Do You Drink Enough Water?

Do you drink enough water? Because I know I don’t! In fact that is one of my goals this year, to drink a lot more water. Did you know that the human body is made up of 80% water? That’s right, 80% of our body is made of water which means we really need to improve our water intake.

One of my many problem is that I don’t consume enough water. What this is doing to my body is actually not helping me age gracefully. By not drinking enough water I am not flushing the toxins in my body properly and I’m not giving my kidneys the right tools to help it work effectively. Also, by not drinking enough water I’m noticing my skin is getting exessively dry and not looking as nice and youthful anymore. I know some of you ladies and even men may share my pain and that is why I am reminding you all to drink an adequate amount of water.

Typically, we should all be drinking approximately 8 glasses of water a day. I know this sounds like a lot, but, remember we are made up of 80% water. So, shouldn’t we put back into our body what we are made of? Lately, what I’ve been doing is drinking a bottle of lemon detox water first thing in the morning when I wake up. The taste was definitely something I had to get used too, but, it definitely made a huge improvement in flushing out harmful toxins. Throughout the day I drink 2-3 extra large green teas and by the evening I’ll consume about 2-3 bottles of standard spring water. This routine has definitely been difficult to get used too, as I am constantly running to the bathroom, but, they say anything good for you will not be easy. So, I urge you all, take a look at your water intake and see how you can improve your water consumption.

Here are some of the main benefits of drinking water:
Drinking Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids.
Water Can Help Control Calories.
Water Helps Energize Muscles.

Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good.
Helps Purify and Stimulate the Liver.
Water Helps Your Kidneys.
Water Helps Maintain Normal Bowel Function.
Recipe for Lemon Water:
3-4 lemons, cut into thin slices
1/2 cucumber, cut into thin slices
10-15 mint leaves
5 quarters of warm water
Mix all the ingredients together and let it sit overnight to create a natural detox!
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Food As Medicine

I want to talk to you about the importance of food and how it acts as a medicine to help us prolong our lives and cure ailments. Chinese and Ayurvedic traditions have, for thousands of years, been fascinated with the beneficial and healthy properties within specific foods. Did you know that certain foods are considered energizing, while others are considered detoxifying or cleansing? It’s true, different foods have different beneficial properties that target specific problems.

We live in a time where we have become so accustomed to taking prescription medication for almost every itch, sneeze or cough. Medicine not only costs a lot of money, but, we also risk enduring harmful side effects because of these medications. Wouldn’t you rather ingest something natural that’s produced by mother nature instead of something chemically based and man made in a laboratory? Don’t get me wrong, I respect and understand the value of medication, however, I don’t believe we need to pop a pill for every minor health issue.

Did you know that ginger is a natural remedy for nausea? Or how about honey, which is an effective medicine for coughs. Saffron contains antioxidants that protect us against age-related vision loss. Garlic helps thin the blood, thus, lowering the potential risk of stroke. Or nuts, they support heart health and even men’s fertility. There are many beneficial health properties in foods, we just have to take the time to research and understand. And that’s where I come in, to help remind you of how awesome nature really is. Below are a few foods that you may want to look into to help you target specific problems. Take a look and share with your family and friends, because I know, we all could use a little reminder every now and then.

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Heart Attacks

Heart attacks can be extremely scary and debilitating.  In fact, every 7 minutes in Canada, someone dies from heart disease or stroke (Statistics Canada, 2011c).  Heart disease and stroke are two of the three leading causes of death in Canada.  These statistics are based on 2008 data (the latest year available from Statistics Canada). 

I am drawing attention to the topic of heart disease because my dad recently suffered his second heart attack. My dad had his first heart attack in 2009 and in less than 5 years he suffered his second attack. My dad and mom are my source of inspiration for writing about health and lifestyle awareness. After witnessing them deal with their medical challenges I knew I had to reach out to my community and raise awareness. I know there are many families out there that have suffered through similar experiences as my own family. Bringing awareness about certain common diseases or health problems will help others make better decisions pertaining to ones health and lifestyle choices.

Within my community, I noticed most of us tend to lead very similar lifestyles and have similar habits. Knowing this, I can’t in good conscience allow other families to go through tragedies all because of misinformation. I want to share some facts that could possibly help save someones life. By knowing some common signs of a heart attack you can save someone from suffering through a debilitating stroke and can prevent them from experiencing severe heart damage.

