Friday, December 30, 2011

7 New Year’s Resolutions You Shouldn’t Bother Making


It's that wonderful time of year again-New Year's resolution time! That's right! You get to inventory your life, identify trouble areas, and then resolve to make huge sweeping changes (overnight!) to make it all better. Ironically, most of us make the same resolutions year after year. And after a week (one day, really) we're back to our old routines-just more disappointed with ourselves since we can't even keep a resolution for more than 7 days. So, we propose you steer clear of the following seven self-defeating resolutions and instead aim for more attainable results.


I'm going on a huge diet.

With that extreme a stance, you'll be lucky if you make it past noon. Face it: you've been splurging through the holidays (beginning at Thanksgiving, actually,) and you're most likely going to crumble at the first sight of chocolate. Why get all hyped up for something you're going to forget in mere hours? Instead, aim for starting with a healthy breakfast each day and see if that helps get you off on the right foot.

I'll hit the gym every day.

This will probably last five days. For the first two days you'll be pumped up and ready to hit the weights. Day three, you'll be a little late getting there and the treadmill won't be quite as much fun as it was the day before. Day four's workout is full of cursing and on day five you'll spend most of the day trying to schedule ANYTHING to get out of going to the gym. After that, your gym bag will go untouched for 360 days. A more reasonable goal is to take a walk after dinner each night. Or find a friend to work out with a couple of times a week. Slowly step it up and you may just build up to a healthy four or five times per week.

I'll pay off my credit cards.
Are you getting a new job that pays double what you're making now? No? Unless you plan on going out less, cutting back on shopping, and cooking from scratch at home, you're probably going to end up paying the minimum for another year. In fact, the aforementioned are much better goals to helping save money-and perhaps parlay the savings toward paying down your debt.

I'll make an effort see my family more.
This resolution comes from a good place-which is why you'll feel even worse when it doesn't happen. It's true: it's doubtful you'll use vacation time to spend a week at mom and dad's house, particularly if they're out of state and a plane ride away. Avoid the heartache and don't even make the resolution. What your family doesn't know won't hurt them. Want a nice compromise? Try to call every week or other week.

I'm going to drink less.
But you enjoy that glass of wine with dinner so much! Are you sacrificing just for the sake of tradition? There's no need to skip one of your most enjoyable rituals just to appear like you can make a resolution and keep it-unless you regularly overindulge. In that case, a better resolution would be to seek support and help in changing your ways.

I'm going to take up a new hobby.
Thinking about learning French? Interested in coin collecting? Make sure the desire is extremely strong before any public proclamations about this resolution. Hobbies are a huge time commitment so if you're not sure you'll be able to find time between reading Entertainment Weekly magazine and watching 'The X Factor,' it's best to just enjoy the things you love that already take up your free time.

I'm going to read more.
Give yourself a break. After all, there's more and more distracting media, gadgets, and gizmos. Besides, just because you're scanning the news from your iPhone doesn't mean you're not "reading." But we know what you mean. Many of us have desires to focus distracted on a great piece of literature or non-fiction. Instead, set a more reasonable goal, such as one book on CD per month during your commute. Or start with an article-heavy magazine subscription, then ramp up to loftier goals.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Food Label Lies! Are You Falling for Them?

By SHAPE magazine

How food-label savvy are you? Although food labels are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), cutting through the fat (ha!) to understand the fine print can be difficult for even the sharpest of grocery shoppers. Here are 10 sneaky ways food manufacturers cash in on your healthy intentions:

1. If the label says "0 Grams of trans fat..."
A mad-scientist project gone wrong, trans fatsare created in a lab by partially hydrogenating healthier oils. This process destroys the many good benefits of the original fats. What's worse, consuming trans fats ups your risk for heart disease and metabolic syndrome. Most nutritionists recommend avoiding them altogether, which doesn't sound so hard except current labeling guidelines allow manufacturers to round anything less than 0.5g/serving down to zero. Eat more than a few servings, and you've consumed a significant amount of the Frankenfood.

Avoid it: Anything that says "partially hydrogenated oil," "hydrogenated vegetable oil," or "shortening" on the ingredients list contains trans fats, no matter what the label says.

2. If the label says "100 percent natural" or "all natural..."
You may think buying an "all natural" chicken is better than buying its unlabeled counterpart, but the truth is that "natural" has no legal definition, meaning that companies can stick the phrase on anything they want.

Avoid it: Check the ingredients list and label for what you're most concerned about. "USDA-certified organic" means the food has met certain guidelines. You can also check for genetically modified ingredients (if it doesn't specifically say it's non-GMO and it's corn or soy, then it likely is), artificial colorings and flavors, or preservatives.

2. If the label says "100 percent natural" or "all natural..."
You may think buying an "all natural" chicken is better than buying its unlabeled counterpart, but the truth is that "natural" has no legal definition, meaning that companies can stick the phrase on anything they want.

Avoid it: Check the ingredients list and label for what you're most concerned about. "USDA-certified organic" means the food has met certain guidelines. You can also check for genetically modified ingredients (if it doesn't specifically say it's non-GMO and it's corn or soy, then it likely is), artificial colorings and flavors, or preservatives.

3. If the label says "made with real fruit..."
Everyone knows that fresh fruits and veggies are healthy. Sadly, manufacturers take advantage of that trust by slapping this label on anything with a fruit product in it. This may include fruit concentrates, which are essentially just sugar and things like beet juice for coloring. Many popular fruit roll ups are mostly high-fructose corn syrup and food coloring. Sure, some "real" fruit might be in there, but it certainly doesn't have the benefits of an actual piece of fruit.

Avoid it: Eat real, whole fruits and vegetables. They should have exactly one ingredient.

4. If the label says "made with whole grains..."

Whole grains are great for providing essential minerals, fiber, and energy, but all this label means is that there are some whole grains somewhere in the product with typical white flour-confusingly called "enriched wheat flour"-as the main ingredient.

Avoid it: Check the ingredients list . Whole wheat (or some other grain) should be listed first. Ideally it should be the only type of grain used. "100-percent whole grain" is defined by the USDA and means exactly what it says. Look for this label on foods and don't get confused by those that say "8g of whole grains per serving!"-they're just trying to distract you from the fact that it's not made with only whole grains.

5. If the label says "packed with antioxidants..."

Antioxidants, the latest health wunderkind, are amazing little nutrients and enzymes that inhibit the potentially harmful (but inevitable) process of cellular oxidation. You don't have to understand all the science to know they're incredibly good for you, with everything from anti-cancer to anti-aging benefits. The problem is that this label does not have a formal definition. When you see "packed with antioxidants," it usually means that the food was either made with something that once had antioxidants in it-like fruit juice used for coloring cereal-or that the food was fortified with some vitamins. Unfortunately nutrients extracted from food don't have all the health benefits of nutrients eaten in their natural state.

Avoid it: Whole fruits and vegetables are the best sources of antioxidants-and are easy to recognize.

6. If the label says "sugar-free..."

Sugar is fine in moderation, but many processed foods contain much more-and in different places than you'd expect. Since ingredients are required to be listed from most to least on food labels, manufacturers often break up the sugar into smaller amounts of lesser-known sugars , making the food appear healthier. Another issue is that real sugar is often replaced with artificial sweeteners, which can cause bloating, stomach discomfort and cancer.

Avoid it: Nutritionally speaking, there's not a huge difference between different types of sneaky sugars so knowing the pseudonyms is half the battle. While there are more than 50 names for the sweet stuff, common tricky ones include brown rice syrup, barley malt, caramel, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, and anything involving corn syrup.

7. If the label says "reduced-fat" or "fat-free"...
While fats aren't the dietary demon they were made out to be in the past, many health-conscious consumers still seek out lower-fat or fat-free options. But since removing fat also removes flavor, many companies replace fat with sugar. This label is often used as a smoke screen to give an otherwise unhealthy food, like gummy bears, an aura of health. Of course gummy bears have never been made with fat; they're pure sugar.

Avoid it: Don't be afraid to eat healthy fats in your diet. Even some saturate fats like those found in coconut oil and grass-fed dairy have significant health benefits. Plus, fat is satiating so in the end, you'll eat less and enjoy it more.

8. If the label says "free range or vegetarian fed eggs..."
Who doesn't prefer to think of happy chickens roaming merrily through a barnyard getting fed by a singing Snow White? The truth is that factory chickens are kept in very tight quarters and "free range" only means they had access to an open door, not that they ever used it. Also, "vegetarian fed" is not a good thing. Chickens are natural omnivores and when they are forced to eat a vegetarian diet (often consisting of processed soy) their eggs contain less nutrition.

