Archive for the ‘General Health’ Category

Summer 101: Naturally Heal Your Sunburn

We have all been there before – a long day at the beach or outdoors turns our skin into a pretty bad case of sunburn!  Instead of dealing with the affects for a few days or even a week after the burn, we offer these natural ways to help your skin heal and to help you feel better in no time.

Of course, there are plenty of sunburn treatment lotions out on the market, but anything that contains a high amount of vitamin E or contains aloe vera will help to alleviate the pain of sunburn.  The vitamin E and aloe vera add nutrients to the skin that UV rays have unbalanced.  The aloe vera also cools your skin, helping to reduce the pain.

You may also find some good sunburn treatments right in your kitchen cabinet.  Vinegar, mustard, yogurt, tomatoes and avocado all contain that extra vitamin E that will help to cool your skin.

Spring Clean Your Diet

Now that the long, cold, endless winter is over it’s time to give up those comfort foods and trade them in for a spring cleaning of your diet!

The good news is it is possible to rid your body of harmful toxins that you may have indulged in during the winter months, just by eating better and right this spring.

These foods will help hydrate, refresh and detoxify your way into a healthier season and give you the energy you need to gear up for summer, too!

 

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  • Berry green smoothie – Get started with a healthy smoothie blending together a cup of greens like spinach, kale and celery with a handful of fresh berries.  The greens contain chlorophyll that eliminates toxins that can contribute to liver damage and other illnesses.  The berries are packed with antioxidants and enzymes that fight free-radical damage, plus their sweetness combat the bitterness in the greens.
  • Curry powder – Popular in Indian foods, curry gets its yellow color from a compound called curcumin.  According to holistic medicine, curcumin is used to help aid with liver issues and digestive disorders.  And because curry powder is also an anti-inflammatory it also contributes to the production of glutathione, a liver-protecting antioxidant.  You can add curry powder as an accent to almost any food including eggs, chicken, and vegetables.
  • Cabbage – Made up of nearly 92 percent water, cabbage is a natural diuretic that will help your body get rid of excess fluids. It is also jam packed with glucosinolates, organic compounds that contain nitrogen and sulfur, that help to flush out unwanted toxins in the body.  Cabbage also is loaded with many essential vitamins like C, K, E and A, plus minerals, dietary fiber and folic acid.

Water – Always start your day with a big glass of water and stay hydrated all day long by carrying around with you a reusable water bottle.  Drinking water before a meal can help curb hunger and overeating.

Women’s Health – Through the Decades

Women of all ages need to make sure to stay healthy and most experts break down women’s health routines by their age.  Here are some different checks and measures that should be met as women age, through their 60s.

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In your 20s…

Kick your unhealthy habits.  Sure we all drank too much, ate too much, and maybe smoked too much during our college days, but those days should be left at college. Many habits that you form in your 20s stick with you throughout your life, so let go of the bad ones!

Plan for an annual physical.  Schedule an annual check-up into your life and stick to it.  You will thank yourself and will be assured that you are doing as well as you feel.

Get your fill of calcium and vitamin D.

In your 30s…

Keep an eye on the scale as many women begin to deal with weight struggles in their 30s.

Get your sleep – all eight hours – if you can!

Pay attention to irregular periods as they can be telling you something about your ovaries or thyroid as you age.

In your 40s…

Get a mammogram.

Have a diabetes screening done, as your chances of having Type II diabetes is more common in your 40s.

Try to get at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise in per day.

In your 50s…

Pay attention to your heart and your risk factors like cholesterol and blood pressure.

Schedule a colonoscopy.

Get the flu vaccine every year.

In your 60s…

Have a bone density test done.

Make sure to increase your intake of vitamin B12, which helps to produce healthy red blood cells.

Inquire about getting a shingles vaccine and be careful of your risk factors for catching pneumonia.

Break those Bad Habits

From overeating to watching too much TV, there’s really only one way to break a bad habit – make a plan!  Unfortunately what may work for one person, may not work for another.  So here are some ways to break some of the most popular bad habits.  Hopefully it works for you!

