Tag Archives: natural health

7 Basic Steps to Cleaner Eating Without Going Paleo

paleo-clean-eating

It’s quite the buzzword these days. Much like “organic,” “gluten-free,” or “free range,” you can’t avoid the term “clean eating” when looking to live healthier.

What’s all the fuss about eating clean? It goes hand-in-hand with the often fitness-inspired Paleo Diet, and the idea that we should all be consuming less processed food-like products and more real, whole, natural foods. Going Paleo can be a bit extreme for some, so clean eating is a little less structured and a little more attainable for anyone no matter how they get fit.

Here are 7 basic principles to clean eating:

1. Avoid processed and refined foods. 

This includes things like white flour, sugar, bread, and pasta. Enjoy complex carbs such as whole grains or Paleo alternatives such as almond or coconut flour as your base for baked goods. These Back to School Cookies are super clean, but you wouldn’t even know it!

2. Get label savvy. 

Eating clean typically promotes choosing less packaged foods, but when you do opt for anything with a wrapper, learn to read the label. The shorter the list the better. If you can’t pronounce the ingredient, then your body can’t either. (more…)

The Essential Oils Trend Stinks! See What Really Works and When This New Health Coup Gets Dangerous

lavender essential oil

If you haven’t heard by now, then shame on you for not knowing that all aches, pains, and discomfort can be instantly cured by essential oils…at least that’s what ALL of your friends are probably telling you on social media. So what’s the deal on this newest trend anyway? As with most overnight miracle cures, you can should try to punch out the holes in the claims before literally buying in to it.

Where Can I Buy Essential Oils?

Communities are popping up everywhere filled with “distributors” of various essential oil brands promoting the extremely exaggerated claims that these oils remedy everything from menstrual cramps to split ends. Did you just get stabbed in the stomach with a sword? A little dab of elderberry oil will heal that up by dinnertime!

Keep in mind, many of these “distributors” have signed up to sell these concentrated liquids simply because they can now purchase God’s gift to humanity for a tiny bit less than a small fortune per bottle. But it’s OK, because the moment any friend posts a status regarding a minor ailment (“My appendix burst! What should I do?”), they are now self-appointed natural healing masters here to bestow their wisdom upon us all (“Oh sweet child, massage myrrh and lavender oils on your temples while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Your appendix will sew itself back together!”).

Now I will go mix up a blend of ginger, tea tree, and lemon oil to cure my sarcasm and bad attitude…

Try This: Oil Pulling: Is It Legit?

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Millennials Support Holistic Wellness More Than Any Other Generation

selfie lavender

Young people are generally healthy, but on the off-chance they’re not, a new survey reports that millennials are much more accepting of natural healing alternatives than any other generation.

Most traditional medical settings recommend sticking to traditional treatments and adding in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). But this report by the Natural Marketing Institute, published in The Fiscal Times, says most people in their 20s and 30s are embracing CAM, which includes everything from massage, meditation, acupuncture, and yoga, to herbal, plant-based supplements and homeopathic medicine.

Roughly 11 percent of millennials used homeopathic medicine in 2013, up from four percent just a few years earlier, according to a 2013 report by the Natural Marketing Institute. To compare, only six percent of baby boomers and seven percent of Generation X use those same natural treatments. (more…)

8 Natural Cures for Knee Osteoarthritis Aches

Five years ago, almost to the day, I was diagnosed with pretty severe knee osteoarthritis. I was a on the young side for this condition: I was still in my late 20s although my doctor said my knees were more like those of an 80-year-old. The good news was, and still is, that while I suffer from occasional swelling in my joints I don’t really experience much pain. This is part luck, and part careful planning. If you’re been feeling any extra aches or have a diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis here are some tricks that have helped me minimize any discomfort and will allow me to put off treatment (i.e., a knee replacement) for as long as possible:

 

heels

1. Ditch the high heels. Funny but true: This was probably the hardest lifestyle change to make. I was living in New York where shoes are a real part of the dress code. But I had flashes of pain each time I walked down the stairs in them, or stood for long periods of time. If osteoarthritis is a wearing down of the cartilage between the bones I realized that this was one thing I needed to avoid in order to give my knees TLC.

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Oil Pulling: Is it Legit?

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?

oil pulling

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…)

Whole Foods Severs Ties With Chobani, Citing GMO Concerns

It’s another blow for Chobani as the year draws to an end. The popular Greek yogurt company will no longer be sold at Whole Foods stores starting in early 2014.

This move by Whole Foods is unrelated to the Chobani recall that happened earlier this year. In September, more than 100 people became ill after eating yogurt that had been contaminated due to Mucor circinelloides, a mold commonly found in dairy. Though frequently used to produce natural flavor compounds, the mold had been causing products to swell and bloat.

whole foods market

Chobani powered through the recall without much fallout and looked to a smooth end to a year that saw Greek yogurt making up 50 percent of all yogurt sales. That changed last Wednesday when Whole Foods announced they would no longer sell Chobani yogurt.

