Thursday, July 31, 2008

Breathe Deep

Are you aware of how you breathe? Our lungs are one of the seven channels of detoxification, filtration, and elimination. Deep breathing also serves to allow the lymphatic system to function properly, which is also one of the seven channels of detoxification in the body. As well as removing toxic substances, lymph nodes produce substances that ward off unfriendly bacteria and viruses and kill abnormal cells that develop in the body like cancer cells.

Every cell in your body is surrounded by lymph nodes. The lymphatic system is also part of the immune system. Caring for the immune system is paramount for overall good health. To keep the lymphatic system clear, it is essential to promote the drainage capacity and reduce its toxic intake. This can be accomplished by careful attention to diet, stress reduction, exercise, and deep breathing.

Shallow breathing does not allow the lungs nor the lymphatic system to clear themselves out properly. In the United States, we are typically shallow breathers. A simple regimen of deep breathing activity can help facilitate the movement of lungs and lymphatic system to move toxins out of the body - as well as help with stress reduction and relaxation. In conjunction with a quiet environment where you can be alone and focus, try this 5 minute exercise each day:
  • Inhale for 1 count
  • Hold for 4 counts
  • Exhale for 2 counts
  • Repeat

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What is Inflammation?

When you hear the word inflammation, what comes to mind? Many people associate inflammation with some type of physical injury or stress to joints, muscles, or tendons. But did you know that the foods you eat each and every day can cause the same type of inflammatory response in the body as an injury? It's true! And what's worse is that a diet perpetually loaded with certain foods will, over time, cause many degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, cardiovascular problems, arthritis, cancer, and many others.

People don't associate diet with disease because the effects take years to notice, but a diet rich in these food items can indeed cause the body to develop many health issues that are avoidable if better attention is paid to eating a healthy diet.

The eating habits of those in developed nations are particularly conducive to causing this type of inflammation. What makes up the bulk of our diets? In the U.S. , typically 10 percent of our calories come from dairy products (processed dairy), 20 percent comes from refined sugars, 20 percent from refined grains, 20 percent from refined oils, and 20 percent comes from industrial meat and meat products - those products which come from factory farm environments where the animals are eating corn, soy, and grains instead of grasses. Two 2 percent comes from consumption of alcohol. All told, only 10 percent of our intake comes from fresh fruits and vegetables.

Although popular rhetoric states we should be eating lower quantities of meat and more grains for health, we are finding through research that quite the opposite is true. It may come as a surprise to learn that a diet rich in grains and legumes (especially the processed, packaged variety) are in fact a leading proponent of major inflammatory response in the body which leads to disease. People don't associate diet with disease because the effects take years to notice, but a diet rich in these food items can indeed cause the body to develop many health issues that are avoidable if better attention is paid to eating a healthy diet. Being proactive about diet and health before problems start is the best way to keep yourself on track and stay as healthy as possible - so don't wait until there is a problem to change your habits!

For more information about inflammatory responses in the body, visit Angel Healing Center.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"Health Tips" Rewritten

Walgreens, a chain store which sells varieties of products and also sells drugs via their internal pharmacy issues the following "health tips" accompanying literature for prescription medications:


"How to Make Heart Healthy Meals

Eating heart healthy meals doesn't mean giving up on taste. Here are some tips on how to make "health" a special ingredient in your recipes:

Cooking Methods
  • Use low-fat methods and remember not to add butter or high fat sauces
  • Bake, broil, microwave, roast, steam, and poach
  • Using a nonstick pan stir fry or saute using a light cooking spray or try a small amount of canola or olive oil. For oil less cooking use reduced sodium broth.
  • Grill seafood, chicken, or vegetables
  • Chill soups and stews for several hours and then remove the top solid fat
  • Limit salt in stews, soups, and other side dishes - use spices and herbs to add flavor
Milk/Cream/Sour Cream
  • Cook with low-fat (1-percent fat) or fat-free types of milk or evaporated milk, instead of whole milk or cream
  • Instead of sour cream, blend 1 cup low-fat, unsalted cottage cheese with 1 tablespoon fat-free milk and 2 tablespoons lemon juice, or substitute fat-free or low-fat sour cream yogurt.
  • Use low-sodium boullion and broth instead of regular boullion and broth.
  • Use a small amount of skinless boneless turkey breast to add flavor instead of adding fat
  • Use skinless chicken thighs instead of neck bones
  • Oils/Butter
  • Use olive oil cooking spray to lower fat and calories
  • Use a small amount of canola or olive oil instead of lard, butter, or other fats, which are hard at room temperature
  • In general, diet margarines are not well-suited for baking. Instead, to cut saturated fat, use regular soft margarine made with canola oil."

