Are you a sugar addict?
Sugar, the white poison:
What comes to your mind when you think of sugar? Is it the taste, the color, and how extremely satisfying it is upon its consumption? Do you define sugar as a white substance or perhaps do you think of it as pastry, store bought juices, chips and pasta, etc…?
The interesting and quite unbelievable fact about sugar is that, it’s not just a white substance you use in your tea and coffee to sweeten your beverage, but in fact sugar or better known as Refined Sugar, is present in all the food items just mentioned above.
Sugar is considered the “white poison”, because it can interfere with women’s ovulation, it may cause acne once consumed in high amounts, but above all, consuming high amounts of sugar can raise the risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, and cause depressive symptoms due to having messed with the normal brain function.
There are many names for sugar: Dextrose, Maltose, Galactose, Fructose, Fructose Corn Syrup, Sucrose, Saccharose, Aspartame and many more. But what about “sugar fee” drinks? Oh how nice of big food companies to care about us and create healthier options, where the food is still sweet, yet it is definitely not unhealthy…NOT! In fact whenever you see, “sugar free” or “low sugar” or even “fat free”, just immediately think to yourself that the food companies have used chemicals and artificial ingredients to give the food its yummy delicious flavor you loved and adored, before you found out “sugar is the white poison”! Companies love you as a customer, so to keep you around, they’ll do whatever they can to have you buy their products, and sometimes they’ll go an extra step just to formulate their products without natural sugars, so that it is sugar free. But sugar free, doesn't always mean better or healthier!
Take Aspartame, an artificial non-saccharide chemical sweeter used in Diet sodas and some other foods. Some sources call it the “most dangerous substance added to most foods today”, because it has been shown to have caused a series of brain derived reactions and complications including insomnia, anxiety, seizures and death. Aspartame is made of 3 chemicals, which each are toxic and harmful on their own; Phenylalanine, Aspartic acid, and Methanol.
Let’s not deviate from the subject of refined sugar because I’d like to focus on the actual white substance we sprinkle on foods, and use to sweeten our beverages with. The only substance that is on every table besides pepper and salt and the
Only substance that people don’t control how much they’re pouring into their beverages, because have you seen the size of the container’s opening? I mean salt and pepper shaker have little spots on the lid where you control how much you use of the ingredient, but I don’t see that with sugar!
Now get this: Sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine.Yup! Eight times more addictive. Perhaps the fact that no one controls how much of it is in our food, or ends up in our food, or ends up being turned in to sugar has something to do with this?
Sugar addiction is real, and an estimated 50% of the population is USA have severe sugar addiction, because this substance takes over your brain, telling it to eat more sugary things and carbohydrates (which turn into sugar).
You could be a sugar addict if you are suffering from continuous infections (fungal, candida), or have chronic pain, or get upset easily, or are over-weight and have digestive issues, can not sleep, have low energy levels, are depressed or get tired easily and are tired everyday. If you just related to any of the above symptoms you may be a sugar addict!
Now if you already know you eat too much sugar, and your parents, friends and family members have warned you about what it could happen to you on the long run, DO NOT panic, there is a solution to your problem. You have a craving that needs to be controlled and sometimes it is not your fault you feel this way, because you truly have been programmed for a while and have eaten sugar for so long that you will miss the taste the moment you stop consuming something sweet. But the correct and logical way to fix your problem is through a long term approach of planning your meals, reading labels so that you don’t at least consume un-natural sugar sources and consume the adequate amount of sugar, as well as eating a source of fat with every meal so that you feel satisfied. Always read labels, and write down what you eat (like a journal) so that you are aware of what you eat, which will enable you to make better choices down the line.
If you would like to start eating better, I recommend you contact a registered dietician so that they can help you with better meal planning and nutritional counseling.
Ladies: learn why you should start using organic pads/tampons instead of conventional choices
I wanted to post about a very important subject. As a female, raised in an ethnic culture, it is considered taboo to talk about many things out in the open, (for example: your sex life, your menstrual cycle, etc…), however I felt the need to bring it up anyways, because it is SO important.
