Tag Archives: healthy lifestyle
The Good of the Hive
The Good of the Hive:
Artist Matthew Willey Travels the World to Paint 50,000 Bees
By: Christopher Jobson
In an effort to raise awareness about the plight of the humble honey bee, New York-based artist Matt Willey founded the Good of the Hive Initiative, an ambitious project to personally paint 50,000 bees in murals around the world. The number itself isn’t arbitrary, it takes about that many bees to sustain a healthy beehive. So far Willey has completed 7 murals including a large piece at the Burt’s Bees headquarters, and he keeps meticulous notes about the number of bees in each piece which he shares on his website.
For more info you can read an interview with the artist at the Center for Humans and Nature website, and follow his progress on Instagram. And for more bee-centric murals, also check out London-based artist Louis Masai Michel’s similar Save the Bees project. (thnx, Laura!)
Reposted from: thisiscollosal.com
Up Against the Wall
Stressed? Here’s A 5-Minute Fix
By JC Peters for Spirituality & Health Magazine
Increasingly over the past couple of years, I’ve been having outbreaks of hives and itchy skin. I finally sat down with an allergist, who gave it to me straight. I am allergic to pineapples, apples, and — get this — anything that touches my skin. Anything that rubs, scratches or irritates my skin will create the itchy, irritating hives. He said, “Your problem isn’t actually the allergies. It’s stress and anxiety, so I would get that under control if you can.”
Funny. I’ve been trying to get my stress and anxiety under control since I collapsed into a heap of wracking sobs in front of my math teacher in high school because I was in school full time, socializing full time and working eight-hour days on the weekends, so couldn’t complete my math homework. Ironic, perhaps, that a yoga teacher would struggle so much with stress, but ask any one of us and we will probably tell you that’s how we got into this field in the first place.
It’s not that we are “Type-A” personalities or workaholics. Our culture has been mainlining stress, and we are accidental junkies. We think relaxation is something you do on a vacation that you worked 80-hour weeks for years to “deserve,” and when we see it in everyday life, we recoil in fear and disgust and label it “laziness.”
Yesterday, I noticed a billboard for a coffee shop advertising an even faster way to pay. The image was a coffee mug and a doughnut moving so quickly the doughnut’s sprinkles were flying off. Sitting down for a coffee and a doughnut used to mean a pause from a stressful day, a quiet moment before having to rush off again. Now a “coffee break” is another cog in our Faster Machine.
What appears to be happening is a slow but certain takeover of our sympathetic nervous system (SNS), sometimes called the “stress state,” from the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which governs healing and rest. Both systems are always present in the body, but one is usually functioning more than the other. Calling the SNS the “stress state” gives it a bit of a negative connotation, which isn’t quite right. We need stress to survive, and having appropriate periods of stress gets us out of the house in the morning, helps us follow our dreams, and yes, if necessary, helps us run away from a bear.
The problem is that our SNS easily gets stuck in the “on” position. Even when we appear to be relaxed, the SNS is still highly functioning, preventing the PNS from taking over and allowing us to rest, digest, process emotion, and stimulate the immune system. Nightmares and clenched jaws indicate that we can even sleep in a stress state. If you’re like me, being at a low buzz of stress feels so normal that deep relaxation and stillness is so unfamiliar it’s almost uncomfortable. Our stress habits are so strong that, ironically, being comfortable is beyond our comfort zone.
The good news is that even though the SNS is very easily triggered, there are triggers for the PNS as well that we can practice more often to rehabilitate our stress addictions.
The most important tool we can use to retrain ourselves is awareness. What does it feel like to be in a relaxed state? What triggers me back into a state of stress? What are the signs?
In order to see these signs, you must first know what it feels like to be relaxed. Actually relaxed.
Viparita Karani, or Legs Up the Wall, is a yoga pose that strongly stimulates the PNS, and all you need is a floor and a wall or even a bed or couch. If you can get out to a restorative yoga class, even better, but this is one you can do everyday. Always check with your doctor first if you are pregnant or have any health concerns.
