Natural Remedies for Heartburn

Most of us have experienced that intense burning in our chests that feels like we may become a fire-breathing dragon at that very moment.  This uncomfortable, often downright painful, condition is heartburn, which is caused by acid reflux.  If you’re in need of relief, you’re in luck.  Today we’re exploring natural remedies for heartburn.

heart burn__1457445259_162.206.228.38So, what is happening in our bodies that make our chests feel like we need to call the fire department?  Acid from the stomach is making its way back up the esophagus causing the burning sensation we know as heartburn.  It’s a result of the lower esophageal sphincter relaxing and “opening the door” for acid to return to the esophagus.  Heartburn is most often triggered by fatty foods, overeating or eating right before lying down.  It can also occur from consuming too much alcohol, acidic foods like citrus fruits, spicy foods and caffeine.  Prolonged heartburn that cannot be relieved with antacids or natural remedies within two weeks may be a sign of GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Next time you feel your chest is on fire, try these natural remedies for heartburn:

Herbs:  Several herbs have shown positive potential to combat heartburn including caraway, chamomile, licorice, milk thistle and ginger root.  Many of these are found in Iberogast, which can be a good natural alterative to over-the-counter antacids.

Milk:  Milk coats the lining of the stomach and has acid-reducing calcium, which can create a temporary buffer for acid reflux.  Be sure to drink low-fat milk and only about one cup at a time to avoid filling up with too many fats.

Almonds:  Eating just three or four almonds after meals can neutralize stomach acids.  Now that’s a tasty and nutritious way to deal with heartburn!

Aloe Vera Juice:  Aloe Vera can do more than soothe a sunburn.  Drinking half a cup of Aloe Vera juice can decrease inflammation in the stomach and esophagus and keep heartburn at bay.

Bananas:  Super ripe bananas reduce stomach acids as a natural antacid.  Try eating one everyday to see if that does the trick.

Apple Cider Vinegar:  Oddly, consuming more acid may help with heartburn.  Sometimes the lower esophageal sphincter loosens because it senses that the stomach doesn’t have acid and therefore it doesn’t need to block acid.  When you introduce acid like that from a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water, you are sending the message to this gatekeeper to keep the doors closed.

Gum:  Believe it or not, chewing sugar-free gum can really help relieve heartburn.  Gum creates more saliva which naturally reduces acid.  Plus, it makes you swallow more often and push the acid back down to its proper place in your stomach.

Baking Soda:  Balancing your stomach pH can neutralize acid effectively.  Sodium bicarbonate, aka baking soda, works nicely.  Mix one teaspoon with a cup of water several times daily for best results.

Melatonin:  This natural sleep aid is known to relieve heartburn as well.  Be careful to check drug interactions as melatonin should not be taken with certain medications.

Dress for Success:  Don’t wear tight fitting clothes or belts that put pressure on your tummy.  This may encourage acid to return to the esophagus rather than staying put in the stomach.

Eat Right:  Think about what triggers your heartburn and when it occurs. Try to avoid foods that upset your stomach and cause heartbur

Tips to Fall Asleep Faster

sleep tips__1457444762_162.206.228.38Today is World Sleep Day!  This day is designated by the World Association of Sleep Medicine to encourage the importance of sleep as an everyday and long term health matter.  Good sleep has three components – duration, continuity and depth – but healthy sleep habits start with falling asleep.  Today we celebrate sleep with tips to fall asleep faster.

Typical Tips to Fall Asleep Faster

Tip #1:  Create a conducive sleep environment by eliminating light and distracting sounds and getting comfortable.  This means turning off the TV, which is much too stimulating for healthy sleep habits.  If your room tends to get lots of light from the outdoors, try black-out curtains.  Or if uncontrollable noise is an issue, use a white noise machine or air purifier to drown out other sounds.  Also, make sure your bedding is soft and breathable and wear comfortable clothes while you sleep.

Tip #2:  Have a regular sleep routine and schedule.  By doing the same things before bed each night and going to bed at approximately the same time every night, you’re getting your body into a steady rhythm of wakefulness and sleepiness.  Do your best to keep this routine consistent on week nights and weekends.

Tip #3:  Don’t eat or drink things late in the day that may keep you awake.  Caffeine, sugar, and spicy foods and beverages can all cause you to have a harder time falling asleep.

