Friday, August 31, 2012

Book Review: Eat To Beat High Blood Pressure

This week we are actually reviewing TWO books - both of these should be very helpful to anyone wanting to control their blood pressure via natural means. I couldn't decide which one was better, so I wanted to share them both with you. Feel free to share your own feedback below!

Cover of "Eat to Beat High Blood Pressure...
Cover of Eat to Beat High Blood Pressure
Eat to Beat High Blood Pressure - By Reader's Digest Editors
Where to Buy:

Eat to Beat High Blood Pressure is a fantastic cookbook packed with over 300 delicious recipes. If you have decided to introduce a healthier, heart-friendly diet in your family, this is a good cookbook to own. Each recipe shows a nutritional analysis and also gives helpful tips and advice. The photographs in the book are lovely to look at and will make your mouth water.

In addition to the recipes, the book also gives information on the Dash Plus Plan. Dash stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and are well-established eating guidelines on how to reduce high blood pressure. In addition to these guidelines, there is even more advice on how to enjoy a healthy blood pressure.

Lowering blood pressure can be life-saving. If you or anybody in your family suffers from high blood pressure or just wants to live a healthy lifestyle by eating delicious and heart-friendly food, this cookbook is certainly worth buying. I am sure you'll find lots of recipes inside the book that will become your family's favorites over the years.

Bringing Down High Blood Pressure - By Chad Rhoden
Where to buy:

Bringing Down High Blood Pressure is a great resource book if you suffer from high blood pressure and are worried about its long-term effects. I like the fact that this book not only explains, in great detail, how high blood pressure happens, but also its dangers, and natural solutions to help lower it naturally. It also includes a dietary regime, with delicious recipes, that you can incorporate into your daily life.

The recipes cover ideas for appetizers, main meals, soups, marinades and desserts, selected by a registered dietician. For example, Spicy Marinated Shrimp, Roasted Vegetable Salad, Tasty Rice Pudding, Zucchini Bread, New Orleans Chicken Gumbo to name a few. These are delicious and easy to prepare everyday food ideas. You will also find ideas on superfoods that are good for your heart health, and vitamin supplements helpful for those with high blood pressure. High blood pressure can be very dangerous, but it can also be controlled through a few simple diet and lifestyle changes, and this book shows you how.

If you want to know more about high blood pressure, its dangers to your health and ideas and recipes on how to make easy and effective positive changes in your life, then "Bringing Down High Blood Pressure" will be very helpful for you. It is written by Dr Chad Rhoden, PhD and Sarah Wiley Schein, two specialists in the field of cardio-metabolic disease prevention and dietary counseling and assessment, respectively. Reading this book could certainly help you on your way to a healthy blood pressure and prevention of more serious health conditions.

Grab These Books To Learn More:
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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Managing High Blood Pressure - Naturally

High blood pressure is a problem for many people. As discussed in Monday's post, it can lead to a variety of other dangerous health concerns like stroke and heart disease. Luckily, blood pressure is one of those things that it's relatively easy to control by natural means, without resorting to potentially dangerous drugs. To keep yourself on the right side of health, today I'll share a few tips to help you lower your blood pressure naturally. (Please Note: This blog is for educational purposes only, and should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult an experienced health care provider if you have high blood pressure or another medical condition.)

Aneroid sphygmomanometer with stethoscope, use...
Aneroid sphygmomanometer with stethoscope, used for auscultatory blood pressure measurement. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
High blood pressure can be a problem for both young and old alike. When blood vessels are narrowed by cholesterol plaques, it increases the pressure on the walls of the vessels to push blood through. This can lead to a dislodging of the plaque. That can cause strokes.

Unhealthy eating habits can also raise blood pressure. Eating foods high in sodium and other preservatives can put a lot of pressure on the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body.

Here are some ways to go about lowering blood pressure naturally. Medicine is a useful resource but making lifestyle changes will last for a lifetime - without subjecting your body to the side effects of chemicals or surgery.

Lowering Blood Pressure Naturally

* Exercise – Exercise has a lot of useful benefits - especially when it comes to blood pressure. It relieves stress and increases oxygenation. Increased cardiovascular health can lower your blood pressure. Avoid exercising right before bedtime, though, or you may have a problem getting to sleep.

English: A glass of red wine.
A glass of red wine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
* Drink alcohol in moderation – If you don’t already drink, don’t start. But, if you like a glass of wine, try red wine. It is helpful for heart health, and can even help to lower blood pressure. For women, one drink a day has been shown to be helpful, and men should limit their intake to 2 (4-oz.) glasses per day.

* Reduce caffeine intake – There is caffeine in coffee, tea and soft drinks. Caffeine can increase blood pressure by narrowing the vessels. If you already have issues with high blood pressure, adding caffeine can raise it even higher. Those with high blood pressure should avoid caffeine altogether if possible, or limit it to no more than 1 cup of coffee per day at maximum.

