Monday, October 29, 2012

15 Ways to do Halloween without candy!

By Lisa Leake

Whoever said you “had” to hand out candy on Halloween anyway? Trust me kids will be getting PLENTY of candy this month regardless so it wouldn’t hurt, and it actually might help, if you break up the monotony by doing something a little different. I personally kind of like to be different (let’s just call it “unique”) anyway. And let’s face it…bags of candy aren’t exactly cheap either so some of these alternatives might cost the same or even less for your Halloween night handout. Most of them will last a lot longer, too!

Creative alternatives for trick-or-treaters…

  1. Packs of mini play dough containers

  2. A mix of inexpensive Halloween-themed toys from a place like Michael’s, Oriental Trading, Target or Wal-Mart (pictured)

  3. Miniature bottles of water or all natural juice boxes (love this idea because we are always thirsty when we’re out and about trick-or-treating)

  4. Spooky collection of Halloween “frights” like plastic eyeballs, rubbery rats, and fake fingers

  5. Light-up glow sticks, which can usually be found in a pack of 15 at Michael’s or Target for only $1 (that’s what we’re going to give out this year!)

  6. Halloween pencils and mini activity books or pads of paper

  7. Toothbrushes (big kids might turn their noses up to this, but my children happen to think new toothbrushes are fun)

  8. Mini Lara Bars and/or packs of raisins

  9. Inexpensive little books from thrift stores, garage sales, or the dollar store

  10. “Birthday landfill” as one facebook fan called it, which is basically a collection of all the little gizmos and gadgets from party favor bags throughout the year

  11. Temporary tattoos and/or stickers

  12. Small bags of microwavable popcorn

  13. Fruit leathers (made with 100% fruit)

  14. Homemade crayons made in muffin tins in the oven (google it)

  15. Local apples…they are currently in season so why not!


Here is a list of our links.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Thanks to Dr Akilah El My Ovarian Cysts and Fibroid are GONE!

Watch this personal testimony from Marcy Dickson and learn how she eliminated all of her ovarian cysts and fibroid naturally within THREE MONTHS!!!!! Before starting Dr Akilah's fibroids/cysts shrinking program Marcy would experience heavy to moderate bleeding for three weeks. After following the program religiously for two weeks her next period last for only seven days with no pain or bloating. Watch this video to hear more mind blowing testimony from this determined young lady.


For more information go to.....

Friday, October 26, 2012

Is This The World’s First 100% Organic Nation?

By Emily Mann - WakeUpWorld

The lush green valleys of Bhutan could all be converted to organic farms, if the Prime Minister gets his way.

The tiny Himalayan country of Bhutan serves as home to just 738,000 people—about the population of Alaska. But this tiny landlocked nation is on track to make one of the biggest pro-organic moves in the world.

At the June 2012 Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, the kingdom’s prime minister, Jigmi Thinley, announced plans to convert all his nation’s agricultural land to organic farms with, he said in his speech, “the ‘raised in Bhutan’ label synonymous with ‘organically grown.’”

The country is already well on its way to organic: Two thirds of Bhutanese citizens are farmers, and many of them are organic by default, unable to afford the synthetic fertilizers and pesticides required in chemical farming. Very few of the farms are actually certified as organic, but the country has sent a number of farmers to India to study at food activist Vanadana Shiva’s organic training farm, and has asked consultants from Shiva’s farm to educate its local extension specialists so they, in turn, are better prepared to help farmers convert to organic.

Greater profits and self-sufficiency are two of the major driving forces behind the move, Thinley added in his address. Bhutan currently imports more food than it can produce, which means farmers are losing out on a valuable revenue stream. And neighboring India is experiencing “exponential growth” in demand for organic food, a demand, he said, that isn't likely to taper off anytime soon.

Then there’s the issue of clean water. A third of Bhutan’s citizens get their water from rural sources, which can easily become polluted by chemical fertilizers, and 6 in 10 children living in rural areas do suffer from health problems that can be traced back to polluted, unsanitary water.

But the move to convert all Bhutan’s farms to organic is driven as much by those factors as it is by a desire to achieve “Gross National Happiness,” a term Bhutan’s fourth king coined three decades ago as a more important measure of success than gross national product. “The main reason why we would like to motivate rural living is because we are convinced that it is on the farm that people can find happiness amid vital communities boosted by the necessity of interdependence, active spiritual life, and daily communion with nature and other living beings,” he said.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

How to Make Apple Cups and Homemade Apple Cider

These are really much simpler than they look, and are such a charming way to enjoy your favorite apple cider!  The only requirements are some apples, a paring knife, and a spoon.  (Although if you have a melon baller, it’ll make the scooping slightly easier!)

Cute, delicious, and nutritious!

Apple Cider Cups Recipe


  • large apples

  • lemon juice

  • apple cider, either homemade or storebought

  • optional: cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, allspice and/or star anise for garnish


On a cutting board or sturdy surface, use a knife to cut off the top of the apple.  Then take a paring knife and carefully outline where you’d like the “rim” of your apple cup to be.  (My rims were about 1/4″ wide.)  Use a spoon to carefully begin scooping out the center of your apple until you have a nice “cup”.  (A melon baller also works well for this.)

Also, if your apple doesn’t sit exactly level, take your paring knife and just slice off a few millimeters to even off the bottom to make it even.  Just be careful not to let your knife cut through the bottom or sides of the apple when hollowing it out, or the cider will leak out!

Once you have the inside of the apples hollowed out, brush a little lemon juice over the inside of the apples (to prevent browning).  Then fill with your favorite apple cider, garnish with cinnamon or spices if you’d like, and serve!

