Walking in a Winter Wonderland? How to Protect and Hydrate in the Cold!

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Stay warm and hydrated this winter!

Stay warm and hydrated this winter!

It’s cold out for many of us right now! Even if it’s not cold where you live, it’s probably still colder than it usually is. Therefore, you have the heat on in your house, you’ve got the fireplace going for warmth and atmosphere, or you’re going outside in the cold to enjoy outdoor activities and just walking to your car from work, a restaurant, the mall, etc. Did you know you can become just as dehydrated from the cold in the winter as you can from the heat in the summer? It’s true, we just aren’t as aware of our sweating when we are cold. Your skin and lips can become dried and chapped from the cold and wind too. I’ve got some healthy remedies to protect your body from the cold and I’d like to share them with you right now!

Simple, easy and inexpensive!

Simple, easy and inexpensive!

1. Carmex- Boy, I hate chapped lips, don’t you?! Carmex is my favorite remedy for healing chapped lips and preventing them as well. I’ve tried other lip balms but I feel Carmex coats and protects my lips the best. I prefer the Carmex in the little jar to the one in the tube because it’s thicker and coats better. Before bed, I coat my lips with Carmex, especially in the winter because I hate awakening with that chappy lip feeling. My niece, Alison, loves Carmex so much that not only does she receive cases of it for gifts, but she also dressed up as a tube of Carmex for Halloween one year. I guess it runs in the family as I’ve been using it since I was in middle school!

Ali the tube of Carmex! :)

Ali the tube of Carmex! ūüôā

LOL! If you have another lip balm that works for you go for it! Make sure, however, that you coat your lips not only at night but whenever you’re going outside for a walk, ice skating, skiing, or any activity that will take you outdoors for a long period of time on a cold or windy day.

My favorite lotion, it Kisses my Face with moisture!

My favorite lotion, it Kisses my Face with moisture!

2. Kiss My Face-¬† Lotion is another one of my secret winter weapons, and I particularly like “Kiss My Face” lotion, both because of the silkiness of it and the smell.¬†I use it all over my body, not just on my face though, does that break the rules?!! The coconut scent¬†smells like heaven to me! My hands and face get particularly dry in the winter so the one thing that I do is to coat my hands with lotion before putting on my gloves to go outside. That way it helps the lotion to absorb better instead of evaporating in the wind. I also coat my hands before putting on my kitchen gloves. The warm water outside the gloves really helps the lotion to absorb into my hands. They feel so soft when I remove the gloves, and it really makes doing the dishes a bit more enjoyable! Before bed, I once again coat my hands with lotion, and I do my face at that time too. It seems like a lot but it’s worth it not to have chapped hands and a chapped face!

Alkaline water is a great way to hydrate in the winter!

Alkaline water is a great way to hydrate in the winter!

3. Alkaline water- Any filtered water is great for you at any time of year, however I have been enjoying the benefits of alkaline water lately. It contains more minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium, and it helps digest acidic food more easily. Also, since it contains 5-6 water molecules per cluster it penetrates our tissues more easily and hydrates 3 times more efficiently than normal, filtered water. In addition, it eliminates free radicals that can cause cancer, and because it has a PH of 8.5-9.5 it maintains the body in a healthy (ie, non acidic) state. It’s like water on steroids! It is important to stay hydrated. I read a study that said 80% of our feelings of hunger are really related to¬† THIRST instead. Water¬†plumps up the skin and makes it glow as well so make sure to drink your water!

Love me some leave in conditioner!

Love me some leave in conditioner!

4. Leave in conditioner- Leave in conditioner is my best friend during the winter when my hair is so dry. I use it after I wash and condition my hair in the shower, but before I use my styling products. It coats my hair and moisturizes so I don’t get flyaways. Static cling in the hair is just no fun so I always make sure I use it. It’s one of my favorite winter remedies!

Don't forget your healthy fats!

Don’t forget your healthy fats!

