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you will not be everyone’s cup of tea.

you will not be everyone’s cup of tea. 

some people, by no fault of your own, just aren’t going to like you. they might not appreciate what you have to say, they might try to invalidate your feelings, they might try to make you feel inferior for what you’re passionate about. 

in no way does someone else’s inability to see your worth actually decrease your true worth. 

hear me: you are worthy because you exist. 

because you exist, you are worthy. 

it is your divine birthright to live your life on this earth, joyously, freely and abundantly. someone else’s lack of ability to see can never ever detract from your incredible value as an infinite soul of the universe.


whenever someone insults you, your character, your personality, your appearance, your vulnerability, your emotions – they are expressing a part of themselves that is insecure and judgmental of their own being in that manner. if someone has a very difficult time being vulnerable with themselves and others, it’s a natural defense mechanism of the ego to mock another who can be so vulnerable. vulnerability is a sign of strength. it takes incredible amounts of strength to bare your heart, your feelings, your words to the world. but guess what? this is what creates connection among humans. 

if someone isn’t in tune with their own emotions, if they have deeply buried wounds they have yet to face, they often belittle another who is able to articulate and share their own feelings and experiences. being so in touch with your heart and your intuition that you can feel things so deeply is such a true gift. it is one we as a people are just now beginning to appreciate. by feeling our experiences, our pain, our hurt, our joy, our love, as they happen, we can much more easily release them and let them move through us, rather than creating tightness and stagnation in the body by not expressing them when they occur. 


some people aren’t going to like you. you can’t please everyone – and it is certainly not your job to do so. focus on your own personal growth, healing your own wounds, overcoming your own limiting beliefs. work on yourself. develop true self-love. be able to sit with yourself and the things you have done and make peace with them. we are always growing and expanding, and it’s vital to forgive ourselves for mistakes we’ve made in the past, while growing from the lessons we learned. 

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make sure that your presence in the world is a positive one, where you spread light to yourself and those around you. make sure you are aware of your actions and how they may affect close others. be you, do you, but make sure you’re being thoughtful and considerate of the people you care about and the ones who will be impacted by your everyday actions.

learn to love yourself, truly. when you realize that we are all one and all life is interconnected on this beautiful planet we call home, you begin to see that everyone is doing the best with what they can. have compassion and empathy…but don’t let people walk all over you. you can stand up for yourself without adding more negativity to a situation. you can be empathetic and compassionate and still take no shit from others. this is an important distinction to much of the positive, self-love, love everyone media I see frequently. yes, love everyone because we are all one, but do not take shit from others because you’re trying to ‘be better’. part of honoring your own self-worth is standing up for yourself when it is needed. 

do the best you can. we’re all doing the best we can with what we’ve got. it is never my place to judge you for something you do, regardless of what that is, just as it’s never anyone else’s place to judge me for my actions, current or past. 


love yourself, do your best, and never forget your infinite worth as an infinite being. 

with so much ♥

kathrine

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Tips for Relieving Anxiety Naturally: Part 1

Today on the blog I’m talking about the more serious topic of anxiety, and natural solutions to help reduce symptoms of anxiety. I haven’t personally been diagnosed with anxiety, but I know many who have, and I do experience symptoms of anxiety every so often. I know it can be hard to take care of yourself and do things to make yourself feel better when anxious, but taking small steps can seriously help quite a bit in the long run.

Necessary disclaimer: I am not a psychotherapist or mental health counselor. This information is from my own research, and these tips are based on my personal experience. If you are experiencing anxiety, depression, or another mental health disorder, please get professional help. 

I decided to split this post up into two parts, because the single post was getting way too long and I didn’t want to compromise the amount of information I gave you about each of the following tips. In this post I’m talking about the benefits of meditation, herbal extracts, magnesium supplements, and social support in reducing symptoms of anxiety. In the next post I’ll be diving into how a healthy gut biome can reduce anxiety, along with essential vitamins B and D. Stay tuned!

Psychology Today describes anxiety as “a cognitive state connected to an inability to regulate your emotional responses to perceived threats.” Symptoms can include racing thoughts, feeling nervous and uneasy, unusual sweating, feeling worried, having an increased heart rate, feeling a knot in your stomach, and experiencing panic (Mayo Clinic).

Did you know that anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness among adults in the US? Anxiety disorders affect a staggering 18.1% of the American adult population, or about 40 million people annually.

That’s crazy! Personally, I’ve known many young people in their late teens and early twenties who have some level of anxiety or experience symptoms of anxiety on a regular basis (myself included). My perception is that a LOT of young people know what it’s like to have anxiety or depression, and this is a concerning factor that I don’t feel the health and wellness world spends enough time addressing.

Psychology Today describes anxiety as “a cognitive state connected to an inability to regulate your emotional responses to perceived threats.”

