It’s not exactly the most appropriate subject for your next dinner party, but poop has a lot to say about the status of your health if you’re willing to listen. If you can get over the gross factor, analyzing the consistency, appearance and frequency of your bowel movements might help you identify underlying health problems of which you may not even be aware.

A healthy stool is composed of about 75 percent water, with the rest constituting a mildly malodorous mixture of fiber, live and dead bacteria, various cells and mucus. This compositional breakdown allows for just enough water to pass waste through the intestinal tract, eliminating it as a smooth, sausage-like snake that is firm in shape but soft in texture.

Eat Local Grown describes it as the “holy grail” of healthy poop, and you can see it for yourself on the Bristol Stool Chart here (Type 4):
image

As you will notice, the Type 4 “perfect” poop is positioned smack-dab in the middle of the chart — not too dry and not too watery. Under optimal circumstances, your gut is able to appropriate the most beneficial ratios, allowing for enough water to be absorbed into your cells and enough to be absorbed into your poop.

There are many factors that can throw off this ratio, of course. Dehydration, excess sugar consumption, damaged gut bacteria, parasites and viruses can all disrupt your bowel movements, leading to bulky stools that are hard to pass, for instance, or watery stools that constitute diarrhea — and everything in between.

Healthy stool color should be a gentle brown; anything else points to problems

As far as color, a healthy stool should be a medium-brownish color. If a stool is black in color, this could indicate bleeding in the stomach or small intestine, says Dr. Jean-Pierre Raufman, a gastroenterologist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. If a stool is blackish-green, this could indicate too much iron or overconsumption of bismuth-containing stomach medicines like Pepto-Bismol.

Bright red stools are also problematic, potentially indicating the possibility of blood in the lower part of the digestive tract, which includes the large intestine, rectum and anus. Pale white or yellow stools, on the other hand, may indicate improper levels of digestive bile being released after food is consumed.

“The reason why stool is brown is because of our normal production of bile,” said Dr. Raufman. “If there’s a problem with bile flow, that may mean a problem like cancer of the bile ducts, or pancreatic cancer or hepatitis.”

Many people aren’t making enough HCl, which leaves too much undigested food in poop

The shape and consistency of a stool is also indicative of how well the digestive system is functioning. Looser stools that contain visible chunks of undigested food — a healthy stool should only contain about 30 percent undigested material — could point to a lack of hydrochloric acid (HCl) production, which is worsened when people take antacids (which further reduce HCl levels).

Correcting these and other problems involves the usual suspects — proper diet (eating the right things and avoiding the wrong ones), supporting your gut (with fermented foods and probiotics), hydrating yourself, exercising and avoiding pharmaceutical drugs. You can learn more about this here:
EatLocalGrown.com.

“The digestive tract contains more bacterial cells than there are cells in the entire body,” maintains Dr. Raufman. “It’s very important that our bowels work well to absorb necessary nutrients but also keep out any foods, chemicals and germs that could do us harm.”

Originally posted 2015-02-08 16:52:24.

If ever there was an answer about whether or not those in a vegetative state possess awareness, it’s found in the story of Martin Pistorius. He fell into a coma likely brought on by cryptococcal meningitis in the 1980s. However, after 12 years in a vegetative state, Pistorius has shocked not only his family — but the world — by recently coming out of his coma, and by also informing them of something that’s often wondered by people, but not necessarily confirmed: He was aware of his surroundings the majority of the time.(1)

His story provides hope while also offering insight as to whether or not those in a coma are capable of comprehending the environment around them. Pistorius, who is now 39, says that about two years into his comatose state, he started waking up. However, he was unable to convey this through voice and expression. Although he says he was “aware of everything, just like any normal person,” he was sadly thrust into a world that denied the possibility of this, because of his condition. As such, he sadly recalls the time his own mother, fueled with frustration over her son’s health, said to him that she wished he’d die. All is forgiven though. “As time passed,” he said, “I gradually learned to understand my mother’s desperation. Every time she looked at me, she could see only a cruel parody of the once-healthy child she had loved so much.”(1)

His waking up also shows that perhaps keeping a patient in a stimulating, thought-provoking environment can benefit their mental health.

