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Salt of the Earth

August 10, 2016
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Yes, I prefer the pink stuff. I actually converted about two years ago, and I am hooked. For as far back as I can remember, I have had a love-hate relationship with salt. I love how it flavors my food, but I despise how it makes me retain fluid.

Water retention has been my issue for most of my adult life, until a friend of mine enlighten me several years back that my consistent bloating was probably due to my idolized salt intake. So to test her theory, I refrained from adding any idolized salt to my foods for about one week. The results were amazing. I must have lost about five pounds. This outcome inspired me to make a conscious lifestyle change with my eating habits as it pertained to idolized salt.

I immediately replaced my idolized salt with a salt substitute—Mrs. Dash and the No Salt brand (potassium.) I continued this path for many years up until about two years ago when I accidentally discovered the pink stuff—Himalayan salt. I call it the “pink stuff” because this unprocessed crystal has a light pink hue.

According to Wikipedia, “Himalayan salt is rock salt or halite from a mine in the Punjab region of Pakistan.” My first experience with Himalayan salt was miraculous. When applying it to my food, smaller servings were needed in comparison to idolized salt and the flavor of Himalayan salt amplified my meals. But the true magic of this “white gold,” which it is called in the Himalayas are its health benefits.

In an article written by Doctor of Chiropractic Edward Group, The Benefits of Himalayan Salt (www.GlobalHealingCenter.com,) he explains that “Himalayan salt contains the same 84 natural minerals and elements found in the human body. This form of salt has been . . . maturing over the past 250 million years under intense tectonic pressure, creating an environment of zero exposure to toxins and impurities.” The article went on to say that Himalayan salt’s unique cellular structure allows it to store vibrational energy…and its minerals are tiny enough for our cells to easily absorb.”

I also learned through my research on www.GlobalHealingCenter.com that some of the potential health benefits of using natural Himalayan Crystal Salt could include:

  • Controlling the water levels within the body, regulating them for proper functioning (I can attest to this benefit)
  • Promoting stable pH balance in the cells, including the brain.
  • Encouraging excellent blood sugar health.
  • Aiding in reducing the common signs of aging.
  • Promoting cellular hydroelectric energy creation.
  • Promoting the increase absorption capacities of food elements within the intestinal tract
  • Aiding vascular health
  • Supporting healthy respiratory function
  • Lowering incidence of sinus problems, and promoting over-all sinus health.
  • Reducing cramps
  • Increasing bone strength
  • Naturally promoting healthy sleep patterns
  • Creating a healthy libido
  • Circulator support
  • Promotes kidney and gall bladder health when compared to common chemically-treated salt

So you might be thinking, how does this differ from table salt? I learned that regular table salt has been treated with chemicals and sugar is even added to this commonly used spice. Although salt is necessary for our bodies, if consumed in the chemical form of table salt, it can be dangerous. Ordinary table salt does not possess any nutritional value, as it is processed and the body deciphers it as toxic (www.GlobalHealthCenter.com.)

Referencing back to my experience with Himalayan salt, I no longer suffer from chronic water retention (just as long as I don’t eat three slices of pizza.) I also believe that it has regulated my pH, because I endured an unbalanced pH for many years; and I have noticed that the symptoms that at one time were a daily annoyance, are far and few between.

Now you may be wondering, ‘where I can get this miracle rock and how much does it cost?’ My first purchase was from a local chain store where I bought a 26-ounce bag, on sale for about $6. I had a hard time finding that amount for that price on a consistent basis, so I currently order my Himalayan salt on-line. I normally purchase three bags at one time for about $25, which lasted my extended family of six for over one year. This is also after I shared some of the salt with other family, as I truly want others to become familiar with this life changing seasoning.

I am convinced that Himalayan salt is the real deal. I encourage you to continue your edifying path pertaining to the use of Himalayan salt, and to definitely try it for yourself. I then look forward to your testimony of how this salt-of-the-earth bestowed a gift in your life.

Zelda Corona is a business and life coach under her company Victory Vision Business Ventures, LLC. She co-authored the books No Artificial Ingredients – Reflections Unplugged and Mommy Divas on the Move: 16 Successful Secrets for Mompreneurs. She is a member of Sister Speak, a trilogy of writers who formed in 2010 with a vision of self-expression and a goal of healing. The trio states they are inspired by grace, allowing them to take a genuine position on the struggles and successes of everyday living.

