Homemade Cough Syrup

What can you do at the first sign of a cold or the flu to keep it from becoming full-blown?  Just a quick recipe that I have tried and it works wonders for the immune system.  You can use it for treatment of symptoms or as prevention.  When people around you are sick such as close family or co-workers that you have no choice of being around, we must have a way to ward off illness.

Photo credit:  WSJ

Here is what you will need…..it’s super simple:

  • About 20-24 cloves of garlic
  • Enough honey to cover the garlic in a jar to yield about a pint (approximately 400 mL by the time the garlic is added)
  • Note:  Raw honey is preferred instead of refined like you typically buy at the grocery store.  You can always make a half batch of this recipe.
  1. Peel the garlic cloves, crush them or cut them into tiny pieces and put them in a medium-size jar; add enough honey to cover the garlic and then set it aside for at least 36 hours.
  2. Take one teaspoon every 2-3 hours or as needed to relieve cough and sore throat.
  3. Use at the first signs of cough/cold and flu symptoms as an immune system booster.

Photo credit:  memegenerator.net

Garlic contains Allicin

This part of garlic gives it it’s health benefits but also will cause the bad odor and potent taste.  The fresher it is, as with other foods, the more potent it is.  Garlic is a natural anti-infectant, helps to decrease blood pressure and works against blood clotting to some degree.

Honey stands on it’s own as a natural remedy

Honey is not only a natural sweetener, it has many vitamins and nutrients. If used in raw form as a sweetener, it won’t spike your blood sugar.  It’s anti-oxidant properties are powerful and it guards against free radicals which can be cancer causing.   more info honey health benefits

Together, these 2 make a super food that helps us in multiple ways!

Do you have a recipe that’s similar to this?  Post it in my comments and let us know how it worked for you!

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Hidden Traps in Your Diet

What’s sabotaging your diet? 

Sometimes, it’s the small things that trap us from being successful in maintaining a healthy diet and weight.  We live in a society that shuns the natural and encourages us to cover our food or worse, alter it.  My goal is to help you to skip over the pitfalls and arrive at a healthier way of eating by implementing some of these health tips.  I have put together a list of the most popular offenders that I have seen plaguing our society and what has worked for me and my family.

Number 1:  Condiments

These include ketchup, mayonnaise, pre-packaged and store bought suaces such as BBQ sauce and Sweet and Sour sauce, salad dressings, and even those little packets of seasoning that we get for free upon ordering certain restaurant dishes.  Anything “creamy” is usually packed with calories.  Soup mixes and other all-in-one seasonings can lead to a lot of salt, MSG and other chemical ingestion and of course this can cause bloating, headaches and if used chronically, high blood pressure along with other ailments.  LEAVE IT ON THE SHELF and make your own!

Just a few examples:

Mayo- Serving Size: 1 Tbsp, Calories: 90, Fat: 10g, Carbs: 0g, Protein: 0g

Strawberry Jelly- Serving Size: 1 Tbsp, Calories: 50, Fat: 0g, Carbs: 13g, Protein: 0g

Ketchup- Service Size 1 packet, Calories: 20, sodium 160 mg, Fat: 0g, Carbs 5g, Sugar 4g

Healthier food may take a bit more time to prepare but use natural things to flavor like olive oil with lemon and a pinch of salt, pepper and garlic for a salad dressing and make your own sauces to control your intake of sugar, salt and preservatives.  There are many healthy recipes to choose from.  Use healthy spices and herbs such as Cumin, Tumeric, Paprika, Oregano, Parsley, Cilantro, Thyme, Rose Mary and others to infuse flavor into your dish and add excitement to the meal.   Avacado is good to blend and combine with herbs if you want a creamy dressing or sauce.  Also lemon and lime zest with crushed garlic, a little salt, pepper and olive oil will make your taste buds dance!

Number 2:  Sugary Drinks and Alcoholic Beverages

This is self explanatory.  You can not expect to DRINK your calories and lose weight or have a healthy BMI (body mass index).  On average, U.S. youth consume 143 calories from sugary drinks and U.S. adults consume 145 calories. Start by just cutting your daily intake by half and see what a difference it makes in your progress.☕🍹

As an alternative, drink homemade lemonade and teas that you can control the sweetener you use (like honey, brown sugar or molasses and even minimize these).  Exchange your sweet wine for dry wine and minimize alcohol in general so as not to cause other metabolic problems such as liver disease.

