Our Better Health

Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness

1 Comment

7 Ways to Rewire Your Brain For Powerful Life Changes

“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” – Buddha

We all want to be happier, right? In our culture, we place so much emphasis – even pride – on our ability to manage numerous priorities. We rise early, tackle our work, stay late, go home, and hopefully have some energy left for family time and maybe even some fun.

People nowadays take less vacation, work longer days, and retire at a later age. As a result, our brains are stressed and pushed to extreme limits – even unhealthy limits. In short, many of our lives are difficult.

So what can we do about this culture that’s been ingrained into the fabric of our society? Perhaps the best – maybe even the simplest­ – thing to do is to change our brains. If we can change our brains, we can change our lives!

I know – you are probably thinking that this sounds hard. Well, it’s not easy but it’s not impossible, either. And it’s certainly easier than trying to change the way our society works.

Use these 7 tips to rewire your brain for powerful life changes.

Brain Tip #1: Embrace a Positive Lifestyle

Despite of the difficulties facing our daily lives, we can indeed embrace a lifestyle of positive thinking and positive habits. Turning negative habits into positive ones requires both resilience and time management.

There are many different ways in which you can embrace a more positive lifestyle – practice affirmations, express gratitude, place inspirational material (such a quotes, religious scripture, etc.) around you, read uplifting books, meditation, exercise… just find something that helps you unwind and enjoy life. And most importantly – keep doing these things.

Embracing the positive will change your brain little by little.

Brain Tip #2: Monitor Your Self Talk

Self-talk is that continuous stream of thoughts that run through your brain every day. These thoughts can be positive, negative, or neutral. Please understand this concept: if your thoughts are continuously negative, you are going to become a pessimist. If your thoughts are positive, you are going to be an optimist. Optimism = happiness + success!

Again, what you think you become. We cannot continuously have negative thoughts and expect live a positive life.

Utilize Brain Tip #1 to start changing your self-talk and your brain!

Brain Tip #3: Take time to visualize your goals and aspirations

Jack Canfield, the world-renowned author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” and one of world’s foremost authorities on success, states that the daily practice of visualizing your dreams as already complete can drastically quicken your realization of your dreams, goals and ambitions.

Visualization is a remarkably simple practice: just sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and image your goals and aspirations as already completed. Look through your own eyes as to what you would see, feel, and hear if you met these goals and aspirations.

And you only need a few minutes each day. Visualize when you first awake, after meditation or supplication, or at another time when you are the most relaxed.

Brain Tip #4: Take action that supports your goals

By following the first four brain tips, you should be ready to take some action! You’re embracing a positive lifestyle, watching your self-talk and visualizing your goals. Good for you!

And here’s a promise: if you take action on your goals and aspirations, your life is going to become easier and more fulfilling. You’ll probably discover that the challenge lies in staying consistent and motivated. Know that everyone feels these things, and some people drive on and make their dreams a reality, anyways!

You’re here reading this article, so you already have the determination and drive. Take action and keep going!

Brain Tip #5: Know your purpose

It may sound cliché, but life is too short to live it for someone or something else. Taking ones purpose for granted or setting it aside because of demands placed on us is wasteful and unfulfilling. After all, this is your happiness that we are talking about!

When your brain clearly understands your purpose in this lifetime, it reverberates through your entire being. The big secret is to finding your purpose.

Ask yourself two simple questions:

  1.  Do you know what you love doing, or can you find out? and
  2.  Can you make an impact doing what you love?

Brain Tip #6: Know that your brain can be changed

‘Neuroplasticity’ is an actual medical term that refers to the brain’s amazing ability to form new neural connections throughout life. That’s right – your brain can literally grow through your own conscious efforts.

A wonderful book on this is called “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life” by Dr. Daniel Amen, one of the world’s most prominent and sought-after psychiatrists in the world, whom Dr. Mehmet Oz (“Dr. Oz”) calls “One of the most gifted minds in medicine.”

