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Health Benefits of Apricot

This adorable and bright fruit is rich in flavor and nutritional value and its flavor range from sweet to sweet-tart depending on the varietal. The best way to consume fresh apricot is unpeeled because the skin is loaded with fiber and nutrients.

Check out the health benefits of apricot below and uncover a sumptuous guilt-free recipe that you’ll surely enjoy!

Skin Elixir

The combination of Vitamin C and A in apricot makes it a potent elixir for keeping your skin glowing and healthy! Apricot oil derived from apricot seeds is known to treat skin problems such as eczema and dermatitis, while the flesh can be used to soothe itching caused by sunburn or scabies.

Fortified with Fiber

Fiber is your go-to mineral for fierce and healthy digestion! A diet rich in fiber also helps protect you from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and weight gain.

Enhance Bone Strength

Apricot is rich in calcium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, and iron. These minerals promote bone growth and prevent age-related bone conditions such as osteoporosis.

Improve Metabolism

Apricot contains potassium which evenly distributes the fluids in your body, therefore, there is a healthy balance of electrolytes that amplifies your energy and keeps your blood pumping.

Apricot Bars (Paleo, Vegan)

Ingredients:

 Crust:
 Filling:
Crumb topping:

Instructions:

  1. Begin by making your filling. Set aside dried apricots in a medium-sized bowl. Boil 3 cups water, and pour over dried apricots. Let sit for about 20 minutes. Now drain the water, and add apricots to your food processor or blender. Add in lemon juice and maple syrup. Pulse until mostly smooth, a few chunks are fine. You may need to add a bit of water to get the right consistency, but the filling should be thick.
  2. Now make the crust: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 square pan with parchment paper and lightly grease. Combine all of the crust ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Take the mixture and carefully distribute it over the parchment paper, pressing down firmly and evenly. Place inside the oven and bake for 13 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes. Leave the oven hot.
  3. While crust is cooling, make the crumb mixture. Combine all ingredients into your food processor and pulse for about 10 seconds, or until the mixture is crumbly.
  4. Once the crust is cooled, spread the apricot filling over the crust. Complete by topping with the crumb mixture. Now bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven and cool completely. Once cooled, slice into squares.

Adapted from Wholesomelicious

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Health Benefits of Blueberry

A fruit that makes you feel blue? Well the kind of blue that amplifies your immunity, strengthens your brain function and shields you from cancer. It is the indomitable, mighty, yet delicate blueberry!

Blueberry is housed with powerful nutrients which is why is it is named as one of the top super foods. The best thing about this fruit is it is typically available year round and it is a great alternative for artificial or sugary sweets.

Hop in and together let us discover the health benefits of blueberry and make sure to stay tuned up until the last bits of this article to uncover a sweet tooth-satisfaction-guaranteed recipe!

POTENT ANTIOXIDANTS

Your body’s cells produce free radicals due to artificial foods and environmental stressors which can cause prostate cancer in men, arthritis, and heart disease. The reason why this fruit is classified as one of the most powerful food is because of its potent and high level of antioxidants which shields your body against the damages caused by free radicals.

PRESERVES AND ENHANCES BRAIN FUNCTION

Blueberry contains two nutrients that protect and upgrade your brain function! Phytochemicals can reverse age-related deficiencies such as short-term and long-term memory loss while flavonoids promotes blood flow to the brain and interacts with your signal pathway, thereby, improving memory and concentration.

REGULATES SUGAR LEVEL

A 150g serving of blueberry may contain up to 15g of sugar, but the anthocyanins in this fruit can improve insulin sensitivity which lowers the risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Moreover, it can also reduce a spike in blood sugar by blocking certain digestive enzymes. 

SUPER IMMUNITY

Regular exercising, healthy sleeping habits, a healthy diet, and a dose of blueberry snacks or smoothies can help empower your immune system. Our body contains a gene called cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide (or CAMP gene) which plays a significant role in our innate immunity and blueberry can increase the activity of that gene through the help of pterostilbene. Flavonoids abundantly existing in blueberry have anti-inflammatory properties.

Blueberry Date Smoothie Bowls

Ingredients

Instruction

  1. Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Top with chopped medjool dates, kiwi, blueberries, flaked coconut, and chia seeds.

Adapted from Fit Foodie Finds 

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Health Benefits of Prunes

Prunes are dried plums that are a close relative of peach and cherry. This dried fruit is most commonly from the European Plum variety. Just like raisins, it may take time for some people to adjust to its distinctive taste, but once you love it, you just can’t get enough of it!

Let us discover the health benefits of this fruit are and pick up a nutritious recipe at the end of this article!