Here are a few of my favorite tips for relieving anxiety symptoms naturally. Some of these work more immediately (see kava extract and CBD oil), while others require consistency over time (re: journaling and meditation). I hope these can help you!

Meditation (specifically, mindfulness meditation)

This first tip goes without saying: meditation can have incredible benefits for your mental clarity and mindless chatter, which can lead to a calmer thought process. When you’re thinking clearly and calmly, you’re less likely to become anxious about something because you don’t feel overwhelmed or stressed. While meditation isn’t a cure-all for stress or anxiety, I’ve found it can help me distance myself mentally from a stressful situation and think clearly about what to do, instead of reacting mindlessly.

Researchers have found that mindfulness meditation, where you focus on your breath and being aware of your thoughts, has reduced anxiety in multiple research trials. Until recently, scientists weren’t sure of the exact neural mechanism through which meditation reduces anxiety, but a recent study found three parts of the brain which had reduced activation during meditation. Read more about that study here.  

Relaxing herbal extracts

When it comes to relaxing and calming herbal remedies, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve. My anxiety symptoms tend to be more physiological, so my heart races and I get knots in my stomach. Even if I don’t mentally feel anxious or overwhelmed, these physical symptoms eventual lead to mental anxiety too. To combat this, I’ve experimented with herbal tinctures like lemon balm, nettle leaf, and kava kava (to name a few) in an effort to calm my nervous system and help my body relax so my mind can relax too. These are my go-to tinctures right now, although I do switch it up every so often.

Lemon balm tincture: I love lemon balm because it works to calm your nervous system, reducing stress from the sympathetic response (fight or flight) to a parasympathetic response (rest and digest). Extracts to soothe the nervous system were crucial for me while I was recovering from the worst of my adrenal fatigue, and now I love to use it occasionally when I can tell my stress is getting a bit out of hand. My favorite lemon balm extract here. 

Kava tincture: Has a more immediate relaxing and almost high-inducing effect (ever heard of kava tea bars? It’s a thing!). I’m careful about when I take kava extract, because I feel like it makes me sleepy and a bit loopy – so it’s good for chilling out at night so I can sleep easy. My favorite kava tincture here. 

Magnesium supplements

Magnesium is an essential mineral used for more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, playing crucial roles in bone health and structure, transmitting neural impulses, metabolism, and synthesizing fatty acids and proteins. Wow, right? It can help reduce anxiety because the presence of magnesium improves the state of the bacteria in your gut biome, which is closely connected to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The HPA axis helps regulate stress hormones, so if this axis doesn’t have good gut bacteria to support it, it’ll be harder for the body to stay calm and stress-free. Details here.

This is my favorite drinkable magnesium supplement that I’ve been taking for years. I take it a few times a week, especially if my muscles are feeling crampy and sore or I’m more anxious than usual.

Social interaction: It’s no secret that humans are social creatures. As a young adult in our modern, individualistic society, I think there can be a lot of emphasis on creating your own success and doing your own thing without needing the help of anyone else, which I feel can be a bit subconsciously damaging to our self-perception. We’re not in this alone! We grow stronger by having social support and a solid network of friends, family, and peers to fall back on when things get rough. Anxiety symptoms can often be isolating and leave you not wanting to talk to anyone, but that’s when it’s most important to reach out to others. Ask for help so you can accept and receive help. A simple text or phone call can work wonders!


As mentioned above, this post is part 1 of 2 in the mini-series. Here we covered the benefits of meditation, herbal extracts, magnesium supplements, and social support to reduce anxiety. In the next post I’ll discuss how a healthy gut biome (hi probiotics and plant foods!), and vitamins B and D can help reduce anxiety too. Stay tuned! 

I can’t wait to hear what you think about these tips. Do you have any tips for reducing anxiety? I’d love to know – drop a comment below! 

Until next time, 

Kathrine 


References

Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201306/how-does-meditation-reduce-anxiety-neural-level

Statistics for anxiety disorders: https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics 

Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/syc-20350961

Magnesium & Anxiety: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/syc-20350961

 

Curried Coconut Veggies & Rice Noodles

For a twist on my favorite coconut curry dish…..I present curried veggies with rice noodles! This dish is spicy, savory and full of powerful herbs that boost your immune system and cell detoxification. Cilantro, green onion, garlic, ginger, chili peppers, and curry powder add flavor as well as some serious health benefits.

Tastes best when made dancing in the kitchen and eaten with a friend ☺️

RECIPE:

2 inch knob of ginger, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 green onions, sliced thinly at an angle

2 small red chili peppers (optional but recommended)

2 tsp coconut oil

¼ cup water as needed for sautéing

¼ cup cabbage, sliced thinly (red or white)

1 red onion, sliced thinly

1 red bell pepper, cut in strips

1 cup green beans (fresh or frozen)

5 large carrots, sliced into half moons

1 ½ cans full fat coconut milk

3 tbsp curry powder

3 tbsp soy sauce

Sea salt (to taste)

Chili sauce (optional)

8 oz rice noodles


METHOD:

Prepare all your veggies by chopping and mincing everything so it can sauté quickly while cooking.

