Money impacts every decision that we make. You might wonder why a column on natural health would be about money – I find money to be an important aspect in choosing the right supplements to take.
I assume that everyone takes supplements to be healthier – otherwise why bother. But the question I ask is “are your supplements making you healthier?” I see many supplements in my day to day business – those that I sell, those from vendors who want me to sell theirs, and those that people bring in to show me what they are taking.
At least half of what I see is not worth taking. Before I go further, I would like to say that nutritional supplements are big business – really big business. Vitamins and herbs used to be manufactured by companies that were trying to make the best products to get the best results. However, over time, our wonderful American system gave birth to those who could use cheap raw materials and cheap manufacturing processes and make products that make them money – regardless of whether they actually work or are good for you.
I am often asked how a product I sell is different from a similar product sold by big discount chains. My number one answer is quality. In quality products, you will not find artificial fillers and dyes, you will not find tablets made with calcium carbonate (a fancy word for chalk), you will not find chemical substances like propylene glycol (antifreeze), you will not find synthetic vitamins or coal tar derived vitamins, you will not find shellac coatings, and you will not find irradiated or pesticide laden herbs.
Now you may be asking why this list of things you will not find in quality supplements is important. The answer is that they are either toxic, do not assimilate well, are not recognizable by the body and are therefore considered a toxin, or actually cause damage to cellular DNA (the blueprint by which cells reproduce). If you are taking supplements to improve your health, why would you take a product that has these qualities? The answer is always about money – the product was cheap.
I would like for all my readers (thank you for putting up with me) to go to their vitamin shelves and read labels. If the ingredient list on your multivitamin begins with calcium carbonate, throw it away – it is not worth taking. It is a cheap product that probably contains my entire list of what is not in a quality product. If your vitamin contains synthetic vitamin E which will be listed as dl-alpha tocopherol, throw it away – it is not worth taking.
I would like for you to read every label regardless of where you got your product. And don’t think that a product recommended by a medical doctor is exempt from this standard. Some of the lowest quality supplements I have seen were recommended by conventional medical doctors and were full of synthetic, artificial or toxic ingredients. The absolute worst I ever saw was a prescription prenatal vitamin.
Remember, in a world where money is the motivating factor, absolutely nothing is safe and the only way you can be sure of getting products that will actually help build your health is to learn about quality and learn to read labels.
Tagged Artificial Fillers, Calcium Carbonate, Cellular, Coal Tar, dl-Alpha Toccopherol, Dyes, Health, Herbs, Natural, Natural Health, Propylene Glycol, Quality, quality supplements, Results, Shellac, supplement, Toxic, Vitamin E
Now is a good time to start building your immune system for flu season. Whether you are concerned about colds or flu, there are some great natural strategies for you to use to build your immune system.
Let’s review a bit about viruses and immune function. Viruses are opportunistic and function like scavengers. If the host is healthy and there is nothing to scavenge, the virus will not be successful.
An average body is somewhat easy to bring into balance and keep well. You want to make sure you are eating well balanced meals, getting plenty of sleep, exercising, and drinking plenty of water. If you are concerned about decreased immunity due to stress and what I call fast living (which we all do from time to time), my typical immune recommendations will work well for you.
I love a product called Elderberry Defense. It is a combination of Elderberry, Vitamin D, Echinacea and Olive Leaf. This is what I give my son. He doesn’t get sick enough to miss school unless he doesn’t take it. This comes in a chewable gummy form for kids and in capsule form for those who can swallow. Both work well and are a repeat favorite among mothers.
I am also a big fan of Olive Leaf Extract and Grapefruit Seed Extract. One of our bestsellers is a product called Defense Plus. It is a blend of Grapefruit Seed Extract, Vitamin C, Echinacea and several Mushrooms. Defense Plus is my “go to” remedy for almost anything infectious if you can swallow big pills. Some people take one per day of either Defense Plus or high quality Olive Leaf to stay well.
I personally take Olive Leaf – I have for years. The last time I got really sick was when I ran out of my favorite brand of olive leaf and took another one that I no longer sell.
