Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Treatment Tuesday - Oral Ulcer (Canker Sore)

A mouth ulcer is a very painful open sore inside the mouth, caused by a break in the mucus membrane. Don’t panic—these sores are not herpes.

They start with tingling and burning, then form a red bump, which opens up into an ulcer, also called a canker sore. The ulcer is light colored with a red border. They sometimes have a white circle around it. The ulcer may cause painful swelling below the jaw. 

Small oral ulcers heal on their own in a couple weeks. Even a group of very small ulcers will generally heal before a month is up, with no scars or other negative effects. Larger or more painful ulcers, however, usually take more than a month to heal and you may end up with scar. Natural treatments to reduce the swelling and inflammation are a good idea for these ulcers.

What Causes Oral Ulcers?

Oral ulcers are usually an overreaction by the body's own immune system, which can be caused by food allergies, stress, and exhaustion. You can also get them from injuries such as biting the lip or getting hit on the lip, wearing braces, and passionate kisses. Here are some other causes:
  • Hormonal imbalances including menstrual cycles and imbalances caused by coffee, prescription drugs, and stress
  • Deficiencies in B vitamins, particularly B2, and in iron
  • Candida infection
  • Gluten, which is found in wheat, oats, spelt, rye, or barley and can result in chronic mouth ulcers. Many products, even natural ones, include added gluten, so read the ingredients. Even beer is often made from wheat, and of course, most bread products include gluten.
  • Vitamin C products, especially ascorbic acid or citric acid
  • Chemotherapy
  • Illness can bring on the canker sores. If they occur often and you have avoided the known causes, your immune system is not functioning correctly.
Treatments for Oral Ulcers
  • Use a highly concentrated solution of sea salt in water as hot as you can stand to hold in your mouth. Keep swishing the solution around in your mouth and on the affected area until the water cools. The salt will sting, but it will clean the bacteria out and help your tissues contract and clot, then grow back together more efficiently. Remember, your body is nearly 1% salt (sodium chloride). This salt mouthwash first expands the tissue at the wound site, then shrinks it naturally.
  • Herbalists also recommend aloe vera gel and deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) chewable tablets for oral ulcers. Aloe vera gel soothes and heals the mouth’s delicate mucous membranes. Clinical research suggests that chewable DGL tablets are extremely effective oral ulcer cures. According to one study, chewing on DGL tablets completely healed oral ulcers in 15 out of 20 patients. Best of all, the healing was done within only three days. 
  • As with nearly all sores and ailments, you can best avoid them by keeping your body as healthy as possible by getting enough nutrition from whole food sources, getting plenty of rest and maintaining a healthy stress level. Doing all of these things will also keep your immune system in top condition.

Other Considerations:
Try Vitamin E oil on the scarred areas to make them disappear.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Treatment Tuesday - Sore Throat

Sore throats often mark the onset of colds and flu, so it’s important to eradicate them as soon as they appear. Left untreated, even for a just few hours, they can grow out of control and affect, even threaten, the tonsils. In many cases, they may develop into more serious throat conditions and coughs. Scratching or itching sensations in the back of the throat are generally signs of bacteria or viruses. Eating sugar and processed foods can feed them.

Thankfully, there are many natural solutions for eliminating a sore or itchy throat.

What Causes a Sore Throat?

A sore throat is a common first symptom of both colds and the flu. A number of germs, such as streptococcus, and several viruses cause sore throats. Sometimes, however, bacteria and viruses aren’t to blame. Basically, anything that inflames and dries out your throat’s mucous membranes can cause a sore throat. This means that living in an arid climate, smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke, vomiting, acid reflux, screaming, and allergies can all give you a sore throat.

Sore Throat Remedies

Over-the-counter remedies for sore throat usually just cover up the symptoms of itching and irritation. Many natural remedies, however, can actually eliminate the sore throat. What’s important is that you do something right away before it develops into a more serious condition or illness.
  • Hit the throat itself with antibacterial and antiviral herbs or tinctures. Some good choices are St. John’s wort, liquid Echinacea with goldenseal, and propolis tincture. Use an eyedropper or spray to apply these to your throat.
  • Gargle with warm salt water or hydrogen peroxide (diluted in half with water).
  • Increase vitamin C intake by eating plenty of fresh, organic fruits and other foods high in vitamin C (plums, red peppers, rose hips, currants, etc.).
  • If your sore throat is not caused by virus or infection, you can sooth it with honey and anti-inflammatory herbs.  
 With sore throats, an ounce of prevention is often worth a pound of cure. Generally the best way to keep from getting a sore throat is to avoid things that cause them such as talking to loudly or excessively or smoking. For sore throats related to infections, its best to keep your body as healthy as possible by eating lots of nutritious whole foods, drinking plenty of water and getting adequate rest.

