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Blog posts : "Health and Wellness"

Difficulty Sleeping? Try These Tips........

As much as we would enjoy a good nights sleep, we often find it difficult to finally lay our head down and doze off into la la land.

Most of us don’t have as much control over the amount of good sleep we get as we should.  With increasing stress and work load, it's no wonder.Work, family, education, housekeeping, and so many other tasks can literally prevent us from getting the amount of sleep that we need.

 Experts tell us, getting enough sleep actually improves metabolism.  People who are constantly sleep deprived, typically find that they have less energy to do regular, daily activities. 

 As a result, sleep-deprived people often lower their own metabolism.  They simply don’t have the strength to break down food efficiently, particularly carbohydrates.  This is a very difficult issue, because many people can only find time to exercise by borrowing from their rest time. 

 For example, after a long day of work and dealing with family and home commitments, a person may find the only time they have to exercise is late at night. So what should you do?

 Ultimately, it’s a question of balance.  Naturally, if you’re willing to exercise, and your doctor agrees that it’s healthy for you, then you’re not going to get fit by sleeping instead of exercising. 

 Yet, if you steal time away from your sleep in order to exercise, you can actually do more harm than good, because the following day, you won’t have enough energy to digest what you eat.  The answer to this catch-22 lies in balance. 

 You don’t have to work out every night.  Or perhaps you can integrate a workout into your life during the day, maybe at lunchtime or right after work. 

 If you find you have trouble sleeping, this can also negatively affect the speed of your metabolism, because you won’t have enough energy the following day.  Insomnia and other sleep disorders are very common problems.

 Some non-medical tips to help you fall asleep include:


  • Don’t eat late at night
  • Try drinking warm milk before bedtime
  • Don’t turn on the TV at night
  • Try yoga or other stress-relieving practices
  • Try having a warm bath before bedtime
  • Don’t exercise close to bedtime, your body can become so energized that it doesn’t want to sleep.

Try one or two for starters. In no time you should be sleeping like a baby.

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16 Ways to Balance Hormones Naturally

Hormones have a huge effect on our lives, especially as women. They affect everything from our mood to our weight. Most any pregnant woman or teenage girl will tell you how her moods, weight and even her sense of smell have changed since her hormones took over.

Hormone imbalances can present themselves in the form of skin issues, infertility and even fatigue.

Weight gain, abdominal weight, PMS, PCOS or sleep problems are also issues with a hormone imbalance.




Here are sixteen ways to balance your hormones naturally




1.    Begin by eating a well-balanced diet. Eat lean meats, fish, fresh vegetables and fruits. Choose a large salad with a small amount of meat or seafood over a white bread sandwich and potato chips.





2.    Use real butter or coconut oil instead of margarine, both better for you.





3.    Opt for whole-grain breads and natural sweeteners like honey, molasses or stevia.






4.    Avoid a low-fat diet. Hormones are synthesized from cholesterol. So eating a cholesterol-free diet means your body can’t create the necessary hormones it needs to function properly.

5.    Choose healthy fats such as real butter, cream, egg yolks, olive oil, whole milk, lard and palm oil.

6.    Avoid man-made, polyunsaturated fats such as vegetable oil, hydrogenated oil, canola oil, soybean oil, margarine and shortening.    




7.    Ditch the junk food. Junk foods, those high-carbohydrate processed foods found in bakeries and soy products, stimulate hormonal balance.








8.    Add organic dairy products. Mass market milk, cottage cheese and other dairy products all come from cows with the Bovine Growth Hormone and antibiotics. These steroids and antibiotics are then transferred into the milk and then into your body. These can interfere with the hormonal system.








9.   Limit the amount of caffeine you get each day. Caffeine wreaks havoc on your hormones so limit the amount of coffee, chocolate and soft drinks you consume. Replace it with herbal teas that are less stressful on your body.





10.    Get enough sun every day. Just 15 minutes of natural light a day helps restore your hormone balance. Sit outside in the early morning sunshine while you have a cup of tea and read the paper.

11.    Take up Yoga, meditation, Pilates, Tai Chi or any other form of calming exercise that uses deep relaxation techniques.

12.    Add alternative healing arts like acupuncture, homeopathy, reflexology and massage therapy to help restore your hormones to a balanced state.


