Pure Revitalized Water Helps Our Body Regenerate

Mishelle Knuteson M.H.

Water is the pillar of life. Human life and health, as well as all other forms of life on the planet, are completely dependent upon water.  About 70% of the earth is covered in water and up to 60% of the human body contains water. The brain is composed of 70% water, and the lungs are nearly 90% water. Lean muscle tissue contains about 75% water by weight; body fat contains 10% water and bone has 22% water. About 83% of our blood is water, which helps digest our food, transport waste, and control body temperature. Each day humans must replace at least 2.5 quarts of water, some through drinking and the rest taken by the body from the foods we eat.

Beyond life giving effects, water also acts as a solvent, transporter and cleanser. All metabolic functions as well as extraction of toxins through the kidneys, the colon, the skin and the lungs rely on water. Within a 24 hour time period, about 370 gallons of blood flows through our brain and about 530 gallons of blood passes through our kidneys and liver. The human body discharges at least ½ a gallon of fluid a day. This perpetual loss of liquid must be replenished.


The amount of water the body contains and the need for replenishing is dependent upon body weight and the amount of fat a person carries. Most reports you read will say to replenish the body with 1/2 ounce of water per pound of body-weight per day. Dr. Christopher understood the vital life force that water brings to the body. As mentioned previously, water dissolves, transports and cleanses. It also hydrates all organs, tissues and cells within the body so they can function optimally. For this purpose Dr. Christopher recommended drinking 1 ounce of pure water (distilled; natures form of filtration) per pound of body-weight per day.

We have callers at the School of Natural Healing worried that distilled water is dead (bad) water. That could not be further from the truth. Distilled water is pure H2O. Distilled water is hungry water, which means that it will flush out inorganic minerals that the body has taken in and is unable to assimilate. This is a good thing. We do not want anything in the body that the body cannot use. If inorganic minerals are left hanging around in the body, they will cause constipation of the area which leads to disease.

Distilled water can be revitalized in a way that is completely natural, that will not change the chemical makeup of the H2O and does not add any inorganic compounds to the water. A simple, effective and inexpensive way to revitalize your water is by placing a handful of clean quartz crystals into your drinking water. The water will absorb the energetic vibrations of the crystals and act as a healing aid similar in theory to that of homeopathic remedies or Bach flowers. To get more information on how to revitalize your water with crystals http://www.healthjunk.com/?p=497.

Our bodies have amazing self- healing powers. They have the ability to fully regenerate themselves. Drinking lots of pure water is one of the key components to enable our bodies to do its job.

Mishelle Knuteson is certified in Rapid Eye Technology (RET) an emotional release therapy, teaches classes in The Art of Feminine Presence and a Master Herbalist ~ graduate of The School of Natural Healing. Mishelle currently works as an Educative Master Herbalist (MH) for The School of Natural Healing

What about those alternative sweeteners? Are they the real thing? Part 1

Let’s take a look at some sweetener alternatives to regular white table sugar.

Why in the first place we might ask; would anyone want to switch away from regular table sugar?  Is it because we have an insulin level issue in our blood?  Maybe we are battling an unhealthy weight issue?  Whatever our reason is, we need to search harder at those so-called alternatives to what is referred to as regular table sugar.

What is wrong with table sugar?  Kind of depends on which type you have on your table.   What is common table sugar?  The answer is;  It is a sucrose carbohydrate and a disaccharide made up of glucose and fructose.  The chemical name for sugar is sucrose which is made from two carbohydrates glucose and fructose a disaccharide carbohydrate.   Now, there are variable’s in the chemistry of different sugars depending are where they are derived from.  Raw organic cane sugar is the only one we recommend.  But we won’t get into all that right now. We will save those details for additional sharing in some follow-up posts.  Right now I want to share about some fairly common alternatives to regular white table sugar and its basic use.

We have so-called artificial chemical sweeteners and alternative natural sweeteners vs. regular white table sugar.  Which one does our bodies prefer and which one does our tasters prefer?  How many of you have or currently use artificial sweeteners like Saccharin (SweetnLow), Aspartame (Nutri-Sweet or Equal), Sucralose (Spendid) or maybe you use Stevia, Honey, Xylitol, or Agave?  Personally I use Honey, Cane Sugar, Xyletol and some Agave.  The last thing I will use is Aspartame, Acesulfame and HFCS (high fructose corn syrup).

