Wednesday, March 30, 2016

How To Stop Inflammation Naturally Before It Stops You

If you have ever had a sore throat, rash or a sprained ankle, you have experienced the body’s response: inflammation. In specific cases, for a short period of time, inflammation is what the body naturally does to fight infection, heal injuries and combat irritants.

No brakes
Chronic inflammation is basically like a car rolling down a never-ending hill without brakes; it doesn’t have the ability to stop. So with the inflammation “on” switch stuck, your body thinks that you are in imminent danger even when you’re not. It’s a good thing gone bad, starting perhaps with swelling and scar tissue, that becomes a serious problem over time. Chronic inflammation is linked to virtually every disease in one way or another. More often than not, it is the eventual signs of inflammation that alert people to the presence of disease. By that time, it has usually been present in the body for a while.
Here are just a few of the illnesses that may result from prolonged or chronic inflammation:
  • Alzheimer’s disease. Brain cells may be destroyed by chronically elevated levels of inflammation.
  • Congestive heart failure. Chronic periods of inflammation may cause the heart muscle to wear out and waste away.
  • Fibromyalgia. Inflammation attacks the connective tissues, leading to pain.
  • Asthma. Small cytokines may cause autoimmune reactions to flare up in the lining of the airways.
  • Autism. When inflammatory cytokines are released in the brain, it may arrest the development of the right hemisphere.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The esophagus and digestive tract become riddled with inflammation, most often in response to food sensitivities and pH levels.
  • Arthritis. Inflammatory cytokines may cause cellular activity that leads to the destruction of synovial fluid and joint cartilage.
  • Neuropathy. Inflammation induces autoimmune reactions that attack the vascular, myelin, and connective tissues, potentially causing nerve irritation.
  • Psoriasis. Presence of chronic inflammation levels in the liver and gut may lead to poor natural detoxification and the buildup of irritating substances in the body, which can manifest on the skin.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome. Chronically elevated levels of inflammation may cause shortened tendons in the forearm and wrist, and the excessive muscle tension may result in compressed nerves.
  • Celiac disease. Long periods of chronic immune system inflammation may bring about damages to the lining of the intestine.
Drugs are not always the best option
Frequently in Western medicine, doctors treat pain and inflammation with medication. While these drugs may ease pain, they do little to combat the underlying cause and often come with a host of dangerous side effects.
Here are three natural inflammation fighters that work with your body to eliminate inflammation at the root.
Flax (Linum usitatissimum)
For vegans and vegetarians, flax is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids around. These small but mighty seeds are unique in that they are an extremely concentrated source of lignans and inflammation-taming alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Lignans help cleanse the body with their fiber-like qualities and provide a mega-dose of antioxidant protection. Incorporating flax into your diet will also protect your cardiovascular system, which takes a hard hit from excessive systemic inflammation.
Incorporate organic flaxseed into your favorite baked goods. The ALA in flax maintains its nutritional value even when cooked at oven temperatures for three hours.
Try sprinkling it in soups, salads, dips, shakes, smoothies and more, as it has a neutral flavor. Just be sure to grind your flaxseeds before use because the nutrients become more bioavailable than in whole-seed form. Keep in mind that once the seeds are ground, they go rancid quickly because of the high level of natural fat. Store ground flax in the fridge in an airtight container and use within a few days of grinding.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Orange in color, this ancient spice is part of the ginger family, another incredibly potent herb, and has been used medicinally in India and China for centuries. Turmeric’s two main components, curcumin and curcuminoids, have anti-inflammatory effects so powerful they can be compared to those of the common NSAIDs without the liver-damaging side effect. One study found that using the herb as a pre-treatment for arthritis inhibited its onset and that those already suffering from inflammation-based pain experienced relief when treated with turmeric.
Turmeric can easily be incorporated into most dishes for an added dash of flavor with a bright yellow flare. It can also be taken in capsule form or applied topically via a poultice.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
While the cherry-flavored chewy candy may be the first thing that pops into your head with the mention of licorice, this potent herb may not be as sweet to taste, but it will keep inflammation at bay. Licorice works similarly to the body’s own inflammation-battling corticosteroids when taken orally.
HowToStopInflammationNaturallyBeforeItStopsYou_640x359In fact, one study found that licorice’s anti-inflammatory benefits are comparable to that of the prescription medication diclofenac sodium, and evidence from the study suggests that licorice may be incorporated into a short-term pain-management treatment program.
Licorice can be taken orally via capsule, tablet or powder. A tea can also be made with the leaves or it can be applied topically.
Adopt an anti-inflammatory lifestyle
In addition to the herbs above, there are a number of ways that you can adopt an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. Doing so will give your body what it needs to stay well and help keep your body’s inflammation response within normal limits, thus reducing the chance that you will develop any serious inflammation-induced conditions.
Get enough quality sleep:  Poor sleep can cause our bodies to be more susceptible to inflammation by altering normal levels of cortisol (fight or flight) and insulin. High stress levels are also associated with elevated cortisol levels.
Regular exercise: The right amount of exercise can help us become less susceptible to muscle soreness, essentially working our body into a state of resistance to over-inflammation. 
Anti-inflammatory eating
Particular foods and eating patterns are linked with lower levels of inflammatory biomarkers. This diet-inflammation connection might be one explanation for disease protection. 
Andrew Weil, MD, director of Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, reported at the Annual Nutrition and Health Conference in San Francisco in 2011 that inflammatory status is strongly influenced by diet.
“Most people go through life in a pro-inflammatory state because they eat a modern, industrialized diet, which gives you carbohydrates and fats without all of the protective elements,” Weil said. He reported that a diet including protective foods, such as vegetables, fish and whole grains, offers anti-inflammatory benefits that promote healthy aging and support optimum health at any age.
Optimal diet patterns
To reduce inflammation, follow a diet rich in whole foods, including carbohydrates such as gluten-free whole grains and fruits, fats like nuts, coconut oil and avocados, and protein sources such as fresh-caught fish and legumes.
Evidence confirms that the Mediterranean diet, a traditional diet pattern that focuses on whole plant foods, is linked with lower inflammation and age-related disease risk.
Work with your body
The good news is that it is possible to partner with your body to keep the brakes on chronic inflammation. When you adopt an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, pay attention to the signs and signals that your body is giving you, and recognize how much control you actually do have over your health — it is possible to stop inflammation far before it stops you!

