Dr Akilah El – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

The Natural Health and Holistic World According to Dr Akilah El

Category Archives: Healthy Living

5 Reasons to Avoid Plastic Containers

plastic-containers

By Joshua Corn

The great American novelist Norman Mailer once said, “I sometimes think that there is a malign force loose in the universe that is the social equivalent of cancer, and it’s plastic. It infiltrates everything. It’s metastasis. It gets into every single pore of productive life.” You would think this was a recent quote, something he might have said after the green movement became popular. But no – he said this in 1983, before America’s obsession with everything plastic was even close to reaching its peak. What amazing foresight he had.

Plastic has its role in modern society. It’s an essential part of our cars, computers, mobile phones, children’s toys – and practically most everything we use on a day-to-day basis. But there’s one place where plastic has worn out its welcome – and that’s as a container for the food we eat and the water we drink.

The bottom line is that plastic is made from toxic materials. It’s a known fact that these toxins can leach into whatever they come into contact with. And it’s a known fact that when the compounds that make up plastic are ingested, they damage your body on a cellular level and cause health problems.

The pundits will say that the human body can easily handle the “small” amounts (which the government insultingly likes to call “acceptably safe levels”) of toxins that are ingested from plastic. But I find this excuse to be one of the world’s biggest cop-outs. If the human body wasn’t designed to ingest plastic, then no amount is good. Period.

Here are 5 reasons why you should avoid plastic containers:

1. Toxic compounds in plastic can make you really sick.

It’s typical to suffer from a variety of health problems as you age. But is this just “part of getting older”? Or is this perhaps the result of a toxic overload in the body? It’s common knowledge that illness and disorders such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, heart disease, vision impairment and many others health problems are all on the rise. Could this be in some way associated with the increasing amount of plastic in our lives? Plastic food and beverage containers became popular fairly recently (in the 1970s) and have become ubiquitous in our lives since then. More and more research is proving that toxic compounds found in plastic cause health problems ranging from cancer to infertility.

2. There’s no such thing as a safe plastic.

Plastics that contain the super toxic compound bisphenol A (BPA) have been in the news a lot lately. And for this reason, consumers have been duped into thinking that if a product is “BPA-free” it’s perfectly safe. But this is a lie. Lots of companies have caught on to the fact that they can sell more of a product if it’s labeled as “BPA-free.” But guess what? It may be BPA-free, but in its place, these companies are using BPS, a close cousin of BPA that may be equally as toxic! The bottom line is – you can’t 100% trust that any plastic doesn’t contain compounds that are toxic to your body.

3. Plastics can cause fertility and reproductive problems.

The ability to produce a healthy child is a wondrous miracle and an amazing event in one’s life. But toxic compounds found in plastic could be making this difficult, if not impossible, for millions of people. What was once speculation is now becoming fact as more and more research is proving that this is a very real problem. For example, almost all plastics contain toxic chemicals that have a negative effect on immunity and hormone regulation, both of which directly affect fertility. Specifically, BPA has been found to make it more difficult for women to conceive and to cause increased risk of miscarriages. New research is also showing that toxins found in plastic can cause birth defects and developmental problems in children.

4. Chemicals in plastic can make you fat.

There are lots of reasons why nearly two-thirds of American adults are either overweight or obese. But one of them may be the vast amounts of plastics our food and beverages come in contact with. After all, America is the world’s largest consumer of disposable plastic containers. Interesting new research published in Environmental Health Perspectives explains that a chemical widely used in plastics, called bisphenol A diglycidyl ether (BADGE), may actually cause stem cells to become fat cells. According to one of the study’s authors, “Exposure to these kinds of chemicals can reprogram your metabolism and make it more likely for you to store calories instead of passing them through.” Have you found that losing weight is next to impossible, despite eating less and exercising more? Perhaps it’s chemicals in plastics that make losing weight harder than it needs to be.

5. Plastics are just terrible for our planet.

Whether you are a hardcore environmentalist or if being “green” is low on your list of priorities, the fact of the matter is that you live on planet Earth, and so will your children and your children’s children. We all have a responsibility to keep the planet has livable as possible. Firstly, plastics are in most cases made from petrochemicals through an energy intensive process that itself creates lots of pollution and toxic discharge. The fact is, every plastic container you use is making the planet less habitable. Also, most plastic in the world is not recycled and usually ends up in landfills, where it degrades very slowly. According to Wikipedia, “Since the 1950s, one billion tons of plastic have been discarded and may persist for hundreds or even thousands of years.”

What Are Your Best Solutions?

Like I said earlier, plastics are a nearly unavoidable part of our everyday lives. But there is a big difference between the plastic on your computer and the plastic that may come into contact with your lunch. You don’t eat your computer. The best solution, which is affordable, convenient and really safe is glass and certain types of metal. Here are some great solutions I’ve found. (I am providing links to Amazon.com for your convenience, but you can find these items at many stores.)

