By Natural Advocate | September 29, 2009 - 9:07 pm - Posted in Foods

Well, it used to be that soy foods were deemed to be a healthy food, but now that we know a little more about the wonderful, all purpose soy bean, we know that it’s really the processed forms of soy that you want to limit in your diet, which amounts to most of the soy foods that are on the market today unfortunately, including soy milk.  And why?  Because soy processed products have a high level of synthetic estrogen mimicking compounds in them, and these compounds act like real estrogen in the body, and can throw of the hormone balance in a woman’s body.  They can also throw off a man’s hormone balance, in theory.

One particularly startling story I heard was how fish in a certain area were actually coming out with two different sexes, in other words, they were unisex.  What was found to most likely be the cause of so much of this unusual genetic occurrence was the fact that there was a soy processing plant nearby.  Scientists surmised that the active estrogens in the water may have interfered with the normal sexual development of the fish’ sex organs, and therefore resulted in this anomaly.  To me, that is kind of scary.

Soy though, when consumed in moderate amounts is ok in my opinion.  I personally try not to eat soy products every day, even when I’m going meatless in my diet, because we already get so many other foods in our diets that mimic estrogen in our body.  There are estrogen like chemicals in just about every plant food that we know of, and they are also rampant in grains. They are called phytoestrogens, because they are plant derived, and yet they mimic the estrogen hormone that is found in the human body. By the way, men have estrogen in their body as well, they just have higher concentrations of testosterone.

If you are a soy lover, just make sure that you are only consuming it moderately.  If you are a vegetarian, try to find other sources of protein that are not processed so heavily, like hummus, nuts, avocadoes and other plant based or grain based proteins that will satisfy your protein requirement without introducing these synthetic estrogens to your body by the boatload.  It’s the safest bet in case there really is a connection to hormone imbalance or any types of hormonally fueled cancers.

By Natural Advocate | September 27, 2009 - 11:17 am - Posted in Hair Loss Treatments

Alopecia is an increasing problem seen in female patients.  It is a specific type of hair loss, and is responsible for women (and men) losing patches of hair at a time, creating an obviously embarrassing problem that usually needs some sort of treatment before it gets any worse.  Things that can make hair loss worsen are stress and anxiety and hormone swings, so if those two things alone can be kept under control then at least you can ensure that you are creating an unfriendly environment for the continuation of the hair loss you are experiencing.

Alopecia isn’t just limited to the scalp and the hair on your head though, it can actually occur anywhere on the body, which means it could occur on your face, arms, legs, and most anywhere else since every are of our outward body contains hair follicles.  It can even result in total hair loss in women and in men, which means that you could totally go bald from alopecia if it is left untreated or if it does not respond to treatment.  There are several vitamins that you can take for hair loss as well, and there is an FDA approved ingredient called minoxidil that you can find in several reasonably priced hair loss treatments.

Alopecia often occurs in women and men who are in their teens, late teens, and early adulthood, although it can still happen to anyone of any age.  It is suggested that genetics may be a pretty big factor in alopecia, as it is not totally understood what causes this mysterious and often devastating hair loss.  Many times, it affects the scalp and makes a person lose small circle shaped patches of hair, and this pattern is not understood either.  In more rare cases, it can spread to the entire scalp.

By Natural Advocate | September 25, 2009 - 2:34 pm - Posted in Foods, Herbal Supplements

I LOVE cooking with ginger.  I always have at least organic ginger powder on hand in my spice cupboard at all times for dishes that are usually some sort of asian or indian derived dish, which I tend to make fairly often since I love the spices that are involved with these types of cuisine.  Ginger is a slightly sweet, slightly hot and very pungent root that looks like the least appetizing piece of nature you’ve ever seen until you chop it and add it to your foods.  You can do a lot with it, from sauteeing your potatoes in it for a slightly more exotic version of homefries, to making great stir fries with an asian flavor, whether vegetarian or with meat.

Ground ginger is a dull brownish yellowish color, and it is very potent when added to meals, unless the spice is too old, in which case it does tend to lose it’s aroma and it’s flavor, so I recommend replenishing this spice as often as you can if possible.  It goes well with soy sauce (if you’ve ever had ginger soy sauce, you know this combination is out of this world), and is actually a great addition to your water if you have an upset stomach. Which brings us to the first and most well known health benefit of the ginger root – as a digestion aid and a stomach soother for an upset stomach.

However, don’t get fooled into thinking that ginger ale will actually help you . Most ginger ale hardly has any real ginger in it at all, and instead relies on chemically formulate simulations of ginger to flavor them.  Instead, take some fresh ground ginger root and add it to your hot tea or water and it should help soothe your mad stomach.

