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Allergy Season: These Suprising Facts about Allergies are a MUST READ

Approximately 55 percent of Americans suffer from allergies. 
Most Americans are allergic to something: pollen, dander, dairy products, gluten, and mold are just a few of the most common allergens. In fact, if you don’t suffer from allergies to these or other compounds, you are actually in the minority! 
What’s even more important, says, Dr. Susanne Bennett, author of “The 7-Day Allergy Makeover is that countless people think that their low energy, problems with digestion, or headaches are “normal” when in fact, they may be the signs of undiagnosed allergic reactions.  
People who suffer from one allergy tend to suffer from many, because allergies are a sign of a deeper dysfunction in your system. Only by getting to the root cause of these allergies can you hope to eliminate them for good.  
Here are some of the most important things Dr. Bennett says people need to know about allergies: 
  • Allergies don’t always show visible signs. Allergens don’t always affect the system you might think.  Another common misconception is that respiratory allergies only affect the respiratory system and that food allergies only affect digestion. This is not the case. In fact, allergic sensitivities to food, such as sugar, can cause joint pain due to inflammation. Gluten sensitivity can produce lethargy and brain fog. Likewise, inhaling mold doesn’t simply affect our breathing. It can also cause headaches and itchy skin. Finally, many chemicals, such as MSG or artificial sweeteners can even affect our emotional well-being, producing nervousness and anxiety.  

  • The environment is loaded with allergens.  Allergens are carried in our furniture, our cars, and even the very air we breathe and water we drink.  Toxic chemicals and fungi are two very common types of allergens that may be hidden in our every-day environments. 

  • Drugs and creams don’t actually treat allergies. Americans spend over $4 billion to fight their allergies each year. The majority of that money is spent on doctor visits and medications. But drugs and creams don’t actually treat allergies. Every doctor will admit that such medications merely mask the symptoms without addressing the root causes.
  • While antihistamines and other drugs may provide temporary relief, their use is often accompanied by uncomfortable side effects. What’s worse, by loading the body with even more difficult-to-process chemicals, people who use such medications may actually be making their allergies worse. Your skin is overloaded with allergens. 
  • If you’re using beauty products and soaps with chemicals in them (sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, and phthalates, just to name a few) you are wearing your body down with chemical allergens. Your pores are permeable; you will absorb whatever you apply on your skin!  

  • Are you using dairy alternatives?  Be careful! You ever wonder why you feel bloated and gassy after that vegetarian meal or cup of dairy-free ice cream? One of the most common allergies is to soy. While avoiding dairy is essential for healing your allergies, replacing it with soy can give you terrible digestion and leave you tired. Try almond or coconut options instead. 
  • There are seven types of foods that cause the majority of food allergies.  These include: dairy products, gluten products (wheat, barley and rye), sugar, alcohol, peanuts, eggs, and mold-containing foods (such as many dried fruits, moldy cheeses, and mushrooms). By eliminating or even reducing your intake of these foods you can help reset your body’s load of allergens and eliminate your allergy symptoms. 
  • Runny noses and itchy eyes can be due to more than pollen. Pollen is often thought of as the only airborne allergen. However, pollen allergies are seasonal and usually disappear once pollen-producing plants stop releasing it into the air. If you have typical hay fever symptoms (runny nose, watery eyes, swelling, and itchiness) that last year-round, you may actually have mold allergies. 
  • Mold is common in any damp area in the home, such as bathrooms and basements. While black mold is visible to the eye, many other forms of mold are not as easy to spot and will build up in humid areas. Mold can also be ingested when we eat certain foods, such as peanuts, dried fruits, green salads and moldy cheese (Roquefort blue cheese, brie cheese). These should be avoided for mold-sensitive individuals. 
  • We can be allergic to chemicals in our tap water. Tap water in America won’t produce acute allergic symptoms. However, it is filled with numerous chemicals to which people have allergic sensitivities. The buildup of such chemicals in our bodies over time can wear it down and lead to even more allergic symptoms. Many people experience itchiness and discomfort after swimming in a chlorinated pool, yet they drink it almost daily in their tap water. Likewise, small amounts of other chemicals, such as arsenic, mercury, fluoride, and even uranium are allowed in our tap water. For this reason, having a carbon-filtered reverse osmosis water purifier is essential to help deal with allergens in our water.    
  • Bad gut bacteria can make you allergic to many foods. There are over three trillion bacteria in your gut and they help process and digest foods and extract nutrients that your body could not do on its own. However, through improper care of our fruits and vegetables, untidy kitchens, and exposure in our urban environment, we may ingest bad bacteria that hurt our digestive systems.

