How To Make Your Own Vicks Vapor Shower Disks

 

essential oils

If you are like most people around this time of year, your nose might feel congested and a cold or flu could be coming on.

We recently came across the Vicks Vapor shower disks and discovered that these things really work! However, we were a bit concerned about a couple of the ingredients in there and thought how great it would be if we could make our own 100% natural versions.

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Well, we discovered that there is a natural alternative to making your own shower disks and here is what you need to do:

Ingredients

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Directions

Step 1 – Add 3 cups of baking soda to a mixing bowl

Step 2 – Very slowly stir in some water so that it creates a thick paste (you do not want it thin).

Step 3 – Add 15 drops of the eucalyptus, rosemary, and lavender oil (each). So it should total 45 drops.

Step 4 – Scoop it out and fill each muffin tin about 2/3 of the way.

Step 5 – Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Let it sit for at least 15 hours so they harden (can take up to 24 hours)

Step 6 – When you take a shower put one in there with you and make sure the water is hot enough so that the vapors fill your shower with the wonderful essential oils

Love Essential Oils & Aromatherapy?

aromatherapyCheck out the Ultimate Aromatherapy Set: Aphrodisiac (Ylang-Ylang, Patchouli, Sweet Orange, Lavender, Sandalwood & Jasmine) Breathe Easy (Peppermint, Rosemary, Lemon & Eucalyptus) Meditation (Ylang-Ylang, Patchouli, Frankincense, Clary Sage, Sweet Orange & Thyme Lemon) Relaxation (Lavender, Marjoram, Patchouli, Mandarin, Geranium & Chamomile) Renew (Frankincense, Tea Tree, Rosemary, Lemon, Eucalyptus & Sweet Orange) Stress Relief (Bergamot, Patchouli, Blood Orange, Ylang-Ylang & Grapefruit.

You can find it here

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The Benefits Of A Colorful Diet

health tips

While having foods rich in color can look sexy, did you know that each color represents a specific health benefit?

BLACK & VERY DARK COLOURS

  • Chlorogenic acid boosts metabolism by altering the way glucose is absorbed by our body, and speeds up calorie burn
  • Its anti-oxidants also help prevent premature aging
You might like to try:
Veges: wakame seaweed, black sesame, black soybeans, kombu seaweed, burdock.
Fruits: blackberries, figs, juneberries, plums, prunes, purple grapes, raisins
PURPLE
  • Colored by natural plant pigments called anthocyanins
  • Anthocyanins, especially abundant in blueberries,
  • Promotes healthy eyes.
  • Also known to relieve hypertension.
You might like to try:
Veges: red cabbage, sweet potato, eggplant, perilla mint, red lettuce.
Fruits: blueberries, figs, juneberries, plums, prunes, purple grapes, raisins
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GREEN

  • Colored by natural plant pigment called chlorophyll.
  • Chlorophyll helps detoxify our body and cleanses our colon, relieving constipation.
  • Also aids our skin cells’ growth and repair.
You might like to try:
Veges: spinach, garland chrysanthemum, cucumber, okra, green pepper, molokhia, edamame, broccoli, mustard greens, sugar snap peas.
Fruits: green apples, avocados, green grapes, honeydew melon, kiwi, limes
Combo: Some greens (spinach and other dark leafy greens, green peppers, peas, cucumber and celery) contain lutein.
Lutein works with another chemical, zeaxanthin, found in corn, red peppers, oranges, grapes and egg yolks to help keep eyes healthy.
YELLOW / ORANGE
  • Usually colored by natural plant pigments called carotenoids.
  • Various vitamins and beta carotene.
  • Beta carotene in these veges is converted to vitamin A,
  • which promotes healthy skin.
  • You might like to try:
Veges: potato, sweet potato, carrot, lemon, pumpkin.
Fruits: apricots, cantaloupe, grapefruit, lemons, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, persimmons, pineapple, tangerines
RED
  • Colored by natural plant pigments called lycopene or anthocyanins.
  • High levels of lycopene, known for its anti-aging properties
  • are recommended for combatting wrinkles, age spots and sagging skin.
  • Anthocyanins anti-oxidants protect cells from damage.
  • Crucial in maintaining youthful skin!
You might like to try:
Veges: tomato, paprika, red pepper, radish, goji berry.
Fruits: red apples, cherries, cranberries, pink grapefruit, red grapes, pomegranates, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries, watermelon.
WHITE

  • Colored by pigments called anthoxanthins.
  • Allyl sulfides helps in combatting fatigue.
  • Also contains isothiocyanates, an anti-oxidant.

You might like to try:
Veges: chinese cabbage, onion, white radish, garlic, turnip, cauliflower, leeks, lotus root, bean sprouts, cabbage.
Fruits: banana

How To Burn 50 Calories A Day

weight loss tips

When you are committed to losing weight, you are always trying to find simple and effective ways to burn some extra calories. Did you know that you can burn up to 50 calories just by drinking plenty of water?

