We all want sleep, and we all know how much better we feel after we get a good night’s rest. Ensuring we obtain a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep per night enhances our body’s ability to release a hormone called the Human Growth Hormone, or HGH. This hormone provides immense anti-aging and weight loss benefits, and also works to boost one’s immune system.Additionally, two other hormones are secreted while we sleep — ghrelin and leptin. When we gain optimal sleep, leptin is secreted properly and works to balance and decrease one’s appetite. However, when one has a disrupted or short sleep, ghrelin is more heavily produced, resulting in increased appetite, playing a major role in weight gain.
Aloe vera is a well-known aid in vicious sunburns, but many of us don’t know the powerful effects it withholds when supplemented internally! The juice from aloe vera is rich with vitamins A, C, E and B12. It is a strong digestive aid, decreasing inflammation, easing constipation, and relieving an upset gut. Digestive unrest can be the root of many problems in the body so we want to keep this system functioning as optimally as we can, and aloe helps! It has also been shown to support memory, learning, and one’s overall mood. It is recommended that aloe be consumed on an empty stomach in the morning and evening before bed.
Prepping on a Sunday afternoon and stocking the fridge for the week to come, not only keeps one knowledgeable about the ingredients being used, but also allows for healthy meals to be created much more quickly and efficiently. Try roasting batches of beets and yams, make a large pot of quinoa or brown rice, pop a handful of ingredients into a crock pot or prepare chopped veggies to add to soups and salads so that nutritious meal-making takes minutes. Doing this is the best way to set goals around avoiding heavy food chemicals, sugars, allergens, and fillers that end up in much of the food we eat when we are on the go!
Fasting is becoming more popular these days, and many people are reaping its benefits. There are a few ways to go about fasting: some people take 24 hours off of any consumption besides herbal tea and water, while others eat their daily meals within an eight-hour period, every day. The practice of fasting gives the body time away from the duty of digesting and allows for more space to focus on the other jobs that need addressing. The liver itself has over 500 functions and, when we are constantly eating, it has to direct a lot of energy on the proper breakdown of those foods. Providing breaks from eating gives the liver time to focus on all of the other responsibilities it has, working to keep the systems of our bodies strong and healthy.
Sit, breathe, smell, give thanks, taste. As easy as this sounds, it is not always easy to do! A lot of people are fast on the move these days and eating has become an on-the-go activity to keep the body from crashing. Taking the time to sit, take a few breaths, understand what is being consumed, appreciate it and then slowly chew provides us with great health rewards! These acts not only promote proper digestion and absorption of nutrients, they also create more attentiveness to the sensation of being full. So the next time you sit with a meal, stop, breathe and then practice chewing… they say to chew at least 15-20 times per bite!
Introducing chlorophyll into your daily regime provides wondrous benefits. It can be purchased in liquid form which can be easily added to water or cooled tea. It provides a little kick of energy by working as a vasodilator, meaning it widens the blood vessels and increases blood flow to the brain and body. With this increase in blood flow comes an increase in oxygen which provides extra energy! It is also a powerful antioxidant and binds itself to toxic heavy metals found throughout the body and works to remove them.
The timing of meals is important. Although individual needs can vary, a large consensus agrees it healthiest to consume your largest meal around noon, lunch time. This is when our digestive fire is at its highest and we require fuel to keep us moving for the rest of the day. In the evening, it is recommended to eat light and be finished with any meals by 7pm, or at least 4 hours before bed. Doing this allows the body to take a break from spending time digesting food throughout the night, and instead works on replenishing its systems.
Eating a salad before each meal or adding a large handful of greens to food provides a healthy amount of fiber, raw enzymes and vitamins. This is an amazing way to reprogram eating habits and ensure maximal nutrients are being received. Fiber provides a feeling of fullness and satisfaction which diminishes overeating and helps the body detoxify and maintain healthy elimination. Incorporating a bitter green into one’s diet actually activates digestive enzymes, providing an optimal gut environment for proper breakdown and food absorption. At home, one could pop a handful of their favourite greens into a smoothie or make a simple starter salad with fresh vegetables and a light dressing.
An incredible key to powerful detoxing and elimination of toxins is hydrotherapy. While in the shower, stand under warm water for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, then alternate with 30 seconds to 1 minute cold water, repeating 3 times until eventually ending on cold water. The warm water works to relax the muscles and the cold water stimulates the skin and lymphatic system to eliminate toxins. This contraction and relaxation action of the blood vessels benefits the circulatory system by encouraging blood flow and increasing overall detoxification, not to mention it makes the skin glow!
Dry brushing has been around for quite some time and seems to finally be getting the appreciation it deserves! It is a coarse brush, often found at a health store, that one moves across the skin in a circulating motion, starting from the base of the ankles and working all the way up to the neck. It stimulates the lymph nodes, which work to locate and eliminate toxins. When dry brushing, ensure that the direction of the brushing is always directed towards the heart. There is a main lymphatic drainage site here, where the collected toxins will be eliminated from the body. Try dry brushing before a shower or after a workout for optimal benefits.
Mikaela’s passion for food and nutrition began at an early age. Her dedication to her craft showed its dividends when she was just 17, as her diet and lifestyle coaching helped her father recover dramatically from a heart attack. From that point forward, Mikaela knew her calling was rooted in food and nutrition.
To date, Mikaela has spent years inspiring people to make healthier food decisions by way of nutritional cooking and health coaching. Her work as a culinary nutritionist and health consultant has led to clients as renowned as Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson.
What distinguishes Mikaela is her work and philosophies that extend beyond diet and exercise, as she employs different global-cultural healing traditions, while honouring respective biodiversity. In addition to receiving raw chef training, Mikaela has achieved various certifications in cooking, holistic health, personal training and sports nutrition, and has a degree in Kinesiology.