Where do we begin? We will go through the entire list of bolded words and discuss why ideologies like the ones presented here are making people sick, instead of healthy -- especially because this mentality about eating food is rampant among health professionals, communities, and individuals. People sincerely believe that eating low-fat and fat-free foods are healthier, when in reality, those very foods are the culprit behind many of our modern health afflictions such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and obesity. The only way you will manage your health effectively is to eat natural, whole fat foods.
  1. 1. Anytime you see the words low-fat or non-fat, you are being deliberately misinformed about false dangers of whole fat foods. Low fat or non-fat foods often (except in the case of natural foods like fruits and vegetables, which are seldom referred to as non-fat or low-fat) were whole fat foods that have had the natural healthy fats removed (and subsequently, important proteins and enzymes necessary for digestion and health). Low-fat and non-fat foods will cause health problems such as weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease because they are not whole foods and the body cannot properly absorb them.
  2. 2. We continue to see reports of non-stick cookware being toxic. The type of cookware you use is very important. Use stainless steel with a magnetic attraction point, enamel ware, ceramic, or cast iron. Anything else should be discarded from your kitchen.
  3. 3. Light cooking sprays are unhealthy, period. The only thing you should use to cook with as far as oil is concerned is pure, raw oils that are unfiltered, and cold-pressed. Cooking sprays are full of chemicals and toxins and should be avoided.
  4. 4. Canola oil is produced from rapeseed oil. Derivatives of this plant have been used in biological weapons of war such as toxic mustard gases, and in modern times is considered an industrial oil. Chinese and Indian people used rapeseed oil for cooking, but it was always in a completely unprocessed form (unlike most of what you will find on the modern market today), and it was never considered a high-quality health oil fit for human consumption.
  5. 5. Removing the solid fat from meals made is not a good idea. Provided you are preparing healthy meats in your meals, you are removing the good, natural fats, proteins and enzymes by doing this. We've already discussed what this does to health, and it is not a beneficial thing to do.
  6. 6. Limit salt. All humans need salt for health. One of the main reasons we are seeing such a problem with sodium is all the processed foods people eat, which are loaded down with more than necessary amounts of salt. If you start eating more whole foods and home-prepared meals, adding a moderate amount of salt for flavor and health is a really good idea. Then you won't have to worry so much about having too much salt in your diet because you have eliminated processed, packaged foods which are loaded with too-high amounts of sodium.
  7. 7. Evaporated milk is not a whole food. Avoid using it. Use real, whole cream or milk (preferrably raw).
  8. 8. Most yogurt you can purchase in the store is pasteurized, and many brands are full of chemicals and sugar. Non of these substances are healthy. Avoid yogurt, in general. Home made yogurt with whole dairy can be very healthy.
  9. 9. Anything that reads "low sodium" should be suspect, and this is because in all likelihood, it is a processed food of some type. Just stick to whole foods and adding natural sea salt to your recipes. Regular or low sodium boullions are also processed foods and should be avoided. Instead, use natural, organic, hormone-free beef, chicken, or turkey broth (best is from meat you have cooked in your own kitchen). You can buy reasonable broths from health food stores that are healthy as well.
  10. 10. Do not ever replace any natural, whole fat with anything - especially not margarine, other fake butters, canola oil, or cooking sprays. This is just common sense! If you are eating industrial meat, dairy, and other conventional fat foods consistently, you will develop health problems. Try to keep in mind that meat and dairy have received a bad reputation by health professionals and communities because by and large, what our population eats are these varieties. Most people don't consume the natural, organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised, humanely treated meat and meat products. Those products will never cause you health problems. If you become more conscientious about this, you will realize that you have been lied to about meat and meat products.
It is absolutely amazing that these type of beliefs persist regarding health and weight management when we continue to see record numbers of patients with heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other problems - particularly disturbing is how much these issues have trickled down into the younger populations of children and adolescents. It should be obvious to many people that the way we have been eating and living for the last fifty years has had a negative impact on our overall quality of health, and that lifestyle changes are drastically needed if we are to reverse these numbers, repair our crippled health care system, and make a brighter future for our children.

Monday, July 28, 2008

What's In Your Countertops?

Do you have granite counter tops in your kitchen or bathroom? If so, you may want to know that granite counter tops have recently come under scrutiny for health risks. Granite is one of the most popular materials used in the home for counters, according to the Marble Institute of America. The types of granite available are becoming more numerous as well. Over the years, reports have come out stating that radon is emitted from granite counters. Reports are becoming more and more common, and due to the sales of granite growing in the home improvement industry, we might be hearing still more.

Although experts say that granite emits radon and radiation in at extremely low levels, in recent months, The Environmental Protection Agency has reported receiving calls from radon inspectors and homeowners alike -- relaying that counter tops are emitting radiation at levels much higher than in the past. “We’ve been hearing from people all over the country concerned about high readings,” said Lou Witt, a program analyst with the agency’s Indoor Environments Division. If levels of radon gas exceed 4 picocuries (a measure of radioactive emission) per liter of air or higher in the home, The E.P.A. urges consumers to act immediately. This would be a similar cancer risk for smoking a half pack of cigarettes per day.

If you have existing granite counter tops, should you tear them out? A good question to ask is, what is your health worth? Each day, we are all exposed to large amounts of radiation, but not having more of this type of exposure in your home where you spend large amounts of time, might be something you want to consider thinking about. It is a good idea to have your counters tested to know the radon levels being emitted, and then go from there. Good alternatives to granite would be Corian or Simplicity, concrete, quartz, and various recycled and composite materials. Visit the sites of EnviroGLAS and Icestone, which both produce superior quality counter tops manufactured from recycled glass and concrete.