Friday, December 18, 2009

This is how you know when a product is good!

This was on the comapny's blog. You know something works when all the executives use it too!

Written by Jay Koh, Vice President of BōKU® International
This is my very UN scientific, but very practical real-world review of the new BōKU® Immune Tonic.
I was getting ready for a string of business trips which would take me to 3 different cities in 7days.  My starting point was Los Angeles, first destination was Seattle, then to Las Vegas, and finally San Francisco for their 2009 GREEN FESTIVAL.   My fear was that in the middle of the most feared flu season in decades, I was exposing myself to thousands of people and high-risk locations where epidemics usually break.  I felt pretty confident that my immune system was up to the challenge but I was happy to find a trial vial of the new BōKU® Immune Tonic in the office.  I decided it would be a good “test” to see how well it might perform in a “real world” situation.

Read the whole "test" here: http://bit.ly/567wDm

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Treatment Tuesdays - Stress

We all feel stress at some point, especially when the holidays are upon us. Sometimes stress is good  and sometimes it can make you downright sick!

Many experts believe that unhealthy stress is the number one cause of disease and poor health. Scientists agree that stress causes actual brain chemistry changes, and these changes can influence your health. Stress is or may be a contributing factor in everything from backaches and insomnia to cancer, heart disease, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Heart disease is the number one killer of American women. High blood pressure, heart attacks, heart palpitations, and stroke are often stress-related cardiovascular conditions.

Often, people feel the effects of stress as fatigue, various aches and pains, and headaches, or as emotional disorders such as anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances. Stress affects others by causing gastrointestinal disorders such as ulcers, lower abdominal cramps, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. Frequently, people under the effects of stress will have more colds and infections due to lowered immune system responses. Stress can also cause skin conditions such as itchy skin and rashes.

Why Are We So Stressed Out?

Physical stress may be the result of too much to do, not enough sleep, a poor diet, or effects of an illness. Stress can also be mental: when you worry about money, a loved one’s illness, or retirement; or experience an emotionally devastating event, such as the death of a spouse or being fired from work can add an enormous amount of stress to your life.

However, much of our stress comes from less dramatic, everyday responsibilities. Obligations and pressures, both physical and mental, are not always obvious to us. In response to these daily strains, your body automatically increases blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, metabolism, and blood flow to your muscles. This response is intended to help your body react quickly and effectively to a high-pressure situation.

This is why exercise is so vital. In nature, we are designed to be far more active than we are in modern life. The fight-or-flight response is meant to result in a physical activity, such as fighting or fleeing. When you are constantly reacting to stressful situations without making adjustments to counter the physical effects, you will feel stress—which can threaten your health and well-being. Stress significantly ages us, not only cosmetically, but throughout the body.

Stress and Hormones

Stress releases adrenaline into the bloodstream, which converts to cortisol. When there is an overabundance of cortisol in the bloodstream over long periods, it can lead to problems with thinking, raised blood pressure, weight gain in the belly, lowered immune response, muscle mass loss and connective tissue weakening, growth hormone level imbalances, blood sugar imbalances, and hypothyroidism. High cortisol from stress strongly affects memory, and even leaves the blood brain barrier open, allowing toxins to penetrate where they would not go otherwise. A life of stress leaves people more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s and other diseases.

High cortisol can be reduced through sunshine, regular rest, exercise, and fun. If cortisol levels become too low, however, stress continues and adrenal depletion ensues. This leads to exhaustion, and is implicated in Chronic Fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.

The adrenals also produce too little DHEA when they are busy with cortisol, which can be rebalanced through joy and laughter. You be can be tested for your DHEA levels to see if you need supplementation for either low or high levels of cortisol phases, but careful supervision by a health care practitioner is suggested to make sure DHEA is being used to create the proper hormones in your body. Do NOT use DHEA if you suspect prostate cancer.

