Oct 21, 2010

Taco Soup

This taco soup is healthy and delicious.  It was a recipe i just threw together one day with what I had in the house, and now we eat it regularly.

First sautee a small or medium onion in 1 tbl of vegetable oil, and 2 large cloves of minced or pressed garlic.
Add 1 box of Pacific, free range Chicken Broth
1 can of black beans, rinsed
2 cans of water from the bean can
1 can of diced tomatoes, or 2 cups fresh chopped
1/2 cup of frozen corn
Optional 1-2 grilled and chopped chicken
Your favorite taco spices, I like
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp lime basil
bring all ingredients to a nice boil then reduce the heat and add
2 mashed avocados, I use a fork and rake it then scoop it out
lime juice, about 4-5 limes worth

Once all ingredients are added stir it up and serve. Do not cook the avocados or they will get mushy and brown. They simply need to be heated.  I like to serve it with fresh cilantro, crushed corn chips and plain yogurt or sour cream.  Enjoy!

Why this recipe is great

Beans: Beans are high in fiber and protein
Chicken Broth: Pacific chicken broth has no MSG, I highly recommend this brand for that reason
Avocados: High in healthy fats
Limes: Limes are alkalizing to the body and key to the great taste of this soup.

Oct 12, 2010

BEWARE: Hidden Sugar Everywhere

There are sugars hidden in plain sight in a majority of prepackaged foods.  Even those you wouldn't suspect, like whole wheat bread, or chips or pasta sauces.  You may be getting a lot more refined sugar in your diet than you would have ever imagined.  You don't have to eat a candy bar to get a large helping of sugar. Our bodies were not made to use the massive amounts of refined carbohydrate that this generation consumes.  This is largely the reason for the unusual type 2 diabetes (adult onset) in children and young adults.  
I watch in horror as other parents give their kids a "homemade" and "nutritious" lunch that is mostly sugar.  They think they are being such responsible parents when in reality they are just ignorant to what is really in that food.  It's not their fault entirely, they have been mislead by food companies. 
Big fast food restaurants claim to have better choices, but I see hidden sugar and fat, like in the huge packages of salad dressing, or the caramel dip for apple slices.  Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your health and preventing disease.  Be aware of what you eat and what you are feeding your children and family.  Read labels and know what you are looking for.  Here are some of the basics in sugar-ology.


There are about 4.2 grams per teaspoon of sugar
There is one gram of carbohydrate in one gram of sugar
To maintain healthy blood glucose levels for the average person, you should not eat more than 30-45 grams of carbohydrates in a meal.


A popular fast food restaurant serves apples and milk on the side of a hamburger as a more healthy alternative to fries and soda.  The apples come with a caramel dip and the milk is chocolate.  The entire meal consists of 43 grams of sugar...  that is over 10 teaspoons of sugar and over 80 grams of carbohydrates.


Lets compare this to the diligent mom who sent a lunch to school-


Peanut butter and Jelly sandwich, juice box, chips and fruit roll up.  55 Grams of sugar.  That is over 12.6 teaspoons of sugar. That is over 2.6 times the amount of carbohydrate an adult should eat in one meal, 118 grams!


When we are children all of our organs work very well.  Our bodies have no problems tackling the high amounts of sugar we feed our kids. But as we age, we wear out our organs and our cells don't repair quite as fast.  The super high amounts of sugar we eat can break down our pancreas, which handles blood sugar levels. The body needs sugar but not huge surges of refined sugars.  We are creating a diabetic atmosphere in a person that does not have diabetes.  People with diabetes cannot create enough insulin for their body to handle all of the sugar they eat, their blood sugar can get very high and stay very high.  Having constantly high blood sugar causes heart disease, vision loss, nerve damage, kidney damage and more.

The best way to avoid a lot of sugar is to make your own meals, and stay away from prepackaged foods.  They are always loaded up with excess sugar.  Stay away from refined flours as well.  Refined flours may not taste like sugar but they might as well be since they are quickly converted to sugar in our bodies.  Also stay away from white rice, and other high carbohydrate foods, that are not also full of protein or fiber.   When carbohydrates and sugars are bound in natural form to the fiber in fruits and vegetables they take our body much longer to convert them to sugars.  This slow process keeps our bodies from receiving a huge surge of sugar in the blood.  Read labels and be aware of what you are feeding your children and putting in your own mouth!



Oh, and please DONT replace sugar with chemical sweeteners!  Replace them with fruit!

