Love your teeth, naturally.

This week on my health coaching site there is much ado about natural teeth care mixtures and I wanted to weigh in with my own investigative reporting.

Historically, my teeth have been a source of pride for me, large teeth which are fairly straight, with a slight overbite, and very white without any bleaching products; in fact, my dentist years ago stated to me that I should be careful doing my activities because he would never be able to get a fake tooth as white as my real ones. This was during the time period where fake teeth had that blackish outline at the gum-line and looked ghastly. (pre-veneer days) My dentist could not possibly imagine the information given to me would leave me with lots of anxiety about knocking out my front choppers- seriously, I’ve only been on a bicycle twice since and the thought of roller skating makes me sick to my stomach, he basically scared the crap out of me and changed my life forever. Careful what you say to children, they can grow up with unnecessary angst. Now, onto dental care.

The aging process has now left my cheesy grin a bit dingy with my consumption of daily black teas and I wished for a cheap natural alternative to bleaching.

Let’s begin with the health benefits of Turmeric! They are simply amazing, with several studies also connecting turmeric and oral cancer treatment and prevention. One of them  indicates turmeric can reverse precancerous changes in the mouth. There are dozens of studies out there linking it to oral cancer cell death. The nanoparticles loaded with turmeric extract could actually kill oral cancer cells that had once proven resistant to chemotherapy treatment. I shan’t bog you down with science as too many details make me loopy but you can see more here if interested: http://naturalsociety.com/turmeric-oral-health-gingivitis-mouth-cancer-more/#sthash.vJuoA0uQ.dpuf

I was a bit reticent to use the yellowy powder on my pearly-whites but lots of my Health Coach buddies were doing it so I decided to try it. My first use was only for about twenty seconds, the yellow color kind of freaked me out so I wanted to get in and out with my brushing quickly. I swished water in my mouth and rinsed several times then brushed with baking soda, then my paste. (paste minus flouride, which is totally bad for you, read: http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1104912/)

My teeth were whiter! Swear! Only twenty seconds and it was like magic so I decided to do it again in the morning but keep it in my mouth for a longer period like two minutes; amazing results! Natural, non-toxic and will not leave your gums or teeth sore, Turmeric tastes pretty good too, sweet in flavor.

So now my week consists of daily oil pulling, twenty minutes, done in the shower to save time. (https://amierogers.wordpress.com/2014/08/05/the-joy-of-coconut-oil/ )  Brushing with baking soda and a lemon mixture a few days a week, swishing with peroxide a few days a week and I’ve even tried strawberries and baking soda, which was delightful!
That all said, if you have no dental insurance, mouth issues, or just want some natural healing for the dirtiest place in your whole body, try some of the above and send me feedback. It can’t hurt!

Ten Pounds of Happiness

When my friends get together the conversation often (always) ends up on our weight. Truly, it does. Almost every single time I am with another female we say things like this: “I’ve eaten soooo much the past few weeks, I’m fat and need to lose this ten pounds.”- while grabbing their mid-sections, or, “I have ten pounds of belly fat that I absolutely cannot get rid of, no matter what I do.”,or, “I was a size six in college.”, and on, and on we go. It’s almost comical at this point, I mean really? Ten pounds? People are starving all over the globe and we are all so arrogant and consumed with a measley ten pounds?! My belly fat is on the roster, too, so I am not in any way shape or form picking on my buddies. This behavior must stop.

Those ten pounds are the sweet spots in life, the happy moments. It’s that bottle of wine you shared with your friend who just left her hubby because he was screwing around with their neighbor. Ten pounds is the dessert you ate while celebrating the birthday of a loved one. It’s the margaritas you had your family reunion, the fabulous vacation to Italy you took that you and your love-bug saved for months to make happen – and ten pounds, well, ten pounds is totally not a big deal. Ever. At all. So we all need to get over our bad selves and live a little.

We are creating a society which has unreal expectations about beauty and weight. What we all need to strive for instead is a healthy, balanced life, not a perfect one. Mentally we are so consumed with that “ten pounds” we cannot even enjoy ourselves during the moment of consumption, that guilt is a mother-trucker, it’s not healthy or productive for us individually or collectively.

So what if you and I made a pact that the next time we’re enjoying each other if the subject of anyones’ weight comes up we immediately segue and compliment the person who did not read my blog and starts yammering on about her ten pounds. What would happen then? Could we make it ripple out to all of the women in the world? Maybe that’s too big a dream, but I say, “Dream BIG or go back to sleep!”

