Friday, July 25, 2014

The Magic of Seven

UCL study finds new evidence linking fruit and vegetable consumption with lower mortality . . . 

Eating seven or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day reduces your risk of death at any point in time by 42% compared to eating less than one portion, reports a new UCL study.

Fruit and Vegetables

Researchers used the Health Survey for England to study the eating habits of 65,226 people representative of the English population between 2001 and 2013, and found that the more fruit and vegetables they ate, the less likely they were to die at any age. Eating seven or more portions reduces the specific risks of death by cancer and heart disease by 25% and 31% respectively. The research also showed that vegetables have significantly higher health benefits than fruit.

This is the first study to link fruit and vegetable consumption with all-cause, cancer and heart disease deaths in a nationally-representative population, the first to quantify health benefits per-portion, and the first to identify the types of fruit and vegetable with the most benefit.

Compared to eating less than one portion of fruit and vegetables, the risk of death by any cause is reduced by 14% by eating one to three portions, 29% for three to five portions, 36% for five to seven portions and 42% for seven or more. These figures are adjusted for sex, age, cigarette smoking, social class, Body Mass Index, education, physical activity and alcohol intake, and exclude deaths within a year of the food survey.

The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, found that vegetables had the strongest protective effect, with each daily portion reducing overall risk of death by 16%. Salad contributed to a 13% risk reduction per portion, and each portion of fresh fruit was associated with a smaller but still significant 4% reduction.

“We all know that eating fruit and vegetables is healthy, but the size of the effect is staggering,” says Dr. Oyinlola Oyebode of UCL’s Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, lead author of the study. “The clear message here is that the more fruit and vegetables you eat, the less likely you are to die at any age. Vegetables have a larger effect than fruit, but fruit still makes a real difference.  If you’re happy to snack on carrots or other vegetables, then that is a great choice but if you fancy something sweeter, a banana or any fruit will also do you good.”

The findings lend support to the Australian government’s ‘Go for 2 + 5’ guidelines, which recommend eating two portions of fruit and five of vegetables. The UK Department of Health recommends ‘5 a day’, while ‘Fruit and Veggies – More Matters’ is the key message in the USA.

“Our study shows that people following Australia’s ‘Go for 2 + 5’ advice will reap huge health benefits,” says Dr. Oyebode. “However, people shouldn’t feel daunted by a big target like seven. Whatever your starting point, it is always worth eating more fruit and vegetables. In our study even those eating one to three portions had a significantly lower risk than those eating less than one.”

The researchers found no evidence of significant benefit from fruit juice, and canned and frozen fruit appeared to increase risk of death by 17% per portion. The survey did not distinguish between canned and frozen fruit so this finding is difficult to interpret. Canned fruit products are almost four times more popular than frozen fruit in Europe, so it is likely that canned fruit dominated this effect.

“Most canned fruit contains high sugar levels and cheaper varieties are packed in syrup rather than fruit juice,” explains Dr. Oyebode. “The negative health impacts of the sugar may well outweigh any benefits. Another possibility is that there are confounding factors that we could not control for, such as poor access to fresh groceries among people who have pre-existing health conditions, hectic lifestyles or who live in deprived areas.”

Source:  "Seven a Day Keeps the Reaper at Bay", University College London, 4/1/14

Weekend Tofu Breakfast Scramble

Rest assured that eating more meatless meals doesn't have to feel like a sacrifice!  On the contrary, choosing meatless meals merely requires deepening your focus on the vegetable dishes you already know and love, like pasta, or salad, or bean chili. You don't need to find complex replacements for meat when you allow vegetables, grains, and legumes to take the lead! 

There’s always that non-vegan dish that many of us wish to replicate with plant-based ingredients, such as scrambled eggs. It turns out that extra-firm tofu, crumbled and stir-fried, can make a tasty, satisfying alternative at breakfast. It is as versatile and easy to modify as traditional egg scrambles, and if you add a little bit of turmeric to the mix, it even takes on that characteristic yellow hue.

If the tofu scramble alone isn’t hearty enough, feel free to wrap it up in a burrito, along with some greens, avocado, salsa, and other fixings.  Or, why not add some tempeh or coconut bacon to your dish for a more complete breakfast experience. No matter what you decide, always select an extra-firm tofu for the recipe, as silken tofu and soft tofu have too much moisture to crumble.

