May 192019
 
Clean your home the green way.

Clean your home the green way.

 

A few years ago, I wrote a short article that mentioned the ‘happy home’ aspects of non-toxic cleaners.  I wrote about how I use non-toxic cleaners and included a link to give a little information about the ones I use.  I commented early in the article about how we become more concerned when there are little ones in the home, and start looking for alternatives.

  • Essential Oils Help With Healthy Lifestyles

For the past several years, I have focused more and more on essential oils.  Many of the non-toxic cleaners on the market or accessible through wellness shopping clubs have essential oils as part of their ingredients.  For instance, some contain lemongrass scent, lavender, orange, lemon and eucalyptus.  Most of the household cleaners I use contain some of these oils, and others contain Melaleuca oil (tea tree oil) or thyme oil.

Essential oils have many household uses.

Essential oils have many household uses.

Essential oils can be used as a safe alternative to chemical and toxic counter-parts throughout the home in sprays, misters, deoderizers, room fresheners, linen fresheners, disinfectants — just to name a few.  An article posted by Busy Bee Cleaning Services lists several ways to use essential oils throughout the home including killing and preventing mold, repelling pests and keeping your toilets fresh.  There are many uses for essential oils in the home that are safe for our families and pets.

Here are some distinct characteristics of a few essential oils for diffusing in your living room, kitchen, bedroom or office:

Siberian Fir:  creates a calm and grounded environment.

Siberian Fir - Calming

Siberian Fir – Calming

Spearmint:  refreshes the air and promotes mental clarity.

Spearmint is refreshing.

Spearmint is refreshing.

Nutmeg:  creates a calm and invigorating environment.

Nutmeg Seeds

Nutmeg Seeds

Black pepper: creates a strong and warming environment.

Black Pepper Essential Oil - Wikipedia

Black Pepper Essential Oil – Wikipedia

Clove:  creates a fresh and clean experience.

Clove Tree

Clove Tree

Lavender: creates a light, but luxurious aromatic experience.

Lavender is calming.

Lavender is calming.

Melaleuca oil (tea tree): refreshes the senses with a fresh, pleasing scent.

Melaleuca Tree

Melaleuca Tree

Whether you are just beginning to investigate essential oils or are a seasoned essential oil user, there are always new and exciting ways to use them in our daily lives and new studies being done to scientifically demonstrate their effectiveness and how they can help us live healthy lifestyles.  Don’t stop learning about the wonderful world of essential oils.

Picture credits:

Nutmeg:  Wikipedia

Black Pepper: Wikipedia

Clove Tree: Wikipedia

Lavender:  Wikipedia

Siberian Fir:  Wikipedia

Spearmint:  Wikipedia

Melaleuca:  Wikipedia

Written by Martha L. Robards © 2019

May 012019
 

RHL.Newsletter.4-30-19.image.children running 4-30-19

A recent article mentioned how the excessive rainfall in California and the bomb cyclone in Colorado are wreaking havoc on our eco-system.  This is all a part of climate change.  It also has a lot to do with healthy lifestyles and our and ability to live well.  It seems that skyrocketing pollen counts are one of the consequences of climate change.   According to the article,        Dr. David Rosenstreich, the director of the division of allergy and immunology for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montifore Medical Center, told PEOPLE that the trees are pollinating earlier and earlier.
It appears this is helping to make the allergy season more severe.
Why Be Concerned?
If you have bronchial, asthma or lung conditions, increased pollen counts can trigger an attack that can be very dangerous.  According to the PEOPLE article cited above, climate change can increase air pollution, boosting pollen production and strength, causing even more severe asthma attacks.  The Lung Institute says that people with COPD are at greater risk for a flare-up during allergy season.  Add to that longer, more intense seasons and that makes it even more difficult to breath.
What can you do?

As soon as you get any symptoms:
⦁    Take your antihistamines, if you use them.  Antihistamines work much better to prevent allergies than to treat them.  This goes along with the concept of being pro-active rather than re-active.  Look for high grade allergy tablets, containing the common antihistamine ingredient Loratadine,  that provide 24-hour, non-drowsy relief from seasonal allergy symptoms.  You can get them at about 50% the cost of popular store brands.

