Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Organic Cigarettes?? Hello??

I've recently learned there are actually organic cigarettes on the market.

This is rather pathetic, but let's look at some of the positives. I guess if you're going to have the nasty habit, it's probably best to be eco-friendly while you're at it ...right? And on another bright side there is no rat poisoning, cyanide, or pesticides in these little toxic sticks! 

I have family members I love who smoke and I will never quit encouraging them to QUIT! But, if my efforts are fruitless, which they are to this point ...this is an alternative.

I've never smoked, so I don't know how difficult it is to quit, so I'm not here to judge anyone for their yucky habits. We all have skeletons in our closets we need to dust off and acknowledge before we can point at someone else and their "bony little enemies."

So, here's my advice ...QUIT!! But, if not at least give these organic cigs a try. The advantage: less chemicals for you while smoking and less chemicals for the earth while growing and harvesting the tobacco.



Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Project 333

7 Ways Dressing with Less will Improve Your Life is a blog post about simplifying and minimizing the "clutter" in our lives.

I love a challenge, especially one that encourages me to be a better person. Living with less means there is more to go around. As Gandhi once said, "There's enough to meet everyone's need, but not everyone's greed."

Won't you join me in decluttering our lives to make room for those things that are most important. Sometimes I wonder why I'm frustrated or anxious at times and I'm sure it's a result of too many entanglements. I'm ready to make some changes for the better and start untying those knots that are preventing me from moving forward toward optimal living.

Thank-you for joining me on this journey of health and wholeness!




Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Benefits of Lavender

Lavender oil could be a weapon in the fight against antifungal-resistant infections. The essential oil shows a potent effect against fungi responsible for common skin and nail infections.
Scientists tested lavender oil and found it to be lethal to a range of skin-pathogenic strains known as dermatophytes, as well as various species of Candida. Dermatophytes cause infections of the skin, hair and nails, and Candida species can cause mucocutaneous candidosis, also known as thrush.
Science Daily reports:
"Currently, there are relatively few types of antifungal drugs to treat infections and those that are available often have side effects ... Essential oils distilled from the Lavandula genus of lavender plants are already used widely, particularly in the food, perfume and cosmetic industries. Studies of the biological activities of these oils suggest Lavandula oils have sedative and antispasmodic properties as well being potent antimicrobials and antioxidants."



Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Lavender oil has been harvested for centuries due to its pleasing smell, and is often used as a key component in perfumes. But new research shows this pleasantly fragrant oil may be a powerful ally in the fight against a range of skin-pathogenic strains known as dermatophytes, as well as various species of Candida.
According to the study
"Dermatophytes cause infections of the skin, hair and nails as they use the keratin within these tissues to obtain nutrients. They are responsible for conditions such as Athletes' foot, ringworm and can also lead to scalp and nail infections.
Candida species coexist with most healthy individuals without causing problems but may cause mucocutaneous candidosis -- or thrush -- in some people. In immunocompromised patients, Candida species are able to cause serious infection if the fungal cells escape into the blood stream."
This discovery may not only help to treat opportunistic fungal infections that frequently invade people with compromised immune systems, like chemotherapy patients, transplant recipients receiving immunosuppressive drugs, and people suffering from AIDS.
But it also may provide an answer so far lacking in scientific literature about what to do about the rise of so-called supergerms. A number of essential oils and herbs, including lavender, have been found to have antibacterial and anti-viral properties, and can be beneficial for boosting your immune system. The most potent upside of essential oils is that they do not cause resistance like drugs do.

Lavender as a Weapon against Fungi

The research from the study above focused specifically on fungi classified as dermatophytes and candida, but may apply to other fungi as well. The study cites the mechanism for action being the disruption of fungi cell walls, which could also apply to bacteria and viruses.
This is great news because just as we've seen with antibiotic resistant bacteria and viruses, various fungi are also becoming tougher to treat. Already, there are relatively few antifungal drugs, and they oftentimes have side effects. The rise of anti-microbial resistant strains of bacteria, fungi and viruses has become a widespread problem due to the overuse of antibiotics in both animals and humans.
Lavender oil providing benefits against supergerms is also great news for anyone who has experienced any side effect from taking antibiotics, especially those containing flouride. In fact, many antibiotics containing fluoroquinolone (flouride) have been removed from the marketplace due to their horrific side effects. Omniflox, Raxar, Trovan, Zagam, and Tequin have now all been banned. However, Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox, and Floxin continue to be prescribed for a variety of infections, both major and minor. Cipro and Levaquin are by far the favorites, and my advice to you is to avoid them.
Time and time again medical science comes back to the age old truth that simple, holistic remedies like lavender oil provide benefits where the drug companies cannot, and with few or no side effects. If more people knew the truth about how easy it is to maintain your health naturally without the so-called "help" of the pharmaceutical industry, the US might be able to escape the failed paradigm of "sickness management" that now passes for US health care.

