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23 Health And Wellness Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar

23 Health And Wellness Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
apple-cider-vinegar
Apple cider vinegar, a proven superfood and natural remedy powerhouse, ranks alongside coconut oil in its versatility.

Because it boasts both internal and external applications, you can add apple cider vinegar to your diet for numerous medicinal and health benefits and also use it to treat common skin and hair troubles.

You can even clean your home with homemade vinegar-based cleaning products that are free of unnecessary chemicals.

RAW ORGANIC APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

If you want to get the most from your apple cider vinegar you’ll need to make sure your bottle is:

Organic – Organic apples make organic vinegar
Raw – Heat and chemical processing destroys beneficial bacteria
Unfiltered – Buy a brand that includes the mother
Non-GMO – Avoid GMOs and BPAs
The chemical and heat processes used to pasteurize apple cider vinegar rob it of the very enzymes and bacteria that make it beneficial, so make sure your brand is organic, raw, unfiltered and non-gmo.

You should also buy your apple cider vinegar in a glass bottle to keep possible BPAs within a plastic container from leeching into your vinegar.

MOTHER OF APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
apple-vinegar
Forget sparkly, clear vinegar; you’re looking for the sediment found in raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar.

Those brown strands floating in the bottom are called the mother, a complex structure of cellulose and acetic acid bacteria that play a role in the creation of vinegar from apples. It’s similar to the fermentation process used to make Kombucha, which also uses a mother.

MAKING APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Apple cider vinegar is made by crushing whole apples into must. Bacteria and yeast are then added to the must, which initiates the fermentation process. Through fermentation, the sugars in the apples are turned into alcohol, then through oxygenation the alcohol is turned into acetic acid.

Because the benefits of apple cider vinegar stem from acetic acid, potassium, magnesium, probiotics and enzymes, it’s hard to see what makes apple cider vinegar special from its nutritional facts.

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving Size: 1 Tbsp.
Servings per Container: 64

AMOUNT PER SERVING

% DAILY VALUE

Calories 0 –
Calories from Fat 0 –
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g *
Sodium 0mg 0%
Potassium 11mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 0g 0%
Protein 0g 0%
*Daily value not established.
Other Ingredients: Certified organic raw apple cider vinegar and purified water. Diluted to 5% acidity.

But despite its unflattering nutritional label (taken from Bragg’s Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar) there are a number of health benefits, medicinal uses and practical applications for apple cider vinegar.

23 HEALTH BENEFITS OF APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

health-benefit-apple-cider-vinegar
#1 PREVENT INDIGESTION

Sip a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water for an upset stomach. To stave off indigestion before eating offending foods, drink a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of vinegar dissolved in a glass of water.

If you’re suffering from diarrhea caused by a bacterial infection, the antibiotic properties of the vinegar can help clear up the problem.

#2 PREVENT HEARTBURN

Apple cider vinegar can help correct the low stomach acid levels that cause heartburn, just be sure to dilute it well as straight vinegar can cause more issues.

The pectin fibers from the apples in the vinegar are also believed to soothe the entire digestive tract which will prevent gas, cramps and bloating.

#3 HELP YOUR BODY REMOVE CANDIDA

Apple cider vinegar can help your body rid itself of surplus candida, the yeast responsible for thrush and infection.

Small amounts of candida in the body are normal, but overgrowth can cause a number of health problems, called candidiasis, that can become invasive and spread to the bloodstream. Candida overgrowth symptoms include poor memory, sluggishness and sugar cravings.

#4 KILL BACTERIA

Acetic acid is the main component of apple cider vinegar. It is antibacterial as it can kill and prevent the growth of bacteria, making it ideal for a number of home remedies and cleaning solutions.

Historically, apple cider vinegar has been used as a disinfectant and preservative for centuries.

#5 STRENGTHEN IMMUNE SYSTEM

By improving conditions for beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract, apple cider vinegar helps to enhance the entire immune system. The malic acid in apple cider vinegar has antiviral properties as well, which can stave off colds and other viruses.

#6 LOWER BLOOD SUGAR AND COMBAT DIABETES

The acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar slows down the digestion of carbohydrates, which helps regulate blood sugar. Apple cider vinegar also has an anti-glycemic effect on the body and has been proven in multiple studies.

One such study, published by the American Diabetes Association, found that, “Acetic acid has been shown to suppress disaccharidase activity and to raise glucose-6-phosphate concentrations in skeletal muscle: thus, vinegar may possess physiological effects similar to acarbose or metformin,” both medications used to manage diabetes.

#7 LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE

While inconsistent consumption of apple cider vinegar won’t improve your blood pressure, regular ingestion has been shown to lower it.

Life Saving Natural Cures recommends drinking 1 to 2 tablespoons of vinegar diluted in a glass of water daily, with the addition of 1/8th of a teaspoon of baking soda in two-week on and off cycles. Apple cider vinegar can also reduce cholesterol levels, which has a positive effect on blood pressure.

#8 SUPPORT WEIGHT LOSS

Not only does acetic acid suppress the accumulation of body fat but the natural pectin in apple cider vinegar may also reduce your ability to absorb fat from food.

Drinking your diluted apple cider vinegar mixture before a meal will reinforce your weight loss efforts by alleviating hunger signals.

#9 BANISH BAD BREATH

The antibacterial properties of apple cider vinegar make it an ideal gargle for eliminating the bacteria that causes bad breath. You can make your own mouthwash by adding one tablespoon of vinegar to a third cup of water, but be sure to rinse with fresh water after you’ve swished to prevent tooth enamel damage.

