Soda’s Negative Impact on the Body

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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

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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

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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

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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.

 

 

 

 

Easy to Make Meals Using 5 Common Staples

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During this time, when the world is a bit different with each new day, food supplies are interesting. I’ve never in my lifetime experienced a shortage of food or toilet paper scarcity. For the moment, it is our reality.

In my corner of Missouri, as in most parts of the world, paper goods, cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer fly off grocery store shelves, as soon as a delivery arrives. As we marvel over how golden toilet paper is, other supplies continue to dwindle as well. Eggs, meat, dairy products, bread, canned goods, dry goods and convenience foods such as mac and cheese are not impossible to find, but they are limited.

Going to the market each day, to see what is available, is a bit of an adventure. I squealed today when I found a solitary jar of my sugar free peanut butter. As a plant based person, I’m not eating differently than I was before all this started. I just get creative as I prepare meals. I realize others may be experiencing a temporary form of plant based eating that is new to them and I want to help.

Here are easy to make meals using 5 common staples. I’m sharing more than 20 recipes, prepared with simple, nutritious foods such as dried goods (rice, beans and lentils), canned goods, pasta, herbs and spices and my favorite, fresh produce.

Easy to Make Meals Using 5 Common Staples title meme

Dried Beans Lentils and Rice

These staples have a long shelf life, making them ideal pantry ingredients. In my area, dried goods are not plentiful, however, they do arrive daily in small amounts. Pick up packages of your favorite beans including pinto, navy, black, kidney and chick peas. Dried green, brown or red lentils are so versatile too. And while you are shopping, pick up long grain brown rice as well.

Beans and Lentils

Beans are easily prepared in the instant pot, slow cooker or on the stove top. Try this simple recipe for classic pinto beans. Cover 2 cups of pinto beans with water and let soak overnight. Drain and rinse. Place in a slow cooker. Add 6 cups of water, 1 chopped onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon chili powder and 2 teaspoons sea salt. Cook on low 8 hours. Or combine all ingredients in a soup pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for an hour on the stove top.

Combine several varieties of dried beans and add cajun spices for a delicious spicy meal. Use cooked beans to create homemade hummus, refried beans or combine with rice for a satisfying meatless meal.

Navy Beans, Brown Rice & Kale

Curried Chickpeas 

Black Bean Hummus

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Stew

Dried lentils cook quickly in the instant pot or on the stove pot. Use in curry dishes, shepherd’s pie or combine with rice for a quick and nutritious meal that is high in protein.

Lentils & Brown Rice

Madras Curried Lentils

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Rice

I prep brown rice in the instant pot (2 cups dried brown rice plus 3 cups of DIY veggie broth) and store it in the fridge. Cooked brown rice is excellent combined with stir fried veggies, beans or lentils and as a base for curries.

Dirty Rice

Pineapple Fried Rice

Stuffed Peppers

Curried Chickpeas
Easy to make meals using 5 common staples – curried chickpeas

Canned Goods

So many simple, nutrition packed meals come together in minutes using canned goods. I keep a variety of beans, vegetables and fruits such as peas, non GMO corn, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, green beans and pineapple chunks on hand.

Combine several cans of beans, diced tomatoes and spices for an instant chili. Create a salsa full of chopped veggies, canned black beans and non GMO corn. Make classic hummus from canned chickpeas and serve with crackers or an assortment of veggies. Or simply combine two or more cans of vegetables…such as lima beans and non GMO corn…to make a succotash. Serve with baked potatoes for a hearty meal.

Quick Bean Chili

Aloo Mater

Sweet & Savory Curry

Easy Classic Hummus

Black Bean & Corn Salsa

Easy to Make Meals Using 5 Common Staples
Easy to make meals using 5 common staples – bean chili

Pasta

Pasta is another versatile, easy to use to staple. Because of a gluten sensitivity, I choose gluten free varieties, available in most grocery stores. I keep gluten free macaroni and spaghetti on hand. Stock up on your favorite kinds of pasta.

