Nutrition

Probiotic foods and Supplements

Probiotic foods and supplements

Probiotic foods and supplements

Probiotic foods and supplements are becoming very popular and for good reason. Probiotic foods and supplements contain the healthy bacteria that help with digestive health, immune health, brain health and more.  The following article is about Probiotic foods and supplements. It’s entitled “Ranking the Top Probiotic Foods and Supplements.” It’s from the website Body Nutrition. 

Here is the beginning of the article:

Probiotics are living microorganisms that deliver a range of health benefits when included in the diet. Traditional fermented food sources of these bacteria exist in nearly every culture, and can also be taken in supplement form.

These beneficial microorganisms are believed to improve brain function and digestion, and may also promote heart health and better skin.

This list of healthy fermented foods containing beneficial probiotics can help you round out your health plan and get the most out of your menu.

  1. Kefir and Traditional Buttermilk

These fermented milk products may be well-tolerated even by those who are lactose intolerant because friendly bacteria have already begun to digest the milk sugar (lactose) that causes problems for some people.

The name “kefir” is derived from the Turkish word “keyif,” referring to feeling good after eating it.

Kefir grains added to goat or cow’s milk are cultures consisting of yeast and lactic acid bacteria; the potent bacterial action of the several strains contained in kefir have been valued as a healthy food for centuries.

Animal studies indicate bone health is supported by the consumption of kefir; it may also provide protection against infections, as well as helping to correct digestive problems.

Buttermilk can refer to any one of several fermented dairy products, but the only kind containing live cultures is the traditional type, which is the liquid remaining after butter is made.

Commonly used in Pakistan, India and Nepal, traditional buttermilk is skinny on calories and rich in several important nutrients, including calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin and vitamin B12.

The rest of this awesome article can be found at this link. Probiotic foods and Supplements.

 

 

 

Outdoor Exercise improves your health

Outdoor Exercise

Hiking

Outdoor exercise is becoming more popular and for excellent reasons. Outdoor exercise brings healing and energy to all your bodies: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. It also stimulates and enlivens all your senses: sight, hearing, smell, touch and even taste, if you bring some food, which is usually the case on long hikes, walks, or bike rides. 

Outdoor exercise brings balance to your hormones and neurotransmitters: Dopamine, Cortisol, Gaba, Melatonin, Norepinephrine, etc., and it releases endorphins, morphine-like chemicals produced by the body that help diminish pain while triggering positive feelings. They’re released from the pituitary gland of the brain during periods of exercise. Endorphins help relieve pain and induce feelings of pleasure or euphoria. YAY to outdoor exercise. 

The best outdoor exercise is whatever makes you feel the best. These days, there are many outdoor classes and activities: yoga, cross fit, boot camp, Tai Chi, hiking, walking, biking, snowboarding, skiing, snowshoeing cross country skiing, skate boarding, in-line skating, and more. 

There is also that sense of peace and connection to the divine when you are in the beauty of Mother Nature. To fully get into the healing powers of Mother Nature, the best outdoor exercises are hiking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing. With these three activities, you can really soak in the beauty of Mother Nature and in some respect, become a part of Mother Nature. 

On the whole, we have lost our way with the Earth and Mother Nature. By engaging in outdoor exercise, you can start to become more connected with the Earth and the healing powers of Mother Nature.

Here is a short video of my hike at Elk Meadow Park in Evergreen, Colorado.  

YAY to Hiking!

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting is becoming quite popular these days, and for good reason. What is Intermittent Fasting? For starters, it’s not true fasting, when you abstain from all food and beverages, except water, for a day or two or longer. Intermittent Fasting is when you abstain from all food and beverages, except water, for a period of 16 hours of the 24 hours that make up a day. 

It may sound crazy or impossible to do, but when you are able to do it, Intermittent Fasting will do wonders for your body and mind. It will enhance brain power and focus, decrease any inflammation in the body, allow the digestive system to relax and repair and allow the endocrine system to relax and repair. Other benefits will be experienced based on each individual’s lifestyle. 

Most folks graze all day long, putting a lot of pressure and burden on the digestive system and on the endocrine system. When these systems are tired, inflammation, digestive upsets and hormonal imbalances will occur. 

