Dryer Sheets: Toss the Chemicals and Go Natural!

Click to listen to Tiffany and Candace talk about this topic on recent HealingLifeWisdom podcast.

by Tiffany Windsor

My sister Candace and I recently talked about toxic air fresheners on our BlogTalk Radio show and when we researched, we quickly found that dryer sheets and fabric softeners fall into the same category.

The average American household is loaded with toxic chemicals. These chemicals are often found in household cleaning and cosmetic products. But, of all the toxic products in the average household…the chemicals found in fabric softeners and dryer sheets are among the most potentially harmful.

It is reported that the chemicals used to make these products are extremely dangerous to our neurological system. Our nervous system (including the brain) operate via chemical messengers (neuro-transmitters). These chemical messengers are damaged and disrupted by the ingredients in these products. Given the nature of these products, they are extremely dangerous due to the fact these toxic ingredients are transferred to our clothing, bed sheets, towels, pillows and, well, everything we wash! Basically, we are in contact with these toxic ingredients constantly. Also, when heated these toxic substances are often released into the air and are inhaled.

The following are substances used as ingredients in dryer sheets and fabric softeners that are most concerning (they are often used in untested combinations): Alpha Terpineol, Pentane and Linalool (one of the potentially airborne substances that is very dangerous when inhaled. It has been linked to nervous system damage and respiratory issues.)

Benzyl acetate: Has been identified as a potential cause of pancreas cancer

Benzyl alcohol: Can irritate the upper respiratory system.  Has been linked to central nervous system disorders, vomiting, nausea, headaches, syncope and dizziness.

Chloroform: This is a well-known carcinogen that is also neurotoxic.  It can also be released into the air when heated and can cause loss of consciousness, headaches, nausea, vomiting and dizziness.

Ethanol: This ingredient is on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list.  Has been linked to Central Nervous System disorders.

Ethyl Acetate: Also on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste List.  Can cause headaches.

Fragrances: These fragrances are composed of several of hundreds of synthetic chemicals that are almost always toxic,

The best way to reduce your exposure to these toxic ingredients is to avoid commercial fabric softeners and dryer sheets all together. Want an easy natural replacement? Try making your own using essential oils

How to make your own dryer sheets using essential oils

  1. Fill a clean container with organic white vinegar and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil (I love doTerra lavender).

  2. Cut an old sheet or t-shirt in squares then add them into the container with the vinegar. Shake well so the fabric squares are completely saturated.

  3. When using, simply grab a square and place it in the dryer with your laundry.

  4. When done, return the squares to the container of vinegar. Add more vinegar and essential oils as needed to keep the squares saturated and fresh.

Sources:

https://anyavien.com/the-scary-truth-about-your-dryer-sheets/?fbclid=IwAR36X21y-kEzMEm9UZ__AiEF8d3dnw94dz5Z2_5qai-xhD3fe90zGkNTnDI

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/greener-laundry/

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Air Fresheners: Replace Chemical Toxins with Natural Fresheners

Photo by  Jules D.  on  Unsplash

Photo by Jules D. on Unsplash

Click to listen to Tiffany and Candace talk about this topic on recent HealingLifeWisdom podcast.

by Tiffany Windsor and Candace Liccione

Do you know that commercial air fresheners are hazardous to your health? We have been telling people for many years that air fresheners are not good, but no one was listening. Did you know it is reported that using air fresheners is like smoking 20 cigarettes a day. Let us repeat this – air fresheners contain the same dangerous ingredients that are in cigarettes.

There are 11 common ingredients in air fresheners and cigarettes – 7 chemicals that are toxic to the respiratory system, 2 are toxic to your reproductive system and 2 are toxic for your cardiovascular system. Did you know that it is reported that air fresheners cause lung cancer. Wow!

Look at these stats: there are 600 ingredients in cigarettes and 3,000 chemicals used to make air fresheners. If you see the word “fragrance” in the ingredient list, it is a mixture of several dozens to several hundreds of chemicals. Please consider getting rid of air fresheners in your home and letting people know in public spaces such as office buildings and doctor offices just how bad these air fresheners are so maybe, just maybe, they will stop using them.

During the 1990s, the air freshener market experienced a massive resurgence thanks to the introduction of convenient “plug-in” air fresheners. These air fresheners rely on heat induction technology and special heat-activated scented gels to continually release a scent.

Many air fresheners contain nerve-deadening chemicals that coat your nasal passages and temporarily block your sense of smell. Some of the most offensive ingredients—volatile organic compounds (VOCs), benzene and formaldehyde—can cause headaches and nausea and aggravate asthma, and have been linked to neurological damage and cancer.
— National Geographic's The Green Guide

At the time of their introduction, plug-in air fresheners were heralded as being an excellent development in home scenting technology. Not only were they easy to use and affordable, they also didn’t rely on aerosol sprays. Aerosol sprays had come under fire during the 1980s for their harmful effect on the ozone layer. Today, however, consumers are being warned that they should rethink modern air fresheners. As researchers have taken a closer look at these seemingly hassle-free devices, they have discovered an astonishing number of toxic compounds are present in many scented gels.

Did you know that 95% of chemical fragrances are derived from petroleum and it is reported that 34% of people suffer at least one negative side-effect after being exposed to fragranced products. Respiratory and mucosal issues, migraines, skin problems, asthma, neurological and focus problems are side effects of synthetic fragrances.

VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) are one issue.. and in air freshener products tested there were 17 different VOC’s. The test products contained 1 to 8 toxic or hazardous chemicals. Some of the chemicals are ethanol and acetone; Limonene (a popular synthetic citrus smell that  interacts with ozone in the air to create secondary pollutants like formaldehyde), benzene (aka toxic tail pipe exhaust) is a pollutant which can cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid or irregular heartbeat, headaches, tremors, unconsciousness, and confusion and phthalates which can cause low testosterone, asthma, wheezing, reproductive abnormalities, and altered DNA in sperm.

Here's how it works: When you use air fresheners, phthalates are released into the air where you might inhale them or absorb them through your skin. Once phthalates get into your bloodstream, they can alter hormone levels and cause health problems.

The air fresheners from the study that had phthalates in them are:

  • Air Wick Scented Oil

  • Citrus Magic

  • Febreze NOTICEables Scented Oil

  • Glade Air Infusions

  • Glade PlugIn Scented Oil

  • Lysol Brand II Disinfectant

  • Oust Air Sanitizer Spray

  • Oust Fan Liquid Refills

  • Ozium Glycol-ized Air Sanitizer

  • Walgreens Air Freshener Spray (had the highest levels of phthalates by far)

  • Walgreens Scented Bouquet Air Freshener

The scariest part? You can't find "phthalates" on any of these air fresheners ingredients. Thus why the word "hidden" was added to this particular study's title

We can’t say this enough! Get these artificial air fresheners out of your homes! It’s easy to replace them with essential oil diffusers. Besides some of the popular traditional scents like lavender essential oil or wild orange essential oil, there are beautiful blends that are quite uplifting or calming depending on the mood you want to set!

Another all-natural way to get rid of nasty smells is by wrapping cloves and cinnamon in cheesecloth and boiling them in water. Yet another consists of leaving herbal bouquets standing in open dishes where the fragrance can dissipate throughout a room. And don't underestimate the air-cleansing power of houseplants, which can improve indoor air quality by filtering toxins out of the air. Mother Nature Network reports that aloe vera plants can filter benzene and formaldehyde out of the air, that spider plants are known for their ability to take xylene and carbon monoxide out of the indoor environment, and that gerber daisies excel at removing the trichloroethylene that may come home with your dry cleaning.

Sources:

https://www.indoordoctor.com/health-hazards-plug-air-fresheners/

https://drwillcole.com/12-ways-detox-life-optimal-health/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360132316304334

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/nontoxic-air-fresheners/

https://www.pippinbrothers.com/blog/article/do-you-know-which-air-fresheners-are-toxic

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Diet Sodas: How are they affecting your health?

Click to listen to Tiffany and Candace talk about this topic on recent HealingLifeWisdom podcast.

by Candace Liccione & Tiffany Windsor

As we all know, diet soda is bad for our health but that doesn’t stop many people from drinking it and drinking it in large quantities. If you didn’t know that, then you need to read on! Have you ever seen customers coming out of a convenience store with those huge containers of diet soda? We just want to jump out of the car and plead with them to love themselves enough to cut out the diet sodas.

So how many diet sodas have you had today? Some people can stop at just one. Others rarely drink any, preferring water or juice or some other healthy beverage. But some people may opt for diet soda simply because they think it’s a healthier choice. Yes, diet soda has zero calories. Yes, it’s an inexpensive way to get your caffeine fix. But is it worth it? The risks might seem so rare and distant that they basically don’t apply to you anyway. But some of the things that can happen to your body may cause immediate side effects — headaches, cravings, mood swings… not to mention the long-term effects that may occur if you drink diet sodas every day.

Perhaps you think that you are getting less calories and less sugar by choosing a diet soda so you won’t gain weight? But did you know that diet soda actually promotes weight gain and increases belly fat. It is reported that people who drink diet sodas can have a waist circumference at least 3” larger than those who don’t drink sugar free drinks.

If you’re a diet soda addict, here are some other facts that might finally get you to quit:

  • Artificial sweeteners have been known to trigger painful headaches.

  • Diet soda drinkers are likely to be depressed.

  • Diet soda drinkers have lower bone density. Imagine the challenges these kids who consume diet soda’s can have as they age.

  • Diet soda could interfere with your natural gut bacteria. The artificial sweeteners may change your intestinal microbiome and this can increase your glucose intolerance.

  • Diet soda mixed with alcohol gets you drunker than a sugary cocktail would.

  • Drinking diet soda can interfere with your sense of taste.

  • Drinking diet soda puts you at high risk for hypertension.

  • Drinking too much diet soda could be bad for your kidneys.

  • The artificial sweeteners can cause a physical addiction. Your brain experiences effects similar to chemical addiction.

  • Increases risk of diabetes - sugar free drinks influence your body’s response to sugar. The link between people who drink diet soda daily had a 67% greater risk to developing type 2 diabetes.

  • As we mentioned, drinking diet soda probably won’t help you lose weight. Diet sodas increase your appetite and sugar cravings – you may compensate by eating higher calorie meals and those who drink diet soda tend to drink diet soda to compensate for their poor food choices.

  • Over time, diet soda can cause your skin and muscles to wither. Who knew that??

  • One study found that diet soda drinkers’ teeth are just as eroded as those of meth addicts.

Honestly, a glass of water or sparkling water comes without artificial sweeteners, sodium, coloring, and flavoring. It’s a much smarter, more hydrating option.


Sources:

https://www.thedailymeal.com/healthy-eating/scary-facts-diet-soda-gallery

http://betterthandieting.com/

https://www.thedailymeal.com/healthy-eating/scary-facts-diet-soda-gallery

www.naturalnews.com

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Newsworthy: Week of 4/14/19

Food Labels: Do You Know What You are Really Eating?

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by Candace Liccione & Tiffany Windsor

On a recent HealingLifeWisdom podcast, we introduced you to foodbabe.com. Vani Hari is an advocate who is making a big difference in the food industry. You may recognize what Vani has done, but you may not have known her name. Check out this list of companies that she took including Subway, Kraft, General Mills, Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, Panera Bread, Anheiser Busch, Miller Coors, Whitewave, Starbucks, General Mills, In-N-Out, the list goes on and on!

Vani has a new book called Feeding You Lies that details all of the food corruption that is going on. For instance, did you know that Kellogg's sells safer, cleaner products in other countries? As she writes “Nothing makes her more angry than companies who put profits over people, especially when they make promises they don't keep…” We both bought our own copies and just finished reading this powerful book that you MUST read!  

In just a few examples, in 2015 Kellogg's told the media that they were removing artificial dyes (Red 40, Blue 1, Yellow 6) from Froot Loops in America. They were already selling Froot Loops without these dyes in the U.K. and other countries, so it should have been a swift and easy transition. At the time they said it would be completed by 2018... but we are still waiting for them to make this change. Are they going to keep their promise? There is absolutely no reason why Kellogg's can't sell the same products that they sell overseas in America. If a company can get away with using cheaper ingredients, they will. Given a choice, they’ll always opt for the cheaper flavor enhancer, and the cheaper color additive, and the cheaper preservative, and the cheaper GMO ingredient, even if these cheaper alternatives have a negative impact on our health.

Froot Loops Infographic foodbabe.com

The Food Babe dedicated an entire chapter in her book, Feeding You Lies, to this very subject because there is so much more you need to know! The food industry doesn’t care about your health, so you really need to.

On her Facebook feed, she recently shared an infographic that shows that America’s version of Froot Loops has 28 ingredients listed. The Australia version has 9 ingredients and when the Australian packaging refers to natural colors, they reference, carmine, paprika, vegetable carbon, turmeric and copper chlorophyll. None of the Red 40, Blue 1, or yellow 6 artificial coloring is included in Australian version.

My siblings and I ate this cereal as kids! Kellogg’s must still be selling a lot of this cereal because it’s still available. Please let this tape keep running in your head “I must read the food labels front and back!”

Take control of your well-being by feeding your body with healthy choices. We promise you, it will make a difference in how you feel! By eliminating these toxic choices, your body has more energy to boost your immune system!

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5G: Coming Soon to Your Neighborhood

Photo by  unsplash

Photo by unsplash


by Tiffany Windsor

A topic that has been on my radar for the past year or so is 5G. Technically speaking, 5G is the next generation of broadband connection. There has been great concern in the news sources that I follow, that we should be concerned about the radiation associated with 5G technology.

Over the years, you have been using 2G, 3G and 4G but now, once again, things are speeding up!  I’ve been gathering information for months and months and it’s really difficult to keep up with all the news and speculation regarding this next generation of wireless because there is a lot of marketing and rebuttals going on. I’m really sensitive to electromagnetic frequencies as are many others - for instance I tried to switch to a different cellphone manufacturer a few years back and it gave me such a bad headache when I used it, that I had to return it and go back to my prior service. I also recently purchased a blocking cover for my mobile phone and had to return it because it gave me odd pressure in my head and heart flutters. WTF??

So, OK, I’m one person, in one small town who is concerned about the reports on 5g’s affects on our health, but this week, as we all start reading entire cities and countries banning this technology, I start to realize that we may not be hearing the entire story regarding the health risks.
— Tiffany Windsor

What brought this topic of 5G back to mind for me is that in the March 14th issue of my local Thousand Oaks Acorn newspaper, the front page headline was “Expert predicts wave of wireless to hit Thousand Oaks.” The sub headline reads “Rules leave little room for public oversight.” What this article revealed for me is that the FCC has taken control of and limited or removed public feedback in our local communities.