Here are some basic facts about the heart and how it functions.  The heart is a muscle. It works by carrying oxygen and nutrients in the blood. When the blood flows constantly and smoothly through the heart it gets energy and works properly. The misconception with heart disease is that it only has one condition, however, heart disease is actually a group of conditions that affects the function and structure of the heart. Take Coronary Artery Disease for example, it develops when a combination of fatty materials, calcium and scar tissue (also known as plaque) builds up in the arteries. These arteries supply blood to the heart and they are being blocked and clogged not allowing blood to flow smoothly. The plaque basically builds up and narrows the arteries and prevents the heart from getting enough blood.

Many Canadians die from heart attacks yearly because of not receiving medical treatment early enough.  Many of the deaths related to heart attacks could be preventable if we all knew the tell tale signs of a heart attack and notice specific symptoms.  By learning to recognize these signs you can significantly help someone or even potentially save a life.  One of the most common symptoms of a heart attack is chest pain in both men and women.  However, some people may not even experience chest pain at all, while others might feel a mild pain or slight discomfort or tightening sensation.  Some may feel pain in an entirely different area of the body, while others feel a combination of several symptoms.  Listed below are some of the most common signs of a heart attack that you should watch out for.

  1. Chest discomfort – uncomfortable chest pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain, burning or heaviness
  2. Sweating – sweating lightly or heavily, moist, feeling cool and hot simultaneously
  3. Nausea – upset stomach, need to throw up
  4. Discomfort in other areas of the upper body – neck, jaw, shoulders, arms, back
  5. Light headedness – feeling dizzy or light headed and have difficulty keeping balance
  6. Shortness of breath – uncomfortable breathing, pressure in chest

mindbodysoul

 

Detoxification

What is the meaning of detoxification?  Well, it’s sort of like a cleansing of the body from inside out.  The scientific explanation is the removal of toxic substances from a living organism.  Detox occurs when the body tries to eliminate and remove toxins produced in the body from foods, the environment and our genetics.  We are all relatively clean people whereby, we shower, keep our bodies and hygiene clean, brush our teeth, and etc..  However, rarely do we clean ourselves from the inside.  The reason being is we are not educated on the proper methods for detoxification.  Most of the time we aren’t even aware when our bodies require a detox.  So, I want to share with you all some symptoms that you should be aware of to determine whether or not you may benefit from a detox.

If you experience any one or more of the following symptoms, you may want to consider researching detoxes particular to your health needs.

  • Allergies
  • Bad breath
  • Bloating
  • Dark under-eye circles
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Indigestion
  • Poor concentration
  • Skin issues
  • Sluggish digestion

Here are some tips on how to minimize your toxic load and help keep your liver (your detox organ) clean.

  • Drink lots of WATER!  Stay hydrated.  Drinking good quality water daily helps flush out toxins.
  • Eat foods that contain high fibre such as fruits, veggies, whole grains and nuts and seeds.  Fibre helps to eliminate toxins by stimulating bile flow.  Also, the more regular and better your bowel movements are the more toxins you release.
  • Eat organic and avoid foods that use artificial ingredients, chemicals, pesticides, additives, and preservatives.
  • Eliminate anything that hinders your detoxification such as caffeine, alcohol, white sugar and bad fats.  Chemicals are also absorbed through the body and this means you should avoid certain beauty care products that contain harmful chemicals such as perfume, antiperspirant, makeup, soap, cream and etc.
  • Exercise!  Try to move your body everyday!  Incorporate effective breathing as well to help reduce stress and help blood flow to all the areas of your body to keep it limber and flexible.
  • Eat more detoxifying foods.  These foods can stimulate the liver to detox, purify the blood and promote bile flow and regular bowel movements.

 

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Hair loss

Hair loss for both men and women is hard to deal with.  Psychologically and physically it can take a toll on a persons emotions and well being.  Often genetics, stress, and lifestyle resort to hair loss.  Many people assume that genetics is the only factor involved in hair loss but in today’s fast paced life of stress, fast foods and improper diets, and beauty enhancements it is easy to succumb to hair loss even if genetically you’re not inclined to lose hair.

