Is your mind/thoughts affecting your health?

During this time in my life I am once again evaluating my diet and health.  I have had numerous confirmations on the topic of your mindset and its correlation to your health.  They are intertwined with each other.

As I have struggled with weight loss many times in my past one of the major organs to my overall health has been compromised.  I have tried with success for a time a low calorie, low carb diet which allowed me to lose weight quickly and keep it off.  However, a few years later and many more health issues I am back to where I started from.  One of those organs is my thyroid.  After numerous talks on the effects of negative thinking I did a quick study on what is the root cause of a low thyroid….  you know what I found out?    Your emotions play a big role in the breakdown of your health.

If you are an emotional stuffer (you stuff your feelings until a later time) this does and will cause health problems down the line.  The anger that you don’t want to deal with today will over time cause negative health issues down the road.

While this post does not discuss an herb or alternative health option, you should know that no matter what diet plan you follow or medication you take that if you don’t start addressing the root/core cause of the issue it will not go away.  You may just subdue your symptoms for a time but if you want total restoration in your body then it is VITAL that you change your mindset.

The first step is prayer, take EVERYTHING to prayer.  Oftentimes we are wanting to control things our way instead of understanding that there is a reason and purpose for our pain.  If you are sad, angry, etc., about something then the only way to overcome these problems is to share with a loved one or friend and then pray for the next course of action.

If you want to see first hand how your mind affects your health do your experiment at home.  Here is a video on how words can also affect food:

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Can onions help your cold or flu?

I shared this post four years ago and it is still prevalent today!  I highly recommend trying this if you haven’t already. 

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For those who are suffering from colds and flus you might want to pay attention!  Several months ago our family was suffering the typical cold/allergy bug that was being passed around, all except one family member.  When I asked the child in question what she was doing differently that she wasn’t suffering at all like we were she told me that she had read somewhere to put an onion in your room and it will keep the virus away.  Well!!!!, since I had been suffering for a week and had massive fluid in my ears that was keeping me from hearing and talking I thought I would give it a try.  A few days later I too was feeling better! 🙂

I have since kept an onion in my room and have placed them in other areas when the virus starts picking up at work and so far we have avoided any further problems.  I had also read that putting onions on your feet at night will help pull toxins from the body.  I have not tried that option but may do so in the future.  I have passed the word along to several of my skeptical coworkers which some have later told me that it did help!

One of the first questions I get is will my house smell like onions, well for me being able to breathe as opposed to my house smelling like onions is a simple answer!  However, each person is different.  For the record though, I don’t believe it does since the onion is absorbing the bacteria in the air.  Once the onion changes colors, get rid of it and replace it with a new one if the bug season is still in effect. All you do is take a white onion cut it in half and put it in the rooms that you spend the most time but most definitely in your bedroom.  That is all!

REMEMBER: DO NOT USE THE ONION THAT YOU PUT OUT IN YOUR HOUSE IN YOUR COOKING! THROW IT AWAY AND GET A FRESH ONE!

Now; snopes.com will tell you that this does not work.  However, I will tell you that it did help myself and some of my family members as well as some of my coworkers.  I have even talked to a few people who have confirmed that this does work. I will include some resources so you can decide for yourself.

Sites that claim it does work or can at least help:
http://urbanlegendsonline.com/onions-absorb-flu-virus-and-common-cold-bacteria/ (this site also discusses onions in potato salad being the problem and not mayonnaise
http://www.no-dig-vegetablegarden.com/onions-can-flu-virus-be-absorbed-in-onions.html
http://healthybliss.net/healing-power-of-onions-can-onions-absorb-bacteria-viruses-and-flu/
http://www.thereadystore.com/multipurposing/5166/12-onion-uses-cry-for-joy/
http://www.earthclinic.com/Remedies/onions.html
http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/onion-flu-remedy/

Sites claiming it doesn’t work:
http://www.snopes.com/medical/swineflu/onion.asp
http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/medical/a/swine_flu_facts_onions_and_flu.htm
http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2013/01/21/will-onions-keep-kids-healthy/

If you have had experience with using the onion cure, please comment below!

Are you ready? Are you sure?

Yes, despite all the changing weather patterns of warm, cold, cool, then bitter cold and just plain all around “weather go round” it will be about that time to start deciding on garden plots, container gardening, window gardening or even just taking a break and watching the neighbor work the ground.  Have you put together your geographical plans and decided on seeds?  Until the weather starts getting warm and staying that way it is hard for me to get motivated on my plans.  Even though I am busy as the majority of the population is, I am hoping to do something this year even if is small.

