Thursday, April 26, 2012

Natural Home Tips for Going Greener and Healthier!

I posted this Health Tip in one of our March blogs and I thought “Why not share some more?” 

Health Tip: A Naturally Clean Kitchen Free of Germs, Grime and Toxic Chemicals
For instant glass, counter top and appliance cleaner, fill a spray bottle with ½ water and ½ white vinegar and add a few drops of essential citrus oil. Citrus oils such as lemon, lime and orange are natural degreasers for that great shine and smell in your kitchen.

I had bought Natural Home and Garden magazine and it is full of easy and natural tips for around our homes. Here is a list of a few pieces of advice from the magazine. 

·         Bee Aware: Honey at many grocery stores has undergone a quality-diminishing ultra-filtration process (gross) so be sure to look at your grocery store for local sources of honey. Plus then you are a supporting a local business! 

·         READY-WHEN-YOU-NEED-THEM KITCHEN WIPES: Everyone loves those disinfectant wipes for the “extra clean” feeling for your kitchen. Instead of them, store multiple squares of cotton cloth in a container filled with a mixture of 1 cup water, 1 ounce liquid castile soap, and 6 to 8 drops of your favorite essential oil. The clothes can come from old t-shirts or pjs and can be washed and reused!

·         Don’t give up on Tough Jobs: For very greasy dishes, add ½ cup vinegar or lemon juice to dishwasher. 

·         Healthier Laundry Room:
o   Add Baking soda to detergent to naturally brighten colors and eliminate odors
o   Pre-treat stains with a combination of washing soda, water, and baking soda
o   Rid the washer of bacteria, soap scum, and grease by running a cleaning cycle with white vinegar and hot water

Health Tip:  Fish – Best Choices & Worst Choices
We all know eating fish is good for our heart, brain, and waistline.  What we don’t know is that some fish are actually dangerous to eat because they can contain high levels of mercury.  No matter how small a dose, mercury is poisonous.  Some seafood is better for dieters because of the low amount of fat per serving.  

Here’s the list:
·         Wild Caught Salmon (not farm raised – that has a whole list of dangerous health and environmental risks see here
·         Mussels
·         Wild Sardines
·         Eel
·         Very large fish such as Blue Fin Tuna, Chilean Sea Bass, Orange Roughy, Swordfish; due to the high levels of mercury found in these fish

Good For Dieters
·         Tilapia
·         Crab
·         Mussels
·         Shrimp
Each of these has less than 150 calories in a 6 oz serving and are packed with protein so you will feel fuller longer.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fight Fat The Right Way & What’s New With The Weight Loss Challengers

The first year I was in college, like so many, I gained the “Freshman 15”.  By my sophomore year I gained another 25 pounds.  Friends and family made comments to encourage me to lose the weight but it was when I couldn’t fit into the largest pair of jeans at a store that I started to do something about it.  When I got married in 1985 I had lost 25 pounds.  It wasn’t until after the birth of my first daughter, Hannah, in 1987 that I finally got down to a healthy weight.  Then in 1999 I was in the hospital on an IV to stop the Multiple Sclerosis episode that was wrecking havoc on my body and I gained 55 pounds as a side effect of the medication in the IV.  Oh, I was right back to feeling totally “fat”.  It took me a few years to regain my healthy body weight.  I’m sure most of us have had a love-hate relationship with fat; whether it is either losing it or wishing it was somewhere else on our body.

 Here are the ways to Lose Fat: The Right Way

·         Curb Sugar Cravings with Natural Sweeteners- Next time a sugar craving calls, reach for XyloSweet or Stevia.  Unlike cane and refined sugar, xylitol is derived from foods like corn, strawberries, and plums.  The sweetener Stevia comes from the leaves of a plant in the sunflower family.  Both have low glycemic indexes so they won’t spike your blood sugar level and prime you for a “crash” later.

       Don’t Lose Too Much Too Soon – Crash dieting leads to loose skin and the possibility of releasing toxins into the body that have been stored in fat cells leading to fatigue and not feeling well.  Think about how long it took to gain the weight and use that timeline in your process to lose the weight.  You will make a long-term change for a living a life at a healthy weight.  Remember:  Slow and steady wins the race!

·         Lose Fat And Fight Flabby Skin – Retain elastic skin by adding strength training into your workout because it creates muscle tone.  Lean muscle helps prevent the skin from getting saggy.

·         What To Eat – Not only will you prevent illness and have a glowing complexion but the fiber found in fruits and vegetables help you feel full without a lot of calories.  Fiber rich and lean protein foods allow you to feel fuller for longer and prevent weight gain without sacrificing energy.

