Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Today I am talking about an organization that does a tremendous service for impoverished people around the world.  The name and link to the organization is CleanTheWorld.org

I will quote to you, in their own words, what Clean The World is about, “CTW is a non-profit, charitable organization that recycles soap, shampoo and lotion discarded by hotels, and distributes the recycled products worldwide to people who need it to prevent the spread of disease and death.”

Clean The World was in service prior to the earthquake in Haiti.  More than ever, they need additional funds, soap and shampoo, and volunteers to aid with relief efforts.

I am inspired and touched by the videos on the Clean the World site.  I hope you are able to watch and see for yourself the magnificent efforts of CTW.

Thank you, and God bless!

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With H1N1 on the scene, people are washing their hands more frequently and are using antibacterial products more often as well.

With frequent hand-washing, I recommend products that are natural, or as natural as possible. 

Dry your hands completely between washing.  Do not expose your hands to extreme cold temperatures while damp.

When bathing, do not use overly hot water.  Hot water tends to sap the skin of its natural oils.  When the hands and skin become stripped of natural oils, they are more susceptible to bacteria and skin irritation.  Skin allergies can also flare following over-washing of hands.

Use products that moisturize the skin often.  Products that contain natural oils are beneficial to dry skin in the coldest of seasons.  They can provide a thin protective barrier to the elements.   

I read an article, and have chosen to not link to it, that advised readers to not use a bottle of soap if it lists “soap” on the label.  I disagree with part of that statement.  Soap that is just that, soap, and not a detergent, is better for sensitive skin than a soap that contains detergents and surfactants.  A “true” soap simply does just that, it cleanses the skin without additives that may/or may not irritate your skin.

I have talked about anti-bacterial products before, and I am not going to dive back into them in-depth today.  In my opinion, for your own immune system to work properly (to not develop immunities), and for the environment’s sake, I personally avoid anti-bacterial products.

Simple skin care…less irritating, the bottom line.

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In most states the sale of raw milk is illegal.

Raw milk has been linked to certain illnesses over the course of history, however, raw milk, especially goat milk, has acted as a “wonder drug” according to those that drink it.  Many report lowered cholesterol, improved blood sugar, and children that thrive on the milk as well, with overall allergies tremendously lessened.

I read an article this morning, posted to the Wisconsin State Journal regarding the safety of raw milk.  All the while thinking, so many illnesses are blamed on certain types of food.  Take the big spinach scare – the problem was not the spinach, it was likely the water in one location that was contaminated.  One farm, one isolated problem…not the spinach itself! You might find this article in The Atlantic interesting as well, re:  Why Small Farms Are Safer, it touches on the food safety issue as well.

I make no bones about it.  I drink raw milk.  I am not a huge milk drinker, but I feel safe in knowing where my milk came from…what went into it…what did not go into it.  If I were to sell raw milk, I would definitely want it to be tested, for the peace of mind, safety for others. 

As the article from the Wisconsin State Journal mentioned, why can tobacco be sold? Tobacco has been tested.  It has no healthy benefits.  It has been proven to cause deadly health issues on a consistent basis, unlike raw milk, yet, it is one hot commodity.  Hmmm?

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No matter who you are…a busy individual  running a business…a student cramming for exams…a parent caring for youngsters…no matter your degree of busyness, I hope you remember to stop and enjoy the simple things in life. 

The simple things are the abundance’s that have been given to us. 

My kitchen is full of windows, one nearly spans the back wall.   From it I can see my shop and a bird feeder.

This morning I noticed birds watching the feeder from afar…many beautiful hungry birds…intent on seeing when “the human” was going to fill their feeder with seed.

And then, I saw the red-headed woodpecker.  He was a big young man.  As if he knew I was trying to take a picture, he flew off each time I silently inched towards the window. 

He made several trips to the feeder.  With a mouth full of seed or corn, he would fly over to the electric pole.  He carefully climbed the pole and placed his harvest inside the pole’s crevices and splits.  Delightful…smart creature! He was happy.  He knew his abundances.

Most of the birds had flown each time I took a picture…but a few remained in the lilac bushes.

Have a beautiful day…please savor your abundances, the smallest of things in life!

“Whatever we are waiting for- peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.” – Sarah Ban Brethnach

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Rainy December Day

Have you ever been busy enough to barely notice the rain? Have you ever laughed enough to not notice the darkness during a short winter-type of day?