—Susan Patterson

5 Peels You Can Eat

The standard practice for preparing a vegetable or fruit is to wash it, peel it, cut it and cook it. Most of us simply throw fruit and veggie peels away, but we might be throwing away the most nutritious part.

Research from the Royal Society of ­Medicine found that produce peels have some health benefits that the flesh of the fruit or vegetable may not have. Produce peel can provide the following health benefits:
  • Antioxidants (used to heal the fruit while it is still growing)
  • Anti-inflammatory compounds
  • High nutrient content
  • Antibacterial/antiviral compounds
  • Digestive aids
  • High fiber content
The following five produce peels are particularly high in nutrients. The next time you pick up one of these vegetables or fruits, eat the peel right along with the produce! As an added tip, look for organic produce to avoid concentrated pesticides in the peel. The pesticides added to conventional produce will counteract some of the health benefits of eating the peels. Kiwi
Kiwi’s furry brown skin is a turnoff for many, but if you can stand the texture, the peel is full of beneficial ingredients. The skin is three times higher in antioxidants than the flesh and has antibacterial and antiviral properties.
How do I eat it? Golden kiwi has all of the health benefits with less fur.
Banana peel may not seem like something edible, but it is packed with beneficial compounds. Banana peels are high in serotonin, which can boost mood and help regulate mental disorders. Banana peel, just like most other fruit peels, have beneficial antioxidants that are particularly beneficial for eye health.
How do I eat it? Push the peel through a juicer and mix with other produce. Ensure your bananas are organic.
Potato skins are some of the healthiest produce skins you can eat. Potato skins have high levels of vitamin C, zinc, potassium, iron, fiber and phosphorous. The inside of the potato is starchy and can contribute to weight gain, but the skin of a potato is a healthy choice.
How do I eat it? Sprinkle potato skins with cheese and cook them in the oven until crispy. Anytime you make a potato dish, leave the skins on.
Squash and pumpkin
Squash are in season during the fall and winter. Squash contain high levels of vitamin A and zinc. Squash skins also contain high levels of antioxidants and higher levels of the vitamins found in squash flesh. Pumpkins may have skin that is too firm to eat, but the closer you get to the skin, the more nutrients you will receive.
How do I eat it? Don’t peel squash before cooking. This will not only boost your nutrient intake but will also make cooking easier. Try cutting your squash in half and baking it in a dish with water.
Orange and citrus
Orange peel against white backgroundIt’s hard to imagine biting into the peel of your orange, but discarding this part of a citrus fruit may be a mistake. Citrus fruits contain super-flavonoid antioxidants in the peel only, which work to reduce cholesterol. There are 20 times more antioxidants in orange peel than in the flesh. The peel also contains high levels of pectin and fiber, and that fiber can feed beneficial bacteria in the intestines.
How do I eat it? Let the peel dry and grind it up. Use the powder as a flavoring for recipes. Use fresh zest and grated citrus peel to flavor salads and other dishes. Juice whole oranges rather than using just the fruit.
By including these peels in your diet, you will boost your nutrient intake and reduce waste at the same time. When you are eating the peel, ensure that your fruits are organic and well washed.

