Growing your own vegetable garden can do more than provide tasty produce—gardening can improve health, save money and even boost mood.
Community gardens, backyard plots, and even window boxes are gaining in popularity, and tomatoes are among the first seeds new gardeners plant. Whole generations of Americans have never eaten homegrown tomatoes—never experienced the beefy taste, the grassy aroma, the juiciness, and the silken texture of tomatoes right off the vine.
And the experience of eating your first fresh-picked tomato can be sublime. “I’ve had people tell me it was the best tomato they’ve ever eaten, and they’re probably right,” says Jeff Moyer, farm director of the Rodale Institute. It can even be life changing, sending you hunting for new healthy recipes (though we’ve got six tasty ones right here!) and boosting your veggie intake. These six women are proof that gardening can make you happier and healthier.
Gardening can save your…waistline
Michele Owens, 51, Saratoga Springs, NY
Michele Owens is in good shape chiefly because she gardens. Although she runs for exercise in the winter, she finds the sport to be mind numbing and probably would have given up on it by now if she had to do it year-round. And Owens says she’d never go to the gym to lift weights. “I’m bored to tears at the gym, but I’m never bored gardening, and I’ve been doing it for twenty years,” she says. “It’s a really complete form of exercise attached to a huge sense of accomplishment.” Every April, when Owens trades her running shoes for garden boots and starts mulching and planting, she inevitably drops 5 pounds, and the weight loss lasts all summer long. As her crops ripen, they require less work. But on April and May weekends, she’s in her 1,900-square-foot garden for up to 5 hours a day—hauling more weight and doing more squats than she’d ever do at the gym.
Gardening can save your health
Hope Anderson, 35, Grand Island, NE
Hope Anderson hated tomatoes before she planted some herself. “Now I eat them right off the vine, they’re so sweet,” she says. She started her vegetable garden last summer, in part to make sure that she and her family ate a varied, healthy diet. And it’s working. Anderson has even caught her three kids sneaking tomatoes right out of the garden (just like their mother!). This spring, they begged to pick out their own seeds and eagerly helped Mom plant seedlings. Son Bretton, 11, chose carrots, while his younger brother, Bradley, 10, went for watermelon. Their sister, Mystic-Sage, 6, will be planting her own row of corn. Anderson added kohlrabi, pumpkins, asparagus, strawberries, cucumbers, and lettuces to the mix. And, of course, Roma and cherry tomatoes—lots of them. (Toss ’em all in our spring food recipes.)
MORE: Easy Tips for Pain-Free Gardening
Gardening can save your…planet
Anita Ferry, 50, Los Angeles, CA
Anita Ferry lives in an LA apartment with her boyfriend of 13 years and her 81-year-old mother. But she makes the most of her limited space—planting containers by her front door, growing mushrooms on the dining room table, sprouting seedlings under a grow lamp on her balcony, and tending boxes on her building’s roof. She also farms a 400-square-foot community garden plot 3 miles from home. “I love knowing exactly where my food comes from—and how it affects the world in return,” she says.
Ferry finds the community garden’s composting culture very inspiring, and she estimates that at least 30% of her household waste now goes straight to her compost bin. “Composting should be made mandatory for every household, so we can cut down on all the landfills and heal our soil,” she says. “I save all my vegetable trimmings, eggshells, coffee grounds, and tea bags and add them to my compost, which in turn goes back into the soil in my garden to help nourish the delicious food I am growing.”
Gardening can save your…mental well-being
Anne Costello, 44, La Grange, IL
Anne Costello advises attorneys for a busy law firm on the technological aspects of their cases—a hectic, around-the-clock job. She’s also mom to two daughters, ages 7 and 10. When she gets stressed out, Costello retreats to her backyard garden for relief. “I always feel better getting outside and digging in the dirt,” she says. “Plus, gardening is a solitary, meditative experience that I crave. I love that I can share the garden with my family when I want to, but it can also be just for me.” And she relishes seeing things grow. “My work is so abstract and long term, but the garden gives me a definite end result,” she says. Last summer, her family’s house flooded so badly that they were forced to rebuild and have been living in a rental property, without a garden. “It was the most stressful year of my life, and I gained a lot of weight,” she says.
“I cannot wait to get back to my own home and my garden.”
