By John-Leslie Brown, LHLSC Expert Contributor
Living. It is the one thing that we all have in common. Every person may not get the chance to do many things. Some people live without joy. Some people live without financial freedom.
Some people even live their whole lives and they never quite discover their purpose. However, the great equalizer, is the fact that while our experiences on this earth may differ from person to person… we all get a chance to make a living.
Imagine, waking up in the morning and the first thing you do, is smile. Picture yourself giving thanks for the ideal culture that you have created for your personality. You pick up your smart phone and chuckle when you log into your banking app, just to make sure that all of your wealth is still where you left it.
Yup, it is. How many commas do you see? Your significant other is laying asleep beside you undisturbed, resting only to arise and prepare a meal for you that demonstrates love on a plate. How gorgeous is this morning? What city are you in? What type of view do you picture?
Our imaginations are limitless vehicles that can take us where we were born to be. I am typing out these words, because I imagine that some people have crashed their vehicles. They let their imagination race wild with passion and unfulfilled expectations that make it hard to buckle up and get back behind the wheel of life in order to steer towards your destiny. I guess I’m writing this from my heart to pose one simple question.
Do you love the way you live? Check out this short video where I expand on this topic…
By Allana Pratt, LHLSC Expert Contributor
I’m all about spicing things up and getting the dust off our relationships! Now with summer in full swing, it’s the perfect time to forgo that dinner and a movie routine and head outdoors for some dating fun.
With all of today’s technology many forget how outdoor activities help us bond, as an Intimacy Expert and Coach, I am going to share these 10 suggestions for amazing outdoor dates that you’ll definitely want to experience with that someone special.
A Sunset or Beach Picnic
Forget dinner by candlelight. Grab a picnic basket and head to the beach with your date and enjoy a romantic dinner as the sun sets. Plus, there’s something about the beach and the sand between your toes that helps you let down your defenses so you connect authentically with each other! If you don’t have a beach then take in the sunset at a scenic park or other serene location. Discover the beauty of being out doors and the beauty in your relationship at the same time.
Paddle Boarding in the Marina
Paddle boarding is a fun activity the two of you can do together. Finding that sweet spot to balance on the board and let go to the waves makes you really sense how you and your date will navigate life’s mystery together!
Hot Air Balloon Ride
Although they can be pricey, a hot air balloon ride offers you both an unforgettable dating experience. Lift above the earth with your date in a hot air balloon ride and see how you can embrace adventure while being humbled by Earth’s grandeur.
Look Out with Take Out
I know it can be difficult to really get to know someone, or to be yourself when you’re out on the town with crowds of people. It’s important to plan at least a few low key dates in intimate settings that allow for time to appreciate the simple pleasures in life and each other. So grab some take out and back your pickup truck into a romantic look out spot at sunset with your food and fine wine.
Back Porch Bliss
As they say, happiness can often be found right in your own back yard! A low-key date that takes place in your own backyard can be made to be amazing. Once you’ve had a few dates out on the town and get invited to their home—or you invite them to your home—bust out the grill, marinate some killer swordfish and crank up the tunes. As you sit on your back porch at sunset, you’ll begin to see if this connection is ready for the next step.
Fun Dinner Cruise
While you may want to skip the free wine, sometimes going on a crazy sunset cruise can be hysterically fun! For example, I remember a pirate ship in Puerto Vallarta that let out this cannonball blast amidst rave music and fireworks. It was fun, different, and obviously memorable.
If you decide to give it a try, think about bringing along a few other couples to liven things up. Then let yourself authentically come unwound with your date. You’ll soon know if your wild sides collide and make for a good match.
Hike in the Park or Forest
Many cities and towns have local parks and forests that offer a private, secluded setting where you can hike along nature trails while getting to know your date. How people navigate challenges tells you a lot about how your date may navigate conflict in relationships. Not to mention, many parks and forests are actually quite beautiful and can help ignite the embers of love. For example, there’s this canyon in Pasadena called Eaton Canyon where you have to cross a river at least 20 times before you get to the end where there’s this gorgeous waterfall and pond you can dip into.
Although many couples have found horseback riding on the beach to be especially romantic, you don’t have to travel to Aruba or Malibu for the experience. There are tons of places you can hit the trail at sunset on a date. If you’re not sure where to go, ask your local equestrian center or nearby farm for ideas.
Tandem River Kayak
If getting out on the water during the summer months is more your style, try river kayaking with your date. Tandem kayaks accommodate two people and offer an exciting adventure as you both paddle down the river. This will quickly show you how you can savor pleasures while working as a team and enjoy nourishing beauty.