Dr. Amen writes comprehensively on the fact if you make a conscious decision to make changes in your life, no matter how big or how small, you can willfully make it happen.

Brain Tip #7: Know that anything is possible

We’ve walked on the moon, created electricity, discovered flight, mapped the human genome, mass produced automobiles… all through the power of our brain. And here’s the thing… the only person who believed it was possible was the mind that first conceived it.

Your brain is an absolutely amazing gift, and you have something incredible waiting to be discovered. Maintain a positive attitude, create positive energy, and your brain will do the rest.


1 Comment

11 Ways To Become Your Truest and Greatest Self

BY DR. NAOMI PABST      MARCH 14, 2014

Being precisely who you are, at your highest level, is your ticket to magnetizing the things you want most in your life. This is true for your love life, career, relationships, prosperity, health, and so on. It’s also the magic formula that will enable you to make a more powerful contribution to this world than you ever thought possible.

So here, allow me to present to you my 11 stepping stones toward your truest and greatest self. I hope it’s a helpful reminder of what you already know.

1. Fall madly in love with yourself.

Love is the most powerful energy in existence. Blast yourself with it to full advantage! Beam upon yourself as though you were your own dream lover, ideal mother, precious child, and verrrry best friend. Direct your adoration, light, warmth, healing energy, and nurturing inward, toward Y-O-U. Send yourself the same quality of love you offer to your loved ones. Love yourself actively and you will grow radiant, lighting up the world around you and hence creating a “win-win” for all you encounter.

2. Embark on a journey of self-discovery.

Explore who you are beyond all externally-imposed definitions. Then fully embody, accept, and celebrate who you are. Connect to your wonderfulness: your unique talents, skills, passions, roles, affiliations, personality profile, and one-of-a-kind life experiences. And remember, your soul is a wondrous spark of divinity, connecting you to transcendence, immortality, and dimensions beyond. It’s also the true essence of who you are.

3. Embrace your life’s unique curriculum.

Live in alignment with who you truly are. Be led by the “natural inclination” that’s encoded within your soul. Heed your inner directives. Don’t worry about what other people think. Say no when you need to. Cultivate healthy boundaries everyone in your life, and don’t be afraid to disappoint others when you hold to your intentions and honor your needs. And avoid comparing your life’s unfolding with that of others—we all have our very own train track with our own designated controls, stops, and speed settings.

4. Free yourself through healing and forgiveness.

Healing is the secret to having full access to our life force. Forgiveness means we accept our life’s unique curriculum and the sacred assignment each experience represents. We can even transcend the need to forgive if we proceed instead from radical understanding, compassion, heightened consciousness, and unconditional love. We all have what’s called a “pain-body,” a shadow part of us where all the negativity of a lifetime has built up a residue. When we heal the pain-body, we thrive.

5. Tell your inner critic where to go.

Your inner critic is that voice in your head forever cajoling you to be perfect as opposed to human. As you go to higher levels of who you are, be motivated by love of self as opposed to self-policing. Replace self-criticism with self-compassion. Let inspiration be your fuel rather than self-control. Give yourself a break from your inner judge. Refuse to give power to the bully within.

6. Step into your self-importance.

A healthy version of this much-maligned trait is critical if we are to do anything other than play small. Anyone who has accomplished anything of significance has placed importance upon themselves. It means prioritizing your desires, committing to yourself, and honoring your goals and intentions. It means taking yourself seriously. It means stepping into your full power, splendor, and majesty. It means calmly and humbly being the master of your destiny.

7. Hone your intuition.

Rely upon your sixth sense. It’s your most powerful inner resource. Tap into the divine intelligence and serve ably as your very own psychic. Become a powerful advisor to yourself. Your inner Knowing serves as your high beam headlights. With this additional illumination on life’s road, you can proceed with greater self-assurance, clarity, centeredness, and courage.

8. “Radically Relax” (aka MEDITATE).

