20 Reasons Why Refined Sugar Is Bad For Your Health

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You’ve heard it said before…Sugar is bad for you.

But what does that mean exactly?

The research continues to stack up against our biggest dietary enemy…refined sugar. Processed sugar is the cause of many modern diseases and plays a hefty role in several major health problems including fatty liver disease, obesity, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and asthma.

20 Reasons Why Refined Sugar Is Bad For Your Health

  1. Sugar causes tooth decay (1).
  2. Eating excess sugar can cause fatty liver disease (2).
  3. Sugar depletes the body of nutrients and suppresses the immune system (3).
  4. Sugar, not saturated fat, raises cholesterol and causes cardiovascular disease (4, 5, 6). I’m glad they finally cleared this up!
  5. Consuming sugar can cause insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome (7).
  6. Sugar can cause mood disorders and depression (8).
  7. Sugar causes inflammation which can lead to disease (9).
  8. Eating sugar causes wrinkles (10).
  9. Sugar is highly addictive, “as addictive as cocaine” (11).
  10. Sugar increases the risk of cancer because it causes metabolic changes (12, 13).
  11. Consuming sugar causes obesity, a leading cause of mortality and chronic disease in the United States (14).
  12. Sugar is a leading cause of Type 2 diabetes (15).
  13. Sugar impacts the brain and is linked to Alzheimer’s disease (16).
  14. Eating sugar can cause osteoporosis (17).
  15. Sugar causes high blood pressure (18).
  16. Eating and drinking sugar increases your appetite (19).
  17. Sugar consumption can cause kidney stones (20).
  18. Sugar can cause food allergies and asthma (21).
  19. Dietary sugar produces free radicals and damages DNA (22).
  20. Sugar may contribute to poor eyesight and macular degeneration (23).

If you wonder how much sugar you eat feel free to visit SugarStacks.com which measures common foods people eat in sugar cubes.

The Takeaway

why refined sugar is bad for your health
Fruit is a fiber-filled, healthy alternative to foods high in processed sugars.

Refined sugar is full of empty calories and is highly addictive. Eating it makes you hungrier and increases your risk for an array of diseases, chronic health conditions and mood disorders.

Eating sugar (or not) is a personal choice.

If you want to cut down on your sugar intake but still crave something sweet, try substituting fruit. It’s fiber-rich, packed with antioxidants and is naturally sweet.

If you’re looking for a natural sugar substitute that is actually good for you, I recommend Stevia. You can learn more about it in Stevia Health Benefits, Safety And Inside Information.

What’s your favorite tip for cutting back on sugar? Do you have a favorite low-sugar recipe you’d like to share?

Let me know what you think about sugar below in the comment section!

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21 Simple Strategies To Fight Lyme Disease Naturally

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Since I became extremely ill and bedridden due to undiagnosed and untreated Lyme disease over 5 years ago I’ve been on a quest to learn as much as I can about being healthy and share what I’m learning with others. This blog has given me an amazing outlet to do just that and I’m thankful for that opportunity!

Treatments, Appointments, Physical Therapy And Supplements

It was just a couple of years ago when I became so sick I had no choice but to quit the job I loved teaching young children in Special Education. I was halfway towards earning my Master’s Degree in Special Education in Autism studies through the University Of Missouri. Needless to say, it was a difficult transition for me because I wanted to contribute and help people, but was so sick all I could do was lie in bed, do my treatments, take my supplements and force down the healthy protein shakes.

All the while my body continued wasting away, my clothes hanging on my frame.

My rapid decline from being an active, healthy mom to four young kids to barely being able to roll over in bed wasn’t something this strong-willed girl was able to accept easily.

Thankfully, the love of my family, the care of my wonderful Lyme Literate doctors, appropriate Lyme treatments, physical therapy to offset the muscle wasting, healthy foods, and lots of prayer have helped me grow stronger and improve.

Although I’m nowhere near “well” yet, one day I hope and pray I will be.