The first problem with white table sugar is it has been bleached with bone ash while having the molasses removed.  This is what takes sugar out of its completely natural state.  If you don’t have blood sugar issues from too much glucose, I would say you can continue to feed your brain from organic cane sugar and be just fine.  Diabetics are the main concern when consuming regular table sugars whether or not organic or bleached.  There are concerns for hyperglycemia or hypoglycemic individuals as well but usually this latter group with dietary changes overtime will be fine.

First the Good:

Xylitol is a great sweetener when derived from a Birch tree and not from corn.  Xylitol is great for preventing cavities while being low on the glycemic index.   Taste great and measures spoon for spoon with regular table sugars.  It has a “7” on the glycemic index.

Raw Organic Honey from your local area can be a great sweetener used in moderation for those with healthy blood sugar levels.  Raw honey from a good verified source can provide many beneficial nutrients to the body.  It has superfood characteristics.  It is a “30” on the glycemic Index.

Stevia is a great sweetener, but has an after taste.  It measures the lowest on the glycemic index at “0”

Organic Cane Sugar in its natural state is just fine, maybe higher in calories than these other natural sweeteners but not a problem unless you are really watching your calories.  It comes in at a “47” on the glycemic index.

Agave Nectar is a great tasting alternative and works great in hot drinks.  It is sweeter than table sugar.  Can have an off taste in baked goods but mixed in conjunction with cane sugar, xylitol and some others, it can work.  Make sure it is from an organic source.  Some companies producing agave use a pasteurization process that kills any qualities to this sweetener.  Agave can vary on the glycemic index between15-30.

Now the Bad:

Acesulfame (K) or acesulfame potassiumis a derivative of acetoacetic acid and it stimulates insulin secretion in a dose dependent and it can aggravate or possibly establish hypoglycemia in a person (“low blood sugar attacks”).  There are many other possibly dangerous side-effects found in laboratory tests.  This product is not recommended.  Note:  glycemic index measurement deemed irrelevant.

Nutra-Sweet or Equal is made from aspartame and I do not recommend these artificial sweeteners by any means.  I don’t care if you diabetic.  Find a better natural true alternative, they are out there.  We will be doing more of a series on these products with documentation from some very qualified experts. No, No NO!  I could write a book on this substance.  It is also known as that marketing killer of saccharin.   Note:  glycemic index measurement deemed irrelevant.

Sucralose (Splenda) is another artificial sweetener I do not recommend.  It is derived from chlorinating sugar molecules, by substituting three hydroxl groups with three chlorine atoms.  Test after test have shown that chlorine levels had risen in individuals tested after regular use of the product.  In fact the FDA after being pressured by a consumer advocacy group found that the prior information supplied to them was not accurate and that under these new test found that 27% of the sucralose can be absorbed by the body raising concerns about the chlorine levels.  For now, enough said.  I just don’t trust this one and I will do more of a follow-up soon.  Note:  glycemic index measurement deemed irrelevant.

Saccharin (SweetnLow) is one of the oldest available artificial sweeteners on the market and probably the safest after many years of scary horror stories raised by its newer artificial sweetener rivals coming on the scene.  I do not recommend this product as it too is not a natural sweetener and with the many better tasting more beneficial alternatives you have to ask why?  Note:  glycemic index measurement deemed irrelevant.

HFCS or High Frutose Corn Syrup is an ugly duckling in many of eyes including mine.  To think how much of this garbage I had consumed in my early years makes me sick and I believe really made me sick.  But, so did a lot of refined white table sugar.  They both are dirty little varmints.   Most of this stuff if not virtually all of it is processed from GMO corn to start with.  Do you need to know more?  I will do an entire blog on this product in a future post.  This ugly duckling comes in at a high of “87” on the glycemic index.

Refined White Table Sugar is the king of all sugars consumed in the western world and making a move like its corrupt cousin HFCS.  The worst of all the refined white table sugar is that which is derived from GMO sugar beet.  If it doesn’t say cane sugar it more than likely is sugar beet of which most is GMO.  On the glycemic index this substance comes in at a whopping “80”.

