Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

Archive for May, 2012

Your ability will be released by your stability!

I have learned many wonderful truths in my lifetime. The principles that I know, give me great guidance, direction and peace in my own personal life. But, perhaps there is no principle more important than this one. If you want to be able to release all of the ability that you have in your power and possession, you must learn to live a stable, non-reactionary, committed life. Perhaps an illustration will help.

If you wanted to build a fence around a piece of property, there are certain things that you would need to do in order to insure success. You would begin by digging a hole deep enough for your fence posts to stand in securely. You would then fill the holes with concrete and set the posts in the middle, being careful not to disturb them while the concrete was drying. This would insure that the concrete could harden around the posts and make them secure.

Once the concrete has hardened and is set, it is important to test the posts to make sure they are secure enough by strongly shaking them. If they are set correctly, they will not budge. If however, you were able to shake them loose, you would have to start the process over again and I can tell you from personal experience, that is no fun!

Now, if you were the fencepost you might be confused. First you were to remain very still, and then you were roughly shaken. You might wonder what was going on! Why was it so important for you to stand still and now why is it so important for you to be severely shaken? The answer lies in the fact that all of that is a necessary process in setting up a fence post and it is a necessary process in life as well. Let me give you several other examples to show you what I am talking about.

If you are having trouble going to sleep at night, just make a commitment to read one chapter of a good book before you go to bed. You certainly have the ability to do that. However, your decision sets the process in motion. Now you will discover how stable you are in your commitment as the shaking begins! You will be amazed at the number of interruptions that come up to keep you from your commitment. And you will be so sleepy you will hardly be able to keep your eyes open!

Are you single? Make a commitment not to date anyone for six months. Commit to using that time to work on any personal issues you may have. Work on yourself in the area of personal development in order to grow to become someone who is healthy and ready for a relationship. Once you have made a firm commitment to not date anyone for six months, hang on! You will not believe what will happen! In just a matter of days, the seemingly perfect man or perfect woman, will come into your life. Your commitment will be severely shaken and tested.

You may think that I have completely lost my mind, but I am telling you that this principle of developing stability in your own life will be the issue that is attacked and challenged more than any other one you will face.

One more example: Decide to go on a fast from eating all food for three days. (I promise that you will not die!) A 3-day fast is not only healthy for you medically, but it also gives your body a chance to rest, recover and heal itself. Fasting is a proven method for healing your body. (Of course, I realize that some people are not able to fast for medical reasons. But, for the most part, a 3-day fast is a great experience for anyone.)

After you have made that decision and commitment, you will suddenly be aware that every other commercial on television is a food commercial. Someone will call and want to treat you to dinner. Your family will throw a surprise party for you that includes all your favorite foods.

Do you get the idea? Do you see what I am saying? Things like this will happen to see how strong your commitment is and to test your resolve and stability.

I have lived long enough to observe that most people cannot make a decision and stick to it. They are like tumbleweeds waiting for the wind to blow to determine which direction they want to go. Making a decision and putting your heart, mind, soul and ability into it, will change the direction of your whole life. But, it will only be released by your stability and sticking to what you commit to for a period of time.

Well, there you have it! One of the most important truths I have learned in my whole life. If you practice this, you will soon be amazed not only at the interruptions that come into your life, but also by the power that is released through your stability.

I wish I could be with you while you are observing and learning how this principle works! You will be a much better person for practicing it in your own life! I promise!

Have a great week! God bless you!

Dr. Robert A. Rohm

Reprinted with permission from the “Tip of the Week”. To subscribe for the free “Tip of the Week” please go to  http://www.personalityinsights.com and receive Dr. Rohm’s weekly Tip every Monday morning.

24 Signs Your Stress Glands are Overworked

24 Signs Your Stress Glands are Overworked

 

Has the pace of life left you frazzled?  Has balancing work, home, and  family responsibilities left you overwhelmed?  The stresses of our modern  life can be too much for your stress glands to handle.  The stress glands,  primarily known as the adrenal glands, are two small, triangular-shaped glands  that sit atop the kidneys.  We don’t give them much thought until we start  to experience symptoms of poor health.  The adrenal glands keep us going  through life’s stresses, but over time they can show signs of being  overworked.  How do you know if your adrenal glands are overworked?   Here are 24 signs:

1. Allergies

2. Anxiety or Irritability

3. Arthritis

4. Cravings for  salty and/or sweet foods

5. Depression

6. Excessive hunger

7. Extreme  fatigue, exhaustion, or chronic fatigue

8. Eyes are sensitive to light

9.  Feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope with life’s stresses

10. Frequently  experience colds, flu, or other infections

11. Insomnia

12. Irritable  bowel syndrome, IBS

13. Low blood pressure

14. Low libido

15. Low  stamina

16. Menopause symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal  dryness

17. Poor concentration

18. Poor digestion

19. Premenstrual  syndrome (PMS)

20. Reduced immune function

21. Reduced memory

22.  Sensitivity to cold

23. Sleep does not refresh or revitalize you

24. Slow  to recover from illness or injuries

These symptoms can also be signs of other health conditions so you should  always consult your doctor if you suspect any health issues.  And, of  course, you don’t need to be experiencing all of the above symptoms to be  suffering from adrenal fatigue.