Avoid it: If you are truly concerned about buying fresh, organic, natural, or free-range eggs, local farmers are your best bet. Look for them at farmer's markets or find one on Even if the farm isn't certified organic, many small farmers use the highest standards and are happy to have you come check out their farm.

9. If the label says "no nitrates..."

Nitrates, nitrites, and other artificial preservatives are definitely bad for you, increasing the risk of certain cancers by up to 50 percent. Unfortunately while consumers are getting wise to the evils of nitrates, they're still overlooking other problematic preservatives.

Avoid it: Check the labels, especially those of processed meats like lunch meats and sausages, for BHA, BHT, benzoates, sulfates, and sorbates, among others.

10. Calorie counts and serving sizes:
The number of calories per serving is usually the first thing people read when they look at a food label. But beware: The USDA allows manufactures to use an estimate that can be up to 20-percent off! And because the serving size is a minimum amount rather than an exact amount, it's more likely that the food has more calories per serving than the label leads you to believe.

Avoid it: If you're being very conscious of calories, some nutritionists recommend automatically adding 10 percent as a buffer and carefully weighing and measuring your food. A more reasonable approach: Listen carefully to your sense of fullness and stop eating when you're satisfied-even if you haven't finished a whole serving.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Finding the Blessings in Difficult Situations

By John Morton, D.S.S

Have you ever had a moment when you realized that everything in your life is a blessing? Even the most challenging situations are blessings too?   Have you ever considered that you are the blessings in your challenges?

Everything in our lives is presented to us in some way as a blessing, including the nature of ourselves. When we choose to love, accept, and cooperate with whatever is presented to us, then we are relating to everything as blessings.

What is a blessing? For me, blessings mean greater good.  Goodness already exists within you and me, in everyone, and in the world around us.  Goodness is a given.  It is who we are.

Along with the goodness present now is greater good yet to become.  So we always have an opportunity to realize the greater good, to realize the blessings that already are. It can be a turning point in your life when you decide, “My life is going to be about the greater good, about finding the blessings.” It’s simply a matter of how you choose to look at each situation and yourself.

I refer to ten blessings identified by John-Roger, D.S.S. — loving, caring, sharing, health, wealth, happiness, prosperity, abundance, riches and touching.  All these blessings, every single one and many more that relate to them, are present all the time. As we become more aware of the blessings, we then allow the blessings to manifest.  That’s because the source of the blessings is always present.

It doesn’t matter to me what you call your source.  You can call it God, Holy Spirit, Higher Power, Inner Master or whatever you like.  The source of the blessings is an eternally loving presence within you that goes by all kinds of names.  It breathes with you and walks with you.  It already knows all about you and loves and adores you as you are.  Everyone has this eternally loving source within them, including you.

You can realize the blessings when you accept, enjoy, and appreciate all the conditions in your life as somehow part of the great perfection on your path of awareness of who you truly are.  So it’s up to each one of us to choose.  It’s our choice to become more aware of the blessings that come from that loving source.

By accepting that the conditions in my life right now are perfect for me, I am choosing to trust that the blessings already are.  Rather than thinking, “Oh, I made a big mistake,” or “This cannot be on my path,” or “This cannot be a blessing,” I see each experience as adding to me and my learning and growth.  So I choose to accept that everything in my life is presented to me from my source for my greater good.

I’m not saying you have to like everything that you experience.  I don’t like everything I experience. However, I’m suggesting that no matter what happens, something in each experience has value and often great value for us, more than we might first consider.  So I encourage you not to draw your first conclusion about a situation or challenge.  Be open as much as you can. The greater blessings are often something that we don’t initially see.

When I see challenges in this world that appear to defy the greater good or deny the blessings, I consider they are just ways of testing us to see if we will trust even more than we already have.  At times, choosing the blessings can take tremendous courage, clarity and conviction.  We may be called upon to be patient and endure more than we imagined we could.  When we do, we can then discover our strength more fully and completely.  We can find a greater love than we knew possible.  With confidence and trust, we can then look to every challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow and know our goodness even more.

Whenever a challenge is presented to us so we can choose to learn to be more loving and caring, to be more accepting and compassionate, to forgive more fully and completely. Perhaps we are simply learning to know we are the blessings, the ones already present regardless of conditions and the ones coming forward as we are patient and enduring with looking for the blessings.

How do we find the blessings?  Through our trust in that eternally loving source by staying open to seeing the greater good.  So when we are faced with any challenge, we can ask within to realize and be more aware of the blessings.  In my experience, when I ask my source to help me understand and realize what is for the greater good, I am shown the blessings.

I find that the deepest, most meaningful aspects of my life are ones that may first appear to be ordinary and inconsequential. Maybe I realize what a blessing it is to have shoes on my feet and clothes on my back.  Perhaps I’m aware that I have people who I care about and who care about me.   Sometimes it’s as simple and as vital as, “I’m alive. I’m breathing.  I’m here.”

The blessings already are, so take this moment to look for the good and seek the greater good yet to become.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Simple strategies to Improve Blood Sugar

by: Dr. David Jockers of Natural News

Sweet foods and starches are not genetically congruent to eat on a regular basis. Our ancestors looked at these as rare delicacies. Most people in our society today are raised on a steady diet of sugars, grains and other starches. Here are the best strategies to lower the blood sugar/insulin response when consuming carbohydrate rich foods.

Foods are measured for their effect on blood sugar through the Glycemic Index (GI). The GI ranges from 0-100. Foods that have a GI index under 55 are considered low GI. A range of 56-69 is considered medium GI while 70+ is considered high. It is recommended to eat foods that are low GI and to utilize different strategies to lower and/or buffer these GI responses in your body.

Another way of ranking the blood sugar response of different foods is through the Glycemic Load (GL). The GL measures how long the food will release sugar into the system. Many foods may be high GI but low GL. An example of this would be fruit such as watermelon. Other foods are low GI but high GL such as oatmeal, which releases sugar into the system for an extended period of time.

A GL of 20 or more is high; a GL of 11-19 is medium; and a GL of 10 or less is low. High GL foods are inflammatory in nature, so it is advisable to stick with foods that are low GI and GL as much as possible or to use advanced strategies to buffer the glycemic response in the body.

Simple Strategies to Improve Blood Sugar Signaling

1. Use Lemon: The citric acid in lemon helps to buffer the release of blood sugar. Additionally, the anti-oxidants and trace minerals within lemon help to improve insulin signaling, boost liver function and stabilize blood sugar. Squeeze a lemon on as many foods as possible and drink it freshly squeezed in purified water.

2. Use Apple Cider Vinegar: Vinegar is very high in acetic acid. This acid has been shown to reduce the glycemic response of a typical carbohydrate based meal by 31%. Another study reduced a carbohydrate meal from a typical glycemic index of 100 to 64. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) also provides enzymes, probiotics and trace minerals that enhance blood sugar signaling. Use ACV on as many foods as possible.

3. Use Fermented Foods: This would include coconut kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, & kimchi. Raw, grass-fed fermented dairy includes yogurt, kefir, amasai, fermented whey & raw cheese. These foods have a natural acid to slow the release of blood sugar, and they provide enzymes, probiotics and other bioactive nutrients that enhance blood sugar signaling. Use a variety of different fermented foods every day.

4. Use Cinnamon: Cinnamon has been shown to reduce gastric emptying rate, improve insulin receptor sensitivity and inhibit enzymes that inactivate insulin receptors. Cinnamon also has an extremely powerful anti-oxidant potential that prevents inflammatory conditions that damage cell membranes and insulin receptors.

5. Whole Food Multi-Vitamin with Chromium: Whole food multi-vitamins help the body by supplying tons of highly bioavailable trace minerals and B vitamins that are critical for healthy blood sugar balance. One such nutrient is chromium, which both increases the production and activates the glucose transport molecule GLUT-4.

Chromium activates GLUT-4 to shift its location from deep within the cell to a position on the cell membrane. This opens a window in the cell that allows glucose to flow into the cell through a concentration gradient where it can be metabolized for energy while lowering circulating blood sugar to stable levels.

About the author:
Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information go to To find a Maximized Living doctor near you go to www.maximizedliving.comDr. Jockers is also available for long distance phone consultations to help you beat disease and reach your health goals.



Monday, December 26, 2011

5 Foods to Prevent Winter Ailments

Winter presents a number of fitness obstacles. Shorter, darker days and icy roads can freeze training in its tracks, while a storm of season-specific health problems--including cold fingers and toes, stiff, achy joints, and even seasonal depression--can leave you wanting to skip your workout altogether. Luckily, making certain foods and drinks a regular part of your diet can help you avoid common winter problems, says David Grotto, R.D., author of 101 Optimal Life Foods. So before a winter woe sidelines you, try these consumable prescriptions for staying healthy all season long.