Create a simple meat free meal of pasta and marinara sauce. (Check out this post, for DIY Marinara Sauce and Pesto.) For another quick meal combine cooked pasta with canned tomatoes. Heat through on the stove and season with a bit of oregano and basil. If you happen to grow your own basil, make a yummy pesto sauce to serve over spaghetti. (See link to post above.) Toss together cooked macaroni and raw or cooked veggies for an instant pasta salad. Or add pasta to soups.

Goulash

Vegetable Noodle Soup

Easy to Make Meals Using 5 Common Staples vegetable noodle soup
Easy to make meals using 5 staples – vegetable noodle soup

Herbs and Spices

These common herbs and spices add flavor to meals and nutritional value. Keep on hand onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, dill, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, cumin, chili powder, ground red pepper, ground ginger, madras curry and curry powder.

I love preparing oven roasted potatoes, two different ways. For a kick of flavor, season cubed potatoes with paprika, sea salt, onion powder and garlic powder. For a savory blend, use rosemary, thyme and dill. A bowl of seasoned roasted potatoes with a big salad or steamed veggies makes a wonderfully comforting meal.

Experiment with seasonings. Add dried herbs to soups, sauces and stir fries. Additionally, those dried herbs make health boosting teas. Steep 2 teaspoons of thyme in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes, for a tea that boosts the immune system and helps fight viral infections in the body.

Easy to Make Meals Using 5 Common Staples
Easy to make meals using 5 common staples – seasoned roasted potatoes

Fresh Produce

Other than potatoes, fresh produce remains in stock in my local grocery stores. This is good news because there are so many easy meals to make using this staple.

One of my favorite meals is a chopped veggie salad loaded with a dozen or more vegetables. Chop any combo of vegetables and combine with chopped dark leafy greens.

Think beyond salads though.

Another simple meal is the veggie bowl. Combine raw or cooked vegetables together in a big bowl and enjoy. Use onions, green peppers, mushrooms, black beans, lettuce and tomatoes for a Mexican bowl. Or switch it up with Brussels sprouts, asparagus, sweet potatoes and quinoa. Any combination of vegetables is acceptable!

Stir fries are another great way to combine fresh vegetables in creative ways. Start with a base of onions, garlic, carrots and celery and add in whatever you have on hand. Use that same base, add in more fresh veggies and canned peas, green beans and tomatoes plus eight cups of water or veggie broth and you have a delicious soup. Save all those vegetable scraps as you prep food for DIY Vegetable Broth.

Fruit makes an excellent meal as well. Combine fresh and frozen fruit with two bananas and a small amount of filtered water for a breakfast smoothie. Drizzle a mixture of berries with raw honey for a mid afternoon snack. Or toss chopped apples, oranges or berries in with a vegetable salad.

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Dairy Free Potato Soup

Orange Avocado Green Olive Salad

Three Healthy Salad Dressings

Easy to Make Meals Using 5 Common Staples soup
Easy to make meals using 5 common staples -veggie bowl

Easy to Make Meals Using 5 Common Staples

It is disconcerting to walk into a grocery store and see empty shelves. It’s an experience that is new to most of us. The current situation requires adaptability and a positive mindset.

I hope these suggestions and recipes encourage you to create nutritious meals from staples that are available or that you already have on hand. If you are not plant based, meat such as chicken can be added to many of the recipes.

I promise you though, these meals are not only easy to prepare, they are nutritionally dense and satisfying. You will not go hungry and you may even discover that you enjoy this different way of eating.

If you have questions, ask in the comments section below. I’m here to walk alongside you, virtually. We truly are in this situation together. And together, we will overcome. Together we will emerge stronger than before.

Fresh Cara Cara Oranges

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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.

Why It’s Important to Switch to Aluminum Free Deodorant

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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

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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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Gift Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle

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Unbelievably, we’ve officially entered the holiday shopping season, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday quickly approaching. This year, why not encourage someone on their healing journey, or gift yourself with items that support a healthy lifestyle.

The poet Virgil wrote,

“The greatest wealth is health.”

I’ve come to appreciate the deep truth in those words. Who among your family or your circle of friends could most benefit from a change in health?

Check out these gift ideas for a healthy lifestyle. And simply click on the photos for more info or to order.

