Top 5 Reasons to Buy Local Raw Honey

Raw honey is an amazing gift from nature. It contains 22 amino acids, 27 minerals and 5,000 enzymes. Minerals include iron, zinc, postassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and selenium. Vitamins found in honey include vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and niacin.  It also contains polyphenols which are antioxidants.

When you buy honey from the grocery store, you are getting ultra-filtered honey – a high-tech procedure where honey is heated, sometimes watered down and then forced at high pressure through extremely small filters to remove pollen, in order to prevent crystallizing.  Usually they also add high fructose corn syrup or other sweeteners that are cheaper than the natural honey which enables the distributors to get more product for their money, and sometimes even harmful antibiotics have been found.   So you are basically left with fraudulent, unhealthy honey.  But as long as it looks pretty, that’s all that matters right?

The American Beekeeping Federation is a group representing U.S. producers of non-ultra-filtered honey. They believe that real honey must have pollen.  They petitioned the FDA to set a legal standard for honey, but they were denied. According to the FDA, honey is described as: “a thick, sweet, syrupy substance that bees make as food from the nectar of flowers and store in honeycombs.” (They literally took this straight from Webster’s Dictionary). The USDA stepped things up a notch by creating a voluntary grading system that lets producers put Grade A, Grade B, or Grade C on their labels, with zero enforcement.  There are no existing programs that require the official inspection and certification of honey.  Enforcement is based solely on responding to complaints.  So if no one complains to the USDA about the quality of their honey, then manufacturers can continue putting whatever additives they want into their honey and still slap a Grade A label on it because they believe it’s worthy of Grade A.

China was illegally filling U.S. shelves with adulterated honey which  contained  chloramphenicol, a powerful antibiotic that can lead to a potentially fatal bone marrow disorder. It is not approved for food use in the United States, which is why the import of Chinese honey has been banned.  You would think this means that we are safe, but if the honey has been ultra-filtered with the pollen removed, we now can’t track where the honey is from.  Fraudulent manufacturers are still getting the cheaper honey from China and sending it to other countries first such as Indonesia, Malaysia and India, then importing to the U.S.

According to truththeory.com, “There are well over 30 commercial producers of honey that have no traces of pollen and lack beneficial vitamins and enzymes among a host of other natural constituents which are removed due to pasteurization and processing.”

 

Raw honey comes right from the hive and has not been pasteurized.

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The Benefits of Eating Raw Honey

1. Leaving it raw and unheated keeps the enzymes ,vitamins and minerals and amino acids in tact.  These amino acids increase the growth of healthy tissue.  Once it is pasteurized and ultrafiltered, the beneficial enzymes are destroyed and the pollen is removed and you are left with liquid fructose and glucose.  This is what you are buying at the grocery store.  The process of pasteurization began in order to kill the possibility of Clostridium botulinum spores that can develop in raw honey.  Botulism spores are in air, soil, water and plants so it can be in the honey that the bees produce. The CDC recommends that people with compromised immune systems and babies under the age of one year should not consume raw, unpasteurized honey because their digestive system cannot handle this bacteria.  Anyone over the age of one has a more mature digestive system where this bacteria will not thrive.

2. Desensitizes Allergic Symptoms

Natural, unfiltered, raw honey contains pollen.  Consuming small amounts of honey from a local bee keeper (within 50 miles of where you live) means that you will be consuming some of the pollen from plants around your area.  By exposing your body to small amounts of this on a regular basis, your body becomes desensitized and will no longer produce a “histamine response” or allergy symptoms.  A 2013 study found that eating honey at a high dose (one gram per kilogram of body weight of honey daily) can improve allergy symptoms over a period of eight weeks. The honey consumption improved overall and individual symptoms of allergic rhinitis. (1)(If you’re allergic or sensitive to celery, pollen or have other bee-related allergies, you should not consume raw honey.)

3. Disease Fighting Polyphenols

Researchers say honey contains varying concentrations of polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that are thought to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer  Back in 2004, Researchers did a study with 25 participants.  They each took about 4 tablespoons of buckwheat honey per day for 29 days. The more polyphenol-containing honey they ate, the higher the levels of antioxidants were in their blood. (2)   An anti-oxidant called pinocembrin in unfiltered honey improves brain performance.