Most people who become overweight tend to not drink enough water. But when you start to drink the recommended amount of 8 glasses minimum, the act itself can be a great way to shed some extra calories.

While 50 calories may not sound like a lot, just bare in mind that you need to burn 3500 calories to lose 1 pound. So if you drink plenty of water each day, you can burn an extra 350 calories a week.

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Water is also a great way to:

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  • Make you feel full
  • Keep your immune system healthy
  • Keep your muscles energized
  • Prevent cramps
  • Keep your organs hydrated
  • Improve the health of your kidneys
  • Support regular bowel movements (which is another great way to lose weight) [/green_plus_list]

Just make sure you do not drink more than 2 – 4 ounces per sip as anymore than this can damage your kidneys.

Also, we highly recommend drinking distilled water as too much mineral water can overload your system with minerals and tap water is filled with chlorine and fluoride.

Are you ready to lose weight?

Then check out this book The Spark: The 28-Day Breakthrough Plan for Losing Weight, Getting Fit, and Transforming Your Life. This groundbreaking book outlines the best of what has worked for millions of members who have lost weight, kept it off, and reached other goals. Driven by positive energy and proven results, The Spark outlines a breakthrough formula that combines nutrition, exercise, goal setting, motivation, and community, which has helped people change their lives beyond the scale.

•          Discover the 27 Secrets of Success—the best action steps, foods, and proven medical advice that have helped tens of thousands of members lose from 2 to 200 pounds.

•          Special tips from people who lost 100 pounds or more—see what these people had in common and what they did and didn’t do to make huge transformations in their lives.

•          A step-by-step 28-day program that brings together the most effective, medically accepted nutrition and fitness practices from SparkPeople experts in an easy-to-follow plan, including flexible mix-and-match meal plans, fully illustrated workout programs, full-color before-and-after success stories, and more!

•          New to this edition! Breakthrough survey results have been used to create a Strong Start Guide to help you jumpstart your weight-loss efforts. Based on what tens of thousands of successful SparkPeople members did to lose weight and change their lives, this guide tells you what to do in the first two weeks to make you five times more likely to reach your ultimate weight-loss goal!

Whether you want to fit into your “skinny jeans,” improve your health and fitness levels, change your outlook and mood, or reach all new goals, The Spark can help you transform your body and your life. What are you waiting for? Spark your life today! You can find the book here.

Make sure to join us on Facebook to get the latest tips and news.

11 Reasons To Eat Grapes

organic recipes

Grapes are not only so juicy and yummy, but have so many wonderful health benefits. Here are 11 reasons why you should eat grapes:

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  • Asthma: Due to its eminent therapeutic value, grapes can assist in the cure of asthma. It increases the moisture present in lungs.
  • Heart disease: Grapes increase the nitric oxide levels in the blood, which prevents blood clots thereby reducing the chances of heart attacks. In addition the antioxidant present in grapes prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which blocks the blood vessels.
  • Migraine: Ripe grape juice is an important home remedy for curing migraine. It should be taken early in the morning, without mixing additional water. (Have 2 litres of water first as it’s likely dehydration).
  • Constipation: Grapes are very effective in overcoming constipation. They are considered as a laxative food, as they contain organic acid, sugar and cellulose. They also relieve chronic constipation by toning up intestine and stomach.
  • Indigestion: Grapes play an important role in dyspepsia. They relieve heat and cure indigestion and irritation of the stomach. They are also preferred as they constitute a light food.
  • Fatigue: Light and white grapes replenishes the iron content present in the body and prevents fatigue. Eating grapes provides you with instant energy. The anti-oxidants present in grapes also provide the needed boost to your immune system.
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  • Kidney disorders: Grapes can substantially reduce the acidity of the uric acid and helps in the elimination of the acid from the system, thereby reducing the work pressure of kidneys.
  • Breast cancer: Through a latest study, it has been discovered that purple colored Concord grape juice helps in preventing breast cancer. Significant reduction in mammary tumor mass of laboratory rats was seen after they were fed the grape juice on the experimental basis.
  • Alzheimer’s disease: Resveratrol, a beneficial polyphenol present in grapes reduces the levels of amyloidal-beta peptides in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Studies suggest that grapes can enhance brain health and stall the onset of neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Macular degeneration: Grapes can prevent the age related loss of vision or macular degeneration. Three servings of grapes a day can reduce the risks of macular degeneration by over 36 %.
  • Prevents cataract: Flavonoids present in grapes have antioxidants, which can reduce and fight the damage caused by free radicals such as cataract apart from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and age related problems.
  • Blood cholesterol: Grapes contain a compound called pterostilbene, which has the capacity to bring down cholesterol level. Saponins present in grape skin can also prevent the absorption of cholesterol by binding with it.
  • Antibacterial activity: Red grapes have strong antibacterial and antiviral properties and can protect you from infections. They have a strong antiviral property against poliovirus and herpes simplex virus.
  • Anticancer properties: Grapes are found to have strong anti cancer properties due to the anti-inflammatory effect of resveratrol present in grapes. It is particularly effective in colorectal cancer and breast cancer. Anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins present in grapes have properties of an anti-proliferate and can inhibit the growth of cancer causing agents. The pigments contained in grapes enhance the overall immunity of the body. [/green_plus_list]

