From live.grow.sustain

Are you safe?

An effective exercise program that incorporates high-intensity interval training combined with intermittent fasting can help counteract muscle aging and wasting, and boost fat-burning. If at any point you don’t have enough energy or don’t feel good, then it is likely time to shift your experiment and reduce the hours of fasting. Intermittent fasting should make you feel better, and if it doesn’t then it is best to reevaluate your strategy.

Make sure to keep the following two points in mind:

    1. Timing of meals: Intermittent fasting is not extreme calorie restriction. You’re not supposed to starve yourself. Rather it’s simply a matter of timing your meals properly by abstaining from food during much of the day, and limiting your eating to a small window later in the evening. If you were to limit eating to say 4-7 pm, you are effectively fasting for 21 hours. Ideally, you’ll want to fast for at least 12-18 hours.

If you can’t abstain from food entirely during the day, limit it to small servings of light, low-glycemic, mostly raw foods such as fruits, vegetables, whey protein or lightly poached eggs every 4-6 hours. Whatever times you choose, it will be very helpful to avoid having any food or calories for three hours prior to going to bed as this will minimize oxidative damage to your system and give your body a major jumpstart in intermittent fasting.

  1. Break your fast with a recovery meal on workout days: On the days that you work out while fasting, you need to consume a recovery meal 30 minutes after your workout. Fast-assimilating whey protein is ideal. Then fast again until you eat your main meal at night. It’s very important that you eat an appropriate recovery meal after your workout session, as this will prevent brain and muscle damage from occurring, so do NOT skip this meal.

If the thought of fasting for 12-18 hours is too much, you can get many of the same benefits of fasting and exercise by simply skipping breakfast and exercising first thing in the morning when your stomach is empty. This is because eating a full meal, particularly carbohydrates, before your workout will inhibit your sympathetic nervous system and reduce the fat burning effect of your exercise. Instead, eating lots of carbs activates your parasympathetic nervous system, (which promotes energy storage – the complete opposite of what you’re aiming for).


12 Signs Leading You To Restorative Yoga

  1. When you wake up in the morning, do you still feel tired?
  2. Is it hard for you to fall asleep at night?
  3. Do your muscles and/or joints ache, and not because you just had a mind blowing workout?
  4. Do you keep planning to “take some time for yourself,” but never get around to it?
  5. Do you feel like you are in overdrive at all times?
  6. Do you take work home with you?
  7. Do you take work to bed with you?
  8. Do you feel edgy, like if someone cuts you off on the highway or the grocery line you might SNAP?
  9. Do you spend your lunch breaks looking for last minute travel deals to exotic locations, like Jamaica or Punta Cana?
  10. Do you get sick easily and never fully recover from it?
  11. Does your mind lack clarity?
  12. Were you checking your email/Twitter/Instagram/Facebook while reading this post?

    Based on the signs above, do you need restorative yoga?

Tie Becker~Registered Yoga Teacher 200, Juice Consultant, Holistic Health Consultant,  Bachelor of Science

Fresh Pressed Yoga

Ten Superfoods to Keep Your Cholesterol Low

Having high cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease and heart attacks. These cardiovascular diseases can be kept in check by making a few lifestyle changes such as eating more whole foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes, exercising more, and maintaining a heart healthy weight.

Research studies have shown that certain foods contain natural compounds that can decrease cholesterol levels in your blood stream. Take a look at the list of  ten foods that can help lower your cholesterol.  Please remember to please speak to your health care provider before making any major dietary changes. Health is wealth!!

10. Oats– Eating a diet rich in whole grains is associated with having healthier cholesterol levels. Oats contain a soluble fiber called beta-glucan. If you currently have high cholesterol levels, oats can lower cholesterol by as much as 20 percent. Oatmeal and oats are also an excellent source of minerals and protein. I love steel cut oatmeal!

9. Legumes– Kidney beans, navy beans, and black beans, are very high in fiber and plant proteins. Research indicates that adding beans to a diet can reduce cholesterol levels, as long as the overall calorie count is not increased. Beans are also high in B-complex vitamins and minerals. Check out my recipe on Black Bean Hummus.

8. Walnuts– Walnuts are rich in both monounsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids. Eating these nuts may be able to reduce cholesterol levels by around 15 percent, and may also improve blood vessel function and reduce inflammation. Walnuts are also an also an excellent source of vitamin E, minerals and B-complex vitamins.  Have you ever noticed that walnuts resemble the brain? Healthy brain, healthy heart, I’m just saying!