Other benefits of ginger include the following : aids in helping to quell nausea since it helps upset stomachs get more calm also, helps to relieve the swelling and inflammation of arthritis due to it’s slightly anti inflammatory properties, and it also helps to promote your circulation.  Ginger is also a known cold remedy which can help ease symptoms of a cold such as coughing and congestion which is also related to it’s anti inflammatory properties, but which also may be attributed to it’s pungency which may help to clear the nasal passages more quickly.  See, ginger can be used for a lot more than cooking, you just get an extra added health benefit if you cook with it.

By Natural Advocate | September 23, 2009 - 9:52 pm - Posted in Natural Pain Relief

So many people have fallen prey to painkiller addiction that it has really become somewhat of a national epidemic.  This is the reason you (should) see doctors prescribing narcotic painkillers like Vicodin, Percocet and other narcotic and controlled addictive substances which are usually of the opioid family.

The reason they are so addictive is that they produce a pleasant feeling “high” in a lot of people, and therefore can become very addictive, but I’ve found personally when I’ve had to take these types of narcotic drugs that they are also physically addictive, as a definite withdrawal response is experienced when they are stopped.

Alternatives to painkillers are probably the best route to go if you’re not in serious, critical pain, but the problem is, that extremely intense pain from surgeries and other trauma to the body can really only be dented by a narcotic, and that’s what they are typically used for.  However, there is a black market and there are still some doctors who will prescribe these types of meds to people who consistently ask for them by faking pain or coming up with reasons they need it over and over.

If a good doctor sees this type of thing, what they should do is refer the patient to counseling and refuse to continue to write prescriptions, as it may be indicative of an addiction.  However, Doctors do walk a thin line between alienating patients and doing the morally and ethically right thing here, so it definitely creates a grey area for them.

Burt Reynolds, who most of you know as a long time actor and celebrity, has recently admitted himself to a rehab clinic to help him overcome his addiction to prescription painkillers (undisclosed which ones they actually are, but I feel pretty certain it’s gotta be one of the opioids).  He had back surgery and was in severe pain, so he was prescribed painkillers and became dependent on them, so dependent that it started to really interfere with his life and happiness.

Often people feel out of control when they feel they can’t live without a substance, and this is what painkiller addiction does to you.  Just because they are legal and can be prescribed by Doctors doesn’t mean that they are still severely addictive and debilitating when an addiction forms.

By Natural Advocate | September 21, 2009 - 7:32 am - Posted in Natural and Herbal Treatments

We tend to always think more about the food products that we put inside our body (eat) a lot more than the products we topically apply to our bodies on a daily basis.  However, I’m finding that we also should be thinking about the topical products we slather on, brush our mouths with, wash our hair with, our bodies with and so on and so forth, should also be reviewed and kept to that most natural state possible.  Sure, it may be a little more expensive to buy natural topical personal care products, but I’ve found that the lines I typically like to use are not much more than normal corporate brands and they also tend to last longer and give better results.

What you need to keep in mind is that everything you put on your skin is actually transdermally absorbed into your blood stream, so it does affect your body.  We don’t tend to think that way, and I include myself in that “we” statement, until recently when I really started to think about it.  If you think logically about it, why would things like anti smoking patches and hormone creams work?  They work because they are absorbed into your blood stream via your skin, instead of orally, and they are actually also very effective.  Why not then would lotions and creams that you purchase with potentially harmful chemicals like paraben in them not be absorbed and have any potentially adverse effects?

So, I’m trying to really clean up my act when it comes to the personal care and hygiene products that we use in our home.  One example is moving to a natural moisturizer.  Many moisturizing creams contain paraben, which is a chemical that may have several side effects when used over time.  I try to look for lotions (most likely only sold in natural food stores, but some major retailers may carry them too), that have only ingredients that I can actually pronounce and identify. If they don’t, then I won’t buy it.  I’m also wanting to switch to a new and effective body soap.

Another example is my sister got me this awesome natural shampoo that actually works, and not only that, it fights flakes which I tend to get, very well. It’s a shampoo by Pure Life Soap products.  It’s a great price for an all natural and very effective shampoo.  The one I have it the wild indigo version, but I suspect they would all work really well.  I’m trying to be really mindful of what’s going on my body lately. I’ll let you know when I find a good natural soap as well.

Warning: include() [function.include]: URL file-access is disabled in the server configuration in /usr/www/virtual/djanine/ on line 9

Warning: include( [function.include]: failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /usr/www/virtual/djanine/ on line 9

Warning: include() [function.include]: Failed opening '' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/local/lib/php') in /usr/www/virtual/djanine/ on line 9