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Why You Should Eat More Purple Fruits and Vegetables

Why You Should Eat More Purple Fruits and Vegetables

A

basked filled with luscious blue or dark red fruit and vegetables does much more than look good in still life paintings or on your kitchen counter. It contains a wealth of incredible health benefits.

The top benefactor in purple foods is their antioxidant content. The powerful health benefits of antioxidants are only too well known: they neutralize the agents of aging and disease, and keep you looking younger longer. Now consider this: According to the USDA , potatoes with the darkest colors have more than four times the antioxidant potential than other potatoes.  Remember: The darker the fruit or vegetable, the more antioxidants it has.


Prunes, purple cabbage, eggplant, blackberries, black currants, purple onions, concord grapes: all of these have a natural purple pigment that contains flavonoids, including reservatrol, which keeps blood pressure in control and boosts immunity from certain cancers. The skin of a black grape, for example, has this pigment, called anthocyanin. In cranberries, the purple pigment is seen to benefit those suffering from infections of the urinary tract.

There is evidence that purple foods improve heart healthvision, and brain power. Recent studies found that adults who eat purple and blue fruits and vegetables have reduced risk for both high blood pressure and low HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind); they are also less likely to be overweight.

So, with so many wonderful reasons to eat more fruits and vegetables of the purple family, get more of them into your daily diet. And don’t stop at eggplant and berries. Exciting purple varieties of corn, asparagus, figs, potatoes and such are yours for the tasting and enjoying!

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).

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

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4 Ways to Stop Feeling Scattered (& Reinvigorate Your Brain)

4 Ways to Stop Feeling Scattered (& Reinvigorate Your Brain)
Thoughts pass in and out of our minds all day, but how many of them actually stick with us? How often do you take the opportunity to sit down and think about the beauty of life, the world, the universe, without any bells and whistles clogging your thought processes? The truth is, we are junkies for comfort and entertainment. We avoid nasty thoughts about insignificance, mundanity, or failure by getting jacked up on visual and audial Soma, whether it be Youtube cat videos or the latest Hollywood or political scandal. When you really think about it, do you allow yourself to truly think on a regular basis? In the modern age of Instagrams, tweets, and the 24 hour news cycle, how much do you really stop and contemplate? How often do you have creative thoughts or ideas? In this age of technology, you might not be as creative or mentally present as you once were. If you are stuck in a monotonous mental rut, experience these 4 things to reinvigorate your mind and spirit.

 

Expose yourself to art. Timeless novels, opulent operas, contemporary ballets — art is meant to make you think. It brings you on a journey into a state of empathy and consciousness you otherwise might never experience. Go to a museum, see a concert (no, a One Direction concert doesn’t count), read a classic novel. Immersing yourself in the creativity of others will help you to become more creative and open-minded in your own life.

Practice meditation. Whether you use visualization techniques or you release your mind during gentleyogameditation clears the garbage from your head and makes room for profound thought. Mindfulness in life can reduce stress, increase awareness, and make you a generally better person to be around. Think you don’t have time? If you have time to check your Facebook in the morning, you have time for 5-10 minutes of meditation.

Embrace silence. Don’t just turn the television on when you get home from work or spend your evening perusing other peoples’ Pinterest walls. Silence is a rare and beautiful thing. Cut the visual and audial pyrotechnics for a night and find out what you are drawn to. Perhaps you’ll enjoy your dinner a little bit more. Perhaps you’ll pick up that old tome you’ve always meant to read. Perhaps you’ll discover a new hobby entirely. Distractions discourage creativity, so shut down your electronics for the evening and get reacquainted with your unplugged self.

Be in nature. Go back to your roots. Literally, the roots in your backyard or nearest nature preserve. Sit under a tree and just be. Hear the birds chirping, notice that chipmunk absconding a squirrel’s nut stash, watch the stars develop at dusk. If you are a little more adventurous, take a trip into the wilderness and feel the bonds of constant societal distraction slide off your body. Don’t let winter stop you. Even a stroll through the park can put everything into perspective.

