Saturday, November 30, 2013

9 Things Every Woman Should Know About Menstruation

9 Things Every Woman Should Know About Menstruation
 Pensive Woman

By Anea Bogue
Last week, the mother of ‘The Bachelor’ candidate Gia Allemand, told Dr. Phil that “intense pre-menstrual syndrome” contributed to her daughter’s suicide this past August. It’s impossible to know for certain the degree to which PMS may have been a factor in this tragic end to Ms. Allemand’s life. But hearing this strikes a chord with many women because most of us can relate to some degree of intense feelings–ranging from mild irritation and carb cravings to the desire to escape to an island–in the days before we start our period.
The reality is that our menstrual cycle is extremely powerful and does impact the way we feel from one day to the next. It’s also true that we have heightened strengths during every phase of our cycle. Unfortunately, most of us don’t know about the intricacies of our cycle and how to really capitalize on these strengths because from the time we hit puberty we’re given very little information about it. Why? Because there is a long-standing and deeply-rooted taboo around the subject of menstruation.
The worst part is that we’ve gotten so used to not talking about it, we just sort of accept it and we perpetuate the silence. We forget that silence around a subject strongly suggests there is something ‘wrong’ or ‘shameful’ about it. It doesn’t dawn on us that when we tell girls and women that a fundamental part of being female is shameful, we obliterate their desire to truly know, protect and love their body.

And this silence around menstruation is killing us. In Gia Allemand’s case, a lack of understanding around what was going on hormonally and an inability to talk about it may have contributed to the literal loss of her life. For many others, the silence is killing our self-esteem, our desire to honor and fight for our bodies and our ability to reach our highest potential…because we’re so focused on what’s wrong with us as women.

It’s time to break the taboo by breaking our silence.

1. Menstruation Follows a 28-ish Day Cycle, Just Like The Moon. Many of us are told about the 5-7 day ‘period’ of bleeding, but not the whole series of amazing changes your entire body is cycling through over the course of 28-ish days. Just as the moon waxes (or grows outward into the night sky) until it becomes full and then wanes (or gets smaller) as if moving back into itself–so do you.

2. Your Period Isn’t the End. In Fact, It’s the Beginning. Day one (and phase one) of your menstrual cycle begins when your period arrives. Within hours of starting your period, your estrogen levels will slowly begin to rise and you will tend to feel a shift from the heaviness or ‘PMS’ of the days before. This is a time of release so it is a great time to let go of things you no longer need in your life: stuff, unhealthy relationships and emotions that may be weighing you down (anger, regret, anxiety).

3. Your Vagina Is One of the Most Porous Parts of Your Body. The lining of your vagina is one of the most absorbent parts of your body so if you use tampons during your period, it’s really important they are bleach and dioxin free. Since the EPA states there is NO SAFE LEVEL for dioxin exposure, 100% organic tampons are the safest option.

4. Estrogen = Energy, Enthusiasm & Expression. Throughout your Estrogen Phase (week 2), the steady increase in estrogen boosts your brain’s serotonin levels, which leads to an increase in energy, enthusiasm and a more upbeat feeling overall. It also heightens your verbal abilities so week two of your cycle is a great time to do presentations and have those important conversations.

5. If Your Cycle Were Ruled by a Queen, She’d Be Ovulation. Ovulation refers to the release of a tiny egg from one of your two ovaries (they alternate from one cycle to the next). This typically happens between Days 12-16, making it the time you are most likely to get pregnant. You are also likely to feel more attracted to others at this time and whether you believe it’s pheromones or just a healthy glow, others are likely to find you more attractive than ever, too!

6. Progesterone Heightens Introspection and Intuition. On the other side of ovulation, you’ll feel the effects of decreasing estrogen and testosterone and increasing progesterone. Progesterone is the ‘ebb’ to estrogen’s ‘flow’. It will increase your desire to move inward, like the waning moon. Research shows greater activity in the right hemisphere of the brain–the part associated with intuitive knowing–in weeks 3 and 4 of your cycle. Always trust your intuition. But pay especially close attention to it in the second half of your cycle!

7. Nutrition Profoundly Effects Your Cycle. You have the power to maximize each phase and reduce physical and emotional discomforts by maintaining a healthy, balanced diet and taking vitamins that support your female body. For example, increasing your magnesium intake (via food or supplements), especially in week 4 of your cycle, can significantly reduce cramping, while regular intake of vitamin B6 throughout your cycle can help to minimize bloating.

8. You’re Not Crazy! The Pre-Menstrual phase (week 4) consists of the final days before you begin a new cycle. Progesterone continues to rise until just before the end of this phase when estrogen, testosterone and progesterone all plummet to their lowest levels. If you deny the natural need you have to slow down and turn inward, feelings of resentment, frustration and anger find a way to surface. The solution? Give yourself permission to move a little slower and take care of YOU.

9. A Little PMA (Positive Menstrual Attitude) Goes a Long Way! Studies have shown that many of the less desirable physical and emotional manifestations of the Pre-Menstrual Phase (week 4) can be minimized by developing a more informed and positive attitude around your menstrual cycle.
For more information on this important topic, there are many great women dedicated to keeping women informed. Check out some of my very favorites: Vicki Noble, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, Kristi Meisenbach Boylan, and Miranda Gray.

Friday, November 29, 2013

10 Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance
Have you been wondering what's up with the Gluten Free craze?
Did you know that our wheat is very different now and it could be creating a lot of problems with our gut health?

Dr. Amy Myers gives us some great information and steps to help heal ourselves in this article...

More than 55 diseases have been linked to gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. It’s estimated that 99% of the people who have either gluten intolerance or celiac disease are never diagnosed.
It is also estimated that as much as 15% of the US population is gluten intolerant. Could you be one of them?
If you have any of the following symptoms it could be a sign that you have gluten intolerance:
  1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and even constipation. I see the constipation particularly in children after eating gluten.

  2. Keratosis Pilaris, (also known as ‘chicken skin’ on the back of your arms). This tends be as a result of a fatty acid deficiency and vitamin A deficiency secondary to fat-malabsorption caused by gluten damaging the gut.

