Probiotics for life

Welcome to the New Year. As the old saying goes, “a new year means a new you”. It’s that time of year when we look over our lives to decipher what has been working. This custom is easier said then done. No more resolutions, or broken promises to ourselves, let’s just decide, and make the change today. As we sit, and absorb these words, lets take a nourishing breath, exhale, and focus on the present moment and release the past. I am a firm believer in fate, the law of attraction and synchronicity. If you are reading these words at this particular time, then they are meant for you at this moment. It may not be for you directly, rather, just information for you to pass on to someone in your life.

 

Life is short, precious and beautifully spend. Today we are suffering from a wide variety of health disorders resulting from an inflammatory response within the body. Our diets, along with external pollutants are causing our body to enter into a fight response mechanism. Our central nervous system is so overworked that rest and relaxation has become a desired achievement, like obtaining a degree from a University. The human body is constantly attempting to maintain homeostasis (balance), within each system. Stress is the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses as a means of protection.

 

In grade school Science class, we learned bacteria was bad and not needed. We weren’t taught the importance of good bacteria in our gut and digestive tract. In fact, good and bad are improper terms; bacteria should be kept in balance, because neither is helpful without the other. Most inflammatory conditions, plaguing society today stem from an imbalance within the digestive tract. Over 80% of the immune system is also found in the digestive system. Bacteria are single celled microorganisms found everywhere on earth, (water, soil, plants, our body). A human fetus has no bacteria in its digestive tract until it passes through the birth canal during birth and swallows the bacteria that are present in the canal. The bacteria then colonize, creating a healthy digestive tract that should last a lifetime. However, processed, unrefined foods, sugar and environmental pollutants are now tearing away at our good bacteria creating problems from leaky gut syndrome, celiac disease, autism, lupus, colon cancer, etc. Almost all diseases initiate from the body’s inflammatory response to pollutants. It is now time for a rebirth outside of the womb. We need to return the good bacteria into our gut daily to create homeostasis. Optimal health is dependent on a well-balanced bacterial environment inside the digestive tract.

 

Probiotics are good live bacteria and yeasts that are consumed through your diet to help balance the digestive tract. Probiotic foods are fermented, which results in the growth of good bacteria. Look over the list below and add as many that are tolerable. If you are lactose intolerant stay away from any dairy recommendations. (My personal favorites are kombucha and fermented vergetables). Both can be made in your kitchen with a fairly easy process.

  • Sauerkraut
  • Yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Fermented vegetables
  • Tempeh
  • Miso
  • kombucha

 

Probiotics can also be obtained over the counter in a pill form, ensure they are a high potency billion count daily formula. Supplements are meant to do just that, supplement, Not take the place of. Ensure you are consuming your natural probiotics from the list above. Studies have also linked probiotics to a healthier immunity leading to fewer colds, weight loss, less allergies, cancer prevention, better sleep, and an overall better feeling. Let’s leave that tired, sluggish feeling in the past with 2015. This is a new year, start right, don’t wait until tomorrow, make the changes today.

 

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Save the children

Save the children.

As we enter the final month of the year, it is important to look over your life and recognize your strengths and weaknesses.  As we complete our day-to-day tasks, life can seem to go by swiftly, before you know it retirement arrives and your dreams are lost. We must remain conscious daily with appreciation and gratitude toward life. If you examine the last decade of your life, changes will be abundant. We have become consumed with working, taking care of others, and barely slowing down to relax and reflect. This fast paced lifestyle has become detrimental to our health because we are consuming processed foods, chemicals and pesticides resulting in an overactive system leading to depression and sleep disorders. We have moved away from natural sources, and have become a pill popping quick fix society.

Prescription drug use has been on the rise in the US over the last decade. Studies show that America is the leading country in prescription drug usage for both kids and adults. The study, published in the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief No. 42, says the percentage of Americans who took at least one prescription drug rose from 43.5% in 1999-2000 to 48.3% in the 2007-2008 period. The report also says that in the 2007-2008 period:

  • One of every five children and nine out of 10 older Americans reported using at least one prescription drug in the month prior to being surveyed.
  • 22.4% of kids up to age 11 used at least one prescription drug.
  • 29.9% of young people 12-19 used at least one prescription drug.

These statistics are alarming and disturbing. During the late 1980’s, the American Psychiatry Association added a new disorder to the Diagnostic manual known as ADHD, (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), resulting in the increase of psychotropic drugs being prescribed to children.  Today, the numbers are continuously rising. Children entering the public school system are being targeted for being young and playful. Young 5 year olds are required to sit still for a seven-hour school day and conduct themselves like adults.  Today, the structure of school is not compatible with the natural nature of children. Administrators are focused more on test scores then the children’s well being and the classrooms are so packed, teachers don’t have enough time to focus on behavior issues.