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Watching too much TV. – Studies show that people watch an average of 4 hours of television each day and these studies also show that excessive T.V. watching can be linked to developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.  Here are some ways to avoid watching too much TV: only watch when there is something specific you want to see, do chores during commercials, make a list of things you need to accomplish before sitting down to watch TV, and create a TV-watching plan and stick to it.

Drinking too much alcohol. – Tired of being hung over and sluggish? Then you should do everything you can to cut back on drinking too much alcohol.  To cut back try these tips: drink one glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have, drink only when you are having a meal, or try drinking something that looks like an alcoholic drink, like rootbeer or a drink with a slice of fruit in it.

Smoking. – While this may be one of the hardest habits to break, it’s still possible as many, many people do it every year. The best plan is to talk things over with your doctor because they can offer the best cessation treatment for you.  But some other approaches that you may consider include: hypnotherapy, exercise or electronic cigarettes.

Overeating. – No matter how hard you try to cut calories, it still seems like sometimes the cravings are still there.  Experts say that sometimes it is best to give into those cravings.  When people do give into their cravings every once in awhile they have a better chance of losing weight and keeping it off, than those who ignore their cravings and avoid certain foods.  Experts also advise that if you can avoid nighttime eating that you will be well on your way to prevent overeating as well.

Healthy Benefits of Massage Therapy

For more than 120 years, experts have been researching the benefits of massage therapy, and besides the obvious stress-free feeling that people have following a massage, there are plenty of other benefits to this ancient healing procedure.

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One major benefit of massage therapy that researchers have found is that people who get massages on a regular basis have noticed a decrease in their blood pressure.

Massages also help to alleviate the pain of those who suffer from migraine headaches.

Massage can also: reduce your heart rate, increase blood circulation and lymph flow, relax your muscles, improve your range of motion, and increase endorphins. Some other physical benefits of massage therapy include: relieving muscle tension and stiffness, alleviating discomfort during pregnancy, reducing muscle spasms, promoting deeper and easier breathing, enhancing the health and nourishment of your skin, and improving your posture.

Massage therapy, while a physical act, is not all about physical benefits.  There are plenty of mental benefits that having a massage can give you.

Some of these mental benefits include: promoting mental alertness, relieving mental stress, reducing levels of anxiety, improving motor skills, creating   body awareness, and fostering a feeling of well-being.

While this article only touches on a few benefits of massage therapy, both physical and mental, there are plenty more out there that researchers are learning about each and every day.

So, go pamper yourself!

Odd Home Remedies… Fact or Fiction

Whether you heard it from your great aunt Millie or from your grandma’s neighbor, at some point in your life you have been told a home remedy or two that simply did not make any sense.  While there are plenty of home remedies that are more folk lore than fact, there are others that do indeed work. Here are some home remedies that were put to the test to determine – fact or fiction?

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Honey helps heal wounds… FACT.

Because of its antibacterial properties, honey is most effective as a wound healing agent.  According to studies, honey has an inhibitory effect to more than 60 different species of bacteria.  To heal a wound with honey, apply liberally and cover with a nonadherent dressing; change dressing once or twice a day.

A penny over a bee sting relieves pain and swelling… FICTION.

Unfortunately there is no medical evidence to show that putting a penny over your bee sting will relieve the pain and swelling.  Instead you should use aloe vera gel and apply it liberally or until it is absorbed, about 4 times a day.

Licorice helps heal sore throats… FACT.

Don’t run out and get a bag of candy though when you have your next sore throat because even though licorice helps heal sore throats, it is the active ingredient in the licorice root that actually has the healing power.  You can find licorice tea bags in most drug stores that will help to heal sore throats if you drink them twice a day upon feeling your first symptoms. Two notes though, don’t drink your tea after 6 p.m. as it may cause sleeplessness and do not take it if you have high blood pressure.

White flour on a small burn helps it to heal… FICTION.