Number 3:  HFCS & Artificial Sweeteners

It’s extremely difficult to find anything that is sweetened without high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. HFCS is a cheaper alternative for companies to use and is healthwise less desired because it makes you continue to crave carbs and sweets.  It’s like your brain not having an off switch to tell you that you’re full.  Artificial sweeteners have been linked to studies that show a high incidence of cancer with regular use. Why not juice your drinks using more veggies than fruits to minimize your sugars and make your own desserts using healthier alternatives. There are great recipes such as Chocolate Beet Cake, Carrot Cake, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and more that you can use no or less sugar than what’s called for; or skip the sweets altogether and have whole wheat crackers with cottage cheese and veggie carrot sticks for example. Fiber is filling and cottage cheese is lower in fat than other cheeses.

Some healthy dessert/snack recipes and more info:

tapin2life High Fructose Corn Syrup Review

Healthy Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

Red Beet Chocolate Cake

Number 4:  Use healthy oils and fats

Fast facts about fats:

  • Heart healthy fats come from plants, nuts and seeds.
  • Saturated fats may raise your bad cholesterol (LDL) and also your risk for heart disease.
  • According to the American Heart Association (AHA), we need some fats in our diets to:  to make energy, assist in cell growth, protect organs, keep our bodies warm, aid in absorbing nutrients and making of hormones

Down with canola (unless you like using an oil that was originally made for lubricating ship engines…don’t believe me, research it yourself). I know that it is promoted as healthy but it is not a naturally occurring plant.  Use extra virgin cold pressed olive oil instead. It is most likely to have it’s nutrients preserved. Sunflower oil makes a good alternative but beware of “refined” on the packaging . This may mean the oil was treated with acid, or purified with an alkali, or bleached. Refined oils could also have been neutralized, filtered or deodorized.  This usually means less of the nutrients and although a cheaper product, not the best choice health wise.

Studies have also shown that trans-fats, found in processed foods like margarine raises the risk of death by 34 per cent and that butter has been shown not to be so bad after all. Of course if used in moderation the fat and calories in butter won’t mount up.

The bottom line:  What are you using the oil for? How do we keep from sabotaging our diet?

  1. If frying, extra light olive oil and sunflower oil (unrefined)
  2. For salads and making dressings (for taste):  olive oil, Unrefined sunflower oil as an alternative.  There are many other oils of course but do your homework.  These are the ones I use for everyday cooking, sauteing or making salad dressings.  This quick guide below may help.  Remember, don’t sabotage your diet with unhealthy calories and fats that will increase your LDL or bad cholesterol and lead to heart disease and unwanted pounds.

guide to healthy cooking oils

Number 5:  Maximize fiber, Minimize carbs 

We need a high fiber diet to keep things flowing, if you know what I mean. Image result for happy toilet images

There are two kinds of fibers:  soluble and insoluble.  We need both.  Soluble fibers help us to lower our cholesterol and blood sugar levels and they dissolve in water.  Insoluble fibers help to keep our bowel movements regular, prevent constipation and bulk up the stool.  Fiber can help to maintain a healthy weight.  I am speaking about this because we should as much as possible choose these foods over unhealthy carbs loaded with sugars and preservatives.

This is just a short list of healthy fibers:

Soluble:  oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium

Insoluble:  whole-wheat flour, nuts, wheat bran, beans and veggies like cauliflower, green beans and potatoes

The amount of fiber you need depends on age and gender.  Women 20-25 grams per day and Men 30-38 grams per day.

Number 6:  You must drink your water!!!

Self explanatory right?  Get your 8 glass minimum in and use a water with a pH of at least 7 and no more than 8.5.  Guidelines say 6-8.5 is best but below 7 is acidic and our bodies do not thrive in an acidic environment.

Number 7:  Avoid meals after 7 p.m.

Sometimes, this can not be avoided but try your best and plan ahead.  A healthy snack is okay after 7 pm if you are still hungry but remember to keep it as healthy as possible and cut your portion size that you would normally have by about half.  Think of it as weaning yourself off of your unhealthy habits.  Little by little you will get used to it and see the benefits.

So for 2018, get started on the right path!

    • Keep a diary for about a week of what you eat AND drink, how much and how many calories, carbs, fat and fiber you have ingested or drank.  If you don’t know, take time to look it up on the internet and approximate.
    • Take a baseline measure of your chest, waistline, hips and thighs since these areas are usually problematic and measure every 1-2 weeks.  You will be amazed after minimizing these hidden calories, carbs and fats how the inches will melt away.
    • Don’t deprive yourself.  For most people this backfires and when you have a moment of frustration, you grab the Ben and Jerry’s and binge eat.  Make healthy lifestyle changes that become permanent and doable for you and your family.
    • Have a support system.  Don’t do it alone.  Get your family or spouse or friends involved and help to change their lives for the better also.
    • As always, a regular exercise routine always helps.  It doesn’t need to be strenuous.  Check out my moderate Jazz It Up Workout Vid and do it with me daily!

