Snack Bars Take the Tahini Craze to Health, Delicious New Heights

New! Absolutely Gluten Free TahiniBar super seed energy bars in three flavors, Vanilla, Cocoa Nibs, and Pistachio.

New! Absolutely Gluten Free TahiniBar super seed energy bars in three flavors, Vanilla, Cocoa Nibs, and Pistachio.

Absolutely Gluten Free, maker of all-natural crackers, flatbreads, and pizza that are both delicious and gluten-free, is taking on the energy bar category with the launch of TahiniBAR, a grab-and-go sesame seed snack that weighs in at only 100 calories. All varieties are certified OU Kosher and dairy-free.

TahiniBAR is leading the pack in many of today’s hottest food trends.

  • Demand for authentic Mediterranean food, particularly seed-based spreads like hummus and tahini, is on the rise in the United States, with even more growth in the forecast.
  •  The market for healthy portable snacks has seen dynamic growth; bars are more widely available and consumed on a more casual basis than ever before.
  • The gluten-free movement continues to gain traction as shoppers become more mindful of diets that support health and wellness. In fact, more than 30% of Generation Z and Millennials say they are willing to pay a premium for gluten-free products.
  • Finally, consumers are expecting intriguing new textures and flavors, and they want to indulge in ingredients like fruits, nuts, and chocolate.

Sesame seeds are truly one of the most ancient foods on earth. In fact, sesame plants are the oldest known plant species to be grown primarily for their seeds (pods) and oils rather than for their leaves, fruit or vegetables.

Health Benefits - Sesame seeds are an excellent source of copper, manganese, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, molybdenum, and selenium. These translate into a variety of health benefits including cholesterol-lowering phytosterols, heart health, improved blood pressure, hormone balance, as well as cancer fighting and fat burning properties. Sesame also helps boost nutrient absorption and energy levels, too.

TahiniBAR satisfies all of these demands in a novel new format. Like tahini and its decadent dessert cousin, halvah, the energy bars are made from all-natural roasted sesame seeds. Sesame seeds help boost energy levels and are a good source of vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, Calcium, Iron, Zinc and potassium.  Much lower in calories than many other bars, this 100% gluten-free treat is available in three delectable varieties – Cocoa Nibs, Pistachio, and Vanilla – and sold in packs of 7 bars (4.4 oz.). The MSRP is $2.49 – $2.99 per bar.

Absolutely Gluten Free is headquartered in Bayonne, NJ, and currently has a line of gluten free flatbreads and crackers, Superseed Crunch, Blondies and cauliflower crusted pizza, among other items, available in stores nationwide.  Follow them on FB and Twitter @AbsolutelyGF and online at www.absolutelygf.com.

4 Ways Parents, Teachers and Students Can Reduce Standardized-Test Stress

 Written and Contributed By Dr. Raj Gupta

Dr. Raj Gupta

Dr. Raj Gupta

Standardized testing has drawn its share of criticism from teachers, students and parents. One of the most common complaints is the stress that all three groups feel – from preparation through performance.

From a young age, students take these timed tests that measure academic competency and, ultimately, whether they’re college material. Countless articles on standardized testing in the U.S. point out the pressure on students to score well; that teachers are often evaluated by how their students fare on the tests; and that parents get anxiety hoping their children score high.

Amid all this stress comes the basic but difficult-to-answer question: How to deal with it?

“There is a tremendous amount of controversy about standardized testing, and no matter which side of the argument you are on, teachers have no choice,” says Dr. Raj Gupta (www.drrajgupta.com), founder of Soul Focus Wellness Center and author of Wellness Center Solution: How Physicians Can Transform Their Practices, Their Income and Their Lives.

“So teachers, students and parents must deal with it the best way they can. And finding consistently healthy habits to counter these stress inducers is so important. In fact, taking the stress out of the test process can carry over to every aspect of their life. The scores aren’t as important as the quality of life they give themselves in what is a results-oriented world, often to a fault.”

Gupta offers four tips that teachers, students and parents can use to better deal with test-related stress:

•    Diet. Poor eating habits contribute to stress. “I see this every day with my three girls,” Gupta says. “Grandma will feed them tons of sugar, and then I come home to find the girls either bouncing off the walls or miserably cranky after crashing from their sugar high. Good wholesome foods that are not processed or refined and are free from trans fats prevent our energy levels from peaking and crashing throughout the day.”

•    Rest. Getting enough sleep helps keep your body and mind in top shape, making you better equipped to deal with any negative stressors. “Most of your healing and repair takes place when you are sleeping,” Dr. Gupta says. “This is when the body recharges the battery. If you continue to deprive your body of sleep, your immune system breaks down and you get sick.”