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Learn How Digestive Enzymes Work

digestive enzymes

Our digestion system comprises of 70% of our health. If we lack proper digestion then we get sick. In fact, if you combine digestion, stress, and lack of water intake, you could sum up most of the reasons why people get sick.

Once food is cooked at a high heat, the food loses its enzymes making it hard to breakdown (this is why it is very important you chew your food thoroughly). All raw fruits and vegetables are loaded with enzymes which is why so many people are switching to a raw food diet.

However, since most of us are not ready to dive into this lifestyle quite yet, then it is important you get good enzymes into your diet. It is suggested you take a good digestive enzyme supplement with your meals.

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Here we breakdown exactly how each enzyme (supplement) works:

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  • Bromelain breaks down protein and can be used for pain and swelling, sinus infections, and colitis.
  • Cellulase breaks down fiber and can be used for lowering your blood sugar and cholesterol as well as intestinal tract detoxification.
  • Invertase breaks down carbs and can be used for sugar digestion and bacterial infections.
  • Lactase breaks down lactose (milk sugar) and is good for people who are lactose intolerant.
  • Lipase breaks down fat and can benefit celiac and Crohn’s disease, indigestion and IBS.
  • Pancreatin breaks down proteins, fats, and carbs and can benefit people with digestive problems, viral infections, food allergies, and autoimmune disorders. [/green_plus_list]

A raw food diet is truly one of the best ways to stay healthy and take care of your tummy. In the book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Eating Raw it teaches newbies some simple ways they can start to transition to a more raw lifestyle. In this guide, readers will find the secrets to raw food weight loss; how raw foods can heal the body and boost energy and enthusiasm; information on the anti-aging properties of raw food; and 100+ recipes that show how raw foods can be combined into delectable meals. Even if you are not ready to go 100% raw its good to mix up your diet with some of these foods as it can help ease your digestion.

You can find the book here.

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Jamie Oliver BBQ Chicken Salad

natural recipes

Jamie Oiliver is not only a great chef, but a wonderful person as well. His passion for healthy food and helping people is contagious as he loves to share his knowledge with everyone.

Here is a great recipe for those interested in eating healthy:

Ingredients

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  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of organic extra virgin (cold pressed) olive oil
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • 4 free range organic chicken breasts (no skin)
  • 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
  • 24 cherry tomatos on the vine
  • 400g green beans, topped with the curly end still on[/green_plus_list]
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Preparation

Step 1 – Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Step 2 – Pound the rosemary leaves with a pinch of salt in a pestle and mortar or flavor shaker

Step 3 – Mix with olive oil and half the lemon juice and zest

Step 4 – Lay the chicken on a chopping board and slice one of the breasts horizontally (as if you were going to cut it in half). Cut it 80% of the way through, then open it up like a book. Flatten it out with the heel of your hand and repeat with the other 3 breasts.

Step 5 – Pour the rosemary marinade over the chicken and allow it to marinade for 10 minutes

Step 6 – Make the dressing by mixing the mustard with the rest of the lemon juice and twice as much olive oil

Step 7 – Roasting the tomatoes: place on tray-season lightly-roast for 20 minutes

Step 8 – Bring a large pan of salted water (2 pinches) to a boil and cook green beans for 5 minutes. Drain and toss them in the mustard dressing, then add the roasted tomatoes.

Step 9 – Preheat a griddle pan or barbecue. Grill the chicken breasts for 2.5 minutes on each side and keep turning until they are cooked.

Step 10 – Finish slicing up the chicken and add to green beans and tomatoes

Like healthy recipes? Check out this book So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week.

healthy foodAs weekly host of the Food Network’s Healthy Appetite, Ellie Krieger is known for creating light and healthy dishes that taste great and are easy enough for the busiest people to prepare. Now, Ellie has put together a collection of meal solutions for those of us who love food and want to eat well but struggle to make it happen given life’s hectic pace. With 150 delicious, easy-to-prepare, fortifying recipes, Ellie provides dishes that tackle every possible mealtime situation. Illustrated with 50 full-color photos, there are recipes for:

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  • Grab-and-go breakfasts for hectic days, as well as easy breakfast options for more leisurely mornings
  • Lunches to go, each road-tested in a cooler pack, along with at-home lunches for when you have the luxury of eating in
  • A month’s worth of different rush-hour dinners-fabulous meals you can whip up in less than thirty minutes-as well as dinners for days when you have a little more time to marinate or roast, but still want it all to be effortless
  • Decadent desserts, some ready in minutes, others truly worth waiting for-all easily pulled together[/green_plus_list]
Make sure to join us on Facebook to get the latest tips and news.