What You Need: 
(Serves 4)

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 c onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 c diced vegetables (I like mushrooms and red peppers when they're in season, but use whatever you have on hand)
One 14- to 16-ounce block of extra-firm tofu
2 Tbsp tahini
1 Tbsp low-sodium tamari
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 c nutritional yeast
3 c baby spinach (I use fresh spinach, as frozen will water down your dish, unless you thaw and drain it thoroughly first)
1/4 c fresh parsley, minced
Black pepper to taste

What You Do:

Heat a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the oil and sauté the onion until it’s soft and cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for two minutes. Add your vegetables of choice, and cook until they are tender. While the vegetables cook, crumble the tofu with your hands, so that there are still some visible pieces, but it's broken up quite thoroughly. Whisk together the tahini, tamari, mustard, and turmeric. Add the tofu to the skillet, along with the tahini mixture. Mix the ingredients together thoroughly and cook until the tofu is warmed through, about 4 minutes or so. Stir in nutritional yeast and mix well. Finally, add the spinach and cook until it’s just wilted. Divide the scramble onto four plates and top each with parsley.  Serve with warm tortillas, or whole grain toast!  Enjoy!!  

Tofu Scramble w/Peppers, Onions & Spinach

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Beans: The Undervalued Superfood

Beans & Legumes

We've all heard the expression "shop the perimeter of the store." But if you skip the middle, you're missing out on a wealth of wholesome, delicious food choices. Your supermarket shelves are filled with hidden treasures that you shouldn't pass up. Like beans, one of the most neglected and under-valued items.

Beans provide myriad health benefits, and they fit into several different food groups: Although they are rich in complex carbs like breads and starches, as a plant-based food, they feel right at home in the vegetable group, offering an array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, like their veggie companions. They can also hold their own in the protein group, supplying protein aplenty. Unlike some other members of this group, beans provide little to no fat and are cholesterol-free. In fact, beans actually lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels instead of potentially causing them to increase, as some animal proteins have been shown to do.

Though they've been around for centuries, beans are a modern-day superfood. Why? Let's count the ways.

1. They Are Heart-Helpers ~ Beans are "heart healthy" because they contain an abundance of soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. If you prefer canned beans, you can ditch up to 40 percent of the sodium by rinsing them in water.

2. They Are Low In Fat ~ Most beans are about 2 to 3 percent fat, and contain no cholesterol, unless they're processed or prepared with other ingredients, such as lard. (Check labels to see what else may be in the package or can.)

3. They Pack Protein ~ The Dietary Guidelines for Americans say we should be eating more plant proteins. About 1/2 cup of beans provides 7 grams of protein, the same amount as in 1 ounce of chicken, meat or fish. Vegetarians, vegans and individuals who seldom eat meat, poultry, or fish can count on beans as an alternative choice.

4. They Balance Blood Sugar ~ With a low glycemic index, beans contain a beautiful blend of complex carbohydrates and protein. Because of this, beans are digested slowly, which helps keep blood glucose stable, and may curtail fatigue and irritability.

5. They Cut Cancer Risk ~ Scientists recommend that adults consume 3 cups of beans per week to promote health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, like cancer. That owes to their abundance of fiber and antioxidants.

6. They Will Move You ~ Filled with fiber, beans can promote regularity by preventing constipation. To maximize your meal, be sure to accompany high-fiber foods with ample fluids, like still or sparkling water. Weighing in at 5 to 8 grams of fiber per 100 grams (3 ounces), beans are ideal for those who are sensitive to gluten, a natural protein found in products containing wheat, rye, barley, and sometimes oats. If you do have food allergies, however, check the food label or contact the manufacturer to be sure the product is safe.

7. They'll Satisfy You ~ Because beans are metabolized more slowly than other complex carbs, they may aid in weight loss by keeping us feeling full without being excessively high in calories.

8. They're Convenient ~ Canned, frozen or dry, beans are a breeze to purchase, prepare, and store. They even come in flour form.