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Window Garden Harvest & Tips

A peak into my window gardening progress and some easy and helpful growing tips.  Such a good hobby if you are looking for something to promote well being mind, body and spirit.

As always, why not SHARE IT🙌, LIKE👍,  REPOST, COMMENT💬, and YES, SUBSCRIBE 👏by clicking Follow? I Pray all that seek healing find it and thanks so much for dropping by!

Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

What’s for dinner?

How many times a week do we hear or ask this? On a tight budget but need to fill your family’s bellies with nutritious AND delicious food? Tired of the same dishes and need to awaken your taste buds? Sometimes this is such a tall order. First of all, eggplant is not only a versatile fruit, and yes, I said fruit (not vegetable), it has so many health benefits.

Eggplant contains many nutrients that are essential for our health and it’s low in fat and cholesterol. It is a great source of Vitamins B1, B3 and B6, potassium, manganese, copper, folate, magnesium and tryptophan.

Just a cup of cooked eggplant contains about 30 calories. Eggplants also contain phytochemicals that strengthen health.

Eggplant Parmesan provides a healthy dose of vitamin A, approximately 25 to 29 percent of the daily requirements needed. This vitamin provides a variety of eye benefits and helps us to make antibodies that strengthen our immune systems. We recieve up to 17 percent of the daily recommended intake of calcium and 10 to 13 percent of the vitamin C needed daily as well. One of my favorite things about eggplant is that is is filling and provides satiety.  Or as my Grandma used to say, food that sticks to your ribs😍!

Eggplant Parmesan Recipe:
What you will need🍆🍴

2-3 medium size eggplants
2 eggs
1/2 cup of cornmeal
1 cup of flour
Seasonings & herbs: salt, black pepper, paprika, granulated or garlic powder, dried oregano and dried parsley
3 cups of your favorite homemade or store bought spaghetti sauce
1 cup of parmesan cheese
1 cup of mozzarella cheese (1/2 c to decrease fat and calories)

Sunflower or olive oil

Directions:

▶Make a dry batter for the eggplant by adding the cornmeal, flour, about 1/3 teaspoons of salt and about 1/2 teaspoon of all other seasonings (black pepper, granulated or garlic powder, oregano, paprika and parsley. Tweek to your taste buds keeping in mind that you will also season the eggplant pieces as well.

▶Wash and dry your eggplants thoroughly.

I enjoy the fiber and nutrients received from the skin of the eggplant so your choice to peel or leave it as is.

▶Slice the eggplant (about 1/4 inch in thickness) then cut the circularly sliced pieces in 1/2 and place in a large bowl.

▶Season to taste with the above seasonings, making sure not to oversalt (I suggest sprinkling lightly with each seasoning listed above).

▶Crack 2 eggs and beat them in a small bowl.  Pour the beaten eggs over the seasoned eggplant slices and thoroughly coat each piece by mixing with your hands.

▶Ok OLD SCHOOLERS, get a large and clean disposable sack or large freezer bag/paper sack and place dry batter in it. Next place your eggplant pieces. It’s great to include your children in this part of the process. Close the bag by holding the opening firmly and just shake like crazy 😆until you see all eggplant pieces are coated thoroughly with egg and dry batter.

▶Bake the pieces in a few large baking pans that are generously oiled with sunflower/olive oil, making sure also to lay the pieces flat and add oil on top of them as well to help them to cook more crispy and not mushy. Bake 25-30 minutes at 175 °C /375°or so F and take them out to turn them over. Return to bake another 20 minutes or so (oven cooking times may vary).

▶Take a medium size baking pan and lightly coat it with cooking oil (olive/sunflower)

▶Now place a thin layer of your spaghetti sauce followed by a layer of eggplant pieces then a thin layer of mozzarella cheese.

Continue to layer in this order (usually makes about 4 layers).

The last layer should be topped with a generous layer of sauce on top of the eggplant followed by all of the parmesan cheese. Sprinkle lightly with seasonings and dried herbs again except for salt.

▶Bake at the above temperature until cheeses are melted (about 20 minutes). Remove and let sit about 10 minutes and serve. I hope you enjoy my version of this tasty dish!


Please give feedback on this recipe and your version of this dish. Follow👫Like👍Comment💬 and of course share🙌!

Prepare Now for Cold and Flu Season

 

As we try to brace ourselves to fight off colds and other viruses in the coming season, I have found one thing that seems to boost the immunity and help the body recover from these viruses.  For a long time, we have used ginger and lemon as a tea, but I had always been thinking how I could make it even more potent.