Allergy Tablets Containing Loratadine

Allergy Tablets Containing Loratadine

 

Essential Oils Help Seasonal Allergies

Essential Oils Help Seasonal Allergies

⦁    If you want to run or exercise, do it in the afternoon or night.  The pollen count is higher in the mornings.
⦁    Shake out your clothes and take a shower when you come in from outdoors when the pollen count is high.
⦁    If you live in the city, keep tabs on the air quality (affects pollen and vice versa) and schedule activities accordingly.  Go here to check the current air quality and forecast for Phoenix, Arizona.

Photo credits:

Children running:  www.cdc.gov/asthma

Essential oils:  Martha L. Robards © 2019

Allergy tables containing Loratadine: Martha L. Robards © 2019
Resources for this article:
https://people.com/health/climate-change-allergy-season-worse/
https://lunginstitute.com/lung-diseases/copd/copd-and-seasonal-allergies/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103722/  Peppermint study
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4808543/ Frankincense study
https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.local_city

This article was written by Martha L. Robards 5/1/19

Feb 102019
 
Healthy Breakfast for the Family

Healthy Breakfast for the Family

If you have a healthy lifestyle then you probably have a happy home, because they go together.   I describe a happy home as a place where the heart is.  It’s a place where you feel comfortable, and where you know everyone else there feels comfortable too.  There is peace and a feeling of security.  There is a calm atmosphere.  Everyone feels respected and cared for.  It’s clean and orderly, and the family does it’s best to keep toxins out.  There are healthy foods and snacks, and healthy eating routines.  So, how do healthy lifestyles and happy homes go together?

Healthy Lifestyles and Happy Homes Go Together

Your home can be the actual, physical building, or what goes on inside the walls.   The actual building, your home, has to be bought first, moved into and organized.   Then all the happy family members have to work together to keep it clean.  Think about what all of this means.  Moving into a new home is a time consuming, stressful and often frustrating experience.  There are tons of deadlines.  The paperwork and steady stream of necessary appointments is constant.  How do you cope?

How To Cope

You live well. You get enough sleep and try to help others in your family do the same.  You eat well.  You make sure you have healthy food handy and healthy snacks available to fill in the gaps.  You use non-toxic cleaners and time-saving products to quickly wipe up spills and mishaps.  You take a few minutes each day, even through all the stress and confusion to do some exercises and take a family walk.  You care for your spiritual health by reading, listening to or watching something positive and encouraging each day.  What does this do?

What Living Well Does

It reduces stress, which helps you and your entire family deal with the situation calmly.  This helps you stay healthy because the stress that could be taking it’s toll on your body isn’t taking it’s toll on your body.  So you remain strong and able to cope. Since you are remaining calm, there are no, or less, angry outbursts at family members, which also contributes to the peace in the family.  Everybody is getting it through it.   Yay!

Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more tips on living well, healthy lifestyles and happy homes.

Martha xoxo

 

 

This article was written by Martha L. Robards

Photo Credit:  Free photo 84960626 © creativecommonsstockphotos – Dreamstime.com

Jan 152019
 

 

One of the things I cover in my current series of essential oils workshops (next workshop Tues., Jan 22)  is about how essential oils can help with a cold.  Essential oils stir the senses. They do much more though. They activate our body’s own healing powers. They act on principals involving our whole being, so they can us affect us physically, emotionally, psychologically and mentally.

Fights colds with essential oil.

Help fight colds with eucalyptus essential oil.

When we have a cold, we are miserable. We get the chills, headaches, coughs, fevers, congestion. Most often, we just have to wait it through and try to be as comfortable as possible, without damaging all of our close relationships during this temporary period of gloominess. Okay, it might not be that bad, but you and I can do something to ease the discomfort.

Purchase a bottle of good quality eucalyptus oil, either online or from a local health-food type store.

Eucalyptus Tree

Eucalyptus essential oil has powerful properties.

