Thursday, December 31, 2009

Being Mad as a Hatter is No Joke When it Comes to Mercury Poisoning

Do you know where the phrase "mad as a hatter" came from? It is not just a phrase, it has an actual meaning. Back in Britain, between 1600 and 1800, makers of felt hats used quicksilver, which is mercury nitrate, to make hats. It was a carefully guarded trade secret.

The only problem, of course, is that people who wore these hats became, well, mad as hatters. They developed poor memories, inappropriate behaviors, and even tremors that became know as "the hatter's shakes."

Wow! Talk about being mad as a hatter! Can you say heavy metal poisoning? So much for the "trade secret."

Before We Knew About Mercury Poisoning and Its Effects
Unfortunately, many people were negatively affected by mercury poisoning before scientists discovered that this heavy metal caused many health issues. Back in the day, mercury was used in many medications, especially those used to treat syphilis. Doctors even directly injected people with mercury and applied direct mercury ointments.

Worse, many dentists continue to use mercury amalgam fillings today, even though negative effects of mercury are well documented. What does mercury do to the body? Here's a short list:

- generates free radical cell damage and cell death
- inhibits many antioxidants, including super oxide dismutase (SOD)
- retards brain development
- speeds the development of diabetes, hypertension, strokes, and cardiovascular disease
- causes muscle weakness, include chronic fatigue syndrome

... and that's only the short list! Mercury poisoning can also lead to arthritis, depression, dermatitis, dizziness, gum disease, hair loss, and insomnia.

What to Do if You Suspect You Have Mercury Poisoning
If you are concerned about mercury poisoning, whether because of dental fillings, eating a lot of seafood, or external sources of contamination, luckily there are steps you can take to help your body get rid of mercury.

To help your body rid itself of mercury, you need to ingest foods and supplements high in:

- chlorophyll
- enzymes
- antioxidants

All of these will support the cleansing process, especially at the cellular level as well as from the liver and kidneys. Research shows that the food richest in all of these substances is AFA blue-green algae. According to Dr. Jeffrey Bruno,

"The use of algae has stimulated the excretion of some contaminants ... lead and mercury are also excreted without detrimental effects associated with conventional chelation therapy."

Other herbs that support detoxification of mercury include cilantro, yellow dock, milk thistle, dandelion, red clover, burdock, cleavers, marshmallow, and licorice.

I have successfully helped myself and other people I advise on nutrition to successfully detoxify their bodies of mercury. Of course, the first step is to remove any possible sources of mercury poisoning, including excess seafood and dental fillings made of mercury amalgam.

Then I usually suggest people take these daily packs of supplements,  that include AFA blue-green algae, enzymes, acidophilus, and bifidus. For an extra boost, I also suggest this suplement with sprouts from the same company, as the concentrated wheat sprouts have a very strong antioxidant effect in the body. Alternatively, Dragon River Herbals also has a powerful herbal detoxification program, including detailed instructions on how to use it. Both of these approaches have worked well for many people.

So ... consider trying either of these approaches if you are feeling the negative effects of mercury poisoning, or just feeling a tad mad as a hatter!

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Natural Solutions to Help You Avoid Bad Hair Days

Hair loss, graying hair, dull hair, crazy cowlicks, and split ends ... all of these can equal a bad hair day! Yuck. That's not pretty, whether you are a guy or a girl. No one likes a bad hair day.

Luckily scientists have been busy figuring out what causes bad hair days, and determined which nutrients your body needs to grow hair that is healthy, rich, lustrous, and, well, good!

Nutrition for Healthy Hair
Studies show that one of the main reasons we suffer from "bad hair days" is because our bodies don't have enough sulfur. Sulfur directly affects the health of not just our hair, but also our skin.

That's where biotin comes in. Biotin is a water-soluble B-vitamin coenzyme that incorporates sulfur into its molecular structure. So when our bodies produce enough biotin, we end up with healthier hair and skin. In fact, biotin has been nicknamed the "good hair day" vitamin.

Biotin also reduces glucose levels in the blood, which is good news for diabetics. If you're not sure whether your body is lacking in biotin, check for other signs of biotin deficiency, which include brittle fingernails, depression, and chronic fatigue.

Sources of Biotin for Healthy Hair
Now the question becomes, "Where do we get biotin?" Lucky for us, the beneficial bacteria in our guts produce biotin. That is, if we have enough acidophilus and bifidus in our intestines, then we tend to have enough biotin, and we also avoid bad hair days.

You can also eat foods high in biotin to increase the levels of biotin in your body. Foods high in biotin include:

- AFA blue-green algae
- brown rice
- mushrooms
- eggs
- liver

There are also topical biotin salves on the market, however studies indicate that biotin is not easily absorbed through the skin. So rubbing biotin salves on your scalp won't help you as much as eating foods rich in biotin, or increasing your intake of probiotics like acidophilus and bifidus, which help your body increase its production of biotin.

Having good hair days isn't difficult. At 73, I still have a full head of rich dark hair, and I have eating acidophilus, bifidus, and blue-green algae for over 25 years. I'm also fond of eggs and brown rice, too. Eating healthy for "good hair days" doesn't have to be complicated ... in fact, just follow the guidelines above for a convenient approach to healthy, shiny, lustrous hair. Enjoy!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products at wholesale prices on our website.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Are You Tired of Cleaning Up Dog Puke? 3 Ways to Avoid It

I hate cleaning up dog puke.

Literally abhor it. Worst of all, I usually end up cleaning up this foul substance in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning, when, let me tell you, I am less than at my best! Oh yes, and I usually have to step in it first! Are you like me? Hate cleaning up dog puke?

Then I've got three words for you: acidophilus, bifidus, and enzymes.

These three little words will prevent you (mostly) from having to wipe slime off your bare foot in the middle of the night because you have stepped in a pool of dog puke on your way to the bathroom. Just about anything is worth avoiding that experience in my book.

Just so you know, the reason I'm writing about this right now is because we adopted a Chihuahua mix (nicknamed "Mouse") a while back (that's his adorable mug above), and he went through a long spell of "dog puke-itis." Not pleasant. Being a street dog in Denver for his first year of life, he literally eats anything ... and then pukes it back up later. It's like having a goat in a dog suit.

Luckily, having been a nutritional counselor for years, I knew to immediately supplement his diet with enzymes, acidophilus, bifidus.

How Acidophilus, Bifidus, and Enzymes Help Your Dog's Digestion
Basically no matter what you feed your dog, adding acidophilus, bifidus, and enzymes to his diet will help decrease the chances of dog puke. Of course, the better quality food you feed him, the healthier he will be, and the less he will puke. However, this article isn't about debating the ins and outs of feeding a raw diet versus serving up Alpo. This article is about how to prevent yourself from having to clean up more dog puke. So here goes. We'll start at the top of your dog's digestive track and work our way backwards!

