nutrition

Beauty Superfood: Vitamin C

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When it comes to youthful, radiant & healthy skin - Vitamin C is the answer! Vitamin C is a powerful beauty superfood that nourishes the skin to prevent signs of aging and keeps the skin healthy, vibrant & glowing! Vitamin C is a water soluble nutrient that our bodies cannot produce, therefore Vitamin C is an essential part of our daily diet. If eating a balanced, whole foods diet, you will likely be able to get adequate amounts of Vitamin C daily from the food you eat (this is what we recommend). However, there is also the option to use a natural supplement - this can be expensive and isn't really necessary.

Nourishing Benefits of Vitamin C:

  • Powerful antioxidant benefits - Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to fight damage caused by free radicals (in the foods we may eat and our environment). Free radicals can cause damage to the bodies cells and speed up signs of aging - antioxidants are important for nourishing our bodies and our skin!
  • Heals the skin - Vitamin C helps to heal and replenish the skin from acne-related blemishes.
  • Supports skin integrity - Vitamin C plays a critical role in the formation of collagen and collagen helps to give the skin its firmness and even tone. Increasing your Vitamin C intake (within a healthy range), will help the body to produce collagen resulting in healthy skin, hair and nails.
  • Helps iron absorption - as females, many of us have low(er) levels of iron, which can cause anemia and low energy. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron from our food, when we eat iron-rich and Vitamin C rich foods at the same time.

Top 10 Vitamin C rich foods: oranges, red peppers, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, strawberries, guava, grapefruit, kiwi and green peppers

Our advice: limit your intake of juice as a source of Vitamin C. Juice is loaded with natural sugars which can cause our blood sugar to spike and our body in unable to digest that much fructose at any given time.

Here's to healthy, glowing skin!

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!

10 Tips for Beautiful Skin

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You may have seen on our website that ESME, in old french, means "esteemed" or "loved" - and this is what we're all about at ESME beautiful. To us, beauty is about esteem, self-esteem, and love. Which is why through our services and products, we aim to make you feel beautiful. And today on the blog we are talking all about beautiful skin. Did you know that the skin is the bodies largest organ? Since we can absorb the the products we put on topically, it is important to be picky of what we are using. Just as we recommend with food, steer clear of ingredients you cannot pronounce and use natural & organic products, where possible. We also recommend that regular facials are part of your beauty routine. BUT...we can only nourish our skin so much with external practices and products. It is equally important that we nourish our bodies from the inside, out. Nutrition for beauty means cutting some foods out, while adding in some beauty superfoods (we promise its nothing too extreme or restrictive).Beauty foods are often high in antioxidants, low in sugar and very hydrating.

Here are 10 tips to nourish your skin from the inside, out:

  1. Cut out all refined sugar. Refined sugar spikes your insulin levels, causing an increase of inflammation in the body (and on your skin). Inflammation is responsible for breaking down collagen and elastin, which keep your skin tight and wrinkle-free.
  2. Add leafy greens to each meal. The vitamins and minerals in leafy greens like kale, spinach, parsley and cilantro are essential to detoxify the body. Boost your smoothies and salads with extra kale (for antioxidant benefits) and spinach (good source of omega-3s, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and other vitamins).
  3. Drink a glass of lemon water each morning. Warm lemon water boosts your metabolism and detoxifies the body. Contrary to popular belief, lemons are alkaline and help to balance the pH levels in your body (which in turn, reduces skin inflammation and breakouts). Check out this blog post on the top benefits of lemon water.
  4. Make your midday snack a healthy one. We recommend having sliced cucumbers, carrots and celery on hand to eat with healthy dips like hummus and/or nut butter. Cucumbers are especially good for your skin as they are hydrating and nourishing (great for your skin from the inside and topically).
  5. Amp up your parsley and cilantro. Parsley is great for supporting the liver & kidney, boosts metabolism and effectively removes toxins from the body. Parsley is great to add into smoothies, juice or sprinkled on salad. On the other hand, cilantro is rich in antioxidants and helps to naturally cleanse the body. If you like cilantro, add to smoothies, juice, salads and dips.
  6. Stay off soy. Soy is full of phytoestrogens that can cause breakouts on your skin. You may notice these hormonal blemishes around your mouth, jaw line and chin.
  7. Cut the coffee. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means that too much will dehydrate your body. Signs of dehydration include headaches, lack of energy and under eye circles. For many people, drinking coffee is a habit. Try swapping your morning coffee with green tea. Green tea does contain a small amount of caffeine but it green tea is also high in wrinkle-fighting antioxidants.
  8. Cut out all processed foods & dairy. Processed foods are often filled with chemicals which can cause inflammation in the body and breakouts on your skin. Try to eat as natural as possible and limit your intake of packaged foods. If buying packaged foods, make sure you can pronounce all of the ingredients and aim for foods with less than 5 ingredients. Many people are allergic, sensitive or intolerant to dairy. If this is you, dairy may cause havoc on your skin through inflammation, breakouts or small red bumps / skin irritation. Cut dairy out for a couple of weeks and observe any changes.
  9. Drink 8-10 cups of water every day. Being dehydrated can cause irritated skin, a slowed metabolism and an increased appetite. Ensure your body is hydrated and drink 8-10 cups of water each day, throughout the whole day. If you are active, drink more water to account for water lost through sweat.
  10. Eat lots of healthy fats. Especially avocados, your skin will thank you! Avocados are full of moisturizing monosaturated fats, are a great source of antioxidants. The antioxidants in avocados help to protect your skin from damage causing fine lines and wrinkles. Tip: if you have avocados that are soft - peel, remove the pit and slice into quarters. Freeze and add to smoothies. 
What beauty swaps are you going to make this week?
 