The best way to ease into Intermittent Fasting is to reduce the amount of carbohydrates you consume and increase the amount of fat and protein, especially fat. This is the only way you will be able to fast for 16 hours as your body and mind will have enough calories from fat and protein to sustain your body and mind. When you eat too many carbohydrates, blood sugar greatly increases and in turn, insulin and cortisol greatly increase causing blood sugar to drop. With this cycle being repeated, you end up eating every 2-3 hours and causing too much work for the digestive and endocrine systems.

For Intermittent Fasting, choose the best 8 hours for you to consume your food for the day. For example: 9am-5pm; 10am-6pm, 11am-7pm or 12-8pm. On your first attempt, if you can’t make the full 16 hours of fasting, it’s okay. Do not force yourself to fast the entire 16 hours if your blood sugar drops. Eat something and attempt it again, another day. 

Some folks see huge benefits from Intermittent Fasting and they do it every day. For other folks, 2-3 days a week is perfect. Experiment and discover what the best plan of Intermittent Fasting is for you.

For more information, watch this video.

 

Healthy nutrition and cosmetics.

Do you practice the art of healthy nutrition and cosmetics? As important as nutrition is for a healthy body and mind, it’s also extremely important to be aware of what you put on your skin in regards to lotion, shampoo, soap, toothpaste and cosmetics. What we put on our skin is like food, as some of it will be absorbed into the body. Sadly, most skin products are full of toxins and they are contributing  to this epidemic of illness and disease. Fortunately, there are natural choices for healthy skin products and cosmetics. Healthy nutrition and cosmetics is the way to go.

The following article is from http://www.fix.com.  The author is http://www.fix.com/blog/authors/nikki-fotheringham/

You are perfect. But we understand that, every now and then, you need to add a little color to your cheeks and a little smoke to those eyes. Most cosmetics contain toxic chemicals that may cause harm and age you prematurely. Why use toxic cosmetics, many of which were tested on animals, when you can have your makeup and eat it too? You can make everything in your makeup bag from items you already have in your kitchen and some from your local health food store.

What’s in Your Makeup Bag?

The effects of makeup on your health are more than just skin-deep. Your makeup bag harbors more horrors than you can shake a sharp stick at: everything from lead to asbestos and quite a few nasty things in between. Some of the ingredients moonlight as stabilizers for pesticides and industrial cleaners. Can we all agree that something that’s used to clean a factory floor probably shouldn’t be cleaning your delicate face?

The ugly truth about the beauty industry is that many of these chemicals have been linked to cancer, birth defects, and infertility, as well as skin irritation and eczema.

Here is a list of the chemicals with the most dire health consequences:

1. Phthalates

These endocrine disrupters found in synthetic fragrances and nail polish have been linked to breast cancer and early puberty in girls. Studies have also found high phthalate levels in people suffering from diabetes. Phthalates have been linked to obesity in children. 1

2. Parabens

Used as an anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and as a preservative, parabens have been found in biopsies of breast tumors. Parabens are thought to be present in 75-90 percent of cosmetic products. The problem is that these are considered part of the “trade secret” ingredients, so cosmetic companies aren’t required to list them on the label. They are found in a wide range of creams, lotions, and antiperspirants. 2 3 4

3. Ethylene Oxide

The National Toxicology Program classifies ethylene oxide as a known carcinogen. It is found in shampoos and fragrances and has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.

4. Lead

Found in a plethora of products, including sunscreens, lipsticks, foundations, nail polishes, and toothpastes with whitening properties, lead is a neurotoxin that is known to reduce fertility and may result in learning and language disabilities and behavioral problems. 5

5. Triclosan

A popular anti-bacterial, triclosan can be found in cleansers, antiperspirants, cosmetics, and toothpastes. Triclosan is actually classified as a pesticide, and it can have serious effects on your hormones, especially those associated with the thyroid, which regulate the metabolism. Widespread use of triclosan in hand sanitizers and anti-bacterial soaps is linked to increased bacterial resistance. 6 7

DIY Organic Makeup - Cosmetic Chemicals With Known Side Effects

DIY Deodorant

Antiperspirant contains anti-bacterial chemicals and zinc, which have been linked to breast cancer and early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Toss your underarm sticks and make your own in two shakes of a lamb’s tail – you probably already have everything you need!

