Category: Health & Wellness

Today, many people choose anything BUT water to drink to quench their thirst. But believe it or not the best liquid for your body is—water! You have been told dozens of times to drink at least eight glasses per day—and here are some reasons why. Afterwards, read about the practical uses for Coca-Cola–other than drinking it.

 

Drink Water to: 

 Avoid dehydration: 75% of American are chronically dehydrated

 Rev-up the Metabolism: In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger. Even mild dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism as much as 3%.

 

 Lessen hunger pains: One glass of water shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.

 Eliminate Fatigue: Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue

 

 Ease back and joint pain: Preliminary research indicted that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.

 Short-term Memory: A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.

 

 Decreases risk of Colon and other Cancers: Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79% and a person is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

 

So the question is–are you getting enough water each day?

 

Facts about Coca-Cola:

Next, here are some factoids about Coca-Cola…after reading this, you may just want to get a case to clean out your toilets.

 

Factoid #1: In many states (in the USA) the highway department carries two gallons of Coca-Cola in the truck to remove blood from the highway after a car accident.

Factoid #2: You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of Coca-Cola and it will be gone in two days.

Factoid #3: To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the bowl and let the “real thing” sit for one hour, and then flush clean. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china.

 

Factoid #4: To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers: Rub the bumper with a crumpled up piece of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola.

Factoid #5: To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion.

 

Factoid #6: To loosen a rusted bolt: Apply a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes.

Factoid #7: To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of Coca-Cola into a load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle

Factoid #8 : Coca-Cola will clean road haze from your windshield

 

Factoid #9: The active ingredient in Coca-Cola is phosphoric acid. Its pH is 2.8. This will dissolve a nail in about 4 days.

Factoid #10: To carry Coca-Cola syrup the commercial truck must use the hazardous material place cards reserved for highly corrosive materials.

Factoid #11: The distributors of Coca-Cola have been using it to clean the engines of their trucks for about 20 years.

 

So the next time you are trying to decide what to drink–water or coke–it should be an easy decision! And the next time you are trying to decide what to clean with–it should be an easy decision!

 

Enjoy!

Sharlene 2014


Hand holding coconut. SPA collection.

Coconut 3It’s a New Year and our thoughts are turned to health and wellness–at least for a couple of weeks! So, I think it is important to talk about an oil that is pretty amazing–both for our physical and mental health. That oil is none other than coconut oil!

Modern medical science is now confirming the use of coconut in treating many of the conditions below. Published studies in medical journals show that coconut, in one form or another may provide a wide range of health benefits. I have found over fifty uses for coconut oil and since that is too many to put in one blog, I’ll divide them into two different blogs. Also, these bullet points do not provide detailed information about the uses of coconut–but you can find detailed information online, if you are interested.

Needless to say, coconut oil is an amazing oil and can be use to treat many different things from your skin to your bladder! You can purchase coconut oil from Costco. It looks like shortening–because it is very white, but it can easily be melted and is not affected by heat. I put one tablespoon in my daily protein drink. I think after reading these two blogs on coconut oil you will agree–its uses are varied and many and you should add it to your daily diet.

Twenty-six Reasons to Consume Coconut Oil or Coconut Meat:

 

Reduces epileptic seizures

Helps protect against kidney disease and bladder infections

Dissolves kidney stones

Helps prevent liver disease

 

Is lower in calories than all other fats

Supports thyroid function

Promotes loss of excess weight by increasing metabolic rate

 

Is utilized by the body to produce energy in preference to being stored as body fat like other dietary fats

Helps prevent obesity and overweight problems

Applied topically helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward of infection

Reduces symptoms associated the psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis

Supports the natural chemical balance of the skin

Softens skin and helps relieve dryness and flaking

Prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots

Promotes healthy looking hair and complexion

Provides protection from damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun

Helps control dandruff

Does not form harmful by-products when heated to normal cooking temperature like other vegetable oils do

Has no harmful or discomforting side effects

Functions as a protective antioxidant

Helps to protect the body from harmful free radicals that promote premature aging and degenerative disease

 

Does not deplete the body’s antioxidant reserves like other oils do

Improves utilization of essential fatty acids and protects them from oxidation.

Helps relieve symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.

 

Relieves symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement).

Is completely non-toxic to humans

 

Enjoy!

