Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Eat Your Breakfast!

Do you eat breakfast in the morning? If so, is your meal effort something more substantial than coffee and a muffin? If you answered yes to the first question and yes to the second question, give yourself a gold star.

If you skip breakfast meals or don't eat much more than caffeine and carbs, here are some good reasons to change your ways:
  • Eating breakfast is extremely important because it helps stabilize blood sugar levels after hours of fasting while asleep.
  • Your body needs a good jump start in nutrition to rise and shine, and if you are in the habit of skipping meals, your body has nothing with which to fuel itself.
  • Various health problems will result such as heart disease, obesity, metabolic disorders, blood sugar fluctuations (which cause a myriad of unpleasant symptoms), low energy, and general malaise.
  • Eating something nutritionally empty such as a muffin, croissant, bagel, or toaster pop just adds simple carbohydrates and calories to your body. The caffeine will wake you up temporarily, but what will come next is jitters and inability to concentrate. A good breakfast will never do that to you. Now, how do you like them jitters with your staff meeting? How about that loan signing?
For a detailed article about why you should eat your breakfast everyday, visit Agriculture Society.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Organic and Conventional -- What Choices Do You Have?

Organic food is a healthy choice to make, but it generally costs more. What can you do to maximize benefits to your health but save a bit of money in the process?

Although eating organic and natural foods is always important, if you must make a choice about buying some foods organic and others not, make certain as many of those foods which are fat and protein-based such as meats, dairy, eggs, and even oils and nuts are of the organic variety. Though pesticides and other residual toxins from produce can be found on conventional fruits and vegetables, you can wash some of these substances away. Also, if you are able to purchase locally-produced fruits and vegetables, prices are normally reasonable and many local growers have joined in the effort to reduce or eliminate pesticide and chemical use on their crops and foods. If you are in doubt, call local produce merchants and ask about their growing practices.

Here is a list of fruits and vegetables that are ranked by The Environmental Working Group ( from highest to lowest based on tests done for pesticides on produce collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. You are better off buying organic bell and hot peppers, carrots, celery, cucumbers, green beans, lettuce, potatoes, spinach, apples, cherries, imported grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, raspberries and strawberries.

If you must choose conventional, the following are better choices: asparagus, avocadoes, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, onions, okra, peas, mushrooms, radishes, sweet corn, tomatoes, bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, U.S.-grown grapes, honeydew, kiwi, papaya, pineapples, plums, lemons, limes, mangoes, oranges, tangerines and watermelon.

For more information on this list, visit FoodNews.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Yoga for Pain and Health

Are you a chronic pain sufferer? If so, perhaps you have arthritis or fibromyalgia, or some other chronic pain issue stemming from an injury or congenital defect. One of the best ways to keep your body limber and reduce inflammation and pain is to participate in some type of regular low-impact movement such as yoga.

Yoga is also great for people who remain sedentary for long periods of time due to occupational necessity. As yoga is a holistic approach to health, these exercises benefit many parts and systems of the body, it would be hard to list them all here. Some of the more notable that have been positively affected by yoga, are digestive disorders (such as IBS discomfort), energy levels, bone density, stamina, and endocrine, reproductive, and respiratory-related problems (asthma). Yoga is also well-known to have a positive affect on people who have high stress, heart disease, high blood pressure, or have had a stroke.

If you are new to yoga, here are some things to consider and practice:

  • If you have a health condition that might be affected by physical movement, check with a knowledgeable health care practitioner first
  • Always warm up first
  • Start out slowly
  • Do not push yourself into a position you are unable to hold; instead gradually work up to the position over a period of days or weeks
  • Learn techniques from a qualified yoga instructor
  • Drink plenty of fluids
For more information about yoga, visit Health & Yoga Community.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Juicing is the Ticket

Do you eat abundant amounts of vegetables daily? Most people don't receive daily adequate amounts needed. One way to achieve this is by juicing vegetables in your own kitchen. Juicing preserves nutrients, enzymes, and vitamins while providing a good variety and amount of vegetables in one serving. Intake of vegetables in this manner allows nutrients to be absorbed into the body the most efficiently - on the cellular level, which is where nutrients are most readily taken in.