 Just for fun: Frightening ad by sugar companies, when artificial sugars first came on the market.  


-V    
      

Sep 28, 2010

Colostrum? WARNING! IF YOU READ THIS YOU WILL BE INTRIGUED




WARNING! IF YOU READ THIS YOU WILL BE INTRIGUED AND IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE IF YOU TRY THIS SUPPLEMENT FOR YOURSELF!

Colostrum:
Milk secreted for a few days after parturition and characterized by high protein and antibody content.

Transfer Factor: A substance that is produced and secreted by a lymphocyte functioning in cell-mediated immunity and that upon incorporation into a lymphocyte which has not been sensitized confers on it the same immunological specificity as the sensitized cell.

In this case the "substance" being transferred is the "antibody content".

I have suffered health problems since I was very young. About 13 years old. Some of them are personal. As of a few years back, if doctors had their way, I would be medicated now for anxiety, insomnia, infertility, panic attacks, fibromyalgia and poly-cystic ovarian syndrome. I decided I didn't want to be reliant on a bunch of medications that had serious side affects and that I wanted to heal my body from the inside out through natural means. Might sound "hippy-ish" but it has worked for me. I started this "journey" about 5 years ago and as of today do not take a single medication for any of the above problems (though I am not 100% symptom free) and have two children without any fertility intervention. With that said, I have become addicted to health research in the pursuit of a new idea or fact that may in someway bring me or a loved one greater health. When I find a subject that interests me I literally read up on it until I am blue in the face, usually over a course of days to weeks. NO breaks! Just kidding. Some breaks. This includes reading about it from EVERY angle. Those who are for and those who oppose, coming to my own conclusion based on my findings. If I find I am for, I TRY what I have researched so I can come to a true conclusion based on personal experience. With that said, sit back and enjoy this post. I have done all the leg work for you on this one. Then, in the end, if you find this interests you I suggest you research it for yourself and then for heaven's sake! TRY IT! LOL. No, I am not getting paid for this by any one company and I am not crazy. If you know me at all, trust me on this and if you don't know me at all...still trust me on this.

A few months back I stumbled across an article about the "transfer factor". In short it spoke about how new research has shed light on a long running mystery, how the immunity of a mammal mother was transferred to its young through colostrum. Colostrum is a yellowy, milk that a female mammal secretes the first few days after birth. It is full of antibodies and protein rich! It literally transfers the immunity of the mother that took a lifetime to build to the new offspring, who at present has no real immunity of its own. The newest findings are no less than very interesting. The actual "transfer" is done through very small protein particles that bypass the digestive system and are absorbed into the blood stream of the offspring. Even more interesting was found that supplementing adults with bovine colostrum not only transfers perfectly from cow to human but that it gives to us that same immunity transfer...per say. What it actually seems to do is almost provide you with a secondary immune system, making yours more than its own strength maybe by double if not more.

What I read also spoke about how many people have benefited from this supplement. I was more than intrigued. So began the hours of reading. For weeks on this one. LOL. I wanted to know how humans could take bovine colostrum and it be useful? What happens if you have milk allergies? What is the best brand? Is it free of hormones and steroids and antibiotics? How much should you take? What do most people find relief from? Do you take it forever? Once? Twice? How are the cattle kept and cared for?

I found answers to all of these questions and more. Sometimes they were contradictory and sometimes they were in agreement from site to site. I read through hundreds of forums to get the input from others who have actually tried the supplement.

Through all my research I learned the following facts:

Bovine colostrum is transferable to any species. You can give it to your dog, horse, self, child or whoever.

Most people have had very good to amazing results taking colostrum.

The number one reason colostrum is taken by people is to boost their immune system.

Colostrum has actually been taken by body builders for its great protein content for years. And yes, they did reap the other benefits such as better immunity while taking it for muscle power.

Colostrum that is collected from cattle in your home country will probably have better immunity to things you are most likely to be in contact with so look for USA colostrum if you live in the USA etc.

Calves are fed the first milking which has more than enough of what they need to be on the road to great health from mothers immunity so don't worry for the calves!

Most colostrum on the market is hormone, steroid and antibiotic free. In fact I don't remember looking into any brands that weren't.

There is such a huge margin of opinion on the topic of "organic" from farm to farm that I felt "organic" colostrum wasn't necessary for my needs. It is harder to find and more expensive.

