Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I dropped everything to investigate this.

When I found out a certain food company was serving organic food to citizens in other countries but not here – I stopped everything I was doing and started to investigate. I found so much more than what I was looking for and today I am going to share it all with you.

Our rights as American citizens have been violated and it's time for this to stop.

Read the brand new investigation here.

We need to let these companies know we aren't going to take inferior food any longer.

Thankfully, I know these double standards can finally end if we share this information with everyone we know.

And that's the reason I started this blog, to share what I learned with everyone I know.

I hope you do the same because it can definitely change the world.

Godspeed!

Vani 

 

 

 

 

 



P.O. Box 31521 Charlotte, NC 28231

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Tips for Dry Skin Care

Tips for Dry Skin Care

Link to Natural Health & Organic Living Blog

Tips for Dry Skin Care

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 10:48 AM PDT


tips-for-dry-skin

Do you deal with dry skin? Dry skin is very sensitive and uncomfortable unless a moisturizer is applied on a daily basis. Dry skin has a low level of sebum and usually looks parched or chalky due to its inability to retain moisture. Dry skin feels tight, uncomfortable, and sometimes itchy, unless moisturizer is applied. Chapping and cracking are signs of extremely dry, dehydrated skin.

Dry skin is often worse in the winter, when dry heat and extreme cold combine to rob even more moisture away from the skin. Wind, air conditioning, and over exposure to the sun can cause the skin to flake, chap and feel tight. Dry skin tends to look dull, especially on the cheeks and around the eyes.

What Causes Dry Skin?

Dry skin can be caused by a number of factors. Genetics plays a role in the development of dry skin. Oil glands that do no supply enough sebum will not be able to lubricate the skin properly. Dry skin can be caused by environmental factors such as exposure to sun, wind, cold, chemicals, or cosmetics, or excessive bathing with harsh soaps. The oil glands do not supply enough lubrication to the skin. As a result, the skin becomes dehydrated. Diet also plays a role in the lubrication of the skin. A poor diet that is lacking in essential nutrients, especially deficiencies of vitamin A and the B vitamins, can cause the skin to become dry.

Skin conditions such as dermatitis and eczema may aggravate the skin and cause it to become dry, flaky, and dull. Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism and diabetes may develop dry skin as a side effect of their condition or of the medication they are talking. Other medications, such as diuretics, antispasmodics, and antihistamines can contribute to dry skin.

Caring For Dry Skin

Dry skin requires special care attention. Here are some special techniques you can use to cleanse, moisturize, and protect dry skin.

Cleansing

Like other skin types, dry skin needs regular and gentle cleansing. However, you must be very careful with the products and methods you use to cleanse dry skin, as it is easily aggravated. Use a gentle organic cleanser such as Aquaspirit® made especially for dry skin. Gently massage the cleanser into the skin and splash off with luke warm water. Do not use water that is either too hot or too cold. And do not rub with your hands or with a washcloth. Lightly pat your skin dry with a soft, clean organic cotton towel.

Moisturizing

Cleansing the skin helps to remove dirt, debris, make up and pollutant, but it also strips away the natural oils protecting the skin. A moisturizer increases the water content of the outer layers of the skin and helps to lock in the skin’s own moisture. Again, choose a moisturizer such as Parfait Visage® that is made for dry skin and apply it liberally after cleansing with a gentle massaging motion. For skin on the body, an organic moisturizer can be applied directly after a bath or shower. Apply organic facial moisturizers generously, paying careful attention to the neck, and the areas surrounding the eyes where tiny lines and crows feet are born.

Protecting

Dry skin is highly susceptible to damage from environmental conditions. Use organic sunscreen everyday with an SPF of at least 15 to protect the skin from the damaging rays of the sun. Wear loose and comfortable clothing to allow skin to breathe and to reduce irritation. A wide brimmed hat can help protect the delicate facial skin from the ultraviolet rays of the sun.