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

4 Natural Remedies for Adrenal Fatigue

4 Natural Remedies for Adrenal Fatigue

Today’s lifestyle replete with the demands of home, work, family, finances,  and more can fatigue your body’s primary stress-handling glands, the adrenal  glands. These triangular-shaped glands sit on top of the kidneys and are located  in the solar plexus region of your abdomen. They secrete hormones that help us  cope with stress, but when the stresses become chronic the adrenals can become  depleted, causing adrenal fatigue.

Of course, stress management is necessary, but there are also some excellent  herbs and nutrients that can give your adrenal glands a boost. Always consult a physician  if you suspect adrenal fatigue and before beginning any supplements.

Vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients to the  adrenal glands. It is needed to manufacture the hormones secreted by these  glands in response to stress. The more stress you experience, the higher your  vitamin C needs may be. A typical dose to assist with adrenal fatigue is 2000 mg  or higher; however, a qualified health professional should be consulted when  using higher doses.

Pantothenic acid is one of the B-complex vitamins that is  essential for adrenal gland health. It is naturally present in high doses in the  adrenal glands but can become depleted as hormones are manufactured in response  to stress. A typical dose for adrenal fatigue is 1500 mg but should always  accompany a B-complex vitamin since they work synergistically.

Commonly used by natural medicine practitioners to treat adrenal gland  fatigue, Siberian ginseng, or Eleutherococcus  senticosus as it is also known, works primarily on the pituitary gland in  the brain.  This gland stimulates the adrenal glands to produce more  adrenal hormones.  In adrenal fatigue, communication between the pituitary  gland and the adrenals may be impaired.  A typical dose of Siberian ginseng  for the treatment of adrenal fatigue is 100 to 200 mg daily.

Rhodiola integrifolia—Found in Yukon, Alaska, Siberia, and  northern China, rhodiola, or roseroot as its also known, is a beautiful  flowering plant that is one of the most overlooked adrenal herbs available. Like  Siberian ginseng is one of the few plants that is considered an adaptogen, which  means that it helps the body adapt to stress by increasing resistance to  fatigue.  It boosts the adrenals, builds energy, and improves mood.   Boil the dried root pieces in water and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes.  Drink  daily for up to 3 weeks at a time to give your stress glands a boost. Herbalist  Beverley Gray, author of The Boreal Herbal adds the cooled rhodiola tea to her  morning smoothies for a boost.

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.

Best and Worst Foods for Menopause Symptoms

Best & Worst Foods for Menopause Symptoms

INSOMNIA AND HEADACHES

Studies suggest that eating carbs can increase the release of tryptophan, an  amino acid that helps the brain manufacture serotonin, which helps people fall asleep.

SAY YES TO:

  • Eating a piece of toasted whole grain bread or a small portion of  another  carbohydrate before going to bed.
  • Other foods that contain tryptophan are turkey, soy, cod, egg whites  and warm  milk.
  • Also, omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish such as salmon, trout and  tuna, play a role in sleep induction.
  • And don’t forget cherries. They contain melatonin, a substance found in  the body, which helps regulate sleep.

SAY NO TO:

  • Large meals.  When you eat a large meal, digestion brings blood into the  abdomen, raises body temperature and tells the hypothalamus in the brain to  send a signal that causes hot flashes. Eating smaller meals can help reduce  the number of hot flashes.
  • Caffeine.   Coffee, tea, colas and dark chocolate contain caffeine. They  may trigger  hot flashes and affect your sleep. So drink water and avoid caffeine,  especially in the late afternoon and at night.
  • Alcohol.   Alcohol can increase the hot flashes and affect sleep, mood  and weight.  eavy use can lead to osteoporosis because alcohol prevents  cells from  building new bone. Limit yourself to no more than one drink a  day.

BLOATING

During the menopause transition, another common midlife symptom is bloating,  which may be due to hormone fluctuations, overproduction of estradiol and  conversion of androgen (a so-called “male” hormone) to estrogen through a  process called aromatization, which increases with age and body weight.

SAY YES TO:

  • Foods and herbs that have diuretic properties, such as celery seeds,  parsley, dandelion, juniper berries, asparagus, artichokes, melon and  watercress.  And drink plenty of water and herbal teas.

SAY NO TO:

  • Sugary and high-sodium foods such as frozen dinners and  canned soups. Read the sugar and sodium content on food labels, and reduce  the amount of sugar and salt you add to foods and beverages.

MOOD SWINGS

Many women during the menopause transition report a decreased sense of  well-being due to irritability and mood swings. Good nutrition plays a major  role in moods. So it is important to understand which foods stabilize our moods and which ones to avoid.

SAY YES TO:

  • Omega-3  fatty acids in foods such as tuna, salmon and mackerel.
  • Eating vegetables such as asparagus, Brussels sprouts and beets, which  are rich in B vitamins. Green vegetables such as spinach and peas are high  in folic acid, a member of the B-complex group that may also help stabilize  mood because it’s needed to make serotonin. Don’t forget that spinach and  other dark, leafy greens can be used raw in salads and sandwiches as  well.
  • Chicken and turkey, which are rich in vitamin B, a player in the  production of serotonin in the body.