#10 STOP LEG CRAMPS

While apple cider vinegar isn’t an abundant source of potassium many swear by its ability to alleviate leg cramps, which are believed to be brought on by potassium deficiency.

#11 BOOST ENERGY

Lactic acid can build up in the body and lead to fatigue but the amino acidsin apple cider vinegar serve as a natural antidote. It’s also believed that the potassium and naturally occurring enzymes in apple cider vinegar can immediately relieve sluggishness.

#12 FADE BRUISES

The anti-inflammatory properties of apple cider vinegar can help heal and minimize the appearance of bruises when applied topically.

#13 CONQUER HICCUPS

While not scientifically proven, this folk remedy might be worth adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar diluted in a glass of water to your arsenal of anti-hiccup tricks.

#14 EASE A COLD AND SORE THROAT

Drink apple cider vinegar diluted in warm water (with or without honey) at the first sign of a sore throat to stop its progression. If you’re fighting a cold, try increasing your apple cider vinegar dose to 2 diluted tablespoons 3x each day.

#15 LOWER CHOLESTEROL AND STAVE OFF HEART DISEASE

While several risk factors for heart disease have been clinically improved by apple cider vinegar, like lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels, those studies have only been conducted on rats.

In human studies, scientists have been able to show a relation between the consumption of alpha-linolenic acid and a reduced risk of fatal ischemic heart disease.

#16 CLEAR A STUFFY NOSE

By breaking up mucus, apple cider vinegar can help unstuff that stubborn nose while its antibacterial properties prevent a resulting sinus infection.

#17 PROTECT AGAINST CANCER

Studies done on lab animals and isolated cells (in vitro) have shown that vinegar can kill cancer cells and tumors. More research is needed but this could be due to vinegar’s ability to change the pH within the body.

#18 BALANCE YOUR BODY

Because of the aforementioned ability of apple cider vinegar to promote a balanced alkaline pH within the body, it can help you ward off problems associated with lower pH levels like fatigue and infection.

#19 REMOVE TOXINS

The unique acids in apple cider vinegar bind to toxins and move them out of the body. The vinegar also breaks up mucus throughout the body and cleanses the lymph nodes which improves the health of the entire lymphatic system, known to remove toxins from cells and improve overall immune system performance.

#20 PREVENT SEASONAL ALLERGIES

Along with breaking up mucus, apple cider vinegar helps support lymphatic drainage. Combine that with its ability to strengthen the immune system and clear sinuses and you’ll be breathing easier in no time.

#21 IMPROVE NUTRIENT ABSORPTION

The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar helps your body absorb nutrients. By adding vinegar to your fresh juice or salad dressing, you’ll be able to soak up more nutrition from those superfoods.

#22 STOP A SUGAR CRASH

Drinking diluted apple cider vinegar before a meal or sweet treat can regulate your glucose levels and soften the crash that usually follows a sugar high.

#23 WHITEN TEETH

Apple cider vinegar can be used as a natural teeth whitener by rubbing it over the teeth with a finger or sponge for up to one minute before rinsing your mouth well with fresh water.

ADD APPLE CIDER VINEGAR TO YOUR DIET

apple-cider-drink
There are a number of ways to consume apple cider vinegar but the easiest-and most consistent-addition is to drink it daily. If you struggle with the strong taste of apple cider vinegar you can take this opportunity to cook with it or add it to your diet elsewhere.

Drink-The Bragg Vinegar Health Drink recipe calls for 1 to 2 tsp. Bragg Organic Vinegar mixed with 8 oz. Purified Water and 1 to 2 tsp. Of either Organic Honey, Pure Maple Syrup, Blackstrap Molasses or 4 drops of Stevia, to taste.

Juice-Add apple cider vinegar to your juices and smoothies for easy implementation to your routine.

Baking-The combination of baking soda with the acids found in vinegar create a chemical reaction that releases carbon dioxide, giving your baked goods a ‘rise’ without eggs. Not to worry, the vinegar taste won’t be noticeable in the final product.

Sauces-Tangy sauces-like barbeque-can get a tasty health boost from the addition of apple cider vinegar. You can also use apple cider vinegar in marinades but some of the health benefits will be lost due to the high heat of cooking.

Soups-Splashing vinegar into your soups can add depth and brightness, but be sure to add it at the end of cooking to avoid destroying beneficial bacteria.

Salads-Shake up some medicinal salad dressing by combining apple cider vinegar, olive oil and any number of mix-ins including mustard, honey, citrus, garlic and herbs.

TRY THESE APPLE CIDER VINEGAR RECIPES

vinegar-recipe
The Secret Detox Drink Recipe from Dr. Axe includes cinnamon to balance blood sugar and cayenne pepper to jump start metabolism.

Good Food features an original recipe for Curtis Stone’s Sticky, Saucy Barbecue Pork Ribs in which both the barbeque sauce and the ribs include apple cider vinegar.

They also have a recipe for Mixed Berries with Apple Cider Vinegar and Cashew Cream that makes a healthy breakfast-or dessert.

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR RISKS AND TIPS

risks-tips-apple-cider-vinegar
Despite all its benefits, apple cider vinegar can cause complications in some situations. Those taking insulin or diuretics should know that apple cider vinegar can interfere with these medications and cause low potassium levels.

Hypokalemia, the medical diagnosis for low potassium, can lead to constipation, weakness, muscle cramps and abnormal heart rhythms.

Furthermore, while apple cider vinegar’s ability to lower glucose levels in the blood (blood sugar) can help manage diabetes, it can also cause blood sugar levels to drop to the point of hypoglycemia in those with fluctuating levels and cause seizures and loss of consciousness.

