Category Archives: Top Tips 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.

 

 

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.

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/

 

How protecting our Health and the Planet is linked.

Protect our health and Planet
Protect our health and Planet

Protecting our Health and the Planet are linked.

For me it means thinking about how my daily actions affect my own health, that of my family and also the impact it has on the environment.

Many people associate going greener just with the environment but on my journey I have realised that actually a lot of what is having a negative impact on our environment may actually impact our health negatively too.

A lot of the products people buy for cleaning their home, washing their clothes and personal care items such as soaps, shampoos, sprays etc can be damaging to both health and the environment, instead of cleaning your home and making it safe it can make it toxic!

Manufacturers want us to belive that using their heavy duty chemical cleaners will bring harmony and loveliness to your life and make life easier. The fact is that fewer than a 1/4 of 70,000 chemicals used in these products have been fully tested for safety and substances classified as hazardous waste are found in many common cleaning fluids.

60% of any substances directly applied to the skin surface is readily absorbed, so our bodies may take in up to 2KG(4.4lbs) chemicals each year. The above information was taken from the book Organic Home by R. Richardson.

Unfortunately many people wait for either a health issue or health scare or an environment problem close to them until they start to open their eyes and start asking questions WHY?. Why wait when there are fantastic products out there at reasonable prices which are not only better for the health and well being of everyone but which also don’t add to the already horrendous problems faced by the environment?

Chemical experiment on ourselves

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Stop and think just how products we use on ourselves and in our environment on a daily basis and consider how many different chemicals are in those products, some cocktail wouldn’t you say?

Are we all really happy doing a chemical experiment on ourselves each and everyday ?

Awareness of the products and their ingredients has to be the first step, we can all look at labels but would be know what they are are if we can even pronounce them in the first place? Many of the ingredients are written so small that you have difficulty actually making them out or they are there but you have to lift a label to see them.
Awareness has to be the first step to understanding, then people can make their own informed decision.

Why take even the slightest risk by carrying on using products that contain potentially toxic and harsh ingredients?

My daughter has slight eczema but she has had no problem since we have been using ecofriendly products in the home, a pair of school trousers were washed recently in a shop bought biological washing powder (she didn’t know this) and within a few hours of wearing them her eczema had erupted quite badly on her legs.
My eldest daughter also recently used a well known facial wash/moisturiser after reading good reports about what it could do to help teenage skin, she woke up with blisters on her face.
So many irritations, allergies i believe are caused by using chemical laden products in the home, environment and on ourselves, we do all really need to stop and start thinking for ourselves.

Shop for healthier alternatives from Ethical Superstore

Eat Healthily

We have come to the conclusion that back in the 1940s was probably the last time the Planet and people were at their healthiest, animals grazed naturally, were fed normally and being grazed on grass was considered normal, there were not as many pesticides, produce was local grown and consequently fresher when we get them on our plate which has to be a good thing from a nutritional point of view which seems to be overlooked over convenience and price!

An increase in population means more pesticides have been developed to increase yield, animals have been given growth hormones and fed differently to ensure a higher yield, people have become cash rich but time poor so many have turned to processed food to save time, fresh produce has travelled many miles to the supermarket before we buy it or has been treated to preserve it longer.

Short cuts ALWAYS have a price to pay at some point.

We have also decided that you can’t live totally healthily on a “sick” Planet as we can’t control things like environmental pollutants There are many factors which affect our immune systems, diet, stress, pollutants, chemicals as well as environmental factors.  We now have a lot of radio waves transmitting around us, wireless networks, mobile phones and so on and we won’t know for many years how and if these are affecting us in a negative way  but we can limit the damage by doing what we can and we believe it is something everyone should think about.  Two factors we can can control is what we put on and in our bodies.

Many tinned and processed items have hidden sugars so its always wise just to glance at the label and see how much sugar it contains, when I started doing this it was a real eye opener.  Watch out for another blog post on sugar soon.

Basically our way of life and diet in the Western World has led to our immune systems being compromised and without a healthy immune system you are more likely to develop disease and be ill.

A good general rule to go by is eat lots of colours, a rainbow diet and include raw foods.

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Acknowledge your feelings

 

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I’ve recently learnt a valuable lesson when anxiety forced to me to stop and re-evaluate my life. I had got into a rut and blinkers on in many areas of my life and now after taking time to analyse along with relaxing for a while I have a whole new perceptive and a deeper sense of calm and peace.

The last 10 months have been tough trying to find my way after being given a wake up call with my health which stopped me in my tracks.

It’s made me realise exactly what is important in my life and what isn’t. It’s also made me question a lot of things and has left me at times wondering what it’s all about on occasions and the more I see properly what’s happening around us and across the World the more I feel I don’t fit in which is quite unsettling.  We can’t carry on as we are abusing each other and the Planet.
Maybe we each have to create our own heaven on earth and find those with the same values?

Having had a close family member suffer depression and anxiety for many years I thought I had at least a general understanding of what people go through but I have now learnt that unless you have been through it yourself you really cannot have a clue. I’ve always classed myself as a positive, half glass full type of girl and thought anxiety wouldn’t ever affect me but that all changed a few months ago.

Its been a tough few years for us with us both dealing with cancer diagnoses and subsequent surgery and treatment and also losing a relative to the disease and seeing his decline all have had an impact and resulted in me absorbing myself in my work from home business and pushing myself incredibly hard whilst also dealing with all the usual everyday concerns of car problems and worries of family life as well as what’s happening in the World  which ultimately all built up and had to escape and panic attacks and anxiety were the result.

I became very good at shutting out any negative thoughts.  What I should have done is  acknowledged them and then let them go.

Panic attacks appeared resulting in feeling you can’t breathe, tight chest  and a general feeling of doom, especially every time I logged onto the PC, this forced me to step back and take a look at my life.  It was tough waking every morning and over breathing kicked straight in so I was spending the whole day struggling not to have a panic attack, I was so glad when bedtime arrived.
Someone suggested some adult colouring which I really enjoy now and I’m learning to crochet too and allows me to focus on something while also relaxing, walks out in the Countryside also really helped.

Learning to live in the moment and being mindful rather than mind full has also had a positive impact.  Learning that its OK not to be strong all the time and that that having a bad day is acceptable.

I have learnt a lot about myself over the last year, I’m still taking things slowly,  still learning more about myself on a daily basis and have good and not so good days.

We must listen to the small warning signs our bodies give us which we all too often overlook or reach for the pills so we can carry on or it will manifest eventually in something that brings you to a halt.  Being strong for others is also very noble but you can’t just push aside and overlook your own emotional needs as I have found out.

The journey continues.