7. Olive Oil– My favorite oil to use for cooking as well as using it on my skin. It is probably the best-known source of monounsaturated fatty acids and can reduce cholesterol and inflammation. Olive oil should be included in a heart-healthy diet in place of saturated or trans fats.

6. Almonds– These nuts are high in monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, minerals, B-complex vitamins, and vitamin E. Research shows eating almonds regularly may reduce your cholesterol by nearly 20 percent. Almonds make a great snack or healthy topping for a salad or side dish. All nuts are high in fat, which is a good thing, but they should be eaten in moderation. My daily mix of nuts are: 8-10 almonds, 3 walnuts, 3 cashews, 1 Brazil nut, and 2 macadamias.

5. Avocado–  Another excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids and plant sterols that can help to reduce cholesterol. Research suggests that adding avocado to a heart-healthy diet can increase the cholesterol-lowering benefit. Avocado is also rich in protein, fiber, B-complex vitamins, vitamin K, and several minerals. Try adding one to your morning smoothie. Rich, Creamy, Delicious!!

4. Salmon– Fatty ocean fish such as salmon is  high in omega-3 fatty acids and can help reduce cholesterol levels, especially when you eat fish instead of saturated fats from red meats. Herring, trout, tuna,  and sardines are also high in omega-3s. Fish is also high in protein and minerals. Have you ever had salmon nachos? Don’t knock it until you have tried it;-)

3. Lentils–  Like dry beans, these are high in fiber, and research suggests that adding lentils to a diet can reduce cholesterol levels as long as the overall calorie count is not increased. Lentils are also high in B-complex vitamins and minerals. They make a lovely addition to soup. And you don’t need to soak them before cooking!

2. Blueberries– Blueberries are my favorite! They contain a powerful antioxidant called pterostilbene that may help lower LDL cholesterol. Toss a cup of frozen blueberries together with half of a frozen banana and 1/2 cup of fresh pressed orange juice into the blender for a healthy breakfast drink. Sprinkle fresh blueberries on cereals and eat them by the handfuls for snacks.

1. Green Leafy Vegetables–  You all know I love green leafy vegetables. The dark greens supply a significant amount of folate, a B vitamin that promotes heart health and they are rich in antioxidants. Eating dark green leafy vegetables is vital to a healthy, balanced diet. There are many ways to enjoy a meal with leafy greens. How do you green?

Tie Becker, Registered Yoga Teacher 200, Juice Consultant, Holistic Health and Wellness Consultant, Bachelor of Science

Fresh Pressed Yoga

Growing Together!

Another testimonial that I am very grateful for! Marcia has been with me since my Karma teaching.  She is so committed to her mat!! Her commitment has allowed me to continue to grow as a teacher. I just wanted to share her declaration of growth…
I have been doing Yoga with Tie since July 2014. I’ve never done yoga before, never really saw the benefit, but from the first class with Tie I was hooked and I grew from there. With Tie’s guidance I have become more limber and stable. Tie is very intuitive to my needs, also very creative and keeps practice fun and interesting.
                                                                                            Marcia Clontz

Get Up Ah!

By Dr. Mercola

If you’re like most people, you spend a vast majority of your day sitting down—in your office, commuting to and from work, watching TV in the evening… Research1 shows that the average American spends nine to 10 hours of their day sitting.

Certain occupations, such as telecommunications employees spend an average of 12 hours sitting each day. I was certainly in that group and for 15 years was sitting more than 12 hours a day. And, the more sedentary you are at work, the more sedentary you will tend to be at home as well.

Thankfully, last year, the evidence became overwhelmingly compelling and I have essentially eliminated 95 percent of my sitting. I found that merely getting up for a few minutes even six times an hour would not help eliminate my back pain but stopping sitting altogether did.

Even on weekends, the average person sits for eight hours. This behavior can be more problematic than you might think, as the human body was designed to be in more or less constant movement throughout the day.

I really wasn’t  aware of this prior to last year, but the evidence shows that prolonged sitting actively promotes dozens of chronic diseases, including overweight and type 2 diabetes, even if you’re very fit. This is really highly counterintuitive as it would seem physically fit people could get away with sitting.