Purging

A few days ago Dallas was hit by a crazy storm, we were all hoping for rain but this was mostly just wind, destructive messy wind, huge trees littered the neighborhoods, it knocked out power for many folks from twenty-four hours to three and a half days; my thoughts immediately went to my food. My grocery bill is high enough every week without having to throw away several hundred dollars worth of fridge/freezer food and I was irritated, add to that fact that I am always, always, ready for a Pandemic so you can imagine the mini-meltdown that was occurring in my brain with the impending waste- sometime in my life I must have almost starved to death because the thought of not having a weeks’ worth of nibbles totally freaks me out, anyway, the thought occurred to me that this was actually a great time to make a clean sweep and get rid of anything that did not serve me, my belly, my food space, or my health- physical and emotional; funny how thoughts manifest and take completely new shapes so quickly.

I wiped the frown from my face, poured a glass of wine and started the organizing process.

The Food Bank is always in need so my first priority was bagging unopened items to deliver. Then I went through my spices, you know, spices DO have a shelf life and it’s only a year-ish so there were definitely things to toss; I made a list of items to purchase as I went along. This purging felt good to me, out with the old and in with the new. A good metaphor for my life this birthday month. Maybe this cleaning-out energy would flow into my over-stuffed closets. Good thought. Keep working on the kitchen and do not ADD-out.

My cabinets and ice boxes looked awesome, all of the labels facing the same way, jars filled with beans, snacks, chocolate, all clean and accessible. Next stop, my closets, drawers, and Facebook!

Yes, Facebook. Really? Do I honestly have 1352 “friends”, or were there a hundred or so who needed the ax; I do use FB for my business so the pickings for deletion were few, you never know who needs some Wellness help. I sat down at my computer which is normally my buddy, my time wasting friend, like the familiar drunk at your neighborhood bar who you’d rather not engage except on those lonely nights when you need an ear. Facebook popped up and my quest for ridding exes, zealots, and just some downright meanies, commenced. I felt guilty. My eyes scanned their family albums first, before the delete button was hit, kind of ridiculous that at my age the guilt of removing someone I don’t even like from a computer application was such a big deal but it was. The smiling faces of little unknown kids taunted me, my ears could almost hear the laughter of my, not-so-close, Facebook friend, ringing through them- but I was on a mission. ‘DELETE’, there, done, one down and many many more to go…

It took me a couple of hours to remove the ‘icky’ folks from my page, and essentially my life, most were people I never saw that much anyway. There, I did it. As I sat there this really peaceful feeling came over me, it was as if a little weight was lifted, like I was so happy those people had no more window into my life, and I, would never have to look at their lives again – until I ran into them at the grocer’s or car wash. Yippy, another glass of wine was on the way. So now let’s talk about purging.

Letting go of things which no longer serve us is freeing, powerful and vital for our lives and well-being. We all need to do more of it. So don’t wait for a storm to take control of your life, do it today. Rid yourself of toxins and those things which no longer serve you; your kitchen, your computer, your friendship circle, your family. Whatever that looks like for you, take a leap of faith and take care of yourSELF first.IMG_1384.JPG

The twelve foods you must buy Organic. Must.

I know, I know, there’s way too much information to sift through regarding our food these days, (that’s what I’m for) our supply has been totally effed! The people ‘in charge’ of our over all health really only have concern for the bottom line, which is money not health, so here goes; the list of ORGANIC FOOD you should buy – it’s your body, don’t scrimp, you know the saying, “You’ll pay the grocer or the doctor, but you will pay one way or the other.”
The following “Dirty Dozen Plus” had the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy in organic versions – or grow them organically yourself.

Apples
Strawberries
Grapes
Celery
Peaches
Spinach
Sweet bell peppers
Nectarines (imported)
Cucumbers
Cherry tomatoes
Potatoes
Snap peas (imported)

Plus these two below which may contain organophosphate insecticides, (The Environmental Protection Agency lists organophosphates as very highly acutely toxic to bees, wildlife, and humans. Recent studies suggest a possible link to adverse effects in the neurobehavioral development of fetuses and children, even at very low levels of exposure).NICE, just what I want to ingest for breakfast.

Hot peppers
Blueberries (domestic)

So really, it costs just a bit more, yes, but if we all band together, and maybe, just occasionally, stop buying crazy expensive purses and new stuff to replace perfectly good old stuff in our lives, we would have a little more to spend on the one thing that truly matters, our food. It’s up to us to promote a change in the current food supply. Individually we can all make a difference.
Nosh on, my friends, nosh on!

The Joy of Coconut Oil

Healthy Bohemian

Here you go again – I’ve now been oil pulling for six months daily and I still love it, in fact, more than I did after the first few weeks; my mouth feels so clean and when I miss a day it feels icky; coconut oil goes everywhere with me on my travels, it could be my latest addiction.