9. They Are Wallet-Friendly ~ Beans can are the least expensive source of protein, especially when compared to meat.

10. They Are Nutrient-Rich ~ Aside from protein, complex carbs and fiber, beans contain a powerhouse of nutrients including antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals, such as copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium and zinc. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans refer to many of these important nutrients as "shortfall nutrients," meaning most of us aren't getting enough of them. Beans can help you step up to a more complete plate.

11. They're Versatile ~ They can be incorporated into a main dish (chili), side dish (rice and beans), appetizer (soup) or snack (dip). It's easy to be creative when you have kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), split peas and lentils in your pantry. Take advantage of their various shapes, sizes and colors when planning meals. 

Bulk Beans & Legumes

Friday, July 11, 2014

Natural Living Products for Pets & People

Have you ever wanted to truly own your time ~ and your life? What if you could do something you really love every single day, and help pets and people in the process?!  We offer a generous compensation plan (bonus + commission) that gives you the power to take control of your future and build a business that will change your life forever.

In 1989, from the humblest of beginnings, D. Gary Young, Young Living's founder, started what would become the world's leading essential oil company on a one-quarter acre farm in Spokane, Washington.  On this small plot of ground, Gary carefully cultivated various herbs; with his background in agriculture, the growing season soon produced a robust, healthy crop. Toward the end of the season, Gary built his first distiller by welding two pressure cookers together with a swan neck of copper pipe. It was placed on the kitchen countertop, and the water for the cooler came from the kitchen sink. This yielded Young Living's first tiny batch of therapeutic-grade essential oils.

We've Come a Long Way . . . . 

For over 20 years, we have been introducing people to a proven marketing method that, when they and others purchase healthy products they need and use every day, everyone benefits.  Instead of our company spending millions of dollars in radio, T.V. and print advertising, like our competitors do, Young Living pays people like you and me.  It's known as "word-of-mouth advertising", or social selling. 

This is a fantastic opportunity for you to grow a business for yourself as an independent distributor for our company, and build a steady, growing income, which you can work around your current schedule, if you so choose.  Due to the demand our products have plus our lucrative, straight forward compensation plan, many of our full time team members earn large career incomes from home within 6 to 12 months. We also have part time members who follow our unique "success system" who earn a few thousand dollars in their first several months. The bottom line is Young Living is rewarding and fair to all team members.

Joining our team as an independent distributor goes beyond simply building a thriving business. You will also enjoy extensive networking opportunities, exclusive hands-on experiences, and a strong sense of community. Some of the unique benefits include:

* Established 20-year old Company Rapidly Expanding in U.S. & International Markets (over 100 countries)

* Generous Bonus + Commission Compensation Plan / Wholesale Pricing / Rewards Program

* Virtual Office / Work From Home Around Your Current Schedule

* Thriving Community & Team Environment

* Ongoing Training & Support

Follow this link more information, as well as two short videos (one at the very top of the page & one at the bottom of the page):

Young Living Independent Distributor

Once you have had a chance to review the information, please do not hesitate to contact me directly so I can answer any questions you may have. I look forward to helping you get started on your own amazing essential oils journey!

Wild Blueberry Chia Oatmeal

For a super simple, quick and healthy breakfast, make the oats ahead of time.  If blueberries aren’t your favorite, change it up with another fruit, such as frozen peaches, raspberries or strawberries. Enjoy!

What You Need:

1 1/2 cups water-cooked steel cut oats (about 1/4 cup dry oats + 1 1/4 cups water + pinch salt)
2 tsp chia seeds
dash cinnamon
1 tsp ground flax seeds
1 1/2 Tbsp raw chopped walnuts
1 tsp goji berries
1/2 cup wild blueberries, frozen + 1 Tbsp hot water to thaw and plump
1/4 cup almond or soy milk
1/2 tsp agave syrup

What You Do:

* For ease, you can make the oatmeal in a larger batch (1 cup oats + 4 cups water + 1/2 tsp salt). Then use pre-cooked oats throughout the week and heat over the stove.

* You can add the chia seeds, half of the walnuts, goji berries, flax and cinnamon halfway through the cooking process if making in a large batch. Otherwise, add the pre-cooked oats to a pan with a splash of almond or soy milk, or water to rehydrate a bit. Then fold those ingredients into the oats. Simmer until warm and soft. Add more liquid as desired.