However, it is a slow healing process when you’re dealing with chronic Lyme. Many people reach out to me each week and ask me what they can do to grow healthier and help their body heal from the Lyme.

In response to that popular question, here are 21 essential strategies you can use to help fight Lyme disease.

Natural Strategies To Fight Lyme Disease

  1.  Eat anti-inflammatory foods including plenty of vegetables, bone broth, organic meat, coconut, raw dairy, nuts and seeds. Many Lyme experts warn against eating fruit due to the high sugar content, but fruit is also high in antioxidants. Berries, lemons, limes, peaches, apples, kiwis and avocados are fairly low in sugar so use your own judgement here.
  2. Address sleep issues. This is essential when you’re dealing with Lyme. Many of us have insomnia. Others can sleep all day. Lyme can cause many people to feel extreme chronic fatigue so it’s important to get extra rest and make sleep a priority.
  3. Eliminate toxins. Here are 15 Simple Strategies To Detox Naturally I hope will help.
  4. Deal with emotions. Managing emotional stress in your life is so important. I’ve found journalling helps with this. You might also like to start a blog and write about your experiences. Writing can be therapeutic! Some people find that talking things out with a friend helps them process the range of emotions they’re feeling.
  5. Supplement your diet. Consider taking high-quality supplements that are especially needed for Lyme disease patients. Some basics to start with include Magnesium, B-Complex, Turmeric  and CoQ10.
  6. Sweat in a sauna. But please use caution. Don’t overdo it! I‘ve learned this the hard way and it’s not fun. After researching portable saunas for a couple of years, my sweet husband bought me this one for Christmas and it works great!
  7. Move a little every day. Yoga and Pilates are great, but not for everyone. I love taking walks and breathing in the fresh air now but I wasn’t always able to. If you’re stuck inside try some slow, gentle stretches. And if you can do more and your doctor says it’s okay, then go for it!
  8. Avoid processed junk food, sugar and gluten. Our bodies are not designed to handle all the chemicals in processed food. And, because Lyme disease is an inflammatory condition it is best to avoid sugar and gluten.
  9. Try grounding.  Earthing, or grounding, is simply having direct contact with the Earth’s surface with your bare feet. The grass, dirt, sand at the beach and even unpainted concrete serve as conductive surfaces. You can also buy earthing mats and sheets for your bed. According to Dr. Stephen Sinatra, earthing can reverse inflammation in the body. He recommends earthing 40 minutes daily. You may want to learn more about earthing in What Is Earthing Or Grounding?
  10. Get plenty of sunshine. Experts recommend exposing the legs and arms to the sun for 10 to 15 minutes per day. Getting this sun exposure causes the body to produce Vitamin D naturally.
  11. Smile and laugh. Whether you like watching crazy cat videos on YouTube or the latest episode of your favorite T.V. sitcom, smiling and laughing does a body good! You can check out some of the benefits of smiling here in 6 Unexpected Benefits Of Smiling: Enhance Your Face Value
  12. Drink lemon waterLemons are full of Vitamin C, which is great for the immune system. For more, you may want to read about these 9 Surprising Benefits Of Lemon Water .
  13. Buy a water filter to remove harmful impurities from your drinking water.
  14. Protect against EMFs. Exposure to EMFs, or electromagnetic fields, are especially damaging to those of us with chronic illnesses. And, unfortunately, they’re everywhere. Computers, hairdryers, refrigerators, vacuums, irons, cell phones, WiFi, fax machines and much more. Here are some tips to protect yourself from EMFs.
  15. Get a blue light filter app on your phone. The one I use is Twilight (for Android) and it works great.
  16. Consider taking an herbal protocol, such as  Dr. Lee Cowden’s Lyme protocol at Nutramedix or Byron White.
  17. Do coffee enemas. I know, TMI…but this is definitely worth looking into. Here’s an article that explains the whole process: 10 Reasons Why You Should Try A Coffee Enema
  18. Take probiotics and eat probiotic-rich foods such as kefir, yogurt and fermented vegetables and komucha.
  19. Take organic whole leaf Stevia extract. A recent study showed Stevia leaf extract killed Lyme bacteria better than antibiotics in a test tube. (1) That said, if you’re planning to treat Lyme with Stevia please take it slow! I learned this the hard way and had a brutal herx for several days. According to JennasLymeBlog, “The recommended dose of organic whole leaf stevia is 20 drops two times per day.” However,  I started with less than half the recommend dose and herxed like nobody’s business so please use caution!
  20. Take warm epsom salt baths. I never used to take time for a bath. I was more of a shower type of gal. But my life post-Lyme has been full of hot, epsom salt baths. Why? Because the salts really help to soothe the pain in my joints and muscles, the warm water is relaxing (and I get to catch up on my reading on the Kindle app). Also, the warm water is great for providing a natural detox, if you sweat that is. Just make sure not to make the bath too hot or it could cause you to herx, which is never pleasant and could be dangerous.
  21. Use essential oils. Make sure you buy high-quality, therapeutic-grade oils. There are different brands and price points. I have several go-to oils for my Lyme symptoms. My favorites are: peppermint for headaches, chronic fatigue, nausea and infections; lemon in my water and for air purification;  lavender to help me sleep;  ginger for nausea; oregano to kill Lyme bacteria; cinnamon bark as an anti-inflammatory…just to name a few.