Tip #4:  Exercise early in the day to relax your body and reduce stress.  Regular exercise invigorates the body during the daytime but by nighttime offers much needed fatigue which will help you fall asleep faster.  Don’t exercise within 3 to 4 hours of bedtime, however, because that may keep you up.

Unusual Tips to Fall Asleep Faster

Tip #5:  Sleep naked or otherwise cool down your body temperature for better sleep.  A lower core body temp induces sleep so set your thermostat to 65 degrees around bedtime.  Sleeping naked also lowers your body temperature or taking a cold bath has the same effect.

Tip #6:  Eat and drink the right things before bedtime.  Of course a hot cup of decaffeinated tea can help.  But warm milk, cherry juice and almond butter are other great dietary sleep aids.

Tip #7:  Relax your body and mind.  Body relaxation can be achieved by tensing up your muscles and releasing them slowly one-at-a-time starting with your toes up to your forehead.  Mind relaxation can be more challenging but try meditations or visualizations to ease your mind into a more restful state.

Absolutely Bizarre Tips to Fall Asleep Faster

Tip #8:  Rock and sing yourself to sleep as if you were a baby.  Why not, it works on babies!  Sit in a rocking chair or simply rock yourself gently in your bed.  Softly sing a lullaby.  The movement and soothing tones should make you drowsy in no time.

Tip #9:  Breathe out of only one nostril at a time.  Hold one nostril closed while you exhale through the other side. Repeat alternating nostrils.  This steady, repetitive breathing creates a peaceful rhythm that is more conducive to falling asleep.

Tip #10:  Trick your eyes into being drowsy by closing them and rolling them back in your head.  This is what happens when you actually fall asleep so make yourself get there faster by actively rolling your eyes backwards.

Tip #11:  Perform light acupuncture or massage on yourself.  Using pressure points on your face, press down gently to send sleep signals throughout your body.  Also try rubbing your belly, legs and arms to relax your body and gently drift off to sleep.

Happy World Sleep Day!  Wishing you many healthy zzz’s tonight and always!

Detox your Body with Water: 8 Detox Ingredients for your Water

detox your water__1453390499_104.49.51.82There are many ways to detox your body, ranging from elaborate therapeutic treatments to simple do-it-yourself home remedies.  Believe it or not, drinking water is one of the best ways to naturally cleanse your system.  By adding detox ingredients to your water, you can enhance the purification properties exponentially, which supports a healthier body, especially the liver, kidneys and digestive system.  Today we are sharing some of the best ingredients to detox your body with water.

1 – Lemon:  As one of the most readily available detox ingredients, lemons are chock full of Vitamin C and citric acid that boost cellular strength and aid in digestion.  Lemons are considered an aniotic food because they have more negative ions than positive ions, which helps improve and ease digestion and encourage the elimination of toxins through waste channels.  Drinking hot or cold water with lemon is an easy and terrific choice for cleansing your system.

2 – Watermelon:  Watermelon itself is made of 92% water.  But it also contains a powerful diuretic nutrient called citrulline that boosts blood flow and helps eliminate ammonia and other toxins through urination.  Plus, watermelon tastes delicious and is low in calories.

3 – Ginger:  This root is good for the heart and curbs acid reflux and several other digestive issues.  Ginger has a host of vitamins and minerals that seep into your water, especially when you boil the root first.  It is also available in powdered form that you can sprinkle into your glass.

4 – Apple Cider Vinegar:  Apple cider vinegar is a catch-all detox ingredient with lots of minerals, amino acids and enzymes that cleanse the body naturally.  It is particularly deft at binding to toxins and helping eliminate them from the body, all while its enzymes aid digestion.  Apple cider vinegar contains lots of vitamins and minerals too, which makes it an excellent anti-bacterial agent and even helps break up mucus that causes sinus congestion.

5 – Cayenne Pepper:  Yikes, pepper!  Yes, it is spicy but it works.  Capsaicin, the nutrient that makes cayenne pepper hot, works to cleanse the lungs and is great for weight loss too.  If you can’t take the heat, add a pinch of cayenne pepper to your water and use another detox ingredient like lemon or cucumber to dull the flavor.

6 – Mint:  Cool and refreshing, mint is a delicious way to detox your body with water.  Mint is known to support the gallbladder, liver and digestive tract while also relaxing muscles for a calmer overall state.  Fresh mint is easy to grow in your own kitchen so you always have it available as a purifying water additive.

