Kira

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The Health Benefits of Drinking Tea

Whether it’s a cold winter’s night or a hot summer’s day, sipping on tea can be refreshing and comforting. The health benefits of drinking tea go beyond just a tasty beverage. Research has shown that tea offers numerous health benefits to the body and mind. Tea should be incorporated into your daily vitamin and supplement routine, to help maintain health and balance. Like CBD oil, all tea is NOT created equally. Always make sure that your favorite tea company is only using high quality, premium tea leaves. It is critical when choosing your favorite blend.

What Makes Drinking Tea Healthy?

Not every tea on the shelf is going to offer your body nutrition. The most wholesome and nourishing teas are green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea and “herbal tea”. Herbal Teas are typically a base of one of the above teas mixed with herbs. Here is a list of the potential benefits your body can receive from drinking tea:

ANTIOXIDANTS

Antioxidants are responsible for killing the molecules in our bodies called free radicals. Free radicals can contribute to the aging process. They also play a role in diseases such as cancer, heart conditions and diabetes. Antioxidants prevent or slow down cell damage.

ENERGY BOOSTER

Green and black tea contains caffeine. Consuming too much caffeine can be hard on your organs. Tea provides the pick me up that coffee does, but with a lower dose of caffeine. Too much caffeine can contribute to accelerated heart rate and jitteriness.

LOWERS STRESS

Black tea has been shown to lower cortisol in the body, the hormone responsible for stress. Both green and black teas can have great effects on brain waves, helping you to relax and concentrate.

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY

Many of the compounds found in tea can help reduce inflammation. Studies have shown that drinking tea regularly can help slow down the progression of arthritis. This occurs by blocking pro inflammatory cells before they damage the cartilage.

WEIGHT LOSS

Green tea increases the body’s ability to burn fat and increases your metabolism. It is a natural diuretic, helping to combat fluid retention.

LOWERS CHOLESTEROL

Tea is considered a helpful way to inhibit the absorption of cholesterol from the large intestine. Rooibos tea has been shown to improve your lipid profile. Your lipid profile is the level of cholesterol in your bloodstream.

REDUCES RISK OF STROKE

A compound found in green tea called catechins may provide protection from strokes or heart disease. This specific ingredient is associated with lowering these health risks because catechins contain high levels of antioxidants. Additionally, they are rich in anti inflammatories.

Beneficial Herbs

The payoffs from drinking tea are only enhanced when herbs are added to the formula. When tea is steeped with herbs, flowers, and roots of medicinal plants, there are heightened health rewards. Below are some of the most advantageous herbs to look for in tea combinations:

GINGER

Ginger is amazing for all things that are digestive related. It is extremely effective in alleviating nausea and dizziness. Ginger helps with morning sickness. It is proven to be helpful when dealing with the side effects associated with cancer treatments. In addition, it helps treat indigestion and heartburn and aids in improving many stomach related discomforts.

CHAMOMILE

Chamomile can also be extremely helpful with stomach ailments. It is mostly known for its relaxation properties. It contains an antioxidant that binds with receptors in your brain that help promote a restful sleep and prevent insomnia. Some studies have shown that drinking chamomile tea can reduce stress and anxiety.

PEPPERMINT

Peppermint is a very common flavor in the world of tea. It is most commonly known for its ability to help with digestive issues but it is also antibacterial and antiviral. It is a perfect tea to drink during the cold and flu season. It’s useful for indigestion and heartburn and stomach discomfort. Peppermint is invaluable for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.

HIBISCUS

Hibiscus tea is one of those yummy teas that is delicious when drank cold or warm. Some research has shown that it can help lower high blood pressure and can assist in keeping your liver healthy. There are plenty of antioxidants in hibiscus tea. This increases its ability to fight off free radicals. Because of the aforementioned, it makes it incredibly therapeutic. Drink hibiscus tea when you feel like you may be coming down with a cold, because it’s high in vitamin C.

LEMON BALM

Often referred to as the perfect tea to ease stress and anxiety. Lemon balm is also notorious for assisting with insomnia, indigestion, boosting cognitive function, and helping alleviate menstrual cramps. It contains volatile oils, polyphenols, tannins and flavonoids, among other crucial nutrients. As a result, Lemon Balm promotes a sense of calm throughout the body.