* Top the cooked oats with walnuts, the blueberries, a few more chia seeds, a splash of soy milk and agave right before serving.

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Monday, July 7, 2014

11 Ways to Elevate Your Salad From App to Entrée

Field Green & Beet Salad

Bulk up your bowl with these easy steps for turning your meal from simple to superb.

The old stereotype about vegetarians and vegans only eating lettuce and tofu is far from accurate, but hey, most of us do love a good salad. The satisfying crunch of lettuce and veggies is refreshing and wholesome, but to bring your salad from drab to fab (yes, this expression may have been lifted from reality television makeover shows) it will need an extra punch of flavor, texture, and overall oomph. Here are the top 11 tips for turning a sad side salad into a power-packed, plant-based meal.

1. Love your lettuce. Instead of yawning over iceberg, mix it up with mache, watercress, frisée, spinach, mixed greens, cabbage, butter lettuce, or romaine hearts for a slightly different spin. Mix and match varieties until you achieve the perfect base for a satisfying salad.

2. Add a grain. Quinoa is an excellent choice because of its small size (allowing it to cling to the other components in your salad and not just pool sadly at the bottom of your bowl like a whole-grain Chuck E. Cheese ball pit) and high nutritional value, but feel free to experiment with wheat berries, brown rice, millet, bulgur, or couscous. Name a grain ~ it can go in your salad.

3. Don’t skimp on veggies. Rather than settling for a few forlorn slices of carrot or celery, think grilled fennel, steamed asparagus, marinated mushrooms, or pickled daikon. Add a heaping dollop of mashed potatoes for a taste of comfort, or braised eggplant, beets, or zucchini to add both bulk and beauty.

4. Fill up on fruit. Packed with nutrients and low on calories, fruit is a major mainstay of any plant-based diet. While dried cranberries are a staple of mundane packaged salads everywhere, fresh fruit can add sweet pizzazz to an otherwise savory array. Sliced pears, diced apples, ripe berries, and citrus wedges all happily take to a dash of vinaigrette.

Spring Mix & Fruit Salad

5. Go nuts. As you probably know, nuts are a great source of protein and healthy fats, making them a thoughtful addition to any vegan diet. Slivered almonds, crushed cashews, candied pecans, walnuts and whole hazelnuts can all add healthful crunch to your creation.

6. Pick a protein. Tofu and tempeh tend to be go-tos, but wheat-based strips, meatless turkey slices, and breaded “chicken” fingers also make excellent stand-ins. And if you were a bacon lover in a former (read: pre-veg) life, don’t forget that many brands of bacon bits are actually vegan. Just check the label to make sure that they’re cruelty-free, and shake it up.

7. Choose a cheese. Think that being vegan means forgetting about a sprinkle of cheese on top of your salad? Think again! Veg Feta can be tossed with basically anything or use store-bought shreds (such as Daiya) or crumbles (Sunergia Soyfoods Soy Bleu Cheese) to add a creamy, crave-worthy flavor. We also love Parmesan cheese substitutes Parma and Parmela, which add the perfect level of tang without being overpowering.

8. Avocado. Do it. This step is simple. Acquire an avocado. Slice it in half. Remove the pit. Slice the green part into medium-size pieces. Put the pieces in your salad. Your salad is now 1,000 times better.

9. Bean yourself. Don’t forget about our old pals kidney, edamame, black-eyed, and garbanzo. Whether you have the time to cook ‘em yourself or you opt to go canned, beans are our sometimes forgotten friends! They’re here to give us fiber and make stuff taste extra good, and they’re fun to stab with your fork. Lentils are another wholesome member of the legume family, and are one of the most protein-packed plants out there. Pile them on top of your greens and veggies for an ideal power meal.

10. Spice it up. Don’t forget that just like any other dish, your salad can be seasoned with fresh or dried herbs and spices. Chop up some basil, cilantro, dill, or tarragon, or add generous dashes of smoked pepper, cayenne, puréed jalapeño, roasted garlic, or caramelized onions.

