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Showing posts with label healthy living.
Showing posts with label healthy living.

21 March 2014

Last month I posted and one of them was turmeric. I must admit I raised my brow the first time I heard that turmeric can whiten teeth because I knew that it stained anything irreversibly.

On the other hand, any article I read claimed how beneficial turmeric was for teeth and oral hygiene. According to research compounds in turmeric have anti-fungal and antibacterial properties and is famous for being a great non-abrasive whitener.


So, instead of wondering if it really worked or not I decided to try turmeric. I anticipated a yellow mess around the sink but actually it wasn't that bad.

I put a teaspoon of turmeric powder in a small glass bowl (the original recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon and actually that is quite enough).


Then I mixed the turmeric with a few drops of water to form a thick paste and put some on my toothbrush, which I knew would get stained.


And I started brushing as usual. I was expecting a weird taste but it was quite acceptable. I tried to brush thoroughly for about 2 minutes.

After I rinsed my mouth though, I was unpleasantly surprised with the yellow tint on my teeth and gums. I quickly put some baking soda on my toothbrush and continued to brush for a minute more but the yellow was still there.

Then I got some toothpaste on but the yellow persisted. It didn't look like my teeth were very much whiter than before, so I felt disappointed. Anyway, I took the "after" picture and looking at it later I saw that my teeth actually looked cleaner!

Before: 

After:

You can see the overall yellow teeth on the gums and teeth but if you look closer at the bases of the teeth, they're much cleaner and whiter than before.

In about 30 minutes the yellow tint had gone away and I could see a difference between "before" and "after". Although the result is not as dramatic as I expected I can see that there is some whitening.

So overall:

Yes, turmeric can whiten teeth though not dramatically.

Have you tried whitening your teeth with natural remedies? Let us know how it went for you in the comments.

22 January 2014

I cannot believe I'm writing this but I think that baking soda destroyed my hair.

It all started around 3 years ago when I learned about the devastating toxic ingredients in commercial shampoos and conditioners. To say that I felt betrayed by the industry would be an understatement. I was disgusted by the reported effects of chemical additives such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Sodium Laureth Sulphate, Fragrance, Cocamide... all of which are inevitably present in every commercial shampoo, even those advertised as natural.


The baking soda solution

I started using baking soda as a no-poo shampoo and apple cider vinegar as a conditioning rinse. I have been washing my hair with that combo for almost three years. I felt my hair clean and I thought it was healthy until a few days ago when I saw it on this photo.



The baking soda disaster

Wait, this wasn't my healthy hair. It looked brittle and weak.

Lately I have noticed that I shed too many hairs but I somehow ignored that.

I thought that the split ends came as a result of the summer, the seaside and the sun and so I had a refreshing haircut a month ago but then, when I looked at my ends the other day, they were split again.

My hairs are so easy to break, I cannot believe my eyes.

I realized that I have dandruff but every time my husband noticed it I explained that it had just appeared because I hadn't washed my hair for too long...
Have I been looking at my hair through pink glasses for so long while vigorously advocating for no-pooing with baking soda?

The pH and why it is important for your hair

I started collecting information about using baking soda as a shampoo alternative from a chemical point of view. The more I researched the more often I read about how important the pH of the washing product is.

pH (potential of Hydrogen) is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. pH is judged on a scale between 0 and 14. Anything with a pH less than 7 is acidic, 7 is neutral, and anything with a pH greater than 7 is alkaline.

Source: Anatomy & Physiology, Connexions Web site via


Hair and skin are covered by a very thin fluid layer comprised of oil, salt and water, called the mantle, which is slightly acidic and has a pH balance of between 4.5 - 5.0.
The natural acidity of the hair and scalp prevents fungi and bacteria, and keeps the cuticle closed and healthy.
An inadequate hair product can disrupt the natural pH of the hair. If your haircare routine is too alkali your hair cuticles will stay open and your hair will be dry and brittle. But if you use pH balanced products, i.e. ones that are close to the natural pH of the hair (4.5 - 5.0) your hair cuticles will close properly which will result in healthy shiny hair.

The no-poo case of baking soda and vinegar

Hair has a pH of 4.5 to 5.0 - it is slightly acidic.

Baking soda has a pH of 9.5, which is extremely alkali.

Apple cider vinegar has a pH of 3.0 - 4.0 if diluted, a bit more acidic than hair.

For a healthy and nourished hair, you need to use hair products with balanced pH, i.e. close to the pH of your hair, so we're looking into hair products with a pH of 4.5 to 5.0.

