Herbal Teas for What Ails You

This information is presented for informational purposes only  (I’m not an Herbalist or a doctor).

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The top reasons why people go gluten-free

As low-carbketo, and paleo diets continue to rise in popularity, you may be wondering if you too should swipe left on the bread basket at dinner. Gluten-free diets are becoming more popular in the US, with more grocery stores carrying gluten-free products and restaurants adapting to gluten-free requests than ever before. It’s estimated that 30% of all Americans avoid gluten, but only a small percentage of those people are diagnosed with Celiac disease or a severe gluten allergy. So why is everyone hopping on the gluten-free bandwagon?

a bunch of food sitting on a grill: Thirty percent of all Americans avoid gluten, a type of protein found in wheat. Getty Images © Provided by CNET Thirty percent of all Americans avoid gluten, a type of protein found in wheat. Getty Images

The answer? It’s kind of complicated. Gluten is a mix of two proteins found in bread and any food products that contain wheat, such as cereal, pasta and packaged foods. Those proteins can be difficult for people to digest, and are thought to aggravate or even cause some health issues.

Some people need to avoid gluten to save their lives, while others simply feel better and believe they are healthier without it. Whether or not you should eat gluten is definitely not black or white, which is why I’m diving into the top common reasons people avoid it below. If you’re considering cutting out gluten, here’s what you need to know about why people avoid it, and what effects nutrition science and health pros say it can have on your health.

Rise in popularity of Keto, Paleo and low-carb diets

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past five years, then you’ve probably noticed that the low-carb diet trend is booming. And while science and health pros still debate about whether it’s really healthy for you to cut out carbs, people are turning to low-carb style of eating with the aim to lose weight, feel more energized or to manage certain diseases or conditions (among other reasons).

Some of the most popular diets, including the Keto diet and the Paleo diet, require you to cut out bread and gluten. For the Keto diet, you cut bread and wheat products, mainly because they are high in carbs; the goal of the Keto diet is to restrict enough carbs and consume more fat so you’re body goes into a ketogenic state (where you body runs on fat for energy). The Paleo diet restricts bread and all grains (including gluten-containing grains), since the aim of the diet is to reduce your consumption of processed foods and stick to foods in their whole form (i.e. mainly veggies, fruit, meat, eggs, nuts).

Health concerns about gluten

There’s a lot of confusion around whether everyone should avoid gluten or if it’s just for those with diagnosed conditions (more on that later) to worry about. The main argument surrounding problems with gluten is that it contains proteins that are resistant to digestion in humans. And while you may think this is not that big of a deal (besides causing come bloating or discomfort), many experts disagree.

According to some, when this happens, it can cause “leaky gut” or intestinal permeability, where molecules are able to cross out of your small intestine and into your body (which is not supposed to happen when you digest food), triggering an autoimmune response. Science shows that this happens to people with celiac disease, although the evidence that it can happen to nonceliac people is only confirmed in test-tube studies.

And the proteins in gluten aren’t the only issue — gluten found in wheat also contains Amylase‐trypsin inhibitors, which are shown to cause inflammation in the digestive system. Wheat germ agglutinin is a type of lectin found in wheat that is also linked to autoimmune issues and inflammation.

Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where consuming gluten causes damage to the small intestine, resulting in painful and uncomfortable digestive distress. The small intestine is responsible for helping the body absorb nutrients. When it’s damaged, that means you’re not getting what you need from the food you eat, which can cause a lot of health problems. When celiac disease is undiagnosed or left untreated, it can lead to serious health issues like diabetes, multiple sclerosis or GI cancer.

Even if you don’t have a severe wheat or gluten allergy or celiac disease, it’s possible to develop a sensitivity to gluten that causes symptoms like headache, fatigue, “brain fog,” bloating or gas. This is commonly reported and it’s estimated that 18 million people in the US report having a gluten sensitivity.

If you suspect you have a gluten sensitivity, one way to know is to try removing it from your diet for a period of time. Then when you reintroduce it and notice symptoms, then you may be able to pinpoint if it’s the culprit behind a headache or stomach ache you experience.