11. Dress to impress. Store-bought dressings are fine and all, but there’s nothing like homemade salad dressing to top off your now jam-packed bowl of show-stopping wonderment. Start with your oil of choice ~ olive is always a classic, but grapeseed, linseed, or sesame oil can also work ~ and stir in balsamic or apple-cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, fresh herbs (see step 10), lemon juice, or whatever else your heart desires. To achieve an extra-smooth texture, use a blender, and feel free to add shallots, peppers, capers, or even nut butters depending on what essence you’re looking for. Homemade hummus also makes an excellent dressing!

Ta-da! Hopefully by now, you’re looking at a beautiful bowl overflowing with fresh greens, crisp veggies, bright fruit, wholesome grains, and an array of healthy fats, proteins, and herbs. And most of all, it should be delicious. Experiment to find the combinations you like best, and share your signature salad to show off its impressive entrée status. Then chow down!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Good Nutrition & Good Health . . . . Sweeter Than Sugar!

A recent report from the Environmental Working Group highlights the top sugar-laden cereals. Honey Smacks dominated the list with 15 grams of sugar per serving. While it’s fashionable these days to attack sugary cereals, sugar is hardly the most dangerous thing in your breakfast bowl. That dubious distinction goes to the milk.
For starters, milk itself is high in sugar. While the top five cereals on EWG’s list all had between 14 and 15 grams of sugar per serving, milk was nearly as high with 12 grams of sugar in a cup of skim milk. One cup of chocolate milk has almost 24 grams of sugar.

What is considerably more worrisome is the fact that milk is linked with cancer ~ particularly prostate cancer. In international comparisons and in several prospective studies, men consuming the most milk had a substantially higher risk of prostate cancer, apparently due to milk’s effects on male hormones.
However gals . . . . don't think you're off the hook either.  When I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in my late 20s, I was floored.  I was a happy, healthy, on-the-go vegetarian, but I was still consuming dairy.  After a few go-rounds with this terrifying disease, and no doctors who were willing to remove my ovaries due to my age, the cancer eventually spread. Though it took me a while to make the connection, I eventually gave up dairy for good (and every other processed food that contained animal products) and went completely plant-based.  Since there was not a history of ovarian or cervical cancer in my family (that I was able to uncover), it was assumed by the physicians who treated me back then that it was perhaps something I was exposed to as a child (toxic chemicals), and / or it was connected to diet.
Here's the skinny . . . . you don’t need milk! Studies show that milk does not actually help build strong bones, and the protein in milk can easily be obtained from other sources. One cup of oatmeal has 5.5 grams of protein ~ as well as 4 grams of fiber. Quinoa also makes an excellent breakfast, and one cup of quinoa contains has 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. Making a few servings of quinoa or a pot of oatmeal, and then sticking them in the refrigerator, makes them as easy as cold cereal on a frenzied morning. And you can sweeten them both with fruit and a little bit of agave if you’re so inclined.  
That's just a couple of breakfast ideas.  There are dozens of ways to get the purest forms of protein and calcium and minerals and everything else you need by consuming a healthy plant-based diet for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks!
So, go ahead and ditch the milk . . . . we’ll all be better off in the long run.

*Portions of this article excerpted from PCRM

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Who Wants to Learn More About Essential Oils?!

Essential Oils

If you want to know more about all the amazing uses for Essential Oils, I'm here to help you learn how to transition your home and family (and pets!) to natural, non-toxic Essential Oils!

Learn the basics of Essential Oils including answers to your questions:

~ What are essential oils?
~ How do I use essential oils?
~ Why should I be using essential oils?
~ What are carrier oils?

AND…how you can use Essential Oils to make all kinds of things like:

~ hand soap
~ shampoo
~ breath spray
~ body butter
~ non-toxic pet remedies
~ all purpose cleaners
~ hand sanitizer
~ insect repellent

and so much MORE!

Also learn ways to avoid over the counter meds and steroids for migraines, constipation, eczema, allergies and asthma naturally.

For a free consultation, please contact me via private message, or via the Contact form and we can schedule a time to chat.  If you are local to SE Michigan, ask about scheduling a class for you and your friends!

P.S.  YL ships to over 100+ countries around the world, so please join us to begin your amazing Essential Oils journey!

Peach Crisp

Perfectly sweet, this crisp is the best possible way to savor the dog days of summer.