For more information, read this article from the New York Times about radiation in granite counter tops.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Watch the Heat

When temperatures soar, it is important to take some precautions. Sometimes we forget that with summer fun comes health risks in the heat. Here are some tips for being out in the sun:
  • Stay well-hydrated. That means, drink a lot of water. Don't replace water with coffee, Gatorade, soda pop and other sugary drinks or juices. Your body needs water, not more carbohydrates, caffeine, and chemicals.
  • Limit sun exposure to less than 15 minutes in extreme heat.
  • If you must be out for longer periods than 15 minutes, take breaks by seeking shade as often as possible. Wear a hat, long sleeves, and long pants. It may seem too hot to wear such articles, but native peoples of desert regions wear long robes and turbans over their bodies and on their heads for a reason. Loose, light-colored clothing is best.
  • Avoid sunscreen unless you are going to be out for more than 30 minutes. If you must use sunscreen, use brands like Keys Soap Solar Sunblock, California Baby, and Badger. Use great caution in the brand of sunscreen you use; your skin absorbs 100% of what you put on it, and most sunscreens are toxic to your body in many ways. The three sunscreens listed in this article are some of the most safe products on the market, as reviewed by Cosmetics Database. Visit this web site for the most up-to-date information about safe sunscreen products. If you use unsafe brands, you are doing your body more harm than good.
  • Protect your eyes with proper UVA, UVB, and UVC eye protection. Do not wear cheap eye -wear or you canl risk damaging your eyes.
  • Even though summer heat can cause appetites to be smaller, be certain to eat more often and smaller amounts. Your body needs fuel as well as liquid to function in extreme conditions such as high heat - so give it the extra nutrition it needs to stay well. Avoid eating packaged, processed foods (which are not only bad for your health but expensive as well). Instead, take a cooler and pack it with plenty of fresh vegetables, and fruits, raw nuts, raw cheeses, and water.
  • If you are going to be in regular hot weather each day, make sure you are getting enough sleep. If you are not sleeping enough at night, allow for an hour or so nap each day. Your body needs extra sleep to make up for resources used while sustaining itself in the heat.
  • Try to avoid the sun during mid-day at its peak, if possible.
  • If you become dizzy, tired, confused, start to become short of breath, or start to feel ill while you are out in the sun, get into the shade or indoors immediately and rest. Sip cool water while you are resting to restore your hydration.
  • Monitor yourself and others at risk such as children, those with compromised health, and the elderly. You may find yourself having to care for someone who has suffered heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Do Antibiotics "Cure" Disease?

Antibiotics have been grossly overused in modern times. When they were first invented, they were certainly necessary to help wipe out virulent diseases spreading and killing people. As time went on, doctors began prescribing them for everything from sore throats to common colds to skin infections. We are now faced with serious repercussions. Due to the overuse of these drugs, it is now commonplace for super-bacteria to thrive and are virtually unstoppable when doctors prescribe medications to combat them.

Antibiotics are commonly used to treat infections caused by bacteria, but many people underestimate the power of alternative treatments and the body's own natural immune system to defend against these invaders. The average health of a person living developed societies is less than good, and because of this factor immunity is generally lower anyway. If a healthy person were to become ill, depending on the circumstances, conceivably the time to get over an infection or illness would be much diminished or even non-existent compared to someone with a weakened immune system.

When antibiotics are used, the stronger bacteria can survive and cause a strengthening of the bacteria instead of destroying it. What results is bacteria mutating into even stronger forms which are then resistant to the same medication. Because of the overuse of these drugs in humans and animals, many antibiotics are virtually useless against bacteria - such as Staphylococcus aureus. Penicillin used to be the commonly prescribed medication for this bacteria, but S. aureus is now resistant to it.

It is best to live a healthy lifestyle and allow the natural immunity to fight infection rather than taking antibiotics at the first sign of illness. It is also important to avoid eating factory or industrial meats, meat products, and dairy products as they contain antibiotics which can also increase bacterial resistance. Many natural remedies exist to help destroy certain bacterias, and should be considered before resorting to pharmaceutical medications. For best results, consult a qualified health care practitioner experienced with these methods.

For more information on the overuse of antibiotics, visit the Sustainable Table.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Try Colloidal Silver

Colloidal silver is an effective, natural, antibiotic substance. Colloidal silver is becoming more and more visible in the public eye because when used under the guidance from a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner, it effective and has no side effects. It is highly effective for many health issues and has been proven to kill bacteria in cases where antibiotics were unable to do so.

The uses for colloidal silver are widespread and have even been tested in killing pathogens in chronic disease such as AIDS. It has also been used effectively for less serious health issues such as eczema, dandruff, psoriasis, and other dermatological problems which are caused by fungus. It can be used for cleaning and disinfecting in your home or office. This safe, non-toxic substance is even used to treat strep throat.