There in no testing for Psychiatric medications on children under the age of six, and yet they are being prescribed to babies in alarming numbers. According to the National Institute of Mental health, “medications are used to treat the symptoms of mental disorders, not cure them”. Todays children are being used as guinea pigs in a real life experiment and the long term effects from these drugs are unknown.

In the past, when kids became ill, medication was a last resort? Parents would put kids in baths to bring a fever down, flush their sinuses with a neti pot, cod liver oil was a staple in every household, and bone broth chicken noodle soup was a cure all. Antibiotics were not a household name and children were not medicated for made up psychiatric conditions.

Are we turning our children into real life robots? Are we so distant from Mother Nature that we are accepting society altering our foods, vaccines, and now our children?  It is time to wake up and save our children. They are the future. If we don’t change these practices, our next generation will be walking zombies. They will have no control nor need for feelings or intimacy. We have witnessed numerous societal changes within our lifetime. It is natural and beneficial for a culture to advance and thrive, however, some changes need to be examined and questioned as to its validity in our society today and tomorrow. Urge your elected officials to say no to childhood medications, share this information with a friend because each one must teach two. And above all, say no to drugs in your own family. Know your rights and stay informed. The future of our children is depending on our choices today.

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How are you being touched?

Welcome to the season of Thanksgiving. This is the time of year when we take time to recognize, appreciate and present gratitude for everything in our lives. A time when family and friends join together over home cooked meals and celebrate unity and love. Additionally, we honor the Native Americans that inhibited America, and recognize their connection to family, love, community, and nature. History is more then a lesson from the past, it is a celebration, remembrance, and honoring of the ancestors that walked these grounds, fought the fight and has left their legacy to guide us.

 

History and tradition inspires our values and beliefs today. Time seems to be passing fast and change is happening daily. Do you remember when telephones were for adults only? There, where no cell phones, computers, or Internet? We actually had to make physical contact. I can remember living on the third floor in Brooklyn, NY and my friends would stand down stairs at the window and scream, “Hope, can you come out and play”? Wow, it seems like only yesterday, but times has surely changed. Today we are living in the world of fast paced technology. Everyone has a cell phone or a computer. We are able to contact with people all over the world in a split second. To underdeveloped cultures, technology appears to be an advancement, however, it is proving more of a disadvantage socially. Americans have become severely disconnected on a personal level.

 

The natural human act of touch has disappeared. Culturally, Americans aren’t connecting physically or emotionally. Today, physical touch has stigmas attached that have created a paranoia and fear about abuse and the misuse of authority. People are simply “afraid”, to give a hug, touch a hand or even give an encouraging pat on the back. What happened to intimacy? Is its absence a reason for all the violence in society? Have people become numb like robots; just walking around connecting electronically and disconnecting from what makes us human?

 

Touch is required for our species to thrive. Thriving is the natural flow of life, the order of Mother Nature and a human right. In our smallest form we are molecular energy. In physics, energy is defined as a property of objects, which can be transferred to other objects or converted into different forms, but cannot be created or destroyed. Our energy fields expand in the presence of others, so when we think loving thoughts, we radiate that energy and attract more. The Earths electromagnetic field and the frequency of humans both resonate at 7.8 HZ. People were meant to live in harmony with Earth and its daily seasonal cycles. Our high paced, electronic, technological world has moved us far from our natural balance. We must begin to send love and touch the world around us.

 

Time waits for no one. Our species is becoming distant from each other and nature. Take time out during this Thanksgiving season to review your thoughts and beliefs on touch and intimacy, not just with friends and family, but, strangers and neighbors alike. What kind of energy are you transferring? What do people remember about you? How are you touching people around you? Don’t wait for something traumatic to happen. Start today, take notice of your behavior and let’s work together to thrive and grow as a species.

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Metabolism and weight loss

From magazines to television advertisements, we are saturated with information regarding weight loss. Thousands of products have flooded the markets with weight loss claims. Our world has become so fast paced; many are not interested in taking the long road to healthy eating and weight loss. Remember, the FDA has no regulations on supplements or alternative medicine. They are left at the discretion of the buyer. Make sure to research the company as well as their products. Become an investigative consumer; In the long run, it will save you money and disappointments.

 

Most products geared towards weight loss often claim to boost metabolism. This word has become a part of the natural vernacular. It’s almost impossible to have a conversation regarding weight, without this word popping up. What is metabolism anyway? Where did this word suddenly come from? Does anyone really know what it is or how it works?

