Better, Safer, Smarter

HEALTHY WAYS TO BOOST YOUR ENERGY

July 23, 2017

Do you find that you experience that “afternoon crash” when your energy drops and you feel like you need a nap? Is the first thought that comes to mind – I need to get some coffee with a shot. As much as I love coffee, getting an extra shot of espresso in your coffee is not the best solution.

I agree that there are very few foods that can give you the same kick as a shot of espresso, a can of cola or a sugary candy bar. If you’re watching your weight, the challenge you face is finding foods that can not only give you a boost, but are good for you as well. Getting an energy boost that can keep you going all day does not necessarily mean foregoing good nutritional habits.

The goal in planning your daily diet is to focus on meals that are low in fat, high in fiber, contain protein and have complex carbs. This ensures a slow breakdown of sugars and regular energy throughout the day.

Since childhood, we’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Having a good breakfast is the first and most important step in building up your energy stores to get through a busy day. Even if you aren’t particularly hungry, you should eat within four hours of waking.

What you eat for breakfast should account for about 25 percent of the day’s calories, so go for low-fat, high-fiber cereal and mild or a complex carb such as a bagel with juice. Avoid foods with a high level of simple sugars; the sudden energy boost will be quickly canceled out by a crash in energy later in the day.

Staying hydrated can also help, especially here in the Coachella Valley. Drinking at least six – eight glasses of water a day can keep you from feeling sluggish and tired.

Snacks can also provide the body with the energy it needs. Just be sure to choose wholesome snacks rather than those loaded with sugar or fat. Go for fruit, a few baby carrots, some cheese or a handful of nuts, a glass of milk, a few whole grain crackers or even a low-fat granola bar.

Snacks that fit in your purse or can be stored in a desk drawer for easy access will ensure you get the quick boost you need when your energy starts to flag.

With a little bit of thought, you can boost your energy in healthy ways when you plan and make better, safer and smarter choices that benefit you, your family and the environment.

==================================================

 

ARE YOU DRINKING ENOUGH WATER?

published in The Gem, June 2017

Dehydration is more common than you may think, occurring when the body loses too much fluid without having it replenished, but many people think that you only get dehydrated when you’re extremely thirsty and are exercising for a long period of time or stuck out in the Desert with miles and miles of sand between you and the nearest oasis.

Many people who do exercise don’t drink enough water during their work out, and since they lose fluid through perspiration they can end up being dehydrated. The same is true when you are hiking and people can also become dehydrated through the course of their daily lives because they’re not drinking enough water.

Often this happens gradually, and we’ll hardly notice it until at one point during the day we begin to feel extremely thirsty. If this happens to you, it’s a good indicator that you’ve been dehydrated for a while, since if you feel thirsty it’s a definite sign of dehydration.

Thirst isn’t the only side-effect; dehydration will leave people feeling lethargic, sickly, or even faint. Though you may be drinking caffeinated beverages or drinks with high sugar content they aren’t very good at hydrating you, and diuretics like coffee can even leave you even more dehydrated.

The best way to avoid dehydration, both in times of illness and in day to day life, is to make sure that you’re drinking enough water. It seems basic, but making a conscious effort to drink plenty of water over the course of the day can have great effects on your energy levels and your overall well-being. It’s usually as simple as carrying around a water bottle or keeping a glass of water filled on your counter at home or office, since if the water is there in front of you, you’re more likely to drink before you get dehydrated.

As we get older it becomes more important to stay hydrated with the right type of water – water that helps minimize the effects of acid, helps flush toxins from your cells and easily hydrates your body – hydrogen enriched water. Equally important we should also have great tasting water with antioxidant properties and proper pH levels.

===========================================

 

CLEANING CAN CALM YOUR ALLERGIES

published in The Gem, April 2017

As Winter ends and we enjoy springtime here in the Valley, many of us are getting ready to tackle the annual ritual of spring cleaning.  For allergy sufferers, spring cleaning is a perfect time to address some of the major pollutants that cause asthma and other problems.