If you have type 2 diabetes or an insulin resistance you should talk to your doctor before taking apple cider vinegar.

The most common problems associated with the consumption of apple cider vinegar are due to its acidic nature. According to nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky, throat irritation is the most common side effect, especially when apple cider vinegar is consumed consistently or without dilution.

Also, the acids in apple cider vinegar can damage tooth enamel and prolonged exposure can lead to yellowing, sensitivity and decay but rinsing your mouth with water after ingestion will lower these risks.

This article and more found at https://www.cookingdetective.com/23-health-wellness-benefits-apple-cider-vinegar/

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    10 Ways to Go Green in Your Home This Year

    10 Ways to Go Green in Your Home This Year
    The environment is an important part of our earth, and keeping it healthy for our future generations should be a priority. Unfortunately, most people aren’t sure how to get started. If you’re looking for ways to do your part without having to invest long hours, we’ve got you covered. Get inspired with these simple tips from the writers over at Lawn Doctor Denver to make your home a little greener today!
    1) Give Up Junk Mail
    While recycling may be good, it’s best to avoid unnecessary paper waste altogether. Be proactive when you sign up for things, and help get your current amount under control with these simple steps. If you’re enrolled in online billing, go paperless for all of your credit or banking accounts.
    2) Conserve Energy
    Conserving energy does not only help you save money on energy bills, but it’s also great for the
    environment! A few ways to minimize the use of energy includes:
    Adjust your thermostat. A few degrees higher in the summer and lower in the winter can make a big difference.
    Use energy efficient bulbs for all lights. Using these types of bulbs are better for the environment, and more importantly, better for your wallet.
    Switch up your laundry. Try washing with cold water, and air drying on a line to notice a huge change and save money on utility bills.
    3) Minimize Water Use
    While long showers may be nice, wasted water is bad for the environment–and bad for your water bill. Try cutting back on your water use in these 2 ways:
    Take shorter showers. A little less singing, a little more cleaning of the body!
    Do some shower maintenance. Installing a low-flow showerhead and a faucet aerator can help conserve water without losing pressure.
    4) Use Less Gas
    Whether it’s taking local trips instead of long distance or starting a carpool group for the office, being mindful of how much gas you consume is great for the environment and can quickly save you major money. Try biking or walking to more destinations for an added fitness bonus!
    5) Be Mindful of Your Purchases
    We’ve all been guilty of buying things we don’t really need, but when we do it in excess, it creates serious waste. The best option is to borrow, but if you decide to purchase, always try to invest in high quality, reusable items when you can. Consider borrowing for these common items:
    Power Tools
    Seldomly used appliances
    Books
    Clothing

    Consider using reusable items for:
    Grocery bags
    Water bottles
    Envelopes
    Packaging (think boxes)
    And many more
    6) Invest in a Green, Green Lawn
    When it comes to landscaping, it’s not just about green grass. Get a green, green lawn by:
    Eliminating damaging chemicals. Using toxic insecticides and other chemicals can damage the surrounding wildlife and environment for years to come. Consider partnering with a lawn care company like Lawn Doctor who uses eco-friendly lawn treatments instead of harsh chemicals.
    Planting drought-friendly plants. This is a great way to keep your garden pretty without extra watering. These can be a little tricky to select yourself, so consider consulting a landing expert before investing in new plants.
    7) Dispose of Electronics Properly
    Hang on to phones, laptops, batteries, and other electronics as long as possible; and when the time comes to get rid of them, contact your local government for details on the proper disposal methods. We know it’s easier and less time-consuming to just throw them in the trash with the rest of your garbage, but going the extra mile will make you feel good about doing your part, and you’ll be contributing to a healthier, green environment!
    8) Swap Household Cleaners
    While they may be tough on germs, the harsh chemicals in many household cleaners can do some serious damage to the environment. Switch to green cleaners for a green and clean home!
    9) Reduce Use of Toxic Bug Sprays and Pesticides
    Many pesticides and aerosol bug sprays release dangerous chemicals, toxic to not only the environment but also to your family and pets. If you’re doing your own pest control, be sure to utilize eco-friendly sprays to keep your home bug and chemical-free. If you outsource your pest control, hire a company like Lawn Doctor that offers green alternatives to controlling bugs and mosquitoes.
    10) Hire Local
    Not only are local companies more likely to care about your community and environment, but they also inherently generate less waste. Shopping and hiring local means fewer emissions from delivery vehicles, and often safer practices for the environment.
    Remember, even just a small change here and there is a great start. Let us know what other ways you go green in your home today!

    Find this article and more from the super cool and informative blog at
    http://www.lawndoctordenver.com/lawn-care-denver

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      What Will The Theme Of Your Life Be In 2017?

      –by Kira M. Newman, syndicated from Greater Good, Jan 01, 2017

      If your life were a movie, where would the plot be headed right now?

      You may not be immortalized in film anytime soon, but your life is still a story. According to psychologists, we all have an internalized narrative that explains how we became the person we are today and where we are headed tomorrow. Like any Hollywood blockbuster, this narrative has settings, scenes, a plot, characters, and themes.

      As we ponder resolutions for the coming year, New Year’s can also be a time to reflect on our life story—and to figure out how everything fits together. Incorporating our goals into the larger narrative of our life can give us more energy to pursue them, and to become the person we want to be.

