1. wake up Earlier
When you have a stressful morning, chances are that you're going to be feeling stressed for many hours to come. But it doesn't have to be that way! By simply waking up 20-30 minutes earlier than necessary, you can enjoy a leisurely morning without the usual hustle and bustle.
2. Eat Breakfast
You've been sleeping for seven to eight hours or more, so your body needs fuel to wake up your metabolism and help you power through your morning. Eating breakfast prevents you from overeating throughout the day, and people who eat an a.m. meal are less likely to be overweight than people who skip it.
Ideally, your breakfast should include a combination of protein, whole grains, and healthy fats. Whole-grain toast topped with peanut butter and banana, Greek yogurt with cereal and fruit, or a breakfast scramble with a whole-grain English muffin on the side are all excellent a.m. options.
3. Drink Water
Not only are your fuel stores depleted when you wake up, but you're also probably mildly dehydrated. Drinking water first thing in the morning will help boost your metabolism, flush out toxins, and get your systems up and running. If you make this habit as regular as brushing your teeth, you may just start to notice higher a.m. energy levels.
4. Stretch it out
If a full-blown workout isn't going to happen for you in the early hours, try a simple stretch routine instead. You'll still get your blood and endorphins flowing, while centering your mind. Think of stretching as a cup of coffee without the jittery side effects!
Start the day out with a mug of warm water and the juice of half a lemon.
It's so simple and the benefits are just too good to ignore. Warm water with lemon:
1. Boosts you're immune system
Lemons are high in Vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C is great for fighting colds and potassium stimulates brain & nerve function and helps control blood pressure.
2. Balances pH
Lemons are an incredibly alkaline food, believe it or not. Yes, they are acidic on their own, but inside our bodies they're alkaline (the citric acid does not create acidity in the body once metabolized). As you wellness warriors know, an alkaline body is really the key to good health.
3. Helps with weight loss
Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. It also has been shown that people who maintain a more alkaline diet lose weight faster. And, my experience is that when I start the day off right, it's easier to make the best choices for myself the rest of the day.
4. Aids digestion
The warm water serves to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis—the waves of muscle contractions within the intestinal walls that keep things moving. Lemons and limes are also high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen ama, or toxins, in the digestive tract.
5. Acts as a gentle, natural diuretic
Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. Toxins are, therefore, released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy.
6. Clears skin
The vitamin C helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. Lemon water purges toxins from the blood which helps keep skin clear as well.
7. Hydrates the lymph system
This cup of goodness helps start the day on a hydrated note, which helps prevent dehydration (obviously) and adrenal fatigue. When your body is dehydrated, or deeply dehydrated (adrenal fatigue) it can't perform all of it's proper functions, which leads to toxic buildup, stress, constipation, and the list goes on. Your adrenals happen to be two small glands that sit on top of your kidneys, and along with your thyroid, create energy. They also secrete important hormones, including aldosterone. Aldosterone is a hormone secreted by your adrenals that regulates water levels and the concentration of minerals, like sodium, in your body, helping you stay hydrated. Your adrenals are also responsible for regulating your stress response. So, the bottom line is that you really don't want to mess with a deep state of dehydration!
Papaya Face Masque Ingredients:
Please note: If you have sensitive skin, be sure to test the mixture on your hand before applying it on that gorgeous face of yours.
Detoxing can be something you do a little of every day. here are four simple detox solutions
You don’t need me to tell you that sugar is not the best thing to put in your mouth. Not only is sugar linked with a range of health problems, including obesity and diabetes, but the inflammation it causes can damage cell membranes, allowing toxins to sneak in, interfering with normal cell functioning.
The more stressed you are, the more likely you are to rely on sugary foods, snacks, and drinks to give you the boost you need – and that’s a short-term fix with long-term negative effects. Cutting out as much sugar as you can, will prevent weight gain, inflammation, premature aging, and even balance your energy.
Try It: Brew some licorice tea. Licorice (the root, not the candy) is an herb that grows in the Mediterranean and throughout Asia, and is actually sweeter than sugar, with zero calories. It’s also an anti-inflammatory food that has bacterial-killing properties and a range of other health benefits. Other teas to try that can satisfy your sweet tooth are cinnamon and peppermint.