Bonus Tip:

You could also warm the apple cups in the oven before serving. DON'T  leave them in too long, or they will lose their firmness.

Homemade Apple Cider (Non-Alcoholic)


8 -10 organic red apples

1/4 cup real maple syrup

4 tablespoons cinnamon (or 4 cinnamon sticks)

4 tablespoons allspice


1. Quarter your apples (no need to remove peel or seeds).

2. In a large stock pot add your apples and fill with water--just enough to cover the apples.

3. Add maple syrup

4. Wrap your cinnamon and allspice in a doubled up cheese cloth and tie, and add this to the apples and water.

5. Boil on high for one hour (uncovered) checking on it frequently.

6. Turn down heat and let simmer for two hours (covered).

7. Take off the heat after two hours of simmering and let cool.

8. Remove spices and mash up the apples to a pulp like consistency (a potato masher works well for this).

9. Once cool pour into a strainer over a large bowl. When most of the juice has drained away, put the remainder of the pulp into a doubled up cheese cloth and squeeze over the bowl until no more juice comes out.

10. (At this point you can either restrain the juice to get out the little bits of pulp that remain with a cheese cloth draped inside the strainer to catch them or just leave it like I do).

11. You can store in an air tight container in your refrigerator for up to a week or you can freeze it for later use if you like.


** You could make this a diabetic recipe by omitting the maple syrup and adding stevia to taste in place of the sugar or none at all.**



Here is a list of our links.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

6 Healthier Alternatives to Potato Chips

These veggie-filled recipes are loaded with nutrients and are baked instead of fried.

Coconut Chips

1 coconut
Coarse salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Test each of the three eyes at the stem end of the coconut to see which is the softest. Then use an ice pick (or a screwdriver) and a hammer to pierce two of the eyes. Strain water through a fine sieve into a bowl; reserve for another use or discard.
Place coconut on a rimmed baking sheet; bake for 30 minutes, or until coconut shell begins to crack. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Wrap coconut in a clean kitchen towel; holding coconut with one hand, hit it with a hammer in the same place several times to crack the outer shell and split the coconut into several large pieces.
Separate coconut flesh from shell, and use a vegetable peeler to remove the dark outer skin, if desired. Rinse and dry coconut. Using a mandoline or a vegetable peeler, remove strips from edges.
Divide coconut strips between 2 rimmed baking sheets in a single layer; season with salt. Bake until toasted, about 10 minutes.

Apple Peel Twigs

12 organic apples
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar

Combine cinnamon and sugar then peel apples. Toss peels from apples with cinnamon sugar; sprinkling peels with a few drops of water will help the mixture stick. Spread in a single layer on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, and bake in a preheated 250-degree oven until peels are curled and crisp, about 2.5 hours, rotating halfway through. Let cool before serving.

Baked Plantain Chips

2 pounds plantains or green bananas, scored, peeled, and thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Divide plantains between two rimmed baking sheets. Toss with oil, then arrange in a single layer on sheets. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden and crisp, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating sheets and flipping plantains halfway through. Drain plantains on paper towels.

Carrot and Parsnip Fries

5 medium carrots
3 medium parsnips
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in center of the oven.
Peel carrots and parsnips and halve crosswise. Slice lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick planks. Slice lengthwise again to make 1/4-inch-thick fries.
Place on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with oil, salt, and red-pepper flakes. Spread into a single layer and roast, turning veggies once, until crisp and golden brown in places, about 20 minutes.

Beet Chips

2 medium beets
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Peel beets and slice 1/16 inch thick with a mandoline. In a large bowl, toss beets with extra-virgin olive oil.
On two rimmed baking sheets (or use one sheet and bake in two batches), arrange beets in a single layer. Stack another rimmed baking sheet on top of each. Bake until edges of beets begin to dry out, about 20 minutes. Uncover and rotate sheets. Bake 10 to 20 minutes, removing chips as they become lightened in color. Transfer to a wire rack; chips will crisp up as they cool.

Kale Chips

2 large bunches of kale, rinsed well, dried, and torn into 1- to 2-inch pieces
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons coarse salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place kale pieces in a single even layer on baking sheets; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt.
Transfer to oven and bake until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve.


Here is a list of our links.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

8 New Ways to Detox

by Healthy Living


Devotees swear that this 5,000-year-old practice cures everything from bad skin to indigestion. New York acupuncturist and skin/digestive specialist Selma Rondon recently cured a patient's explosive hives in a day, after antihistamines didn't work; patients with constipation or bloating quickly feel re-energized, too. Rondon, who learned Mandarin to read authentic Chinese texts, tackles toxicity by examining patients' tongues — the color clues her in to how internal organs are doing — then inserts slim needles into the energy lines that run through the body.



For centuries, the Japanese have used white charcoal to soak up substances, from poison to bad breath; its pores absorb a range of gases and toxins. The technique is landing stateside thanks to Sort of Coal, a line that incorporates the porous charcoal, produced from sustainably harvested forests in Japan and Korea.Best for: Removing daily environmental impurities from air and water


Coffee Wraps

Doctors credit caffeine with reducing swelling and upping our fat-burning mechanisms when applied topically, which explains its omnipresence in cellulite creams. At Hawaiian SpaHalekulani, the "Day of Detox" package incorporates essential oil from a potent South American coffee plant in its Espresso Limon body wrap. Wild cinnamon and lemon oils are added to boost circulation, while massage and body-brushing soothe limbs and open pores further.Best for: Cellulite, lymphatic drainage



Salt fights bacteria and inflammation and creates a negative-ion environment — the reason a dip in the sea feels great. At the new Halo/Air Salt Rooms in New York City, you can re-create that effect in "caves" full of Ukrainian salt, which is pumped into the rooms in controlled amounts; temperature and humidity are regulated, too. In the lungs, sodium chloride dispels bacteria and mucus. Sessions improve allergies and respiratory ills.Best for: Respiratory problems, asthma, flu, colds



Dr. Pratima Raichur, a longtime ayurvedic practitioner in Manhattan, works wonders for your complexion "with her holistic approach to health and life. Raichur nourishes and cleans skin with essential-oil-based treatments; detoxifying facials combine natural and antibacterial ingredients like sandalwood, aloe vera, red clay, and rosemary with a blast of steam to cleanse and exfoliate skin, and pressure-point massage around the nose and eyes clears sinuses and the puffiness that allergies can cause.