Why is it that we, as a general society, don’t think about things as deeply as we could? Is it because we have the Internet, so we foolishly think we know everything? Is it because we are driven to try to become more and more comfortable and the act of profound thought is sometimes harsh and distressing? With machines doing most of our tasks and thinking for us, we have to push away complacency and throw ourselves into the art of life. We live in a beautiful age in which we don’t need to spare thought for menial tasks, so let your creativity flourish and empower your mind with thought.

Jordyn Cormier

Jordyn is a choreographer, freelance writer, and an avid outdoors woman. Having received her B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance from the Boston Conservatory, she is passionate about maintaining a healthy body, mind, and soul through food and fitness. A lover of adventure, Jordyn can often be found hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, and making herself at home in the backcountry! Check out what else Jordyn has been up to at jordyncormier.com.

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

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chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

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Simple Moments of Happiness

Simple Moments of Happiness

 

Happiness is still a mystery to most of us, but glimpses of it are to be  found in simple moments like these…

  • A fresh-from-the-farm meal, enjoyed in the garden with your family.
  • Popcorn at the movies.
  • Listening to an old song and leafing through the album of memories that it  stirs up in your mind…
  • Throwing “should” to the wind and letting the moment take you away!
  • Time spent with your best friend, even if it is a quick cup of coffee.
  • The sight of butterflies in a garden full of blossoms.
  • A lung full of pure, sweet, mountain air.
  • Children playing in the rain. Children playing anywhere.  Children.
  • A new shirt or dress that makes you feel fit and radiant.
  • The smell of vanilla and cinnamon filling your home.
  • Those moments before bedtime, when you curl up with a beautiful book.
  • A look of love from someone you love.

Really, happiness can be so very simple! A quick gladdening of the heart, a  fleeting but fulfilling emotion…

Please add to the list. I would love to hear about the things that make you  happy!

By Shybhra Krishan

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).

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Thank you for visiting!  I believe that Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life?   Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today!  I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

 

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~  www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.Chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn ~ www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

like ~ www.tinyurl.com/Facebook-HealthyHighway

join ~  www.tinyurl.com/googleplusHealthyHighway

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

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6 Foods That Make You Smell Good

6 Foods That Make You Smell Good

 

Cinnamon: its lovely scent not only suffuses your home, but also lingers on to make you smell good!

Citrus fruit: split open a ripe orange, and you’re greeted with an instant  burst of refreshing fragrance, and a light spray of juice. Eat the orange, and  you’ll feel your mouth feel fresh, too. What’s more, citrus fruit is more  readily absorbed by the body, so you give off a pleasant scent.

Cardamom: the sweet, spicy seeds of green cardamom are a favorite ingredient  in mouth fresheners.  I never buy commercial packets, preferring instead to  simply split open a pod and pop the seeds in my mouth. For a long time after,  the mouth feels fresh. Besides, cardamom is a powerful healing spice that boosts  immunity.

Fenugreek seeds: they are a wonderful aid to smelling good. They are also  excellent for strengthening bone health. Soak them overnight in clean water, and  munch on them in the morning. At first, they taste slightly bitter, but as you  chew, the flavor sweetens and feels wonderful in your mouth.

Milk: tone down the strong odor of garlic by adding milk to your menu.  Low-fat or whole fat, either version of milk improves the way you smell.

Jasmine tea: if you’ve been in a lift with someone who has just had coffee,  you know what that smells like. A cup of pleasant, floral jasmine tea, on the  other hand, leaves you smelling good. If you drink herbal tea often, your  digestive system works better, which in turn helps your body smell good.

In general, avoid red meat, which are proven to cause unpleasant body odor. A  plant-based diet consisting of fresh produce, whole grains, sprouts, nuts and  seeds cleanses you from within and keeps you smelling fresh.  (Leesa recommends choosing organic when possible!) 

By Shubhra Krishan

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).

7 Foods that Help You Sleep Well

7 Foods that Help You Sleep Well

“Eat healthily, sleep well, breathe  deeply, move harmoniously.” ― Jean-Pierre  Barral

If you find yourself staring at the ceiling late into the night, try these  foods to help you drift into blissful sleep.

A cup of chamomile tea. For centuries, chamomile has been  harnessed as a herb that alleviates anxiety and promotes relaxation.

