How to Soothe the dreaded sore throat

 

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It’s scratchy, tender and swollen, and you dread the simple task of swallowing. But you must swallow, and when you do, you brace yourself for the unavoidable pain.

If you’ve got a sore throat, you’re in good company; everybody gets them, and 40 million people trek to the doctor’s office for treatment every year.

The mechanics of a sore throat are pretty simple. It’s an inflammation of the pharynx, which is the tube that extends from the back of the mouth to the esophagus. The leading causes of your discomfort are:

  • Viral infections, like colds or the flu. Often accompanied by fever, achy muscles and runny nose, viral infections can’t be cured, but their symptoms can be treated. A sore throat from a viral source will generally disappear on its own within several days.
  • Bacterial infection, especially from streptococcal bacteria (strep throat). Symptoms are much like those of a viral infection but may be more severe and long lasting. Often a bacterial infection is accompanied by headache, stomachache and swollen glands in the neck. A strep infection is generally treated with antibiotics because permanent heart or kidney damage can result. Culturing the bacteria is the only way a doctor can determine the cause of the sore throat.

While those are the primary reasons for a sore throat, there are others, including:

  • Smoking
  • Acid reflux
  • Allergies
  • Dry air, especially at night when you may sleep with your mouth open
  • Mouth breathing
  • Throat abuse: singing, shouting, coughing
  • Polyps or cancer
  • Infected tonsils
  • Food allergy

A sore throat can be a minor but annoying ailment, or it can be a symptom of a serious illness. Causes range from a stuffy nose or a cold to strep throat, a bacterial throat infection caused by Streptococcus pyogenes. Since untreated strep throat can lead to rheumatic fever and scarlet fever, it’s important to get medical help as early as possible into the illness. Along with producing severe soreness in your gullet, strep throat may be accompanied by fever, body aches and pains and malaise.

If you have these symptoms, or if you have a sore throat lasting more than two or three days, it makes good sense to see a doctor. For mild sore throats that accompany a cold or allergy, there are soothing remedies using common household items that can stand alone or work side by side with traditional medicine to stifle that soreness.

Gargle raspberry tea. Raspberry leaf tea can make a great gargle. (To make, pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 teaspoons dried leaves. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Allow to cool.) If you also have a fever, the gargle can be used as a fever-reducing drink, too. Do not drink any liquid you have used as a gargle.

Gargle with sage. This curative herb is a great sore-throat gargle. Mix 1 teaspoon in 1 cup boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Add 1 teaspoon each cider vinegar and honey, then gargle four times a day.

Gargle with turmeric. Try this gargle to calm a cranky throat. Mix together 1 cup hot water, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Gargle with the mixture twice a day. If you’re not good with the gargle, mix 1/2 teaspoon turmeric in 1 cup hot milk and drink. Turmeric stains clothing, so be careful when mixing and gargling.

Gargle with warm saltwater. If you can gargle without gagging, make a saline solution by adding 1/2 teaspoon salt to a cup of very warm water. Yes, when your mother told you to gargle with saltwater, she knew what she was talking about. It cuts phlegm and reduces inflammation. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon salt in 1/2 cup warm water, and gargle every three to four hours.

Gargle with Listerine. Another good gargling fluid is Listerine mouthwash. If you share the product with anyone else in your household, don’t drink straight from the bottle; instead, pour a small amount into a cup (and don’t share that, either).

Other remedies to try are a steamy shower, sipping warm liquids, taking an anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen) most of all get lots of rest and feel better soon!

 

Recipe: Frozen Fruit Dessert Whip

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Ingredients

  • 2‐4 cups frozen pineapple or your choice of frozen fruit
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 lime, juiced

Directions

  1. Place frozen pineapple and coconut milk in a strong blender or food processor and pulse until combined, scraping down as needed.
  2. Pour in pineapple and lime juices and blend to combine.
  3. If mixture is too creamy, add more frozen pineapple; if too thick, add more coconut milk.
  4. Eat immediately as soft serve. You can freeze for later but it does freeze solid, I warm mine in the microwave to re soften. You can also make great Popsicles if you have a mold.

