Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Aloe Vera Uses and Health Benefits

Aloe Vera has been touted as something of a miracle plant. While I don't believe that any one thing is a silver bullet guaranteeing perfect health it does seem that the aloe Vera plant has a wide range of uses and health benefits. I recently read that there are at least 500 Aloe Vera uses medicinal . Even if the number was even half that it would still be an extremely useful plant.

Some Aloe Vera Health Benefits
  • Alleviates constipation, haemorrhoids, rectal itching
  • Heals ulcers, IBS, and other digestive disorders
  • Prevents and treats viruses, fungal and bacterial infections
  • Helps to alkalize the body
  • Accelerates healing of burns
  • Helps skin growth
  • Boosts immune system
  • Stabilizes blood sugar and reduces triglycerides in diabetics
  • Lowers high cholesterol
  • Protects the body from oxidative stress
  • Boosts the oxygenation of your blood
  • Helps manage allergies and AIDS
  • Eases skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and acne
  • Helps heal skin blemishes
  • Helps stop baldness
  • Eases sunburn
Aloe Vera can be used externally on the skin or taken internally. While it is a tropical plant it can be grown indoors in a small pot fairly easily. To use the raw Aloe Vera leaf break or cut a piece of the leaf off. Inside the leaf is a clear gelatinous substance. Rub this on the skin for external use. For internal use try mixing it into a smoothie. Another way to use it is mix a tablespoon of Aloe Vera gel with some water to make a juice and take before meals.

If you are not able to grow your own there are many Aloe Vera products available. Read the labels and look for products that are made with 100 percent Aloe Vera gel. The less processed and the less additives in the product the better.

Aloe Vera Resource
If you are looking for more detailed information about how to use and prepare Aloe Vera to benefit your health I would recommend 'Aloe Your Miracle Doctor' by Yulia Berry. Not only does this resource tell you all the great uses for Aloe Vera it also tells you how to grow it and prepare it for use in the many home remedies detailed. For those not likely to grow there own plants there is a chapter on commercial medicinal forms of Aloe Vera.
There are some very interesting bonus ebooks that come with 'Aloe Your Miracle Doctor'. It is available in both English and Spanish.

Enjoy good health

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bruises? Treatment with Vinegar Helps

Healing Bruises With Vinegar

If you do something and you know that you will get a bruise apply vinegar to it as soon as possible. The sooner you get vinegar to it the less bruising you will get. If the bruise is already apparent applying vinegar will usually lessen the amount of bruising and disperse it more quickly.

Finger Jammed in Car Door

My mother tells a story about my aunt. Her finger had got caught in the car door as someone slammed it. She was in such pain that she could hardly alert anyone to open the door to release her. My mother immediately brought her inside and put her finger in a bowl of vinegar. I believe she had a cup of tea and kept her finger in the vinegar for about an hour.
She did have some bruising but she did not lose the finger nail as everyone expected. I had forgotten this treatment for bruises until my mother retold the story recently.

How to Apply

Putting your hand, finger or foot in a bowl of vinegar is not that difficult. If it is your arm, leg or other part of your anatomy try soaking cotton balls in vinegar and putting that on the bruised part. If it is a fairly large area soak an appropriate sized cloth in vinegar and wring it out before applying it to the affected part. Leave it soak on the bruise for up to an hour. If it seems necessary apply again later.

There are other remedies around for healing bruise but this is the only one that I have a story for. The success my aunt had with this bruises treatment makes it a good one to try as an immediate first aid treatment.

I don't think it matters what kind of vinegar you use but ordinary white distilled vinegar is usually the cheapest around. In case of needing it for immediate first aid use what ever is handy.

If you have a favorite family first aid treatment share it by leaving a comment.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Recipe - Almond Sticky Date, Gluten Free

To follow yesterdays article about alternative sweeteners I thought a recipe using rapadura would be a good idea. This particular recipe is one I developed from an ordinary sticky date pudding recipe.

Why was I changing the original recipe? My family need to follow a strict gluten free diet. After much experimentation I have come up with a few things that really work well in the baked goods department. This is one of them. They will keep fresh for weeks in the refrigerator, if they don't get eaten first. In fact they get nicer with age which is a bit unusual in terms of gluten free baked goods.

Almond Sticky Date
Boil together 500 gram (17 ozs) chopped dates and 2/3 cup water.
Then add 2 1/2 teaspoons bi carbonate soda and leave for 5 minutes. Mash with a fork. (I have forgotten to mash them and it still worked)

Beat 5 eggs (6 if small) with a fork. Add 1/4 - 1/2 cup rapadura (use honey or other sweetener if desired). Adjust the amount to your taste.
Add 1/2 cup coconut oil. Mix all these together.
Stir in 2 1/2 cups (20 ozs or 250 gram) almond meal.
Stir in dates.

Spoon into muffin cases and cook in 170-180 degree C oven for 30 minutes In Fahrenheit degrees that would be about 335-350 degrees.

Notes to clarify some points

I know that doesn't seem like much water to boil the dates in but it is right. You don't need to boil them for long. Just bring them up to the boil and the water is pretty much evaporated and it is time to take them off.

I use coconut oil in nearly all my baking and love it. If you prefer you could use butter instead or whatever you normally use for shortening. I am sure it would work satisfactorily.

Experiment with the amount of sweetening you need. Dates are quite sweet in themselves. When I first made these I used half a cup now I only use a quarter of a cup.

I hope you enjoy them. They are fairly easy to make. The most time consuming part is chopping the dates and grinding the almonds to make almond meal.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

4 Alternate Natural Sweeteners

Refined sugar, whether it originates from cane or beet, contributes only empty calories to our diet. Sometimes, in our efforts to improve our diet and therefore our health we are looking for a natural option to sweeten our food that will add nutrients not just calories.

There are four options that I would like to briefly explore here.
  1. Rapadura
  2. Honey
  3. Agave nectar
  4. Stevia.
Rapadura is evaporated cane juice. In some places it is called Panela or Jaggery. If the label says it is 100% evaporated cane juice then it is the same as rapadura. It is made by extracting the juice from the sugar cane by using a press. The juice is then evaporated and dries into granules. It has a different texture from sugar as it has not been heated and spun to produce the crystals of sugar.
Rapadura still has the all the nutrients that are in the cane juice. It is metabolized more slowly than refined sugar and does not cause your blood sugar to spike. In other words it has a low glycemic index rating. For a comparison between the components of rapadura, raw sugar and refined sugar click here.
I use rapadura in much of my baking. I find it very successful in cakes and biscuits. I always reduce the quantity of sweetening of any recipe so I might use 1/4 -1/3 cup of rapadua when the recipe asks for 1 cup sugar. Others might prefer things sweeter so experiment and see what suits you.

Honey is said to be 25 to 50 percent sweeter than sugar. I can be used in all forms of cooking. I sometimes use it in some cake recipes. In large quantities it can cause a spike in blood sugar levels. Raw honey contains enzynes and other health giving substances that are damaged by heat. As raw, unheated honey is usually more expensive it is a good idea to use it only when not heating it and to use cheaper heat treated honey for cooking purposes.

Agave Nectar
Agave nectar is relatively new on the supermarket shelves. However it is made from a plant that has been used for food in Mexico for thousands of years. The agave is a large spikey succulent type plant.
When the plants are 7-10 years old the leaves are cut off, leaving the core of the plant called the pina. The sap is extracted from the pina, filtered using enzymes and heated at a low temperature (under 118F), giving the resulting agave nectar.
Agave nectar has about the same calories as sugar but is sweeter so less is used.