However, research shows that maintaining a regular fitness regimen cannotcounteract the accumulated ill effects of sitting eight to 12 hours a day in between bouts of exercise. This is very strong evidence to seriously consider eliminating as much sitting as you can.

Sitting really is the new smoking and it increases your rate of lung cancer by over 50 percent. Who would have known that sitting is far more dangerous than second hand smoke?

Analysis Concludes: Sitting Kills, Even if You Exercise

There’s really compelling evidence showing that when you sit for lengths of time, disease processes set in that independently raise your mortality risk, even if you eat right, exercise regularly and are very fit; even a professional or Olympic level athlete.

The most recent systematic review2,3 looked at 47 studies of sedentary behavior, and discovered that the time a person spends sitting each day produces detrimental effects that outweigh the benefits reaped from exercise.

Sitting was found to increase your risk of death from virtually all health problems, from type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease to cancer and all-cause mortality. For example, sitting for more than eight hours a day was associated with a 90 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Other research4 has found that those who sit the most have a 112 percent increased Relative Risk of diabetes, and a 147 percent increased relative risk of cardiovascular events compared to those who sit the least.

All-cause mortality is also increased by 50 percent. In fact, chronic sitting has a mortality rate similar to smoking.5 And, the less you exercise, the more pronounced the detrimental effects of sitting. To counteract the ill effects of prolonged sitting, the authors of the featured review6 suggest that you:

  • Keep track of how much you’re sitting each day, and make an effort to reduce it, little by little, each week
  • Use a standing desk at work. Although standing up frequently is better than constant sitting I am now strongly convinced that avoiding sitting completely is far preferable and has better metabolic effects.
  • When watching TV, stand up and/or walk around during commercial breaks

More Studies Highlighting Debilitating Effects of Sitting

Part one in a two-part series of articles7 published in the British Medical Journal(BMJ) at the beginning of January also highlights the hazards of our modern sedentary lifestyle, suggesting that public policy needs to be reassessed and updated to focus on increasing movement during work hours.

The article summarizes the findings from the 2015 Inaugural Active Working Summit, where a number of health effects of sitting were reviewed, including cancer and mental health. For example, one study presented at the summit found that sitting increases:

  • Lung cancer by 54 percent
  • Uterine cancer by  66 percent, and
  • Colon cancer by 30 percent

The reason for this increased cancer risk is thought to be linked to weight gain and associated biochemical changes, such as alterations in hormones, metabolic dysfunction, leptin dysfunction, and inflammation—all of which promote cancer. Research also shows that your risk for anxiety and depression rises right along with hours spent in your chair.

Why Sitting Causes So Much Harm

Dr. James Levine, co-director of the Mayo Clinic and the Arizona State University Obesity Initiative, and author of the bookGet Up! Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It, has dedicated a good part of his career to investigating the health effects of sitting. His investigations show that when you’ve been sitting for a long period of time and then get up, a number of molecular cascades occur. For example, within 90 seconds of standing up, the muscular and cellular systems that process blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol—which are mediated by insulin—are activated.

All of these molecular effects are activated simply by carrying your own bodyweight. These cellular mechanisms are also responsible for pushing fuel into your cells and, if done regularly, will radically decrease your risk of diabetes and obesity. In short, at the molecular level, your body was designed to be active and on the move all day long. When you stop moving for extended periods of time, it’s like telling your body it’s time to shut down and prepare for death… As noted by Dr. Levine, while we clearly need to rest from time to time, that rest is supposed to break up activity—not the other way around! Inactivity—sitting—is not supposed to be a way of life.

[T]his very unnatural [sitting] posture is not only bad for your back, your wrists, your arms, and your metabolism, but it actually switches off the fundamental fueling systems that integrate what’s going on in the bloodstream with what goes on in the muscles and in the tissues,” he says.

As a consequence of sitting, your blood sugar levels, blood pressure, cholesterol, and toxic buildup all rise. The solution to these adverse events do not involve a prescription—all you need to do is get up, and avoid sitting down as much as possible. If you’ve been sitting down for a full hour, you’ve sat too long, and the cellular mechanisms involved in the maintenance of your body and health are shutting down. We are in the process of providing all our employees at standing desk options. If you have a sit down job I would strongly encourage you to present this information to your employer and get a stand up desk.

