stress much?

stressed-out-mom(source)

Yeah….me too.

When most women talk about stress they are usually referring to an emotional stress or tension.  And what constitutes as tormenting stress to one may be a cake walk for someone else!   (who are those women?)  Either way, any ‘stressor’ can trigger the body’s automatic stress-response system.  Now you’re going to welcome in illness, such as a common cold, a heart attack or even cancer.

Ain’t nobody got time for that!

TIPS FOR EATING DURING STRESS

  • Don’t forget breakfast!! If you are running on empty, stress will be much harder to manage
  • Slow down!  Eating quickly can cause digestive problems, which will only make things more stressful
  • Don’t diet!  (It’s about time someone said that!) Changing your eating habits can be stressful even during the good days!
  • Pass on the cocktail and caffeine!  They will affect your mood and sleep patterns.
  • Listen to your body!  Avoid foods that cause discomfort and get plenty of sleep at night.

Good nutrition is extremely important during those bouts of stress.  Your food will provide energy, vitamins and minerals for dealing with stress and help to attack any negative nellies that are zeroing in on your immune system.

Take a hike!  No seriously….get outside.  Go for a walk and take some deep breaths.  Look up at the clouds and remind yourself of the important things in life….and count your blessings!  Be grateful for waking up!  Can’t park up close to the store?  Thank God you have two good legs and can probably use the extra steps to burn some calories.

When you see what you DO have, you’ll have a stronger sense of peace and that stress will begin to disappear….

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hangover….leaving you high and dry….

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Drink a little too much over the weekend, did you?  Well, this is where the “bratty little sister” comes out of me because I don’t drink and I TALK IN ALL CAPS JUST TO MESS WITH YOU!!

Ok…sorry.  But I do want to help you out, my little saucy friend.  You obviously found out a long time ago that alcohol invariably results in a hangover.  But just how much alcohol is necessary to produce that hangover depends on the biochemical individuality of the person drinking and also what that person is drinking.

Liquor

Distilled liquors, like whiskey and gin, have a more immediate impact than wine or beers.  And did you know that all alcohol is absorbed more quickly when mixed with a carbonated beverage?  Yup!  Once it hits the bloodstream, the alcohol reaches the brain in minutes.

First acting as a stimulant, then a bit of euphoria, down a few more and then comes central nervous system depression and feelings of numbness and finally sleep or unconsciousness THINK, PEOPLE!  Drinking too rapidly, especially a large amount of alcohol, can be fatal.

According to Linda Page’s, Healthy Healing, “a hangover should be gone by five o’clock the next day.  If it isn’t, you probably have alcohol poisoning.  This severe type of hangover is alcohol poisoning with dehydration thrown in.” 

Great.  Now look what you’ve done.

Ok.  Let’s just stop spinning for a moment and see what we need to do.  First let’s see what she says about diet:

NUTRITIONAL THERAPY PLAN

  • Restabilize your body with Vitamin B rich, high fiber foods like brown rice and vegetables to soak up the alcohol.  Add antioxidant foods like cruciferous veggies and soy foods to help detoxify.
  • Drink cranberry juice to protect your liver.
  • NO ‘hair of the dog’ drinks; they drag out a hangover.  Eat crackers and honey at bedtime instead to burn up and soak up alcohol.
  • Drink up several glasses of water at bedtime and in the morning to stave off a killer headache.

ANTIOXIDANT HANGOVER CHASERS

  • Drink plenty of OJ and tomato juice.  Fructose helps your body burn alcohol.
  • Mix tomato juice, green and yellow onions, celery, parsley, hotpepper sauce, rosemary leaves, fennel seeds, basil, water, and Braggs’s Liquid Aminos.  Drink straight down.
  • Knudsen’s Very Veggie Spicy juice

BEST FACE FORWARD

  • If you forgot to take off your makeup before you, literally, fell into bed (GASP) use a gentle remover, not soap.
  • Be gentle, your skin is probably still puffy and sensitive
  • Use an oil-free moisturizer or a tinted moisturizer.  Blend with your fingers to start blood flow, while gently ‘piano tapping’ under eyes.  Use a bronzing powder and stay away from pinks…don’t make it worse than it is, sweetie.
  • Drink lots of water to wash away bloating and toxins and to replace the lost fluid
  • If possible, try to get out into some sunlight and get some light exercise.  It will work the alcohol out of your system by increasing your intake of oxygen.
  • Refresh your face throughout the day by carrying a spritzer bottle filled with chamomile tea that is cooled.  The chamomile will calm down the redness of your face and keep you hydrated.
  • And for crying out loud, put on some sunglasses and bright lipstick.