      The science of the life story

      Storytelling starts in childhood, as kids narrate events to their parents. Their stories—fragmented, short, and sometimes seemingly pointless—are more than just cute. They reflect a struggle to master this innately human form of communication; children’s efforts also reveal just how cognitively demanding it is. Parents help this process along by asking questions about causes, effects, and emotions, implicitly teaching kids what makes a good story.

      Adolescents improve by leaps and bounds in their storytelling ability, but they don’t quite perfect the art. In fact, at least one study says our stories become more and more coherent through our 20’s. The ability to integrate our stories around a common theme—more on that below—continues improving even into our 40’s. Stories are the way we make sense of the world, and we’re constantly narrating and revising in our heads, sometimes without even realizing it.

      Although our life story is based on actual events, it is also highly personal and subjective. The same life could be narrated many ways; we might hone in on our parents’ divorce and how it colored everything that followed, or downplay the divorce and instead highlight an exemplary college career.

      “Creating any kind of a story is a construction. It’s not just finding something that’s out there,” says Northwestern professor Dan McAdams, a pioneer in the field of narrative psychology. “Selves create stories, which in turn create selves.”

      Not only do stories tell us who we are, but they can also become resources we draw upon in times of difficulty: Recalling stories of strength or resilience helps us confront new challenges, reminding us of how we solved problems in the past. Telling stories can connect us with others, creating intimacy and strengthening relationships. The best stories provide meaning and purpose by linking seemingly random events and experiences into a progressive journey.

      Three common life themes

      Studying stories is not easy, since every person’s life is so unique. In their quest to categorize and correlate, researchers have come up with different ways to analyze life stories, and one of those ways is by theme.

      A theme is a common motivational thread or pattern that runs through a life story. The three themes detailed below—communion, agency, and redemption—have all been linked to well-being. If you want to cultivate happiness in the coming year, organizing your goals and your life story around one of these themes could help the pieces fall into place.

      1. Communion. Stories that emphasize connection, love, friendship, intimacy, caring, or belonging embody the theme of communion. For example, in a 2013 paper, one participant focused on her supportive relationships when recalling a particular memory: “I was warm, surrounded by friends and positive regard that night. I felt unconditionally loved.”

      In a 2004 study, 125 undergrads filled out personality surveys and then wrote about ten scenes from their life story, including a morality scene and a decision scene. Researchers analyzed these scenes for different themes, including the theme of communion. The more this theme showed up in their writing, the more extraverted and agreeable the students tended to be—two traits that are associated with high happiness.

      2. Agency. If some stories emphasize social connection, others emphasize achievement, self-mastery, empowerment, status, and influence. “I challenge myself to the limit academically, physically, and on my job. Since that time [of my divorce], I have accomplished virtually any goal I set for myself,” a different participant wrote in that 2013 study. When describing their experience in therapy, people who tell stories with a stronger agency theme tend to have higher well-being.

      The distinction between communion and agency doesn’t simply boil down to a focus on relationships or work, though. Remember, stories are subjective, and so are themes. If I started a meetup group, I could choose to look at that as an entrepreneurial act of leadership or the pursuit of deeper connection. Each lens would have a different impact on my sense of self, and my life story.

      3. Redemption. The theme of redemption, perhaps the most well-studied in narrative psychology, exists when something bad is mitigated or transformed by the good that follows. Stories of redemption are sad stories with a happy ending: We’ve grown or learned something, or simply recovered; perhaps we choose to see the whole experience as a form of loving sacrifice.

      In a 2001 paper, University of Missouri professor Laura King quotes the parent of a disabled child telling a story of redemption. The story concludes:

      I know my daughter is quite special. It’s as if she’s part of another race or from another planet. She’s definitely wired differently. And I think those wires are hooked directly to God. She’s the closest I’ve come to an angel on Earth.

      In another 2001 study, researchers interviewed 74 adults about their life story. During a two-hour conversation, participants described a variety of scenes from their lives, including a high point, a low point, a turning point, their earliest memory, and important scenes from childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. When their stories were analyzed, the results showed that participants who tended to tell more stories of redemption also reported higher life satisfaction. Redemptive stories were more strongly linked to life satisfaction than stories involving positive emotions, so it wasn’t just redemption’s happy ending that made people feel better.

      “A [redemptive] story suggests hope and progress in life and may thus confer on the storyteller a general coping advantage,” the researchers write. It may become a self-fulfilling prophecy, whether the positive interpretation was initially true or not: In a 2013 study, alcoholics who said their last drinking episode improved them in some way (making them stronger or more motivated) were more likely to be sober and in better health four months later.

      In middle age, people who tell redemptive stories also tend to display more altruism, or “generativity”: acts such as volunteering, mentoring, civic activity, parenting, and teaching.

      More evidence is needed before researchers conclude that particular life stories cause people to become happier, but they suspect it’s a kind of loop: Emphasizing certain life themes leads to happiness, but it’s also the case that happier people are more likely to highlight certain themes, and to become even happier.

      How goals fit into your life story

      In reading about these themes, you might find yourself gravitating toward one of them. Perhaps you’re prioritizing relationships at this point in your life, or you’re struggling to overcome trauma.

      “The trick really is identifying the type of theme that will work for you and your life (there’s no “one size fits all” solution here),” says UC Riverside professor Will Dunlop.

      So how should your life theme inform your goals for the next year?

      The first thing to understand is that goals are part of the tapestry of the life story. “There can be no story without intention,” wrote McAdams in 1992. “Further, there can be no intention without story.”

      As a rule, then, life stories and goals tend to align. In a 2006 study, researchers asked undergrads to describe their goals and their life stories. They found that students with social goals (to meet people or make friends) were more likely to have social life stories—life stories emphasizing the themes of communion and altruism. Goals can even shape which memories we’re more likely to recall.

