Thursday, August 15, 2013

Happy National Relaxation Day

A day dedicated to relaxation...  Sounds great!  Yet, why don't we take time on a regular basis to relax and unwind?  Other cultures throughout the world hold their relaxation in high regard.  France created the 35 hour work week and the French take more vacation time than most Europeans.  They are credited with being some of the happiest cultures in Europe.  In Spain, an afternoon siesta is not uncommon; and they are highly productive people.  Maybe American politicians should take a nap every afternoon.  Would they get more done???  Probably not!  I would bet that if industry workers had time to relax during the day though, they would be more productive overall and be happier in their work environment.  Companies that offer massage to their employees are improving moral and decreasing their healthcare costs, all while productivity goes up.  Massage happens to be my favorite way to relax.  You can meditate, do yoga or Tai Chi, or take a relaxing bath. 

I think the key to finding your relaxing activity is to schedule the time and not give it up.  Make it sacred, even if you don't know what it is you will do.  It's like a blind date with yourself.  Maybe you will just turn off the lights and electronics and take a nap.  That's where I am headed now.  Sweet Dreams and Happy Relaxation Day!

P.S.  Here's a link to the most relaxing song in the world...

Friday, August 9, 2013

Candidiasis... What you need to know!

Candida Albican is a fungus that grows in your gut and normally lives symbiotically with the bacteria it cohabitates with.  Sometimes the balance changes and an overgrown of Candida can occur. It is quite easy to create an imbalance. Antibiotics have been singled out as the main culprit, although many prescription drugs (including contraceptives and corticosteroids) have shown to cause an imbalance.  High sugar intake is a huge factor in Candidiasis.  The average American consumes 30 teaspoons of added sugar every day.  Stress is also a contributor.  Stress raises the blood sugar level and suppresses the immune system, making you more vulnerable to Candidiasis. 
Candidiasis causes a wide variety of symptoms including: 
  • Fungal infections like "jock itch", tinea (Athlete's Foot),  toenail fungus, or some rashes.
  • Digestive complaints like bloating, nausea, bad breath, malabsorption of nutrients, and fatigue.
  • Thrush- either vaginal or at the back of your throat; ringworms; fungus under the fingernails or toenails;
  • Food intolerances and environmental sensitivities. 
  • White spots in the mouth; itchy anus, ears, or throat; nappy rash; excess mucous
  • Edema, feeling heavy and sluggish
  • Mental dullness, mood swings, and memory loss.

Foods to Include
  • Essential Fatty acids from fish, flaxseed oil, and olive oil will protect your cells from damage.
  • Garlic reduces infection.
  • Yogurt with live cultures to reduce fungal growth.
  • Eat a wholefoods diet, including fish, brown rice, fruit and veggies, and legumes, (especially mung beans) and other whole grains.
  • Complex Carbohydrates, chewed properly can be helpful, not harmful like once thought.
  • Sprouts are wonderful.
  • Seaweeds: their iodine content will deactivate yeasts.
  • Green plants like parsley, watercress, cabbage, wheatgrass, and spirulina have high amounts of chlorophyll, which promote a healthy intestinal flora.

Foods to Avoid

  • Sugar: in all forms; Candida thrives on it.
  • Yeast: Candida is yeast, adding baker's yeast just makes the problem a whole lot worse. Instead eat sourdough bread, made from spelt or kamut flour.
  • Refined carbohydrates: these usually aren’t tolerated anyway. These foods turn very quickly into sugar which Candida thrives on.
  • Fruit. One piece a day should be OK, as fruit is full of fructose (a sugar). Avoid acidic types like oranges, limes, pineapples, grapefruit, lemons and tomatoes.). Dried fruits are a non-no.
  • Nuts and seed, unless freshly roasted.

Herbal Medicine

  • Pau D'arco is an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial herb as well as being immune boosting. It may be drunk as a tea for maintenance.
  • Oregano Essential Oil is a potent anti-fungal.  Applied to the skin, it will burn and cause irritation.  I would advise you purchase a bottle of vegetable capsules from my DoTerra Store (also widely available at your local health food store) and add 5-10 drops in a capsule once per day.  I also suggest taking it with a single food, such as an apple or brown rice, so you reduce any reflux.  You can get Certified Pure Grade Oregano Oil on the DoTerra link on this page.
  • Citrus Seed Extract. This anti-microbial extract works in the same way as an antibiotic. It bombs everything in the gut, good and bad. You have to be quite strong and healthy to do this however, you will have no defense as the good bacterium has been bombed as well. (Try Pau Darco first.) You must be gentle on yourself during this time. No late nights, too much alcohol, going out with wet hair etc., as you will be susceptible to illness. Dose: Take 9 drops of the liquid extract a day. Again, I would drop the extract in veggie capsules before taking. This medicine is really very awful. After the two weeks is up you will probably not be feeling great in that time. 
  • Probiotics!!!  It is imperative that you follow anti-microbial and anti-fungal treatments with a bottle of acidophilus to re-establish the good gut flora.  Even if you choose to forgo the above treatments, probiotics will help to reverse the overgrowth of candida by crowding the fungus out with bacteria.  Probiotics also boost the immune system and regulate the acidity in your gut.  Yogurt and fermented foods such as Pickles, Sauerkraut, and Kefir are excellent sources of probiotics. 
  • Golden Seal will help repair inflamed intestinal lining.