Sit with one hip touching the wall. Roll down onto your forearms as you swing your legs up the wall, and shimmy as close to the wall as you feel comfortable. No need to touch the wall with your bum.
Lie on your back, hands on your belly, out to the sides or up overhead, whichever one feels most comfortable to you. Lifting your legs off the floor tells your body in no uncertain terms that you are not “on the go” right now. Your sprinkles are going to stay firmly on your doughnut here.
If you have a bolster or pillow, slide it under your hips and adjust it for comfort. If you have a blanket, drape it over your legs for warmth and support. If you have an eye pillow or a scarf, place it over your eyes. Warmth, comfort, quiet, and darkness are a few excellent PNS triggers.
You can stay here for up to 20 minutes if you are comfortable, but five minutes is enough. When you are ready to come out, do so slowly, bending your knees and rolling onto your right side before you come all the way up. Take your time and remember this feeling of relaxation as you notice what triggers you back into your SNS.
Now we have a program for stress rehab. Good luck, and godspeed you keep your sprinkles on.
- Why stress really is no good for us (reikisharronmblog.wordpress.com)
- Using and learning proper breathing techniques is one (realphysiokarratha.wordpress.com)
What’s Up, Doc?
Ever wonder what the secret is behind Bugs Bunny’s sharp mind and active body? Yes of course, it is carrot!
The juicy carrot is one of the most liked vegetable by millions of people all over the world. It serves as a crunchy addition to salads and is also a healthy choice for snacking. Besides its natural sweetness, delicious taste and revitalizing ability, the vegetable contains very important nutrients that are important for various organs such as eyes, skin, teeth and digestive system.
The vegetable derived its name from Greek word, “karoton”, where kar means horn shaped. The substance called beta-carotene found in carrot has actually been derived from the word karoton. Carrots are being cultivated since thousands of years in central Asia and the Middle East and also in some parts of Europe. It was brought to North America in the 16th Century for the first time. Currently China is the largest producer of carrots in the world.
You will find ample amount of vitamin A, beta-carotenes, anti-oxidants and minerals stored in it. The juice of the carrot is equally good and used in Juice Therapy Remedies for curing several diseases. It is recommended by many doctors to take at least one glass of carrot juice, especially children; it will help you and your child combat many diseases. The benefits that carrot juice will provide you will compel you to call it a Miracle juice.
Now let’s take a review of what carrot has to offer for your health.
The magic of Beta-carotene
There is 8285µg of beta-carotene found in 100g of fresh carrots. It is known to be one of the most powerful anti-oxidant that helps your body to combat against oxygen-free harmful radicals. These carotenes are converted by the liver into Vitamin A, which helps in improving vision, sperm production, maintains epithelial integrity and also helps in growth and development of the body.
If you want sharp eye sight, increase the intake of carrot. The vitamin A obtained by carrot also helps to improve night vision. Carrot is known to cure vision related problems such as senile cataracts and macular degeneration. Researches prove that 40% of people who take a lot of beta-carotene found in carrots, have a lower risk of developing macular degeneration.
Cure for Cancer
It has been discovered that carrots reduce the risk of developing several types of Cancers such as breast cancer, colon cancer and lung cancer. Two of the components found in it called falcarinol and falcarindiol are known to have anticancer properties. A research conducted on mice proved that carrots lower the risk of developing cancer by 1/3.
Falcarinol is beneficial as a natural pesticide and this compound is only known to be found in carrots. It also protects from fungal diseases.
Beneficial for younger looking and glowing skin
Forget about the beauty treatments to enhance your skin health, use natural remedy such as carrot. Again with the help of high levels of beta-carotene acting as antioxidants, carrots halt the damages done to the cells of the body during the ongoing process of metabolism. This stops the aging of the cells.
Also if you want to protect your skin from the harmful damages of the sun, increase the intake of carrots. The vitamin A and antioxidants present in it, provides your skin with a shield that protects you from harmful sunrays. The lack of vitamin A can cause skin and hair dryness, premature wrinkling, acne, blemishes and pigmentation, to combat these problems make carrot a part of your daily diet.