Stevia is a shrub that is native to Paraguay. While the leaves of this plant can be 30 times sweeter than sugar extracts from the leaves called steviosides are said to be about 300 times sweeter than sugar. The body does not metabolize the stevia leaf or any of its extracts so there are no calories. It doesn't raise blood sugar.
Raw herbal stevia contains nearly 100 identified phytonutrients and volatile oils. Most of these will be nonexistant in the refined extracts. On the down side many stevia products leave an aftertaste.

Make Your Own Stevia Extract
If you have access to stevia leaves you can make your own extract. Combine a measured portion of stevia leaves or herval powder with pure USP grain alcohol (eg Scotch) and let sit for 24 hours. Filter and dilute to taste using pure water. Reduce the alcohol content by heating vely slowly to allow the alcohol to evaporate off.
To make a water based extract. Pour boiling water over the leaves and allow to steep, strain when ready. This will now extract as much of the sweet glycosides as the alcohol. Either extract can be cooked down and concentrated into a syrup.

Stevia can be used for any cooking where sweetening is the only use. It does not caramelize, brown or crystalize like sugar does so it is not suitable for anything that needs these properties.

If you have a favorite natural sweetener please share it with us by leaving a comment.

Be healthy

Friday, November 27, 2009

Kitchen Beauty Instead of Expensive Alpha Hydroxy Acid Products

Kitchen Beauty
Again Kitchen beauty comes to the rescue. Alpha hydroxy acids are used in the cosmetics industry. They are used in products intended to reduce wrinkles, aging and to improve the look and feel of the skin. Chemical peels also use alpha hydroxy acids. Most commercial products use synthetic alpha hydroxy acid. These products are usually quite expensive.

Instead of buying expensive alpha hydroxy acid products turn to your kitchen instead.

There are several types of alpha hydroxy acids derived from various foods.

  • Malic acid - apples, vinegar
  • Lactic acid - Buttermilk, yoghurt, kefir, powdered skim milk, sour cream, blackberries, tomatoes.
  • Tartaric Acid - Grapes, grape juice, wine, cream of tartar
  • Citric acid - Citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, grapefruit, orange.
  • Glycolic acid - Cane sugar
Glycolic acid and lactic acid are considered the two that are most useful in skin care because they have a smaller molecular structure which makes them more able to penetrate the skin.

How it works
The alpha hydroxy acid either in commercial products or simple ingredients from your kitchen work by loosening the glue between dead skin cells. The dead cells then fall away leaving smooth and soft skin. If you have sensitive skin test any thing new on a small patch of skin first. Be careful to keep any of these out of your eyes.

Just before I sat down to do this article I rubbed kefir into my face, neck and arms. It went into the skin really easily. It is just about time to go wash it off. You could rub a small amount of lemon juice on, leave 10 minutes and wash off. For something quick try cutting a grape or strawberry in half and rubbing it over your skin. Leave it on for a few minutes before washing off.

Other benefits from utilizing the alpha hydroxy acid from your kitchen produce
  • Can help prevent clogged pores
  • Enhance cell renewal through exfoliation
  • Help hydrate the skin
  • Increase collagen production
  • Improve skin texture making it appear more radiant
When beauty care products are the same as the food you eat you know you are not putting dangerous chemicals on your skin.

Have fun as you find what is in your kitchen to help your skin.


If you are looking for a book that has compiled loads of kitchen beauty skin care together you might like "Leon's Anti-Aging Beauty Secrets" Ebook. Plenty of recipes including alpha hydroxy facial masks. This information allows you to take advantage of the natural powers of natural ingredients without all the useless added ingredients. Click now to check out Leon's Anti-Aging Beauty Secrets!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

5 Banana Skin Care Ideas

Do you want to rejuvenate your skin? Use banana. Skin care using bananas provides natural substances that will nourish your skin. Bananas contain many vitamins, minerals and other substances that help to regenerate your skin. You can just use mashed banana by itself or combine it with some other ingredients that are also beneficial for your skin.

Cracked Skin

If you have cracked or dry skin on your elbows, knees or feet mix some mashed banana with a little honey. Apply it to your skin. Leave on for half an hour then wash off with warm water. It will help make the skin softer. If your hands are sore and chapped due to weather conditions mash banana with either a little honey or a little milk and spread all over your hands. Wrap them in a layer of plastic or put rubber gloves on. Leave on for half an hour to an hour before washing off.

Hair Conditioner

If you need to give more shine and moisture to dry hair mix a mashed banana, an egg a little honey, milk and some water together. Apply evenly to the hair. Cover the hair with a warm towel for half an hour. Wash out thoroughly.

Skin Moisturizer

Mix mashed banana with milk or cream and use as a moisturizer on your skin. It will help the skin to be moist and soft.

Facial Mask for Treating Pimples

Bananas have some anti bacterial properties and are said to be useful in treating skin blemishes. Try mixing a tablespoon of milk, a pinch of nutmeg and a tablespoon of oatmeal with a mashed banana. Apply to the face. Wash if off after it is dry.


Use Bananas to soften and hydrate your skin. The antioxidants and vitamins in the bananas can help restore collagen in the skin and so are useful to help your skin maintain a younger look.

Natural skin care remedies like banana skin care provide a natural moisturizer and solutions to a range of skin problems. Best of all, because you know you can eat what you are putting on your skin, you know that there are no dangerous chemicals or ingredients.

Bring out the natural beauty of your skin.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

6+ Skin Uses for Banana Skins

So you thought that banana skins were just rubbish? I knew that rubbing the inside of the banana peel on an itchy insect bite could bring relief. Check out these other cool uses for banana skins.

Psoriasis - Rub the inside of a banana skin on the area of skin affected by psoriasis. It will be red at first but within a few days there should be a noticeable difference.

Acne - Rub the inside of the banana skin over the acne. It should soothe the skin and reduce acne breakouts. After a few uses the acne should be improved.

Poison Ivy - Rub the inside of a banana peel on to the area affected by the poison ivy. The inflammation should go and the itching stop.

Warts - Rub the inside of a banana peel on the wart each night. It takes about a week or two for improvement. It is reported that plantar warts as well as regular warts have responded to this. Some say that tapping the banana peel to the affected area overnight gives better results.

Bruises - Banana peel can speed up the natural healing and recovery so that the skin cells regenerate and restore themselves more quickly.

Wrinkles - Regularly pressing the inside of the banana peel on to large areas of the skin like the forehead or cheeks may help to tighten up the sink and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. This is not an instant fix.

Burns and Scratches - apparently the oil in a banana peel can help relieve the pain from burns and scratches.

Splinters - Tape a piece of peel over the splinter. The enzymes will help dislodge the splinter and heal the wound.

Plants - Not only are banana peels good for your skin they are good for your plants as well. When your houseplants are dusty wipe each leaf with the inside of a banana peel. It will clean off all the dirt and replace it with a great shine.

Shoe Polish - I know this is not exactly skin care but another use for the banana skin is to give a quick shine to your shoes. Rub the inside of the banana skin directly on the shoe and then polish with a dry cloth. Works for silverware as well.

Oh and for all the gardeners out there I believe they make very good fertilizer.