* Learn to relax – Stress can be a contributing factor to blood pressure issues. Learn to reduce your stress levels. Try listening to soft music or deep breathing and meditation techniques. A good warm bath can also help drain away stress from your day. Finding ways to cope with stress can help you control not only blood pressure but also other health concerns.

* Cut the salt – Sodium can raise blood pressure if you are sensitive to salt. Don’t just look for salt in the shaker but also in your other food items in the pantry. Processed foods contain a lot of salt as preservatives. This includes frozen "healthy" frozen meals. The average person should consume no more than 2-3 teaspoons of salt per day.  Also balancing sodium with potassium can help (see next point).

* Eat potassium – Sodium and potassium are two elements that work together in the body. The levels are balanced to keep your electrolytes in check. Eating more potassium can counteract too much sodium. Try bananas, cantaloupe, potatoes, beans and raisins. Keeping potassium in balance with your sodium can help mitigate its effects on your body, so eating a potassium/sodium mixture such as Salt Balance in place of regular table salt can be helpful.

If you are having problems with high blood pressure, these simple tips are easy lifestyle changes that you can make to lower blood pressure naturally - you won't spend an arm and a leg on any of these tips, and they are all safe and work naturally with your body to help it regain a healthy balance.

For more healthy tips on lowering blood pressure naturally, be sure to check out Friday's book reviews!
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Monday, August 27, 2012

What You Should Know When It Comes To High Blood Pressure

These days, with the sedentary lifestyles of most Americans, coupled with the SAD (Standard American Diet), unfortunately you don’t have to be of advanced age to suffer from conditions people usually associate with that age group. One such condition is high blood pressure. Here is a basic overview of this dangerous condition, and why you should be aware of your blood pressure and measures you can take to keep it in a healthy range.

Blood pressure check
Blood pressure check (Photo credit: Army Medicine)
What Is Blood Pressure?
Blood is pumped through the body via the heart. The blood carries oxygen from the lungs to all of the cells and organs along the circuitous route of the arterial vascular system. Deoxygenated blood is carried via the venous system back to the lungs where it picks up more oxygen.

To move that blood, there is a certain amount of pressure that needs to be created within the vessel. Normally an acceptable blood pressure reflects two numbers: systolic (upper number), the pressure exerted when the heart is pumping blood and diastolic (lower number), the pressure exerted when the heart is at rest. Ideally blood pressure should be in the range of 140/90.

Higher numbers indicate that something is causing the pressure needed to move a volume of blood to increase. It could be due to a narrowing of the vessels (caused by high cholesterol or plaque build-up), stress, obesity, high salt intake or genetics. This condition is known as high blood pressure, or hypertension.

The Problems of High Blood Pressure
No matter how you acquired it, high blood pressure poses a problem for the rest of your body. Here are just a few of the conditions that can arise as a result.

English: Main complications of persistent high...
Main complications of persistent high blood pressure. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
* Artery damage – Increased stress on the arterial walls can result in the tissue being damaged. When any tissue is damaged, an inflammatory response occurs. The walls can thicken and stiffen, leading to a smaller lumen (opening) and a higher blood pressure. If you also have a problem with bad cholesterol plaques, the increased pressure could dislodge them, turning them into emboli (things that block the blood flow).

* Heart conditions – The heart has to work harder to push that same volume of blood when there is a problem with your blood pressure. As a result the heart can enlarge since it is a muscle. It can also fail, or experience an infarction in a portion of the muscle that can lead to a heart attack.

* Stroke – The cholesterol plaques that break off as a result of high blood pressure can travel along in the vascular system until they get stuck in a smaller vessel. This often happens in the lungs or the brain. Both can result in death. In the brain it is called a stroke.

Beyond the blockage, the brain tissue is not receiving oxygenated blood. Since the brain needs 20 percent more oxygen than the rest of the body, this can lead to decreased functioning like speech impairment, numbness or paralysis on one side of the body and other problems.

Are you facing a diagnosis of high blood pressure? Work to reduce it to normal levels and avoid the dangers it can pose. There are many things you can do to reduce your blood pressure to healthy levels - without resorting to dangerous drugs or surgery. Be sure to check back Wednesday for some easy and natural ways to keep your blood pressure within a healthy range.

* Please Note: This blog is for educational purposes only, and should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult an experienced health care provider if you have high blood pressure or another medical condition.
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Friday, August 24, 2012

Natural Alternatives: Five Cancer-Fighting Herbs

According to the American Cancer Society, cancer kills 292,540 men and 269,800 women each year.  It’s the second leading cause of death.  That being said, as more people are being affected by cancer they’re turning to alternative therapies and treatments, tired of invasive conventional "treatments" that make them feel even sicker.  They’re not taking it anymore and are looking for answers, better answers.  Some of those answers rest in cancer-fighting herbs. (Please Note: These herbs should only be taken under a doctor's supervision.)