•    Exercise. A study conducted by California State University found that a 10-minute walk is enough to increase energy, alter mood, and provide a positive outlook for up to two hours. Exercise also assists in quality sleep. “Exercise is the greatest stress buster,” Gupta says. “Regular exercise can change your life.”

•    Mental attitude. “Stress is like a snowball: If you let it roll, it will gain speed, momentum and weight, and you are over-reacting, making even small difficulties seem like major crises,” Gupta says. He suggests countering a stressful situation with a calming action. Example: when rush-hour traffic is irritating, listen to a self-improvement audio. “Some things we can’t control, but we can control our response to them,” Gupta says.

“Stress can cause all sorts of health problems,” Gupta says. “It affects all ages, as seen with the implementation of standardized testing. But it can be dealt with on a daily basis, and by doing so consistently, it can help us pass any and all stress tests in the future..”

About Dr. Raj Gupta

Dr. Raj Gupta (www.drrajgupta.com), who has more than 20 years experience as a chiropractor, is the founder of Soul Focus Wellness Center. He also is author of Wellness Center Solution: How Physicians Can Transform Their Practices, Their Income and Their Lives. He has been featured in US News and World Report Health, Woman’s World Magazine and New York Daily News. He has a doctorate in chiropractic from Life University.

Giving the Final Gift: Eleven Ways to Help a Dying Person Let Go

In our culture, the end of life is seen as a scary and lonely experience. So when a loved one is dying, you may feel afraid, awkward, and unsure of how to comfort them. Here are practical tips for breaking the death taboo and helping your loved one experience the peaceful passing they deserve.

Written By Patt Lind-Kyle, MA, author of Embracing the End of Life

Patt Lind-Kyle, MA

Patt Lind-Kyle, MA

         We all know that our life will end someday, and most of us try really hard not to think about it. But when someone you love becomes terminally ill, not only they, but you too, must face death. It’s a daunting prospect and one that fills most people with dread (not to mention the urge to run far away). Yet you don’t have to feel this way. In fact, you have a powerful opportunity to help your dying loved one release their fear and embrace, and even welcome, their death.

          Most people approach death with fear, anxiety, and avoidance. In a word, they resist. So when someone you love is dying, the best way to help them is by supporting their peaceful transition. In other words, help them stop resisting death and enable them to let go.

          But to do this, you must also come to terms with your misgivings about death. And the sooner, the better.

          We all enter a state of resistance (called the constricted self), when we separate from our mother’s body at birth. This constricted state is what makes you afraid of death; it is fragmented, fear-driven, and disconnected from your higher energy and awareness, also called your expanded self. Your expanded self realizes death is an illusion, a transition, and nothing to be afraid of. But when you face death early on (which my book Embracing the End of Life teaches how to do), you can access your expanded self and live a richer, happier, less fearful life—and have a peaceful and even joyful transition when the time comes.

          Unfortunately, most people dwell in the constricted self their entire lives. So chances are, your dying loved one is struggling with fear and resistance, even as death approaches. Not only can you help your loved one experience a peaceful death, but you can also use the experience to come to terms with your own death.

          You can give the gift of a good death to a dying loved one. It’s about how they want to be cared for throughout their terminal illness. Find out the kind of music, or readings, or care your dying loved one wants. Remember that it is important to follow the process of death—not to impose your plan.

          Follow these tips to help your dying loved one stop resisting death and let go peacefully.

First, prepare yourselfNear-death experience survivors have observed that at the time of death, they could sense any strong thoughts or negative emotions brought into the space by others. These emotions can impact the dying person’s state of mind. Therefore, before you visit your loved one during their final moments, inwardly prepare yourself so as to not negatively affect their death. You can do this by meditating, calm breathing, or practicing mindfulness. The calm, inward-dwelling energy this creates will invoke a presence of love and caring that positively influences your loved one when they die.

Heal lingering wounds between the two of you. If you and your dying loved one have existing hurts or conflicts, lovingly resolve those issues now. Give your loved one a chance to express themselves or clear the air, and (gently) say what you need to say to facilitate healing and peace.

Don’t shy away from talking directly to your loved one about their death. Let your loved one know that you would like to help them come to terms with their death. Make them feel comfortable talking about any emotions and uncertainties they may be feeling. Ask them what they need from you, and try to give it to them wholeheartedly. It may be that they simply want you to sit beside them in quiet presence.

Help them practice the self-care they need. As a person dies, they need to be in their own rhythm with family, friends, and caregivers. Encourage them to sleep, eat, pray, and meditate while remaining in a consciously aware state. If at all possible, try to keep them peaceful and pain-free, and help them to focus on emotionally pleasant feelings.

Encourage them to meditate. Meditation is a practice that prepares you for death. A daily meditation practice trains you to release and let go of your constricted self every day. On a practical level, it trains the mind to let go of the busy resistances of daily life. And when you are in the dying process, meditation prepares you to relax, stabilizes your mind, opens you to compassion, and creates a dynamic shift that reduces your anxiety and fear.