Tips For Dry Skin Care

People with dry skin are prone to have chapped lips as well. Care for lips by covering them with a gentle organic lip moisturizer several times throughout the day, and before you go to bed in the evening. Use a humidifier to add moisture to your home or work environment, especially in the winter. Also, use an organic facial mask especially made for dry skin on a weekly basis to remove dull, dry surface skin cells. Drink plenty of purified water to keep your skin nourished and moisturized on the inside. We recommend the Wellness Water Purification Systems.

Herbs for Dry Skin Care

Aloe vera is soothing, healing, and moisturizing. It also helps to remove dead skin cells. Apply aloe vera gel topically on affected areas. Calendula and comfrey have skin-softening properties. They can be used in a facial sauna or to make herbal or floral waters. Comfrey also reduces redness and soothes irritated skin. Add lavender oil to the bath to soften and moisturize skin. Tea tree oil can improve the condition of the skin. Add a drop to your moisturizer to smooth and nourish the skin.

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

The post Tips for Dry Skin Care appeared first on Natural Health & Organic Living Blog.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Organic.org

Organic.org


17 Delicious Apple Recipes for Fall

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 11:07 AM PDT



After you've stuffed yourself with Honeycrisps, Sweet Tangos, and Jonagolds at the farmers market, you should start thinking about ways to incorporate your favorite fall fruit into your daily meals. From puffed apple pancake for breakfast, to stuffed streusel apples for dessert, plus savory goodness like a roasted apple and winter squash soup, here are plenty of ways to get your apple fix this fall.

You can find apples to eat and cook with all year round, but you get the best variety in the fall. Apples are an incredible ingredient to use in recipes because they are inexpensive and are easy to work with. They also offer a wonderful sweetness to any recipe.

But before you go off gallivanting in the farmers market in search for apples to use in these recipes, you should know they are not all created equal. Some apples are best for baking, while others are best eaten on their own. Read this guide for finding the best apples for all your baking needs.


So which recipe will you make first? Will you delve into the apple loaf, or start of strong with an apple pie? Here are 17 recipes to get you started.

Apples for Breakfast

http://www.thekitchn.com/weeknight-recipe-oatmealbrown-75752 

Apples for Dessert


Apples for Lunch, Dinner, Snacks & More

[via the kitchn]

The Best Apples for Baking

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 10:14 AM PDT

http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-brown-butter-apple-loaf-recipes-from-the-kitchn-199777

Apples are one of our favorite fruits to bake with — they're inexpensive, easy to find, available year round, and last a long time. Whether they're baked into a pie, grated into muffins, or shingled into a beautiful tart, this fruit can do it all. But not all apples are designed for baking, so here's what you need to know!

Texture Is Key

When baking with apples, you need to keep in mind that texture is really important. Good baking apples have a balance of intense sweet-tart flavor and will not fall apart when thrown into the oven. They should hold their shape and not turn into mush — remember, you're not making applesauce!

Also remember that sometimes baking apples don't taste so great raw and out of hand but are delicious once baked up. Since there are so many apple varieties out there and what's available to you may be very region dependent, here's a list of some of our favorites.

Good Apples for Baking

  • Baldwin
  • Braeburn
  • Cameo
  • Cortland
  • Empire
  • Fuji
  • Gala
  • Golden Delicious
  • Granny Smith
  • Honeycrisp
  • Honey Gold
  • Jonagold
  • Jonathan
  • Melrose
  • Mutsu (Crispin)
  • Northern Spy
  • Opalescent
  • Orin
  • Pink Lady (Cripps Pink)
  • Rome Beauty
  • Rhode Island Greening
  • Winesap
http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-freeform-apple-tart-recipes-from-the-kitchn-108028

Tips for Baking with Apples

  • Variety. Using a blend of tart and sweet apples makes for a more complex-testing pie. A blend of apples will also contribute varying textures.
  • Chopping. When cutting up apples for quick breads and muffins, cut some of the pieces smaller so they "melt" more into the batter as they cook and break down.
What apples do you like to bake with?

