Sunday, September 4, 2011

Oatmeal Baths

Oatmeal baths are a natural way to improve skin conditions. They work very well for rashes, eczema, itchy skin and dry skin and are a great example of how you can use food as your medicine.

Here's how:

Take 1 cup of oatmeal and blend or process the oats with a blender, food processor or coffee grinder. For babies, you'll only need about 1/3 cup per bath. You can use instant oatmeal (unflavored), quick oats or slow cooking oats.

Blend or process the oats until you have a very fine, consistent powder. To check to see if the oats are the right consistency, stir 1 tablespoon of the ground oats into a glass of warm water. If the oats readily absorb the water and give it a milky look and a silky feel, you've blended long enough.

Giving the bath:

Sprinkle the oatmeal into a tub of running water and stir the water with your hand several times to ensure even distribution. Feel along the bottom of the tub for clumps and break up any you find.

Be cautious getting in and out of the tub, as the oatmeal will make the tub even more slippery than usual.

Soak in the tub for 15-20 minutes and pat dry with a soft towel rather than rubbing.  Do not rinse your skin.

This bath can be done 1-2 times per day or as needed.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Routine Health Exams

Routine health exams are an essential component of preventative health. They can often help to identify health issues before symptoms arise and can help us to take a proactive approach towards maintaining good health.

Here’s a list of the routine exams you should consider:


PAP tests and Pelvic exams: should be routinely done from age 21 (or earlier if sexually active). PAP tests are now recommended every 3 years, but you can request to have one done more regularly. 

Colonoscopy: should be done at age 50, or for those with a first degree relative with colon cancer screening should begin 10 years prior to the age of diagnosis of that relative.

Breast Screening: Self examination should be done at home on a monthly basis. A clinical breast examination done by a health care practitioner is recommended each year. Mammograms are typically done every 2 years beginning at age 50. 

Bone Density Testing: should begin at approximately age 50 or at the time of menopause. Earlier screening should be done for those with any additional risk factors for bone loss.


Prostate screening: Discussions with your doctor regarding PSA tests and prostate exams should begin at age 40.

Colonoscopy: should be done at age 50, or for those with a first degree relative with colon cancer screening should begin 10 years prior to the age of diagnosis of that relative.

Abnormalities on routine exams can often be resolved if found early. Early detection means earlier intervention and usually leads to more positive outcomes.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Dirty Dozen

One of the fantastic resources put together by the Environmental Working Group is the Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce. This guide informs consumers of the levels of pesticides found on fruits and vegetables.  It includes analysis of 50 different foods and highlights the Dirty Dozen (the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables) and the Clean 15 (the 15 least contaminated fruits and vegetables).

Pesticide residues have been linked to a number of health concerns including: headache, allergies, fatigue, chemical sensitivities, immune system dysfunction and autoimmune disease, depression, tremors, lowered IQ and ADHD.

By avoiding the dirty dozen and eating from the Clean 15 list, you'll reduce your intake of pesticide residues and lower your risk of disease.

If you chose to eat the fruits and veggies listed on the dirty dozen try to buy these organic - they will contain less pesticide residue than their conventionally grown counterparts.

Another step to removing the pesticide residue from your produce (both conventionally and organically grown) is to wash, scrub or soak your fruits and veggies in a vinegar-water mixture.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Healthy Smoothies

Smoothies are a great idea for a healthy meal or snack and a nice way to get some more fruits and veggies into your diet. When making a smoothie to replace a meal or snack, be sure to turn it into a complete meal by adding fruits and/or veggies, extra fiber and protein.

Use fresh or frozen berries or fruit and add some veggies in where you can. Grated carrots work nicely, and so does spinach. For protein, try 1/4 cup of hemp hearts or a good quality protein powder. For fiber, try adding a couple of tablespoons of ground flax seed.

Click here for some creative smoothie ideas. You can build these recipes into complete meals or snacks by adding protein and ground flax seed (and you can often omit the extra sugars in these recipes, the fruits will likely make it sweet enough).