Rain, it is something nature seems to require more of during the hot summer months, verses late fall when the deluge appears to check in for the long haul.  The fact is, trees can die in the winter months from a lack of water just as easily as they can during a parched summer season.  A drought can be reversed during any month of the year.

We, as humans, are in need of life-sustaining water as well.  We can experience inner-droughts.  But I am really not reflecting on the water that we drink to keep our bodies ticking.  I am referring to the life-sustaining laughter and happiness that we require. 

Do you know someone who is internally shriveled up, filled with bitterness, no longer able to see the break in the clouds, no longer able to laugh even during the darkest of days? I have.  I would love to give them a drink of the good water, to nourish their minds and souls.  Purge the ugly thoughts that seem to envelope them.  End their drought…their lack of hope.  

Do you think we need to remember that our bodies need replenishing too, not only with wet water, with spiritual water, to prevent an inner-drought? Do you think we can focus on love, laughter, humanity and gratefulness despite the dark days? The tree sustains itself during the darkest of months, renewing itself just in time for the dry summer months, should we do the same?

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I met each and every business goal this year.  I did what I said I was going to do, and more.  I worked hard 

But, what got put on the back burner? Personal goals.

I will not bother with listing all of those goals here, not today, but I will mention the one personal goal I am pursuing (as of last Monday), the weight loss goal.

I got out of bed Monday morning, made my coffee, sat down for a moment to ponder, and realized I was the only one that could fix the gradual weight gain problem.  My choice was to either continue to procrastinate, let my brain control my habits, turn into a rolly-polly, or I was to set my foot down and take care of myself.  I chose to take care of myself.

One of my obstacles has been well-meaning friends.  No excuse, is it? The comments I hear are, “You are not that out of shape.”  “You look good to me.” “If I was not married, I would date you.”  “Don’t go and think you have to be sickening thin to be pretty.”  Oh my word…they are innocent comments, comments that I appreciate very much.  Dear friend(s), I am gaining way too much weight, and I feel uncomfortable.  I am not going after weight loss because I feel ugly.  I simply want to feel healthy. 

Dear husband, thank you for your support! I can tell he feels enthused, and normally he goes on his own path of eating healthier when I do.  I cannot ask for better than that.  He does not tell me what to do, and he makes no comments, but there is something there that tells me he knows what I am going through.  I love him for that. 

My husband is not a vegetable eater.  I normally take vitamins to counteract my lack of vegetables.  This week I decided I had to adopt better nutrition despite the fact that he only likes corn and green beans.  I sat down tonight with a large bowl of steamed asparagus.  I sat the bowl down to the left of my plate, where it was not within his peripheral vision.  I told him to not look.  He did.  And he looked sick.  I said to him, “I have to eat healthier.”  Sweet as he could be, he replied, “I know you do.”

Thank you!

Anyhow, that is my story.  It is about being in a frame of mind to take better care of me, and everything that surrounds me.  I am living healthier on purpose! It is my God-given duty!

Have a beautiful weekend!

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I will admit, I drink bottled water at home.  Our water is very hard, containing a lot of iron.  Our water did pass the last safety check.  The problem is it does not taste like crystal clear pristine water.

The jury is out when it comes to plastic bottle safety.

Some say plastic bottles are safe when they are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET).  I use PET bottles and containers for my lotion and cream products.  

Some reports say PET bottles are safe to reuse (for water or food), only as long as they are washed properly, just like we would wash a cup or a glass.

Some reports say potentially harmful substances leach from bottles when the bottles become too warm (for example), or when the bottles are etched or reused.  Others say plastic bottles are safe as long as they do not contain bisphenol-a (BPA).

The last couple of cases of water that I have purchased have tasted “off,” which brings me to thinking about what I (we) are drinking.  I know the contents are considered safe, but it makes a person wonder…shouldn’t we simply invest in glass and stainless steel, and drink the safest water we can get our hands on? I am on a well, the water has been tested, I know it is safe. 

Tap water in a city is another issue.  Again, throw the hands up in the air and say, what do you do? I read headlines yesterday that said city tap water can contain undetected drugs and waste.  The water cannot be tested for each and every substance, the testing process is monumental.  But still, some are saying that bottled water is less safe than tap water, based on this report from the United States Government Accountability Office.

Do we just do our best? Hope for the best? Are  spoiled? Should we get used to what comes from our faucets and deal with it?