Whole Foods has said this decision is due to its desire to sell more non-GMO and organic yogurts. Chobani produces Greek yogurt made with milk from cows which are often fed GMO feed.

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Vote Tabled: New Amendment May Bring Big Changes to the Supplement Industry

UPDATE May 25, 2012: Yesterday’s vote regarding Senator Durbin’s proposed amendment to the pending FDA Safety and Innovation Act was tabled. A Senate vote of 77 to 20 has removed Durbin’s amendment from consideration in the overall bill.

Durbin sponsored an amendment that would change the current FDA regulation of natural supplements and potentially cause many products to be removed from shelves. His amendment was introduced on Tuesday, May 22 and the voting took place two days later. In two days’ time supplement industries, consumer rights organizations, along with the Natural Products Association (NPA), American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and Citizens for Health sent word to their supporters urging them to contact their Senators to oppose Durbin’s plan. As a result, the amendment was not passed and no change will occur to the current law regarding natural supplements. According to the Natural Products Insider, AHPA President Michael McGuffin is very pleased.

“I have worked with my colleagues from each of the other supplement trade associations over the last several days in this call for prompt and cooperative action, and I am pleased that this effort reaffirms the incredible unity of the dietary supplement industry when legislative threats to DSHEA emerge.”

A vote that takes place today could mean a major change for the supplement industry.

Illinois Senator Richard Durbin has proposed an amendment that would require supplement manufacturers to register with the FDA. Due to the terms of this amendment, if passed, many supplements will be ripped from shelves within the next 30 days.

The vote is scheduled to take place this afternoon, Thursday, May 24. If Durbin’s plan is accepted, a mandate will be placed on supplements requiring information to be provided to the FDA. That information includes a description of the supplement, a list of ingredients, a label for all supplements, and updated information for each new, reformulated, or discontinued product. All of these requirements will fall under the Senate FDA Re-authorization for User Fees bill.

If this amendment passes, supplement companies that fail to register with the FDA within 30 days will be considered “mis-branded” and may be subject to severe financial fees and possibly even jail time.

Currently, supplements operate under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA). This act states that the manufacturer is responsible for ensuring the safety of a supplement before it is marketed. The FDA is only involved if a product is found to be unsafe after it’s on the market.

While the amendment will affect pills and natural food supplements, Durbin seems to be most concerned about the content of energy drinks. He has even referenced a case of a young woman who died as a result of using an energy drink. The senator wants the FDA to evaluate the difference between a drink and a liquid dietary supplement, and feels energy drinks are dodging regulations by claiming to be a dietary supplement. If they were categorized as drinks they would have to be regulated like all other food and drink products.

Natural supplement suppliers and users have had a short window to petition their local senators and encourage them to vote against the amendment. Due to this, tomorrow may bring major change to the natural supplement industry as we know it.

Also Read:

Energy Drinks May be Doing Permanent Damage to Your Teeth 

Supplements 101: 4 Beneficial Diet Supplements 

Create Your Own Supplement Bar

Learn the Secrets to Ayurvedic Medicine on Dr. Oz

Tomorrow Dr. Oz will be discussing Ayurvedic medicine, or the concept that each individual body type should be treated with different medicines. Specifically, the doctor will be interviewing other doctors as they explain what they call “Secrets of Ayurvedic Medicine.”

Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world’s oldest medical systems. It originated in India. In the United States, Ayurvedic medicine is considered a whole medical system. That means it’s a complete system of theory and practice that has evolved over time in different cultures and separate from conventional medicine. Other whole medical systems include traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, and naturopathy. Many therapies used in Ayurvedic medicine include herbs, massage, and specialized diets.

Dr. Oz will be investigating the specific theory behind body types and Ayurvedic medicine. Dr. Oz will also discuss the many healing technique from around the globe. The guest will include Kulreet Chaudhary, MD, Phil Veneziano, Daniel Hsu, and Dr. Janet Tsai. (more…)

Beginner’s Guide to Alternative Health Care

Approximately 40 million Americans are making up the 300 million visits to acupuncturists, chiropractors and massage therapists each year. According to a Consumer Reports online survey, three out of four respondents said they choose these alternative methods for general health over prescription drugs and other types of conventional medical care.

Why is this? Participants in the survey claimed they used alternative methods because of the way they were raised or because some life changing illness caused them to look more closely at other ways to take care of their health.

If you are unfamiliar with alternative health care, it is easy to get overwhelmed when choosing what to do. For those who have an interest in learning about natural and holistic health care, the following explanations may help you decide which direction to take.

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Use Yoga as a Natural Remedy for Constipation Relief

A not so high fiber diet, stress and traveling can sometimes get us a little backed up in our digestive functioning. Regularity is important to our health and if we do not maintain consistency we may suffer from the dreadful symptoms of constipation. Bloating, irritability or other serious physical ailments loom if we are slow to eliminate our bowels.

For those of you who would rather try a natural remedy for constipation instead of reaching for a harsh laxative, the following suggestions might be just what you are looking for to keep the traffic moving, so to speak.

Take a look at these yoga poses and learn how and why they can help.

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