Sharlene 2014

 


Chicken coming out of a brown egg

I don’t know about you, but I really do dislike eggs! In fact, I’ve disliked them since I was a kid. I will only eat them scrambled, deviled or in an omelet– and even that is pushing it. In the movie, “Julie & Julia,” (about the girl that takes Julia Child’s cookbook and cooks/bakes every recipe in the book in one year) Julie says that when she tried an egg for the first time, she thought they were wonderful; they had an amazing smooth texture, and she loved them. “Yum” she said. I almost gagged! That is NOT my experience with eggs.

 But, here’s the rub about eggs—they are good for you. In fact, they are extremely good for you. They contain so many important amino acids and vitamins that whether you like them or not—you need to eat them. I force myself to have them at least 3-4x per week.

 

 Here are half-dozen reasons why you need eggs—and I added a 7th for good measure:

Reason #1: Full of Protein: eggs have 6 grams of high quality protein. Eggs are called “brain food” because they sustain mental and physical energy!

 Reason #2: Have 9 Essential Amino Acids: Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and eggs have all 9 essential amino acids—including leucine, histidine, valine, threonine, isoleucine, phenylalaine, tryptophan, methionine, and lysine. Every amino acid is important and helps the body in some way.

 

 Reason #3: Rich in Choline: Eggs are rich in choline—one of the B vitamins that supports normal cell activity, liver function and the transportation of nutrients throughout the body.

 Reason #4: High in cholesterol: A single egg contains 212 mg, which is over half of the recommended daily intake of 300 mg. However… it’s important to keep in mind that cholesterol in the diet doesn’t necessarily raise cholesterol in the blood. And 70% of the people who eat eggs do not see a difference in their cholesterol—at all!

 Reason #5: No Gluten: since most of the flours today are made from genetically modified wheat and contain 40x the amount of gluten—no wonder people are having gluten issues! So, if you are going gluten-free—you can still eat eggs without any worries!

 

 Reason #6: Contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin–Antioxidants that Benefit the Eyes: eggs contain all of these nutrients/antioxidants and they all contribute to eye health. They also counteract some of the degenerative processes that can affect our eyes. But you need to eat the yolk—this is where most of these antioxidants are found!

 Reason #7: Vitamin B12: it is difficult to get B12 if you are a vegetarian because some of the best sources of B12 are found in red meat. And forget about taking a B12 pill—the body can’t absorb them. The best way to get B12 is from a shot. However, if you are eating eggs—you are getting the elusive B12—and absorbing it! So, that is why you feel a shot of energy without the shot!

 

 Bottom line: Eggs are a Perfect Food—so get eating them! I’ll be posting a great recipe for fall and it uses 6 eggs. It’s called: Apple Puff Pancake—watch for it!

Enjoy!

Sharlene 2014

 


background with cucumbers

Cucumbers are a warm season vegetable, but thanks to warm weather in various parts of the country year-round, we are able to purchase this amazing veggie twelve months a year!

Here are just some of the ways to enjoy this versatile vegetable:

 

Contain Vitamins: Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day. Just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

A Great Pick-Me-Upper:  Feeling tired in the afternoon? Put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber! Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins and carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

 

Eliminates Fog in the Shower: Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror; it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

Free your garden of pests: Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans, but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

 

Cellulite—Be Gone! Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes. The phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!

 

Helps Headaches and Hangovers: Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost; keeping everything in equilibrium and avoiding both a hangover and headache!!

Curbs Bingeing: Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

 

Shines Shoes: Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don’t have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe– its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

Works like WD 40: Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

 

Relieves Stress: Stressed out and don’t have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water. The chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

Cleans Your Breath: Just finish a business lunch and realize you don’t have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath.  The phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

 

Tarnish Be Gone!: Looking for a ‘green’ way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean. Not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won’t leave streaks and won’t harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.

Works on Ink, Crayons and Markers: Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing. Also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!

Healthy for Pets: Last, the lowly cucumber is also a healthy snack for your pets!

 

Enjoy!

Sharlene 2014


Honeycomb on a white background.

A few weeks ago I talked about the problems with sugar so the question remains—what do you replace it with?

 The answer: HONEY!

Here is my experience with honey: I love honey, I cook with honey, and I eat it out of the jar. I have purchased my honey in the past from beekeepers in Utah and from Farmer’s Markets in California and from Honeyville in Riverside, California. At each place, I have purchased raw honey. It is honey that has either been heated at a very low temperature or unheated, unpasteurized, and unprocessed.  It is very thick and the taste of the honey depends on where the bees have pollinated.

