Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

Archive for April, 2012

7 Ayurvedic Tips for Fighting the Common Cold

7 Ayurvedic Tips for Fighting the Common Cold

 

I am sure we all have our own little tricks for dealing with the common cold.  Some of us straightaway pop decongestant and sinus-relief tablets, others try to  blow it all out loud and clear.

Ayurveda, I have realised, offers some truly helpful advice for increasing  your immunity, so that the nuisance simply doesn’t happen—or at least bugs you  much less frequently. I’ve tried all these tips, with success. Sharing them with  you:

1. Keep your digestive machinery running smooth. If there is  constipation, a cold is usually not far behind. The reason: all that undigested  material is rotting inside your system, creating a ‘seedbed,’ so to say, for  agents of disease to thrive on.

2. Include ‘warming’ spices in your diet: specifically black  pepper and cumin. Freshly crushed black pepper, mixed with a spoonful of honey,  is a cold-fighter that generations have used.

3. Stewed fruits, such as apple, pears and peaches, cooked  with cloves and cinnamon, warm you up nicely and keep the a-tissues away!

4. Turmeric is my absolutely favourite spice for boosting  immunity. It has innumerable healing benefits, among which is its capacity to  destroy germs and ease inflammation. So, cook your greens, stews and stir-fries  with a touch of turmeric. You get both golden colour and healthy  respiration.

5. Avoid certain ‘mucus-forming foods’ such as yogurt and  cheese at night. They increase Kapha, which is associated with ‘congestive’ disorders.

6. Basil and honey make another powerful combination,  because both are known to boast antiseptic and immunity-boosting properties. How  about a soothing honey-basil tea? It’s delicious, too.

7. Here’s an obvious one, which surprisingly many people do not  follow: stay warm. When you have a cold, you should not sit in  an airconditioned room or wear skimpy clothes. Your body needs warmth and  protection to arm itself against the nasty cold.

Happy healing!

By Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential  Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003),  Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004),  and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House  India, 2011).

Are You Too Busy?

Are You Too Busy?

Is your life filled with lots of doing and not enough being? Do you find  you don’t take the time to recharge and regenerate?

Loving ourselves enough to say no to obligations is often one of our most  challenging lessons, especially if you are a people-pleaser.

In order for our lives to be in balance, we need to spend enough  alone time to  rebuild our energy so that the time we spend with those we care  about is  quality time. When we are too busy and exhausted by our lives, we are  not fully present in any activity, and our family and friends  aren’t  really getting our quality attention anyway.

One of the key things to consider is whether or not you are an extrovert or  an introvert. Extroverts will get energy being with people. Introverts, although  they enjoy being with people, will feel depleted if they go too long without  having some alone time. Which ever personality type you are, everyone needs to  replenish and spend time with themselves. The challenge for an extrovert might  be to learn how to be alone, for the introvert it would be to carve out alone  time and not feel guilty.

If you are anything like me, you have spent way too much time worrying about  taking care of everyone else’s needs and not nearly enough trying to figure out  your own. There are times we do need to be there for our friends and family, but  there are   other times where our presence is not crucial. Ask yourself if a  phone   call, card or gift will suffice for you being there on this particular  occasion.

For years I worked at soul-depleting corporate jobs.  I was always  drained yet I spent much of my precious down time going to events and parties  for all of the people in my life because I felt obligated. I dragged myself from  place to place, feeling only half-present, yearning to go home and recharge my  batteries.

Sometimes loving ourselves means being able and willing to say no. Rather  than telling a white lie (which was often my modus operandi) tell the  truth instead.  Lying about it complicates things further, because you need  to keep track of what story you told to whom. Try simply saying  I  really need time to recharge and just be alone. Then practice not feeling  guilty about it. You may get some flack but hold your ground. Guilt is a choice  and you can choose to not go there.

Those who choose to heap guilt upon you are showing their true colors, which  often means that their friendship is more about you taking care of them than a  mutual give and take. Those who truly love you will honor your need to be alone  and allow you to do so without an emotional charge.

I encourage my fellow people-pleasers to look at your social obligations this  week, and if you are in need of alone time practice saying no. And be honest  about why.

Your real friends may be disappointed but they will understand.  If  those you thought were true friends make it all about them, then you may want to  access whether or not you need these kinds of friends in your life.  Often  times you will find that your quiet yet powerful example will give others  permission to take much needed time for themselves. We then need to make sure we  support and honor their need to be alone and not make them feel  guilty.