Our Thousand Oaks City Council found that the only way to meet new FCC rules that require 5G applications be processed within two to three months was to go forward by handling without public notice, hearings or appeals and they passed an urgency ordinance because otherwise they couldn’t meet the FCC’s rules of the 2-3 month processing of applications. (In the past the approval process could take 8 - 9 months, due to public hearings and feedback.)

The 5G technology apparently promises to bring speeds that are 10 - 100 times faster than current cellular capabilities. Sounds good. Right? Not necessarily. Because 5G technology uses smaller towers, it needs more of them because their radius for each is about 300 - 500 feet instead of the miles covered by 4g towers. That means in my town of about 40 square miles, it states in this article that the city’s four wireless carriers would require between 4,000 - 5,000 new cell sites. I wonder how many are going to end up on my street.

While the regulations limit antennas to a maximum of 3 cubic feet in size, there’s no limit on the number of antennas at any one streetlight or public right of way structure. Placing these macro sites so close together is apparently the only way to keep the ultra-high frequencies of 5g safe enough to use, because if the signal gain was increased enough to allow for long-distances at those frequencies some serious health issues would occur. Communication over these radio bands isn't something new, so all the pitfalls are well known and the right precautions have been taken. We hope.  

Awhile back, ehtrust.org shared that Verizon and Sprint have announced “test cities” for 5G which include Sacramento, Washington DC, Atlanta, Dallas, Miami and New York. A first glance at US government websites such as the CDC and EPA, the information shared could lead you to believe that this radiation is safe. Yet over 240 scientists and doctors from 41 nations who have published research in the field have appealed to the United Nations calling for urgent action to reduce these ever growing wireless exposures and they wrote  the FCC for a moratorium on the roll-out of 5G citing the serious risks to human health and the environment. Published peer reviewed science already indicates that the current wireless technologies of 2G, 3G and 4G – in use today with our cell phones, computers and wearable tech – creates radiofrequency exposures which poses a serious health risk to humans, animals and the environment. Scientists are cautioning that before rolling out 5G, research on human health effects urgently needs to be done first, to ensure the public and environment are protected.

However, instead of prudent public health measures to ensure the public’s safety, governments such as the United States are quickly rolling out 5G networks in neighborhoods and are enacting various state and federal regulations to “streamline” and fasttrack the rollout. These regulations will end the ability of communities to halt and be a part of the decision making process in this massive 5G infrastructure buildout. That’s exactly what is happening in my town.

Wireless company documents clearly state that 5G will increase the levels of RF radiation in the vicinity of the antennas. Many countries such as China, India, Poland, Russia, Italy and Switzerland have far more protective and stricter radiation limits which will not allow the deployment of 5G as the increased 5G radiation would exceed their limits. These countries are creating roadblocks to the 5G rollout even though the broadband industry has launched large scale efforts to try to loosen the radiation limits. Obviously the wireless companies with the FCC’s support are silencing community feedback. And who decides what amount of radiation is healthy? What about those macro boxes that are possibly going to end up in front of our homes. With their small broadcast radius of 300 - 500 feet, they’re certainly going to be in your neighborhoods.

I cannot welcome such technology if the radiation standards, which must protect the citizen, are not respected, 5G or not. The people of Brussels are not guinea pigs whose health I can sell at a profit. We cannot leave anything to doubt.
— Céline Fremault, Envirnment Minister

In my social media feed this last week, I read that a Belgian government minister has announced that Brussels is halting its 5G plans due to health effects. This government minister identified that a 5G pilot project is not compatible with Belgian radiation safety standards, and stated that she does not intend to make an exception.

In my home state of California, I found so far, only that the Marin County town of Mill Valley voted in early September 2018 to ban new sites in residential-zoned areas—not because they might be ugly, but because of fears over their electromagnetic fields.

In an article by theverge.com this last week, the writer headed to Chicago to test out Verizon’s announcement of the launch of their 5g. The writer reported that “coverage is so extremely sparse that, for right now, I’d caution anyone against buying and paying Verizon an extra $10 every month to receive 5G. He further wrote, “ It feels frustratingly random in Chicago. It’s centered around city attractions and high-density areas, but it’s inconsistent even at that. 5G is there for one block and gone the next. You’ll hit the 5G lottery on one street corner and then go several without the same luck. What kind of scavenger hunt is this? Perhaps he doesn’t know how many macro sites it will take to cover the city? And does he understand the risks that might come with the full launch?

Also, check out this great post at ehtrust.org where doctors testified at a Teton county commissioners hearing!! Along with addressing the concerns to humans from their personal experience, these doctors shared that 5G towers in particular have been shown to confuse wildlife’s ability to migrate and navigate. Bee populations wither in the vicinity of these towers as they interfere with the structures in the bees that allows them to navigate.

So, OK, I’m one person, in one small town who is concerned about the reports on 5g’s affects on our health, but this week, as we all start reading entire cities and countries banning this technology, I start to realize that we may not be hearing the entire story regarding the health risks. I’m sure this isn’t the last time I’ll be bringing up this topic.  

Interested in digging in deeper to the political discussion on 5G? Watch this video at Edge of Wonder.

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Newsworthy: Week of 4/7/19

Solar Sun Flares: How Solar Weather Might be Affecting You

Photo by  Daoudi Aissa  on  Unsplash

by Candace Liccione

Most people never think much about the sun and what it means to us on Earth except for sunny days. The sun is constantly doing something that affects all of us. The sun produces solar flares, geomagnetic storms, solar winds and coronal mass ejections. The surface of the sun is responsible for “space weather”. Solar flares are explosions on the sun’s surface that launch huge amounts of X-rays, radiation and particles into the ionosphere.

We are in a time of solar minimum which is an 11-year period of hardly any solar flares, but we are still bombarded by solar winds, coronal mass ejections and geomagnetic storms. All the energies coming from the sun and from space affect not only each of us but our communication systems, power grids, satellites and airline flights.

The normal functioning of our brain is dependent upon a normal electromagnetic environment. We are electromagnetic beings and we are now receiving higher doses of electromagnetic energy that we did before. The increase in solar events causes us to lose track of time, thoughts fly away, we have difficulty sleeping, tossing and turning and having really weird dreams. Some people feel queasiness, body pains, phantom pains and dizziness. You can also feel sense of overpowering grief for no reason, vision problems, inner ear issues and inner-outer buzzing. You can also experience headaches, migraines, breathing issues, a tingly head, irritability and the list goes on.

I am very sensitive to geomagnetic storms and have told people about them for a very long time. They thought I was crazy but now there is scientific evidence available so everyone can know I am not crazy!
— Candace Liccione

There has been a recent study by researchers from Caltech regarding “can humans sense magnetic storms”. They have convincing evidence that changes in the earth’s magnetic field can suppress alpha waves in our brains. When you close your eyes and relax and daydream about something, your brain is filled with alpha waves, now try this during a magnetic storm. You don’t have that sense of relaxation.

Perhaps this can explain why so many people have anxiety that doesn’t feel like it is coming from their life issues. Researchers have long known that living creatures can sense magnetic fields – honeybees, turtles, birds, whales and bats use magnetic fields to help them navigate and dogs can be trained to find buried magnets.

In some of the participants in the Caltech study - alpha brain waves decreased in power as much as 60% in response to shifting magnetic fields. They are calling this “a new human sense” called “magnetoreception”. Most people in the study were not aware that they were being affected by the shifting magnetic field. Geomagnetic forces interact with sunlight to stimulate your hypothalamus and pituitary gland.

I am passionate about wanting to share with you information that can be affecting your life and that you probably didn’t know about. Now I hope that you will remember the next time you hear the words “solar flares” or “solar weather”, these sun bursts may possibly be affecting your daily life way beyond interfering with the grid and your electronics.


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Wild Orange Essential Oil: Energize Your Day!

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by Tiffany Windsor

Cold pressed from the peel or orange rinds, Wild Orange is a top-selling essential oil due to its energizing aroma. I love to place a few drops into my hands and take in its stimulating and purifying qualities with a few deep breaths. It feels so cleansing to my body! Diffusing Wild Orange can energize and uplift the mind and body while purifying the air.

Wild Orange enhances any essential oil blend with a fresh, sweet, refreshing aroma. I love mixing it with a few equal drops of Peppermint and Frankincense for an energizing boost. Whenever I want to uplift my mood and energy levels or to just freshen the air in the room, I keep a bottle handy to diffuse.

With its sweet, fresh, citrus aroma is so uplifting to the mind and body and a perfect way to start your day!

Directions for Use

Diffusion: Use three to four drops in the diffuser of your choice.
Internal use: Dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. of liquid.
Topical use: Apply one to two drops to desired area. Dilute with doTERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil to minimize any skin sensitivity.

Links:

doTerra (my doTerra link) - https://www.doterra.com/US/en/site/tiffanywindsor


Disclosure: *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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Book Review: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz: A Powerful Life-Changing Little Book

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Click to listen to Candace and Tiffany’s podcast
“The Four Agreements Book Discussion on BlogTalkRadio.

by Candace Liccione & Tiffany Windsor

We’ve been using the wisdom in this small book for decades and tell everyone we can that this is a book that you need to add to your library! The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz was originally published in 1997 and as it is explained on the back cover of the book, Don Miguel reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, this book offers a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness and love. So many think this is not possible, but the wisdom shared in this book can be truly life changing once you understand the premise of Agreements.

First, a little bit about Don Miguel Ruiz. He was born into a family of healers and raised in rural Mexico by a healer mother and a shaman grandfather. His family anticipated that Miguel would embrace their centuries-old legacy of healing and teachings, and carry forward the esoteric Toltec knowledge. Instead, distracted by modern life, Miguel chose to attend medical school and become a surgeon.

A near death experience changed his life in the 1970’s when he awoken suddenly having fallen asleep at the wheel of his car. At that instant the car careened into a wall of concrete. He remembers that he was not in his physical body as he pulled his two friends to safety. Stunned by this experience he began an intensive practice of self-inquiry. He devoted himself to the mastery of the ancient ancestral wisdom, studying earnestly with his mother, and completing an apprenticeship with a powerful shaman in the Mexican desert.

As Don Miguel shares in Chapter One, what you are seeing and hearing right now is nothing but a dream. We are living in a dream – dreaming 24 hours a day. Our mind dreams when the brain is awake, and it also dreams when the brain is asleep. The outside dream has so many rules, that when a new human is born, we hook the child’s attention and introduce these rules into his or her mind. We learned “their” rules i.e government, family, school and church. All of these influences hook your attention. We also learn to hook the attention of other humans, and we develop a need for attention which can become very competitive. Children compete for the attention of their parents, their teachers, their friends. “Look at what I’m doing”. “Hey, I’m here”.

The need for attention becomes very strong and continues into adulthood. This so-called outside dream hooks our attention and teaches us what to believe, beginning with the language we speak. Language is the code for understanding and communicating between us and other people. As children we didn’t have a choice to choose our beliefs, we just agreed with them. Children believe what they are told, and become domesticated. It is a punishment vs. reward system. The fear of being punished and not getting a reward makes us start pretending to be what we aren’t. After a while we are so domesticated that no one has to tell us how to behave to believe. When we went against the rules we were punished, when we went along with the rules we got a reward. This first chapter in The Four Agreements book goes into awesome detail as to how this dream works. There are thousands of agreements you have made with yourself, with other people, with your dream of life, with God, with society, with your parents, with your spouse, with your children. But the most important agreements are the ones you made with yourself. The result is what is called your personality. Humans punish themselves endlessly for not being what they believe they should be. They become self-abusive and use other people to abuse them also. We are the most abusive to ourselves. Do you believe you deserve abuse if you don’t feel worthy? Your agreements rule your life. So what can you do? Change your agreements!!

The First Agreement.  Be impeccable with your word.

Your word is the power that you have to create. Your word is the gift that comes from God. Through words you manifest everything. The word is a force, a magic tool. Your word is pure magic. Misuse of your word is like black magic. One word is like a spell. We cast spells with our opinions. One word is so powerful it changes a life or destroys millions of people. You can break a spell with one word. We have learned to lie. But you must change that to be impeccable with your words. Misuse of the word is how we pull each other down. When you hear an opinion and believe it, you make an agreement and it becomes part of your belief system. So make a new agreement based on truth.  We cast spells on people with words. Black magic is gossip which is pure poison.

Gossip is the main form of communication. Gossip is like a computer virus. Gossip is emotional poison. Understand what the word is and what the word does. You only receive a negative idea if your mind is a fertile ground for that idea. Just imagine what you can create with impeccability of the word. With the impeccability of the word you can transcend the dream of fear and live a different life. You can live in heaven in the middle of thousands of people living in hell because you are immune. You can attain the kingdom of heaven from this one agreement: Be impeccable with your word.

The Second Agreement  - Don’t Take Anything Personally.

Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally. If someone gives you an opinion and says something like, “Hey you look so fat,” don’t take it personally, because the truth is that this person is dealing with his or her own feelings, beliefs, and opinions. We love how Don Miguel explains that a person tried to send a poisonous thought to you and if you take it personally, then you take in that poison and it becomes yours. You take things personally because you agree with whatever was said. As soon as you agree, the poison goes through you. Nothing other people do is because of us. It is because of them. It comes from their programming.

Others are going to have their own opinion according to their belief system, so nothing they think about me is really about me, but it is about them and their belief system. Know who and what you are, and you don’t need to be accepted by others. Whatever people do, feel, think, or say, don’t take it personally. If they tell you how wonderful you are, they are not necessarily saying that because of you. You know you are wonderful. It is not necessary to believe other people who tell you that you are wonderful. As you make a habit of not taking anything personally, you won’t need to place your trust in what others do or say. You will only need to trust yourself to make responsible choices. You are never responsible for the actions of others; you are only responsible for you. Don’t Take Anything Personally was a life changer for us and we find ourselves using the explanation of this agreement to help a lot of other women .

The Third Agreement – Don’t Make Assumptions.

Don’t make assumptions about anything, it causes problems as we believe our assumptions to be true. Because you are afraid to ask for clarification, you make assumptions. Ask questions if you don’t understand – Ask! That way you don’t misinterpret or misunderstand things. We only see what we want to see, hear what we want to hear. We don’t perceive things the way they are. We make assumptions that our partners know what we think so we don’t have to say what we want. You say “you should have known as you know me so well.” Your partner can’t read your mind. We make assumptions that everyone sees life as we see it. With clear communication, all of your relationships will change, not only with your partner, but with everyone else. You won’t need to make assumptions because everything becomes so clear. If all humans could communicate with impeccability of the word, there would be no wars, no violence, no misunderstandings.

