Healthy Organic Sleep starts a Healthy Day!

Nothing beats waking up feeling refreshed and ready to conquer your day, and nothing helps you better than a great night’s sleep. You’d be surprised at how hard good sleep is to come by whether it be your mind not being able to shut off or an uncomfortable mattress.

If your issue is the mattress, you most likely get online and start looking in to new mattress options and that’s when things get worse. Did you know about all the toxins and glues that are in a normal mattress? All the harmful off gassing? I didn’t think so, now you can’t even sleep a wink on the uncomfortable mattress you have because you can’t shut your brain off thinking of what’s seeping in to your system.

I’m exhausted just writing that…. Time to look for healthy alternatives!

After a lot of searching, an organic mattress is the way to go: healthy, comfortable and durable. Here’s my only problem: I’ve been a big fan of memory foam and the idea of going back to a mattress that causes my pressure points to flare up again isn’t really appealing. Imagine my delight when I found Essentia which is like Tempurpedic but natural: Essentia organic memory foam mattresses are latex based and have none of the toxic chemicals found in traditional memory foam.

It’s everything I need in one healthy mattress! Essentia showrooms in the US are the only place you can get a real feel for them but I’m crossing my fingers that they’ll be opening a location in Texas soon.

* Guest Post

Making Pregnancy More Comfortable for Sleeping

Anything that helps during pregnancy such as body pillows or whatever, means a lot to the mother-to-be.  Our daughter is pregnant with their third child and thankfully doesn’t have trouble sleeping.  I remember with both my pregnancies, however, that it was hard to get comfortable at night during the last couple of months.  We had a waterbed during my second pregnancy and that was so awesome and helped tremendously.  I also had a body pillow which helped a lot.  Whatever discomfort is experienced during sleeping, though, is quickly forgotten once the precious bundle of joy arrives!

Healthy Eating: Foods with Vitamin A

Welcome to the beginning of what I plan to be my “Healthy Eating” category, a series with information about which foods contain what vitamins and minerals, and how these particular nutritive components of foods benefit us health wise. We know a lot of this information, but sometimes we get so busy and forget and go on autopilot.  It’s good to be reminded every now and then.
A is well known as an antioxidant and very helpful during the cold & flu season.  It’s also great for eye health,  acne, bones, teeth, healing stomach ulcers, and can even help lower cholesterol.

Another very important fact about Vitamin A is that the body can’t utilize protein without it.  It’s a must-have vitamin!  That’s something I forget, that Vitamin A can help my body use the protein in my meal.  I try to eat a good amount of protein in every meal, not too much but the recommended amount.  If I’m not eating enough Vitamin A in my diet, though, then my body is probably not using the protein efficiently.  Looking at the list below, it’s easy to see how protein can be paired with one or two of the foods below.   There are quite a few food combinations that could be made for a healthy meal.

.Here are some healthy sources of Vitamin A:

  • Fruits:  apricots, cantaloupe, grapefruit, papayas, peaches, pumpkin, tomato, watermelon
  • Veggies:  asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, greens, kale, peas, red peppers, spinach, butternut squash, sweet potatoes
  • Herbs:  alfalfa, cayenne, fennel seed, kelp, lemongrass, paprika, parsley, peppermint, raspberry leaf, sage, watercress
  • Liver

 

8 Ways to Make it a Healthier 4th of July

Photo courtesy of EliJerma.

Guest Post by Jakob Barry:

The 4th of July is a great occasion for family and friends across the country to get together and celebrate Independence Day. At the same time whether it’s through cookouts, beach gatherings, or simply watching fire works we should always try to make it as healthy an event as possible.

After all, celebrating shouldn’t come at the expense of anyone’s well being.

That being the case if you’re planning on putting together a homemade bash, consider some of the following thoughts for making it a healthier 4th of July:

1. Hydrate: In most of the country Independence Day is usually warm if not down right hot. That means in order to stay hydrated its important to drink a lot of water. A good reminder to keep drinking and making sure others do too is by carrying a reusable water bottle wherever you go. The fact its reusable also makes it environmentally friendly.

2. Soda: Staying hydrated is one thing but sometimes we want other flavors with our meals and the only option is chemical based, sugar laced soda. If it’s bubbles you like purchase a soda water machine with natural flavorings to go with it. You’ll find it meets your cravings, you’ll rarely have to buy another disposable soda bottle again, and the machines usually don’t need electricity so they are completely green.

3. Food: When picking out meat for burgers or poultry for the grill try organic and free range brands. Also, instead of filling up on snacks with little nutritional value make a variety of salads for yourself and the guests. There’s no better time to get creative in the kitchen than now and when it comes to salads the options are unlimited.

4. Recycle: Although plastic doesn’t cause immediate harm to our health when we toss it in the trash it will eventually catch up with us through the environment. Try and recycle as much as possible setting up a recycling station off to the side by the garage door. Otherwise purchase biodegradable brands of tableware.

5. Shade: Being in the sun can be a lot of fun but the truth is we need to shield ourselves from its rays more than we think. Make extra shade by tying tarps or large fabrics between trees and the home to cover sitting and eating areas so there’s enough room for everyone. Those who want to catch some sun still can but having that protection is essential.

6. Repellent: When the sun starts to go down the mosquitoes will come out but instead of using regular bug sprays which contain chemicals such as DEET go with natural options. Some include eco-friendly mosquito coils, essential oils, citronella candles, or green minded store bought repellents.

