Yearly Archives: 2011

TOP 10 REASONS TO KICK THE COFFEE HABIT

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weight, Rebecca Lazar - TOP 10 REASONS TO KICK THE COFFEE HABITLike many of you, I was a coffee/caffeine junkee.  Of course, that was years ago, before I knew better.  I would drink at least 3 cups a day and couldn’t figure out why I had insomnia, anxiety attacks and heartburn.  It couldn’t possibly be as innocent as some coffee!  Sometimes, even reasonably intelligent people can’t add things up, what can I say? tongue Well, quitting wasn’t easy, so I feel your pain, but here are the top 10 reasons it’s a good idea to find something else to drink (see below for suggestions in case your mind went blank and you are bewildered that there are, in fact, other options):

  1. Coffee intensifies stress, causing an increase in adrenaline at an average of 40%, which results in increased blood pressure, heart rate, muscular tension, nervousness, perspiration and irritability, eventually leading to chronic fatigue, adrenal exhaustion, and subsequent inability to handle stress as well as sugar intake. In other words, you will look like this: at wits end
  2. Coffee reduces fertility. More than one cup a day makes a woman half as likely to conceive.  Now don’t go drinking massive amounts of coffee if you are trying not to conceive – that’s messed up!
  3. Coffee increases the risk of miscarriage, and can double the rate with just 163 mg a day, that’s only one cup. 75% of pregnant women drink coffee without knowing this.  It also has an adverse effect on baby’s muscular development and nutritional balance and increases the risk of birth defects.
  4. Coffee is extremely dehydrating and causes loss of potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc and other minerals, the B vitamins, especially thiamin, B1, and Vitamin C through its diuretic effect.  This means that, no, you cannot count coffee as part of the recommended 8 glasses of water a day.
  5. Coffee decreases the amount of sleep people get but does not decrease the need for sleep; thus coffee users are often suffering from sleep deprivation.
  6. Coffee drinkers have a 50% higher risk of heart attack, and osteoporosis and anemia are more common with regular coffee users.  Hmmm, not really worth it, is it?
  7. Coffee increases intellectual speed, but not power. So we may work faster but not smarter.
  8. Coffee relaxes the smooth muscle in the colon; this laxative effect of caffeine can  create a dependence, much like any other laxative.
  9. Coffee increases cholesterol and triglyceride blood levels.
  10. Coffee is a major dietary source of cadmium, a heavy metal that is carcinogenic and immunosuppressive, and promotes prostate hypertrophy and cancer.

OTHER CAFFEINE TIDBITS

  • Ten and a half ounces of coffee (two small cups) provokes an increase in HCl (stomach acid) output for more than an hour in a healthy person. In someone with an ulcer, the effect is greater and lasts more than two hours. (Hence the heartburn).
  • Most negative effects of caffeine can occur with regular use of over 100 mg daily. The average cup of coffee from a drip coffee maker will have 120-150 mg of caffeine per cup.
  • It takes body 3-6 hours to remove half of the caffeine consumed.

BUT I NEED/LOVE/WANT COFFEE, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Unfortunately, making the switch to your typical decaf variety isn’t much better since decaffeinated coffee contains methylene chloride, a toxic solvent.  So here are some other options:

  1. Switch to swiss water process decaf coffee, a decaffeinating method that does not use harsh chemicals, such as the Second Cup brand.  Don’t worry, Keurig lovers, for you there are Gloria Jeans swiss water decaf (regular and hazelnut flavor) as well as Van Houtte swiss water decaf.  Decaf is still acidic though, so use in moderation.
  2. Try herbal coffee substitutes such as Chickory Dickory Dock from David’s Tea or Teeccino.  They taste similar to coffee, without the caffeine, acidity and negative effects.
  3. Once you get over the fact that there isn’t coffee in the cup your carrying around, try putting herbal teas in there instead.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – there are many delicious varieties of tea: oolong, roobios, white, to name a few…..all with minimal caffeine and great taste, especially with a teaspoon of organic raw honey added.

So go ahead, quit the coffee habit and do something great for your health!

Sources

  • Food and Healing by Anne Marie Colbin
  • Allergies – Disease in Disguise by Carolee Bateson-Koch, DC ND
  • Eating Alive by Dr. Jonn Matsen, ND
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DECREASE MUSCLE & BACK PAIN WITH THE ACUBALL

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The acuball was created by a chiropractor and uses accupressure and heat (the ball can be heated for 1 minute to provide 1 hour of heat) to release knots in the muscles. It’s easy to use and helps decrease back pain, hip pain, and other muscle pain and tension. In this video I explain how and why to use it happy

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CHOOSING THE RIGHT SUPPLEMENTS

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Have you ever walked into a natural health store and looked at shelves and shelves of supplements and had no clue what you were supposed to be looking for?   You have a feeling you should be taking something to make you “healthier” but you have no idea where to begin?