[AUTHOR: BECCA CORNWALL]

5 Reasons to Drink Warm Lemon Water

When it comes to healthy habits, its all about ease, simplicity and consistency.  For me, that means that my healthy routines are all about what can most easily be incorporated and what will do the most for my body (i.e. smallest amount of effort for the biggest reward). If I don't feel and/or see a positive shift, I won't keep doing it (I don't have time for that and I doubt that you do either). With that being said, warm lemon water is my tried and true health habit that I commit to EVERY morning. It's one healthy habit that I recommend to everyone! Warm lemon water is easy to incorporate and has SO many health benefits. Below are five reasons to start drinking warm lemon water:

  • One:  Whole body detoxification. Drinking warm lemon water effectively detoxifies the liver and the liver is the bodies primary organ for detoxification. When the liver is functioning optimally, the body is able to purge excess toxins and reduce inflammation. Also, drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning wakes up your digestive fire to prime your body to optimal digestion all day long.
  • Two: Boosts your immune system. Lemons are high in Vitamin C, a key vitamin needed for immunity.
  • Three: Balances your pH levels. Lemons are an alkaline food. Yes, on their own, lemons are highly acidic but in our bodies, lemons have an alkaline effect. Alkaline diets are great at reducing inflammation in the body.
  • Four: Helps with weight loss. When the body is out of balance, it becomes increasingly more difficult to lose weight. Lemons help to restore balance in the body - by regulating the pH levels and detoxifying any excess toxins.
  • Five: Clears skin. As mentioned above, lemons are high in vitamin C which helps to reduce and prevent wrinkles and blemishes. Plus, lemons help to detoxify the blood which also has a positive effect on your skin (less toxins inside the body = less breakouts).

Instead of having a cup of coffee as soon as you get out of bed, make yourself a glass of warm lemon water (...you can have your coffee after). In addition to the benefits listed above, enjoying warm lemon water in the morning is very hydrating (and we need that after a good nights sleep). Lemon water is simple to make but in order to maximize the nutritional benefits of lemon, don't use boiling water! If the water is boiling (or even just too hot) you will actually destroy some of the nutritional properties of the lemon and as a result, reduce the health benefit in your body. So here's exactly what you need to do:

  1. Bring 2/3 cup water to a boil.
  2. In a mug combine 2/3 cup boiling water and 1/3 cup room temperature water (filtered is best, if possible).
  3. Add lemon slices or juice of 1/2 lemon.
  4. Enjoy on an empty stomach and feel great!

Tip: Once you finish your warm lemon water, rinse your mouth with filtered water to ensure the acidity of the lemon doesn't damage the enamel on your teeth.

[AUTHOR: BECCA CORNWALL]

[Cleanse + Detox ] : Post-Stampede

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Well Calgarians, the long, wet week of stampeding has come to a close.