Both my parents always had full, thick, lush, silky and beautiful hair up until their 30s.  But something transpired chemically in both of them that resulted in hair thinning, loss and almost complete balding as they hit their 40s and 50s.  As I watched both my parents deal with hair loss I started freaking out and thinking, is this my future?  I do not want to deal with this problem at least not until I am in my 60s or 70s.  I needed to first figure out what caused their hair loss in their 30s and what I could do naturally to prevent it from happening and progressively getting worse.

After researching I came to realize that stress was the leading cause of hair loss for my parents.  Both my parents are entrepreneurs and work 7 days a week.  My mom works full time in the day for the government but goes to the office in the evenings to handle all the finances.  Constantly working combined with poor dietary habits and lack of water created a lot of stress that ultimately affected their health and immune systems.  As their immune systems were being destroyed because of poor habits and prescription medication, they were unable to produce proper hormones or chemicals necessary for the natural regrowth and replenishment of hair.  This cycle continued and as the years passed, both my parents continued losing their hair.

Doing just one thing won’t change the problem of hair loss.  Combining a few things such as including a proper diet, taking in proper nutrients and consciously taking care of the hair can lead to hair growth and prevention of further hair loss.  Take a look at the information I  gathered regarding hair loss and some of the tools I apply and some products I personally use to help me deal with this.  Try some of these tricks to help you, but remember, doing just one thing won’t change your problem.  Also, make sure you’re not allergic to any of the products I mentioned below before trying them.

Causes of hair loss

  • Stress
  • Immune dysfunction and auto-immune diseases
  • Trauma to the scalp
  • Side effects of chemotherapy or other prescription drugs
  • Hormonal imbalances such as – thyroid gland dysfunction, pregnancy, menopause, excessive male hormones
  • Hereditary factors in men
  • Ageing
  • Overdosing with vitamin A
  • Fungal infections of the scalp

~ Proper diet and consciously living healthy can drastically affect hair loss.  Here are a few things to note about useful foods and supplements and natural remedies that can help you deal with problems of hair loss.

Foods & Juices

  • Cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, onion and garlic are high in organic sulphur, which stimulates hair growth
  • Alfalfa in its sprouted form is a valuable source of phyto-estrogens which help to counteract the effect of excessive male hormones on the hair follicles
  • Silicon rich foods such as alfalfa and onion help the growth of strong and healthy hair
  • Carrot, broccoli and beetroot contain beta-cerotene essential to reduce inflammation in the scalp
  • Garlic contains selenium, which reduces inflammation in the scalp
  • Ginger can help speed up hair growth and reduce dandruff and inflammation as it’s a natural anti-inflammatory agent

~ By combining these items in a juice smoothie or eating them raw you ensure a healthy diet rich in proteins and necessary nutrients to help improve the circulation of oxygen rich blood to the scalp.

Juice smoothie recipe for Hair loss

  • 1 cup alfalfa sprouts
  • 2 cabbage leaves or 2 brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 2 slices red onion
  • 1 medium beetroot and tops
  • 1/2 to 1 clove garlic (optional)
  • 2 slices of watermelon (to sweeten if desired)

Supplements

  • Essential fatty acids such as flaxseed oil, salmon oil and evening primrose oil
  • Vitamin E to reduce scarring of hair follicles and improve circulation
  • Silica is one of the most essential nutrients our bodies need for healthy functioning and can drastically improve skin and hair growth – comes in the form of a pill or gel -bamboo, horsetail and collodial silica
  • Red palm or coconut oil

Natural remedies & preventative measures

  • Red palm oil or coconut oil – heat oil for 20 seconds, massage into scalp and run through hair, leave in for 2 hours or as long as desired, wash out oil with SLS and paraben free shampoos and conditioners (twice)
  • Red palm oil – also helps reduce greys while promoting healthy hair growth
  • Ginger – rub the juice from ginger roots onto balding or thinning areas of hair, let it sit and wash out, it allows stimulation of blood flow to the scalp
  • Silica gel – add 1 tablespoon of silica gel to smoothies, water, or consume it directly, or take 1 silica capsule a day
  • Avoid blow drying – avoid blow drying your hair after washing it, try to naturally dry it using a towel or air dry it
  • Avoid brushing hair while wet – brushing the hair daily while dry makes you lose 50-100 strands on its own, but doing it while the hair is wet causes breakage and damage directly to the hair follicles
  • Avoid chemical products whenever you can or use organic products free of parabens and SLS – styling the hair daily with harsh chemicals and products can lead to hair loss and damage to the scalp
  • For women: avoid hair extensions – constantly wearing extensions adds weight to the hair follicles and causes pulling, this slowly damages the roots and creates balding in the areas that have constant pressure or tightness