Our busy schedules can often make it difficult to set aside time for dating, especially for parents. I know this as I am one. Sometimes you’re dating a single mom or dad and they can’t get away, but don’t let that stop you. Instead, offer to have a driveway picnic and bring food, your DVD player to watch a movie and make it work for their circumstances. They will appreciate all the thoughtfulness you put into spending time with them making it pressure free.
Summer days are ticking away, take the opportunity to change things up and create some lasting memories with that special someone in your life!
By Julie Pittman, LHLSC Expert Contributor
You finally did it! You got your skin to clear up. You changed your diet, drank more water, used every scrub, wash, medicated cream and prescription medication you could find but you finally got your wish, acne free skin – right? Wrong!
How frustrating it is to be on a path that seemed to work in clearing away blemishes only to see more show up after about two weeks or so of trouble free skin. I know that there are days when you yelled at your face in the mirror, “what do you want from me?!”
I can tell you I would think the same thing when they would come in for their monthly facials. The client would say, “I was doing fine for 2 or 3 weeks, then just before it was time for my facial, I started breaking out again.” What did her skin need to not just get clear but stay clear?
Over the last 30 years of practicing Holistic Esthetics, I found some key elements in maintaining a clear complexion. There are 5 essential elements that are needed to keep your skin in perfect peace and clarity. These 5 elements create an environment in and on the skin that make it difficult for the bacteria that causes you to breakout to live, multiply and inflame your skin.
Notice I didn’t say anything about oiliness. The oil in your skin is NOT the reason for your breakouts! It has a part in feeding the problem, but it is not the CAUSE of your skin problems. So stop fighting your excess oil and go after the real “enemy” in a way that is favorable to your skin but unfavorable to the bacteria that is causing your skin issues. We have all used one or two of these elements at some point, but all 5 need to be involved internally and externally for a more constant result of clarity.
1. WATER: Necessary for the transport of nutrients to your cells and waste material from your cells as well as to dilute toxins in your body. The right amount of water for you to drink is half your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 150lbs, your water intake should be 75 ounces not 64 (your classic 8 glasses). Externally, doing a final rinse or misting with water that is more acidic (like distilled water) on your skin is good for keeping your skin soft and smooth.
2. ACID: An element your skin uses to protect itself naturally, it’s called the “acid mantle”. It’s a thin fluid layer that lays over your skin to protect against water loss and bacteria. Cleansing your face with harsh (alkaline) soap disturbs the acid mantle and leaves your skin vulnerable to attack.
Internally, consuming alkaline foods (greens, veggies, fruit etc.) and drinking alkaline water (7.5 – 9pH) actually helps to improve the quality of your skin’s acid mantle. Externally, skin care products with a pH range of 4.5-6 (acidic) are good for keeping dead cells moving from your skin’s surface which prevents blockages. A professional acid/enzyme peel every couple of months is good for a deep cleansing.
3. ENZYMES: Gobble up dead skin cells and create a hostile environment for bacteria. Internally, taking a food enzyme supplement will aid in the digestion of your food and particularly healthy fats which are needed for the body to properly absorb fat soluble vitamins like A, D, and E, our skin nutrients.
Externally, professional enzyme peels (which often also have a salicylic acid ingredient to put blemishes in check) and natural enzyme masks like pumpkin help to clear dead cells so the skin can breath. Enzyme exfoliation is a gentler alternative to gritty scrubs that can scratch or irritate sensitive skin.
4. OXYGEN: Makes cells healthy and increases your body’s natural ability to defend itself against all illness including acne and wrinkles which are both expressions of inflammation that damage tissue. Without oxygen, free radicals are free to run rampant to damage your cells and weaken your immune system.
Internally, actions like exercise, deep breathing activities like yoga, green leafy vegetables and adding liquid chlorophyll to your water help increase oxygen level in your blood cells which in turn feeds your skin and gives you a natural glow. Externally, professional oxygen and aromatherapy facials and incorporating certain essential oils into your home care regimen increase blood flow to the surface of the skin and creates a high oxygen environment on the skin that inhibits the growth of bacteria.
5. DIRT: It may seem oxymoronic to put dirt (i.e. mud or clay) on freshly cleansed skin or even to consume it but certain clays are beneficial to your body inside and out. Internally, clays like hydrated bentonite and charcoal are historically known to absorb toxins (especially chemicals) from the body, Externally, mud masks with clays like Montmorillonite, Kaolin and charcoal help to draw toxins, control excess oil, remove dead cells and mineralize to soften the skin.