Gardening can save your…bank account
Gayle Bowe, 32, New Paltz, NY
Gayle Bowe and her husband, Justin, are new parents and novice gardeners. Before their baby was born earlier this year, they decided to change their lifestyle—to create a healthier environment and more solid financial footing for their growing family. They turned to their neighbor, Jean, a lifelong vegetable gardener, to help them dig a garden that would feed their family—including ready-to-puree produce for their new baby, Henry, now 5 months old. “Organic baby food is expensive: on average, $1.50 per jar,” Bowe says. She estimates that they’ll save at least $300 this year by preparing their own organic purees. “And as far as Henry goes, I want nothing but pure, untainted goodness,” she says. “Processed baby foods are cooked at high temperatures that destroy some vitamins. Making my own will ensure that he gets all the nutrients he needs, without any extra starchy fillers, sugars, or salt.” (See which fruits and veggies you should always buy organic.)
Gardening can save your…community
Asenath Andrews, 60, Detroit, MI
Twenty-five years ago, when Asenath Andrews founded Catherine Ferguson Academy—a Detroit public school for pregnant teens, as well as teen mothers and their kids—one of the first things she did was plant a garden in the school yard. “If you’re somebody’s mother, you’re supposed to be able to feed your kids,” she says. “The only way to guarantee that is to garden.”
She’s also helped develop an urban gardening program that teaches at-risk students nutrition, construction, marketing, cooking, and farming skills. The program benefits the greater community, too—students sell fresh, organic produce from their 2-acre garden at the school’s farm stand once a week and at Detroit farmers’ markets on weekends. “Gardening has clearly given these girls skills and values they can carry with them forever,” Andrews says.
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As Salon Professionals, we try to compete for clients based on our creative skills and try to constantly strive for education that will differentiate us from the ever-present “salon down the street”. Unfortunately, we are all providing very similar services to very similar clients. But, what if we began to specialize in niche markets of clientele and used our valuable education to hyper-specialize in a certain niche to become worldwide experts in the very unique beauty challenges they face? Would we not be able to service these clients better? Would these clients not be more loyal than our current “generic clients”? Would we not be able to enhance our income by becoming experts and enjoy the rewards of more meaningful referral networks? Would we not be able to realize the true professional impact that most of us want to have on the world? This article provides licensed beauty professionals with that very opportunity.
Just about everyone knows one or more people that have been treated with cancer. Many cancer patients and survivors are disappointed with the way their hair recovers after cancer treatments. Even after several months, their hair seems dry, brittle, frizzy, and unmanageable. The overall condition of the hair seems to have been comprised by varying textures, different rates of growth, and overall thinning. Although some of the side effects of cancer treatments that impact the health of a person’s hair can last for a long time, there are measures that can be taken to accelerate the hair’s recovery and restore beautiful, youthful, and healthy looking hair with more certainty in a shorter period of time.
Successful hair services, either after or between cancer treatments, requires a delicate combination of understanding, specialized product ingredient-knowledge, and an innovative approach. First, the specific ailments that cancer treatments have on human hair health, as well as their individual causes, should be fully understood. Next, the proper approaches that will address each ailment, while enhancing over all hair health and vitality, should be explored. Finally, an introduction to the classes of products must be examined and evaluated for their overall health, potential medical side effects, and effectiveness. Finally, a professional seeking to address these challenging but rewarding clients should develop a holistic approach to planning and providing a long-term, comprehensive, beauty restoration strategy for these clients whose needs will most certainly be unique and demanding.
Side Effects of Cancer Treatment to Human Hair Health
Cancer treatments are harsh on hair follicles. Stronger hair follicles will recover first and begin to generate hair. Some other hair follicles will begin to generate hair months after the last cancer treatment has ended, while the weaker hair follicles may have gone dormant. Because hair on the top of the head tends to grow from weaker follicles, many patients may notice that they experience more thinning at the top of the head rather than the sides where hair follicles tend to be stronger.
Many cancer patients complain that their hair begins to lack color or tone after cancer treatments. Actually, this is not usually the case. What does often happen is that the blended, or overall, color or tone of the hair may begin to change because the follicles of different colored hair strands die or go dormant.
After cancer treatment, hair may be kinky primarily because of uneven damage to the follicle, which means the hair grows at an angle, which will cause it to curl.