Drinking processed juices in jars, cans, and bottles is not advised because these substances are mostly pasteurized, removing vital nutrients and enzymes needed by the body, leaving no pulp and delivering a hefty dose of liquid sugar into the bloodstream. Because these products fail to contain important live enzymes for life, they are a simply a waste of money and do not provide proper nourishment.

Here are some basic tips for juicing:
  • Don't use vegetables such as beets or carrots. These root vegetables contain a lot of sugar and raise insulin levels too high. Eat these vegetables raw in salads or lightly stir fry them with a main meal.
  • In the beginning, do use vegetables such as celery, cucumber, and fennel. When you have become accustomed to this mixture, add leafies such as red, green, romaine, endive, escarole, and spinach. After a week or so of this combination, add cabbage and bok choy. Once you have done that for another week add in some herbs like cilantro and parsley. Finally, after one more week you can add in the most nutrient dense varieties such as kale, dandelion, mustard, and collard greens.
  • Use protein such as one or two raw eggs. Also use a good quality seed for healthy fats such as pumpkin or flax. Use a coffee grinder to grind the flax seeds and use immediately after grinding.
  • If you cannot use raw eggs, you may use instead a high-quality protein powder that uses whey as the base of the protein. Whey is the most complete protein and easy to digest. If you are worried about allergies (lactose intolerance), there is no cause for concern with whey protein because most issues arise from casein (an ingredient in most dairy products, and especially pasteurized varieties). Do not use soy protein because of the intensive, industrial processing that takes place to produce soy products, rendering it not a whole food. As an alternative, rice may be acceptable.
  • Use chlorella - a potent nutrient that comes from the sea and is important for detoxification as well. One teaspoon is sufficient - check your health food store for this product and ask for something you can add to juice mixtures. Roughly 30 percent of people are unable to tolerate chlorella, so if you find that consuming it causes nausea, discontinue.
  • If you cannot use chlorella, consider spirulina - another algae superfood from the sea. Obtain spirulina at your health food store.
  • Use oil in your juice mixture - the best type is a high-quality, fresh cod liver oil (in winter months due to less sunshine; cod liver oil contains Vitamin D), and fish oil for summer. If you live in a primarily sunny climate year-round, it is not recommended to use cod liver oil.
  • Add some garlic - one clove or less, depending on the individual.
  • For flavor add ginger, lemons, cranberries, or unsweetened, fresh coconut - all of these substances render their own special health benefits to the body and are most beneficial.
  • Be sure to purchase a high-quality juicer (but don't follow recommendations that come with juicers as they recommend using carrots and beets).
If you don't normally have time to make your own juice at home, BarleyMax is a good alternative from Hallelujah Acres.

Here is a link from Dr. Mercola's site which provides in-depth information about proper ways to juice depending on your individual needs, and shows which vegetables are good to use versus which ones are not as useful.

Here is another resource from Juicing for Health.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Is Your Memory Poor?

Do you find that your memory isn't what it used to be? Here are some tips for improving your ability to retain information and remember important items:

  • Prioritize your life. Make lists and keep goals by accomplishing necessary tasks first and letting less important ones go to the back of your list. Cross off anything that you have already taken care of so you can have a mental focus in your brain of what you must concentrate on during the here and now. Lists are useful because when you look at your own handwriting, your eyes tell your brain to remember things that may have only been in your thoughts and this will reinforce your intentions.
  • Drink plenty of water daily. Keep a jar nearby that you can refill and drink out of throughout the day. Avoid bottled water or using plastic bottles due to the leaching of BPH and other toxins into your drinking water.
  • Increase consumption of high fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables, nuts, and replace processed grain products with moderate amounts of whole, sprouted grains.
  • Obtain 20-30 minutes of sun daily, and expose as much skin as possible. Sun's rays provide maximum benefit when various part of the body are exposed. Avoid sunscreen. Begin sun exposure with shorter periods (10 -15 minutes) and slowly add minutes each day to keep from sunburn.
  • Obtain moderate exercise. Begin with walking for 10 minutes and increase gradually each day until you are walking for one hour.
  • After about 15 days, you will notice improvement in the ability to remember more things. Keep doing this for the rest of your life.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Take Time to Eat a Good Meal

Are you in the habit of rushing running around from place to place? Do you find that eating meals is always done on the run? Taking the time to prepare a healthful meal and sitting down and eating it is beneficial in many ways. When you eat a healthy balance of complex carbohydrates and good quality fats, you help maintain a metabolism that operates smoothly and reduces erratic cravings for unhealthy sweets and other junk foods.