SAY NO TO:

  • Sugary foods, which cause a rise in blood sugar and may increase mood  disturbances.

DECREASED SEX DRIVE

For some women, menopause and its associated decline in “sex” hormones can  lead to a decline in sex. A lower level of estrogen is the main culprit and that  can lower libido and cause vaginal dryness. Recent information suggests that food  can spice up your love life.

SAY YES TO:

  • Granola,  oatmeal, nuts, dairy, green vegetables, garlic, soybeans and  chickpeas.   These foods contain L-arginine, which is thought to be helpful  in improving sexual function.
  • Avocados contain potassium, which regulates thyroid hormones and may  enhance female libido.
  • Chocolate intake releases serotonin in the brain, producing feelings of  pleasure similar to having sex. But indulge in moderation for its benefit,  and try  eating it as a prelude to lovemaking.
  • Asparagus  is a vegetable to consider due to its vitamin E content.
  • Fresh fruits. Feast on fresh fruits such as strawberries, pomegranates  and grapes, which are delicious and rich in antioxidants.

SAY NO TO:

  • Chile peppers. Eating chili peppers in excessive amounts can lead to  hot flashes.   This will not help you set the mood. However, when enjoyed in  a flavorful  recipe, these feisty peppers can also help trigger the release  of natural endorphins, creating a high that is not unlike  lovemaking.

Source: Red Hot Mamas via Ode Magazine

Feng Shui Home Color Guide

Feng Shui Home Color Guide

 

The ancient art ofFeng Shuiacknowledges  the profound affect of  color on our  physical, emotional and spiritual  well being. According to Feng Shui colors are  connected to the five elements from the natural  world; fire, earth,  metal,  water and wood and play a significant role  in balancing our living spaces.

This is called the Five Elements theory and  it is at the foundation  of Feng  Shui and Chinese medicine. These  elements also have objects, shapes,  seasons,  body organs, chakra’s and  colors connected to them, but the color component is  often the most  powerful.

Listed below are the main rooms of the home and the best wall color choices  for them according to Feng Shui principles. Keep in mind there are other schools  of Feng Shui which may differ. This list comes out of the Western Form School philosophy which  is the one that I  write about and teach.

Use these suggestions as guidelines only. Pay attention  to  your intuition. It is our inner Geiger-counter and is always  seeking  health and balance. The colors you feel passionately about are  most likely the ones that you  actually need to surround  yourself with. Make sure the colors you choose are the ones  that make your heart sing!

Bedrooms:

  • Best colors: Earth tones, flesh tones pastels including  light sages, colors that are more muted.
  • Don’t recommend: Bright colors, fiery colors such as bright  reds, purples, pinks or oranges. Dark colors such as black, brown, greys, navy  blue or dark green are also not recommended.
  • Why? Bedrooms should be calm spaces to promote rest and  rejuvenation. The earth element is best in bedrooms to support being grounded.  Too bright colors are too active for bedrooms and too dark colors are too  depressing. We want the right amont of restfulness but not to the point that it  is depressing.For children’s bedrooms, make sure to NOT paint them purple or  pink. Use  a more restful sage green and accessorize with the purples and pinks   only. These are far too fiery for bedroom wall colors and most likely  you will  find you child will love the room during the day but won’t want  to sleep there  at night. See my article on Yin and Yang for a balanced home and Feng Shui for Children’s and Teen’s Rooms

Bathrooms:

  • Best colors: Earth tones, pastels, whites
  • Don’t recommend: Blues, dark ‘watery’ colors  such as  black, grey, navy, dark brown or green
  • Why? Bathrooms already have a lot of the water element  represented by mirrors along with water from the pipes. More blues adds more  water, creating an even greater in-balance. Earth, however, balances the water  element in the five elements cycle and brings this very watery room back into  elemental balance.

Kitchens:

  • Best Colors: Earth tones as well as brighter colors
  • Don’t recommend; Reds, black, navy blue, grey, dark brown,  dark green
  • Why? Kitchens should be happy active (Yang) spaces but they  also already have a lot of fire and water. The best element to balance both is  the earth element represented by earth tones and terra-cottas. These can be  bright yellow, golds, rich terra-cotta or any other brighter color. The earth  element supports being grounded. In kitchens we are working with fire and  knives, which are unsafe. Using colors from the water element such as black,  grey, dark blues, greens and browns promote a feeling of un-groundedness, they  can also be too depressing for what should be a more active and happy  space.

Dining Rooms:

  • Best colors: Earth tones, sage greens, pastels, more muted  colors
  • Don’t recommend: Reds, unless you want to eat a lot more… red stimulates everything, including appetite! Black, grey, navy blue, dark  green or dark brown are also too watery.
  • Why? Dining rooms should be calm, peaceful spaces. Earth  tones promote groundedness, which is what we need for good digestion. Use any  color that is more muted that you love, but make sure it is not a color from the  water element such as black, grey, navy blue, dark green or dark brown.The same  principles apply here as in bedrooms.

Home Office:

  • Best Colors; Brighter colors are fine for these more active  (Yang) spaces. Choose any color that you love. White and cream colors are  excellent for home offices because they represent the metal element which  supports mental clarity.
  • Don’t recommend; Darker tones or any color that reflects  the water element which is too floaty and ungrounded.
  • Why? Home offices should be more active so that you can get  things done. You can use the bolder colors here. This is not the room to be so  cozy that all you want to do is curl up and read a book!

