Acupressure for Anxiety



Why You Might Want to Avoid Almond Flour

Personally, I don't do well on almond flour.  

I know, it's supposed to be a good substitute for white/wheat flour -- but I find it too strong in flavor, too dry in texture, and overall my body doesn't seem to digest it very well.  

I've tried, really I've tried -- all variations of recipes.  

After reading the article linked below, I stopped feeling 'bad' about my body's "issues" with it and moved on. 



Morning Stiffness - A Remedy!

Low back pain and stiffness upon arising in the morning could be a sign of DEHYDRATION!

TIP:  Take a 12 ounce glass of water to bed with you -- drink the WHOLE thing and IMMEDIATELY lie down (before setting the glass down) -- this is the important part!

If you get up during the night, repeat the process.

I've done this many times and it works pretty well.  Helps with whole body pain/stiffness, not just the back.  The only drawback is having to get up to pee in the middle of the night -- but feeling better in the morning is worth it.

HINT:  try taking some Valerian, Hops, Skullcap or Passionflower before bedtime -- if you do have to get up during the night, any of these will help you fall back into a peaceful sleep!

Here's to feeling better tomorrow morning! :)

Shepherd's Purse and Cystitis

For the basic attack of urethritis or cystitis, from food binges, too much booze or coffee, that strange white powder you snuffed a lot of at a party two nights ago, rabid and enjoyable sessions of sexual excesses that leave you walking bowlegged, or driving nonstop from Santa Barbara to Bangor, Maine, with only a bag of dried banana chips, two pounds of Nacho Flavored Fritos, and homemade salsa for food, in a rented subcompact with twelve traveling bags, a parakeet, and a four-year-old cranky child…your basic garden variety of bladder infection.

Drink ½ teaspoon of the tincture of Shepherd's Purse in a cup of warm water every three hours, lay off the carbos or burgers, and get over it. The more acute the onset, the better it works. Sluggish, week-long infections usually need stronger medicine.

~~ Michael Moore


Homemade Soft Scrub

Made another batch of homemade soft scrub today and got to thinking about everyone else cleaning their sinks/tubs and what kind of products are being used -- so why not put up a post about it?

I'm a closet chemist, and really enjoy mixing things up and trying to see how I can save money and still get good results from homemade products.

Now, I know that I'm not the only person who hasn't completely "converted" to everything natural and green, so I figured I would share this today and hopefully encourage you to step away from that store bought stuff!

Homemade Softscrub (from TipNut.com)

1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup liquid dish detergent
1/8 cup – 1/4 cup vinegar

Mix the baking soda and dish detergent first, then add the vinegar. Adjust the baking soda or vinegar amounts until you have the consistency you like working with.

My comments on this:

  • WAY too much liquid detergent in the original recipe.  I read the reviews before I even started and everyone suggested using just a little bit.  The first time I used about 1 TBSP and found even that to be too much - it took a lot of rinsing to get those soapy bubbles out of the sink!  I added more baking soda and vinegar to the original mix and that seemed to even out the recipe -- now I add 1 or 2 tsp and that seems to do the trick. 
  • This works great.  Easy to mix up, easy to use.  Makes my sink all sparkly and shiny, and doesn't leave any kind of film or icky feel.
  • I add several drops of Rosemary essential oil to the mixture -- makes for a nice scent and fresh feeling.  

Herbal tidbit: when you breathe in Rosemary essential oil, it brings mental energy and clears your respiratory tract -- so a nice addition to a cleaning solution!

So, are YOU ready to start making your own cleaning solutions? This is certainly a far less expensive solution than buying the stuff at the store, and not only is it healthier, you get to have fun mixing baking soda and vinegar together and watching the chemical reaction bubble up in front of you!

How's that for having fun while cleaning!


Are You a CARB Addict?

I have been 'in recovery' myself for a while.....

Here’s an interesting take on the situation from Dr. Christiane Northrup:

"Women who grew up in alcoholic or chaotic family systems may have brain and body chemistry that is overly sensitive to the effects of food, and particularly to the neurochemical known as serotonin.

Serotonin is released in the brain quite rapidly when you eat refined-carbohydrate-rich foods such as most breakfast cereals or cookies.

True carbohydrate addicts cannot stop after eating a few cookies or potato chips. They don't seem to have a normal satiety mechanism in place."

[... and from personal experience I would add -- a traumatic or abused childhood, not necessarily resulting from the "family system"]

So, next time you reach for that delicious piece of bread, ask yourself if you're really hungry, or are you looking to soothe an emotional issue?  Be courageous and willing to give a voice to those emotions you are trying to squash by eating.

You are worthy of love and respect!

Your opinions matter.

YOU MATTER!

Know that you are loved. 

Acupressure for Hiccups

The next time you get the hiccups and all your go-to remedies don't work, why not try some acupressure? 

Lie down or sit in a chair that promotes good posture. Place your middle and index fingers in the depression behind each earlobe. Press lightly and hold for 1 minute as you breathe deeply from the abdomen. 

That's it -- worth a try! 

Acupressure's Potent Points, by Michael Reed Gach

Artificial Dyes

There are a lot of colorful foods available to us, and while nature does provide us many beautiful and "healthy" colors of foods, it's the unnatural, artificial food colors/dyes that "grow" in labs that should be of concern to you.

We humans were not designed to eat crude oil, or many of the other synthetic chemicals that are added to foods, so reactions may develop depending on your body's chemistry.

