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10 Simple Ways To Chill Out (That Don’t Involve Netflix)

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This is the stuff of the familiar good life: unwinding at each day’s end with a sexy craft brew and the newest Netflix original.

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Who doesn’t love orange jumpsuits, royal protocol, fly-on-the-wall White House drama, and extra hops?

The forefathers might approve, but your beer-charmed brain yearns for life, liberty, and the pursuit of new relaxation techniques.

I’ve got the authoritative suggestions for easy ways you can combat stress, decompress, wind down, and lean back without overdosing on the newest season of this or that.

1. Express Gratitude

Feeling and expressing gratitude has demonstrable uplifting effects and benefits on your psyche and your life, reports Psychology Today.

Citing a plethora of research and studies, Psychology Today states that gratitude

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  • Increases your mental strength
  • Improves your self-esteem
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Reduces your aggression
  • Enhances your empathy
  • Boosts your physical health
  • Opens the door to new relationships

Even today, researchers don’t know exactly how gratitude engenders all of its advantages, but countless studies demonstrate a clear link between individuals who practice gratitude and the above benefits.

How do you practice gratitude?

Simple.

Say thank you repeatedly. Take time to count your blessings. Jot down a few lines daily in a gratitude journal.

Similarly, the Mayo Clinic asserts that positive thinking effectively minimizes your stress levels. Positive thinking begins with self-talk, so make a conscious decision to speak positively to yourself, about yourself, and about others from moment to moment.

2. Go Green… With Tea

Sip some green tea while sitting on your porch or in a comfortable room in your house. Green tea has a ton of antioxidants that increase your immune function.

Green tea is an adaptogen, a substance that helps your body adapt to stress, and it also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that promotes relaxation and peacefulness.

3. Focus on Five Sounds

Focus on five sounds, such as

  • Passing cars
  • Opening and closing doors
  • Laughter
  • Artificial horns or klaxons
  • Chirping birds

This exercise teaches a form of active listening that puts you in closer touch with your environment. Choosing the sounds to focus on and waiting for them to manifest helps you to relax and develop a deeper awareness of the melody that surrounds you.

It also focuses your mind on more pleasant, transient matters.

4. Take Notice of Five Objects Near You

Similar to the act of focusing on five sounds, taking notice of five objects near you transports your attention away from oppressive thoughts. When focusing on the objects near you, acknowledge their relevant details, such as

  • Colour
  • Texture
  • Light
  • Shadow
  • Movement

In James Clavell’s 1975 novel Shogun, several samurai engage in the act of watching rocks grow. Same deal.

5. Inventory the Smells of Your Home

When was the last time you really smelled your home? Maybe it’s time. Tour your home, and smell with zeal and effort.

Smell flowers and plants, fruit, food — whatever you like. Using your senses with passion pushes regret and worry to the back of your mind. Anecdotal and empirical evidence suggest this pays incredible dividends over time.

6. Reflect on the Mindfulness Exercises You’ve Done

It sounds counterproductive: Give some thought to your thoughts. Indeed, mindfulness is rather meta, except that it’s devoid of judgment.

When thinking about your mindfulness exercises and thoughts, reflect on noticeable or subtle benefits you received from your exercises — any physical changes, emotions, or improvements.

These periods of reflection enable you to better assess when you feel more or less angry, depressed, or stressed in the future, which increases your mindfulness.

7. Supplement Wisely

If drinking green tea to obtain L-theanine isn’t your cup, try L-theanine in a capsule form. You can wash it down with your favourite brew (after you observe five objects and focus on five sounds).

Omega fatty acids, GABA, passionflower, and valerian roots are some supplements known to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.

Phenibut, a popular anti-anxiety supplement, is yet another. Phenibut is an effective way to relax quickly.

It’s also considered to be one of the most effective nootropics, or cognitive enhancers, according to a recent survey. It lowers your stress and inhibitions, making you much more sociable without impairing your sense of judgment or your ability to think critically. Some people even experience mild euphoria.

While the idea of supplementation is controversial to some folks, there’s no denying that some over-the-counter herbs and vitamins have real, tangible benefits to our physical and mental well-being.