“Letting go” on a daily basis is a game-changer. Just 15-minutes is medicine for an entire 24-hour window. A regular practice yields healing along with greater serenity, well-being, and confidence. Your anxiety fades away. Stress is replaced by wherewithal, the capacity to handle life’s demands with grace and aplomb. You grow more patient, less reactionary, and less easily triggered. You deepen your intuition and palpably feel your connection to source.

9. Take care of the temple that is your body.

Treat with awe and wonder the sacred vehicle that is ushering you through this journey called life. Your body is a miracle, without which, you are out of the game of life altogether. Lavish this extraordinary live machine of yours with gratitude for all its amazing functions, every last one of them designed to keep you surviving and thriving. Fuel your body with nutrition, physical movement, replenishing sleep, and pampering. Let your self-care practice be self-love in action.

10. Create a life you adore!

Turn the very life you’re living into a fulfilling, rewarding one you give thanks for every day. From right where you are, create a reality that uplifts and inspires you. Simply do the administration and make the needed tweaks. For when our life supports us at being at our best, we attract the circumstances we are wishing to attract. When we love our lives, we are magnetic for that great relationship, dream job, deep healing, or financial breakthrough.

11. Make the difference only you can make.

The world needs you. Of the billions of people on this planet, only you can offer what only you have to give. Connect to your passions, interests, and to the power of your natural inclination. Make a contribution to those around you accordingly. Moreover, simply being Y-O-U, at your best, will inspire everyone around you and as such serve as a powerful offering to the greater good.


Health Benefits of Magnesium

Top 6 Health Benefits of Magnesium

By April Klazema     March 20, 2014

You probably already know a lot about the other vitamins and minerals that are crucial to your overall optimal health, such as iron, calcium, and vitamin C, but other minerals – such as magnesium – are often neglected when it comes to choosing the foods and supplements that you put into your diet in order to stay healthy.

However, magnesium has a number of incredible health benefits that can make you stronger, that can ease your fatigue, and that can even improve your mood.

Here are six incredible health benefits of magnesium that you can gain by eating the right kind of foods.

1. High Blood Pressure Regulation

Whether you have a family history of heart disease and high blood pressure, or you simply want to ensure that you maintain a healthy blood pressure, adding magnesium into your diet is a simple but effective way to ensure you don’t suffer the ill effects of hypertension.[1]

2. Migraine Headaches

Do you suffer from chronic migraine headaches? Many individuals will try every treatment under the sun, without realizing that one of the most effective treatments for migraines may actually be something as simple as magnesium. In fact, some researchers have suggested that every sufferer of migraines should attempt to use magnesium as a cure.[2]

3. Depression and Other Mood Problems

While deficient levels of magnesium have not been shown to be a cause of depression, many individuals have reported that using magnesium has been able to better help them transition out of depression and to elevate their mood[3]. Other issues such as anxiety have also been shown to be effectively treated by magnesium.

While your best option when feeling depression is to seek help form someone specialized in dealing with these issues, you may consider boosting your magnesium levels if you are feeling overly anxious or down in the dumps.

4. Cancer Reduction

Studies have shown a 13 percent reduction in colorectal cancer among those individuals who have increased amounts of magnesium in their body[4].

Whether an individual has an increased risk of cancer due to family history or not, it can be a good idea to increase one’s magnesium intake to help prevent cancer.

5. Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease

A deficiency in magnesium levels can lead to insulin resistance, which in turn can lead to numerous problems, including an increased risk for diabetes and heart disease[5]. Ensuring that you are getting enough magnesium can help prevent these issues and keep your blood sugar at the appropriate levels.

6. Bone Health

Bone health is incredibly important for every individual, but especially for women as they grow older. Magnesium, over half of which is stored in the bones within the body, works with both Vitamin D and calcium to promote healthy, stronger bones.

Having enough magnesium in your body can help prevent major issues such as osteoporosis, so be sure to keep this in mind – especially if you are at particular risk for these conditions[6].