Other Uses for Lavender Oil

Lavender has many other health benefits besides its ability to fight fungi, bacteria and viruses, such as these uses listed on
Nervous System: Lavender essential oil has a calming scent, making it an excellent tonic for the nerves. Therefore, it helps in treating migraines, headaches, anxiety, depression, nervous tension and emotional stress.
Sleep: Lavender essential oil induces sleep and hence it is often recommended for insomnia.
Pain Relief: Lavender essential oil is also an excellent remedy for various types of pains including those caused by sore muscles, tense muscles, muscular aches, rheumatism, sprains, backache and lumbago. A regular massage with lavender oil provides relief from pain in the joints.
Urine Flow: Lavender essential oil is good for urinary disorders as it stimulates urine production. It helps in restoring hormonal balance and reduces cystitis or inflammation of the urinary bladder. It also reduces any associated cramps.
Respiratory Disorders: Lavender oil is extensively used for various respiratory problems including throat infections, flu, cough, cold, asthma, sinus congestion, bronchitis, whooping cough, laryngitis, and tonsillitis. The oil is either used in the form of vapour or applied on the skin of neck, chest and back. It is also added in many vaporizers and inhalers used for cold and coughs.
Skin Care: The health benefits of lavender oil for the skin can be attributed to its antiseptic and antifungal properties. It is used to treat various skin disorders such as acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, and other inflammations. It heals wounds, cuts, burns, and sunburns rapidly as it aids in the formation of scar tissues. Lavender oil is added to chamomile to treat eczema.
Hair Care: Lavender essential oil is useful for the hair as it can be very effective on lice and lice eggs or nits.
Blood Circulation: Lavender essential oil is also good for improving blood circulation. It lowers blood pressure and is used for hypertension.
Digestion: Lavender oil is useful for digestion as it increases the mobility of the intestine. The oil also stimulates the production of gastric juices and bile and thus aids in treating indigestion, stomach pain, colic, flatulence, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Immunity: Regular use of lavender essential oil provides resistance to diseases.
Other health benefits of lavender essential oil include its ability to treat leucorrhoea. It is also effective against insect bites. The oil is also used to repel mosquitoes and moths. You will find many mosquito repellents containing lavender oil as one of the ingredients.

As with many other essential oils, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using lavender essential oil.

Make Your Body Less Hospitable to Fungus

As your body attempts to destroy an invading fungus, your immune system can damage your cell membranes, which causes the inflammation, as with the symptoms of sinusitis. To combat the fungus and prevent your immune system's damaging reaction, you'll need to create an environment inside your body that makes it more difficult for fungus, including intestinal candida, to thrive. Here are some top ways to do this:
  • Avoid Sugar or Grains Fungus feeds on sugar and grains (which break down to sugar in your body), so reducing or eliminating these foods is necessary to keep fungus under control. If you suffer from recurrent yeast infections it is also imperative to remove all fruits from your diet as they tend to make it very difficult to clear the infection.
  • Consume Animal Based Omega-3 Fats Like Krill Oil Consume a high quality krill oil every day. The high order omega-3 fats, DHA and EPA are essential to maintaining and improving your immune system.
  • Eat Coconut Oil Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which is known for being antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. However, be careful with which oil you choose, as many coconut oils contain fungal toxins. This is because they are commonly made with copras, or dried coconuts, which are often contaminated with mycotoxins.
  • Avoid Eating the Top 10 MYCO-toxic Foods Here's a list of the top 10 foods that are contaminated with mycotoxins (fungal toxins) that need to be avoided.
  • Get Plenty of Good Bacteria -- You will want to increase your probiotic (good bacteria) intake with a high-quality probiotic supplement or by eating cultured and fermented foods, such as natto.
  • Avoiding Exposure to Chemicals -- Paints, household cleaners, perfumes and scents may cause allergic reactions, and chemical sensitivities are very common in people with yeast overgrowth.
  • Addressing Emotional and Psychological Issues -- Food cravings, especially those for sweets, often are exacerbated by emotional dependencies. Tools like the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) can help you to overcome unhealthy food cravings and other emotional hurdles.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Get Fit With Fido

I've noticed that there are more and more runners these days. People are running marathons, mini-marathons, triathlons, and simply running as their exercise of choice.

