Saturday, March 29, 2008

Allergies Got You Down?

Do you suffer from allergies? More people currently suffer from allergies than just about any time in history. Why? One of the reasons is due to the unnaturally high levels of toxic chemicals and disturbance in our environment. As population numbers continue to grow, our planet becomes more bombarded with pollution and health issues are exacerbated by all the toxins in our soil, water, air, and environment.

Many people develop allergies when they are children, and some grow out of them as they grow older. Many others find that the older they get, the more allergies they seem to develop. In other words, those sensitivities and reactions become worse, instead of improve, as time goes on and age sets in.

Why does this happen? As the body grows more and more toxic through repeated exposure to things that make it sick, the immune system becomes overwhelmed and is less and less able to handle otherwise benign elements (such as pet dander, dust, pollen), and even more intolerant of substances we ingest and eat such as ingredients in our food, water, and other beverages.

As one common example, the wheat that you've been eating your whole life may just now be starting to cause all kinds of bizarre and seemingly unrelated symptoms in your body. You might never make the connection unless you eliminated this trigger from your life to determine if you experience any changes in your health. When you remove a suspected cause of some problem and wait a period of weeks to see what happens, sometimes you find a surprising discovery you did not expect - that this one thing you believed couldn't possibly be causing issue is in fact the very culprit of all your woes.

Food allergies such as wheat, soy, dairy (pasteurized is usually the problem), and nuts are becoming more and more common for being found out as the cause of a myriad of health problems. The reason these four things cause such terrible allergic reactions is because they are almost always the most processed and changed groups in our food supply. Most of what you will find is not a natural, whole food and your body reacts to it violently because it cannot digest it properly since it is a foreign substance.

These foods usually contain little to no nutrients because they are so far removed from what nature intended. As a result, your body becomes ill. People are labeled by the health community as "allergic", "abnormal", and lumped into a group of people who are considered "sick" because they cannot tolerate these foods. The reality is, these foods are poison and as such, will always cause problems to many who eat them. Over time, more and more people will become unable to consume them. The truth is, if you are "allergic" to something, your body is producing a normal reaction to something abnormal in its environment. Even those who believe they don't have food allergies probably do and don't know it if they are consuming these substances.

These substances can play a role in the development of anything from eczema to asthma to serious auto-immune disorders such as fibromyalgia, lupus, and multiple sclerosis.

For more information about food allergies and environmental intolerances, visit Tara Skye Golden, N.D.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Nothing But the Fruit

Fruit is good for you! Folks who think they are getting their daily intake of fruit by eating what is not pure fruit are in for a big surprise. If you drink fruit juice, eat fruit snacks or rollups, the dried fruit in cereals, granola or cereal bars with "fruit", jams, or the "fruit" included in pasteurized yogurt, you are not eating real, 100% fruit. Your body is designed to eat and digest fruit to put it to use to make all your systems work properly. It is not designed to absorb and make use of the other stuff.

None of these processed, packaged foods replace fruit. Fruit juice is a good example of what I am talking about - do you know how many pieces of fruit it takes to make an 8 ounce glass of orange juice? About 12. Would you eat that many oranges at once? Heavens no! And your digestive tract is completely overwhelmed at the amount of sugar from that many oranges. Your body also does not gain benefit from the fiber, pulp, or nutrients found in the fruit itself.

Many parents give their children fruit juice everyday thinking they are doing them a favor, but in reality, they are doing their kids a great disservice. Children learn that all their drinks come in a sweet package, and don't drink enough water. Many of them also don't eat enough plain fruit because they have just filled up on junk instead.

So next time you grab for the junky, processed snacks that contain some fruit-like substance, but is not pure unadulterated fruit itself, think twice. Just sit down to a simple, delectable piece of grapefruit or slice up a succulent, juicy red pear, and ask yourself...does it really get any better than this?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Walk Don't Run

For exercise, you can't beat a good, brisk walk. Walking actually burns more calories than running, according to University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics research. A regular walking program can generate impressive results over time.