It suddenly occurred to me that so many recipes that I have used in the past that call for lemons as the ingredient specifically require the use of the lemon rind.  Just in the small amount of the rind, we know that we get a powerful amount of flavor.  Well it’s not just the benefit of the added flavor from this small amount of the rind ingredient, we also gain:

  • 5-10 times more vitamins and minerals in the rind than in the juice of the lemon
  • Cancer fighting protection from a phytonutrient called salvestrol Q40 as well as limonene.
  • Flavenoids also found in the rind help to slow down the division of cancer cells
  • Due to the amount of calcium and vitamin C, lemon rinds are excellent for promoting bone health and all sorts of joint conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory polyarthritis.  It even helps with osteoporosis
  • Decrease in cholesterol (LDL in particular).  This is the cholesterol that is not healthy for us.  This in turn will lead to better circulation and heart health.

So, I thought to myself, why not use the entire lemon in a tea with my usual ginger, but instead of using in the form of chunks, blend it  ALL up.  Here is what you will need:

  • About enough ginger root to fit into the palm of your hand or about the size of a medium sized lemon. Peel the ginger root and rinse it with water.
  • About 1/4 cup of brown sugar (and 1/2 cup of white sugar , or use all brown sugar if you please)
  • 4 tea bags of whatever type of tea you would like (optional)
  • About a tablespoon of honey
  • 1&1/2 liters of boiled water (filtered or good quality bottled water, not tap)
  • A medium or large lemon, washed with soap and water. DO NOT PEEL. Use the rind and the entire lemon so as not to lose the vitamin C in the rind.
  1. Once you gathered your ingredients, chop the washed lemon and the peeled ginger root into chunks as seen above.
  2. Place the chunks of ginger, chunks of lemon, honey, sugars and about 1/3 of the boiled water into your blender.  Blend the ingredients for about a minute.
  3. Meanwhile, put the tea bags (optional) and the rest of your boiled water into a medium sized pot and pour the blended contents into this pot and stir a few times (above uppermost right picture).
  4. Let the ingredients steep by covering the pot with a top for about 5-10 minutes.
  5. After steeping, strain all at one time or one serving at a time as seen above.
  6. Save the strained ingredients in a tupperware and use it once more if you desire but within 1-2 days.  Store in the fridge.
  7. Enjoy your Immune System Boost and hopefully prevent catching so many colds and the flu this Winter, and if you do I hope this will aid in a quicker recovery!images

TO PREVENT FRIENDS AND FAMILY FROM GETTING SICK, why not SHARE IT🙌, LIKE👍,  REPOST, COMMENT💬, and YES, SUBSCRIBE 👏by clicking Follow? I Pray all that seek healing find it and thanks so much for dropping by!

Give Yourself a Tumeric Tune-up

Can you use a boost or want to cleanse out toxins but want a natural source?  Want to jump start your metabolism?  Suffer from Acne?  How about Arthritis and other inflammatory diseases?  Take a few minutes to read.  You may add on to your life or someone you care for by using the following info about a super food that we all should keep in our kitchen.

Tumeric is a plant that is the main spice in curry.  Most people know it for its bitter taste and its bright orange color.  It has a sharp taste and smells like pepper.  In addition to its use to flavor and color curry, its root is also used in the making of medications. 

In addition to its antiinfective properties (antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal) tumeric is also loaded with protein and dietary fiber.  It is packed with a host of vitamins and nutrients such as niacin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc.  If that’s not enough, check out these additional uses.

Top 10 Claims to Fame 

Prevents cancer

Helps to relieve inflammation such as in arthritis and has anti-oxidant properties to destroy free radicals.

Prevents liver disease

Controls diabetes

Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease

Reduces cholesterol level

My favorite- boosts the immune system!

Can improve digestion

Heals wounds

Can help to maintain ideal body weight

Bonus:  I have found it helpful with lemon juice for controlling acne!

How does it work

Some components in tumeric may help to decrease swelling (inflammation).  Tumeric also has anti-oxidant properties which decrease free radicals that can damage the cells in our body.

Sources such as Web MD report that for most problems, tumeric has been used in doses of 500 mg twice a day and up to 500 mg four times a day.  As with everything, it is not without side effects, however, I would rather use something natural that has been around for ages instead of popping a pill.  Feel free to comment on your experience with this natural root.