There are other products worth mentioning that work. Colostrum, Thymus Extract, Vitamin C, Zinc, Echinacea, Astragalus, and Probiotics are all good immune builders. On the average body, any of these, or any combination will work.
It’s the “not” average bodies that will have trouble. These tend to be out of balance to begin with. They tend to be overrun with problems of congestion, inflammation and excess acidity. They are hard to balance as they tend to be a disease waiting to happen.
Bringing these bodies into balance is more of a challenge. I would recommend a whole body cleanse along with some diet changes for these types of bodies. The 2 key problems I see are yeast/fungus and eating too many refined foods – mainly white flour and white sugar. Balancing the diet and getting rid of yeast /fungus will give a virus less to scavenge. With some balance restored, this kind of body will respond well to typical immune builders, but may have to double or triple the average dose to get results.
I can usually predict the first outbreak of a cold or flu virus in the school. It will be after our first bout of cold rainy weather and it is usually after Thanksgiving. It seems to be the combination of rich food, virus exchange with cousins, and cold weather that keeps us inside (Vitamin D deficiency) that yields the first wave.
Cold and flus outbreaks also come from “fast living”. This is when we really need to be prepared. This is when we get run down from things like following the football team to all of their games while continuing all of our “normal” activities.
Watch for times of decreased immunity and boost yours naturally so you can stay well and enjoy life.
Tagged Acid pH, Astragalus, Cold, Colostrum, Diet, Echinacea, Flu, Fungus, Grapefruit Seed Extract, immune, Mushrooms, Olive Leaf, Probiotics, Refined Food, Sodas, Sugar, Thymus Extract, Vitamin D, White Flour, Whole Body Cleanse, Yeast, Zinc
Weight loss is tricky for most of us and gets more difficult the older we get.
Here are some tricks and tips to get diets to work and keep working past plateaus.
1. Do a cleanse. Whole body cleanses get the digestive tract moving. Remember that toxins are stored in fat and as fat breaks down, it is important to get not just the fat out of your body, but the toxins as well. Cleanses do lots of good things for the body besides just tuning up the organs of elimination. Most people report side effects such as more energy, better sleep, and just feeling better in general.
2. Support your liver. The liver metabolizes fat – it can need extra help during times of weight loss. And sometimes fat is stored on the body because the liver is not functioning as well as it should. Clean and support your liver so that it supports and cleans you.
3. Reduce your stress level. Stress makes weight loss harder as stress hormones increase your blood sugar levels and pack on weight around your middle. If you can’t put your life on hold, you might want to take a stress hormone balancer to help you feel calmer while getting rid of that belly fat.
4. Balance your hormones. Women have a harder time with weight loss than men – it’s just not fair – and mid-life hormonal changes make it even less fair. Things like birth control, hormone replacement and just typical hormone imbalances make it very difficult to lost weight. Estrogen is a necessary hormone, but when imbalanced, it wreaks havoc – particularly on weight. So many chemicals in our environment mimic estrogen which is a fat building hormone. Even body fat makes estrogen. So, if you want to lose weight, getting your hormones balanced is very important.
5. Maintain your muscle mass. Part of the challenge with weight loss, particularly as we age is keeping muscle mass. This requires eating protein and doing some kind of weight bearing exercise.
6. Pay attention to food sensitivities – remember, everyone has these. I like the blood type guidelines for these if you do not know what yours are. Foods that do not agree with us, may be the ones we crave, or think we could not live without, so it is important to find out what these are for you. Food sensitivities slow your metabolism down, cause systemic inflammation and inhibit weight loss.
7. Sleep. Sleeping through the night is important for the repair cycle of the body. Not sleeping well throws the body out of balance and makes it more likely to gain weight and harder to lose weight.
8. Stay alkaline. Fat is very acid and as you burn fat, your body gets acid. You can measure this with pH tape (urine test), but the best sign is that your urine burns or seems hot. Another sign that acid pH has gone on too long is that your hair starts falling out.
Things that help with alkalinity are lots of vegetables, club soda and coral calcium.