According to All Natural web site: "While studying regeneration of limbs, spinal cords, and organs in the late 1970s, Robert O. Becker, M.D., author of The Body Electric, discovered that silver ions promote bone growth and kill surrounding bacteria. The March 1978 issue of Science Digest, in the article, "Our Mightiest Germ Fighter", reported: "Thanks to eye-opening research, silver is emerging as a wonder of modern medicine. An antibiotic kills perhaps half a dozen different disease organisms, but silver kills some 650. Resistant strains fail to develop. Moreover, silver is virtually non-toxic." The article concluded with a quote by Dr. Harry Margraf, a biochemist and pioneering silver researcher who worked with the late Carl Moyer, M.D., chairman of Washington University's Department of Surgery in the 1970s. He claimed: "Silver is the best all-around germ fighter we have."

Opponents of colloidal silver claim long-standing health issues from its use. Colloidal silver should be used for specific purposes and not as a "cure-all" substance that is taken daily. As with any other supplement, abuse of this substance can lead to health issues. Remember that health communities denying the benefits of colloidal silver use extreme cases where individuals did not consult a knowledgeable health care practitioner or attempted to create their own "preparations" of colloidal silver that were not standardized, and apply those isolated incidences to the overall use of this substance.

For more information on the uses of colloidal silver, visit Colloidal Silver Research.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Let Them Eat Vegetables!

Feed your children vegetables and other healthy foods, not garbage. I've noticed that many parents assume their children won't eat vegetables and foods that are healthy, so as a default, they just give them junk like crackers, bagels, PB&J sandwiches, rice cakes, granola bars, "fruit" snacks, chips, cereals from a box, cookies, muffins, cakes, and desserts, popsicles, juice, and similar processed items. For crying out loud! Who really thinks these foods are a natural, healthy way to feed children? I'd like to think people use the big brains they were given, but sometimes I wonder. Treats should be just as the word implies: something given on a special occasion -- not as a daily occurrence. But this is how many children eat, every day.

Instead of empty foods like these, try feeding your children vegetables and fruits for a snack. The other day when my son had a neighbor friend over to play, I asked them if they were hungry, to which they replied "yes". So I loaded up a plate with the following and they ate it all:
  • raw cheese
  • carrots
  • bell pepper slices
  • banana chunks
  • red grapes
  • cherry tomatoes
Other good choices include:
  • apples or pears and almond butter
  • raw cheese and Ezekiel bread slices
  • raw vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, or cauliflower with fresh made salsa
  • celery sticks with almond butter and raisins, or tuna fish
  • fruit cabobs and raw nuts
Next time your kids ask for a snack, consider some of these alternatives. To those who say or believe children won't eat healthy, I say again, "let them eat vegetables!". This is in spite of all the marketing schemes of corporations attempting to make another buck on people who think they are buying their kids nutritious snacks, but are actually being taken to the junk farm (and eventually, down the path to poor health).

Friday, July 18, 2008

Quick Cleanse

Do something positive for your health! Try this easy cleansing activity:

Boil 1 cup of water. Pour water over 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Cover mixture and let steep for 30 minutes. When cool, add 2 teaspoons of raw honey. Never add the honey when the mixture is hot because the heat will destroy valueable enzymes and other nutrients in the raw honey. Drink half of the mixture right before going to bed. Cover and refrigerate the other half of the mixture. Upon waking, drink the other half cold or at room temperature.

Do not add anything else to this recipe. It is only effective on an empty stomach, primarily at night. The cinnamon and honey will have a cleansing effect in the digestive tract, cleaning out parasites and other fungus and bacteria that slow down digestive processes and cause accumulation of toxins.

While doing this cleanse, if the release of toxins cause any unpleasant side effects, reduce the amount of honey and cinnamon used or take a break. One of the pleasant side effects can be a feeling of more energy and joy.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ginger - A Zesty Spice with Health Benefits

Many herbs and plants are used for medicinal and health purposes. Chemical compounds found in ginger that provide for its zesty flavor - shogaol and gingerol - produce a reduction in intestinal contractions and neutralize digestive acids. Use ginger as an antidote for travel sickness. It inhibits the body's production of substances which contribute to both fever and bronchial constriction. The gingerols in ginger also behave as natural cough suppressants.

The most natural form of ginger is most effective. You can purchase raw ginger at your local health food store. The active ingredients in ginger retain potency when processed. Try drinking ginger tea made with half a teaspoon of grated root ginger and boiled water.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Losing Weight and Keeping It Off