4. Fights Infection

It also has antibacterial, antiseptic properties inhibiting disease causing micro-organisms.  It has been very helpful in treating skin infections, wound healing, burns, urinary tract infections,  throat irritations, colds and coughs.  A Pubmed study published in July, 2010 said honey has been shown to be a more effective cough suppressant for children ages 2-18 than dextromethorphan or diphenhydramine,  2 common ingredients in over-the-counter cough syrups.(3)

5. Promotes Better Sleep

Eating honey before bedtime re-stocks the liver with glycogen and ensures getting through the night before the brain triggers a crisis search for fuel, which would normally wake you up. (4)  Having honey and cinnamon in hot water before bed is a delicious way to get a good night’s sleep and to also boost your metabolism!

I hope you find this information useful and decide to find a local beekeeper in your community to support.  Check out “The Honey Traveler” Blog with a list of United States Beekeepers – Click Here

 

Spring Cleaning With Essential Oils

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Photo by Anda Ambrosini on Unsplash

Do you love the way your house smells right after a good cleaning? Have you ever wanted to try a DIY natural cleaning product?  I know I love using any alternative to the toxic chemicals that are in the common commercialized cleaners on the store shelves.

According to an article by Women’s Voices For the Earth: (https://www.womensvoices.org/safe-cleaning-products/basic/)

“Some chemicals in cleaning products have been linked to asthma, which is a growing chronic health problem.  Several chemicals present in some household and industrial cleaning products have been identified as asthma triggers or are known to aggravate existing respiratory symptoms.

Some chemicals in cleaning products have been linked to reproductive harm, which includes changes in sexual behavior, decreases in fertility, menstrual changes, changes in the onset of puberty, cancers of reproductive organs, miscarriage, premature birth and other effects. Many scientists now believe that chemical exposure, even at very low levels, can have adverse impacts on the reproductive system”.

  • Tens of thousands of chemicals are used in American industry, placed in products, and released to our environment, with very little information on the potential consequences  for human health and little oversight by the government.
  • No legal requirements exist for ingredient labeling on household cleaning products.  As a result, consumers have limited access to information about which products contain chemicals ingredients they may wish to avoid
  • Chemicals in cleaning products can pollute the environment when sprayed in the air or washed down the drain, jeopardizing the health of our ecosystems.

Check out my previous blog post about avoiding toxic household chemicals here:

https://wordpress.com/posts/holisticlivingwithkaren.com

That’s why you need to try my favorite set of essential oils by Plant Therapy they call the “Spring Cleaning Set”. The essential oils in this set are known for their crisp clean smell, getting rid of the toughest dirt and avoiding those toxic, harmful ingredients.

You’ll need to purchase a few inexpensive items in order to make several bottles of cleaners for different uses.  Just click on each item to purchase through Amazon if you don’t have them already in your pantry.

-Multi-Purpose Cleaner-

What you will need:

  • 1 cup purified water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp castile soap
  • 20-30 drops of your choice of essential oil
  • Spray bottle

Essential Oil Suggestions by Plant Therapy:

For bathrooms: Germ Fighter

For the kitchen: Tea Tree and Lemon or Citrus Burst

For floors:  Peppermint or Lemon

For living spaces and bedrooms: Lavender

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray everything down.
  3. Get a wet rag and wipe it all off.

Don’t let Valentine’s Day Derail Your Goals

80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail by February. 

Our loved ones mean well when they give us that beautiful box of chocolates and our kids want to make us breakfast in bed with heart-shaped pancakes and cookies and cake…etc.

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Don’t fall victim to the commercialization of this “holiday”.  Our society has been conditioned to believe that we have to buy these processed confections full of artificial, harmful ingredients in order to show our love for each other.  That’s CRAZY!

If you really want to show someone you love them, put some effort into making something with natural ingredients that won’t give them diabetes and heart disease!

Chocolate Coconut Truffles

If you need a little help getting on track with your wellness goals, download my PDF:  Wheel of Holistic Wellness 

It’s a nice visual tool to help you focus in on which areas of your life need the most improvement.  Print it out and rate each section on a scale of 1-10 representing how satisfied you are in that section – 1 being the least satisfied, 10 being the most satisfied. Then focus on the area that has the lowest number and try doing something every day to improve your satisfaction in that area.

Only you can make the decision to improve your health. Why not start today?

