Monday, November 29, 2010

The Godfather of Alternative Medicine

If there is ONE person on this earth that I have the upmost respect for, inspires me, and encourages me pertaining to anything related to health, alternative medicine, and herbs it is Dr. Andrew Weil.  I have been such a huge fan of Dr. Weil's for over 6 years now.  I discovered him while flipping through channels and landing on his "Optimal Health" special on PBS while my father was in hospice.  He was discussing the very information I had been researching to help my dad and then some! 

For those of you that don't know this white bearded Santa look alike - he is an American author and physician, best known for establishing and popularizing the field of integrative medicine. Dr. Weil's general view is that mainstream and alternative medicine are complementary approaches that should be utilized in conjunction with one another. Specifically, he maintains that mainstream medicine is well-suited to crisis intervention, whereas alternative medicine is best utilized for prevention and health maintenance. He promotes integrative medicine as a combination of both approaches. Nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction are emphasized in almost all of Dr.Weil's health works. Weil is a proponent of a diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables and regular consumption of fish. He is also an outspoken critic of partially hydrogenated oils. Dr. Weil's research has led him to the conclusion that sugar, starch, refined carbohydrates, and trans-fat are more dangerous to the human body than saturated fat. Dr. Weil is also an advocate for certain medicinal mushrooms in a daily diet.

I have read most of his books, subscribe to his newsletter, follow him on Twitter, have watched all of his DVD's, and spend a lot of time on his site researching and printing out his delicious recipes! I guess you can call me a fanatic!  His development of the anti-inflammatory diet pyramid has led millions to follow it as closely as possible (including myself) and toss the USDA's recommendations aside.  Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid 

Here is a 4 part series of video clips when he was featured on the Dr. Oz show at the beginning of November.  He has numerous videos on YouTube as well that I highly recommend you watch.  I NEVER cease to learn something new everytime I hear him speak or read his blog or articles.    He's sure to bless your life with his extensive knowledge and passion for optimal health as well!  Enjoy and share!

Part 1 - Longevity isn’t just about exercising, it’s also about choosing the right diet. See the five foods that help you boost immunity, fight cancer and...

Part 2 - Leading expert Dr. Andrew Weil, "the godfather of alternative medicine," joins Oz to guide you through the daily steps to achieving optimal health...

Part 3

Part 4


Dr. Oz's Cancer Prevention Quiz - How do you Score?

Here is a Dr. Oz quiz I took on "Cancer Prevention" that I was confident I'd score 100% on after numerous years of research but was rather disappointed to see I received an 80%. 

There is always new research released concerning cancer prevention relating to the foods we eat daily.  Knowledge is everything - dedication to keeping yourself informed and conforming your lifestyle to healthier ways could save your life or the life of a loved one!

Please take a few minutes out of your hectic day to take the test and see how you score.

I guarantee there will be at least one question that will teach you something today and maybe a few that could help change your ways to a healthier and happier you!    Dr. Oz's Cancer Prevention Quiz


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Prevent Cancer With Just a Few Changes

Even though a number of factors can increase your risk of getting or dying of cancer, many of them can be controlled by the choices you make everyday!  Did you know that 2/3 of annual cancer deaths are related to diet, weight, exercise, and tobacco exposure?  There are loads of articles, books, shows, etc. that provide us with conflicting reports about what can or can't help you in terms of prevention. Although some new discoveries might not pan out, there are some methods of prevention that can REALLY make a difference.

I've narrowed down hundreds of reports I've studied throughout the last 7 years to compile my TOP 5 OF VERY BASIC DAILY CHANGES.  Most you've probably heard repeatedly but still haven't chose to make the suggested change.  None of these involve pharmeceutical drugs or major corporate products so unbiased research results is all you are getting. THESE CHANGES WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE on not only your quest to prevent cancer but you will also notice you will look and feel SO MUCH BETTER.

Staying away - as far away as possible - or deciding to stop smoking is one of the BEST HEALTH DECISIONS YOU CAN MAKE.  Smoking is not only linked to lung cancer but also to bladder, cervix, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, and larynx (voice box) cancers.

YEP! Mom knew what she was talking about!  Five a day is recommended  but increasing that amount as often as possible will truely pay off.  Dark leafy veggies, dark fruits (as well as red and orange) are particularly beneficial due to their antioxidant, vitamin and mineral content. To avoid pesticides that are known carcinogens - choose organic whenever possible.  To download a free pdf copy of a list of which fruits and veggies are loaded with pesticides and to start buying organic ASAP click here:  EWG'S Dirty Dozen.  They also provide an iPhone app (searchable by the same name) that comes in very handy while you're grocery shopping.

