Holistic Ways to Deal With Sickness

It’s hot then it’s cold, it’s yes then it’s no – Louisville weather is sending us all kinds of mixed signals! And it seems like Lousiville’s immune systems are starting to get the memo, mine included! Last week was nothing but a fever and a seemingly endless stream of tissues, but luckily holistic alternatives were there to save the day! Disclaimer though, I’m no doctor! These methods worked for my body and my own sickness, and no two bodies or sicknesses are 100% alike!

  • Eat a¬†rawsome diet!: I switched out two of my cooked meals loaded with overprocessed foods for two raw meals and was instantly reminded how great it feels to eat predominantly raw foods! Blood-flow increasing beets, nutrient-dense kale, and hydrating cucumber are bound to make you feel at least a little better in no time. If you want raw foods that still aren’t slacking on the flavor, hit up your local The Weekly Juicery location and try out our raw Elevate line!
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  • Spice it up!: Cayenne, Black Pepper, Ginger and Turmeric can be your new best friends when you’re immune system is slowing its roll. Cayenne is great for detoxifying and getting rid of headaches, Black Pepper relieves nasal congestion and will help release harmful sickness contributors from your body, Ginger has a history of use in alternatives medicines and eliminating nausea and Turmeric even contains compounds with medicinal properties! All of these spices are additionally great for your metabolism, digestive system, irritation and pain relief… Spices are the best kind of painkillers! ūüėČ Blend them into a tropical-inspired smoothie for a more mellow¬†flavor profile.

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  • Get out the Tea Tree Oil!: Tea Tree Oil is my go to for more occasions than one. It kills strains of harmful bacteria, treats infections, and it’s antiseptic. Mix a a few drops into coconut oil and apply on your throat, the back of your neck and on your face. If the cleansing properties weren’t enough, it’s also a natural insect repellent and facial toner!

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  • Don’t put down that water bottle!: Water is a key daily contributor to anyone’s health, but especially when recovering from sickness! Water is vital to cleanse your body and flush out anything that no longer serves you! Hot lemon ginger water is an extra immunity booster to start your morning off on the right foot.

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Again, I’m no doctor, but these simple, natural takes on medicine had me feeling good as new in a matter of days! So next time you’re feeling the season-changing blues, give these holistic approaches a try!

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

Sweet Snacks for an Herbivore

Trying to get healthier, but have a sweet tooth calling your name? The SO Delicious Dark Chocolate Truffle ice cream might try to break you, but there are some other yummy snacks that can satisfy a sweet tooth without the after-affects of bowls on bowls of sugar!

  • Little Secrets: These faux M&M’s just hit my local Kroger’s, and I’m a fan! Dark chocolate, sea salt and peanuts make a combination that’s nearly impossible¬†to beat! And it’s no secret that their ingredients are all natural and ethical, with fair trade chocolate and coatings colored with turmeric and spirulina. Just watch out for the Peanut Butter flavor, as it is the only flavor that has whey. They’re additionally good to quiet cravings, just pop in a few and your sweet tooth is set!

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  • Larabars: Larabars are snack bars based of nuts and dates, so they can be great to have in the pantry as a sweet and healthy treat on the go. Different flavors include Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Blueberry Pie, and Lemon Bar.

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  • Justin’s products: Justin’s has a plethora¬†of sweet products ranging from dark chocolate peanut butter cups (Reese’s has nothing on these!) to chocolatey, nutty spreads. They do have palm oil though!

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  • Enjoy Life Chocolate: Chocolate chips and chunks make any bowl of fruit a little more tempting! Especially when scary dairy is the least of your concerns! You can also make homemade trail mix, blend with avocados for a healthy chocolate mousse, or add a few into your PB&J!

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  • Hail Merry Tarts & Macaroons: These raw vegan products have been spotted in health stores such as Whole Foods and Rainbow Blossom. Within the last few¬†weeks, I’ve frequently seen them on sale around town! All products of theirs are certified vegan and use mostly organic, familiar products such as cashews, coconut sugar and coconut oil. I’ve tried the Persian Lime Tart and the Almond Butter Chocolate Cup! Both were delicious and left my sweet tooth satisfied without feeling sluggish!

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Try these products out next time you’re on the hunt for a healthier, sweet alternative!

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

What the Health?!

