Fun Ways to Get Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth

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Oral health is one of the most crucial aspects of our overall well-being. With numerous dental products and services available today, like dentures, night guards, and cleaning and whitening services found in clinics like, it is key that we take advantage of them for the sake of our oral health and appearance. This goes especially for kids.

Children need plenty of guidance when it comes to oral health.  How often have you reminded your kids to brush their teeth, but they still don’t do it? You’re not alone: many parents struggle to get their kids to brush their teeth regularly. But don’t worry, there are plenty of fun ways to encourage them. Try some of these ideas to get your kids to brush their teeth!

Make Dentist Visits Fun

If we’re being honest, a visit to the dentist is one of the least fun things that a kid can do, especially since a dentist’s office is hardly the most fun place. One of the best ways to help your kids promote healthy teeth, especially if you want to get them to brush, is to establish a healthy perception of the dentist.

Of course, many dentists make their offices as kid-friendly as possible, like Edmonton Emergency Dentist in Edmonton, especially in the case of a dental emergency, which can be a scary situation for a child. These dentist offices do their best and make an effort to make the child as comfortable as possible.

Although visits to the dentist are often stressful, there are things that you can do to make the experience fun, too. One way to make a dentist visit fun is by making a day of it. For example, after visiting the dentists, you can take them to eat their favorite food or visit an amusement park.

Teach with Games

Another thing you could do if you want to get your kids to brush their teeth is by teaching with games. Games have been added to education because educators have realized that kids learn faster when having fun.

One game that you could play with your kids is telling them that they are small, tiny, invisible monsters living on their teeth, and the only way to get rid of these monsters is by brushing them away. Of course, you’ll have to introduce this game in a fun way. Otherwise, it can be particularly scary.

Offer Rewards

The best way to make brushing their teeth fun for kids is by rewarding them for doing it. It can be easy to forget to reward your kids for the behaviors you want them to display, especially if you have been battling with them to do it in the first place.

However, it’s imperative to remember that positive reinforcement is a powerful motivator for young children, even adults. As such, every time your kids finish brushing their teeth, reward them somehow, whether it be with some playtime or introducing them to a new toy.

Set an Example

Another fun way to get your kids to brush their teeth is by setting an example. How can you expect your children to brush their teeth if they never see you doing it? More than this, when you brush your teeth, take it as an opportunity to make it seem like the most enjoyable activity in the world.

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Be the Test Subject

Very similar to setting an example, what you can do is be the test subject for your children. Some kids might be hesitant or nervous about brushing their teeth by themselves since it is quite a strange action if you think about it.

To counteract this, all you need to do is hand them the toothpaste and toothbrush and tell them to brush your teeth. While they are brushing your teeth, you can make it seem like you’re having fun. This will naturally make them want to do it, too.

Fun Toothpaste

Finally, if you want to inspire your kids to brush their teeth, consider buying fun toothpaste. There’s a very good reason why toothpaste for kids features fictional characters. If you know that your child’s favorite fictional character is Iron Man, try to find toothpaste with Iron Man on it. This creates a positive association with brushing their teeth, and they’ll be excited to brush their teeth using a toothpaste that has their favorite character on it.

The Health Benefits of Massage Therapy

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How Massage Therapy Restores and Maintains Your Mind and Body

During these highly stressful times, it’s easy to let our own physical and mental health fall by the wayside as our stressors slowly accumulate in our mind and body. It can be easy to become hyper focused on work, raising a family, and keeping up with other obligations. However, no matter how busy you get, you should always make time for self-care.

You may have already noticed that when you’re stressed and tense that you’re not performing at your best. Sometimes this results in a lack of focus and inability to concentrate on things like work or school. Other times, stress can cause physical discomfort, like tense and sore muscles. Whatever the case may be, you don’t have to endure this.

In fact, professional massage therapy has proven to be effective in combating both the mental and physical aspects of stress. It is helpful in combating conditions relating to physical and mental health that aren’t stress related. Unlike medication, massage therapy is a holistic method of helping the mind and body feel and function at their best. Let’s dive in a little deeper about the health benefits of massage therapy and how to become a part of the healing body club.

You Feel Better When You Sleep Better

According to the CDC, roughly 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep issues. That means that approximately one out of every five people you walk by on the street aren’t fully rested. There are several issues associated with sleep deprivation, including lack of focus, decreased brain function, memory loss, weakened immune system, and even more serious issues like risk of heart attack and hypertension.

If you have been dealing with sleep issues, then you are a prime candidate for massage therapy. The techniques used during massage therapy should release serotonin, which is a naturally occurring chemical in the body that aids sleep. Even after one massage therapy session, you will notice that you can get to sleep quicker and stay asleep longer.

It is a wonderful holistic alternative for those who have tried sleep medication and other methods, to no avail.

Reduce Stress and Boost Your Mood

According to, more than half of Americans report feeling stressed throughout the day. Of course, there are several ways to deal with stress. Some do it through breathing exercises, engaging in physical activity, and some even go as far as to take a vacation. However, don’t overlook the benefits of massage therapy when it comes to combating stress and improving your mood.

The scientific explanation behind this is that licensed massage therapists are specially trained to manipulate the body’s muscle tissues so that the brain will release endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. These chemicals that naturally occur in the body holistically make a person feel good, which reduces their anxiety and naturally boosts their mood.

The great thing about massage therapy is that it’s amazing for both combatting stress or preparing the body for when you expect stress. For example, if you’re expecting a particularly tough week at work, book yourself a massage therapy appointment over the weekend. You will be amazed at how you are mentally and physically prepared to deal with stress.

Combat the Pain in Your Body

According to the CDC, approximately 20% of people suffer from some variety of pain. That could be because of a physical injury or a medical issue, such as fibromyalgia or arthritis. Additionally, many older adults suffer from pain in their joints and muscles that is related to aging. That can lead to them relying more on over the counter and prescription medications.

