January 24, 2017

Top 7 Probiotics

The Gut is the Second Brain 

Even the strongest and the best can experience “butterflies” in their stomach when nervous.  Behind this sensation is an often-overlooked network of neurons lining our guts that is so extensive some scientists have nicknamed it our “second brain.” This multitude of neurons in the enteric nervous system enables us to “feel” the inner world of our gut and its contents.

More than 70 percent of the body’s immune defenses are located in the intestines. There, beneficial bacteria called probiotics work to crowd out harmful microbes that can contribute to poor health and disease.

Why we need probiotics

Research suggests that some people with functional digestive disorders perceive pain more acutely than other people do. This is because their brains do not properly regulate pain signals from the GI tract. Stress can make the existing pain seem even worse.

For this reason, maintaining a healthy balance of intestinal bacteria provides the foundation necessary for optimal digestion and overall health.

Importance of Bacteria

If your digestive tract is healthy, it contains more than 500 different types of bacteria. Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli are the most prevalent types of good bacteria. They especially help fight the growth of harmful bacteria and yeast.

Why We Need Probiotics

Everyday factors such as diet, stress, travel, exposure to illness and certain medications can diminish the number of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract. This upsets an otherwise balanced intestinal environment.

This imbalance allows unhealthy microbes to flourish and may lead to intestinal issues such as diarrhea and constipation, and a decline in healthy immune function. Taking a probiotic supplement can help replenish good bacteria and restore a healthy bacterial balance.

What Benefits Do Probiotics Provide?

  • Increase ability to digest food
  • Promote bowel regularity
  • Reduce diarrhea, especially caused by viral infection or chemotherapy
  • Help keep ulcerative colitis at bay
  • Control inflammation to restore organisms in the colon
  • Reduce incidence of yeast infections, vaginitis and candidiasis
  • Help prevent relapse of Crohn’s disease
  • Help treat and prevent mastitis
  • Lower LDL cholesterol
  • Prevent bloating associated with proton pump inhibitors (PPI) (drugs like Prilosec)
  • Reduce negative effects of antibiotics
  • Improve immune function and overall well-being
  • Increase ability to synthesize vitamins (including B12 and K)
  • Provide nourishment for healthy intestinal cells
  • Alleviate many common digestive tract disorders such as IBS
  • Reduce the excitability of nerves in the gut to control anxiety
  • Reduce symptoms from grass pollen allergies
  • Assist with healthy weight loss and weight management
  • Produce antibacterial compounds to help crowd out unfriendly bacteria

What Makes a Superior Probiotic?

The market is so flooded with options for bacterial cultures, powders, pills, etc., that consumers can get overwhelmed and make poor choices. It’s important to know how to choose the best supplement you can afford.

Some research suggests that it may be more effective to take a probiotic supplement that contains a mixture of bacterial strains rather than a single bacterial species.

When considering your supplement options, keep in mind that probiotics are sensitive to temperature, moisture and oxygen. The journey from the factory to the large intestine is a long one. Survival, and therefore efficacy, depends on how strains are cultivated, preserved, stored and handled. Manufacturers display the “best by” date to account for the typical loss of number of bacteria since the “time of manufacturing.” Purchase products that are well within their expiration date to ensure a high number of live cultures.

When it comes to probiotics, you pretty much get what you pay for. So buy from companies you trust, as well as those that have been tested for:

  • The viability of organisms in the product – at least 15 billion live organisms per serving
  • Lack of contaminating organisms – free of yeast, mold or other bacteria
  • Ability of pill to break apart properly – so contents can be released
  • Protection of the probiotics from stomach acids

top 7 probioticsThe Top 7 Probiotics

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5 Steps to Lower Your Anxiety Now

How to Balance Hormones and Calm the Mind

by Amanda Box, N.D.

You can feel it rising. Like water it begins to pool around your feet. Then it slowly rises up your body until you are fully submerged, unable to breathe, drowning in your own fears.