The Fourth Agreement – Always Do Your Best.

Under any circumstance, always do your best, no more and no less. But keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next. Everything is alive and changing all the time, so your best will sometimes be high quality, and other times it will not be as good. Doing your best, you are going to live your life intensely. You are going to be productive, you are going to be good to yourself, because you will be giving yourself to your family, to your community, to everything.

Doing your best is taking the action because you love it, not because you’re expecting a reward. Most people do exactly the opposite: They only take action when they expect a reward, and they don’t enjoy the action. And that’s the reason why they don’t do their best. Action is about living full. Inaction is how we deny life. Also, do not be concerned about the future; keep your attention on today, and stay in the present moment. Just live one day at a time. ALWAYS do your best to keep these agreements, and soon it will be easy for you. Today is the beginning of a new dream.

Breaking Old Agreements

Everyone talks about freedom. All around the world different people, different races, different countries are fighting for freedom. But what really is freedom? True freedom has to do with the human spirit - it is the freedom to be who we really are. Who stops us from being free? We blame the government, we blame the weather, we blame our parents, we blame religion, we blame God. Who really stops us from being free? We stop ourselves. The first step toward personal freedom is awareness. We need to be aware that we are not free, in order to be free. We need to be aware of what the problem is in order to solve the problem.  

The New Dream - Heaven on Earth

Don Miguel writes in chapter 7, “I want you to forget everything you have learned in your whole life. This is the beginning of a new understanding, a new dream. The dream you are living is your creation. It is your perception of reality that you can change at any time. Why not use your mind, your imagination and your emotions to dream heaven? Imagine living your life without fear of expressing your dreams. Imagine living your life without the fear of being judged by others. Imagine living your life without judging others. Imagine living without the fear of loving and not being loved. Imagine living your life without being afraid to take a risk and to explore life. Imagine that you love yourself just the way you are.”

You can make the change today by reading this powerful little book The Four Agreements.

Purchase The Four Agreements Book at Amazon.com (affiliate link)

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GMO's and Roundup - How are they affecting your health?



by Tiffany Windsor and Candace Liccione

There has been a debate raging about GMOs for a long time now. We first became aware of this topic because of the Dirty Dozen list for organic crops vs heavily pesticide crops. At that time, we learned how to read the produce labels. This is the first step in knowing how to choose non-GMO.

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When you buy produce from a supermarket, you’ll see a sticker containing a four- or five-digit number. This number is called the Price Look Up code, or PLU code. If you’re like most people, you just peel the sticker off and throw it away. But the numbers on the sticker mean a lot to your health. Since 1990, PLU codes have been assigned by the International Federation for Produce Standards. They make inventory control and checkout easier, faster and more accurate.

There is a great article at blog.paleohacks.com that you should read that goes into great detail.  

As Liz Lang explains, look for the number on the sticker. If the number on that sticker has only four digits and is the number 3000 -4999, that means the item was conventionally grown. Conventionally means in was grown in a traditional way according to industrial agriculture, which includes: the use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers to promote growth, and chemical herbicides for weed maintenance. Make a note of this so that you remember that any number sequence on the sticker that starts with a 3 or a 4 means that there were pesticides, chemical fertilizers or chemical herbicides used to grow that produce.

Produce with the prefix 9 will have five digits so look for the number 9 tacked onto the beginning of the four-digit identifier. Any produce that starts with a 9 means the item was grown organically. Remember 9 is fine!  As you may know, organic farming differs from conventional farming in a few ways: compost and manure are used instead of chemical fertilizers; insects and birds, mating disruption and/or traps are used in place of synthetic pesticides; and crop rotation, hand weeding, or mulches are used instead of synthetic herbicides. So, this gets even more complicated. JuicingforHealth offers even more details.

For instance, a 5-digit PLU code starting with the number “3” means the produce was irradiated which means it was electronically pasteurized. And this site goes on to explain that the last four digits of the PLU code are simply what kind of vegetable or fruit. An example is that all bananas are labeled with the code of 4011. Next time you buy bananas, check it out for yourself.

And,  PLU code beginning with a “6” identifies pre-cut fruits and vegetables.

Now, here is where we get into GMO’s. If there are 5 digits in the PLU code, and the number starts with an “8”, this tells you that the item is a genetically modified fruit or vegetable. Genetically modified fruits and vegetables trump being organic. So, it is impossible to eat organic produce that are grown from genetically modified seeds. For example, a genetically engineered (GE or GMO) banana would start with the number 8 followed by the banana code or: 84011

A sticker with more than five digits means that the number isn’t a part of the internationally standardized system. For example, if the sticker is six digits long, though it may have a label, there is no guarantee about where the item came from or what the item is.

Also, the system is voluntary and is not regulated by a government agency. But, PLU stickers are usually required by the retail industry and are used based on business needs to identify a point-of-sale (POS). For example, supermarkets and other retail grocers, say like Target, usually require the use of PLU stickers on produce.

OK so we’ve established how to identify what you are eating in fresh produce but what about packaged foods?

As of right now in the U.S., GMO foods are deemed safe. If you read between the lines, you will understand that there is a lot of lobbying that goes on in the US regarding the labeling of GMO ingredients. Other countries however have taken a hard stand. A least 19 countries in Europe ban the production of GMO produce and all 28 require GMO products to be labeled. There’s tons of research fighting for both sides, but there’s no solid scientific consensus YET on GMO safety. It’s not yet required for food producers to label GMO products in the United States, but it is a very hot topic and the decision is not yet final.

So where did GMO’s come from? It is reported that in the 1970s, Monsanto, a name you probably have heard of, began to popularize the use of genetically modified organisms to incorporate seeds containing glyphosate (aka Roundup), an herbicide, to make their crops weed resistant. On one side of the debate is the idea that genetic engineering is progress for humanity, and it is a natural extension of more traditional breeding techniques. The other side believes genetically modified foods are unsafe for human consumption and harmful to the environment.

Biotech companies claim that genetic modification yields more precise control over artificial selection. Studies funded by the industry consistently demonstrate safety, but only over the short term. For years Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta, and other biotech based agricultural companies have told the public that we have nothing to worry about.This will be the technology that will improve food in every conceivable way.

They say, food will be more nutritious, more vigorous, and more disease resistant. There are literally thousands of studies demonstrating GMO safety. It is reported that their short-term studies are funded or performed by the industry itself. As more and more independent scientists complete long-term studies, apparently a very different picture has emerged about the safety of GMOs and their many other drawbacks. When these studies are not funded by industry, the results show an uncontrollable, uncontainable, and dangerous technology with serious health hazards.

One of the first studies to ring the alarm was a 2-year, long-term chronic toxicity Searlini study. There was a lot of backlash from the biotech industries that criticized the Searlini study stating that it did not provide substantial evidence that genetically modified food is dangerous. It is reported however that the Seralini study was actually a well-designed and well-conducted study and that If we are to accept the argument that Seralini’s study does not provide substantial evidence that genetically modified food is dangerous, then we must also conclude that the short-term toxicity studies funded by the agriculture industry (primarily Monsanto) on GM foods cannot prove that they are safe. They are in fact the same type of studies, done the same way and they even used the same type of rats. The only significant difference was the duration of the study. Seralini’s study showed how the previously 90 day studies are misleading as 90 days is not long enough to test for long term effects like organ damage, cancer, and premature death. The first tumors appeared in the rats after four months. The Searlini study was apparently able to distinguish the effects of GM food from GM food grown with allotted pesticides. The results provide strong evidence supporting the claim that genetically modified food, especially genetically modified food grown with Roundup, is highly toxic and unfit for animal or human consumption. If you want more overwhelming evidence check out the long list of studies compiled by GMO Free USA and proves the detrimental effects of GMOs.

Also, you will want to read the really comprehensive article on collective-Evolution.com that goes into great detail on the Searlini study which was apparently published in the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology. After the research was completed, it went through rigorous reviews, as well as a four month review process by scientists and researchers. It was eventually approved and published, only to be retracted by request of the Journal. Although hundreds of scientists around the world condemned the retraction, and the researchers addressed the criticisms. After the study was retracted, there were more than a hundred notable scientists who came forward to oppose the retraction, calling it an industry retraction.  Manipulation of science isn’t new. Just take a look at the recent resignation of the CDC director, as well as the 16 scientists from the CDC who came forward saying that the corporate and political influence of science has gotten out of hand. It makes you question who is charge of all this?

Collective-Evolution.com also shares a quote from Arnold Seymour Relman, who passed in 2014. Relman was a Harvard professor of medicine and former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Medical Journal. He stated “The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.”

What is Glyphosate?

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, the Monsanto weed killer. Many of you probably have a bottle of Roundup in your garage and have used it to kill weeds in your landscaping. Roundup was produced for decades by Monsanto, which this year merged with the German pharmaceutical company Bayer AG. If you’ve heard about Monsanto in the news recently then you’ve heard that a California jury ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to a many dying of cancer, which he says was caused by his repeated exposure to large quantities of Roundup and other glyphosate-based weed killers while working as a school groundskeeper. So besides its household use, Glyphosate is sprayed on hundreds of U.S. agricultural crops, and did you know it cannot be removed through washing or cooking. The FDA and USDA do not test food for glyphosate; however, independent, FDA-registered lab tests have found extremely high levels of glyphosate in some our most iconic food products. And we’ll talk about those foods in just a while.

Glyphosate is the most heavily used chemical herbicide in human agricultural history. Its use has increased 300-fold since it was introduced in 1974, particularly skyrocketing after the introduction of herbicide-resistant, Roundup Ready genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in 1996. Increasingly, glyphosate is also sprayed just before harvest on wheat, barley, oats and beans that are not genetically engineered. Glyphosate kills the crop, drying it out so that it can be harvested sooner than if the plant were allowed to die naturally. Each year, more than 250 million pounds of glyphosate are sprayed on American crops, primarily on “Roundup-ready” corn, oats, wheat and soybeans genetically engineered to withstand the herbicide. But, it is banned on organic crops. The good news is that when organic produce is tested, it consistently comes up with far fewer pesticide residues than non-organic produce. That's why organic food is a safer choice.

Curiously enough, the EPA banned glyphosate over 30 years ago, but then mysteriously reversed its decision after studies were put out by Monsanto “proving” glyphosate’s safety. There is allegedly evidence to suggest that these studies may have been faked for the benefit of Monsanto and corporate greed over sale of their products. The records suggest that Monsanto may have ghostwritten the so-called “independent” research. The documents also imply that a senior level official at the EPA may have worked to cover up a review of the safety of the company’s glyphosate-based herbicides. It could very well be the case that many of the studies we see today regarding glyphosate’s “safety” are not reflecting true results. This is actually the case for many scientific studies that sway their results for the benefit of the researcher, and/or the companies and institutions that fund such studies.

Why Be Concerned About Glyphosate?

Glyphosate, which is patented as a chelating agent, can bind with nutrients in the soil, preventing plants from absorbing them. The chelating action may negatively affect the nutritional value of food. Glyphosate also acts as an antibiotic that can kill bacteria, and emerging scientific evidence suggests that it may lead to a harmful imbalance in bacteria in soil and in human and animal intestinal flora. Researchers also believe the herbicide may act as a hormone disruptor.

Glyphosate has been associated with a host of health issues such as kidney disease, reproductive problems, and birth defects. Exposure to glyphosate is also linked to liver damage. In a 2016 study, researchers concluded that even in “extremely low doses,” rats exposed to Roundup developed nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, over a two-year period. The dose of glyphosate used in the study was thousands of times below what is permitted by regulators worldwide.

Glyphosate Labeling and the Law

The label on Roundup states that glyphosate targets an enzyme “found in plants but not in people or animals.” But studies show that the enzyme is found in people and pets, say both the Organic Consumers Association and Beyond Pesticides.

The link between glyphosate and cancer is particularly unsettling. In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization, declared glyphosate a “probable human carcinogen.” The decision was reached by a group of 17 reviewers from around the world and was based on evidence indicating that the popular weed killer can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and lung cancer in humans; can cause cancer in animals; and can induce DNA and chromosomal damage in mammals and in human and animal cell studies.

Based on the IARC’s declaration, the state of California is taking action to require companies like Monsanto to label products that contain glyphosate with a cancer warning. More than 800 people have filed lawsuits alleging that they, or a family member, developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma because of exposure to Roundup.

FoodRenegade.com shares a good article on the link between roundup and gmos. This site shares that in a recent paper published in the journal Entropy, Dr. Stephanie Seneff and Anthony Samsel argue that the key ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, contributes to most of the diseases associated with a Western diet — everything from gastrointestinal disorders to mood swings, heart disease to diabetes. Monsanto has long argued that glyphosate is perfectly safe for humans. Monsanto says that’s because glyphosate works by disrupting the shikimate pathway in a plant’s metabolism. Human metabolism does not have the shikamate pathway, so we are safe. But are we? Did you know that you are mostly made up of microbial life? That the bacteria and microbes that live within your gut outnumber your own cells 10 to 1? Did you also know that these microbes which sustain you do have the shikimate pathway? In her paper, Dr. Seneff argues that glyphosate interrupts your gut bacteria’s metabolic pathways the same way it does a plant’s. Furthermore, it adversely affects our gut’s population of beneficial bacteria more dramatically than it does our gut’s population of pathogens. This allows the pathogens in our guts to overgrow, creating excess toxins. These excess toxins lead to inflammation. The inflammation wrecks our gut lining, creating a leaky gut. The toxins escape into our bloodstream and disrupt neural pathways leading to mood swings, auto immune diseases, and digestive disorders. It can also lead to systemic low-grade inflammation, which cutting edge research indicates as the culprit behind most chronic diseases like type 2 Diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

Chronic inflammation falls below the threshold of perceived pain. You don’t think you feel sick, but a fire is quietly smoldering within you, upsetting the delicate balance among all of the major systems: endocrine, central nervous, digestive, and cardiovascular/respiratory. In a healthy body, these systems communicate with each another. With chronic inflammation, that communication becomes distorted.

