Alkaline Water — Why?

What is the first thing you think about when you consider the most important food or nutrient? Think on this: your brain is about 70% water, and your body is about 80% (even your bones contain water!). So one of the most important things you consume daily should be good, filtered water. Every morning, you actually wake up slightly dehydrated.

Just one simple thing will give you more energy, help you focus, and reduce cravings: upon awakening, drink at least 2 cups of filtered alkaline water. Most of us reach for coffee or tea (or worse, soda!) first thing in the morning, but these caffeinated drinks act as diuretics, leading to further dehydration. So start with water first, then move on to your other preference for morning beverages.
Our local tap water is generally a mixture of chlorine, anti-biotics, hormones and metals which go straight into your system. Unfiltered and impure water can weaken your immune system and make your body vulnerable to disease. When we become too acidic, we experience low energy, fatigue, digestive issues, weight gain and other side effects that can be remedied with pure water and fresh organic vegetables with a healthy acid/alkaline balance.
Alkaline filtration systems can be costly (ranging up to many thousands of dollars for a whole-home system); however, personal alkaline filters are widely available at health food stores at a reasonable cost ($50 – $500). The internet is full of sites designed to help you find the right filtration system for you. Most grocery stores now carry bottled alkaline water, but it is also a bit costly when compared to regular bottled water.

 

So, make your own! Here is a simple recipe to make your very own gallon of alkaline water in your kitchen:

  • 1 pitcher (64 ounces) of clean filtered water
  • 1 organic lemon, washed, cut into eighths
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
Directions: Fill pitcher, add in Lemon wedges (do not squeeze!). Then add 1 tsp. Himalayan Pink Salt, cover, and let sit overnight (8-12 hrs.) at room temperature.
It is best to drink alkaline water at room temperature, especially first thing in the morning, for better absorption into the digestive tract.
~ Doneane

 

Bone Broth: The Naked Truth

Bone broth is one of those old family recipes or home remedies that some of us may have been force fed as kids. But recent nutritional research shows that this concoction is really good for you! And it is very simple to make. If you watched the video on my Facebook page, you saw my recipe which makes a great beef stew along with the bone broth. The link to the video is here:

http://www.fox4beaumont.com/news/features/setx-live/stories/bone-broth-health-1929.shtml

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Yum! The above images are of my batch in progress over Valentine weekend!

The basic recipe is below:

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pounds beef marrow and knuckle bones
  • 2 pounds meaty bones such as short ribs
  • ½ cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 4 quarts filtered water
  • 3 celery stalks, halved
  • 3 carrots, halved
  • 3 onions, quartered
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • Sea salt

Method

  1. Place bones in a pot or a crockpot, add apple cider vinegar and water, and let the mixture sit for 1 hour so the vinegar can leach the mineral out of the bones.
  2. Add more water if needed to cover the bones.
  3. Add the vegetables bring to a boil and skim the scum from the top and discard.
  4. Reduce to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 24-72 hours (if you’re not comfortable leaving the pot to simmer overnight, turn off the heat and let it sit overnight, then turn it back on and let simmer all day the next day)
  5. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, throw in a handful of fresh parsley for added flavor and minerals.
  6. Let the broth cool and strain it, making sure all marrow is knocked out of the marrow bones and into the broth.
  7. Add sea salt to taste and drink the broth as is or store in fridge up to 5 to 7 days or freezer up to 6 months for use in soups or stews.

Bone broth can be made from any type of bone: beef, poultry or fish. Just be sure that whatever type of bone you choose to use, that is comes from cows/chickens/turkeys that have been raised free-range, grass fed, and antibiotic/hormone free, and fish that are wild caught.

The benefits of bone broth are not only increased immunity, but ease in joint pain, strength for your bones, and benefits to your hair, skin, and nails, as follows:

Helps heal and promote healthy digestion: The gelatin found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid. It attracts and holds digestive juices,  which supports proper digestion Wards off infection: if your gut is healthy, so is your immune system,  which can keep cold and flu viruses at bay
Reduces joint pain and inflammation: from chondroitin sulphate, glucosamine, and other compounds extracted from the cartilage Fights inflammation: Amino acids such as glycine, proline, and arginine all have anti-inflammatory effects. Glycine may help you sleep better
Promotes strong, healthy bones: the high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and other nutrients that play an important role in healthy bone formation are in plenty of supply in a helping of bone broth Promotes healthy hair and nail growth: from the gelatin in the broth

Himalayan Pink Salt Lamps

If you’ve never owned a Himalayan Pink Salt Lamp, you do not know what you have been missing. It’s like having an open window, with a softly glowing natural source of fresh, clean air anywhere you choose to put it. I have one in every room of the house, except for the master bath (the lamps should not be exposed to humidity). Each lamp is beautiful and uniquely carved, and carry with them a multitude of health benefits, many of which have been well known in ancient cultures for over 2000 years.