Breaking Bad Habits

August 3, 2016
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What really constitutes a bad habit?  This varies from person to person—this we all know. It is odd how what I might consider to be a bad habit, my father might not feel the same. Sometimes, I think there is no such thing as a bad habit, only the perception of how the things we do are viewed by society.

By far, I am not a lazy person.  However, I tend to not like folding laundry right away. I fold it, just not as soon as it comes out of the dryer. It does not sit for weeks, but I am notorious for it sitting for a day or two. I guess someone else would see this as a bad habit of mine, but I just see it as something else in the household always takes priority over folding laundry for me. Like making sure there are no dishes left in my sink at the end of the day as well as maintaining a spotless bathroom. I am not what you would call a late sleeper either.  I am up by 6 a.m. through the work week, but what I call sleeping in on a day off or the weekend is no longer than 7:30 a.m.  This might really irritate others and they could see this as a bad habit of mine that I do not sleep longer when I have down time. I would rather be up getting a jump on my day’s tasks.  I on the other hand, feel that sleeping until noon is extremely non-productive and ranks high on my list as being a habit that needs to be broken. Once again, it is all a matter of opinion and really not a judgement.

All in all, I am trying to be less critical of myself and others because life is really too short to sweat the small stuff, as the cliché goes.  At the same time, I am more mindful of what I do and things that I see as a bad habit for myself . . . well, I am a work-in-progress and will try to get that laundry folded before the heat of the dryer cools off.

Ultimately, breaking bad habits must start with self.

 

Sonya Marie Bowman is a writer of positive prose for the Milwaukee Community Journal and a published co-author of the book No Artificial Ingredients – Reflections Unplugged. She is a member of Sister Speak, a trilogy of writers who formed in 2010 with a vision of self-expression and a goal of healing. The trio states they are inspired by grace, allowing them to take a genuine position on the struggles and successes of everyday living.

Oil and Water – Should You Add Essential Oils to Your Water?

July 22, 2016
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Hello everyone! I am a little delayed with this response, but I am excited to provide my research results.

Several weeks ago, one of my readers asked if it is ok to add essential oils to water. Now, before I go into my findings, I want to share my personal experience with using essential oils.

I am an essential oil fan. I believe in the healing properties that these oils generate. I have been using essential oils on a consistent basis for about four years. Yes, I will admit that good quality essential oils are not that cheap. For example, I normally will pay about $18.50 for a 10 ml roll-on bottle of an oil blend that I use for back pain – verses taking over-the-counter medications. I prefer a more natural topical solution. I also purchase an essential oil that can be ingested. This one I add a severing (one or two drops) to my water, as this oil blend works to increase my metabolism—and it makes my water taste more interesting. I can honestly say that I have tried and true results from my essential oil usage, which is why I am pro essential oils.

With that said, now let’s talk about some of my discoveries. There is data that speaks to why essential oils should not be ingested. According to www.thebarefootdragonfly – “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drink Essential Oils,” essential oils are highly concentrated volatile compounds extracted from whole or parts of plants: tree resins, flowering shrubs, peels or citrus fruits, seeds, grasses and so forth…[the] levels of concentrations a single drop in a glass of water could be the equivalent of drinking boxes of tea made from the same herb. [The question is then posed,] “Would you drink 30 tea bags of chamomile in a day? Of course you wouldn’t! So, why would you drink a drop of the essential oil?”

This article from www.thebarefootdragonfly continues on to say that money is the root of the essential oil hoopla. But the real question that I think you would like to know, is ingesting essential oils safe? Well, the article mentioned that “the first signs of distress from this method are mouth and throat irritations. They’ve been damaged by this concentrated plant oil and repeated offenses.”

So, is there anyway essential oils can be ingested by mouth safely? Yes! The article speaks to the digestible transport to get the oil from your mouth to the digestive system, and then to the blood stream (www.thebarefootdragonfly.) However, advanced training is required. One could find these professionals as a clinical aroma therapists, and a few nurses and doctors who practice holistic remedies.