 

The human energy system is a miraculous system that converts calories from food, into energy needed for the body to work and preform activities. Similar to putting fuel in your car to drive, your body acts like a vehicle, requiring food as fuel. Individuals require different amounts of energy (calories) daily for regular body functions such as breathing, circulation, and digestion, etc. This is known as an individuals BMR (basal metabolic rate). Which is the rate that your body converts food into energy. The three factors determining ones BMR is; height, weight, age and activity level. So, when weight loss is a goal, initially you should calculate your BMR then subtract approximately 500 calories from that number daily and weight loss will occur because of a caloric deficit to the body. It is important not to create too much of a deficit or you will put your body into starvation mode. The body does not know that the mind has decided to go on a diet; it thinks it is an emergency and will begin to hold onto and store all incoming nutrients as fat to protect you from death. So, take your time with weight loss, combine your new diet with resistance training and a cardio workout. Remember, this is your body, take control into your own hands.

 

In a nutshell, be very cautions of weight loss products claiming to increase metabolism. Your food and beverage intake combined with physical activity ultimately determines how much you weigh. Metabolism is defined as the rate at which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. It is very unlikely to change ones metabolism without manipulating with their thyroid producing hormones (TSH), which would be very dangerous. Most weight loss products are packed with caffeine, which increases the heart rate. Your body could potentially require more energy because of this extra work from the heart, but it will raise your high blood pressure creating different health issues.

 

Remember, metabolism is a natural process; your body has many mechanisms to keep it regulated for your individual needs. Trust nature. And be very cautious against products that claim to boost metabolism. Weight gain can be due to eating too many empty calories, lack of exercise, hormonal levels, stress, lack of sleep, and even genetics. So, take caution. Look at your journey into the weight gain, analyze your diet and lifestyle, and notice when the changes occurred and what was going on in your life. There is no magic pill for weight loss, only continued commitment to eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

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Cooking 101

Cooking 101

 

Our ancestors, and all those who graced this world before our time, started what we call; “tradition”. Webster defines tradition as the transmission of cultures and beliefs from generation to generation. The foods we eat and the way we prepare them are all learned customs and traditions that were passed down from generation to generation.

 

Today, we are embarking upon a new world, where crops are not grown organically, the cows aren’t feed their traditional diets, and most animals are raised in crowded, disease stricken areas that require the administration of antibiotics even when the animals aren’t sick. Let’s face it. The food supply today is not the food of yesterday. America’s technological advancements and their desire to dominate the worlds order, has placed our health in a high risked state. The cooking advice, previously taught must be enhanced to counteract the side effects.

 

The decision to cook has to be more than food preparation to cure a hungered stomach. It must be valued and cherished as a means to provide our bodies with the essential nutrients needed to build healthy cells, protect against toxins, and support a strong immune system to maintain good health. This month I would to share some of my personal cooking ideas, so please enjoy, from my kitchen to yours.

 

  1. Olive oil is a good polyunsaturated fat as long as it is not cooked. Use olive oil in salad dressings and as an additive after the food has been heated. Cooking olive oil makes it rancid and unstable, which can clog arteries. Sautee vegetables in vegetable broth instead of olive oil.
  2. Black pepper is a good spice that aids in digestion. Remember, it is a seed and should be broken right before consumption. Invest in a grinder and stay away from black pepper that is purchased grounded.
  3. Use garlic in every meal that calls for it. When preparing your food, always take one clove for the cook. Don’t mash the clove, simply cut into a few pieces and swallow with a glass of water. It is just like taking a pill, only provided by Mother Nature. It won’t come through your pores and you wont have garlic breath. Garlic is an antioxidant, and antiviral.
  4. Beans are an excellent form of protein. To prevent gas, cook them in a sea vegetable named, kombu. It will eliminate gas and add lots minerals like: calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, iodine, chromium, and copper. Most foods today lack these essential trace minerals.
  5. Switch out your all- purpose seasoning to Herbamare. It is natural fine sea salt infused with organic fresh herbs and vegetables: celery, leek, cress, onion, chives, parsley, lovage, garlic, basil, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and kelp. (Now that is flavor)
  6. Bragg, Nutritional Yeast seasoning also adds great flavor with awesome health benefits. This item is high in vitamin B, Niacin B3, B6, B2, Folic acid and vitamin B12. Anyone considering or is already a vegetarian or vegan should defiantly use this product. It is difficult to obtain the B vitamins naturally without consuming meats products.
  7. Braggs, liquid Aminos will add flavor to any food from vegetables, soups, beans, fish and meats. It is made from non-GMO soybeans and purified water.
  8. Grow organic herbs in your kitchen window and experiment with adding fresh herbs to all of your dishes. Munch on a handful of Cilantro daily to help remove toxins from the blood.
  9. Enjoy onions raw, caramelized, grilled, or stewed. They help with immunity and contain chromium, which assists in regulating blood sugar as well as reduce inflammation and heal infections.