When you take time to make and eat a healthy meal, you also enjoy a sense of peace and feel more satisfied from the foods you eat. Rushing and feeling stressed while eating also causes malabsorbtion of nutrients, and you are not receiving the benefit of eating healthy foods in the first place.

Here are some tips for making your meals count and having time to eat them:
  • Plan shopping trips ahead of time so you are not guessing in the store and having to make additional, unnecessary trips
  • Decide on some healthy recipes to make for yourself or your family, and be sure to pick up all the proper ingredients ahead of time
  • Make time to cook and prepare meals
  • Sit down with family, friends, or loved ones at the table at least once a day
  • Don't have distractions while you are eating such as the television turned on or a cluttered table
  • Don't take phone calls while you are eating
  • Don't plan so many other activities in your day that you fail to have time to prepare good meals; good meals should come first, activities can always wait. If your health suffers because you have not been eating well, all other items on the agenda will suffer as well.
  • Make sure you have lined up good sources for healthy foods - natural grocery and health food stores, local food sellers and farmers, or reputable merchants both local and mail-order or from the Internet
  • Healthy food choices should be organic, whole, raw, and local, if possible. If you have never considered foods such as raw dairy, read this article to learn about its benefits.
  • Share responsibility in your household with a spouse, roommate, children, or other family members for getting meals shopped for and cooked
  • If you have friends or family who don't live with you, plan regular nights weekly where you have a "family" or "group" dinner where you get together and prepare and share a healthy meal
  • If you have children and would like ideas about how to get your children more involved in learning about nutrition and health, read this article about nutritional wellness for families.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Beware of Soy

Are you an advocate for soy? If you have been regularly consuming this substance because of the overwhelming hype and information on the market advocating its health benefits, you should know that most soy available on commercial markets is dangerous to consume. Claims made about its miracle properties in curing infertility, cancer, heart disease, and a myriad of other health problems are a hoax.

"Americanized" soy is a completely different and processed version of the humble soybean from Asia. In the factory, it undergoes an alteration that virtually renders it unrecognizable from its original state. The result is Soy Protein Isolate, found in the majority of soy products on the market such as "meat" and "dairy" substitutes, many soy milks, and baby formulas.

For more information on this poisonous product that has been touted for decades as a miracle health cure-all, visit Agriculture Society for our latest article.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Counting Calories? Don't Do It!!!

Are you a calorie counter? If so, your health could be in jeopardy. People who count calories are usually not consuming the right types of foods and often develop all types of problems such as obesity and heart disease. Calories found in natural, whole foods eaten in moderation can never make you gain weight. If you are regularly eating processed, packaged foods and thinking you can get away with continuing to eat those foods because you watch your calories, think again.

Research shows that people who eat full-fat, natural foods are able to maintain correct body weight. Contrary to popular belief, eating low-fat foods do not eliminate weight gain - in fact, they contribute to the putting on of pounds. A Swedish study conducted at Stockholm's Karolinska Institute revealed that drinking full-fat milk and eating full-fat cheese led to a decrease in weight in a group of overweight women. The study took place over a ten-year period of time, and resulted in a 15 percent less weight gain from drinking milk and a 30 percent less weight gain from eating full-fat cheese.

So, stop counting calories and eat full-fat, whole foods! Your body will likely be able to shed those pounds it has been stubbornly keeping on for so long, and you will probably find you have more energy and that everything, including exercise, becomes easier and more enjoyable.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Feed Your Kids Vegetables

Do your children eat enough vegetables? Don't assume that because they're kids, they won't eat healthy food. That is the mistake I see most parents making in their choices to teach children about healthy lifestyles. Children consume inordinate amounts of sugar, and their habits translate into how they will live their lives as adults. If sugary treats and snacks are always around for children to see and want, they will always ask for these items instead of healthy food. Not only will they ask for them, but they will come to expect that everywhere they go, that' s what will be available.