Here are five herbs commonly used to fight cancer:
Tea Inventory
(Photo credit: euphbass)
1.  Ginger - Ginger has been studied and used to fight colon cancer.  The main ingredient in ginger, gingerol, has been shown to significantly reduce cancerous tumors in mice.  In addition to its tumor-reduction potential, ginger is also used to quell nausea for chemotherapy patients, for those choosing a more traditional approach.  It’s an herb with many wonderful qualities.

2.  Astralagus – This herb, also known as Huang ch'i, has been studied as a cancer-fighting agent due to its ability to boost the immune system.  Studies have shown it can increase cancer-killing cells by as much as 260%.  However, this particular herb also has some side effects including low blood pressure, light-headedness and fatigue. 

3.  Green Tea – Green tea, tea leaves that have been steamed and dried without fermenting, has been shown to slow the division of lung and colon cancer cells.  While study results have been primarily positive, the National Cancer Institute is studying green tea to further determine the effects of green tea on cancer.  Green tea also offers antioxidants, which are excellent at supporting the immune system and optimizing overall health.

Turkish Tea
Turkish Tea (Photo credit: dimi)
4.  Iscador – An extract from European mistletoe, iscador contains lectins, which are theorized to kill cancer cells.  While some studies have shown iscador improves survival rates, other studies have found little or no effect.   A Swiss study did show, however, that iscador more than doubled the rate of DNA repair in twelve out of fourteen breast cancer patients. One drawback to this herb is that there are risks of poisoning and overuse or overdosage, and thus it should only be taken with a doctor’s supervision.

5.  Barbed Skullcap Tea - The Chinese medicinal herb ban zhi lian, also called Scutellaria barbata, is a tea which has been used to help treat lung, liver and rectal cancer.  It has also been shown to slow prostate tumor growth in mice.  Although studies haven’t been conducted on humans, this herb shows promise for the treatment of cancer.

Herbs have been used for centuries by cultures around the world to treat illnesses both mild and severe.  Nature has provided us with a very powerful medicine cabinet.  As scientists continue to study their safety and effectiveness, it’s only a matter of time before scientists discover more cancer-fighting herbs.  For now, these five show amazing promise to both help fight and potentially prevent cancer. 

Please Note: This article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to substitute for medical advice. If you have, or think you have cancer, be sure to consult with a qualified medical professional as soon as possible, and before taking these or any other herbal supplements.
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Is Dyeing Your Hair Dangerous?

Whether we go gray earlier than we’d like or we’re just not happy with the color nature gave us, or perhaps we just like to be a bit different, hair dye has become a staple in households around the world. Unfortunately, hair dyeing can be an unhealthy and dangerous process. Let’s take a look at what’s in hair dye, the dangers it poses and how you can avoid the risks of diseases like cancer.

Hair coloring
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Dangers of Hair Dye

#1)  The Cancer Prevention Coalition has published a list called the Dirty Dozen.  It lists the most harmful consumer products and guess dye is on that list.  It contains carcinogenic ingredients including:
* Quaternium-15
* Diethanolamine
* Phenylenediamines

#2)  Additionally, and more specifically, hair dye has been linked to:
* Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
* Multiple myeloma
* Leukemia
* Breast cancer
* Ovarian cancer
* Bladder cancer
* Birth defects and childhood cancer, when the mother dyed her hair while pregnant

#3)  The dye para-phenylenediamine (PPED), present in almost all permanent and semi-permanent hair coloring products, has been linked to breast cancer once it has been oxidized with hydrogen peroxide (a common ingredient/process in hair coloring).

#4)  Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APE's) are found in many hair dyes and they are suspected hormone disruptors. 

#5)  Severe allergic reactions can occur even if you’ve colored your hair for years. These reactions include but are not limited to the following possible symptoms:

* Rash
* Extreme swelling
* Severe burning sensation on the scalp
* Breathing difficulties
* Anaphylactic shock
* Occasionally, death can be the result of a severe allergic reaction

Henna Paste
Henna Paste (Photo credit: Henna Bee)
Is There a Safe Alternative?

Yes, as a matter of fact there is. Hair dyes can be made from vegetable-based products.  They work quite well to produce a full, thick and shiny head of hair in the color of your choice. The downside is that the effects are usually short-lived, lasting only a couple of weeks.

Henna is also an option for many; however, Henna also leaves a red tint, regardless of the intended color, and may not be for everyone.

What You Can Do

Many believe the beauty industry needs to be better regulated by the FDA.  It probably doesn’t make sense if the same chemicals and petroleum products that are restricted in a manufacturing environment are allowed to be put into products that are applied to human skin.  Get involved in legislation to change policies and practices.