It is a personal choice whether you use tampons or pads, whichever makes you feel better, or is more convenient, but what I wanted to cover today is about…you guessed it, toxins!
One of the biggest red flags in tampons and pads is the use of cotton- because cottons are the world’s dirtiest crop!
So what are the ingredients that make tampons and pads?
Chlorine: Used to bleach cotton menstrual products, particularly tampons and menstrual pads
Dioxins (by-product of chlorine): known carcinogenic that can cause reproductive issues as well as developmental and hormonal problems
Fragrance: most of the time you'll see “fragrance” or “parfum” listed in the ingredient lists of conventional makeup, lotions, shampoos or even tampons. However, what you don’t see, is the details of what “fragrance” really means. Fragrance contains multitudes of harmful chemicals - none of which are required to be disclosed on labels! Fragrance could not only cause allergic reactions, but also is a known human immune system toxicant, human respiratory irritant, as well as wildlife and environmental toxin.
Parabens: used as preservatives, these are carcinogenic substances known to disrupt hormones
GMOs: As I have mentioned cottons are highly genetically modified.
Pesticide residue: the FDA “recommends” that tampons be free of pesticide residue! However did you know that 7 out of 15 pesticides used on cotton crop are either “likely carcinogenic” or a “known carcinogen”? Also to mention, cotton fields covers 2.5% of the world’s cultivated land, but use 16% the world’s insecticides. Cotton is the only crop that used this amount of insecticides, and because of that cotton is the most “dirtiest” crop in the world.
Synthetic material: tampons and pads aren't 100% cotton anymore. Some use synthetic fabrics like rayon, or Super Absorbent Powders (SAPs), which when combined with other chemicals mentioned above, could wreak havoc on your system!
So what should you do?
Invest in an organic product that uses 100% organic cotton. Not only this is going to benefit you, but it will also benefit the environment tremendously.
Where can you purchase organic tampons and pads:
You can purchase organic pads and tampons from natural stores, whole food stores, or anyplace that carries organic products.
Look for “100% organic cotton” in the ingredients list (As shown as in the picture above).
*More information (tampon vs pads):
*Since we are on the subject of health and sanitary items, did you ladies know that the average woman uses around 12,000 tampons in her lifetime (I actually am not a part of this category, because I strongly refuse to use them, even in emergency situations).
Part of the reason why I never use them, is because I want to reduce my chances of infection.
Also I know my body and know that whenever you insert anything inside your body (I am talking about the vagina here), you run the chance of infections. Not only that, the introduced item in the body, may also disrupt the normal balance of bacterial and yeast biota, in the delicate environment of the vagina. If that balance is disturbed, one can end up with painful conditions such as urinary tract infections (UTIs), vaginitis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and yeast infections.
*Also, a rare, life-threatening complication caused by certain types of bacterial infections can cause toxic shock syndrome (TSS), which has been associated with using tampons (super-absorbent kinds).
*Pads are a better safer choice, because there isn't much of a risk for infection, unless you leave that pad on for days! They feel more comfortable (I actually did wear tampons twice in my life, and I am never going back).
Discover how plastics can lead to cancers and infertility
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a synthetic chemical used in cans and plastic bottles since late 1800’s. When BPA is exposed into the human body, it exhibits hormone like properties that raise concerns.
BPA mimics the estrogen hormone, which is present in males and females.
>In females, estrogen is responsible for regulation of menstruation cycle, and the reproductive system. Also estrogen plays an important role in the growth and development of female secondary sexual characteristics such as breasts, pubic and armpit hair.
>In males, estrogen helps in maturation of the sperm and maintenance of a healthy libido.
Exposure to a high amount of BPA has been linked to breast cancer, irregular menstrual cycles, PCOS and miscarriages in females as well as, a low sperm count, and a reduction in quality of male’s semen in males. (BPA isn't only a concern in the above complications)*
The fact that BPA mimics the estrogen hormone, and binds to the estrogen receptors, is scary, because it leads to hormone disruption.
>BPA’s Real Threat May Be After It Has Metabolized<
Also when BPA is metabolized, it metabolizes to the molecule MBP,
(4-Methyl-2,4-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)pent-1-ene) with potent estrogenic activity. MBP has a 100-fold to 1,000-fold stronger bond to the estrogen receptor than BPA.