Enzymes and the Stomach
Once food enters your dog's stomach, dozens of different kinds of enzymes start to break down the food. For instance, there are separate enzymes for digesting proteins, starches, and lactose. If your dog's body does not naturally produce enough enzymes, or the right kinds of enzymes, to digest the different kinds of substances in his food, then you get all kinds of "feedback," including vomiting, burping, bad breath on the front end, and all kinds of unmentionables on the back end. Adding a full-spectrum potent enzyme supplement to your dog's feed will prevent these problems from occurring.

Acidophilus and the Small Intestine
Acidophilus (more properly called lactobacillus acidophilus) is a probiotic, a beneficial bacteria that lives in small intestine of healthy dogs (and healthy people, too!). Acidophilus manufactures the enzyme lactase, which digests sugars. This beneficial bacteria also produces lactic acid and natural antibiotics, which can keep your dog healthy. Acidophilus helps your dog better digest his feed, no matter what you feed him. It has also been shown to improve coat condition, and kill off Candida yeast as well as 27 kinds of harmful bacteria, including salmonella. Best of all, Acidophilus prevents gas (yay!), bad breath, and, oh yes, dog puke.

Bifidus and the Large Intenstine
Like acidophilus, bifidus (properly called bifidobacterium bifidus) is a friendly probiotic. This strain of bacteria lives in your dog's large intestine, and is responsible primarily for aiding in digestion (especially of fiber) and preventing harmful viruses and bacteria from taking up residence in your dog's large intestine. Bifidus is even effective against nitrite toxicity (nitrites are present in packaged meats and many dog foods) as well as the bacteria that causes toxic shock syndrome. Bifidus even addresses the opposite end of the dog puke problem: diarrhea. If your dog suffers from diarrhea, Bifidus tends to "soak up" the excess fluid in the bowel and firm up loose stools.

High Quality Enzymes, Acidophilus, and Bifidus
So there you have it. That covers the gamut of your dog's digestive tract, and gives you three ways to avoid cleaning up dog puke. Enzymes, acidophilus, and bifidus are perfectly safe to feed your dog on a regular basis, and should be fed in increased amounts if your dog will be under stress.

For instance, when we brought Mouse home, his diet changed from "street dog fare" to home-cooked meals. That definitely put his digestive tract under stress, not to mention the fact that he was probably already deficient in enzymes, acidophilus, and bifidus. Other activities that may stress your dog's digestion include travel, boarding, or visiting the veterinarian. If you increase your dog's dose of these three digestive aids before any of these activities, you drastically reduce your chances of having to clean up dog puke.

Finally, if you are going to feed your dog enzymes and probiotics, go for the best quality you can afford. The best quality probiotics are the ones that are kept and sold in refrigerators. This maximizes the number of live bacteria present in each capsule. I have found that  from The enzymes and probiotics I have found to work best and can be ordered online. However, there are also many health food stores that carry high quality enzymes and probiotics (stored in the fridge). Feeding straight yogurt usually won't provide enough density of probiotics to really improve your dog's digestion, so I suggest sticking with straight supplements.

You can expect to see results from these supplements in four to eight weeks, depending on your dog's original level of digestive health. After that, prepare to experience a life free of dog puke, bad breath, and stinky farts! Enjoy!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products at wholesale prices on our website.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Snot and the Common Cold: 3 Things You May Not Know

Tis the season of tissues, snot, coughing and sneezing. Oh how jolly! Actually, these symptoms of the common cold should be welcomed as signs your body trying to get healthy ... even if they make you miserable!

Facts About the Common Cold
Obviously no one likes to catch cold and very few people appreciate the purpose of cold symptoms. When you "catch cold" and have cold symptoms, you are actually experiencing your body trying to get rid of toxins, foreign invaders, and other unhealthy substances in your body.

Without a cold, all of these toxic substances would literally be "stuck" in your body forever, wreaking further havoc and leading to more chronic illnesses. Hooray for the common cold! So that you can more fully appreciate the "value" of a cold, here are three things you probably don't know about snot and the common cold.

#1 - Snot is Good, Really
Whenever the body encounters something unwanted in the body, one of its first forms of defense is to dilute the substance and then move it out of the body. Hence, you get snot, as well as mucous, phlegm, and other such goodies. Diluting an unwanted substance in the body, like bacteria or viruses, makes the substance less harmful, and also helps move it out of the body.

Even though having a runny nose or watery eyes may make you feel miserable, you can be glad that your body is strong enough to put up this kind of defense. A less healthy body would not be able to mount this kind of defense, and the toxic substance would remain in the body. So every time you catch cold, instead of feeling miserable, you can congratulate your body on being healthy enough to defend itself!

#2 - Fevers Help Your Body "Clean House"
Although many western cultures don't acknowledge this, tribal cultures have long understood the value of a controlled fever (104 degrees Fahrenheit or less). A fever is another way your body rids itself of bacteria, viruses, germs, and other toxic materials. Fevers literally "burn off" toxic substances and kill foreign invaders, many of which cannot live at such high temperatures. That just about makes all the aches, pains, and crazy dreams associated with fevers worth it!

#3 - Germs Don't Cause Colds
Saying that germs cause colds is kind of like saying that fire trucks cause fires; since fire trucks are always at the scene of a fire, then they must be the cause of the fires, right? Not really. The same goes for germs. Germs are often "at the scene of the crime" when you catch cold, but that doesn't mean they are the root cause of the common cold.

You only catch cold when your body's immune system has been weakened, which then allows germs to set up residence, giving you the common cold. This explains why not everyone exposed to the same germs catches cold. Only people with weak immune systems catch cold. So there you have it ... the poor luckless germ has been blamed this whole time for the common cold when it is actually a wimpy immune system that is at fault.

3 Things You Can Do About the Common Cold
If you do end up with a common cold, for whatever reason, you can take steps to move the cold through and out of your system more quickly and effectively. Here are three things you can do:

1. Don't Suppress Cold Symptoms
If you try to suppress cold symptoms, you interfere with your body's defense mechanisms. This allows foreign invaders to stay in your body. Instead, your goal should be to help your body push these invaders out of your system faster. Just accept that you have a cold and try not to suppress the symptoms with too many over-the-counter medications. If you need relief from cold symptoms, try taking Echinacea tincture or Vitamin C.

2. Support Your Body's Immune System with Beta-Glucan
Beta-glucan is a substance made from brewer's yeast that has been shown to activate and support the body's microbe-killing capabilities. In studies, beta-glucan increased the body's ability to identify microbial invaders and also increased the communication among various parts of the body's immune system. Note that this effect was only achieved with beta-glucan that had been separated by a special process from brewer's yeast. Ingesting brewer's yeast alone with not have this effect. This immune support supplement is an excellent source of beta-glucan.

3. Hydrate to Increase the Dilution Effect
Drink, drink, and then drink some more clear liquids. Whether you are drinking water, hot tea, or warm broth, take in as much fluid as you can since this helps your body dilute the effect of microbial invaders. If you have difficulty drinking cold water, try drinking either warm water with honey and lemon, or warm water with a bit of high-grade sea salt. Either will soothe your throat and produce the desired dilution effect.

