Did you see Ellen this morning? We sure did!
Spotted: Aquasana made a flash appearance on Ellen this morning with Pam Anderson, actress and spokesperson for Waves for Water. Waves for Water is a non-profit organization dedicated to getting clean water to every single person who needs it. We believe so strongly in their mission and vision to provide families the world over with healthy and clean drinking water that we donated $10,000 to the organization. Pam accepted our donation to help get clean water to people in need on behalf of Waves for Water.
Find more about Waves for Water on their website.
Detoxing your life means more than just losing that holiday weight or nixing the caffeine. It’s a good idea to examine all aspects of your life to uncover places you can cut down on the number of harmful chemicals and contaminants that affect you every day. Here are some places to get the ball rolling.
Filter your water: You know how we feel about this one! I won’t go into all the detail so well covered on the rest of our site, but suffice it to say that filtering both your drinking and bathing water can do wonders for your health and well-being (and peace of mind).
-Did you know that in 2010, one of the top five recommendations of the President’s Cancer Panel for the prevention of environmentally caused cancer is to filter the water you drink? Every water source is different, even in taps from home to home. Variability is driven by local pollutants, water treatment techniques, the age and material composition of the pipes that deliver your water, and the faucet that you use. Even if you have the purest water being delivered to you by your municipal water source, your pipes may leach unwanted contaminants into the water in transport. Unfiltered tap water can contain harmful contaminants like chlorine, lead, pesticides, herbicides and cysts, and what’s in your water varies by your geographic location and municipal water supply.
-Sodium tri-poly-what? Anything containing an ingredient you cannot pronounce has got to go. I’m not necessarily advocating a return to the hunter/gatherer diet regimen, but it’s a safe bet that all those complex chemical formulas for extending the shelf life of food is not doing a heck of a lot of good for your body.
-Sell by 1997: Whoops! Check your sell-by dates and toss/recycle the stuff that has expired. If it’s just a bit past the date and you feel comfortable eating it, that’s all right: what I’m going for here is to get rid of items that may have been named in an FDA recall sometime in the mid-90s.
-Green/Yellow/Red: Categorize your cabinet and fridge contents into Green, Yellow, and Red categories. Green being healthy: can eat whenever I want; Yellow being okay in moderation; Red being SPECIAL OCCASION ONLY. I’m not a nutrition expert, but I strive for a mix of 50% Green category foods, 35% Yellow, and no more than 15% Red. (Hey, I never said I was perfect!)
Trash harsh chemical cleaning supplies: Some of the airborne toxins and residues of popular cleaning supplies can do more harm than good to you and your families. And my suggestion for an alternative is… vinegar. That’s right, plain and simple old white distilled vinegar, which is natural, non-toxic, and friendly to the Earth. It’s mildly acidic, which allows it to clean effectively and help keep your family healthy and safe. See www.vinegartips.com for 1001 uses for our lovely (inexpensive) friend.
Check your clothing: The word for health these days is organic, and when it comes to clothing, the story is no different.
-Holy cotton! There’s new and trending research out there that states that the pesticides used to grow that cotton that makes it into our clothing can be deadly. The manufacturing processes add in more chemicals and toxins, and some dyes and ink are also highly toxic.
-Detergent degenerates: And check what you wash your clothes in, too! Those fragrant and ultra-whitening detergents can exacerbate skin conditions like eczema and wreak havoc on people who suffer from allergies, which says nothing about the possible toxins seeping in through your pores. I know some of those organic and non-toxic detergents don’t have the same “get it whiter and brighter” promises that the Big Brands do, but I think I could buy a new blouse a little more often or be more careful if it meant remaining healthy for a few more years.
Guest Post by Dr. Maoshing Ni (Dr. Mao)
It’s January, that time of year when we start to see cases of colds and the flu pop up like flowers in May. Each year, one in three Americans suffers from the common cold or the flu. In past blogs I have suggested natural ways to support the healthy functions of your immune system in raising your resistance against the common cold. Common sense practices include washing your hands frequently with soap, and wash your face at least twice a day. Refrain from touching your nose and face with your hands except with tissues. Also, protect your upper back and neck area when it’s cold or windy by using a scarf, because this is where most of the colds will attack the body leading to stiff and achy neck and head. Here are six more natural strategies to avoid the common cold and the flu.
1. Rest up to restore your immunity. Studies show that your immune system function drops by an average of 60% after just three nights of poor sleep, so be sure you are getting plenty of quality rest, at least eight hours each night. Can’t fall asleep or stay asleep? Try taking a hot bath at night before bedtime or soak your feet in Epsom salt bath for 15 minutes. It will help relax your mind and body in preparation for your sleep.
2. Eat sweet potatoes and mushrooms. These foods help optimize your body’s immunity function. Sweet potatoes contain higher amounts of vitamin C and beta-carotene than carrots, as well as being rich in plant source DHEA, a potent immunity booster. Certain types of mushrooms, like shitake, maitake and reishi, contain polysaccharides, sterols, coumarin, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that have been found to increase immune functions and activities.