  • Try and stay cool. Heat and damp environments make it worse.
  • The sugars in alcohol will exacerbate the condition. Definitely avoid beer.
  • Stress really does make it worse, especially worry and anxiety.
  • Seek professional advice if you have persistent Candida. It may be a symptom of an underlying illness.
  • Check for mercury poisoning. This can lead to Candidiasis
  • Avoid overeating.
  • Reduce raw food, as these will weaken digestion.
  • Eat simply, avoiding too many flavors in one meal.
  • It is very important to re-establish good bacteria in the gut after taking antibiotics. Use miso, sauerkraut, acidophilus, sea veggies or wheat or barley grass. (Remember that animals are fed antibiotics, so if you are eating animal products, the above food should be a regular part of your diet.)
  • Exercise regularly and moderately.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sweet Relief

At 34 years old I experienced my first toe infection.  My swollen red toe looked like it was smashed with a hammer.  It was my own fault.  I forgot to trim my toenails before a 20 mile backpacking trip.  Funny thing is... it didn't hurt until I got home and took off my shoe.  Owwweeee!  I'd post a picture but it is gruesome.  I think you get the idea.  I want to share with you how I cleared up the infection and avoided a trip to the doctors office.
You can do step 1 even if a problem doesn't exist.  The essential oils used will soothe tired and sore feet, as well as make them smell great.  The peppermint is cooling, the lemon refreshing, and the lavender is relaxing and reduces inflammation.  Epsom salts soften the skin and make it easier to exfoliate.  The salts also contain trace minerals like magnesium.  Step 2 is intended to spot treat bacterial infections.  Other essential oils are better for fungal infections (like Athlete's Foot or toenail fungus) such as Oregano oil.  All of the essential oils can be found by clicking the link in the DoTerra tab on this page.  Epsom salts are widely available, even at the grocery store.

Sweet Relief Recipe:

Step 1 ~ In a large bowl, add a gallon of warm water.  Make sure the water only fills your bowl half way or when you put your feet in it will overflow.  Add 1 cup of Epsom salt to the warm water.  Add 3 drops of Lavender Essential Oil, 3 drops of Lemon Essential Oil, and 3 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil.  Stir until the salts are dissolved.  Soak your feet until the water is cool.  Pat dry your feet and dispose of the water.

Step 2 ~ Use Melaleuca Oil to spot treat any infection.  You can either drop the oil directly onto the area or put a few drops on a cotton swab and apply 2 or 3 times a day.  Melaleuca Oil is also known as Tea Tree Oil.  If you have very sensitive skin it can burn or cause irritation.  If you suspect it will irritate your skin, then dip your cotton swab in some vegetable based oil, preferably coconut oil before adding the Melaleuca essential oil.  You will have to apply it more often.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Mountains Are Calling...

...And I must go. (John Muir)
A 20 mile backpacking trip into the Idaho wilderness will soothe the soul.  Our destination was an idyllic hot spring.  I was so grateful to spend the night next to the hot waters and to take advantage of their healing energy.  The company was as splendid as the water too. We hiked till our feet were sore and out hearts were filled.  Today I am back to civilization.  I will schedule a massage to work out the kinks from sleeping in the woods and hiking literally until my feet, legs, and shoulders screamed at me.  I suggest you get out and explore, and I will be here to give you a massage when you get back.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Why should you use antioxidant face cream?

Antioxidants neutralize free radicals.  Free radicals are the by-product of cell metabolism and cause a series of effects including inflammation and premature aging.  These effects are very noticeable in the skin and can make your skin dull with wrinkles, fine lines, and a rough and uneven texture.  Free radicals are also suspected to be the cause of many types of cancer.    Antioxidants are critical to any anti-aging skin care regime. 
NAE-8 is the active compound extracted from the oleander plant and it is the key ingredient in Nerium AD.  NAE-8 has now been approved by the FDA as an antioxidant.  This may be part of why Nerium works so well.  Just another reason that this is the best product you can use. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Nerium AD is PROVEN Safe.

I have heard from some people they won't even try Nerium AD because it is made from the oleander plant and to their knowledge the oleander plant is highly toxic.  I am bummed for them because Nerium is clinically tested to be safe and is being researched as a skin cancer treatment.  Don't be misinformed.  Below is a YouTube video with the most accurate info about the safety of the active compound, NAE-8, found in Nerium AD.
Also, there are NO parabens or dyes or fragrance added...  Real Results, No Fillers!