The Common Cold: A Good Thing
It's never fun to catch cold, but if you do end up with the common cold then don't hate it. It's just your body doing its job and keeping you healthy. Do everything you can to support your body's immune response and know that you will emerge on the other side healthier and with a stronger immune system!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

5 Ways to Eat Healthy for Less

Everyone is looking to eat healthy for less in this economy, which is a great idea, but have you noticed how the grocery store seems to conspire against you in that area? Do you ever wonder why Twinkies and doughnuts cost far less than whole grain cereals, healthy vegetables, and lean meats?

Luckily, it is possible to eat healthy and inexpensively, despite the fact that unhealthy foods tend to be cheaper than healthy foods.

5 Ways to Eat Healthy and Not Break the Bank
If you walk down the aisles in your local grocery store and really calculate the cost per serving between the healthy foods and unhealthy foods, you'll find a definite price difference. But here are 5 places you can save money as you shop for healthful diet choices.

The difference between the price of olive oil and a less expensive oil, like corn oil, looks significant if you look at the price per bottle. Yet olive oil is so much healthier for your body than corn oil. These days you can find olive oil for about $8 per liter. If you use just 2 tablespoons per day for salad dressing or cooking, the cost is about 50 cents a day. If you just can't stomach spending that much money on cooking oil, another inexpensive and healthful option is canola oil, which has less flavor but is healthy for you.

This is one area where cost and healthfulness actually line up with each other. Experts agree that eating large amounts of red meat isn't healthy, which is fine, because red meat tends to be more expensive. Healthier options, like chicken, turkey, and some kinds of fish, are less expensive. Choose white meat over red meat whenever possible, and splurge on red meat once in a while. This plan will keep both your body and your bank book healthy.

You can also consider plant-based sources of protein. For instance, whole grain rice combined with beans makes a complete protein. Another rich source of protein is blue-green algae (AFA or aphanizomenon flos aquae), which is 60% protein and contains all eight of its essential amino acids in perfect balance for humans. Beef, on the other hand, contains only 20-25% protein.

Fruits and Vegetables

While the price of fruits and vegetables is higher than it used to be, these foods deliver much-needed nutritional value with few unwanted ingredients (like sugar). The USDA estimates that in most parts of the country you can still buy 7 servings of fruits or vegetables for about 75 cents. I'm not sure if that's true or not where you live, but here are some sample servings of fruits and vegetables so you can judge for yourself whether those costs are in line:

1/2 cup apples, carrots, broccoli, or romaine lettuce
1/8 cup raisins
1/2 cup grapefruit juice

The price difference between whole grain products and non-whole grain products is actually fairly small, since many food manufacturers are putting emphasis on producing more whole grain products. Consider the cost difference between brown rice and white rice. The per-bag cost difference may be about $1, which means the per-serving cost difference is much less. You get a whole lot of health benefit with whole grains that are definitely worth the price.

This is where I see a lot of people overspending and not getting as much value as they could for their money. Many people buy multi-vitamins and then supplement it with enzymes, probiotics, and inorganic minerals (like magnesium and calcium). I prefer to use whole food sources of vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals. These daily packets that contain two forms of blue-green algae, enzymes, acidophilus, and bifidus are the ones I favor.

This complete package not only gives you a protein-rich source in a convenient capsule form, but also provides all the enzymes and probiotics so your body absorbs the maximum amount of vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals. Plus, 97% of the algae can be used by the human body, which is a far higher percentage than for inorganic minerals. The cost is about $1.25 per day.

What You Won't Buy

I'm sure you've noticed the gaping holes in this list of foods above: chips, snacks, sweets, and other junk. They cost less to buy, sure, but they contribute nothing positive to your health and can definitely detract from it. If you skip buying junk food, except for every now and then, you'll find that your food budget will expand. You'll easily be able to afford healthy fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and even the occasional steak for special occasions. Eating healthy doesn't have to be crazy expensive, it just requires a little forethought before heading to the grocery store.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Natural Anxiety Remedy: Vitamin B12

People have a lot of reasons to feel anxious and nervous these days, from the ups and downs of the stock market to stress at work and lack of money.

At the same time, many of these people who are aware of the Law of Attraction, which says that the more anxious we feel the more likely we are to attract events that will make us even more anxious, are struggling not to feel anxious.

So what's a self-aware person stuck in a not-so-good situation to do?

Natural Remedies for Anxiety

While there are many activities you can do to reduce your level of anxiety, such as exercises or meditation, sometimes you need a physical boost to help your body calm down, and thus allow you to feel more mentally and emotionally peaceful.

Studies have shown that when our bodies are in "fight or flight mode," and using the sympathetic nervous system, we cannot heal, relax, or rest. With all the world changes and chronic uncertainty in the world today, it's a sure bet that most of us are in "fight or flight" mode at least once a day.

Luckily, there are some natural nutritional remedies that can help your body shift from the "fight or flight" sympathetic nervous system back into the resting parasympathetic nervous system. When your body is relying on the parasympathetic nervous system, you feel relaxed and peaceful rather than anxious and high-strung.

The Importance of Vitamin B12 in Reducing Anxiety
Vitamin B12 is one of the more effective natural substances that help your body "let down" and relax. Various research studies, cited in Dr. Walter Willet's Harvard Medical School Guide on food and nutrition, indicate that a lack of B12 can result in

- memory loss
- muscle fatigue
- increased risk of heart disease
- dementia

To this list, Dr. Karl Abrams adds that B12 deficiency is also linked with:

- chronic anxiety and nervousness
- low energy
- mental fatigue
- disorientation
- poor oxygenation of the blood
- Alzheimer's disease

If any of these symptoms sound familiar, then you may be low in vitamin B12. In fact, B12 deficiency is becoming so prevalent that many doctors are now prescribing B12 injections for many of their patients. But don't worry, if the thought of needles nauseates you, you can always get B12 from multiple other sources!

Where to Get Concentrated Sources of Vitamin B12
In attempt to increase the levels of B12 in their bodies, many people take B12 in a capsule or liquid supplement. But the fact of the matter is that the reason many people lack B12 is not because they don't ingest enough of it, but because they don't absorb it well. Dr. Willet indicates that one-sixth of older Americans are deficient in B12 because they cannot absorb the B12 they ingest.

B12 is best absorbed from whole-food sources. The best sources of B12 foods, in order of concentration, are:

- blue-green algae (AFA species only)*
- liver
- tuna
- yogurt

- cottage cheese

* AFA stands for aphanizomenon flos-aqua, a specific kind of blue-green algae that has been tested to have very high concentrations of B12. Other kinds of blue-green algae, including certain forms of spiraling, have been shown to possess molecules that actually block the body's absorption of vitamin B12. That's why it's important to choose the correct form of blue-green algae if you want to increase your B12 levels.

