15 Two Minute Health Boosters

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Maintaining health is a lifestyle, built upon daily choices and practices. The thought of making changes to improve health and wellness can seem daunting. Some commitments, like working out at the gym or meal prepping on the weekend, requires a block of time.

These 15 two minute health boosters offer quick and easy ways to incorporate better practices into your life, without requiring a big time commitment.

15 Two Minute Health Boosters title meme

15 Two Minute Health Boosters

Try one…or three…of these quick health boosters throughout the day. They may not require much time however the cumulative effect is great.

Juice Fruits and Vegetables

Toss fresh produce into a juicer and enjoy a nutrient rich drink that’s easy on the digestive system. Possibilities are endless. Try oranges and pineapples with beets. Or kale, celery and apples. For more ideas and benefits, check out my experience with a week of juicing.

Say Health Affirmations Aloud

An affirmation is a statement that confirms a truth, even if that truth is not realized yet. Speaking affirmations aloud is a powerful way to shift thoughts about health, for as the saying goes, “The body achieves what the mind believes.”

What truths and beliefs are you feeding your body?

Shift thoughts of “I’m not healthy” or “I’m always tired” to “I am enjoying health and wellness” and “I am full of energy”. “I am” are life changing words. Mindfully consider what words you use after them.

Try these affirmations:

  • I am healthy
  • My body vibrates with wellness
  • I am strong and able to fight off disease
  • I am healing

If this concept seems strange to you, start with this simple affirmation: “I am grateful”. Gradually add what you are grateful for, in your health and body. For example, “I am grateful for my legs on this hike”. Or “I am grateful for a restful night’s sleep”

Drink a Glass of Water

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. We know how important adequate hydration is. Pause and drink a tall glass of water. Check out these signs of dehydration and foods that help as well.

15 Two Minute Health Boosters drink water
15 two minute health boosters – drink water

Short Bursts of Cardio for 30 Seconds

Studies show that four to six sets of all out cardio is as effective as a longer workout session. When I say “all out”, I mean vigorous bursts of activity. Try 30 seconds of intense dancing, running, jumping jacks, rapidly climbing stairs or squats. Work at least four sets of intense cardio into your day.

Focus on Posture

It’s so easy during the day to ignore posture. As a result, we tend to accumulate stress in our shoulders, neck, face and scalp. Taking two minutes to mindfully shift posture helps to relieve stress and realign the neck and spine.

Raise head and center it over the body. Square shoulders, allowing them to drop into place naturally. Open the  chest area. Relax the muscles in the upper body while breathing deeply. At the end of two minutes, tip head back and open arms wide in a gesture of gratitude.

Downward Dog Yoga Pose

One of yoga’s most recognized poses, downward dog, or downward facing dog, stretches the entire body, reduces back pain, elongates the shoulders, decreases anxiety and increases circulation. Strike that pose and hold for two minutes.

15 Two Minute Health Boosters downward dog
15 two minute health boosters – downward dog

Eat a Piece of Fruit

Instead of a sugary treat or high fat snack, grab a piece of fruit. An apple is especially beneficial. Not only is it nutritious, it promotes weight loss, lowers the risk of heart disease and diabetes, promotes good gut bacteria and even helps prevent cancer.

Breathe Deeply

When challenges pile up during the day, pause for two minutes and simply breathe. Close your eyes and relax tense muscles. Take a deep breath in through the nose, expanding lungs and rib cage. Hold for a few seconds, then release breath slowly through the mouth. Repeat, focusing on breathing in and out.

Pausing to breathe deeply improves blood flow, lessens pain, increases energy levels, relaxes the body and calms inflammation.

Include Chia Seeds

This superfood is packed with antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and protein. Adding chia seeds to meals is an easy way to increase nutrients in the diet and boost heart and digestive health.

Try sprinkling them on smoothie bowls, oatmeal or fresh fruit. Substitute chia seeds for eggs in baking. Add a spoonful to smoothies and muffins or create fun chia puddings.

15 Two Minute Health Boosters chia seeds
15 two minute health boosters – chia seeds

Stand and Stretch

Sitting for long periods of time is detrimental to health. Chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes are more likely to develop. Weight gain is common as are higher risks for depression and anxiety.

If you must sit for hours, take two minute breaks to stand and stretch. The simple acts of standing and stretching reduce strain on the spine and neck, ease cramped, tight muscles and improve posture. Taking a break from sitting improves blood circulation, muscle strength and flexibility. Keep stretches slow and smooth, especially if you’ve been sitting for a long time.

For optimal health benefits, stand, stretch and move around every 30 minutes.

Drink a Cup of Herbal Tea

I’m a big believer in the benefits of herbs. “There’s an herb for that!” I say, when people tell me about their health issues. Plants truly are medicine, offering healing for a wide range of of health disorders.

Check out some of my posts about the benefits of herbs and then brew a cup of tea and enjoy.

Meditate

Two minutes may not sound like enough time to meditate. And for sure, there are amazing benefits from longer meditation sessions. However, a couple of minutes of meditation restores the body and quiets a chattering mind.

Brief, mindful, daily meditation sessions, over a month, reduce stress, ease anxiety, relax muscles, support emotions and create a more compassionate and positive outlook on life.

Sit comfortably with both feet flat on the floor. Rest hands in lap. Close your eyes and take a deep cleansing breath. Focus on breathing slowly and remaining relaxed. If thoughts pop into the mind allow them to pass on through without focusing on them.

After two minutes take another deep breath, open eyes and stretch.

15 Two Minute Health Boosters meditate
15 two minute health boosters – meditate

Try a New Experience

Trying new things, or doing routine things in new ways, stimulates the brain and creates new pathways. Additionally, new experiences open up opportunities, help us discover more about ourselves and even move us beyond fear. And, the fun factor kicks in, making life more interesting and satisfying.

Try simple things like eating with your non-dominant hand, standing on one leg while brushing your teeth, or driving down a street you’ve never traveled on before. Walk in a new park. Choose a shirt that’s different from your typical style. Try something that scares you, just a little, like speaking up at a meeting.

Sun Gazing

Spend two minutes sitting in sunlight, sun gazing. Close eyes, tip head back toward the sun and sit quietly. Do not open eyes and stare directly into the sun.

Sun gazing improves mood, creates feelings of happiness, increases energy and sharpens mental focus. It also boosts the production of melatonin and serotonin. Plus the sunlight creates vitamin D within the body, which strengthens bones.

Walk Barefoot Outside

Get outside for a couple of minutes, walking around your yard or garden. For the best health benefits, take off your shoes and walk barefoot in the grass. This practice, called earthing or grounding, allows the transfer of free electrons from the earth, through the feet, to all parts of the body.

These electrons are powerful antioxidants, beneficial for decreasing levels of inflammation throughout the body by neutralizing free radicals and lowering the potential for disorders such as heart disease, arthritis, and even cancer. Grounding thins the blood, lowers blood pressure and make cells less likely to stick together and form clots.

Because free radicals are a major cause of aging as well, keeping the body balanced with electrons from the earth reduces the destructive signs of aging such as wrinkling of the skin and the breakdown of DNA.

15 Two Minute Health Boosters earthing
15 two minute health boosters – earthing

Small Steps Toward Better Health

These small steps toward better health and wellness deliver big returns when practiced regularly. Have fun with these strategies. Mix up your routines. Play.

Better health is built upon the foundation of daily, consistent choices. Choose better health for YOU. Take two minutes to embrace health, and make a long term difference.

15 Two Minute Health Boosters sun gazing
15 two minute health boosters – sun gazing

 


 

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

I am not a medical practitioner. I study health and wellness related topics and share experiences from my own personal healing journey.

 

 

 

 

 

The Ugly Truth About Men Approaching 40

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Thank you to Trent Peek for This guest post for national Men’s Health week, The Ugly Truth about men approaching 40. Check out his info at the end of the post.

They say age is a number, but it seems that when you are in your 40s that number seems to speed up faster than we want.

When we are in our teens, we all think that we are invincible. 

Our 20s seem to be a blur as the mental power struggle begins as we have the mentality of a teenager, but the responsibilities of an adult

We make mistakes, but we chalk them up to life experiences. 

By the time our 30s approach, the invincibility starts to wear off as we begin to understand that our bodies are not what they used to be.

It’s when the 40s hit that we understand that if we don’t take control of ourselves now, the bad choices we make could affect us years later.

That’s where I am right now, in my late forties. My metabolism is slowing down and the days are speeding past me faster than I can run. 

I started to ask myself if age is a number, why do I feel on certain days that I am 100 years old?

This post is for men who are approaching the age of 40 and what they should expect once they reach this age. Call it an owner’s manual on how to stay healthy and look good for years to come.

By the end of this post, I hope that men regardless of age will have a better understanding of how to win at life going forward.

The Ugly Truth About Men Approaching 40 title meme

 

What Men Should Expect at Age 40

When I hit 40, I knew something wasn’t right. 

