Monday, April 30, 2012

Eat Green: Chlorophyll

When Brad and I signed up for a Nature's Sunshine discount card, we received a couple free gifts.  One was Nature's Sunshine Liquid Chlorophyll.  Now, I had only heard of chlorophyll before in my science classes.  Chlorophyll is the molecule in plants which makes them green.  It is also responsible for the process of photosynthesis, using the sun's energy to turn carbon dioxide and water into sugar (for the plant) and oxygen (for us).  That was the extent of my knowledge on photosynthesis.  I had no idea why I would want to intentionally consume it.  The bottle of liquid chlorophyll sat around unopened for a while until I noticed them mentioning the benefits of chlorophyll in the Hungry For Change documentary.  In fact, they included it as #2 in the Hungry for Change 10 Step Action Plan.  I, of course, had always heard that you should "eat your greens," and now I know that chlorophyll is the reason why.

The Nature's Sunshine brand in particular isn't refined, highly processed, or sweetened.

So why should we make sure we get lots of greens?
-the Hungry for Change crew promoted chlorophyll for its cleansing and detoxifying action in our bodies
-is an antioxidant
-fights infections and promotes healing
-increases the quantity and quality of red blood cells (its molecular structure is identical to hemoglobin)
-binds to and removes toxic heavy metals (such as mercury from dental fillings, etc) in the body
-prevents cancer by protecting healthy cells from carcinogens
-treats bad breath by deodorizing the mouth and throat

How do we make sure we get lots of chlorophyll?
 -eat it in natural food sources: spinach, romaine lettuce, kale, broccoli, green peppers, peas, brussel sprouts, green olives, sea vegetables, algae, anything green
-drink it: liquid chlorophyll is a concentrated option that can be added to water, juice, or smoothies, and it is nearly tasteless, or juice your own green veggies

How do you eat (or drink) green?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Natural Drain Cleaner Fail

My husband is a scientist which means periodically we do science experiments in our house.  Yesterday we made a volcano in our shower drain.  Why, you ask.  Because I keep reading and hearing that vinegar and baking soda are the best non toxic drain cleaner.  I pretty well shed like a dog, and my hair has the nasty tendency to clog up our shower drain.  In the past a plunger has always done the trick, but that is no longer working.  I didn't want to use Drano, and I already had baking soda and vinegar in the house.

We put:
-1/8 c baking soda
-1/8 c vinegar
down the drain and shut the plug.  We allowed that to sit for about 30 minutes.  Then we poured hot water down the drain for about 2 minutes.  That step almost killed me with guilt for the waste of water.

The results: It didn't work.  Having the shower run for a few minutes still resulted in the tub filling up.  I have heard so many people talk about this though, so I know it must work.  I am turning to you now to ask for your experiences with this.

What did I do wrong?

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Monday, April 16, 2012

The Power of Tea Series: Peppermint

Whenever I have an upset stomach of many kinds, I turn to peppermint tea.  I have used it to alleviate nausea from the flu, stomach muscle cramps or spasms, and even uneasiness from anxiety.  It can also relax a stressed out mind.  This is one tea that I will recommended to most anyone.  I actually use tea bags for peppermint tea, but this is how you could do loose leaf as well.

Peppermint Tea
-2 cups boiling water
-a few peppermint leaves

Peppermint tea has a refreshing minty scent as well as flavour.   It leaves a cool aftertaste similar to that of mint gum.  The high menthol content is believed to be the soothing component.  I find that it starts working quickly and effectively.  Here are some other benefits to mint tea also:
-eases vomiting
-controls intestinal gas
-freshens breath
-relieves symptoms of colds and allergies
-improves digestion
-treats irritable bowl syndrome

Do you drink peppermint tea?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Power of Tea Series: Ginger

At the beginning of March I had a killer cold.  At first I thought it was the allergy season starting, but then it got worse and worse.  I was constantly having to blow my nose but there was no relief in my congestion.  I could hardly get out of bed because of the pressure in my head.  This is when I knew it had to be more than just allergies.  I immediately began looking for a herbal tea to soothe my symptoms and help my body heal.  My choice was ginger.