References and further reading:

Top 10 Health Benefits of Tumeric

Web MD Review of Tumeric

I have found truth to the claims that it is an immune system booster, great for alleviating pain, good for healthier looking skin, great for joint flexibility and so much more.  It has been used for thousands of years and has been used in Ayurvedic medical practice in India.  A few other things I did not know about it is that it supports healthy eyesight and that it supports healthy respiratory function.

How much tumeric should you take?

As always, you should ask your doctor, however, many doctors are not into non-pharmaceutical healing.  I can only report to you what has been done by various individuals and ask that you be responsible and talk it through with your healthcare provider before trying anything.  There are so many drug-drug and drug-herb interactions that it may also be helpful to download an app to your phone.  Its great for preliminary information on interactions and is called “Natural Medicines Database”.

I have found various sources that say that to gain benefit from tumeric, you should use about 1 teaspoon a day of the ground dried root powder.  20160122_115521 (2)

I buy tumeric from the grocery store in the spice section.  Make sure to read the label so that you are getting 100% (or as close as possible).  I suspect that a small amount is curcumin, about 2%, but just remember that all brands are not created equal.  My label looks like this:

20160122_120358 (2)

If you do your own research, you will find dosages vary a lot, mainly because some studies have used them for prevention of unwanted symptoms or disease and some studies used it in curative doses.

So how do I use it?

I like to take the juice of half of a lemon and a teaspoon of tumeric powder and put it in about 1/2 cup of room temperature water.  Take it to the head then rinse it down with a half cup more of room temperature water.  I use a good brand of bottled water with a pH a bit above 8.  I do this about every other day.  The lemon is good for liver detox and is high in vitamin C and other minerals.  Both components are good for clearer skin.  You will get the benefits of both.  I do this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and boy does it wake me up!  You will find that others use ginger root with these two which you are welcome to do.   I like to be able to keep it easy without having to chop or juice.  I find that the easier it is, the more successful I am with sticking to it.

Another recipe:  http://www.thesweeterthejuice.com/make-ginger-lemon-turmeric-wellness-shot/

Disclaimer:  As always, please remember to consult your doctor before using any medication, herbal or natural product/supplements.  If you are pregnant or nursing, please especially be cautious of using any medication, herbal or natural product/supplements without consulting your doctor.  This information is only to be used as a supplement to instructions given by your medical professional and you should always inform them of the usage of other medications, herbs or natural products/supplements.

STOP!!!! Before leaving this page!!!

If there has been something useful or that you enjoyed in this post, why not SHARE IT🙌, LIKE👍,  COMMENT💬, and yes, SUBSCRIBE 👏by clicking Follow? I Pray all that seek healing find it and thanks so much for stopping by!

Five Ways to Fight Breast Cancer

breast-cancer-black-_Syda_Productions_large

So, you just received some of the worst news of your life.  Everything stands still for what it seems like an eternity as the doctor breaks the news to you, “You have breast cancer.”  Millions of thoughts race through your mind.  If you are not Superwoman and just an ordinary woman like the rest of us, millions of thoughts run through your mind and your life may even flash before your eyes.  The end that you see is so dark and feels so lonely. (Men, let us not forget that 1 out of 1,000 men also receive this diagnosis).

Well we all know that this vessel that our souls are housed in is breaking down by the minute and there is more to healing than just the physical.  It takes a holistic approach to treat and ultimately cure any disease.  An approach to treatment that considers mind, body and spirit!

Before you finish writing the story of your life, why not add some chapters and take it one day at a time, of course, leaning on the Creator of All, our Heavenly Father first and foremost to help you fight this battle?  He has put everything we need here to prevent and even heal Dis-Eases.

Where does cancer come from?

Most researchers would agree that there is some type of gene mutation that occurs.  A small percentage of cancers occur as a result of an inherited gene mutation from our parents that we are born with.  Most gene mutations occur after birth and aren’t inherited.   They may be caused by outside forces, such as smoking, radiation, viruses, cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens), obesity, hormones, chronic inflammation and a lack of exercise.  During cell growth, these gene mutations occur frequently.   The majority of the time, our cells contain a maintenance plan to repair a cell that is performing incorrectly, however, when the mistake is missed, the cell can become cancerous.

What natural things can I do to help my body heal?

Keep in mind that all of the things below are meant to serve as supplemental care to cancer treatment.  Some choose to treat only naturally and others may decide to use a combination of holistic plus a more westernized approach.