A handful of almonds: soak almonds in clean water in the  morning. At bedtime, slide off their skins and munch on them slowly. The  magnesium in almonds relaxes muscles and their protein content keeps your sugar  levels stable while you sleep.

A bowl of oatmeal: Every now and then, I stir up oatmeal for  dinner because it feels so warm and comforting. Only recently, I learned that  I’m actually helping myself sleep better by doing so. The fiber and minerals in  them do a wonderful job of easing the body and mind. Do avoid sugar in your  oatmeal, though.

Half a cup of cottage cheese: the slow-digesting proteins in  cottage cheese/paneer keep your digestive system relaxed all night long.  Besides, it contains tryptophan, the amino acid that plays a key role in  promoting better sleep.

A bunch of grapes: I was surprised to know that grapes are  the only fruit that contain melatonin, the hormone famous for coming to the  rescue of those who cannot sleep. Just munch grapes on their own or stir them  into a bowl of yogurt for a lovely and soothing bedtime snack.

A banana: the secret here is three-fold—potassium, magnesium  and tryptophan, which combine in one wonderful fruit to help you say ‘goodnight.’

Toast: it’s hot, filling and comforting. And surprise, toast  actually helps you sleep well, thanks to its being a trigger for insulin  production, which in turn boosts the sleep-friendly brain chemicals serotonin  and tryptophan.

(Leesa also recommends Good-Night™.   Are you getting enough sleep? Even when you do, are you still waking up feeling tired? Do you toss and turn all night? Does your brain seem to never shut off allowing you to relax?  Finally there’s an all-natural, fast-acting solution to your problem! Fall asleep faster, sleep through the night and wake up refreshed with Good-Night™. Good-Night™ is a fast acting formula that works in harmony with your natural sleep cycle to support a sound, tranquil sleep so you can awaken refreshed and energized without any grogginess.*  Good-Night™  helps relax the mind, combat stress and optimize neurotransmitter production which is crucial to getting a good night’s sleep.* )  (*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.)

By Shubhra Krishan

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).

6 Health and Beauty Secrets from Across the World

6 Health and Beauty Secrets from Across the World

 

Each culture has its own set of “secrets” for feeling and looking great. Here  is my opinion on the top 6, from Japan to Turkey!

Japan: Japanese people eat a lot of fish and  fruit and  drink many cups of tea. Eating their food with chopsticks helps them eat slowly  and consume less.

India: Our love of spices and herbs, of course, has its  health benefits. Spices such as cumin, turmeric, black pepper and coriander  boost immunity. Mint, Holy basil and cilantro– our favourite herbs– lavish us  with antioxidant benefits, vitamins and other nutrients.

China: In addition to healthy cooking techniques such as  steaming and stir-frying, the Chinese like to stay away from sugary foods. At a  Chinese restaurant, dessert is usually something light, featuring seasonal  fruit. And sugar, as we all know, is notorious for causing all sorts of health  problems, right from weight gain to diabetes.

Germany: Sure, they love their meat and potatoes, but the  Germans are very fond of whole grain bread, particularly rye bread, which is  high in fiber and helps good digestion.  Their love of sauerkraut (sour  cabbage) keeps them protected from coughs and colds.

France: French women are very particular about their beauty  routine. They regularly apply face masques, keep their skin well hydrated and  love to use face oils and natural spa waters to keep their skin glowing.

Turkey: Turkish people love to munch on chestnuts, pistachio  and walnuts, which are fiber-rich, contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids and  reduce bad cholesterol.

By Shubhra Krishan

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).

Myths and Misapprehensions About Homeopathy

Myths and Misapprehensions About Homeopathy

 

Many homeopaths, believing that the explanation of how homeopathy works is  secondary to its success with literally millions of patients, have traditionally  refused to reveal the names of the medicines they give. This and the lack of  information they have provided about their practice has led to an aura of  secrecy in which myths abound. It is worth looking at a few of these  misapprehensions.

Myth: ‘Homeopathy is a form of herbalism’

In my experience, this is the commonest myth of all. While it is certainly  true that a proportion of the remedies a homeopath uses are based on plants, and  though, as in homeopathy, the herbalist prescribes on the individual, the  principles that govern the two therapies are quite different.