Avoiding Sitting is the First Step Toward a Healthier Lifestyle

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week, but researchers say this may be too ambitious a goal for many people—particularly the elderly, at least to start. They suggest a more realistic approach may be to simply avoid sitting still as much as possible.  In a paper8 titled, “Recommendations for Physical Activity in Older Adults”, Professor Phillip Sparling and colleagues write:

“There is now a clear need to reduce prolonged sitting. Secondly, evidence on the potential of high intensity interval training in managing the same chronic diseases, as well as reducing indices of cardiometabolic risk in healthy adults, has emerged. This vigorous training typically comprises multiple 3-4 minute bouts of high intensity exercise interspersed with several minutes of low intensity recovery, three times a week.

Between these two extremes of the activity spectrum is the mainstream public health recommendation for aerobic exercise… 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more… However, many people, especially in older age groups, find it hard to achieve this level of activity. We argue that when advising patients on exercise doctors should encourage people to increase their level of activity by small amounts rather than focus on the recommended levels. The 150 minute target, although warranted, may overshadow other less concrete elements of guidelines. These include finding ways to do more lower intensity lifestyle activity…”

A Fitness Tracker Can Be a Helpful Tool

Part of the solution may also be to reassess your use of technology. Your TV, for example, can increase your sedentary time by hours each day, so consider trading some of that sedentary time for something more active. That doesn’t mean that all technology is detrimental though.9 I’m very excited about the explosion of wearable fitness trackers for example, which can measure your activity levels and track how long and how well you sleep. It’s hard to change a habit if you’re not tracking it, and devices like these can help you modify your behavior over time, such as motivating you to walk more, and get in bed earlier to get your eight hours of sleep.

If you don’t already have a fitness tracker, I would encourage you to get one. Jawbone’s Up3,10 when it is released later this year, will be among the most advanced fitness trackers to date, but even more advanced ones are sure to follow. The Apple Watch,11 which is also set to launch this year is one example. I have reviewed many of them and Jawbone is one of the best, featuring a suite of state-of-the art sensors that provide a wide array of health data. I recommend aiming for 7,000 to 10,000 steps per day, over and above any exercise regimen you may have, and to shoot for eight hours of sleep each night. With afitness tracker, you can track all of this and more. I was probably doing 2,000 steps a day prior to using one and now I am up to about 15,000 steps a day or about eight miles. I am able to read my Kindle while walking and have been able to read a book a week.

When Sitting Is Unavoidable, Keep Posture in Mind

While it’s certainly possible to limit sitting, it’s still an unavoidable part of most people’s lives. The question then becomes, how can you limit the risks associated with sitting? Paying attention to your posture is one way. A recent CNN article12suggests “sitting smarter” by incorporating yoga postures and being aware of your breathing, and presents a five-point yoga-based posture check that can make for healthier sitting.

Also familiarize yourself with your body’s signals to shift or move. Following the recommendations by “posture guru” Esther Gokhale may also go a long way toward improving posture-related pain associated with prolonged sitting, and will likely help ameliorate the worst risks of sitting. The basics of healthy sitting include the following points:

    • Stack sitting: In order to allow the bones in your spine to stack well and permit the muscles alongside them to relax, sit with your behind sticking out behind you, but not exaggeratedly so. Now, when you breathe, each in-and-out breath will automatically lengthen and settle your spine. This gentle movement stimulates circulation and allows natural healing to go on even while you sit.

While conventional advice tells you to tuck in your pelvis to maintain an S-shaped spine, Esther has found that a J-spine is far more natural. A J-spine refers to a posture where your back is straight, your lumbar relatively flat, and your buttocks are protruding slightly. By tucking your pelvis, you lose about a third of the volume in your pelvic cavity, which squishes your internal organs. This can compromise any number of them in a variety of ways. This is further compounded if you’re both “tucked” and “hunched” while sitting.

    • Stretch sitting. Another way to elongate your spine is by using your back rest as a traction device. You can see her demonstrate this move in the video below. You will need either a towel or a specially designed traction cushion for this purpose. This simple maneuver brings your back away from the back rest, lengthens your spine, and then roots you higher up against the back rest.

This position helps you maintain an elongated spine, and by getting traction on your discs, you allow them to rehydrate and prevent the nerves from being impinged between your vertebrae. It will also help flatten out your lumbar area, and this alone can sometimes provide immediate pain relief if you have sciatic nerve root pain. Although please remember that sitting should be your last resort when you have no alternative. It is far better for you to stand than sit. It might take a bit to adjust but once you do it will be every bit as comfortable as sitting.

