Couch Potato or Fitness Program – the difference can add years to your life!

Couch PotatoOur modern society, especially in the United States and the U.K., often encourages people to become lazy and less likely to take care of their bodies. Improper diets of high levels of carbohydrates, sugars, and fats (particularly saturated fats) not only results and increased weigh gain, but can even shorten our very lives by as much as 10 or more years. The term “couch potato”, referring to people who spend their leisure time sitting in front of the T.V. and consuming quantities of snack foods, is an all too common phenomenon in today’s modern society. As a result, many children and adults have not only become grossly overweight, but are even obese; not only making their lives miserable but shortening them as well.

A number of things can be done to help alleviate this problem, without resorting to fad dieting, and spending large sums of money on weight loss dietary supplement products; which in the end may not only be ineffective, but health damaging as well. People can not only lose weight but tone up their bodies by making adjustments in their daily diets by consuming more green vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grains, as well as becoming involved in a daily program of moderate exercise. Moderate exercise can be in various forms, including swimming (if available) fast walking in their neighborhood for at least half an hour per day (or in a shopping mall, if more convenient), and exercises at home.

While not everybody has a gym or health club available to them, especially due to logistical factors as well as sheer costs of belonging to one, everyone has the ability to walk or jog as well as do exercises at home, including push and sit ups, knee bends, and other floor exercises that can be done with a simple pad or small mattress laid out in one’s living room.

Another thing that can be done is simply to east less. Scientific studies have found that people who consume approximately 20% fewer calories per day, based on a normal diet, can add 5 or more years to their life. Many people eat more food than they should at a meal simply because the food is there, and not because they are actually hungry! It is amazing that by simply stopping to eat after a certain quantity is consumed will result in a person not feeling hungry after a few moments. By skipping that extra helping of potatoes, bread, and especially a heavy desert (eat something light instead like sherbet instead of ice cream, etc.) one can actually gain less weight, as well as feel better.

So instead to spending your weekends consuming pizza and other junk food while watching a ball game on your 40 ” LCD screen, go out and exercise a bit. You’ll feel better – and live longer!

The Bagua & Feng Shui

The Bagua & Feng ShuiHow does one live in harmony with all the forces within nature? More suitably, what discipline is the right choice for “arranging” all of life’s locations to where the most will be gained; especially in the areas of health, peace and prosperity?

The answer to these questions can be found in applying an ancient Chinese discipline known to its followers as Feng Shui, or Fire and Water. This discipline, said to be more than 4,000 years old, teaches its followers to arrange the ‘space’ within their lives in order to realize the most advantageous with the surroundings in which a person lives and works. Feng Shui is so much practiced in the Far East that businessmen will not make changes or open an enterprise in a new location without first consulting an expert in the practice of Fen Shui. For example, when designing a restaurant, office suite, store, or other business enterprise, the Feng Shui adviser will be brought to the location to advise what décor, furnishings, even plants and other greenery are needed to create the greatest harmony and benefit for the amount of space utilized. Without this assistance, these entrepreneurs feel they will not be successful in their venture.

Incorporating this discipline is an eight sided diagram known as the Bagua, derived from the book of Ching, or changes, which is actually a map to survey the parts of the floor plan which best correspond to the ideal sections of life; including wisdom and knowledge, family, health, career, and beneficiaries of all of these positive forces. The Bagua is like a ‘floorplan’, much like a blueprint or schematic diagram is used by a master builder to construct an edifice.

On each of the eight sides of the Bagua, a different design or Ching is drawn and laid out to correspond with the level of importance that is desired. If it is then indicated that something is missing from a particular area, then more changes will be introduced to make the weaker area stronger. Perhaps it is in the area of health or wisdom that needs to be strengthened, for example. The Feng Shui practitioner will then help to arrange the proper solutions, such colors, furniture fabrics, plants, etc. to help bring a more complete harmony to the whole.

Feng Shui societies are increasing in popularity everywhere, and this includes Western countries, especially North America. As this ancient discipline increases in popularity, it may help to bring more peace and harmony to an otherwise less complete life environment.