  • ALKALIZE YOUR BODY:  Cancer cells thrive off of an acidic environment and just love to break down sugar.  After getting in your 5 servings per day of veggies and fruits that you need to eat to maintain a healthy diet, juicing veggies with a small amount of fruit is extremely powerful!  Green vegetables like kale and spinach help to alkalize the body fluids the best.  Blending instead of juicing and making smoothies is another healthy way to alkalize.  Keep the fruits to a minimum and add natural anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory foods such as fresh ginger and spices such as tumeric.  Make sure you get organic foods and pass on the pesticides. This is an excellent reference for juicing and great ideas:  Juicing and Cancer

 

  • WATER IS SO IMPORTANT:  What is your water source?  While researchers are still trying to decide if the pH of our water has any influence on stopping or slowing cancer growth, ask them if they would rather drink from the tap or drink water that has been properly filtered and chemical/toxin free.  Water makes up a major part of our body weight so we should know that what we replenish with is very important!  At a lower pH, cancer cells thrive.  Can you drink water with a pH that is too high?  Sure.  There is a balance to everything.  Ideally we would all drink spring water but not many of us have continuous access to a spring.  Ionized water is also held in high regard when it comes to aiding in cancer treatment.  It’s a great antioxidant and therefore neutralizes free radicals in the body that are known to aid in cancer development.  (see article for full explanation Ionized Water Treatment).  If you must drink bottled water and do not have a good filtration or purification system in your home, FUJI bottled water is great and is more alkaline.  FUJI also has a reverse osmosis purification system that can be installed into your home which is also more ideal.  ( FUJI Water System )

 

  • Lack of Sleep and CancerThere was a 2003 study done that showed how well we sleep may determine how well our body will be able to fight cancer.  Not too long ago, I also wrote a post about the link between high cortisol levels (the “stress hormone” triggered during times of anxiety) and lack of sleep as well as how lack of sleep can lead to us being more susceptible to other diseases and disorders.  Relationship Between Cortisol and StressSome even believe that our mental well being may also be a big part of the recovery process or can contribute to the worsening of cancer.  In previous studies, physicians found that problems with sleeping change the balance of 2 or more hormones that influence cancer cells, one of them being cortisol.  Cortisol is a big player in regulation of our immune systems and the release of cells called “natural killers” that help our bodies to fight cancer.  We have a natural rise in cortisol and it reaches it’s peak at dawn after we have slept and it lowers during the day.  Sleep disturbances can disrupt this rhythm, leading to a lower ability of the body to fight breast cancer.

    A second major player is the hormone melatonin which is also affected by sleep. It’s produced by the brain during sleep and may have antioxidant properties that help prevent damage to cells that can lead to cancer.  Melatonin also lowers estrogen production from the ovaries so if you suffer from lack of sleep, this leads to a deficiency in melatonin.  Levels of estrogen most likely will result, thus increasing the risk of breast cancer.   Bottom line….we all need to sleep minimum 7 hours per night and sleeping during the night is more in tune with our bodies and our circadian rhythms.  See below reference for more reading.

    How Sleep Affects Cancer

  • What things should I stop doing?

There are so many things that we eat that can allow cancer to thrive but more importantly there are things that we use such as personal hygiene items and cosmetics that can literally be killing us.  Please refer to my recent post.  It is best to go natural when at all possible and eliminate these items, especially in the battle against cancer.  The less exposure to toxins and the more awareness to prevent further exposure, the more your body can begin to repair itself. Pretty Kills (known toxins you may be using)

  • What role do Mind and Spirit play?

Now that we have spoken so much about the body and how to not only heal, but prevent further damage in various ways, I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t speak about the role of our mental health and spiritual beliefs.  Why is it that more and more hospitals are finding that patients that spend time in the hospital garden have less anxiety and a better state of mind?  Studies found that gardening not only provides exercise, takes our minds off of our worries, but may also influence how we eat  as well.  Many researchers also agree that physical activity holds a major role in healing from cancer.  Gardening is seen as a hobby versus exercise, so people generally enjoy it more than running on a treadmill or aerobics.  If you have ever tried gardening, you also look forward to the daily surprises in the growth that takes place.  These things are definite positive influences on stress hormone levels, blood pressure, and our immune systems.

Let us also remember that we can control some things, but ultimately if we are walking in the Spirit and not in the flesh, we believe in something that is much bigger than all of us.  I believe in prayer and that whatever we ask, be it our Heavenly Father’s will, it shall be done.  So many things in life can come and shake the foundation of our faith, however, we must continue to believe and show our belief through our works.  Spiritual well-being is at the core of all and this I believe is a great starting point for many ailments if you are seeking full recovery.