Infrared Heat

The very technology used on preemies in the hospital, infrared heat penetrates skin almost two inches to warm the body directly, rather than heating the air around you. The infrared sauna at The Arcona Studio in Santa Monica, California (frequented by Diane Lane), is made of sweet-smelling Canadian cedar and confers all the benefits of a traditional sauna: Your pores open, shedding dead cells and toxins like zinc, lead, and cadmium; your heartbeat increases and blood vessels dilate as sweat evaporates; and after just a few minutes, your face develops a fetching rosy glow.


Detox Bath

Aside from being relaxing, hot water increases blood flow and sweating and dilates the capillaries near the skin's surface; your body expels the bad stuff and drinks in any herbal oils and salts. Detox Bathing enhances these effects with ingredients like grapefruit oil (a purifier and astringent) and rosemary oil (for circulation). It also makes our cut because of what it leaves out: parabens, sulfates, preservatives, and synthetic fragrances and colors.Best for: Fluid retention, bloating


Vegetable Fast

More nutritious than sugary juice fasts,  an organic-vegetable juice diet, is a hush-hush favorite among lean beauties like Adriana Lima and Natasha Henstridge. These nutrient-packed liquids like kidney-cleansing almond milk, fibrous green vegetables (kale and celery) are also great for cleaning the liver and boosting immune function. Juicing for more than three days? Add light exercise, such as brisk walking, to counteract a slowing metabolism.Best for: Dropping the last 5 pounds



Here is a list of our links.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Foods That Make You Dumb

By Tina Lipzeg

It's not just sugar that makes you dumb, as new research proves. We found the science to back up more foods that drain your brain.

In case you missed it: It's no secret excess sugar isn't exactly sweet where your health is concerned, but now new research indicates it may take a toll on your brain as well as your waistline. In a recent animal study, UCLA researchers found that rats fed a solution of fructose had a harder time navigating a maze, a sign of slowed learning and memory loss, compared to a second group of rats who were given the fructose solution as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to have a brain-boosting effect. The researchers suspect that the fructose-only diet decreased brain activity because it affected insulin's ability to help brain cells use sugar to process thoughts and emotions. Certain omega-3 fatty acids may buffer the brain from the harmful effects of fructose.
Use the news: While this research is preliminary, it's just general good health advice to minimize your intake of added sugar and up your consumption of foods rich in omega-3s, including walnuts, salmon, flax seeds and almonds to your meals.

A diet high in "bad" saturated fat may hurt brain function, according to new Harvard research published in the Annals of Neurology. When researchers studied the eating habits and tested the brain function of 6,000 women for an average of four years, they found the women who ate the most saturated fat scored lower on tests of brain function and memory. On the other hand, women who ate the most monounsaturated fats (found in foods like olive oil and avocado) had higher scores.
Use the news: Avoid processed meat, like bacon, or lean cuts. Get more protein from vegetable sources, like green leafy veggies and legumes.

Will junk food rot kids' brains? A 2011 British study of nearly 4,000 children found that those who ate primarily junk food (lots of processed and fast food) at age three had a small drop in IQ five years later compared with children who ate healthier diets. (And the link remained after researchers accounted for confounding variables, such as socioeconomic status and parents' education.) Early diet choices especially seemed to affect kids' verbal abilities, according to The study suggests that smart diet choices may be particularly crucial during early years of rapid brain development.
Use the news: It can be tricky to get young picky eaters to eat healthy foods, but remember that kids need repeated exposure (sometimes a dozen or more times) to "like" a new food. So don't give up so easily! And many classic kid favorites, apple chips and baby carrots with almond butter, make for healthy snacks instead of processed cookies and chips.


Ditching carbs can sap brainpower (along with energy and mood). A small Tufts University study of 19 women between the ages of 22 and 55 found that when dieters eliminated carbohydrates, they showed a gradual dip in cognitive skills (particularly on memory-related tests) compared to a group who stayed on a low-calorie diet that included carbs.
Use the news: Carbs aren't evil-your body needs them for many important functions, including fueling your brain. So avoid diets that eliminate or severely restrict them, and choose healthy options, like whole grain pastas and breads, brown rice, and quinoa.

Does blowing that bubble boost or bust your brainpower? Here, the research is mixed. A recent British study published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology found that chewing gum during a memorization exercise impaired participants' short-term memories. The researchers believe the act of chewing may get in the way of concentrating on memory tasks (In this case, participants were asked to learn the order of items in a list) The finding contradicts previous research, which found a positive association between chewing gum and mental tasks.
Use the news: Because of mixed study results, you might not want to spit just yet but it's healthy to avoid gum with aspartame in the ingredients. Be sure to include other brain-boosting habits in your daily routine, such as drinking water (dehydration can affect focus and acuity), getting plenty of sleep, and playing brain games. 

Here is a list of our links.