I’d groan in the mornings as I tried to get out of bed. I was making more trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night than I wanted to. Plus, I was starting to forget where I put my car keys on a daily basis.

When men hit their 40s, there are a lot of physical changes that happen that are out of our control.

A lot of these changes happen to the entire body and unfortunately, that is just part of growing older. 

But, a lot of these changes that occur once men hit 40 are controllable, if you are aware of them and stay on top of them.

As men get older, the changes to our bodies are unexpected and sometimes shocking at first. 

We start to see grey hair beginning to show, our energy levels begin to decline, we start to develop a bit of a dad bod that wasn’t there in our thirties, and we start to shrink in height. 

And let’s not talk about the decline in sexual function that is a secret that we only want to talk to our doctors about. Why do you think Viagra makes a ton of money?

The unfortunate thing about growing older is there are no owner’s manuals to read up on to stay two steps ahead of the game. 

But, understanding the body changes that many men will face as we begin to grow older, makes life easier to face.

The Ugly Truth About Men Approaching 40 pain
The Ugly Truth About Men Approaching 40 – aches and pains

Body Changes That Men Will Face In Their 40s

Prostate

While I was trying to figure out why I was constantly walking up multiple times during the night to pee, I start to realize that my prostate was not what it was like in my 20s or 30s. 

I was right, as I found out that once men hit 25 years old, our prostates slowly begin to grow which eventually creates pressure on the urethra. 

How could this happen? Chalk this up to hormone imbalances. 

The result of our prostates growing can result in frequent urination, difficulty urinating, and problems with the flow of the stream as well. 

The good news is that if men begin to experience situations like this, the good old doctor can subscribe treatment or suggest surgery to elevate these problems.

The Ugly Truth About Men Approaching 40
The Ugly Truth About Men Approaching 40 – improve energy with exercise

Energy

There is a thing in our bodies called Mitochondria which is the cell’s energy source. 

Mitochondria are important to our cells because without them our bodies are not able to create energy from the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins we eat. 

This is the reason why as men get older our energy levels begin to drop, and we enjoy watching golf on our couch at home rather than actually playing golf. 

So how can men slow this process down? Simple, start exercising! Cardio and strength training can be your best friend if you wish to maintain the energy you once had in your 20s. 

Cardio is fantastic for maintaining good heart health, and I would suggest HIIT training as it can elevate the heart rate fast and keep you healthy in less than 20-30 minutes a day. 

As for strength training, this is great for maintaining muscle and as a result makes men less fragile than we want to be.

The Ugly Truth About Men Approaching 40 bald is beautiful
Bald is Beautiful

Hair Loss

I have bad news for you; your hair will start to go. I lost mine in my late teens, so I have come to terms with the fact that I never had a hairstylist in my contact phone list to call every month.

The term alopecia, which is male pattern baldness, starts to hit men in the 30s or 40s. 

Why? Because of the decline in testosterone in our bodies. 

Plus, our genes come into play here as well, as in my case. How can you deal with it? Simple accept it and move on, or talk to your doctor about possible treatments. 

There are some FDA approved treatments out there like Minoxidil which helps promote hair growth, and all you need to do is talk to your doctor. 

My suggestion, buy a hair trimmer and shave it off. The comb-over is so 1970s, and if you look at Jason Statham or the Rock, they can pull it off, so why can’t you! 

Heck, you will be hitting the gym for HIIT training and strength training to maintain your energy, so why not try to look like them?

The Ugly Truth About Men Approaching 40 intimacy
The Ugly Truth About Men Approaching 40 – sexual dysfunction

 Sexual Dysfunction 

They say it in the damn Viagra commercial that it’s a secret that we can only talk to our doctors about, and it’s true. 

When men hit their 40s we notice something isn’t right, and our 20s are long gone. Sucks right? Well, not exactly because there are ways to help slow this problem from happening. 

The key to maintaining sexual health is to increase testosterone in the body. 

The simple solution to this is to hit a supplement store and have a daily routine in the morning of taking these pills. 

What supplements should you take? When I was at the local health food store I was told the key to maintaining testosterone levels is to take vitamin D, zinc, and D-aspartic acid. 

Why these supplements? Because they help promote serum testosterone levels. 

While I am not a doctor, and I don’t even play one on TV, and I can’t give a medical option on whether this combination works or not, your body needs these vitamins in your body anyway, so why not just take them. 

Who knows, they might add some lead to your pencil. (Sorry for using that term, I like that saying.)

If you are worried about your testosterone levels, go see a doctor, as they can prescribe testosterone injections for you if they feel that it will help your body function better.

The Ugly Truth About Men Approaching 40 yoga
Yoga helps strengthen the immune system.

Immune System

The sad thing about getting older is our immune system starts to decline. Those aches and pains that we begin to feel in the mornings are because of inflammation. Inflammation doesn’t just hit the muscles and bones, it hits our organs as well. 

Sucks right? But, a lot of our body’s inflammation is due to stress levels. Plus, with the way the world is today, I am surprised that a lot of 40-year-olds don’t look 80 right now.

So how can you avoid this? I always go back to my favorite tip from someone in their 90s, who looked like they were in their 70s: “It’s all about diet and exercise”. I agree with this statement. 

I’ve already mentioned how important exercise is to our bodies, but following a great nutritional diet and taking supplements like zinc, vitamin E, and probiotics maintain a healthy immune system.

Also, do some yoga! I always thought yoga was not for me at all until I was forced to go to a class. Being told to relax made a huge difference in my stress levels. 

Again, I am not a doctor, but I want to play one on TV if I have the chance.

The Ugly Truth About Men Approaching 40 healthy foods
Eat Healthy Foods

What Should a 40-year-old Man Eat?

I have mentioned there are some great supplements that you can take to help maintain a working body for men in their 40s, but why not eat them instead? Who doesn’t love food? 

So, what type of foods should men eat in their 40s to maintain a healthy body? Here is a list of great nutritional options for you that will help your body for years to come and please your belly!

Omega-3s

Salmon: Omega-3 fats help in reducing the risk of heart disease, and heart disease is one of the leading causes of early death for men over the age of 40. 

By supplementing your diet with salmon, not only are you eating a lean protein, but providing the essential Omega-3s your heart needs to function. 

My suggestion is to add at least one serving of salmon a week, and then supplement the rest of the week with a good Omega-3 supplement.

Zinc

Red Meat: If you are not a vegan, red meat like steak is a great source of zinc which is a key mineral your body needs for the immune system. 

Don’t overdue your meals with red meat throughout the week, and on your off days add some other sources of zinc into your diet like green vegetables, nuts, and mushrooms. 

Veggies

Vegetables: I have been looking lately into changing my diet lifestyle and getting away from eating red meat. Even though I love a good steak, it’s not particularly popular in the vegan household I live in right now. 

So what vegetables have I been focusing on lately? Well, I have incorporated a lot of green vegetables like kale, mustard greens, and chard into my diet for the added zinc. 

But, I have been adding red peppers and tomatoes into my diet for the high content of vitamin C they bring to the diet, as well as the lycopene which is an antioxidant that helps reduce cell damage.

Calcium and Vitamin D

Calcium/Vitamin D Products: My go to for my daily intake of calcium and vitamin D is milk. 

Calcium and vitamin D are very important in any person’s diet to promote bone density which helps us avoid being a fragile piece of glass in our 80s. 

If you are looking for other alternatives to milk for your calcium/vitamin D intake, there are some great tasting choices available like oat milk, soy milk, and coconut milk.

Multi-vitamin

Side Note: Take a multi-vitamin daily! 

Your body needs it because of the amount of artificial garbage we tend to eat while on the go. Our bodies need help in getting these minerals and vitamins into our bodies to function. 

A multi-vitamin is extremely important.

The Ugly Truth About Men Approaching 40 fashion
The Ugly Truth About Men Approaching 40 – fashion

 

What Men Should Stop Wearing ASAP

I know we all are trying to reclaim the fountain of youth as we get older, however fashion is not the way to do it. I have seen men in their 40s who are trying to pull off fashion styles that even 20 year olds wouldn’t try. 

What types of clothing am I talking about? Here are the following clothing items that men in their 40s need to stop wearing now!!!

Sports jerseys and hoodies – Everyone likes to show his/her team pride when heading off to a game in a sports jersey of choice, but they don’t exactly work outside a stadium. 

As for hoodies, unless you are coming back from the gym after a great HIIT and strength-building workout, they don’t work well in an office environment. 

Hightop sneakers – Please don’t wear these unless you are called up to the NBA to play with Lebron James and the Lakers. High-ups are for teens who can’t afford a belt and are always pulling up their pants. 

Focus on casual sneakers if you are out and about as they go with pretty much everything, and don’t make you look like you are trying hard to stay young.

Skinny jeans – For the love of God! Stop wearing skinny jeans! Unless you are on top of your game in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and have skinny legs. When it comes to jeans, wear something comfortable that look good on you. 