Natural Body Care Products

Organic SoapsFor those who have experienced the pleasure and rejuvenation from being treated at a natural body care spa, it is now possible to have almost the same relaxing treatment in the privacy of one’s own home. By purchasing an ever increasing array of natural skin body, are hair care products, and together with creating an intimate atmosphere in either the bath or bedroom, you can give yourself the personal treatment that can cost hundreds of dollars at a weekend body care retreat.

For years now, many people have been abandoning commercial skin and body care products in favor or natural, organic based ones. These products, available either at health products stores, pharmacies, or via the internet, contain natural soaps, oils, herbs, and products derived from royal jelly – that mysterious substance derived from bees. For those who like to shop via the internet, a wide choice of natural body products manufacturers and suppliers are available by just clicking onto to a natural products website. If you are looking for special bath oils, soaps and shampoos, for example, you can find them on the web, with all the most natural and exotic ingredients imaginable. Shampoos containing soy extracts, rosemary and birch leaf oil, lavender, and natural vitamins and minerals will not only give your hair a much more natural feeling, but will help prevent hair loss and damage to the scalp.

Natural oils, including olive and palm oil, coca bean butter and oil, and jojoba bean oils, help restore your skin cells and even helps to prevent aging. Even products that Grandmothers used to swear by, such as eggs, natural herbs (rosemary, chamomile, thyme and nettle), as well as citrus seed extracts and citric acid all have their own skin and hair rejuvenating effects.

Whether or not you have a Jacuzzi or ‘hot tub’ in you home, you can still feel like you’ve received a royal spa care treatment, by just using these natural body care products in the intimacy of your own home.

Oh, by the way, don’t forget the aromatic candles and appropriate mood music.

Organic Consumers Association – Promoting Organic Lifestyles

Organic Consumers AssociationThe Organic Consumers Association (OCA) was formed as a ‘grass roots’ association of concerned people who believe in promoting, and protecting, the interests and welfare of organic products consumers all over the world. Headquartered in Finland, Minnesota , OCA affiliate branches are found in Canada, Japan, India, to name a few.

With an estimated 50 million people in the U.S. alone who purchase organic products, the association claims a membership of more than 850,000 nationwide, including thousands of business offering organic foods and products, including cosmetics.

Formed in 1998, as a result of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s attempt to “nationalize” organic products standards, OCA member business and interest groups maintain a constant effort to prevent the “Wall -Martization” of America’s economy, including the marketing of organic products.

OCA members deal with a number of important topics connected with organic products including genetic engineering, corporate accountability (in regards to organic issues), and the environment’s ability to sustain itself, despite the damage done to it by Mankind.

The OCA Organic Agenda Program for the years 2000 – 2015 include the following:

1. Conversion of American agriculture to be at least 30% organic by the year 2015
2. Fair trade and economic justice for smaller organic enterprises
3. A Global moratorium on genetically engineered crops and livestock
4. Phasing out of industrial or “factory farming” agriculture
5. A universal health care program with emphasis on nutrition and prevention
6. Less dependence on energy based on fossil fuels, with more emphasis on
environmentally friendly sources of energy, such as solar and hydro-electric

The OCA is non-profit, with the interests of its members clearly in mind. Its main interest it to help enable a healthy, fair, and supportable network of production for organic food products. The association puts out a weekly e-publication, Organic Bytes, and a semi-annual ‘hard copy’ newsletter, Organic View. Association members can find out all happenings concerning the association’s activities by reading these very informative publications. Sponsors include a wide variety of organic foods and products manufacturers, including Eden Organic Foods (a Coop or more than 300 family owned farms) and Earth Creations, a “made in USA” organic clothing company.

Organic Soaps Shampoos and Shower Gels

Organic SoapsOrganic products not only include food and food supplements, but an exciting range of soaps, shampoos, and cleaning products as well. A wide variety of bio-friendly products are available, containing such natural ingredients as natural olive and coconut oils, jojoba oils, cocoa butter, and extracts from large variety of herbs, including basil, rosemary, thyme, etc. Once the near exclusive products of natural products specialty stores, organic soaps and cleaning products can now be found in most supermarkets and pharmacies.

Ingredients in many popular soaps and shampoos have been found to be harmful to peoples’ health, and some ingredients are even carcinogenic, or cancer causing. By substituting harmful ingredients with organic ones, people not only improve their own health and well-being, but that of the environment as well.