What happens when you wash your hair with baking soda? 

You dilute a tablespoon of baking soda (pH 9.5) in a cup of water (pH 7).

Now, here is the shock to all baking-soda advocates (me included). This is also a shout-out to those who claim that the key to proper no-pooing with baking soda is in the amount of water and we should dilute, dilute, dilute.

To make things easier to grasp, here are the photos I took while experimenting with my litmus papers.


Let me explain:

1 tbsp. baking soda diluted in 1 cup of water (300 ml = 0.60 pt) has a pH of 9.5. This is extremely high to use on hair and scalp, having in mind that their natural pH ranges between pH 4.5 and 5.0 - 5.5.

Based on all I've been reading by people who wash their hair with baking soda in the past 3 years, if  I dilute 1 tbsp. in 2 cups of water, the pH should go down. BUT IT DOESN'T. The pH remains 9.5 until I dilute 1 tbsp. baking soda in 10 cups of water and then again, it is way to alkali to use on the hair.

Again, there is no difference between 10 and 20 cups of water, the pH of the mixture is 9.0

Only when I dilute 1 tsp. of the mixture (consisting of 1 tbsp. baking soda and 20 cups of water) in 1 cup of water, the pH gets down to pH 7.0 -- again, extremely alkali for use on hair, even if it is followed by ACV rinse.

I am devastated by the results.  But most of all I am disappointed by myself for believing people who knew close to nothing regarding the chemical side of this "experiment".

You can clearly see that the color of the litmus papers practically doesn't change regardless of the dilution. Even diluted in 20 cups of water, a tablespoon of baking soda is too alkali to be a healthy cleaning agent for hair. To get a neutral mixture of baking soda and water (pH 7) you need to dilute 1 tbsp. baking soda in 20 cups of water, then take 1 tsp. of the mixture and dilute it in 1 cup of water.

By washing my hair with baking soda twice a week for the past 3 years I have pretty much put it through the chemical process of dyeing. Twice a week.

Here is how the process goes:

The extremely alkali baking soda opens up the hair cuticle, if it is not closed by using an acidic substance, the hair will look frizzy, dry, and brittle and will be prone to breakage and tangling. That is why, we, baking soda aficionados use something acidic, like apple cider vinegar, which neutralizes the effect of the alkali baking soda and closes the hair cuticle.

And we think that is enough. We open and then we close.

BUT as one reader of put it quite correctly

Forcing your hair to go up to pH 9.5 (with baking soda) and then forcing it back down to pH 4.5 - 5.0 (with ACV) in a short period of time makes it extremely vulnerable.

This is a very damaging process which is not healthy for the hair and scalp.

Extremely alkaline solutions like baking soda cause the disulfide bonds between keratin protein molecules to break down and can eventually dissolve the protein completely resulting in a very damaged hair. Highly alkaline solutions such as baking soda make your hair soft and manageable BUT that is really the disulfide bonds in your internal hair structure being weakened by the alkaline solution.

But we've all heard that baking soda helps regulate pH, why should it be considered damaging?

According to :
Yes, it is true that baking soda helps regulate pH — keeping a substance neither too acidic nor too alkaline. When baking soda comes in contact with either an acidic or an alkaline substance, its effect is to neutralize that pH. However, as any cosmetic chemist can tell you, this effect occurs when baking soda is in solution with other chemicals. When baking soda is in water alone, guess what the pH of the solution is? You guessed it: A very basic 9, much more alkaline than plain ol' water.

pH balanced treatment = healthy hair

What you need to do if you want healthy and strong hair is to use hair products with balanced pH close to the natural pH of our hair and scalp, i.e. pH 4.5 - 5.0.

Putting your hair through roller-coaster extremes like those of baking soda and vinegar is more damaging than you realize. Until it is too late.

Don't wait for years like me. Because now my hair is in deep trouble.
Baking soda, which I used twice a week for almost 3 years is too abrasive and alkali and although it made my hair look soft and clean, it stripped my hair cuticles of the necessary oils and made it thin and brittle.

Now what?

I am starting a quest to find the best no-poo alternatives to baking soda. I want my healthy hair back without the help of chemicals disguised as shampoos. I will continue using apple cider vinegar as a rinse to keep my hair cuticles closed and healthy but, armed with my litmus papers I am off experimenting with natural shampoos and keeping you updated on what I find.

If you want me to test a natural shampoo recipe you know, post the link to it in the comments.