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch

Mix all the ingredients into a stiff paste and spoon into an empty underarm deodorant stick. Cool in the fridge until firm. Apply as usual.

Note: if it is very warm in your home, keep the deodorant in the fridge so that the coconut oil doesn’t liquefy.

DIY Organic Makeup - DIY Antiperspirant Deodorant

Face Powder and Eye Shadow

Talc, a known toxic substance, is found in face powders and eye shadows, where it acts as an anti-caking agent. Talc contains asbestos, which causes cancer in the breast and lungs.

Face powders and eye shadows also contain zinc and may cause skin irritation with extended use. Dr. Donald Grant, dermatitis specialist, says, “Unfortunately I do see an awful lot of women who have eczema or inflammation on their eyelids and nowhere else. The tissue around the eyes dries out as you get older.”

If you want alluring peepers and perfect skin, you can cook up your own beauty regimen in no time at all.

  • Arrowroot
  • Cocoa powder for brown eye shadow
  • Beet powder for pink eye shadow
  • Spirulina for green eye shadow
  • Activated charcoal for black/gray eye shadow
  • Nutmeg for golden brown eye shadow

For the eye shadows, use one-quarter of a teaspoon of arrowroot as your base. Now add color until you get the shade you desire.

For face powder, start with one tablespoon of arrowroot and slowly add cocoa and nutmeg until you get a shade that matches your skin tone.

Note: for a creamier eye shadow, add one-eighth of a teaspoon of shea butter, which will help to moisturise your lids and prevent the eye shadow from rubbing off.

DIY Organic Makeup - Eye Shadow and Face Powder

Mascara and Eyeliner

Smokey eyes can be healthily achieved when you follow this easy recipe that serves as both an eyeliner and mascara. Use an old mascara tube and a brush to apply the mixture. To clean the mascara tube, soak it in very hot water for 10 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly.

  • 3/4 tsp beeswax
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp shea butter
  • 2 tsp aloe vera gel
  • 1 capsule activated charcoal

You can find all these ingredients at your local health food store. Place the beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter, and aloe vera in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, place the ingredients in a glass or metal bowl in a pot of water.

Heat gently over a very low heat until all the ingredients are melted and mixed. Break open the capsule, add the charcoal, and mix well. Use a funnel to pour the mixture into the mascara tube or pour it into a container for eyeliner.

If you don’t have a funnel, pour the mixture into a plastic bag, snip a corner off, and then squeeze the bag so that the mixture can be piped into the mascara tube without spilling.

DIY Organic Makeup - All Natural Mascara and Eye Liner

 

Guerrilla Gardening and Nutrition

Beautify your surroundings and do some Guerrilla gardening. Plant flowers and vegetables and improve your physical and mental health. A healthy body and mind will do wonders for your overall health.

This article is from www.fix.com.   The author of this article is Lia Leendertz. www.fix.com/blog/authors/lia-leendertz/ 

If you have an urge to garden but no patch of soil to call your own, consider joining the ranks of guerrilla gardeners. Guerrilla gardening is the act of taking on a patch of neglected, bedraggled public land to make it beautiful using flowers, vegetables, and fruits. Flat-dwellers, house sharers, and students are all unlikely to be able to exercise the desire to garden in a traditional way, but if you look beyond the garden gate, you can find a wealth of opportunities.

People start guerrilla gardening for many different reasons. For some, it is just about satisfying that gardening itch, which is so hard to scratch in an urban setting. For others, it is about improving their surroundings: if you stand at a bus stop staring at an abandoned planter every morning, you might eventually be moved to plant something in it and brighten up your journey to work. For others still, it is about community and finding like-minded people to garden with. Finally, a large number of guerrilla gardeners see it as a political act and plant edible plants as a statement about food security, to increase the amount of locally grown food, and to show others how easily it can be done. Of course, this is all about public service, and we would only recommend doing this in a way that pleases the community, and does not create a problem with anyone.

