Category Archives: General

Benefits of a Plant Based Diet

This short video high lights so many health benefits that are gained by following a plant-based diet. It gives you real food for thought, and I enjoyed it. Have a look and let me know your thoughts.

 

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Repost: Castor Oil Great for Growing Thicker Hair, Eyebrows & Eyelashes

I stumbled across this interesting post on  http://www.naturalnews.com/ and thought I would repost it for you all, enjoy!

Castor oil is often overlooked for its benefits for the skin and hair because of its extremely thick and sticky consistency. However, if you’re looking for a cheap, natural remedy for several common skin and hair complaints, then castor oil is definitely worth your time.

I first stumbled on castor oil as a remedy for regrowing thin eyebrows. I had over-plucked my brows back in the nineties when it was the hip thing to have pencil thin brows, and they never did quite recover. It became necessary for me to pencil in the “bald” spots and I missed the natural look of real hair where these spots were missing.

eyebrows

I read about castor oil as a remedy for thinning brows and hair, and thought I’d try it. I bought a hexane free, organic and cold pressed castor oil and started applying it to my eyebrows every night after washing my face. After about three months, I noticed my brows were noticeably thicker (and they seemed to be growing in darker as well), and attributed it to the nightly application of castor oil.

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I’m not the only one that this has worked for. So, why would castor oil help you regrow hair – both on your head and the other two important places, the eyebrows and the eyelashes.

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Castor oil is high in ricinoleic acid. This acid is a very effective natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent. This can help keep any fungus or bacteria from inhibiting hair growth. Since the oil is also very thick, it may help to prevent hair loss simply by helping to coat the hair and protect it from falling out.

Castor oil is also high in omega 9 fatty acids, which are nourishing to both the hair and the follicle, as well as the surrounding skin. Castor oil has a unique ability to be deeply penetrating, and this helps it to deliver its nourishment deeply into the pores and the follicles that produce hair.

oil treatment

It also has a high gloss, so it lends a lush glossiness and shine to the hair. A little goes a long way, and it is best to only add a tiny bit to the very ends of your hair instead of putting it up near the scalp if you’re just looking for a natural hair smoother.

Simply put about two drops on your hands and rub, then smooth through the ends. If you use too much, there is a fine line between subtle shine and a heavy greasiness so go very light until you figure out the amount that works right for your hair type.

black skin

If you’re looking to regrow the hair on your head, you can use castor oil as a scalp treatment. However it can be tricky to get on the scalp without thinning it out with a lighter oil. You can add some melted coconut oil, apricot kernel oil or another lighter oil to help get it spreadable enough.

castor oil 2

If you’re simply looking to help thicken hair that is thinning at the edges of your hairline, you can use pure castor oil, with a light hand of course. Another use is to apply the oil to eyelashes to help thicken and strengthen them, as well as to help prevent thinning and shedding.

Many attest to the wonders castor oil offers for keloid types of scars and other scars that involve a lot of hardened scar tissue. This is presumably due to its ability for deep penetration through multiple skin layers.

Castor oil is also excellent for the lips. Our lips needs constant protection against the elements. Although our lips regenerate and recover quickly, they also dry out and begin to peel when they are dehydrated. Castor oil not only smooths the lips with fatty acids, but it also helps protect them due to its naturally thick and immovable nature.

Vegan Power Plant-Based Diet Protein Myth Busted!

Since August 2013 I have eliminated meat and dairy from my diet and now follow a plant based diet.  I have really been enjoying it and I have found that it encourages me to be much more adventurous in the kitchen rather than just eating protein and carbs for dinner with a portion or two of veg. My decision to follow a plant based diet was made after researching some of the things that are contained in our everyday foods and how they effect our bodies. I came to the conclusion that a high percentage of the foods that I was eating were actually harmful to my body in the long run. I was also eating many of them out of habit, not because I particularly enjoyed them.

I have reposted this article by Eric Dubay from Happy Healthy Homepage as it is an interesting read and it contains all of the reasons why I have decided to follow a plant based diet. I hope that you enjoy reading the article as much as I did.

 

“The idea that humans must consume animal flesh and excretions (meat and dairy) as part of a balanced diet is a monstrous myth long symbolized and propagated by our unhealthy FDA food pyramid.