7 – Green Tea:  This ancient antioxidant-rich tea is one of the healthiest ways to detox your body with water.  Usually served warm but also available in iced versions, green tea improves and preserves cellular function to reduce the burden that toxins place on all bodily systems.  Over time, toxins deteriorate the body starting at the cellular level but antioxidants found in green tea and other phyto-sources of nutrients can combat this process.

8 – Cucumber:  Like watermelon, cucumbers are comprised of mostly water so they are highly hydrating in their raw state.  They also contain vast minerals that soak into water for tremendous additional health benefits.  Mineral deficiencies are quite common but often undiagnosed, so adding minerals through water detoxification is a terrific way to sustain health and wellness.

Remember, you can mix several of these detox ingredients to concoct your own recipe to detox your body through water.  Cheers to your health!

Improve your Relationship with your Doctor

Do you ever leave your doctor’s office with a ton of remaining questions and feeling like your appointment was a whirlwind with no clear course of treatment?  If you do, you’re not alone.  You may feel more satisfied and even have better health outcomes if you improve your relationship with your doctor.  We’re helping you get started with the tips below.

Prepare for your appointment.  Take time in advance to write down your symptoms and how long you have been experiencing them.  Record everything that you think may be related including a change in diet, exercise, sleep patterns and stressors.  Prioritize your list so you can discuss the most important concerns first.  If necessary, you can hand your list to the doctor so they can call or email you later to finish addressing your points.  Also, be sure to let your doctor know of all medications you are taking (some of which may have been prescribed by a different doctor), including over-the-counter meds and whether you have recently seen another doctor.

Woman medical doctor shaking hands with patient concept healthcare, medical, hospital.Communicate efficiently with your doctor.  Make your bottom-line point first.  If you are seeking medication to help with a physical or emotional problem, state that first and then back it up with your reasoning.  Or, express your concern first before describing your symptoms.  The anxiety of not feeling well is often what we want to relieve as much as the ailment itself.  Your doctor may be able to calm your fears or recommend additional tests to rule out your major underlying concerns.

Take notes during your appointment.  Your mind may be going in a million directions as you chat with your physician.  Focus yourself by writing down the key points that your doctor is making.  If you are worried you’ll miss something, record the visit or bring along someone to simply take notes on your behalf.

Make sure you understand the action plan moving forward.  One of the biggest complaints from patients is that they are unclear on their next steps.  Ask specific questions such as, “If the results of my blood work is normal but I still feel badly, what is the next step?” or “At what point should I call or come back if I’m still feeling poorly?”  Write down the order of which your heath action plan will take place and any potential doctors your primary care physician may want you to see.  Even if you don’t immediately feel better, having a plan can be comforting so you know your doctor is still going to help you solve your health mystery.

Be honest with your doctor.  Yes, sometimes we are embarrassed by our own health problems, but doctors are there to help you.  They cannot do their jobs if you aren’t being completely honest with them.  Even a slight oversight can make the difference in their recommended treatment plan.  Don’t omit or misrepresent information about your health.

Follow your physician’s recommendations.  You cannot really know if your doctor is doing a good job if you never take his advice.  That’s just being a bad patient and definitely not helping you improve your relationship with your doctor.  Try whatever your doctor suggests and if you find it doesn’t work for you, contact him for other solutions.  Your doctor will be more willing to help you if you have at least given his first recommendation a shot.

If you are displeased with your doctor, let him know.  If you feel your needs aren’t being met, let your doctor know so he can improve your care.  He may not realize that his behavior or that of his staff is causing you distress.  If he is unwilling to help you further after you express your concerns, you may want to find another doctor that is more attentive to your particular needs.

4 Ways to Naturally Lift Your Breasts

No matter what size breasts a woman has, she’s always on a quest for lift.  Women with large breasts may have a harder time achieving this goal because, well, there is more to lift.  But it is possible to naturally lift your breasts with some daily habits and wardrobe choices.  Today we’re sharing 4 ways to naturally lift your breasts.

Woman with barbell on a bench press training1 – Naturally Lift Your Breasts through Exercise: The pectoral muscles that support your breasts can be trained and toned for a natural lift.  In two or three months of chest exercises you should experience a noticeable difference.  Some of the best exercises to naturally lift your breasts include any variation of pushups, weighted chest presses (a reverse pushup lying on your back and pushing weights upwards by straightening and bending arms), weighted chest flys (similar to chest press but with straight arms “flying” from the sides to directly over the chest), T-planks (starting in pushup position, twist your body and raise one arm into the air at a time), and the elbow squeeze (standing erect, hold weights to the side with bended elbows and then bring your elbows together, squeezing your chest muscles).