Health note: licorice root is a potent herb with some contraindications and recommends limiting licorice tea intake to one cup a day. While it's good for someone with adrenal fatigue, it's not great for someone who's super stressed and pumping out a lot of cortisol.
A note on artificial sweeteners: Diet soda drinkers, take heed: Artificial sweeteners do you no favors and are certainly not “detox approved." A University of Texas Health Science study reported that artificial sweetener consumption is associated with increased waist circumference in humans. Some experts suggest that they don’t curb but fuel sugar cravings – making them a lousy strategy for cutting back on sugar (and weight).
Detox Tip #2: Eat More Bitter Foods
Eating your greens is always detox-friendly. But even better are bitter greens, which must taste bitter in order to get the benefits. And that’s because when you taste bitter foods, like arugula, watercress and dandelion greens, they stimulate the liver to more effectively cleanse and detox the body.
Here’s why: Your taste buds signal what’s coming, and when you eat bitter greens, your gastrointestinal system gets the message to release hormones and digestive enzymes that increase bile flow, metabolize fats, and keep elimination moving smoothly. This helps your body carry the toxins out faster.
Bonus: Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine also say that eating more bitter greens can help ease sugar cravings. That’s a detox win-win.
Try It: Get a little bitter.
Add some arugula and watercress to your regular lettuce mix at lunch, blend some into your smoothie, or sauté dandelion greens in a little olive oil and salt at dinner.
Detox Tip #3: Dry Brush Your Skin
Even the busiest women take showers, right? One of the simplest and most enjoyable detox solutions is dry-skin brushing, which is exactly what it sounds like. It takes all of a few seconds in the morning and supports your largest organ – your skin.
Here’s why it works: Brushing removes dead cells that collect environmental toxins, while also keeping pores unclogged, so that the body can eliminate toxins through the skin. It also renews your skin cells, and can improve the way your skin looks and feels.
Try It: Brush it off
You can find a dry body brush at health food stores and online. They come in all shapes and sizes. Start with your extremities (bottoms of feet, palms of hands) and work your way in from there, always brushing with gentle, even strokes toward your heart. This helps aid the detox process, and doing so can help draw stagnant toxins back into the bloodstream where they can be cleared out.
This invigorating ritual stimulates the nervous system, too, making it a great way to wake up. Added bonus: Some people claim it helps create more tone and reduces cellulite.
Detox Tip #4: Take a Bladder Wrack Bath
Detoxing your body and mind means not only clearing out physical toxins but the emotional ones too –and this bath does double-detox duty.
The key ingredient is bladder wrack, a kind of seaweed used medicinally for centuries, that expands in water and is said to draw toxins from the body. It’s filled with minerals and iodine, which help to stimulate the thyroid gland and boost metabolic function. (Talk to your doctor first if you have thyroid problems.)
Try It: Draw a detox bath.
Put a handful of the bladder wrack, in loose herb form (which you can find online or in specialty health food stores) in a cheesecloth pouch and toss into your bathwater. It’s like a human-sized teabag! Let it soak for a few minutes and then go ahead and steep yourself in it for as long as you’d normally bathe. And relax!
Note: Don’t worry if the water turns brown. That’s just the natural color and minerals of the seaweed infusing the water.
Detox for Life!
People who swear by detoxes claim that they make them feel energized and renewed. Try these simple practices and you could feel great the first day or week – but the real rewards come when you make them part of your daily life.
In the Asian mountain regions of Asia, teas have been used for millennia to help with relaxation, in rituals (like spiritual and religious ceremonies), for nourishment, and as healing medicine.
The following teas are all wonderful for helping your body process stress, relax, and heal from the depletion that can occur as a result of long-term stressors.
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) was first grown and used by Native Americans in the Southern United States, like so many of our plant medicines. Passionflower has the flavone chrysin, which has wonderful anti-anxiety benefits and, in part, can work similarly to the pharmaceutical Xanax (Alprazolam) .
Two studies totaling almost 200 people showed no difference between the efficacy of common anxiety medications and passionflower, but showed that the herb may cause less drowsiness .
