Sunday, January 10, 2016

Simple Remedy for a Stuffy Nose

Are you waking up with a stuffy nose every morning?

Acute stuffiness may be part of a cold or flu, and therefore rest, liquid diets (home broths are especially nutritive) and extra vitamin C ( up to 10 grams daily) can help.  Chronic sinus congestion is more likely to be caused by fungi than bacteria, especially if secretions are clear or white, not green or yellowish.  If you suffer from a chronic stuffy nose, you are likely a mouth breather at night, which quickly turns your pillow into a fungus factory.  Wash your pillow cases in very hot water weekly, and change your pillow every 3 to 6 months.

Application of anti-fungal herbs to the nasal passage is an effective approach to reducing sinus congestion.  Try pleasant-smelling blends that include wintergreen, eucalyptus, thyme, or other volatile oils.  A light layer can be applied with a cotton swap (diluted with olive or coconut oil) to the nasal passages at bedtime.  You can also combine loose, dried herbs with a cup of hot water in a bowl, put a towel over your head and breather the steam in deeply for 10 minutes.

Some people have good luck with a combination of garlic and cinnamon taken internally.  Others find they need to move to a vegetarian diet (fish and eggs are usually okay in moderation) to reduce inflammation and congestion. 

Waking up without a stuffy nose means ideas can come through easier and sets your whole day off on the right tone.

Adapted from Better Nutrution- Emily A. Kane ND, LAc


Saturday, January 2, 2016

10 Ways to Cleanse Every Day

 by Elissa Goodman

January is undoubtedly the busiest time of year in my office.  In fact, as I write this, my email box is full of requests for a spot on one of my popular cleanse programs.  It happens every year, yet by March, the motivation to "cleanse" has greatly diminished.

Because of this, I decided to change the way we cleanse, to turn cleansing into a lifestyle and redefine the experience.  Cleansing isn't  deprivation, starvation and rigidly scheduled.  You can cleanse every day, any day and any time of the year.  This month, instead of over committing to a resolution that will be long forgotten about springtime, commit to every day ways can cleanse your body.

As easy as starting your day with lemon water and ending it by releasing your fears and anxieties.  My every days ways to cleanse will help keep your energy up, your weight gain down, your immune system strong and your attitude positive all year long....

1. Probiotics and Fermented Foods
Probiotics boost the healthy bacteria ration in your digestive tract, help heal your gut, boost your immune system and your happiness too.  Fermented foods are probiotic powerhouses  Eating them daily and taking a probiotic daily is one is one easy way to keep your gut and digestive system balanced during times of overindulgence, rich foods and travel.  Staying consistent and taking daily is key!

2. Sleep
Focus on restorative sleep.  It is during a good sleep that our body is able to heal and restore itself.  During this time our brain also organizes and stores information of the day, helping your process stressful events more efficiently.  If you prioritize getting good sleep your chances of staying well improve immensely.  Bedtime by 10pm guarantees that you will get maximum restorative sleep (happens between 10pm-2am) and 8-9 hours per night is a must.

3.  Start the Day with a Detox Tonic
This blend of filtered water, lemon, aloe vera, Braggs apple cider, coconut kefir and ginger can do wonders for digestion.  Aloe vera is rich in nutrients and fiber, lemon is alkaline and detoxfying, Braggs's Apple cideer is full of enzymes and friendly bacteria and coconut kefir is full of beneficial bacteria and hydrates the body while cleansing the liver and intestines.  This combination of ingredients helps to stop the sugar cravings, promotes healthy digestions and balances blood sugar.

See recipe:

4. Green Juice or Smoothie
The make sure you get the nutrients you need to stay well, have a green juice or smoothie with ingredients like; romaine, spinach, parsley, cilantro, lemon, ginger, tumeric and apple.  You can add flax or chia seeds for fiber and hemp hearts for protein, Both will help keep you satified and feeling energized- especially important to keep up with your gusy schedule and to keep you from over eating!

5. Cruciferous Foods
Cruciferous  veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, spinach, kale, cabbage and brussels sprouts contain antioxidants that increase the production of detoxifying enzymes in the body.  These veggies also contain sulfur compounds that protect the liver and improves its ability to eliminate toxins.

6. Dry Brushing
This is one of my favorite cleansing methods.  Dry brushing your skin by sound a bit weird, but is a fantastic way to boost circulation and lymphatic drainage to help rid the body of toxins.  Your skin is your biggest organ and toxins in your body need a way out.  Dry brushing clears the dead skin cells and allow your cells to breathe, giving the toxins an escape path.  Health benefits aside, dry brushing your skin feels great!  I recommend spending at least 5 minutes in the morning brushing your skin in a circular motions.  You'll feel (and ultimately look like) a million bucks.