  3. Fatigue, brain fog or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten.

  4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis.

  5. Neurologic symptoms such as dizziness or feeling of being off balance.

  6. Hormone imbalances such as PMS, PCOS or unexplained infertility.

  7. Migraine headaches.

  8. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. These diagnoses simply indicate your conventional doctor cannot pin point the cause of your fatigue or pain.

  9. Inflammation, swelling or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees or hips.

  10. Mood issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings and ADD.


Wheat: The UNhealthy Whole Grain

A video by Dr. William Davis, author of the book Wheat Belly

How to test for gluten intolerance?

I have found the single best ways to determine if you have an issue with gluten is to do an elimination diet and take it out of your diet for at least 2 to 3 weeks and then reintroduce it. Please note that gluten is a very large protein and it can take months and even years to clear from your system so the longer you can eliminate it from your diet before reintroducing it, the better.
The best advice that I share with my patients is that if they feel significantly better off of gluten or feel worse when they reintroduce it, then gluten is likely a problem for them.  In order to get accurate results from this testing method you must elimination 100% of the gluten from your diet.

How to treat gluten intolerance?

Eliminating gluten 100% from your diet means 100%. Even trace amounts of gluten from cross contamination or medications or supplements can be enough to cause an immune reaction in your body.
The 80/20 rule or “we don’t eat it in our house, just when we eat out” is a complete misconception. An article published in 2001 states that for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity eating gluten just once a month increased the relative risk of death by 600%.
Still unsure?
Seek out an integrative practitioner or functional medicine physician to help to guide you.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

10 Toxic Products No One Needs

Advertisers spent an astonishing $144 billion in 2011 to entice shoppers to buy more and more stuff. So it’s not surprising that our homes are full of things we don’t even use — or like. This stuff just so happens to be where a lot of toxic chemicals lurk, so why not purge what isn’t necessary? To help you purge, we compiled the following list with the input of Healthy Child Healthy World’s active Facebook community. 

Vinyl, aka PVC, is banned in over 14 countries and the European Union. Unfortunately it’s still legally sold by U.S. retailers even though it threatens environmental and consumer health at every stage of its product life cycle. PVC can leach phthalates (linked to hormone disruption) and lead (a potent neurotoxicant), contaminating indoor air, dust, and eventually you. Go PVC-free by reading packages; look for a #3 in the recycling arrows symbol. If a plastic isn’t labeled, call its manufacturer. You can also smell check for PVC; it has that unique new shower curtain scent.

Healthy Child’s Facebook fans repeatedly cited dryer sheets as a toxic product they’d be happy to live without. Why? Because synthetic fragrances found in air fresheners, cosmetics, perfumes, and more can trigger asthma.  
Though exact fragrance formulas are protected as trade secrets, many contain diethyl phthalate (DEP), which can be absorbed through the skin. Phthalates are both suspected carcinogens and hormone disruptors increasingly linked to reproductive disorders. Unfortunately, phthalates are rarely listed on ingredient lists, making them tricky to avoid; trade secret formulas are exempt from federal labeling requirements. Until the law changes, consumers can choose fragrance-free products or use those scented with natural essential oils.

This huge category of products deserves inclusion in their entirety because of how extremely toxic they are. They’re made to be. That’s how they kill things. Unfortunately, solving a pest problem may leave you with another problem: Residual poisons that linger on surfaces, contaminate air, and get tracked onto floors and carpet from the bottom of shoes. There are so many non-toxic ways to eliminate both pests and weeds. Next time you need to go on the offensive, choose them.

Dirty cleaners
It’s odd to wipe toxic chemicals all over your oven, floors, counters, and toilets in order to get them “clean,” but that’s just what the majority of us do with conventional cleaners. Corrosive or caustic chemicals, such as the lye and acids found in drain cleaners, oven cleaners, and acid-based toilet bowl cleaners, are among the most dangerous ingredients because they burn skin, eyes, and internal tissue easily. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for anyone to know what their cleaner contains as cleaning product formulas, like fragrances, are currently government protected trade secrets. Either opt for products from a company voluntarily disclosing their natural, non-toxic ingredients, or make your own.

Canned food
Food shouldn’t be on a toxic product list, but most cans are lined with bisphenol-A (BPA), making them our main source of exposure to this chemical, which has been linked to early puberty, cancer, obesity, heart disease, depression in young girls, and more. Some brands are already BPA-free, and still others have pledged to go BPA-free in the future but haven’t yet. Buyer beware: some companies have switched to BPS, BPA’s chemical cousin, which has been linked to many of the same problems. To be safe, opt for fresh, frozen, dried, or jarred foods.
Leaded lipstick
Can you believe lead, a known neurotoxin that has no safe level of exposure, is found in lipstick? A study by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration discovered lead in 400 lipsticks at levels two times higher than found in a previous study. Pregnant women and children are especially at risk since lead can interfere with brain development. Either do without or choose wisely; lead can still be found in “natural” products if they contain natural mineral pigments, as it’s a naturally occurring element.
Nonstick cookware
Get this stuff out of your kitchen. Now. Studies have linked the perfluorinated chemical (PFC) typically used to make pots and pans stick resistant to cancer and infertility. PFCs contaminate and persist in the environment and have been found in low levels in the blood of 98 percent of Americans as well as all over the globe—including in the bodies of polar bears. In addition to cookware, PFCs can also be found in microwave popcorn bags and pizza boxes, some dental flosses, stain-guarded furniture, and clothing. Replace nonstick cookware with safer materials like cast iron, enamel coated cast iron, and stainless steel.

Bottled water
Americans buy a half a billion bottles of water every week. Most people do so thinking they’re avoiding the contaminants that may be present in tap water. For the most part, they’re wrong. Bottled water can be just as—or even more—contaminated than tap water. In fact, some bottled water is tap water packaged in plastic that can leach its chemical components into the H20, and overpriced. Also, from manufacture to disposal bottled water creates an enormous amount of pollution, ultimately making our water even less drinkable. Do yourself and the world a favor and invest in a reusable stainless steel water bottle. Then fill it with filtered tap water.