This is how I describe my experience with anxiety. It is a feeling that I am too familiar with and one that many of you have suffered as well. Many people face regular bouts of anxiety that can profoundly affect their lives. They may be unable to work or have healthy social lives. For others, anxiety may be brought on by high pressure situations such as taking a test.

how I describe my anxietyWhatever the case may be, one thing’s for certain. Anxiety is absolutely paralyzing! It keeps us from experiencing the joys of our life, sets us up to fail and minimizes our greatest potentials.

The good news? You can beat anxiety in 5 steps! You can cut the chains that bind you and set yourself free for a life full of positivity and success!

There can be many underlying factors behind anxiety. Traumatic life events such a death of a loved one or financial problems can trigger anxiety in people who formerly led a happy productive life! This stress induced anxiety can snowball and disrupt the body to the point that hormonal changes and body imbalances begin to occur. Once specific hormones such as cortisol are out of balance, it is much like throwing gasoline on a fire. The frequency and strength of anxiety begins to increase and take over a person’s life.

Many people also struggle with anxiety, but because the symptoms don’t manifest in the more obvious ways such as irrational fears or impending doom, they don’t realize that anxiety is the culprit behind their health problems. When we stuff our feelings and don’t let them out, the built up stress can lead to anxiety which manifests in ways such as:

  • Tachycardia
  • Digestive issues
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Sleep disorders

These symptoms often resolve themselves once the underlying stress and anxiety is properly addressed. Stress itself is the cause of 75-90% of all disease! It is imperative to address and relieve stress in order to live a healthy long life!

The Role of Cortisol with Anxiety

Addressing the root cause and imbalance behind anxiety can calm the mind and body to bring true relief from symptoms. One of the most common body imbalances that occurs with anxiety has to do with cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenal glands in response to fear or stress as part of the fight-or-flight reaction.

Often referred to as our stress hormone, cortisol is responsible for three major functions that keep our body in balance during times of stress:

  • Raising blood sugar
  • Increasing blood pressure
  • Regulating inflammation

Cortisol and anxiety have a cyclical relationship. When you experience anxiety, which is a form of stress, you automatically release cortisol. However, having excess cortisol in the body can cause anxiety and contribute to anxiety attacks! Your cortisol imbalance may have caused your anxiety, but your anxiety may also have caused your cortisol imbalance.

When cortisol levels build up in the blood, your mind and body are profoundly affected. If you struggle with anxiety, I’m sure those symptoms sound very familiar!

  • High levels of cortisol can lead to a nervous stomach, jitters, feelings of panic, and even paranoia.
  • High levels of cortisol also suppress the production of serotonin, which leads to feelings of loss of hope and depression.

Failing to manage stress in your life will lead to increased cortisol production and ultimately cause anxiety.

most common symptoms of high cortisol levelsCortisol is typically released in a regular, timed fashion or rhythm that repeats daily. In a healthy person, cortisol is highest in the morning helping us to wake up and be alert and energetic. It begins to taper off throughout the day and by evening melatonin is released which helps us to sleep.

When anxiety sounds the alarm, our body releases cortisol and becomes ready for action. However, without an actual release of a physical flight or fight action, cortisol builds up in the blood. Over time, chronically high cortisol levels begin to negatively affect our bodies. Some of the most common symptoms of high cortisol levels include:

  • Digestive issues
  • Impaired circulation
  • Disrupted sleep/wake cycles
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Low sex drive
  • Depressed mood

Lowering Your Cortisol Levels Naturally

Bringing your cortisol down to a healthy, balanced level is key in overcoming anxiety.

There are 5 steps to lower your cortisol levels that are both safe and extremely effective. Adding even one of these steps into your daily routine can make a big difference. However, incorporating all 5 of these steps will help you achieve maximum anxiety reducing results

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6 Exercises to Get Your Life Back from MS

Learn the best exercises for MS to boost strength, coordination, and balance

Whether you’ve recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS)or have been battling it for some time, exercise may be one of the last things on your mind due to the way MS leaves you feeling. But as is often the case, the thing we shy away from most is often the very thing that will bring us relief.

Regular exercise is one of the keys to a healthy lifestyle and especially if you have multiple sclerosis. Even though MS affects each individual differently, physical activity can significantly improve the quality of life for anyone suffering from MS.

regular exercise kicks depression with MSBut here’s the rub: some of the most common symptoms of MS include:[1]

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty walking
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Spasticity
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Pain
  • Balance issues

Any one of these symptoms could easily discourage anyone from exercising. Now combine two or more of these symptoms of MS and the thought of engaging in physical activity may feel daunting!