  • Break-proof glass water bottles: This glass water bottle has a rubber coating that prevents breakage. It makes water taste amazing! I take mine everywhere I go and it helps me avoid using plastic water bottles.
  • Stainless steel straws: My kids don’t use plastic straws anymore, and instead use these stainless steel straws.
  • Stainless steel containers: Dump your plastic Tupperware and instead go for stainless steel containers. Glass containers are great too, but most of them still have plastic lids.
  • Glass water coolers: If you have a water cooler at your home or office, more and more companies are offering glass containers instead of plastic ones.
  • Alternative to non-stick cookware: The coating on your non-stick cookware may be a type of plastic. Instead choose ceramic cookware or enameled cast iron.

Sneaky Sources of BPA

Even if you remove all plastic from your food and water supply, there are still some sneaky ways that highly toxic BPA can find its way into your life. Here are the most common:

  • Cash register receipts: This usually shocks most people. But if you handle a receipt with your hands, then eat your food with your hands, BPA is getting in your system. Avoid receipts or wash your hands immediately after touching one.
  • The lining of most canned foods. Luckily, we’ve written a buyer’s guide that will help you find the brands that don’t use BPA.
  • Some baby bottles and pacifiers
  • Many toys and other children’s products
  • Some aluminum water bottles (stainless steel is generally safe)
  • Canned soda and beer

You can click here to read my appeal to the U.S Government to ban BPA now!

 

About the Author

Josh CornJoshua Corn is the Editor-in-Chief of the natural health and wellness site, Live in the Now. Josh is a health freedom advocate and veteran of the natural health industry. He has been actively involved in the natural health movement for over 15 years, and has been dedicated to the promotion of health, vitality, longevity and natural living throughout his career. Josh has successfully overcome several personal health challenges through natural means, and believes that sharing information can empower people to take control of their health so they can solve their own problems and live life to its fullest potential. Josh is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Live in the Now. Additionally he serves as CEO of SAN, a company that has been formulating premium dietary supplements since 1995. Josh is currently working on his first book about natural health, and gearing up to launch the Live in the Now radio show. In addition to his work in the natural health field, Josh is an avid outdoorsman, yoga practitioner, animal lover and father of two sons who remind him every day to “live in the now”.

What Your Eyes Say About Your Health

YourEyes

By Jordan & Kyla Miller

I’m sure most of you have heard the expression, ‘your eyes are the window to your soul’. Well, in fact, not only are they the window to our soul, but they are also important indicators of our overall health.

Eyes have many signs that tell us what is happening in our bodies. Unfortunately, given the ‘polluted’ world we live in today, many of our bodies are loaded with toxins. As a result of this toxic load, there are many physical characteristics that present themselves over time. Sickness presents itself in many interesting ways, and for the eyes, there are several indicators as to what is going wrong or right with the body. Everything is connected in the body.

When something is not operating well, there are physical signs (sometimes invisible) that help us determine what is plaguing us. The problem today is that many of us have lost this ancient knowledge. Many of us turn to a medical professional for the answers because we don’t know any better, and they have been deemed the experts by society. The fact is that you have the power to be your own expert, as nobody knows your body better than yourself. To get you started, we have provided you with some tell-tale physical signs the eyes manifest when your body is sick.

Dark Circles Under Eyes

Some believe that dark circles under the eyes is an indication that one is not getting adequate sleep, by staying up watching too much T.V. or simply just appear if we misbehave (excessive partying) or are under a great deal of stress. In some other groups, dark circles are believed to be caused as a direct result of too much potassium in the diet; this may be true, but we haven’t seen much evidence on this. Simply speaking, dark circles under your eyes is directly related to oxidizing hemoglobin. In other words, they manifest as a result of “leaky capillaries” and are visible due to the thin skin that covers the area under your eyes. Essentially, what this boils down to is that there is an issue with your liver; it is not working optimally. This may be due in part to genetics, allergies, or iron deficiency – all usually caused by what we are or are not ingesting.

“Bags” Under Eyes

“Bags” or puffy eyes are usually present as a result of accumulated fat around the eye area. This happens when the septum surrounding the eyeball weakens, causing the outer layer of fat within the socket to sink forward – making it look like you have literal “bags” under your eyes. The underlying cause behind this phenomena is an issue with your kidneys. Essentially, if your kidneys are not effectively cleaning toxins out of your body, physical signs will begin to manifest themselves, especially in and around the eyes. Some other studies suggest that puffiness is also an indicator of too much salt in the diet.