Medical schools reportedly don’t teach much about the inflammatory effects of food, toxic chemicals, or EMF so the medical profession has been slow to appreciate the extent of the problem. “Researchers are linking inflammation to an ever-wider array of chronic illnesses,” reported Newsweek’s Anne Underwood in 2005. “Suddenly medical puzzles seem to be fitting together, such as why hypertension puts patients at increased risk of Alzheimer’s, or why rheumatoid-arthritis sufferers have higher rates of sudden cardiac death. They’re all connected on some fundamental level.”

WANT TO SEE HOW IT’S ALL CONNECTED?

While it’s true you’re not chugging down bottles of glyphosate-containing Roundup or pouring it on your food like a condiment, you are eating plenty of glyphosate residues in your food — particularly if you’re eating foods made from Roundup Ready genetically-modified (GMO) crops like sugar beets, corn, canola oil which is made from the rape seed, and soy. Unfortunately, about 85% of the foods sold in grocery stores contain these GMOs. Glyphosate is not included in government monitoring of pesticide residues in food. The only information available about contamination of food comes from research studies. Monsanto’s studies of residues in food crops found glyphosate in lettuce over five months after treatment (the lettuce was planted four months after treatment). Monsanto also found glyphosate in barley over four months after treatment (the barley was planted one month after treatment). “Significant residues,” according to the World Health Organization, have been identified from pre-harvest use of glyphosate on wheat (to dry out the grain). Bran contains between 2 and 4 times the amount on whole grains. Residues are not lost during baking.

In other words, significant amounts of glyphosate residues are routinely found on foods — even foods, like wheat, that are not GMO. Dr. Seneff argues that these residues do have a cumulatively negative effect on the body, that the effect is “insidious” and “manifests slowly over time.”

EWG tested more than a dozen brands of oat-based foods to give Americans information about dietary exposures that government regulators are keeping secret. In April, internal emails obtained by the nonprofit US Right to Know revealed that the Food and Drug Administration has been testing food for glyphosate for two years and has found “a fair amount,” but the FDA has not released its findings.

GMO Feed and Animals

So in addition to possible exposure to glyphosate in the food we eat, there is also exposure through the animals that eat GMO feed. In October 2000, that’s over 18 years ago, an Iowa farmer, noticed a problem with his hogs. During breeding, the female sows exhibited all signs of pregnancy, yet when the time came to deliver nothing happened, a phenomenon called “pseudo-pregnancy.” Over the next year, the breeding rates in the sow herd plummeted 80 percent. The problem was eventually traced back to the feed, which was genetically modified Bt corn. Laboratory tests revealed that the corn contained high levels of Fusarium, a fungal pathogen that can produce mycotoxins, which can enter the food chain and negatively affect human and animal health. This pig farmer wasn’t the only farmer with the problem. More than twenty farmers in Iowa and surrounding states reported the same breeding problems. At least five farmers switched to non-GMO corn feed and the problem disappeared. Iowa veterinarian Art Dunham, who works with dairy and beef cows and hogs, says he has seen animal health problems from GM feed since that pig farmer reported his problems. Dr. Dunham believes that glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup herbicide, which is used extensively with GM soy, corn, and other crops, is a major culprit.  Animal health problems related to GM feed are not limited to Iowa. In 2013, a New York State farmer had an experience similar to the pig farmer. His Yorkshire sows abruptly lost their ability to reproduce. Again, the problem was traced to mycotoxin-tainted GM feed. He then switched to non-GMO feed. In 2011, a Danish hog farmer observed that health problems in his pigs, including ailments such as bloat, ulcers, and diarrhea were common with his use of GM soy. He switched to non-GMO feed and saw immediate improvements in the health of his sow herd. Dr. Dunham explains that glyphosate alters the microbiome, which is the mixture of bacteria in the bowels necessary for health in animals and people. “Glyphosate is not just an herbicide,” he says. “It is a very broad spectrum antibiotic.”

HOW CAN YOU AVOID GLYPHOSATE RESIDUES IN YOUR FOOD?

Unfortunately, because GMOs aren’t currently labeled in the U.S., you have no way of knowing whether or not you’re eating them. Also, many non-GMO foods are treated with glyphosate or grown in fields where glyphosate was used before planting.  Glyphosate has now been found in a range of popular US food products by Anresco Laboratories and also discovered in urine of people across America by the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), using validated methods. Popular oat cereals, oatmeal, granola and snack bars come with a hefty dose of the weed-killing poison in Roundup, according to independent laboratory tests. Some names you may be familiar with include: Cheerios, Wheaties, Trix, Annie’s, Kelloggs Corn Flakes, Kellogg’s Raisin Bran, Kashi, Special K, Cheez It, Ritz, Oreo, Triscuit, Fritos, Doritos, Lays, Goldfish, Lucy’s and the list goes on.

Concern over glyphosate in food has become a major topic the last couple years. After the EWG released their report regarding glyphosate in food, many people have become wary of the food products they were purchasing. But it isn’t just cereals and granola bars people have to worry about. According to a new study published in February of 2019, people now need to start being concerned about glyphosate in beer and wine and glyphosate has also been found in name brand orange juice. I’m sure there’s a lot more of our food contaminated that hasn’t been reported yet because the studies haven’t been started or completed. And as we continually see organic products coming up as positive for glyphosate, it makes us question – are any foods safe from this dangerous chemical?

One of the best ways of telling whether your favorite foods have been contaminated with glyphosate is by looking at crop statistics. In fact, glyphosate-based herbicides are widely used in some of the most popular foods consumed today. Wheat, soy, almonds, corn, you name it. The crops also don’t have to be deemed “Roundup ready” in order to be sprayed. Glyphosate is often used as a pre-harvest herbicide and harvest aid on cereal crops like wheat, oats and vegetable seed oils like canola and sunflower. It is also used as weed control on crops like oranges and grapes.

Back to crops sprayed with glyphosate. If you take a look at the chart from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), you’ll see that barley crops are sprayed with over 600,000 pounds of glyphosate annually, and grapes are sprayed with over 1,500,000 pounds of glyphosate, annually.  As you might have already connected the dots, barley is the crop used to make beer, and grapes are the crop used to make wine. With this information in mind, it is of no surprise that most wine and beer samples contain glyphosate.  To explore how much Roundup the average person drinks, the U.S. PIRG tested 15 beers and 5 wines for glyphosate, the weedkiller’s active ingredient. Of the 20 samples tested, all but ONE contained glyphosate, and 3 out of 4 organic beers and wines contained glyphosate. The testing results revealed the following. Glyphosate was measured in parts per billion (ppb). Also, keep in mind that while this list is not complete, it is reasonable to assume that almost all conventional wines contain some level of glyphosate.

The highest level of glyphosate found in PIRG’s samples was 51 ppb. You might be asking – how is this allowed? Doesn’t the government protect our food from dangerous, cancer-causing chemicals? The answer is yes, they do, but the real question is why they’re allowing this chemical in our food at all. Is there really any safe limit for a chemical that is labelled as a “probable human carcinogen”?

Linked to cancer by California state scientists and the World Health Organization, Glyphosate was found in all but two of 45 samples of products made with conventionally grown oats. Almost three-fourths of those samples had glyphosate levels higher than what EWG scientists consider protective of children’s health with an adequate margin of safety. About one-third of 16 samples made with organically grown oats also had glyphosate, all at levels well below EWG’s health benchmark.

In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, reviewed extensive U.S., Canadian and Swedish epi-demio-logical studies on glyphosate’s human health effects, as well as research on laboratory animals. The IARC classified the chemical as probably carcinogenic to humans, and has steadfastly defended that decision despite ongoing attacks by Monsanto.

In 2017, California listed glyphosate in its Proposition 65 registry of chemicals known to cause cancer. The state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, or OEHHA, has proposed a so-called No Significant Risk Level for glyphosate of 1.1 milligrams per day for an average adult of about 154 pounds. That level of exposure is more than 60 times lower than the safety level set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

To reach this maximum dose, one would only have to eat a single 60-gram serving of food with a glyphosate level of 160 parts per billion, or ppb. The majority of samples of conventional oat products from EWG’s study exceeded 160ppb, meaning that a single serving of those products would exceed EWG’s health benchmark. As part of a glyphosate risk assessment, the EPA estimated potential highest dietary exposure levels for children and adults. The EPA has calculated that 1-to-2-year-old children are likely to have the highest exposure, at a level twice greater than California’s No Significant Risk Level and 230 times EWG’s health benchmark.

Studies suggest that glyphosate-sprayed crops such as wheat and oats are a major contributor to glyphosate in the daily diet. In EWG lab tests, 31 of 45 samples made with conventionally grown oats had 160 ppb or more of glyphosate.

In one Statement of Concern, published in the journal Environmental Toxicology in 2016, the authors noted that:

  1. Products containing glyphosate contaminate drinking water sources, precipitation, and air, especially in agricultural regions.

  2. The half-life of glyphosate in water and soil is longer than previously recognized.

  3. Glyphosate and its metabolites are widely present in the global soybean supply.

  4. Human exposures to glyphosate-based herbicides are rising.

  5. Glyphosate is now authoritatively classified as a probable human carcinogen.

  6. Regulatory estimates of tolerable daily intakes for glyphosate in the United States and European Union are based on outdated science.

It isn’t just glyphosate that’s the problem. In fact, it is often the case that the adjuvants added to glyphosate-based herbicides are more toxic, and more harmful, than glyphosate itself.  Just to clarify, an adjuvant is: a substance that is co-injected with antigen in order to help stimulate and enhance the adaptive immune system into producing antibodies against the antigen. It is problematic, given that not many people talk about the other chemicals involved in these different herbicides and pesticides.

Two studies determined that herbicides like Roundup, were more likely to cause cell-cycle dys-regulation, a hallmark of cancer, than glyphosate alone. Not only that, but a study published in 2009 showed that some formulations of Roundup were more toxic to human umbilical, embryonic, and placental cells than glyphosate by itself. The researchers have always taken a strong stance against glyphosate-based herbicides, highlighting the dangers of herbicide adjuvants. In a 2018 article published in the Daily Mirror, Gunatilake noted that adjuvants added to glyphosate-based herbicides “are 1,000 times more toxic than glyphosate itself.

The point I’m trying to raise is that glyphosate without adjuvants is not very useful. Therefore, manufacturers have added these toxic chemicals into glyphosate and nobody is talking about them! Over the last 25 years, the pesticide industry had us hoodwinked by referring only to glyphosate and not to the adjuvants or additives included in these herbicides.
— Professor Sarath Gunathilake

There is more than enough evidence pointing to the fact that we shouldn’t be needlessly exposing ourselves to glyphosate. And while as a people, we have the power to stop using these chemicals on our lawns, we don’t necessarily have power over glyphosate used by farmers. It is the agricultural use of glyphosate-based herbicides that create scenarios like glyphosate ending up in organic crops. Once these herbicides and pesticides start tainting organic crops, what do we have left? And what about those who can’t afford organic?

Is Any Level of Glyphosate Safe?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s safety limit for glyphosate is 100 times greater than the amounts found in the beer and wine samples. The EPA doesn’t actually have a limit for the levels of glyphosate in beer and wine, but they do allow glyphosate residues on over 150 different food and feed crops at levels of 0.2 to 400 ppm (200 to 400,000 ppb).

While these amounts are much higher than that found in wine and beer, there is the concern of how much wine and beer people are drinking. Since some people drink a large quantity of beer and wine in one sitting, they should be cautious of the levels of glyphosate they may be potentially consuming.

A new study, called The Global Glyphosate Study, set out to determine whether the levels of the toxic chemical set as “safe” by the U.S. EPA are actually safe. What they found was that the amounts set as safe by the EPA are not actually safe. Instead, they’re linked to microbiome imbalances and damage to DNA (known as genotoxicity). The results occurred even when there were small exposures to the pesticide for short periods of time.

A strong and healthy microbiome is essential for good physical and mental health, so adding glyphosate into the mix can seriously interfere with how our body feels and functions.

Glyphosate Global Contamination and Glyphosate in Our Water

Roundup, and generic versions of it, have become the most widely used agricultural chemicals in history. Over 1.8 million tons of glyphosate have been used in the United States since it was introduced back in 1974. Worldwide, nearly 9.4 million tons of the chemical have been used on crops as of 2014.

 It’s no wonder, then, why the herbicide is showing up in our food and bodies. One study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association measured levels of glyphosate in the urine of one hundred people. The study subjects were involved in the study since the 1970’s, which allowed the researchers to go back and look at historical and current levels of glyphosate in urine over decades. They found that in the years from 1993-1996, there was around 0.024 ug/L of glyphosate in urine. In between the years of 2014 and 2016, the levels spiked dramatically to around 0.314 ug/L of glyphosate in urine.

As weeds become more and more resistant to Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides, stronger formulas, and more frequent sprayings become necessary. As we are exposed to higher levels of glyphosate, concentrations of the chemical build up in the body over time. This could mean dangerous consequences not only for our health, but the health of the planet. One recent study by the U.S. government sampled waterways in 38 states, and found glyphosate in the majority of rivers, streams, ditches and wastewater treatment plantstested. It also found in 70% of rainfall samples.

Risk of overspray from other farms and contamination through rainfall or irritation water is the main reason why we’re seeing glyphosate-positive tests coming from organically grown food and beverage products. This doesn’t mean that organic is necessarily bad. We often see that if an organic product is tainted with glyphosate, the levels are significantly lower than that found in conventional produce. For example, conventional wine was found with over 51.4 ppb of glyphosate, whereas organic wine was found with a mere 4.8 ppb. Organic will always be the better choice.

Sadly, glyphosate in trace amounts is now found in rainwater across the country because of its application to conventionally farmed agricultural land. Glyphosate in trace amounts can be found in many food products across the United States. We urge consumers to speak up to ban all use of glyphosate.”
— Frey Vineyards

Frey Vineyards, the nation’s first certified organic winery, was the organic wine that tested positive for low levels of glyphosate. In a statement, Frey said its farming practices have never included the use of chemical herbicides, including glyphosate.

This highlights the fact that we can’t avoid glyphosate, period, until a regulatory action or permanent ban is put into effect. The best we can do, until then, is choose organic products. Even growing your own food is fed and supplied by waterways that are tainted with glyphosate.

While it is difficult to battle up against such massive corporations as Monsanto (now Bayer), there are many groups working to ban glyphosate and other pesticides and herbicides. The Environmental Working Group, CALPIRG, and Avaaz are some organizations working to ban this dangerous chemical. I urge each and every one of you to support these groups and opt for certified organic farming. Voting with your dollar is an incredibly effective means of letting the government know that we won’t stand for anything less.