Update: Here is a growing collection of links to the results of testing some baking soda alternatives (bookmark this page or follow me on to be updated when new recipes are tested out):

(works much better than baking soda)!
(for dry hair)

My post triggered a very interesting discussion on reddit (find it ) and one user shared her chemical calculations confirming my findings, regarding the pH of 1 tbsp baking soda diluted in 1 cup of water. Even if you're not a chemistry genius, you might want to take a look and read her conclusions . 

Resources:








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13 December 2013

Welcome to flu season! Apart from the flu itself, the high chance of catching a cold in the winter is reason enough to look for a cheap and effective way to boost your immune system.


If, like me, you are looking for ways to be healthy without medicines and with the help of Mother Nature (and a blender/juicer) you can now make the cheapest immune booster drinks and add daily variations to suit your taste.


Photo: via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What's the secret ingredient in an immune booster drink?

The most important thing to remember is that foods rich in carotenoids boost your immune system. Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables have high vitamin A activity because of the carotenoids they contain. The deeper the color of the fruit or vegetable the higher the concentration of carotenoids. Green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, and asparagus also contain large amounts of carotenoids.

Carotenoids are a group of A vitamins that includes beta-carotene, and lutein, all of which boost the immune function, promote healthy skin and bones, and fight against serious diseases, including lung cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease.


Foods rich in carotenoids
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Melon
  • Watermelon
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  • Spinach 
  • Broccoli
  • Potatoes
  • Asparagus
It is best to eat 9 to 10 servings daily of the above mentioned fruits and vegetables high in caretonoids, but if you prefer you can juice or blend them by themselves or in any given combination. Let your imagination run wild, there is no chance of making a mistake.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that this information is only meant as a guideline and in no way replaces the advice or treatment provided by your medical practitioner. It is always good to seek the advice of your physician, homeopath, naturopath, or herbalist for professional advice in any matter related to your health. This article is for information purposes only.

02 August 2013

Watermelon is believed to have originated in southern Africa, where it is found growing wild. There are 1,200 types of watermelon grown in 100 countries across the globe.

The refreshing qualities of watermelon have been known throughout the centuries but with the development of science much has been uncovered about the health benefits of this moderately sweet fruit.

Photo:

TO EAT
  • Watermelon is packed with vitaminsbobbi boss 13"x4" hand-tied swiss lace front wig mlf222 sylvanna1
  • Watermelon has anti-cancer qualities. It is rich in antioxidants such as lycopene which contains twice the amount found in tomatoes. Combined with the vitamins C, A, it fights breast cancer, prostate cancer, uterine cancer, lung cancer.
  • Watermelon helps maintain a healthy heart because it is rich in antioxidants such as lycopene, which works to fight free radical compounds and protects the vessels and arteries from hardening.
  • Watermelon contains some substances that can help extend blood vessels and lower high blood pressure.
  • It also functions as a diuretic that can make people produce more urine so as to remove more wastes from the body. As a result, watermelon is able to ease patients’ swelling and kidney inflammation to some extent.
  • Use watermelon to detoxify your liver. Start a watermelon diet, eating only rye bread and watermelon for 3-4 days.
  • The great amount of vitamins contained in watermelon plays an important role in the treatment of various inflammations100% human hair loc wig
  • Eating watermelon helps in reducing weight as 100 g contains only 30 calories.
  • Watermelon also helps regulate blood sugar levels, and is thus recommended for diabetics.

NOT TO EAT
  • The excessive amount of lycopene in watermelons causes indigestion, gas formation, nausea and vomiting. That is why there is a limit in consuming watermelon especially for the elderly people whose intestinal tract is weaker and the symptoms are more exaggerated than normal.
  • The high potassium levels in watermelons can lead to complexities of the heart and the nervous system. Too much of potassium can mess with the normal heart beats, weak or absent pulse and can lead to heart attack
  • It can also lead to damage of kidneys and control of motor nerves. People suffering from the kidney problems must refrain from eating too many watermelons as it can seriously cause internal damage. 
  • Many people may have allergy to watermelons and eating them can trigger various allergic reactions in the body like rashes, itching, sneezing etc. obviously then watermelons are a strict no-no for them. 
  • Too many watermelons increase the levels of nitric oxide which has a relaxing effect on the body. It may also decrease the blood pressure and in many cases this may be harmful as too much decrease in the blood pressure may cause the internal arteries to be damaged. 
  • Too many watermelons can decrease the blood sugar levels and ultimately damage the kidneysblue curly wig8

As it is in all fields of life everything is good when used in moderation. I love eating a cold watermelon in the summer heat but one should always think of not going over the limit. In any case, you should consider that eating up to 2 kg (4,4 lb) is accepted as normal, so don't get too paranoid about this wonderful vitamin-powered fruit and enjoy it!

