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Naturally Avoid Mosquitos and other yucky bugs (ticks)

OH MY GOSH. I get bitten all the time by mosquitos while my friends don't.  Irritates me. I LOVE EVENING OUTSIDE TIME I really am not a big fan of DEET.  It's an insecticide for heaven's sakes.  Would you eat it straight???? So what's to do.  To LIVE CLEAN. Let's nutshell it. WHY:  There are 150 species of mosquitos.  They are all unique.  Yellow fever and Dengue fever are transmitted by Aedes mosquito.  Malaria - anopheles mosquitos, very climate based.  In general mosquitos locate us by chemicals (the smell) of l-lactic acid, ammonia, etc.  Interesting, carbon dioxide helps mosquito noses work better, so if you're in trees .... It's not sweat (sweat is orderless) they are attracted to, but the by-product of the bacteria on your skin metabolizing our sweat, into other components, ammonia, etc. GREAT and Interesting.  What does that mean for me? If you enjoy the evening outside and don't want to get bit, get sick, have our dogs get heartworm, babies get something ... how do we accomplish this CLEANLY and with ease. PROBLEM:  DEET is an insecticide.  A neurotoxic for humans. Possibly carcinogenic when in clothing and nets.  Your skin absorbs everything you put on it.  That means it takes it into your body.   As if YOU HAVE EATEN DEET.  Does it have a warning label for ingestion? HA! SOLUTION:  Plants.  They have developed a natural deterrent for bugs.  (this also works for TICKS.)  Lemongrass, cinnamon, citronella, eucalyptus, etc.  Essential oils.   Works for your FURRY FRIENDS as well.  You can buy or make a spray.  Easy peasy.  For your dogs, put a bandana on your dog with drops of lemongrass and cinnamon on it. Solution #1:  Dr. Mercola's Bug Spray  Or other products. Solution #2:  Delve into the world of essential oils.  Sounds complex and maybe a bit weird but its just CLEAN LIVING.  100 years ago this was the #1 Solution.  The reason to go this way .... if you have a small bottle of lemongrass in your bathroom and you're an athlete and you mess up your knee, your health coach might tell you to apply the lemongrass to the knee to help heal the ligaments.  SUPER COOL!  Connect with me for more info. lemongrass-w-my-words

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Strong Bones … the rest of the story!

GOOD AFTERNOON! I was reading an article in a big magazine by a nutritionist.  And I was shocked by two things.  I'll get to that.  First a nutshell of the article. "Should I try the alkaline diet?"  Alkaline diet.  By the way, this means just eating more fruits and veggies.  Limiting meat, skipping dairy, sweets, alcohol and caffeine.  Banishing processed foods.  ALL GOOD STUFF.  You could also call this ...


So really no magic there.  No need for the word "diet".  "alkaline diet", "clean eating", "eat like it was 100 years ago". So her conclusion was that maybe it's not a "healthy" move, as there really isn't "scientific evidence" that eating more fruits and veggies, A.K.A, an "alkaline diet" is good for you.   Even though ... we all know that grandma was right.  Eat your fruits and veggies.  An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Point #1:  PLEASE don't get hung up on the word "alkaline" and needing "scientific" evidence or proof that it words.  YOU KNOW IT WORKS.  There is no money in proving it, so you probably won't see much proof.  Especially if it decreases sales of .... I digress. Back to the article for point number 2.  "The Theory behind it is that our Western diet (rich with saturated fat, simple sugars and sodium and lacking in potassium, magnesium and fiber) produces acid, driving your body's pH down slightly, making it more acidic.  So the thinking goes that having an acidic pH fuels chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease and obesity and promotes aliments like bloating and chronic fatigue.  Eating a diet makes makes your body more alkaline staves off those health problems.  Nice theory.  The reality is that your body, especially your kidneys and lungs, maintains a steady pH regardless of what you eat."  Then goes on to talk about "another rub" where it's not intuitive to understand that while a lemon might sound acidic forming, it's really not because it's actually the metabolic waste that we are talking about, not the food themselves. HERE'S THE REST OF THE STORY Yes your kidneys and lungs are a big part of pH balance.  Ask yourself this question.  Where do the kidneys and lungs get the micronutrients to accomplish this task.  If you are eating REALLY CRAPPY, it certainly is a big TASK for your body to do. It's CRITICAL, this balance of pH levels.  Your blood pH has to be spot on, if not, you D I E.  So .... I'll just get to point #2. Point #2:  Your BONES are the biggest reserve for alkaline components that your body uses to maintain ever important pH levels.  Your kidneys and lungs might do the job.  If you are not suppling your body with the appropriate nutrients ON A DAILY BASIS, it will take the reserves from your


Which can lead to a whole slew of issues related to bone health.  You might not need more calcium pills.  Maybe just some fruits and veggies with less soda.  It's simple science, chemistry 101.  Common sense.  You don't need fancy words.  And do you need scientific evidence? Eat more fruits and veggies.  Because it's not like there is any negative side affects. Well, you might poo more. And have clearer skin. And smell better. And be stronger, healthier, calmer.