Sunken Eyes

This is a common symptom in our society today. It is by no accident that many of us are suffering from it. Sunken eyes is usually the cause of a dehydrated body. Many are ingesting several coffees, pop/soda, or pre-packaged fruit juices daily, without even knowing that each of these ‘beverages’ have a diuretic effect and are severely dehydrating. Couple this with drinking little water, you have a body that is starved of water, and thus it is unable to function properly. By increasing your intake of water and decreasing the amount of diuretic beverages you drink in a day, it is almost guaranteed that you will see positive results immediately.

Yellow Eyes

This manifests itself when the white of your eye (sclera) turns yellow. This is usually a sign of jaundice, where there is a buildup of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a yellow-colored pigment that is produced by the breakdown of old red blood cells. Bilirubin is normally processed by the liver and released into the intestine in bile before being excreted from the body through the feces. As you have probably guessed it, the common cause of yellow eye is directly related to a liver problem. A daily dose of fresh squeezed beet or lemon juice should help resolve the discoloration in a few weeks.

Bulging Eyes

Also known as proptosis or exophthalmos, bulging of the eyes manifests itself due to a condition with the thyroid gland. Both eyes generally protrude in people whom have Graves disease (an autoimmune disease indicating an overactive thyroid). In Graves disease, swelling, fibrosis and scarring may occur within the eye muscles surrounding the eye. This crowds the bony orbit where the eye sits, causing the eyes to bulge forward. In some rare cases however, it may mean that there is a benign tumor that exists behind the eye.

Double Vision

Double vision generally occurs when the eyes are misaligned. There may be several reasons why someone may be experiencing this condition; for example, they may have a cornea problem (due to infection or scars), lens problem (cataracts), muscle problem (graves disease or myasthenia gravis), nerve problem (multiple sclerosis or uncontrolled diabetes) or brain problem (strokes or migraine headaches).

Blood Vessels

Your eyes are one of the few areas of the body that have exposed blood vessels. For this reason, these blood vessels can tell us a lot about the individuals health. In some cases, inflamed blood vessels in your eye can be the direct result of an irritant, allergy, or in some cases a viral infection. In other cases however, it has been shown that a continued state of inflamed blood vessels can be directly related to more serious issues such as hypertension or diabetes.

As you can see, the eyes provide us with many indicators about our health. When you are suffering from a health related issue, take a look in the mirror, and determine whether or not you can pinpoint the problem by gazing into your eyes. These are but a few examples of what we can look for when trying to figure out some of the issues we are experiencing with our eyes.

Sources:

1. webmd.com
2. lookupinfo.org

About the Authors

Jordan and Kyla are passionate about health; together, they have overcome many illnesses through dietary and lifestyle changes, and the art of practicing a positive mindset daily. Kyla is currently studying to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Reiki Master, and Jordan is currently learning about traditional North American medicinal herbs, in hopes of becoming a Certified Herbalist. For more information, please visit the following sites; guidinginstincts.comFacebookTwitterGoogle+, or Pinterest

Take a Cold Shower & Improve Your Health this Summer

 

coldSHOWER

It’s the summer and what better way to beat the heat this season than by replacing your scolding hot showers with a cold one? But lowering your water temperature can do far more than just cut utility costs and cool you down—there are an enormous amount of other benefits that can help you improve your overall health.

Helps With Blood Circulation

If your blood does not properly circulate throughout your veins and arteries, your tissues and organs will not be able to absorb the necessary amount of oxygen and nutrients. As an end result, you can get high blood pressure, ugly varicose veins in your legs, puffy bags under the eyes and heart disease—one of the leading causes for death among Americans. While there several different ways to improve circulation throughout your body such as via exercising, experts say that hydrotherapy (switching from warm water to cold water midway through your shower) can actually do the trick as well. This is because warm water makes the blood come to the surface, while cold water makes the blood shift to your tissue and organs. Cold water can also help with inflammation.

Flushes out Toxins

Cold water can also help you fight against contracting certain illnesses and viruses in more ways than one. The first is the fact that cold water encourages your muscles to contract—this alone (with the added addition of improved circulation) helps flush out unwanted toxins that make you sick. But according to some experts, cold showers can also help your body build virus-fighting white blood cells. This is because cold water forces your body to go into “shock”—this in turn causes your immune system to work in over drive as it attempts to warm back up

Fights Mental Disorders

Some experts also say that not only can cold showers help boost your body’s defenses and help with circulation, but it can also help prevent depression. This is because according to research, cold water helps stimulate natural endorphins (chemical that make you happy) and helps activate a part of the brain that produces norepinephrine (sometimes referred to as noradrenaline) – an ingredient found in most anti-depression medication.