Many plants have known healing properties; herbalism is concerned with the  known sphere of action of a plant based on its chemical constituents as well as  its known healing qualities. Herbalism has existed for thousands of years—for as  long as we have records—in some form or another and has its roots in mother  earth. It is the only form of medicine used by wild animals.

Homeopathy, on the other hand, is based on a very different set of  principles. Homeopathic remedies are not used in the material dose; nor are they  based solely on plants, using as they do poisons, metals, and disease products.  Homeopaths generally prescribe one remedy at a time rather than the mixtures of  plant tinctures that herbalists employ. And, of course, homeopathy in its modern  form is a mere 200 years old.

Myth: ‘Homeopathy is safe

In the same way that homeopathy can cure—dramatically and permanently in many  cases—it can also cause harm. Kent said that he would rather share a room with a  nest of vipers than be subjected to the administrations of an inexperienced  homeopath! Potential dangers are:

Unintentional provings

If you take too many homeopathic pills over a period of time it is possible  to ‘prove’ the remedy—that is, to suffer from the symptoms that the remedy was  supposed to cure. This can mean that although your own symptoms may improve  initially, they may worsen again if you continue to take the pills. Worse still,  if the remedy did not fit your picture—was not right for you—you may experience  symptoms you never had before.

This is a danger with self-prescribing or over-the-counter prescribing, where  there is no professional homeopath to monitor the symptoms. In my first year in  practice a woman rang me one day in a frantic state, desperate for help. She  told me the following story:

I asked for help at a homeopathic chemist for thrush, which I had  suffered from for several months, and was prescribed Nux vomica 30 over the  counter and told to take it three times daily. After a few days I experienced a  marked improvement in my condition, so I carried on taking it. After a week of  no further changes my symptoms started to get worse so I carried on taking it. I  finished the bottle of pills and went back to the pharmacy and told them my  thrush was now as bad as when I had started taking the remedy. They gave me  another bottle of Nux vomica 30 and told me to continue with the treatment. It  is now two months since I started on this remedy and my thrush is unbearable. It  is so bad I can’t sleep at night and I am irritable all the time. Please help  me.

I advised this woman to stop taking the pills and to antidote the remedy with  strong coffee and camphorated ointment (to counteract its effects) and within  twenty-four hours she was back to her old self, having slept well for the first  time in over a month. The thrush was back to where it had been before she took  the Nux vomica—annoying but manageable.

A colleague of mine tells of a six-month-old baby who was treated at a local  hospital as an emergency out-patient in a state of collapse. The nurse on duty  was a student of my colleague’s and discovered that the mother had been giving  her baby Chamomilla 6 several times a day for colic since soon after birth. As  soon as the homeopathic remedy was discontinued for a period of time the muscle  tone returned.

It is important to be on your guard against this over-use of homeopathic  medicines.

Confusion of the symptom picture

If a remedy has not been prescribed on the whole person it will work in a  limited way, curing a restricted number of symptoms. In these cases some  complaints remain and it is possible to end up giving one remedy after another  in order to try to ‘get rid’ of the remaining symptoms. In the end the whole  picture becomes so changed that it is difficult to find the similimum (that  single remedy that was needed at the very beginning).

The professional homeopath has different ways of dealing with this phenomenon  in order to get back to the original symptom picture. If you find that you are  prescribing one remedy after another with only limited effect, then do get  professional help.

Suppression

A homeopathic remedy can cure a superficial symptom such as skin eruption in  the same way that, for example, the application of a Cortisone cream can. This  will only be the case if the remedy has been prescribed on the skin complaint  (single symptom) without taking into account the whole person and/or the cause.  The effect is to push the disease further into the body. Constitutional  treatment will often commence with the original symptom resurfacing. Suppression  is not common in homeopathy but is possible. In self-prescribing, if your  complaint disappears but you feel much worse in

yourself (i.e. your moods and your energy) then it is likely that you have  made a poor choice of remedy—antidote it and get some professional advice.

Myth: ‘Homeopathy is form of vaccination’

People often say that they understand homeopathy to be like a vaccination in  that the patient is given a small quantity of the disease he already has in  order to make him immune to it.

