The Common Cold and Natural Remedies

images

I thought the cartoon above was funny.  Thank you Cartoonstock.com.  It’s true that medical science cannot cure a common cold.  Actually, nothing really can cure it.  The most you can do is alleviate the symptoms but you have to let a cold run its course.  Which is what I’m doing right now.

A cold is a viral information where the mucous membrane of the nose and throat become inflamed.  It typically causes a runny nose, sneezing, sore throat and other familiar symptoms.

Friday afternoon I started feeling as if my throat was “dusty.” During my presentation I kept feeling as if I had to clear my throat often which became a bit annoying.  By the time the presentation was over I was feeling totally drained.  The temperature outside was a warm 60 degrees but I felt really cold…. Ohhh no… here we go, third cold this year.  I began to try to convince myself that it was allergies.  After all, they are saying the allergy season this year is going to bad.  I never used get colds.  Seriously, very rarely …. Now, since I’ve been taking the subway system in New York City I’m sick every couple of months.  That questions prompted me to go to Google.  What causes these colds?

  • Human parainfluenza virus
  • Metapneumovirus
  • Maronaviruses adenavirus
  • Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus
  • Eneroviruses

So now that I know what the causes are I need to figure out how to avoid getting sick.  A quick internet search revealed the following list.

  • Avoid contact with someone who has a cold – Well, this may be a bit difficult.  I work in New York City and take public transportation.  I’m sure that on any given day I’m in close proximity of someone who has a cold; T
  • Eat lots of vitamin-rick fruits and vegetables – This one I have control over.  I already eat plenty of fruits and vegetables but I may need to up my intake of vitamin C rich fruits.  We will try that.
  • Make sure you wash your hands with soap and water often – Well, I wash my hands after going to the bathroom but I don’t walk around with a sink and soap and for what I’ve heard those antibacterial lotions are full of chemicals I don’t want to be spreading all over my body.  I will figure out how to make my own and will report back.
  • Get plenty of rest – Sleep, it would be really nice to get as much sleep as I want but that doesn’t always work out.  I try to get at least 8 hours every night and most of the time I am able to.

If you ask me, it seems like my issue is really being around a lot of people and maybe not having enough vitamin C in my body.

So, All the above would be great if I didn’t have this darn cold already.  What should I do now to get rid of this cold?

  • Apple Cider Vinegar A non-invasive chiropractic adjustment puts the neck and back into proper alignment, alleviating pressure on the congested lymph ducts and allowing them to flow more freely to protect you against colds, flu and other illnesses. – Make an ACV tea to sip and/or gargle. Use 2 tablespoons ACV, 1-2 tablespoons honey (to taste), lemon juice (again, to taste) and a little hot water to dilute. It’s potent but the stronger it is, the faster it will work (of course you can change the amounts of everything to your liking). Use it 3-4 times a day (less is ok too but the more you do it, the better the results).
  • Increase Vitamin D and C – Vitamin C has long been known to support the immune system and fight off colds. As with any supplement, check with your doctor first but about 500-2000 milligrams every 2 hours is recommended. Fruits and veggies high in Vitamin C are oranges, kiwis, bell peppers, guavas, strawberries, dark leafy greens, papaya, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Additionally, having enough Vitamin D reduces your risk of catching a cold in the first place. Sunlight and fish are great sources of D.
  • Eucalyptus – This can be done as a quick steam in the shower (just shake a few drops at either end of the tub/stall) or if you have more time, a more intense steam treatment. Put 4-5 drops of eucalyptus oil in a glass bowl.  Add boiling water and lean over the bowl. Cover your head with a towel to trap the steam in and inhale deeply for 5-10 minutes. Repeat twice a day (those with liver disease/problems should not use eucalyptus oil). The steam will open up your nasal passages so you can breathe better. Your stuffy nose with be a thing of history!
  • Honey (Not for infants under 1 year old.) Make sure it’s local and raw. Honey has antioxidants, antiviral and antibacterial properties, boosts the immune system and soothes sore throats and coughs. Add 1-2 tablespoons to your ACV tea, ginger tea or just a cup of warm boiled water. Add some lemon for the added benefit of Vitamin C.
  • Regular Chiropractic Adjustments – A non-invasive chiropractic adjustment puts the neck and back into proper alignment, alleviating pressure on the congested lymph ducts and allowing them to flow more freely to protect you against colds, flu and other illnesses.

According to medical journals a cold can last up to 10 days with some symptoms lingering longer.  I will keep my fingers crossed that it won’t take me that long…. We have lots planned in Camelot.