 The amino acid arginine helps expand blood vessels and encourages blood flow, Grotto says. Arginine is found in protein-rich foods, including hormone-free poultry,  fish, as well as cashews, almonds, and peanuts, plus cereal grains, such as oats and barley. Tea, wine, cocoa, and dark chocolate can also help: They're rich in catechins, tannins, and other bioflavonoid compounds that help improve circulation.

FOOD FIX Anti-inflammatory omega-3s, found in abundance in such fatty fish as salmon, help reduce joint inflammation and even soothe exercise-induced muscle soreness. Omega-3s are so effective that in one study nearly 60 percent of neck-and back-pain patients taking fish-oil supplements were able to stop using NSAID pain relievers like ibuprofen. Barbara Lewin, R.D., a sports nutritionist, recommends also reducing intake of omega-6 fatty acids (found in corn oil and red meat), as they can actually promote inflammation.

 Judith Wurtman, Ph.D., coauthor of The Serotonin Power Diet, explains that eating small doses of carbs (about 25 to 30 grams, or 120 calories' worth) will help your brain produce serotonin. Consume the carbs without other foods (make sure your snack has no more than two or three grams of protein, which prevents serotonin production) and on a nearly empty stomach. Doing so will banish that SAD feeling within 20 minutes. Try an English muffin or half a bagel with jam, natural granola, pretzels, or even a a bowl or oatmeall.

 Vegetable soup: Research from the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that a bowl of chunky vegetable  soup has anti-inflammatory effects that ease symptoms of upper-respiratory-tract infections. The warm broth soothes throats, carrots provide beta-carotene (which is linked with immunity), and onions and garlic have antibacterial properties. Boost your stay-healthy odds with a daily cup of organic yogurt or kefir. A study published in 2008 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine revealed that long-distance runners who consumed the probiotic lactobacillus (found in yogurt and kefir) had shorter and less-severe bouts of respiratory illness than those who took a placebo.

FOOD FIX Research shows that essential fatty acids found in salmon, flaxseeds, walnuts, and olive oil can help skin cells stay hydrated. In fact, a study published in 2009 in the British Journal of Nutrition found that participants who took flaxseed-or borage-oil supplements for three months had a significant increase in skin moisture and a reduction in roughness. Grotto also encourages people to get plenty of ACES--his acronym for vitamins A, C, E, and selenium. "They're all antioxidants that help heal our skin from the inside out."

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Friday, December 23, 2011

12 Ways to Grow Younger in 2012

By The Editors at RealAge

Wouldn't it be nice to feel younger as you get older? You can, and it isn't the stuff of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." From taking vitamin D to watching your blood pressure and managing stress, these 12 anti-aging strategies will help you live younger in 2012.

1. Take vitamin D.  Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., and Michael F. Roizen, M.D., call vitamin D "the ultimate anti-ager." That's because it nourishes your memory, skin, heart, bones, and arteries, and it helps fight off cancer. Getting enough vitamin D daily can make your body think it's 9.4 years younger.

2. Care for your teeth and gums. A healthy smile looks lovely -- and helps keep your arteries and immune system in top shape. Flossing and brushing daily can prevent periodontal disease and tooth loss, which can make you feel 6.1 years younger.

3. Watch your numbers. Keeping your waist size, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol in the healthy zone dramatically reduces your risk of many problems, including cardiovascular disease. The combined effect can make your body think it's as much as 19.8 years younger.

4. Keep stress in check. Stress comes in many shapes, sizes, and strengths. Some stress is good, but the bad kind ages you inside and out. Reducing bad stress with meditation or other meditation techniques can help you feel 1.7 years younger.

5. Stay in touch. Reach out to family and friends through e-mails, phone calls, and, whenever you can, face-to-face visits. Staying connected can make you feel 8.5 years younger.

6. Pump some iron. Working out with weights does your muscles and bones good. Strength-training for just 10 minutes three times per week can make your body think it's 2.6 years younger.

7. Be happy. Go ahead, watch that romantic comedy and spend time with a pals who make you chuckle. Laughing often can make your body feel up to 8 years younger.

8. Be fruity and nutty. Fruits and nuts are a tasty, satisfying way to keep your heart, mind, and waistline healthy. Eating 4 to 5 servings of fruit and a handful of nuts daily can help you feel 6.4 years younger.

9. Go for whole grains. Unprocessed grains are rich in fiber and nutrients, which help fend off disease and keep your weight down. Eat at least 5 servings of whole grains a day to feel up to 2.6 years younger.

10. Think happy thoughts. Positive moods and a good attitude help your body's vital systems stay in balance - and make you feel 5.2 years younger.

11. Exercise consistently. You don't have to be a marathoner, but regular exercise can make your body think it's up to 9 years younger. Aim for 30 minutes of activity every day.

12. Sleep on it. Adequate sleep helps keep your energy up and weight down. Getting at least 6 hours of sleep a night -- but not more than 9 hours -- can make you feel 3.4 years younger.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Get stronger, leaner and healthier with strength training

by Mehsel Hartwell

You know exercise is good for you. Ideally, you're looking for ways to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. If your aerobic workouts aren't balanced by a proper dose of strength training, though, you're missing out on a key component of overall health and fitness. Despite its reputation as a "guy" or "jock" thing, strength training is important for everyone. With a regular strength training program, you can reduce your body fat, increase your lean muscle mass and burn calories more efficiently.

Use it or lose it

Muscle mass naturally diminishes with age. "If you don't do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose, you'll increase the percentage of fat in your body," says Edward Laskowski, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., and co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center. "But strength training can help you preserve and enhance your muscle mass — at any age."

Strength training also helps you:

  • Develop strong bones. By stressing your bones, strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.

  • Control your weight. As you gain muscle, your body gains a bigger "engine" to burn calories more efficiently — which can result in weight loss. The more toned your muscles, the easier it is to control your weight.

  • Reduce your risk of injury. Building muscle helps protect your joints from injury. It also contributes to better balance, which can help you maintain independence as you age.

  • Boost your stamina. As you get stronger, you won't fatigue as easily.

  • Manage chronic conditions. Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, including arthritis, back pain, depression, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis.

  • Sharpen your focus. Some research suggests that regular strength training helps improve attention for older adults.

Consider the options

Strength training can be done at home or in the gym. Consider the options:

  • Body weight. You can do many exercises with little or no equipment. Try push-ups, pull-ups, abdominal crunches and leg squats.

  • Resistance tubing. Resistance tubing is inexpensive, lightweight tubing that provides resistance when stretched. You can choose from many types of resistance tubes in nearly any sporting goods store.

  • Free weights. Barbells and dumbbells are classic strength training tools.

  • Weight machines. Most fitness centers offer various resistance machines. You can also invest in weight machines for use at home.

Getting started

When you have your doctor's OK to begin a strength training program, start slowly. Warm up with five to 10 minutes of stretching or gentle aerobic activity, such as brisk walking. Then choose a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 repetitions.

"On the 12th repetition, you should be just barely able to finish the motion," Dr. Laskowski says. "When you're using the proper weight or amount of resistance, you can build and tone muscle just as efficiently with a single set of 12 repetitions as you can with more sets of the same exercise."

To give your muscles time to recover, rest one full day between exercising each specific muscle group. When you can easily do more than 15 repetitions of a certain exercise, gradually increase the weight or resistance. Remember to stop if you feel pain. Although mild muscle soreness is normal, sharp pain and sore or swollen joints are signs that you've overdone it.

When to expect results

You don't need to spend hours a day lifting weights to benefit from strength training. Two to three strength training sessions a week lasting just 20 to 30 minutes are sufficient for most people. You may enjoy noticeable improvements in your strength and stamina in just a few weeks. With regular strength training, you'll continue to increase your strength — even if you're not in shape when you begin.

Strength training can do wonders for your physical and emotional well-being. Make it part of your quest for better health.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

10 Reasons Not To Get a Flu Shot


The verdict is out on flu shots. Many medical experts now agree it is more important to protect yourself and your family from the flu vaccine than the flu itself. Let’s take a look at the reasons behind this verdict:

1.) There is a total lack of real evidence that young children even benefit from flu shots.  A systematic review of 51 studies involving 260,000 children age 6 to 23 months found no evidence that the flu vaccine is any moreeffective than a placebo. Also the shots are only able to protect against certain strains of the virus, which means that if you come into contact with a different strain of virus you will still get the flu.

2.) Medical journals have published thousands of articles revealing that injectingvaccines can actually lead to serious health problems including harmful immunological responses and a host of other infections. This further increases the body’s susceptibility to the diseases that the vaccine was supposed to protect against.

