Thursday, May 27, 2010

Healthy Recipes - Natural Shampoo

There are plenty of good reasons to make your own shampoo that will benefit you and the environment. On the personal side, the chemicals in most manufactured shampoos can irritate and dry out your hair and scalp, or it can cause an overproduction of oil to compensate for the dryness which leads to greasy looking hair.  Also, shampoo is expensive and making it yourself will save you money.

On the environmental side, making your own shampoo will help eliminate all of the unnecessary packaging filling the landfills, it will save massive amounts of energy in the manufacturing and shipping processes, and it will reduce the amount of chemicals and toxins in the environment.
If you would like to make your own shampoo here are several different recipes to choose from:

Just Baking Soda and Water
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda mixed well with one cup of warm water
Pour over roots of hair, work through and rinse

Follow with
  • 1 oz of lemon juice OR
  • apple cider vinegar diluted in about 16 oz warm water
Pour onto hair especially ends, let sit for a minute and rinse.

Basic Shampoo For normal hair - use alone or as a base to add your own scents
  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup liquid Castile Soap
  • 1/2 teaspoon jojoba, grapeseed, lavender or other light vegetable oil
Mix together all the ingredients. Store in a bottle. Shake before use, it will be thinner than commercial shampoos.

Chamomile Shampoo
  • 4 bags of Chamomile tea
  • 4 tablespoons pure soap flakes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons glycerine
Let the tea bags steep in 1 1/2 cups of boiled water for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags and add the soap flakes to the remaining liquid . Let stand until the soap softens. Stir in glycerin until mixture is well blended. Pour into a bottle. Keep in a dark, cool place.

Scalp Stimulating
  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup liquid Castile Soap
  • 2 tsp jojoba oil
  • 1/8 tsp peppermint essential oil
  • 1/8 tsp tea tree essential oil
Mix all ingredients, then add 1/4 cup distilled water
Store in a bottle. Apply to hair, work through, rinse well.

Shiny Hair
  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup liquid Castile Soap
  • 2 Tbsp dried rosemary
  • 2 Tbps sweet almond oil
  • 1/4 t lemon essential oil
Boil distilled water, add rosemary and steep until fragrant.
Strain leaves and let cool. Mix all ingredients and add to water and stir well.
Store in a bottle. Apply to hair, work through, rinse well.

Softest hair
  • Avocado
  • Baking soda
Mash them together with a little bit of water to make a paste. Rinse your hair with warm water first, then apply the paste and rinse it out with cold water.

Hair Too Dry?
  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup liquid Castile Soap
  • 1/4 cup aloe vera gel
  • 1 teaspoon glycerin
  • 1/4 teaspoon avocado oil or jojoba oil
Mix together all the ingredients. Store in a bottle and always shake well before using.
Apply to hair and allow to sit for a few mintues. Rinse well with cool water.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Organic agriculture prohibits pesticides linked to risk of ADHD

Following closely on the heels of the President’s Cancer Panel Report exhorting consumers to choose food grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers , antibiotics, and growth hormones to help decrease their exposure to environmental chemicals that can increase their risk of contracting cancer, a study published in today’s issue of the journal Pediatrics concludes that exposure to organophosphate pesticides at levels common among U.S. children may contribute to the prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in these children.

“Studies have increasingly shown the importance of minimizing young children’s exposure to even low levels of chemical pesticides. This study adds to that wealth of knowledge and arms parents with information that helps them reduce their children’s pesticide intake,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s Executive Director, pointing out that the use of organophosphates is prohibited in organic production.

The article reported findings from a study examining the association between urinary concentrations of metabolites of organophosphates and ADHD in children ages 8 to 15. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers led by Maryse Bouchard, a researcher in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Montreal, analyzed the levels of pesticide metabolites in the urine of 1,139 children and found children with above-average levels had roughly twice the odds of being diagnosed with ADHD.

As the largest study of this kind so far, it reminds consumers that organophosphates were originally developed for use in chemical warfare because they are known to be toxic to the nervous system. Organophosphate compounds are used in agriculture to kill pests.

“Organic food production and processing is the only system that uses certification and inspection to verify that these chemicals are not used,” Bushway added. “Those seeking to minimize their exposure to these chemicals can look for the USDA Organic label wherever they shop.”

The abstract of the paper published in the journal Pediatrics is accessible online.

For more information on organic, go to OTA’s consumer web site,

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Treatment Tuesday - Astigmatism

Do you not see as well as you used to? One reason may be astigmatism, here is some information that can help you understand and manage astigmatism.

Astigmatism is a common condition causing poor vision, and is a distortion of the cornea that leaves the eye oval or football­shaped, rather than round. Round eyes are normal and are important for good eyesight. In cases of astigmatism, the eye focuses on two points instead of one; this happens because rays of light do not form a single point of focus as they enter the eye. The word astigmatism is derived from the Greek alpha, meaning ‘without’ and stigma meaning ‘point.’