Heat a large pan on high heat. Add the oil and let it melt.

Once melted, add the garlic, ginger, chili pepper, and green onions. Turn the heat to medium high and sauté for 2 min, stirring continuously.

Add 1 tbsp curry powder and continue to stir for another 3 minutes.

Now add the onion and carrot and ½ can coconut milk. Sauté at medium heat for ~5 min, or until semi cooked through.

Add the bell pepper and cabbage, cooking for another 3 min.

Pour in the remaining one can coconut milk, remaining 2 tbsp curry powder, soy sauce, and green beans. Stir this all together and reduce to a simmer for ~5 minutes, or until veggies are tender.

In the meantime, place the rice noodles in a large bowl. Pour 4-6 cups hot water (or as much as needed) into the bowl to cover the noodles. They should be soft within 2-3 minutes. Using freshly boiled water will speed up this process.

Turn off the heat from the curried veggies and add the fresh cilantro and basil, if using.

To serve, first place a portion of rice noodles in a bowl, then top with the veggies. I like to finish it off with an extra drizzle of soy sauce and dive right in!

Hope you enjoy this delicious recipe 💛

Kathrine

TRAVEL TIPS: healthy + vegan hacks

Ahhhhh, how to travel as a vegan…a question I often hear from vegans and nonvegans alike. “But what do you even eat?!” “It must be hard to travel as a vegan!” “How can you visit Italy as a vegan??” (you can order pizza without cheese and eat sorbet gelato!)

I won’t lie, being vegan can be challenging depending on what part of the world you’re in and your access to fresh produce and grocery stores. But when you’re determined to make it work, you make do with what is available to you and get creative.

While preparing for my trip this summer to my home country of Denmark, I thought it was about time to share the best tips and mindset shifts I’ve learned to make while traveling over the years.

A big part of traveling as a vegan, whether you’re adventuring in foreign cities or working abroad, is to be flexible with your situation. Whenever I go to stay with family and friends in Denmark, I always do my best to be gracious and thankful to anyone who is accommodating to my diet. If staying with someone, I make sure to buy my own groceries and cook a vegan meal for everyone to try. I never want my diet to be an imposition on someone else, especially not if they’ve opened their home to me and have gone out of their way to make sure I’m comfortable.

A lot of the time in Denmark this means I’m eating rye bread with hummus and/or avocado, large salads with simple balsamic dressing, oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, and dried fruit on the go for snacks. Simple = easy = good! Almost anywhere you travel there will always be fresh fruit and vegetables that you can easily turn into a quick, tasty meal.

Here are the best tips I’ve learned from my years being vegan traveling abroad! Stay healthy & satisfied no matter where you’re traveling abroad 🙂


  1. Use search enginesIf you’re out and about adventuring and frequently moving from city to city, research restaurants in the area you’re visiting on websites like Happy Cow!  Happy Cow is a search engine that finds vegan/vegetarian cafes, restaurants and grocery stores in your area, along with reviews from fellow travelers. Like a vegan Yelp! I also like to search Facebook with “city name + vegan” to see if the city has a local facebook page – locals usually know the best spots for vegan eats! I sometimes post in the page and ask for recommendations. Vegans love to share their favorite local eats.
  2. Go back to basics when cookingFood doesn’t need to be complicated to be vegan! Even at home I often eat simple meals because they’re quick to put together and I enjoy the taste of fruits and vegetables on their own. When traveling, buy simple goods like canned or dry beans/lentils, salad greens, veggies, and an avocado and you’ve got at least a few options for an easy dinner! For breakfast, it’s just as easy – buy oats, muesli or chia seeds and have it with some nondairy milk and fruit in the morning. If you’re staying in a city, it’ll be easier to find vegan foods like nondairy milks, but if not, oatmeal can be cooked with water too!
  3. Browse local markets for fresh produce on day tripsOne of my favorite things about traveling is trying the local produce. Markets are a great place to pick up some fruit for on the go snacks and veggies for dinner, if cooking yourself. Markets are often cheaper than grocery stores too, although this will vary depending on what country you’re visiting.
  4. Bring (some) of your own nutritional add-ins from home I like to bring chia seeds and protein powder while traveling because they’re both full of nutrients and fiber, and I can easily stir them up with nondairy milk (or even water) if I get hungry and don’t have food at hand. In the past when traveling I’ve brought a LOT of dried goods (spices, lentils, oats, even a handheld personal blender…#extra) but I’ve found that I could often buy what I needed wherever I was traveling, instead of carrying around a couple extra pounds of dry foods ‘just in case’. Choose what foods to bring that work for you and go from there! Unless you’re traveling somewhere that’s remote and out in the country, you’ll probably have access to food you can eat as a vegan.
  5. Bring supplements and powders from home

Here are the supplements I’ve brought on this trip!

