Author Archives: Pm

Raw Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds – Spicy Flavored Recipe

Raw, spicy, sprouted pumpkin seeds

Raw, sprouted pumpkin seeds is one of those recipes I can't stop making. They just taste so good!

Sprouted pumpkin seeds are scrumptious and nutritious. 

This recipe tastes like party in your mouth.


After only 24 hours of soaking and waiting, the seeds won't grow a little tail. It's too early, that happens after the 3 or 4th day.

Our goal is to start the germination process of the seed, allowing some of the seed to convert the fats and starch into vitamins and minerals. This makes it more nutritious for us to eat.

Step 1

Collect the ingredients. For this recipe, all you need is:

- 2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder (or any red pepper)

Bonus: 1 1/2 teaspoon brewers yeast flakes (gives it a nacho cheesy flavor)

Add pumpkin seeds to a glass jar.

I bought my raw pumpkin seeds in bulk, learn more here.

Add raw pumpkin seeds to jar

Add raw pumpkin seeds to jar

Step 2

Fill the jar with filtered water. Leave on the counter.

Soak the pumpkin seeds in water for 8 - 12 hours

Fill jar with filtered water.

Fill jar with filtered water.

Step 3

Drain, and rinse until the water runs clear (2-3 rinses is usually enough).

Let sit for 24 hours. Be sure to rinse at least 3 more times - every 8 hours.

The seeds will be plump at this time, because they have rehydrated with water.

I use "Sprout Ease - Econo Topper", these are for wide mouth glass mason jars. Makes rinsing a snap!

Drain, and rinse water until it runs clear

Drain, and rinse water until it runs clear

Step 4

Rinse one more time.

Place all ingredients in a bowl, and mix until all the seeds are covered with the spicy mixture. 

Mix all ingredients

Mix all ingredients

Step 5

Place on a baking sheet and let air dry, or put in a dehydrator at 118 F, for 4-5 hours

When done seeds are crunchy, and the mixture becomes hard around the pumpkin seed.

Dehydrate 4 hours at 188 F.

Dehydrate 4 hours at 118 F.

Step 6

Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator. They will last about 3 days.

Store seeds in a jar in refrigerator

Store seeds in a jar in refrigerator

Raw, sprouted pumpkin seeds - a quick and easy raw recipe

Mine never last more than 2 days, because they are so tasty and filling.

They make great snacks, and salad toppings too.

The Health Benefits of Daily Walking

Daily Walking Health Benefits

Daily walking has tremendous health benefits. Next time you jump in your car, and park close to a store - think again. Instead park much further back, because even short walks can benefit you.

Daily walking is easy, almost too easy. That’s why it’s health benefits are taken for granted. It moves your body from point A to point B. But there is also a health component that you must know about.

Let’s find out how good walking really is.

15 minutes per day, to increase life expectancy

But first, let's start with the bad news. Inactivity can lead to:
- 25% increase in heart disease
- 45% increase in cardiovascular disease mortality
- 10% increase in the incidence of cancer, diabetes, and depression

But, walking daily can offset all of that.

Both 15 or 30 minutes of brisk walking a day showed a 3 year extension of life expectancy. Which means you only need to find 15 minutes daily to receive it’s benefits

Need to shorten your exercise time below 15 minutes, then take a quick run.

A 5 minute run creates the same benefits as a 15 minute walk. Now you only need to find 5 minutes a day.

Running only 5-10 minutes a day  helps:
- reduced mortality by 30%
- cardiovascular disease by 45%
- could add 3 years of life expectancy

Daily walking or runnning, you decide!

This huge study of 33,060 runners and 15,045 walkers found something interesting. Runners were performing with vigorous intensity, while walkers performed with moderate intensity. But under both intensities, they found similar results. 

There was a reductions in the risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes for both running and walking.

Plus the more people walked or ran, the more health benefits they received.

Walk or run

Walk or run

Walking reduces hereditary weight gain

Harvard medical school reports walking just one hour a day cut the effects of hereditary weight-promoting genes in half. Plus it helps reduce cravings for chocolate, and sugary snacks.

It also reduces the amount of breast cancer in women by 14%, when the women walked 7 or more hours each week.

Furthermore, they state that walking eases joint pain, and it can prevent arthritis from even forming with 5-6 miles each week. Plus, walking boosts immune function with only 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week, amounting to 43% less required sick days.

Improves mood and slows mental decline

According to, walking even improves mood. They state that a California State University study showed that the more steps people took during the day, the better their moods were. Because during a walk, "natural pain killers (endorphins) are release in the body.

Another study found that just 12 minutes of walking resulted in an increase in joviality, vigor, attentiveness and self-confidence versus the same time spent sitting. Walking in nature, specifically, was found to reduce ruminating over negative experiences, which lowered the risk of depression. also states that walking slows mental decline. That age-related memory decline was lower in those who walked more. Women who walked 2.5 miles per day had a 17-percent decline in memory, as opposed to women who walked less than 1/2 a mile per week who had a 25-percent decline.

They even state that men between the ages of 71 and 93 who walked more than a 1/4 mile a day had 50% less dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, compared to those who didn't.

Burns those extra calories

According to, walking for pleasure burns 170 calories an hour.

Walking 5 times a week would burn an extra 850 calories. Walking 4 weeks in a row would burn 3,400 calories every month. Without any other lifestyle changes that would amount to a weight loss of 1 pound a month.

But, walking on a grass track nearly doubles the effort. In this case it would burn 270 calories an hour. Walking 5 days a week, for 4 weeks in a row, would result in a weight loss of 1.5 pounds a month.

Walking encourages ideas

According to One Stanford University study, Walking even opens up the free flow of ideas, and increases creative output by an average of 60%.

They call this type of creativity “divergent thinking,” which is creating ideas by exploring many possible solutions.

Even anxiety is relieved with just a 10-minute walk. Because engaging in another activity frees the mind to wander, and receive idea solutions to improve current circumstances.

Get new ideas

Get new ideas

Lack of walking raises health care costs

It even costs more when you don't exercise, like walking regularly. You pay for it with additional health care costs.

The study shows that inadequate levels of aerobic physical activity had an estimated 11.1% of health care expenditures.  While inadequate levels of regular physical activity like walking were associated with 8.7% of health care expenditures.

Being active increases brain size

This study found that physical activity prevents or delays cognitive decline, memory impairment, and dementia.

More specifically increased aerobic activity and fitness may have a positive effect on the size of the hippocampus. Which is the small region of the brain that forms part of the limbic system and is primarily associated with memory and spatial navigation.

Walk short amounts, more often

This study suggests that "interrupting sitting time with frequent brief bouts of light-intensity activity, but not standing, enhances cardio-metabolic health."

Walking in nature is healthy

This study found that across England, people living in greener areas engage in slightly higher levels of recreational walking. They also have slightly lower rates of premature mortality.

They found that 7% of depression cases and 9% of high blood pressure cases could be prevented if all city residents were to visit green spaces at least once a week, for an average duration of 30 minutes or more.

Walk in nature for health

Walk in nature for health

Walking reduces body fat

This article states that "vigorous regular walking resulted in a reduction of body fat stores, endogenous insulin requirements, and food intake, and perhaps improved the ability to eliminate cholestrol by increasing the plasma high density lipoprotein fraction."

The benefits just go on and on. Walking is an asset in your life. Get up, and get out there today!

Even pollution can't offset walking benefits

Worried that walking in a city will do more harm that good. Don't, it would take quite a bit of daily walking to do so.

This article states that even walking in cities with higher pollution won't offset the benefits of cycling or walking.  They found that the tipping point would only be reached after 7 h of cycling and 16 h of walking per day.

Walking is your path to health

As you can see walking is a powerhouse of health benefits.