Ginger Tea
-2 cups boiling water
-1 inch piece of ginger - I used fresh, but you could also use dried or powdered
-optional: honey, thought I don't find this necessary

The effects of the ginger tea were noticeable within the hour.  Ginger helps break up the mucus and flush it out.  I could breath much better through my nose.  I was still blowing my nose a lot, but I was getting some relief from it.  It helped significantly with my congestion.  I believe it also helped my immune system fight off the infection and get healthy quicker.  I sipped on this all throughout the day even taking it with me while going out.

I used ginger tea for its power against congestion, but there are also many other benefits.  Here are some:
-treatment for motion sickness (Gravol has even made a ginger chewable pill)
-heartburn relief
-treats nausea and morning sickness
-treats menstrual cramps
-sore throat relief - I have written about this before as well in this post

Have you ever had ginger tea?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Power of Tea Series: Cinnamon

I love tea.  It's been a sudden and powerful love that has grown quickly.  Actually I should be more specific.  I love herbal tea.  For years I never considered drinking tea nor coffee.  I still don't drink coffee.  First I drank it because it was something healthy and warm I could drink through the winter.  Now as I've gotten more into this natural lifestyle and home remedies, I have discovered the healing power of tea.  That is the inspiration for this series.

Cinnamon is such a wonderful experience for many of the senses.  Fortunately it also has many health benefits.  The first time I ever drank cinnamon tea was when I was sick with the flu.  I had read that it is helpful in alleviating nausea, and at 2 in the morning I was desperate for anything I could find in the house already.

Cinnamon Tea
-approx 4 sticks of cinnamon
-2 cups boiling water
-optional: add honey to sweeten, though I find this unnecessary

Simmer cinnamon sticks in boiling water.  Allow to steep and cool to a comfortable temperature for drinking. 
I think mason jars are perfect for making huge cups for tea.

It was very effective and quite tasty.  The smell of the cinnamon was the best part.  It had a soothing effect on my stomach and helped me be able to get back to sleep.  I was so happy with the results, I looked into cinnamon further and discovered that it has many other health benefits as well.  Here are a few:
-improves circulation
-eases cold symptoms
-eases flu symptoms and upset stomachs
-alleviates indigestion
-acts as an aid to menstrual symptoms
-even found to aid in weight loss

What are your thoughts on cinnamon tea?  What other teas would you like to see featured in this series?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Hungry for Change Discussion

The evening after posting about the Hungry for Change free worldwide online premiere, I made it a priority to sit down and watch it myself.  I am so happy that I did.  I hope that some of you did as well.  Though it is somewhat advertised as a film about weight loss, which it certainly does discuss, I have never gone on a diet and have very little desire to lose much weight, and I still found tons of material I can apply to my life.

Hungry for Change was an inspiring and informative documentary.  On their website it says,
In 'Hungry For Change' you'll discover:
  • How to navigate your supermarket - what to buy and what to avoid
  • The real truth behind "DIET", "SUGAR-FREE" and "FAT-FREE" products
  • How to overcome food addictions and cravings
  • Why fad diets don't work
  • What food additives to avoid and how to read labels
  • What is fat and cellulite and how do we get rid of it for good
  • The most effective detox and cleansing strategies, and
  • How to eat for clear eyes, glowing skin and healthy hair 
And it delivers!  There were so many interesting and important topics discussed in detail using scientific facts to back up the message.  There were many experts, nutritionists, doctors, authors, people who experienced real life transformations and more who were willing to share their expertise in the area of food and its effects on our bodies.  The main point I think the film made was that there is no "diet," in the sense of going on a diet, that will have long term benefits.  Weight loss and management and health can only come from living a healthy, natural lifestyle and eating real food.

What I really loved about Hungry for Change was that it was an empowering film.  After watching I felt like I now possessed the knowledge and the practical tips to realistically change my life.  I think this should be mandatory viewing for all adults and even children.  There is still a promotion going on now where you can watch the first 20 minutes for free here online.  If you missed out on the full film, I think the 20 minutes are worth it.

Did you watch Hungry for Change?  What did you think?