Encourage your loved one to meditate by using their breath, a mantra, or a chant that repeats over and over to help them let go of the mental world. This creates a growing sense of expansion beyond the boundaries of the body. If the person who is dying is unfamiliar with meditation, offer them a CD or video of guided meditation practices, or volunteer to lead them through a guided meditation yourself.

Offer them affirmations for letting go. Changing one’s thought patterns is important to help in releasing resistance at the end of life. Write down the following affirmations and give them to the dying person, or offer to read the affirmations aloud to the person so they can focus on them completely:

  • I am open to forgiveness and to my love flowing boundlessly in me.
  • I find the inner resources to be able to let go of my body.
  • I find the inner resources to let go of my emotions and my mind.
  • Death is not my enemy. Death is a doorway of continuing life.
  • My life is changing and I am open to my death.
  • I accept things as they are and I am free of fear.

Bring them soothing music to listen to. In the dying process, hearing becomes one of the most accessible experiences of your surroundings. Offer your loved one recordings of instrumentals, chants, and songs to bring them peace. If you are a musician, consider recording gentle music to soothe and relax your loved one in the months, days, or hours prior to their death.

Share your favorite stories and memories with them. Think of your favorite stories involving your loved one and share them during your visits together. Help remind your loved one of their best human qualities, allowing them to feel uplifted as they recall loving times in their life.

Speak prayers and reminders before and after death. As hearing is the last of the five senses to go, it is considered helpful to speak reminders and prayers aloud. When a person is dying and just after they have died, these reassure your loved one that they are not alone in this new state. Ask them what readings they would like you to read to them when death is near and afterward.

If your dying loved one is religious, consider reading sacred scriptures aloud to them both during and after death. The three major monotheistic religions—Christianity, Judaism, Islam—as well as Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism all offer prayers and meditations for the dying and at the moment of death.

Use this “release formula” if death is prolonged. When the person is peaceful and all the physical signs of dying are present, but dying is prolonged, it may be caused by the family’s refusal to let the person go. In this situation, I recommend Reverend Jerry Farrell’s “release formula” for family and friends to say to the dying person. Softly and gently speak the following statements, either singularly or together. (Feel free to use your own words.)

  • Know that you have led a complete life and are dearly loved.
  • Know that we love you and want you to be in peace.
  • We know that the time has come for you to choose what is best for you.
  • None of us are angry with you and we release you from our care and concern. Know that you have our love and permission to go.
  • Know that there is no more that we can do for you.
  • We know that your pain and suffering will soon be relieved.
  • We love you and hope to see you in the next life.
  • We will do fine. We will be okay after you leave us.

Don’t touch their body for 20 minutes after death. The first 20 minutes after dying is one of the most critical times for the person who has died; many traditions believe this period is the “gateway” passage of the soul out of the body into the next realm. Therefore, do not touch the body during this time. Instead, follow these guidelines to be respectful of whatever experience the dying person may be having. Recent research at the University of Michigan demonstrated that when the heart stops, the brain is still active for approximately 20 minutes.

  • Sit quietly near the body, breathe slowly, and relax your own body.
  • Imagine the body and consciousness of the person who has died take the form of a small light moving up their spine and then quickly flying out from their body at the top of the head like a shooting star and dissolving into the image of the heart of a divine or luminous Presence.
  • Affirm, visualize, and even pray that the dead person be free from all mental and emotional suffering as they are in this Presence.
  • Imagine a light or star released from the deceased into the luminosity of the expanding light of the true nature of their mind. Then speak the affirmation: “May your freedom be for the benefit of all beings, especially those you are leaving behind.” Sit in the presence of this person’s body and trust that you are helping to release the individual into another phase of their existence and honor and appreciate them for their courage and the beauty of their journey.

          The death of a loved one can be a challenging experience, especially if we ourselves fear the end of life. But instead of running from death when it hits close to home, you can choose to be present and help your loved one release their own fear and find peace in this very natural, universal process. This is the greatest gift you can offer them, and it can even help you become ready—truly ready—for your own transition someday.

Embracing the End of Life

Embracing the End of Life

About the Author:

Patt Lind-Kyle, MA, is the author of Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying & Awakening, and is a teacher, therapist, speaker, and consultant. Her book Heal Your Mind, Rewire Your Brain won the Independent Publisher Gold Medal Award and a Best Book Award from USA Book News. Patt has written a chapter in Audacious Aging, and she is also the author of When Sleeping Beauty Wakes Up. She lives in Nevada City, CA, and can be found online at www.PattLindKyle.com.