 

Last, and defiantly not least, make your own vegetable broth to cook with. Place all of your unused fresh vegetables in a crock-pot filled with filtered water. Add some seaweed for the natural minerals along with garlic and onions. Slow cook for 10 hours and enjoy. Remember, there are no preservatives added, so only keep what you need for one week in the refrigerator and store the rest in containers in the freezer for the following weeks.

 

Cooking is really 101. Don’t turn it into a 400 level course. The most important ingredient is Love. All food prepared in your home should contain “Vitamin L” (love). Food is nurturing as well as comforting. Enjoy the process and always use fresh herbs and spices.

 

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We are connected to Mother Earth.

Since the beginning of time humans have been attempting to understand our planet earth. Throughout the years there have been many theories, hypotheses, and beliefs. There is a frequency connection of 7.83 Hz, which exist in humans as well as the planet earth. We are directly connected and share the same frequency (pulse).

 

Have you ever walked outside and felt rejuvenated, empowered, and full of life? That is probably because we are all beings of frequency. We are directly energized and affected by the energy from the sun and the universe. All livings organisms generate their own electromagnetic field at the cellular level and are connected to the earth’s frequencies. Bee’s, which are responsible for the pollination of the majority of our food supply, and many species of birds, have experienced a tremendous decrease in numbers. Their wings and navigation systems are being affected by the increase of manmade electromagnetic frequencies. These animals rely on the earth’s magnetic fields to navigate. Insect pollination is required by plants that supply or vegetables, fruits, and nuts, additionally, the animals that we consume in our diets must also feed on the plants pollinated by Bees. Therefore, it is imperative that we begin to protect our environment and ourselves.

 

Over the last decade cell phone usage has increased tremendously. It is estimated that 91% of Americans own cellphones, requiring an increase in cell phone towers, EMR (Electromagnetic Radiation) and RF (Radiation Frequencies). Studies are showing that these magnetic frequencies are not only affecting the bees and the birds, humans are affected as well. The CDC (center for disease control) has stated that cell phones should be used with caution, suggesting that the radiation frequency could be a possible carcinogen (agent that causes cancer). Cell phones also come with a warning and suggestion to use headphones instead of placing the phone directly on the ear.

 

RF (Radiation Frequencies) is also affecting our sleep patterns and overall health. Inside of the brain is an endocrine gland known as the pineal gland. At night, it secretes a hormone called melatonin, which regulates sleep patterns, and acts as a natural antioxidant and anticancer agent. At night, the Pineal gland senses the loss of light and begins to work by secreting melatonin to regenerate new cells and clean out free radical cells that cause disease. Present research is showing that this process is being interrupted, because the pineal gland is not able to decipher between the electromagnetic fields from cell phones and Wi-Fi with the natural daytime light. Therefore, causing the gland not to produce an adequate amount of melatonin into the cells. This natural body function, of cell mitosis is reduced causing our bodies to be susceptible to disease and sleep disturbances.

 

Melatonin is our body’s natural antioxidant and anticancer source. The cell phone companies as well as the government are not going to tell the complete truth. We must become proactive and research methods of protection. Minerals such as selenium, magnesium, and iodine play a large role in protecting the cells and removing heavy metals. Additionally, certain supplements like Noni juice and Spirulina also provide cell protection and help to build a healthy immune system. Don’t put your health in the hands of the government, take control of your life and be proactive.

 

 

 

 

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Spring Cleaning

Spring has sprung. Open your windows and let the sun shine in, Enjoy a glass of fresh clean water, remove your shoes off and feel the soil beneath your feet, take a slow stroll out doors and enjoy the blooming flowers while inhaling a deep relaxing breath and releasing the cold harsh days of winter.

 

The human body is a miraculous machine that never takes a day off. Your body is continuously cleaning and fighting toxins and pollutions. We can assist by committing to a detox program at least two times per year. This will give your digestive system a break and allow your body to release stored toxins. Detoxing should be natural and simple. Try to avoid using products that have been processed into pills or powders. It is best to consume foods in their natural whole state.

 

Begin your detox by choosing a time when you are off from work or school to ensure optimal rest and recovery with limited stress and worries. Pick up a good book to read, and a relaxing spot to sit in relaxation or meditation. Choose to eat organic vegetables and fruits. They can be placed into the blender for a smoothie, juiced, or lightly cooked. Add vegetables to clear vegetable broth to make a relaxing soup. Butternut squash and apple soup will optimize the cleansing process, along with drinking water with lemon and fresh organic herbal tea.