In this part 1 conclusion, I recommend any of the natural or organic sweeteners on the good list and none of those on the bad list.  If I had to choose anything on the bad list, it would be refined cane sugar way over any of the other bad choices.  Please note, I will be doing follow ups on most all of these good and bad sweeteners in future posts.  These posts will be grouped or listed in sweetener category.  There you have it, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly in sweeteners.


Our Body: A ”Walking“ Body of Water With most of our body weight made up of water, humans are truly a walking body of water. In fact, I like to think of our body’s dependency on water for efficiently transporting nutrients and removing waste much like Venice, the ”city of water,“ depends on water in its infrastructure for effectively transporting people and products.


Making up 60 to 75 percent of our body weight, water plays an integral role in virtually EVERY bodily function. This powerful yet simple nutrient definitely needs to move to the top of the list in BIG BOLD letters on everyone’s healthy lifestyle plan.


This essential, but forgotten hero…


regulates your body temperature by allowing you to perspire and in turn cool your skin and blood

lubricates your joints, eyes, nose, mouth and the air you breath

provides shock protection to your joints and organs

prevents your skin from becoming dry and itchy

reduces the level of the stress hormone, cortisol, which in turn helps reduce acne

removes waste and prevents constipation

flushes toxins

maximizes your energy and prevents headaches, lethargy and dizziness

helps dissolve minerals and other nutrients for maximum accessibility throughout your body

strengthens your natural healing process

acts as a calorie-free, caffeine-free appetite suppressant


Avocado All Natural Facial


Avocado makes a great all-natural facial.  Packed with essential  vitamins A, E, B and K, including minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium, sodium, copper, magnesium, etc. With these vitamins and minerals you can replenish your beautiful skin without worrying about harmful chemicals leaking into your bloodstream through your pours.  All natural for an all natural beauty.

Basic instructions:

Peel  1/2 of a ripe avocado and mash it into a paste. Spread it onto your skin, leave it for 15 minutes, and then rinse it away. and feel the refreshed feeling of your soft skin.

How to Use The Powerful Health Qualities of Natural Apple Cider Vinegar

Research worldwide supports and commends what Hippocrates (the father of medicine) found and treated his patients with in 400 B.C. He discovered that natural, undistilled Apple Cider Vinegar (or ACV)* is a powerful cleansing and healing elixir, “a naturally occurring antibiotic and antiseptic that fights germs and bacteria” for a healthier, stronger, longer life!


The versatility of ACV as a powerful body cleansing agent is legendary. It’s been traced to Egyptian urns as far back as 3000 B.C. The Babylonians used it as a condiment and preservative, while Julius Caesar’s army used ACV tonic to stay healthy and fight off disease. The Greeks and Romans kept vinegar vessels for healing and flavoring. It was used in Biblical times as an antiseptic and a healing agent and is mentioned in the Bible. In Paris during the Middle Ages, it was sold from barrels by street vendors as a body deodorant, healing tonic and a health vinegar drink.


Even Christopher Columbus and his crew on his voyage to discover America in 1492 had their vinegar barrels for prevention of scurvy as did the soldiers in the American Civil War. For centuries in Japan, the feared Samurai warriors drank it for strength and power. ACV has been used for thousands of years not only for health reasons, but also as a cleansing agent to remove bacteria, germs, odors, and even stains and spots.


A teacher for the day can be a guiding light for a lifetime!


Bragg books are silent health teachers—never tiring, ready night or day to help you help yourself to health! Our books are written with love and a deep desire to guide you to a healthy lifestyle.

– Patricia Bragg


ACV – Mother Nature’s Perfect Food


Natural (undistilled) organic, raw ACV can really be called one of Mother Nature’s most perfect foods. It is made from fresh, crushed apples which are then allowed to mature naturally in wooden barrels, as wood seems to “boost” the natural fermentation. Natural ACV should be rich, brownish color and if held to the light you might see a tiny formation of “cobweb-like” substances that we call the “mother.” Usually some “mother” will show in the bottom of the ACV bottle the more it ages. It never needs refrigeration. You can also save some “mother” and transfer it to work in other natural vinegars. When you smell natural ACV, there’s a pungent odor and sometimes it’s so ripened it puckers your mouth and smarts your eyes. These are natural, good signs.