About the Book:

Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying & Awakening (Llewellyn Publications, 2017, ISBN: 978-0-738-75356-0, $22.99) is available at bookstores nationwide, Amazon.com, and BarnesAndNoble.com.

Spring Fitness 2018!

Pump your readers up for beach runs, hiking trails, and outdoor spring fitness! We have a great round-up of products that will keep you hydrated and looking good.

Farm To Feet: $17

Do you live for weekend adventures, long hikes or beach runs? Farm To Feet creates ultralight roll-top socks specifically designed for everyday wear, hiking, or an active lifestyle! These socks provide comfort compression from top of the sock thru the middle arch to minimize foot fatigue and provide a superb fit. They offer targeted cushioning and reinforcement in the heel and ball of foot to provide comfort and durability where needed most. Made with 100% American materials.


By Lilla: $48

These cute festive bracelets double as hair accessories – throw your hair in a pony or have some cute festive bracelets with By Lilla! They are on a mission to get rid of all ugly hair ties and change the world – one beautiful hair tie at a time.


Evicii: $52

Evicii Athletica seeks to create apparel that compliments your journey in fitness and life. These pieces are created to be truly versatile in use, edgy enough to wear out but functional enough to get a good sweat sesh in. This collection has been referred to as the little black dress for the actively inclined.

Love Bottle: $25

Stay hydrated and trendy with Love Bottle!Proudly made in the USA, Love Bottle is crafted with up to 40% recycled, eco-friendly glass. On a mission to reduce the use of single use plastic, Love Bottle is a friend to the environment and a positive voice for change!

 

SugarSky: $22 -$30

SugarSky is an affordable & fashionable way to spice up your gym outfit! With their original designs, and fabrics made from 79% recycled water bottles, these hand-sewn headbands are a must have! These headbands can be worn in a variety of ways, and even offer 35+ UV-rating for sun protection!


StraitSwim: $95 – $180

Compliment all of your hard work in the gym with beautiful suits from StraitSwim! Experience this sophisticated and customary swimwear line that is inspired by the very traditional islands of the Torres Strait in the most Northern part of Australia. This is swimwear you will want to live in!

Glim Water: $39.48

We all need water to survive, but are taking full advantage of all that your water can do for you? This year, reap the nutritional benefits of Glim Water, a brand that takes pride in providing affordable, nutrient-filled water without sacrificing taste. Perfect for the health-conscious and fitness lovers, enjoy premium, nutritionally enhancedwater wherever you go!


Sufficient-C: $39.99

Need a post-workout pick-me-up? If so, Sufficient-C is the health insurance you need! Not only does it taste great, but all you need is a little water. Sufficient-C® High Dose Lemon Peach Immune-Ade drink mix is the health insurance you need and an outstanding way to fortify your immune system and compensate for losing that important gene! Convenient and incredibly refreshing, Sufficient-C® goes well with meals, is a thirst quenching treat after a hot workout and simply satisfying to drink just because…It is 100% water soluble so there are no particles floating about making it aesthetically pleasing as well!

Ameribag’s Healthy Back Bag: $110

A Healthy Back Bag is the perfect combination of fashion and function, making gym style effortless. Can be worn crossbody for full back health benefits or over the shoulder to grab and be on your way! Ameribags unique shape keeps weight evenly distributed across your back…so no pulling, no crooked necks or uneven shoulders.

Think Oral Hygiene is Tough with Braces? Think Again!

Orthodontist offers tips for establishing good oral hygiene habits in kids with braces

Millions of teens have either had braces or currently have them. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children see an orthodontist at the first sign of an orthodontic problem, but no later than the age of 7. A common issue that parents deal with when their kids have braces is how to get them to practice good oral hygiene habits. Many of them struggle with trying to get their kids to properly care for their teeth and braces. The good news is that there are things that parents can do to help create good oral hygiene habits in their kids.

The biggest complaint that parents have is that their child doesn’t keep their teeth and braces clean,” explains Dr. Michael Florman, a Los Angeles-based orthodontist and the chief executive officer of EverSmile, Inc. “It’s important to combat this issue to avoid problems. Getting braces on a child is an investment in their physical and emotional health, and you don’t want that to be jeopardized by poor oral hygiene habits.” 

One of the top concerns for parents who have kids with braces is the white spots that they can get on their teeth. According to a study published in the journal Contemporary Clinical Dentistry, the white spot lesions are decalcification of enamel. Their study reports that the most important measure one can take to avoid these white lesions is to have good oral hygiene. In other words, the white spot lesions are 100% preventable and all it takes to prevent them is having good oral hygiene. 

So just how do parents go about motivating there are kids to maintain good oral hygiene habits? Here are 5 tips for establishing healthy oral hygiene habits in kids with braces: 

  1. Create an oral hygiene schedule. Make it as important a priority as their violin lessons or sports practices. Schedule it each day for a few weeks, which will help them establish the habit and lay the foundation to continue doing it going forward. 