With vigorous cleaning, allergy sufferers often find it torturous as a collection of irritants move around in the air. Before beginning spring cleaning, consider some of these tips:

Wear a face mask to reduce your exposure to molds, dust mites, and other allergens that will be disturbed as you clean.

Use a microfiber or damp cloth for dusting. Avoid feather-dusters, which only whisk dust and dirt into the air, and, in turn, into your tender nose.

Complete deep clean early. Those who are allergic to pollen should begin cleaning before pollination begins. Even if spring weather is still chilly, open as many windows as you can. This will facilitate thorough ventilation.

Use a HEPA filter on your vacuum and change it as recommended. Unlike traditional vacuum filters, HEPA filters can trap very fine particles, like pollen and dust mite feces, which often cause allergy attacks.

You’ll do yourself and your family a favor when you take steps to eliminate dust mites in mattresses. Here’s how:

  • Wash mattress pads, frequently in hot water at least every 2 months.
  • Consider purchasing a microfiber, hypoallergenic pad, which will prevent mites from slipping into your mattress in the first place.
  • Using your vacuum’s wand attachment or upholstery tool, carefully vacuum the entire surface of your mattress, paying extra attention to indentations or buttons.
  • Flip and rotate your mattress regularly.

In addition to routine cleaning tasks, use your spring cleaning time to dust your light fixtures and vents.

In today’s culture, we spend at least 90% of our time indoors, and in most instances, the air quality inside can be far worse than it is outside. Identifying indoor contaminants can be accomplished with a convenient, easy to use test kit.  This will allow you to then take the steps needed to eliminate the problems caused by indoor pollution, thus making your family home or business healthier and safer for everyone.

================================================

 

HOW TO AVOID LAUNDRY DETERGENT ALLERGIES

published in The Gem, February 2017

If you use laundry detergents, most of them contain chemicals that can be the cause of allergies.  Because there are multiple chemicals, this complicates the ability to accurately test to determine which chemical is causing the allergy. If you find your skin is sensitive to laundry detergents, there are things you can do to help minimize your allergic reactions.

Some tips that help protect yourself, if you plan on using laundry detergents are:

  • If you find a specific detergent that you are allergic to, make a list of all the chemicals used in that detergent, and try to avoid other detergents that have a similar chemical makeup.
  • Check any other household cleaners and soaps you might use for similar chemicals to make sure you won’t have a reaction to those, as well!
  • Choose detergents that are hypoallergenic because these are less likely to cause allergic reactions. It’s most often the chemicals or fragrances within the detergents that cause allergies to flare up, so try to avoid heavily scented laundry soap or ones that include dyes.
  • When you have a tough stain on fabric, you can use either a natural stain remover that is less likely to cause irritation than one with harsh chemicals as active ingredients.
  • Be sure to keep your washing machine well maintained. This should help minimize the amount of detergent left on your clothing after washing.
  • If you’re very sensitive; either wear gloves while doing laundry, or thoroughly wash your hands immediately following any contact with concentrated laundry detergent.

Our skin absorbs everything from the fabrics we touch. One way to avoid the allergic reactions that can be caused by detergents is to clean your clothes in cold water and without detergents.

Doing laundry in cold water and without using chemicals, reduces waste, saves water and cuts down on energy consumption.

Always read the ingredients,

================================================

 

MAKE YOUR HOME HEALTHY

published in The Gem, September 2016

For most of us, home is our sanctuary and it is a healthy place to be. When asked the question – is yours a healthy home, you most likely feel that it is. Chances are you are probably right.

Cleaning your kitchen counters, dusting furniture, vacuuming carpets, washing floors and windows are the obvious things most of us do to keep our homes free of dirt, remove germs and maintain a healthy environment. However, those tasks are not enough to maintain a healthy home.

Because we can’t always see what lingers in the air we breathe, we do not see the indoor pollution that surrounds us. We spend more than 90% of our time indoors and indoor pollutant levels can be up to 100 times higher than outdoors. If you do not use an air purification system, do you know what happens? The average adult breathes over 3,000 gallons of air each day, so our bodies become the air purifier.

What causes indoor air pollution?

