Friday, December 23, 2011

How to Fight the Flu with Vitamin D

You may have heard of fighting colds with Vitamin C, but the importance of Vitamin D may be fairly new to you, as it has just recently come to the forefront of modern medicine. Exposure to sunshine helps the body manufacture Vitamin D, and Vitamin D boosts the body's own virus-fighting ability. This, along with other factors, is why colds and flu increase in the wintertime when there is less sunlight. If you want to use Vitamin D to help prevent the flu this year, here is how.

Salade de jambon cru et saumon fumé. (salad of...Image via Wikipedia1. Eat lots of wild-caught fish. (As an aside, it's interesting to note that the diet of the Eskimos, who live in a part of the world where there is no sunshine at all for long periods, includes lots of fish oil and is therefore rich in Vitamin D.) In descending order, some of the fish highest in Vitamin D are as follows:

* Herring
* Catfish
* Sockeye salmon
* Steelhead trout
* Halibut
* Sardines
* Mackerel
* Tuna packed in oil

It's also very beneficial to augment the diet with cod liver oil and fish oil supplements.

2. Choose a good Vitamin D supplement. Some recommend Vitamin D3, as this is said to be the effective and the least likely to cause problems if taken in large amounts. Most supplements are in increments of 1000 IU - take up to 5000 IU per day. Children under the age of ten should have less; no more than 2000 IU is suggested for children aged two to four, and no more than 3000 is recommended for children under ten.

Vitamin PackagingImage by colindunn via Flickr3. Increase your Vitamin D intake if you have been exposed to the flu. You can take up to 10,000 IU if you think you've been exposed. Make the necessary adjustments for children.

4. Get outside in the sun when you can. It can be tough in the wintertime, but go outside as much as possible on sunny days. While your face may be the only skin exposed to the sun, it may still provide a bit of help.

5. Supplement your Vitamin D with common sense. You can also help your immune system ward off infection by getting regular exercise and enough sleep, and of course avoiding those who are contagious if at all possible. Be sure to wash your hands well and often during cold and flu season. It's amazing how much of a difference just these little common-sense things can help!

Note: Extremely high doses of Vitamin D can be toxic, so if you plan to take high doses of Vitamin D for extended periods of time, you will want to consult with a naturopathic physician and get your blood levels checked. Most people in North America are actually deficient in Vitamin D (some extremely so), so normally this will not be a problem, but you may still want to get tested to be sure.

Note: Due to the holidays, we won't be posting next week, but we hope you all have a wonderful, fun, and safe holiday! Be sure to check back in the New Year for some more great tips on living a clean & green healthy life in 2012 and beyond!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

9 Healthy Tips to Help You Quit Smoking

Are you planning to quit smoking as your New Year's resolution?  Get a head start with today's article. Quitting smoking can be a complicated and often frustrating endeavor, but with some good advice and helpful tips it can be made much easier. Remember that when you become aware of and in touch with your body, it will be much easier to drop unhealthy habits - your body will really start telling you when you're doing something that is bad for it. Here are some tips on how to stop smoking naturally - without resorting to drugs which may have all kinds of unwanted side effects, and even introduce extra toxins into your body.

Some KillsImage via Wikipedia1. Know why you want to quit. It's very important to identify what you want to accomplish with quitting - is it because someone else thinks you should? Is it for financial reasons? Maybe you are concerned for your physical health or the health of your family. Whatever your reason is, identify it and own it. Remembering why you are quitting can help you when you come to difficult points in the process.

2. Go cold-turkey. Nicotine clears from your system within a couple of days, so if you continue smoking off and on, you are still keeping your body from cleaning all the gunk and toxins out, and you are sustaining the addiction. If you absolutely can't see going totally without right away, see the next tip.

3. If you must, use nicotine substitutes like patches or gum. (Don't use these at the same time as smoking, however.) Some people find the gum especially helpful as it gives their mouths something to do, also helping with the psychological aspect of the habit, and is particularly helpful after meals.

4. Consider electronic cigarettes as part of your quitting regimen. Many people find these provide the oral satisfaction of smoking and the visual effect of the smoke itself. But it's harmless water vapor that is produced.