By Erica Sofrina,  International Speaker, Teacher, Author and Coach

Erica Sofrina is a motivational speaker, author and life coach specializing  in connecting people to their spiritual essence. She is also an Internationally  recognized Feng Shui speaker, teacher and the author of the book Small Changes,  Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World and the Founder of the West  Coast Academy of Feng Shui.  She is also the founder of Earth Spirit Adventure  Travel which takes people on retreats to powerful energy vortexes such as Bali  and Hawaii to facilitate their deep earth/spirit connection.

7 Home Remedies For Your Dog

7 Home Remedies For Your Dog

 

When you’re feeling under the weather, you might find that the  perfect thing  for treating what ails you is something you already have  in the kitchen. Did you know  that you can treat your ailing dog with  some simple home remedies too? Below  you will find seven great natural  remedies for making your dog happy and  healthy again.

TIP #1

Vitamin E is good for preventing those pesky age lines on your face,  and  it’s also great for your dog’s dry skin. You can give your pup a  doggy massage  by applying vitamin E oil directly to the skin, a soaking  bath with vitamin E  added to the water, or you can go all “Hollywood”  and pop your dog a pill (of  vitamin E, that is).

If you give the vitamin orally, check with your vet on the recommended dosage  for your specific dog breed.

TIP #2

Flavorless electrolyte-replacing liquids, such as sports waters or  pediatric  drinks, not only help athletes to replenish fluids, and babies  to rehydrate  after an illness, they can also supply your sick pooch’s  body with much needed  fluids after a bout of diarrhea or vomiting.

Consult your veterinarian as to the appropriate dosage amounts when giving  these types of liquids to your dog.

TIP #3

Deliciously plain yogurt is a healthy treat for your dog. Just as  with  humans, the live acidophilus in the yogurt keeps the good bacteria  in your  dog’s intestines in balance, so that bad bacteria is swiftly  knocked out. If  your dog is on antibiotics, a little yogurt will also  help keep yeast  infections at bay (a common side-effect of antibiotic  treatment). You can also  give your dog acidophilus pills — wrapping the  pills in bacon is strictly  optional.

Puppies are especially prone to yeast infections, so a little plain  yogurt  as a snack (or even dessert) can help keep things in balance;  especially useful  while the intestinal system is building immunities.

TIP #4

Chamomile tea uses the natural disinfecting effects of the chamomile  plant  to settle upset doggy tummies. It is recommended for colic, gas,  and anxiety.  It can also alleviate minor skin irritations. Just chill in  the fridge and  spray onto the affected area on the dog’s raw skin. Your  dog should feel an  immediate soothing effect as the chilled tea kills  the yeast and/or bacteria on  the skin. A warm (not hot) tea bag can also  be used for soothing infected or  irritated eyes.

TIP #5

An itchy dog can be quite an annoyance, especially as it goes around   scratching itself on any piece of furniture it can reach. Forget the   backscratcher. Finely ground oatmeal is a time-honored remedy for  irritated  skin. You can use baby oatmeal cereal or grind it yourself in a  food processor.  Stir the oatmeal into a bath of warm water and let your  dog soak in the healing  goodness. Your dog will thank you, trust us.  Dogs with skin allergies,  infections, and other diseases which cause  itchiness have been shown to gain  immediate relief with this approach,  too.

TIP #6

Dogs can be like kids at times, and as such they are bound to suffer  from  wounds and the occasional unexplained swelling. Try treating these  ailments  with Epsom salt soaks and heat packs next time. A bath  consisting of Epsom salt  and warm water can help reduce the swelling and  the healing time, especially  when combined with prescribed antibiotics  and veterinary supervision.

If soaking your dog in an Epsom salt bath twice a day for five  minutes isn’t  convenient or practical, a homemade heat pack using a  clean towel drenched in  the same warm-water solution can be applied to  wounds for the same effect.

TIP #7

Does your dog have fleas? Never fear. Before turning to the big guns,  try  some borax powder. The standard stuff at the store will work  wonders on fleas by poking holes in their crunchy insect  exoskeletons. A good way to  make sure those parasitic suckers get  annihilated is to sprinkle the  borax on your floor, and then sweep or vacuum up  the excess. The  invisible borax crystals left behind will kill the fleas and  you won’t  even have to lift a finger. It’s inexpensive and practically  non-toxic  compared to an appointment with the exterminator.

For the dog, try a simple solution of lemon water. Fleas are repelled  by  citrus, so this can work both as a flea preventive, and for making  your dog  smell clean and refreshing. A useful solution can be made by  pouring boiled  water over lemons and allowing them to steep over night.  This solution can then  be applied all over your dog’s skin using a fresh  spray bottle. And, the tried  and true Brewer’s yeast method cannot be  left out. Brewer’s yeast can be given  as part of a regular diet in  powdered form, sprinkled over the dog food, or in  tablet form, perhaps  wrapped in a small slice of bacon or cheese.

