Spring is a Good Time to Revisit Your Resolutions

One way to look at making positive changes in our life is to focus on a few key areas—namely our diet, lifestyle or the personal products we use, making them more natural and less synthetic or chemically based.  Even a few such changes in our life will add up over an entire year.  Imagine how much better our body and mind might feel if we eliminated artificial compounds, chemicals and toxins from our food, beverages, clothing and personal care products.  GMO-tom

Here are some tips:

  • Buy organic, non-GMO foods whenever possible, and support local producers and farmer’s markets
  • Avoid personal care products with artificial ingredients and preservatives—ask at your local natural food store or natural pharmacy for the best products
  • Whenever possible, walk instead of drive, and if you must drive, park far away from your destination and take advantage of fresh air and moderate exercise
  • Consider that your bedding, rugs and carpets are of the highest natural quality, and if not, replace them as soon as you are able
  • Determine if your home has any unhealthy paint or other surface coatings and replace them when you are able

If we look at just one area of unhealthy exposure—pesticides—we can see how important making changes can be.  People can be exposed to pesticides in three ways:

  • Breathing (inhalation exposure)
  • Getting it into the mouth or digestive tract (oral exposure).
  • Contact with the skin or eyes (dermal exposure).

pesticidesPesticides can enter the body by any one or all three of these routes. Inhalation exposure happens if you breathe air containing pesticide molecules, either in the form of a vapor, an aerosol, or attached to small particles like dust. Oral exposure happens when you eat food or drink liquids containing pesticides. Dermal exposure happens when your skin is exposed to pesticides. This can cause irritation and burns on the skin surface, and in more serious cases, your skin can absorb the pesticide into the body, causing other more serious health effects.

My friend Beth Greer (www.supernaturalmom.com ) has a great series of articles on her website, most recently:

  • Is Antibacterial Soap Making Your Kids Fat? How Hormone Disruptors Wreak Havoc on Health
  • 10 FRUGAL WAYS TO LIVE CHEMICAL-FREE

Beth’s book, The Super Natural Home, is a treasure of such information and resources.

Even if you make modest improvements in one or more of these areas it could have a profound impact upon your health, the health of your family, friends and co-workers, and your pets.

Advertisements

How Food Combinations Affect Healthy Eating

food_combo

Dr. Haas and Betterforyou.com discuss food combining, and how it can benefit your digestion.

“When you eat certain foods, you produce certain digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid to digest. [Nutrients] like fat and protein trigger high hydrochloric acid production, and more alkaline things like fruits and vegetables don’t produce that much hydrochloric acid,” Haas says. When foods that have different digestive periods are eaten together, such as fast-digesting fruit and slow-digesting proteins,
one stays in the stomach longer and therefore can cause gas and cramps when it moves to the intestine.

Featured in The Washington Post

The Detox Diet, 3rd EditionDr. Elson’s new book, The Detox Diet, Third Edition, is featured in the Wellness section of The Washington Post.

“”Detoxing is a treat. It’s a vacation for the body, and especially for the digestive tract,” says Haas, who has been
promoting detox diets in his medical practice for 35 years. He is the founder and director of the Preventive Medical
Center of Marin in San Rafael, Calif.”

10 Tips to Stick to Your Health Resolutions

New Years has come and gone, and chances are you’re doing pretty well keeping your resolutions!

If your resolutions include loosing weight or controlling those late night food cravings, here are ten health tips to keep in mind:

1. Build a new way of eating into your life. Sugars in the diet, especially rapidly absorbed, refined sugars, are a key cause of obesity. Learn to use the Glycemic Index. Eating foods low on the Index provides you with a range of delicious fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and more — all foods that will help you keep your weight down and still enjoy your food.

Salty potato chips2. Be aware of food cravings, particularly for sugary or starchy snacks, from creamy candies to salty chips. Watch for the foods, nutrients, and lifestyle habits that cut your cravings.

3. Address any underlying issue that may be causing cravings, whether it’s candida yeast, habitual low blood sugar, or some other type of imbalance.

4. Apply the False Fat Diet program so you can discover your food reactions, reduce your food cravings, and clear other health conditions.