However, massage therapy is a holistic alternative that can naturally help them reduce their pain. Licensed massage therapists can manipulate muscles in a way that improves the body’s circulation with oxygen-rich blood flow. Recipients of massage therapy will instantly notice that their pain levels will go down significantly after only a single treatment. Massage therapy is also a great way to reduce pain and soreness for those who are engaging in physical activity or competitive sports.

Booking Your Massage Therapy Appointment

The beauty of massage therapy is that it is a widely available service that you should be able to find in your local area. Start by Googling the term “massage therapy near me” or “massage therapy in Kansas City.” That should bring up many massage therapy clinics that can help restore your mind, body, and spirit.

There is no reason to suffer from stress or pain. Book your massage therapy appointment today and take the first step to an improved, happier you.


Vitamin Overdose and Toxicity

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Scientific studies showed that vitamin and mineral supplementation may be beneficial to a person’s health. However, the harmful effects of vitamins often receive little attention(1).

For example, high doses of vitamin C may put people at risk of developing kidney stones(2). To diagnose the condition and support its treatment, doctors use advanced medical imaging procedures, like computed tomography (CT) or X-ray.

Experts have also noted the importance of looking for non-toxic vitamin alternatives that promote health without any adverse effects. To avoid the harmful effects of vitamins, some people opt for natural solutions to boost the immune system.

Water-Soluble vs. Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Vitamins are divided into two categories: fat-soluble vitamins and water-soluble vitamins(3).

Water-Soluble Vitamins

Water-soluble vitamins are compounds not stored by the human body. These compounds, including vitamins B and C, are excreted through urine(4).

Water-soluble vitamins are less likely to cause side effects even in high doses than fat-soluble compounds.

However, high doses of water-soluble vitamins may still trigger the onset of harmful conditions in the body.

For example, niacin or vitamin B3 may cause liver damage if administered in high doses(5). Additionally, taking high doses of vitamin B6 may lead to potential nerve damage over time(6).

Other water-soluble vitamins include thiamin, riboflavin, and folacin(7).

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins are compounds that do not dissolve in water and are stored in the body’s tissues(8). Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, and E(9).

Although uncommon, taking these vitamins in high doses may lead to harmful side effects(10).

Side Effects of Vitamin Overdose

Vitamins are generally safe to consume on a daily basis. However, taking high doses of these supplements may trigger adverse side effects.

Although rare, there have been recorded cases of death associated with vitamin toxicity.

Complications arising from vitamin overdose vary depending on the compound administered.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Vitamin A

Hypervitaminosis A (vitamin A toxicity) may occur from consuming high amounts of vitamin A supplements.

Data from the Mayo Clinic show that high doses of vitamin A may cause(11):

  • Diarrhea
  • Joint pain
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Skin irritation
  • Liver damage
  • Birth defects

Vitamin A overdose may also trigger increased intracranial pressure, coma, and even death(12).

A study on hypervitaminosis A was conducted on a patient with kidney failure.

Results showed that one large dose of more than 200mg of vitamin A, which is over ten times the recommended daily dose, may lead to serious complications. These complications include higher spinal fluid pressure, coma, and fatal organ damage(13).

Vitamin D

Side effects of vitamin D overdose include weight loss, irregular heartbeat, and appetite loss. Vitamin D overdose may also boost blood calcium levels, which may lead to organ damage(14).

Additionally, taking over 50,000 IU of vitamin D daily over long periods may increase calcium levels in the blood. This condition, called hypercalcemia, is potentially fatal(15).

Vitamin E

Excessive vitamin E intake may affect the body’s blood clotting process, cause hemorrhages, and even trigger a hemorrhagic stroke(16).

Water-Soluble Vitamins

Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid

Adverse effects of vitamin C overdose include migraine headaches, nausea or vomiting, flushing, and dizziness(17).

Vitamin C overdose may also cause tissue damage and fatal heart conditions in patients with hemochromatosis, a disorder caused by iron buildup in the body(18).

Vitamin B3 or Niacin

High niacin doses may cause abdominal pain, high blood pressure, impaired vision, and liver damage. Nicotinic acid, a form of niacin, may cause severe skin flushing, dizziness, and nausea(19).

Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine

Long-term intake of vitamin B6 in high doses may cause skin lesions, severe neurological impairment, heartburn, sensitivity to light, and nausea(20).

Vitamin B9 or Folate

Overconsumption of folate or folic acid may affect cognitive function, leading to mental decline.

High folate levels may also impair immune system response and hinder the detection of a potentially severe vitamin B12 deficiency(21).

Taking Vitamin and Mineral Supplements Safely

The dosage of vitamin and mineral supplements depends on several factors, including the person’s age, medical conditions, genetic disorders, and diet.

Although most manufacturers provide dosing guidelines for supplements, dosage needs vary from person to person.

It is not recommended to administer more than the tolerable upper intake levels set for vitamin and mineral supplements. Taking high doses may result in adverse effects and, in rare circumstances, even death.

It is important to seek medical advice before consuming vitamin and mineral supplements in high doses.

Doctors and other medical professionals can offer advice about safe and accurate dosing to avoid adverse effects.