Eucalyptus has been used in cold remedies forever, so it is a well known oil. Inhaled, the oil can be an effective decongestant for those times when your nose is all stopped up. Preventing a cold in the first place is a good idea, and using eucalyptus oil in a diffuser is a good way to help your immune system start to get prepared for the cold season. If you have a weakened immune system, a cold can develop into serious illness, so it is important to do everything to prevent a cold or minimize the effects of a cold.

Start using eucalyptus in a diffuser as soon as you start feeling the symptoms a cold coming on. Diffuse the oil in the morning before you go to work, and as soon as you come home. You can also carry a bottle of the oil with you and just sniff the bottle several times a day, without touching your nose to the top of the bottle.

According to the CDC, “Common colds are the main reason that children miss school and adults miss work.”

People can get a cold anytime of the year. Colds can be spread quickly, so it’s important to wash hands regularly, stay away from sick people, and disinfect surfaces that are touched frequently. Eucalyptus oil has a high content of citronellal, which gives it bactericidal property.

Taking the time to care for ourselves helps us live healthy lifestyles. The less we spend sick, the more time we spend healthy.  :)

Thanks for reading.

Martha

xoxo

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/dotw/common-cold/index.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucalyptus_oil

Complete Aromatherapy Handbook by Susanne Fischer-Rizzi

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucalyptus_oil#/media/File:Eucalyptus_polybractea_leaf.JPG

 

Jan 102019
 

Essential Oils Palette 1-10-19

My husband says that the person behind him on the bus coughed for two miles.  I would have been scrambling to find a seat as far away from the coughing person as possible. But alas, sometimes there is just no escaping it.  One of the next best things you can do to keep yourself safe from getting a cold is to build your immune system up as much as possible.  Even if you do get a cold, there are things you can do to reduce those nasty symptoms.   An article at Healthline.com cites a few studies showing the benefits of using essential oils to prevent or treat the common cold.

There are quite a number of essential oils with properties that do just that.  Whether you already use aromatherapy or are just getting started with it, it is worth a review of what has been shown to work for colds.  Here is a brief check on three good essential oils for your cold supply box:

  • Eucalyptus:  has antiviral and antimicrobial properties.  It can be inhaled with steam (be careful not to burn yourself) or used in a diffuser.  It may safely fight viruses and can help with respiratory problems.
  • Peppermint: contains menthol and is used as a natural decongestant and fever-reducer.  Peppermint oil has shown in tests to have viral activity.  Menthol is used in cough drops to help sooth throats.  Use by inhaling the steam or in a diffuser.
  • Chamomile: can help reduce cold symptoms and helps with sleep. Inhale with steam, use in a diffuser or drink some chamomile tea.

Buy essential oils that are pure, traceable to their sources, fairly priced and sustainably harvested.  If you are careful to follow these guidelines, you will purchase high quality essential oils which are the only kind you should use for aromatherapy.  Aromatherapy is very powerful and effective when done properly.

Learn more about how essential oils can be used for colds and flu next Tuesday, January 15 from 1:00 p.m to 2:00 p.m., at the Cesar Chavez library, located at 3635 W. Baseline Ave., Laveen, AZ.  Call me, Martha, at 505-750-7847 or email me at marthapmintl@gmail.com to reserve your spot or for more information.

Martha has been writing articles about wellness for 10 years.

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-flu/essential-oils-for-colds#treatment

Melaleuca

National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy

Martha L. Robards c 2019

Jan 072019
 

 

Counter-top 1-5-19

We want our counter-tops to look nice for years to come.  At the same time, you may want a cleaner that is safe for counter-top surfaces, including natural stone, ‘green’, meaning non-toxic, environmentally friendly and made with ‘natural’ ingredients, and that also has cleaning power.  So, what do you look for?

  • No Chemicals

Toxic chemicals are commonly used in household cleaners today.  Even most store-bought polishes have toxic ingredients. One way to tell is to check the label and see what it says about coming in contact with it.  If the back label has skull and cross bones, that is an indication that it not safe for you or your children.  Another surefire indicator it is toxic is that it has childproof safety caps. Look for cleaners that do not contain chlorine bleach, formaldehyde, ammonia, phthalates, triclosan or parabens.