      Achieving this kind of integration between goals and life stories will make us more motivated and energized to work toward our aims, says McAdams.

      “Goals are crying out or beckoning to be brought into the narrative,” he says. “There’s this ongoing story about life, and if a goal is worthy of being brought into that ongoing narrative, then it’s arrived.”

      When a goal gets integrated into our life story, “it raises the stakes,” he adds. “It says, ‘This is an important thing. My very identity is (to a certain extent) hinging on success.’” And the more a goal becomes part of our identity, self-determination theory suggests, the more it moves from being extrinsically motivated toward being intrinsically motivated.

      Yet McAdams also points out that a goal may represent a departure from our previous trajectory in life, a kind of transition or turning point—and that can become part of our life story, too. The workaholic who vows to make it home in time for dinner may be shifting from a theme of agency to a theme of communion, for example.

      Either way, it’s wise to understand how our aims for the future relate to our path in the past. Goals and New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be isolated aspirations, failed and forgotten. Instead, they can contribute to crafting a life theme and an identity that endure.

      This article is printed here with permission. It originally appeared on Greater Good, the online magazine of the Greater Good Science Center (GGSC). Based at UC Berkeley, the GGSC studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society.

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        Green Circle Salons Article: “Ask Your Salon To Do This”

        Ask your Hair Salon to do This.

        Via Catherine Monkman

        “This is a bag of leftover hair dye from about a week’s worth of appointments from my favorite hair salon.

        Gross huh?

        “What’s even grosser, though, is that this bag of harsh chemicals is what would normally go down the drain at a typical salon each week.

        I was browsing my Facebook feed and noticed a “recommended for you” post from a hair salon page that I’d liked. I don’t often see posts from many pages I follow, thanks to Facebook’s recent changes so it caught my eye and I clicked.

        Nestled in among deals and updates from the salon was a post about Green Circle Salons.

        Ooh, what is this?

        Of course, being an editor for a mindful journal who loves cool eco stuff, I was immediately intrigued and did a bit of googling. Green Circle Salons essentially helps salons recycle and re-purpose materials that they normally aren’t able to—like hair and tin foil used for hair dyeing—so that less waste is sent to landfills and fewer chemicals enter our waterways. The more I learned, the more I was impressed that my go-to hair place was also into being eco-conscious. Guilt-free hair-dos? Hell yeah, bring it on!

        A couple of interesting facts that caught my eye while reading through the literature Green Circle Salons provided:

        “The population of New York City grows enough hair annually to clean up 12,609,000 liters of oil, enough to have cleaned up the entire Exxon Valdez spill.”

        “Toronto Salons waste enough aluminum foil annually to manufacture 7,320 bicycle frames. If 7,320 more Torontonians biked to work, we would reduce carbon dioxide output by 43,920 tons.”

        One of the easiest, laziest things we can do for our planet is vote with our dollars.

        I already love this salon because of my experiences there, but now I’ll also keep coming back because they’re putting in more effort to do what’s right for the environment.

        When I contacted my salon to ask about their decision to join, the salon’s manager Lindsey explained that while they had been doing some recycling, it didn’t seem like enough. So when they were given some information from their beauty supplier about Green Circle Salons, they jumped on it. “A rep from the company came from Calgary to present more…and we were automatically hooked on the idea and wanted to implement it in our salon.” Lindsey also mentioned that so far, clients have been supportive—instead of their yearly price increase, the salon asks for a small $1 to $2.00 fee to support the initiative.

        Whether we’re buying food, stuff for our homes, makeup, clothing, getting our hair done, traveling, buying coffee—there is always a way to vote: by what we’re choosing to pay for, and how we consume it.

        The more we ask for green choices, and the more we’re willing to pay for them, the more these options are made available by businesses. Therefore, any time we have the option to choose a more mindful way to be in this world, we need to take advantage of it.

        I get it: changing our habits is hard. It takes practice and effort, and sometimes we’d rather just stick to our comfortable, easy ways of doing things. So, when businesses make it practically brainless for us to live greener, it’s on us to support them and help move the world forward—inch by inch.”

        from My Hair Trip Organic Salon Denver: We found this amazing article about Green Circle Salons at https://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/07/ask-your-hair-salon-to-do-this/ and just loved it! We, ourselves are proud to be one of the very first salons in Colorado to become a Green Circle Salon. This is truly what we are all about! We were super crazy about how we disposed of our waste before, but now with our partnership with Green Circle its so easy to recycle and responsibly dispose of all of our salon waste including our color tubes, our foils, old product, bottles, hair and even our used tools! We can’t get over the awesomeness!

        Learn more about the great work Green Circle is doing here

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          The Bright Side: Keeping the faith

          Keeping the faith.

          Sometimes you just have to believe things will work out.

          My friend had pretty much lost hope a postcard she had sent me on a recent holiday would ever reach me, especially since her other friends had received theirs weeks before.

          “It must have gotten lost in the mail,” she had said apologetically.

          I, on the other hand, smiled and relaxed. Deep down, I believed I would see the card yet.

          Sure enough, the day after speaking with my friend, there was the “lost” postcard waiting for me in my mailbox.

          Faith — I hold on tightly to every ounce I can, because I have learnt that coupled with the hard work needed to make positive changes, I need to have faith in the work that I do trying to protect the dwindling shark population in Lombok, Indonesia, while finding more sustainable ways for the fisherman to earn a livelihood.

          Things can get incredibly hard, and so much appears impossible.