The key is to begin slowly and gradually work up to a more vigorous pace over a period of weeks. Participating in vigorous walking four to five times per week for 30 minutes or more is an effective way to keep stress down, build muscle tone, burn over 150 calories each time, sleep better, and raise energy levels substantially. You will also reduce your risk of developing various diseases such as high blood pressure, osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer. Unlike running, walking is low impact so it helps build muscle while protecting your joints and tendons. Walking each day will also improve your stamina and your mood.

Many people believe running is superior because it gets the heart rate up, but brisk walking can achieve the same end without damage to the body caused by continual pounding on the ground.

The important elements of starting a good walking regimen are as follows:
  • Decide why you want to become more fit; from there, build your walking goals
  • Don't expect too much initially; start out slow and gradual to reduce risk of soreness and injury - especially for those who have been sedentary for long periods of time
  • Buy good walking shoes that fit well and provide adequate support, especially arch support
  • Warm up for five minutes prior to starting your walk
  • While walking, make sure to exhibit good posture - shoulders back and chin up
  • Swing your arms out for extra movement and exercise benefit
Don't negate the benefits of walking by believing diet and other lifestyle components don't matter - they do. Any measure taken to improve health must be in conjunction with a holistic approach to modify all major lifestyle choices and commit to it. Otherwise walking will do little good to improving your overall picture of health.

For more information about various topics that can help improve your lifestyle holistically, visit Agriculture Society.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Switch to Organic Bedding

Sleeping with and on organic bedding and mattresses is good for your health. So what are you waiting for? Throw out your synthetic bedding! There are many reasons to switch, and here are some of them:
  • natural latex lasts longer than conventional (mattresses)
  • resistant to mildew or mold
  • naturally repellent of dust mites
  • will support correct spine alignment
  • is helpful for those with allergies and chemical sensitivities
  • natural cottons and wools help maintain normal body temperature
  • natural fibers allow mattress to breathe
  • wool is naturally fire resistant, so no need for chemical fire retardants
  • wool wicks away moisture whereas synthetic fibers do not allow moisture to evaporate - this allows for more comfortable sleep
Consider this: most synthetic bedding and mattresses are manufactured with petrochemicals, causing more health and environmental damage. Petrochemicals are prone to catching fire, so they are treated with flame-retardant chemicals. You are breathing these toxic fumes while sleeping.

Here are three reputable merchants of organic bedding supplies and mattresses:

Tomorrow's World
Natural Sleep Store

Change the way you sleep and you will change your health!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Clothing Detergent - A Better Alternative

What type of detergent do you use for clothes washing? Do you buy a publicly-traded brand name like All, Tide, or Cheer? If you do, you may be causing yourself health issues now that you aren't aware of, as well as others down the road with continued use. Mainstream clothing detergents are generally derived from petroleum products, which are also environmentally unfriendly as well.

Be careful when purchasing so-called "green" or environmentally safe detergents. Some brands claim to be safe for health, when in fact they are not. So even though you are making an effort to clean your clothes, you are actually making your environment more toxic by using these mainstream brands.

One very dangerous ingredient to watch out for is an optical brightener, which sticks to your clothing and is a chemical intentionally left behind that causes the fabric to appear brighter. Such particles cause colors to appear brighter by absorbing invisible ultraviolet light and then re-emitting it as blue light. This blue light offsets the yellow light that is produced when colors begin to fade and lose their intensity. Particles left behind cause skin irritations and allergies. To learn more about the toxic chemicals contained in the average grocery store brand, visit SixWise.

Here is a list of reputable brands that do not contain harmful chemicals:
Planet - certified as biodegradable
Nature Clean
Life Miracle Magnetic Laundry System
Soap Nuts

Consider this amazing fact: according to Seventh Generation, "If every household in the U.S. replaced just one bottle of 100 oz. ultra petroleum based liquid laundry detergent with our 100 oz. vegetable based product, we could save 200,000 barrels of oil, enough to heat and cool 11,400 U.S. homes for a year!"

Looking for ways to save $$ on washing clothes?
  • Try washing your clothes less. You'll find you may not need to wash them as often as you used to.
  • Hang your clothes to dry outside or someplace in your home where they will get good ventilation and dry quickly.
  • Don't purchase fabric sheets or fabric softeners. Those are also toxic for your health and the environment, and an unnecessary expense.
  • Wash all your clothes in cold water and save on the water heater bill.
  • Here are some recipes for making your own home-made laundry detergent. Try it and you will find out it's easier than it sounds, and you'll save yourself a lot of money too.
Happy and safe washing to you!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Got Good Posture?