How to Steer Clear of Glyphosate in Foods

In 2016, Food Democracy Now! and The Detox Project commissioned tests that found high levels of glyphosate in many American foods, including some products that are certified organic or non-GMO.

Non GMO Project Verified label.png

It’s important to understand that glyphosate isn’t just on the outside of plants—it is absorbed into plants. Remember, Glyphosate contamination cannot be removed by washing, and it isn’t broken down by cooking or baking. Here’s a rundown on what you need to know to avoid glyphosate-sprayed foods. Look for the Non-GMO Project Verified label -  It’s a label you may recognize that has an orange butterfly on green leaves. This label indicates that a product doesn’t contain GMOs, which is helpful information to know, but this label won’t tell you whether the product is free of glyphosate.

USDA Organic Label.gif

The best way to steer clear of glyphosate-sprayed food is to seek out products that bear the USDA Organic label. In order to receive organic certification, food producers cannot knowingly spray food with synthetic chemical pesticides such as glyphosate. Unfortunately, glyphosate use is so rampant that the herbicide may contaminate food that isn’t directly sprayed, including organic crops.

Chosen-Foods_GRF_00180-644x363.jpg

The Detox Project is a research and certification platform that uses an FDA-registered food-testing lab to test for toxic chemicals. They have launched the “Glyphosate Residue Free” label, which offers more transparency and provides extra assurance against glyphosate exposure. The Detox Project is working with food manufacturers and grocery chains to get this label on more products so that consumers can more easily avoid glyphosate in their food.

The first product to be verified “Glyphosate Residue Free” is Leaf & Love Organic Lemonade, with more to follow soon. To help the “Glyphosate Residue Free” label be successful and increase the likelihood of creating a safer food system for everyone, contact your favorite food companies by email or through social media and ask them to get verified by The Detox Project.

The Good News

To reduce your exposure to glyphosates, you can go organic. An organic diet for 1 week reportedly reduces pesticide exposures by 90%. Since GMOs and Roundup are both prohibited from organic production, the simplest way to avoid glyphosate contamination in food and to reduce exposures to synthetic pesticides is to eat organic food. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Environmental Research confirmed that families eating an organic diet for as little as a week removed more than 90% of the pesticides from their system, as detected through urine tests. According to this independent study, “the average person is exposed to 10 to 13 pesticide residues each day from food, beverages and drinking water. So, go organic and drink clean water.


Sources (Note: all these links were active at time of publishing this blog. Thank you to the AMAZING individuals and companies who have made this information available through their on-line research, articles and postings.)

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Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating

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https://www.naturalnews.com/food.html

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https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.fooddemocracynow.org/images/FDN_Glyphosate_FoodTesting_Report_p2016.pdf

https://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/pnsp/usage/maps/show_map.php?year=2015&map=GLYPHOSATE&hilo=L&disp=Glyphosate

https://non-gmoreport.com/articles/may-2015/animal-health-problems-linked-to-glyphosate-GM-feed.php

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https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/14/business/monsanto-roundup-safety-lawsuit.html?_r=3

https://sustainablepulse.com/2016/05/31/ucsf-presentation-reveals-glyphosate-contamination-in-people-across-america-2/#.WX-6G4R97IV

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/339/6116/166

https://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/4/1416

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/apr/30/fda-weedkiller-glyphosate-in-food-internal-emails

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https://www.iarc.fr/featured-news/media-centre-iarc-news-glyphosate/

https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/draft-human-health-and-ecological-risk-assessments-glyphosate

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11896679

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1016/j.biolcel.2003.11.010

http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/france.pdf

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/40/180.364

https://livelovefruit.com/the-gut-brain-axis-mental-health/

https://www.newsweek.com/glyphosate-now-most-used-agricultural-chemical-ever-422419

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jawr.12159


Disclaimer

Please note that HealingLifeWisdom does NOT provide any medical advice and all content provided is for informational purposes only; this website is in no way a substitute for medical advice from a licensed professional.

The information provided here should in no way, shape or form take the place of medical advice; always seek medical advice from a chosen professional concerning your health prior to making any changes in your diet, lifestyle, supplementation or other similar habits, and from any secondary resources or links found on this site.

10 Ideas for Changing Your Life



by Tiffany Windsor and Candace Liccione

Candace and I have been supporting women’s wellness for the past 30+ years and so we decided to share the top 10 issues that we are repeatedly asked about. They aren’t in any particular order and aren’t really steps but we hope they bring you awareness of some of the issues that may be holding you back in truly enjoying your life everyday.

Emotional Issues

This is the key to healing mind and body and spirit so you can identify your core issue(s) and start to work on healing. There are many paths to healing. At the core of health issues is an emotional issue or issues. We all have a core emotional issue in our life. Usually your emotional issue stems from your childhood. The problem is that people don’t know that their emotional issues, thoughts, and feelings are the beginnings of their health problems. Western medicine addresses only the symptoms and ignores the body, mind and spirit connection. We medicate our symptoms but never delve deeper into what’s causing them.

The best way to start looking at your emotional issues is to check out either Louise Hay’s book “Heal Your Body” or Inna Segals book “The Secret Language of your Body”. These books list the emotional issues behind different symptoms and disease. We create the situations in our lives, and we need to heal them. Your body is a mirror of your inner thoughts and beliefs. You need to look at when your symptoms started. What was going on in your life when the symptom started because the symptoms are the outer effect of what was happening. Was there a death in the family, family or job issues, relationship issues, illness in the family, or money problems? How do you heal yourself? You start over and reassess everything in your life. How do you talk to yourself - is it positive or negative? Your body is your state of mind. Every time you open your mouth you talk about your health. Start hearing what you are saying. Things like “he is such a pain in my neck” or “that person makes my head ache”. Your body hears every word you say and then acts upon your thoughts and words. Your body doesn’t know if you are kidding or not serious. It just follows what you tell it.

One way to find out your core issue is to fill out a Bach Flower Essence questionnaire. Candace works with Bach Flower Essences and makes custom remedies for people from the answers on their questionnaire. The answers you give on this questionnaire help you to discover your core issue. Once you know your issue you can start to work on healing yourself. What YOU think is your issue is probably not your key issue.

Eliminate Stress

Yeah, like that’s easy! Of course, you have to slow down, unwind and allow space for healing. But what does this mean? We found some great information online at Conscious Lifestyle Magazine. For instance, how stress affects the body. You know when you are feeling stress, but how does it actually affect you? The sudden flood of adrenaline and other hormones causes changes in the body that include: increase in the heart rate and blood pressure, dilation of the pupils to take in as much light as possible, constriction of the veins to send more blood to major muscle groups, tensing of the muscles involved in running or fighting - that is that fight or flight instinct, increase in blood glucose to provide more energy, relaxation of the smooth muscles to allow more oxygen to the lungs, shutting down of the non-essential systems (like digestion and immune system) to allow more energy to the emergency functions. These are really interesting insights to how your body is affected by stress.

Our lifestyle definitely plays an enormous role. Dietary stress is common with our modern eating habits of eating fast foods, skipping meals, drinking excessive caffeine or alcohol, and eating refined sugars and flour. Environmental stressors? Well, we also don’t know how toxic our air and water may be for us. We have little to no idea how we are affected by electromagnetic pollution from our modern technology, such as TVs, computers, electric wires, cell phones, iPads, and the Smart Meters on our homes. How many of us make it a priority to spend time in nature to offset these lifestyle or environmental stressors?  Lifestyle - we have control of what we eat and how much we exercise, dance, listen to music, spend time with loved ones, and spend time in nature.  Nutrition - we can change our diet from the standard American processed diet to one that is more natural and nutritious. The healthiest diet is one of whole, fresh (unprocessed) foods, preferably organic. When we eat, we need to be relaxed. We certainly don’t need to be eating fast food on the run.

Stress is the sugar of the soul. It wrecks your health from the inside out.
— Dr. Will Cole

Instead of grabbing for prescriptions to manage your stress, have you thought about natural strategies and techniques for stress management? When you are stressed, what remedies do you reach for? Is it prescriptions which can have many side effects? Why not try some natural remedies including homeopathy? We talked about about homeopathy in a recent podcast but here are some of the specific remedies for stress. Ignatia is used for anxiety, Natrem Muriaticum for grief, or maybe Chamomilla for anxiety, especially with stomach symptoms and irritability.

You can also try herbs for preventing and treating stress. Dr. Bonnie McLean, who wrote the article for Conscious Lifestyle Magazine has some great information on herbs. Tonic herbs are considered super-nutrients. They improve physiological functioning and a sense of well-being and boost energy. Here are some herbs Dr. McLean uses for natural stress relief; these are usually found in capsule, tablet, powder, tea, and tincture form and they include ashwagandha, maca, chamomille, passiflor (passion flower), hops, and valerian. By the way, Candace has these herbs available at her store and she also does mail order.

A great go-to for stress relief and Tiffany’s first choice is aromatherapy and essential oils. Aromas stimulate our sense of smell. They are perceived through the olfactory nerve, located very near the limbic center of the brain, which is the hub for the body’s stress alarm system. We can use scents, such as essential oils for stress management. Some essential oils that are considered to be adaptogens (help the body/mind stay in balance and thus provide ways to reduce stress) are: Lavender—soothes and balances the body, Cedarwood—stimulates the limbic region of the brain, especially the pineal gland, which releases melatonin, Roman Chamomile—calms the central nervous system, Neroli—considered to strengthen and stabilize the emotions and encourage confidence and a sense of peace, Valerian—commonly used in sleep remedies. (The aroma is unpleasant, usually described as smelling like dirty feet.), Sandalwood—balances and stabilizes the mind and helps to release negative emotions, Orange—has an antidepressant effect, Jasmine—considered to have a relaxing as well as an antidepressant effect, Frankincense—considered a “spiritual oil” that has an antidepressant and anti-anxiety effect by stimulating parts of the limbic system, including the hypothalmus, pineal gland, and pituitary gland, Ylang ylang—considered a “spiritual” oil, believed to filter out negative energy and help with focus and confidence. Tiffany is a doTerra wellness advocate and she is happy to help you select the right essential oils.

Flower Essences - These remedies are natural and gentle. Prepared from the flowers of wild plants, bushes, or trees, they are prescribed according to one’s mood and state of mind. They are based on the theory that a mind in disharmony is the primary cause of disease and that it will hinder recovery from an illness. Emotions such as fear or worry can deplete an individual’s vitality, causing the body to lose its natural resistance to infection and disease. The original flower essences were created by Dr. Edward Bach, if you live outside the US, you may pronounce his name as Dr. “Batch”. Some great choices for stress management are:  Rescue Remedy—stress, trauma, shock, Star of Bethlehem—shock, Aspen—anxiety and fear, Rock Rose, Mimulus, Cherry Plum, and Red Chestnut—fear, Sweet chestnut—mental anguish, Mustard, Gentian, Gorse, and Wild Rose—depression. To summarize, dig deep to find the emotional cause of your stress and support yourself with natural remedies. Candace can really help you as she provides flower essence consultations that are life changing!

Let go of the drama

Let go of drama and people who are not healthy for you. There is so much drama in our world today. Drama in your family life, work life and then there is the constant drama that comes from all of our electronic media – TV, cell phone, reality shows and social media. You are surrounded by drama all the time and we have gotten used to it and many people are addicted to it. Candace hears people in her shop talk about the reality shows they watch, and they discuss with one another the drama that goes on in those shows. They don’t understand that the producers of those shows make sure there is lots of drama by having the situations partially or fully scripted. They don’t see that it isn’t real. Those shows would be very boring if they were depicting real life.

We need to release all drama in our lives whether real or fake. Drama isn’t healthy for you. It raises your anxiety and adrenaline levels. Add rest, relaxation, sometimes just sitting quietly, being okay not doing stuff every minute.  Stop – go out in nature, listen to music, talk to your family and friends, nuture your inner spiritual, add joy to life and have fun and laugh.

Drama is another aspect of your health issues. Contemplate living with less drama, less stuff, and less turmoil. It is time to release all the unnecessary stuff in your life, unhealthy attachments, negative emotions and negative people and toxic entertainment.

In the past, our family got caught up in a lot of drama and for us, reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz helped to eliminate the drama from our lives. Once we realized that we would not, should not, take anything personally, it was really easy to shift out of engaging in and perpetuating the drama.

Eat Well

We’ve talked about this for weeks on end. It’s really important to let go of food that is not healthy. If you are not nourishing yourself, you can feel the effects of fatigue, depression, digestion issues, fluctuation in blood sugar levels, brain function, stress on your heart, kidneys and liver, bloating and puffiness, high blood pressure, the list goes on and on. Don’t know where to start? Get Anthony William’s Liver Rescue book. So many health issues relate to the liver and it’s easy to start making changes to your food to help bring you back into balance. So EAT WELL!

Exercise that beautiful body and mind

You will feel better on all levels. Most people know that they should be exercising in some way, but they just don’t want to or don’t realize how important exercising is for their health. We are too sedentary. You need to move your body, your muscles, your arms, yours legs and feet. If you move your body, it works better on all levels. It really helps your digestion and elimination systems, your heart, your lungs and the entire body. We all know this, but most people aren’t doing it. No one is asking you to go run a marathon or something on that level (but if that’s your vision - we say GO FOR IT!). Just start by getting off the couch, put your phone down and start walking, join a yoga or aerobics class, dance or find a way that gets your body moving. And make sure that you exercise your mind by reading uplifting books.

I watched my mother and my mother-in-law stop moving as they aged. Neither of them had health issues but they allowed their body and especially their legs no exercise. They both ended up living a long time and had trouble walking and had to use a walker because they didn’t exercise. Their lives could have been so much richer and fuller if they could have gotten around better. I joined a gym 20 years ago and it was hard at first to make myself go and work out. Now it’s just part of my life and I feel so much better for it. I see people in the gym who are in their 80’s and 90’s still working out and enjoying more.
— Candace Liccione

Find an exercise that works for you. Yoga is Candace’s exercise of choice. She has been doing it for 20 years. It is so good on so many levels -- it lubricates your joints, it’s really great for balance as you strengthen all your muscles and you aren’t afraid of falling as you age, as it supports great flexibility. There are all kinds of yoga so you can find a kind that works with your body.

Walking is another great exercise. You can walk anywhere – on your street, at the mall or just around your yard. Walking is good for your body as well as your mind. Water aerobics is also wonderful exercise especially if you have body issues that don’t let you jump around. If you have bad knees, or hips or foot or ankle problems then water aerobics would be wonderful for those issues.