Additionally, you can educate yourself and others about the dangers of hair dyes and safe alternatives.  There’s a growing demand for natural salons and spas.  Find one in your community and frequent it.  You can also find safe and natural alternatives at your local health food store or make your own hair dye.  Beauty is important; it’s a part of our culture.  However, it’s not worth risking our health for.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Avoid These Cancer-Causing Products In Your Home

You’d like to believe your home is the safest place on earth however, there are many chemicals and gasses which are emitted from regular every day products that have been linked to various types of cancer.  Below is a list of 7 potential cancer causers in your home - and some suggestions for avoiding or eliminating them. (For more helpful tips, grab a copy of our FREE Toxic Load Checklist for ideas on making your home cleaner and greener!)

air fresheners
Air fresheners (Photo credit: coreythrace)
#1)  Air fresheners and deodorizers.  Our homes can harbor many unpleasant smells.  Whether it’s the stinky gym shoes, the kitty litter box or the bathroom, we often get rid of those smells with air fresheners. However, fresheners often contain naphthalene and formaldehyde, two very toxic and cancer causing agents. (I call them "air poisoners," as that's really what they are.)  There are many wonderful natural fresheners available, or try essential oils, or simply open the windows.

#2)  Radon.  Radon kills about 20,000 people a year. It’s a primary cause of lung cancer and unfortunately it’s an odorless, tasteless and invisible.  Radon is produced by the decay of naturally occurring uranium in soil and water.  Which means it can easily seep into your home through cracks in your foundation and drains.  You can purchase tests at your local home store to test for radon or hire a professional to come out and make sure your home is radon free.

#3)  Adhesives and paints.  Epoxies, rubber cement, glues, acrylic paints, carpet adhesives, paint cleaning solvents markers and other art supplies often contain carcinogens.  The good news is there are many environmentally friendly options available today (grab a copy of our free home checklist for more on this)

Dry Cleaning Machine
Dry Cleaning Machine (Photo credit: AndyRobertsPhotos)
#4) Dry cleaned clothing.  Dry cleaning stores use a often use perchlorethylene, a known carcinogen, to clean clothes. If you cannot find an eco-friendly dry cleaner in your area, remove the plastic from the clothing and let them air out in a well-ventilated area (preferably outside your home) before placing in your closet.

#5)  Pesticides.  Products like those flea and tick collars and even lice control products often use lindane-based pesticides to keep these creatures away.  Lindane is a neurotoxin and a carcinogen – keep it out of your home and away from your pets and family.

#6) Asbestos.  While asbestos is no longer used in home building products and insulation, if you have a home built before 1980 you may want to check to make sure you do not have it in your home.  The inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause lung cancer.

#7) Candles.  Candles made from petroleum, as many scented candles are, release chemicals into the air.  Many of these chemicals are known carcinogens including formaldehyde, toluene and benzene.  A healthier, non-cancer-causing, candle base would be beeswax or soy, which both burn fairly clean.

Cancer causing agents are all around us, however, due to increasing awareness of these chemicals healthier options are available.  Take care to fill your home with safe, natural and environmentally conscious products. Your family, your body and your planet will thank you!

Be sure to visit our website for more tips on reducing your home's toxic load, and choosing safer and healthier alternatives:
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Friday, August 17, 2012

Video - Why The Global Warming Debate Is Moot

This must-see video demonstrates why the debate over global warming is a moot point and a waste of time. Whether it is real or not, taking measured and responsible action is the reasonable choice, and when you watch this, you'll see why. Can't we all work together and stop arguing and instead look at solutions? What do you think?  Do you feel lucky?

The Most Terrifying Video You'll Ever See
Over 8 million total views. Now there's a book: "...superbly crafted...A must read." -Gen. Anthony Zinni, US CENTCOM Commander (Ret.) "This book trumps most of our accounts of the global warming crisis." --author Bill McKibben "Al Gore should share h...

Some Other Recent Videos on Climate Change You May Want to Check Out: 
"Do We Even Need Our Air Conditioners Next Year?"
Scientist Changes Mind on Global Warming
Discovery Channel - Global Warming, What You Need to Know, with Tom Brokaw

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Global Warming Myths & Facts

As global warming continues to receive more exposure on the internet, the television, and the radio, you may start to pay more attention.  If global warming is an issue that you are concerned about or if it is an issue that you would like to explore more, you will want to continue reading on.  A few interesting and occasionally devastating global warming facts are outlined below, as well as some common myths about global warming.