  • Garden of Life B-complex Vitamin: I have taken this for 2 years now to help my body deal with stress from adrenal fatigue. I brought this while traveling because flying + jet lag can be very taxing on the body, and I want to feel good while on vacation.
  • Natural Calm Magnesium powder: I take this at home when I feel I need it, but while traveling I don’t always get the same nutrients as I do from my diet at home. Magnesium is crucial for muscle and nervous system support and is usually lacking in our diets unless we’re eating plenty of fruits, nuts/seeds and veggies.
  • Amazing Grass Effervescent Green tablets: This is a tasty, easy way for me to get some greens and probiotics in while I’m on the go. In the past I’ve brought greens powder, but I only drink that in smoothies and don’t usually have access to a blender when traveling. These tablets are easily portable and taste good.
  • Probiotic capsules: Every so often I take probiotics to support my gut biome and immune functioning. At home, my first line of immune defense is my healthy diet, but when abroad I’m not always as healthy as usual. Along with the physiological stress of travel, I like to have the immune boost of probiotics available if I do feel like I’m getting sick.

I hope some of these tips are useful for you when traveling! Sharing experiences and tips we’ve learned as vegans and health nuts is great for everyone. To your happy, healthy, vegan travels 🙂

Kathrine

Hangover Prevention: Tips & Remedies

Let’s face it…many of us humans enjoy drinking to some extent and I’d guess that ALL of us definitely don’t enjoy being hungover. I’ve had a fluctuating love-hate relationship with alcohol since I began drinking in my teenage years, but I truly feel like I’ve found a good, happy balance with the amount that I drink + my healthy lifestyle. Alcohol is by no stretch of the imagination healthy (no matter what they tell you about polyphenols in red wine – you can get those from grapes!), BUT it is a part of our culture that many people enjoy, and as thus I think it’s best to embrace it and do what we can to have a healthy relationship with alcohol, if we do choose to drink it.

I’ve gone through phases of heavy drinking & partying multiple nights a week, to barely drinking at all for 2 years, to now enjoying a few drinks a week (or more if going out) when I’m having fun with friends. I’ve realized that for me personally the amount of fun and connection I receive is well worth the negative health effects of occasional drinking. Like I said earlier, alcohol is by no means healthy and I certainly don’t condone binge drinking or alcohol abuse. If you’re aiming to drink less, that’s a great and worthy goal. If you’re aiming to feel less guilty about your drinking, consider cutting back a bit and implementing the following tips.

Continue reading “Hangover Prevention: Tips & Remedies”

Raw Raspberry Cheesecake!

Happy Friday, friends!

You may have seen this delicious cake all over my instagram @passionforplants last weekend…well, I thought it was about time to share the recipe!

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This raw cheesecake is FULL of raspberries, cashews, and coconut – all foods that support your body’s health! I made this cake to be a bit decadent, but not overly so – a healthy sweet treat. It’s mostly date and raspberry-sweetened, and lower oil than your traditional cheesecake. Not to mention it’s vegan and gluten-free as well!

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I made this cake up on the fly, so there’s definitely room for improvement – like adding another chocolate frosting layer on top 😉 give it a whirl and let me know how you like it! You could also make this cake with another berry, like blueberries, without changing the recipe portions too much.

I used a 10–inch cake pan with a spring form on the side so I could remove the cake without ruining the base. I also wrapped the pan base in plastic to avoid the base layer sticking to the pan. You could make this cake in a muffin tin as well to have little cheesecake bites! Get creative – whatever tools you have on hand will be fine to use.

The raspberry glaze layer on top is a little icy compared to the rest of the cake, because there are so many raspberries (berries are watery and water freezes). You could always try more coconut oil to get the glaze to harden more, instead of just freezing.

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RECIPE

Prep before starting: Line a 10-inch cake pan or cake mold with plastic wrap, if you plan on removing the cake to serve from the pan.

Date/cashew/oat base:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup cashew pieces
  • 10 dates, pitted (I used Medjool dates)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • pinch of salt

In a high-speed food processor, first blitz the cashew pieces alone until they are pulverized. Add the oats and repeat until the flour/mixture is fine.

Now add the dates, coconut oil, and salt, and continue blitzing until the mixture is well combined. Depending on the size of your dates, you may need to use more. We’re aiming for a consistency that holds itself together when you try to mold a piece in your hand, so the base doesn’t crumble apart in the cake.

Now that you have the base mixture, use a spatula and your hands to press the mixture into the bottom of your cake pan. Make sure the base is packed into the pan so it doesn’t crumble apart when serving. Smooth and even out the top before continuing. Place this in the freezer while you proceed to the next layer.