Be natural in your healing

We talked about this in step #2 for stress. For other disease - or as we call dis-ease or ill at ease, why not try natural remedies first before going to invasive measures. People have successfully been treating minor ailments like cuts, sniffles, dry skin, head aches, stuffiness, bloating, heartburn since the beginning of time, right? Grit.com has a great list of natural remedies.

Use eucalyptus to clear a stuffy nose - a few drops of eucalyptus oil in a humidifier or diffuser will help clear a stuffy nose. The minty essential oil helps loosen up mucus and reduce swelling.  Honey for a sore throat - a spoonful of raw honey will instantly help ease a sore throat. As an added bonus, it will also help quell coughing fits. Mix a tablespoon of honey with a squeeze of lemon in a warm cup of water for a soothing drink. Honey for minor scratches - honey is a natural antibiotic. Applying it to minor wounds can help prevent infection and help a wound heal faster. Basil for bug bites - did you know that  a bit of crushed basil on a mosquito bite will help relieve the itchiness. Plus, it smells much better than anything from a bottle. Apple cider vinegar for bloating, diabetes, and heartburn - organic apple cider vinegar has a host of benefits, from relieving bloating to preventing diabetes to helping those with heartburn.  Calm nausea with ginger - an upset stomach can be helped with ginger. Ginger can also help with sea-sickness. You can buy an all-natural tea with ginger, or keep a piece of fresh ginger in your fridge (or freezer to make it last longer), and then just shave off a few pieces to add to hot water. Steep for 5 to 15 minutes before drinking. Lessen heartburn with baking soda - a touch of baking soda in a glass of water will clear late-night heartburn up in no time. Just be sure not to use too much, or you’ll be burping instead!  Keep bugs away with peppermint - you don’t have to pile on a chemical bug spray to keep annoying pests away. Place a few drops of peppermint essential oil into witch hazel or water and spray when needed. Just make sure to avoid your eyes! Peppermint for headaches - in either tea or as an essential oil, peppermint is a great way to relieve a tension headache. The cooling effect can be very effective at giving you a bit of stress relief, too.  

Chamomile for Sleeplessness - chamomile is great for promoting relaxation and preparing you for sleep. A cup of chamomile tea is a great way to get ready for bed.  Baking soda for bee stings - Make a paste with baking soda and water, and rub it on the sting. The pain will stop instantly! Lavender for restless leg syndrome - do your legs and feet start to bug you at night? Rub a few drops of lavender essential oil on the areas of your legs that hurt (such as the ankle). Lavender is also known to help relieve anxiety, so it’s a great way to get your mind ready for a calm, restful sleep. Marshmallow root for irritation and sore throats - it has been been used for moer than 2,000 years to calm irritation and help with sore throats. It helps moisten and reduce swelling in mucus membranes throughout the body, and reduces irritation as a result. Green tea for the jitters - green tea is known to help relieve anxiety and lower blood sugar, especially when you drink it regularly. However, it does have caffeine in it, so if you are sensitive to caffeine, try drinking it before noon. Reduce a fever with linden flower tea - a cup of tea can help calm a low-grade fever and give everyone the rest they need. Remember, a fever is your body doing its work to fight off some type of infection. [Because we’re not in the medical field, we’re required to remind you to go to your doctor if the fever gets too high!] Tea Tree Oil for minor infections - for minor skin infections, try combining one drop tea tree essential oil (also known as Melaleuca) into five drops of coconut oil. Rub together and apply to infected spot twice a day. Here’s something new we learned from Grit.com - Thyme for snoring - while thyme has many antibacterial health benefits, a drop mixed with a few drops of coconut oil can be a quick remedy for someone who snores. Lightly rub some of the mixed oil to the bottom of your big toe before you go to bed. Or you can diffuse thyme in your bedroom a half-hour before you go to sleep. Turmeric, Willow Bark, or Cat’s Claw for arthritis - all are known for helping calm inflammation. Instead of taking aspirin, use one of these natural remedies to help arthritis. From this list, Tiffany’s daily wellness cabinet includes: honey, apple cider vinegar, ginger, peppermint, lavender, tea tree oil and turmeric.

No. 7: Know that you are here for a purpose.

Know that you are here for a purpose and discover your purpose and pursue it. We are all here for a reason. We have a purpose. Many people probably don’t even think they have a purpose. You need to be doing something for your spirit in your life. It can be joining a church, a group of people who like what you like to do, a group that helps others – children and animals. You need to feed your spirit.

REDUCE electronic dependence

This is so challenging but it’s important to start spending less time on the computer, phone and computer games. As Tiffany mentioned a few weeks ago, she made the commitment to herself to leave her phone outside the bedroom every night. Cell phones expose us to a form of electromagnetic radiation called radiofrequency (RF) energy. Scientists have suspected that this radiation might increase the risk of brain cell damage leading to tumors, and in 1995 they found this to be the case in rats. Most studies since then have failed to show a similar correlation in humans and last December the Danish Cancer Society released results from a 29-year study that found no solid association between increasing cell phone use and brain tumors.

Personally, I just don’t believe that there is not an association to RF energy being harmful to our body. About 35 years ago, I was subjected to RF poisoning when it was finally discovered that my office was right above the electrical room for the 6 story building I was managing. I know what it feels like to be sensitive to RF energy. Granted, I assume that our cellphones emit just a fraction of what I experienced but how long each day, that multiplies into each year, that multiplies into each decade are you spending on your electronics?
— Tiffany Windsor

We get it... our work requires us to be at the computer, use wifi, use cellphones but try to be aware of the choices to make to minimize exposure.  Use a headset or speakerphone - there is no reliable data that exists on the upper limit of safe talk time, but corded headsets can reduce potential risk. These emit much less RF energy, and allow you to move the phone away from your body. One study shows that using a headset lowers radiation exposure eightfold. Keep your phone out of your pocket - a study published in the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery linked cell phone radiation to decreased bone density in the pelvis, and a 2008 study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic found that it lowers fertility in men. Limit children's use - kids have a thinner skull, and their brains are still developing—which may make them more vulnerable to any potential harmful effects of RF radiation. Stop talking while driving - In addition to creating a potentially deadly distraction, using your phone in the car forces your cell signal to jump between wireless towers. Since RF is highest when a connection with a tower is first established, talking while traveling can increase exposure. We did not know that.  Don't chat with a poor signal. The harder your phone has to work to get reception, the more radiation it emits. We didn’t know that either. This is also the reason apparently you should avoid using so-called radiation shields (the shiny stickers that claim to block radiation); allegedly they actually force the phone to transmit at a higher power. Don't wear wireless headsets as if they were jewelry - earpieces don't emit as much radiation as a phone, but they release some—even after your call ends. Remove the device from your ear between conversations.

Gather with people of like mind

Gather with people of like mind. Express your creativity. Creativity is therapeutic. Join into something that is in-person. Too many people have social media as their main way of interacting with others. You need to gather in person with people who enjoy what you like. When you join in person you get a much deeper connection as you can read their body language, hear the emotion in their words, connect with them face-to-face. Creativity is really important for all of us. We all have a need to be creative in some way in our lives. Creativity is so therapeutic. Candace has creativity and wellness classes at her Wye River Designs shop and people come to spend many hours creating with her. She gets to know people in depth, and in conversation, they naturally share their issues and concerns. You would be amazed at the informal group therapy that goes on as people open up and discuss all kinds of issues. At her shop, they all help each other discussing whatever the group wants to talk about. The groups spend a lot of time educating each other on wellness as people are always discussing health issues and Candace and everyone in the discussion assists them in thinking about making better choices by sharing their own journeys to wellness.

Allow yourself to have fun and live with joy!

Joy is the answer for living a healthy, happy life. Jude Bijou at mindbodygreen.com describes joy as an emotion and emotions are wordless. They're pure physical sensations in our bodies. We express the emotion of joy in many physical ways. As Judy explains, for example, we jump for joy when we win a hard-fought competition, or we double over in uncontrollable laughter when someone relates a hilarious story. We squeal with delight after getting a surprise gift, and whoop and holler exuberantly when we hear fantastic news. We feel buoyant and jubilant on beautiful day. When we feel joy, we feel great about ourselves. We feel confident, powerful, capable, lovable and fulfilled. These are all good reasons to experience more joy

Undertake a challenging activity with a commitment to mastering it. Think of a project you've wanted to accomplish, whether it's creating a small flower garden in your yard, learning how to give your car a tuneup, or mastering the tango. The process of setting a goal, learning the necessary steps to achieve it, and giving it your best until you've mastered it will generate high self-esteem and pride. Those are feelings associated with joy. Actively seek joy through inspiration. Engage in an activity that's pleasurable and feels like play.

Jude also suggests that you deal with the sadness that blocks joy. When we feel sad, it isn't possible to also feel bubbly and exhilarated. In a place that feels safe and private, constructively express your sadness by allowing yourself to cry. While crying, acknowledge your hurts and losses. Don't indulge any negative thoughts about yourself. Just keep telling yourself, "I'm fine. It's okay to cry. I just feel sad." You'll immediately feel washed clean — even joyful. Honor yourself consciously and frequently. Give yourself a break from the day-to-day world. Nurture yourself. Set up a time, just for you, when you can disconnect from daily responsibilities and get away from the noise, stimulation, and demands of your world.

Joy comes easily when we focus on our own needs in a caring and loving way. Get a massage. Close the door, put your feet up, and watch the world outside your window. Take a nap. These kinds of activities replenish us and give our body and soul a chance to feel pure joy. Remind yourself: My job is to take care of myself.  Say the word often and contemplate its meaning. Notice how your body feels when you say the word JOY! Think about what joy means to you. Be as specific as possible, imagining the feeling of joy, the images it conjures up, perhaps even the people and situations who trigger joy. Sign off your emails with the word joy. Paint the word on a smooth rock and keep it on your desk. More joy will rise up if you simply invite it to do so.

Also at the mindbodygreen.com article, there is a quick self-quiz that we found really interesting! You’ll find that link on our blog post.

Here’s to your wellness!


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Newsworthy: Week of 3/10/19

The Curious Magic of Eating Healthy

Photo by  Nadine Primeau  on  Unsplash

by Candace Liccione

We are unimpressed with the curious magic of eating plants, leaves, roots, fish and chicken that is then converted into our skin, teeth, arms, legs, ears, etc. We don’t notice that our bodies are true alchemists that use the input of food to run and maintain our bodies. By understanding that you are affecting your health and your symptoms by what you do or do not eat, you might make wiser choices. There are no side effects when your body heals itself from the inside out. -Author unknown

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Natural Alternatives to Western Medicine



by Candace Liccione and Tiffany Windsor

So many people have turned their healthcare over to western medicine and have little or no knowledge that there are alternative choices that have been around for thousands of years. If you’re dissatisfied with the choices that have been presented to you through western medicine, you might find these other natural healing choices very interesting.  This list is not meant to be comprehensive in any way but rather a list of alternative choices that we have tried over the past 30+ years.

Herbs

Herbs have been used for thousands of years and only fell out of popularity with the introduction of pharmaceuticals in the last 50-70 years. Herbs are the basis of Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic medicine and herbalism today.  Herbs are natural, full of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals needed for good health. Herbs are medicine and very good medicine, very safe medicine without side effects. We became so used to a magic pill that worked fast and you didn’t have to make any life style changes. Modern pharmaceuticals have their origins in herbal medicine and to this day some drugs are still extracted as fractionate/isolate compounds.  The pharmaceutical today have many side effects and some aren’t even effective anymore. As we realize this, we have turned back to herbal medicines. They say there is an herb growing somewhere on earth for every disease.

Aromatherapy

Another alternative choice is aromatherapy. Plant extracts have been used for thousands of years for their exquisite aromas and natural healing benefits. By harnessing their therapeutic properties, aromatherapy works to improve our physical, mental and emotional well being. Inhaling the aromas from essential oils can stimulate areas of your limbic system, which is a part of your brain that plays a role in emotions, behaviors, sense of smell and long-term memory. Interestingly, the limbic system is heavily involved in forming memories. This can partly explain why familiar smells can trigger memories or emotions.The limbic system also plays a role in controlling some unconscious physiological functions, such as breathing, heart rate and blood pressure. Some people claim that essential oils can exert a physical effect on your body in this way. I [Tiffany] am a doTerra wellness advocate and I can tell you, essential oils have changed my life and many of my customers. What’s really exciting is that doTERRA announced a new integrative healthcare model which will provide invaluable real-world data and expand the possibilities for scientific research, as well as opportunities to publish and share this information on a larger scale. Through their new clinics,  healthcare professionals will be on the front-line of the most cutting edge essential oil research, helping to develop evidence-based clinical and personal usage models.

So, have you ever enjoyed the scent of a rose, well...you’ve experienced the aromatic qualities of essential oils. These naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They can be both beautifully and powerfully fragrant. Essential oils give plants their distinctive smells and essential oils protect plants and play a role in plant pollination. In addition to their intrinsic benefits to plants and their beautiful fragrance, essential oils have long been used for food preparation, beauty treatment, and health-care practices.

But what exactly is a volatile aromatic compound? In short, these compounds are small organic molecules that tend to change quickly from their solid or liquid state to a gas at room temperature. They are called volatile because they change state quickly. When you first open a bottle of essential oil, you instantly notice that the aroma is potent and you can smell it typically even from some distance. The physical and chemical properties of the VAC’s that compose essential oils allow them to quickly move through the air and directly interact with the olfactory sensors in your nose. Such unique properties make essential oils ideal for aromatherapy – using these compounds from plants to help maintain a healthy mind and body – as well as other applications. The type of VAC compounds present in an essential oil determines both the oil’s aroma and the benefits it offers. There is a complete science to how essential oils work with our bodies based on their chemical composition. Over 3,000 varieties of volatile aromatic compounds have been identified to date. The nature of an essential oil varies from plant to plant, within botanical families, and from species to species. The delicate ratio of aromatic constituents found in any given essential oil are what make it unique and give it specific benefits. Esssential oils can be used for a wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications. They can be used as single essential oils or in complex essential oil blends depending on user experience and desired benefit. They can be mixed with carrier oils such as coconut oil to apply to the body and they can be used in a diffuser.