7. Stay Hydrated
I know you know how important drinking water is, but for daily cleansing, it is more important.  It is crucial.  When your body cleanses, it pushes toxins into the bloodstream.  The more water you drink, the faster the toxins are pushed out.  And that's the point of cleansing, isn't it?  Make sure the water is filtered (you don't want to use toxins to push out toxins, right?) and drink at minimum of half your body weight in ounces each day.

8. Let of of Fears and Anxiety
Cleansing isn't only about your food, for full benefit, cleanse your body and soul.  Letting go of your fears and anxieties can be very emotionally cleansing.  Write down daily a list of feelings; list what made you sad today, what made you angry today and what made you happy today.  After acknowledging these feelings, release them into the universe and let go of the anger and sadness.

9. Fiber
Eat in natural form is crucial (fruits, veggies, beans, legumes, whole grains).  While fiber is not digestible, it is a great way to help your body digest and pass the foods we eat.  It clears out the digestive system and takes toxins, cholesterol, waste and extra hormones with it.  Fiber also supports a strong immune system, proper colon health, intestinal bacterial balance, a faster metabolism, weight control, diabetes prevention and cardiovascular disease prevention.  It is also feed your gut.  Eating fiber in natural form over taking a supplement is crucial (beans and legumes, fruits, veggies and whole grains are your best source).

10. The 12 -18 Hour Fast
Intermittent fasting accelerates the cleansing of waste products in your body.  The basic principle here is to stay hydrated with water, green juices or herbal teas while abstaining from food for a 12-18 hour period.  It's not as hard as it sounds.  If your eat your evening meal at 7pm, you could complete an 18 hours fast by 1 pm the next day - not that difficult if you're staying hydrated!  Fasting accelerates the cleansing of waste products left by dead and damaged cells, a process known as autophagy.  A failure of autophagy to keep up with accumulated cellular waste is believed by many scientists to be one of the major causes of the chronic.  Choosing one day per week to fast, can be beneficial for your blood sugar, metabolism, and counter balance weight gain.

Elissa Goodman is an integrative Holistic Nutritionist and cleanse expert based in Los Angeles, California.  As a holistic health coach, Elissa offers complete personalized nutritional counseling programs and individual sessions, and works with clients suffering from Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), auto-immune disorders, anxiety, thyroid irregularities, weight gain, respiratory problems and allergies.  Additionally,  she offers nutritional based integrative cancer therapy (incorporating both conventional and holistic treatment methods) Visit


Or you can listen to her on Big Blend Radio

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Nature RX- Part 1

    Set in the world of a spoofed prescription drug commercial

Nature Rx offers a hearty dose of laughs and the outdoors - two timeless prescriptions for whatever ails you. Side effects may include confidence, authenticity, remembering you have a body, and being in a good mood for no apparent reason. Behind the humor and parody of Nature Rx is good science. Research shows that spending more time in nature improves your health, well being, and leads to making better environmental decisions.

 Find out more...

This an award winning comedy series, Nature Rx also offers environmentalism a needed dose of fun and satire. Nature Rx is a friendly reminder to us Earthly inhabitants what feels good and what is worth protecting once we take an adventure outdoors.

One lost man, longing for the apocalypse and crippled by modern life, finds an answer... a humorous and obvious solution he was missing all along. Having fun again, feeling sexy with his wife, wild, peaceful and free, this man offers a good time prescription for our busy world. Warning: this prescription may lead to spontaneous euphoria. For euphoria lasting more than 4 hours, check work email and consult your doctor.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Repel to the Rescue

This post is in addition to the post about night vision.  While I have also struggled with night vision since a teen, I found a product that keeps my headlights as clean as possible if I am doing any night driving.

Therefore, if you have an older vehicle and the headlights have clouded over, you might consider using the insect repellent, “Repel”.  Yes, Repel,  the insect repellent people put on their bodies.  Now, I don’t recommend putting this product on your body because it seems to work so well on the headlights. 

Anyway, buy this product before the season is over.  At Walmart, they are selling it for only $3.88.  Now you can’t beat that price, considering in the past, I’ve been approached by salesmen to clean my headlights for $40.00!

All you have to do is spray a generous amount onto a clean cloth and rub onto the clouded headlights. Then watch as your headlights look brand new again.  Take a spin at night and you will see an improvement in your line of vision. 

If you try this product on your headlamps, let me know what you think.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Driving Tips for People with Low Night Vision

by Orlin Sorensen 
People with the condition experience a general drop in visual acuity but are particularly affected by glare. This can be troublesome during the day, but much worse at night, as the unexpected shine of high-beams can easily blind an unprepared driver.