Since MBP has a longer structure than BPA, it can use both of its chain ends to interact with the estrogen receptors vs. just one like BPA. This means a much greater health threat may result from the metabolism of BPA inside the body than from BPA itself.
*BPA is also linked to ADHD and increased chances of anxiety and diabetes.
>But where do you find BPA?<
BPA is everywhere! In plastics, cans, air, even baby bottles. This is why most people opt out for “BPA-free” - BUT the product may still use a chemical that is closely related to BPA, called Bisphenol S (BPS), which is just as bad! Look at the info graph below:
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
1.Stop drinking bottled water: Take your water with you…in glass.
2. Avoid heating food in plastic containers or with plastic wrap.
3. Store food in containers made of glass, copper, ceramic or food-safe metals.
4. Eat organic…less processed food, less foods that are packaged and come in containers. More shopping for fresh groceries.
5. When buying tomato sauce, make sure you buy them in glass containers, because BPA leaches from the can in to the acidic tomatoes and produces a byproduct that is cancerous. Also choose (BPA-free) but that still doesn't guarantee a whole lot!
6.Avoid plastics made with BPA and certain types of plastics for food.
Look at the sign underneath plastic bottles. Plastics used for food storage usually have a number code on the bottom (in a triangle) , which will tell you what type of plastic it is. According to The Green Guide, it is best to avoid number 3, 6 and 7.
•Plastic #3: Polyvinyl chloride (also known as PVC or vinyl), which is found in a wide range of products, including some plastic wraps and food containers.
•Plastic #6: Styrene, which is found in Styrofoam products, such as take out containers, Styrofoam cups and egg cartons.
•Plastic #7: Polycarbonate, which is found in some sport water bottles, some baby bottles, toddler drinking cups, and 5-gallon water bottles. (BPA)
Here are some great research studies done on BPA:
To read the lower sperm count and BPA in a chinese study, click here .
To read the UCSF study on BPA and effects in quality of eggs in IVF, click here.
Also, another great research from UCSD on BPA, click here.
The other day I was in class, when the professor gave us a 10 minute break after two hours of class time had passed. "Did you know sitting in the new smoking?" he said, and as he did, I quietly raised my hand and asked him what he meant.
His explanation let me to my own research the very same night, after class was over. As I typed "Sitting is the new smoking", a variety of articles, images and blog posts came up. I was immediately drawn to the above picture and clicked on the website.
Turns out what I had clicked on was an info-graph created by a series of healthcare workers and researchers whose job is to provide a certain report based on primary data. This info graph happened to be the hard work of a bunch of people who put numbers into perspective.
According to the info graph, just 6 hours of sitting per day puts you at risk for a variety of complications, making you 40% more likely to die 15 years earlier than someone who sits only 3 hours a day.
Obesity has doubled since the 80's and one possible theory is...sitting, because more obese people sit frequently than thin people. I know a shocker right?
Here is what happens when you sit for a period of time:
Electrical activity in the muscles shut off
Calorie burning drops to one per minute
Fat breaking enzymes drop to 90%
Here is what you should do:
Get up, be active, and move your body!
To read the rest of the info graph, please click here.
Winter is upon us here in the northern hemisphere and for public health that means: getting sick, cold or even allergies.
Great thing about nature is that (like I've said before), it has your best intention at heart.
The fruits and vegetables that are in season for the winter are meant to provide you with fuel, and energy, while increasing your immunity during the cold months, (higher chances of sickness)!!! Isn't that amazing?
In the same token, every season has its own special fruits and veggies. For example, summer = HOT temperatures. What do you think should be in season? Well...fruits that are composed of water to keep you hydrated, like watermelon, cucumber, honey dew, tomatoes, etc... You might ask what about those fruits and veggies that are always "in season" like bananas! Well...the thing is the location they come from (warm tropical regions) ARE always in season, so they get imported and are therefore "always in season" OR they're grown with a lot of treatments & pesticides. Often other locations have the right conditions, and many produce get imported!