To give you a better idea of the benefit of ‘natural’ ingredients, some of these are noted here, together with each one’s own beneficial qualities.

Basil: known not only for a flavorful herb in many food dishes, but for its detoxifying and energizing qualities.
Cardamom: antiseptic, cleansing and invigorating
Geranium: body toning, rejuvenating and uplifting qualities
Lavender: soothing, healing and tension relieving
Lemon Grass: detoxifying, deodorizing, anti-stress relief
Pine: antiseptic and physically elevating
Rosemary: stimulating, revitalizing, illuminating

In addition to herbs, a wide variety of natural essences, many made from plants and flowers, add to the benefits received from using these products.

Virtually no modern shopping mall is without at least one bath and body soap shop selling natural soaps, bath oils, and shampoos. Soaps offered in these shops, along with their wonderful scents and colors make these stores a true “garden of earthly delights”.

Along with personal body products, the harsh, abrasive, and even dangerous compounds found in most commercial preparations are resulting in many people turning to organic home cleaning products. Though more expensive than the commercial ones, the manufacturers of these products claim that they do not contain the caustic ingredients that can today be found in even the most well known dishwashing and laundry detergents. There is still some speculation as to whether organic cleaning products are really 100% bio-friendly. But even so, a growing number of people prefer to trust these products more and more.

Organic ‘soapless soap’ products come in a wide array of colors and fragrances. Ranging from aloe vera to sea weed, these products are found in virtually every modern home. To be assured that the ingredients are indeed from organic sources, one should examine the label carefully to make sure the product does not contain various ‘additives’ usually call “red………..” or “yellow………..” to disguise various chemicals which are definitely not from organic sources.

To be sure these products meet acceptable standards, they should have the logo for Organic Standard Soil Association, or one displaying the Good Shopping Guide for Ethical Companies.

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Herbicides and Pesticides in Intensive Farming

Herbicides and Pesticides in Intensive FarmingEnvironmental dangers from over use of herbicides and pesticides in commercial, intensive farming has been known for years. One of the first warnings of damages from the use of pesticides in modern agriculture came from American novelist Rachel Carson in 1962 with her book The Silent Spring. Ms. Carson’s thought provoking book portrayed a bleak future in regards to birds and other wildlife that were being killed or mutated due to the over use of both pesticides and herbicides by farmers. Though written more than 40 years ago, she predicted that the ongoing effects of these chemical agents would be so far reaching that people might one day experience ‘silent springs’ devoid of song and migratory birds that herald the changing of the seasons.

Though Ms. Carson’s warnings have not completely come to pass, the use of carious chemical agents, not only by agriculture but also by many people on their own lawns and garden plants, eventually find their way into the water that we drink, resulting in health hazards ranging from birth defects to cancer. Many studies have been made relating to environmental damage caused by these chemicals, some of the more common ones being sulfonylurea (SU) and atrizine types of herbicides which are used by farmers as ‘weed killers’ for crops such as corn and soybeans – both important food crops. These herbicides eventually find their way into ground water aquifers, and have been shown to cause a number of health problems in humans ranging from learning disorders to over aggressive behavior patterns. A well known pesticide, DBCP, was once wide used in American states such as California and Iowa. This pesticide, though now banned in most places still causes a number of diseases and health disorders, including male infertility (the main effect it was supposed to have on insects, rodents, and other pests).

In Iowa, for example, a study made in 1966, only four years after the publication of Ms. Carson’s book, it was found that more than half of that state’s ground water was already contaminated by weed killers. The situation in many other states in America is as bad or worse as intensive commercial farming methods still use many of these chemical agents in order to increase crop yields.

Organic farming methods, though still on a much smaller scale than that of commercial agriculture, is showing a better way to grow crops without causing harm to the environment. By changing to an organic lifestyle, including the care and maintenance of one’s own lawn and garden, people can help contribute to preserving our environment and improving our health as well. It’s a small start, but by eliminating insect sprays and weed killers on our own properties we can contribute to improving our planet’s eco-system.

Breast is Best

Breast is BestToday’s modern mother, who divides her time between pursuing her career goals as well as taking care of her family, often regards breast feeding as something out of the archaic past. Many women in today’s society, do not even have their own mothers to turn to on this subject, as even their mother, if not grandmother, has not breastfed any of her children. Clinical studies on the subject of breast feeding are making new ‘discoveries’ on the subject yearly, and are concluding that not only is nursing more healthful and crucial to a child’s physical development, but very important psychologically as well.