Colostrum isn't cheap. I wouldn't say it is a terribly expensive supplement either.

There are many brands and types from capsules to powder to chewables.

You want to be sure to buy a brand that says it is made from the first one to two milkings. Anything after is transitional milk and won't have the same benefits.

If your colostrum is not yellow, it isn't good. If it is white that means it is more milk than colostrum.

Some brands have the fat removed, others do not. They both claim to have the "best" results...so I am personally trying multiple brands and types to see.

The lactose from the colostrum is removed so there are no allergy concerns.

You can not really overdose on colostrum.

You may experience a few days of feeling flu-ish when you begin taking colostrum. You may even develop a rash. This is just the bodies reaction to excreting toxins when your immunity is strengthened.

Here are a few things I learned AFTER taking colostrum:

Colostrum should be taken on an empty stomach with a glass of water for best absorption. Wait about a half hour before you eat.

Colostrum tastes like powdered milk. I do not find it gross in any way.

Colostrum works best when taken multiple times a day.

Colostrum WORKS!

Here is my personal experience:

I started with a brand that had all the things I was looking for. De-fatted, no steroids/chemicals/hormones/antibiotics, no fillers added, first milking, USA cattle. I began with four pills in the morning. The first few days I did feel a little under the weather. Mostly my throat ached. Then I would say about a week into taking it I suddenly noticed I had SO much more energy than I usually do. I have chronic fatigue quite often and so something like that would be very noticeable to me...and it was. I felt like I could go and go and go and that little ordinary things weren't so daunting mentally...like exercising and getting the house in order. I feel like it brought strength to my body as well as my mind. At this time I have been suffering from very bad allergies. I was really hoping the colostrum would help as so many others I had read about said it did. The first week or so I always felt some allergies there. Not enough to merit medications but still annoying. Especially at night. Then I ran out. I had a full day without colostrum. And that day I had the WORST allergies. I was SO miserable. So my thoughts were...coincidence? Or was it holding my allergies off more than I realized? Well, the next day when I got my new bottle and started taking them again...that very day...allergies were SO much better. Not coincidence. About this time I learned that you really should take it more than once a day. It does build up your system over time but it also has a lifespan so you will want to replenish it in your system through out the day for best results. So I decided to take two pills in the morning and two in the late afternoon to see what happened. WHA-LA! NO allergies...during the day. But some mild ones at night. I had read not to take colostrum past 5pm because the energy factor in it might give you insomnia...but I decided to try anyhow. So I took two pills in the morning, two in the mid afternoon and a 1/2 tsp of powder around 5pm and DOUBLE WHA-LA! No allergies during the day or night!...Okay...very mild ones...almost undetectable. So I had read to take colostrum in the amount it takes to rid your symptoms. So I decided to try THREE pills in the morning, two in the afternoon and a 1/2 tsp in the evening. AND YES, TRIPLE WHA-LA! NO...NO ALLERGIES DAY OR NIGHT. I am literally amazed. I am even around my horses everyday. Around their hay (my biggest allergy nemesis) and loads of dry dust and not a sneeze or sniff.

I have been taking colostrum about 5-6 weeks now. Between the energy boost, eradicated allergies AND I have not gotten two separate illnesses that my kids and husband have...I am sold. I have tried two brands myself and have a sister trying a third for results. I have tried two de-fatted brands that I felt had the same results and my sister is trying a brand with the fat left in (which many claim is the best). Maybe she will leave a response of her experience thus far.

I seriously recommend to EVERYONE to try this. Just try one months worth. Whether you have arthritis, chronic sinus issues, allergies, fatigue, poor immunity, chronic pain or ANYTHING...try it. As we age our immune systems do too and slow down as well. You may not even realize how much better you might feel unless you give it a go! I will attach links to sites with further information and the brands I felt were superior.

I will continue to use it myself to see what results I continue to see as it builds my system back up. That is all for now! Cheers!

Articles:

http://colostrumplus.com/

http://www.hamovhotov.com/health/?p=147

http://www.best-natural-health-supplements.com/benefits-of-colostrum.html

http://www.healingdaily.com/conditions/colostrum.htm

(For more, do a general web search on "colostrum".)


Brands:

http://symbiotics.com/

http://www.marysgarden.com/colostrum/mhg_30_capsules.htm

http://www.tbrlabs.com/

(For more, do a general web search on "colostrum supplements".)

