Dr Akilah El – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

The Natural Health and Holistic World According to Dr Akilah El

Category Archives: Women’s Health

The 10 Most Misleading Food Labels

0ghhBy Healthy Living

1. All Natural 
In theory, the term “all natural” should convey a glowing halo of wholesome goodness, with quality ingredients sourced straight from Mother Nature. In some cases, yes, this absolutely applies (like when we’re talking about asparagus or apples). But far too often, “natural” has less than zero meaning, and the number of lawsuits against food companies proves it. The FDA has yet to define “all natural,” so companies can slap it on anything from potato chips to corn oil, even if preservatives or genetically modified ingredients were used. When in doubt, double check ingredient lists and lean toward using whole ingredients you recognize…like asparagus and apples, no labels necessary.

2. Zero Trans Fats 
You’d think zero means nothing, nil, nada, right? Think again. There’s a lovely sneaky clause that allows food companies to weasel in up to 0.5 grams of trans fat, and still market it as containing “zero” trans fats. May not sound like a lot, but serving after serving adds up. And when trans fats are clear culprits in raising “bad” cholesterol and lowering “good” cholesterol, that’s a definite problem. So re-read that nutrition label and make sure that “0″ really is listed in the trans-fat line, and watch out for red flag words like “hydrogenated” in ingredient lists.

3. Sugar-Free & No Sugar Added 
Knocking sugar out of our diets is something most of us have attempted at one point or another. And yes, it’s a good idea to keep added sugar to a minimum and look to nature-made sources of sweetness. Too bad products claiming they’re sugar-free or have “no sugar added” are generally loaded with non-natural artificial sweeteners or man-made (manipulated) sugar alcohols, which can wreak havoc on a sensitive digestive system. The word “artificial” says it all. Choose the real deal when it comes to sugar or sweeteners (or treats that include them) like honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, and fresh fruit juices and purees…and keep their amounts on the lighter side.

4. High-Protein
Myth: Bulking up on protein will help you get into buff shape and melt away excess fat. Fact: Too much of anything, even if it’s healthy, isn’t always good. Too many calories overall, and you can kiss that buff shape goodbye; too much protein, and your kidneys can go into overdrive. When it comes to food products touting “high-protein,” the source of protein is often from a manipulated, processed form of an ingredient, like soy protein isolate. Most of us get more than enough protein in our diets, so stick with simple sources like fish, eggs, nuts, organic tofu, beans, and quinoa.

5. High-Fiber 
Somewhat like “high-protein,” high-fiber products are often boosted with doses of processed forms of fiber. Added “functional” fibers like chicory root fiber, polydextrose, and oat fiber don’t necessarily have the same impact as naturally occurring fiber in foods, and may cause bloating and gas. Look to fruit, vegetables, seeds, beans, and whole grains for your fiber intake and you’ll hit your recommended 25-35 grams per day without thinking about it, and without the stomach upset.

6. Low-Carb
The fear and loathing of carbohydrates that has taken hold of health-minded individuals has allowed food companies to run rampant with new “low-carb” products like bagels, brownies, muffins, and more. Most of these items however, contain high amounts of artificial sweeteners and/or processed sources of fiber–which isn’t exactly health-minded. The thing with carbs isn’t to demonize them. It’s about eating them in smart quantities and from quality sources. You’ll fill up faster on less, and will be more satisfied and happier.

7. Gluten-Free
This might just be the “health claim” of the moment right now. Food items that are marketed as “gluten-free” are by law void of gluten or wheat, any ingredient that would potentially cause digestive harm to someone with Celiac disease or a severe wheat/gluten allergy. What these products aren’t free of, however, are calories, and they often contain quite a lot of them. If you don’t have a specific condition, like Celiac, going gluten-free doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lose weight. That said, lowering the amount of gluten or wheat you consume may increase your energy levels or help you feel better digestively, but keep an eye on how much gluten-free bread, cookies, cakes, and chips you eat. Just because they’re sans gluten, that doesn’t give you license to eat with abandon. Look for healthy carbohydrates that are naturally gluten-free, like rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, and quinoa.

8. Organic
Grabbing an “organic” item in the grocery store doesn’t mean you’ve hit a pot of calorie-free gold. Organic cheese puffs, ice cream, and chocolate-creme cookies do not a balanced diet make. Organic is defined as any item with at least 95 percent organic ingredients–no hormones, genetically modified ingredients, additives, antibiotics, or radiation. But aim to focus your “organic” attention on items that should appear in your diet frequently, like grains, fruits and vegetables, specifically those with permeable skins.