Why Has Natural Apple Cider Vinegar Disappeared from Grocers’ Shelves?


The blame for the disappearance of natural raw Apple Cider Vinegar from supermarkets lies on the shoulders of the general public, as well as the producers of vinegar.


Most people buy food with their eyes, not thinking of good nutrition. The vinegar producers failed to enlighten the public on what powerful health qualities were locked within natural ACV. Why? Because most of them had not the slightest knowledge of the health values of natural, organic, unfiltered, cloudy (and to some, less attractive-looking) Apple Cider Vinegar with the “mother.” They produced pasteurized, refined and distilled vinegars because the public demanded the clear look. It was simply filling current supply and demand.


Powerful Health Qualities Removed


You cannot completely blame the producers of vinegar. They are not nutritionists, nor are they biochemists. Their business is to give the customers what they want. Most people purchase vinegar for flavoring, also for pickling and marinating their foods. Some women use it to rinse their hair after shampooing, as it leaves it squeaky clean, softer and much easier to manage.


ACV is also a germ fighter in the home, lab, etc.. Some mix it with water to wash windows, as it removes sludge and keeps them sparkling clean. ACV has hundreds of uses and its versatility is legendary as a powerful household cleansing and deodorizing agent free of dangerous chemicals. (See pages 102 to 104 for vinegar cleaning hints.)


ACV Has Powerful Health Qualities


Both the general public and the producers of vinegar have been informed as to the powerful health qualities of organic, raw, unfiltered, fully ripened ACV. Ignorance isn’t always bliss! When most people see natural apple cider vinegar with the brownish color and the tiny, cobweb “mother” floating in it, they think it looks unappetizing. The general public has been educated and brainwashed to want everything they purchase to have perfect eye appeal!


To meet this demand of clear, light-colored vinegar sans the brownish, cobweb “mother” is the reason producers distill their vinegar. In distilling, the vinegar is turned to steam by heating, thus destroying the powerful enzymes and evaporating the life-giving minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, natural organic fluorine, silicon, trace minerals and pectin as well as many other powerful nutrients! Distilling also destroys the natural malic and tartaric acids which are important in fighting body toxins and inhibiting unfriendly bacteria.


You can see how the public, with their obsession for eye appeal foods, reacts. The producers of Apple Cider Vinegar, who agree to sell their product for a profit, put a death warrant against healthy, organic, raw, fully ripened ACV. The public got what they wanted—a clear, appealing, but dead ACV. When natural ACV was hard to find, other strange vinegars began to appear on grocery shelves. The first was malt vinegar, a refined vinegar. It’s clear and acceptable to the public. It tastes like vinegar, but has none of the healing qualities of natural, raw ACV.


The universally accepted #1 fruit, the apple, is popular across America and around the world. Early American settlers, the Pilgrims, brought apples to America in the early 1600’s and became Johnny Appleseeders, starting apple orchards that eventually spread throughout America.


Commercial Vinegars are Real Tragedies


Then came the real tragedy: a food chemist produced an imitation vinegar from coal tar! It looked clean, white and tasted like vinegar. Today it’s the most popular vinegar in supermarkets. It’s cheaper than distilled vinegar or malt vinegar. Most people buy these worthless vinegars. There is nothing redeeming about commercial vinegars, besides their clean look and vinegar-like taste. They have no health value! They don’t contain the health values of organic, raw ACV with the mother. Millions worldwide never get the health benefits of this natural ACV as Hippocrates used in 400 B.C.


ACV Helps Stiffness Vanish from Body


You will find, after several months of ACV and honey cocktail taken 3 times daily that the stiffness and misery will be gone from your joints and body. You will discover you can walk or run up several flights of stairs without any effort and pain! You will notice that you look and feel younger!


Make The Bragg Healthy Lifestyle a life-long daily habit! Over the years we have seen many stiff-jointed, prematurely old people transform themselves into new, youthful, healthy people! We can’t do it for you. You must make the effort to give this ACV and honey program a chance to prove what it can do for you!