This is not true. Homeopathy and vaccination have similar, not the same,  concepts and very different practices. Vaccines work on the physical body in a  very specific way, in that they stimulate the immune system directly to produce  specific antibodies as if that person has contracted that particular disease; in  so doing they are, of course, stressing the immune system. Many vaccines have  been known to produce permanent side effects. They must be tested on animals and  then on humans to verify their safety, and even then children and adults are  often damaged on a physical, emotional or mental level.

A homeopathic remedy works in a totally different way. Homeopathic remedies  affect the energy patterns or vital force of a person and by so doing stimulate  the body to heal itself. They are administered orally in a diluted (and safe)  dose as opposed to being introduced directly into the bloodstream, as is the  case with vaccination thereby bypassing the body’s natural defense system and  stressing it in a way that is not fully understood. Homeopathic medicines are  not tested on innocent animals and do not have side effects.

Myth: ‘Homeopathic remedies are placebos’

This myth can be rephrased to read ‘You need to believe in it for it to  work.’ This is patently ridiculous to anyone who has experienced or prescribed a  successful homeopathic cure for, say, a head injury or a middle-ear  infection.

A placebo is an unmedicated pill which the patient believes contains  something that will cure him or her. Double-blind trials always involve the  inclusion of a control group taking a placebo instead of the medicine being  tested in order to rule out the individual’s ‘suggestibility’.

It is because homeopathic remedies do not always work that they are sometimes  believed to be ineffective and, because routine prescriptions such as Rhus  toxicodendron for rheumatism and Chamomilla for teething babies are freely  available from high-street chemists, people are wrongly persuaded into thinking  that they need not consult a homeopath (or an adequate first-aid book). If the  remedies do not work it is assumed that homeopathy does not work; if they do  work it is attributed to a placebo effect—some double blind!

Homeopathic medicines work effectively on babies and animals, neither of whom  are open to being affected by placebos.

It is always essential to individualize the remedy to fit the patient and not  the disease, to ensure that the underlying principles are observed so that the  element of chance is decreased and homeopathy can be seen to work.

Of course, there are many people who will recognize the experience of  consulting a practitioner who inspires belief and hope, who left them feeling  buoyant and encouraged. But if this initial rapport is not backed up with good  solid prescribing, then no amount of that positive ‘transference’ will cure the  patient.

Myth: ‘Homeopathy is mysterious and unscientific’

The fact that homeopathic medicines are prepared in a pharmacy or a  laboratory and that their preparation involves a particular technique subject to  precise and clearly stated controls (it does not involve mysterious and secret  processes which put it into the realm of white magic or alchemy) is enough to  convince many people of its validity.

Homeopaths have traditionally justified their practice by their results,  without feeling a need to explain how their methods work. The homeopathic  philosophy or doctrine is a set of rules for practice—one that hasn’t changed  since it was formulated 200 years ago. These rules and principles constitute a  unified hypothesis whose validity is tested out empirically—with cured patients  confirming the hypothesis.

Harris Coulter, in his book Homeopathic Science and Modern Medicine (The  Physics of healing with Microdoses), discusses this issue at great length and  also describes many of the trials that have been conducted over the past fifty  years or so using plants, animals and humans as controls to prove the  effectiveness of homeopathic medicines.

(In Atlanta, GA, Leesa recommends Dr. Seneca Anderson at www.longevityhealthcenter.com.  Be sure to tell them Leesa Wheeler referred you!)

 

Reprinted from The Complete Homeopathy Handbook by Miranda  Castro

by Miranda  Castro FSHom, RSHom (NA), CCH, Contributor to Homeopathy  on Allthingshealing.com

Editor´s Note from Judith  Hanna Doshi: Miranda’s article lays out some of the common misunderstandings  about Homeopathy. Although it is usually promoted as a “safe, gentle and  effective” mode of treatment, it must be recognized that Homeopathy is a complex  treatment modality that requires considerable skill to administer and manage effectively,  preferably by a professional homeopath. If poorly done, it can cause  aggravations and even complicate the existing disease picture. Fortunately,  these effects are usually short lived and in no way resemble the toxic effects  of conventional treatments  that leave their imprint permanently.

Dr. Neala Peake, selected  from 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!