9. Fat-Free
“Free” isn’t always a bargain. Fat-free items are typically full of empty, unfulfilling calories and may leave you hungry. Surprising as it may be, we need fat (the healthy kind) in order to fill up. Fat-free products often leave eaters scrambling for other foods because they’re just not satisfied. Healthy mono- and poly-unsaturated fats and omega-6 and omega-3 fats help lower cholesterol and heart disease risk, and they delay signs of aging and mental decline, and help boost mood. Choose excellent sources like olive oil, nuts and nut butters, avocado, flaxseeds, and coconuts

10. Omega 3′s
By no means are we aiming to slam amazing-for-you heart-healthy omega-3 fats. What we are trying to call out are all the excessive claims on products with “added” omegas, from tortilla chips to eggs and yogurt. If it doesn’t come inherently from nature, it’s still unclear how our bodies will respond and metabolize it. And if you’ve got a tortilla chip rich in omega-3s thanks to whole flaxseeds, unfortunately, you’re not getting very far. Flaxseeds need to be ground in order to reap all the benefits. Look for naturally occurring omega-3 fat sources like avocado, ground flaxseed, walnuts and other nuts, and olive oil.

 

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The World’s Most Natural First Aid Kit

bodyPressurePointsAcupressure, an alternative therapy based on Chinese acupuncture, is gaining cred: It’s now practiced at hospitals around the United States. Use this pressure points chart to guide you through your pain, naturally.

“To target pain, press a specific point on your body with your fingers for a minute,” says Janet Shaffer, a licensed acupuncturist at Duke Integrative Medicine, in Durham, NC. “You’re in the right spot if the tissue feels a bit tougher or sore.” (But get your doc’s okay if you’re pregnant–some points can bring on contractions.) 

For nausea: Press on the middle of your forearm, about three finger widths from your wrist crease. (This is the point motion-sickness bracelets press as well.) 

For headache: Pinch the web of flesh between your thumb and forefinger. 

For heartburn/indigestion: Press down in the middle of your torso, about six finger widths above your belly button and two below the bottom of your rib cage. 

For menstrual cramps and period bloat: Press on the inside of your leg, just below and slightly behind the knee joint. 

For neck pain: With your thumbs, press the hollows at the back base of your skull. 

For gas or constipation: Rub your abdomen clockwise, 150 to 300 times. 

For insomnia: Press down on the crease between the palm and wrist, in line with the pinky finger–daily, for best results. 

For all-over water retention: Press on the inside of your leg, about a hand’s width up from the ankle bone, just behind the tibia. 

 

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Use Visualization to Achieve Weight Loss Success – It Works!

successWEIGHTlossby Remez Sasson

Creative visualization is a great tool for losing weight. By visualizing your body as you want it to be, you induce your subconscious mind to shape your body to look as close to your mental image as possible.

This does not mean that creative visualization will completely change the shape of your body. It means that if you visualize in accordance with the laws of visualization, you will improve the way it looks and reduce its weight.

It is a known fact that thoughts and emotions affect the body for better or worse, depending on your predominant thoughts and emotions. Negative thinking, stress, fear, excitement, worry and anger hurt the body. Under these conditions the body releases toxins into the blood, which affect it adversely.

Positive thinking, happiness, love and confidence heal, strengthen and energize the body.

You can use the connection between the mind and the body to your advantage. The subconscious mind accepts and treats both real conditions and mentally imagined conditions as real. This means that if you visualize yourself as being slim, your subconscious mind will accept what you visualize as true, and will act to make your body conform to your mental image.

Losing weight with the help of creative visualization can be termed as a “mental diet”. Of course, the chances of success will be greater, if in addition to visualization you reduce the amount of food you eat, follow a diet and exercise your body.

Tips for losing weight through visualization:

- Two or three times a day, sit down for several minutes in a quiet place, and visualize your body as you wish it to be. Leave your worries, doubts and other thoughts behind, and concentrate on what you are doing. Use Dr Akilah’s FREE success scale by clicking here. You can print it out or download it to your computer. 

- See yourself slim and beautiful, with your ideal weight. Forget how you look now. You are creating a new reality. See yourself at the beach or pool wearing a swimming suit. See how gorgeous you look. Imagine yourself wearing all those tight clothing that you have always wanted to wear.

- Visualize your family and friends complimenting you about how gorgeous your body looks and how slim you look now. Look at the whole scene as real, and as happening right now at the present moment, not in the future.

- You can construct in your mind any other scene you wish. You can see yourself exercising, dancing, with friends, with your husband or wife, at work, etc. See yourself moving and in action. Hear people complimenting you about your slim body, and see their admiring glances. In short, make the mental image as real as possible.

- Construct in your mind images that ignite your emotions. Make them alive and colorful. Make the scenes in your mind interesting and real, and see yourself in each scene as slim, the way you will look after you lose weight.