I have been reading some really great articles on Farmer’s Almanac and this is one of them that stuck out to me.  The theme keeps coming up in my life that we need to keep things diverse and not repeat the same patterns over and over again.  This is especially true when it comes to your garden, it is important to rotate and switch things out every year even if you are using a container box and not in-ground planting.

Crop rotation is key to a successful vegetable garden after the first year.  It’s important to grow vegetables in different areas of your garden each year to keep them healthy and combat pests

However, it can be difficult to plan the order of crop rotation and organize well, particularly if you are growing different amounts of a variety of crops.

This video explains a simple colour-coded method of crop rotation that makes the whole process much simpler and shows how the Garden Planner software can help.

The Garden Planner is available here: https://gardenplanner.almanac.com

ROTATING CROPS BY COLORS OF THE RAINBOW

A better way to rotate annual vegetables is to group them by their plant family. This means you can group plants with similar maintenance requirements together. For instance, all plants in the cabbage family are best grown together to make it easier to net them against cabbage white butterfly and birds—and there’s no risk of accidentally passing on crop-specific soil-dwelling pests and diseases to the next crop.

A handy way to set crop order is to give each plant family a shade relating to the colors of the rainbow, as shown below.

CROP ROTATION CHART BY PLANTING YEAR, COLOR, AND PLANT FAMILY

croprotation.png

Working from the inside of the rainbow out, you can see which plants belong together and which should come next in each bed. The rotation starts with lilacs and blues—onion family plants and peas/beans—which are commonly grown together as they both like soil enriched with compost and take up little space. Once you’ve harvested your onions and leeks from your first bed, the next crop in that spot would be cabbages, cauliflower and broccoli and so on, for the first seven categories.

Using this order of rotation is optional but it helps to make sure that the soil is in the correct condition for the following crop.

Plants in the Miscellaneous (grey) category are useful for plugging gaps in your beds as they don’t tend to suffer badly from particular soil-borne pests and diseases, and can be fitted in anywhere you have room, although it’s still a good idea to move them around from year to year as much as possible, particularly sweet corn which can suffer from rootworm.

If you haven’t signed up for the Farmer’s Alamanc I would highly recommend it.  There are many great gardening suggestions and tips for the beginner and advanced “green thumb”

Happy Gardening!! 🙂

Planning your next garden or landscape?

One concept to consider when you are planning and purchasing items for your garden or landscape project is; how well will your plants not only grow together but will they do better in solitude or with companion plants?  While learning about herbs and vegetables, we have found that it is important for survival for some species to grow together than with another one.   Companion planting will ensure the survival of your garden by keeping bugs or other problems for the plant at bay instead of attracting what can kill your garden if not planted appropriately.

The discussion below brings to mind that some plants will thrive if they are planted with others instead of alone..  It is definitely something worth considering:

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

THE AMAZING HEALTH BENEFITS OF APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
The Amazing Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
January 8, 2016
byThrive Market

What if there was a healthy, organic, and cheap miracle tonic that could facilitate digestion and detoxification, aid in weight loss, cure acne, and bring on shiny hair? Well, there is such a thing. It’s called apple cider vinegar.

Also known as ACV, this fermented liquid is loaded with friendly bacteria, which is what has made it such an obsession within the natural health community for years. But it’s not just a folk remedy—more and more of its health benefits are being proven with both anecdotal and scientific evidence, turning apple cider vinegar from hippie favorite to mainstream phenomenon in just a few years.

What is apple cider vinegar?

ACV is a vinegar made by crushing apples, squeezing out the liquid, and adding yeast in order to ferment its sugars. The liquid is converted into alcohol, to which bacteria is then added. As it’s allowed to ferment more, it develops acetic acid, which is the main compound and active ingredient in apple cider vinegar.

The result of this fermentation process is a light brown, murky liquid. It differs from distilled white vinegar mainly because it contains the “mother,” a cloudy sediment seen within the bottle, which boasts small amounts of proteins, enzymes, amino acids, and fiber—particularly pectin from the apples—as well as plenty of “good” bacteria, giving raw ACV tons of probiotic power. The best-quality ACV is organic, raw, undistilled, and unfiltered, like Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar.

This is What Apple Cider Vinegar Looks Like

Acetic acid makes ACV special

Despite some claims, ACV hasn’t exactly been found to contain high levels of nutrients and minerals. (However, some believe it may contain phytochemicals, which exist in plants to help them endure environmental stress; potentially these phytochemicals could do the same for humans.) But, one thing ACV is high in: acetic acid.