I'm also hearing there are many lonely, unwanted dogs in shelters. It's amazing what a little socialization can do to perk up the spirits of these canines.

Wouldn't it be great to combine the love of running with the desire to make a difference for these homeless animals by taking a shelter dog along for the run? This would give them the much needed exercise they need, as well as expose their sweet, furry selves to people who might be interested in a long-term relationship.

Thankfully, there are people like Alan Ward, who have launched "runner's groups" to do their part in helping these animals find homes and raising money to care for the sick and injured animals at the shelters.

So ...the next time you lace up those running shoes, why not take a furry friend with you, or better yet, why not organize your own "runner's group" to run a Furry 5K??  What a great way to multi-task during your work out by socializing these animals and making them more adoptable!

Go ahead ...get fit with Fido!!


Run the Planet/Get Fit with Fido


Welcome Back!

Wow! It's been a while since I have written on this blog.

This last year has been fraught with the pain of losing my dad after a two and a half year battle with esophageal cancer, supporting and encouraging my son with disabilities, as he transitions into adult living, and muddling my way through a spiritual renewal.

Having said that, I have missed my time here! I love that I have a venue to share my heart and passion for organic living. A balanced lifestyle has pulled me through some very difficult seasons.

I'm glad to be back and I look forward to sharing with and learning from you! Thank-you for your patience with me ...may our time together contribute to our wholeness and healing as we live in a broken world.




Thursday, March 11, 2010

Becoming More Grounded!

I often hear young people talk about the importance of recycling. In fact, some become downright adamant about making sure they have the appropriate receptacles for their glass, plastic, metal, and paper throwaways.

I say kudos to this younger generation for taking notice and recognizing the need to sustain our earth.

For years, the “tree huggers” were often called fanatical and eccentric and many dismissed their claims of people being unkind to the earth as quackery.

There has been a paradigm shift over the last few years and people are becoming more aware of the importance of living “green” not only for our earth’s sake, but for our own personal well-being as well.

We always have room for improvement. I think with growth comes a more developed stance that is more consistent and grounded across the board to which others will take notice and perhaps even follow suit.

For example, if I’m going to be proactive about recycling, but insist on eating conventionally grown foods, I’m not being consistent with my mission to be more eco-friendly and so, I may not appear very grounded in my beliefs to others around me.

Does this mean I’m wrong about my recycling initiatives? NO WAY! It merely means that unless I’m open to continued growth and consistency in the area I’m passionate about, I won’t be nearly as believable and respected in that area to others around me.

I’d like to devote this post to educating myself on ways I can be more eco-friendly. In turn, it is my hope you, my readers, will learn along with me so we can join forces to make our earth…a tremendous gift from God…a better place to live. I do believe God expects us to care for the gifts He so graciously gives to us.

Here's what I've found:

  1. Eat Organic Foods

Benefits For Me: This is at the top of my list because I have found the benefits to be endless. The chemicals that are keeping fruits and vegetables free from pests and disease cause many health problems, such as nerve damage, birth defects, and cancers. The Environmental Working Group is a tremendous resource for all of us who are eager to learn more about the health benefits of eating organically grown foods.

Fruits and vegetables are not our only concern. The conventional meat we eat is laced with antibiotics and hormones. The animals we typically eat (cows, pigs, chickens...) ingest foods that have added chemicals, along with animal biproducts (keep in mind...these animals are vegetarians and meat should never be a part of their diet).

There is a ban on feeding organic cows, pigs, chickens...animal bi-product!...Thank God!

Much of the beef has been aged to the point of growing mold!!

Grass-fed beef contains far more health benefits than grain-fed beef. Grass-fed, organic beef contains 5 times the number of omega-3 fatty acids as grain-fed beef.

As for poultry, look for the free-range and organic labels. I call them "happy chickens!" Conventional chickens are packed in like sardines, pumped with oodles of toxins, and they "pick" on each other until they get angry...when this happens they peck one another until they bleed, so the farmers chop off their beaks...hence, these are NOT happy chickens. I happen to believe that if everything is energy and we eat negative energy... we become negative and sickly ourselves.