Temperature predictions from some climate mode...
Temperature predictions from some climate models assuming the SRES A2 emissions scenario. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Fact: Global Warming Is Real.  Although there is a lot of opposition and debate that surrounds global warming, scientific proof shows that global warming is real.  This is something that cannot be ignored much longer, even by those who oppose global warming or claim it is a sham.  The earth’s temperature is rising.  With that in mind, this aspect of global warming isn’t always debated as much as the affects of global warming are. (This recent article highlights some of the impending dangers of the warming of our planet - the effects of which are becoming frighteningly evident lately:

Myth:  Humans Are the Sole Cause of Global Warming
While humans do have a significant impact on global warming, as well as the emission of greenhouse gases, we are not the only cause.  Many scientists claim that the earth’s temperature has always been on the rise, albeit a slight rise.  Although the exact cause of global warming or is under debate, there is absolutely no proof that humans are the sole cause of it.

Global Warming
Ha ha - cute! (Photo credit: mirjoran)
Myth:  Global Warming Isn’t True, As It Is Cold Outside
If you live in the north, you are likely to experience cold and chilly winters.  In fact, even during the summertime, you may experiences a slight decrease in temperature.  This decrease in temperature is what often leads people to believe that global warming is just an untrue theory.  Despite opposition, many scientists do believe that global warming does exist and that it will have a serious impact on the future.  As for the temperature, global warming summarizes planetary weather patterns, not just individual events; therefore, you will likely experience a wide range of temperatures and other weather patterns, regardless of where you live.

Fact: Glaciers and Polar Icecaps Are Melting.  This is another fact of global warming that we should all be well aware of.  While there is debate that surrounds this fact, this melting is occurring.  Generally speaking, the debate surrounding the melting of glaciers concerns the causes of it.  Global warming is causing glaciers and icecaps to melt at a faster rate of speed, but it is not the sole cause. 

Myth:  Global Warming is the Sole Reason for Glaciers Melting
Many global warming activists, including Al Gore, claim that global warming is what is causing the glaciers and ice masses in the north and in the extreme south to melt.  Yes, it is true that global warming does have an impact on glaciers melting, but it is not the only cause.  There are a number of scientific studies that show that the melting and shifting of glaciers and other ice masses has been happening for years now.  This means that global warming is not the only cause of ice melt and the possible rise in sea level because of it.

Decline in thickness of glaciers worldwide ove...
Decline in thickness of glaciers worldwide over the past half-century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Fact: In keeping with the melting of glaciers, icecaps, and snowcaps, this melting is having a profound affect on sea and wildlife.  For starters, polar bears are the animals experts are most concerned about.  Polar bears rely on glaciers and icecaps as a way to travel and find food.  As these important masses continue to disappear, polar bears are likely to find it more difficult to travel and find food.  In fact, many will die because of this difficulty. 

In addition to melting ice and snow, the increase in the earth’s temperature will also have an impact on water. This is most commonly the case with coral reefs. Coral reefs are suffering due to the steady rise in water temperature.  This change with coral reefs is commonly referred to as bleaching.  This when coral reefs lose their beautiful, vibrant colors.  Unfortunately, this can have a negative impact other sea life, as many rely on coral reefs for food, shelter, and protection.

Fact: The melting of glaciers and icecaps will also have an impact on coastal flooding in the future.  This fact is supported by much independent research and many computer generated models.  As for the impact this important global warming fact can have on the coastal areas, it can and will be devastating.  Many coastal residents will be displaced.  Those in the United States who are most like to be impacted by this flooding are those who reside in low-lying coastal regions such as Louisiana and Texas, as well as some parts of California, but potentially all coastlines could be impacted.

Myth:  Computer Models that Predict Global Warming Are UnreliableOne of the many debates that surround global warming is the use of computer generated weather models.  It is no secret that scientists and meteorologists use computer models to predict the weather.  Although these weather models are not right all of the time, they do have a pretty high success rate.  In fact, numerous weather predicating computer models basically show that global warming is real and that it does have the probability to become a huge problem in the future.

If you are still unsure as to whether or not global warming is a real problem, now is the time to do some research.  Many individuals think that global warming prevention steps are just a waste of time and energy if global warming does not exist.  That is why researching the facts that surround global warming are important.  In fact, you may also want to encourage your friends, family members, neighbors, and coworkers to do the same. See the article referenced above to get you started, and be sure to check back for other helpful resources as well.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Global Warming: Fact or Fiction?

When it comes to global warming, you will find no shortage of information.  Whether you look online, turn the television on, or pick up a newspaper, you are likely to see something on global warming.

Global warming is a topic that is becoming “hot”  (pun intended).  :-)   Most of the information that you will read or see on television concerns the negative affects that global warming will have on our planet, such as coastal flooding, erratic weather, and the faster spread of diseases. Another popular global warming topic is prevention.  You are also likely often presented with ways that you can help to stop or at least lessen the impact of global warming.  These ways often include purchasing energy efficient appliances, cars, and light bulbs.

The Great Global Warming Swindle
The Great Global Warming Swindle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Although much attention and focus is placed on what global warming is and what we can do to stop it, you will also find opposition.  In recent years, we have learned just how much opposition the global warming theory has.  Global warming is no longer a cause for environmentalists; it is also a big cause for debate.  This debate circles around a number of different viewpoints, such as the one that global warming is just a scam to collect money for environmental organizations and the view that the changes we are seeing aren’t directly related to global warming, as they have been anticipated for years now.