  1. Wooltorton, E., Too much of a good thing? Toxic effects of vitamin and mineral supplements. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 169(1): 47–48.
  2. Massey, L., Safety of vitamin C. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  August 2005, Page 488,
  3. Albahrani, A. & Greaves, R. (2016). Fat-Soluble Vitamins: Clinical Indications and Current Challenges for Chromatographic Measurement. The Clinical Biochemist Reviews,  37(1): 27–47.
  4. National Research Council (US) Committee on Diet and Health. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1989.
  5. Leung, K., Quezada, M., Chen, Z., Kanel, G., & Kaplowitz, N. (2018). Niacin‐Induced Anicteric Microvesicular Steatotic Acute Liver Failure. Hepatology Communications, 2(11): 1293–1298.
  6. Bacharach, R., Lowden, M., & Ahmed, A. (2017). Pyridoxine Toxicity Small Fiber Neuropathy With Dysautonomia: A Case Report. Journal of Clinical Neuromuscular Disease, 19(1):43-46.
  7. National Research Council (US) Committee on Diet and Health. Op cit.
  8. Lykstad, J. &  Sharma, S. (2020). StatPearls.
  9. A. Albahrani, et al. Op cit.
  10. Hamishehkar, H., Ranjdoost, F., Asgharian, P., Mahmoodpoor, A., & Sanaie, S. (2016). Vitamins, Are They Safe? Advanced Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 6(4): 467–477.
  11. Mayo Clinic. Vitamin A. Retrieved from
  12. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin A. Retrieved from
  13. Hammoud, D., Haddad, B., & Abdallah, J. (2014). Hypercalcaemia Secondary to Hypervitaminosis A in a Patient with Chronic Renal Failure. West Indian Medical Journal, 63(1): 105–108.
  14. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin D. Retrieved from
  15. Koul, P., Ahmad, S., Ahmad, F., Jan, R., Shah, S., & Khan, U. (2011). Vitamin D Toxicity in Adults: A Case Series from an Area with Endemic Hypovitaminosis D. Oman Medical Journal,  26(3): 201–204.
  16. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin E. Retrieved from
  17.  Abdullah, M., Jamil, R., & Attia, F. (2020). StatPearls. Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid).
  18. Aronow, W. (2018). Management of cardiac hemochromatosis. Archives of Medical Science, 14(3): 560–568.
  19. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Niacin. Retrieved from
  20. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin B6. Retrieved from
  21. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Folate. Retrieved from

How to Stock Your Natural Medicine Cabinet

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At the beginning of the 21st century, 11 % of the 252 drugs considered “basic and essential” by the World Health Organization were “exclusively of flowering plant origin.” Drugs like codeine, quinine, and morphine all contain plant-derived ingredients.

With today’s skyrocketing inflation it seems like a good time to start creating your own natural medicine cabinet with herbs that heal. It’s not only a cost-effective way to heal various health conditions but you’re also getting the added benefit of preparing great food with amazing herbs.   Now, there are so many herbs, spices and other plants that have amazing, multiple benefits but this introductory list would be a great  starter kit and it covers a lot of different ailments that most people have experienced at one time or another.

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  • Basil – Mood – contains eugenol and rosmarinic acid which boost’s the brain’s production of dopamine and serotonin.
  • Cayenne – Congestion – Capsaicin deactivates substance P, a neurotransmitter linked to inflammation which results in decreased sinus congestion and pressure
  • Coriander – Tiredness – carboxylic acid binds to heavy metals such as mercury in the blood and carries them out of the body.  It reverses the toxin buildup that causes chronic fatigue, joint pain and depression.
  • Curry Powder – Joints – curcumin inhibits the production of prostaglandin E2, and inflammatory compound that over sensitizes nerves.  Reduces joint and muscle pain.
  • Dill – GI Tract – limonene works as well as antibiotics for killing bacteria like E. Coli
  • Ginger – Nausea – gingerol and shogaol calm GI tract spasms to reduce nausea
  • Mint – Abdominal Cramps – menthol reduces pain-inducing spasms
  • Oregano – Menstrual Cramps – thymol can carvacrol relax uterine muscles to prevent painful contractions
  • Parsley – Bloating – apiol and myristicin are natural diuretics that relieves bloating caused by water retention by preventing salt from being reabsorbed into the body tissues
  • Rosemary – Coughing – eucalyptol loosens chest congestion thereby making it easier to expel phlegm.  Also is rich in tannins which soothe sore throats

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Some of these herbs can also be packed in your herbal first-aid kit along with:

  • Aloe Vera – for burns, sunburn, bruises, and bug bites
  • Thyme – for foot fungus, anti-bacterial, oral care
  • Beeswax – for burns, insect bites
  • Echinacea – fights infections, and fever
  • Blackberry – helps with diarrhea, reduces inflammation

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As you can see by this short list mother nature provides a plenitude of remedies for all sorts of ailments.  This list is not comprehensive but merely gives you an idea of the things you can find in nature at a fraction of the cost of over-the-counter remedies.  So since we’re heading into spring, it would be a good time to plant, if you can, what will become your natural healers or maybe someone you know has a garden full of these wonderful herbs and flowers.  Tinctures made with these plants can last for decades!

Attention Men and Women! 6 Everyday Items that Disrupt Your Hormones

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You may not be thinking of hormone imbalance when you’re trying to assess your symptoms like:

Loss of muscle mass and tone                           Loss of Confidence

Weight gain                                                            High Cholesterol/Triglycerides

Loss of energy                                                        Diabetes

Decreased sex drive                                              Hypertension

Depression                                                             Weight gain around the waist

Libido                                                                      Weight gain in spite of exercise

Lack of motivation                                               Decreased nocturnal erections

Fatigue                                                                    Erectile dysfunction (ED)

Loss of energy                                                       Stroke

Poor concentration                                              Irregular heartbeat

Anxiety                                                                   Depression

Irritability                                                              Arthritis

Heart attack                                                          Vaginal Dryness

What are Hormones?

Hormones are chemical messengers that travel through the body from one place to another.  They originate from a gland that produces them and they travel through the bloodstream and are received by a receptor.  When the receptor receives the hormone, a signal is sent back as a feedback loop kind of like your thermostat. If there is no feedback mechanism, then the hormone levels continue to rise and that can lead to various health problems.  The disruption of the feedback loop can be caused in a few ways:

  • One way is by blocking the receptors that hormones attach to. Blockers are called endocrine disruptors and in this situation the hormones don’t shut off, they keep climbing.
  • Another way is for a receptor not to work anymore is called hormone resistance. It can happen with estrogen for example, if there is a high-level chronic output of estrogen but the cells start blocking that now the hormone can’t do its job anymore.