Builds Muscle

Exercising is a great way to build muscles along with a nutrient that promotes muscle growth and development and that is where prunes’ prowess comes in. Boron is a mineral that can be found in prune and it helps support muscle growth, muscle coordination, and a sharp mind.

Energy Food

Prunes are a delicious and sweet treat that you can snack on during the day or in between your work to energize your body. But what makes this fruit special is it can sustain your appetite and energy without spiking your sugar levels due to the union blend of fiber, sorbitol, and fructose. This is a great alternative for an energy drink!

Anti-Anemia

Prunes are rich in iron which can help prevent or treat anemia. If you are going for a vegetarian source for iron, then go for prunes!

Better Sleep

Prunes are a good snack for pre-bedtime because it contains magnesium which improves sleep by activating mechanism in your nervous system that calm you down. 

Prune Bars – Gluten Free

Ingredients

Prune Filling:

  • 8 ounces Prunes
  • 1 1/2 cups organic apple or white grape juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Bar Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups gluten free flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons organic butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut or avocado oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1–2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  1. Make the Prune filling: Place the prunes, juice, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Let simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the prunes are very soft and there is little liquid left (about 2-3 tablespoons.) Let cool slightly.
  2. Place the prunes and remaining liquid in a food processor and puree until the mixture is thick and jammy. Set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, then lightly spray with cooking spray to grease. Set aside.
  4. Make the crust: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add in the oil, vanilla, and water and beat again.
  5. Slowly stir in the flour mixture and beat until the flour is just incorporated. Reserve ~3/4 cup of the dough, wrap in plastic, and place in the fridge until ready to use.
  6. Take the other remaining dough and press it into the prepared pan in an even layer. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Remove the crust from the oven and spread the prune mixture over the crust. For the remaining crust- up to you! You can dollop the remaining dough onto the prune coating or, you can roll the remaining dough into a square, then place it onto the prune mixture.
  8. Place the bars back into the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown, another 25 minutes. Let the prune bars cool in the pan, then remove and place in on a wire cooling rack or the fridge to cool completely for about 1 hour.
  9. Cut into squares and serve! Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge.

Adapted from Delish Knowledge

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AChoo – Welcome Spring (And Allergy Season)

AChoo – Welcome Spring (And Allergy Season)

Happy Spring Everyone and welcome to pollen season.  If you live in the South like I do, then you’ve most likely woken up with the “yellow snow” as we like to call it down here – all of those lovelies blooming flowers that create a yellow blanket over EVERYTHING!  Not only is it tough to keep your car clean right now, but this is the time of year where my patients’ allergies start acting up. 

This post is dedicated to giving you all of the goods on the recommendations and exact protocols I have used for over 20 years for allergy support in my office for my patients.  Many times my patients are able to swap out their over the counter medications for these natural alternatives. My hope is that if I can provide you any relief now or throughout the year then I’ve done my job!

So without further ado, let’s jump to my recommendations –

  • Feed Your Body – what you eat definitely plays a role in how your immune system functions – the biggest culprits that will knock your immune system down the fastest are sugar, alcohol, and the chemicals in processed foods.  Instead opt to eat more veggies, fruits high in Vitamin C, quality proteins and stay hydrated.
  • Clean your Air – As deemed appropriate and possible, environmental changes may be advisable to minimize ongoing allergen exposures. Relatively straightforward changes include using a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) air filters, house plants, and essential oils in the home. HEPA filters work to decrease the amount of allergens floating around your home by trapping airborne irritants such as pollen, dust, and pet dander.  House plants can assist with air filtration – here’s a link to an entire blog post I wrote dedicated to that topic.
  • Rinse that Nose:  A number of studies have indicated that saline nasal irrigation such as a netti pot can be useful in individuals with hay fever (acute rhinitis). A 2012 study looked at 10 research papers on the topic of saline nasal irrigation and found that saline nasal irrigation produced a “27.66% improvement in nasal symptoms, a 62.1% reduction in medicine consumption, a 31.19% acceleration of mucociliary clearance time, and a 27.88% improvement in quality of life”.  Another over the counter option is a nasal wash kit – this one has been my favorite to use.
  • Supplement your System – There are a number of key nutrients needed to keep the immune system strong and assist with allergy symptoms during pollen season.  I have created overall protocols that will support the system as well as protocols for those pesky allergy symptoms.  You can click the link for each product to read more about the product and if you feel inclined, you can place an online order on our authorized website.