Night driving can be a tricky prospect for even the most keen-eyed among us. Other cars move quickly, road conditions are unpredictable, and both of those conditions are exacerbated by low light levels.
Difficult as it is under normal conditions, night driving becomes downright dangerous for people suffering from conditions that damage their night vision.

A wide range of diseases, deficiencies, and syndromes can all contribute to poor night vision. Cataracts are perhaps the most well-known. These cloudy deposits commonly form in older eyes as proteins change shape and become light-scattering debris.

Strangely enough, LASIK surgery is also a known cause of night blindness. Patients who have undergone eye surgery can experience halos and blurring when exposed to bright light – either temporarily or permanently – and may have to deal with some of the same sensitivity to glare that cataracts sufferers have.
And that’s just the start. Night blindness can be caused by progressive diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa, direct injury to the eye, and even nutritional deficiencies (low Vitamin A intake can quickly bring on a case of night blindness).

Overall, a serious disorder, and a much more common one than we’d perhaps like to imagine. For people with night blindness, the single best piece of advice we can offer is this: stay off the road at night until you’ve managed to find treatment for the condition.

However, we’re also aware that this isn’t always an option. Emergencies and other circumstances can put anyone behind the wheel at a moment’s notice. If you do find yourself driving in adverse light conditions, there are a few things you can do.

Find The Right Lenses
As many night-blindness-causing conditions primarily cause sensitivity to glare, grabbing the right glasses can go a long way toward making them easier to cope with. Anti-glare treatment has been around for some time, and may be your best friend for nighttime drives. Finding the right pair can instantly cut down on serious symptoms, such as the starbursts and halos that might otherwise appear around light sources.

Plan Your Route Carefully
Even if you do find yourself needing to head somewhere after dark, it’s still up to you what route you take to get there. Use your knowledge of local roads to plot a course that minimizes risks peculiar to vision-impaired night driving.

For example, if you know a certain road experiences high volumes of traffic during later hours, you may want to consider taking side roads. That is, if said side roads are decently lit – as bad as bright light can be, a total lack of streetlamps is almost certainly worse.

If possible, try to stick to streets you already know. Familiar surroundings are inevitably easier to handle than novel ones. If you’re forced to take a new route, then consider using Google Maps’ Streetview function to visually scout out reference points and areas – like big intersections – that might pose their own particular set of risks.

Maintain Your Vehicle
This goes for all drivers, but it’s doubly important for anyone coping with impaired night vision. Pay extremely close attention to the condition of your car. This obviously means performing routine maintenance, such as oil changes and tire replacements, but also calls for some extra TLC to account for poor vision.

Headlights are an obvious place to start. Ensure that your bulbs are in good repair and aren’t about to burn out on you. Periodic alignments can also help keep them in peak condition. Also, don’t neglect to maintain headlight covers. These haze over rapidly, and many owners forget that they need consistent cleaning to stay fully transparent.
Carefully clean windows and mirrors, and keep defoggers on high if necessary. Dirty or smeared surfaces only make spotting obstacles and other drivers more difficult. Keeping them clean is a low-investment, high-yield way to boost driver safety.

Control Light Levels Inside Your Car
Use light judiciously inside your own car. It’s easy to pop a dome light on before leaving, then forget to turn it off when you’re on the move. However, it’s a bad move – higher light levels inside your car can further compromise night vision by making eyes much slower to adapt to low levels of light.

Some drivers may also want to consider dimming internal displays. This is actually a trick some professional drivers use to reduce eye fatigue, and it can come in handy if brightly lit dials are aggravating your eyes. Of course, there’s a thin line between comfortable and difficult to see. When push comes to shove, be certain that you can actually read important details such as speed and gas levels.

Be Smart, Not Proud
Sometimes, a bit of caution goes a long way. Too many drivers adapt slowly to changes in their eyes, and maintain driving habits that, while appropriate to younger drivers, become actively dangerous to older ones.
First, stay in the slow lane, and don’t be too quick to pass. Changing lanes opens up blind spots for everyone, and these are much worse for those of us with low vision.

Second, be realistic about your reaction time and your vision. Give cars in front of you a wide berth. Also, be aware of how far ahead you can see. If your headlights and vision combine to give you an extremely short range of vision, drive only at speeds that allow you to stop within that distance, even if it’s a little narrower than you might like.

Take Care of Your Eyes
Night blindness isn’t always preventable, but some basic best practices can help many people mitigate or avoid it.
Nutrition is extremely important. Foods rich in Vitamin A, such as leafy greens, give your eyes the nutrients they need to stay healthy. Frequent eye exams can also help detect problems early on, letting you head them off before they seriously impact vision.