Raspberry Cashew Cream middle layer:

  • 1 1/2 cups cashews or cashew pieces
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk (full fat is best)
  • 1 cup raspberries (I recommend fresh, but you can use frozen and defrosted – just drain excess water first)
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup (OPTIONAL – only if you want it sweet!)

Make sure to clean or wipe out your food processor before beginning this step!

In your food processor, once again blitz the cashew pieces alone until well pulverized. Add the coconut milk, raspberries, and maple syrup (if using), and blitz until well incorporated. You should have a gorgeous, light pink/purple cream that is thick and smooth. If it’s not thick enough, add more cashews to the mix and pulverize again.

Remove the cake pan with the cheesecake base from the freezer. Using a spatula, dollop the raspberry cream into the pan and smooth evenly over the cheesecake base. When finished, place back in the freezer and continue to the glaze!

Raspberry coconut glaze topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries
  • 1 cup coconut milk (once again, full fat)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

If you have a small personal size blender, I recommend using that to blend the glaze. If not, a regular blender or food processor will do just fine.

Add all ingredients to your blender and blend/blitz until the glaze is smooth and fully mixed. Taste it and add a bit more maple syrup if you’d like it sweeter. You could also add liquid stevia and keep the glaze as is, without being too runny.

Now that you have the glaze, check on the cheesecake in the freezer to see if it’s cold enough. You want the raspberry cream middle layer to be firm and almost frozen so that the glaze hardens on top and the two layers don’t mix.

When the cake is almost frozen, slowly pour the glaze into the cake pan. It should be smooth, even and glossy. Cover the cake pan with plastic wrap (without touching the glaze) and place back in the freezer to set. Let it set for at least an hour to make sure it’s fully frozen before serving.

CHOCOLATE TOPPING: If you’re feeling extra, melt some dark chocolate chips on the stovetop or in the microwave and drizzle the chocolate on top of the frozen cheesecake. It should harden quickly. If you have any other toppings you’d like to sprinkle, this is the time! You could try coconut flakes, edible gold dust (this is what I did!), cacao powder, or fresh raspberries. Either way this cake will be delicious!

Serving: serve this cake cold right out of the freezer or fridge – the top layer may melt a bit! Use a large, clean knife to make a clean cut. Store covered in the freezer, or leave leftovers in the fridge. I cut my cake into quarters and froze them in separate containers so I could eat a bit at a time.

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I hope you enjoy this recipe and amazing raw cheesecake! Leave me a comment below or drop a message @passionforplants on Instagram if you do 🙂

Thanks friends! Kathrine

 

Natural Flu and Cold Remedies

Even the healthiest of us get sick sometimes. It can be frustrating when you eat healthy, drink plenty of water, and sleep enough and still end up getting sick every once in a while. However, sometimes there’s nothing we can do and you just have to take the opportunity to rest and recover. Whenever I get sick, I go into full-on immunity boosting mode to help my body heal more quickly. These are a few of my favorite supplements and nutrients to increase while I’m feeling under the weather. I’ll also explain how I change my routine to allow more time for rest and recuperation.

Vitamin C: An essential water-soluble vitamin, vitamin C is also an antioxidant and helps to reduce the impact of free radicals in the body. Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron, which helps to maintain the balance of energy (too little iron, AKA anemia, often results in exhaustion) and supports oxygenation of the blood. Vitamin C is very helpful for white blood cells to ensure their proper function so they can ward off invading pathogens. If you’re deficient in vitamin C, your white blood cells can’t function as well, so you’re likely to be more susceptible to infection.

The best sources of any vitamin or mineral will come from the food you eat! Foods high in vitamin C are citrus fruits, bell peppers, berries, kiwi, and mango, along with some vegetables. If you want to take a supplement, vitamin C will be found as ascorbic acid. Be sure to buy your vitamins and supplements from a reputable brand, where you’re sure of the processing of the supplement. In general, high quality supplements will be more expensive. I don’t purchase this supplement, but the one I would buy can be found here.

Zinc: Zinc is an essential micro-mineral required in at least 20mg/day for proper cell functioning. It’s an antioxidant and functions as a cofactor for many enzymes in your body, helping enzymatic reactions to run more smoothly and efficiently. This mineral is crucial for immune function and cell growth and cell differentiation. People deficient in zinc are more susceptible to infections, and zinc helps the production of various white blood cells, which are like the soldiers of the immune system, seeking out invaders and attacking them before pathogens create an infection.

Zinc is commonly formulated as a lozenge. The most bioavailable forms are types of chelated zinc, including zinc gluconate and zinc citrate, as well as zinc orotate (which is more rare in supplements).