For example, Pistorius recalls many of hospital staff members keeping nothing but the purple “I love you, you love me” singing dinosaur on the television in his room. He craved to learn more about the world around him, but, convinced that he was unaware, nurses left him with endless repeats of the popular childhood TV program. “I cannot even express to you how much I hated Barney,” he said.(1)

Today, he is now married and has written a book appropriately titled Ghost Boy. A description of the book says, “Through Martin’s story we get a glimpse what it is like to be unable to communicate yet feeling and understanding everything. Martin’s emergence from his darkness enables us to celebrate the human spirit and is a wake-up call to cherish our own lives.”(1,2)

Alternative methods of communication important for those in coma, brain-injured

Additionally, his story also raises awareness about Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). AAC is likened to what a wheelchair is to walking; they are alternative ways to communicate with those needing verbal assistance and may include the use of gestures, communication books and various technological communication devices.(3)

One similar technology involves that of brain imaging and is similar to what theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking uses to communicate. While not in a coma, Hawking is confined to a wheelchair and “speaks” using technology and blinking his eyes at appropriate times.

“What we’ve been able to do in the last few years is develop brain imaging methods,” using MRI and EEGs, said Dr. Damian Cruse, who was a guest speaker at a New Beginnings Brain Injury Association of Chatham-Kent event in Ontario, Canada. He explains that such tools are being closely looked at as ways to help those trapped in a coma “tell” family members that their words and other sounds can indeed be heard.(4)

Studies: Those in vegetative state may have “conscious awareness”

Several studies have indicated that awareness in comatose individuals does indeed exist.

For example, one study conducted by British and Canadian authors found that some of the 16 patients thought to be unconscious and deemed physically unresponsive were actually able to generate proper EEG responses to a couple of specific commands.(5)

This study was published in the journal The Lancet. Titled “Bedside detection of awareness in the vegetative state: a cohort study,” it notes, “We aimed to assess bedside detection of awareness with an electroencephalography (EEG) technique in patients in the vegetative state.”

The study says:

Despite rigorous clinical assessment, many patients in the vegetative state are misdiagnosed. The EEG method that we developed is cheap, portable, widely available, and objective. It could allow the widespread use of this bedside technique for the rediagnosis of patients who behaviourally seem to be entirely vegetative, but who might have residual cognitive function and conscious awareness.(6)

Originally posted 2015-02-05 16:49:35.

Fifty years after President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “war on poverty,” and five years after President Obama’s administration declared the “Great Recession” over, a record number of Americans remain on taxpayer-supported federal and state assistance programs.

According to the most recent government figures, as reported by CNSNews.com, more than 46 million Americans are not only currently receiving some level of food stamp assistance but have been receiving that assistance for more than three years straight.

The news website further elaborated:

The number of beneficiaries on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)–AKA food stamps–has topped 46,000,000 for 38th straight months, according to data released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In October 2014, the latest month reported, there were 46,674,364 Americans on food stamps. Food stamp recipients have exceeded 46 million since September 2011.

Millions more being added to the dole

The number of people receiving food stamps in October represented an increase of 214,434, up from 46,459,930 in September.

As of July, the website noted, the national population, according to Census Bureau estimates, was 318,857,056; so the 46,674,364 represented 14.6 percent of the population.

“The number of households on food stamps increased from 22,749,951 in September to 22,867,248 in October, an increase of 117,297,” CNSNews.com reported.

By September, the Census Bureau data indicated that there were 115,831,000 households in the country. So, that means the 22,867,248 households on food stamp assistance in October was equal to 19.7 percent of the nation’s total.

“The 46,674,364 people on food stamps in the United States also exceeded the total populations of Columbia (46,245,297), Kenya (46,245,297), Ukraine (44,291,413) and Argentina (43,024,374),” said CNSNews.com, while that figure was slightly less than the population of Spain, at 47,737,941.