There are a variety of reasons: smoke, mold spores, pet dander, human skin flakes, dust mites, dust particles, chemicals in household cleaners and laundry detergents, air fresheners, chemicals from carpet and furniture fabrics, and mold spores in ventilation ducts. In addition to that, there are germs, bacteria and viruses that blow in through open windows and doors, or get brought in by you, your family and pets. Do you know what comes home with kids from school? That is why is important to have an air purification system that not only filters but also cleans the air

Is Your Laundry Healthy?

As you can see, there are a lot of things you can do to make yours a healthy home. There is even something you can do to make your laundry clothes healthy and as a result, you might even enjoy doing laundry (no kidding!) There is technology that enables you to do laundry in cold water and use no detergent, bleach or softener. It is a device that gets your clothes cleaner, more germ-free, more color vibrant and will help your clothes last longer. Wouldn’t it be healthier to eliminate allergic reactions, itchiness and redness caused by allergies due to detergent residue remains embedded in your “clean” clothes?

If you want to ensure that yours is a healthy home, check into becoming an eco-friendly consumer.

To your health,

==================================================

 

LOVE YOURSELF & LIVE HEALTHY

published in The Gem, Februaru 2016

In large part, we are in control of our health, not our doctor – and taking control of your health doesn’t really depend on whether or not you have medical conditions. Taking control means developing habits and discipline.

The most important thing you can do is educate yourself. Learn about your health and how you can take care of your body. Having a healthy body gives you a healthy heart. Sometimes just finding different ways of doing things can help.

Here are some tips to keep your body healthy:

  1. You need to take a really good vitamin. Does that mean expensive? No. I mean one that is 100% natural and will address your body’s daily nutritional supplemental needs.
  2. You need to keep your body moving. We are supposed to walk at least 10,000 steps a day. The best way to monitor that is to have a walking monitor that can be clipped to your belt or pants. When you get your heart pumping you are getting your body moving and getting your body in better shape all around.
  3. You need to eat more vegetables and less processed foods. We have to get back to making dinners instead of using processed foods that are easy and quick. I fall into that category. I’m retraining myself to make better choices for my family. On Sundays, why not make it a family fun cooking day? Get everyone in the kitchen and make 5 dinners for the week, then put them in the freezer when cooled. During the week, pull out a dinner from the freezer and leave in fridge to thaw while at work or school. It is something to get used to, but it can make Sundays very memorable.

These are simple changes but they could save you or someone you love from something very serious. It only takes a few good changes and you can have a healthier life.

Set goals and work on your mind and thought patterns. You have to believe that you love yourself enough to be healthy. Learning to accept what you can’t change, but striving to change what you can, is key. You’ll succeed in living healthy when you are comfortable with yourself and make healthier choices.

To Your Health.

==================================================

 

 

IT’S EASY TO BE GREEN: a New Year’s Resolution

published in The Gem, January 2016

There are things we do in our everyday lives that have a huge impact on our environment. If one person can change things to reduce their carbon footprint and make a positive difference on the environment, imagine the difference an entire family or office can make. As we begin another New Year, our Resolutions should be about making a positive difference on our environment.

Here are some easy tips which will help:

Printing Emails

While checking your emails, how often do you decide you want a copy of one or more of them and then print them? Was that really necessary to print? Statistics show that we use over 11 million sheets of paper a year.  That’s a lot of paper. Next time, create a folder in your documents and just save the copy. By reducing by the amount of paper you use for printing, you are not only saving money, but you are having a positive effect on the environment. The less paper we use, the less trees need to be cut down and the more oxygen we have.

Cleaner Air with Plants

Talking about trees and oxygen, by having a plant or two in a room or office, you are in fact helping to clean the environment. There are many commons indoor plants that will help clean the indoor air in your home or office and create a calm work space.

All-Natural Cleaning Products

Be wary of chemical-laden household cleaners and products that may be around you on a daily basis. Using all-natural, non- toxic cleaning products for home or office will work against dirt and grime, while keeping our bodies healthy and you are being kind to the environment.

Many companies claim their products are ‘natural’ but it’s best to check the labels, as they may only contain a few natural ingredients while still containing some chemical ingredients.

