Surely you’ve all heard about oil pulling by now, right? It’s the latest natural health trend that has blown up over the last several weeks. You’ve probably seen the images all over Facebook as so many have been experimenting with this seemingly odd practice of swishing cooking oil in the mouth to improve a myriad of symptoms. The technique is ancient, but does that mean it’s effective?
For starters, oil pulling is a simple procedure. You choose a vegetable based oil, like coconut, sesame, sunflower, or olive oil, you take anywhere from a teaspoon to a tablespoon, put it in your mouth and swish it around for up to 20 minutes.
Depending on the source, people claim the art of oil pulling whitens teeth, strengthens gums, improves the pain associated with sensitive teeth, prevents cavities, eases the symptoms of migraines, detoxes the body, clears out the sinuses, improves sleep, improves halitosis, and even aids in the recovery of a hangover. The list could go on and on…
The practice of oil pulling is believed to be about 3,000 to 5,000 years old. The technique falls under the blanket of Ayurvedic medicine, referring to ancient Indian medicine created in India.
Being a granola-head with loads of skepticism, I was anxious to try oil pulling and research the validity of it’s claims at the same time. So, that’s what I did. I swished organic coconut oil around in my mouth for several evenings, while I read articles and reached out to experts. (more…)
If you name any food or drink, there’s probably a detox out there that centers on it. One of the more recent, and more reputable sounding, detoxes is one that centers around tea; the teatox.
Teatox plans usually add a variety of ingredients to the beverage which allegedly help with weight loss, detoxification, and increased energy.
It sounds like a pretty good deal for those of us who already love tea. Tea is good. Cleanses can be good. So the two of them together should be good.
Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be the case. According to Shape, teatoxes really won’t help you slim down. “There’s no published research to show teatoxes are safe or effective for weight loss or anything else.”
You went for it. Frankly, we all did. With the franks – hot dogs. And burgers. Potato salad, someone’s aunt’s best apple pie, sodas, beer, and ice cream, too. You celebrated July Fourth like most Americans.
Today? Not feeling so hot. All is not lost. It’s actually pretty easy to put yesterday’s holiday bender behind you and focus forward on a healthful summer. It starts today, right now.
This isn’t a detox – we think your body is aptly equipped to handle that on its own but ONLY if you’re giving it what it needs. Another full day of beers and brats and your digestive system is going to boycott the whole idea of helping you out!
Stick to our July Fourth Recovery Menu and you’ll feel better throughout the day, not to mention how much more energy you’ll have to take on the rest of the weekend’s events. (more…)
Detox diets can be great at cleansing your body of unwanted toxins and chemicals. However, there is a right and wrong way to detox. Starting an unnecessarily restrictive detox diet can leave you feeling fatigued, cramping, and moody while it provides only fleeting results. A healthy detox program, however, can lead to more energy, a sense of well-being, and a jump start for positive lifestyle changes.
Let’s start with what doesn’t work. Juice or liquid-only detoxes and fasts can be harmful in the long run because they rob your body of needed nutrients. “In a fast lasting longer than a day or two, the body starts to breakdown some of its muscles and organs to generate fuel for the central nervous system,” said Mary Hartley, RD, our resident nutrition expert, in this article. That doesn’t sound very healthy at all.
If you are detoxing to lose weight, choosing an extreme detox diet like the Maple Syrup/Master Cleanse Diet will provide fast results, but the chances of keeping the weight off are extremely slim. Most weight lost while doing a strict cleansing regimen is water weight, so when you go back to whole foods, the weight will be regained. Not only that, but you may gain more weight, as now your metabolism is slower as a result of the cleanse. (more…)
I am often asked if it is appropriate to practice yoga when sick with a cold or some sort of energy-zapping bug. Some experts are convinced that rest is the best medicine when not feeling well, but practicing a little bit of yoga when you are sick can be beneficial.
The following is an explanation of why yoga can help restore your health while you are fighting an illness.
Yoga stimulates the immune system by flushing swollen lymph nodes and circulating white blood cells throughout the body. Gentle inversions such as downward dog help to create a small amount of pressure on the lymphatic system so fluids can flow freely and help the body fight infection.
The key point to remember is that too much yoga is not going to be beneficial. The body uses a lot of energy when it is sick, and stealing some of that energy so you can do a full yoga practice is not advised. Practice just a few poses, and make sure you have a lot of time to rest in between each pose. If your body is telling you to stop, honor its request and take a break. (more…)