How to Dose Passionflower
Passionflower tea can be made by infusing 1 tablespoon of dried herbs in 1 cup boiling water. Let the mixture steep for about 10 minutes. Drink the tea near bedtime to induce restful sleep. More typically, we have patients use two droppers-full (about 50 drops) of tincture in warm water as a tea before bed. For people who are very anxious, they can take 25 drops as needed, and they may find it a reasonable substitute for Xanax and other anti-anxiety medications.
Passionflower is generally safe and has not been found to adversely interact with other sedative drugs. To be on the safe side, it should not be combined with alcoholic beverages or prescription sedatives.
Passionflower should not be used by pregnant or lactating women, or for children under 6 months old because there have not been any studies in these groups of people .
Who Should Use Passionflower?
In our practice, we find passionflower works best for people with anxiety who also have a lot of thoughts swirling in their head and experience a lot of circular thinking or obsessive thoughts.
The latin name passiflora incarnata translates as “passion made real.” As such, it can be a wonderful herbal reminder for people who have not found what they want to do in life and are anxious as a result. We find this herb can be helpful for young people in their 20’s looking for their calling in life.
A herbal medicine grown in Africa, the Mediterranean and India, ashwanganda (Withania somnifera) is an adaptogen. This class of herb helps the body fight stress by reducing the production of stress hormones that result in the fight-or-flight response. This adaptogenic quality can help the body relax and help the body stay strong. It also is a potent antioxidant as well.
This Indian herbal ashwaganda contains a chemical called ashwagandholine alkaloid which has a mild relaxant, tranquilizer like-effect on the central nervous system . In some studies of rats who took ashwanganda, their adrenal organs did not become over-sized with stress, something that commonly happens in rats and humans who are too stressed out .
How to Dose Ashwaganda
It is delicious to take before bed! We have patients mix about 1 cup of boiling milk (cow, almond, rice, soy or oat milk) with a half-teaspoon of the powdered herb or the dried leaves. Let the mixture steep for about 15 minutes and cool. Strain and then drink. Ashwanganda is known to be quite safe in the short term of a few weeks. No long-term studies are known.
Who Should Use Ashwaganda?
Ashwanganda is best for people who are nervous and exhausted after having undergone a lot of physical and emotional stressors. It’s also excellent at bedtime for people who have insomnia. It can be used as an immune stimulant in patients with low white blood cell counts, so people who recently have undergone the stress of radiation or chemotherapy would do well drinking the tea during the day to rejuvenate their body.
Eleutherococcus (Siberian Ginseng)
Eleutherococcus comes from Siberia, as well as from the northern regions of Korea, Japan and China. Commonly called eleuthero, this herb is not considered a true ginseng (like Panax ginseng) because it does not belong to the same genus plant family.
How Eleutherococcus Reduces Stress
Eleuthero tea contains triterpenoid saponins, which are substances that have a beneficial effect on the body when it is stressed. The University of Maryland Medical Center website notes that Siberian ginseng tea improves blood circulation and enhances mental and physical prowess, as well as regulates the amount of stress experienced. This herb may also help the immune system fight common viruses like the rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, and influenza.
Human Studies on Eleutherococcus
This hardy plant is known to survive brutal Siberian weather conditions. Many plant experts believe it can confer this strength to those of us who take it. Human studies seem to support this idea. One study of 45 men and women revealed a 40% reduction in raised heart rate during stress overall, and up to a 60% reduction in women.
Other studies showed eleuthero lowered blood pressure, and eliminated symptoms of angina. Interestingly, as a true adaptogen, it seems to help raise blood pressure in those with low blood pressure.
When Should You Take Eleutherococcus?
We tell our patients to take this herb in the morning and/or afternoon. Some sources suggest for best effect, it helps to take it for 6 to 8 weeks straight, and then have a two-week pause before restarting.
Who Should Use Eleuthero?
The person who benefits the most from Siberian ginseng is a stressed person with a low-functioning immune system, who may have an unhealthy cardiovascular response from stress (type A personality) with higher blood pressures and heart rates. Eleuthero can be taken as a tea, or in even stronger forms like capsules or tinctures.
Originating in Europe and England, Hawthorne (Cratageus) has both a calming and nourishing effect on the cardiovascular system. It can have a special gentle relaxant effect on the vascular system in people that have higher blood pressures due to a lot of stress hormones .