5. Get support from family and friends. There is nothing quite like a friend or family member "cheerleading" you on and helping you over the humps. Make sure you have at least one person who will hold you accountable - someone you can call when you have a craving who will come over and take you for a walk, for example.

6. Get support from your doctor, too. Let them know you are quitting, and he or she can encourage your efforts with regular check-ups that will show improved lung and heart function, providing ongoing motivation.

7. Exercise to ward off cravings. Remember the friend or family member who is going to take you for a walk when you get a craving? This is a good idea. Get a bike, join a gym, learn a martial art, get a treadmill - whatever it takes so that when you have a craving you can jump into the exercise. This will also help offset any weight gain you think you might experience as you try to quit.

QuittingImage by Jimmy Jack Kane via Flickr8. Avoid environments where there are other smokers, and where you used to smoke. If you used to hang out and smoke at your neighborhood bar, don't go there anymore. This doesn't mean you can't go out - just find a new place that your brain does not associate with smoking.

9. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. This is not only good for you, but it is said that the fruits and veggies will actually make the cigarettes taste worse. They will also help your body flush out the toxins from smoking.

10. BONUS TIP: Get a good quit-smoking book or program with a proven track record. Often these can help you learn to deal with the psychological cravings, and handle the other effects you may experience when quitting. A couple of excellent resources are Alan Carr's "The Easy Way to Stop Smoking" (this book gets great reviews and has an excellent success rate - I personally know of several people who have quit using this book), and "The Secret to Stop Smoking," by Dr. Scott Rosiere.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, December 19, 2011

Last Minute Healthy Holiday Gifts

This quick video (it's from 2010, but good gift ideas never go out of style!) gives some holiday gift ideas for the healthy people in your life (which is hopefully most of them) :-)  If you're a last-minute shopper, you can find most of these at local stores, and Amazon still has 2-day shipping so you can get your stuff in time for Christmas! From exercise gifts and gadgets to cooking from scratch, these gifts will help encourage your loved ones to get and stay healthy.

See links below video for some great gifts to check out:

Healthy Holiday Gift Guide 2010 Give the gift of health that will last all year long to your friends and family this year. Check out Video Producer Sarah Dussault's favorite gifts to give for anyone on your list. All gifts are under $85 and most are less than ...

Click Here for Fun Exercise Gift Ideas

Hot Gifts for the From-Scratch Cook

Click Here for Great Gifts for Gardeners

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, December 16, 2011

Video - Geothermal Energy in Iceland - Imagination At Work

Here is a very inspiring video about some of the advancements in technology that help Iceland provide 90% of its energy requirements from this renewable, non-polluting energy source. The video also discusses the impact that the change in environmental consciousness is having on the country, as well as the possibility of the use of geothermal energy sources within the US and other countries to achieve more clean and safe energy production.

Check it out - it's worth a watch to see what great innovations are happening in other parts of this great globe!

Geothermal Energy in Iceland
The most inventive, progressive and eco-friendly energy system in the world is the cornerstone of a national consciousness that is a blueprint for the world's future.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Geothermal as a Green Energy Source

We have the technology to do a lot of things and one of these is to tap the earth’s energy. This is exactly what we do when we use geothermal which happens to be a green energy source.

English: Krafla Geothermal Station.Image via WikipediaGeothermal energy is energy obtained by tapping heat from the earth itself. This comes from magma and the radioactive decay of uranium, thorium, and potassium.

The downside to geothermal energy is the fact that it can be expensive to harness. On the other hand, because the earth's crust continuously decays replenishing the heat, it is still a renewable source of energy.

There are three types of geothermal plants. These are namely dry steam, flash, and binary.

Dry steam plants take steam out of fractures in the ground and use it to directly drive a turbine that spins a generator.

Flash plants take on water at temperatures over 200 °C out of the ground, and allow it to boil as it rises to the surface, then separate the steam phase in steam/water separators which runs the steam through a turbine to generate electricity.

Last, you have binary plants. Here, hot water flows through heat exchangers and that boiling organic fluid is what spins the turbine.

Once power is generated, the condensed steam and remaining geothermal fluid from all three types of plants are injected back into the hot rock to pick up more heat.