So what does all this debate mean for you and other Americans?  It often means uncertainty.  Do you believe in global warming?  If you are uncertain, do you at least feel that it is an issue that needs to be discussed more?  If so, you are not alone.  Many Americans would like to see more information and proof on global warming.  The good news is that you can easily find this proof online or with television and movie documentaries, such as An Inconvenient Truth.  The internet is another tool that you may want to use, when giving global warming a closer look.  In fact, you may want to take the time to research both sides of the global warming debate. 

Even if you do not officially believe in global warming, you may still be concerned with the environment.  As outlined above, some opposition believes that the earth’s temperature would rise anyways, as it has been doing so for years now.  The same can be said with sea level, as a rise has always been anticipated.  Even if global warming isn’t the cause of these changes, they can still cause alarm.  The one thing that many experts agree on, whether or not they can agree on global warming, is that some of the prevention tips suggested are ones that can do no harm.  These tips include carpooling when possible and reducing as much energy in your home as possible, such as by turning off all unused lights and appliances. For more tips on saving energy, be sure to keep your eye on this blog, and browse through the archives as well.

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Video - The Price-Pottenger Story

If you haven't heard of Dr. Weston A. Price, his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, will blow your mind, and make you look at health, and food, in a completely different way. This quick video gives a brief overview of Price's research, but I strongly recommend you pick up his book and learn more. Price's work demonstrates and embodies all of the health truths I have been discovering and piecing together from various other sources for the past several years - all of it comes together in his extensively researched book. This video also describes the very interesting research done by Dr. Pottenger on cats which also supports Price's philosophy.

If you're not familiar with either of these two individuals, watch this quick video, and you'll start to catch a glimpse of a new paradigm of health and wellness (see resources below video to learn more):

The Price-Pottenger Story
You've discovered one of the most unique health resources in the world! This is the astonishing and amazing story of the great nutrition pioneers: Weston A. Price, DDS and Francis M. Pottenger, Jr., MD The Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation (PPNF) ...

Check Out These Related Resources:

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Coconut Oil - A Healthy Alternative

Coconut oil has long been touted as a natural health remedy as well as a healthy addition to any diet.  In recent history, we have been trained that unsaturated fats are good for us and saturated fats are bad, but more and more studies are showing this just isn't true.  While saturated fats may be harder to burn and should not make up a majority of your diet, they are more natural and better for your body than many of the polyunsaturated vegetable oils that have saturated the market in recent years.

Here are a number of ways coconut oil can benefit you:

Coconut Oil squircle
Coconut Oil (Photo credit: Ennor)
Skin - Coconut oil is a great multipurpose skin care item.  Like many other oils, it is great to use for massages, but also provides moisture for your skin.  It can also be used to treat certain skin infections like acne and eczema.  It contains antioxidants that help neutralize skin-damaging free radicals and has even been shown to help prevent wrinkles! Coconut oil is also great for sunburns - I got a pretty bad one earlier this summer, and used coconut oil on it for several days - I didn't peel at all.

Hair - Massage coconut oil gently into the scalp or even use it as a conditioner.  Not only is this oil treatment good for your hair, it also has essential nutrients to keep your hair strong and healthy.  It will help stimulate hair growth, moisturize your hair and scalp, and leave your hair looking beautifully shiny.  It can even help get rid of lice and their eggs.

Stress Relief - To help ease fatigue and regenerate yourself, apply coconut oil to the head and then gently massage.  You’ll feel better and ready to go.

Heart Health - While it does contain saturated fats, coconut oil also contains quite a bit of lauric acid, which helps to lower cholesterol and blood pressure - contrary to popular opinion.  Coconut oil can also help prevent other heart issues.

Weight Loss - Sure, coconut oil contains fat (all oils do), but coconut oil actually has less fat than many commonly used cooking oils.  And the fats in coconut oil are more easily converted into energy rather than being stored.  It also helps your body absorb more essential nutrients from other foods to keep your body in tip-top shape. (Interesting Note: Before grain became a staple for livestock feed, many livestock owners - especially in South and Central America - used to feed their cattle with coconut husks, which contain a good amount of oil. The cattle were very healthy, but not very fat, which meant it took longer to get them ready to sell, and they were smaller. Then they discovered that if they fed the cows corn instead, they gained a LOT more weight - much faster. The rest is history. But this does have interesting implications if you look at the rate of obesity in this country....)

English: Coconut oil in solid state
Coconut oil in solid state (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Immunity - Coconut oil contains antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal compounds that help fight diseases before they can take hold so you stay healthy and get sick less often.