Gift Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle title meme

Gift Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle – Kitchen

Juicer

A juicer starts the day off perfectly, with fresh celery juice or fresh apple juice. And it quickly turns vegetables and fruits into health boosting juices.

Gift Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle - Juicer

Blender

I use one every day. For breakfast I create fruit smoothies. Sauces and banana nice dream blend in this helpful machine. And celery juice and other juices can even be prepared in a blender, if you don’t have a juicer. I love my Ninja Blender!

Gift Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle - Blender

Food Processor

This powerful kitchen appliance is great for creating your own almond milk, nut butters and gluten free flours. Or quickly chop up veggies for a colorful salad. I’ll be using mine in a few days to make fresh cranberry relish.

Food Processor

Spiralizer

This fun gadget creates mounds of fresh “noodles” from zucchini, cucumbers, carrots and other veggies. It’s a great way to use that garden produce in the summer!

Spiralizer

Electric Tea Kettle

I discovered the joys of using an electric tea kettle in Edinburgh, Scotland this year. Hot water is ready in a couple of minutes, for a pot or a cup of tea. I use mine every day.

Gift Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle - Electric Tea Kettle

Herbal Teas

A favorite health booster for me…herbal teas. There are so many to choose from. Here are a few options.


Gift Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle – Books

Cookbooks

I enjoy trying new, healthy recipes weekly. Try one of these to discover that healthy eating does not mean bland food.


Medical Medium Books

These are the books that completely changed my health…and my life. I can’t think of a better gift for someone who is sick and tired, of feeling sick and tired.

 


 

Medical Medium Celery Juice Book

 

Gift Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle – Fitness

Metal Water Bottle

I carry one everywhere, even on international trips. In my quest to stay hydrated and eliminate plastic use, metal water bottles help me do both.


Yoga Mat

I confess that I do yoga on my bed,  mostly, or standing next to my bed! Perhaps I need to gift myself with a mat.

Gift Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle - Yoga Mat

Gym Bag

Great for carrying a change of clothes to the gym or toting gear to the park or for a weekend getaway.

Gym Bag

Hand Weights

Weights help with toning, flexibility, strengthening and building muscle.

Gift Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle

Gift Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle – Clothes

What would we do without leggings? I practically live in them, especially when I’m working at home, which is almost every day!


Get a Head Start on 2020

This isn’t a complete list of gift ideas for a healthy lifestyle, however, I hope it gets you started on the path of wellness.

For yourself, for a loved one, for a friend, give the gift of health this holiday season. And get a head start on 2020. May next year be the year that health becomes a priority!

Give the Gift of Health

Check out these posts, for additional health related gift ideas:

Good Idea Sparkling Mealtime Beverages

HempFusion

CBD Living Water

And this one for Gifts that Inspire an Enchanted Life

 

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National Wellness Month

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

August is National Wellness Month. Founded last year, its purpose is to foster community, connection and commerce in the wellness industry. All during August, National Wellness Month focuses on self-care, managing stress and promoting healthy routines that become healthy lifestyles.

Whether challenging ourselves to try a new yoga pose or making small daily changes, we can positively impact our health in lasting ways.

National Wellness Month Title Meme

The Definition of Wellness

Curious, I looked up wellness, even though I use the word frequently in connection with my health.

“Wellness: the state of being in good health, especially as an actively sought goal.”

I really like that definition. Wellness doesn’t just happen. It is created, intentionally, with awareness and actions that lead to a goal.

In honor of National Wellness Month I considered what health related goals to pursue during August. I’ve adopted a plant based lifestyle and I’ve made many changes in my health and wellbeing as a result of daily choices. However, there is always room for improvement.

Following are my actively sought health goals for National Wellness Month.

National Wellness Month Walk

Walk More

This challenge comes at a good time. I just returned from a trip to Scotland and while in Edinburgh and the Borders, I walked daily. The best way to explore a city or a village is to walk the charming streets. I love the way my body responds when I walk more. The muscles in my legs may protest at first, however the increased activity eventually loosens tight muscles and strengthens my legs and back.

While I hold good intentions of continuing the daily walks when I return home from trips, I’ve yet to continue the practice for long. Goal number one for August….walk more. I may not get in 10,000 steps a day, which roughly equals five miles. However, I can focus on walking more.