Home (or holistic) remedies aren’t just for tree huggers anymore.  It’s  important to take care of your dog from  day to day, not just when  it’s  feeling a little under the weather, and the best way to maintain  the best  health is often the most natural way. But most of all, it’ll  help keeping your “baby” from crying like a hound dog.

By Nicholas, selected from petMD

petMD is a leading online resource focused solely on the health and  well-being of pets. The site maintains the world’s largest pet health library,  written and approved by a network of trusted veterinarians. petMD was founded to  inspire pet owners to provide an ever-increasing quality of life for their pets  and to connect pet owners with pet experts and other animal lovers. For more  information, visit petMD.com.

 

Top 10 Spring Superfoods

Top 10 Spring Superfoods

Spring is finally here and along with it starts the cascade of vibrant  superfoods.  Obviously, some take a little longer than others, but here are  my picks for the top 10 spring superfoods.  Enjoy!

Artichokes—A medium-sized artichoke is loaded with fiber (about 10 grams) and vitamin  C. It also contains plentiful amounts of the heart- and muscle-health minerals  magnesium and potassium.  It’s also high on the ORAC list of foods that have  high antioxidant values.  High amounts of antioxidants translate into reduced free radicals linked to aging and disease.

Asparagus—An excellent source of nutrients like vitamin K  which is necessary for bone health and folate, asparagus also contains good  amounts of vitamins C, A, B1, B2, niacin, B6, manganese, potassium, magnesium,  and selenium.  Its high folate content makes it especially good for pregnant women who have higher folate needs than most  people.

Chives—Potent in antibacterial, anti-yeast and  antifungal compounds, chives has many similar properties to its  relatives garlic and onion.  Chives also help boost glutathione levels in the  body.  Glutathione is a powerful detoxifier and anti-cancer compound.

Collards—Research shows that collards are among the best  foods for lowering cholesterol levels due to its superior ability to bind to  bile acids in the intestines.  Collard also shows excellent anti-cancer  properties thanks to its naturally-occurring components, including:  glucoraphanin, sinigrin, gluconasturtiian, and glucotropaeolin.

Kale—Proven to lower the risk of bladder,  breast, colon, ovary, and prostate cancer, kale is among the best superfoods  available.  Great for building healthy bones largely due to its high calcium  content, kale also improves the body’s detoxification systems by increasing  isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from the vegetable’s glucosinolates.  Researchers  have identified over 45 phytonutrients in kale, including  kaempferol and quercetin, giving it impressive antioxidant and  anti-inflammatory properties.

Rhubarb—High in fiber, vitamins C and K, rhubarb stalks (not  the leaves which are poisonous), rhubarb is an excellent spring food but most  people don’t know what to do with it.  Sorry, dumping cups of sugar into it for  jams and pies wrecks any superfood qualities this food might otherwise have.  I  enjoy it stewed or added to chutneys.

Spinach—Not just for Popeye anymore, spinach is high in  iron, calcium, beta carotene (which turns into vitamin A in your body), and  vitamin K, which is important for bone and blood health.  The chlorophyll gives  spinach their green color and is a powerful blood cleanser.  High in neoxanthin,  which is proven to aid prostate health, spinach also contains the phytonutrients  lutein and zeaxanthin which strengthen the eyes and help prevent macular  degeneration and cataracts.

Spring greens—Spring greens contain high amounts of calcium  and magnesium needed for strong bones, muscles, and a relaxed nervous system.   Like spinach, they also contain the blood cleansing  phytonutrient chlorophyll.

Strawberries—Just eight strawberries pack more vitamin C  than one orange.  Whether you want to evade heart disease, arthritis,  memory loss, or cancer, these berries have proven their ability to  help.

Watercress—If ever there was a vegetable made for smokers,  watercress is it.  In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical  Nutrition, researchers found that eating raw watercress daily increased the  ability of cells to resist free radical damage to DNA, which reduces the  risk of cell changes linked to cancer.  Their research showed that this protective benefit was pronounced in smokers.  But, anyone can  benefit from this spring nutritional powerhouse.  It is also high in beta  carotene (essential for skin and eye health), B-complex vitamins (important for  nerves, energy, and mood balance), and vitamin E (critical for skin and immune  system health).

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and twelve-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine, whose works include: Healing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme Cure. Check out her natural health resources and subscribe to her free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com.

 

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