Whether or not you avoid gluten is a personal preference. Some people simply avoid it because they follow health experts who recommend cutting it out (which is totally fine). If you don’t think you have any issues with it and aren’t concerned, you don’t have to follow a trend simply because other people do. And if the evidence above concerns you, then taking out gluten is a simple way to avoid the health risks some claim are associated with it.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.  



Does Light Therapy Work?

Different methods claim to cure everything from insomnia to wrinkles. But can you really get results?

Hanging light bulbs with glowing one different idea.

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Everyone is turning toward the light these days: Red-light body sessions have become spa-menu fixtures, and LED gadgets promise to fix everything from insomnia to wrinkles. “We’re only scratching the surface of what light can do,” says Shadab Rahman, Ph.D., an instructor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Here’s what you can expect from a few trending treatments.

Bright-Light Box to Boost Mood

WHAT IT IS: A lamp that emits rays that mimic sunlight; sitting close to it for 20 to 30 minutes in the morning is said to boost mood, increase focus, and fight irritability in people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

WHAT WE KNOW: About one in five people experiences a mood dip in winter, and light boxes are the go-to antidote. “The light targets the cause: a disturbance in circadian rhythm tied to the change in sunlight and darkness,” explains Michael Terman, Ph.D., of the Center for Environmental Therapeutics. One study showed light therapy to be as effective as antidepressants in treating SAD, with fewer side effects.

SHOULD YOU TRY IT? Yes, but if your blues are mild, try sunlight (free!) first. “Taking breaks outside or at the window can make you feel more alert and focused and improve your mood,” says Rahman.

BRANDS: Carex Day-Light Classic Plus Bright Light Therapy Lamp, $115; AIRSEE Light Therapy Lamp 10,000 Lux, $34

Blue Light to Help You Sleep

WHAT IT IS: Special LED lightbulbs that are said to help battle insomnia by regulating your circadian rhythm; blue-emitting bulbs perk you up during the day, while blue-depleted bulbs help you sleep at night.

WHAT WE KNOW: Many studies have shown that nighttime exposure to blue light (from phones, computers, and regular lightbulbs) suppresses melatonin, the hormone needed to trigger sleep. Other studies have found that exposure to blue light during the day improves alertness.

SHOULD YOU TRY IT? Sure. “We need our day-night contrast to be dramatic;
one way is to use blue-enriched light on your desk during the day and blue-depleted lights wherever you relax for two hours before bed,” says Rahman.

BRANDS: Lighting Science GoodNight Sleep Enhancing Bulb, $13; Harth Nite Switch Bulb, $20

Red Light for Smoother Skin

WHAT IT IS: Beds, masks, and handheld wands that emit red light claim to plump skin and reduce fine lines.

WHAT WE KNOW: A 2013 study showed that light treatments could help reduce wrinkles. “Red light has anti-inflammatory effects and increases collagen production, tightening skin and improving texture and tone,” says Angela Lamb, M.D., a dermatologist at New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital.

SHOULD YOU TRY IT? Only if you can spend a lot and keep your expectations in check. “These treatments do offer modest improvement, especially when combined with anti-aging creams that include retinol, hydroxy acids, or antioxidants like vitamin C,” says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., Mount Sinai’s director of research in dermatology.

BRANDS: LightStim for Wrinkles, $250; Dr. Dennis Gross, DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro, $435

This article originally appeared in the November 2019 issue of Prevention.


Training to Walk a Marathon

By Wendy Bumgardner

Sportsman jogging in the autumn park

martin-dm/Getty Images


You don’t have to be a runner to complete a marathon. Many walkers set a goal of walking the 26.2-mile competition, which can generally be achieved in six to eight hours (or more) at a walking pace. While walking a marathon may not be as laborious as running one, dedicating yourself to proper training is essential to achieving this goal.

People have many reasons for walking instead of running a marathon. For example, former runners who experience joint pain often switch to walking because it puts less stress on joints. Others just prefer walking to running and seek out marathons for the challenge.

Whatever your reason, make sure you’re ready before race day.

Are You Ready to Train to Walk a Marathon?

The marathon is a seriously tough distance. Most healthy people can do it if they dedicate themselves to a strategic training schedule and give themselves at least nine months to prepare.