 

 

Here are some additional things to stay away from:

 

  • Drugs, Alcohol, Caffeine
  • Unnecessary over-the-counter medications – this is why it’s important to consult your 
physician before starting any Detox program
  • Fast food (foods high in trans/saturated fat, additives, and preservatives)
  • Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners
  • Salt
  • Refined/processed/artificial ingredients
  • Packaged foods
  • Gluten (bread, pasta, many pre-packaged foods, etc.) – Read ingredients!
  • Animal protein – meat, chicken, fish, eggs
  • Dairy – Milk, cream, ice cream, yogurt, cheese

 

Try not to concentrate on the items to stay away from. It is easier to think of putting the good stuff in. Focus on the enjoyment of your renewed cleaning process. Detoxing can also be a jump-start to weight loss and a host of other improvements such as:

Bloating •Headaches •Joint Pain •Itchy Skin •Sweet Cravings •Sleeplessness •Constipation

Keep all of your cleaning simple, safe, and natural. Enjoy your detox and embrace all that Mother Nature has offered. Stand outside with your feet touching the soil, enjoy the sunset, breath deeply and consume foods that have grown on a plant. Not made in a plant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Balance your life

Standard education has its pros and cons. Sometimes I sit and ponder on the education system and its relevance to my daily life. I often wonder why holistic nutrition and wellness wasn’t the focus of learning especially considering it is the cornerstone to vitality and life. It doesn’t matter how much money you make, if you don’t feel good physically and mentally the enjoyment is limited. Do you remember Earth Science? Learning about the earths crust and the table of elements? At the time it seeded like a complete waste of time, until I was able to make a connection to my present life. Throughout history, our planet Earth has undergone a lot changes, but similar to the human body, Earth fights to maintain balance between its minerals, structures and water content.

 

Is it a coincidence, that the minerals widely distributed in nature are the ones necessary in human nutrition? Minerals perform a wide variety of metabolic functions in the human body. Most minerals can be found in the soil and are consumed when you eat vegetables or the animal that ate that vegetable. America has taken the liberty of fortifying (adding) some minerals to beverages like the calcium found in juice or milk. Other minerals like potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron must be consumed through foods.

 

One mineral that has gotten bad publicity is Sodium. This major mineral has been labeled bad and the direct cause of high blood pressure leading to heart disease. We have come to know this mineral as table salt. In ancient times, salt was as precious as gold. It was used as currency, and a valuable trade commodity. Salt was traditionally used as a medicine, wound healing, and a food preservative, which allowed for storage without contamination for the long cold winters.

 

The difference between the salt in ancient times and the salt of today is one word, refined. Table salt today has been stripped of all of its natural minerals and laced with aluminum based anti-caking conditioning agent, which are a toxic to the body and disturbs the body electrolyte balance. Electrolytes are minerals and other fluids in the blood that carry an electric charge that effects the amount of water in the body, acidity of blood, and muscle functions. It is important to buy unrefined mineral salt such as Celtic sea salt and pink Himalayan salt which provide the body with up to 80 essential and trace minerals. During the reefing process of table salt, iodine is added; since sea salt is minimally processed it contains only small amounts of iodine. Understanding the benefit of the mineral Iodine to Thyroid health, please be aware and add iodine rich foods to your diet, like cranberries, plain yogurt, boiled eggs, canned tuna, lobster, shrimp, and cod fish.

 

The bad rap is respectively given to refined white table salt and processed foods, which contains large amounts of refined salt. Remember, salt has been a staple in diets for thousands of years. Sodium is found on the outside of the cell where Potassium is found inside of the cell. There is a natural balance that must be made between the two. Never deal with one without the other. If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, examine your potassium intake values vs. your unrefined sodium intake. Foods high in Potassium are:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • White beans
  • Dark leafy vegetables
  • Squash
  • Bananas
  • Avocadoes

Take care of your health and maintain a well balanced diet though consuming not just your macronutrients; carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, but ensure you are consuming adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals as well.

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Celebrate movement.

The month of February is a celebration of black history and their contributions to the American culture. From politicians to inventors, people of African descent have contributed tremendously to the natural fabric of America. Their contributions have been left out of the history books and crammed into one month of recognition and celebration. I am honored to uphold the great spirits of today as well as my ancestors from whom I gain my strength and wisdom.

 

Strength can be measured both physically and psychologically. People of all ethnicity can be inspired and encouraged to optimize their own strength, flexibility, and endurance. These terms are most popularly used in physical fitness during a workout. As a nation we are slowly becoming stagnant with limited movement and mobility. No matter what area of the globe our ancestors originate, they were all very mobile. From hunters and gathers to farmers and laborers, movement has been a defining force in society. Early humans populated the globe from movement through ice glaciers to high mountains; movement has been a cornerstone to our advancements.

