Hiking Benefits

Hiking Blog

Hiking takes walking, as a healthy exercise, to the next level. Both are excellent cardio workouts, great for the cardiovascular system, the respiratory system, our bones, and our muscles. Each will lower our stress levels and is great to support any weight loss program. But hiking gives us the extra piece: it can improve our balance and increase our strength and endurance as we navigate the steep and/or bumpy trails. An old English term used for hiking was “hillwalking”. Walking poles can be included for balance or stability in order to provide additional security and safety.

 

Hiking uses muscles that are rarely used in the gym. It is also considered one of the best ways to burn fat – even that stubborn belly fat. This physical exercise promotes the release of endorphins – the hormones that make you happy.

 

Studies have found that exercise and cardio workouts benefit us – mind, body, and spirit. So why choose to walk outside or hike? For many, exercise can be tedious and boring. Something on our daily routine “have to” list. Not something that brings us pleasure. On a treadmill, an hour can feel like a very long time. So we manage to pass the time by watching TV, reading our emails, and/or talking on our cell phones. By doing this, we are being mindless. Our focus is entirely outside of ourselves. We are still working, still obsessing, still stressed. Being outside, on the other hand, on a hike, maneuvering the trails, time seems to fly by. It also adds the extra dimension of being in beauty. Surrounded by nature, we reduce our levels of anger and fear and increase our feelings of wellbeing.

 

Exercising at the gym or at home is usually a solitary act. Hiking with friends may turn this dull activity into a fun-filled experience. Connecting with friends in a natural setting, can involve opening ourselves up and even allow them to see our limitations, our stumbles, our vulnerability. It encourages us to share stories that we might otherwise keep hidden or have even forgotten. We may deepen some of these friendships, making them more meaningful. There is something very special about sharing this experience with others, making memories, and changing relationships. We may even get out of our egos and become ourselves.

 

Many have written about the benefits of hiking. Lao Tsu wrote, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Ken Ilgunas: “On a hike, you’re less a job title, and more a human being.” “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.” – Friedrich Nietzsche. “Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.” – Edward Abbey. “Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.” – Henry David Thoreau.

 

Hiking, whether alone or with others, is a way of enjoying the beauty of nature while promoting mindfulness, as we remain closely aware of what is underfoot so as not to stumble or fall. Focusing on our surroundings and the possible dangers stops the monkey mind from regretting the past and worrying about the future, thereby lowering anxiety and improving our mood. Hiking is also a great way to unplug. Rarely do we see a hiker spending their time on the hills checking emails, texting, taking selfies, or tweeting.

 

Whichever you choose to engage in, whether walking or hiking, remember to dress accordingly, wear the proper footwear, and stay hydrated. Bring your water bottle and, of course, your phone, (just in case of an emergency)!

Gilda By Line11

Organic Eggs

Organic EggsEggs are referred to as one of the “most perfect” sources of protein – six grams of protein in just one large egg – and have even been called “superfoods”.  In Healthline, it reads that “an egg contains all the nutrients required to turn a single cell into a baby chicken” and that “eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet”.

 

They contain all of the essential amino acids – the body’s building blocks – in perfect ratios. Eggs are rich sources of Selenium and Vitamin D for the immune system; Choline for the brain and the heart, Iron for the blood, Folate for our Moms-to-be, B6 for energy, B12 for the blood, Zinc for healing, and Lutein and Zeaxanthin for the eyes. Most of the nutrients are found only in the yolk – not in the egg white, if eaten alone. Many people on weight loss and low cholesterol diets have turned to eating only egg whites, eliminating the yolk for all of their cooking and baking needs. Egg whites are high in protein and lower in calories, but contain fewer vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats than whole eggs. The precious yolks have been unfairly maligned for decades.

 

Although demonized in the past, recent studies have concluded that eggs do not cause heart disease and stroke. Low in calories, about 75 in total, eggs are filling, rich in healthy omega 3 fats, and make a nutritious and satisfying breakfast, even on a weight loss program. 

 

According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, eggs are one of the proteins that make up a healthy eating pattern. Research suggests that eating two to three eggs per day may have cardiovascular benefits”. That being said, we are unique. Although eggs will benefit HDL levels for most, for some whose LDL levels are too high, they could raise them a bit more. So, it is important to know your numbers and not to overdo if you are in this category.