If there has been something useful or that you enjoyed in this post, why not SHARE IT🙌, LIKE👍,  COMMENT💬, and yes, SUBSCRIBE 👏by clicking Follow? I Pray all that seek healing find it and thanks so much for reading!😄

 

Pretty Kills

cosmetics2

How many cosmetics or personal grooming agents do YOU use daily? The average woman uses up to 16 products per day and men around 6 per day.  Men, before you stop reading, consider this; don’t many of you use shaving balm or shaving cream, deodorant or antiperspirant, lotion, cologne, bath soap, face soap, toothpaste, or lip balm/chap stick?  Need I go on?

Ladies, let’s just dive on in shall we?  Do we really need to go there, because many of us could open a cosmetic booth in the mall with the number of products we own.  And before you say, “Our government protects us and monitors products that are being sold on the market,” here are some quick hard facts about regulations and regulating bodies.  The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulates cosmetics under two laws:    1) The FD & C Act (Food Drug Cosmetic Act and 2) the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act.  Long story short, cosmetics ARE NOT FDA approved but are said to be FDA regulated.  What???????  😨 This doesn’t even make good sense!

Here’s the kicker:  Cosmetics only need FDA approval if color additives are used, however, if a product on the market isn’t within compliance or a firm or individual goes against the laws, the FDA “can” pursue enforcement against them.  Oh, but wait a minute!  If no one is really diligently looking for problems, this makes our use of many products a huge experiment in my opinion.  Also, it puts the burden of reporting adverse effects in the consumers’ laps.

I know you may be thinking, “I only use things labeled as ‘Herbal, Natural or Organic‘”, but just know that there are no legal definitions for these terms.  Many companies prey on us by using these meaningless claims on their packaging.   Since the 1970s, it’s said that the FDA has only banned about 8 out of thousands of products.  I can imagine that this number is not complete seeing that there are so many cosmetic products on the market and growing daily.

Many of these products are deemed safe because of the amounts in which the ingredients that potentially or knowingly cause health hazards are considered acceptable; but what about the cumulative effects by the time we use even 2 or more of these cosmetics daily?  Not to mention what some of the products are doing to our unborn children.  Most of our children will be born with levels of the below toxins, not even having a fresh start in life.

Here is a very short list of commonly used chemicals in some of our favorite cosmetic products.  I will just say that I have much work to do to at the least, minimize me and my family’s exposure to these agents or avoid them altogether:

  1. Triclosan:  this agent is found in many antibacterial products such as toothpaste, lotion and soap.  There is some hinting at harmful effects in animals in studies done by the FDA and body hormone levels, more specifically the reproductive organs.  It may even be a cancer risk.  In addition, being an antibacterial agent may contribute to the increase in antibiotic resistance from certain bacteria.
  2. 1,4-dioxane:  many cosmetics contain a by product of this in low levels, however, it has been shown to induce cancer in rats and high levels may cause organ damage in humans.
  3. Lead Acetate:  I shouldn’t have to go any further with this one, but I will.  This is an extremely toxic metal associated with neurological and organ toxicity.  It may even play a role in the development of cancer and of course lead poisoning is especially dangerous for kids.  This may be in your favorite lipstick or imported cosmetic.
  4. Formaldehyde:  Can I say gross!  This is not only cancer causing but used for embalming the dead.  Do we really need to use it as a nail hardener?
  5. Mercury compounds:  Mercury is used mainly as a preservative in some eye shadows and other eye make-up as well as some skin whitening creams.  The FDA is said to regulate this.  This substance is extremely toxic and can be absorbed via the skin and into the brain, causing brain damage.  I am sure many of us have heard the theory on the link between mercury and autism in children.  There are mercury derivatives in immunizations and these claims have come up by physicians and concerned parents time and time again; however, that’s another story.
  6. Coal Tar:  a product commonly used in shampoos to combat dandruff, hair dyes, treatment for psoriasis.  It is a KNOWN human carcinogen.  This chemical causes damage to our DNA, thus can lead to a high risk of cancer development.  It also can cause increased risk of sunburn and increased risk of skin cancer.
  7. Phthalates:  there are multiple types such as DBP, DMP, and DEP.  These are commonly found in nail polish, soap, hairsprays, shampoos and perfumes.  They may cause risk to an unborn child and beware that perfumes don’t have to list that they contain these.
  8. Diethanolamine (DEA):  used in lotions, shampoos and other cosmetics as an emulsifier and foaming agent.  There are inconclusive results from the Department of Human Health Services that DEA is a carcinogen, but I would say, when in doubt, avoid!
  9. Mineral Oil:  can cause testicular tumors in babies, clogs pores and has not been proven to give the skin anything beneficial.  It’s also called liquid petroleum or paraffin oil.
  10. Sanitary pads and tampons:  some of these can contain pepsides and dioxins.  These substances can stay in your body for many years.
  11. Beware of cocoa butter products that are not 100%- they can contain a lot of mineral oil.
  12. All that glitters is not gold:  avoid products that have glitter and unnatural coloring.  In general, these products usually contain many of the above agents.