 

Eating a well-balanced diet is only part of the prescription for good health. It is important to incorporate an enjoyable workout routine at least three days a week. If gyms are not be your ideal setting, create a workout routine in your home. You-tube is infamous for instructional videos with great visuals. A balance ball and a resistance band is all you will need to begin. Body weight training will build muscle, strength, endurance, flexibility, and increase cardiovascular activity. The heart is the most important muscle in the human body. Yet, heart disease is the number one killer in America. Despite the FDA and the food regularities in America we are still dying in massive numbers. It is time to take control of your diet by eating whole natural foods and exercising.

 

Another good tool I would like to introduce is a foam roller. It is foam that comes in variety of textures ranging from soft, medium, to hard. You lie down on the floor and roll the muscles in the body. It is best described as a well needed self-massage. The technical name is MFR (myofascial release). As you roll over each muscle, the tissue is slowly lengthening allowing for greater flexibility and tension release. This technique has existed for years in the therapy community, and is now available at your fingertips. There are plenty of you-tube videos depicting step-by-step instructions. The foam roller can be purchased in the sports section of any Wal-Mart, Target, TJ Max, or Marshalls.

 

 

Remember, as we age it is vital to exercise the heart and strengthen the muscles. Choose to walk, take the stairs, squat while watching your favorite TV show, or even play your favorite song and let loose. Your body was designed to move. Don’t allow exercise to become a tedious thought that you dread doing, find your passion in movement. Do what makes you smile. Jumping rope could remind you of your youth, while boxing can make you feel like a champ. Be creative, and remember your life depends on it.

 

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Sleep does the body good

 

Season’s greetings. We have entered into the busiest season of the year. Sale flyers and TV commercials are soaring the airways with advertisements and sales. This time of year can leave us physically and emotionally exhausted. Despite the happy family gatherings and laughter with close friends, we must remember to stop, enjoy the moments, relax and prepare for a good nights sleep.

 

Americans are increasingly suffering more anxiety and sleep disorders. Computers, TV, work, video games, shopping, and all of the world’s problems have forced our bodies into exhaustion. Additionally, many Americans are overdosing on stimulants such as caffeine, red-bull, and sugar, creating hormone imbalances and an inability to achieve a good nights sleep.

 

The problem has gotten so out of hand that sleep-enhancing pills have become a staple in most households. These low-grade sedatives don’t deal with the causes of sleep disorders. They are simply a temporary solution to an elevating problem. This would be like discovering water on the kitchen floor from a leak, and deciding to mop, and never fixing the broken pipe.

 

Hormones are what sustains us and keeps us in balance. They support many functions in the body including sleep. Melatonin is know as the hormone of darkness, because it is produced in the pineal gland at night and is the key component to a good nights sleep. However, if your body and mind are exhausted and over stimulated, you won’t have the energy needed to produce the hormone in quantity.

 

Two problems concerning sleep is the inability to go to sleep and the inability to remain asleep. In Ayurveda, these are considered Pitta and Vata imbalances. When a person is not tired and feel rejuvenated during the evening wind down hours between 6-9pm, they are said to be suffering from a Pitta imbalance. A Vata imbalance is when you are able to go to sleep, but awaken around the 2am hour. Both of these imbalances are attributed to overstimulation and fatigue.

 

The best way to rebuild your body and get a good night rest begins by preparing for sleep like you are planning for a vacation. Take time to separate rest from your busy day.

  • Set aside time to unwind from your day by turning off all stimulation about 1-2 hours before bed time and read a book.
  • Take a hot shower or bath and oil your body with coconut oil and the relaxing essential oils of lavender or chamomile.
  • Take a few minutes to meditate by simply quieting the mind, over time this will send messages to the central nervous system to relax
  • Eat a healthy diet and consume three meals a day. Refrain from snacking, all day, which can interfere with blood sugar creating a need for the body to crave sweets when it should be resting.

Remember, the central nervous system can be retrained. We just need to commit the time to retrain our bodies and send new messages to the nervous system. Weather it is the holiday season or the middle of the summer, our bodies requires rest to function properly. Understand its importance and let’s work towards rebuilding and get a good night sleep.

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Fall into health

Welcome to the season of thanksgiving and plentiful harvest. Hundreds of years ago, hunters and gathers were able to settle in one region with the advancements of soil cultivation and planting an abundant harvest for the cold dry months of winter. Today, we embrace the advancements of supermarkets and the ability to purchase food is anytime. With all great advancements, there seems to follow a backward disadvantage. Today, food is shipped from all over the world, stored, processed, and is made available 24hours a day, with no regards to the proper growing, or the natural benefits of the foods in relation to its season.