Are you guilty of bad posture? Even though slumping is an unattractive quality to look upon in another person, if you have bad posture, the only person you are hurting is yourself. Standing straight and tall can not only serve your musculo-skeletal system well but also your tendons and joints. Good posture can prevent headaches and backaches alike, as well as chronic pain in other parts of the body. It is something which can help improve your entire health profile - both mental and physical. It can keep many parts of your body from becoming tired and degenerating through your daily activities and even your life. Focus on letting your shoulders fall back naturally and pulling your stomach muscles inward. Your chin should come down towards your chest, but should not be artificially jerked down. This will help strengthen the muscles that automatically support good posture.

For detailed information about posture, standing, and your spine, visit Health and Posture

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Set Aside Time to Ponder

Mental health is as important as the physical. When you take time out to reflect on the things you've done each day and relax, you provide your body the quiet pause it needs to emotionally recharge. Some ideas for becoming more centered mentally are as follows:

Deep breathing exercises - breath awareness, control, and
Massage and self-massage
Attending to your spiritual needs through practice and awareness
Positive thinking and self-help
Chiropractic care - for both mental and physical issues

Many of these activities work well in conjunction with one another, and are often more powerfully realized than when used alone. Structure your schedule so that you have 20 minutes to yourself everyday, where you are not required to do anything for anyone else but you and try some of these activities. Your health will thank you for it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Drinking Water Can Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

Drinking more plain water each day actually reduces the risk of heart disease. This information was revealed in the American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 155, #9) where it stated that drinking regular amounts of water throughout the day were as critical in lowering the chances of developing heart disease as eating a healthy diet, exercise, and avoiding air pollution and smoking. Dr. Jacqueline Chan PHd. , lead article author, made it clear that a distinction must be made between drinking other beverages and plain water. Plain water was the only beverage to show this marked difference in risk of the disease.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Feed Your Children Healthy, Natural Food

Are your children eating healthy? Are you feeding them canned or packaged foods that are convenient and processed? Stop buying food bars, crackers, bagels, cookies, and bottled or canned beverages like juices and pasteurized milks. These foods are bad for your children's health and will eventually be one of the major causes of ailments like Diabetes, heart disease, and colon cancer.

Give your children a healthy start by not giving into the pressures of the media and everyone else around you. Instead, get creative and think of ways to prepare fresh, raw, and natural foods for them that are interesting and healthy. Here are a few ideas:
  • Almond butter with apples or bananas
  • Carrots and broccoli with homemade balsamic and oil dressing (healthier and cheaper than bottled dressings)
  • Free-range, organic chicken or turkey roll-ups with veggies and raw cheese or
  • Meat kabobs with raw cheese and veggies
  • Protein smoothies with a good quality whey powder, raw milk or cream, and fresh fruit
  • Ezekiel bread with raw butter and lightly melted raw cheeses
  • Organic hot cereals such as kamut, buckwheat, millet, or quinoa and raw milk, a bit of brown sugar or real maple syrup, and fruit
These are all good, healthy alternatives to the processed junk found in the store. Boost your child's health and immune system, and give him or her the best start in life possible by feeding natural foods.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What Cookware Do You Use?

Are you using toxic cookware in your kitchen? You are if you cook with Teflon, aluminum, or any non-stick type of cookware (such as Calphalon, Anolon, or T-Fal). Chemicals from these types of pans, pots and other cooking devices leach toxic chemicals into your food during the heating process. If you have any of these in your kitchen, discarding them immediately is a good idea. Replace any cookware in this category with stainless steel that has magnetic attraction (a simple test with a magnet will work), cast iron, enameled cast iron, and ceramic coated-metal. Cast iron is ideal because you will never have to replace it due to its durability and it is naturally a non-stick type of cookware. Cast iron is also very affordable. I purchased a good all-purpose cast-iron pan that I do a lot of my cooking in for only $14. Most stainless steel has some transfer of magnetic property to food (such as carbon, iron, chromium, and nickel), so the magnetically-attracted variety is the lowest risk of those.