 

14 Foods that Fight Inflammation and Pain

14 Foods that Fight Inflammation and Pain

Some of the best healing remedies to overcome inflammation also taste  fabulous (I can’t say that about any prescription medications). Plus, foods  won’t cause the nasty side effects common to most pain medications.

1. Blueberries: Blueberries are also excellent  anti-inflammatory foods. They increase the amounts of compounds called  heat-shock proteins that decrease as people age.  When heat-shock proteins  are in short supply inflammation, pain and tissue damage is the result.

2. Cayenne Pepper: Ironically, cayenne pepper turns DOWN the  heat on inflammation due to its powerful anti-inflammatory compound  capsaicin.

3. Celery and 4. Celery Seeds: James Duke, Ph.D., author of The Green Pharmacy, found more than 20 anti-inflammatory compounds in  celery and celery seeds in his research, including a substance called apigenin,  which is powerful in its anti-inflammatory action.  Add celery seeds to  soups, stews or as a salt substitute in many recipes.

5. Cherries: While many people opt for aspirin as their  first course of action when they feel pain, Muraleedharan Nair, PhD, professor  of natural products and chemistry at Michigan State University, found that tart  cherry extract is ten times more effective than aspirin at relieving  inflammation.

6. Dark Green Veggies: Veggies like kale and spinach contain  high amounts of alkaline minerals like calcium and magnesium.  Both  minerals help balance body chemistry to alleviate inflammation.

7. Fish: According to Dr. Alfred D. Steinberg, an arthritis  expert at the National Institute of Health, fish oil acts directly on the immune  system by suppressing 40 to 55 percent of the release of cytokines – compounds  known to destroy joints and cause inflammation.

8. Flax seeds and Flax Oil: Flax seeds are high in natural  oils that convert into hormone-like substances in the body to reduce  inflammatory substances. Add ground flax seeds to smoothies, atop pancakes or  French toast, and many other foods.  Do not heat.

9. Ginger: Dr. Krishna C. Srivastava at Odense University in  Denmark found that ginger was superior to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs  (NSAIDs) like Tylenol or Advil at alleviating inflammation.

10. Raspberries, 11. Blackberries, and 12. Strawberries: In  Dr. Muraleedharan Nair’s later research she discovered that these berries have  similar anti-inflammatory effects as cherries.

13. Turmeric: Research shows that the Indian spice  frequently used in curries suppresses pain and inflammation through a similar  mechanism as drugs like COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors (without the harmful side  effects).

14. Walnuts: Like flax seeds, raw, unsalted walnuts contain  plentiful amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids that decrease pain and  inflammation.

Adapted from Arthritis-Proof:  The  Drug-Free Way to Beat Pain and Inflammation by Michelle  Schoffro Cook, PhD.

By  Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 12-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  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

Two Berries Delay Brain Aging Two-and-a-Half Years

 Two Berries Delay Brain Aging Two-and-a-Half Years

A Harvard study published in the Annals of Neurology indicates that eating a diet high in blueberries and strawberries can slow brain aging and  cognitive decline by up to two and a half years.

Dr. Elizabeth Devore and her team of researchers at Harvard Medical School  analyzed data from the lengthy Nurses’ Health Study in 1976.   Questionnaires were completed every four years since 1980 to assess the  frequency of berry intake and the intake of 31 different phytonutrients called  flavonoids.  In 16,010 participants over the age of 70 between 1995 and  2001, cognitive function was tested every two years.

The researchers found that those participants who consumed a high amount of  blueberries or strawberries had slower decline in cognitive function test scores  during the follow-up period than those whose intake of these fruits was  lower.  The results were an average delay in cognitive decline due to aging  of up to 2-and-a-half years.

Both blueberries and strawberries are excellent sources of  flavonoids, which reduce inflammation.  This is possibly the  mechanism that is causing the positive brain health effects.  The same  study also found that a high intake of anthocyanidins and total flavonoids were  also linked to the beneficial cognitive effects.

Anthocyanidins are a type of flavonoids responsible for the red, blue, or  purple colors in berries and other foods.  While the effect of consumption  of other anthocyanidin and flavonoid-rich foods was not assessed as part of this  study, it is likely that they will have similar brain protective effects.   Other sources of anthocyanidins and flavonoids include:  blueberries,  cherries, cranberries, grapes, raspberries, and strawberries and to a lesser  extent in almonds, apples, cocoa, and peanuts.