Causes of Hormone Imbalance

Surprisingly the testosterone levels in both men and women are three to four times less than what they would have been thirty years ago which means most of us likely have a hormone imbalance.  So what’s causing the hormone imbalances?   The answers may surprise you.  Let’s take a look at what Jim Baker had to say when her wrote a guest editorial for Dr. Malone MD, MS discovered:

  1. The most common cause of hormone imbalance is PVC piping. It contains chemicals such as lead, cadmium, and phthalates which are designed to make the PVC more durable, but at the same time, are quite dangerous. Of these chemicals, phthalates, are endocrine disruptors and block androgens. Since PVC piping is found in almost every commercial and residential building; all the water you drink, cook with, swim in or bathe with is most likely flowing through PVC piping. Unfortunately, when the PVC piping begins to break down, those foreign and dangerous chemicals are released into the water supply and subsequently find their way into the body. This means that our entire population, regardless of age or gender, is affected by the dangerous chemicals found in PVC piping. In fact, The World Health Organization (WHO) has seen testosterone levels in boys six to twelve years old decrease 24-34% in the last few years. Similarly, the WHO also reported that these chemicals were found in 100 % of pregnant women. Thankfully, the WHO is aware of just how dangerous the chemicals in PVC piping are, even going so far as to coining these chemicals as “gender benders” that not only interfere with female and male chromosomes and the production of sperm and egg, but also that cause obesity, Type-2 diabetes, infertility, dementia, and loss of memory. Because of these data, there is a current campaign to eliminate these chemicals through outlawing them all together throughout the United States.
  2. BPA Plastics – BPA stands for Bisphenol-A. It is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s, which are often used in containers that store food and beverages.
  3. Certain medications – For example, as of 2018, 30.3 million Americans have been diagnosed with heart disease, and are subsequently prescribed statins, a class of lipid-lowering medications to manage their disease. However, studies have shown that 35-50% of men will experience a decrease in their testosterone levels when on statins. Roughly estimating, this means that around 15 million men across the United States are experiencing a decrease in testosterone due to statins alone.
  4. Sugar consumption – there is more sugar content in a bowl of oatmeal than in a root beer float and a bag of Twizzlers combined. Consistent consumption of large amounts of sugar can cause a barrage of symptoms, including weight gain, abdominal obesity, decreased HDL and increased LDL, elevated triglycerides, high blood pressure, and increased uric acid levels. Most importantly, however, increased sugar consumption can cause Type-2 Diabetes, and those who suffer from that disease have a 57% decrease in their testosterone levels.
  5. Lack of sleep – When you don’t sleep well, it throws off your body, and one of the effects is a decrease in testosterone. When you are sleep-deficient, your body doesn’t replenish testosterone naturally, which can be a vicious cycle, because we need testosterone to enter REM cycles and to sleep well, but low levels of testosterone can also cause lack of sleep. We lose both ways!
  6. Environmental toxins such as air fresheners, perfumes, and pesticides. Unfortunately, recent studies are linking the chemicals in Roundup to hormonal imbalances which effects even a higher amount of our population than Atrazine. In fact, studies have shown that 93% of us have traces of Roundup (Glyphosate) in our urine. When these life-altering chemicals found in toxins such as Roundup or Atrazine get into our bodies, they wreak havoc on our systems.
  7. Heavy metals such as aluminum and mercury are hazardous to humans and can also cause hormone imbalance when they build up in the body. Do you know the most common way those chemicals get into our bodies? It is not only through the environment but also through standard vaccines.

Eating to Restore Balance

The causes of hormone balance mentioned gives us great insight into how we can do our best to limit them.  And we can also look at what you can eat to provide more balance with individual hormones.

  • Thyroid gland produces T4 hormone- to enhance this hormone you should eat sea kelp and sea food. T4 has to be converted to the active form T3, and most of that happens in the liver and kidneys.  So you need a healthy liver and kidney.  Selenium is the key mineral for this conversion from T4 to T3 and the best food for selenium is the brasil nut.  One a day will give you all the selenium you need.
  • If you have too much thyroid hormone, then cruciferous vegetables are necessary because the compound in cruciferous vegetables that inhibits iodine which is required for thyroid hormone production.
  • Cortisol– lowering stress will help with cortisol levels. But as for what foods to eat, those that are high in potassium and magnesium so more salads, leafy greens.  In a low cortisol situation, sea salt would be good to take in because when the adrenal glands burn out, they lose the retention of sodium. So, if you’re not taking in enough sea salt that can weaken the adrenals.
  • Growth hormone– the anti-aging hormone. It helps preserve muscles and other proteins. To stimulate this hormone, you need to consume protein.  The amino acid that helps increase growth hormone is arginine and this is an amino acid is found in protein.  So, make sure the protein you consume has the complete profile of amino acids like eggs, nuts, animal meats, seafood.  Other ways to increase growth hormone are HIITS and quality sleep.
  • Testosterone– to increase this hormone you need zinc, which is found in red meats, seafood, especially oysters. Avoid estrogen which is found in foods like dairy and fermented soy. Don’t go on a low- fat diet because testosterone is a steroid hormone built from cholesterol.  That also goes for cortisol, estrogen and progesterone.  These are sex hormones that need cholesterol as their building block
  • If you’re a female and you have too much androgen which is a form of testosterone. A condition called PCOS- polycystic ovarian syndrome can result.  This is lowered by lowering the hormone that is triggering it which is insulin. So, things like low carb diet, fasting, will help lower the output of androgens
  • Estrogen– a lot of both men and women are estrogen dominant so starting with drinking water, you want to get a filter for drinking water. To help regulate estrogen you want to eat more cruciferous vegetables and sea kelp, avoid dairy.  If your low estrogen things like organic fermented soy is a good option.
  • Progesterone is enhanced with omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, cod liver oil.
  • Vitamin D is a hormone and sunlight, some cod liver oil and salmon are good sources.
  • Insulin– lowering insulin can be accomplished by lowering carbs, intermittent fasting, lowering msg and lowering stress.
  • If you don’t have enough insulin- it’s better to support the gland that makes insulin- the pancreas through healthy foods like leafy greens, purple skin fruits, turmeric root, licorice root, probiotics, cruciferous vegetables, sweet potatoe, garlic, reishi mushrooms and ginger
  • Two things that help balance the whole system is healthy keto and intermittent fasting