The benefits of drinking tea daily can provide life long health advantages. For thousands of years, tea has brought people together in ceremony, celebration and in healing. Studies have shown that even drinking one cup of tea a day, gives your body a huge dose of necessary antioxidants. It is imperative to shop from tea companies that care about their ingredients and avoid using dangerous additives or “natural” flavors in their combinations. It seems like the best option when shopping for a high quality tea, is to look for non GMO, organic tea companies. That way, you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy your delicious and nutritious cup of healthy tea with the knowledge that what you’re sipping on is exactly the way nature intended it to be!

 

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10 Healthy School Lunch Ideas

Packing a school lunch for your kids everyday is not always an easy task. I want my kids to eat a healthy school lunch with foods that contain protein and vitamins but also taste yummy and have some variety. It drives me nuts when they get home from school and empty out their lunch bag and there’s a half eaten sandwich or wrap and veggies and fruit that were hardly touched because they’re “sick of it”. What a waste of good food! I have looked online and collaborated with other parents that are wanting new variations of the “classic” school lunch, and these are some of my kids favorites:

Beans and Rice

1.
Beans and Rice

Filled with protein, beans and rice can be made the night before with any kind of beans that you have in your pantry. I switch it up and use kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, lentils (actually a legume but amazingly healthy), navy beans etc… I mix the beans together with the rice and put it in a thermos so its warm when lunchtime comes. Sometimes I’ll put shredded cheese in a container so they can pour it over the beans and rice to add an additional tasty flavor to the mix.

Chicken Salad and gluten free crackers

2.
Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is another yummy protein packed lunch idea that you can make in a batch. I make a big tupperware full in the beginning of the week and pack it in a container with a side of gluten free crackers. If there are any leftovers the next day, I’ll put it in a Gluten Free wrap with some spinach, and some healthy chips on the side, and there is typically nothing left but crumbs after school!

Salami and String cheese

3.
String Cheese and Salami

I know this may sound weird, but with a picky eater, this lunch idea makes it easier to get protein AND vitamins into her belly. Cheese contains protein, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B12, among others, and it sufficiently fills the belly. I wrap the salami (I only get deli meat that contains no nitrates and is from a company that raises their animals in a humane way) around the string cheese and hold it together with toothpicks. This is a fun way for your kids to eat their lunch.

Hummus and cucumber wrap

4.
Hummus and Cucumber Wrap

Just spread the hummus on a tortilla and cut up cucumbers and spread them around on top of the hummus. I add a tiny bit of salt and wrap it up. We eat A LOT of hummus in our house. Hummus has a high content of essential minerals as well as vitamins C, B6, E, folate and protein too. Easy and nutritious and hummus is diverse and can be eaten for lunch in many different variations.

Yogurt, Fruit and Granola

5.
Yogurt, Granola, and Fruit

Pack your kids favorite flavor of yogurt in a container. (Be sure to look at the amount of sugar in the yogurt that you buy and look for the organic varieties to avoid growth hormones and preservatives.) In a separate container pack some granola and in another dish, add cut up fresh fruit. Then they can put everything together at lunch and enjoy a healthy parfait!

ground turkey paleo chili

6.
Chili

My kids love chili so I make a big pot every so often with ground turkey (which has less saturated fat than ground beef) and an array of beans and veggies. I put it in a thermos for their lunch and pack a side of shredded cheese for them to pour over it. Sometimes I’ll add some tortilla chips in a separate container to be used as a fork!

almond Milk and Jelly on Gluten free Bread

7.
Nut Butter and Jelly (or Honey)

Nut butters can be chock full of sugar and hydrogenated oils, so look for brands that have very few ingredients aside from the nuts. I spread the nut butter (almond or peanut in my house) on gluten-free bread and add a bit of organic strawberry jelly or raw honey, and it’s simple and straightforward. Nuts contain protein, fiber and, if your choice is almond butter, (healthier than peanut butter) it’s full of heart healthy fats. Nut butters are great in a small container in the lunch bag, along with sliced apples or celery and a plastic knife for spreading.

Lettuce Wrap

8.
Lettuce Wraps

Simple and satisfying. Romaine lettuce, a slice of cheese, and a slice or 2 of turkey. I usually make a few to put in lunches because without the bread or tortilla, more turkey is needed to fill the belly. Adding carrot or pepper slices to the wrap adds some additional nutrients to the mix.

Hard Boiled Egg

9.
Hard Boiled Eggs

Not much to explain here. Eggs have potassium, iron, zinc, as well as close to 7 grams of protein in one egg. Great fuel for a growing body.