I am appalled at the types of foods available for children everywhere I go - restaurants, school lunches, stores, and even places like health clubs. Health clubs are especially at fault because they are supposed to be teaching and encouraging healthy life styles. Besides bananas, I never see any whole foods offered at the snack bar at the YMCA. The vending machines are full of processed foods and "energy" drinks, which are no better than soda pop. Because I spend a lot of time at the YMCA, I regularly observe what people eat there, and believe me, it is nothing but junk. Sometimes people will bring in food from outside the YMCA such as hamburgers and french fries from Burger King or Sandwiches and chips from Subway. Even Subway is pushing the "healthy" food rhetoric to sell food, and their food is anything but healthy.

Children will only eat what is offered to them by the adults and sometimes other children in their lives, since they are unable to go and purchase their own food. If you continue to expose children to good, healthy foods and avoid the processed, packaged variety, they will eventually begin to develop a taste for real food and it will be easier for them to say "no" to bad choices as they get older and start to live life on their own without parental supervision.

Sugary "treats" and "snacks" are not just limited to ice cream, candy, cookies, desserts, popsicles, and the like. Be careful not to get in the habit of feeding your children fruit snacks, crackers, food bars (such as cereal, granola, and "protein" bars), bagels, breads, pastas, french fries, rice cakes, tortillas, soy products, and other related items. These products are not whole foods, are nutritionally bankrupt, and only offer empty calories. Your children will also be hungry sooner, and want more of the same next time food is offered. The more these types of items are offered and available, your children slowly become addicted to them.

Instead of junk from a package, box, or can, offer whole foods to your children for snacks between meal times such as raw cheese, raw nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Other good alternatives to these health hazards appeal to children as well such as soft or hard-boiled eggs, hummus dip with vegetables (make your own or purchase a whole-foods based variety at the health food store), almond butter on Ezekiel bread (for a treat, you can add a dollop of whole-fruit spread with no added sugar or artificial sweetners).

When you feed your family healthy, regular snacks and meals, you will find they stay full longer and will have fewer health issues such as allergies, weight problems, blood sugar trouble, and will have more energy and ability to focus and concentrate. Many other problems that eating junk food can cause such as digestive disorders, heart disease, and even cancer could even be eliminated by eating a primarily whole-foods diet.

For more information on the problems with school lunch menus and meals for children in restaurants, read this article on Agriculture Society.

For ideas on nutritional wellness for families, check out this article as well on Agriculture Society.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Prescription Drugs, Healing, and the Almighty Dollar

The use of prescription drugs has led us into a lot of trouble with regard to our health. According to Dr. Hyla Cass, "Nearly 50% of American adults take at least one prescription medication, and nearly 20% take three or more." Often, little consideration is given to the side-effects of medications until it is too late. News of drug recalls fill media broadcasts in alarming numbers, and doctors fail to try natural remedies or solutions as an alternative to the flood of prescriptions and surgical procedures recommended, many of which fail. As a result of the over-use of antibiotics, drug-resistant strain bacteria capable of causing death now prevail. Annual spending on drugs for medical conditions in 2004 was nearly $200 billion. Health care costs and insurance premiums continue to rise with no hope of relief in sight.

Besides the obvious damage to the economy, the condition of our health as a society continues to decline. Our dependence on drugs to solve health issues shows no sign of letting up. One of the most common side-effects of continued prescription drug use that is never mentioned the body's loss of nutrients. The body relies on nutrition as the foundation of its ability to retain health. Dr. Cass agrees, "Most medications will rob your body of essential nutrients." Because the body is compromised already when the medications are prescribed, resources in each organ and affiliate system function at lower and lower levels when medication enters the blood stream. In its weakened state, the body cannot use its most powerful resource to its full potential - the immune system - to regulate and bring health back up to its optimal state.