As if these six factors weren’t enough, magnesium may be associated with a number of other health benefits as well. In other words, you might want to look at ways you can incorporate magnesium rich foods in your diet, and to use an appropriate supplement if necessary.


[1] http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120313230354.htm
[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22426836
[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23950577
[4] http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=200073
[5] http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=412391
[6] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955286304001573

Top 9 Veggies Highest in Magnesium

By Daily Health Post      March 11, 2014

While vitamins and minerals can be ingested via supplements, the best and most natural way to ensure that you have enough of them in your diet is to choose healthy foods – especially vegetables – that include these vitamins and minerals.

Many people do not realize how important magnesium is to their overall health, despite the fact that magnesium is the fourth most common mineral in the body.

Magnesium deficiency can lead to numerous issues, such as fatigue and mood disorders.

Having the optimal amount of magnesium can help to prevent diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even issues such as migraine headaches, anxiety, and depression.

There are many things that can cause magnesium deficiency. The most obvious reason a persons magnesium levels might be low is simply because they are not eating enough of these magnesium-rich foods on a regular basis. However, issues such as irritable bowel syndrome and excessive alcohol consumption can also be a factor in magnesium deficiency.

Regardless of why your magnesium levels might be low, there are a number of great, delicious vegetables that you can begin incorporating into your diet to ensure that you are maintaining your optimal health and preventing many of the issues associated with low magnesium levels.

1. Spinach

This dark, leafy green can be consumed in many different ways. While raw is always best – in salads and on sandwiches, for example – spinach can also be steamed or cooked into pasta for a quick, magnesium rich dietary addition. There are over 150 mg of magnesium per cup of this leafy green, making it one of the best sources of this mineral available.

2. Broccoli

With 33 mg per cup, broccoli isn’t as rich in magnesium as spinach, but is still a great source of magnesium that can be utilized in many different ways. Whether served raw or cooked, it’s a delicious and nutritious magnesium source.

3. Squash

It’s not just the leafy greens that can provide plenty of healthy magnesium to your body. A little over 40 mg can be found in every cup of squash, so when you’re tired of all the green veggies choose squash as a side.

4. Okra

At a smidge over 70 mg per cup, okra is a great source of magnesium. While it’s probably best to stay away from fried okra, delicious as it may be, it can be served in many different ways.

5. Beet Greens

Though they aren’t the most common type of green, beet greens deserve a second look, as they contain a whopping 100 mg per cup of magnesium. Think of serving them as you would any other types of leafy greens, whether raw or cooked.

6. Pumpkin

The biggest benefit of pumpkin? It can be served as a savory option or a delicious dessert. At almost 60 mg per cup, there is plenty of magnesium to be had in pumpkin, no matter how you have it.

7. Peas

With a little over 70 mg of magnesium, peas are a great source of this mineral. Whether you have them as a side, choose split pea soup, or have peas mixed in with pasta or a salad, there are tons of ways to enjoy these veggies.

8. Cucumbers

Another versatile favorite, cucumbers contain a decent 40 mg per cup of magnesium. Eat them raw, mix them into a salad, or choose any other delicious recipe containing cucumbers. There are plenty of options available.

9. Collard Greens

A soul food favorite, collard greens are delicious and flavorful, and at a little over 50 mg of magnesium per cup offer plenty of magnesium.

1 Comment

BPA is still everywhere, and mounting evidence suggests harmful effects

By Amanda Mascarelli    December 9, 2013

These days the baby aisle shelves are lined with products proudly announcing: “BPA-free.” As a mom and a consumer, this is reassuring. BPA (bisphenol A), a chemical used in the production of plastics and many other products, has been linked to a variety of health problems such as reproductive disorders, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A 2003-2004 national health survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found BPA in more than 93 percent of 2,517 urine samples from people age 6 and older.