Chinese Medicine - Acupuncture 

Chinese medicine is a complete system of medicine that combines the use of acupuncture, Chinese herbs, acupressure and massage. Health is thought to depend on the balanced flow of energy or qi through the body. Acupuncture is a component of traditional Chinese medicine that originated in China over 5,000 years ago. It is based on the belief that living beings have a vital energy, called “qi” that circulates through 12 invisible energy lines known as meridians on the body. Each meridian is associated with a different organ system. An imbalance in the flow of qi throughout a meridian is how disease begins. Acupuncturists insert needles into specified points along meridian lines to influence and restore balance to the flow of qi. There are over 1,000 acupuncture points on the body. Acupuncture stimulates the release of pain reducing endorphins. Acupuncture influences the release of neurotransmitters, substances that transmit nerve impulses to the brain. Acupuncture influences the autonomic nervous system, acupuncture stimulates circulation. Acupuncture influences the electrical currents of the body.

Conditions treated by acupuncture include migraines, tension headache, sinusitis, common cold, addictions, quitting smoking, trigeminal neuralgia, Meniere’s disease, sciatica, arthritis, menstrual cramps, fibromyalgia, low back pain, asthma, weight loss, infertility.

Homeopathy

Homeopathy is based on the theory that if large doses of a substance cause symptoms of illness in a healthy person, very small doses of the same substance can treat the symptoms by stimulating the body’s self-healing abilities. Homeopathic remedies are typically small vials of tiny white pellets that are usually made from plant, animal or mineral extracts. The original extract is diluted many times using a method called potentization until there are few molecules of the original substance in the remedy. In homeopathy the more a substance has been diluted, the more potent it is thought to be. Homeopathy is considered to be a safe, gentle, and natural system of healing that works with your body to relieve symptoms, restore itself, and improve your overall health. It is considered extremely safe to use, even with very small children and pets, has none of the side effects of many traditional medications, is very affordable, is made from natural substances, and is FDA regulated. It can be used to treat acute illnesses like colds, ear infections, migraines, and sore throats as well as chronic conditions such as asthma, depression, autism and arthritis. Although homeopathic remedies are derived from natural substances, homeopathy should not be confused with herbal medicine, Chinese medicine, or other types of natural medicines. It is its own, unique therapeutic system. So what is homeopathy’s history? The Law of Similars has been documented since at least the time of Hippocrates (ca. 400 B.C.), but it is Samuel Hahnemann who lived from 1755-1843, who was a German doctor and chemist, who is credited with founding homeopathy. He discovered the truth of the Law of Similars by testing small doses of medicine on himself. By 1900, about twenty percent of doctors in the United States were homeopaths, but due to various political and social changes, homeopathy became relatively unknown in the US until recently. There is wider acceptance of homeopathy in such countries as France, Germany, Mexico, Argentina, India and Great Britain. In fact, the family doctor to England's Queen Elizabeth is a homeopathic physician. In fact, the World Health Organization estimate that it is currently practiced by over 500 million people worldwide. My [Tiffany] first introduction into homeopathy was when I was going to have some minor surgery over 25 years ago and my doctor recommended Arnica. I had never heard of it and it worked beautifully to minimize my bruising. I also used it in conjunction with a recent emergency tooth extraction and I had no pain or bruising. By the way, I also used Frankincense essential oil and the dentist was amazed at how fast I healed.

Bach Flower Essences

Bach flower Essences were developed by Dr. Edward Bach, a physician who felt that his patients weren’t getting better with conventional medicine and he felt that he should treat the person not the disease. His understanding was that disease resulted from inner disharmony, negative beliefs and feelings that manifested on the physical level.  The 38 Bach flower essences create a therapeutic connection between the material and the spiritual domains of life, helping us access the inner guidance needed to navigate through a crisis. Bach flower essences work on emotional issues and are based on the principles of homeopathy. Most people are familiar with Bach Rescue Remedy which is a remedy used if you are experiencing a crisis or having an issue that upsets you, a car accident, illness, you have a bad dream, trouble at work and many more of the small and large crisis’s in life. You can fill out a Bach flower essence questionnaire and have a custom remedy made from the information obtained from the questionnaire. I do Bach Flower custom remedies and consultations at my shop. Tiffany and I have used Bach remedies for many, many years and found them to be so helpful when we have health issues. I always have Rescue Remedy nearby for when I need it.   We were raised by a Mother who believed in the power of positive thinking and when we were sick, she always asked us what our bad thought was. So, we learned as children to check in with our emotions to see where our thinking was off and to deal with the emotions in our lives to heal our illness.

Ayurvedic Medicine

Ayurvedic medicine or Ayurveda for short is one of the world's oldest holistic “whole-body” healing systems. It was developed more than 3,000 years ago in India. It’s based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Its main goal is to promote good health, not fight disease. But treatments may be geared toward specific health problems. In the United States, it’s considered a form of complementary and alternative medicine. Those who practice Ayurveda believe every person is made of five basic elements found in the universe: space, air, fire, water, and earth. These combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called doshas. They control how your body works.

The vata dosha is a combination of space and air. It controls movement and is responsible for basic body processes such as breathing, cell division and circulation. Vata body areas are the large intestine, pelvis, bones, skin, ears and thighs. People with vata as their main dosha are believed to be quick thinking, thin and fast and are susceptible to anxiety, dry skin and constipation.

The pitta dosha combines fire and water. It is thought to control hormones and the digestive system. Pitta body areas are the small intestines, stomach, sweat glands, skin, blood and eyes. People with pitta as their primary dosha are thought to have a fiery personality, oily skin and are susceptible to heart disease, stomach ulcers, inflammation, heartburn and arthritis.

The kapha (“koffa”) dosha represents the elements of water and earth. Kapha is believed to be responsible for strength, immunity and growth. Kapha body areas are the chest, lungs, and spinal fluid. People with kapha as their main dosha are thought to be calm, have a solid body frame and are susceptible to diabetes, obesity, sinus congestion and gallbladder problems.

It is believed through Ayurveda that everyone inherits a unique mix of the three doshas. But one is usually stronger than the others. Each one controls a different body function. It’s believed that your chances of getting sick -- and the health issues you develop -- are linked to the balance of your doshas. In Ayurveda, as I’ve explained, doshas account for some of our individual differences.

An imbalanced dosha is believed to interrupt the natural flow of prana or vital energy. The disrupted energy flow is then thought to impair digestion and allow the buildup of body waste which further impairs energy and digestion. An Ayurvedic practitioner will create a treatment plan specifically designed for you. They’ll take into account your unique physical and emotional makeup, your primary life force, and the balance between all three of these elements.

The goal of treatment is to cleanse your body of undigested food, which can stay in your body and lead to illness. The cleansing process—called “pancha-karma”— is designed to reduce your symptoms and restore harmony and balance. To achieve this, an Ayurvedic practitioner might rely on blood purification, massage, oils, herbs, and enemas or laxatives. When my [Tiffany] body has felt really unbalanced in the past, I have worked with some wonderful ayurveda practitioners to help get me back on track.

Muscle Testing

Muscle testing is based on the theory that muscles and organs are connected by blood vessels or energetically, and that weakness in certain muscles is a sign of illness or imbalance in the corresponding organ or body system.  Applied muscle testing is also used to detect sensitivities or intolerance to food and other substances. Muscle testing is done by asking a person to resist the pressure they apply against a limb. The substance being tested can be placed on the person tongue if it is food or skin or is placed in a container and held against the person’s body. Changes in muscle strength with and without the substance are noted and muscle weakness is a sign that the person has a sensitivity to that substance. (Aura Soma)

Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic doctors are commonly referred to as general practitioners of the complementary and alternative health care world. Did you know that a minimum of 7 years post-secondary education is required to become a naturopathic doctor? Most NDs first complete a four year Bachelors degree in the arts or sciences, and then the required four-years at an accredited naturopathic medical college. Students must then pass comprehensive licensing exams in order to be registered to practice.They are trained in herbal medicine, acupuncture, clinical nutrition, dietary supplements, homeopathy, hydrotherapy and physical examination, Lab test or other diagnostic tests. They are also concerned with diet, Lifestyle and environment and mind, body and spirit. Naturopathic medicine is based on the following principles – the healing power of nature, the belief that the body has the ability to heal itself. They believe in educating their patient. Naturopathic doctors believe in no harm, they treat the causes of disease not the symptoms. Each person’s treatment is individualized in that takes into consideration all the presenting symptoms and causative factors and the belief that prevention is the best medicine for good health. When I first made the switch from western medicine back in 1999, I visited several naturopathic doctors and loved how they take body, mind and spirit into consideration for recommending their treatments.

Reflexology

Reflexology is a form of body work that focuses primarily on the feet. The underlying theory behind reflexology is there are “reflex” areas on the feet and hands that correspond to specific organs, glands, and other parts of the body. For example: the tips of the toes reflect the head, the heart and chest are around the ball of the foot, the liver, pancreas and kidney are in the arch of the foot, low back and intestines are towards the heel. It is believed that certain areas on the feet and hand are linked to other areas and organs of the body. Practitioners believe that applying pressure to these reflex areas can promote health in the corresponding organ through energetic pathways.  Reflexology is used to relieve stress, stress-related conditions, tension headaches, reduces pain, soothes tired feet, insomnia, arthritis, hormonal imbalances, sports injuries, menstrual disorders, digestive problems, constipation, and back pain. [Note from Tiffany: One of the best bodywork sessions that I have ever had was when I was on a juice retreat in New Mexico and I laid back in a zero gravity chair and had a reflexology session. By just working on the meridians in my feet, she was able to move so many blocks and it was soooo healing!]

Reiki

Reiki is a spiritual healing art with its roots in Japanese origin. The word Reiki comes from the Japanese word (Rei) which means “Universal Life” and (Ki) or “chi”  which means “Energy”. Reiki is not affiliated with any particular religion or religious practice. It is not massage nor is it based on belief or suggestion. It is a subtle and effective form of energy work using spiritually guided life force energy. Reiki is the life energy that flows through all living things. Reiki Practitioners understand that everyone has the ability to connect with their own healing energy and use it to strengthen energy in themselves and help others. It is believed that a person’s “chi” or energy should be strong and free flowing. When this is true, a person’s body and mind is in a positive state of health. When the energy becomes weak or blocked it could lead to symptoms of physical or emotional imbalance. A Reiki session can help ease tension and stress and can help support the body to facilitate an environment for healing on all levels – physical, mental, and emotional. A session is pleasant and relaxing and is often utilized for one’s personal wellness. Reiki is believed to have been associated with Mikao Usui who is credited with rediscovering the root system now called Reiki. His tradition and methods were passed through several grandmasters of Reiki. Today, Reiki takes many forms, however, The Usui System of Natural Healing is still the form most widely practiced. Practitioners and Master Teachers are trained through an initiation process where Masters pass on their knowledge and expertise to their students.

Reiki sessions usually involve the person lying down, and the reiki practitioner places his or her hands on or above various parts of the body. The practitioner channels life force energy to the person to replenish and rebalance areas of the body that are depleted. Reiki is used for a variety of health issues such as chronic pain, stress, recovery from surgery, side effects of chemotherapy or radiation for cancer, improving immunity and a sense of well-being. I personally became really interested in Reiki over 30 years ago when Candace first introduced me and over a course of 3 years, I became attuned to what is called the Master level and I started a Reiki group who volunteered at local clinics. I have to tell you that when I started, Reiki was definitely not as widely accepted as it is today. I was so excited to see when it became more accepted into mainstream alternative healing and many nurses now bring it to their patients. What I love about Reiki is that you can give it to yourself and you can feel the warmth of the healing energy radiating through your hands.

Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry syrup is very popular recently. Elderberry syrup is used for colds and upper respiratory symptoms by reducing mucous secretions, may fight swelling of respiratory passage, soothes coughs, boosts immunity, for flu symptoms, is a source of Vitamin A and C, bioflavonoids, decrease length and severity of the flu symptoms like fever, chills, sore throat, muscle aches and fatigue. A study shows the patients given elderberry syrup recovered an average of 4 days faster from the flu. Here is a recipe to make your own elderberry syrup or you can buy a bottle of elderberry syrup from your local health food store.

This recipe comes the Mountain Rose Herb website.

2 cups dried elderberries

4 cups distilled water

2-3 teaspoons organic dried ginger root

1 organic cinnamon stick

1 cup raw local honey (or maple syrup. You can double the sweetener to increase shelf life)

1 cup vodka or brandy (this is totally optional – it is used to extend shelf life. If you don’t use alcohol it is best to store syrup in refrigerator. Do not add honey to this recipe if it will be given to a child under one year old. Use maple syrup to replace the honey.

Combine berries and herbs (not the honey) in cold water in a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow herb to simmer 30-40 minutes. Remove from heat and steep one hour. Strain berries and herbs using a funnel under laid with doubled cheese cloth or undyed muslin bag and squeeze out liquid and discard herbs. Once cooled to just above room temp add the honey or maple syrup and stir. Add alcohol if you wish at this point and stir. Bottle in sterilized bottle.

Disclaimer

Please note that HealingLifeWisdom does NOT provide any medical advice and all content provided is for informational purposes only; this website is in no way a substitute for medical advice from a licensed professional.

The information provided here should in no way, shape or form take the place of medical advice; always seek medical advice from a chosen professional concerning your health prior to making any changes in your diet, lifestyle, supplementation or other similar habits, and from any secondary resources or links found on this site.

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Middle of the Night Wake Up Calls

Photo by  Alexandra Gorn  on  Unsplash

by Candace Liccione

I have a lot of people come into my store who have sleep issues. There are so many reasons for insomnia that it can be difficult to find what works for each person’s issues with sleep. So many don’t want to discuss why they don’t sleep - they don’t want to delve deep into reasons for their sleeplessness. Some people can’t shut off their brains, some people worry, some people eat improperly and take medications with side effects that hamper good sleep. The reasons go on and on. Most people just take a pill so they don’t have to figure out what is wrong in their lives that can be fixed and help them to sleep better.

Sleep deprivation, which is less than 6 or 7 hours of sleep, can be harmful. Not getting enough sleep can lead to health issues, impaired driving and work performance. Excessive sleep can also be a sign of health issues or depression issues.

Do any of these ring true for you?

Waking up at 3 - 4 am: your liver goes to sleep at night and wakes up at 3-4 am and starts its detox phase and continues detoxing until you ingest food that causes your liver to have to start producing bile.

Pee: if you wake up 4 or more times a night, your balance of water and electrolytes may be off. 30 minutes before bed, drink a small glass of water with a pinch of unprocessed sea salt.

Hot room: 60-65 degrees is best for most people to sleep comfortably. A warm bath also raises your temperature but when you exit the tub you have a slight drop in temp that signals your brain to go into sleep mode.

Menopause: can cause hormonal changes that contribute to depression and disrupts sleep.