3.) Ever noticed how vaccinated children within days or few weeks develop runny noses, pneumonia, ear infections and bronchiolitis? The reason is the flu virus introduced in their bodies which creates these symptoms. It also indicates immuno-suppression i.e. lowering of the immunity.The flu vaccines actually do not immunize but sensitize the body against the virus.

4.) Its a known fact that Flu vaccines contain strains of the flu virus along with other ingredients. Now think about the impact such a vaccine can have over someone with a suppressed immune system? If you have a disease that is already lowering your body’s ability to fight a virus, taking the flu shot will put your body in danger of getting the full effects of the flu and make you more susceptible to pneumonia and other contagious diseases.

5.) The Flu vaccines contain mercury, a heavy metal known to be hazardous for human health. The amount of mercury contained in a multi-dose flu shot is much higher than the maximum allowable daily exposure limit. Mercury toxicity can cause memory loss, depression, ADD, oral health problems, digestive imbalances, respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases and many more such serious health ailments.

And what about the elderly? Can the flu vaccine help them?

6.) There is mounting evidence that flu shots can cause Alzheimer’s disease.  One report shows that people who received the flu vaccine each year for 3 to 5 years had a 10-fold greater chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease than people who did not have any flu shots.  Also with age the immune system weakens, thus lowering your ability to fight off infections. Introducing the flu virus in the bodies of elderly could have dangerous consequences.

Can we trust the authorities who are promoting the wide-spread use of flu vaccines?

7.) The Center for Disease Control appoints a 15-member Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).  This committee is responsible for deciding who should be vaccinated each year.  Almost all the ACIP have a financial interest in immunizations.It’s all about the money and may have very little to do with your health and well being.  The very people pushing these vaccines stand to make billions of dollars.  This itself creates a doubt on how effective these flu vaccines really are?

8.) Research shows that over-use of the flu-vaccine and drugs like Tamiflu and Relenzacan actually alter flu viruses and cause them to mutate into a more deadly strain.  Couple this with drug resistant strains and you have virtually no benefits with much risk.

9.) There is enough evidence that shows that the ingredients present in the flu vaccinations can actually cause serious neurological disorders. In the 1976 swine flu outbreak, many who got the flu shots developed permanent nerve damage. Flu vaccines can contain many harmful materials including detergent, mercury, formaldehyde, and strains of live flu virus. Is this what you want to put in YOUR body?

10.) Trying to guess what strain to vaccinate against each season has proved to be no more effective than a guessing game.  This has been very true in recent years with the H1N1 strain. Moreover getting multi-shots will only prove more dangerous as different strains of viruses and harmful ingredients are introduced into your body.

Flu shots are indeed more dangerous than you could think, and it is best to rely on natural ways to protect against the flu rather than getting yourself vaccinated.

Isn’t it interesting that the main stream public health officials never promote the various proven ways to avoid the flu other than through vaccination?  How about spending some of the billions of advertising dollars teaching us natural ways to boost our immune systems and avoid the flu without harmful and sometimes deadly vaccinations.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Simplify Your Life by Eliminating These 7 Problems

dr akilah el by Dirk de Bruin

Life has a tendency to become overly complicated and stressful, particularly because things change so quickly. I’ve identified seven problems that you can eliminate to make your life a whole lot simpler (which doesn’t mean boring or less interesting).


Think back to a year or two ago. How much extra responsibility has come into your life since then? You may have too much stuff, too many possessions, too many projects, and too many commitments.

Spreading yourself too thin reduces focus, increases stress, and lowers overall performance.

Too much stuff could include anything from a new cell phone, to a new swimming pool, to a bigger house. It might be nice to have more possessions and new gadgets, but they often come with responsibilities and maintenance. Ask yourself if you’re being “owned” by the things you own.

It’s also exciting to get caught up in many new hobbies or projects. I did this when I got into building websites. Before I knew it I was working on 20 projects at the same time and seeing minimal results across the board. It took me a while to realize that I was working like a maniac, yet none of my projects were anywhere near completion.

These days I’m only working on 2–3 projects in total. Not only do I feel more relaxed because it’s easier to keep track of what I have to do, but I can also see significant progress in my work month after month since I am doing less.

Try to simplify your life. Cut down your possessions, projects, and hobbies to relieve some of the responsibilities that you don’t really need to have.


Limiting beliefs are negative thoughts that you’ve come to accept as the truth.

Through years of social conditioning, media advertising, and peer pressure you’ve shaped your reality. You’ve decided on the things that you can and cannot do in your life. You’ve also very likely told yourself that you’re not good enough, smart enough, or talented enough to do certain things.

I used to have many limiting beliefs. I always thought I wasn’t smart. I thought I wasn’t cool enough to have many friends or be a person that people wanted to invite to events. I believed that I wasn’t attractive or interesting enough to ever get a girlfriend.

Fast forward a few years and I’ve managed to make a steady income from my own websites, I’ve got a circle of close friends that I’m really happy with, and I haven’t had any problems meeting girls.

In short, the limiting beliefs you (don’t know that you) have could be holding you back from a lot of happiness, success, and even the life you’ve always dreamed of living. Take the time to identify and release them.


Certain relationships can become emotionally draining, and they can even leave you feeling mentally abused and take advantage of.

I used to know someone who I considered a good friend, but the reality was that he would only be a good friend if he wanted something from me. He would never call me just to hang out—only when he needed a lift or place to stay. Eventually I decided that it was time to let go.

I’ve also been in relationships with girls that involved unnecessary jealousy and competition to see who’s right or better.

I know that it can be very difficult to end a relationship like this because there are feelings involved. You have some sort of history together and you hope in vain that things will get better. But these relationships can be toxic.

Be polite and let the person know how you feel, but be prepared to cut them out your life entirely if they’re not willing to make any adjustments.

You’ll be amazed at how much energy and enthusiasm you’ll have after you cut out all the negative and emotionally draining relationships in your life.


When you’re young, you choose your direction, but over the years, you may find that your job creates more stress than you want to deal with. It may even leave you feeling trapped and unhappy about life.

After high-school I went to work with my dad and sister in a supermarket we bought as a family business. Supermarkets are open 15 hours per day, every day of the week, all year.

We had management but we were almost always present in the business to ensure that things ran smoothly. I had no time for anything else but work and sleep for the two-plus years that I worked there. Fortunately the business made good money, but when we got the chance to sell and get out, we took it. Sometimes hard work and sacrifice are worth the effort, but there’s only so long we can sustain that.

Unless you’re doing something you love, consider looking at alternative jobs. Everyone needs money, and sometimes you don’t have immediate options. But you have the power to plan and work toward something different if that’s truly what you want.


Debt enslaves you to other people. It limits the freedom and choices you have, and it might require you to pass on fantastic opportunities because you need to manage your debt first. Aim first to minimize it and then eliminate it.

The first step in this is to stop taking on any additional debt. Don’t buy anything on credit unless it’s a life-threatening situation. Especially stop buying anything like TV’s, vacations, and other gadgets on credit!

Secondly, stop spending money on all unnecessary things and start to pay off your debt as fast as possible. For example, you can stop eating out, cook at home, and use the money you save to pay off your debt.

The faster you become debt free, the faster you’ll be able to have more freedom to follow your own path. Once you pay off your debt, you can start saving money, both for an emergency fund, and to invest in your passions.


Sometimes things happen that are difficult to deal with, like death and other tragedies. Events like these can have a big impact on you—especially because you have no control over the situation, but somehow you still feel you could have done something to prevent it.

A few years back I had a decent amount of money saved up that I lost by making some bad decisions. At the time I thought I knew what I was doing, but reality showed me that I didn’t have a clue at all. After I lost that money, I beat myself up about it for months.

Eventually I realized that I couldn’t change the past. I needed to stop making myself feel bad about it and just make sure to not let it happen again. I’ve made my peace with what happened and now I make smarter choices with my finances.

Learn how you can make peace with your past and move on. You’ll be able to get a lot more out of life (and spread the joy to many others) when you don’t carry bitterness through your day-to-day life.


Hate is a poison that leads to anger, sadness and, ultimately, suffering.

If you hold animosity towards anyone, do the work to release it. That hate hurts you more than them, and it slowly degrades the quality of your life.

The best way to remove the hate from your heart is through forgiveness. Be the bigger person, forgive, and move on. Don’t focus on settling the score. Revenge only leads to regret.

If you cut out even just a few of these problems you’ll find that a huge weight is lifted off your shoulders. You’ll also have more emotional freedom to enjoy the things you love doing.