When in doubt, go into a clothing store and say these words “I am 40, I have no fashion sense and I am looking for a pair of jeans!” You will get the help you truly need.

The Ugly Truth About Men Approaching 40 cool dude
Be fashionable, dude

 

Conclusion

I know that hitting 40 years old is tough, and I get that age is just a number, but there are ways to avoid getting old.

By following a proper diet, seeing a doctor regularly, and dressing the part, the years following will only get better. At least that’s what I keep telling myself every morning.

The information in this post has not been evaluated by any medical body. Information is provided for educational purposes. You should consult your doctor before acting on any content on this post.

Trent Peek

About the author, Trent Peek – There are things that could be said about me, and there are some that can’t. Wannabe screenwriter, director, actor, and full-time coffee drinker. A man of mystery and power, whose power is exceeded only by his mystery. I was born intelligent, but education ruined me. 

Check out Trent’s blog, Peek At This.

Pick up those supplements below:

 


 

 

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

Soda’s Negative Impact on the Body

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Normally I stress the positive impact of good health practices, rather than focus on negatives. However, I feel so strongly about this topic that I’m willing to depart from that practice.

I stopped drinking soda, in my case diet soda, more than a dozen years ago. Before that time, I was known as the woman who always had a diet soda with her. Always. If it wasn’t a 20 ounce bottle, it was a 32 ounce happy hour drink from Sonic.

One reason for carrying a soda with me was thirst. I felt parched all the time. Little did I know that my diet soda addiction contributed to my thirst rather than satisfying it.

I stopped drinking diet soda for several health reasons, including constant indigestion, joint pain and dehydration. That decision became the first step toward better health.

Soda’s negative impact on the body is huge and far reaching. Don’t believe me? Check out these 18 reasons to stop drinking soda now.

Sodas Negative Impact on the Body title meme

Soda Facts

Almost half the adult populations, 49%, drink at least one soda a day. A 12 ounce can contains at least 39 grams of sugar. That’s equal to nine and a half teaspoons of sugar, in ONE can. A 20 ounce bottle of soda packs in 65 grams of sugar, or 13 teaspoons. And those happy hour drinks that offer 32 ounces of soda for a great price contain a whopping 91 grams of sugar, which is the same as 21.6 teaspoons.

Imagine stirring that much sugar into a glass of iced tea. The thought literally churns my stomach.

And diet soda is no better, health wise. Diet soda drinkers up their risk for weight gain, increased belly fat and certain types of cancer. Plus it’s not only the sugar that’s detrimental to health. Additives, preservatives and artificial coloring and flavors contribute to increased risks for diseases and disorders, such as the following.

Sodas Negative Impact on the Body sugar
Soda’s negative impact on the body – sugar

Diabetes

Both diet soda and the regular stuff are linked to an increase in type 2 diabetes. Drinking soda creates a sugar spike that forces the body to convert that sugar into fat. And that fat gets stored in the liver.

In just six months, the fat deposits in the liver can increase by 150%, greatly raising the risk for diabetes.

Additionally, diet soda actually increases sugar cravings, contributing to the chances of developing diabetes.

Obesity

One of the greatest risks from consuming soda is obesity. A 20 ounce bottle of soda provides 150 empty calories that do nothing to stave off hunger. Consuming a bottle of soda with every meal for 30 days can add three or more pounds a month and more than 36 pounds in a year.

Extra Belly Fat

Linked with obesity is excess belly fat. Because the sugar in soda quickly converts to fat, and triggers the production of insulin in the process, the body accumulates fat in the belly.

Soda's Negative Impact on the Body belly fat
Soda’s negative impact on the body – extra belly fat

Kidney Stones

One of the most painful medical conditions, often compared to childbirth, kidney stones form when minerals accumulate in the kidneys. Soda drinkers increase their risk for these excruciating stones due to the excess consumption of sugar, phosphoric acid and chronic dehydration.

Fatty Liver

The excessive amount of sugar in soda is linked to a condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The body is not able to process all that sugar. Instead it converts the sugar into fat that is stored in the liver. This leads to fatty liver, a serious disorder that increases the risk of early death.

Joint Pain

Not all joint pain is caused by drinking soda. However, those sugary drinks may be aggravating joint pain. Plus the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that women who regularly consume soda increase their risk of rheumatoid arthritis.

Additionally, sugar “feeds” inflammation of all kinds in the body. Soda certainly contributes to ongoing inflammation and the pain that accompanies it.

Sodas Negative Impact on the Body joint pain
Soda’s negative impact on the body – joint pain

Cardiovascular Disease

Regularly drinking soda contributes to a greater risk for cardiovascular diseases, including heart failure, lesions and strokes.

Heart failure is linked to diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure, all associated with consuming sugary drinks.

Strokes result from increased fat in the body which contributes to hardening of the arteries including those in the brain. Excess sugar is converted to fat.

Soda drinkers are at greater risk for heart attacks, even when controlling other factors such as smoking, poor diet and lack of exercise.

And an additive in citrusy sodas that maintains flavor and appearance, called brominated vegetable oil or BVO,  is linked to an increased risk for heart lesions in rats. BVO is used to create a longer shelf life for soda.

High Cholesterol

Eliminating soda from the diet contributes to a longer life by lowering cholesterol. That can of soda contains more sugar than the body needs in a whole day. High sugar levels are linked to high bad cholesterol and low levels of good cholesterol.

Poor Gut Health

The good gut bacteria inhabiting the intestines affects digestive health and even mental stability. Gut health is vitally important to overall health and wellbeing.

Sugar in soda provides an excellent food source for the bad bacteria that lurks in the intestines as well, while starving good bacteria.

Diet soda is no better. Gut bacteria reacts negatively to the artificial sweeteners in soda and creates metabolic changes. Those changes increase the risk for obesity, memory impairment and digestive disorders.

Sodas Negative Impact on the Body - gut health
Soda’s negative impact on the body – gut health

Infertility

The brominated vegetable oil that extends shelf life has a negative impact on fertility. BVO is banned in Japan and Europe but not in the US. It is linked to early onset puberty and infertility. Avoiding soda can help increase the chances of conception, if infertility is an issue.

Central Nervous System Disorders

Excessive consumption of citrus sodas containing BVO increases the risk of bromism as well, a condition that affects the central nervous system. Bromism contributes to memory loss, muscle weakness, fatigue and mental health issues.

Migraines

Both regular soda and diet soda can trigger the onset of migraine headaches. In addition, the chronic dehydration caused by soda consumption increases the risk of these debilitating headaches.

Sodas Negative Impact on the Body migraines
Soda’s negative impact on the body – migraines

Bloating

Those bubbles that seem so satisfying in carbonated soda settle in the intestines. That gas build up creates uncomfortable bloating resulting in an extended abdomen and even pain.

Heartburn and Ulcers

The bloating that carbonated drinks cause can negatively affect the stomach, causing bloating there as well. This can result in a build up of acid that backs up into the esophagus, creating the condition known as heartburn. The caffeine in soda is acid producing also. All this stomach acid not only causes indigestion but can also increase the risk of digestive tract ulcers and cancers.

Dehydration

Dehydration while drinking a steady supply of sodas seems unusual. However, sugary drinks do nothing to quench thirst. The caffeine in soda has a diuretic effect, causing dehydration that becomes chronic when soft drinks are the primary source of liquids.

Chronic dehydration causes electrolyte imbalance, water retention, heart arrhythmia and a slower metabolic rate that contributes to weight gain.

Always thirsty? Drink more water, not soda.

Sodas Negative Impact on the Body dehydration
Soda’s negative impact on the body – dehydration

Accelerated Aging

Can drinking soda age you? Yes. Sodas are full of phosphates and sugar, which accelerate the aging process at a cellular level. And the preservatives and artificial sweeteners in diet soda increase the growth of cancerous cells.

Plus, dehydrating caffeine negatively affects the skin, creating puffiness under the eyes, dryness, wrinkles and fine lines.

Cola consumption is associated with a loss in bone density, making the body more susceptible to fractures and mobility issues as it ages.

Increased Risk for Cancer

Did you know that a soda addiction can lead to greater risks for certain cancers?

The caramel coloring found in colas and other drinks such as root beer, created from ammonia, causes cancer in mice. Even clear sodas increase the risks of cancers, such as colorectal cancer, due to sugar, preservatives and artificial flavors.

The chemical found in plastic bottles and even aluminum cans, known as BPA, is linked to reproductive issues including cancers.

And artificial sweeteners in diet soda contribute to an increased risk of lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, and bladder cancer.

The chemicals in sodas contribute to neurological disorders such as seizures. While artificial sweeteners can convert to formaldehyde in the body, leading to a higher risk for brain tumors.