XoXo

Ana

Advertisements

Stop Telling Me What I Want — Why I’m not a CEO

 

Unknown

March was Women’s History Month.  I have mixed feelings about months and days dedicated to particular causes.  I think if we are really interested in a cause we should make every day dedicated to that cause.  However, I too jumped on the bandwagon and did some “women stuff.”  I attended some interesting talks … one specifically was given by Helene Lerner, who is the editor of the WomenWorking.com Website and the author of various books for women.  Because I attended the talk I received a free copy of her new book The Confidence Myth.  Quick read with a few good tips on how to navigate the career traps which seem to stump us all from time to time.  I’ll try to remember to do a proper review of the book at a later time.

Unknown

Also, as you can imagine, because of Women’s History Month, there were quite a few online reads dedicated to trying to understand us, women.  I can’t help but think that they make us out to be a lot more complicated than we really are and sometimes one of the consequences of trying to understand us and trying to figure out why we do what we do we wind up coming across as these creatures who cannot take care of themselves or make things happen for them.  This weekend I came across this article about millennial women not wanting to be CEO’s.  Yeah, I don’t blame them.  Newsflash, Entrepreneur, not everyone wants to be a CEO.  If we all wanted the same things, ours would be a very boring existence.  We need diversity.  Isn’t that what we keep telling everyone? The article goes as far as saying that women don’t want to be CEOs because they don’t have the role models needed (more women) in those positions.  Ok, in my opinion, that’s just dumb.  A CEO is a CEO whether it’s a man or a woman. Women are intelligent enough to know what they want and don’t want and CEO may not be what they want.  However, If in fact you want some role models….. here are a few …… Marisa Mayer, Meg Whitman, Sophia Amoruso.

So perhaps its not that millennial woman don’t have role models to fashion their career path after.  Perhaps it’s just that they have a different idea of leadership.  There are plenty of other places to make your mark and be a leader; Mother Theresa, Maya Angelou.  Perhaps millennial have finally realized that changing the world is done done from the corner office.

Some food for thought.

Ana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I’m Reading

Unknown

What a busy week this was.  Between work and trying to figure out new ways to do my 2 hour commute I feel like I was run over by a truck… Good news I wasn’t!!!!!!!  In addition, Camelot is also in serious need of a pain job and we (Mr. Camelot and I) have been trying to get to the three front rooms for the past month.  We finally finished one room and we’re so happy with how it came out.  Go on over to the Home page and check out some of the pictures.

Finally having some time to sit and read is a welcomed distraction.  Here are the links to what I really enjoyed this week:

No Kids for Me Thanks – Great article in the New York Times about questions women who choose to not have children face.  I read it and I thought that it could apply to women who for other reasons have no children.

How the Shape of Your Face Affects How You’re Perceived at Work – It’s a good article but I don’t think accurate.

The Science of Setting Goals – I read this one as I was trying to set goals for myself at work.  It made a whole lot of sense to me.  Setting my goals and focosing on the outcome was not working for me.  I think that by focusing on the process of achieving that goal makes the “trip” a whole lot more fun and who knows, maybe a lot more educational as well.  It may be the kick in the behind that I need to get things moving, finally.  (I’ll keep you posted).

11 Ways to Keep Your Home A Cancer Free Zone – This week I found a great website.  I was going to say a new website/blog but I am sure it’s not so new.  I may be the one who is late to the party…. as usual.   I am constantly trying to keep Camelot clean and healthy and I’m always getting frustrated because I feel that I spend most of my free time (not much as it is) trying to re-clean and re_healthify (I made up this word).

Why are men Afraid of Going Vegan – I know it’s weird but it’s true.  How many of us know of a couple where the woman is vegetarian or vegan and husband is a full fledge meat eater?  Yep…. that would be and Mr. Camelot.  I’m not proud of it but I’m not here to change him.  All I keep hoping is that at some point he will see that he’s better off on this side of the fence.  In the meantime, I have to say that he is very supportive and tastes everything I make.

Where Are the Bees? Pesticides and the Bee Population

images-2

Where are the bees?  Recently while looking around the net for some information for an article about organic farming and non-organic farming I came across an article about the disappearance of the honey bees.  I don’t know about you, but I have a love hate relationship with bees.  I love the fact that they make honey – yeah as a vegan that has been the cause of many an argument – for another time.

As I was saying…. I love them because they make honey and they pollinate which brings about the amazing colors of our fruits and vegetables and the reason my state is called the Garden State.  We have the best colors EVER…. Have you driven through New Jersey in the Spring and Summer and seen the amazing colors or smelled the amazing smells all around you?  Yeah…. Bees are great contributors to that phenomenon.