Living Room and Family Rooms;

  • Same as Bedrooms and Dining rooms. Make them cozy and earthy with more muted  colors.

Exercise Rooms, Laundry Rooms, Hallways, Garages, Study Rooms and all  other rooms :

  • These are all active spaces and can be painted  brighter colors. Choose  the ones that you love and make your heart sing!

Tone it Down

Best rule of thumb for color is to tone it down two notches. The  color you choose on the swatch will not be what shows up on your walls.  If you  choose one or two colors lighter than that one, this will be closer to the  actual color you thought you choose once you get it on your walls,

Be careful with red. The color red comes from the fire element  which is meant to stimulate and get things moving. Use it sparingly in the rooms  that should be more calming spaces such as bedrooms, dining rooms and living  rooms. It is best to use reds for accessories, but not as wall color. If you are  passionate about having a red wall, choose a more muted red such as a burgundy  or a plum purple.

Live with it First

In working with my clients choosing color for their home, I always recommend  they get smaller cans of paint and paint the color choices (I always choose  three per room) on large sheets of construction or art paper, then tape them to  the walls and move them around. Live with them for several days so you can see  what they look like in different light. They may be considerably different  during the day than the night.

Painting is a commitment of time as well as finances. Don’t be in a hurry and  choose the wrong color. Also remember if it seems too bright for the more active  rooms, once you get the furniture in and art up, it will look very different and  may work out fine.

Go Green!

The best brand I have found for low VOC and non-toxic paint is Mythic Paint. Check them out and see if you can find a place  that carries it near you. Their ultra low odor paint provides the durability and  coverage you expect from premium paint without the off-gassing and  cancer-causing toxins that continue to emit years after drying.

If you would like a free Five Elements Color map which lists the  objects, shapes and colors that represent the Feng Shui five elements, click here, Enjoy!

By Erica Sofrina, Author of Small Changes Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western  World.

Erica Sofrina is a nationally recognized Feng Shui teacher, speaker and  author and the Founder of the Academy of Feng Shui. She is the author of the book Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western  World.

Erica Sofrina

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.

 

5 Foods That Help You Sleep

5 Foods That Help You Sleep

Should you let yourself have that midnight snack if you’re having trouble  sleeping and you think hunger might be part of the problem? Here are five  foods that can actually help you drift off:

1. Cherries. Fresh and dried cherries are one of the only  natural food sources of melatonin, the chemical that controls the body’s  internal clock to regulate sleep. Researchers who tested tart cherries and found  high levels of melatonin recommend eating them an hour before bedtime or before  a trip when you want to sleep on the plane.

2. Bananas. Potassium and magnesium are natural muscle  relaxants, and bananas are a good source of both. They also contain the amino  acid L-tryptophan, which gets converted to 5-HTP in the brain. The 5-HTP in turn  is converted to serotonin (a relaxing neurotransmitter) and  melatonin.

3. Toast. Carbohydrate-rich foods trigger insulin  production, which induces sleep by speeding up the release of tryptophan and  serotonin, two brain chemicals that relax you and send you to sleep..

4. Oatmeal. Like toast, a bowl of oatmeal triggers a rise in  blood sugar, which in turn triggers insulin production and the release of  sleep-inducing brain chemicals. Oats are also rich in melatonin, which many  people take as a sleep aid.

5. Warm milk. Like bananas, milk contains the amino acid  L-tryptophan, which turns to 5-HTP and releases relaxing serotonin. It’s also  high in calcium, which promotes sleep.

By Melanie Haiken, Caring.com  senior editor

Caring.com  was created to help you care for your aging parents, grandparents, and other  loved ones. As the leading destination for eldercare resources on the Internet,  our mission is to give you the information and services you need to make better  decisions, save time, and feel more supported. Caring.com provides the practical  information, personal support, expert advice, and easy-to-use tools you need  during this challenging time.

5 Things to Do With Bad Wine

5 Things to Do With Bad Wine

Old wine, old wine. Hmm . . . well, it’s not a problem I often come  across,  to be perfectly honest. We’re pretty fond of spiky beverages,  ‘round these  parts. (Some of our neighbors here in Portland even send  their plumbers home with a bottle of wine.)

But  okay, I suppose it happens every now and again. A lonely bottle of   Chardonnay gets pushed to the back of the fridge and forgotten. Or a  post-party  Merlot gets left open, left out, for far too long to consider  salvageable.  These things happen to even the most dedicated of drinkers.

Then of course, there’s just the tragic occasion when a bottle, brand new and  freshly poured, simply . . . stinks. Much like electrical work, winemaking is an exact science. Sometimes  things just don’t come together.

Ah well. All’s not lost, my friends. As long as your wine isn’t growing fur  or smelling  like something long since dead, you still have options. Here are a few  ideas:

1. Cook with It.

Contrary  to popular belief (sorry Julia Child), it’s actually okay to cook  with  less-than-stellar wine. Blind taste tests have shown that as long as   you’re boiling, braising, or otherwise reducing the liquid, the quality  of the  wine isn’t so important. So add it to a slow-simmered stew or a  from-scratch  pasta sauce. Try an on-it’s-way-to-vinegar white for  cooking down onions or  mushrooms. Don’t worry – no one will be any the  wiser.