Why does this happen? Most doctors have limited time to devote to each individual patient in office visits. Also, doctors know very little about nutrition and how it supports overall health.
Finally, doctors receive paybacks from drug companies for using their medications, and therefore they have an interest in maintaining a relationship with pharmaceutical corporations.

In general, it is wise to avoid taking medications at all costs unless there is simply no other alternative. Just because you have a cold or sore throat should not warrant making an appointment to receive antibiotics. There are many successful ways to manage health and prevent disease. Normally the medication route is used because people desire a quick fix and they don't want to bother trying to find out what can be done to eliminate their symptoms completely, nor do they want to do the necessary work.

For more information on this subject, read "Supplement Your Prescription" by Dr. Hyla Cass. Dr. Cass explains how you can take control of your health by knowing what lifestyle changes and nutritional supplements can make you healthier without drugs, and specific information about what side-effects and nutrient depletions occur most frequently with commonly used drugs.

Here are some natural treatments used by many with success for many health disorders:

Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture
chiropractic Care
nutritional therapy
naturopathic care

Each of these methods seeks to use the body's natural healing abilities to maintain health without surgeries or drugs. For more information on natural health, visit Agriculture Society.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Whole Fowl and Nothing But

Nature intended us to eat our meat whole. What does that mean? When you purchase your chickens, turkeys, and other poultry, don't opt for the skinless, boneless variety unless a recipe specifically calls for it to turn out correctly. The skin contains healthy fat needed by the body, and its a good source of energy. Poultry eaten with the skin on is more digestible and absorbed by the body more efficiently. You don't have to count calories when you eat healthy, whole foods. Chicken and turkey meat is no exception.

Everywhere you look, popular health rhetoric recommends removing the skin for less fat content, but the skin actually contains vitamins and nutrients as well as the healthy fat. So removing the skin can actually be harmful to your health. Just remember, anytime a food is altered or changed from its original state designed by nature, it becomes less beneficial to consume. When you remove the components of the whole from nature's creation, what remains is simply not as healthy. Chicken with the skin is always more moist and, therefore, more delicious as well.

Dark meat has also received a bad reputation as containing saturated fat, but it is also extremely healthy to consume and is a nice change from the traditional selections of white meat. Natural, saturated fats are an important part of a complete diet. Dark meat contains more nutrients and is juicier too, adding to its delectable flavor. These pieces contain more zinc, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, Vitamins B6 and B12, amino acids, folate, selenium, phosphorus, and iron.

Try cooking your dark meat parts (like thighs and legs) in Coq au Vin , a fantastic French recipe which is a stew-like meal that is hearty as well as delicious. Many mistakenly believe French food is too rich and unhealthy, but if you use whole ingredients and don't skimp on quality, you will create a fabulous and satisfyingly healthy meal. You will then realize that the French have always known how to eat!

If your recipe does require the skin and bones to be removed, save all of it and use it for chicken stock for soup or gravy. Don't waste money by throwing away poultry parts - you can create another entire meal out of it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Organic Farming is Good for the Planet!

Did you know organic farming helps the earth in a variety of ways? Organic farming practices help improve the fertility of soil which has suffered great amounts of depletion since the advent of industrial farming due to use of chemicals, pesticides, herbicides and other toxic materials. Organic farming protects groundwater, conserves energy, and helps to prevent erosion of topsoil which is so vital to retaining nutrients for optimal growing conditions.

When you practice organic farming methods in growing and producing and/or support organic farming through the foods you purchase, you are helping the planet on many levels. The personal health of each individual is in peril because of the amount of industrial foods we consume. Industrial farming and agricultural practices are responsible for many of our health issues today, including the E. coli bacteria, overuse of antibiotics, and bacteria that are now resistant due to those antibiotics.

For more information on organic farming practices and how they benefit us, visit The Organic Trade Association. To read more articles about helping the earth and your health naturally, visit Agriculture Society.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Replace Your Shower Curtain

Do you use a vinyl shower curtain? Vinyl shower curtains are toxic to the environment and you because they are made from petroleum. Petroleum products produce an "off-gas" chemical and as such can generate lasting toxic fumes in your home. Additionally, the heat of the water hitting it as you shower exacerbates this problem. Plastic should never be heated up for any reason as when this substance is subjected to heat it begins to degrade and toxic fumes increase as well as leaching into other surrounding substances increases.

