Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hungry for Change Opportunity

Hey!  I don't have a blog post planned or written for today.  I've been feeling somewhat preoccupied lately.  I would like to take this opportunity though to tell you all about an amazing opportunity.  The new documentary Hungry for Change is available for viewing online for free!  It is just until the end of March though, so you've only got 3 days left.

Hungry for Change is from the makers of Food Matters which I raved about in this post.  While Food Matters focused on using food as medicine and treating chronic illness with diet and vitamins, Hungry for Change is more geared towards "created lasting weight loss, abundant energy, and vibrant health."

I have to admit I haven't found the time to watch it yet either, but I definitely will, and there will be a post to follow soon after.  Go to the page to view it for free here: Free Worldwide Online Premiere or check out the trailer below to spark your interest.  I want to hear your opinions on my blog post about it!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Next Generation Water Bottles

Yesterday was my birthday, and I am honoured to share it with World Water Day.  Brad got me a very fitting present to suit both occasions, a stainless steel filtered water bottle from The Water Geeks!  This is my sweet yellow one:

Apparently this brand is a pretty big deal in the States.  We are lucky enough to have a showroom here in our city in Canada.  Brad was able to go in a make an individual purchase there.  The filter eliminates chlorine, bad taste, odor, chromium, VOCs (volatile organic compounds, eg formaldehyde), and heavy metals in water.  I use it daily to filter our tap water.  It will also be great in the summer when going hiking or camping because I can put any fresh water from creeks, lakes, etc into the bottle and the filter will make it safe to drink.

You too can enjoy healthy, safer, great tasting water anytime, anywhere while also eliminating the cost and waste of bottled water.  This will save you time, money, and the environment.  One filter (which comes with your water bottle) can filter 400 full 24 oz bottles of water before needing to be replaced.  Plus, these water bottles are very reasonably priced, no more than a regular water bottle.  There are lots of different styles and other products as well.  I encourage you to check out their site here

Also, in celebration of World Water Day, here is a list of 10 simple, easy ways to conserve more water at Take Part, and a water footprint calculator from National Geographic.

How do you save water?

Monday, March 19, 2012

One Ingredient Headache Relief

This is a remedy I have been using for a long time now, but I always seem to forget to write about it.  Today I am finally exposing one of my most used natural remedies.  Through high school and college I used to have headaches quite frequently.  Each time one struck I would take 1000 mg (2 extra strength) of Tylonel. The drug in Tylonel, acetaminophen, can cause liver damage from chronic use or large doses.  I knew this wasn't good for me, but waiting out the pain of a headache for hours wasn't very appealing either.  I wanted to find an alternative, and it was one of the first things I looked up in my book 1001 Natural Remedies by Laurel Vukovic.  Here is it.

The simplest, most effective way I have found to relieve a headache is a lavender massage.  I dab a couple drops of lavender essential oil on my fingers and use that to massage my temples.  I close my eyes and breath deeply while doing this.  I was shocked the first time I tried it by how quickly it works!  In my experience, this remedy is nothing short of amazing.  Lavender has soothing and calming properties which make it ideal as a tonic for the nervous system.  It emotionally refreshes and relaxes while physically relieving tension and pain.  I luckily do not suffer from migraine headaches, but I have read that lavender works to treat even those as well. Note:  Most essential oils cannot be applied to the skin undiluted, lavender is an exception.

Other options for its use would be to add the lavender essential oils to a carrier oil for a larger massage, make a soothing eye pillow containing dried lavender, a tutorial for which you can find here, or add a few drops of the essential oil to a bath and soak.

Warning:  There are certain circumstances where using lavender would be inadvisable, such as being pregnant or nursing or while taking certain prescription medications.  Always check first if you have concerns.

How do you treat headaches naturally?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Natural Zit Zapper

During boxing week sales after Christmas, I had to stop in at one of my favourite stores, Saje.  A bunch of products were on for half off, so I decided to purchase and try out the "Zap" roll on acne treatment.  It is an essential oil blend of tea tree, geranium, lavender, patchouli, and a few others.  This blend is specially designed to eliminate bacteria, reduce excess oil, and promote healing for blemishes.  It is used as a spot treatment on acne.  I have been using it twice daily, and it is amazingly effective!  I recently went for 3 weeks without washing my face at all, I only used this as a spot treatment as necessary.

I realize that most people reading this don't have access to a Saje store (since they are only in BC, Canada), though you can order online.  Another option I thought of though is to make your own!  I will admit, when I took my newly purchased Zap home and read the ingredients, I felt a little ripped off (and thankful I got it for half off).  I had lavender and tea tree essential oils at home already.