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Goat Milk

A few days ago I poured 2 ounces of whole cow milk into a cup, thinking it would be a quick refreshing drink. 

I took a sip…blech!!!!

Several thoughts crossed my mind.  The milk did not taste right.  It tasted metallic.  It seemed processed.

Then I realized I had not tasted store bought milk in several years.  I do not drink milk often, it mainly goes into soap and lotion.  When I do put goat milk up for myself, I filter and drink it raw, ice cold.   

What a difference!

It was like comparing the taste and texture of a fresh summer garden tomato to a store bought hot-house tomato purchased in the middle of January!

How I would love to be totally self-sustaining on the farm.  I would love to grow every ounce of our own food.

Can you imagine how much healthier we might be if we shrugged all processed foods?

I have been nibbling on protein bars here and there, helping me to fill in the gaps between meals.  Reading the labels on the boxes tells me, “You can do better than that, lady!” I would be better off drinking 4 oz. of fresh milk.  It would work the antibodies up in my blood, not to mention lower cholesterol, amongst other helpful things. 

What do you think, have you had dreams of being self-sufficient, or at least nearly so? 

Do you think we, as a whole, could be much healthier without the chemicals and processing of our food?

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A friend very close to me has Alzheimer’s disease.  I have known others in my life that have had the disease, but this one sticks particularly close to my heart.  I find myself reading every article on the topic that crosses my path.

Experts say there are 7 steps to the disease.  My friend is at a 6.  She is holding her own, thanks to her husband.  He works  his tail off to take care of both him and her.  We should all pray that we have someone in our lives that will ensure we live a good life if we are someday diagnosed with this horrible disease!

The latest article that I stumbled across indicates that studies are showing the development of Alzheimer’s may be linked to a lack of sleep.  I am not crazy about the studies done on rats, but they are what they are.  And, sadly, there are medications that work well on rats but not so much on humans.  Alzheimer’s is one of those medical conditions (such as diabetes, cancer) that all of us hope for great strides towards a cure!

Another reason to really work hard at not living continuously on a lack of sleep!

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Sleep Facts (And A Few Thoughts)

Alarm Clock 

Based on conversations with you (my friends), many of us experience bouts of insomnia.  I certainly do! Because of that malady, I am very drawn to articles about sleep. 

It is a known fact that the average human lives longer than they did 100 years ago.  Not surprising at all, recent studies indicate that the general population is sleeping less and less on a nightly basis.  The less sleep a person averages, the shorter their life-span and the less able they are to fight off disease.  Per Lawrence Epstein, MD, author of The Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep, “Sleep has shortened in duration from 8 hours in the 1950’s to 7 in recent years.”  The question that I cannot seem to shake is, if we are sleeping less, will our life spans be shortened (as a whole) in generations to come?

Have you ever experienced a couple of sleepless nights that left you feeling as if you could not handle yourself emotionally? One of those days where you know you had better just STAY QUIET ALL DAY, ha! According to Phyllis Zee, MD, of the Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology at Northwestern University in Chicago, when people are sleep deprived the stress hormones in their bodies are increased.  And guess what else increases? Inflammation.  Remember the achy back, sore knees, and swollen ankles (especially in us middle aged folks) when we are sleep deprived? Ta-da…it is definitely a double edged sword…no sleep…feel worse…feel worse and no sleep.

Another thing that fascinates me, did you know that we still have growth hormones in our bodies when we are between the ages of 20 and 60? The more sleep a person gets, the more rejuvenated they are, and it is related to growth hormones.  We do not grow at those ages, but our body does repair itself.  The hormones help with muscle mass, better skin, younger looking all the way around.  And the number one way to keep the hormones as high as possible is to sleep well!

I am not going to talk about sleep until I am blue in the face, besides, I need a power nap soon! Oh, speaking of power naps…a daily nap, of 30 minutes or so, can increase a person’s life-span by up to 30 years!

By the way, nobody really knows the correct amount of sleep people should get.  They say it depends upon genes.  Some people need 8 hours, some need 6.  The entire thought wraps around one thing, being sleep deprived (whatever that number is), is not healthy. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all sleep like babies again? A person might wonder, do we have too many electronics in our lives (computers, cell phones, games, televisions)? What about the new compulsion of working around the clock, mixing work and personal life? Many years ago people read at night, by oil lamp or candlestick.  Early to bed, early to rise.  I wonder if there were many insomniacs back then? Oh well…another topic…another day.

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