mindbodysoul

Natural is the way to go

For the past few years I have been on a health kick.  Dealing with the pressures of society to maintain health, youth and my image forced me to think of ways I could deal with this.  The internet is plagued with information on surgery and unnatural ways of healing and changing yourself and your image.  You have cancer, use chemotherapy to kill your cells.  You’re overweight, don’t exercise instead take diet pills.  You don’t have hair, get extensions or plugs.  You don’t have breasts, go buy and insert them.  You don’t have a butt, get injections.  You have wrinkles, freeze your face and inject it with unnatural compounds.  There is a surgery or evasive treatment for almost everything out there now.  Not only that, but most of us are unfairly pressured into believing that, in order to maintain health and youth, we all have to eventually resort to this unnatural way of living.  The general population is then made to feel inadequate and inferior to others while being compared unrealistically to societal standards based on extreme and unnatural enhancements.

Women and men have spent thousands upon thousands trying to perfect their image.  We can all stand to go for a tune up now and then.  We all want to and deserve to look our best.   However, at what cost?  The amount of money one could save by doing things naturally is astonishing.  The personal health risks one takes while experimenting with foreign objects in his/her body is mind blowing.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am not judging nor am I being critical of anyone who has undergone surgery to correct their image.  We all have a right to choose how we want to live and we are the rulers of our own body and image.  Furthermore, there are certain diseases or health issues that require surgery or evasive treatments because it is the absolute last resort and the only way to cure it.  I myself have even considered rhinoplasty for years but just can’t seem to convince myself to go ahead with it.  I personally feel that a person should educate him/herself on alternative, natural or holistic treatments before resorting to evasive treatments.

Many people are not educated enough on natural remedies or natural beauty products that could help you retain youth while keeping you healthy internally as well.  We live in a time where we are all looking for a quick fix.  We have an endless amount of resources for unnatural ways to change, but very few resources for natural cures and remedies.  But, in order to be truly healthy, youthful and energetic we need to maintain our health internally and externally.  Going natural is NOT a quick fix.  The biggest let down for most people looking for a quick fix while trying things naturally is the expectation of immediate results.

But, if we are all taught about natural ways to heal, fix and correct from a young age, we learn to develop positive habits that reinforce health and youth.  The problem is most people are not provided with enough guidance about products or specific natural plants, foods and formations such as sand, rocks, stones, and etc. that help with the aging process.  How do you think people 3000 or 4000 years ago maintained health naturally?  They didn’t have large pharmaceutical companies shoving pills or cosmetic surgeons sucking out fat or injecting the body with chemicals.  They must’ve done things naturally that still worked.  How else could the human race have evolved to where we are now?

In the very near future, I will dedicate a few blogs specifically related to natural remedies.  They will outline some key natural ingredients that the human body requires to maintain good health.  I will also outline alternative medication or ways to solve common problems such as the cold or skin disorders and etc.  Hopefully, by writing and sharing enough information I can help others avoid resorting to unnatural ways of curing their problems and thus help change their perception on quick fixes and what it really means to be healthy.

Time to reflect:

Do you feel pressure from all around to be a certain image?  Have you considered going under the knife or doing something evasive to correct a problem you currently have?  Body image is a delicate subject and everyone has insecurities.  We all want to change certain things about ourselves but how far are we willing to go?  Look at what you wish to fix and instead of resorting to a quick fix, try looking for alternative ways to improve those qualities you feel you lack.  For instance, if you have dry skin, look for natural products to help relieve dry skin without using lotions with chemicals.  Once we start being truly healthy, our minds will also become healthy and not be consumed by the pressures of society to do things unnaturally.  

mindbodysoul

“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” ~ Buddha 

Consciously living healthy

Over the past few years I’ve been gravitating toward subjects related to health and wellness.  I particularly had an interest in holistic medicine, meditation, yoga, raw food diets, healthy living, self healing, and consciousness; just to name a few.  Around the time of my quarter life crisis, I realized that I was quickly approaching my 30s.  So, I went on a frenzy to gather any and all information that would help me age gracefully.  Living in a society where women are constantly judged on their appearance and pressured to stay looking young by any means, made my paranoia, with aging, grow exponentially.  I wanted to target specific areas that I was having trouble with.