Now let me know, do you like watermelon and how do you prefer it?


24 July 2013

Did you know that Apple Cider Vinegar that we all have in our kitchens has the ability to detoxify and cleanse our bodies? It also improves blood circulation, and supplies the organism with minerals and vitamins. Apple Cider Vinegar is particularly valuable when combined with honey.

Here are some easy to follow recipes including Apple Cider Vinegar that will help detoxify your body.
  • Half an hour before each meal (three times a day) drink 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon natural Apple Cider Vinegar and 1 tbsp honey.
  • Boost the health of the whole family with a sweet-and-sour salad dressing. Mix 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup corn oil and 1/2 cup honey and pour over your salad.
  • Detoxify your body by drinking 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon vinegar every morning.
It would be best, of course if you prepare your Apple Cider Vinegar at home. Here is the recipe my grandma has been following for years.

Photo:

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

Ingredients:
11 lb (5 kg) ripe apples
0.55 lb (250 g) boiled water
0.44 lb (200 g) honey

Method:
Finely grate 5 kg ripe apples with the peels. Fill 1/4 of a 10-liter bottle with boiled and cooled water. Add the grated apples and 200 grams of honey. Close the bottle and shake well, then loosen the cap to allow air inside. Don't fill the bottle to the top and leave some space to prevent the content from overflowing during the fermentation process, which should take about 40 days. When the fruit settles at the bottom, strain through a fine gauze. Leave the vinegar for another 40 days to rest and settle. Finish the process by straining one last time and pour your homemade Apple Cider Vinegar into bottles.

Do you know any other recipes to make your own homemade Apple Cider Vinegar? Share with us in the comments.

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13 May 2013

Burping is also referred to as belching, or dyspepsia. When your body breaks down food into energy it naturally produces gas. When you burp, you release the gas that has built up in your stomach through your mouth. The sound that is associated with burping is embarrassing and often considered rude in some cultures while in others it shows appreciation for the meal.

Although burping is normal and even the most polite of us happen to burp from time to time, excessive burping and belching might be a signal that you suffer from a more serious medical condition.

Some of the causes for burping include:
  • (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Swallowed air
  • Constipation
  • Medicines
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Here are 13 natural remedies that will help you eliminate harmless burping.


1. Baking soda
A very effective way to deal with harmless belching is drinking a glass of water mixed with two teaspoons of baking soda.

2. Caraway seeds
You can eat them straight or sprinkled on a salad. Caraway seeds are known to calm the digestive tract.

3. Cumin
Use powdered cumin to spice any type of meat or soups. You can also roast equal amounts of cumin, fennel, and celery seed. Chew well about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the mixture, then chase it down with 1 cup of warm water.

4. Cardamom
Excessive muscle spasms are a common cause of belching and cardamom can help to tame your overactive stomach. Cardamom may also treat inadequate digestive fluid production. Use it in baked goods or in exotic meals.

5. Mint
You can use dry or fresh mint in different soups or bean meals. Or you can add a couple drops of mint essence into a glass of cold water and drink the mixture each day for two weeks to significantly reduce the belching.

6. Peppermint tea
Peppermint tea can produce the same results as mint because it soothes your stomach and reduces the spasmodic movements of your bowel. Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 teaspoon dried peppermint. Steep for five minutes and drink.

7. Ginger
You can take it in different forms - in meals, as a seasoning and marinade, or as a warm tea.

8. Garlic
Garlic is one of nature's antibiotics. It is very effective in reducing burping. Eat at least 1 fresh clove with each meal or boil 10 to 15 cloves of garlic together with cumin seeds in water and then add milk and sugar to makes a drink, which can reduce burping.

9. Clove leaves
Fresh clove leaves can soothe your digestive system and suppress excessive gas production. Chew a clove leaf after a meal to prevent burping and to increase digestion.

10. Papaya
The enzyme papain that can be found in papaya is known to break down tough meat fibers, so it is very effective in reducing burping. It is also a home remedy treatment for bee, wasp stings and mosquito bites.

11. Lime juice
Drink a glass of water with a teaspoon of lime juice combined with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar after every meal to prevent excessive gas production and indigestion.