5. Healthy Fats- It sounds strange but to keep your body properly moisturized in the winter it is important to get your healthy fats. Organic Fish, extra virgin olive oil, avocados, nuts, butter, lard, etc, all help to bring moisture to the body, and help battle against the dryness of winter. It really does work!

There you have it- my tips¬†for keeping moisturized in the winter. It’s a challenge in Indiana where I live, especially with all of the wind, snow and ice we usually experience. That’s why I make sure to use my Carmex, lotion, leave in conditioner, and to drink my alkaline water and eat my healthy fats. I get a lot of positive comments on my skin so these remedies seem to work. Let me know what your winter remedies are, and how you like the ones I’ve presented to you here today. These remedies will help you live a life of vitality- with Valerie! ūüôā

 

 

Holiday overeating/overdrinking? Healthy remedies for indigestion!

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Cooking at my sister's house over the weekend!

Cooking at my sister’s house over the weekend!

Whew, what a busy long holiday weekend! I had the kids come back from college, I hosted and cooked Thanksgiving on Thursday, and then went to my sister’s for a big family celebration over the weekend! I ate a lot of food and, by the time I returned home, ended up with a case of indigestion. I used my favorite remedies and feel better now, but then I thought, “Wait! I need to share these remedies with my wonderful readers!”¬†So that’s what I’m going to do today. Especially with two more big “stomach ache” holidays coming up, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, I thought it particularly timely to help you avoid stomach discomfort in a healthy way! These remedies are particularly¬†helpful when we occasionally over imbibe in food and drink. So without further ado, here are my top 5 healthy stomachache remedies.

My favorite stomach remedy!

My favorite stomach remedy!

1. Nux Vomica- This is a homeopathic remedy made from the seeds of the strychnos tree and it’s mainly used for nausea, indigestion, and hangovers. It works really well for all of those digestive issues. Use as recommended on the package instructions and DON’T TAKE MORE THAN THE RECOMMENDED DOSAGE AS IT CAN BE TOXIC IF TAKEN AT EXTREMELY HIGH LEVELS. Nux Vomica can be purchased at any health food store. It’s my favorite stomach remedy and has saved my life a number of times! They are tiny pellets that are held under the tongue until dissolved, and they have no flavor which is very helpful when your stomach is upset.

My number 2 stomach remedy!

My number 2 stomach remedy!

2. Sunmark Anti-nausea liquid- The active ingredients in my second favorite stomach remedy are glucose, fructose and phosphoric acid, and it’s effective for “nausea due to stomach upset from flu, food or drink indiscretions”, according to the label and I agree with their assessment of that. You just take one to two tablespoons and don’t drink any liquids before or after because it could dilute the effectiveness of the medicine. It has a pleasant cherry flavor, which goes down well when you’re stomach hurts. I love this anti-nausea liquid and I find it very successful at eliminating my symptoms. This product can be purchased at health food stores.

Works on adults too- teehee! :)

Works on adults too- teehee! ūüôā

3. Little Remedies Gripe Water- Don’t be fooled by the label, it’s not just for children but works on people of any age. One day I had a really bad case of indigestion and the only place we had time to stop at was a CVS because we were in a hurry to go somewhere, and there was no health food store near. So I ran in and looked at the stomach remedies and tried to find something that wasn’t full of chemicals, which was very difficult to be honest. I picked up this one on the advice of my significant other (who is a doctor). ¬†I was doubtful since it’s for babies,¬†but it REALLY WORKED WELL! It’s used for colicky babies, but it worked for my tummy too. It works by breaking down the bubbles that cause gas naturally. I have to admit I take a few swigs of it right out of the bottle instead of measuring when I need it so I’d say taking a tablespoon or two would be about right. It’s great!

Love me some peppermint capsules!

Love me some peppermint capsules!