For more tips on relieving emotional stress or depression please visit our Emotional Wellness Page or click on this link

Monday, December 19, 2011

After 27 Years: No Deaths from Vitamins, 3 Million from Prescription Drugs

By Anthony Gucciardi – Natural Society

Over the past 27 years — the complete timeframe that the data has been available —  there have been 0 deaths as a result of vitamins and over 3 million deaths related to prescription drug use in the USA alone. In fact, going back 54 years there have only been 11 claims of vitamin-related death, all of which provided no substantial evidence to link vitamins to the cause of death. The news comes after a recent statistically analysis found that pharmaceutical drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities in the US.

In 2009, drugs exceeded the amount of traffic-related deaths, killing at least 37,485 people nationwide.

The findings go against the claims of mainstream medical ‘experts’  and mainstream media outlets who often push the idea that multivitamins are detrimental to your health, and that prescription drugs are the only science-backed option to improving your health. While essential nutrients like vitamin D are continually being shown to slash your risk of disease such as diabetes and cancer, prescription pharmaceuticals are continually being linked to such conditions. In fact, the top-selling therapeutic class pharmaceutical drug has been tied to the development of diabetes and even suicide, and whistleblowers are just now starting to speak out despite studies as far back as the 80s highlighting the risks.

Mainstream medical health officials were recently forced to speak out over the danger of antipsychotic drugs, which millions of children have been prescribed since 2009. U.S. pediatric health advisers blew the whistle over the fact that these pharmaceuticals can lead to diabetes and even suicide, the very thing they aim to prevent. What is even more troubling is that half of all Americans will be diagnosed with a mental condition during their lifetime thanks to lack of diagnosis guidelines currently set by the medical establishment, of which many cases will lead to the prescription of antipsychotics and other similar medications.

Covering up the side effects

In order to protect sales, the link between suicide and antipsychotic drugs was completely covered up by Eli Lilly & Co, the makers of Prozac. Despite research stretching as far back as the 1980s finding that Prozac actually leads to suicide, the company managed to hide the evidence until a Harvard psychiatrist leaked the information into the press. The psychiatrist, Martin Teicher, stated that the American people were being treated like guinea pigs in a massive pharmaceutical experiment.

Greedy and oftentimes prescription-happy doctors are handing out antipsychotic medication like candy to adults and young children alike. In 2008, antipsychotics became the top-selling therapeutic class prescription drug in the United States and grossing over $14 billion in sales.

Antipsychotic drugs are not the only dangerous pharmaceuticals. The average drug label contains 70 side effects, though many popular pharmaceuticals have been found to contain 100 to 125. Some drugs, prescribed by doctors to supposedly improve your health, come with over 525 negative reactions.

Ritalin, for example, has been linked to conditions including:

  • Increased blood pressure

  • Increased heart rate

  • Increased body temperature

  • Increased alertness

  • Suppressed appetite

Perhaps the hundreds of negative side effects is part of the reason why the FDA announced last year that it is pulling more than 500 cold and allergy off the market due to health concerns. Prescription drugs kill more people than traffic accidents, and come with up to 525 negative side effects. Avoiding these drugs and utilizing high quality organic alternatives like whole food-based multivitamins and green superfoods will lead to a total health transformation without harsh side effects and an exponentially increased death risk.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Truths and Myths About Cold & Flu Season

Cold and flu season is officially here. There are a whopping one billion colds in the United States each year (so basically, plan on getting more than one).

But what causes colds and helps you get over a bad case of the sniffles is surrounded by myths and misinformation.

Get the truth about what makes you sick-and how to fight off the common cold.

Myth or Truth: You can catch a cold by walking outside with wet hair.

Myth. Sorry, Mom, but dashing out of the house with a wet head doesn't mean you're guaranteed to catch a cold. "It's a great old wives' tale," says Beth Ricanati, M.D., YouBeauty Wellness Advisor and medical director of the Lifestyle 180 program at the Cleveland Clinic.

So how do you pick one up? "You get sick by acquiring one of over 200 viruses, usually into your upper respiratory tract, when your immune system is not capable of managing the virus," explains James Nicolai, M.D., YouBeauty Integrative Health Expert and the medical director of the Andrew Weil, M.D. Integrative Wellness Program at Miraval Arizona Resort and Spa in Tucson.

A cold virus spreads through tiny air droplets that are released when a sick person sneezes, coughs or blows their nose or when you've touched your eyes, nose or mouth after touching an object, like a doorknob, contaminated with a cold virus.

Myth or truth: Drastically changing weather brings on a cold.

Myth. Similar to the false belief that walking outside with wet hair can make you sick, temperature fluctuations (such as the weather going from 70 degrees to 50 and back to 70 in the span of a week) doesn't bring on a cold. Catching the cold virus is what triggers the sniffling and sneezing.

But there is truth to the belief that you catch colds more often in the winter. That's because when the temperature drops, people tend to stay indoors (with the windows shut and the heat blasting). Being in such close quarters with the same air circulating makes it easier to pass the cold virus back and forth.

Myth or Truth: Antibiotics help you beat the common cold.

Bad idea! It's not only a myth-antibiotics fight bacteria, not viruses-but taking antibiotics when you don't need them can actually be harmful to your health. "Antibiotics do not work against viruses," explains Dr. Nicolai. "They may cause untoward side effects like stomach problems or yeast infections and contribute to drug-resistant bacterial infections." So put the Cipro down and step away from your medicine cabinet.

Myth or Truth: Eucalyptus helps clear up a clogged nose.

True. "Eucalyptus is a great herbal remedy to be used as an essential oil in vaporizers or as a rub on the chest," suggests Dr. Nicolai. If you're feeling stuffed up, rub on some eucalyptus oil or balm to relieve congestion.

Myth or Truth: Stress increases your chances of catching a cold.

True. Elevated cortisol levels brought on by stress decrease your immune system function, according to Dr. Nicolai. "A study found that thinking anger-provoking thoughts for only five minutes lowered the antibody response of mucous membranes and stomach lining for over six hours," he says. "When we get stressed out, we get sick!"

Find a way to de-stress, such as by taking regular yoga classes, relaxing in a hot bath or meditating. "You also want to get plenty of sleep, eat breakfast and exercise," says Dr. Ricanati.

Myth or Truth: Washing your hands is your best defense against getting sick.

100 percent! "Washing your hands with soap and water is very effective," says Ricanati. "You're getting the germs off your hands, which is the easiest way you're going to spread it."

The most important time to wash your hands is when you've been out and about touching doorknobs and shaking hands-especially when you've been around someone who already has a cold. "They are the most contagious during the first four days of symptoms," explains Dr. Nicolai.

But don't forget to dry those fingers. Research published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology found that not drying your hands thoroughly after washing them-and surprisingly, rubbing your hands under an electric dryer-may increase the spread of bacteria.

According to the researchers, when you rub your hands together while drying them, bacteria that naturally lives within the skin can be brought to the surface and transferred to other surfaces (like doorknobs), along with any remaining surface bacteria left behind after hand washing. So grab a paper towel to thoroughly dry your hands or let the electric dryer do its job-sans hand rubbing. Or use a natural hand sanitizer..

Myth or Truth: It's safe to use nasal sprays on a daily basis.

Myth. Most over-the-counter medicated nasal sprays, such as Afrin, should only be used for three days in a row. "If you use a medicated nasal spray for more than three days you can get a rebound effect and make symptoms worse," says Ricanati. Need more frequent relief? Ricanati recommends opting for an over-the-counter saline nasal spray (such as Ocean Premium Saline Nasal Spray) to flush out congestion.

Myth or Truth: Zinc helps shorten the duration of a cold.

True. Want to cut your cold short? Take some zinc at the first sign of the sniffles. Research shows that zinc lozenges may shorten the duration of common colds by up to 40 percent, according to a study published in the Open Respiratory Medicine Journal. Other research shows that zinc supplements can also reduce the severity and length of the common cold.

Myth or Truth: You shouldn't work out when you're sick.

Depends. The best move: Listen to your body. If you're having trouble breathing, feel exhausted or all around crummy, stay home and rest. But if you've got a case of the sniffles and are up for it, lace up your gym shoes and go. "You shouldn't do anything that is overly stressful to your body, but mild to moderate exercise is actually something I recommend," says Dr. Nicolai. "You don't want to be too tired or sore afterwards."

And when you're done with your sweat session, don't forget to wipe down any shared equipment like the treadmill rails or the dumbbells you were lifting so you don't share your cold with other gym members, suggests Dr. Ricanati.

Myth or Truth: Feed a cold and starve a fever (or vice versa).

Myth. No one knows where this old adage got started, but most experts agree it's not exactly the best advice. "Scientists have found little evidence for either of these myths," notes Dr. Nicolai. Adds Dr. Ricanati: "You don't need a three course meal, but starving is not a good idea. You want to keep hydrated and have orange juice, chicken soup and tea with honey."

Myth or Truth: Honey helps heal a sore throat or cough.