If you are suffering with MS, the choice to exercise is not a matter of just sucking it up and doing it. Instead, by choosing to exercise regularly, you can expect to actually counter many of the symptoms that plague you. And that’s a great reason to get physical!

Look at some of the benefits of regular physical exercise cited by the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability:[2]

  • Improves overall health
  • Enhances cardiovascular fitness
  • Increases range of motion and flexibility
  • Improves balance
  • Manages spasticity
  • Increases energy
  • Decreases muscle atrophy
  • Enables one to better perform the activities of daily living

Without my pointing it out to you, no doubt you see the correlation between this list of exercise benefits and the symptoms of MS.

In addition to the above benefits, recent studies have also shown that exercise is pivotal in preventing cognitive decline in people with MS. Regular exercise also kicks the butt of depression and a foul mood, which so often accompany MS. [3] Physical activity also reduces the risk of complications due to MS and inactivity in general.[4]

exercise increases proteins that protect and repair neuronsAdditionally, two proteins, BDNF and NGF, have been found to protect and repair the neurons in a person with MS. And as you might have guessed, exercise significantly increases the levels of those two proteins in those with MS. [5]

Finally, researchers are suggesting that staying active may even delay the progression of MS.[6]

Ashlea Deahl contracted MS 14 years ago at age 22. Since then she’s been a devotee of regular exercise involving: Yoga, weight training, walking, Crossfit, hiking, stretching and anything else to keep herself active. Her advice to others suffering from MS is two-fold, “Forget about what you can’t do. And whatever you do, keep moving!”

Closer to home, my late mother-in-law, Elsie Kahle, would heartily agree with Ashlea. Mom contracted MS in her late 20s. Into her mid 50s she stayed active by pushing a service cart around a huge office complex every day. The miles she walked pushing that cart, coupled with the great social interaction that the job provided did wonders to keep her ambulatory and in a positive state of mind. (Mom lived to 90!)

Exercise Tips for those with MS

If you have MS and you’re unaccustomed to exercise, then the same rules of thumb apply to you as to anyone else:

  • Consult with your doctor before you begin
  • Start out slowly
  • Include stretching, warmups and cool-downs as part of your exercise regimen
  • Find activities that are readily available and that you can enjoy
  • Purchase comfortable shoes, clothing and other gear to make your experience safe and pleasurable

Here are some additional guidelines if coping with MS:

  • Stay cool – heat often exacerbates MS symptoms and exercise can raise body temperature. Drink plenty of cold liquids, avoid exercising in the heat, and consider water aerobics or swimming to keep cool.[7]
  • Seek guidance from a physical therapist. A physical therapist can evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and help you design an exercise program tailored to you.
  • Don’t overdo it! Forget about that worn-out, misleading phrase, “No pain; no gain.” You don’t have to become a fitness fanatic to enjoy the many benefits of exercise. Your goal should be movement and enjoyment without increased pain or injury.
  • Take frequent breaks. If you tire, take a break and exercise in shorter bursts. Don’t allow yourself to become discouraged. Find what works for you and stay with it.
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes, 3 to 5 times per week. Make exercise a part of your daily and weekly routine. Once it’s ingrained into your schedule, you won’t want to miss it!

6 Exercises to Boost Wellness with Multiple Sclerosis

Exercise physiologists at the National Center on Health, Physical Activity, and disability (NCHPAD) and Active MSers recommend the following types of exercises for those living with MS to improve their MS symptoms.[8], [9] These represent possible options rather than a to-do list! Choose one or two that strike your fancy. Try an activity to see if you like it.

1. Water aerobics (swimming or water walking).

You can add weights, kickboards, and other equipment to achieve the level of cardio workout you desire.

2. Walking.

If you are able to walk, walking is perhaps the easiest, most versatile way to get your exercise. You can walk almost anywhere, anytime. Consider walking or hiking (a more adventurous form of walking) with trekking poles to assist with balance and to add some upper body workout.