Cancer treatments will often cause severe damage to the sebaceous glands found in the scalp. These glands produce a light oily liquid known as sebum which naturally progresses up the outer cuticle of the hair fiber. This sebaceous system is what provides hair its natural moisture. With damaged sebum, it is difficult to cultivate healthy looking beautiful hair after cancer treatments unless it is properly cared for.
Cancer treatments can leave the body with a debilitated capacity to regulate the distribution of different proteins. Hair is made of a delicate balance between protein and moisture. If hair is brittle and prone to breakage, or unmanageable because it seems almost too firm, then this is an indication that the hair is lacking moisture and has a high percentage of protein. If hair is weak and pulls apart, or is unmanageable because it seems almost too soft or gooey, then this is an indication that the hair is lacking protein and has a high percentage of moisture.
Big Beauty – Damaged, Porous, Weak Fibers Covered by Shiny Silicones and plastics.
Fortunately for the beauty industry, especially “Big Beauty” companies, human hair is amazingly resilient. The prescribed process that all salon professionals learn in beauty school is that to treat the hair, we must “open” (read as “blast open and corrode” the cuticle to penetrate into the hair fibers. To do this, we are taught to use incredibly toxic, corrosive, harsh, carcinogenic, and damaging chemicals like ammonia and formaldehyde. We are all taught that this severely damages the hair fiber, but that is ok, because we can use products to “close” (read as “slick over and cover up the damage”) the hair cuticle with special products later. For “Big Beauty” companies, this approach ensures that once a client’s hair is initially damaged, an ever-repeating cycle is facilitated that necessitates the purchase of their silicone and plastic products.
Even worse, these chemicals damage follicles and glands necessary to naturally sustain full, healthy hair throughout a person’s lifetime. Chemicals commonly used in traditional hair care, especially ammonia and plastics, either clog up or corrode hair follicles causing them to go dormant and destroy the natural melanin and tyrosine in hair which gives hair its natural ability to “hold” color. What we are left with is clients inflicted, by us as their unwitting beauty professionals, with thinning hair that has color that quickly fades. Conveniently, these clients are dependent on “Big Beauty” products for the rest of their lives, spending large amounts of money, in hopes of regaining their hair’s youthful luster that has been systematically stolen from them by the very companies that they continue to support.
Unfortunately, for clients that have undergone cancer treatments at some point during their lives, they cannot afford to play the “Big Beauty” game because of the delicate nature of their hair.
Caring for Hair after Cancer
Caring for clients that have been treated for cancer requires a basic sensitivity to the ingredients contained in the products that you use and recommend for them. It is important to carefully consider their medical situation of having many of their body’s natural defenses impaired by the cancer treatments that they received.
While most people, and definitely most cancer patients, are conscious and sensitive to the foods that they eat; they are less sensitive to the ingredients contained in the products they apply to their hair or skin. This is a horrifying mistake. Research has continually found that any chemicals applied to the hair or skin are immediately absorbed into the blood stream and can be found in urine tests within 30 minutes of application. This demonstrates a simple fact of the human digestive system that is often ignored by cosmologists and estheticians. Ingredients that are eaten are filtered through the bodies most fierce and relentless barrier found in the human body, which is the acids found in the stomach and the enzymes in the large and small intestines. Unfortunately, the ingredients that are applied to your hair or skin lack this natural super-filtration system and instead are absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the pores and follicles.
While most cosmetologists and estheticians understand that there are roughly 6,000 times more follicles and pores on the human scalp than any other part of the skin, it seems that pharmaceutical companies have only recently begun to understand this. This is best demonstrated by the recent surge in topical medication prescribed to be applied to the nape of the neck or the scalp itself. While more and more drugs are being applied to the scalp because of its direct access to the bloodstream, few practitioners, including beauty professionals, have been considering what the implications may be to toxic chemicals in hair products being applied directly to the scalp. While almost all knowledgeable professionals would never eat or drink their hair color or straightening products, they somehow do not question or hesitate applying it to their scalp! This is a consideration that must be taken into account when caring for clients who have been treated for cancer.