True. A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down, but a tablespoon of honey can help keep coughs under control. Research shows the sweet stuff helps soothe sore throats and coughs-and, in a study on kids battling upper respiratory infections, honey even beat out an over-the-counter, honey-flavored cough suppressant (dextromethorphan) in symptom relief, according to research published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. That may be because honey, which is loaded with antioxidants, helps soothe irritated mucous membranes, which can trigger coughing.

Watch this video to learn what to do when you feel a cold coming on


Thursday, December 15, 2011

The importance of Vitamin D3 for the Winter Season

The health Benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because we get much of our vitamin D from the sun. Over the last two decades, studies have found that the level of vitamin D has dropped dramatically in Americans; this is probably because we have been told to stay out of the sun or use sunscreen.

There is new enthusiasm with vitamin D studies showing that it does boost the immune system and fight off viral infections such as the flu and at the same time tempers the immune system from overworking, which can create more mucus and fluid in the lungs, causing further problems such as pneumonia. Michael Holick, a professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine, said “What vitamin D really does is play a sentinel role.”  What that means is that vitamin D is used by the immune system to fight infection and it also helps to control  the immune response and limits inflammation. By "tempering" the immune system in this way, it keeps the immune system from literally overworking, which can actually lead to death and is suspected in many of the deaths in the 1918 flu pandemic.

Vitamin D Keeps the Flu Away

A new study reported in the American Journal Clinical Nutrition found that vitamin D3 can keep children from getting the flu. A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study with 167 children found that those who took vitamin D got the flu less than those who didn’t take the vitamin D.

List of Vitamin D Health Benefits

  • Boost immune system

  • Prevent muscle weakness

  • Maintain healthy bones

  • Help prevent chronic fatigue

  • Good for skin care

  • Helps to lower blood pressure

  • Helps to blood sugar level

  • Maintain circulation.

  • Prevents muscle weakness.

  • Keeps proper potassium/calcium ratio in blood

  • Protects against muscle weakness

  • Regulates heartbeat and normal blood clotting

  • Prevention and treatment of cancers, osteoporosis, and other diseases

  • Helps keep your bones and teeth strong and healthy

  • Regulates the growth and activity of your cells

  • Reduces inflammation

  • Helps with calcium absorption

How Much Vitamin D Do You Need?

For many years, the official recommended daily allowance for vitamin D has been set at 200-600IU per day. That now appears to be significantly too low to provide the greatest health benefits of vitamin D, such as good bone mineral density, dental health, fractures and cancer prevention. It's also nearly impossible to achieve these levels through diet alone, because very few foods contain any vitamin D.

Current Recommended Dosages of Vitamin D for Preventive Health. Most recommendations for vitamin D now call for at least 1,000-2,000IU per day. 5,000IU per day is better, especially if you get little or no sun exposure, live in northern latitudes, or are dark-skinned or overweight. Even more may be necessary if you're chronically deficient.

Vitamin D3 Supplements

It is not always practical to get your vitamin D from sunshine, and quite difficult to get adequate amounts from your diet so for many people, a vitamin D supplement is a practical way to ensure adequate levels of this important protector are always available in your bloodstream.

Celestial Healing has a high quality Vitamin D3 supplement on sale NOW! Just one bottle is all you need for the winter season.

Celestial Healing's Vitamin D Supplement

 Click Here To Buy Your Vitamin D Supplement Now

Watch this video from Dr. John Cannel talking about the Importance of Vitamin D


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Natural Cancer-Fighting Spice Reduces Tumors by 81%

By Anthony Gucciardi

Used in the ancient Chinese and Indian systems of medicine, curcumin is a naturally powerful anticancer compound that has been found to decrease brain tumor size in animals by 81 percent in more than 9 studies. A derivative of turmeric, curcumin is the pigment responsible for turmeric’s yellow-orange color. Each 100 grams of turmeric contains around 3 to 5 grams of curcumin, though turmeric is a also very powerful on its own. New studies are shedding light on curcumin, and illuminating its numerous benefits on cancer and other diseases.

Researchers experimenting with curcumin in the treatment of a fatal brain cancer known as glioblastoma (GBMs) published their groundbreaking findings in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry in July. Adding scientific basis to previous findings surrounding the positive effects of curcumin, they showed that the compound dramatically decreased brain tumors in 9 out of the 11 studies examined by 81 percent. Furthermore, there was no evidence of toxicity, whereas chemotherapy and other cancer treatments often result in extreme side effects that are sometimes worse than the actual disease. Curcumin is not only effective against brain cancer, however.

According to a study conducted in 2008 and published in Cancer Prevention Research, curcumin also inhibits the growth and spread of breast cancer cells by directly impacting the function of alpha6beta4 integrin, responsible for cancer progression. Another study, performed in 2010, found that curcumin also has the potential to target cancer stem cells. Following the wave of information of curcumin, researchers who posted their findings in Molecular Pharmacology classified curcumin as a pancreatic cancer cell inhibitor back in 2009. Even more interesting is the fact that in most of these studies the researchers concluded that curcumin may also aid many different types of cancer that were not included in the trials.

While an amazing anticancer substance, studies have also pinpointed curcumin as a tool against more than 572 other diseases. Some of these include, in order of study count: oxidative stress, inflammation, DNA damage, lipid peroxidation, chemically-induced liver disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and liver fibrosis. Curcumin has even been found to influence more than 700 genes, which could explain its link to DNA repair.

Curcumin is an amazing natural compound that has profound effects on cancer and hundreds of other diseases. While it has been widely studied compared to many other nutritional substances, studies are only beginning to recognize the healing effects of curcumin and turmeric.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

22 Good, Cheap Foods to Keep in Your Kitchen

By Stepfanie Romine

The cost benefits of cooking at home far outweigh the money you'll save by cutting processed and takeout foods from your family's diet. We surveyed a major East Coast metropolitan grocery chain to determine these prices. Costs will vary according to where you live, but this list represents foods that traditionally offer great health value while being kind to your wallet.


  • Wild Salmon: $2.89 for 14.75 ounces (59 cents per serving)-Get your omega-3s for less. Salmon is full of these healthy fats, which help lower cholesterol and prevent heart attacks.

  • Chicken breasts: $3.49 per pound (87 cents per serving)-Easy-to-prepare and versatile, chicken is full of lean protein, which helps keep you fuller longer.

  • Natural peanut butter: $3.39 for 16 ounces (42 cents per serving)-Skip the sugary, processed varieties and spread the real stuff on whole-grain bread. Throw a tablespoon in smoothies or yogurt, use it as a dip for carrots and pretzels, or mix it with a bit of low-sodium soy sauce, brown sugar and garlic, then thin with water for a quick sauce.

  • Beans: 84 cents for 15 ounces (22 cents per serving)-Bulk up soups and stews while getting protein and fiber. Try chickpeas or black beans if you're not a fan of kidneys or pintos. Drain, rinse, and puree with lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and a bit of vegetable broth for a quick dip.

  • Eggs: $1.99 for a dozen large (17 cents per serving)-Not just for breakfast, eggs are among the easiest foods to cook. If you're watching your cholesterol, scramble one egg and two egg whites. Add onion and spinach and you've got a great omelet.

  • Dried lentils: 79 cents per pound (20 cents per serving)-Full of protein and fiber, lentils cook in just 15 minutes! Throw some in soups and stews or cook with curry powder for a quick, spicy meal.

  • Almonds: $3.99 for 9 ounces (44 cents per serving)-Get vitamin E, fiber, and protein while satisfying a crunchy craving. Nuts are rich in an amino acid that could be linked to heart benefits. Chop up a few raw ones and throw them on greek  yogurt, or add them to a salad.


  • Frozen fruit and berries: $2.99 to $5.99 per pound (75 cents to $1.50 per serving)-Since fruit is frozen at the peak of freshness, frozen fruit is a great way to get the health benefits of summer's bounty all year round. Berries are very low in calories, but full of vitamins and antioxidants. Frozen berries can be used in oatmeal or drained and baked into muffins and quick breads. Throw some in the blender with almond milk or yogurt for a healthy treat.

  • Apples: 68 cents each-They might not keep the doctor away, but apples are actually full of antioxidants, which help slow the progression of age-related diseases

  • Bananas: 35 cents each-Slice one on your morning yogurt or oatmeal for some added fiber and only 100 calories or so. Snack on a potassium-rich banana to prevent cramps after a workout.

  • Grapes: $2.99 per pound (75 cents per serving)-Freeze grapes for a low-calorie dessert or snack. Grapes-especially the dark purple ones-contain plenty of antioxidants that are known to help heart health.


  • Romaine or Kale: $1.99 per head (66 cents per serving)-Banish the iceberg and choose sturdy Romaine for your salads. It will give you more fiber and nutrients, plus a satisfying crunch.