Buying from a well-known ethical, cruelty-free company is the best way to go. Then, not only should their products be natural, safe and non-toxic, they should also be environmentally friendly and not tested on animals.

Let’s all start the New Year making a positive difference in our environment and remember.

Wishing You a Green New Year.

==================================================

HOW TO DEAL WITH INDOOR POLLUTION

published in The Gem, November 2015

It is a little-known fact that the air inside your house is dirtier than the air outside. No matter what you do – how many windows you open, etc. – this will always be the case. This is true simply because of the amount of hiding places that your house has for dust and other particles, while at the same time having a limited amount of escape routes for the particles.

If you are a pet owner, you are probably sharing your environment with one or more household pets – most likely cats and dogs – and many pet owners develop allergies to their beloved pets. Pet allergies are caused by the airparticles that are created from pet hair and dander. To eliminate or reduce this problem as well as your allergies or asthma, you need to breathe cleaner air.

Here are some tips to help you cope with allergies or pet dander:

Bathe your pet more frequently and also wash your face and hands as well.

Try keeping your bedroom as a “pet-free” zone and change bedding often.

Learn to love housework. Vacuum floors, dust and wipe down walls where pets rub. Consider hard surface floors rather than carpeting.

Pets are not the only cause of indoor air pollutants. The air in your home or business is filled with contaminants from cleaners, chemicals and fumes that are spread in the air.

Allergies or asthma can be aggravated by dust or other particles, and if you smoke, the pollutants in the smoke will build up in the air over time – making it very unhealthy. If you perform an indoor quality air test, you’ll most likely find evidence of bacteria, mold or viruses that are in the air you breathe.

One of the recommended solutions to indoor pollution is an air purifier. Air purifiers eliminate dangerous or unhealthy contaminants from the air. When the air you breathe is healthier, you breathe easier. When you breathe better you’ll sleep better and with cleaner air, your health is likely to improve.

If you haven’t purchased an air purifier before, it is about time that you give it some serious thought.There are many kinds of air purifiers, so do some research to find the best one for you. You may very well find it to be one of the best purchases that you’ll ever make.

Do you know what you are breathing?

==================================================

BETTER NUTRITION IS NOT AS HARD AS YOU THINK

published in The Gem, September 2015

Many of us want to eat healthy, but few of us actually do. It does not need to be hard to eat better. If you want to develop healthier habits, learning as much as you can about proper nutrition is easy.

Here are some tips that can get you started in a positive way:

A sneaky, yet successful way to improve your nutrition is to sprinkle nutrient rich ingredients into the regular staples of your existing diet. If you have some picky kids you can give them veggies without them knowing. You can do this by perhaps sneaking 1/2 cup of some white beans into something you bake, such as cakes and cookies. Your whole family will be eating healthier and they won’t notice the difference.

Do you want to reduce the amount of red meat you consume? Eat red meat in very small portions. You can use red meat to add texture and flavor to grain-based or vegetable dishes. The Chinese and Mediterranean cultures do this and they have lower chances of experiencing heart-related diseases.

Are you a chocolate lover? For chocolate lovers, choose dark instead of the white or milk varieties. Dark chocolate has been proven to help lower blood pressure. Antioxidants also tip the balance of HDL and LDL cholesterol toward the “good” HDL variety. Try to buy chocolate that has at least 70% cocoa. Do not overindulge since chocolate still contains lots of calories.

A smoothie is a delicious beverage that is fun to make. Consider this tip to add even more nutrition to your smoothie. Try mixing in things such as omega-3 or cocoa powder, to get a good measure of antioxidants. These two ingredients can make your smoothie taste even better and give you some more nutrients to boost your immune system.

There are many great healthy recipes out there just waiting for you to try. With a little bit of experimenting you can prepare protein bars, jerky, dried fruits and other healthy snacks. You can also make delicious, healthful oatmeal pancakes quickly and easily. You should never stop learning when it comes to nutrition; make it a lifelong goal.

These tips are just a few easy ways to eat healthier. Do your homework on healthy eating, it will be well worth the effort and it’s easier than you think.

Make your family tradition, good nutrition.