12. Yogurt
Yogurt with live cultures, preferably with is extremely good for the flora in your digestive tract. It can help soothe irritable bowels, and reduces the amount of burping. Eat some yogurt with live cultures every day.

13.Water
Increase the amount of water you drink and avoid carbonated drinks and alcoholic beverages.

Large meals can also cause burping, so you might benefit from eating six smaller meals instead of three larger ones. Healthy changes in your eating habits can help you take burping to normal. For example, a high-fat diet poor on fresh vegetables and fruits can be a major reason for burping problems.

NB. If your condition doesn’t improve despite all efforts, you should see a doctor immediately as it can be a symptom of the more serious diseases listed above. 

Did I miss something? Do you know of  a great natural remedy against burping that I haven't listed? Share it in the comments!

30 April 2013

Kanelstrand is positioned at number 20 in the top 100 health related blogs to follow in 2013!

Here is a quick look back on the topics that got this blog to the top 100:
  •  
  •  
What is one thing you improved about your health in the past year?



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29 April 2013

From the perspective of Chinese medicine tension, stress and irritability are said to be due to stagnant Liver Qi (energy). This can be due to problems with work, dysfunctional relationships, lack of exercise, withdrawal from Qi-moving herbs or drugs like tobacco, alcohol or marijuana, or genetic predisposition.

For women during premenstrual time Liver Qi often stagnates with hormonal fluctuation. The treatment is always to move stagnant Liver Qi. This can be done with exercise, practicing breathing exercises, acupuncture treatment or herbs. In extreme situations a change of job or end to a problem relationship may be required to restore the flow of healthy Liver Qi.

My favorite herb for moving stagnant Liver Qi and mental energy and calming irritability and anger is Motherwort, Leonurus cardiaca.

Motherwort is exceptionally helpful for balancing emotional issues in women such as anxiety or irritability, whether related to PMS or menopause. It also helps smooth the menstrual flow for uterine cramping. For heavy bleeding or pregnancy this herb should be avoided.


Men can also benefit from Motherwort. I have had good results when giving this herb to both men and women under acute emotional stress. Above is a picture of one of my Motherwort plants from this winter season.

Motherwort needs partial shade. In hot climates such as Central Florida, it needs to be grown as a Winter annual. Harvest the leaves and flowers when the plant is in full bloom. Motherwort is a very bitter herb and it is easiest to take in tincture form.

You can grow Motherwort and easily make your own from fresh or dry herb.

Simpler's Method for Tincturing with fresh herbs:

Chop fresh herbs coarsely and pack into a clean glass jar.

Add 80-100 proof plain Vodka or Brandy to cover the herbs completely.

Screw on the lid, label, and shake once a day.

Strain after 2-6 weeks, allow to settle, decant through filter paper.

Store in a dark glass dropper bottle. The dosage for adults is 1-2 dropperful.


Cory Trusty is a soap maker, community herbalist, organic gardener, and homeschooling mom to two girls. Cory and her family live in Daytona Beach, Florida. Cory's background is in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Biology.  She is sharing tried and true natural home remedies and mini lessons from herbal classes that she teaches. Cory works full time making soaps, shampoo bars, herbal salves, flaxseed heat packs and more for her website . Read more from Cory at the . Cory is also a Food and Gardening writer for EcoEtsy and has published in The Essential Herbal Magazine and on the Herb Companion Blog. Connect with Cory on , ,  and .

18 April 2013

This post is written by Shelly Kerry. 

Movement can be about awakening the body and the senses. It can be about opening oneself up to new perspectives. It can be about expression and freedom.

If you find yourself in a job or working on a project that requires a lot of time in front of a computer or a work table, you might start to experience restlessness or aching body parts after just a couple of hours. This is because our bodies naturally want to move and our minds like to wander. Instead of fighting this natural desire forcing ourselves to work endlessly in the same position, let’s celebrate our bodies curiosity and let them stretch, move and breathe.

Photo: Shelly Kerry
I am generally a restless person unless I am entranced in a really awesome conversation, movie or writing. Fortunately, all work that I have done outside of my running my own business has required a fair amount of movement. And being an avid exerciser, sitting still for too long can become quite uncomfortable. I feel fortunate for this. My body is often able to keep up with my very curious mind. My body and spirit both crave new perspectives.