Question About Apple Cider Vinegar


Many people have some preconceived idea that Apple Cider Vinegar is harmful to the body. However, it is actually the distilled, pasteurized, filtered, malt and synthetic dead vinegars that must be avoided for human consumption!


Let us assure you that there is nothing in this wonderful, organic, raw ACV that can in any way harm your body! People ask us about the merits and benefits of ACV. See the inside front cover for a list of some of the miracles it can perform.


Animal proteins and fats have a tendency to thicken the blood, while natural acids and enzymes in ACV help to keep the blood healthier and thinner. Also, that’s why people naturally crave and serve cranberry sauce (which contains four different natural acids) with turkey and fowl. They serve applesauce with roast pork dishes, a slice of lemon with fish, or mushrooms with steak —all rich in natural acids.


The use of Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is a wonderful health aid, and the #1 food I recommend in helping to maintain the body’s vital acid-alkine balance. Everyone should read the Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar book. – Gabriel Cousens, M.D., Author of Conscious Eating and Spiritual Nutrition.


Source: Bragg

Crazy Beauty Tricks That Really Work


Soothing and anti-inflammatory, oatmeal contains beta glucan, a soluble fiber that creates a thin, moisture-retaining film on the surface of the skin. Place a handful of whole oats in a clean washcloth and use a rubber band to secure it. Next, immerse it in a sinkful of warm water and squeeze the bag four or five times. Once the water is cloudy, splash it on your face and then air-dry. (If you must towel dry, pat as gently as possible.)


Avocado Oil

Avocado oil’s abundant fatty acids help balance skin’s moisture levels, and the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E protect skin from further damage. Combine equal parts avocado oil and evening-primrose oil (which supports collagen synthesis with its gamma linoleic acid) in a sealable bottle and shake to blend. Massage five or six drops into clean skin, and then cover your face with a warm washcloth for a minute to help the oils sink in.



Rich in oil, walnuts make for extra-gentle sloughing. Blend 1/4 cup shelled walnuts, 1/2 cup olive oil (for extra emollients), and a tablespoon of honey (to seal moisture into your skin) in a food processor set on a slow speed, creating a fine-particle scrub. Standing in the shower (if you’re scrubbing your feet) or over a sink (if it’s for your hands), work the mixture thoroughly over your skin for a couple of minutes. Rinse with warm water.



The fruit acid loosens dead skin cells. Cut a fresh orange in half and squeeze the juice of one half into a bowl. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup olive oil and then blend into a moisture-rich scrub. Next, rub the exposed side of the other half of the orange over knees, elbows, heels, and any other dry spots. Last, rub in the sugar mixture to slough off dead skin. Rinse with warm water and pat skin dry.



The lactic acid in milk serves as a gentle skin exfoliant, while its natural fat content acts as a body moisturizer. Add a gallon of whole milk to a tubful of warm water and soak. It’s a great alternative to sugar and salt scrubs, which may be too abrasive for people who suffer from eczema, psoriasis, or sensitive skin. If you prefer a fragranced bath, add 10 to 20 drops of an essential oil such as lavender.



Eggs’ high protein content helps improve hair’s resilience and luster. Whisk together 1 egg, 2 tablespoons coconut oil (rich in moisturizing fats), and 2 tablespoons sesame oil. Apply the mixture to dry hair and wrap a hot, moist towel around your head. Relax for five to 10 minutes. Without wetting hair first, work in a handful of shampoo, and then rinse and condition your hair.


Apple-Cider Vinegar

Its high acid content makes skin inhospitable to blemish-causing bacteria. Place a handful of parsley (a skin-clarifying herb) into a French press and cover it with 1/2 cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, and then plunge and let the liquid cool. Transfer to a spray bottle along with a splash of vinegar and four drops of tea tree oil (an antiseptic), shake well, and spritz on a freshly cleansed face. (Store the spray bottle in the fridge.)