Plus, it doesn't take any longer that 15-30 minutes a day. Even shorter if you want to replace some of that walking with running.

It reduces body fat, improves mood, pushes away cancers, alleviates depression, lowers health care costs, and possibly increases life expectancy.

Start by walking 5 minutes a day consistently, and work your way up to 30 minutes. 

I load my phone with recordings and podcasts to listen to while walking. The time fly's by, and I am able to stay lean and trim. Plus I always feel great when I am finished.

Give it a try today! You'll be very happy that you did!

Walking is healthy, start by adding it back into your life.

Coffee pleasure, or a hidden danger

Coffee Hidden Dangers

I cringe every time I read a new study about the benefits of coffee. I have to wonder who is actually funding these studies. Or, which coffee aficionado chose to extol it’s benefits. After all, it's a 20 billion dollar industry, and over 500 billion cups of coffee are consumed world-wide.

But something is awry, and this time I want to put my finger on it.

The most recent study is this one (coffee consumption and health).

Here is an excerpt:  “Coffee consumption seems generally safe within usual levels of intake, with summary estimates indicating largest risk reduction for various health outcomes at 3 or 4 cups a day, and more likely to benefit health than harm”.

What's really going on here?

On the surface, all seems fine. But what is really going on?

It’s part of a continuing trend in society. Move away from whole food. Rely on short bursts of energy via caffeine and sugar. Try to get through the day.

But it doesn’t work. Caffeine and sugar act likes drugs in the body.

Can you get addicted to water?

Drink 4 cups of water each day for a 3 months, and then quit. Do you get a headache. Do you suddenly feel withdrawal symptoms. Do you need to get your “morning water” first thing, or risk having a really bad day. 

Or course not. Water, like so many other natural substances isn't addicting.

But watch out if you miss your morning cup of coffee, or worse try to quit completely. People report massive headaches, and strong cravings. They have what is called caffeine dependence.

Glass of water

Glass of water

Your health is the sum total of your choices

This leads me to the main point. Health is the combined effect of all choices, but those same choices can also lead to disease.

Coffee on it’s own may not be bad at 2-3 cups a week. But adding 3-4 cups a day, along with a poor diet, and little exercise can culminate in deteriorating health effects.

According to the World Health Organizaion, the number of new cases of cancer is expected to rise by about 70% over the next 2 decades.

Cancer is not going away, rather it's in full force and gaining steam!

Behavioral and dietary risks

Also from the Word Health Organization:

"Around one third of deaths from cancer are due to the 5 leading behavioral and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and alcohol use."

Thank goodness coffee isn’t listed. But if it was, would that be enough to remove it from your lifestyle?

Lifestyle choices have changed

Over the years lifestyle choices have changed. People consume less vegetables and fruit, exercise less, and generally sit more.

Coffee is part of this lifestyle choice. It’s a tasty quick fix, that even comes with a power jolt. But people didn’t always go to the corner coffee shop 3 -4 times a day for a hit.

Look at the massive addiction to fast food, cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine drinks, and sugar. The desire for instant gratification and instant energy reign supreme.

However, the untold story is that there is an increase in disease, sickness, and toxicity. More and more people are hearing these dreaded words - you have cancer.

Coffee and lots of sugar

Coffee and lots of sugar

People are sicker than just one generation back

All of these new behaviors are having a dramatic effect on health.

So when a study comes out like the one mentioned, don’t look at it so quickly with rose colored glasses. They say 3-4 cups a day is ok. I say Really?

Look at the big picture. People are generally more diseased than even just one generation back. Something must have happened.

Some cancers are on the rise

Look at the statistics. These charts, show a huge increase in cancer rates from 1975 to 2014, for 3 types of cancer.

thyroid cancer

Thyroid Cancer Rates Increasing

Thyroid Cancer Rates Increasing

liver and intraheptic bile duct cancer

Liver Cancer Rates Increasing

Liver Cancer Rates Increasing

kidney and renal cancer rates

Kidney Renal Cancer Rates Increasing

Kidney Renal Cancer Rates Increasing

It wasn't always like this

Did you ever look at vintage photos from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Ever notice how the bodies of most people were trim, lean, and appeared generally fit.

They had coffee, but most of the population drank a lot less than 4 cups a day. They also ate sugar, and sweets. But not anywhere near the levels consumed today. Fast food didn’t exist either, other then the hearty meals served at local diners.

Compare the people back then to the population of today. A side by side comparison would make you think these were two different species. The humans today are almost TWICE as BIG!

Not twice as tall, but twice as wide.

Leaner people back then

Leaner people back then

Obesity is becoming a crisis

Something is wrong, and it's wrong on a global Scale. It's now official, 1/3 of the world population is obese or overweight. 

The big link between obesity and cancer

There is a link. It has now been found that 40% of all cancer cases linked to obesity, or being overweight.

Something has to change, and soon!

How does this relate to coffee?

So what does all of this information have to do with coffee?

The over consumption of more than 2-3 cups of coffee a week will have a detrimental effect on health. Doing so will change how the individual hydrates during the day.

Consuming (4) 8 oz cups of coffee is 32 oz of liquid. For some people, this is the only liquid the drink all day long.

It goes without saying that coffee is not pure water. Rather it is tainted with the charred remains of the coffee bean.

Drinking 3-4 cups of coffee a day will change how a person hydrates their body.

Coffee is replacing water consumption

So instead of giving the body clean, pure water, which it needs. It receives instead, a hot, caffeinated, sugared, fatty beverage that must be internally processed before use.

But who drinks one 8 oz cup of coffee anymore. Sizes are closer to 16 oz, and up. Three cups of 16 oz coffee equals 48 oz of liquid (that's a little bit under a half a gallon).

Stated simply, people are replacing required water with coffee.

Coffee doesn't have any real nutrition

Coffee is a brewed drink from roasted coffee beans. The beans are the seeds of berries from the coffee plant.

When enjoying a hot cup of coffee you will get a short burst of energy. But there is no real nutrition. Therefore it doesn’t positively affect the daily nutritional requirements.

Some more data.

Black coffee contains no significant amounts of the macronutrients, fat, carbohydrate and protein.

Per 100ml, black coffee contains a number of micronutrients, notably potassium (92mg), magnesium (8mg) and niacin (0.7mg).

The sodium level is very low.

There is also manganese (0.05mg), and riboflavin (0.01mg).

But that's it. No calories, unless you put in milk, cream and sugar. Which almost everyone does.

Coffee is acidic

But here is the real kicker. Coffee is acidic.

Dentin is one of the four major components of teeth (enamel, dentin, cementum and pulp). It is the second hardest tissue that lies underneath the outer Enamel layer. Enamel is harder.

According to this dentist:

Dentin dissolves below 6.50
Enamel dissolves below 5.50

Ready for this:

Black coffee is 5.70 on the PH scale
Starbucks regular is 4.85

Black coffee can dissolve dentin, but a starbucks coffee can dissolve both dentin and enamel.


Damaged teeth

Damaged teeth

Acidosis can lead to bone loss

What about osteoporosis.

A loss in calcium contributes to bone loss.

Coffee is acidic. The body must neutralize the acids. It can do so in 3 ways.

1. by diluting it with higher water percentage'

2. storing it in fat

3. neutralizing it with low PH minerals like that of calcium.

But where does the calcium come from to neutralize the acidity? It comes from the skeletal system.

Drinking acid beverage like coffee is suicide

Drinking 3-4 cups of coffee a day is suicide. It's a sure fire way to increase the acidity of your body.

Why do this when it has been shown that acid loads show calcium loss from bone.

If the body is acidic, it will do everything in it's power to neutralize those acids. As shown from the excerpt of this study.

