Category Archives: Health & Fitness

Who’s Got The Herb?

herb3After work, my co-worker and I had herbal lemonade from the local farmers market’s urban+ade in DC. Perfect for a hot summer day– so yummy and refreshing! It prompted an investigation for more recipes. These recipes are so simple and a great healthy sipping choice.

Seriously, the best things in life are gifted by mother nature! Basil, mint, rosemary, sage and thyme have antioxidant and therapeutic properties. It delivers digestive, nervous, endocrine and immune (just to name a few) system benefits. Let HERBS be thy medicine.

Of course, it’s been known for centuries that herbs are great remedies and why not add a little yummy twist to make it an herbal lemonade or tea… all year round, lol. So Joan and I made herbal lemonade (freshly squeezed lemons) with berries. I added rosemary, sage, thyme and honey. Joan added basil, mint and rosemary:

And on a kinda-related note:


Straighten Up Lil’ Soldier

Slouching, leaning, and drooping are few problematic postures on the metro…and at the office…and everywhere else. Reminds me to make an appointment with my awesome chiropractor. It also reminds me to keep a good posture for its advantages:

  • Prevent muscle aches and fatigue
  • Ensure proper breathing (oxygen to the body!!)
  • Maintain a good appearance
  • Avoid future health complications such as an abnormal permanent position (aka hunchback)

And here’s a quick tip to start the week off right:

Wrong –> Correct

Bring the object (phone or book) to eye level instead of drooping your head. Do not bring your shoulders forward.

me

Ignore the frizz 😉 Phone at eye level

Photo credit: Tochi (model) & Brandon (instagram @bandobreeze)


Defense!

The market does a really good job of luring the customer to its product. It really REALLY hurts (emotionally lol) to know that some of these “essential” products contain harmful chemicals. In effort to make healthier/safer purchases, use informative tools, avoid the product, or find other alternatives (e.g. DIY product) for the skin.

Immunology must have been one of the toughest and coolest courses I took in college, but here, let’s breeze through the body’s first line of defense: the skin. It is an active immune organ equipped with competent cells from innate and adaptive responses that work in concert to protect us from pathogens and toxins. Personal care products containing toxic chemicals are often applied directly on the skin, where it’s quickly absorbed. The body learns to fight such chemicals with exposure; however, long-term exposure may lead to health problems.

These chemicals may be carcinogens, allergens, mutagens, and/ or endocrine disruptors. For example, infamous parabens (used as a preservative) and Aluminum-based products (found in deodorants) are linked to cancer. Another major hazardous chemical that can be easily avoided without sacrificing your personal care products is Triclosan. It is found in antibacterial products, which is known to impair thyroid function and create microbial resistance.

Click here to see a more complete list of chemicals and ingredients to avoid.

If you did not research the product before shopping, no worries! Use this amazing cellphone app by Environmental Working Group (EWG) to see the hazardous level of a particular product, just a scan away:

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By minimizing the exposure of bad environmental agents, we can avoid compromising one’s health. Unfortunately, that exposure is almost inevitable. Often times that product may have great reviews and marketing techniques while containing harmful chemicals. To make matters worse, the government does not prohibit the use of some dangerous chemicals in personal care products (but let’s not discuss politics). Read these tips for safer alternatives.

For further reading I recommend:

Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power by Mark Schapiro

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I hope you found this as a helpful tool for guidance to safer products. I am still in the process of perfecting this habit and incorporating into a healthy lifestyle for my family and me.