 

Recipe: Braised Apple Cider Cabbage

Apple Cider Braised Cabbage Beauty + A140910 Food & Wine Most Requested Recipes + Jams 2014

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • One 1 1/2-pound head of green cabbage, cut through the core into 6 wedges
  • 1/2 cup chopped bacon (2 ounces)
  • 1 medium onion, halved through the core and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the cabbage wedges cut side down and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Add the bacon to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until rendered but not crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and simmer over moderately high heat until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the cider and bring to a boil. Nestle the cabbage wedges in the skillet, cover and braise over moderately low heat, turning once, until tender, about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or spatula, transfer the cabbage to a platter and tent with foil.
  3. Boil the sauce over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and swirl in the butter. Season the sauce with salt and pepper; spoon over the braised cabbage and serve.

 

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2piirVw

RECIPE: Homemade Italian Dressing

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Ingredients

1 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 large garlic clove, pressed
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon raw honey
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

Combine all of the ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously until the mixture is thickened and well-combined. Alternatively, combine the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined.
Adapted Source: http://bit.ly/2ook68N

You’re not a bad person- How to get back on track after a slip up

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Blame it on the holidays. Or maybe you just got too darned busy to think about what you were eating. Perhaps you threw caution — and calorie counts — to the wind during a fancy-free vacation or maybe you just relapsed to your old ways.

Whatever the cause, it happened: you went off your diet (maybe even stayed off it for a few days, or a few weeks). It happens to all of us eventually, experts say. The important thing is to stop beating yourself up and jump right back into your healthy eating plan.

Here are 10 tips to help you get back on track:

1. Don’t turn the relapse into a moral issue. You’re not a bad person or destined to be fat just because you slipped up. Think of the setback as a way to develop coping skills.

2. Learn from your experience. If you don’t recognize what led you to fall off the diet wagon, you’ll probably react the same way the next time the situation arises. Write down a list of the situations that trigger you to overeat, and plan an alternative for each. For example, if parties are your downfall, have a healthy snack beforehand to keep your appetite in check.

3. Don’t try to make up for the slip with a punishing regime of diet and exercise. You may lose weight this way, but you’re almost sure to gain it back. This will only set up an unhealthy pattern of gaining and losing, and create anxiety about your relationship with food.

4. Look at the big picture. Realize that weight loss requires a decrease in calories over time, but it doesn’t matter what the exact time period is. So consider your food intake a week or a month at a time instead of every day. Chances are you’ll have good days and bad days, and slipping up once in a while isn’t that big of a deal. You can always make up for it later in the week, or at the next meal.

5. Renew your motivation. Going off your diet is a signal that your motivation has veered off track. So sit down and take stock: When you were following your program, how did you feel? What was motivating you then? Recreating those feelings can help you get your incentive back.

6. Plan ahead to keep hunger at bay. When you let yourself get too hungry, it’s all too easy to overeat. To avoid that, plan nutritious snacks into your day. When you’re away from home, carry a “snack pack” filled with healthy options: things like dried and fresh fruits, baby carrots, nuts, and other healthy options.

7. Don’t deprive yourself. Cutting out all your favorite foods is a sure-fire way to trigger feelings of deprivation that can lead to a binge.

8. Don’t stop moving. Even if you can’t make it to the gym, duck out for a 20-minute walk. Exercise not only helps you burn the extra calories you took in while you were off your plan, but it also relieves boredom and stress that can trigger overeating.

9. Find an “accountability partner.” This can be a fellow dieter, or just a friend or family member who’ll provide encouragement for your efforts. Tell your partner your intentions and goals and check in regularly to help keep you on track.

10. Change your routine. Use starting anew as an opportunity to try a new exercise class — maybe belly dancing — and add some new, healthy foods to your regime (visit your local farmer’s market for inspiration). It will add spark to your routine and keep you from getting bored.

 

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Source: http://wb.md/2n9bd5f

 

Homemade household cleaning products -do they work and are they safe?

 The popularity of making cleaning products at home is rising as people seek to eliminate toxic chemicals from their environment or save money – and sometimes both.

Many of the ingredients for cleaning products can be found in the pantry – vinegar, baking soda and ammonia are popular kitchen staples that can perform double-duty in cooking and cleaning. In some tasks, homemade cleaners perform as well as store-bought cleaners, and the main ingredients often are significantly cheaper than one bottle of store-bought cleaning solutions.

Even though homemade cleaners may be seen as a less-toxic alternative to store-bought agents, home owners still need to take some precautions.

Know your ingredients. Lauren Weatherford, families and health agent for the West Virginia University Extension Service, said people need to research individual ingredients before following a recipe found on the internet.