2. Bathe In It.

Yes, really!  It’s called vinotherapy and it’s a great way to make use of a  bottle  you opened but didn’t care for. Celebrities such as Teri Hatcher pour a   glass of red wine into the bath each day. The treatment is purported to  soften  the skin, as well as firming it up and adding elasticity. The  magic is  apparently in the resveratrol, a compound found in wine that’s a  powerful  antioxidant. And whether a wine bath really works or not, it  sure does sound  like a way to get some “me time” in the bathroom!

3. Make Artisan Red Wine Vinegar.

Red  wine vinegar comes in two main types: that stuff you buy at the store,   and the stuff that’s really amazing. Want to get your hands on the  amazing  kind? Then make it yourself!  It is a perfect project for wine  that’s already started to sour. It’s  actually very easy and man, the taste is  just incomparable.

4. Use It As Dye.

We’ve  all spent our fair share of time trying to remove red wine stains from  tablecloths, so there’s no doubt that the stuff has powerful staying  power.  This is a great project for a bottle that’s gone well past its  prime, since  there’s no ingesting or immersing involved. Wine-dyed  fabrics have a lovely “crafty” quality, much the same as the popular  tea-dyed look. Try it on linens  or comfy cotton, Boho-style garments,  and anything else that you want to endow  with an earthy, natural vibe.

5. Don’t Forget Compost.

For the bottle that’s really, actually gone, don’t worry – you still won’t  have to throw it away. Wine is completely compostable and can even act as a “starter” to give the bacteria in your heap a little “kick-start”.

By Sayward Rebhal, Networx

Foods that Boost Serotonin

Foods that Boost Serotonin

Serotonin plays an important role in regulating happiness, problem-solving and  concentration. When the level of serotonin fluctuates, it can directly change an  individual’s mood, sleep  patterns, appetite, memory, ability to learn and comprehend, body  temperature, heart performance and muscular functioning. A deficiency in  serotonin is sometimes regulated with medication but consuming specific food  items can boost the level of this chemical in the brain.

Fruits that Increase Serotonin

Various fruits boost serotonin and other mood-improving chemicals in the  brain. Plums, pineapple, bananas and sour cherries can directly influence  serotonin production. Bananas contain high levels of a chemical called  tryptophan. This chemical is converted to serotonin in the brain. Melatonin, a  chemical known for improving sleep, is found in sour cherries.

Serotonin Boost from Protein Sources

Turkey is another food known to contain high levels of tryptophan. Many  people report feeling drowsy after eating turkey. The sleepiness following a  large meal with turkey, such as the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, is somewhat  due to tryptophan and serotonin but it is also due to eating a larger quantity  of food. Other foods that can boost serotonin in the protein family include  eggs, beef, wild fish and most animals that are free of growth-promoting  hormones.

Carbohydrate-based Foods that Increase Serotonin

Carbohydrates can make a person feel full. Any grain or sugar-containing item  is usually considered to be a carbohydrate source. When an individual feels the  full sensation in the stomach, it can be rewarding in different ways. The person  may feel satisfied because basic nourishment has been fulfilled, but the brain  may also produce more serotonin as a result of the sugar and make up of the  carbohydrate-based food. Examples of carbohydrate foods include pasta, bread and  white potatoes. Dairy products consist of sugars that boost serotonin  production. Examples include milk, Swiss cheese and cheddar cheese. The cheeses  can increase other mood-boosting chemicals in the body having the same effect as  an increase in serotonin.

Sweet Treats Boost Mood

Eating a favored sweet treat, like dark chocolate, can increase mood not just  because it is so well-liked but also because it increases serotonin levels in  the brain. Some sugary snacks can lead to a dip in energy, causing the  individual to feel sleepy instead of energized or happier. For the purpose of  increasing serotonin, foods lower in sugar will have a more lasting effect.

Things to Consider

Every individual will respond differently to various foods. The exact  quantity of each food needed in order to increase serotonin has yet to be  determined. Eating foods known to boost serotonin is not a recommended method of  treatment for depression or other mood disorders associated with serotonin  deficiencies. Instead, mood-boosting foods can be eaten during illness or other  short-term events that cause a negative mood, fatigue, trouble concentrating and  sleep problems.

by Sarah  Harding, Contributor to Holistic  Nutrition on Allthingshealing.com

All Things Healing (allthingshealing.com) is an online  portal and community dedicated to informing and educating people across the  globe about alternative healing of mind, body, spirit and the planet at large.  We are committed to bringing together a worldwide community of individuals and  organizations who are working to heal themselves, each other, and the world. We  offer 39 healing categories, 80 plus editors who are experts in their fields, a  forum for each category, and an extensive “Find Practitioners” listing. Our  Costa Rica Learning Center and Spiritual Retreat is coming soon. Join  us!