  2. Help them determine if they are doing a good job. Have them take a toothpick and run the point around the gum line, braces, and in-between the teeth, gathering up the plaque and testing if the teeth are cleaned. The bunched-up plaque will look like mashed potatoes with a white to yellow color. Use plaque-disclosing solutions or tablets to highlight the plaque, allowing children to see where the plaque is located. This is fun for kids, because the plaque on their teeth will change color, but this also makes it clear where they are missing when brushing. Seeing the plaque for themselves, they will know if their brushing needs improvement.

  3. Invest in a light-up makeup mirror. This will help make it easier for kids to see what they are doing when brushing. Use a portable, adjustable mirror so that your child can easily watch themselves brushing each night.

  4. Skip the toothpaste for better results. When removing plaque, it is best to do so with no toothpaste on the brush. Toothpaste foams up and makes it impossible to see anything going on in the mouth. First brush with water only, removing all the visible plaque, then brush with toothpaste to deliver the fluoride contained within. Toothpaste is really only needed for breath freshening and medicament delivery (fluoride). Don’t forget to have your kids floss. Flossing with braces is easy when using floss threaders, such as the Glide Threaders. 

  5. Choose helpful products. Take advantage of products that are designed to help with oral hygiene with braces, such as the new product called EverSmile OrthoFoam. OrthoFoam is a patented hydrogen peroxide, anionic cleaning formula for braces and teeth that removes plaque by breaking it down. OrthoFoam can be used three different ways: 1. As a foaming rinse in conjunction with brushing, 2. As an add-on “brushing booster” used alone or with your regular toothpaste, or 3. Applied to teeth in custom or stock dental trays which is the most effective method.  

Taking the time to teach kids with braces to have good oral hygiene habits is going to be time well-invested,” added Dr. Florman. “Their teeth will be in top shape when the braces come off and they will have a foundation of healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Give it the time and attention and you will see the world of difference that it makes.” 

EverSmile has created a line of products that will help those with braces, aligners, and retainers keep their devices clean. At the same time, they will be able to clean their aligners, whiten their teeth, and freshen their breath. The products are now available in 3,800 CVS stores around the nation. The line of products includes EverSmile WhiteFoam, which gently cleans aligners or trays, EverSmile OrthoFoam, which cleans under and over braces, and EverSmile WhitenFresh, which is a freshening and tooth whitening spray that kills bacteria that causes bad breath and tooth decay. 

EverSmile products use patent pending EverClean™ technology which cleans and whitens using proprietary surfactants, solvents, and hydrogen peroxide. It breaks up organic stain particles that discolor the teeth and dental appliances. 

Dr. Florman, who practices in Los Angeles, is considered to be one of the top Invisalign providers in the country and has over 25 years of consulting experience for oral care companies including for Colgate, Arm & Hammer, and others. Dr. Florman has invented multiple dental products and Triana, an entrepreneur, has brought several products from inception to commercial success. For more information about the company and products, visit their site at: eversmilewhite.com. 

About EverSmile

Located in Los Angeles, EverSmile’s mission is to create new and advanced oral care products that will change patients’ lives. Currently in development are our new sensitivity-free whitening agents, dry mouth formulations, low-abrasion toothpastes, and a complete children’s dental line. For more information about the company and products, visit their site at: eversmilewhite.com.

 Sources:

American Association of Orthodontists. Frequently asked questions. https://www.aaoinfo.org/frequently-asked-questions.

Contemporary Clinical Dentistry. Prevention and treatment of white spot lesions in orthodontic patientshttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5426141/.

Best-selling Author, Natural Beauty Expert Shares 7 At-home Bath Salt Recipes

Janice Cox calls Epsom salt ‘The Gateway to Natural Beauty’

Janice Coxbio

Janice Cox

One of America’s leading natural beauty experts recommends Epsom salt recipes to help relieve stress, soothe sore muscles, improve sleep, fight colds, exfoliate skin, and prepare for pedicures.

“Epsom salt used to just sit in the bathroom cupboard, but now, it’s so popular, it’s out on the countertop,” says Janice Cox.

Cox is widely quoted in magazines such as Woman’s World and Woman’s Day. She has also written four books: Natural Beauty for All SeasonsNatural Beauty from the GardenEcoBeauty and the bestseller Natural Beauty at Home.

Bath salts are one of her favorite uses for Epsom salt, which she calls “the gateway to natural beauty.”

Here are 7 of her favorite recipes:

  1. Super Muscle Soothing Salts

Soaking in a warm Epsom salt bath will make you feel calmer, reduce stress and soothe sore muscles and stiff joints, Cox says.  This relaxing soak is ideal before bedtime, helping treat your tired body and help you sleep.