Staying Healthy For Online Gaming

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Online gaming was already a wildly popular activity before COVID-19. But since the onset of COVID, more people have had a chance to discover it as a hobby –– spending time on battle royales, playing virtual soccer matches, talking with friends in digital poker rooms, and doing so much more.

All of these games provide excellent ways to socialize without any risks to your health, or at least that would be the idea. The truth, though –– as many newcomers to online gaming are undoubtedly discovering –– is that a busy gaming schedule can lead to bad schedules and unhealthy habits. For that reason, we wanted to write up some tips for how to stay healthy for gaming, and for your general benefit as you get more into the hobby.

Eating Right

Playing online games is something we do to reduce our stress and relax. However, as with many leisure activities, game sessions tend to be accompanied by snacks and drinks (often with high levels of salt and sugar respectively). Having said that, there are foods that can improve your performance if included in your diet. Dates, for example, seem to be associated with improved learning abilities, while food rich in omega-3 like salmon can help reduce anxiety. Eating healthy food like these can help you focus better and enjoy more precise responses, whether you’re playing a high-stakes poker tournament, or an intense round in a first-person shooter. Plus, you might just manage to fill yourself up without turning to that tempting bag of chips….

Going for a Walk

When people think about exercising to stay healthy, they tend to imagine someone participating in a marathon, or going to the gym several days a week. But something as simple as going for a short walk every day can do wonders for your health. Experts recommend starting slow and increasing the length of your walks progressively. The trick is to do something intense enough to feel the benefits, but also light enough to keep your energy levels high and your mind motivated. If you manage to make a routine of this, you’ll offset that sedentary time spent gaming, and enjoy greater energy while you play.

Getting Enough Sleep

Many of us can only start relaxing at night, due to work, family obligations, and so on. As a result, it can be tempting to stay up late enjoying a bit of recreation, playing video games and getting that much-needed “me time” –– but reducing our sleeping hours. It’s understandable, but the extra sleep is better in the long run. Indeed, getting more rest is actually a particularly common recommendation in line with poker tips for serious players, who are sometimes inclined to spend long hours at the online tables without getting enough sleep. Undoubtedly, the same can be said of other gamers as ell. But by making a point of cutting yourself off and sleeping when you have the chance to, you’ll quickly find that you’re better able to stay sharp for the next day’s tournament or gaming session.

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Buying a Proper Chair

Neck and back pain are also extremely common problems among gamers. This clearly isn’t a coincidence, considering the hours gamers of all kinds spend at computer desks or hunched over mobile phones. However, these issues can also be largely prevented by working out the necessary support for your back and neck. Finding a chair that allows you to adjust height, armrest position, and headrest angle will make it easier to keep your feet flat on the floor, and overall maintain a healthy posture –– reducing the chances of developing these bothersome, nagging issues.

Stretching Between Games

One of the main reasons we enjoy playing online games is how much more intense and exciting it is to play against other people, rather than just a given game’s AI. However, the more thrilling a match is, the more tense you tend to get! Therefore, it’s important to take a break between contests to stretch. There are plenty of guides online explaining how to do this safely and effectively; it only takes a few minutes to stretch, and it’s a very effective way to relax muscles, get your blood circulating, and help you release stress and clear your mind. You’ll feel better physically, and you’ll be alert and ready or the next game.

Playing online games can be an excellent way to have fun and reconnect with friends. But it’s commonly associated with sedentary lifestyles, bad eating habits, muscle stiffness, and back and neck pain. Having said that, by following these simple steps you might be able to prevent these problems, stay healthy, and even improve your online performance.

Breathe In A Better Life, Literally

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By now, I’m sure most of us have heard that breathwork – the art of controlling your breath or focusing on your breath is good for us.  But even though I knew that I wanted to know why because when we understand the why behind something, it makes it easier to incorporate into our lives.

What is Breathwork?

Breathwork is a general term for any type of focused, intentional breathing exercises.  This meditational practice works to promote spiritual, mental and physical well-being.

Types of Breathwork

It appears there are many types of breathwork.  We’ll take a look at a few, but there are many others that are worth taking a look at.