Hawthorne contains healthy plant chemicals called flavonoids that help keep the blood vessels strong. It may also balance total cholesterol, triglycerides, and bad (LDL) cholesterol as well. Some studies also showed it may even help in congestive heart failure (CHF), a type of heart disease where the heart is working very poorly.
Who Should Take Hawthorne and When?
Generally, we recommend patients dose hawthorne throughout the day. It is safe enough to take for long periods of time. The most appropriate person would be someone who has demonstrated heart and cardiovascular problems and is under a lot of stress. You can use it as a tea by itself or with other calming herbs like chamomile. Stronger versions of this herb can be dosed as a liquid tincture or as an extract, a thicker and more concentrated form.
A Stress-Free Conclusion
From a naturopathic perspective, the long-term approach to anxiety and stress is to work on sleep, eat healthy whole foods, exercise, and work on your spirit and lowering your stressors when possible.
As natural, non-drug aids, passionflower, ashwaganda, eleuthero and hawthorne are safe and wonderful choices to help keep the body relaxed and balanced during this process.
When it comes to your health, your hair can sometimes seem like an afterthought. Before you know it, you’re dealing with frizzy, dry and damaged hair. here are three great tips that will help you revitalize your hair and scalp – and the best part is you can do them right in the comfort of your own home! No salon visits needed!
Argan Oil Treatment
Argan oil is derived from the nut of an argan tree in the southwest region of Morocco. High in antioxidants and vitamins A and D, this treatment prevents breakage and promotes smooth, moisturized hair. The antioxidants slow down the negative effects that breakage and damage can have. This treatment can be done once a week.
1 dime-sized drop of argan oil
Wet hair. Put the drop of oil into your hand and apply to your hair, starting on the underside of your scalp. Comb through hair to distribute. Style hair as you normally would, with or without a hair dryer.
Brown Sugar Scrub
Brown sugar is a natural exfoliant with no chemical preservatives. It removes product build-up, dead skin cells and other pore-clogging impurities.
Avocado oil is high in antioxidants, vitamins A, D and E, and amino acids. The antioxidants help fight against damage, and the amino acids help strengthen and fortify hair. Also, the oil acts as a humectant, which helps keep hair moisturized.
1 part avocado oil
2 parts brown sugar
Wet hair and apply combined ingredients to scalp (not ends) of hair for a few minutes. Rinse thoroughly. Shampoo and condition as you would normally. This treatment can be done once a week.
For blonde hair, use chamomile tea. Chamomile is a common name for several daisy-like plants from the Asteracea family, and can keep blonde locks looking brilliant.
For red hair, use a mixture of beet and carrot juice. Beets contain a purple pigment called betacyanin, while carrots get their color from betakeratin. Both pigments are perfect to help refresh red hues.
For brown hair, use espresso mixed with conditioner. The color comes from roasted coffee beans which are then brewed to help keep your brunette hair looking deep and rich.
Blondes: Use chamomile tea, enough for the treatment.
Redheads: Use one part beet juice and one part carrot juice.
Brunettes: One part espresso to two parts conditioner.
Wet hair. Add or combine ingredients in a bottle. Shake well and apply to the hair. Put a shower cap on and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and condition.
Here are four new anti-aging products from bees, broccoli, grapes and traditional Indian medicine.
From the humble bumblebee we get the amazing rejuvenating substance called royal jelly. Royal jelly is fed to select bee larva to promote their growth into queen bees. This substance is power-packed with antioxidants, minerals and proteins. If it can transform a normal bee into a queen, imagine what it can do for you as an anti-aging supplement.
This nutrient has been studied for its qualities in protecting the skin from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun. This radiation causes damage to the collagen that supports the skin, thus causing wrinkling. The damaging rays also cause unwanted brown discoloration of the skin. But royal jelly, with its abundant nutrient content, helps protect the skin from this harmful radiation. Collagen can be stimulated to grow and abnormal coloring of the skin prevented.
In addition, royal jelly has been looked at for the ability to improve the cholesterol profile. Taking royal jelly can help to lower the bad cholesterol, called LDL, and raise the good cholesterol, called HDL. What better way to prevent aging than by preventing unhealthy cholesterol levels? By doing so, you now lower your risk for heart attack and stroke.