Millions of people struggle with their weight; especially in the United States. There are many books, weight loss programs, medications, and diet pills on the market to tell you just how to do it. In most cases, none of these things work. Here's how you can lose the weight and keep it off, FOR GOOD:
  • First and foremost, you must commit yourself to a lifestyle change. The only way you will successfully lose pounds and stay at your body's normal weight is to make one of the most important decisions of your life to alter your lifestyle to a truly healthy one. If you cannot do this, you will always have a weight problem. A truly healthy lifestyle is holistic - that is, it involves the following factors: diet, environment, the water you drink,the exercise you engage in regularly, healthy supplementation, stress management, and last but maybe most importantly, detoxification.
  • Diet should consist of elimination of most or all processed and packaged foods. That means crackers, rice cakes, baked chips, soy products, bagels, pastas, most breads (except Ezekiel products eaten in moderation), pretzels, "health bars", cookies, cakes, pastries, candy, desserts, and similar items. If you are not already, switch to all organic, hormone/steroid/antibiotic free pasture-raised meats and poultries. Eat wild caught fish that are safe. Eat organic fruits and vegetables - particularly vegetables. If you aren't already, start eating vegetables with every meal. Increase your intake of fresh, purified water. Eliminate all sodas and juices, and start drinking herbal teas. As much as possible, do not consume pasteurized dairy products. Pasteurized dairy products contribute to allergies, IBS, heart disease, osteoporosis, and a wealth of other problems. Visit Organic Pastures for good news about raw dairy. Eat healthy oils such as olive oil and grapeseed. Eat raw foods every day such as nuts, cheese, and fruits and vegetables.
  • Engage in moderate exercise as often as possible. Walking or riding your bike are excellent, save the environment from pollution, and are free (minus the purchase of a bike).
  • Learn about detoxification and do it. This is paramount in weight loss success. If you don't detox, much of the excess weight you already carry will stay on in your tissues from past lifestyle habits. For more information, see this article on Agriculture Society (you may need to page down). Detoxification should be done with the aid of a knowledgeable health care practitioner to make sure you are doing the right plan for your body, to maximize your efforts, and avoid spending unnecessary amounts of money on products with which you aren't familiar. Detoxification can take months and years to complete, if done correctly. Don't assume you will see results overnight. If you stick with it, however, you will see results.
  • Take healthy, organic, whole food supplements. Because of soil depletion, toxins in the environment, contamination to the food supply, and other factors, our food is deficient in nutrients compared to the historical past. Everyone needs supplementation. You need vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, fiber, probiotics, and possibly homeopathics or herbals. Consult a knowledgeable health care practitioner for your needs. Recommended are naturopathic doctors, nutritional therapists, chiropractors, and other similar health care professionals.
  • Find a stress relief program that works for you. Whether this is meditation, massage, yoga, martial arts, Pilates, acupuncture, or whatever is right for you - do one of these activities regularly to help minimize the effects of stress on the body. Stress contributes significantly to weight gain, health problems, and premature death.
If you are tired of weight loss programs, schemes, and gimmicks, now is the time to act. You don't have to throw your money away any longer on garbage low-fat fad foods, diets, and weight loss programs. Give yourself the boost you deserve by deciding that you are the only master of your destiny, and you don't need someone else to sell you an idea about losing weight. Your body knows what it needs, and so do you. Listen to your instincts. Natural, healthy foods with the right balance of fats, proteins and cholesterol are the only things that will help you to regain your health. You have been lied to about how to lose weight so millions of other people can make money off your misery and unhappiness. Don't wait to lose the weight...start today!

Monday, July 14, 2008

There's Soap...and Then There's Soap!

Everyone is obsessed with anti-bacterial soaps and cleaners. In this case (as well as many others), the majority of people doing something doesn't make it safe or correct. In fact, anti-bacterial soaps are dangerous because they effectively wipe out all bacteria, including good bacteria that your body uses to fight off illness, infection, and disease (similar to antibiotics).

Where will you find antibacterial soaps? Almost everywhere - look in the restrooms of stores, restaurants, malls, hotels, offices, spas, hair salons, doctor's offices...and even in people's homes you will find antibacterial soaps! You can now find antibacterial hand sanitizers and thousands of personal care products with antibacterials included in them everywhere as well. These are very harmful and full of toxins. What are all these antibacterial products doing to us? Are they actually preventing disease and illness? No way! The presence of these substances is helping to spread horrible, super-resistant bacteria that will make people very sick and eventually will cause death.

So here's the thing, and this is not rocket science: avoid antibacterials except in rare instances. You don't need antibacterial soap every time you wash your hands. You just need good, natural soap with no chemicals. Bar soaps are usually fine. About 95% or more of soaps you purchase in containers (liquid, pump, etc.) are full of chemicals (even those claiming to be natural or organic). Plastic will also leach from the container into the soap you pump onto your hands. That's why bar soap is best. You can even purchase little compact soap containers to put your soap in when you go away from home.

Another benefit of not using antibacterials is that you will save yourself a lot of money, as packaged products are very expensive. Oh, and you'll save the environment by not contributing to the sale of more products made with petroleum. That's fantastic for our Earth as well as helping to keep gas prices down. Yippie! That's good news for everyone!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Take One Thing At A Time

Feeling overwhelmed? Take it easy on yourself. In our rushed, overloaded, modern lifestyles, we are causing ourselves more health problems than are really necessary. Hectic, too-busy schedules cause stress, strained relationships, mistakes, car accidents, poor eating habits -- and consequently, health issues. If you are a Type A or a perfectionist, or even if you just tend toward these characteristics only half the time, take a breath and relax. You don't have to get it all done today, or even tomorrow. There are plenty of days in the future to get everything done. And even so, you probably won't get it all accomplished.

