Category Archives: Journey to a healthier life

Apple Cider Vinegar

Today’s post is about the uses and benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar so be prepared for a long post.

In most cases you need to dilute the apple cider vinegar with some water, this is especially important if you are taking it internally. We use Braggs organic apple cider vinegar with the mother.

You can use apple cider vinegar for

  1.  You can help an upset tummy by mixing 1-2 tbsp into some water and sipping it during the day
  2.  Mix 1tsp ACV and 1 tsp honey in warm water before eating to help suppress your appetite
  3.  1tsp in a glass of water helps sinus infections by thinning the mucus, prevents germ growth, helps nasal congestion and sinus drainage.
  4.  Helps weight loss as in 2. above acetic acid suppresses appetite, increases metobolism and reduces water retention.
  5.  If you suffer dandruff or itchy scalp due to the high PH of the scalp (many shampoos and conditioners and treatments raise the PH of the scalp) try either an apple cider rinse (water and ACV) after washing the hair or spritz the hair with a mixture , leave on for a while (maybe 1/2 hr) then rinse off. Make sure you rinse your hair well after.
  6.  To boost energy levels if you are flagging mix 1tbsp ACV in a glass of chilled water. Heavy exercise and stress can cause a build up of lactic acid which in turn causes fatigue. ACV contains potassium and enzymes which help relieve that tired feeling.
  7.  Suffering from leg cramps?  This can be due to low potassium levels so try a glass of water with  1tsp honey and 2 tbsp ACV mixed in .
  8.  ACV also has anti inflammatory properties and can help balance blood sugar and PH levels so useful to take 2tbsp in a glass of water before bed and before heavy carbohydrate meals. Can also help reflux.
  9.  Reduces bloating and increases benefit of vitamins and minerals in your food.
  10. Do you suffer from smelly feet?  ACV has antibacterial properties so wipe your feet  over with a undiluted ACV .

As you can see there are many uses and its a good all rounder, it has also been reported to help skin conditions but its important to do your own research on anything before you decide to try it and seek medical advice if you are unsure before using it.

Heres a link for some advice on when maybe you shouldn’t use Apple Cider Vinegar.

As with most things moderation seems to be the key word,  if you take too much or overindulge in anything then there will be problems.

We are currently trying some of the benefits above so watch out for another blog post about how we get on when we share our personal experiences.

 

 

Robotic Shopping

How many of you do an almost “robotic shop” each week or fortnight, the same shop(s), the same products?

When I started wanting to use the kindest and gentlest products for the environment and health  I did an inventory of the products we normally used under our sink, in our bathroom, and on our dressing table.  I was horrified when we found out about the harsh chemicals that were contained in our regular products, and then we were pleasantly surprised when we checked out the prices of the alternatives and after trying some products we realised that they were probably just as economical as most were concentrated and you needed to use less so they lasted longer.  It really can be false economy buying the cheapest of anything as you end up using two or three times the quantity to get the same results.

I use the naturtint hair dyes and noticed it didn’t have the usual nasty strong smells that others have and afterwards my hair was very shiny and soft but more important to me there was no overpowering smell from the products nor did I have the usual itchy and burning scalp I experienced with other hair dyes I had used.

Its such a good feeling knowing i am cutting down on the harmful chemicals in the house and also helping the environment as well,  and I am so glad I took the time to have a look at our normal robotic shopping and changed it.  Let us help you change by introducing you to healthier alternatives all under one roof.   

The gentle revolution has definitely begun and we are proud to be a part of it , together we could make a massive difference and help this wonderful Planet and make sure its healthy for our children and their children to enjoy.

New Beginnings

Spring is just around the corner and is a time of new beginnings, a time for a spring clean,  declutter,  letting go of stuff that has held us back or cluttered our minds to make room for new ideas and new things to enter our lives.  It’s also a  great excuse to rule a line under that part of our lives and to move forward as we mean to go on.

Time to make sure we make the most of every minute, enjoy the people in our lives,  make happy memories and to  choose happiness whatever the situation because we have free will and even if we can’t change something we can change the way we react to it.

Rishika Jains’Inspiration from facebook says “Most of the things that we desire in life are expensive…… But truth is that the things that really satisfy us are absolutely free…………….”

So true and the sad thing is we don’t have time to experience those things that really satisfy us and are free cos we’re too busy making money for the things that we think we want or think we need.

Finally another story posted on facebook, I’m afraid I don’t know where it originated but it has been shared in many places. 

Married or not you should read this…

“When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn’t …know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly. She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company. She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane. When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day. She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. . She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me. On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it’s time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy. I drove to office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind…I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart. Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away. At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed -dead. My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push through with the divorce.— At least, in the eyes of our son—- I’m a loving husband….

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves.

So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy.  Do have a real happy marriage!

If you don’t share this, nothing will happen to you.

If you do, you just might save a marriage. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up.

Are we living dangerously?

A book I recommend to read is “Living Dangerously” by Pat Thomas. It makes you stop and think about things which many people don’t want to do but I think its something we all need to do rather than just accepting everything we are told or have been taught.