Monday, October 15, 2012

10 Reasons Your Body is Holding on to Fat

Have you ever tried to lose weight only to have your weight loss efforts somehow become stubbornly ineffective, despite your best efforts at losing body fat? Here are 6 reasons that – regardless of your good intentions – your body is probably holding onto body fat.

Don’t let these common mistakes become the EXCUSES that you use for why you aren't getting RESULTS!

Lifestyle Changes
Life is going to come by and smack you in the face from time to time – it happens. Divorce, drama, loss of a job, health concerns about yourself or someone you care about – these things happen. However, they are NOT an excuse to just give up – to the contrary, actually. The more life is a battle for you, the more you need to be EQUIPPED for that battle. Whether that means losing weight and skyrocketing your self-confidence, or if it means beefing up your body’s defenses by engaging in a consistent, effective exercise program, the bottom line is the same; the tougher your life is, the tougher YOU need to be to handle it. Rough times are not a time to give up – they are a time to RISE up!

Your thyroid is out of whack.
If the scale is creeping up, but your eating and exercise routine hasn't changed, it's a good idea to ask your doc for a TSH (or thyroid-stimulating hormone) test. Your thyroid hormones help regulate your metabolism, and in those with hypothyroidism, the body produces too little of them. Other symptoms include being tired all the time and hair loss. The good news is that you can work with your doctor to help get your thyroid - and metabolism - back on track, or begin taking a pill such as Synthroid.

Large/Infrequent Meals
If you still believe that starving yourself and only eating once or twice a day is going to help you lose weight, you could not be more wrong. When you don’t eat small, frequent meals throughout the day, your metabolism slows down considerably, and your body goes into “starvation mode” – in other words, your body thinks it is not going to get nutrients very often. Then, when you do eat that “well-deserved” meal late in the day, your body stashes away as many calories from that meal as it can in preparation for the next starvation period. Those calories are stored as body fat, usually in your stomach, legs, butt, and any where else your body can find to keep it. Having large, infrequent meals is the opposite of losing body fat.

You're feeling "blah."
Smile! Happiness may be a surprising weight-loss wonder. Worms given a boost of serotonin, a chemical linked to improved mood, cut their fat levels by up to 50 percent, finds a study in Cell Metabolism. "Serotonin signals the brain to speed up metabolism, which hinders fat storage in both worms and humans," says study author Kaveh Ashrafi, Ph.D., of the University California, San Francisco. Though there aren't any studies proving that serotonin alone can blast a significant amount of fat in humans, recent research indicates that stress triggers changes in metabolism that increases one's odds of obesity. A simple deep breath could do your body good.

You eat carbs before you exercise.
If you work out regularly, but aren't seeing results, you may be using your sweat sessions to rationalize indulging in extra calories. (Think: I jogged for three miles so I can eat that brownie sundae). Or, you may be having the wrong kind of pre-workout snack - such as carb-heavy crackers. To improve exercise-induced fat loss, skip carbs two hours before a workout, says Dan Goldberg, a certified personal trainer at Fitness Forum Health Club in Fayetteville, NY. Those who did so before a 30-minute bike ride burned more fat than those who had a carb-rich snack, report researchers from the Technical University of Munich. Protein-rich foods with dairy, such as low-fat yogurt or a half-cup of chocolate milk, are better pre-exercise options.

High Sodium Low-fat FoodsThe majority of the foods that we eat get their flavor from 1 of 3 things: Fat, Sugar, or Salt (sodium). If you are shopping in the alleged “healthy section” – especially in the frozen foods area – you are probably mesmerized by the Low-Fat labels on everything. What those labels DON’T tell you, however, is that in order to make those foods taste good, they are instead stuffed with carbohydrates and/or sodium, both of which retard your body’s ability to burn body fat and show off the muscles underneath. In addition, since people equate “low fat” as being a low-calorie alternative, they tend to eat more total calories than their bodies need, and those extra calories – despite coming from a low-fat food source – still end up getting stored as body fat. You might as well just eat ice cream and at least enjoy the indulgence, because from a weight loss perspective, those low-fat foods are usually not going to actually help you lose weight.

You do extreme diets or fasts.
If you're fasting to try to melt fat faster, it could backfire by sending your body into starvation mode and slowing down your metabolism. "You're going to lose lots of water weight by fasting or doing a liquid-only diet, but you'll also lose muscle because you're depriving your body of essential nutrients such as protein," says Joy Dubost, PhD, RD, CSSD, also a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. That makes it harder to lose later because it leaves you with less muscle to burn extra calories and boost metabolism.

You only do cardio.
Studies show that resistance training, such as lifting free weights, followed by a cardio session burns more fat than cardio alone. "For the average person, it's best to do cardio after weight-training because your muscles need fuel to for maximum lifting performance," says Goldberg. "If you deplete that fuel with aerobic exercise, you won't get as many fat-burning benefits from weight-training."

Poor Planning
Your “best intentions” to really stick to your workout program or your nutrition plan are nothing more than self-indulgent hot air if you don’t back up those intentions with actual, consistent work towards those goals. A lack of planning on your part does not mean that your body is going to forgive you and start releasing body fat even though you forgot to bring a healthy lunch, or because you left your workout towel in the dryer at home. Plan out your day (or your week) in advance to be sure that with regard to your nutritional needs or your workout regimen, you are prepared every single day to do what you need to do to get results. At the end of the day (week, month, year, or decade), your body doesn’t care about your lack of planning. All it cares about is whether or not you did the work.