-Liz-

Jun 18, 2010

Run a 5k in 9 Weeks

It IS possible to train for a 5k in only 9 weeks!  I didn't say you would be fast... but you will be there.  You can train for a race, or just train for the exercise.  I am training because I figure if I can run 5k's then I should be able to keep up with my kids, and anything else life throws at me.  The program is called couch to 5k and it works like this,  the first week you run short intervals.  30 seconds running and 90 seconds walking, 3 times a week with at least a day of rest in between.  The intervals get long and more intense each week until there are no intervals left at all just running.  For guidance on your runs there are mp3's available that give you a cue when its time to change speeds.  It's a great program for anyone, even if you have never run before or since you were a kid.Search Amazon.com for couch to 5k 

Here is the exact workout below from Coolrunning.com   For MP3's and more go to c25k.com

WeekWorkout 1Workout 2Workout 3
1Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
2Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
3Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
4Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
5Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog two miles (or 20 minutes) with no walking.
6Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2-1/4 miles (or 25 minutes) with no walking.
7Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).
8Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes).Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes).Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes).
9Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).The final workout! Congratulations! Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).

-Val
          

Could Your Fatigue, Muddled Brain and Extra Weight be a Thyroid Problem?

Since before I even knew I was pregnant with my second baby, I started to put on weight.  It was around Thanksgiving so I thought nothing of it.  Then I found out I was pregnant and so I still thought nothing of it.  I went to see my Nurse/Midwife.  I was telling her all about how I thought my blood sugar must be too high or too low because I felt weird all the time.  She checked my thyroid.  I'ts part of the standard blood tests they do when you first get pregnant.  My TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) was very high.  When your brain think your thyroid isn't producing enough hormone, your pituitary makes TSH to tell the thyroid to work harder.  I started the medication and started to feel worse.  What I and my inexperienced midwife did not know at the time, was that  you have to be slowly introduced to the medication.  I couldn't get out of bed.  It made me feel like I was half dead!  I was not sleepy and I was not fatigued  I just had no life in me.  This is a common feeling for extreme hypo or hyper thyroid sufferers.  Eventually my body adjusted to the medication levels, but it took a long time, until my last trimester.  So,  I gained a lot of weight. I never went over the recommended weight gain but it was more then I had ever weighed before.  After the baby came I suffered from fatigue from previous months of inactivity.  My muscles were so weak I could barely do simple exercises like squats or push-ups.  Then I suffered months of postpartum depression.  My milk supply started to dry up around 5 months. My baby cried all the time with hunger and was not thriving.  So I put him on formula and within days I started to feel better. I was on an "appropriate" level of medication, according to the medical professionals.  The sugar detox diet I started probably didn't help.  (this was under the recommendation of my doctor)  Then I started to gain weight again!  It took me a few months to figure it out this time. I was counting calories, eating right and exercising and still slowly gaining.  Frustrated I went to my doctor and had my thyroid checked and sure enough my medication was too low.  Now I am the long road to loosing that weight again. But at least this time it is coming off and I'm not so tired anymore. Here are the symptoms of hypothyroid you may notice:

Difficulty in swallowing

Cool skin

Excessively dry skin

Low blood pressure

Significant fatigue not related exercise or lack of sleep

Chronic recurrent infections

Constipation

Brittle nails

Migraines

Mood swings of anxiety, panic or phobia

Weight gain

Acne and more

If you have some or all these symptoms (as many as 1 in 3 American adults have a thyroid condition) and your doctor has done a T4 or T3 test that is showing normal, you need to find a doctor that will run a full thyroid panel or at least a TSH test.  Sometimes it is more complicated then just having low T4 or T3.  There are many aspects to how your thyroid functions and effects your body.  It is important to have a full picture of what may be the problem. If you would like to read about thyroid conditions in more depth I would recommend the book, "Thyroid Power" by Richard L. Shames and Karilee Halo Shames.

-Val

Jun 7, 2010

The Great Fluoride Debate!

Why is Fluoride added to our water supply?
Fluoride helps remineralize the enamel of our teeth.  Taking it internally, such as in our water supply helps small children to grow strong permanent teeth... Maybe...  The government says yes, drink it and have strong teeth and less tooth decay.  But there is an organization called the Fluoride Action Network that believes that fluoridated water is not responsible for the decrease in tooth decay.  Indeed, it actually causes much more harm then good.  They have a list of 50 reasons why we should avoid fluoridated water.  The CDC could only give one reason for adding fluoride.  Here is a summary of the 50 reasons.  You can find the full list here.