Banana skin contains antioxidants such as lutein and minerals, especially potassium and phosphorous, that help the skin restore itself naturally. The particular compounds in banana peel appear to be useful in reducing inflammation.

So next time you eat a banana consider if you have a current use for the skin before you throw it in the rubbish.

Have fun


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Homemade Facial Masks from the Kitchen

Kitchen beauty can be extended to homemade facial masks. The following ideas are all simple homemade facial masks recipes. None of them are complicated. In fact most of them consist of just one ingredient. It is easy to make your own facial masks with these simple ingredients
  • Honey - Simple and easy just use plain honey. Open the pores by using a warm wash cloth. Smear the honey on and leave for 15-30 minutes. Wash off with warm water followed by cold water to close the pores.
  • Egg White - Beat the white of an egg until it is frothy. spread it on your face. Leave it on until it dries, then rinse it off. An egg white mask will tighten the skin.
  • Egg Yolk - Apply an egg yolk to your face and neck for 30 minutes then rinse with cool water. some people find this a great help in healing blemishes. That could be due to the great nutrients in the egg yolk.
  • Banana - Mash about 1/4 of a ripe banana, or as much as you think you will need. spread it on your face and leave it for about 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and then cold water to close the pores.
Try Some Combinations
  • Combine a little honey with egg yolk.
  • Mashed banana with about 1 tablespoon of honey is considered to be soothing and great for oily skin.
  • Egg yolk, honey and oatmeal - Use 1 teaspoon of honey and one egg yolk. Mix together then slowly stir in oatmeal until you have a soft paste. Smooth it on to the face. Leave for 15 minutes then rinse off with warm water.
  • Avocados and honey are considered to be great for moisturizing the skin. See previous articles about avocado and its uses on the skin.
Natural beauty treatments are very easy to use when you can use foods that are in your kitchen. You can feel confident that there are no harsh additives in your facial mask when you have made it from simple foods you would otherwise have eaten.

If you would like some extra facial mask recipes that use more than one ingredient try this page at wittyliving.com

Have fun as you experiment with kitchen recipes as part of your beauty care.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Kitchen Beauty - Avocado for Your Hair

Avocado in your hair?
Is this taking kitchen beauty too far?
I don't know. I have not tried this myself but I have come across two recipes for using avocado to strengthen and nourish hair.

Recipe #1

Combine 1 avocado, 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Mash the avocado until smooth and mix in egg yolk and oil until well combined.

Recipe #2

1 ripe avocado, 2 tablespoons yoghurt, 1 gee, 1/2 teaspoon rosemary oil, 1 tablespoon jojoba oil.
Blend all the ingredients together until smooth and well combined.

How to Use

The idea is to work it into the scalp. Massage the mixture into the scalp and hair. Leave it in for about 20 minutes. Wash out with shampoo and conditioner.

It is supposed to help the hair regain elasticity, shine and body.

While I haven't tried this I can quite well believe that it could have very beneficial effects due to the wonderful nutrients in avocado.

Natural beauty aids from the kitchen are useful though this one sounds messy. If you try this one let us know how it goes and whether you liked it.


Kitchen Beauty - Use Avocado for these 6 Skin Conditions

Kitchen Beauty and Collagen

Avocado oil applied to the skin helps the skin to produce collagen. Some studies have found that the use of avocado oil on the skin gives a significant increase in the amount of collagen in the skin.

Collagen increases the strength of the skin and its elasticity. The amount of collagen in our skin decreases with age. It is lack of collagen that causes wrinkles.

Vitamin C and magnesium are necessary nutrients in the production of collagen. These, along with other beneficial to skin nutrients, are found in avocados.

Avocado oil is known to penetrate the skin to a higher degree than many other oils. This helps those nutrients to be transported from the outer layer to the deepest layer of the skin.

It is easy to see how using avocado pulp and avocado oil on your skin can be a help in your beauty skin care routine.

Natural Beauty for Skin Conditions

  1. Rashes and rough skin - apply avocado to skin to make it smooth.

  2. Sunburnt skin - rub fruit gently over affected skin for soothing relief.

  3. Age spots, sun damage and scars - softens skin and gives moisturizing effect due to the high sterolin (plant steroid) content of the oil in avocado.

  4. Dehydrated or sun/climate damaged skin - assists in the re-formation and rejuvenation of skin.

  5. Psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis - relieves dryness and itchy, red or irritated areas. Avocado sugars produce an antimicrobial layer over the skin which helps bring this relief. Avocado is easily absorbed into the deep layers of skin.

  6. Small cuts and bruises - hastens healing.
Mash avocado pulp smoothly and use it on any skin that could benefit from it. Alternatively keep some avocado oil on hand and use it on skin conditions as needed.

I usually keep avocado oil in the kitchen because mixed with apple cider vinegar it is my favorite salad dressing. When I use it on my skin it really is a kitchen beauty aid. Remember that avocado oil has a sun protection factor (SPF) of about 6-8.

Enjoy using natural beauty care from your kitchen.


Kitchen Beauty - 5 Avocado Facial Mask Ideas

Avocado is an excellent food to eat. It is packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Of all of the fruits it is the richest in protein, potassium, magnesium, folic acid, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, pantathenic acid and vitamins E and K. On top of this avocado has anti bacterial and anti fungal properties. In short a veritable storehouse of goodies.

What is not so well known is that it is also very good for the skin. Kitchen beauty treatment in the form of avocado might sound messy but it can have good results.

Facial Beauty

There are a few ways of preparing avocado to use as a facial mask.
  1. Simply mash a ripe avocado until it is smooth and apply to the face.

  2. Mash a ripe avocado until smooth and add a little honey and either lime juice or orange juice. The juice helps to thin it down a little.

  3. Add a little milk or oatmeal to the mashed avocado.

  4. Mash a ripe avocado until smooth then add 3-4 drops of almond or other essential fatty oil.

  5. Add 3 tablespoons powdered clay (from health food store) to the smoothly mashed avocado. Leave on till it dries, rinse off with warm water and pat dry.
Apply your avocado mixture to the face gently massaging into skin. Leave the avocado mask on for between 15 - 30 minutes. Wash off with warm water and pat dry.

These kitchen recipes for an avocado facial mask will leave your skin feeling soft and moisturized.

Adding kitchen beauty ideas to your beauty care routine could easily reduce the cost of your skin care. The other benefit, aside from great results, is that you know what is in it. When you mix it up yourself you know that there is nothing in it that will harm either your skin or your health.

Have fun and enjoy your natural beauty.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Procrastinating? Stop It In Its Tracks!

Procrastination - The Thief

Can procrastination stop you from reaching your goals? Yes. Procrastination is a thief. It steals our time, our peace of mind and our ability to reach our potential. Procrastination can become so embedded in our lives that we don't always realize that we are procrastinating. Habits are like that though. They become so automatic that we don't really think about them. At least not until we are forced to. So it is with procrastination we go on doing it until that thing we have been putting off will be put off no longer.

How To Stop Procrastinating?

I hear you ask that question. Is it even possible to stop procrastinating? Actually it is. Just like any other habit you can help procrastination to have a speedy exit from your life. Is it easy? well that is another question all together and the answer could be different for everyone. But possible? Yes, a definite yes, no matter what you are procrastinating about, there are ways to stop procrastinating.

Recognizing it as a problem is a good first step. Next is to get a good source of information giving you the information on how to stop procrastinating. Using that information, make a plan using the strategies that you feel will work best for you. Finally start putting it into practice. Don't give up adjust your plan as you go. You might even find some new tips and strategies to help you stop procrastinating.