"The role of the skeleton in acid-base homeostasis in adults may contribute to the progressive decline in bone mass that occurs with age, which is ultimately expressed as osteoporosis. The bone loss may result, at least partly, from lifelong mobilization of skeletal calcium salts to balance endogenous acid generated from dietary precursors."

Is coffee really worth all of this

The real question you have to ask yourself is it really worth it. Sure they say drinking 3-4 cups of coffee a day won't hurt you. But it's not the whole picture.

Take into account the lifestyle changes over the past 20 years. The increase of some cancers, and the acidity of coffee itself.

Is it really worth it, just for a few moments of pleasure. 

Clearly there are healthier beverages available.

Why not do yourself a favor, and put down the coffee and pick up the water bottle.

In the end, you are the only one that will be taking care of you.

So start today, by caring for your health and body. Dump the coffee, and use that 5 bucks for a fresh veggie juice.

How Buying Bulk Saves Hundreds

Buying Bulk saves hundreds

Buying bulk makes sense. It’s the reason so many large stores like Costco and Sam’s Club exist.

But what do you do when you eat a mostly raw diet? You can’t run down to Costco and buy a 5 pound sack of raw, organic, unshelled sunflower seeds.

There isn't a one-stop neighborhood shop for bulk seeds, nuts and grains.

Go to Amazon and buy, buy, buy

So you have to do the next logical thing. Go to Amazon. There you can buy the smaller sizes. But as a regular consumer of these items, this option becomes expensive very quickly.

I had high hopes for ThriveMarket. It’s like Costco, but for natural products. However, it appears most of the items are processed and packaged. That’s good for some of my needs, but not for the natural, raw items that I consume the most.

It gets expensive buying small sizes

Since I sprout every day, I needed a consistent supply of raw nuts, seeds, and grains.

For example on Amazon, Handy Pantry sells black-oiled sunflower seeds for $8.99 per 8 oz.

That’s a whopping $17.96 per pound. 

What is this stuff - gold?

The good news is that they offer better prices for the larger sizes.

Black oil sunflower seeds

Black oil sunflower seeds

Price per pound varies widely

Handy Pantry sells raw, unshelled sunflower seeds in the following sizes/prices:

offer size

offer price

price per pound

8 oz pouch



 most expensive

1 1/2 pound pouch



3 pound can



18 pound bucket



 most economical

So I was beginning to see a pattern. I could continue buying 8 oz at $17.96 per pound, or pull the plug and buy 18 pounds for $6.67 per pound.

This is where I felt trapped. I was buying small amounts of about 2 pounds every month, and the costs were starting to add up.

Since I was consuming these products regularly it was time to make a new choice.

But wait, smaller amounts make sense

But I had trouble convincing myself at first. Buying small amounts made more sense. After all, this is what I always did so it must be right.

Plus it was super easy to store them. Just open the cabinet, and throw ‘em in. Buying 8 oz of sunflower seeds takes up very little space.

At first glance, buying small amounts seems quite practical. 

Order product, receive product, consume product! Now that's practical. 

It was so easy! But this is where the consumer-trap is hidden from view.

The consumer trap

The system is designed so the consumer buys smaller amounts, and more often. This forces them to constantly buy the same things over and over.

 Just like clockwork, as soon as they run out the product, they order it again. The faster the items are consumed, the faster they are purchased. And the cycle continues ad nauseum.

I was one of those consumers. I was buying the smaller versions, and I was buying them once or twice a month. I was caught in the consumerism trap.

Are you caught in the consumerism trap

Are you caught in the consumerism trap

But the real kicker is that businesses make more money with this process. Because they sell smaller packets and sizes, they can charge more. They do this with creative packaging to create the illusion you are buying something bigger than it really is.

So the advertisements continue, and the consumers keep buying the small sizes. But no one catches on.

But I’m on to them, and I hope you will be too after you finishing reading this information.

Smaller sizes are costing you more

Have you ever considered that buying smaller amounts of healthy products, is costing you way more than it should.

Take another example of raw, pumpkin seeds. I was buying the brand Food To Live on Amazon. They sell 2 pounds of raw pumpkin seeds for $13.99, or roughly $7.00 a pound. Plenty for one month.

I even was buying Gluten Free Prairie - Oat Groats. I started with 3 pounds at at $11.99, which comes to $4.00 per pound.

At the time, my mindset was "just get it ordered", and I’ll deal with this next time.

But the next month came and went and things didn’t change. And I continued to pay the higher prices - all in the name of convenience.

Create a new consumer mindset

So what type of new mindset do you need when you decide to "go bulking"?

Here are 4 things that will help keep your wits about you.

First of all there is a real money savings. Yes, the first purchase outlay cost more. But in the long run it’s far cheaper. Plus you only have to buy it once a year.

Good ideas create new mindsets

Good ideas create new mindsets

Second, it removes any concerns that you will run out. This in itself is a big time waster. How often do you ask yourself “am I running low on _____”? This is a big problem because once again we have to remember and focus on this product when we have so many other things to think about. 

As consumers, we get caught up in consuming, and this continually wastes a lot of our personal time. Time that could be better spent on more fun or enjoyable activities.

But let's continue with the improved mindset.

Third, it’s opens up all these new doors and possibilities. Have you ever found yourself changing a recipe, or even dropping the idea of making something because you didn’t have the ingredients on hand. When you buy in bulk you end all of that. You have what you need, and you can continue to make what you want.

Lastly, buying in bulk keeps your home in a state of “emergency preparedness”. Stuff happens, like hurricanes, power outages, blizzards, ice storms, tornado’s, sickness, and other natural, or man made disasters.

When you buy in bulk and stock up, you have supplies that will take you through those challenges. Just watch the news to see the insane grocery store raids every-time there is a disaster. Lines that wrap around the block. Angry customers ready to fight each other over a can of beans. Store shelves are empty, and illegal price-gouging takes it’s place.

Should I buy what I need, or put it off?

Let's take a situation I recently experienced.  I like to buy health related products and I needed another sprouting tray. But I went back and forth on the idea, and temporarily decided to hold off on getting it.

Then I compared the money I would have spent on non-bulk items, and compared it to my new bulk lifestyle. The savings clearly spoke for themselves.

What I paid monthly buying smaller sizes

Here is what I consumed monthly. About 2 pounds of each, every month. Or about 24 pounds of each, every year.

  • 2 pounds of pumpkin seeds for snacks and salad additions ($13.99)
  • 2 pounds of sunflower seeds for growing sprouts ($8.98 + $15.95 = $24.93)
  • 2 pounds of oat groats for morning breakfast, and treats ($9.96 + $9.96 = $19.92)

I was paying $58.84 per month

Which equals $706.08 per year (12 x $58.84)

What I paid for one year of bulk

  • 25 pound case of pumpkin seed ($73.66 including shipping from
  • 24 pounds of sunflower seeds ($183.97 - 2x 3 pounds at 31.99/each, 18 pounds at $119.99 including shipping at Amazon)
  • 25 pounds of oat groats ($50.60 including shipping from Amazon) 

Cost of buying bulk equals $308.23. That's for a one year supply!

Total cost savings of buying bulk: $397.85 (compared to non-bulk purchasing above)

Let me write that again

I saved $397.85 dollars on food I would have bought anyway!

What to do with all those savings

When I reconsidered buying that sprouting tray given these savings, it felt right.

I applied the savings to the new item. Win-Win!

The savings generated from buying bulk were simply reapplied to my current needs.

These savings can also be applied for gas, road trips, natural health products, or special treats. 

The options are endless.

Money Savings

Money Savings

Buy in bulk and enjoy the benefits

Buying in bulk is great, it saves money, saves precious time, removes worry about running out, and keeps your household in a state of preparedness.

Next time you consider buying small amounts, take a closer-look and see if you can buy in bulk. Beat the consumerism "small purchase trap". And apply the savings to a much better cause - like YOU!