Gives Skin and Hair a Healthy Glow/Shine

Cold water can even help you improve acne prone skin and make your hair glossy. The reason is simple—cold water closes your pores and seals hair cuticles so that dirt and dull-causing agents cannot seep into your skin or hair. Do note that you should in fact use warm water to open your pores to first remove dirt and oil, but then splash cold water on your face and hair to seal your pores and cuticles back up.

Boosts Energy

As you may have guessed, cold showers can also help you shake off any lethargy and is the perfect solution if you are ever dragging your feet in the morning. This is because the same cold shock that helps your body wash away toxins also sets your nervous central system to ignite and make your heart race—this feeling will perk you up in a moment’s notice and unlike when drinking a cup of coffee, the feeling is not short lived.

 

 

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Water and Weight Loss

Water_weightLOSSSome people trying to control their weight drink bottles of diet sodas
each day. Often these beverages contain caffeine, which is a diuretic
causing the body to excrete water. In fact the net result may be
dehydration. So if you are a heavy diet-soda drinker, and you
recognise these symptoms of dehyration, you may be able to improve
your health by simply drinking 6 to 8 glasses of pure, fresh water a day!

1. Headache.
The most common symptom is headaches. A major function of water is to
flush toxins from the body. Your brain is 75% water, so even being
slightly dehydrated can cause headaches.

2. Poor concentration/fatigue.
If you body can’t get rid of the toxins it will struggle and you will
feel less energetic as your body diverts energy to deal with the toxins.

3. Constipation.
Your body will divert water to more essential functions and as a
result your stools will be harder and more difficult to expel.

4. Reduced urine output or dark urine.
Did you know that up to 200 litres of water is passed through your
kidneys daily? Without a fresh supply of water for the kidneys to
filter waste products out of the blood, your urine will become darker.

5. Furry tongue or bad breath.
If you don’t have enough water passing through the mouth to wash away
food particles, bacteria can proliferate and result in that furry
feeling or bad breath.

6. Skin.
Your skin should feel elastic. When you pinch the skin on the back of
your hand it should snap back instantly.
 

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The Benefits of Power Napping

nappingby: Dee Braun, DrR, CA, CCT

It never feels good when you simply cannot keep your eyes open any longer and it is only 2 o’clock in the afternoon. What is happening? You require a pick-me-up – but how?

Power napping is the newest thing in the area of office productivity. The concept has been around for years but now it’s more widely accepted as a practice.

Power napping is among the most effective ways to help you get a 2nd wind on a busy day. It does not take as much time as you believe and you are able to do it on your lunch hour.

Causes of Sleeplessness

So, why are you feeling so wore out? The human body requires around 8 hours of sleep each night. Most folks do not get that much, usually between 6 and 8. When you do not get adequate sleep, the body does not have time to repair itself in good order at night. This may contribute to irritability, increased stress and decreased productivity. It can likewise lower your life expectancy.

On the flip side, when you get too much rest, you accomplish the same thing. 9 or more hours of rest can leave you feeling exhausted even though you have just slept all night.

Benefits of a Nap

It’s widely accepted for kids but not for adults. We’re talking of a nap in the midst of the day. The fact is that after 8 hours of moving around, the body needs a pit stop. Adult bodies need one also. That’s where the power nap comes in.

Here are just a couple of benefits of taking a midday break:

* Increased productivity – When your body begins to wind down, your brain starts to shut down. It’s hard to keep working at your previous pace. Once energized after a nap, you will be able to perform just as well as you did when you 1st arrived at the office.

* Increased focus – we have discoursed the brain shutting down. It starts wandering around when we become tired. The words you need to finish that report are floating about in the aether just beyond your reach, particularly after lunch. That may change with a power nap.

* Less stress – When we’re tired, our fuses become shorter. We’re more likely to lash out at other people or overreact to a simple situation. To regain your composure and your level of wellbeing, a brief respite might be what you need.

The Ideal Power Nap

The ideal power nap is between fifteen and thirty minutes. Find a quiet place like your automobile or your office if you have a door. Turn the light down low to induce a sleep cycle. Close your eyes and unwind.

The best time to power nap is when you start to feel sleepy headed. You’re already relaxing. If you need to, set an alarm so that you do not oversleep.

Power napping is one way to re-energize your body halfway through your day. Maybe you cannot take a long nap like you did when you were a child, but you will be able to still catch some worthy Zs.

 

About The Author

DeeDee is an Adv. Certified Aromatherapist, Reiki Master, Adv. Color/Crystal Therapist, Herbalist, Dr. of Reflexology and single mom who is dedicated to helping others any way she can. One way she chooses to help is by offering information on the benefits and uses of natural health and healing methods for the well-being of both people and pets. Dee also teaches Aromatherapy, Reflexology and Color/Crystal Therapy at the Alternative Healing Academy

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