On average, food stamp households received $261.44 in assistance during the month of October; total benefits paid out by the Department of Agriculture cost taxpayers more than $5.9 billion

In 1969, just four years after the food stamp program was initiated via “war on poverty” legislation that created the program (along with Medicaid), there were fewer than 2.9 million Americans receiving food assistance. By 2014 the numbers had grown by nearly 1,517 percent.

Additional — and new — federal benefits and entitlement programs were expected to increase participation in SNAP and other food assistance programs. In November 2013, The Daily Caller reported:

Obamacare could lead more people enrolling in assistance programs, like food stamps, cash assistance and childcare.

Obamacare’s individual mandate — which compels more people to seek out health insurance — paired with the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare has created a perfect storm for an increase in low-income assistance program participation, Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions’ Senate Budget Committee staff explained to The Daily Caller this week.

Obamacare will also expand other entitlement and benefit programs paid for by taxpayers

“Many states use an online system to streamline the enrollment process for low-income assistance programs. After entering some information about your family structure and financial resources, these systems guide individuals through an application for a series of programs, Medicaid and [the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps] included,” said the staffers.

Indeed, once more Americans learned they qualified for Obamacare’s (taxpayer-supported) financial assistance, Medicaid numbers skyrocketed. Researchers with the Heritage Foundation said in an October 2014 study that the bulk of Obamacare enrollment increases were in the Medicaid program.

“Health insurance enrollment data show that the number of Americans with private health insurance coverage increased by a bit less than 2.5 million in the first half of 2014. While enrollment in individual market coverage grew by almost 6.3 million, 61 percent of that gain was offset by a reduction of nearly 3.8 million individuals with employer-sponsored coverage,” said an abstract of the study. “During the same period, Medicaid enrollment increased by almost 6.1 million–principally as a result of Obamacare expanding eligibility to able-bodied, working-age adults.”

In sum, the report noted, 71 percent of the total increase in health insurance coverage during the first half of last year was attributable to Obamacare Medicaid expansion in 25 states and Washington, D.C.

Originally posted 2015-02-02 16:50:01.

A petition is circulating to persuade three of the top infant formula brands in the U.S. — Abbott Laboratories (Similac), Mead Johnson Nutrition (Enfamil) and Nestle (Gerber Good Start) — to stop using genetically modified (GM) ingredients in their baby products. Each of these powdered formulas is loaded with corn and soy byproducts, along with sugar, which means they are more than likely GM in nature and harming children.

Several years ago, Natural News warned our readers about these dangerous food products for infants, focusing specifically on Similac’s “Go & Grow” formula. The product, which is marketed for babies aged 9 to 24 months, claims it contains “balanced nutrition for older babies.” But as we pointed out, the product is nearly half composed of corn syrup solids (sugar), with the remaining 50-or-so percent composed of soybean oil, soy protein isolate, safflower oil and more sugar in the form of sucrose.

Besides being an absolutely unhealthy product in general, based on these ingredients, Similac Go & Grow is an utter freak show of GM additives, which are particularly harmful for developing children. GMOs have been linked to hormone disruption, gut damage and other problems that, again, especially in children, can lead to a lifetime of chronic health problems.

But Similac isn’t alone — practically every major brand of commercial infant formula is composed mostly of corn, soy, and sugar components, each of which is more than likely GM due to the fact that upwards of 90 percent of corn, soy and sugar beet crops planted in the U.S. are GMOS.

For the infant that is unable to nurse I insist upon an organic commercial formula,” stated pediatrician Michelle Perro, warning against commercial, GMO-laden infant formulas.”Because of the toxic effects of herbicides, particularly glyphosate (due to its prolific usage) as well as other organophosphates and genetically engineered foods in non-organic commercial formulas, these are not an option for infant feeding. In order to ensure the health of our infants and children, there is no amount of acceptable herbicide or GMO that should be in their diets.”

Major infant formula brands spent millions defeating GMO labeling

Beyond just poisoning our children, Abbott, Mead Johnson and Nestle all want to keep this poisoning a secret. As explained by GMOInside.org, each of these companies spent big bucks fighting California’s GMO labeling initiative, Proposition 37, which would have required that infant formulas contain warnings about GMO content.Abbott reportedly spent $334,500 in support of the “No on 37” campaign, while Mead Johnson, which has a much smaller market share, spent $80,000. Nestle, an industry leader in commercial infant formula,  contributed $1,461,600 to block Californians from knowing what’s in their food. Combined, these three companies raked in about $135 billion in sales in 2012.