Echinacea: Echinacea is an herb that’s also known as American coneflower. It’s popularly used in tea, herbal extracts, and supplements to help support the immune system and reduce symptoms of cold and flu. Echinacea (along with many herbs) contains phenols, which are antioxidants and antimicrobial. Like many natural compounds, these phenols boost the immune system’s natural functioning, helping to ward off viruses and bacteria.

I like to drink echinacea green tea regularly to support my immune system, and drink it a couple times a day if I’m sick or feel a cold coming on. I also take it as an extract when I feel under the weather to get more concentrated herbal benefits. This tea from Yogi is my favorite echinacea green tea. I also like this herbal extract, although there are plenty of other extracts you could use.

Reishi mushroom: Called the master healing mushroom, reishi is a type of medicinal mushroom with many beneficial properties for your body and immune system. It helps to calm the nervous system and supports immune function. Acting as an immune modulator, it supports the overall function of your entire immune system, not just one specific area. Reishi is anti-fungal and antimicrobial, so it helps to fend off these invading pathogens. Reishi is also anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant, helping to reduce cellular stress in the body. These are all extremely useful qualities when you’re sick!

There are many ways to consume reishi. I like to use herbal extracts, especially this one from Herb Pharm. However, you could also take reishi in capsules or in a dried powder, like from Four Sigmatic here.

Vitamin D: This is a super-critical fat soluble vitamin that is absolutely necessary for your body’s immune functioning. Multiple research studies have found that people deficient in Vit D are sick more often throughout the year. You can think of vitamin D as an armor for your immune system: it helps ward off attacks from viruses and bacteria. Vitamin D is absorbed through the skin cells via sunlight, and the recommended daily allowance (RDA percentages often seen on packaging) is far lower than what is actually going to benefit your health. Vitamin D specifically helps stimulate the production of AMPs, which are anti-microbial peptides that act as broad-spectrum antibiotics and immune modulators, helping to protect cells from infection.

Getting at least 15 minutes of sun exposure per day (without sunscreen – use caution, of course) or taking a good vit D supplement will help your immune system stay strong year-round. The best vitamin D supplements will be liquid drops that you’ll take under the tongue. My chiropractor and acupuncturist both recommend 3,000-4,000 IUs per day, but depending on where you live and your specific need for D, your supplementation may vary. The bioavailable form found in many supplements is D3, or cholecalciferol. Be sure to look for a vegetarian source, as this form is often extracted from the fat of lamb’s wool (!). I use this supplement.

Apple cider vinegar: Although this vinegar has been a bit overhyped by the media, its unique combination of enzymes, vitamins, and minerals can aid the body’s immune function. ACV is also anti-fungal and anti-microbial, once again helping to defend from potential pathogens invading your body. Always make sure you drink ACV as a dilution! Many people take ACV shots and burn their throats – this is because vinegar is very acidic and can actually damage your throat lining if not diluted. Mix 1 tbsp with a glass of water and drink it slowly, or mix it in with your morning lemon water.

Be sure you’re using unfiltered and organic ACV. My favorite is from Bragg’s, as it’s fermented and contains strains of the ‘mother’, which was the original probiotic source to ferment the vinegar. I use Bragg’s ACV.

Ginger: Ginger is truly a magnificent superfood. It’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-fungal. It also eases nausea, indigestion, and stomach pains or cramps, so it’s perfect as a natural solution to soothing period cramps. Ginger boosts the immune system by providing a stronger shield overall for the body’s internal organs, so the immune system is strong enough to fight off pathogens. Most of these natural plant remedies work to support the function of the body’s immune system, vs. directly killing off pathogens or bacteria.

Ginger can be taken in many ways: as ginger tea made from the ginger root, as a powder added to soups or smoothies, or as an extract or supplement form. I prefer to use ginger in my curries, soups, and smoothies, and to make tonics or juices with it.

Turmeric: Turmeric is another amazing superfood that’s gained a lot of media attention for its incredible anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Turmeric, like ginger, is also a root, but is most commonly found and used in powder. Turmeric contains specific compounds, called curcuminoids, that are beneficial for health. Curcumin is the compound most commonly extracted from turmeric that can be found in supplement form. Be sure to consume turmeric with black pepper, or to purchase a supplement with added black pepper (also called bioperine) to improve absorption of the curcumin. Curcumin is anti-inflammatory, which helps to fortify the immune system by reducing any chronic inflammation in the body. When the immune system isn’t constantly dealing with chronic, low-grade inflammation that’s common from poor diet, alcohol or drug use, or chronic diseases, the white blood cells (soldiers of the immune system) can more easily use resources to attack pathogens and prevent infections.

I always add turmeric powder to my curry, tofu scramble, and sometimes even my smoothies if I’m really trying to boost my antioxidant load and improve immunity. If you are buying a curcumin supplement, make sure it’s a high quality supplement company and that the supplement contains bioperine.