Next time?  Fake it. 

Have sparkling water with a splash of cranberry juice…..nobody will know the difference and you will wake up looking fan-freaking-tastic!!!  You’re welcome!!

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ring, ring………aloe?

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You’ll want to answer the phone if this little beauty calls!!

Did you know that aloe vera is a real part of weight loss and fitness program?  Well, it is!  When you injest aloe, you can begin your quest to lose weight and to gain muscle massE-How tells you how…here!

Aloe vera is also extremely important for all types of digestive problems and can help you recover from colitis, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and other digestive illnessesHow?  It helps to cut and dissolve mucous in the intestines and it supports the replication of healthy cells that line our digestive tract.

Aloe vera has also shown the ability to inhibit arthritis, edema and inflammation!  What are you waiting for? 

And how about skin irritationsPlease!  Natural News tells you how HERE…

Here are a few ouchies that can be treated with aloe:

  • abrasions
  • acne
  • arthritis
  • athlete’s foot
  • brown spots
  • burns
  • eczema
  • hemorrhoids
  • insect bites/stings
  • poison ivy
  • poison oak
  • psoriasis
  • rashes
  • scars    and the list goes on and on!!

Just cut a leaf of aloe veraTry this!

1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

1 cup organic strawberries

1/2 cup goji berries or blueberries

1/2 of aloe leaf (remove the skin, keep the gel)

Blend, baby, blend!  Add water or ice if you want….serve cold……ALOE!!!

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Spirulina, the Protein Queen…..a crowning achievement…

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Spirulina….a lovely algae, no?  The Aztecs knew what was up, back in the 16th century and were known to mix it with chocolate.  Chocolate, people.  I’m already on board.

This is one bad (as in good) protein and here is why:

  • It contains the highest concentration of protein (by weight) of any food known.
  • Spirulina is the richest beta carotene food
  • It is the highest source of B12
  • A disease fighter
  • A blood builder
  • An immune system booster

Unlike animal foods, (which day by day I am talking myself out of) Spirulina is a pure, raw source of protein.  It does not have to be cooked and in fact, never should be cooked.  Yay!  Less cooking!

It is readily absorbed and can be easily blended into your favorite beverage, such as a smoothie, or juice.

Spirulina-Powder

According to herb wisdom, “every 10 grams of spirulina can supply up to 70% of the minimum daily requirements for iron, and about three to four times of minimum daily requirements for vitamins A (in the form of beta carotene), B complex, D,and K. By itself, it does not contain vitamin C, but it helps maintain this vitamin’s potency.

Spirulina is rich in gamma-linolenic acid or GLA, a compound found in breast milk that helps develop healthier babies. Moreover, with its high digestibility, spirulina has been proven to fight malnutrition in impoverished communities by helping the body absorb nutrients when it has lost its ability to absorb normal forms of food.

Another health benefit of spirulina is that it stimulates beneficial flora like lactobacillus and bifidobacteria in your digestive tract to promote healthy digestion and proper bowel function. It acts as a natural cleanser by eliminating mercury and other deadly toxins commonly ingested by the body.”

Ok, so let’s get down to taste.  It is a deep green, slightly blue dry algae powder.  Have you ever been in a bait store?  You know, with your grandpa to go fishing…..well, it sorta smells like that.  Fish. In a wet sock. 

You want to be sure that it has a ‘fresh’ smell.  I’ve heard that bad spirulina smells sour or rancid.  Now that, my friends will be hard to tell.  You should speak to a qualified person at your health-food store….and not the temporary Christmas help….you are going to want good quality spirulina.  Or a better option is to check out David Wolfe and read about his incredible knowledge when it comes to superfoods and nutrition.  You will be ASSURED to get the best quality, organic superfoods!  The website will tell you where you can purchase his products or you can go straight to http://www.longevitywarehouse.com/

Look for it to be sold like this:

  • powder (dried)
  • powder (with lecithin)
  • tablets (what I take…with orange juice to get ’em down)
  • protein powder products
  • blue pigment extracts
  • raw spirulina chocolate bars and spirulina energy bars

I usually add spirulina to my smoothies to mask the taste, when I am using the powder.   I am throwing spinach, kale, blueberries, acai berries, raspberries, banana, and cacao nibs in my blender.  A little spirulina tossed in cannot be tasted….just don’t obsess over it and think of the fabulous benefits!