Insomnia

A 20 ounce bottle of soda can contain up to 53 mg of caffeine, while the same size container of diet soda jumps to 70 mg. It can take a whole day or more for the body to metabolize that much caffeine. Drinking soda throughout the day may be contributing to sleepless nights, restless legs syndrome and chronic fatigue.

Sodas Negative Impact on the Body insomnia
Soda’s negative impact on the body – insomnia

Kicking the Soda Drinking Addiction

My intention, as a health advocate and blogger, is not to instill fear but encourage health and wellness. If you are serious about improving health, eliminating soda from your diet is a must.

I know how difficult it feels. It took me several tries before successfully kicking the addiction, and trust me, soda drinking is an addiction.

Here a few tips for stopping the soda drinking habit.

  • recognize that soda IS addictive
  • make the choice to stop, for your health
  • wean yourself away from soda slowly
  • start with replacing one soda a day with a glass of water
  • over the next 30 days, replace all sodas with water or unsweetened tea, preferably herbal teas
  • add fruits and veggies to water to boost taste and nutrients
  • carry a metal water bottle full of water everywhere you go
  • avoid foods/situations that create a craving for soda
  • reward yourself for kicking your addiction with a fun event or new outfit

You can do it…I know you can! From experience I know that you CANNOT go back to having “just one soda a day” or “one for a special occasion”. That’s the way back to addiction.

For your health and wellbeing, for increased vitality and energy and for your children and grandchildren and their health, stop drinking the soda. Get past the cravings…and the heartburn, insomnia and joint pain. You won’t regret it.

No More Soda

Encourage water consumption with these finds:

 


 

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

I am not a medical practitioner. I study health and wellness related topics and share experiences from my own personal healing journey.

 

 

 

 

Five Ways to Boost Respiratory Health

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

With all that’s going on in the world, one thing we’ve learned is the importance of health. We can protect ourselves from respiratory viruses in two crucial ways, lessening the risk of getting sick: create a strong immune system and boost respiratory health.

Check out this post for ways to strengthen the immune system.

In this post, learn five ways to boost respiratory health.

Five Ways to Boost Respiratory Health title meme

What Happens in the Lungs

When a respiratory virus enters the body, it first attacks mucus membranes and then moves to the lungs. The body reacts, creating inflammation in the lungs to combat the invader. Inflammation makes it more difficult for the lungs to oxygenate blood and push carbon dioxide out, leaving the person gasping for air. Health can quickly deteriorate as infection sets in.

To give the body and lungs the best defense possible, against bacterial and viral invasions, adopt these strategies.

Don’t Smoke or Vape

Smoking and vaping brings a foreign substance into the lungs, irritating them and setting off inflammation. Ultimately, smoking destroys lung tissue, decreasing the amount of oxygen the blood carries throughout the body. Plus, smoking suppresses the immune system. Breathing second hand smoke is just as harmful to the lungs. Avoid it too.

Five Ways to Boost Respiratory Health no smoking
Five ways to boost respiratory health – no smoking

Exercise

Thirty minutes a day moving the body improves respiratory health. Exercising causes us to take deeper breaths which expand the lung’s air sacks. Walking, aerobics, dancing, swimming, biking and gardening all increase respiration. Additionally exercise decreases inflammation in the lungs and throughout the body.

Try these specific breathing exercises to further benefit the lungs.

Breathe in slowly through the nose, to a count of five. Hold breath for three seconds, then breathe out through the mouth, pushing all the air out of the lungs. Repeat several times.

Breathe in slowly through the mouth, filling the lungs. Then push the air out through pursed lips, like you are trying to blow up a balloon. Empty the lungs. Repeat several times.

Five Ways to Boost Respiratory Health yoga
Five ways to boost respiratory health – exercise such as yoga

Eat Foods High in Antioxidants

Foods rich in vitamin C and antioxidants improve respiratory health. Add the following to your diet regularly:

  • red bell peppers
  • papaya
  • kiwi
  • leafy greens
  • cabbage
  • Brussels sprouts and broccoli
  • apples
  • pears
  • berries
  • walnuts
  • aromatic herbs such as sage, thyme, rosemary and oregano
  • nettle leaf
  • sweet potatoes
  • raw organic honey
  • walnuts
  • cayenne pepper
  • ginger
  • turmeric
  • garlic
Five Ways to Boost Respiratory Health berries
Five ways to boost respiratory health – berries

Reduce Excess Mucus

Mucus is an important part of the body’s defense against invaders. It helps to trap allergens, bacteria and viruses. However, when the body produces too much mucus, it becomes a breeding ground, ramping up the reproduction of bacteria and viruses. Plus excessive mucus clogs the nose and airways, restricting airflow.

To help eliminate excess mucus, reduce or eliminate dairy and wheat products. Both can increase mucus production. And increase spicy foods. They thin mucus, which makes it easier to cough out.

Try a saline spray or rinse in the nose, to thin mucus and wash away allergens.

Clear airways with the steam from a hot shower.

And stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water thins out mucus as well.

Five Ways to Boost Respiratory Health hydrate
Five ways to boost respiratory health – stay hydrated

Avoid Allergens and Pollutants

Allergens and pollutants clog the nose by increasing mucus production. Avoid being outside on days with a high pollen count or heavy air pollution.

Indoors control dust, wash bedding frequently and change filters on the air conditioner often.

And, eat a nutritious diet high in fruits and vegetables to avoid seasonal allergies, naturally. Such a diet strengthens the immune system which helps to alleviate allergy symptoms. Check out a list of inflammation reducing foods HERE.

Additionally, avoid the following foods, as they create inflammation in the body and weaken the immune system:

  • eggs
  • gluten
  • canola oil
  • GMO soy
  • GMO corn
  • dairy products
  • MSG
Five Ways to Boost Respiratory Health allergies
Five ways to boost respiratory health – avoid allergens

Journey Toward Health

The world continues to shift, daily. We have no control over many events occurring and situations unfolding. However, we can control what we eat, how much we move our bodies, how we care for ourselves and the perspectives we have.

A stronger, healthier body decreases the risk for illnesses and diseases and increases vitality and well being. No matter your age, it’s not too late to reclaim health and live a better life. Let’s journey toward health, together.

Five Ways to Boost Respiratory Health

Boost Health with these Finds:

 


 

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

I am not a medical practitioner. I study health and wellness related topics and share experiences from my own personal healing journey.

 

 

 

 

8 Ways to Boost Your Immune System

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

While it feels like so many things are out of our control, one thing we can do to positively impact our well being is to support our immune system. When the body comes under attack, from bacteria, viruses or allergens, the immune system launches a counter attack. Its job is to defend the body against disease causing micro-organisms.

A healthy body supports a healthy immune system, making it more difficult for illness to gain a foothold. A body battling disorders already or one suffering from dehydration or chronic sleep deprivation or fueled by a poor diet can’t adequately handle an invasion.

Check out these 8 ways to boost your immune system and benefit every other system in the body as well.

8 Ways to Boost Your Immune System title meme

8 Ways to Boost Your Immune System

Try these supportive tips to boost the immune system and optimize the body’s defense against infection and disease.

Increase Nutritionally Dense Foods

Eat more fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and legumes. These foods are rich with essential nutrients that the body needs to operate at an optimal level, without the unhealthy fats and sugars that bog it down.

The following foods are especially important. They nourish the body and support the immune system: citrus fruits, red bell peppers, broccoli, garlic, ginger, spinach and other dark leafy greens, almonds, turmeric, green tea, lemon balm, papaya, kiwi, berries and shiitake mushrooms.

Visit the fresh produce section of the grocery store first, and stock up. Then get creative, adding as many of these foods as possible into your daily meals.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential to help the body produce antibodies, maintain energy levels and reduce the risk of respiratory infections. The best source of vitamin D is sunlight. Just 10 to 15 minutes of sunshine a day boosts the immune system and energizes the body. Take a walk on sunny days or simply pull up a lawn chair and sunbathe.

Other important vitamins for a healthy immune system include A, B6, C and E. Vitamin C is easily depleted from the body and its lack suppresses the immune system. Try a potent form of this vitamin by taking Ester-C as a daily supplement.

Boost your immune system with berries
8 ways to boost your immune system – up your nutrition

Improve Gut Health

There is a crucial connection between gut health and the immune system. In fact, the intestines house 60 to 70 percent of the body’s immune cells. Additionally, 500 different types of gut bacteria thrive there.

Studies suggest that the friendly micro-organisms in the gut help regulate immune responses. That good bacteria also balances the immune system. However, gut bacteria with too many pathogens in it shifts the immune system into an inflammatory state. And unbalanced bacterial flora can lead to disease.

Add probiotics to improve the diversity of the gut flora, which helps boost immunity and improve overall health.

Stay Hydrated

Adequate hydration helps the body flush out toxins and bacteria. And it ensures that oxygen is carried through the blood to every cell in the body. A well oxygenated body is a healthy one and the immune system functions best in a healthy body. The body needs water as well to produce lymph, which circulates white blood cells and nutrients to fight disease.