  •  The largest survey ever conducted in the US  with over 39,000 children from 84 communities, by the National Institute of Dental Research showed little difference in tooth decay among children in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities they found an average difference of  less than one tooth surface.  
  • In communities where fluoridation has been discontinued tooth decay has decreased. 
  • Higher levels of tooth decay seem to be more prevalent in areas of poverty rather than areas of fluoridation.
  • The CDC admits that the benefits from fluoride are mainly topical not from ingesting it.  
  • Fluoride accumulates in your body each day because only 50% is removed by our kidneys.  The rest is stored in the body. 
  • Fluoride is shown to be mutagenic and interferes with DNA repair.
  • The fluoride added to the water today is not pharmaceutical grade but rather waste product from the production of chemical fertilizers. They are not decontaminated and contain high levels of arsenic. 

The government and it's affiliates will say that animals studies are not the same as human studies.  True that we have different DNA (barely), but a creature is a creature.  We are made of the same compounds as animals and we are susceptible to the same chemicals as animals.  Proven on paper or not!  Humans are complex and resilient and can survive under great toxicity.  This doesn't mean we should subject ourselves to meaningless chemicals.  Our bodies are the only thing in this world that truly belongs to us!

To avoid fluoride, drink purified or filtered water.  Simply drinking bottled water is not enough and those bottles are destroying our oceans.  (Also see my article about BPA from plastic)  You can also use a shower filter and use all natural toothpastes.  If you are worried about your kids teeth, make sure your kids are eating lots of vegetables and very little sugar and refined carbohydrates.  It is better to add fluoride directly on the teeth through toothpaste.  There is no need to subject the rest of your tissues and organs to fluoride.      

-Val




Jun 5, 2010

Oregano Essential Oil: A Strong Disinfectant

Oregano is a strong antiseptic and disinfectant.   It can be used as an antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal.  Here are a few possible uses for oregano in your life.

For wart removal.
Apply straight, if it doesn't burn, 2-3 times a day for about 2-3 weeks.

For Candida overgrowth or infections.
Add 1 drop oregano, 2 drops Melaleuca (tea tree) and 3 drops lemon in a gel capsule, fill the rest of the capsule with a carrier oil such as grape seed or olive oil.  Take 1 cap 3 times a day and avoid all refined sugars and carbohydrates, mold (cheese) and yeast (wine, bread). Take for 2 weeks and then rest for the third.  Repeat as often as needed.  You may also want to take a good pro-biotic.  You may feel worse for a while the first week or so. This is called die off.  It is common and is not harmful. It is the result of the Candida dieing off and the toxins it releases.  Of course, always have the supervision of a competent medical professional.

For fungal skin infections.
Apply topically diluted 50%, several times a day. One or two drops at a time should be more then enough.  Some fungal infections are internal and I would suggest the Candida cleanse above.

For Female Vaginal Yeast infections.
Mix one drop oregano with one teaspoon of carrier oil such as grape seed or olive.  Apply topically once a hour for several hours and then once every 4 hours or so.  If it burns, you can dilute it further until it stops.  You can combine this with an anti- itch cream.  If you have frequently occurring yeast infections you should do the Candida cleanse above as well as avoid baths.

For Antibiotics
Take 3 drops in a capsule, 4 times a day for 2 weeks.  If it burns or upsets your stomach try diluting by adding a carrier oil to the capsule.    

Warnings:  Oregano is powerful.  It can have a burning sensation on the skin if not properly diluted.  Pregnant women should not use oregano.  Only the purest therapeutic grade oregano should be taken internally and under the supervision of a doctor. 







You can purchase Oregano oil here.  
  
-Val

May 24, 2010

Free Enrollment for doTERRA Essential Oils Has Been Extended!

doTERRA has extended their free enrollment period to May 31st!  This is how it works.  It's not really free but mostly.  If you are enrolled as a product consultant with doTERRA you save about 20% on almost all of their products.   Generally enrollment is $50.  You get a consultant packet and the 20% discount for life and thats it.  But right now you pay the $50, you get the consultant packet, the 20% off AND you get 50 PV credit.  Which is equal to $50.  You will receive your credit on the 15th of June.  As soon as you are enrolled you can sign up your friends and family so that everyone can reap the benefits of E-oils.
Click here to sign up!

May 20, 2010

Have You Herb The Word?!