Using a microwave oven for any reason is also a bad idea for the following reasons: 1) Most of the containers used in these ovens are plastic, and heating plastic leaches chemicals into your food as well. 2) Microwave ovens effectively kill nutrients in foods when they are heated up, rendering them nutritionally deficient in content. 3) The cooking process also changes foods into potentially carcinogenic substances that are unfit to eat. For a full explanation on why microwaves should not be used, see

Using safe cookware is just another of the many ways you can eliminate toxins from your environment and improve your health. Make your kitchen a safer place to live, eat, and cook by replacing your toxic cookware with these safer alternatives.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Do You Get Enough Sleep?

Sleep is critical to many functions in the body. When you sleep, insulin levels and blood pressure are lowered. Studies show that if you don't get at least 6 hours of consecutive sleep, these functions become impaired. Toxic elimination from the liver is also performed during the hours of about 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. Retiring late and consuming late night meals hinders this process from occurring.

During the hours of 9 to 11 p.m. should be a time of relaxation and winding down - it is not for solving problems, cleaning the house, or having intense activities like heated arguments or watching violent television programs. Good activities include meditation, reading, or a hot bath. Conversely, getting too much sleep - over 9 consecutive hours, can make you feel more tired and groggy. For maximum health benefit, going to bed time should be no later than 10:00 p.m., and waking should occur around 7 a.m.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Drink Herbal Tea

Having trouble getting your daily water intake? Try drinking herbal tea for a change and to give some variety to your day. Eliminate caffeinated drinks, soda pop, and even juice - which really is exactly the same as drinking a cup full of sugar. Juice contains the carbohydrates but not the fiber, vitamins, or minerals of a piece of fruit. Herbal tea allows you to get in your precious water for the day and enjoy something different each time. Most stores carry a large variety of herbal teas in stock. Here are some of the healthier varieties which offer many different flavors:
During the summer days, you can easily brew herbal tea from hot water or by placing it in the sun. After brewing, place in your favorite container in the refrigerator to cool. Many of the teas available also contain antioxidants, such as green tea which only contains a minimal amount of caffeine. Green tea has also been said to support cardiovascular health. Don't forget to drink plenty of filtered (mineral water is a plus, but not carbonated) water each day - at least eight 8 ounce glasses.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Stevia - The Magical Sweetner

Stevia is the wonder alternative to sugar. It is much sweeter than sugar, and is an herbal supplement derived from a plant in tropical and subtropical South America. A relative of the Chrysanthemum family, Stevia is growing in popularity and is available in powder as well as liquid form. It is available at most any health food store, and is becoming available in some mainstream grocery stores as well.

Most importantly, this amazing herb has been found to lower and balance blood sugar levels instead of wreaking havoc with them - unlike sugar. As such, it is safe for both Diabetics and hypoglycemics to use. However as with any substance, it is recommended that use of Stevia be done in moderation, and even sparingly in those who have trouble maintaining normal blood sugar levels - especially until individual results are known. Because Stevia is so incredibly sweet, small amounts can be used at a time to provide enough sweetness to satisfy most people's desire.

Visit Better Health Store for FAQ and a handy conversion table for reference in using Stevia to sweeten various foods. Cooking With Stevia has some good information about using Stevia in recipes as well. Give this dietary supplement a try, but also, use it to help wean yourself away from needing so much sweetness in your life.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

What's So Important About Breakfast?

Breakfast is the first thing you put in your body each day. Your body needs a good, nutritional start after being asleep all night. What you put in is also very important, because it sets the tone of how you are going to feel and perform all day long.

Here are some ideas about what to eat for breakfast:
  • Soft-boiled eggs with sprouted grain toast, raw butter, broccoli and apples
  • Organic bacon with grilled potatoes and peppers, zucchini, and banana halves
  • Organic chicken sausages, poached eggs on sprouted grain toast, spinach and onions with spices, and strawberries
  • Smoothie with organic raw milk, one raw egg, fruit of your choice such as berries and bananas, and a good quality whey powder such as Biochem Raw Foods and Whey

Yes, what you eat is as important as the fact that you bother to eat at all. You need protein, vegetables, fruit, and grains. How can you find time to prepare this when you are rushing out the door? Here's the answer: make time and your body will thank you for it. Just try it for a week; you won't believe the difference it makes in how you feel.