4. Peppermint Capsules- This is one I particularly love and here’s why. These are pure peppermint capsules from Guyer Institute, however you can purchase other brands from health food stores. The EC stands for enteric coated, which is advisable because it helps keep the peppermint oil from being released in the stomach which could cause heartburn and indigestion. Instead it goes to the digestive system where it is released and helps relieve symptoms of gas, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, colds, and flu. This remedy works very well and as a pleasant side benefit it makes your bowel movements smell like peppermint. In other words you will have minty smelling doo doo! That’s definitely not a bad thing! Another way I like to use it is to break a capsule open, squeeze it into my water, and drink my peppermint water. It tastes really great and soothes my stomach too. Now don’t take it this way if you have reflux or esophagus issues because it could upset those conditions. A super healthy remedy!

Ginger gum!

Ginger gum!

5. Sea-Band Anti-Nausea Ginger Gum- Ginger is a long time remedy for gastrointestinal upset- I remember my Mama giving me ginger ale when I was a child with a flu bug. This ginger gum (can be purchased at health food¬†stores)¬†is a healthy way to deliver ginger in a more effective way than drinking an entire can of pop. It definitely has a strong ginger taste, so if you like ginger you’ll love this gum. I’m not a real fan of ginger so I only chew it for a few minutes before spitting it out, but it really helps calm the stomach in a natural way!

So these are some healthy remedies for overeating and overdrinking, which is very typical for this time of year. As always, please consult your physician before utilizing any of these products, especially if you are having severe symptoms for an extended period of time. Make sure to eat and drink safely, and use good judgment always! However, for the inevitable times when you aren’t feeling good, these natural products will definitely help. Using these tummy remedies will help you live a life of vitality- like Valerie!

 

 

 

Beyond the Orange; Better Sources of C!

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A Vitamin C cornucopia of colors and flavors here!

A Vitamin C cornucopia of colors and flavors here!

I have to say that I love Vitamin C, it makes me think about tropical climates, sunshine, vibrant colors and happiness! It also makes me think about oranges, as it does for most people I would imagine.¬†Many people¬†think oranges¬†are the best way to get vitamin C, and they do have 69.7 mg for a medium sized orange,¬†but did you know there are other far better ways to get vitamin C naturally? You didn’t know that? Well, I’m going to tell you about it today!

Vitamin C is such an important nutrient for us in many ways. Not only does it shorten the duration of colds/flu, but it also helps repair/regenerate tissues, aids in the absorption of iron, helps delay or prevent cataracts, supports healthy immune function, protects against heart disease, prevents scurvy, protects against a variety of cancers by fighting free radicals, and helps neutralize the effects of nitrites (preservatives found in some packaged foods that can contribute to certain kinds of cancers). That’s quite an impressive list!

So how much do we need and how do we get it? According to the National Institutes of Health, men need 90 mg per day, and women need 75 mg per day, however if you’re a smoker you need even more Vitamin C (250 mg!)¬†because smoking disrupts the absorption of it by the body. Toddlers 1-3 years old need 15 mg per day,¬†¬†children 4-8 years old need 25 mg, children 9-13 need 45 mg, male teens 14-18 need 75 mg, and females of that age need 65 mg. However, if you have a cold you will need much more to help fight the virus, 250 mg per day.

Now, you can take a supplement and I’ve referred to supplemental sources of Vitamin C in my previous post “Healing Cold Remedies”, but I always prefer to get my vitamins in food if possible. Know though, that if you have a cold/flu or are healing from an injury you probably will need to supplement your diet with other sources to get as much as you need to help your body heal. However, if you’re a healthy, happy human like I am right now, you can get your C naturally. And the great thing about Vitamin C is that there’s no such thing as getting too much C because our bodies will release it into our urine when we’ve had enough. So consume your C, guilt free! With that in mind, here’s a list of the fruits and vegetables with the most Vitamin C, so you can get the biggest bang for your nutritional buck.

The King (or Queen) of Vitamin C!

The King (or Queen) of Vitamin C!

1. Red Bell Peppers– They have the most Vitamin C with 190 mg per cup. They’re also a great source of Vitamin A which is good for your eyes. Add them to salads, dip them, add them to stir fries, soups, omelets, and crock pot meals. They are one of my favorite vegetables because I like their bright and mild flavor, and as such they’re extremely versatile.