Make Walking a Part of Your Daily Routine

The evidence is overwhelming at this point—10,000 studies and growing—that prolonged sitting will reduce your lifespan by promoting dozens of chronic diseases, even if you exercise regularly. I’ve previously recommended standing up and doingexercises at your desk every 10-15 minutes to counteract the ill effects of sitting, but after reading Dr. Levine’s book, I’m convinced even that may be insufficient if you’re seeking optimal health. I really think the answer is to stand up as much as possible.

That said, I realize some people may be limited by work policies and/or other factors, and eliminating sitting altogether is too lofty a goal. I’m simply suggesting you take a closer look at how you spend your day, and find ways to stand up or move more often. For a number of tips and tricks, please see my previous article, “Tips for Staying Active in the Office.” Remember, as a general rule, if you’ve been sitting for one hour, you’ve sat too long. At bare minimum, avoid sitting for more than 50 minutes out of every hour.

I believe high intensity training, non-exercise activities like walking 7,000 to 10,000 steps a day, and avoiding sitting whenever possible is an ideal combination for optimizing your health. And, while I recommend walking in addition to your regular fitness regimen, not as a replacement for it, if you’re currently doing nothing in terms of regimented exercise, walking is certainly a great place to start. For many, simply getting and staying out of your chair is a first step that can bring you closer to a healthier lifestyle. As you become more used to low level, non-exercise activity, you’re more likely to get motivated enough to start exercising more vigorously.

Getting Funky or Not!

By Dr. Mercola

Sometimes “the cure” leads to a worsening of the very problem you’re trying to solve. Such may be the case when it comes to antiperspirants. As reported by Real Clear Science,1 antiperspirants affect the bacterial balance in your armpits, leading to an even more foul-smelling sweat problem.

The reason your sweat smells is because the bacteria living in your armpits break down lipids and amino acids found in your sweat into substances that have a distinct odor.

Antiperspirants address this problem using antimicrobial agents to kill bacteria, and other ingredients such as aluminum that block your sweat glands. According to the featured article:

“To uncover how deodorants and antiperspirants affect armpit bacteria… a team of researchers recruited eight subjects for a task a great many people (and especially their friends) might deem unbearable:

Six males and two females pledged not to use deodorant or antiperspirant for an entire month. Specifically, four subjects stopped using their deodorants and another four stopped using their antiperspirant deodorant….

Another control subject who did not regularly use either was asked to use deodorant for a month. The duration was chosen because it takes approximately 28 days for a new layer of skin cells to form.”

What Happens When You Use Antiperspirant?

Every subject in this study ended up altering the bacterial composition of their armpits. While it was a challenge to determine the exact changes, since every person’s microbiome is distinct and individual, the researchers did find one clear trend.

Those who used antiperspirants saw a definitive increase in Actinobacteria. These bacteria are hugely responsible for that foul-smelling armpit odor. Other bacteria found living in people’s armpits include Firmicutes and Staphylococcus,but the odors they produce are milder, and they’re not produced quite as readily.

The situation here is much like it is in your gut. When you eat foods or take drugs that kill off beneficial bacteria, more potentially harmful microbes are allowed to take over the turf.

Here, the less odor-causing bacteria are killed off by the aluminum compounds (the active ingredient in most antiperspirants), allowing bacteria that produce more pungent odors to thrive instead.

In some participants, abstaining from antiperspirant caused the population ofActinobacteria to dwindle into virtual nonexistence. The take-home message: using an antiperspirant can make the stink from your armpits more pronounced, while quitting antiperspirants may eventually mellow the smell.

Unfortunately, altering the microbiome in your armpit isn’t the worst thing that can happen when you regularly use antiperspirants.

Aluminum-Containing Antiperspirants May Promote Cancer

The aluminum chloride in antiperspirants, which blocks your pores from releasing sweat, may also contribute to an increased cancer risk. Aluminum chloride actually acts similarly to the way oncogenes work to cause molecular transformations in cancer cells.

Aluminum salts can also mimic estrogen, and previous research has shown that aluminum is absorbed and deposited into breast tissue.2 The researchers actually suggested that raised levels of aluminum could be used as a biomarker for identification of women at increased risk of developing breast cancer.

