earth

A-Z HEALTH

“For the love of”-GARLIC!

Garlic. It’s a staple in cooking world-wide. It’s one of the most common, easily accessible, delicious, nutritious and potent herbs on earth.

Garlic is capable of many things. As an immune boosting herb, it has the ability to affect our organs involved in immunity in such a way, that our bodies can produce more immune boosting cells, increase the activity level of existing cells, or both. Hence, why our elders would say “eat more garlic” when we suffer with cold/flu symptoms.

Not only will immune boosting garlic reduce cold/flu symptoms and potentially help us avoid them in the first place, but garlic can help rid our bodies of parasites, lower blood pressure, and aid in reducing risk of cardiovascular type dis-ease. The list goes on…purifying the blood, detoxifying through lymph and the rest of the body, lower the blood clotting factor.

Let’s talk antioxidants. What do they do? Combat free radicals, that’s what. Why is that awesome? Because a free radical is an unstable molecule that can cause irritation and breakdown of our tissues unless they are neutralized by antioxidants in the body. Garlic is just one of those antioxidants.

Garlic gives us anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties. It’s been used as a supplemental herb for more than boosting immunity. There’s more garlic has been used for; anti-ageing, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, circulatory aid, energy boosting, immune support, and on a spiritual level, century old tales tell us that, in theory, garlic keeps away evil spirits (or any spirits for that matter). Hollywood has certainly brought these stories to life!

So eat your garlic! Cook with it, use it raw, source organic, local, good quality stuff. Keep some on hand to ward away those spirits, and most importantly, live long and strong!

A-Z HEALTH

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F-is for...FIG!

Sweet, mildly fragrant, soft, and rich in colour, figs are a powerful and useful fruit. They pack an amazing amount of nutrients; high amounts of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, fiber, sulphur, many B vitamins, copper, zinc, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin E and even small amounts of lipids (fats) and amino acids (protein). Because of the high calcium content of figs, they are known to help maintain strong bones. Figs also have a reputation for being able to kill bacteria and roundworms in the body, and they are useful for things like aiding digestion, hemorrhoids, constipation and lowering blood cholesterol. These gems boost immunity and help ease coughs, hoarseness, as well as ease symptoms of respiratory and lung disorders. Did you digest all of that? Yeah-it’s a lot for one fruit!

{RECIPE}

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THE INGREDIENTS 6 beautiful, ripe figs 2 oz cheese, like brie, goat or other (approx.) balsamic reduction or honey (to drizzle) small handful of pistachios

THE HOW TO

To start, place the oven rack in the middle position and turn your oven to broil. Cut the cheese into small pieces. Wash the figs and cut off the very tips. Cut a cross about one-third of the way down the fig. Open it up slightly and place a piece of cheese inside. Ripe figs are quite delicate, so make sure to be gentle with them. Place each fig onto a parchment-lined baking tray and into the oven. Broil for about 2-3 minutes or until the cheese fully melts. To serve, place onto a platter and drizzle with a balsamic reduction (or a quality, aged balsamic vinegar), or honey. Top with pistachios. These delicious figs are amazing served with lightly toasted crostini. Enjoy with gratitude!

-Lise Johnson

A-Z HEALTH

D IS FOR SUNSHINE

Vitamin D. Are you getting enough? It's something that most people are deficient in. It is the vitamin that requires such a great deal of whole-body participation for it to be converted into what's known as vitamin D3, the most active form and best utilized by the body. The skin, bloodstream , liver, and kidneys all contribute to the transformation of the fully active form, D3.

It all starts with our skin, and the sun. Vitamin D is actually manufactured in our skin when it comes into contact with the u.v. light in the sun's rays. Hence, the name "sunshine vitamin" (in case you've not heard the reference before). From the skin, it's then sent to the liver for conversion, and then furthermore, to the kidneys. So, really, vitamin D is more like a hormone than a vitamin. This is because it's produced by one part of the body (skin) and released into the blood to affect other tissues (the bones).

Wintertime, dark skies, smog and darkly pigmented skin can reduce our bodies production of this vitamin.