“It’s infuriating that parents in the United States are not given the same assurances as citizens in more than 60 other countries including China, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia, when it comes to GM ingredients,” said Green America President Aliza Gravitz. “All parents have a right to healthy food options for their children.”

A Green America petition calls on these Big Three infant formula manufacturers to stop using GMOs, which have never been proven safe for human consumption. The long-term effects of GMOs in humans have never been studied, and because babies’ bodies are already less equipped to deal with processing toxins, it is only logical to stop feeding them untested genetic materials that could lead to permanent health damage.

Originally posted 2015-01-28 16:41:02.

Maybe Mickey Mouse is responsible for spreading measles to children at Disneyland? This is a more likely hypothesis than health department claims that unvaccinated children are to blame for a recent outbreak that occurred at “the happiest place on Earth,” in which 39 people — and counting — from at least four states, according to the latest reports, have been confirmed as having contracted the disease while visiting the park.

Official reports are claiming that unvaccinated children are to blame because some of those who contracted the measles hadn’t been vaccinated. Some of them had been vaccinated, of course, and the original source of the disease has yet to be determined. But like always, it is automatically those pesky individuals who choose not to inject their bodies with a vaccine linked to brain damage and autism — and that’s been shown to spread the measles — that must have triggered the outbreak.

The interesting thing about this latest measles outbreak is that the media is parading it around as evidence that not getting vaccinated triggers disease outbreaks, even though the original source of the disease is unknown. It is entirely possible that a vaccinated person spread the disease to both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, which in and of itself shows the lack of effectiveness of vaccines.

If the vaccine for measles — in the U.S., this vaccine is the combination measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) injection — really did work as claimed, then all the measles cases identified at Disneyland would have been in unvaccinated people. But they weren’t. Early on, media reports claimed that “most” of the cases were in unvaccinated people. More recent reports are saying that “some” of the people were unvaccinated.

MMR vaccines can trigger “atypical” measles, potentially triggering a measles outbreak

As you may already be aware, many previous measles outbreaks have occurred among mostly vaccinated populations, for which health officials have no explanation other than to, again, blame the unvaccinated (which makes no sense). Many measles-vaccinated individuals have also come down with what’s known as “atypical” measles infection later in life, the direct result of having gotten vaccinated.

In a paper published back in 1979, atypical measles infection was described as a “hypersensitivity” response to a natural measles infection due to having previously been injected with an inactivated measles virus. A measles epidemic that occurred several years prior in Northern California exhibited all the signs of atypical measles caused by vaccination.

“In typical measles a maculopapular rash occurs first at the hairline, progresses caudally, is concentrated on the face and trunk, and is often accompanied by Koplik’s spots,” explains the study, as reported by the International Medical Council on Vaccination.

“In AMS [atypical measles] the rash Is morphologically a mixture of maculopapular, petechial, vesicular, and urticarial components. It usually begins and is concentrated primarily on the extremities, progresses cephalad, and is not accompanied by Koplik’s spots.”

Without going into too many details, the point here is that a measles-vaccinated population was responsible for this particular outbreak, and likely many others. And yet the mainstream media is making no mention of AMS in its reports, instead choosing to perpetuate the lie that unvaccinated people are always the cause of disease outbreaks. While they may be the cause in some cases, they are most likely not in most of them.

As we reported back in 2011, the Institute of Medicine even admitted in a report claiming that MMR vaccines don’t cause autism that the vaccines can, in fact, cause measles. On page 574, in fact, this report claims that the evidence “convincingly supports” the notion that MMR vaccines cause measles.

Originally posted 2015-01-25 16:39:21.

