Feeling a little "emo" lately?

Do you ever have those days that every little thing either upsets you, disappoints, or irritates? Yeah, me too. Why? Because we are human and we are allowed to have those emotions. I for one am one of those sensitive types, even though I do my darnedest to hide that beneath my strong and "nothing bothers me" exterior (especially at work!). I like to think this works well in my favor, but sadly it does not. What I've realized over the years is that the only person suffering when we dwell on emotions and bury them deep inside is OURSELVES. Why torture yourself? Let it out for goodness sake!!!

Undoubtedly we all have moments when people we love don't' live up to the expectations we have set for them. Go ahead and read that last sentence, maybe out loud this time. Do you hear that? ITS RIDICULOUS! We do not have any control over what others do or say. So it is very possible that any expectations we set will never be met. But what we DO have control over is our own emotions, and how we choose to react to others. The one common denominator in all of these things is you, or "SELF". If you're upset go ahead and be upset for a little while, it is healthy to experience these emotions. That's why we have them! They make us stronger. They teach us valuable lessons if we let them. It's all part of the human experience, and I for one want mine to be spectacular!!! So I started listening...

What I have begun to realize is that I am the only one that is responsible for the way I feel. If the energy around me is undesirable and I start to feel down, I try to ask myself why I feel this way? The immediate response is usually "well because THIS or THAT or THEM or something...is MAKING me feel this way". Nothing is making me do anything except for myself. So after a little pity party I pull on my big girl pants and say "HEY! I don't like this feeling! What can I gain from this experience, or what am I missing here?" Maybe it's simply nothing and it's time to move on. OR, maybe there's a silver lining and it just takes a minute to breath and find the good in any situation. This is hard to do a lot of times. But what helps me is breathing deeply....seriously, take three deep breaths in and out and you'll start to feel better, to think more clearly, and to relax. Take a step back and reassess what's happening.

We have the freedom to choose how we act and react in any situation. We can choose to hold on to negativity and we can also choose to let things go. This is the beauty of being a human and having free will! We have the choice to be happy! To see the good. So, what are you going to choose today?

I choose happy.

By Amber Lynch, LMT, Herbalist, Holistic Nutritional Coach

Cupcake overload! It's time for a cleanse.

After an action packed past few weeks, my body is begging for a cleanse.  Yes, even a health nut like myself sometimes indulges in the occasional cocktail, slice of cake, and even cheese fries...yes, I am human and I don't deny that I do give in to these urges sometimes.  Not all the time of course, but for special occasions I believe it's ok to treat yourself.  With weddings, birthdays, road trips, and football Sundays, this body is ready for a detox!  It's amazing how much more in tune I have become with my own body since I've been living a clean lifestyle. That urge to have a delicious chocolate cupcake is almost always overridden by the thought of feeling inflamed for two days; the tastiness is just not worth the discomfort.  But today I'm addressing those special times that we do give in to temptaion.  Below I've outlined a simple juice cleanse to help flush the body of unwanted toxicity. 

3 Day Juice Cleanse

It is always important to remember that when the body is going through a cleanse, fast, or detox, it must be supported with plenty of water, vitamins, minerals, and even herbal companions.  Since the body is dumping toxins, elimination should be monitored.  Sometimes toxins purge through the skin; this is ok.  It is also common to feel mentally sluggish, to have headaches, and to generally feel a little under the weather.  This is also ok. It simply means the body is purging toxins which is why staying hydrated is so very important.  Staying hydrated will help flush the toxins from the body.  Ensuring that the cleanse has plenty of antioxidant support is also extremely important for the detoxification process.

Light exercise is encouraged during a cleanse.  Walking, gentle and restorative yoga, and stretching are highly recommended.  Remember, the body also rids toxins through sweat.

During a typical juice cleanse 6 juices are consumed each day.  Juices can be freshly made at home if you have access to a juicer.  Fresh juices can also be purchased at most health food stores and local juice bars which are showing up everywhere.  Try to stay away from juices that are shipped and mass produced as these do not contain the nutrient density from freshly juiced fruits and veggies, but they also usually contain preservatives.  If 3 days of juicing is daunting, try 1 or 2 days first and build up to 3.  1 day of cleansing is better than no days of cleansing!