When I am writing, I take breaks every 30 minutes or hour, depending on the project. I start with a brain dump and then I take a walk. I come back. I write a rough draft of my post and then get up out of my chair and do something different. Usually this is a simple task like cleaning or doing the laundry. Then I go back, my mind fresh and my body limber and I create a final draft. These little breaks let me take a step away and they promote awareness, new questions and different answers. I don’t get distracted as easily when I am working. My body doesn't ache and I spend my day with a heightened sense of my surroundings.



Shelly is the founder of the program – motivating and inspiring people to run their businesses more efficiently. She helps others look at their personal and professional lives and explore what is and isn’t working. As a jewelry designer she has spent many years testing and honing the skills and discipline needed to run your own creative business while still having time for friends, family and fun. She puts her wealth of experience to use in the Creating Space service – healthy living advice to help keep you motivated and make the most out of your already busy schedule. She will help you find both the physical and emotional space so you can pursue your dreams and she’ll always insist there’s time for yourself. You can also find Creating Space on or contact [email protected]creatingspacemindfulliving.comblue curly wighuman hair wigs in the gainesville,fl areawisperia wigsbobbi boss 13"x4" hand-tied swiss lace front wig mlf222 sylvannashengji full lace wig

10 April 2013

The Universe is my friend. It listens closely to my thoughts and whenever I am on to something really important it generously folds out its hand to me with its gift. Often it uses the hand of my husband or a close friend to award me with my next step on this journey to simplifying.

Thinking of writing about the importance of moving today I was slowly tuning into the vibe, going through reasons and benefits, reminiscing on my life full of movement and the ways it changed through times of stillness.

And then just like that, without knowing what I was researching my husband sent me this short line:

Moving is the closest thing to being free

You may have had enough of Willie and country music but my European heart still jumps at the sound of it.
Photo:
We are made to move and yet as the years progress, our lives become more sedentary, not only because we get older but also because of the changes in lifestyle. TV, computers, car transportation, etc. were supposed to benefit us and they do to some extent but they also harm us beyond belief.

Nowadays we spend an average of 9,3 hours a day sitting -- that is more than sleeping!

Because of our extended sitting time we should adjust our daily routines and incorporate walking or jogging. Use every opportunity to move. Look at chores like doing the dishes, cleaning and tidying up from another perspective and you will see that they are giving you the opportunity to move and keep healthy! Ironic as it may sound, your chores are making you free, so don't hate them, embrace them!

If you are not the jogging type of person (I am not either), you can simply walk. According to recent research only 15 minutes of walking a day can increase your life expectancy with 3 years. My husband and I try to walk at least 1 hour a day regardless of weather conditions.

It is important to walk on mixed terrain where you have obstacles and there is some inclination. This will engage more muscle groups while walking, which on the other hand will reduce the risks of arthritis.

Walking, especially out in nature reduces stress and anxiety, so there is practically nothing to lose. Here are 5 more benefits to walking.

Move any time you have the opportunity! Even if you think you don't have time, try to make space for moving. It should not be extreme, you don't need to be a master in sports to do it.

Moving is the closest to being free indeed. It keeps your inner mechanisms ticking in the right rhythm, it releases off endorphin to make you happy, it makes you feel alive!

Do you move as much as you would like? What do you do on days you feel you haven't moved enough?

09 April 2013

Dry hair happens to everyone at some point in their lives and no one is immune against it regardless of hair type or color. My hair used to get really dry and brittle in the winter not only because of dry air inside but also because I used to blow-dry it, .

In this post I will share the recipe I use to have an elastic and lively hair through all seasons which will not cost you anything. Yes, all the ingredients you need are already in your kitchen!

Some of the most common reasons for dry hair are:
  • dry air,
  • malnutrition/bad diet,
  • washing your hair too often,
  • harsh shampoos,
  • chemical processing,
  • blow-drying,
  • dandruff.
When the cause for dry hair is external, it is easy to make adjustments and revive it.

Photo:
One of the best and easiest treatments you can give your hair is a homemade egg shampoo. Here is how to make it and restore (and keep) the moisture in your hair.

NB: This shampoo is best used fresh, so make it just before washing your hair!

Homemade Egg Shampoo For Dry Hair

Ingredients:
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • the juice of 1/2 lemon
Method:
Whisk the egg yolk very well, add the honey, olive oil and lemon juice. Mix energetically to blend.

Apply to wet (but not dripping) hair by massaging thoroughly into the scalp. Cover the whole hair. Let it stay for minimum 10 minutes -- the longer, the better. I usually stay for about 30 minutes.