 

I hope these tips can help you stay healthy and strong throughout the year as our bodies are exposed to bacteria and pathogens. Of course there are many factors to a healthy body and immune system: these remedies will only help if you’re taking good care of your body – getting plenty of sleep, drinking enough water, and eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

To your good health!

Kathrine

 

Sources:

https://www.selfhacked.com/blog/reishi/#1_Reishi_Reduces_Inflammation_and_Acts_as_an_Antioxidant

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19263912

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9701160

https://healthwyze.org/reports/338-why-zinc-should-be-taken-daily-and-how-not-all-zinc-supplements-are-created-equal

https://draxe.com/10-medicinal-ginger-health-benefits/

https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/8-impressive-health-benefits-turmeric/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/252684.php

Nutrition info: How do you know what’s true?

confusing-nutrition

Hi lovely people! Do you ever get confused about nutrition? I know I do! It’s easy to find nutrition information on the internet – but how do you know what is actually true information, when there’s so much marketing and misinformation out there? For example, many registered dietitian and nutrition programs STILL teach that ‘good nutrition’ is having lean meats, eggs and dairy every day – which, if you have read The China Study or watched Forks Over Knives, you know this is simply NOT true.

As a biology undergraduate student who’s extremely passionate about plant based nutrition and wellness, it pisses me off that there is so much wrong nutrition information out there. I have researched multiple graduate degrees in nutrition, but have a hard time choosing one because I want one that aligns with my truth of plant based veganism.

My point here is this: take every piece of nutritional advice or information with a grain of salt! Do your OWN research using academic research articles and use critical thinking and discernment to determine what is true. It’s also essential to be aware of corporate influences on research. Research studies have to be funded by someone, since they usually require a lot of money to carry out, and often times that ‘someone’ is a big corporation such as the dairy industry or the national beef council. Be a knowledgeable, conscious consumer and stay aware of these things. This also applies to nutritional advice you read from other peoples’ blogs or Instagrams (including mine)! I have learned a great deal about nutrition and holistic wellbeing because of my fascination with achieving optimal health, but am not (yet 😉 ) certified in Nutrition. My number one check is always: are they properly educated in nutrition? Do I trust the education this person has about nutrition? If not, be discerning about what they say/post and do not assume everything they say is sound advice. This rule can be applied to any type of professional whose information or advice you are considering: are they educated and knowledgeable? Do they have experience in this field and know what they’re talking about? If not, seek other, more reliable resources.

The one thing all nutrition experts agree on is that more vegetables is definitely good for everyone. Not surprising – veggies contain a high amount of fiber, phytonutrients, antioxidants and are low in calories! Across the board, loading up on veggies, fruits, legumes and whole plant foods will do your body right.

Becoming more conscious consumers is our responsibility, and knowledge is the first step to doing that. Do your background research and read up on scientifically grounded nutrition so you can tell what is and isn’t good advice. Check out this thorough and well-researched article (by scientific researchers and educators!) for more information.

Overeating: love yourself first

Through my own experience with overeating, I’ve realized how I use this behavior to compensate or fill up for the lack of another feeling in my life. I’m sure we’ve all been there – when you eat too much and suddenly you’re like OMG why did I do that?!
I feel like I’m at a tipping point with my own bad eating habits: I have really been able to distinguish between when I’m actually hungry and when I’m just eating for pleasure. Lately, I’ve gotten a lot better about stopping when I’m full and asking myself, ‘What do I need right now? I don’t need more food, but i do need something – so figuring out what that is will help me refocus my overeating.

A lot of the time when I overeat it’s because I’m seeking more pleasure, so I ask myself if what I REALLY need is a good full body stretch, some snuggle time with my cat, a phone call with a friend, to laugh hard at some funny YouTube vid, to spend time reading a book, to go get my shit done and do homework, to be outside and connect with nature, to write in my gratitude journal, etc. I have been much better lately about stopping to ask myself these questions while I’m eating so I can consciously track my feelings as I eat, instead of suddenly realizing how annoyed I am at myself for eating too much after dinner.

Another extremely important thing I’ve realized about sensitive behaviors in general is to remove the feelings of GUILT and SHAME we often associate with overindulging in a certain behavior (overspending or overeating, for example). When you attach these deeply negative feelings to certain behaviors and label something as a ‘guilty’ behavior, you are way more likely to do it again! Humans love being rebellious and doing what we’re not supposed to, so labeling something as guilty – even if it’s an unconscious label – will make you much more likely to come back to that negative behavior. Instead, try not to attach deeper meaning to these behaviors. For me when I overeat now, I say to myself: okay, my body doesn’t feel good. I am sorry, body – I’m sorry I didn’t take better care of you after all that you have done for me. But I FORGIVE myself for overeating. I recognize that habits, like all behaviors, come in ebb and flow, and some days I will eat a lot while others I will not eat as much. I recognize this as the continuous flow of life, and remember that enjoying my food is perfectly okay! Tomorrow, I will be more conscious of my eating and nourish my body with whole plant foods that demonstrate the respect and LOVE I have for my being. I love you, body. Thank you!