In addition to eating foods high in B12, adding probiotics like acidophilus and bifidus to your diet also help increase your levels of B12. This is because these "friendly bacteria" live in your gut and actually produce B12. They do this so efficiently that adding just a small amount of probiotics to the diet has been shown to decrease symptoms of nervousness and anxiety in people and animals.

In fact, with performance horses it has become a common practice to feed concentrated doses of probiotics orally prior to hauling or showing because of the almost immediate positive effect this has on anxiety and nervousness.

So ... if you are struggling with anxiety or nervousness on a daily basis, check your diet to see whether you may be low in vitamin B12. If so, you may wish to consider adding AFA blue-green algae and probiotics to your daily supplement regimen, as well as consuming other foods high in B12 on a regular basis.

Vitamin B12 is a simple, natural remedy to the problem of anxiety with none of the side-effects of conventional medication prescribed for this condition.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lose Weight By The Clock!

Did you know that there are "good times" and "bad times" during the day to try to lose weight according to some doctors?

Dr. Norman Cousens did some fascinating research on what our cells are doing during a 24 hour cycle, and it turns out that some of the old adages about the best time to eat are at odds with his findings.

Morning: From 4 am to noon, the cells of our body are focused on dumping waste, manufacturing cells, and repairing cells - in short, maintenance.

Afternoon: From noon to 8 pm, the cells of our body are geared toward digestion and metabolizing.

Evening: From 8 pm until 4 am, the cells of our body are assimilating nutrients.

When Should We Eat to Lose Weight?
Since our cells are busy with building, repair, and assimilation of nutrients from 8 pm in the evening until noon the next day, it makes sense to focus most of our eating from noon to 8 pm. From noon until 8 in the evening, our cells are ready to digest, which implies that our bodies will store less fat and digest more fuel.

While this flies in the face of advice from many experts to eat a hearty breakfast, it does present another option to those of us who are not hungry in the morning. As always, take science and research with a grain of salt and do what feels best to you.

To increase weight loss in a natural and healthy way, consider our favorite enzyme supplement for enzyme therapy for healthy weight loss.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

How to Be Your Own Expert on Your Health

Drink lots of water, take deep breaths, choose good supplements, eat all your vegetables, eat more protein, eat fewer carbs ... with all the healthcare advice out there these days, and much of it contradictory, it makes healthy living seem like a complicated endeavor!

In fact, all that advice can make a junk-food diet look attractive in its simplicity. But don't panic! Healthy living can be simple.

You Are Your Own Best Expert on Health
You know what makes you feel good and what doesn't. If drinking plenty of water, taking certain supplements, or eating a multiple small meals a day makes you feel better, then you already know more than the experts.

Similarly, you probably know which of your "bad" habits make you feel ill, like eating too much sugar or spending too much time at your desk. If you are not sure what makes you feel better or worse, keep a diary for seven to twenty-one days. Log your daily food intake, exercise, level of stress, amount of sleep, and anything else that might affect your level of health. Notice what happens when you add or vary any of your habits.

Choose Just a Few Healthy Habits
Once you have discovered two or three really great habits that make you feel good, adopt them for the year. To keep things really simply, choose no more than three great habits. If exercise makes you feel good, adopt the habit of exercising a few times a week. If adding fresh fruits or vegetables is good, resolve to add them to your diet on a regular basis, but don't break the bank.

Do what makes you feel good in moderation, and in a way that will be easy for you to remember. If you want to add vitamins or supplements (like blue-green algae) into your life, help yourself remember by putting the bottles or packets in your car, your purse, your pocket, your lunch, or your top desk drawer.

Healthy Habits Should be Pleasurable
Don't kick yourself when you forget to take the supplements, and take them whenever you see the visual reminder of the bottle. Of course, consistency is always great for health, but in the beginning do what you can to make healthy living a rewarding and pleasurable experience rather than another item on your "To Do" list!

Need a simple healthy solution? Consider these handy daily packs with two types of algae, probiotics and enzymes, which are great for easy-to-remember nutrition.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Healing Made Simple for the Rest of Us

In his book "Quantum Healing," Dr. Deepak Chopra describes the story of a young woman who felt her meditation practice was a failure because she kept falling asleep while meditating. Dr. Chopra pointed out that, to the contrary, the woman's practice was a success because she had finally allowed her body to do what it needed to heal: sleep. The woman was so constantly busy that she never got enough sleep and, consequently, her body could not heal.

Our Busy Lives Are Contrary to Healing

Our lives are so busy these days that we hardly have time for anything, least of all healing. Everything we do is fast. We eat fast food, take power naps, and multi-task like crazy. And we wonder why we don't as healthy and vibrant as we used to. In fact, some of us wonder why we are downright ill.

The good news is that you don't have to sign up for a whole new lifestyle to get back to feeling bright and healthy. As Dr. Chopra's story demonstrates, healing can take place if we just give our bodies some of the basic necessities: good food, water, and sleep.

FOOD: Few of us have time to cook anymore. If your diet is questionable but you don't have time to shop and cook totally healthy, try giving your body the nutrition it needs with natural whole food supplements. AFA bluegreen algae  is a simple and convenient whole food solution. These convenient daily packets with two types of algae, probiotics and enzymes cram tons of vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and enzymes into easy-to-swallow capsules.

WATER: Whenever possible, avoid chlorine and other additives to your water. Chlorine tends to kill the beneficial bacteria in the gut, your first line of defense against illness. Stay away from tap water and drink plenty of spring or filtered water to keep your body pure and detoxified.

SLEEP: Most of us are walking around in a sleep-deprived state. Our bodies typically need 7-8 hours of undisturbed rest to heal and recover from the ravages of our daily lives. At least twice a week, catch up on any sleep you missed. At least once a week, go to sleep without setting the alarm clock and allow yourself to wake up naturally, when your body is fully rested.

Although it can seem more difficult to stay healthy because of the hectic nature of our lives, it's not as hard as you may think. Just go back to basics. Provide your body with the basic building blocks so that it can heal. Healing is a natural part of your body's function. You don't have to do anything except provide the raw materials!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cheap Ways to Get Healthy in Tough Times

I generally hate commercials but I gotta say that I love the Allstate commercial where the guy extols the virtues of staying home and playing Jenga. I know, tough times are by definition tough, and yet I'm seeing some amazing things happen in people's lives as a result of these tough times. Yes, some people are experiencing some serious setbacks and financial woes, but other people are using the current situation to make some truly beneficial changes in their lives.

Surprisingly enough, a lot of people using this opportunity to get healthy!

How Do You Get Healthy in Tough Economic Times?
When people think of the word "healthy," many think of spending money. You might have to spend money on supplements, a gym membership, or diet foods. That's not going to work in an age where the jobless rate keeps creeping up. Instead, people are finding all kinds of ways to get healthy for cheap. Here are two fabulous examples to inspire you to think of ways you can get healthy without spending the big bucks!