For the past 5 years I’ve been trying to live healthy, but failed to maintain that lifestyle.  Today, I have made a conscious decision.  I am going to live a healthier life by consciously changing my habits and lifestyle.  This is a bold statement considering I have a lot of bad habits that, some would say, are hypocritical of living a healthy lifestyle.  I binge eat and prefer junk over healthy food, I drink and smoke, and finally I don’t get proper sleep or exercise.  But, if I aspire to accomplish this conscious choice, I have to declare my intention and follow through with the appropriate actions.

The first step to consciously living healthier is to acknowledge the flaws.  I know personally, I lack a proper diet and don’t exercise regularly.  I have wrinkles, grey hair, hair and bone density loss because of stress and my constant binge eating, drinking and smoking and lack of sleep and proper exercise.

Becoming aware of the problem will force you to do something about it.  The very fact that you are consciously aware of your problem creates a moral obligation to change yourself.  Once you’ve acknowledged the flaws honestly, you then have to choose what to do and how you can change those flaws.  I personally gathered information on raw food diets in an attempt to eat healthier.  I researched specific at home workout routines targeting my weak areas to avoid paying costly membership fees at the gym.  I then researched holistic and natural remedies  to help improve my overall wellness without it costing an arm and a leg and resulting in evasive surgery.

The next thing is to stay true to yourself and try what works for you.  We’re constantly surrounded by people on Facebook or Instagram taking millions of pictures of their weight loss or success.  It’s easy to get mixed up in the hype of doing what every body else does.  So, you have to consciously choose who to follow as your role model.  Choose someone with similar features or body type as you, or someone who dealt with similar bad habits as you and overcame them.  Follow those who are striving for similar goals as you.  By doing this you can learn their techniques and apply it to yourself the best way that suits and helps you achieve results.  Remember, you were born original don’t die a copy.  Don’t copy others, make up your own rules by learning from others while making it work for you.  By applying these techniques you finally get to address the problem, face it, come up with a plan to fix it and then follow through with actions that ultimately help change it.

Here is a list of things I am consciously choosing to work on in my life:

  • Eating healthier – focus on raw food diets, avoid foods that contain GMO’s, avoid junk food and consciously choose a healthier option by making my own smoothies and meals
  • Exercising regularly – work out 3 times a week and incorporate one activity such as yoga, pilates, kick boxing, or etc. in addition to working out
  • Cutting out my bad habits – stop drinking alcohol, only on rare occasions, cut out smoking, only on weekends never during the week, eat smaller portions more times throughout the day to avoid binge eating at night
  • Using natural remedies to improve my health – use red palm oil for hair loss and reducing greys, ginger to improve blood flow and increase hair growth, add silica, cinnamon, lemon and honey in tea and other foods to help build my immune system, use almond and castor oil for my dry skin and to naturally reduce wrinkles, do facial yoga and try acupuncture to improve blood flow to the face for a natural facelift, incorporate meditation in my daily life to naturally reduce stress without resorting to western medicine (ie. pills)

Time to reflect:

Have you consciously chosen to do something?  Maybe you too are trying to live a healthier life.  Are you on a budget and looking to not spend a ton of money to change?  Are you looking to cut out some of your bad habits or maybe incorporate new good habits?  Whatever you wish to achieve, once you’ve chosen to consciously do something, take the time to reflect on what that something is.  Be honest with yourself and stay true to who you are.  Focus on the areas you are concerned with and research your options.  Look for role models with similar goals as you so you don’t get caught up in the hype of achieving results not intended for you.  Once you’ve consciously chosen to do what you want, following through with the appropriate actions to achieve your results becomes very easy.  Do you have any tips for living a healthier lifestyle?  If you do, please share!

mindbodysoul

“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear”. ~ Buddha