First, Do No Harm
Cancer treatments have a tendency to not only weaken a person’s hair, but also their immune system and vital organs. Because of this, a salon professional specializing in treating clients who have been treated for cancer must be more cautious of the ingredients contained in products. The delicate balance of performance and healthy ingredients must be carefully weighted toward harmless and healthy ingredients. Here are some of the recommendations from trained professionals well versed on this balance and how they can be applied to specific deficiencies cause by cancer treatments.
The liver is among the many organs that can be affected by cancer treatments. One primary function of the liver is to detoxify proteins of poisonous ammonia. This critical function can be burdened even more when introducing additional sources of ammonia into the blood stream through products like permanent hair color. To avoid elevated levels of ammonia in the body, and an overburdened liver that is already debilitated from cancer treatments, use Organic Color Systems which is the most natural and organic hair color product that does not sacrifice professional performance or exceptional results. Unfortunately, this hair color product is only available through licensed salon professionals and not sold to the general public.
Avoiding ammonia will also help restore thinning hair. Remember that hair follicles in men can die off but hair follicles in women most often are just dormant. Follicles can become dormant as a result of damage or clogging. The two most common sources of damage to hair follicles are ammonia and cancer treatment therapies. Another reason why hair follicles can go dormant is because they are clogged and unable to grow hair. This is most commonly due to plastics found in hair styling products. To clarify the scalp of plastics and other clogging impurities, use a product like Soothe Plus shampoo, conditioner, and treatments. Soothe Plus is a product is made with only 100% certified organic ingredients and is highly effective at gently removing plastics and other impurities from the scalp while enhancing blood circulation in the scalp without risk at damaging the hair follicles.
While any damage to the hair cuticle is bad, uneven damage caused by cancer treatments will affect the porosity and coarseness of hair, which will result in an unusual texture. To treat this unusual texture, consider a natural and organic protein treatment designed to even out porous hair with nourishing natural proteins. One such ideal product is Revamp, which fills and fortifies the cuticle with organic, plant derived proteins, which naturally bond with the hair and cultivate inner hair repair.
The delicate balance between protein and moisture in hair is critical to having healthy and lustrous hair. Ideally, healthy hair contains 87% moisture and 3% protein. To illustrate how delicate this balance is, consider that the only difference in substance between human hair and human fingernails is that human fingernails contain 3% more protein and almost no moisture. Because protein synthesis is jeopardized from cancer treatments, special care and consideration should be taken when dealing with clients who have been treated for cancer. When hair is deficient in protein, it is weak an can pull apart easily. This type of hair should be treated with Power Build Shampoo, Reconstructor, and Conditioner as well as Revamp treatment. When hair is deficient in moisture, it is brittle and should be treated with Aqua Boost Shampoo, Conditioner, and Reconstructor. When hair is weak and brittle, it is deficient in both protein and moisture and should be treated with Revamp and Aqua Boost Reconstructor as well as Status Quo Shampoo and Conditioner.
A vital tool in providing beauty services to any client who has undergone cancer treatment is the Wet Stretch Test. This test will quickly, reliably, and accurately analyze exactly what the hair needs and precisely how to treat it.
A Meaningful and Rewarding Specialty
Specializing in providing salon services to salon clients who have been treated for cancer will not only fill demand that is hopelessly left unfulfilled in the salon industry, but it will also provide a more meaningful purpose for your career as you bring new vitality and inspiration to your clients lives through enhancing their physical beauty, self image, and confidence. Specializing in this specific category of hair care will provide you with a target market of clients that have a great need for your specific services and knowledge. Utilizing the right products and continually supplementing your knowledge through education, research, empathy, and awareness will server to enhance the lives of both you and your future clients.
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We carry and use Young Living essential oils for a million different things in our salon. We use the essential oils to infuse our waters, infuse our hot towels, in our cleaning products, for aroma therapy, raindrop therapy, and in our hair oil treatments and moisturizing treatments. Young living is the number one distributor of essential oils in the world and we are proud to partner with them for the benefit of our clients and our salon.
Here’s some words from Young Living:
“Through the painstaking steps of our proprietary Seed to Seal production process, we produce the best, most authentic essential oils in the world. We are committed to providing pure, powerful products for every family and lifestyle, all infused with the life-changing benefits of our essential oils.
