Orange is the New White: 3 Reasons the Turmeric Challenge is Worth It

Over the last ten years, interest in homeopathic, naturopathic, alternative and natural health has completely skyrocketed. I believe this is all for a very good reason –

We’re not recovering anymore. Our society is ridden with chronic ailments that are passed from generation to generation, and we’re tired of it.

That being said, a need for chemical-free, naturally occurring sources of vitality are becoming more valuable. Considering that alternative medicine usage among Americans in all adult age groups hover around 33%, there’s room to grow in such a beneficial resource. I believe the most important time to introduce alternative and holistic health practices is in childhood. Remember: this form of wellness is best introduced as a preventative lifestyle practice. If you think about it, the accumulation of our childhood exposure to the world manifests within our adult bodies. Why not take care of it from the very start?

All of this brings me to the reason for this post. Let’s say you’re new to this whole floofy-doofy health thing. You could be skeptical of how it truly works, or if it actually benefits you. Let’s start with something that over 80% of Americans want — white teeth.
It’s a fantastic change to your entire well being. When we interact with each other, a person with white teeth will appear more healthy and attractive than someone with stained chompers.  It’s no wonder we’re all shelling out cash for whiter teeth. Before you portion out $20 for your next drugstore fix (or worse yet, $200 for a dental whitening), let me convince you to take the holistic road to get to your destination.

The average person swallows 25% of the chemicals stuffed into teeth whitening products and trays, which contain harmful substances you would never think of eating normally. Coal tar and benzene, which are known to lead to lymphomas when inhaled (think of what ingesting them will do), are in whitening products. We can’t forget to mention that the use of teeth whiteners means a heightened tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, which is never a sign of a strong and healthy smile.
The cost of whiter teeth with chemicals can mean a lessened quality of life later down the road.

turmeric

If you’re looking for the 3 reasons this challenge is worth it already, thank you and I’m excited to bring you on board with me! This challenge will give you a naturally brighter and whiter smile without any harmful side effects or causing any foreign materials to be absorbed into your blood stream. This bright orange powder can lift stains and strengthen teeth in ways you may have never known!

This blog lays out the steps beautifully for anyone interested in trying this.
I’m going to try 1/2 tablespoon of turmeric with drops of water until it becomes a paste, and one drop of peppermint oil to give that zing of flavor and cooling effect that’s reminiscent of toothpaste. It’s not needed, nor is it necessary.

Turmeric is the star in this challenge, and here are the reasons that this challenge is worth trying today:

Anti-Inflammatory Heaven

Turmeric is highly anti-inflammatory for the body, and it is also an antioxidant warrior. The compounds within the herb fight inflammation in the body, which is believed to be the source of all chronic diseases. By introducing turmeric into your life, your body can only boost its natural stress fighting resources. Talk about a double whammy.

Banish the Blues

Did you know that this herb has been proven to be as effective as Prozac in treating depression? Believe it! The tiny serving of one gram a day fared exactly as a dosage  of Prozac did in this study. While you’re getting your pearly whites, you can boost your mood even more!

Free Yourself

This last, and frankly most important, reason is not backed by science or proven in a laboratory under strict conditions. It is, however, a source of true freedom for you. Imagine a life where you’re not dictated by schedules and regimes of when you wake up, when you sleep, and which colored pills to take at which times. Imagine feeling a sense of relief instead of dread when you’re reaching for the NSAIDs or allergy medication.
Close your eyes. When you open them, you can be there. In an instant.
I truly believe that it takes small steps to accomplish any goal you set. By starting with small adjustments, like this turmeric whitener, you can gain the momentum to make more small changes until you free yourself from the pains of stress and weight of bad health.

In the inspiration of positive and healthy lifestyles, who’s doing this challenge with me?

Love, unwind the coils within endless paths inside of our

constructed hearts. Create space for curling cords and wires.

Unfurled, free and alive your machine will become.

Every choice, a curl. Every path, a cord. Choose

wisely, choose fearlessly, and follow the beating

within your mechanical heart.

Love has been on my mind lately. Current love, past love, and uncultured love. Have you ever met a person that you know deserves true love? You know the kind; it’s only a tiny sprout among vast, congregated crops on a field in the middle of a farm land. You’ll never know how vibrantly and robust it will grow if its neglected any nurturing. Though your crops are rich and a bountiful harvest, there’s a tiny pair of delicate, pea sized leaves patiently resting in the soil. You hope that someone will sing to it so there’s energy to grow.
Little sprout, stay strong. Your time to reach out will come.

