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Monthly Archives: May 2012

“Seven Pillars of Health” Pillar 7: Stress

Hello all! We are at the end of our journey in the book “The Seven Pillars of Health.” Pillar 5 discussed detoxification, pillar 6 touched on vitamins and supplements (which is important), and pillar 7 talks about stress. Did you know that vitamin D is critical not only for bone health, but also for disease prevention? There are studies that link vitamin D deficiency to illnnesses like colon cancer, breast cancer, autoimmune disease, and the like. Did you also know that at least 30 minutes in the sun helps raise your vitamin D level? Yes, the sun is good for you! Plants need food, water, and sunlight to survive and thrive, and so do we. Omega-3 fish oil is also important to our diets, whether through supplements or consuming foods rich in them, like salmon. Because our diet is so westernized, it is impossible to get every vitamin you need from our food supply, so supplementation sometimes is necessary. Do the research, and start supplementing where needed in your health regimen.

We all have heard about the dangerous effects of stress on the body – from high blood pressure, stroke, obesity, cardoivascular disease, but stress is much deeper than reacting to a bad situation. We stress our bodies through lack of sleep, poor diet, and toxic relationships. Your body responds to stress the same way whether you are reacting to the death of a loved one, or feeling rushed in traffic. Stress is stress, so learning ways to properly channel it and remove it from our lives is important. There is no way to alleviate stress as a whole, because we live in a modernized society where stress is bombarding us everyday, but we can lessen the impact stress has on us. That’s why rest, sleep, and meditation is so necessary…it helps reset our bodies and minds, debriefing us from the daily toils of this world. Below, I have attached an interesting article that discusses the sleep-stress cycle. Have a great day, and see you in the next blog! For those a part of the bookclub, see you at the bookclub luncheon this weekend!

Paleo Living And The Sleep-Stress Cycle | Paleo Diet Lifestyle.

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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This is the hair stuff!

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I used to be a Keracare girl, but not anymore!  Giovanni is my hair’s best friend, and is all natural to boot! 

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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All natural beauty

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Here is a peek at what is in my bathroom.  You won’t find your typical off the shelf commercial health and beauty products like Colgate, Paul Mitchell, or Neutrogena, but you will  find incredible brand products made with all natural ingredients.  I’m sure you have heard of some of the dangerous toxic chemicals found in most commercial beauty products like sulfates, parabens, phlalates, and a lot of other stuff you can’t pronounce, that have been found to be carcinogens (cause cancer).  A few years back I made the choice to go green with my beauty regimen and I am thrilled I did.  Not only can I tell a difference in how I feel, but they perform exceedingly better with outstanding results.  Your skin absorbs everything you put on it, carrying it into your bloodstream, so it makes good sense to be aware of what you are using daily.  I absolutely adore Alba’s facial care line, along  with Desert Essence tea tree face wash (which can be used double duty as a shampoo or body wash).  You have breakout on your back?  Desert Essence tea tree wash is excellent to use on your loofah or scrub brush!  You want silky, shiny, beautiful hair?  Giovanni rules!  Their deep moisture conditioner is outstanding, both for permed or natural hair.  Matter of fact, natural hair ladies swear by Giovanni’s conditioner to moisturize and define their natural curls.  My daughter uses it on her natural coily hair and it is amazing how her curls are defined.  From Jason’s powersmile toothpaste, to Nubian heritage soaps and lotion, I am hooked!  Even deodorants can be found all natural, which I swear by too.  Did you know that you NEED to perspire to rid your lymph nodes of toxins?  Watch the antiperspirants you are using.  Ten years ago I had a breast lump removed under my arm that was benign, but when I researched it, I found out that antiperspirants do not allow the breasts to expell toxins through perspiration, and has been linked to some cases of cancer (and it was ironic my nodule was right in the underarm area).  Needless to say I made the change to use all natural deodorants free of toxic chemicals, and I have had no problems since.  Being healthy to me extends far beyond the food I eat, but the makeup I put on, to the dish detergent I use.  There is an all natural alternative product to everything commercially driven, so start slow and make the transition to go green in your health and beauty products.  By the way…I love me some Bare Minerals makeup, and their lip glosses…popping! 🙂

Want to find incredible deals on all-natural health, beauty, and food products? Go to http://www.vitacost.com. You can find all the major brands at deep discounts comparable to your local health food store, and shipping is $4.95 flat rate, or free for orders over $49. I love vitacost, and it is my go to place to order.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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“Seven Pillars of Health” Pillars 5: Detoxification

Hello everyone on the journey to good health. I wanted to take some time to catch us up to speed on the book, so today I will touch on last week’s pillar of detoxification. Later this week we will discuss pillar 6: Vitamins and Supplements. It is my prayer that you have allowed the pages to become life, filling in the gaps where needed in fortifying your temple with the building blocks of good health. So let’s get started!