When these 5 essentials come together you have a force that keeps your feeling great and breakouts at bay. Consult with your Esthetician and Natural Health care provider for information on get the products, supplements and professional care that’s best for you.
By Chris Gibson, LHLSC Expert Contributor
It seems that there is always some news report out that tells us something we are eating isn’t good for us, only to be replaced with another news report that contradicts the original report. Understanding the ingredients in foods and how they impact you can be simplified when you look at the choices that nutritionists make for themselves and their families.
If they are not eating it or feeding it to their kids, that is a good indicator that you shouldn’t either. I’m going to share the top 5 ingredients that even nutritionist avoid eating. Doing the same will contribute to a healthier body all over and may well help you avoid certain diseases later in life.
1. Potassium Benzoate
This little ingredient is found in many dark colored diet drinks and even some fruit juice products. Don’t let the vitamin sounding Potassium in the name fool you into thinking it is harmless. Because these drinks also contain sodium (quite a bit actually), when mixed with vitamin C they can form Benzene.
In the body this ingredient can wreak havoc and is carcinogenic. Check the label of any diet drink or juice beverage for this ingredient so you can make a better choice.
2. Modified Corn
I’m not talking about your corn from your garden or even canned or frozen. I’m speaking of things like corn oil, modified cornstarch, dextrose, and malto-dextrin. These days they are all made from genetically altered corn. These ingredients are high in Omega 6 fats that promote problems like chronic inflammation, cancers, and even heart disease.
While your body needs some Omega 6 most people get way too much, as high as 15 times the amount needed. This ingredient can be hard to avoid because it is in most commercial processed foods. You will discover this when you start checking labels for it. The goal here would be to try and reduce it as much as you can. Adding flax, walnuts, and fish (like Tuna and Salmon) instead will give you a balance of Omegas all around and a healthier diet.
3. BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole)
Any food out there that has fat in it and a shelf life longer than a couple of days has BHA in it. It is added to keep the fat from spoiling, becoming rancid, and tasting bad. You know what I mean when I say this if you have ever had stale potato chips or had your cooking oil go bad. BHA extends the flavor and life of a processed food products far beyond what it would last if it were not added. Hence, the store bought Christmas cookies that “stay edible” until May or June of the following year.
While the FDA considers the ingredient safe, it has been shown to cause cancer in lab tests. Minimizing your intake of BHA is a really good idea, especially when you consider that it is usually paired with junk foods I already recommend you avoid anyway.
4. Sodium Nitrate and Nitrite
If you have ever consumed commercial processed meats like hot dogs, sausages, bacon, and almost ALL deli meats, you have consumed both Sodium Nitrate and Nitirte. This includes fresh cut deli meat you can buy at the meat counter. Nitrites are added to processed (cured) meats as a preservative. Since around the mid 1980′s, it has been known that these additives can form nitrosamines while they are digested by the human body.
The problem with this is that studies have shown these to promote cancer growth. Scarier is a 2009 study on children uncovered that the children in families who ate cured meats or fish more than once a week had a 74 percent greater risk of leukemia than children who rarely or never ate them! Despite the decades long the controversy over preservatives and additives in our foods, little has changed. Taking your food choices into your own hands and reducing these in your overall diet is certainly a step toward a healthier future for you and your family.
5. Enriched Wheat
I can tell you from experience that the number of clients coming to me with wheat gluten issues and allergies has dramatically increased over the last 4 or 5 years. Not all wheat is equal. This is important to know as you work to build a healthier diet. While the word enriched makes it sound healthy, you are basically ingesting refined flour bleached or unbleached that has had a minimal amount of nutrients added to it.
This process strips out most nutritional value and ruins the grains fiber count. Some of the nutrient is replaced during the enrichment process, but not enough to compare to what you get from Whole products where the actual grain and fiber are left intact. Many of my clients who thought that they had gluten allergies or celiac disease actually tolerate the whole wheat grains whether it is rye, golden, or other varieties.
Whole grains contain plenty of nutrition and fiber and they just taste better eliminating enriched refined flours is a very healthy choice to make. In my mind, if a nutritionist who is charged with helping people to get healthy and create the best diet choices they can isn’t willing to let an ingredient on their dinner table, then I’m going to take a close look as to whether it should be on mine as well.
I hope you find this information helpful as you make choices for yourself and your family.
By Mark Neidig, LHLSC Expert Contributor
I am many things in this life, but I have never claimed to be a writer. Sure, I took college classes to learn to communicate effectively, but how do you adequately prepare to share the heart-wrenching stories of cancer patients and their families? Putting into words the emotions surrounding the words “you have cancer” is by far the most challenging task I’m faced with. It is a message that people dissuade because it is news that no one wants to hear.