Spring

Teleported to a place so

Familiar, so known as the place where I

Found the “within.”

Falling through space and time in a

Counter-clockwise motion toward what’s

“Within” my heart.

Fell gently on the grass of my subconscious

Dreaming.

Birds flying, gently singing as they swoop by.

My hands are wet from a stream of

Creek water floating past.

I step.

One foot before the other,

Repeating until I watch the path twist,

Turn, rise, and falter.

My heart skips a beat near the old oak tree.

“Within” its trunk is a small cavern filled with

Memories.

My steps hasten as I approach the river,

Beckoning me to discover what’s beyond

The bend.

The light pit-pat of my toes against the river’s

Momentum;

The sensation of what is to come.

I don’t believe in moderation.

The title of this post may come across as a little intense: why doesn’t she believe in moderation? Is she a glutton, a thrill-seeker? What?

Let me clarify for you: I don’t believe in moderation diets. I don’t believe that you can eat everything you want as long as it’s moderated. No, our bodies weren’t designed for that. Our bodies, mechanically, are set to burn one of two types of fuel when we are alive: sugars (carbohydrates and protein), or fats.

2 years ago I wrote a blog post about the importance of fat in our diets, and little did I know just how far down that rabbit hole I was going to go. At that time, the solid quality of utilizing fat stores for fuel was exactly the kick in the rear I needed to reevaluate how I was nourishing my own DNA, my cells, and my musculature. Little did I know just how important the correct format of nutrients on a person’s health really is. Until now.

Disclaimer: I am no medical doctor, naturopathic doctor (yet), or worthy of any certificate that says I can advise another person on their health and diet.

Yesterday, a tweet that seemed angsty and rude (it really wasn’t, I’m sorry) was sent out by me. It read: “Low fat, high carb or low carb, high fat. Pick a camp and stay in it. Otherwise your health will deteriorate.” This post is designed to take that TL;DR idea and expand on it. Why, exactly, do I need to pick a camp in the first place? What if I like bread with butter? Does that mean I can’t have alfredo and pasta anymore?
Too bad, and yes.

Where the idea stemmed from.
Our bodies can burn one of three types of fuel at any point during our life: carbs, proteins, and fats. Typically, an average person with an average diet is burning carbohydrates for energy to get them through the day. The starches they eat are converted to sugars, thus making a readily accessed form of ATP for the cells to carry through. It’s the “sugar rush” we feel after eating a meal, or candy, or soda. Whatever you wish. It gives you fast and vibrant energy.
For about an hour or two.
Then your blood sugar drops and your body is asking for more. Hunger pangs, cravings, and salivating ensue. This is a tell-tale sign that your body is asking for a higher blood sugar to keep delivering ATP all throughout your body. The cycle continues until you go to sleep at night.
If you happened to burn all of the excess carbohydrates you ate during the day, your body will begin to convert another dietary macronutrient as energy to fuel your sleep cycle into the morning: fats.
Did you know? Just before the body transitions from burning carbs to burning fats, some muscle mass will be broken down into glucose in an attempt to create ATP. Eat your protein, people!

Fat is fabulous.
I’m going to be adventurous and say that over 50% of the population burns fat in their bodies during the night. Many of us front-load with starchy foods during the day that we never get to the point where we run out. If you are active, you most likely enter the fat-burning stage overnight.
Fat-burning meaning that you are not burning carbohydrates into fuel, but burning dietary fat or stored fat as fuel.
As humans, we’re designed to burn either fat or carbs/proteins. If we don’t burn through enough carbohydrates, the excess is stored as visible fat on our bodies, until we get to it later (from a lack of calories/fasting). This is exactly why I push for fat-based dietary lifestyle for people who are overweight. You will directly attack the fat that’s lying on the outside of your body effortlessly.
The body begins a rather complicated process of grabbing stored fat, breaking it down into usable parts, and giving each cell in your body access to that fat for energy.
Did you know? Fatty acids are the in-between stage of unused carbohydrates before they are stored as visible fat.
The result of burning fat for energy is not seen on insulin levels: often, a person who consumes lower amounts of carbohydrates to begin burning the thicker, viscous fat cells has a lowered blood sugar. You will feel more stable in energy levels, and if a calorie of fat is 9 calories versus a calorie of carbs being only 4 calories, your energy will last a lot longer. An average person has about a month’s worth of energy in their fat stores, versus a day’s worth of stored carbohydrates (also known as glycogen).