9. Drink healthy drinks. Plain water is the best, but I love no calorie drinks made with flavored stevia because they help add variety. The English toffee is good in just about anything – it makes club soda taste like cream soda. The berry flavored stevia is also very good in lots of things. It makes berry limeade and it makes unsweetened cranberry juice taste great. There are several popular flavors.
The main trick with dieting is finding what works for you and staying motivated. I hope these tips help you.
Tagged Acid, Alkaline, Belly Fat, Blood Sugar, Cleanse, Colon Cleanse, Coral Calcium, Cortisol, Diet, Estrogen, Exercise, Food Sensitivities, Hormones, Inflammation, Insomnia, Liver Cleanse, Menopause, Muscle Mass, Over 50, pH, Plateau, Sleep, Stevia, Stress, Stress Hormones, Water, Weight Loss, Whole Body Cleanse
Reducing or losing weight is a topic I get a lot of questions about. Many of you already know that I don’t believe in diet pills or magic solutions that simply melt off excess weight without proper changes in diet and exercise.
That being said, let’s talk about weight loss. As we age our metabolism begins to slow and it becomes harder to take off that extra weight. What I notice in particular is that our habits become more ingrained and we get busier so that we don’t have the time to do what we know makes us lose weight. Here are some steps that will help.
Step 1. Drink water – lots of it. Start at 2 quarts. You may find that when you start giving your body enough water that you want more. It’s O.K. to drink more and get your system flushed out. Limit other drinks to one cup of coffee or tea per day.
Step 2. Stop consuming sugar. Yes, just stop. Now is a great time because there is plenty of fresh fruit available. Sugar is a major problem food because it is addictive – meaning the more you eat, the more you want. Sugar substitutes aren’t much better. Aspartame and Splenda both have problems associated with them. It is best to get your taste buds retrained so that they do not have to have something sweet.
Step 3. Stop eating bread, crackers, pasta and anything else made out of wheat. Wheat is inflammatory to almost everyone and tends to make you retain fluid and excess weight.
Step 4. Eat at least 4 servings of non-starchy vegetables per day. Make sure that at least 2 of these are raw (this means salad). You can eat more non-starchy vegetables, up to 8 servings per day. For weight loss, raw is better, but there are some things that are just better cooked – for example, green beans.
Step 5. Reduce your intake of starches. For most people, weight loss plans work better with no starches. However, there are a few that high enough activity levels that they may need 1-2 servings of “good” carbohydrates per day. There are plenty of “good” carbohydrates such as beans, brown rice, oatmeal and sweet potatoes that will help satisfy the appetite without adding to inflammation or blood sugar reactions.
Step 6. Eat 1 serving of fresh fruit per day. Grapefruit is a good choice since it helps burn fat – but there are lots of good choices, such as, cantaloupe, peaches, plums, apples, cherries, watermelon, apricots, etc. Fruit is best on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes prior to a meal.
Step 7. Start walking at least 30 minutes per day. Walk briskly, but slow enough that you can still talk. A good goal is to walk at least 4 of the 7 days of the week.
Step 8. Remember to eat lean protein at each meal. This can be chicken, fish, turkey, lean cuts of beef, low fat cottage cheese, or plain yogurt. There are some good vegetarian combinations that work such as beans and Ezekial bread or beans and brown rice.
With these steps in place, there are a few supplements that will help speed up weight loss. L-carnitine is one that helps to mobilize fat and turn it into energy. Conjugated linoleic acid or CLA is another supplement that helps turn fat into muscle.
I also recommend Citrimax (a garcinia cambogia)– a mild weight loss supplement that increases metabolism while decreasing appetite. Green tea and yerba mate tea both give an energy boost and help suppress appetite. One cup of either green tea or yerba mate in the afternoon helps get you through the day with plenty of energy and no cravings. And, it’s much better for you than a soda.
Try these steps and see how you do.
Tagged Artificial Sweeteners, Aspartame, Carnitine, Citrimax, CLA, Cravings, Garcinia, Green Tea, Inflammation, Sugar, Weight Loss, Wheat, Yerba Mate