatest source!!
It is also a blood builder, rich in B vitamins, enzymes and phytonutrients.
Spirulina taken on a daily ( or mostly daily) basis is a powerful tonic for our immune systems as well, helping protect us from viruses etc.
It fights inflammation, can reduce certain allergy symptoms.
Spirulina is the only green food rich in the essential fatty acid known as GLA ( Gamma-Linolenic Acid).  GLA helps to make our hair and skin soft, but interestingly it is one of the large components in a mother’s milk and it is very important for growth and development, and spirulina comes in second as the next highest food source of this amazing healthy and necessary fat.  That being said it is a great superfood to add to your children’s diets as well.
When used in powdered form it can be easily blended into juices, smoothies or other blended foods.  Add a small spoonful to blended avocado and include it it your babies meal time for mega nutrition 🙂
Spirulina is available in both powdered and tablet form.  Some people just don’t take to the powdered form and would rather use it in it’s pill form , which is just fine.  Though the powdered form can actually be used in various raw recipes and not only does it make the food more nutritionally dense it can enhance taste as well.
Nutritious food certainly doesn’t have to be boring or limiting, get creative and see for yourself what so many people are talking about!!
You can find both powdered and tablet form of Spirulina on our website as well  as book with great recipes.
Try this simple quick and tasty high energy snack that we enjoy so much:
Always choose organic ingredients, when possible.
 
  • ¼ cup hempseed
  • ½ cup raw cacao powder
  • 1-2 tbsp spirulina
  • 3 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp raw Agave
  • 1 pinch celtic sea salt or Himalayan rock salt, finely ground (this is a must…the saltiness is divine)
Optional Additions to up the yumminess factor!!
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla bean powder
  • 2 tbsp organic nut/seed butter
  • 2 tbsp goji berries, or raisins
  • 2 tbsp coconut flakes

Mix all ingredients in a food processor, roll into 1” balls and freeze for 15-30 min then enjoy. Store in freezer for optimal freshness( if they last that long!!)

Enjoy!

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MSM- Fight Pain Naturally

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Have you heard much about MSM?? If you are looking for pain relief there is a good chance that these 3 letters could very well be your answer.
MSM is a nutritional supplement which is safe and effective and now used widely as a treatment solution for many types of inflammatory and pain related conditions.
So many people are finding that a good quality MSM supplement can and does contribute to overall good health, maybe worth a shot if you or someone you know is battling through painful conditions. MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) is a natural substance that is found in food as well as our own bodies.
It is a natural option with little to no side effects that has many people excited as it has been successfully replaced in many cases instead of prescription pain medications. ( As with all supplements we strongly recommend you talk with your own doctor first to see if it is a suitable substitute)

Basically MSM supplies the body with biologically active sulfur( which is a commonly neglected nutrient). Sulfur’s healing properties date back a while and doctors actually used to prescribe their patients who suffered pain visit mineral hot springs which are rich in sulfur. Surely it was not hard to jump on board that prescription!! A nice relaxing day sitting in nature waist deep in the natural hot springs, now thats medication! ( Though don’t expect one visit to be a cure all of course!)

There are so many cases out there of people just like us who have highly benefited from the use of this great supplement, some of the ailments these people were treated for include:
*Degenerative arthritis
*Chronic headaches and other chronic pains
*Rheumatoid arthritis
*Muscle and tendon pains
*Carpal tunnel syndrom
*Post-traumatic pain 
*Inflammation
Even heart burn, and other issues have been noted as well.

Some clinical trials have demonstrated that about 70% of patients given MSM have received great relief, pretty darn good numbers.

Another great thing about taking MSM is the potential for other great things to take place as well, softer skin, thicker hair, stronger nails, constipation relief ,allergy relief and often more energy also. Sounds pretty awesome now doesn’t it 🙂

MSM is available in many forms, capsules, crystals ( which is great because it can be mixed into water or juices.) , and is also used topically when applied to the skin in the form of lotions or gels.
All forms are beneficial and like everything out there some work better than others for different people. Just like the dosages, some people require higher amounts and others do great on a low doses. The general rule is to start off slow and gradually build up if need be.
Often people notice changes within days and with others it can take weeks or months. Compliance is key.

