Thursday, March 27, 2014

What Is An Anti-Candida Diet?

If you’ve ever had a problem with yeast then you know how difficult it can be to get rid of. The anti-Candida diet is designed to rid the body of the effects and the presence of this type of bacteria.

What Is Candida?

Mixed Candida species growing on ChromID Candi...
Mixed Candida species growing on ChromID Candida 2 Agar - detail (Photo credit: Nathan Reading)
The proper name is Candida albicans. It is yeast that can be a problem in the digestive system. When antibiotics are taken for various infections, they can rob the body of the good bacterial flora that are present. In the absence of the good flora, destructive and unwanted bacteria have a chance to grow and flourish.

Candida can be found in different areas of the body. For one you can find it in yeast infections in the vagina, mouth and under nail beds – any place that is warm and dark is a perfect breeding ground for yeast. Candida exists in all of us to some extent, and in small colonies causes no problems. However, when the body is off balance, for example, from taking antibiotics or other medications that disrupt the bacterial balance of the body, an overgrowth of candida can cause problems such as thrush, yeast infections, lowered immune function, and more.

The Diet

Getting rid of a yeast infection can be a vicious cycle. Constant yeast infections in the body can signify a systemic condition. It can affect the health of your immune system. An anti-Candida diet can help to rid the body of the yeast.

The diet is designed to take away the food for the yeast. Thinking of yeast that one would use to make bread rise - warm water helps give the yeast a perfect environment and the sugar activates it.

To get rid of yeast in the body, removing the sugar is the basic idea of the diet. But, there are other places that sugar exists besides simply in the form that we see on the kitchen table. Read the labels. Any food ending in “-ose” is a sugar in disguise and not what you want to eat on any diet designed to rid the body of yeast.

What about natural sugar, such as in fruit? While fruits contain many healthful antioxidants and vitamins, during your anti-candida diet you will want to avoid all sources of sugar - even fruit.

Sugary Pastry (Photo credit: nathanmac87)
What Not to Eat

We have already discussed avoiding sugar in its many forms. Another crucial place where you find sugars is in starchy foods. In the body, these carbohydrates break down into simple sugars. Any sugar is going to keep the Candida infection alive in the body. Avoid refined pastas, potatoes, white bread and anything made with white flour. Basically avoiding all highly processed foods will go a long way towards ridding your body of candida.

Some dairy products can hide sugars. If you like yogurt, be aware that flavored kinds can contain sugar and sabotage your efforts. Go for plain yogurts and those that contain bifidus regularis, acidophilus and other probiotic substances. These are good bacteria that will fight to regain their spot in the intestinal kingdom.

What to Eat

There are plenty of foods left that can tip the scales back in favor of the good bacteria in your body. Eat lots of vegetables, healthy grass-fed meats, omega-3 fatty acids, and garlic.

Drink plenty of water. Water removes toxins from the body. Taking a multivitamin can help rebuild the immune system along with the foods you are choosing to rebuild the bacterial flora. And if you don't eat yogurt, you should take a good daily probiotic supplement every day - even after you are done with your diet, to maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria in your body.

An anti-Candida diet can be followed for as long as you need to, until you are sure that your immune system is back on track. But typically if you are careful and do not eat ANY sugar, 30 days should be about the right amount of time to restore balance to your system.

Supplements That Fight Candida:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Natural Remedies for Yeast Infections

It can be a woman’s worst nightmare. They come but don’t want to leave. We are talking about yeast infections. They can occur anywhere, but most commonly in the genital region - and yes, men can get them too! If they plague you, here are some remedies that you might want to try.

Natural remedies are one of the best ways to cure a condition without all of the potential side effects. Modern medicine can be helpful but sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. Home-made remedies use everyday items that can get the job done just as well if not better, and they won’t cost you a lot of money.

Candidiasis (Photo credit: Pulmonary Pathology)
Now back to yeast infections. These are mostly found in the vaginal region. The infection in question is caused by “candida albicans.”

Bacteria and fungus like to have moist, dark places to hide and grow. When the pH of the vaginal area is off balance, this can favor an environment for bacteria to grow and reproduce. That translates into more problems. Until the balance of vaginal flora is returned to normal, the infection will probably get worse.

Recognizing a yeast infection

How do you know if you even have one? A yeast infection occurs in the vaginal area, and men can get them as well; although symptoms often do not occur for men, they can give them to their sexual partners and pass them back and forth, so if you are a man whose partner has a yeast infection, you should get treated too. Characteristics include:

* Itching in the vaginal region
* Sour odor
* Discharge (looks like cottage cheese)
* Painful intercourse
* Painful urination

Preventing yeast infections

As we said before, bacteria need moisture to grow and multiply. In our daily life, sometimes we do things that can contribute to and make us more at risk for yeast infections. Here are a few tips to lower your risk.