For a good explanation about how breakfast really can improve your health, visit Agriculture Society.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Try Almond Butter

How many people like peanut butter? Quite a few actually. Peanut butter is one of the most popular nut butters around. But what about almond butter? Almond butter is certainly lesser known but its nutritional value should be noted. It is high in protein and unlike peanut butter, is one nut that is categorized as alkaline. Alkaline foods are less likely to cause inflammation and therefore, disease and illness in the body. Almond butter also contains monounsaturated fats, which are healthy for the heart and help to control blood sugar. Almonds contain Vitamin E, magnesium, and fiber as well.

Peanut butter is one of the most toxic butters to consume, even when organic as it contains a substance known as aflatoxins which cause cancer and attack the liver. It is one of the most dangerous food-borne toxins to be found. Some reports exist claiming that eating certain brands of organic peanut butter are safe, but I don't believe this data has been absolutely confirmed. You have to research and then make an educated decision.

In the meantime, until peanut butter's good name is cleared, try almond butter. It's a good choice for health.

For more information on issues with peanut butter, read this article on Agriculture Society.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Snack Ideas for Daily Health

Here is a list of snack items you can eat when you are hungry between meals, without giving in to the urge to eat something that's not-so-healthy for you.

  • Raw, whole fat cheeses on sprouted grain breads (Ezekiel is fabulous)
  • Apples or bananas and almond butter
  • Carrots and celery with almond butter or hummus
  • Raw nuts and raisins
  • Applesauce or other fruit sauce
  • Cucumber and bell pepper slices with homemade mild salsa
  • Broccoli and cauliflower florets with balsamic vinegar and olive oil
  • Fruit kabobs (different fruits cut up and skewered)
  • Soft or hard-boiled eggs with sprouted, whole grain toast
  • Turkey or ham roll-ups with favorite fillings – organic cream cheese, vegetables, mustard, etc.
For more ideas on nutritional wellness, read Agriculture Society's latest article on nutritional wellness.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Throw Out Your Shampoo

Have you ever considered not using shampoo? The amount of personal care products used in our culture is staggering - just take a look down the aisle of any store and you'll see my point. Can you get along without any of these products? We are so used to using them, we have grown ultra-dependent on all them and feel life wouldn't be the same without. But how healthy are they - even the so-called "natural" products? Consider the amount of ingredients in the average personal care product you use - toothpaste, soap, moisturizer, makeup, shampoos and conditioners...turn the bottle around and read the list of ingredients, and it may surprise you.

Your skin is the largest organ on your body and is capable of absorbing most anything you put on it. In fact, whatever you put in your mouth can be filtered out to some extent by your liver and kidneys. But anything on your skin goes right into your body.

Also, think about the amount of resources and energy necessary to produce just these products alone and then dispose of them. Now, that can't possibly be very green.

Here's how to make your own cleaner for hair using just 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and water. The person who wrote this has used this method with success. Do you want to become independent from personal care products that are taking your money and making you have bad health? Then this is for you. Try it!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Reduce Your Sugar Intake

