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Healing in the Peruvian hillside

"We need to talk..." I heard Michael's voice before I saw him. A moment later, he popped around the hedge to where I was sitting in the garden of our hostel in Cusco, Peru. I had just finished a five minute coughing fit and was doubled over holding my chest, which was raked with pain and - I was pretty positive - was building some pretty permanent scar tissue at this point.

I was almost a week into a horrible upper respiratory illness that had me coughing so hard that I had lost my voice and that had left me with almost constant ringing in one ear. Apparently this was not too uncommon in Cusco where at 3,800 metres, the air was thin, the nights were cold, and the weather was dry.

Michael sat down next to me and began telling me how his family of three had experienced something extraordinarily similar the last time they had visited. While he was sure that my upcoming travels to sea level in Colombia would bring the end of it, there might be something I wanted to try now.

Two…
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Stop cold sores in their tracks

Nothing quite kicks your self confidence in the kisser like a cold sore. And with the weather changing and our immune systems taking a hit, 'tis the cold sore season! Luckily, there are things you can do to stop a cold sore in its tracks and to speed the healing of one should it erupt.

What is a cold sore?
A cold sore is an outbreak of Herpes Simplex Virus - 1 (HSV-1), a virus that lies dormant in nerve cells. The reactivation of the virus, which leads to outbreaks, can be triggered by minor infections, a weakened immune system, stress, and even sun exposure. 

Lysine, Arginine, and cold sores - oh my!
There is a lot of research that points to a strong relationship between lysine, arginine, and cold sore outbreaks. Arginine can stimulate the replication of the virus. Lysine blocks arginine offering antiviral support. How can you make this work for you?
Try to balance arginine and lysine naturally in your diet
Foods high in arginine include chocolate, peanuts, seeds, almonds, and other …

Three foods to start eating right now

Looking for a tasty way to boost your health? Start eating Everyday Superfoods.

What are Everyday Superfoods? You've probably heard of "superfoods" - foods that are high in nutrients and help fight disease - such as goji berries, camu camu, and even raw cacao. Everyday Superfoods is what I call foods that have these same health-boosting superpowers, but are easy to find and easy on your wallet. These are foods that you can get at your Farmers' Market, in your CSA box, and even in your own backyard!

If you're looking to supersize your health, start eating these three foods today!
Carrots


Flax seeds
Apples

Looking for more Everyday Superfoods? Download my free ebook! xo Selene

The top secret reason for acid reflux and other digestive problems

Many people ask me about digestive problems they are experiencing. For some, it's a matter of feeling tired, heavy, and bloated after eating. For others, it's acid reflux and heartburn...The list goes on.

As someone who has spent most of my lifetime with digestive issues of pretty much every sort you could imagine, I feel for them.

What I explain to people who voice their concerns and issues to me is that when it comes to digestion, there are many moving parts. And, like any machine, an issue with any one part can affect the whole system.

One of the key players in digestion is the stomach. More specifically, many issues arise from a problem with Hydrocloric Acid - one of the stomach's principle secretions and an essential part of the digestive process.

Hydrochloric Acid, or HCl, unfolds protein chanins to make them easier to break down. It also combines with another stomach product Pepsinogen to produce Pepsin. Pepsin is needed to actually break down the protein chains so that…

Sleepless nights no more

Good morning! How did you sleep last night? Not awesomely?

Check out the article I wrote for Elephant Journal that shares five natural ways to end those sleepless nights.

Three foods that reduce inflammation

For all of its bad rap, inflammation is actually important to our health. When we sustain an injury, inflammation is needed to limit the damage to our bodies and to the injured area. Sometimes though, our body might turn on our inflammatory pathways and not be able to turn it off. There is a growing number of studies showing that chronic inflammation might be an underlying factor for many health conditions and degenerative diseases, including arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer.
There are numerous causes of inflammation – an acidic diet, bad fats, refined foods, strenuous exercise, free radicals from environmental pollutants, and even stress. Some are avoidable or can be eliminated from our lives, others can’t be or are things that just aren’t easy to say goodbye to.
However, for every food that could contribute to inflammation in our bodies, there is a food that is great at supporting the body’s anti-inflammatory processes and functions. Here are three of my fave…

Gluten-free vegan gnocchi with a sundried tomato marinara sauce

This year's Thanksgiving was another great gastro success. My mom and I took over the kitchen, each with our own designated areas - key for minimal panic while trying to create a multi course meal for eight in a few hours. I took on three dishes - a raw apple pie in a spiced pecan crust, a pumpkin tiramisu, and a gnocchi as one of the main course entrees.

For the gnocchi, I adapted a recipe by Allyson Kramer and whipped up an easy and quick sundried tomato marinara sauce with oregano fresh from the garden. The result was a delicious, light, and fluffy pasta.

Gnocchi2 medium (about 3" length, 2" width) white potatoes
1 medium sweet potato (about 4" length, 2.5" wide)
1 3/4 cup gluten-free flour mix (see below)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt

Peel the potatoes, cut into small pieces and boil until they are soft. Using a potato masher, smoosh them up, adding the other ingredients a bit at a time and continuing to smoosh until everything is well comb…