So, I recommend to any of you looking for an acne spot treatment to make your own version of this.  Simply combine tea tree and lavender essential oils, perhaps geranium or patchouli as well if you have them.  Then you can dab it on as necessary using a q-tip or some other reusable alternative I haven't thought of yet.  That is what I am planning to do when my Zap bottle runs out.

What natural treatments do you use on acne?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Homemade Cracker Mystery

A while back Brad and I made homemade crackers.  They were crunchy and tasty, but I had completely forgotten about them until yesterday when I came across these photos in my "to blog" folder.


I scrambled to Pinterest to get the recipe for them again, and the blog has been removed!  I couldn't believe it.  Such disappointment.  So today I am turning to you.

I want to hear your homemade cracker recipes!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Message from the Movies: The Lorax

Last night my friend, her boy, Brad, and I ventured to the theatres to watch the film of The Lorax (not in 3D).  I love Dr Seuss' book and the environmental message it carries, and thus I had been really excited for the movie.  The Lorax, both book and film, have strong environmental themes regarding deforestation and water and air pollution.  It also speaks against greed and the capitalist system.

The Lorax is the guardian of the forest.  When a young man comes in and begins chopping down trees to make his thneeds, the Lorax tries to convince him to stop.  It is to no avail though as the young man's own desires outweigh his conscious as he does whatever he needs to continue "bigger-ing and bigger-ing" his company and wealth.  The forest, animals, and all of nature pay the price until there is nothing left.  In the film, history somewhat repeats itself as the citizens of Thneedville live their lives in completely artificial environments having to purchase even bottled air to breathe.  Until a couple of kids decided they do still care about the trees, that is.

I believe that caring is the ultimate message of this story.  That is what I hope children and adults alike will take away from the book or the film. Care about what you're doing to the planet and yourself.

Unfortunately at the end of the movie when I left the theater, I didn't feel quite as moved or inspired as I had hoped I would.  The movie was still enjoyable, and it carried a great message with it.  I just didn't find anything too special about it.  The Lorax certainly wasn't up to the standards set by WALL-E.  Now there is an environmentally charged film everyone should check out!

Have you seen The Lorax or WALL-E?  What did you think?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Is Antiperspirant Really Dangerous?

Well, I'm going to pretend that I'm not disappointed in finding only one comment on the Natural Deodorant Stick Recipe (despite the 226 pageviews it has received in one week), and I'm going to continue on with that topic.  In my last post, as I've mentioned, I gave a recipe for a homemade deodorant stick which my husband and I have both used to replace our mainstream antiperspirants.  Here is why people would even want to.  Clarification:  Antiperspirant is used to prevent sweating, while deodorant just masks the body odor.  When considering mainstream options, the deodorant is probably still not good to be putting on your skin daily.

While the American National Institutes of Health have not found any "conclusive evidence"  linking antiperspirant usage to breast cancer, there certainly appears to be a connection.  The American National Cancer Institute reports:
Aluminum-based compounds are used as the active ingredient in antiperspirants. These compounds form a temporary plug within the sweat duct that stops the flow of sweat to the skin's surface. Some research suggests that aluminum-based compounds, which are applied frequently and left on the skin near the breast, may be absorbed by the skin and cause estrogen-like (hormonal) effects. Because estrogen has the ability to promote the growth of breast cancer cells, some scientists have suggested that the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer.
 The aluminum compound found in many antiperspirants and deodorants is aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex, which is a known to cause cancer and has other health concerns as well.

As I've mentioned previously, we absorb everything through our skin.  There are all sorts of other chemicals and potentially toxic ingredients in mainstream antiperspirants and deodorants just the same as any other beauty or cosmetic product.  Check out EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database to see how your antiperspirant or deodorant rates.

According to the Live Strong website the aluminum in antiperspirants may also be linked to kidney problems.  A warning label is required by the FDA to be carried by any antiperspirants containing aluminum.  They say it is just a precaution for those with kidney disease, though I find it somewhat suspicious.

Though there are rumors saying otherwise, from what I have researched, a toxin build ups is not a concern.  I do wonder however if there is something wrong with prevent our body from doing what it is natural designed to do, which is sweat.

On another note, mainstream antiperspirants and deodorants are not cheap, and it only gets more expensive if you seek out store bought natural alternatives.  Making your own can save you $4-6 on each stick.

What do you think of antiperspirant?