Life is hard and everybody gets anxious and “frazzled” sometimes, but if this is how you feel on/off all day, maybe it’s because you smoke cigarettes. Maybe it’s also because nicotine is only 30-minute relief for the “cigarette hangover” — that feeling that ensues when the commercial cigarette’s insecticide, herbicide, ammonia and bleach enters your lungs, your blood and your cleansing organs.

Maybe you have C.I.D., Chemical Intake Disorder, where your body gets really nervous and upset when you smoke chemicals hourly, or even every half-hour for smokers who “inhale” two packs a day. Problems get a whole lot bigger when you feel lousy and when your central nervous system is in a constant frenzy, unbalanced and reeling from smoking formaldehyde, fiberglass and GMO ingredients. You can call it anxiety, depression or recurring worry, but the insomnia and frequent headaches are no “coincidence,” and they are NOT hereditary.

If your day-to-day events and experiences are overwhelming, it’s time to remove some of the obstacles that stand in the way of not only feeling normal, but feeling great and being able to deal with anything that comes your way. Doctors often misdiagnose general anxiety disorder, and for good reason. Some people take toxic weight loss supplements and consume artificial sweeteners regularly, and their doctors don’t even know. Most MDs in America barely know a thing about nutrition, so they won’t even bring up meat, milk and synthetic sugars like aspartame, sucralose and sorbitol.

Most doctors have no idea how many chemicals are in cigarettes and won’t even suggest to their patients that it’s directly correlated to their anxiety or depression. Plus, allopathic doctors have no clue HOW their patients might stop smoking. Will your doctor prescribe Chantix or Zyban? You may want to do A LOT of research before you consider those! Smoking cessation pills can make anxiety and depression worse, just check the side effects. Chantix blocks nicotine receptor sites in the brain in order to reduce nicotine cravings, but in that process, naturally occurring dopamine and serotonin are blocked, creating dangerous and nearly intolerable side effects.

Did you know that smoking significantly decreases the body’s ability to heal following surgery? Normal healing may not occur if smoking isn’t stopped. The negative effects of smoking on conditions of the musculoskeletal system and treatment of these conditions are well documented; however, most orthopedic surgeons have been reluctant to discuss these with their patients.

Anxiety can be tied to thyroid problems also. There are plenty of toxins in common foods, drinks and cosmetics that have adverse affects on thyroid function, like PCBs, dioxins, GM soy, pesticides, plastics (BPA), heavy metals and flame retardants. How many of these are in your “dirty dozen” vegetables or your Gatorade? You better check. Could these be adding to your anxiety? You bet they could.

Charles Goodstein, an MD and clinical professor of psychiatry at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, said, “Anxiety is part of life. What makes a disorder is when people have anxiety that mounts to such an intensity that they’re no longer able to cope with it.” That’s why you have to kill the urge to smoke, which is really just the urge to kill your anxiety. So what to do?

Stop smoking and feel alive again!

Once again, there is light at the “end of the tunnel.” Natural News has insightful information and resources to help all walks of life cure themselves of C.I.D. What you do is you stop taking in chemicals! It sounds difficult, but it’s rather quite simple. A revolutionary program that is taught in 60 minutes by streaming video is recommended by the Health Ranger and is called “14AndOut – Stop Smoking Naturally in 14 Days.” Get out of the toxic “ritual” of smoking and stay positive forever. You can do it. Share the good news with smokers you know.

Originally posted 2015-01-13 11:14:39.

gmoNew evidence reveals that despite a ban on cultivation of GM rapeseed in Europe, Monsanto and Bayer’s plants are now freely growing there.

A new study published in PLoS titled,”Unexpected Diversity of Feral Genetically Modified Oilseed Rape (Brassica napus L.) Despite a Cultivation and Import Ban in Switzerland,”[1] is believed to be the first report of its kind showing that despite a cultivation and seed import ban of genetically modified (GM) oilseed rape in Switzerland, Monsanto and Bayer’s GM plants have been introduced into the environment there, confirming fears that once the GM genie has been let out of the bottle it can not be put back.