It's beneficial to eat fruits and veggies that are in season at the season you're in. Not only they taste better (always go for organic), but also they're meant to be grown during that time. The soil chemistry is the right type for them, the environment is ready for them, and people will be needing them!! ☝🏻️Some of the fruits & veggies you should be consuming during winter are: ginger, oranges/grape fruits/kiwis/persimmons , sweet potatoes/squash... I wrote them like that because they have similar effects:
1️⃣ Ginger: it's highly anti-pretty much everything! Loaded with nutrients and bio active compounds that help you fight infections and boost your immunity. EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE WINTER!
2️⃣ Vitamin C found in persimmon and citrus fruits is going to also keep your immunity raised, as well as heal you while sick!
3️⃣Sweet potatoes and squash: Brrr it's cold!! You need fuel. You need good fats & carbohydrates to keep your brain & organs alive & functioning, (not just winter either), but here are these amazing foods that are meant to be eaten now!
How does this all relate to public health? Well, what you do and don't do directly correlates with your health and that of your neighbor's. By eating what is in season, you are going to improve your health and mood, and if everyone ate what's in season, then less people would be sick and contagious with health illnesses.
Do you have health complications? Are you eating mostly junk food, and barely doing any exercise? Imagine how your system must be reacting to all these processed dead nutrients. This is important on public health. What we all eat and do, directly influences others around us. If we all started to eat healthier, there would be less stress, less health issues and less problems in general.These companies are poisoning us and the environment and we need to intervene.
Discover how a day of rest in your week, can improve your health
Do you ever give yourself a break? Do you ever just have your “Me Time” and nothing else?
Why not give yourself a day off? Get that spa treatment-at home with natural ingredients, or even go out to a park and watch the kids play?
There are a wide varieties of activities you could be doing, anything other than work. Just you and your day, meant to spent it on you or on your friends, your pets, your families, or…in bed!
You must be surprised to hear that the tradition of “a day of rest” is observed all around the world. Some of us in the states work ourselves like a machine: get up early, go to work, come home late and repeat the same thing everyday. Then we wonder why we are sick, always tired and reach out for that coffee…at 2 PM!
There must be a reason that prophets and holy books talked about implementing a day of rest.
If you are a christian, you may recognize Genesis 2:2-3 on “seventh day” or Sabbath:
“And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.”
In Judaism as well, there is the concept of “Shabbat” where the seventh day of the week is saved for rest particularly.
Even If you're a Buddhist, there is the concept of “Uposatha” which is the Buddhist day of observance, referred to as “The cleansing of the defiled mind”.
Implementing a day of rest:
Improves your memory - because a lack of sleep makes it difficult for you to concentrate.
Helps maintain a healthy weight - because sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same area of the brain. Also researchers have found out that sleeping releases hormones which control your appetite. Scientifically speaking, those who are well rested, not only look more youthful, are healthier and have the ability to lose fat more quickly.
Keeps your heart healthy - because your heart doesn't work in over time, a day of rest keeps your heart and system happy.
Reduces stress - sleep and stress have similar effects on your heart. When you are well rested, you function better and are less stressed.
Keeps you happier in the long run- why not! Sleep more and wake up happier 🙂
To conclude this post, I would like to point out another interesting fact, because if the above reasons didn't convince you to implement a day of rest, the thing you're about to read, will!
Did you know that there are 5 “blue zones” in the world? These are the areas associated with a long life AKA longevity hotspots where people usually live up to 100 years. WOW!
There are only 5 locations in this world:
Nicoya, Costa Rica
Loma Linda CA, US
(click on the image to enlarge)
Ok what do you think all these locations have in common? Of course a well balanced diet, gardening, less rates of cancers, and a restful life.
In Loma Linda Ca specially, a day of rest is observed as the majority are seventh day adventists who observe “sabbath”.
Are you starting to see why you should implement a day of rest now?