This antibacterial agent is everywhere: soap, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, and even clothing. Studies have found it can contribute to drug-resistant bacteria (i.e. superbugs) as well as harm the immune system, making us more likely to develop allergies. It also contaminates our waterways when it washes down the drain. Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns consumers to read labels for triclosan and recommends using just plain soap and water. If you still prefer to use an antibacterial hand sanitizer, avoid those made with triclosan.

Oil-based paints and finishes
There are 300 toxic chemicals and 150 carcinogens potentially present in oil-based paint, according to a John Hopkins University study. Safer options include water-based paint that is no- or at least low-VOC. VOC stands for volatile organic compounds, which are gases emitted from products like paint. VOCs can include variety of chemicals that may have adverse health effects. Natural finishes like milk paint and vegetable or wax-based wood finishes are other good alternatives.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Home Remedies for Grey or White Hair

Care, Diet and Home Remedies for Grey or White Hair in Early Age 

White or Grey hair isn’t easy to hide. Some people use dies, henna, wear caps or even scarfs to cover up their fading hair. As it is something very visible, people get really disturbed about their grey or white hair. They tend to make an effort to care for the rest of the remaining hair that haven’t been affected yet. Now for some people, they greyness or white hair come with age, yet there are still a few individuals, who face this problem early in life, usually in their teenage. The number of these individuals is increasing day by day.

Causes of white or grey hair:
There are a lot causes to white hair than just the genetic one that mostly people discuss. There can be deficiencies and in most cases there are. Hair doesn’t turn grey overnight. It’s a slow natural process and takes time. So don’t worry, the sooner you realize it, easier it is for you to take control of it. Here are a few causes of white or grey hair:
  • Genetics, a big role in early hair whitening.
  • Vitamin B deficiency in the body and hair
  • Chemical exposure, due to the environment or shampoos and conditioners
  • Smoking can affect the hair and the skin
  • Drug abuse may produce weakness or deficiency
  • Thyroid disorder may also be a reason
  • Shock from an incident or event

Care of Grey hair:
Today many celebrities and even normal average people have acquired the grey hair. They believe that the natural color is the best and are doing great with the silver waves that they have. Men always had the right mind set up and didn’t take on hair colors as much as women did, yet, there are many women today who have adopted the silver hair styles. Get good haircuts, something that suits your face, get work done on your hair, getting it styled! Take care of your hair and work with them. You hair are a part of your personality now. Many celebrities and retired athletes feel no shame in showing off their aging factor. But they do take care of their hair. Get hair treatments at good saloons. Give time to your hair, as much as you do to your dressing and makeup.

Diet for Grey Hair:
Of course deficiencies cause hair to turn grey faster than usual. This goes for everyone who faces grey hair problem before or after an age. They all know that grey hair can be prohibited or at least the process can be slowed down with the right diet. So keeping that in mind; there are a few items in a very normal grocery store than can help in keeping your greys intact. These foods make sure that you don’t face much loss of hair and the ones that are already dark are taken care of. These foods include:

  1. Fresh greens: yes, all leafy green vegetable do have the right amount of nutrition to provide your hair with the vitamins it needs. Steam your vegetables or boil them, don’t fry them or they will lose the nutrition. These vegetables not only help the hair but also keep the skin and heart fresh and healthy.
  2. Chocolates: yes! Chocolates have copper in them which helps in the production process of melanin in your hair. This substance keeps the original color intact. So make sure that you have from a quarter to half a bar of chocolate regularly. But don’t overdo it. Chocolate has its benefits but also side effects.
  3. Berries: go for fresh berries like strawberries that are a rich source of vitamin C. it promotes healthy hair and reduces natural signs of aging that are visible to the naked eye. So grab a basket and go berry picking. All berries are a source of nutrition.
  4. Almonds: easy to purchase from anywhere, have bunch of these but remember to eat them properly. I mean, chew them, grind them, until they change into a paste, and then swallow. They can be taken in any form and at any time.
Remedies for white hair:
For every problem, there is a remedy. The following are ways to protect and prevent grey or white hair:
  • Indian gooseberry or amla is being used in the South East Asia for generations, the trick is to soak the berries into water overnight and apply the paste next day on to your scalp. Massage well, so that the nutrition is absorbed in.
  • Use onion on the scalp. Apply it for 30 minutes and then wash your hair well with a shampoo. Make sure you do it twice a week and wash your hair well after it.
  • Drinking a glass of carrot juice daily can prevent white or grey hair. But this must be done regularly.
Take a cup of black tea without any sugar, but add a tea spoon of salt and apply it to your scalp. It also helps in retaining the original hair color.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What Chocolate Can Do for You

What Chocolate Can Do for You

Katharine Hepburn reportedly said of herself, "What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of chocolate." Inspired, we broke that down into hours, weeks, months and years.
By Jena Pincott

Within 90 minutes...your neurons are humming.

One way in which scientists test for alertness and mental stamina is by asking their subjects to do math in their head—counting down by 3s and 7s, for instance—tasks so tedious they're prescribed for insomnia. But 90 minutes after people drank cocoa, they rattled off correct numbers, found a study at the U.K.'s Northumbria University. Credit goes to flavanol, a plant antioxidant that has been found to widen blood vessels and increase blood flow in the brain. How much flavanol you get depends on origin, harvesting and processing, says one of the study's authors, Crystal Haskell-Ramsay, PhD. The most flavanol-rich options are usually the darkest and bitterest, like cocoa powder and baking chocolate. To match the study's cognitive sweet spot, she says, we'd need roughly 7 grams of special, enriched high-flavanol cocoa powder or a 3.5-ounce chocolate bar with at least 70-percent-cocoa content. (The cocoa powder in the study was Cocoapro; it's in CocoaVia and Dove Dark Chocolate products.)

Within two and a half can resist a pizza buffet.