Our community of wellness started small in 1993, when Gary Young developed his first organic herb farming and distillation operation. At the time, Gary had already discovered the incredible power of essential oils, but because the quality of available oils varied so greatly, he’d been unable to fully harness their potential. While he knew that pure essential oils had the ability to produce spectacular results, he found that the chemically altered or adulterated oils on the market were often ineffective and even harmful.
Young Living changed all that. As Gary developed more farmland in Utah and Idaho, he began cultivating lavender, peppermint, melissa, clary sage, and many other herbs. Fueled by a growing demand for pure essential oils, Young Living designed and built the largest, most technologically advanced distillery for the production of essential oils in North America. Our company has also developed the groundbreaking Seed to Seal® process, which preserves the integrity and potency of essential oils.
Today, Young Living has grown to become the world leader in essential oils and wellness solutions. Headquartered in Lehi, Utah, with offices in Australia, Europe, Canada, Japan and Singapore, as well as farms around the world, Young Living stays true to Gary Young’s original vision. And with our steadfast commitment to essential oil purity, we’ve inspired millions of people everywhere to experience nature’s gifts of wellness and harmony, to create abundance as Young Living distributors, and to discover new opportunities for lifelong transformation.”Leave a reply
Gail “magic hands” Clare has been a massage therapist for almost nine years. She is very passionate regarding her profession. Her personal code of ethics is to always be theraputic. Gail feels that as each person is different, so is massage – no two are alike.
Gail’s unique approach to massage delivers a personal touch to each client in a wholesome manner leaving the client complete.
Whether it’s a chair massage or table massage, you’ll experience pure magic. Try her on for size.
Gail graduated from one of two accredited schools in Colorado. The Colorado School of Healing Arts instilled personal value, pride, confidence and superb knowledge of the body, making the art of healing, a humbling experience.Leave a reply
The Nutrients Your Hair Needs
Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician
Healthy hair relies on certain essential nutrients, including protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, calcium, biotin and vitamins A, C, E and D. Eating a healthy balanced diet should provide you with all these nutrients, especially if you include these top ten foods for healthy hair.
Salmon and tuna are rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D, but even though they’re rich in omega-3 fats they’re not high in total fats or calories. Add salmon or tuna to a fresh green salad or enjoy them as sushi. Canned tuna and salmon can be kept on hand and used in a number of recipes. Herring, sardines and trout are also rich in omega-3s.
Spinach, Swiss chard and kale are excellent sources of vitamin A, iron, calcium and vitamin C. They’re also low in calories so they’ll also help you keep a trim waistline. Use raw green as a base for your salads or sauté them with a little olive oil and garlic and serve as a healthy side.
Almonds, pecans and walnuts are rich in plant proteins, biotin, minerals and vitamin E. Walnuts are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Eat raw walnuts as a snack or top your salads with toasted pecans. Sprinkle some almonds on green beans or other cooked veggies.
Sweet potatoes and yams are packed with vitamin A, plus they contain vitamin C, iron and calcium. Serve whipped sweet potatoes as a tasty side dish or bake sweet potatoes and top them with a little molasses, which adds even more calcium.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and biotin, and they contain vitamins A and E iron and calcium. Eggs produced by hens fed special diets, called ‘omega eggs’ are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Dry beans, lentils and soy are rich in protein, zinc, iron and biotin. Baked beans can be used as a topping for baked white or sweet potatoes. Or serve lentil soup with a fresh green salad.
Oysters are extremely high in zinc plus they’re a rich source of protein. Enjoy raw oysters on the half shell, prepared as Oysters Rockefeller, or make oyster stew for dinner.
Dairy products are high in protein, vitamin D and calcium. Go with low or non-fat milk and cheese to cut back on some of the calories. Serve Greek yogurt with honey, berries and nuts for a delicious breakfast or healthy dessert. Alternatively, milk made from almonds, soy or rice is also a good choice.
Red bell peppers are high in vitamins A and C, plus they’re super low in calories. Top a salad with raw red pepper slices. Roast them with an assortment of veggies or add them to a stir-fry.
Beef is an excellent source of protein and zinc. It can be high in fats and calories, so choose a leaner cut like a filet mignon. Grass-fed beef has a better fatty acid profile. Add thin slices of steak to a salad or use lean cuts of beef in a stir-fry.Leave a reply