Free Workout

Starting next week until May 26, 2016, Dilworth Park will have Spring Training for free!

·         City Fit Girls Running Club

·         Yoga

·         Zumba

·         Boot Camp

 Check out the link for dates and times.


Job Posting - Finance Account Liaison

Position Specifics

Position:  Finance Account Liaison                                            Salary Range: $42,000 - $47,000
Business Unit:  Finance                                                                 Department: Contracts

Reports To:  Manager of Contracts                                           Posted:  March 16, 2016 – March 30, 2016

Role Summary

This position administers and executes the entire contracting and invoicing process which includes: writing contracts, budget monitoring, and compliance to meet the needs of a specialized client base in compliance with Philadelphia Works funding regulations.  This position also provides general guidance and direction in regards to fiscal management of grants and contracts assigned.  This position is responsible for creating various contract modifications.

This position will be responsible for the following duties:
·         Writing contracts in compliance with applicable guidelines and as indicated on the contract requisition form
·         Preparing, reviewing and monitoring budgets and contracts for accuracy and adherence to Federal and State regulations, Philadelphia Works policies and procedures
·         Researching, analyzing, and resolving contracting/invoicing issues in coordination with subcontractors and internal departments
·         Monitoring training programs, including but not limited to contractual performance, invoicing issues, contractual compliance, program activities, and financial management 
·         Resolving or guiding resolution of any issues or concerns regarding monitoring issues
·         Reviewing subcontractor invoices for satisfactory payment approval and accuracy
·         Coding invoices according to contract and participant eligibility to allow for tracking within PW’s financial system
·         Reviewing subcontractor performance documentation as needed to verify that data entered into CWDS is accurate
·         Tracking participant status via participant rosters 
·         Resolving all errors in invoicing prior to payment
·         Processing invoices for payment
·         Preparing monthly status/activity reports, as well as provide statistical/fiscal data as required
·         Providing technical assistance to vendors regarding all applicable regulations
·         Analyzing proposals to determine feasibility, cost effectiveness, consistency with RFP guidelines, and compatibility to target populations.
·         Organizing and maintaining an up-to-date filing system for vendor invoices, payments, contracts, modifications, monitoring reports, and other relevant paperwork
·         Communicating effectively with all PW departments, external organizations, and government agencies to respond to inquiries and resolve or refer matters related to the efficient service of operations

Education/Professional Experience

Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a concentration in Finance, Business Administration, or related area of study. A minimum of 2 years of fiscal/budget and contract experience. Experience in an employment and training organization, preferred. Some local travel is required.

Or, any combination of education and experience determined to be acceptable.