3. Stretching, Yoga, or Tai Chi.

These exercises emphasize deep breathing and flexibility. Breathing deeply means more oxygen to the cells for a healthier body. Flexibility translates to greater mobility and fewer and less severe injuries.

4. Strength training.

While weakness is a common symptom of MS, you can counter it by retraining those muscles and halting their decline. There are a myriad of exercises that assist with strength training including: Pilates, Crossfit, free weights, weight machines, resistance training, exercises that rely on your own body weight, etc. Check out these sites for more options on strength training: Everyday Health and Active MSers.

5. Bicycling.

Again, even though balance can be an issue for someone with MS, don’t assume you can’t ride a bike. If a two-wheeler becomes more than you can handle, consider a recumbent three-wheeler. These are a new breed of bikes that are sleek, light-weight and comfortable.

6. Dancing.

Dancing can keep you light on your feet, helping with balance and coordination. Also, dancing with a partner can not only add to your enjoyment, but also provide a measure of physical stability should you need it. You may also want to try a Zoomba or Dancercise class.

Really, the list of exercises that MSers are capable of is endless. If you’re self-conscious about going to a gym or exercising outdoors in public, consider using a DVD or exercise program via TV. Just keep moving!

In 2006, David Lyons was 47 when he was diagnosed with MS. David had been a bodybuilder, the owner of fitness centers, a martial artist and boxer. He writes:

When I decided to get back into the gym after my MS diagnosis it was not an easy task. My balance was off, my coordination was terrible and between the pain, tingling and numbness I wasn’t sure just where to start. But working out with a disease like MS takes you back to square one and you have to adapt to the new symptoms your body has to face each and every day.[10]

David found tremendous help through a fitness trainer with MS training certification. David’s first long-term goal was to participate in a body-building contest at 50!

Now, competing in a body-building competition may be the furthest thing from your mind! (It hasn’t crossed my mind lately!) But consider all the amazing benefits of regular exercise and how it can provide you with a fuller, more enjoyable, healthier life—even if you have MS.

What’s your next step toward initiating a fitness plan in your life? Let us challenge you to take action within a week of reading this article. Follow the guidelines presented here and experience for yourself how you will benefit from a more fit you.

If you like this article, then you’ll love these:


Rob_FischerRob Fischer has been writing professionally for over 35 years. His experience includes writing curricula, study guides, articles, blogs, newsletters, manuals, workbooks, training courses, workshops, and books. Rob has written for numerous churches, for Burlington Northern Railroad, Kaiser Aluminum, and Barton Publishing. He has also trained managers in effective business writing. Rob holds two Master’s degrees, both focused heavily on writing. Rob has published eleven books and serves as an editor and ghostwriter for other authors.


[1] National Multiple Sclerosis Society, “MS Symptoms,” nd, http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Symptoms-Diagnosis/MS-Symptoms.
[2] Active MSers, “Exercising with Multiple Sclerosis,” nd, http://www.activemsers.org/exercisesstretches/tipsexercisingwithms.html.
[3] Active MSers.
[4] Kimberly Holland, “Nine Exercises for Advancing MS,” Healthline, March 20, 2012, http://www.healthline.com/health/multiple-sclerosis/exercises.
[5] Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis, “Exercise,” nd, http://www.overcomingmultiplesclerosis.org/Recovery-Program/Exercise/.
[6] Active MSers.
[7] Kimberly Holland.
[8] Beth W. Orenstein, “10 Best Exercises to Boost Wellness with Multiple Sclerosis,” Everyday Health, 3/5/2015, http://www.everydayhealth.com/pictures/best-exercises-boost-wellness-with-multiple-sclerosis/#01.
[9] Active MSers.
[10] David Lyons, “My MS Fitness Challenge: Working with a Trainer,” Everyday Health, June 10, 2013, http://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/ms-fitness-challenge/ms-fitness-trainer/.

How to Naturally Protect Your Kidneys

Innovative Strategies for Kidney Health

Ray was 56 years old and facing dialysis. A recent diagnosis of type 2 diabetes had him in a downward spiral of blood sugar issues, pain in his feet, and now kidney failure! Leading up to this, Ray’s prediabetes and nearly “normal” blood sugar allowed his kidney damage to go unrecognized.