The GM plants were found growing freely along railway lines and in port areas at four sites in 2011 and 2012, with the most afflicted being the Rhine port of Basel and the St. Johann freight railway station in Basel, Switzerland. The glyphosate-resistant[2] GM plants were identified as Monsanto’s Roundup-Ready GM event GT73. Additionally, the researchers found the glufosinate-resistant GM events MS8xRF3, MS8 and RF3 (all traded as InVigor, Bayer) at five sampling locations in the Rhine port. They noted that this is, to their knowledge, the first time that Bayer’s feral MS8xRF3, MS8 or RF3 plants were detected in Europe.

Another concerning finding was the discovery of ‘outcrossing’ (transference of genetic material between differing plant strains) between Monsanto’s GT73 GM plant and two non-GM oilseed rape plants. This confirms fears that GM plants are capable of transforming conventional and/or organically produced plants into GM ones (i.e. ‘biorape’[3]).

In fact, the study addresses this possibility directly:

“Another concern with respect to the cultivation of GM OSR [genetically modified oilseed rape] is an unintended gene flow towards conventional or organic OSR crops which could lead to co-existence conflicts between different farming systems[4].”

Continue reading this article at GreenMedInfo.com.

Originally posted 2015-01-11 11:10:51.

crowPlenty of information exists demonstrating the intelligence of humans, apes and monkeys. From people’s technological inventions to apes that have learned sign language, it’s clear that the ability to think on advanced levels exists across a variety of species. Now, researchers have a new animal to add to the list of rational thinkers: crows.

That’s right. Crows.

While the large black birds are often thought of as creatures with a caw on par with nails on a chalkboard, capable of not doing much more than picking at roadkill and piercing the insides of trash bags, it turns out that there’s much more to these animals’ brain power.

Crows’ analogical ability surprises, impresses researchers

Researchers from the Department of Biology at Lomonosov Moscow State University in Moscow, Russia, tested two hooded crows, assessing their ability to engage in IMTS (identity matching-to-sample) tests. After initially being trained using a food-based reward system to identify and match certain shapes, numbers or colors, they were then tested on their relational-to-matching sample (RTMS) behavior. This part of the study involved arrangement of shapes so that neither test pairs matched the sample pair in the middle. For example, if the sample card showed two same-sized squares, the crows would have to select two same-sized circles instead of two different-sized circles. Not only were the crows able to accurately choose the correct card, but — and this is the part that most impressed the researchers — they did so without explicit training.(1)

Ed Wasserman, a psychology professor at the University of Iowa and corresponding author of the study, expressed the significance behind the fact that the crows chose the correct card without training. “That is the crux of the discovery,” he said. “Honestly, if it was only by brute force that the crows showed this learning, then it would have been an impressive result. But this feat was spontaneous.”(1)

The study, appropriately titled, “Crows Spontaneously Exhibit Analogical Reasoning,” was published in Current Biology. It was also authored by the Russian researchers, who provided in-depth details and conclusions regarding the finding. That article states:

Many theorists deem analogical thinking to be uniquely human and to be foundational to categorization, creative problem solving, and scientific discovery. Comparative psychologists have long been interested in the species generality of analogical reasoning, but they initially found it difficult to obtain empirical support for such thinking in nonhuman animals.(2)

In its summary, it concludes:

Initial evidence suggested that only humans and apes can successfully learn RMTS with pairs of sample and test items; however, monkeys have subsequently done so. Here, we report that crows too exhibit relational matching behavior. Even more importantly, crows spontaneously display relational responding without ever having been trained on RMTS; they had only been trained on identity matching-to-sample (IMTS). Such robust and uninstructed relational matching behavior represents the most convincing evidence yet of analogical reasoning in a nonprimate species, as apes alone have spontaneously exhibited RMTS behavior after only IMTS training.(2)

Findings demonstrate the need to stop “human arrogance” that ignores animals’ wisdom

“For decades such reasoning has been thought to be limited to humans and some great apes. The apparent spontaneity of this finding makes it all the more remarkable,” said Anthony Wright, neurobiology and anatomy professor at the University of Texas-Houston Medical School. He hones in on the fact that many humans tend think that they are superior, hardly even considering that other animals think in ways they do.(1)

“We have always sold animals short,” Wasserman said. “That human arrogance still permeates contemporary cognitive science.”(1)

In other studies, ravens — a kind of large-bodied crow — has been shown to alter their social interaction outcomes in order to obtain food and protection. Furthermore, pigs have been able to move computer cursors around on a screen in experiments that proved their ability to differentiate between scribbles they recognized and ones they did not.(3)

The list goes on.