Treatments for Reducing Stress

Here are a few suggestions for stress management to help maintain a healthy lifestyle:
  • First and foremost, stop thriving on stress. If your lifestyle choices cause too much stress, ask yourself what you gain by continuing to make these choices (or by not changing). Perhaps a larger fear or avoidance pattern is behind the stress.
  • Remove caffeine from your diet—completely! Stress is severely worsened by stimulants like coffee, and sugar, even though you may be tempted to use them because your weakened adrenals may need extra stimulation if you are pushing yourself to keep going. Don’t, as that only perpetuates the cycle and you will feel even worse later.
  • Noise increases stress response, so find time in a quiet place. Better yet, create a quiet space and use it regularly for introspection, meditation, and relaxation.
Make sure you’re eating highly nutritious food if you have a high-stress lifestyle. You can help balance your system by adding super food nutrition from dark green, leafy vegetables, sea vegetables bee pollen, olive leaf extract, pine bark extract, and other nutrient-rich foods and botanicals.

Other Considerations

When you feel stress start to build, take a deep breath! Flood your body with life-giving oxygen and feel the difference immediately. There’s a reason Grandma always said take a deep breathe and settle down—because it works! One of the body’s responses to stress is to shorten the breath, which will deprive the body of oxygen. Again, in nature we would typically respond to stress in ways that would have us fighting, fleeing, or both. Physical activity (think exercise) following a stressful or threatening encounter will have us breathing deeply and more efficiently using the adrenaline and other hormones and chemicals released by our body. In modern life, we often deal with stress while we are sitting down. We continue the shallow breathing and often keep it all inside. A recipe for disaster!
  • Jin Shin Do is a method of working with acupressure points to help release core stresses and help you cope with everyday stressors.
  • A good massage will alleviate much stress and muscle tension.
  • For many, aromatic baths can do wonders. Fill a hot bath and add Epsom salts and 20 drops of lavender, chamomile, lilac, or neroli essential oils. Breathe deeply while you soak. The aromatic healing properties will melt away your stress.

Friday, December 11, 2009

THE POWER OF A CUCUMBER


The Amazing Cucumber This information was in The New York Times several weeks ago as part of their "Spotlight on the Home" series that highlighted creative and fanciful ways to solve common problems.

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber.  Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.


3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower?  Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.


4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds?  Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long.  The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.


5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool?  Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite.  Works great on wrinkles too!!!


6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache?  Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!


7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.


8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don't have enough time to polish your shoes?  Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.


9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge?  Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!


10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa?  Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.


11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints?  Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.


12. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel?  Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won't leave streaks and won't harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.


13. Using a pen and made a mistake?  Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Healthy Recipes - Raw, Organic Bonbons

Yield: approximately 30-35 pieces

15 plump, moist, pitted medjool dates
2 cups raw, unsalted macadamia nuts
1/ teaspoon fine sea salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
¼ cup Boku
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon raw honey or agave nectar
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
¼ cup finely chopped candied ginger (dried apricots or golden raisins are good, too)

Shredded unsweetened coconut, cocoa powder or sesame seeds for coating – approx 12 cup of any.

Process the macadamia nuts with the sea salt until fine in a processor fitted with the steel blade – take care not to process to a paste. Add dates and process to combine well. Add cocoa powder, Boku, cardamom, cinnamon, honey or agave and vanilla. Process until a uniform mixture. Add in the ginger and pulse until just combined – nice to leave pieces for texture.

Turn mixture into a bowl. Form small bonbons (1/2 oz. size is perfect) by squeezing and rolling the mixture between your palms. Roll bonbons in the coconut, cocoa or sesame seeds to coat. Bonbons keep well one week refrigerated (great cold!), freeze up to three months.

Recipe & photo by Heidi Robb

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Treatment Tuesday - Chapped Lips

Anyone who has spent time skiing, hiking, or just relaxing outdoors has probably experienced chapped lips at some point. This condition, which ranges from slightly annoying to extremely painful, is associated with drying of the lips from weather exposure. Lip salves and balms can help prevent and even heal chapped lips.

If you suffer from painful, even bleeding cracks and splits in your lips, especially at the corners of the mouth, then you may have developed angular cheilitis, a condition brought on not by weather or dryness, but by a virus or fungus.

What Causes Chapped Lips?

Your lips are prone to chapping because they are covered with epithelial tissue, the same sensitive material that lines your intestines. Exposure to cold, windy weather can cause chapping, as can excessive moisture (licking the lips) and allergenic lipstick.
Angular cheilitis is usually caused by a fungal, viral or bacterial infection. It also can be brought on by biting or excessive licking of the lips.

Treating Chapped Lips

Stop putting petroleum-based products on your lips. They feel slick but actually dry your lips, which is why you need to keep applying them—which is a good way for the manufacturer to get more of your money. Instead, use lip balms or gloss made from shea butter, beeswax, and vegetable or nut oils. Also use vitamin A, D, and E oils or ointments (preferably the concentrated 32,000 IU/ounce variety of vitamin E). Use a generous amount and your damaged lips will heal in nearly an instant. Also, B vitamins can help prevent chapping.

Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial that can be an effective treatment against angular chelitis. It can be used in combination with vitamin E.

The best bet for treating and preventing chapped lips is to stay properly  hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Keep you whole body running in good condition by getting enough vitamins, minerals and all of the necessary nutrients from organic whole food sources.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Healthy Recipes - Holiday Pumpkin Smoothie


This smoothie tastes like Pumpkin Pie in a glass and is super easy to make!
Ingredients:
½ cup canned or roasted pumpkin
½ cup vanilla soy, rice or almond milk
½ cup water
½ cup crushed ice
2 tablespoons pumpkin butter (or 1tbs honey)
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 scoop BõKU™ Super Food
 

Blend & Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain


The average American tends to gain 1-2 pounds over the holiday season.  This may not sound like much but most people don’t lose that weight after the season ends, and it just accumulates year after year. Here are a few steps you can take to avoid the extra weight that creeps up on us in between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. 


Most importantly, be aware of what you eat and how much. Allow yourself to indulge in holiday foods and treats a little, but always in moderation. Eat slowly and savor your food, this aids digestion and makes it less likely that you will overeat.


Make gatherings about socializing and not about food. Have something healthy before a party, like a BōKU® smoothie. Flooding blood with nutrition just before diving in will go a long way toward avoiding over indulgence and give you more energy for having fun! Also, don’t stand around the food or snack while making small talk; get more involved in your conversations and you won’t want to eat to fill silences. You’ll have a much better time and maybe even make a friend or two.



Try to find opportunities for exercise (go for a walk after dinner, take an extra lap around the store while holiday shopping) even 5-15 minutes a day is better than nothing. Try to manage stress by having a buffet style or potluck dinner so you don’t feel overwhelmed, and make sure to take some time for yourself when you need it. Regular exercise will help with this too.
Also limit your intake of alcohol as well as food, and drink plenty of water. Drinks are full of empty calories and may lessen your willpower causing you to eat more than you should. One can also come up with their own creative ways to remind themselves to exercise and eat in moderation. For instance you can wear snug fitting clothes so you can feel them tighten when you’ve had enough to eat, brush your teeth to keep from going back for more food, or leave little notes around the house reminding you to go for that jog.

Monday, November 23, 2009

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan Rave!

Michael Pollan's 2008 book In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto was his follow up to 2006's The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. The latter remaining #1 on the New York Times Non-Fiction Bestseller List for an astounding six weeks!
That likely means that many people are interested in what Pollan is writing about: the need for people to eat real food

Pollan asserts why food itself needs defending:

"Because most of what we're consuming today is not food, and how we're consuming it -- in the car, in front of the TV, and increasingly alone -- is not really eating. Instead of food, we're consuming "edible foodlike substances" -- no longer the products of nature but of food science. Many of them come packaged with health claims that should be our first clue they are anything but healthy. In the so-called Western diet, food has been replaced by nutrients, and common sense by confusion. The result is what Michael Pollan calls the American paradox: The more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we seem to become."

This is definitely a message that needs to be spread far and wide to help change people's minds about what is actually food, and what isn't. This is how we can become as healthy as possible.

In Defense of Food can be found at any local brick and mortar or online bookstore and in many libraries.  If you'd just like to learn more about Michael Pollan, his books or to see his ongoing public speaking schedule visit:
www.michaelpollan.com

Friday, October 30, 2009

Great Article About How to Stay Organic During Winter!


On Discovery's Planet Green site, writer and healthy living spokesperson Laurel House poses the question: What's a green produce devotee supposed to do when farmer's markets close down during winter months? 

"You leave your home, reusable bag in hand, to take your weekly stroll over to the local farmer's market to load up on farm fresh organic produce. There is a slight chill in the air but the weather has yet to make an impact on your life. And suddenly, now it has. Your farmer's market is shut down for the season. For the next 6 months it will be markedly harder to get green greens into your diet. What's an organically obsessed veggie lover to do?"


House continues by giving some awsesome tips for keeping your diet greena and organic when the farmer's markets are no longer an option, and even a super healthy smoothie recipe!


Read the whole thing here: 
http://planetgreen.discovery.com/food-health/powdered-greens-farmers-market.html

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Remember to Eat Your Greens!

Everyone is crazy about “Going Green” to save the environment today.  But “Going Green” is not just for our environment…Going Green inside is just as important for your health!