 
The entire top three levels of the regular pyramid (meat, dairy, refined fats/sugars) are not by any means necessary or conducive to good health. There is not a single vitamin, mineral, nutrient, phyto-nutrient, amino-acid, fatty-acid, protein-chain, omega, or any other such elusive vital ingredient to health, not a single thing found in meat or dairy products that cannot be found, in greater abundance and more optimally, in the plant kingdom. For instance there are more omegas in seaweed than in fish, over twice as much protein in spinach than steak, and four times more calcium in sesame seeds than in milk. An actual healthy food pyramid would look something like this picture.

Meat and dairy products are highly acidic, fattening, cholesterol-laden, artery-clogging, lymph-clotting, mucus-forming, constipating, difficult to digest, and full of worms, parasites, bacteria, metabolic waste, hormones, and chemicals. Eggs are actually unfertilized avian menstrual cycles, otherwise known as chicken periods. Milk is the puss and hormone-filled mammary excretions of a female cow and meant to nourish her young. None of these animal bits and pieces are beneficial or necessary for human consumption.

There is not a single chronic disease or deficiency exclusive to vegans. However, heart disease, cancer, tumours, cysts, MS, diabetes, and many other major health problems have all been cured by switching to a 100% vegan diet. Some of the strongest animals in nature like gorillas, elephants, moose, rhinos, hippos, and giraffes are all vegetarians. The idea that you need to eat another animal’s flesh to be strong is a ridiculous superstition. Shaolin martial monks, arguably the toughest men on the planet, are all strict vegetarians.
 
Our human anatomy is undeniably designed to subsist on plant foods and not on animal flesh; literally every aspect of our bodies proves we are herbivore/frugivores and not carnivore/omnivores
 
 
To begin with, humans and other natural vegetarians have 4x longer, convoluted intestinal tracts perfect for slow digesting fruits and starches, whereas omnivore/carnivores have 4x shorter intestines to quickly push out the acidic, putrefying animal flesh they eat.
Humans have alkaline saliva ptyalin to pre-digest grains, alkaline urine, and weak stomach acid whereas all omnivore/carnivores have acidic saliva, acidic urine, and 10-1000x stronger hydrochloric stomach acid essential for digesting meat.  
All natural flesh-eaters also secrete the enzyme “uricase” necessary to metabolize the uric acid in meat, but uricase is not produced by our human bodies.

Humans have lateral jaw movement and flat molars for grinding grains and vegetables whereas natural flesh eaters have no lateral jaw movement and scores of huge fangs for biting and ripping. Humans have short, weak fingernails whereas carnivores and omnivores have long, strong, sharp claws for cutting through skin and flesh. Humans must take in Vitamin C from our food whereas all carnivores and most omnivore’s bodies produce their own Vitamin C.  Natural omnivores and carnivores also have a microbial tolerance far higher than humans.  For example the botulinum toxin which is deadly to humans but is easily and safely digested by natural flesh-eaters.
 
Humans eating a high fat diet become obese, lazy, and diseased whereas natural flesh eaters stay trim, energetic and absolutely thrive on their high fat diet.  Human vision is easily able to differentiate various colors making it simple to discern ripe from unripe plant foods, whereas the color vision of most omnivore/carnivores is far less discerning. Humans sleep only 6-12 hours a day like most herbivore/frugivores, whereas most omnivore/carnivores sleep 18-20 hours a day. Humans sweat from pores all over our bodies whereas all carnivores and most omnivores release perspiration from their tongues. Humans have single births and two mammary glands whereas most all omnivores and carnivores birth litters of several babies have have rows upon rows of mammary glands.
Again, there is not a single chronic disease or deficiency exclusive to vegans, nor a single vitamin, mineral, nutrient, phyto-nutrient, amino-acid, fatty-acid, protein-chain, omega, or any other such elusive vital ingredient to health, not a single thing found in meat (or dairy) products that cannot be found, in greater abundance and more optimally, in the plant kingdom.  Put simply, humans are biologically built vegetarians.
In using comparative anatomy to determine what man was ‘meant’ to eat, we should look at the species most similar to man, namely the anthropoid apes – chimpanzees, gibbons, gorillas, and orangutans. Of all animals, man’s digestive organs and teeth most closely resemble these apes. In captivity, some of these animals will eat meat if forced to rather than starve to death. But in the wild, all eat a vegetarian diet. Another strong clue that man is naturally a vegetarian is the fact that vegetarians in general are much healthier than omnivores. The American Dietetic Association has acknowledged that vegetarians are less at risk for a number of chronic diseases, including heart disease, some types of cancer, obesity, high blood pressure, and adult-onset diabetes … Eating a healthy diet goes far beyond cutting back a bit on red meat. In a recent study of 6,500 Chinese, Dr. T. Collin Campbell of Cornell found that even though the Chinese overall eat only a fraction of the animal protein Americans do, those who ate the least animal protein nonetheless had lower risk of disease than the average Chinese. Dr. Campbell concludes, ‘We’re basically a vegetarian species and should be eating a wide variety of plant foods and minimizing our intake of animal foods.‘” -Glen Kime, president, Vegetarian Society of Washington, D.C.
 