8. Treat Yourself to Creative Visualization

Creative visualization is fancy, on-trend lingo for “adult daydreaming.” Don’t limit yourself, and creatively visualize whatever you want when you’re

  • Stressed
  • Working toward a goal
  • Faced with a challenge
  • Sinking into a nihilistic Freudian void of pizza and binge streaming

Picture yourself with the body of your dreams, in your ultimate career, doing good in the world, etc. Maybe your visuals are simpler? A sedate, pristine beach.

A loving companion. A private seashore concert by the Boss and the E Street Band.

9. Give Yourself a Foot Massage

Rolling your foot over a golf ball or tennis ball relieves foot pain and uncomfortable tightness in the legs built up during exercise or long days at the office.

10. Breathe and Count Sheep… or Anything

Still your mind and follow your breath. This is the basis of all meditation and yoga, regardless of the school, path, or practice.

Take deep, slow breaths to lower your blood pressure and heart rate. Zero in and pay exclusive attention to your breath, clearing your mind and relaxing completely, steadily.

Count back from 10, 100 or 1,000 — whatever it takes. This is a basic, accessible relaxation technique that diverts your attention away from unpleasantness.

A certain level of difficulty improves the efficacy of this exercise. If it gets too easy, maybe try counting backwards using prime numbers or odd numbers only.

Closing Thoughts

Explore all the ways that you can relax, including breathing, counting, and supplements.

Tear yourself away from your screen for a moment, and enjoy the unparalleled freedom of truer, deeper peace that accompanies you wherever you go.

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Awareness

Johnson & Johnson Found To Have Knowingly Allowed Asbestos In Their Baby Powder

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Johnson and Johnson have recently lost lawsuits for negligence in knowingly allowing carcinogenic substances in their talc-based hygiene products.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we starting to turn the page on an era where human health and safety are not the prime considerations in the manufacturing of consumer products?

We are starting to awaken to the fact that it seems to be the rule, and not the exception, that large Western corporations put profits above human health considerations. The only time they seem to give any regard to human health concerns is when their forecasts of potential lawsuits down the road would likely exceed the cost measures needed to ensure the safety of their product.

Johnson & Johnson is just one of a long line of corporate perpetrators who believed that covering up and lying about known health concerns would make better business sense than taking the time and resources to actually address those health concerns within their products.

Contaminated Baby Powder: The Height Of Indignity

One would think, regardless of an understanding that the bottom line is a priority for most private companies, that the health and safety of a nursing mother and her newborn child would be sacrosanct for any industry. The reality is that this is simply not the case, even though J&J could have mitigated this problem from the start.

Companies that mine talc are required to take extra steps to ensure the absence of asbestos in their talc. Instead, J&J allegedly went to great lengths to fake it.

Not only did the company know about the asbestos contamination, evidence suggests, but J&J also failed to warn its customers about the link between Baby Powder and cancer or replace its talc with a safer alternative. As a result, J&J guaranteed its customers’ exposure to asbestos.

And regardless of their size or numbers, asbestos fibers are lethal at any capacity. As the World Health Organization (WHO) has stressed repeatedly, there is no safe level of exposure. (source)

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The Testimony of Scientist James Webber

Baby Powder’s contamination with asbestos (a mineral that naturally occurs near talc) has long been the subject of lawsuits. But only in recent years has evidence begun to unravel J&J’s defense – that the company had no idea – and threatened its success in lawsuits to come.

In March, a California jury awarded $29 million to Terry Leavitt, a woman who said that asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s talcum-powder-based products caused her terminal mesothelioma. Environmental scientist James Webber testified in her high-profile California trial and made these observations:

During several hours on the stand, Webber explained how he ran tests that showed “clear” evidence of asbestos contamination in the mines from which J&J sourced talc.

“The testing I have seen [shows] that it was present at least as early as 1971 and up through the late 1990s,” said Webber, who ran an asbestos laboratory in New York state.

Despite denying it publicly, J&J had observed this contamination in internal memos. Its notes dismissed the amount of asbestos in its talc as “but a trace,” Webber alleged. But that was just an optimistic interpretation of superficial testing, he said: the tests used methods too weak to detect microscopic asbestos fibers. Webber insisted the actual tests results revealed there could be millions of asbestos fibers per gram of talc.