Other research shows that they decrease free radical activity in and between  brain cells. They also inhibit the production of histamine, making them a  natural anti-histamine without the drowsy side effects of many pharmaceuticals.  Numerous studies show that anthocyanidins have anticancer and antitumor  activity, and one study concluded that anthocyanidins may demonstrate  chemotherapeutic activity against breast cancer.

When it comes to heart disease, anthocyanidins help reduce high blood  pressure and improve the body’s ability to metabolize fat. In tests on  rabbits, anthocyanidins demonstrated significant reduction in the  development of atherosclerosis. They also appeared to protect  against heart attacks linked to certain asthma drugs.  They even  have stronger antioxidant properties than either vitamins C or  E.

Adapted from The Phytozyme Cure.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 12-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  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

How To Live Like You’re On Vacation – Everyday

How To Live Like You’re On Vacation – Everyday

How To Live Like You’re On Vacation – Everyday

Ah, this month is a doozy isn’t it? Don’t get me wrong – I love my job, but there’s something about these first weeks in January that kills. It’s like yesterday was all a-flutter with holiday lights and celebratory cheer and today is just… well shit, we’re just smack dab in the heart of winter. Getting “back to the grind” post holi-daze can feel particularly daunting when you’ve had some time away – which, I am grateful to say, I did. On an island. In Belize. Yep, I’m That Girl. The one who returns to the office in January abnormally (annoyingly) tan and chipper? Hi there. I think there’s still sand in my shoes.

But I’ve come to realize – as my boyfriend “helpfully” takes down the Christmas tree and I weep into my latté – that we don’t have to relinquish those delicious feelings of vacation just yet. In fact (drumroll), I’m quite dedicated to the idea of manifesting the get-away vibes as a integral part of my daily lifestyle (cymbal crash! Ooh! Aah!)! Not convinced? Read on.

Island Livin’

I spent a delicious week in December on a tiny island off of Belize City. My cousin was there studying abroad, my uncle had some frequent flier miles, and the gods were smiling upon me: presto change-o, Lauren’s on a tropical island for seven days. (Deep, deep bows of gratitude.) Each morning we woke up and slapped on bathing suits and SPF before breakfast. Each afternoon we played dominoes at the bar or caught naps in the hammock. Each evening we ate fresh sea fare and coconut rice by the light of the moon. Heaaaaaaven. The week was magical and relaxing in ways I hadn’t anticipated, but perhaps most surprising about the experience was the distinct voice shouting loud in my soul upon leaving: MUST. LIVE. HERE.

Ok, nothing special, right? Who doesn’t leave an island vacation tempted to skip that return flight and start a tugboat fishing business? But this voice was louder than any I’d heard in a long time, and it wasn’t telling me to move to Belize. (Ok, maybe a little.) It was saying – deep, resonant: Must live here, in this space – breathing more, doing less.

See, I believe that an integral part of being all me all the time is recognizing both what brings me joy and what brings out the joy in me. I like vacation, but I also like myself on vacation. I’m friendlier, I’m more peaceful, I’m more present. I dig the small stuff. I laugh louder and longer. I pay more attention to what I eat and whom I’m with and how I feel. And while sitting ocean-side with an umbrella in my ahem, juice, may make these feelings seem more accessible, they are absolutely possible to manifest at home as well. And frankly – “possible”? Necessary.

So, in the spirit of the New Year (and in clinging desperately to my quickly-fading tan), let’s get our get-away on.