Go on. Take a day off 🙂
Dry Brushing and its Benefits:
Have you ever brushed your skin? Did you know one of the most important secrets of actresses and models having smooth, clear skin all over their bodies, is dry brushing? This amazing procedure will not only circulate blood in your body, but help you get rid of toxins, eliminate cellulite over time and rejuvenate you and your mood all in a few sweeps 😉
Well...your skin is your largest organ! It covers your entires body and underneath your skin, you've got a whole different world working 24/7 to protect you, heal you when necessary and notify you when things go wrong. The Lymphatic System is your "swage system" that does a fine job of helping your body getting rid of toxins, just like a swage system gets rid of unwanted things in the cities.
For a second just imagine what would happen if you didn't have this swage system? Well, your organs would shut down, but also these toxins and unwanted junk would appear on your skin / under your skin! What do cellulites, pimples and a dull skin all have in common? A system that doesn't get flushed down often! A system that doesn't consume healthy fuel, or a system that doesn't get cleaned out often.
Technically, cellulites are fat deposits beneath the skin. Most women have them and they're completely normal, but an excess of fat should be reconsidered. When you don't brush your skin, fat, toxins, and even the "food" that didn't get digested down end up under your skin, pushing against the skin and TA-DAH...you've got yourself a case of Cellulites! "YUCK"!
This is why it is important to flush your body every day and brush your skin, and believe me a high percentage of your cellulite will flush down the drain, some of it will stay because of genetics, your lifestyle, your food intake and other reasons...but why not try it?
The main rule of dry brushing is towards the heart in gentle full sweep motions, but when you look at the lymphatic system, not all ends up towards the heart!
Here is the lymphatic system in a nutshell. You are supposed to sweep towards these drainage sites...let me make it simpler:
- Make sure you have the right brush (like the one in the picture) with natural, stiff bristles.
- Start from your ankles (like the above diagram) and work your way up in gentle full and long sweeps. No scrubbing or circular motions either, just plain long sweeps. Don't brush too hard, your skin should be stimulated not irritated. Once you get to your upper legs, move directions towards your genitals as if you're directing the toxins to be defecated or urinated out. On your stomach, direct the brush counterclockwise like shown.
- Do this twice a day. Start doing this every morning and right before the shower. Also make sure you don't wet the brush.
- The second time before the shower, you must do the same with the exception that you will be taking a shower after you're done with sweeping your entire body. Here in the trick: alternate cold and warm water to wash your body, which will stimulate blood circulation even more and help you get rid of these toxins faster.
- After you are done, slather up your skin with coconut oil, which nourishes your skin. The great thing about dry brushing is that it opens your pores allowing this oil to be absorbed better in the skin.
- Continue doing this for a month to see results.
Do you know your skin type?
Technically there are 5 skin types (plus a 6th one: Mature skin)
Oily > Oily skin types have skin that feels oily all over.
Combination > These skin types have oily and dry skin. For example: Oily on the forehead (T-zone) and dry on the cheeks.
Dry > Dry skin types, have skin that feels stretchy.
Sensitive > Sensitive skin.
Normal > Neither oily, stretchy or sensitive.
Do you know your type?
The Persian physician who perfected essential oils
Ibn Sina or known to the western world by Avicenna (980 A.D. -1037 A.D.), is a well known Persian physician under the Samanid dynasty, whose contribution to modern medicine is still being practiced today. He wasn't just a physician, but a thinker and a writer in the Islamic Golden Age. His excellent work on medicine and philosophy has been used in medieval universities and is still being used today. He became such an influence that the king of Samanid dynasty hired him as his own personal physician until the regime changed and he was forced to fleet to the west.
Ibn Sina drew a lot of his medicinal knowledge from the Greeks, Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicine. His interest in herbal medicine, and studies on spices and the natural world, is highly praised today. He is also the first person who perfected the distillation of flowers and plants, other wise known as "Essential Oils".
Roses and Lavender are mentioned in Avicenna's texts, but it is perhaps the rose for which Avicenna is known for. Roses are a highly praised plant/flower in the Islamic world, and perhaps Avicenna writing a complete book on roses, made them even more significant. It was Avicenna who successfully distilled roses!
But to understand the therapeutic benefits of roses , we have to take a closer look at them and the chemical reactions that occur by using / smelling this particular flower.