Yet, it’s a diagnosis that nearly 4,600 people receive daily in the United States alone (according to a 2013 report by the SEER Program of the National Cancer Institute). In the past 24 hours, four of my friends communicated with me that either a family member or loved one had just been diagnosed— two with just months to live. It’s also the unfortunate news that a prominent journalist, Tom Brokaw, heard last month when he was diagnosed with the disease. As someone who has shared far too many of these cancer announcements, I re-examined the statistics on just how many people are diagnosed each year.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released their first cancer report of 2014 and the startling results reinvigorated followers of the Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation and heightened the urgency of our mission to prove “a better way” to treat the disease is possible. In 2012, cancer was the leading cause of death and accounted for 8.2 million deaths worldwide. However, it was the report’s cancer projections that were even more alarming. Annual cancer rates are estimated to increase from 14 million cases in 2012 to 22 million cases annually within the next two decades. That’s 57% more cancer patients each year that will be fighting for their lives. That is a message that I, in no possible way, can diminish when writing.
While many cancer patients have a high chance of survival when the disease is detected early and treated immediately, it is the method of treatment that is the real issue. Relying solely on aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments may work in certain instances; however, even when those instances result in cancer remission and survival, the quality of life for those patients is often laden with terrible, lingering side effects. By raising awareness and advocating for FDA approval, the Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation will prove a better, more humane treatment method is possible for far more than 22 million people in the long run. Looking towards the future state of the expanding cancer population provides the Kanzius Foundation and our team of researchers with immense motivation; however, relentlessly working to find “a better way” for the existing patients is just as pressing of a mission.
Breaking news shook the nation’s cancer community when NBC Correspondent, Tom Brokaw, revealed that he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer that affects blood cells in the bone marrow. The veteran journalist, who has worked at NBC News since 1966, is remaining optimistic in the midst of his health crisis. Brokaw, who has refused to let his diagnosis affect his day-to-day life, has led an inspiring fight so far. He continues to work on a JFK documentary and recently contributed to the sports coverage for the Sochi Winter Olympics. However, many cancer patients aren’t as fortunate when it comes to their ability to stay active. Chemotherapy and other traditional treatment methods leave much of the cancer population chronically weak and exhausted, leaving very little possibility for a fulfilled, unaffected life.
Despite the side-effects of currently used methods, there is a silver lining for the nation’s cancer community and it lies within the FDA. Patients, such as Brokaw, who have been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, have had their expected lifespan doubled from what it was 16 years ago. In the past decade, those suffering from myeloma have seen the FDA approve six new treatments for their specific type of cancer, an incredible pace of innovation in oncology. This fast-paced advancement and increase in FDA approval has not only been the cause behind the increase in patient life expectancy, but has also painted a favorable picture for Kanzius’ own timeline of getting our treatment approved by the FDA and commencing human trials.
Unfortunately, the process of introducing new and improved drugs and treatments does not work fast enough for most. Today, I am returning from the funeral of a fourteen year old girl who battled cancer for the past seven years. I met this precious teen, Nicole, several years ago in her hospital room. Her smile and positive spirit served as a reminder to me of what our organization strives for. And just as John Kanzius was prompted to devise a side-effect free cancer treatment after seeing children undergo harsh treatments; I, too, am compelled to work endlessly toward John’s dream and will never stop believing that his theory is possible.
The number of new cancer cases continues to rise and the list of loved ones who succumb to the disease continues to grow. With that in mind, we must approach every day with aggression and work towards advancing our research with the unyielding determination that a side-effect free cancer treatment will be possible for the millions of people that we have never met and very possibly have not even been diagnosed yet.
(Editor’s Note: As of this writing, the Kanzius Research Foundation has won FDA approval for human trials. Kanzius under the leadership of Mr. Neidig has accomplished this goal uniquely as the treatment method is light wave based and on the cutting edge of cancer research. We at Living Healthy Living Smart Club congratulate Mark and the Kanzius Foundation Team for their amazing drive and tireless perseverance to get this new treatment in front of the public.)
By Chris Gibson, LHLSC Expert Contributor
I talk a lot about diet and it’s role in skin health. Still, even today I am always seeing news reports that tell us that something we are eating isn’t good for us only to be replaced with another news report that contradicts that. Rarely do they spell out how these foods and the chemicals in them affect us, so not surprisingly when I was being certified as a nutritionist I was a little shocked myself at some of what I learned.