Geothermal plants are operational in several different parts of the globe. These are usually located in geologically unstable parts of the planet. You can see some in Chile, Iceland, New Zealand, United States, the Philippines and Italy. At home, two most prominent areas for this are in the Yellowstone basin and in northern California.

Aside from digging deep into the earth, there are some who believe we can generate power from hot dry rocks. You have to dig 3 kilometers deep first to find these hot underground radiogenic granite rocks. Right now, some Australia companies are exploring this technology.

Geothermal borehole houseImage by lydurs via FlickrIf you were to compare the amount of energy collected from geothermal to solar, you still get more from the sun. Despite that, many people may still find a use for geothermal energy at times, since solar energy cannot be harnessed when the clouds block the sun’s rays from reaching the solar panels.

Geothermal energy is a green energy source just like wind, hydropower and biofuel because it is renewable. By maximizing its potential, we don’t have to worry as much about the price of oil spiking in the world market.

But that is not the only thing we should be concerned about. We should also do our best to protect the environment, given that coal fired and nuclear power plants produce harmful gases and radioactive waste that may cause harm to people and the surrounding areas.

Everyone knows that our planet has changed due to global warming. For us to do our share to protect the environment now and for generations to come, we have to learn to use alternative energy sources, and geothermal is another of the many green energy sources currently available.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Benefits of Green Energy Sources

For a very long time, we have relied on fossil fuels to provide heat to our homes, gas for our cars and electricity. But since we are now using these more than ever, we are really starting to see the consequences. We are depleting our resources and slowly killing our planet. Fortunately, we can change our ways and shift our attention to green energy sources.

© Guerito 2005Image via WikipediaBut why green energy sources? Some will argue that the problem with green energy is that it is sometimes difficult to generate all the power we need. While that may be true, there are many green energy sources available and we just need to know which ones are viable given the geographic location we live in.

The various green energy sources such as solar, wind, wave, hydropower and geothermal do not produce nearly as many negative effects on the environment as operating with coal, oil, or even nuclear power.

Coal you have to remember releases carbon dioxide into the air. A single coal plant may not cause that much damage but there are currently 50,000 coal plants around the world and that number is expected to grow.

Nuclear plants may not release anything harmful into the air. The issue is how we dispose of the spend rods and if another nuclear accident should occur. We remember Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. We have probably learned better ways to prevent another incident from happening. Through the years, a few minor accidents have occurred and although the leak was contained, just imagine if it wasn’t?

Green energy sources may not be maintenance-free but at least it does not require that much to maintain them compared to conventional means. In the end, we save money because such facilities don’t cost that much to operate. 

The next advantage of using green energy sources is that we will never run out of them. For centuries, the sun’s rays have reached our planet - so has the wind which is blown from the sea. By using these freely available sources, we decrease our dependence on oil which is a nonrenewable resource.

Shows in graphic form the projected increase i...Image via WikipediaIf you think about it, many of us have taken these green energy sources for granted. If we do the right thing now, future generations will not have to face the mess that we could have handled on our own years before. In short, the power is in our hands. We have the technology and we know what to do with it. The only thing we need is to do is to put our money where our mouth is, because despite the number of conferences on global warming and climate change over the past year, little substantial change has happened.

It is easy to talk about how concerned we are about the environment but you have to ask yourself when will more solar panels or wind turbines will be erected? When will the number of coal or nuclear power plants be reduced?

Green energy sources are a major part of the solution to the environmental, political and social problems of this century. By spending more on developing these technologies and making them more efficient, eventually no country will have to depend on another or even a corporation for their power needs, because they will be self-sufficient, and not limited by scarcity (e.g. another country can't very well take away your sunlight, or your wind).

Get involved, and find out how you can choose and support green energy sources in your area.

Check out these resources for more info on climate change, green energy, and how you can help:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, December 9, 2011

Video - What to Expect During a Cleanse

Here is a video that will give you some ideas of some of the side effects you may experience while on a cleanse diet. Keep in mind that these may vary depending on your health and how toxic your body is before starting the cleanse. A cleanse diet is usually one of the more gentle ways to detox your body, as it is allowing the body to cleanse itself naturally without forcing anything. That said, if you are used to eating lots of sugar, white flour, and caffeine every day, your body may take longer to adjust to a healthy diet, and you may experience more side effects than someone who eats fairly clean already.