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mistletoe curing cancer? is it almost christmas??

mistletoe bunch

When you think of Mistletoe, do you think of cancer?  No?  Well, this might change your mind!

You can certainly find mistletoe in the United States, but it’s the species found in Europe that is being used in treatment for cancer, inflammatory conditions and AIDS.

Rudolph Steiner, an Austrian Swiss physician, first used this in 1920 and founded the Society for Cancer Research.  The leaves and  twigs are used when making this herbal extract,  but not the berries, so replace your centerpiece.

mistletoe

The mistletoe preparations are used to stimulate the immune system, kill cancer cells, and help to reduce tumor size.  It’s also been said to reduce the pain and side effects of chemotherapy in some cancer patients.

A typical course can last several months to a year.  The doses are increased according to the patient’s condition.  Usually given by injection, it can also be given orally depending on the particular cancer.

“Mistletoe extracts are promoted as a remedy for numerous types of cancer, including cancer of the cervix, ovaries, breast, stomach, colon, lung, and as a treatment for leukemia, sarcoma, and lymphoma.

Promoters also claim mistletoe can lower blood pressure, decrease heart rate, relax spasms, and relieve symptoms of arthritis and rheumatism. It is further claimed to have sedative effects and is promoted to relieve the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy”, says Cancer.org.

Bottom line:  Is this in your backyard?  No, but I was able to find a list of doctors that are currently using this form of treatment!

Sources:

http://www.cancure.org/iscador_mistletoe.htm

http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/herbsvitaminsandminerals/mistletoe

thought about a macrobiotic diet lately?

Hmmm…..the macrobiotic diet.  I’ve heard of it but had always associated it with hippies….maybe chained to a tree.  Turns out, it’s one of the healthiest way of eating and has been practiced throughout history.  It’s based on nutritional balance  and is a flexible pattern of eating that differs according to climate, environment, condition of health, sex, age, activity level and personal need.

Well!  That means it could be slightly different for each person, depending on the season and environment.  So what can I  eat?

The Standart Microbiotic Diet consists of:

  • Whole grains and grain products
  • Soups
  • Vegetables
  • Beans
  • Sea vegetables
  • Fish and seafood
  • Fruit
  • Pickles
  • Nuts and Seeds

There are more guidelines to the macrobiotic way of life (read: hippie) that might keep someone from adopting the entire lifestyle because of these things to avoid:

  • Most exotic and rare woods
  • Aluminum
  • Non-recyclable plastics and packaging
  • Treated non-stick pans and cookware
  • Formica
  • Animal products
  • Copper
  • Products containing lead
  • Disposable products
  • Recyclable plastics
  • Enamelware
  • Alloys other than stainless steel
  • electronic kitchenware

So, if you’re not ready to get rid of your oven, microwave, ziplocs and Tupperware…you might just want to follow the diet by incorporating these healthy foods each day.  Also throw in a LOT of spring water and teas.

You can get more info on the microbiotic diet HERE.

Eating healthier makes good sense and helps you to shine from the inside out!!

what the heck is moringa?

Glad you asked…..or maybe you didn’t’….. but humor me while I tell you what I dug up…

According to the book Lost Crops of Africa, volume II” by the National Research Council, moringa leaves contain seven times the vitamin C in oranges, four times the calcium in milk, four times the vitamin A in carrots, two times the protein in milk, three times the potassium in bananas and twice the amount of iron in spinach. Optima of Africa, Ltd., a group working with the tree in Tanzania, also points out that 25 g — or close to an ounce — of moringa leaf powder per day provides a child with 42 percent of his daily protein requirement, 125 percent of calcium, 61 percent of magnesium, 41 percent of potassium, 71 percent of iron, 272 percent of vitamin A and 22 percent of vitamin C. Various parts of the tree also contain the minerals zinc, manganese, phosphorus and copper. (via)
Now there’s a nutritional powerhouse!!
Turns out this little miracle tree can not only provide for you medicinally, but it can even purify your water! Virtually every part of the tree can be used!
Craaazy! 
Natural News says, “The immature pods are the most valued and widely used of all  the tree parts. The pods are extremely nutritious, containing all the essential  amino acids along with many vitamins and other nutrients. The immature pod can  be eaten raw or prepared like green peas or green beans, while the mature pods  are usually fried and possess a peanut-like flavor The thickened root is used as a substitute for horseradish  although this is now discouraged as it contains alkaloids, especially  moriginine, and a bacteriocide, spirochin, both of which can prove fatal  following ingestion. The leaves are eaten as greens, in salads,  in vegetable curries, as pickles and for seasoning. They can be pounded up and  used for scrubbing utensils and for cleaning walls. Leaves and young branches  are relished by livestock. The Bark can be used for tanning and  also yields a coarse fiber. The flowers, which must be cooked,  are eaten either mixed with other foods or fried in batter and have been shown  to be rich in potassium and calcium.”
So where the heck have I been?  Even Dr. Oz has been talking about it!!!  It’s practically a money tree….of nutrition!
Moringa Leaves are full of essential disease-preventing nutrients:
  • Vitamin A, which acts as a shield against eye disease, skin disease, heart ailments, diarrhea, and many other diseases.
  • Vitamin C, fighting a host of illnesses including colds and flu.
  • Calcium, which builds strong bones and teeth, and helps prevent osteoporosis.
  • Potassium, essential for the functioning of the brain and nerves.
  • Proteins, the basic building blocks of all our body cells.

And here’s something cool…..Trees for Life is helping to spread awareness of Moringa’s benefits, and helping people grow their own Moringa trees.   That is waaay cool!  Helping people help themselves!!

They are also encouraging scientific research on Moringa and its potential uses.  Your gift of Moringa trees can help hungry people lead healtier, happier lives.

Wanna try some Moringa in capsule form?  I just purchased some HERE.  You can choose from a tea, leaf powder or the capsule form.  Since I am a bit silly when it comes to something new, I decided on the capsule form.  I will keep you posted on my new super-powers to come!

Even pastry chef’s know that old age can crepe up on you….

Did you know that according to the United Nations World Population Prospects,  the average lifespan of a woman  is 80.8 years?  The “point 8” is interesting to me.  I need to know if that is hours or days, mainly because of my blog.  Someone is going to have to either shut ‘er down, or take the wheel.

Aging happens to all of us and usually much quicker than we would prefer.  The key is to age gracefully. 

Our cells, on the other hand, don’t age.  They are just sloughed off as their efficency diminishes and are replaced by new ones.  So many, many years of chemical-laced foods, pollutants, overuse of prescription drugs and antibiotics all seem to weigh down our bodies and show up on our skin.  If you add stress to the mix, then our minds and spirit will suffer also.

So what’s a middle-aged gal supposed to do?  Give in?  No, my friend! 

AGE IS NOT THE ENEMY….ILLNESS IS.

We can increase our lifespan, boost our metabolism and enhance our immune response!  According to Dr. Linda Page, we can start our anti-aging campaing by examining which lifestyle factors affect aging the most.

  • Take a long hard look at the prescription drugs you use: Many drugs lead to serious body imbalances by impairing your nutrient uptake.  They also tent to interact, especially drugs that affect hormones, like Viagra or Andro or Propecia.
  • Take another look at your diet:  You’ve probably already cut the fat and fried food.  But the chemicals in foods like lunch meats and pre-prepared meals are the culprits for early aging.  They can create an over-acid condition in the blood, trigger many allergies and like drugs, set up a free-radical cascade favorable to disease.
  • If you eat a lot of sweets or have hard alcohol drinks regularly, your diet is probably high in sugar:  Sugar is also a hidden ingredient in most processed foods.  A high sugar diet wipes out immunity and reduces tissue elasticity.  Artificial sweetners with aspartame are linked to degenerative nerve disorders.
  • Take a look at your teeth and gums:  almost nothing shows age faster than discolored teeth, lost teeth or red, receding gums.  Consider taking CoQ-10 for gum problems, about 200 mg daily at least for the first month and see a good holistic dentist to solve the discoloration problems.
  • Take a look in the mirror: If your neck is no longer straight, but at a slight angle, or if your shoulders are hunching, you may be losing bone density.  Start a strengthening exercise program right away.  Exercise can rapidly reverse this aging sign.

We’re all trying to look for that “magic bullet” to slow down the aging process, and adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity, adequate rest, avoiding tobacco, and a diet full of healthy foods and beverages can be the best defense against aging.

“Dietary choices are critical to delay the onset of aging and age-related diseases, and the sooner you start, the greater the benefit,” says Susan Moores, RD, a spokesman for the American Dietetic Association.