In 2008, the Food and Drug Administration stated that BPA was safe for use in food-related materials such as plastic food containers and the linings of food and beverage cans, including containers for liquid infant formula. Last year, the FDA ruled that BPA could no longer be used in the manufacturing of baby bottles and sippy cups; this action came after the chemical industry and major manufacturers had abandoned the use of BPA in those products.

But the chemical is found in many other common items: medical devices, dental sealants and compact discs, to name a few. Even paper receipts from the grocery store and ATM machines often contain BPA. In short, it’s pretty hard to avoid the chemical.

In the past few years, the FDA has expressed greater concern about BPA. In 2009, the National Institutes of Health launched a $30 million, five-year program in collaboration with the FDA and the CDC to examine long-term health outcomes associated with developmental exposure to BPA. Research from this effort will be pouring out over the next few years. But the studies already emerging continue to add to the evidence that the safety of BPA is highly uncertain.

These and many other studies have converged on a central message: Even at low levels and particularly during prenatal development and early childhood, exposure to BPA — known to mimic the hormone estrogen — can have subtle but detrimental effects.

When chemicals such as BPA mimic hormones, it leads to what’s called endocrine disruption. “The effect is not necessarily toxic in the traditional sense,” says Sarah Vogel, director of the health program at the Environmental Defense Fund and author of “Is it Safe? BPA and the Struggle to Define the Safety of Chemicals,” but it is a disruption.

Hormonal signals work the way a lock and key work. We have receptors (the locks) that receive signals from hormones (the keys). “[BPA] is almost like a little master key because it can fit into many of these little locks that are in your body and in your cells,” says Emilie Rissman, a behavioral neuroendocrinologist at the University of Virginia.

Rissman and other researchers are finding that when humans and other animals are exposed to BPA during critical developmental windows such as in the womb and in infancy, the chemical can scramble cellular signals and leave lasting biological effects.

BPA is found in such common items as receipts.

For instance, a 2012 study found that when female rhesus monkeys were exposed to low doses of BPA during their second or third trimesters of pregnancy, the chemical caused defects in egg formation in the offspring. In other studies of the same rhesus monkeys, researchers found abnormalities in the development of other organ systems including the brain, lungs and reproductive tract following prenatal BPA exposure.

BPA has also been linked to obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

Researchers have also found that newborn rats that were exposed to low doses of BPA for a short period had a significantly higher risk of prostate cancer (an estrogen-induced cancer) later in life. “It’s as if early life exposure [to BPA] programmed a memory in the prostate gland,” says Gail Prins, a physiologist at the University of Illinois in Chicago who led that research. In soon-to-be published studies, Prins’s group has found nearly identical results with human prostates created from stem cells and exposed to BPA during development.

Prins’s work and that of others is finding that BPA is causing alterations at the level of the epigenome — the modifications, or tags, that tell genes when to turn on and off. For instance, a study published this year found that BPA disturbs the epigenetic programming of gene expression in the brains of mice.

Most concerning, recent studies suggest that these epigenetic changes may be heritable between generations. Rissman and her colleagues have found that low-level exposure to BPA in pregnant mice suppresses gene expression of two proteins that are important in regulating social behavior — oxytocin and vasopressin — and alters social behaviors in the fourth generation (the great-great grandchildren) of the exposed mice. The implications of Rissman’s work are “profoundly disturbing,” says Pete Myers, chief scientist at Environmental Health Sciences, a nonprofit research organization in Charlottesville. The levels of BPA that Rissman is experimenting with, he notes, are in the same range as those found in most people.

We can reduce our BPA exposure by making choices such as opting for electronic receipts, using fresh and frozen vegetables rather than canned, choosing glass and stainless steel containers and not microwaving food in polycarbonate plastic containers. (The heat in a microwave can cause plastic to break down, allowing BPA to leach into food or liquids.) Still, the chemical is all around us, and there is controversy around whether current replacements are any safer.