Rinse with lukewarm water.

Tips:
  • To reduce the smell of the egg, I use a mixture of vinegar and rosemary that I keep in a bottle. Just add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of water and rinse your hair. The vinegar+rosemary will not only take out the smell but it will also nourish your hair.
  • If you hair feels stiff after this treatment you might need to reduce the amount of honey or change the type of honey.

Want to keep your hair healthy? Here are more ways to do so:








Have you tried applying a homemade egg shampoo before?


01 December 2011

boost your immune system and combat the free radicals that damage your cells. Eating food high in antioxidants is good for your body and brain, and is especially beneficial at this transitional time of the year, when viruses are lurking around. It is important to understand where antioxidants come from - the foods that contain the highest levels of antioxidants are fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes and that is why it is important to include them in your diet.

Image:

Fruits
Eat raw . There is nothing more refreshing than eating a fresh or dried fruit full with vitamins and antioxidants. Choose deeply colored fruits - rich colors such as reds, purples or black are a sure sign that the fruit is high in polyphenols, which are a known anti-carcinogen. Plums, prunes, all kinds of berries, pomegranates, raisins and oranges have the highest levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals among all fruits.

Vegetables
Add raw vegetables. Vegetables are another tasty source of antioxidants in your diet. Look for intense colors and cut up a colorful seasonal salad to have with your main meal. Kale, eggplants, broccoli, spinach, zucchini, brussels sprout, red bell peppers and onions all have cancer-fighting abilities and extremely low calories. Including vegetables in your daily meals is very important to fighting disease-causing free radicals.

Spices
Spices don't just make your food tastier. They are another important source of polyphenols. The substances in different spices have been found to increase the percentage of healthy fats found in cell membranes and other cell structures. For thousands of years, herbs and spices have been used to help preserve foods and protect them from microbial contamination and now research shows that they contain constituents that can both prevent contamination and decontaminate previously contaminated foods. Thyme, oregano and basil are the top spices to use.

Fish
Eating fish three times a week will not only ensure the required amount of omega-3 fatty acids intake but will also add proteins, minerals and antioxidants. Wild caught salmon and trout are two of the best choices you can make. Adding extra virgin oil to the fish is yet another way to increase your daily antioxidant intake.

Beans
Beans are inexpensive and filling, they are low in calories, have no cholesterol and little fat. On the other hand, beans are full of antioxidants, B vitamins, proteins, potassium and fiber, which promote digestive health and relieve constipation. Eating beans may help prevent colon cancer and reduce blood cholesterol, a leading cause of heart disease, researchers say.

Nuts
Recent research on the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of nuts have proven that they are not only packed with antioxidants but are also good for our metabolism, heart and can prevent cancer and diabetes. and pecans offer the highest concentration levels of antioxidants.

Dark chocolate
There are several beneficial antioxidant compounds found in raw cocoa. The less processing the cocoa undergoes before, the more of these antioxidants remain. Therefore dark chocolate (not milk chocolate or dark chocolate eaten with milk) is a potent antioxidant, which also lowers high blood pressure, reduces blood clotting and improves blood flow to the heart and brain. Researchers believe that most of the bad effects of eating chocolate are either overstated or entirely false. For example, chocolate also has not been proven to cause cavities or tooth decay. Rather, it helps thwart mouth bacteria and stop dental decay.

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Tea, wine and grape juice
Herbal tea is not only a source of antioxidants but different herbs take care of different parts of your body. Add a teaspoon of honey and squeeze some drops of lemon in your tea cup to add antioxidants and vitamin C. Red wine provides a healthy serving of antioxidants and minerals. Consider drinking a cup for dinner. If you are not a fan of wine, have a glass of grape juice. You can't go wrong here, since both come from grapes, which is one of the fruits highest in antioxidants.

Eating foods rich in antioxidants is better than taking large doses of antioxidant supplements, according to the American Heart Association. Foods contain combinations of nutrients that work together, while the antioxidant you choose to take might not be the one best suited for your purpose, or might not work for that purpose without other nutrients.

Which is your favorite source of antioxidants?

11 November 2011

Have you noticed how everything nowadays evolves around antioxidants? There seems to be some "antioxidant" craze among healthy-living people around the world. And no wonder, because antioxidants have proven to protect your body against the effects of free radicals, which damage cells and contribute to many different diseases such as heart disease, cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer and others.