According to The Daily Green: "One of the chemical additives, DEHP, a phthalate, is a suspected carcinogen and has been linked to hormonal disruption in humans. An EPA study found that vinyl shower curtains can elevate air toxins in your home for more than a month."

Good alternatives for vinyl or plastic shower curtains are hemp, bamboo, linen (also check out their cork bath mats as well!), and cotton. Organic fabrics are a plus and are well worth the investment in your health. These fabrics are specially chosen because they are naturally resistant to mold and mildew. When properly cared for they are sturdy and long-lasting.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Take Your Fiber

Fiber is one of the most important aspects of health. Proper fiber in your diet is critical to reducing your risk of colon cancer and many other issues such as digestive disorders like irritable bowel, candida syndrome, and leaky gut, obesity, high blood pressure, and allergies.
Here are some ideas for adding more fiber in your diets from the foods you eat:
  • Eat raw fruits (also known as soluble fiber) instead of fruit juice
  • Eat more vegetables in each meal, particularly raw vegetables (also known as soluble fiber)
  • Reduce or completely eliminate the amount of processed grain products you eat - crackers, bagels, pasta, packaged breads, corn chips, potato chips, and similar processed foods
  • Eliminate wheat products
  • Add into your diet moderate amounts of real whole grains - also known as insoluble fiber - such as Ezekiel breads, hot-cooked cereals such as oatmeal, millet, quinoa, buckwheat, or amaranth
Even under the most favorable conditions, most people do not consume adequate fiber. If you would like to take good quality supplements that offer fiber, try the following:

Biotics Research Colon Plus and other related products (you must consult a licensed health care professional for these products)
Sonnes - outstanding natural products for cleansing and colon maintenance
Gastro Fiber - Standard Process brand products for health and prevention

Also, consider visiting with a knowledgeable health care practitioner to determine which fiber product is right for your individual needs, as not all products work for everyone.

In conjunction with fiber, you should also be taking a good probiotic as well to maintain immune system function and overall health. Fiber and probiotic activity work together to keep you healthy! Visit Agriculture Society for an informative article on probiotic selection and use.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Treat Your Health with Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is a great way to naturally take care of your health. With concerns of antibiotic abuse, allergic issues, and side effects from medications and vaccinations, a visit to the chiropractor can dramatically reduce health issues connected with these types of activities. A chiropractic visit takes into account your spine and brain's function in keeping the entire human body running. Your spine, nerves, muscles, and bones are just as important in consideration of health as your diet, digestion, exercise, sleep, and stress handling. Adjustments are completed and no drugs or surgery are necessary.

We all have slightly different physiologies and body structures. Because of this, each individual possesses a unique body situation. For instance, your brain might be having trouble sending messages to one part of your body, causing congestion in your sinuses. Someone else might have mixed messages being sent to the heart, which can cause palpitations. The brain is like a computer, constantly sending messages to all parts of your body to make it work properly. When your brain and body have trouble communicating, this is referred to as a subluxation. Subluxations can cause many different issues in the body to arise. The chiropractor helps bridge that gap of miscommunication between your body and brain. By adjusting the spine, the entire body benefits from having these pathways cleared and open to the brain so body systems can function optimally.

Chiropractic adjustments are useful to help prevent problems as well as heal existing ones caused by life stressors, poor diet, medications, and exposure to environmental toxins. In order for the body to heal properly, a holistic approach must be taken. For maximum benefit and outcome in tandem with chiropractic care, you must also address your basic health points such as a healthy diet and moderate exercise, sleep, stress relief, and detoxification.

Be aware that various chiropractors are also knowledgeable about homeopathy and high-quality nutritional supplements as well and perform muscle-testing - a reliable method to determine the specific needs of your individual body.

For more information about chiropractic care, visit Dr. Jennifer Anacker's web site.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Are Vegetarian Diets Dangerous?