Herbs to consider:

  • Dandelion root: diuretic to help eliminate toxins through urination; liver support
  • Dandelion leaf: kidney and urinary system support; blood cleanser
  • Cranberry: diuretic and kidney support, helping the function of these organs as they detoxify the body
  • Burdock: supports the liver and kidneys, helps with lymphatic congestion, laxative and diuretic
  • Parsley: blood cleanser
  • Spirulina or Chlorella: contains fatty acids, iron, protein, B vitamins, antioxidants, nutrient dense, and energy enhancers

Supplements to consider:

  • B-complex to ensure energy levels are maintained and healthy brain function
  • Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) to support brain function, cardiovascular health, joint health
  • Multivitamin (optional) to ensure the body is getting everything it needs to function

Juice options:

Juicing is a great way to pack in a TON of nutrients without having to eat every bite.  Essentially, all of the wonderful micronutrients are extracted from the fruits and vegetables, leaving a highly concentrated juice ready to enjoy.  Studies have shown that through extended, and monitored, juice cleanses, people have lost extensive amounts of weight, reversed health problems, and have gotten off of medications.  Ensuring that a juice cleanse is full of a variety of fruits and vegetables is very important.  The variety is what will give the juice the blend of nutrients the body needs to function at its most optimum potential.

  • Apple, pineapple, lemon, orange, and papaya

  (all of these fruits help to support a healthy digestive tract, and also support the cleansing of the liver and gallbladder)

  • Spinach, parsley, celery, apple, lemon, ginger

    (this combination not only detoxifies the blood but aids in cleansing the whole body while supporting a healthy digestive tract, boosts the immune system, has antioxidants, and also relieves stress)

  • Kale, spinach, cucumber, lime, celery, parsley, lemon

    (healing, cleansing, detoxifying, and supportive of the digestive tract; also very nutrient dense)

  • Carrot, apple, beet, spinach, ginger, lemon

    (immune boosting, stress relieving, antioxidant rich, healing, cleansing, and all around supportive of the digestive tract, liver, and gall bladder)

These are just a few options that can be experimented with.  Virtually any fruit or vegetable can be juiced.  Play around and see what the taste buds enjoy!

Reaping the benefits:

This is a great way to pack in nutrients for those who lack whole, fresh foods in their diet.  It is also a way to help detoxify the body by providing a multitude of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and alkalizing benefits.  This type of cleanse may be extended if the individual feels good enough to continue, and as long as they make sure not to extend it for longer than a week at a time.  Those who are experienced have done juice fasts for as long as 30 days!
Juicing may rid the body of toxins that cause headaches, intestinal stagnation, skin issues, amongst other things.  It may also help boost weight loss.  The phytonutrient density in fresh juices have also been known to help protect the body from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other inflammatory diseases.  These wonderful nutrients aid in doing these amazing things by guarding the body from oxidative damage which happens when cells are exposed to chemicals and pollution.

Some other things to consider:

  • When fruits and vegetables are juiced, all of the wonderful nutrients are extracted in a liquid, leaving the bulk behind.  The bulk is not all bad though; it contains fiber.  Fiber is an essential component to a healthy diet, helping to flush the gut.  The pulp, or fibrous parts, from juicing can be saved and utilized in other cooking dishes.
  • Juicing alone is lacking in essential fatty acids, which are important to normal body functions.  This is why it is a good idea to support the body with an EFA supplement during a cleanse

When is it a good time to cleanse or fast?

  • Cleansing can be done at any time, as long as the individual understands what kind of support the body needs as well as the different emotional and physical shifts that may occur.  Taking that into consideration, it is usually better to pick a time when there is plenty of opportunity to allow the body to rest and restore.  This is also a good time to reflect, let go, and deepen body awareness.

When NOT to do a fast or cleanse:

  • If there are any serious health concerns or issues, it is best to consult a physician before starting a cleanse.
  • If an individual is on multiple medications it is always best to consult a physician before cleansing.
  • If someone is pregnant or thinks they may be pregnant, it is best not to fast.  This is a time to build nutrients, and gently allow the body to rid itself of toxins on it's own rather than overloading the system with a fast which can be too intense for the pregnant body and the fetus.
  • If someone has a weak or compromised immune system, this kind of cleanse could be taxing on the organs.

By Amber Lynch, LMT, Herbalist, Holistic Nutrition Coach

Revamp your medicine cabinet...Go grocery shopping!

Cough syrup; allergy medicine; gas relievers.  These are the kinds of things that might be found in the typical American medicine cabinet.  Upon the first throb of a sore throat, a lozenge is unwrapped and if deemed necessary an antibiotic follows.  Somewhere along the line this has become routine; a quick fix.  Perhaps this increase in household medicine and antibiotics began with the onset of processed foods...hmmm.  What if going back to the basics is the answer to good health?  The medicine cabinet of the future is filled with broccoli and spinach! Syrups filled with sugar and dyes aren't the answer; eating a balanced diet is!

Instead of walking to the bathroom to open the medicine chest, the refrigerator will house the necessities to ease most ailments.  The basic idea behind this concept is simply this: eat right to prevent disease.  Being proactive instead of reactive.  Feed the body well and the body is less likely to need repair.  Just as a fine automobile is fed with the highest quality fuel and fluids for optimum performance; the human body also requires specific nutrients for proper function.  A balanced diet rich in nutrient dense foods is the fuel the body needs.  The “new” medicine cabinet, the “fridge“, is full of fresh fruits and vegetables.  This conceptualized medicine cabinet is not only the basis of modern medicine, which really is not modern at all, but is also the doorway to a whole new lifestyle.  Ideally, this medicine cabinet will not include anything processed or anything that contains words that can barely be pronounced.