Aluminum is also widely recognized as a neurotoxin, and Alzheimer’s patients typically have elevated levels of aluminum in their brains. While there are other sources of aluminum, antiperspirants are a major one, as most people use it on a daily basis.

Aluminum salts can account for 25 percent of the volume of some antiperspirants, and in one study3 reviewing the most common sources of aluminum exposure for humans found that antiperspirant use can significantly increase the amount of aluminum absorbed by your body.

According to the review, about 0.12 percent of the aluminum applied under your arms is absorbed with each application. When you multiply that by one or more times a day for a lifetime, it can up to a massive amount of aluminum—a poison that may be more toxic than mercury!

Parabens in Antiperspirants Have Also Been Implicated in Breast Cancer

Parabens are another common ingredient in antiperspirants, and research4examining parabens suggests chronic antiperspirant use may lead to a heightened risk of cancer as well, specifically breast cancer.

The research in question looked at where breast tumors were appearing, and determined that higher concentrations of parabens were found in the upper quadrants of the breast and axillary area, where antiperspirants are usually applied. One or more paraben esters were found in 99 percent of the 160 tissue samples collected from 40 mastectomies.

Parabens are chemicals that serve as preservatives in antiperspirants and many other cosmetics, including suntan lotions. Previous studies have shown that all parabens have estrogenic activity in human breast cancer cells.

This research really raises a red flag, and while the authors note that the source of the parabens cannot be established—in fact seven of the 40 patients reportedly never used deodorants or antiperspirants in their lifetime—it tells us that parabens are problematic, regardless of the source.

It just so happens that antiperspirants and deodorants contain parabens and are used on a daily basis by most women, and the parabens they contain can bioaccumulate in breast tissue.

Even Natural Deodorants Can Contain Aluminum and Parabens

There are many brands of chemical-free, aluminum-free deodorants on the market, and many of these are safe alternatives. But you do need to carefully read the list of ingredients. “Crystal” deodorant stones often claim to be aluminum-free, but some still contain a compound known as alum; the most common form being potassium alum, also known as potassium aluminumsulfate.

Potassium alum is a natural mineral salt made up of molecules that are too large to be absorbed by your skin. It works by forming a protective layer on your skin that inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria. While this may be a better alternative to most antiperspirants and deodorants on the market, it’s not completely aluminum-free… When shopping for an alternative, also remember to avoid any product containing parabens.

Bacteria-Containing Lotions and Potions—a New Frontier Opens Up

In a recent New York Times article,5 Julia Scott writes about her participation in a test group trying out a living bacterial skin tonic. The concoction is created by AOBiome.

“The tonic looks, feels and tastes like water, but each spray bottle of AO+ Refreshing Cosmetic Mist contains billions of cultivated Nitrosomonas eutropha, an ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) that is most commonly found in dirt and untreated water,” she writes. “AOBiome scientists hypothesize that it once lived happily on us too — before we started washing it away with soap and shampoo — acting as a built-in cleanser, deodorant, anti-inflammatory and immune booster by feeding on the ammonia in our sweat and converting it into nitrite and nitric oxide.”

For the test, she agreed to mist her face, scalp, and body with the live bacteria twice a day for a month. The theory thatadding rather than eradicating bacteria from your body might produce better results seems rather logical, considering what we now know about the gut microbiome, and how the bacterial balance in your armpits affects your sweat odor. And, while Scott reports mixed results, the creators of AOBiome are all long-time users of the product.

“Jamas, a quiet, serial entrepreneur with a doctorate in biotechnology, incorporated N. eutropha into his hygiene routine years ago; today he uses soap just twice a week,” Scott writes. “The chairman of the company’s board of directors, Jamie Heywood, lathers up once or twice a month and shampoos just three times a year.

The most extreme case is David Whitlock, the M.I.T.-trained chemical engineer who invented AO+. He has not showered for the past 12 years. He occasionally takes a sponge bath to wash away grime but trusts his skin’s bacterial colony to do the rest. I met these men. I got close enough to shake their hands, engage in casual conversation and note that they in no way conveyed a sense of being ‘unclean’ in either the visual or olfactory sense.”

It Doesn’t Take Much to Eradicate Beneficial Bacteria

Among the benefits, Scott reports improvements in her complexion: softer, smoother skin, fewer breakouts, and smaller pores. Indeed, the cosmetics industry has already taken note. According to Audrey Gueniche, a project director in L’Oréal’s research and innovation division, the skin microbiome “has revolutionized the way we study the skin and the results we look for,” Scott writes. The company has already patented several bacterial treatments. There are also countless potential uses in the medical field. For example, there’s a strong correlation between eczema flare-ups and an increased number of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria on the skin, which has scientists pondering the possibilities for treating the skin disorder with the appropriate skin bacteria.