Acetic acid is naturally antimicrobial, which means it can kill bacteria and pathogens. This is what gives ACV such power to clean and disinfect. Some body ailments that it can purportedly cure, when used topically, are:

  • Nail fungus
  • Lice
  • Warts
  • Ear infections

Acetic acid is known to inhibit E.coli, which means ACV makes a great ingredient in preserving and pickling foods such as garlic and cucumbers. But acetic acid has tons of health benefits, too.

How ACV benefits weight loss

While the research on apple cider vinegar’s direct effect on weight loss are inconclusive, there are a number of processes it can affect that ultimately help with dropping pounds:

  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Improves insulin sensitivity
  • Aids digestion
  • Helps to detoxify the body

Lowers blood sugar

Also known as blood glucose, blood sugar is the concentration of glucose in the blood. High blood sugar occurs when the body either can’t make insulin or can’t respond to it properly—and the condition can accelerate aging and increase the risk of chronic diseases. People with diabetes may experience a glucose build-up in the blood (hyperglycemia), which can damage blood vessels and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve issues.

But research suggests ACV might help lower blood sugar. One study in the American Diabetes Foundation’s journal, Diabetes Care, found that diabetic individuals who ingested two tablespoons of ACV at bedtimeexperienced lower blood sugar levels upon waking.

Increases insulin sensitivity

Insulin is a hormone that helps the body absorb nutrients from food to use as energy. Eating carbohydrates increases blood sugar, and then the pancreas releases insulin to carry the sugar from the bloodstream to the organs. But a diet with excess carbs and sugars can decrease insulin sensitivity, meaning we need to produce higher-than-normal levels of insulin just to keep blood sugar stable. This makes it difficult for the body to convert carbs into energy, and instead it stores them as fat.

ACV may help increase insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant subjects, according to another study published inDiabetes Care.

Aids digestion

Enzymes in apple cider vinegar, as well as the fiber from the “mother,” may help the digestive process. Just like other acids, acetic acid can help the body to effectively absorb minerals from food. Scientists also believe that ACV can inhibit the digestion of starch, leading to fewer calories entering the bloodstream.

“THE ANTIGLYCEMIC EFFECT OF ACETIC ACID, THE ACTIVE INGREDIENT IN VINEGAR, HAS BEEN ATTRIBUTED TO REDUCED STARCH DIGESTION AND/OR DELAYED GASTRIC EMPTYING.” —ANDREA M. WHITE, PHD AND CAROL S. JOHNSTON, PHD

The “mother” also contains pectin, which can help to firm up stool and allow for healthy bowel movements, too. Because of these digestive benefits, ACV helps the body detox and can potentially lessen the workload of the liver.

Heart health benefits of ACV

As mentioned above, apple cider vinegar can help lower blood sugar, which already provides benefits to heart health. But there’s more.

Excessive LDL, also known as “bad” cholesterol, in the arteries increases the risk of serious cardiovascular conditions such as heart disease and hypertension. The acetic acid in ACV has shown to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol, according to a study published in the journal, Life Science:

“IN GENERAL, THE PRESENT STUDY INDICATED THAT CONSUMPTION OF APPLE CIDER VINEGAR CAN REDUCE THE LDL, TRIGLYCERIDE, AND CHOLESTEROL LEVELS IN PATIENTS WITH HYPERLIPIDEMIA. BESIDES, GIVEN THAT HYPERLIPIDEMIA IS A KNOWN RISK FACTOR FOR ATHEROSCLEROSIS, APPLE CIDER VINEGAR CAN BE USED TO PREVENT AND EVEN TREAT THIS COMPLICATION AND PROBABLY OTHER HEART PROBLEMS.”

Another study published in the journal, Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry found that the acetic acid in vinegar lowered blood pressure in rats, which also shows potential to improve cardiovascular health in humans.

ACV’s effect on cancer

The effects of ACV on cancer are largely contradictory and inconclusive. Various studies purport that ingesting vinegar can kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. One specific study found that ACV decreased esophageal cancer risk, but another indicated that it increases the risk of bladder cancer.

Side effects of apple cider vinegar

If the health benefits of ACV have you fired up and ready to take a swig of it, not so fast! Drinking too much undiluted apple cider vinegar can have some side effects:

  • Erosion of tooth enamel: Some people think ACV can help whiten teeth. That might be true, but it’s likely because it wears away the tooth enamel, which can ultimately lead to tooth decay. Because of its acidity, ACV is not ideal for dental care.
  • Aggravation of the esophageal wall: Another side effect of ACV’s acidity, drinking it undiluted for a prolonged period, can harm the esophageal wall.
  • Low potassium levels: In some cases, ACV may interact with prescription medication and decrease potassium, which is essential for kidney health.
  • Hypoglycemia: Since ACV has the ability to reduce blood sugar levels, some users, particularly those with type 2 diabetes, may experience abnormally low blood sugar. It’s a good idea to monitor blood sugar levels with a physician.