For some, this new way of living and eating may seem daunting but is really quite simple when looking at the big picture.  A few simple tips can be followed to help stock a new and improved “medicine cabinet”.  First, when grocery shopping, only shop the perimeter of the store.  This will support the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables which are high in natural micronutrients the body needs.  Also, by shopping the perimeter of the store it makes it nearly impossible to purchase processed foods.  When the body is fed with natural, whole foods, the nutrients provided are more readily accessible.  In other words, instead of having to break down preservatives and additives that were added to processed foods, with natural foods the body has to do less work for a greater outcome...more bang for your buck! Next, prepare the fruits and vegetables in individual servings for the week in order to accommodate a busy schedule.  Preparing foods in advance will reduce the chances of eating unhealthy fast food.  Finally, when stocking up on necessary medicines, try natural plant based helpers rather than those made in a lab.  There are countless herbs and foods that can help treat and prevent illness and disease.

Here are a few ideas to help influence a creatively delicious and nutritious modern medicine cabinet...

SPINACH - packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, spinach also supports an anti-inflammatory diet.  One cup of spinach has 20% of the required daily fiber the body needs.

GARLIC - anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal, this powerhouse can combat almost anything; and it tastes good too!

KALE - antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and helps prevent against cancer...this nutrient dense food is also great to help lower cholesterol, especially when steamed.  Yum!

APPLES - antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, studies show that eating apples can help reduce the risk of asthma and cancer...a great cardiovascular supportive fruit. As the saying goes... “An apple a day...”

CARROTS - it’s no secret that carrots help our vision, but did you know that they also have anti-cancer benefits as well?  This root vegetable is also high in antioxidants and  supports a healthy cardiovascular system.

GINGER- great flavor and great for the digestive system, this root can help with uncomfortable gas and bloating.  It can also keep nausea, dizziness, and vomiting at bay during pregnancy, motion sickness, car sickness, etc.  Ginger can also help prevent certain cancers, is also anti-inflammatory, and can help boost the immune system.  WOW!

QUINOA - this ancient grain is a nutrient rich powerhouse of protein.  This grain can be eaten like rice or ground into flour.  Not only is it a heart healthy food, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant, it is also GLUTEN FREE!

WALNUTS - anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, this wonder nut is beneficial in so many ways.  Walnuts support bone health,  cardiovascular health, brain health, and help the body in preventing cancerous cell growth.

AVOCADOS - don’t be afraid of this healthy fat, this delicious food has many health benefits. The body requires a certain amount of fat to function properly, and avocados are rich in these healthy fats.  Highly anti-inflammatory, rich in heart healthy nutrients, supportive of cardiovascular health, anti-cancer benefits, and supportive of  blood sugar regulation, it’s no wonder so many people enjoy this green wonder!

As Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”  The easiest way to stay healthy, feel great, and keep medical bills away is to feed your body well!  Don’t wait until you start to feel bad, start today.  Give your body and yourself the chance to feel amazing everyday.

 

By Amber Lynch, LMT, Herbalist, Holistic Nutrition Coach

So.....who the heck are we?

Urban Herbals is a small, family owned and operated, grassroots health and wellness company.  Our focus is on helping people achieve their wellness goals by making them fun, easy, and accessible.  Each of our products is formulated using only the best natural and organic ingredients as nature intended!  Eliminating the use of unnatural, lab synthesized ingredients, we ensure only the best quality products make it from our kitchen to your home.  To ensure quality control all of our products are made in small batches.  Our personal relationship with our clients allows us to remain in tune with you, the consumers, needs.  By making real products, for real people, with real ingredients, we are excited and honored to be on the cutting edge of the expanding natural health industry.

Each and every product we make is formulated by our Chief Practitioner and founder, Amber Lynch, and handcrafted by our small, but dedicated, team.  Amber began her health focused career studying massage therapy in Chicago.  With every intention of  adding to this modality, she moved to Arizona to study Western Herbalism and Holistic Nutrition at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts.  Studying under JoAnn Sanchez of Botanica, Amber began her life changing endeavor of both the science and spirit of medicine making.  This training not only taught Amber the careful steps to extract the medicinal components of each plant, but also honed her understanding of the spirit of the plant itself.  While completing her studies, Amber spent time in the garden, in the classroom, and as a student assistant to a clinical herbalist in Phoenix to help further her clinical knowledge base and deepen her roots in the herbal world.  Infusing her workspace with positive and fun energy, she ensures all of Urban Herbal’s creations are made and packaged with love and care!