White flour may not help a small burn to heal, but luckily the small burn category has a number of home remedies that do in fact work.  One suggestion is to use diluted apple cider vinegar (diluted with equal parts water) to apply to the burn.  You can also try honey, tea bags, oatmeal or milk.  If you go the tea bag route, apply wet, cool tea bags to the burn or you can soak a cloth in milk and apply it to your burn for 15 minutes, repeating every few hours for pain relief.

 

Benefits of Acai Berries

The acai berry represents a new trend in weight loss efforts, but its pound-dropping effectiveness may be questionable.

Although some claim that drinking the berry juice can stimulate weight loss, few studies can actually justify this theory according to www.webmd.com.

Although the acai berry may not actually help you lose weight, it is beneficial to you.  Like other berries in the same family, the acai berry has many antioxidants and is a good part of any diet.

Any fruit with high antioxidant content can help prevent heart disease and cancer.

Those with allergies to pollen, however, should be cautious.  Some allergy sufferers have been sensitive to this berry and should avoid it.

In conclusion, should you incorporate the acai berry into your diet?  Of course!  It has a place there, just like all fruits.

Should you base your weight loss regimen solely on this fruit?  Probably not.

It’s the Spring Cleaning Workout!

Sure, you would be hard-pressed to find a woman or a man who says that they actually enjoy the thoughts of spring cleaning…

But, if you just take into consideration how many calories are burned while you are doing your spring cleaning, then you may be a little more excited when spring rolls around this year.

The actual amount of calories burned will depend on your weight, gender and age, but there calculators that you can find online (FitDay or NutriStrategy) that will help you to calculate your actual calories burned.

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So dust off your mops, break out the cleaner and begin to sweat off the weight!

Gardening: 226 calories

Window washing: 226 calories

Scrubbing floors (on hands and knees): 291 calories

Laundry, ironing: 84 calories

Sewing repairs: 36 calories

Dusting: 97 calories

Scrubbing toilets, tub: 246 calories

Vacuuming: 317 calories

Cleaning gutters: 258 calories

Moving furniture, household items: 387 calories

Painting, papering, plastering: 317 calories

Sweeping: 194 calories

Mopping: 153 calories

Mowing the lawn: 148 calories

Washing dishes: 77 calories

Spotlight on: Dates

  • The history of date eating can be traced back to almost 6000 B.C.
  • There are various forms and kinds of dates, and the ways to eat dates are endless.
  • The fruit is packed with vitamins and minerals essential for daily intake, and is linked to preventing abdominal cancer, constipation, heart problems and even sexual problems.
  • The date also is ideal for daily intake because it helps digest food and prevent overeating.

 

Recipe: Date and Banana Cookies 

  • 3 oz. dried dates
  • 3 oz. walnuts, finely chopped
  • 3 medium bananas, mashed
  • 6 oz. oats
  • ¼ pint liver or sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Mix everything together really well and put tablespoons of the mixture onto an oiled baking sheet.

Flatten them down a bit and bake for about 20 minutes, until golden.

 

 

Recipe:  Date and Egg Breakfast 

  • 3 Tbsp corn oil
  • 1 medium (1/2 cup) onion, chopped
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Heat oil in skillet and stir-fry onions until golden. Add dates, pepper and stir-fry over low heat for 3 minutes.

 

Make four depressions in date/onion mixture and add one whole egg to each depression. Sprinkle with salt and fry for 3 minutes to cook eggs.

Serve warm.

Seasons 101: Gearing Up for Spring

As the ice and snow start to melt, everyone starts to think about getting back in shape for the spring and summer seasons.  Instead of hitting the exercise hard, many experts suggest easing back into your springtime routine.

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Start slow.  Take the time you need to jump start your spring diet and exercise plan.  By easing into your regimen you will be more successful in keeping with your diet and exercise plan.

Plan a New Menu.  You need to really look at your diet and the amount of calories you are consuming on a daily basis.  Choose foods that are low in calories but are filling to help you fight off the hunger throughout the day.

Get outdoors.  Now that the weather is breaking, mix up your exercise routine and enjoy the weather outdoors.  Walk, hike, bike, run … enjoy yourself and the beautiful season.