2 – Naturally Lift Your Breasts through Diet: Your diet can support a natural breast lift too.  First, you need to eat lots of protein to help build those pectoral muscles.  Select lean sources of protein such as chicken, turkey, beans, eggs and nuts.  Avoid excessive intake of fatty proteins like red meat, pork and fried foods.  Make sure your diet is rich in vitamins, minerals and calcium.  You can achieve this through cruciferous vegetables like kale, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and spinach, as well as fruits and low-fat dairy products.  Limit consumption of alcohol and caffeine and stop smoking as these have been linked to sagging breasts.

3 – Naturally Lift Your Breasts with Great Full Figure Bras: The full figure bras you wear can also provide a natural breast lift.  Wearing the proper size bra and selecting the right bra for every activity in your life is vital to the way your breasts will look and feel.  Your bra should lift your breasts from a supportive band and cups that snuggly but comfortably encapsulate your breasts to reduce bounce.  Your band, cups and shoulder straps should never leave indentions on your skin and you should never have spillage or extra space beneath your cups and band.  Full figure bras can help you create your ideal shape, whether that is a subtle feminine silhouette or tastefully showing off your cleavage.  If you are among the over 50% of women wearing the wrong size bra, reevaluate your bra wardrobe and let Leading Lady help you find the right full figure bras that will naturally lift your breasts.

4 – Naturally Lift Your Breasts through Massage: Believe it or not, when you massage your breasts, you are giving your muscles a mini-workout.  That’s not to say you can stop exercising your pectoral muscles, but you can supplement your exercise program with some massage therapy.  Using natural, nutrient-rich oils like aloe vera or almond oil, you can rub nourishment into your tissues and muscles to tighten them.  These oils also help prevent wrinkled skin and stimulate blood flow surrounding the breasts for a natural lift.

Natural lift – check!

Natural separation – check!

Natural cleavage – check!

Natural support – check!

Whether for your health, personal self-image or to regain your feminine shape, we hope you find success with these ways to naturally lift your breasts!

6 Tips for Finding Balance in Life

balance__1457100855_162.206.228.38Ah, balance!  It sounds so easy breezy but yet it is so hard to achieve.  For something so simple, finding balance in life actually takes a lot of work.  Whether you work outside the home or your current life’s work is taking care of your family – whether you have none, one or many children – whether you are super involved in many things or focus on just a few – most of us could improve our life balance.  Today we’re offering 6 tips for finding balance in life.

Tip #1:  Identify the elements in your life that you want to prioritize.

Each of our lives is fulfilled in different ways and usually that includes many aspects.  Family, relationships, work, home, social, spiritual, health, personal development and leisure among others are all important parts of modern lives.  Not all of these can be achieved every day but pinpointing what is essential to your life on a regular basis will help you align your lifestyle, thoughts, actions and beliefs in harmony.

Tip #2:  Balance requires choices and sacrifices so be prepared to make tough decisions.

When your days become overwhelmed with too many “balls in the air,” step back to consider your priorities and align yourself with your values. Make choices that directly reflect what you identified as the most important aspects of your life.  This will mean making regular sacrifices and putting some things on hold while you focus on other priorities.  While it may feel incongruent in the moment, these in-the-moment decisions are a very normal part of finding balance in life.

Tip #3:  Learn to say “No.”

We can do it all and have it all, but not necessarily at the same time.  Learning to say “no” when your plate is full is essential to finding balance in life.  We get out of whack when we take on too much, are pulled in a million directions and aren’t successful in anything we are doing.  Balance is not just about equilibrium of all priority aspects of our lives, it’s also about feeling satisfied and accomplished in these areas.  If you can’t participate to the best of your ability, you won’t feel balanced.

Tip #4:  Make space for your own health.

Poor health can throw everything off balance and derail all of your hard work.  As caregivers and diligent workers, occasionally the needs of others must come before our own, but not to the detriment of your own health.  Maintain physical health through a wholesome diet, exercise and sleep, cognitive health through stimulation and challenges, and emotional health with relaxation, fun and time alone.

Tip #5:  Develop and maintain healthy relationships.