Check out what Dr. Mecola has to say about free-range, organic chickens.

Personally, I believe there are extreme benefits of opting for vegetarian meals several times a week.

Benefits For Our Environment: According to Jodi Helmer of Natural Health Magazine, the chemicals that are sprayed on our foods are released into the soil, water, and air resulting in contamination of waterways, illness, death of birds and aquatic life, and erosion and air pollution.

Keep in mind, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the meat-based food system requires more energy, land, and water resources than the vegetarian diet.

2. Reduce the Toxins

Benefits for Me: We use a tremendous amount of toxins on a daily basis that our livers simply cannot keep up with ridding them from our bodies. From cleaners to body lotions and soaps to makeup to hairspray to what we spray on our lawns...and the list goes on and on.

Our skin is a very thin, porous barrier and most of what we put on our skin goes directly into the bloodstream. Often the soaps, lotions, sprays, and potions we subject our bodies to are chemically-laden and are attributed to serious health conditions.

I've often heard it said that if you can't eat it, you shouldn't put it on your skin (or breathe it).

I am personally thankful there are eco-friendly products on the market that I love! Many are made with fantastic essential oils that not only feel nice on the body and smell beautiful...many have emotional benefits as well (for example, lavender and yang yang are relaxing to the spirit). I don't believe this is an accident...God knows exactly what he's doing when it comes to his creation :)

Benefits for the Environment: Chemicals we use on our bodies are washed down the drain and end up in rivers and streams. It's fair to say that what is harmful to us is going to be harmful to our environment...the switch to natural products will send messages to companies that if the demand for "greener" products increase, creating toxic products will decrease.

3. Volunteer

Benefits for Me: According to Beth Welbes from the University of Illinois Center for Prevention Research and Development, heath and social benefits of volunteering are as follows:

  1. Improved life satisfaction

  2. Improved self-esteem and self-efficacy

  3. Improved self-rated health status

  4. Improved educational/occupational achievement

  5. Solidarity and social interaction

  6. Dealing with own fears and apprehensions around a health issue (e.g. AIDs, cancer)

I would add that volunteering/serving helps to bring an inner peace as a whole.

Benefits for the Environment: When you give to others and react to others out of a giving spirit, others will respond to you in kind..."What comes around goes around." The result is a more peaceful society :)

If I were to add a forth category to this list it would be "Ride a Bike or Walk to Work." This is an excellent way to add exercise daily and decrease anxiety. I can see that if I were able to bike to and from work I would arrive at my destination refreshed mentally and rejuvenated physically and would enjoy the people around me so much more. And, the environmental benefits are huge, as it would reduce the amount of CO2 emissions into the air... But, living in the Midwest, I know this isn't always feasible. We can, however, look for other options, such as car-pooling, taking fewer trips to the store, and walk and ride our bikes when we can.

This is NOT an exhaustive list, but it's a start for me to continue heading in a direction I believe God is leading me. I hope this inspires you to look for ways you too can live a "greener" lifestyle.

My decisions truly make a difference for everyone. When I make poor personal decisions, someone else will suffer for it and likewise, when I make positive personal choices others will reap the benefits.

Life isn't just about me...from the tiniest action to the monumental decisions in's essential I take in account everyone around family, friends, acquaintances, everyone!




Sunday, March 7, 2010

Days 15 through 20!

Hi All!!

I thought since all of us work very hard during the week, I would combine days 15-20 for you to pick and choose the days you'd like to share with us...those days which are especially meaningful to you.

I'm so thankful for each of you and for sharing this little piece of your life with this group! I feel a real sense of closeness with each of you.

Don't forget to read previous postings...they all are very special! Blessings to each of you as you travel along this road to health, healing, and wholeness.

This last week's postings were especially special for me to read! I have been deeply moved by all of your experiences. I, like many of you, am more mindful of my giving and more intuitive of the feelings and needs of others around me.

In the past...I have busied myself doing "life" and looking back in retrospect, I am certain I've missed intense needs around me. The life lessons I'm learning as a result of this challenge are monumental and will forever change the dynamics of all of my relationships!

Thank-you so much for joining me as we learn together what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus to others around us!

Blessings to each of you!