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Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Often, we are told how bad saturated fats are for our health. Whether it is by our doctors or news articles, we are sold just how bad coconut oil is because it is a source of artery-clogging saturated fat. Well, coconut oil has been criticized when it is actually one of the good fats. It has been used in hospital formulas to feed critically ill patients and is a major component of baby formulas because it provides the same nutrient value as human breast milk. Coconut oil is used to treat a number of common illnesses and considered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be a safe, natural food. It was discovered by the people that live in the Islands of the South Pacific that these natives were robust and healthy eating traditional native diets. Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis are almost unheard of, but when they abandon their traditional diets for the Western foods, they find that their health deteriorates, and the more the Pacific natives move away from the diet of their ancestors, the closer they come to the diseases of the West like diabetes, gout, obesity, and atherosclerosis. Time and time again, we are told to limit our fat intake to reduce the risk of heart disease and should consume no more than 30% of our total calorie intake per day. However, the Polynesian people consume large quantities of fat in the form of coconut oil, as much as 60% of their total calorie intake. What people do not understand is that there are many types of saturated fats and they affect the body differently. The plant source that is found in coconut oil is different from what is found in animal products. Coconut oil is used to treat patients that have digestive and malabsorption problems. It is commonly given to infants and small children so that they can digest their fat. Studies show that coconut oil helps to support and strengthen the immune system. The difference is the nature of the fat molecule, which is found in coconut oil. The molecules of all fats and oils are called fatty acids. There are two methods of classifying fatty acids. One is based on the amount of saturation found within fats and oils (saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated). Another way of classifying fats is based on the molecular size or length of the carbon chain within each fatty acid. Within fatty acids there are long chains of carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms attached. They are known as short chain fatty acids (SCFA), medium chain fatty acids (MCFA), and long chain fatty acids (LCFA). Coconut oil is mostly composed of medium chain fatty acids (MCFA), also known as medium chain triglycerides (MCT). The majority of fats and oils found in our diets, whether they are saturated or unsaturated or come from animals or plant source which are comprised of long chain fatty acids (LCFA). Anywhere from 98 to 100% of all the fatty acids consumed are LCFA.

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Yin Yang – the balance of life Part1

yin-yangThe principle of Yin and Yang is a fundamental concept in Chinese philosophy and culture in general dating from the third century BCE or even earlier. This principle is that all things exist as inseparable and contradictory opposites, for example female-male, dark-light and old-young. The two opposites attract and complement each other and, as their symbol illustrates, each side has at its core an element of the other (represented by the small dots). Neither pole is superior to the other and, as an increase in one brings a corresponding decrease in the other, a correct balance between the two poles must be reached in order to achieve harmony. Yin is feminine, black, dark, north, water (transformation), passive, moon (weakness), earth, cold, old, even numbers, valleys, poor, soft, and provides spirit to all things. Yin reaches it’s height of influence with the winter solstice. Yin may also be represented by the tiger and the color orange. Yang is masculine, white, light, south, fire (creativity), active, sun (strength), heaven, warm, young, odd numbers, mountains, rich, hard, and provides form to all things. Yang reaches it’s height of influence with the summer solstice. Yang may also be represented by the dragon and the color blue. Yin and yang describe how we can be connected to our universe. For example, the experience of climbing a mountain in the sun could be described as yang compared to the feelings we experience while lying in the shade. We can use yin and yang to describe our relationships with anything, including food, exercise, chi and the weather. Where it becomes interesting is that we can also describe our current state in terms of yin and yang. So I could say, “I feel really yin today.” If I was not happy in that state, I could simply connect more deeply with those things I have identified with as helping me feel more yang, and change my current condition to being less yin. Ultimately, yin and yang are a wonderful way to generate greater self- awareness and make interesting connections between our own conditions and all our possible interactions with the world we live in. Yin and yang allow us to connect ourselves to everything around us so that we can quickly decide what we need to do to bring ourselves back to a more balanced state when feeling any discomfort. A very primitive use of the Chinese characters for yin and yang is claimed to date back to the fourteenth century BC. It is thought that initially the character for yin described the night and yang the day. It seems that Chinese philosophers recognized that humans where influenced by three powerful cycles, those of the day, moon and year. It also is apparent that our response to these cycles has certain similarities. So we might notice similarities with the night, new moon and winter whilst sensing a similar response to the day, full moon and summer. Yin then represents the night, new moon, winter part of the cycle and yang the day, full moon and summer. Yin and yang can be interpreted in different ways. For much of its history yin would describe the way we feel during the night and in winter compared to the yang feelings we might experience in the summer and during the day. In Chinese medicine, the word “cooling” is associated with yin and “warming” with yang. So a food that feels warming would be more yang than a food that feels cooling. The basic idea is using two words to describe the effect of outside influences on us, and to cultivate the awareness of how we can help change our health through a change of those influences. Yin and yang is used in feng shui,macrobioticsChinese astrology, the I Ching, traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, shiatsu, tai chi, qi gong, and Chinese philosophy. One traditional Chinese interpretation is that yang is experienced on the sunny side of the mountain and yin on the shady side. Other ways we can experience natural environmental yin and yang is to see how we feel during a hot, dry, day in the summer, when there is a greater presence of yang energy compared to a cold, damp, frosty night in the winter. We could also compare the way we feel during the full moon to the new moon. During the full moon some of us become slightly more yang, and this corresponds with a three to five percent increase in car accidents, crime, and admissions to emergency rooms. Using this definition of yin and yang, I would feel more energetic, expressive, outgoing, social, alert, warm, active, and motivated when I sense I am more yang. When I describe myself as more yin, I feel more withdrawn, introspective, meditative, cool, relaxed, calm, peaceful, objective, clear-minded, and insightful. I would suggest you make your own list of what feels like yin or yang to you, drawing on your experience of night and day, winter and summer, and shade and sun. We are always more yin or yang and most of the time, and this is healthy; however, sometimes we may find we experience problems from being too yin or yang. Once we have identified whether we are too yang or yin, we can simply expose ourselves to more of the opposite energy and reduce the influences we have too much of. For example, if I felt too hot and active and this was contributing to a headache, as though the sun and heat was too strong for me, I could eat all the foods I know cool me down. For me, this would be raw cucumber, grated daikon, fresh fruits, lemon water, apple cider vinegar, plain yogurt, and salads. As a result, I would feel more yin; in the past, this has resulted in my headache receding. Next blog ... practical ways to compliment yin or yang.