Hopefully we have provided you with some info on how it may be possible to treat some of your pain issues naturally. You can find a variety of form of MSM online at our store ( and a great book as well which is full of info)
http://www.upayanaturals.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=msm&Search.x=0&Search.y=0
Cheers and Happy Healing!!

Water Kefir: A Fizzy,Fabulous, Feel Good Drink!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-WGJG4A1mg

Kefir is amazing stuff, a gluten free grain which in Turkish actually means ” feel good”.  It is a great cultured probiotic drink, its enzyme rich and packed with friendly micro-organisms which help to balance us from the inside out.

Kefir has a great fizzy, effervescent feel to it ( much like kombucha) and is super beneficial in balancing the digestive system.

Drinking water kefir has many many benefits, shall we take a closer look:

*Antibiotic and Anti fungal
*Can help to stop unhealthy sugary, sweet food cravings
*Contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes
*Contributes to a healthy immune system
*Has been shown to help many different conditions including, AIDS, autoimmune diseases, candida and more
*Aids in digestions
*Cleanses the liver
*Promotes a clearer complexion
*Stronger hair and nails
*Increase in energy
*Help for sleep disorders
*Cleansing effects on the whole body
And of course a general feeling of well being.

Once you have your water kefir grains the great thing is that they just continue to grow and grow, you may even get so many you will end up wanting to share some 🙂
They are inexpensive and the perfect way to include valuable probiotics in ones diet.
There are so many great flavoured drinks that we can enjoy with our water kefir.

Juicing fresh orange juice is always great added to your prepared water kefir.  You can enjoy a nice  strawberry lemon aid kefir drink in the hot summer weather by juicing a few strawberries and squeezing a little lemon juice into the mix as well.
Check out this great video to get clear instructions on how to grow and enjoy your very own water kefir, and then get creative with your flavours and enjoy the many benefits!!

Having Fun with Fungi!!

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Who doesn’t love a good meal centred around delicious mushrooms?
Raw pesto spread over a large portobello and dehydrated for a few hours makes such a tasty dinner dish, but what about all those other mushrooms.  For instance how often do we use reishi, miatake and chaga mushrooms?  Do you enjoy the amazing benefits of these fungi too?  If you don’t already we really think you should 🙂

We’d like to tell you why we think you should by letting you know some of the awesome health benefits that 3 of our favourite mushrooms can bring to the table ( or to your coffee mug in the form of teas and elixirs!!)

We love Reishi Mushrooms, it is actually said that these mushrooms benefit spirituality more than any other herb or substance out there. Wow!!
Along with many other mushroom species they are one of the very best immune strengthening substances out there.