Leave a comment

The Toothpaste Ingredient That Has Experts Worried

What You Need to Know About the Toothpaste Ingredient Making Headlines

August 15, 2014     By Amanda Gardner

How safe is your toothpaste? A flurry of recent news stories about Colgate Total Toothpaste and triclosan, a chemical with a somewhat checkered past, may have you wondering.

Triclosan is best known as an ingredient in antibacterial soaps that doesn’t seem to offer any extra germ-killing benefits, while possibly promoting drug-resistant bacteria in the environment. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration said in December that there was no evidence that triclosan-containing products are more effective than plain soap and water.

Colgate-Palmolive removed triclosan from Palmolive dish detergent and Softsoap hand soap back in 2011, according to Bloomberg News, but not their Total Toothpaste. They say it prevents gingivitis or early gum disease better than other brands, precisely because it contains triclosan. The FDA reviewed the data in 1997 and says “…the evidence showed that triclosan in this product was effective in preventing gingivitis.”

So what’s the big deal? The issue is that there are lingering concerns about triclosan’s safety in general, not just as a problem in the environment. And those concerns are based on studies in the animals, which don’t always translate easily to human risk.

“A concern specific to triclosan is its potential to act as an ‘endocrine disruptor,’ which means that it can bind to hormone receptors and interfere with normal hormonal function, including thyroid and reproductive hormones,” says Joshua U. Klein, MD assistant clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

Dental health

However, the concentrations of triclosan researchers are feeding lab animals are “several levels higher than what humans would be exposed to,” says Jessica Savage, MD, a physician with Brigham & Women’s Hospital and a researcher with the Harvard School of Public Health’s NIEHS Center for Environmental Health, where she is conducting research on possible connections between triclosan and allergies.

And these animals are actually injected with or fed the triclosan, while humans absorb small amounts through their skin or from brushing their teeth.

“We’re exposed to very little of this product,” Dr. Savage notes. “Especially when you’re brushing your teeth, you’re spitting [the toothpaste] out.”

The FDA says triclosan is not known to be hazardous to humans, and considers it safe in products—just not effective at killing germs any better than soap. “There’s some animal data but I don’t think there’s human data that suggests a causal relationship between triclosan and adverse health outcomes,” says Dr. Savage. Even though she studies triclosan and allergies, she hasn’t yet found a link. “I’m not near saying triclosan causes allergies,” she adds. “I think we need more good data.”

Dr. Klein doesn’t recommend avoiding triclosan in toothpaste. However couples “focused on fertility and trying to eliminate any possible negative exposure might consider choosing alternative products that do not contain triclosan until further convincing studies are completed in humans,” he says. People concerned about fertility should bear in mind that good oral hygiene may actually increase (or at least preserve) the odds of starting a family. “There are several studies linking reduced inflammation and good oral health to reproductive health so this is significant to fertility in particular,” says Dr. Klein.

For now, the evidence suggests that triclosan may be a bigger threat to the environment than to individuals.

“The issue with triclosan and triclocarban [a related chemical] is not so much that they present a direct threat to human health in concentrations that are found in toothpaste [and other consumer products],” says Robert Lawrence, MD, director of the Center for a Livable Future at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “It’s their long-term accumulation in the environment and their impact on the ecosystem that is most alarming.”

source:   time.com     news.health.com


Paralyzed By Doubt? 5 Ways To Live A Life You Love


Fear and doubt are sneaky. They’re forms of energy constantly attempting to capture your attention. The thing is, what we focus on is what we grow. So if you want to change your environment, your career, your relationship, your approach to abundance — if you’re looking to transcend your current circumstances and rise to the next level — here are a few tips to help you do so.

1. Practice radical belief.

Along this path of life, we often encounter challenges and hardships. We’re meant to experience contrast. Contrast helps us determine our preferences. Without it, we would be lost. But often, instead of using contrast as inspiration, we attach things to it. We make decisions because of our experiences and decide that we aren’t worthy of our dreams or that we aren’t capable of them.