3. Garlic keeps more than vampires away. Throughout human history garlic has been loved as well as loathed. Loved by those who enjoy its intense aroma and pungent flavors and loathed by those who are repelled by its odor. The strong odor of garlic actually comes from a sulfur-compound called allicin that studies have found to be a powerful antibacterial and antiviral agent. Not only has it been shown to be effective against colds, flu, stomach virus and candida yeast, it has also been shown to be effective against antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria such as MRSA. Besides repelling microbes, apparently even vampires don’t like it either.
4. Vitamin C to your rescue. The late Nobel laureate Linus Pauling did pioneering research on the benefits of vitamin C. It is regarded as the safest and most effective nutrient. A recent look at over 100 studies on vitamin C in the last 10 years revealed many conclusive benefits of the vitamin. Not the least is its well-known property of supporting immune functions especially when the immune system is suppressed by stress. It may not prevent the common cold or the flu but it can reduce the risk of complications like pneumonia and lung infections. One can safely take up to 2,000 mg of vitamin C daily.
5. Look to nature for ammunition. Throughout Europe and Asia, pharmacies offer herbal medicine alongside drug medication. It’s indicative that people in other cultures recognize the benefits of nature’s herbal remedies. As a result these cultures are generally healthier than ours. Luckily the U.S. is catching up. It’s easier now more than ever to find herbal remedies in your local drug and health food stores. Herbs with known immune system properties include ligustri, Cherokee rose, honeysuckle, astragalus, and all heal (prunella). These and other herbs constitute a formula called Perpetual Shield that I put my entire family on during the cold-flu season.
6. Play stronger defense with acupuncture. Acupuncture is part of a complete medical system from China. By stimulating select acupoints in the body to elicit innate healing responses, acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to support the body’s defense against diseases such as the common cold. Studies of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy have found that acupuncture increases production of white blood cells — an indicator of an active immune system. Other studies have found acupuncture to possess immune-modulating properties, which means that it can also help decrease inflammation in conditions like allergic asthma and arthritis. For a directory of licensed acupuncturists in your area, log on to acupuncture.com.
If it’s too late to prepare, and you are already suffering from the runny nose, sore throat, headache and fever of cold and flu, we often recommend to patients the Cold and Flu Formula that contains natural herbs like burdock, kudzu, forsythia, indigo, mint and others that support healthy immune function, and comfort cold and flu symptoms. I hope you use these suggestions in times of health and sickness and that they serve you well.
For the start of the New Year, and to help our friends and fans get a great head start on those New Year’s goals, we rounded up 11 expert tips from nationally renowned health & wellness and culinary experts, including bestselling longevity expert Dr. Maoshing Ni, bestselling weight-loss expert Dr. Ann Louie Gittleman, and Chef-to-the-Stars Lulu Powers, whose clients have included Madonna, Will Smith and Bill Clinton.
Read the original release.
If you’re like most people, losing those last few holiday pounds is high on your list of to-dos this month. Fortunately, one of the best diet aids is free, abundant and right at your fingertips: water.
According to research from Virginia Tech, dieters who started each meal with two eight-ounce glasses of water lost an average of five pounds more than those who didn’t. Researchers say this is the first study that provides real evidence that water’s appetite-suppressing benefits translate into actual weight loss.
But you know the saying, “You can lead a horse to water…”
Fortunately, these 11 easy tips from a variety of health and wellness experts are sure to make you drink:
1. To make water taste better, Todd Bartee, the CEO of Aquasana, a leading maker of water filters for the home, recommends using an easy-to-install countertop filter to strip out the chlorine and other chemicals that are put in tap water to disinfect it. Says Bartee, “Once you remove the contaminants, you’re left with the most pure and delicious water you’ve ever tasted. You’ll notice a difference immediately.” Top consumer rating organizations recommend Aquasana’s AQ-4000 counter top filter, which uses a patented process to remove the chlorine, pesticides, lead and other chemicals in tap water.
2. Chef-to-the-stars, Lulu Powers, who just released a new cookbook, Lulu Powers Food to Flowers, recommends adding slices of orange, mint or cucumber to your water to complement meals.
3. Powers also suggests adding specialty ice cubes made from fresh fruits and herbs for an extra hint of flavor and to up the aesthetic factor.
4. Ann Louie Gittleman, Ph.D., author of the national bestseller, The Fat Flush Plan, recommends diluting your juice with water, adding less and less juice—and more water—as time goes by.
5. Dr. Gittleman also recommends including in your diet water-rich foods like broth-based soups, lettuce, broccoli and citrus fruits.
6. Dr. Maoshing Ni, author of the bestseller, Secrets of Longevity, and the just-released follow-up, Secrets of Longevity: Dr. Mao’s 8 Week Program, refers to filtered tap water as “a key to losing weight.” Says Dr. Mao, “Filter your own water with a high-quality water filter like the one from Aquasana and drink it throughout the day to help with fluid retention. It is also a natural appetite suppressant.”
7. Dr. Mao also suggests making a “detox soup” with filtered tap water, seasonal vegetables like kale and winter squash, dried beans and legumes and aromatic herbs and spices. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer for a couple of hours.