If there’s anything better than absolutely ripe, juicy peaches, we don’t even want to know about it. This crisp pairs the sweet gems with a warm, homey crust, which is a fairly unstoppable combination. Top with a scoop of Vanilla Coconut Milk Ice Cream and be ready to slip into a glee-induced coma.

What You Need:

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup pear or apple juice concentrate
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
6 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup dates, roughly chopped
1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped

What You Do:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and slowly pour in 1/4 cup of oil. Set aside.

2. In an 11x7 baking dish, stir together remaining 2 tablespoons oil, vanilla, ginger, lemon juice, juice concentrate, sugar, cornstarch, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Add peach slices, and toss to coat thoroughly. Stir in dates. Sprinkle in almonds, without stirring, and then top with oat mixture.

3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until browned and bubbly. Let rest at least 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Gluten-Free Stuffed Mushrooms

Gluten-Free Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed with herbs and spices, these mushroom hors d’oeuvres will win over any dinner guest. Easy to prepare but elegant, they combine the hearty texture of mushrooms with the aromatic flavors of garlic, sage, and chives, all in a creamy chickpea filling. But beware ~ they're deliciously addictive!

What You Need:

40 white button mushrooms, stems removed
1-1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons chickpea flour
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons minced chives
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 sage leaves, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped mustard greens (leaves), dried well
Olive oil, for garnish

What You Do:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Into an 8-inch round pan, place button mushrooms, tops of caps facing down.

2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, water, chives, celery salt, salt, garlic, baking powder, sage, and mustard greens until smooth. Transfer batter to a piping bag with a wide tip, and pipe filling into mushroom cap. Drizzle mushrooms with olive oil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until mushrooms tops are puffed golden brown on edges. Serve hot. Makes 40 appetizer mushrooms. Enjoy!  

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Essential Oils for Dog Allergies

Dogs are wonderful companions, and an important part of our families, which is why we only want the best for them when it comes to their good health.  Yet, there are times when a health condition arises where many of us prefer using a more natural, yet effective solution for our precious furkids.  That being said, if traditional vet care is in their best interest, we would never recommend abandoning common sense just for the sake of taking the natural path.  There are excellent holistic vets who offer traditional AND holistic medicine combined, some of which even incorporating remedies such as essential oils.  

Our primary purpose at Healing Oils for Animals is to educate you as to when certain essential oils may be used for specific issues your pet may be experiencing. Therapeutic grade essential oils are incredibly powerful healing (and preventative) tools that are effective for the majority of dogs (and other animals), however they may not work for every animal, and the information presented here is not meant as a "magic pill" or cure-all. Not all essential oils are created equal, which is why we only recommend Young Living Essential Oils.  Therefore, when we refer to any oil, we are referring to therapeutic grade essential oils by Young Living that are trusted and proven for over 20 years.

Now, on to the very complicated subject of dog allergies.  Many pet parents tend to just assume that whatever they are feeding their dog is causing him or her to have allergies. Unfortunately, it is not that simple.  We will concur that there are far too many substandard pet products on the market today with questionable ingredients, so we do recommend that pet parents educate themselves as to what they are feeding their pets.  Pet food, treats, supplements and pet care products is a subject that requires an entire article unto itself, however we are happy to offer our recommendations upon request.

Just like people, dogs come in all shapes and sizes, which is why we are addressing essential oils and dosing guidelines right away.  Please consider these approximate sizes of dogs when determining the use of essential oils, and remember, when in doubt, start slowly (less is better when introducing EOs) and gradually increase the dosage once you have determined that your dog (or other animal) is responding well to treatment with essential oils.

Small Dogs ~ 1 - 20 Pounds (0 - 9 kg)
Medium Dogs ~ 20 - 50 Pounds (9 - 22 kg)
Large Dogs ~ 50 - 100 Pounds (23-45 kg)
X-Large Dogs ~ 100+ Pounds (45+ kg)

Dog allergies often require a full holistic health consultation, as well as expensive in-depth blood work to fully evaluate the underlying cause (or causes) of the allergies themselves. And yes, diet can be one of the culprits, depending on what you are feeding your dog. 