Eye exercises are also a good way to maintain overall visual acuity. A simple regimen like the one offered on RYV can slow the gradual loss of vision that normally comes with age, working to keep you sharper during all hours of the day.

About Orlin Sorensen

My vision started to get blurry as a young teenager. Soon I was wearing glasses for just about everything. This was a hard blow for me because I had always dreamed of becoming a U.S. Navy fighter pilot which required perfect vision without glasses or surgery. But I wasn't ready to give up on my dreams, so I looked into every possible alternative which led me to eye exercises. Through daily vision training and eye exercises, I improved my vision from 20/85 to 20/20 and passed the Navy's visual acuity test. In fact Men's Health declared this one of the "Greatest Comebacks of All Time!" Now, I'm sharing exactly how I did it with the program that helped me so people like you can improve your vision safely and naturally, without glasses, contacts or laser surgery.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Summer Melon Avocado Pudding

From the kitchen of Celestia French 

Summer Melon Avocado Pudding
Before summer is over you must taste this delicate pudding that is creamy and not overly sweet. It’s high in healthy fats and low in sugar, and makes the perfect addition to any meal.

1 avocado, just the flesh
2 cups ripe de-rinded melon
(honeydew or Santa Claus melons are nice because their pale green flesh lends to the delicate hue of the pudding)

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. You might need to stop the
blender and stir the ingredients with a spatula a couple times just to ensure even blending. Place in a
container and allow to chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes (if you can wait that long!).

Serving Tips:
*Serve with a little wedge of lemon...squeeze a few drops of lemon juice over your bowl and enjoy!
*Dress up your pudding with edible flowers such as nasturtiums, marigolds, or pansies.

Celestia French is a published author, yoga therapist, and wellness coach specializing in personalized vitality
optimization. She believes that by nourishing all levels of our being we are able to experience unparalleled
transformation and healing. For more about her offerings, please visit

Monday, August 24, 2015

4 Fall Prevention Activities for Seniors

by Vee Cecil/guest post
For seniors, one of the best ways to reduce fall risk is to get plenty of exercise. Unfortunately, a new study from the United Health Foundation found that one-third of seniors aren’t getting enough physical activity.

Dancing for Life
I truly believe not exercising played a role in my father-in-law’s recent fall. For the most part, he has been in good health, and so any time we suggested he work more physical activity into his daily routine he always assured us that he was healthy as a horse and didn’t need to. But one misstep landed him in the hospital. Thankfully, he only had a broken wrist, but I think had he had the benefit of some balance and agility exercises he might have been able to stop the fall. As part of his recovery, he’s started walking each day with a buddy/neighbor of his, and I can tell it has made a difference for him both physically and mentally.

If you’re a senior who isn’t getting enough exercise, here a few great exercises for fall prevention:

Increase your strength. If you don’t have a clue which type of physical activity will work best for you, these 11 fall prevention exercises are a great place to start. The article also includes advice on how to work your way up to doing the exercises with a 4-lb cuff weight. And here’s some good news: These exercises aren’t just great for fall prevention. According to the CDC, these kinds of strength training exercises also lessen the “signs and symptoms” of the following diseases—arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, back pain, and depression.

Go for a swim. Swimming isn’t just for the summer. It’s a great year-round way to get a full-body workout. As this article notes, it’s an activity that works well for seniors because it builds muscle strength, improves bone density, and is easy on the joints. The pool also offers a safe place to work on balance exercises. With the support of the water, you don’t have to worry about toppling over or risking a fall while you’re working out.

Try tai chi. You may have seen a Tai Chi class taking place in a local park or community center. As this article from Harvard Medical School notes, it is an “ancient Chinese practice” that helps participants build strength and get a cardio workout through slow, controlled movements. The article also explains that the practice is an excellent way to work on your balance. In fact, it points out that tai chi can “reduce falls in seniors by up to 45 percent.”

Hit the dance floor. There’s no reason why your exercise routine can’t be fun. In fact, if you do enjoy it, it’s more likely you’ll keep it up. So, why not shake your groove thing! As this article from notes, because it focuses on improving “balance and gait,” dancing is a great way for seniors to reduce their risk of falling. It’s also a fun way to spend some time socializing with others.

Making exercise a regular part of your routine is an incredible way to change your life in many positive ways. Yes, you’ll reduce your chances of falling. But you’ll also be making immense improvements to your physical and mental health in the process.

Vee Cecil is a wellness advocate for both human and four-legged creatures. She is a fitness instructor in Kentucky where she lives with her family. She recently launched a blog where she shares her favorite health tips, tricks and recipes.