The most common symptoms of astigmatism are:
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Eye pain
Straight lines may seem crooked and even distorted. People with astigmatism may complain about blurry or fuzzy lines, and develop severely distorted depth perception over time.

What Causes Astigmatism?
Since astigmatism is a distortion of the cornea, it is difficult to pinpoint its exact cause. Over time, the cornea of the eye can lose its natural roundness. In addition, poor posture, and frequent tilting of the head can lead to astigmatism and problems with perception.
Treatments for Astigmatism
Many treatment options for astigmatism are available, but some have higher risks than others. Surgical procedures developed in recent years include Lasik surgery and photo reactive keratomy (PRK). Both of these are invasive procedures that carry a risk of damage. Side effects may include:
  • Feelings of ‘halos’ around lights
  • Tears in the retina, and damage to the optic nerve
  • Chronic dry eye, and a diminished capacity to produce tears
  • Free radical damage
  • Impaired visual acuity
There are natural remedies and cures available as an alternative to surgery. Ayurvedic theory indicates that vision problems are related to digestive imbalances. As a result, some options include regular eye exercises, consumption of Ayurvedic herbs such as amla, triphala, and licorice, and a diet rich in carrots, spinach, and antioxidant vegetables.

The Bates Method involves re­educating the eye to improve healthy eyesight. This works by taking frequent breaks where the mind and body are in a relaxed state. This can involve a peaceful walk or meditation, closing the eyes but improving receptive awareness, and focusing on detailed but pleasant scenery. Over a period of time, this can help train the eyes, mind, and body to work in harmony.
Eating a balanced and healthy diet also can significantly improve eye health. Diets that are good at reducing eye degeneration include food such as:
  • Those high in antioxidants, such as Acai berries, Goji berries, red grapes, cherries, mangos, and citrus fruits. Unsweetened cocoa is also an excellent choice that is rich in antioxidants and natural flavonoids.
  • Organic egg yolks for the high carotenoid content
  • Green leafy vegetables, including leaf lettuce, chard, kale, collard greens, spinach, and parsley
  • Those low in unhealthy hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. This includes avoiding processed and fried foods, refined sugars, alcohol, and simple carbohydrates.
Other Considerations

Eye exercises throughout the day can significantly improve your eye health. Resting your eyes for five minutes every 30 minutes can help relax your gaze and improve your overall energy.
Other exercises to try include:
  • Blinking your eyes regularly to reduce eyestrain
  • Taking regular breathing breaks and meditative rest periods
  • Rapidly switching focus from near to far for 20 to 30 minutes
  • Rolling eyes up and down in a full circular motion for five minutes, five times a day

Friday, May 14, 2010

Weight Loss vs. Weight Control – Know the Difference?

Maintaining a healthy weight is a two-part process: weight loss and weight control. It’s the latter we struggle with more than the former. If someone offered you a smart, sensible guide to eating, exercising, and understanding how the body works; one that would keep you at a healthy weight that you could follow for life, would you take it? Of course you would. So remember that healthy weight loss begins with understanding the intricacies of the human  body…understanding how and why we get fat. Most diet plans focus on their isolated, pet issues, whether it’s a low-carb diet, buying an all-in-one piece of workout equipment, or filling up on liquids. But none of these address the core underlying issues. They rarely educate the consumer or speak to all the possible factors that play a role in weight loss. No two people are the same and therefore, weight loss cannot be addressed as a one-size-fits-all remedy. Identifying the culprits that cause excess weight and choosing the right approach for your body type and lifestyle can make allthe difference.

Bikini season is almost here so many of you out there may be looking to lose a few pound to look your best in that new swimsuit. To help, this post begins a series dedicated to healthy, long term weight loss. Enjoy and leave your thought is the comments.

Weight Loss vs. Weight Control

First, let’s address weight loss. You’ve heard it before—eat those fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Though practically a dietary cliché, it’s still golden rule number one in maintaining a healthy diet, which will lead to weight loss. What to minimize in your diet? High fat foods, processed foods, trans fats, and sugar. While these guidelines are staples for a healthy food plan, they’re still only part of the picture.

Once you’ve developed a habit of swapping Twinkies for almonds, and you notice weight loss, your next step is to maintain that desired weight. This requires lifestyle changes. But it’s not as drastic as you may think. Often, it’s what you’re NOT eating that’s making you fat and unhealthy. Rather than focus on dieting, starvation and all the things you need to STOP doing…try the simple approach of ADDING a few basic practices. The first, last and best secret to help control your weight is to add more healthy nutrition to your diet. Even if you don’t stop all the bad eating habits right away, just adding super nutrition from nutrient-dense foods, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier, slimmer you. One of the easiest and most reliable ways to add high levels of nutrition to your diet is to take a green superfood drink once or twice per day. Boku Super Food is the one we’ve created from what we believe is the best formulation on the market.