I have only touched on the basics about the cons concerning essential oil use, but like I mentioned earlier, I am an essential oil fan. What I have learned from my research regarding whether it is safe to add essential oils to water or not, is that over time, excessive use of ingesting essential oils may be damaging. However, I can also attest to my personal benefits from essential oil practice and I am a satisfied consumer who has not experienced any known side effects.

But now I will ask the question again, should you add essential oils to water? My answer—it depends.

Zelda Corona is a business and life coach under her company Victory Vision Business Ventures, LLC. She co-authored the books No Artificial Ingredients – Reflections Unplugged and Mommy Divas on the Move: 16 Successful Secrets for Mompreneurs. She is a member of Sister Speak, a trilogy of writers who formed in 2010 with a vision of self-expression and a goal of healing. The trio states they are inspired by grace, allowing them to take a genuine position on the struggles and successes of everyday living.

Walking Downstairs May Lower Your Blood Sugar MORE than Walking Upstairs

July 11, 2016
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You can imagine! I’m going to a mall over the 4th of July weekend and it’s sweltering hot outside. I’m with my nephew and niece and we’re going to check out school supplies. The mall is massive. At the top of the escalator it says, “Walk Down the Stairs and Take Your Blood Sugar Down With You.” Whoa! Medical literature published in the mall. I’m all over it.

The information was obtained from a referenced study published a decade ago at the American Heart Association Meetings. The researcher, Dr. Drexel, took 45 sedentary, otherwise non-diabetic adults and had them spend two months taking the ski lift up, then riding it down. Then they spent two months hiking up and taking the ski lift down. They measured compliance by collecting ticket stubs and the personal diary of each volunteer. It was not done every day but suggested as three to five times a week. That’s pretty good exercise.

Walking down uses muscles differently. Walking uphill uses muscles in a “concentric” fashion whereas walking down is considered “eccentric”. Eccentric is lengthening under load (walking down hill – resisting as you stretch out your legs). Concentric is shortening under load (walking up hill – resisting as you shorten your leg muscles). Did you get that? They are different types of load on your muscles.

The original research on eccentric versus concentric was done back in 1882, but it wasn’t till 2003 that the best demonstration of the power difference was obtained. A contracting muscle under stretch (eccentric), can produce much greater power than a contacting muscle being lengthened (concentric – walking uphill). You can demonstrate that by putting two exercise bikes facing each other with one chain so that one person is biking forward while the other is resisting and pedaling backwards. A big, burly, strong male can easily be resisted by a much smaller, less muscled woman. That’s the power of that difference.

The intriguing detail is that the two types of exercise use different fuel sources. Walking downhill uses glucose. Walking uphill uses fat.

WWW – What will work for me? No one wants to affect just one type of fuel but if you are into the details, this matters. Building muscle works a lot better when you are resisting. You may not be able to lift a weight up, but you can lower it to the ground. It’s not the gravity effect, it’s the lengthening effect of your muscles. So, walking down the stairs allows you to go get ice-cream. Walking up, get some bacon.

John E. Whitcomb, M.D. is founder and medical director of Brookfield Longevity & Healthy Living Clinic. He is a Yale University School of Medicine graduate and is board certified in holistic and integrative medicine from Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine.

Sweet Health

July 8, 2016
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A few years ago, I was taking a tablespoon full of manuka honey—a honey produced in Australia and New Zealand from the nectar of the manuka tree—every morning before breakfast. For whatever reason, I stopped taking it.

Over the past few weeks, I have acquainted myself to this wonderful, sweet miracle again. Years ago, I was taking it to ward off my chronic sinus infections, as allergies and sinusitis are in the top 10 manuka honey uses.  It must have worked, and this is why I think I stopped taking it, because I felt I was cured. However, my allergies came back and still plague me to this day. Since I have been taking the manuka recently, my sinus cavity has been opening up giving me remarkable relief from sinus pressure and pain.

Manuka honey also aids in low stomach acid/acid reflux, staph infections like MRSA, tooth decay and gingivitis, sore throats and burns, wounds, acne and ulcers.  Truly remarkable stuff!  More interestingly, honey is referenced a number of times in the Bible as being the food of healing for all types of health situations. Now how can we go wrong with that data?