“You may have heard from your grandmother that you can scrub your floors with baking soda, but you can’t just throw baking soda on the floor. As a family consumer science person, I would not use anything without knowing the precautions,” she said.

That’s because making homemade cleaners is science in action. Some ingredients should never be used together, like bleach and ammonia, and vinegar and bleach, which can cause severe respiratory damage. Hydrogen peroxide and vinegar together create peracetic acid, which causes burns.

“I always go back to what is an alkali, what is an acid, what is a surfactant, and why do you need it when cleaning?” said Pamela Turner, associate professor and housing extension specialist at the University of Georgia. “Just because it’s natural, it’s still not necessarily safe to use in large quantities in an unventilated area.”

Turner also recommends using clearly labelled, dated, dedicated containers for homemade cleaning products to avoid any mixing of ingredients, and to make them in small quantities.

Brian Sansoni, vice president of sustainability initiatives at the American Cleaning Institute, the cleaning products trade association, said if there are accidents caused by improper use or storage of cleaning products, most manufacturers have provided poison control centres with specific information on product ingredients, which isn’t the case with homemade cleaners.

Safety is also why people shouldn’t mix homemade and store-bought cleaners, or combine two store-bought cleaners.

Different surfaces need different cleaners, said Sonja Koukel, community and environmental health specialist in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University. Some homemade cleaners can strip wax off hardwood floors. Some alkaline ingredients, like baking soda and sodium carbonate, may make irreparable scratches on marble or granite if used improperly, she said.

“You may not even see them, but they can harbour bacteria and germs,” she said. “Make sure you’re using the right product for the right surface.”

Meg Roberts, president of residential cleaning company Molly Maid, said to watch when using vinegar as a cleaning agent on some metals.

“It’s great for stainless steel; it’s not great for aluminum or cast iron because those are reactive surfaces,” she said.

 

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Cleaning versus disinfecting: these terms are thrown around loosely, but they have different meanings. The US Environmental Protection Agency says cleaning essentially means removing dirt and debris, but cleaning products don’t necessarily kill germs. Disinfecting or sanitising products use chemicals (natural or synthetic) to kill germs. If a product is labelled as a sanitiser or disinfectant, the EPA requires it to actually kill the germs it claims to kill.

However, the EPA’s review does not evaluate all possible health risks for users of the products. It’s those issues that push many people to seek out less toxic cleaners and avoid products like bleach.

Koukel said there’s disagreement regarding milder home cleaners on what kills harmful bacteria like E. coli or salmonella, mostly because there is only limited research on how well products like vinegar work to disinfect and at what concentrations.

That’s why Roberts said they use professional-grade cleaning products in their business unless a client wants 100 per cent green products. Even so, they will also tell them those products won’t kill the germs “in the way we would like to,” she said.

Bleach gets a bad rap with environmentally focused people, but that’s mostly because people use too much, Koukel and Turner said.

“If you walk into a room and you can smell the bleach that they’ve used, they’re using way too much,” Koukel said.

Turner said while green cleaners may not kill all germs, sanitising isn’t always needed.

“Your countertops many times don’t need to be disinfected. It depends on what you’re doing, how many children you have, and how many people you have in your home who are sensitive or have a compromised immune system,” she said.

For people who see eco-friendly store-bought cleaners as a middle road between homemade and traditional cleaners, Turner recommends people go to the National Institutes of Health Household Products database (https://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/) for ingredient information.

“Household cleaners don’t have to tell you what’s in them. There’s no law that makes them tell you,” she said.

Tips for making your own. Weatherford, Turner and Koukel all have published home-cleaning recipes and information as part of their research and offer the following advice for people who want to make their own products.

* Water-dampened microfibre cloths are great for the simplest cleaning of dust and dirt, especially on windows.

* Essential oils like tea tree, lavender and lemon can add scent to homemade cleaners and just a few drops are needed.

* Don’t like the smell of vinegar? Vodka is a good substitute. Weatherford uses a 50-50 mix of vodka and water and a few drops of essential oils for an air freshener and shower spray.

 

Here is a list of clean green recipes that will give you a start at making your own cleaners: QueenOfGreen-Green-cleaning-recipes

 

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Source: http://bit.ly/2mqTB1H

My Whole 30 Experience

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So we did it! We have completed the whole30 challenge and I have got to be honest it wasn’t easy at first but gradually it became easier. Really it did.