Another huge culprit is household cleaners, air fresheners, sprays and other toxic items that are in your pets face (and under their feet) every single day!  If you want to see the world from their vantage point, we encourage you to get down on your hands and knees and imagine being bombarded with these things at their eye and smell level day after day. Whatever you clean with, freshen with, spray around the house is absorbed by your pets through their eyes, nose, skin, mouth and paw pads.

Changing household cleaners, first-aid, and other personal care products to Young Living products not only eliminates harmful chemicals, but provides more exposure to beneficial therapeutic essential oils on a daily basis . . . . for your pets and for your entire family!

Treatment recommendations for battling allergies (other than switching to a natural / holistic diet) are as follows:

~ Diffuse:  Clove, Thieves, or Lavender.
~ Antihistamine Oils to be Applied Orally, Topically, and / or Diffused:  Melissa, Ocotea, Basil, Lavender
~ Anti-Inflammatory (steroid alternative):  Raindrop Technique
~ Nutritional Supplements:  Allerzyme, NingXia Red, Omega Blue, Sulfurzyme, Life 5
~ Other:  Animal Scents Shampoo, Thieves Household Cleaner

Secondary Recommendations:  

~ Polyzyme, Mightyzyme, Detoxzyme, Digest + Cleanse, Inner Defense

Additional Recommendations:

~ Give an Allerzyme digestive enzyme with every meal.  For Large Dogs ~ 2 or more capsules may be necessary.

~ Give NingXia Red with 1-2 drops of Lavender Essential Oil added.  This may be given straight, or mixed in with food.

Should you wish to get started with your own oils and products, we recommend that you enroll as a wholesale member in Young Living by purchasing the Premium Starter Kit, which gives you the Everyday Oils, a bonus oil called Stress Away, a Home Diffuser, as well as samples to try or share. This is an excellent investment in your health, as well as the health of your animals. 

You also have the option of joining as a Retail Member, as opposed to a Wholesale Member, so it is completely up to you. There are also options for monthly Essential Rewards orders, which earn you points that you can spend on additional products, as well as promotional items every month that you can earn for free, just by shopping for what you already need. 

Please ask us for additional information, or you may learn more by logging on to:  (then click on the Contact page for more info)

Thank you for joining us on this wonderfully holistic journey. We are truly grateful to have you here with us and look forward to helping you any way we can! ♥

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Foods for Cancer Prevention

Of the many diseases that affect people these days, cancer is among the most feared. But despite a wealth of scientific data, most people remain unaware of how they can reduce their risk of developing cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, as much as 80 percent of all cancers are due to identified factors, and thus are potentially preventable. Thirty percent are due to tobacco use, and as much as 35 to 50 percent are due to foods. It is easy to control these and other risk factors.

What Is Cancer?

Cancer begins as a single abnormal cell that begins to multiply out of control. Groups of such cells form tumors and invade healthy tissue, often spreading to other parts of the body. Carcinogens are substances that promote the development of cancerous cells. They may come from foods, from the air, or even from within the body. Most carcinogens are neutralized before damage can occur, but sometimes they attack the cell’s genetic material (DNA) and alter it. It takes years for a noticeable tumor to develop. During this time, compounds known as inhibitors can keep the cells from growing. Some vitamins in plant foods are known to be inhibitors. Dietary fat, on the other hand, is known to be a promoter that helps the abnormal cells grow quickly.

Fiber Fights Cancer

In 1970, British physician, Dennis Burkitt, observed that a high-fiber diet reduces diseases of the digestive tract. He observed that in countries where diets are high in fiber (that is, plant-based diets), there were fewer cases of colon cancer. Around the world, this has proven true. The highest fiber intakes are found in non-industrialized nations where meat is scarce and plant foods fill the menu. Animal products contain no fiber. The U.S. and other Western nations whose diets are based upon animal products have the highest rates of colon cancer.

While no one is certain exactly how fiber protects against digestive tract disorders, there are several possibilities. By definition, fiber cannot be digested by humans early in the digestive process. It moves food more quickly through the intestines, helping to eliminate carcinogens. It also draws water into the digestive tract. The water and fiber make fecal matter bulkier, so carcinogens are diluted.

Bile acids are secreted into the intestine to help digest fat; there, bacteria can change the acids into chemicals which promote colon cancer. Fiber may bind with these bile acids and evict them from the intestines.1 Also, bacteria in the colon ferment the fiber creating a more acidic environment which may make bile acids less toxic.