Study: Hospital Experience Falls Short of Home Birthing

Study: Hospital Experience Falls Short of Home Birthing

Link to Natural Health & Organic Living Blog

Study: Hospital Experience Falls Short of Home Birthing

Posted: 28 Sep 2014 08:00 AM PDT

midwife-home-birth

Aside from vaccinations, home birthing is one of the most controversial issues involving pregnancy. In some countries, like Hungary, midwives have been sentenced to prison for helping out with home births. [1] [2] Sadly, though, the same is true in many states of the US where it’s either outright illegal to practice midwifery or, though not officially banned, it’s impossible to get a license. Only 26 of the 50 states allow the practice of midwifery, [3] but there are efforts to change this intrusion into women’s rights. [4]

As sad as this situation is, there’s great news from the scientific front on the safety of home birthing. Reports are now documenting that home births may be as safe or safer than hospital births, hopefully helping change the status of home birth in the 24 states that don’t allow the practice. The reality is that, though there are situations where medical help is required to assure that deliveries are safe for both the mother and baby, that’s the rare exception. Science now supports home deliveries for low-risk births, which are the vast majority of births in the country.

Two excellent new studies in the highly-respected journals BMJ and the Cochrane Collaboration demonstrate that, as usual, nature knows best in how new life is brought into the world. Natural home birth with a qualified attendant may actually be safer than hospital delivery.

Nationwide Study

The BMJ published a large nationwide study in the Netherlands that clearly demonstrates that women who opt for home deliveries have much better outcomes than women who choose hospital deliveries. Because home delivery is not a rarity in the Netherlands, but is the choice of nearly two-thirds of pregnant women, this study was able to include a large sampling of planned home births. Women who’d previously given birth had the best results, though even first-time mothers fared a bit better, demonstrating that first-time delivery is not a reason to choose a hospital birth. [5]

Review of Studies

On the topic of home delivery, the Cochrane Collaboration did what it’s famous for: reviewing published research. It looked at several studies and found information for a wide range of birth results, including caesarean section, jaundice, maternal mortality, infant death, resuscitation of the infant, and birth traumas. [6]

They found that routine surgical deliveries are a disadvantage to both mothers and infants, and that hospital births routinely utilized a huge array of methods and devices that were simply not required. The bottom line in the medicalization of birth: both mother and baby are treated much like cogs in a machine. If they don’t fit the desired average, that’s too bad–they must be forced into it.

In fact, they quote Euro Peristat, a major European report on the health and care of pregnant women and babies as saying, “Concern about the iatrogenic effects of obstetric intervention in women who do not have a clinical need for it has put ‘normal’ birth firmly on the agenda for the 21st century.” Iatrogenic refers to injuries caused by medical procedures.

The Science Has Weighed in on Home Birth

Isn’t it exciting that science backs up what so many mothers have known for centuries? Outside of rare incidents, birth is a natural process, not something that needs to be managed and depersonalized. Certainly it’s marvelous that doctors and hospitals are there when you need them. However, in most cases, home birthing is a safe, natural way to bring another human being into the world.

The truth is that science has never suggested that home deliveries are dangerous, simply because such studies were never done. Bits and pieces have been studied, but until now those bits and piece have never been put together into a single review that tells the truth. Instead of looking at small numbers of births, the BMJ produced a study that looks at an entire nation’s experience with home-planned versus hospital-planned deliveries.

Now that studies are being done, the truth is finally coming out. For most women, the safer and far more satisfying choice is natural home delivery, not the medically-controlled model. The latest exciting evidence has just spoken–nature may be best for both baby and mother.

Have you experienced a home birth? What were your experiences? Please share with us in the comments!