  • Shamanic Breathwork – a form of rhythmical breathing that begins with smudging, chanting and setting an intention. Participants breathe to the rhythm of drum and will connect to their inner healer (Shaman).  The intention is to reach a state of consciousness beyond just your mind so that you can not only heal but empower yourself.
  • Wim Hof – Wim Hof developed breathing exercises to maximize oxygen levels which in turn benefit the body’s functions at the molecular level both chemically and physiologically. The exercise starts with a series of deep breaths in and out followed by a breath hold and then a recovery breath. This is repeated a number of times.
  • Pranayama – One of the oldest forms of breathwork, dating back at least 5000 years. According to, Prana’ refers to the universal life force and ‘ayama’ means to regulate or lengthen. These ancient yogic seers observed the power of the breath to increase one’s prana and developed special breathing techniques to increase life energy, maintain health and create a calm, clear state of mind that is conducive for meditation. Pranayama is not just breath control as commonly perceived, but it is the control of prana through the breath. These techniques involve breathing through the nostrils in a specific pattern of inhalation, breath retention, exhalation. Some common yoga breathing exercises include Ujjayi breathing, Bhastrika pranayama, Bhramari pranayama, and Nadi Shodhan pranayama (alternate nostril breathing)

Benefits of Breathwork

So why is it that breathing exercises are so beneficial?   Breathing is part of the autonomic nervous system.  This system is what controls involuntary activities –  the pumping of the hear, digestion etc.  There are two parts to the autonomic nervous system – Sympathetic and Parasympathetic.  The sympathetic nervous system is our “flight or fight” responses.  The parasympathetic is what controls the “rest and relax” responses. The parasympathetic side decreases alertness, blood pressure, and heart rate, and helps with calmness, relaxation, and digestion. Breathing is unique in that it is part of the autonomic nervous system, but we can control it as well.  And by controlling our breathing we allow the parasympathetic side to take take the wheel so to speak. By doing so it can positively influence our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.  Studies show that controlled breathing i.e breathwork can help with stress, anxiety, sleep disturbances, ADD, PTSD, low energy, cardiovascular problems.

When we talk about the parasympathetic nervous system it’s important to include the Vagus nerve because it is an instrumental part of why breathwork has the affects that it does.  Breathwork stimulates the Vagus nerve.

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What is the Vagus Nerve?

This cranial nerve originates in the brainstem and travels through the neck into the abdomen.  It carries signals back and forth from the brain to the digestive system and other organs.  So, by controlled breathing, particularly extending the exhale, we stimulate the vagus nerve.  The vagus nerve stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and relax)

The vagus nerve effects:

  • Communication between the brain and the gut:  It delivers information from the gut to the brain.  And we know how closely our gut health is linked to our immune health
  • Relaxation with deep breathing: It communicates with the diaphragm. With deep breaths, a person feels more relaxed.
  • Decreasing inflammation: It sends an anti-inflammatory signal to other parts of the body.
  • Lowering the heart rate and blood pressure: If the vagus nerve is overactive, it can lead to the heart being unable to pump enough blood around the body. In some cases, excessive vagus nerve activity can cause loss of consciousness and organ damage.
  • Fear management: It nerve sends information from the gut to the brain, which is linked to dealing with stress, anxiety and fear – hence the saying, “gut feeling.” These signals help a person to recover from stressful and scary situations.

In an article from Medical News Today,  they write “With the Vagus nerve having pathways to almost every organ in the body, researchers are looking to see if stimulation can help other conditions. “These conditions include:

  • rheumatoid arthritis inflammation
  • heart failure
  • inflammation from diabetes mellitus
  • intractable hiccups
  • abnormal heart rhythm
  • inflammation from Crohn’s disease

In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, which affects 1.3 million adults in the U.S., a study in 2016 showed that vagus nerve stimulation could help reduce symptoms. Individuals who had failed to respond to other treatment reported significant improvements, while no serious adverse side effects were noted.

This was considered a real breakthrough in how vagus nerve stimulation might not only treat rheumatoid arthritis but other inflammatory diseases, such as Crohn’s, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s”.



Advice from  gives great general advice:

“Breathwork, for some people, particularly those with pre-existing heart problems, can be dangerous. It’s best to speak to a qualified medical practitioner before attempting any form of breathwork, particularly if your health is fragile.

Pregnant women should also seek professional advice first. Furthermore, some forms of breathwork are best practiced with a qualified practitioner.

Above all, if you feel intense discomfort or feelings of unsafety during this practice (either by yourself or with another person), stop immediately. The beauty of breathwork is that you can stop at any time, and indeed you should stop if at any point it becomes too much for you.”




5 Ways Alkaline Water Can Boost Your Life

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We’ve all heard the suggestion to drink 8 glasses of water a day because water is good for you.  To put it simply, our body needs water in order to function properly since 60% of our body is water! As studies suggest, staying hydrated can improve your productivity, mood, memory, energy level, and clarity. So what is the big hype about alkaline water?  The idea that alkaline water is medicinal, curative, and able to bring about optimal health seems to be based on the belief that acidic properties in the body and blood are the cause of ill health and disease and need to be neutralized. Therefore, a more alkaline body will lead to better health.

What is Alkaline water?

Alkaline water has a higher PH level then regular drinking water. The pH level is a scale and the lower the PH the more acidic it is. High concentrations of hydrogen ions yield a low pH (acidic substances), whereas low levels of hydrogen ions result in a high pH (basic substances).

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. Anything below 7 (ranging from 0 to 6.9) is acidic, and anything above 7 (ranging from 7.1 to 14) is basic. The blood in your veins is slightly basic (pH = 7.4), whereas soap (pH = 12) and bleach (pH = 13) are highly basic. On the other hand, coffee is slightly acidic (pH = 5) and tomato juice (pH = 4) and lemon juice (pH = 2) are highly acidic.

Alkaline compounds (alkali) are substances, like salts, metals, and minerals, that, when added to water, make it more basic. Water always contains some amount of dissolved solids including minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium, but alkaline water tends to have a higher amount of total dissolved solids, which increases its pH level. Regular drinking water is typically neutral with a pH level of 7 and alkaline water is slightly basic with a pH level of about 8 or 9.

Alkaline water contains four major minerals that contribute to its remarkable health benefits:

  1. Calcium: Important for bone health, as well as heart, muscle, and nerve function.
  2. Magnesium: Helps turn food into energy and is necessary for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body.
  3. Sodium: Regulates blood pressure and volume, and supports nerve/muscle function.
  4. Potassium: A type of electrolyte that is essential for muscle function and promotes healthy digestion.