Mr. Self-Care Says:

"These are the products mentioned in this article. The bulk oats and the sunflower seeds can be found on Amazon.

I found the best bulk price for the raw pumpkin seeds to be on the site link to the 25 pound case I purchased."

Lymphatic Health – why I use a rebounder every day

Lymphatic Health with rebounding

Does g-force relate to lymphatic health? An F-22 Fighter Jet can pull a max of 9 g’s. In other words, if your body weight was 150 pounds, pulling 9’s on a tight curve would make you feel like you weigh 1,350 pounds. Or, 9 times your weight.

There is also a piece of equipment on the playground that can achieve up to 7 g’s without ever flying a jet. It's a trampoline. These high forces are possible due to the gravitational pull and the added push produced right after hitting the mat.

Lymphatic health wasn't the original goal

Initially, the trampoline was developed by George Nissen and Larry Griswold of Iowa for gymnastic training, back in 1936.

But now it’s for fun, exercise, agility, improving health and a better quality of life.

Great for balance

A group of older adults took part in a study. After completion of the 16 weeks it was shown that their standing balance improved with regular use of a rebounder.

Improves quality of life

A study was conducted to test the quality of life of using a rebounder versus a treadmill. The groups each walked or jumped for 20-30 minutes 3 times a week.

At completion the group that used a mini-trampoline saw significant improvement in all areas, and had a higher quality of life score than the group that used the treadmill.

Rebounding improves quality of life

Rebounding improves quality of life

The NASA study

NASA even got in on the fun. One of their studies compared trampolining and running. They found that 10 minutes of trampolining is equivalent to running approximately 30 minutes.

Weightlessness is fun

Bouncing up and down creates a feeling of weightlessness. The harder the trampoline mat is hit on the way down, the longer the air time is on the way up.

It’s the weightlessness that makes this type of exercise so much fun.

Since the whole body moves and accelerates together when bouncing, all cells cycle between weightlessness and several g’s of force.

Cardio-vascular benefits

Rebounding on a mini-trampoline is exercise. Muscles must contract to absorb the higher g-forces. But unlike running, it doesn’t hurt the joints. So it provides cardio-vascular benefits without the pain.

In the circulation system the heart is the pump circulating the blood. Blood carries nutrients (amino acids, fatty acids, and glucose), and oxygen to the cells and tissues. It also removes waste such as carbon dioxide, lactic acid, and urea. Furthermore, white blood cells search and destroy any foreign invaders or infections they find.

Bouncing is beneficial to the cardio-vascular system.

Good for your heart

Good for your heart

Lymphatic system benefits

Bouncing is also beneficial to the lymphatic system.

The lymphatic system, and it’s structures have been found in every part of the body, including the brain and the eyes. It’s purpose is to protect all tissues of the body from bacteria, infection, and viruses. It does this with a fluid called lymph and it's found around each cell. Systems clean the lymph and eventually drain it back into the circulatory system.

There are 5 main parts of the lymphatic system.
1. lymphatic fluid
2. lymphatic capillaries absorb lymph from the extracellular fluid
3. lymphatic vessels collect lymph
4. lymphatic nodes fight and destroy invaders
5. lymphatic ducts drain lymph into the circulatory system

Lymph must flow and drain

For the lymph system to work efficiently, it must flow and drain. But unlike the circulation system and heart, there is no single pump in the lymphatic system. It relies on the pressure in the body to move the fluid.

The fluid around every cell is called extracellular fluid. It contains interstitial fluid, lymph, blood plasma, and trans-cellular fluid.

The lymph in this fluid absorbs foreign, or dead matter to be killed and destroyed by the white blood cells (lymphocytes) in the lymph nodes.

Disease can occur when blocked

But if the lymph fluid becomes too thick, or if the passages in which it flows become clogged, then disease at the cellular level can occur. Once flow is reduced or stopped, no further toxins can be absorbed by the lymph, and the cells drown and die from the surrounding toxins.

Flow is good

Flow is good

One way valves and pressure

When the lymph fluid absorbs foreign matter it is pulled into lymphatic capillaries which lead to the lymphatic vessels. On these vessels are lymph nodes that contain lymphangions. Lymphangions contain smooth muscles that operate 2 valves. There is a valve to control the flow of lymph coming in, and a valve to control the flow of lymph going out.

But these valves only open and close. Remember there is no pump for the lymph. It’s the pressure around the lymph system that forces lymph through the system. Just like your hand applying pressure to squeeze a tube of toothpaste.

This pressure that moves lymph comes from the contractions of muscles in the body, pressure from the pulses from the heart, and breathing.

Toxin removal

On the lymph vessels are lymph nodes. These lymph nodes have narrow passageways in which the lymph flows to ensure toxic invaders can be dealt with “one at a time”. These nodes filter the lymph and trap foreign bodies.

The flow of the lymph slows as it moves through these narrow channels. This allows the white blood cells (lymphocytes) to destroy foreign or dead material.

A single, larger vessel then carries lymph out of the node to the thoracic duct, and into the subclavian veins of the neck, located under the collar bone.

The lymphatic system also includes the spleen and the thymus, which produce these powerful lymphocytes.

How to keep your lymphatic system clean

For an effective lymphatic system there must be clear passage, efficiently operating valves, and pressure to move the lymph.

The problem is that most of the time healthy food is not consumed. Nor is there a good amount of exercise, or enough proper rest. All of these conditions can deteriorate the lymph system.

Poor elimination can also cause a backup in the lymph system.

To get the lymph moving when these conditions occur usually requires a lot of vigorous exercise or massage. And a lot of time!

Rebounding does it for you

But there is an easier way. And it's fun too! This is where the rebounder comes in.

The lymphatic system is filled with millions of one-way valves helping the lymph to flow.

Rebounding provides the right conditions to pressurize and depressurize the entire system. This helps to detoxify the body from stagnant proteins, bacteria, viruses and other cell waste.

Going up and down causes these one-way valves to open and close at the same time. Because the body is now going from weightlessness to several g’s. This additional g-force on the bottom increases muscle contractions, and hence the pressure around the lymph system, which further assists the lymph to move.

Rebounding is good for you

Rebounding is good for you

Congested lymph is a real problem

Having a congested lymphatic system is something many people don’t know they have. They usually find out later, when other symptoms and diseases show up.

The best defense is a great offense. Bouncing daily can assist in keeping the lymph system clean and functional.

10 Minutes a day is fun!

It’s easy to do. I usually do 10 minutes in the morning, and sometimes I add another 10 minutes in the evening. I hardly notice the g-forces of the bounce, but I am keenly aware of the joy from being weightless a few hundred times each day.

When bouncing, practice focusing on a point in front of you when you go up and down. Practice letting go and letting the bounces take you way.

You’ll have a ton of fun doing it.

Plus your cells with thank you later!

Mr. Self-Care Says:

"Before I bought my rebounder, I did quite a bit of research. 

I really liked the Bellicon, and I thought the Cellerciser would be the most effective choice.

But in the end, I went with the Jumpsport, because it has a great rating, and fit my budget the best. 

One year later, and I am still loving it. It was a great purchase."

Raw Breakfast – Apples, Sprouted Oats & Honey Recipe

Raw breakfast with apples, oats, honey

Get rid of that gooey, cooked mush they call oatmeal, and keep it simple with a raw breakfast! Try this delicious recipe, because it contains only 3 simple ingredients. Dump the cooked, processed foods, and start your day with this healthy alternative

It's so easy. You’ll only need apples, sprouted oats, and honey (learn more about health benefits of honey here).

Raw breakfast alternative for cooked oatmeal

I always enjoyed oatmeal in the morning. But since I switched to a raw diet, I needed plenty of new options.