But first, a refresher 7th grade science lesson: All matter is made up of molecules, which are made up of atoms, which are made up of three types of particles: protons (positive charge), electrons (negative charge), and neutrons (neutral). Sometimes an electron flies off and leaves behind a positively-charged ion, which then wants to steal a replacement electron from another molecule. Because of our use of so many electronic devices and appliances in our homes and offices, the air around us is filled with these positive ions, and we need a way to replace the negative ions back into the air. Enter the Himalayan ink Salt Lamp.

Now that you remember how these particles work, let’s take a look at the top 10 benefits of the Himalayan Pink Salt Lamp (HPS).

  1. Cleanse & Deodorize the Air

Probably the most well-known benefit is their incredible power to remove dust, pollen, pet dander, pollution, cigarette smoke, and other contaminants from the air.

Himalayan pink salt lamps purify air through the power of hygroscopy: attracting water molecules from the surrounding environment, absorbing those molecules and any foreign particles they may be carrying, into the salt crystal. As the lamp warms up from the heat produced by the light bulb inside, that same water then evaporates back into the air and the trapped particles of dust, pollen, smoke, and other contaminants remain locked in the salt.

  1. Reduce Allergy & Asthma Symptoms

Because the lamps remove microscopic particles of dust, pet dander, mold, mildew and the like from the surrounding air, placing a lamp or two in the rooms where you spend the most time can seriously cut back on allergy symptoms. Even people who suffer from asthma should notice a big difference after a week or two. You can even purchase HPS Inhalers.

  1. Eases Coughing

When the Himalayan pink salt lamp heats up and begins its hydroscopic cycling of airborne particles, it also changes the charge of the molecules which are released. The majority of our homes and workplaces are filled with positively charged ions which aren’t particularly good for a person’s health. The primary source of these positively charged ions is from our electronic devices, including TV, stereo, computers, and appliances.

One of the health issues associate with breathing positive ions in the air is that the cilia (microscopic hairs) which line the trachea become sluggish and do not function as well to keep contaminants our airways. As the HPS lamp absorbs water and particles from the air, it also takes in the positive ions. When the heated salt releases cleansed water vapor back into the air, it expels negative ions which have the opposite effect on our airways – increasing cilia activity to keep your lungs clear.

There is actually a health resort built into one of the salt mines in Europe, primarily for people with respiratory illness.

  1. Increase Energy Levels

Anything that exposes us to increased concentrations of negative ions such as those generated by Himalayan salt lamps will make us feel energized – like a morning shower or a drive in the fresh air with the windows down. Constant exposure to positive ions sap the body of energy. If you constantly feel tired and don’t know why, try keeping a Himalayan salt lamp in the room or rooms where you spend the most time. After about a week, you should notice a difference.

  1. Neutralize Electromagnetic Radiation

Most of us are exposed to electromagnetic (EM) radiation which flows from our electronics. While they may be invisible, the long-term effects of EM exposure can have consequences which impact your health. Constant exposure to EM radiation is known to increase stress levels, cause chronic fatigue, and decrease the body’s immune response.

Himalayan salt lamps work to neutralize electromagnetic radiation by emitting negative ions back into the air. Keep one next to the computer, television, and any other electrical devices which you use frequently to reduce this potential danger.

  1. Better Sleep

Another side effect which results from over-exposure to positive ions in the air is poor sleep, because those positively-charged particles can actually reduce blood and oxygen supply to the brain resulting in irregular sleep patterns. Keep one or two HPS lamps around your bedroom to improve the air quality for better sleep.

Some lamps have a dimmer switch so that at night you can adjust the intensity of the light. If not, and you need the room totally dark, you can always turn the lamp off at bedtime. Just leave it on for the rest of the day so it can do its work while you are awake.

  1. Improve Mood & Concentration

Himalayan pink salt lamps are a great way to naturally enhance your mood or to help you relax and unwind at the end of the day. At the same time, HPS lamps are great for improving concentration. Again, this is due to the effect of the negative ions on your body, improving blood and oxygen supply to the brain and other organs, as well as providing a boost of serotonin – the neurotransmitter which makes us feel calm and happy.

  1. Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder

In addition to generating negative ions which improve mood and energy levels, the soft natural light given off by a Himalayan pink salt lamp is close enough to the warm glow of sunshine that they can even be used to relieve the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (which diminishes the production of serotonin, mentioned above).

  1. Reduce Static Electricity in the Air

Static usually zaps you when you least expect it – reaching for a door handle, kissing your partner before bed, or trying to pet your dog or cat. Himalayan pink salt lamps are a natural way to neutralize the airborne ionized particles which cause static during dry and colder times of the year.

  1. Environmentally-Friendly Light Source

Himalayan pink salt lamps are environmentally friendly. While only an estimate, the reserves from which HPS is mined measure somewhere between 80 and 600 million tons and is projected to last for at least another 350 years at the current extraction rate. The base of an HPS lamp is generally carved from a sustainable wood such as neem. Most lamps use a low-wattage bulb which consumes very little energy while others are powered by a lit candle. The salt crystal itself never gets hot to the touch, only slightly warm.