Before you register for your first marathon, check to make sure this is a realistic goal for you at this time. Prior to starting your training, you should already be able to comfortably walk at a fast pace for at least one hour. You may also consider consulting with your doctor.

Also, make sure you have the time to devote to training. You can expect to have to complete three one-hour walks and a longer walk (lasting two to six hours) every week.

During training, you will build your stamina by distance walking four days a week, starting with 20 miles in a week and increasing each week to up to 38 miles a few weeks before the race. This is broken down with three 4-mile walks and one distance-building walk each week.

If you’re ready to make a commitment, start by finding a walker-friendly marathon to set as your goal.​​

Medical Clearance

Consult with your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough to train for a marathon. Some marathons, like those in France and Italy, require a medical certificate from your doctor to participate.

Get Ready: What You Need to Start Training

Once you’ve set your goal and carved out time in your schedule to train, there are a few things you will need to do.

    • Buy proper running shoes: Your footwear is an essential part of making it through training and to the finish line. You may need more cushioning to lessen fatigue and the impact of long-distance training, so you need to ensure you have the right kind of shoes. Your first stop should be to a dedicated running-shoe store to be fitted for shoes to use in training and on race day.
    • Get the right gear: What you wear for long-distance walking isn’t the same as what you’d wear for a leisurely stroll. You’ll need clothes that help to prevent chaffing and to wear layers that are appropriate for the season. With many months of training ahead of you, you will likely need gear for winter, summer, and rainy weather. You may also want to invest in a running belt to hold your keys, a fitness tracker or smartwatch, an arm-strap phone holder, earbuds that twist into place, and other running gear.
    • Learn about nutrition and hydration: When you are walking for hours at a time, you need to use energy snacks, water, and electrolyte-replacement drinks to keep going. You should learn what to eat to fuel your marathon training and how to hydrate on your long walks.
  • Build your base mileage: Before starting an official marathon mileage-building schedule, you should be able to walk comfortably at a brisk pace for one hour. From that point, you then build your mileage at 10 percent per week and do a brisk walking workout at least four days per week. You’ll have one longer walk each week until you are able to walk comfortably for 8 miles.
  • Prevent injuries: Blisters and chafing are the biggest banes of long-distance walkers. Whether they occur on your feet, armpits, crotch, or chest, there are different strategies for preventing these painful skin issues throughout training and on race day including wearing proper-fitting shoes and wicking clothing and using lubricants. Other injuries include cramps, strains, sprains, and stomach issues.

Get Set: Training for Your Marathon

Once you have the right gear and have built up your base mileage, you are ready to start officially training for the marathon. Here’s a timeline of what you’ll need to do to be ready for race day.

Five Months Out

Now is the time to starting building mileage to prepare for the 26.2-mile race. Find and commit to a training schedule that will help you increase your long distance mileage, as well as build your speed and aerobic capacity.

One Month Out

The final month of training includes your longest walk You will make any adjustments in what you’ll be wearing and fine-tune how to eat and drink throughout a long walk. You’ll know what works best for you to prevent blisters.

Two Weeks Out

After your longest training walk, you will begin tapering before your marathon by scaling back on mileage during your walks for two weeks before the race. This will give your body time to restore itself after your longest training day and be at its peak on race day.

For example, after reaching a peak total of 38 miles in week 16, you will taper down to 30 miles the next week, and 22 miles in the final week of training. Research shows this period of tapering replenishes the body’s stores of muscle glycogen, enzymes, antioxidants, and hormones, and improves race-day performance by about 3 percent.

The Week Before

It’s almost go time! You’ll need to eat right, stay hydrated, get proper sleep, and ensure you have all of your gear ready for the day of the race.

If you are traveling to a marathon in a different city, you’ll need to pay extra attention to making sure you have what you need to be prepared for the race and for any weather. You will also pick up your bib and timing chip in the days leading up to the race.

The Day Before

You have likely heard that you should load up on carbohydrates immediately before the marathon. The newest thinking is that you shouldn’t overdo it. You don’t want to eat anything new or different right before the race.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to study the route map and know where the aid stations, water stations, and restrooms are along the course.