Additional Eligibility Qualifications
  • Proficiency working with Microsoft Word and Excel
  • Knowledge of pivot tables
  • Excellent oral, written, interpersonal and presentation skills
  • Strong organizational, analytical, and prioritizing skills 
  • Strong math aptitude with the ability to perform responsibly with minimal supervision recognizing and resolving discrepancies
  • Apply critical thinking and possess flexibility to meet departmental needs, working independently and as a team member
  • Ability to interact effectively with Philadelphia Works, Inc. staff, the public, as well as government officials and agencies

Contact Information

Interested applicants should apply online at  and click on
 “About Us” and then “Careers at Philadelphia Works

Equal Opportunity Employer/Program
Alternate Formats, Auxiliary Aides and Services are available upon request

Monday, March 14, 2016

Path 2 Peace - Register Now!!!

FACCI "All White Attire Mother's Day Luncheon"

FACCI Women's Unity Breakfast

Journey to Palm Sunday

Beyond The Mask 5D

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4 Herbs That Are As Good As Over-The-Counter Pain Meds

In 2015, the FDA increased the warnings associated with the use of over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Taking these painkillers comes with the increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Many are now questioning the use of painkillers for any reason.

However, you don’t have to go completely pain relief-free, even if you are avoiding NSAIDs. The four herbs listed below have powerful pain-relieving effects that work as well as over-the-counter medication.
Chili Chili contains an ingredient called capsaicin, which has been shown to fight pain and inflammation. The ingredient is so effective that in 2011 a pain-relieving patch containing capsaicin compounds was released for commercial sale in the European Union and the United States. However, it is not necesssary to purchase the patch to benefit from the pain-relieving properties of chili.
How to use it: Make a paste of chili powder and water. Rub the mixture into sore, aching muscles. The skin will tingle and may redden a bit, but as long as it does not hurt or burn, it will not harm the skin. Within a few minutes, you should feel relief from the pain. Chili is particularly effective in fighting swelling, inflammation and joint pain.

Compounds in chamomile are soothing and anti-inflammatory. Chamomile is effective at relieving minor aches and pains. A study from 2010 published in Molecular Medicine Report found chamomile to be effective at reducing the pain from hemorrhoids, arthritis, ulcers, menstrual cramps and wounds.
How to use it: Create a strong brew of chamomile by adding hot water to chamomile leaves. Allow the mixture to rest for 24 hours. Dampen cotton cloths with the chamomile liquid and apply them directly to the affected area. You can also add some chamomile leaves or tea bags (if you have nothing else) to hot bathwater and use it to soak for an hour.

Clove has long been used to reduce dental pain. Clove has a mixture of anti-inflammatory and antibacterial compounds that make it ideal for relieving toothache. A 2006 study published in the Journal of Dentistry found that clove oil was even more effective at reducing pain than benzocaine.
Spicy herbs in a clay dish, selective focus 
How to use it: Dilute clove essential oil in a carrier oil using a ratio of one drop of clove oil to 10 drops of carrier oil. Gently rub the clove essential oil mixture on the injured area. When the area starts to tingle and feel a bit numb, the clove is working. Alternatively, if you do not have essential oil, you can make a paste of ground cloves and water and apply it directly to the affected area.

Lavender is an herb that promotes feelings of calm and happiness. Until recently, however, it was not realized that lavender also has pain-relieving properties.
How to use it: Use a drop of lavender oil to remove the sting from bug bites; rub sore muscles with lavender essential oil for gentle pain relief; or diffuse lavender oil to reduce generalized pain. In 2013, a study was published in the journal Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine that analyzed the effect of lavender essential oil on cesarean postoperative pain. In one hospital, women who had just had cesarean surgeries were given lavender oil to inhale, while a control group was given a placebo. The women who smelled the lavender reported significantly lower pain levels than the control group.
Add these four herbs to your medicine cabinet and throw out those risky NSAIDs.
—The Alternative Daily