  • Safe for Family and Counter-tops

What is safe for your family should be safe for your counter-tops.  However, non-toxic does not always mean that.  For instance, many household non-toxic cleaners are made with citric acid, which is a great natural cleaner, but not good for natural stone.  If you have granite, marble, travertine, limestone, or onyx surfaces, natural cleaners containing citrus or vinegar should not be used, as they contain acid that can etch the stone.  Look at the label and make sure it says the cleaner is safe for natural stone, as suggested by marble-granites.com.  The product I use in my home is highly concentrated and made with plant-derived cleaning agents, yet does not use caustic ingredients. It states on the label that it is safe to “use on granite, marble and natural stone”.

  • Non-toxic Ingredients

Palm and coconut derived cleaning agents, tea tree oil (Melaleuca oil), orange essential oil, lemon essential oil, lavender essential oil and many other plant derived cleaning ingredients make cleaners that have cleaning power, yet are not toxicLook for cleaning products that are made with these ingredients.

In our February newsletter, ‘In Touch’, Robards Healthy Lifestyles,  brought to your attention a European Lung Health Study that was published in the peer reviewed, American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine on February 16, 2018.

Read more about the study.

For more information on non-toxic, safe, powerful cleaning products, call me, Martha, at 505-750-7847, or email me marthapmintl@gmail.com.

Martha L. Robards c 2019

 

Sep 242018
 

ComptrKybrd-CDC-9-24-18

Why Procrastination Hurts

I was showing a short video about procrastination to one of my students, and it struck me how much it applies to so many areas of our lives. I procrastinate in making doctors’ appointments and paying certain bills. It’s not that they don’t get done. They just don’t get done in a timely manner. I decided to research it a little more and make some changes. Besides, how can I be showing someone else about it if I don’t work on it myself. I am a big believer in being prepared, and yet, with some things, I need to work on not procrastinating. Good grief, I can make a doctor’s appointment online!

Procrastination can be defined as “the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished. It could be further stated as a habitual/intentional delay of starting or finishing a task despite its negative consequences.” ~ Wikipedia. That’s pretty much it.

Why Procrastination Hurts

Procrastination causes some to wait until the very last moment to do something they really don’t want to do. For instance, a student who needs to prepare for an exam, and despite having several weeks to do so, waits until the night before the test to cram all night. That hurts. In my case, I don’t like this bill because it’s an arrears on something we got behind on when the economy fell apart. However, procrastinating paying it only makes the situation worse, because the interest and penalties increase. That hurts too. Avoiding a task doesn’t make it go away, nor diminish the importance of it.

What I was reminded of is that sometimes people procrastinate because they are disorganized, live with clutter, multi-task too often, are easily distracted, or have trouble with punctuality. Those are all different issues in themselves, but they all contribute to each other. I struggle with a touch of all of them in one way or another.

Make a Plan and Follow It

In my work, (the work that earns me money, and my volunteer work) I have a lot of appointments to make and keep, plans to make and share, phone calls, texts, and much more. I have a running calendar where I put all my activities, and always carry a notebook to write things down in. I am going to change the way I’m making my doctors’ appointments to help me not procrastinate doing it. I plan on thinking more seriously about why it’s important to get my check ups done more timely. For the bill I don’t like, I plan on going into my account and see if I can set it up for automatic payments.

You can do the same with whatever it is you procrastinate on. Think of why you don’t want to do it and why you should.  Think of how you can change that. Write down pros and cons (I’ve done that for years). Make a plan and try it. Keep improving. We’re all trying to do that.  These things will help us as we continue to live healthy lifestyles.

Aug 312018
 

 

FruitOrgnlFstFood-CDC-8-31-18

Your blood sugar has a direct effect on how hungry you are and how energetic you feel. Keeping your blood sugar balanced promotes a healthy insulin response. Eat fruit, vegetables, edamame, popcorn, and peaches to help control your blood sugar.