* Wear cotton undergarments – Nylon doesn’t breathe as well and can trap moisture. Cotton allows the genital area to breathe.

* Avoid sitting around with wet clothing – This especially goes for wearing bathing suits around all day after swimming. Eventually you will dry but probably not without irritating the vaginal area.

* Stop douching – The vagina contains natural bacteria that are not harmful because they maintain a neutral pH. Douching reduces the helpful bacteria and can dry out the area, leading to yeast infections.

English: Nonfat Yogurt
Yogurt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Natural remedies

* Eat yogurt – This is especially important if your doctor places you on antibiotics. The antibiotics can kill off the good bacteria, leaving the others to thrive. Yogurt contains live cultures to restore balance to the natural flora in the digestive tract as well as the vagina.

* Take acidophilus – This is a probiotic that works the same way as yogurt. It can be taken in pill form or even as an addition in yogurt. For quicker relief, use natural unflavored yogurt as a cream on the affected area to reduce itching.

* Tea tree oil – This is a substance found in nature that has antibiotic and antiseptic properties. It can be used to reduce infection and speed healing when placed on cuts and scrapes. As a suppository, it can help to restore the balance and kill the infection in the vaginal area.

Yeast infections are not pleasant. The itching and burning can be unbearable. Use the above tips and suggestions to keep infections at bay or to cure one that has already started.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Nutritional Benefits of Hemp Milk

For many people, milk has been part of a standard daily diet their entire life. You may drink several glasses of milk a day, but some people don't handle milk well, and it can lead to a variety of digestive problems. If you drink commercial (pasteurized, homogenized) milk, you are drinking something with little to no nutritional value, and it may even contribute to health issues for some people. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to cow’s milk, you may want to consider hemp milk.*  It offers a variety of health benefits and it’s easy to make at home yourself.

Health Benefits of Hemp Milk

Hemp Bliss
Hemp Bliss (Photo credit: joshua m. neff)
Before we jump into the nutritional value of a glass of hemp milk there are some other health benefits to consider.

Hemp milk doesn’t contain many of the allergens milk from animals contains. Many people are lactose intolerant or allergic to either whey protein or casein. The allergies can cause anything from gastric distress to migraines and anaphylactic shock. All of these ingredients are found in cow’s milk, sheep’s milk and goat milk. Hemp milk is free from these common allergens.

Additionally, hemp milk contains wonderful omega fatty acids. Omega fatty acids are excellent for improving immune function, organ function, better skin, nails, and better brain function as well. Lastly, most hemp grown in the US and Canada is grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals, which makes it a cleaner and healthier choice than conventionally sourced animal milk.

Nutritional Content of Hemp Milk

Your standard 8-Ounce glass of hemp milk contains the following nutrients:

•    900mg Omega-3 Fatty Acid
•    2800mg Omega-6 Fatty Acid
•    All 10 Essential Amino Acids
•    4 grams of Protein
•    46% of RDA of Calcium
•    0% Cholesterol
•    Potassium
•    Phosphorous
•    Riboflavin
•    Vitamin A
•    Vitamin E
•    Vitamin B12
•    Folic Acid
•    Vitamin D
•    Magnesium
•    Iron
•    Zinc

As you can see hemp milk is full of nutrients. It tastes much like almond, rice or soy milk. It is a bit watery so it may not work well as a straight replacement in baking; however, on cereal or as a beverage to drink, it is quite delicious.

English: Food shelled hemp seeds Česky: Potrav...
Food shelled hemp seeds. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
How to Make Your Own Hemp Milk

Making hemp milk is easy to do. However, finding hemp seeds may be a bit trickier. You can order them online, and some natural health food stores may carry both hemp milk and hemp seeds. (Be sure not to buy hemp seeds sourced from China, where they may be grown using chemicals.)

In a blender combine one cup of shelled hemp seeds with five to six cups of water. Blend for two to three minutes until smooth. For richer milk, use less water. For thinner milk you can add more water. You can sweeten the milk, great for coffee - just add honey or agave and vanilla extract. You can drink it as is or you can strain it through a cheese cloth or fine strainer to remove seed particles.

If you have cow’s milk sensitivities or are simply looking for a vegetarian alternative, hemp milk is extremely healthy. More supermarkets are beginning to carry it and you can make it yourself at home too. Give it a try; you might be surprised how tasty it is.