  • Carrots: $2.79 for 3 pounds (23 cents per serving)-Mom was right. Carrots are good for your eyes, thanks to the antioxidants they contain, including beta-carotene. (That's what makes them orange!) Dip them in hummus, natural peanut butter, or low-fat dressings.

  • Frozen spinach: $2 for 16 ounces (50 cents per serving)-Thaw and drain this good-for-you green, then toss it in omelets, soups, stir-fries, and pasta sauces. Spinach is full of vitamins A, C, K, plus fiber and even calcium.

  • Tomatoes: $1 for 14.5 ounces (28 cents per serving)-Choose low-sodium or no-salt-added varieties and throw a can in pasta sauces or chili to stretch a meal. Puree a can with a cup of almond milk and season to taste for your own tomato soup. You'll get a dose of vitamins A, B and C and lycopene, an antioxidant known to prevent cancer.

  • Garlic: 50 cents per head (5 cents per serving)-Ditch the bottled and powdered stuff if you want to reap more of the myriad health benefits. Pungent and tasty, garlic can help lower cholesterol and blood clots, plus it can have a small effect on high blood pressure. Crush or chop it to release more of the antioxidants.

  • Sweet potatoes: $1.49 per pound (37 cents per serving)-Aside from being sweet and delicious, these bright root vegetables are a great source of fiber and antioxidants. Bake, mash or roast them-you'll forget about those other, paler potatoes.

  • Onions: 97 cents each (32 cents per serving)-Like garlic, this pungent vegetable is full of health benefits. Onions have been proven to lower risks for certain cancers, and they add lots of flavor with few calories. Try roasting them to bring out their sweetness and cut their harsh edge. (If you well up while cutting them, store onions in the fridge for a tear-free chop.)

  • Broccoli: $2.49 per pound (63 cents per serving)-Broccoli is a superstar in the nutrition world: full of fiber, it will provide you with vitamins A and C, and a host of antioxidants.

Whole Grains

  • Whole-wheat pasta: $1.50 for 13.25 ounces (45 cents per serving)-With a nutty flavor and a subtle brown color, whole-wheat pasta perks up any meal. Start with half regular, half whole-wheat pasta, then gradually add more wheat pasta for a burst of fiber and nutrients.

  • Brown rice: $1.49 for 16 ounces (19 cents per serving)-Brown rice is a great side dish, but you can also use it to help stretch your ground meat. Mix a cup of cooked rice with 8 ounces of lean ground beef next time you make meatloaf to save 45 calories and 5 grams of fat (and some money) per serving.

  • Oats: $3.19 for 42 ounces (15 cents per serving)-Oatmeal is a hearty breakfast, but you can also cook sturdy steel-cut oats in chicken broth for a savory side dish. Or, mix oats with ground turkey to stretch your meatballs. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Apple Cider Vinegar for All Hair Types (How to use and list of Benefits)

Unfiltered apple cider vinegar can be used as an excellent treatment for the hair and scalp. When using it on your hair, apple cider vinegar is cleansing, gives the hair more body and luster and reduces hair-loss. It also reduces itching scalp and dandruff by destroying the bacteria and/or fungi that clog hair follicles.

When washing hair with this method, the alpha-hydroxy acid will help remove the build-up from styling hair products, enhancing the healthy and smooth the hair, making proper pH balance,  help hair growth and healthy scalp.

Also, washing your hair with apple cider vinegar will  kill bacteria and it is also an effective method of fighting dandruff . It also promotes blood circulation in small blood capillaries under the skin and is an antiseptic shampoo, anti-yeast, viruses and bacteria which  can cause infection in the scalp and hair.

The Benefits of using ACV Hair Rinse
- Neutralizes the pH levels of your hair follicles
- Removes dead skin cells and promotes healthy growth of hair
- Excellent for relieving itchy, dry and flaky scalp
- Relieves dandruff
- Removes build-up in hair
- Gives hair a nice shine

How To Use ACV for Various Types of Hair

Wave, Curly, Thick or Long Hair -- 1/2 cup of ACV mixed with 1 quart of warm water

Straight, Fine, Thin or Short Hair -- 1 tablespoon of ACV mixed with 1 cup of warm water

Chemically straighten or treated hair -- 1/2 cup of ACV mixed with 2 cups of warm water

Naturally Kinky or Thick Hair -- 1 cup of ACV with 3 cups of water


Wave, Curly, Thick or Long Hair -- Use once every 2 weeks
Straight, Fine, Thin or Short Hair -- Use once a week
Chemically straighten or treated hair -- Use once a month
Naturally Kinky or Thick Hair -- Use once every 6 -- 8 weeks

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Benefits of Hydrogen Peroxide and its Many Uses

by Andrea Harper

Hydrogen peroxide is the only germicidal agent composed only of water and oxygen. Like ozone, it kills disease organisms by oxidation! Hydrogen peroxide is considered the worlds safest all natural effective sanitizer. It kills microorganisms by oxidizing them, which can be best described as a controlled burning process. When hydrogen peroxide reacts with organic material it breaks down into oxygen and water.

Whiten Clothes - An Alternative to Beach
Add a cup of Peroxide to white clothes in your laundry to whiten them. Peroxide is great to get rid of blood stains on clothes and carpets. If there is blood on clothing, just pour directly on the spot, let it sit for about a minute, then rub and rinse with cold water. Repeat if necessary.

Your body makes hydrogen peroxide to fight infection which must be present for our immune system to function correctly. White blood cells are known as Leukocytes. A sub-class of Leukocytes called Neutrophils produce hydrogen peroxide as the first line of defense against toxins, parasites, bacteria, viruses and yeast.

Rejuvenating Detoxifying Bath:
Use about 2 quarts 3% hydrogen peroxide to a tub of warm water. Soak at least 1/2 hour, adding hot water as needed to maintain a comfortable water temperature.

Foot Fungus:
To cure a foot fungus, simply spray a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water on them (especially the toes) every night and let dry.

Add 2 capfuls of 3% hydrogen peroxide in warm distilled water once to twice a week to remove even chronic yeast infections.

Colonic or Enema:
For a colonic, add 1 cup (8 ozs.) 3% H202 to 5 gallons warm water. (Do not exceed this amount) For an enema, add 1 tablespoon of 3% H202 to a quart of warm distilled water.

Soak any infections or cuts in 3% for five to ten minutes several times a day. Even gangrene that would not heal with any medicine has been healed by soaking in hydrogen peroxide. Put half a bottle of hydrogen peroxide in your bath to help rid boils, fungus or other skin infections.

Bird Mites Infections:
Patients infected by tiny mites report that hydrogen peroxide effectively kills the mites on their skins. They spray it on their skin a couple of times (with a few minutes in between the applications) with amazing results.

Sinus Infections:
A tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide added to 1 cup of non-chlorinated water can be used as a nasal spray. Depending on the degree of sinus involvement, one will have to adjust the amount of peroxide used.

Wound Care:
3% H2O2 is used medically for cleaning wounds, removing dead tissue, and as an oral debriding agent. Peroxide stops slow (small vessel) wound bleeding/oozing, as well.

Some sources recommend soaking infections or cuts for five to ten minutes several times a day. However, washing and rinsing action is sufficient. You shouldn't leave the solution on open tissue for extended periods of time as, like many oxidative antiseptics, hydrogen perioxide causes mild damage to tissue in open wounds. Therefore it is important to use with caution.

Personal Care:

Mouthwash / Tooth Care:
Healing Properties: Take one capful (the little white cap that comes with the bottle) and hold in your mouth for 10 minutes daily, then spit it out. You will not have canker sores and your teeth will be whiter. If you have a terrible toothache and cannot get to a dentist right away, put a capful of 3% hydrogen peroxide into your mouth and hold it for 10 minutes several times a day. The pain will lessen greatly.

Mouthwash: Many people don't realize that hydrogen peroxide makes a very effective and inexpensive mouthwash. Use 3% H202 - add a dash of liquid chlorophyll for flavoring if desired.

Toothpaste: Use baking soda and add enough 3% H202 to make a paste. Or, just dip your brush in 3% H202 and brush. Soak your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide to keep them free of germs.

Toothbrush: Soaking your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide will help keep them free of harmul germs.
Tooth Ache: Hydrogen peroxide is not a pain killer; however, as an anti-viral, antibacterial and anti-fungal agent, it is effective at treating the pathogen that is causing the infection. The following is from my own personal experience: My dentist wanted to give me a root canal some time ago as one tooth was inflamed and, in her opinion, would die. I felt some discomfort but told her that I would give it chance to heal. I rinsed with hydrogen peroxide (several times a day) as well ascoconut oil (once a day). The discomfort went away and I have had no further problems with the tooth.