The claims that Alkaline water is beneficial to one’s health is controversial in that some claims lack proven scientific research.   But those that have been scientifically proven are:

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Improve Bone Health

Some research has been done on the effects of alkaline intake on bones. A study published in the scientific journal Bone found a positive effect on bone resorption with people who consumed alkaline water rich in bicarbonate. Bone resorption is the process where old bone cells are broken down and replaced by new ones. Less bone resorption and more mineral density resulted in better bone strength. The authors of the study concluded that “a bicarbonate- and calcium-rich alkali mineral water decreased bone resorption more than a calcium-rich acidic mineral water.”

Soothe Acid Reflux

A study published in Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology found that drinking alkaline water at pH 8.8 can help soothe acid reflux because the higher pH level kills pepsin, an enzyme involved in breaking down food proteins and a main cause for acid reflux. Acid reflux is when the contents of the stomach, which are acidic, splash back up the food pipe. Acid reflux that keeps happening for a long time can cause damage and a disease known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.

Reduce High Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar, and Cholesterol

In 2016, scientists in Shanghai found that three to six months after drinking alkaline water, people with high blood pressure (hypertension), high blood sugar (diabetes), and high blood lipids (cholesterol) had lower measures in each of these factors. Researchers found that a high-pH electrolyte water reduced the thickness and stickiness of your blood, in 100 adults after exercising. This may help reduce cardiovascular strain due to dehydration.

Enhance Hydration

A 2017 study published in Biology of Sport found that drinking alkaline water shows a positive effect on hydration status after anaerobic exercise with a significant decrease of specific urine gravity. Intake of alkaline water also shows a positive effect on urine pH during the anaerobic test protocol, and much more efficient lactate utilization after the high-intensity interval exercise. In addition to enhanced hydration, efficient lactate utilization results in increased energy, as lactate serves as an energy source in skeletal muscles.

In contrast, subjects who consumed regular drinking water showed no changes over the same period of time. These results indicate that the habitual consumption of alkaline water may be a valuable nutritional vector influencing both acid-base balance and hydration status, as well as energy levels in active healthy adults.

Increase Longevity

A study published in 2016 looked at the effect of consuming alkaline water on 150 mice over a period of three years. Results suggested that those who drank alkaline water had signs of greater longevity, in other words, they aged less and were more likely to live longer. Histological examination of mice kidneys, intestines, hearts, livers, and brains was performed in order to verify the risk of diseases correlated to drinking alkaline water. No significant damage, but aging changes, emerged; organs of alkaline watered animals resulted to be relatively superimposable to controls, shedding a further light on the benefits of alkaline water consumption in humans. h



Why Vitamins Are the Secret to Better Health

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We have always been told to take vitamins and minerals but why?  And how do we know what we need? How do we know that we are getting quality products?  Theses are all important questions, and we are going to take a look at these questions and try to answer them.

Why do we need vitamins and minerals?

This is the simple part of the puzzle. We need vitamins and minerals for the health functioning of our mind and body.  Every system of our body: skin, bones, muscles, blood, nerves, brain and so many more requires these raw materials because the body can’t produce sufficient amounts on its own.  So, we get these raw materials from our food.

A healthy balanced diet should supply us with the nutrients our body and mind need.  But there are a few things that could prevent us from getting all the nutrients we need.  Let’s look at a few,

Cooking Methods

Cooking can improve the absorption of some foods while other foods lose their nutrients if they are cooked.  But it also depends on how the food is cooked.  For example, the protein in cooked eggs is 180% more digestible than that of raw eggs.  Nutrients reduced from cooking:

  • water-soluble vitamins: vitamin C and the B vitamins — thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), folic acid (B9), and cobalamin (B12)
  • fat-soluble vitamins: vitamins A, D, E, and K
  • minerals: primarily potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium

Boiling, simmering or poaching reduces water-soluble vitamins C and B.  However, if the water is consumed then the vitamins are retained.   Grilling or broiling causes a loss of B vitamins because the nutrient rich juice drips off the meat. Roasting and baking result in less of a loss of vitamin C but because of the high heat and longer cooking times, vitamin B is reduced by %40.  Sautéing and stir-frying improve the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and some plant compounds, but they decrease the amount of vitamin C in vegetables. Frying makes food taste delicious, and it can provide some benefits when healthy oils are used. It’s best to avoid frying fatty fish and minimize the frying time of other foods. Steaming is one of the best cooking methods for preserving nutrients, including water-soluble vitamins. Here are some cooking tips to maximize nutrient retention cited from

  1. Use as little water as possible when poaching or boiling.
  2. Consume the liquid left in the pan after cooking vegetables.
  3. Add back juices from meat that drip into the pan.
  4. Don’t peel vegetables until after cooking them. Better yet, don’t peel at all to maximize their fiber and nutrient density.
  5. Cook vegetables in smaller amounts of water to reduce the loss of vitamin C and B vitamins.
  6. Try to eat any cooked vegetables within a day or two, as their vitamin C content may continue to decline when the cooked food is exposed to air.
  7. Cut food after — rather than before — cooking, if possible. When food is cooked whole, less of it is exposed to heat and water.
  8. Cook vegetables for only a few minutes whenever possible.
  9. When cooking meat, poultry, and fish, use the shortest cooking time needed for safe consumption.
  10. Don’t use baking soda when cooking vegetables. Although it helps maintain color, vitamin C will be lost in the alkaline environment produced by baking soda.

Can we absorb the nutrients?

There are some conditions or diseases that could cause malabsorption of nutrients.  Here’s what CentreSpringMD had to say “Having a weak gut lining, food allergies, microbiome imbalances such as bacterial overgrowth, damage to the intestines from infection, surgery, pancreatic insufficiency, autoimmune disease–all of these are possible causes that lead to poor nutrient absorption. Pair that with the possibilities of our foods not having optimal nutrient levels due poor soil quality, other environmental factors, and it is not difficult to see how nutrient deficiencies are pervasive in today’s world.