Seasonal Eating
In Ayurveda, the science of life, that originated in India over 5,000 years ago, believed that maintaining proper balance is crucial to optimal health. We are entering the windy, cold, and dry season. If you think simply about creating balance, it would make since which foods your body requires. When it is hot outside your body will crave cold drinks, salads, and any food that has a cooling effect on the body. When that same analogy is used for the cold season, our body will require hot soups, stews, and root vegetables like carrots, beets, and squash. The craving for meet will become higher because of its high fat content. This is the only season when body naturally requires extra fat to keep warm. It is important to consume high quality grass feed beef and chicken that has been raised without the treatment of antibiotics and improper living conditions. Additionally, it is a good practice to add a healthy fish oil and olive oil to maintain lubrication of the digestive system and to help protect the skin from excessive dryness. We often think of lubrication on the external body, however, the internal organs also require lubrication.

The immune system is largely located throughout the digestive system. This season is also known as the cold and flu season. This is partially due to dryness that forms within the membranes and sinuses. As a balance mechanism, the body produces mucus, which is the breading ground for bacteria to accumulate aiding the cold and flu germs to grow. So, instead of waiting for the mucus to arrive, the best prescription is prevention. Eat a healthy winter diet with warming foods and healthy oils. Limit your dairy and milk intake; they can cause mucus buildup, aggravating the problem.

Foods to add during the winter season: October thru February.
A warming healthy bowl of oatmeal
Brown rice and Quinoa
Quality meat prepared with healthy oils/ No frying. That is drying
Healthy fish that contains Omega 3 oils like salmon, sardines, and mackerel
Fruits like oranges, bananas, avocados, peaches, mangos and papaya
Enjoy dark green leafy vegetables like kale and collards.
Vegetables: Beets, winter squash, sweet potatoes, okra and tomatoes.
Warming spices: cinnamon, cayenne, ginger, fennel, cumin, and cloves.
Raw nuts not roasted because the natural oils have been cooked.
Bean soups and stews will always warm the soul.

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Nature’s Vitamins

Supplements for health

Welcome to the new technological age. From Apple launching their new IPhone and watch, to Google funding space explorations, this world is defiantly on the move. We are living in the age of fast information available at your fingertips 24 hours a day. With the onset of all of these advancements it appears that the decision on devices or even which foods to consume would be easier. Even with the help from consumer reports, TV commercials and Dr. Oz, we are still very confused when making purchases. The season of fall is just beginning. It is a time to store your cupboards and medicine cabinets with the necessities for a cold long winter season.Studying the hunters and gathers to the Native Indians, we learned that the fall harvest was the most plentiful. Mother nature knew she needed to gift us with abundance so we could strengthen our immune systems in preparation for the cold season.

This month will start a one of two-month preparation for winter. We will start with natural effective supplements everyone should be including into their diets. Next month I will discuss fall harvest foods to ensure you receive the nutrients required to have a healthy winter.

Spurilina and Chlorella

Spurilina and Chlorella- fresh water microalgae containing some of the highest amount of chlorophyll, which produces the green color in plants and allows the plant to make its own food. I humans it acts as a natural medicine boosting immunity. This super food supports healing, delays aging, and protects the cells from cancer while gently detoxifying, and reducing inflammation. In addition, they are packed with essential nutrients: trace minerals, iron, vitamins, essential fatty acids, and highly absorbable amino acids. (It is recommended that you take one teaspoon before each meal, but, that don’t fit into your lifestyle, at the very least add one teaspoon in the morning to a beverage and shake).

Fish Oil
Fish oil – The newest research is connecting the omega 3 oils found in good quality fish oil that protect the heart. All fat is not created equal, these omega 3 fatty acids found in cold-water fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds are essential to longevity. We are living in environments filled with toxins, chemicals, and a very nutrient lacking food supply. This oil will protect the heart and lower cholesterol. Please ensure to buy good quality fish oil. I recommend a brand called, Carlson’s highest quality fish oil. You can buy the liquid or the liquid gel pills. They don’t contain a fish odor and they are generally priced around $17. ( One teaspoon daily for prevention if it is a liquid)

Black Seed oil / Black Cumin

Black seed oil – This oil has been used for centuries dating back to over 3000years. It was found inside many Egyptian tombs and has been widely used on the continent of Asia. This oil protects the liver, enhances immunity, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol and is great for the skin. *Whenever using oil as a supplement, please ensure it is high quality. The bottle should say cold pressed. (One teaspoon daily is sufficient).

Bee Pollen / Nature’s multivitamin

Bee Pollen – Is made naturally from the Bee. It is yellowish in color and looks like little geranial. It is an amazing super food containing nutrients, vitamins, and minerals iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. This is your natural multivitamin. No need to waste your money on synthetic multivitamins packed with artificial fillers that they body removes as waste. Bee pollen is a complete protein containing over 22 amino acids. It contains natural enzymes that aid in digestion and also contains anti-oxidants to protect the cells from free radical damage leading to cancer. (Add one teaspoon to a beverage measuring 2oz, allow it to dissolve and then enjoy).