Recommendations vary on the amount of water to drink. Strive for at least 64 ounces a day. Fill a filtering water pitcher in the morning with 64 ounces of water and make it a game to empty the pitcher by the end of the day. Add lemon, lime, orange or cucumber slices to water for an added nutritional boost.

Also include herbal teas as part of the recommended amount. Lemon balm, ginger, nettle leaf and green tea are excellent choices, as they boost the immune system as well.

8 Ways to Boost Your Immune System hydrate
8 ways to boost your immune system – stay hydrated

Manage Stress

Stress taxes the body by keeping it in “fight or flight” mode and that can adversely affect the immune system. The hormone cortisol, released during times of stress, reduces antibodies and interferes with T cells’ (specialized white blood cells) ability to reproduce and receive signals from the body. Chronic stress also increases inflammation, which impairs immunity.

To lower stress and anxiety, practice excellent self care. Include mediation, breathing exercises, yoga or stretching in your day. Sing while cleaning the kitchen. Act silly with the kids. And as spring warms up outside temperatures, get into nature. Take a solitary walk. Plant a garden. Bird watch. Nature helps to relieve stress and centers us. And if you are outdoors on a sunny day, you receive the added bonus of vitamin D via the sun’s rays.

Check out this fun to use app, SHINE, for help managing stress and anxiety.

Get Enough Sleep

Many people are sleep deprived. Lack of sleep causes an inflammatory immune response, reducing the activity of T cells in the body. This in turn compromises the immune system.

Sleep restores and refreshes the body. Strive for 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night. Create a nighttime routine that prepares the body for rest. Turning off electronics an hour before bedtime, a soothing warm bath or shower, chamomile tea and soft music all contribute to a restful night’s sleep.

8 Ways to Boost the Immune System Sleep
8 ways to boost your immune system – get enough sleep

Move Your Body

Regular exercise mobilizes T cells and boosts the production of microphages, cells that attack bacteria that trigger respiratory infections. It also increases the circulation of cells that fend off viruses and harmful bacteria.

Add 30 minutes of exercise a day, to boost the immune system. Incorporate activities you can easily do at home or in your yard. Walk around the yard. Pull up a video on YouTube and practice Zumba, aerobics or your dance moves. Gardening is an excellent way to move the body and produce veggies, berries and herbs, along with gorgeous flowers. Get the kids involved with races, tag, obstacle courses or tossing a ball.

Too much rigorous exercise weakens the immune system however. Strive for about 150 minutes of exercise a week.

Things to Avoid

The following substances harm the immune system.

Smoking damages the lungs, increases the risk of cancer and weakens the immune system.

Excessive alcohol intake impairs the immune system as well, reducing the body’s ability to defend itself from infection by decreasing immune reactivity. Consume alcohol in moderation, one drink a day for women and two for men.

Refined sugar lowers white blood cells’ ability to fight viruses and infection and feeds inflammation. Substitute raw organic honey, pure maple syrup or coconut sugar.

8 Ways to Boost Your Immune System exercise
8 ways to boost your immune system – regular exercise such as walking

Improved Immune System, Improved Health

These simple ways to boost your immune system not only help to fight off viruses, colds and flus, they improve overall health.

All my life, I suffered with horrible seasonal allergies, especially in the fall. I experienced all the symptoms…itchy, watery, swollen eyes, cough, sneezing, stuffy head, headaches and sinus congestion. Twice a year, for six weeks at least, I felt miserable.

After upping my nutrition, and implementing the other practices listed above, I experienced my first allergy free fall, ever. The following spring, I remained allergy free and I’ve continued to do so. I realized the truth I stressed above. A body already beset by other conditions and struggling to operate on a poor diet cannot handle one more thing, in my case, allergens.

A healthy body, on the other hand, possesses a healthy immune system, and that body can better handle the various bugs, viruses and allergens that come our way.

I can’t promise you won’t get sick, ever again. However, you can improve your health by improving your immune system, and vice versa. And keeping that immune system strong helps to prevent other diseases and disorders as you age.

These 8 ways to boost your immune system help you feel healthier overall and give your body a better chance when fighting any invaders.

Boost Your Immune System with Sunshine

Boost your immune system with these:

 


Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

I am not a medical practitioner. I study health and wellness related topics and share experiences from my own personal healing journey.

 

 

Medical Medium Celery Juice Book Review

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

If you are familiar with my healing story, you are aware that the journey began with celery juice. Several months before I switched to a plant based diet, I read a post from Anthony William, also known as the Medical Medium, about the wonders of celery juice. Its ability to reduce inflammation especially interested me.

For more than 20 years, pain and inflammation in my legs troubled me, eventually resulting in lack of mobility. Walking with a cane helped for a short time. However, my condition continued to deteriorate.

Celery juice began the process of turning my health around and led to my decision to adopt a 100% plant based diet. I am so grateful. I’m no longer in pain or walk with a cane.

Anthony’s book Celery Juice, which released last year, provides in depth info about this amazing green elixir. March is National Celery Month, offering me the perfect opportunity to present a review.

Learn more about the health benefits in this Medical Medium Celery Book Review.

Medical Medium Celery Juice Book Review title meme

Medical Medium Celery Juice Book

At 172 pages, Celery Juice is Anthony’s shortest book. However, those pages are packed with information about why celery juice is beneficial. Below is a brief overview of the book.

The Origins of Celery Juice

Anthony William is credited with beginning the celery juice craze. While most people I know started drinking the juice within the past four years, Anthony actually began recommending celery juice back in the 70s. As a teenager he worked as a stock boy in a grocery store. Except this boy with the unique gift spent more time helping customers with health complaints, than he did replenishing produce. (Read more about Anthony’s ability to discern medical conditions in people on his website.)

With permission from his boss, Anthony set up a juicer and offered people with a variety of health conditions a glass of freshly prepared celery juice. In return, the customers, who felt better after drinking the juice, simply paid for a bunch of celery when they checked out with their groceries.

As he grew older, Anthony began giving lectures in health food stores across the country. Always he shared about the amazing healing properties of celery juice.

Why Celery Juice?

Anthony touted the powers of this drink for good reason. While most consider celery a bland diet food, good in potato salad or filled with cheese or peanut butter, Anthony recognized how beneficial it is, especially when juiced.

Celery contains the following properties:

  • Sodium cluster salts, which are different from sodium found in other foods, makes celery juice the most powerful electrolyte beverage in existence. Plus those sodium cluster salts neutralize toxins, including heavy metals lodged in the body. Additionally they fight off viruses and bacteria.
  • Micro trace minerals are especially healing for the digestive system. They help to restore hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
  • Electrolytes found in celery juice help cells to receive oxygen and improve the cell to cell communication throughout the body.
  • Plant hormones in celery juice feed and replenish the glands in the endocrine system. This is extremely important for those suffering from autoimmune disorders.
  • Digestive enzymes aid the digestion process, reducing toxins in the intestinal tract and supporting the pancreas and liver.
  • Antioxidants help remove fatty deposits and heavy metal deposits from the body.
  • Vitamin C found in celery is remarkable in that it is easier for the liver to use.
  • Celery juice’s prebiotic factor destroys unproductive bacteria and breaks up the build up of proteins and fats in the intestinal tract.
  • Hydrobioactive water is a very special component of celery juice. It’s a form of living water that sustains the body at a deep level.
Medical Medium Celery Juice Book Review Journee
Medical Medium Celery Juice Book Review – journee is the Old French word meaning “the distance one can travel in a day”. I love starting my day’s journey with celery juice.

The Benefits of Celery Juice

Celery juice offers so many healing benefits to the body that I cannot list them all here. In this section of the book, Anthony presents symptoms, conditions and diseases in alphabetical order and describes how celery juice provides relief for each one.

I’ll add a simple, and partial, list here. To discover all that celery juice can do for you, please read the book!

  • addictions of all kinds
  • Alzheimer’s, dementia and brain fog
  • ALS
  • autoimmune disorders
  • balance issues
  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • digestive issues
  • eating disorders
  • emotional struggles
  • eye problems
  • headaches & migraines
  • heart palpitations
  • high cholesterol & high blood pressure
  • insomnia
  • joint pain & arthritis
  • kidney disease & stones
  • neurological symptoms
  • overactive bladder
  • Parkinson’s
  • post traumatic stress syndrome
  • reproductive disorders
  • strep related conditions
  • tinnitus
  • thyroid issues
  • weight fluctuations

Serving up celery juice

Preparing Celery Juice

Follow these easy tips for preparing celery juice:

  1. Trim the base off of one bunch of celery. Remove leaves, if desired, as they can make the juice bitter.
  2. Wash and rinse celery stalks. If possible, buy organic celery. When using regular celery wash well with a fragrance free dish soap and rinse.
  3. Run celery stalks through a juicer. Do not add other vegetables or fruits. One bunch of celery makes about 16 ounces of juice.
  4. Strain juice, if desired. (I never do this.)
  5. Drink fresh celery juice immediately, on an empty stomach. Wait at least 15 minutes before consuming other food.

