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5.07.2017

Mango Berry Smoothie Recipe!

Haven't done one of these in a while...

Here's a smoothie I've been drinking pretty much every day and I'm obsessed! Smoothies are such a quick and tasty way to get an abundance of nutrients in one punch. They're great for folks (especially KIDS) who don't actually like eating or tasting dark leafy green veggies because when the greens are combined with all sorts of yummy fruits, you can barely taste them! I personally love eating veggies, but sometimes it's nice to just drink them instead!

Source of picture: Google Images
Recipe:
  • 1 cup frozen berry mix (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • 1/2 cup frozen mangoes
  • 2 cups of greens (I use Trader Joe's Power Greens, which has kale, chard, spinach, etc.)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 cups or so of coconut water
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 1 scoop of Vega protein + Green powders (link to purchase listed below)


*Note: I love drinking MASSIVE 32 oz. smoothies so that's what the portions above are intended for. If you're looking to drink a smaller portion, like 8-12 oz., then just change the portions accordingly!

Let me know if you try this yummy healthy recipe!

Stay engaged,
N

4.15.2017

Naturopathic Tips for Beating Spring Allergies!

It's that time again...
Allergies are annoying. For those of us affected by seasonal allergies, we can essentially guarantee that for at least 4 months out of the year, we have to deal with pesky symptoms including red itchy eyes, runny nose, sinus congestion, cough, scratchy throat,  headaches, and sometimes even GI disturbances. Millions of people struggle with seasonal allergies, particularly in the spring, due to pollen. But many people are allergic to other things like pet dander, dust, foods, and other molecules.

3.17.2017

Haitian Traditional Medicine and Voodoo: Intersection as Means for Healing and Liberation

Friends, it is with immense pleasure that I present a paper that I just wrote for my History of Medicine class. This paper kind of serves as a love letter to my ancestors and to my culture. For those of you who are not familiar with my website, I aim to explore the uses of Haitian traditional medicine and the social, cultural, political, historical, and spiritual meaning as well. I used this paper as an opportunity to delve deeper into the history of my people and explore the actual development of our herbal traditions, as well as our spiritual tradition of Voodoo. Ultimately, I am interested in how traditional healing and spiritual practices served and still serve as acts of resistance, in the face of oppression. I hope this paper sparks your curiosity and encourages you to learn a bit more about my wonderful culture. In full disclosure, I am not a master herbalist (yet) and I am not a member of the voodoo religion, so this paper is very much based on academic knowledge and research. I hope this paper is as respectful and accurate as possible! Your respectful comments and feedback are very much appreciated. Mèsi.
*My colleague also videotaped a very short 5 minute power point presentation I did for my class. I will be editing and posting this soon.





“The Savages have grand esteem for this plant, and not without reason…”
- Jean-Baptiste Dutertre, Histoire générale des Antilles Habitées


Haitians have been using traditional medicine practices for hundreds of years. Starting in their native continent of Africa, to the slave ships that brought them to Saint-Domingue to the land of Hispaniola during colonialism, up to present day Haiti, Haitians have continued to redefine the ways in which they seek and use healing.  Traditional medicine-that is to say, the use of specific plants, minerals, and other natural materials- remains one of the most popular avenues for addressing various maladies. I aim to explore the traditional healing practices Haitians have engaged in to take care of individual and societal healthcare needs, and how Voodoo has helped synthesize and systemize that knowledge. Voodoo, a spiritual practice originating in Africa, contains the lexicon of these healing practices. Voodoo has served not only as a spiritual rock for Africans and African diaspora during and post slave-trade, but as the keeper of much of the healing knowledge.  In more ways than one, the adaptation of Voodoo during and post- transatlantic slave trade was a direct response to this forced immigration, where slaves faced horrifying inhumane conditions.  With limited access to proper care, slaves had to navigate a new territory and a new identity in order to form a system to help them survive daily life.  Through much effort and cross-cultural collaboration, slaves were able to familiarize themselves with local herbal resources in Hispaniola. Many of the holistic healing practices used during colonial Haiti are still used today.  For clarification purposes, when I refer to “traditional”, “alternative”, “holistic”, and “natural” medicine and/or healing, I am referring to the use of specific plants, minerals, concoctions etc., with the intention of healing various ailments, ranging from the physical to the metaphysical. I would like to explore how the creation of these healing and spiritual tools reflected the resistance and resilience of the slaves in the face of one of the most inhumane periods in history. This paper serves as a journey with brief stops from the shores of the African coast, to the slave ships crossing the Middle Passage, to the arrival in the New World, to the sugar plantations of Saint-Domingue, all the way to modern day Haiti, analyzing the ways in which traditional medicine and spiritual practices have provided a means for radical self and community care. 

3.10.2017

Holistic Wellness Tips for Female Hormonal Regulation

I've been thinking a lot about women's health lately and all the ways we can move towards optimal wellness, via a more balanced lifestyle (ya know, Naika...in balance, after all). Clinically, I have a strong interest in the hormonal system, and by extension female health. Having a normalized menstrual cycle is essential for maintaining the foundation of a woman’s health.  Many women suffer from a variety of hormonal conditions ranging from painful periods (dysmenorrhea), absences of period (amenorrhea), PCOS, and PMS all the way to difficult menopause transitions, low libido and infertility. Related to these conditions, women may experience really painful periods, irritability, breast and vaginal tenderness, abdominal pain, a variety of digestive symptoms, etc. Each of the above conditions has a unique set of causative factors and symptoms, and thus treatment recommendations. But in general there are many simple steps women could take to normalize their cycles, decrease their toxic burden, adapt better stress management techniques, and reduce troublesome symptoms.


Reducing toxic load: We live in a time where we constantly exposed to various endocrine disrupters in our environment, in the chemicals we use, and in the food we ingest. Here are some simple tips.
  • Use clean storage: Use BPA-free plastics, or glassware
  • Develop a hydrotherapy protocol where you can physically remove the toxins (i.e, sauna, contrast baths at home, etc.)
  • Support the liver- The liver is such an important organ both physically and energetically. The liver literally creates dozens of hormones and proteins. Additionally, all blood passes through the liver for detoxifying. So, it should be no surprise that supporting the liver in its detoxification process is super important. You can do this through foods, such as dandelion root, burdock root, and dark leafy greens. You can also do this with a variety of supplements aimed at optimizing liver function. I can work with you to help you choose the best products.