 

Does colour matter? For the shell, the colour does not determine a difference in the nutritional value or taste. The colour of the yolk is a different story. It usually depends on the food that the hens are being fed. Rich, dark yolks contain more antioxidants than pale yellow ones. Pale or medium yellow yolks usually come from conventionally raised hens that are grain fed. The grains usually include corn, which is genetically modified so contains glyphosate. A darker, more orange coloured yolk is a result of carotenoids, particularly xanthophyllis, in the hens’ feed, which is organic with no added GMO ingredients.

 

Eggs should be organic, meaning they are totally free range. If not, you are probably eating eggs laid by chickens that have been raised crowded together in cages. “free range” or “cage free” label may describe chickens that are crowded, closely together, into hen houses with no fresh air or sunlight. Organic eggs are laid by chickens that are allowed to move freely through the outdoors into the sunshine. Which chickens, and therefore, which eggs, do you think will be healthier and contain more nutrients?

 

Happy and healthy chickens will lay healthier eggs. The vibrational energy of our food impacts our health and well-being. Ancient Greeks knew the importance of food having good energy and bringing unconditional love “agapi” to their families.  Also, many an Italian grandmother has announced that the most important ingredient in their food is “the love”.

 

Banana Blueberry Muffins
(Organic & Gluten-free)

 

INGREDIENTS: 

 

  • 2 organic bananas, mashed
  • 4 organic eggs, beaten
  • Fresh, or frozen, organic blueberries

 

Directions:

  1. Blend the mashed bananas with the eggs. 
  2. Oil the bottom of a muffin tin and/or line with paper cups
  3. Place blueberries into the bottom of each cup
  4. Fill each cup with the egg & banana mix 

 

 Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 12 minutes.

Enjoy!

Gilda By Line11

Potassium

SIGNS OF DEFICIENCYNPP TIP Blog Potassium
Abnormal Heartbeat
Constipation
Fatigue
Headaches
Hypertension
Low Blood Sugar
Muscle Cramps
Muscle Weakness
Palpitations
Stomach Pain & Gut Obstructions

 

 

Many years ago, while on vacation, I noticed that my hands and fingers were swollen. To combat this, my friend offered me one of her water pills, which I gratefully accepted. About 2 or 3 hours later, I felt weak, dizzy, and light-headed. I felt as if I was about to faint. This was my first experience with a potassium deficiency. I learned, the hard way, that if one is taking a drug, like Lasix, it must be coupled with increased water and a consumption of high potassium foods, like a banana or orange juice. I also learned not to take anyone else’s prescription drugs.

 

Potassium is an essential macromineral. It is also an electrolyte, like sodium and magnesium. It partners with sodium to manage the water within the body. Sodium works outside of the cells while potassium works inside of the cells in order to maintain a proper fluid balance, preventing water retention or dehydration. Potassium supports blood pressure and helps to maintain proper pH levels, beating of the heart, muscle mass, and repair of body tissue. It is essential for proper muscle function, cardiovascular health, bone strength, and the transmission of nerve impulses sharing messages between your brain and your body. Potassium loss can be the result of diarrhea, vomiting, or low water intake during a flu or gastric ailment.

 

Optimal daily potassium intake from food for a healthy adult is 3500 to 4700 mg daily. Great sources of potassium are bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, apricots, cooked spinach, kale, beet greens, soy and lima beans, cucumbers, baked potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, yams, wild salmon, and avocado. Most of us can easily get what we need from food. If you are unable to consume enough dietary potassium or if you have been ill, you can top it up with supplements purchased at your local health food store. An average dose may be one or two 250 mg capsule of potassium citrate daily with meal.

 

We are continuously reminded to drink 8-10 glasses of water daily. Some people overdo their water intake thinking that it will help them lose weight more quickly. This can result in a depletion of potassium causing kidney stones or heart malfunction.

Our webinar, The Kidneys, includes:

    • a discussion on how a diet low in potassium and high in sodium is associated with hypertension;
    • that 95% of our potassium is found inside of our cells;
    • that a natural diet rich in fruits and veggies can give us a 100:1 ratio of K: Na;
    • how 2.5 to 5.0 grams of potassium per day can give significant drops in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels, and much more.

 

NPP Related Webinars:

Gilda By Line11

Magnesium

Magnesium blog

 

 

BENEFITS:

Relaxes every muscle in your body – including the heart

Relief from Insomnia

Reduces anxiety, depression, stress, sadness

Necessary to get calcium into the bones

Regulates blood pressure

Supports Insulin metabolism

Blood vessel constriction – may prevent migraine headaches

Improves PMS symptoms

 

 

Magnesium, as a macromineral, is essential for the bones, muscles, heart, brain, the immune system and the nervous system.

