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  • Writer's pictureSecond Opinion Magazine

Balanced Living » Sept./Oct. ‘14

Fewer Hot Flashes

The Mediterranean diet, which includes lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains, has been linked with healthier hearts, but did you know it could also reduce hot flashes during menopause.  Women on the diet are 20 percent less likely to report night sweats and flashes than those not on the diet.  Research suggests that the high fiber in the diet can help stabilize the estrogen levels, which lessen the symptoms.  This diet can also regulate blood sugar, which relieve menopausal symptoms too.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint Oil is great when you are congested but it also works great on keeping the bugs away from your garden.  Just spray on plants for a natural deterrent.  But remember to wash your greens before eating them otherwise they will be minty.

Organic Farms

There are 17,000 certified organic operations and more than 4 million acres of organic farm land.  Organic farms provide jobs in the US: 53 percent of organic farms hire labor in comparison to 22 percent of the entire farm sector. —Pesticide Action Network North America

67 Calories

67 Calories: the amount of calories you save per meal by eating slower. Take smaller bites, saver the taste and be sure to start eating before you’re famished.  It doesn’t seem like a ton of calories but over a year you can save yourself from eating more than 48,000 calories by eating lunch and dinner slower.  That’s 13 lbs. by just taking your time.

Soap Nuts???

Eco Nuts® Soap Nuts are a berry shell that naturally contains soap. They grow on the Sapindus mukorossi (Soap Berry) tree in the Himalayas.

The natural soap found in these berries is called saponin. Saponin is a natural cleaner that works as a surfactant, breaking the surface tension of the water to penetrate the fibers of your clothing, lifting stains from the fabric, and leaving dirt suspended in the water that is rinsed away.

Eco Nuts Soap Nuts are gentle on both clothes and skin, making them ideal for those with sensitive skin, eczema, allergies and psoriasis. Because they are so mild, they are perfect for baby clothes and even cloth diapers. All-Natural Eco Nuts Soap Nuts are also great for septic and grey water systems. Unlike commercial soaps, that have artificial foaming agents, soap nuts do not produce lots of bubbles or foam. While commercial detergents and soaps have marketed heavily around that visual, foam simply is not an indicator of cleaning power.

Soap berries growing on a tree. All Soap Nuts by Eco Nuts are wild-harvested, meaning they are gathered from wild trees grown without any kind of chemicals, fertilizers, or pesticides. Saponin actually tastes bad to insects so no pesticides are needed, and the trees naturally love poor uncultivated soil. They are organically grown by mother earth and certified USDA Organic by Oregon Tilth. To bring you the very best product, soap nuts are both de-seeded and sterilized – the only soap nuts on the market that are both!

To see them in action and find out more information check out

Snack Before You Shop

If you go to the grocery store hungry you are likely to buy 20 percent more food than if you had a nibble before you left.  Plus, a Cornell study states that when you’re hungry higher calorie foods seem to look more appealing. So eat something first, your waist and your wallet will thank you.


Today’s children are sicker than two generations ago.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, early exposure of pesticides can increase childhood cancers—decrease brain function—and behavioral problems.  Overall incidence has risen 25 percent since 1975. —Pesticide Action Network North America

Super Recycling and Waste Stats

• One third of our waste could be composted. The EPA estimates we waste 33 million tons of food annually. The average American wastes around 230 pounds of food every year. Composting at home is now trendy, so help reduce waste and learn to compost. Find more information at • Supermarkets are getting better at reducing food waste. Some supermarkets are recycling their food waste by donating it to food pantries, feeding it to animals, or composting it. • Recycling one glass bottle provides the same amount of energy as is needed for browsing the Internet for half an hour. Just think what recycling a whole case could do. Glass does not lose its quality during the recycling process as some other materials do. Bottles can be made into new bottles over and over again. • You use around six 40-foot trees’ worth of paper annually. Trees 1) take years to grow and 2) help balance the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that leads to global warming. To save trees, use recycled paper whenever possible. Also, look for ways to reduce your use of paper, for example using washable cloths instead of paper toweling. • About one million plastic bags are used every minute. According to, it takes 1,000 years for a plastic bag to degrade. A recent study identified over 15,000 drop-off locations around the country and determined that over 70 percent of Americans have one of these bins available in their community. It’s easy to obtain two or three cloth bags, too, to carry your groceries or other items. • Steel recycling rates are about 92 percent. Steel is the most recycled material in North America. Automobile recycling is an impressive 94.5 percent. We can accomplish a lot of reuse through strong participation in recycling programs!

Smell Good Naturally

It’s no secret that our personal care products are laden with chemicals and they are bad for us. As with anything you put in or on your body, you need to know what is in that product. We have to be very vigilant consumers and learn to read the ingredients, not just the pretty words on the front of the product packaging. There is no regulation for “natural”— and that’s no secret. The fun part becomes learning what to look for and how to avoid those things.

In addition to shampoos, lotions, soaps, and sun screens, deodorants are on the must-know-what’s-in-them-before-I-put-them-on-my-body list. Here are some choices you can breathe easy about.

1. Lemongrass Spa Deodrants —We looooove their Grapefruit Lily! 2. Erbaviva’s Jasmine & Grapefruit — This is a great natural spray. 3. LaVanilla in Vanilla Grapefruit is seriously good fragrance, naturally! 4. MiEssence Deodrant in Tahitian Breeze is aluminum free.  Bring on the smell of the beach! 5. Exactly Organic Deodrant Geranium and Ylang Ylang = Happy! 6. Tom’s of Maine in Natural Powder is the easiest to find in most grocery stores and works good too.

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