If you initially dislike the taste of celery juice, don’t forgo it. The juice is too beneficial to pass on. Instead, start with a couple of ounces of juice and work up to 16 ounces. Those suffering with autoimmune disorders benefit from drinking up to 32 ounces of celery juice.

Celery juice is most beneficial on an empty stomach and undiluted with water or any other foods.

Celery Juice Cleanse

For the ultimate health boost and to jump start your healing, try a 30 day celery juice cleanse.

Follow this simple routine:

Start the day with an optional lemon or lime water, up to 32 ounces. Lemon/lime water is a great way to cleanse the liver. Wait 15 to 30 minutes before drinking celery juice.

Drink 16 ounces of fresh, plain celery juice. Wait 15 to 30 minutes before consuming anything else.

Have breakfast. An ideal breakfast during the celery juice cleanse is fruit or a fruit smoothie. Limit fats during the morning. Stay well hydrated during the day, drinking lots of water.

During the cleanse, avoid these problematic foods:

  • all dairy products
  • eggs
  • gluten
  • corn
  • soy
  • pork
  • nutritional yeast
  • canola oil
  • vinegar
  • fermented foods
  • foods with “natural flavors” in them, which is typically a preservative or MSG
Medical Medium Celery Juice Book Review Juice
Medical Medium Celery Juice Book Review – ready to try celery juice?

A Healing Movement

Thousands and thousands of people are healing, drinking celery juice. If you are experiencing any of the conditions listed above, I wholeheartedly recommend celery juice. And I recommend reading the book, to get more information than I can share in review. The book is available through Amazon below. Or check your local library and borrow a copy of the book.

I am one of the people with a healing story. My life has changed, in remarkable and permanent ways, thanks to the journey that began with celery juice.

The information in the book resonates deeply with me and encourages me to keep drinking the juice! I admit I get lazy about preparing the celery juice every morning. And yet, the whole process takes me less than 15 minutes, from washing the celery to cleaning up the juicer. My body hums with energy as I send those celery stalks through the juicer. That’s how powerful it is, how healing. My body craves celery juice and appreciates it.

If you have questions about celery juice, ask me in the comments below. And please, for your health and well being, try drinking the juice!

Healing journey begins with celery juice
Medical Medium Celery Juice Book Review – My healing journey began with celery juice.

Order the Celery Juice book and Anthony’s other books below:

 


 

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Why It’s Important to Switch to Aluminum Free Deodorant

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Newly immersed in the plant based lifestyle, one of the realizations that led to further change was this one: what I put on my body affects my health as much as what I put in my body.

My health and wellbeing improved dramatically eating fruits, vegetables, simple gluten free grains, nuts and legumes. The chronic pain and inflammation I experienced for more than 20 years healed. I walk now without a cane. So many symptoms and disorders cleared up, one by one.

Achieving that level of health, my attention turned outward to the products I put on my body and use in my home. As I read labels I grew concerned. The lotions, shower gels, cleaning and laundry products I used put me in contact with chemicals and additives that impacted me in a negative way. How? Because what comes in contact with the skin, the body’s largest organ, passes through and enters the bloodstream.

First on my list, I eliminated a common product that most people begin using in their early teens. In fact, 95% of the adult population in the US use antiperspirants, to control sweating and odor. It’s understandable. We’ve been taught that it’s not okay to smell sweaty. However, that antiperspirant has far reaching health consequences that may surprise you, due to the inclusion of the heavy metal aluminum.

Here’s why it’s important to switch to aluminum free deodorant.

Why Its Important to Switch to Aluminum Free Deodorant title meme

Aluminum in Antiperspirant

Antiperspirants contain a host of chemicals and additives that aren’t healthy for the body. Most concerning is the presence of the heavy metal, aluminum. This metal is included in antiperspirants to help prevent perspiration. Aluminum disrupts the body’s natural ability to perspire by blocking sweat ducts. The aluminum forms a temporary gel-like plug that prevents sweat from exiting the ducts.

Let’s talk about sweating for a moment. Why do we sweat, anyway?

Perspiration is a natural process. Sweating cools the body, regulating internal body temperatures. While our bodies are covered in sweat glands, those beneath the arms are thicker and contain proteins that bacteria loves to feed on. It’s the bacteria feeding on the proteins in sweat that creates odor.

Antiperspirants eliminate odor by preventing sweat, which interferes with the body’s temperature regulation. That’s not healthy. However, it is the aluminum plugging the sweat ducts that poses the greatest health risks. Aluminum from antiperspirants is absorbed by the skin and enters the bloodstream. From there it can settle and accumulate in tissues and organs such as the brain and liver, where it does harm. Additionally, viruses such as Epstein Barr, shingles and herpes strains love to feed on heavy metals. The toxic excrement from viruses accumulates as well, contributing to the stress the body is experiencing.

Why Its Important to Switch to Aluminum Free Deodorant Sweat
It’s perfectly natural, and even desirable, to sweat.

Why It’s Important to Switch to Aluminum Free Deodorant

These are the symptoms and disorders associated with an excess of aluminum in the body:

  • damage to DNA, abnormal cell function and gene changes
  • reduced mental function including ADHD, brain fog, problems concentrating, difficulty learning and poor memory function
  • dementia and Alzheimer’s
  • depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder
  • chronic fatigue
  • neurological disorders
  • insomnia
  • anemia
  • skin rashes and irritation
  • tremors, chronic aches and pains, muscle weakness, fibromyalgia
  • digestive issues such irritable bowel syndrome
  • greater risk for heart attacks
  • impaired vision, hearing, speech and motor control
  • autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis, ALS, Lyme’s disease, Parkinson’s

That is a formidable list associate with heavy metals. I personally do NOT want to struggle with those disorders. Eliminating aluminum (and mercury) from my life is a small price to pay for greater health and wellbeing.

I’ll offer a follow up post soon on the damaging effects of mercury and how to eliminate it. For aluminum elimination, stop using antiperspirants, aluminum foil, baking powder with aluminum in it, aluminum cookware and aluminum cans.

Aluminum Free Deodorant work out
A healthier you includes preventing chemicals, toxins and metals from entering the body.

Aluminum Free Deodorants

There are a variety of excellent aluminum free deodorants available. In fact, more and more have come onto the market just since I became aware of the dangers of aluminum.

Look for products with natural ingredients such as baking soda, essential oils and coconut oil. Read the label. Make sure chemicals and aluminum are not listed. I’ve used several brands, with great results. You can find those listed at the end of the post.

Another alternative is to make your own deodorant from simple, wholesome ingredients. See my post HERE for DIY deodorant.

When switching from an antiperspirant with aluminum to a deodorant without, your body may go through a detox time. For a couple of weeks you may sweat more and experience body odor as your body recovers and begins functioning as it should. This is natural. As your body adjusts you will experience less sweating and odor. And I promise you, eliminating animal products from your diet impacts the body’s natural smell tremendously. Want to know why we are so stinky? Hint. It’s what we eat that smells so bad as it leaves the body.

Aluminum Free Deodorant healthy exercise
Why it’s important to switch to aluminum free deodorant – the body naturally perspires during exercise to cool itself.

Eliminating Heavy Metals

After preventing more heavy metals from entering the body, it is necessary to remove the accumulation. Otherwise, they continue to do harm. Diet is crucial for flushing heavy metals, including aluminum, from tissues and organs.

Eat plenty of these foods:

  • avocados
  • bananas
  • blackberries
  • celery juice
  • cilantro
  • coconut oil
  • flax seeds
  • oranges
  • strawberries
  • wild blueberries

Add these herbs and supplements to your diet as well:

  • Atlantic sea dulse
  • B12 with methylcobalamin & adenosylcobalamin
  • B complex
  • barley grass juice powder
  • EPA & DHA – plant based, not fish based
  • ester C, a potent vitamin C
  • GABA – gamma-aminobutyric acid
  • gingko biloba
  • ginseng
  • lemon balm
  • magnesium
  • melatonin
  • probiotics
  • spirulina
  • zinc

I highly recommend drinking the heavy metals detox smoothie, created by Anthony William, to help eliminate aluminum from the body. Start the day with one of these smoothies several times a week. Check out my post about this amazing smoothie HERE.

Heavy metals detox smoothie

Purchase aluminum free deodorants below:


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10 Benefits of Owning a Pet

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

In honor of National Love Your Pet Day, I continued research on the benefits of pet companionship. I started down that trail earlier this week when I read about the connection between caring for pets and better brain health.

Most households in the US have at least one pet. Cats outnumber dogs in the United States, however, slightly more households prefer dogs as their favorite furry companion. And of course, pets include more than dogs and cats. Pet ownership includes birds, reptiles, spiders, insects, fish, frogs, rabbits, pigs, horses…the list goes on and on.