Understanding what ingredients are in the foods we eat and how they impact you can be simplified when you look at the choices that nutritionists make for themselves and their families. Some of this you need to know because it especially affects the health of your skin!
To keep things straightforward and easy for you to identify what you may need to change in your diet, here are my top 5 foods to be on the look out for.
Meat that is processed such as deli meat, canned meat, and even frozen can harbor some pretty bad things for your skin. Much of the meat produced today are from animals that have been pumped full of antibiotics and steroids. This can upset your own hormonal balance which can lead to hypersensitive skin. Steroids are a known contributor to acne and if your eating foods that contain them then your getting them in your system too!
Most processed meat, bacon, sandwich meat, and sausages, contain a ton of salt and nitrates. Nitrates are a known contributor to inflammation in the digestive system and suppressing immune system. This can leave skin more susceptible to disease and even skin cancers. What’s more, most processed meats are made with mechanically separated meat which means the meat processors is putting just about everything except the bone in to the product, spoiled, diseased and all. Try local organic grain fed beef and poultry. Keep meat intake to small amounts equaling no more than a small deck of cards in size. This will still provide protein and satisfy your appetite while reducing your risk.
Altered Dairy Products
Because the same animals that supply our meat are providing the majority of dairy products it follow that there are the same problems here. In recent years dairy products have been linked to acne an increased estrogen in both men an women. For my acne clients, stopping dairy products in the diet is one of the first things we do and in many cases, their skin responds with less inflammation and breakouts. If you do eat dairy try to find organic sources for it and eat whole dairy instead of altered or low fat version. They taste better and are much better for you overall that the foreign material use to replace the fats in these foods.
Artificial Flavors, Colors and Even Sweeteners
It is no secret I harp on how much sugar most people consume. Reducing sugar intake should be number on on most folks to do list when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. Too much sugar feeds yeast in the bowel and skin causing all sorts of skin issues from acne to dermatitis outbreaks. I also weekend new skin cells and collagen product leading to premature again of the skin. The list of problems associated with too much sugar in the diet goes on an on and what you replace it with is just as important.
Most are made with chemicals our bodies have to work hard at to remove and are linked to allergic reactions and contain no nutritional value whatsoever. The same goes for artificial colors and flavors. While avoid these all together is nearly impossible using fruit juices and their zest, the original herbs for flavor, and sugar replacements like agaves, honey, and Stevia, are much healthier choices for your skin and health.
We hear about these all the time but what is hydrogenated fat and what impact does it have on skin and health? Many oils when hated to very high temperatures ( think deep fried foods like french fries) or processed industrially for sale at your grocery store, they become oxidized. Some manufactures also pump hydrogen into the oils to raise the lever of these because they act as a preservative to extend the oils life and keep it from becoming rancid. Good for their bottom line – bad for you.
This means that the actual molecular property of the oils are changed. These are the oxidants and free radicals that damage the cells in the body over time, even your skin. These are what you eat foods and take vitamin supplements full of anti-oxidants to help the body fend off. They cannot be processed in your body and this is why they cause damage. The best choices are oils that are cold pressed and not heated. The labels of these products will state this. I recommend olive oil whenever possible also peanut, coconut, and safflower for eating and cooking.
Last I want to address what has become a huge issue over the last 10 years and that is gluten sensitivity. From the beginning, whenever I have worked with clients with severe skin issues we remove gluten, dairy, yeast, and sugar from the diet completely for at least 6 weeks. Back in the day, as we added these foods back into their diet, gluten was usually not a contributing factor. About 10% of my clients had a problem with wheat gluten. I can say this has really changed over the last 10 years as so many people have become gluten sensitive which I believe is due to the way wheat has been engineered, grown, and harvested.
Suffice to say that today about 40% of adults have gluten sensitivity and about 20% of them have a full allergy to it known as celiac disease. Here is what you need to know, whenever clients remove gluten from their diet almost always they have a marked improvement in their complexion not to mention how they feel. Some of the symptoms of gluten sensitivity are bloating, gas, achy joints, skin rashes, breakouts and skin inflammation. If you have these symptoms and they stop or lesson considerably, you may want to go and be tested for gluten sensitivity. Gluten packed foods you might consider cutting include pasta, breads, crackers, pastries, cakes, oats, pizza, beer, barley, and rye. Many people suffer years unnecessarily because they are not aware this is the problem.
Knowing what is in your food and the impact it has on the health of your skin can make a big difference in how your skin looks and ages over time. Giving it the best internal support you can will help you skin give you a lifetime of looking good!