All omnivores and carnivores eat their meat raw, tearing through fur/skin, and lapping up the nutrient-rich blood with their tongues. A true omnivore like a bear will take a fish out of the water and swallow it whole, uncooked, scales, bones, fins, head and everything. When a lion kills an herbivore for food, it tears right into the stomach area to eat the raw stomach, liver, intestines, and other organs that are filled with blood and nutrients. They will NOT eat cooked meat. For most humans, the smell and taste of raw bloody meat is putrid, so in order to consume it they must first clean, cook, season and marinate the flesh in various vegetarian herbs and spices to make it palatable.

The final point I would like to make on how we as humans were not meant to eat meat is this. All omnivorous and carnivorous animals eat their meat raw. When a lion kills an herbivore for food, it tears right into the stomach area to eat the organs that are filled with blood (nutrients). While eating the stomach, liver, intestine, etc., the lion laps the blood in the process of eating the dead animals flesh. Even bears that are omnivores eat salmon raw. However, eating raw or bloody meat disgusts us as humans. Therefore, we must cook it and season it to buffer the taste of flesh. If a deer is burned in a forest fire, a carnivorous animal will NOT eat its flesh. Even circus lions have to be feed raw meat so that they will not starve to death. If humans were truly meant to eat meat, then we would eat all of our meat raw and bloody. The thought of eating such meat makes one’s stomach turn. This is my point on how we as humans are conditioned to believe that animal flesh is good for us and that we were meant to consume it for survival and health purposes. If we are true carnivores or omnivores, cooking our meat and seasoning it with salt, ketchup, or tabasco sauce would disguise and we as humans would refuse to eat our meat in this form.” -Dr. Akilah El

 
 

Finally, plain moral decency and ethics should be reason enough to end this animal holocaust. Can you imagine if aliens came to Earth and treated humans the way we treat cows, pigs, and chickens? If aliens kept us locked together in tight cages, fattened us up, cut our noses and balls off, raped our women, chained down our children, then killed and ate us when we were the most tasty, would you see anything wrong with that? And for the anti-war meat-eaters out there: Need I point out the hypocrisy? If you kill innocent, defenseless animals every day just because you like the taste, then go around pretending you’re “anti-war,” you’re only fooling yourself.”

 
 “As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields.” -Leo Tolstoy

Recognize meat for what it really is: the antibiotic- and pesticide-laden corpse of a tortured animal” -Ingrid Newkirk

A man of my spiritual intensity does not eat corpses” -George Bernard Shaw

A human can be healthy without killing animals for food. Therefore if he eats meat he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral” -Leo Tolstoy

Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages” -Thomas Edison

The Amazing Health Benefits of the Moringa Tree

Earlier this year I heard about the moringa oleifera tree for the first time.  I am always interested in hearing about natural products and moringa has far to many health benefits to be ignored.  Often referred to as the ‘miracle tree’ Moringa Oleifera is one of nature’s best kept secrets which has been overlooked by the western world for far too long.

Moringa gives you the following:

– Increased energy
– 47 antioxidants
– Better endurance
– Increased focus
– Mental clarity
– 36 anti- inflammatories
– 25 multivitamins

Moringa has been used in other parts of the world, such as Asia and Africa, for many years. Due to its high nutritional content it has been used to help fight the battle against malnutrition. The Western world is slowly but surely beginning to the health benefits that it has been missing out on.

Moringa oleifera capsule with green fresh leaves on white backgr

Moringa can be consumed in powder form, used in juices, smoothies or sprinkled over cereal or salad. It can also be taken in capsule form, or you may like to drink the tea. I have been taking the capsules and also drinking the tea. I have noticed a tremendous increase in my energy levels, I am able to keep up with my energetic toddler with much less effort. Even on nights when I get less sleep than I require, I wake up feeling refreshed.

moringa flow chart

Moringa seeds are also pressed in order to produce moringa oil which is an excellent moisturizer which contains numerous anti- inflammatories and antioxidants which help to fight against free radicals which produce wrinkles. I have also used moringa oil and I love it as it is not greasy and it is easily absorbed into my skin.