How To Make Rosemary & Lavender Calming Spray

essential oil

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No matter what we do in our lives, you can’t run from stress. Whether at work, driving in the car, or especially with family!

With the holidays upon us, we are going to need something to help us ease our pain and drugs is not the answer. Of course, the best way to ward off stress is to breathe deep.

Any time you are feeling stress, just take a moment to stop and check in with your breath. Stress comes when we either stop breathing regularly or from “short breathing”.

Short breathing is when you do not take breath all the way into your diaphragm and it only reaches your chest area. So make sure you check in with yourself every so often and see if you are breathing deep and also exhaling all of your oxygen.

Now, one great way of helping you to relieve stress is with aromatherapy and essential oils:

Rosemary Oil helps aide the liver and skin and can be very calming on the nerves.

Lavender Essential Oil has a calming scent which makes it an excellent tonic for the nerves. Therefore, it helps in treating migraines, headaches, anxiety, depression, nervous tension and emotional stress. The refreshing aroma removes nervous exhaustion and restlessness and increases mental activity.

Directions

  • Take 2 ounces of distilled or purified water (not tap water) and add 20 drops of lavender oil and 20 drops of rosemary oil into an essential oil spray bottle.
  • Shake well
  • You now have your own calming spray and can have it ready when the family is over for the holidays and they are driving you nuts!
Love essential oils and aromatherapy?
Check out The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 600 Natural, Non-Toxic and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health – Beauty – a Safe Home Environment. A necessary resource for anyone interested in alternative approaches to healing, this book contains more than 600 easy-to-follow recipes for essential oil treatments and aromatherapy. This book prescribes oils for everything from basic first aid and treating common ailments to natural cosmetics and body care, fragrance for the home and office, and cooking with essential oils. You can find it here.

Make sure to join us on Facebook to get the latest tips and news.

 

What Are Antioxidants & Why Do You Need Them?

In a recent study from the National Cancer Institute, the report shows that:

  • Antioxidants protect cells from damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals.
  • Laboratory and animal research have shown that antioxidants help prevent the free radical damage that is associated with cancer.
  • Antioxidants are provided by a healthy diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables.

The Enemy: Free Radicals

Free radicals are the by-products of a normal and necessary event- the burning of oxygen by cells in your body to produce energy. These by-products are damaged molecules. They are missing an electron, and they ‘want’ one badly…badly enough to attack any nearby molecule get it. If they take electrons from important components in your body, such as DNA (your body’s master plan for reproducing cells) or from protein or fat, they do damage to those cells and precipitate health problems.

Not only that, when a free radical reacts with a non-radical, a free radical chain reaction results and new free radicals are formed, compounding the problem. Over time, the cumulative effects of free radicals can contribute to premature aging and certain diseases such as artery and heart disease, arthritis, cataracts, and cancer. Free radicals can also be caused by environmental factors such as pollution, smoking, and ultraviolet light.

The Hero: Antioxidants

Antioxidants are a are a group of compounds that act as free radical scavengers, donating electrons and neutralizing free radicals thus preventing their destruction to other cells. Certain vitamins and many phytonutrients appear to play an important role in helping to neutralize free radicals. These phytonutrients and vitamins go around taking out the free radicals, converting them to harmless waste products that get eliminated from your body before they can do damage. Some may even repair damage done by previous encounters with free radicals.

Measuring Antioxidant Power

One way to determine the anti-oxidant power of foods is via their ORAC score, which stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. It is a lab test score that measures anti-oxidant potential. The brightest, most colorful foods have the highest ORAC score and includes blueberries, strawberries, plums, spinach, broccoli and beets.

A Good Source Of Antioxidants

A good way to get your antioxidants is to fill your diet with plenty of foods rich in antioxidants such fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables. However, one of the best sources of antioxidants comes from cereal grasses such as those from Amazing Grass.

Why Is Amazing Grass Different?

Because it is grown in THE BEST soil for growing cereal grasses. Just as oranges grow best in Florida and California, cereal grasses grow best in the Midwest. Soil scientists have known for years that the central plains of the Midwest have some of the most fertile soils in the world. In fact, most of the production for wheat and other cereal grains come from the Midwest.

Cereal Grasses planted in the fall and grown through the cold winter are nutritionally superior to crops grown elsewhere because the grass develops a huge root structure that acts as a sponge to absorb nutrients in the mineral-rich soil. This is why Amazing Grass is a powerful source of antioxidants.