Even if Mario Batali invites you to dinner tonight, you might be surprised by your own restraint. About 2.5 hours after eating 70-percent-cocoa chocolate (a 3.5-ounce bar), volunteers at the University of Copenhagen consumed 17 percent fewer calories at an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet than if they had eaten milk chocolate earlier on. Sweet, salty or fatty foods just didn't have the same draw, they said. Other research confirms: Dark chocolate—perhaps because it's so intense—decreases levels of the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin and is more filling. And here's the surprise: Even the smell of it made people less hungry.

Within three'll start to protect your heart.

This is when cocoa begins working like a class of hypertension drugs called ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors, found researchers at Sweden's Linköping University. The dose: about 2.6 ounces of unsweetened 72-percent-cocoa dark chocolate, which decreased the blood-pressure regulating enzyme (ACE) by 18 percent in three hours. Other research found that by the two-month mark, a daily dose of high-flavanol chocolate led to a drop of 2-to-3 mm Hg in blood pressure, which may translate to an 8 percent lower risk of stroke. While no cardiologist is (yet) prescribing chocolate in lieu of pharmaceuticals, research is ongoing. Chances are, patient compliance would be high.

After two weeks...your gut feelings start to change.

People who call themselves “high-anxiety" types experienced a dramatic shift at this point, found a study published in the Journal of Proteome Research. Before they started eating dark chocolate (about 1.5 ounces) daily, their urine and blood samples showed high levels of stress hormones. After two weeks on the regimen, those hormones dropped significantly. The scientists also noted changes in gut-bacteria metabolism, which suggests that microbes in the colon got better at processing—and maximizing the benefits of—flavanol and other healthy polyphenols. Flavanol is also a known prebiotic; it supports the “good guy" bacteria like Lactobacillus that you'd get if you ate that other “soothe-food": yogurt.)

After one month...hard-earned benefits are rolling in.

Great news for those with the steely discipline to eat chocolate every day, all month. By now, your ratio of "good" (HDL) to "bad" (LDL) cholesterol may have improved, as it did in volunteers who ate about 2.6 ounces of either dark or high-flavanol chocolate every day. The benefits may be cumulative, helping to prevent old-lady haze in the first place: People in their seventies who say they habitually eat some chocolate each week (along with polyphenol-rich wine and tea) scored significantly higher on cognition tests than abstainers. And, after a month of high-flavanol cocoa (we're talking 500 mg of flavanols a day, no less; which is in 7 grams of high-flavanol cocoa powder or a 3.5-ounce bar of intensely dark chocolate), subjects reported feeling significantly more serene.

After two and a half one knows you eat like a teenager.

At this point, you might scarf down hamburgers and cheesecake every day—yet have less inflammation and a lower insulin level than expected. Cocoa-eating mice seem to, at least. When they ate the human equivalent of 10 tablespoons of (low-sugar, low-fat) cocoa powder daily, their insulin levels dropped to almost one-third less than that of non-cocoa-eating mice on the same fatty diet. That's almost as low as that of mice on a low-fat diet. And they lost—lost!—weight to boot. One theory: Prebiotic flavanols in cocoa may improve the gut barrier, thereby preventing endotoxin, a junk-food-thriving bacterium, from leaking outside the digestive system and triggering the inflammation and insulin resistance that precede obesity and type-2 diabetes. (The researchers think humans will benefit similarly; stay tuned.)

After three months...your skin looks 13 years younger (without fillers).

Okay, maybe not a decade younger, but at least it may be suppler, smoother and plumper—found a German study that compared women's skin on and off a high-flavanol cocoa regimen. For those who drank a high-flavanol (329 mg) cocoa drink (comparable to most of a 3.5-ounce, 70-percent-cocoa chocolate bar) every morning for 12 weeks, the rate of blood flow to the epidermis doubled compared with a low-flavanol group. As a result, their skin became, on average, 16 percent denser, 11 percent thicker, 13 percent moister and 42 percent less scaly than before the experiment. Plus, it was 25 percent more resistant to the skin-reddening effects of UV rays—comparable to a mild sunscreen. There they are again, flavanols and other antioxidants saving our hides.

After a may feel thinner.

Chocolate poses an intriguing paradox, found researchers at the University of California at San Diego. Of the 1,000 adults they followed, those who regularly ate the stuff more than twice a week turned out to be slightly thinner than those who ate it less frequently. And, no, they weren't exercising more. The mystery may be explained by rodent studies in which cocoa's flavanols subtly retuned metabolism and increased sensitivity to insulin—resulting in the seemingly impossible: exercise-free, diet-free weight loss. But before you go hog-wild, note that the chocolate lovers didn't necessarily eat chocolate every day or very much in a serving. It's an energy-dense food, says Haskell-Ramsay—especially when sugar is added. To prevent your habit from leading to weight gain, she recommends making sure that the chocolate is consumed in place of—rather than in addition to—something else.

After a still gets your blood flowing.

When investigators tracked chocolate's cardiovascular benefits for up to ten years, the trends were...heartening. Of 31,000 Swedish women, those who said they ate chocolate once or twice a week had a 32 percent lower risk of heart failure than abstainers. While science can't prove that cocoa gets all the credit, its flavanols may deter platelets from clumping together to form deadly clots. But—and here's a big one—most of us prefer milk chocolate to the darker stuff, and all that excess sugar every day can eventually outweigh the benefits. The lesson is to eat the treat only in its leanest, most potent forms: Cocoa or dark chocolate that's high in flavanol, low in sugar and fat. Which, to some, is bittersweet news.

Monday, November 25, 2013


What Your Skin Breakouts Are Telling You
The face is like a mirror of the body and mind. Issues showing up on your face can be indicative of much deeper issues. As the seasons change, you may notice dry or red patches, blotchiness, or breakouts on your skin.

Blemishes on your face don't pop up randomly, they can reveal a disharmony in the body that gives you clues to what is going on internally. 

Particular areas of the face relate to certain organs, and each organ carries carries a connection to one of the body systems. Whether it's acne, rosacea, eczema, or hypersensitivity, most skin disorders have one thing in common: inflammation. 