13 Ayurvedic Anti-Aging Herbs

13 Ayurvedic Anti-Aging Herbs

 

The  modern sciences are engaged in researching the products and formula for   anti aging property. Based on recent scientific findings, one  of the techniques  of anti-aging, for both women and men, is herbal  treatment. The total blueprint  of herbal anti aging treatment  is in   Ayurveda,  the ancient Indian system of medicine are called Vata, Pitta,  and Kapha.  According to this system, the secret to productive anti aging  is to maintain  Vata, Pitta, and Kapha in perfect equilibrium. Rasayana  is an exceptional  ayurvedic anti aging  treatment. This method involves  two faculties namely, kutipravesika and  vatatapika. Kutipravesika  attributes itself to restricting the person being  treated in a tiny  shelter with just one small door. The system also requires  small holes  instead of windows.

In Ayurvedic herbal treatment, anti aging means principally keeping up a   healthy body into herbal treatment and bringing down the operation of  aging,  degeneration and depreciation. The objective of herbal anti-aging  treatment is  to aim for a healthy aging mode, and to maintain both mind  and body working at  optimum level, so the treasures of old age can be  relished with peace of mind  and vitality.

Amla(Emblica Officinalis): Amla is the best Rasayana as   mentioned in the  Charaka samhita. Amla is the magical herbs with the  rich  in Vitamin C. It is believed to have good rejuvenating power. The  fruits of  Amla  is used to make the Chyawanprash (Herbal tonic) and best  Rasayana.  So daily intake of Amla and its products is good anti aging  property.

Ginger Family: The rhizomes of the ginger family  contain an  array of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients.  Ginger contains  essential oils and spicy substances such as gingerol,  shogaol, zingerone and  capsaicin, all of which increase peripheral blood  flow. It reduce cellular  inflammation for anti-aging skin care  benefits.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) rhizomes contain curcumin and  its  derivatives (curcuminoids) that are bright yellow in color. Their  hydrogenated  derivatives, tetrahydrocurcuminoids, are nearly colorless  materials. All of  them possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory  activity.

Galanga (Alpinia officinarum), also known as Galangal  or  Chinese ginger, contains essential oils, gingerols and a group of  pungent  substances, diarylheptanoids. Diarylheptanoids (and analogous  phenyl alkyl  ketones) possess excellent anti-arthritic properties due to  their arrest of  prostaglandin biosynthesis via inhibition of  5-lipoxygenase. Purified extracts  of galanga, which are composed  primarily of lower alkyl cinnamate esters, have  UV absorbing,  antioxidant and tyrosinase inhibiting properties.

Frankincense, Boswellia: Guggal (Boswellia serrata) has   been used for centuries as an arthritis treatment. This biochemical  mechanism  provides a way to formulate skin anti-aging products via the  incorporation of  extracts or isolated pure compounds.

Clove Family: Clove oil and clove buds have  applications as  toothache and muscular pain remedies. A number of plants  in this family,  notably Syzygium aromaticum, Syzygium corynocarpum and  Syzygium mallacense  contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory  constituents.

Vitis: The grape family is well known for its potent   antioxidant constituents, especially procyanidins, found mostly in  seeds, and  resveratrol, concentrated in skins of red and black grapes.  suggests their  application for skin anti-aging benefits.

Trace Metals: About 30 elements are recognized as  essential  to life. Some are required in macroscopic amounts in  essentially all forms of  life: H, Na, K, Mg, Ca, C, N, O, P, S and Cl.  The others occur in trace or  ultra-trace quantities. Fe, Cu and Zn are  at the top end of this “trace” scale.  The modulation of these  metalloenzymes by appropriate trace metal topical  therapies can lead to  new skin anti-aging ingredients and their formulation  methodologies.

Rosemary: It contains some of the most promising active   agents, including rosmarinic acid, and diterpenes ursolic acid,  carnosic acid,  carnosol, oleanolic acid, hinokiol and seco-hinokiol,  rofficerone, and  amyrenones, which, due to their reported strong  antioxidant, anti-inflammatory  and tyrosinase inhibiting properties.

Licorice: Glycyrrhiza glabra contains some very  exciting  active agents  Glycyrrhizin, glycyrrhetinic acid, glabrol,  glabridins and  various liquiritins are most interesting for skin care  applications due to  their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and skin color  (melanin) reduction  benefits. Neem: Azadirachta indica has been recognized  for its  antibacterial, insecticidal, antimalarial, hypoglycemic, and   would-healing benefits. Recent work has shown neem extracts to possess  strong  antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties.

Andrographis: Neoandrographolide, one of the principal   diterpene lactones, isolated from a medicinal herb Andrographis  paniculata  actively inhibits suggests potential for skin anti-aging  applications for both  andrographolide and neoandrographolide.

Pomegranate: Punica granatum provides a wealth of  wonderful antioxidant and free radical  neutralizing ingredients, for  example, ellagic acid, gallagic acid, punicalins,  and punicalagins. All  are suitable for anti-aging applications, although some  are not  commercially available.

by Dr.  Ram Mani Bhandari, Contributor to Ayurveda  on Allthingshealing.com

All Things Healing (allthingshealing.com) is an online  portal and community dedicated to informing and educating people across the  globe about alternative healing of mind, body, spirit and the planet at large.  We are committed to bringing together a worldwide community of individuals and  organizations who are working to heal themselves, each other, and the world. We  offer 39 healing categories, 80 plus editors who are experts in their fields, a  forum for each category, and an extensive “Find Practitioners” listing. Our  Costa Rica Learning Center and Spiritual Retreat is coming soon. Join  us!