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Forks Over Knives and PlantPure Nation just got a new neighbor on the list of health-focused documentaries going viral across the web! What the Health? is a new film produced by the creators of Cowspiracy (another personal fave) exposing a surplus of shocking mysteries within animal agriculture and the human diet. The documentary covers everything from insider government lobbying, to industrialized racism, to cruelty-free protein and athletes, and more! They concluded with a series of eye-opening health success stories from victims of these industries who were able to trash entire shelves of medication after spending only two weeks plant-based! With wide eyes and a bowl of ripe fruit at my side, I was in disbelief at how much money is spent to convince humans that animal products are vital contributors to the human diet, despite the various studies that prove how deeply animal products are linked to an increase in bone fragility, deteriorating mental health, and countless lethal diseases.

After watching, the thought crossed my mind that I have seen hours on hours of¬†health documentaries, and none had said anything beneficial about animal products! I was keen to listen to the opposition, but after a quick google search I realized there are no health documentaries that talk about the importance of animal products in our diets! That’s definitely no mistake. Modern doctors and researchers (who aren’t getting paid by Tyson and Yum! Brands, anyways) can’t deny the blatant evidence that meat, dairy and eggs are taking years off of our lifespans and keeping us sick, and thankfully this documentary uncovers all that lobbying vigorously works to blind us from! Check it out and prepare for your jaw to drop!

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

Creator of Glycemic Index Goes Vegan!

Watch out, big pharma! It looks like switching to a vegan diet is becoming the dietary trend of the decade as more and more medical professionals get on the plant-based train! The Glycemic Index was created created by Dr. David Jenkins in 1981, ranking foods in correlation to their increase in blood sugar. His agenda was to develop a better understanding of how carbohydrates affected diabetes.

His work ended up being¬†so extraordinary that he ended up influencing dietary guidelines for the World Health Organization, the U.S National Academy of Sciences, and national diabetes associations in multiple countries across the globe. He’s also a Canada Research Chair in nutrition, metabolism and vascular biology, faculty of medicine at the University of Toronto, and a scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael‚Äôs Hospital. He even became the first Canadian recipient of the Bloomberg Manulife Prize for the Promotion of Active Health. Basically, this guy’s a pretty big deal!

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Now, rather than focusing on low carb diets, Jenkins says the real health concern should be focusing on eliminating animal products from human diets. He isn’t just plant-based, though! On top of health discoveries, he additionally decided to drop the animal flesh and secretions for ethical and environmental reasons.

‚ÄúHuman health must be linked to planetary health, and how we feed ourselves has a major impact on the planet,‚ÄĚ Jenkins explains. We couldn’t agree more!

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

If Everyone Went Vegan, What Would We Do With All the Animals?

It’s a question that’s graced the ears of every vegan. “So if everyone went vegan, what would we do with all the animals?” Aka, are vegans trying to get¬†animals to take over the world?! As pleasant as that world would probably be, I think it’s safe to say that’s far from the end goal.

If the world went vegan, that would mean all humans no longer put the life of one animal before¬†another, so we wouldn’t treat the abundance of farmed animals any differently than we treat the abundance of dogs and cats. There would just be more animals that need all our lovin’! Humans definitely have the power to harm animals, but as I’m sure you know, just because we have power to cause harm, definitely doesn’t mean we should!

Dogs and cats have become prized animals in modern Western cultures, mostly because humans have domesticated them far beyond the point of return! But humans haven’t only erased a dog or cat’s natural place in the food chain. Farmed animals also fell victim to human greed. Since¬†we are the ones who caused those animals to be unable to live freely in the wild as they once could, now it is our duty to be their guardians and protect these sweet, lovable fellas like they deserve! The treacherous practices of animal agriculture are coming into light more and more, and more farmed animal sanctuaries are popping up and saving our animal friends as a result! As the vegan movement grows, the more support sanctuaries will get, and the more animals they’ll be able to rescue.

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The world definitely won’t go vegan overnight (outside my daydreams, anyways), but I’ve got a little hunch that some day, not being vegan will be as taboo as not believing in global warming. Especially as humans realize how much animal agriculture and global warming correlate! For now though, if we stop buying meat and animal products, these animals will no longer be mass produced, and no longer be bred at alarming rates, which is proof in itself that nothing could reduce the amount of animals being brought into this planet more. Just like any other product on grocery store shelves, if the demand goes, the decline of those products is quick to follow.

I mean, it’s pretty clear at this point that animal products are in no way beneficial to our bodies¬†(as shown in PlantPure Nation, Forks Over Knives and The China Study). They’re not only completely unnecessary to keep in our diets, but also extremely detrimental to our health. So are humans really only dedicated to eating animals just because they think there will be too many of them if they don’t? Maybe this is just a personal thing, but there’s an outrageous amount of things people have chosen to eat that are overly abundant in the world, that I can guarantee will never be on my dinner menu… for ex: dogs, cats, cat hair, mattresses, dryer sheets, glass, and plastic bags just to name a few!