Usually, distress in one organ or area of the body triggers inflammation somewhere else in the body but becomes most apparent in the skin. For example, congestion in your face (such as white-spots, or hard, granular-like bumps under the skin) or blotchy areas can be an indication of too much dairy or sugar in the diet. Redness could be a sign of stomach acidity caused by not enough digestive enzymes and an inappropriate diet.

The degree of acidity significantly affects the body's own ability to prevent illness, disease, and premature aging. A delicate balancing act occurs in our bodies at all times, known as our PH balance. 

If our PH balance gets too acidic, we are more prone to illness. The acidity prompts the immune system to respond negatively, creating more of a workload for our body to protect itself. Highly acidic food, smoking, hormonal imbalance, and a high-glycemic diet are the biggest offenders. These stressors cause a free radical cascade fueling inflammation internally and depleting our mineral reserves to neutralize the acid. 

In addition, glycation (a metabolic process where sugar molecules bond to proteins and DNA causing premature and wrinkles) becomes apparent from too much sugar or high glycemic foods. Inflammation and glycation are two related reactions that impact the body's natural state of balance and appearance of the skin. 
If you want, smooth and radiant skin, here are some tips to follow: 

1. Combine food strategically. 

Smart strategies can cool down the excessive fire and inflammation in the skin and body. For example eat fruit on its own, and avoid protein with starch. Acid present in protein, which is made up of amino acids, blocks the action of an important salivary enzyme necessary for proper starch digestion and can result in gas and bloating. 

Because vegetables contain water and fiber (important for optimal digestion), combining either animal protein or grains with vegetables is best.

2. Eliminate refined sugar and wheat. 

These increase inflammation and an acidic environment in the body. Cutting back on sugar and wheat will support the organs of elimination and in turn will increase your energy and skin clarity. 

If you've already cut out all refined sugar, continue to monitor your body when you eat even a minimal amount of natural sugar. Sometimes even fruit sugar will generate acne, because it feeds inflammation. 
3. Incorporate fermented foods into your diet. 

These foods are full of beneficial bacteria and probiotics that help support the body beyond digestion, reduce inflammation and keep yeast overgrowth and pathogenic microbes in check that can trigger breakouts. They are very potent detoxifiers, capable of drawing out a wide range of toxins and heavy metals. If you have poor digestion, it's' important to start incorporating these foods into the diet slowly to ensure the gut has proper time to heal and cleanse the body and the skin. 

I recommend eating about a quarter to a half a cup of fermented vegetables, or cultured food such as raw yoghurt, per day. Kombucha, a fermented drink, is another great addition. The greater the variety of fermented and cultured foods you include in your diet, the better, as each food will inoculate your gut with a variety of different microorganisms.

4. Eat good fats. 

Increasing your Omega-3 fatty acids (EFAs) helps the body produce prostaglandins, hormones that reduce inflammation. EFAs are responsible for skin repair, moisture content, and overall flexibility, but because the body cannot produce its own EFAs, they must be obtained through the diet. 

The best places to find omega-3 fats include cold-water fish, organic coconut oil, krill oil, walnuts, Brazil nuts, chia seeds, flaxseed and sea vegetables. 

5. Manage your stress. 

When we experience stress the body activates the “fight or flight” response, which triggers stress hormones thereby slowing the digestive process and compromising your digestion. Most of us are in a “fight or flight” mode all day, which starts the minute our alarm goes off, starting the days rushing around to get ready for work, check email, get the kids off to school, etc.. and most likely skipping breakfast in the process. This rushed behavior is stressful and shuts down our digestion increasing acidity and more inflammation in the body.

To effectively combat stress, we need to activate the body's natural relaxation response and bring the nervous system back into balance. Fitting in and finding the relaxation technique that's best for you can help. 

Activities like yoga, meditation and more exercise reduce everyday stress and boost your energy and mood. I recommend natural therapies like Acupuncture or Kinesiology to identify and correct imbalances. Kinesiology addresses the communication and connection between all systems and enables you to clear the blocks or barriers so you can accomplish your goals, tap into your inner resources and feel your best while providing tangible results for your health.

6) Repair with antioxidants.

Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and quench minor inflammation by sacrificing their own life as a replacement for missing electrons around the cells. Antioxidants also stop the cascade of destructive damage, since free radicals are inescapable, we must have a constant supply of antioxidant nutrients to keep our skin cells healthy. 

In addition, antioxidants may actually encourage our cells’ “fix-it” enzymes to repair damage. Our cells have a wonderful ability to heal themselves, but this mechanism works less efficiently as we get older. They also provide histamine regulation. Consider ingesting and using the following antioxidants topically adding a volume of antioxidant support.
  •  L-Ascorbic Acid – (Vitamin C). The most effective form is in pure crystals. It increases new collagen and increases the skin’s ability to heal.
  • L-Superoxide Dismutase- One of four major skin antioxidants, crucial for disarming the most dangerous free-radical and superoxide radical.
  • Coenzyme Q-10 (found naturally in our cells but decreases after age 20)
  • Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA; found in plant and animal sources)
  • Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE; found in fish)
  • Carotenoids (phytonutrients found in the red, yellow and orange flesh of plant leaves, flowers and fruit)
7. Supplement With Adaptogens. 

They are effective herbal tonics that can help handle stress by restoring the body’s homeostasis when undergoing stress, which means they have the ability to balance and stabilize the body’s systems (cardiovascular system, nervous system, endocrine system, musculature, lymphatic system, etc.) 

They also possesses analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Some of the most widely regarded adaptogens you should consider are: Ashwagandha, Asian ginseng, Cordyceps, Guduchi Holy Basil, Licorice, Reishi, Rhodiola, and Schisandra.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Inflammation, sugar and fat: A fresh take

Inflammation, sugar and fat: A fresh take
For quite some time now we have been fed a steady diet of negative news about one thing or another when it comes to what we should and should not be eating (e.g., saturated fat). We have also been told steadily what constituents in our bodies we should fear (e.g., cholesterol) and offered various pharmaceutical ways to reduce or eliminate these so-called terrible substances. But somewhere inside all of the rhetoric lies the truth about what we should really be paying attention to, namely inflammation and its causes, as opposed to all the distractions that amount to nothing more than misdirection and misery.