Whether you love on a dog, a cat or another animal…or practically run a zoo in your home…check out these 10 benefits of owning a pet.

10 Benefits of Owning a Pet title meme

Pets Help You Exercise

If you own a dog especially, one of the benefits is exercise. Dogs love going for a walk. My big girl, Payton, a Lab/Rottweiler/Chow mix, brought her leash to me twice a day, which was her way of asking to go for a walk. If I ignored her for too long, she’d fetch my shoes, in case I misunderstood her request. Some of my favorite memories with Payton, who passed away from old age years ago, included long walks through my neighborhood.

Walking, jogging and biking with a dog in tow…or perhaps we are the ones in tow…are great ways to stay in shape and get the heart pumping.

10 Benefits of Owning a Pet Exercise
Exercise is one of the 10 benefits of owning a pet. Granddogs Abby and Xander.

Pets Provide Companionship

One of the primary reasons for bringing home a pet is companionship. People who live alone and older adults especially benefit from a loving relationship with a pet. Connecting with a pet improves emotional health, contributes to a more active lifestyle and eases loneliness. Plus, pets are supreme examples of showing unconditional love. We can learn much by journeying through life with them.

Unconditional love
10 benefits of owning a pet – companionship. This is one of the cats that adopted me, Shy Boy. He is huge and so sweet.

Pets Help You Socialize

Pets owners can socialize while their dogs play at the park. Or host an adoption event and watch people connect over the animals there. I end up in conversations at the grocery store with the cashier as she rings up another big box of cat food. Mention in any group that you have a pet or post a photo of one on social media and I guarantee you’ll make new friends.

People with common interests tend to connect more easily. Pets help to create that connection that can turn into a bond of friendship.

Pets Help you Socialize
My granddog Beatrice.

Pet Ownership Offers Health Benefits

Studies show that caring for and loving a pet can improve health. Benefits include lowering stress and blood pressure and decreasing cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Pet companionship can help keep the brain young. Plus walking the dog improves cardio health as well. Some studies even suggest that people who enjoy the love of pets live longer.

A connection may exist between a strengthened immune system and pets in the home. Babies who grow up with pets experience fewer infections than those in pet-free environments.

Properly caring for pets is crucial here. Neglected animals not only suffer but can contribute to poor health in their human companions. Healthy pets equal healthy humans.

10 Benefits of Owning a Pet Health
Grandcats Lemon and Lucca.

Pets Help to Teach Children Responsibilities

Allowing children to help care for pets is so beneficial. The child learns how to feed, water, walk, train and comfort a pet, while receiving adoration and companionship in return. Three of my grandkids, who have a new puppy in the house, devised a chart to track who is responsible for what and when with their young black lab mix, Charles.

They’ve learned to do laundry so they can wash Charles’ bedding and how to give him a bath. Charles is growing quickly so that task requires two of them to accomplish, creating teamwork.

And caring for a pet, whether a dog, cat, hamster or snake, helps children develop empathy and compassion. These are important traits to carry into adulthood.

10 Benefits of Owning a Pet Responsibility
10 Benefits of Owning a Pet – responsibility. Pictured Aubrey, Oliver holding Charles and Joey holding Carl.

Pets Can Provide Safety

Some breeds of dogs are excellent protectors of their humans. My dog Payton made me feel safe, even when we walked at night. People saw her and crossed the street to walk on the other side, due to her size. In reality, she was a sweetheart, but I didn’t mind that people showed her…and me…respect.

Even small dogs and animals other than dogs are protective of their human family members. At my daughter’s house recently, caring for her four fur babies while she was out of town, I heard her cat Lemon growling. Looking around I found her at the open back door, watching a man in a neighboring yard. Lemon growled until the man went back into the house. I’m sure she thought she successfully warned that intruder away!

Protective pets
Granddog Agnes thinks she’s fierce!

Pets Can Sense Danger or Detect Illness

Animals have a strong intuitive nature. They can sense impending danger, whether from storms, earthquakes or negative energy. After the EF5 tornado devastated Joplin in 2011, I heard so many stories of animals that took shelter or became anxious before storm sirens ever sounded.

And some pets have saved the lives of their humans by detecting cancer or disease. They sniffed, pawed or licked at a spot, indicating the presence of a tumor beneath the skin.

10 Benefits of Owning a Pet Safety
Granddog Abby and grandcat Mister Darcy. They prove that dogs and cats can love each other.

Pets Offer Comfort

Children with autism and similar learning disorders can experience isolation and disconnection from people. With pets, however, they feel more at ease. Animals offer love and acceptance, don’t compare and live in the moment. A child or an adult who finds the world a confusing place can receive great comfort from hugging on a dog or cat.

Comfort animals are a big thing right now. Many people feel that they handle difficult life situations better with a canine or feline companion at their side. Animals sense when a person is sad or upset or afraid. They instinctively know when to play and when to quietly cuddle and comfort.

10 Benefits of Owning a Pet Comfort
10 Benefits of Owning a Pet – Comfort. My cat Angel loves to be close. Shy Boy seems unsure.

Pets Make Us Laugh

We know that laughter is good for the body and the soul. And the antics of our pets generate plenty of laughter. A good laugh reduces stress and releases feel good hormones into the body. Is it surprising then that people love watching funny pet videos on YouTube? Or what about those adorable photos that pet owners post, of their naughty dogs and cats? A handwritten note usually accompanies the photo, stating what the dog or cat did. I love those.

My cats keep me laughing. They are clever and seem to put some thought into how they interact with me and Greg.

Pets Make Us Laugh
Angel says, “Who, me?”

Pets Bring Us Joy

Most pet owners consider their fur babies family members. And well they should. We laugh over their games, look forward to seeing them after a time apart, worry about them when they are sick, grieve for them when they die. It’s all part of life with a loved one, any loved one, pets included.

Pets require attention. They create messes. Surprises may occur. My cat Shy Boy brought me live mice several times recently as gifts…to my bed in the middle of the night! How thoughtful of him.

However, what incredible joy these pets bring. They ask for little in return…food, water, shelter and love.

I complain about my cats sometimes. It seems like one is always on my lap or asking to go out the front door when there is a cat door in the utility room. However I love them. They are precious to me and fill my heart with joy.

Garden Cat
10 Benefits of Owning a Pet – Joy. Rilynn is my garden cat. She loves flowers and herbs.

Be a Responsible Pet Owner

I must add these cautionary words. Please be a responsible pet owner. Pets require basic care, love and attention. Do not bring home a pet that you cannot take care of or have no time for. And please have your pets spayed and neutered as part of their health care.

Shelters are full of animals waiting for loving homes. Consider adopting or fostering a dog or cat from a shelter rather than purchasing from a pet store.

My sisters and my niece and her husband are all involved in dog rescue and fostering. My mother adopted two rescue dogs. All three of my children rescued pets, adopted from shelters, or took in animals needing a home.

Our three cats came to us. Their momma brought them to the front door. Born in the wild a couple of years after the tornado, these little babies were feral at first. It took months of feeding them and talking soothingly to them before we could pet them. Now, they love to be in our laps or follow us around the house and yard. Angel invents games and plays them with Greg.

Pets are indeed a joy. They enrich our lives and offer amazing benefits.

Puppy Love
10 Benefits of Owning a Pet – Bonus: rescuing puppies to love. Some of the many dogs my niece Ashley has fostered.

Looking to adopt a pet or foster one?

Legacy of Hope Dog Rescue in Broken Arrow OK

Carthage Humane Society

Joplin Humane Society

Check out these finds for pets from Amazon:


 

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Best Tips to Keep Your Brain Young

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Perhaps because of my age I am more aware of brain health than ever before. All brains change with age. That’s inevitable. And as our brains change, cognitive decline is common. It’s so common, in fact, that losing brain function is the number one fear among older adults.

Fortunately, we don’t have to just sit around and wait for cognitive function to decline. Here are the best tips to keep your brain young and healthy.

Best Tips to Keep Your Brain Young title meme

Nutritious Diet

A nutrient dense diet is not just good for the body, it is good for the brain as well. The brain is an energy intensive organ, using about 20% of the body’s calories. Those who eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, unsaturated fats and plant based proteins such as legumes are less likely to develop dementia.

Omega-3 fatty acids help build and repair brain cells. And foods high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories reduce cellular stress and inflammation, which are linked to brain aging and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s.

Additionally, reducing blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels and blood pressure contributes to heart health, which in turn benefits the brain.

The following foods are the best for supporting brain health:

Fruits – apples, apricots, berries of all kinds, coconuts, dates, grapes, mangoes, melons, papayas, pomegranates

Vegetables – Atlantic sea vegetables, celery juice, leafy greens, potatoes, radishes, sprouts/microgreens

Herbs – cat’s claw, cilantro, ginger, licorice root

Omega-3 fatty acids – salmon, sardines, walnuts, flaxseed, chia seeds and hemp seeds or oil

If you are experiencing brain fog avoid: tobacco, alcohol, dairy products, eggs, wheat and MSG.