Example #1: The Substitution Diet
One woman came to me for nutritional counseling and found herself in quite the bind. She was overweight and wanted to lose weight, but could not seem to do it by herself. She considered joining either a women's gym or a diet program (like Jenny Craig), but when she looked into both options she found the monthly fees too steep for her budget. So she asked me for help.

I'm a big believer in small changes that make a big difference. I asked her to make a food diary for a week, which meant she listed everything she ate for a week. Surprisingly, even though she was overweight she didn't eat as much as one would expect. However, the content of her diet was pretty poor and included a lot of processed foods and refined carbohydrates. She also ate a lot of pre-packaged food with low nutritional content. I asked her if she would be willing to do a little more cooking and give up 50% of her sugary snacks. She agreed.

We replaced 35% of her pre-packaged food with meals she cooked herself, and she bought 50% less cakes and cookies. With the money left over (about $50 per month), we started her on a low-cost but high-quality nutritional supplement. The supplement packets contained blue-green algae to give her energy and increase her metabolism, plus acidophilus, bifidus, and enzymes, which improved her digestion. The results are in and she has lost 11 pounds and feels better than she has in years. She doesn't like to cook but her weight loss keeps her going. I give her kudos for persistence, frugality, and healthy living!

Example #2: Yard Man Extraordinaire
One of my buddies works an office job in a big city and he used to pay people to do his yard work for him (and believe me, he has a beautifully-landscaped yard). While his job isn't in limbo, he's decided to cut back on expenditures to save extra money for future contingencies. One of the expenses he cut was the money he was paying to the yard man. The other was his twice-a-month visit to his anti-stress counselor (he finds working in the city very stressful).

You can probably see where this is going. It turns out that doing yard work is the perfect intersection of saving money and stress relief for my friend, not to mention being a great physical workout. Not only has he gotten a handle on all the basic yard maintenance, like weed-pulling and lawn-mowing, but he's even starting to build an amazing serpentine rock wall that literally has people stopping in his driveway to ask if he does rock-work for hire! Now that's got to fluff his aura and boost his pride. In any case, should he ever find himself out of work, he can now always fall back on a second career in rock work!

Inspired yet?

I hope so. I'm so inspired that I've started tackling a ramshackle falling-down building on our property. The physical exercise is great and I'm saving megabucks by not paying day laborers to do the work for me.

So what about you? How can you use the current situation not to increase your stress level but to be a better, healthier, happier version of yourself? Got any ideas? Drop me a line. I'd love to hear about it!

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Reverse Heart Muscle Damage Naturally - A Case Study

Did you know that heart muscle damage can be reversed naturally? I am walking, talking, living proof, and this article is a case study profiling that proof.

Case History
Five years ago I underwent surgery to replace a congenitally-faulty aortic valve in my heart. The valve didn't shut properly and leaked with every heart beat, making my heart less efficient. I had lived with this valve for 67 years without realizing that it was faulty. I suffered from symptoms of this congenital defect but never realized the reason.

For instance, although I have always had great physical strength, I have never been able to perform exercise that required prolonged cardiovascular stamina. I always wondered how people could jog and talk at the same time, since I could hardly run half a mile without being totally winded.

After the surgery, I was able to do aerobic exercises that I had never been able to do before. I could easily run for 30 minutes without being winded. However, my physician informed me that my echocardiogram results indicated that my heart muscle was enlarged and somewhat damaged from a lifetime of overwork. She told me that this kind of enlargement could never be reversed, and that I would have to treat my heart with care for the rest of my life.

I appreciated her concern, but being a doctor of Chinese Medicine I did not believe that the situation could not be reversed. In Chinese Medicine it is believed that any condition can be healed.

Natural Supplement Therapy

After surgery my cardiologist prescribed coumadin to prevent any blood from clotting on the artificial aortic valve. I had serious side effects from taking coumadin so I switched to a natural blood regulator called nattokinase, which has been used by Asians for centuries to dissolve and prevent blood clots. In addition, I increased my intake of coenzyme Q10 from 30 mg to 180 mg. I had taken coenzyme Q10 for years as a natural form of support for my heart, and since I knew it had healing properties for the heart muscle, I increased my intake to therapeutic levels.

Echocardiogram Test Results
I get an echocardiogram once a year to ensure that my artificial heart valve is functioning properly and to check the general health of my heart. Three years ago, the results from my annual echocardiogram astonished my physician. She called me and asked me what I had been doing for my heart. I told her, and then asked her why. She replied that my heart muscle was no longer enlarged and that the heart wall was no longer thickened. This surprised her greatly since she had never seen a reversal of this kind in her practice.

I am pleased that my heart muscle has recovered from the stresses of a lifetime of overwork, and gratified that the Chinese Medicine point of view, where healing is always possible, has proven true in my case. I hope these results will inspire others with "chronic conditions" to realize that any condition can be healed, and that natural supplementation is always an option to consider.

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Photo credit: Free Digital Photos

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Prebiotics versus Probiotics -- What's the Difference?

The word "probiotics" are familiar to most people: the beneficial bacteria that populate the gut and are a first line of defense for the body against all number of illnesses. You've probably heard the word in recent yogurt commercials.

Strains of friendly bacteria that are most common include those in the Lactobacillis and Bifidobacterium families. You've probably heard of these ... they are even being mentioned in the yogurt commercials these days. What you might not know about these friendly bacteria are:

- they help your body produce vitamin K, which boosts your immune system
- they can be killed by stress, antibiotics, chlorine, and other unhealthy lifestyle habits
- yogurt usually doesn't contain enough of these probiotoics to really boost your health
- they (friendly bacteria) have to eat, too

You Have to Feed Your Friendly Bacteria
So most health-conscious people know that they have to add probiotics to their daily regimen to keep a strong population of friendly bacteria in the gut. Having a good supply of these probiotoics helps with digestion, symptoms of ulcers and leaky gut syndrome, symptoms of allergies, and all kinds of other good stuff.

What most people don't know is that you also have to "feed" your friendly bacteria. They, like you, have to be fed or they tend not to stick around. So what do you feed the probiotics living in your gut? Why, prebiotics of course!

What's a Prebiotic?
A prebiotic is any source of food for probiotics. For the most part, prebiotics are indigestible carbohydrate fibers called oligosaccharides. That is, you can't digest oligosaccharides but your friendly bacteria can. Since you can't digest these fibers, they remain in your gut and feed the friendly bacteria living there. It's a good arrangement, no?

Oligosaccharides are found mostly in fruits, legumes, and whole grains. For instance, soybeans, oats, whole wheat, and barley all have oligosaccharides. Another common source of these fibers is inulin, which can be derived from Jerusalem artichokes, jicama, and chicory root.

While the science on prebiotics is still expanding, scientists are now saying that some people need more prebiotics and some people need more probiotics. These days it is recommended that you get both in your diet, so that you keep the population of friendly bacteria in your gut healthy and happy ... so you stay healthy and happy.