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

References:

  1. Toni Harman. Agnes Gereb and the Case for Human Rights in Childbirth. May 24, 2012.
  2. Amelia Hill. Hungary: Midwife Agnes Gereb taken to court for championing home births. October 22, 2010.
  3. Certified Professional Midwives (CPM). Certified Professional Midwives in the United States. June 2008.
  4. The Big Push for Midwives. Statement of The Big Push for Midwives Campaign on the AMA Scope of Pratice Partnership. July 15, 2013.
  5. Ank de Jonge, Jeanette AJM Mesman, Judith Manniƫn, Joost J Zwart, Jeroen van Dillen, Jos van Roosmalen. Severe adverse maternal outcomes among low risk women with planned home versus hospital births in the Netherlands: nationwide cohort study. BMJ. June 13, 2013. doi: 10.1136/bmj.f3263.
  6. Olsen O, Clausen JA. Planned hospital birth versus planned home birth (Review). The Cochrane Collaboration. April 17, 2012. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD0003 52.pub2.

The post Study: Hospital Experience Falls Short of Home Birthing appeared first on Natural Health & Organic Living Blog.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

10 Natural Remedies for Constipation

10 Natural Remedies for Constipation

Link to Natural Health & Organic Living Blog

10 Natural Remedies for Constipation

Posted: 26 Sep 2014 08:00 AM PDT

natural-remedies-for-constipation

At some point in your life, you have probably experienced uncomfortable bloating and constipation, both of which can be quite debilitating at times. Constipation is merely a symptom with an underlying issue. By approaching the root cause, it is very possible to relieve the constipation, even before it starts. When constipation happens, you can save a little time and money by utilizing natural remedies, many of which you probably have around the house. Before you run to the pharmacy, give these 10 natural remedies for constipation a try.

1. Water

It may seem simple, but keeping hydrated facilitates digestion and supports muscle function. When the body receives enough water, the digestive system can process nutrients and move wastes along smoothly. Bowel muscles are also more efficient and are able to keep things moving. The question is: how much water is enough? If you feel thirsty, that's one indication that you should probably take a sip. If you're feeling a little backed-up, try 8 to 16 ounces every two hours. Generally speaking, you should divide your body weight in half, take that number and drink the same amount of water (in ounces). If you weigh 150 pounds, then you should drink 75 ounces per day. You may need to alter this based on your activity level.

2. Prune Juice and Prunes

I bet you probably expected this one. Prunes are high in fiber and sorbitol, a carbohydrate the body digests slowly. As the fiber and sorbitol move along the intestines, they collect water which softens fecal matter. Start with an 8 oz glass of prune juice or 2 or 3 prunes. Give them a little time to work before trying more. Too much fiber and sorbitol can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

3. Coffee

This morning brew does more than wake you up. Coffee — particularly dark-roast coffee — stimulates digestion and contains fiber, oil, and water, all of which help keep the bowels moving. A cup or two will do the trick. As a diuretic, more than a couple cups may make for too many trips to the bathroom. Plus, the excessive caffeine may cause nervous symptoms. Choose organic and fair-trade varieties when choosing coffee.

4. Olive Oil

Take a tablespoon of olive oil before eating breakfast in the morning. As a nutrient-dense oil, it stimulates the digestive tract. It also lubricates the bowels and provides antioxidant protection at the same time.

5. Probiotics

Yogurt and kefir make for an excellent breakfast, whether it's consumed as is or mixed with your favorite breakfast cereal or grain-free granola. The probiotic strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium encourage healthy bowels which translates to easier evacuation. Increased frequency, better stool consistency, and a reduced digestive transit time have all been observed with individuals who consume probiotics. [1]

6. Beans

Rich in fiber, a meal containing beans shares many similar benefits as one containing prunes. The fiber keeps stool soft, and the protein has added benefits for growth and repair of bodily tissues. Beans also possess nutrients essential for muscle health and function. For many people, beans may be easier to incorporate into their daily meal plans than prunes.

7. Magnesium-Rich Foods

Magnesium is essential to muscle health and peristalsis, or the movement of food along the digestive tract. Low magnesium consumption has been associated with increased incidence of constipation. [2] Adequate magnesium intake directs water to the bowels, keeping the stool soft and easier to move. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, nuts, and fish are high in magnesium.

8. Baking Soda and Warm Water

Mix one teaspoon of baking soda in a quarter cup of warm water. Supposedly, this mixture is said to relieve pain and pressure associated with constipation, and the bicarbonate is believed to reduce the symptoms associated with heartburn. The quicker you finish drinking, the better it seems to work.