Choosing & Placing Your Himalayan Pink Salt Lamp

When it comes to buying Himalayan pink salt lamps, coverage area is determined by the size of the crystal. Smaller lamps (about 5 pounds) are good for the average bedroom, while larger lamps (around 12 pounds) are better for spaces like the living room or den. On average, calculate about 2 pounds per 10 x 10 space. If you can’t find a large enough lamp for any given room, you can use multiple lamps spread out around the space for the same effect.

I highly recommend building a whole-home collection of these beautiful lights even if you only buy one or two at a time. Start by purchasing appropriately-sized lamps for those areas where you spend the most time, then move on to rooms with lots of electrical devices, and finish your collection by adding lamps to infrequently-used spaces.

Himalayan pink salt crystals will begin to melt with prolonged exposure to high humidity. For this reason, use caution and keep a close watch on any HPS lamps positioned near sources of steam such as dishwashers, laundry rooms, or showers. These lamps are not recommended for outdoor use.

Locally in Southeast Texas, you can find these lamps at Bed Bath & Beyond, and at Earthbound Trading Company at ParkDale Mall. You can also find tons of them online at places like Amazon. I do not recommend purchasing a used HPS lamp, so be sure that wherever you buy it, it is brand new and in original packaging.

Remember, it takes about a week for the benefits mentioned here to be noticeable, so don’t give up if you don’t feel the improvement right away. My lamps had been active for about a week when my husband came home from working out of town, and he immediately noticed that the house smelled “cleaner.” To me, my home now smells like fresh washed sheets dried outside in the sun on a clothesline!

~ Doneane

Eating for Brain Health

In case you missed my TV segment last week, here is the information about the MIND diet which has been named one of the top diets for 2016, according to U.S. News and World Report, which analyzed 35 different eating plans.

Out of all the diseases out there that we are at risk for, either genetically or environmentally, the one that frightens me the most is Alzheimer’s (and other forms of dementia or cognitive decline). I have personally seen members of my own family suffer, and have numerous friends who have also experienced this devastating condition in their families. If there is anything we can do to prevent this, I am all for it!

This eating plan is a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH diets, both of which are heart healthy and good for lowering blood pressure. This plan focuses on foods that have been scientifically proven to protect the brain, lowering the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 53%. The great thing about it is that it is very easy to follow. And even if you are not concerned about Alzheimer’s and other forms of cognitive decline, this is a really healthy way to eat.

The following brain healthy food groups are included on this eating plan:

  • Leafy greens (at least 6 servings per week)
  • Vegetables (at least 1 per day)
  • Whole grains (at least 3 per day)
  • Nuts (5 servings per week)
  • Beans (at least 3 servings per week)
  • Berries (at least 2 servings per week)
  • Fish (once per week)
  • Poultry (twice per week)
  • Olive oil (use as your mail oil)
  • Red wine (1 glass per day)

The following foods are to be AVOIDED:

  • Red meat
  • Butter/margarine
  • Cheese
  • Pastries and sweets
  • Fried or fast foods

While researchers admit that there is still a great deal of study to be done in this area, this eating plan has already been proven through scientific research to benefit brain health. And be choosy in what you purchase — try to find produce which is organically produced and without pesticides (which harm your brain and other organs), purchase wild caught fish (NEVER farm raised as this produces unhealthy fat in the fish), and poultry that is “free range” (beware of “cage free” which does not always mean free range!).

I don’t know about you, but I want my Golden Years to be enjoyed with a healthy body AND brain!

~ Doneane

New Year, New You? Hmm . . . .

So, it is the dreaded time of year where everyone is thinking about making changes. New Year’s resolution time. New this, new that. New plans, new changes. I keep hearing “New Year, New You.” Personally, I kind of like the old me! There have been plenty of times in the past where my life was really awesome, without me having to do anything spectacular or “new” at all. Besides, resolutions rarely last more than 21 days, so we are already almost a third of the way to failure for this month, right?

Not that I couldn’t use some changes . . . I should get up earlier, I should keep the house cleaner, I should stay in touch with friends more, I should be less sarcastic (well, maybe not . . .). You know, the usual resolutions. But nothing about me needs to be new, necessarily. Better? Yes. More _____, less _____. But new? Not so much.

We have all had times in our lives where things were good, hopefully! Can you revive those times? YES! So it is not doing something new, it is just doing things different, or better, the way we used to do it.

So don’t beat yourself up over making resolutions for a “new you” because the old you is probably pretty awesome. Just think back to the times when you felt like some part of your daily life was a bit better, and change just ONE thing in that direction. Did you used to get up earlier and spend quiet time alone before starting the day? Did you used to go to the gym twice a week whether you felt like it or not? Great! Add one of those things back into your routine for a few weeks. Don’t do “all or nothing” because that rarely sticks. If getting up 30 minutes earlier will help you to stop rushing in the morning, or give you more time for reflection and meditation to start the day, then just to THAT. Do that one thing for a week and then add one more thing to make things better.

New Year? Yes. New you? Naaaah. Old you is fine. Just tweak it a little bit!

~ Doneane