Even when diabetes is not full blown, high sugar levels in prediabetes can cause problems throughout the body.

One of the main organs damaged by high blood sugar is the kidney. Over time, the high levels of sugar in the blood damage the millions of tiny filtering units within each kidney. This eventually leads to kidney failure.

The heart, and nerve cells are also sensitive to fluctuations in blood sugar because they don’t store any form of energy. Diabetes cannot turn the sugars you eat into useful energy. The consistently high levels of sugar cause a constant supply of oxygen free-radicals that result in gradual damage to the nerves and blood vessels. When the blood vessels in the kidneys are injured, your kidneys cannot clean your blood properly.

Most of the time, those who experience kidney failure already have signs of it before they are even diagnosed with diabetes. In fact, the most common cause of kidney failure is diabetes mellitus (type 2 diabetes).

Since Ray already had signs of renal failure, we immediately started him on intravenous alpha lipoic acid. Alpha lipoid acid is a super nutrient and turns “used” antioxidants into “available” antioxidants for your body to use for making energy.

At the same time, we recommended dietary changes such as eating fewer carbohydrates, and drinking water instead of soda. He also needed to give up beer and ice cream.

How Your Kidneys Work

Saunders Kidney diagramProtecting your kidneys is so important. Our kidneys are the constant filter of the body. Healthy kidneys maintain all the things our cells need to function in the blood, while letting go of waste and toxins. The design is amazing!

  • Blood runs through a filter (5)
  • Filtered water goes down the tube (4)
  • Blood, protein stay in vessels (3)
  • Water and nutrients leak out into the kidney tissue (2)
  • Nutrients that the body wants are re-absorbed into blood vessels (1)
  • Waste is sent to the bladder (6)

First, there are millions of filters called the glomeruli. These tiny filters let fluid out of the blood, but keep cells and proteins. The glomeruli function very much like a coffee filter. Whatever is dissolved in the water of your blood goes through the filter, but particles stay in the blood. Then, the fluid goes through tubes where sodium, potassium, amino acids, water, and so forth, are re-absorbed into the blood. Your kidneys will release them to return to the body when the need arises.

All that is left is a little water and filtered wastes, which then move down to the bladder and are released into the toilet (or wherever☺) as urine.

Essentially, each of your glomeruli acts like a sieve that helps keep normal proteins and cells in your bloodstream and allows wastes, excess fluid and other substances to pass. In this way, your kidneys regulate your body’s level of these substances.

The remarkable nature of this system is that it allows the body to keep all the nutrients it needs, while allowing any sort of waste or toxin to be washed out of the body. The kidneys don’t have to know what is bad, only what is good – waste is whatever is not wanted.

It is essential that we consider the health of our kidneys. According to CDC data, since 1999, the age-adjusted death rate for kidney disease has increased by 11.5 percent, compared to downward trends for heart attacks and strokes.[1] Of course, most of these are due to the increasing rate of diabetes, but there are many with renal failure who don’t have diabetes.

Another Cause of Kidney Failure

Sometimes the filters (glomeruli) don’t work for other reasons. Josie came in with swelling of the legs and feet. She had been to several doctors and was told she had Nephrotic Syndrome: damage to the clusters of small blood vessels in your kidneys that filter waste and excess water from your blood.

This damage allows protein normally kept in the blood to leak into the urine in large amounts, which reduces the amount of protein in your blood. Since the protein in the blood helps keep fluid in the bloodstream, some of this fluid leaks out of the bloodstream into your tissues, causing swelling.

Imagine using coffee filters that had little pinholes in them so you keep finding sediment in your coffee. The “pinholes” in the glomeruli of the kidneys are generally caused by what we think are “immune complexes” or autoimmune disease. Antibodies against either the kidneys or other cells can “poke holes” in the filters, causing them to leak.

The problem with kidney failure is that there are no symptoms until about 80% of normal kidney function is lost. This means that, unfortunately, many people never realize they have a kidney problem until a symptom such as back pain or blood in the urine appears. By then, it’s usually too late to restore normal function.

Thus, the key to avoiding kidney disease is PREVENTION!