It is without question that we are living in a “toxic soup bowl,” from toxins in our environment, our household products, health products, and food. Toxins store themselves in the fat deposits of our bodies, and can also store themselves in breast tissues, prostate, and lymphatic system. Did you know that cellulite is really toxins stored in our fat cells, creating pockets underneath the skin, giving that dimpled effect. Those “love handles” and “tire around the middle of our waist” are sites where toxins love to be stored. So yes, there is some truth to the phrase, “junk in the trunk!” (Lol!) Our bodies were not made to store waste, but to excrete it, which is why our liver health is so important, as it is the filtering system to release toxic overload from our bodies, as well as our kidneys. Whether it be through perspiration, urination, defecation, or exhalation, our bodies are constantly trying to clear itself of garbage, and if we want our bodies to run optimally, without feeling sick and run down, we must make detoxification a priority.

Two of the biggest positive changes I made in my life that have reaped big rewards are cutting out chemicals in my diet and my home. I try to buy fresh, whole foods, drink alkaline water (the best natural detoxifier, period), and making sure my health and beauty products, and even cleaning products, are made from all natural ingredients, and free of chemicals. It was small changes made in stages, and I can tell a huge difference in how I feel, and how my environment feels. I do NOT allow my husband to bring any harsh chemicals into our home to use, and am absolutely sold on products like Method, Seventh Generation, Dr. Bronner’s – eco-friendly products to clean my house, and Giovanni, Alba, Desert Essence, Jason’s, Nubian Heritage – all natural health and beauty products to keep me looking naturally beautiful. I read every label of ANYTHING I buy to bring in my house to make sure it supports the green lifestyle I choose to live. Of course we cannot totally erradicate toxins from our environment, because as soon as you step outside pollution is in the air, but we can definitely reduce the footprint. Start with you, your diet, then your home, and make small changes to make your own little slice of this world as healthy as possible. Stay tuned, as I will be sharing a few more things on this topic, as well as my favorite brands of eco-friendly products that really work! Who said clean has to be “sudsy” or “squeeky?” Mr. Clean, you are so old news 🙂

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

“Food is Medicine!” Bananas

Today’s featured food is medicine item is one that alot of us take for granted, although it is easily found at your supermarket, very cheap, and loaded with lots of potential. If I had to name one fruit that meets the versatility of being sweet, delicious, easily incorporated into dishes, and cost effective, it would be bananas.

Those yellow bunches are full of a “bunch” of nutrients and vitamins for our bodies, namely potassium. Potassium is essential for good cardiovascular and blood pressure health. In fact, a study performed showed that men who ate a potassium rich diet along with adequate fiber intake considerably decreased their chances for a stroke. Yes, that less than 50 cent a pound fruit has amazing benefits to our body, not only for our heart, but for our kidneys, bones, digestion (having trouble at the loot, eat more bananas), stomach, and even our eyes. Last week we talked about yogurt and its probiotic properties, but did you know that bananas have prebiotic properties, meaning that they are the precusor to probiotics being formed? Now imagine combining foods together that have prebiotic/probiotic properties, and the benefit you will experience. I try to keep bananas around the house as my husband deals with high blood pressure problems, and it is an easy fruit for him to reach for when he is on the go to ensure he is doing something good for his body in helping to lower his numbers. Now let me share with you a few ways I like to incorporate bananas in my diet…

1. You know I love a good smoothie, and I use a banana as the base ingredient in all of mine. I like to take ripe bananas, cut them up, freeze them, and then pop them in my blender when I am ready to make a smoothie. The riper bananas are, the sweeter they are, so I end up with a sweet, creamy, luscious tasting smoothie concoction everytime. My favorite combinations are bananas, yogurt, coconut milk, apple juice, pineapple juice, orange juice, pineapple, mango, and berries. You can just about make any specialty flavor you desire out of those, from pina colada to strawberry sunrise. Yum!

2. Cereal. A simple breakfast to me is having a nice bowl of cereal with sliced bananas on top. My favorite is Cascadian Farm’s organic granola cereal, sliced bananas, honey drizzled on top, with a sprinkle of cinnamon, and I am in food heaven! Any bran or wheat cereal will work nicely as well. I like to chill my bananas a little in the fridge and slice cold to help keep my cereal cold.