Why I proclaim low fat or low carb, and not both.
The reason for this post is mainly because the amount of heart disease, obesity, and unhealthy bodies on our planet is devastating. We’re living unhealthily and not very happily; our greatest gift to ourselves is the commitment to health and longevity. I truly believe a high fat, low carb diet works for 80% of people on the planet. However, I do understand that not everyone functions properly with little to no carbohydrate intake. So, pick your camp and stay in it.
With a low fat, high carb diet you will be fueling your cells with quick bursts of energy to get you through the challenges of the day. Remember to re-fuel often with low fat, low calorie sources of food and make sure to up your fiber intake. It will help you in the bathroom, if you know what I mean. However, your body will not have to store any fat you do consume as visceral fat because you will only be burning carbohydrate sugars for fuel. Your muscle mass may be low, and your stamina may suffer, but you can always re-fuel.
Warning: A high carb diet may cause your insulin levels to skyrocket, so resist the urge to eat high carb fake foods and stick with fruits. Remember to drink a lot of water, otherwise your body will store water with all of the carbohydrate you intake.

With a high fat, low carb diet you will be fueling your cells with concentrated, slow burning energy to keep you stable during the day. Remember to re-fuel with oily snacks and moderate protein, if you remember to. Your reduced appetite from the dense energy sources you’re burning may cause you to eat even when you’re not hungry, but know you should eat. You may be using the bathroom more than before. Don’t forget your vegetables to increase your phytonutrient and antioxidant levels. Your muscle mass may improve, and you may be able to exercise longer, so always concentrate on meeting your fitness goals.
Warning: A low carb diet typically starts with a decreased energy level for about a week. The body is going to fight a lowered blood sugar with tiredness, but continue to fuel with high fat foods and after a week you will feel energized.

Pick your camp and stay in it.

New Year’s Resolutions

newyear

Last year I posted about resolutions in 2013 based on sun sign in astrology — how accurate were those themes for you throughout the past 12 months? I know mine was pretty spot on.

It’s time to revisit the 2013 version of, “What is your New Year’s resolution for 2014?” This year, I’m taking a different approach by consolidating the entire entry for each sign into one sentence. Straight to the point, no fluff or confusing fuzzy language. But don’t worry! Here’s the original article if you’d like all the nitty-gritty tid bits as well.

Here we have it — New Year’s resolutions per astrological sun sign for the upcoming 2014 year:

Aries: Stop fueling your anger and scaring everyone else away from you, or else you’ll lose any cultivated stability you have now.

Taurus: Relationships are serious business and your face needs to stop showing it; release your soft-hearted side with friends and romantic company.

Gemini: For the love of God, be modest with your finances, re-invest in your friends (if you still can), and gain financial independence from others.

Cancer: You’re worth anything you can dream of and the key to success lies in being vulnerable and open, so drop the hard shell off your back and embrace life.

Leo: Exhausted from using all your energy toward others, resolve to take care of you and make a solid decision about moving your (and no one else’s) life forward.

Virgo: Sometimes our inner circle of friends needs re-evaluating and it’s more than vital for you to assess who’s really out to nourish, or deplete, you.

Libra: Your home life is going to get a shake up and you may wish to make newer, but more improved, changes to the way you’re living.

Scorpio: Pay attention to your body’s messages, because it is important you respond to them and center your emotional body as well.

Sagittarius: You are valuable and it’s time to embrace what you bring to your relationships to prevent being taken advantage of any longer.

Capricorn: Breathe; okay, relax and accept that what makes the world beautiful are not the decisions we make but how we react to what’s around us — you may want to try yoga this year.

Aquarius: There’s a lot of repressed emotion within you, so deal with them in a healthy way to stop burning yourself (and your energy levels) out.

Pisces: Finances are your friend, so try an investment in the people you can connect with in order to grow within your career and support the life you’re living.

Are these resolutions resonating with you? Are they completely off track? Either way, here’s to a happy and fulfilling new year for all of us! 2014, here we come!

Do Attractive People Have Advantages That Others Don’t?

jumping_joy

I urge you to read and integrate this question into your mind as a serious consideration of your thoughts and decisions. Do attractive people have advantages that others don’t? Is it true that those who have genetically superior traits can more easily escape a speeding ticket than a disheveled, aged old woman with a broken nose? Even if they both have the same intent — “I’m sorry officer, I’m trying to get to my daughter at the hospital–” would they treat both of them fairly?