9. Exercise

Movement encourages muscle health and stimulates digestion, so going for a walk after eating may help get things moving. For cases of occasional constipation, pelvic floor exercises have proven more effective than laxatives. [3] Yoga, Pilates, and even running may encourage the movement of wastes along the intestinal tract.

10. Herbs

Flax seed, psyllium, and fenugreek are generally the herbs recommended to start with when it comes to fighting constipation. These are easier on the stomach and fall under the category of bulk laxatives. Purgative herbs such as senna, aloe, and buckthorn are also effective when it comes to constipation; but remember, these herbs are meant for short-term use. [4] Have you tried any of these natural methods for constipation? How did they work for you? Let us know what worked in the comments! -Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

References:

  1. Dimidi E, Christodoulides S, Fragkos KC, Scott SM, Whelan K. The effect of probiotics on functional constipation in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Aug 6. pii: ajcn.089151.
  2. Murakami K1, Sasaki S, Okubo H, Takahashi Y, Hosoi Y, Itabashi M; Freshmen in Dietetic Courses Study II Group. Association between dietary fiber, water and magnesium intake and functional constipation among young Japanese women. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 May;61(5):616-22.
  3. Ba-Bai-Ke-Re MM, Wen NR, Hu YL, Zhao L, Tuxun T, Husaiyin A, Sailai Y, Abulimiti A, Wang YH, Yang P. Biofeedback-guided pelvic floor exercise therapy for obstructive defecation: An effective alternative. World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Jul 21;20(27):9162-9. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i27.9162.
  4. Foster M, Hunter D, Samman S. Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S. Evaluation of the Nutritional and Metabolic Effects of Aloe vera. Herbal Medicine. Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press; 2011. Chapter 3.

The post 10 Natural Remedies for Constipation appeared first on Natural Health & Organic Living Blog.

Friday, September 26, 2014

2 things I do before I get in the shower... and one after.

I'm about to hop on a plane to Nashville to see some of my favorite wellness bloggers, but before I go, I've been getting a lot of questions about how I take care of my skin and thought I'd share 3 items I cannot live without.

Before I shower...

Taking care of my skin (the body's largest organ) is one of my biggest priorities. I use a dry brush three times a week from head to toe before I shower to stimulate, rejuvenate, soften, and brighten my skin. I immediately notice if I slack off on my routine—my skin is just not the same. To use a dry brush, simply take the brush and gently move it in a circular motion over each body part before you get in the shower.

Get the dry brush here: http://amzn.to/Yjwkkj

After dry brushing, I coat my body in organic sesame oil and then shower. When I come out, my skin is softer than a baby's butt! This is an ancient Ayurvedic technique that heals the skin and protects the skin from aging - there are so many benefits to count! Don't worry, you will still get clean.

Get the sesame oil here: http://amzn.to/1vnEAvM

In the shower...

I can't stand using soap loaded with artificial or synthetic ingredients. The soap I like only has three clean ingredients—olive oil, salt, and water. I've been using this very simple soap for years and I don't leave home without it. I make my own little perfect sized travel bars using my chef's knife and cutting board in the kitchen so I never have to use the hotel soap.

Get my favorite soap here: http://amzn.to/1naUUA2

Miraculous things can happen when you start to care for your skin. As you might have read or heard, I used to have the worst skin. I'm so thankful I figured out how to solve all my problems through diet and using the cleanest ingredients.

Hope you have a fabulous weekend,

Vani

 

 

*This email contains affiliate links from my partner Amazon 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



P.O. Box 31521 Charlotte, NC 28231

If you would like to stop receiving free food investigations, recipes and healthy living tips, click here.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Organic.org

Organic.org


It's Harvest Time! 10 Snacks We Fall For

Posted: 25 Sep 2014 03:03 PM PDT

Falling for autumn we are; the cozy, warm harvest comes as a welcome reprise from the fruity wiles of summer. Crisp red apples, hearty sundry squashes, hot spices and comforting soups, what a celebratory time of plenty filled with gratitude for the fruitfulness of life and deliciousness wafting in the wind.