And Go! Marathon Race Day

You’ve trained for months and the race day is finally here. Keep in mind, the race is going to be different from a training walk. Here are some essentials for strategy and recovery.

  • Before the race: Be sure to wake up a few hours before the race so you have time to prepare. Two hours before the marathon, drink 16 ounces of water to ensure your body is hydrated.
  • Check the weather: You might have avoided rain on your long training walks, but you aren’t going to have a choice on race day. You’ll need tactics to keep comfortable for the hours on the course.

The Finish Line: After Your Marathon

Congratulations! You completed your first marathon. First, be sure to celebrate. Wear your medal and race shirt with pride. You have joined the community of marathoners. Runners will give you proper respect as few of them have ever gone the distance. Here’s what to expect after the race is over.

  • Soreness: Between blisters, black toenails, and overall muscle aches from walking 26.2 miles, the aftermath of the race may not be pretty.
  • Exhaustion and mixed emotions: After achieving the goal you’ve focused on for months, many racers experience post-race blues coupled with extreme tiredness. After a few days, this usually passes and many marathoners then start planning their next race.

Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin

Benefits and uses of Turmeric

Curry Powder

This vibrant and earthy spice already has a reputation as a staple in many cuisines and I love cooking with it! One of my favorite ways to incorporate small amounts of this power spice is by making a homemade curry powder. This uses a host of powerful spices and provides awesome flavor to many dishes.


Make your own curry powder with this easy recipe.






 Sunrise Smoothie

Not all smoothies have to taste like a pina colada. One of my favorite smoothies has a hint of sweet nestled among earthy spices.

To Make: Blend 1 cup of pecan/almond/coconut milk with 1/2 cup frozen pineapple, the juice of one lemon and one orange, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, a tiny pinch of black pepper, and about a teaspoon of grated fresh ginger root. Add a natural sweetener like stevia if desired.

Acne Gel

Just like in the face mask above, the anti-inflammatory properties of this unique spice makes it beneficial to help cool and stop acne. I make a paste of honey and turmeric (2 parts honey to 1 part turmeric) and dab on to spot treat.

More uses at:


Things That Keep Your Teeth Strong




Teeth may be the hardest part of your body, but that does not mean they are not affected by wear and tear. So, to the question, how can you keep your teeth strong and healthy? A quick answer may be to always maintain good oral hygiene as well as regular visits to the dentist, but in actual sense, it goes beyond that. Here are practical ways you can effectively take care of your teeth.

  • Brush twice daily: food particles that stick on the teeth, especially around the gum and edges can lead to cavities and tooth decay. Therefore, it is necessary to brush your teeth twice daily; at least in the morning and before going to bed. Also ensure to use soft bristle brush with small head for easy access to every corner of your teeth.
  • Fluoride toothpastes are good for you: fluoridated toothpastes have a positive combo effect of hardening your enamel as well as minimizing your risk of suffering tooth decay.
  • Brush correctly and thoroughly: teeth brushing should last up to two or three minutes. Likewise, studies have shown that brushing in a circular motion is more effective than brushing vertically or horizontally.
  • Always floss your teeth: give your teeth a well-deserved treat by flossing daily. When it comes to flossing, slow and steady sawing motion is the way to go.
  • Don’t allow your teeth to be in harm’s way: remember that once a tooth is lost as a grown up, it can never be replaced naturally again. Therefore, always wear protective gears like helmet or mouth guard during combat sports or any event that can physically harm it.
  • Consume less of acidic liquid foods: carbonated drinks, fruit juices and cordials as well as others in the category are acidic in nature, and can erode the minerals in your enamel. Such activity could weaken your tooth structure which may lead to holes or cavities. In worst case scenario, it can even ‘chop’ it right to the gum!
  • Limit intake of sugary foods: bacteria within the dental plaque can degrade sugars into potentially harmful acids.
  • Your dentition is basically meant for chewing food: exploiting your teeth for utility purposes beyond chewing your food is risky and should be totally avoided. You should not use your teeth for activities such as cracking, pulling etc; doing so can chip or break it.