Our sense of smell is the only sense linked directly to the limbic system of the brain which controls our emotions and memories. The limbic system is also connected to the part of the brain that controls the heart rate, the breathing patterns, stress levels, hormone levels and blood pressure. So think of smelling roses as both a physiological and psychological act of healing that works to lower stress levels, balance out hormone levels, control irregular breathing patterns and heart rate.
In the same token, roses essential oil are also another therapeutic way in which our bodies take in the calming, relaxing and balancing properties. By using the rose essential oil on your skin, you’ll be able to take in these wonderful healing benefits that Avicenna perfected centuries ago.
I highly recommend doTerra’s essential oils. They’re one of the most pure oils from respected sources around the world. Because pure rose essential oil is hard to come by, the only oil that doTerra sells to the public with rose essential oil is “Immortelle”.
Made from Rose flower essential oil, frankincense essential oil, Hawaiian Sandalwood, Lavender essential oil, and Myrrh essential oil, this is an amazing blend to be used on the skin which can help reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, help reduce inflammation while supporting skin at a cellular level.
To order the Immortelle blend of essential oil, click here.
Western idea of "beauty" is overhyped and flawed. Beauty isn't about having a pretty face, or long blonde hair, or perhaps a slender body...at least not to every culture.
Some other parts of the world praise women on their thickness, while another on how many rings they can withstand around their necks...
Here are some fun and interesting facts about "beauty" around the world.
- Long Necks: Women in the Kayan tribe of Thailand start wearing brass rings around their necks when they're just 5 years old, adding rings as they grow to elongate their necks. A super long neck is considered beautiful and elegant in this region.
- Body Scars: Women in the Karo tribe of Ethiopia, consider scars as attractive and super sexy! The practice of self scarring is a form of adornment cherished by the people of this culture. In western culture however, cutting yourself is a form of mental disease, or perhaps seeking mental care!
- Super sized: Many women of African cultures, tribes and regions, consider a thick woman, a healthy and fertile one. In Mauritania for example, Women are "forced" to consume a diet of 10,000 calories a day to fatten up. This happens prior to getting married, as it is believed a thick woman is a more desirable wife.
- Surgery Bandage: Women in Iran sure love to look good! Some go over board with the amount of surgeries and money spent. Why? Many Iranian ladies want to achieve a "western' look: tanned skin, long blonde hair, big plumb lips, and of course...a tiny nose! It's no wonder Iran is considered the rhinoplasty capital of the world. Interesting fact is that many people actually leave the bandage on even after their wound is healed, while many apply the bandage on not even having had surgeries. It's a sign of power, wealth and being in "trend" for many Iranian men and women.
- Long Earlobes: Women of the Masai in Kenya believe in having stretched earlobes. It's an ideal sign of beauty to have long earlobes.
- Stretched lips: Speaking on stretching out your body parts, another tribe within Ethiopia called the "Mursi" adore a big stretched out lips. I mean the kind that you can insert a clay plate in to them. To this tribe, an increase in size of the lower lips is symbol of sexual maturity and beauty.
- Face Tats: In New Zealand, the Maori people consider women with tattooed lips and chin to be the most beautiful.
- Flawless skin: In east Asia (specially Japan), smooth and youthful skin is a primary criteria of beauty. Asian women have been spotted consuming collagen-infused foods to boost their own collagen.
- Face masks on the wedding night: In India, brides like to get glammed up...naturally! Prior to their wedding ceremony, Indian brides make a mixture of lemon juice, turmeric, and honey and leave the facial on their skin for about 15-20 minutes. The combination brightens up their skin, as well as glowing their complexions.
- Small Feet: Chines women's practice of modifying their feet to 3 inches, was once considered erotic and beautiful. This practice started in 7th century and recently banned in 1900's. Although this process in banned, many Chinese women still continue to practice this painful method today.-- ouch!
- Sage: Boosts memory.
- Thyme: Increases your Omega 3's naturally.
- Nutmeg: Boosts brain activity.
- Clove: Stimulates your brain, while decreasing stress.
- Black Pepper: Boosts cognitive function due to the increase in beta-endorphins.
- Saffron: Increases your Serotonin levels naturally.
What are the best spices for a healthy brain?