Thursday, March 7, 2019

Have You Tried Turmeric?

Hello friends! I'm so sorry for the lapse in blog posts lately, please forgive me. It's been a roller-coaster start to the year, so some things haven't gotten done. Thanks for your patience!

For today, I wanted to share this article about turmeric by Dr. Axe.

I've been hearing more about turmeric lately, and about how it has many health benefits - including reducing inflammation, helping with detoxification, regulating blood sugar, etc. This article lists 12 health benefits of turmeric.

Note: Please be sure to read the cautions at the bottom of the article as well. Because of the properties in turmeric, such as helping to thin the blood, it's not recommended for people with certain conditions or for pregnant women. As always, it's important to understand the properties of an herb/spice before using it.

For years I wasn't able to eat any spices, so I haven't tried turmeric before. And I understand if that's your situation as well. But if you can use spices, this one definitely seems worth researching. And if you've experienced benefits from turmeric, please feel free to share with us in the comments.


Thursday, December 27, 2018

Finding Non-toxic Laundry Detergent

Over the years as I've been around different people who use different laundry detergents, I've noticed that some detergents are much worse than others. Some detergents have caused severe symptoms for me, such as trouble breathing, sinus infections, headaches, rashes, etc. Other detergents may have a strong smell, but not bother me severely. And then there are a few that don't have much smell and don't bother me.

I know which brands are the worst for me. However, for people who don't have allergic reactions, sometimes it's hard for them to believe that their laundry soap is highly toxic.

So here is a good resource that has an objective scoring system for laundry detergents, based on the known ingredients in them (not all products disclose all of their ingredients, which is also concerning). The scores are on an A - F scale (A being the best and F being the worst).

I wasn't surprised that many Tide products had an F score. And I was thankful to see that the Charlie's Soap (available on Amazon*) had an A score. (That's the brand I've used for several years now.) I was surprised that there are so many laundry products and brands (hundreds).

Here is the link to the list of general laundry detergents. You can search for a specific brand, or view the products listed for each grade.

I hope this resource will be helpful for your own shopping choices, as well as for when you want to share facts with others about certain ingredients and the known dangers of toxins.

Laundry products are potentially so harmful because they get in and stay in our clothes that we wear 24/7, in our sheets, towels, etc. That's why it's very important to use products that are as non-toxic as possible.

By the way, out of 180 fabric softener products reviewed, only 13 had an A or B score. Here's the link to see the information about those: 

Let's keep up the good work of making healthy choices and encouraging others to as well. =)

(*FYI - For some products that I recommend, I use my affiliate link to Amazon. If you purchase through those links, I will receive a small percentage in affiliate income. My goal is to recommend quality products. Wherever you choose to purchase them, I hope you will find them helpful.) =)

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Support Your Health

I apologize for missing a post earlier this month. I've been dealing with a lot of changes and challenges, but I'm so thankful that God continues to provide, to heal, and to work out His plans for me. I hope you're encouraged by His faithfulness in your life as well.

As I was talking with a friend recently, I realized something about a lot of health programs or health professionals. Sometimes they have an attitude of "no pain, no gain." And so they end up pushing the body or causing stress.

But our bodies are intricately designed and an amazing creation. God equipped our bodies with the ability to heal and repair themselves through many different processes.

When we face health challenges, instead of "pushing" the body to try to get better faster, what we need to do is "support" the body so it can heal in the best way.

Pushing vs supporting may seem like a small distinction, but it's actually very important.

When we do therapies or programs that push the body, it causes stress. Stress causes a negative response in the body, which actually can lead to more harm than good. You may have noticed in certain exercise programs, that if you push your body too hard, it will "push back" at you, because it's trying to send you a message.

In contrast, when we support the body, we are giving it what it needs to do its job. We are working with the body, not causing stress.

When it comes to various health regimes or remedies that you are considering trying, it might be helpful to start asking yourself this question:

Will doing this ___ push my body, or support my body?

If something seems like it would push instead of support, it might be better to look for a different program or therapy.*

There are many ways you can support your body to help it do what it's created to do. Some basic things you can do are -
- deep breathing
- gentle stretching
- good nutrition
- adequate rest
- healthy water
- laughter

Sometimes supplements, probiotics, herbs, essential oils, etc. can also be helpful in supporting your body. As long as you're paying attention and not letting it become something that pushes the body.