A few months ago I bought a 25 pound sack of raw oats, and a bushel of Jonagold apples. So I had to find something to do with all that goodness.

This recipe came to me as I was thinking about those processed oatmeal packets that contained oats, dried apples, brown sugar, and preservatives. I simply switched out their dried and manufactured ingredients and replaced them with raw, whole food. I fell in love with my new recipe on the spot.

I have been hooked for over 2 months. I never seem to get tired of it! In fact I am looking forward to having it again today.

Simple raw recipe - 3 & 3

This recipe is so simple. It and takes less than 3 minutes to prepare & 3 natural ingredients.

I found this great company on Amazon that sells oat groats. Here is the 25 pound sack I bought, yeah it's big.

But they also sell smaller sizes so you can test it out for yourself.

Oat groats are also gluten free. Which is a big bonus for many people.

25 pounds of raw oat groats

25 pounds of raw oat groats

If you don't have an orchard or farmers market nearby, go out and treat yourself to organic apples. 

The bushel of Jonagold's cost me $20. Let me tell ya, it's a lot of apples. I've filled both of my vegetable crispers with apples, and I have more out on the shelf in my kitchen.

Buy organic apples

Buy organic apples

As for the honey, I use raw, unpasteurized Wildflower Honey From Georgia Honey Farms. They have many types. Plus you can buy directly from their website. Or, look in your local Costco, that is where I found my jar.

Oat groats

In nature, as the oat plant matures, the oats fall to the ground. Overtime, with rain and sun, the oat nestles into the earth and begins to grow. First as a seedling, then building it’s root system to support the new plant. The important thing is that there is a protective outer shell on the oat. This is called the hull.

Oat groats are the kernels of oats that are hulled. That means the tough outer shell (hull) has been physically removed. Since groats no longer have the tough outer shell, they can actually be sprouted quite simply. This process can occur in just 1-2 days.



Sprouting oats

These are the simple steps to sprouting your own oats:
1. Soak the oat groats in filtered water for about 8-12 hours.
2. After the alloted time period, drain all the water, and rinse one more time.
3. Leave the oats in a warm place, ideally 70-80 degrees F. The warmer the oats are, the faster they will sprout.
4. Next, plan on rinsing them twice a day, morning and night.
5. Within 1-2 days you will see a short white tail - that is the seedling beginning to grow.

Congratulations you now have sprouted oats.

Unsprouted Oat Groats

Unsprouted Oat Groats

Sprouted Oat Groats (3 days)

Sprouted Oat Groats (3 days)

Keeping Oats Warm:  I have found that the back part of the refrigerator (external, not in the refrigerator) is typically warmer due to the compressor coils and fan motor. Sometimes I leave the oats near that area. You can also try leaving them in an oven that is off with the light on. Sometimes the heat of the light provides enough warmth to help them sprout.

Recipe: raw apple, sprouted oats, and honey

To create your tasty and simple raw apple-oat-honey breakfast follow this simple recipe.

1. Wash, and remove the core from 1 or 2 apples.
2. Chop the apples into small bite-size pieces and put in a mixing bowl
3. Add into the bowl 1/4 - 1/2 cup of sprouted oats
4. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of honey on top of the oats and apples.
5. Mix up all ingredients so the honey covers the apples and oats.
6. Sit down, give thanks, and dive into this delectable treat.

Recipe apples, oats, honey step 1

Add the apples

Recipe apples, oats, honey step 2

Add the sprouted oats

Recipe apples, oats, honey step 3

Add the honey

Recipe options

​There are endless options that you can add to your base apple-oats-honey combo. Here are 2 that I do.

  • sometimes I don’t like to wait for the white tail on the sprout. After soaking 8-12 hours and rinsing the oats I use them at that time. They are very chewy, and very tasty.
  • sometimes I add 1/8 teaspoon of any or all of the following spices to the mixture:
    nutmeg, allspice, ginger or cardamon

Feeling decadent?

How about a chocolate raw treat. Try this one!

  • sometimes I sprinkle on 1 teaspoon (sometimes more), of raw cacao powder. This creates a raw desert that tastes like a chocolate covered granola bar. I mean really, it doesn't get any better than this!

Simple and tasty

There you go. I hope you enjoy this simple, tasty, and nutritious breakfast treat as much as I do.

So what are you "tossing into the mix" to make it your "signature breakfast"?

Coconut Health Benefits – Yummy and Healthy

Coconut Health Benefits

Coconut health benefits exist both in the mature and immature stages of a coconut. The water from a young coconut is used as a refreshing, and revitalizing sport drink. The fatty acids found in coconut meat are antiviral and antibacterial. Plus, studies show that the saturated fat from coconut doesn’t appear to have an impact on cardiovascular health.

All the goodness of coconut

The meat from mature coconuts is consumed in dishes, deserts and beverages. It is also pressed to make coconut milk. The extracted oil is used for cooking, soap, heating, lighting, moisturizing, health care products and cosmetics. It’s husk is used in grow mats as seed starters, and it's wood turned to charcoal for water filtration. The wood is also used in cooking, toys, and building products.

Coconut treats

Coconut treats

It’s called the tree of life because the entire palm is used (meat, water, husk, shell, leaves, and wood). But the best use is, in my opinion, is for it’s health properties. For each 100 gram serving, there are 354 calories with 24 grams of carbohydrates, along with vitamins and minerals. The raw meat contains about 33 grams of fat, about 35% of it’s total content. Of that fat, 60% is in the form of lauric acid.

Coconut water and coconut milk

In the young coconut, the water contains only about 19 calories. Coconut milk which is pressed from the mature coconut flesh contains the oil and the aromatic parts of the coconut. It’s fat content is about 24%, and one cup of this milk has over 552 calories which is why it is used sparingly in dishes.

The external husk of the coconut is a fibrous casing protecting the hard kernel within. The kernel contains coconut water or some milk depending on the maturity of the coconut.

Coconut now exists in over 90 countries around the world. So wherever you are you should be close to a source.

Coconut sugar and protein

The concentration of sugars in the young coconut vary through it’s maturity cycle. It starts around 1.5% to 5.5% (glucose, fructose, and sucrose), and when fully mature (9 months) it decreases to 2% - mostly sucrose.

Maximum protein content occurs in 10 month old nut. Green unripe coconuts contain meat which is soft and jelly like and can be removed with a spoon. However the mature coconut requires hard tools to scrape and remove the edible meat. The white meat of the coconut kernel is about 4.3% globulin. Globulin is one the major blood proteins of the human body alongside albumins, and fibrinogens.  Globulins are produced in the liver or by the immune system in the human body.

Removing coconut meat

Removing coconut meat

Coconut health benefits

The electrolytes in coconut water resemble intracellular fluid more closely than extracellular plasma. Therefore, there have been documented cases of it being used an an intravenous drip during medical emergency procedures. This is due to it’s similarity to plasma.

It contains potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Sodium, chloride, and phosphate are also present in much lower concentrations. Coconut water is also rich in many essential amino acids including lysine, leucine, cystine, phenylalanine, histidine, and tryptophan.

Coconut water is used as a rehydration fluid from diarrhea due to it’s beneficial levels of amino acids, sugars, vitamins, and minerals. So it is quite beneficial for rehydration.

Athletic performance is a highly studied area. Rehydrating on or off the field is the utmost in importance to both elite athletes and weekend warriors.

The sugars present in coconut water are mostly glucose and fructose in the immature coconut, and sucrose in the mature coconut. Coconut water helps to replace glucose in the body, which is our main source of energy fuel.