No one can refute, the foundation of great health is great nutrition…And the best way to fight disease, is to prevent it.

In the beginning of time, our ancient ancestors ate up to six pounds of green leaves per day.  Imagine them walking along from one place to another, just picking and eating leaves as they went. Can you imagine eating a grocery bag full of greens each and every day? Very few of us even eat the minimum USDA recommendations of 3 cups of dark green vegetables per week. And yet, these vegetables deliver a bounty of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.

Why are Greens so good for you?

Dark green leafy vegetables are, calorie for calorie, perhaps the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They also provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems, among many other effects. Dark green leaves even contain small amounts of Omega-3 fats.

Perhaps the star of these nutrients is Vitamin K. A cup of most cooked greens provides at least nine times the minimum recommended intake of Vitamin K, and even a couple of cups of dark salad greens usually provide the minimum all on their own. Recent research has provided evidence that this vitamin may be even more important than we once thought (the current minimum may not be optimal), and many people do not get enough of it.

Vitamin K:
  •  Regulates blood clotting
  •  Helps protect bones from osteoporosis
  •  May help prevent and possibly even reduce atherosclerosis by reducing calcium in arterial plaques    
  • May be a key regulator of inflammation, and may help protect us from inflammatory diseases including arthitis
  • May help prevent diabetes
So, what now?  Eat a grocery bag full of greens everyday?

The reality is, it’s nearly impossible to eat a grocery bag full of green produce per day, but there are options for the consumer:  Fresh Juicing Greens is a terrific method of preserving all the natural goodness of greens, but most people find this inconvenient and very expensive.  My preferred method of getting my greens is in quality powder form, such as BOKU Superfood.  BOKU Superfood is rich in natural greens, but also much much more.  It also saves me money because it is basically $1 per serving. 

No matter what method you choose, make sure all your greens are certified organic! 

Healthy Recipes - Fruity Veggie Smoothie





Ingredients:

1 banana
1 cup favorite fruit
(grapes, nectarines, apples)
3 big leaves of anything dark green and leafy
(spinach, Swiss chard, amaranth)
1 heaping scoop of BõKU™ Super Food
2 cups almond milk


Directions:

Blend the fruit using just enough water to cover it. Then add the greens (cut up into medium size pieces) and BõKU™ and blend until it’s completely blended.
Pour a tall glass about 2/3 full of this mixture, top it off with almond milk and stir!

Breast Cancer Diet Connection



In honor of the 25th National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this article will discuss the likely relationship between breast cancer and diet. While there may be nothing that we can do guarantee that we will not get breast cancer in the future, there is a host of studies that report that there are several lifestyle changes that we can make to reduce risk.

As far as diet is concerned, research seems to confirm common sense. According to a September 2009 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, (Meat, dairy, and breast cancer: do we have an answer?) that women who stuck to what they called a “prudent” diet tend to have a lower risk for breast cancer. Researchers Eleni Linos and Walter Willet define this “prudent” diet as one that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish and low in red and processed meats, starchy carbohydrates and sweets.  During their study they found that with pre-menopausal, normal-weight women the risk for cancer declined as their scores on the “prudent” diet scale rose. In fact, those with the most prudent diets lessened their risk by a third!

There was little evidence that the more “prudent” diet lowered risk among postmenopausal or overweight women, although it was liked to a generally lower risk of estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer — an aggressive type of tumor that accounts for about one-third of breast cancers.

Some common healthy foods that are believed to help prevent cancer are whole grains, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower), spinach, berries, tomatoes, garlic, mushrooms, ginger, green and black teas. Some foods to avoid or cut down on would be red meat, sugar, anything fried, foods that contain hydrogenated oils, such as stick margarine.

However, eating healthy food is not the only lifestyle choice that one can make that may reduce their risk of developing cancer. Another is exercising regularly, the American Cancer Society suggests 45-60 minutes of exercise 5 or more days a week. Losing weight if you are overweight is also beneficial, as is maintaining a healthy weight after menopause. Limit your intake of alcohol. Studies have found that having one or more drinks a day will increase a woman’s risk of developing hormone-sensitive (ER+/PR+) tumor, this type accounts for roughly 70% of women diagnosed with breast cancer.

It is also very important to obtain a breast cancer risk assessment from a physician as well as an annual clinical breast exam. One should also remember to perform monthly breast self exams and make sure to get regular mammography screening once turning 40 years old.
Also, try to find a healthy way to manage the stress in your life and try to keep a positive mind set as often as possible. There isn’t a lot of evidence that this keeps the cancer away, but it certainly couldn’t hurt!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Where Does Your Sugar Come From?