Directions:

  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • ¼ cup sea salt
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • Mix all ingredients and pour into a clean container.

Pour the salts under running water as you fill your bath.  Allow the salts to dissolve. Doctors have said this helps boost your circulation, reducing inflammation and relaxing your muscles. Afterward, if you have dry skin, use a natural oil or body lotion.

  1. Warming Mustard Bath

This is a popular recipe in England to reduce stress, relieve sore muscles and improve sleep.  Try a bath or foot soak. The mustard’s warmth opens your pores, allowing you to sweat out impurities, Cox says. She also uses this recipe to help her sleep when she feels a cold starting, an idea doctors have recommended.

Directions:

  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • 2 tablespoons powdered mustard
  • 2 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • Mix ingredients and pour into a clean, dry container.

Add a quarter cup to the bath under running water.

For a footbath: Add 1 tablespoon of the bath powder to a basin of hot water, then soak your feet for 15 minutes.

  1. Relaxing Lavender Oatmeal Bath

Lavender has a relaxing scent, and oatmeal calms the skin, even for people with sensitive and dry skin.  Combined with Epsom salt, the bath is naturally refreshing, cleansing and soothing for both your body and mind, Cox says.

Directions:

  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • ¼ cup dried lavender flowers
  • ½ cup oatmeal (whole oats)
  • Place the lavender and oatmeal in a food processor or blender and process on high until you have a fine mixture that resembles whole grain flour.
  • In a bowl, stir the lavender-oatmeal mixture with Epsom salt, and pour into a clean, dry container.

Add half a cup to your bath as you fill the tub.  Soak for 15 to 20 minutes.

  1. Colored bath salts

These make great gifts. Mix Epsom salt with two or three drops of natural food colors and place in pretty jars. You can also layer the colors for a striped effect.

  1. Jet Lag

Bring lavender and peppermint essential oil when you travel. For energy, add a few drops of the peppermint to an Epsom salt bath. To help with sleep, use the lavender oil.

  1. Pedicure soak

Before a home pedicure, soak in a footbath with a couple tablespoons of Epsom salt and white vinegar.  This mixture softens rough skin and gets feet clean and smooth.

  1. Salt rub for your arms, legs and back

To exfoliate, mix ½ cup Epsom salt with a ½ cup natural oil, such as almond or coconut. It’s a deep cleanse to help your skin look healthier.

“People think of soaks as more of a luxury, because it sounds like it will take a long time,” Cox said. “It’s only 15 or 20 minutes. Take that time for yourself without any distractions and focus on relaxing.”

About Janice Cox

Janice Cox is America’s leading natural beauty and home beauty expert. She is widely quoted in magazines such as Woman’s WorldWoman’s Day, and she has written four books: Natural Beauty for All SeasonsNatural Beauty from the GardenEcoBeauty and the bestseller Natural Beauty at Home. The books are written cookbook style, making it easy for even beginners to instantly create their own natural beauty products and treatments. Janice’s passion for home beauty started out of necessity – growing up in a small Oregon town, natural bath and beauty products were difficult to find, and making them was an easy way to save money. Today, women across the country have discovered how Janice’s techniques and recipes are fun, easy and cost-effective.

Do You Have the Jitters? Surprising Things That Could Be Causing Anxiety

www.comprehendthemind.com

Anxiety is a mental illness that disrupts daily life causing feelings of impending doom along with unwanted thoughts and unpleasant physical symptoms.  Some people are more predisposed to anxiety than others. Did you know that there are “external” factors/habits in our daily lives that can increase anxiety?  Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a NYC based neuropsychologist and Teaching Faculty Member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College, shares surprising things that could be causing anxiety. You may see several on this list that are causing jitters in your own life.

  1.     Cigarettes 

Often, people who smoke tend to rely on cigarettes to ease their anxiety. However, nicotine found in cigarettes affects your brain, including your mood. But nicotine also ramps up blood pressure and heart rate, two physical symptoms that can mirror anxiety. In addition, the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke also may cause breathing problems that the body responds to as if it’s suffocating, increasing the likelihood of panic attacks. The relief a smoker feels is temporary and will likely return and cause an even greater risk of anxiety symptoms Studies have found that those who quit smoking for more than two weeks had lower anxiety levels than when they were smoking regularly.

  1.     Caffeine

The jitters, shakes, and irregular heart rhythm one might get after a dose of caffeine can feel an awful lot like a panic attack, especially if you are already susceptible. That’s because caffeine stimulates your “fight or flight” response, tricking the body into feeling like it’s being chased by a lion even when there is no danger present.  If caffeine makes you anxious switch to decaf coffee, and do not drink energy drinks such as Redbull which are loaded with caffeine. Be wary of PMS medications like Midol which contain a hefty dose of caffeine as an active ingredient.