5. Learn to use the rotation diet to minimize any allergies and keep your meals interesting and tasty by trying new healthy foods and meal combinations.

Strawberries6. Cut out junk food — If you don’t buy it, you won’t eat it. Carry healthy foods and snacks to consume when you need to eat. Buy wholesome snacks for yourself and your family, chosen from foods low on the Glycemic Index, such as apples and plums, nuts and seeds, or popcorn.

7. During any type of weight reducing diet, weigh yourself only once or twice a week to avoid weight obsessions. Pay attention more to how you look and feel. To avoid feeling deprived, allow yourself to indulge once a week.

8. Remember to exercise on a regular basis.

Remember to exercise9. If you’re looking for snacks or find yourself becoming obsessed with food, change the pace. Do something productive — take a break, take a walk, or call a friend. Then, plan the right snack or meal for you.

10. If you still feel hungry, bloated, or heavier than you want, there may be an underlying physical problem. Seek the help of a healthcare professional with training in nutrition and preventive medicine.

Money-Saving Ways to Stay Warm

Winter is a great time to explore natural and environmentally-friendly ways to stay warm and save on our heating bills. In addition, maintaining a healthy body temperature enables us to function more optimally and ward off potential colds, infections, and other illnesses.

First of All—Stay Healthy!

A healthy human body is one big energy producing machine, especially when we give it the right fuel. When you look at a picture of the human body with infrared technology, all you see is radiating heat—At its normal resting state, it generates enough heat to boil a gallon of water each day. The body’s heat cycles vary daily, but certainly by insuring that your body is in a good state of metabolic health, you can do a lot to maintain a healthy body temperature even during cold winter months.

Cover Your Windows and Seal Your Doors

If you haven’t yet insulated (double-paned) your windows and sealed your doors, you can take short-term measures to save heat and money. Cover your windows with a sheet or blanket, making sure that the window is all the way closed first and that your covering is not near a heating system. Weather stripping around doors and even taping around the edges of doors that aren’t used may also help keep out those cold drafts.

Hot Water Bottles, Hot Tubs, Saunas

One of water’s many miraculous qualities is that it has a high heat capacity. A bottle of warm water will hold its heat for a while even in a cold house, acting as a very cheap mini-furnace. The rubber bottles made for this purpose may be better insulated and more comfortable to hug, but any bottle will do. Also, taking hot baths (showers not as good for building body heat) or hot tubs if you are lucky enough to have access to one is a good way to heat up the body, as are dry saunas.

Nutrition and Herbs

Food is our body’s fuel and feeds the furnace. We burn calories and that produces heat. During the colder months, we need more cooked foods and more complex carbs, proteins and fats to fuel our furnace. Baked squashes are good, hot soups, nuts and seeds as snacks, and roasted veggies are all good choices. Warming herbs, either sprinkled on foods or cooked in them, include garlic and onions, ginger and mustard, cayenne pepper, and chilies.

Get to the Root

A great and healthful source of winter warming is to eat cooked root vegetables like carrots, onions, turnips, parsnips, yams, and sweet potatoes (also, the hard squashes have a great warming effect on the body).

Hot beverages

A true no-brainer, cups of tea or other hot healthful beverage are an integral part of any winter survival plan. Ginger root tea, simmered with slices of about half to one teaspoon per cup of water for 5-10 minutes, can be drunk with some lemon and honey for throat soothing and got enhancing body heat.

Move It or Lose It

Working out, exercising, and moving during the winter may not seem like the most enjoyable activity, but it works!  As well as giving you a rush of endorphins, which boosts your mood, exercise will get the blood pumping around your body and vitally heat up your skin. Blood and body fluids from the warmer parts of your body are more efficiently transmitted to the cooler parts of your body.

Keep Your Extremities Protected

Who hasn’t been out in the winter freeze and felt their ears burning, or their fingers and toes tingling from the frigid temperature. Your extremities are farthest away from your body’s heat center, and their circulation is more readily restricted that other parts of the body when we are trying to save energy.

Be Social

Probably the most enjoyable ways to stay warm during the winter months is to hang out with friends and family. Besides creating activity (and heat) and distracting you from the cold, more people produce more heat.