11 Beauty Uses for Coconut

11 Beauty Uses for Coconut

Did you know that if you use the typical department or drug store brands of  cosmetics daily, you could be absorbing nearly 5 pounds of chemicals into your body annually?

Many of these widely distributed products that are highly advertised and  hyped, including some of the ones your dermatologist sells, have been linked to  deadly inflammatory conditions and even cancers.

You might want to check your personal care product labels and see if they include any of  the following: Mineral oil, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), petrolatum,  propylene glycol, gycerin, collagen, elastin, hyaluronic acid, alpha hydroxy  acids (AHA’s), bentonite, fragrances, kaolin, lanolin, lauramide DEA, sodium  chloride, or benzophenone. These are the culprits we don’t want to put  on our skin, which is the largest organ in our bodies.

Some of these ingredients are even advertising buzz words that we have become  accustomed to believe that they are actually good to have in our products, but  nothing could be further from the truth.

To the get the “skinny” on each of these ingredients and why you don’t want  to put them on your skin, please peruse, “The Truth About Cosmetics,” as we are going to learn how to  avoid all of them by making some or all of our own personal care and beauty  products both safely and cost effectively. I will share a few here but there is  a wealth to be mined online and you can experiment yourself with these recipes  and find many good ones.

Making our products ourselves is the very best way to be sure that we’re not  ingesting or applying these and many more dangerous chemicals topically. In the  spirit of DIY why not simply take matters in our own hands and make our own  meals at home as much as possible and make our own beauty and personal care  products, too? I think you will find that this can be both fun and easy to do  when using your own organic and natural ingredients. You might even find that  you may already have beauty-fuel ingredients right in your own kitchen that can  be the base of many homemade personal care products.

I suggest to my clients that the most important natural food and ingredient  to have on hand to use as a base for our homemade personal care products is  organic, expeller pressed, unrefined, virgin, coconut oil.

The Coconut and Its Beauty-Fuel Oil

The scientific name for the coconut is cocos nucifera. Spanish  explorers called it “coco,” which was said to mean “monkey face” because the  three holes on its surface, especially the pair of eyes on the hairy nut’s  surface resembles the face and the head of a monkey. Nucifera means “nut-bearing.”

Coconuts have been found to be extremely nutritious. They provide coconut  meat (which we usually purchase as flakes), juice, milk, and oil which has fed,  nourished and soothed populations, externally and internally around the world  for hundreds of years. Many island nations use the coconut as a staple food in  their diet because it provides the majority of the food the people eat. The idea  I present here is to use it both internally and externally!

Why Should We Use Coconut Oil Internally?

Coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is  classified as a “functional food” because it provides many health benefits  beyond its nutritional content. Coconut oil is of special interest here because  it possesses healing properties far beyond that of any other dietary oil and is  extensively used in traditional medicine among Asian and Pacific populations.  Pacific Islanders consider coconut oil to be the cure for all that ails them. I  couple it for my clients with an organic cold extracted greenlip mussel oil  supplement in capsule form, in order to augment the benefits of the coconut oil  by incorporating the unique array of anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids which  this marine source is rich in. See MoxxArt.com  for more information about greenlip mussel oil and its synergistic potential for  people and animals when combined with coconut oil.

The beautiful, bountiful, coconut palm is highly valued by  most island people as it is known to be both a source of food and medicine. It  has been known as “The Tree of Life.” Modern medical science has recently  unlocked the secrets to coconut’s amazing healing powers, according to the Coconut Research  Center.

Coconut Oil is Brilliant Topically

Coconut oil topically acts as a wonderful moisturizer for all types of skin,  including dry and aging skin. Coconut oil is a safe solution for preventing  dryness and flaking of skin and it makes a perfect massage oil, as well.  It is  known to delay the onset of wrinkles, and sagging of skin which normally become  prominent with age. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems  including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections. Coconut oil  should and does form the foundation ingredient of various personal care products  such as soaps, lotions, and creams. Coconut oil also helps in preventing  premature aging and degenerative diseases due to its antioxidant properties.

The nutritional benefits of coconut oil are said to include hair care, skin  care, stress relief, maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, weight loss,  increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney  problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental  care, and bone strength. These benefits can be attributed to the presence of  lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as  antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc.

How to Use Coconut Oil in Our Daily Routine

To use coconut oil in your daily routine, it’s as simple as applying pure  coconut oil all over your body and then stepping into a steaming shower or tub.  And then how about using a homemade coconut oil scrub to exfoliate your  skin?

Scrubs offer a fantastic opportunity to remove dead skin and  make you feel invigorated in the process.

Here is my recipe for a homemade Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub, that is easy to  make and store:

Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub

1 cup organic coconut sugar 1/3 cup fine ground Himalayan Chrystal or pink  salt 1/2 cup cold or expeller pressed, virgin, organic, coconut oil 2-3  tablespoons almond oil 1 tablespoon vitamin E oil 1 or 2 drops of lavender essential oil (or you can use rose essential oil)

Since you might have a nice jar with lid on hand which you may have saved  from the recycling bin you can start with your own recycled jar, or buy a “Ball  Jar,”  add the Himalayan Chrystal or pink salt, coconut oil and then add the  rest of the ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. (I like to keep a small  wooden spoon in my shower or next to the tub to stir the scrub and spoon it into  my hand for easier application.)