  1.     Medications

Medicines that contain caffeine, such as Anacin, Empirin, Excedrin, No-Doz, and cough medicines. Decongestants, such as phenylephrine, including Sudafed PE can bring on symptoms of anxiety or panic.  Some ADHD medications also list anxiety or nervousness as a possible side effect. These medications include Adderall, Ritalin, and Straterra to name a few. Some birth control pills can contribute to feelings of emotional disturbance including depression and anxiety. Asthma medications can cause symptoms of anxiety for some patients. The National Institute of Health reports that the use of bronchodilators can lead to feelings of anxiety and nervousness. If you are prone to anxiety, make your doctor aware of this to be sure that both OTC meds and prescriptions will not exacerbate your symptoms.

  1.     Alcohol

Anxiety and alcohol use are often connected. People often drink to relax and reduce anxiety, and in some instances, chronic alcohol abuse can lead to anxiety. With both alcohol use and anxiety being so prevalent in the US, it’s no surprise that the two are often linked. Drinking alcohol can influence the brain chemistry and change the levels of serotonin. Alcohol can affect your mood and decrease the “feel good” chemical in your brain increasing feelings of anxiety and depression. Long-term heavy drinkers may be exposed to a higher risk of anxiety.

  1.     Hormonal Activity

Hormones are the messengers to the brain and when your body is under stress due to internal factors such as the menstrual cycle, this can lead to mood changes and irritability. Adrenal issues — imbalances in the body’s stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, and the precursor hormone DHEA — can cause a variety of symptoms that seem to be mental health-related, including depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Cortisol aka “the stress hormone” can have a powerful effect on your brain, and anything that increases cortisol production or decreases cortisol reduction (such as a lack of exercise) can cause anxiety. Other hormones such as estrogen, testosterone and thyroid can all affect anxiety. If you feel hormones may be the culprit of your anxiety, consult your internist who can do a full blood workup.

  1.     Skipping Meals

Skipping meals can affect your brain, which can lead to a drop in serotonin levels creating symptoms of anxiety. This can cause, mood swings, stress, fatigue and unsteady blood sugar levels.  As a result, one might experience shakiness, dizziness, confusion, and difficulty speaking.  Prevent these blood sugar swings by eating frequent small meals and keeping snacks on hand.

About the Doctor:

Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is a NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center in Manhattan and Queens. 

Dr. Hafeez masterfully applies her years of experience connecting psychological implications to address some of today’s common issues such as body image, social media addiction, relationships, workplace stress, parenting and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…). In addition, Dr. Hafeez works with individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, attention and memory problems, and abuse. Dr. Hafeez often shares her credible expertise to various news outlets in New York City and frequently appears on CNN and Dr.Oz.

Connect with her via twitter @comprehendMind or www.comprehendthemind.com

Unleash the Raw, Life-Giving Power of the Dead Sea in Your Skincare Routine

All-natural Bloom Mineral Beauty collection harnesses the power of ancient Dead Sea minerals to cleanse, moisturize and revitalize the whole body

Bloom Mineral Beauty (www.bloommineralbeauty.com) introduces a complete skincare collection for the whole body that unlocks the power of ultra-potent DeadSea minerals to smooth, soften and protect skin naturally. Using the pure minerals found along the shores of the Dead Sea, Bloom Mineral Beauty’s cruelty-free products help reduce wrinkles, inflammation, and roughness without harmful parabens, petroleum, and GMO’s.

The Dead Sea region is known all over the world for its rich salt content, with a concentration of minerals scientifically shown to help with severe skin conditions such as psoriasis, acne, and rheumatism. Regular application of Dead Sea minerals enhances skin’s vitality, elasticity, clarity, and flexibility.  Bloom Mineral Beauty delivers these powerful ingredients in their nourishing line of earth-based products, which include the popular Softening Cleansing Milk, Hydrating Almond Scrub, and Purifying Mud Mask.

Originally created by Jordanian scientist Elham Zeadat and now operating in America with an all female-run operation, the Bloom Mineral Beauty collection successfully harnesses the power of Dead Sea minerals prized by ancient civilizations for their natural beautifying capabilities. Now, the highest-quality ingredients once coveted by Cleopatra and the Queen of Sheba are available in a potent formula that is mild enough for the whole body and clinically proven safe for all skin types.

There is simply no substitute for authentic Dead Sea minerals in your skincare routine. Bloom Mineral Beauty customers are continuously amazed by their results, reporting smoother, softer, clearer skin, and increased confidence in their appearance. Visit BloomMineralBeauty.com to get your Basic Beauty Essentials Starter Kit and learn more about the cruelty-free, all-natural skincare collection developed by a globally recognized, award-winning, female-led company. Discover why customers can’t get enough of Bloom Mineral Beauty body care products too and join the VIP Club for instant access to natural skin care tips, plus new products and offers.