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Free radicals
Free radicals can damage your cells, and may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Health problems such as heart disease, macular degeneration, diabetes, cancer are all contributed by oxidative damage which is closely related to free radical damage. Antioxidants can slow down the oxidative damage to your body and may also enhance immune defense and therefore lower the risk of cancer and infection.

But here is the news - antioxidants are nothing new - we used to call them vitamins and minerals before. Don't you believe me? here is a list of the most common antioxidants:

Most common antioxidants
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
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  • Beta-carotene
  • Lutein
  • Lycopene
  • Selenium

Apart from vitamins, phytochemicals are the other powerful antioxidating agents:

Most common phytochemicals
Flavonoids / polyphenols
  • soy
  • red wine
  • grapes
  • pomegranate
  • cranberries
  • tea

Lycopene
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  • watermelon

Lutein
  • dark green vegetables: kale, broccoli, kiwi, brussels sprout and spinach

Lignan
  • flax seed
  • oatmeal
  • barley
  • rye

But regardless of what you call them, one thing is sure - eating foods high in antioxidants is good for your health! Having that in mind, recent research has shown that unlike Europeans, Americans are not eating enough fruits and vegetables and the ones they are most often choosing - potatoes (in the form of French Fries), tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, bananas and orange juice - are far from enough to prevent disease, cancer and slow aging of cells.

Not only it is vital to include a good amount of antioxidant foods in your diet but to increase the health benefits of antioxidant intake you need a good variety of antioxidants because each prevents some of the worst diseases of our era - inflammation, cancer, clogged arteries, high blood pressure, diabetes and dementia.

But don't get too concentrated in antioxidants alone. It is when they are combined with other nutrients that they become such powerful disease preventing agents. And the best way to get better health for the rest of your life is to start a sensible, healthy and diverse diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables that will supply your body with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  
How do you ensure a healthy diet rich in antioxidants? Share with us in the comments, so we can learn from each other!

15 May 2011

Earlier this week my post provoked by some word clouds depicting the most common adjectives our children are exposed to while watching TV stirred a pretty good discussion.

The comments you all posted were heart-warming and impressive. In the past years I had lost hope, thinking that the main stream parents, the ones too busy making money/careers, had taken over what little numbers had been left from the army of considerate parents. In recent years the development in children's pop culture (whatever that is) has really been taking to my nerves and making me feel that my family and the friends we are surrounded with are an exception from a too severe rule. 

Lost childhood? 

Maybe so, especially if you consider 's words: "One thing I saw that burned me up was sketchers shape ups for little girls. Sorry - I don't think my daughter needs to worry about the shape of her ass yet." You cannot imagine how thankful I am that we don't have that in Scandinavia YET.

But bringing up a girl to live in piece with herself, admiring nature, listening to anything else than Hannah Montana, reading, drawing and active in sports is far from easy or rewarding in a class full of 11-year-old girls with absolutely unneeded bras on fully flat breasts, makeup, and gone through at least 5 boyfriends already. I think you all understand what I mean.

But you gave me hope to believe that there are still considerate parents and parents to be. I especially loved the mother and daughter duo - and , thinking in perfect unison:

Jordan: "We don't watch any TV. Mom is even thinking of canceling our cable! The only thing we will miss is the Thanksgiving parade."

Simply Smitten: "As my daughter Jordan stated above, we don't watch tv, and at lunch today I was discussing canceling cable! ... I refuse to watch violent, hateful movies and so we stick with light, educational and fun. We'd all much rather pick up a book than sit down in front of the television anyday! :)" 

The proof for truly following our dream of perfection can be found in our offspring and their attitude to life's challenges.

So, all these thoughts coincided with an exciting project I have been working on lately. I have been thinking of adding some diversity to my etsy shop directed to children (and the young at heart)! 

Of course, the products are all eco friendly and created in a clean environment. Is there anything cleaner than a pine filtered air enriched  by the vapors of the Northern sea?

To give you a tiny glimpse of what has been cooking crocheting in my studio, I will show you this photo.
This is an apple cozy, which is also suited for an orange or even a pear. The thick cotton provides a shield from most sharp edges that can hurt an apple in a bag. Dressing up a fruit with such a costume will not only save it but will brighten up everyone's face when they see it at work, or at school.

What is more, eating healthily must be encouraged and nourished from an early age. Bright colors and fun shapes can help kids enjoy their fruit more and make them proudly show off their snack to their friends!

Now, pray tell me what you think! Would you use an apple cozy? Do you think it is a good encouragement for young children to have their apple a day?

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