Infection - The same properties in coconut oil that keep you from getting sick can also help heal or slow illnesses once you get them.  Coconut oil not only has antibacterial properties to help fight normal infections, it has also been shown to help viral infections including HIV.  It helps when taken internally, but it can also be applied to cuts and bruises to speed healing and form a protective barrier to prevent infection and other irritants from getting in.

Digestion - The antibacterial properties of coconut oil also help soothe irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders.

These are just a few of the health benefits of coconut oil that have been discovered.  Coconut oil has been shown to have a lot more benefits as well, and is believed by some to do everything from preventing liver disease to strengthening your teeth. Try replacing your cooking oils with coconut oil. Be sure to choose extra-virgin, and organic is best. Fresh coconut oil should have a light, coconutty scent. If it has no scent it's probably old, and won't be as effective. It's also great for baking - however, I've found it tends to make baked goods light and fluffy, rather than chewy, so keep this in mind depending on what you are baking. Coconut oil keeps at room temperature for many months if well sealed, but you may also refrigerate it if you like.
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Monday, August 6, 2012

Why We Need A New Definition of Healthy

Okay, rant time!  :-)   I know I haven't ranted in a while, but this morning's outing to the local Kroger got me all fired up....

After picking up some strawberries and organic butter (on sale for under $4 - yay!), I headed for the other side of the store, and found myself behind a fellow shopping with (presumably) his two sons. One was small - riding in the cart - the other was maybe 4 or 5 years old - cute little blond-headed boy. He apparently had been asking his dad if he could get a little treat (I didn't see what it was). All I heard was his dad's response:
"No, you can't have that - it's not good for you."  Followed by - almost as an after-thought:

"Most things that taste good aren't good for you."

WHAT??  I almost interrupted right there, but I thought better of it. What good could come of confronting a well-meaning dad trying to educate his children?  I really couldn't think of anything to say at that moment that would have made a positive difference, so I held my tongue, but inside I was stewing all the way home.

What a horrible thing to teach your children!

First of all, you're teaching your kids from a young age to feel guilty about eating things they enjoy (way to plant the seeds for a future eating disorder, dad!)

But even worse, you're predisposing them to dislike (probably before even tasting) anything they would think of as "healthy."

The Healthy Eating Pyramid, from the Harvard S...
"The Healthy Eating Pyramid" (Yes, believe it or not, that IS a can of pop at the top right...) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Basically that one statement will install a belief in those children that could very well lead to a short and unhealthy life - unless they are able to later overcome this early programming and learn to make choices based on reality on their own.  (Which many do, and I think, hopefully, more and more lately.)

In my mind, I was less timid, and confronted the guy with a simple, "That's not true!" Then I would have held up the package of butter - "Look at this organic butter - it's 10 times healthier than the regular stuff, AND it tastes better too!" Then I envisioned an argument ensuing about whether or not butter itself is healthy. (Which it can be - in case you were wondering, in reasonable amounts, as long as it's from properly fed and cared for animals that eat what they're designed to eat (grass), and aren't pumped full of hormones, chemicals, and junk. Clean animal fat is a natural substance which supports a number of functions in the human body, and is the most compatible type of fat with the human body - after all - it's the closest thing to our own fat - which makes up most of our brains, the marrow of our bones, and the walls of every cell in our bodies).

But what good would that have done? The dad's own programming (probably from his own parents, not to mention the non-stop media garbage) would most likely have prevented him from even comprehending the truth of my argument.

I find it incredibly sad and frustrating that all the mainstream (and mostly well-intentioned) efforts out there towards "health" are heading in completely the wrong direction. And it's REALLY easy to see this! If all it took to be healthy was to strip the fat out of everything, we would be the healthiest nation in the world! Instead, after 20-30 years of "low-fat," "low-sodium," "reduced-everything", we find ourselves with the highest rate of cancers, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, (the list goes on) than ever before in history.

At some point, don't we have to take a step back and say, "Okay, obviously this isn't working...."???   Maybe we were wrong?  Maybe eggs aren't evil, and processed (and sugared) grain isn't the actual basis of a healthy diet??

And back to the dad's comment for a moment - as I've mentioned before, REAL healthy food is the best-tasting food there is!!!  In fact, if you really think about it, the junk "foods" that are out there are packed full of artificial flavors - just to make us think they taste good!  Because in actuality, the processed, washed, bleached, dried, ground, separated, cooked, and re-formed into patties/nuggets/flakes/puffs "food" that we think of as "good-tasting-not-healthy food" really tastes like crap! Which is why they add all the artificial flavorings, colors, coatings, etc. - to trick our bodies into thinking this tastes good - therefore it must be good for me!