Tooth Whitening: Having used 3% Hydrogen Peroxide as a mouth wash for sometime ago, I am thrilled to note that my teeth have been beautifully and effortlessly whitened. I used to pay so much for professional whitening, those silly strips and uncomfortable trays. Live and learn.

NOTE: Do not swallow any peroxide. When the peroxide rinse is done, be sure to rinse out your mouth with water.

Colonic or Enema:
For a colonic, add 1 cup (8 ozs.) 3% H202 to 5 gallons warm water. (Do not exceed this amount) For an enema, add 1 tablespoon of 3% H202 to a quart of warm distilled water.

Hair Lightening:
Peroxide is a bleaching agent and is used for lightened hair. Dilute 3% hydrogen peroxide with water (50 / 50) and spray the solution on your wet hair after a shower and comb it through. You will not have the peroxide burnt blonde hair like the hair dye packages, but more natural highlights if your hair is a light brown, faddish, or dirty blonde. It also lightens gradually so it's not a drastic change.

Contact Lenses:
Hydrogen peroxide is used as a disinfectant in CIBA Vision's Clear Care no rub contact lens cleaning solution, due to its ability to break down the proteins that build up on the lense from the eye's immune response, resulting in increased comfort for those with sensitive eyes.

Sanitizing / Disinfectant / Cleaning

Straight or Diluted Hydrogen Perioxide:
Clean your counters and table tops with hydrogen peroxide to kill germs and leave a fresh smell. Simply put a little on your dishrag when you wipe, or spray it on the counters. Use hydrogen peroxide to clean glass and mirrors with no smearing.

Keep a spray bottle of 3% (straight) to disinfect the interior of the refrigerator and kids' school lunch boxes.

In the Dishwasher: Add 2 oz. of 3% hydrogen peroxide to your regular washing formula.
Fill a spray bottle with a 50/50 mixture of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water and keep it in every bathroom to disinfect without harming your septic system like bleach or most other disinfectants will. After rinsing off your wooden cutting board, pour or spray hydrogen peroxide (and then vinegar) on it to kill salmonella and other bacteria.

I use peroxide to clean my mirrors with, there is no smearing.

Combination of vinegar and hydrogen peroxidemake a cheap, effective and non-toxic disinfectant agent and is said to be more effective at killing pathogens than bleach.  As it is non-toxic, you can use it to disinfect fruits and vegetables, as well as pet toys, equipment and cages.  In tests run at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, pairing Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide mists, kills virtually all Salmonella, Shigella, or E. coli bacteria on heavily contaminated food and surfaces.

You need TWO spray bottles. DO NOT MIX the solutions together.  Put straight vinegar in one and straight hydrogen peroxide in the other spray bottle.  NOTE: Light destroys peroxide rather quickly. It's best to leave it in its original bottle and screw in a spray head. DO NOT DILUTE THEM.

Remember for any sanitizer to work properly, the surface has to be clean before you use it.

When you want to sanitize a surface (vegetables, cutting board, counters, sink, cages, toys. toilets, floors, etc.), spray one (it doesn't matter which one you use first) on the surface, then you spray on the other.  When they mix, for a brief time the chemical action of the two make a very powerful sanitizer.  You can rinse off the surface afterwards, if you want, but the result is non-toxic.
Fortunately it is cheap. BTW, we use it in the bathroom to sanitize the counters, toilets, floors, etc.

Sanitizing Drinking Water

Clean with hydrogen peroxide when your house becomes a biohazard after its invaded by toxic mold, such as those with water damage.

Use 1 pint 3% hydrogen peroxide to 1 gallon of water.

Laundry / Stain Removing:
Stain Remover:
3% Hydrogen Peroxide is the best stain lifter if used fairly soon - although blood stains as old as 2 days have been successfully lifted with Hydrogen Peroxide. Although it will bleach or discolor many fabrics. If a little peroxide is poured onto the stain it will bubble up in the area of the blood, due to a reaction with catalase. After a few minutes the excess liquid can be wiped up with a cloth or paper towel and the stain will be gone.

3% H2O2 must be applied to clothing before blood stains can be accidentally "set" with heated water. Cold water and soap are then used to remove the peroxide treated blood.

You can also add a cup of hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach to a load of whites in your laundry to whiten them. If there is blood on clothing, pour directly on the soiled spot. Let it sit for a minute, then rub it and rinse with cold water. Repeat if necessary.

Peroxide is a perfect alternate solution to keep those clothes white. Also, when chlorinating clothes, they tend to wear out faster - peroxide won't do that.

Food Preparation:

Vegetable Soak:
Use as a vegetable wash or soak to kill bacteria and neutralize chemicals. Add 1/4 cup 3% H202 to a full sink of cold water. Soak light skinned (light lettuce) 20 minutes, thicker skinned (like cucumbers) 30 minutes. Drain, dry and refrigerate. Prolongs freshness.

If time is a problem, spray vegetables (and fruits) with a solution of 3%. Let stand for a few minutes, rinse and dry.

Meat Sanitizing:
You can also use it to rinse off your meat before cooking.

Leftover tossed salad:
Spray with a solution of 1/2 cup water and 1 Tbsp. 5%. Drain, cover and refrigerate.

Place meat, fish or poultry in a casserole (avoid using aluminium pans). Cover with a dilute solution of equal parts of water and 3% H202. Place loosely covered in refrigerator for 1/2 hour. Rinse and cook.

Sprouting Seeds:
Add 1 ounce 3% hydrogen peroxide to 1 pint of water and soak the seeds overnight. Add the same amount of hydrogen peroxide each time you rinse the seeds.

Grades of Hydrogen Peroxide

A) 3.5% Pharmaceutical Grade: This is the grade sold at your local drugstore or supermarket. This product is not recommended for internal use. It contains an assortment of stabilizers which shouldn't be ingested. Various stabilizers include: acetanilide, phenol, sodium stanate and tertrasodium phosphate.
B) 6% Beautician Grade: This is used in beauty shops to color hair and is not recommended for internal use.
C) 30% Reagent Grade: This is used for various scientific experimentation and also contains stabilizers. It is also not for internal use.
D) 30% to 32% Electronic Grade: This is used to clean electronic parts and not for internal use.
E) 35% Technical Grade: This is a more concentrated product than the Reagent Grade and differs slightly in that phosphorus is added to help neutralize any chlorine from the water used to dilute it.
F) 35% Food Grade: This is used in the production of foods like cheese, eggs, and whey-containing products. It is also sprayed on the foil lining of aseptic packages containing fruit juices and milk products. THIS IS THE ONLY GRADE RECOMMENDED FOR INTERNAL USE.
G) 90%: This is used as an oxygen source for rocket fuel.

Only 35% Food Grade hydrogen peroxide is recommended for internal use. At this concentration, however, hydrogen peroxide is a very strong oxidizer and if not diluted, it can be extremely dangerous or even fatal. Any concentrations over 10% can cause neurological reactions and damage to the upper gastrointestinal tract. There have been two known fatalities in children who ingested 27% and 40% concentrations of H202. Another reports tells of a 26 month old female who swallowed one mouthful of 35% H202. She immediately began vomiting, followed by fainting and respiratory arrest. Fortunately, she was under emergency room care and although she experienced erosion and bleeding of the stomach and esophagus, she survived the incident. When she was re-examined 12 days later, the areas involved had healed (J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 90;28(1):95-100).

Personal note:  As with ANY food, drug, or supplement, using the product according to instructions is key to safety.  If someone uses too much, then of course ramifications may be felt.  We've NEVER heard of ANY harmful side effects from the correct usage of Food Grade hydrogen peroxide.In dire cases of disease, intraveneous use may be recommended.  If you would like to find a doctor in your area trained in the use of intravenous H202 infusion, contact the International Bio-Oxidative Medicine Foundation (IBOM), P.O. Box 13205, Oklahoma City, OK 73113 at (405) 478-4266. They can provide names and addresses of doctors using the procedure in your area.

35% Food Grade H202 must be....
1) handled carefully (direct contact will burn the skin- immediate flushing with water is recommended).
2) diluted properly before use.
3) stored safely and properly (after making a dilution the remainder should be stored tightly sealed in the freezer).
One of the most convenient methods of dispensing 35% H202 is from a small glass eye dropper bottle. These can be purchased at your local drugstore. Fill this with the 35% H202 and store the larger container in the freezer compartment of your refrigerator until more is needed. Store the eye dropper bottle in the refrigerator. The generally recommended dosage is outlined in the chart below.
The drops are mixed with either 6 to 8 ounces of distilled water, juice, aloe vera juice or gel.

(Don't use chlorinated tap water to dilute the peroxide!)

Food Consumption