Herbs have been used for centuries for healing and cooking. I love cooking with herbs. It is no surprise that fresh herbs taste better and have a higher nutritional value but they also have a higher price tag. If you are like me you probably cook with dry herbs...I hope you at least cook with those. Here are some tips for those of you who haven't tried using dried herbs in your cooking or who already do. First, find an affordable brand you like that tastes good and gives you the most for your money. Second, don't use more than needed just out of habit. A little can go a long way. Third, always remember to keep them sealed tight so they don't loose their flavor and go stale. Fourth, if you are using a leafy-type, dried herb like parsley or chives etc, poor the amount you intend to use in your hand first, then use your fingers to squeeze and squish it. No need to pulverize it however. Doing this will allow the natural oils to come back to the surface giving your food great flavor and aroma. Hope you enjoy these tips! Cheers!

-Liz-

Essential Oils: Prescription Strength Drugs From Nature

I have been using essential oils for quite some time now.  They are amazing gifts of nature.  Besides having therapeutic effects from their scents, called aroma therapy, they are quite powerful medical tools.  Most western medicine practicing doctors do not acknowledge or know the amazing benefits and properties E-oil's posses.  Throughout the rest of the world they are prescribed from the pharmacy!  They can be used to treat anything, the list is endless.  The hard part is finding the right therapy for you.  You may have to try multiples oils or oil blends until you find the one that works best for you.  As I post new topics here at HLC, I will include what essential oils will be a good option and how to use them.
E-oils can be expensive but even the most expensive E-oil is cheaper than prescription pills and creams.  A little does a lot when it comes to E-oils.
E-oils come from things that we already eat most of the time and can generally be regarded as safe.  There are some precautions with E-oils, just like there are with prescription and over the counter drugs.  They need to be used appropriately and in the right dosages.  The side effects however, are small comparatively.  People die from Prescription drugs all the time. More then the FDA wants you to know.  Death from E-oils is almost non existent.  You would have to seriously abuse them.  You can have horrible side effects or death from using prescription drugs exactly the way they are prescribed to you.
You should expect results from E-oils.  If you aren't getting results you are probably hitting the problem at the wrong angle and should try a different therapy.  With E-oils you can expect to need to apply or take doses more frequently then conventional medication and expect healing in unexpected ways.  Often E-oils heal from the inside out and help your body heal itself.  Most prescription drugs treat only symptoms and do not help your body heal itself or rid itself of the problem. So it may take longer for your eczema to clear up then with steroids, but when it does heal it is "cured" instead of just suppressed as with steroids.  Some times you can use an E-oil on a problem once an hour for several hours and that is all you need.
Essential oils need to be pure.  They shouldn't be grown with pesticides or have solvents added to make them stretch farther.  Make sure you find a company that believes in purity and has a lot of customers to attest to it.  For more information on my favorite essential oils go to  http://www.mydoterra.com/hlc/ .
-Val        

May 18, 2010

Lavender Essential Oil: an All Purpose Aid

If you are unfamiliar with Essential Oils lavender is a good one to start with.  Lavender is gentle and effective and has a million and one uses.  The smell of a high quality lavender is potent and has a slight licorice undertone.  Here are some easy and practical uses for Lavender:


Rub on a sunburn, diluted with a lotion or carrier oil or undiluted for bad burns.  3-5 times a day until symptoms desist.

Apply undiluted on bug bites.  As need or 3-5 times a day. (Testimonial:  I get huge silver dollar sized welts when I get a mosquito bite.  After a few days they turn into ugly purple masses.  They can take a month or so to completely disappear. When I apply lavender on my bites they are gone in a week.)


For Insomnia, add several drops to a small spray bottle and spritz on your pillows and sheets.  (or use a diffuser)  Lavender helps calm the nerves in the brain so you can unwind and sleep.


Lavender is great for the hair and face as well.  Just add a several drops to your favorite products or use undiluted as an astringent.  It can help with oily skin by regulating oil production.


Mix Lavender with other E-oils like birch or frankincense for joint and muscle pain. 


Apply to small open wounds in place of a triple antibiotic ointment.  You will need to cover with a bandage and reapply as needed.






-Val           
   


Lavender Essential Oil
Lavandula angustifolia

Our most popular oil, lavender has been cherished for its unmistakable aroma and its therapeutic properties for thousands of years. Lavender is widely used and accepted for its calming and relaxing qualities. For topical, aromatic, or dietary use.