Many of us are now feeling the need for a cleanse. Not just of the body, but the body-mind-spirit.

When you hear the word cleanse-what does it mean to you? For some, it's a liquid diet. For some, it's fasting. For some, it's eating only clean foods or avoiding sugar.  For others it's just getting back to basics.

"Cleanse" is really a vague term.  What works for one person does not always work for the next. We are all biochemically unique, and have different dietary and lifestyle requirements.

Depending on your current situation, the extremeness of the cleanse you choose, is a very important consideration. Often, a person can become sick and experience many symptoms during a cleanse; headache, withdrawal, nausea, exhaustion, and more. This is a good indication that your body is not quite ready for the cleanse of choice. On the other hand, depending on toxicity level, these symptoms may be experienced for short periods of time.

Typically, when detoxing, our bodies are going to want to eliminate toxins. Hence, some symptoms. However, it doesn't necessarily have to be so painful. Slow steps in the right direction, and ensuring your body is prepared for such a detox is key!

{Post Stampede Cleanse}

Esme invites you to take a journey with our holistic nutritionist, Lise, as she guides you onto a path that is your own. One of self-love, ownership, freedom and vitality. With a full nutritional assessment, she'll be able to help you determine where your body is at-perhaps cleanse-ready, or maybe with a few adjustments first to prepare the body. These adjustments may be necessary to set yourself up for better success to cleanse. (All nutritional concerns will be addressed as well.)

Also looked at in detail during this cleanse, is the spiritual connection to health. Dealing with any blockages will allow cleansing and clearing to take place. The spiritual connection to our physical health is real!

Psst…(Some healthy snacks and organic cold pressed juices will be sent home with you to help set you up for success.)

For more details, contact Esme

403 264 5355

info@esmebeautiful.com

[Recipe] : Cilantro & Lime Detox Smoothie

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I am constantly looking for new healthy smoothie recipes...because I - personally - am not a huge smoothie lover. However, I wish so badly that I was. They are jam-packed with healthy & nutritional ingredients & I don't know about you - but I love the idea of covering a lot of bases with one big gulp.  Whether you enjoy it after a workout, as a snack or as a detox tool - this recipe from Elena of "As Easy as Apple Pie"  is packed FULL of healthy & delicious goodness.

Here are some of her notes that sold me on this one:

Cilantro (coriander) binds to heavy metals and helps remove them from your body. Lime juice helps to cleanse and detox your liver. Ginger is a fantastic digestive aid, proper digestion is important for elimination of toxins.

Not only does this smoothie helps you detox, it’s also loaded with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Based on rough calculations, it has 70 calories and it’s very high in dietary fibers, manganese, Vitamin A, C and B6.

Since mango is very sweet, there is no need to add extra sugar.

The combination of lime, cilantro and ginger gives this smoothie a refreshing zing.

Cilantro-Green-Smoothie-ingredients

INGREDIENTS

160 ml (2/3 cup) water, cold 30 grams (1 cup packed) baby spinach 10 grams (1/4 cup packed) fresh cilantro leaves 1 small mango, peeled,cored and diced 1 green apple, cored and sliced (but not peeled) the juice of 1 lime 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated 1 teaspoon chia powder

INSTRUCTIONS

Blend the baby spinach, cilantro and water until smooth. Add the mango, apple, lime juice, ginger and blend again. Pour it into a glass and sprinkle some chia powder on top before serving.

Enjoy your detox green smoothie!

[AUTHOR : Bekah Glass]

 

 

5 Energy Enhancing Supplements

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In this day & age - most of us are energy addicts.

How refreshing would it be to totally delete that feeling of "I'm a little tired - I need an energy drink or a huge coffee ASAP or I absolutely cannot function"?

Putting too much unnatural focus on your personal energy levels can be very toxic for your mind & body. It leads to unnecessary stress, triggers a negative mood, & makes some of us grab beautifully marketed cans of energy with caffeine levels that can cause headache, insomnia, nervousness and a rapid heartbeat. More serious side effects from consuming excessive caffeine include arrhythmia, vomiting, seizures, disrupted sleep patterns and increased blood pressure.

But - yes, we ALL get truly sluggish & need a boost of energy every now & then.