3. Cooking/baking. From banana nut bread, to muffins, pancakes, and my absolute favorite – banana pudding, bananas reign supreme. I find that when I incorporate bananas into my muffin mixture, it helps me to cut back on the amount of sugar I use. And please try fried plaintains, the sister fruit to bananas, they are so delicious. Plaintains resemble bananas, but are better made for cooking, and is a staple in a lot of Carribean dishes. When picking plaintains, pick ones that are black and over-ripe looking, not too mushy, as they are at their peak of ripeness, and are sweeter tasting. Another way to enjoy bananas is on a peanut butter sandwich, with whole wheat bread, peanut butter/almond butter, and a drizzle of honey. Your kids will think you are giving them dessert 🙂

The next time you are browsing the produce aisle and see stacks of bananas, please do yourself a favor and pick up a bunch. I personally prefer organic bananas because to me they have more of a richer and sweeter banana taste to them, and for a few cents more than conventionally grown bananas are worth the splurge. Even organic bananas can be found at around 99 cent a pound, so that is still an amazing price for such a deliciously beautiful piece of fruit. Matter of fact, when it comes to buying fresh organic produce, you will find that bananas are the most budget friendly item you will find.

Click on the link below and read up on the additional benefits that bananas offer. Once you realize their star potential, you will go “bananas” too!

WHFoods: Bananas.

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Information about Lugols iodine solution – for normal thyroid function from healthyonline – New Zealand Online Pharmacy

Information about Lugols iodine solution – for normal thyroid function from healthyonline – New Zealand Online Pharmacy.

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

“Food is Medicine!” Raw Honey

Today is going to be sweet! I get to talk about one of the most amazing sweeteners that nature has to offer – honey. The symbolism of honey goes way back to even biblical times, when God promised the Israelites a “land flowing with milk and honey.” Now as I have done more research on honey, I understand why. With all of the sugar fads out there telling you to reduce your sugar intake, honey is one natural sweetener that has more benefits than not to keep it front and center in your diet. Below I have attached a link that shares the myriad health benefits of honey, from aiding in weight loss, healing wounds, helping oral health, to even use as an energy booster.

If you followed my blog on Friday, “Living well on living foods,” you saw me talk a little about my new love, Wee Bee Raw Honey, which is amazing! I can tell you firsthand that after consuming a teaspoon of this honey just to taste, I noticed a vast difference in my energy level almost immediately, so much so that I had a pretty hard time winding down for the day, Lol! I of course tried this hypothesis out again the next day, and sure enough, I had the same effects – increased energy and alertness. I also experienced good digestive benefits as well. Want to alleviate a sore throat? Try raw honey! My daughter was experiencing some cold symptoms along with a sore throat, took some raw honey, and her symptoms alleviated within a short span of time. If you notice, a lot of throat lozenges have honey in them, so it makes perfect sense. Of course, I believe you get even better benefits when you buy the raw honey yourself and incorporate it in soothing teas, etc. to achieve the same effect.

I encourage you to read the attached link below to know the difference between raw honey and conventional honey, because they are not created equal. In a nutshell, raw honey is unprocessed, still hosts all of the essential vitamins, enzymes, and nutrients in it, and is as close to nature as you will get with buying honey – not that little “honey bear” you reach for in the store. One look or taste, and you will see a profound difference in the taste, texture, and quality between raw honey and regular honey. To get the benefits that nature intended, you must buy raw honey, preferably organic. I love Wee Bee Honey, Y.S. Bee Farms, and Garden of Life. You can find them at most of your health food stores, but make sure to read the labels so you are purchasing the quality you intended. Now, to how I use honey in my diet…

1. If I need a sweetener for my hot teas, or for medicinal properties, I always use raw honey. It is crucial in my Bragg’s apple cider vinegar tea as it really helps to aid my body in healing a cold or sore throat. I also like to add a spoonful to my coffee. Just think, with every cup you are drinking, you are gaining nutrients to help build your immune system.

2. Cooking. Whether it is whipping up a citrus salad dressing, making a glaze for fried plaintains, mixing in my baked yams, or slathering over banana nut bread or biscuits, I love honey for its distinct sweetness and element of flavor it adds. Sometimes just that little hint of honey, instead of sugar, is all you need to take your dish to the next level. Honey is sweeter than sugar, so you will find that you need less to achieve the same results. I also use it over my breakfast cereal like raisin bran or cheerios to sweeten it – delicious!

3. Health and beauty. Honey has the most amazing moisturizing and skin enhancement qualities to it. Use it as a face mask, hair treatment, or include it in your bath water and enjoy the beautiful benefits. My daughter, who has natural hair, even used it one time as a light gel for her hair to help define her curls and it worked. Click on the link and it will show you a host of ways to use honey as a part of your beauty regimen.

With all the fuss over sweeteners, honey is one you will definitely want to keep around. Get off all the unnatural and artificial stuff, and get back to this natural sweetener that only nature itself can provide. It is the small changes we make now that will reap big changes in the future, so the next time you are out, try picking up a jar of raw honey and see for yourself. You will be just as amazed as I am at the wondrous ways it enhances your health, and will develop a new appreciation for bees the next time you see them 🙂

What is Raw Honey?.

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
 
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