Maple-ACV Tonic

How to use ACV

Be sure to dilute ACV with water or other liquids when drinking. Try this tonic recipefor a miracle beverage that may:

  • boost digestive health
  • reduce fatigue and energize the body
  • suppress appetite
  • reduce water retention
  • settle tummy troubles
  • promote weight loss

Cook with it

Tossing it back isn’t the only way to ingest ACV—it’s a great healthy cooking staple. The punchy, sparkly-sour taste adds brightness to many dishes—especially salad. For the only salad dressing you’ll ever need, simply mix up these ingredients:

Here are some other super healthy, yummy recipes using ACV:

ACV + honey

Mixing apple cider vinegar with honey is believed to make powerful elixir. Some of the claims surrounding this drink are:

  • Relieves joint pain
  • Alleviates inflammation
  • Soothes chronic sore throat

After drinking ACV and honey first thing in the morning every day a month, one author at Simple Organic Life reported big changes. Her intense heartburn and frequent constipation and diarrhea subsided, she lost weight, felt more energetic throughout the day, and even noticed she no longer had bad breath in the morning.

To whip up your own ACV-and-honey tea, stir 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon raw honey into a cup of hot water. Sip it every morning, followed by a few glasses of water.

Apple cider vinegar around the house

Ready to banish bleach and other harmful, endocrine-disrupting, chemical cleaners from your home? ACV is a great alternative. Make an easy, powerful degreaser by combining equal parts apple cider vinegar and water. Pour into a spray bottle, shake, and spritz. This solution also works as a mildew spray for the shower.

A rich, all-natural wood polish is another great DIY cleaner: Combine ¼ cup ACV with 2 cups water and 2 tablespoons olive oil.

If the pungent scent of ACV has you missing conventional cleaners, no problem! Just add several drops of your favorite essential oil to your liking. For squeaky-clean freshness, we like lemon.

Apple cider vinegar can work wonders in the yard, too, especially as a safe, natural, and eco-friendly weed killer.Here’s the how-to:

  • Mix ½ gallon of ACV with ¼ cup table salt and ½ teaspoon liquid dish soap.
  • Spray the concoction directly onto unwanted weeds. Be careful to use it strictly as a spot treatment since it can kill other plants as well.

On the flip side, ACV can potentially act as a fertilizer to certain plants that love acidic soil, such as blueberry bushes, hydrangeas, and hibiscus. Mix 10 ounces of ACV with 10 gallons of water and pour on soil to help cultivate these plants.

Surprising ways to use ACV in beauty

Guess what? Some of our favorite ways to use ACV involve beauty—and we’re not alone. Its popularity as a beauty staple is growing every day. Here are two foolproof ways to use apple cider vinegar for amazing hair and skin.

Shampoo with baking soda, rinse with ACV

Famously known as the “no poo” method, this revolutionary hair routine involves “shampooing” hair with baking soda, and conditioning with ACV. The theory is that using this base and acid combo balances the hair’s pH. But since baking soda is highly basic, with a pH of 9, it might do more damage than good for the hair. According to Audrey Kunin, MD, author of the book DermaDoctor SkinStruction Manual: The Smart Guide to Healthy, Beautiful Skin and Looking Good at Any Age:

“ALKALINE SHAMPOOS STRIP THE HAIR’S NATURAL OILS AND DISRUPT THE ACID MANTLE, CAUSING DEHYDRATION AND LEADING TO POROUS, FRAGILE HAIR.”

However, an ACV rinse doesn’t seem to pose such risks—in fact, it can help offset that kind of damage. Each strand of hair is protected by a cuticle comprised of tightly woven scales that lay flat against the shaft and reflect light. When the hair’s normally acidic pH balance goes out of whack from a buildup of alkaline hair products, the cuticle comes undone, leaving hair prone to breakage and giving it a frizzy, dull appearance.

The acidity of ACV can rescue hair by restoring pH balance to help repair the cuticle. The result: ultra-shiny hair! Raw, unfiltered ACV also has natural alpha-hydroxy acid that can gently exfoliate the scalp and hair to remove dead skin cells and product buildup, so depending on your hair and scalp, after using it for awhile, you might be able to skip shampoo altogether.

Try this formula for the perfect ACV conditioning hair rinse:

Put ingredients into a spray bottle and shake every time before use. In the shower, spray solution generously onto wet hair, work into scalp and strands, and rinse.