What do you think? Can you identify things you've tried before that were actually pushing your body instead of supporting it?

What things can you do this week to help support your body?

*Yes, there is a time for physical therapy, which can feel uncomfortable or even painful. But a good therapist knows what the body needs to help it heal vs what would push it too far and cause more damage. So in essence, even PT is designed to support the body's healing process, not to push it.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Thankful For Thanksgiving

Next week is Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays. I like the simplicity of it - a day to think about all we have to be thankful for.

Yet, I know life can be so tough sometimes. Many of my friends are going through difficult situations, grief, struggles, or suffering. I don't pretend life is always great and we should just be happy.

At the same time, I can testify that even in the hardest times of my life, I had much to be thankful for. I had my mom who reminded me to smile and shared what she was thankful for. I had people praying for me. I had God's Word always available for me. I had my heavenly Father who is sovereign over my life and everything I go through.

Every day I have unchanging truths, eternal hope, and an ever-present Savior.

I don't always stop to remember and appreciate these gifts, but they are always there.

So, I could use this post to quote statistics about how giving thanks is good for your brain, good for reducing stress levels, good for relationships, etc. But I don't think you need statistics to tell you that.

I think what we all need is a gentle nudge...

Have you given thanks today?
Is there someone you're thankful for who you can express appreciation to today?
What gifts from God can you remember and thank Him for today?

I believe thanksgiving itself is a gift from God. It really does change our attitude, refresh our perspective, and benefit our health.

So, I'm thankful for the technology which allows me to have this blog. =)
I'm thankful for every time God uses my life to encourage someone else.
I'm thankful for the many wonderful people I'm blessed to know.
I'm thankful that God loves me every day, no matter what.
And I'm thankful for Thanksgiving.

What are you thankful for today?

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Some veggies with your chemicals?

You probably heard sayings like this when you were a kid...
Like when you put so much syrup on your pancakes that your sister asked you, "Do you want some pancakes with your syrup?"
Or when you lathered the butter on your potatoes until your parent said, "Do you want some potatoes with your butter?"
It was their way of putting things in perspective. What are you actually eating more of?

So, would you like some veggies with your chemicals?

The sad reality is that today most conventional produce is overwhelmed with chemicals - pesticides, insecticides, etc.

Each year the Environmental Working Group puts out a report about which produce has the most pesticide and the least. You can read the full report on their website. It has a lot of information to help you understand the current situation of produce in America, including information about GMO's, studies that have been done on the effects of pesticide in children, etc.
Just to give some perspective, here are some quotes from the report:

"The USDA tests found a total of 230 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on the thousands of produce samples analyzed."

"A single sample of strawberries showed 20 different pesticides."

"People who eat organic produce eat fewer pesticides. A 2015 study...found that people who report they often or always buy organic produce had significantly lower quantities of organophosphate insecticides in their urine samples."

This problem is for real. And while not eating any fruits or veggies might seem like the easiest path, thankfully there is information to help us make good decisions about what we put in our bodies.

So to help us shop smarter, EWG uses the research and data to make two lists:
1) The "Dirty Dozen" - the fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides.
2) The "Clean 15" - the produce with the least amount of pesticides.

They suggest, and I agree, to buy organic produce whenever possible. However, if you can't, then you can use these lists to help you know which produce is vital to buy organic or to just avoid, and which produce has fewer chemicals, if you choose to not buy it organic.

"Dirty Dozen"
1. Strawberries
2. Spinach
3. Nectarines
4. Apples
5. Grapes
6. Peaches
7. Cherries
8. Pears
9. Tomatoes
10. Celery
11. Potatoes
12. Sweet bell peppers
+Hot peppers (tested positive for insecticides)
If you aren't already buying organic for these fruits and veggies, you might want to consider it. Or check your local farmer's market, as sometimes they sell organic for less or they may use fewer chemicals in their farming.

"Clean 15"
1. Avocados
2. Sweet corn*
3. Pineapples
4. Cabbage
5. Onions
6. Sweet peas frozen
7. Papayas*
8. Asparagus
9. Mangoes
10. Eggplant
11. Honeydew
12. Kiwi
13. Cantaloupe
14. Cauliflower
15. Brocoli

*Some sweet corn, papayas, and summer squash come from genetically modified seeds, so to avoid GMO's, you might want to buy these organic.