Pictures are worth thousands of words. Just something to ponder from sugarstacks.com...





 
 
 
 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Would You Eat Your Dog’s Food?

We love our pets and want to make them happy and we know that we shouldn’t feed them scraps, but most of us give in once in a while. We may think that it isn’t doing our doggies or kitties any harm by giving them a human food treat, but we are really doing more harm than we may think. Although some foods are much more toxic for animals than others, here is a list of human foods that you should never give to your dog:
  • Grapes and raisins can cause irreversible damage to the kidneys. Ingesting 4-5 grapes or raisins is said to be potentially poisonous to a 20 pound dog.
  • Onions and garlic contain N-propyl disulphide which destroys red blood cells and results in hemolytic anemia called Heinz body anemia. Kidney damage may follow. This poisoning can occur with any form of onion or garlic, raw, cooked or powdered. This is true for cats as well.
  • Chocolate or cocoa contains theobromine which can adversely affect the heart, lungs, kidneys, and central nervous systems of dogs and cats. Any type of caffeine has a similar effect.
  • Macadamia nuts are not fatal but tend to affect the muscles, digestive and nervous systems causing illness.
  • Fat trimmings can cause pancreatitis
  • Large amounts of liver can cause vitamin A toxicity which affects the bones and muscles.
The foods listed above should also NOT be fed to cats, some others include:
  • Green tomatoes, green/raw potatoes contain a bitter, poisonous alkaloid called Glycoalkaloid Solanine which can cause lower gastrointestinal disorders. The leaves and stems are especially toxic.
  • Salt can cause electrolyte imbalances if eaten in large quantities.
  • Mushrooms can contain various toxins that affect multiple body systems, cause shock and possible death
  • Milk contains lactose which can cause stomachache, cramps, gas and diarrhea since cats are lactose intolerant.

IMPORTANT for both cats and dogs—Do NOT feed them each others’ food. Dog food is for dogs and cat food is for cats. Why? Cat food contains taurine, which cats need, but is toxic to dogs. Cat food is also too high in protein and fats for dogs. Likewise, consumed regularly, dog food can cause taurine deficiency and heart problems in cats.
Also--NO raw meat for pets as it can cause food poisoning and parasites and NO Junk food (read: anything with sugar, salt caffeine or anything fried).

This is not to say that all human foods are harmful to dogs, in fact some are very good for them. For instance:
  • Bananas and sweet potatoes are high in potassium, fiber, magnesium and vitamin B6 all of which aid the metabolism and regulating the blood. Serve mashed and mixed with dog food.
  • Flax seeds contain ALA and Omega 3 fatty acids which are excellent for a dog’s coat, skin, bones and brain function. You can add ground seeds or a tsp. of flax oil to your dog’s regular food.
  • Salmon is also high in Omega 3 fatty acids and is a great source of protein. Best if served cooked, plain and in chunks.
  • Yogurt contains probiotics which can improve gut function and keep harmful bacteria away from your dog. Only give dogs, plain low fat yogurt.
Cats can safely eat:
  • Plain, trimmed deboned meats
  • Canned tuna for the Omega 3 fatty acids and protein. Although this should only be an occasional treat, too much can cause malnutrition.
  • Barley, oat or wheat grass (also known as cat grass) aids digestion and is full of vitamins and mi

*I’d like to thank SOJOS Natural Pet Food for the inspiration for this article

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Treatment Tuesday - Premenstrual Syndrome

Today, PMS still is often misunderstood and mistreated. Unfortunately, conventional medicine tends to emphasize treatment of PMS symptoms rather than the hormonal imbalance that is the true underlying cause.

PMS is not a disease but a syndrome; that is, it is a pattern of symptoms that may or may not have a logical connection. Symptoms vary from woman to woman, with the most common being cramping, bloating, breast tenderness, leg aches or backaches, nausea and various indigestion problems, diarrhea, headache, pimples and skin rashes, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, weepiness, and increased fastidiousness. It is therefore not surprising that conventional medicine has not found a cure for this syndrome.

PMS is common, occurring in 75% of women of reproductive age. For two to ten days before the onset of menstruation, millions (if not billions) of women are affected by a wide range of physical discomforts and mood disorders, including bloating, depression, insomnia, severe pain, uncontrollable rage, crying jags, and, in the most severe cases, suicidal depression.