We had to work with Josie to calm down her immune system and stop the leaks. Then, we restored kidney function just enough so she no longer has swelling. She still loses a little protein in the urine, but the liver can make enough to keep up with it.

The glomeruli are the most important part of the kidney to protect. Like Ray and Josie, most kidney problems are from the waste filters. Protection of your kidneys is not hard, and doesn’t take a great deal of time. You don’t have to think about it, just follow good health practices.

How to Naturally Protect your Kidneys

Low salt diet leads to early deathTwo of the most important functions of your kidneys are:

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Our Spirit’s Role in Whole Body Health

by Amanda Box, N.D.

You are a whole person, composed of a triune nature:


Achieving whole health requires a balance of all 3 of your parts. You can’t expect your body to be healthy if your mind is a mess.  Neither can your mind be at peace if your spirit is in turmoil.

Think about it. When you obsess over something and become stressed, your body often manifests the consequences. You may experience a rapid heartbeat, insomnia, or nausea, for example. These are all physical symptoms from something you’ve been experiencing emotionally.

Furthermore, when your body experiences imbalances, your mind often suffers. Ladies, many of you experience this every month during a little something called PMS.

But what about our spirit? Does it really have anything to do with our health?

strong spiritSadly, our western culture focuses primarily on the health of our mind and body, neglecting our spirit. You’ll likely never go to a doctor and hear him talk to you about the condition or health of your spirit. Many doctors don’t even believe we have a spirit, let alone that it contributes to our overall health. Spiritual health just isn’t a part of typical western medicine.

However, Eastern culture has understood the importance of our spirit for thousands of years. Eastern medicine takes into account that a weak spirit can contribute to illness of the mind and body. Eastern doctors recommend prayer and meditation to their patients. They understand the balance of a whole person is what contributes to wellness.  They look deeper than just the symptoms.

It’s pretty easy to understand why our spirit doesn’t get included when we don’t feel well. Our body tends to get the most attention simply because it makes the most noise. It is our body that manifests symptoms, discomforts, and pain. Our body is what typically alerts us when something is out of balance.

Our mind is often the second to show symptoms. Many of us struggle with depression, anxiety, and other psychological issues. Even some of our physical symptoms manifest from issues with our mind. What we believe, think about, and express can impact our body. When our symptoms seem to have no physical cause, doctors will then look for psychosomatic roots. They recommend medications, counseling or therapy to reduce symptoms.

However, in searching for the answers for our health, the third and most important part gets disregarded. Honestly, this is a tragedy.

It is our spirit that keeps us strong when we are physically and mentally weak. Click to Tweet.

More importantly, it is our spirit that is our direct connection to God. It does not deserve the back seat. Because we live in a physical and tangible world, we forget the important role of our spirit. It is responsible not only for communing with God, but for keeping us healthy.

Nourishing a Healthy Spirit

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “He/She is in good spirits.” There is so much truth to this idiom. We say this when someone is going through something difficult, yet they remain positive.

We always have more hope when we see someone in good spirits. We understand that this optimism can be what pulls them through whatever obstacles they may have.

I would venture to guess that many of you have never stopped to think about this. But, this example is why making sure you nourish and take care of your spirit is just as important as taking care of your body.

Having a healthy spirit can be what pulls someone from sickness to health. Click to Tweet.

Many of us have a wounded spirit. Unfortunately, none of us are exempt from pain or trauma. We have all experienced wounds, both great and small. Many times we don’t truly heal from life’s pains and disappointments. Instead, we often resort to coping mechanisms. Some of the most common coping mechanisms include:[am4show guest_error=’noaccess’]

  • Denial: refusing to admit that something happened or that you feel like you do.
  • Idealism: focusing on the good points while ignoring and never dealing with the bad.
  • Addiction: using drugs, alcohol, pornography, or other mechanisms to make us temporarily feel better and avoid feeling the pain.
  • Stuffing: shoving your feelings down deep into a compartment and refusing to talk about them or work through them.
  • Anger: often accompanies one of the above mechanisms. Anger explodes out because the feelings of pain and fear have not been resolved.