My husband has been dealing with some allergy issues with food, and I myself was not feeling very healthy either. I was at my heaviest a grand 195lbs, full of migraines, sore joints, an inflamed shoulder and unbearable fatigue. It was then we decided we were going to do this together to eliminate most common allergens – grains, sugar, dairy, legumes and then see how we felt after 30 days of real food. We have a 6 year old as well and we decided this would be a great move for her as well. How do you convince a 6 year old of getting rid of all foods she knows and loves? Easy, bribe, bribe, bribe… Lol.

So what the heck do you eat for 30 days? Proteins, veggies, fruits and healthy fats…. Hmmm seems boring, and impossible I’ve been told, but I’m the boss of this body so let’s go!

First step: Commit and know you can do this!

Second step: Clean out all non compliant foods in the fridge, pantry and secret stashes. For us this meant almost everything! I was left with 2 cans of tuna and a frozen turkey. The rest we donated to the food bank.

Third step: Get your list and go! At first this will seem expensive and confusing but it will even out. The first shop is always expensive, but the money you save on eating junk food balances out as, well as leaving some extra 🙂

Forth step: Keep it simple. Don’t overwhelm yourself with fancy pants recipes in the beginning at least. Try some basics like Salmon with baked potato and broccoli or a Veggie omelette with a side of bacon. I’m going to post some easy recipes and menus but for now just quick pointers.

Fifth Step: Endure… Focus and start your journey!

So there you have it. Our start to the story.

Week 1: Here we go into madness….

We started on the first of December… Crazy right. December the destroyer of all diets, excess and overeating was always number one on the list. But we figured there is no time like the present and if you can make it through that, then we can make it through anything.

Now let’s see what I personally have to give up, cold turkey.

I admit I was a food junkie.

I drank 8+ cans of Pepsi (the dark master) everyday. At least one meal from a fast food establishment, coffee with 4 creams and 4 sugars. Bags of sugary candies to munch on and so much more… Sheesh! What a disaster. No wonder I was fading fast! I was literally eating myself to death.

Week 1 starts… First day is always easy. You can go two ways really. One you can abandon at anytime and reason you can start tomorrow or suck it up buttercup and push on through to day 2. Now the rest of the week can get tricky, this whole food business takes allot of prep, more then dialing for delivery or a frozen meal in 5 min, we are talking chopping, baking blending and more! Ok you can do this!!!

Later that week….. You body starts freaking out about this no sugar and way less refined foods. I felt like hell, I’m not going to lie. I had the carb flu. Runny nose, headache, tired beyond help, nauseous and overall miserable. I hate life, now give me a cookie and no one gets hurt. Too bad I’m so stubborn sometimes. I want to quit. I want to cry. But instead I have another banana and deal with it.

Before I know it we are all done 7 days, I would like to say I felt better after this but I’m afraid I can’t. Sometimes things have to get worse to get better. I had hit rock bottom and the only way left was up 🙂

This to shall pass

Then came the glimmer of shiny hope, the little push you need to keep going. I step on the scales and after a grueling week 1 I have lost 8lbs! I smile a grumpy little smile and then onto week 2……

Week 2: Further down the rabbit hole

Onto week two. I feel at this point that I am deep in it. I still think about quitting. So easy to just eat everything but still I can see changes everyday now.

Fruit is tasting sweeter, my sense of smell is increasing, I’m sleeping better and easier. My naps in the day are less frequent and I’m gaining more energy.I decide to reduce my sleeping pills to half and see what happens.

My headaches are much less painful now and getting to be less frequent, I could be onto something here. The kicker is I’m now down another 7lbs.

I will do this till the end and see what’s in store for my perseverance.

Total lost so far 15 lbs and starting to wake up for the first time.

Week 3: Hello, remember me? 

Week 3, funny I’m blogging all this from a journal that I had and it’s so weird to look back after the fact when it’s all said and done. In reality the time did not pass so quickly.. Lol.

So week 3 here we are.  I’m feeling so much different. It’s a miracle really, and if you don’t believe me it’s okay, I’m not trying to sell anything here but I am speaking the truth.

My headaches are now gone. Migraines are nowhere to be seen. My shoulder and knee have no inflammation left and I’m off my sleeping pills.My energy is high my sleep is amazing and my mood is soaring! Down another 3lbs this week totaling 18 lbs gone.

