Tag Archives: health

The Shocking Story of How Aspartame Became Legal

Sweet and deadly

Sweet and deadly

You know how I am always ranting about the dangers of fake sugars and how nobody in their right mind should ever use them? Part of that is a deep gut feeling that it is bad, seriously bad; a health-hazard, and part is from reading a lot of reports. Problem is that it is FDA-approved which means that most people think it’s safe…It’s not! Aspartam is used in so many products that you have to go through the ingredient listings on all prefabricated food-stuffs to check if it is there. And you really don’t want your children to ingest this stuff! I can pick up the taste no matter how low the dose, there is something definitely dodgy about it, it actually tastes toxic.

Read this article:

http://www.realnews24.com/the-shocking-story-of-how-aspartame-became-legal/

Advertisements

How safe are your skin care products?

Our bodies absorb 60% of what we put on it (in 26 seconds!). Children’s bodies absorb 40-50% more. This is a scary fact and we need to become more aware about what we actually use for skin care, not least for our children. Toxins are present in most skin care products and even though the quantities may be small, they build up in the body. How many products do you use daily? What is in them? What about your children?

FOODS and some basic truths

Truth number one: EAT CLEAN. This means:

  • foodCook from raw materials (saves you a ton of money 🙂 )
  • Don’t eat prefabricated stuff
  • Stay away from anything that is not natural; fake sugars, weird taste-enhancers, low-fat and/or manipulated dairy-products (milk that lasts forever…), margarine, manipulated vegetable oil (usually called cooking or frying oil).
  • Avoid sugary and fizzy drinks
  • Don’t eat anything that has a number or a coded name; if you can’t read it, don’t eat it.
  • Be careful with your intake of sugars and salt.
  • DO eat; protein, carbohydrates and fat…Real fat, like vegetable oils, butter and cream (if you do dairy).

I have found that when I eat the way my body dictates I am fine. I need to be careful with too much carbs such as flour, bread and pasta and I don’t handle sugar well. I can’t eat many little meals in a day and I need 1-2 days/week without food to stay in balance. For the rest, I’m good. Listening to your body is do-able if your basic diet is clean (see above). If not, you are a food-junkie and your body will be crying for sugars, carbs, manipulated fats and weird taste-enhancers. Then you can’t trust your body so start by cleaning up. An excellent (and easy) way to do that is with the new_elimination_diet_coverELIMINATION DIET from Dax Moy. It is free and you can find it HERE. (and you won’t have to be hungry or calory-count) Trust me, I did it. That’s how I found out that I can’t handle carbs. (While you’re at it, check out Dax Moy’s blog)

Now to the amazing research that has come up: If you fast 2 days/week you get healthier! You lose weight, your “bad” cholesterol goes down as does glucose. And here is the bonus: Your brain stays fitter and produces new brain cells continuously which lowers risks for dementia and Alzheimer’s. Your body actually stays “younger” and healthier, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Check out the research of Luigi Fontana, Valter Longo and Krista Varady Personally I don’t agree with Krista Varaday about eating any crap on “feed-days”, I think you do your body a dis-favour. The basic of all eating is keeping it clean and natural.

My conclusion?  Going back to the times of our origins: Food was not always easy to come by and I truly think we are biological creatures, little changed physically from those ancient times. We are not made to constantly eat, nor are we made to deal with refined sugars or to eat meat every day or even every 2nd or 3rd day, it is a “sometimes-boost”. Our bodies like carbs in the form of nuts and grains. I also believe that we all have different rhythms, needs and patterns. I am not saying that my way is the right way for everybody, just that it works for me. And that makes me believe that if you find what works for you, you will be healthier and stronger as well. And remember; whatever food habits you have are probably set already from childhood, so if you are a parent, pay attention to what you feed your kids.

Healing scents of nature

I found this article in “The Atlantic Cities”

The Smell of Nature Is Almost As Good As the Real Thing, As Far As Our Brains Are Concerned

  • Bonnie Tsui
  • Mar 07, 2013
The Smell of Nature Is Almost As Good As the Real Thing, As Far As Our Brains Are Concerned
Shutterstock

Researchers have been racking up evidence that when you can’t take a break and get into nature itself, looking at photos of it relaxes our brains in a similar way. Now, scientists in Tokyo are building a case that smelling nature — the bracing scent of forest pine or cypress, for instance — lowers our blood pressure dramatically and increases anti-cancer molecules in our bloodstreams.

For the past eight years, Qing Li, an immunologist in the department of hygiene and public health at Tokyo’s Nippon Medical School, has been studying phytoncides, the essential oils and aerosols emitted by plants and trees, and their salutary effects on the human body. Studies had shown that nature visits reduce stress on the nervous system, overloaded as it is in the modern urban environment with its dense living conditions, industrial-grade fumes, and honking horns. Li’s early work showed that walks in the woods boosted natural killer immune cells that helped fight infection and cancer; eventually, he came to suspect that it was the natural scents of evergreens and other trees that did the bulk of the work.

While testing his theory — by sequestering subjects in hotel rooms, some with the benefit of cypress aromatherapy, some without; those who sniffed the phytoncides experienced significant drops in stress hormones and boosted immune cell activity — Li and others founded a Japanese organization to study forest medicine more formally. A few years later, it went global as the International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine; last year, it held its first international symposium on the research and trends on forest therapy worldwide. Following the lead of the Japanese in using phytoncide therapy and other facets of “forest bathing” to boost health are the Finns — led by Liisa Tyrväinen, the Finnish Forest Research Institute is conducting a multi-year research program on forests and human well-being — and the South Koreans, who are opening a new $140 million National Forest Therapy Center in 2014. The wisdom is old: get outside when you can; when you’re stressed, aromatherapy can help. But now the hard science is finally backing it up.