- Never visualize that you are disgusted with food or with eating, and do not develop a loathing for any kind of food. By visualizing your body as you wish it to look, your subconscious mind will direct you to eat the appropriate food in the right quantities.

- While visualizing, and after finishing your visualization session, don’t tell yourself: “well, it is all nonsense, I cannot lose weight”. If you say these words you destroy all the work you have done. When thoughts of disbelief crawl into your mind do not listen to them. Let only thoughts of your ideal body shape enter and pass through your mind.

As in everything else in life, persistence is required.

Tips and Warnings

  • Think positive Create positive habits to replace the negative ones Tell friends and family about what you are doing Keep a journal of how you feel and results you see According to the author of the book “Creative Visualization,” “create an ideal scene in your mind and keep it in a notebook where you can read it often.” Your brain listens to what you are saying and thinking, therefore negative thoughts produce negative outcomes. Take charge of your mind and think yourself to a new slimmer you. Count your blessings each day and think of everything that you have to be grateful for. Think of good memories and the feelings surrounding these thoughts. This will keep you on track to main a positive outlook each day while working on your visualization techniques.

Click Here to use this free visual aid tool to program your subconscious mind to help your body lose lots of weight fast. This simple mind trick can help melt pounds of excess fat off your body.

How Heels Can Affect Your Health

PainfulHigh_HeelsBy: Danny Elle

Wearing high heels is your choice, but you should at least be aware of the problems related to high heals. Women have four times as many foot problems as men. Wearing high heels is a major reason for this. Physical problems associated with high heels include foot pain, foot deformities, a change in back posture, knee osteoarthritis and balance impairment.  Orthopedists think that high heels can contribute to the development of a variety of conditions like arthritis, chronic knee pain, sprained ankles and back problems. High heels can also result in a variety of foot problems. High heels could be the cause of knee osteoarthritis, a painful, degenerative joint disease. The knee osteoarthritis is characterized by the breakdown of the cartilage surrounding the knee.

You could have ankle sprains and breaks from rolling over on high-heeled shoes. If you wear high heels you probably had this kind of problem. You should also know that high heels are pumps with heels of more than two inches.

High heels and Osteoarthritis

Wide heels increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis in the knee as much as, or more than, spindly-heeled stilettos. High heels increase knee joint pressure, this is repetitive stress to the knee elevates the risk for osteoarthritis. Low-heeled shoes or no heels are prevention for osteoarthritis.

Both types of shoes increased knee joint pressure 26 percent more for wide-heeled shoes and 22 percent for narrow-heeled shoes. This kind of repetitive stress to the knee elevates the risk for osteoarthritis. When you wear shoes with high heel it is long term effect to your knee, ankles and feet. The exact cause of osteoarthritis is unknown. Risk factors for osteoarthritis include injuries, age, congenital predisposition and obesity. Walking on high heels puts abnormal stress on both the front and the back of the knee.
The health of the cartilage that in the knee is dependent on the fluid in the knee. It absorbs the nutrients it needs from this liquid to repair itself. If you wear high heels stress on the knee restricts the absorption of the fluid, and the cartilage begins to dry out and shred.

High heels and foot problems

Feet are designed to provide you with balance and strength as you walk or run over many different types of terrain. High-heels could change the shape of your feet and may eventually prevent them from functioning properly. Foot problem related to high heels is metatarsalgia, which is pain in the ball of the foot. If the joints of your feet don’t work properly because of the strain of wearing high heels, other areas of your body are forced to compensate and suffer extra wear and tear. The Morton’s neuroma, which is 10 times more common in women than men, is caused by a thickening of tissue around a nerve between the third and fourth toes. The Morton’s neuroma, could develop as response to irritation and excessive pressure such as the weight burden high heels place on the ball of the foot. Treatments of the Morton’s neuroma include orthotics, cortisone injections and in some cases, surgery. If you wear very high heels, you should know that can cause the calf muscles and Achilles tendons to become permanently shortened. You should know that other tendons and connective tissues can also become permanently disfigured. If you only wear high heels whole area could be reshaped for high heel wear only, even to the exact measurement of one pair of heels. If the skin on the bottom of your feet gets hard, you should treat it. It can become very painful.

You should know that shin splints can happen when very high heels are worn. When the anterior tibial muscletears away from the bone can cause pain when the muscle is used. If your shin splints you should have gentle stretching exercises, such as swimming. Sometimes wearing shoe inserts to support the foot could help.  You should consult your doctor about shoe inserts.

High heels and falls

High heels impaired balance in both the younger and older women when the brain received dissimilar information from the eyes and the senses in the legs. When older women wear high heels might be at greater risk for falls. Being overweight means extra stress for your feet, not to mention the joints of your legs and spine. If you overweight and you are wearing high heels that are extra stress for your feet, joints and ankles. Toppling over on very high heels can cause a broken ankle, wrist fractures and worse condition.