9 Tips On how To Live Like You’re On An Everyday Vacation

  1. Unplug. I know, I know, you’ve heard this one before. But DO IT. I didn’t wear a watch for seven straight days and it was heavenly. I know that we have kids to pick up from school and meetings to make, but take at least one afternoon a week to throw your cell in a drawer and close that computer. Tell your spouse or a friend to wrangle you at a certain time, if you must – but really, lose track of time. (It’s kind of overrated anyway.)
  2. Rock that Stop-Doing list. Lissa Rankin recently wrote a great post about changing your to-do lists into not-do lists – as in, what would you like to free yourself from this week/month/year? Those choices were made for me on the island – what with limited Wi-Fi and housekeeping service – but there was something to be said about having very little I felt that I “needed” to accomplish each day. So, do some recon into your daily to-dos and see what you can delegate, diminish, or drop altogether. Create space.
  3. Reduce the stuff. You know one reason why hotels can feel so heavenly? Clutter-free, babes. This is another one you’ve heard before, but going to sleep with the laundry, laptop, and paper piles creeping over your nightstand makes for restless slumber. At the very least, give your boudoir the hotel once-over and ditch everything that doesn’t say relaxation. Moreover, think about all the stuff you use and “need” in a week’s time – if it wouldn’t make your suitcase, get rid of it. Pack (live) light.
  4. Talk to strangers. Whether it was asking for dining recommendations, a cheerful where-are-you-from over breakfast, or bonding with fellow snorkelers in our deathtrap tugboat, I met the loveliest of people by striking up dialogues with complete strangers. I know we’re all on-the-go in our daily lives and tend to walk the streets like we’re on missions from god (though yes, obtaining take-out Chinese can often feel like a divine calling), but try talking to someone new every day. You don’t have to be ocean-side to say hello there and ask for a good lunch spot.
  5. Eat locally. So maybe you won’t get to watch a sun-kissed fellow called Captain Jerry Jerome catch your dinner and throw it on the grill (true story), but chances are there are some regional delicacies in your ‘hood that you have not yet tried. Hit up your local farmer’s market, restaurant, and street fair to embrace the natural food of your area. Allow the idea of being present to carry into your recipes, cooking seasonally and trying new things. Be a locavore.
  6. Eat longer-ly. At home, I eat dinner in 15 minutes while also checking email, catching a sitcom, or going through my to-do list. On vacation, my favorite “restaurant” was a shack on the beach called Fran’s Fast Food – my quickest meal there took 2.5 hours. This is all to say, SLOW DOWN. Savoring each bite keeps you conscious of what (and how much) you’re eating and provides powerful opportunities for connecting with friends and family. Even if you’re dining solo, select one meal a week and take your sweet time with it. (Last night, a tofu stir-fry and I spent 60 sweet minutes together. Worth it.)
  7. Celebrate the small stuff. Toast to an easy commute, a beautiful sunset, waking up on time, and not getting a parking ticket. Celebrate a great hair day, an inspiring conversation with a friend, finishing a book (or a chapter, or a page!), and a surviving houseplant. Every moment of vacation seems to yell, Yes! Hello! Congratulations! – now it’s time to take a bit of that celebratory spirit into the “real world.”
  8. Connect with nature. Not all vacations will take us to remote locales – one of my favorite vacation spots, after all, is New York Cit-ay – but I will say that my most relaxing get-aways have been deeply connected to nature. Do what you can to bring a lil’ of nature’s positive perspective into your world – as my mom used to say about Hawaii, it’s hard to sweat the small stuff when you’re sitting between a volcano and the ocean. Even in winter, make time for the great outdoors.
  9. Take the scenic route. It’s easy to get stuck in ruts of taking the same streets home and the same shortcuts to the grocery store. In our efforts to streamline our tasks, we often forget how fun it is to get lost. (See Jennifer Shelton’s great post on getting lost here!) Vacation isn’t always about the destination – it’s about jumbled water taxi directions, wrong trains, and accidental hikes. Treat your city as if you’re seeing it for the first time and you know, take a left instead of a right. Explore.

Access the joy within

There are all sorts of other ways to bring the vacation-spirit into your daily living – listening to a white-noise machine with ocean sounds, putting a picture of your dream destination next to your computer, treating yourself like a tourist at home with a “staycation” – but none of those practices feel sustainable to me. I’m not trying to trick myself into an everyday vacation – I’m trying to live there, authentically. Breathe more, do less. Access the joy within to be my most celebrated, relaxed, curious self – with or without a tan.

By Lauren Nagel

Lauren Nagel is the editor in chief of OwningPink.com and a contributing writer for San Francisco music magazine The Owl Mag. Email her at lauren@owningpink.com

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