Eating Pretty

We spent $426 billion dollars on beauty products last year, lathering, slathering, toning and honing our skin and hair to look their best.   Instead of just concentrating on what we’re putting on our bodies, it’s a smart idea to give as much consideration to what we’re putting in them.  As a bonus, we’re heading into the “late Spring, early Summer” growing season, when you can find most of these suggested beautifying vegetables and fruits fresh from the field in your local farmer’s markets.

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First of all, drink up.  Proper hydration – sipping at least eight glasses a day of pure water – is essential for getting, and nourishing, both inner health and outer beauty. A quick test from the National Institute of Health to check if you’re dehydrated is to gently pinch the skin on the back of your hand for a few seconds, then let go.  If the skin immediately returns to normal, you’re fine.  But if a ridge is formed and takes a second or two to disappear, start drinking that water. 

For beautiful skin:
All fruits and vegetables with lots of Vitamin C will promote collagen production and reduce wrinkles. 

Bring on the blueberries, which are ranked first among the 40 most popular fruits and vegetables in antioxidant activity.

Grapefruit is particularly beneficial – its high lycopene content protects skin from free radicals, which age us.

Tomatoes are another lycopene-rich food.  Their effectiveness is increased when they’re cooked, so think “spaghetti sauce” or “tomato soup.”

As its name implies, watermelon is a true hydrator.  The fruit is 92% water, so it’s guaranteed to plump up skin, and is a powerhouse in the lycopene and Vitamin C categories.  Don’t forget the high fiber and nutrient content.

Nuts are rich in Vitamin E.  Almonds have a lot of this potent antioxidant, along with flavonoids, and a small handful a day is great for smooth, healthy skin. Almonds are also good for reversing free radical and oxidative damage caused by smoking.

Bell peppers – all colors – are loaded with Vitamin C, and promote collagen production for healthy hair and skin.

For Sun Protection
Sweet potatoes help clear up acne, but their high beta-carotene content also helps protect skin from the sun.  As an extra bonus, the orange vegetable is a potent anti-inflammatory.

Citrus fruits, green tea, carrots, red peppers, spinach and walnuts also all help guard against sunburn.

For Healthy Eyes
Sure, you already know carrots help your eyesight, but spinach is packed with Vitamins B, C and E, and also lutein, which is essential for healthy eyes.  Don’t forget its potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and omega 3 fatty acids.

You can also find significant amounts of lutein in corn, peas, zucchini, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

Walnuts boast an abundance of omega 3 fatty acids to nourish not only eyes, but skin and hair too.

For Strong Bones and Teeth
Kiwis provide Vitamin C and antioxidants to grow healthy bones and teeth while protecting you from cancer and heart disease.

Spinach, collard greens, kelp, oranges, broccoli and broccoli sprouts, sesame seeds, Brazil nuts and celery are also loaded with calcium for a healthy bone booster.

It’s important to point out that supplements really can’t effectively provide the nutritional value your body and skin require.  You’re smarter going with the whole food, and ideally, the organic version.

Learn more about how smart food choices enhance your physical appearance while you cleanse your body, quiet your mind and rejuvenate your spirit at the Optimum Health Institute in San Diego and Austin, Texas.  We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

Common Chemicals Found In Scented Products, Part II

Household products and personal care products commonly contain a long list of ingredients, which may include harmful chemicals that may be affecting your health. Last week we shared with you some very important information in Part I of “A Great Fragrance May Not Be All That Great” article. Below is a continued listing of ingredients to avoid as you select products to keep in your home. 

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Ethyl Acetate
Ethyl Acetate is used in aftershave, fabric softener, and cologne, but it is also on the EPA Hazardous Waste List as an irritant to the eyes and skin. It can also cause kidney and liver damage in higher concentrations.

Limonene
Limonene is carcinogenic, but it is still used in disinfectants, fabric softeners, stain removers, and deodorants. After contact with this chemical, hands should be washed thoroughly to avoid accidental ingestion and absorption through the skin.

Linalool
Found in perfume, powdered bleach, bar soap, lotion, and shampoo, linalool is not only a harmful narcotic, but it also attracts bees. In lab tests, linalool has been shown to cause serious central nervous system disorders.

Methylene Chloride
Because of its link to irritability, fatigue, and loss of sensation in the limbs, methylene chloride was actually banned by the FDA in 1988. However, trade secret laws allow manufacturers to continue using this chemical in shampoo, cologne, and paint removers. 

A-Pinene
As a sensitizer, A-pinene is harmful to the immune system. It is found most commonly in bar and liquid soaps, dishwashing liquid, shaving cream, and deodorants.

G-Terpinene
G-terpinene has been linked with asthma and nervous system disorders, so it should deter you from purchasing certain perfumes, soaps, air fresheners, and cologne.

A-Terpineol
A-terpineol is very irritating to the mucous membranes, so it is harmful when inhaled, ingested, or with prolonged skin contact. Despite this, it is used in roll-on deodorant, aftershave, fabric softener, lotion, and hairspray.

With inspiration drawn from ancient spiritual disciplines, OHI has created an exclusive three-week curriculum to cleanse the body, quiet the mind, and awaken the spirit. You can contact us for additional information or check out our website , call (800) 993-4325.