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6 Simple Exercises for a Strong Core

One way to develop an eye-catching mid-section, strengthen your core and back regions is to incorporate abdominal exercises that work all areas. These exercises develop your core and tighten the tummy, which is designed as a stand-alone workout or add to your circuit training workouts. I also love to do these exercises as part of my 3 and 11-day detox programs alternating with yoga or gentle walk in order to flush out the toxins and keep me moving. jack-knifeThe first exercise is what I refer to as the Jack Knife sit-up. Lay on your back. Hands and feet meet in the center. Slowly extend arms and legs away from center of body. Don't touch floor with arms or feet. Hold and bring back to center. Do these for 1 minute. Try to do 25-30 reps. If you are a beginner, bend the knees and bring them up to midline and back down.     core-abdominal-and-lower-back-exercises-1Leg extension with a workout bar is to use a bar and hold the bar in front of you and just lower the legs while keeping the hands and workout bar in place overhead at waist level. Drop legs 6” from floor, hold then bring back up to the bar. If you don’t have a bar, place hands under lower back and lower legs to floor, approximately 6” from the floor and back up to mid-line. Do each exercise for 1 minute/rest for 1 minute. core-abdominal-and-lower-back-exercises-2Now take the same bar and alternate it from side to side in order to work the oblique. If you are a beginner, stop when you need to rest and then continue to complete as many reps as you can in 1 minute.       bike12Another great abdominal exercise you can do if you don't have a bar is to simply do the Classic Scissor Crunch. Lay on floor, hands on head not behind head, so you can avoid pulling the neck and alternate legs to elbow. Right elbow to left knee and reverse, count that as 1 rep. What I refer to as a double count. Do for 1 minute. 25-30 reps. plank1The next exercise is great for your whole core, The Classic Plank. When done with the scissor crunch, flip over on your mat, place hands under shoulders, lift lower body in straight line, flat back and hold for 1 minute. situpsThe last one is the Classic Crunch. Lay down on your mat, knees bent, hands on head so you don't pull the neck, lift ½ way and back down, repeat. Complete as many as you can in 1 minute. Complete all exercises, each one for 1 minute/1 minute rest between exercises. When you are done with all exercises, you will have completed one (1) circuit. Rest after each circuit for 2-4 minutes. Repeat circuit 2 more times up to 5. Complete 2-3 times a week and you on your way to an eye-catching mid-section, while strengthening your core and lower back region.

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Slightly chubby Irongirl

I've always struggled with weight. I've weighed 210 pounds. That's size 16. I'm around a lot of skinny people.

I just might have an "I'm enough" issue deep down. Expressing itself as a body self esteem issue. Seriously? Two years ago I couldn't run 1 mile without stopping 3 times and taking 17 minutes. I'm in the best shape of my life. I'm the healthiest I've ever been. I'm gonna be an Ironman soon. That little belief is a BIG FAT LIAR. I'M ENOUGH. All 156 pounds of me. (maybe more than enough.  maybe super forkin' fabulous!)

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