Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Time to take control of your portion sizes
Summer beckons and how we love those long sunny days, lazy afternoons by the pool or at the park. This is the time of the we all love, and our tummies bask in the glory of always being full and content. It is BBQ season, lots and lots of food consumption and a general feel good without much guilt afterward. How can we possibly resist. It is a season filled with excuses to feast; with at least one holiday observance each month, visits form family, birthday parties… its tiring just writing about it.
While the reasons to feast are awash over the summer, it is watching what we eat is not enough, we must control how much we eat and how often we eat. The old adage of three healthy meals a day, just may not be enough.
Cascara sagrada (Spanish for “sacred bark”) is the bark of the California buckthorn, botanically known as Rhamnus purshiana. This 15 to 25 foot-high tree grows in the western United States, from Idaho west to California and north to Alaska. Its name came from the Spanish priests who acted as doctors to their parishioners in the days when the western territories still belonged to Spain. Originally used by the Native Americans, cascara sagrada was quickly adopted by these priests and other settlers who boiled it for several hours in order to use it as a tonic and laxative.
Cascara bark is collected in spring and early summer, when it is easily peeled from the wood. It is dried in the shade and aged for at least a year, and up to three years. Its effects improve with age. The uncured bark is a violent purgative and an emetic (induces vomiting). The aged bark mellows in action.
LBS II is a tried and true herbal laxative formula that has been around for over three decades. Formulated by herbalist Stan Malstrom, LBS II is a lower bowel formula designed to stimulate intestinal peristalsis and improve bowel function. It contains several laxative herbs, along with herbs that stimulate production of digestive enzymes and bile. It also has mild diuretic and blood-purifying effects.
Generally used for cleansing programs, or to relieve occasional constipation, LBS II contains the following ingredients.
Maintaining optimal elimination is an important key to creating a high level of wellness in the body. Cleansing the colon isn’t accomplished by just using herbal laxatives. It involves fiber, water, enzymes, exercise and healthy diet.
Still, many people suffer from sluggish elimination and slow colon transit time. That’s where Gentle Move comes to the rescue. Gentle Move helps to hydrate the colon and improve bowel tone to promote natural elimination. Of course, you can take herbal laxatives like LBS II, LB-X, Senna Combination or Cascara Sagrada. All of these remedies will also stimulate elimination.
The flax plant (Linum usitatissimum) has been put to a variety of interesting uses in many cultures over the past 5,000 years. As anyone who has seen a field of flax in bloom, it is a beautiful plant, with thin, tall stalks and a delicate, blue to violet flower. But, it’s also a very useful plant, for its nutritious seeds, high quality oil and for its fiber.
The fibers were used to make clothing, fish nets and ships’ sails by the Greeks and Romans. The fiber made from flax is called linen. The Egyptians used linen to wrap their rulers in before entombing them. Linen is also mentioned in the Bible as a source of fine clothing for the High Priests and as the material for the robe Joseph of Arimathea used to wrap the body of Jesus.
Flax seeds yield a high quality oil, which has many uses. The Egyptians burned it in lamps. It has also been used in making paints and varnishes and for polishing wood, where it is known as linseed oil. It was even used to make linoleum.
Psyllium are the seeds of one species of the herb plantain. Plantain grows very low to the ground on roadsides and produces small white flowers. The seeds are smooth, dull ovals with a pinkish-white or dark brown coloring, and the leaves of the psyllium are 4-10 inches long.
Plantain is commonly considered a weed. If seed pods are not harvested before they break open, the 15,000 seeds that the plant can grow may be scattered about by the wind.
The species of plantain known as psyllium (Plantago ovata) is an annual herb native to Mediterranean regions of Europe, the Canary Islands, Africa and Pakistan and is heavily cultivated in Spain, France, and India. While it has been planted and grown in the United States, most of the psyllium used in the U.S. is imported from France.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
What are enzymes? They are said to be the “powerhouse” of every cell in the body. Intertwined with nearly every system in the body, digestive enzymes determine how effectively the body breaks down food. The body can’t function without them.
We are born with some digestive enzymes. However, these alone cannot sufficiently break down all of the food that we eat. The body can produce and replenish enzymes; but still it needs more from outside sources. Natural, raw foods have enzymes in them that are designed to break down the food. These are the same molecules that make fruit ripen and then eventually rot. However, today’s food preparation processes can kill these enzymes, making digestion difficult on the body. If you cook, freeze, dry or can your food, you’ll most likely kill the enzymes your body needs for healthy digestion.
by Steven Horne, RH(AHG)
There’s a scene in the movie, The Last Emperor, where the Chinese doctors look at the young emperor’s stool and then recommend some changes in his diet. Stool diagnosis is a great way to learn about the health of the digestive tract and the body, in general.
Of course, talking about examining what’s in the toilet isn’t very cool. In fact, it’s a “dirty” job, but someone’s got to do it, and I guess that someone is going to be me. So, put aside your squeamishness about bowel movements and let’s talk about how you can tell what your body needs from examining the final remains of your recent meals.
Monday, April 25, 2011
With summer right around the corner, lots of us are looking to trim down and tone up—but the call of the couch can be hard to resist. Here are a few time-tested methods of staying motivated:
Setting realistic goals—and measuring your progress. Working toward a tangible goal, like losing inches or pounds or running a faster mile, helps create a greater sense of purpose. And charting progress toward that goal makes us feel the success.
Scheduling rewards. Getting healthier can be its own reward—but who wouldn’t work just a little bit harder knowing they had a treat like a massage or a pedicure in store when they reached a fitness milestone?
Writing a list. Life moves fast, and purpose can be easily forgotten in the hustle and bustle. Documenting exactly why you’re committed—whether it’s overcoming a health issue, living longer, looking slimmer, feeling better, or anything else—and reading it over can help keep you focused on the big picture.
Making it visual. Tacking up pictures of toned, healthy-looking bodies can be inspirational and helpful in keeping you on track. (Common sites are the fridge, to keep snacking at bay, and the alarm clock, to keep that early morning gym appointment.)
Baseball season’s in full swing, and we’ve got quick moves to keep you limber—ones you can actually do during the 7th inning break at the ball park. (They’ll also help you loosen up after taking the field in your summer softball league.)
Why should you be stretching? Let us count the ways: it decreases stiffness, increases your range of motion, improves posture and flexibility, helps reduce muscle tension, and improves your overall athletic performance.