Royal jelly can be taken daily as a pill or eaten as the fresh jelly. Just take 500 mg of the royal jelly capsule or a quarter-teaspoon of the fresh jelly daily to prevent the aging damage of the sun’s ultraviolet light and the risk of heart attack and stroke.
2. Broccoli Sprouts
Broccoli sprouts are a delicious and easy way to reap the anti-cancer benefits of eating cruciferous vegetables. This group of vegetables includes broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale and arugula. Broccoli has the most powerful anti-cancer fighting nutrients, sulforaphane and indole 3 carbinole, and the sprouts have this in a concentrated form. Imagine the ease of getting large amounts of these nutrients in just 2 tablespoons of sprouted seeds a day! They look just like alfalfa sprouts and have a radish-like taste. Put them on salads and in sandwiches. Children will love these and gobble them up. Prevent cancer every day by using this wonderful food.
3. Grape Seed Extract
Having high blood pressure does not need to be an inevitable part of aging. Untreated hypertension puts you at risk for heart attack, stroke, kidney and eye disease. But you can avoid this by taking a unique antioxidant supplement called grape seed extract. We all have heard of the anti-aging power of the grape thanks to resveratrol, an antioxidant found in the skin. But the seed is also an anti-aging and heart-saving part of the plant. Studies in people given this extract have shown a lowering of both numbers in the blood pressure reading. Take just 150-300 mg of grape seed extract every day and keep your blood pressure at youthful levels.
4. Dry Brushing
A new way to take care of the skin and prevent aging is called dry brushing. This easy and invigorating cleansing of the skin is offered in spas and can be done at home. Dry brushing removes old dead skin cells, promotes new skin cell growth, encourages improved blood circulation to the skin and lymphatic fluid return to the heart. All of this helps remove toxins from the body and gives your skin a healthy glow. When the skin is cleared of the dead cells, it can do a better job of removing toxins from the body. Encouraging good blood flow to the skin brings it needed nutrients to stay young and healthy. Lymphatic fluid removes toxins from the skin, eventually bringing them to the liver and kidney for elimination from the body.
To practice dry brushing, purchase a soft natural bristle brush. Begin at the sole of the feet and brush in a gentle circular motion up the legs toward the heart. Then brush from the hands up the arms to the chest, around the back to the front and again toward the heart. This can be wonderfully stimulating, so do it in the morning to start the day. Dry brush 2-3 times a week before showering to promote youthful skin and the anti-aging effects of detoxing the body.
You can use these anti-aging supplements and techniques every day. Because they are natural, you actually get side benefits rather than side effects: Royal jelly not only prevents aging of the skin, but can lower your cholesterol. Broccoli sprouts add flavor to your food and are a nutritious way to prevent cancer. Grape seed extract lowers blood pressure, protecting your vital organs and is also an antioxidant; both prevent aging. Dry brushing is stimulating to the skin and helps the body rid itself of aging toxins. Every day and every meal is an opportunity to be healthier and feel younger.
If you’re worried about sagging skin as you age, this DIY facelift is a quick and simple way to get the youth back in your face – all without a trip to the doctor! Using everyday ingredients, each of these at-home facial treatments will smooth, tighten and plump up your face to give you the youthful look that some people pay thousands for.
Step 1: Smoothing Exfoliator
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Mix together the brown sugar and olive oil to create a paste. Apply to face and massage for a few minutes. Rinse off with warm water. The brown sugar will smooth out skin while the olive oil moisturizes.
Step 2: Tightening Toner
1 cup rose water
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp witch hazel
5 drops almond essential oil
Combine the ingredients together and mix well. Dab the mixture your face with a cotton ball and wait for it to dry. Both the witch hazel and rosewater are astringents, which tighten and shrink pores. The almond oil has antioxidants that help skin with building new cells.
Step 3: Plumping Moisturizing Facial Mask
2 tbsp of your favorite moisturiser
1 egg white
2 pinches turmeric
1 tsp Manuka honey
Mix the moisturiser, egg white, turmeric and honey together to make a paste. Apply to the face evenly, avoiding the eyes, and leave the mask on for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water. The egg white tightens, while the turmeric and honey stimulates the skin and plumps it up, helping to build collagen to create a smoother look.