High heel and headaches

Wearing high heels on a regular basis can cause toe pain, mid foot pain, heel pain, ankle pain, knee pain, hip pain, lower back pain, mid back pain, upper back pain, and headaches. When you wearing high heels that cause unnecessary stress on your ankles, knees, pelvis, and potentially throughout your entire spine. The compensatory changes that result from wearing heels can cause the muscles behind your neck to be stiff, putting pressure on nerves that can result in chronic headaches.

High heels and deep vein thrombosis

Standing for long periods of time in high heels can cause deep vein thrombosis. You should know that  standing even in low heels carries this risk. Deep vein thrombosis is condition in which blood clots form in deep veins, mainly in the legs.

Some good tips for you

You should never wear high heels all day long. When you are shopping shoes do it in the afternoon or evening. Feet because of accumulation are little bigger in the afternoon. Your shoes need to be comfortably for you. You should try shoes on both of your feet, because sometimes one foot may be larger than the other. Measure shoes while you are standing. Making sure the shoe fits properly is essential.  Flat shoes are not the ideal for foot and leg health. Low heels are best for you. The healthiest shoes for women are those with fairly wide heels that are no more than a half or three-quarters of an inch in height. You should know that pain and other foot problems are less likely to occur if high heels are worn as infrequently as possible and are replaced by sneakers or flats as much as possible. Wearing extremely high heels can damage the feet, especially if the toes are pointed, or the shoes are too tight. Damage can sometimes be so extreme that the sufferer can never wear any high heel ever again. Starting with lower heels and practicing for short lengths of time, gradually building up the height and time will help to prevent shin splints. You should warm up the muscles before each wearing of high heels. The calf muscles should be stretched and exercised on a regular basis. Before putting heels you should run on the spot for a few minutes to warm up your muscles. After wearing your high heels for an extended period you should stand with your legs apart barefoot on the floor. Keeping your legs straight, bend at the hips and try to touch your toes. You should have warm-up and cool-down exercises every time you wear high heels. If you feel any pain in your ankles or feet while wearing your high heels, take them off immediately. Sometimes is best to not wear high heels at all.

The Dangerous Effects of Perms (Hair Relaxers)

painful_perms4blacksBy Pam Jefferson

Perming hair has been around since 1905. That means women, though able to beautify themselves, have also subjected themselves to the harm that comes with perming. They’ve been doing it for over a century. Hair perming involves the use of chemicals or heat applied to hair. Basically, perm works when the hair is rolled and then heat or chemicals are applied. Yes, it may be a good way of getting fuller or lush curls, but perming can also severely damage hair. The use of hydrogen peroxide can also result to serious burns.

Moreover, badly done perms can have hair lose its normal elasticity, making it brittle, fragile, and prone to breakage.  Other side effects of perm include scalp damage, which can include redness, itching, burning, and peeling. Perm can also stop hair from regrowing, which means some chemicals inhibit new hair growth. Perm can also alter hair’s texture, making it frizzy. Baldness can also result as hair is pulled and wrapped onto curlers, which can tear the hair from its roots.

Other bad effects of perm include:

Scalp Damage

  • Although the permanent solution is applied to the hair, some may inadvertently be applied to your scalp through sloppy application or by accident. This solution is made up of a highly potent ammonium thioglycolate chemical solution, which can be irritating to some users, and cause itching, redness, burning and peeling.

Hair Damage

  • Because of the strength of the ammonium thioglycolate solution, many find their hair texture changed after using it. Ammonium thioglycolate can dry out the hair, leaving it brittle and more susceptible to breakage. The only way to fix this problem is to grow the hair out and cut off the damaged portion.

Lack of Hair Regrowth

  • Some perm users realize that their hair is cracked and damaged, and then wait patiently for new hair regrowth to replace the damaged hair. However, some may find that the chemicals have actually inhibited new hair growth.

Texture Change

  • While a perm seeks to change the texture of your hair by causing it to go from straight to curly, you may find that this texture change is permanent, rather than lasting a few months, as most perms are supposed to. Some users find that they went from straight hair, to permed hair, to permanently frizzy hair after the perm. If you don’t mind your hair’s texture as it is, choose another, less severe way to curl your hair, such as a curling iron or three barrel waver.

Pain

  • Some perm users may find that heading to the salon to receive a perm can be a painful procedure. Not only can the ammonium thioglycolate solution burn the scalp during application, but the hair has to be tightly wound in curlers when it’s been applied. This can be a painful process, as the curlers must be placed tightly to the scalp, and can cause pulling or tearing of the hair which makes the pain even worst.

Here’s a video from Dr Akilah explaining why she stopped applying chemicals to her hair after visiting a morgue while working as a police officer.

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