Coping, rather than working through life’s pain and disappointments, takes its toll on our mind, and on our spirit. The spirit and mind are so closely connected. What we feel, focus on, and believe can either build our spirit up, or tear it down. This toxic build up of negativity can eventually seep into our body, causing disease.

Mending a broken spirit isn’t as easy as popping a vitamin or trying a new diet. Click to Tweet.

how to build a strong and healthy spiritExercising our body requires pushing our muscles, heart, and lungs to build endurance and strength. Caring for and exercising our spirits, however, requires transparency different kind of regimen.

Just like bodily exercises, repeat these practices often, over and over, to see results. You don’t expect to gain strong arms from doing one push up, right? Neither should you expect to see significant results from walking through these steps one time. This is a lifetime commitment to health.

Here are some great ways to help build a healthy and strong spirit

1. Take a step back and look at the big picture

None of us can truly understand the difficulties of your life. But, you are here for a reason. No matter how unfair or wrong things have gone for you, you have a purpose. I promise you that. Take a step back and look at all the things in your life that hold you back. They are likely more trivial than you’ve let them be. Look for ways to break out of the negativity and set goals for a better future!

2. Forgive others

Forgiveness is deliberate decision. It is not saying that what someone did to you was okay. Instead, it is cutting the tie of resentment and releasing them, which in turn releases you. Wanting people to pay for what they did only keeps you bound to negativity and prevents you from moving forward.  I’m not trivializing what happened to you. But you cannot move forward when chained to unforgiveness.

3. Look for daily blessings

Sometimes it’s just too easy to be the pessimist. We get caught up in what’s going wrong that we forget about how blessed we are. Take the time each day to acknowledge what you’re thankful for. If you have to, start a journal of thankfulness. It might surprise you to realize how many things you take for granted and how blessed you truly are! Making this a habit can turn a pessimist into an optimist.

4. Feed Your Spirit

Take time every day to do something specifically for your spirit. We feed our bodies with food, so feed your spirit, too! Things that feed your spirit include:

  • Prayer
  • Meditation
  • Reading the Bible
  • Positive affirmations

When you pray, don’t pray like a beggar. Pray with expectation and declare God’s goodness. Thank God for your blessings. Read Bible passages that encourage you. Speak positive words out loud over yourself. Really take the time to believe what you’re saying. Science has even proven the power of positive self-talk on health. These practices are as important for your wellness as eating healthy foods and exercising the body!

If you’re looking for whole body health, take the time to give your spirit the nourishment and attention it needs. Let go of negativity, forgive others, and move forward with a thankful heart for all the blessings in your life. The very thing that may be holding you back from breaking free from sickness may be your spirit! Don’t neglect your spirit any longer! Gain health as a balancedwhole person and watch your life change for the better!


Amanda Box, N.D.Amanda Box is a Traditional  Naturopath and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years and currently practices naturopathic consulting in the Kansas City, Missouri area.  Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic practitioner to turn to for your personal needs, Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.





Candidate™ for Candida

If you are one of those who have considered taking supplements for Candida, then you might want to first read this review of Native Remedies Candidate.  Decipher what is best for you by evaluating how Candidate works; if it has the right ingredients and how safely can you use it. After all, it’s your body and you should know what you put in it.

How does Candidate work?

Candidate is a specifically designed formula that guards the growth of yeast in your body. In addition, it also ensures healthy digestion so that your body absorbs nutrients from food and liquid. By guaranteeing this absorption, the body keeps Candida in balance.  When your body lacks the adequate pH balance, natural bacteria is disarmed and disease and other illnesses arise. Candidate aims to keep such equality at all times.

What are the Candidate ingredients?

Candidate contains:

  • Pot Marigold: To fight Candida
  • Lemon Grass:  To maintain systemic balance
  • Pau D’Arco bark: An anti-oxidant

This specific collection of herbs is perfectly blended to avoid any side-effects caused by its natural components.

How is Candidate used?

Candidate has prescribed dosages to different age groups.

  • Adults and 12+ years: Take 15 Candidate drops, 3x/day for 6 weeks.
  • Children, 4 to 11 years of age: Take Candidate 1 drop per year of age, 3x/day.

Native Remedies recommend to follow-up the dosage with a 3-week course, twice every year or as needed to balance pH levels in the body.