Here’s the best news though; I’ve been using coconut oil exclusively on my face and body, it’s AMAZING!!! My forty-four year old face looks much better than it did when I was slathering fancy expensive products on my face,  my mug looks younger and more vibrant!!! AND, drum roll, please – it works as a cleanser and deodorant, too!!! Yippy!!! A natural product that is not harmful! This cannot get any better! It totally takes off mascara and lots of color- you must wipe gently with a warm cloth or it…

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The nose is for breathing while the mouth is for eating.

Recently while teaching a beginning Yogi, I was asked why he had to breathe through his mouth, what the difference was and that it felt like “fake” breathing to him. “Fake breathing?”,  what could that possibly mean? I realized then that lots of people did not really know the importance of breathing correctly; maybe this little blurb will help.

Below are some thoughts on breath, in general.We can only be without it for approximately three minutes, unless we are Navy Seals or Olympic swimmers, which ‘might’ add another minute-ish, but for most of the population it’s three minutes and then we die, we cease to exist. Pretty powerful, eh? Breath. So what is the difference?

Nasal breathing is healthier than mouth breathing for several reasons. Your lungs take oxygen from the air, and absorption of oxygen happens mostly on exhalation. Exhaling through the nose, which is smaller than the mouth, creates greater air pressure and therefore a slower exhalation. This gives the lungs extra time to extract a greater amount of oxygen. Nose breathing immediately begins to calm the nervous system and provides you with powerful nutrients and energy; it recharges you and rejuvenates your skin.

We all know a mouth-breather, think, Napolean Dynamite, their faces are slack, longish,they sort of appear tired, and they probably are tired because it takes more energy to sustain yourself when your pulling air in through your throat. (Side note, if your child is a mouth-breather, pay attention, it can change the shape of their face forever and the fatigue and  chronic sleep deprivation mouth-breathing causes leaves one feeling sluggish and longing for more rest so they will not perform as well in school).

Mouth breathing is common in individuals whose nasal passages are blocked or restricted. For example, a deviated septum or small nostril size can lead a person to breathe primarily through the mouth instead of the nose. Breathing through the mouth is inefficient,  your blood actually isn’t getting all the oxygen it needs to function properly and leads to hyperventilation, fatigue, mind fog, depression and may cause inflammation to your entire system. This, in turn, causes or worsens symptoms of asthma, heart disease and high blood pressure. You may seek the advice of your doctor if you have real concerns but while you read this, takes some big deep belly-breaths and keep reading!

Proper breathing isn’t entirely determined to the face. How you force air in and out of your lungs can affect how well you take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. To make the most of your breathing, make sure you avoid the nasty habit of chest breathing in favor of what’s called diaphragmatic breathing.

Chest breathing is a weak form of breathing. It’s too shallow to bring in maximal oxygen and doesn’t fully expel your lungs when you exhale. Instead, your breathing should be diaphragmatic, meaning the action of inhaling and exhaling extends down into your stomach. Watch a baby for pointers. As you breathe, your stomach should expand and contract as your diaphragm forces air into and out of your lungs. Your chest, meanwhile, should remain mostly still, but you’ll take in more oxygen with every breath.

Take a few moments and sit with your breath, get connected to your essence, embrace the strength and vitality breath gives you –  it’s always there and will only make you stronger once you spend some time with it!

Lemon and Honey

My day starts out with a large cup of warm lemon water with a bit of honey, and twenty minutes of coconut oil-swishing, not at the same time, mind you, but these are the first two things I do, lemon water first, makes my dragonia breath go away and my mouth primed for the swishin’. Why lemon water first thing in the morning??? Glad you asked.

Here are several reasons: It’s great for clear skin, makes it vibrant and bright! The vitamin C helps to boost your immune system, and decreases lines and wrinkles, the lemon helps to purge toxins from you body because it acts as a natural diuretic. It also helps in the production of intestinal mucus which aids in the flushing out of toxins from the body.

Need more energy? The honey acts as an instant energy booster. Water helps clear your mind by providing fresh blood to your brain, and lemon activates negatively charged enzymes in your stomach – a great way to combat positively charged enzymes that react with the food you eat adversely, leading to it being digested poorly. Moreover the scent of lemon is known to be a natural relaxant and can help uplift your mood.

Dehydration is one of the leading causes of illness, this is an easy way to combat the eight to ten hours you spent sleeping the night before. We all awaken a bit dehydrated and then run around like chickens with our heads cut-off in the morning getting ready for the day and we forget to drink, most of us reach for coffee first, which is, one, a diuretic and two, dehydrating, try lemon water first thing and you’ll feel a big difference 

Lack of water and essential fluids in the lymphatic system can make you feel sluggish and fatigued, lead to constipation, disturbed sleep, high or low blood pressure, stress and an all-round lack in mental function. The benefit of drinking this mixture early in the morning is that it helps hydrate your entire lymphatic system that not only beats all the above symptoms but also improves your immunity.

Try it and give me some feedback!