The Takeaway

Lyme is a complicated disease which includes a long list of symptoms that can worsen over time if it is not treated.

In addition to the antibiotics traditionally used to treat Lyme disease, practicing natural strategies can help the body heal and grow stronger.

Do you know someone with Lyme Disease or other tick-borne illness?

What strategies do you use to help fight Lyme Disease?

Let me know what you think below in the comment section!

You can read more about my experience with Lyme disease in: Undiagnosed And Suffering With Lyme Disease: I Felt Like I Was Dying

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Finally, the information provided in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to treat, prevent, diagnose or cure any disease or health problem.

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8 Reasons To Start Oil Pulling For Better Health

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Oil pulling is trendy and everyone is talking about it. But it’s not just a passing fad.

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that’s been around for ages and has multiple benefits. There are many reasons to start oil pulling, and I’d like to share some of them with you today:

8 Reasons To Start Oil Pulling For Better Health:

1. Detoxifies the body

Our mouths are home to a variety of bacteria, and harmful toxins. Examples of common toxins include pollution, pesticides, preservatives added to prepackaged foods, harmful bacteria and yeasts inside the body, chronic infections, stress and negative thinking.

Many people also have amalgam fillings in their teeth which are composed of about 50% mercury.

If the toxins build up in our bodies they can cause extensive damage and disease. Oil pulling helps “pull” the toxins out and eliminates them from our system.

2. Freshens breath

Halitosis is a by-product released by bacteria in the mouth. Oil pulling helps get rid of these bacteria, giving you fresh, clean breath.

3. Whitens teeth

In my experience oil pulling is an amazingly effective teeth whitener! It works just as well, if not better, as commercial teeth whiteners (such as Crest Whitestrips) which are full of bleach and other toxic ingredients that often taste terrible and cause tooth sensitivity.

4. Helps the body manage hormonal changes more efficiently

When the body has less toxins to clean out, it can spend more energy on other important functions such as balancing your hormones.

5. Helps prevent headaches and migraines

A major cause of headaches is an overload of toxins in the body. Oil pulling helps naturally cleanse the body of these harmful toxins.

6. Removes plaque

Oil pulling helps reduce harmful bacteria (Streptococcus mutans) which cause plaque that cause cavities (1).

7. Improves skin conditions

Removing toxins from the body has a positive impact on the skin too. It can help clear acne and other skin conditions.

8. Heals bleeding gums

Oil pulling reduces inflammation overall and helps reverse gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gums.

reasons to start oil pulling

Which Oil Should I Use For Oil Pulling?

I use coconut oil for daily oil pulling. You might like to try coconut oil too due to its many health benefits.