You wait too long to eat breakfast.
You may be in a mad rush to get out the door in the morning, but putting breakfast until 10 a.m. when you wake up at 7 only starts you off low on energy - and slows your metabolism. "The simple act of eating could raise your metabolic rate by as much as 10 percent," says Susan Kleiner, R.D., co-author of The Good Mood Diet and The Power Food Nutrition Plan. "You'll actually burn more calories by having breakfast first thing." To save time, make breakfasts that you can grab-and-go the night before: Try hard-boiling protein-packed eggs, or making smoothies to store in the fridge by blending a cup skim milk, 3 ice cubes, and 1 1/4 cup frozen strawberries or blackberries.

If any or all of these reasons that your body holds onto body fat are a part of YOUR lifestyle, now is the time to make a change. Don’t beat yourself up because of what you’ve done in the past – just plan and follow through on doing better in the future. At the end of the day, you are either overweight, or you’re not. And YOU are the only person who controls that.

Here is a list of our links.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

10 Health Food Imposters to Avoid

Every time you walk into a grocery store, you face a daunting task: picking the healthiest, most nutrient-packed foods to fuel your active lifestyle from thousands of choices. But colorful packaging, deceptive claims, and hidden ingredients confuse even the savviest shopper. Though they may seem like healthy options, here are 11 items that you should steer your cart away from the next time you go shopping. 

Pre-sliced packaged fruit Slicing ahead of time exposes more surface area, raising the risk for nutrient loss from oxygen exposure. And the packages are more expensive than whole fruit. 

Iceberg lettuce One of the most popular vegetables is also one of the least nutrient-dense. In general, the darker the leafy green, the bigger the nutritional bang. 

Bottled smoothies Many are sweetened with sugar or nutritionally poor juices like apple or pear. Plus, they almost always cost much more than making your own.

Yogurt-covered nuts and pretzels This fake yogurt covering is made with added sugars and unhealthy fats. 

Sweetened dried fruits Some dried fruits (e.g., cranberries) are bathed in extra sugars. Scoop unsweetened. 

Fat-free dressings "Fat is often replaced with sugars or other fillers," says Taub-Dix, "so these dressings may contain nearly as many calories as regular versions." Plus, you need some fat--it helps your body absorb vitamins and antioxidants.

Vegetable oils Made from GMO corn, soybean, or cottonseed, these heavily refined oils are high in inflammation-causing  acids. 

Fruit-on-the-bottom yogurts are loaded with sugars, syrups, flavorings, and artificial ingredients. 

Liquid egg whites
 lack the vital nutrients in an egg, including vitamin D and the brain-boosting compound choline. 

Vanilla soy milk is packed with added sugar. The best choices are unsweetened and fortified with calcium and vitamins.


Here is a list of our links.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Evidence-Based Healing Properties of 13 Common Fruits

By Sayer Ji - Wake Up World

Fruit is not only enjoyable to eat — as it should be, considering the very word fruit stems from the Latin word frui, meaning “to enjoy, use” — but it also nourishes and protects the body with powerful, built-in medicinal activity. Fruits are by design a “perfect food,” intended to entice animals to consume them in order to help disseminate their seeds, for instance. This means that unlike grains, and other lectin- and anti-nutrient-rich organisms, e.g. wheat, tomato, beans, we humans have chosen to make into our food, fruits are less likely to come equipped with “invisible thorns,” as they benefit as much in being eaten as we do in eating them. Also, like our now hard-wired biological dependence on obtaining vitamin C from external sources (unlike most animals we can not produce it from glucose), countless millennia of fruit consumption has left our genetic infrastructure in need of continual resupply of many of the key vitamins and phytocompounds they contain copious quantities of.

With this symbiotic relationship between fruit-bearing plant and seed-disseminating animal in mind, the following healing fruit facts won’t seem so unbelievable…

Grapefruit – Infection: The seeds of this fruit, at a dose of 5 to 6 every 8 hours for two weeks, have been shown effective in eradicating urinary tract infections, including drug-resistant strains.

Pineapple – Cancer: The enzyme bromelain, extracted from pineapple, has been shown to be more potent that the chemotoxic agent 5-fluorouracil in killing cancer, in the animal model.

Watermelon – Hypertension: Watermelon contains amino acids, such as L-citrulline, which help the blood vessels dilate naturally, countermanding endothelial dysfunction and reducing blood pressure.

Cherry – Inflammation/Pain: Compounds within cherries known as anthrocyanins have been shown to be as effective as NSAID drugs in reducing pain and inflammation.

Lemon – Kidney Stones:  Lemonade therapy has been shown to be a reasonable alternative for patients with kidney stones.

Papaya – Skin Ulcers: Used in Jamaica as a traditional medicine, new research indicates that topical application of unripe papaya fruit on chronic skin ulcers generates a positive response rate 72% of the time.

Pomegranate – Hormones: Pomegranate is the fruiting ovary of the pomegranate plant, contains potent plant estrogens which do not stimulate unregulated cell proliferation, and may function as an ideal “back up” ovary for women’s hormone health.

Kiwifruit – Cholesterol – When used with hawthorn, kiwifruit extract was found to be superior to simvastatin (trade name Zocor) in lowering cholesterol in mice fed a high cholesterol diet.

Cranberries – Cranberry: The extract of this berry has been shown as effective as the drug trimethoprim in the prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections in older women, without increasing the risk of antibiotic resistance/super-infection and/or fungal infection.

Elderberry – Flu: If you are lucky enough to find elderberry on your produce stand, you will find that it has been used as a natural anti-respiratory infection remedy since ancient times. New  research confirms that it contains flavonoids which compare favorably with the antiviral drug Tamiflu at binding to and preventing H1N1 infection.

Coconut – Gastric Ulcers: both the milk and the water of the coconut have been shown to have anti-ulcerogenic properties against NSAID drug-induced mucosal erosion.