How soon can you see results?

You will be happy to know that Candidate can be felt working in the body almost immediately. Of course, each case could be different, so give yourself 3-6 weeks of taking Candidate to see full results.

But, there are still reports saying that improvements start to show at an earlier time. It is strongly advised to use Candidate strictly as recommended. The consistency of the intake would naturally affect results.

When taking Candidate, it is best to veer away from refined carbohydrates and alcohol. The intake of conventional antibiotic can also affect the results.

Does Candidate work?

If Candidate reviews say that it worked within 24 hours, would you try it? Testimonials of Candidate proved this to be true. If I were suffering from Candida, I would definitely try this concentrated tincture of natural remedies in a bottle.

Are there side-effects?

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, Candidate has not yet received safety clearance for you. In terms of side-effects, there has been no report of any such occurrence. Native Remedies also assures that their products are homeopathic and natural thus eliminating possibilities of side-effects.

Candidate especially for you

Candidate can help to maintain healthy flora in the body by supporting pH levels and healthy probiotic growth, which keeps Candida in check.

If you are looking for a natural way to combat Candida overgrowth or a yeast infection, Candidate will maintain your body’s health and strengthen your immune system.

Candidate is a practical natural health solution for Candida.

Try your bottle of Candidate for Candida balance and maintenance today.

At Last – Natural Menopause Relief

Victoria came in yesterday wondering if she should take hormones for menopause.  At age 54, she hadn’t had a menstrual period in over six months, but wasn’t having any of the usual symptoms of menopause either and was wondering what to expect.  She’d had a couple of hot flashes (“I think”), but they weren’t distressing.  However, even though her symptoms were minimal, she was told she needed the hormones to prevent osteoporosis and heart disease.

At age 45, Julia had already had over a year of hot flashes and they were keeping her up at night. After sweating so much at night, she couldn’t get right back to sleep; and it happened several times every night.  During the day, she was tired all the time and irritable both at work and at home.  She even started getting anxiety.  “Miserable…” was how she described herself.

As you can see, there are many faces of menopause.  Some women are really miserable with the hormonal changes and mood swings, while others seem to sail through without a blip on the hormone radar screen.  Because of this, the big question is, “Does every woman require hormone treatment?”

Options For Managing Menopause

Doctors have turned this very normal process of life into a disease.  It’s not a disease.  There is nothing about menopause that creates poor health, except for the symptoms.  The truth is women can live long and healthy lives without the hormones that produce ovulation and menses.  Because of this, menopause is one of the few conditions that should be treated symptomatically.

Treatment for menopause is really about controlling symptoms; if a woman has no symptoms and just stops her menstrual periods, she doesn’t need to do anything.  But, if her life is miserable with sleep deprivation, panic attacks, foggy brain, hot flashes, vaginal dryness and loss of libido, it may be prudent to find natural menopause relief from those symptoms.

The treatment options a woman has are very broad due to the wide variety of symptoms.  There are many herbal remedies, vitamin treatments, natural combinations, homeopathic remedies, creams, suppositories, patches, hormone replacements and prescriptions available to those navigating through menopause.  “How to choose?” is the biggest question.  Read on to find some helpful tools that might fit you.

Remember: You are the only one who knows how you feel, so a doctor cannot tell you what will work for you.  Consider the advice you are given, try the ones that seem promising and then evaluate them for yourself.  This is definitely not a one-size-fits-all condition.  It just has to work for you!

Best Of Herbal Remedies

There are so many herbal preparations that it is impossible to list them all.  Let me say that many of my patients find one herbal remedy or another that works well for them. Streamlined doctors are told that herbal preparations don’t work, so they pass unbelief on to their patients.  This is unfortunate because, while they don’t work for all women, countless find great natural menopause relief and avoid having to take potentially harmful prescriptions.

Some of the preparations that I have seen women use successfully include:

  • Black Cohosh
  • Red Clover
  • Russian Rhubarb
  • Ashwaganda
  • Chayawanprash

I highly recommend Black Cohosh because it is the most visibly affective.  There are many preparations and combinations to try – just find the one that works the best for you. Recently, while shopping, I came across

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