Aloe Vera Juice

Aloe Vera Juice – This is the best shot you can take in a glass. Start your day with protection from mother earth. Aloe is widely known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is cooling to the skin as well as the digestive system. It helps to regulate blood sugars, improves circulation, regulates blood pressure and reduces inflammation in the cells. (Enjoy 1-2oz daily)

All of the above dietary supplements can be taken independently or mixed into a juice or smoothie.
All of the items I have suggested are produced naturally in nature, creating efficient absorption in the body. We are natural organisms requiring nutrients that are not always found in our everyday food supply. It is important to begin a healthy regiment every morning. This will change how you feel throughout the day. If you’ve recently checked your blood and is in need of additional vitamins, please buy whole food based vitamins that are extracted from actual food sources and then processed into a tablet or liquid, and not synthetic capsules loaded with man made materials and fillers.

Long, quality, life starts with eating foods high in nutrients and taking healthy natural supplements. We receive enough garbage in our lives from processed, un-natural, nutrient deficient foods. The cold dry season is on its way; don’t be left in the winds of fall. All these supplements can be purchased on line at www.vitacost.com. I have been using this website for years. They can also be found in your local whole food or health food stores. Read the recommended dosage on the label and be healthy and happy.

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Drink to your health

As humans, one of the biggest differences that separate us from the remainder of the animal species is our ability for cognitive reasoning and thinking. The development of language, both written and spoken, has allowed us to communicate from hieroglyphics to advanced dialects.

A few weeks ago I attended a meditation class that focused on the teachings of Rasha meditation. The instructor used a simile to explain how science differs from spirituality. On student decided to inform the teacher that she disagreed with her. She used an example of how great pasteurized milk was in comparison to raw milk. The example was poor not just due its lack of validity, but nutrition is not a science. There are thousands of dietary theories beings introduced yearly. Most of which are not proven but believed due to studies preformed. It is important to approach nutrition with an open mind and to trust your body and your natural instincts. Science advancements has proliferated medicine, surgery, and the understanding of how the body functions. We don’t need science to tell us that food consumed in its naturalist form will contain more nutrients then after being processed.

Truths about milk. You decide.

Humans only require milk from its mother during the first year of life to receive proper nutrition for an underdeveloped digestive system. Following that first year, children should begin consuming soft cereals and soft mashed foods.

Cow’s milk is made in the breast of a cow to nurse a calf into becoming a 500lb animal. Our country labels cow’s milk as the best nutritious source for forming strong teeth and bones. If this is true, why does this country have the highest numbers of people with osteoporosis? (The disease of weakening bones). If their claims were true, and given that kids are provided milk daily is schools, then we should have the strongest bones in the world.

After milk is taken from the cow it must undergo two major processes called homogenization and pasteurization.
Here are some additional facts:
• Most cows in America are given a synthetic hormone named recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), a genetically engineered hormone manufactured by the company Monsanto, causes the cows to produce more milk than their bodies normally would. The USDA approved this practice in1993. Most industrialized nations like Europe and Canada has banned this practice partially due to the health risks involved. Once ingested through the consumption of milk, this hormone stimulates the hormone IGF1. This human growth hormone is found in breast milk to help an infant grow. Many studies are connecting it to an increase in growth tissue possibly leading to cancer.
• The process of pasteurization is done through heating the milk above 150degrees to remove and kill any germs and bacteria. However, the vitamins like A, C, D and enzymes are also destroyed. The milk is then fortified with vitamins; meaning synthetic vitamins are put back into the milk. The problem with this is most synthetic vitamins are not absorbed in the body. They are simply deposited as waste through your urine.
• Homogenization is the process that gives the milk its smooth white texture. Without this process, the milk would separate and the cream would rise to the top.
• Calcium is an excellent nutrient for building strong bones, but it works better when combined with magnesium. Dark leafy greens vegetables are loaded with calcium and magnesium.
• Raw milk is not legal in many states because it could contain possible health threatening bacteria’s. So, if you are able to buy this milk, be certain to boil it first. In countries like India, they consume a lot of milk daily; it is not pasteurized, only boiled. And their rates of osteoporosis are not that high. This is probably because they are consuming the milk in its whole natural form, nothing depleted of vitamins.

Remember, information is free. I encourage you to do your own research. Your life is worth it. There are many milk substitutes that are arrived from nuts. Try Almond or Soymilk. Experiment with different brands and listen to your body. A large percentage of Americans have milk intolerances that disrupt digestion. Trust your natural instincts, mother nature may be telling you that your body doesn’t need milk because it is a baby’s food.

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