3.  LIMIT YOUR FAT INTAKE Numerous studies suggest that high-fat diest or high intakes of certain types of fat may be linked to several cancers - including colon, lung, and postmenopausal breast cancer.  Allow your fat intake to come from healthy fat sources such as fish, nuts, and vegetables. 

4. MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT  Being overweight or obese can make you more susceptable to postmenopausal breast cancer as well as cancers of the colon, uterus, esophagus, kidney, prostate, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, stomach, ovary, and cervix.  That's a pretty long list and right now, I am about 15 pounds overweight but this list is long enough to make me kick start my workout into super high gear!

Evidence shows that people who are more physically active have lower risks of cancers than those who are more sedentary.  This goes hand in hand with number 4 above but are each individually important as well.  Physical activity helps to prevent breast, colon, endometrium and prostate cancers.  45-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each and every day is considered optimal for cancer prevention.

I will continue to add more to this list and will provide you with the name of the absolute BEST BOOK (IMO) for more in-depth methods of cancer prevention - #1 on Mindy's Must Have Book List in the very near future...STAY TUNED!

Knowledge is everything - learn it, retain it, share it!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Natural Remedy for Urinary Tract Infections

Like most of us have been trained to do, I drink a lot of water.   But awhile ago, I decided I'd drink above and beyond my normal consumption.  This caused me to have to wake up and use the bathroom in middle of the night...sometimes more than once which I found rather annoying.  Being that I do not like doing so, I instead chose to sleep with a full bladder for a couple of nights in a row.  After all, I needed my 8 hours or I am quite the cranky monster when I sleep any less.  This resulted in a painful UTI.  I drank cranberry juice day in and day out to try to cure myself and it wasn't working!  I visited my local health food store where an employee recommended a few of their top selling UTI remedies.  After about 15 minutes of studying the ingredients on their labels, I made my choice -
D-Mannose and Cranberry

After 24 hours, the pain had substantially subsided and within 48 hours I felt no pain at all nor did I have any other UTI symptoms. 

I continued taking the supplements as directed to be sure no bacteria was left in the bladder and could not believe how fast, simple and SAFE this alternative was to the antibiotics doctors are quick to prescribe and insist you take as "the only cure for a bladder and urinary tract infection".  I try to avoid antibiotics as often as possible and was I glad I chose natural once again. 

Here is a little excerpt on D-Mannose:

D-Mannose is a natural occurring simple sugar that appears to be a safe, practical alternative for the treatment of urinary tract infections (UTI’s). D-Mannose is absorbed eight times slower than glucose, and when ingested, is not converted to glycogen or stored in the liver, but rather goes directly to the blood stream from the upper GI tract. Hence, D-Mannose is mostly filtered through the kidneys and routed to the bladder.
The bladder lining is comprised of polysaccharide molecules. Finger-like projections on the cell surface of E. coli bacteria adhere to these molecules, initiating an infection. In the presence of D-Mannose, E. coli preferentially attach to D-Mannose molecules forming a complex which is expelled with the next voiding.

D-Mannose probably works 80-90% of the time because the bacteria disabled by Mannose causes 80-90% of UTI’s. Whereas antibiotic treatment radically changes GI bacterial populations required for good health, potentially causing fungal or gastrointestinal infections, D-Mannose removes “bad” bacteria by attachment and voiding. (Abstracted and Edited from a Report Submitted to Progressive Laboratories by Michael Blue, M.D., Urologist (Norman, OK)

D-Mannose is safe for children as well!!!  When my son was complaining about a burning sensation while urinating, I took him to the doctor to be sure it wasn't anything more serious but had my d-mannose & cranberry on hand upon diagnosis.  Works like a charm!

These are the products I have used for my family and I and experience has shown works 100% of the time -
D-Mannose and Cranberry.  Upon recommending this to several friends, they have found that this product works as well D-Mannose and CranActin Combination.

And yes, I have learned my lesson and will get my lazy behind out of bed instead of waiting for the alarm clock to wake me with a full bladder.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chi-chi-chi CHIA for Beautiful Hair & Skin

Eat Chia Seeds For Beautiful Hair + Skin

Before you rush to book your next spa facial, consider an investment in chia seeds for the long-term health and glow of your skin and beautiful hair! Chia seeds (appreciated long before the arrival of the Chia Pet on the scene) were prized for centuries as an endurance food in Mayan, Incan and Aztec cultures. Chia seeds are crunchy little packages of goodness which are extremely filling, low in calories and high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are believed to support healthy skin, hair and joints. In addition, Omega-3s are valued for their ability to fight heart disease, support a healthy immune system and help protect against abnormal blood clotting. Chia seeds are also believed to be useful in the fight against depression.
How to eat chia seeds
Chia seeds look, feel and taste similar to poppy seeds. They do not have much flavor on their own, but add a terrific crunch to foods. It’s best to buy them and enjoy them raw. No soaking or grinding is required to capture all of their nutritious benefits. Chia seeds can be eaten:

1.  on their own by the spoonful
2.  1-4 Tablespoons of the raw seeds may be used per day, mixing them into water, juice, or a smoothie.

