Tag Archives: cancer

Shotgun on All Natural vs Organic, for the curious on health

Let me learn you on something new.

For years, America has been adopting little lessons on health and slowly converting meat eaters into herbivorous creatures, as nature intended.  People have slowly started accepting that Coke cleans rust off car engines.  Wary citizens refrain from cocaine and stick to weed.  (Hey, it’s better than the chemical alternative.) In my world, it seemed like I was on the vegetarian bandwagon alone, so much, that my insecure teenage paranoid personality wasn’t ready to be that outcast.  I ate anything in my path.  Eventually, I said screw that and ventured on my own into veganism.  I got laughs, scoffs, and many reactions similar to the Big Greek Wedding movie….”Ok, I maek laam!”  During this time, people thought I only chewed on lettuce and grazed for berries.  In reality, I spent much toil and money to enjoy an interesting variety of yummy foods.  I raved about how healthy, alert, and energized I felt and people blankly nodded while munching on the BBQ ribs, not really caring to understand the concept of radically changing a dietetic lifestyle.  That’s fine.  I wasn’t trying to impose it on anyone.

Until recently, I only had one friend, who lives a few states away, understand healthy and natural eating.  The ins and outs of vegetables and grains, the (not-so-secret but certainly not published) nature of mainstream foods, bad habits, and tofu marvels.  In the last week I have learned that two+ friends are now vegan and one is going gluten free.  This makes me rejoice.  I….rabbit food eater….was able to eat a gluten-free chocolate cake among friends.  The scene of the world is changing.

Friends are discovering books like Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet, Suzanne Somers’ Sexy Forever featured in Sex in the City and other books on hormones and health, that NY housewife Bethenny Frankel’s Naturally Thin, and other diets that encourage healthy and plant based diets, ditching or at least moderating, foods that are not naturally beneficial to the human system.  No meats, no dairy, and if so, do it organic.  While not bragging about it since I certainly wasn’t the first hippie to grace the planet and since I’m not even following a solely veggie and grain diet currently, I’ve been reading books like Skinny Bitch (about not eating crap food) and watching documentaries like the Future of Food (free on Hulu.con, and shocking) and changing the way I eat since I learned how to fight for my natural reaction to the movie Babe the Pig when I was eight. I just knew something lay deeper than meat is hard to digest.  The story of corporate food is what is harder to digest.  Please heat this if nothing else, a hard life lesson… HAD I STUCK TO MY HEALTHY DIET, I MAY NOT HAVE HAD A DISEASE TODAY.

I’m so proud of my friends trying to be healthier and closer to nature.  Not only discovering new lifestyles, but loving it.  I’ve been trying to share that for a very long time without isolating myself every time I wanted to tell you that your chicken had beak pieces in it or that your cheese is affecting your puffiness.  In relation to what I said in my last post about celebrities okaying certain topics of awareness, this is one that affects everyone, and can be enjoyed in so many personalized/customized ways.  So if it takes Olivia Wilde to inspire vegan eating, this is one time I’m willing to swallow my words about celebrity endorsing.  Go for it.

Here is one I’m beating you to the punch to though:

If you’re trying to be healthy, unless you do your research, you’re probably still being taken.  If you think that taco meat at Taco Bell is real meat, you’ll wanna read this.  If you think eating an all natural carbonated beverage is any different than the average marketed death drink, peruse a little bit.

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “NATURAL” AND “ORGANIC”. Label reading has not been made any easier as they’re trying to vaguely promote through a smoke screen of advertisement claims, with FDA and USDA stamps….read on.  And if this is the first you hear about it, I’m totally taking credit for it.  If you’re trying to eliminate chemicals or unnatural ingredients in your food, please consider this:

http://www.live-the-organic-life.com/natural-vs-organic.html

As opposed to fake dairy?

IMPOSTORS!

Cause now I know in a few years, everyone will believe me and not just think I’m an overbearing stickler that now falls under the medical and psychiatrist diagnosis of having an eating disorder: Orthorexia (people who abstain from chemicals and pesticides who eat a raw diet).  Goes to show every one in the labeling business are idiots!

And for those who are not curious enough about changing such an embedded lifestyle in regards to food-for-fuel vs food-just-to-eat, that’s understandable.  It usually takes an emotional push to get there.  But I do encourage you to toy with the idea.   Curiosity killed the cat, but that feline had a dang good recovery rate to come back 9 times.  Leaf through these books and watch these documentaries on what you are eating.  Imagine what foods you can eat and enjoy, rather than what would be taken away.  The best book for people who aren’t ready for a full on commitment is the Kind Diet mentioned above, which teaches you how to flirt with food.