 

Foods rich in magnesium include dark chocolate (64 mg/oz), avocado (58 mg), nuts (82 mg/oz), legumes, tofu, whole grains, fatty fish, leafy greens, bananas, and seeds. 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds offer 307 mg and sunflower seeds, 129 mg.

 

As a supplement, in a capsule, Magnesium is taken to bowel tolerance. If you experience diarrhea, nausea, or cramping, back off by one. With calcium, the recommended dose is a 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium but for women, a 1:1 ratio or even a 1:2 ratio is often more beneficial, particularly for those experiencing PMS.

 

Magnesium can also be taken as a Tissue Cell Salt, small tablets that are dissolved in the mouth. Mag Phos 6X is excellent for muscle pain, restless leg, and, for some, as a sleep aid. The body uses what it needs and expels the rest without causing bowel disturbances.

 

Women have often been referred to as “mag wasters” meaning that they lose an unusual amount of magnesium throughout the day.  Magnesium loss is also experienced by Massage Therapists, both men and women, who often experience muscle cramps in their hands and fingers.

 

In our “Heart & Stroke – Women vs Men” webinar, we focus on how a woman’s heart differs in size, heart rate, and also the contrast in structure of the arteries and valves resulting in a substantial difference between the two sexes in terms of risks, symptoms, care, diagnosis, and treatment. We discuss how Magnesium helps to keep calcium in solution preventing it from precipitating out into artery walls which would result in the building of plaque. Also, how magnesium prevents Aluminum buildup in the body. Magnesium is essential for a healthy heart, maintaining a steady heartbeat and a normal blood pressure.

 

In our “Adrenal Fatigue” webinar, we discuss Adrenal burnout and exhaustion due primarily to stress, emotional, physical, and environmental. We discuss the importance of Magnesium, the inhibitory mineral for the Sympathetic Nervous System. Magnesium activates the parasympathetic nervous system which is instrumental in keeping you calm and relaxed.

Gilda By Line11

Snowshoeing

NPP TIP Blog-snowshoeingWinter, in Canada, is a magical season but, generally, the streets and hills are covered with snow and ice. Walking, running, and even hiking are not as easy or as safe as they were during our other three seasons. So, how do we exercise and stay in shape out of doors during the winter months? We suggest Snowshoeing, originally used by Native Americans and European Explorers to forage for food and travel through deep snow for almost 4000 years, and even longer in Central Asia.

 

Snowshoeing, now seen as a recreational exercise, is a fun way to lose the calories that we generally pack on during the winter months. It is said to burn off anywhere between 420-1000 calories per hour. The colder the weather, the more energy we use; the taller the snow, the higher we lift our legs; thus, a great fat-burning, muscle-building exercise. Snowshoeing is a terrific low-impact aerobic exercise that is easy on the joints, healthy for the heart and the lungs, strengthening for the muscles, and great for improved balance and stability. If balance is an issue, poles can keep you upright and protect you from slipping.

 

This is also a wonderful way to dispel the winter blues. Being in nature is known to decrease depression and stress levels. Practising mindfulness, while walking along the snowy, beautiful terrain on a sunny day, will stop the monkey mind from taking you to the past, where you house your regrets, or into the future, worrying about what lies ahead. Good for all ages, including children and seniors, Snowshoeing is a safe and healthy way for us to get outside all winter long, burn calories, strengthen our glutes, quads, and our calves, unplug, relax, and simply have a lot of fun. Check out the many schools, recreational facilities, and resorts that offer snowshoeing lessons for beginners. If you can walk, you can snowshoe. Please remember to stay hydrated, so bring along your water bottle!

Gilda By Line11

Organic Chicken

NPP TIP Blog chicken soup

Organic Chicken Breasts are delicious – roasted, stir fried or as a soup. Chicken has become a staple dish for most non-vegetarians. It is one of the best sources of protein, necessary to build muscles and keep bones healthy. It is rich in minerals like phosphorus and calcium and also selenium which may cut the risk of arthritis. Containing tryptophan and B5, both having a calming effect on your body, Chicken can help relieve stress. With beneficial magnesium, it can also reduce PMS symptoms and muscle pain. It is rich in B Vitamins for heart health, particularly B6, helping to lower homocysteine levels and niacin helping to lower cholesterol. A great source of Omega 3, Chicken is low in saturated fat. The lowest fat content is found in the breast meat.

 

Why organic? If not, the chicken you are cooking may have been injected with antibiotics and/or hormones and grown with the use of toxic chemicals and pesticides. Organic chickens are also free range, meaning allowed to roam freely rather than crowded into cages, although free range does not necessarily indicate organic. Remember, we are what we eat!