National Wellness Month Water

Drink 64 Ounces of Water

Another practice I want to continue is drinking an adequate amount of water. Since replacing plastic one-use bottles with a metal water bottle, I’ve discovered that I naturally drink more water.

Goal number two for National Wellness Month is to track my water intake better, making sure I’m getting at least 64 ounces of water a day. My metal water bottle holds 20 ounces and my large mason jar, in which I create herb, veggie and fruit infused water, holds 32 ounces. I can easily keep track of how much water I’m drinking with a slight increase in awareness.

National Wellness Month Yoga

Practice Yoga/Meditation/Stretching Daily

Before my international trip, I was doing well with this daily practice. Each morning I engaged in a short yoga routine, stretches and meditation. Each evening, before bed, I did the yoga and stretches again. I experienced increased flexibility in my legs and back.

I ran through the stretches and yoga poses a couple of times, while in Edinburgh. Even though I hoped to stretch and do yoga daily while on my trip, it just didn’t happen, due to eagerness to get out and explore.

Now that I’m home, it’s time to get back into a daily routine. Goal number three is to develop this important habit again.

National Wellness Month Sleep
My cat Shy Boy can give me some tips about sleeping well!

Get at Least Seven Hours of Sleep at Night

I’ve never been great at sleeping at night. I’m a night owl, since babyhood. In the past months I’ve fallen into the very unhealthy habit of working on blogs and writing and social media until the wee hours of the morning. I often crawl into bed about 3:00 am or even later. And yet I’m up a few hours later, to begin another day.

Recovering from my travels, after my return home, I’ve retired for the night by midnight most nights and a few evenings, I clicked out the light and sank into my bed while it was still light outside. Going to bed early those nights, I appreciated the health benefits of getting a good long sleep.

I want more nights like those.

Goal number four, for National Wellness Month, is to get to bed by midnight or earlier, every night. Chronic sleep deprivation can seriously undermine health. I don’t need to sabotage mine by cheating myself on sleep.

National Wellness Month Outdoors

Get Outdoors at Least 30 Minutes a Day

I wanted a fun wellness goal for this month. As I considered possibilities, I recalled that each day as I walk out to my car, I longingly eye the Red Bud Tree in the front yard. This year the brave little tree produced a gorgeous full canopy, for the first time since the 2011 tornado damaged it. I see those limbs, heavy with heart-shaped leaves, trailing down to the soft green grass….and I yearn to sit on a quilt there beneath the tree.

Goal number five for August is to give in to that desire and get outside every day for at least 30 minutes. I know. August can be very warm and humid in Missouri. However, it’s cool there in the shade of the Red Bud Tree. I can carry out a book or my laptop or a journal. Or I can simply enjoy sitting there on a quilt under the fluttering leaves and daydream for thirty minutes. There are other outdoor spaces that I can enjoy but the tree is my primary destination.

National Wellness Month Challenge

Those are my wellness challenge goals for August. By my actions, I am proclaiming “I choose wellness”.

What actively pursued goals will you set, for National Wellness Month? Join me in being intentional in creating wellness in all aspects of our lives. Join me in saying, “I choose wellness” and share your goals with me. Post photos on social media that show you taking those action steps. Include the hashtags #wellfie and #wellnessmonth.

Let’s be healthy, and embody wellness, at every age.

National Wellness Month Cindy

Check out these wellness products!


 

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Do You Have an MSG Sensitivity?

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Do you have an MSG sensitivity?

Monosodium glutamate, also known as MSG, is a food additive used in thousands of restaurants and food products. Its purpose is to boost the flavor of processed, canned and frozen foods.

MSG is derived from glutamic acid, a type of protein found in many foods, including fruits and vegetables. It is produced through a fermentation process that was first discovered in 1866. By 1909 a Japanese food company began commercially producing monosodium glutamate.

The use of MSG in foods and products is controversial, due to a wide range of symptoms that some people experience shortly after consuming the additive.

Since cleaning up my diet, I’ve noticed that I do have physical reactions to MSG. Perhaps you do too.