Human beings are hard-wired for meaningful social interactions.  Relationships aren’t just an indulgence; they are an important part of finding balance in life.  Friends, family, significant others, co-workers and sometimes even exchanges with strangers can greatly improve our lives by making us feel helpful, desired and part of a team.  This inherent need is crucial to finding balance in life.  If you struggle in this area, map out a plan to get together with friends or join a group to meet new people.

Tip #6:  Have a routine but know how and when to abandon it sometimes.

Balanced people usually operate within a general routine that accounts for important priorities on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.  That’s important for stability.  However, sometimes you need to exit your routine to explore the world, gain perspective and let things go.  This may mean taking a vacation now and again, or simply taking a different route to work.  Also, unplug to focus on other priorities at least once a day and more often on the weekend.  Just like your body needs sleep every night, your brain needs space away from the constant barrage of information, problems and being available.

We’re wishing you much balance in life!

Homemade Face Masks

If your skin is feeling a bit lackluster from the cold, dry weather, whip up a homemade face mask to help restore and rejuvenate your best skin.  Yup, it’s that easy!  Rather than heading to a beauty supply store or a spa, you can use ingredients from your own home to make terrific homemade face masks.  Here are some of our favorite ideas for homemade face masks:

Berry Face Mask:  Antioxidants are nature’s cell-rejuvenating nutrients, and berries are a leading source of them.  Berries contain special antioxidants called polyphenols that purify skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and help minimize discoloration.  Mash up whatever berries you have on hand with a few sprinkles of sugar.  Let the sweet mixture sit on your face for 5-10 minutes.  You can also purchase acai powder from a health food store to add to your berry face mask.

Mayonnaise Face Mask:  You’ve probably heard that this condiment is good for skin, but do you know why?  Mayonnaise contains vinegar, eggs and oil, three skin-loving beautiful young woman doing cosmetic mask on her faceingredients.  Vinegar is a natural exfoliant that helps encourage younger, fresher cells to the surface of your face.  Using mayo can be a one-stop ingredient or you can add additional natural oils or essences to further stimulate and moisturize your pores.

Wine and Olive Oil Face Mask:  These ingredients you probably have on hand from last weekend’s dinner party make a fabulous homemade face mask.  Red wine is particularly high in the antioxidant reservatrol, which helps reverse and slow the signs of aging.  Combine equal parts wine and olive oil with crushed oatmeal until it forms a paste that you can apply to your face.

Banana Face Mask:  This is one of our simplest suggestions because it can be done with just one ingredient:  bananas!  Bananas help moisturize and soften skin and are naturally thick and easy to mush.  Squish one up and apply it to your face or mix it with a bit of yogurt and honey for added nutrients.

Oatmeal Face Mask:  Many people know that oatmeal is delicious for your skin.  It pretty much does it all, from reducing inflammation to deeply moisturize.  Oatmeal even cleanses pores and adds protein protection to skin cells.  To make this face mask, prepare oatmeal the typical way with boiling water.  Combine with plain yogurt, a drop of honey and an egg white to make a luscious homemade face mask.

Fruit or Veggie Slice Face Mask:  Almost every fruit or vegetable is great for your face because produce is chock full of valuable nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.  Just as lotions, serums and creams with a combination of nutrients seeps into your skin, so can the pure nutrients of fruits and veggies when they sit on your face.  Whenever you’re cooking, save a few slices of whatever is in your meal to use on your face.  Ideas include citrus fruits, kiwis, apples, eggplant, gourds and potatoes.

Next time you feel your skin needs a pick-me-up, look no further than your own kitchen for homemade face masks.  With the simplicity of a few natural ingredients that you probably have on hand, you can create a skintastic face mask with great results.

Healthy Rice: Which Types of Rice are Healthiest?

Rice has been a dietary staple of the human diet for ages.  It is natural, easily digestible, relatively inexpensive and simple to cultivate.  But not all rice offers the same nutritional value.  If you’re going to eat rice, you may as well eat healthy rice varieties.  With many rice options lining the grocery store shelves, you may be wondering, what types of rice are healthiest?  We’re breaking down healthy rice for your right here, right now.