 

A steaming bowl of chicken soup filled with vegetables and delicious chicken pieces has long been the secret health cure of mothers and grandmothers through the ages for colds, respiratory infections and flu and has often been referred to as “Jewish Penicillin”.

 

Years ago, I found a delicious recipe for an immune boosting Astragalus-Ginger Chicken Soup – my go to whenever I feel under the weather.

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large pot, 1/3 filled with filtered water, toss in some sea salt, ground pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  2. Heat the water just below boiling. Add two split organic chicken breasts, bone in but fat and skin removed.
  3. Add a 3″ piece of ginger, cut into strips.
  4. Slice and add
    • 4 carrots,
    • 4 celery stalks,
    • 1/2 onion,
    • 2 garlic cloves,
    • 6 shitake mushrooms, and
    • 6 slices of astragalus root
    • Cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
    • Pull off the leaves of a large bunch of kale and set them aside.
    • Chop up the kale stems and throw these into the soup.
    • Continue to cook for an additional 30 minutes and then add the kale leaves.

Continue cooking (not boiling) for 30-60 more minutes. I recommend only organic ingredients, where possible. Add the sliced chicken, vegetables, salt and pepper to taste, and the delicious hot broth to your favourite bowl and enjoy! Yummy and filled with nutrients.

 

Gilda By Line11

 

Organic Cucumber

NPP TIP Blog cucumbersOrganic Cucumbers, actually members of the fruit family, have a high water content (95%) and are packed with  B vitamins, vitamin A, and antioxidants. They were once thought of only as a great addition to green salads, or a side to a meal, adding variety, colour, and a light, pleasant taste. They are now seen as helping with weight loss, constipation, blood pressure, skin, eyes, and bones while, at the same time, keeping you hydrated. You will derive even more benefits if you eat the entire cucumber, including the seeds and skin, after a thorough scrub and wash.

 

Cucumbers are rich in carotenoids and flavonoids that have been shown to help with blood sugar regulation. These, and other phytonutrients found in cucumbers, have also been studied with respect to their ability to lower chronic inflammation, decreasing the risk of many chronic diseases. Studies have suggested that the lignins found in cucumbers may help lower cardiovascular disease and prevent cancer. An anti-inflammatory substance, “fisetin”, found in cucumbers, are thought to have “the ability to reduce the impact of age-related neurological diseases on brain function” and may also help to “maintain cognitive function in people with Alzheimer’s Disease”.  

 

As a beauty treatment, cucumber slices have long been applied directly to the eyes to reduce puffiness. Spas feature cucumber slices floating in elegant carafes of water to help with water retention. In a YouTube video, a fellow, named Bryan, drank organic cucumber juice, skin and all, for seven days in a row. On day 1, he found that he was experiencing a huge diuretic effect. On day 2 & 3, he was feeling very hydrated. After day 4, he felt like he could run a marathon; full of energy.  At only 16 calories per cup, enjoy a snack of fresh, crisp slices of cucumber dipped into your favourite organic hummus.

 

Organic Cucumber, Goat Cheese, & Black Olive Salad

Organic Cucumber Recipe

  • 2 cups organic cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup organic goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup organic kalamata black olives
  • 2-3 tbsp organic cold pressed olive oil
  • sea salt & pepper to taste

 

  1. Slice the cucumbers, into rounds, skin on or off
  2. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half
  3. Place cucumbers & tomatoes into salad bowl
  4. Combine the other ingredients and toss with the veggies
  5. Sliced red onion may be added, if desired

                                             ENJOY!

 

Gilda By Line11

 

 

Organic Onions

Organic onions new

The onion, like garlic, is a member of the lily family of plants. The homeopathic remedy for the common cold, allium cepa (cepa meaning onion), is prepared from red onions. Boericke’s Materia Medica refers to this remedy as “a picture of coryza with acrid nasal discharge and laryngeal symptoms and eye secretion”.

 

Onions are thought to have originated in Central Asia, from Iran to Pakistan and north into southern Russia. Since the sixth century, the  onion has been respected as a great way to spice up any dish and, also, in India, for its healing properties. Most onions are white, red, or yellow appearing globular in shape although there are many varieties of shapes and colours, including green; each offering its own distinctive taste. Onions have provided cooks with an inexpensive way of enhancing the flavour of almost any dish. Many delicious recipes begin with the browning, sautéing, or carmelizing of yellow onions.