Sugar is a poison to the body. So stop eating it -- not just candy bars, desserts, and ice cream, but really cut sugar out of your daily rituals of eating and snacking. Sugar is toxic and suppresses your immune system, which is the center of health. Here are some ideas of how to reduce sugar intake:
  • Try drinking tea instead of coffee. Try drinking your tea without sweetner. If you must use sweetner, try stevia instead. Stevia is a natural sweetner that comes from a plant, and is sweeter than sugar.
  • Stop eating processed products for breakfast such as cereals, meal bars, pop tarts, muffins, cakes, etc., and don't drink juice unless it has been homemade in a juicer and contains some vegetables (greens are the most healthy ingredients for juice). Many processed foods are loaded with sugar and are one of the worst ways you can start your day. Instead, eat eggs, raw cheese, organic meats like turkey or bacon, sprouted grain breads, and raw milk. Add some vegetables to your eggs like spinach, broccoli, or other greens like chard or kale.
  • When snacking, throw away the rice cakes, chips, granola bars, cupcakes, cookies, candy, etc. Try eating raw nuts, raw cheeses, fruits, and vegetables. These make great, delicious snacks and give your body energy until your next meal.
  • Drink plenty of unfiltered water when you are not eating. Most overeating occurs as a result of being dehydrated.
  • At dinner, use a good, organic protein such as chicken or beef and prepare it with plenty of fresh vegetables and a healthy oil such as grapeseed. Try homemade soups, casseroles, or a stir- with some brown rice. Use garlic, salt, pepper, and other interesting spices to add interest to your meal. Prepare a big, fresh salad and use five or six different vegetables. Eat until you are full.
  • Reduce alcohol intake. If you are drinking as a way to unwind after the day's stress, consider taking up a natural activity like walking, pilates, or yoga to combat stress. A hot bath is good too, adding epsom salts and essential oils of your choice.
These tips can help you avoid sugar and by eating healthy foods, you will notice over time that you don't crave sugar the way you used to. The more you eat sugar and processed foods, the more you will feel like you have to have it everyday. The choice is yours!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Is an Egg Just an Egg?

Eggs are a good source of protein, and can be very beneficial to your health. How can you be sure you are eating the right type of eggs though? The very best kinds of eggs are those from hens that are fed a natural diet from what they are eating roaming around the farm like insects, grass, and other plants. These are what are known as true free-range chickens - not chickens raised in cages or in barns where they are not allowed to roam and forage and get fresh air and sunshine.

According to data on nutrient content from the USDA, eggs from pasture-raised chickens may contain (as confirmed by Mother Earth News in their results from testing eggs):

  • 2/3 more vitamin A
  • 1/4 less saturated fat
  • 1/3 less cholesterol
  • 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
  • 3 times more vitamin E
  • 7 times more beta carotene
So, the next time you go to the store, buy eggs from true pasture-raised hens. If you can, find a local farmer who sells these kinds of eggs and support his or her efforts. Often, the eggs are cheaper and you can have a look first hand at just what kind of environment in which the chickens who are laying eggs live.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Vinegar, Baking Soda, Lemon Juice for Cleaning

Vinegar is one of the most fabulous, cheap, and safe cleaning agents to be found. Any type of vinegar is useful, but certain types have different odors. White vinegar tends to have a smell that works for just about everything as it has a nice almost floral scent. Apple cider vinegar is stronger and is very useful for bad odors or things that have left behind bacteria from mildew, decay, or mold. Red wine vinegar is useful, but has a stronger odor than the other two and should be used at your own discretion and like for the smell.

To use vinegar in a water solution, simply mix one part vinegar to about ten parts water (or less, if you won't be using as much). Here are some of the things you can use vinegar for in cleaning:
  • sinks
  • counters
  • toilets (use undiluted in the bowl)
  • tubs
  • floors
  • hardware
  • laundry - as a natural fabric softener - add 1/2 cup of vinegar to rinse in place of chemically-laden fabric softener. This is excellent for people with allergies.
  • mirrors and glass - just get a spray bottle and add your mixture to it. Then spray away!
  • as a side effect, cleaning with vinegar freshens your whole house, so no need for expensive chemical fresheners.
For especially stubborn stains or smells, you can add a little bit of baking soda to your vinegar/water mixture for anything you are cleaning and let it soak in the mixture for a few minutes or longer, depending on how severe the problem is. I've used toothbrushes to help scrub off terrible stains with great success. Baking soda, by its very makeup, eliminates odors and leaves things fresh and clean.

Lemon juice is very effective for removing soap scum on your tub, sink, and other places. It is great to shine brass and copper with as well. If you cut a lemon in half, you can sprinkle baking soda on the cut section, and use it to clean dishes and stains in your kitchen. Mix 1/2 lemon juice with 1/2 cup olive oil for furniture polish. Lemon also leaves a nice, fresh smell.

So, use your imagination. If have stuff to clean in your house, any of these natural substances is sure to do the trick. Try these cheap alternatives, they will save you money and save your health!