Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dr. Oz's Brain Boosting Smoothie

A power breakfast like no other, the 5 ingredients in this smoothie will keep your memory sharp, your mood elevated and your energy high.


1 banana Bananas are high in antioxidants, dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine boosts memory and attention while serotonin elevates mood and helps control appetite, memory and learning.

¼ cup blueberries Blueberries contain pigments called anthocyanins that give the fruit its dark color and also boost brain function. They also help protect the brain from stress and may reduce dementia.

A handful of hemp nuts These nuts are rich in Omega-3’s which are essential for the health of your brain and nervous system. Additionally, the compounds found in hemp seeds have been shown to promote memory, learning and immune function.

½ cup apple juice Apple juice prevents the loss of an important neurotransmitter called acetylcholine which is critical for memory and brain health.

1 tsp rhodiola rosea This liquid plant extract improves mood, alleviates depression and can also improve sexual functioning and libido. It’s available for purchase in natural food stores.

(you can also get the recipe here)

Monday, December 14, 2009

All Natural Cleaning

I don't know about you but I'm a little nervous about all the chemicals in my cleaning products. After learning what the ingredients are and how harmful they can be I've started to research my own cleaning recipes. For the past 6 months or so now I've been using 1 cup of white vinegar in a 32 oz spray bottle but I'm not really a fan of that vinegar smell. Today I was out of my cleaner and had to make more. I added a few essential oils to my water/vinegar mix and viola! The smell was gone and my house smells great! It even worked on those stubborn water stains on the water tray on my fridge! (seriously, I've been trying to clean that for years!)

Since winter hit I've been having a bit of an earwig issue and a few weeks ago I took a bottle of clove (seasoning mix, the same one you use in holiday baking!) and sprinkled it all over the outside of my house and since then I haven't seen a single earwig or spider! But to be safe I added 10 drops of clove essential oil, 20 drops of lemon (for cleaning and degreasing) and 15 drops of tea tree (for the antibacterial benefits). So far it's been just as effective as using Windex! It's even great on the windows!

So just to recap, the recipe is
in a 32 oz water bottle add 1 cup white vinegar
The best oils for cleaning are:
Tea Tree (anti-bacterial)
Lavender (anti-bacterial)
Lemon/ orange (cleaning and degreasing)
Clove (amazing natural pest controller)

As a rule of thumb don't mix more than 3 essential oils at a time. Mixing too many might not result in the best smelling product!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Royal Jelly

Royal Jelly is a substance of complex chemical structure produced by the young nurse bees as larva food. Although it is not quite as well known as bee pollen, royal jelly equals pollen in its salutary effects. The young nurse bees make royal jelly, it is a secretion from glands on the tops of their heads. For 2-3 days, royal jelly is the only food given to all young larvae in their maturation process, while for the queen larvae, it is the specific food for their whole life period. During the 3 days in which the worker bee larvae are fed on royal jelly, they reach the maximum development; their weight multiplies about 250 times. The queen (fed only on royal jelly for her entire life) reaches maturity 5 days earlier than the worker bees; and, when she is fully grown, her weight is double that of the working bee. The span of the worker bee's life is about 35-40 days; while the queen lives 5-6 years and is extremely prolific. She is fertilized once, and from that moment on can lay as many as three thousand eggs a day during the season. As incredible as this may seem, she can lay that many eggs for five years.

This rich concentrated food is not just useful for the bees. It contains remarkable amounts of proteins, lipids, glucides, vitamins, hormones, enzymes, mineral substances, and specific vital factors that act as biocatalysts in cell regeneration processes within the human body.
Although some of the elements found in royal jelly are in microgram quantities, they still can act supremely with co-enzymes as catalysts or can act synergistically. (That is, the elements' action combined is greater than the sum of their actions taken separately.) Royal jelly is rich in protein, vitamins B-1, B-2, B-6, C, E, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, inositol and folic acid. In fact, it contains seventeen times as much pantothenic acid as that found in dry pollen.

In skin care Royal Jelly has been found to tighten the skin making it incredible for anti-aging remedies.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Honey and skin care.

Honey has been used in skin care for many centuries. Cleopatra is well known for her milk and honey baths to keep her skin young and youthful. Honey has many wonderful skin benefits. It is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-irritant and chalk full of beneficial antioxidants.

It's a natural humectant which attracts and retains water - a major factor to assist the skin's ability to stay hydrated. The antioxidant properties in Honey make it great for protecting the skin from skin-damaging UV rays and free radicals, aiding in skin rejuvenation. This also makes honey a great addition to anti-aging products.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What the Beauty Industry Doesn't Want You to Know

Did you know that most beauty products are made with so many preservatives that can actually be harmful? Here I have a list compiled of some of the potential dangerous synthetic ingredients that the industries use.

Diethanolamine (DEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA), Triethanolamine (TEA) -
These chemicals disrupt hormones and are now known to even cause cancer! They are found in products that bubble (such as soaps, shampoos, etc.)

FD&C Color Pigments-
Can cause skin sensitivity and irritation. Absorption into the body can cause a depletion of oxygen.

Fragrances are used in most products to hide the odor of the other ingredients. Fragrance ingredients do not need to be listed because of formulation, or trade secret, laws. The symptoms of these fragrances include headaches, dizziness, rashes, skin discoloration, allergic skin irritation, etc. Fragrances can also effect the central nervous system causing depression, hyperactivity, irritability, etc.

Isopropyl Alcohol-
This is a solvent by-product of petroleum. You can also find isopropyl alcohol in antifreeze! It is often used as a solvent to dilute essential oils. Breathing in the fumes can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, etc. It can also be deadly if even 1 ounce is ingested!

Polyethelene Glycol-
PEG is an emulsifier used in cleaners to dissolve oils and grease and is also used as a thickener. PEG's are also used in oven cleaners and are very effective in drying out skin!

Propylene Glygol-
PG is used as a wetting agent or solvent and is the main ingredient in antifreeze. I was very surprised to learn that in the factories where the products are made the EPA requires that workers wear protective gloves, body suits, and goggles because this chemical is so toxic. the MSDS warns again skin contact because it can cause brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities. Wow.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate-
"In tests, animals that were exposed to SLS experienced eye damage, along with labored breathing, diarrhea, severe skin irritation and corrosion, and even death... according to the American College of Toxicology. Studies indicate that SLS kept young eyes from developing proper structural formation. This damage was permanent. " (Mark Fearer, Dangerous Beauty)

"One of the most dangerous of all ingredients in in personal care products, Research shows that SLS, when combined with other chemicals can be transformed into nitrosamines, a potent class of carcinogens that cause the body to absorb nitrates at higher levels than eating nitrate-contaminated food.... Stays in the body for up to 5 days." (The American College of Toxicology)

So now my question is: Why are there no warning labels for the harmful side affects of these products that we use daily? Why are the industries allowed to expose us, including our children and infants to such harmful ingredients day after day and none of even be educated on the possible consequences?