Common Chemicals Found In Scented Products, Part 1

If you frequently use scented products to clean your home or as part of your beauty routine, you may want to rethink which product you choose for daily use. Many scented products contain harmful chemicals that could do long-term damage to your health and cause unpleasant symptoms upon exposure. When you read ingredient lists for your scented products, be sure that you only select products with full ingredient listings and avoid these harmful additives. 

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Acetone
Nearly all types of nail polish remover contain this chemical, but it may also be found in cologne and dishwasher detergent. The EPA lists acetone as a central nervous system depressant that may cause dryness of the mouth, slurred speech, drowsiness, and coma in severe exposures.

Benzaldehyde
Benzaldehyde not only has a long list of potential symptoms following exposure , but it is also found in a large number of scented products. Look for this skin, lung and GI-tract irritant in perfume, dishwasher soap, shaving cream, bar soap, lotion, and shampoo.

Benzyl Acetate
Benzyl Acetate is a carcinogen that has been linked to pancreatic cancer and it may also be dangerous to the eyes and respiratory passages. Plus, this chemical can be damaging for sewer systems and septic tanks. It is most often found in air fresheners, detergents, fabric softener, and deodorant.

Benzyl Alcohol
Benzyl Alcohol is irritating to the upper respiratory tract, and it may lead to death due to respiratory failure following prolonged exposure. Laundry care products, perfume, cologne, shampoo and nail polish all commonly contain benzyl alcohol.

Camphor
Found in many personal care products such as shaving cream, nail polish, and fabric softener, camphor is easily absorbed by the body and may lead to serious side effects in the nervous system. Irritation in the eyes, nose, and throat are also common.

Ethanol
Even low concentrations of ethanol can cause symptoms like fatigue and upper respiratory tract irritation. It is found in a wide range of products, including perfume, hairspray, laundry products, nail color, paint and varnish, and air fresheners.

At the Optimum Health Institute (OHI) you can learn how to bring your body, mind and spirit into balance. The OHI holistic healing program consists of three week-long sessions offering classes and activities drawn from 24 ancient spiritual disciplines that promote healing. To learn more about our program, visit us at www.optimumhealth.org or call (800) 993-4325

The True Benefits of Walking

Walking is the ultimate form of exercise that should be a part of your daily routine. While you probably walk several hundred to a few thousand steps each day, you may not use walking as a way to stay fit. However, walking has a number of benefits that could get you on your feet more often. If you are unfamiliar with the benefits of walking, read on to discover what you are missing. 

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Weight loss with a brisk pace
When you walk at a brisk pace—fast enough to make it difficult to talk—you can burn significant calories and promote healthy weight loss . Walking uphill will increase the intensity of your workout and add help you burn even more calories. If you want to increase your natural walking speed, try walking at intervals of a leisurely pace and quick pace. Over time this will help you increase the speed of your walk and improve your balance.

Low-impact muscle toning
Almost anyone can enjoy walking as exercise, because it is low-impact for the joints. As you begin to walk more often, you will notice increased muscle strength that will further reduce the stress on your joints and lower back.

Free exercise anywhere
Other than a sturdy pair of walking shoes, there is no upfront investment to get started with walking. The whole world may be your gym for a walking workout, and you may even discover new places that you cannot get to by car. So put on those walking shoes and start walking!

To discover new ways to improve your health and empower yourself, explore the holistic healing program offered at the Optimum Health Institute. This program offers three week-long sessions, where you will learn to cleanse the body, quiet the mind and awaken the spirit. Call OHI at (800) 993-4325 or visit www.OptimumHealth.org today for more information. 

Technology and Eye Health

Many people find themselves staring at a computer for six to 10 hours each day due to their jobs, and this frequently leads to problems with eyesight and overall eye health. In order to keep your eyes healthy while using a computer or watching television, follow these tips to naturally strengthen your eyes

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Take breaks from the computer
Even if you cannot take a long break, stepping away from the computer will significantly improve your comfort and reduce eye strain. If possible, take a short walk every 20 minutes to let your eyes rest and boost your circulation after a long period of sitting.

Sharpen your vision with eye exercises
When you are able to break your gaze from the computer, you can strengthen your eyes and sharpen your vision with simple focus exercises. To begin, hold a small object such as a pen about one foot away from your face. Focus your gaze on the object, then shift your focus to an object in the distance.  By doing this simple exercise several times during the day you’ll be on your way to having healthier eyes and clearer vision.

Support your eyes with a balanced diet
The right foods can support eye health in the long-term, so you might keep your desk stocked with fresh vegetables, dried kale chips, or raw nuts. These foods offer the nutrition that your eyes need and help to prevent age-related damage to the eyes.

Position your monitor properly
If you keep your computer monitor to close to your eyes, you might notice damage to your vision related to the brightness of the screen. To keep your eyes in a more neutral position, move your screen so that the top of the monitor is at eye level. You should also adjust the font size of your computer so that it is large enough to read without straining your eyes.

Learn more about bringing healthy balance into your life when you cleanse your body, quiet your mind and rejuvenate your spirit at the Optimum Health Institute in San Diego and Austin, Texas.  We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.