Yeast and hops help to swell the hair shaft and plump the cuticle, adding volume. The acidity of the beer helps remove built-up product residue. In the shower, after you’ve shampooed, pour a bottle of beer over your hair, Philip B. advises. Rinse briefly with fresh water (the idea is to avoid the Eau de Barfly effect while retaining the beer’s body-boosting benefits). A rich beer with a high yeast content works best. (Read: No light beer.)

DIY Eye Soothers

DIY Eye Soothers


Make yourself beautiful with natural remedies made with simple ingredients you can put together at home.


The skin in the eye area is especially thin and sensitive, so it flares up fast when you’re stressed and fatigued — or surviving on a less-than-perfect diet. Natural remedies, though, can lessen redness or puffiness almost as quickly as it appears. Many remedies use simple ingredients that are already in your kitchen. Here are five of the most effective solutions.


Chamomile, Green, or Black Tea


Chamomile tea, a natural anti-inflammatory, helps ease redness and puffiness around the eyes. Green and black teas contain compounds called tannins, plus caffeine. Tannins have an astringent effect on the skin and shrink swollen tissue, while caffeine constricts blood vessels to reduce swelling.


Steep two chamomile, green, or black tea bags in just-boiled water for three minutes. Remove them from the water and place in the refrigerator until cooled. Place one bag over each eye and relax for 15 minutes.




The cool temperature of chilled metal spoons constricts blood vessels, which helps decrease redness and puffiness in the eye area.


Place four metal spoons in a glass of ice water. When chilled, place one spoon on each eye, following the contour of your eye socket. As the spoons begin to warm, switch them with the spoons chilling in the glass of ice water. Continue this process until swelling subsides.




Cold milk constricts blood vessels and reduces swelling. The fat in whole milk soothes dry, irritated skin.


Pour ice-cold whole milk or cream into a small bowl; soak two cotton balls in the liquid. Then squeeze out the cotton balls slightly and put one over each eye. Once the cotton balls warm up, soak two more and repeat for up to 15 minutes.


Cucumber Slices


A classic remedy for puffy, irritated eyes, cucumbers contain ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and caffeic acid, both of which help reduce swelling.


Rest two 1/2-inch-thick cucumber slices on a bed of ice to chill. Once cool, place one slice over each eye, lean your head back, and relax for 10 to15 minutes. Remove the slices and rinse your face with cool water.


Egg Whites

Egg whites act as an astringent, making your skin appear tighter and smoother. They are also high in vitamin B2, or riboflavin, which is associated with improved circulation.


Beat two egg whites until stiff, and then apply to the under-eye area using a brush. Let the mixture dry for about 15 minutes; rinse well with water. Try adding a drop or two of witch hazel to the beaten whites, which further reduces swelling and keeps the egg whites from drying too rapidly.

Fat Releasing Habits to Help You Slim Down

Weight loss is no longer just about eating less or exercising more: Follow these easy habits to help get slim for good.

Fidget It Off

Mayo Clinic research reveals that people who are naturally lean (you know: eating whatever they want, and never gaining a pound or inch) will automatically, and even subconsciously, find ways to fidget and move to make up for extra calories they may be ingesting.

If you’re not one of these natural-born movers, consciously make choices that boost your burn without needing to break a sweat: Stand and pace when you’re on the phone. Wash dishes by hand. Conduct walking meetings with colleagues instead of huddling around a conference room.

Snack Smartly

One of the fastest ways to derail your weight loss efforts is to be unprepared when hunger strikes. Snacking is one of the first areas where people frequently get off track. The key is to surround yourself with nutrient-dense and low-calorie snacks, even when you’re traveling or working.

The best snacks, like those recommended on the Digest Diet, incorporate at least three satiety-inducing fat releasing nutrients such as fiber, vitamin C, and dairy or calcium.

Sleep Weight Off

Whether you snooze too much or too little, it’s not good for your health or your waistline. Sleep deprivation interferes with the hormones leptin and ghrelin that regulate appetite, meaning you’ll feel hungrier and are more likely to indulge in poorer eating behaviors. Also, you may look for more “energy” in the form of unhealthy snacks!

Dieters who got 8 1/2 hours of sleep nightly lost 56 percent more body fat than they did when eating the same diet, but only getting 5 1/2 hours of sleep a night. Try to sleep seven to eight hours a night yourself—you’ll have more energy and reduce cravings. To get a better night’s rest, hit the hay earlier. Experiment with what works best for you by ending your day 15 minutes to a half hour sooner, until you get to your ideal bedtime.