Glass bowls with different types of raw rice, close-upWhen you think of rice, you mind may go directly to white rice.  White rice is not the healthiest type of rice because it has been processed to remove bran and germ as well as other essential nutrients.  It therefore does not contain as much fiber.  Per cup, white rice has about 1 gram of fiber whereas the same amount of brown rice has 4 grams of fiber.  Fiber is valuable for many reasons, one of which is its role on the digestion of carbohydrates and impact on the body’s glycemic index.  Fiber helps slow the breakdown of food and sustain steady blood sugar levels.  Additionally, long grain varieties of rice have more fiber than short grain rice and are therefore better for blood glucose as well.

Of the most common types of rice available, there are four top healthy rice varieties:  brown rice, black rice, red rice and wild rice.

Brown Rice:  Whole grain brown rice has grown in popularity and accessibility in recent years and is a healthy rice choice.  As we already established, brown rice contains 4x the fiber of white rice and the germ and bran are in tact.  Brown rice is chock full of the B complex vitamins, phosphorous, magnesium and the antioxidant Vitamin E.  This means it is great for muscles and bones, as well as immune strength and anti-aging properties.  Brown jasmine rice and brown basmati rice are two long grain varieties of brown rice that are excellent healthy rice options.

Black Rice:  This majestic healthy rice comes from China and is rich in many nutrients.  It is believed to have supercharged antioxidants called anthocyanins that help protect and defend cells from free radicals.  In fact, a study showed that black rice has around 6x the antioxidants of white rice and has at least twice the protein of white rice.  Plus, black rice looks very elegant and adds depth and diversity to your plate.

Red Rice:  Similar to black rice, red rice contains fabulous antioxidants that help boost cellular strength to keep the body functioning properly and reduce the effects of aging.  It contains more protein and fiber than white rice and is a good source of manganese, magnesium, potassium, zinc and phosphorous.

Wild Rice:  Although also a grass, wild rice is a very different variety of healthy rice.  It is a cross between rice and vegetable with a chewy texture and acquired veggie taste.  It contains more protein and less carbs than brown rice, along with lots of Vitamin A, folic acid and a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.  If you are not sold on the texture and flavor of wild rice, try mixing it with other more palatable rice varieties to infuse these added nutrients into your diet.

These healthy rice selections can keep your diet fresh and nutritious.  There is no harm in having white rice occasionally, but keep things interesting by mixing up your meals with the healthiest rice varieties.

What is Zapping your Concentration?

Stressed businesswoman in the officeAre you having trouble staying focused?  Do you find your mind wandering when you should be listening to your spouse, kids or boss?  Is your attention span becoming shorter and shorter?   If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, something may be zapping your concentration throughout the day.  Here are some common daily distractions that may be zapping your concentration:

Email:  Although you may feel most of your workday happens via email, the constant barrage of emails may be what is zapping your concentration.  If you find you are continuously stopping a task to look through emails, work offline until you complete your priority projects.  Longer projects may require “email breaks” where you pause work on the project to check emails.  Only respond to urgent requests or anything that takes less than two minutes.  Otherwise save more time-consuming issues for after your priority projects.

Hunger:  When your tummy is rumbling, chances are the rest of your body is suffering too.  Lack of nutrition and sustenance leads to many issues that may be zapping your concentration including fatigue and impaired mental clarity.  Your brain and entire body needs food for energy.  Make sure you eat meals and snacks high in protein and fiber to maintain steady concentration and focus.

Social Media:  Each time you stop work to see what’s happening on social media, you set yourself back when you resume work.  You have to re-enter your thought process, which wastes precious time.  Rather than keeping social media open on your screen constantly, close out the applications and visit them as a break or treat as you complete tasks. If you are too tempted, turn off your phone and go somewhere without internet access so social media is not an option.

Calls and Visitors:  Work time is meant for working so make that your priority.  Turn off your cell phone if necessary or reject calls that are not potential emergencies or business-related.  If work friends tend to stop by your office to gab, be friendly but firm that you need to complete your work and you will catch up with them later.  Find alternative ways to make time for chatting, like calling friends on your way to/from work or meeting up for lunch.

Fatigue:  When you are tired, your concentration suffers.  Do your best to get enough sleep every night and make sure it is solid, restorative sleep by practicing good sleep habits.  Also, do other things to boost your energy, such as stretching, getting fresh air, consuming small doses of caffeine and eating a wholesome diet.

Feeling Overwhelmed:  When you are overwhelmed by your work and feel hopeless, you may find it hard to concentrate.  Tackle stressful situations in smaller pieces by dividing projects into parts and viewing each separately.  If you can compartmentalize areas of a project, you won’t be consumed by too many details at once.  Also, seek help or guidance when you need it.