  • Bad bacteria in our gut make it more difficult to process what are known as fermentable carbohydrates, the short-chain sugars that are found in countless foods such as beans, broccoli, cabbage, and pitted fruits such as peaches, plums and cherries. Humans have difficult time digesting these fermentable sugars because we lack the enzymes to break them down. The end result is intolerance to fermentable carbs that can produce terrible bloating, gas, cramping, and constipation. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is often the direct result of allergic sensitivities produced by bad gut bacteria. 
  • Our furniture and cars can trigger chemical allergies.  Increasingly, much industrial production depends upon what are known as volatile organic compounds or VOCs. These compounds, such as formaldehyde, are found in many glues, vinyl products, paints, fuels, carpet and plastics that we are surrounded by every day.
  • For instance, furniture made of particleboard will often use formaldehyde in its glue, while the “new car smell” is actually that of volatile organic compounds in the paint, leather, carpet and glue. VOCs can produce a host of allergic symptoms, such as itchy throat, headaches, brain fog, and confusion. At higher concentrations it is especially harmful to human health.
  • Allergic sensitivities can make you feel hung-over—without drinking a drop of alcohol. If you’ve ever woken up irritable, with poor concentration, and with low energy, you might be having a “sugar hangover.” If you eat too much fruit and sugar, the yeast and mold that are common in the gut will begin to ferment it. This fermentation produces an autointoxication that is similar to what happens when you drink too much alcohol. Your body has a “brewery” churning in the gut. As a result, you may feel exactly like you Do when hung-over, without the fun of getting tipsy the night before!  

Allergies can be healed all-naturally. The good news is that allergies can be healed all-naturally, without drugs, creams, or medication. By improving the quality of seven key areas in our lives, we can rid ourselves of the buildup of allergens and toxins in the body. You will restore vibrant health from the inside out!
Dr. Bennett believes that if you’re dealing with chronic symptoms every day, then you have hidden allergies that are preventing you from feeling good and achieving your optimal state of health. Her new book The 7-Day Allergy Makeover offers clear, easy to understand, and effective strategies for people suffering from allergy symptoms – the obvious ones and the not-so-obvious ones.  

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Celeb Review: The VTech Safe & Sound Video & Audio Baby Monitor

We asked new 2nd-time mom, Grammy-nominated World Music songstress Wayna to test out the new VTEch Safe & Sound® Pan & Tilt Full-Color Video & Audio Monitor (retail: $129.99) shortly after giving birth to her second child, daughter Zema,  last month with husband Kyle Stephen. The results were a glowing review. 
Here is what the mom to 3-year old daughter, Beza, and much buzzed-about singer-songwriter had to say:

“When I had my first child 4 years ago, a video monitor was the first baby shower item I asked my loved ones to splurge on. 

Hearing my newborn daughter on a traditional monitor  wasn’t enough, I wanted the assurance of watching her — of seeing first hand if her swaddle had come undone or if her back was arched from gas bubbles or if her face revealed whether the noises coming from her nursery were sweet baby dreams or the early signs of a cry for food. The more information I had, the better, and the better I could care for her while peacefully carrying out whatever multi-task I was busy doing.

When I hooked up my fancy video monitor with the even fancier price tag, I was surprised to see that the video feed was nothing like the image on the box. Sadly, it looked more like an infrared video than a TV commercial. But I was even more disappointed when the unit broke after only a few weeks use. Granted, it was tipped off the edge of the crib, but it was only one drop and had landed on double-padded carpet!

Given this experience, my expectations when trying out the V Tech video monitor were measured.  

I was surprised, however, to find that all my previous hopes were fulfilled in this device and then some.  I was impressed by the perfectly clear, color TV-like video feed; the ability to adjust the camera angle from the receiver to get the best possible view if the baby had moved; the battery-saving mode that enables you to leave the receiver unplugged for longer; the amplified sound that, like a rear view mirror, makes voices appear louder than they are, helping you get to the scene of an accident before it actually happens; and finally and probably best of all, the ability to convert your video monitor into a walkie talkie and converse with someone in the nursery.  