Gram for gram it has been found that moringa has:

Moringa_Nutritions

With all of the health benefits listed there is little reason not to give moringa a try. You cannot overdose on moringa and it is a great product for all of the family to try. Always make sure that the moringa that you buy is 100% organic and has not been mixed with any other ingredients. Source of Health sell organic moringa products and also have an excellent range.

I’m Finally Back- Pregnancy, Labour, and Beyond

Before the birth of my beautiful son I would never have believed just how much of the day newborns take up! I imagined that I would be able to blog by the time that he was 2 weeks old but then reality hit! My son is 9 weeks old now and I am really enjoying my new role as Mum and I am glad that I now have enough of a routine to begin reintroducing the things that I enjoy into my life.

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I have always been curious about pregnancy, labour, the period after having the baby, and whether or not its possible to regain your figure. I am happy that I now have first hand experience and that it is positive also.  Below is a picture of me at 9 months pregnant.

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My labour was 29 hours, which would have brought me to tears if anyone had told me that it would be that long, but once you are in the middle of it you cannot say I don’t want to do this any more! I used deep breathing for pain management for the first 25 hours and then I opted for gas and air for the last 4 hours.  After 25 hours I was also 5cm dilated which meant that I could get into the birthing pool.

Having a water birth was a great experience and it is what I hoped to have from the day that I found out I was pregnant. There are many factors which can prevent you from having a water birth, some of which include being over weight, having high blood pressure, a history of complicated births, high temperature, or if the baby shows signs of being distressed.  I was aware of the things that could stop me from having the birth that I wanted but I just chose to focus on the positive.

I continued to exercise in the gym until 2 weeks before my sons due date.  I did Yoga and Pilates I also used the exercise bike, cross trainer and lifted light weights.  Once I stopped going to the gym at 38 weeks, I continued to go for long walks at least 3 times per week up until the day that I went in to labour, my son came 3 days after his due date.

As I was so active throughout my pregnancy and ate healthily, I was very surprised when I got on the scales, when my son was 2 weeks old, to find that I was still 2 stones over my pre pregnancy weight. I decided that I would only weigh myself once per month and by the time my son was 7 weeks I was only 9lbs above my pre pregnancy weight without the gym. 7 weeks post partum I returned to the gym 2 days per week and this is a routine that I hope to continue for a while.  As I only go twice per week I have to ensure that each workout counts.  I do cardio and weights each time, I vary the cardio between my own work out or attending a spinning class. I do not concerned about being 9lbs above my usual weight as I know that it will come off in time with exercise and my usual eating patterns.  I am still breast feeding which means that my body will naturally maintain some additional fat stores. I read an excellent article on breast feeding written by Anne Smith who is a Lactation ConsultantIt is said that the average woman “will carry around about 3 extra pounds of breast tissue while she’s lactating”.

I have often heard that between 300- 500 calories are burned each day with breastfeeding and that it is natures way of getting women back to their usual weight.  However in reality many of the women that I have spoken to have not found it helpful. My opinion is that breast feeding does burn calories and speed up weight loss but you still have to eat healthily.  You cannot over eat or take the unhealthy option because you are breast feeding.  The only way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories than you burn throughout the day. By eating healthily and getting some form of exercise no less than 3 days per week the weight will begin to come off.

Video

Kony 2012

Joseph Kony, the guerilla group leader, has been at large killing the innocent children of Uganda for too long.  He needs to be arrested and brought to justice. Please take a few minutes out of your day to watch this short video and I guarantee that you will want to support the Kony2012 Campaign and do what you can to make a difference.

Alternatively you can look at the Kony2012 website http://www.kony2012.com.

Gellux Manicure- 17 Days Later

After 17 days of wear and tear I am really impressed with the fact that my Gellux manicure is still intact.  Other than the fact that my nails have grown, and created a space at the base, there are no chips in my nails and this is great.  I have done everything that I would usually do and with normal nail varnish  there would have been chips after 5 days at a maximum. 

Unfortunately I am having difficulty trying to upload the picture that I took of my nails, but I have not been disappointed and I will definitely use Gellux again.