2. Foods to Add in Your Diet today

  • Foods with fluoride: your body requires fluoride to maintain strong bones and also to help guard against tooth decay. Men and women require 4 and 3 milligrams of fluoride respectively every day. Fluorides can be found in tea, grapes, coffee and shellfish among others.
  • Chesses: cheese is a type of dairy product that is gotten from milk. Through coagulation, it can be made into diverse forms, flavors and textures. Generally, dairy foods including cheese are rich in calcium which helps in fortifying the teeth and bones.
  • Fish: fish contains vitamin D, omega-3s and fish oil. Fatty fish such as salmon and tofu are particularly enriched with phosphorus that protects the tooth enamel.
  • Fruits and Green Vegetables: such as leafy greens, apples, and carrots are all high on the pecking order when it comes to the health of your teeth. They offer diverse benefits, for instance, when you eat apple or carrots, they helps in the generation of saliva that rinses away food particles as well as bacteria. Celery is rich in vitamins A and C.
  • Meat: aside being rich in some of the vital minerals needed to ensure healthy teeth, the process of chewing meat helps in generating saliva. Now, saliva is a sort of lubricant that not only reduces acidity but also helps in washing away food particles that can cause tooth decay.
  • Nuts: they are rich in phosphorus and calcium; two minerals that is necessary for healthy teeth. Of particular importance are almonds, cashews and Brazil nuts; they contain protein and calcium, and are beneficial against harmful bacteria that can cause tooth decay. Others such as peanuts contain lots of vitamin D and calcium. Walnuts provide fiber, iron, folic acid and thiamine etc.
  • Yogurt: just like cheese, yogurt is rich in protein and calcium, two minerals that are highly beneficial in maintaining the health and strength of your teeth. The presence of probiotics; a type of bacteria that are found in yogurt; helps in protecting the gum against cavities by crowding out the destructive bacteria. However, it is better to go for the variety of yogurt without added sugar.

Maintaining a proper diet can help keep your teeth healthy. Having healthy teeth can boost your confidence and improve the quality of life. Not to mention you’ll have a nicer smile.

By Melissa Bell and:


The 3 Steps to a 5 Year Plan


Have you asked yourself lately, “What do I want from Life”, or where do I want to be in 3, 5, 10 years from now ?  Here is a simple 3 step guide to help plan out your next 5 years.  You have to do some heavy thinking to do here, but it will be worth it when you see your life goals unfolding in written form in front of you.

Organize and Design your Life Goals + 5-Year Plan | Goal Setting

Studies show that people who write down their plans are 33% more likely to meet them. But it can be difficult when someone asks you the question, “Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?” If you’re anything like me, this question throws you way off, so I embarked on the journey to write a 5 year plan as so many professionals suggest. My first task was to figure out what all goes into a five year plan. Your plan doesn’t have to be solely career goals. After looking at examples, I’ve concluded that pretty much everything can be placed in five groups: Career, Bucket List, Financial, Family, and Personal. My second task was to realize that you can’t really plan a five year plan, without knowing your life plan. It’d be like writing 5 chapters of a story without deciding the story’s plot.

So the first step to writing a 5 year plan: Write your life plan

Jot down all those life goals you want to achieve. Want to own your own company? Learn a language? Have a family? Write down everything and don’t be afraid to dream big. This is a whole lifetime we’re talking about after all! You can get a lot done!

Ironically, the second step to writing a 5 year plan: Write your 5 year plan

Look at everything you wrote down for your life goals. Now, what is the in-between from where you are now, and where you want to be? If your life goal feels like a far stretch from where you are now, try to think of your first couple baby steps. If you want to own your own retail store, maybe get a retail job and aim for manager! Want to be a author? Write the first draft for your first book! Everyone starts somewhere.

The third step to writing a 5 year plan: Write a Daily Plan

What can you do on a daily basis that will push you towards that 5 year goal, which will then push you towards that life goal? Grand plans don’t happen overnight, they happen in the day by day. Want to become Bilingual? That means daily practice. Want to pay off debt? Keep a budget.

Seems a lot more manageable broken down, doesn’t it? If you’d like a blank template of the above example, click the thumbnail below: 5 year plan blank


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