In addition to your personal nutritional intake, sleeping patterns & exercise - here are 5 natural ways to boost your energy levels without the jitters and health risks:

1. B VITAMINS - this particular group of vitamins helps us process food into energy, form red blood cells. Also - if we don't get enough of the B vitamin family - a major cause is FATIGUE.

2.OMEGA 3s - Research says that if you don't get enough omega-3s - you are likely to struggle with fatigue & mental health issues.

3.PROBIOTICS - Taking a high-quality probiotic daily protects your gut health, which keeps things moving in your body (if things are not moving...you are extra tired).

4.HERBAL ADAPTOGENS - Some herbs are known to assist the body in dealing with stress, anxiety & other imbalances. Adaptogens such as maca, ashwagandha, panax ginseng, & rhodiola can also assist with energy levels. The use of herbal adaptogens - however- can get complex & overwhelming, so it's best to seek advice from a holistic health care professional.

5. MULTIVITAMIN & MINERAL SUPPLEMENTS - Choose a high-quality vitamin with a spectrum of foundational vitamins to fill in your nutritional & mineral gaps. Be sure to watch your iron & magnesium levels - if there is a deficiency - fatigue is a sure sign.

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[  AUTHOR  : Bekah Glass  ]

Mindful Eating & Digestion

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Mindful eating means that when, where, how, and with whom we eat with is important. Our parasympathetic division of the nervous system has some control over how well we digest food. If we are stressed, or eating on the go, not enjoying the company, and not allowing our body to "rest and digest," our digestive system becomes impaired.

Emotions. Emotions effect digestion just as stress does. It is best not to eat in times of emotional upset. This can be difficult for many of us, but when digestion is impaired due to stress, we cannot assimilate nutrients, and symptoms can begin to occur.

Chew your food well. Chewing it and breaking down food as much as possible relieves stress on the digestive tract. We have digestive juices in our mouths to aid in the breakdown process, so really take your time with this step.

Gratitude and having a reflective state of mind at each meal goes a long way with food, as does visualizing the good things that the nutrients are doing in our body. Slowing down is key.

Optimal digestion can enrich your life in ways such as weight management, improved mood, clear train of thought, consistent bowel movements, skin health, increased energy and vitality, and much more.

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[  AUTHOR : Lise Marie-Johnson  ]

Esme Holistic Nutrition The information on this site is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

[ Q&A ] : JUICE BECAUSE Owners Leigh & Elisa

DSC04583 Juice Because is Calgary's newest fresh-pressed juicery, setting itself apart with unique flavour combinations, gorgeous glass-bottled packaging, and a quirky but personal way of naming each juice - with real people names (i.e. "Norman", "Betty" or "Hank").

Juice Because was born out of the idea that you don't need a reason to do something good for yourself. They strongly believe that choosing a healthy option shouldn't be a luxury, it should be part of your everyday.

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ESME LIFE caught up with the plant-powered friend duo that co-own Juice Because, Leigh Gibney & Elisa Boyd, to find out how they personally keep a healthy & balanced lifestyle while passionately sharing the gospel of juicing as new business owners.

{  Leigh Gibney (L) & Elisa Boyd (R) : Juice Because Co-Owners  }

 

3 words to describe the core values of the Juice Because company:   "Lifestyle, Education + Quality."

Besides juicing - name 3 ways you stay healthy?   "Working out, fresh air, & escaping to our cabins."

Fave nail colour?   "Well, it changes with the season, right now we're both obsessed with pastels."

Fave way to pamper yourself?   "Wine + dinner out with friends, a great massage .... mini getaways with our guys."

Any beauty essentials?   "Face cream and MORE face cream."

How do you stay balanced as new business owners?    "what balance??"

What is playing in your headphones?     "Anything tropical like kygo."

How did you you choose the gorgeous packaging/design for Juice Because?    "Glass bottles were always something we wanted for Juice Because. If we are going to make delicious nutrient dense juice we wanted to put it on a bottle that matched that quality. As for design we wanted our bottles to be like an accessory. The label is simple and clean and the logo a cool geometric play on a lemon."