          Small victories

          So with each success, no matter how small, like when I received that postcard against all odds, I am reminded of the power of faith to keep me smiling and fighting on.

          Sometimes that is the saddest thing that human beings can experience: indifference.

          Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that people should blindly and irrationally believe in magic that can make things happen without hard work.

          There is still a need to weigh the risks and to plough through the grind of doing the work. Without the passion to ignite belief, however, we may not progress as far as we can.

          The point is that we have to keep doing what we can and let hope and faith take us those extra steps forward.

          And yes, most times doing good is not black and white, but it doesn’t mean we should stop trying and stop doing.

          Guarding against indifference

          I was on the train the other day and became frustrated because no one would offer an elderly man a seat.

          I remembered only a week before when on the train with my grandfather how heartened I was by the readiness of people to give up their seats for him. Now barely a week later I was witnessing the opposite.

          Why? Perhaps the seated commuters were distracted by the bright lure of their mobile phones, or perhaps they were over-thinking the decision to give up their seats or not.

          But I wasn’t too patient with my thoughts. The moment a lady left her seat, I threw my bag on it and walked over to the elderly uncle to ask if he would like to sit. I could have been embarrassed if he had insisted on standing, but his look of gratitude was what shocked me and made me thankful for doing what I did — chope-ing (reserving) the seat for him in my frustration.

          What I am trying to say is that we can always think of the many possible ways things could go awry in the process of doing good or trying to do good, but if we don’t even lift a finger to try and then keep the faith that problems will sort themselves out along the way, how then can we even begin to envision a better world?

          Maybe it is time to stop over-thinking and just do already.

          – See more at: https://www.ourbetterworld.org/en/story/keeping-faith#sthash.Amg6oLZo.dpuf

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            Unique Experiences Await You in Denver

            Unique Experiences Await You in Denver

            A guest blog article by Catherine Workman

            The Mile-High City of Denver, Colorado is brimming with things to do, places to eat and drink, and amazing sights to see. As a gateway city to the Rockies, Denver offers all of this amazing culture with one of the most picturesque backdrops imaginable.

            Everyone knows about Red Rocks Amphitheater, Denver’s world-famous concert venue. They know about Coors beer and the famous stadium homes of the Broncos and the Rockies. Denver’s zoo is one of the best in the country and the famous Denver Mint is one of the most popular tours around. But Denver has a lot to offer outside of the beaten path. If you’re planning a trip out west, here are some only-in-Denver sights and experiences that you just can’t miss.

            1.) Denver Botanic Gardens

            For an unparalleled look into the flora of the Rocky Mountain region, a trip to the Denver Botanic Gardens has to be on your list. The main garden, which is nestled in Downtown Denver, features over 15,000 plant species – 700 of which are native to the state of Colorado. The gardens feature a herbaria, which documents “vascular plant and fungal biodiversity and species distribution in Colorado and the Southern Rocky Mountain Region,” and a living collection featuring plants from multiple environments like alpine, amenity, aquatic, native, steppe, tropical, cactus, and succulents. It’s a true Denver experience and one you shouldn’t pass up.

            2.) The Molly Brown House

            You remember Kathy Bates in Titanic, right? Well only in Denver will you find the home, now converted into a museum, of the bold woman she played in the iconic film. The Molly Brown House was home to famous socialite Margaret Brown, better known as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.” The once-home of the activist who famously survived the sinking of the Titanic has a storied history, including being used as a boarding home during the Great Depression and falling into disrepair. The house, originally built in the 1880s, was restored in the 1970s. The beautiful home is free to visitors.

            3.) The Mount Evans Experience

            If you’re looking for a real “mile-high” adventure and are not afraid of heights – or windy roads for that matter – taking a trip up the Mount Evans Scenic Byway is an absolute must. It’s about a 60 mile drive outside of Denver, but the experience is so quintessentially Denver. The Byway is the highest paved road in the entire continent, and the trip up its twists and turns is a truly amazing experience.

            “A day trip to the top is a journey that snakes and climbs through nearly 9,000 feet of elevation gain, from the high plains of Denver through five climate zones to the 14,264-foot summit of Mount Evans – one of 54 peaks in Colorado that soar to 14,000 feet and above – the famous ‘fourteeners.’”

            On the way up you’ll have the chance to make a few pit stops at worthwhile locations like Echo Lake and Summit Lake – both of which offer top-notch hiking trails and incredible views. You might even spot some famous Rocky Mountain goats while you’re there.

            4.) Forney Museum of Transportation

            One of the country’s coolest little museums is nestled in Denver. The Forney Museum of Transportation features a wonderful collection of pieces from transportation history – from a late 1800s Denver cable car to Amelia Earhart’s 1923 Kissel “Gold Bug.” Admission isn’t free, but it’s very affordable.

            There’s a lot to do in Denver. It’s a unique city with a spirit all of its own. Sure, take in the zoo and Coors Field – but also consider taking the time to get off the path a little bit and enjoy some nature and history that’s purely Denver.

            Photo Credit: Aakash Sahai, Wikimedia Commons

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              Green Beauty Smoothie: Detox & Cleanse

              Green Beauty Smoothie: Detox & Cleanse

              Green smoothies are a refreshing and delicious way to detoxify the liver and cleanse the body while still enjoying a delicious treat. A cleaned-up liver can process nasty toxins more efficiently which leads to clear, radiant and younger-looking skin. Blending fruits and vegetables in a smoothie versus juicing, boosts the absorption of all the beneficial vitamins and nutrients by keeping the fiber in the mix. This aids in cleansing and gets the body back into balance resulting in more energy and a natural glow.