A reader recently asked me if there is a type of coconut oil that doesn’t have the coconut oil flavor. It’s important to note that virgin coconut oil generally has a mild flavor but if you don’t want to try this you may want to try expeller pressed refined coconut oil.

Although expeller pressed oil is refined it has the same health benefits as virgin coconut oil. And the refining process used to make the expeller pressed is all-natural so it is not harmful to you like other refined products can be.

Also know that you don’t have to use coconut oil to do oil pulling.

You do want a high-quality, pure, organic plant-based oil. Coconut oil is one many people use, but you can also use sunflower, olive, sesame, walnut, avocado, black cumin seed and others.

If you’ve never done oil pulling before, you may want to read How To Do Oil Pulling For Better Health. It explains exactly what to do.

I hope this list of 8 reasons to start oil pulling for better health encourage you to try it for yourself and reap the health benefits!

Here is our favorite coconut oil. It’s high quality and affordable. 

You might also like to check out these 81 Uses For Coconut Oil for more about coconut oil.

Have you ever tried oil pulling? What results did you notice?

Share your thoughts below!

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18 Ways To Lose Weight Faster: Proven Weight Loss Tips

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Can you guess America’s number one New Year’s Resolution year after year? If you guessed losing weight you’re 100% correct!

So what is the best way to lose weight and keep it off?

Many believe the key to weight-loss is burning more calories than you eat. But many times it is not so simple. Sure, this works for some people, but often there are other factors to consider, including toxins, motivation, time, health, lifestyle, genetics, and thyroid problems.

Additionally, the quality and types of food we eat can affect whether our bodies tend to shed extra weight or hold on to those last 10 pounds.

I can relate to the weight loss ups and downs because I’ve experienced them at different seasons in my life.

After four pregnancies in six years time, with all the weight changes that come with pregnancy, plus breastfeeding all four babies, my body went through many transformations.

But being a full-time mama to four kiddos under the age of six didn’t leave time for anything outside of prepping and cleaning up after meals, changing diapers, reading to, cuddling and playing with the babies and caring for their needs 24/7.

And I would do it all over again because our children are precious to me and I cherish those times we spent together when they were little.

Being intentional about fitness and eating right was easier when we had our first two babies, but after that it became such a juggling act that most days I was happy to get a shower and brush my teeth. Maybe you can relate? And a good night’s sleep did not come until  later.

I would try to fit in the occasional walk or run and eat healthy as much as possible. But it was a challenge. Some days more than others.

But my story is just one of many examples of challenges we face in life that can make it harder to stay healthy and maintain a healthy weight.

Sometimes we simply need tools to help us meet our goals. If you’re trying to lose weight and have plateaued or just need a boost along your weight loss journey here are some tips that can help accelerate your weight loss.

18 Ways To Lose Weight Faster:

1. Drink a glass of water before each meal.

Our bodies function more efficiently with plenty of purified water. Drinking water helps with the digestion process. The general recommendation is to drink 8 8-ounce glasses per day, or 2 liters, but depending on your size and activity level you might need a slightly different amount. Also, adding lemon to your water can give you some pretty amazing health benefits. To learn more about lemon water you may want to read: 9 Surprising Benefits Of Lemon Water.

2. Include protein with your meals and snacks.

Protein can help you lose weight naturally by reducing hunger pangs and boosting your metabolism.

3. Fill up on fiber-rich vegetables, fruits and other foods.

Eating plenty of fiber fills you and may cut your appetite. Examples of high-fiber foods include:

lose weight faster
Blackberries and other high-fiber foods fill you up and help keep hunger pangs away.
  • blackberries
  • flaxseeds
  • beans
  • avocados
  • almonds
  • figs
  • chia seeds
  • quinoa
  • artichoke
  • acorn squash

4. Get a good night’s sleep.

Did you know that not getting enough sleep can cause you to gain weight? Sleep deprivation disturbs your body’s balance of the hormones leptin and ghrelin, which regulate hunger and fullness.

If you have trouble winding down at night, try taking a hot bath or shower. How much sleep should you be getting? The average adult needs 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night.