Allergy Support Protocols

  • Adult Allergy Support Bundle –– this protocol is ideally taken as prevention during allergy season.
  • Adult Acute Allergy Bundle – “I’m experiencing allergy symptoms and need to get over this quick”
  • Anti-histamine support – Itchy eyes and sneezing
  • Post nasal drip support – dripping nose and sore throat – the fenugreek in this product will dry you up faster than you can say “pollen count”
  • Respiratory and breathing support – allergies, and asthma

** If you have any questions or trouble with the ordering platform just reach out and my team will be happy to assist you! **

My goal is to empower you with the tools to help you and your family feel your best this allergy season.  Please reach out to me if you have any questions and here’s to your health this spring!

Cheers

Dr Z

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Order Standard Process and MediHerb Online

EXCITING

ANNOUNCEMENT!

Hello lovelies!

I have some very exciting news that made me jump for joy when I heard it because I know this is a GAME CHANGER for many of you.

The current pandemic has brought lots of change – I’ve redesigned how I see patients by offering more virtual and zoom style appointments. We’ve been shipping out your protocols to you and offering curbside pick ups as well.

Last week I was invited by Standard Process to be one of their health care practitioners with a full integrated website!!!

I jumped with joy!!!

What this means for Lime and Lotus is that our office is now an approved and authorized distributor and seller of Standard Process and MediHerb products online!

What this means for you is that you can now order and buy Standard Process and MediHerb products online through this website. Products will be shipped from the company directly to you anywhere in the United States.

Check it out here.

Online orders through the site over $100 also receive FREE SHIPPING!

I am happy and excited to be able to bring you this additional resource. We will still continue to offer curb side pick up and products from the office but this will be one more option to make your life easier!

Let us know if you have any questions.

Yours in Health and Wellness,

Dr. Stephanie Zgraggen, DC, MS, ACN, CNS, CCN

** Order your Standard Process and MediHerb Products Here **

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Winter Immune Support Starts Now!

I’m often asked by my patients for ways to help ward off the cold, flu (and now COVID) each year and I wanted to give you all the tools to start supporting that immune system now so that the likelihood of any winter illness is decreased.  Let me start off by saying that the goal isn’t necessarily to never catch anything – as this is the body’s way to build up your immune system.  Of course it would be great if we never got sick but if our systems are working correctly the idea is that when you do become ill the illness doesn’t last as long, or isn’t as severe.   I’ve been using the recommendations and protocols that I will share with you today for over 20 years and year after year my patients (especially the teachers and nurses) come back in March and are always floored that they didn’t get sick for the first time in years.

So without further ado, let’s jump to my recommendations –

  • Feed Your Body – what you eat definitely plays a role in how your immune system functions – the biggest culprits that will knock your immune system down the fastest are sugar, alcohol, and the chemicals in processed foods.  Instead opt to eat more veggies, fruits high in Vitamin C, quality proteins and stay hydrated.
  • Sweat it out – Exercise aids in the release of toxins, and is important in keeping the blood and lymphatic system flowing (which is an important part of your immunity!)  Consistent exercise can help relieve stress and increase blood flow to the brain. It also releases hormones, stimulates the nervous system, and releases endorphins.  Whatever exercise you like, go for it!  Walking, running, rebounding, yoga, pilates, dancing, biking, cardio or sculpting workouts.  Just 15 minutes a day is enough to help support your immunity.  
  • Count Sheep –  The benefits of getting a good night’s sleep is especially vital for your body to rest, regenerate and maintain an efficient immune system.  Manage your schedule and routine so that you can devote at least 8 hours each night to some shut eye.  This may involve saying “no” to extra activities or waiting to binge watch Game of Thrones. Stop your screen time at least 2 hours before bed time, get into bed before your actual bedtime, make sure the room is completely darkened, and read a book or meditate to slow down that brain in preparation for dreamland! If you are struggling with your sleep, get a jump on it now and start a product like Insomnitol to help support your body in falling asleep and staying asleep.
  • Hooray for Herbs – An Elderberry a day keeps the doctor away – Elderberry syrup or tonic is one of those time honored traditions that can help ward off colds and flu.  If you purchase some ensure that the company is using quality ingredients and no fillers and preservatives (Hint: quality products should only have a 2-3 month shelf life).  If you’re more of a DIY kind of person, earlier this year I created an Elderberry Syrup mini-course on how to make your own organic elderberry syrup and tincture at home.  I have a nice 30 minute video, my personal recipes, and links to all of the supplies you’ll need to make this immune syrup at home.