Plantain – Diarrhea: Plantain has been used to treat diarrhea by traditional cultures as a folk medicine, but clinical research now confirms its value in the dietary management of persistent diarrhea in hospitalized children, in relation to diarrheal duration, weight gain and costs.

Strawberries – Heart Disease: Many red fruits and berries have now been shown to be valuable for heart health, but strawberry is beginning to emerge as uniquely beneficial to cardiovascular health. Strawberry powder has been shown to improve the lipid profile and oxidative stress markers, and markers of atherosclerosis, in women with metabolic syndrome.  Strawberry extract has also been shown to relax the lining of the blood vessels, which may reduce high blood pressure and disburden the heart muscle from over-exertion.  Even the strawberry leaf extract has been shown to increase coronary artery blood flow in a manner similar to hawthorn extract.

ABOUT THE AUTHORSayer Ji is the founder and director of and co-author of the book The Cancer Killers: The Cause Is The Cure with New York Times best-seller Dr. Ben Lerner and Dr. Charles Majors. His writings and research have been published in the Wellbeing Journal, the Journal of Gluten Sensitivity, and have been featured on,,,, and Check out his newest project: Dr. Gourmet.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Eight Ingredients You Never Want to See on Your Nutrition Label

By David Zinczenko with Matt Goulding

The year was 1950, and The Magic 8-Ball had just arrived in stores. It looked like a toy, but it wasn’t. It was a future-telling device, powered by the unknown superpowers that lived inside its cheap plastic shell. Despite a bit of an attitude—”Don’t count on it,” “My reply is no”—it was a huge success. Americans, apparently, want to see their futures.

A few decades later, Congress passed the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act that, among other things, turned the 45,000 food products in the average supermarket into fortune-telling devices. Americans inexplicably yawned. I’m trying to change that. Why? The nutrition label can predict the future size of your pants and health care bills.

Unfortunately, these labels aren’t as clear and direct as the Magic 8-Ball. Consider the list of ingredients: The Food and Drug Administration has approved more than 3,000 additives, most of which you’ve never heard of. But the truth is, you don’t have to know them all. You just need to be able to parse out the bad stuff. Do that and you’ll have a pretty good idea how your future will shape up—whether you’ll end up overweight and unhealthy or turn out to be fit, happy, and energized.

While researching the new Eat This, Not That! 2013: The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution, I identified 8 ingredients you never want to see on the nutrition label. Should you put down products that contain them? As the Magic 8-Ball would say: Signs point to yes.

1. BHA

This preservative is used to prevent rancidity in foods that contain oils. Unfortunately, BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) has been shown to cause cancer in rats, mice, and hamsters. The reason the FDA hasn’t banned it is largely technical—the cancers all occurred in the rodents’ forestomachs, an organ that humans don’t have. Nevertheless, the study, published in the Japanese Journal of Cancer Research, concluded that BHA was “reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen,” and as far as I’m concerned, that’s reason enough to eliminate it from your diet.

2. Parabens

These synthetic preservatives are used to inhibit mold and yeast in food. The problem is parabens may also disrupt your body’s hormonal balance. A study in Food Chemical Toxicology found that daily ingestion decreased sperm and testosterone production in rats, and parabens have been found present in breast cancer tissues.

3. Partially Hydrogenated Oil

I’ve harped on this before, but it bears repeating: Don’t confuse “0 g trans fat” with being trans fat-free. The FDA allows products to claim zero grams of trans fat as long as they have less than half a gram per serving. That means they can have 0.49 grams per serving and still be labeled a no-trans-fat food. Considering that two grams is the absolute most you ought to consume in a day, those fractions can quickly add up. The telltale sign that your snack is soiled with the stuff? Look for partially hydrogenated oil on the ingredient statement. If it’s anywhere on there, then you’re ingesting artery-clogging trans fat.

FIGHT FAT WITH FAT! Some fats, like trans fat, will pad you with extra pounds, but other types can help you shed unwanted weight. See for yourself—pick up these 5 Fatty Foods that Make You Skinny today!

4. Sodium Nitrite

Nitrites and nitrates are used to inhibit botulism-causing bacteria and to maintain processed meats’ pink hues, which is why the FDA allows their use. Unfortunately, once ingested, nitrite can fuse with amino acids (of which meat is a prime source) to form nitrosamines, powerful carcinogenic compounds. Ascorbic and erythorbic acids—essentially vitamin C—have been shown to decrease the risk, and most manufacturers now add one or both to their products, which has helped. Still, the best way to reduce risk is to limit your intake.

5. Caramel Coloring

This additive wouldn't be dangerous if you made it the old-fashioned way—with water and sugar, on top of a stove. But the food industry follows a different recipe: They treat sugar with ammonia, which can produce some nasty carcinogens. How carcinogenic are these compounds? A Center for Science in the Public Interest report asserted that the high levels of caramel color found in soda account for roughly 15,000 cancers in the U.S. annually. Another good reason to scrap soft drinks? They’re among The 20 Worst Drinks in America.

6. Castoreum

Castoreum is one of the many nebulous “natural ingredients” used to flavor food. Though it isn’t harmful, it is unsettling. Castoreum is a substance made from beavers’ castor sacs, or anal scent glands. These glands produce potent secretions that help the animals mark their territory in the wild. In the food industry, however, 1,000 pounds of the unsavory ingredient are used annually to imbue foods—usually vanilla or raspberry flavored—with a distinctive, musky flavor.