My only complaint about them is the sting.  I am deathly allergic to pain… no, I’m not allergic to bee stings, well at least I don’t think I am.  I was stung once when I was a little girl.  We had bee hives on my grandfather’s farm and the farm hand was helping harvesting the honey while I played around in the fields a little bit away from him….. Well, I don’t think I have to tell you that the end result was not pretty.  I wound up getting stung.  The honey was really sweet though!!!!!!!!

images

So it appears that in 1995 the bee population in the United States began disappearing.  Farms began reporting significant losses.  Although it’s normal to lose a certain percentage of bees throughout the year, these numbers keep rising.  According to the USDA in 2009 there was a 29% loss, in 2010 the honey bee deaths rose to 34% and in 2012-2013 the losses rose to amounts greater than 40%-50% of all hives.  To put it in perspective, in the 1940s the bee population in the US was somewhere in the 6 million neighborhood, today we have about 2.3 million, according to Apidologie.com

These numbers really got my attention.  Where the heck are all the bees going?  And what am I supposed to do when I want great veggies, great fruits and to make my face masks (I make some of those with honey) or my cough “medicine”.  Afterall, I live in New Jersey and the Winters are long and cold and invariably I get a cold or a cough or …. Well, I need my tea and honey…. and I need to get to the bottom of this, I thought.  So I continued reading. This is what I found.

We are the reason the bees are dying!  Let me say that again in case you missed it the first time.  We are the reason the bees are dying!  So, it appears that the pesticides we use to to spray our vegetables are the cause of the disappearance of the bees.  This phenomenon has a name.  It’s called.  Colony Collapse Disorder (“CCD”).

In 1994 the EPA approved the first neonicotinoid imadacloprid.  This funny named (not so funny, actually) pesticide is a derivative of nicotine — go figure, we spend so much money-getting our humans to stop smoking and ingesting nicotine and here we are feeding it to our plants (which we use as food) and spraying it in the air which we all breathe including our plants and our animals.  For a species who claims to be so intelligent, I’m not so sure we’re living up to that claim right now.  Anyway, this type of pesticide, according to an 2011 article by Meriel Watts, works by attaching itself to the nicotine receptors of an insect which is located in the central nervous system of that insect and blocking its nerve impulses.  It appears that this causes the insect (in this case the bee) to forget how to get home. We all know that if the worker bee cannot get home the queen bee cannot produce and the hive will die little by little because the little bees do not get the food they need to survive while somewhere in the fields is one very confused bee who has forgotten how to get home…… I’m making a joke here to make this disturbing article easier to read but you have to agree with me that this is very disturbing.

As if the fact that we are killing the pollinators of our planet, which may in turn cause lack fresh fruits and vegetables, wasn’t enough, the European Food Safety Authority according to a 2013 article in the New York Times, believes that this type of pesticide may affect neuron development in children and currently recommends additional studies to better understand it.   Most European countries have banned this pesticide, yet, here, we continue to freely spray our crops and killing our bees…. Remember the statistics I gave you for the CDD were from 2013.

Some states have issued their own regulations to combat CCD.  In California farmers cannot spray bee-pollinated crops with certain pesticides during bloom times and they must notify the local bee keepers when they plan to spray with pesticides.  In New Jersey the legislature is considering a bill which will prohibit the use or sale of neonicotinoid pesticides.  However, if you are familiar with how a bill becomes a law…. it could take a while before we see this come to fruition.

The New Jersey law is a better alternative as it is an actual prohibition instead of a limitation like the California law.  The California law assumes that the farmers are notifying the bee keepers and the bee keepers are able to move the bees somewhere while the crops are being sprayed.  Pesticides are made to be resistant and therefore once sprayed they stay on the ground getting in the roots of the plants….. a limitation? although better than nothing, is not going to prevent CCD since the bees will still receive the pesticide once the spraying is done by merely doing their jobs of jumping from pollen producing flower to pollen producing flower.

Face Lift (Cont.) – Status of the Dining Room

After weeks and weeks of working on the house we are finally done with one room.  Yes, you heard me correctly.  We have been working almost non-stop for weeks now and we have one room to show for it.  Granted, we had to spakle it, change the heating registers and paint some, change the curtains, change out all the electrical outlets and ….. apparently the painting took forever because I picked a really difficult color…. I can’t help it.  I really like the way it is turning out.  Shhhhh don’t tell Mr. Camelot that we are not done yet.  I think he may not survive that news.   What do you think?  I’m so proud of what we accomplished.

Dining room 1 Dining Room 2 Wall Art in Dining room

Here is where I’m going to need your help.  I really need to get a new chandelier.  Something that goes with the decor.  As you can see all the furniture is very rustic (well, the exact wording is mission style).  We like our home to be a place where or friends enjoy hanging out.