13.    Get enough sleep. One of the best ways to get your body back to optimal health is to get the proper amount of sleep each night, typically seven to eight hours. Magnesium contributes to better sleep. It can be taken in powder, liquid or applied to the skin.

14.    Use supplements. We cannot always get the proper amounts of nutrients and sleep. Supplements can fill any gaps found in your lifestyle.

15.    Maca is a tuber from the radish family. It boost hormone production and your libido. It’s high in essential fatty acids that are good for hormone balance. It can be taken in powder form or in capsule form.

16.    Fermented Cod liver oil provides nutrients necessary for building hormones including vitamins A, D and K.

Living a naturally healthy lifestyle is one way to achieve better hormone balance. In addition to looking and feeling great, a balanced hormone system can help you lose weight, reduce stress, and have an improved sex life.

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Natural Pain Reliever In A Bottle-Just Add Water


Well not the kind of bottle filled with pills. A hot water bottle.

How many of you have one of those lying around? You will definitely want to run out and grab one after you read this.

Heat from the water bottle brings energy and creates more blood circulation to your digestive organs when placed on your belly.

Did you know that your lower belly is the center and source of your life energy according to Asian philosophy?

 Placed on the belly, it can aid in digesting food after a heavy meal. Ladies, menstrual cramps can be a thing of the past when using the hot water bottle as it can help relieve pain and tension. It has been proven that applying heat to your abdominal region can deactivate pain at a molecular level similar to taking over-the-counter painkillers. The pain messages to the brain are blocked from the heat.

Need help relaxing and falling asleep? Try using it at bedtime for about 20 minutes. It may be the answer to your
prayers. And, you don't need to worry about plugging it in like the heating pad.

 I am all about natural ways to heal and pamper yourself. The hot water bottle is an inexpensive and easy way to show your body some love.

As always, consult your health care provider with any medical concerns you may have.

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Sugar Substitutes-Friend or Foe?

Sugar substitutes have been around for many years; however, if you stop and ask most individuals, they do not know why they use them or what their benefits are. Most individuals just grab those colorful little packets and add them to their coffee, tea, cereals without even so much as a second thought. Those sugar substitutes have become as routine as brushing their teeth.

There has been a lot of discussion in the media over those little packets and the harmful effects that they may have on the human body now. After some research, studies are beginning to show some possible adverse effects.

Just about everyone is aware through media of how much healthier, more successful, and amazing your life would be if you lost some weight. The sugar substitutes for many years provided a way to have that sweet tooth filled while cutting out the calories, which sounds like a win-win situation.

There are three main ingredients in sugar substitutes.

* Aspartame
* Sucralose
* Saccharin

Over the past couple of years, the artificial sweetener made with aspartame has been controversial in the news. Research is beginning to show a possible connection with certain ailments and individuals who consume products with aspartame.

* Severe chronic headaches
* Stomach upset
* Diarrhea
* Vomiting
* Nausea
* Fatigue
* Inflammation

Although no governing agency has yet to come out and say that aspartame is definitely a cause for concern with these ailments, it is a matter of personal choice at this point. Some individuals that were users of aspartame claim that these ailments and worse are possible side effects of using this chemical mixture that is supposed to substitute sugar.

A study on saccharin in the 1970s showed that there might have been a possible link to cancer in rats. Since further studies did not translate to humans or that they were affected by saccharin, this product was kept on the market. Again, it is a matter of personal choice.

One of the benefits of sucralose, according to its users, is that it tastes more like real sugar is useful in baking. However, studies have shown that sucralose may have an adverse effect on the body’s response to sugar, which could be a potential future increase in the risk for diabetes.

There is a lot of speculation going on still about the adverse effects of artificial sweeteners on the body even some claiming cancer-causing effects. It is important to do as much research as you can on the scientific studies and make an informed decision that is best for you.

There are other options such as simply adding lemon and lime slices to your water for a refreshing beverage or just keeping sugary foods to a minimum. When it comes to what you put into your body, you always have a choice.


Want help cutting out sugar?




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Seven Steps For Putting Off Procrastination

If you are like most people, you have been putting something off that you know you need to get done. In fact, I bet right this minute you could name three things you've been putting off for at least three months. Losing weight?  Sorting receipts for your taxes? Asking for a raise?