May 17, 2010

BPA Free Containers and too Much Estrogen

BPA is an Estrogen like Chemical that comes from hard plastic.  Plastics with BPA are used to line cans, make bottles and other plastic food and beverage containers.  Have you noticed BPA Free labels on many products lately?  That is because the FDA is concerned that it may be causing or contributing to hear disease, Prostate Problems, Erectile dysfunction and breast cancer!  I don't put much faith in the FDA, but if they are scared... I'm scared.  Here are some tips to avoid BPA contact.

1. Use glass.  Use glass in the microwave.  Heating the plastic just makes it ooze BPA on your food ( and who knows what else.)
2. Never drink a water bottle that has been left in a hot car.
3. Look for specific BPA FREE labels when buying kids cups, bottles and dishes.
4. Don't buy canned food.  Eat fresh, healthy unadulterated food.  These are lower in sodium, have no MSG and are full of vitamins anyway.  Even frozen vegetables can be a great alternative.  They are picked super ripe and fresh and frozen immediately, therefore preserving the vitamins and benefits.

Extra estrogen in the body can cause a whole host of health problems including  weight gain, migraines, fluid retention, high blood pressure, fatigue, aging skin, thinning hair, fluid retention, PMS, low libido, muscle aches and pains, memory fogginess, fibroids, endometriosis, depression, fibrocystic breasts and miscarriage. The more serious, life-threatening conditions of estrogen excess are: reproductive cancers, strokes, blood clots, compromised immune system, toxic livers, gall bladder disease, auto-immune diseases (lupus, MS, rheumatoid arthritis), glucose intolerance, pancreatitis, and interfering with the uptake of thyroid hormones.♥ Both MEN and women can have to much estrogen and have these symptoms.  If you have many or some of these symptoms there are things you can do.  Avoid BPA, eat organic food (there are estrogen type chemicals in pesticides as well), loose weight (fat cells create even more estrogen) and avoid soy products (soy contains an estrogen like chemical). Those tips are a good start to controlling your estrogen related health problems.

-Val

Sources 
♥ http://nice2people.com/sellman/hormone-heresy3.htm 
♥AARP.com 

May 15, 2010

Varicose Veins, a Non Surgical Approach, Wanna Try It?

These are before and after photo's of a lady who used Helichrysum oil on her legs for 6 weeks.  Helichysum is an essential oil.  I am looking for people who would like to try this remedy.  Please send me a message and I will send you details.  I hope we can find many more people with a similar result.   
-Val 



May 7, 2010

Waffle Waffle Bo Baffle!


Hey everyone! Hope all is well. I have finally come back from the "land of the dead" and feel much better since I delivered my baby 8 weeks ago! So I figure it is time to post. Today is a simple post about a product I have come to LOVE and a few tips, ideas and recipes that lightly revolve around it. If you are in the market for a new waffle iron, check out the Cuisinart Classic Waffle Iron. It is seriously the best little waffle iron and let me tell you why. It is small and easy to store. Makes the perfect size waffle. Is non-stick and affordable, only $29.99! It heats up SUPER fast, cools down super fast and cooks a waffle in like 30-45 seconds NO JOKE and has a varied setting control for lightly cooked or darker waffles. Just an awesome product.

So, what do I use mine for? A LOT of things. I find it very versatile. First, I love making whole grain waffles with it for breakfast. They are great fresh or store them in the freezer and pop a few in the toaster later! Here is my recipe, it is simple and healthy!

* 2 cups wheat flour
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 3/4 cups low-fat milk
* 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 2 large eggs

Mix your dry ingredients, add milk, oil and eggs. You can add nuts, seeds, oats or bran to this recipe for super healthy and hearty waffles.

The next thing I love to do with my waffle iron as a breakfast tool is make french toast. It is super simple! Make your french toast coating. I like to use eggs, a little milk and cinnamon. Heat up your waffle iron, spray it or brush it with oil. I know it is non-stick but eggs can be sticky. Dip your bread in the coating and place on waffle iron, close and let cook! That is it! No flipping or anything. Cooks one up SO super fast and it actually makes it textured like a waffle so it is great for holding syrup or butter or whatever you like in the holes! YUM!

Okay, here is my FAVORITE thing to do with my Cuisinart Classic Waffle Iron. I love brownies and I LOVE the edges. SO if you are an edge lover too, you will love this. The following recipe makes TWO waffles with this iron. So double it for more or whatever.

