Tag Archives: natural cures

I Finally Found It!

Reading about food and the way it affects people has been a passion of mine for the past couple of years.  I have family members who suffer from illnesses and watching their food intake is no joke.  So they have inspired me to dig deeper to figure out how food effects my body.  As a kid and into adulthood, I suffer from a fair share of sinus infections and I wanted to figure out why.  After many conversations with doctors and reading copious amounts of books, I realize it may be due to the drastic weather change (I live in Chicago, nuff said) and the food I eat.  So unless I move somewhere warmer (crossing my fingers) I am going to control what I can and that’s the food I put into my body.

I have searched for an interesting AND informative book that not only inspires change, but allows the reader to fully understand the consequences of “toxic” chemicals in our bodies – from food  to environment.  It may behoove you to check out this book if you are lethargic, have heart problems,  have allergies, get sinus infections often, have anxiety, IBS, depression, get brain fog, feeling ‘off’ or have family members who suffer from any of these conditions, including cancer.

At the end of the book there’s a guide to walk someone through a detox if they are feeling up for it.

I AM FEELING UP FOR IT!  And I am going to use the blog to update you on my process.  I’m hoping that if I commit to it and announce that I’m doing it, it will keep me motivated.  I hope you don’t feel used…

First, I’m going to prepare my body by doing The Elimination Diet:

  • Environment – Avoid and replace what you can to lower daily exposure. According to the book, everyday sources of toxicity are: cleaning supplies, car exhaust, gardening and lawn chemicals, dry cleaning products, air conditioners, chlorine, lead paint, aluminum-containing deodorant, fluoride-containing toothpaste, cosmetics, pots and pans with cooking surfaces coated with aluminum or Teflon and cell phones.
  • Diet – Eliminate the toxic foods (the duration of this step depends on your current lifestyle and habits).  THIS IS THE STEP I’M ON! This is a toughie for me because I love sweets and good food in general.  No matter what the cuisine, there is a restaurant on my block.  According to Clean, I need to stay away from sugar, processed foods, wheat, caffeine and alcohol – basically my whole diet summed up.

After you “prepare your body” you are ready to do a 1, 2 or 3 week detox, which consists of 2 liquid meals a day (juicing – YYYYEEES!) and a meal that consists of fruits, veggies and organic meat.  Dr. Junger includes some recipes that actually sound pretty decent.  Also, he encourages getting rid of “toxic thoughts” by meditating.  He’s claiming that after you finish the detox, your health is generally better, you’re in a better mood, your energy levels are high as ever, mental clarity and weight loss.  Sounds good to me!

I’m on my 4th day of trying to eliminate the “toxic foods”.  Has it been easy? No way, jose.  The first few days I had headaches, was extremely tired, and irritable.  I cheated several times (I justified it as easing my way into this) but it’s getting easier.  I’m jotting down what I eat, I went to the grocery store and purchased my favorite produce, I drink a boat load of water and stopped my nightly cocktail. I am going to keep this up for another week or so then move towards the detox.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress!!!

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Arnica ROCKS

Okay, let me preface this post – it totally sounds like a commercial.  It’s not…I just really really like this stuff.

When my brother was about two, he was an active, wild, and a high-energy kid. He was totally into Ninja Turtles and would high kick anyone who came into his path. He would fly around the room doing spins and karate chops like no other, which also meant lotsa banging and crashing into things.  Bruises and goose eggs were common for the little dude.

So my worried mom discovered Arnica. The moment he would crash into something, my mom would yell out in her Mexican accent, “Get the ARRNEEEEECAAA!” My sister or I would rush for it and rub it on him. Almost two decades later, I am using the same pain reliever on my kids and it works like a charm. Arnica is a homeopathic ointment – to relieve pain, swelling and minimize bruising – even the pro athletes use this stuff.

I can’t prevent my kids from going wild and getting hurt, but I can help them relieve pain and minimize those awful looking goose eggs.  Even my friend, Annie, who’s somewhat of a skeptic (towards this stuff) thought it was great…

Here's ours. almost out. since I've had a boy, I use it way more..