 

Onions are low in calories, fat, and carbs. According to Michael Murray, ND, they are “very good sources of vitamin C, B6, biotin, chromium, and dietary fibre and, in addition, good sources of folic acid and vitamins B1 and K”.  They also contain sulphur, phytochemicals, anthocyanins, flavinoids, and particularly quercetin, which is beneficial for disorders including cataracts, cardiovascular disease, and for reducing body fat. Quercetin is found primarily in the outer layers of the onion so it is recommended that as much as possible of the skin be used. It also has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

 

They have been known to lower blood pressure and blood sugar and also to improve bone health, gut health, and heart health.  Centuries ago, onions were included in remedies used to treat headaches, colds, and heart ailments. They contain inulin and fructooligosaccharides and are rich in prebiotics so helpful to increase the number of friendly bacteria in the gut which will improve immune function.

 

Studies have shown that the organosulfurs in onions may suppress tumour growth and that there may be a connection between allium and a reduced risk of cancer. A 2019 study found that quercetin had links to lower blood pressure. Another recent study showed that peri-menopausal and menopausal women who ate onions at least once a day had a greater bone density and a reduced risk of hip fractures.

 

Why organic onions?  These are preferred in order to avoid consuming the chemicals, pesticides, and heavy metals used during the growth process. Also, conventionally grown onions will most likely have been irradiated to prevent them from sprouting. Onions should be stored at room temperature, away from sunlight, in a well ventilated area. Green onions can be stored in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator, safely for about a week. Leftover cut onions will stay fresh for a day or two in an airtight, sealed container in the refrigerator or may be frozen for later use in soups or casseroles. To avoid tears, refrigerate the onions for an hour or two before chopping. Also, keep them as far away from your eyes as possible, to avoid the sulfur-based gas emitted from the onion.

 

Eggs & Onions (2 servings)

My husband David’s favourite egg breakfast.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • 1 organic onion, diced
  • 4 organic eggs, beaten
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • turmeric and/or oregano, to taste (optional)
  1. Heat olive oil or butter on medium heat in a non-stick green pan
  2. Saute the diced onions until translucent, but not browned
  3. Pour the seasoned beaten eggs onto the hot pan
  4. Stir until the eggs are cooked through
  5. Serve hot with a side of organic blueberries and sliced strawberries
  6. Crumble goat cheese over eggs, if desired

 

Gilda By Line11

Organic Brussel Sprouts

NPP TIP Blog brusells sprouts

Organic Brussel Sprouts were actually named after their prominence in Belgium. They are cousins to cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, collard greens, and kale – all cruciferous vegetables said to help decrease belly fat.

 

High in Folic Acid and iron, they are perfect to support a healthy pregnancy. These miniature cabbages are also excellent sources of vitamins C, A, and K. One cup offers you 4 grams of protein, 4 grams of fibre, and 270 mg of ALA, so an excellent source of Omega 3 at a cost of merely 56 calories. Rich in kaempferol, an antioxidant, studied for its ability to reduce cancer cell growth and chronic inflammation, makes it also valuable in reducing cardiovascular disease. Alpha-lipoic acid, also found in this vegetable, has been studied for its effects on insulin levels.

 

Heart healthy Brussel sprouts help regulate blood sugar, support digestive health, and vision, and help feed the beneficial gut bacteria. They are important for mood, inflammation, and immunity. Their sulphur content helps reduce ulcer risk by limiting H. Pylori overgrowth. One of these sulphur compounds, glucosinolates, has been researched for its anti-cancer properties. Brussel sprouts have been shown to reduce the risk of many types of cancers, including breast, skin, and prostate.

 

Generally, in season during the fall and winter months, roasted, grilled, steamed, or stir fried in extra virgin olive oil with sea salt and garlic, they make a delicious addition to any meal. Avoid boiling or overcooking as this may release the sulphuric “rotten egg” smell. Try sautéing Brussel sprouts in butter. Add 1/2 of a fresh lime squeezed onto the cooked sprouts followed by salt & pepper and enjoy!

 

Roasted Balsamic and Honey Brussel Sprouts & Sweet PotatoOrganic Brussel Sprouts Reciepe

  • 1 lb organic Brussel sprouts, trimmed
  • 2-3 organic sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 5-6 organic extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt & pepper to taste

 

Combine: (to taste)

  • 2 tbsp of your favourite organic balsamic vinegar
  • 3-4 tbsp organic honey
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Combine sweet potatoes, Brussel sprouts, olive oil, salt & pepper; coat evenly
  3. Spread vegetables onto the baking sheet
  4. Roast in the preheated oven until browned, about 30-45 minutes
  5. Remove from oven and drizzle with honey & balsamic vinegar mixture

                                                        ENJOY!

Gilda By Line11