Guess what? There's a reason that stuff tastes good.... God made us that way - so that our bodies would know what is good for them, and what they need. Our taste buds recognize when something is ripe (it's sweet) - meaning at the peak of nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants, etc., rich - meaning containing fats that naturally help sustain our bodies and brains, or simply good-tasting - meaning it's something that's okay to eat, and not poisonous (things that are naturally poisonous to us usually taste bitter, or simply "off", to our taste buds). Natural, whole, real foods that God made for us to eat are the tastiest stuff on earth!

In their unconscious state, those with NSRED a...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The problem is, we stripped everything out of these real, good, whole foods, for the sake of convenience and profit, and now they taste like crap, so we add chemical additives to them that taste sort of like an imitation of what the actual food would taste like, so that we'll eat them....


Is it any wonder that we ended up where we are now? That of all the mammals on earth, we are the only species who live an average of 6 1/2 times our age at puberty (every other mammal lives 11-20 times)? We're also the only species that messes with its food.... go figure.

It's time to take a look at where we are, and how we got here, and realize that to survive as a species we need to change direction (not just when it comes to health, but also our care for the environment, our management of our resources, etc. - but these are for another blog post! :-)  Or visit our website for some ideas and solutions in these areas as well:

We need a new definition of healthy that doesn't rely on the USDA food pyramid (aka USDA pile of crap - pardon my French). We need to get back to basics, and back to eating the food that God gave us to eat - and stop pretending to be God ourselves and trying to make His food "better" - it can't be done!! Our bodies were designed by Him, and He created what these bodies are meant to eat.

Real Food = Whole Food = Natural Food = Fresh Food = Real Health.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree?  Got ideas of your own?  Feel free to share below, and if you liked this rant, you may also find these posts of interest:

Why Healthy Food Tastes Good
How to Get Healthy By Shopping Local
Organic Foods for Improved Health?
All About Aspartame
Raw Food Diet Series (1st post)

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Video - Introduction to the Total Wellness Cleanse

This quick video gives a 3-minute overview of what is, in my opinion, one of the best detox cleanse programs out there. It works with real, whole, natural foods to enhance and support your body's natural detoxification processes. This is more effective and puts a lot less stress on your bodily systems than a lot of the juice cleanse or supplement "detoxes" out there, and it's also easier to maintain and help eliminate cravings along the way.

Watch the short video below, and click the link below the video if you are interested in learning more.

Detox Diet: Total Wellness Cleanse
Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN & Amy Coates, RHN, BSc. Cleansing your body does not require fancy pills or s...

Click Here to Learn More About The Total Wellness Cleanse...


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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Why Water Is Important To Your Detoxification Goals

When undertaking a detox plan, regardless of the method you choose, water will play a very important role in your success. Water will help you detoxify more quickly. It will also reduce or alleviate detoxification side effects.

Here are three compelling reasons why water is important to detoxification.

English: Water fountain found in a small Swiss...
Alpine water fountain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
#1 Water helps you eliminate toxins more quickly. Water helps accomplish several things in your body. It keeps your vital organs hydrated and functioning properly. We’re talking about your kidney, liver, bladder and digestive tract. These organs are an important part of the detox process. When they’re functioning optimally you’ll detox faster.

Additionally, water helps you flush the toxins from your body. Sweating and urination both help remove the toxins from your body. The more you drink, the more you’ll urinate thus sweeping the toxins from your body quickly and easily.

#2 Water helps you lose weight. Water helps you lose weight in a number of ways. First and perhaps foremost, it helps your metabolism function optimally. The better your metabolism the easier it is for you to lose weight and keep it off. Secondly, water helps you feel full. In fact, many health and fitness experts recommend drinking a glass of water a few minutes before you eat any snack or meal. Studies have shown people consume fewer calories when they drink a glass of water first.

#3 Manage side effects better. When you detox you’re going to inevitably have a few side effects. These include dehydration, headaches, diarrhea, insomnia and mood swings. You may also experience a bit of mental fogginess during the first few days of detoxing. Drinking water helps reduce many of these symptoms.

Not only will you experience them for a much shorter time period, they’ll also be less severe. Of the symptoms, dehydration is the most serious and potentially risky side effect. It’s absolutely vital to your health and well being to stay hydrated.

“Some people think of the glass as half full. ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You may also experience a few cravings when you’re detoxing. Drinking a glass of water, or a glass of water with lemon or a dash of fruit juice, will help you manage those cravings.

Detoxing is a wonderful way to achieve a number of health benefits. Drinking water when you detox is absolutely essential for success. Consider creating a checklist to make sure you drink enough during your detox. Try to drink a glass of water every three hours or so – when you’d normally be having a meal or snack. If you're at work, keep a glass or bottle of water beside you on your desk - you'll be surprised how much you'll drink without even thinking about it.

You may be juicing or drinking tea during your detox. Drink a glass of water with each glass of juice or tea. If you notice your urine is yellow, you’re not drinking enough. Drink water and stay healthy during your detoxification process.

For More Helpful Detoxification Tips, Visit

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