Treatments for PMS

Start with foods. Strawberries, watermelon, artichokes, asparagus, parsley, horsetail herb (or organic silica), and watercress are all great natural diuretics, and should be added to the diet during PMS. Other beneficial foods include raw sunflower seeds, dates, figs, peaches, bananas, potatoes, and tomatoes. Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates and watch your sodium intake (use natural sea salt).

Diet plays a role in PMS, and avoiding the following foods can help to lessen the severity of the discomfort for most women: salt and licorice (licorice stimulates the production of aldosterone, which causes further retention of sodium and water). Likewise, avoid cold and icy drinks/foods. Here are some additional treatments:

  • Herbal treatments may work by stimulating the pituitary gland or by affecting dopamine or opioid receptors. There are several herbs that can help alleviate the symptoms of PMS. Dong Quai works for many women by eliminating water retention, and chasteberry and the Chinese herb xiao yao san are great for relief of abdominal cramping. Black cohosh herb is great for counteracting night sweats. You can also take 500 mg of evening primrose oil for an overall tonic and St. John’s wort for calming the nerves. 
  • Maca root is reported to help with PMS and has been used for centuries by women in the Andes region. 
  • Supplement your diet with foods high in calcium and B vitamins, like green leafy vegetables and legumes,  and exercise will help reduce depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Stay away from caffeine, which destroys B vitamins, potassium, and zinc while irritating the alimentary canal and increasing the desire for sugar, which further exacerbates PMS. 
  • Don’t drink alcohol, as it depletes magnesium and damages the liver, and like coffee, leads to an acid condition.
  •   Get out in the sunshine, it increases your vitamin D intake and may help elevate your mood.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Treatment Tuesday - Heartburn

Well Labor Day is now over and so are the barbecues. It's fun to cook outside in the warm weather for your friends and family. However, one thing that those kinds of foods (especially paired with beer or soda) can cause to unsuspecting attendees is heartburn.

Although heartburn has nothing to do with the heart, the primary symptom is a burning sensation around the heart area, or just below the breast plate. It can rise into the esophagus and even affect the throat. For some, heartburn is an uncomfortable sensation. For others, it causes acute pain and damage to the esophagus, and it can last for days.

Avoid using over-the-counter antacids. Prolonged use of these products can cause severe kidney damage and other problems resulting from aluminum and sodium bicarbonate.

What Causes Heartburn?

Most people believe too much stomach (hydrochloric) acid causes heartburn. Usually, however, the problem is too little acid. Eating only small meals after 3 p.m. and avoiding all caffeine, fried foods, spicy foods, and tomato sauces in the evening can eliminate many of your serious gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) problems.

Additionally, some behaviors cause heartburn and, in these cases, the only way to prevent and relieve heartburn is to change those behaviors. Overeating, for example, is a major cause of heartburn, as the excess food causes pressure changes in the stomach that push food up into the lower part of the esophagus.

Natural Treatment and Prevention

Let’s start with some ways to treat heartburn. Here are some ways to quickly recover and restore your normal stomach pH. Try different ideas from this list until you find a solution that works for you:
  • Drink a cup of cold milk. The milk will coat your stomach and esophagus, providing quick relief from the burning acid.
  • Take a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (acetic acid) to aid digestion and stop the heartburn.
  • If you need a little more help, take a teaspoon of baking soda (not baking powder, which is full of deadly aluminum) in half a glass of warm water and drink. This will cut down gas and heartburn. 

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Healthy Recipes - Raw Oatmeal

A big Thanks to Julie C. from Lake Havasu City, AZ for this great healthy recipe!


Ingredients:

1 c. oat groats – soaked overnight in water

1/4 c. almond butter

1-2 Tbsp. agave nectar

1/4 c. regular unflavored almond milk (use as much as you want to get consistency you like)

1/4 c. raisins

1/4 c. any fresh or frozen fruit (fresh tastes better) such as blueberries, raspberries, peaches, melon

1/2 banana

2-3 scoops boku

Directions:

Blend to desired consistency in food processor and enjoy!

Makes one serving.



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Treatment Tuesday - Viral Infections

Summer is nearing its end and autumn is almost upon us. With it, fall tends to bring cold and flu season. Viruses seem to thrive in our bodies as the weather grows cold, fortunately there are several things that we can do to prevent and fight viruses.

What Are Viruses?

Unlike bacteria, viruses are not living organisms. They are particles or molecules that reproduce inside the cells of other (host) organisms, causing damage to the host. They are difficult to remove once they take hold, so the best treatment against viruses is preventative treatment.