Other Thoughts, Worries or Tasks:  The constant swirl of other issues can distract you from the task at hand.  Things as simple as your grocery list, to more major worries about your health, can make you lose control of your concentration.  Start by making a list of these thoughts, worries and tasks so you can release them from your brain.  If some of them require action, such as scheduling a doctor’s appointment, do what needs to be done to get it off your mind.

Health Issues:  Sometimes your lack of concentration may be due to a health issue.  Some health issues are defined as the inability to focus, like ADD or ADHD.  Others are side-effects of different problems.  Sometimes medications can send your concentration down the toilet.  Talk to your healthcare provider about these issues so he or she can help you come up with solutions.

If any of these problems are zapping your concentration, identify them and work to resolve the issues.  Then watch your productively levels soar!

Natural Remedies for PMS

Girl suffering menstrual pains on the bedBloating, cramping, heavy bleeding, headaches, moodiness, depression, fatigue, food cravings and sensitive breasts are among the uncomfortable symptoms many women experience before their periods begin.  The monthly symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) are quite irritating, painful and debilitating for some women, while others only feel mild side-effects.  If you are among the most affected, you’ll want to keep reading for some great natural remedies for PMS.

PMS begins during the second half of the menstrual cycle when hormones, mostly estrogen and progesterone, begin shifting to induce menses.  When hormones become extremely off-balance, which they tend to do during this time, they react with brain chemicals leading to the negative symptoms of PMS that women often experience.  Genetics, nutrition, lifestyle and other factors may also contribute to PMS.  In order to tame hormones and premenstrual symptoms, women can use a variety of natural remedies for PMS to try to rebalance hormones and reduce the inflammatory side-effects they cause.


A PMS-reducing diet can go a long way in curbing your symptoms.  The first step is working to eliminate environmental pesticides that contain estrogen.  Try to eat organic animal products, fruits and vegetables when possible.  The estrogens found in food can alter the balance of your natural hormones and lead to stronger PMS symptoms.  Keep your salt consumption under control too, as salt leads to bloating.  High fiber foods including produce and whole grains can help bind to toxins and eliminate them from your system naturally and aid in blood sugar stabilization, which is controlled by another hormone, insulin.  Also, flush your body by drinking plenty of water throughout the month.

Additionally, keep the fat content in your diet in check by eating lots of healthy omega-3s and avoiding too many polyunsaturated fats from common vegetable oils.  Polyunsaturated fats interfere with hormone production while healthier fats that are found naturally in our bodies in more abundance can actually help balance hormones.  Lastly, avoid inflammatory foods that will contribute to bloating and cramping, and focus on anti-inflammatory nutrients like the B vitamins, calcium, magnesium and omega-3s.


As much as your symptoms may drag you down during PMS, try to keep moving to stimulate equilibrium among your hormones.  Exercise helps reduce estrogen around the body as blood flow increases.  If your symptoms prevent high impact workouts, try something more relaxing like walking, swimming, dancing or yoga.  Exercise will also help flush toxins through sweat and can aid in decreasing inflammation in the body.

Rest and Relaxation

Yes, you have permission to relax a little during PMS because it can actually help your symptoms.  Getting plenty of sleep, taking a warm bath, getting a massage and other forms of relaxation can help ease many side-effects of PMS.  They are also stress relievers, which impact hormones as well.

Natural Supplements

If you hope to avoid pharmaceuticals, look for natural supplements that can help with symptoms of PMS.  These include nutrients like calcium, magnesium and B vitamins (mentioned above), as well as primrose oil (with lots of essential fatty acids), chasteberry extract (to rebalance hormones), dandelion root (a dieuretic), maca (addresses many PMS symptoms) and red raspberry leaf (reduces cramping).  Also try taking probiotics to help settle bacteria in the gut and keep digestion running smoothly.

Other Helpful Natural Remedies for PMS

  • Apply medium heat to your lower abdomen to reduce cramping using a heating pad or electric blanket.  Warmth helps soothe inflammation.
  • Eliminate household toxins such as harsh chemical cleaning supplies, synthetic fabrics and plastics.  Select natural alternatives and store food in glass containers.
  • Wear supportive, comfortable bras to reduce painful breast sensitivity.  Avoid additional irritation with soft fabrics and an ideal fit.
  • Try natural therapies like acupuncture or homeopathy to relieve symptoms.
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