If you want glowing skin apply a mask of carrot juice and honey on the face. So carrot acts as a complete skin treatment, from both inside and outside.
Improves Heart health
Three of the components found in carrots i.e. alpha carotene, beta carotene and lutein are known to lower the risk of developing heart diseases. The soluble fibers present in carrots when bind with bile acids, help to reduce the cholesterol levels.
It also saves us from strokes and researches have proven that. A study conducted by Harvard University proved that people who eat at least 6 carrots in a week are not at a risk of getting a stroke as compared to the people who take it once a week.
The Vitamin A present in carrot helps the liver to flush out all the harmful toxins away from the body. It is also helpful in the reduction of bile and fat production in the liver. There are some important fibers present in the carrot that regulates the bowel movements and clean out colon.
Carrot as a Powerful Antiseptic
Many herbalists use carrots to prevent several infections. You can treat cuts and wounds by placing raw grated carrots on them.
Effective for teeth and gum health
When you take a bite of a juicy carrot it not only provides you with its sweet taste but it also helps in maintaining your oral health. The food particles and plaque is scraped off with the help of these crunchy carrots. When we chew a raw carrot, it stimulates our gums and triggers the production of saliva that is alkaline in nature, this balance out the acid formation and also reduces the growth of bacteria causing cavity. There are some important minerals found in carrot that helps to protect against tooth decay.
How carrots should be used?
There are over 100 species of carrots available in a variety of colors such as orange, red, purple, white, yellow and green. But when you choose to eat carrots, try to select the ones that are deep orange in color because they are known to contain more beta-carotene.
The nutrients contained in carrots are tightly enclosed in protein sacs present inside them, these nutrients can easily be obtained by either heating or juicing the carrots. The carotenoids availability is increased by 600% when carrots are cooked in fats or by juicing them.
Two glasses of carrot juice a day can boost our immunity up to 70% so try to incorporate more of this vegetable to your diet on daily basis.
Published by MyHealthList.net
- Why are Carrots orange? (marissapurelifefitness.wordpress.com)
- Celebrating carrots (even if they don’t give you night vision) (sciencelens.wordpress.com)
Change Your Life…With Some Fruit
Turnip the Beet
Some healthy humor 😉
If Life Gives You Lemons…
If life gives you lemons…add them to some warm water. The following article is by wellness educator, Ashley Pitman.
Why You Should Drink Warm Water With Lemon
The way you start each day is incredibly important. Whether you’re a mom, a coach, a writer, a small business owner or a yoga teacher, what you do first thing in the morning matters.
Ayurveda invites us to get a jump-start on the day by focusing on morning rituals that work to align the body with nature’s rhythms, balance the doshas and foster self-esteem alongside self-discipline.
Your mind may say you have to check emails, take the dog out, get the kids out the door, that you can’t be late for work or that you just don’t have enough time to cultivate your own morning rituals.
But, if you can only make time for one ritual that will improve your health, let it be this…..
Start the day out with a mug of warm water and the juice of half a lemon.
It’s so simple and the benefits are just too good to ignore. Warm water with lemon:
1. Boosts your immune system
Lemons are high in Vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C is great for fighting colds and potassium stimulates brain and nerve function and helps control blood pressure.
2. Balances pH
Lemons are an incredibly alkaline food, believe it or not. Yes, they are acidic on their own, but inside our bodies they’re alkaline (the citric acid does not create acidity in the body once metabolized). As you wellness warriors know, an alkaline body is really the key to good health.
3. Helps with weight loss
Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. It also has been shown that people who maintain a more alkaline diet lose weight faster. And, my experience is that when I start the day off right, it’s easier to make the best choices for myself the rest of the day.
4. Aids digestion
The warm water serves to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis—the waves of muscle contractions within the intestinal walls that keep things moving. Lemons and limes are also high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen ama, or toxins, in the digestive tract.