This is not fanaticism my friends, it’s a way of life worth sharing for those who want to be vibrant and radiant after they eat a hearty and exciting plate of legumes, rice, and veggies; not take a half-day nap with nightmares after eating a Triple Appetizer from Chili’s.  Click on stuff below.  Click it. 

More articles on Natural versus Organic:

http://www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=natural_vs_organic_whats_truth_and_whats_hype

http://almostfit.com/2008/08/13/demystifying-chicken-labels-from-organic-to-all-natural/

http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-food/organic-food-basics/difference-between-organic-and-natural-food.html

Link that recently inspired a meat-lover friend to eat a plant based diet…The China Study, for you Dr. Oz fans.

For those with Autoimmune Diseases, pay attention about CRP (C-reactive protein or inflammation) levels. Please enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTdVT9UFMFY

Back me up ya’ll!

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Spice Girl

Some days I have great days and suddenly plummet out of nowhere.   Some days I wake up a wreck and in three hours I take over the world.  Usually, I take on the day a few hours at a time, not a day at a time, like the old proverb says. Anyone else? Anyone?

Here are some inexpensive ways to keep the body fighting all types of junk all day long, help stave off coffee urges, reduce appetite, keep from kicking innocent bystanders, and soothe joint pain and inflammation. The health benefits are listed for awareness of what aids you’re receiving in the short and long-term care. If you click on the subject link you get the full stories and any warnings that may follow along.  After all, too much of a good thing, yada yada…

These easy-to-find, easy-to-apply homemade remedy tips wind-me up for another go and help endure work days that render me a clockwatcher:

Ginger

I just drop some ground ginger into filtered water, heat, and drink; adding honey on days I can tolerate sugars.

Ovarian Cancer Treatment
Ginger may be powerful weapon in the treatment of ovarian cancer. A study conducted at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that ginger powder induces cell death in all ovarian cancer cells to which it was applied.

Colon Cancer Prevention
A study at the University of Minnesota found that ginger may slow the growth of colorectal cancer cells.

Morning Sickness
A review of several studies has concluded that ginger is just as effective as vitamin B6 in the treatment of morning sickness.

Motion Sickness Remedy
Ginger has been shown to be an effective remedy for the nausea associated with motion sickness.

Reduces Pain and Inflammation
One study showed that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and is a powerful natural painkiller.

Heartburn Relief
Ginger has long been used as a natural heartburn remedy. It is most often taken in the form of tea for this purpose.

Cold and Flu Prevention and Treatment
Ginger has long been used as a natural treatment for colds and the flu. Many people also find ginger to be helpful in the case of stomach flus or food poisoning, which is not surprising given the positive effects ginger has upon the digestive tract.

Migraine Relief
Research has shown that ginger may provide migraine relief due to its ability to stop prostaglandins from causing pain and inflammation in blood vessels.

Menstrual Cramp Relief
In Chinese medicine, ginger tea with brown sugar is used in the treatment of menstrual cramps.

Prevention of Diabetic Nephropathy
A study done on diabetic rats found that those rats given ginger had a reduced incidence of diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage).

Turmeric

Yay for bulleted lists.  This one goes in every food possible, but also in the form of tea as described with the ginger.  Doesn’t smell as great but tastes very neutral.  Has similar properties to Tylenol and aspirin. Yes, it really works.

1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.

2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.

3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.

4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.

5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.

6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.

7. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.

8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.

9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.

10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.

11. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.

12. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.

13. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.

14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

15. Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.

16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.

17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.

18. Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.

19. Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin. Great for people who workout too.

20. May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions. Some hair loss or thinning may be inflammatory.

Cinnamon

Anything sweet I will have gets cinnamon.  Oatmeal, smoothies, shakes, etc I’ve never felt immediate relief from this one like I do from all the other ones listed here, but whatever is healthy and tastes good is worth including.

Studies have shown that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower LDL cholesterol.

Several studies suggest that cinnamon may have a regulatory effect on blood sugar, making it especially beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes. Or just a good insulin regulator.

In some studies, cinnamon has shown an amazing ability to stop medication-resistant yeast infections. Candidiasis (yeast) is one of the root causes of some lupus cases (like mine) and many cancer, (Aside from having an allergy to it). Most Americans probably have it to some degree (especially if you take medications and/or birth control) and may not know it because conventional medicine doesn’t offer to find this. Click here for the endless list of symptoms, including fatigue, sinus problems, irritability, poor memory, etc.

In a study published by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland, cinnamon reduced the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.

It has an anti-clotting effect on the blood.