Are you a vegetarian? Vegan? If so, do you feel as though you are getting an adequate supply of nutrients in your diet? Do you feel healthy? If not, here are some reasons why you may be suffering with health ailments due to dietary habits:

Strict vegetarian diets often rely too heavily on carbohydrates to provide daily intake of foods and to feel "full". Too many carbohydrates in the diet are harmful in various ways such as having a negative effect on the digestion, and in particular, the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. Without adequate amounts of the right type of protein to balance out carbohydrates, the digestive organs become overworked and unhealthy. According to Nina Planck, "A vegan diet may lack vitamin B12, found only in animal foods; usable vitamins A and D, found in meat, fish, eggs and butter; and necessary minerals like calcium and zinc. When babies are deprived of all these nutrients, they will suffer from retarded growth, rickets and nerve damage."

People who restrict their diets to "vegetables and fruits only" run the risk of being deficient simply because they are unable to eat the quantities required in order to remain healthy. "It can be hard to get all the right nutrients on these diets, including calcium, magnesium, B-12, and folic acid," says Edith Hogan, dietician and spokesperson for the American Diabetic Association.

The lack of fats and proteins in diets excluding animal products are strongly connected with obesity, depression, and a variety of other modern diseases. H.L. Abrams reported in The Journal of Applied Nutrition (1980) that vegetarians living in southern India who eat low protein and fat diets with high carbohydrate levels suffer heart disease rates double those of their counterparts in the northern region of the country, and have among the shortest life spans on the planet. These inhabitants are said to have very low muscle mass, possess a weakened constitution, and their children fail to thrive.

The most healthy recommendation for dietary eating is that which includes a moderate amount of animal proteins and fats, and also includes a heavy amount of vegetables and fruits with moderate whole grain intake. Animal proteins should be organic, chemical/antibiotic/steroid/nitrate free, and pasture-raised or grass fed. Animals and birds who are bred for their meat should not consume corn, soy, or grains as a primary food source. These substances upset the delicate balance of enzymes and essential fatty acids critical to human health in the meat itself. Grass and pasture-raised meats are leaner, higher in healthy fats which promote proper function of body systems, contain more protein, and less calories.

For an informative article on the critical importance of eating grass-fed meat and meat products, visit Agriculture Society.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Protect Your Skin

To keep your skin as healthy as possible, follow these tips:
  • When skin is dry, use natural oils directly from bottles (preferably contained in glass) such as coconut, apricot kernel, sweet almond oil, or even olive oil.
  • Avoid using most personal care products - this includes lotions, moisturizers, etc. Many products contain chemicals and toxins that absorb directly into your skin and can cause health issues. Some good products to consider for use are Badger, Aubrey Organics, and Logona.
  • Be certain you are getting adequate essential fatty acids in your diet. These essential fatty acids are essential because the body cannot produce them on its own. These substances have a positive effect on your skin, hair, eyes, and mucous membranes. Lack of proper balance in essential fatty acids in your diet can spell trouble. Good sources of essential fatty acids are from natural sources such as flax seeds and flax seed oils wild Chinook salmon, walnuts, soybeans, and pumpkin seeds. Essential fatty acids also reduce the burden of diseases such as depression, asthma, cardiovascular issues. Although it is better to absorb EFAs from foods, if you cannot obtain proper essential fatty acids in your diet, try the following supplements: SIBU, Biotics Research products (for best results, consult with a licensed health care professional), and Nordic Naturals.
  • Receive adequate exposure to the sun - about 20 minutes daily.
Also, be certain you are listening to your body in terms of reactions from food allergies. In many cases, skin disorders such as eczema and other problems can be attributed to reactions from processed foods such as wheat, dairy, nuts, or soy. If you have been regularly eating one of these types of foods and suspect symptoms you have are tied to their consumption, elimination for two weeks up to a month is the best way to determine whether you are correct.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Getting Enough Sun?