Detaching from deeper feelings such as guilt and shame and RELEASING that negativity has been the true catalyst to change in my eating behavior. If you deal with any kind of a guilty behavior, please be kind to yourself and forgive yourself first. To heal a ‘guilty’ habit we must first come from a higher vibration of LOVE! anger and sadness and stronger discipline will not heal such a habit, only make it worse.

Visualize your ideal self, forgive yourself, express your love for yourself, and RELEASE the behavior – and the freer you will be. ✨

Sending beautiful love and light to all beings everywhere! Namaste 🌟🙏

How going vegan transformed me spiritually

When I became vegan in March 2014, I began to notice an unexpected shift in my perspective: I felt more harmonized and in sync with my true moral compass. This makes sense, as I was finally living the ethic of nonviolence that all of us have deeply rooted in our souls. I had been previously heard of intuition and was beginning to dive further into spiritual wellbeing while I was vegetarian, but I remember feeling impatient and disconnected from tools like meditation or concepts such as ‘being present’, because I didn’t really understand what they were and how to incorporate them into my life.

 

After I began eating and living in accordance with my morals, I felt revitalized – not just by the plants I was consuming, but by living in such alignment with my soul. This awakened my intuition, the internal guidance system each of us have, whether we are consciously aware of it or not. I recently realized, after watching the documentary Thrive*, that the reason I could become so in tune with my intuition was because I was now living in alignment with my core beliefs of compassion and nonviolence. I realized that I had been unknowingly muffling my soul’s intuitive compass by not living by my morals.

crystal grid

I believe this happens to many of us, as we grow up in a society that tells us what to eat, wear, think and how to act. As children, we would never want to eat animals if we put  two and two together to realize that animals are been brutally killed for our consumption, but since we have made it ‘normal’ to eat animal products, we usually don’t think twice about it. As a kid, I remember occasionally hearing about vegetarians and briefly considering why they don’t eat meat, and I would sometimes think about how it was bad to kill animals so we could eat them – a thought that was quickly buried in my mind by other thoughts like ‘But it tastes so good!’ and ‘Everyone else does it!’.

 

I am profoundly grateful that I reached a tipping point and educated myself about the truth of consuming animals so that I now live wholeheartedly by my morals and am guided by my intuition. My personal spiritual evolution was catalyzed by my going vegan that March, after which I began watching documentaries and learning more about metaphysics, meditation, and the power of positive thinking. It was again catalyzed the following July when I was very intuitively guided to a book that changed my worldview, The Celestine Prophecy.

 

I was guided to that very book one afternoon walking on the Avenida de Libertad, the central shopping street in Lisbon, Portugal with my brother, Magnus. This street is extremely wide, and there are many stores lining both sides, as well as booths in the middle of the street. I spotted a used bookstore on my right, and noticed a sign that they were having a book sale: all books for one Euro – of course I had to go! I dragged my brother with me over there as I got the sense that there was something I was supposed to find in that store, something waiting for me. When I walked into the store, I felt it even more strongly, and began looking for the book that my intuition told me I came for. Most of the books were in Spanish or Portuguese, however, and I was beginning to second guess myself when I saw a box of English books in the corner. Magnus was growing impatient, and I told him he could wait outside – there was something I had to find first. As I sorted through the books, I looked for keywords that would stand out to me. I finally found what I came for when I picked up The Celestine Prophecy, but at first it didn’t seem like much – I wouldn’t have bought the book if not for the strong gut feeling telling me this was the one. But I bought it, and quickly read it, and soon got around to ordering the other four books the author, James Redfield, wrote afterwards.

 

The Celestine Prophecy is sort of an adult fable: an American professor goes on a quest in the moutains of Peru, where he is guided my spiritual teachers through the nine insights of how to live in emotional harmony with others, ourselves, and the world. This book defined many of the beliefs I now hold, and has deeply impacted my life for the better. The story I told above of how I found it in that bookstore is one of the strongest moments of intuition I’ve ever felt to this day. I wouldn’t be near as in touch with my soul and true self if not for the change that opened the door to my own spiritual evolution: going vegan.

 

I hope my personal experience sheds light on the impact changing your diet can have on your lifestyle and belief system, and can inspire you to live a life that follows your moral and spiritual compass.

Peace, love, and plants!

Kathrine

 

 

*Thrive is an incredibly well-made documentary explaining the system we currently live in of central banking and the elite who rule the corporations behind Big Ag, Big Pharma, and the fossil fuel industry. It succinctly explains the problem and how we can solve it in a way that left me feeling inspired and hopeful for the future of humankind. You can watch it here, and learn more about the movement at www.thrivemovement.com.