5. Acts as a gentle, natural diuretic
Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. Toxins are, therefore, released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy.
6. Clears skin
The vitamin C helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. Lemon water purges toxins from the blood which helps keep skin clear as well.
7. Hydrates the lymph system
This cup of goodness helps start the day on a hydrated note, which helps prevent dehydration (obviously) and adrenal fatigue. When your body is dehydrated, or deeply dehydrated (adrenal fatigue) it can’t perform all of it’s proper functions, which leads to toxic buildup, stress, constipation, and the list goes on. Your adrenals happen to be two small glands that sit on top of your kidneys, and along with your thyroid, create energy. They also secrete important hormones, including aldosterone. Aldosterone is a hormone secreted by your adrenals that regulates water levels and the concentration of minerals, like sodium, in your body, helping you stay hydrated. Your adrenals are also responsible for regulating your stress response. So, the bottom line is that you really don’t want to mess with a deep state of dehydration!
- Hot water & lemon: Drink this every morning to…. (nutritionalspread.com)
- 10 Reasons To Start Your Day With Lemon Water (blackdoctor.org)
Eat to Defeat Inflammation
The first nutrition course I ever took in college changed my life. I was absolutely fascinated to learn what vitamins and minerals were and how important they are for good health. It was also about that time I finally understood what Hippocrates meant when he said, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. Today, that saying is even more important as nutrition science has come a long way since I took that first nutrition course. Just think about inflammation, your body’s natural protective response to illness or injury. In fact, a little inflammation under normal circumstances can be a good thing. When you cut yourself, you want your immune system to respond quickly by sending white blood cells to your wound to fight off infection. But a low-grade persistent state of chronic inflammation is not a good thing. In this circumstance, white blood cells inappropriately move into tissues and cause destruction. In fact, chronic inflammation has been linked to a whole host of health conditions from type 2 diabetes and arthritis to heart disease, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Thanks to the anti-inflammatory effects of certain foods, a healthful diet can help you fight off inflammation, (Regular exercise, not smoking, and losing weight are powerful tools, too.) Start by eating less of the “bad stuff”— fast food burgers, French fries, and sodas, as well as sweets such as cookies, cakes, and pies. These highly processed foods loaded with fat, sugar, and salt promote inflammation, while eating more of the “good stuff”—yes, more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts—inhibits and protects against inflammation. Here are some of my favorite anti-inflammatory foods:
Fish and walnuts. Salmon and tuna are great sources of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, as are walnuts. These foods help offset the pro-inflammatory effects of omega-6 fatty acids, which are pervasive in our diet. Omega-6 fats are found in eggs, corn, soy, and safflower oils.
Olive oil. Studies suggest consuming a Mediterranean-style diet—a diet high in plant foods and olive oil—helps decrease joint tenderness in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Red wine and dark chocolate. Resveratrol, a phytonutrient found in red wine, has been shown to inhibit inflammation, while the consumption of dark chocolate, something I do almost daily, has been linked to lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker of inflammation in the body.
Turmeric. Spice up your life. Turmeric, also known as curry, is a traditional spice of Indian cuisine. In a recent pilot study, supplemental turmeric helped reduce joint tenderness and swelling in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Tart cherries. It’s cherry season and according to the latest research, tart cherries may have the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food. In a recent study, women with osteoarthritis who drank tart cherry juice twice a day for several weeks experienced a significant reduction in important markers of inflammation.
Eating to fight inflammation could be one of the best things you do for yourself. For your next meal, how about some salmon curry and a glass of red wine, followed by some tart cherries covered in dark chocolate for dessert?
Article by Pamela Riggs: Director of Medical Affairs and Health Sciences at the Shaklee Corporation
- Researchers: Tart Cherries Have ‘Highest Anti-Inflammatory Content Of Any Food’ (detroit.cbslocal.com)
- America’s Deadliest Diseases: How Your Diet May Put You at Risk (mcntalk.com)
- When food causes you pain (cnn.com)
The Eyes Have It
Eye Wrinkles Can Be Avoided, But How?