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Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

5 Carb Replacements Better Than Bread

Let’s talk about the C word… carbs. Carbs are becoming a fearful word in most mainstream diet regimens, but carbs are absolutely vital for our bodies to persist! “Carbs” is basically synonymous with “energy,” after all. They will either be broken down into glucose to be used as energy, or saved in fat for stored energy for later use. So rather than eliminating carbs, here are foods full of carbs that will give you energy, without the other cons of common refined carbs such as white bread.

  • Bananas: I am forever and always a banana enthusiast! ūüėČ Bananas are full of carbs that will sustain energy for your most strenuous work outs. They’re also loaded with Potassium and healthy fructose for an extra boost!

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  • Potatoes: Potatoes have are one of the most nutrient-rich carbs, despite their bad rep! Bake them tossed in coconut milk instead of oil to keep more of their nutritional value.

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  • Whole grains: Oats, quinoa and couscous are all products from grained without being highly processed, so they still can retain the benefits of carbs and sustain a high-carb diet. Whole grain bread is even a better alternative than white bread, but be careful not to mix whole grain bread up with multigrain bread!

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  • Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes¬†are another complex carb with a little more flavor than an average potato, and they’re also full of the good kind of fat!

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  • Beans and Lentils: Vegans don’t just use beans and lentils as high sources of protein! They are also full of carbs, as well as vitamins, minerals and sometimes antioxidants.

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Sammi

Elevate Your Eating

Okay so, despite what you may have seen on the food truck, the healthier side of veganism you read all about in the China Study and saw in Forks Over Knives does exist! Within the past few weeks, V-Grits launched our new Elevate line to showcase the energizing, plant-based food from the earth that makes our insides sing! We introduced this line in The Weekly Juicery locations across Louisville, Lexington and Cincinnati. As of right now, the Louisville location is inside the Heine Brothers just off Brownsboro Road, and The Weekly Juicery is soon to open a new spot in Nulu! Within a few months, you’ll also find our Elevate line in our very own cafe, where you’ll get the chance to Elevate or Indulge! Elevate is mostly raw, gluten free, oil free, peanut free, soy free, corn free and fully organic aside from spices and salt. But don’t stress, V-Fans, these new healthy meals are still packin’ our classic V-Grits punch of flavor!

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Our Raw Pad Thai is oodles of fork-licking zoodle goodness! We use zucchini noodles, carrot noodles, bell pepper, cabbage, almonds and cilantro with an additional ginger almond dressing for an extra creamy kick! Not to mention, this menu item also has 11.7 g of protein and 10.2 g of fiber!

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Zoodles come in all shapes and sizes, so we use thick sheets of zucchini noodles for our Raw Zucchini Lasagna! In between the zoodles are layers of creamy cashew ricotta and savory sundried tomato marinara. We top it with our tree nut parm for a salty finishing touch. Our Raw Lasagna has a whopping 18.7 g of plant-based protein, 11.5% of your calcium for the day, 96.5% of copper for the day, and 76.5% of B12!

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Greens are good for the soul! Especially a dish of our Raw Greens of Greatness. A big bowl of greens might sound a little intimidating, but we mellow kale, cabbage and broccoli with cool cucumbers, crunchy pepitas and a zesty avocado lime dressing! These Raw Greens of Greatness have 81% of your vitamin C intake at just 90 calories!

Our Spicy Chickpeas & Cool Cukes have it all: raw and cooked, spicy and cooling. Citrusy kale and red bell peppers are topped with curry spiced chickpeas and fair-trade mineral rich volcano rice, alongside creamy cool cucumbers and tomatoes with a tangy lemon tahini dressing. This dish is loaded with 741 g of potassium, 10.9 g of fiber, 43.5% of B12, and 13.6 g of protein!

Last but not least, our Quinoa Sunshine will have you feeling powered up and beaming with light! Fresh veggies and quinoa are paired with a flavorful orange sunbutter dressing. This rainbow of plant-based goodness has 8.8 g of protein and 136% of your vitamin C intake! Wowza!

Stop by your local location of The Weekly Juicery, check out our Elevate line, and let us know what you think!