Are everyday toxins making you sick by Pat Thomas, it is just one of many books and its amazing how you find so many books and people all saying the same thing. In this book it says environmental pollutants are particularly dangerous threats to our health causing subtle damage to our bodies often years before producing recognisable symptoms.

FACT – We don’t get sick for no reason. There is always a reason.

GP’s treat the symptoms we present with but don’t usually look any further than that. In my opinion prevention is much better than having to find a cure so it makes sense to do your own research and gather facts so you can make your own informed decisions.

Our everyday lives are now full of different potentially harmful chemicals and pollutants hounding our bodies everyday, chemicals in toiletries, in cleaning products, in laundry products, pesticides sprayed on foods, preservatives and additions added to foods we buy, Wifi and Electro magnetic fields – all reported safe in small quantities but do we just use one product a day or eat one item of food only a day, of course not we use several toiletry items, several cleaning items and laundry items a day, everywhere we go there is Wifi and so on. Its actually quite a cocktail we subject ourselves to each day.

http://lawsgreenhaven.co.uk/have-you-had-your-daily-cocktail/

Who determines what is an acceptable risk? When there is a choice surely cutting down the risk to a minimal level makes sense? Its about damage limitation in my view as nobody can live healthily on an unhealthy Planet. Its time to wake up and realise what we are doing to ourselves and to the beautiful place we call Home.

Dealing with Night Sweats

 

Being a woman of a certain age with a few irritating symptoms I have been researching the subject of the Menopause and thought it may be useful to share some tips with you which I will be trying.

My main symptom is hot flushes and night sweats, not all the time but when it does happen its not particularly pleasant and disturbs my sleeping which then has an effect on other areas of my life.

1. The herbal supplement black cohosh if taken daily is reported to help relieve hot flushes.

2. Yoga and the Alexander technique are also reported to be good at alleviating both night sweats and hot flushes.

3. Vitamin E and also liquorice are good but beware that liquorice may raise your blood pressure.

4. By eating small frequent meals you can decrease the risk of hot flushes as large meals can dilate the blood vessels which can increase the problem of hot flushes and skin reddening.

5. Mushrooms, onions, milk, garlic, eggs, seafood and brazil nuts are good sources of  selenium which is an excellent antioxidant mineral and can help alleviate symptoms associated with Menopause as can Soya. Ladies who eat Soya seem to benefit from less noticeable symptoms and also run a lower risk of bone disease due to the bone strengthening effects of the food.

5. Sage tea is thought to help with symptoms.

I personally have found taking a turmeric supplement seems to really help me and have since found this link which explains why

After doing research it seems that having got to 53 years of age with so few symptoms is actually an achievement in itself as it seems many women start experiencing symptoms much earlier and many are well and truly Menopausal much earlier.

Perimenopause is quite a new term to describe symptoms caused by normal hormonal fluctuations that occur as a woman moves closer to her menopause.

Menopause is when menstruation stops and you are termed as Menopausal when you haven’t had a period for a year.  In the UK, the average age for a woman to reach the menopause is 51.

Now to finish on a lighter note a You tube video i came across which made me smile and reminds me if i only have a couple of mild symptoms I am very lucky i have probably more symptoms to look forward to.

I prefer to take a turmeric capsule as the amount you need if used in powdered form would make the food you are using it with unpalatable in my opinion.

Organic Turmeric capsules 

Being Happy with you what you have.

“The Grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”

We can relate this proverb to all areas of our lives, it basically means that other circumstances always appear better or more desirable than our own but more times than not in reality they aren’t.

I personally think more and more people are thinking this because life has changed so much over the last 60 years or so, gone are the expectations that you would marry someone from your local town, that you would work locally and you would probably be there until you died. With the internet it has opened up so many options, people have vehicles so can look further afield for work with better pay, they can meet lots of new people who they wouldn’t have met otherwise and so on.

We have far more choices now which of course is great but as with everything there is also a downside. More people aren’t happy with what they have, where they are or how much they are earning and become restless and don’t live in the present moment fully as they are always looking to the next better thing.

The grass always seem greener because its grass that we don’t have and we seem to think that  that what we don’t have is more appealing. My suggestion is by all means have goals and work towards them consistently because they are important BUT don’t focus on them because you don’t have them now, be present in the moment, whatever it is you are doing, whether its washing up for instance, feel the warmth of the water, the smell of the washing up liquid, the squeakiness of a clean plate and so on.

I have goals and dreams and I am taking action on a daily basis to move towards those goals but I don’t focus on the lack of not having them now, I have found that by living in the present and seeing what is happening around me right now has given me an inner sense of peace and by clearing my mind regularly and stopping the chatter in my mind to be still by meditation it helps bring me back to the present. When we stop for just a minute and really look around us you see so many beautiful things and “miracles” which we miss when we are busy concentrating on moving forward and moving on to the next job on our long list of things to achieve. Happiness is a state of mind and isn’t found from material possessions, in fact i am finding that material things do actually weigh me down sometimes and make me unhappy. What a turnaround!!