7. Food Dyes

Plenty of fruit-flavored candies and sugary cereals don’t contain a single gram of produce, but instead rely on artificial dyes and flavorings to suggest a relationship with nature. Not only do these dyes allow manufacturers to mask the drab colors of heavily processed foods, but certain hues have been linked to more serious ailments. A Journal of Pediatrics study linked Yellow 5 to hyperactivity in children, Canadian researchers found Yellow 6 and Red 40 to be contaminated with known carcinogens, and Red 3 is known to cause tumors. The bottom line? Avoid artificial dyes as much as possible.

THE DOMINO EFFECT: Sugar doesn’t just come in the form of cookies and candy. Discover the insidious ways it can creep into your diet with 9 Sneaky Sources of Sugar.

8. Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein

Hydrolyzed vegetable protein, used as a flavor enhancer, is plant protein that has been chemically broken down into amino acids. One of these acids, glutamic acid, can release free glutamate. When this glutamate joins with free sodium in your body, they form monosodium glutamate (MSG), an additive known to cause adverse reactions—headaches, nausea, and weakness, among others—in sensitive individuals. When MSG is added to products directly, the FDA requires manufacturers to disclose its inclusion on the ingredient statement. But when it occurs as a byproduct of hydrolyzed protein, the FDA allows it to go unrecognized.



Here is a list of our links.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Your Thoughts Create Your World: Patrol Your Mind

Dr. F. Emelia Sam

In my second year of residency, I went through my internal medicine rotation. I had just been assigned to a particular patient and was responsible for his care during that part of his stay. His medical chart stated he had multiple systemic issues, including more than one terminal condition.

He had been admitted to the hospital numerous times, but this was our first encounter. As I entered his room, I wasn’t sure what to expect. After all, this was a man with a limited amount of time left.

In the past, I’d had a few patients turn their anger toward me simply because I came into their space. Others were indifferent. Who could blame them? They were facing difficult circumstances—some of them potentially fatal. I just assumed this gentleman would fall into one of the two categories.

I was wrong.

When I walked in, I was met with a heartwarming smile and genuine welcome. This soft-spoken gentleman greeted me in the way one would a friend. I immediately felt a warmth and connection to him, and over the next few days he became the highlight of my day.

Looking back, I had to wonder what made this man face his situation in a completely different manner than others. He was able to keep the most pleasant disposition despite the fact that his body was slowly shutting down under the strain of his multiple ailments.

I understand now that he simply made a choice.

He could have easily chosen to think that life was unfair. He could have chosen to think he had a right to have a nasty attitude. He could have chosen to die bitter and broken.

He didn’t. He chose to think differently of circumstances most of us would consider dire. He chose not to dwell on the negative but instead made an effort to create positivity around him. If he had the power to choose a higher thought about his situation, it stands to reason that we all do. 

It took a long time to understand that my thoughts rule my experience. They often create the circumstances I encounter and they always interpret the challenges that are thrown my way. It is only the mind that assigns meaning to otherwise neutral events.

I didn’t understand that, initially. I allowed my mind to run rampant struggling to stay afloat in a sea of unrest. I was caught in the undercurrent.

It’s been said that we can have anywhere from 40,000-60,000 thoughts a day. I know that in the past, I was simply going along for the ride.

Most of our thoughts are benign, observational in nature. Some give order to the day. But it’s the thoughts in the undercurrent that undoubtedly influence every aspect of our lives.

It’s what we believe at the core that determines how content we allow ourselves to be.

Unfortunately, many of us hold the thought “I am not worthy” as our foundation. It’s what drives us to sabotage ourselves. It is what pulls apart relationships. It is the source of dissatisfaction. It is the reason for stagnancy.

Only when we believe ourselves to be responsible for our thoughts do we have the ability to change them. With awareness, “I am worthy” becomes a possibility.

I’m willing to bet that my former patient had an underlying thought of worthiness. I think it’s what drove him to express the best of his spirit because at his core, he believed he was worthy of having it reflected back to him.

He taught me, as he undoubtedly taught others, that outlook is independent of circumstance and stems from your foundational thoughts.

It is impossible to control every thought that enters our minds. However, we can make the effort to patrol our mental environment. We have the power to accept or reject any thought that floats through our consciousness. The only trick is to be conscious.

What are your foundational thoughts? Which ones are you choosing to keep? Which ones are you willing to change? The choice is solely your own.

About The Author: Dr. F. Emelia Sam is a writer, speaker, and oral surgeon in the Washington, DC region. She is the author of I Haven’t Found Myself but I’m Still Looking and How to Create the Life You Really Want: 20 Small Strategies for Big Changes.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How to Be Your Own Fitness Trainer

By Corrie Pikul

Your Goal: Find an "Emergency" Routine You Can Do Anywhere

You need a portable routine to squeeze in between scheduled workouts--something you can easily do in your living room, a hotel room or the spare room at your parents' house (where you'll be staying during your next visit). This routine by New York City celebrity trainer Joel Harper builds muscle, creates flexibility and keeps your fitness level up without requiring any equipment. Best of all: You need only 20 minutes. 

Your Goal: Work Out at Least Four Times a Week

You feel the most pumped to work out at night, but deadlines, family, friends and Mad Men have made it hard to stick to a schedule. Try picking an evening class (maybe even a pricey yoga or spin session) and treating it like a meeting or a social obligation. When you have a regular fitness appointment, you schedule the rest of your life around your workout instead of trying to fit your workout into your life, says Michelle Kennedy, MS, Best Life fitness expert. If that doesn't work, you may have to override your natural rhythms. The first week or two might be tough, but Kennedy swears a.m. workouts get easier over time. And she should know: because of her schedule and two young children, she needs to leave for the gym by 4:30 a.m.