* Note: If you really want to drink cow's milk, be sure it is REAL milk!! See this blog post for how and why....
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

5 Benefits of Buying Hemp Clothing

You may have heard about hemp clothing and perhaps you’ve even made some judgments based on where the fabric comes from.  Hemp was a very common material with many valuable human uses prior to the past 20 or 30 years, and has unjustifiably fallen out of favor due to misunderstandings of hemp and its uses. However, unless you’ve owned hemp clothing and understand the benefits this amazing fabric provides, you’re missing out.  Here are five fantastic benefits of hemp clothing for the whole family.

English: An outdoor hemp plantation in the UK....
 Industrial hemp contains ultra-low levels of Delta-THC and other cannabinoids, which makes it useless for recreational/medicinal purposes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
#1.  Versatility. Hemp clothing and the fabric made from hemp is derived from the cannabis sativa plant.  This material has been used to make everything from ropes to canvas.  And it makes some pretty amazing clothing as well.  Easily dyed and easily blended with other fibers, hemp can be used to make everything from durable brown work pants to a lavender silky-looking blouse. 

#2.  Durability.  The word canvas actually comes from the Dutch word for cannabis and you know how durable canvas is!  They make tents out of the material.  Hemp is actually three times stronger than cotton.  At the same time, it is lightweight and absorbent and clothing made from hemp last a long time - long enough that your youngest child will easily be wearing hemp clothing your oldest child has outgrown and it’ll still be in tip-top shape.

#3.  Hemp is environmentally friendly.  While a large amount of hemp is grown in China where they do not have a chemical-free farming process, hemp grown in Europe, Canada and the United States is generally grown without chemicals.  Fertilizers, herbicides and even pesticides are not used in the growth and production of hemp. 

#4.  Hemp is a sustainable crop.  Almost every part of the hemp plant can be used.  Seeds are used to make hemp oil, and the stalks are used for making hemp fiber.  Add to all of that the fact that hemp produces more fiber per acre than trees and that it is a renewable resource.  Hemp is typically harvested within four months of being planted. 

Hemp fibers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
#5.  Hemp makes great outdoor clothing because it is mold resistant, resistant to ultraviolet light, and of course very durable.

Because just about every type and style of clothing can be produced from hemp fibers, and because it is an environmentally sound fiber to grow and produce, hemp is perhaps the single best fiber option available on the planet.  It’s economical, versatile and durable and it’s grown in a manner that doesn’t harm the environment.  What can be better than that?  It's time to put aside your preconceptions about hemp, and give it a try!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Reviewing Sharper Image Air Purifiers

If you own a television, a radio, or have access to a computer, you have probably heard of Sharper Image before.  Sharper Image is a well-known company that specializes in household items, which may include, but are not limited to, clocks, lamps, traditional household appliances, televisions, massage chairs, and air purifiers. 

If you are interested in purchasing an air purifier, you may wish to look for a Sharper Image product. If you make the decision to purchase an air purifier from Sharper Image, you will find that you have a number of different options.

Despite the fact that Sharper Image produces a number of different air purifiers, they are most well-known for their line of ionic air purifiers. These air purifiers are commonly known as or sold as Ionic Breezes.  What is nice about the Ionic Breeze air purifiers is that most are quite compact.  Their tower designs make it possible to fit these air purifiers in just about any space, no matter how much or how little room you have.  The Ionic Breeze air purifiers are also known as being extremely quiet, when compared to most other air purifiers. 

The full size Ionic Breeze towers are capable of cleaning the air in a room up to 500 square feet. Since this square footage is larger than most other air purifiers, you will find that Ionic Breeze air purifiers tend to sell for more money.  In most cases, you should be able to purchase a full size Sharper Image Ionic Breeze air purifier for around $100 to $300.  If you are looking for something more affordable, you may want to examine the Table Top Ionic Breeze. The Table Top Ionic Breeze is ideal for 350 square foot rooms.  When you think about it, this is still a fairly large amount of space. The Table Top Ionic Breeze retails for under $100.

In 2006, Sharper Image introduced a new air purifier. That air purifier is known as the Hybrid GP Germicidal Air Purifier.  The Hybrid GP Germicidal Air Purifier is one of a kind. In fact, it is known as being one of the most efficient air purifiers currently available for sale.  As with the Ionic Breeze air purifiers, the Hybrid GP Germicidal Air Purifier is energy efficient; thus this top of the line air purifier will not only help to clean the air inside your home, but it will also reduce the cost of doing so, energy wise.