I’m eating amazing things that are so satisfying to me that I don’t miss anything of my prior vices. My cravings are gone now and I’m learning great information, so much information that I am bursting to share, but wait let’s make it till the end before we tell the world.

Week 4 is Christmas. Stay strong!

Week 4: 30 days done. What now? 

Week 4 already. Christmas time and dinner awaits. I am fortunate enough I have found support from my whole family, my aunt who is a wonderful and loving person discusses how she can help with our new way of eating. Notice how I don’t use the word diet. I find that the true meaning of that word has been long forgotten that I don’t use it, I prefer lifestyle change.

We don’t miss out this week on anything, funny how you just stop craving things. You can look that cake in the sugary face and just say no, and mean it without much care. Instead we are treated to fresh raspberries and chilled full fat coconut milk. The turkey dinner is fabulous and after we feel wonderful and satisfied. Amazing who would have ever thought….

This week I felt more my old self then I had felt in a long time. I’m happy and down another 3lbs.

That’s 21 lbs in 30 days.

It was after this week that we had decided we were all going to become a permanent paleo family.

 

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What have I learned after The Whole 30?

In my own opinion, I think that sugar is poison, grains are mostly chemicals since they absorb so much of them when grown. We do not need all of this fake, processed frankenfood that contain ingredients no one can pronounce.

My child is not “missing out” on anything. She is a brilliant, beautiful girl who deserves to have foods that will give her the nutrition she needs and the information and education to continue into adulthood.

We are not dogs, we do not need treats. We do not need to follow the “norm” of overeating and big portions nor do we need to be supermodels. We don’t need to be fooled. We just need to be informed and supported.

I’m so glad I can share this with you all. I hope this blog will awaken you to take care of yourself.

I did it.

You can do it.

Open your eyes…… I’m wide awake.

 

Start your whole30 now@ www.whole30.com

Read more about The Whole30 right here on my blog too click here

 

 

 

Yoga: Benefits, Intensity Level, and More Information

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Workout fads come and go, but virtually no other exercise is as enduring as yoga. It’s been around for more than 5,000 years.

Yoga does more than burn calories and tone muscles. It’s a total mind-body workout that combines strengthening stretching poses with deep breathing and meditation or relaxation.

There are more than 100 different forms of yoga. Some are fast-paced and intense. Others are gentle and relaxing.

Examples of different yoga forms include:

Hatha. The form most often associated with yoga, it combines a series of basic movements with breathing.

Vinyasa. A series of poses that flow smoothly into one another.

Power. A faster, higher-intensity practice that builds muscle.

Ashtanga. A series of poses, combined with a special breathing technique.

Bikram. Also known as “hot yoga,” it’s a series of 26 challenging poses performed in a room heated to a high temperature.

Iyengar. A type of yoga that uses props like blocks, straps, and chairs to help you move your body into the proper alignment.

Intensity Level: Varies with Type

The intensity of your yoga workout depends on which form of yoga you choose. Techniques like hatha and iyengar yoga are gentle and slow. Bikram and power yoga are faster and more challenging.

Areas It Targets

Core: Yes. There are yoga poses to target just about every core muscle. Want to tighten those love handles? Then prop yourself up on one arm and do a side plank. To really burn out the middle of your abs, you can do boat pose, in which you balance on your “sit bones” (the bony prominences at the base of your pelvic bones) and hold your legs up in the air.

Arms: Yes. With yoga, you don’t build arm strength with free weights or machines, but with the weight of your own body. Some poses, like the plank, spread your weight equally between your arms and legs. Others, like the crane and crow poses, challenge your arms even more by making them support your full body weight.

Legs: Yes. Yoga poses work all sides of the legs, including your quadriceps, hips, and thighs.

Glutes: Yes. Yoga squats, bridges, and warrior poses involve deep knee bends, which give you a more sculpted rear.

Back: Yes. Moves like downward-facing dog, child’s pose, and cat/cow give your back muscles a good stretch. It’s no wonder that research finds yoga may be good for relieving a sore back.

Types

Flexibility: Yes. Yoga poses stretch your muscles and increase your range of motion. With regular practice, they’ll improve your flexibility.

Aerobic: No. Yoga isn’t considered as aerobic, but the more athletic varieties, like power yoga, will make you sweat. And even though yoga is not aerobic, some research finds it can be just as good as aerobic exercise for improving health.