My favorite honey is clover (from Utah) and I also like orange (from California). I have also ordered Manuka honey which is a healing honey from New Zealand.  You can purchase this honey from The Synergy Company.

 I try not to purchase honey from the grocery stores because most of it has been heated to high temperatures which destroys the enzymes. First try your local Farmer’s Markets or go online and order from Honeyville. If you have a beekeeper nearby, definitely order from them. Be aware that the cost of honey is rising because bees are disappearing.

Honey has a lot of advantages, but today I want to focus on how it can help your teeth.

 

 Honey for Your Teeth (a study)

 According to a study conducted by researchers in New Zealand, unprocessed honey with mid-range antibacterial potency can actually protect against tooth decay! “By using average-potency honeys, the growth of bacteria is stopped completely,” says lead researcher Peter Molan, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and director of the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. “Honey has components that prevent dental plaque from forming.”

 

 There are three bacterial species responsible for dental caries that were tested in the lab: Streptococcus mitis, Streptococcus sobrinus, and Lactobacillus caseii. The researchers found that honey sharply reduced the quantity of acid produced by these bacteria. “It almost cut the acid production down to zero,” says Molan. “Honey also stopped the bacteria from producing dextran, which is a component of dental plaque.” The researchers say that unprocessed honey contains an enzyme that produces hydrogen peroxide. The guess is that it is mainly responsible for the unlikely antimicrobial activity of honey.

 

 The researchers also found that honey can fight inflammatory infections of the gum. Because of this, honey could be used in treating periodontal disease and gingivitis—both inflammatory conditions that result from infected gums. They found that the honey could remove swelling and pain very quickly.

 “Honey has shown fantastic results in healing wounds,” says Molan. “It has good anti-inflammatory components, which clears the infection.” Researchers say that honey producers in New Zealand and Australia have batches of honey tested in the laboratory to identify the samples with high antimicrobial activity. Those types of honey are labeled as “antiseptic” and are available to consumers.

 Marcia Cardetti, director of scientific affairs at the National Honey Board in the United States stated, “Consumers ought to know that honey has this benefit for dental health: Perhaps they can make it as part of their diet.”

So there you have it! Try incorporating honey into your diet–on your oatmeal, on your toast, substitute honey when cooking and eat at least 1 Tablespoon a day for improved health–and your teeth and gums!

Enjoy!

Sharlene 2014


Sometimes the best medicine is laughter! In fact, I read that reading something funny every day actually keeps your immune system high thus keeping you more healthy.  So, here is something that will make you laugh. It is timely advice regarding eating, drinking and exercise (as if we needed anymore advice on these subjects!). The words are spoken from the mouth of a “famous” (or infamous) Chinese doctor. So sit back, enjoy and have a good laugh!

Question: Doctor, I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life? Is this true?

 Answer: Heart only good for so many beats, and that is it…Don’t waste on exercise. Everything wear out eventually. Speed up heart not make live longer; that like say you can extend life of car by driving faster. Want live longer? Take nap.

 

 Question: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?

 Answer: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does cow eat? Hay and corn. What are these? Vegetables. So, steak nothing more than efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef also good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And pork chop give 100% recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

 Question: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?

 Answer: If you have body and you have fat, ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, ratio is two to two.

 Question: What are the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?

 Answer: Cannot think of single one, sorry. My philosophy: No Pain…GOOD!

 

 Question: Aren’t fried foods bad for you?

 Answer: YOU NOT LISTEN!!! Food fried in vegetable oil. How getting more vegetables bad for you?

 Question: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?

 Answer: Definitely not! When you exercise muscle, it get bigger. You should only do sit-ups if want bigger stomach.

 Question: Is chocolate bad for me?

 Answer: You crazy? HELLO…Cocoa bean! Vegetable!!! Cocoa bean best feel-good food around!

 Question: Is swimming good for your figure?

 Answer: If swimming good for figure, explain whale.

 

 Question: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?

 Answer: Hey! ‘Round’ is shape!

 

 So, there you go! I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food, exercise and dieting! And no, I do not know where this doctor practices medicine…(just in case you wanted to go to him).

