POSTS WITH TAG: natural health

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    Oil pulling may be having a moment, but it's long been a practice in ancient India to promote allover wellness and healing. The idea is that by gargling with a high-quality vegetable oil for several minutes each day, you can detoxify you body. The thinking is that the oil literally "pulls" away nasty stuff that could be making you feel sick. These little gross guys include fungus (cringe), bacteria, and other foul toxins out of your body, your mouth, and your life. Whoo hoo!

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    I am the queen of memory glitches lately. The other day I was running late, furiously searching everywhere for my iPhone ... when it rang in my handbag ... which was on my shoulder ... and my iPhone was right on top. It wasn’t buried under a mountain of crap for once. It was right there. I looked at it, dripping with sweat and frustration, and laughed. I convinced myself my toddler must have stolen it or, in one of my weaker moments, that it was conspiring against me to get me fired. It was surely anywhere but where it was supposed to be.

    To take charge of my raging case of mommy brain, I rounded up experts who are much smarter than I am for some excellent advice to boost brain power and function. Now all I have to do is remember these tips:

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    Whenever I have a particularly garlic-packed meal, I always think of the scene in I Love You, Man in which Peter (played by Paul Rudd) comes home from a particularly disastrous night out during which he got sick, and his fiancee offers him natural mouthwash. He passes, noting that he's "gotta go with the chemicals on this." Ha, it's that bad, we all laugh.

    But the thing is ... just how okay are we really with chemicals in our hygiene products? Do we really believe they make the products more effective? It's an interesting question ... and one that's being raised a lot lately in light of recent discussions about microplastics in toothpaste and other bath/body products.

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    Nutritionist Esther Blum, MS, RD, isn't exactly a fan of New Year's resolutions to go on a fad diet -- with good reason! As she explains in her new book, Cavewomen Don't Get Fat: The Paleo Chic Diet for Rapid Results, our cultural obsession with dieting "makes us vulnerable to counting points or calories, having low-calorie meals delivered to our doors, or drinking 'cleansing' drinks five times a day. Yet we're still overweight, stressed out, unhealthy, and exhausted." Sounds about right! We're caught in a perpetual cycle of searching for the secret to effective, lasting, healthy weight control.

    But after catching up with Esther and checking out her book, I'm positive her "Paleo chic" plan is a brilliant way to put the brakes on runaway yo-yo dieting.

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    Call me repressed, but I would rather share my most intimate and embarrassing secret than talk about what I do on the toilet. And I'm not the only one. Some of us grew up thinking our toilets are dirty, secret places where we go to do our business -- and even turn on the faucet so company doesn't hear us -- and then flush and forget it ever happened. 

    But our thoughts about the potty might change sooner than we realize. The "toilet of the future" is headed our way and it honestly sounds like a porcelain miracle. It features a built-in screening system that can actually check your waste for kidney disease, diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, and even pregnancy. But before you run to put your name on a waiting list, ask yourself this: are you willing to get with the times by...squatting

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    Ugh, it's that time of year again! And sadly, not just Halloween decorating or pumpkin-picking or Pumpkin Spice Latte-sipping time ... It's also that seasonal shift when colds, flu, and all other manner of annoying and debilitating bugs can strike at a moment's notice! One minute you're feelin' awesome, the next, you'd rather be glued in bed than do anything else.

    Thankfully, when it comes to contending with cold and flu season, you do not have to grin and bear it. You can lean on one or several of these 8 awesome, all-natural immunity-boosters that could easily have you back to your old self in no time!

    Check 'em out ...

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    It's crazy to think considering most men in America name her as their top celeb crush, but Jessica Alba confessed to Health magazine recently that she was "so self-conscious" about her body before having her daughters. She admits, "I was a lot more critical of my body when it was probably pretty awesome. It's like, why did I not ever wear jean shorts? That's so crazy. I was so skinny! I didn't have any cellulite ... what was I thinking?!"

    Aww. I can so relate -- I feel like we all can think back to one time or another when we were so self-conscious but really shouldn't have been. It's a great lesson to embrace the here and now and not put off wearing something you want to wear or doing something you want to do because you're feeling self-conscious. Hand-in-hand with a positive body image is of course healthy habits, which Jessica elaborated on as well ... 

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    A friend of mine is a real natural mama -- and as much as her energy inspires me, it also exhausts me. It exhausts me because some of this natural parenting stuff is a lot of work. For instance, when my daughter first started solids I was dead-set on blending everything up for every meal. That lasted for about a dozen ice-cube trays worth of broccoli and squash. Don't get me wrong -- I would still mash a fresh banana instead of giving her the jarred version ... but pushing those veggies through a strainer, after steaming and blending -- it just did me in. Who has time for that?

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    Poor egg yolks. They get a bad rap. They're loaded with cholesterol and they're fatty and they'll make you a fatty and then you'll die. Except they're actually the most nutritious part of an egg and eating them will not raise your cholesterol levels (science says so!) so why all the egg yolk angst? That's the best part of the egg, and people all over America are depriving themselves out of this misguided notion that they're deadly. It just makes me sad!

    Egg yolks aren't the only foods that get unfairly judged as unhealthy.

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    A recent study shows that when we don’t get enough sleep, it actually alters our genes, and can lead to degenerative disorders. When we sleep, our bodies get to work repairing themselves, and if we don’t let them, it can damage our immune systems. Our cells have to replenish and replace themselves, and sleepy cells don’t like to work.

    Lead researcher Colin Smith said, “There was quite a dramatic change in activity in many different kinds of genes … clearly sleep is critical to rebuilding the body and maintaining a functional state, all kinds of damage appears to occur—hinting at what may lead to ill health. If we can't actually replenish and replace new cells, then that's going to lead to degenerative diseases."

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