The currently chandelier looks like this….. I really need to change it.

chandeier in the Dining Room

You see what I mean?  This chandelier came with the house.  I never bothered to take it down because I really have no idea what I want.  I need all the help I can get.

XoXo

Ana in Camelot

Great Animal Quotes and Photos

I thought I’d share some of my favorite quotes here as well as some amazing photos of beautiful animals from around the internet.  I apologize because I don’t always know who the photographer is.  If I know the name I will post it as a caption on the picture if there is no name and you know who the photographer is, please drop me a note and let me know and I will make sure credit is given to the artist.  These are beautiful pictures for which I take no credit.

QuoteChick1

“Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.” – Thomas Edison

QuotePig2

“The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.” – Charles Darwin

QuoteLamb2

“One day the absurdity of the almost universal human belief in the slavery of other animals will be palpable. We shall then have discovered our souls and become worthier of sharing this planet with them.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

QuotePig1

“If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals.”- Albert Einstein

QuoteGoat1

All the above quotes and photos were originally posted in ChooseVeg.com.

My Secret to Clear Skin

 

images

Some of you have asked what my beauty routine is.  How do I manage to keep my skin clear.  I thought about it and thought about it and I really don’t think there is a secret.  Perhaps I am one of the lucky ones.  As a teenager I did not have skin issues, suffering from breakouts only as they related to hormonal changes and even those were few and far between.  I remember my cousins having really bad acne, so I’m not sure why that problem skipped me — glad it did.  As an adult I very rarely have breakouts but I do suffer from extremely dry skin….. I guess that’s a problem too.

If there is a trick to my clear skin and my very few wrinkles I probably can thank my mother and father for the great genes they donated to me.  I can also, probably, thank my lazy personality when it comes to spending time in front of a mirror.

For those of you who may be interested in my routine, here it goes…. however, I do promise you that it’s going to be boring.

I jump  out of bed at 5:00 a.m. — I stay in bed as long as I possibly can.  I love sleeping.  The days I go into the office I wear make up but my makeup is minimal.

The first think I do is brush my teeth.  I will be posting an all natural tooth paste I’ve been trying as soon as I can figure out the recipe better.  For now I’m not 100% thrilled with it so no point in going into it here.

I splash my face with cold–ish water and then wipe my face with one of the all natural facial wipes from my Yogi Surprise Box (currently I’m finishing up the Citrus from Rooted Beauty).  I’m not really sure why I do this step except that I like the way these wipes smell and I think they help me wake up.

I then sit at my makeup table and after moisturizing (I am alternating between two moisturizers right now but they are getting really heavy since the temperature is getting warmer yay….) I start the makeup application.  Since turning forty I have had to resign myself to the fact that I need to apply foundation.  I try to always find something light which contains more water than product.  I have been looking but still have not found an all natural product that does as good of a job as the ones I currently have in my arsenal — I won’t mention any names because I don’t want to advertise something I don’t plan on sticking with…. as soon as they are finished, if I still have not found the all natural foundation I’m looking or I will go bare.  You will, of course, the first to know when that happens.  Once the foundation is done, I put on eye liner.  I have been wearing Urban Decay eye liners and when I’m feeling particularly energetic eye shadows.  I began buying them  because they are animal friendly but I have to admit that I have not red the ingredients  so I’m not completely sure what they are made up of.   So something for my to-do list.

The last think I do is apply lip balm and then lipstick.  My lip balm is also from my Yogi Surprise Box.  I am loving the Hurraw Vita Lip Balm, right now I have the almond cinnamon rose flavor but I think I need a summer one,  and Bite lipsticks and you can find me in red most often….. Red is a great color if you want pretend you spent lots of time on your makeup.  Just make sure the red goes with your complexion and it’s not runny….. nothing worse than having lipstick in the little creases of your lips…… Ohhh the joys of getting older.  I like the ones that have two in one tube.

More often than not I choose the no make up look.  In the summer I try to remember to apply sun block on my face and arms but I forget very often.  This year the doctor pointed out a mark on the left side of my face which he believes to be sun damage…. I’m not sure.  My father had the same mark and mine has been there for a while also.  However, that doesn’t mean that sun protection isn’t important.  I have to try to be better about that.  I would love to get something natural but until I find the right natural product I should still be vigilant about that.  I do believe that we all need a few minutes of sun without protection.  We all need vitamin D and the best way to receive it is to be outdoors in the sunlight.  So, in the summer, I also try to do that for about 15 to 20 minutes every day or at least every couple of days.  It’s so sad when our jobs demand that we sit at a desk all day from sun up to sun down and most of us don’t see the light of day until the weekends.