Rehydration with coconut water

Whole body rehydration and blood volume was studied after exercise. The study used 3 fluids - fresh young coconut water, carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage and plain water. Rehydration was similar in all 3 fluids, but plasma glucose concentration was significantly higher with coconut water and the carbohydrate-electrolyte-beverage versus water. Furthermore, coconut water was more enjoyable to drink, sweeter, and caused less fullness and nausea. Plus there were no reported upset stomach conditions in the study. This made it a healthy drink, that was far easier to consume.

Coconut water

Coconut water

Coconut water is a natural, raw, and refreshing beverage that can be consumed straight from the young coconut with a straw. Next time you are exercising replace your store bought energy drink with fresh coconut water.

When traveling, especially to South East Asia, young coconuts are plentiful, and sold on the streets. In the United States young coconuts are mostly sold in Asian Markets of the major cities.  These young coconuts are imported from other countries. But in Florida they can be found near Miami  such as this big 40 acre coconut palm plantation.

Antibacterial & anti fungal

Coconut contains two antimicrobial fatty acids (lauric acid - 50%, capric acid - 6%). Both are found in the fat of the coconut. Lauric acid has antiviral, antibacterial and antiprotozoal properties. Capric acid is also antimicrobial. Coconut fat normalizes body lipids, helps protect the liver from alcohol damage, and reduces the anti-inflammatory response of the immune system.

Lauric acid is formed into monolaurin in the human body. Monolaurin is an antiviral, antibacterial and antiprotozoal that destroy some viruses such as HIV, herpes, cytomegalovirus, influenza, various pathogenic bacteria including Listeria monocytogenes and Helicobacter pylori, and protozoa such as Giardia lamblia.  Lauric acid also appears to inactivate fungi, yeast and protozoa including several species of ringworm, and the yeast candida albicans.

Capric acid is formed into monocaprin in the human body. Monocaprin has also been shown to have antiviral effects against HIV and is being tested for antiviral effects against herpes simplex and for antibacterial effects against Chlamydia and other sexually transmitted bacteria.

Coconut - saturated fat and cholesterol

Lauric acid and myristic acid from coconut are both found in breast milk. They have also been beneficial in combating or reducing the risk factors in heart disease.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil

Two groups of Polynesians on separate atolls were studied for their consumption of coconut and the their associated levels of saturated fat, and cholesterol. Each group both ate coconut as a staple food. Group 1 had a higher percentage of coconut in their diet than Group 2 (63% vs 34%). As a result Group 1 had a higher intake of saturated fat, and higher serum cholesterol levels - about 35-40mg higher than Group2.

Both groups show lauric acid, and myristic acid in their fat tissue from the coconut consumed. However, the study was unable to link the high consumption of saturated fat from coconut the the harmful effects of cardiovascular health.

How to gain the coconut health benefits 

  • Buy virgin coconut oil and use a natural moisturizer for face, hands and body. Dab a little on your palm and rub in to your skin until absorbed.
  • Eat a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil to gain the benefits of it's fatty acids (lauric and capric). (I did this for a while, but never got used to it so I switched to eating both the mature coconut meat, and dried coconut )
  • Buy a young coconut at Whole Foods, or your local health food store. They look like small white diamonds about the size of a cantaloupe melon. They are usually in the chilled section. Store in your refrigerator. After exercise, puncture a small hole on top and insert a straw. Enjoy an exquisitely satisfying natural sports hydration beverage. When finished, increase the hole size and scoop out the young coconut meat. It's sooooooooo delicious!
  • Buy dried raw coconut flakes and sprinkle on your morning cereal or fruit
  • Buy a whole, mature coconut. Tap lightly along the entire center perimeter with a hammer until you hear a crack. Continue tapping lightly until the coconut splits open. Remove all the coconut meat and store in the refrigerator. Enjoy a coconut snack anytime, it'stasty and very filling

Mr. Self-Care Says

"This is my favorite dried, raw coconut. Every time I open a new bag, a burst of fresh and inviting coconut fills the room. The small, white flakes have a slight crunch and makes a great afternoon snack!

It's a 2-pack so you won't run out."

Enjoy your coconut today!

No matter how you enjoy coconut your body will thank you. Either as a rehydrating sport drink, or as a food full of antiviral and antifungal benefits.

Coconut is one food you definitely want to have a lot of in your home.

Discover Even More

Honey Health Benefits – It’s time to enjoy it again

Honey health benefits

It’s time to put honey back in your life. If you have been pushing it way, take another look. Honey is nutritional, and healing both internally and externally. Honey is good for you in it's natural, raw state. You'll find all the honey health benefits you need below.

Honey is composed of a complex mixture of carbohydrates (Fructose, glucose and maltose), water, and a small amount of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and phenolic compounds so it's considered a whole food.

We've been eating honey a long time

Honey is produced by honeybees. The bees collect nectar and sweet deposits from plants. They then store it in honeycombs where it is harvested. It is a natural and safe food product.

As a species, we have been eating honey for a long, long time. Honey was even written about on a Sumerian tablet back in 2100-2000 BC. There it mentions honey’s use as a drug and an ointment, according to Crane E. in “Honey, a comprehensive survey.”

Eating honey a long time

Eating honey a long time

Honey Health Benefits

There's even a healthy therapy built around it. Did you ever hear the word apitherapy? It’s the branch of alternative medicine that uses honey bee products for healing.

Which sweetener to choose?

With so many sweeteners on the market, it’s hard to know what’s healthy.

In my household I always fall back on the unprocessed, raw, and the natural choice? In this case honey wins hands down. It also provides internal and external health benefits.

Because of the honey health benefits, I dumped table sugar a long time ago. But I’ve tried other sweeteners along the way like the white processed Stevia, and it's powdered green whole leaf counterpart. Plus I was into raw cane sugar for a while. But comparatively speaking, none is as tasty, nor as healthy as honey.

As of late, honey is my go-to sweetener, and here is why.

No added weight gain

It’s a common belief that since honey is sugar it will make you fat. But an animal study comprised of 3 powdered diets (sugar free, sucrose, mixed sugars, and honey) showed otherwise. The result: “overall percentage weight gain was significantly lower in honey-fed rats than those fed sucrose or mixed sugars, despite a similar food intake.”

No added weight gain found

No added weight gain found

Diabetics also benefit from honey

Diabetics, who must monitor their blood sugar levels are told to stay away from honey due to it’s high glycemic values. However, type 2 diabetic patients where given natural honey for 8 weeks. The results were amazing. Their body weight, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol and triglyceride decreased, and their high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol increased significantly.

Good nutrition versus empty calories

Honey health benefits abound. Honey is essentially concentrated sugars in water. But it also contains a very complex mixture of other saccharides, proteins, enzymes, amino acids, organic acids, polyphenols, and carotenoid like substances, maillard reaction products, vitamins and minerals.

The three main honey enzymes are diastase (amylase) which convert starch or glycogen into smaller sugar units, invertase (sucrase, α-glucosidase) which convert sucrose into fructose and glucose, as well as glucose oxidase which produce hydrogen peroxide and gluconic acid from glucose.

Common table sugar contains sucrose from heavily processed sugar cane. All other nutrients are removed during manufacturing. There are no proteins, enzymes, or amino acids left. This is why it is called an empty calorie. There is no nutrition in table sugar, it only contains carbohydrate calories.

For example, look at the small comparison below. Note how honey health benefits rule over common table sugar.

100 gram serving


Table Sugar





.3 mg

0 mg


0 mg

0 mg

vitamin C

.5 mg

0 mg


6 mg

1 mg


2 mg

0 mg


.2 mg

0 mg

Athletic performance

Carbohydrates constitute about 95 to 97% of honey, of which are mainly fructose and glucose. Due to its high carbohydrate content honey is an excellent source of energy for athletes.

However, there are also about 25 different oligosaccharides.  The most well known effect of most non-digestible oligosaccharides is stimulation of the growth of Bifidobacteria (probiotics)which improve food digestion and assimilation in  the colon.