7 Ways To Reduce Stress

One way to reduce stress - music therapy

The other day I was flipping through my book Prescription For Natural Cures to find out what causes eczema and the chapter on Exercise and Stress Reduction caught my eye.  Because my family and I suffer from stress and anxiety, I read further.  The chapter had some really interesting ways on how we can reduce stress naturally, so I thought I would share it with all of you innerpeace seekers.

According to the authors, James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.D., “…people fail to see the connection between their health problems and how they handle their stress.  Unfortunately, many doctors fail to see the connection as well.  Research continues to show that how one handles stress is paramount to one’s physical, mental and emotional health.  Stress releases adrenal hormones, which are powerful chemicals and if are heightened and depressed for too long because of stress, a person is far more susceptible to diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, and other serious illnesses.”   Scary stuff.

The authors offer up some stress-reduction techniques to lessen the effects of stress on our bodies.  Everyone is different, so if you are interested in finding a way to reduce stress, choose one that suits your personality and lifestyle.

7 Ways:

  • Deep Breathing – According to the book, “Numerous studies have shown that deep breathing relaxes the mind, calms the nervous system, improves mental focus, and improves energy.”  I’m a huge fan of this one.  Whenever I find myself getting worked up over something, feeling overwhelmed, not able to concentrate, I connect back to my breathing techniques and try to focus on being present.
  • Exercise – “Exercise is one of the simplest and most underrated ways to reduce stress on the body.”  My dad is a huge proponent of running when he feels overwhelmed.  He owns his own business and during these hard economic times he sometimes struggles with all the stress that’s associated with being your own boss.  He hits the gym hard almost every day and just runs.  He claims it’s the best medicine for his heart.
  • Laughter – “Research shows that laughter prevents inflammatory triggers that leads to heart and artery damage, and it reduces the effects of stress.” Laughing with friends and family is a pastime in my household.  It’s a joy to be around jolly people who enjoy life.

Laughing with my little girl as she tries new ballet moves

  • Prayer – “It offers an opportunity to communicate with the Creator and cast your doubts and cares upon Him.”  Whenever things get tough, I simply close my eyes and have a conversation with God.  Afterwards, I usually feel like a heavy load has been lifted off my shoulders.
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation – ” Starting by curling your toes and holding them tightened for three seconds, then relax them.  Work your way up the body, focusing on how each muscle group feels as you tighten and relax it.”  This seems easy enough.  Set aside a few minutes each day to try this.  We carry a lot of stress in different parts of our bodies and this may help release some of that tension.
  • Tai Chi and Qigong – “…involves specific body movements and breathing.” These two aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine have gained a lot of popularity in the west as a way of reducing stress.  I pass by a Tai Chi studio here in Chicago daily and I am fascinated by the slow and steady movement it requires.
  • Visualization – “The visualization of positive images invokes a relaxation response.”  Close your eyes and visualize yourself and your loved ones in a positive light.  This also reminds me of my swimming days before a big swim meet.  We would visualize ourselves every step of the race to help prepare for our big events.
  • Yoga – “Yoga involves deep breathing, stretching and mediation.”  This is widely popular in our society these days, thanks to Madonna.
  • Music Therapy – “The human brain has been programmed to be responsive to music.  Examine any culture throughout the world, and you are sure to find music being used as a way to relax and combat the effect of stress.”  This one is definitely used by my family.  Neil, whom I admire greatly because of his sense of calm and clarity, practices this method; not necessarily as a way to reduce stress, but I’m convinced it helps keep him cool.  I love that he is instilling his love for music to our children.  They flock to him the second he breaks out his guitar, keyboard or just puts a record on.

Feeling calm and enjoying the music

Try one of these techniques if you find yourself getting worked up over something.  Please let us know if any worked! Good luck!

And a special thanks to Krystle! of Fly Vintage for the awesome pics!