Your Goal: Transition from the Treadmill to the Race Course

You've been racing yourself (or the little red dot that serves as your digital doppelganger) for months, and now you're ready to challenge another runner-or even a crowd of them. Personal trainer Andrea Metcalf has a six-week guide that will help you run your first 5K in under 30 minutes. It involves alternating a circuit of 2 minutes of walking followed by 2 minutes of jogging and then 1 minute of running.

Your Goal: Do Something About Your Tummy

It's one of life's unfair truths: Your chances of washboard abs are mostly determined by your body type-like how much extra weight you're carrying and where you're carrying it. But regardless of your abdominal DNA, you can build a stronger, more toned-looking core that can support your back, help you stand straighter (and therefore look slimmer) and lower your risk of injury. Skip sit-ups and crunches, and instead focus on planks: Here's how to do them correctly. Once you've mastered them, incorporate your legs and arms by doing mountain climbers like these with a stability ball. 

Your Goal: Get Red-Carpet-Ready Thighs

Squats are a big-name trainer's go-to move; you've seen them mentioned in articles about how this celebrity or that one got their pre-baby body back, or got fit for the beach scenes in their last movie, or prepared for that awards show. You know you can't easily spot-shrink the thighs nature (or your parents) gave you, but squats can help you reshape them.

Your Goal: Develop Comebacks to Your Best Excuses

You're pretty good about sticking to a fitness plan, but there are those days when you'd really love a kick in the sweatpants. Need a good reason to work out today? Here are Bob Greene's Top 10 excuse-busters, including the obvious (you want to look better) as well as the ones you often forget about (you love your kids, you don't sleep well). Print these out and tape them to the inside of your closet-it's the next best thing to having Bob on speed dial.

Your Goal: Save Money on Gym (and Trainer) Fees

A new survey from the American Cancer Society found that women are more likely to consider working out to be "work" than men: 40 percent of women said they would be more physically active in their free time if exercise felt more like play. You can relate. You're sick of cardio machines that don't take you anywhere, and you secretly hope to get kicked out of boot camp. Good news: You can burn just as many calories with some of these nontraditional exercises that make working out feel fun again. Instead of running, try Ultimate Frisbee, or drop the dumbbells in favor of a hiking pack you can take with you into the hills.


Here is a list of our links.


Monday, October 1, 2012

7 Foods for Cancer Prevention

Vitamin C — an antioxidant found in many fruits and vegetables such as grapefruit, oranges, bell peppers, and broccoli — helps to prevent the formation of cancer-causing nitrogen compounds. Diets high in vitamin C have been linked to a reduced risk of cancers of the stomach, colon, esophagus, bladder, breast, and cervix. These results are specific to vitamin C-rich foods, rather than supplements, which seem less reliable. So be sure to pile fruits and veggies on your plate – they're excellent for your body in so many ways!

Of all the fruits and vegetables studied, berries rank among the most likely to reduce cancer risk. Every year, we learn more and more about the benefits of these nutrition powerhouse fruits. Raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries in particular have shown very promising potential to help prevent cancer. An antioxidant called pterostilbene, found in high quantities in blueberries, has cancer-fighting properties and cranberries contain a whole drugstore's worth of cancer-fighting natural chemicals. Laboratory animals fed black raspberries had a 60 percent reduction in tumors of the esophagus and an 80 percent reduction in colon tumors. Next time you want a sweet treat, skip the cookies and feast on juicy, delicious berries that can boost your health.

Sweet potatoes
Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant. Studies have shown that people who eat a diet high in beta-carotene — found primarily in orange vegetables and leafy greens — have a reduced risk of cancer, particularly of the lung, colon, and stomach. Among premenopausal women, one study found that eating a lot of vegetables that include beta-carotene, folate, vitamin C, and fiber – like sweet potatoes — reduced the risk of breast cancer by about half.

Ground flaxseed
Omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent cancer by inhibiting cancer cell proliferation and disrupting steps that are critical to tumor growth. Omega-3 fatty acids also help reduce inflammation, which means they could theoretically reduce the possibility of cellular mutations. But even if omega-3s don't directly reduce the risk of cancer, they certainly help keep our bodies strong and healthy. For all of these reasons, I highly recommend adding omega-3–rich foods to your diet. In addition to fatty fish and shellfish, mixing ground flaxseed into yogurt and smoothies is an excellent way to include more omega-3s in your diet.

Turmeric is the yellow-colored spice found in curry powder. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, functions as both an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant, and it may help prevent cancer by interfering with aspects of cellular signaling. In laboratory animals, curcumin has been shown to help prevent cancer of the breast, colon, stomach, liver, and lung. Using curry powder to spice up fish and egg dishes is an easy way to incorporate it into your diet — and it has the added bonus of adding flavor to your meals, without any calories!

Cruciferous vegetables

All plant foods — grains, fruits, and vegetables — contain small amounts of phytonutrients: naturally occurring chemical compounds that are just as important as vitamins and minerals are for maintaining health. There are thousands of known phytonutrients, many of which have demonstrated the potential to protect us against cancer. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli,cauliflower, and cabbage contain phytonutrients known as glucosinolates, which may help inhibit the metabolism of some carcinogens and stimulate the body's production of detoxification enzymes.

Pomegranates are chock full of ellagic acid — the latest phytonutrient to enter the scene (although it's been quietly hanging out in berries, nuts, and pomegranates for millennia). In laboratory and animal studies, ellagic acid has been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth and deactivate cancer-causing compounds. To take advantage of these health properties, incorporate pomegranate seeds into smoothies or use them to top off a bowl of yogurt or cereal. Other foods rich in ellagic acid include raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, walnuts, pecans, cranberries, and grapes (red, black, purple).

Here is a list of our links.