About Bloom Mineral Beauty:

Bloom Mineral Beauty is not just another skincare line. Harnessing the highest quality ingredients available through science and nature, while perfecting the power of the Dead Sea minerals to keep you beautiful, Bloom Mineral Beauty is actually therapeutic. For centuries people have traveled from all over the world to the shores of the Dead Sea to soak in its salty, majestic mineral waters. Research into general Dead Sea benefits and the minerals found in Dead Sea Salt and Dead Sea Mud has shown a 40% reduction in the depth of the wrinkling. The minerals moisturize, detoxify and soften the skin for a youthful appearance. Bloom Mineral Beauty is committed to using paraben-free, GMO-Free, Petroleum-Free and Cruelty-Free ingredients enriched with Dead Sea mineral salts and vitamins A, E & F to nourish your skin, head to toe. Get social @BloomMineralBeauty.

How to Safely Dispose of Needles and Medical Sharps

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffers from a chronic illness that requires using needles or sharps outside of the doctor’s office, you may question how to dispose of them safely. There is plenty of information available, but the proper disposal method may be different depending on where you live, work or travel.

To help ensure people who use needles and sharps at home or on-the-go know how to dispose of them easily and safely, NeedyMeds, a national non-profit organization that provides health care information to consumers, developed tools at SafeNeedleDisposal.org.

“Most people want to do the right thing, but they need specific, succinct information on safe sharps disposal,” said Richard J. Sagall, MD, president of NeedyMeds. “For local guidance presented in a way that is easy to follow, our website is a one-stop-shop.”

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, sharps that are not disposed of properly may cause injury. In order to increase awareness and minimize risk, people who use sharps are encouraged to learn more about local regulations and disposal options. In many states and communities, people who use sharps may dispose of them by following these three simple steps:

  1. Place used sharps in a strong, plastic container like a laundry detergent or bleach bottle.
  2. Seal the container with duct tape and label “do not recycle.”
  3. Place the sealed container in the trash, never the recycling.

“Some locations have different disposal regulations, which may require people in those areas to take used sharps to special collection points,” Sagall said. “SafeNeedleDisposal.org helps people learn how to get rid of used sharps safely, wherever they happen to be.” To learn more about disposing used needles and sharps safely, visit SafeNeedleDisposal.org. (Family Features)

SOURCE: NeedyMeds

Budgeting Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle

From the cost of gym memberships to prepping healthier meals, living well can be expensive. Before you abandon your goals for a healthier lifestyle, consider these tips that show you don’t have to overspend to live a better life.

Plan Your Meals

An impromptu visit to the grocery store inevitably ends up costing more than a well-planned trip. Get organized by planning your meals and grocery list ahead of time to help save money and find ways to use healthy ingredients across multiple meals. Plus, preparing meals at home helps ensure you can eat the foods you want, rather than settling for something because it’s the only sensible option on the menu at a restaurant. Another option is taking advantage of the premeasured portions of healthy meal boxes, which can help you skip the prep time and avoid wasting unused groceries.

Weigh Your Workout Options

A gym membership may be a tempting investment when you’re trying to commit to a get-fit regimen, but it’s not always the smartest move money-wise. If you can discipline yourself to use it, investing in at-home equipment may be a better long-term buy. There are also plenty of ways to add exercise at no cost through activities like running, walking or practicing yoga in your living room.

Invest in Rest

Eating better and increasing physical activity are important aspects of a healthy lifestyle, but so is giving your body a chance to rest. Quality sleep lets your body and mind heal and rejuvenate from everyday activity, and better sleep is likely to reduce your stress level while improving your mental function and mood. There’s no better way to show yourself some love than with a good night’s rest, but according to research from Mattress Firm, 35 percent of Americans report their sleep quality as “poor” or “fair.”

Additional research shows that 64 percent of people experience improved sleep quality after investing in a new mattress. As the nation’s largest bedding retailer, Mattress Firm’s purchasing power translates to affordable prices and a wide selection of mattresses and bedding accessories, which can help you stretch your budget further. Find more sleep tips and budget-friendly ideas at TheDailyDoze.com.

Rethink Checkups

When it comes to medical care, office visits can add up. If you just need basic medical attention such as a checkup, a physical or a remedy for a common illness, a retail clinic may be a more cost-effective option than a traditional doctor’s office. Many insurance carriers offer an incentive for retail clinic visits by offering discounted co-pays, or if you’re paying out of pocket, the retail clinic can be a big money saver.

A healthier lifestyle requires commitment and hard work, but as these tips prove, creating a better life doesn’t have to mean overhauling your budget. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Mattress Firm