5. Only buy healthy whole food.

Stay away from pre-packaged foods that have a long list of ingredients. A long ingredient list usually indicates many artificial additives, preservatives and other harmful chemicals which can wreak havoc on our bodies.

You might also want to consider detoxing to help your system clear the toxins we’re all exposed to. Here are 15 Simple Strategies To Detox Naturally.

6. Find opportunities to move your body throughout the day.

Being sedentary is linked to all sorts of health conditions, including depression, cancer, obesity, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

Plus, the more you move the more calories you burn. Some examples you may want to try are

  • taking the stairs instead of the elevator
  • parking further away from your destination so you can log the extra steps
  • doing crunches (or other exercise) while you watch TV
  • using a standing desk at work instead of sitting in a chair all day

7. Fill up on healthy soups.

Here are some soup recipes you might like to try. They are quite satisfying and lower in calories than other options.

And if you want to go for the double whammy and detox while your filling up on delicious soup, you may enjoy my Delicious Detox Vegetable Soup.

8. Eat nuts.

Nuts are a great on-the-go snack and fill you up. The healthy fats in nuts keep you satiated. My personal favorite is pecans. They’re so rich and delicious! Other healthy options include walnuts, almonds and pistachios.

9. Drink whey protein.

It has many health benefits  and keeps you feeling full for a long time. Just make sure it is all-natural and does not contain harmful sweeteners, like Splenda or Aspartame.

This is our favorite whey protein powder.

10. Eat spicy foods.

They can fire up your metabolism, causing you to burn more calories.

Salsa, curry, peppers, horseradish and many Asian stir fry recipes contain plenty of heat to spice up your taste buds.

11. Chew your food well before swallowing.

We’ve all heard this before but it works, so it’s worth repeating. Chewing your food well takes more time which gives your brain time to process feeling full. This allows you to eat what you need but not more.

12. Eat your meals on a small salad plate instead of a typical dinner plate.

If you’re like most Americans, including myself, you tend to fill your plate with food. So if your plate is smaller, it makes sense that you’ll be eating less.

13. Keep a food diary.

Writing down everything you eat makes you more aware of your caloric intake, as well as whether you’re eating enough fiber, protein, and essential vitamins.

My favorite way to keep track of what I eat each day is myfitnesspal.com. I use the app on my phone. I also love that it syncs with my Fitbit so I don’t miss anything important.

14. Avoid white foods, such as white flour, white sugar, white bread and white rice.

They can dramatically alter your blood sugar and cause weight gain (which, of course, is the opposite of weight loss).

15. Drink green tea.

It has substances that cause fat cells to release fat, especially with exercise. How cool is that? Plus, green tea is so refreshing and delicious! I have a cup each afternoon.

Also, Kombucha is fermented green tea. I just learned how to make it and am loving this flavorful, probiotic-rich tea!

16. Include full-fat foods in your diet.

This includes grass-fed beef, nuts, coconut, eggs and avocados.

And don’t worry, studies have proven that (despite what we may have been told for years) eating saturated fat does not make us fat and does not cause heart disease (1).

In case you haven’t heard a low-fat, high-carb diet is bad for you and has been repeatedly proved ineffective (2, 3).

17. Drink coffee!

It speeds up your metabolism and causes you to burn more calories (4).

You may want to try Healthy Coffee Drink (With Coconut Oil).

18. Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting (IM) is a simple strategy to boost your weight loss and health incrementally. I love IM! You can learn more about it here: The Quick Guide To Intermittent Fasting

The Takeaway

Due to a variety of factors, sometimes losing weight isn’t always as simple as calories in, calories out. 

But, as you can see from this list there are many steps you can take to boost your weight loss. Having the right tools in your toolbox can help you meet your health and weight loss goals successfully.

I hope this list of weight loss boosters helps you meet your goals and become the healthiest version of yourself! Please let me know if I can help you in any way.

Do you have any weight loss tips to add to this list?

Please share your tips and thoughts below in the comment section!

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Email — healthylife@lorigeurin.com

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