DIY ACV Rinse

Apple cider vinegar as a toner

Apple cider vinegar’s pH-balancing properties and alpha hydroxy content also gives it major skin benefits. You can use ACV as the base for a DIY pore-cleansing toner that’s antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, acne-fighting, and exfoliating—and it’s so easy to make. Check out the recipe here.

ACV for dogs and cats

Yes, apple cider vinegar can do good for your furry friends, too! Fleas despise the acidic taste of ACV, so try adding a little of this vinegar to your pet’s drinking water. For a 40-pound dog, add one teaspoon ACV to one quart of water (adjust according to the animal’s weight). For both dogs and cats, a diluted 1-1 mixture of ACV and water can be sprayed directly onto their fur and skin. (Dilution is especially important for cats, who tend to have more sensitive skin.)

Go to thrivemarket.com for more details….

Helpful Turmeric tonic to balance ph

I have been amazed at how beneficial turmeric is to the body.  Personally, I have not tried this drink but it is something that I would like to do especially as I am getting older:

 

Inflammation, acidity, or feeling foggy are common symptoms of a body out of balance. Boost your immune system, lower your pain levels and support alkalinity with this healing turmeric tonic.

Ingredients:

1 lemon, juiced
half oz turmeric juice or half tsp. turmeric powder
half tbsp. unpasteurized honey
pinch of salt
1 cup fresh spring water

Directions:

Juice lemon and turmeric and combine it with your other ingredients in a glass jar. Store in the fridge or enjoy right away.

http://theheartysoul.com/turmeric-tonic/?t=NSM

Can turmeric help with depression?

I read an interesting article recently suggesting that turmeric can help with symptoms of depression.  A year ago a friend told me about turmeric for pain and inflammation but was not aware it could help with moods….  I have decided to give it a try and see what happens. One way to ensure that the supplement you are using does not have added ingredients, is to purchase empty vegetable capsules and put the turmeric powder in yourself.

Q
Turmeric for Depression?
Is it true that turmeric is useful for treating depression?

A
Answer (Published 8/26/2011)
It may turn out to be helpful. Turmeric, the yellow spice that colors curry and American yellow mustard, is a potent natural anti-inflammatory agent. Its active constituent, curcumin, has shown promise as an antidepressant in animal models, and curcumin also has been found to enhance nerve growth in the frontal cortex and hippocampal areas of the brain. Researchers in India have suggested performing clinical trials on humans to explore turmeric’s efficacy as a novel antidepressant.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil’s Vitamin Advisor for Mood Support – A healthy outlook on life is a cornerstone of optimal health. The good news: proper diet, lifestyle, exercise and prudent supplemental nutrition can all help support an optimistic disposition. Learn more, and get your free, personalized Dr. Weil’s Vitamin Advisor Recommendation today.

Because turmeric and curcumin offer myriad health benefits, including reduced risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, I often recommend them as dietary supplements. They are poorly absorbed from the G.I. tract, but recent research has shown that absorption is greatly enhanced by the presence of piperine, a compound in black pepper. Many people in India eat foods containing turmeric at almost every meal, and customarily add black pepper to most dishes. This frequent combination likely contributes to the anti-inflammatory and other benefits they apparently receive.

If you want to try turmeric or curcumin supplements to see if they help improve mood, look for products standardized for 95% curcuminoids that also contain piperine or black pepper extract. Follow the dosage instructions on labels. You can take turmeric or curcumin indefinitely and combine them with antidepressant drugs or with natural remedies including St. John’s wort, SAMe, and other herbs that may help support a positive outlook.

However, you shouldn’t use turmeric if you have gallstones or bile duct dysfunction, and pregnant women shouldn’t use it without their doctors’ approval. In rare cases, extended use can cause stomach upset or heartburn. Note that piperine can slow the elimination of some prescription drugs including phenytoin [Dilantin], propranolol [Inderal], and theophylline. Some evidence also suggests that curcumin can interfere with a chemotherapy agent used to treat breast cancer, so if you’re being treated for this disease, be sure to discuss the advisability of taking curcumin with your physician.

Bear in mind that the most effective treatment I know for mild to moderate depression is regular exercise, including walking. Try it for at least 30 minutes a day. You should also consider taking at least two grams a day of  high quality supplemental fish oil. For a full discussion of natural remedies for depression and an integrative plan for optimum emotional well-being, watch for my new book, Spontaneous Happiness, to be published by Little, Brown & Co. in November 2011.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

 

Turmeric can do amazing things…..