Check this out, and for some more info visit the link below.

Body Cleanse - What to Expect on a Cleanse Get your FREE report today - "The Toxic Side of Food" and learn how to cleanse properly and safely. Go to:

For more information on the Total Wellness Cleanse click here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Detox Juice Diet?

There are many different types of detox programs. Most of the effective ones involve modifying your diet for a specific period of time. If you’re seeking a detox program consider detoxing with juice as the first part of your cleanse program.

English: Taza anar Ka Juice, Pomegranate juice...Image via WikipediaWhat is a Juice Detox?

A juice detox is exactly what it sounds like. You spend one to three days drinking juice. Some juice detox plans require you to drink only juice. Others combine diet and juice over a period of several days to several weeks. Juice detox diets work by filling you with healthy, preferably organic, fruits and vegetables - you are able to ingest more of these in juice form than you would be if you tried to eat all the fruits and veggies required in their whole form.

This effectively flushes your intestines, colon and stomach of all the muck and built up toxins. It’s a very effective way of cleansing your digestive system. A juice detox also works by allowing your body a reprieve from toxins. When you drink only organic juice for several days you’re not adding any more toxins to your body. This gives your body extra time to get rid of existing toxins. It can “catch up” so to speak.

Why Detox With Juice

A juice detox is incredibly healthy. Even if you only detox for one day, you’re filling your body with healthy fruits and vegetables. You’re getting tons of nutrients and vitamins. You’re flushing your system and getting a fresh start. People who detox with juice often feel renewed and energized. You may experience more mental clarity too.

What Do You Need To Get Started?

The first thing you need to get started on a juice detox is approval from your doctor. If you have diabetes, you’re pregnant or you have a health condition it is important to get the okay from your doctor. Once you have the okay, you’ll want to find a juice detox plan to follow. There are many available online and in the bookstore. Make sure your detox diet follows a safe and practical approach - see previous articles on this blog for some good suggestions.

Once you have a plan to follow you’ll likely need either a good quality blender or a juicer. You can find both online or in your local big box store. There’s no need to spend tons of money on equipment. You’ll also need to make a shopping list so you have all the fruits and veggies you need. Make sure to plan for several juice drinks throughout the day. You don’t want to experience hunger and not have a juice handy.

fresh-squeezed juice (生ジュース)Image by itchys via FlickrPlan your juice detox accordingly with your schedule. Be aware that at times, you may have low energy during your juice detox. You may experience side effects too. These are likely withdrawal symptoms from sugar, sugar substitutes and chemicals found in processed foods. Headaches, mood swings, and digestive issues are common. If you're doing a short cleanse, detoxing during the weekend may make the most sense as it won’t interfere with your work week.

Finally, consider journaling your side effects and symptoms during the juice cleanse. Take notes on what juices you make, how they taste and how your body handles them. Also journal how you feel once you’re off the juice detox diet. What improvements do you notice? Detoxing can be a great way to regain your health and vitality quickly. If you are considering a detox plan, take a look at juice detox programs. They’re simple, healthy and easy to do.

A Few Good Quality Blenders & Juicers:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Benefits of A Natural Cleansing Diet

As you know, we focus here on the natural side of reducing your toxic load - removing toxins from your home and your body, and minimizing the toxins you inflict upon the larger environment around you. One of the best ways to remove toxins from your body is to put good, clean foods into it, and allow your body to complete its own natural detoxification process. Your body has its own built-in system for removing toxins, but the system can often become overwhelmed due to the sheer amounts of chemicals you are exposed to on a daily basis. Giving it a good, clean diet is the best way to let your body cleanse and repair itself naturally, and regain its true healthy state.

English: Lemon balm herbal tea Polski: Napar z...Image via WikipediaThe first step in starting a natural cleansing diet is to eliminate bad foods from your diet. This includes alcohol and caffeine. The reason why we feel so bloated and groggy after a night with alcohol is because our bodies are not designed to digest the large amounts of sugars and processed ingredients that are in alcohol. Caffeine may keep us awake, but it also wreaks havoc on our digestive tract and increases bowel movements unnecessarily. Some healthy alternatives to coffee and soda are herbal teas and green juices.

