Getting the right amount of vitamins is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Ideally, getting vitamins through the food we eat is the best way for our bodies to receive nutrition. When that fails, supplements can be a good source of nutrition. Unfortunately, many people tend to treat supplements less seriously than medicine and often take larger doses than necessary. Vitamin D is easy to over-ingest. Often, Vitamin D is found in daily supplements AND in calcium supplements, and many people, especially women, can take too much. Conversely, with decreasing outdoor activity and increased sunscreen usage, many people are diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency. Read more
Make healthy choices in what you drink.
Decisions about which drink to choose are tough, but making a healthy decision may be the hardest part. Look at any beverage aisle in a grocery and you know you have a lot of choices to quench your thirst. Energy drinks, sodas and juices abound. Here’s some information to help you make a more informed selection. Read more
Elimination — yup. We’re going to talk about THAT. Every human organism relies on the ability to successfully eliminate waste from its system or die. Getting waste out quickly is a benefit to any biological system. In humans, our bodies are designed to evacuate in a squatting position, and long before the modern toilet was invented, our ancestors squatted. Many cultures still use toilets that require squatting, which would be viewed as odd here in the United States. Read more
Mindful eating is not something most people in our busy world do on a regular basis. In a world where snack foods are sold in “cup-sized” containers to fit in our car’s cup holders, we tend to focus on the speedy delivery of food, not in savoring it.
If you’d like to get away from this crazy treadmill of meals, mindful eating is worth investigating. Best of all, you don’t need any fancy book to tell you how to do it or any special gear, either–just you, your brain, your mouth and food. Read more
Is wheat healthy for us?
Give us this day our daily bread….or not? Depending on your experience with food, eating wheat is either just a fact of your daily life, or it’s something to be avoided at all costs.
Food’s Cultural and Social Influence
How does food influence us? In more ways than we might imagine since we all participate in a “food culture.” In the U.S., influences on our food come from European cultures, our Native American roots and migratory cultures that came to the U.S. Traditions around food vary by family ancestry. Growing up in certain cultures means the Sunday dinner is a required event, or that certain foods are served for holidays and celebrations. Unfortunately, some of the worst habits we have as Americans also center around our food influences. Fast food culture, processed foods and eating on the go are all areas Americans could improve. These good and the bad influences come together to form our food culture. Read more
Is the cost of organics worth the benefit?
You hear organic foods are healthier for you, but are they worth the cost? It’s easy to WANT to choose organic for all of your food, but eating exclusively organic products can sometimes be tough on a budget.
According to Alex Lu, a T.H. Chan School of Public Health professor….yes, you should buy organic when available and when your budget allows. This is the best way to avoid pesticides and harmful chemicals. Read more
The term “game of inches” is often applied to football, but it is just as apt for a healthy diet. Small changes over time typically result in a healthier lifestyle than large, dramatic changes that only last until willpower expires. One of the ways to conquer inches in healthy eating is to make better choices in the fats we eat. Read more
Now that summer has come and gone, you may find your beach body routine sliding into couch potato mode. If you don’t want to be slipping into your spandex pants come Christmas, there are numerous Essential Oils to help you shed the extra pounds. With Halloween right around the corner, it’s best to get a head start on your weight loss goals before the chocolate temptations overwhelm your best dietary intention. This post will help you understand the right essential oils for weight loss. Read more
Use of essential oils dates back to ancient India, Persia, and Egypt; however, the distillation process used today did not become common practice until the 11th century. Even so, it wasn’t until the 18th century that essential oils saw any commercial traction. This article will help you understand some basics about essential oils and how to use them.
What Are Essential Oils Made From?
Essential oils get their name as they are extracted from the essential part of the plant, be that the leaves, bark, resin, etc. Prior to the rise of modern medicine and pharmaceuticals, people sought to alleviate their illnesses with the healing properties of plants. Essential oils continue to be popular for their therapeutic and aromatic qualities as many individuals turn to more natural, homeopathic remedies for minor ailments.
As mentioned before, not all essential oils are derived from the same part of the plant. Some botanicals only contain medicinal properties in their leaves or budding flowers while others store their oils in their roots, bark, and so on. Below is a list of various oils and the part of the plant from which they are derived.
- Citrus rinds: Orange, lemon, lime, tangerine, bergamot, mandarin, grapefruit, etc.
- Flowers/Buds: Jasmine, rose, chamomile, clove, boronia, linden blossom, etc.
- Leaves: Cinnamon, bay, eucalyptus, tea tree, myrtle, lemon myrtle, violet, etc.
- Barks and woods: Cinnamon, cedarwood, cassia, sandalwood, rosewood, etc.
- Roots: Ginger, angelica, etc.
- Resins: Frankincense, benzoin, myrrh, etc.
- Seeds: Nutmeg, parsley, anise, cardamom, dill, cumin, fennel, coffee bean, etc.
However, individuals cannot simply munch on some flowers and expect results. It takes hundreds if not thousands of pounds of botanicals to produce the concentrated oils used today. By far the most popular method of extraction is steam distillation, with the exception being citrus. Citrus based oils are obtained through expression, which involves squeezing and pressing the botanicals’ peel.