My happiness comes from an inner peace and watching the little things happening around me and its refreshing that i don’t have to rely on buying something to make me happy which then disappoints because actually that happiness is short lived and is always replaced by something else. Now i just need to “be quiet” to find that inner peace and happiness and enjoy what i have, where i am while i travel on the journey of life towards my goals.

Use your senses when appropriate when you are doing anything, see, hear, feel, taste, touch even if its a task that you don’t enjoy and you will feel better about it, when was the last time you went for a walk and looked around you, listened to the sounds for example or doing the washing up and feeling the bubbles and water on your hands, the gentle smell of the washing up liquid and so on?

I find this Book very helpful when I wanted to read more about living in the present moment.

 

Our bodies need nutrients not just Food.

 

Our bodies don’t just need food, they need nutrients from that food to enable the body to perform properly.

Have you ever felt that the food you are eating isn’t  perhaps as nutrient rich as it could be because of the intensive methods used to gain maximum yield from the crops/animal, the pesticides used and the fact that soils get depleted overtime anyway, then there is the fact food is stored in gas environments or chilled to be transported across the World. We were told the other day that its actually cheaper to pick crops and send them to Europe to be processed/packed and transported back than to keep them here throughout – how crazy is that ?!!!!! Its no wonder that by the time we get the food into our homes that its not as nutrient rich as it could be.
What do we do then? we cook it and that destroy even more nutrients. We have heard the term enzymes come up in several articles. Our bodies need these enzymes and our bodies can manufacture them ourselves.  Apparently cooking food destroys these enzymes in the food which aid digestion and so our bodies have to work extra hard to manufacture the enzymes so eating raw and ideally local and organic makes sure the food keeps all those enzymes your body needs.

So eating a part based raw diet is very beneficial.  I love eating a raw organic carrot, stick of celery  or apple and know people who have said that apples, carrots etc just doesn’t taste like they did years ago and that they find eating them boring because of it.

I personally think that there is a huge difference in taste between non organic and organic food, particularly carrots, celery and apples and find them so much tastier, so much so in fact I feel my body really appreciating them and a feeling of enjoyment and happiness comes with that.

Finding the cause.

After suffering almost continuously with yeast/fungal infections since my teenage years a few years ago I started doing my own research when medication would relieve the symptoms but would came back after the course had finished.  My sinuses also started causing me totally misery So I decided rather than just treat the symptoms it was time for me to start finding the possible cause and to find if maybe they were linked.

Doing my own research really opened my eyes and I realised that the regular thrush problems I experienced, the ear and sinus problems and even my regular headaches could actually all have the same root cause.

Yeast overgrowth which starts as an intestinal imbalance and apparently nearly every autoimmune disease has a yeast overgrowth component!  In my simple terms I understood that yeast overgrowth starts in the intestine and can infiltrate outside and go systemic, heading for all those moist areas of the body where it can thrive, like the sinuses, ears etc. It made total sense to me and I started researching what I needed to do to get my body back in balance. Why had I suffered for years and not once did anyone try and find out why I had repeat problems, it was just the symptoms being treated each time so of course it would return.

I read lots of articles and read lots of books, in fact everything i could find on the subject and came across information on Candida. Yeast overgrowth can affect your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from your body , there can be a lot of conflicting information out there and i think everyone needs to do their own research and find what works for them.

With Gary my husband having a Cancer diagnosis it speeded me along on the journey as I found common links but that will be another blog post.  The biggest thing I learnt was about the effect of sugar as yeast loves sugar and that again is another story,  just how many products you wouldn’t even think have added sugar and salt especially the processed and tinned variety.   I limit my fruit intake but have upped my vegetable intake, particularly greens and have found cutting out foods such mushrooms, vinegar and too much bread seems to have helped too.

Good gut health is so important and I’ve learnt about its connection to inflammation in the body which is a major factor in most illness and disease.  I have been taking a  probiotic and have enjoyed my journey experimenting and making water kefir using organic kefir grains which both help keep the gut bacteria balanced.

I have also taken the steps to eliminate other trigger factors for my sinus issues in the environment around me such as plug in and spray air fresheners and highly scented household products and have chosen to use Eco-friendly products which are not only better for me and my family but also for the environment too and have felt so much better with very few issues for several years now which is wonderful when it felt like an ongoing battle before.

It can feel like opening a can of worms when you start doing your own research and one thing can lead you onto another thing and so on but when you want more than just symptoms to be treated you really need to start looking at reasons why they are happening in the first place and that is what our journey is doing,  its difficult to realise that what you have been doing and treating as normal for decades has actually contributed to your problems and that is the first step which can then help you onto the next step which is changing things.

I will be doing a post on hidden sugars shortly and our experience. Most things seem to come down to two words which have become my favorite MODERATION and BALANCE.

There are way too many articles and books to list that i have read on this topic but heres a couple of articles i think explains things very clearly and simply which is what we all need initially before we start researching.

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8376/10-signs-you-have-candida-overgrowth-what-to-do-about-it.html

http://www.lewrockwell.com/2013/10/margaret-durst/the-horrible-health-effects-of-yeastfungus-overgrowth/