15 Ways To Sneak Exercise Into Your Day

You don’t have to set aside an hour every day to exercise. In fact, research suggests that short, one- to two-minute bouts of movement throughout the day can be just as beneficial as longer, more structured sweat sessions. Exercising can also be a lot more convenient when you only have to do it for a couple of minutes at a time. Here are 15 easy ways to sneak exercise into your day.
Wake up with some mattress yoga
Get your blood circulating as soon as you wake up with some morning yoga. These seven poses can be done on your mattress, before you even get out of bed. Do 10 jumping jacks as soon as you get out of bed
You can do 10 jumping jacks (or push-ups, sit-ups, or lunges) in under thirty seconds, and it will wake you up even quicker than a cup of coffee.
Make your bed
This is not only an easy way to get your muscles working — you’ll also feel happier when it’s time for bed.
Squat while you brush your teeth or oil pull
Most dentists agree that you should brush your teeth for about two minutes. This is enough time for 50–60 squats. Plus, after a week of this routine, you’ll have a whole new tush.  
Workout in traffic
Taking public transportation or walking or biking to work is great for both our health and the environment. But for many of us, long commutes make this difficult or impossible to do on a regular basis. Luckily, isometric exercises can be done in the car or on the bus.
When you do isometric exercises, the goal is to flex every single muscle in your body individually. Start with your toes and, muscle by muscle, move all the way up to your eyebrows. Flex each muscle for three seconds and then release.
Change up your parking space
Whenever you find yourself arriving to work a few minutes early, try parking a bit further away from your office. We often spend so much time finding the “closest spot,” that this trick may even save you a minute or two.
Take the stairs
This is another easy way to sneak in movement before you even start work. Moreover, taking the stairs throughout the day — using the bathroom on another floor, for example — is a great way to improve your circulation.
Sit on an exercise ball
Sitting on an exercise ball forces your muscles to support you all day, instead of relying on the back of a chair.
Exercises that can be done from the comfort of your desk include bicep curls, arm extensions, as well as these 8 yoga poses.
Go for a walk on your lunch break
Sitting destroys your health, so it’s really important that we take the chance to walk when we get it! Even if it’s only a 10–15 minute stroll, this little bit of movement can do wonders for your body and mind.
Do housework 
Housework is another great way to incorporate some movement into a mostly sedentary life, and it’s more of a workout than you might think! The average person burns about 170 calories per hour doing light housework tasks such as putting away groceries, ironing, washing dishes and cooking. Sweeping, mopping and vacuuming will burn around 300 calories per hour.
Do the seven-minute workout
The “seven-minute workout” is a form of high-intensity circuit training. The workout requires you to do nine to 12 exercises for 30 seconds each, with short rest periods of about ten seconds between exercises. The seven-minute workout gets your heart rate way up, increases strength, doesn’t require any equipment, and best of all — only takes seven minutes!
Move while you watch
Man advancing up the stairsIf your typical evening routine consists of watching TV, try to get some exercise in while you’re watching. Here are a few examples of ways to do this. Keep an exercise mat and a few hand weights nearby so you don’t have any excuses.
Use an app
There are literally hundreds of apps providing workouts that are customizable by length and fitness level. A few examples include Workout Trainer, FitStar, and Sworkit. Downloading them to your smartphone or tablet will give you the flexibility to workout wherever, whenever.
Stretch before bed
Finish your day with a few bedtime stretches. These will help to calm your body and mind, and maybe even lull you into a deeper sleep.
How do you make sure you get some movement in throughout the day?
—Teresa Manring

9 Ways to Flush Away Toxins with Lemons

Lemons are one of nature’s best sources of vitamin C, which provides a variety of health benefits for the body. Vitamin C aids in cellular detoxification and contains enzymes that assist with metabolic and organ function. It also clears waste from the digestive tract and enhances immune health. Vitamin C is necessary for the production of certain hormones and even enhances energy levels.