Standard Prevention Daily Dosing:

  • For Children 2-13 years old: 1 tsp per day
  • For Adults: 1 Tbsp per day
  • Supplement your System – There are a number of key nutrients needed to keep the immune system strong during winter.  First there are prevention protocols – these are great when you are not currently ill but want to stay strong and symptom free all winter.  I also have acute protocols – these are designed to be used when you are sick or starting to feel any signs that you might be coming down with something.  You can click the link for each product to read more about the product and to place an online order on our authorized website.

*** NOTE: If you are wanting to add any immune protocols to your regimen, we are recommending to place your order as soon as you can and consider stocking up since Standard Process was completely sold out of all of their immune products for almost 3 months last year! ***

  • Adult Prevention Immune Bundle – “I don’t want to get sick”
  • Adult Acute Immune Bundle – “I’m sick and need to get over this quick”
  • Children’s Acute Immune Bundle – “I’m sick and need to get over this quick”

Easy Button Bundles

Standard Process has recently created immune system packets as well – you can take one packet a day for prevention or 3 packets per day for acute situations.

  • Immune System Health Pack: one box has 30 packets and each packet includes –
    • Immuplex (2 capsules)
    • Cataplex F Tablets (2 tablets)
    • Cataplex C (3 tablets)
    • Calcium Lactate (2 tablets)

*Dose – Take one packet a day for prevention or 3 packets per day for acute situations.

*Dose- Take one packet in the morning and one in the evening.

** If you have any questions or trouble with the ordering platform just reach out and my team will be happy to assist you! **

My goal is to empower you with the tools to help you and your family feel your best this winter season.  Please reach out to me if you have any questions and here’s to your health this winter!

Cheers

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Winter is Here…..And so is Corona and the Flu!

What’s up with the viruses this year?

It’s starting to sound a bit scary, right?

The flu and now this corona virus?

Over the last few weeks the build up over the Corona virus and its effect have continued to increase. Because of this I wanted to address this topic in a way that will be both insightful and holistic. It’s easy to feel a little panicked when the words “epidemic” and “outbreak” are used but I find the antidote to panic is almost always power.What do you have in your power to do?Maybe it’s getting into see your provider for support but my biggest answer is:

What’s in your power when it comes to prevention?

It may seem small but ensuring the basics of:

  1. WASH YOUR HANDS and wash them good!
  2. Good and quality sleep.
  3. Stress management.
  4. Lots of antioxidant rich veggies.
  5. Plenty of protein.
  6. Exercise, sauna, sweat.
  7. Staying hydrated.
  8. Walking outside.
  9. Take your multi and have adequate vitamin D.
  10. Use natural medicine that boosts your immunity.

In response to #10 – Natural Medicine – I’ve spent this week creating a new mini-course that will teach you how to DIY my favorite natural cold and flu remedy at home! Who wants some of that?!?

The research shows how Elderberry syrup can reduce the risk of not only contracting the cold, flu, upper respiratory infections and viruses but also decrease the length of time you are sick AND decrease the severity of your symptoms.

I made this for ya’ll to help your family prevent the flu and corona virus!

In response to the many questions I receive every year about how to stay healthy during winter and avoid the cold and flu and now corona virus, I have created a MINI COURSE – Just for YOU!

Read below for all of the course details and components – I’d love to hear your thoughts on the course!

Check out the course here.

Elderberry Syrup Making Mini Course – How to create this immune boosting syrup at home.

I created this mini-course in response to the flu and corona virus spread this season and as a self-guided journey to better educate you on the fabulous and fantastic elderberry. By the end of this course you’ll discover the amazing properties of this potent berry, appropriate dosing for prevention and acute care, adult vs child dosing, and last but not least how you can make your own Elderberry Syrup at home to ward off the cold and flu!I’ll also teach you my own recipe that I use step by step as well as ingredients and specific supplies you’ll need to DIY this amazing syrup!

In this mini-course, you’ll learn:

  • Types, properties, uses and history of Elderberry
  • How Elderberry helps the body during colds and the flu
  • Appropriate dosing for prevention vs sick care
  • Appropriate dosing for adults vs children
  • Recipe for making Elderberry Syrup at home
  • What ingredients and supplies are necessary
  • When you should NOT take Elderberry

Elderberry Syrup – Mini Course Components

Mini-Course Guide -which includes the following:

  • Elderberry Syrup Recipe
  • Elderberry Syrup Dosing Guide
  • Ingredients and Supplies Shopping Guide
  • Masterclass Video Transcript
  • Course Notes Pages
  • Bonus – Elderberry Tincture Recipe

Elderberry Syrup Masterclass & Tutorial Video: 25 Minute Video

*Mini Course is immediately ready for download upon purchase.

Order here!

Cheers to boosting that immune system this winter!