Prebiotics are big news these days. For instance, the makers of one of the probiotic supplements that I take,  has just added inulin to its Bifidus formulation to make it more potent. When prebiotics are added to probiotics, it gives you more bang for your buck, since you swallow the beneficial bacteria complete with its own food source. Pretty cool, huh? I think so!

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Healthy Summer Smoothies and Coolers

There's still some summer left, which means there's still time for post-morning-jog smoothies, poolside parties, and fun in the sun. For those who want to keep things healthy as well as fun, here are three of my favorite recipes for summer smoothies and coolers.

These recipes are from New Earth and, having tried them all, I can say that they are truly tasty, not to mention healthy. Enjoy!

Summer Soother
1 can frozen lemonade
1 can water
1 heaping tbsp smoothie mix
Mix and serve over ice.

Zippy Cocktail
Spicy or original V8® 100% Vegetable Juice, 46 oz
1 tsp dill
1 Tbsp grated onion (or 2 tsp dry)
¼ tsp Mrs. Dash
1-3 capsules algae (depending upon your preference)
Chill and serve.

Festive Cooler
2 cups filtered water
1 tsp powdered algae blend
¼ to ½ cup cranberry lemonade (organic sweetened with agave and grape)
Shake or stir and enjoy. This drink looks great in wine or martini glasses for a party, or in a water bottle when you are on the go at the gym, pool, or just out and about.

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Photo credit: Free Digital Photos

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Do You Need a Brain Gym?

These days you can work out at a gym without breaking a sweat ... you just have to work out at a brain gym rather than a regular gym. And lots of people are! With the baby boomer population aging, the healthcare community is now dedicating more resources than ever to brain health and mental clarity.

A 2006 study conducted by the National Institutes of Health indicates that doing certain brain exercises can improve reasoning and memory. In the past, hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities have used brain games and other mental exercises to help the elderly or those suffering from brain damage maintain and improve brain function.

Now the concept of a brain gym has moved into the mainstream. There are workout facilities dedicated solely to keeping the brain healthy, such as the Mind Spa Mental Fitness Center in Florida, as well as regular gyms that have added special brain gym facilities, such as Nifty After Fifty in California. Memberships run about $50 per month, and many members report being satisfied with the results, despite the significant price tag.

Do-It-Yourself Brain Health
If you're not ready to cough up $50 a month to join a brain gym, never fear. There are things you can do at home to keep your brain healthy and active. Here's a list of 7 of things to ponder:
  1. Play brain games at home on the AARP website
  2. Feed your brain with blue-green algae with cell wall removed, one of the only nutrients proven to pass through the blood-brain barrier and nourish the brain
  3. Socialize with friends: studies show that people with active social lives have reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's and dementia
  4. Do cognitive exercises: a study at Duke University indicates that performing cognitive tasks that create new associations in the brain will keep your mind sharp. These include getting dressed in the dark, putting your watch on the opposite wrist, or brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand.
  5. Moderate your drinking: heavy drinking (14 or more alcoholic drinks per week) shrinks your brain, so drink less for a healthier brain.
  6. Dance! Studies indicate that physical exercises requiring coordination, such as dancing, preserve brain cells and reduce the risk of Alzheimer's.
  7. Do good: volunteering is an excellent way to stay sharp mentally. Volunteers experience lower levels of stress as well as increase their cognitive and communication skills, all of which gives the brain a boost.
Most of all, enjoy life! After all, what good is a healthy brain if you can't enjoy it?

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Photo credit: Free Digital Photos

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Missing Link in Nutritional Supplements

When I counsel people about nutritional supplements, I find that people often have the complaint, "Nothing is happening!" They report this after taking the supplements for a few weeks or a few months. I almost always find this amusing because they are experiencing what I call "the missing link."

The Missing Link
What's the missing link? When it comes to nutritional supplements, the missing link is what people "miss" when they look at what's changed about their health. Most people notice when something positive occurs, such as an increase in energy or a better mood. What they fail to notice, though, are the health challenges that are no longer present (i.e., the ones that are now missing). Those are the missing links.

When I counsel people about nutrition, I have them complete an intake form listing all of their health complaints and issues. As the weeks go by, I also have people journal about any changes they notice about their health. Some of these include the effects of toxins leaving their body -- such as bad breath, skin eruptions, and even diarrhea -- while others are more positive, including more stamina and mental clarity.

When someone tells me that their new supplements and nutritional regimen are having no effect, I ask them to review their intake form to see if they can identify any missing links. Most of the time, people are surprised to realize that many of their previous health complaints are no longer present.

A Case in Point of the Missing Link
For instance, I recently counseled one lady who felt her program wasn't working. She had started a nutritional program that included high-quality blue-green algae, enzymes, acidophilus, and bifidus. I thought it unlikely that these powerful nutritional supplements were "doing nothing." Upon reviewing her intake form, she realized that she no longer suffered from weekly headaches, and that her back pain was greatly reduced. It may seem odd that she didn't immediately realize such a change in her health, however her experience is fairly typical. She, like many of us, was so busy every single day that she didn't notice much about her health unless a symptom was so painful or annoying that it interfered with her daily routine. She was aware of a headache when she had one, but failed to notice the lack of one. Interesting, isn't it?

The Moral of the Missing Link
The moral of this story is that before you begin a new health regimen, take stock of your current health. Take pen and paper, and do a mental review, starting at the top of your head and ending at the bottom of your feet. For instance, starting with your head, jot down whether you have headaches, eye strain, hearing problems, mental confusion, sinus congestion, teeth sensitivity, skin problems, or poor-quality hair. Do this kind of careful review for each area of your body.

As you start your new health regimen, whether it be taking supplements or engaging in a new exercise program, journal about any changes you notice. These could include changes in your weight, mood, skin condition, bowel movements, ability to sleep at night, or daily energy level. After a few weeks or months, go back to your intake form and compare your health before and after. You maybe surprised at what you discover. You may find a missing link or two.

In addition to helping you clarify how your new health regimen may or may not be helping you, this process also helps you be more aware of your physical and mental health in general. Awareness is always the first step to good health, so engaging in this process on a regular basis is a good idea. Think of it as your own brand of health insurance!

Free Health Consult
I regularly consult with people who are interested in improving their health through the use of high-quality organic whole foods. For a free consult, please visit our web form.

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Photo credit: Free Digital Photos

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lose Weight by Eating Like the Asians or the French

Get this:

The farmers in our country produce enough food for every man, woman, and child to eat 3,800 calories per day.

That is about twice the number of calories that the average person should consume to stay healthy!

Along with the massive number of available food choices and the ability to "super size" just about any meal, it's a wonder that we Americans still manage to fit into our clothes (actually, many of us don't because we are morbidly obese).

As Americans we face the problem of overabundance. Not only do farmers overproduce food for this country, but our current lifestyle and culture push people toward being overweight. In this country, eating out is perceived as both a social pleasure and a sensual reward. Americans work hard and play hard, and we reward ourselves by overeating. It's not considered rude to overeat. How many of us had grandmothers who kept trying to feed us more and more food? In this country, food is love -- the more food, the more love.