Sometimes it’s necessary to reverse some of your long-held beliefs about health. For example, many people feel that they get enough nutrition from their food and shouldn’t need any other supplements. Others believe that their vitamins are taking care of their supplemental needs. These are both beliefs that stem from lack of information. Our  foods today largely come from industrial farms that load the soil with chemical fertilizers and pesticides that end up in your food and your body. Many vitamins and supplement products are chemically produced in laboratories and are often derived from questionable sources. Studies have shown that many vitamin products pass through the body  irtually unchanged and unabsorbed by the body. In other words, the body recognizes these products as waste matter!

After nutrition, the next big part of weight control is committing to a regular exercise program. Thirty minutes a day or more is ideal but don’t avoid exercise if you can’t stick to that schedule. The person who has only 15 minutes a day to exercise will have gotten his blood pumping for 105 minutes a week, which would make a marked difference in weight compared to the person who didn’t exercise at all. The same principal applies to physical health as it does to financial health: A little bit done over a long time has the ability to create compounded interest and big returns! That’s why we recommend taking a little Boku Super Food and getting a few minutes of exercise every day over many years.
Finally, you may want to become more of a label watcher at the supermarket. The information in later sections will make you a savvy consumer but the key is to be diligent and watchful because it’s easy to misread labels. For example, a common mistake is looking at how many calories are in a serving but then neglecting to notice that the manufacturer defines a serving as one cookie, not three. Observing ingredients such as fats, carbs, protein, and calories must become second nature in the fight against flab. The secrets of healthy weight loss are about knowledge, understanding the  various weight loss options and making sensible decisions.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Treatment Tuesday - Varicose Veins

As the weather continues to get warmer and the clothing gets smaller, there things other than extra pounds that one may want to hide. Don't let those varicose veins get int the way of sporting shorts or the new bathing suit by using these natural treatments!

Varicose veins are much more common in women, leading some experts to believe that the disorder may be related to hormones. The culprit may also be wearing high heel shoes, which cause the blood to pool in the calves. Men aren’t immune to varicose veins, however. They’re much more noticeable on women, since women tend to shave their legs, yet varicose veins can cause painful throbbing and cramps in both genders.


Besides the possibilities mentioned above, varicose veins are thought to be caused by standing, sitting, or lying down for long periods of time—in other words, lack of movement. Sitting or lying down for long periods of time causes the blood to pool toward the feet. Ultimately, as a result of this pooling, the heavy, swollen veins protrude, forming varicose veins. There may also be some connection with the health of your blood vessels and arteries and capillaries.

Preventing Varicose Veins:

Here are a few ways to help prevent varicose veins:
  • Though varicose veins are a common hallmark of aging, crossing the 50 ­year ­old threshold doesn’t mean you have to develop them. Keep your blood flowing and your cardiovascular system as a whole healthy by staying active
  • Along with staying active, maintaining an ideal body weight is essential to varicose vein prevention. Don’t put extra physical stress on the veins in your legs and feet by weighing them down
  • Take enzymes, including bromelain (like in BoKU Super enzyme blend)
  • If your liver is congested, your whole circulatory system suffers. Maintain good liver health by not drinking too much alcohol and by ingesting foods and herbs that sustain the liver. These include red grapes, blueberries, cherries, beets, artichokes, dandelion, milk thistle and blackberries.
  • Keep your circulation flowing by eating hot, spicy foods, particularly hot peppers, onions, and garlic. Also Una de Gato (Cat’s Claw) is good for circulation.
  • Massaging the legs is helpful if you don’t already have varicose veins in the area of the massage.
Getting Rid of Varicose Veins:
  • Varicose veins are much more difficult to treat than prevent, but if you do develop varicose veins, all is not lost. The bioflavonoid rutin (found in citrus fruits,  berries, buckwheat, mulberry) strengthens capillaries, and there is some evidence that it can help reduce the severity of varicose veins.
  • Horse chestnut herb is useful for varicose vein therapy.
  • Eat lots of fruits with Vitamin C and bioflavonoids.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Healthy Recipes - Cinnamon Swirl Smoothie

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How to Give Mom a Healthy Mother’s Day

Start by fixing mom a healthy brunch like a fresh, organic salad of dark leafy greens, nuts and berries with our own BōKU® balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Encourage mom to get some exercise by taking her on a hike outdoors, go for a walk, jog or bike ride together. You can even challenge mom to a game of tennis or swimming race. Not only will you be spending quality time together, but all of the movement will get your heart pumping and make you and mom feel fantastic!

Give mom a sustainable, eco-friendly gift. Organic flowers are a nice choice, all natural candles, soaps or skin care products are good as well – has a great selection. Or you could go the homemade route and bake mom a batch of gluten free sugar cookies you can find recipes at: Or get creative with a recycled paper card, perfect for kids.

Or you can give mom something to help her be more eco-friendly again and again for free! For every new order using the discount code MOM2010 we will send you a free reusable BōKU® Chico sling! For auto-ship orders, just send an email to with the coupon code and we will add the free bag to your next shipment! Moms can get this for themselves too!

Top off a lovely Mother’s Day with a fabulous healthy dinner! Try a nice vegetarian spinach lasagna or mushroom stroganoff, you can find plenty of recipes at

Happy Mother’s Day to each and all!