Guerrilla Gardening: How To Make A Seed Bomb

Whatever your personal reasons for guerrilla gardening are, your first step is to find a place to do it. Once you open your eyes and start looking around your neighborhood, you will see all sorts of unused possible planting spaces. The beauty of guerrilla gardening is that once you have identified your spot and chosen a few plants, you have no further barriers to overcome: stir up your courage, grab a few basic tools, and you are off. You do not need to seek permission.

This brings us to another of the joys of guerrilla gardening: its subversive nature. Gardening has never been the edgiest of pastimes, but guerrilla gardening genuinely is. You are gardening in the public realm, a space usually reserved for officials and government employees, and it feels downright naughty. Many prefer to kick off their guerrilla gardening exploits under cover of darkness when they are less likely to be spotted and questioned by anyone in authority. Although this perhaps adds to the thrill, it is even better to be bold about it. Once you’ve got a couple of night raids under your belt, come out in the daytime and be proud. Talk to interested passersby, and you may find allies or even future guerrilla gardening companions. Local shopkeepers are particularly useful, if you can get them on your side. It will be in their interest for their neighborhood to look smarter and prettier, and they may offer sponsorship in the form of tools, plants, or even just a cup of tea on a cold day. By talking and engaging with them, you will at the very least start to build up a little support for your work should it ever be threatened by the dead hand of officialdom.

Guerrilla Gardening: Best Places To Plant

Another option – should you have the urge to improve your neighborhood environment horticulturally but waver at setting out a high-street planter – is to approach schools, old people’s homes, or even police stations and community centers to see what beds they have lying fallow. Beds are often built into the fabric of such buildings and then left without attention or a gardener. They are ripe to be taken over. Here you will need to ask permission, but such spaces have the added benefit that the inhabitants of the building will likely become interested and involved in harvesting and eating any produce, sowing seeds, caring for the beds, or just in appreciating and encouraging your efforts.

Guerrilla Gardening: Higher Maintenance Crops for Bigger Areas

Guerrilla Gardening Starter Kit

You will need a few things to get started wherever you decide to guerrilla garden. A trolley of some sort will always be handy because you will have tools and plants to carry to the site and rubbish to remove. If you are gardening next to a road or on a roundabout, consider wearing a high-visibility vest; you may want to garden hidden from prying eyes but not to the extent that you put yourself in mortal danger. The first job of taking on any neglected space will be tidying up, so take along rubbish bags, gloves, and litter pickers on your first visit. The soil will likely be in a poor, degraded state, but you will be amazed by how much a couple of inches of compost can improve the look of a bed and make it instantly look cared for. Take along a big bag of cheap soil improver, such as mushroom compost or well-rotted farmyard manure. For small beds, take hand tools such as a hand fork and a trowel; for larger beds, take a fork and spade. You will need to choose and source a few plants. Take along a watering can and as much water as you can carry in your trolley because you will likely be unable to find a source once you are out and about.

Maintenance or the lack of it will decide whether your guerrilla gardening antics succeed or fail, so you should do a few things to set the odds in your favor. Only choose sites that are near your home or that you pass frequently. Any location that involves going out of your way to tend will quickly be forgotten or become too much trouble to maintain. Accept that your new gardening patch will require maintenance. It will look marvelous when first tidied up and planted, and the temptation will be great to brush your hands free of soil and walk away, satisfied that you have done a great job. But if left untended, your patch will very quickly become weedy and litter-filled again, and your newly planted plants will die. Mentally book yourself in for a maintenance session every week, and put it in the diary to make sure it happens.

Guerrilla Gardening: Lower Maintenance Crops for Smaller Areas

Guerrilla gardening is fun, community-spirited, and hugely satisfying, particularly if you see it as a long-term task. Set about it right and you will bring color and beauty to your neighborhood’s most forlorn patches for many years to come.

Happiness and Nutrition

Have you ever looked at yourself and asked, “How happy am I?” If so, what did you discover? If not, give it a go and see how happy you really are.

Is there a connection between happiness and nutrition?

How many of your friends and family members are truly happy? Why are some people much happier than others? Can happiness be learned? Should we make being happy a part of our daily lives, like exercise, yoga, meditation, etc.?