From conversations I've had with people, the average person loads him or herself up so high with tasks and obligations that what results is the loss of sleep, poor eating habits, and no time for relaxation, fun, or exercise. If the things you are doing are supposed to allow more time for fun, relaxation, and exercise, but you still seem to never have time for those things, it's time for an adjustment in your priorities.
  • Make lists of things you want to accomplish. If you don't get them done, tell yourself you will get it done eventually - tomorrow, the next day, or next week. If you don't, tell yourself it isn't the end of the world. And don't spend time worrying about what you haven't yet accomplished. Worry never buys anyone anything except more stress and misery.
  • Never compare yourself with someone else and what he or she accomplishes. If someone else makes comparisons about you, tell them to get lost. You don't need negativity in your life bringing you down.
  • Do not allow the outer world to dictate what you do. Center yourself continually by internal conversations where you concentrate on basing your beliefs, decisions, ideas, and actions about life on you, not on messages from the media, advertisements, or the opinions of others. Remember, you are the master of your own life.
  • As much as possible, exercise reason in dealings with situations and people. Make an effort to be calm and positive.
  • Don't allow others to make you feel worthless, undeserving, or guilty. You are only accountable for yourself - even with your family and friends.
  • If you have committed an offense, own up to it and make amends. Those who do not take responsibility for their actions will pay the price somewhere down the line.
  • Don't hold grudges or allow anger, frustration, or guilt to linger too long about something that upsets you. The only person you hurt with these emotions is yourself.
  • Try not to allow jealousy and envy to rule your life. There is always someone else who has or is doing something that you do not.
  • Be honest in your relationships with others and communicate how you feel, but allow others to make mistakes.
  • Be willing to forgive.
  • Support your body with healthy, organic, whole foods that are as toxin-free as possible, contain full, natural fats (including raw dairy, raw nuts, and grass and pasture-raised meats), an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, and plenty of filtered water.
  • If you take drugs or drink alcohol, consider cutting back or eliminating entirely. Your body cannot function properly with foreign substances continually entering it on a regular basis. If you do drink, red wine is an excellent choice for one a day as it promotes circulatory health. If you are drinking more than one alcoholic beverage a day, you might have a problem and should think about changing your lifestyle to include better eating, sleeping, and exercise habits. Craving for alcoholic beverages indicates a sugar addiction rather than an actual "disease" as the medical and mental health communities are prone to reporting. Read this article on Agriculture Society for more information on this controversial subject.
  • Take time out to enjoy important things in life - what's more important than friends and family? Those are what you should be living for, so spend time with loved ones as much as possible. If you are placing money, power, material things, or activities in front of your loved ones, now is the time to realize that none of those things will really ever bring you happiness.
  • Make time for exercise and relaxation. Go for a walk, a hike, or ride your bike. Take yoga, Pilates, Marshall Arts, or get a massage or have acupuncture done.
  • Create harmony and balance in your body by completing detoxification. When you are loaded with toxins, your body cannot function optimally. Read this article on Agriculture Society for more information.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Controversy Over Raw Milk

Raw dairy products have received unnecessary criticism. The government, medical communities, scientists, and the press alike have directed a wealth of false information to the public consumer audience. It is time to put these myths to rest and find out the truth about consuming raw milk and related products.

Originally, dairies began pasteurizing back in the late 1800's due to unsanitary conditions. Over the years, dairy industry practices became increasingly industrialized in nature as the population and demand for products grew. Pasteurization remained a requirement for these operations to remain in business in order to "keep harmful bacteria and germs" at bay.

During pasteurization, the milk is heated and destroys harmful as well as healthful enzymes and bacteria important to digestion and immune system function. According to Natural Health News, "Pasteurization's worst offense is that it makes insoluble the major part of the calcium contained in raw milk. This frequently leads to rickets, bad teeth, and nervous system troubles. This is because sufficient calcium content is vital to children; and with the loss of phosphorus also associated with the calcium loss, bone and brain formation suffer serious setbacks.Pasteurization also destroys 20 percent of the iodine present in raw milk, causes constipation, and generally robs the milk of its most vital qualities."

What is seldom mentioned is the lack of accountability toward cleanliness and sanitation by the majority of farming outfits, and the fact that government regulations are lax in requiring them to maintain a real standard of health on the premises of business operations. What has resulted over the years is that farms which used to be small, naturally operated, and family-owned were being wiped out by conglomerate companies concerned with maximizing profits and not with humane or healthy living conditions for animals.

Routinely in such environments, you will find animals shoved into tight quarters in closed feedlots without open space and proper healthful grazing room, waste lagoons (accounting for the odor you smell when you drive past a dairy), inhumane treatment of the animals, and administration of antibiotics, steroids, hormones, and even pesticides to feed. The ultimate purpose of such confinement is to produce the highest possible output at the lowest cost, thereby maximizing profit. Ultimately, they produce end products unfit for human consumption. It is clear that the risks outweigh the benefits of factory farming. Milk and meat coming out of industrial farms is produced under the most horrific and unnatural conditions. This standard of conducting business is unfortunately normal occurrence in most farm environments today.