Since the Sharper Image Hybrid GP Germicidal Air Purifier is considered top of the line, the price is higher than most air purifiers.  This well performing air purifier tends to retail for around $350.  Although the cost may seem high, it is important that you remember what you are getting when you purchase this product.  In addition to being a top of the line product, the Hybrid GP Germicidal Air Purifier also has a modern and compact design.  This means that in addition to fitting into a wide variety of different spaces, the air purifier will also go great with just about any home décor. 

When considering the cost of Sharper Image air purifiers, including the Hybrid GP Germicidal Air Purifiers, as well as the line of Ionic Breezes, it is important to remember one thing.  Unlike most other air purifiers, they do not need replacement filters.  Almost all of the Shaper Image air purifiers are filter-less.  Essentially this means, that you usually only need to wipe off a collection grid. This is important when determining the cost of a Sharper Image air purifier. Although the cost may seem high, you do not need to purchase additional accessories, which tend to drive up the cost of most air purifiers. 

You can find many air purifiers by Sharper Image at a lower cost online, such as at

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Finding the Best Air Purifier for You

Picking the best air purifier is a very difficult decision since each home has different needs. Adding to this tough task is the fact that different allergens and different types of home pollutions are removed in different ways. Below are some comparisons of some of the more popular types of air purifiers, and what they do.

This image was created as part of the Philip G...
HEPA Filter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Air Purifiers with HEPA (High Energy Particle Arresting) filters were originally developed for the atomic energy commission, and are used in commercial clean rooms (such as hospitals) to remove particles of dust and other airborne pollution. These consist of a paper or polymer sheet with very tiny holes that allow airflow to pass though the material but not very much else. The holes are so small you need a lot of surface area for a reasonable amount of airflow to pass though the material. Therefore the medium is always folded in an accordion or zigzag fashion to fit a lot of surface area in a small space. There is also a mixed version of the technology where the holes in the HEPA filter are slightly larger to promote more airflow but the air is charged with electrostatic wands - which then attract and trap any of the smaller particles that get through the holes. 

HEPA Filters work well in the home for trapping particulates. The disadvantage is that the filters must be changed regularly (every 6-months to 5-years depending on the manufacturer). Before purchasing you would also want to review how much air by-passes the filter, fan noise, how long the filter is good for and finally price of both original unit and replacement filters.

Ultraviolet (UV) photons harm the DNA molecule...
Ultraviolet (UV) photons harm the DNA molecules of living organisms in different ways. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
UV air purifiers use ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet light in the right intensity destroys the DNA of microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses. The disadvantage of a UV air purifier is that removes very few gas pollutants and no air particles. It would be necessary then to purchase a UV air purifier along with another type or one that combines it with another filter system.

Ion Generator Air Purifiers are small air purifier devices that put out a stream of negatively charged Ions. These ions charge particulate pollution and when the particle bumps up against something it sticks due to the electronic charge. These devices are used on US submarines and in the poultry industry to keep the feather dust down.

These air purifiers do what they say but there are some very distinct disadvantages. Particulates end up on your walls so your walls may turn black near the device. Secondly, since they typically do not have a fan so they only work in a localized area. They also do nothing for gas pollution and some may put off a bit of ozone.

You can see just with the 3 examples above there are some pretty major differences between air purifiers. Research and comparison shopping is necessary to find the right purifier for your specific case. Do not allow promotional hype to sway your judgment; picking the wrong air purifier is as bad as not having one at all.

Be sure to check back Thursday for a helpful review of several different air purifiers...
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Create An Appreciation of Nature By Stargazing with Your Children

The sky is filled with fantasy and wonder.  One can look up at those amazing stars for hours and contemplate the universe. It relieves stress, helps you focus on the world around you, and gets you connected with nature. Why not share this stargazing experience with your children? 

Here Are Several Benefits of Stargazing with Children:

Tried to do a night Sky shot, harder than anti...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
1. It inspires curiosity. Looking up at a night sky full of stars fills your child with wonder and delight.  It sparks their imagination and their curiosity.  So many questions pop into their fertile minds. 

* What are the stars?
* How did they get there?
* How far away are they?
* Who put them there?
* What are they made of?

This gives you not only great insight into the mind of your children; it also gives you a valuable teaching moment.  You can teach not only about science and astronomy but looking up to the sky also lends itself to wonderful religious and spiritual teaching moments. 

2. It creates memories.  What is your fondest childhood memory?  For many, it’s that special one on one time with their parent(s).  Stargazing provides you with that opportunity to connect with your children.

3. It is calming.  Children are so busy today they barely have time to think.  If they’re not in school, they’re doing homework, playing sports, going to scouts and other after school activities, and hanging out with friends then they’re watching television, surfing the net or playing computer games.  There’s very little time made for quiet. 