Do you spend enough time in the sun? Studies show that both health and mood improve with just 20 minutes of exposure to the sun daily. Many people believe that the sun is unhealthy for people, but it is all about how much exposure you receive. Sunbathing can be very healthy and beneficial if you expose a good portion of your body for a short amount of time. When you go outside, if possible, uncover your face, arms, and even your legs. Lay back in the grass or in a comfortable chair, close your eyes, and relax for 20 or 30 minutes. The Vitamin D from the sun's rays is necessary for keeping depression and mental issues at bay

Studies show that an increase in both cancer and Multiple Sclerosis are connected to less sun exposure. For years, so-called "experts" have warned against sun exposure, but what was never mentioned is that a moderate amount of time in the sun is actually helpful for warding off disease and illness. What has always been considered in instances of skin cancer are those who go out for hours in little clothing and expose for longer than healthy periods of time. You should always work up to being out in the sun for longer than normal time as well. At first, go out for only 10 minutes, and increase gradually as days go by.

Last but not least, using sunscreen is not a good way to avoid skin cancer and sunburn. Most products you can buy actually add to your risk of developing disease because they are full of chemicals and are absorbed directly into your body. Use care when spending too much time in the sun. If you must be out for longer periods of time, cover up with light-colored clothing, wear sunglasses and a hat or head scarf, and drink plenty of water.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Start a Home Garden

What's growing in your garden? You can grow many different things in your own backyard with a little time, patience, and sweat equity (and a bit of money for start-up costs). A great way to save on money you spend at the market on produce is to grow the same items you would buy in your own garden patch. Vegetables and fruits that you grow in your own yard can also be protected from chemicals and dangerous pesticides used on commercial grown produce.

When you grow your own plants, you can decide where to plant, how much to grow, and you can control what goes "into" the growing of the fruit or vegetable - such as quality of fertilizer or composting materials. Having your own compost heap also has great benefits for reducing garbage in your can and for your health.

Seeds are cheaper than plants, but they take a greater amount of patience and time to grow to completion. Plants cost more, but sometimes don't do well after transplantation into a new location. The key is to decide what works for your own backyard setup, time availability, and interest, and go from there. You also need to consider whether you will plant in raised beds (which require some preparation, construction, and obtaining good quality soil), in pots, or directly in the ground.

Tomatoes are easy to start as seedlings in small containers inside your home before the last frost comes. Strawberries are a hearty plant that does well in ample sunshine and spreads quickly, and are a tasty addition to a raw milk fruit smoothie. Broccoli is a fantastic tasting vegetable you can grow in open sun as well, and is great to throw in to your daily egg mixture (like omelettes or quiche) for a healthy start in the morning. Chives are a nice addition to your garden because they also produce pretty white or purple flowers, as well as being a versatile vegetable you can add to soups, salads, and sandwiches.

For those interested in having fruit trees or bushes, there are a variety of different and appropriate types for each yard, soil type, and climate to accommodate everyone's taste. Trees require a fair amount of time, knowledge, effort, and care, but can provide an enormous amount of yield for family meals and canning/jarring, and cooking efforts.

For more information on gardening, visit Backyard Gardener.

To read articles on natural and sustainable living, visit Agriculture Society.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Improve Your Dental Hygiene

Stop using mouthwashes! Dentists always tell their patients to use some type of chemical product to keep their teeth and mouth clean. But have you ever considered how dangerous many of these products are to your body?

Most over-the-counter and prescription mouth wash products destroy natural good bacteria in your mouth. Don't let the dentist fool you into thinking these products are safe. You don't need chemicals in your mouth. All you need is good hygiene habits which include daily brushing and flossing, dietary, and lifestyle changes. Just like your intestinal tract, your mouth harbors millions of good, as well as bad bacteria - and the good bacteria help keep germs in your mouth that allow plaque to grow at bay. They also help keep other mouth problems in check such as canker sores and mouth ulcers.

If you are going to use any type of mouth wash, one of the most superior products to use is from Dental Herb Company. Dental Herb Company sells the highest quality mouth and tooth cleaning products you can find - all natural, herbal support for your body that really works. In order to purchase from Dental Herb Company, you must have your dentist fax a request over to their business.

Obtaining permission from your dental care provider is quite simple, and then you can report your great results to the entire dental staff at the office where you receive oral care. Dentists who have never heard of these products will more than likely be won over by by these products when you come in for a teeth cleaning and they see the outstanding results. Clean up your dental habits and try Dental Herb Company's products today!