Top image: Pakhnyushcha/Shutterstock.com

Do you give thanks?

Do you? Other than on the obvious occasions, I mean. Think about it; giving thanks and feeling gratitude is uplifting and makes life so much more pleasurable, not to speak about the wonders it does to our health 🙂

I shall give you some examples:

  • When your car starts
  • When you fall and don’t hurt yourself
  • When a space is opened up for you just as you come
  • When the chirping of a bird reminds you of spring coming
  • The garbage collectors for keeping your space clean
  • The road workers for keeping the roads safe
  • When something shows up just when you need it the most
  • A drink of water when you are thirsty

I just thanked my oven for keeping me warm in the snow. What, or who, did you just thank?

The magic of age…

We have reached a time where people live and stay active longer. Gone is the grandma of 50 with one foot in the grave…She has turned into a funky go-getter who is hungry for life and action. The idea of staying young has invaded every aspect of being; how we look, act and dress…We want to stay forever young.

As a woman I am, like every other woman, influenced by society and the “forever young” notion. I look at my sagging jaw-line thinking; “Just a little tuck there and I would look younger”. Though I always know that I won’t do it, I have played with the thought just like every middle-aged woman does, whether she admits it or not. What is shocking is that the thought is there, as easily as the thought of buying groceries or a new dress. What happened to our self-respect?

Women have three very defined periods of their lives; girl-hood, the mature woman and the aged woman. The defining line between these periods is menstruation, it starts and it stops. In our society many women past a certain age feel washed up. It is difficult to find a job, especially if you have chosen to be a mother, even worse; a stay-at-home-mother. (If people only knew what leadership skills a stay-at-hom-mom has, not to mention the organization skills worthy of a general!) We are constantly compared to young women when it comes to looks and in the magazines the models in the pictures are teenagers.

Women fear the onset of menopause, this dreaded thing that marks the place of no return. It doesn’t make sense at all. Women should celebrate this, it is a mark of freedom for a woman. No longer will she have to be prepared to be a mother (and this, trust me, is a purely biological instinct), her children are more or less grown up, she has a stable situation in society and she has a wealth of wisdom. More often than not, this new funky woman is hungry for life and experiences; a new job, travels, trying new things. In the Cathar tradition this was the point when a woman could choose a new path in life, such as priestess (considering that she had more experience about life than most) or a clan-elder. Amongst nature-tribes this changing time for woman has no name, and women hardly suffer any physical symptoms.

Ladies, age is beauty. It looks different but is nonetheless beautiful. The beauty of age is the life-map drawn into a woman’s features; her joy and sorrow, experience, wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Age does not necessarily mean physical deterioration; this is the largest misunderstanding of all. We can stay strong and fit for as long as we like if we respect and take care of ourselves. I can still, at 51, do all the things I did at 20 and I am as strong and healthy as I always was.

Check out this lady for some inspiration: pkg-vassileva-yoga-teacher-guinness-record.reuters

I used to have a fear of aging and now that I have become the aging, I embrace it. The wisdom and patience I have acquired, the knowledge and understanding is mind-blowing. Yes, I miss the easy beauty of youth, but I also remember all my fears and insecurities that no amount of youthful beauty could sooth. In a way I feel like I can now start my life exactly the way I want it and I am counting on plenty of amazing and fun years ahead!

Essential oils as medicines

This is the editorial comment in Medicinal & Aromatic Plants, Vol. 1 issue 1 2012. The editor is Paul Schnitzler,  Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Heidelberg Medical School, Germany.

“Plants produce primary and secondary metabolites, which have been exploited by humans for many different beneficial purposes. Many secondary plant metabolites, e.g. terpenes, terpenoids, alkaloids and phenolic compounds have been well characterized. Essential oils are considered the chemical weapons of plants, as their compounds may deter insects or protect plants against bacterial and fungal infections. They also act as plant pheromones to attract insects. In traditional medicine, lots of plant products have been widely used for the treatment of neurologic diseases, cancer, inflammation and infectious diseases and plants represent an abundant source of new bioactive secondary metabolites.

According to the Communicable Diseases Centre in the US, about one third of prescribed antibiotics were inappropriate thus stating an overuse and misuse of antibiotics. Essential oils are also highly active against multi-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), one of the so-called hospital super bugs, as well as more common and well-known infections like herpes labialis. In addition to antibacterial and antiviral effects, essential oils have been shown to possess many useful pharmacological properties, often being more effective than conventional drugs and revealing fewer side effects.

Oregano oil gland

Although the number of published papers on anti-infective properties of medicinal plants is increasing during the last years, most of these papers seem to somehow disappear and do not attract physicians and pharmacologists. On the other side, there is often lack of finance to continue research to the clinical trial level. This area is largely dominated by pharmaceutical companies, who can afford costly clinical trials. It also seems that natural and complementary therapies are pushed aside by pharmaceutical companies.

Although there is no shortage of research on the antimicrobial effects of medicinal and aromatic plants, it is somehow ignored in industrialized countries. Prescribed drugs are more convenient for patients and physicians, although natural products might offer an alternative in treatment of many different diseases. In resource-limited countries, conventional medications are often not affordable or not available and consequently natural products are the medication of choice.

Our goal is to provide scientific results that can be reproduced by others, thus standardized plant products are required. If more standardized and only high quality natural products are used in basic research as well as in clinical trials, the critics might be convinced and acceptance of medicinal plant products might be increased. Investigators are also encouraged to explore the potential of phytopreparations in combination with synthetic drugs in order to enhance pharmacological actions. High quality plant products and more clinical trials are urgently needed to establish rational phytotherapy.”