Shoulder Pain

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unsplash-logoRobert Collins

As I have discussed before, I am approaching the big 5-0 soon and I’m feeling some of the physical effects that a lot of people my age tend to experience.  Unfortunately after being in several jobs that utilize a lot of repetitive motions, and physical strains, my shoulder is starting to let me know that it is feeling the results of overuse and if I’m not careful, its only going to get worse.

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I went for an MRI and I have partial tearing of one of the tendons that support the rotator cuff as well as tendinosis, and degenerative changes of the AC joint (basically arthritis) and some bursitis.  So if I’m not careful, it can get worse and I could end up needing surgery. But I refuse to let that happen.  unsplash-logoHarlie Raethel

I might not be able to stop the aging process, but I can help it along and support it as best as possible so that I don’t end up suffering through a surgery that requires heavy duty pain killers and months of rehab.

I tried physical therapy and honestly it made me feel worse. I then went to an orthopedic specialist who said this doesn’t need physical therapy, I just needed to let the shoulder rest but he also said not to stop exercising because he didn’t want the shoulder to become weak. Sounds kind of contradictory.

So I decided to take matters into my own hands and look online for exercises to help shoulder injuries.  I actually ended up buying this e-book called “How to Prevent and Treat Shoulder Injuries”.  I really want to build up the muscles around it and improve my posture to help prevent my situation from getting worse and to protect my other shoulder, which is starting to bother me as well.

It’s a 37 page e-book with pictures describing many different simple exercises that pertain to different types of shoulder injuries.  She offers a money-back guarantee so if you want to protect your shoulder, I suggest you give it a try. Click Here!

I will keep you posted after a couple of weeks of doing the exercises and let you know how its going.

Treat Sinusitis Without Antibiotics

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Do you suffer from sinus infections?

Almost 40 million Americans suffer from sinusitis each year. Sinusitis is inflammation of the tissue lining the sinuses sometimes causing an infection that creates mucus build up and pain and tenderness.

It can be caused by:

  • respiratory infections
  • allergies
  • nasal polyps
  • a weakened immune system

Symptoms:

  • fever
  • cough
  • congestion
  • mucus drainage in the back of the throat, or postnasal drip.
  • sinus pressure/tenderness
  • headache

Anytime a patient comes into the medical office that I work in, they are prescribed an antibiotic for a sinus infection.  Although recent research shows that your body should be able to naturally overcome mild or moderate sinusitis without medication¹.  Certain essential oils can  help with your sinusitis symptoms, the key is to start using them as soon as you start feeling any of the symptoms. The best oil to use for helping to clear out mucus and open the sinuses is Eucalyptus.  It can also ease symptoms of respiratory conditions by dilating the blood vessels and allowing more oxygen into the lungs.  Peppermint helps to reduce swelling of the nasal passages and helps with headaches, and Lemon also supports clearing out mucus in the nasal passages and sinus regions.  You can use them topically by combining with a carrier oil like coconut oil, to rub on your chest at night or diffuse them in water with a diffuser so that you can inhale the oils while you work or at home. Inhalation of essential oils is an effective way to treat nose, throat and lung ailments.  The properties of the oils are absorbed into the blood circulation faster by inhalation than by oral application.  The diffuser also humidifies the air and helps prevent your skin from getting dry. You can also try a roll-on application of Peppermint for your forehead and temples. This helps relieve headache symptoms.

One more excellent oil that I recommend for daily use throughout cold and flu season is called Germ Fighter by Plant Therapy.  It’s a combination oil that contains a unique blend of Lemon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Cinnamon Cassia and Rosemary oils formulated to keep you and your family safe from germs.  It smells like cinnamon and cloves – I love it. I even brought this one to work and we have been diffusing this one throughout the flu season.  I swear it’s what’s keeping us all healthy!

Most diffusers cost between $20 – $40, depending on how much water you want it to hold and if you want alternating led lights.  They come in various sizes and colors. I picked three different ones that I believe are fairly priced and the best quality.

URPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser Aroma Essential Oil Cool Mist Humidifier with Adjustable Mist Mode,Waterless Auto Shut-off and 7 Color LED Lights Changing for Home Office Baby

Art Naturals Essential Oil Diffuser 100ml & Top 16 Essential Oil Set – Peppermint, Tee Tree, Rosemary, Orange, Lemongrass, Lavender, Eucalyptus, & Frankincense – Auto Shut-off and 7 Color LED Lights

Essential Oil Diffuser 300ml Anjou Aromatherapy Diffusers, Ultrasonic Aroma Humidifier (Up to 8H Use, Mist Control, Waterless Auto Shut-Off, 4 Timer Settings, 7 Color LED Lights, Wood Grain, BPA-free)

Dairy products cause you to produce more mucus and so does sugar. Sugar and alcohol suppress your immune system.  You need to do as much as possible to support your immune system.  Drink plenty of water, preferably lemon water (the lemon helps to loosen the mucus) or hot tea with lemon and get plenty of rest.