In a study at Copenhagen University, patients given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning before breakfast had significant relief in arthritis pain after one week and could walk without pain within one month.

When added to food, it inhibits bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative.

One study found that smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory.

Researchers at Kansas State University found that cinnamon fights the E. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices.

It is a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.

Allspice

One of my new favorite is Allspice with Ginger. Allspice is not a combination of spices like I originally thought. It’s the actual specimen that resembles a variety of spices like cinnamon and cloves. Circulation feels great after one cup of hot Allspice tea.


Traditional Usage:
– Analgesic
– Antibacterial
– Antifungal
– Antioxidant
– Colic, Stomach Upset
– Colds, Flu and Bronchitis
– Corns
– Diarrhea
– Digestive Disorders
– Flatulence
– Heart Health Maintenance
– Indigestion
– Menstrual Health Maintenance
– Neuralgia
– Respiratory Health Maintenance
– Rheumatism
– Vascular Disorders


Overview:
Allspice, Pimenta dioica(L.) Merrill [Fam. Myrtaceae], also known as pimento, Jamaica pepper and clove pepper, is an evergreen tree found in South America, Mexico and the West Indies. The unripe berry, which smells and tastes like a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, is used primarily as a food and medicinal flavouring agent. Allspice is used in folk medicine for treating many different conditions including: colic, infantile diarrhea, cholera infantum, bleeding lungs, painful menstruation, chilblains, nausea, chills, flatulence, corns, colds, dyspepsia, neuralgia, and rheumatism. However, there are no clinical studies to back up these claims. The herb is considered to be a stimulant, carminative (for treating gas), anodyne (a pain-relieving medicine milder than an analgesic), and antioxidant, bactericidal, fungicidal, and stomachic. Dr. James Duke in The Green Pharmacy refers to allspice as a tropical herb with a very complex aroma that is useful for treating indigestion. Animal studies with the total aqueous extract of allspice given by intravenous (i.v.) administration have shown that it reduces high vascular pressure (has hypotensive activity) and has a central nervous system (CNS) depressant effect. Interestingly, the hypotensive effect of identical doses (100 mg/kg) of the aqueous extract (95% decrease) was significantly greater (P < 0.05) than the effect of the ethanolic extract (67% decrease). The researchers also noted that there were no significant changes in the heart rate and no abnormalities were observed in the EKG. Another study using intraperitoneal administration of different extracts of allspice to normal and hypertensive rats caused a depression of the central nervous system (CNS) in a dose-dependent manner. Analgesic and hypothermic effects were also observed. Again, the total aqueous extract was more effective than the ethanolic extract. It was noted that the extract caused peritoneal irritation that may only partially explain the depressive effect over the CNS. 

 

Peppermint Oil

A rouge addition, for herbs are just as good as spices, but this one keeps me going at work when I cannot focus; whether it be pain, negative attitudes emanating in the office, brain fog, boring-ness, restlessness, need coffee-ness. It’s amazing how it has a similar effect as Aderrall, without thinking you’re Superman snorting lines. I just add two drops to a water bottle or something actually dab a teeny bit under the nose to help inhale it.

Peppermint essential oil is a fantastic essential oil with a sharp, invigorating and very familiar scent especially around the winter holidays. Historically, the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used it and it’s one of the oldest essential oils still in use. Most aromatherapy experts call peppermint essential oil a “must have” due to its ability to ease headaches, help with sleepiness and soothe digestive problems.

Helps with Nausea and Digestive Issues

To ease nausea and other digestive problems, place a single drop of peppermint essential oil onto a piece of cotton and inhale deeply. You could also hold the small bottle containing the essential oil beneath your nose, if it’s not too strong for you. Add a few drops to a massage oil (never apply essential oils directly to the skin) and lightly massage the stomach to help with other digestive problems such as indigestion. While peppermint essential oil helps with digestion, it should never be taken internally without first checking with a care provider.

Relieves Headaches

To relieve headaches place a drop of the peppermint essential oil onto a cotton ball, find a quiet place, close your eyes and inhale deeply. You could also place a few drops into a diffuser and lay down for a few minutes until the headache eases. Many aromatherapy experts feel peppermint essential oil works faster than commercial drugs at relieving headaches. If you can’t find a quiet place to inhale the oil, combine a one or two drops of peppermint essential oil with a massage oil (about half a cup) and rub a few drops into your wrists or temples.

Combats Sleepiness

Another peppermint essential oil benefit is that it’s invigorating and can wake you up when you’re feeling sleepy. Rather than having that cup of caffeine in the morning, try adding a few drops to a diffuser, deeply inhaling peppermint essential oil, or drizzling a drop or two onto the floor of your shower to help you wake up.