Obviously, it's vital to wash your produce and to peel it before consuming it. And try to be mindful of this reality when shopping or eating out. Eating a salad at a restaurant might actually be putting more chemicals in your body than doing it good from eating the salad.... I know it's not fun to have to deal with this challenge. But your body will thank you for being aware and thoughtful about what you put into it.

I hope this information will help you find good produce to enjoy and that will contribute to good health!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Foods To Avoid

Last week I wrote about some food products that I've found that have been helpful for me. This week I thought I'd share an article from Dr. Axe. It's about some foods that you may have heard described as "healthy," but they really aren't. Here are just a few foods from his list of 21:

- fruit juice
- soy
- tilapia
- table salt
- canola oil

Here's his article: "21 'Health' Foods You Should Never Eat." 

I hope you'll take a few minutes and read through the rest of the list. What we put in our bodies really is important. Since the food industry continues to sell unhealthy food products, it's up to us to be informed and make healthy decisions.

On a positive note - what's your favorite healthy food this week? Please share with us in the comments. =)

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Some Helpful Products

I’ve been trying to eat really healthy again lately (after a few months of not being able to for various reasons). As I’ve shopped and read labels and explored, I’ve found a few products that have been helpful for me. So I thought I’d share them in case you’ve also been looking for such things. =)

Protein bars:
RX Bars – I was so happy to find these because they don’t have preservatives and junk in them! They come in several different flavors, including blueberry, chocolate mint, etc. They are pretty chewy, so if you have teeth problems they might not work for you. They also have egg whites, so might not work for those with egg allergies. I like that they have very few ingredients and taste good. They are great to carry with you if you need quick protein, or to have as a snack throughout the day.
*Most grocery stores now carry these. Walmart and Target also sell them by the box instead of as individual bars.

I found a brand of water kefir called Kevita that I really like. It’s carbonated, and it’s sweetened with stevia, so that might not work for some people. The taste is good, though it’s got a bit of a zing to it. There are various flavors, and each one contains different ingredients, so be sure to read the label and make sure you’re ok with the specific ingredients. Some of them have acai or coconut, apple cider vinegar, etc. I don’t usually drink the whole bottle, and so far I’m not drinking one every day. But even with that, it seems to be helpful for me.
*Many grocery stores carry this brand, as well as Whole Foods and some Target stores. It’s usually with the other fermented drinks such as kombucha, etc. (Watch the expiration dates though, as some may have sat on the shelf too long.)

I’ve had a hard time finding healthy yogurt. One brand that I liked was discontinued. Another kind became very hard to find. So recently I’ve been eating the Stoneyfield organic yogurt for babies, called Yo Baby. It comes in a 6-pack of small servings and has various flavor options, such as peach/pear or apple/blueberry, as well as plain. It has very few ingredients and not too much sugar, so it's been a good option for me lately. 
*Many grocery stores and some Walmart stores carry it.

Garden of Life brand has a children’s chewable probiotic called Organic Kids+ that I’ve been using lately. Especially if you don’t like to swallow pills, these are easy to take. They do have several ingredients in addition to probiotics, so read the whole label and make sure you’re ok with all of the ingredients. I’m not taking these every day, but I rotate them with another probiotic, and that seems to work well for me. They do need to be refrigerated.
*You can find these at Whole Foods or online (or maybe at your local health food store).

Bark Thins snacking chocolate has become a favorite this year. These dark chocolate snacks come in different options – chocolate covered almond, coconut, pumpkin seed, etc. The different options have varying sugar content, so be sure it's not too much sugar for you. Also, some of them contain rice ingredients. But in general they seem to be a pretty healthy chocolate snacking option, definitely better than candy bars, etc.
*Most grocery stores, Walmart, and Target now stock these.

If you’re not gluten-free, but you want to avoid yeast, Mission tortilla brand now has organic options. They have organic white flour and organic whole wheat flour tortillas. They aren’t completely free of preservatives, but short of making my own, they’ve been a good option for me.   
*These are a little harder to find, but some grocery stores and some Target stores carry them.

I hope this is helpful. I'm thankful for these options that are helping me eat healthier and still enjoy what I eat! =)