Here are our chosen autumnal evening snack recipes, designed to give you the sustained energy you need to take care of yourself, your family and your work – with some left over for playing in the leaves.

1. Apple Cranberry Baked Brie

Slice a wheel of Brie cheese (with rind) in half. Top the bottom half of the circle (sliced edge up) with a mixture of 2 tablespoons maple syrup, one tablespoon unsalted melted butter, one small chopped apple, ⅓ cup sliced natural almonds and ⅓ cup dried cranberries, saving a bit of the mix to go on top as garnish. Put the top section of Brie back on and bake at 350°F for 7 minutes. Garnish with the remaining fruit and nut mixture and serve with table-water crackers.

2. Pumpkin Soup

This easy and delicious soup is a great appetizer at an autumn dinner or on its own for a filling afternoon snack. Puree 2 cups of cooked pumpkin (or you can used canned) along with 4 cups vegetable stock, ½ cup milk, one tablespoon butter, one tablespoon Bragg's seasoning and ¼ cup dry milk. Heat until boiling, and enjoy!

3. Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal Deluxe

Cook steel-cut oats according to package directions, then add any (or all!) of the following for a warm autumn snack that will keep you going for hours: butter, cream, brown sugar or maple syrup, chopped apples or applesauce, roasted nuts, raisins or dried fruit, plus a dash of cinnamon and salt.

4. Baked Squash Rings

Cut an acorn squash (any color) into ½" rings, discarding the seeds and membrane. Arrange slices in large baking dish, pour ½ cup of orange juice over the rings, cover with them loosely with foil and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. While the rings are baking, combine ¼ cup brown sugar and 2 tablespoons each maple syrup and butter in a saucepan. Bring it to boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Brush this mixture over the squash slices and continue to bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until the squash is tender and lightly browned.

5. Harvest Salad

Top your favorite greens with half of a chopped Granny Smith apple and ¼ cup each of dried sweetened cranberries and roasted walnuts. Crumble 1-2 ounces of blue cheese on the salad, and then finish it off with creamy balsamic vinaigrette for a delicious salad that is bursting with different fall flavors.

6. Apple Dip

This easy dip is great for apples or any kind of fruit. Combine one 8-ounce carton of sour cream with two tablespoons brown sugar and a half-teaspoon of cinnamon. Stir in ½ cup of toasted pecans or walnuts, and enjoy with your favorite kind of apple!

7. Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin is packed with nutrients, and these yummy pancakes are super moist and perfect for a leisurely brunch. Prepare pancake batter as usual. Add half a can of pumpkin-pie mix to the batter for each four servings of pancakes you are making. Top with maple syrup plus a handful of roasted pecans. Great for breakfast, an afternoon treat or a dinnertime dessert!

8. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

After you carve a pumpkin, don't throw out the seeds! Instead, rinse them and cook on a greased baking sheet for 25-35 minutes at 325°F, stirring about every five minutes. Flavor simply with salt and pepper or get creative with other spices like cayenne, cumin and chili powder.

9. Autumn Snack Mix

Roast 8 ounces of pecan halves in 350°F oven for 4 minutes; stir, then roast for another 4 minutes (you can brush the pecans with butter before you roast them for added flavor). Cool completely, then salt the nuts lightly and combine with 4 ounces of dried, sweetened cranberries and 4 ounces of dried, sweetened apples. If you have a sweet tooth, you can add Reese's pieces, candy corn or autumn-colored M&Ms.

10. Baked Apples with Cranberry Sauce

Preheat oven to 350°. Core four Granny Smith apples to within ½" of the bottom. Mix together ¼ cup whole-berry cranberry sauce or relish, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and then stuff into the apples. Put apples in baking dish and cover with foil. Bake in middle of oven until very tender when pierced and still intact, 1 to 1 1/4 hours (start checking apples for doneness at 45 minutes). Serve alone or topped with vanilla ice cream and a handful of toasted walnuts.