              Remember to choose organic when possible to avoid heavily pesticide-sprayed produce. Pesticides are toxic to the body, far from beautiful and defeat the purpose of detoxification.

              Filled to the brim with purifying ingredients, this revitalizing smoothie is best enjoyed soaking up the spring sunshine!

              Green Beauty Smoothie Ingredients:

              8 oz coconut water – Contains enzymes that help to detoxify and repair the body
              ½ lemon peeled – Detoxifies the liver and helps convert toxins into water-soluble form that can be easily eliminated from the body
              Small handful of parsley leaves – Loaded with vitamins A, C, K along with folate and iron which all benefit healthy skin
              ½ granny smith apple – Quercetin found in the apple skin tackles free radicals that cause damage and wrinkles
              ½ cucumber peeled & cut – Made of 95% water, keeps the body hydrated while helping it eliminate toxins
              1 tbsp chia seeds – Filled with omega-3’s that boost collagen production and fiber to aid in cleansing
              Handful of spinach – Chlorophyll in greens oxygenates and alkalizes the blood leading to less inflammation and glowing skin
              ¼ avocado – The good fats, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated, which help control the skin’s moisture level
              Stevia to sweeten – Natural sweetener to satisfy a sweet tooth made from a plant with no sugar and impact on blood sugar levels
              3-4 ice cubes
              Blend ingredients until smooth and enjoy your organic Green Beauty Smoothie.

              {from my article in the Coco Eco Magazine EARTH ROCKS Spring/Summer 2014 issue on p. 50-51}

              This and more found at http://organicbeautytalk.com/green-beauty-smoothie-detox-cleanse/

              At My Hair Trip, The Organic Salon Denver, we love finding great green beauty and organic living tips like this one. Stay tuned to get all sorts of little organic treats like this one from our blog.

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                The Bitter Side of Salon & Spa Suites

                Suites and suite franchises are promising a whole lot that they can’t deliver.

                Suites are twisting a lot of facts and data with one intent … to get leases signed.

                Suites use the terms “Revenue,” “Profit” and “Income” to say the same thing. These terms are NOT the same thing. Suites say, “You can keep 100% of the profit,” but they never define “profit.” Profit is what’s left after all expenses are paid. For an independent suite tenant, that’s called “Net Income.” The suites never explain that profit can be negative and that a suite tenant can keep all of that negative profit.
                Suites blur the term “Income.” Are they talking “Gross Revenue” or “Net Income”? A claim that “income” went up 40% to 60% is easy to make when that “Income” really means “Gross Revenue” from service and retail sales – not net personal income.
                One suite franchise spotlights one hairstylist that said he wasn’t looking to be self-employed, but when his salon owner presented him with a 150-mile radius non-compete, it left him no option. REALLY? A 150-mile non-compete for a stylist is a ridiculous statement. 15-mile? Yes. 150-mile radius? No. It would never hold up in court. It’s another bashing of a very common practice at employee-based salons.
                Another suite franchise spotlights a stylist that went right from cosmetology school into a suite. She says, “Last year I made just over $100,000.” My rent is about $12,000 a year.” Wow! Sounds like a no brainer. But, “I made just over $100,000” means Gross Revenue … not Net Income. Factor in all of the other costs of doing business and self-employment taxes … and that $100,000 looks more like Net Income of $30,000 to $40,000 after taxes. Without a following, or one hell of a gift for networking and social media, making a living in a suite is a tough and lonely career path.
                The suite companies and franchises are doing everything they can to roll out the red carpet to secure tenants. From custom-designed suite decor, business software and apps … to months of free rent so tenants can take a “vacation” … suites are going after established salons’ employees.
                For an independent service provider, signing a multi-year lease is risky when the entire business depends on one pair of hands.
                For suite owners and franchises … those multi-year leases are only as good as the ability to pay by the people that sign them. Leasing to a half-booked stylist with little to no business experience is seriously risky.

                A prediction on Suites

                Many predict that the suites’ promises of gold and “build your own business – not someone else’s” is going to peak and then recede. The signs are already there. Suite stylists are going to see working for a salon as the best career and income security move.

                Here’s our challenge to todays Salon/Spa Owners … It’s time to rethink everything about your business. The days of building a salon/spa one column at a time are over. Today, you must grow a company … and a unique brand.

                Employee-based salons/spas must become everything booth rental and suites are not. Team service must replace “I/me/mine” service. Career paths must be real and deliverable … not “some day promises.” True employee benefits like paid vacations, paid holidays, company paid advanced education, team bonus plans and more, must fill the benefit void that has existed too long.

                Salon/spa compensation must evolve beyond commission, sliding scales, service charges and product-cost deductions … all of which feed independent booth rental and suite thinking and behavior.
                It’s time to play a very different and more sophisticated game than the traditional salon/spa model. It’s definitely time to play a better game than the suites are playing. It’s time.

                At My Hair Trip, The #1 rated organic salon in Denver we too have had our share of stylists who have had their appointment books filled by us only to try to take our clients and leave to rent suites on their own because of all of these promises the suite industry has made to them. Luckily, because of our world class service and genuine care for our clients typically not many choose to leave and it is unfortunate for the stylists who do leave. We root for our stylists while they are members of our team and we continue to root for them if they leave.

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                  The Bright side: Dog saves injured Michigan man from freezing to death in the snow

                  The Brightside: I’m not here to make sense of the noise and chaos of the outside world, but what I can do is make sense of myself. Somewhat. Let me be true to my soul. Be genuine. Be faithful. Be strong in my beliefs. So strong that it moves me to action. In a world that confuses my inner most, simplistic essence, I feel resolved to share the light and love of the bright side.