And J&J’s inaccurate reports were allegedly only the tip of the iceberg. In some instances, Webber said, photos attached to J&J’s reports revealed that “they had been seeing it and not reporting it.”  (source)

And It’s Getting Worse

The $29 million verdict, in California Superior Court in Oakland, was the latest defeat for the healthcare conglomerate facing more than 13,000 talc-related lawsuits nationwide. And things may be getting even worse for J&J, according to ZeroHedge:

Johnson & Johnson shares are down over 5% after Bloomberg reports that, according to people with knowledge of the matter, the U.S. Justice Department is pursuing a criminal investigation into whether Johnson & Johnson lied to the public about the possible cancer risks of its talcum powder…

Now, a grand jury in Washington is examining documents related to what company officials knew about any carcinogens in their products, the people said.

The Takeaway

It seems as though corporations have long been willing to take the calculated risk of short-cuts and denials instead of ensuring that their products are safe for public use. My suspicion is that a part of our collective awakening process will be issuing in a new business paradigm in which human health and safety become paramount.

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Awareness

Prescription Infant Formulas Found To Be Contaminated With Aluminum

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Multiple brands of prescription infant formula were found to contain high levels of aluminum.

  • Reflect On:

    Should we be questioning the quality of products that come from pharmaceutical production? Do we veer away from natural methods of raising children more than we should? At what cost?

You may not think aluminum is a big deal, but it is. For anybody who has looked into aluminum toxicology, it’s quite clear and apparent that it has no place inside of any living biological organism. Putting it simply, it wreaks havoc on our biology. High amounts of aluminum have been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, with experts in the field believing that aluminum brain accumulation may be one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s also been discovered within the brains of MS patients, and some of the highest aluminum content ever recorded in brain tissue has also been discovered in people with autism. Aluminum is associated with several diseases. But an adult body can do a great job of flushing out aluminum.

Despite the fact that aluminum has no place within earth’s biota, it’s still present in many of our medications, our food, and even in the water that we drink due to contamination since the industrial revolution. Aluminum inside the body is a new phenomenon and still understudied. Again, there is a threshold, and aluminum that is injected via vaccines doesn’t exit the body–there is strong evidence that it remains inside the body and ends up in distant organs and eventually inside of the brain. If you want to access more studies on that topic, you can read this article I published that provides them and goes into more detail. You can also watch this interview with Christopher Exley, where he also points to that fact.

A new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health has shown that multiple popular infant prescriptions are contaminated with aluminum. You may be asking how much aluminum, but the authors make it a point to stress that there are no safe amounts of aluminum levels that can be inside of a human body, let alone a newborn baby. That being said, the amounts found are listed within the abstract of the study:

Historical and recent data demonstrate that off-the-shelf infant formulas are heavily contaminated with aluminium. The origin of this contamination remains to be elucidated though may be imported via ingredients, packaging and processing. Specialised infant formulas exist to address health issues, such as low birth weight, allergy or intolerance and medical conditions, such as renal insufficiency. The aluminium content of these prescription infant formulas is measured here for the first time. We obtained 24 prescription infant formulas through a paediatric clinic and measured their total aluminium content by transversely heated graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry following microwave assisted acid/peroxide digestion. The aluminium content of ready-to-drink formulas ranged from 49.9 (33.7) to 1956.3 (111.0) μg/L. The most heavily contaminated products were those designed as nutritional supplements for infants struggling to gain weight. The aluminium content of powdered formulas ranged from 0.27 (0.04) to 3.27 (0.19) μg/g. The most heavily contaminated products tended to be those addressing allergies and intolerance. Prescription infant formulas are contaminated with aluminium.

Another very important point made right off the bat by the authors:

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Human exposure to aluminium is a serious health concern. Aluminium exposure in infants is understandably a burgeoning issue. While infant exposure to aluminium continues to be documented, its consequences, immediate and in the future, have received only scant attention and research is required to understand the biological availability of aluminium through formula feeding. For example, how much aluminium is absorbed across the neonate gut and its subsequent fate, including excretion.

There is already too much aluminium in infant formulas and herein we have measured its content in a large number of prescription formulas, products which are fed to vulnerable infants in their first months of life. Many of these products are heavily contaminated with aluminium.