Strength: Yes. It takes a lot of strength to hold your body in a balanced pose. Regular practice will strengthen the muscles of your arms, back, legs, and core.

Sport: No. Yoga is not competitive. Focus on your own practice and don’t compare yourself to other people in your class.

Low-Impact: Yes. Although yoga will give you a full-body workout, it won’t put any impact on your joints.

 

What Else Should I Know?yoga_books1

Cost. Varies. If you already know your way around a yoga mat, you can practice for free at home. Videos and classes will cost you various amounts of money.

Good for beginners? Yes. People of all ages and fitness levels can do the most basic yoga poses and stretches.

Outdoors. Yes. You can do yoga anywhere, indoors or out.

At home. Yes. All you need is enough space for your yoga mat.

Equipment required? No. You don’t need any equipment because you’ll rely on your own body weight for resistance. But you’ll probably want to use a yoga mat to keep you from sliding around in standing poses, and to cushion you while in seated and lying positions. Other, optional equipment includes a yoga ball for balance, a yoga block or two, and straps to help you reach for your feet or link your hands behind your back.

There are many types of yoga from the peaceful hatha to the high-intensity power yoga. All types take your workout to a level of mind-body connection. It can help you relax and focus while gaining flexibility and strength. Yoga can also boost your mood.

Even though there are many instructional books and DVDs on yoga, it is well worth it to invest in some classes with a good instructor who can show you how to do the postures.

Chances are, there’s a type of yoga that suits your needs and fitness level. It’s a great choice if you want a holistic approach to mind and body strength.

Yoga is not for you if you like a fast-moving, competitive workout. Be open-minded, since there are physical and mental benefits you can gain by adding some yoga into your fitness plan, even if it isn’t your main workout.

 

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Is It Good for Me If I Have a Health Condition?

Yoga is a great activity for you if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease. It gives you strength, flexibility, and mind-body awareness. You’ll also need to do something aerobic (like walking, biking, or swimming) if you’re not doing a fast-moving type of yoga.

If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart problems, ask your doctor what you can do. You may need to avoid certain postures, like those in which you’re upside down or that demand more balance than you have right now. A very gentle program of yoga, coupled with a light aerobic activity like walking or swimming, may be the best way to start.

Do you have arthritis? Yoga can help you stay flexible and strong without putting added stress on your joints. You get the added benefit of a mind-body approach that can help you relax and energize.

If you’re pregnant, yoga can help keep you relaxed, strong, and in shape. If you’re new to yoga or have any health or pregnancy related problems, talk to your doctor before you give it a try. Look for an instructor who’s experienced in teaching prenatal yoga.

You’ll need to make some adjustments as your baby and belly grow and your center of gravity shifts. After your first trimester, don’t do any poses that have you lying on your back. And don’t try to stretch any further than you did before pregnancy. Your pregnancy hormones will loosen up your joints and make you more likely to get injured.

While you’re pregnant, avoid postures that put pressure on your belly or low back. Don’t do “hot” yoga, where the room temperature is very high.

 

Source: http://wb.md/1PgQh24

How to Sprout Your Own Wheatgrass

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There is so much precious goodness all crammed into wheatgrass juice that it’s no wonder that it’s called the “Liquid Sunshine”. All the best under the sun, are found in wheatgrass and the best way to get to them, is through wheatgrass juice. “The Nectar of the Gods, the Ultimate Blood Purifier“.

To ensure continuous supply of this superfood, why not sprout your own? You can obtain the supplies from your local organic shop or health store, or check out our online store, click on “Wheatgrass and Sprouting”.

I’ve put together a simple step-by-step sprouting instructions here for your easy reference. It really isn’t that difficult to sprout wheatgrass and you can do it yourself at home. Not only do you get the good feeling of harvesting your very own miracle food, it also brightens up your home with its cheery green.

 

 

Step # 1: Pre-sprout/Germinating

Organic wheatgrass seeds are recommended for sprouting to ensure the sweetness of your wheatgrass juice and that it will contain the optimum vitamins and minerals that will boost your health.