Great for athletes

Great for athletes

Free Amino Acids

The honey health benefits continue. Protein content in honey is roughly 0.5% made up mainly from enzymes and free amino acids.

Amino acids are combined to make protein. But during digestion, the consumption of a protein source must be broken back down into amino acids for use by the body. 

Honey contains the free-form amino acids, making them "pre-digested", and ready for assimilation upon consumption.

Inhibits micro-organisms and fungi

Fungal infections can occur in the lungs or the skin. They are more likely to occur when taking anti-biotics or during times of a weakened immune system. Honey inhibits the growth of micro-organisms and fungi. The antibacterial effects have been reported for many strains.

Even ringworm and athletes foot are found to be responsive to honey.

Antioxidant effects

Honey also provides antioxidant effects on free radicals. Antioxidant activity is thought to prevent some chronic diseases. Honey has been found to contains antioxidant activity including glucose oxidase, catalase, ascorbic acid, flavonoids, phenolic acids, carotenoid derivatives, and organic acids.

Antimutagenic and antitumor activity

Mutagenic substances promoting mutations of the genetic structure. All honeys exhibited a significant inhibition of mutagenicity. Glucose and fructose were found to have a similar antimutagenic activity as honey.

Treatment of wounds

A blend of manuka and jelly bush honey) has been one of the first medically certified honeys licensed as medical product for professional wound care in Europe, America and Australia. Honey is equally found as an active ingredient in products such as ointments for the treatment of wounds and burns. 

The viscous nature of honey is believed to provide a moist environment around wounds that allows skin cells to re-grow across the wound as well as it provides a protective barrier to help block against  further contact infection.

Healing with honey

Healing with honey

Stimulation of tissue growth

Want further proof of honey health benefits, then look into wound care and healing. 

The re-growth of tissue is very important in the wound healing process. Honey stimulates the formation of new blood capillaries (angiogenesis). The growth of fibroblasts that replace connective tissue in deeper layers of the skin and produce the collagen fibers to strengthen healing. Honey also stimulates regrowth of new skin cells over a healed wound. This helps prevent scarring and keloid formation.

3 simple ways to benefit from honey

Honey health benefits can be gained in many ways, but they really break down into 3 main categories.

Drink It

The simplest thing to do is to drink honey. Squeeze 1/4 of a lemon in a 16 oz glass of water. Add a teaspoon of honey, and stir. Drink throughout the day. Don't like it cold, warm the water 1st before adding the honey for a tasty morning beverage.

Eat It

Eating it is even more fun. Sure you can have it right out the jar, but it's a perfect compliment to fruit. Here's what I do. I chop a cored apple and add it to a bowl. I then sprinkle on cinnamon and nutmeg. Lastly I slow drip (because it's fun) a teaspoon of honey over the apple. Then I mix it up. Also, if I have sprouted oats on hand, I mix in a 1/4 cup of the oats for an amazing tasty treat.

Wear It

Honey can be worn. Not as a jacket, or a pair of pants. But as a layer to soothe cuts, and burns. It's simple to do. Put a little honey on a band-aid, and then apply it to your skin. Or put it on a clean, dry pad and apply to the damaged skin. Leave on for an hour, and then reapply as needed. Don't forget, honey is sticky so rinse well with water to avoid sticking the the drapes or small animals.

Summary of honey health benefits

Dump the table sugar and come back to honey. It's a far better choice than sugar any day. Use it to create a post workout sport drink, or use it on a wound or burn to assist in healing.

Inside or out, honey can't be beat.

Don't forget, look for the "all raw" version. Processed honey is heated, which will kill many of the enzymes naturally found in it. 

Enjoy honey, and let it assist you in your travels on the road to health.

Sleeping longer – Is It Good For You?

You’ve heard that it's best to get around 8 hours of sleep. But does sleeping longer work if you have a full time job, go to university, or raise a family. For many of us, 8 hours of sleep is a luxury reserved for those holiday weekends when we can actually sleep in.

Most people believe reducing sleep to a minimum is efficient and harmless.

But is sleeping less actually good for you?

How Important is sleeping longer?

There is a lot evidence showing detrimental effects on the body with reduced sleep, and late bedtime hours.

But on the other hand, there is so much to do in life. And, sometimes the only way to get it all done is to stay up late.

Here are some interesting facts that may just help you choose to go to bed earlier.

What! Lack of sleep is responsible for all this

Reduced hormones that control appetite

Everyone I meet is in some way trying to lose a few pounds. In industrialized countries, sleep reduction is very common, we try to squeeze as much as we can into the day. But it's becoming recognized as a contributing factor to obesity and diabetes.

Sleep plays a role in the regulation of glucose and hormones related to appetite. Without proper sleep the body will experience more blood sugar issues, and appetite will be greater. Sleeping less causes us to eat more. For good metabolic health, good sleep is imperative.

Slow wave sleep (SWS) is the most restorative sleep stage. It is associated with decreased heart rate, blood pressure, sympathetic nervous activity, and glucose used by the brain. Plus during SWS sleep, the anabolic growth hormone that builds muscle is released, while the stress hormone cortisol is inhibited. 

The link between sleep loss and increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes is possibly related to the effect sleep loss has on hormones. If the hormones are not present to control appetite, then hunger will increase. This can happen when people are sleep restricted.

Cholesterol in women increases

Sleep restriction increased total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in women. Short sleep duration has been found to be associated with higher total cholesterol and lower HDL (the good one). Sleep deprivation could increase cholesterol by increasing appetite and consumption of saturated fats, decreasing motivation for physical activity, and increasing stress.

Testosterone in men drops 10%-15%

In men testosterone is a sex hormone that plays important roles in the body. It's thought to regulate sex drive (libido), bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass and strength, and the production of red blood cells and sperm. As men age, testosterone levels decrease by 1% to 2% per year.

But men who went under 1 week of sleep restriction of 5 hours per night had a decrease of 10% to 15% of testosterone. Symptoms and signs of testosterone deficiency include low energy, reduced libido, poor concentration, and increased sleepiness, all of which may be produced by sleep deprivation.

Thumbs down

Thumbs down

Adolescents are affected too

They tested a group of adolescents with the following sleep-wake patterns: Early-bed/Early-rise; Early-bed/Late-rise; Late-bed/Early-rise; Late-bed/Late-rise. Here's what happened:
- Adolescents in the Late-bed/Late-rise category experienced 48 minutes per day more screen time (electronic devices)
- 27 minutes less moderate-to-vigorous physical activity

They were also:
- 1.47 times more likely to be overweight or obese
- 1.77 times more likely to have low moderate-to-vigorous physical activity
- 2.92 times more likely to have high screen time.

Students sleeping late, didn't feel refreshed

Why do people delay their bedtime?

Homework and TV shows were the more frequent reasons of late bedtimes among the late-sleepers.

Let’s not forget those that high stress jobs, careers, or lives so many have. This group of people often takes their stress into the evening, and bed. This makes them go to bed later without the ability to sleep longer.

Can You Temporarily Make Up For Lost Sleep?

Naps help temporarily

How about sleeping less and catching up. A group of people were sleep restricted to 5 hours a night. They also were allowed a daily nap to catch up. It was found that a 10-minute nap produced immediate improvements in outcomes (including sleepiness, fatigue, vigor, and cognitive performance). Some of the benefits maintained for as long as 155 minutes.

Better sleep quality happens when you are sleep deprived

This one makes sense. When you don't sleep you are more tired, and that will help you sleep better. This restricted sleep study tested a group of children for 6 days. They had 3 days of regular sleep, and then 3 days of extended or restricted sleep by 1 hour. The one benefit they saw was improved sleep quality, although they slept less.