These holistic options help our bodies return to a natural state of energy. After two weeks of drinking herbal teas and juices in place of your prior caffeinated fixes you will discover you have substantially more energy to get you through the day. Water is also a vital part of any natural cleansing diet. Water is needed to flush the waste out of the cells and tissues. A person should drink at least half their body weight in ounces each day in water. This means that if you weigh 200 pounds then you should drink at least 100 ounces of water. As part of this diet you should eat only fruit before noon each day. Fruits are loaded with natural sugars and fiber to help curb sweet and hunger cravings.

Detox Diet Day 2Image by kahala via FlickrWhen an afternoon snack attack hits reach for unsalted walnuts or almonds. Both are an excellent energy source and are helpful in detoxing your body. Other healthy snack options include unsalted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds. For lunch and dinner replace your carbohydrate side with a vegetable. Broccoli, onions and artichokes are all beneficial in a colon cleansing diet. Dark, leafy greens will offer your body additional nutrients it needs. Garlic is a wonder food that when minced offers powerful nutrients to heal and restore your body. Safe alternatives to wheat products include quinoa, brown rice or buckwheat. Eating meals at the same time every day will allow you to improver your body's ability to digest foods. The better digestion you have, the easier it will be for your body to absorb the nutrients it needs.

At the end of the 30 days you will feel rejuvenated and full of energy. Fatigue, irritability and poor skin complexion will be things of the past.

Article contributed by: Yuri Elkaim, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and co-creator of the cleansing program called the Total Wellness Cleanse. Visit to get started with his FREE "Toxic Side of Food" e-course and discover how to cleanse your body today!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, December 2, 2011

How to Know If You Are Buying Organic Foods

Are you interested in making the switch to organic foods?  If you are, you may start shopping organically soon.  When it comes to doing so, there are many new eaters who wonder how they can tell if they are buying organic foods or not.  Although this question is commonly asked, it is relatively easy to make sure that you are buying truly organic foods.

Quality Assurance International official logoImage via WikipediaOne important point that many do not take into consideration is the strict standards that are associated with the making and selling of organic foods.  Companies claiming to sell fully organic foods should do so with the backing of Quality Assurance International (QAI) or the USDA (other countries will also have their own form of organic labeling for certified organic foods).  When shopping, be sure to look for certified organic labels.  All food that meets industry standards should be labeled properly. This is one of the best and easiest ways to make sure that you are buying organic food.

Another easy way that you can make sure that you are buying organic foods is by carefully choosing the stores that you shop at.  If you have access to a specialty organic or natural food store, you are urged to shop there.  Locally owned and operated stores are often smaller in size; therefore, you should be able to ask any question or speak with a manager if you have any concerns, which is a nice option for many to have.  With that being said, you shouldn’t have any problems, as most specialty stores go out of their way to ensure that they are only selling one hundred percent natural, organic foods.

Official seal of the National Organic ProgramImage via WikipediaThe internet can also be used to shop for organic foods, but you will want to be cautious of online grocery stores that sell a wide range of foods.  This can sometimes make it more difficult for you to find and buy organic foods.  For that reason, you may want to stick with specialty online organic food stores.  You can also examine many organic product manufacturers, as some, like Earth’s Best Organic, have online stores where their products are sold.  These online websites and stores can easily be found with a standard internet search.

As previously stated, a nice and safe way to shop for organic food locally is by visiting a specialty organic or natural food store.  If you do not have access to one of those stores and if you do not want to shop online, you can examine your local supermarkets or grocery stores.  Most do sell organic foods, but usually only a limited number.  What you will want to do is look for an organic food section.  This can help to make sure that you are buying organic foods.  With that in mind, be cautious of your surroundings and be on the lookout for out of place foods, as they may not be organic, just dropped by a customer who no longer wanted the item in question.

The above mentioned steps are just a few of the many that you can take to make sure that you are buying 100% organic foods.  The good news is that these steps are all easy to implement. And be sure to read labels of any processed foods - be on the lookout for foods that claim to have organic ingredients, as they may not be truly organic products, with just a small percentage of organic ingredients in them.

Enhanced by Zemanta