Social media: exposing your eyes to light during the evening stops the body from making melatonin. Dim the lights and no social media one hour before bed.

Age: as we age, many people shift their sleep patterns. Your body clock shifts with age and you can take longer to fall asleep, wake up more often and then to linger in the deepest phases of sleep for less time.  And at age 60 you could be waking up 2 hours earlier than you did in your 30’s. Going to bed earlier is a good solution.

Alcohol: alcohol produces a form of sleep that can prevent the healthy REM (rapid eye movement) that you need for good sleep. Quit drinking a few hours before bedtime.

Breathing issues: stuffy nose, allergies, cold – cause sleep disruption

Sleep apnea: causes sleep issues  - in sleep apnea the airway become so narrow during sleep that is completely closes off. Your brain then wakes you up and in severe cases of sleep apnea you can wake up 60 times in an hour.

Thyroid issues: overactive or underactive thyroid hormonal imbalances. Overactive can cause heart racing, adrenaline surges, insomnia, anxiety and underactive which is common after age 50 can cause some people (35%) to be more likely to have sleep apnea.

Stress: activates parts of your brain associated with attention and arousal and can cause stress related insomnia

Acid reflux: wakes you up - try smaller meals, no late-night eating, lose weight, try aloe vera juice.

Excess belly fat: triggers higher levels of inflammation that disrupts neurological pathways that control sleep and it is also harder for you to breathe when you lie down.

Being a caregiver: tough on your mental health. Try a soothing cup of chamomile tea to calm and soothe.

Vitamin D deficiency: estimated 40% of people have a vitamin D deficiency. 12% of people with low levels of vitamin D sleep less than 5 hours and 57% were awake for 90 minutes or more in the middle of the night.

Positive attitude: a less than positive attitude interferes with sleep. Sleep isn’t a luxury but a necessity.

Sleep medications: More than 1 in 3 American adults according to the CDC don’t get enough sleep. When you can’t sleep most people try sleep medications but there are drawbacks with all of them whether prescription pills, over the counter products or herbal supplements.  There are 2 ways to treat insomnia – cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) or medication. It is believed that CBT works better than medication for most people. Remember that there are many reasons why people don’t sleep well and depression, sleep apnea and emotional issues can also contribute to sleeplessness.

In a study in 2014 benzodiazepine (tranquilizers) prescription rates and long-term use was highest in people over age 65 and older people are at higher risk for falling and cognitive impairment. There is some evidence associating benzodiazepine use with dementia.

It is estimated that 30.6 million American adults use benzodiazepines. 25.3 million use them as prescribed (in addition to insomnia, the drugs are used for anxiety, seizures and panic attacks. And 5.3 million are misusing the medication – i.e. getting the pills from someone else.

Z drugs – Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata don’t contain benzodiazepines but have the same effect. These drugs are considered safer but can have side effects.

Over the counter drugs like Unisom, ZZZQuil and Tylenol PM contain an antihistamine called diphenhydramine, but little research has been done on this antihistamine for helping insomnia and it does have side effects like morning grogginess and dry mouth. Diphenhydramine is deemed inappropriate for over 65 as it can trigger cognitive impairments, dizziness and falls and is not good for your liver or kidneys.

The frightening thing is that some people even grab for meds that aren’t designed specifically for aiding in sleep. For instance, people who take an antihistamine such as Benadryl (for cold or allergies), drowsiness is often a welcome side effect. But a Baylor College of Medicine sleep expert cautions against turning to this type of medication as a sleep aid. Antihistamines have side effects that include altered mental state, urinary retention and dry mouth. While these side effects are generally mild and well tolerated in young patients without other medical problems, they can pose a risk, especially for the elderly.

Tylenol PM contains two medications—the pain reliever acetaminophen and an antihistamine (diphenhydramine) to help with insomnia. High doses of acetaminophen can cause liver damage and the risk increases if you consume alcohol.

Herbal supplements: supplements like melatonin or valerian are helpful for some people but you must be careful of the quality and quantity as they vary. Herbal sleep herbs work for some people depending on what the cause of their insomnia is.

Essential oils: Lavender is definitely the essential oil of choice when it comes to relaxation and rest. Place a few drops into a nice warm bath or use a diffuser in your room.

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Love Your Body

by Candace Liccione

We wage war against our bodies. We like parts of our bodies and hate other parts. We use toxic products to change our appearance, shape it into unnatural shapes, eat too much or too little, choose foods that are hostile to our body. We over medicate, fear germs and don’t trust our body’s resilience and support.

Our life force leaves us in increments every time we oppose life or try to control external circumstances.

Our body withers when we harbor negative thoughts and feelings and flourishes with love, praise and gratitude. -Author unknown

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A scent-filled life

Pink Flower

by Tiffany Windsor

Click to listen to Tiffany’s podcast on BlogTalkRadio.

My mother was a gardening enthusiast. My childhood was spent half the time working at my Momma's business and half the time in the garden with her. It was a weekend ritual to weed, rake leaves and plant as Momma would talk about the various plants. Her favorite plant was a tree rose. At every home we lived in growing up, she would line the front walk-way with tree roses.

As a child, I really didn't want to be spending time in the garden. I would rather be playing. As an adult, I treasure those memories. The dirt on my hands, the smell of the warm summer sun rays beating down on the greenery and flowering plants. The smells. Oh, the scents of the garden. As a child, my mind would become intoxicated with the smell of roses. No wonder rose essential oil is one of the most precious oils in the world!

Little did I know that my childhood gardening would grow into a lifelong love for tending to my own gardens and would culminate in my passion for essential oils. I have chosen doTERRA as my essential oil of choice for many reasons. But first, for those of you who don't know anything about essential oils, there is a science to the distillation but it is also an art. Distillers not only rely on years of experience, they also employ modern technologies and techniques. 

The most common method of extracting essential oils is a low-heat steam distillation process. In this process, pressurized steam is circulated through plant material. The essential oils are liberated from the plant and carried away by the steam. When the steam cools, the water and oils naturally separate and the oil is collected. To ensure the highest quality oil extract with the correct chemical composition, the temperature and pressure must be closely monitored. Too little heat or pressure and the oil will not release; too much, and the oil’s composition and potency will be affected. 

Steam Distillation

Steam distillation is the most common way to extract aromatic compounds (essential oil) from a plant. During the steam distillation process, steam passes through the plant material. The combination of heated steam and gentle pressure causes the essential oil to be released from microscopic protective sacs. As the vapor mixture flows through a condenser and cools, it yields a layer of oil and a layer of water. The essential oil rises to the top and is separated from the hydrosol (floral water) and collected.

Some have asked about the difference between first distillations in comparison to complete distillations. The temperature for steam distilling is usually between 140–212 degrees Fahrenheit. Since different plants require different pressures, times, and temperatures, using this particular distillation method makes it possible to adjust the temperature based on the plant type, making it a very effective and precise way to obtain the purest compounds.

Expression

Unlike steam distillation, expression, sometimes referred to as “cold pressed,” does not involve heat. In this process, oil is extracted from the product under mechanical pressure. doTERRA uses expression to extract all of its citrus oils, such as Wild Orange, Lemon, Lime, Bergamot, and Grapefruit, from the rind.

Proper distillation requires a consideration for the uniqueness of pressure, temperature, time, and harvesting practices, each of which may be as diverse as the plants themselves. A poor distillation process can alter or destroy the necessary aromatic compounds that comprise the essential oil, leaving a substance far different from the intended goal and something that would not be used to support health and wellness. For this reason, the best distillation artisans dedicate their efforts and work to only a few select plants. This focused effort develops proper knowledge and experience, helping ensure congruency between the oil chemistry of the plant and its distilled form.

Source: https://www.doterra.com/US/en/why-doterra

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Listen to Tiffany talk about this blog post on Healing Life Wisdom Podcast - click to listen on-demand.

Fluoride. Why.. oh.. why? Oh.. my!!

Photo by  rawpixel  on  Unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

by Tiffany Windsor

Click to listen to Tiffany and Candace discuss Fluoride on BlogTalkRadio podcast

When you research fluoride you will definitely find articles on both sides of the spectrum. One telling you that fluoride is completely safe and the other explaining why it is poison.

In researching, I found information that indicated in the US, about 70 - 75% of the public water supplies are fluoridated.  Since 1945, it has been widely accepted in the US that fluoride is safe and effective to prevent tooth decay, but many health experts and scientists disagree.

The first American commercial use of fluoride, in the form of sodium fluoride, was to kill insects, lice, mice and other vermin and it was quite effective. At that time, the largest producer of fluoride was releasing vapors into the atmosphere that turned out to cripple or kill farm animals and scorch crops and other vegetation. By the 1950’s and 60’s when that practice of releasing fluoride vapors in the air was reined in fluoride had been added to the US drinking water. Does that mean those toxic vapors were reduced to toxic powder? I don’t know! In January 1945, Grand Rapids Michigan became the first city to add fluoride to its community water source, under the guise of preventing tooth decay. If you want to read more specifics you can read many articles at mercola.com.

As you read other on-line articles there is some really interesting info that I found on fluoridealert.org.

#1. FLUORIDATED COUNTRIES DO NOT HAVE LESS TOOTH DECAY THAN NON-FLUORIDATED COUNTRIES

It is often claimed that fluoridated water is the main reason the United States has had a large decline in tooth decay over the past 60 years. This same decline in tooth decay, however, has occurred in all developed countries, most of which have never added any fluoride to their water. According to data from the World Health Organization, there is no discernible difference in tooth decay between the minority of developed countries that fluoridate water, and the majority that do not.

#2 FLUORIDE IS THE ONLY MEDICINE ADDED TO PUBLIC WATER (except for the pharmaceuticals that are now present in our recycled water systems.)

Fluoride is the only chemical added to water that doesn’t actually treat the water. Chlorine, for example, is added to kill bacteria so that we can drink the water without getting sick. Fluoride, by contrast, is added to prevent a disease (tooth decay) that is not caused by drinking water.

#3 SWALLOWING FLUORIDE PROVIDES LITTLE BENEFIT TO TEETH

When water fluoridation first began back in the 1940s, the medical profession believed fluoride needed to be ingested to be most effective in preventing cavities. This was why fluoride was added to water and pills—because these are things that people swallow.

Today, however, it is now widely recognized that fluoride’s main benefit does not actually come from ingestion, it comes from fluoride’s topical contact with teeth—a fact that even the CDC has now acknowledged. So, not only does fluoridation add a medicine to water, it adds a medicine that does not actually need to be swallowed.

#4 FLUORIDE IS NOT AN ESSENTIAL NUTRIENT. No disease, not even tooth decay, is caused by a “fluoride deficiency. Not a single biological process has been shown to require fluoride. On the contrary there is extensive evidence that fluoride can interfere with many important biological processes. For instance, I read that fluoride interferes with numerous enzymes. In combination with aluminum, fluoride interferes with G-proteins. Such interactions give aluminum-fluoride complexes the potential to interfere with signals from growth factors, hormones and neurotransmitters.. More and more studies indicate that fluoride can interfere with biochemistry in fundamental ways. Again, more details can be found at fluoridealert.org.

#5 FLUORIDE ACCUMULATES IN THE BODY. Healthy adult kidneys excrete 50 to 60% of the fluoride ingested each day. The remainder accumulates in the body, largely in calcifying tissues such as the bones and pineal gland. Infants and children excrete less fluoride from their kidneys and take up to 80% of ingested fluoride into their bones. The fluoride concentration in bone steadily increases over a lifetime (NRC 2006).

#6 SWALLOWING FLUORIDE PROVIDES NO (OR VERY LITTLE) BENEFIT. ANY BENEFIT IS TOPICAL NOT SYSTEMIC. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has now acknowledged that the mechanism of fluoride’s benefits are mainly topical, not systemic. There is no need whatsoever, therefore, to swallow fluoride to protect teeth. Since the purported benefit of fluoride is topical, and the risks are systemic, it makes more sense to deliver the fluoride directly to the tooth in the form of toothpaste. Since swallowing fluoride is unnecessary, and potentially dangerous, there is no justification for forcing people (against their will) to ingest fluoride through their water supply.

I have chosen to reduce my intake of fluoride by using filters that remove fluoride from my tap water (along with other chemicals and over abundance of metals and I choose to be alert to the products which have fluoride.) I found a list of the Top Ten Ways to Reduce Fluoride Exposure at fluoridealert.org so be sure to go there to read all the details but here are some important things to know about where fluoride can be found:

  • Dental Products: Many dental products now contain fluoride, including over 95% of toothpaste. If your kids are consuming fluoride in their water and swallow toothpaste, how much fluoride are they ingesting?

  • Processsed Beverages & Foods: Even if you don’t live in a community that adds fluoride to its water supply, you will still be exposed to fluoridated drinking water. This is because once fluoride is added en masse to water it winds in almost all processed beverages and foods.

  • Pesticides: Due its toxicity, fluoride is used in some pesticides to kill insects and other pests. As a result of fluoride pesticide use, some food products–particularly grape products, dried fruit, dried beans, cocoa powder, and walnuts–have high levels of fluoride.

  • Tea Drinks: Tea plants absorb fluoride from the soil. As a result, tea leaves–particularly old tea leaves–contain high levels of fluoride.

  • Fluorinated Pharmaceuticals: Many pharmaceuticals are fluorinated, meaning they contain a carbon-fluorine bond. Although the carbon-fluoride bond in most drugs is strong enough to resist breaking down into fluoride within the body, this is not always the case as research has found that some fluorinated drugs, including cipro, do break down into fluoride and can thus be a major source of fluoride exposure for some individuals.

  • Mechanically Deboned Meat: Foods made with mechanically separated meat (e.g., chicken fingers, nuggets, etc), contain elevated levels of fluoride due to the contamination from bone particles that occurs during the mechanical deboning processed.

  • Teflon Pans: Cooking food, or boiling water, in teflon pans may increase the fluoride content of food. In one study, it was found that boiling water in a teflon pan for just 15 minutes added an additional 2 ppm of fluoride to the water.

As a final note, citizen of many cities have been successful in educating their local lawmakers to halt fluoride being added to their local water.

We invite you to listen to the entire podcast discussion by clicking here.

Disclaimer

Please note that HealingLifeWisdom does NOT provide any medical advice and all content provided is for informational purposes only; this website is in no way a substitute for medical advice from a licensed professional.

The information provided here should in no way, shape or form take the place of medical advice; always seek medical advice from a chosen professional concerning your health prior to making any changes in your diet, lifestyle, supplementation or other similar habits, and from any secondary resources or links found on this site.

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