Don't Aim For Perfection

Don't be discouraged if you are not perfect in your efforts to stop procrastinating. Like any habit it takes some time of new behavior before the new has firmly displaced the old. The trick here is to recognize mistakes and keep working on the plan. You can do it. Learning to stop procrastinating can open up a whole new world of possibilities and options for you.

Beating Procrastination

Beating Procrastination is a book written by Jack Webster, a self confessed former master of procrastination. He takes us on his journey as he learned how to stop procrastination. He shares the highs and his lows of his journey. More importantly he shares the strategies that have worked so successfully for him. It is a tool that could give you that needed impetus to begin a life free from procrastination.

Do it now.
Yours in freedom,

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Nutrients in Eggshell Membrane

Again I revisit the topic of eggshell membrane. I put this information together because someone left a comment asking about what nutrients were in the membrane.
I was aware of some of them but when I looked it up I found there was more to say on this than a brief comment.

Connective Tissue

Essentially egg shell membrane is connective tissue. It contains glucosamine, chondroitin, collagen and hyaluronic acid. These are also components of human connective tissues.

Because the eggshell membrane contains all the nutrients needed to create healthy joint tissue there is now a product that is made entirely of natural eggshell membrane. This product is known as NEM and is sold as a joint health nutraceutical. Studies conducted with this product have shown that people find benefits in their movement and comfort within 7 - 10 days.
It is used for the relief of the pain and discomfort associated with joint and connective tissue disorders.
100% Natural Eggshell Membrane 30 Veg Caps

Other Nutrients

Calcium, magnesium, and protein are also found in the eggshell membrane.
The proteins in the egg shell membrane have a high concentration of the animo acids of arginine, glutamic acid, methionine, histidine, cystine and proline.

Hyaluroic Acid (HA)

HA gives elasticity to the joints and rigidity to the vertebrate disks. It is also important in the eye. It has a high water content. It is thought that because of its high water content the HA in some tissues is what causes them to be resistant to compression.
HA also acts as a type of shock absorber in some parts of the body.

Scientists have been able to isolate HA out of the eggshell membrane and use it to provide protection, lubrication, pain reduction and hydration to some cartilage and tissues in the treatment of arthritis. This is often administered by injection.

I am sure there is more interesting information out there about eggshell membrane and I look forward to hearing from any one who has information or a story to share about egg membrane.

Be well


Friday, October 9, 2009

Increase Your Child's Intelligence

All my children are grown up now but when they were about 2 years old I taught them to read. What fun we had. They loved it and they learned to read. They were all proficient readers when they started school.

I had read Dr Glen Doman's book "Teach Your Baby To Read". It was very exciting to read about how tiny children who were brain damaged were learning to read. He set out the process of teaching young children to read and I followed the instructions well more or less anyway. It worked.

The way to start is to make the print big enough. That meant that I made an enormous number of cards with very large words printed on them. I spent more time making materials than I did having fun showing them to my children.

Short Cut

Today I found a computer program that short cuts all that work but gives the same results. I wished that it had been around thirty years ago. It is fantastic. Whatever words, or groups of words you want to show is done simply by typing them in.
It even comes with beautiful pictures of birds, animals and other things with their names printed under the picture (deluxe version). I tested the bird pictures out on my two year old grandson today. He was enthralled. He loved the eagle and kept asking for it again.

I added some extra pictures as well. He was very excited to see pictures of his cousins with their name under their photo. It is easy to do this. Get your photos and resize them so they are not too large for the page. The file name becomes the word displayed under the picture. Go ahead and add whatever pictures will excite your child.

I thought it was so good I wanted to share it here in case others were interested trying it. It is very easy to use and you really only need to take a couple of minutes at a time when using this with your child. It is always fun and you always stop while it is still fun.
Go ahead and find out how to multiply your child's intelligence, quickly and easily.

I hope you have as much fun as I did when you teach your young children to read.

Have great success and lots of fun


Sunday, October 4, 2009

7 Natural Headache Cures

There are very many remedies for headaches that people have used with success to get relief from headache pain.
Aside from the many herbs that can help with headache pain there are other natural methods that can help as well. Try some of these natural headache cures and see if they work for you.

Acupressure and Massage
There is an acupressure point just below the webbing between your thumb and index finger. Put the thumb of one hand on the palm of your other hand just below the webbing between your thumb and index finger and put your index finger on the other side of the hand and apply pressure. Sometimes it can be helpful in easing headache pain.
Massage the back of your neck by gently pressing the back of your neck with three fingers on each side.

Ice Pack
An ice pack applied to the back of the neck will sometimes ease the pain of a migraine.

Hot Foot Bath
Fill a bucket or tub with hot water and soak the feet and lower legs in it for about fifteen minutes each night. Do this for two or three weeks. It is suggested that this can be of benefit in cases of chronic headaches.

Add lemon juice to a cup of tea and drink. Some people find this gives them quick relief.
Peel a lemon and place the peel on your forehead and temples. Have the yellow of the lemon skin up. It is best to lie down while doing this.

Practice relaxation. There are many forms of relaxation and they can help prevent headaches where the trigger is stress. It can also help to ease tension headaches.
Try to relax your jaw and take a few deep breaths.
If you are stressed experiment and find a method of relaxation that will work for you.

Biofeedback is a tool that can bring good results to some people who suffer from headaches. In biofeedback a person is hooked up to a machine that measures things like heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature and brain wave patterns. this information is used to help the person to learn how to control pain. As with most headache treatments, this does not work for all people.

For over 70 years there have been suggestions that magnesium deficiency could cause headaches. Many studies have shown that magnesium is effective in treating migraines. Many of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency are the same as conditions that are linked to migraine headaches.

Injections of magnesium sulfate can give immediate relief from migraines.
In his book, "The Magnesium Solution for Migraine Headaches", Dr Jay Cohen reports that studies show that 80-90 percent of patients improved with the use of intravenous magnesium for acute migraines.

Regular use of oral magnesium in the form of capsules, or transdermally (applied to the skin) in the form of magnesium oil (magnesium chloride) could be useful in the management of headaches.
Dr Cohen gives detailed information about how magnesium interacts with headaches and how to use it, including how much you need to use.

If you have a favorite natural headache cure that works for you why not share it by leaving a comment. There are probably hundreds of different ways that people use to get relief from headache pain. The one that works for you might be just the one that someone else is looking for.

Be pain free


Friday, October 2, 2009

11 More Herbs for Headache Relief

The majority, an estimated 90%, of headaches are tension headaches. Migraines, cluster headaches and headaches from caffeine withdrawal make up the remainder. Whatever the cause, headaches can be very debilitating.

If you are having trouble finding something that will ease your headache explore some of these herbal options. One of them might be the remedy for headache that you have been looking for.

Bay Laurel - This is sometimes used in combination with feverfew in the prevention of migraines. It contains similar compounds to feverfew.