·         Moves To Do – Mix together cardio and strength training moves over the course of an hour like a circuit training routine.  Moving quickly from one move to the next keeps your heart up so you burn calories and fat.  Strength training cranks up your metabolism for a sexy, lean silhouette.

Renee is one of our challengers losing weight at a healthy and right way. 

Meet Our Newest Weight Loss Challenger:  Brendan – Lost 11.2 pounds in 1 month

Brendan, a 6’3”- 28 year old young man, began the Weight Loss Challenge on March 7, 2012.  Brendan as a football player in high school was in good physical shape then.  A couple of years ago he tried a fasting diet and lost 80 pounds but those pounds returned.  With a loss of 11.2 pounds, Brendan has more energy and is able to return to the gym, which will only increase his results.  Brendan has noticed an improvement in his skin since taking all the supplements in the program.  He says “my skin is softer, better and not as greasy.”  We can’t wait for his next results.  Way to go Brendan!!!

Update on Weight Challenger:  Joey
Joey has had to face some challenges with his heavy work schedule, causing extra stress but his weight loss continues.  Joey has lost another 5.8 pounds for a total loss of 18.8 pounds.  Despite the obstacles life has thrown in Joey’s way, he continues to stick to the program. Awesome job, Joey!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Anti-Aging Skin Care: What Is Right For You?

All of us have a one time or another, have fantasized about the one product that does it all…cleanse, tone, exfoliate, hydrate, protect, and reverse the signs of aging.  Some of us are looking for simplicity, the fewer the products the better even if they don’t address every skin care concern.  Then there are those of us determined to leave no anti-aging stone unturned and think nothing of layering multiple products morning and night.

I am one of the latter, with an arsenal of anti-aging skin care products.  It works for me because people mistake me for a sister to my daughters; aged 19-25 and I have never had an invasive surgery, treatment and never an injectible.  My husband teases me at night saying I have to start my “57 Steps” before I can go to bed.  Now I don’t have 57 steps even when you include flossing, brushing and use a water pik on my teeth.  However, I have fair skin and when I was in high school we used either baby oil or cocoa butter when we literally “baked” in the sun for the perfect tan.  At 45 I had age spots popping up, noticeable wrinkles, loss of tone and brightness and an overall thinning of my skin.  I had to take action! 

After having spent many $ with no results I finally found a system that actually targets the sources of aging with a combination of skin care products to reverse the sun damage as well as nutritional supplements that while they help anti-age my body they anti-age my skin from the inside out.  I have found my perfect blend of products to compliment my micro current system.  You may not a person to spend a lot of time reversing sun damage.  It might not be important.  Everyone has his or her priorities.  If you are looking for a simple skin care regimen it is possible to find products that really work-- just make sure you work with someone to find the right combination of products which will best help you.

Question:  What do you use to ease the pain, prevent blistering and heal sunburn?

My most successful way to treat a sunburn is with tea.  For a whole body sunburn, I suggest soaking in a bathtub of lukewarm tea.  I like to use the Lipton Cold Brew tea bags.  You can also dip a washcloth in a bowl of tea and place on face and neck for the “skiers” sunburn.  The cool water helps reduce the temperature of the skin and reduce the amount of inflammation of the burned skin.

Health Tip:  Summer Proof Your Look –Hydrating Mist
Stash a spray bottle filled with a hydrating mist in your bag to help keep you cool the entire day.
You can make your own using this recipe:  Mix orange and lemon peels in a bowl, pour 750 ml of boiling water on the peels to extract essence (make sure you have enough boiling water to submerge peels). Cover and leave the mixture to rest overnight, strain the following day, and add Vitamin E oil from two capsules (extract the oil from the capsules by piercing the capsule with a sterilized needle), transfer to a purse-sized spray bottle and spritz it on your face, nape, neck and chest when the heat becomes unbearable, fan yourself immediately after for a refreshing feeling. You can also keep your face mist in the fridge until you need it for maximum cooling effect.  If that seems like too much trouble for under $10 I can get a big bottle of my favorite hydrating mist because it actually draws moisture to your skin and hair (I love this when traveling) and you can get a small mister bottle for your purse.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Why Do We Gain Weight As We Age?

Helping people get back to a healthy body weight and maintain it gives me a lot of satisfaction since as we age it seems harder and harder to do.  Maintaining a healthy body weight is critical to fighting age and disease.  Staying trim has the bonus of making us feel good about ourselves because our organs are working well so we feel good and the bottom line…our skinny jeans fit.  So, why do we gain weight as we age even when we exercise and eat right?