Some people who eat artificial colors/dyes become distracted and have trouble concentrating (like Winnie the Pooh); get  depressed (like Eeyore); get bouncy (like Tigger); become irritable or compulsive (like Rabbit); become fearful (like Piglet); or get upset way too easily (like my son did).

Typically if someone is going to have a reaction it will be: a change in behavior, a change in the ability to focus and learn, or a physical effect such a asthma, hives or headaches. When I put my family on the Feingold program many, many years ago, not only did my son's ADHD become manageable, my frequent headaches and fuzzy-brain stuff disappeared!

By the way, colorings CAN be added to foods without resorting to crude oil; they can be made from natural ingredients, like: Annatto (a bean that gives butter and cheese a yellow color), Grape Juice, Grape SKIN Extract (added to lemonade to make it pink), or Minerals (iron oxides).

Now, when you see synthetic dyes/colors listed on package ingredients, there should be a color along with a number - e.g. FD&C Red No. 3. The term "FD&C" means it's allowed to be used in food, drugs and cosmetics. The "C" stands for certified - but it doesn't necessarily mean the dye is safe however; it just means it has been checked to assure that it does not contain more than the allowed amount of lead, arsenic and mercury (yeah).  "Uncertified" refers to natural colorings such as annatto and grape juice; the FDA doesn't monitor them (yet).

So, if you're going to eat something with synthetic coloring, make sure there is a letter/number combination, otherwise, put it back and move on.

The following "FD&C" dyes ARE allowed in foods, but.....

  • Yellow 5  - Allergists have reported for decades the serious physical effects in some patients, including asthma and hives.  It has also been shown to trigger behavior problems in children. (Lancet, Mar. 9, 1985; Journal of Pediatrics, Nov. 1994)
  • Yellow 6 - Can bring about hives, rhinitis, nasal congestion, bronchoconstriction, anaphylactic reaction, bruising, indigestion, abdominal pain and vomiting. (American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs, 1985)
  • Red 3 - Is partially banned because it was shown to cause cancerous thyroid tumors in animals.  It is prohibited from being used in the wax coating on cheese, but it is allowed to be used in foods and beverages.  This dye can also be used as a pesticide; it's sprayed on manure piles to kill fly eggs. (US Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Red 40 - Is suspected of causing cancerous tumors in test animals. Canada has banned it, the U.S. has not.
  • Blue 1 and Blue 2 - Approved despite controversy surrounding their safety. (Center for Science in the Public Interest)
  • Red 22 - Is not permitted to be used in foods, but it is allowed in drugs and cosmetics, especially lipsticks.  It can also be used as an herbicide, to kill marijuana plants.
  • Green 3 - One of the least used dyes, but increased various tumors in rats.  

My son was sensitive to Reds and Blues.  Eating anything with those colors/dyes in it would trigger a Jekyll/Hyde reaction that was impossible to manage, he became incapable of sitting still long enough to do any kind of seatwork, and his weird tics would come out.  Reactions could take days to balance out, and we were miserable.  He soon learned not to eat anything with colors because he liked feeling "normal"; he learned to read labels and ask questions about ingredients if eating away from home -- pretty cool for a then 10-year old!

The bottom line here is -- read your labels and make informed choices.  If you're eating processed foods and are consistently having "issues", move to a whole food, scratch-cooked or dye-free diet and see if things clear up.  It really is worth the effort!

For your reading pleasure:
  • The Center for Science in the Public Interest has a quite informative PDF that you can download for free, entitled: Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks.

Sources:  
  • Healthier Food for Busy People, by Jane Hersey
  • My Feingold files (www.Feingold.org)


What is Vanillin?

Have you ever noticed those great big bottles of imitation vanilla flavoring (vanillin) that are cheaper than the little bottles of pure vanilla? How often do you buy the big bottle, thinking it's "okay"? 

How do you feel about ingesting wood pulp or creosote?

Synthetic vanilla flavor can come from many sources, including petroleum and the waste product of paper and pulp mills. Ever smelled the sickening rotten egg smell from a paper mill?  Well, the company has to dispose of the leftover "chemical stew" it creates, so some of it has been bottled and sold to food manufacturers for use as imitation vanilla flavoring.  

Synthetic vanillin is also synthesized in a two-step process from the petrochemical precursors guaiacol and glyoxylic acid.

So, when shopping for food items, watch for the word "vanillin", especially when you shop for chocolate.  You'd be surprised to learn that even some very expensive chocolate products use the cheap substitute, and that some inexpensive candies use the real thing -- read your labels!

If you're one of the many people who think you're allergic to chocolate because you get a headache or other unpleasant effect when you eat it, the culprit could be the fake vanilla, not the chocolate.

Excerpted from: Healthier Food for Busy People, Jane Hersey

Do You Eat Crude Oil?

If you eat foods which contain synthetic dyes (food coloring), you are essentially eating crude oil - the colorings are synthesized from petroleum. They were originally made from coal tar oil, and are still referred to in the industry as "coal tar dyes". 
(U.S. Food & Drug Administration)

Artificial flavors and colors have been associated with: respiratory allergic disorders, hives and angioedema, lesions of the tongue and buccal mucosa, digestive disturbances, headache and behavioral disturbances, including hyperkinesis in childhood. (Nelson's Textbook of Pediatrics, 1987)

~~ From my Feingold files (www.feingold.org)