  1. Pre-sprouting is so important to ensure a good crop. Follow these steps to pre-sprout your wheatgrass seeds to ensure that your crop grows at a much faster rate.
  2. Measure out a bowl of seeds. Amount: estimate enough to fill one layer of seeds on whatever the size of your tray.
  3. Rinse the seeds in clean water, drain, then soak the seeds in a container with about 2-3 times of cool water.
  4. Soak for about 8-10 hours.
  5. After 8-10 hours, drain the water, then cover them with cling wrap in a glass dish and put them in a dark area.
  6. After the second set of 8-10 hours check on them and mist with water.
  7. Repeat until sprouted roots of at least 1/8 of an inch to 1/4 of an inch.

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Step # 2: Preparing the Tray

  1. Line the bottom of the tray with unbleached paper towels so that the roots do not protrude at the bottom through the holes in the tray.
  2. Fill the tray with pre-moistened soil, compost or potting mix to about one and half inch of the tray depth. Ensure that your soil does not contain artificial fertilizers or chemicals. Always use organic.

Step # 3: Planting

  1. Lay out the germinated seeds evenly and densely in one layer, on the damp soil in the tray. Gently impressed the seeds into the soil.
  2. Place your tray under indirect sunlight, probably inside your house, near a window and with proper ventilation. Wheatgrass does not like hot direct sunlight.

 

Step # 4: Watering

The young shoots need to be watered at least twice a day to keep them nice and moist. If the soil gets dry, the young shoots may die off before they root. To help prevent this, put a sheet of damp newspaper over the tray to keep them moist until they grow to about an inch high.To water, use a spray bottle, adjusting to light-medium. When the shoots are above one inch, probably about day 5, reduce watering to once a day in the morning. But always ensure that the water is just enough to keep the soil damp to the roots. Avoid over-watering.

In warmer and humid climates, mold may tend to grow in your wheatgrass tray. This is a common problem but is harmless. When harvesting, just cut above the affected area, avoiding the mold. A blowing fan during humid days may help prevent mold-growth.

Step # 5: Harvesting

When your wheatgrass grows to about 6 inches (about day 9 or 10), it is ready for harvesting. Use a scissors and cut the wheatgrass just above the seeds.

If there is mold, avoid and cut above it. You need about a bunch of the grass to make about 1 ounce of shot enough to give you energy for a day. Cut just prior to juicing to ensure freshness.

A tray the size of 21″ x 11″ should be able to provide you enough wheatgrass for about 14-18 ounces of juice.

Note: You may continue to water the crop to produce a second or third crop though they may not be as tender nor grow as tall. But you get extra ounces from it. Otherwise, clean the tray and start a new crop.

 

Step # 6: Juice and Enjoy

To juice wheatgrass, you need a wheatgrass juicer or a gear juicer. A centrifugal juicer is not be able to juice wheatgrass, and you may clog up the strainer in the process as it is very fibrous.

Rinse your wheatgrass and juice. Do not take more than one ounce a day if you are not familiar with drinking juices. Wheatgrass juice is such a powerful cleanser that it may cause you some healing reactions.

 

wheatgrass

 

If Your Wheatgrass Turned Moldy

Moldy wheatgrass is a very common problem in tropical weather. Even though the wheatgrass mold is harmless, it may be a turn-off for most people, including me!

Here are a few suggestions that you can implement to reduce/eliminate mold in your future batches of wheatgrass.

# 1: Instead of soaking overnight or just 8-10 hours as suggested above, you may try to soak it a little longer (say 10-12 hours) so that the seeds expand more, allowing better germination and shorter sprouting time.

# 2: Lay out the seeds in the tray densely, but in one layer. Try not to have them overlap so that there is enough breathing space for each sprout. This allows a little “air” to reduce mold.

# 3: Don’t over-water your sprouts. Use a spray bottle so that you spray enough just to keep them wet, not soaked.

# 4: Do not miss this step—while waiting for your sprouts to take root, cover with a piece of damp newspaper and spray the paper to keep it wet. But remember, do not soak. (See the video below.)

# 5: Finally, you might even try this. Once your sprouts have taken root, put a “collecting tray” without holes under your wheatgrass tray to act as a water reservoir. So, instead of watering from the top, you water from the bottom so that the mold will grow at the bottom rather than on the sprouts. While you do this, still use your spray bottle to spray on the sprouts to keep them a little moist.

Try out some or all of the suggestions here and see what works for you depending on the humidity in your area. Don’t give up. I believe you will get beautiful harvests once you understand your sprouts better.

 

 

Source:http://bit.ly/2kTZfZ6