At night I remove my make up with one of the facial wipes again.  Once in a while I use Josie Maran organ oil make up remover but more often than water is my friend.  For my eye liner, which can be stubborn, I use a little bit of Bioderma on a wash cloth.  I find that if I apply the Bioderma and let it soak for a bit the eye liner comes off so easy.  The great thing about Urban Decay eyeliners is also their most annoying thing….. They don’t come off very easily.  Water alone does not help.

Like so many of you I too use to buy tons of products to keep my skin clean and healthy.  I quickly realized that, for me…. it’s a waste.  I’m lazy where it comes to beauty.  Don’t get me wrong, I love makeup… I have tons of make up but I hate taking it off.

Once every couple of weeks I also do a mask.  Sometimes I do avocado and honey, sometimes I do just avocado.  Depends on the way my skin feels.  I will try to remember to post a recipe soon of some of my favorite makes…. but again, masking, although feels great, it’s also time consuming and I tend to be lazy with stuff like that.

So, as you can see there is no big skin care secret.  I would say that my biggest secrets are:

  1. Lots of water
  2. Diet
  3. Moisturizer
  4. Bare skin whenever possible
  5. Laugh a lot (laugh lines are beautiful)

Those are my five secrets for beautiful skin.

I hope you enjoy this blog post and please, why don’t you tell me what your secrets are and also if you have natural products that you are currently using and loving, let me know.  I’d love to give them a try.

XoXo

Ana

The Best of Both Worlds

WorkingFromHome

Working from home is great.  I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I did not like working from home the past few months.  However, I am going to sit here and tell you that going to the office sometimes is also great.

The thing about working from home, for me, at least, is that I tend to not get up from my computer at all.  There really isn’t a reason to go to another room.  I can sit here all day and everything I need is right at my finger tips….. Ok, maybe I go to the kitchen to grab a bite to eat but then it’s right back to sit in front of my computer.  I started to feel as if I didn’t even need to get dressed.  There were days when I just worked in my Pjs all day — Yeah I know for some of you this may be something you wish you could have — I remember I couldn’t wait to have that.

When working from home, networking becomes even more important.  “out of site out of mind.”  Because most of the time people do not see you, you may not get the “good” assignments –you know the ones that will get you promoted or in front of the people who will be making the promotion and raise decisions.  You must become more conscious about networking and developing those connections.

A few months ago I decided that I needed to rework my schedule.  I needed to feel like I was part of the team and I needed to be seen.

So now I have the best of both worlds.  I get to work from home when I need to work from home.  I get to enjoy the quiet when I need to get more work out and I get to go to the office when I feel like I need to socialize or when I have a meeting for which I need to be there in person.

I go to the office most of days of the week and when I’m there I make sure I take the time to pop my head in the offices of my other team members and at times even am able to join them for lunch or an after work something…. more often than not a drink or two.

The other reason I like to go to the office is that it gives me another excuse to buy clothes 🙂

XoXo

Ana

Reading on the Internet

images

I really enjoy getting up on Sunday mornings, grabbing cup of coffee or tea and sit on the couch with my iPad or computer and just read whatever is on my feed.  This week there were quite a few interesting articles and here are a few which I found most interesting:

Just a few articles to help you slow down this morning.

Opening Soon — And then Not

UnknownYou can imagine how happy I was when one of my friends on Facebook posted that Whole Foods Market was about to open in Morristown, New Jersey.  Since I moved to Camelot I have had to drive half an hour out of my way to get my fix of organic fresh fruits and vegetables.  It’s not as if I have not given the places around here the opportunity to impress me and in the Summer I am surrounded by farms where I do go for my produce, but in the Winter … well, let’s just say I’m not impressed with quality.

I immediately friended them and waited for the opening date to be posted.  I know exactly where it’s going to open so I know exactly where I’m going.  It’s still a few miles away — Ohhh how I wish they would open in my area.  Come to think of it?  Hey Whole Foods fairies, if you’re reading this can you please open a store in the Roxbury area?  Well, while I’m asking how about a store with one of the whole body boutiques?  That would be AWESOME.

Anyway……. I kept checking and finally there was a date.  Well, sort of a date.  It said “Coming in April 2015.”  Yay!!!!!!!!

April is gone and the website still says “Coming in April 2015.”  Are they opened?  I have no real reason to go into Morristown nor do I have the time right now unless I have a reason to head over there so it would be nice to know.  Please Whole Foods, please, please….. Will you open already?

For now I have these pictures to drool over and be envious of all of you who have a Whole Foods near you.