What is happiness? Happiness, to me, is that deep down soulful feeling of joy and contentment, where you are constantly striving to see the positive in everyone and everything and to enjoy every moment. I stress the word, striving, because you do not have to be naïve and unaware of the sufferings of the word in order to be happy When a person is truly happy, life becomes like a lovely gentle flowing river. Granted, the river will experience drought and flooding, but overall, it is a steady flow of peace and harmony.

Everyone experiences pain, sadness and challenges in life, but, once again, how many people truly maintain a soulful radiance of happiness?

For my personal perspective, I know very few people that are truly happy, including myself. Yes, I am happy much of the time, but I still feel like I get too easily frustrated and overwhelmed with life and all the craziness of the world.

Therefore, I am on a mission to practice the art of being happy on a daily basis. While practicing the art of happiness, adding the art of objectivity will aid in your quest for happiness.

Here are five actions to help you on your journey with happiness.

1) Practice smiling to everyone you see and meet. You can even practice in front of a mirror.

2) Practice laughing. It may sound crazy, but laughter is so healing and there is not enough of it on our lives. In India there are laughing clubs, where people gather together and laugh. The next big rave could be laughing parties.

3) Focus on the positive, the light. Now a days, you usually hear of what people are against, not what they are for. (Anti-War, Anti-Discrimination, Anti-Poverty, the War against Drugs, the War against Terrorism, the War against Illiteracy, etc.)

All this fear based and negative focus brings more of what you do not want.

You need to focus on what you want. (Pro-Peace, Pro-Equal Rights, Pro-Prosperity, the Parade for Health, the Parade for Peace, the Parade for Literacy, etc.)

4) Practice heart connections with your friends, family and people you meet. Become genuinely interested in all that cross your path.

5) Do what brings you happiness and make sure you know the difference between doing something for happiness and doing something for pleasure. Pleasures are usually short lived and temporary, but things that make you happy transcend time and spring forth deep soul feelings of joy and contentment.

Being a nutritionist, I know there is some connection between happiness and nutrition. I know that eating healthy will aid in your quest to be happier. Good food will improve your digestive tract and there is a big connection between the gut and the brain. Healthy bacteria and strong stomach acid are essential for a healthy digestive system. Consuming lots of healthy fat and protein will supply the brain and nervous system with neurotransmitters ( serotonin, GABA, Acetylcholine, Dopamine and Norepinephrine ), essential fatty acids (EPA, DPA and ALA), hormones (cortisol, DHEA) and  vitamin D. All of these substances are essential for proper brain and nervous system health.

All in all, happiness is like so many other aspects of life; it is a state of mind and heart, a state, which, for most of us, must be practiced and practiced until it becomes a part of us.

 

The Truth About Nutrition

As I began my six-mile hike to the top of the Lookout Mountain via the Scout Trail, which gains 2700 feet in elevation, from 5700 feet to 8400 feet, I noticed a sign next to the start of the trail and it got me thinking.

“There are three things that can not be long hidden: The Sun, the Moon and the Truth.”

Stated 2500 years ago by the Buddha and it still rings true today. Of course, we cannot control the Sun and the Moon, but we definitely can control the truth within ourselves and the truth that we speak. The funny thing about this statement is that most people enjoy seeing the sun after several rainy or foggy days and most everyone enjoys seeing the moon shining in the sky, especially the full moon, but a lot of folks are uncomfortable or afraid of the truth, especially when it is about them or about a subject, business or government that they have a personal interest in.

I suddenly thought about the “truth about nutrition” and how so many people are being deceived about real healing foods. Our society is so full of toxins and toxic food and outright propaganda from the government, the big food industry and the medical industry. The truth is always there and will always be; it just takes courage and patience to discover those truths that are hidden or disguised. The truth about nutrition is one of those hidden truths. Truth and nutrition will have a big impact on your life. Real healthy nutrition can and will improve your health and start to heal your body and mind. Never accept when your doctor or mainstream medicine tells you that there is nothing else that can be done for you and that you will have to take drugs and accept your illness or disease. That is not the truth. Nutrition will make a difference and that is the truth. How much of a difference is unknown as sometimes the body is so damaged that nutrition will only go so far in the healing process, but it will help to some degree.

Never be afraid to speak the truth, for the truth shall set your free. The truth about nutrition is going mainstream!