Do you have an MSG sensitivity title meme

What’s the Controversy with MSG?

Glutamate acid is an amino acid found in many foods. However, monosodium glutamate is the sodium salt derived from glutamic acid.

Natural glutamate is broken down naturally in the body. It is regulated so that excessive amounts are eliminated from the body to prevent toxicity. However MSG is isolated, and not attached to other amino acids. That means it is broken down quickly, rapidly raising levels of glutamate in the blood. Those excess levels of glutamate cause symptoms in people with an MSG sensitivity.

Anthony William, author of Medical Medium, states:

“MSG typically builds up in the brain, going deep into brain tissue. It can then cause inflammation and swelling, kill thousands of brain cells, disrupt electrical impulses, weaken neurotransmitters, burn out neurons, make you feel confused and anxious and even lead to mirco-strokes. It also weakens and injures the central nervous system.”

He goes on to say that MSG is especially harmful when dealing with an illness affecting the brain or central nervous system. Regardless, it is an additive to avoid.

Symptoms of an MSG Sensitivity

Here are common symptoms, experienced by those with a sensitivity to MSG:

  • muscle tightness
  • numbness and tingling
  • headaches including migraines
  • pain in the back of the neck
  • flushing
  • weight gain
  • nausea and vomiting
  • trembling and weakness
  • free radical formation and oxidation
  • heart palpitations
  • increased blood pressure
  • worsening of asthma symptoms
  • higher risk of metabolic syndrome, which is linked to heart disease, diabetes and stroke
  • dry mouth and excessive thirst
  • confusion and anxiety

MSG Sensitivity Fast Food

Where is MSG Found?

Although MSG is most often associated with meals in Chinese restaurants, it’s found in thousands of foods and even personal care products such as toothpaste.

MSG can lurk in:

  • canned soups and broths
  • fast food such as burgers and fried chicken
  • potato chips and seasoned tortilla chips
  • seasonings
  • convenience meals
  • cold cuts
  • processed meats and foods
  • instant noodles
  • ice tea mixes
  • salty snacks
  • sports drinks
  • soy sauce
  • salad dressings
  • crackers
  • bouillon
  • personal care products

How to Avoid MSG

The best way to avoid this additive, and MSG sensitivity, is to limit or entirely eliminate foods from the list above. Focus on more fresh fruits and veggies. And prepare meals at home as much as possible. When you prep and cook your own meals, you know exactly what’s in them.

Read food labels. Look for MSG or monosodium glutamate listed on the label.

Additionally, MSG goes by a variety of other names, making it more difficult to spot the additive on food labels. If you see these words …

  • autolyzed yeast
  • hydrolyzed protein
  • hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • sodium caseinate
  • yeast nutrient or yeast extract
  • Torulo yeast
  • natural flavoring
  • glutamic acid

…it’s very likely that the product contains MSG.

MSG Sensitivity Doritos

Dealing With MSG Sensitivity

I can now tell, within a few hours, if I’ve eaten something that contains MSG. My mouth becomes very dry and I experience excessive thirst. I may also notice pain in my stomach and a headache.

When I ate a nutrient poor, albeit typical, American diet, MSG stayed in my system. No wonder I experienced daily headaches, constant dry mouth, heart palpitations and frequent stomachaches.

Cleaning up my diet has detoxified my body. I am very aware now if I eat something that is harmful to me. I’m grateful for the built-in sensors and indicators in my body that help me identify and avoid foods that are not the best for me!

I prepare most of my meals at home. And I read those food labels!

I’ll be sharing recipes in upcoming posts, such as DIY seasoning salt, that are MSG free alternatives.

Do you have an MSG sensitivity?

MSG Sensitivity Salts

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6 Simple Ways to Improve Health

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

Starting a new health practice can feel overwhelming. And the vast amount of information available confounds the best intentions.

I made a radical shift due to declining health and wellbeing. However, I understand that most people are not losing the ability to walk or living in chronic pain. Those conditions highly motivated me to discover a way to heal.

For those interested in taking smaller albeit intentional steps toward wellness and vitality, these six simple way to improve health offer easily implemented actions with big results.