There are also shakes available in peach flavor that have natural blood support ingredients to help you control blood sugar and energy levels.  Choose shakes that contain ingredients such as green leaf extract, ginseng root, cinnamon bark extract and sweet potato extract.  These ingredients can help you have less fatigue, more energy and less appetite.  They can also help curb your sweet tooth cravings.

It may feel like a challenge to eat right to control or prevent diabetes, high blood sugar or low blood sugar, or pre-diabetes and metabolic syndrome, but making some simple changes in your diet can make all the difference.  You can learn to eat differently and change your relationship with food.

Peach flavored shakes.  Yummy!

Peach flavored shakes. Yummy!

Peaches are low in calories, important in controlling weight, contain vitamins and fiber, also important in controlling weight and diabetes.  So shake your peaches — make them shakin’ peaches in a shake, or fruit bowl.

Pictures and information taken from:

CDC.gov

Wikipedia

Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County

Peach Cobbler Shake

Guide to Controlling Pre-Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome

Jul 052018
 

 

Summer-time is a great time of year. The kid’s are out of school, families take vacations, and there are a lot of family gatherings, picnics, barbeques and games. There is swimming, fishing, boating, biking, hiking, gardening and so much more.

TowelGlassesHatBeach-DrmsTm-NMSU-7-5-18

Along with all this fun in the sun comes the responsibility (everything has a price) to ourselves and our families safe from the dangers of too much sun exposure.

GuidetoSunWiseBhvr-EPA-.17-5-18

Get the EPA’s Guide to SunWise Behavior

The UV rays from the sun penetrate to the deepest layers of our skin. They can cause our skin to sag, age and spot. 95% of the rays from the sun that reach the earth are UVA radiation. Unlike UVB rays, UVA rays hit in a steady stream during each day. The critical hours for sun exposure are from 10 am to 4 pm.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. According to an article published by the New Mexico State University, “three types of skin cancers make up 99% of skin cancers.”

One in five Americans will have a form of skin cancer.

Some of the symptoms of skin cancer are:

ABCsMelanoma-RHL-7-5-18

MelanomaSymptoms-CDC-7-5-18

What can you do?

Protect your skin with sunscreen.

Choose sunscreen that:

  1. Has an SPF of 30 or more;

  2. Is water resistant; and

  3. Provides broad spectrum coverage.

Also:

  1. Wear wide-brimmed hats;

  2. Protect your eyes with sunglasses; and

  3. Use sun unbrellas and wear long-sleeved shirts.

Have fun out there this summer, but don’t risk your health or that of your children and other loved ones to do it. Preach safe sun havits over and over again, and then practice what you preach. You will see the benefits.

Resources:

http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_i/I106/

https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/symptoms.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/sunexposure/default.html

Picture credits: Beach scene : Gvictoria – Dreamstime.com; http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_i/I106/

https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/symptoms.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/index.htm

Martha is owner of RobardsHealthyLifestyles.com, a health and wellness website that promotes healthy lifestyles, ideas and products for physical, mental and emotional, financial and natural/spiritual wellness. Martha’s work consists of opening accounts, presenting, speaking, mentoring and coaching and people building. You can reach Martha at 505-750-7847, by email at marthapmintl@gmail.com, on Facebook, here on LinkedIn, Twitter, or through her websites at RobardsHealthyLifestyles.com, here, here, or ProfessionalMentorsInternational.com.

 

Jun 302018
 

 

The Holiday

The holiday is coming up next week and people are already shooting off fireworks around our house. It’s hot outside and many are outside at games, practices, celebrations and gatherings. Be safe next week.

Be Like a Sponge

Be Like a Sponge

Be Like a Sponge

During this time of the year we sweat more meaning we need more hydration. Like a sponge, water goes out, so water must come in. Drink lots of water. Always keep some with you and use healthy low sugar, electrolyte powder drinks in your water to replace lost electrolytes and give a lots of choices. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more water and remember that muscle cramping may be an early sign of heat-related illness.

Stay safe and use fireworks carefully and leave the big ones to the professionals.

And be like a sponge.

I would love to tell you more about how myself and my family stay hydrated.

You can contact me at marthapmintl@gmail.com , or call me at 602-243-5642 (Phoenix) or 505-750-7847 (cell).