Corydalis - Not only is this good for headache relief but also for pain relief in general. Traditional Chinese medicine uses corydalis as a pain reliever. People who should not use this herb include pregnant or breastfeeding women, children and those with liver or kidney disease. It is wise to talk to a knowledgable health care provider before using this herb. It is generally only available in prepared products. Corydalis & Angelica (yuan Hu Formula) 100 Softgels

Evening Primrose - Contains a phenylalanine, a pain relieving compound. 6-8 capsules of evening primrose oil can help those with chronic headaches. Evening Primrose Oil 500 mg Hexane Free 180 Cap

Ginger - Ginger is used by some people who suffer from migraines. Try making ginger tea by infusing either chopped fresh ginger root or dried ginger powder. Alternatively use 500 mg ginger capsules. Some recommend combining ginger with turmeric.

Lavender Oil
- Apply a few drops of lavender oil to the temples. This is one of the few essential oils that can be applied to the skin in full strength.

Lemon Balm - Sometimes known as melissa this herb is well known for helping relieve headaches. Steep 1 0r 2 teaspoons of dried herb in a cup of boiling water.

Rosemary - Make an infusion of 1 or 2 teaspoons of the dried herb in a cup of boiling water. Also try rosemary oil, juniper oil and lavender oil together in a carrier oil to massage into the back of the neck and shoulders.

Oregano - Make an infusion of dried or fresh oregano leaves for a cup of tea to help relieve nervous headaches.

Skullcap - This can be useful for headache relief. Make a hot tea from infusing the herb with water or use a tincture. Avoid skullcap if pregnant. The botanical name to look for is scutellaria. Skullcap Herb Extract 1 FL Oz

Thyme - Thyme tea is another one to try in the arsenal against headache pain.

Valerian - Effective against headaches. It helps the body relax if pain is present. It is also used to help insomnia. Valerian Root 100 Caps

Some of these herbs can be combined together. For example try a tea made of lavender herb, lemon balm and skullcap.

I am sure that there are other herbal remedies for headaches that people have found useful in easing their headaches. If you have a favorite one that works for you please share it with us by leaving a comment.

Annie's Remedy has more detailed information about herbs and their other uses.

Be headache free


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Thursday, October 1, 2009

5 Herbs for Headaches

Are there herbs that are known as headache remedies? Following the thought of herbs for pain relief I thought I would go hunting for which specific herbs were known as remedies for headaches.

Unlike the list of kitchen herbs with analgesic properties in the previous post not all of the herbs in this list are used in cooking.

While not a kitchen herb, feverfew has been used for a long time as a headache remedy. A study published in 1997 (Palevitch, Earon and Carasso) showed that feverfew significantly reduced pain, nausea and sensitivity to noise and light.
The easiest way to get feverfew is probably by buying a supplement. One of the most popular feverfew products for use with migraine headaches is Migrelief. This product contains feverfew, magnesium and Vitamin B2. It is intended to be used regularly as both a preventative and to reduce the severity of attacks. Feverfew 180 Caps


Peppermint has been used for hundreds of years for headache relief. In 1879 the British medical journal Lancet reported that pepperment oil helped relieve headache. There are many different ways of using peppermint. A simple cup of peppermint tea can help some headaches.
Peppermint essential oil can be used in a variety of ways. Do not use it undiluted on your skin.

  • Break it down in equal parts with extra virgin olive oil and massage into temples, jaws and the back of the neck. This is useful for tension headaches.
  • Add about 10 drops of peppermint essential oil to a small pot of hot water. Use it as a steam treatment and inhale the peppermint from the steaming water. This can be good for relieving a headache from sinus pressure.
  • Add 10 - 15 drops of peppermint essential oil to a warm bath and relax in the warmth, inhaling the peppermint as you do. This can sometimes bring relief to a headache.
Pure Essential Oil Peppermint 0.5 Oz
Ginkgo Biloba

This herb is known to improve circulation. It is thought that it helps reduce the pain of headaches by encouraging oxygen delivery. It is also known to help reduce inflammation. This can help with some headaches.
The best way to obtain this herb is with a standardized supplement. GINKGO BILOBA 60 mg 240 Caps
Cayenne Pepper

This is one remedy for headache that you might have in the kitchen. Be careful because to much of it can cause stomach upsets. It is thought that the stimulating effect of cayenne affects the blood flow in some way and helps ease headaches and migraines.
Used in the form of a nasal spray it is sometimes used as a treatment for cluster headaches.
It is possible to put the spice in to empty capsules or buy a standardized supplement product. Cayenne 180 Caps


Butterbur is a herb that has had quite a number of controlled studies done on it in relation to migraine prevention. Each trial showed that treatment with butterbur resulted in at least a 50% reduction of migraine attacks by more than two thirds of all patients in the trials. Details of these studies can be found at butterbur research.
There are a number of butterbur products on the market, perhaps a soft gel capsule might be the most convenient way of using this herb. Migra Comfort (Butterbur) 50mg 60 sg

If you are unsure of whether it is appropriate for you to use any herbal treatment talk to a health professional who is knowledgeable about the use of herbs.

To a headache free life


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

17 Kitchen Herbs for Pain Relief

What options are there for pain relief when regular pain killers don't work for your pain? That is the question I have been contemplating recently. The question was sparked after talking to a couple of people who found that sometimes the pain killers just don't work.

Because I have found herbs to be very useful for all kinds of ailments in the past I thought it would be interesting to see how many culinary herbs and spices might have a pain relieving component.
There are other herbs that are not used in the kitchen that also have pain relieving function but I wanted to stick to those herbs and spices that people could reasonably find either already in their kitchen or easily buy in the supermarket.

All of the herbs in this list are known to have an analgesic factor. According to Wikipedia the word analgesic means without pain. Of course just because a herb has an analgesic factor does not mean that a cup of herbal tea for example will necessarily ease a particular pain. However, it can be useful to have some idea of the wide variety of herbs that do have this function.

Each of these herbs also has many other functions as well. Many of them are also antibacterial, anti spasmodic, anti viral, anti fungal or anti inflammatory.

The List
  • Allspice
  • Bay Laurel
  • Caraway Seeds
  • Cardamon
  • Chamomile
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Coriander
  • Fennel
  • Ginger
  • Marjoram
  • Nutmeg
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric
I found a great web site that has loads of information about different herbs and spices. It includes common uses and information on how to use them. This page will take you to the list of analgesic herbs for natural pain relief.

The only ones in the list that I have personally tried are rosemary, sage and peppermint although I used mint instead. I did find that they helped me. All I did was use 1 teaspoon of dried herb in a cup of boiling water and let it steep for a while. Use a tea pot or an infuser in a cup.

To a pain free, healthy life


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Egg Membrane for Healing Wounds back in 1905

On the topic of using eggshell membrane for wounds, I came across an article that was published in the New York Times July 1, 1905.

The article is reporting that at a session of the Therapeutical association of Paris, a Dr Amat gave a lecture on the use of the membrane of eggs in treating wounds.

The article reports briefly on two of his cases. One was a girl with a burn on her foot and the other of a forty year old man with a large leg ulcer. Both cases had good recovery with the use of egg membrane.

The method he used with both these cases was to spread the wound with six or eight pieces of the egg membrane, cover that with tin foil and cover that with dry antiseptic bandages. The bandages and foil were removed after four days. The result was that the membrane had partly grown into the tissues and that had caused good skin to grow.

He reported that this process helps wounds to heal very well and leaves little scarring.

Here is a link to the full New York Times article that I read.

I thought it was very interesting that this was a treatment that was being used successfully over 100 years ago. Particularly so as in the late 1990's experiments were done as to the efffectiveness of egg membrane as a dressing in skin graft donor sites. The results of these tests were that of the dressings tested the egg membrane gave the quickest healing time.