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

BAREfit Adventure Training

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Our favorite kind of business is a vegan-run business! BAREfit Adventure training is Louisville’s one and only vegan-run gym! ¬†The gym equipment consists of recycled and repurposed¬†materials, so your work out will be environmentally friendly while you stay active! I just recently got a membership and tried out my first couple of classes, and let me tell you, this gym is no joke! My legs practically forgot how to walk the next day, but hey, that also might be due to not stepping into a gym for two years. ūüėČ

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The classes are set up for small groups, with different stations to help you work throughout your body. I love how the workouts are structured to focus on the endurance of our bodies and movements that could help us outside the gym, rather than solely focusing on exercises only designed to improve aesthetics of our bodies. On certain “whim days,” rather than working through a series of stations, your work out will be set up like an obstacle course! And if you need help or modifications, no worries! A skilled trainer is always there to guide you so you can push your body’s limits while you stay within your level. Along with training members, BAREfit offers assistance with meal planning and supports plant-based, non-GMO diets! And if that wasn’t enough, if you check into BAREfit on Facebook after your session, they will donate one dollar per visit towards their cause of the month! This gym has it all! The V-Grits team would definitely recommend checking BAREfit Adventure Training out for a fun, upbeat work out that has a high chance of being unlike any work out you’ve done¬†prior!

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Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

13 Uses for Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has become the hipster of all cooking oils! It has gained increased popularity in the past few years, but cooking is not the only way your coconut oil can be put to good use! Here are some of our favorite uses that might be a little outside the box (or jar)!

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  1. Hair: Coconut oil will make your hair soft, shiny, and bring out a little extra curliness. Just run a bit through your hair before you take a shower. Be careful not to put too much though, a little goes a long way!
  2. Moisturizer: Coconut oil alone is better than any moisturizer I’ve ever used when it comes to keeping my skin from giving into the winter weather. It even can decrease acne as an added bonus.
  3. Makeup remover/Makeup: Coconut oil can get rid of the most intense cat eyes. ūüėČ Just dab some on a towel and you have makeup remover that’s actually good for your skin. Or if you want to make coconut oil part of your makeup routine, it makes a great natural cheek bone highlighter.
  4. Oil pulling: Looking to detox? Oil pulling will do the trick. Swish a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for around 20 minutes and spit it out (key part!) to cleanse your body of toxins and keep your teeth white and shining.
  5. Replacing butter: A healthy, creamy, but still rich and fatty smear of coconut oil makes a great substitute for your toast, pouring onto baked potatoes, topping popcorn or potentially as a recipe replacement.
  6. Allergies: Coconut oil is rumored to help out during those rough season changes! Smudge a bit in and around your nose for a little extra defense!
  7. Deodorant: When you’re in a pinch and can’t seem to find your deodorant, coconut oil comes to the rescue! It might sound a little on the hippie side, but the strong scent and antibacterial properties will get the job done!
  8. Helps sore throats: A few teaspoons of coconut oil a day could make all the difference for your soar throat or overwhelming cough.
  9. Lip balm: Similar to how coconut oil soothes skin, it also keeps your lips from being chapped, which is particularly useful during the winter season! I mix in a little beet juice for color and peppermint oil to stimulate lip blood flow when I’m feeling extra. ūüėČ
  10. Natural Neosporin: Coconut oil can be used to soothe and help heal minor cuts, bruises, rashes or wounds. You may need a band-aid too, though.
  11. Shaving: Coconut oil might not be the most ideal shaving cream, but always serves well as a trusty backup. It’s definitely one of the most natural shaving creams out there.
  12. Sunscreen/Sunburn Remedy: Coconut oil is naturally SPF4! You might have to apply a little more than normal, but it will additionally leave your skin silky smooth.
  13. Hair Gel: I wouldn’t recommend getting to crazy with the coconut oil when it comes to hair, but the tiniest little bit can help shape your hair or add texture.

Who knew this funky, new-on-block oil had so many cool uses?! Try some of them out and tell us what you think!

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

Health Benefits of Cashews

At V-Grits, we got a love for cashews that can’t be contained! We’re also pretty passionate about health, so thank goodness cashews exist to make creamy, cheesy, delicious and healthy dairy replacements! Cashews start as seeds that form at the bottom of cashew apples. Crazy, right?

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The US doesn’t seem to love cashew apples as much as they’re adored in Brazil and the Caribbean, but we’re nuts for the seeds! The health benefits of cashews are infinite! They have over eighty different nutrients. They may be known for their still relatively low fat content, but there’s nothing to fear! 82% of their fat is made up of unsaturated fatty acids. Cashews are additionally filled with magnesium and phosphorous which can lessen migraines and lower blood pressure; and copper which is high in¬†antioxidants, works¬†against heart disease and cancer, and protects our skin from sun damage. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, these gnarly nuts even contain zero cholesterol! So grab a bag of cashews as a snack, or get that cashew-based cheese (wink wink ūüėČ )! It’s only good for you, after all!

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Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi