Happy 2018!! Yoga, Sugar Detox, Workout Routines, Weight Loss & More!

 

Here are some great ideas to help get your 2018 off on the right foot…..

 

First,  don’t forget to sign up for the free 21-day yoga challenge that I mentioned in a previous post…..

Picture

Vinyasa for Life with Schuyler Grant
Whether it’s your first or 500th downward facing dog, our 21-Day Yoga Challenge with Wanderlust co-founder Schuyler Grant gives you the building blocks for a lifelong, sustainable flow yoga practice.

Daily 20-minute classes alternate between workshops and juicy flows to apply what you’ve learned. We call this format Lab + Flow. Don’t worry, you’ll work up a sweat each day! Stabilize your core, align your spine, strengthen your shoulders, and learn how to carefully and artfully balance on your hands and feet.

By the end of three weeks you will have the tools to safely practice vinyasa yoga for life. Build a strong house for your soul to play in!

  • Combine a Lab day with its Flow day for a 45 minute practice.
  • Whether it’s your 1st or 500th down dog, the 21-Day Yoga Challenge is for you. It’s never too early to develop, or too late to revisit, tools to safely practice vinyasa yoga for life.
  • Each day you’ll receive an email with notes from Schuyler about the day’s flow and a link to the unlocked session. You can stream the class online, on Apple TV, and you can download the classes in the Wanderlust TV app for iPhone and iPad while the Challenge is live.

Sign up now for free! On January 1st the challenge will begin unlocking day-by-day.

 

Second,  check out this free series to help you with losing weight and giving up sugar…..

Picture

With sugar so prevalent in our food these days, the Free 7-Day Sugar Challenge was created to help people kick the sugar habit and live a healthier and happier life. This program appeals to all demographics regardless of age, gender, dietary preferences or location. . . just about everyone has struggled with too much sugar in their diet.​

During this week-long challenge, Marjory Wildcraft will be sharing her personal experiences on how she was able to ditch her sugar addiction and improve her mental and physical health. She offers participants key advice on how to navigate in a world where sugar is everywhere.

You can sign up for this free event that begins January 2nd here.

 

Third,  check this out for some short at-home workout ideas……

4 Short, At-Home Workouts You Can Fit Into Your Holiday Schedule

This time of the year it’s hard enough to find time to do laundry—let alone fit in a workout.

But guess what  . . .  You totally can! What these four workouts lack in duration they make up for in intensity. Whether you just have a few minutes to sweat it out or can dedicate a full 30 to kicking your own butt, these routines will give you the extra boost of endorphins you need to sail through the holidays with ease.  Go here to learn about 4 different routines….one for 5 minutes, another for 8, another for 10 and finally a 30 minute routine….something for everyone and every time schedule.

Or take the Plank Challenge that has come to be a regular part of my New Year’s shape-up kick-off for the last couple of years.

And the other day I was reminded of a post I did a couple of years ago about Superbrain Yoga. Had gotten out of the habit of doing the routine somewhere along the way, but when I re-watched the video about its many benefits, I immediately added it back into my daily time schedule. One unexpected side benefit, besides strengthening my leg muscles, is better sleep at night. I have been doing the exercise routine twice a day, in the morning and then at night before I take my shower and get ready for bed and have slept better than usual since starting it. Coincidence???? This simple and quick-to-do exercise has also been shown to help alleviate Alzheimer’s and dementia in seniors, as well as autism and Asperger’s in students. Just do it! 🙂

And finally, if you’re wanting to add muscle and lose fat, plus up your overall health quotient in the new year, then consider two products that I mentioned in my “favorite things” post the other day. I’ve always just used them for general health improvement, but recently got a newsletter with some pretty impressive information about how they can help with weight loss…..

Emerald Sea™ Organic Sea Vegetables

Emerald Sea™ contains a special blend of seven (7) certified organic sea vegetables, sustainably hand-harvested and carefully sun-dried to retain all the natural raw food benefits of these amazing plants.

When compared to plants that grow on land, Emerald Sea’s™ sea vegetables are 10 to 20 times higher in vitamins, minerals and amino acids. By taking just one or two capsules with your three daily meals, you will get the benefit and nutrients equal to taking 30 to 60 land-based vegetable capsules on a daily basis. You will drastically improve the number of whole-food nutrients in your daily diet.

Plus, these incredible plants support weight management like no other whole-food on the planet:

  • Targets Abdominal Fat: Chemists in Japan have found that certain species of seaweed   contain a compound that appears in animal studies to promote weight loss by reducing the accumulation of fat. A unique nutrient called Fucoxanthin achieved a 5 percent to 10 percent weight reduction in test animals. The compound targets abdominal fat, in particular, and may help reduce oversized guts, the scientists say.
  • Reduces Fat Absorption: Conclusive research has uncovered that special fibers found in certain species of seaweed can actually help to reduce our fat intake. The fibrous material called Alginate is said to have been proven to absorb greater levels of body fat than the majority of over-the-counter slimming treatments! Co-leader of the study, Dr. Brownlee of the University of Newcastle stated, “There are countless claims about miracle cures for weight loss but only a few cases offer any sound scientific evidence to back up these claims…these natural fibers can be incorporated into our diets easily”.
  • Supports Thyroid Function and Metabolism: Emerald Sea™ is a rich source of natural organic iodine, a vital nutrient for optimal thyroid function. “The healthy functioning of the thyroid is essential to maintaining metabolism and preventing the accumulation of body fat,” writes Burton Goldberg in Alternative Medicine.* “I believe that an insufficient intake of organic iodine in today’s modern diet has led to a   serious and chronic form of low-grade hypothyroidism,” writes Donald R. Yance, Jr. in Herbal Medicine, Healing and Cancer.*
  • Boosts Your Daily Nutrition: Emerald Sea™ is loaded with essential minerals, macro-nutrients, micro-nutrients, plant sterols, antioxidants, omega 3`s, omega 6`s, phytonutrients, enzymes, organic iodine and a host of many more power packed nutrients. Nourishing your body every day with all the trace minerals and other nutrients currently missing from your daily diet helps promote better overall health and wellness.

And Emerald Essentials’ Action Whey™ is a premium 100% NATURAL source of whey protein from grass-fed cows. It is designed to be convenient for any lifestyle, incredibly nutritious, and unbelievably delicious. At only 90 calories per serving, Action Whey™ is the perfect source of protein for any weight management program.

Action Whey™ has already been nationally recognized for its anti-aging and immune supporting nutrients. Endorsed by medical, health and fitness professionals, it also provides a multi-pronged attack against those stubborn pounds of excess fat:

  • Boosts Metabolism & Lean Muscle: Lean muscle burns fat for fuel. An increase in lean muscle will help increase your metabolism and melt away stubborn fat. Action Whey`s™ exclusive formulation is loaded with powerful muscle building nutrients. These nutrients will enhance the growth of lean muscle while helping to decrease body fat safely and naturally with no dangerous stimulants.
  • Suppresses Appetite: Action Whey™ is rich in an amino acid called Glycomacropeptide (GMP). GMP has been shown to stimulate intestinal hormones that tell your brain you are full. By suppressing appetite, the GMP found in Action Whey™ provides a built-in weight management benefit not found in other protein sources. This effect, combined with the outstanding taste of Action Whey™ , brings a sense of pleasure and satiety naturally helping curb compulsive cravings for refined carbs and sweets.
  • Preserves Muscle: Action Whey`s™ amino acid profile is almost identical to that of skeletal muscle. Specific amino acids like Cysteine and Glutamine are critical to preserving muscle mass, especially during exercise and weight loss programs. Preserving muscle will help maintain metabolism and benefit your overall health and appearance.

  • Low Glycemic: Diets based on low-fat foods that produce a low-glycemic response may enhance weight control because they promote satiety, minimize insulin secretion, and maintain insulin sensitivity. Studies have also shown that lowering the glycemic index and load of the first meal will result in decreased food consumption in the next meal.

  • Dietary Calcium: An accumulating body of evidence now suggests that dietary calcium plays a pivotal role in the regulation of energy metabolism and, consequently, reduces body weight and fat. Action Whey™ is a rich natural source of dietary calcium.

You can learn more about these products here and check out my What’s New page for details of the 25% off sale that Emerald Essentials is having right now.

 

Salud and Happy New Year!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

 

 

Advertisements

Cranberries: They’re NOT Just For The Holidays!

 

I have to admit that I really didn’t know how good for you and powerful cranberries can be until reading this article. I knew they helped prevent UTIs and kidney stones, but didn’t know they have  FIVE times the antioxidant content of broccoli, and rank highest among most fruits and vegetables. They also protect against tooth decay, cancer, bad cholesterol and more. YEA!

So on Thanksgiving (and throughout the rest of the year!) eat up! And try the recipes given at the end of this post as a delicious way of getting more cranberries into your diet…..

 

Why YOU Should eat Cranberries All Year Long

I just picked up a bag of fresh cranberries at the store and started thinking about this amazing little round berry that is spotlighted this time of year. Turns out it has some truly amazing properties! These bright red, VERY tart berries, are related to blueberries,  and they, too, that they are packed with amazing antioxidants and super nutrients!

Native Americans actually ate cranberries cooked and sweetened with honey or maple syrup—the beginnings of the traditional cranberry sauce, as we know and love.  Cranberries were also used as a red dye, but more importantly–as a medicine, they were used as a poultice for wounds and for preventing infections. The powerful tannins in them help to contract the tissues and stop bleeding, and some of the compounds in cranberries also contain some powerful antibiotic effects as well.

Cranberries and Digestion

Cranberries and cranberry juice have a reputation for being helpful in preventing or treating urinary tract infections.  The most recent studies now suggest that this little red superberry is beneficial for the gastrointestinal tract, prevents cavities, helps prevent kidney stones, aids in recovery from strokes, prevents cancer, and lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and raises HDL (good) cholesterol.

Compounds in cranberry juice can actually disable the dangerous E. coli bacteria–even the antibiotic-resistant strains. E. coli, is actually a class of powerful microorganisms that are responsible for a wide variety of illnesses that can run the gamut from urinary and kidney infections, to gastroenteritis (nausea and vomiting), and even tooth decay. These bacteria are altered by particular tannins (called proanthocyanidins) that are found in cranberries. The tannins actually prevent the harmful bacteria from adhering to our cells in the body, which is the first step in any infection.

Fighting Viruses

Cranberries are also pretty powerful fighting viruses—something that antibiotics just can’t touch. Antibiotics can only fight bacteria. When researchers exposed three different viral species of E. coli and the GI-related rotavirus SA-11, to commercially available cranberry juice, the viruses were all completely neutralized. This type of response, however, is dose-dependent, and you have to drink at least 20% unsweetened, undiluted cranberry juice (Phytomedicine, January, 2007).

You know that probiotics are great for gastrointestinal health, but did you know that cranberries also benefit the healthy probiotics that grow in your digestive tract, while killing off more harmful bacteria such as Listeria (responsible for food poisoning) and h.pylori (responsible for gastric ulcers).

Also published in this same journal was a study noting that compounds isolated from cranberry juice actually prevent the major cause of tooth decay.  Of course, if you eat cranberries loaded with sugar, you will defeat that benefit, since sugar is responsible for the growth of tooth decay. Only blueberries had the same benefits, but their protection was much weaker.

Cranberries contain quinic acid, which is an acidic compound that is not broken down in the body, but actually comes out unchanged through the urine. Quinic acid causes urine to become slightly acidic, which is sufficient to prevent kidney stones from forming. In patients who have recurrent kidney stones, cranberry juice has been shown to reduce and break down calcium in the urine by more than 50%, and calcium is the primary substance of kidney stones.

Cholesterol and Antioxidants

Cranberries have also been shown to have a significant reduction in LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol), and increased HDL cholesterol. In one study, participants’ HDL increased an average of 10% after drinking three glasses of cranberry juice per day–an increase that corresponds to about a 40% reduction in heart disease.

In this same study, subjects’ overall antioxidant levels increased by as much as 121% after three servings of juice per day. Increased antioxidant levels are associated with a decreased risk of cancers, aging, Alzheimer’s, and many other diseases, as well as heart disease. Cranberries also improve blood vessel function, so they can help individuals who already have atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries).

These pretty, red, phyto-chemical powerhouses are packed with 5 times the antioxidant content of broccoli, and rank highest among most fruits and vegetables. Compared to 19 other common fruits, cranberries were found to contain the highest level of antioxidant phenols and the highest free-radical scavenging capacity of all of them! Cranberries were followed by by apples, red grapes, strawberries, pineapples, bananas, peaches, lemons, oranges pears and grapefruits.

Cranberries and Cancer

Several newly discovered substances in cranberries have been found to be toxic to a cancer tumor cells—including lung, cervical, prostate, breast and leukemia cancers. The same Cornell study that confirmed cranberries as having high levels of antioxidants also found that cranberries had the strongest ability to stop the spread of cancer cells, as well as stopping tumor growth.

Cranberries have a pretty short season—they are harvested between Labor Day and Halloween and show up in your grocery store around October through the end of December. Fresh cranberries, which contain the highest levels of nutrients and phytochemicals, arrive just in time to add their bright red festive hue, tart tangy flavor and numerous health benefits to holiday meals. When cranberry season is over, cranberries are available as cranberry juice, or dried or frozen.

How To Choose Cranberries

Choose fresh plump cranberries, deep red in color, that are firm to the touch.

Firmness is a primary indicator of quality and freshness. The deeper red their color, the more highly concentrated the healthy phytochemical compounds.

Fresh cranberries have more antioxidants than dried; organic undiluted cranberry juice contains a high amount of the beneficial compounds, and bottled cranberry drinks and cranberry cocktails with added sugars or low calorie sweeteners contain the least—plus you want to avoid the sugar and corn syrup added to these!  If you choose unsweetened cranberry juice, you can just add stevia to make it sweeter, but without the added sugar.

Fresh cranberries can be stored in your refrigerator or freezer for a few months. Once frozen, cranberries keep for over a year. Once thawed, frozen berries will be quite soft and should be used immediately in smoothies, pies or other dishes.

Dried cranberries are sold in many grocery stores as snacks. Look for dried cranberries without added sugars or oils if possible. For cancer prevention, it’s better to eat whole cranberries, not just the cranberry juice.

You can take advantage of cranberries’ tartness by substituting them for vinegar or lemon juice when dressing your green salads. Toss the greens with a little olive oil then add a handful of raw chopped cranberries. You can easily increase your intake by simply topping off a cup of yogurt or green salad with a half cup of cranberries—or try tossing them into your smoothie, or sprinkling over your cereal.

For an easy-to-make salad that will immediately become a favorite, place 2 cups fresh berries in your food processor, along with ½ cup of fresh pineapple chunks, a quartered skinned orange, an organic sweet apple (such as one of the Delicious variety) and a handful or two of walnuts or pecans. Blend till well mixed but still chunky. Dice 3-4 stalks of celery, add to the cranberry mixture and stir till just combined.

For a delicious drink, combine unsweetened organic cranberry juice with your favorite fruit juice and sparkling mineral water for a refreshing spritzer. If this is too tart, try it with a touch of stevia added as sweetener. Sprinkle a handful of dried cranberries over a bowl of hot oatmeal, barley, or any cold cereal.

Try this awesome recipe below for dinner…It’s amazing!

Grilled Salmon with Fresh Cranberry Salsa

In a scene straight out of the TV cooking show series, “Chopped” I was looking to make something tasty for dinner and being in a hurry, I decided to just use what I could find in the fridge.

Hmm…an orange, cilantro, some fresh cranberries, and a piece of frozen wild caught coho salmon. Ok!

I decided to make salsa out of the cranberries and serve it with the salmon. I was delighted with how good it was! You will be too, when you try this recipe.

The tart taste of the fresh cranberries mixes with the sweetness of the orange and picks up the flavor of the salmon in a fresh new way. Your taste buds will be absolutely delighted!

Ingredients

  • 2-4 wild caught salmon fillets (sockeye salmon is great with this-it has a firmer texture and sweeter taste)
  • Jerk seasoning (I used a pre-made powdered rub)
  • 1 cup (or so) fresh cranberries, chopped with a knife, or lightly processed in food processor
  • ½ small red onion
  • 1-2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 orange, tangerine or blood orange, sectioned and cut in pieces
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Hot pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2-4 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp or so honey or maple syrup, to taste
  • Sea salt

Directions

Chop cranberries, and mix with orange, onion, lime, cilantro and hot pepper flakes. Season the salmon with jerk seasoningand grill or broil till tender and flaky.  Serve topped with cranberry mixture. Enjoy!  Serves 2-4.

If you want an amazing healthy dessert treat made with cranberries, try this recipe:

White chocolate bark with cranberries & pistachios

And here’s a recipe below from Danette May on how to make healthier lower-sugar cranberry sauce that tastes great:

cranberry sauce in a bowl

Link to recipe: Healthier lower sugar cranberry sauce


Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Nitric Oxide Dump = New Exercise Routine

 

This sounds interesting. I think I will give it a try. Want to join me?….

 

 By Dr. Joseph Mercola

Having been an avid exerciser for nearly five decades, there’s no doubt in my mind that a comprehensive fitness routine is essential for optimal health. Health and fitness is an ongoing, lifelong journey, though. It’s important to take stock of where you are and to keep pushing yourself to new heights. At the same time, you need to listen to your body and be willing to fine-tune or completely alter your workout routine as your circumstances change.

As an example, for nearly 40 years my primary exercise was long-distance running, but as I got older, I realized there were healthier and far more effective forms of exercise. Once I switched from running to peak fitness high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and strength training, my fitness soared and my physique changed rather dramatically for the better.

A significant piece of the puzzle relates to how HIIT improves your mitochondria, and generates more of them. Mitochondria are tiny organelles found in nearly all of your cells, responsible for production of energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The more mitochondria you have and the healthier they are, the more energy your body can generate and the lower your risk of chronic diseases like arthritis, cancerheart disease and Alzheimer’s

Two Key Strategies to Help Your Fitness Soar in 2017

I still believe HIIT is the most effective and efficient way to reach your fitness goals, but I’ve further fine-tuned my approach and now use an even shorter routine that I believe is just as effective while being far safer, especially if you’re older or just starting out. Below, I’ll discuss this new technique, which I refer to as “the nitric oxide dump.”

The scientific literature also clearly shows that sitting for extended periods is a major, independent risk factor for chronic disease, even if you exercise regularly, so daily non-exercise movement is likely one of the most important fitness strategies for many — especially if you’re currently not exercising on a regular basis.

The reason for this is because sitting blocks a number of insulin-mediated systems, including muscular and cellular pathways that process blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol. Standing up — bearing your own body weight on your legs — activates all of these systems at the molecular level. I’ll review this below as well.

Super-Simple Way to Boost Your Health in Less Than 10 Minutes a Day

As mentioned, while I still endorse HIIT, I believe I’ve learned an even easier way to reap most if not all of the same benefits of a more elaborate HIIT protocol with just four simple movements — no weights or equipment required. Best of all, it only requires three minutes of your time, twice or three times a day, with at least two hours between sessions.

This is the nitric oxide (NO) dump exercise developed by Dr. Zach Bush. NO is an extremely important part of biochemical regulation, and understanding and controlling its formation has the potential for profound influences on your health. Most notably, NO:

  • Protects your heart by relaxing your blood vessels and lowering your blood pressure
  • Stimulates your brain
  • Kills bacteria and defends against tumor cells
  • Helps maintain homeostasis in your body

For a demonstration, see the video above. If you have previously watched this video, please review it again as I recently updated it to correct a couple of errors and omissions that sneaked into my previous video. A key component I forgot in my earlier video is to make sure you’re breathing through your nose and not your mouth. Your nose actually regulates more than 30 physical processes, including the release of NO, and of course serves to filter the air you breathe.

Compared to a regular HIIT protocol, the NO dump exercise is a far gentler strategy that can be done by just about anyone, regardless of your current level of fitness or age. You’d be hard-pressed to injure yourself doing this. Since you’re just using your body to perform simple knee bends and arm lifts, the exercise is more or less automatically customized to your current level of ability.

Yet, despite its simplicity, I’m convinced you’ll still obtain most of the benefits you get from HIIT. While I demonstrate 20 reps in the above video, it is best to start at 10 reps and gradually work your way up to 20. Remember, don’t do this more than every two hours, as it takes that long for the NO to be generated from eNOS (endothelial nitric oxide synthase).

Source: http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2017/08/11/fitness-plan-2017-updates.aspx?


 

Picture

And for those of you wanting to have healthier teeth and gums AND save money on dental visits, check out my What’s New page for details about the Alternatives to Dentists program that comes with a 90-day money back guarantee, plus several bonuses, including a free dental care kit. You’ll also find information about free health e-books and other resources. 

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Mycobacterium vaccae: Bacteria That’s GOOD For Your Brain!!

 

Reading this article will give you yet one more reason for spending plenty of time outdoors, whether walking through the woods, working in the garden, or making mud pies with the neighborhood kids. 🙂

 

Get Outdoors and Try to Get “Infected”
With These Brain-Healthy Bacteria

We know that eating a variety of organic fruits and vegetables promotes good health…

We also know spending time in nature, whether it’s walking through green spaces or spending time in the garden, can increase feelings of well-being and reduce cortisol, the stress hormone.

Now researchers have discovered another reason why spending time outside makes us feel so much better: Soil contains a beneficial strain of bacteria that can improve cognition and lower some risk factors for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

Read on to learn more about this friendly microbe and how it can keep your brain strong…

The helpful bacterium is known as Mycobacterium vaccae (or M. vaccae). It’s abundant in soil. When we’re outdoors we breathe it in the open air…

As you may know, science is homing in on the connection between our microbiome – the beneficial microbes in our gut — and brain function. Some researchers even go so far as to call the gut the second brain. (For more information on gut and brain health, see Issue #205.)

A 2013 study published in the journal Behavioral Processes provided more evidence for this theory when researchers Dorothy Matthews and Susan Jenks fed a group of mice live M. vaccae bacteria and then had them run a maze. A control group ran the maze without the benefit of the microbe.

The results were stunning. Mice that ate the bacteria before and during the trials “completed the maze twice as fast as controls and with reduced anxiety-related behaviors.”

M. vaccae acts like an “old friend”

The “old friends” or “hygiene” hypothesis of stress-related diseases states that, because we spend less time in nature and overuse antibacterial soaps and other germ-killing aids, our bodies no longer reap the benefits of microbes like M. vaccae, which have helped humans survive and thrive for thousands of years.

The hypothesis gets its name from the strategy of ‘reintroducing’ humans to their old friends [beneficial bacteria] to promote optimal health and wellness.

Without them our bodies fall prey to the negative effects of stress and chronic inflammation, and this adversely affects our bodies’ own ability to prevent diseases.

Chronic inflammation also contributes to depression, which is not only a danger in its own right, but is also a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (see Issue #117).

In a 2016 study published in the journal Trends in Immunology, researchers “immunized” mice with M. vaccae and found that their exposure to the microbe (or infection, if you will) prevented stress-induced colitis and reduced fear, anxiety, symptoms of inflammation and poor stress management.

The Connection Between M. Vaccae,
Serotonin and Alzheimer’s Disease

The reason for the animals’ decreased anxiety in the above studies is that ingestion of M. vaccae stimulates the release of serotonin in the brain. Higher levels of this neurotransmitter elevate mood and decrease anxiety.

Serotonin is the “feel good” neurotransmitter that’s also essential to synaptic functioning. Your neurons need serotonin to communicate with each other. This molecule also plays a crucial role in memory and learning.

Serotonin production naturally slows as we age. Research suggests that this decrease could be linked to depression, decreased cognition, memory problems and Alzheimer’s disease later in life.

Studies of autopsied brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease have shown serious serotonin deficiencies. Being low on serotonin doesn’t necessarily cause cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, but it is an indicator that overall brain health and functioning has been compromised.

Big Pharma has been trying to create drugs that boost serotonin, but so far they haven’t been effective. So your best bet to prevent low levels of serotonin is to actively stimulate its production with M. vaccae – and by other means.

How to Increase Your Intake of M. vaccae

Spending time in green places, city parks and uninhabited woods alike, increases your exposure to M. vaccae. Get outside and breathe the fresh air as often as you can.

Eating fruits and vegetables directly from the tree, shrub or vine also helps you to ingest beneficial quantities of this microbe. As long as they’re grown without pesticides and herbicides, you’ll be pretty safe to eat them without washing. (I’d be wary of vegetables grown in or near the ground, especially in manure-rich soil. Those I’d wash.)

Dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that gardening or otherwise closely interacting with the earth gives you even more M. vaccae.

Long-time gardeners swear that spending time among their plants is therapeutic. Now we have a new reason to think so.

Spend some time playing in the dirt with your kids or grandkids. Try planting a small flower garden that you all can tend together. Grow one or two vegetable plants and eat the produce right off the plant. Or visit a local farm and sample their wares.

As long as you’re outside, eating organic fruits and veggies and getting dirty once in a while, you’ll be doing your brain a favor.

 Source: Brain Health Breakthroughs Newsletter by Lee Euler

Related Self-help Health posts:

Walking: Just Do It (In Nature!)

Natural Ways To Treat Alzheimer’s

Trees: They’re Not Just For Hugging

FYI, there’s a free on-line series starting on the 12th that ties in nicely with the idea of spending more time digging in the dirt. It’s the 3rd Annual Home Grown Summit. which will feature 38+ presenters sharing their best “secrets” about growing food, living sustainably, creating community, and more….

Picture

You can go to my “What’s New” page to find out more about the summit, plus see the list of e-books and reports the Grow Network offers for free.

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

 

How Being ICH Can Improve Your Brain, Memory And More

 

Okay, first, you’re probably wondering “What the heck is ICH?” right? Well, it stands for inconsistent handedness and it turns out using your non-dominant hand a certain percentage of time actually comes with some nice benefits. I am left-handed myself, but grew up knitting and batting a softball right-handed, because that was how I was taught. This article by Lee Euler makes me think it would be worth my while to start using my right hand a lot more often. Maybe it’s not too late after all for me to grow my brain?! :-)…..

 

On the One Hand This Trait Will
Give You a Superior Memory,
But on the Other Hand….

Nearly all Americans (87%) are right-handed, while only 13% are left-handed.

Researchers have been studying this difference and conducting studies to see what it may mean for some time, but results have been conflicting.

It now seems that whether a person is right- or left-handed is not important when it comes to memory.

What is important is the degree to which a person is right or left handed. If you use your non-dominant hand at least some of the time, you may find your memory will benefit as a result.

This is what researchers have discovered.

The Edinburgh Handedness inventory

Some people use their dominant hand almost exclusively for everyday tasks while others use their less dominant hand part of the time. 55% of Americans are considered to be strongly right-handed. They almost never use their left hand. From one to three percent are strongly left handed.

A score has been devised according to the degree to which a person uses one hand or the other. It’s called the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory.

Pure left- or right-handedness scores 100. On average, people score 80. A score below 80 is called inconsistent handedness (ICH). It means that at least one in ten activities is performed with the non-dominant hand. A score above 80 is termed consistent handedness (CH).

CH has been found to be more prevalent among right-handers and women. Left-handers are largely ICH.

Now where all this becomes interesting is the effect handedness has on the brain.

Inconsistent Handers have Bigger Brains

The corpus callosum connects both sides of the brain and facilitates communication between them. People who are ICH have a larger corpus callosum and increased activation of the right hemisphere. This in turn leads to a better episodic memory.

This is the kind of memory involved with learning, storing, and retrieving information — the ability to describe the details of a recent vacation, for instance.

A number of studies show people with ICH have better recall of words and paragraphs, events from their own life, early childhood memories, everyday memories, dream recall and memory for faces.

This has also been shown to extend beyond the lab into real life, where ICH people report fewer memory problems, particularly those involving conversations and conducting everyday tasks. This is true whether they are left- or right-handed. The relevant trait is whether they make extensive use of both hands.

Connectivity between both hemispheres of the brain is also concerned with the capacity to update beliefs. This is considered to be a broad example of our ability to be flexible in our thinking.

Studies have shown that ICH people are more likely to be open to persuasion and are better at taking other people’s perspectives. People who are CH (consistent handed) are more resistant to updating beliefs and are less likely to alter their existing viewpoint.

Perhaps also relevant, people who switch back and forth between both hands are less likely to suffer from rumination or other eating disorders, and less likely to suffer from dysmorphia — a distorted view about the way they look.

Form New Neural Pathways with Neurobics

If you are strongly left- or right-handed, there’s a very simple way to improve your episodic memory and increase cognitive flexibility.

And that is to practice neurobics. These are brain exercises that involve unexpected stimuli.

One of the simplest exercises to strengthen connectivity between both hemispheres of the brain is to use your non-dominant hand more often by incorporating it into everyday life.

This might include eating, stirring drinks, writing, texting, drawing, dialing phone numbers, brushing teeth, opening doors and hoovering. Virtually anything that’s safe to do will help. Do this consistently over time and you should notice a difference.

Dr. P. Murali Doraiswarmy, head of biological psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center, says of these activities: “It’s like having more cell towers in your brain to send messages along. The more cell towers you have, the fewer missed calls.”

Personal Note: Did you know that alternate nostril breathing and meditating are other ways to strengthen and grow your corpus callosum? Yep, studies have actually shown this to be true. Also, binaural beat technology increases activity across the corpus callosum.

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Multiple Health Tips: Round 6

 

Here we go with another post where I give you multiple short self-help tips, rather than feature information on one particular topic….Hope you find these informative and useful!

 

coconuts-Coconut-oil-on-spoon

(coconutoil.com)

# 1 – This first tip from the Floracopeia blog is actually multiple tips in one, but then it has to do with coconut oil, so that’s not surprising. I’ve done a number of posts about this wonderful health aid, but this tip does a good job of reminding us of some of its main uses and benefits….

  • Health and Beauty Food: There are well documented advantages for including coconut and coconut oil in your diet. It supports a healthy inflammatory response, purifies the digestive tract, works to balance the microflora in the intestinal tract, nourishes the connective tissue, and lubricates the joints to name a small few. It’s a great addition to smoothies, healthy treats and is superior for baking, frying and sautéing.
  • Best Coconut, Turmeric Golden MilkIn a blender, combine 2 cups of warm to hot (but not boiling) water, 1 TBSP of our coconut oil, 3/4 cup of coconut milk powder, 1 heaping TBSP of organic turmeric powder (or 1 inch peeled fresh), 1 inch peeled fresh ginger root, and pinch of sea salt. Blend for approximately 2 minutes on high. Pour into a mug. Add raw honey or stevia powder as desired. You can strain the ‘milk’ for increased creaminess and smooth texture.
  • Hair Masque: The good fats in coconut oil are hydrating and protective against damage. It can increase the overall health of the hair, contributing to enhanced shine and luster. One study shows it has some minor benefits as a sunscreen, blocking approximately 15% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays (great for color treated hair). Restorative Overnight Hair Masque: Apply 1-2 TBPS of coconut oil onto dry hair, making sure to totally saturate the ends. Lay a hand towel over the pillow to protect it from the oil.  Wash out in the morning with a hydrating, gentle shampoo.  A very small amount (size of a pencil eraser) can be used on dry ends to defrizz, hydrate and boost luster.
  • Superior Gum Serum and Oil Pulling Agent: Coconut oil is purifying and nourishing for the teeth and gums, wonderful for tackling existing challenges and preventing future problems.  To soothe angry gums and purify the entire mouth, apply to gums as needed. It can be used as an oil pulling agent. Use 1 TBPS (or more) of coconut oil to ‘pull’ through the teeth to mechanically remove debris and pathogenic factors from hard to reach places between the teeth.

Source: http://blog.floracopeia.com/top-7-uses-of-the-surprisingly-talented-coconut-oil-by-sara-crow-l-ac/

Related Self-help Health posts: Oil Pulling: Can You Say Go Swish?Coconut Oil: Multi-purpose Health Aid and Holiday Toddy For Terrific Health

# 2 – It’s important to understand what the sticker on your favorite fruit or
veggie means.  Here’s a breakdown: 9 is organic, 8 is GMO, 4 is conventional, and 3 is irradiated.

# 3 – An easy and natural way to clean your oven using two of the most popular self-help aids baking soda and vinegar…..

https://www.facebook.com/cleverly.me/videos/525714507632328/?fref=nf

# 4 –  Here’s a trick for ripening an avocado pronto from Pure Wow!

How to Ripen an Avocado in 10 Minutes

Don’t settle for the store-bought stuff–here’s a foolproof trick to making avocados soft and creamy in minutes.

What you need: A baking sheet, tinfoil and that hard-as-a-rock avocado

What you do: Wrap the whole fruit in tinfoil and set it on the baking sheet. Pop it in the oven at 200°F for ten minutes, or until the avocado is soft (depending on how hard it is, it could take up to an hour to soften). Remove it from the oven, then put your soft, ripe avocado into the fridge until it cools.

Why this works: Avocados produce ethylene gas, which is typically released slowly, causing the fruit to ripen. But as the avocado bakes in tinfoil, the gas surrounds it, putting the ripening process into hyper-drive. Guac and avocado toast for all!

 

# 5 – Got a canker sore? Try this remedy from a Natural News article about using that wonderful, multi-purpose health aid baking soda…..

A simple way to use baking soda for canker sores is gargling with a mixture of baking soda and tepid water. Do it twice per day for a relief. Baking soda treats canker sores in several ways:

  • It helps reduce the acid level that irritates the pain caused by canker sore;
  • It helps reduce the swelling and inflammation because of its anti-inflammatory properties;
  • It helps kill the bacteria and cure infections thanks to the anti-bacteria, anti-fungal and anti-septic properties;
  • It also helps balance the pH levels of the mouth and get rid of the infections away from the mouth

Related Self-help Health Post: Baking Soda: Multi-purpose Health, Home & Beauty Aid

Propolis For Canker Sores

 

# 6 – A quick tip from WellnessMama.com using witch hazel as a hair treatment…..

Witch hazel can be used as a pre-shampoo treatment to add shine and diminish the appearance of frizz. Add some to a spray bottle, spray all over dry hair and then hop in the shower.

 

# 7 – According to an article from Easy Health Options along with turmeric, red grapes, green tea, and acai berries, onions are one of the top 5 inflammation fighting foods….

It turns out that, due to their polyphenol content, onions are more effective inflammation fighters than a lot of other vegetables, including broccoli, spinach, asparagus and red lettuce. However, red onions contain more polyphenols than yellow onions, so keep that in mind next time you’re picking out your produce. And speaking of red onions, try this easy recipe from Wellness Mama:

Simple Pickled Red Onions Recipe (In Less Than 5 Minutes)

Print

These simple but sophisticated pickled red onions add incredible flavor to any dish. Take 5 minutes and make them right now!
Ingredients:
  • 1 medium size red onion
  • ½ cup (plus a little extra) white wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: Other seasonings like 1 teaspoon chili powder or garlic powder for flavor
Instructions:
  1. Thinly slice the onions, leaving them in rings for easy use.
  2. Carefully place the rings into a pint size jar and sprinkle with the salt and other seasonings.
  3. Pour the vinegar over the rings to fill the jar and put the lid on.
  4. Leave at room temperature for two hours so flavors can meld.
  5. Transfer to the refrigerator for up to two weeks (though ours are usually gone in a couple of days!)

Personal Note: This has become one of my favorite things to have on hand. Love that it is so easy and quick to make and the pickled onions add a zip of flavor to so many different things….salads, sandwiches, entrees, stir-fries, etc. In fact, I just finished making a new batch; I usually use part organic ACV and part organic red wine vinegar, plus add some sprigs of whatever fresh herbs I happen to have on hand….parsley, cilantro, rosemary, basil and/or thyme. You could also make in decorative jars and give away as nice little surprises to your foodie friends!

Related Self-help Health post: Let’s Hear It For Red Onions!

 

 

# 8 – Want to know if your body is more acidic or more alkaline? Here’s a simple experiment from The Alternative Daily you can do to find out….

Are You Acidic or Alkaline? Take the Sour Lemon Test

Squeeze the juice from one-half of a fresh, organic lemon into eight ounces of purified, lukewarm water and drink it on an empty stomach.While you’re drinking it, notice the taste of the lemon water. If it has a strong sour taste, your body is very acidic. If it’s not sour at all, or even tastes like lemonade to you (without the sugar), your body is in a healthier, more alkaline state.

Now, depending on a) your ratio of lemon juice to water; b) body’s level of acidity; and c) consistency in daily intake, the “taste” of lemon water should eventually not be sour at all.

Related Self-help Health post: The All-important pH Factor

 

# 9 -How to keep basil fresh for 2 weeks……

The Secret to Keeping Basil Fresh for Two Weeks

From homemade pesto to caprese salad to infused water, basil is a quintessential culinary accoutrement. But as wonderful as this herb is, it’s also a pain in the butt. After a day or two in the fridge, it’s usually brown and wilted. Luckily, we discovered a trick for prolonging its shelf life. Follow these simple steps and you’ll have fresh basil for up to two weeks. 

What you need: Kitchen shears, a glass or mason jar and a plastic bag (Ziploc or grocery bags work fine).

What you do: Trim the bottoms of the basil stems under running water (just like you would with flowers). Put the bunch in a glass of water, then drape a plastic bag loosely over the leaves. Leave it out on your countertop.

Why you do it: It’s not exactly as chic as a bouquet of peonies, but this arrangement allows the basil to breathe (it enables the plant to release the ethylene gas that usually causes the leaves to shrivel and brown) while keeping a humid environment inside the plastic bag. It’s almost like a mini greenhouse. Oh, and an extra bonus—it makes your kitchen smell amazing.

Source: http://www.purewow.com/food/how-to-keep-basil-fresh

 

 

# 10 – The Awakening from Alzheimer’s event recently started and you can still catch many of the presentations…..

Wednesday, September 21st – World Alzheimer’s Day – with the premiere of the groundbreaking new video series, Awakening from Alzheimer’s!

Over 12 days, 14 expert doctors will share groundbreaking medical and nutritional information on how to reverse Alzheimer’s and dementia and prevent it from ever happening to you.

These experts are on the cutting edge of Alzheimer’s breakthroughs and are blazing the trail to stop this terrible and costly disease in its tracks, and it’s totally free!

Click here to watch the trailer and register.

Here’s what you can expect to discover during this video series:

  • How medications can create FALSE Alzheimer’s symptoms
  • The superfood that can reverse Alzheimer’s
  • How a ketogenic diet can help your brain function again
  • How one protocol can reverse your Alzheimer’s
  • How to spot Alzheimer’s risk before symptoms even occur
  • The link between sleep and Alzheimer’s
  • And much more!

Related Self-help Health post: Natural Ways To Treat Alzheimer’s

 

# 11 – And today’s last tip is another free resource that’s coming up soon…..

Dr. Tom O’Bryan has been traveling the world interviewing over 75 autoimmunity experts for his upcoming 7-part documentary movie event, The Betrayal Series.

SEVEN movies in fact, co-starring familiar faces like Drs. Sara Gottfried, Mark Hyman, Datis Kharrazian, Dan Kalish, Hyla Cass, and Jill Carnahan, as well as JJ Virgin, Jeffrey Smith, and Joel Salatin.

Not only does The Betrayal Series include the scientists, experts, and doctors researching and treating autoimmunity, but it also features real patients who have recovered from autoimmune conditions. You can see it for yourself beginning next Tuesday, September 27th and it’s free!. Click below to the watch the trailer and get signed up.

  www.thebetrayalseries.com

Some of the previous Self-help Health Tips posts:

Health Tips: Round 4

Multiple Health Tips: Round 3

It’s Multiple Health Tips Day Again!

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

 

What’s Not To Love About Cherries?!

 

I was reading an article about 4 of the best foods for flushing fat from your system and it named turmeric (cleans the liver, your fat-burning “filter”), lemon juice (purges toxins from the blood), cruciferous vegetables (destroy fat-storing estrogen), and tart cherries. I knew cherries were good for inflammation and gout and helping people sleep better, but didn’t know they had a number of other nice benefits. How great, because I LOVE cherries!

 

(NaturalNews) For those of you who love cherries, this ruby sweet fruit is much more than a tasty summer treat. Shown to combat cancer, improve sleep, balance blood pressure and ease gout, you really cannot lose. Compounds found within cherries also relieve pain as well as aspirin. Possessing potent anti-inflammatory properties, these delicious gems are an excellent way to ward off disease. Rich in vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants, cherries are a powerhouse of nutrition and should be enjoyed often.

Relish the bounty of the season along with improved health

With the cherry season upon us, now is a great time for basking in all the pleasurable, health promoting benefits of the fruit. Here are a few examples of how cherries can enhance your well-being:

Cancer protection – Overflowing with beta carotene, vitamin C, boron and a class of powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins, cherries offer a formidable defense against cancer. As reported by Karen Ansel, M.S., R.D., in Eating Well, “… preliminary studies suggest the anthocyanin cyanidin may prevent genetic mutations that can lead to cancer and keep cancer cells from growing out of control. While tart cherries contain some anthocyanins, sweet cherries pack nearly three times as many (two-thirds are found in the skins). The riper the better: As cherries darken, they produce more antioxidants.”

Better sleep – Cherries provide one of the few naturally occurring sources of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep/wake cycles. According to a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, “These data suggest that consumption of a tart cherry juice concentrate provides an increase in exogenous melatonin that is beneficial in improving sleep duration and quality in healthy men and women and might be of benefit in managing disturbed sleep.”

Pain relief – Research at Michigan State University discovered anthocyanins in cherries relieve pain as effectively as aspirin. Lead researcher Muralee G. Nair, Ph.D., observes, “It is as good as ibuprofen and some of the non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs.” The lab results indicate consumption of 20 tart cherries can significantly reduce inflammation and discomfort.

Regulate blood pressure – Loaded with potassium, cherries are an exceptional food for easing high blood pressure. A balancing mineral, potassium helps to maintain fluid equilibrium within the body by offsetting the bloating effect of sodium. Cherries are also a good source of quercetin, an antioxidant that maintains blood vessel integrity.

Tame gout – A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that women, aged 22 to 40, who consumed approximately 45 sweet cherries after fasting had improved urinary uric acid levels and lowered C-reactive protein. Further research demonstrated anti-inflammatory characteristics of the fruit. When rats were fed 2 ounces of cherries, joint swelling was significantly reduced. Both findings indicate cherries are an exceptional food for painful gout flare-ups.

Source: http://www.naturalnews.com/041145_cherries_tart_cherry_juice_inflammation.html#ixzz2YkDpK9oe

Author: Carolanne is a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness  coach. Her website is  www.Thrive-Living.net

Here’s a little more I found at Truth About Fat Burning Foods about using tart cherries to combat pain and inflammation, flush fat from your system and improve sleep…….

Over 111 million prescriptions are issued yearly for anti-inflammatory drugs. These meds have been shown to wreak havoc on your digestive system, while causing damage to your heart, your liver, and your kidneys.

But the anthocyanins and phenols found in tart cherries have been shown to provide STRONGER protection against muscle injury and damage than these dangerous drugs. In other words, this tiny fruit has been proven BETTER than things like Ibuprofen for reducing inflammation and muscle soreness.

In fact, over 74 published studies indicate tart cherries deliver a high level of protection against cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and can even fight against Alzheimer’s. Many of them also validate tart cherries and tart cherry beverages speed up recovery time from exercise and reduce inflammatory markers significantly.

But there’s MORE…tart cherries also contain a hefty dose of naturally occurring melatonin (improves sleep) and they have one of the highest anti-oxidant scores of all fruits and they score amazingly low on the glycemic index (~20). That makes them one of the best fruits to eat for fat loss.

So by eating a hefty dose of tart cherries (or organic, flash pasteurized tart cherry juice) you can help your body recover faster, reduce joint pain through the anti-inflammatory response, sleep better, and fight inflammation to “flush out” more trapped fat from your body.

Related Self-help Health posts:

21 Foods That Fight Inflammation

FYI, you can get tart cherry juice and dried Montmorency tart cherries (love ’em!)  at a discount at one of my favorite places to shop  iHerb.com; use code CJG192 if you are a new customer and spend more than $40 and you will get $5 off, plus can take advantage of their wonderful Specials and Trial Offers section. Shipping is free on orders of $20 and up, and there’s no sales tax. There’s an extra 5% off on orders over $60 and you can earn customer loyalty rewards cash each time you order.

Vitacost.com is another on-line favorite of mine and also has a huge selection of cherry-related products.  If you are new to Vitacost and make your first purchase of $25 or more through the link on my webpage you will receive a $10 off coupon. And if you plan on shopping again after that, be sure to sign up for a free acct. at eBates.com, if you don’t already have one. That way you can use the eBates portal to shop at Vitacost (and 100s of other popular stores) and earn cash back on future purchases. Plus, eBates usually offers some reward–I got a $10 gift card–when you place your first $25 order at a store through them. How does it get any better than that?!

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my website Evolution Made Easier (and its To Your Health page) and my blog of the same name for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.