Smotthie

10.
Fruit and Coconut Yogurt Smoothie

This may seem like an odd choice for a lunch box, but my kids will ask for this if it has been too long since I have packed it. Having a bullet blender makes it fast and easy to clean up. This has three ingredients: Organic frozen berry medley, 1/2 of a banana, 1/2 a cup of unsweetened coconut yogurt topped off (just covering the top of the concoction) with almond milk, coconut milk or cow’s milk. I put it in a small jelly ball jar. The lids have not failed me yet. I also include a fun straw to go with it,

Many parents struggle trying to find nutritious food choices that their kids will actually enjoy eating. There are so many wonderful foods that can be fun, tasty and healthful and that offer kids what they need nutritionally to get through a long day at school. School lunch doesn’t have to be boring or mundane. These suggestions can make packing your kids lunches easier and less stressful and it’s a great feeling to look at their lunch bag at the end of the day and find nothing but empty containers!

6 Natural Remedies to Build Immunity & Fight Flu

Anyone that has had the flu knows that it’s horrific. It’s debilitating and painful and seemingly endless. Although having the flu strengthens the immune system and rids the body of toxins, it wreaks havoc on your vitality and affects almost every organ. Personally, I go all out to prevent the flu in my home, for my family, and for myself. I have a few absolute go to’s that help to keep us healthy throughout flu season.

1.

Elderberry Syrup-

This is my all time favorite preventative. There are studies that say that Elderberry inhibits some strains of the flu and shortens the duration, if already exposed. It helps to get rid of mucous, which causes coughing, and anyone that has had the flu knows how much stress coughing puts on your whole body, when you have the flu. We take Elderberry almost everyday during flu season and many times throughout the day when we get sick.

2.

Kick Ass Immune-

This powerful and effective tincture combination packs a punch with its amazing immune boosting herbs. I take a dropperful everyday during the winter months, as do my kids, and double that dosage when we are feeling something coming on. There is also a variation of this tincture called Kick It Immune, made with glycerin, specifically for children.

3.

Thieves Oil-

This strong and potent essential oil is almost always circulating from my diffuser during the fall and winter. Not only does it smell good but it also contains antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties. I mix it with a carrier oil and rub it on the bottoms of my kids feet and on their chest when they are struggling with a cough that won’t quit. I spray it on their pillow, too, before bed, to help kick their immunity into high gear while they sleep.

4.

Probiotics-

Many people don’t know that gut health and immunity go hand in hand. Up to 80% of a person’s immune activity takes place in their gut. My family takes a strong probiotic for a variety of its health benefits but a big reason is to prevent seasonal illnesses, such as the flu. Probiotics allow your body to fight inflammation that causes sickness and gets rid of the bad bacteria while promoting the good bacteria that benefits your overall wellness.

5.

Ginger and Garlic-

Although there are supplements that can be taken that contain both of these ingredients, the most beneficial way to take advantage of the potent defense mechanisms that ginger and garlic provide, is to eat them or make a tea that’s made from either or both. Garlic is antiseptic and antiviral and antibiotic. Ginger is a very strong anti inflammatory and antimicrobial as well. Ginger is my favorite medicine for upset stomach and nausea, as well. I like to make tea with both herbs by steeping them in hot water for 15 min and then adding lemon (high in vitamin C) and honey right before I drink it. You can also include them in a bone broth for sipping. This combination can be drank throughout the day and especially at night to calm the bronchi, when coming down with the flu or while the sickness runs its course.

6.

Vitamin D supplement

Deficiency in Vitamin D is associated with increased susceptibility to infection, particularly respiratory infections. During the winter months, primarily, we lack the appropriate amount of sunlight that is needed to receive the recommended dose of Vitamin D, to maintain a healthy body. My family takes a sublingual vitamin D supplement every morning to augment our health and well being and to keep our immune systems running smoothly.

These 6 things are what I have found to be the most effective for myself and my family in our pursuit to stay healthy and strong during flu season. I recommend trying some or all of these remedies, especially if you or a loved one suffers from a compromised immune system. The flu is miserable. By taking vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements you can greatly reduce your chances of contracting it and be able to better enjoy the long winter months with robust health!

gut health immunity

Kira Blakeley is a certified herbalist who has spent the last 20 years working closely with acupuncturists, energy healers, and massage therapists to educate clients on natural remedies for immune health and human nutrition. She received her certification from the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies in Boulder, Colorado. Kira is Sonder Grace’s first Member Consultant ! She will help us educate customers and potential customer on the benefits of CBD Oil. You can buy Sonder Grace CBD Oil from Kira and connect with her at this email: kira@bellaandbody.com