Female Hormones:
Our bodies change as we age and a visible difference seen in women is the way fat is stored and used.  “Growth hormones moderate where excess energy is stored.  In our youth, when there is excess sugar, these hormones dictate that the energy be stored in the muscle as glycogen (to be used later as energy). However, in the aging body, excess energy is usually stored in the fat cells due to changes in hormones and hormone production.
Changes in estrogen receptors in the hypothalamus, a sign of menopause, means it can be harder to lose weight. In turn there is a greater burden on women to eat a healthy diet and exercise more to help their metabolism make up for the loss of estrogen, which helped regulate weight gain and appetite. Interestingly, fat cells produce estrogen, along with other hormones and proteins. But estrogen produced in fat cells will not help regulate obesity and metabolism. Instead, estrogen that accompanies weight gain, especially in abdominal fat, puts women at a higher risk for breast cancer, because estrogen stimulates cell growth. That growth can include cancer cells, making the spread of the disease even more dangerous. See targeted solutions for your estrogen levels here.

Slowed-Down Metabolism:
The rate at which our body uses up energy from food starts to decelerate as we get older causing more fat to be stored than when we were young. The body also starts to produce cortisol, a stress-related hormone that has a direct effect on fat storage.  When we are stressed, cortisol affects fat storage and weight because it becomes more concentrated.  PLUS, the enzyme that is responsible for turning inactive cortisol into an active hormone lives in the fat tissue causing more fat to be accumulated and the cells to actually grow in size!  This is why it is so important to maintain your muscle mass as you age because the more you have the more efficient your metabolism is.  Incorporate strength training, Pilates, yoga and aerobic exercises to best build muscle and a better metabolism.  Drink green tea to speed up your metabolism! Don't like green tea but want the benefits? Check out a supplement that is the same as SEVEN cups of tea with no caffeine!  My weight management program includes a supplement that is a unique dietary supplement to help you stay calm and relaxed through a proprietary blend of ingredients shown to promote healthy cortisol levels.  Of course, a person can take this supplement alone for its benefits of calmness and healthy cortisol levels.

Question:  When you need to lose some weight to feel better or fit into your clothes, what works for you?

Health Tip:  5 Sneaky Energy Suckers by Women's Health (Elianna Osborn)

1. Dehydration 
Next time you start feeling mentally sluggish or feeling foggy light headed, instead of thinking you are hungry try downing a glass or two of water.

2. Cell Phones
Checking your cell phone before going to bed amps up brain activity making it harder to doze off
plus the artificial blue light  coming from your electronics can suppress the sleep hormone melatonin  20% of people are awakened by a cell,text at least a few times a week.  Power down well before bed. 

3. Medication 
Many medications have energy-sapping side effects. Chief among them are antidepressants and certain beta-blockers used to prevent migraines or treat high blood pressure if you feel more lethargic than usual see your Doctor they have other drugs that can be taken before going to bed.

4. Over-training
While working out zaps the stress hormone Cortisol, prolonged sweat sessions -like running 30 minutes at a steady rate can actually rev up cortisol production.   Combine your exercise with strength training and free weights with help keep cortisol in check.

5. Low Iron
The mineral shuttles oxygen around your body and removes waste from your cells. If you're not getting around 18 milligrams a day, your body struggles to function properly and you can feel worn out if you feel sluggish, ask your doctor for a simple blood test  to see if you need to be taking a supplement.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spring Into Clean! Organize, Declutter, and Detox Any Space.

Spring Into Clean!  Organize, Declutter, and Detox  Any Space. – By Julie and Joy

To help a friend raise funds for the Albie Aware Foundation, an organization helping women with little or no health insurance get the insurance necessary for mammograms and, if necessary, treatment for breast cancer- I cleaned out my closet.  She was having a “gently-used clothing drive” where California Clothing Recyclers,, pays the organization per pound for donated items.  My friend is battling breast cancer for the second time and the Albie Aware Foundation provides such excellent help to women in my community that I HAD to donate.  At first it seemed like such a daunting task.  My assistant, Joy, gave me her tips so I’d like to share them with you because it made the task so much easier!

5 Steps to Organizing any Space!
1.  Take everything out of the area (closet, drawer, garage, desk, cabinet, etc)
2. Create 3 piles: Keep, Donate, Throw (hopefully they should be about equal amounts in each pile.
3.  Vacuum, dust, wash, the area before putting anything back. Why put your stuff back into a dusty/dirty area?
4.  As you start to put your “keepers back” into the area, put items you will use more frequently in easily reachable/accessible part of the room.
5.  Want to make it easy to stay organized?  Use cloth or plastic bins* to keep like items together in a neat and tidy spot.  Use a label maker to clearly label each bin will provide an instant way to keep you organized in the future!  *Bins can be found at Target or any home goods store.
Happy organizing! 