Statistics, unsurprisingly, state this is not the case at all. In fact, our sexy, young and hip woman would easily escape the ticket without even a plea of consideration to her circumstance. Every day there are examples of the more attractive counterpart being superior: job interviews, dating, and income all correlate with beauty levels. This is tragic, but it remains to be our natural reaction to a person’s features.

How does science play a role in determining this advantageous act? Many of us assume that a more attractive person is healthier than a less attractive person. And for the most part, this is true. Global signs of beauty, like shiny hair and symmetrical features, are physical manifestations of a healthy body.

Did you know that by wearing a little defining eyeliner and a highlighting powder, you can persuade that cop to let you go with a warning? In research, those who appear more beautiful tend to have traits correlating with intelligence and social skills. In turn, this allows the beauty to get ahead with their physicality and their words.

Did you know that your boss and higher ups actually can contribute to the company’s success? Executives that were rated more beautiful tended to see rising value and profits in their respective companies. We like to support those who are beautiful — or so it seems.

Harvard University also conducted a study to determine how everyone else perceives an attractive person. Overall, if you are attractive, most people will assume that you are trustworthy and amicable.
What I’d like to ask in return is, “are attractive people more trustworthy and likable because you want to associate with them? Are you giving them that power through your own vulnerabilities?”

 

I personally believe that all people are attractive; more than just their physical manifestation. Humans, as a race, are sturdy and intelligent. They are witty, creative, and able to move in ways no other species can move. They discover. Humans have emotions that we understand and can communicate. They carry others through the world with their boundless support and love. Humans grow from infants, to children, to adults, and to an elderly human full of wisdom and experience to share with others.
Humans are attractive in that their gift of life is an unending story that takes you on a journey to appreciate, learn, and take on new perspectives about your own life’s journey. We have a spirit, and every day our spirits collide with other people’s spirits to laugh and connect with love.

So, yes. Physically attractive people do receive more advantages than less attractive people. But I dare you to ask yourself and others around you,
“Can you see the beauty in every person that walks by?”

Hopscotch Your Way to Adulthood

adulthood

If there were only 6 things to cross off your “To-Do” list in order to be a full-fledged, mature, self-empowering adult .. would you do them? According to Psychology Today, there are indeed half a dozen ways to announce your adult-ness to the world. Take a look at a few from their list and see how you feel about them:

Control over reptilian and rational actions.

Our minds operate on a reptilian, or wild, basis automatically. We have knee-jerk reactions and powerful emotional drives at all times. A signal that you are headed down the path to adulthood is if you segregate the reptilian mind from the rational actions you take.
For example, being in a house that’s in flames could result in you thinking erratic, panicky thoughts and freeze up or run away for protection. However, an emotionally mature person would see these thoughts pop up and react by swiftly gathering their pets and family. They could calmly, but directly, rush everyone out of the house and remember to call 911.

Goal Setting

Children are notorious for wanting to be a ballerina one year and a soccer player the next. You can’t count on a kid to stick with one thing from a young age — as they are exploring themselves and their options in life.
An emotionally mature adult will have their arsenal of experiences to fall back on and have a familiarity of their interests and desires. Because of this, goal setting and working steadily toward a goal are signs of being an adult.
If you’re like me, and have trouble seeing through to a goal, cut it in half. It’s not that you’re not an adult; maybe you aim a little too high ;)

Equality for all.

Being an adult means you give and take fairly in your relationships: friends, family, loved ones, peers, and coworkers. There is no “demand and conquer” or superiority in an adult-to-adult dynamic. We are all mature and can choose to respect differences between us all. We can actively stay true to ourselves without persuading others to take on our views.
This was the most surprising for me, as many people have dynamics similar to this in their lives now and have never noticed it before.

Intense Openness

Children have tantrums, throw fits, and cry when their needs are not met. Teenagers fuel their needs with angst, emotional outbursts and venting with friends. Adults respond to anger and frustration calmly and personally. In addition, adults realize that their needs are their own and that it can be met on their own.
An intense openness signifies an understanding that defense mechanisms, such as being confrontational or defensive, causes static with others. Adults have a deep seated need for experience, knowledge, and criticism. Ideas are the path to wisdom. Adults realize the value of listening, not lecturing or talking over, others around them.

Do you feel more adult-like after reading through these “requirements?” Do you find an area of your life that needs more attention?