Elephants have been able to demonstrate self-awareness by recognizing themselves in mirrors, while squirrels exhibit behaviors which indicate that they are able to interpret the behavior of others.(3)

Originally posted 2015-01-08 11:08:52.

During the festive season, the last thing on most people’s minds is healthy choices. After all, when you have chocolate, alcohol, stuffing, and Jello salad sitting in front of you, it often takes a serious act of discipline to choose vegetables, water, and green salad.

However, once the season is over and the mind gravitates towards New Year’s resolutions, consider upgrading these 4 habits to live a healthier and happier 2015.

Dairy consumption

In the past few decades we have been led to believe that dairy is a wholesome and pure source of nutrition that is rich in calcium and other life promoting nutrients. However, anyone who has been paying attention surely knows that this dairy fairytale is not true.

Dairy has become very contaminated due to the treatment given of the animals that produce it. Quarantined in stalls and continuously milked, these cows are injected with antibiotics and hormones to keep them “well” and to produce more milk. Then their enzyme rich milk is pasteurized in order to remove any harmful bacteria that may be present, but in this process the enzymes and other delicate nutrients are destroyed. In the end, you are left with a dead, tainted milk product that arguably causes more health concerns than it fixes.

Even when organic and raw, dairy products can cause excess mucus production and are a big problem for those suffering from any digestive issues. In 2015, make your own coconut, hemp, or sprouted almond milk/ Choose cheese alternatives like daiya cheese, and use more coconut oil than butter (and when you do use butter, make it organic and grass fed).

Coffee habit

Coffee is a staple in 80% of people’s lives, to the tune of 2-3 cups a day on average. This black elixir has received plenty of positive press lately, and although there are some health benefits, they pale in comparison to the drawbacks. When comparing beneficial antioxidants to artificially stimulating caffeine that wreaks havoc on your intestinal system, your hormones, and your liver, it becomes a no contest that the coffee habit needs to be toned down or kicked to the curb altogether.

There are plenty of other hot beverages that could fill its place, including teas, coffee alternatives such as Dandy Blend, and hot cocoa. After a few days of “coffee detox”, you will find living coffee free isn’t as tough as you imagined it to be, and your digestive system and hormones will begin to thank you.

Sugar addiction

By now, you know that the forms of sugar that are added to nearly every food on the planet are highly addictive and feed all kinds of health issues, including diabetes, arthritis, and cancer. Most of these ailments stem from an improperly balanced digestive system, with an overgrowth of Candida often at the root. With sugar being a major food source to keep this harmful condition in place, everything becomes worse when consuming sugar, even in moderate quantities.

To transition off sugar, consider using a reputable brand of stevia (which can also be heavily processed) that not only helps sweeten foods and beverages, but also carries a non-existent glycemic load. This ensures a Candida infection is not fed and other diseases that are exacerbated by sugar are not inflamed as well.

Gluten consumption

Another poster child of pain, gluten sensitivities have become widely diagnosed and has resulted in changes in packaging that has gluten free smeared all over it. Indeed, gluten has become a serious issue for the human digestive system, and food producers have acknowledged it and created all kinds of gluten free food products.

If you are not on the gluten free diet, you should be strongly consider eliminating it, even if you don’t have a diagnosed sensitivity. Due to highly hybridized wheat and weak digestive systems, humans are not capable of effectively digesting modern wheat products, and this can cause significant health problems.

In the New Year, consider gluten free grains, or other complex carbohydrates that contain no gluten, such as rice or quinoa. If you do choose wheat or can’t give up your bread, make your own using ancient grains like Einkorn or Red Fife and choose a sourdough culture to make it, which will considerably lower the gluten content and make it much easier to digest.

Originally posted 2015-01-06 11:06:07.

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