Rethink Your Workout Routine

Nod your head if you do the same workout over and over. Routine cardio regimens like the treadmill, elliptical, or jogging path may contribute to weight gain, because they demand you increase your energy output. Since your body is always trying to stay in balance, this type of movement may actually act as a biological cue to make you eat more. Researchers also believe that cardio exercise may trigger additional eating, because it depletes glycogen stores in the liver and muscle in order to make glucose available for fuel.

Continuous aerobic exercise isn’t nearly as effective a weight-control strategy as surprising your body with aerobic interval training (short bursts of high-intensity, heart-pounding work) or strength training (push-ups, squats, anything that builds muscle and power).

Also, you don’t need to log an hour at the gym every day either to get maximum benefits. Research from the Department of Kinesiology at Southern Illinois University showed that as little as three 11-minute intense strength-training sessions a week resulted in an increase in fat burn at rest, and a chronic increase in energy expenditure throughout the day.

Detox Your Life

The toxins, chemicals, and compounds riddling our food supply and self-care products are contributing to the nation’s collective fat creep. Study after study shows that organochlorine compounds, specifically, adversely affect the body’s ability to oxidize fat—they resist being metabolized and are readily stored in fatty tissue. These compounds have been found in plastics, herbicides, and pesticides, as well as chlorine-based household products.

Go organic and avoid toxins wherever you can, whenever you can. If that means you buy organic versions of your five favorite fruits and veggies—or you fill your entire cart with them—that’s great. If it can mean buying a HEPA-grade medical air filter for your home, it’s also good. Any choice you make that eliminates toxic chemicals in your life is health-affirming. Plus, nontoxic can be cheaper sometimes, particularly when it comes to household cleaning products. Baking soda, lemon, olive oil, vinegar are all effective nontoxic cleaners—and you can cook with them, too!

Don’t Rely on Exercise Alone

Thinking you can eat whatever you want as long as you work it off later is actually a pretty dangerous mind-set, particularly if you look at the current research. Exercise alone leads to a very modest decrease in total body weight: less than 3 percent! (Scarf down a pint of ice cream and you’ll be running a long time to work off the fat and calories. . . . Marathon, anyone?)

The good news here is that exercise reduces dangerously unhealthy visceral fat, independent of whether you lose weight. For exercise to be effective as a weight-loss agent, pair it with the right diet and eating plan.

Laugh Every Day

Stress takes an enormous toll on your health, waist, and immunity. And, as Reader’s Digest has said for nearly a century: Laughter is the best medicine. But did you know that laughter actually burns calories?

One novel study was commissioned by the comedy channel GO LD (Go On Laugh Daily) in Great Britain. Researchers, led by Helen Pilcher, PhD, formerly of London’s Institute of Psychiatry, looked into the number of calories burned by intense laughing and compared it to the calorie burn of other daily activities (strength training, running, even vacuuming). They found that intense laughter by itself can give you a bite-size cardio workout: An hour of it can benefit you as much as a half hour of hitting it hard at the gym! Laughing burns calories, but it can also boost total energy expenditure by up to 20 percent. To put that into perspective: One hour of laughter burns up to 120 calories, about the same as 18 to 27 minutes of weight training, 15 to 20 minutes of walking, or 40 minutes’ vacuuming.

Find a Workout You Love

Many people don’t like to exercise. But when Swedish researchers looked into the attitudes, strategies, and behaviors important to weight maintenance, they found that one habit common to successful maintainers was that they all found the joy in working out.

According to Barbara L. Fredrickson, PhD, director of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology (PEP) Lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “our research shows that if a new wellness behavior evokes positive emotions, people are 4.5 times more likely to be continuing with that new behavior 15 months down the road, enjoying all of its healthy benefits. Enjoyment motivates sustained change by creating nonconscious desires that are far stronger than conscious willpower. It’s best to select ways of eating and being physically active that you truly enjoy. Those are the only lifestyle changes you stand a chance of getting ‘hooked’ on, and that’s what’s needed for long-term weight-loss success.”