This blog post contains affiliate links. This does not change the price of the products.
Disclaimer: This website is not in any way intended to diagnose or treat medical conditions.  Please consult your physician for medical advice or treatment.
¹The Journal of the American Medical ASsociation, retrieved from http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=209649
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Don’t Be Afraid of 50

I’m on a mission to help other women take control of their health and well-being so they don’t have to be afraid of turning 50, 60 or 70 and beyond!

I’m turning 50 in 2018 and for a long time this was a scary number for me because my mom died of cancer 6 weeks before her 50th birthday.  I was 25 years old at the time and a newlywed and it crushed my whole world.   It didn’t make sense to me .  Even though I knew she had cancer and watched her deteriorate over a few months time, I still couldn’t believe that she was gone.  She would never see the birth of her grandchildren, I would never be able to ask advice about being a mom, or have an adult Mother-daughter relationship.  Then when I became a mom, I was terrified of my kids going through the same thing.

As horrible as it was, this experience changed me and shaped me to be a passionate advocate for natural healing and taking responsibility for my own health.  Making educated healthy lifestyle choices to have a better chance of living a full and healthy life and be there for my kids and grandchildren.

I refuse to let the fear of cancer consume me.  Instead I want to let the fear be a catalyst for choosing to be healthy and helping others to focus on living their best life.

If you are struggling with your health and you keep coming up with excuses for your current situation or if you think declining health is because of your age…

IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO CHANGE YOUR MINDSET!

You have complete control over your life, your health and your happiness. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you can make the decision today to start living a healthy lifestyle.

Think about someone or something in your life that is worth more than anything to you right now.  Don’t let them down by ignoring your health!  Find a way to make the committment of being around and healthy as long as possible.

You need to find your “Why”

Something that will drive you and motivate you to get you up in the morning with the intention of living the best life you can.

Instead of living a life of:

  • excuses and complaints
  • constantly running away from your problems and health issues
  • living life like a victim…

Start living the life of your dreams!

Let’s go after a life of health, love and happiness together.  It’s time to invest in yourself!

Listen to this motivational video called “Desire” with motivational speaker, Eric Thomas.

I hope this helps to give you some inspiration for change!

I am currently working on putting together a FREE Wellness e-workbook called

Karen’s 6 Steps to H.E.A.L.T.H.

A Wellcare Plan for a well-balanced healthy lifestyle

Coming Soon!

Sign up for my blog and I will email you when the e-book is ready.

 

 

The Biggest Culprit Preventing You From Losing Weight – 57 hidden ways!

I’m sure you already know that you need to avoid sugar to lose weight.  The problem is food manufacturers are very sneaky at hiding it in their products.  They list it in the ingredients, but they are constantly coming up with new names for sugar to make them sound different and maybe even healthier to some people.

Please read this list of 57 names for sugar written by “The Huffington Post” and try to memorize it or bring it with you when you go food shopping.

No matter what you call it, if it’s a form of sugar, it’s going to have calories that will lead to weight gain.  Especially if you are eating it regularly.  That’s why it’s so important to be informed and learn how to read labels!

The most plentiful form of sugar on the market (hidden in 80% of processed foods) and most detrimental to your health is High Fructose Corn Syrup.  It’s in everything from bread to salad dressings, barbecue sauce, yogurt, granola bars, even protein bars!  Don’t be fooled by marketing techniques that try to make products sound healthy like “All Natural” or Nutritious”, “Healthy Alternative”.  The only natural, healthy alternatives are actually made by Mother Nature not a food manufacturer.  Unless there is actually no added sugars, no preservatives, no artificial ingredients at all.

If you do buy protein bars avoid any with high fructose corn syrup and more than 10 grams of sugar and less than 10 grams of protein. And absolutely avoid any artificial sweeteners such as saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, and sucralose.

Check out this video posted by Mark Hyman, MD. He is Director for the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, Chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine and founder of The UltraWellness Center.