3.  Chia seeds can be ground into a powder and added to smoothies, used in baking or cooking, or  substituted for Flax seeds in recipes. They have a pleasant nutty flavor.

4.  The sprouted seeds can be sprinkled on top of salads, soups, meats, fish and sandwiches.

5.  One of the most common ways to consume Chia seeds is to make a Chia gel. To make Chia gel, place  1/3 cup Chia seeds into a sealable container, add 2 cups of water, and whisk briskly. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes, and then whisk again before placing into the refrigerator. The mixture will turn into a gel, and will last up to 3 weeks if refrigerated. The recommended dosage is 3 Tablespoons 3 times per day, and the gel may be incorporated into jam, cereal, yogurt, smoothies, or any other foods for consumption. One pound of Chia seeds will make approximately 24 cups of gel, which will last over a month if consumed at the recommended amount of 3 tablespoons of gel 3 times per day.

6. in the form of pudding

Where to buy Chia Seeds
benefits of chia seeds
A growing number of grocery stores, specialty markets and online resellers now carry chia seeds. Specialty stores such as Whole Foods carry 1/2 lb – 2 lb bags of seeds. This smaller size is great for a first time purchase. Overtime, you may want to consider buying chia seeds in bulk – the savings are enormous. When you reach this stage, consider checking out Amazon - Organic Chia Seeds  or 

Here is a link to learn a little bit more about the nutritional value, Chia Seed recipes, and read a few commonly asked questions regarding this SUPER FOOD!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Sugar & Honey YUMMY Scrub

This scrub has to be at the top of the "Simple DIY Home Remedies" list!  It's simply white sugar and honey (preferably organic Manuka honey for the highest enzyme count/antibacterial properties).  That's it!  Though simple, these two ingredients can be used in combination as a full body antibacterial scrub.  I used it this weekend as a face & lip scrub. AMAZING!

If you have a seal tight container, keep a jar of sugar in the bathroom and mix with your body wash for a 2-3 time a week cost effective scrub.  You can even add a spoon of shea butter to the sugar scrub for a super soft and luxurious skin scrub & softener.  GREAT for children's rough knees and elbows too! Rub lightly in a circular motion, rinse, and you're done!  There will be no need to moisturize after your shower.  Say buh bye to rough and dry skin!

Enjoy! :)


Thursday, November 11, 2010


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Thursday, November 4, 2010


For all you (both men & women) whose face is in need of some serious moisture, do I have a mask for recipe for you!  I used this mask the night before last on my dry/combination skin and let me tell you, IT MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE!  I even convinced my children to do it although my 6 year old son got the "men don't do those things" look from his dad.  LOL

Don't be afraid of moisturizing masks even if you have acne or oily skin. Because the oil in this mask is naturally occurring in the avocado, it will not cause you to break out.  Your face will truly feel as smooth as a baby's booty!  (I'm not sure if I should use "face" and "booty" in the same sentence but it will leave your skin soft and supple!) and the honey and yogurt will calm and eventually help clear acne. It is best to use masks at night before bed. 

I highly recommend organic ingredients because the pesticides on and in the avocados and antibiotics used in the cows the yogurt was made from can irritate your skin.  If you can't always eat 100% organic at least try to use organic ingredients on your face to avoid irritation or breakouts when making DIY homemade masks.  The organic ingredients are few and most can be used repeatedly or in cooking recipes so they won't go to waste!

Here's the recipe:

1/2 medium avocado
1/2 cup plain yogurt
   2 tablespoons of honey (preferably makuka or raw and unprocessed)

Scoop out ripe avocado from its skin and mash until creamy.  Add honey and yogurt.  Mix until blended and smooth.  Leave on for 15 minutes or longer, if possible.  Rinse with luke warm water.  You will find that you can skip the moisturizer for the night!

FYI:  The honey has natural antibacterial, antimicrobial properties and is my absolute FAVORITE mask ingredient!  The oils in the avocado moisturize and the yogurt soothes. 

Stay tuned for more yummy DIY mask recipes and reviews!