Have you noticed that when you procrastinate for extended periods of time you begin to engage in negative self-talk?  This is a sure way to deflate your confidence. The undone tasks loom in our mind, sending us messages that we are lazy, afraid, incapable, etc. We can buy into these negative messages, or take the task by the horns so-to-speak and get it done.

Below are seven steps to overcome procrastination and build up your confidence:



  • Make a list of all the tasks you have been putting off.
  • Prioritize what is most important and what can wait.
  • From the tasks that are most important, prioritize them based on what can be completed easily and what requires more time and effort.
  •    Create action steps needed to accomplish each task (small steps).
  •   Monitor your progress and scratch completed items off your list.
  •   Get the support you need. If you are uncertain of the best way to approach a task, ask a friend – or an  expert.
  •    Plan rewards and celebrations for accomplishing small and large tasks.

Make your list today, start taking action, and experience more confidence as you take charge of your life.  Ready? Set? GO!

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Gray Hair Natural Remedies Worth a Try

Aside from wrinkles, sagging facial muscles and the tired look, one of the most obvious manifestations of looking aged is graying hair. The sad part of it is that it affects men and women alike and could happen at any age.  This may probably be the reason that many anti-aging treatments especially hair dyes were formulated long before most anti aging treatments came to be. With rapid advances in science though, gray hair treatments are today not only limited to the manufacture and sales of hair dyes. There are several approaches that could be resorted to in combating the onset of graying hair.

Confession time. If you know me, you know I am all about natural remedies. When it comes to the crowning glory turning a "not so natural color" like "gray", it is so tempting to turn to hair dyes. I am a firm believer that if you are prematurely graying, there is an underlying cause. I am not buying the "It's part of getting older". So meanwhile, I do have grays popping up all over and I would much rather us a temporary color than permanent while I figure our what my body is craving and what it is being denied. I'd rather not cover up the problem, permanently although the temptation is overwhelming. I think that it is a natural tendency to want to cover things up and forget about it. But true healing comes from within and figuring out what your body really needs.

Treatments for graying hair could be categorized into the following basic approaches:

Cosmetic Treatments

Hair dying is the most convenient, most common and the oldest approach to treating gray hair. Hair dyes are formulated so that the molecules could penetrate through the hair cuticles without causing cuticle damage. While most hair dyes employ chemicals in their formulas, the most common ingredient being ammonia, there are also hair dyes that use vegetable colors for those who have concerns regarding applying dyes with chemicals on their hair. Henna and sage are the best examples for these.

Medical Treatments

What gives the hair color is the amount or the concentration of melanin that is present in the body. Melanin gives skin color as well as hair color. It is also a determinant whether a person will tan or burn in the sun. The production of melanin in the body slows down as a person ages. The purpose of medical treatments for graying hair is to reverse the slowing down process of melanin. 

Through my research I came across some remedies I wanted to share with you and I can't wait to hear of your results.

Application of Topical Nutrients

The following are universally accepted topical solutions that are applied to improve the nutrients that the hair receives and fight against graying hair. Some of these are ancient remedies and are proven through time.

Eugenol Oil – Applied topically, the active ingredients of eugenol oil come from cloves. Eugenol oil has demonstrated to restore the color of the hair.

Amla Oil – This oil strengthens the follicles of the hair facilitates pigmentation and hair growth.

Ligustrum – Has long been used by the Chinese to prevent graying of hair.

Ashwagandha – This one increases the melanin in the hair treating the grays and giving back its color.

Superoxide Dismutase - Are compounds that are often found in hair gels to protect against graying of the hair.
Shampoos with Omega-3 – Omega 3 are anti-oxidants that fight against degrading of the cells. Omega-3 provides nutrition for the hair follicle to fight against premature graying.

Melanin – Could also be applied topically in the scalp.

Retin A – When combined with alpha-hydroxyl acid are powerful agents that give back the hairs natural color.

There are also several nutrients for the hair that could be taken orally. They could be in combination with other drugs or are their main ingredients. These oral treatments could come in the form of capsules and tablets. Some of these are vitamin 12, minerals, Biotin, folic acid, Para - Aminobenzoic Acid, and Inositol.

Action step, try one or two of these natural remedies and start exploring ways to listen to your body and what it is craving. You never know, you may be surprised at your results.  

As always, when concerned of a medical condition, consult your health care provider for treatment.

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