The limited size of the membrane was a problem that would need to be overcome. However the properties of pain relief, wound protection, promotion of healing and low cost that were observed with using egg membrane were considered to be of great advantage.

If you are looking for information on all things to do with eggs try this book, Egg Bioscience and Biotechnology. It is really a comprehensive reference that covers all the components of the egg and their known bioactive compounds. The information is organized according to the parts of the egg: egg shell and membranes, albumen and yolk. It includes information on egg shell membrane as a biological dressing for skin injuries.
The focus in the book is mainly on biologically active substances derived from egg components and their potential uses. Some of the properties include anti-microbial, anti-adhesive, immunomodulatory, anti-cancer, anti-hypertensive and anti-oxidant.

Modern science sometimes validates some of the knowledge and treatments that have been around for a long, long time. It is satisfying to find instances of this especially when it is using something that most people can easily access and use for a variety of uses.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Egg Shell Membrane Burn Story

On 13th July, 2009 I wrote an article on this blog titled 6 tips Using Egg shell membrane. It has been quite a popular article. I have been surprised at how many people have been searching for information on uses for eggshell membrane. Sometimes it is also called egg shell lining or egg shell skin.

I have been using eggshell membrane on all sorts of little sores or scratches lately and it always does a good job. The story that follows is the first time I have used it on a burn. I was so impressed with the results that I wanted to share them.

Last week my husband burnt his finger on a soldering iron.
His first initial first aid was to spread kefir on it. This took the initial pain from it. Kefir by the way is a fermented milk drink.

For the first few days the burn was covered with its own blister. Yesterday the blisters burst and the raw skin was exposed and was very painful.
I covered both the burns with egg shell membrane and covered that with a band aid to make sure that it would stay there all night.
By morning the smaller of the burns was practically healed over. The other needed more membrane applied. Instead of throwing the morning egg shells away I placed them in a covered cup and kept them in the fridge in order to have a supply of membrane throughout the day. In this way it was easy to put a new application on each time it needed replacing.

When you put the egg membrane on a sore it sticks to the damaged area as it dries. It will then stay in place for as long as it is kept dry. However when it is on your hands then with normal hand washing it will need replacing a couple of times during the day.

It is still a little sensitive and there is the tiniest bit that is not healed over. I will put another application of egg shell membrane on tonight and at the rate it has been healing during the day expect it to be fully healed over by morning.

If you have a story of using egg shell membrane for healing something share it with us by leaving a comment.

Be in good health

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Do You Know These Surprising Benefits of Eating Eggs?

Check out these benefits of eating eggs.

Weight Loss
  • There have been some studies that show that eating eggs can be a great help in losing weight. One study by the Rochester Center for Obesity Research discovered that a breakfast of eggs helps to reduce calorie intake for the day by at least 400 calories. One possible reason for this is that with an egg breakfast you don't get hungry so soon, thereby avoiding the trap of snacking on junk food during the day.

  • Another study from Louisiana State University compared the weight loss results of women who had 2 eggs for breakfast with women who ate a bagel breakfast of similar calories. Over an eight week period the women having 2 eggs for breakfast lost 65% more weight and had an 83% greater reduction in waist circumference. They also reported greater improvements in their energy levels.
Breast Cancer Protection
  • Another interesting piece of research discovered that women who ate at least six eggs each week reduced their risk of getting breast cancer by 44% compared to women who ate two eggs or less each week.
Eyes, Skin and Hair
  • Egg yolks contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants are better absorbed by the body when they come from eggs rather than vegetables. They protect the eyes from ultraviolet rays, help guard against macular degeneration and may also help to lower the risk of developing cataracts.

  • The high sulphur content along with the large variety of vitamins and minerals found in eggs help hair and nails to be stronger and healthier.
Eggs have long been one of my favorite staples. My most common breakfast is 2 eggs on toast. With all the good things about eggs I don't plan on changing that any time soon.

Enjoy your food

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

3 Types of Nutrients found in Eggs

Eggs are one of nature’s powerhouse. As well as being packed with essential nutrients they are also economical. For the nutrients in them they are one of the cheapest packages available in the supermarket.

  1. Protein – A medium egg has about 6.5 grams of protein but only 70 – 85 calories. That makes it easy to get protein in a low calorie way.
  2. Vitamins – Some of the essential vitamins in an egg include:
    Vitamin B2 - needs to be obtained each day, cannot be stored.
    Vitamin B12 – needed for the brain and nervous system and metabolism
    Choline – part of the B group of vitamins. Essential for the brain.
    Vitamin A – Only found in the yolk and needed for eyes, skin, bones, immune function
    Vitamin D – One of the few food sources, only in the yolk.
    Vitamin E – Only found in the yolk. It is an antioxidant

  3. Minerals – Minerals are vital and must be obtained from our food. Amongst others these will be found in eggs:
    Iron – Necessary for the blood
    Zinc – Only found in the yolk and needed for growth, sexual function and immune system.
    Phosphorus – Required by every cell in the body
    Magnesium -
    Iodine – needed for the thyroid
    Selenium – an antioxidant

This short list is not by any means the total list of nutrients found in eggs. They do in fact contain almost every essential vitamin and mineral that is needed. Vitamin C is about the only vitamin not found in eggs.

Enjoy your eggs as they are packed full of goodness and will help you in your efforts to maintain a healthy diet.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

7 Home Remedies For Mosquito Bites

Here are 7 tips for easing mosquito bites. Many of these will also work for sand fly or midge bites.
  • Rub vinegar on to the bites. Do not scratch before applying or it will sting.
  • A combination of olive oil and vinegar applied to the bites.
  • Apply a salt water solution to the itchy bites.
  • Dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water. Alternatively make a paste of baking soda with just a little water and spread on the itchy spots.
  • Rub dry soap on to the bites to relieve the itch and swelling.
  • The inside of a banana peel rubbed on the bite can relieve both the swelling and the itch.
  • Dilute lime juice with water and rub over the mosquito bites.
See how you go. One or other of these would be likely to be available when needed.
For more home remedies on various topics visit www.health-home-remedies.com

Have fun

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

3 Ways To Use Cinnamon in Treating Acne

It can be very difficult to get rid of acne. There are many simple home remedies that can be tried. Some will work more effectively for particular people than others. It can be a matter of experimentation to find the solution that will suit you.

There are several spices that can be applied to the skin to help deal with acne. One of these is cinnamon. The fact that cinnamon has both antioxidant and antimicrobial properties could explain why it has been found to be so helpful in treating acne.

Try these suggestions for applying cinnamon to the skin:
  • Mix equal parts of lemon juice and ground cinnamon and apply frequently to the acne.
  • Using unheated (raw) honey, mix 3 teaspoons honey to 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Apply to the acne and leave on overnight. Cover if necessary.
  • Mix milk and ground cinnamon together and apply to the acne.
For other hints on curing acne with home remedies visit health-home-remedies.com.


Monday, July 13, 2009

6 Tips Using Egg Shell Membrane

For something that is normally thrown out as rubbish, the membrane lining in an egg shell has some surprising uses. That's right crack that egg and use it as normal. Then, instead of throwing the shell away, peel that thin white skin or membrane out and use it as an aid to healing.
  1. Peeling skin next to your fingernails, often called a quick, can get very sore especially if the skin is pulled at or torn off. This tip to solve the problem is magic. Tear off small pieces of the egg membrane and put them wet side down on the problem areas. Leave it there until it dries. Even if you wash it off before it falls off it will have done its job. Check the next day and if there are any areas that are not quite right apply more egg skin. Quite often one application is all that is needed.