How Long Should Sleep Occur?

Get out of bed within 8 hours or else!

This study showed that sleeping  greater than 8 hours per night is associated with increased mortality. The most recent American Cancer Society data of 1.1 million respondents showed that sleeping longer than 7.5 hours was associated with approximately 5% of the total mortality of the sample.

Even though it hasn’t been proven yet, there is evidence that mild sleep restriction would decrease mortality in long sleepers. Also, chronic sleep restriction is perhaps the most effective treatment for primary insomnia.

Time to get up

Time to get up

Long Term Effects

Immune and Cardiovascular challenges can occur with less than 6 hours of sleep a day.

In addition to its effects on cognitive function, sleep loss affects the immune and inflammatory systems. One night of recovery sleep does not allow full recovery of these systems. The immune and inflammatory responses to chronic sleep restriction suggest that chronic exposure to reduced sleep of less than 6 hours a day, and insufficient time for recovery sleep could have gradual deleterious effects, over years, on cardiovascular health.

In summary

A lack of sleep is not a healthy addition to any lifestyle, rather quite the opposite. If you have a choice - choose sleeping longer.

Here is a quick summary of the points of not getting adequate rest:

  • reduces hormone production responsible for appetite suppression
  • may be one of the causes for obesity and type 2 diabetes
  • causes an increase of cholesterol in women
  • decrease of testosterone in men
  • increases electronic device use, increase weight, and reduces physical activity in adolescents
  • sleeping less than 6 hours a day can lave long term negative effects on cardiovascular health

A good night of sleep is imperative for good health. It must become a new priority so as to perform the best throughout the day. Start with a new bed-time routine and ease into a better nights rest. 

How to do a morning detox, without food

Morning detox with lemon water and cayenne.

This information is for anyone looking to increase productivity, remove brain fog, feel better, drop a few pounds, and have energy all morning long. Can a morning detox do all that?

What about intermittent fasting

It wasn’t long ago that I would start the day with huge servings of sprouted oats/fruit, or an entire blender full of green smoothie. I had to eat big to stock up on fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. At least that’s what they told me. If I didn’t eat big I surely wouldn’t make it to lunch.

However, things changed when I began intermittent fasting combined with a morning detox. Now I only eat during an 8 hour period, leaving the remaining 16 hours food-free.

Couldn't find the food balance

I work from home and the morning is my productive time. Eating breakfast creates only 2 states for me. I either feel bloated which slows me down. Or, I feel hungry 30 minutes after a meal making me think even more about food. Both conditions block my productivity. I can't spend most of my morning resting, nor eating. I have things to get done. 

I just couldn’t find the secret food combination that provides nutrition, satiation and energy. For some reason, eating breakfast (big or small) opens the valve to a massive, never-ending feeding frenzy - all day long. 

Morning Detox Food Free

Morning Detox - Going Food Free

Intermittent fasting along with the morning detox changed all that.

Solution - a new morning routine

Since I wouldn’t be eating breakfast, I needed a few ideas for my new morning routine. Here’s what I came up with.

#1: I could do nothing. That means I would neither eat, nor drink until noon
#2: I could drink herbal tea and honey, choosing a different herbal blend each day
#3: I could turn the morning hours into a detox period.

For the next 3 months I decided to turn the morning hours of 7 am - 12 pm into a detoxification period. I focused on cleansing beverages, and body movements. My morning drink is now lemon water and cayenne pepper. My two body movements include yoga/meditation, and 5-10 minutes on a mini-trampoline.

Lemon and cayenne, the power combo

Lemon and cayenne work well together. Plus citrus oils have even been shown to have anti-tumor properties. Cayenne on the other hand, or more specifically capsaicin (the hot stuff) found in the cayenne, helps with metabolism, energy, and satiation.

However, what I was really after was the detox. I wanted the brain fog gone, and to think clearly all day long. Somewhere my diet was messing me up, and something must be in my circulatory system causing that fog. 

What about toxins

I learned that excess environmental toxins get stored in body fat. Overtime I have been removing all the bad stuff in my diet. But what about the toxins already stored in my body. Basically if the body can’t get rid of toxins through the kidneys, liver, colon, or skin, they get stored. So that was also part of my goal. I wanted to break down the fat, release any toxins that are stored, and flush them out of my body.

If I could leave more time for digestion and less time eating I just might be able to sway the pendulum. And hopefully the brain fog  would clear.

This is where lemon water and cayenne morning detox came to the rescue.

What I did - my morning detox routine

Each morning upon rising, I head down to kitchen and fill up a 1/2 gallon (64 ounce) mason jar with filtered water.

Next, I cut up a lemon, and use a hand juicer to extract the juice from one half. I put the other half in the refrigerator for the next day.

Then I put 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper in the filtered water. At first I started small with half a teaspoon. Now I can easily tolerate 2 teaspoons.

Lastly, I shake the lemon juice, water, and cayenne vigorously. Then I pour 16 ounces in my favorite glass, and put a straw in.

I then proceed to drink this mix until noon. After I finish my 1st glass, I pour another which fills me up until lunch.

What I use

Half Gallon Ball Mason Jar for the morning detox

Half Gallon Ball Mason Jar

McCormick Cayenne for the morning detox

McCormick Cayenne from Cosco

Zatarains Cayenne for morning dexo

Zatarains Cayenne from Walmart

365 Cayenne for the morning detox

365 Cayenne from Whole Foods

I used a 1/2 gallon mason jar. I also had a huge 14oz container of cayenne from Amazon. After I went through that I picked up a Zatarains from Walmart since I was in a pinch. However, on my next trip to Whole Foods I will get the organic cayenne.

Note: I choose to use a glass container to eliminate any plastic taste, or residues. After all, this is a detox, and glass is inert.

How it worked

This is my 5th week and I am very happy with the results of my morning detox. For the first few weeks I had to clear my throat often during the morning Since cayenne is acidic, there was an increase in mucous that naturally protects the throat/stomach lining. However, that seems to be gone now, and I clear my throat very rarely, if at all. 

The brain fog is almost all gone too. It was noticeably less after 2 weeks. But now, I can think clearly all morning long. My productivity has doubled - really!

Also, the moment I feel hungry in the morning I drink the lemon and cayenne mix. Almost instantly I feel full. There are no more food cravings. The only time I feel hungry is first thing in the morning. But after my first sip, it goes away until noon. As long as I drink my two 16 oz glasses of lemon/cayenne water I am good to go until noon.

Weight loss too

Best yet, I have dropped at least 2 pounds. Not sure if this is from skipping breakfast, the increase in metabolism from the pepper, the reduction of toxins/fat, or a combination of the above. Either way I am pleased with the results of my morning detox.

Lastly, my meditation has become deeper, and easier to sustain. I am distracted less. I can sit quietly breathing for 20 minutes in more comfort than before (much much less fidgety).

I will do the morning detox for 3 months

This combination is working really well for me. I plan to finish up the 3 months, and then re-evaluate. Eventually, I may do another round, or change it up by dropping the cayenne but keeping the lemon water. But I'll decide when I am done based on how I am feeling.

Either way, I can’t remember the last time my head and thoughts have been this clear all morning. Plus, the morning food cravings, and mood swings seem to be a thing of the past.

Lemon and cayenne seem to be a powerful, synergistic combination that make up the basis of my morning detox.

Instructions  / steps for a morning detox drink

  1. Fill a 32 ounce, or 64 ounce glass jar with filtered water
  2. Cut a lemon in half, and add the juice of half that lemon to the water. Put the other half in the refrigerator.
  3. Start by adding 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper to the lemon water
  4. Shake the mixture, and a pour a full glass
  5. Drink with a straw to decrease the amount of lemon and cayenne on your teeth
  6. Drink the rest of the water in the jar throughout the day