6 Simple Ways to Improve Health

Eat More Fruits & Veggies

One of the greatest positive impacts on health is including more fresh fruits and veggies in the diet and eating less animal products. Meat, and dairy products such as cheese, are high in fats and unwanted additives which contribute to inflammation and a host of ailments in the body. Eggs feed viruses such as strep and Epstein Barr.

If it feels difficult to give up animal products entirely, focus on having meatless meals a couple of times a week. Or try having only fruits before noon. A fruit smoothie for breakfast is perfect. Or perhaps commit to veggie bowls for lunch three days a week. Start where you are…and select two or three ways to include more whole plant based foods on a weekly basis.

Another tip is to plan meals around vegetables instead of considering them a side dish. As fresh produce becomes plentiful and cheap this summer, plan lunches and dinners around nature’s bounty. A plate heaped with freshly steamed veggies or hummus and raw veggies makes a great meatless meal.

6 Simple Ways to Improve HealthAloo Matar with peas, potatoes and tomatoes in a curry sauce makes a filling meatless meal.

Try Veggie Noodles Instead of Pasta

Spiralizing vegetables such as cucumbers, zucchini, squash, sweet potatoes and carrots is another great way to include more veggies in meals. The spiralizer quickly transforms vegetables into mounds of fresh noodles that replace traditional wheat pastas.

No need to cook the veggie noodles. They are tender and subtly flavored. Top with homemade marinara sauce, basil pesto, sliced cherry tomatoes or a spicy curry sauce.

These fresh and tasty meals are my favorite way to use vegetables right out of the garden. Pick up a spiralizer here.

6 Simple Ways to Improve Health

Drink Water & Unsweetened Herbal Tea Instead of Sugary Drinks

Instead of reaching for a soda or a sweet tea, grab a water or herbal tea. Those sugar laden drinks add calories…more than you realize…and dehydrate the body at the same time.

Break the habit. Sugary drinks are addictive. Sugar is addictive. That’s why we crave it.

Flavor water with fruits, cucumbers or herbs and increase the health benefits. And herbal teas can be enjoyed hot or cold. I love this hibiscus lemonade during the summer! Bonus tip: grow your own herbs in containers or in the garden.

Hydrate First Thing in the Morning

Connected to ditching the soda and sweet tea is the practice of hydrating first thing each morning. Drinking 16 ounces of lemon or lime water after awakening helps to flush toxins from the body, improves digestion and aids the liver.

I find it easiest to keep a prepared pitcher of lemon/lime water in the fridge.

For an amazing health boost, drink 16 ounces of freshly prepared celery juice about 20 to 30 minutes after the lemon or lime water. Celery juice is truly a miracle elixir, healing people around the world. Anthony William has a new book releasing, featuring celery juice. You can pre- order it HERE.

I use a centrifugal juicer like this one.

6 Simple Ways to Improve Health

Keep Junk Food Out of the House

Having cookies, ice cream, donuts, chips and other high calorie, low nutritional value foods in the house greatly increases the likelihood of eating them. It also increases the likelihood of weight gain and the disorders that come with eating too much sugar and too many processed foods.

Instead, stock up on fresh fruits, nuts, avocadoes, hummus, veggies and nut butters that are sugar free.

There are many recipes available for healthy snacks, to consume as occasional treats. Try vegan oatmeal cookies or wild blueberry banana bread, made with gluten free flour.

6 Simple Ways to Improve HealthLemon balm tea and wild blueberry banana bread.

Walk in Nature

Walking is one of the best, and easiest, activities to improve health, tone the body and maintain weight. Get outdoors to help the body destress and to benefit from fresh air and a mood boost.

Instead of walking on a treadmill daily or doing loops around a gym, head to a park, a wooded trail or simply stroll through your neighborhood.

Walking in nature is a meditative experience that grounds and centers the body and allows the mind to quiet.

Improve Health

These simple ways to improve health bring their own rewards.

Try one or two actions daily or create your own unique plan for implementing all of them.

And perhaps the sense of euphoric joy and wellbeing that comes from improved health will guide you toward the next step in creating a healthy lifestyle that supports and nourishes you.

6 Simple Ways to Improve Health

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