  2. Use egg skin membrane on any cut or scratch. It will promote healing. Put the wet side of the membrane on the cut and leave it there until it dries. An alternative method is to spread a little egg white over the top of the membrane after it is in place over the cut and if necessary bandage over that. Using egg skin will bring quick healing without any scarring.

  3. Use the eggshell membrane to draw out blackheads or to clear up pimples.

  4. Use egg membrane on splinters or glass fragments that are difficult to pick out with tweezers. This is a bit similar to using it for blackheads. As it dries it will tend to draw the splinter out a little enabling you to pull it out.

  5. Useful for ingrown toenails.

  6. Try using the wet egg membrane on boils. Keep reapplying until the boil is dislodged.
The membrane lining of the egg shell contains anti microbial substances. This would be part of the reason for its success in these healing situations. Apparently there have been some dressing developed using this membrane for use in skin grafts and burn situations. The healing time when using egg skin membrane is always reduced and scarring is greatly minimized.

If you know of other uses for egg shell lining please share them by leaving a comment.

Be healthy,


Monday, July 6, 2009

Another List of Banana Benefits

While I am on the topic of bananas, I have a list of other reported health benefits of eating bananas.
Even with these added to the six from yesterday's post, I would be surprised if that were all. I don't really think that we know all the benefits available from any food including the banana.
  • Hang over cure - with milk and honey added
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Stress relief
  • Improves nerve function
  • Helps in recovery from nicotine withdrawal
  • Morning sickness - keeps blood sugar levels stable
  • Heartburn
  • Helps in calcium absorption
  • Protects eyesight
  • Anemia - high in iron
Some of the known nutrients in bananas are as follows:
  • Potassium - one of the highest food sources
  • Fiber
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Selenium
  • Iron
  • Vitamins B2 and B6
  • Vitamins C and E
  • Niacin
  • Folate
  • Pantothenic Acid
So there you have it. Not only are bananas good for us, they are a very handy package. Already naturally prewrapped, I call them the original fast food.

Enjoy some today and continue in good health,


Saturday, July 4, 2009

6 Ways Bananas Can Help Your Health

Bananas are one of my favorite fruits. As I eat so many of them I thought it was interesting to see what type of health benefits were associated with bananas.

There are many of them and I will not mention all of them here. However I think the ones listed below make a good start.

Bananas can help to reduce depression. They contain the amino acid tryptophan which is converted to serotonin. Serotonin is associated with improved mood.

Bananas can help you have healthy kidneys. Bananas are high in potassium and a high potassium diet can minimize the risk of kidney stones. Studies have shown that eating 4 - 6 bananas a week can half the risk of developing kidney cancer.

Blood Pressure
Potassium is an essential mineral for the maintenance of normal blood pressure and heart function. The high potassium and low sodium content of bananas is the perfect ratio for preventing high blood pressure. Indian scientists have found that bananas contain compounds that have similar effects to anti-hypertensive drugs. They found that eating 2 bananas per day for a week would decrease high blood pressure by 10%.

Bananas neutralize the acidity of the gastric juices. This coats the lining of the stomach, so reducing ulcer irritation. Bananas also contain protease inhibitors that help eliminate the type of bacteria in the stomach that has been recognized as a primary cause of ulcers. Another benefit from bananas in relation to ulcers is that they contain a flavonoid called leucoyanidin. This helps to increase the thickness of the mucous membrane layer of the stomach.

It seems that regular banana consumption reduces the risk of dying from stroke by 40%. This is thought to be because of the high potassium content.

Normal bowel Function
The non digestible fibers of cellulose, hemicellulose and alphaglucans in bananas help restore normal bowel activity in either constipation or diarrhea. Bananas are also rich in pectin, which is water absorbent and helps the colon's function of absorbing large amounts of water to enable regular bowel movements.

There are many ways of including bananas in your daily diet. Try to include them as part of your healthy diet plan so you can reap the banana benefits.

Be healthy,

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

6 Physical Effects of Laughter

  • Makes us breathe faster - sends more oxygen to our tissues
  • Massages heart and other organs
  • Quickens pulse
  • Stimulates Cardiovascular system
  • Increases release of disease fighting cells in immune system
  • Releases endorphins - natural painkillers of the body

Saturday, June 27, 2009

6 Illnesses That Happiness Can Decrease

Health Benefits of Happiness

Just as stress creates a negative impact on health so happiness creates a positive impact on health. This is not just the removal of the problems caused by stress but actual improvements in health due to happiness.

Some illnesses that happiness has the potential to either decrease the risk of or limit its severity include:
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Pulmonary disease
  • Colds
  • Upper respiratory infections
With those sorts of benefits being happy is worthwhile, not that anyone really wants to be anything but happy. However, judging by the number of unhappy people around, being happy may not be that easy at times.

Even though your particular circumstances may be difficult, finding ways to create moments of happiness can pay big dividends.

Athletes have found that when they get fatigued and feel like they can't continue, if they smile it changes their body. They can have a 30% increase in their performance for the next several minutes. That tells us that even if we have to "act as if", even a pretend smile or laugh can bring some benefits to our health.

Things to do

  • Laugh
  • Smile
  • Maintain relationships
  • Make friends
  • Do some fun activities
  • Go for a walk
  • Smell the roses, enjoy the scenery
  • Think happy thoughts
  • Get proper sleep
  • Find ways to replace the worrying thoughts with happier ones
An article by the American Happiness Association says that neuroscience has discovered that optimism is important for the health of our brains. The brain has a center for optimism and if that center is not developed we get depressed. Food for thought anyway.

Be happy,


Friday, June 26, 2009

A 9 Point Affirmation

Affirmations could be said to be inspiring self talk. Now that has to be better than telling yourself negative stuff or beating yourself up about something.

Here are 5 positive benefits to using positive affirmations:
  • Develops a positive attitude to life
  • Relieves stress
  • Act as motivators
  • Helps to develop a happy frame of mind
  • Trains the subconscious mind
Over the years I have used affirmations at various times. I remember at one time I had a whole stack of affirmation cards that I would go through a couple of times a day.

In the last little while, I have come across an affirmation, that to me, is the most complete affirmation I have seen. It is like all the affirmations combined into one short statement.

I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, happy, intelligent and affluent.

I came across the concept for this affirmation in The Master Key System by Charles Haanel. This work, written in 1912, was the basis for the popular movie "The Secret". I have added the last two words to the original affirmation as I felt that it rounded it out more fully.

By memorizing this one affirmation it is easy to use it at any time, many times a day.

Be great,

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

13 Money Saving Tips for 3 Areas

In the economic times that we are living many people are looking for ways to make their money go further. More and more people are finding that they are spending more than they are earning. There is of course a limit to how long one can continue to spend more than what comes in.

Whether your situation is as dire as that or just under mild pressure, some tips on how to make your money go further never go astray.