It can be complicated for most people to get their heads around how something as uncomplicated as simple, pure honey can be the cure-all for certain health ailments. I think many in society have lost touch with the power of healing and the belief in the power of healing. We put so much faith into prescriptions with horrible side effects, of which I don’t know is worse…having the ailment itself or the side effect from the prescribed medications?  We need to get back to Eden as I like to call it for the garden of EDEN in how the Good Lord proposed that we go about natural healing in the first place.  So I have taken my health back to the simplicity of natural uses similar to manuka honey and I am amazed by the sweet health results thus far.  This is my testimony.

Sonya Marie Bowman is a writer of positive prose for the Milwaukee Community Journal and a published co-author of the book No Artificial Ingredients – Reflections Unplugged. She is a member of Sister Speak, a trilogy of writers who formed in 2010 with a vision of self-expression and a goal of healing. The trio states they are inspired by grace, allowing them to take a genuine position on the struggles and successes of everyday living.

Explore Milwaukee

June 23, 2016
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Summer is finally here in Milwaukee, and I am loving it! People kill me when they say there is not much to do in Milwaukee, but then I quickly tell them, ‘you are dead wrong.’

There are a ton of things to do in Milwaukee, and especially in summer, you just have to explore all the possibilities. In the past few weeks alone, I have gone to Locust Street Festival, and I will be attending Summer Solstice on Saturday, June 25. In addition to that, I have dined alfresco at Habanero Mexican Kitchen on Mayfair Road, as well as Trocadero, on Milwaukee’s eclectic East Side. Needless to say that we still have several ethnic festivals ahead of us to attend, not to exclude Summerfest and Wisconsin State Fair. Summerfest and State Fair—surely those are the standard norms that we have, and don’t get me wrong—they are great in and of themselves. All I am saying is that we have to open up our minds and explore different venues that Milwaukee has to offer by either going online to research or simply by getting up and getting out on our own to explore.

In order to have things happen in life, you have to make them happen. Life will surely pass you by if you don’t. This is it. We get this one life to live. So if locals or even out-of-towners feel that there is not a whole lot to do in Milwaukee, then you had better all think again and not let this summer or for that matter, life, pass you by with doing the same old thing.

Sonya Marie Bowman is a writer of positive prose for the Milwaukee Community Journal and a published co-author of the book No Artificial Ingredients – Reflections Unplugged. She is a member of Sister Speak, a trilogy of writers who formed in 2010 with a vision of self-expression and a goal of healing. The trio states they are inspired by grace, allowing them to take a genuine position on the struggles and successes of everyday living.

Eating Seasonally and Local

June 3, 2016
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As we Midwesterners enthusiastically roll out the welcome mat for our glorious summer season, we savor every moment under the sun enjoying park concerts, street festivals, cook-outs, laundry flapping in the breeze and a good book on the beach on under a shady backyard tree.

Best of all, fresh foods are abundant, beginning with spring asparagus and lettuce. Farmers markets will open soon (most begin mid-through late June). Whether you grow produce yourself in a garden or patio, or visit the many farmers markets in the area, here is guide to what can be enjoyed June through September.

For more information or to find a farmers market near you, visit http://www.farmfreshsewi.org

JUNE

Basil

Broccoli

Cabbage

Chard

Collards

Fennel

Garlic scapes

Kale

Lettuce

Green onions

Peas

Rhubarb

Spearmint

Spinach

Strawberries

JULY

Beans

Beets

Carrots

Blueberries

Cabbage

Chard

Cherries

Collards

Corn

Kale

Leeks

Melons

Okra

Green onions

Peas

Peaches

Peppers

Raspberries

Summer squash

AUGUST

Apples

Beans

Beets

Blackberries

Carrots

Cucumbers

Eggplant

Garlic

Grapes

Onions

Peaches

Pears

Plums

Peppers

Potatoes

Summer squash

Tomatoes

SEPTEMBER

Apples

Beans

Beets

Cauliflower

Chard

Collards

Corn

Cucumber

Eggplant

Fennel

Grapes

Leeks

Lettuce

Melons

Onions

Parsnips

Potatoes

Plums

Peppers

Radishes

Tomatoes

Turnips

Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine.

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