Well, you’re not alone.  So many people get overwhelmed by the amount of supplements on the market claiming all types of health benefits.  The important thing is to understand the following key elements when choosing the right supplement(s) for your needs:

  1. Research before you buy – don’t just grab the first thing off the shelf because you have migraines and the formula says “migraine-ease” or something of that nature.  Look at the ingredients; research them; make sure there is enough of each particular ingredient to help your condition and that it won’t interfere with other medications or supplements you are taking.  Find out about the brand – has the company been around a while and does it have a good reputation?  Are the tablets so large that they may not break down and be absorbed properly by your body?  Do the pills contain many “filler” ingredients or additives?  It is so important to make sure that you are putting quality products into your system that really do work.
  2. Supplements are not a substitute for a healthy diet.  Don’t believe that if you eat unhealthy, you can simply take lots of vitamins instead.  Many people take tons of supplements simply because their diets are not up to par and they believe that the vitamins will “cancel out” those adverse effects.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way, so make sure your diet is a good one before adding numerous supplements to your regimen.
  3. Something that is healthy and beneficial for someone else may be harmful to you.  A good example of this is phytoestrogens.  While helpful for women with menopausal symptoms, phytoestrogens can be detrimental to women with estrogen-related problems, such as fibroids or some types of breast cancer.

So what should you start with?

Of course it’s always best to consult with a Holistic Nutritionist or other natural health practitioner trained to provide you with personalized supplement recommendations, because each person’s requirements can differ greatly depending on age and specific health issues.  However, the following are 5 supplements that almost anyone can derive benefit from and these can be taken on a continual basis, either individually or as a complete program:

  1. Vitamin C – There are numerous benefits to this important anti-oxidant.  The amount I usually recommend is 1000 mg/day.  If you have a sensitive stomach, take ascorbic acid, which is the most gentle.
  2. Green formulas – The equivalent of a serving of vegetables, these formulas are alkalanizing to the body, help to control sugar cravings, contain numerous vitamins and minerals and are detoxifying as well.   Many come in capsule form as well, if you can’t tolerate the taste of the powder mixed with water.  1 tablespoon per day is enough to reap the benefits of this important supplement.
  3. Probiotics – Due to the abundance of anti-biotics that many people take on a yearly basis, there is simply not enough of these “good” bacteria left in the digestive tract.  With this supplement in particular it is extremely important to look for a reputable brand, because of the instability of this product.  In other words, it may say on the bottle that it contains 5 billion active bacteria when in fact in can contain less than half, or in some cases, none at all.
  4. Omega 3 Fatty Acids – these “good” fats are important for everyone and are found in fish oils (make sure they are mercury-free), flax and borage oils.  Some oils are tolerated better than others, so you may have to experiment to see which is right for you.
  5. Fiber supplement – the average person simply does not get enough fiber in their diet.  Unfortunately, many people either overload on wheat fiber or turn to supplements containing psyllium as a solution to this problem, both of which can backfire by causing bloating and constipation, as well as stomach pains.  A better choice is flax fiber (ground flax seeds), or inulin fiber, both of which are gentle and non-constipating.

One last note: Remember to take your supplements every day; if they sit on a shelf they can’t really help you! happy

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HOW TO TREAT A SUNBURN

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weight, Rebecca Lazar - HOW TO TREAT A SUNBURNThe good looking but totally sun-fried legs pictured here was taken a day after my husband went sailing and didn’t bother using the sunscreen that I gave him.  His legs probably looked even worse but he suffered and did nothing for 24 hours until deciding to casually ask me “hey, is this normal”?  raised eyebrows

I’m not one of those people who believe you should slather on chemical sunscreen every time you walk out of the house.  You need Vitamin D and the best way to get it, is of course from the most natural source – the sun.  That being said, if you are going to be in the sun for more than 20 minutes or it’s a particularly hot day with a high UV index, sunscreen in definitely required.  I recommend and use the Badger brand, which you can find at most health food stores.  It’s natural, comes in an unscented or lightly scented formula, is water resistant and non-irritating to skin, including the face, even on my youngest children.

Unfortunately, sunscreen doesn’t work if you don’t use it, as you can see. tongue  So what’s the best way to treat a sunburn if you do get one?

Since a sunburn should be treated as any burn would,the first step would be to immerse the burnt part of your body in cold water or a cold bath for 10-15 minutes.  (For a soothing effect, you can add colloidal oatmeal, such as Aveeno).  After that, one solution is aloe, which is terrific for a sunburn.  The problem is, the best way – really the only way, in my opinion – to use aloe is directly from the plant, since the aloe gels and lotions you find at the drugstore usually contain too many chemicals and unnecessary ingredients. 

Another fantastic remedy is 100% pure aromatherapy lavender oil.  Use one or 2 drops every 6 hours, undiluted, over the burnt skin. (2 drops covers a large area).  Why lavender?  As the story goes,one day in the 1920’s, a French cosmetic chemist named Rene-Maurice Gattefossewas making fragrances in his lab.  He burned his arm very badly and thrust it into the nearest cold liquid – which happened to be a tub of lavender oil.  He was surprised to find that the pain lessened considerably and that his wound healed very quickly and left no scar.  He was so fascinated by this that he spent the rest of his life researching the healing properties of essential oils and actually was the one to coin the term “aromatherapy.” Cool, huh.  I thought so.

In addition to cold water, aloe and/or lavender, take an anti-oxidant formula to help speed healing, and of course, stay out of the sun for a few days!

In case your were wondering,  with this regimen it only took 3 days for that sunburn to heal.

Don’t forget your sunscreen and have (safe) fun in the sun! happy

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HEALTHY SNACK CHOICES FOR WEIGHT LOSS

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Confused about what to snack on when trying to lose weight and/or get healthy? Here are some of my personal top picks. All the items mentioned are strictly kosher soy-free (a couple of the items may contain soy lecithin), and some are gluten-free. Most of these products can be found at your local health food store, although some are available in regular grocery stores as well. Yes, snacks can taste good AND be good for you! Enjoy happy

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