Fat as a scapegoat

Over the years, fat has taken a beating. It has become the dietary equivalent of a leper. Fat has been shunned, ridiculed and blamed for most of our dietary ills. But fats, including saturated fat, plays a significant role in our overall health. They transport and store fat-soluble vitamins, maintain hair and skin and provide protection for the cardiovascular system.

In the case of saturated fat, a Harvard study concluded that greater saturated fat intake was associated with less progression of coronary atherosclerosis. Some fats also help raise HDL cholesterol levels, and saturated fat specifically helps to change LDL from pattern B "bad" cholesterol to pattern A "good" cholesterol. To be sure, no one would advocate a high-fat diet, and even though saturated fat is not the demon it has been made out to be, balance in consumption is important. Not too much and not too little.

Special note: Stay away from trans-fats. These fats are highly inflammatory, man-made monstrosities that will destroy good health. These fats can be found in highly processed foods and fast food.

Sugar is the true villain

It is interesting to note that fat consumption in this country has decreased steadily for the past 40 years, while the rate of obesity and heart disease has continued to climb during the same time period. Not coincidentally, the amount of sugar consumed, especially in the form of fructose, increased, with the average American consuming approximately 208 lbs. of sugar and high fructose corn syrup annually. This increases not just weight gain but also inflammation. Sugar, and the inflammation it produces, has been the common link to diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease in far greater proportions than fat has been. In 2003, the World Health Organization published a report highlighting that consuming no more than 10% of calories from added sugars could lower the risk of heart disease in addition to obesity and diabetes.


Inflammation is a natural body process that summons our immune system into action and without it we would die. There are two kinds of inflammation, however. Acute (the kind we need to stay alive) and chronic. Chronic inflammation is an insidious killer, because unlike acute inflammation, you cannot feel it. Silently, it stresses the body and helps to create disease states that overwhelm the system, ultimately leading to death. As previously mentioned, sugar plays a large role in chronic inflammation, and its elimination or significant reduction alone could help decrease adverse health conditions.

Oftentimes, it is the most simple of solutions that can help rid us of our ills, but simple solutions do not sell billions of dollars of drugs per year. Relatively small fixes, like reducing red meat consumption and reducing or eliminating simple carbohydrates and sugars, could prove most beneficial and extremely cost effective. What's more, these changes usually only generate positive side effects (e.g., lower blood pressure, weight loss, stable blood sugar etc.).

Saturday, November 23, 2013

8 things not to eat

8 Foods Even The Experts Won’t Eat
Food scientists are shedding light on items loaded with toxins and chemicals–and simple swaps for a cleaner diet and supersized health. Experts from different areas of specialty explain why they won’t eat these eight foods.
Clean eating means choosing fruits, vegetables, and meats that are raised, grown, and sold with minimal processing. Often they’re organic, and rarely (if ever) should they contain additives. But in some cases, the methods of today’s food producers are neither clean nor sustainable. The result is damage to our health, the environment, or both. So we decided to take a fresh look at food through the eyes of the people who spend their lives uncovering what’s safe–or not–to eat. ” Their answers don’t necessarily make up a “banned foods” list. But reaching for the suggested alternatives might bring you better health–and peace of mind.

1. The Endocrinologist Won’t Eat: Canned Tomatoes

Fredrick Vom Saal, is an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A.
The problem: The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Unfortunately, acidity (a prominent characteristic of tomatoes) causes BPA to leach into your food. Studies show that the BPA in most people’s body exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. “You can get 50 mcg of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that’s a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young,” says vom Saal. “I won’t go near canned tomatoes.”
The solution: Choose tomatoes in glass bottles (which do not need resin linings), such as the brands Bionaturae and Coluccio. You can also get several types in Tetra Pak boxes, like Trader Joe’s and Pomi. Exposure to BPA Causes Permanent Damage In OffSpring

2. The Farmer Won’t Eat: Corn-Fed Beef

Joel Salatin is co-owner of Polyface Farms and author of half a dozen books on sustainable farming.The problem: Cattle evolved to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. But more money for cattle farmers (and lower prices at the grocery store) means a lot less nutrition for us. A recent comprehensive study conducted by the USDA and researchers from Clemson University found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium; lower in inflammatory omega-6s; and lower in saturated fats that have been linked to heart disease. “We need to respect the fact that cows are herbivores, and that does not mean feeding them corn and chicken manure,” says Salatin.
The solution: Buy grass-fed beef, which can be found at specialty grocers, farmers markets, and nationally at Whole Foods. It’s usually labeled because it demands a premium, but if you don’t see it, ask your butcher.

3. The Toxicologist Won’t Eat: Microwave Popcorn

Olga Naidenko, is a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group.

The problem: Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans, according to a recent study from UCLA. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize–and migrate into your popcorn. “They stay in your body for years and accumulate there,” says Naidenko, which is why researchers worry that levels in humans could approach the amounts causing cancers in laboratory animals. DuPont and other manufacturers have promised to phase out PFOA by 2015 under a voluntary EPA plan, but millions of bags of popcorn will be sold between now and then.

The solution: Pop organic kernels the old-fashioned way: in a skillet. For flavorings, you can add real butter or dried seasonings, such as dillweed, vegetable flakes, or soup mix. Make it organic and use coconut oil. If You’re Still Eating Microwave Popcorn, You’re Not Fully Grasping The Health Consequences

4. The Farm Director Won’t Eat: Nonorganic Potatoes

Jeffrey Moyer is the chair of the National Organic Standards Board.