Reduces Inflammation

In addition to other abilities, peppermint essential oil mixed in a massage oil reduces muscle inflammation. If you’re tired, headachy and have sore muscles, get a full body massage using the mixture. You may find this one oil eases all of those problems. Great for joints that are tired from being in the same typing position. I curiously use the oil straight on the joints and was nicely surprised.

And to concluce: a random link on anti-inflammatory diets.  I hear it’s all the rage.:

http://www.inflammation-information.com/anti-inflammatory-foods.html


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The Murder of Two Silver Hairs

Dying hair is not considered much in terms of long-term safety, more so about how long can you go before you drench your hair in paint again.  I certainly viewed it this way the few times I’ve dyed my hair and required follow-up maintenance.  But times have changed and the collective group of women willing to be educated are aware of the chemicals dangers in existence and on the rise.  Last night, I had the responsibility of considering whether I will dye with my mane with Naturint Permanent Hair Color, claiming to be safer than regular dyes (already purchased), or skip the vanity and leave as is, or experiment with Henna dye.

The following article about the risks , although very neutral, had me in a stupefied state.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0820/is_n253/ai_21034492/


I don’t dye my hair frequently and I don’t want to anymore. As a matter of fact, I’ve sprouted two “gray” hairs more akin to a silvery snow that I’ve grown fond of.  I don’t care to see them go.  But from my last ventures into hair color, I have slight discoloration. It’s only visible in the sun from my natural dark brown/black hair, but its there.  I was even going to name my two strands of wisdom but if I’m going to darken them out, there is no point in becoming attached.

Growing up, I had an uber-conservative mom when it came to beauty.  She never died her hair, barely wore make-up, and other practical fixins considered to be normal in society for a lady.  She grew up a poor and humble country girl where these things were not needed for survival.  She once told me if I ever dyed my hair, I would not be her daughter.  Being raised in Miami where the masses all have the same sun-bleached brain, there was no way I could not join the sheep herd and dye my woolen hair.  But the peer pressure and curiosity got the best of me.  Against momma’s will,  my best friend and a Loreal bottle  colored my hair into the color of a rusty trumpet.

Mom remained in smoldering silence when she saw the hot mess.  Of course, money had to spent on salvaging my straw mop head.  The chemicals must have reached portions of my brain because I can’t remember who footed the rescue bill, but I do know she let me remain her baby girl.  As usual, my dear ‘ol momma was right.  We just have an innate preference for the natural in my family, whether its the way we were brought up or our indifference to popular opinion.  I want my God-given hair to stay as it is.  At this point in adolescence, I went back to black.

Naturally, an unwritten ethos from a whimsical spaz is easy to forsake in times if fashion kicks and identity switches.  I dyed it for my wedding with some lighter and with some golden tones to catch and glimmer in the sun’s reflection.  A year later, I’m back to my natural kick and want it dark again.  And I’m apprehensive.  Should I leave it and wait a few years until it grows back all dark, or hasten the restoration of balance?

We can’t protect ourselves from all every and all chemicals. “Every year 1700 new chemicals are approved — that’s an average of five a day.” (The Autoimmune Epidemic).  We can buy a water filter for our kitchen faucet and still have residual chemicals, or drink bottled water that’s been leaching plastic particles in the overheated truck its being shipped in.  I’m doing a full on detox, but when the pain is insufferable I must take some man-tinkered pill. We can use everything organic, but we step outside and we’re breathing smog.  But I can make a decision for my next move whether to invite a risk that’s I’m suddenly painfully aware of.  Where is the balance?

I was feeling the stress of all the tiny decisions that come with having a hypersensitive, body begging nature to overpower my faulty immune,  whilst living in a highly toxic city and society.  Considering I was going to dye my hair anyway with regular dye, using a healthier one will not kill me today.  Just like we can’t prevent your kids from every stupid decision that comes across their head, like trying to give yourself blond highlights without a pro in the room, I cannot prevent myself from every dirty little compound that might affect me.  I’ve learned how to read one more label and to research even deeper before purchasing products that we’re never much of a concern before.

My hair is a solid chestnut brown and is looking pretty healthy.  The product itself was great and I would recommend it to anyone who colors their locks regularly and would like a healthier option.  But the paranoia I went through about scabbing, follicles rejecting my hair, and a Lupus flare-up: not worth it.  Not to mention my friend’s dad was talking to me about cancer half the time.  Next time  I go with the henna. Or grow it out. I already miss the two little testaments of time that were trying to make a point.

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