Health (Sanity) Tip: Keep Great Ideas Organized on Pinterest!
I know I was a little late to get on the bandwagon of Pinterest, but now I am LOVING how I can show off my favorite products, find great ideas for future crafts, organizing ideas, items I may want to buy, and SO much more! In keeping with the organizing theme, GONE are the days of clipping out magazine pages to lose once you want to find the idea! Check out my new Pinterest page and let’s share great ideas!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Anti-Aging Power of CoQ10

With all the talk about the importance of CoQ10 and its powerful anti-aging and disease prevention properties you’d think it would well known just where to find it, how to get it to the places in your body where you need it, and what it does.  Here’s a quick overview I found,

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a substance similar to a vitamin. It is found in every cell of the body. Your body makes CoQ10, and your cells use it to produce energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. It also functions as an antioxidant, which protects the body from damage caused by harmful molecules. CoQ10 is naturally present in small amounts in a wide variety of foods, but levels are particularly high in organ meats such as heart, liver, and kidney, as well as beef, soy oil, sardines, mackerel, and peanuts.

In an anti-aging skin care product, CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant, promoting cellular energy production and functions best within an antioxidant network.  So make sure your coenzyme Q10 is paired with other powerful antioxidants in your product for maximum results. Tru Face Essence Ultra:This silky serum helps enhance skin firmness and elasticity, and prevent future signs of aging. Or there is another (click link below)  that promotes cellular energy and allows skin to rebound from daily oxidative stress.There are 3 fantastic CoQ10 products in the NS family: one with a link above and the last 2 shown here. (Please talk to me about getting a 25% discount on any of the products you find you might want to try.)

Ah ha!  It is another one of those antioxidants that works with other antioxidants to help prevent disease, help us look younger and feel younger.

Health Tip:  Which Whole Grain Is Healthiest?

We have all been trained to “read the labels” when we are making healthy food purchases at the market.  Recently I noticed that breads have so many grains now on their labels that I don’t know which one is the best choice.  I recently found an article in the Winter-Spring 2012 edition of the magazine “New Beauty” that explains the healthiest choices are Whole Grains ("100-percent whole wheat") and "White Whole Wheat" (unbleached white whole wheat , hard white whole wheat).  Isn’t that interesting that a wheat used in breads and pastas can be white as long as it is “unbleached” and make it to the healthiest choice list? If you are interested in knowing more about it, please comment here and I can provide you with more bread grain options!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It’s Spring Time! Weight Loss Challenger Update

Happy April to all!  I, for one, am glad Spring has arrived.  My weight loss challengers are doing well and feeling great.  Here’s how Renee is doing:

Total weight lost in 2 months:  12 pounds!
Total inches lost:  5 ¼ inches

Renee feels great, more energized.  Her clothes fit better.  Renee feels so encouraged at her results.  Renee has been able to increase her daily exercise which will help Renee to continue to reshape and revitalize.  Way to go Renee!!!! Click here to see her before pictures and learn more about the weight loss challenge.

We have a NEW Weight Loss Challenger:  Brendan

Brendan is a 6’ 3”, 28 year old with a starting weight of 378.  Brendan’s goal is to lose 100 lbs.  Brendan is super excited and is enjoying the weight loss program so far.  Brendan has tried many other weight loss programs only to regain the weight.  Stay tuned for Brendan’s results and pictures. 

We will update you on Wendy and Joey at a later time, please stay tuned!

Health Tip: Vegetables, Raw or Cooked, That Is the Question

I love raw vegetables for their antioxidants, fiber, and their ability to help maintain weight.  However, there are some excellent reasons for eating them cooked…in butter.  If you love butter, you’ll love what cooking veggies in butter does for your body.
Dr. Weston A. Price’s Take On Vegetables

A good rule of thumb when considering the best way to consume your veggies is to remember the letter that Dr. Weston A. Price wrote to his nieces and nephews in 1934.   In this letter, he strongly urged them to eat their vegetables cooked in butter. (Who knew, right?)  His research found that the bulkiness (fiber) of raw vegetables interfered with the human body’s ability to extract minerals from them via the digestive process.
So, should you drink your veggies raw?   Of course.   Fresh juice from veggies that are safe to consume raw is a wonderful way to get a fast infusion of easy to digest, colloidal minerals.    It is also highly alkalizing to the body and a proven way to gently detox the gut.
The great thing about veggie juice is that the fiber is removed, which is the “bulkiness” that Dr. Price found interfered with the mineral absorption.
However, if you are going to eat the fibrous portion of the vegetable, it is best to cook them in butter as advised by Dr. Price to enhance the availability of the minerals.    The fat in the butter permits greater absorption of the minerals, and besides, buttered veggies taste fantastic!

Think Raw Veggies are Best? Think Again
Visit this website on how best to maximize the benefits of vegetables.  Remember that the antioxidants in vegetables are what helps us fight disease and aging.