The problem: Root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that wind up in soil. In the case of potatoes–the nation’s most popular vegetable–they’re treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. After they’re dug up, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting. “Try this experiment: Buy a conventional potato in a store, and try to get it to sprout. It won’t,” says Moyer, who is also farm director of the Rodale Institute (also owned by Rodale Inc., the publisher of Prevention). “I’ve talked with potato growers who say point-blank they would never eat the potatoes they sell. They have separate plots where they grow potatoes for themselves without all the chemicals.”

The solution: Buy organic potatoes. Washing isn’t good enough if you’re trying to remove chemicals that have been absorbed into the flesh. Budget tip: Organic potatoes are only $1 to $2 a pound, slightly more expensive than conventional spuds.


5. The Fisheries Expert Won’t Eat: Farmed Salmon

Dr. David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany, published a major study in the journal Science on contamination in fish.
The problem: Nature didn’t intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT. According to Carpenter, the most contaminated fish come from Northern Europe, which can be found on American menus. “You could eat one of these salmon dinners every 5 months without increasing your risk of cancer,” says Carpenter, whose 2004 fish contamination study got broad media attention. “It’s that bad.” Preliminary science has also linked DDT to diabetes and obesity, but some nutritionists believe the benefits of omega-3s outweigh the risks. There is also concern about the high level of antibiotics and pesticides used to treat these fish. When you eat farmed salmon, you get dosed with the same drugs and chemicals.
The solution: Switch to wild-caught Alaska salmon. If the package says fresh Atlantic, it’s farmed. There are no commercial fisheries left for wild Atlantic salmon. Farmed Fish vs. Wild Fish: How Healthy
Is The Fish At Your Favorite Grocery?

6. The Cancer Researcher Won’t Drink: Milk Produced With Artificial Hormones

Rick North is project director of the Campaign for Safe Food at the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility and former CEO of the Oregon division of the American Cancer Society.

The problem: Milk producers treat their dairy cattle with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST, as it is also known) to boost milk production. But rBGH also increases udder infections and even pus in the milk. It also leads to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor in milk. In people, high levels of IGF-1 may contribute to breast, prostate, and colon cancers. “When the government approved rBGH, it was thought that IGF-1 from milk would be broken down in the human digestive tract,” says North. “There’s not 100 percent proof that this is increasing cancer in humans,” admits North. “However, it’s banned in most industrialized countries.”

The solution: Buy raw milk or check labels for rBGH-free, rBST-free, produced without artificial hormones, or organic milk. These phrases indicate rBGH-free products. Why Do Humans Still Drink Milk?

7. The Biotech Specialist Who Won’t Eat Conventional Soy: GMO Unfermented Soy

Michael Harris is biotech specialist who has directed several projects within the biotech sector including those for genetically engineered food. He has been a consultant, manager and director for companies such as Xenon Pharmaceuticals and Genon Corporation.

The problem: Genetically engineered food is a cause of great concern due to the manipulation of DNA and genetic code including transfers from one species to another. Fermented Soy Is The Only Soy Food Fit for Human Consumption and since almost 90% of soy in the world is genetically modified, if you are not ensuring sources are organic, long-term health problems are inevitable, especially since soy has been found to affect hormonal balance and even cause cancer.

The solution: Check labels to ensure soy is Non-GMO or organic and never consume unfermented sources. If possible contact the company to find out exactly where the Non-GMO soy was obtained.


8. The Organic-Foods Expert Won’t Eat: Conventional Apples

Mark Kastel, a former executive for agribusiness, is codirector of the Cornucopia Institute, a farm-policy research group that supports organic foods.
The problem: If fall fruits held a “most doused in pesticides contest,” apples would win. Why? They are individually grafted (descended from a single tree) so that each variety maintains its distinctive flavor. As such, apples don’t develop resistance to pests and are sprayed frequently. The industry maintains that these residues are not harmful. But Kastel counters that it’s just common sense to minimize exposure by avoiding the most doused produce, like apples. “Farm workers have higher rates of many cancers,” he says. And increasing numbers of studies are starting to link a higher body burden of pesticides (from all sources) with Parkinson’s disease.
The solution:Buy organic apples or apples from a farmer that you trust!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Top twelve natural stomach pain killers

Top twelve natural stomach pain killers
It has been noted that one of the most popular requests in wellness stores is for products to help ease stomach pain naturally. People, from cancer patients to parents of babies suffering from colic, try to look for the safest and most effective way of dealing with stomach pain. There is actually no natural cure that will aid all types of stomach pain, but if the pain has been persisting for some time, you need the help of a doctor. For simple pains due to menstrual cramps or the ingestion of food that is already spoiled, there are many natural alternatives to make the stomach calm down.

Natural Stomach Pain Killers

Here's a rundown of 12 home and herbal remedies that can help soothe various types of belly discomfort:

1. Ginger

Ginger is known to possess anti-inflammatory properties plus other benefits. This also helps in easing stomach pains, as well as aiding in digestion. One can take this by peeling and grating the ginger and making a tea out of it.

For people who do not like spicy foods, ginger supplements may be better, as ginger can be a bit spicy. It is better to make a tea out of fresh ginger than to buy ginger ale, as the latter is already full of sugar. Conventional sugar can further aggravate stomach pain.

2. Fennel or licorice

These are similar in taste even though they come from different plants. These have a taste that not all people like, so if one does not like the taste, it is best to settle with other alternatives. Fennel and licorice are found in a lot of herbal teas, as well as supplements. To those who are alright with the taste, chewing a fresh slice (bulb) can ease stomach pain.

3. Chamomile

Chamomile doesn't only calm one's nerves but also soothes a painful stomach. People can take chamomile tea for upset stomachs. For additional flavor, lemon can be added to the tea.

4. Peppermint

Mint, similar to ginger, should be taken fresh in order to settle an upset stomach. Simply take a few sprigs of mint and put them in a cup of warm water. Chewing on a leaf can also help.

5. Lemon water

To those who have no ginger, licorice, mint or fennel at home, squeezing half of a lemon into a mug with warm water can help soothe the stomach too.

6. Baking soda

Antacids that are sold in the market typically have sodium bicarbonate, otherwise known as baking soda. People can simply take a teaspoon or two and mix it into a mug of warm water. This is as good as taking Alka-Seltzer to get rid of indigestion or heartburn.