The Asian and French Difference
In contrast, in Asian and French cultures, good cuisine isn't about quantity, it's about quality. Have you ever been to a Japanese restaurant and been served a beautifully-arranged plate of food? The focus is on presentation, and the food that is served is almost always pleasing to the eye. Whereas Americans delight in a plate overflowing with steak and potatoes, Asian and French chefs offer dishes with a lot of "white space."

In addition, in these cultures children are often taught to eat only to 70% of capacity because it is considered rude to overeat (and loosening your belt after a heavy meal is definitely not acceptable social behavior).

The Asian Focus on Live Foods
Finally, the Asian culture has a much stronger focus on "live" foods than the American culture. Asians consume a great deal of marine algae and seaweed, as well as enzymatically live foods, such as fermented soy products. Studies show that blue-green algae, for instance, keeps people slim because it possesses a great deal of fiber, helps cells detoxify, and best of all, keeps people in a good mood (which prevents emotional eating).

If you want to lose weight, consider viewing food from the viewpoint of the Asians or the French: feast your eyes on food, not your mouth. Focus on foods that are beautifully presented in modest quantities, rather than large heaping piles of food that will last but an instant on your lips, but an eternity on your hips!

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Photo credit: Free Digital Photos

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pigs Prove That Enzymes Make You Skinny

It's true. A study done on pigs show that the presence of enzymes in food make you skinny. So what's the skinny on this story?

Here's the deal: cooked foods don't have enzymes, and pigs fed cooked food (potatoes) got fat while pigs fed raw food (again, potatoes) didn't get as fat. Specifically, according to E. Howell in "Enzyme Nutrition: The Food Enzyme Concept":

"Technical men in the business of extracting the maximum profit from farm animals found it was not economical to feed hogs raw potatoes. The hogs would not get fat enough. Cooking the potatoes, however, produced fat hogs that brought ... a fat profit."

Why Do Cooked Foods Make Pigs (and You) Fat?
So according to the studies, cooked food makes pigs fat. Cooked food makes people fat, too. That's because cooked foods are raised to a high temperature that literally kills the enzymes that occur naturally in food. Our bodies require enzymes to properly digest food, and when we don't have enough enzymes, the food we eat literally rots in our guts, adding to weight gain and the appearance of a beer belly.

Specifically, other studies show that:

1. Canned foods lack enzymes and often over-stimulate the endocrine system, promoting weight gain (E. F. Kohman in "Comparative experiments with canned, home cooked, and raw food diets" in the Journal of Nutrition).

2. Laboratory rats fed a diet of processed and enzyme-less protein, fats, and carbohydrates increased their percentage of body fat (V. Korenchevsky, "Pathology and Bacteriology").

3. Overweight people may be deficient in lipase, a fat-digesting enzyme that also helps in the overall metabolizing of fats (Tufts University School f Medicine).

Scary Enough?
Yikes! The results of these studies are enough to scare anyone. What I've learned in my years of nutritional counseling is that a proper diet that has plenty of enzymes plus the raw materials the body needs to stay health (vitamins, minerals, trace-minerals, and antioxidants) does more to help weigh loss than any diet plan.

Sure, a healthy common-sense diet is good for any body, but most people I've seen with weight problem are generally lacking in raw foods, quality nutrients, and enzymes. A friend of mine, Viktoras Kulvinskas, is fond of saying, "Don't dine without enzymes!" and I definitely agree with him.

Enzyme Therapy for Weight Loss
If you want to lose weight, enzyme therapy is a good place to start. It's a natural therapy that anyone can do because it's made of the raw materials your body uses. To practice enzyme therapy for weight loss, you need to start with a high-quality enzyme source, an enzyme that works well even in the very acidic environment of the stomach. Once you've got that:

1. Take 500-1000 mg of the enzymes just before each meal with spring water.
2. Take the same amount between meals.

The enzymes you take with meals will help your body digest the food you eat and extract the maximum nutrients from the food. The enzymes you take between meals will "scavenge" throughout your body and help flush toxins, which often results in weight loss.

The moral of this story? Don't dine without enzymes. In fact, don't start or end your day without enzymes. Don't leave home without enzymes! Get the picture?

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Photo credit: Gluttonous *

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Does Eating Fat Make You Fat?

Since we've been talking about the subject of fat, I found myself wondering whether indulging in a huge hamburger dripping in fat makes you fatter. In other words, does eating fat make you fatter, since your body doesn't have to convert fat into anything else? It's already fat. Is a fatty hamburger really an example of:

"An instant on the lips, an eternity on the hips"?

Eating Fat Does Not Make You Fatter
It turns out that the answer is, "No." Eating fat does not, by itself, make you fatter. At least, ingesting straight fat doesn't make you any fatter than ingesting any other kind of food that has a lot of calories.

What makes us fat is eating more calories than we burn, whether those calories come in the form of fat or carbohydrates. Actually, studies have shown that decreasing fat intake actually increases how fat we are. All of this, of course, makes a mockery of the "fat-blocking" diet pill industry, which is flourishing.

Some Shocking Facts About Fat
Studies show that low-fat diets don't actually work. In fact, people who went on low-fat diets do lose weight -- about two to four pounds -- but they end up gaining that weight back, even while they are still on the low-fat diet. Now that's a bummer.

Get this: in the U.S. the average person's fat intake has been reduced, over time, from about 40% of our total calorie intake to about 33%. At the same time, as a nation we've gotten fatter. We've seen a gradual increase in the average weight of the U.S. citizen, and a huge jump in the number of cases of obesity. Yikes!

Finally, the "war on fat" has been a losing proposition in more ways than that. Not only are we fatter, as a nation, but we are also seeing an increase in diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Two-thirds of all Americans are overweight, and 30% of the adults in this country are obese.

Don't Eat Less Fat, Eat the Right Fats
So much for the idea that eating less fat will make us less fat. Apparently, that's not going to happen, as the statistics amply prove. Instead, the key is to eat the right kinds of fat while decreasing our net caloric consumption. Basically, the Golden Rule of eating the right kinds of fat is this:

"Eat more mono and polyunsaturated fats, and stay away from trans-fats and saturated fats."

This isn't hard to do. Stop eating doughnuts and French fries, and start cooking with olive oil and eating wholes grains and nuts. Better yet, start eating blue-green algae, which contains some of the highest levels of omega-3 and omega-6, the polyunsaturated fats that are good for you -- and which your body cannot make by itself. Best of all, blue-green algae comes in a capsule so you don't even have to know how to cook to take it. Pop some pills and you are good to go. It's the perfect solution for those who want to eat healthy but either can't or don't like to cook foods with the right kinds of fat!

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Photo credit: Metzis Tasty Takeaway Hamburger with the lot - Australian style!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Why Eat Breakfast?