Since cosmetic companies aren’t required to ensure that a product is safe, it’s a great idea to replace products that may be deemed risky with natural things.  If you just MUST use something, prioritize.  Let’s be realistic, we all need some form of odor protection.  Be kind to those around you!  So, my list of things to start finding a replacement for are the common everyday things such as:

Deodorant: there is a very good tip I found while cruising Hipster Veggie’s YouTube Channel about using lime juice daily applied to the armpits.  You will need to find what works best for you.  Also, look for a deodorant free of aluminum.  Be good to your brain and prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.

Soaps: Look for soaps that are pure and 100%.  I am finding that I need to order from online small companies that really take ownership in their products.  Go local and know your cosmetic provider if at all possible.

Moisturizers:  the best moisturizer I have ever used is coconut oil for hair, body and face.  I have sensitive skin and can’t use a lot of products anyway.  Used after patting dry after a bath or after washing my face leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturized.  Make sure you have a product that is organic and 100% coconut oil.

Hair products:  the internet is full of ideas on maintaining healthy hair.  The old mayonnaise as a conditioner worked for me growing up.  A combination of honey, hemp oil and olive oil has been great as a natural styling gel for my hair for many years.

These are my priorities and a few ideas that have helped me.  I am already a lover of the natural and things that heal rather than things that go against our health, so I ‘m willing to do without nail polish, makeup, hair dyes and goops in a bottle, etc.  The time you invest in shortening your list of things that contain the above products can actually buy you time in your actual lifespan exponentially!  I hope that you decide to research how you can limit your exposure of the chemical hazards above and use more natural products.  Although not convenient, maybe even be inspired to make your own.

Helpful resource:

US FDA Cosmetic List Recalls

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Garden Whisper

This poem and mood was inspired by my modest window garden.  I truly miss planting in the earth and having a big back yard, however, sometimes you have to stir what you got!  Be grateful in all that the Most High gives and He will increase what you have beyond your dreams.  Such order in nature and as I observe the growth of my tomato and melon plants, avocado, lemon and pomegranate trees, although small, I get a sense of calm as I care for them and watch the progress made from week to week.  Did you know that since the mid 80’s hospitals began to take advantage of the calming effect received by patients who suffer from pain and anxiety.  These are huge sources of stress that damage our immune systems.  So, test this theory out on a stressful day and take a stroll through a garden.  Even consider starting your own.  Even a window garden like mine can be beneficial.  Isn’t your health worth it?

Go Go Goji!

Goji berries are amazing, and although small, are packed with so many vitamins and nutrients. They are also known as lycii fructus, lycium barbarum, wolfberries and even Red Diamonds.  Top 10 reasons to incorporate them into your regular diet:

  • High antioxidant action
  • Improves immune function
  • High in fiber and nutrients
  • Stabilizes blood sugar
  • Fights cancer
  • Detoxifies the liver and kidneys
  • Enhances eye health
  • Increases fertility
  • Energy, sleep aid and mood booster
  • Blood health

In addition, it has been said that they prolong life.  Goji berries contain beta sitosterol which decreases the development of cancer, aids in arthritis and allergies and prevents premature aging. Goji berries have neuroprotective effects due to their high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Goji up for Cold and Flu season! These berries are packed with Vitamin C and Iron which also helps to boost our Immune Systems.

Other nutritional facts in 28 grams:

  • 3 grams of protein
  • 18 Amino acids which includes all of the essential ones
  • 22 trace minerals
  • Loads of fiber
  • Vitamins C, A, riboflavin, iron, potassium, copper, thiamine, zinc, selenium, and calcium.  This is nature’s multivitamin!

Dosage:

Generally this depends on your condition. Here is a reference which may prove helpful.

dosage suggestions

How to use them in your diet:

These berries are Berry versatile! They can be purchased at health food stores as dried fruit and used in salads, in smoothies along with chia seeds, in trail mix or homemade granola bars, or just as they are. You can also use them to make a tea, smoothies, shakes or juice if bought fresh.

Caution!!!  ⚠💊Consult your healthcare provider before starting if you take high blood pressure meds or blood thinner medications such as warfarin or anti-diabetic medications.  Goji berries may interact with these medications.

I recently started using them in breakfast pancakes and cake recipes to add more fiber and nutrients to give a fuller feeling. So far, they have worked well to suppress my appetite. Give them a try and let me know what you experience!😄🍒🍇