This is absolute fiction. If we enhance our vibrational way of being to be in line with our dreams, anything is possible. Absolutely anything. Believe.

2. Make a sincere effort in everything you do.

Sometimes when we think of the scope of our dreams, they can be intimidating. We get so caught up in the size of the end result that we become paralyzed about what to do today. The trick lies in baby steps. Don’t let fear hold you back. Don’t fall prey to procrastination or being too scattered to be productive.

A great rule of thumb is to ask for help from someone when you feel truly stuck. Reach out for inspiration. Do a Google search. Scour this amazing website (MBG) or listen to Hay House radio. You never know where your next spark might lurk. But you have to try to find it. Try, fear of failure be damned.


3. Be true to yourself.

Take time every day to fine tune the intentions behind your dreams. Stay true to them. If you cultivate your intentions with joy and ease, you will easily fall back on them in those moments when fear and doubt knock on your spiritual door. Lean in to the joy of pure intentions. They are the guideposts to meaningful, lasting and powerful change.

4. Listen to internal guidance, and make some quiet time so you can hear it.

You have an internal guidance system in the form of your emotions. With a daily practice of meditation, you will feel these emotions with clarity. Those emotions help us to determine if we are on the right track or not. If something feels wrong, negative, dark, we need to readjust our words, thoughts or actions. If something feels right, good, light, fulfilling, we are on the right path.

It sounds simple but the noise inside sometimes will prevent us from embracing this with simplicity. That’s where meditation comes in.

5. Take risks to be truly free.

Risks can be frightening and exhilarating at the same time. They show that we are in tune with the natural flow of life and source energy. Take risks to be a part of the free flowing universal life energy all around you all the time.

Above all else, enjoy the journey!


Insomnia Relief Never Tasted So Good

Michelle Schoffro Cook    August 22, 2014

Scientists could have some welcome news for insomniacs struggling to get a good night’s sleep. Researchers who presented at the Experimental Biology 2014 Annual Meeting found that tart cherry juice may help improve sleep quality, duration, reduce the severity of insomnia, and increase overall sleep efficiency.

Researchers from Louisiana State University gave insomniacs either eight ounces of tart cherry juice or an artificial cherry drink twice a day for two weeks.  The Montmorency tart cherry juice was standardized to contain a set amount of proanthocyanidins and procyanidins—two naturally-occurring compounds in cherries.

The participants were assessed in multiple ways:  blood work; in a sleep laboratory using polysomnography to evaluate sleep efficiency, onset, and duration; and questionnaires related to anxiety, depression, fatigue, and sleep.

The scientists found that taking the tart cherry juice for two weeks helped increase sleep time by almost an hour and a half each night in adults with insomnia.  Additionally, they found that the cherry juice improved the quality of sleep each night.  That’s good news for the 23 to 34 percent of the population aged 65+ who suffers from insomnia, which is defined as difficulty sleeping on average more than three nights a week, and can have serious health implications. Cherry juice has been known to contain the naturally-occurring hormone melatonin, which is frequently used in supplement form as a sleep aid.


The study, while small, provides hope for people suffering from insomnia, particularly since sleeping pills have been linked to a four-fold increased risk of falling in the elderly, which can lead to broken hips and premature death.

Montmorency tart cherries are a source of the naturally-occurring compound melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep-wake cycles.  This compound has been attributed to tart cherry’s sleep-enhancing effects but the researchers believe other factors like proanthocyanidins and procyanidins also play a role.  Either way, researchers found that the tart cherry juice increased the availability of tryptophan—the amino acid known for improving sleep

Co-author of the study, Frank L. Greenway, MD, director of the outpatient research clinic at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University believes that the unique combination of both melatonin and tryptophan are contributing to the juice’s sleep benefits.  He and the other researchers conclude that drinking a glass of tart cherry juice in the morning and evening may be a better and a safer way to treat insomnia…and certainly it’s a better tasting way.