Cut Food Costs - This does not mean cut your food.
  • Do not go grocery shopping when hungry
  • Shop with a list
  • Look for specials
  • Do not buy convenience items. - Cook from scratch as much as you can.
  • Buy meat when on special and freeze
  • Choose fruit and vegetables by freshness, cost and what is in season. Adjust menus to what you bought rather than buying something expensive because it is in the recipe.
Cut your energy costs
  • Keep your furnace filter clean
  • Whether it is for heating or cooling adjust your thermostat. Don't set it to hot in winter or for summer cooling don't set it to cool. This can save about 5% of your costs.
  • Use energy saving bulbs.
  • Check the deals for the different energy providers. Maybe there is a better deal.
Save on your phone bill
  • Check your mobile phone costs. Is there a provider that can meet your needs for less?
  • Check all your phone calling patterns. What offers are there that can provide what you need for less?
  • Consider using VOIP for your phone calls. If you already have high speed broadband it could save a considerable amount.
There are plenty of ways that costs can be reduced. Shop around for everything. Always get more than one quote.

More detailed tips and information on making your money go further can be found in Douglas Hanna's "Surviving the Recession". For more information on the book visit http://savemoney.jocelynkaye.com

Saturday, June 20, 2009

9 Health Benefits of Laughter

Laughter has often been said to be the best medicine. That statement is more than just a saying that has been around for a long time. There is actually a lot of truth in it. Modern research has found quite a number of ways that laughter benefits our health.

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces stress hormones
  • Boosts immune function
  • Raises the level of T-cells that fight infection
  • Raises levels of antibodies that destroy disease
  • Triggers release of endorphins - natural painkillers
  • Decreases stress hormones
  • Protects the heart
  • Relaxes the whole body
Laughter Opportunities

With laughter having such healthy benefits, it is good to make sure that we laugh more often. Here are some strategies that can help you to increase the amount of laughter in your life.
  • Laugh with friends. Laughter is contagious. Find things to do with friends that will create laughter and good feelings - go to movies, play games, tell jokes.
  • Movies and other entertainment. Watching funny movies can be an easy way to get laughing.
  • Keep a sense of humor about life. Instead of seeing all the negatives, find something to laugh about in every situation. This really reduces stress and increases the opportunities to laugh.
  • Act as if. If you can't laugh for real, pretend until you can. Put on smiles and laughter gives the same results as real or spontaneous smiles and laughter. You still get the same positive results.
Laughter is free, and available at any time. It has tremendous power to heal and renew. It can foster good relationships, and support physical and emotional health. Be sure you get your dose of laughter each day.

Be happy

Friday, June 19, 2009

Foods to Make You Happy

It is interesting how much the foods we eat actually influence how we feel. While it is important to have a positive mental attitude and do those things that help keep us emotionally healthy, it will be difficult to do this if our diet is not adequate.

The foods we eat are the building blocks for our body. If the body is doing its regular repair and maintenance work and the necessary ingredients are not there, the repair and maintenance still goes on. The result though is a weakened structure. Over time this can seriously set one up for ill health.

How we feel, whether we are happy or sad is not only regulated by external circumstances or by how well we manage our self talk. It is also influenced by the food we eat. There are amino acids (proteins), vitamins and minerals that are needed to make sure that neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine and epinephrine are present in the correct proportions.
These neurotransmitters, amongst other things, are able to increase levels of alertness and energy.

Some examples of nutrients and foods that help to increase happiness are:

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Beet root,
  • Strawberries
  • Oranges
Vitamin B6
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Meats
  • Fish
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
Vitamin B12
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Brazil nuts
  • Walnuts
  • Eggs
  • Tuna
  • Meats
  • Legumes
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Fish
  • Quinoa
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Potatoes
Foods that can help to keep depression and anxiety at bay, and increase memory and concentration are certainly useful in building a healthier and happier life.

If the right nutrients are not available your body will find it very hard to keep you feeling happy, alert and energetic.

Stay healthy

Sunday, June 14, 2009

10 Stress Reducing Techniques

Stress comes from many different sources. If stress is allowed to accumulate and get out of control it not only decreases our quality of life but creates illness in the body. If allowed to continue it has been known to shorten the life span.

Here are 10 different ways that might help to decrease stress.
  1. Play some relaxing music.
  2. Get plenty of sleep.
  3. Eat a good diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals. If necessary take a vitamin supplement.
  4. Get some sunshine regularly.
  5. Take a walk outdoors. Take time to enjoy the flowers, sunset, scenery etc.
  6. Having soft squeezable items handy can help to release tension.
  7. Take up a hobby. Find something that you enjoy doing and make time for it.
  8. Running. Any form of exercise that is enjoyed will help to reduce stress.
  9. Have a pet. Many people keep pets to help reduce stress.
  10. Have an aquarium. Keeping an aquarium has been known to help to lower blood pressure and to relieve stress.

What ever method of stress reduction that you choose, it must be readily available. Choose something that will fit in with your way of life.

As a bonus tip I am told that playing computer games works to reduce stress but if they are played as a form of procrastination they will eventually increase the stress. So choose your stress reduction method wisely.

Enjoy life and have fun


Saturday, June 13, 2009

From Vegetables to Attitude

The other day I was looking at the term 5 a day, meaning to eat 5 serves of fruit and vegetables a day. I came across an article that was asking did you get your 5 a day only they weren't talking about fruit and vegetables. What they meant was did you do 5 things today that would improve your mental state?

I thought that it was a great idea to apply the "did you get your 5 a day" to other things. Some things that I thought of were:
  • Keep good attitudes
  • Have a positive mental attitude
  • Improve your mental state
  • Enhance personal relationships
  • Improve or keep good health
  • Move ahead in your field of work
Undoubtedly, you might be able to think of some others.

It takes 30 days for an action to become a habit. If one was consciously aware of doing 5 specific things in the area they wanted to work on for a month, those actions would probably have become automatic by then. Once things become automatic, they become a part of the normal fabric of our lives, without having to be conscious of them.

Pick an area that you would like to work on. Find 5 things that you could do today that would improve it. Put it into practice. Here is an example of some things that could be done to improve mental state.
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Do some daily exercise
  • Watch your diet - don't eat junk food
  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Smile at people
  • Compliment someone
  • Find 5 things to be thankful for
  • Do something specific to relax
  • Laugh
Well that is 10 suggestions. What I noticed as I wrote them is that they would fit equally well in the improve or keep good health category. There will always be overlap with things like this. It really doesn't matter. The important thing is to be conscious of doing something that will improve things for you in some way.

Have fun and enjoy yourself,

Fruit and Vegetables Get Your 5 A Day

Thursday, June 11, 2009

9 Benefits of Gratitude

I was reminded today about the importance of gratitude.

Wallace Wattles, in his book "The science of Getting Rich" says:

"There is a law of gratitude, and if you are to get the results you seek, it is absolutely necessary that you should observe this law."

An attitude of gratitude can enhance our lives in many ways. Here is a list of 9 benefits of having an attitude of gratitude.
  1. Can help you to have a more positive mood
  2. Creates a sense of emotional well being
  3. Can help to create better interpersonal relationships
  4. Can improve physical health
  5. Positive impact on both cardiovascular and immune functions.
  6. Reduces stress
  7. Live a longer life
  8. Reduces depression
  9. Reduces fear
Developing and nurturing gratitude is one of the things that can help our lives to be more pleasant, useful and fulfilling. Most of the difficulties in life can be eased by making some changes to our mental state. Having gratitude as a normal part of your daily life and thoughts is worth the effort that it might take to have it as your normal response.

If you would like to download a free copy of Wallace Wattles book, "The Science of Getting Rich" please follow the linked title.

Positively enjoy life