Feb
06

Stay Cool: The Healing Power of Cold

by Nina Vachkova

I was born in a small town in the mountains, where winter lasts seven months of the year (we used to joke about only having two seasons each year: winter and a hell-of-a-winter), and I lived there for 25 years of my life. Winter is my favorite season! I don’t really mind being cold, I actually prefer it over crazy high summer temperatures. I would much rather put on two more pairs of socks and a sweater than drown in my own sweat in the summer heat, unable to take off anything more. The only thing I really despise is cold water. I would much rather stand naked in a pile of snow than brush my teeth using cold water (I know snow is wet as well, but it is not the same thing!). So when I learned about the health benefits of ice cold baths and showers, I thought to myself: why does it always have to be something uncomfortable? Read the rest of this post

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Jan
24

Maca Root – Peruvian Treasure

by Nina Vachkova

Maca root (Lepidium Meyenii) grows high in the Andes of Peru, as high as 11,000 feet above sea level. It is one of the oldest and most resilient plants on the planet. It grows in places where no other plants survive, because of extreme climatic conditions in high altitudes. This member of the brassica family has long leaves around 15cm tall, the root itself looks very much like beetroot, and is usually 2-8 cm. There are a few botanical varieties of maca that differ in color of the root, from white, to pale pink, grey, purple, yellow, or even black. Some look more like potatoes, some are more similar to beets or radishes. The name Maca comes from the native word Ma-ca, meaning food from the highlands that gives strength. Maca has been used by native Peruvians for thousands of years – it can be documented back to around 3800 B.C. and it was cultivated for both its nutritional and medicinal value. Much later, in 1549 A.D., the Spanish explorer Captain de Soto received Maca as a gift from the Peruvians and brought it to Europe. Read the rest of this post

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Jan
24

Chlorella Power

by Nina Vachkova

Green supplements have been growing in popularity since the mid-1980s. It is a wonderful thing that people have started paying more attention to the origin of their food and supplements, and that they are turning to natural sources more often, prioritizing quality over price. Words like superfoods, organic, or 100% natural might seem like buzzwords and marketing strategies, but there is some true healing magic to natural, bio-available nutrients. Commercial supplements are often full of unnecessary ingredients like artificial sweeteners, fillers, colorings, or just gluten and soy (these, even though perfectly natural, are not a healthy option). The word superfood is randomly thrown around and misused to label the newest food-lab creation as something miraculous. We also learned about the health benefits of algae. Chlorella carries all three labels on its shoulders: it is a common ingredient in greens supplements, a superfood, and an algae. Some people praise and swear by it, while others say it is just a scam, but this is generally by those uncomfortable with anything outside of the bubble of modern western medicine. Read the rest of this post

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Jan
24

When Food Hurts

by Nina Vachkova

Maybe you have jokingly said that you are allergic to some particular vegetable you dislike, an activity (or duty) you despise, or even a person you can’t stand. But when it comes to food, the word allergy should not be taken lightly. It is also very important to understand the difference between allergy and intolerance. These two are not the same, even though some people use them interchangeably. If you suffer from any negative reaction to food, it is very important to properly diagnose the problem. Are you allergic? Or is it just food poisoning? Each case requires a different approach and a different management strategy. Let’s take a look at four abnormal food reactions you might experience – allergy, intolerance, sensitivity, food poisoning, and food aversion. Read the rest of this post

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Jan
24

Herb Power: Parsley

by Nina Vachkova

Herbs don’t just add a boost of flavor to our dishes, some of these powerful plants have significant health benefits. They are full of nutrients and potent natural compounds that help to heal, boost immunity. and even act as antihistamines. Parsley is one of these gifts of nature. Whether you choose to use the root (aka parsnip) or the leafy top, you will receive a lot more than just a flavor boost for your soup, salad, or smoothie. Root vegetables are known for their health benefits, red beets and carrots probably being the most well known, while white parsley root (parsnip) is often overlooked. Today, we are going to examine both parts of parsley – the one hidden under the ground and the aromatic, vitamin-rich leafy part above it. Read the rest of this post

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