Because lemons contain very little fructose (fruit sugar), they’re also very easy to digest and do not cause bloating. In fact, lemons can actually reduce bloating because they are a natural diuretic and contain so many natural enzymes. Drinking lemon water is essentially the simplest way to take advantage of this fruit’s benefits.
And it doesn’t end there — let’s take a look at some other ways that you can reap this citrus gem’s therapeutic value. Easy ways to use lemons to detox the body
Make a superfood tonic
If you’re tired of plain lemon water, make a cleansing tonic with lemons, honey, cayenne, water and apple cider vinegar. Here’s how to make it:
  • Pour four ounces of cold filtered water into a glass jar, add two or three cubes of ice, the juice from one lemon, a 1/2 teaspoon of honey, a tiny dash of cayenne pepper, and one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
This tonic has a variety of benefits: the vitamin C in the lemon juice boosts the immune system; the probiotics, prebiotics and enzymes in the apple cider vinegar aid digestion; the honey offers antifungal and antibacterial properties; and the cayenne pepper is naturally cleansing.
Drink it before a workout or within the first 30 minutes of waking. If you need to add a little more sweetener, add some raw honey.
Use it as a salad dressing
My favorite way to make a healthy salad dressing is to simply mix the juice of two lemons with a pinch of black pepper and a touch of raw honey. I sometimes also like to add apple cider vinegar and fresh herbs like parsley and oregano. Using lemons as the base for a salad dressing adds a lot of flavor to your salads without the need for unhealthy dressings or heavy oils. This tasty dressing is a wonderful digestive aid and will enhance the taste of salad greens.
Add it to a smoothie
If you enjoy making smoothies, then you’ll love this trick: Squeeze the juice of one lemon into your smoothie and blend as normal. It not only brings out the sweetness of berries and even greens, but it also promotes healthy digestion and boosts metabolism.
Juice with it
Green juice is a nice way to add essential nutrients to your diet. Use plenty of leafy greens, and if you wish to add a little fruit, try berries, apple or citrus.
Including mostly greens in your juice will help to avoid a spike in blood sugar. You can also add a whole lemon and a piece of ginger. This will give your juice a nice lemon-ginger flavor that will reduce the bitterness of the greens, as well as enhance its cleansing properties.
Make a lemon-ginger shot
You may not wish to juice greens every day, so try making a lemon-ginger shot in your juicer instead. Juice two lemons and one or two inches of ginger root. Toss in some cayenne pepper if you like, and enjoy this digestion-boosting, cleansing drink. It’s also a great way to combat the cold and flu since both lemon and ginger provide anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Add a dash of turmeric for even more health benefits.
Drink lemon-cucumber water
Another way to make lemon water more exciting is to enhance it with cucumber and perhaps some fresh mint. Steep a couple of frozen slices of cucumber (which act as ice) with the juice of one lemon, rinsed lemon peel and a fresh mint leaf. Drink this refreshing tonic that will leave you with a flat belly and a naturally cleansed feeling all day long.
Add it to herbal tea
Dandelion, peppermint, fennel, chamomile, rooibos and spearmint are just some of the most popular and powerful teas. One way to enhance herbal tea is to add the juice of a lemon before you drink it. If you need more sweetness, go with a touch of raw honey or a drop of pure liquid stevia. Enjoy hot or cold for digestive wellness after a meal or throughout the day.
Pair it with green tea
lemonsLemon makes green tea taste great, and it also enhances its cleansing properties. The antioxidants known as catechins in green tea will be better absorbed due to the natural enzymes that lemons contain. Lemons and green tea are also two excellent remedies for stress, so pairing them together is the perfect way to take care of yourself when the going gets tough!
Squeeze it on your veggies
Whether you eat them cooked or raw, try eating your veggies with a squeeze of lemon on top.
Lemon juice not only enhances the taste of veggies but also aids in digestion. Since some vegetables can be hard for the body to break down, this is a simple and effective way to give your tummy some assistance without much work. You’ll also love the flavor!
These are just some of the simplest ways to use lemon to help with natural detoxification. If you would like to learn more, see these 21 ways to use lemons in and out of the kitchen.
Buying and storage tips:
Be sure to buy organic lemons when you can and rinse them before use. Also look for those that are somewhat firm in texture since softness can mean they are over-ripe. Lemons should be bright yellow and free from brown and moldy spots.
Store your lemons in the fridge inside the crisper drawer to help them last longer, or store them on the coldest shelf in your fridge, not on the counter where heat and sunlight can cause them to spoil more quickly.
Be sure to take advantage of the naturally detoxifying properties of lemons more often. Lemons are so versatile, why not make use of them whenever you can! Do you have a favorite way to use lemons to enhance your health?
—Heather McClees