On the subject of durability, my toddler knocked the V Tech video monitor over at least 3 times on hard wood floor, and it still functions perfectly! 

With all this functionality, flexibility, and extra features, the question isn’t should you buy the V Tech monitor and use it in your nursery. The question is: will it work in a college dormitory? To be determined!

How fun! Thanks Wayna for a great review! We’re gonna have to give that a try with our little ones around here. 

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Before Lupita Nyong’o, Viola Davis was the colorful Award season “It” Girl

Remember back in 2011 after the wildly popular movie The Help was all the buzz and its lead actress Viola Davis was the It girl of award season? Um…yeah.

Our past feature on her reminded me of the recent photo exposes that People Style Watch:


BET released.

Fashion and Hollywood is so cyclical isn’t it?

And how about something about deep chocolate skin, a svelte body and striking and stunning beautiful facial features allow certain women the flexibility of pulling off so many colorful looks and styles.


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It’s Spring Cleaning Time! Here are 10 iPhone Apps to help the process

It’s still Spring Cleaning in my house and I’m certain in other homes nationwide, people are cleaning our basements, washing comforters, putting away winter gear and getting their living quarters in tip top shape for the new season. If one has an iPhone, there are many apps out there that can help out in the spring cleaning process. Here are 10 from Housekeeping.org to keep in mind and consider downloading. Enjoy!
  1. Useful Cleaning Tips – Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned house-cleaning pro, you could always use a few time-saving tips for how to clean your house faster and more effectively. That’s where this $0.99 app comes in handy, breaking down a variety of cleaning tips into dedicated categories and helping you learn new ways to complete your cleaning chore list in less time.
  2. Cleaning Manual – Keep your carpets free of unsightly stains, learn how to manage your laundry in a manner that results in clean clothes that last longer, and eliminate some stress, all with the help of this free app that’s filled with advice and instructions for removing stains and caring for your clothing.
  3. Rumgr – In order to maintain a clean and orderly home, you’ll need to clear out clutter and get rid of items you no longer need from time to time. This free app helps you do just that. Take a picture of something you want to sell, set the price, and then wait for buyers to contact you. You can even create a circle of preferred friends to buy, sell and trade with, eliminating some of the more anonymous aspects of working with local online classifieds sites.
  4. Good Housekeeping @Home – Good Housekeeping has been a trusted source of home management tips for decades. Now, this venerable name is attached to an iPhone app that will help you learn the best ways to remove stains, manage household cleaning tasks, and even view inspiration photos for home decorating. The News and Tips feature brings Good Housekeeping articles and advice straight to your iPhone, keeping you informed about the best methods for managing your household.
  5. HomeRoutines – Create your own housecleaning routine checklists and set the days of the week that you’d like to be reminded to complete them with this $3.99 app, which syncs between devices and can be edited online for optimal management. When you complete a task, you’ll even get a gold star!
  6. Clean Freak Cleaning Schedule – Clean Freak Cleaning Schedule is a $0.99 app that manages all of your housekeeping chores with an innovative and effective “divide-and-conquer” approach that breaks even the most intimidating projects into smaller, more manageable tasks. Check off items as you complete them and manage all of your recurring chores by reviewing information about how long it’s been since a specific task has been completed.
  7. Green Shine – If you want to keep your house sparkling, but are hesitant to use harsh chemicals that can be dangerous to your children and harmful to the earth, this $2.99 app may be just what you’re looking for. Green Shine helps you replace your household cleaning chemicals with safer, more environmentally-sound alternatives.
  8. Chore Hero – Every now and then, keeping the house clean means enlisting the help of the entire family. That’s where this $2.99 app shines, allowing users to build chore lists and delegate specific tasks in a fun and entertaining way, taking a bit of the drudgery out of housework.
  9. Custom Hypnosis: House Cleaning Edition – This $1.99 app claims to make household cleaning tasks more enjoyable by playing hypnosis audio that motivates you and provides you with suggestions for making housework more fun and less stressful. The three currently supported powers of suggestion include cleaning the bathroom, dusting the house and doing the laundry.
  10. Cleaning Checklist – Sometimes, all you need to get the housecleaning accomplished is a comprehensive list of what needs to be done and when each chore should be completed. This $1.99 app does just that, allowing you to build 100% customizable lists for cleaning the house, which can be backed up in the cloud or shared with other members of the household for delegating tasks.

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