Pasteurized milk is actually responsible for causing and exacerbating many health issues, besides the obvious, such as asthma, allergies, sinus congestion, heart disease, and digestive issues such as Crohn's Disease and IBS. For more information and evidence about the risks of consuming pasteurized dairy products, visit Willow Hills.

Raw milk is beneficial and healthful to consume when purchased from a reputable, sanitary farm operation practicing healthy methods of raising animals such as being certified organic, providing open pasture for grazing, and clean water. Although raw milk does sour quickly, there are also benefits to the consumption of sour milk that cannot be claimed for the pasteurized variety once it goes past its date. According to the Real Milk web site: "With regards to the prevention of souring; sour raw milk is very widely used. It is given to invalids, being easily digested, laxative in its properties, and not unpleasant to take. But, after pasteurization, the lactic acid bacilli are killed. The milk, in consequence, cannot become sour and quickly decomposes, while undesirable germs multiply very quickly." Good bacteria in raw milk actually prevents unhealthy bacteria from growing out of control, thus rendering it a fantastic health food.

No doubt, care in selection of raw milk and raw milk products should always be taken. Locating a reputable and sanitary dairy should be highest priority when looking to purchase raw dairy because it is possible to stumble upon operations claiming to sell healthy raw milk that are in fact quite the opposite. Many areas have small farm operations that are reliable and safe, it just takes a bit of research. Organic Pastures in Fresno, California is the largest raw dairy in the United States. They provide healthy raw milk and milk products in a grade-A facility which batch tests their milk and maintains the highest standards of animal treatment and health, thus guaranteeing a superior product for consumption. OP ships products anywhere, but is required by federal law to label all shipments out of the state of California as "pet food".

It is important to stay educated about important issues which affect the health of ourselves, our children, and the planet. The raw milk issue is no exception. Don't believe all the negative, incorrect information you hear and read. Find out for yourself the real reasons why most milk is pasteurized and you may just change your mind about raw milk. To read the latest story on the government's sneaky attempt to limit the sales of raw milk, go to

For additional information on raw milk, read Agriculture Society's article.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Eating Tomatoes

We've seen a great deal in the news lately about salmonella and tomatoes. Should we avoid eating tomatoes entirely? What about vegetables? We are now being told that the salmonella contamination is not limited strictly to tomatoes. Obviously it is important to keep eating vegetables. Here are some things to do to avoid becoming ill from these foods:
  • Purchase locally grown tomatoes and vegetables. Conventional produce purchased from a mainstream grocery outlet is more likely to sell contaminated and exposed selections.
  • Purchase from trusted organic sources for your produce, whether it is local or a larger merchant.
  • Grow your own vegetables and tomatoes in your yard.
  • Reduce the amounts of sugar, processed carbohydrates, and refined foods in your diet. When you eat these things, your body's immune system becomes weaker and makes you more susceptible to becoming ill from diseases and bacteria - especially if you happen to inadvertently eat contaminated foods.
  • Take a good probiotic every day. Good brands are Biotics Research, PB8, Jarrow, and Pro-Bio from Enzymedica.
  • Take plenty of fiber in your diet - a good choice is Colon Plus from Biotics Research.
  • Take digestive enzymes with all meals to help your body assimilate, absorb, and deal with unfamiliar and harmful bacteria. Digest Gold from Enzymedica is an outstanding choice.
  • If you do become ill, increase your doses (as you are able, if you are not vomiting) of probiotics, by at least four or five times daily until you are improved. Probiotics are particularly effective to help eliminate digestive ailments and toxins from your body that will cause illness. Also take more fiber and purchase a good activated charcoal to take with these two supplements. Drink plenty of filtered water. Consult with a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner who can recommend the right products for your individual needs and health.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

How to Avoid Paying High Prices for Meat, Dairy, Eggs

An economist on NPR today said that organic meats, eggs, and dairy will continue to be at the top of the price list for grocery items due to the rising costs of wheat, corn, and soy - which are some of the most common feed choices for animals on farms, industrial and sustainable alike.

Although many organic and sustainable outfits do feed their animals these grains, there are a growing number of farmers and merchants who are pasture-raising their animals and switching to this way of feed. Why? In the end, costs for feeding animals go down when you are not feeding grains because the feeding of grains reduces the overall health of the animals as they are not intended by nature to consume these substances. They are intended to consume grasses and alfalfa, and similar types of plants. Grass-fed animals in natural environments will produce meat, dairy products, and eggs that are higher in lineolic acid, protein, healthy fats, and the correct balance of the Omega 3s -- essential fatty acids critical in protecting cardiovascular health, weight, and other important body functions.

When animals consume grains regularly, they become more susceptible to illness and disease, and farmers are more likely to administer medications and antibiotics. Grain feeding is also common on large feedlots where large amounts of animals are processed in short periods of time, the animals have little room to move around in a natural environment, and waste lagoons are present. All of these factors contribute to a poor quality end-product which greatly diminish health benefits of the meat as well as anyone consuming it.