Eye wrinkles are a common problem that affect many us of these days. Unhealthy lifestyles, stress, atmospheric pollution and advancement of age contribute to this problem. And while many of these causes are inevitable, you can prevent or at least minimize them.
Facial gestures, such as squinting your eyes, are among the most common factors that contribute to the formation of eye wrinkles. As the skin around the eyes is highly sensitive, exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun and extreme cold and heat can enhance wrinkling of the sensitive skin around the eyes. This wrinkled skin makes us look older than we are and can have a negative impact on our confidence and self-esteem.
The moment we are born, we start to age. But, the damage that the cells of our body undergo are offset by the innate healing capacity of our body. Still, after a particular age, this repair work slows down a great deal. This is why eye wrinkles form. If you want to maintain the good health of your skin, you need to nourish it by protecting your skin, adopting healthy eating habits and exercising. Adding an effective eye cream to your skin care regimen can also assist in helping you maintain healthy skin.
There are umpteen eye wrinkle creams available to diminish eye wrinkles and keep you looking and feeling youthful. But, not all eye creams are created equal. And simply because one worked for someone else, doesn’t mean it will work for you. The key is to test until you find the eye cream that works for you. While this can get expensive, look for trial offers and/or money back guarantees. Positive reviews from others who have used a particular cream are also helpful. Personally, I have had wonderful results with Shaklee Eye Treatment. It comes with a money back guarantee, so there is no risk.
- All About Eye Creams (bellasugar.com)
- Skin Care and Aging (lifelegacyorg.wordpress.com)
Celebrating National Nutrition Month
Thought this was a good article by Dr. Jamie McManus
Next year will mark the 40th year since the first National Nutrition Week campaign was launched. And I know I am showing my age, but I remember 1973! I was an intense pre-med college student working in a research lab and studying to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Richard Nixon was the president, and one of the top news stories was Billie Jean King defeating Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes—go, girl power! The theme was Invest in Yourself—Buy Nutrition. National Nutrition Week was enthusiastically embraced by the American Dietetic Association (now called the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) and officially became National Nutrition Month in 1980—now celebrated every March.
And since this year’s theme is Get Your Plate in Shape, I thought I would share how I get MY plate into the best nutritional shape!
Make a list. Take time to think ahead as to what you are planning to put on your plate tonight and every night this week. Get to the grocery store—with your list—and stock up on fruits, vegetables, lean-protein choices such as chicken breast, low-fat (or better, nonfat) milk and yogurt, soy milk, etc. This will help ensure you have healthy choices at home as you prepare your meals
Load up at least half of your plate with veggies at lunch and dinner. I try to have at least THREE colors on my plate—red bell peppers, dark green broccoli and spinach, and orange carrots. These colors tell us these veggies are brimming with health-promoting phytonutrients as well as vitamins and minerals!
Fill the rest of the plate with small portions of a protein food and a starch. And since you will be following my lead and filling up on veggies, it will be easier to avoid overeating or oversized portions. You might even try using smaller plates and bowls if you tend to overeat.
Spice up your life as I have—who knew there were so many choices of amazing spices?! You need only a pinch of salt, especially when you have garlic, basil, rosemary, and thyme. Did you know these spices provide additional phytonutrients to support your health, as well as make your food taste fabulous and yummy? Pull out those dusty cookbooks and try a new recipe that uses spices you’ve never tried—this has become one of our favorite activities at our house!
Last but not least, be sure you have nutrition insurance. Even though I am knowledgeable about nutrition and committed to healthy eating, I know my food cannot provide all that I need every day, so I always take a daily comprehensive multivitamin/multimineral supplement and urge you to do the same! It is simply good nutritional sense.
- “Get Your Plate in Shape to Manage Your Weight” – IFIC Foundation Offers Resources for Nutrition, Weight Management During National Nutrition Month (prweb.com)
- March is National Nutrition Month (massageenvycentralfl.wordpress.com)