Mixed Berries for Brain Health
Best Tips to Keep Your Brain Young – Berries

Move the Body to Benefit the Brain

Regularly moving the body boosts brain health. Studies show that frequent exercise increases the number of tiny blood vessels that bring oxygen rich blood to the region of the brain responsible for thought. Exercise also creates new nerve cells and increases the connection between cells.

A well oxygenated brain is more adaptive and operates more efficiently. Combined with a nutritious diet, exercise helps to lower blood pressure and high cholesterol and balance blood sugar levels, which reduces mental stress while supporting the heart and the brain.

Suggestions for moving your body:

  • walking, hiking, jogging, biking, aerobic exercise, low impact sports
  • dance, zumba, stretching, yoga
  • swimming, water aerobics
  • gardening
  • muscle training twice a week
  • playing with grandchildren
  • walking the dog, as long as your pet cannot overpower you and pull you off balance
Best Tips to Keep Your Brain Young
Best Tips to Keep Your Brain Young – Walking

Mental Stimulation

Doctors find that stimulating the brain creates fresh connections between nerve cells and helps the brain generate new cells. The brain ends up with a reserve that protects against future cell loss.

This is the fun part of keeping the brain young. Any mentally stimulating activity boosts new connections. Try these activities regularly:

  • read, especially in new genres or subject areas
  • take a class, learn a language, cook different foods
  • work puzzles, play games, solve word or math problems
  • enjoy hobbies and learn new ones, especially those that require thought and dexterity such as painting, drawing, sewing and crafts
  • have fun, play, create, make up songs, write poems or stories
  • my favorite – try new experiences, do a familiar task in a fresh way, drive a different way to the store, listen to an unfamiliar genre of music, learn about technology
Best Tips to Keep Your Brain Young Painting
Best Tips to Keep Your Brain Young – Learn Something New

Emotional Wellbeing

Anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation and exhaustion contribute to cognitive function. When those conditions become chronic the risk for cognitive decline increases. Good mental health and getting enough rest, lowering anxiety and managing stress help maintain a healthy, youthful brain.

For chronic conditions, seek medical help. To support and maintain emotional wellbeing, try these:

  • meditate/pray
  • journal
  • get enough sleep, at least seven hours per night
  • nap during the day, if needed
  • do what makes you happy
  • find joy in life
  • practice gratitude
  • live in the now rather than regretting the past or worrying about the future
  • talk to a trusted friend or family member about minor fears, anxiety or depression
  • express emotions in healthy ways
Best Tips to Keep Your Brain Young Rest
Best Tips to Keep Your Brain Young – Getting Enough Sleep

Social Interaction

Strong connections to family, friends and pets lower the risks of dementia and increase life expectancy. Isolation can have a negative impact on some people and especially on older adults.

Positive emotional bonds contribute to a more active lifestyle, better eating habits and greater emotional health. And caring for pets and loving on them helps to reduce stress, lowers blood pressure (unless you have naughty pets!) and increases social interactions.

Try these suggestions:

  • volunteer at schools, shelters, hospitals, charities
  • spend time with family, friends and pets
  • expand your circle of acquaintances and meet new people
  • join a club, attend church, take lessons in a classroom setting
  • go on group outings such as field trips, nature walks, museum tours
  • encourage grandchildren to teach the latest technology or slang
  • attend group activities such as dances, yoga sessions, bird watching, quilting
  • offer your wisdom and teach a class
  • mentor one on one with youth or young adults
  • travel with a group
Connection for a Younger Brain
Best Tips to Keep Your Brain Young – Connection

Aging Well

There are many benefits from aging well, aging gracefully. One of those benefits is a mind that remains sharp. Awareness and putting these tips into practice gives the brain a much better chance of aging gracefully as well and remaining agile and healthy.

And trust me, it’s not too early to put these health practices in place. A healthier body equals a healthier mind equals a higher quality of life.

What tips will you adopt?

Having fun contributes to a healthy mind
Best Tips to Keep Your Brain Young – Have Fun

 

Check out Lumosity, the brain training app that improves memory, increases focus and helps you feel sharper.

Order these brain boosters below:

 


 

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Turmeric Green Tea

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Did you know that January is National Hot Tea Month? I didn’t either and I love drinking hot tea. It’s simple to celebrate during this month. Brew a cup of your favorite tea, find a cozy spot to relax and enjoy.

Since 2014, I’ve practiced the custom of afternoon tea time, favoring herbal teas. For this special month, I am choosing to experience several new to me teas or tea blends.

Leading off the celebration is this combination of two powerful healing foods, Turmeric Green Tea.

Turmeric Green Tea title meme

The Healing Benefits of Turmeric and Green Tea

These two superfoods are packed with healing benefits. Together they offer amazing health support throughout the body.

Turmeric

I’ve taken turmeric as a supplement since starting my plant based journey. I also create a non dairy turmeric milk that is a delicious way to end the day.

Turmeric is a rhizome perennial herb in the ginger family. It is native to India and southeast Asia. Turmeric is what gives curry its yellow color, and it has been used for thousands of years in India as a spice and for medicinal purposes.

There are incredible healing benefits in turmeric. This herb contains curcumin, a phytochemical with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric also contains natural steroidal compounds that calm down the body’s inflammatory response to pathogens, such as viruses.

This makes turmeric ideal for fighting inflammation anywhere in the body, from joints to the liver to nerves to the brain. The compounds in this herb increase blood flow to the parts of the body that need it the most, lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol, inhibit tumors and cysts and help to prevent all types of cancer.

Turmeric aids in combating a host of conditions, including skin disorders, anxiety, colds and flu, sinus issues, chronic fatigue syndrome, Epstein Barr Virus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lymphoma, heart disease, Lyme disease, Parkinson’s, liver disorders, joint pain, headaches, leg cramps, body aches, blurry vision, brain fog, menopause symptoms and many other health problems.

Turmeric Green Tea Grated
Freshly grated turmeric for Turmeric Green Tea.

Green Tea

Green tea is full of antioxidants, including polyphenols and catechins. These compounds protect cells and molecules from free radicals that damage the body and cause diseases.

This soothing tea reduces inflammation throughout the body. Green tea protects the skin against harmful UV radiation and fights skin cancer by repairing DNA. It also protects the brain’s neurons and improves memory, making it helpful in preventing dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

In addition, green tea supports the immune system, prevents infections and aids in weight loss by boosting metabolism and eliminating fat from the body. This tea reduces the risk for diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels and lowers bad cholesterol.

You can see why combining green tea with turmeric creates such a powerful health drink.

 

6 Teas that Soothe Anxiety Green Tea
Green Tea

Preparing Turmeric Green Tea

The tea is easy to prepare. I’d recommend using fresh turmeric root rather than dried or ground, for the best health benefits.

I purchased a piece of fresh turmeric root at my local Natural Grocers. Buy a larger section of turmeric root so that it is easier to peel and grate. I used a sharp paring knife to remove most of the outer skin, leaving a section to hang on to as I grated it. Turmeric leaves a bright yellow stain on fingers and clothing so handle carefully!

Grate about a tablespoon of turmeric and save the rest, storing in the refrigerator. Bring 2 cups of filtered water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add the grated turmeric and two black peppercorns or a dash of ground black pepper. Black pepper contains a compound that inhibits the breakdown of turmeric in the liver and gut. This improves bioavailability, allowing higher levels of turmeric to remain in the body and increasing the effects.

Cover the pan and allow turmeric and black pepper to steep for 10 minutes.

Strain turmeric tea into a large mug or cup. Add an organic green tea bag, cover and steep for 5 more minutes. Add raw organic honey, if desired.

Turmeric Green Tea
Freshly brewed turmeric green tea.

Enjoying Turmeric Green Tea

The above recipe makes one large cup of turmeric green tea. Double the recipe to make a pot of tea. Save the grated turmeric in the saucepan. It can be used up to three times to create tea. Store any leftover tea in the refrigerator and reheat before drinking.

I brewed this healing drink for my afternoon tea. Previously I’ve only enjoyed turmeric in curries and golden milk, so I wondered if this tea would be overwhelming or too spicy. It’s not, at least, it’s not to me. I like the taste of turmeric and don’t use any kind of sweetener in my herbal teas. I drank the turmeric green tea straight up, without adding honey or coconut milk.

It is strongly flavored, but not overpowering. I enjoyed the drink and could imagine all those anti-inflammatories going to work throughout my body. In fact, I loved it so much I’ll have a second cup of turmeric green tea before bed. The turmeric root is inexpensive and easy to grate. My intention is to enjoy a cup of this healing tea once a day for the next week and note the effects.

I’ll keep you posted!

Turmeric Green Tea Cheers
Here’s to health!

Pick up these items, to create turmeric green tea:


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