Vitamin D helps a number of bodily functions. It helps regulate calcium metabolism and normal calcification of the bones.  Ladies, this is especially important for us, as we get older, since the most we can do after a certain age is maintain our bone integrity.  Vitamin D helps increase the absorption of calcium from the gut, decrease excretion from the kidneys (thats right, we loose it through excretion), can stimulate re-absorption of calcium and phosphorus from bone, and support minerals in teeth. On the other hand, if D is low, blood levels of calcium and phosphorous decrease, our body will pull those minerals from the bones, creating weak, demineralized bones.  Blood calcium is very important in connection with the parathyroid glands. If you have further questions regarding this, it's best to see your holistic nutritional consultant for advise.

If you are currently taking a calcium vitamin without vitamin D3, it's probably not doing you much good unless you get a lot of sun which can also have it's cons. So what's the ideal bone support? Calcium and magnesium, which should be taken in a 2:1 ratio, with vitamin D together, is probably the best. Typically you can buy a cal/mag supplement and it will come in the right ratio. Often, it will include vitamin D, making it an easy supplement to add to your regime.

A-to-the-D. One final point. This is a topic on it's own, but you can pick up an amazing Weston. A. Price book for an in depth explanation as to why. Just to put it simply though, Vitamin D is best utilized by the body with vitamin A.  They are both fat-soluble vitamins that work synergistically together. They long for each other. Vitamin A food sources include, but are not limited to; high quality fish oils, good quality dairy products if tolerated (if not tolerated, perhaps fermented versions of dairy). Green and yellow fruit and veggies are the best sources of beta carotene (the water soluble co-factor). If your liver is healthy, it will have the ability to convert beta carotene into the active form of vitamin A (retinol).

Do the D. Get ample, safe exposure to sun, and supplement if necessary. Always consult your health practitioner before doing so. Love your liver, so that it can love you back, and have a bright, bright sunshiny day!

Earth Day : 5 Ways to Make a Difference.

Rockies, Bow Falls, Banff  

HAPPY EARTH DAY! 

Loving our community & environment is a value that Esme Beauty Bar rallies behind & a subject we are always seeking more knowledge on. We believe in continually trying to decrease our impact on this beautiful planet that we've been given.

10's of millions participate in Earth Day events & activities each year - bringing knowledge and a call to action against pollution, pesticides, oil spills, global warming & deforestation. At times many of us don't get involved because we simply feel too small to actually be able to make any positive impact on something as huge as our PLANET - but there are some very simple & easy ways you can actually help out in a big way.

Earth Day is the perfect time to personally pledge to start a new good habit!

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Here are 5 easy ways you can start loving your planet TODAY: 

1. CONSUME LESS: Our fascination with throwaway packaging and plastic is harming wildlife, the ocean and maybe even ourselves. To decrease waste, purchase durable, long-lasting products that can be reused, refilled or recharged. If you do use disposables, choose those made with recycled/recyclable materials. Just CONSUME LESS STUFF.

2.BECOME A PICKY EATER: Our food system is broken. Industrial agriculture is polluting water, destroying habitat and harming our health. The livestock sector alone contributes to climate change at least as much as all trucks, cars and planes combined! But you can fight back, starting in your own kitchen. Make a personal commitment to help change our food system – from starting a garden, to eating less (or no) meat. (greenpeace.org)

Organic agriculture limits input of toxic and persistent chemicals in the air, soil and water…and thus in farm workers and your own family. (wholefoodsmarket.com)

3.FLIP THE SWITCH: The most simple step of all. Just turn your lights off - and while you are at it - unplug appliances while not in use.

4.WATCH THE WATER: Taking a shower uses less water than filling a bathtub, and a water-conserving shower head is even better! Keep a big pitcher under the faucet while waiting for the water to warm and use that water for your thirsty plants.

5.BELIVE IN THE POWER OF PEOPLE TO MAKE CHANGE:  Get involved - in your neighborhood, city - in the world around you! Believe and encourage others that each of us has the power to make the world a little better.