7. Warm salt water

Salt water is good for sore throats as well as upset stomachs. A teaspoon of salt mixed in a cup of warm water will surely do the trick. In order to get the best results, it is recommended to drink the water as fast as one can.

8. Warm rice compress

Heat is known as one of the best methods to soothe an upset stomach, especially when it comes to cramps. To those who have no heating pads at home, they can make one out of an old sock plus some uncooked rice. Place it inside the microwave for a minute and use on the affected area.

9. Active Charcoal

Charcoal is popular in the hospital for cases of alcohol or food poisoning, as it helps to neutralize the poison in the body. To treat children with stomachaches or diarrhea, so too are bananas, rice and applesauce (BRAT).

10. Cola syrup

This has been used for a long time to treat upset stomachs. Cola syrup has been deemed safe for children, as well as delicious.

11. Apple cider vinegar

This vinegar is said to be very beneficial to the body. A few teaspoons mixed in a glass of warm or cold water can help alleviate the pain.

12. Aloe vera juice

People who have intestinal problems have reported that this juice is very helpful. It can help get rid of cramps, gas, diarrhea and bloating.

These are 12 popular remedies to help treat stomach pain. However, if the pain is persistent even with the use of these remedies, immediate medical help should be sought.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

November Conscious Box - Gluten-Free

November Conscious Box 2013 - Gluten-Free

How Does Conscious Box work?

Conscious Box is the best way to discover the most ethical and sustainable products on the planet! Focusing on strict tenets of organic, fair trade, and pure and natural products, each month Conscious Box will introduce you to healthy and honest alternatives for every aspect of your life and for every member of your family. Discover the best natural products, earn points for leaving feedback and reviews, and buy your favorites at incredible discounts!

  • Get a variety of unique pure & natural products every month!
  • From organic food to vegan beauty products, you’re sure to find new favorites!
  • Discover ethical and purpose-driven businesses of all sizes!
  • Get content on daily living tips, exciting monthly themes, and creative ways to use your box!
  • Easily earn points you can apply to full size products for unbeatable discounts!

MRM Relax-All or Digest-All
MRM Relax-All or Digest-All
MRM Relax-All is the perfect aid for relaxation and heightened mental tranquility. MRM Digest-All is the perfect aid for digestion. Which did you get?

Vintage Tradition Body Balm
Moisturize and hydrate your whole body with this chemical-free body balm. You can rest assured that it's made from all pure ingredients like tallow from 100% grass-fed cows, extra virgin olive oil and organic essential oils.

Mighty Leaf Organic Teas
Mighty Leaf Organic Teas
Mighty Leaf Teas are indulgent and soothing artisanal whole leaf teas. You'll love these luxurious, aromatic and organic teas in varieties such as Earl Grey and Green Jasmine.

YogaAnne Calm Essential Oil Blend
YogaAnne Calm Essential Oil Blend
Use this soothing essential oil blend to compliment the special stress-reducing yoga flow designed for you at With this set, you'll also receive a free month of YogaAnne so you can learn 8-minute yoga flows you'll be able to fit into your busy day.

Becky's Blissful Bakery Salted Gingerbread Caramels
Becky's Blissful Bakery Salted Gingerbread Caramels
Get in the holiday spirit with these decadent salted gingerbread caramels from Becky's Blissful Bakery.

Mediterranean Snacks tapaz2go
Mediterranean Snacks tapaz2go
Tired of always taking trail bars as an on-the-go nutritious snack? Then check out tapaz2go, a delicious, gluten-free, protein-rich snack pack consisting of sea salt lentil crackers and hummus. No worries about making a mess with this handy dandy on the go mini-meal.

DetoxRx Cell-U-Firm Body Gel
DetoxRx Cell-U-Firm Body Gel
Whether we like it or not: cellulite happens. But with this all-natural body gel from DetoxRx, you can reduce the appearance of it. Simply massage a dollop of this calming, aloe-based gel onto any areas of concern and you'll really start to notice the difference.

Portland Bee Balm
Portland Bee Balm
It doesn't get more local or natural than Portland Bee Balm. These fantastic lip balms are made from beeswax and honey, harvested from the Anita and Brad's (the owners) own backyard hives.

Belle Aglaia Organic Youth Hand-Body Lotion
Fight the effects of aging with this antioxidant-packed lotion made within a few miles of our warehouse here in Portland, Oregon. You'll love its all-natural formula, featuring moisturizing ingredients such as shea butter, argan oil and Vitamin E.

Rebootizer Destress Detox
Rebootizer Destress Detox
Detox your liver and boost your metabolism with this tasty antioxidant-rich beverage. This 100% natural drink is made from a blend of fruit and plant extracts to help get you back in tip-top shape.

Country Life Triple Action Stress Shield Nighttime
Country Life Triple Action Stress Shield Nighttime
Give yourself the gift of a good night's rest without the use of potentially harmful drugs with these triple-action supplements. These vegetarian, gluten-free dietary supplements have been shown to support sleep, relaxation and alleviate stress.

Sunology Natural Sunscreen
Sunology Natural Sunscreen
Lose the chemicals, not the protection with 50 SPF sunscreen made from safe, natural and active ingredients. Protect yourself and your family naturally with Sunology.

Use this awesome iPhone app to create and customize your own postcards from pictures you take. And best of all, these postcards are printed on 100% recycled paper with vegetable based ink and for every 20 you send, Postography will plant a tree. Talk about a conscious way to reach out to your friends and family.

Swiss Villa Raw Milk Cow Cheese: Dill Onion
Swiss Villa Raw Milk Cow Cheese: Dill Onion
Cheese in a Conscious Box? You bet. These herbaceous, robust raw milk cow cheeses are a tasty accompaniment to crackers or apple slices and comes from grass-fed cows on small Pennsylvania farms.

Smarty Pants Weight Management Complete

Smarty Pants Weight Management Complete

veggies, all in a delicious, soft-baked granola bar. Packed with fiber