Easy Get-Started Detox

One of the best things a person can do to improve their health, would be to do a detox.  You may ask what is a detox? A detox is an internal cleansing of sorts. When my kids were younger I would try to explain with the following scenario by asking; if you had someone dump a 2 liter bottle of coke over your head, you would turn out very sticky and feel uncomfortable, right? Well, your insides feel the same way when you have been eating different junk foods for a long period of time, maybe years; or consuming large amounts of a certain type of food taking you out of balance with your body’s harmony. So keeping things simple, it is good to clean the inside of our body’s periodically, just like having a fresh tune-up on our automobile. Things last longer with less potential problems throughout our lifetime.

I will be touching on detox several times in the future and different ways of accomplishing the task. Sharing some different ideas on how to clean and rid the body of toxins. This usually helps one  maintain better weight control. For now you can start by creating a mildly detoxifying menu. Start with avoiding the foods and substances that you tend to over consume. This might mean eliminating the “big five”: sugar , wheat, dairy, caffeine and alcohol. Then emphasize alkaline choices in your diet, including fresh fruits and vegetables (particularly greens) and alkaline grains like millet and quinoa.

I will throw some example recipe’s at you for starters below:

Breakfast – Creamy Millet with Apples & Honey Serves 4

Millet is a small, yellow bead-like grain with a nutty taste. As the seasons unfold, try different fruits cooked with the millet: Currants in winter, peaches in summer.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
1 cup millet
1 apple, cut in thin slices or grated
2 1/2 cups apple juice
Pinch of sea salt
Raw, uncooked honey

1. Place millet in a fine mesh strainer; rinse under cold water and drain. Combine millet, apples, juice and salt in a two-quart saucepan and bring to boil. Cover and simmer on low heat 20 to 25 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Serve in bowls with a drizzle of honey on top.
For babies ten months and older, omit salt and don’t use honey as topping; puree and serve.

Lunch – Brown Rice and Hempseed Salad serves 2

Hempseed delivers good fats, which reduce inflammation and fuel the brain. Raw parsley, carrots, onions, and lime juice add fiber and vitamins with live enzymes — plus a zingy taste. You’ll feel very clean after you’ve eaten this. Follow with a hot cup of detox tea, if you like.

1 cup cooked brown rice
½ cup shelled hempseed
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cup grated carrots
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 bunch (1¾ ounces) chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
2 teaspoons dried basil, crushed between your fingers
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or dried Aleppo pepper
? cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
¼ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients; toss and serve.
PER SERVING: 467 cal, 40% fat cal, 22g fat, 2g sat fat, 0mg chol, 15g protein, 57g carb, 6g fiber, 357mg sodium

Dinner – Roasted Asparagus with Lentils Serves 2

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, asparagus is a natural detoxifier; it also contains inulin, a carbohydrate that increases beneficial gut flora. Cayenne pepper, surprisingly, is healing for your innards, unlike other peppers, which can irritate.

¾ cup dried red lentils
1½ cups water
2 large cloves garlic (or more to taste), minced
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 bunch (1 pound) asparagus, tough ends trimmed Olive oil cooking spray Zest of 1 medium lemon Juice of ½ medium lemon
1 cup cooked brown rice
4 green onions, green tops only, finely chopped
In a small saucepan, combine lentils, water, garlic, cayenne, and coriander. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer steadily for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat broiler and place oven rack as close to heat as possible. Spray a baking sheet with oil; spread asparagus on it in a single layer. Coat asparagus with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. When broiler is very hot, cook asparagus 3-5 minutes, until crisp. Remove from oven and transfer to a large platter to cool a bit. Add half of lemon zest and juice, tossing to distribute flavors.
When lentils are tender, stir in cooked rice and green onions. Add salt and pepper to taste. To serve, fill two shallow bowls with rice mixture and top with roasted asparagus; drizzle remaining lemon zest and juice over all.
PER SERVING: 419 cal, 6% fat cal, 3g fat, 1g sat fat, 0mg chol, 26g protein, 78g carb, 15g fiber, 17mg sodium

We will be adding many more detox recipes to help provide you with a great mix of healthy detox options.