“As my experiment drew to a close, I found myself reluctant to return to my old routine of daily shampooing and face treatments,” Scott writes. “I asked AOBiome which of my products was the biggest threat to the ‘good’ bacteria on my skin. The answer was equivocal: Sodium lauryl sulfate, the first ingredient in many shampoos, may be the deadliest to N. eutropha, but nearly all common liquid cleansers remove at least some of the bacteria. Antibacterial soaps are most likely the worst culprits, but even soaps made with only vegetable oils or animal fats strip the skin of AOB.

…In the end, I tipped most of my products into the trash and purchased a basic soap and a fragrance-free shampoo with a short list of easily pronounceable ingredients. Then I enjoyed a very long shower, hoping my robust biofilm would hang on tight. One week after the end of the experiment, though, a final skin swab found almost no evidence of N. eutropha anywhere on my skin. It had taken me a month to coax a new colony of bacteria onto my body. It took me three showers to extirpate it.”

Do You Really Need an Antiperspirant? My Recommendations

My personal recommendation when it comes to antiperspirants is to avoid them. It’s been well over 40 years since I quit using antiperspirant or deodorant–even natural ones.  I noticed they would cause a yellow stain in the armpit of my shirts.  At first I thought the stain was due to my sweat but I quickly realized it was the chemicals in the antiperspirants. Even as a college student, I realized if the chemicals can destroy my clothes, it probably wasn’t good for my body, so I elected to avoid it. I find that regularly washing my armpits with soap and making sure my diet is clean with minimal sugar and plenty offermented vegetables are all that is needed to keep my armpit odor from being offensive.

About the only time I use soap on any body part other than my armpit or groin is when I am doing heavy woodchip work and am covered with woodchip dust. Most of that dust I simply spray off with a hose. If you still need further help, try a pinch of baking soda mixed into water as an effective all-day deodorant. A couple of years ago, I also noticed that if I sunbathe my armpits regularly, the UV light actually “sterilizes” the area. Even when I don’t use soap and water, there’s still no detectable odor at all. The drawback is that the effect is not long-lasting. The bacteria repopulate in a few days unless you expose your armpits to sunlight on a regular basis.

Soap tends to remove the protective sebum that is full of beneficial fats that your body uses to protect your skin. So sad and wasteful that so many regularly use soap to wash their entire skin surface and remove this protective covering and then pay money to apply lotions to restore what they just removed. The irony is that most of the lotions are far inferior to sebum and many, if not most, are loaded with toxic ingredients that ultimately will worsen your health.

Science is clearly showing that your body’s microbiome plays a major role not just in your health, promoting or warding off skin diseases for example; it can also dramatically alter things like body odor. So, it’s really in your best interest to work withyour microbiome, rather than against it. Doing so could help you avoid all sorts of chemical toxins that most people slather on themselves without thinking twice about what it’s doing to their microbiome, or their health.

Mind Over Matter

Are we making ourselves sick? Take a look at this list that was given to me and let me know what you think.

ALLERGIES-Afraid of your own power. Who(not what) are you allergic to? This one had me thinking…
BACK PROBLEMS-Lack of support. (UPPER)-Feeling unloved. Holding back love. (MIDDLE)-Apprehensive;fearful;stuck. (LOWER)-Mental,financial and/or power struggles. Fear of Money.
BLOOD PRESSURE-(HIGH)Unsolved emotional problems;wanting to control everyone and everything. (LOW)Feeling unloved as a child or feeling defeated.
CHOLESTEROL/CIRCULATION-Needing to Let go and Flow. Fear of accepting and expressing emotions.
DIGESTIVE DISORDERS-Worry;not letting the self or the body relax.
FIBROID TUMORS-Over-responsibility;inability to release hurt from a partner.
HEART-Wanting to control everyone and everything;choosing money and materials over love.
LIVER-Chronic complaining;justifying fault-finding.
SINUS/RESPIRATORY-Restricted in expression;feeling trapped;overly sensitive.
SKIN PROBLEMS-Feeling threatened;not liking the Self’s image(Face).