The Prince, or Princess, of Vitamin C!

The Prince, or Princess, of Vitamin C!

2. Kiwi2 Kiwi fruit give you 137.2 mg of Vitamin C. They’re also a great source of potassium and copper too. I love to slice them into a fruit salad, or just grab a spoon and scoop them into my mouth. They’re so refreshing!

I heart broccoli!

I heart broccoli!

3. Broccoli- Broccoli has 132 mg per cup, it is also full of fiber, which is why they’re called colon’s broomsticks! At just 30 calories per serving you can’t beat this nutritional powerhouse. They’re also one of those superfoods thought to help prevent cancer. I love to add a bit of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, red pepper flakes, garlic, salt and pepper, and roast them in the oven on broil for 10 minutes. But watch them, or they could burn! Lots of yum!

Tropical tasting Mango!

Tropical tasting Mango!

4. Mango– Oh I love me some Mango! It has 122.3 mg of Vitamin C per cup, it’s also loaded with Vitamin A, which is great for the eyes. I love mango in a fruit salad or added to a salsa for a fruity twist.

Crunchy cauliflower!

Crunchy cauliflower!

5. Cauliflower- A small head of cauliflower has 127.7 mg of Vitamin C. It also has 5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein too. I love it raw or steamed with a little butter, salt and pepper.

Green bell peppers, not as much C as the reds but they still have tons!

Green bell peppers, not as much C as the reds but they still have tons!

6. Green Bell Peppers- They have 120 mg of Vitamin C per cup, which is not as much as their red headed mates but they still have far more than the recommended daily requirement. They also have 200% of the RDA for fiber. I always put them in my chili, soups, stews, omelets, etc.

Chili peppers- Ole!

Chili peppers- Ole!

7. Chili Peppers– bring on the heat! Chili peppers come in next at 107.8 mg of Vitamin C per 1/2 cup. They’re also loaded with capsaicin which helps to relieve joint and muscle pain. I love chilies and I add them to many dishes because I like their heat, not too intense, but super flavorful.

Papaya- it's poppin'!

Papaya- it’s poppin’!

8. Papaya- A cup of papaya has 88.3 mg of Vitamin C. Papaya also has nutrients that brighten skin, strengthen bones, and clear sinuses. Love!

Yummy strawberries!

Yummy strawberries!

9. Strawberries– Love me some strawberries, especially with 84.7 mg Vitamin C per cup! They also have folate which is good for heart health. They’re a natural teeth whitener too. Strawberries are readily available and they’re sweet and delicious. They are my favorite fruit, and I think they are best enjoyed plain. Just clean them and pop them into your mouth. Amazing!

Kale- a superfood!

Kale- a superfood!

10. Kale- One cup of Kale has 80.4 mg of Vitamin C. It also contains twice the RDA for Vitamin A, 7 times the Vitamin K, numerous minerals and fatty acids. It really does it all! I love Kale chips and I also like it in salads and soups.

These are the top 10 fruits and vegetables containing Vitamin C, but remember lots of other ones do too, like Brussels sprouts (74.8 mg per cup), and pineapple (78.9 mg per cup) , they just don’t have as much as the top 10. However, it’s important to eat what you like, in addition to eating what’s good for you, so feel free to eat other fruits and veggies if you don’t like any on the list, because any Vitamin C is better than none. Also, I want to emphasize the need to purchase organic fruits and vegetables to ensure they’re responsibly grown and handled. An important point is that if you’ve taken Acetaminophen, antacids that contain aluminum, aspirin, or Warfarin, there could be adverse effects so keep that in mind. In addition, nicotine products, tetracycline’s, barbiturates, and oral contraceptives may decrease the effects of Vitamin C. Just writing this post makes me want to go eat some fruits and veggies that contain Vitamin C. How about you? Make sure to get your Vitamin C naturally. It will help you live a life of vitality- like Valerie!