 

Sharlene 2014

 

 

 

 

 


BananaToday I’m going to talk about the health benefits of bananas–yes, bananas! There are those who demonize this lowly fruit; stating it is loaded with too many carbs. Yes, there are carbs in the banana, but the benefits outweigh any negatives. So, here are just a few reasons to persuade you to start eating this healthy fruit!

Bananas are a wholesome, delicious, healthy addition to your diet. Here are some common issues bananas can help with:

 Depression: A recent survey amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

 PMS: Forget the pills – eat a banana. The vitamin B6, which is found in bananas, regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

 Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

 Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect way to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration have just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

 Brain Power: Students who were helped through their exams by eating bananas at breakfast, break and lunch felt a boost in their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert. (of course classical music also boosts your brain!)

 Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

 Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re- hydrates your system.

 Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

 Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

 Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

 Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

 Stressed at work? Studies have shown that if you are stressed at work, the stress often leads to gorging on comfort foods like chocolate and potato chips. Researchers have found that obese people were usually in high – pressure jobs. The researchers found that, to avoid panic – induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. Bananas are the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over chronicler cases. The banana neutralizes over acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

 Temperature Control: Many other cultures see bananas as a “cooling” fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

 Smoking: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6 and B12 vitamins found in bananas, along with the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

 Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body’s water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high – potassium banana snack.

 Strokes: Researchers have found that having bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes as much as 40%!

 So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ailments. In comparison to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrates, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. So, maybe it’s time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, “A banana a day keeps the doctor away!”

Suggestion: Go eat a banana!

 

Sharlene 2014


I feel like a hypocrite writing about the dangers of sugar because at this very moment, I’m heating up my oven preparing to bake some of my favorite chocolate chip cookies. So, while I’m munching away, I’ll attempt to convincingly tell you about the dangers of sugar!  (btw: I use only organic sugar, which means it is sugar that is NOT made from a genetically modified sugar source and is not grown in soils with pesticides)

It is true that you do not want to consume sugar in large amounts—even fruit in large amounts. Steve Jobs was a fruitarian and it is believed that his enormous consumption of fruits actually led to his pancreatic cancer. The sugar in fruit is called fructose. Table sugar is called sucrose. Although there is a difference and fructose is safer than sucrose—both consumed in large amounts create problems in our bloodstream.

To add to the problem, most sugar today is made from genetically modified sugar beets and then some is made into high fructose corn syrup–which is the worse kind of sugar (think: sodas and candy). The body does not recognize it as a sugar, but rather a fat and the liver tells the body to store it–most likely on your hips!

So, here are 24 reasons why you should not eat sugar. It is taken from “Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health” by Nancy Appleton, PhD and author of Lick the Sugar Habit.

First, this is not a complete list and second each point has been backed by an actual scientific study. If you are interested in the study—comment at the end of this blog and I’ll post each study individually.

Last: In addition to throwing off the body’s homeostasis, excess sugar may result in a number of other significant consequences. The following is a listing of some of sugar’s metabolic consequences from a variety of medical journals and other scientific publications.

 Sugar can suppress your immune system and impair your defenses against infectious disease.

Sugar can cause can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline, hyperactivity, anxiety, difficult concentrating, and crankiness in children.

Sugar feeds cancer cells and has been connected with the development of cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, rectum, pancreas, biliary tract, lung, gallbladder and stomach.

Sugar can weaken eyesight.

Sugar can cause many problems with the gastrointestinal tract including: an acidic digestive tract, indigestion, mal-absorption, increased risk of Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.

Sugar can cause premature aging.

 Sugar can cause autoimmune diseases such as: arthritis, asthma, multiple sclerosis.

Sugar can cause gallstones, appendicitis, hemorrhoids, varicose veins and osteoporosis.

 Sugar can cause a decrease in your insulin sensitivity thereby causing an abnormally high insulin levels and eventually diabetes.

Sugar causes food allergies.

Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.

Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.

Sugar can make your skin age by changing the structure of collagen, called cross-linking.

Sugar can cause cataracts and nearsightedness.

Sugar can cause emphysema.

Sugar intake is higher in people with Parkinson’s disease.

Sugar can increase the size of your liver by making your liver cells divide and it can increase the amount of liver fat.

Sugar can damage your pancreas.

Sugar can increase your body’s fluid retention.

Sugar is enemy #1 of your bowel movement.

Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.

Sugar can cause depression.

Sugar can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Your body changes sugar into 2 to 5 times more fat in the bloodstream than it does starch.

 

Sharlene 2014

 

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