Fiber is also protective against other forms of cancer. Studies have shown that stomach cancer and breast cancer are less common on high-fiber diets.2,3 Fiber affects levels of estrogens in the body. Estrogens are normally secreted into the intestine, where the fiber binds with the hormone and moves it out of the body.4 Without adequate fiber, the estrogen can be reabsorbed from the intestine into the bloodstream. High levels of estrogen are linked to a higher risk of breast cancer.

In the U.S., the average daily fiber intake is 10 to 20 grams per day. Experts recommend 30 to 40 grams per day. The best sources of fiber are whole grains, beans, peas, lentils, vegetables, and fruits. Foods that are closest to their natural state, unrefined and unpeeled, are highest in fiber.

Fat Raises Cancer Risks

Cross-cultural studies have revealed that the populations with the highest levels of fat consumption are also the ones with the highest death rates from breast and colon cancer. The lowest rates are in groups with the lowest consumption of fats.5 Migration studies help to rule out the influence of genetics.6

Many studies indicate that fat in foods increases one’s risk for cancer, and it may also adversely affect breast cancer survival rates for those who have cancer.7

Although the total amount of fat one eats is of concern, there is evidence that animal fat is much more harmful than vegetable fat. One study noted a 200 percent increase in breast cancer among those who consume beef or pork five to six times per week. Dr. Sheila Bingham, a prominent cancer researcher form the University of Cambridge, notes that meat is more closely associated with colon cancer than any other factor.8 Meat and milk are also linked to both prostate and ovarian cancers.9

How Fat Affects Cancer Risks

Fat has many effects within the body. It increases hormone production and thus raises breast cancer risks. It also stimulates the production of bile acids which have been linked to colon cancer.
The average diet in the U.S. is about 37 percent fat. The National Cancer Institute suggests that people lower that percentage down to 30 percent; however, studies have shown that fat intake should be well below 30 percent to have an anti-cancer affect. Ten to 15 percent is more likely to be helpful.

The Importance of Vegetables

Not only are vegetables low in fat and high in fiber, they also contain many cancer-fighting substances. Carotenoids, the pigment that gives fruits and vegetables their dark colors, have been shown to help prevent cancer. Beta-carotene, present in dark green and yellow vegetables, helps protect against lung cancer and may help prevent cancers of the bladder, mouth, larynx, esophagus, breast, and other sites.

Vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, kale, turnips, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts contain flavones and indoles which are thought to have anti-cancer activities.

Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits and many vegetables, may lower risks for cancers of the esophagus and stomach. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing cancer-causing chemicals that form in the body. It also blocks the conversion of nitrates to cancer-causing nitrosamines in the stomach.

Selenium is found in whole grains and has the same antioxidant effects as vitamin C and beta-carotene. Vitamin E also has this effect. Caution is advised in supplementing selenium, which is toxic in large doses.


Excessive intake of alcohol raises one’s risks for cancers of the breast, mouth, pharynx, and esophagus. When combined with smoking, these risks skyrocket. It also raises risks for stomach, liver, and colon cancers.10

Vegetarians Are Better Off

All the evidence points to a low-fat, high-fiber diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans, as being the best for cancer prevention. Not surprisingly, vegetarians, whose diets easily meet these requirements, are at the lowest risk for cancer. Vegetarians have about half the cancer risk of meat-eaters.11

Vegetarians have higher blood levels of beta-carotene. They consume more vitamin C, beta-carotene, indoles, and fiber than meat-eaters. Vegetarians also have stronger immune systems. German researchers recently discovered that vegetarians have more than twice the natural killer cell activity of meat-eaters.12 Natural killer cells are specialized white blood cells that attack and neutralize cancer cells. Also, vegetarians tend to eat more soy products than meat-eaters. Soybeans contain many substances that are anticarcinogens, including lignans and phytoestrogens. A diet that is rich in soybeans may be one reason for the lower incidence of breast cancer in Asia.


A cancer prevention diet is one that is high in fiber, low in fat (especially animal fat), and includes generous portions of fruits and vegetables. It also minimizes or excludes alcohol. The best diets are pure vegetarian diets.

Source:  PCRM
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