Often people go years with subclinical deficiencies that lead to an array of symptoms. Hair loss, brain fog, chronic fatigue, these are just a few! Prolonged or frequent use of antibiotics can alter the terrain of the gut in a way that leads to nutrient malabsorption.

And of course, our infamous friend named stress is well known to slow digestion and significantly alter the microbiome… thereby negatively impacting digestion and immunity (remember how the gut houses a huge percentage of your immune system?!)”

Growing conditions of our food

According to one article sited “fruits and vegetables grown decades ago were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the varieties most of us get today. The main culprit in this disturbing nutritional trend is soil depletion: Modern intensive agricultural methods have stripped increasing amounts of nutrients from the soil in which the food we eat grows. Sadly, each successive generation of fast-growing, pest-resistant carrot is truly less good for you than the one before.” And according to several studies this decline in nutrients is measurable

What can be done? The key to healthier produce is healthier soil. Alternating fields between growing seasons to give land time to restore would be one important step. Also, foregoing pesticides and fertilizers in favor of organic growing methods is good for the soil, the produce and its consumers. Those who want to get the most nutritious fruits and vegetables should buy regularly from local organic farmers.

What to look for when buying vitamins

Now that we’ve taken a look at the reasons why we might need to take supplemental vitamins and minerals, perhaps we should learn a little about shopping for them since the market is vast so how do we know what to buy?

Vitamin and mineral supplements are subject to fairly limited regulation by the FDA. To ensure the safety and accuracy of a product, look for supplements that have been certified by a third-party testing organization

Taking supplements should be done under the supervision of a healthcare practitioner. Depending on the type and level of ingredients, there are risks of side effects, toxicity, and interactions with drugs, foods, and alcohol. Additionally, supplements are not guaranteed to be effective.

You’ll want to look for supplements that adhere to any dietary restrictions you may have. How often you need to take the supplement, as well as its form, such as capsules or chewable gummies, should also be considered.


The Surprising Truth About Carrageenan

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So, you are considering migrating to a more plant-based diet? Maybe you are even considering veganism? Whether or not you have fully committed to a diet change, you need to be cautious still. Often plant-based or all-natural dieting trends can seem healthy. However, some substances come from plants that we are just not meant to eat. Carrageenan is one of the more dangerous examples. It tops the list as one you should try to avoid because it is prevalent in many foods, and the exact science on what it does to our bodies is not fleshed out.

We will cover everything you need to know about Carrageenan. Like, where it comes from, the reported side effects on the body, and the common products that contain it. Ultimately it is up to you to decide what you put in your body. However, after reading more about this substance, you might think twice about picking up your favorite product from your local grocer.

What is Carrageenan?

Carrageenan has a name that makes it sound like some chemical concocted in a lab by some mad food scientist. However, it is a natural substance sourced from a red seaweed you can only find in the British Isles. Moreover, people who live there used in their cooking for centuries. Only recently has it become an additive in food products to thicken, preserve, and emulsify. Emulsify means to force two liquids that would naturally separate to mix. Most of your favorite dipping sauces or condiments like mustard, ketchup, ranch, and Italian dressing are all emulsified. Keep in mind that not all your favorite foods that are emulsified are going to contain Carrageenan. The emulsion process is common in cooking and does not always require the red seaweed from the British Isles.

Now, you will find Carrageenan in many plant-based products. Since it works as a thickening agent, it is becoming popular in the production of vegan ice cream, cheese, milk alternatives, and dairy-free yogurt. You can still find it in some non-vegan products. It is common in puddings, processed meats, jelly, and cheese. If you have some of these products in your home, it is likely that if you check the labels, at least one will contain Carrageenan. It’s prevalence in essential cooking products is part of the reason it can be dangerous.

Is Carrageenan really that dangerous?

Do not be fooled by its status as “naturally sourced” or “plant-based.” As an additive, Carrageenan can have serious health complications. Studies and reports link the substance to an increase in gastrointestinal inflammation, glucose intolerances, bloating, allergies, and in the worst-case scenario, colon cancer. When we talk about side effects like these, is checking ingredient labels in the grocery store not worth the time?

You could be saying, “I looked it up, and Carrageenan is approved by the FDA, so it should be safe?” The unfortunate answer is no. It is still not safe. That rating by the FDA is still quite controversial. There are two types of Carrageenan. It is undegraded and degraded. The degraded version is not authorized by the FDA because it contains carcinogens that are well known to cause cancer. However, a significant point of contention for many health experts is whether there is a difference between the versions? Experts still question the results of our stomach acid and the substance mixing. Some studies indicate that the undegraded version or supposed “safe one,” once broken down by our stomach acid, creates the same carcinogens as the version deemed unsafe for food use.

The reality is, given the possible side effects and the uncertainty regarding its “safe use,” your healthiest option is to avoid products that use it entirely. Until more scientists study what happens after Carrageenan enters our stomach acid, consuming it is not worth the risk. You are much safer reading ingredient labels and finding alternatives in your grocery store. Luckily there are tons of all-natural or plant-based products you can try when exploring a new diet.

Check ingredient labels and find your substitutes if necessary.

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If you want to avoid Carrageenan, it is easy. Read the ingredient labels the next time you go grocery shopping. They can be challenging to find. However, once you find the first list, you’ll know where to look on the packaging. The next time you go grocery shopping, you may find that many of your favorite products already don’t use this substance. However, on the off chance they do, no worries. There are plenty of quality substitutes. We recommend checking out the following brands as quality alternatives that are Carrageenan-free. They are also all plant-based and all-natural! Check out EdenSoy, Miyoko’s Creamery, Nancy’s Soy, and One Green Plant products. You cannot go wrong with any of these brands.