For an all-natural moisturizer after bath or shower, pure coconut oil  is my favorite. It’s a beauty-fuel moisturizer and a potent source of  the beneficial fat lauric acid. I put a tablespoon in my herbal tea and sip this  before, during or after my bath or shower. Your thyroid gland loves coconut oil  as it helps to nourish it. One of the symptoms of hypothryroidism is dry skin so  we get double the benefits when we use coconut oil internally and externally as  often as possible.

How Else Can We Use Coconut Oil?

If you are using coconut oil for topical purposes, especially skin, scalp and  hair care, just melt the oil (if it is in its solid state) by keeping the bottle  in the sun or warming it in warm water. Coconut oil melts in hot weather and  congeals in cold weather and this is normal for coconut oil. You can also take  some coconut oil out and put it in a small bowl and heat the bowl over a flame  (do not use microwave). Then take the oil on your palm and apply it to your  skin, or scalp and hair.

Body Lotion: After a bath or shower, just massage coconut  oil all over your body— it feels and smells amazing. You can remove any excess  oil with a Turkish towel and rub yourself down briskly.

Facial Moisturizer: Whether your skin is dry or oily or even  if you struggle with acne, coconut oil turns out to be antimicrobial,  antifungal, and antibacterial, which explains why it heals skin conditions so  well.

Eye Makeup Remover: Just melt a little coconut oil in the  palm of your hand and apply it to a cotton ball and remove your eye makeup  gently, as you would with a store bought product. Don’t get any oil into your  eyes, please.

Hair Conditioner and De-Tangler: Coconut oil is great for  all hair types, thin, thick, straight or curly—coconut oil helps amazingly and  after blow drying or flat ironing apply a little to your hands and use to  achieve a sheen.

Deep Conditioner for Hair: Perhaps once a month or after  coloring, perming, straightening or other treatment, slather coconut oil on your  scalp and let it soak in for a little while and then shampoo out.

Toothpaste: Baking soda + coconut oil makes a fine  toothpaste.

Coconut Oil Shampoo: It’s not difficult to make your own  shampoo, as follows:

Homemade Coconut Oil Shampoo

Simply mix 1/4 cup coconut milk (I use the Thai canned coconut milk but there  are other options to experiment with or make your own) with 1/3 cup liquid castile soap (like Dr. Bronner’s) and combine with 1  tablespoon coconut oil, 1 teaspoon almond oil and 
10 to 20 drops of essential  oil of lavender or rose (stop after 10 drops and see how you like the fragrance  and then add more slowly checking after each addition to customize your  shampoo). Combine all ingredients in a blender or whisk thoroughly and pour into  a recycled shampoo bottle or jar and shake well.  Again you can recycle whatever  you have on hand for this purpose. It’s great to repurpose whenever we can.  Shampoo as you would with any shampoo and rinse well. A rinse of 50 percent  water and 50 percent white vinegar is a nice finish.

Or try a coconut oil hair mask.

Coconut Oil Hair Mask

Simply mix 1 tablespoon organic honey with 
3 tablespoons coconut oil   (optional ingredient) and one raw beaten egg yolk and whisk thoroughly or use  your blender. 
While still in the shower and your hair is still wet but not  dripping, pour the hair mask a little bit at a time onto the ends of your hair,  working your way up to the scalp. As soon as you’ve used all the mask and your  hair is thoroughly coated, wrap it in a damp warm towel or a shower cap and  leave in for 30 minutes. Rinse and shampoo your hair as usual. For a deeper  conditioning treatment try this:

Deep Coconut Oil Conditioner Recipe

One very ripe mashed fresh avocado 2 tablespoons coconut oil 2  tablespoons purified water 2 tablespoons organic (preferably raw) heavy  cream

Combine all ingredients and using a wide tooth comb, comb it through your  hair and cover with a shower cap or a wrap your head in a warm towel for  about 30 minutes. Allow the Deep Coconut Oil Conditioner to penetrate deep into  your hair and scalp, then rinse the conditioner out with tepid water.   Shampoo with our homemade coconut oil shampoo and rinse.

All of these homemade personal care products will last a bit longer and stay  fresher (up to a week) if you keep them in the fridge!

You can see by these examples that there are many personal care products that  we can make ourselves by utilizing the beauty-fuel coconut and other natural  ingredients. When we cook with and use coconut oil in many of our recipes, we  make full use of the beauty-fuel benefits of the bounty that the coconut and  nature itself offers us. This way we can achieve beauty that is more than skin  deep!

By Celeste Yarnall,  Ph.D

Celeste Yarnall, Ph.D is an author, lecturer and holistic practitioner.  Through her company Celestial Pets,  she consults with animal companions and specializes in the species specific, raw  carnivore diet and EFT Tapping solutions. She is a medical intuitive, Reiki  Master and author of 4 books. She and her husband, Nazim Nazim, a contemporary  artist, live in Westlake Village, CA with their 4 cats! You can connect with Celeste  on Facebook here.

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