To avoid paying higher prices for meat, eggs, dairy, and your health, search for organic grass-fed or pasture-raised meats, eggs, and dairy products. For more information on the benefits of grass-fed food products, visit The Sustainable Table. Also, check out Agriculture Society's articles on eating meat and dairy.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Take Care of Your Skin Naturally

Many people believe that healthy skin comes from all the moisturizers and skin care products they use. This is not true. Of course, we experience skin problems such as rashes, blemishes, acne, dryness, oilyness, and other issues throughout our lives. As we age, our skin becomes less supple and can become damaged more easily, rendering signs of the aging process out in the open for everyone to see.

Tired, worn out skin can happen due to many reasons. One factor many people don't consider is diet and lifestyle. What you eat, or don't eat, how much water you drink and what type, rest, stress, and other factors affect your skin's appearance just as much as what you might be putting on your skin directly. The human body needs proper nutrition, hydration, proper mineral balance, rest, and essential fatty acids to perform optimally. Your skin is no exception.

While your skin is a barrier to the inside of your body, it is also the largest organ and can easily absorb substances it comes into contact with. Many products are available on the market and companies who manufacture these products are in business to make money - for the most part. Many of these companies don't consider that the products they sell are not actually good for your health when they add chemicals, emulsifiers, and preservatives. That is why using caution when purchasing and applying personal care products to your skin, hair, and body in general is so important. The truth is -- most personal care products are toxic to your body. Most of the moisturizers, face creams, and anti-aging products you'll find will actually do much more harm than good. Don't be fooled: the less products you use, the better.

Because the human body is not impervious to oxidation, both inside and out, our skin and our insides receives exposure to bacteria, parasites, and toxins on a regular basis. If you are in the habit of wearing a lot of makeup or washing your face with harsh chemicals and products, think again. Consider wearing less makeup less frequently and choose products that are truly natural like Dr. Haushka and Lavera. Use gentle, natural oils to remove makeup (sweet almond oil is a good choice) instead of abrasive makeup removers. Use gentle, real soaps to clean your face and only occasionally (not daily). Too much cleaning of the delicate skin on your face will lead to drying out of your skin, skin problems, and premature aging.

A great product to help minimize damage done to your skin (and also is great when you have received sunburn exposure from being outside too long) is Oxi Cell by Apex Energetics. It is one of the most safe products available and you can use it all over your body. It is moisturizing, skin protecting, and wrinkle smoothing all in one. Because your skin absorbs it into the body, it is also very effective for healing internal organs in the digestive tract such as the liver and pancreas. Other uses include for eczema and other similar skin irritations. It is also useful for those who have learned they have skin cancer due to its healing and antioxidant properties. One 2-ounce container will last quite awhile because you only have to use very minute amounts at a time. Ask your healthcare professional about this product and its many uses. Throw out your old ideas (and products) about face and skin care, and become acquainted with this outstanding health care product.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

How to Eat Healthy While Traveling - Part Two

Healthy meals while traveling are of particular importance. Your body undergoes stress when you are traveling because you on not on your regular schedule and you are exposed to things you normally wouldn't be or your body is not accustomed to such as toxins and chemicals. Here are some tips for traveling in a car on a road trip:
  • If room permits, bring a cooler or a cold pack to include as many healthy selections as possible and minimize eating out at restaurants which may likely not have the healthiest choices.
  • Choose items like raw cheese, raw nuts, boiled eggs that are pasture-raised, organic, pasture-raised meats (even jerky with little to no chemicals is now available), fresh fruits and vegetables that are good for traveling (salads, broccoli, celery, carrots, peppers, cucumbers, apples, pears, oranges), Ezekiel bread, almond butter, and raw butter or an organic fruit spread are all good choices. You can even bring spreads like hummus and salsa to eat on fresh vegetables. Cut up foods into small chunks for easy eating while on the road or when stops are made.
  • Make sure you include containers for eating in and on if you know what you are eating will need that sort of preparation such as bowls or small plates. Also include some cutting tools like knives and a few pieces of flatwear. If you want to clean your dishes, bring along some natural dish soap in a small container. If you use plastic, be sure to recycle.
  • Bring plenty of filtered water with you, as much as your vehicle will allow. Usually, you won't know the quality of bottled water, and most are contained in plastic, which leaches into your drink.
  • When you reach your destination, find local health food stores through the help of people you might be staying with, local recommendations, the Yellow Pages, or an Internet search.
  • When you are eating out, avoid as much as possible sweets and simple carbohydrates, alcoholic and sugary beverages, processed foods, and anything that might otherwise be suspect. Eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, and healthy proteins if available.
  • Always bring a good probiotic and digestive enzymes with you on a trip. These substances will greatly help reduce reactions to unknown bacteria from unfamiliar foods and other things you eat while traveling and help eliminate unwanted toxins and bacteria from your gut as well as help you absorb the foods you eat.
  • Continue taking any vitamin or other supplements to help maintain your body's defense against fatigue and illness. Make sure you are taking a good quality essential fatty acid supplement as well.
Following these tips will save you money and help ensure that your health survives your traveling experiences the best way possible.