Reishi is known to treat several issues including: Diabetes, auto immune diseases, skin conditions, digestive ailments and so much more.
Known as a tonic these mushrooms benefit the liver and heart with great results.  Also the reishi mushroom is known as a symbol of longevity, long live the mushroom!!
Next up would be Maitake mushrooms, and like reishi and all other medicinal mushrooms they are powerhouses for our immune systems.
They help to alleviate digestive issues and promote intestinal health.  They also may limit and inhibit tumour growth, as seen in mice ( which is very promising)
Known to help lower and regulate a persons blood pressure.  Maitake mushrooms are also packed with vitamins and minerals, high in calcium, magnesium and B vitamins.
Third up and super versatile is the Chaga mushroom, a bit lesser known over here in the “western world” but becoming more widely consumed as it is top notch for sure!
Chaga again is high on the list of immune strengthening substances and is known for its uses in the treatment of viral infections, stomach problems, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and once again this list to continues on.
All of these mushrooms are high in antioxidants and considered non-toxic, though it is always wise to pass it by your doctor before starting anything new, it can’t hurt just to mention it now can it.
The benefits of these mushrooms are vast and cover both body and mind with positive results seen inside and out 🙂
There are various delicious ways that they can be enjoyed, dried mushrooms can be boiled in soup broths or teas, rehydrated in water and enjoyed cooked or raw with other vegetables and of course our favourite way to enjoy these fantastic fungi  is in the form of elixirs.
Here is a sample of a tasty elixir that you just mat love too.
First thing would be to make the base of the elixir, which is basically a “mushroom tea”.  It can be drank on its own or used in the elixirs.
Take 2 tablespoons of each of the 3 mushrooms and heat them over low to medium heat with about 6 cups of water. The longer the better, minimum 20 minutes, but up to hours if you so choose on a very low setting.
Take a cup of the tea and mix it in a blender with a cup of cashew milk ( or nut milk of choice) along with 1 tsp each of cacao, lucuma, agave and coconut oil.  Mix it all together and enjoy this yummy chocolatey mushroom elixir which is packed with nutrition to satisfy and heal.
 
Check out the store, we sell all of these mushrooms and more to get you on your way to enjoying the superior benefits 🙂 

Do you know much about us…….

So you are eating healthy, living an active lifestyle, taking care of yourself, ( shopping at our store!! haha ) well sounds like we are all doing great! Though as we all know there is always room for more knowledge when it comes to our health.
With so many amazing options out there for us to access and benefit from. Thing is there are also so many great things out there that we just don’t know to much about, but so many of these can and do pack such an awesome nutritional punch.

We thought you should know about a few of the things that we love and want you to as well. We do know some of you are already enjoying the wonderful benefits of some of these, and for that we say “keep it up”!!

Have you heard of the amazing Schisandra Berry??
They are berries originally used in traditional chinese medicine to help with liver issues and are now enjoyed worldwide for their powerful health qualities.
– Schisandra berries are an adaptogen, so they help normalize the bodies functions naturally during stressful situations and help the body to adapt and increase resistance to stress and even disease.
-They can help increase stamina and energy without stimulation
-Fight fatigue
-Aid in mental clarity
-Help to preserve beauty
-Often used as a sexual enhancer
-Anti depressant qualities as well.

Schisandra berries, which are most often consumed in a naturally sun dried state can be eaten on their own, in trail mixes, smoothies, fruit salads etc. Or most traditionally in teas and stews.
These little berries may look tiny but their nutritional properties are off the scale!!

How about Neem Oil, interested in hearing more?

Neem Oil is pressed from the Neem tree, originates in India and is used as an ayurvedic remedy for many many things.
Not limited to but including:
-Natural cleaning products
-Fertilizers
-Natural insect repellent
-To promote healthy, shiny hair ( maybe even prevent premature greying!!)
-Nail strength 
-Dry skin
-Eczema
-Head lice
And the list goes on and on. Neem oil is also anti bacterial, anti fungal and anti viral, so is often used to speed up wound healing and boost ones immune system.
With summer just around the corner we think the skin and beauty benefits alone are enough to include this oil in your daily routines.

Onto Astragalus Root:
Also a herb used in traditional Chinese medicine and used for its adaptogenic properties, it comes with great immune strengthening qualities. Often used to treat colds and flus it can help elevate the bodies resistance to bacteria and viruses.
It can help prevent high blood pressure and keep cholesterol in check too.
It can help protect cells from free radicals with its antioxidant properties.
It has been used with great results for many digestive issues including gas and bloating.
Aids with chronic fatigue, and with its anti bacterial properties is also used as a wound healer. Of course once again this list does go on to but we think you get the picture here!

These are just 3 amazing “products” in a list of many that one may want to considering adding to their diets ( lifestyles etc.) and we hope we were able to give you a little information as to why. 
Please don’t hesitate to send us an email, or facebook message if there are any products in store that you are curious about and would life more information on. We will do our very best to get you informed.Image