As for the specific infant formulas, you can refer to the study. The researchers obtained 24 prescription infant formulas via the Paediatric Clinic of Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, United Kingdom. The ready-to-drink and powdered products were new, ready-to-be used and unopened samples. These formulas are for babies with some sort of growth restriction, like for preterm infants or infants who have poor weight gain. There were also powdered formulas for allergies and intolerances and powdered formulas with additional amino acids.

The authors contacted each manufacturer and expressed that they denied knowing that there was any aluminum in their products, which means it’s still a mystery as to their source. The authors hypothesize on a number of ways that aluminum could be entering into the formulas.

In their conclusion, the authors emphasize that:

Where possible, breast milk feeding should be prioritised, as the aluminium content of breast milk is invariably an order of magnitude lower than in formula feeds. Where infant formulas are the only source of nutrition for many infants in their first weeks and months of life, aluminium ingested in formula feeds will be the major contributor to their body burden of aluminium. The last thing that vulnerable infants fed specialised formulas for their specific nutritional/medicinal need is additional aluminium in their diet.

Detoxing

There is a lot of information out there on how a person can detox from aluminum and other heavy metals. There are multiple studies, and based on what I’ve looked into, water with high amounts of Silica are effective in draining aluminum out of your body and brain. Herbs like cilantro and substances like chlorella and spirulina are also great for removing some metals. The information is out there, so be sure to do your research.

The Takeaway

It’s concerning to think about what these corporations are doing. Again, aluminum should hold no place in our society, it should’ve remained well below our surface as part of the Earth’s crust for a reason. It wasn’t until humans began digging it out and using it for a number of things, irresponsibly I might add, that we started to see the health implications which still go largely ignored by the medical community.

In fact, heavy metal accumulation and detoxification of aluminum haven’t been addressed at all, which is odd given the fact that heavy metal accumulation is linked to a variety of diseases.

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Awareness

9 Studies You Should Be Aware of Before Trying The Ketogenic Diet

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Ketogenic diet is a popular fad diet that promotes quick weight loss and symptom management for bodies that are dealing with poor lymph, kidney and digestion health.

  • Reflect On:

    Based on the studies that are emerging, is our desire for quick weight loss more important than living a long and healthy life? Are we learning about these diets primarily through those with strong ties to upholding these diets?

The ketogenic diet has popped up as a popular approach to weight loss in the last few years. Is it successful at that? Sure, it is. I’ve experimented with the diet myself years ago when I was looking to lose some belly fat. I was entering into ketosis in a different way than most, as I was not eating any animal products, but it does in fact work.

But like any animal product based diet, what are the consequences of eating so much food that does not truly jive with our human bodies? Not only that, is fast weight loss more important than keeping our morality rate down?

In the last few years, we’ve reported a lot on the Keto diet and the various ways it can be done. We have explored the studies, the results and in some ways, we supported it. But lately, I have been thinking about how supporting this could actually be encouraging people to jump into these diets, including the paleo diet, when in reality these diets increase mortality rates and are not healthy for the human body.

It became a thought in the back of my mind, I have always strived to put the best information out that I can through this platform to promote good health. And so we must look at that, even if that means upsetting some people who currently are on paleo or keto and are seeing some good weight loss or symptom management. The truth is, like the many people I’ve seen crash on these diets after a few years, I want people to know the truth of what’s going on out there. And how we can get beyond diets that symptom manage, and instead get onto diets that truly heal.

Anytime we have fad diets, which paleo and keto are, we see products and bias pop up all over the place to support the continuation of these trends. It becomes less about health and more about upholding an identity or a business.

So as I recently looked into what experts are saying about these diets, I came upon two important videos I think everyone should check out. Both have been embedded below. Remember, it’s not that I care what you choose in your own life, or that I feel there is a right or wrong, it’s that I believe we should be informed and I wish to use this platform to promote as best a message as I can.

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The Videos

Thanks to Plant-Based News for creating such a good channel and resource of information on YouTube.

In this video, several plant-based health experts talk through 9 nutrition studies that would be of interest to low carb keto diet proponents. To read the 9 studies, click here.

Next up, Dr. Kim Williams (past President of the American College of Cardiology) shares his insights about the ketogenic.

Related Articles

Diabetic Shares Why He Quit ‘The Ketogenic Diet’

Doctor Explains Why She Never Recommends The ‘Ketogenic Diet’

The Biggest Misconception About The ‘Ketogenic Diet’…You Don’t Actually Have To Follow It

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