7. Pesticide: Non-eco-friendly pesticide and herbicides contain poison which kills plant life and other organisms. If these substances were used on lawns or property near a gathering make sure the areas are cordoned off so kids and others planning to roll around in the grass have less of a chance of getting sick. After the 4th of July festivities are over check into more natural ways to solve the pest and weed problems.

8. Fire: Fire is a big part of Independence Day. Aside from general precautions when making a fire for a barbeque don’t toss materials like plastic in the hearth. Unlike wood and paper it transforms into harmful fumes when consumed and are a hazard to breathe. Furthermore, stay clear of any fireworks not only because their explosive nature is dangerous but the fumes they leave are also unhealthy to inhale.

Jakob Barry is a home improvement journalist for Networx.com. He blogs about green topics for pros across the U.S. like Richmond, VA, air conditioning contractors and Dallas, TX, garage doors.

Tempurpedic Mattresses

We love our king-sized Tempurpedic mattress which we’ve had for eleven years now.  Before that, we had two different regular mattresses, and a very long time ago before that, we had a waterbed.   All of these beds were king-sized, too, but the Tempurpedic is by far the best mattress we have ever owned.  It definitely helps our backs having such a wonderful mattress to sleep on at night.

One thing, though, about having such a good mattress to sleep on every night is that we miss it when we’re traveling.  If we stay at a motel or hotel, which always have a firmer mattress, we can really tell a difference.  Earlier this year we traveled to see our family.  The place we stayed at had such a very firm mattress that I woke up feeling so stiff the next morning.  It took me at least an hour or longer to loosen up and not feel stiff anymore.  I was so glad to sleep on our own mattress after we got back home, and the next morning my back felt so much better when I woke up.  It makes a huge difference what type of mattress we sleep on at night, and we believe it’s been worth the investment to have better quality sleep and healthier backs.

* Note:  This is a sponsored post for Healthy Back, however, all views and opinions are my own.

 

Acid Content of Fruits & Veggies

Here’s some helpful information I found online that I wanted to share with you:

This information is from Texas A&M University, and it’s helpful not only for those who can fruits and veggies from their gardens but also for those having stomach problems such as heartburn or indigestion.

Monitors

The stomach flu is going around at the school where I teach.  I’ve had several students out sick over the past two or three weeks.  I guess I need a patient monitor to keep up with how they’re doing at home.  It’s so sad when kids are sick, especially when they have trouble communicating that they feel bad or what the symptoms are like.  Hope you and your family and friends are staying well!

More Exercise

Getting more exercise has been on my “To Do List” for quite a while.  Finally, I have been able to fit in a long walk two or three times a week.  That helps me lose weight, probably because it speeds up my metabolism.   I’m also trying to eat healthier, drink more water, and cut out some snacks and treats (not completely, though, because that’s when people have a tendency to binge).  I haven’t read any hydroxystim reviews or looked at any diet pills because I’m doing OK with more exercise, healthy eating, and having snacks and treats in moderation.  My goal has been to lose ten pounds, and so far I’ve lost two or three pounds.  I’m headed in the right direction!

Treatment Centers

Nowadays, there are so many people in our country who are in need of treatment centers for various types of addictions.  There are centers in Texas, and I would imagine in every state in the United States.  My husband and I do a little volunteer work with a Bible-based 12 step program at church to help those trying to overcome their addictions.  It’s very hard for many of them at times, and my heart aches for them sometimes for all of the pain, struggles, and hardships they go through in trying to overcome their addictions.  It’s not easy, but their is hope!

Fitness Resolutions

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Spartan Race for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Are you looking for a challenging fitness activity that the whole family can do together?  Well, let me tell you that Spartan Race is really different and not anything like I’ve seen before.  It looks challenging, actually almost intimidating, but it is supposed to get fitness resolutions into high gear.  Check it out see what the Spartan Race is all about.  For more info, go to Frequently Asked Questions and Answers.

Spartan Racing is definitely a new revolutionary way to work out with their world leading obstacle courses.  They have something for the beginner with 5k sprint trail races, muddy 3+- mile events with 10 or more obstacles for something more challenging, and  up to more than 40 mile events for those experienced with obstacle courses.  People of all ages can enjoy this new muddy way to stay fit as long as they have the determination and self discipline to be part of this new fitness frenzy.  99.9% of all people who try this event will finish.

Why Spartan?  This race is one that promotes family, community, and overcoming obstacles.  They provide a daily workout, a weekly newsletter, and inspiring blog, and for those who follow the plan and daily tips plus have the determination to never give up, this will become a life changing experience.  Join the more than 300,000 people that will participate this year, but if you’re really interested then don’t wait to sign up as their races do sell out!.

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Back surgery

A friend of mine at work has been having some back problems.  She’s not going to have surgery, but if she did, I wonder if she would research laser spine surgery?  There are different options available for people nowadays, and it’s good to check out the options to see which one is best for each individual person.  What works for one person might not be the best option for someone else.  That’s why it pays to do the research!

Health Tip: How Much Sugar in a Can of Coke?

According to wiki.answers.com, one regular 12-ounce can of Coke has about 10 teaspoons of sugar. That makes me sick to think about putting that much sugar in a glass of tea, yet most people don’t mind having that much sugar in a Coke or other type of soda. Knowing how much sugar is in sodas makes me want to continue not drinking them except on a rare occasion when I have an upset stomach. When I’m really nauseated from allergies, nothing settles my stomach like a Coke (except sometimes ginger). Otherwise, I’ll stick to my freshly made tea sweetened with KAL Stevia. That tastes so good and doesn’t have any sugar in it!