                  What was supposed to be a night of celebrations quickly turned into a nightmare for a northern Michigan man as he lay helpless in the snow for nearly 20 hours on New Year’s Eve.

                  About an hour before the big countdown, Bob ran out of his house in pajamas and slippers to grab another log for his fireplace when he slipped and fell, breaking his neck.

                  He tried to scream for help, but the only one who heard his cry was his Golden Retriever, Kelsey.

                  “I was screaming for help but my nearest neighbor is about a quarter mile away and it was 10:30 p.m., but my Kelsey came,” explained Bob, according to a statement sent to CBS News by McLaren Northern Michigan hospital. “By morning my voice was gone and I couldn’t yell for help, but Kelsey didn’t stop barking.”

                  The temperature dipped to 24 degrees as Bob lay paralyzed in the snow, Kelsey still barking by his side. The dog prevented Bob from falling victim to hypothermia by lying on top of him and licking his face and hands to keep him awake.

                  “She kept barking for help but never left my side,” Bob said. “She kept me warm and alert. I knew I had to persevere through this and that it was my choice to stay alive.”

                  Eventually, he lost consciousness. But the silence didn’t stop Kelsey from barking, and eventually the dog’s efforts paid off.

                  The next day, Bob’s neighbor found him and called 911.

                  By the time he arrived at the McLaren Northern Michigan Emergency Department in Petoskey, Michigan, he was hypothermic — with a core body temperature under 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the hospital told CBS News.

                  “I was surprised to find out that I didn’t have any frostbite,” Bob said. “I am sure it was because of Kelsey’s determination.”

                  Chaim Colen, a neurosurgeon at McLaren Northern Michigan, immediately performed spinal decompression surgery on Bob, which was a complete success. Bob still has a long road of recovery, and hours of physical therapy, ahead of him, but thanks to his dog and doctor, he knows he’ll be just fine.

                  “I’m so thankful for my two heroes,” Bob said. “Kelsey kept me warm, alert and never stopped barking for help. Dr. Colen saved my life and ability to move. They are truly heroes and I will be eternally grateful.”

                  This Bright Side Story found at http://www.cbsnews.com/news/dog-keeps-injured-owner-from-freezing-to-death-in-the-snow/

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                    My Hair Trip, The #1 Rated Organic Salon in Denver: Member of the Colorado Environmental Leadership Program

                    We are so unbelievably honored to be one of hundreds of businesses in Colorado to be members of The ELP and to be the only salon represented in the organization.

                    The Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) is our statewide environmental recognition and reward program which offers benefits and incentives to members that voluntarily go beyond compliance with state and federal regulations and are committed to continual environmental improvement.

                    The Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) is a voluntary program that encourages and rewards su- perior environmental performers that go beyond the requirements of environmental regulations and move toward the goal of sustainability. The program is open to all Colorado businesses, industries, offices, educational institutions, municipalities, government agencies, community, not-for-profit and other organizations. Currently, the program consists of three tiers, Bronze, Silver and Gold.
                    The purpose of this document, The Colorado Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) Handbook, is to provide a central reference for policies and procedures associated with Colorado’s ELP. The Hand- book summarizes information on current aspects of program implementation, including eligibility re- quirements and member incentives. To further clarify and interpret program criteria, guidance infor- mation is also provided and clearly marked as “guidance”. The Handbook is a perennial “working document” that will be maintained primarily in electronic form so that program updates can be incor- porated into it quickly and frequently.

                    My Hair Trip Salon : The #1 rated organic salon in Denver is a Silver Partner
                    Silver Partner:
                    An entity applying to the Silver Tier of the ELP must commit to develop and implement an environmental management system (EMS) within an agreed upon timeframe, not to exceed three years, in addition to meeting the requirements for “beyond-compliance” activities and programs.
                    Certain milestones (at a minimum) must be met to remain in the program, however, an entity has the opportunity to apply to the Gold Tier sooner if they meet the following requirements:
                    (NOTE: Not all requirements may apply and will be determined on a case-by-case basis).
                     By the end of year one the entity must, at a minimum, demonstrate “in process”
                    EMS implementation steps beyond that of the time of applying to the program.
                     By the end of year two, the entity must, at a minimum, have in process additional
                    portions of an EMS beyond that of the first year.
                     By the end of year three, the entity must have a fully functional EMS, conducted a
                    third party audit and comply with all the requirements listed in Appendix A. At such time, an entity may apply directly to the Gold Tier.

                    Continual environmental improvement goals should promote the following: (1) the elimination or reduction of waste at the source of generation; (2) redirection of waste streams for reuse or for substitution of commercial products; (3) environ- mentally sound on-site and off-site recycling programs; and, (4) beyond compliance activities and programs. Other goals may include attending or sponsoring environ- mental workshops, developing case studies, establishing pollution prevention net- works with suppliers or providing the department with pollution prevention infor- mation for possible publication or dissemination. Aspects are chosen by the facil- ity. Commitment for improvement should relate to the significant environmental aspects identified in the EMS and should take into account local environmental pri- orities and pollution prevention opportunities.
                    Optional activities or programs that qualify for continual environmental im- provement can include participating in mentoring opportunities with other compa- nies or organizations such as providing technical assistance and exchanging innova- tive technologies, attending or sponsoring workshops and developing case studies.

                    My Hair Trip Organic Salon Denver – is proud to be a member of the Environmental Leadership Program and to be certified as green business by the Certifiably Green Denver Program and to be Colorado’s #1 customer-rated organic salon.

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