* 1/4 cup butter
* 3 TB spoons cocoa powder
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1/4 tsp salt teaspoon salt
* 1/4 tsp baking powder
* 1/2 cup WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR
* 1 large egg

Melt butter and ad cocoa powder, sugar, salt and baking powder. Mix well then ad flour and egg. Mix well again. BRUSH the iron with oil and cook on 3-3.5. Remove softly when done let cool. SO good. Dip in milk, eat plain or put ice cream on top. Very easy and very good! I assume most any good waffle iron will get good results for all of the above! Have fun! Cheers!

-Liz-

Apr 10, 2010

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution: A Wake Up Call to America!

I highly recommend that you watch this show.  You can catch up with past episodes online at Hulu.com.  After watching this show you wont wonder where the obesity epidemic in America is coming from.

Mar 11, 2010

Meal Planning for Better Health, Saving Money AND Weight Loss

A great habit to have is meal planning.  Meal planning doesn't have to be set in stone.  The point is to save money, not be rushing around to figure out what's for dinner, and always have a nice meal ready.  If you plan really well you may even loose some weight.


1.  Shop in your Pantry and Fridge FIRST.
Figure out what you already have to make a meal with.  Frozen meat, bags of rice, beans or noodles.  


2.  Look at your favorite store's adds and see whats on sale.  
If they have a sale on chicken legs, then plan a meal around that. Simple!


3.  Take a piece of paper and start planning.  
Plan the WHOLE meal, sides, sauces and all.  Spend a little time flipping through cookbooks or searching online for recipes to go with the ingredients you already have, then start looking for things you want to make.  Try finding recipes for your favorite take out food.  Making it at home means you can control ingredients, portions and avoid things like trans fats and MSG.  


4.  Make your shopping list complete
Go through each recipe and make sure you have enough of each ingredient.  This will keep you from buying too much of something that could spoil and keep you from going back to the store and buying "in the moment" items you don't really need.  Like that candy bar that keeps calling your name...  


Here is an example of what you should come up with.  It is not only a shopping list but a meal guide for the rest of the week. 


Meal 1
Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo with Broccoli and Fresh Bread Sticks with Garlic Butter.  
Have:  noodles, broccoli, yeast, flour, butter
Need: cream, parmesan (4 oz), head of garlic, chicken 1/2 lb breasts 


Meal 2
Tuna Salad
Have:  tuna, dressing, 
Need: lettuce, green onions, wrappers


Meal 3 
HLC Ginger Citrus Meatballs with Brown Rice and Vegetables
Have: rice, lemon/lime juice, 
Need: ground turkey, garlic, broccoli, bell peppers, corn, tofu, cornstarch, soy sauce


Meal 4
Spicy Pursuits Pan Seared Tilapia with Hot Orange Ginger Sauce Brown Rice and Fresh Green Beans
Have: spices, vinegar, brown rice
Need: tilapia 1 lb, scallions, ginger, marmalade, orange juice, garlic, green beans


Meal 5
Soccer Night Pizza
Papa Francesco's $5 off coupon


Meal 6
Left overs


Meal 7 
Dinner at Mom's


You can write this down however you like. You may not need to write what you already have, that is just an example.  Notice I wrote down Garlic on each meal that it calls for, this will help me gauge how much I will need.  Then take the Need items and add them to your shopping list.  Make sure you always check to see if you have the basics like cooking oil, salt and flour.  
If this seems a bit overwhelming for you just start with a couple of days.  Don't try to tackle a whole week all at once.  
Plan meals that will specifically fit a certain day.  If you have to pick up the kids from a late soccer practice and have less time that evening allow a night for dinner out, or plan a meal from frozen ingredients that don't need to be thawed before cooking. 
To save even more money, take the sale items at your grocery store and make them fit more then one meal. For example, if lean ground beef is on sale, buy 2 lbs and make meatballs one night and hamburgers another.  You can also freeze half of it to use for a meal another week.  Try not to make it too complicated if you are not a fabulous cook or don't have a lot of time. Skip the potatoes au gratin until Easter. Just make baked potatoes with cheese for the work week.  Also, try not to take too much time planning.  There is such a thing as over-planing, it can be overkill if you calculate exactly how much salt you will use or an exact poundage of meat.  Keep it simple, flexible, healthy and remember to shop from your pantry first. 


Check out Martha Stewart .com This site has an excellent recipe finder.  You can search by ingredient.


-Val