Working mothers especially are faced with the ‘dilemma’ of breastfeeding baby once they return to work after maternity leave, which can be anywhere from 3 to 6 months after giving birth. Most workplaces are simply not suited for Mom to bring baby along and feed him or her during the work day. This problem has been more difficult in America than in Israel, where mothers are allowed to leave work early to go home to take care of such matters. Some companies, especially high tech ones who appreciate the contribution that the working mother is giving to the company, provide special sections within the premises for not only breastfeeding, but caring of small children who are cared for by hired nannies while Mom is at her work station.

Relating back to studies made on the benefits of breastfeeding over using formulas such as Similac and other preparations based on cow’s milk and an array of vitamins and minerals, it has been found that the natural vitamins and other substances in mothers’ milk far surpass any commercially made baby formula produced to date. The horrific results of the 2003 ‘baby formula tragedy’ which occurred in Israel, that left 3 infants dead and more than a dozen others incapacitated for life, clearly indicates the results of relying on these preparations instead of what comes naturally. In this instance, the product known as Remedia, lacked the B1 vitamin, or thiamin, which is essential to a baby’s nervous system development. The product, especially manufactured for use for orthodox Jewish mothers, due to complying with strict laws of Kashrus, did not contain milk solids at all; not to mention the omission of the B1 vitamin additive. Mother’s milk has been found to contain the perfect ‘balance’ of fats, nutrients and essential vitamins necessary for a child’s development. While it is true that some babies are either allergic to or cannot digest preparations containing lactose, this problem is much less prevalent with mother’s milk.

Israeli women who either do not have enough of their own milk or for some reason cannot produce their own (known as ‘dry up’) can obtain frozen mothers milk by consulting either their own pediatrician, or by consulting organizations such as the local equivalent of the La Leche League, as well as the “Tipat Halav” (mother and child clinic) in their own Kupat Holim Sick Fund.

Despite everything, including all the stories of all those insecticides, food additives, and even tar and nicotine from cigarettes finding their way into human milk, the benefits of breastfeeding far outweigh the inconveniences and other problems connected to this truly natural way of giving one’s precious baby a good “head start” in life. Regarding cigarettes, its much better not to smoke at all; whether one is breast feeding or not!

‘Royal’ Nutrition and Health Care

Many people are aware of the natural health benefits of Royal Jelly; that mysterious substance that bees feed to young aspiring Queen embryos. Not everyone is aware of an improved formula, based on this magical elixir, with added beneficial ingredients, and used to treat a variety of disorders, as well as boosting people’s immune system, and even treating hair growth in adults.

Manufactured under the Irena product name, these products have helped thousands of people, particularly children, to treat a variety of childhood illness, as well as booster the brain’s learning capacity, and promote mental alertness. Irene Stein, who has been living in Israel for more than 35 years, became interested in the health and nutritional qualities of Royal Jelly, and has subsequently turned this interest into a very successful health and nutritional products concern, Irena Ltd. The products her company manufactures have become so successful, that people worldwide are swearing to the health benefits they receive from her ‘little bottles’ of Royal Jelly mixture, as well as other related products.

The benefits of Royal Jelly have been known since ancient times. But Irene as gone many steps further by combining this natural cure-all with other special herbs and healthful ingredients such as glutamic acid – nature’s ‘brain food’; a whole array of vitamins, and aluminum, reputed to be helpful for treating children with learning disorders, such as dyslexia. The benefits of Irene’s products are not confined only to children, but adults as well; even geriatrics suffering from arthritis and other advanced age problems, including senility. People who have used these products into middle age and beyond are not only healthier, but look younger as well.

It’s almost as if Irene has ‘discovered’ the Fountain of Youth through her development of these health care products. By taking them as small children, people will improve their entire immune system, as well as increase their natural mental learning capacities. The dietary supplement enclosed in these ‘little bottles’ is a natural, honey flavored liquid free of any ‘additives’ or preservatives. For less than $ 2.00 per day, you can discover the amazing effects that Irena’s ‘beauty from within’ products will have on your overall health and well being.