Yet quiet time is exactly what children and adults need.  Numerous studies have shown that spending time simply looking at the sky or taking a walk in nature improves concentration, boost mood and generate feelings of well-being. 

Getting Started Stargazing with Children

In order to create a memorable stargazing experience you’ll need to take a few steps.  To begin with, you’ll need a comfortable place to lie down - grab a blanket and locate a place to stargaze. 

Night sky (stars and the Milky Way), Cherry Sp...
Night sky (stars and the Milky Way). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If your children are younger, you may want to grab a few snacks.  Decide in advance if you’re going to look at constellations. If you are, you may want to find a few pictures of the constellations show your children know what they’re looking for.

Create a list of things to look find in the sky, like the North Star, Venus, the Milky Way and so on.  Having a list seems to get the ball rolling and once you get them searching the night sky, they’ll take the ball and run with it.

If you have a telescope, then you can really focus on a few astronomical features, like exploring the craters on the moon. 

Stargazing with your children is more than a learning opportunity, though it certainly is that; it also provides you a wonderful opportunity to connect with your children, to help them grow and foster a sense of well-being and connection with the universe and the world around them. 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

10 Ways to Become Eco-Parents

My sister recently had twins, and it got me thinking a lot about parenthood, and how important it is to teach your kids to appreciate and value the world we live in.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “children learn by our actions, not by our words?”  When it comes to many issues, this is very true.  Children emulate what they see.  If you want your children to grow up to be environmentally conscious and responsible adults, show them what that looks like.  Show them what it means to be eco-friendly.  Here are ten great ways to become eco-parents, and teach your kids to respect and care for themselves and the world they live in:

CSA share: June 25, 2011
CSA share (Photo credit: .m.e.c.)
#1.  Buy organic when possible.  In this instance, it is important to also discuss with your children why you buy organic.  Make them part of the shopping process by having them find items on your grocery list.  Take them to the farmer’s market with your or join a CSA (community sustained agriculture) program and have them come with you when you visit the farm.  Share with your children your thoughts on why to buy organic produce and then follow through with your actions.

#2.  Recycle.  This is such a small thing but it has a huge impact.  If your community waste management program offers a recycling program, then getting your children involved is easy.  Have them recycle paper, clean out plastic containers and help with the recycling system in your home.  If you don’t have the convenience of curbside recycling, it is a bit more of a process, but children can still get involved and it can become a family routine. 

#3.  Walk, ride your bike and take public transportation when possible.  Demonstrate to your children the value of conserving resources by practicing good eco-friendly habits.

#4.  Teach them to appreciate nature by taking them on nature walks, visiting wildlife preserves and learning about animals and their habitats.

#5.  Use reusable products whenever possible.  One very simple tip is to use reusable shopping bags.  Children are great for helping you remember to bring them along when you head to the store!

#6.  Grow a garden Children of all ages love digging their hands in the dirt and growing things.  Let them choose what they want to grow, help them cultivate it and teach them about planting and growing their own fruits and vegetables.

#7.  Travel.  Visiting other places helps children develop an appreciation and an awareness for the world outside their immediate surroundings.

Natural Laundry Detergent, Free and Clear
Natural Laundry Detergent, Free and Clear (Photo credit: artizone)
#8.  Use natural cleaners.  Mainstream cleaning products contain a whole host of chemicals and fragrances that are harmful to our health, and if you’re going to get your children involved in cleaning and caring for the home, then they’re going to be exposed to those chemicals.  Opting for natural cleaners gets the job done while staying chemical free - it's healthy for you, for them, and for the environment. Many cleaning products can even be made at home using safe, natural, and cheap ingredients like baking soda and vinegar, so they can save you money too.

#9.  Breastfeed infants.  Breastfeeding isn’t just better for a child’s health, it eliminates the need to manufacture and distribute formula.  And when your other children see you breastfeeding their sibling, they begin to develop an appreciation for its practicality - and for the efficiency of nature to provide what we need.

#10.  Buy used.  Clothing, furniture and even kitchen appliances can all be purchased used. This keeps them out of the landfills, and it saves money and resources manufacturing and distributing these items.  And you save a bit of money too.

Being an eco-parent is really about adopting environmentally friendly practices that make sense for you and your family, and taking responsibility for your role in the natural world.  Your children will grow up knowing you thought it was important to conserve, preserve, and take care of their health, and the health of the world we live in, and hopefully they’ll adopt the same responsible philosophy as they grow into adults themselves.

Enhanced by Zemanta