Antiviral Treatments

Viruses live and thrive in unhealthy systems, so the most effective way to remain virus-free is to keep your system strong and healthy. This means fortifying your immune system through a healthy diet. Besides adding positive substances, your antiviral treatment should include the removal of negative substances, such as tobacco smoke, excess alcohol, food toxins and additives, environmental toxins and stress. Here is a summary of the essentials:

  • Take olive leaf extract and nutrient-rich, health-forming foods to support your immune system.
  • Take Echinacea, St. John’s wort, and skullcap herbs for antiviral protection.
  • Get exercise and a little sunlight every day, and eat more high-antioxidant foods (fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts are great).
  • Stop smoking and excessive drinking, and remove processed foods and excess sugar from your diet.
Other Considerations

Research indicates that the mineral zinc is also an effective antiviral agent. For example, a double-blind study published in 2000 demonstrated that zinc significantly reduces the length of overall common cold symptoms by 50%, including cough by 50% and nasal discharge by 30%.
Foods high is zinc are shellfish, red meat, beans and nuts.

Other antiviral supplements include:

High doses of enzymes will also make your body a hostile environment for viruses, while assisting digestion and cleaning out pockets of waste in your lower bowel, a place where viruses breed. These natural viral reagents will cause the weaker viruses to die and the stronger, more virulent ones to retreat into a small, safe place they can burrow in, somewhere in your body, depending on the type of virus. They’ll only awaken if you feed them something that wakes them from their dormant state (e.g., poor diet, smoking, drinking, drugging, a negative mind-set, stress, and poor sleep patterns).

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Treatment Tuesday - ADD/ADHD

All children can be rowdy and hyper-energetic from time to time. And they all have times when it’s difficult for them to sit still and concentrate. But if these behaviors reach chronic levels, or measurably interfere with their ability to learn and cope with their lives, then it’s possible the child has attention deficit disorder (ADD), most recently referred to as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

ADHD starts in childhood and affects approximately 12% of children under 16 and is on the rise. Around 60% of children with ADHD will still have symptoms by the time they reach adulthood. Many sources go on and on about the types of behaviors that are symptomatic of ADHD, but they mostly boil down to the following:

• Hyperactivity (inability to calm down)
• Impulsive behavior (extremely low impulse control)
• Inattention and lack of ability to concentrate
• Learning disabilities (largely due to the above symptoms)
• Defiant or disruptive behavior, angry outbursts

What Causes ADD/ADHD?

ADHD is considered to be a neurological disorder or, more specifically, a neurodevelopmental disorder, meaning that it is a problem with brain development. However, scientists and healers are divided on the subject and many natural healers believe that ADD and ADHD is just the pharmaceutical industry’s label for a range of symptoms that largely come from poor nutrition, specifically from the Standard American Diet (SAD). Other natural health practitioners believe that ADHD is a set of symptoms that come from dysfunctional environments (home, school, church, etc.).

The following is a summary of the most widely accepted theories:
• Genetic predisposition
• Brain injury during pregnancy, at birth, or in early childhood
• Environmental toxins during pregnancy and in early childhood
• Lack of nutrition combined with excess of bad foods
• Dysfunction in a child’s key environment
• Mercury toxicity from vaccines

Treatments for ADD/ADHD

Most medical experts say that there is no cure for ADD/ADHD, only treatments that help keep ADD-related behaviors in check and improve cognitive functioning. Whether or not that’s true depends on your definition of what, exactly, ADD/ADHD is. There’s a good chance that one or more of these natural remedies will help the problem. Therefore, the best therapy involves a combination of cognitive, nutritional, and psychological treatments, including the following:

• Replace sugary, fatty foods like cheese, candy, sodas, and fried foods with nutrient-rich, health-forming foods like green leafy vegetables, Spirulina, kelp, bee pollen, and maca. Studies prove that children with better diets are able to concentrate and relax more, and have higher achievement levels.
• Increase omega fatty acids in the diet with fish and flaxseed.
• Increase intake of vitamins C and E (fruit, nuts and whole grains are excellent sources)and start an antioxidant-rich diet.
• Avoid food additives and foods known to cause allergies, including wheat, dairy products, and processed meats.
• Reduce stress at home and in school and implement relaxation and calming practices.
• Reduce dysfunction at home through emotional support treatments for the entire family.

Other Considerations

If you have trouble getting your child off a sugar and junk food dependent diet, try getting away from the source of the temptation. Take a healthy, good-foods vacation for the entire family.