 

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Which juice should we choose for:

Energy?   Belle Weight loss? Joan Hangover? Judy Sweet tooth craving?    Betty Breakfast replacement?    Norman

For a more detailed glimpse into juicing info & lingo - or even a clear definition of exactly what cold-pressed juice is or why you might consider trying a cleanse yourself - visit the Juice Because website HERE

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[ Author : Bekah Glass ]

Water & Vitality 101

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I can not express enough the importance of drinking water! Yes, it's basic, and seemingly obvious, but how much water we do or do not consume on a daily basis, impacts our bodies in many different ways. I always suggest this as the first step to approaching a healthy lifestyle. The body needs water to survive and when the body is dehydrated that it starts to become unhealthy. Hydrate, and the body responds.

Quickly.

Water is the primary component of all the bodily fluids- blood, lymph, digestive juices, urine, tears, and sweat. Water is involved in almost every bodily function: circulation, digestion, absorption, and elimination of wastes, to name a few. Water carries the electrolytes, mineral salts that help convey electrical currents in the body; the major minerals that make up these salts are calcium, chloride, magnesium, potassium, and sodium.

Water requirements vary greatly from person to person. The climate in which we live, our activity level, and our diet influence our need for water.

A common recommended that you drink 8-8oz glasses of water a day. Water ideally needs to be pure, and free of chemicals like chlorine and fluoride, as they are hormone disruptors. Drinking pure water is clean, but is missing necessary minerals that are essential to health, therefore, ensuring a whole foods diet rich in vitamins and minerals is a must.

Simple water when it's pure and free of contaminants is truly nourishing and improves health. A steady dose of 8 glasses of water a day, will:

* Aid in Weight Loss * Improve Your Energy * Increase Your Mental and Physical Performance * Remove Toxins & Waste Products from your body through elimination * Keep Skin Healthy and Glowing * Reduce Headaches and Dizziness * Allow for proper Digestion * Help to keep you more Alkaline *Transport vital nutrients throughout the body

In addition to transporting vital nutrients, water regulates the body’s temperature, allows for easier digestion, lubricates the joints, helps eliminate wastes and keeps skin healthy, youthful and attractive. Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration, which may result in frequent headaches, general fatigue, dizziness, constipation and impaired memory and vision. A shortage of water also will result in excess water weight, as too little H2O causes our bodies to store water outside of our cells, making us feel bloated and heavy.

Drinking plenty of water can help you loose or maintain a healthy weight, too. Water is calorie-free, suppresses the appetite naturally and helps metabolize fat. Without enough water, your kidneys cannot function properly, which forces them to send some of their workload to your liver. Since one of the liver’s main functions is to metabolize stored fat, the added work from the kidneys means that the liver burns less fat so that more fat remains on the body – usually on the waist, hips and thighs.

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Tips for Drinking Water :  It can be tough to remember to drink enough water every day, but it also can be tough to bounce back from the effects of being even mildly dehydrated. So here are a few easy tips to help you reach your optimum water intake every day:

1. Your body is naturally thirsty in the morning. To jumpstart your water requirements for the day drink at least a glass of water first thing. If you have a sluggish digestive system, adding lemon is best done in the morning on an empty stomach upon rising. It will stimulate digestion which is a great way to start the day! 2. Don't wait until you're thirsty to have a drink – you are already dehydrated if you feel thirsty. 3. To establish a habit of drinking water and keep a bottle of water with you at all times. 4. Add lemon, lime, or berries to water if you need a little flavor. 5. Keep in mind that caffeinated drinks are diuretics. You will need to drink extra water to compensate for the water loss through the caffeinated drinks you consume. 6. Only drink small amounts of water with meals. Consume lots of water throughout the day, and ideally drink water an hour before or after a meal. Water during meals, will dilute the enzymes found in food and the absorption will be inhibited or slowed.

[  Author : Lise-Marie Johnson , R.H.N Holistic Nutritionist  ]

 

 

[ Esme Holistic Nutrition ] The information on this site is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

[ Recipe ] : Avocado Ranch Dressing

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   INGREDIENTS:

• 1 cup goat milk kefir (or dairy of choice)

• 2 tablespoons chopped scallions

• 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

• 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

• 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill

• 2 teaspoons roasted garlic (fresh garlic will be less sweet and stronger)

• 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

• cracked black pepper and salt to taste

• 2 very ripe avocados

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DIRECTIONS:

In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the avocados and blend well with a wire whisk.

Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour to let the flavors marry.

1. Mash the avocados just before serving and mix into the dressing.

2. Refrigerate any remaining dressing. (Dressing will keep for 3–5 days without the avocado & 1-2 days with avocado).