Remember….. smart lifestyle choices are within your control, and are among the best things you can do to help prevent disease and retard aging.

check yourself, before you wreck yourself…

Yeah, you heard me……..Is your diet being WRECKED?  Are you puzzled why some of those pounds just keep hanging on?  (Me too….)  But after a little investigating, I found some pretty interesting foods that can wreck your diet…

“Hmm…maybe I’ll just have a salad for lunch”…

 OH NO SHE DI’NT!!

Some foods that we think are healthy can be sneaky little diet wreckers. University of Pittsburgh nutritionist Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, shares a few of these “food frauds,” starting with Caesar salad. Just a small bowl has 300-400 calories and 30 grams of fat, thanks to loads of dressing.

Food Fix: Use only 1 Tbs. dressing and 2 Tbs. tangy, Parmesan cheese.

“Instead of ice cream, I’ll just have a fruit smoothie”

That “healthy” berry blend at a smoothie shop can have a whopping 80 grams of sugar, 350 calories or more, little protein, and often no fresh fruit. Fruit “concentrates” are often used instead of fresh fruit. And sorbet, ice cream, and sweeteners can make these no better than a milkshake.

Food Fix: Get the “small” cup. Ask for fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt, milk, or protein powder to blend in protein and good nutrition.

“It’s time for a snack…the energy bar HAS to be a good choice

Many of these are simply enhanced candy bars with more calories (up to 500) and a higher price tag. Their compact size also leaves many people unsatisfied. “Three bites and it’s gone,” says Bonci, who advises hungry athletes and dancers.

Food Fix: Choose bars that have 200 calories or less, at least 5 grams of protein, and some fiber, which helps provide energy when the sugar rush fades.

“I don’t eat red meat, so I’ll have the chicken”

With healthy beans and no red meat, what’s the problem? About 1,000 calories and plenty of saturated fat — cheese, sour cream, and the fat in the jumbo flour tortilla all contribute. And when the burrito is as big as your forearm, the serving is just too big.

Food Fix: Share one. Or try a soft taco with fajita-style grilled meats and veggies on a corn tortilla with tasty low-calorie salsa.

“I’m watching my sugar, so DIET Coke please”

Sugar-free foods sound like a no-brainer for weight loss. But a problem arises when we choose an artificially sweetened food or drink, then feel that we deserve a large order of fries or a jumbo dessert.  Upsizing the fries adds nearly 300 calories to your meal. If your calorie intake exceeds what you burn off, you’ll still gain weight — and you can’t blame the sugar-free foods.

Food Fix: Watch your total calorie intake..

“It’s water!  How bad can THAT be?”

Vitamins are commonly added to bottled water and advertised on the front label. But some brands also add sugar, taking water from zero calories to as much as 125. “Often the vitamins don’t contribute much,” Bonci says, “but the calories can contribute a lot.”

Food Fix: Refrigerating tap water may make it more appealing to family members. Or try packets of crystallized lemon to add flavor without calories.

“I only drink 2% milk”

Two percent milk sounds healthier than “whole” milk. But it still has more than half the saturated fat of whole milk. Here’s what’s in a cup of milk:

Whole Milk (3.25%) = 150 cal., 8g fat, 5g sat. fat Reduced-fat (2%) = 130 cal., 5g fat, 3g sat. fat Skim (nonfat) = 80 cal., 0g fat, 0g sat. fat

Food Fix: If you like whole milk, blend it with 2% for a while, then 1%, then skim, until you get used to the taste of nonfat milk.

“The turkey dog is what I’ll have”

The nutritional content of turkey hot dogs varies from brand to brand — and some are real turkeys when it comes to health. It may say “less fat” on the front label, but when you check the fine print on the back, you find there’s still plenty of fat left in each sausage.  (Plus…check out the ingredients! Eew!)

Food Fix: Compare nutrition labels for the lowest fat content; there are some really good choices now available. Or only eat them a few times a year.

“No donuts for me, I’ll have the muffin!”

Muffins masquerade as a healthy choice for breakfast. They beat doughnuts, they’re still mainly sugary little cakes of refined flour. One store-bought muffin can hit 500 calories with 11 teaspoons of sugar.

Food Fix: Go no larger than 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Or look for 100-calorie muffins at the store. They limit calories, and some brands are a surprisingly good source of whole grains and fiber.

STAY TUNED FOR MORE WRECKING BALLS THAT MESS WITH OUR DIET!!!!  (all courtesy of webmd.com)