8. Track and monitor your daily water consumption by downloading an application for your phone such as Water Me or Water Your Body. www.itunes.com/appstore
9. Substitute a cup of warm water with a drop of honey for the coffee you might have after lunch and dinner. This will also help you eliminate caffeine, which dehydrates the body.
10. Outsmart the mid-afternoon blood-sugar blues. Set the alarm on your phone to ring at 3 pm to remind you to stop and drink a full glass of water before the afternoon munchies hit.
11. Design your own, one-of-a-kind, stainless steel water bottle to make drinking water more fun and a way to express yourself. This works especially well with kids. www.siggskins.com
Last time we talked about making those small changes in your lifestyle and diet that can add up over time to help you achieve some pretty serious results. The list I’ve compiled is based on eating and drinking these unhealthy things ONCE A DAY, which I know not everyone does. (Who eats Dominos every day?) This is meant to illustrate how daily choices can add up over time to net us big-time benefits. Here’s the breakdown of what small food choice changes can do for you:
Soft drink > water
Once a day, drink a glass of water instead of a 20 oz Coke.
Chips > apple and nuts
Once a day, eat an apple and a handful of raw almonds instead of a grab bag of Doritos Nacho Cheese chips.
Candy bar > Muscle Milk
Once a day, trade that post-work out Snickers bar for a Muscle Milk Light Ready-to-Drink.
Bad lunch salad > good lunch salad
Once a day, exchange an Outback Queensland salad w/ Blue Cheese dressing for a Panera Bread Asian Sesame Chicken Salad.
Domino’s > California Pizza Kitchen
Once a day, eat 1/3 of a California Pizza Kitchen Thin Crust Margherita Pizza instead of 2 slices of a Domino’s Large Ultimate Pepperoni pizza.
If you implemented changes like these, your net total loss of calories would be 1,491,308, for a total pound loss of 426. Maybe it’s time to examine your diet and see if there are some places that you can make some substitutions to make big changes down the road!
Detox from the holidays
Everybody does it: over-indulge just a bit in December: take some extra egg nog, eat some extra pastries. Hey, you earned it, right? 2010 was one difficult year all around! But once the holiday decorations are safely boxed up again and your life begins to resume its normal shape, you turn your mind to making some changes in your life to fully realize a new and more healthy you. Be it changes in your beauty regimen, vowing to exercise more and consume less, or tailoring your diet to help you look and feel better, most everyone spends the first week in January taking stock and making some commitments to change for the better. Well, when it comes to making changes, there are some best practices and recommended changes you can make that will help you do it right in 2011 and make the changes permanent.
Set goals and make incremental changes
I know you’ve heard it before, from nutrition experts, personal trainers and life coaches who stake their reputations on knowing how people and their bodies work: SET GOALS FOR YOURSELF. And I’m not talking those Big Dream goals, I mean the small ones that you can celebrate next week and a month from now. (And steer clear of rewarding yourself with food—get a massage, buy yourself some new clothes, or treat yourself to some spiffy new deco for the house.) If your goal is weight loss, make a plan to lose 1-2 pounds a week (which is typically what doctors recommend). Losing a lot of weight by taking on an extreme low calorie diet or crash diet rarely lasts beyond the last day of starvation. And when making all those lovely long-term plans, make sure to identify and implement incremental changes to help you get there. Changing everything at once—promising to go from carnivore to vegan, run 15 miles a week and volunteer for 10 hours of charity work every week—will more than likely end in miserable failure, unless you have truly Herculean amounts of self-control and discipline. (And if that’s the case, more power to you!)
Post-holiday detox changes you can make today:
• Exchange one soda for a glass of water. Nutrition experts and doctors the world over have banded together to loudly decry the continued mass consumption of soft drinks and other high-sugar beverages. Whether diet or full sugar, these drinks are bad news and often spell disaster for well-meaning dieters’ weight loss goals.
• Exchange one impulse, nutritionally deficient snack for a healthy snack a day.Eating an apple and a handful of almonds in the afternoon, as opposed to a grab bag of chips or a candy bar, will help boost your energy and still those hungry grumblings until dinner. For a super boost, try Runa, a tea-like drink that imparts the benefits of caffeine without the crash and the less savory side effects of another cup of coffee or an iced tea.
• Get a little more exercise every day. And by this, I am certainly not telling you that you need to join an expensive gym, or hit the treadmill for an hour every morning. I am a firm believer in slowly and steadily increasing exercise until you reach a goals. Walk around the block tomorrow morning. 5 minutes. Nice and slow. Try to go a little bit faster the next day. Maybe make it 2 blocks the next day, or next week. If you work up to a place where you feel uncomfortable, back off a bit until you feel better about it. If you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up. Just relax and enjoy being outdoors!
Experts say that it takes 60 days, more or less, to form a habit. Performing the same action on a regular basis for 60 days will make it automatic and less a matter of will power and discipline. So instead of surveying your long-term fitness or nutritional goals with dismay, commit to making a few tiny changes, repeat for 60 days, and then consider adopting some more. With time, luck, and a little perseverance, you WILL successfully detox from December 2010, and be in a great position to reach your goals for 2011. Make a plan today to ring in 2012 with a great deal of style and no guilt at all!