If you're short on time and energy, it can be tempting to skip breakfast. But studies show that breakfast might be the healthiest and most important meal of the day. In fact, eating breakfast can help you:

Learn: According to Tufts University, "Children who participated in the School Breakfast Program were shown to have significantly higher standardized achievement test scores than eligible non-participants."

Be Happier: Studies done by the University of Health Sciences/Chicago Medical School show that eating breakfast can prevent irritability, fatigue, and anger.

Be Thin: Researchers from the National Weight Control Registry found that eating breakfast was a successful long term strategy for losing weight and keeping weight off for 78% of the people in their registry.

Plus, breakfast tastes great! To make sure you're getting all the nutrients you need for body and mind, you might also consider adding whole food supplements to your breakfast.  These daily packets of algae, probiotics and enzymes are a simple and affordable way to go.

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Photo credit: Saloop Sausage, Beans & Eggs

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

7 Vitamins for Great-Looking Skin from the Inside Out

Did you know that your skin needs at least 7 vitamins to function properly as an organ? In fact, your skin is the largest organ in your body, and provides many useful functions such as protecting you from harmful bacteria and flushing toxins out of your body.

But for your skin do its job and look great, it needs the right fuel-the right vitamins. Here are 7 vitamins that play a crucial role in keeping your skin healthy, young, and elastic.

1. Biotin
Biotin is a coenzyme that helps build and repair skin cells. Biotin has also been shown to be helpful in reversing eczema, dermatitis, and other skin blemishes. The friendly bacteria in our gut (lactobacillus) is responsible for producing biotin, but is otherwise difficult to get from outside food sources. Biotin is found in small amounts in brewer's yeast, liver, and whole grains. Blue-green algae provides a large concentration of biotin.

2. Folic Acid
Folic acid minimizes wrinkles in the skin and keeps the skin feeling smooth. The name "folic" comes from the word "foliage," so leafy greens and foods high in chlorophyll are excellent sources of folic acid. Unfortunately, most people are deficient in folic acid, and some experts say folic acid is the most common vitamin deficiency in the word. Having healthy bacteria in your gut will help your body produce folic acid.

3. Niacin (Vitamin B3)
Niacin is essential for skin repair and support. Niacin is part of more than 50 enzymatic reactions that supply energy to skin cells. You can get niacin from many meats.

4. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
Riboflavin helps the skin breathe by using oxygen efficiently. When you think of riboflavin, think of the ocean. This vitamin is found in oily fish, blue green algae, and nori seaweed.

5. Pyridoxine (Vitamin B12)
Pyridoxine helps with skin elasticity, and is also a key factor in producing many of the amino acids needed by skin cells. In fact, it plays a part in over 60 enzymes systems within the body.

6. Cobalamin (Vitamin B12)
Cobalamin has an indirect effect on skin. Called the "longevity vitamin," cobalamin increases the body's energy and stamina, and seems to motivate people to stay active. This activity causes us to sweat, which in turn helps our skin rid itself of toxins so we look younger. The highest source of this vitamin is blue green algae. It is also found in liver, spinach, and whole grains.

7. Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)
Pantothenic acid is thought to decrease wrinkles in skin, as well as decrease stress. This vitamin is widely available in meats and vegetables. In fact, pantos means "everywhere" in Greek, so this vitamin can be found in many foods.

Your Skin Reflects What You Eat
As you have probably figured out by now, your skin reflects your diet. To have great-looking skin from the inside out, you need to make sure your diet includes these 7 vitamins. Having healthy intestinal flora is also important, since the gut plays in important part in producing several of these vitamins. Adding probiotics to your daily regimen can ensure a healthy intestinal system. Adding even small amounts of blue-green algae to your diet can ensure that you get all of the vitamins your skin requires in a single convenient dose.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Amazing Facts and Figures About Your Gut!

There's no way to look inside your guts without surgery, but you can at least get acquainted with some of these eye-opening facts and figures about your insides:

How many species of bacteria live in the gastrointestinal tract?
More than 400 (the majority are bifidus in the colon, and acidophilus strains in the stomach and small intestine)

What is the approximate total weight of these bacteria in an average healthy adult?
3-5 pounds

What is the surface area of the human digestive system?
About 2,700 sq. ft. (the size of a tennis court - due to folds in the intestinal walls).

What is the surface area that, in most adults, is actually clean enough to absorb nutrients efficiently?
Due to compacted, undigested food on the intestinal wall, only an area about the size of a ping-pong table is actually clean enough to absorb nutrients efficiently.

If the intestinal wall is compacted, as is the case for 80% of the population, is it true that you will need to consume more of each isolated nutrient than others with fully functioning digestive systems?
Yes. For example, the RDI (recommended daily intake) for zinc is 15 mg, whereas someone with a healthy intestinal wall may only need 5 mg per day. Why take more than you need, when a fully functioning digestive system could handle less?

How much yogurt would be required to equal the amount of active acidophilus in one serving (2 capsules) of New Earth's Acidophilus?
20-40 quarts
Benefits of Acidophilus and Other Friendly Bacteria
o Help keep intestinal walls clean
o Produce natural antibiotics
o Create a favorable environment for "good bacteria" growth
o Produce natural B vitamins
o Improve absorption of food nutrients such as protein, and help retain minerals
o Assist in the production of enzymes that break down milk sugars
o Boost the immune system
o Aid in maintaining regular elimination

No Need to Stuff Yourself with Yogurt!
Want all the benefits of acidophilus and other friendly bacteria? No need to stuff yourself with yogurt (20-40 quarts to be exact!). Just add supplements of acidophilus, bifidus, and a full spectrum probiotic:

Order these high quality products online

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Photo credit: Belly Waves

Monday, May 18, 2009

Are You Getting Enough Green?

Surveys show that 80% of North Americans fail to get optimal amounts of fruits and vegetables in their daily diets, as recommended by the USDA and the National Cancer Institute. Consuming "green foods" (nutrient-dense, minimally processed, whole foods) is an important way to achieve a healthy diet. But what makes green foods so great? Chlorophyll.

Chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants, is essential in the photosynthesis reactions that convert radiant energy from the sun into chemical energy for life processes. Inside the cells of green plants, chlorophyll combines with carbon dioxide and sunlight to form simple sugars. Without chlorophyll, plants would be unable to perform essential metabolic functions such as respiration and growth.

Chlorophyll has a similar effect in humans. There is considerable research and anecdotal evidence that chlorophyll is effective in rebuilding the blood, through metabolic processes that are not yet completely understood.

Chlorophyll has also been shown to stimulate liver function and excretion of bile, strengthen immunity, and detoxify chemical pollutants. Numerous recent studies have also indicated that chlorophyll has anti-carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic properties.

Chlorophyll is found in highest concentrations in green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, and in cereal grasses like wheat grass and barley grass, but the highest concentration is found in blue-green algae. Given all the potential benefits of adding chlorophyll, why not consider adding more "green" to your diet?

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